Search found 2257 matches

by unclescrooge
Wed Aug 15, 2018 5:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Housing affordability - what is your take?
Replies: 70
Views: 5628

Re: Housing affordability - what is your take?

We purchased a home recently in SoCal at 2x our annual gross income. We have mixed income, one high earner, one low earner. We both intend to continue working for the long haul. In the past three months the prices here have gone up 5%. Fortunately for us, we had one unexpected job transition and on...
by unclescrooge
Wed Aug 15, 2018 4:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Housing affordability - what is your take?
Replies: 70
Views: 5628

Re: Housing affordability - what is your take?

Couple things. Seems like you are buying a family house as a single person. You are buying in a ritzy area. $500/sqft is ritzy. ;-). The poorest, cheapest area of London (London Borough of Barking and Dagenham) is c. £500 psf (say USD 650-700). I could show you what USD 500 would buy you here, thin...
by unclescrooge
Tue Aug 14, 2018 4:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?
Replies: 80
Views: 5477

Re: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?

I've always thought I could retire in southern Thailand if I had to.

Gorgeous weather, cheap food and housing, excellent health care.
by unclescrooge
Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: It's not enough to mumble "Stay the Course"... INT'L Investing has been a disaster!
Replies: 266
Views: 15552

Re: It's not enough to mumble "Stay the Course"... INT'L Investing has been a disaster!

Let's talk VGTSX. Straight from Vanguard's own website, growth rate, 4.84% compounded since inception, 4/29/1996. The year is 2018. 22 years. I've said it before and I'll say it again. That is too long a period for such a low growth rate. If you made the same case at 5 or even 10 years, I would not...
by unclescrooge
Sun Aug 12, 2018 9:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Refinishing Exterior Stucco
Replies: 8
Views: 708

Re: Refinishing Exterior Stucco

My father a master craftsman plasterer of 40+ years says you cannot stucco over painted stucco unless you remove the paint first. Once you paint it, you must now always maintain it via additional paint coats. There are bonders and such that claim you can stucco over paint but he says nothing will l...
by unclescrooge
Sun Aug 12, 2018 5:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Get out of syndications?
Replies: 13
Views: 1302

Re: Get out of syndications?

I never thought that residential apartments are "recession proof". I did however, know that self storage and mobile home parks are. This is demonstrably true. During the Great Recession, while stocks plummeted 50%, single family homes plummeted 20-30%, these two asset classes still returned 6-8% in...
by unclescrooge
Sun Aug 12, 2018 2:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Refinishing Exterior Stucco
Replies: 8
Views: 708

Re: Refinishing Exterior Stucco

Looking for advice here. Our home is 50 years old and the exterior stucco on the sides and back of the house had numerous hairline cracks when we moved in 24 years ago. I made matters worse when I tried to patch the cracks, which since I'm no artist, left much to be desired. I painted the house abo...
by unclescrooge
Sun Aug 12, 2018 12:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Housing affordability - what is your take?
Replies: 70
Views: 5628

Re: Housing affordability - what is your take?

Are only very high income dual income people buying real estate in the large metros? Yes. How are single income individuals affording homes with traditional affordability metrics? Or are they using different metrics? They get married or shack up or rent out part of the house or get help from others...
by unclescrooge
Sun Aug 12, 2018 12:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When is leaving your job that pays well a good idea?
Replies: 74
Views: 6708

Re: When is leaving your job that pays well a good idea?

:idea: Studies show that happiness is a U curve throughout ones life. It starts high in the early 20's then declines gradually where it reaches a nadir at 45-50. It peaks again in the 60's. What does this mean? Is it our careers that cause our unhappiness from 25-60? Or is it because our daily stru...
by unclescrooge
Sat Aug 11, 2018 12:49 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard to offer non-Vanguard ETFs commission-free
Replies: 199
Views: 17694

Re: Vanguard to offer non-Vanguard ETFs commission-free

I’ve been hesitant to use Vanguard for taxable brokerage accounts because I feel they have issues with record keeping along with other general issues. I’ve had money go “missing” for a period of time. Anyone else have concerns? Of course, I am concerned. Nothing is free in life. Will their customer...
by unclescrooge
Sat Aug 11, 2018 12:36 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: RDFN and housing market slow down...
Replies: 11
Views: 1332

Re: RDFN and housing market slow down...

Your question is confusing.

What are you asking? Do you want to buy the stock, or use the company's services? I couldn't make out from your post.
by unclescrooge
Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: (NEW) WisdomTree 90/60 U.S. Balanced Fund
Replies: 114
Views: 5950

Re: (NEW) WisdomTree 90/60 U.S. Balanced Fund

Historically since 1930, a portfolio like this would have theoretically had returns about 24% higher than a 100/0 portfolio with 8% less annual volatility. So I think it is interesting in principle. Out of curiosity: link? Here's a link to a backtest in PortfolioVisualizer (with the caveat the quic...
by unclescrooge
Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:27 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Invest in Tesla?
Replies: 322
Views: 20188

Re: TSLA privatization

triceratop wrote:
Wed Aug 08, 2018 5:46 pm
Here is the most informed analysis of the recent TSLA drama: Elon Musk Has Some Fun With Tesla by Matt Levine in Bloomberg
The truth is Elon made $100B from ICOs and he just wants to buy Tesla before the bubble bursts :mrgreen:
by unclescrooge
Thu Aug 09, 2018 11:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: (NEW) WisdomTree 90/60 U.S. Balanced Fund
Replies: 114
Views: 5950

Re: (NEW) WisdomTree 90/60 U.S. Balanced Fund

Historically since 1930, a portfolio like this would have theoretically had returns about 24% higher than a 100/0 portfolio with 8% less annual volatility. So I think it is interesting in principle. Out of curiosity: link? Here's a link to a backtest in PortfolioVisualizer (with the caveat the quic...
by unclescrooge
Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Moving to LA - Tips Wanted
Replies: 26
Views: 2009

Re: Moving to LA - Tips Wanted

If you are looking to rent a 2 BR for around $3,000, I would look at West Los Angeles, west of the 405 Freeway, and south of Santa Monica Boulevard. It's about 30-45 minutes to downtown (depending on when you leave). You will be near the best areas of the City and the beach. I am not sure about the...
by unclescrooge
Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Moving to LA - Tips Wanted
Replies: 26
Views: 2009

Re: Moving to LA - Tips Wanted

How carefully have you looked at the housing market? I think you might have a challenge finding an acceptable place with 2 children for 3k. I guess I'm projecting what I consider acceptable. And also think ahead--do you want to rent forever, or what will you be able to afford to buy? When I lived t...
by unclescrooge
Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Junk Mail
Replies: 28
Views: 2471

Re: Junk Mail

nova1968 wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 11:19 am
Whats so hard about throwing the junk mail in the trash.?
It wastes time. Some people value their time more than others.
by unclescrooge
Tue Aug 07, 2018 6:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Learning to Draw-Online course?
Replies: 8
Views: 600

Re: Learning to Draw-Online course?

Buy a few learn-to-draw books on Amazon and learn by practising your drawing. Commit to 30 min a day and you'll be much better in a year.

No need to do anything else.
by unclescrooge
Tue Aug 07, 2018 1:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is solar power for your home a worthwhile investment?
Replies: 55
Views: 4600

Re: Is solar power for your home a worthwhile investment?

What about the benefit of having power in the event of a power failure? That requires a pricier system I believe? Only if the sun is out or if you pay significantly more for batteries to store the power. Well, of course you need batteries if the sun isn’t out and you want to be self-sufficient. Was...
by unclescrooge
Tue Aug 07, 2018 12:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ten days in Australia
Replies: 17
Views: 1315

Re: Ten days in Australia

Being in Sydney is a great base, as public transport is excellent. Get a Opal Card for ferry and bus transport. Uber is also available. Some suggestions here but I'm sure your family can provide some more info and other areas to explore. Enjoy! 1. Opera House- for photos and tour, if interested. Gr...
by unclescrooge
Tue Aug 07, 2018 12:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ten days in Australia
Replies: 17
Views: 1315

Re: Ten days in Australia

MJS wrote:
Mon Aug 06, 2018 4:11 pm
Perhaps 1.5 & 3.5 are a bit young, but the Taronga Zoo Ferry+Zoo should be memorable. Would they like to learn to walk on a boat & feed a kangaroo?
That sounds like fun!

Thanks!
by unclescrooge
Tue Aug 07, 2018 12:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ten days in Australia
Replies: 17
Views: 1315

Re: Ten days in Australia

bob60014 wrote:
Mon Aug 06, 2018 4:02 pm
We were there for a month in January visiting family also and cant wait to go back.
First we need to know where is the family located? From there we can guide you better. As said, it's a big country!
They are in Sydney.
by unclescrooge
Mon Aug 06, 2018 2:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ten days in Australia
Replies: 17
Views: 1315

Re: Ten days in Australia

We have family in Australia. Largely depend on them and public transportation to get around. Unless you are traveling out of the city I would avoid renting a vehicle. On our most recent visit we all went in to the outback and rented a large SUV once we flew into Alice Springs. Renting the vehicle u...
by unclescrooge
Sun Aug 05, 2018 4:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best way to lose $200 in taxable income?
Replies: 96
Views: 6700

Re: Best way to lose $200 in taxable income?

Can you start a company and deduct start up costs?
by unclescrooge
Sun Aug 05, 2018 1:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ten days in Australia
Replies: 17
Views: 1315

Ten days in Australia

Wife and I are planning to spend ten days in Australia in October. We'll be flying into Sydney to visit family. We'll be staying with them for a few days, but also want to see other places. Considering that we'll have our 3.5 and 1.5 year old kids, what are the best ways to optimize the trip? What a...
by unclescrooge
Sat Aug 04, 2018 7:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How does one become a financial advisor?
Replies: 34
Views: 2258

Re: How does one become a financial advisor?

If you are a bogleheads disciple then it would be very hard to make a living as a financial advisor. They make their money from commission and actively managing a portfolio. There is no golden goose to make money from after you tell the client to buy 3 or 4 index funds and maybe rebalance once a ye...
by unclescrooge
Sat Aug 04, 2018 1:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is solar power for your home a worthwhile investment?
Replies: 55
Views: 4600

Re: Is solar power for your home a worthwhile investment?

BolderBoy wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 9:58 pm
unclescrooge wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 5:32 pm
I pay 48 cents per kilo watt during the super peak hours in summer, and 39 cents in winter.
Gracious, where do you live?
California.
by unclescrooge
Fri Aug 03, 2018 6:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First Home, quadplex???
Replies: 15
Views: 1427

Re: First Home, quadplex???

Do you want to operate a small business as a landlord? At least to get started do you mind having your customers (tenants) living next to you? They will knock on your door at 1 AM when the toilet clogs but you can also call the police yourself if they are partying loudly at 1 AM. Once you are past ...
by unclescrooge
Fri Aug 03, 2018 6:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: HELOC
Replies: 20
Views: 1335

Re: HELOC

5. Deters frivolous lawsuits

If you look like you're mortgaged to the hilt, attorneys are less likely to take contingency based cases without merit
by unclescrooge
Fri Aug 03, 2018 5:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is solar power for your home a worthwhile investment?
Replies: 55
Views: 4600

Re: Is solar power for your home a worthwhile investment?

For those who want to benefit the planet, an equivalent gift to a rainforest charity will do far more good. Just slowing the spread of logging or palm oil plantations. The cost to save 1 tonne of pollutants can be less than 5 dollars. If you live in US northwest your electricity is likely already p...
by unclescrooge
Fri Aug 03, 2018 5:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is solar power for your home a worthwhile investment?
Replies: 55
Views: 4600

Re: Is solar power for your home a worthwhile investment?

I pay 48 cents per kilo watt during the super peak hours in summer, and 39 cents in winter.

There is also a 10% tax on top of this.

I just got solar last year. The pay back is 3.6 years after federal tax incentives.

No brainier.
by unclescrooge
Fri Aug 03, 2018 12:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Impact of higher property taxes on home price
Replies: 45
Views: 2290

Re: Impact of higher property taxes on home price

" most of us will have a smaller tax bill" Only true for everyone except homeowners in high tax states.. .. Their federal tax owned maybe less, total out of pocket costs will increase... Not sure I agree. I live in California, and won't get to deduct over $20k of state taxes under the new law. Also...
by unclescrooge
Thu Aug 02, 2018 6:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Impact of higher property taxes on home price
Replies: 45
Views: 2290

Re: Impact of higher property taxes on home price

It absolutely should have an impact to house prices. In an efficient market, that impact would happen somewhat immediately, but real estate is generally slower moving. It's my belief that the tax law changes (remember the change to mortgage interest as well) hasn't propagated through the market - a...
by unclescrooge
Thu Aug 02, 2018 6:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Impact of higher property taxes on home price
Replies: 45
Views: 2290

Re: Impact of higher property taxes on home price

If I was selling my house it wouldn't have any impact. You only get to set the asking price, not the selling price. I get to set the minimum price I'm willing to sell for, though, and that's really all that matters. I'm a little confused by this. What if your municipality announced that they were r...
by unclescrooge
Thu Aug 02, 2018 10:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Impact of higher property taxes on home price
Replies: 45
Views: 2290

Re: Impact of higher property taxes on home price

It would factor into my decision to purchase a home.

However, since these costs continue into retirement, I would lower my purchase price by the difference divided by a 3% discount rate, since that's the yield on the 10 year treasury.
by unclescrooge
Thu Aug 02, 2018 12:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which offer to accept on vacant land?
Replies: 17
Views: 1857

Re: Which offer to accept on vacant land?

Depends on how quickly you want to close. If you want to be to rid of the property, the 2nd choice is best.

If you want to hold out for the most money, then choice 3. The builder backing out may be a function of it not suiting his needs and less of a function of his bring untrustworthy.
by unclescrooge
Wed Aug 01, 2018 11:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Worth it to get 300 Mbps internet?
Replies: 61
Views: 36044

Re: Worth it to get 300 Mbps internet?

Howdy y'all - I'm toying with the idea of getting the fastest available internet speed from the local cable provider -- "up to" 300 Mbps. Currently I'm getting up to 100 Mbps, for $55 a month. (I did a speed test last night and found that my actual download speed was 58 Mbps) The 300 Mbps option wo...
by unclescrooge
Tue Jul 31, 2018 10:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why I left Wealthfront
Replies: 31
Views: 8619

Re: Why I left Wealthfront

I recently put a few bucks into M1 finance. They've been mentioned previously on this board for lowering their management fees to 0%, and seem to geared towards buy-and-hold investors who use a fixed asset allocation. The automatic investment of newly deposited cash into funds that are under your s...
by unclescrooge
Tue Jul 31, 2018 10:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Hold one stock 25 years
Replies: 68
Views: 6028

Re: Hold one stock 25 years

Hard to say..what the future holds.... i have held Coke,Mcdonalds ,Walmart for about 25 years. People have to eat. Mcdonalds outpaced the other two. :happy I agree. If I had to own one stock, it would have to be either food and beverage, or a consumer staple. Can't rely on tech stocks no matter how...
by unclescrooge
Tue Jul 31, 2018 3:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: High expense ratio worth it/Portfolio review
Replies: 48
Views: 3410

Re: High expense ratio worth it?

Hey everyone, first time poster here, long time lurker on the forums. I had a question about our current investment strategy that wanted to get your opinion on. Some background, I am 33, married, no kids. I have an individual IRA that has rollovers from previous employment, a SEP IRA that I am curr...
by unclescrooge
Mon Jul 30, 2018 12:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Air Conditioning? [How to finance?]
Replies: 76
Views: 4882

Re: Air Conditioning? [How to finance?]

One of the things to compare with your bids is the size of AC unit specified. There is an epidemic in my opinion of installers using units that are too big. They make more money that way, and they never have to be accused of under-cooling a job, so they have incentive to pitch larger systems than i...
by unclescrooge
Fri Jul 27, 2018 5:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Toughest Purchase of my Life. Engagement Ring time
Replies: 207
Views: 9240

Re: Toughest Purchase of my Life. Engagement Ring time

I bought a loose 1 carat vvs2 round cut diamond from blue Nile. I then bought the empty ring at Robbins Brothers and had them set it it.

The benefit is they offer free ring cleaning, something your wife will want to do every 12-18 months.
by unclescrooge
Fri Jul 27, 2018 5:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to make opened bottles of wine last longer
Replies: 38
Views: 2851

Re: How to make opened bottles of wine last longer

I've started buying cans of wine. About 1.5-2 glasses in each can. Not bad for $2.99.
by unclescrooge
Wed Jul 25, 2018 7:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: ESPP - Optimum Holding Period, Taxes & Fees?
Replies: 11
Views: 718

Re: ESPP - Optimum Holding Period, Taxes & Fees?

Stock vests. Sell within miliseconds of settled shares. When the stock takes an unexpected 20% dive, you don't care. (before learning my lesson, I had my shares dive 75%) Don't let the tax tail wag the dog. I'd rather pay 33% tax on a big gain than 0% tax on a big loss. Having been there, I can say...
by unclescrooge
Wed Jul 25, 2018 3:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why is leveraging property good but leveraging stocks bad?
Replies: 206
Views: 14965

Re: Why is leveraging property good but leveraging stocks bad?

Housing is typically less volatile than equities, so the risk of leverage is lower overall. However, as we saw in the 2008 housing bubble, housing can still experience large drops and we witnessed many people who were over leveraged get wiped out in the subsequent crisis. You're almost there. Resid...
by unclescrooge
Wed Jul 25, 2018 11:22 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why is leveraging property good but leveraging stocks bad?
Replies: 206
Views: 14965

Re: Why is leveraging property good but leveraging stocks bad?

Housing is typically less volatile than equities, so the risk of leverage is lower overall. However, as we saw in the 2008 housing bubble, housing can still experience large drops and we witnessed many people who were over leveraged get wiped out in the subsequent crisis. You're almost there. Resid...
by unclescrooge
Wed Jul 25, 2018 11:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Please help me understand this EOB
Replies: 18
Views: 1496

Re: Please help me understand this EOB

Update: OP here. Stopped at the provider's office. Woman in the office looks in their system and says it is not denied and is still being processed. I argue with her saying it states right on the EOB that it is denied. Supervisor (I presume) intervenes, looks at it, says EOBs are issued before the ...
by unclescrooge
Tue Jul 24, 2018 5:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House appraisal by township for property tax
Replies: 13
Views: 1075

Re: House appraisal by township for property tax

Thank goodness for prop 13 in California.

Don't think I could stomach an extra $13.5k in property taxes!