Search found 5734 matches

by bertilak
Sat Feb 17, 2018 1:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Effect of spending money on appearance in career
Replies: 63
Views: 3656

Re: Effect of spending money on appearance in career

My theory was always that I wanted to get promoted on my merits and not my looks but now it looks like it may actually be getting in my way? I am a man but I got promoted on my "looks." I wanted a management job so went to my 2nd-line manage and was told I was not near the top of the list of manage...
by bertilak
Sat Feb 17, 2018 11:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Effect of spending money on appearance in career
Replies: 63
Views: 3656

Re: Effect of spending money on appearance in career

My theory was always that I wanted to get promoted on my merits and not my looks but now it looks like it may actually be getting in my way? I am a man but I got promoted on my "looks." I wanted a management job so went to my 2nd-line manage and was told I was not near the top of the list of manage...
by bertilak
Sat Feb 17, 2018 11:02 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retirees: The common sense withdrawal method
Replies: 79
Views: 5736

Re: Retirees: The common sense withdrawal method

I thought the purpose of a "sophisticated" withdrawal method was to achieve a consistent, reliable, long-term cash flow. If the answer is to take what you need when you need it, hope you don't run out, and scrimp if it gets close, I say that's the absence of a method. Some people have enough that th...
by bertilak
Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: UGMA vs UTMA vs Vanguard Confusion
Replies: 6
Views: 505

Re: UGMA vs UTMA vs Vanguard Confusion

I went to VG's web page to investigate and was surprised to see that they only recommend either UGMA or UTMA as "college" savings. This kind of sets me back because I didn't want to address college costs -- others are doing that. Is three some reason NOT to use a UTMA for non-college costs? UTMA be...
by bertilak
Mon Feb 12, 2018 7:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: how did you determine your risk tolerance?
Replies: 103
Views: 4790

Re: how did you determine your risk tolerance?

I simply went for 50/50 thinking anything other than that was "placing a bet" and that was what got one into risky territory. I could be convinced there is some other "golden ratio" that defines a neutral position but until I find one I'll stick with 50/50. Bond market is twice the size of equities...
by bertilak
Mon Feb 12, 2018 6:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: UGMA vs UTMA vs Vanguard Confusion
Replies: 6
Views: 505

UGMA vs UTMA vs Vanguard Confusion

I'm considering starting my 5 and 7 year old grandkids' investment program so they have a head start on retirement savings at an early age. I was considering a UTMA over a UGMA because the money can be "locked away" until age 21 instead of age only 18 for a UGMA. I went to VG's web page to investiga...
by bertilak
Sun Feb 11, 2018 1:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A bill from the doctor - how/should I contest?
Replies: 44
Views: 3759

Re: A bill from the doctor - how/should I contest?

My wife received a bill from her doctor for a service that was provided exactly one year ago today, saying that we owe $300. We absolutely will pay what we owe, but I have a few issues with this bill.... 1. When I called today to ask what the bill is for, it was explained to me that it was for "beh...
by bertilak
Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: how did you determine your risk tolerance?
Replies: 103
Views: 4790

Re: how did you determine your risk tolerance?

I simply went for 50/50 thinking anything other than that was "placing a bet" and that was what got one into risky territory.

I could be convinced there is some other "golden ratio" that defines a neutral position but until I find one I'll stick with 50/50.
by bertilak
Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to invest in ?
Replies: 8
Views: 758

Re: What to invest in ?

There are things like non-traded REITS, Master Limited Partnerships, Preferred Stocks, Warrants, all sorts of weird derivatives like credit swaps, futures, options, Absolute Return Strategies/trading strategies/Hedge Funds, insurance based products (like viatical settlements, reinsurance), private ...
by bertilak
Sat Feb 10, 2018 6:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 2844
Views: 893174

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Charlieville wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2018 5:50 pm
Thunderstruck By Erik Larson.
How does that compare to The Devil in the White City, which I read and enjoyed?
by bertilak
Sat Feb 10, 2018 11:03 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to invest in ?
Replies: 8
Views: 758

Re: What to invest in ?

Tanks to dbr and Ssandtrap for confirming my thoughts about rental real estate.

Any suggestions other than real estate?
by bertilak
Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:40 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to invest in ?
Replies: 8
Views: 758

Re: What to invest in ?

I am pretty sure that going beyond stocks and bonds has more to do with wanting to engage in an enterprise rather than to engage in investing. I believe that is certainly true of rental real estate, which I view as a business rather than as an investment. That is exactly the opinion I have but your...
by bertilak
Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:11 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to invest in ?
Replies: 8
Views: 758

What to invest in ?

[R]ental real estate is not even remotely like either stocks or bonds. But there is nothing wrong with that either. There are lots of posters on this forum who own rental real estate and comment about it. That said, the forum is actually organized around discussion of investing in stock and bond mu...
by bertilak
Tue Feb 06, 2018 4:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Laughter is the Best Medicine - What makes you Laugh?
Replies: 105
Views: 5574

Re: Laughter is the Best Medicine - What makes you Laugh?

Calvin & Hobbes and The Far Side comics. They never get old. Add to that Cul de Sac. It is about prekindergarten kids. Unfortunately the artist (Richard Thompson) had to quit due to Parkinson's. Bertilak, I can sadly report that Thompson died of Parkinson's complications about two years ago, age 58...
by bertilak
Tue Feb 06, 2018 3:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 3339
Views: 961421

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

The Detectorists Their final season (3) is now streaming on both Netflix and Amazon (with Acorn subscription). If you've seen the first two seasons you won't want to miss this one. The characters are people you would love to have in your circle of friends. Good Guys (Played by Toby Jones and McKenz...
by bertilak
Tue Feb 06, 2018 3:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Laughter is the Best Medicine - What makes you Laugh?
Replies: 105
Views: 5574

Re: Laughter is the Best Medicine - What makes you Laugh?

bloom2708 wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 1:16 pm
Calvin & Hobbes and The Far Side comics. They never get old.
Add to that Cul de Sac. It is about prekindergarten kids. Unfortunately the artist (Richard Thompson) had to quit due to Parkinson's.
by bertilak
Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 2844
Views: 893174

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Call me Ishmael. You may remember my earlier comments about my voyage through Melville’s Moby-Dick (his hyphen). This Is an update. I am just over two thirds through it. So far it has been about technical details of the whaling process, whaling ships, whales, and whalers, with philosophical asides, ...
by bertilak
Sun Feb 04, 2018 4:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Relearning Calculus
Replies: 81
Views: 5982

Re: Relearning Calculus

Hi everyone! I've decided to go on a personal endeavor to relearn calculus from the ground up. I've realized in the past few years that I am a product of the 2000s USA education system, and I only know how to solve Calculus problems. The issue is I don't understand the why behind a lot of it. This ...
by bertilak
Thu Feb 01, 2018 1:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is changing AA considered market timing?
Replies: 37
Views: 1482

Re: Is changing AA considered market timing?

Changing your investment strategy based on an expectation of changes in market behavior is about as close to the definition of market timing as one can get.
by bertilak
Sun Jan 28, 2018 1:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Capital Gains Problem When Changing Brokers
Replies: 18
Views: 772

Re: Capital Gains Problem When Changing Brokers

I would start by looking at what your actual cost basis is on the $230K in taxable. As you mention, those funds have thrown off capital gain distribution every year you've owned them, so you have paid a significant portion of the obligation already. In other words, because you invested $100 that is...
by bertilak
Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bond Portfolio for High Net Worth Individuals - Different Rules?
Replies: 56
Views: 5657

Re: Bond Portfolio for High Net Worth Individuals - Different Rules?

I believe the question is a good one. There are lots of rules, regulations, laws, whatever, that affect wealth differently depending on the amount -- tax rates etc.. Estate taxes depend on the size of the estate. These things don't depend on a person's personal opinion of high vs not-so-high net wor...
by bertilak
Tue Jan 23, 2018 5:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 2844
Views: 893174

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

One Big Joke , by Laurence Shames. In Key West an elderly retired Mafioso agrees to help an old colleague in New York, who needs local knowlege for a new criminal enterprise. I always wish that the books in this series were longer. I haven't read one of these in, I think, two decades! Does he still...
by bertilak
Mon Jan 22, 2018 5:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Laughter is the Best Medicine - What makes you Laugh?
Replies: 105
Views: 5574

Re: Laughter is the Best Medicine - What makes you Laugh?

Anyone for British humor??? Chef series - Lenny Henry Only fools and horses.................etc. There's something about British humor that gets my funny bone. Of course Fawlty Towers is near the top of the list. A more recent discovery was 'Allo, 'Allo. My most recent discovery is Men Behaving Bad...
by bertilak
Sun Jan 21, 2018 7:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Laughter is the Best Medicine - What makes you Laugh?
Replies: 105
Views: 5574

Re: Laughter is the Best Medicine - What makes you Laugh?

mouses wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2018 5:36 pm
Carol Burnett's Gone with the Wind. Those draperies....
"I saw it in the window and I just couldn't resist..."
by bertilak
Sun Jan 21, 2018 3:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Laughter is the Best Medicine - What makes you Laugh?
Replies: 105
Views: 5574

Re: Laughter is the Best Medicine - What makes you Laugh?

I was scrolling down this thread and realized that Fawlty Towers hadn’t been mentioned, and that such an oversight had to be remedied. But then came Dottie57 to the rescue, and bertilak right behind her. “The Germans” was splendid. But, pride of place belongs to “Communication Problems,” with the i...
by bertilak
Sun Jan 21, 2018 3:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone donated a car to charity?
Replies: 25
Views: 1422

Re: Anyone donated a car to charity?

I donated a car to charity. It was not even in derivable condition. I first tried to sell it at several places. The best i could get was I PAY to have them haul it away. I called a charity that advertised for used cars. They picked it up (flatbed), auctioned it off and a few weeks later sent me an ...
by bertilak
Sun Jan 21, 2018 2:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does a Wider rebalancing band not make more sense?
Replies: 20
Views: 1781

Re: Does a Wider rebalancing band not make more sense?

How do you manage a band strategy when stocks are rapidly falling. What did you do in 2008? Rebalance every other day? At the time I didn't have a re-balance strategy, but I was in the middle of leaving my Schwab advisor and moving everything to VG. I lucked out when I sold it all near the bottom a...
by bertilak
Sun Jan 21, 2018 2:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone donated a car to charity?
Replies: 25
Views: 1422

Re: Anyone donated a car to charity?

I donated a car to charity. It was not even in derivable condition. I first tried to sell it at several places. The best i could get was I PAY to have them haul it away. I called a charity that advertised for used cars. They picked it up (flatbed), auctioned it off and a few weeks later sent me an o...
by bertilak
Sun Jan 21, 2018 2:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does a Wider rebalancing band not make more sense?
Replies: 20
Views: 1781

Re: Does a Wider rebalancing band not make more sense?

I am retired and hold a 30% stock allocation. My rebalancing strategy is to rebalance when my allocation of stocks jumps above 35% or drops under 25%. Although the strategy keeps my risk under control, I wonder if an asymmetric band would not be more profitable. What I mean is that stocks drop 10%+...
by bertilak
Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Laughter is the Best Medicine - What makes you Laugh?
Replies: 105
Views: 5574

Re: Laughter is the Best Medicine - What makes you Laugh?

Chris K Jones wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 9:07 pm
Old episodes of Fawlty Towers, currently on Netflix. They are more than 30 years old and I have seen them multiple times, but I still laugh out loud .
"Don't mention the war!"

"My little nest of vipers."
by bertilak
Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What will happen if everyone indexed?
Replies: 23
Views: 2345

Re: What will happen if everyone indexed?

The "what if everybody indexed?" argument is a standard (and invalid) talking point against indexing. And even if were valid, you do not have any sacred obligation to Adam Smith to make the market work. Do what's in your own self-interest and let the market solve its own problems. Even if we did fe...
by bertilak
Thu Jan 18, 2018 8:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to overcome the fear of spending money? (Buying a car)
Replies: 55
Views: 3837

Re: How to overcome the fear of spending money? (Buying a car)

I would project my overall financial situation after the purchase and see if it looked like something I could be happy with. In other words, don't focus on the act of spending but on the before and after situations. Is the "after" acceptable?
by bertilak
Thu Jan 18, 2018 8:17 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What will happen if everyone indexed?
Replies: 23
Views: 2345

Re: What will happen if everyone indexed?

Can somebody told me what if everyone indexed? Will it lead to crisis? I ask this since John Bogle has a warning for index fund investor: “If everybody indexed, the only word you could use is chaos, catastrophe,” Bogle told Yahoo Finance at the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting last month. “The mar...
by bertilak
Mon Jan 15, 2018 3:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A "Home" cell phone?
Replies: 53
Views: 4900

Re: A "Home" cell phone?

We need a dedicated land line for our security system. Otherwise, we wouldn't have one. Check to see if your security system can be upgraded to cellular service. ADT did that for me and only charged $100. It does NOT tap into my existing cell phone -- they have there own built-in cellular unit. I c...
by bertilak
Mon Jan 15, 2018 3:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are land line phones still being supported?
Replies: 60
Views: 3804

Re: Are land line phones still being supported?

Coincidentally, I just cancelled my land line a week or so ago. It was costing me $38.31 per month so that's quite a bit, especially when looking at it over a year ($459+). Their quoted price was "only" $24.95 per month for the "package" but they added to that: $1.36 additional charges (long distanc...
by bertilak
Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Shares Are Wildly Overpriced. But Bonds May Be Even Worse
Replies: 35
Views: 5787

Re: Shares Are Wildly Overpriced. But Bonds May Be Even Worse

I go back and forth between 100/0 and 0/100 on a daily basis based on the first article I read with my morning coffee. I've simplified that. I'm 100% stocks with half my money and 100% bonds with the other half. No need to jump back and forth. One half or the other's gotta be the winner and the oth...
by bertilak
Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Lightning rods for my house? Or too "old fashioned"?
Replies: 32
Views: 2052

Re: [Lightning rods for my house? Or too "old fashioned"?

I saw one of those TV shows were they have various interesting scientific stories. In this show a surveillance camera showed someone getting struck by lightning. It knocked him down but he got up and walked way. But that's not the amazing thing -- he got hit a second time only a few steps after tha...
by bertilak
Fri Jan 12, 2018 8:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Lightning rods for my house? Or too "old fashioned"?
Replies: 32
Views: 2052

Re: [Lightning rods for my house? Or too "old fashioned"?

I saw one of those TV shows were they have various interesting scientific stories. In this show a surveillance camera showed someone getting struck by lightning. It knocked him down but he got up and walked way. But that's not the amazing thing -- he got hit a second time only a few steps after that...
by bertilak
Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:51 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Buy bonds until market correction
Replies: 28
Views: 2577

Re: Buy bonds until market correction

Don't you mean until the next correction ends? How will you know when that is? There is an expression, "Don't try to catch a falling knife." In other words, wait for it to hit the floor then pick it up. The trouble is, with Mr. Market the floor is invisible because the future is invisible. Also, all...
by bertilak
Wed Jan 10, 2018 1:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does a UGMA do for me what I want?
Replies: 23
Views: 1009

Re: Does a UGMA do for me what I want?

SGM wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 1:33 pm
UTMA income went on our taxes until the kids were out of school except for the first $1k of income. When they were working after 21 they paid the taxes.
Was this for your kids or grandkids?
by bertilak
Wed Jan 10, 2018 11:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does a UGMA do for me what I want?
Replies: 23
Views: 1009

Re: Does a UGMA do for me what I want?

I was considering a trust account but I can't appoint myself executor of the trust. It would not then count as a gift and there are no tax advantages). A Crummey trust will give you the advantages of a trust and allow you to use the annual gift tax exclusion. But it does not allow me to appoint mys...
by bertilak
Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does a UGMA do for me what I want?
Replies: 23
Views: 1009

Re: Does a UGMA do for me what I want?

To all, thanks for he input. I now have more mental ammunition to apply to this!
by bertilak
Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does a UGMA do for me what I want?
Replies: 23
Views: 1009

Re: Does a UGMA do for me what I want?

I was considering a trust account but I can't appoint myself executor of the trust. It would not then count as a gift and there are no tax advantages). A Crummey trust will give you the advantages of a trust and allow you to use the annual gift tax exclusion. But it does not allow me to appoint mys...
by bertilak
Tue Jan 09, 2018 6:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does a UGMA do for me what I want?
Replies: 23
Views: 1009

Re: Does a UGMA do for me what I want?

Not really..... Yes mostly on controlling the assets but cap gains, dividends etc would need to be coordinated with the parents. UTMA/UGMA are different ages in different states.... so 21 is not always the age when the minor will gain control. Also might affect any future college needs based financ...
by bertilak
Tue Jan 09, 2018 5:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does a UGMA do for me what I want?
Replies: 23
Views: 1009

Does a UGMA do for me what I want?

I want to give money to my grandkids but maintain control over how that money is invested. For example I would like to invest in a Vanguard fund (as yet TBD -- lifestyle, target, etc.). I believe if I set up a UGMA account for each grandkid and appoint myself custodian I can accomplish this -- up to...
by bertilak
Tue Jan 09, 2018 12:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: [What to do with inheritance?]
Replies: 1
Views: 94

Re: The Three-Fund Portfolio

Not sure if this the right spot but have a question with the three fund portfolio. I'm 32 yrs old, I inherited 150k 2 years ago. I paid off all debt. And this is what I have to my name right now: 17,500 in a Roth IRA with majority in VTI and 130k in cash. Now that I've read up a bit on the three fu...
by bertilak
Mon Jan 08, 2018 5:53 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Misuse of adverse when averse was meant
Replies: 145
Views: 6052

Re: Misuse of adverse when averse was meant

El Greco wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 5:01 pm
How about inane expressions like "sooner rather than later"? Wouldn't the single word "soon" mean exactly the same thing?
More or less.
by bertilak
Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Living on Dividends and Interest
Replies: 58
Views: 7431

Re: Living on Dividends and Interest

What would be correct or wrong about living on the dividends and interest of your portfolio if you were able to do so with a 30% surplus or more? For this exercise, consuming capital by selling shares/individual bonds/cd's would be prohibited. I'd be curious as to what this group thinks about it. W...
by bertilak
Mon Jan 08, 2018 7:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: is the cost for using a relocation service to find an apartment worth it?
Replies: 8
Views: 595

Re: is the cost for using a relocation service to find an apartment worth it?

In my experience, there are local apartment-finding services that collect their fee from the the apartment company and do not charge you anything.
by bertilak
Thu Jan 04, 2018 11:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Smart home and new home security technology
Replies: 5
Views: 601

Re: Smart home and new home security technology

Thanks! Wary of ADT...if i can get the setup and some cloud video storage for a reasonable amount, that would be good I've had ADT for years: prompt service, no problems. A couple of months ago they upgraded my 10 year old system to add a video camera, the ability to add sensors/devices without run...