Search found 556 matches

by rj49
Thu Apr 23, 2020 1:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best BH soap for C19 & least mess at sink
Replies: 27
Views: 1958

Re: Best BH soap for C19 & least mess at sink

Articles I've read say that bar soap is best, because of the fats, which aren't present in dispenser soap (as I understand. I'm afraid that the current emphasis on masks has gotten people to believe it's mainly an airborne virus, so people have gotten away from frequent hand washing--I got back from...
by rj49
Thu Apr 23, 2020 1:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I buy a new rice cooker from Zojirushi?
Replies: 75
Views: 5780

Re: Should I buy a new rice cooker from Zojirushi?

As a single person, my zojirushi isn't worth the time and hassle. I prefer to simply buy various kinds of microwave rice at Trader Joe's or elsewhere, and to try to occasionally replace some rice calories with diced cauliflower. I had a brown/red/barley rice mix today that was tasty, and took 3 minu...
by rj49
Tue Apr 21, 2020 4:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: For those concerned about International Stocks...
Replies: 78
Views: 7004

Re: For those concerned about International Stocks...

When Bogle wrote, the US was on its way to a historic bubble, after another historic bubble had deflated in Japan, and most of what he wrote was before the economic rise of the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, Indian, China). His SP500 approach looked good in the 1990s, not so good the next decade. D...
by rj49
Sun Apr 19, 2020 1:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: SWR Data: 6.5 Million Possibilities Considered
Replies: 152
Views: 7223

Re: The only safe withdrawal rate is one under 3%

The safe withdrawal rate is the commonsense one that adapts to circumstances, rather than a 3-4% rigid rule that nobody follows in practice. Instead of withdrawing a set percentage based on initial portfolio value, with inflation adjustments and maintaining that even in down years, simply withdraw 3...
by rj49
Sun Apr 19, 2020 12:48 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Marcus or Ally
Replies: 157
Views: 16103

Re: Marcus or Ally

I use Discover Bank. Free checks, no fees, and a savings account still at 1.5%. Their CD rates are also good right now--1-5 years at 1.75-1.80%, with only a 3-month interest penalty for early withdrawal. The Discover credit card also links up on one page, so it's a convenient way to get the 5% on ro...
by rj49
Sat Apr 18, 2020 6:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retirees: what are you doing with all the home equity?
Replies: 117
Views: 7613

Re: Retirees: what are you doing with all the home equity?

Here is an article by Wade Pfau about reverse mortgages and the ability to enhance retirement through one (he also wrote a book about it, available used on Amazon for a few bucks): https://retirementresearcher.com/using-reverse-mortgages-responsible-retirement-income-plan/ Here's another study I cam...
by rj49
Sat Apr 18, 2020 6:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2 iPhone rotation
Replies: 16
Views: 1103

Re: 2 iPhone rotation

I was using that sort of plan, going with an older iphone 7 and then a newer X. My problem is that when a phone gets over $500, I'm too worried about breaking it, a big consideration with the slippery glass backs of the newer phones. Most people end up buying a case to protect it, which largely nega...
by rj49
Fri Apr 17, 2020 11:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pixel 3a or Wait for New Iphone?
Replies: 35
Views: 1577

Re: Pixel 3a or Wait for New Iphone?

I have an iphone 7 but got a 3a, open box at Best Buy for $280 or so. I hate all the security/icloud bother of iphones now, having to press buttons to do anything. I also find the 7/8 iphone too small to read, whereas the larger iphones are too heavy and difficult to hold or carry with me. I found t...
by rj49
Wed Apr 15, 2020 3:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Cons of i bonds?
Replies: 70
Views: 6231

Re: Cons of i bonds?

I thought of ibonds, but with low inflation likely for some time, they don't make sense at .4%. Instead, I put my cash spending buffer in a CD ladder at Discover Bank at 1.75-1.80% (and spending for next year in their savings account, still at 1.5%). I used to have lots of ibonds, but they are hard ...
by rj49
Wed Apr 15, 2020 2:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retirees: what are you doing with all the home equity?
Replies: 117
Views: 7613

Re: Retirees: what are you doing with all the home equity?

I'd think that considering a reverse mortgage might make sense, especially for those who intend to stay forever in their home, don't have heirs, or want safe income to complement social security and make it easier to endure economic/market turmoil. The other reason it might make sense is that that w...
by rj49
Sun Apr 12, 2020 5:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Safest way to get food
Replies: 168
Views: 13660

Re: Safest way to get food

My practice lately has been to go with stores that limit traffic and enforce social distancing. Trader Joe's is my first option, but Fred Meyer is also a good option for me, since it's a huge store without crowding, and I can get non-food items and use a self-checkout line to avoid cashier contacts....
by rj49
Sun Apr 12, 2020 4:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where To Put Living Expenses for Next Couple of Years?
Replies: 9
Views: 1570

Re: Where To Put Living Expenses for Next Couple of Years?

Discover Bank is offering 1-2 year CDs at 1.75%. Bank accounts and money market accounts are soon going to reflect the fed short-term funds rate of near 0, so I put spending for the next 5 years on a CD ladder, all offering 1.75-1.80%, with a 3-month interest penalty for early withdrawal. Their savi...
by rj49
Sun Apr 12, 2020 1:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Unemployment vs. work at Amazon warehouse/CA
Replies: 84
Views: 5915

Re: Unemployment vs. work at Amazon warehouse/CA

The expanded unemployment only goes to the end of 2020 for now, and after that there will be millions looking for a job, especially if much of the service sector doesn't come back. So that's a reason to lock in a job now instead of unemployment. Another option is to collect unemployment and have a s...
by rj49
Sun Apr 05, 2020 10:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cruise cancelled [take refund or future credit?]
Replies: 51
Views: 2730

Re: Cruise cancelled [take refund or future credit?]

Take the refund while you can. Airlines like Lufthansa are doing their best to deny passengers refunds on cancelled flights, making them take a voucher instead. I saw a chart showing that most airlines have under 60 days of cash left, but over 100 with the value of already-sold tickets. The more who...
by rj49
Fri Apr 03, 2020 4:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacing Cable TV with Streaming: Critical Analysis
Replies: 86
Views: 5625

Re: Replacing Cable TV with Streaming: Critical Analysis

You can look at golf or tennis channels on an ipad streaming app or on Roku or Apple TV. I know the NFL has their own app for replaying games, which I subscribed to, since it meant no commercials and I could watch the game replay later in half the time. If you have a friend or relative with xfinity,...
by rj49
Wed Apr 01, 2020 4:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why can't investors stop watching the financial markets?
Replies: 13
Views: 1413

Re: Why can't investors stop watching the financial markets?

The best option is to disconnect from regular TV. I remember watching football at my Mom's house and being shocked by all the appealing vehicle and fast food ads. All news is meant to do the same, especially filling the screen constantly with 'experts' who think they can predict the market, offer ad...
by rj49
Mon Mar 30, 2020 1:34 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is the 2 Fund Portfolio the new "3 Fund portfolio"?
Replies: 59
Views: 4601

Re: Is the 2 Fund Portfolio the new "3 Fund portfolio"?

I'd say that home bias kicks in even more when people are scared, particularly if you tell yourself stories about China and parts of Europe that are suffering most now. That's especially true when the current crisis is benefitting US stocks like Amazon, Netflix, and Facebook. if you look at it as an...
by rj49
Sun Mar 29, 2020 2:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The end of cruise ships [cruise line stock prices]
Replies: 246
Views: 26275

Re: The end of cruise ships

I've done dozens of cruises over the past several years, since I love the sea and it's a perfect getaway for cold winter weather. Also an excellent way to see multiple countries, such as on a Baltics cruise. I also was foolish enough to buy 100 shares of Carnival stock for the shipboard credit and g...
by rj49
Sat Mar 28, 2020 12:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best cashback credit card - NOT Citi Double as I want to cancel that card
Replies: 24
Views: 1948

Re: Best cashback credit card - NOT Citi Double as I want to cancel that card

I got sucked into various cards, but they all increased spending, because of welcome bonuses or category spending. AMEX exposes you to the temptations of their AMEX Offers, so I bought many cruises just to get $100 credit, and I bought too many gift cards to max out the grocery benefit, which was a ...
by rj49
Wed Mar 25, 2020 10:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is with the printer paper delivery times on Amazon?
Replies: 39
Views: 2377

Re: What is with the printer paper delivery times on Amazon?

Hopefully everybody isn't hoarding printer paper as a toilet paper backup. To put things in perspective, my brother-in-law manages a nursing home, and he gets much of his medical supplies from Amazon, since it's cheaper and faster, so I'd rather get his stuff prioritized now, as well as any other me...
by rj49
Tue Mar 24, 2020 12:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What credit card are you using that is not Citi 2% cashback?
Replies: 57
Views: 5203

Re: What credit card are you using that is not Citi 2% cashback?

If you've looked at your stock portfolio lately, then saving .5% on a credit card really doesn't matter. I used to max out my quarterly 5% Discover bonuses, until I realized it came out to $75 on $1500 of spending, when the excess spending wiped out any bonus, and paled in comparison to the daily ri...
by rj49
Tue Mar 24, 2020 12:39 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Why does the 4% rule work when the markets have huge corrections
Replies: 51
Views: 3417

Re: Why does the 4% rule work when the markets have huge corrections

The 4% rule works because nobody actually follows it during a big market fall. People cut back, particularly on discretionary spending. It's human nature, especially with something like this, with travel stopped and the future of employment/personal income/economy uncertain. People like to look to e...
by rj49
Fri Mar 20, 2020 3:26 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Anyone else have Vanguards Wellesley income fund
Replies: 22
Views: 2705

Re: Anyone else have Vanguards Wellesley income fund

You're not alone. A lot of people on here have been heavily invested in Wellesley, based entirely on past performance and past safety. They ignore the various risks--lack of diversification, with under 100 stocks in an investing universe of thousands, heavy concentration on longer-term corporate bon...
by rj49
Thu Mar 19, 2020 2:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to get Toilet Paper ? seriously.
Replies: 684
Views: 56705

Re: How to get Toilet Paper ? seriously.

A bidet hose works pretty well. I used to work in the Soviet Union, and they used torn-up newspaper in public places and their toilet paper that was the consistency of our paper towels. Nothing was flushed, since the plumbing system couldn't handle it, so the dirty paper was put in a little basket b...
by rj49
Thu Mar 19, 2020 12:44 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Time to Move Vanguard MM Funds to Local Bank? (B of A)
Replies: 12
Views: 1629

Re: Time to Move Vanguard MM Funds to Local Bank? (B of A)

With Fed rates at zero, it's likely that bank rates will soon reflect that. If you have substantial funds, you could set up a CD ladder of sorts. I just saw that Discover Bank has 12-36 month CDs at 1.75-1.80%, with an early withdrawal penalty of 3-6 months of interest. I've used them for some time,...
by rj49
Fri Mar 13, 2020 4:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I Bonds are a screaming buy - Tipswatch
Replies: 138
Views: 22055

Re: I Bonds are a screaming buy - Tipswatch

My problems with ibond, after having them from 1998 to 2008 or so: --They are hard to hold onto when there's little to no inflation and other fixed income and equities are outperforming. They were all the rage on here after 2000, with Zvi Bodie writing his book about how one should invest mostly in ...
by rj49
Mon Mar 09, 2020 10:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Staying Proficient on Windows PCs
Replies: 33
Views: 2154

Re: Staying Proficient on Windows PCs

I'd get a Microsoft Surface Laptop with the really comfortable alcantara surface (both in gorgeous burgundy and dark blue), which I find much more pleasurable than cold Macbook aluminum. The basic models are cheap and large and pleasant to use, like a Windows version of a Macbook, without all the bl...
by rj49
Sun Mar 08, 2020 2:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: U.S. Stocks during Two Modern-Era Pandemics, 1957 & 1968
Replies: 44
Views: 5854

Re: U.S. Stocks during Two Modern-Era Pandemics, 1957 & 1968

I think there are two important new variables in this not-yet-official pandemic: A delicate global supply chain, and the potential for supply shocks. The 24-hour news cycle, and how it drives consumer behavior. I'm not sure how either of these could improve matters, but I can think of plenty of way...
by rj49
Sat Mar 07, 2020 5:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Preparation for ZIRP/NIRP (zero/negative interest rate policy)
Replies: 101
Views: 7482

Re: Preparation for ZIRP/NIRP (zero/negative interest rate policy)

There are a lot of options that allow you to avoid fixating on interest rates. A CD ladder, ibonds, TSP G fund, money-market funds, high-yield online savings account all have been part of my approach, since I don't see any upside to bonds at under 1% in the upcoming decades. I also have some money i...
by rj49
Thu Feb 20, 2020 1:22 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Paul Merriman "Ultimate buy-and-hold" VS. 3 Fund
Replies: 62
Views: 5067

Re: Paul Merriman "Ultimate buy-and-hold" VS. 3 Fund

I think you also have to think about the current state of the investing world and valuations. If you're going to give equal weight to the SP500 and Small Cap Value, then you're betting your future on companies like Leidos Holdings and PerkinElmer against Apple and Microsoft and Amazon. The investing...
by rj49
Thu Feb 20, 2020 12:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Chromebook recommendation]
Replies: 39
Views: 2234

Re: [Chromebook recommendation]

My advice is to get one with an HD screen, because it makes it much nicer to use. The newer ones try to justify higher price with gimmicks like a touch screen or folding to make it like a tablet, but I found that a 14-15" HD screen makes it much more pleasant to use (especially if you're used to the...
by rj49
Mon Feb 17, 2020 2:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Blacklight and invisible ink for password
Replies: 32
Views: 2410

Re: Blacklight and invisible ink for password

The problem with writing down passwords is they constantly change and so you end up with notes and random pieces of paper everywhere. When my stepdad passed this year, it was a challenge trying to figure out all the passwords he had for everything, so I could make it simple for my Mom. I tried start...
by rj49
Sun Feb 09, 2020 10:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bond Funds Are Hotter Than Tesla [by Jason Zweig, WSJ article]
Replies: 29
Views: 4029

Re: Bond Funds Are Hotter Than Tesla [by Jason Zweig, WSJ article]

This means nothing to a buy and hold stay the course investor. Set an asset allocation between stocks and bonds and tune out the market porn. Jason Zweig actually once came up with a perfect answer when people freaked out or were excited over the market or a stock or bitcoin or gold or some other i...
by rj49
Thu Jan 30, 2020 6:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Wellington and Wellsley over the last 20 years
Replies: 77
Views: 11479

Re: Vanguard Wellington and Wellsley over the last 20 years

Would it make sense to hold 50% of each? 50% Wellesley 50% Wellington I have read many people here do that....at least for part of their portfolio I have both.....both are terrific low cost funds, IMHO Really? The Wellington fund page shows it's underperformed it's composite index for the past 10 y...
by rj49
Thu Jan 30, 2020 5:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Demise of the 4 Percent Rule? -- Wade Pfau
Replies: 179
Views: 14969

Re: The Demise of the 4 Percent Rule? -- Wade Pfau

Amazing how many publications someone can get out of an idea that no one actually ever uses. Who just withdraws a certain amount each year without paying any attention whatsoever to market conditions around them? Pretty much nobody. Any "withdrawal study" that doesn't allow for the retiree to adjus...
by rj49
Sun Jan 19, 2020 10:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Irrational Fear of Injury in Small Car?
Replies: 124
Views: 8251

Re: Irrational Fear of Injury in Small Car?

I had similar fears of suffering in a collision when attracted by high-ranked cars like the Honda Fit and Toyota Yaris iA. At the same time, I don't want the expense or size of a SUV, since part of the safety equation is being able to park and maneuver easily. In the end I compromised on a Corolla, ...
by rj49
Fri Jan 10, 2020 11:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Firm mattress recommendations
Replies: 37
Views: 2220

Re: Firm mattress recommendations

I got a Signature Sleep Contour Encased mattress on Amazon a few years ago for $225 or so, and it was too firm for me, so might be right for you (I added a piece of memory foam on top to make it perfect for me). No need for a box spring, and I rotate and turn frequently, and haven't experienced any ...
by rj49
Tue Jan 07, 2020 12:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best Credit Card with $0 annual fee?
Replies: 48
Views: 5612

Re: Best Credit Card with $0 annual fee?

The best part about Blue Cash Preferred is that gift cards bought in a grocery store get 6% back. I get things like Arco cards, which also give the cash discount price at the pump. But if you buy lots of gift cards and other things just to get a sign-up bonus, you're playing their game and increasin...
by rj49
Sun Dec 29, 2019 11:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Visible wireless. Any experience?
Replies: 20
Views: 2550

Re: Visible wireless. Any experience?

I tried it for a month, but the data speeds were unusable, even in a dense neighborhood. I tried Verizon through Xfinity wireless later and got excellent speeds. I thought of switching back again when they stopped capping speeds, but then they were overwhelmed and people were telling horror stories ...
by rj49
Sun Dec 29, 2019 11:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Cadence crowdfunded investments
Replies: 12
Views: 986

Re: Cadence crowdfunded investments

If you're going to invest in crowdsourcing, invest in something diversified and with a proven record. I invest in Fundrise, since it's diversified by location, property types, and investment goals (property appreciation as well as income from apartment rentals). It's also been around for some time (...
by rj49
Sun Dec 22, 2019 12:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Investments negatively correlated with the stock market?
Replies: 59
Views: 4905

Re: Investments negatively correlated with the stock market?

Strange that nobody mentions cash/CDs. I know that when the market dropped in 2007-2008, I held Penfed CDs yielding 6.25%. If the stock shock event is inflation/rising interest rates, then I'd say cash and CDs are a better diversifier than bonds, which would suffer in such a scenario (except for thi...
by rj49
Sat Nov 30, 2019 2:32 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Yes, another International vs Domestic Thread
Replies: 212
Views: 10828

Re: Yes, another International vs Domestic Thread

Using past performance for international is flawed, in the long term because of two world wars that decimated Asia and Europe but left the US stronger. Secondly, your cherry picking data point is during the huge Japanese asset bubble, which inflated the international indices but then caused it to la...
by rj49
Wed Nov 27, 2019 10:49 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are stocks dangerously overvalued? Not according to new Vanguard yardstick
Replies: 89
Views: 11698

Re: Are stocks dangerously overvalued? Not according to new Vanguard yardstick

People come up with all sorts of "models" to make themselves feel better, it helps them sleep better at night. That is human nature. Similar to changing how the way unemployment was calculated/reported, changing how quarterly earnings are reported, changing how CAPE is reported, changing how the tr...
by rj49
Thu Nov 21, 2019 1:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Spending money to make travel easier and luxurious?
Replies: 85
Views: 8626

Re: Spending money to make travel easier and luxurious?

I'm in a similar situation, a lifelong budget traveler trying to make travel less stressful. I found a nice compromise is to pay extra for premium economy on BA and Lufthansa, which have wider seats, more leg room, and better service. Another option you can look at is upgrading on budget airlines, s...
by rj49
Sun Nov 17, 2019 10:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I have often wondered how long a person would last in retirement taking dividends and capital gain from the Wellington?
Replies: 19
Views: 4287

Re: I have often wondered how long a person would last in retirement taking dividends and capital gain from the Wellingt

Picking Wellington or Wellesley is a good choice in hindsight, since they didn't have tech stocks in 2001 and benefited from a long-term fall in interest rates. The problem is going forward, where low bond yields with little room to fall to create capital gains creates a potential drag, which is lin...
by rj49
Tue Nov 12, 2019 12:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dental Insurance
Replies: 60
Views: 5783

Re: Dental Insurance

You could be creative and take a yearly trip to Arizona and cross the border to get dirt-cheap care. You could also make a winter getaway to Mazatlan, Cabo, and Puerto Vallarta, all which have plenty of qualified dentists catering to American tourists. If you need something like a crown, find one th...
by rj49
Tue Nov 12, 2019 12:45 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: If you were forced to pick an alternative asset...
Replies: 107
Views: 7828

Re: If you were forced to pick an alternative asset...

I'd choose something like Fundrise, which is real estate but diversified across the US in apartment and retail development, with some flipping in high-demand areas like DC and LA. You get to follow new development projects in their various sub-funds and get updates and share in the gains when they p...
by rj49
Fri Nov 01, 2019 1:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: South Pacific Travel (Bora Bora, Moorea, Society Islands)
Replies: 12
Views: 2030

Re: South Pacific Travel (Bora Bora, Moorea, Society Islands)

Holland America is the best for going to the South Pacific, since they put more emphasis on ports now, as well as food on the ship, so it's a more pleasant and endurable experience. They also have a great wood promenade deck on their ships that are close to the water and with deck chairs, perfect fo...
by rj49
Thu Oct 24, 2019 2:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Living life post smart phone
Replies: 68
Views: 6276

Re: Living life post smart phone

You might read “Indistractable”, an interesting book that tries to deal with the underlying causes of screen addiction and use mindfulness and techniques to limit use, rather than abstinence. Other alternatives I’ve tried have included going with a limited data plan, such as on Red Pocket or Mint Mo...
by rj49
Thu Oct 10, 2019 12:43 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Indexing beats Wellington and Wellesley right?
Replies: 205
Views: 40494

Re: Indexing beats Wellington and Wellesley right?

Judging based on Wellington's being around so long is a fallacy. First of all, it's been through many different compositions and goals and management teams, so you're in no way investing in what it was even 20 years ago, or when it decided to include a lot of growth stocks, like Alphabet, instead of...