Search found 583 matches

by random_walker_77
Wed Jul 04, 2018 10:48 pm
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: favorite bogleheads posts?
Replies: 110
Views: 22463

Re: favorite bogleheads posts?

Denovo's post on becoming a landlord: viewtopic.php?t=226980
by random_walker_77
Wed Jul 04, 2018 10:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I finance a new home abroad (Carribean)???
Replies: 53
Views: 4229

Re: Can I finance a new home abroad (Carribean)???

I remember a while back a financial advisor friend of mine telling me that there are international banks that have a presence in the US where I can perhaps be able to get a loan backed by my investment portfolio. For something like this, look into the risk of some equivalent to a "margin call" -- i...
by random_walker_77
Tue Jul 03, 2018 11:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 25-year-old military vet/undergrad student in search of advice
Replies: 11
Views: 910

Re: 25-year-old military vet/undergrad student in search of advice

Thank you for your service. I'm with the others -- you're investing in yourself right now. Don't sweat saving, but try to spend wisely. If you can work part-time without adversely impacting your studies, go for it, but your primary "job" right now is to get an education, and do as well as you can in...
by random_walker_77
Tue Jul 03, 2018 10:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I finance a new home abroad (Carribean)???
Replies: 53
Views: 4229

Re: Can I finance a new home abroad (Carribean)???

whoops, the 2nd quote was from: http://dominicanrepublicvacationhomes.com/faqs.html The 1st link also has this page talking about universal rent control and these choice excerpts: https://www.globalpropertyguide.com/Caribbean/Dominican-Republic/Landlord-and-Tenant "It is very difficult to evict tena...
by random_walker_77
Tue Jul 03, 2018 10:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I finance a new home abroad (Carribean)???
Replies: 53
Views: 4229

Re: Can I finance a new home abroad (Carribean)???

Do you have relatives in that country? Do you have experience w/ being a landlord, and especially the risks associated with being a landlord? (damage to property, problem tenants, evictions) To what extent are property values a function of land value vs value of the building? Keeping in mind that th...
by random_walker_77
Mon Jul 02, 2018 10:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Affording a $1.8-2M house
Replies: 54
Views: 8890

Re: Affording a $1.8-2M house

Having spent time in Seattle, San Jose, and now living in Austin, I'd chime in that there's a lot of techies out here in Austin. Some neighborhoods feel like the bay area, with 2/3 of the neighbors from India/China/Taiwan/Korea. Between Ranch 99, H-Mart, and some of the other asian markets, there's ...
by random_walker_77
Mon Jul 02, 2018 10:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: RSU Strategy
Replies: 10
Views: 788

Re: RSU Strategy

And assuming you're not actively trying to buy more of your company's stock with your monthly paychecks (hey, some people like to put their eggs all in one basket!), don't feel bad about selling the stock. You're (mostly) participating in gains on the price of company stock through the unvested RSUs
by random_walker_77
Mon Jul 02, 2018 10:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: RSU Strategy
Replies: 10
Views: 788

Re: RSU Strategy

When RSU's vest, they show up as ordinary income and you have to pay taxes. My company will sell 1/4 of the RSUs at vesting to help pay for the tax withholdings. But that's almost beside the point because of the fact that you *are taxed* at vesting, so on that day, you have no gains or losses. If yo...
by random_walker_77
Sat Jun 30, 2018 9:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: replace old central AC unit?
Replies: 32
Views: 2306

Re: replace old central AC unit?

Things to think about: 1) Is the a/c unit maintained and working as it should? Is the cold air coming out of the vents 15-20 degrees cooler than the room's temp? (This is most conveniently measured with something like this for $12-$20, and which is useful for checking for warmspots around doors and ...
by random_walker_77
Thu Jun 28, 2018 10:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is there a way to avoid bad companies in S&P 500?
Replies: 92
Views: 4472

Re: Is there a way to avoid bad companies in S&P 500?

One never knows which stock is going to recover. In 1997 Apple was forecasted to enter bankruptcy and B. Gates was asking "why doesn't Steve (Jobs) just give up." That's actually the stock that convinced me I can't pick out the losers. I remember rewatching "Forrest Gump" around '97 and thinking th...
by random_walker_77
Wed Jun 27, 2018 9:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 6 week minivan or SUV rental
Replies: 8
Views: 1014

Re: 6 week minivan or SUV rental

If you're counting on your credit card for supplemental insurance, note that most only cover rentals that are less than 30 days. So you might want to break it up into 2 rentals. Also, this is a situation where it'd be highly advantageous to rent from an off-airport location, which usually have lowe...
by random_walker_77
Wed Jun 27, 2018 9:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Umbrella Policy: Right amount for $7 mil net worth?
Replies: 54
Views: 6621

Re: Umbrella Policy: Right amount for $7 mil net worth?

I do not understand making a connection between your net worth and the umbrella policy amount. AFAIK juries are not told the amount of your insurance or your net worth so the award should not be related. Once a jury awards above say $1 million then the sky is the limit and the amount actually award...
by random_walker_77
Wed Jun 27, 2018 7:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Timing exit from megacorp
Replies: 54
Views: 5814

Re: Timing exit from megacorp

This is not dissimilar from my situation except I'm salary and RSU's but no bonus. I too have been thinking about timing and for me it's about vesting a significant amount of RSU's as the stock has had a big runup that I'd like to capture. I know I will always walk away from some amount of stock bu...
by random_walker_77
Tue Jun 26, 2018 11:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Timing exit from megacorp
Replies: 54
Views: 5814

Re: Timing exit from megacorp

Don't say anything until after your RSU's/bonus are paid in May. It's probably to your advantage to stay through 6/1 anyways. Your marginal tax rate is always better at the beginning of the year when those dollars are getting taxed at the low bracket rates. If you increase your 401k contributions, y...
by random_walker_77
Tue Jun 26, 2018 10:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 6 week minivan or SUV rental
Replies: 8
Views: 1014

Re: 6 week minivan or SUV rental

If you're counting on your credit card for supplemental insurance, note that most only cover rentals that are less than 30 days. So you might want to break it up into 2 rentals. Also, this is a situation where it'd be highly advantageous to rent from an off-airport location, which usually have lower...
by random_walker_77
Sun Jun 24, 2018 10:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Compliments for Vanguard?
Replies: 40
Views: 3106

Re: Compliments for Vanguard?

I've been with Vanguard for over 22 years, and have had no problems with them. Of all the mutual fund firms, I trust Vanguard the most to lower costs and not raise expense ratios. They've won my trust as the firm most likely to put their customer's interests ahead of their own profits. From what I'v...
by random_walker_77
Sun Jun 24, 2018 4:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best book to read before buying a house?
Replies: 6
Views: 606

Re: Best book to read before buying a house?

It was a long time ago, but I found the Nolo books to be really helpful:

This is the one I read:
https://store.nolo.com/products/how-to- ... -bhca.html

And this is the non-california book:
https://store.nolo.com/products/nolos-e ... -htbh.html
by random_walker_77
Sat Jun 16, 2018 12:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thought on replacing roof before sale?
Replies: 35
Views: 2650

Re: Thought on replacing roof before sale?

If the market is screaming hot, it doesn't matter. Otherwise, it's to your advantage to get it fixed before it goes on the market. As a seller, your incentive is to get it replaced to be "good enough." No need to get the lifetime shingles vs cheap shingles -- the odds are the buyer isn't going to va...
by random_walker_77
Wed Jun 06, 2018 9:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Boston trip with small kids
Replies: 15
Views: 1288

Re: Boston trip with small kids

Regarding that duck tour... just want to make sure you are aware that the accident rate for those tours seems to be a tad high. You're probably fine to go, but it's good to be aware all the same. http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/real-time/At-least-26-have-died-in-.html https://www.seattletimes.co...
by random_walker_77
Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Upgrade to SSD for 5-year old desktop?
Replies: 64
Views: 3505

Re: Upgrade to SSD for 5-year old desktop?

absolutely upgrade to a SSD. Many ship with cloning software. (For others using laptops, a USB HD enclosure for ~$12 facilitates easy cloning).

Or, even just get this: 2TB SSD for $240
https://slickdeals.net/f/11675043-micro ... daily-deal
by random_walker_77
Tue Jun 05, 2018 11:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Boston trip with small kids
Replies: 15
Views: 1288

Re: Boston trip with small kids

Regarding that duck tour... just want to make sure you are aware that the accident rate for those tours seems to be a tad high. You're probably fine to go, but it's good to be aware all the same. http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/real-time/At-least-26-have-died-in-.html https://www.seattletimes.com...
by random_walker_77
Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Safeco Auto Insurance
Replies: 12
Views: 1092

Re: Safeco Auto Insurance

We've had safeco for about 12 years now for auto/home/umbrella. They were quite good w/ auto and home claims. We've had claims from being rear-endeded (minor) and hail (major auto damage, and new roof on the house). Safeco was very responsive and quite reasonable. At one point, we almost switched aw...
by random_walker_77
Fri Jun 01, 2018 9:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any aerospace engineers? Pros v. cons of working for NASA v. private sector
Replies: 50
Views: 4701

Re: Any aerospace engineers? Pros v. cons of working for NASA v. private sector

Congrats to your son on such an early graduation! Though really, this means he can simply work more years before full retirement age :twisted: ...unless he saves enough to retire early. How are his people skills? I'm an engineer, but not in aero, and have observed that academia and industry reward d...
by random_walker_77
Thu May 31, 2018 12:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need some advice in regards to A/C System
Replies: 29
Views: 1664

Re: Need some advice in regards to A/C System

You're getting good advice here. Reiterating the point above that the contactor is a $20 part. Here in texas, you're going to want to think of the contactors and capacitors as consumable items. They're $20 parts plus labor. So spending $100-150 for a new contactor/cap as preventative maintenance... ...
by random_walker_77
Wed May 30, 2018 7:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car with best smell, pollution and noise insulation
Replies: 24
Views: 1977

Re: Car with best smell, pollution and noise insulation

For noise insulation, there are after-market products you can apply to reduce the noise. I'm not sure how well it works, but look around:
https://soundproofexpert.com/quiet-road-noise-car/
by random_walker_77
Wed May 30, 2018 7:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car with best smell, pollution and noise insulation
Replies: 24
Views: 1977

Re: Car with best smell, pollution and noise insulation

Lately I have severe headaches after a day on the road. Be sure to talk to your doctor about this, there could be something else going on. You might also think about putting a carbon monoxide detector in your car for a trip or two just to rule that out. Something like this with a numerical readout....
by random_walker_77
Fri May 25, 2018 10:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Reducing mosquitos by pool
Replies: 14
Views: 1498

Re: Reducing mosquitos by pool

If you think these mosquitoes are breeding in the pool, then you really need to use pool chemicals. If you just need general mosquito control, look into ovitraps. You can find instructions to build your own or buy them. I bought these and found that they help a lot: https://www.amazon.com/Mosquito-L...
by random_walker_77
Fri May 25, 2018 9:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is there a good one stop website/broker for car insurance quotes?
Replies: 8
Views: 809

Re: Is there a good one stop website/broker for car insurance quotes?

In my experience, it's important to shop around for insurance every 3-4 years. They seem to gradually raise rates, but new customers get better rates. One time, I ended up going from a safeco policy that was approaching $900/yr and got placed into a safeco policy w/ the same coverage "under a new pr...
by random_walker_77
Wed May 16, 2018 9:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage decision killing me
Replies: 52
Views: 6922

Re: Mortgage decision killing me

This is about comfort with risk. You've got the income, you've got the savings, but do you want the flexibility and security that a 30yr gives you? The 30 yr helps you if inflation charges upwards, but you're paying for that "benefit" with the higher interest rate. When we bought our original, we we...
by random_walker_77
Tue May 15, 2018 8:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New(ish) attending physicians in the Bay Area: Housing
Replies: 150
Views: 12623

Re: New(ish) attending physicians in the Bay Area: Housing

Yes. The home we rent (which is quite nice) has a price/annual rent ratio of over 38 (being conservative)- more realistically about 45. That is the benefit of these home owners who literally pay property taxes of only a few thousand dollars a year due to prop 13 whereas if I were to buy the same ho...
by random_walker_77
Mon May 14, 2018 9:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Another ESPP question
Replies: 5
Views: 573

Re: Another ESPP question

I agree w/ Manedark along roughly the same reasoning. Buying at a 15% discount is a nice tailwind and this does seem like a deal, but it is not without risk. What is your ability and willingness to take risk? If the next recession rolls along and you lose a lot of the ESPP money, how disastrous is t...
by random_walker_77
Sun May 13, 2018 9:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New(ish) attending physicians in the Bay Area: Housing
Replies: 150
Views: 12623

Re: New(ish) attending physicians in the Bay Area: Housing

Understood- we have two young kids so schools also come into play. It seems that as 2 high income professionals who have delayed gratification for 10+year’s post-college and save 40+% of gross income we’d be able to afford a not that fancy 4/2 2000 sq ft home but perhaps not...? Keep in mind that, ...
by random_walker_77
Sun May 13, 2018 9:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New(ish) attending physicians in the Bay Area: Housing
Replies: 150
Views: 12623

Re: New(ish) attending physicians in the Bay Area: Housing

Daunting thought: to fund all those 2M+ all-cash offers, think about how much money had to be earned. With a nearly 50% marginal rate, between federal and state taxes, they'd have to make $4M to come up with $2M in cash. That's assuming it's an ordinary-income vesting of a lot of RSUs or options. I...
by random_walker_77
Sat May 12, 2018 11:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New(ish) attending physicians in the Bay Area: Housing
Replies: 150
Views: 12623

Re: New(ish) attending physicians in the Bay Area: Housing

If it were straight income, I think we'd be fine... I suspect it is the RSU's, coupled with the booming stock market and the extra 10+ years of earnings while we were in school/training that make it extra challenging. Yes, that is challenging. It might be yet another reason to rent. This bull marke...
by random_walker_77
Sat May 12, 2018 9:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New(ish) attending physicians in the Bay Area: Housing
Replies: 150
Views: 12623

Re: New(ish) attending physicians in the Bay Area: Housing

There are parts of the country where a dual physician household will mean living in the best neighborhoods, but unfortunately the Bay Area isn’t one of them. You might have to look at townhomes or condos or living further out. I see lots of high income households taking on expensive homes where I l...
by random_walker_77
Sat May 12, 2018 9:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Water leaking from shared wall in condo - next steps?
Replies: 21
Views: 2437

Re: Water leaking from shared wall in condo - next steps?

As a homeowner, for plumbing, I think everyone should have at least a) a toilet plunger b) a $3 zip-it for cleaning shower/sink drains https://www.homedepot.com/p/Zip-It-Bath-and-Sink-Hair-Snare-BC00400/100665735?MERCH=REC-_-PIPHorizontal2_rr-_-301879459-_-100665735-_-N (works for 95% of clogs I've ...
by random_walker_77
Fri May 11, 2018 8:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Water leaking from shared wall in condo - next steps?
Replies: 21
Views: 2437

Re: Water leaking from shared wall in condo - next steps?

You're going to want the source of the leak fixed asap. Insurance (not sure if that's HOA's or yours) is going to need to know soon. For water damage, they're going to want to send out their water remediation contractor asap to dry it out before it turns into a mold problem. When we had a water leak...
by random_walker_77
Thu May 10, 2018 9:06 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do you quantify the risk differential between 85/15 and 70/30?
Replies: 70
Views: 6032

Re: How do you quantify the risk differential between 85/15 and 70/30?

viewtopic.php?t=187870

Read the first post in this thread quoting Taylor Larimore on the Great Depression
by random_walker_77
Thu May 10, 2018 9:03 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do you quantify the risk differential between 85/15 and 70/30?
Replies: 70
Views: 6032

Re: How do you quantify the risk differential between 85/15 and 70/30?

I think it's worth keeping in mind that the worst case might possibly be worse than anything we've seen before in the US. Not likely, mind you, but possible. A 50% loss in stocks is often used for planning purposes, but don't confuse that for worst case. In the great depression, the market dropped n...
by random_walker_77
Tue May 08, 2018 10:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to handle problem employee
Replies: 84
Views: 5878

Re: How to handle problem employee

It would be helpful to provide some context into the type of position. Is this a knowledge worker role (it sounds like it is)? To what extent are you paying this employee to think independently? For example, in my industry, older engineers tend to be more conservative and come off as less enthusiast...
by random_walker_77
Mon May 07, 2018 10:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Total Bond - SEC yield breaks 3%
Replies: 104
Views: 12816

Re: Total Bond - SEC yield breaks 3%

Don't forget taxation. Depending on your bracket, between federal and state taxes, you might be keeping only 60% of that interest. That knocks you down to 1.56% after taxes, and now you're losing (a little) relative to inflation. That's ok -- you count on stocks to provide the growth, and bonds to ...
by random_walker_77
Mon May 07, 2018 10:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Total Bond - SEC yield breaks 3%
Replies: 104
Views: 12816

Re: Total Bond - SEC yield breaks 3%

Does this mean that I get 3% dividend if I put money in this fund? ie is it like I get a 3% dividend , just like a cd but better .... but caveat that my principal might go down? This always confuses me ie ... is the yield shown ie 3.00% here .. a genuine firm figure that I can bet the farm on? It i...
by random_walker_77
Mon May 07, 2018 10:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Total Bond - SEC yield breaks 3%
Replies: 104
Views: 12816

Re: Total Bond - SEC yield breaks 3%

However the CD isn't as safe as you might think, because there is something less visible happening too: inflation. Your CD is losing value to it all the time. Inflation takes more away from cash, in the long run, than changes in interest rates will take away from intermediate bond funds. A 2% infla...
by random_walker_77
Thu May 03, 2018 8:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: can someone explain me AMT in dummy terms?
Replies: 15
Views: 2569

Re: can someone explain me AMT in dummy terms?

AMT is an alternate tax calculation. Flat** rate at 28%, larger exemption*** (kind of like a big "standard deduction for AMT"), and you lose some things like deducting state taxes, and investment expenses greater than 2% of your income. The idea is to ensure that everyone pays a "minimum" tax. It st...
by random_walker_77
Wed May 02, 2018 10:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HVAC technician recommendations--should I have them installed?
Replies: 11
Views: 1814

Re: HVAC technician recommendations--should I have them installed?

I just got the quote for installing the pan switch and wet switch, and it came to $413. That sounds pretty high to me. Is it a reasonable quote? This is in a HCOL area, if it matters. No idea, but plumbing isn't cheap. Take the cost of parts, double them, then add some hourly billable rate ($100/hr...
by random_walker_77
Tue May 01, 2018 6:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: electric shock hazard [opening a DVD player]
Replies: 11
Views: 1236

Re: electric shock hazard

You will be fine. There are two aspects to the shock hazard: 1 - Touching something inside while its plugged in and energized. 2 - After its turned off and unplugged, the electrolytic filter capacitors in the power supply retain charge for a short time and can shock you. Depending on the design of ...
by random_walker_77
Sat Apr 28, 2018 6:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Company has Fidelity...Is Brokeragelink good or bad?
Replies: 27
Views: 1518

Re: Company has Fidelity...Is Brokeragelink good or bad?

Good job on your progress. The two other books I'd recommend are "A Random Walk Down Wall Street" and "The Millionaire Next Door"

For the former, you can find the top quotes at https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Taylor_ ... tment_Gems
by random_walker_77
Sat Apr 28, 2018 2:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cashing out of the Bay Area
Replies: 84
Views: 10916

Re: Cashing out of the Bay Area

For what it is worth, we sold out of the Bay area in very early 2000. Turned out to be a good time, but we were just going on gut. It had run up 2.5x in 6 years. Eighteen years later, our home there is worth well more than twice now than what we sold it for. However, you couldn’t pay me enough to m...
by random_walker_77
Sat Apr 28, 2018 12:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sound Proofing Upstairs Rental Unit
Replies: 9
Views: 1250

Re: Sound Proofing Upstairs Rental Unit

Might look into http://www.greengluecompany.com/products/noiseproofing-compound or https://www.nationalgypsum.com/products/Product.aspx?ProductID=2353 A coworker highly recommended green glue + an additional layer of drywall. The amazon reviews are encouraging, but I haven't tried it yet: https://sm...
by random_walker_77
Sat Apr 28, 2018 11:41 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Company has Fidelity...Is Brokeragelink good or bad?
Replies: 27
Views: 1518

Re: Company has Fidelity...Is Brokeragelink good or bad?

Same boat. My company's 401k has poor bond options, but brokeragelink allows me to get AGG (iShares Barclays Aggregate Bond Fund) commission free. 0.06 expense ratio and often compared to vanguard's BND etf (total bond) I'm lazy so I actually use the 401k bond fund and then bulk transfer to AGG once...