Search found 671 matches

by brad.clarkston
Sat May 25, 2019 10:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question on 529 and usage
Replies: 6
Views: 726

Re: Question on 529 and usage

We paid the school (Rolla S&T, MO) directly from the 529 the plan cuts the check with no extra fee's.

I wouldn't try to play the churn game with my kid's college money but that's just me.
by brad.clarkston
Tue May 14, 2019 5:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dealer or Local Mechanic?
Replies: 41
Views: 1969

Re: Dealer or Local Mechanic?

For my wife's new hybrid we use the dealer only better safe than sorry.
For my 2007 Camry a good local shop but it hasn't had more than a busted hose since we bought it in 2009.
by brad.clarkston
Wed Jan 23, 2019 1:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Internet service speed issue
Replies: 25
Views: 1270

Re: Internet service speed issue

Also, your ISP may be limiting bandwidth during peak hours. If this is the case, consider changing ISPs. Must be nice to live somewhere where changing ISP’s is an option! There is the option of cell provider with hotspot or no ISP...but that would involve making a change without complaining. Hopefu...
by brad.clarkston
Wed Jan 23, 2019 1:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cell Phone Plans - Question Re Best Plan for Combining Husband & Wife
Replies: 65
Views: 2815

Re: Cell Phone Plans - Question Re Best Plan for Combining Husband & Wife

Also Verizon and Sprint use the CDMA radio network while AT&T and T-MO uses GSM so if you move between them you will buy new phones it is not an option. This used to be true, but as Verizon and Sprint begin to phase out CDMA (Verizon is ahead in this) in favor of LTE, increasingly all four major ca...
by brad.clarkston
Wed Jan 23, 2019 12:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cell Phone Plans - Question Re Best Plan for Combining Husband & Wife
Replies: 65
Views: 2815

Re: Cell Phone Plans - Question Re Best Plan for Combining Husband & Wife

I'd recommend just heading over to the mall, because there will be T-Mobile, Sprint, AT&T, and Verizon stores there and just get the current pamphlet from each and compare them. No, OP should not do that. The mall kiosks are staffed by people who are incentivized to get you to pay more. And their b...
by brad.clarkston
Wed Jan 23, 2019 12:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cell Phone Plans - Question Re Best Plan for Combining Husband & Wife
Replies: 65
Views: 2815

Re: Cell Phone Plans - Question Re Best Plan for Combining Husband & Wife

Oh, really? That sucks. I got my plan seven years ago and have had no reason to look at other plans since then. And I guess I won't. :D Guess that's a win for the status quo. In that case, OP, I'm not sure what to do because T-Mobile apparently no longer offers the cheap plans. I'm under the impres...
by brad.clarkston
Wed Jan 23, 2019 12:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cell Phone Plans - Question Re Best Plan for Combining Husband & Wife
Replies: 65
Views: 2815

Re: Cell Phone Plans - Question Re Best Plan for Combining Husband & Wife

Also Verizon and Sprint use the CDMA radio network while AT&T and T-MO uses GSM so if you move between them you will buy new phones it is not an option. This used to be true, but as Verizon and Sprint begin to phase out CDMA (Verizon is ahead in this) in favor of LTE, increasingly all four major ca...
by brad.clarkston
Wed Jan 23, 2019 11:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Internet service speed issue
Replies: 25
Views: 1270

Re: Internet service speed issue

Speedtests are a horrible measure of anything they are just quick easy webpages for the average user that doesn't know how to calculate usage and they very radically. Speedtests are nothing more than a wepage sending a file from one server to another they rarely capture and calculate the entire pict...
by brad.clarkston
Wed Jan 23, 2019 10:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cell Phone Plans - Question Re Best Plan for Combining Husband & Wife
Replies: 65
Views: 2815

Re: Cell Phone Plans - Question Re Best Plan for Combining Husband & Wife

I currently have Verizon for my cell phone plan. I'm paying $60 per month for unlimited talk & text and 5 gb max data per month. My wife has Sprint. She's paying $80 per month for unlimited talk & text and unlimited data. We are both happy with the respective carriers and plans but I'd like to get ...
by brad.clarkston
Tue Jan 22, 2019 3:21 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Lincoln Financial???
Replies: 8
Views: 661

Re: Lincoln Financial???

Thanks Brad, I’m actually more concerned about what she should do with the terminated 401k. It’s small enough to just cash the check, pay the taxes and penalties and move on. OTH I’m glad she wants to invest for retirement, back to roll it where? I would roll it over even if it's just $700. It's a ...
by brad.clarkston
Tue Jan 22, 2019 3:17 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Help me understand why I need bonds
Replies: 19
Views: 1487

Re: Help me understand why I need bonds

Question Suppose I needed 30k during a market downturn, supposedly I’d sell bonds to avoid selling stocks at a loss, right? But if I wanted to remain at the same asset allocation (80:20 stocks: bonds), I’d still have to sell 24k worth of stocks to get back to my desired asset allocation of 80:20 st...
by brad.clarkston
Tue Jan 22, 2019 2:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How much international stock for U.S. retirees?
Replies: 19
Views: 1881

Re: How much international stock for U.S. retirees?

So I am torn if I should just up my SP500 or Total US Market stock allocation or buy back into a Foreign Index. Thoughts? Advise??? That's the hard part going Total US or a good Ex-US fund is fine ether way at the moment. I think in 25 years if I'm no longer willing/able to handle my accounts I'd b...
by brad.clarkston
Tue Jan 22, 2019 2:50 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Lincoln Financial???
Replies: 8
Views: 661

Re: Lincoln Financial???

Yes I would roll it over to a IRA now.

For the new 401k I'd just pick a single target fund with Lincoln Financial and see how they work over the next few years.
The important part is get her money and the match invested in something stable not have a perfect set of funds.
by brad.clarkston
Tue Jan 22, 2019 2:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How much international stock for U.S. retirees?
Replies: 19
Views: 1881

Re: How much international stock for U.S. retirees?

It's a % game. It really doesn't matter as your baking it into the AA. I would hold 20%-30% of total equities even if it's a 40/60 AA or maybe just buy Wellesley (VWINX) and still get 6% International depending on how much or little you want to think about it. The bigger issue for me with allot of "...
by brad.clarkston
Tue Jan 22, 2019 11:21 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Little advice going forward, internation/bonds/taxable
Replies: 11
Views: 533

Re: Little advice going forward, internation/bonds/taxable

Like everything else in life the answer is "It Depends". My general rule of thumb is that less than 30% of something in your port barely moves the needle and 5% of something isn't worth keeping. How much international/SmallCap/REIT/TIPS is kind of a personal decision. None of those is 100% necessary...
by brad.clarkston
Mon Jan 21, 2019 1:53 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Setting a personal AA glide path
Replies: 14
Views: 1224

Re: Setting a personal AA glide path

Nothing wrong with that drip plan but then there's nothing wrong with a fixed plan ether. I'm 47 looking to retire at 70 but then I work from home 99% of the time with a flexible schedule. My point? It all depends on the person. My AA currently is 60/30/10 - US/Inter. equity/US bond in funds but the...
by brad.clarkston
Mon Jan 21, 2019 1:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to buy CR2032 batteries?
Replies: 48
Views: 3798

Re: Where to buy CR2032 batteries?

I bought mine on Amazon.com and the batteries were made by Panasonic. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00REWNF2M/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o04__o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 Are they any good? Fakespot only gave them a C There rebranded Energizers so yes there fine. Amazon doesn't make there own "Amazon...
by brad.clarkston
Sun Jan 20, 2019 10:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Questions about Fidelity
Replies: 21
Views: 1798

Re: Questions about Fidelity

All of the Credit and Debit card functions are outsourced to a horrible 3rd party company and not worth using. That's why the rep can't tell you much it's because they can't access the 3rd party system and there not allowed to tell you that.

Everything else I love about the company.
by brad.clarkston
Sun Jan 20, 2019 1:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is California worth the premium?
Replies: 89
Views: 5494

Re: Is California worth the premium?

Where are all these "paradise"-like places in the continental US? People keep mentioning moving to such places outside CA, but without saying where these places are exactly. I used to travel extensively around the country for previous jobs, and was never lucky-enough to discover these wonderful pla...
by brad.clarkston
Sun Jan 20, 2019 12:23 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Help w/ asset allocation across accounts
Replies: 6
Views: 573

Re: Help w/ asset allocation across accounts

I'm a new Boglehead and am working on my asset allocation across accounts. My problem is that my current employer's 401K is my largest account, the one I'm contributing the most to, and has the poorest selection of funds. There is too much money in that account to select only low-cost index funds ....
by brad.clarkston
Sat Jan 19, 2019 10:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cleaning up Facebook feed for elderly relative
Replies: 12
Views: 2302

Re: Cleaning up Facebook feed for elderly relative

This is not a silver bullet because FB sucks but ... 1.) Set everyone in her Friends list to "Acquaintances" except for immediate family. If there's someone she just has to have add them to family. 2.) Go into the "Groups" section and remove (check the don't allow others to re-add you) everything ex...
by brad.clarkston
Sat Jan 19, 2019 9:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best Credit Card for International Travel
Replies: 51
Views: 3383

Re: Best Credit Card for International Travel

Never use a Penfed card overseas, even if you've informed them of your travel plans. They'll call/email you for any charge coming from overseas. While it seemed great fraud protection, it deemed my Penfed cards useless overseas since my cell phone did not work there nor did I have internet access o...
by brad.clarkston
Sat Jan 19, 2019 9:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How does Fidelity cut cost on their zero expense index funds?
Replies: 7
Views: 774

Re: How does Fidelity cut cost on their zero expense index funds?

It's just a loss leader for them and they make money by securities lending like every other fund out there including VG. Fidelity does a whole lot more than just trade index funds. I would imagine that some fraction of people who move money ther for zero-fee funds also end up investing in higher fe...
by brad.clarkston
Sat Jan 19, 2019 8:58 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How should I adjust my portfolio
Replies: 29
Views: 2450

Re: How should I adjust my portfolio

So your first real decision is those FTEC/Cost stocks. You need to figure out what your capital gains liability is before you sell them. If it's not much yes I'd toss those in a heartbeat but it depends on your financial situation not ours. So FTEC/COST should go first. Both of them are under the w...
by brad.clarkston
Sat Jan 19, 2019 7:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How does Fidelity cut cost on their zero expense index funds?
Replies: 7
Views: 774

Re: How does Fidelity cut cost on their zero expense index funds?

It's just a loss leader for them and they make money by securities lending like every other fund out there including VG.

Fidelity does a whole lot more than just trade index funds.
by brad.clarkston
Sat Jan 19, 2019 7:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is California worth the premium?
Replies: 89
Views: 5494

Re: Is California worth the premium?

I had the chance to live in Santa Barbara for half a year and absolutely loved having the ocean in my front yard and mountains in my backyard as I love being outdoors and active. But it's sooo expensive. Median home prices $1.2 million and I'm not sure I'd be thrilled with those...compared to my < ...
by brad.clarkston
Sat Jan 19, 2019 7:07 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 401k Allocation Help
Replies: 7
Views: 300

Re: 401k Allocation Help

Yes I would dump it all into one Target Date fund that matches your preferred stock/bond % and be done with it. Depending on your employer and there plan you can roll part/all of it over to a private IRA once a year (this is what I do) to get a better fund list but that's very dependent on the the ...
by brad.clarkston
Sat Jan 19, 2019 5:46 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How should I adjust my portfolio
Replies: 29
Views: 2450

Re: How should I adjust my portfolio

So your first real decision is those FTEC/Cost stocks. You need to figure out what your capital gains liability is before you sell them. If it's not much yes I'd toss those in a heartbeat but it depends on your financial situation not ours.
by brad.clarkston
Sat Jan 19, 2019 5:20 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 401k Allocation Help
Replies: 7
Views: 300

Re: 401k Allocation Help

Yes I would dump it all into one Target Date fund that matches your preferred stock/bond % and be done with it. Depending on your employer and there plan you can roll part/all of it over to a private IRA once a year (this is what I do) to get a better fund list but that's very dependent on the the c...
by brad.clarkston
Sat Jan 19, 2019 5:10 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Brand new here, what to do with $50K cash right now
Replies: 12
Views: 1876

Re: Brand new here, what to do with $50K cash right now

I would probably pick option #2 if it was me (CD ladder) to make it easier to use as income if needed.
by brad.clarkston
Sat Jan 19, 2019 4:02 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 401k is moving from Betterment to Empower - Selection Advice
Replies: 4
Views: 215

Re: 401k is moving from Betterment to Empower - Selection Advice

The Schwab target date fund has a 0.08% ER and will handle rebalancing automatically for you. The asset allocation is also designed and adjusted as needed by a professional. That would be the simplest solution compared to a four fund portfolio, if as you say, you value simplicity and low costs. Tha...
by brad.clarkston
Sat Jan 19, 2019 3:55 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 401k is moving from Betterment to Empower - Selection Advice
Replies: 4
Views: 215

Re: 401k is moving from Betterment to Empower - Selection Advice

Ether option at your age is perfectly fine. It's better at your age to not think to hard about the fine print and just save the money. The Target Date fund is a whole market approach that includes bonds you just pick the Target Date that matches the bond allocation you want. The Target Date is nice ...
by brad.clarkston
Fri Jan 18, 2019 3:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Alan Roth: 5 Investing Lessons
Replies: 28
Views: 2801

Re: Alan Roth: 5 Investing Lessons

Would keeping bonds simple include holding TIPS? One thing we have not had over the last 20 years is serious unexpected inflation. I am getting very close to retirement and something I hear a lot about is TIPS. I'm not sure you can get simpler than holding half of your fixed income in a bond fund a...
by brad.clarkston
Thu Jan 17, 2019 7:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I buy a house in the Bay area or give up?
Replies: 94
Views: 7863

Re: Should I buy a house in the Bay area or give up?

Now that I've turned 30, I feel like I'm too old to have a roommate. Thoughts? I can relate, 18 years in the same house with the wife and kid and there still driving me crazy. Even if you were in the MidWest I would still hold off on buying a house. I know old is new again and all of the 30-somethi...
by brad.clarkston
Thu Jan 17, 2019 3:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another PenFed Failure (Funds transfer)
Replies: 5
Views: 813

Re: Another PenFed Failure (Funds transfer)

I've had a string of issues with PenFed and have stopped allot of my business with them, working towards 0.

A bit of blame goes my way to be honest but there customer support has soured to me a service that isn't what it used to be.
by brad.clarkston
Thu Jan 17, 2019 1:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Card Promo Rate Runs Out
Replies: 4
Views: 377

Re: Credit Card Promo Rate Runs Out

You'd have to read the fine print. There are promos where the interest rate really is 0%, and if you don't pay it off in the promo period, it begins accruing at the new rate only when the promo period has ended. I believe this is how most such offers tied to credit cards work. However there are oth...
by brad.clarkston
Thu Jan 17, 2019 12:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is US Bank up to?! Easy Checking Secret Changes!
Replies: 12
Views: 1719

Re: What is US Bank up to?! Easy Checking Secret Changes!

US Bank Run. Now. Seriously, either get another brick and mortar bank (hopefully a local one) or go with Ally. I do not understand the type of client that they are trying to capture. I suspect the lower tiers, meaning below 250k on deposit. My mother had just slightly less than that at the end of T...
by brad.clarkston
Thu Jan 17, 2019 11:46 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why GE is most actively traded stock?
Replies: 5
Views: 739

Re: Why GE is most actively traded stock?

It's a $9 stock so it's cheap and fools rush in after the blood bath.

GE is a horribly run company with no plan to fix there multiple issues so it's a permanent pass for me.
by brad.clarkston
Wed Jan 16, 2019 5:22 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Bond Allocation
Replies: 15
Views: 1361

Re: Bond Allocation

The Fed's TSP G fund is about the best bond fund you can get on the market. I wouldn't over think it and just use it as your only bond fund. If you want to diversify your fixed income I would add a CD ladder from a online high-yield company like Ally or cit. I include my emergency fund as part of th...
by brad.clarkston
Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: IOTA the new crypto?
Replies: 9
Views: 707

Re: IOTA the new crypto?

It's a competing blockchain that does not want to be called a blockchain. It's single upside is there's no mining. It's downside is there's no point to it . George Gilder argues that blockchain is the future of secure transactions. Vanguard is evaluating blockchain for secure financial data transfe...
by brad.clarkston
Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I afford a 50k car? If so, whats the best way to do it?
Replies: 48
Views: 2268

Re: Can I afford a 50k car? If so, whats the best way to do it?

I wouldn't fleece /lease unless your very sure you can meet the return policies (lease-end, excess mileage, excessive wear charges). I've found generally leasing is only a good option if you want a very premium ($80k+) car but do not drive it all that much usually you'll also have some type of deale...
by brad.clarkston
Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: IOTA the new crypto?
Replies: 9
Views: 707

Re: IOTA the new crypto?

It's a competing blockchain that does not want to be called a blockchain.

It's single upside is there's no mining.
It's downside is there's no point to it.
by brad.clarkston
Tue Jan 15, 2019 10:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Change my mind - Lease > Buy New Car
Replies: 23
Views: 2085

Re: Change my mind - Lease > Buy New Car

What are the lease options? You only listed half of the information needed what are the return policies - lease-end, excess mileage, and excessive wear charges ? Leasing is in no way like buying a car, very often it's not even like renting a car at Hertz. MSRP has almost nothing to do with leasing, ...
by brad.clarkston
Sat Jan 12, 2019 2:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Stay in private practice medical or take VA job offer?
Replies: 45
Views: 3808

Re: Stay in private practice medical or take VA job offer?

No that's not how it works my wife has been a federal employee 15 years and has went through multiple shutdowns under different administrations. 1.) Essential employee's work as normal and get paid just like every other day. 2.) Non-Essential employee's are sent home during the duration or called b...
by brad.clarkston
Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:07 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Lazy 3-fund portfolio at Fidelity
Replies: 4
Views: 1032

Re: Lazy 3-fund portfolio at Fidelity

Hi gang, I just rolled over a Fidelity 401k (target fund) from my previous employer into a traditional IRA. I have most of my investments at Vanguard but I wanted to keep some funds at Fidelity. Since the recommended 3 Fidelity funds for a lazy portfolio (FSTVX/FTIPX/FSITX) are closed to new invest...
by brad.clarkston
Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Stay in private practice medical or take VA job offer?
Replies: 45
Views: 3808

Re: Stay in private practice medical or take VA job offer?

I'm pretty sure "essential employee" just means you still have to work, you just aren't getting paid. This year is different, at least with the military/DoD, as that budget fortunately was already passed. No that's not how it works my wife has been a federal employee 15 years and has went through m...
by brad.clarkston
Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Who has the highest allocation to international stocks?
Replies: 65
Views: 6353

Re: Who has the highest allocation to international stocks?

No need. Here on Bogleheads.org, we believe in American exceptionalism. Except for cars. :twisted: Not sure why you would say that Toyota/Honda/Mitsubishi makes some of the best domestic cars here in the states. Granted those foreign GM/Ford/Fiat-Chrysler cars made in South America are horrible ;) ...
by brad.clarkston
Thu Jan 10, 2019 4:58 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Combining multiple accounts -which brokerage?
Replies: 4
Views: 321

Re: Combining multiple accounts -which brokerage?

I did the same thing a couple of years ago. I found Fidelity to be the most robust and easiest to work with. I keep my 3-fund port at Vanguard for the same reason you do but everything else 401k/secondary IRA/ROTH/HSA/Life Insurance/Billpay is at Fed. It was a obvious plus that my employer uses Fed ...
by brad.clarkston
Thu Jan 10, 2019 4:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is your allocation to U.S. and International?
Replies: 221
Views: 16923

Re: What is your allocation to U.S. and International?

Current AA: 60/30/10 - US equity / International equity / US bond Currently all 30% International is in Fed's FTIHX. I would love to break that up into Small Cap and Emg again but the last time I did it was a bloodbath I couldn't live with long term. I don't have access to any of the good small cap ...
by brad.clarkston
Sat Nov 17, 2018 4:34 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Northpointe Bank Website - legit?
Replies: 6
Views: 774

Re: Northpointe Bank Website - legit?

raghus wrote:
Sat Nov 17, 2018 4:20 pm
Thanks for the replies. I'm reasonably savvy about http/https but was surprised that a bank would redirect to a different URL altogether. That surprised me.
That's been all the rage for smaller banks for the last four or five years while the bigger boys hide behind akamai which you won't see.