Search found 95 matches

by otbricki
Sun May 12, 2013 10:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to backup /Save sensitive information; Google Drive ?
Replies: 51
Views: 6029

Re: Where to backup /Save sensitive information; Google Driv

My point exactly. Google will archive that data for a l-o-n-g time. The thing about Google is that they give no warranty on the data storage. They've had data loss incidents with their mail and docs products. m m Hacking isn't limited to retrieving data for nefarious uses. It can also entail simple...
by otbricki
Sun May 12, 2013 9:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Audiophile or not??! How much to spend question
Replies: 31
Views: 3203

Re: Audiophile or not??! How much to spend question

Jim127 wrote:Oppo is the way to go. You will see it is by far the choice of many on the AVS boards. Read up and you will see why.


Another Oppo fan here. You might be able to find another player that works for you, but their after sale support is perhaps unique in their market segment.
by otbricki
Sun May 12, 2013 6:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to backup /Save sensitive information; Google Drive ?
Replies: 51
Views: 6029

Re: Where to backup /Save sensitive information; Google Driv

I burn mine to an archival quality CD or DVD and stick it into a file along with a paper copy of the return & support documentation.
by otbricki
Sun May 12, 2013 4:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bidding on Ebay; Ignorance on best Bidding strategy
Replies: 88
Views: 7057

Re: Bidding on Ebay; Ignorance on best Bidding strategy

Briki, Sorry but that is not what happened with this guy at all IMO. He would gladly have paid ebay if the auction had worked like a auction and allowed people to bid up the price instead of the sniping stuff and a few low bids at the end. And the first two auctions took like 2 months or so to comp...
by otbricki
Sun May 12, 2013 4:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Audiophile or not??! How much to spend question
Replies: 31
Views: 3203

Re: Audiophile or not??! How much to spend question

For audio equipment it is important to listen to many systems before you buy. It is only by getting this experience that you can understand what you are likely to get. A key (unfortunate) aspect of the audio world is that there are lot of snake oil salesmen out there. Since the human mind is very su...
by otbricki
Sun May 12, 2013 3:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are you Walking in your Father's footsteps?
Replies: 83
Views: 10103

Re: Are you Walking in your Father's footsteps?

I'm a boomer. My father was an orphan. He raised his younger brother with the help of an aunt. During the depression he slept on an unheated porch in Massachusetts in a house that was shared by three families. His grades in high school were not good because he was always working to help out his brot...
by otbricki
Sun May 12, 2013 2:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bidding on Ebay; Ignorance on best Bidding strategy
Replies: 88
Views: 7057

Re: Bidding on Ebay; Ignorance on best Bidding strategy

Briki and others, The piano I wanted did have a reserve price posted and a phone number. BUT the reserve price the seller wanted was crazy IMO as it was like $10K for a used item that sold for maybe $12K to $15K new. A fair price was around $4K to $7K but the seller had not reconciled himself to ta...
by otbricki
Sun May 12, 2013 2:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Obtaining University Scholarship(s)
Replies: 54
Views: 3428

Re: Obtaining university scholarship(s)

National Merit Scholarships are peanuts. $2500. Few selective schools give merit scholarships. MIT for example has no merit scholarships at all, except for some of the graduate programs like Sloan. Generally if you are looking for a merit scholarship your best chance is at a relatively non selective...
by otbricki
Sun May 12, 2013 1:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bidding on Ebay; Ignorance on best Bidding strategy
Replies: 88
Views: 7057

Re: Bidding on Ebay; Ignorance on best Bidding strategy

It didn't sell as the snipe price was below the reserve and the winner would not pay more. So all I see is sniping making a mess of the auction system.... Bill Well, as an experienced EBay participant it seems to me that the problem with these auctions is the presence of a hidden reserve price. Thi...
by otbricki
Sun May 12, 2013 12:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401K no index funds?
Replies: 27
Views: 7352

Re: 401K no index funds?

These fees are similar to what you will run into with other active funds. My (very small) employer has their 401K with Fidelity and the choices look similar. The problem with this plan is the lack of index funds. In my plan there are a couple of Spartan Funds with an ER of 0.10. Obviously that's whe...
by otbricki
Sat May 11, 2013 7:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: tax friendly states for retirees
Replies: 96
Views: 9291

Re: tax friendly states for retirees

You may also want to consider issue like laws protecting IRAs from liability claims, filial responsibility and so on.
by otbricki
Sat May 11, 2013 2:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How much money do you need to retire at 40?
Replies: 90
Views: 17211

Re: How much money do you need to retire at 40?

Note Americans are not particularly long lived *on average* amongst developed nations. But I suspect there is a slice of Americans, with good jobs, access to medical care, fit lifestyles, that would or will live as long as or longer than almost any other nation. Yes, that's true. Average life expec...
by otbricki
Fri May 10, 2013 9:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 100% equities, anyone?
Replies: 149
Views: 12628

Re: 100% equities, anyone?

Chairman Ben had some interesting comments on this topic the other day: “apparent tendency for financial market participants to take greater risks when macro conditions are relatively stable. Indeed, it may be that prolonged economic stability is a double-edged sword.” Stability “could … reduce the ...
by otbricki
Fri May 10, 2013 8:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bidding on Ebay; Ignorance on best Bidding strategy
Replies: 88
Views: 7057

Re: Bidding on Ebay; Ignorance on best Bidding strategy

The whole ebay auction system is flawed, IMO. There are many legitimate styles of auction. The Ebay style actually works very well for an online system because it does not require participants to wait around at the end of the auction to see if there are any last minute bids, and to respond to those...
by otbricki
Fri May 10, 2013 11:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: re: First time to Boston
Replies: 31
Views: 2925

Re: re: First time to Boston

Old North Church (still a functioning church) and the USS Constitution are great. If you are into music the Symphony Hall is interesting, supposedly it has the best acoustics in the Western Hemisphere.
by otbricki
Thu May 09, 2013 5:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What's the best dandelion killer?
Replies: 54
Views: 25018

Re: What's the best dandelion killer?

I applied a thin layer of a combination of mushroom compost, and aged steer manure to portions of my lawn a few months ago. The areas that received the compost/manure DO NOT grow dandelions now. The article I linked to a couple of messages ago mentioned that fertilization plus choice of the right g...
by otbricki
Thu May 09, 2013 5:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Should I Invest in Housing for the Long Term?
Replies: 4
Views: 1345

Re: Should I Invest in Housing for the Long Term?

Ed Tufte would get a kick out of this graph.
by otbricki
Thu May 09, 2013 12:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: emerging markets - really ?
Replies: 30
Views: 4973

Re: emerging markets - really ?

Well, FTSE and S&P consider South Korea a developed country. Singapore and Taiwan are considered developed by some as well. Mexico is definitely emerging, however Chile is a member of the OECD and is likely to be widely accepted as the first Latin American developed nation by the end of this dec...
by otbricki
Thu May 09, 2013 9:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: the milestones, they are a-fallin'
Replies: 42
Views: 4246

Re: the milestones, they are a-fallin'

I sympathize with the OP, although I'm seen this before. I'm 3 years away from retirement and the idea of a blowoff crash like we had two of in the past decade is pretty scary at this point in my life. I have a distinct urge to drop my equity allocation by 10-15 points. I didn't mind the volatility ...
by otbricki
Wed May 08, 2013 4:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Poll: Annuities and your life
Replies: 25
Views: 1854

Re: Poll: Annuities and your life

I think it's nice to have a most of your basic needs covered by a guaranteed income stream, which is why I took my pension as an annuity. That plus SS and my wife's pension is enough to live on without hardship if it came down to that. However I have no intention of converting anything more than tha...
by otbricki
Wed May 08, 2013 3:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: MLP - Energy Sector concentration?
Replies: 7
Views: 735

Re: MLP - Energy Sector concentration?

I'm composing my thesis on investment management. I've noticed that thus far, two out of two portfolios under review have some sort of MLP. Whatsmore, these MLPs are categorized by the portfolio managers as alternative investments. Really? Aren't just MLPs just an energy sector bet? What diversifyi...
by otbricki
Wed May 08, 2013 11:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??
Replies: 289
Views: 31655

Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

diasurfer wrote:Here's a guy who only spent a bit more than a couple of weeks salary on an engagement ring, but wants it back when she called off the wedding.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1632 ... &hpt=hp_t3


He's lucky she called off the wedding.
by otbricki
Wed May 08, 2013 9:58 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do you adjust your AA based on valuations?
Replies: 94
Views: 7992

Re: Do you adjust your AA based on valuations?

I don't adjust my target AA based on valuation, however I do other things based on value. For example periodic contributions are targeted to asset classes that are under valued in my estimation. Rebalancing bands might also see some 'elasticity changes' due to valuation concerns.
by otbricki
Wed May 08, 2013 9:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: FIOS Battery Replacement
Replies: 37
Views: 8530

Re: FIOS Battery Replacement

Exactly what is happening here, plus they show up unannounced at the door of homes saying they are going to change you over to FIOS. I've sent them away 2-3 times. I live in a small community with a lot of relatives here, so we know they are doing this to all the copper customers here. One of their...
by otbricki
Wed May 08, 2013 9:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What's the best dandelion killer?
Replies: 54
Views: 25018

Re: What's the best dandelion killer?

I looked this up. They are a nectar source for monarch butterflies, which are in big trouble due to loss of habitat. I like seeing a lot of yellow flowers in my lawn, now I have an additional reason to like them. I see no reason to call them scuzzy. It's not like they are driving out native plants....
by otbricki
Tue May 07, 2013 7:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: FIOS Battery Replacement
Replies: 37
Views: 8530

Re: FIOS Battery Replacement

At least in my area, for FIOS people, once the power goes down, their Internet is down. There are a few hours of battery backup for regular phone service. The customer has to replace the battery once it is dead, and the customer has to bring back online the FIOS box after power failures. If Verizon...
by otbricki
Tue May 07, 2013 3:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What should I do if they start to tax Roth earnings?
Replies: 21
Views: 3953

Re: What should I do if they start to tax Roth earnings?

Not existing earnings. But I could see where the program could be changed so that future earnings would become taxable. This would be equivalent to ending the program.
by otbricki
Tue May 07, 2013 3:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: SUV recommendations
Replies: 51
Views: 6297

Re: SUV recommendations

Here is a pretty balanced article on run flat tires:

http://www.autoguide.com/auto-news/2012 ... -them.html
by otbricki
Tue May 07, 2013 12:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??
Replies: 289
Views: 31655

Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

$0. My wife thinks engagement rings are a heteronormative paternalistic anachronism. I spent quite a bit more than that. It continues to make my wife very happy. Well, I'm still married 39 years later so I guess the answer is to find out what your wife wants rather than asking an online forum.
by otbricki
Tue May 07, 2013 12:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??
Replies: 289
Views: 31655

Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

$0. My wife thinks engagement rings are a heteronormative paternalistic anachronism.
by otbricki
Tue May 07, 2013 12:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: FIOS Battery Replacement
Replies: 37
Views: 8530

Re: FIOS Battery Replacement

Batteries have a finite storage life. Don't buy one until you need it.
by otbricki
Tue May 07, 2013 9:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What's the best dandelion killer?
Replies: 54
Views: 25018

Re: What's the best dandelion killer?

Dandelions are actually a native plant species, and are an early nectar source for butterflies, etc. Please don't kill them off! Investigate native plants for your yard - ultimately less work than trying to keep that golf course look, which is anything but natural! Dandelions are NOT native to Nort...
by otbricki
Mon May 06, 2013 10:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: SUV recommendations
Replies: 51
Views: 6297

Re: SUV recommendations

Whether one can live with the run flats is something a test drive should clarify - I'm not bothered by the loss in ride quality, others are. Run flats have characteristics that are different from other tires besides the ride. I'm just suggesting that potential buyers should research before buying.
by otbricki
Mon May 06, 2013 9:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: merrill edge corporate bond offering pdf
Replies: 11
Views: 881

Re: merrill edge corporate bond offering pdf

Not a BofA fan here. I caught them selling my elderly father products he didn't have any use for. Quite unethical in my opinion.

This news story is quite interesting:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MBuCSTFJffY
by otbricki
Mon May 06, 2013 9:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What's the best dandelion killer?
Replies: 54
Views: 25018

Re: What's the best dandelion killer?

Sounds like you married well.
by otbricki
Mon May 06, 2013 9:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: SUV recommendations
Replies: 51
Views: 6297

Re: SUV recommendations

BMWs are money pits. Mdx are gas thirsty and require premium. I'd go highlander. We bought an X5 35i two years ago. Other than filling up every other week, total cost has been 0 and the car hasn't seen a dealership since we drove off the lot in 2011. Not even for the free maintenance program? No, n...
by otbricki
Mon May 06, 2013 8:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: SUV recommendations
Replies: 51
Views: 6297

Re: SUV recommendations

Wolkenspiel wrote:
TRC wrote:BMWs are money pits.
Mdx are gas thirsty and require premium.
I'd go highlander.


We bought an X5 35i two years ago. Other than filling up every other week, total cost has been 0 and the car hasn't seen a dealership since we drove off the lot in 2011.


Not even for the free maintenance program?
by otbricki
Mon May 06, 2013 7:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What's the best dandelion killer?
Replies: 54
Views: 25018

Re: What's the best dandelion killer?

Best to use a spot herbicide in the fall when the dandelions are storing energy in the root for the next blooming cycle.

Applying herbicides in the spring is a lot less effective because the tops are what is actively growing. You are likely to kill the top but not the root.
by otbricki
Mon May 06, 2013 6:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: vcsh vs. vfstx [Short Term Corp. vs. Investment Grade Bond]
Replies: 3
Views: 878

Re: vcsh vs. vfstx

VFSTX had a much more significant dip in value than VCSH in 2008.
by otbricki
Mon May 06, 2013 12:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Rejoice! Your House Is An Investment Again
Replies: 105
Views: 9473

Re: Rejoice! Your House Is An Investment Again

My father paid $2500 for his suburban Boston house in 1952 and his sons sold the property for $389,000 in 2010. Factor of 155. But there were a lot of taxes, inflation and maintenance, and a moderate addition over the years. At the end it was torn down and new house was built on the lot which was so...
by otbricki
Sun May 05, 2013 7:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Taking Parent's Car to Chicago to Save on Car Fees/Insurance
Replies: 18
Views: 1514

Re: Taking Parent's Car to Chicago to Save on Car Fees/Insur

newdoc wrote:Hello,

More issues with my move to Chicago:

I'm just wondering if there's anything keeping my from using a car registered in my parent's name while in Chicago.
Thanks


Insurance is the biggest worry. You could be denied coverage if you file a claim.
by otbricki
Sun May 05, 2013 5:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Asset Allocation Guidance
Replies: 22
Views: 2808

Re: Asset Allocation Guidance

I found the Vanguard Target Fund data fits a quadratic very well.

Equity Allocation = -0.024 age^2 + 9.379 age + 87.845

It's useful for spreadsheet use and sundry experimentation.

Caveat: don't use this outside the age range for the original data, which is 37 to 72.
by otbricki
Sun May 05, 2013 2:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Executor [of Estate. Anyone have experience?]
Replies: 14
Views: 1797

Re: Executor [of Estate. Anyone have experience?]

I served as the executor of my father's estate. The heirs were his 4 sons with equal shares, myself and 3 others. The will specified no fee. We met with and agreed on an attorney that one of brothers had prior good experiences with. I am the eldest sibling. The will specified me as executor and the ...
by otbricki
Sun May 05, 2013 11:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College is Totally Worth It (at these schools)
Replies: 39
Views: 3850

Re: College is Totally Worth It (at these schools)

This study and ranking is crap. So basically if your undergraduate degree led you to go on and get an advanced degree, it doesnt count for your undergrad. So no wonder engineering schools are rated so highly in this ranking since they are less likely to get an advanced degree, while MD and JD and M...
by otbricki
Sat May 04, 2013 7:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Google Invests $125 Million in Lending Club
Replies: 68
Views: 8437

Re: Google Invests $125 Million in Lending Club

Google announced today that they are investing $125 million for a ~7% equity stake in Lending Club, valuing the company at $1.55 billion. Does this give you more confidence in lending to Lending Club? The returns they advertise have been very good, but of course they come with risk. Not really. Tak...
by otbricki
Sat May 04, 2013 7:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 1.5% Financial Advisor... or index fund?
Replies: 81
Views: 8176

Re: 1.5% Financial Advisor... or index fund?

I would wager that if someone offered you $5250 (coincidence, that's $350k times 1.5%!) to read a couple of books, you'd pull up your favorite chair and have at the books. Why not put the money in some money market fund while you read some of the books recommended in the wiki. $5250 the first year ...
by otbricki
Fri May 03, 2013 10:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: REITs... buy more?
Replies: 39
Views: 5282

Re: REITs... buy more?

From about 2009 to a month ago I was 10 to 12% in VNQ. It has been the best performer in my portfolio over this time. It seemed like I was rebalancing out of it every time I rebalanced. Thanks Larry, I got the idea from your book on Alternative Investments. To me that book was worth five thousand ti...
by otbricki
Fri May 03, 2013 6:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: most of gains come from small number of stocks
Replies: 11
Views: 1644

Re: most of gains come from small number of stocks

CABob wrote:
Clearly a small number of stocks are responsible for a majority of the gains -- about 10 percent of stocks recorded huge wins in excess of 500 percent.

But my broker/advisor says he can pick those stocks.
:twisted:


Ask him why he's still a broker/advisor. :P
by otbricki
Fri May 03, 2013 12:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: POLL: Miss The 4-5 Years?
Replies: 62
Views: 5255

Re: POLL: Miss The 4-5 Years?

How about dumping equities in 2007 and then dollar cost averaging back in starting in 2008?

I guess I got lucky. My other market moves haven't been as good.

But since then I became a Boglehead so it's pretty unlikely I'll try that sort of thing again.