Search found 50 matches

by btraven
Sat Dec 14, 2019 2:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "Safer" places for Spanish immersion experience?
Replies: 84
Views: 7505

Re: "Safer" places for Spanish immersion experience?

Try Querétaro, México. It's a beautiful colonial city, UN Cultural Heritage, and has its own airport.
by btraven
Tue Aug 07, 2018 6:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Explain] something to me about bonds, please
Replies: 4
Views: 930

Re: 'Splain something to me about bonds, please

It is because the market value of the fund is evaluated at the end of every day. The cash flows, which are known, of all the bonds are discounted back to the present and they have a variable present value, today, based on market conditions, including interest rates, inflation, and risk.
by btraven
Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: FLIR Thermal Imaging Camera
Replies: 14
Views: 1853

Re: FLIR Thermal Imaging Camera

The IR camera is going to work by showing you a temperature differential where it is wet. You could try first to use an IR thermometer and see if that gets the job done (just scan the suspected area).
by btraven
Wed Feb 07, 2018 1:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Visiting SAN FRANCISCO
Replies: 53
Views: 5145

Re: Visiting SAN FRANCISCO

Try American Conservatory for good plays at affordable prices - act-sf.org. Also, SFJazz if you like jazz.

Great free walking tours every day. Search for something like "Free Walking Tours San Francisco." Staffed by knowledgable, volunteer architects and historians generally.
by btraven
Sat May 27, 2017 1:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Things to do in NYC with a 14 month tomorrow?
Replies: 12
Views: 1783

Re: Things to do in NYC with a 14 month tomorrow?

Staten Island Ferry. Carl Schurz Park on East River near Gracie Mansion -- lot of little kids and playground there. https://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/carl-schurz-park "This picturesque park, partially hidden along the East River, is one of the city's best-concealed secrets. A stroll along the promen...
by btraven
Sat Jan 28, 2017 2:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Volunteering Ideas
Replies: 87
Views: 8008

Re: Volunteering Ideas

Peace Corps. I was in while I was 60 to 61. There is no age limit. A fellow volunteer was 77. Unfortunately the Peace Corps requires the longest commitment of any the suggestions listed here. 3 months of pre-training in the host country with a 2 year commitment in the host country afterwards. Not f...
by btraven
Sat Jan 28, 2017 1:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Verizon to Cricket or StraightTalk
Replies: 70
Views: 8959

Re: Verizon to Cricket or StraightTalk

I use T-Mobile for $30 a month with 5GB of data and 100 minutes. Mostly, I make and receive by calls via my Google Voice number on the data side.
by btraven
Sat Jan 28, 2017 1:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Verizon to Cricket or StraightTalk
Replies: 70
Views: 8959

Re: Verizon to Cricket or StraightTalk

I want to delete this....
by btraven
Sat Jan 28, 2017 1:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Volunteering Ideas
Replies: 87
Views: 8008

Re: Volunteering Ideas

Peace Corps. I was in while I was 60 to 61. There is no age limit. A fellow volunteer was 77.
by btraven
Fri Jan 20, 2017 1:05 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are TIPS good or bad?
Replies: 18
Views: 2660

Re: Are TIPS good or bad?

There are many possible future states of the world. An inflationary world where stocks and nominal bonds lose is one of them. TIPs offers some protections in that case, so they diversify your portfolio.
by btraven
Mon Jan 04, 2016 11:38 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Best use of tax losses
Replies: 11
Views: 1238

Re: Best use of tax losses

I think that you could use the loss to help qualify for ACA subsidy. Correct me if I am wrong, please.....
by btraven
Sat Oct 24, 2015 4:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Spending in retirement
Replies: 12
Views: 2591

Re: Spending in retirement

For a joint return, the federal capital LTGC rate is 0% for under $75k of taxable income. Why not take your income in your taxable accounts in capital gains? Sell the equity funds with the highest proportion of LTCG to market value to generate the spending money that you need? Sell for LTCG up to $7...
by btraven
Wed Feb 04, 2015 10:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard survey: what should they do differently?
Replies: 72
Views: 7212

Re: Vanguard survey: what should they do differently?

They should fix the Personal Performance to include all funds/accounts that were closed in a time period in the account. For instance, I lost my tracking when I converted my taxable account to a trust, even with the same investments -- I would have really have liked to see that performance data reta...
by btraven
Thu Dec 04, 2014 9:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: POLL: Should investors have a separate emergency fund?
Replies: 58
Views: 6824

Re: POLL: Should investors have a separate emergency fund?

If your quickly-accessible assets dominate your expenses and potential expenses, you don't need an emergency fund. You may have to sell at what you consider an inopportune time. However, as bogleheads acknowledge, you can't really know what the market is going to do in the future so you can't know i...
by btraven
Wed Nov 26, 2014 2:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retiree Portfolio Model
Replies: 1001
Views: 318083

Re: Retiree Portfolio Model

I haven't looked at the model yet, but can tell from the posts that it does many useful things pertinent to my situation. Does it include the case of taking long term captial gains at the 0% Federal rate as an option?
Thank you.
by btraven
Mon Nov 24, 2014 2:28 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why Alpha is getting more elusive
Replies: 28
Views: 4889

Re: Why Alpha is getting more elusive

Could we say that the market has gotten "more efficient" then, if the average market player and tools are better?
by btraven
Tue Nov 11, 2014 12:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travelling Companions or small groups
Replies: 32
Views: 5408

Re: Travelling Companions or small groups

You could try couchsurfing.com. Even if you don't couchsurf per se, you might find someone on a location bulletin board that is interested in finding travel companions in the same country as you. You could also couchsurf and meet locals that want to spend time with travelers that way.
by btraven
Fri Oct 24, 2014 11:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Phone for Europe trip
Replies: 24
Views: 2660

Re: Phone for Europe trip

Make sure to get a Google Voice number before leaving. You can call any number in the States for free with it over WiFi.
by btraven
Sat Oct 18, 2014 10:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tell me about Berlin :-)
Replies: 40
Views: 5417

Re: Tell me about Berlin :-)

Music: opera, classical, or jazz.

Technikmuseum is a science museum -- it is very interesting to see how another scientifically-advanced country views technology development in the last 150 years through its own eyes.
by btraven
Sat Aug 09, 2014 12:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: California Redwoods in December - VW Vanagon
Replies: 13
Views: 2494

Re: California Redwoods in December - VW Vanagon

Check out Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park in Santa Cruz. Generally, weather should be fine in December.
by btraven
Tue Jul 22, 2014 4:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA and ObamaCare subsidies
Replies: 12
Views: 1703

HSA and ObamaCare subsidies

If you put some income into an HSA (Health Spending Account), it is protected from income and SS taxes. I am wondering if the income that goes into an HSA is also excluded from the income that is counted for Obamacare subsidies. Can anyone please shed some light, please?
by btraven
Thu Jul 10, 2014 4:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to see and where to eat in Barcelona
Replies: 31
Views: 4619

Re: What to see and where to eat in Barcelona

Mauri´s for chocolate. Fundacio Miró Picasso Museum The Port Sitges, nearby beach community Montserrat by local train Pedrables, ex-convent Fundació Caixa Chocolate museum Born Market La Boquería- Sant Josep market La Arena, former plaza de toros, now mall San Cugat Palau de Musica City Hall, Ayunta...
by btraven
Sun Jun 29, 2014 1:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: favorite mid/low-priced Caribbean locale?
Replies: 30
Views: 4624

Re: favorite mid/low-priced Caribbean locale?

Isla Mujeres, Mexico
by btraven
Sun Jun 22, 2014 9:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retired Bogleheads want to relocate to California
Replies: 115
Views: 13121

Re: Retired Bogleheads want to relocate to California

In addition to SLO, trying looking at southern Santa Cruz County or northern Monterey county, the San Lorenzo Valley or maybe San Juan Bautista. Not cheap, but a townhouse in one of these places might work for you.
by btraven
Sun Jun 22, 2014 8:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Bracket Management at 15%/25% Boundary
Replies: 33
Views: 4240

Re: Tax Bracket Management at 15%/25% Boundary

If you have a choice between reducing your tax rate from 15% to 0% (i.e. using LTCG to fill up the 15% bracket), isn't that better than converting to Roth which will reduce the tax rate for a lot of people from 25% to 15%, only a 10% improvement?
by btraven
Fri Apr 25, 2014 12:10 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Mel's Unloved Mid-Caps Finally Getting Some Respect
Replies: 82
Views: 15252

Re: Mel's Unloved Mid-Caps Finally Getting Some Respect

I kind of remember that the current Primecap fund started out as a midcap fund. Is that true?
by btraven
Tue Mar 18, 2014 12:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: ANY secure Internet access while traveling?
Replies: 54
Views: 6174

Re: ANY secure Internet access while traveling?

Yes, a VPN should be a big help. You download software onto your device that encrypts it before it leaves your computer. A VPN can also help you to look like you are in the US when traveling so you can access US-only sites. One that I use is boxpn.com
by btraven
Sat Feb 22, 2014 6:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Would you invest an emergency fund?
Replies: 30
Views: 4063

Re: Would you invest an emergency fund?

If you have a high portfolio value relative to your expenses, I think that you do not need a separate emergency fund since even a large decline in the portfolio value will not impair your ability to pay expenses for a couple of years.
by btraven
Mon Feb 17, 2014 7:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Article:How costly is the end of the year match
Replies: 29
Views: 3062

Re: Article:How costly is the end of the year match

Re: Article:How costly is the end of the year match Postby manwithnoname » Sun Feb 16, 2014 6:51 pm sometimesinvestor wrote:A good article which points out AOL may have done us a favor . http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/15/your- ... pe=article Not exactly. The article is based on the false premise th...
by btraven
Sat Feb 15, 2014 1:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Leverage Your Way To A Richer Retirement
Replies: 28
Views: 4687

Re: Leverage Your Way To A Richer Retirement

Isn't this more or less taken into account in the early work on CAPM where you can dial in additional risk and expected return by borrowing at the riskless rate? This scheme does that but then reduces the overall risk of the portfolio by lending (buying bonds) at the riskless rate. Of course, you ca...
by btraven
Fri Feb 14, 2014 12:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Can your Cap Gains percentage get too high?
Replies: 13
Views: 1635

Re: Can your Cap Gains percentage get too high?

A good general rule is not to let the tax tail wag the investment dog. I am not asking about changing investments I am asking if I should periodically cash in some long term capital gains for any reason. The proceeds would be reinvested into the same AA. If you have any 0% bracket space for cap gai...
by btraven
Wed Feb 12, 2014 3:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I'm feeling old today
Replies: 97
Views: 9855

Re: I'm feeling old today

We should remember Shirley Temple this week. Not of my generation but still fresh enough to watch her movies on TV.
by btraven
Fri Feb 07, 2014 5:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you define "emergency fund?"
Replies: 32
Views: 3974

Re: How do you define "emergency fund?"

My feeling is that, if your monthly expenses are low related to your financial assets, you probably don´t need much of an emergency fund as long as you can get cash within a few days. You might as well have the money invested according to your AA than let it sit idle for decades. So, if you have $1M...
by btraven
Fri Jan 17, 2014 8:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Work & Life balance
Replies: 12
Views: 2260

Re: Work & Life balance

Corporate America will take your whole life if you let it these days. The hard thing was balancing my meager time off between my children and my parents that did not live close by. Now that my parents are gone, I am sorry that I did not spend more time with them.
by btraven
Fri Jan 17, 2014 8:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: SA: Why I'm Not A Passive Investor
Replies: 19
Views: 3148

Re: SA: Why I'm Not A Passive Investor

Good companies are already priced as good companies. You probably don't have any information that is not already reflected in the price. It is not about buying good companies, it is about the odds of knowing with certainty that a company is going to get mo' better or get better faster than the marke...
by btraven
Fri Jan 17, 2014 8:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which Book is Better - Personal Finance or Career Choice?
Replies: 13
Views: 1114

Re: Which Book is Better - Personal Finance or Career Choice

This one might be a good fit. The advice is solid and aimed at younger people: "How to Be Richer, Smarter, and Better-Looking Than Your Parents".
by btraven
Fri Dec 27, 2013 11:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ACA Income Tax Planning Strategies
Replies: 64
Views: 12398

Re: ACA Income Tax Planning Strategies

How about taking capital gains that can be taxed at 0% if you keep AGI under about $35k (single)? Then you can sell the fund with stepped up basis to cover living expenses as you need money without generating (much) income and staying under subsidy levels. This is a reduction of 15% on the tax rate ...
by btraven
Sun Nov 10, 2013 4:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: We're not in an Equity Bubble
Replies: 61
Views: 9370

Re: We're not in an Equity Bubble

I wonder if anybody has every done the investor sentiment polling by percentages of dollars instead of percentages of people.
by btraven
Wed Jul 24, 2013 9:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cost of having an attorney draft a will
Replies: 37
Views: 8077

Re: Cost of having an attorney draft a will

$399 for simple trust, will, Power of Attorney, and healthcare directive in high COL California area.
by btraven
Sun Jul 21, 2013 12:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: California affordable care act rates for 2014 released
Replies: 143
Views: 17871

Re: California affordable care act rates for 2014 released

I hope that the idea that a young, healthy person is making a rational decision to pay the penalty rather than get a subsidized insurance plan does not gain acceptance. Having insurance means not freeloading, taking individual responsibility and having "worst case" plans for oneself. Kind of like gr...
by btraven
Sat Jul 20, 2013 10:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Consumerism and Happiness
Replies: 83
Views: 9645

Re: Consumerism and Happiness

As a whole, American society seems not to value the leisure time for friends, interests, family, and community that European and many other societies value. Ultimately, time is the most important thing that we have. Most American companies are willing to extract the most of it from employees, at the...
by btraven
Fri Jul 19, 2013 2:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Unsecured wifi
Replies: 66
Views: 9449

Re: Unsecured wifi

You can also get a VPN service like http://www.boxpn.com and have a secure connection from your device to a website for about $4 a month. With most VPN's, you can even appear like you are in the US because you can connect to servers with a US IP address, and access US services like Netflix.
by btraven
Fri Jul 19, 2013 1:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Europe Travel from paris initial start, help
Replies: 22
Views: 1817

Re: Europe Travel from paris initial start, help

Here's a recommendation for an inexpensive but nice hotel in Berlin. It is outside of the city center, but right on a good street car route. BusinessHotel in Pankow http://www.booking.com/hotel/de/bhberlinohgnord.en.html?aid=311088;label=hotel-61387-de-lEOnACG2OWrPckhKlyBCDAS2579123613:pl:ta:p1:p2:a...
by btraven
Wed Jul 17, 2013 11:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Cash allocation long term drag on performance? Alternatives
Replies: 33
Views: 4343

Re: Cash allocation long term drag on performance? Alternat

I think that the risk-free rate in classic MPT is a US government bond -- that is, you buy one and you pretty much get an iron-clad set of interest payments and return of principal. Interest payments on a nominal bond includes an expected inflation component and a market rate for the delayed use of...
by btraven
Sat Jul 13, 2013 8:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Cash allocation long term drag on performance? Alternatives
Replies: 33
Views: 4343

Re: Cash allocation long term drag on performance? Alternat

If your portfolio value is way above your living expenses for two years, you might consider not having a separate emergency cash allocation. If you can still get by comfortably for two to three years by selling financial assets even if the market is down 50%, then you are giving up the return on 2-...
by btraven
Sat Jul 13, 2013 12:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: NYC, Philly, Boston, or Chicago?
Replies: 102
Views: 13050

Re: NYC, Philly, Boston, or Chicago?

There is only one Big Apple. The other cities are all nice, but, if you can afford it, NYC is the place to spend a year.
by btraven
Fri Jul 12, 2013 11:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Cash allocation long term drag on performance? Alternatives
Replies: 33
Views: 4343

Re: Cash allocation long term drag on performance? Alternat

If your portfolio value is way above your living expenses for two years, you might consider not having a separate emergency cash allocation. If you can still get by comfortably for two to three years by selling financial assets even if the market is down 50%, then you are giving up the return on 2-3...
by btraven
Tue Jul 09, 2013 2:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Saving money on car repairs
Replies: 25
Views: 3793

Re: Saving money on car repairs

My suggestions: 1. Buy the shop manual. If if you don't do the repair, you can understand what a mechanic is doing. 2. Get an OBD code reader (about $30) to read the codes (and erase them after a fix or to see whether the condition is transitory) when you get an engine light. Often the code by itsel...
by btraven
Tue Jul 02, 2013 4:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Emergency fund contradiction
Replies: 44
Views: 4332

Re: Emergency fund contradiction

This is a very interesting discussion. So on the basis that you should remain fully invested (in whatever AA you prefer) at all times rather than having an emergency fund, should you also avoid buying life insurance? After all, it has a negative expected return, and if you invest that money instead...
by btraven
Tue Jul 02, 2013 3:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Emergency fund contradiction
Replies: 44
Views: 4332

Re: Emergency fund contradiction

I am going to take a contrarian view on emergency funds. It seems to me that, if your living expenses for at least a couple of years are a significant portion of your assets, you need an emergency fund to provide your living expenses until the problem blows over. If the amount of your investment por...