Search found 188 matches

by lotusflower
Fri Nov 09, 2018 12:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How much is too much in savings account?
Replies: 17
Views: 3802

Re: How much is too much in savings account?

I am not a great believer in the conventional wisdom that "money needed in the next 5, or whatever number you choose, years should be in a savings account or at least bonds." Certainly your EF should be in a savings account, because there may be "hard" requirements for that money. OTOH, many other ...
by lotusflower
Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I reject Google drive for privacy/tracking?
Replies: 38
Views: 3107

Re: Should I reject Google drive for privacy/tracking?

There is some value there, like if I buy an airline ticket with a Gmail address, then when the itinerary is received, it shows up on my calendar right away. That's very convenient. So yes, Google knows where I am traveling, but Visa knows too, and they sell my data like crazy. So I use Gmail and Goo...
by lotusflower
Mon Oct 29, 2018 10:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: nobody can time the market ... but is it a bad idea to be tech ETF ?
Replies: 12
Views: 1227

Re: nobody can time the market ... but is it a bad idea to be tech ETF ?

Plenty of people can time the market, but probably not you or me. At least the odds are against it.

Tech will be here for the long haul. Of course that assumption is already priced into tech stock prices.

Good luck with your investing.
by lotusflower
Mon Oct 22, 2018 8:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Very short term taxable
Replies: 2
Views: 240

Very short term taxable

I have some money (over $100k) sitting in a taxable account at Merrill Edge and I am not sure what I will do with it but will probably have to figure it out by the end of the year. Also some may be needed for taxes in April, since I've already paid estimated taxes but have some LTCG above the safe h...
by lotusflower
Mon Oct 22, 2018 5:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Put more than 20% down on a house?
Replies: 33
Views: 3629

Re: Put more than 20% down on a house?

IMO, real estate (including home to live in) is a leverage play. I would not put more than 20% down unless you get better terms. As far as 30yr vs 15yr loans, my suggestion would be to get the 30yr and pay it off in 15yrs. If you get a 30-year and you pay it off in 15, the higher rate of the 30-yea...
by lotusflower
Sun Oct 21, 2018 11:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Put more than 20% down on a house?
Replies: 33
Views: 3629

Re: Put more than 20% down on a house?

I'm not sure I feel comfortable going with a 15 yr mortgage. That would be a pretty large monthly payment. I do plan on paying extra mortgage payments but I would like the flexibility of not having a large payment due every month. I see two different factors at play. 1) you can afford a $200k downp...
by lotusflower
Fri Oct 19, 2018 3:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Help me understand dividends
Replies: 146
Views: 13291

Re: Help me understand dividends

Well the subtext I got from the OP's various posts was not "gee, why do dividends exist?" but rather "As a growth investor, why would I ever choose a stock that pays dividends. Is there something I'm missing?"

Also note that the post is 2 years old, but obviously still fun to debate.
by lotusflower
Fri Oct 19, 2018 1:36 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Timing mortgage pay down
Replies: 49
Views: 3997

Re: Timing mortgage pay down

Amortization is not a way to cheat you out of your money. The 'simplest' way to pay back a 30-year loan would be to pay 1/360th of the principal each month plus whatever interest is due. I just ran the numbers for a $1MM loan at 4%, where the amortized payment would be $4774. With this "simple" plan...
by lotusflower
Thu Oct 18, 2018 1:37 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Help me understand dividends
Replies: 146
Views: 13291

Re: Help me understand dividends

First of all, there is a fallacy that dividends don't matter just because the periodically step the share price. Maybe it would help to think about a company with absolutely no growth, say a fictional electric utility that serves a fixed geographic area by running a handful of power plants. The comp...
by lotusflower
Wed Oct 17, 2018 6:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying off the mortgage early - Isn't this the opposite of "putting more money into your house"?
Replies: 96
Views: 9062

Re: Paying off the mortgage early - Isn't this the opposite of "putting more money into your house"?

I often see the argument against paying off your mortgage early, because it is "putting more money into your house". Isn't it the opposite? This is all just semantics about the very generic and flexible English word "put". "putting money into something" can mean SPENDING money ON it STORING money I...
by lotusflower
Wed Oct 17, 2018 2:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Too good to be true; what am I missing?
Replies: 17
Views: 3100

Re: Too good to be true; what am I missing?

I don't think you gave enough details to get a straight answer. What are your loan parameters (principal, rate, term)? How old are you, and why do you want to tie up so much money in a non-liquid investment? @Nate79 is right; there's no magic hidden in amortization tables. Higher rates are always wo...
by lotusflower
Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:21 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What did you buy today
Replies: 111
Views: 8491

Re: What did you buy today

SCHB (total market) and SCHF (international) using whatever cash my bond funds have been throwing off over the past few months.
by lotusflower
Mon Oct 01, 2018 2:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Beginner. Want to get mega-rich. Help with portfolio, tips, etc.
Replies: 87
Views: 8640

Re: Beginner. Want to get mega-rich. Help with portfolio, tips, etc.

Welcome to the forum. Sorry there are no easy answers. It's often said that the people who got rich during California's gold rush were not the miners, but the men who sold shovels and maps. Nowadays, those are the people selling stock-trading "systems", though at least the shovels actually worked. A...
by lotusflower
Mon Oct 01, 2018 2:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What should you do if you have to use Facebook?
Replies: 22
Views: 2546

Re: What should you do if you have to use Facebook?

The Chrome browser lets you set up different "users". Data is not shared between users. I run FB in a separate Chrome user. I believe that helps keep your browsing history away from FB, but I still get ads for products my wife searches for on our shared wifi, so there is plenty of leakage somewhere....
by lotusflower
Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:49 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why does rebalancing a 50/50 SP500/EAFE mix appear to increase return relative to an unrebalanced 50/50 mix?
Replies: 6
Views: 707

Re: Why does rebalancing a 50/50 SP500/EAFE mix appear to increase return relative to an unrebalanced 50/50 mix?

lotusflower wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:38 am
The total is $2060, so you made $60!!!!
What's even cooler is that if, instead of doubling, the stock dips to $5 and back up to $10, then you will still end up with a bit over $2060 if you rebalance at $8 and at $6 and then again at $8 when it heads back up.
by lotusflower
Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:38 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why does rebalancing a 50/50 SP500/EAFE mix appear to increase return relative to an unrebalanced 50/50 mix?
Replies: 6
Views: 707

Re: Why does rebalancing a 50/50 SP500/EAFE mix appear to increase return relative to an unrebalanced 50/50 mix?

This did not ring quite logical to me. I understand that rebalancing reduces risk, but how does it make you buy low and sell high? Suppose you have a stock that rises in price from $10 to $20, and then goes back down to $10. Rebalancing, as I see it, would make you sell at $12, $15, and $18, then m...
by lotusflower
Thu Sep 27, 2018 9:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Economic reasons for rate increase by the Fed?
Replies: 71
Views: 6177

Re: Economic reasons for rate increase by the Fed?

One of the largest reasons for the recent rate increases is that the Fed has only a couple of tools at its disposal. The use of "quantitative easing" in the past years amounts to printing money to buy securities, and that's something that they're not particularly comfortable with. The Fed much pref...
by lotusflower
Thu Sep 27, 2018 8:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HELOC to Pay off Mortgage
Replies: 36
Views: 3446

Re: HELOC to Pay off Mortgage

All that matters is the difference in loan rates. Nothing else. Highly likely the HELOC is a higher rate so this makes zero sense... +1 The way mortgages work is that at the end of each month, you are charged at the loan interest rate for your entire principal. It's the inverse of a savings bank wh...
by lotusflower
Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [AARP Article re: ID Theft & Dark Web]
Replies: 32
Views: 4042

Re: Dark Web Article

Bottom line is that there are lots of risks, but having passwords "out there" in professionally managed encrypted cloud storage of some kind is not the most important risk to worry about. It's an illusion to think that the privacy of your own home and your internet-connected computer/browser setup i...
by lotusflower
Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Employer won't Match 401k. Why?
Replies: 52
Views: 5687

Re: Employer won't Match 401k. Why?

i have tried for years to get my employer to pay me less in salary if they'll do matching. or to take their "match" out of my year end bonus. i would get less in my paycheck but it's a wash as the difference would show up in my employer's 401k contributions. my arguments have fallen on deaf, non-bo...
by lotusflower
Mon Sep 17, 2018 12:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [AARP Article re: ID Theft & Dark Web]
Replies: 32
Views: 4042

Re: Dark Web Article

I do the first 2 above but use Google to keep most of my passwords, those of low security. I also keep an encrypted spreadsheet in case there are problems. The few which are critical are for financial sites (bank, investments, etc.) and each has a unique strong password and Google does not keep tho...
by lotusflower
Sun Sep 16, 2018 11:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Using Lastpass as your password manager
Replies: 34
Views: 3795

Re: Using Lastpass as your password manager

I think what you are suggesting re password management is impractical, at the moment, for the average user. I can see limiting oneself to a local password manager like KeePass to avoid having anything in the cloud. But I doubt most people can implement your idea, at least right now. I would love it...
by lotusflower
Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [AARP Article re: ID Theft & Dark Web]
Replies: 32
Views: 4042

Re: Dark Web Article

I still have trouble accepting that number 3 is the best way to go. Makes me nervous to have all of my passwords "out there" - and in one place, even if in encrypted form. I am open to being convinced, though. :wink: The math works. That is, modern encryption is secure when done correctly. If you p...
by lotusflower
Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Selling Internet domain name based on family last name.
Replies: 36
Views: 3692

Re: Received inquiry about purchasing domain name based on my own last name. How to respond?

Domain names, especially .Com's, are a scare resource. Price accordingly. I wouldn't sell any of my domains below 5 figures. If you use n letters there are 26^n of them, which is a big number even if n=5. I suppose there is some limit on the number of characters, so probably the number of .com doma...
by lotusflower
Thu Sep 13, 2018 4:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to help teenager fix silly mistakes in math?
Replies: 50
Views: 3379

Re: How to help teenager fix silly mistakes in math?

Here's what I tell my kids: Nobody likes to proofread their own writing or their own math, but you have to put your big kid pants on and do it. Also if you want to do music (or any skill-based activity) it more effective to go slowly and get rid of mistakes and then speed up after you have control, ...
by lotusflower
Sun Sep 09, 2018 4:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Using Lastpass as your password manager
Replies: 34
Views: 3795

Re: Using Lastpass as your password manager

In my opinion, a key logger, other malware on your machine or being subject to a successful phishing attack would be the bigger danger. Some of which would make you vulnerable even if you used a non web based password manager such as Keepass (using a password manager is pretty much a necessity as i...
by lotusflower
Mon Aug 27, 2018 12:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Security Box for Papers
Replies: 23
Views: 2022

Re: Home Security Box for Papers

Security is a trade off between convenience and security. I trust the level of security in the encryption of the containers with Veracrypt, given the encryption takes place offline on my machine (I even hardened the encryption during the containers creation). I also don't think I'm an important eno...
by lotusflower
Mon Aug 27, 2018 1:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best ultra thin pocket knife?
Replies: 54
Views: 3638

Re: Best ultra thin pocket knife?

I have carried a Spyderco Cricket for many years. It's not for everyone, but I love it, very small and slim. Not great for cutting fruit, but great for everything else. I just misplaced it last week and I'm really hoping it turns up.
by lotusflower
Sun Aug 26, 2018 12:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Security Box for Papers
Replies: 23
Views: 2022

Re: Home Security Box for Papers

Everything is digitized, stored in the cloud behind Veracrypt containers, with originals in the safe deposit box. Never had an issue. I've never been able to get comfortable with the idea of having personal, sensitive information outside of my complete control e.g in Dropbox or iCloud, even if it i...
by lotusflower
Sun Aug 26, 2018 12:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is your stealth way to save monthly?
Replies: 87
Views: 9911

Re: What is your stealth way to save monthly?

Payroll direct deposit. Most modern payrolls will allow you to split your deposit into several banks. Opening a CapitalOne360 Savings account and having money sent there directly made a huge difference in my ability to save.
by lotusflower
Fri Aug 24, 2018 1:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best way to get Skype or Facetime on a TV?
Replies: 16
Views: 1161

Re: Best way to get Skype or Facetime on a TV?

Similar to the others, we use the TV as a second monitor, but don't bother to set it all up except for holidays. It helps to get a cheap webcam and hang it on the TV, something like https://www.amazon.com/Logitech-960-000585-HD-Webcam-C310/dp/B003LVZO8S You can get very inexpensive USB and HDMI exte...
by lotusflower
Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Emergency fund checkup
Replies: 19
Views: 1687

Re: Emergency fund checkup

However, not saving for known costs of, albeit, mostly unknown magnitude does not strike me prudent. Prudence is having an emergency fund. Congrats, you've exceeded the standard recommendation of 6 months. As others pointed out nobody saves money for home selling costs, it just comes out of the hom...
by lotusflower
Wed Jul 11, 2018 12:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Emergency fund checkup
Replies: 19
Views: 1687

Re: Emergency fund checkup

Most people don't consider those expenses as "emergency" expenses. Most emergencies are hard to predict — will you be hit by a car and injured, or have flood damage to your house, or lose your job? So to handle these low-probability risks you set aside a big lump of money for them, and then move on ...
by lotusflower
Sat Jul 07, 2018 11:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: E- Billing & Autopay
Replies: 27
Views: 2607

Re: E- Billing & Autopay

Make everything paperless. If you overlook or forget things, automatic payment is by far the best way to go; it' set and forget. In fact, for seniors, it's even more important to set things up like this to avoid oversights or inability to keep up with things. +1 Autopay really is the best thing sin...
by lotusflower
Sat Jul 07, 2018 11:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Checkbook balancing software?
Replies: 31
Views: 1967

Re: Checkbook balancing software?

There is a free software package called "GnuCash" which is a basic accounting package similar to Quicken and so it would include a check register and statement reconciliation feature. Gnucash can do data imports from your bank and there is a very active mailing list if you need tech support. I used ...
by lotusflower
Sat Jun 30, 2018 4:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: hybrid or plug-in electric car
Replies: 70
Views: 4516

Re: hybrid or plug-in electric car

How much "maintenance" is required for the ICE part of a plug in prius or ioniq? Let's not pretend like these things are breaking all the time or require anything more than minimum maintenance. A heck of a lot less than say a Tesla for instance. Order of magnitude less. Order of magnitude less??? T...
by lotusflower
Sat Jun 30, 2018 11:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: hybrid or plug-in electric car
Replies: 70
Views: 4516

Re: hybrid or plug-in electric car

I think it should be required that anyone suggesting EV car and loves theirs disclose how many cars they own and if all of them are EV. Whatever. The number of cars I own isn't really relevant. The math is simple. If you have an EV, it has 80-100 mile range. If you drive that much every day, it's p...
by lotusflower
Sat Jun 30, 2018 10:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: hybrid or plug-in electric car
Replies: 70
Views: 4516

Re: hybrid or plug-in electric car

Note the 2017 reference below my sentence that you quote. Looks like it's now 8 years or so? Surely doesn't look like the 20 yrs the OP is hoping for. Perhaps you could add something to provide accurate information? That is the warranty period. Doesn’t mean all batteries stop functioning the day af...
by lotusflower
Sat Jun 30, 2018 1:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: glass cancer?( watermark etching)
Replies: 24
Views: 2906

Re: glass cancer?( watermark etching)

If you already used 600 grit sandpaper, I think you are done. Normally that's the first step in a polishing process using finer and finer abrasives (polishing compounds) but for glass you have to do the whole surface with a machine to get something that is even enough to look good. Even then, I'm no...
by lotusflower
Sat Jun 30, 2018 1:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: hybrid or plug-in electric car
Replies: 70
Views: 4516

Re: hybrid or plug-in electric car

One of the awesome things about pure EV Is maintenance. A gasoline engine is a marvel of engineering but it takes a lot of maintenance to keep it happy. Electric motors are dead simple and pretty much maintenance-free. Getting a hybrid means signing on for all the maintenance headaches of a regular ...
by lotusflower
Wed Jun 27, 2018 3:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much (green) cash at home for emergency ?
Replies: 169
Views: 15728

Re: How much (green) cash at home for emergency ?

I'm no prepper but it amazes me that so many BHers are all about the emergency fund and planning for the 'worst' in the markets, but are so blasé about any hiccups in the electrical or financial grids, either of which would go a lot more smoothly with a bit o' cash. Jugs of drinking water, a water ...
by lotusflower
Wed Jun 27, 2018 11:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much (green) cash at home for emergency ?
Replies: 169
Views: 15728

Re: How much (green) cash at home for emergency ?

I don't plan for apocalyptic scenarios. I'm no prepper but it amazes me that so many BHers are all about the emergency fund and planning for the 'worst' in the markets, but are so blasé about any hiccups in the electrical or financial grids, either of which would go a lot more smoothly with a bit o...
by lotusflower
Wed Jun 27, 2018 1:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much (green) cash at home for emergency ?
Replies: 169
Views: 15728

Re: How much (green) cash at home for emergency ?

Personally we keep $400 - 500 at home for emergencies but draw from it for kid's birthday money, Craigslist purchases, etc and then replenish it next time we are near an ATM. We do something like this. There are 2 stashes, $500 each. One is used to avoid frequent trips to the ATM. The money is used...
by lotusflower
Mon Jun 18, 2018 2:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Would you pay off mortgage in my situation?
Replies: 31
Views: 2953

Re: Would you pay off mortgage in my situation?

Personally not a fan of paying off cheap mortgages since it's hard to appreciate the value of liquidity until you need it but don't have it. 20k sounds like a pretty small emergency fund for two people, so it seems unduly risky to pay off the whole thing until you have more cash around.
by lotusflower
Sun Jun 10, 2018 7:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The effect of a difficult last name on employment prospects...
Replies: 43
Views: 3853

Re: The effect of a difficult last name on employment prospects...

AlphaLess wrote:
Sun Jun 10, 2018 6:40 pm
Some last names have a really cool sound to them:

- oil: Chevron, Exxon,
Wat?
by lotusflower
Sat Jun 09, 2018 12:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ignorant question about fixed rate home equity loans
Replies: 18
Views: 1402

Re: ignorant question about fixed rate home equity loans

I do use Schedule A and last year it totaled about $26,000 with a bit over $10K in taxes as part of it, so if I can put this additional interest on it, that would be good. I am going to write the IRS a letter and see if the project qualifies. That gives them lots of months to answer. I'm not a tax ...
by lotusflower
Sun Jun 03, 2018 6:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: “Financing” 2nd home purchase
Replies: 13
Views: 1259

Re: “Financing” 2nd home purchase

What about a HELOC on your paid off primary home? Should be able to get a similar interest rate as the conventional mortgage, with much more flexibility in paying it off.
by lotusflower
Thu May 31, 2018 12:03 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing an Emergency Fund
Replies: 30
Views: 3123

Re: Investing an Emergency Fund

I started thinking.. just what kind of emergency am I being prepared for? A major car repair goes on a card. I have 45-60 days to figure it out. An unexpected root canal? Care Credit, 0 percent interest. Lose my job? well in my case I'd get nice severance. Hail storm ruins my roof? I have insurance...
by lotusflower
Wed May 30, 2018 6:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Company going public - exercise ISOs?
Replies: 5
Views: 767

Re: Company going public - exercise ISOs?

My company just recently announced an IPO merger that will have us going public near the end of the year w/ a 1-yr lockout afterwards (no acceleration right now). I have vested ISOs (#s below) that I always figured I’d just exercise on an exit event ... I don't understand. If your company is not pu...
by lotusflower
Wed May 30, 2018 3:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Router hack, have you acted?
Replies: 101
Views: 10029

Re: Router hack, have you acted?

We turn ours off every night before going to bed. Hopefully, that provides us with some protection... Why would folks leave it on if you are sleeping? Because it's just to much trouble to remmeber to turn a router on and off several times a day, life's too short for that. Plus, what's different dur...