Search found 1228 matches

by rjbraun
Sun Sep 16, 2018 11:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I sell my MacBook pro?
Replies: 18
Views: 1547

Re: Should I sell my MacBook pro?

Assuming you are able to wipe off all your personal information in a secure manner, why not? You have nothing to lose. That is a concern I have. How certain can one be that everything is completely and absolutely removed from a device / computer / etc.? SO opted to not sell his MacBook Pro when he ...
by rjbraun
Tue Sep 11, 2018 3:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: MBA vs Home Ownership
Replies: 24
Views: 1989

Re: MBA vs Home Ownership

You wrote that you would attend the MBA program part-time. In that case, would you not plan to continue with your current job and earn the corresponding salary? Without knowing exact details of your current situation, I would suggest staying in the workforce and attending part-time (at night, most l...
by rjbraun
Tue Sep 11, 2018 1:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Working for a municipality
Replies: 26
Views: 2415

Re: Working for a municipality

Re-post: The folks here who have worked for munis, or the like, any tips on acing the interview? This job is WAY out of my league, I have the years of experience and the knowledge but lack the management experience they prefer. I have no doubt I can help the department succeed and lead the people w...
by rjbraun
Mon Sep 10, 2018 2:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Singing/Voice Classes
Replies: 20
Views: 1318

Re: Singing/Voice Classes

I took singing lessons with the hope they would help my piano playing. My limited singing range made it very difficult for me to sing / hum the melody while practicing piano. Also, I figured that voice lessons would help to improve my breathing and overall speaking, even for non-musical activities. ...
by rjbraun
Thu Sep 06, 2018 11:05 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Got a Question for the Experts Panel at the Bogleheads Conference?
Replies: 44
Views: 9579

Re: Got a Question for the Experts Panel at the Bogleheads Conference?

Vanguard has clearly experienced tremendous growth in assets in the recent past. Posters have relayed problems, quite significant, at times, that they have encountered with fund companies, including Vanguard. What can personal investors watch for proactively to make sure their fund companies are wel...
by rjbraun
Tue Sep 04, 2018 7:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Got a Question for the Experts Panel at the Bogleheads Conference?
Replies: 44
Views: 9579

Re: Got a Question for the Experts Panel at the Bogleheads Conference?

All else equal, should one diversify the institutions where his or her assets reside? Assuming one already has an account (or accounts) at Vanguard, which other institution(s) should one consider and why?

Thank you.
by rjbraun
Tue Aug 28, 2018 1:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Body language coach?
Replies: 26
Views: 2881

Re: Body language coach?

Consider taking an improv class. I have taken them in the past, though I am not familiar with the program shown below.

http://steelcityimprov.com/classes/
by rjbraun
Wed Aug 22, 2018 8:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Designing floor plan for furniture layout
Replies: 15
Views: 975

Re: Designing floor plan for furniture layout

Thank you for all the feedback and referrals. As I am under some time constraints with this particular project, I went ahead and did it the old-fashioned way, on paper, as some people suggested. Still, it was good to know that there's no "magic bullet" to getting this done, it seems. I do have a lar...
by rjbraun
Wed Aug 22, 2018 8:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Varying college costs across kids in the same family
Replies: 92
Views: 5141

Re: Varying college costs across kids in the same family

My parents pretty much covered 75% of all undergraduate costs (tuition as well as room, board, books, (fixed) spending money, etc.) and expected me to pay 25%, for which they were prepared to "loan" me the money. They were not wealthy but put a top priority on education and saved accordingly. As far...
by rjbraun
Mon Aug 20, 2018 2:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Designing floor plan for furniture layout
Replies: 15
Views: 975

Re: Designing floor plan for furniture layout

Use a piece of graph paper and outline the room dimensions, doors, windows, etc. Then from the same scale paper draw and cut-out scale representations of the furniture you have. That should take you about 30 minutes or so. Now sit down at a table with your room and furniture representations and pla...
by rjbraun
Mon Aug 20, 2018 2:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Designing floor plan for furniture layout
Replies: 15
Views: 975

Re: Designing floor plan for furniture layout

http://www.planyourroom.com/ Cheers Thanks. Maybe it's me, but I don't find the site so easy to use; it's kind of "temperamental" and would close me out of what I was working on. Do you know if there's a way to create a room that has more than four sides? Namely, while the room I'm designing for is...
by rjbraun
Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Designing floor plan for furniture layout
Replies: 15
Views: 975

Designing floor plan for furniture layout

I'm just looking for something simple and easy to use. I have the room and furniture dimensions and would like something to help me try out and visualize different layouts. Is there an online website that can do this, for free?
by rjbraun
Fri Aug 17, 2018 1:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: physics/math major looking for programmer/analyst job?
Replies: 89
Views: 5564

Re: physics/math major looking for programmer/analyst job?

How well does he interview? Is it possible that he's not coming across well in interviews and that perhaps some coaching on that front could help to move things along? At a minimum, does he have a good handle on why he's getting passed over? It's been a long time since I've interviewed for an entry-...
by rjbraun
Thu Aug 16, 2018 1:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Civil service: Long Shot Interview.. Would you go?
Replies: 33
Views: 3665

Re: Civil service: Long Shot Interview.. Would you go?

Please tell me you scribbled down the questions post interview as a cheat sheet for if you don't get it and another opportunity like this comes up. Obviously I am late to the party, but most people in life have a tendency to succumb, at least a little, to impostor syndrome, which shouldn't be confu...
by rjbraun
Thu Aug 16, 2018 12:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: WSJ: NYU makes tuition free for all medical students
Replies: 2
Views: 1067

WSJ: NYU makes tuition free for all medical students

The NYU website says as much and is linked below, as I realize that the WSJ article is likely not accessible to all. The "full-tuition scholarships" will be offered "regardless of merit or financial need" (subject to maintaining acceptable academic standing, of course). Interesting development. I wo...
by rjbraun
Thu Aug 16, 2018 11:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Barclay Card with American Airlines
Replies: 16
Views: 1184

Re: Barclay Card with American Airlines

A Barclay card I had previously was, I think, the Barclay Arrival card. My recollection is that it was indeed a "chip and PIN" card that we used successfully to buy train tickets from machines in Europe. I'm pretty sure I am correct, as I vaguely recollection that this feature was the one reason I h...
by rjbraun
Wed Aug 15, 2018 3:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credi card balance transfer offer
Replies: 10
Views: 994

Re: Credit card balance transfer offer

App-o-rama (AKA credit card arbitrage) was a thing before the financial crisis. At my peak I had close to 300K in high yield savings accounts; the banks lent me a multiple of my annual income, unsecured, with no interest or fees. I still take the free money when offered--why not?--though the amount...
by rjbraun
Wed Aug 15, 2018 3:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credi card balance transfer offer
Replies: 10
Views: 994

Re: Credi card balance transfer offer

The spread used to be juicier, 0% with no fee, and you could safely earn 5% . Good times. Today the margins are slimmer. I churn credit cards, and quite often the ones that have a good bonus also happen to have a 0% purchase APR period for 6 months to 15 months. So I just send minimum payments unti...
by rjbraun
Wed Aug 15, 2018 11:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are merchants more (too) careless these days?
Replies: 24
Views: 2265

Re: Are merchants more (too) careless these days?

mortfree wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 2:55 am
Seems like excessive shopping in a short period of time for BH standards.

:mrgreen:
Ha! You're right. Most of the shopping ties to a current photo project I happen to be working on. :)
by rjbraun
Wed Aug 15, 2018 11:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are merchants more (too) careless these days?
Replies: 24
Views: 2265

Re: Are merchants more (too) careless these days?

An interesting reply to my self is that companies are seeking to drive up productivity to reduce labour costs. Amazon is famous for this. That pushes workers to work harder, and they make more mistakes. The equivalent of speeding up a car production line, where quality control is not measured. If A...
by rjbraun
Tue Aug 14, 2018 8:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Civil service: Long Shot Interview.. Would you go?
Replies: 33
Views: 3665

Re: Civil service: Long Shot Interview.. Would you go?

What the prior posters said. Yes, go. Unless your 1/2-day off from work is so so sacred to use, it seems worth it to me. I guess the only caveat might be if there's any chance that you take off the half-day only to find the interviewer a no-show or something. On that front, maybe just be extra caref...
by rjbraun
Tue Aug 14, 2018 8:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credi card balance transfer offer
Replies: 10
Views: 994

Credi card balance transfer offer

Barclays sent me Balance Transfer Checks. While I've never taken on credit card debt, I was curious to understand the offer and called the number provided. My understanding is that I can write a check to myself for pretty much the full amount of my credit line. To be precise, I can "borrow" 99% of t...
by rjbraun
Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are merchants more (too) careless these days?
Replies: 24
Views: 2265

Are merchants more (too) careless these days?

Experience with purchases in the past few weeks, of which these represent a decent percentage, i.e., I don't shop constantly. 1. Bed, Bath and Beyond online order was delivered in two shipments. The first package contained two picture frames that were, in essence, placed in a box with no additional ...
by rjbraun
Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Comfortably Retired and charity giving?
Replies: 25
Views: 2113

Re: Comfortably Retired and charity giving?

When you make the more personal donations, do you do it anonymously? For years I used postal money orders for my giving, with a phony name, so yes, anonymously, and never claimed it on taxes. I have one check account with just my name,(no address) which is relatively common, so still anonymous. I s...
by rjbraun
Sat Aug 11, 2018 8:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Comfortably Retired and charity giving?
Replies: 25
Views: 2113

Re: Comfortably Retired and charity giving?

However, I plan on buying my way into the promise land on my last trick by donating 100% of my estate to charity. What do others do? I just checked with God. He told me it does not work that way... We spread our giving around, mostly to local organizations and people. Some of it we get charitable d...
by rjbraun
Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Fire 8 HD tablet with Alexa 32 GB for $59.99 (limited time offer)
Replies: 17
Views: 1632

Re: Amazon Fire 8 HD tablet with Alexa 32 GB for $59.99 (limited time offer)

I got a Fire HD 8 on Prime Day for $49.99 and returned it the next day. I don't get the appeal at any price and would rather spend on a extra on a used last generation iPad. It was sluggish, had rather poor screen quality, and the UI leaves a lot to be desired. It might be fine if those things aren...
by rjbraun
Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Fire 8 HD tablet with Alexa 32 GB for $59.99 (limited time offer)
Replies: 17
Views: 1632

Re: Amazon Fire 8 HD tablet with Alexa 32 GB for $59.99 (limited time offer)

Fair... Great deal if you have Citi Points promotion and can get it for $30 like many others are. https://slickdeals.net/f/11915967-citi-amex-mr-cardholders-32gb-amazon-fire-hd-8-tablet-30-free-s-h-select-accts-w-rewards-points I picked up the 16GB version on Prime Day for $20. Thanks. Okay, I thin...
by rjbraun
Thu Aug 09, 2018 11:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do Airlines measure checked baggages?
Replies: 33
Views: 2225

Re: Do Airlines measure checked baggages?

<snip> The personal item will be a backpack to put a DSLR and a Laptop in it. Any idea if a backpack is OK as a personal item? They are so vague in their website about that. Actually, the website seems clear on carry-on specifications: Economy Class: 1 x cabin bag with a maximum weight of 7kg and m...
by rjbraun
Thu Aug 09, 2018 9:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Fire 8 HD tablet with Alexa 32 GB for $59.99 (limited time offer)
Replies: 17
Views: 1632

Amazon Fire 8 HD tablet with Alexa 32 GB for $59.99 (limited time offer)

This seems like a pretty good deal ... right? My Fire 7 just arrived yesterday (purchased on Amazon Prime Day). My iPad mini was purchased several years ago, but I'm not sure the Fire 7 or Fire 8 should be considered direct substitutes or replacements. Still, with various promos I only paid 10 bucks...
by rjbraun
Sat Aug 04, 2018 4:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Few weeks into new job recieved significantly better offer elsewhere
Replies: 103
Views: 10216

Re: Few weeks into new job recieved significantly better offer elsewhere

Tread carefully. You don't want a stretch of unemployment and a few week job on your resume very often. I might be inclined to stay where you are for 1 year. Money is not the end all/be all. Taxes chew up at your top level. Actually, many would disagree (as I do). For a 1-week job, you won't even l...
by rjbraun
Fri Jul 27, 2018 1:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cash flow problems - best way to handle?
Replies: 151
Views: 11692

Re: Cash flow problems - best way to handle?

<snip> I wanted to give an update: I received a promotion today - basically a new job has been created for me. It will be significantly more money and moves me up the ladder in a big way. I love my workplace and the people here, and I am so grateful that they are making it financially possible for ...
by rjbraun
Fri Jul 27, 2018 12:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: WSJ--Vanguard Sent Erroneous Text Messages to Some 401(k) Customers Messages said loans had been processed
Replies: 12
Views: 1206

Re: WSJ--Vanguard Sent Erroneous Text Messages to Some 401(k) Customers Messages said loans had been processed

I have no idea if this latest event reflects serious internal issues at Vanguard, but for me I would say it reminds me of the benefits of some diversification among my service providers. I just need to determine the right balance and need to mull this over for some period of time. My assets are prim...
by rjbraun
Wed Jul 25, 2018 12:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Daughter wants to travel on her own to Montreal
Replies: 105
Views: 7132

Re: Daughter wants to travel on her own to Montreal

I am bothered by the solo part. It is not related to age or gender. I think going with another person or meeting someone there would be fine. I would be bothered even if my 40 year old son were going to Montreal by himself for a period of several days without a companion or a plan to meet a person ...
by rjbraun
Fri Jul 20, 2018 2:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: High school graduation monetary gift for nephew
Replies: 37
Views: 2138

Re: High school graduation monetary gift for nephew

What will he use the money for? Is he going to have to borrow for college? I don't know. I have not inquired. I think it likely his parents will be at least assisting. He's going to in-state school. If he would appreciate it, $1,000 would be great. Any number of $100 bills that you chose to give wo...
by rjbraun
Fri Jul 20, 2018 1:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: High school graduation monetary gift for nephew
Replies: 37
Views: 2138

Re: High school graduation monetary gift for nephew

Not sure if it's applicable in your situation, but one consideration may be if you have a number of nephews and nieces and whether you would want to give the same monetary amount to each one upon high school graduation. So, while you may be close to this nephew you might still want to be prepared to...
by rjbraun
Fri Jul 20, 2018 1:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gift cards: which is "better / safer"? physical or electronic?
Replies: 23
Views: 1304

Re: Gift cards: which is "better / safer"? physical or electronic?

I found a mall gift card when walking around the local mall, good for any store in the mall. I asked at mall lost and found if anyone had reported losing one...no. Also talked to the mall gestapo...no report. I checked the balance online and it had about $200 on it. Owner had not registered so no w...
by rjbraun
Fri Jul 20, 2018 11:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gift cards: which is "better / safer"? physical or electronic?
Replies: 23
Views: 1304

Re: Gift cards: which is "better / safer"? physical or electronic?

Still unclear about how to make gifts to friends where "hard cash" would seem kind of unseemly, imo, and where an actual gift would also be problematic. Used to be a check in a card with a note including a clearly optional suggestion of what to spend it on. "Treat yourself to a nice dinner on us or...
by rjbraun
Fri Jul 20, 2018 10:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gift cards: which is "better / safer"? physical or electronic?
Replies: 23
Views: 1304

Re: Gift cards: which is "better / safer"? physical or electronic?

Thank you to everyone for the helpful feedback. Just to clarify, the gift cards I bought that were used fraudulently were purchased online at staples.com (and generated 5x in Chase UR points). They were Whole Foods gift cards, and the matter is being "investigated" by the grocer. I am supposed to he...
by rjbraun
Fri Jul 20, 2018 9:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [A Splendid Exchange, by William Bernstein - on sale for Kindle]
Replies: 19
Views: 2049

Re: [A Splendid Exchange, by William Bernstein - on sale for Kindle]

Just bought it, thanks for the heads-up. Hoping that the book may resonate in particular with SO, who enjoys history (but not so much investment topics).
by rjbraun
Thu Jul 19, 2018 4:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gift cards: which is "better / safer"? physical or electronic?
Replies: 23
Views: 1304

Gift cards: which is "better / safer"? physical or electronic?

I just got off the phone with a (major) merchant and learned that electronic gift cards I had purchased online were used fraudulently, thereby depleting my balance to zero. :( I'm not a big fan of gift cards, though I do buy them and, it seems, increasingly so :shock: . Sometimes, I will buy a gift ...
by rjbraun
Wed Jul 18, 2018 2:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Alaska Trip/Cruise Summer of 2020. Help me plan
Replies: 23
Views: 1800

Re: Alaska Trip/Cruise Summer of 2020. Help me plan

A trip to Alaska is also on our list of desired future trips, so I will be interested to follow this thread. In addition to the cruise option, I read about traveling independently via passenger ferries. I plan to look into this at some point, but a friend mentioned recently that the ferries can stop...
by rjbraun
Wed Jul 18, 2018 1:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: suit shoe combo?
Replies: 49
Views: 3334

Re: suit shoe combo?

I think the skepticism that others seem to have expressed has merit. Also, in the event that there will be engagement party photographs, either "official" or informal ones, you and your outfit would have some permanence, so you presumably will want to dress in a fashion that you will be okay with in...
by rjbraun
Tue Jul 17, 2018 3:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Prime Day 2018
Replies: 88
Views: 10405

Re: Amazon Prime Day 2018

I was really surprised to see two books show up as free ($0.00 Kindle price) the other day. These were legitimate books that we (or SO) were interested to buy at full price. I am talking about somewhat obscure books (one on First Nations art, another on Japanese history -- both by respected authors...
by rjbraun
Tue Jul 17, 2018 2:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Prime Day 2018
Replies: 88
Views: 10405

Re: Amazon Prime Day 2018

FWIW, I didn't see much that interested me. I did buy a couple of Amazon Dots for additional coverage in our casa. That's it, though. BTW, if you have a reader, Prime members can download all six "early reads", instead of the normal offer of one out of six. So I have more eBooks to read. These free...
by rjbraun
Tue Jul 17, 2018 2:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Prime Day 2018
Replies: 88
Views: 10405

Re: Amazon Prime Day 2018

If you keep items in your shopping cart to purchase later, Amazon will notify you of price changes each time you look at your cart. I do that with items that I need to buy but don't need immediately. Some items have steep price drops for a short period of time, either because someone else is sellin...
by rjbraun
Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Prime Day 2018
Replies: 88
Views: 10405

Re: Amazon Prime Day 2018

The deals are totally random, I think. I saved $5 yesterday on a USB wall charger that I needed and had been on my wishlist for a few months. This morning Amazon sent me a notice that another item on my wishlist, some noise-cancelling headphones that had been on my list for almost a year, were $75 ...
by rjbraun
Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Have you ever purchased a pricy musical instrument?
Replies: 82
Views: 4533

Re: Have you ever purchased a pricy musical instrument?

This thread has me thinking. I was a pretty competitive violinist in my youth through college. I played on a student violin ($1300 25 years ago, now worth around $3.5-4K). In college I considered upgrading to a $10 range violin, but did not do so as I was not going into music as a long-term career ...
by rjbraun
Tue Jul 17, 2018 11:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Prime Day 2018
Replies: 88
Views: 10405

Re: Amazon Prime Day 2018

The deals are totally random, I think. I saved $5 yesterday on a USB wall charger that I needed and had been on my wishlist for a few months. This morning Amazon sent me a notice that another item on my wishlist, some noise-cancelling headphones that had been on my list for almost a year, were $75 ...
by rjbraun
Tue Jul 17, 2018 11:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Prime Day 2018
Replies: 88
Views: 10405

Re: Amazon Prime Day 2018

I bought 5x (the max) of the Kindle Fire 7" tablet for $9.99 each using the Prime Deal and $.01 of Citi Thank You Points. Also bought an 8" Kindle Fire tablet for $19.99 with the same method. Missed out on the 10", however. I see a Prime Deal Fire 7" tablet available for $19.99. I guess you use Cit...