Search found 401 matches

by brainstem
Fri Dec 15, 2017 4:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Japan in summer
Replies: 25
Views: 2176

Re: Japan in summer

Also ..if in Kyoto consider a day trip to Nara ... very worthwhile but not for overnight .. use rail pass to and from.
by brainstem
Fri Dec 15, 2017 4:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Japan in summer
Replies: 25
Views: 2176

Re: Japan in summer

Ignore comment about transport in from airport Key thing is to get your japan rail pass at the airport when you arrive ... it is good for the train to Tokyo and goes to several major stops in town. Might also get an internet hot spot at the airport ..not very expensive and can help you navigate whil...
by brainstem
Fri Oct 27, 2017 7:02 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Morningstar responds to Wall Street Journal article
Replies: 23
Views: 4147

Re: Morningstar responds to Wall Street Journal article

Morningstar stars

wine spectator ratings

Meh --- marketing devices more than quality guides
by brainstem
Fri Jul 28, 2017 1:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: From Chi-Midway: Taxi, Uber, Lyft, or other?
Replies: 26
Views: 3541

Re: From Chi-Midway: Taxi, Uber, Lyft, or other?

One caveat --

rush hour "surge pricing" - uber can be way more expensive than a taxi -- recently wanted to go to OHare and the quote for Uber was $20 more than the average taxi ride --- I went taxi that afternoon
by brainstem
Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tips on Uber
Replies: 77
Views: 8760

Re: Tips on Uber

on short trips, I do not tip
on long trips, I do --- when Uber saves me 50%+ over a taxi ($20 vs $45+), I give the driver a $5 tip if the service is good - and it usually is

examples -- hotel to the airport in Orlando, DC to BWI etc
by brainstem
Wed Mar 15, 2017 11:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone subscribe to Barron's?
Replies: 17
Views: 3338

Re: Anyone subscribe to Barron's?

Got a year for free from airline points ... reviewed the issues ... found little information that I could not get elsewhere on the net for free.

Like Forbes, Fortune, Value Line --- their information is no longer sufficiently unique in the era of the net.
by brainstem
Wed Feb 22, 2017 4:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Open vanguard CD Order
Replies: 32
Views: 3601

Re: Open vanguard CD Order

This issue came up for me recently and I checked with my advisor I think they changed their process or software -- supposedly does not now clear until the date of sale or issue In the past, it would register immediately Mine cleared a day or two after my call It was/is confusing and not sure why the...
by brainstem
Fri Jun 19, 2015 5:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New to Golf
Replies: 45
Views: 6392

Re: New to Golf

Advice on lessons ... Too often the teacher can overwhelm with suggestions.

My few lessons ... I asked the instructor to fix one or two elements (hip tilt, grip, downswing angle) .... Work on them and then find another one or two to work on.
by brainstem
Thu Feb 26, 2015 7:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: physicians [Frustrated, considering early retirement]
Replies: 132
Views: 15984

Re: physicians [Frustrated, considering early retirement]

It appears people got into medicine with unrealistic expectations. I have seen folks who power through their training and then come to realize that the work is about the same with more accountability. If you got through school and clinical training with gritted teeth, work life is bound to be disapp...
by brainstem
Tue Nov 11, 2014 9:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Your favorite classic toys for kids
Replies: 89
Views: 10725

Re: Your favorite classic toys for kids

Stratego

Old matchbox and dinky toys ....
by brainstem
Mon Aug 11, 2014 12:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fear of Disclosing Net Worth
Replies: 60
Views: 10616

Re: Fear of Disclosing Net Worth

Our Wells Fargo bank rep knows details of our bank account. These institutions have strong privacy rules. jdb -- I would strongly suggest you read the privacy rules of Wells -- it probably gives them the right to share your data with business partners ---- how do you define such a strong privacy sa...
by brainstem
Sun Aug 10, 2014 7:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fear of Disclosing Net Worth
Replies: 60
Views: 10616

Fear of Disclosing Net Worth

Many on this board are worth a well over a million dollars. Lately my wife and I have considered a retirement review by TIAA-CREF - but I am reluctant to disclose our total assets to a corporate entity. All of them have vaguely worded releases that allow them to share your data. I am concerned that ...
by brainstem
Fri Aug 08, 2014 9:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Oldest age to start medical school?
Replies: 44
Views: 8080

Re: Oldest age to start medical school?

Med school is not so bad ... It is the residency that hits hard. My residency was in the transition from the old school days ... Worked hard, the hospital supported us ... A true formative experience during the first year ... But I was 25 .... To have done that in my 30's with kids at home ... Not s...
by brainstem
Fri Aug 08, 2014 7:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Attitudes toward inheritances.
Replies: 113
Views: 14768

Re: Attitudes toward inheritances.

For those planning or potentially sharing an estate with other family members -- a great book is Beyond the Grave --- reviews all sorts of unintended pitfalls and bad dynamics associated with estates. An easy but useful read
by brainstem
Fri Aug 08, 2014 7:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Attitudes toward inheritances.
Replies: 113
Views: 14768

Re: Attitudes toward inheritances.

So I had an uncle with no children - a lovely man. He had been successful for a large US corporation and I thought he might leave me some money as his sister's only child. As they got older, I visited once and his wife complained bitterly about an ambulance bill after she had had a stroke. I figured...
by brainstem
Thu Jul 31, 2014 6:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Two days in Little Rock, AR - What to do and see?
Replies: 29
Views: 2481

Re: Two days in Little Rock, AR - What to do and see?

Dinner at south on main ... Tasty and reasonable ... Or Terry's finer foods ... More upscale French bistro.
Big orange for Burgers ... But do turkey burgers.

Check prices but the Capitol hotel is often only a few dollars more than the usual chain and a treat to stay at.
by brainstem
Mon Apr 21, 2014 3:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good scotch recommendations, where to buy
Replies: 55
Views: 12364

Re: Good scotch recommendations, where to buy

Highland Park 12

A true Boglehead scotch .. Value/quality
by brainstem
Thu Mar 27, 2014 8:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are master limited partnerships worthwhile?
Replies: 25
Views: 2893

Re: Are master limited partnerships worthwhile?

Paperwork every April is such an annoyance , they lost their luster in my house.
by brainstem
Sat Mar 22, 2014 6:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Options for the medical grad but no residency
Replies: 98
Views: 15065

Re: Options for the medical grad but no residency

This situation is hard to fathom. I have met mds in consulting without residency ... But their clinical input is negligible ... No street credibility. Lower level Heath jobs have substantial requirements given liability issues etc. My sense is that y'all have posted here as a Hail Mary pass as local...
by brainstem
Thu Feb 20, 2014 9:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to do in Austin, TX
Replies: 52
Views: 6834

Re: What to do in Austin, TX

Two words:
Continental club

ESP the upstairs venue ... Wonderful local talent doing acoustic

Hot club of cowtown, Kelly Willis, James McMurtry ........
by brainstem
Fri Jan 31, 2014 7:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Visiting NYC (New York City)
Replies: 31
Views: 2488

Re: Visiting NYC (New York City)

Ps
The Javitts center is in the middle of nowhere
Essentially no parking
No subway

More or less you have to cab or walk a pretty long way.
A New York pain in the tuckus.
by brainstem
Fri Jan 31, 2014 7:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Visiting NYC (New York City)
Replies: 31
Views: 2488

Re: Visiting NYC (New York City)

So best cheap deal on a nice day

Take the 7 th ave irt ... The 2 or 3 train to Clark street in Brooklyn

Get out on Clark street and go west 3 blocks to the promenade

The best view of NYC you cannot buy because it is free.
by brainstem
Sun Jan 26, 2014 8:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Who invests in Total International Bond Index Fund?
Replies: 36
Views: 4044

Re: Who invests in Total International Bond Index Fund?

I have some money here ... But it is interesting that in the annual report booklet from vanguard on the international bond index fund, the fund manager recommended that 20% of bond holdings should be in international bonds. I thought that was a pretty bold statement and a bit out character for a van...
by brainstem
Fri Jan 17, 2014 7:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Biggest regrets in your life in financial investment?
Replies: 101
Views: 12768

Re: Biggest regrets in your life in financial investment?

Not my error but that of a friend ..

Sold his company for stock that was given to all the partners.
The buying company quickly got into trouble and the stock became almost worthless.

The sellers not only lost money, but owed taxes on the sale of the company at the sale price .
A true double hit.
by brainstem
Fri Jan 17, 2014 7:35 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: vanguard quality of service
Replies: 63
Views: 6051

Re: vanguard quality of service

For the most part, I have been satisfied with Vanguard service ... Has gotten some better over the last year or two. But one item was a total Fubar ... Tried to have a reimbursement from Europe wired to a money market account ... Complete fiasco .... After several months ... Going to have a check ma...
by brainstem
Fri Jan 10, 2014 7:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trouble trusting US healthcare
Replies: 70
Views: 4544

Re: Trouble trusting US healthcare

The public buys into a lot of the add ons. Just watch cable TV news commercials. Things to avoid: Low T is marketing for an almost nonexistent problem. Electric scooters at no cost. Mail order supplies for diabetes. (generously oversupplied) Fat burner pills Exercise devices My 30 seconds are up, do...
by brainstem
Sat Jan 04, 2014 9:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Non-retirees: Envisioning Retirement
Replies: 62
Views: 6606

Re: Non-retirees: Envisioning Retirement

I work on my own agenda in a salaried position and can accomplish creative things that impact the broader community. That is a nice set up. My main knock on not retiring is the restrictions on personal travel for fun. I would love a position that would enable me to take 2-4 weeks off every few month...
by brainstem
Fri Jan 03, 2014 2:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Funniest Movie Ever
Replies: 227
Views: 22757

Re: The Funniest Movie Ever

Wow
Marx brothers and Woody Allen have fallen off the radar

Duck Soup
Take the Money and Run

Both classics
by brainstem
Sat Dec 21, 2013 3:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicaid Waiver
Replies: 12
Views: 2287

Re: Medicaid Waiver

The key thing about the waiver is the support services for sustaining activities of daily living ... Not something covered by health insurance. If it is not a major problem with family finances, he could, should stay on the family insurance which would service as the primary coverage and Medicaid ki...
by brainstem
Mon Dec 16, 2013 10:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $20MM in Vanguard MF - How to Pass Down To Children?
Replies: 28
Views: 5310

Re: $20MM in Vangaurd MF - How to Pass Down To Children?

Generation skipping trusts probably make more sense than leaving to the kids who are getting close to 70 .....unless there is a Tony Randall story in the background.q
by brainstem
Fri Dec 06, 2013 9:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wine for daily consumption?
Replies: 105
Views: 8766

Re: Wine for daily consumption?

Bogle Essential Red

About $10

Much better than expected.
by brainstem
Sat Nov 16, 2013 6:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fortune Cookie
Replies: 12
Views: 1232

Re: Fortune Cookie

My favorite fortune cookie .... Keep it in my wallet:

"all generalities are false"
by brainstem
Tue Oct 29, 2013 6:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What does your CPA charge?
Replies: 30
Views: 5775

Re: What does your CPA charge?

Unless we know someone's scope of tax reporting, these comparative numbers are not exactly helpful .......
by brainstem
Sat Oct 26, 2013 7:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheap & Good Wrinkle-Free/Non-Iron Dress Shirts
Replies: 44
Views: 18007

Re: Cheap & Good Wrinkle-Free/Non-Iron Dress Shirts

Watch the sales at J Banks

Have gotten traveler dress shirts at ~$30

Pretty salty deal.
by brainstem
Tue Aug 06, 2013 7:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: High handicap golf nut
Replies: 18
Views: 2450

Re: High handicap golf nut

Let me take you in a different path Charlie Ellis talks about investing and amateur tennis in Winning the Losers Game ... It is not about who is a better tennis player but who makes fewer mistakes .... So too in golf To paraphrase Paul Simon .... There are 50 ways to make a bogey So what is your gam...
by brainstem
Sun Jul 14, 2013 8:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trusts for grown kids
Replies: 29
Views: 3741

Re: Trusts for grown kids

My daughter received an inherited trust of fairly large size from my uncle I am cotrustee with vanguard Invested a la bogleheads Fee is 0.75% a year for first million and goes below 0.4 after that She gets distributions on a regular basis No hassles ... Have made no special requests ... Do not expec...
by brainstem
Fri Jul 12, 2013 6:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Premium Products That Are Worth It To You
Replies: 361
Views: 56543

Re: Premium Products That Are Worth It To You

Have read comments about cheap vs pricier wine

That is why my expense for a wine tasting newsletter is my justified expense ....

Guides me to high quality wine without the big price and avoid paying for bad wine if I up my price point for a special meal.
by brainstem
Fri May 31, 2013 1:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: One doc's interesting revolt against the payment system
Replies: 65
Views: 8969

Re: One doc's interesting revolt against the payment system

as a medical oncologist, i see no easy way to accomplish this. we have no way to control the cost of new biologic chemotherapy agents, other than to not give them. i forsee some very tricky ethical decisions to be made in the near future with regards to cancer care. Prostate cancer is a case in poi...
by brainstem
Fri May 31, 2013 1:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: One doc's interesting revolt against the payment system
Replies: 65
Views: 8969

Re: One doc's interesting revolt against the payment system

Who do you think is going to get squeezed first, the doctors or the hospitals? I would be betting on the doctors. To me, it's basic math. If no one wants to pay more for health care and people are pushing for "market driven" health care, the end result is less spending on health care and that means...
by brainstem
Fri May 31, 2013 6:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: One doc's interesting revolt against the payment system
Replies: 65
Views: 8969

Re: One doc's interesting revolt against the payment system

Docs defending their incomes sound a bit like financial advisors defending their fees. The future Successful MDs will be those who manage total cost of care and outcomes ..... Getting paid for doing an isolated service will be a difficult niche to sustain. Episode management that cuts out the fluff ...
by brainstem
Sun May 12, 2013 3:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Academics vs Private Practice (Physician)
Replies: 20
Views: 4901

Re: Academics vs Private Practice (Physician)

If you just want to teach ... You would need to have a non tenure track that is modified private practice If you want to do academics, it is best to have an area or niche that would be your unique contribution to the dept or the school. Being a nice guy and doing a lot of clinical work while teachin...
by brainstem
Tue May 07, 2013 8:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Choosing a Trustee/Vanguard trust services?
Replies: 19
Views: 12517

Re: Choosing a Trustee/Vanguard trust services?

I am cotrustee with vanguard for a trust for my child. Fees low ... Gives me cover for investment results .... Vanguard rep cooperative Beats the lawyer and his advisors I had to wrest the trust away from! Had been advised to use local bank to allow for face to face interactions ... An over rated at...
by brainstem
Tue Apr 30, 2013 6:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do I sell a painting?
Replies: 21
Views: 2405

Re: How do I sell a painting?

Then again, you could go the donation route

Local museum, hospital, etc

Or to a high end silent auction event of an arts group

You can set an appraised value and take the deduction

Might net you almost as much as the misc sales approaches with less effort.
by brainstem
Sun Apr 21, 2013 5:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for advice on Wine.
Replies: 33
Views: 3076

Re: Looking for advice on Wine.

Safe picks (generally) (under $20)

Castle Rock
Ferrari Carano
Chat St. Jean
Columbia Crest
by brainstem
Thu Apr 18, 2013 6:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best Exchange Rates in Paris, France ????
Replies: 10
Views: 1409

Re: Best Exchange Rates in Paris, France ????

I agree that a good credit card is a better deal than conversion to cash.

Just went to London ... Used a SW air visa ... No fees and an extremely fair conversion from pounds to dollars on the statement .... 5-10% better than cash after fees and exchange rates at kiosks.
by brainstem
Thu Apr 18, 2013 6:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any experience with Sonos sound system?
Replies: 24
Views: 4145

Re: Any experience with Sonos sound system?

Installed the system in multiple rooms 5 years ago.
One of the few purchases in life that exceeded expectations
Stream Pandora to selected rooms ... Can stream different content to different rooms simultaneously.
by brainstem
Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice for Surgicenter bill for colonoscopy
Replies: 45
Views: 7554

Re: Advice for Surgicenter bill for colonoscopy

And here is the kicker
Most colonoscopies do not need an anesthesiologist that increases total cost considerably
Most GI docs can do this with versed and not propofol
Ask about this before the procedure ESP if you are at risk for considerable copays.
by brainstem
Sat Mar 30, 2013 7:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vacation rental
Replies: 7
Views: 1421

Vacation rental

So last summer we rented a large house and invited extended family to join us outside of Bend, Oregon. There was something for everyone and it was a great success. I had been to a meeting at Sun River some years back and noted it was a good option. The area has a large inventory of properties and we...
by brainstem
Mon Feb 25, 2013 7:44 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Investing with diminished] memory
Replies: 75
Views: 5880

Re: [Investing with diminished] memory

Having watched my dad go through the stages and phases .... The scariest thing about the aging brain and dementia is that the person loses the self awareness of their declining faculties. They still think they have the judgement of their earlier years and can be fairly adament about opportunities th...
by brainstem
Sat Jan 26, 2013 9:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: hard to let go of IBM
Replies: 46
Views: 6139

Re: hard to let go of IBM

From time to time, I have made "larger" charitable donations The best move for a lump sum event is to donate an appreciated stock You avoid the capital gains and get the full value of the donation. Your after tax donation gets close to 50%, depending on the amount of appreciation. For example, I rec...