Search found 847 matches

by Bungo
Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Anyone pondering moving to a cheaper place and downsizing?
Replies: 63
Views: 4626

Re: Anyone pondering moving to a cheaper place and downsizing?

This is a key component of my retirement plan - selling my overpriced Silicon Valley house and moving to a cheaper state. If all goes according to plan (health insurance being the main wildcard), this will allow me to retire about 3-4 years from now, versus 10+ if I stayed here.
by Bungo
Thu Dec 28, 2017 11:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Keeping a checkbook register
Replies: 95
Views: 5901

Re: Keeping a checkbook register

I haven't bothered with a checkbook register since I started using carbon copy checks 20+ years ago. These days I only write a few checks a year, and I can look at their images online if they've been processed, so there's not much need for manual record-keeping.
by Bungo
Wed Dec 27, 2017 4:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What non fiction book will you be reading in 2018?
Replies: 132
Views: 8197

Re: What non fiction book will you be reading in 2018?

Currently reading The Fatal Shore, by Robert Hughes, about the history of Australia during its convict colony era. Outstanding so far, one of the best history books I've read in quite a while. I'm only 1/4 of the way through, so I will probably still be reading it in 2018. :D
by Bungo
Sun Dec 17, 2017 8:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Best 401k Employer Match Structure
Replies: 115
Views: 9543

Re: Best 401k Employer Match Structure

Obviously the "the sky is the limit" when it comes to possible match structures, but I am looking for something that will be competitive--especially when candidates are receiving offers from local companies: Apple: 50% of first 6% of compensation. (I found this information online--not sure it is co...
by Bungo
Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Okay come clean....How man people share passwords for streaming services?
Replies: 41
Views: 1751

Re: Okay come clean....How man people share passwords for streaming services?

No, I don't share passwords for anything, except with my wife. I don't want the security risk, and I want to be able to make changes freely (e.g. change password, change or cancel subscription) whenever I want without having to take some third party into account. I also don't want to share my viewin...
by Bungo
Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I received a speeding ticket via mail from IA - should I pay it?
Replies: 72
Views: 5336

Re: I received a speeding ticket via mail from IA - should I pay it?

I would pay it, not because I'm moralistic about speeding fines (indeed, it does sound like a ripoff to me), but for the pragmatic reason that saving $100 is not worth the admittedly minor risk that failure to pay would come back to haunt me at some point.
by Bungo
Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I'm declaring a bubble, it's at the peak
Replies: 15
Views: 2476

Re: I'm declaring a bubble, it's at the peak

aristotelian wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:05 pm
I see a 5-10% correction. But I have been seeing a 5-10% correction since January and the market has gone up 20%.
OMG, a 5-10% correction? The sky is falling!

It wasn't that many years ago (OK, nine years) when the market was routinely swinging by that much almost every day.
by Bungo
Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do people still use AAA?
Replies: 267
Views: 18704

Re: Do people still use AAA?

If people are relying on AAA to change a tire...you screwed up in life. THat should be a requirement for a drivers license. And if you're a guy a cant change a tire...pfffttt...nuff said. I'm a firm believer in efficient division of labor. I don't expect the tow truck driver to write his own smartp...
by Bungo
Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Timing the housing market
Replies: 35
Views: 2667

Re: Timing the housing market

There's no guarantee that when the market softens, it will soften below the current price. When I moved to the Bay Area in 2011, the prices seemed excessive and we seemed due for a correction. That correction still hasn't come, and home prices now are 70% higher than they were in 2011. It would tak...
by Bungo
Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do people still use AAA?
Replies: 267
Views: 18704

Re: Do people still use AAA?

I still have an AAA membership even though I haven't had to use it in over 10 years. It's cheap and I have more confidence that it will deliver when/if I need it, than I do in the roadside assistances feature of my car insurance or credit cards. I do use AAA for discounts occasionally, probably not ...
by Bungo
Fri Dec 01, 2017 5:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Have you moved to ETF's? Why or why not?
Replies: 33
Views: 2841

Re: Have you moved to ETF's? Why or why not?

I use mutual funds only. ETFs are probably fine but they add a bit of avoidable market noise and are less convenient to buy/sell/rebalance. If they had better expense ratios than the corresponding funds, I would use them, but they don't, so I don't.
by Bungo
Fri Dec 01, 2017 12:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is investing in the stock market just like investing in a house for appreciation?
Replies: 33
Views: 1502

Re: Is investing in the stock market just like investing in a house for appreciation?

I bought my house primarily as a lifestyle choice (I could afford it and wanted my own place after renting for years), and secondarily as protection against rent inflation. I didn't buy explicitly for the purpose of appreciation, but that happened as a natural side effect of rent inflation: both ren...
by Bungo
Fri Dec 01, 2017 2:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Price of haircut?
Replies: 194
Views: 11321

Re: Price of haircut?

$20 including tip in Silicon Valley
by Bungo
Fri Dec 01, 2017 12:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How Do You Stay Current With Music?
Replies: 111
Views: 5709

Re: How Do You Stay Current With Popular Music?

azurekep wrote:
Thu Nov 30, 2017 11:58 pm
It appears we've exported two of the worst aspects of America-- McDonald's and Justin Bieber.
Worst aspects of North America, I'll grant you. But Justin Bieber is Canadian, not USA'an.
by Bungo
Thu Nov 30, 2017 3:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why should I donate to my alma mater?
Replies: 133
Views: 9944

Re: Why should I donate to my alma mater?

I was on a huge aid package when I attended. So I sort of feel obligated to donate something... But the whole thing rubs me in a weird way. Why don't my high schools or kindergartens ask me for money? Weren't they just as important to my development? Both my high school (private) and my university ...
by Bungo
Thu Nov 30, 2017 1:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Older Software Engineer Advice ~ Languages?
Replies: 41
Views: 3533

Re: Older Software Engineer Advice ~ Languages?

I would suggest Python as being nearly essential for any software engineer these days. It's easy to learn but incredibly useful for a wide variety of tasks. It's not my primary language for deliverables (that would be C++), but Python is my choice for just about everything else.
by Bungo
Wed Nov 29, 2017 4:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Which crash have you seen it before it is coming?
Replies: 134
Views: 10350

Re: Which crash have you seen it before it is coming?

I was virtually certain that housing was going to crash last decade, but I thought it would happen sooner than 2008.

The stock market is always going to crash, eventually, but any prediction I've ever made has been almost uncorrelated with what actually happened and when.
by Bungo
Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wifi speakers-SONOS vs Echo/Google Home
Replies: 30
Views: 3137

Re: Wifi speakers-SONOS vs Echo/Google Home

The Sonos One speaker includes Alexa software, so you do not need a separate Echo device to control it. It does not yet support everything that Echo does, e.g. flash briefing and Spotify, but these things will likely be added later. I received an email from Sonos last week (11/22) indicating that v...
by Bungo
Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wifi speakers-SONOS vs Echo/Google Home
Replies: 30
Views: 3137

Re: Wifi speakers-SONOS vs Echo/Google Home

FWIW I converted to Sonos last Christmas at their sale and am sold on it .. so easy to set up, easy to use, and sounds awesome. My hardwood floors shake with a good movie and the sonos sub cranked up.. I did the same thing recently with my TV, which had been using the mediocre built-in speakers unt...
by Bungo
Tue Nov 28, 2017 6:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Job interviewing - "do you have any other interviews or leads?"
Replies: 35
Views: 4419

Re: Job interviewing - "do you have any other interviews or leads?"

The HR Director at the company called me this morning and told me that of the 3 they ultimately chose for in-person interviews, one withdrew her candidacy, one was not a good fit, and I am the other. The "feedback was very positive all around," but the hiring manager wants to interview a few more p...
by Bungo
Tue Nov 28, 2017 6:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How Do You Stay Current With Music?
Replies: 111
Views: 5709

Re: How Do You Stay Current With Popular Music?

scotthew wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2017 1:09 pm
For a very interesting variety, you can listen to WWOZ on Tune-in. WWOZ is all over the map with it's musical genres, but it often has a New Orleans emphasis (you won't get indie rock on here, unfortunately, but plenty of blues, bluegrass, jazz, fusion, funk, etc!)
+1 for WWOZ, great station!
by Bungo
Tue Nov 28, 2017 10:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How Do You Stay Current With Music?
Replies: 111
Views: 5709

Re: How Do You Stay Current With Popular Music?

Current popular music is junk. Get off my lawn. :D If I want to listen to modern music (not necessarily popular) I find that there are a handful of real radio stations such as KCRW ( http://www.kcrw.com/music/shows/eclectic24 ) which do a much better job playing things i like, compared with Pandora ...
by Bungo
Mon Nov 27, 2017 1:16 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Windows 8: Time to Short Microsoft?
Replies: 57
Views: 6824

Re: Windows 8: Time to Short Microsoft?

I finally upgraded to Windows 7 last year. I hope to use it for 10+ years as I did with Windows XP. Maybe by then, Microsoft will have remembered how to make a non-ugly user interface again and I can skip right past Windows 8 and 10 :D
by Bungo
Thu Nov 23, 2017 11:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do you include the sale of your home as part of your retirement planning?
Replies: 91
Views: 5515

Re: Do you include the sale of your home as part of your retirement planning?

Selling my overpriced Silicon Valley house and buying a replacement in another state for 25% of the price is absolutely part of my retirement plan. :D
by Bungo
Wed Nov 22, 2017 11:01 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do you define success in your life?
Replies: 46
Views: 2169

Re: How do you define success in your life?

Being able to do what I want with my time, i.e. early retirement, which I hope to achieve within a few years. :mrgreen:
by Bungo
Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Getting a home mortgage without spouse?
Replies: 43
Views: 3010

Re: Getting a home mortgage without spouse?

I just learned on this forum that one can get a home mortgage for a primary residence without one's spouse. Additionally, both names could be on the deed (this is essential as my wife is not yet a US citizen, and I understand that gift taxes would come into play for amounts larger than ~140-150k fo...
by Bungo
Sun Oct 29, 2017 11:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you subscribe to digital newspapers?
Replies: 92
Views: 5889

Re: Do you subscribe to digital newspapers?

I have had a digital subscription to The Economist for a number of years and expect that I will continue to subscribe for the foreseeable future. I subscribed to the NY Times this year for the first time. Not sure if I'm going to renew. It's the best US newspaper I've found, but it's far too focused...
by Bungo
Sun Oct 29, 2017 1:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What was the main reason you retired?
Replies: 210
Views: 16751

Re: What was the main reason you retired?

I'm not there yet, but hope to be within a few years. In my case it will be hopefully be all of the above except 6 (forced into retirement). My job is all right, but it doesn't even rank in the top 50 things I would choose to do with my time if I were financially independent.
by Bungo
Sat Sep 30, 2017 10:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: california homeowners - do you have earthquake insurance?
Replies: 96
Views: 9115

Re: Earthquake insurance worth it?

I'm (hopefully) only a few years from retirement, and selling my overpriced Bay Area house is part of my retirement plan. You bet I pay for earthquake insurance. It's fairly cheap - around $1500/year - and in the unlucky event of my house being destroyed by a major earthquake, it will be the differe...
by Bungo
Thu Sep 14, 2017 11:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The 10 year car ownership "rule"
Replies: 95
Views: 11634

Re: The 10 year car ownership "rule"

If there is *another* BH in this forum who can replace (and have replaced) his own engine on his car, please stand up! I have a feeling that you are THE ONLY ONE here!! Average BH can NOT change his own brake pads if his life depended on it. I don't even change my own oil! I'm a big fan of efficien...
by Bungo
Tue Sep 12, 2017 11:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The 10 year car ownership "rule"
Replies: 95
Views: 11634

Re: The 10 year car ownership "rule"

I replaced my 2004 Civic Hybrid this year because California started smog checking hybrids, and mine couldn't pass because the check engine light was on due to failing hybrid battery. Replaced it with a non-hybrid CRV; maybe this one will make it to 15 years. :mrgreen:
by Bungo
Sun Jul 30, 2017 10:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 2855
Views: 894870

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

jfm2123 wrote:A History of the United States in Five Crashes: Stock Market Meltdowns that Define a Nation (1907, 1929, 1987, 2008, 2010) by Scott Nations
2010? I must have missed that one.
by Bungo
Fri Jul 28, 2017 2:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Awarded stock; sell and diversify?
Replies: 27
Views: 1447

Re: Awarded stock; sell and diversify?

I sell my tech employer's stock ASAP. In my reading I've found that most experts implore you not to hold stock in your employer. Too much of your finances are already tied their success. Agree 100%. I always sell my RSUs upon vesting, for exactly this reason. I wouldn't buy my employer's stock if s...
by Bungo
Wed Jul 26, 2017 11:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another bay area housing thread..
Replies: 143
Views: 15128

Re: Another bay area housing thread..

If you're OK with buying into a market at all-time high prices at the limit of your affordability, then go for it. Otherwise, continue to rent don't invest in the stock market , save aggressively, and wait for the next crash. That's what I did in the mid-late 2000s early-mid 2010's (bought in 2012)...
by Bungo
Tue Jul 25, 2017 9:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another bay area housing thread..
Replies: 143
Views: 15128

Re: Another bay area housing thread..

In your joking example of Applebees's , tracking customer sales and data mining the information is actually a HUGE high tech business. That is one of the points of companies having apps, the store loyalty cards, or when they ask you for your zip code when you buy something with a credit card. I jus...
by Bungo
Mon Jul 24, 2017 10:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another bay area housing thread..
Replies: 143
Views: 15128

Re: Another bay area housing thread..

If you're OK with buying into a market at all-time high prices at the limit of your affordability, then go for it. Otherwise, continue to rent, save aggressively, and wait for the next crash. That's what I did in the mid-late 2000s (bought in 2012), no regrets. Many other assets are also at all-tim...
by Bungo
Mon Jul 24, 2017 1:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another bay area housing thread..
Replies: 143
Views: 15128

Re: Another bay area housing thread..

If RSUs decreased by 50%, we'd be stretched to our limit. A couple of observations regarding this: First, RSU income absolutely can decrease by 50% or more, as happened to many of us for a few years following the 2008 crash, due to a combination of general stock market performance, company stock pe...
by Bungo
Mon Jul 24, 2017 11:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another bay area housing thread..
Replies: 143
Views: 15128

Re: Another bay area housing thread..

If you're OK with buying into a market at all-time high prices at the limit of your affordability, then go for it. Otherwise, continue to rent, save aggressively, and wait for the next crash. That's what I did in the mid-late 2000s (bought in 2012), no regrets.
by Bungo
Sat Jul 22, 2017 7:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Commuters (that drive), what do you listen to?
Replies: 60
Views: 3699

Re: Commuters (that drive), what do you listen to?

Usually one of:

Slacker Radio
Audible books
Radio Paradise

Occasionally the local NPR affiliate, but my timing is often poor and they're doing a pledge drive, in which case I turn it off.
by Bungo
Sat Jul 22, 2017 6:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Netflix, Your Current Favorite Show
Replies: 394
Views: 43741

Re: Netflix, Your Current Favorite Show

Some shows I've been enjoying recently:

- Poirot (for some reason they yanked the first six seasons before I had finished them, but they do still have seasons 7-13).
- Bloodline
- Rake
- Better Call Saul
- Happy Valley
- Luther
by Bungo
Wed Jul 12, 2017 1:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Personal loan to a family member
Replies: 114
Views: 8743

Re: Personal loan to a family member

Various family members have "borrowed" money from me over the years, adding up to tens of thousands of dollars. I've never received a penny of repayment. I closed the ATM for good about a decade ago. Relationships with the relevant family members today range from strained to nonexistent. If I could ...
by Bungo
Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Amazon Prime Day]
Replies: 87
Views: 10906

Re: [Amazon Prime Day]

Pajamas wrote:Buy a $25 Amazon gift card and get a $5 promotional credit, but the credit is only for items sold by Amazon and must be used by August 26th. You can apply a gift card you buy to your own account.

https://www.amazon.com/b/?node=14485264011
Nice, free money! Just bought myself a $25 gift card.
by Bungo
Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Amazon Prime Day]
Replies: 87
Views: 10906

Re: [Amazon Prime Day]

I bought an Echo for my wife, who has been wanting one for a while. It's on sale for $90, regular price is $180.
by Bungo
Tue Jul 11, 2017 10:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to wear for job interview - skip the tie?
Replies: 53
Views: 5328

Re: What to wear for job interview - skip the tie?

My employer (in Silicon Valley) explicitly states in its interview invitation letter that "interview attire is business casual" (I of course wore jeans and a t-shirt, as I always do for interviews and all other occasions :D ). Nonetheless, we get an occasional candidate, always from out of state, wh...
by Bungo
Mon Jul 03, 2017 12:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 2855
Views: 894870

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Recently completed The Looming Tower: Al Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 by Lawrence Wright. Excellent book focusing primarily on Al Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden, and to a lesser extent on various failures of the CIA and FBI to share information with each other which could have prevented the 9/11 attacks. C...
by Bungo
Sun Jul 02, 2017 7:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: When, if ever, does it make sense to cease contributing the 401K max?
Replies: 40
Views: 6108

Re: When, if ever, does it make sense to cease contributing the 401K max?

for instance, me being 30 years old and playing catchup in my 401K (currently have $60K between 401K and ROTH IRA) but wanting to start saving for a house downpayment. I did the same thing for a few years and for the same reason. I reduced my contributions to the minimum necessary to receive the fu...
by Bungo
Thu Apr 06, 2017 10:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is anyone using Apple CarPlay? My preferred car company isn't...
Replies: 33
Views: 3070

Re: Is anyone using Apple CarPlay? My preferred car company isn't...

Get a Honda; they support both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. I'm using the latter because I have an Android phone. It's useful mainly for Google Maps. The audio is actually a step down versus ordinary Bluetooth streaming, because not all services are supported. For example, Android Auto doesn't su...
by Bungo
Mon Mar 06, 2017 2:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Net worth milestone reached: $100,000!
Replies: 53
Views: 5496

Re: Net worth milestone reached: $100,000!

Great job! The first $100k is by far the hardest. Keep doing what you're doing, and before you know it, that first digit will tick upward again and again and again :D
by Bungo
Mon Mar 06, 2017 2:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 2855
Views: 894870

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

The King of California , by Mark Arax and Rick Wartzman. Very interesting history of the agricultural development of California's Central Valley, specifically the cotton-growing region centered around the (mostly former) Tulare Lake. This was once the largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi...
by Bungo
Sun Feb 26, 2017 11:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do Boglehead DIY or Pay a Professional?
Replies: 95
Views: 9168

Re: Do Boglehead DIY or Pay a Professional?

I pay a professional for any house-related maintenance more complicated than taking out the trash. I'm a strong believer in focusing on one's strengths and recognizing one's limitations. I don't expect my plumber to write his own smart phone software, and he doesn't expect me to repair my own pipes :D