Search found 298 matches

by Postmon
Mon Feb 08, 2021 8:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Schwab vs Fidelity - For Brokerage/Banking/Debit & Credit Card Use
Replies: 49
Views: 4703

Re: Schwab vs Fidelity - For Brokerage/Banking/Debit & Credit Card Use

You can use the Fidelity debit card at any ATM and they'll refund the fees (not sure if there are any exceptions).
by Postmon
Mon Feb 08, 2021 8:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why use anything but treasuries?
Replies: 44
Views: 5683

Re: Why use anything but treasuries?

I've always been 60/40 and used an Intermediate Treasury fund rather than a Total Bond fund for the reasons mentioned above. Pick one of each, compare their performance and you'll see they are similar. The key for me is that in times of panic, Treasury Funds do well (flight to safety) while Total Bo...
by Postmon
Tue Oct 27, 2020 1:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Impressive Results from Financial Planner -- Time to Surrender?
Replies: 35
Views: 3760

Re: Impressive Results from Financial Planner -- Time to Surrender?

It's an AUM fee of 1.5%. Besides the CAGR, what struck me was that the Stdev wasn't much greater than the others and the Sharpe and Sortino ratios were quite higher. Good points about how long they've been in these funds -- I just got a snapshot so I'll have to ask. I definitely understand past perf...
by Postmon
Tue Oct 27, 2020 12:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Impressive Results from Financial Planner -- Time to Surrender?
Replies: 35
Views: 3760

Impressive Results from Financial Planner -- Time to Surrender?

Many years ago I helped a friend with his finances and set him up with a 3-Fund portfolio (42 US/18 Int'l/40 FI). He recently told me that a financial planner got to him about 5 years ago and he agreed to move a portion of his assets over to him. The planner put him in a portfolio that's approximate...
by Postmon
Wed Mar 06, 2019 1:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Selling Car
Replies: 46
Views: 2604

Re: Selling Car

I've sold 4 cars on Craigslist. I always go to Carmax first to get their price so I have a "real" number to work from. I find the KBB, Edmunds, etc. not necessarily realistic. From there I'll search the online sites for my make/model/year to get a feel for what's out there. I'll typically ...
by Postmon
Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying Used Honda/Toyota -- How old is too old?
Replies: 16
Views: 1645

Buying Used Honda/Toyota -- How old is too old?

We want to buy either a used CR-V or RAV4 for our teen to commute to school (30 minutes each way on highway). We want something safe/reliable but want to send the message that it's no frills transportation (e.g. a few steps up from a "beater"). We'd prefer to spend under $10K which would g...
by Postmon
Sun Jul 08, 2018 2:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Used Honda - How to confirm it was serviced on time?
Replies: 18
Views: 1441

Re: Used Honda - How to confirm it was serviced on time?

Okay, so if I want to see documented service records and the car has a clean history, at a minimum the only ones I should expect to see are regular oil changes and 3 year brake fluid? I'm definitely planning for my mechanic to inspect it, but before taking it to him I want to eliminate anything that...
by Postmon
Sun Jul 08, 2018 1:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Used Honda - How to confirm it was serviced on time?
Replies: 18
Views: 1441

Re: Used Honda - How to confirm it was serviced on time?

Is there anything in the service history besides oil changes and the 3-year brake fluid change that I should expect to see on a CRV in the 2010 - 2013 range?
by Postmon
Sun Jul 08, 2018 1:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Used Honda - How to confirm it was serviced on time?
Replies: 18
Views: 1441

Used Honda - How to confirm it was serviced on time?

I'm looking to purchase a used CRV from a private-party . Today I met a guy with a 2012/75K miles who said the only maintenance he ever did was change the oil and replace the battery. I was surprised that nothing else was done so I searched for factory recommended maintenance schedules and was only ...
by Postmon
Sat Jul 07, 2018 8:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which advanced tech is necessary in cars?
Replies: 86
Views: 5582

Re: Which advanced tech is necessary in cars?

I have blind spot monitoring on one of my vehicles. The one negative I've noticed is I've become too dependent on it. When I drive a vehicle without it, every so often I find myself changing lanes without doing as good a blind spot check as I should.
by Postmon
Sat Nov 18, 2017 11:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Risks of Non-ACA Compliant Health Insurance?
Replies: 66
Views: 5966

Re: Risks of Non-ACA Compliant Health Insurance?

I just don't get why you would take serious risks of a non ACA plan for a family of four when you can get a fully ACA compliant Kaiser plan I look at healthcare as two parts: routine and non-routine. For routine, I'd be okay with the Kaiser HMO or an EPO. However, when we get into non-routine I bel...
by Postmon
Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Risks of Non-ACA Compliant Health Insurance?
Replies: 66
Views: 5966

Re: Risks of Non-ACA Compliant Health Insurance?

FYI, the US Health Plans have dramatically changed, no longer a discount plan but a PPO 3-5000 deductible, 80/20 to max out of pocket of 5-7000, Cigna network. The US Health Group plan is still in the back of my mind. I spoke to a couple of local insurance brokers. They said to stay away but they m...
by Postmon
Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Risks of Non-ACA Compliant Health Insurance?
Replies: 66
Views: 5966

Re: Risks of Non-ACA Compliant Health Insurance?

OP, if I were you, I'd go with the HMO, probably Kaiser, and not one of those non-ACA options. You're in northern Virginia, not rural North Dakota. So you'll likely have good care under an HMO. I would agree for routine care. However, I looked at the facilities included in the HMO and EPO. Surprisi...
by Postmon
Fri Nov 17, 2017 7:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Risks of Non-ACA Compliant Health Insurance?
Replies: 66
Views: 5966

Re: Risks of Non-ACA Compliant Health Insurance?

Petersen and National General have short-term plans with national PPO networks that can be extended for up to 12 months. Thanks! I'll definitely look into those. If the provider you want isn't in network, you can pay full price for the appointments which would still be a lot less than paying for a ...
by Postmon
Fri Nov 17, 2017 2:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Risks of Non-ACA Compliant Health Insurance?
Replies: 66
Views: 5966

Re: Risks of Non-ACA Compliant Health Insurance?

Rupert wrote: Fri Nov 17, 2017 2:19 pm Have you contacted the insurance companies directly?
Yes, all the compliant plans are on the gov't exchange. The only off-exchange plan I was able to find was the short-term one from UnitedHealthCare.
by Postmon
Fri Nov 17, 2017 2:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Risks of Non-ACA Compliant Health Insurance?
Replies: 66
Views: 5966

Re: Risks of Non-ACA Compliant Health Insurance?

Rupert wrote: Fri Nov 17, 2017 2:11 pm You could still choose an HDHP and have out-of-network coverage,
Where would I find one? The healthcare.gov site only offers the one PPO with no options. The only other choices are EPOs and HMOs.
by Postmon
Fri Nov 17, 2017 2:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Risks of Non-ACA Compliant Health Insurance?
Replies: 66
Views: 5966

Re: Risks of Non-ACA Compliant Health Insurance?

Do look at the PPO issue more closely. I guess I'm more concerned about a scenario where something major happens and the provider we want to see is not in-network and we're stuck with a mediocre provider. HDHP with HSA can be a PPO I'd be happy if the exchange offered me a high-deductible PPO rathe...
by Postmon
Fri Nov 17, 2017 1:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Risks of Non-ACA Compliant Health Insurance?
Replies: 66
Views: 5966

Re: Risks of Non-ACA Compliant Health Insurance?

Do you mind if I ask why you insist on a PPO plan if you are all healthy with no pre-existing conditions? Just in case anything major were to happen we want the flexibility to go out-of-network (but may need to re-think this!). "Anything you are diagnosed for must be treated within the same si...
by Postmon
Fri Nov 17, 2017 1:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Risks of Non-ACA Compliant Health Insurance?
Replies: 66
Views: 5966

Risks of Non-ACA Compliant Health Insurance?

Our COBRA plan expires in a few months so we're looking at alternatives. We (family of 4) prefer to continue with a PPO but healthcare.gov only offers one plan and the premium is $3,700/month ! :shock: We're in Northern Virginia, all healthy with no pre-existing conditions, and do not qualify for a ...
by Postmon
Sat Oct 17, 2015 10:25 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Maximum limit for Fido Ex-US Index (FSGDX)?
Replies: 26
Views: 2588

Re: Maximum limit for Fido Ex-US Index (FSGDX)?

I was told: - The $100k limit is the maximum holding you are allowed to have of that fund, full-stop. Not per day, not per-order, not electronic limit only, but that is the maximum you can hold of that fund. Very strange. I hold a lot more than that in a single account and have made phone trades fo...
by Postmon
Sat Oct 17, 2015 7:46 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Maximum limit for Fido Ex-US Index (FSGDX)?
Replies: 26
Views: 2588

Re: Maximum limit for Fido Ex-US Index (FSGDX)?

It's total $'s per day. Can't break into smaller orders. There are a number of online transactions that have dollar limits per day. Anytime I run into those situations, I call in and the rep is able to place the order. Although it's inconvenient, my guess is that they do it to prevent online fraud.
by Postmon
Fri Oct 16, 2015 8:21 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Maximum limit for Fido Ex-US Index (FSGDX)?
Replies: 26
Views: 2588

Re: Maximum limit for Fido Ex-US Index (FSGDX)?

An online order is limited to $100K but the rep can place the order for you over the phone. But, he/she first needs to get approval from the fund manager.
by Postmon
Thu Oct 01, 2015 12:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Washer died. Seeking recommendations for a top loader.
Replies: 65
Views: 7877

Re: Washer died. Seeking recommendations for a top loader.

We've been debating between a front-load LG high efficiency and the old fashioned Speed Queen top loader (with agitator, not high efficiency). I think we're going Speed Queen. Objective is clean clothes and dependabilty -- not the latest techology. Plus, hate the idea of the long cycle time with the...
by Postmon
Thu Oct 01, 2015 5:52 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Which of these is the best tax loss harvest partner for Vanguard Total Stock?
Replies: 6
Views: 1459

Re: Which of these is the best tax loss harvest partner for Vanguard Total Stock?

When you tax loss harvest, the funds are not supposed to be "substantially identical." Therefore, I would not risk using a Total Market fund for VTSAX. That would leave you with VLCAX from your list. If you just want a single fund, an S&P 500 index would work as well. If you do a searc...
by Postmon
Mon Sep 28, 2015 2:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is your car buying strategy?
Replies: 84
Views: 12073

Re: What is your car buying strategy?

I've found the "free" buying services to be a joke. For example, when I was in the market, the Costco special price was more than the price that the dealer posted on their website. If you really want the best price without negotiating, this is worth the $250 fee: http://www.checkbook.org/a...
by Postmon
Sun Sep 27, 2015 9:15 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: VWO vs IXUS [Vanguard Emerging Mkts vs. iShares MSCI Core Total Int'l]
Replies: 7
Views: 1887

Re: VWO vs IXUS [Vanguard Emerging Mkts vs. iShares MSCI Core Total Int'l]

What are you trying to accomplish for your international allocation? I'm trying to find long-term DOW outperformers. Aren't we all! :wink: Around here most believe It's impossible to predict what's going to outperform so we shoot for the average at minimal cost. Many believe there may be a premium ...
by Postmon
Sat Sep 26, 2015 12:01 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: VWO vs IXUS [Vanguard Emerging Mkts vs. iShares MSCI Core Total Int'l]
Replies: 7
Views: 1887

Re: VWO vs IXUS [Vanguard Emerging Mkts vs. iShares MSCI Core Total Int'l]

Two different animals: VWO is Emerging Markets and IXUS is Total International Market including Emerging Markets. If you're interested in an iShare EM fund, check out IEMG.

What are you trying to accomplish for your international allocation?
by Postmon
Wed Sep 23, 2015 10:47 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: three-fund portfolio vs slice and dice
Replies: 11
Views: 2186

Re: three-fund portfolio vs slice and dice

RE: the simplicity argument - I plan to simplify to 3 fund in retirement so I can leave my wife with something she can understand and maintain. Don't forget there will likely be a huge cost if you plan to simplify in the future -- capital gains taxes. :twisted: 100% of assets (beyond my emergency f...
by Postmon
Tue Sep 22, 2015 4:49 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: three-fund portfolio vs slice and dice
Replies: 11
Views: 2186

Re: three-fund portfolio vs slice and dice

David Jay wrote:RE: the simplicity argument - I plan to simplify to 3 fund in retirement so I can leave my wife with something she can understand and maintain.
Don't forget there will likely be a huge cost if you plan to simplify in the future -- capital gains taxes. :twisted:
by Postmon
Tue Sep 01, 2015 3:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New SUV, $50G, Pilot/Highlander/Other
Replies: 151
Views: 30920

Re: New SUV, $50G, Pilot/Highlander/Other

CPO Mercedes or Lexus. Vehicles are like new and you likely get a warranty as good as or better than the new ones you're considering. Plus someone else already took the hit on new car depreciation. :beer
by Postmon
Sat Apr 25, 2015 1:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Selling on eBay with local pickup using PayPal - Dangerous?
Replies: 22
Views: 29152

Re: Selling on eBay with local pickup using PayPal - Dangero

I don't want to just refund him the money and cancel the sale, so I am somewhat at a loss at what to do. As Dirty Harry said: "You gotta ask yourself one question. Do you feel lucky? Well, do ya?" :twisted: You could cancel the sale and then you won't have to worry about a chargeback but ...
by Postmon
Sat Apr 25, 2015 11:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Selling on eBay with local pickup using PayPal - Dangerous?
Replies: 22
Views: 29152

Re: Selling on eBay with local pickup using PayPal - Dangero

Although bill of sale or something like that might stand up in court, I don't know why everyone is suggesting that. IT WON'T WORK FOR PAYPAL :oops: . Let's get back to the OP's questions: 1.) Is allowing PayPal payment with local pickup problematic? Not necessarily, but you lose Paypal seller protec...
by Postmon
Sat Apr 25, 2015 7:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Selling on eBay with local pickup using PayPal - Dangerous?
Replies: 22
Views: 29152

Re: Selling on eBay with local pickup using PayPal - Dangero

Below is from the Paypal website. If you want to avoid the chance of a chargeback, I'd do what I suggested earlier. Paypal favors the buyer and I always use cash for an in-person transaction. PayPal Seller Protection. What are the requirements for Seller Protection? Initial Requirements Ship to the ...
by Postmon
Sat Apr 25, 2015 6:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Selling on eBay with local pickup using PayPal - Dangerous?
Replies: 22
Views: 29152

Re: Selling on eBay with local pickup using PayPal - Dangero

I'm not sure if it's still the case, but the only thing Paypal used to accept was a signature confirmation from the carrier for items over $250. So, you were at risk for any pick-up. I'd suggest you check the the ebay website. I'm sure it's spelled out there and on the ebay discussion boards. Other ...
by Postmon
Mon Apr 13, 2015 9:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Engineering as a career for a graduating HS student ?
Replies: 60
Views: 7671

Re: Engineering as a career for a graduating HS student ?

IMHO, I believe that an undergraduate engineering degree (no matter what the field) provides a great foundation for whatever someone decides to do after college even if it's not engineering. An engineering education teaches you how to think and solve problems. If one is decides to pursue a career ou...
by Postmon
Fri Apr 10, 2015 1:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can anyone recommend a good low cost generator?
Replies: 47
Views: 10522

Re: Can anyone recommend a good low cost generator?

I'm not sure there's an advantage to propane either. Anything bigger than a 20 lb tank is not much fun to move around or take for refill. And I don't think a 20 lb tank will last any longer than a 5 gallon gas can. I used to have a portable propane generator and it was great while it lasted. The 20...
by Postmon
Thu Apr 09, 2015 7:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can anyone recommend a good low cost generator?
Replies: 47
Views: 10522

Re: Can anyone recommend a good low cost generator?

Biggest problem for me is when the power goes out, so do the gas pumps. These generators can go through gas quickly and I'm don't like the idea of storing a lot of gas around the house waiting for the next outage. So, even though I'd like to get one, it's not very practical unless you can find a gas...
by Postmon
Sat Apr 04, 2015 8:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy riding mower or hire service to cut grass?
Replies: 56
Views: 12839

Re: Buy riding mower or hire service to cut grass?

As an alternative to the riding mower, how about a wide deck push mower? They're about 30" - 33" wide compared to the the typical 21" - 22" mower. One of these would cut the time down significantly without going the ride-on route.
by Postmon
Mon Mar 23, 2015 5:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: External Hard Drive?
Replies: 44
Views: 12185

Re: External Hard Drive?

I've found Crashplan to be excellent at $60/year for unlimited automatic backups. I do have external hard drives for backup but I just don't back them up as much as I should. :oops: My files are priceless to me so I consider the $60/year to be cheap insurance.
by Postmon
Sat Mar 21, 2015 1:22 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Mother-in-laws portfolio. Need advice.
Replies: 9
Views: 1674

Re: Mother-in-laws portfolio. Need advice.

Are these funds in taxable or tax-deferred accounts? How much in each? What is the cost basis for each of the funds in taxable?
by Postmon
Thu Mar 19, 2015 7:00 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: VXUS [Should I buy Vanguard Total Int'l Index, Total Bond?]
Replies: 13
Views: 2315

Re: VXUS [Should I buy Vanguard Total Int'l Index, Total Bon

With regards to VXUS, is now the time to buy? If you're asset allocation calls for VXUS, then it's the time to buy Not trying to time the market but also don't want to buy at the worst time. I think you're trying to time :wink: ...with rate hikes most likely coming soon? Rate hikes have been "...
by Postmon
Mon Mar 16, 2015 1:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cleaning my back yard?
Replies: 41
Views: 11636

Re: Cleaning my back yard?

Any suggestions on which of these two to buy, or are they pretty much the same? Jomax need to be mixed with Bleach, wheras wet-n-forget need to be mixed with water. I think it's a matter of a harsh chemical with immediate results versus a non-caustic solution that may take some time. What about nap...
by Postmon
Sun Mar 15, 2015 8:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cleaning my back yard?
Replies: 41
Views: 11636

Re: Cleaning my back yard?

Two big advantages of the Wet and Forget are you don't have to scrub (no elbow grease) and it's not caustic. Just spray it on and forget about it. I had a similar situation on our patio and after a month or so all the algae was gone. Don't know if they sell it at HD but you you can get it at Amazon ...
by Postmon
Sat Mar 14, 2015 4:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cleaning my back yard?
Replies: 41
Views: 11636

Re: Cleaning my back yard?

Forget the pressure washer or bleach! Try "Wet & Forget" -- I love this stuff and it's so easy to apply. Just spray it on and no scrubbing. :beer You can get it at Costco. http://wetandforget.com/product_wet_and ... tdoor.html
by Postmon
Tue Mar 10, 2015 9:25 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: International value: worth the fees?
Replies: 24
Views: 4822

Re: International value: worth the fees?

I contribute each month. I do not understand how can one can rationalize paying $8/trade under any circumstance, when commission-free funds are ubiquitous. Depends on what the alternatives are, how much you're investing and how often. If it's say $100/month, I agree. But if the fund is the only one...
by Postmon
Mon Mar 09, 2015 12:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: International value: worth the fees?
Replies: 24
Views: 4822

Re: International value: worth the fees?

rca1824 wrote:Unfortunately Fidelity does not offer EFV under free commission.
It's only $7.95 a trade. Do you plan to trade so much where that will make a difference?
by Postmon
Sun Mar 08, 2015 9:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: finance a car or not
Replies: 28
Views: 3369

Re: finance a car or not

As the dealers have different brand cars, and if the preference were for dealer 1 who has the finance cost and no cash rebate, would you feel the same? Hold on a minute! The most important thing is to first decide on the vehicle that you want, then which dealer to buy it from. If you haven't decide...
by Postmon
Sun Mar 08, 2015 9:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: finance a car or not
Replies: 28
Views: 3369

Re: finance a car or not

I hate debt so if I had an extra $20K available, I'd pay cash and take the $750 rebate. I realize there might be some opportunity cost in financing but I sleep better at night not having to worry about a payment.
by Postmon
Sat Mar 07, 2015 10:14 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: questions about portfolio
Replies: 14
Views: 1323

Re: questions about portfolio

How and what do i compare my portfolio to to see how this advisor did for us since we had them? Thanks What I was getting at is hindsight is 20/20 and it's impossible for ANYONE to predict what the markets are going to do... OP’s question comes from a comment I made earlier about comparing his FA’s...