Search found 72 matches

by engineer1969
Fri Oct 06, 2017 7:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: MoviePass-Too good to be true, but it's legit.
Replies: 50
Views: 6214

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

Yeah, I just do not see how this is sustainable.... The CEO thinks that people will buy the pass and then enough customers who watch 1 or fewer movies per month will balance out and cover all the people watching 1 every day/week/etc. I do not see how this ends well. If their share of the tickets pu...
by engineer1969
Wed Oct 04, 2017 12:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: MoviePass-Too good to be true, but it's legit.
Replies: 50
Views: 6214

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

I've heard AMC is pushing back on this, but I see it as a win/win. Eventually, the theaters will be fuller on average and the admission cost will go down below the monthly premium. The theaters should take the opportunity to improve the experience inside the theater (better seats, better concessions...
by engineer1969
Mon Oct 02, 2017 9:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Are credit cards rewards worth it?
Replies: 103
Views: 6018

Re: Are credit cards rewards worth it?

While I take full advantage of rewards credit cards (we have 4 separate rewards cards), I don't like the concept of them overall. Credit card companies need to offer the rewards to entice the customers who want to pay fully each month so they can charge a fee to the vendor for that customer's transa...
by engineer1969
Mon Sep 18, 2017 12:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 30yr Mortgage Refi Rates
Replies: 16
Views: 2512

Re: 30yr Mortgage Refi Rates

bankrate.com displays the current competitive rates based on your local.

Keep in mind the rates shown assume high equity and 740+ credit score. The rates adjust in 0.125 increments based on your situation and selected bank.
by engineer1969
Thu Sep 14, 2017 3:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wondering if solar is worth it - does my utility bill seem high? (Arizona)
Replies: 40
Views: 2899

Re: Wondering if solar is worth it - does my utility bill seem high? (Arizona)

I did the math for a modestly sized home (1200 sq ft) in the mid-atlantic. If it were not for the government incentives it would not be worth it financially. With the incentives, it seemed to be be almost revenue neutral if you considered having to replace the array every 18 years. 18 yrs was the gu...
by engineer1969
Thu Aug 24, 2017 11:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Eclipse Traffic: predictions vs reality?
Replies: 64
Views: 4832

Re: Eclipse Traffic: predictions vs reality?

We had four hours tacked onto our 7 hour trip from Northwestern SC to the DC area. Our GPS took us on some side roads that perhaps saved us up to an hour. I-85 was the bottleneck.
by engineer1969
Fri Aug 04, 2017 6:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy EZ Pass transponder for road trip?
Replies: 45
Views: 2874

Re: Buy EZ Pass transponder for road trip?

While driving home on I-95 we decided to buy an EZ pass at a rest station in NJ. At the next toll, we gleefully passed what must have been a 20-30 minute backup of cars going into the pay lanes. I've never been so satisfied about a purchase.
by engineer1969
Thu Aug 03, 2017 5:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best internet service provider in Washington DC area?
Replies: 6
Views: 702

Re: Best internet service provider in Washington DC area?

In the many years (probably more than a decade at this point) we have had FIOS, I can only recall two service interruptions. They were huge too, affecting a large portion of the east coast. Their phone based customer service initially was superb, but over the years it has degraded to what I'd consid...
by engineer1969
Wed Jul 26, 2017 6:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Did you shop for a title company
Replies: 4
Views: 520

Re: Did you shop for a title company

We recently refinanced and saved about $1000 by going with the same title company we used years earlier. They were able to apply some discounts as a repeat customer in addition to having lower rates overall. The paperwork with the loan application from our bank screamed we are getting a kickback fro...
by engineer1969
Wed Jul 26, 2017 6:16 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are bitcoins nonsense?
Replies: 73
Views: 4950

Re: Are bitcoins nonsense?

I was thinking the makers of crypto-currencies are trying to establish money systems which are out of the hands of government manipulation and truly market driven. That being said, I have no idea who holds the reigns at that point.
by engineer1969
Tue Jul 25, 2017 5:48 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: "If You Can"-style Rebalancing
Replies: 14
Views: 1784

Re: "If You Can"-style Rebalancing

Please correct me if I misunderstand - as the OP - but if you're rebalancing with new money, on a monthly basis, aren't the odds going to be that you're almost always buying Total Bond with that new money? Since, with the exception of bear markets, the stock funds will likely be ahead of the bond f...
by engineer1969
Fri Jul 21, 2017 9:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: State Farm vs Penn National- auto, renters, umbrella?
Replies: 58
Views: 5803

Re: Why does State Farm have poor reviews?

We experienced a house fire a little over a year ago and I give the SF team 5 stars. We were displaced from our home for 10 months during the restoration and remodeling. The customer service was outstanding. The contractors not so much, but I think we had an above average experience with them as well.
by engineer1969
Thu Jul 20, 2017 5:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would you let your teenager spend all his savings on a gaming computer?
Replies: 123
Views: 7217

Re: Would you let your teenager spend all his savings on a gaming computer?

Given this will be a nice machine, he could also do his school work on it (and take it to college). He will have a highly valuable item which he earned and purchased. If he hasn't shown respect for material items this may be his first window into seeing why it is important. Its fun! I don't see a do...
by engineer1969
Thu Jul 20, 2017 5:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Keurig vs coffeemaker - and the Keurig won
Replies: 53
Views: 4028

Re: Keurig vs coffeemaker - and the Keurig won

We bought ours with the stipulation we'd only use it on weekday mornings when the hustling around makes dealing with the coffee pot a little more annoying. Three years later we only use the Keurig and the pot sits in the pantry. Something interesting I recently learned is that those fancy machines t...
by engineer1969
Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Sam's Club, Costco, BJ's, and other wholesaler clubs]
Replies: 274
Views: 15337

Re: Costco vs. other wholesale clubs

Big Worm wrote:
thebogledude wrote:I like that Costco has no coupons, this tells me that their prices are close to what they pay.
I get coupons in the mail from Costco every month.

I am a member of Sam's, BJ's and Costco. I like Costco the best.
No coupon required at the register.
by engineer1969
Tue Jul 11, 2017 7:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Sam's Club, Costco, BJ's, and other wholesaler clubs]
Replies: 274
Views: 15337

Re: Costco vs. other wholesale clubs

I find the employees that work at Costco are enthusiastic and happy. It adds to the good vibe of shopping there.
by engineer1969
Sun Jul 09, 2017 5:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is this cable device?
Replies: 53
Views: 3583

Re: What is this cable device?

It appears that the "T" device is either a bias-T as pictured previously or an amplifier. It would be weird to put an amplifier right by device you want to boost, but it would work if you were on the hairy edge. You would typically want to boost the signal prior to the lengthy cable loss otherwise y...
by engineer1969
Tue Jul 04, 2017 8:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: options to buy stocks
Replies: 27
Views: 1533

Re: options to buy stocks

It appears when the stock lowers, you always do slightly better than buying outright. My example above stops at the inflection point. Any gain above twice the expected return would be lost versus buying the stock outright. Yes, I agree. If the stock goes down, or goes up by less than the option pre...
by engineer1969
Tue Jul 04, 2017 6:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: options to buy stocks
Replies: 27
Views: 1533

Re: options to buy stocks

I have a young colleague at work that is quite enthusiastic about investing. We have frank discussions about risks and strategies for the long haul. He has come up with a strategy into which I can't seem to poke any holes: If your intent is to buy a stock in the short term, you will always do bette...
by engineer1969
Tue Jul 04, 2017 6:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: options to buy stocks
Replies: 27
Views: 1533

Re: options to buy stocks

Can you guys elaborate on the risks? He isn't buying on margin as he is totally intending on buying the stock and has the funds. It appears like he is accepting money to wait and buy it at a later date. He is doing his diligence and researching the companies he is purchasing. It might help if you p...
by engineer1969
Tue Jul 04, 2017 10:35 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: options to buy stocks
Replies: 27
Views: 1533

Re: options to buy stocks

Options are a zero sum game. I agree entirely w the point about writing naked calls and risk. Just don't. Best advice anyone can give. Can you guys elaborate on the risks? He isn't buying on margin as he is totally intending on buying the stock and has the funds. It appears like he is accepting mon...
by engineer1969
Tue Jul 04, 2017 9:44 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: options to buy stocks
Replies: 27
Views: 1533

options to buy stocks

I have a young colleague at work that is quite enthusiastic about investing. We have frank discussions about risks and strategies for the long haul. He has come up with a strategy into which I can't seem to poke any holes: If your intent is to buy a stock in the short term, you will always do better...
by engineer1969
Fri Jun 30, 2017 1:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best cars for multiple kids
Replies: 51
Views: 3606

Re: Best cars for multiple kids

If you google the topic, you can probably find literally thousands of photos of configurations of 3 child seats in one row. Probably millions of families have done this (including us). Having a 3rd kid is not really an event that forces you to get a bigger vehicle. It's just a choice. Life generall...
by engineer1969
Wed May 10, 2017 5:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel tips for first time visitors to England and France?
Replies: 55
Views: 5050

Re: Travel tips for first time visitors to England and France?

Be cognizant of any bans that may be in place. I'm reading they may likely be banning laptops on flights from Europe to the US in the near future. This is the sort of thing that would have me stranded at the airport with laptop in hand :(
by engineer1969
Sat May 06, 2017 10:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommended Washer/Dryer Set
Replies: 25
Views: 2296

Re: Recommended Washer/Dryer Set

We bought LG set, full sized front loader 10 moths ago and ready to give it away. It stinks. I've done everything (air out with each wash, use pods only, then powder only, intermittently run cleaning cycle with vinegar baking soda, consistent wiping it down wth each wash, still looks new but smells...
by engineer1969
Fri Apr 14, 2017 10:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Windows 10 upgrade, now legacy software doesn't work
Replies: 35
Views: 3059

Re: Windows 10 upgrade, now legacy software doesn't work

If your software is not extremely old (16 bit application) you should be able to run it either in compatibility mode or in a virtual machine. Compatibility mode is a property you set on the executable itself. RIght click on the icon and hit properties. Virtual machines are freely available and allow...
by engineer1969
Fri Feb 24, 2017 5:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: BH thoughts on Time shares
Replies: 123
Views: 9922

Re: BH thoughts on Time shares

Dutch wrote:
engineer1969 wrote:That's just under $900 a night for these very nice units. This seems expensive, but ...


Yes, that does seem very expensive.


Similarly outfitted hotels with no kitchen for two rooms in the area would cost $600/night.
by engineer1969
Fri Feb 24, 2017 9:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: BH thoughts on Time shares
Replies: 123
Views: 9922

Re: BH thoughts on Time shares

I know the general wisdom is to avoid, but felt I should share my own experiences: I was young and stupid and bought a timeshare in the early nineties. I was in Hawaii with my parents and tagged along to get free food and discounted tickets. My parents were receiving the pitch and refused, but I rea...
by engineer1969
Wed Nov 23, 2016 5:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Discussing taxes with my 16 yr old son
Replies: 16
Views: 1230

Re: Discussing taxes with my 16 yr old son

What's interesting is if you don't isolate the fixed expenses all households become equal in the eyes of the tax man and should be charged slightly more than 50%. I realize this model isn't a real representation, but I do believe it goes a long way in conceptually describing the impacts of tax rate.
by engineer1969
Wed Nov 23, 2016 4:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Discussing taxes with my 16 yr old son
Replies: 16
Views: 1230

Re: Discussing taxes with my 16 yr old son

I don't think you equation models reality at all. For example if I spend 1k on a fixed budget item, don't you think that causes a multiplier effect? I agree it does, but the idea here is Fixed spending is not impacted by your tax rate. You need to make your mortgage payment regardless of your tax r...
by engineer1969
Wed Nov 23, 2016 4:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Discussing taxes with my 16 yr old son
Replies: 16
Views: 1230

Re: Discussing taxes with my 16 yr old son

I view each category like this: Fixed Budget -- This is static spending that each household must spend to keep their standard of living. I think money saved under the mattress would also fall in this category. Taxes -- This money goes directly to the government. Discretionary -- This money is either...
by engineer1969
Wed Nov 23, 2016 3:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Discussing taxes with my 16 yr old son
Replies: 16
Views: 1230

Re: Discussing taxes with my 16 yr old son

EHEngineer: Thanks for the tip.

Longdog: Money we spend and save becomes someone else's income.
by engineer1969
Wed Nov 23, 2016 3:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Discussing taxes with my 16 yr old son
Replies: 16
Views: 1230

Re: Discussing taxes with my 16 yr old son

I think I see the confusion. I was talking from the point of view of a single household. So income is the fixed income of the household. The government income tax revenue would be the sum of all household revenues, but it the optimal rate to charge each household is a function of the ratio of fixed ...
by engineer1969
Wed Nov 23, 2016 1:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Discussing taxes with my 16 yr old son
Replies: 16
Views: 1230

Discussing taxes with my 16 yr old son

With the discussion of tax rates in the news lately, my son was asking why in the world it would be a good idea to lower taxes when the government is so in debt. He has just recently learned derivatives in his math course, so I came up with the following simple model to work through the problem: I (...
by engineer1969
Tue Oct 11, 2016 7:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advantage Car Rental
Replies: 10
Views: 978

Re: Advantage Car Rental

I am a frequent government traveler and >90% of the time I'm provided one of these discount providers for my rental car. They are good enough to get you where you need to go, but I always internally celebrate when I get an agency like Hertz or Budget at the time of my reservation. The main reason is...
by engineer1969
Fri Sep 30, 2016 2:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where/how do Bogleheads get their tires inflated?
Replies: 97
Views: 7694

Re: Where/how do Bogleheads get their tires inflated?

HueyLD wrote:
Thesues wrote:I use a multi function thing I bought from Costco. It is about $100. It has a battery to jump the dead battery and tire inflator.

What is the name and do you have a link? Thanks.


No longer available at Costco, but here are a bunch of similar items at amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i ... Caps%2C188
by engineer1969
Fri Sep 30, 2016 8:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where/how do Bogleheads get their tires inflated?
Replies: 97
Views: 7694

Re: Where/how do Bogleheads get their tires inflated?

Thesues wrote:I use a multi function thing I bought from Costco. It is about $100. It has a battery to jump the dead battery and tire inflator.


+1 works like a champ for its purposes.
by engineer1969
Thu Jul 28, 2016 11:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Daring to figure it out for myself -- To Roth or Not to Roth and defusing the RMD tax bomb
Replies: 27
Views: 3879

Re: Daring to figure it out for myself -- To Roth or Not to Roth and defusing the RMD tax bomb

Another point that deserves consideration: Do you plan to spend your funds down to zero or to leave an estate?

If you plan to leave an estate, would you prefer to leave Roth or Traditional accounts behind?
by engineer1969
Fri Jun 24, 2016 3:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TSP to Vanguard?
Replies: 116
Views: 13851

Re: TSP to Vanguard?

I'm a Federal employee as well with almost 30 years of service. I have another 10 years before I meet the minimum age requirement to retire. My back of the envelope plan is to make a sizable rollover into an IRA at retirement and spend the years prior to drawing social security converting that money...
by engineer1969
Mon Jan 04, 2016 12:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: AT&T next plan vs 2 year contract - confusion
Replies: 21
Views: 2529

Re: AT&T next plan vs 2 year contract - confusion

Next is really a phone lease under the hood. The wording on your bill looks like a loan with installment payments. I let AT&T know I was dissatisfied with their NEXT program after I realized this was the case. It should be attractive to those who frequently change their phones because they allo...
by engineer1969
Sat Jan 02, 2016 9:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: AT&T next plan vs 2 year contract - confusion
Replies: 21
Views: 2529

Re: AT&T next plan vs 2 year contract - confusion

Next is really a phone lease under the hood. The wording on your bill looks like a loan with installment payments. I let AT&T know I was dissatisfied with their NEXT program after I realized this was the case. It should be attractive to those who frequently change their phones because they allow...
by engineer1969
Thu Nov 19, 2015 8:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Credit card hacked, what we learned
Replies: 49
Views: 8062

Re: Credit card hacked, what we learned

I keep an airline card so our miles don't expire. When I received it over a decade ago, I put it in a drawer and have never used it. I have to pay the annual fee. I pay that bill electronically. Somehow this number was stolen and used! I believe its only footprint is its linkage to our miles account...
by engineer1969
Thu Nov 12, 2015 11:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA Employee + Employer Contribution Limit
Replies: 6
Views: 652

Re: HSA Employee + Employer Contribution Limit

Yes, the combined total counts towards the limit. The funds added by your employer are immediately yours with no vesting required.
by engineer1969
Sun Nov 08, 2015 1:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Dollar Cost Averaging inferior [but Vanguard disagrees]
Replies: 143
Views: 14131

Re: Dollar Cost Averaging inferior

And my question was--why would you choose to DCA a large amount of money over time, but would not sell once you are fully invested and start DCAing again? The same rationales apply--once you are fully invested you aren't getting the average, right? Also, can you explain more about how getting the a...
by engineer1969
Sun Nov 08, 2015 1:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Dollar Cost Averaging inferior [but Vanguard disagrees]
Replies: 143
Views: 14131

Re: Dollar Cost Averaging inferior [but Vanguard disagrees]

Isn't DCA just the "effect" of periodically investing a nearly constant amount of funds? I don't really view it as a strategy, but the result of employing a periodic investment strategy. Whether or not to invest in a lump sum or periodically comes down to asset allocation and what risks yo...
by engineer1969
Sun Aug 02, 2015 9:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What's Your Monthly Food/Groceries Spending? My is through the roof?
Replies: 201
Views: 19454

Re: What's Your Monthly Food/Groceries Spending? My is through the roof?

wander wrote:$200 per person per month.


+1 we spend about this on average including fast food excursions. We have a separate budget line for sit down dining.
{edit] we live in the dc area and have 3 pets...
by engineer1969
Mon Jan 19, 2015 11:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The TSP's Low Expenses vs. Vanguard
Replies: 45
Views: 7987

Re: The TSP's Low Expenses vs. Vanguard

Thanks for the link. I hadn't realized that was a universal requirement.
by engineer1969
Mon Jan 19, 2015 9:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The TSP's Low Expenses vs. Vanguard
Replies: 45
Views: 7987

Re: The TSP's Low Expenses vs. Vanguard

The only drawback of the TSP seems to be the withdrawal options. I just learned recently if the account owner dies: The designated recipient receives a special TSP account that behaves like the original. They have the option to roll it over into an external beneficiary IRA. If the designated benefic...
by engineer1969
Thu Aug 21, 2014 11:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wash D.C. speed camera - how accurate?
Replies: 40
Views: 10380

Re: Wash D.C. speed camera - how accurate?

I think clearly posting that a speed camera is in operation ahead along with the associated fines would be far more effective at improving safety than having the camera hidden from view. I'd guess most people receiving the fines are those that don't regularly travel in the area.
by engineer1969
Thu Aug 21, 2014 6:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wash D.C. speed camera - how accurate?
Replies: 40
Views: 10380

Re: Wash D.C. speed camera - how accurate?

Epsilon Delta wrote:*Best case is that "this spot" is in the tunnel under Washington circle, midway between the crosswalks at 21st and 25th


That's precisely where it is, at the bottom of the hill under the circle.