Search found 28 matches

by Urechis
Mon Jul 20, 2015 11:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car alarm worth it?
Replies: 11
Views: 1474

Re: Car alarm worth it?

Several years ago I ask our insurance company if they gave a discount if you had a car alarm. They said no. I concluded that either alarms were not that good at preventing theft or that theft was not a big source of loss for them.
by Urechis
Sun Jun 28, 2015 12:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Learning Guitar
Replies: 30
Views: 4710

Re: Learning Guitar

You might be interested in this discussion on the Acoustic Guitar Forum

http://www.acousticguitarforum.com/foru ... p?t=376009
by Urechis
Tue Dec 16, 2014 3:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard and Turbo Tax
Replies: 38
Views: 6766

Re: Vanguard and Turbo Tax

After connecting to TurboTax through Vanguard I tried to order the download of TT Premier today. I could not get past a screen that required me to enroll in an annual subscription program called TurboTax Advantage. The program quoted the full price of $89.99. I imagined getting charged this every ye...
by Urechis
Fri Dec 05, 2014 12:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you have a gas insert fireplace? which brand?
Replies: 4
Views: 985

Re: Do you have a gas insert fireplace? which brand?

We have had a Mendota Model No. FV44i-PF2 for about a year and a half and like it quite a bit. We chose it primarily for aesthetics without a lot of research. It is quite realistic. I like having a focal heat source. We turn off the furnace at night and keep the house thermostat at 65 during the day...
by Urechis
Tue Apr 15, 2014 12:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TV show recommendations?
Replies: 535
Views: 208712

Re: TV show recommendations?

I just discovered this thread. I have added a number of the suggestions to my Netflix queue. One show that has not been mentioned is

Prime Suspect

a British police procedural series starring Helen Mirren.
by Urechis
Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Most underrated band of all time [that you listen to]?
Replies: 342
Views: 20084

Re: Most underrated band of all time [that you listen to]?

Walter Trout has been playing his Fender Stratocaster for over 30 years as a sideman and with his own band. We saw him perform this last July in Northern California. He coaxes some amazing sounds out of his guitar. He may be more popular in Europe than in the US

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Trout
by Urechis
Mon Jul 09, 2012 11:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Long Distance Walking
Replies: 143
Views: 19429

Re: Long Distance Walking

Two years ago we did the Coast-to-Coast Walk which traverses England from Saint Bees on the Irish Sea to Robin Hood's Bay on the North Sea (about 200 miles). The route goes through the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors. Great scenery and quaint villages along the way. We sp...
by Urechis
Mon Apr 25, 2011 3:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mexico Dangers
Replies: 126
Views: 64803

Five safest places in Mexico for travelers

This recent article from the San Francisco Chronicle might interest you. "Five safest places in Mexico for travelers" m Quote: "If you're looking for the safest places in Mexico, Yucatán and Tlaxcala states had fewer than 1.5 deaths per 100,000 population for the four-year period thro...
by Urechis
Sun Apr 10, 2011 4:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Murder Mystery Authors
Replies: 92
Views: 11644

The Icelandic author, Arnaldur Indridason, is also good. Similar to Henning Mankell. His books are somewhat dark police-procedural novels. Like Mankell's character Indridason's detective has a dysfunctional family and lots of baggage from the past.
by Urechis
Fri Feb 18, 2011 11:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Poll on unhedged, low espense international bond ETFs
Replies: 25
Views: 3699

I included foreign bonds in my portfolio after reading an article in the Journal of Financial Planning (2007) by William Coaker in which he identified global bonds as an asset class having consistently low correlation with other classes. I must admit that the recent Euro crisis has given me pause bu...
by Urechis
Thu Feb 17, 2011 2:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Inflation Fighting Strategies
Replies: 54
Views: 4533

The graph comparing CPI vs Gold is a form of data mining. You can support any position you want by choosing your start and end points. In this case the start is during the gold frenzy of 1980 so obviously it will reflect badly on gold as an investment. Another start date would show the opposite but ...
by Urechis
Thu Feb 10, 2011 11:27 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Commodities - a zero return asset class
Replies: 45
Views: 5859

Historical backtesting has shown that adding commodities to a diversified portfolio increases its efficiency. However, as commodities have become more accessible and popular for investors they seem to be in persistent contango (futures price greater than spot price). This creates a small loss every ...
by Urechis
Sat Sep 04, 2010 10:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TV series to recommend?
Replies: 139
Views: 16724

I second The Wire which I thought was the best TV series I have seen in 50 years of watching.
We are currently enjoying DVDs of Foyle's War, an understated BBC detective series set during WW2. It is full of fascinating historical detail about life in England during this period.
by Urechis
Sat Jan 02, 2010 10:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Gold thread?
Replies: 52
Views: 8267

Gold as a portfolio diversifier

Gold is volatile and has a low correlation with many conventional asset classes. It is, therefore, and effective portfolio diversifier. Ibbotson Associates prepared a study in 2005 that demonstrated this. m To quote: "Based on the forward looking resampled efficient frontiers, asset allocations...
by Urechis
Mon May 25, 2009 6:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A Cautionary Article About TIPs
Replies: 17
Views: 3094

It seems to me that investing is all about hedging risk. We buy a broad index fund to hedge individual company risk. International funds hedge against single country risk. Bonds hedge deflation risk. What is the best way to hedge inflation risk? No one knows whether or not we face and inflationary f...
by Urechis
Mon May 25, 2009 4:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A Cautionary Article About TIPs
Replies: 17
Views: 3094

It is certainly true that TIPs provide a more certain real return than most other investments. But they are often discussed as a way of hedging inflation risk. The question in my mind (I don't know the answer) is are TIPs the best way to hedge against future inflation. My interest is not in the cert...
by Urechis
Mon May 25, 2009 3:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A Cautionary Article About TIPs
Replies: 17
Views: 3094

A Cautionary Article About TIPs

I came across this article on Seeking Alpha. It reinforces some of the concerns I have had about relying on TIPs for inflation protection.

http://seekingalpha.com/article/139425- ... -avoid-tip

I thought other members of this forum might be interested.
by Urechis
Sat Apr 04, 2009 1:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TIP Killer - Low Inflation and Rising Interest Rates?
Replies: 52
Views: 8982

I share some of Invest134's unease about TIPS. Every article I read now about inflation protection recommends TIPS. This alone makes me nervous. In addition when/if social security gets in trouble a few years from now it seems quite possible that the BLS will rejigger the CPI calculation to limit be...
by Urechis
Sun Aug 24, 2008 12:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any Home wine makers out there?
Replies: 11
Views: 2625

We picked grapes on a small 4 acre vineyard that the owner had inherited from his father. The vines were too old to attract the interest of the commercial vintner who used to buy his harvest. He advertised on Craigs List for people to pick their own grapes. We paid him $70 to 130 lbs which took abou...
by Urechis
Sun Aug 24, 2008 11:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any Home wine makers out there?
Replies: 11
Views: 2625

My son started making wine 2 years ago and got me interested. Last September we picked zinfandel grapes near Healdsburg, CA. 130 lbs of grapes made about 30 bottles of wine. The procedure was surprisingly straightforward. I supposed I could have made it more complicated but our result was surprising...
by Urechis
Thu Aug 21, 2008 6:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Valuation of Emerging Markets
Replies: 6
Views: 1819

You might find this Bloomberg article of interest.

"Emerging-Market Retreat Is `Overdone,' Mobius Says"

The URL is

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid= ... 86uTtymRNs
by Urechis
Thu Aug 21, 2008 5:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Definition of internal rate of return
Replies: 17
Views: 2691

This is a very interesting discussion. When a mutual fund gives its annual performance numbers I assume this is another example of IRR. Quicken allows you to calculate investment performance as IRR. Assuming inflows and outflows are small relative to the average balance can I use this number to comp...
by Urechis
Fri Jul 04, 2008 4:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Trouble downloading stock quotes into Excel spreadsheet
Replies: 1
Views: 788

Trouble downloading stock quotes into Excel spreadsheet

I am having trouble downloading stock quotes into Excel 2007 using the Smart Tag "Insert refreshable stock price". Excel does not recognize GE or GM as stock symbols although it does recognize MSFT and CSCO. There are many other symbols that are not recognized as well. Does anyone on this ...
by Urechis
Wed Jun 11, 2008 10:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fee Only Financial Planner
Replies: 53
Views: 9832

I am retiring soon. I am comfortable with asset allocation, portfolio construction and safe withdrawal rate issues. I was considering a fee only planner to discuss issues of insurance, tax management of withdrawals, asset protection, Roth IRA conversion, rollover of retirement plan assets into a rol...
by Urechis
Fri May 09, 2008 12:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Low Volatility Portfolio For Retirement
Replies: 13
Views: 3433

Thank you all for the comments. I guess I was guilty of a little market timing when I switched from TIPS to real estate. It is just so hard to resist but I am getting better all the time and my goal is to transition into a completely passive portfolio. It recalls Saint Augustine "Grant me chast...
by Urechis
Fri May 09, 2008 9:12 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Low Volatility Portfolio For Retirement
Replies: 13
Views: 3433

arrow, I will be 62 next week. I am married. Life expectancy is a big unkown but I believe a couple in their mid-60's has about a 25% chance that one of them will live into their early 90's. So I guess a time horizon of 30-35 years would be prudent. ziggy29 and kenner My concern about TIPS is the cu...
by Urechis
Thu May 08, 2008 9:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Low Volatility Portfolio For Retirement
Replies: 13
Views: 3433

Low Volatility Portfolio For Retirement

I will be retiring in two months. It is my understanding that low-volatility enhances portfolio survivability during the draw-down phase and that combining asset classes with low correlations reduces volatility. Last September an article by William J. Coaker II entitled "Emphasizing Low-Correla...