Search found 2197 matches

by unclescrooge
Thu Jul 19, 2018 1:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New book based on Millionaire Next Door
Replies: 39
Views: 5561

Re: New book based on Millionaire Next Door

The assumption that doctors, lawyers et cetera are wealthy because of their professions and often aren't because of student debt, the delay into the workforce and the image they often feel they need to project was excellent. I knew this to be true at about age 19. I was putting myself through colle...
by unclescrooge
Thu Jul 19, 2018 12:59 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: In defense of short-term treasuries
Replies: 89
Views: 4828

Re: In defense of short-term treasuries

Historical returns, from beginning of 2008 bear market (Oct 9 2007): https://i.imgur.com/wdIzo72.png VFISX: ST Trs VFITX: IT Trs VUSTX: LT Trs VTSAX: US TSM The return spread demonstrated above is such that the max drawdown figures provided above are called into question. Good graphic. Clearly show...
by unclescrooge
Wed Jul 18, 2018 11:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Salary vs. Lifestyle
Replies: 63
Views: 5118

Re: Salary vs. Lifestyle

I realize that this is a very subjective matter, but after reading one of the threads regarding early retirement, I noticed they recurring theme: Enjoying life while you can (having more time for "living in the sunlight" - hobbies, taking walks, exercising and spending time with family). I thankful...
by unclescrooge
Tue Jul 17, 2018 8:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Going solar?
Replies: 73
Views: 5448

Re: Going solar?

What was the point? You're bills were so low to begin with. Just wanted to be green? I, for one, have thanks for the early adopters. Good on ya, mate. Thanks. We were building a new house with lots of (at the time) cutting edge green features. No one could tell us what our bills might be or what re...
by unclescrooge
Tue Jul 17, 2018 11:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Going solar?
Replies: 73
Views: 5448

Re: Going solar?

We spent a lot on everything, particularly green technologies. At the time no one could give us any real estimate of what we would save, we knew it wasn’t that economical but were interested in being a guinea pig for upscale use of green technologies, which were uncommon in our area at that time. W...
by unclescrooge
Tue Jul 17, 2018 11:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Water leaking from skylight window - Roofer cannot find cause!
Replies: 10
Views: 613

Re: Water leaking from skylight window - Roofer cannot find cause!

Replace with a solar tube. Much easier to keep water tight than sky lights with corners.
by unclescrooge
Mon Jul 16, 2018 10:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Going solar?
Replies: 73
Views: 5448

Re: Going solar?

We spent a lot on everything, particularly green technologies. At the time no one could give us any real estimate of what we would save, we knew it wasn’t that economical but were interested in being a guinea pig for upscale use of green technologies, which were uncommon in our area at that time. W...
by unclescrooge
Mon Jul 16, 2018 8:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Going solar?
Replies: 73
Views: 5448

Re: Going solar?

What technical problems did you face? Since there are zero moving parts in an electrical system, I have a had time understanding why there would be any issues after the initial burn-in period. As a comparison, I spent $18k before 30% tax credit and save about $200-$300 per month. How did this make ...
by unclescrooge
Sun Jul 15, 2018 6:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bears!!!
Replies: 59
Views: 4525

Re: Bears!!!

Could you use bright lights as a deterrent?
by unclescrooge
Sun Jul 15, 2018 5:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pitfalls of real estate investing
Replies: 39
Views: 4004

Re: Pitfalls of real estate investing

Thank you all for the replies! It's been a busy week, and apologies for not being very active. Sad news (from my point of view), is that my dad actually made a couple purchases and now is a Detroit real estate investor. Good news (from my point of view, again), is that he's getting a property manag...
by unclescrooge
Sun Jul 15, 2018 4:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How often do you buy a primary residence?
Replies: 46
Views: 3720

Re: How often do you buy a primary residence?

We did a lot of searching before buying and found the following - even if the 10yrs old house is really good the price is still 10-15% lower than the new one. ... Our neighbors spent 5 years in their new house then sold it and moved to another brand new house ... "We bought the original house for $...
by unclescrooge
Sun Jul 15, 2018 10:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Would you trade experiences in your youth for early retirement
Replies: 81
Views: 5136

Re: Would you trade experiences in your youth for early retirement

If I could go back and take back 50% of the dollars I wasted on alcohol at bars and clubs in my 20s to pad my retirement accounts, I would do it in a heartbeat. Or marrying my first wife... While my first marriage was a financial drain, I'm not sure I would exchange the experience. It wasn't all ba...
by unclescrooge
Sat Jul 14, 2018 12:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should we sell our business?
Replies: 61
Views: 4709

Re: Should we sell our business?

Assuming it went through tomorrow, 3.8M in liquid assets and 700k in real estate in your late 40's for a total NW of 4.5M? Yup, sounds like a dream come true to me. Bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Sell it and enjoy your early retirement. That does sound great. But at the same time, build...
by unclescrooge
Sat Jul 14, 2018 12:08 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The value of international stocks, in pictures
Replies: 62
Views: 7370

Re: The value of international stocks, in pictures

International stocks... Higher volatility More explicit risks, in terms of sovereignty issues, currency risk etc.. Higher costs and tax implications For better or worse, it isn't going to track with U.S. benchmark If you recognize all that, and feel compelled that you need some allocation to it for...
by unclescrooge
Sat Jul 14, 2018 12:07 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The value of international stocks, in pictures
Replies: 62
Views: 7370

Re: The value of international stocks, in pictures

To my mind, the dissection of past returns in this case has only limited information value about possible futures. About all we can say is that international and domestic stocks behaved differently in the past. Future returns are unknown. Instead of the "past returns" argument, I'd like to highligh...
by unclescrooge
Tue Jul 10, 2018 5:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Going solar?
Replies: 73
Views: 5448

Re: Going solar?

We spent a lot on everything, particularly green technologies. At the time no one could give us any real estimate of what we would save, we knew it wasn’t that economical but were interested in being a guinea pig for upscale use of green technologies, which were uncommon in our area at that time. W...
by unclescrooge
Tue Jul 10, 2018 5:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is there any reason to invest in real estate?
Replies: 100
Views: 10474

Re: Is there any reason to invest in real estate?

To me that is a feature, not a bug. There is no way for me to put my own labor into stocks and REITs. I work 100 hours, get 10000 bucks and buy stocks. Isn't that putting labor into stocks?:) Now I will say it is a lot easier to generate alpha in real estate investing than by being a stock market p...
by unclescrooge
Tue Jul 10, 2018 12:43 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Target date funds....unsophisticated?
Replies: 64
Views: 4505

Re: Target date funds....unsophisticated?

You'll be fine in this unsophisticated fund.

Personally, I slice and dice, but my returns may be a tiny bit higher for considerably more work.

When it comes to investing, unsophisticated usually trumps sophisticated strategies.
by unclescrooge
Tue Jul 10, 2018 12:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Going solar?
Replies: 73
Views: 5448

Re: Going solar?

When you get solar, you don't have to worry about every time you want to turn the AC on to cool off. We're in a high electrical cost area and without solar, we'd be hot a lot more often. Yes, we could afford to pay the AC bill, but paying for solar and making use of it is a nice feeling. We haven't...
by unclescrooge
Tue Jul 10, 2018 12:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Swimming Pool (in-ground) Restoration Advice?
Replies: 8
Views: 1424

Re: Swimming Pool (in-ground) Restoration Advice?

I had new tile installed in our pool when we bought our house. After a few years, it seemed like they were falling off sooner than they should. A contractor told me it was because I had concrete decking around the pool that was all one piece -- it extended from the walkway around the pool out a cou...
by unclescrooge
Tue Jul 10, 2018 12:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cost of adding AC and change pipes to old house
Replies: 12
Views: 957

Re: Cost of adding AC and change pipes to old house

Get some quotes from a reputable HVAC contractor. They should be able to tell you if you need a new electrical panel to support central AC and if the ductwork is sufficient or not. My wild guess would be 10-20k. But that's assuming the ductwork is good enough. +1 Get 10 quotes. You'll learn a lot i...
by unclescrooge
Sun Jul 08, 2018 12:40 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: M* article on Taylor Larimore
Replies: 6
Views: 1696

Re: M* article on Taylor Larimore

Which brings me to a suggestion. The three-fund portfolio, to be sure, is simple to implement. But it would be simpler yet if it were a one-fund portfolio. It strikes me that Vanguard might do its investors a favor by bundling Taylor's three funds into a single offering: Vanguard Total Index Fund. ...
by unclescrooge
Sat Jul 07, 2018 2:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What rate of return are you using for retirement projections?
Replies: 99
Views: 8859

Re: What rate of return are you using for retirement projections?

averagedude wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 9:19 am
The projections i am using are somewhat conservative:
Stocks. 3.5% real return
Bonds. 0.5% real return
Cash. 0.0% real return

With your portfolio using these numbers will give you a 1.6% real return.
Similar.
+4%
0%
-0.5%
by unclescrooge
Sat Jul 07, 2018 2:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: M* article on Taylor Larimore
Replies: 6
Views: 1696

Re: M* article on Taylor Larimore

Which brings me to a suggestion. The three-fund portfolio, to be sure, is simple to implement. But it would be simpler yet if it were a one-fund portfolio. It strikes me that Vanguard might do its investors a favor by bundling Taylor's three funds into a single offering: Vanguard Total Index Fund. ...
by unclescrooge
Sat Jul 07, 2018 1:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda Accord Maintenance at 3 Years - Am I Getting Hosed?
Replies: 95
Views: 5359

Re: Honda Accord Maintenance at 3 Years - Am I Getting Hosed?

+1 I'd buy cabin and air filters from Amazon or Walmart and do it myself. If you are a Costco member, I find their 15% off dealer parts and service program to be good (you have to sign up for it in Costco website). I usually go to the dealer only for brake fluid change or say transmission fluid cha...
by unclescrooge
Fri Jul 06, 2018 8:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Going solar?
Replies: 73
Views: 5448

Re: Going solar?

We installed a 10Kw system on a house we built in 2006-7. No state incentives, it cost $100K at the time. And it saved me maybe $70/month in electicity. I don't think we got a premium for the house when we sold it due to the solar. It was alway kludgy, sometimes under repair for weeks at a time. I ...
by unclescrooge
Fri Jul 06, 2018 12:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k fees...what's "too high?"
Replies: 50
Views: 3166

Re: 401k fees...what's "too high?"

There are fees, your employer is just paying them. No one is providing record keeping, custodial, plan administration, compliance testing services for free. Perhaps, I don't know. It's the only thing I was able to pick up from the prospectus and it's the only thing charged yearly to me on my statem...
by unclescrooge
Fri Jul 06, 2018 12:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Invest less and pay down mortgage ?
Replies: 23
Views: 1636

Re: Invest less and pay down mortgage ?

And maybe stop reading these doomsday predictions - that might make you feel better too. Considering that 2000-2009 was a lost decade for stocks, I wouldn't call it a "doomsday prediction" to say that it could happen again. In fact, in more than 10% of the historic 10 year periods, stocks have lost...
by unclescrooge
Fri Jul 06, 2018 12:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: how to diagnose problem with cable internet speed
Replies: 27
Views: 2212

Re: how to diagnose problem with cable internet speed

I have a somewhat similar issue. The speed is mostly fine, except when it drops to zero. Usually returns to normal in about 7-10 minutes. Happens at least once a day, more frequently on the weekend.

How do I even troubleshoot the issue?
by unclescrooge
Fri Jul 06, 2018 12:00 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k fees...what's "too high?"
Replies: 50
Views: 3166

Re: 401k fees...what's "too high?"

Why does an employer even HAVE an investment committee? None of this makes any sense. My investments and my retirement should be between me and my chosen mutual fund company. I am flabbergasted that so many people in this thread act like this is normal. Because of ERISA law. The employer is respons...
by unclescrooge
Thu Jul 05, 2018 11:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Selling a car - How to verify funds
Replies: 22
Views: 2159

Re: Selling a car - How to verify funds

That moved fast! LMBFlorida, you are a person of action. In future, would you feel comfortable using a payment app such as PayPal, GooglePay, etc? When I have used them, each one gave confirmation of payment. Definitely not. I had my account drained by unauthorized PayPal transfers, and ACH transfe...
by unclescrooge
Thu Jul 05, 2018 11:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Swimming Pool (in-ground) Restoration Advice?
Replies: 8
Views: 1424

Re: Swimming Pool (in-ground) Restoration Advice?

I had new tile installed in our pool when we bought our house. After a few years, it seemed like they were falling off sooner than they should. A contractor told me it was because I had concrete decking around the pool that was all one piece -- it extended from the walkway around the pool out a cou...
by unclescrooge
Thu Jul 05, 2018 11:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k fees...what's "too high?"
Replies: 50
Views: 3166

Re: 401k fees...what's "too high?"

Handle it for free? How about testing and compliance on the plan doc. C'mon man. Mutual fund companies make money through the expense ratio of the mutual funds that they sell. As I've asked before, does an IRA have the same fee? I'm honestly curious. And to be clear, maybe none of this is the fault...
by unclescrooge
Thu Jul 05, 2018 10:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k fees...what's "too high?"
Replies: 50
Views: 3166

Re: 401k fees...what's "too high?"

stocknoob4111 wrote:
Thu Jul 05, 2018 5:52 pm
for comparison my 401k charges 0.25% per year as "advisor fees", no other fees are charged. My employer uses Fidelity.
There are fees, your employer is just paying them.
No one is providing record keeping, custodial, plan administration, compliance testing services for free.
by unclescrooge
Thu Jul 05, 2018 3:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k fees...what's "too high?"
Replies: 50
Views: 3166

Re: 401k fees...what's "too high?"

We're missing a relevant data point here on the overall size of the plan. But if this plan is under 15 mil total that's very reasonable and I could make the case that Vanguard is the largest hog at the trough. All they are doing is running the mutual fund, not recordkeeping contributions, maintaini...
by unclescrooge
Thu Jul 05, 2018 3:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k fees...what's "too high?"
Replies: 50
Views: 3166

Re: 401k fees...what's "too high?"

We're missing a relevant data point here on the overall size of the plan. But if this plan is under 15 mil total that's very reasonable and I could make the case that Vanguard is the largest hog at the trough. All they are doing is running the mutual fund, not recordkeeping contributions, maintaini...
by unclescrooge
Thu Jul 05, 2018 3:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k fees...what's "too high?"
Replies: 50
Views: 3166

Re: 401k fees...what's "too high?"

We're missing a relevant data point here on the overall size of the plan. But if this plan is under 15 mil total that's very reasonable and I could make the case that Vanguard is the largest hog at the trough. All they are doing is running the mutual fund, not recordkeeping contributions, maintaini...
by unclescrooge
Thu Jul 05, 2018 1:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k fees...what's "too high?"
Replies: 50
Views: 3166

Re: 401k fees...what's "too high?"

Interesting. Both of my previous and current 401k plans charge a flat admin fee (currently $10/quarter with Vanguard). My wife's 401k is also with Vanguard with a flat fee ($13/quarter). These fees are somewhat made up for by access to Vanguard Institutional funds with lower expense ratios than Inv...
by unclescrooge
Thu Jul 05, 2018 10:42 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Financial Advisor: Jazz Wealth (CRD #282807)
Replies: 21
Views: 984

Re: Financial Advisor: Jazz Wealth (CRD #282807)

Personally, I wouldn't trust my money to anyone with a soul patch.

:mrgreen:
by unclescrooge
Wed Jul 04, 2018 5:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What a high-fee financial advisor really offers as a value proposition
Replies: 17
Views: 1717

Re: What a high-fee financial advisor really offers as a value proposition

After I got slapped on the wrist a few months ago for outlining several attempts at a sales pitch from a high fee retail broker, well.. I won’t do that again here. What I will do is to attempt to identify the value propositions of the sales pitch. I got a cold call last week by one of the big names...
by unclescrooge
Wed Jul 04, 2018 1:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Monthly Water Usage
Replies: 61
Views: 3953

Re: Monthly Water Usage

The quantities of water used listed above seem outrageously high to me. My household usage over the last five years has averaged 1 ccf (748 gallons) per adult per month. And based on habits I believe it could be lower. This usage includes: 1. Use dishwasher to clean dishes. Cleaning by hand uses mu...
by unclescrooge
Tue Jul 03, 2018 5:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Neighbor's drainage issue causing problems
Replies: 54
Views: 3786

Re: Neighbor's drainage issue causing problems

BobTexas wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 7:19 am
Just walk over and ask at the front desk and show your pictures. Someone there takes care of property issues. I would start by trying to get them to clean it out.
Ask the receptionist for the facilities manager/supervisor or property manager.
by unclescrooge
Mon Jul 02, 2018 12:38 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where To Invest College Money Short Term
Replies: 10
Views: 1100

Re: Where To Invest College Money Short Term

trf215 wrote:
Sun Jul 01, 2018 2:19 pm
...I would like a return of about 1 1/2% to 2% and if the market tanks we are willing to risk a loss of 5% to 10% on this money.
What's your marginal tax bracket?

Have you considered Muni bonds?
by unclescrooge
Sun Jul 01, 2018 11:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do you own just 5% of anything?
Replies: 65
Views: 4723

Re: Do you own just 5% of anything?

Gold, gold miners and commodity fund make up 6%.

Chinese tech fund make up another 5%.
by unclescrooge
Sun Jul 01, 2018 11:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Building a Pool
Replies: 64
Views: 7188

Re: Building a Pool

DO IT! If you can pay cash, the money to maintain the pool probably won't effect you. We put ours in a little over 5 years ago. We only use our pool from May to September (no heater either), but the kids love it and I personally love it. We paid cash, but ours was only 12k cause we did it all ourse...
by unclescrooge
Fri Jun 29, 2018 12:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage deductibility on HELOC
Replies: 9
Views: 520

Re: Mortgage deductibility on HELOC

I have two completely different questions. 1. If I take out a HELOC and use the proceeds as a down payment on an investment property, can I deduct the interest against the income against said investment property? You should always be able to deduct business interest provided you have enough income ...
by unclescrooge
Fri Jun 29, 2018 12:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage deductibility on HELOC
Replies: 9
Views: 520

Re: Mortgage deductibility on HELOC

I have two completely different questions. 1. If I take out a HELOC and use the proceeds as a down payment on an investment property, can I deduct the interest against the income against said investment property? You should always be able to deduct business interest provided you have enough income ...
by unclescrooge
Fri Jun 29, 2018 12:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Loan to Max Out 401(k)
Replies: 28
Views: 1610

Re: Loan to Max Out 401(k)

You could contribute the max and then take a 401k loan to pay for your fancy city lifestyle. This is definitely better than taking a high interest personal loan. It may be a better idea, but that does not make it a good idea. :) I thought the comment was more sarcasism than a true suggestion. It mi...
by unclescrooge
Fri Jun 29, 2018 11:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is your debt interest rate threshold?
Replies: 57
Views: 3394

Re: What is your debt interest rate threshold?

I wouldn't borrow money unless I could borrow for 2.5%. Although, if the market crashed 30% tomorrow, I'd take a personal loan from the bank and invest it in the stock market. In fact, in early 2010 I took out some student loans at 6.5% and invested in the stock market. I was finishing up the MBA pr...
by unclescrooge
Fri Jun 29, 2018 9:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage deductibility on HELOC
Replies: 9
Views: 520

Mortgage deductibility on HELOC

I have two completely different questions. 1. If I take out a HELOC and use the proceeds as a down payment on an investment property, can I deduct the interest against the income against said investment property? 2. If my primary residence has two loans, the first $900k at 4% and the second HELOC (w...