Search found 4898 matches

by protagonist
Mon Dec 11, 2017 11:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Those silly lotion containers
Replies: 44
Views: 7297

Re: Those silly lotion containers

Centripetal force. Use the force. Whip the bottles around rapidly in large circles with the top pointed away from you. The liquid will gravitate towards the lid....then you can just pour it out. It might not be as effective as cutting the bottle, but a lot less hassle (you can do it while showering ...
by protagonist
Mon Dec 11, 2017 11:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sous Vide?
Replies: 64
Views: 8877

Re: Sous Vide?

So far we cooked a turkey breast, a steak and poached eggs and they all turned out great. My question.... I bought a Joule which heats up the water very quickly and has a pretty cool android app. But other than that, is there really much advantage to a high end product such as Joule (or Anova), comp...
by protagonist
Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:42 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Cryptocurrency marketplace hacked, pilfered for +- 60 million
Replies: 10
Views: 1932

Re: Cryptocurrency marketplace hacked, pilfered for +- 60 million

Funny article: "Someone in 2010 bought 2 pizzas with 10,000 bitcoins — which today would be worth $100 million". http://www.businessinsider.com/bitcoin-pizza-10000-100-million-2017-11 I wonder how many people have become multimillionaires or billionaires by buying a pizza worth of bitcoins 7 years a...
by protagonist
Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why not take Social Security at 62
Replies: 334
Views: 25999

Re: Why not take Social Security at 62

A huge mistake I humbly believe that many people make on this site is equating "maximum wealth" with "happiness" and "better life"...the latter is much more correlated with peace of mind. In that context, deciding when to start benefits is easy. Consider the fate of two retirees, Rich and Delores. B...
by protagonist
Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity charges to close accounts!
Replies: 54
Views: 19841

Re: Fidelity charges to close accounts!

I was surprised when I was charged $50 for closing a Fidelity IRA account. The fee was peanuts compared with the value of the account, but annoying nonetheless. Had I known, I would have kept a buck or two in the account. That said, I have worked with Fidelity for about 25 years now, and this is the...
by protagonist
Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Least/Most Reliable Carmakers Today
Replies: 31
Views: 1938

Re: Least/Most Reliable Carmakers Today

CR's reliability ratings are vastly different. For example, CR rates Kia as the third most reliable model, just behind Toyota and Lexus, while OP's rating system has Kia rated near bottom. https://www.consumerreports.org/car-reliability-owner-satisfaction/car-brands-reliability-how-they-stack-up/ S...
by protagonist
Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Timing the housing market
Replies: 32
Views: 2066

Re: Timing the housing market

I'm not sure that the housing market cannot be timed under certain circumstances. For instance, I thought about buying a house in Portland, OR in the early 90s, noting how cheap real estate was in Portland at that time compared with cities in California (or in so many other parts of the US) and how ...
by protagonist
Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Least/Most Reliable Carmakers Today
Replies: 31
Views: 1938

Re: Least/Most Reliable Carmakers Today

CR's reliability ratings are vastly different. For example, CR rates Kia as the third most reliable model, just behind Toyota and Lexus, while OP's rating system has Kia rated near bottom. https://www.consumerreports.org/car-reliability-owner-satisfaction/car-brands-reliability-how-they-stack-up/ Si...
by protagonist
Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sous Vide?
Replies: 64
Views: 8877

Re: Sous Vide?

First experience today with Joule (bought for my sweetie thanks to Barefootgirl's thread)- cooked a turkey breast. Boned and skinned breast- took less than 5 mins. Meant to cook skin separately but forgot (laughing). Coated breast with pomegranate molasses, maple syrup and zaatar rub. Took another 5...
by protagonist
Thu Nov 30, 2017 2:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sous Vide?
Replies: 64
Views: 8877

Re: Sous Vide?

I have to ask the same question that I asked when amateur runners were all buying Five Fingers minimalist running shoes a few years ago, yet I didn't see any of the top runners running in them in the New York marathon. If it is really that great, then why do the majority (if not all) of great steak...
by protagonist
Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:05 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is there any reason to invest in real estate?
Replies: 98
Views: 7250

Re: Is there any reason to invest in real estate?

One could argue the reason is diversification.

But I consider my home diversification enough. It's a fair chunk of my "net worth". If I 'invested" in real estate, my portfolio would become lopsided

https://observationsandnotes.blogspot.c ... -1900.html
by protagonist
Wed Nov 29, 2017 7:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sous Vide?
Replies: 64
Views: 8877

Re: Sous Vide?

I have to ask the same question that I asked when amateur runners were all buying Five Fingers minimalist running shoes a few years ago, yet I didn't see any of the top runners running in them in the New York marathon. If it is really that great, then why do the majority (if not all) of great steak...
by protagonist
Tue Nov 28, 2017 11:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sous Vide?
Replies: 64
Views: 8877

Re: Sous Vide?

Great timing, as I just bought an Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker Bluetooth, Immersion Circulator, 800 Watts, Black for $99. My friend uses this one and he recommended it. It will be a Christmas present for my husband, who loves to cook. We're both engineers, so when I asked him to explai...
by protagonist
Tue Nov 28, 2017 10:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sous Vide?
Replies: 64
Views: 8877

Re: Sous Vide?

My mom would like a sous vide device to try her hand with different recipe experiments in the coming year. Any recommendations for specific brands/types? any tips in general? Thank you. Barefoot, based on your thread I made an impulse buy of a ChefSteps Joule last night for my sweetie. It's all you...
by protagonist
Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Analysis Paralysis: Can you get to the bottom of things?
Replies: 134
Views: 8667

Re: Analysis Paralysis: Can you get to the bottom of things?

Option B for sure. The real world IS messy. You WILL NEVER get to the bottom of things. If you want to read something valuable, start with complexity theory/chaos theory rather than with arcane investment porn. You will rapidly realize that predicting10,20,30, 50 years into the future is useless, a...
by protagonist
Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Analysis Paralysis: Can you get to the bottom of things?
Replies: 134
Views: 8667

Re: Analysis Paralysis: Can you get to the bottom of things?

Option B for sure. The real world IS messy. You WILL NEVER get to the bottom of things. If you want to read something valuable, start with complexity theory/chaos theory rather than with arcane investment porn. You will rapidly realize that predicting10,20,30, 50 years into the future is useless, an...
by protagonist
Sat Nov 25, 2017 7:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Great deal on tires and wheels
Replies: 4
Views: 754

Re: Great deal on tires and wheels

I decided against the credit card as well. Went with my local tire shop, since they do tire switches and rotations for the life of the tires if you buy from them...they beat DT's price with rebates by $8 total (without the CC rebates) but then charged me sales tax so it wound up costing me about $50...
by protagonist
Fri Nov 24, 2017 7:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Great deal on tires and wheels
Replies: 4
Views: 754

Great deal on tires and wheels

Discount Tires is offering: -$100 rebate on 4 quality tires (eg Blizzaks, Nokian, Michelin, etc) -$70 rebate on Blizzaks from Bridgestone -$60 rebate on tires if you pay with DT CC -$100 rebate on 4 wheels -$60 rebate on wheels if you pay with DT CC All cumulative. They provide free balancing and mo...
by protagonist
Thu Nov 23, 2017 12:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would Discount Tire credit card count towards 5/24? Worth it?
Replies: 3
Views: 458

Would Discount Tire credit card count towards 5/24? Worth it?

This is probably a silly question....I think I know the answer, but I am being hopeful. I can save $120 on tires if I get a Discount Tire credit card.   My credit score is good enough that I don't really care about the hard pull. Would the card count towards 5/24? (I already have CSR, Freedom and Fr...
by protagonist
Wed Nov 22, 2017 4:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tire size, and wheels for snow tires
Replies: 9
Views: 552

Tire size, and wheels for snow tires

I just bought a 2017 Hyundai Elantra Limited. The stock tires are 225/45R/17. By my calculations, I would think that 205/55R/16 tires would be compatible, and from what I read (about a topic that I know nothing about), they may be better for winter driving in MA. Questions: 1. Am I correct? 2. Will ...
by protagonist
Wed Nov 22, 2017 2:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New car buyers...you should consider financing
Replies: 39
Views: 3251

Re: New car buyers...you should consider financing

Anyone purchased one on credit card before? Navy Federal CC has 0% for a year on any purchases over $500. I didn't encounter a dealer who would accept a credit card for anywhere near the whole purchase price. My dealer took $2500 on my CC (max). The Honda dealer said $2K was his max. This is typica...
by protagonist
Tue Nov 21, 2017 1:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Choosing tax lots to sell
Replies: 17
Views: 1597

Re: Choosing tax lots to sell

[Post removed --admin LadyGeek] Ugh. Bizarre. Anyway, I sold the lots with the smallest gains as per Livesoft's suggestion above. I thank everybody for your valuable input. Clearly there is no simple right or wrong answer to this issue, and it is just a matter of guessing which strategy will be mos...
by protagonist
Tue Nov 21, 2017 1:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New car buyers...you should consider financing
Replies: 39
Views: 3251

Re: New car buyers...you should consider financing

I'm a "pay with cash, hate any debt" guy. Stop right there. That said, I took a new car loan at 5.9%. Oops. Skimming over your story. Obviously neither the dealer nor anybody else expects you to take out a loan and pay it back the next day--or makes money when you do. So my impression is that you p...
by protagonist
Mon Nov 20, 2017 9:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Choosing tax lots to sell
Replies: 17
Views: 1597

Re: Choosing tax lots to sell

I have good news and bad news. The good news: losses come off the top, so they will reduce your 28% income before they reduce 15% income. The bad news: you can use a maximum of only $3,000 a year in capital losses to reduce ordinary income, a number that has not ever been adjusted for inflation. As...
by protagonist
Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Snow tires- are Hankooks any good?
Replies: 18
Views: 1060

Re: Studded vs. non-studded snow tires for MA

I live in Western MA. Most of my winter driving is highway driving between MA and NYC on weekends. Otherwise it is largely limited to driving around town a few times a week. I am very rarely on country roads in the winter. Would you recommend studded or non-studded snow tires, and why? For the type...
by protagonist
Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New car buyers...you should consider financing
Replies: 39
Views: 3251

Re: New car buyers...you should consider financing

There are some excellent "how-to" postings that make the process MUCH more sanitary than OP's experience. I agree. This is more of a real life experience post as an addendum to those you mention, addressing some fine points that you may encounter ("tricks of the trade"). I think I made it sound muc...
by protagonist
Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New car buyers...you should consider financing
Replies: 39
Views: 3251

Re: New car buyers...you should consider financing

It is not clear why you decided to finance the vehicle at 5.9%, or why you are suggesting that others should consider financing. You stated that when you offered to pay cash, they offered you 0.9% financing. You agreed to this because you can earn more in your savings account. But when they said yo...
by protagonist
Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Snow tires- are Hankooks any good?
Replies: 18
Views: 1060

Re: Snow tires- are Hankooks any good?

Any thoughts as to which are better, Hankook iPikes or Hankook iCepts?

My gut feeling is to avoid studs.
by protagonist
Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Snow tires- are Hankooks any good?
Replies: 18
Views: 1060

Re: Snow tires- are Hankooks any good?

Some winters we get a lot of snow and some winters we hardly get any. If the weather is really bad I can usually postpone my trips...I am rarely if ever forced to drive in horrible weather. Temps in Jan and Feb seem to hover around freezing most days (20s, 30s) though on rare occasions can go below ...
by protagonist
Mon Nov 20, 2017 9:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New car buyers...you should consider financing
Replies: 39
Views: 3251

New car buyers...you should consider financing

I'm a "pay with cash, hate any debt" guy. That said, I took a new car loan at 5.9%, and I will explain why. I think my story is common. When I offered to pay cash, the dealer said he could offer a loan at 0.9% (some say 0%), and I said fine, knowing I am making 1.35% in an internet bank account. The...
by protagonist
Mon Nov 20, 2017 9:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Snow tires- are Hankooks any good?
Replies: 18
Views: 1060

Studded vs. non-studded snow tires for MA

I live in Western MA. Most of my winter driving is highway driving between MA and NYC on weekends. Otherwise it is largely limited to driving around town a few times a week. I am very rarely on country roads in the winter.

Would you recommend studded or non-studded snow tires, and why?
by protagonist
Mon Nov 20, 2017 9:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Snow tires- are Hankooks any good?
Replies: 18
Views: 1060

Re: Snow tires- are Hankooks any good?

Thanks , all of you. I'm convinced now to get the Hankooks.
by protagonist
Mon Nov 20, 2017 9:31 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Choosing tax lots to sell
Replies: 17
Views: 1597

Re: Choosing tax lots to sell

I have a lot of unrealized losses and some unrealized gains. My rule is to take whatever gains would bring me up to the top of whatever tax bracket I consider appropriate. I prefer the 0% bracket, so I'm planning to take gains to take me up to the top of the 0% bracket. It's hard to beat that! If y...
by protagonist
Mon Nov 20, 2017 12:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Snow tires- are Hankooks any good?
Replies: 18
Views: 1060

Snow tires- are Hankooks any good?

I have been researching snow tires, and Hankooks actually seem to get very good reviews on multiple sites, despite being at least $50 cheaper per tire at Discount Tire than Michelins or Bridgestones. I am surprised. And skeptical.

Anybody with experience?
by protagonist
Mon Nov 20, 2017 12:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hyundai Elantra Special Edition- any thoughts?
Replies: 21
Views: 1544

Re: Hyundai Elantra Special Edition- any thoughts?

We have a 2014 Elantra SE that we bought new and included the back-up camera, Bluetooth, and heated seats which, at least at the time, was pretty nice for an economy priced car. Been happy with it. Average MPG has been around 35 and long road trips we'll get 40-42 mpg. Hard to beat that in its car ...
by protagonist
Mon Nov 20, 2017 12:03 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Choosing tax lots to sell
Replies: 17
Views: 1597

Re: Choosing tax lots to sell

I have a lot of unrealized losses and some unrealized gains. My rule is to take whatever gains would bring me up to the top of whatever tax bracket I consider appropriate. I prefer the 0% bracket, so I'm planning to take gains to take me up to the top of the 0% bracket. It's hard to beat that! If y...
by protagonist
Sun Nov 19, 2017 1:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Choosing tax lots to sell
Replies: 17
Views: 1597

Re: Choosing tax lots to sell

I have a lot of unrealized losses and some unrealized gains. My rule is to take whatever gains would bring me up to the top of whatever tax bracket I consider appropriate. I prefer the 0% bracket, so I'm planning to take gains to take me up to the top of the 0% bracket. It's hard to beat that! If y...
by protagonist
Sat Nov 18, 2017 11:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hyundai Elantra Special Edition- any thoughts?
Replies: 21
Views: 1544

Re: Hyundai Elantra Special Edition- any thoughts?

I just googled it.... 2017 Hyundai Elantra/MPG Up to 32 city / 40 highway I don't know if that is accurate or not. But if so, with a 14 gal. tank (larger than the Civic, Fit or Corolla), that translates to a potential range of 500 + miles between fill-ups. The difference between a car that gets 30 m...
by protagonist
Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hyundai Elantra Special Edition- any thoughts?
Replies: 21
Views: 1544

Re: Hyundai Elantra Special Edition- any thoughts?

I'm really not fussy about cars. As long as they drive ok and are durable that is good enough for me. That's always been my attitude. That said, the features available in the new cars are pretty seductive, unlike the older ones which had heat, A/C , cruise control, a CD player and not much else wor...
by protagonist
Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hyundai Elantra Special Edition- any thoughts?
Replies: 21
Views: 1544

Re: Hyundai Elantra Special Edition- any thoughts?

I have a 2009 Honda Fit and a 2010 Hyundai Elantra Fit: better gas millage average 32-33mpg acceleration is better mechanically very durable except for A/C a lot of cheap not as durable plastic interior parts and the paint scratches and body dents on the exterior if you blow on it. Elantra Nicer in...
by protagonist
Sat Nov 18, 2017 7:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hyundai Elantra Special Edition- any thoughts?
Replies: 21
Views: 1544

Re: Hyundai Elantra Special Edition- any thoughts?

I just bought the car. I will look out for the blind spot. I imagine the blind spot detection system, assuming it works well, will eliminate that problem (at least once I get used to using it...that is if I am still alive and kicking). I eliminated the blind spot issue on my 2006 Element and on my g...
by protagonist
Sat Nov 18, 2017 7:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Choosing tax lots to sell
Replies: 17
Views: 1597

Re: Choosing tax lots to sell

Thanks for your perspective, livesoft. You make a good point. I haven't bought stock in over a decade, so all of my tax lots have huge gains....probably all over 100%. Whatever I do will eat up lots of carryover losses, which makes me hesitant to sell. I realize that is the cart dragging the horse, ...
by protagonist
Sat Nov 18, 2017 7:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Choosing tax lots to sell
Replies: 17
Views: 1597

Choosing tax lots to sell

My situation: -65 y o retiree, not taking SS, income very low- I pay state income tax but barely pay any federal if any. - Next year I start getting spousal benefits. Age 70 I get SS and have to start taking RMDs. So my income tax will increase. - I think about $150K in carryover losses Under those ...
by protagonist
Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hyundai Elantra Special Edition- any thoughts?
Replies: 21
Views: 1544

Re: Hyundai Elantra Special Edition- any thoughts?

I think $7000 off MSRP is a great deal. The Elantra is a great car and Hyundai really picked up their quality in recent years. I would take it! Thanks. I probably will. I have emailed about 50 dealers and so far nobody has given me a better price than my local dealer down the street (the price abov...
by protagonist
Fri Nov 17, 2017 6:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hyundai Elantra Special Edition- any thoughts?
Replies: 21
Views: 1544

Re: Hyundai Elantra Special Edition- any thoughts?

Thank you , Tamarind and Harrington. To somebody who has been a loyal Honda driver since the 80s that is reassuring.
I live in MA so winter handling is important.
by protagonist
Fri Nov 17, 2017 6:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hyundai Elantra Special Edition- any thoughts?
Replies: 21
Views: 1544

Re: Hyundai Elantra Special Edition- any thoughts?

I think $7000 off MSRP is a great deal. The Elantra is a great car and Hyundai really picked up their quality in recent years. I would take it! Thanks. I probably will. I have emailed about 50 dealers and so far nobody has given me a better price than my local dealer down the street (the price abov...
by protagonist
Thu Nov 16, 2017 11:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hyundai Elantra Special Edition- any thoughts?
Replies: 21
Views: 1544

Hyundai Elantra Special Edition- any thoughts?

The local dealer is offering a new 2017 with the Ultimate (top end) Package for $7000 below MSRP. $21280 plus state tax and license/registration fees.

That's about $2000 less than a Honda Civic EX Hatchback with Honda Sensing.

Anybody have experience with this car and care to comment?

Thanks.
by protagonist
Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda Accord Hybrid EX-L- great deal or not?
Replies: 26
Views: 1830

Re: Honda Accord Hybrid EX-L- great deal or not?

I was excited a day or two ago and ready to jump at the deal. But I am having reservations. Though the Accord Hybrid is definitely a nicer car than a Civic Hatchback in similar trim (and roughly $4500 more expensive than the 2018 Civic Hatchback despite the 2017 Accord Hybrid being a great deal), th...
by protagonist
Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda Accord Hybrid EX-L- great deal or not?
Replies: 26
Views: 1830

Re: Honda Accord Hybrid EX-L- great deal or not?

I'm actually rethinking and may opt for a Civic EX Hatchback instead.

I doubt that I can get nearly as good a deal on the Civic Hatchback, but I like the idea of more cargo space and ease of city parking.

I'm suffering from analysis paralysis.