Search found 5145 matches

by protagonist
Tue May 22, 2018 10:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Road trip Newark NJ to Albany
Replies: 76
Views: 3241

Re: Road trip Newark NJ to Albany

I owned 400 shares of AAPL stock when it was at about 65 and sold it around 72.A brilliant move :moneybag At least you made a profit. I took a loss on one of those hot tech stocks. I forget which one....maybe Google or Apple or ? An automatic loss limit of 5 or 10% was triggered some time in the la...
by protagonist
Tue May 22, 2018 10:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 5 yr CD up to 3.41% APY, NO EWP for seniors in IRA, but with catch
Replies: 18
Views: 3076

Re: 5 yr CD up to 3.41% APY, NO EWP for seniors in IRA, but with catch

So what bets are you placing? I'm sticking with my strategy of focusing on the peaks of the steepest segments of the yield curves, using the fixed-income security that appears to provide the highest risk-adjusted return, and picking up good deals when they pop up. Consistent with this, I just bough...
by protagonist
Tue May 22, 2018 9:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: International travel for Christmas
Replies: 26
Views: 1256

Re: International travel for Christmas

And just so you know, Americans need a visa for Australia. Who would have guessed. That's nothing, just a few mouse clicks. America has a similar, er, shakedown, ESTA, and the Canadians just introduced their own version. So are you saying US citizens now need a visa to drive across the Canadian bor...
by protagonist
Tue May 22, 2018 8:51 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do you stop moving the goal posts.
Replies: 62
Views: 4505

Re: How do you stop moving the goal posts.

It's much easier if you are committed to a plan that minimizes how much you have to think, because nothing you do will have a significant impact on reaching your goals. So if, for example, you decide to invest x % of your assets in a broad based index fund, you will not be susceptible to reacting to...
by protagonist
Tue May 22, 2018 8:33 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retiring in early 2019.
Replies: 15
Views: 1944

Re: Retiring in early 2019.

I look at it a little differently than some other folks. You say you need $32K/yr beyond social security. 1,200,000/32000= 37.5. So if you just kept up with inflation and if your assessment of your needs is realistic you would not run out of money until age 61+37.5= 98.5. That's pretty old, especial...
by protagonist
Tue May 22, 2018 8:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Road trip Newark NJ to Albany
Replies: 76
Views: 3241

Re: Road trip Newark NJ to Albany

There's a pretty interesting town a few miles east of Newark and easily accessible by train. I forget its name. But if I remember correctly they have a baseball team, and I think Frank Sinatra and Billy Joel wrote songs about it. It's kind of like Albany but bigger. If you are flying from Californi...
by protagonist
Mon May 21, 2018 10:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Road trip Newark NJ to Albany
Replies: 76
Views: 3241

Re: Road trip Newark NJ to Albany

hoops777 wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 3:46 pm
Should we visit the Berkshires since we have added a couple of days?
Yes.
by protagonist
Mon May 21, 2018 10:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Road trip Newark NJ to Albany
Replies: 76
Views: 3241

Re: Road trip Newark NJ to Albany

There's a pretty interesting town a few miles east of Newark and easily accessible by train. I forget its name. But if I remember correctly they have a baseball team, and I think Frank Sinatra and Billy Joel wrote songs about it. It's kind of like Albany but bigger. If you are flying from California...
by protagonist
Mon May 21, 2018 10:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: International travel for Christmas
Replies: 26
Views: 1256

Re: International travel for Christmas

As reflected in the variety of responses so far, we would need to know a lot more about your family to help you. -Do you seek sunshine, warmth, beaches, etc. or is winter weather not a major factor? -Do you prefer urban or rural landscapes, culture, recreation, or adventure? - Do you embrace or shun...
by protagonist
Mon May 21, 2018 10:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 5 yr CD up to 3.41% APY, NO EWP for seniors in IRA, but with catch
Replies: 18
Views: 3076

Re: 5 yr CD up to 3.41% APY, NO EWP for seniors in IRA, but with catch

Would you now recommend brokered CDs over treasuries for the 22% marginal tax bracket, Kevin? Following your posts, the rates seem to be increasing nearly daily. I wonder how much longer this will continue. Not necessarily in a taxable account if you pay state income tax, but it's your marginal sta...
by protagonist
Sat May 19, 2018 10:16 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 5 yr CD up to 3.41% APY, NO EWP for seniors in IRA, but with catch
Replies: 18
Views: 3076

Re: 5 yr CD up to 3.41% APY, NO EWP for seniors in IRA, but with catch

3% for under 99,000 at any age isn't too bad. It's not very good though. New-issue 3-year brokered CD now is 3% at Fidelity and Vanguard, and you probably can get 3.06% on secondary market at Fidelity if patient. I picked up 9 today at 3.07% for 37-month maturity. Kevin Would you now recommend brok...
by protagonist
Thu May 17, 2018 5:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Virtual Bank 2.01% MM [Money Market] savings account
Replies: 2
Views: 545

Virtual Bank 2.01% MM [Money Market] savings account

This is a promotional rate that is supposedly guaranteed for one year. $100 minimum initial deposit. Max. 6 withdrawals per month to avoid a $15 penalty, as with MM accounts elsewhere. The 2% savings deposit rate at Popular Direct bank is no longer available....their current rate is 1.85%. virtualba...
by protagonist
Thu May 17, 2018 4:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hot food flavoring (sauces, spices and peppers)
Replies: 51
Views: 2775

Re: Hot food flavoring (sauces, spices and peppers)

Trader Joe's makes a particularly good mango tomatillo salsa...I would call it medium hot.
by protagonist
Tue May 15, 2018 11:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Yield Curves-Treasury, CD, AA/AAA muni
Replies: 91
Views: 8574

Re: Yield Curves-Treasury, CD, AA/AAA muni

Kevin M wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 4:02 pm

I personally would favor the 2-year Treasury over any of the 2-year CD choices in a taxable account (but not in an IRA).


Kevin
Kevin, do you buy your Treasuries via Fidelity or via Treasury Direct? I haven't invested in T-bills before.
by protagonist
Tue May 15, 2018 10:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 5 yr CD up to 3.41% APY, NO EWP for seniors in IRA, but with catch
Replies: 18
Views: 3076

Re: 5 yr CD up to 3.41% APY, NO EWP for seniors in IRA, but with catch

For seniors, this looks pretty good. For the rest of us, with 5YT rate at ~2.82 percent, the yield premiums of CD's have decreased enough to make it a tougher decision than a few years ago. Agreed. With rising rates and a 1 year EWP I would choose a different option...whereas I might have jumped on...
by protagonist
Tue May 15, 2018 5:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 5 yr CD up to 3.41% APY, NO EWP for seniors in IRA, but with catch
Replies: 18
Views: 3076

5 yr CD up to 3.41% APY, NO EWP for seniors in IRA, but with catch

This is a great deal, but comes with a significant caveat, which is why I am not taking advantage of it. Perhaps others might. Northwest Credit Union https://www.depositaccounts.com/banks/northwest-fcu.html APYs for Heritage Club members (anyone over age 62) for deposits of $1000-99,999 3.15% $100,0...
by protagonist
Tue May 15, 2018 4:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Yield Curves-Treasury, CD, AA/AAA muni
Replies: 91
Views: 8574

Re: Yield Curves-Treasury, CD, AA/AAA muni

Kevin, this is absolutely stunning, in-depth analysis. Thank you for your hard work! I help run my parents retirement accounts, and I will follow this page as I approach buying more CD’s in the coming month as they have a CD yield payment due to hit their account. I use Fidelity for their account, ...
by protagonist
Tue May 15, 2018 1:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Yield Curves-Treasury, CD, AA/AAA muni
Replies: 91
Views: 8574

Re: Yield Curves-Treasury, CD, AA/AAA muni

Bottom line: I don't think I will be in greater than the 12% marginal tax bracket this year. I don't expect to be in greater than the 22% bracket over the next 5 years, possibly the 12% bracket. My state income tax (MA) is 5.1%. I did not pay income tax in 2017. I imagine that will no longer be poss...
by protagonist
Tue May 15, 2018 12:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Stopping unwanted "junk" newspaper
Replies: 60
Views: 15205

Re: Stopping unwanted "junk" newspaper

This is the letter I sent: "In 2010 I complained to you about unwanted promotional newspapers in plastic bags being thrown on my property. It took three phone calls and a letter to get it to stop. All was fine until yesterday. Since then, two "free" copies of the Gazette in your plastic bags have b...
by protagonist
Tue May 15, 2018 12:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Stopping unwanted "junk" newspaper
Replies: 60
Views: 15205

Re: Stopping unwanted "junk" newspaper

This is the letter I sent: "In 2010 I complained to you about unwanted promotional newspapers in plastic bags being thrown on my property. It took three phone calls and a letter to get it to stop. All was fine until yesterday. Since then, two "free" copies of the Gazette in your plastic bags have b...
by protagonist
Thu May 10, 2018 10:28 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: purchasing cd's
Replies: 18
Views: 1863

Re: purchasing cd's

Find the best available bank CD rates at depositaccounts.com Pay careful attention to early withdrawal penalties. If they are generous enough, you can have the same flexibility with a long term CD as with a short term while getting better yields. I'd look at them but would be cautious about early w...
by protagonist
Wed May 09, 2018 12:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Custom suit needed for a wedding. Help me shop around!!
Replies: 30
Views: 2081

Re: Custom suit needed for a wedding. Help me shop around!!

I got mine made here: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g298082-d1878338-Reviews-Kimmy_Custom_Tailor-Hoi_An_Quang_Nam_Province.html If you have time and have always had the desire to visit Vietnam, here is your chance. You will wind up with a great suit for a lot less than you would pay ...
by protagonist
Wed May 09, 2018 12:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: purchasing cd's
Replies: 18
Views: 1863

Re: purchasing cd's

I am thinking about using some bond money in my traditional ira with vanguard to purchase cd's but have never done this and would like to understand the process before moving forward. Any suggestions/recommendations on the best way to proceed would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. jte Find the best ...
by protagonist
Wed May 09, 2018 12:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Comparing 2 physician jobs
Replies: 69
Views: 5898

Re: Comparing 2 physician jobs

YOLO. There is more to life than money. I'd pick a job where you will be happiest. Both of those offers you will do fine financially in the long run I completely agree. Is your only serious criterion really money, when either way you are making a bundle of it? What about lifestyle, school for your ...
by protagonist
Wed May 09, 2018 11:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: MoviePass-Too good to be true, but it's legit.
Replies: 238
Views: 30307

Re: MoviePass-Too good to be true, but it's legit.

My son has a MoviePass and loves it. It's also an easy decision for the theaters. It's like a casino comping a room. It's already built, so any further use is pure profit. And they make the real money on the concessions. That is no joke. we went to the movies Friday for the first time in years - I ...
by protagonist
Sun May 06, 2018 10:39 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I-bond fixed rate = 0.3%
Replies: 62
Views: 7072

Re: I-bond fixed rate = 0.3%

I just feel that the price of the inflation insurance is too high right now, and at this point am not very worried about the probability + consequence of really bad outcomes. Maybe I should be. As I said, I accept that a very rational case can be made for using TIPS (or I Bonds to a limited extent)...
by protagonist
Thu May 03, 2018 7:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I-bond fixed rate = 0.3%
Replies: 62
Views: 7072

Re: I-bond fixed rate = 0.3%

I think people accept expert predictions too easily without looking into their past track record. Past track record in this case would not be too hard to analyze. Stock market predictions are horrible, since the stock market is governed largely by complexity theory and nearly limitless variables, wi...
by protagonist
Thu May 03, 2018 1:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Rental property help: sell or keep?
Replies: 5
Views: 614

Re: Rental property help: sell or keep?

I am in the exact same situation, Mirage. I inherited a FL property from my mom and have been renting it with positive cash flow for years out of laziness, but I just put it on the market and currently have a sales contract (pending inspection, appraisal, etc). I am happy as a clam. Maybe even happi...
by protagonist
Thu May 03, 2018 1:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I-bond fixed rate = 0.3%
Replies: 62
Views: 7072

Re: I-bond fixed rate = 0.3%

with expected 3-year inflation at 2% or less Kevin Questions about this assumption: 1. Whose prediction is this? 2. How reliable, in general, have past short to intermediate range (say 2-5 years) predictions of inflation been? I ask that because I don't know, not because I am trying to make a point.
by protagonist
Wed May 02, 2018 9:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Android browser do you use?
Replies: 44
Views: 2550

Re: What Android browser do you use?

Also one word: Brave. Love it. Do you know if Brave has a setting for a black background? Just did a quick look and I don't see such a setting (assuming what you mean is that it will override web page colors to give a black background). That is what my research also showed. Too bad. I would happily...
by protagonist
Wed May 02, 2018 9:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I-bond fixed rate = 0.3%
Replies: 62
Views: 7072

Re: I-bond fixed rate = 0.3%

The TIPS advantage diminishes with longer time periods and higher inflation. But even with 4% annual inflation over 30 years, a 0.94% TIPS would return 0.12% points more after tax than the 0.3% fixed rate I Bond. Yes, but with 4 % annual inflation you would also presumably have higher interest rate...
by protagonist
Wed May 02, 2018 12:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I-bond fixed rate = 0.3%
Replies: 62
Views: 7072

Re: I-bond fixed rate = 0.3%

The TIPS advantage diminishes with longer time periods and higher inflation. But even with 4% annual inflation over 30 years, a 0.94% TIPS would return 0.12% points more after tax than the 0.3% fixed rate I Bond. Yes, but with 4 % annual inflation you would also presumably have higher interest rate...
by protagonist
Tue May 01, 2018 7:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I-bond fixed rate = 0.3%
Replies: 62
Views: 7072

Re: I-bond fixed rate = 0.3%

All those suckers who bought at 0.1% can hang their heads now. :twisted: Why? The ones I purchased at 0% or 0.1% will still keep up with inflation, which is the most important factor in protecting your retirement assets. An estra 0.2% on 10K ($20/year) is not going to make or break me. Had I not pu...
by protagonist
Tue May 01, 2018 6:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Android browser do you use?
Replies: 44
Views: 2550

Re: What Android browser do you use?

Traveller wrote:
Sun Apr 29, 2018 9:06 pm
Also one word: Brave. Love it.
Do you know if Brave has a setting for a black background?
by protagonist
Tue May 01, 2018 6:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thoughts on Healthcare Sharing?
Replies: 30
Views: 2617

Re: Thoughts on Healthcare Sharing?

Anyone use one of these "policies"? Saw this and thought it was intriguing: http://clubthrifty.com/liberty-healthshare-review/ Don't do it!!!!! It is not insurance. You are paying into a system that you HOPE will help you when you need it , providing your needs are not too much and they feel like h...
by protagonist
Tue May 01, 2018 6:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Yield Curves-Treasury, CD, AA/AAA muni
Replies: 91
Views: 8574

Re: Yield Curves-Treasury, CD, AA/AAA muni

MA state tax is flat 5.1% but goes up to 12% for interest in out of state banks. Wow, that's strange (to me at least). Makes analyzing alternatives more complicated. What counts as an out of state bank? Where the headquarters are? Whether or not they have branches in state? How does the state track...
by protagonist
Tue May 01, 2018 2:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Yield Curves-Treasury, CD, AA/AAA muni
Replies: 91
Views: 8574

Re: Yield Curves-Treasury, CD, AA/AAA muni

I agree that, based on this week's T-bill rates as quoted here, https://www.bankrate.com/rates/interest-rates/treasury.aspx , that the 1 year or 2 year Treasuries are very competitive (2.24 and 2.48% respectively). I'd look at somewhere you can actually buy to see the yield you can actually get. Wh...
by protagonist
Tue May 01, 2018 12:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Yield Curves-Treasury, CD, AA/AAA muni
Replies: 91
Views: 8574

Re: Yield Curves-Treasury, CD, AA/AAA muni

I agree that, based on this week's T-bill rates as quoted here, https://www.bankrate.com/rates/interest-rates/treasury.aspx , that the 1 year or 2 year Treasuries are very competitive (2.24 and 2.48% respectively). There are also 2 year CDs listed on depositaccounts.com at 2.7-2.8% which seem like a...
by protagonist
Tue May 01, 2018 12:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Verbally accepted offer on house I am selling in FL- using flat fee broker. Now what?
Replies: 10
Views: 1394

Re: Verbally accepted offer on house I am selling in FL- using flat fee broker. Now what?

I would never buy or sell a home without an attorney. On my last purchase, I caught things that the attorney did not. I agree. I also agree that attorneys can be sloppy, which is why I also went through the contract carefully myself (as I intend to do with the final accounting), and spoke with the ...
by protagonist
Tue May 01, 2018 8:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Verbally accepted offer on house I am selling in FL- using flat fee broker. Now what?
Replies: 10
Views: 1394

Re: Verbally accepted offer on house I am selling in FL- using flat fee broker. Now what?

In Illinois, everyone uses an attorney. We also use an (expensive) title company. I understand they don't in some states. It is somewhat baffling to me as it is usually the biggest purchase of your life. When I sold not using a seller's agent, they presented the contract, which in my state, is stan...
by protagonist
Mon Apr 30, 2018 9:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Maple syrup
Replies: 59
Views: 4915

Re: Maple syrup

Syrup grades were altered a few years back, it is all Grade A now with descriptors to distinguish the lighter grades (think stand-alone use) from darker grades (think baking). https://www.epicurious.com/ingredients/grade-b-maple-syrup-buying-guide-article That is a matter of taste. I always buy wha...
by protagonist
Fri Apr 27, 2018 9:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Yield Curves-Treasury, CD, AA/AAA muni
Replies: 91
Views: 8574

Re: Yield Curves-Treasury, CD, AA/AAA muni

Hi Kevin. First, thanks for a great post and thoughful research. In your humble opinion, with bank accounts offering 2% interest, at what point do you think investing in a CD or Treasury is worth it today? Is it worth the lack of liquidity to milk an extra 1/2-1% , especially with rising rates? It c...
by protagonist
Fri Apr 27, 2018 8:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice re: Flat Fee Real Estate Brokers.
Replies: 59
Views: 3405

Re: Advice re: Flat Fee Real Estate Brokers.

Follow-up.... I went with a flat-fee broker. Fee was $299 plus $125 for professional photos and video tour. This is in lieu of paying a seller's agent $5310 in commission on a $177000 sale. I got an offer I accepted within 2 weeks of listing. I did not feel that the lack of a dedicated seller's age...
by protagonist
Fri Apr 27, 2018 6:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice re: Flat Fee Real Estate Brokers.
Replies: 59
Views: 3405

Re: Advice re: Flat Fee Real Estate Brokers.

Follow-up.... I went with a flat-fee broker. Fee was $299 plus $125 for professional photos and video tour. This is in lieu of paying a seller's agent $5310 in commission on a $177000 sale. I got an offer I accepted within 2 weeks of listing. I did not feel that the lack of a dedicated seller's age...
by protagonist
Fri Apr 27, 2018 6:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Larry Swedroe: Financial Perils Of Old Age
Replies: 94
Views: 10806

Re: Larry Swedroe: Financial Perils Of Old Age

This fits my in-laws: "Rosenblatt and Davis relate having heard people, usually the ones with the worst health habits, say something like, “I don’t care if I don’t live long, I just want to have a good time.” The same people naively believe that if you have a lifestyle and habits that leave you pro...
by protagonist
Fri Apr 27, 2018 6:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice re: Flat Fee Real Estate Brokers.
Replies: 59
Views: 3405

Re: Advice re: Flat Fee Real Estate Brokers.

Follow-up.... I went with a flat-fee broker. Fee was $299 plus $125 for professional photos and video tour. This is in lieu of paying a seller's agent $5310 in commission on a $177000 sale. I got an offer I accepted within 2 weeks of listing. I did not feel that the lack of a dedicated seller's agen...
by protagonist
Fri Apr 27, 2018 5:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy vs. seasonally rent vacation property
Replies: 26
Views: 2575

Re: Buy vs. seasonally rent vacation property

Followup: The sales contract was just signed by both parties.

Getting rid of real estate really feels good. Hopefully the process will proceed smoothly.

Thanks to all above for helping me overcome inertia and finally listing the place.
by protagonist
Fri Apr 27, 2018 5:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Verbally accepted offer on house I am selling in FL- using flat fee broker. Now what?
Replies: 10
Views: 1394

Re: Verbally accepted offer on house I am selling in FL- using flat fee broker. Now what?

Follow-up:

I hired a lawyer and the sales contract was just signed by both parties.

IMHO the legal representation is worth the extra money....if for no other reason, for peace of mind.

No other questions at this time.

Thank you all for your help.
by protagonist
Fri Apr 27, 2018 8:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Verbally accepted offer on house I am selling in FL- using flat fee broker. Now what?
Replies: 10
Views: 1394

Re: Verbally accepted offer on house I am selling in FL- using flat fee broker. Now what?

Earnest money depends on house value to some extent but you want enough to 1) demonstrate the buyer is serious, 2) demonstrate that they actually have adequate funds to execute on the transaction, 3) to have enough that would hurt them if they arbitrarily walked away from the deal. For the average ...
by protagonist
Thu Apr 26, 2018 5:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Verbally accepted offer on house I am selling in FL- using flat fee broker. Now what?
Replies: 10
Views: 1394

Verbally accepted offer on house I am selling in FL- using flat fee broker. Now what?

My understanding is that the buyer's agent will present me with a contract and pre-approval letter. - How necessary is a real estate attorney? The flat fee broker and others suggest that for a seller, there is probably no need. The process is simple and the buyer is the one assuming the risk. He say...