Search found 59 matches

by stm
Sun Oct 06, 2019 3:20 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Learnings/Regrets from last two recessions
Replies: 91
Views: 12518

Re: Learnings/Regrets from last two recessions

I like the way this thread is going - it's always interesting to hear other's experiences. The BH mantra would be to remember your asset allocation and rebalance as needed. Stay the course! While I can say that now in hindsight, and while there are statistics to back that up, I found that my real-li...
by stm
Sun Sep 08, 2019 3:04 am
Forum: US Chapters
Topic: Birmingham, Alabama local chapter
Replies: 26
Views: 2077

Re: Birmingham, Alabama local chapter

Hi All - On a whim I happened to look on BH and saw the series of posts leading up to the Chapter formation. I'm in the Hoover area and would be interested in the future for the next meetup!
by stm
Mon Aug 26, 2019 2:51 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Selling losses to offset Gains
Replies: 18
Views: 1634

Re: Selling losses to offset Gains

I have a solid plan. DUMP GE. Half now, Half Next year ....End of plan. Try not to analyze that too much. Especially if $3,000 is the limit :sharebeer Thanks Everyone ~ I don't know that the limit should worry you as losses can be carried over and used on future year's taxes. I made an expensive mi...
by stm
Tue Aug 20, 2019 11:09 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Pay down mortgage or begin investing?
Replies: 16
Views: 1043

Re: Pay down mortgage or begin investing?

Thank you Grabiner. What would be your advice for refinancing? I'm totally new to the whole idea. Do I call my mortgage lender and request a new appraisal at the time I reach $137,000? Do I pay for it on my own and then provide it to the mortgage lender? So new to this area of things :) Since you'v...
by stm
Wed Jul 24, 2019 2:34 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Can we afford $600k home?
Replies: 98
Views: 7180

Re: Can we afford $600k home?

The missing part is the down payment here I believe. You can make a lot affordable if you have the discipline to save it up. I say this as someone with the same income, built something considerably more expensive, and my family doesn't mind rice and beans :)
by stm
Sat Jul 13, 2019 4:41 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Refinance 30yr - 4.75%?
Replies: 35
Views: 2954

Re: Refinance 30yr - 4.75%?

4.75% is a fairly high rate - I'm surprised you couldn't get something lower when you closed the first time. Do you pay PMI? I assume not. From the numbers you entered, you're just a little above the 20% downpayment threshold to avoid PMI. If your refinance appraisal comes in lower, you may be told...
by stm
Wed Jul 10, 2019 2:43 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Prime Money Market or Total Bond Market
Replies: 63
Views: 7528

Re: Prime Money Market or Total Bond Market

If one had a predetermined use and time frame for using funds (say 6 years for a college fund), what might be some considerations per the topic?
by stm
Tue Jun 04, 2019 3:02 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Do you regret taking a pay cut for quality of life?
Replies: 68
Views: 8289

Re: Do you regret taking a pay cut for quality of life?

I had a mid life crisis and quit my job to do a Ph.D. 4 years of zero income, had 2 kids and wife was a SAHM. Finished but came out in 2010 to that job market. 9 years later I think we're back to revenue neutral, but I've had the opportunity to be at everything for the kids plus summers off. I think...
by stm
Tue Oct 16, 2018 4:22 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: advice on first home
Replies: 28
Views: 1873

Re: advice on first home

At least from the numbers listed here, I don't think you should do it. People tend to look at home ownership with a romanticized view. On top of that, you're single (likely won't be a forever house if family comes into equation) and would be taking on a large financial burden. Everyone, including my...
by stm
Sun Aug 05, 2018 5:48 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Apple Stock
Replies: 13
Views: 1954

Re: Apple Stock

Tough call here. I've been thinking about selling a bit of what I have too. Bought in many years ago at low 20's a share and today this single stock is 30% of my portfolio. But I've been betting on emerging markets and international for the last 5 years and AAPL has been the growth part of the portf...
by stm
Sun Aug 05, 2018 1:43 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What to do with a five figure "inherited" cash sum?
Replies: 32
Views: 3571

Re: What to do with a five figure "inherited" cash sum?

I absolutely do not condone splitting up deposits as this could lead to a structuring charge. If the money was earned legitimately (and was taxed accordingly) and can be documented, just do the whole deposit and explain it for what it is. Now if it wasn't, well, then that's a different ball game :P
by stm
Wed May 30, 2018 11:18 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Best use for a $2k raise for a middle-income teacher
Replies: 35
Views: 4239

Re: Best use for a $2k raise for a middle-income teacher

I'm leaving KY in a few days precisely over pension plan issues. Got to hope there will be one in the future no doubt!
by stm
Mon May 07, 2018 12:15 am
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: Advice for new Expat in Singapore [US ex-pat]
Replies: 10
Views: 1375

Re: Advice for new Expat in Singapore [US ex-pat]

Why do you think you can't purchase that fund? BTW - I know that Singapore has no capital gains tax, but the US certainly does and while you remain a US citizen, don't forget to pay Uncle Sam! Unless you're going to be that Google co-founder....
by stm
Sun Apr 01, 2018 11:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Maximizing airlines miles or rewards points
Replies: 6
Views: 1317

Re: Maximizing airlines miles or rewards points

There are lots of areas you can and should stack. Use a shopping portal is one, but make sure you are stacking any coupons possible, as well as having the correct card to use at the retailer you will be shopping at. Having something with an office supply multiplier, e.g. old Chase Inks or the rarely...
by stm
Fri Feb 02, 2018 2:45 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What advice would you give yourself if you were 27 again?
Replies: 120
Views: 10193

Re: What advice would you give yourself if you were 27 again?

"I know you think you're too smart to learn from others' mistakes... be damn sure you learn from your own".
by stm
Mon Jan 22, 2018 4:16 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Help Late Early Accumulators Be Comfortable Right Now with (Bogle-appropriate) Aggressive AA
Replies: 30
Views: 2610

Re: Help Late Early Accumulators Be Comfortable Right Now with (Bogle-appropriate) Aggressive AA

I did just want to push back on Bob, the worst market timer. We have done nothing but increase contributions per pay period. I've been practically hoping for some kind of correction. Buying high and low are both unavoidable and profitable. My "frustration" stems solely from the fact that 1) the mar...
by stm
Mon Dec 11, 2017 4:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Prepayment of SALT Taxes? [State and Local]
Replies: 270
Views: 29370

Re: Prepayment of SALT Taxes? [State and Local]

I've read the entire thread but as I'm not an accountant, I wanted to see if anyone could clarify. There are numerous posts about pre-paying 2018 taxes and being accountable for taxes on any 2018 refunds. But this is assuming overpaying, correct? If I were to prepay 2018 and then try and reduce with...
by stm
Tue Sep 05, 2017 11:09 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: SUNY System 403(b) Annuity Options
Replies: 11
Views: 1365

Re: SUNY System 403(b) Annuity Options

And be really careful of which are annuities - I learned the hard way that some cannot be rolled over on separation to a new job and have to either be left in the account, or cashed out into an annuity immediately. Fine print :oops:
by stm
Mon Sep 04, 2017 2:17 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Help with children's college fund (11+6), mirror Vanguard 529?
Replies: 4
Views: 933

Re: Help with children's college fund (11+6), mirror Vanguard 529?

11 year old (~32K) 54.6% Vanguard S&P500 Index VFIAX (ER 0.05%) 28.1% Vanguard Emerging Markets VEMAX (ER (0.17%) 17.3% Vanguard European Stock Index VURX (ER 0.26%) 6 year old (~17.5K) 69.1% Vanguard S&P500 Index VFIAX (ER 0.05%) 20.5% Vanguard Emerging Markets VEIEX (ER 0.33%) 10.3% Vanguard Euro...
by stm
Fri Sep 01, 2017 4:28 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Newbie help!
Replies: 9
Views: 962

Re: Newbie help!

Minimum payment on debt, I'm not sure if you'd pay it off in this lifetime with CC interest... I'll second the poster above, matching 401K then debt reduction. Get budget in order, then concentrate on debt and then Roth.
by stm
Sun Aug 27, 2017 2:16 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: suggestion on buying our first home
Replies: 31
Views: 3513

Re: suggestion on buying our first home

It's hard enough to make tenure, much less both spouses. Even if so, academia is such that large pay raises come from moving institutions, and things/departments change. You both are young and have a few moves in you. This is coming from an associate professor considering making a change. We live in...
by stm
Tue Aug 15, 2017 4:17 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: please help...am I overextended - first home
Replies: 78
Views: 9497

Re: please help...am I overextended - first home

OP - you are really overextended. You recognized above that you might be a little careless with finances, recognizing is the first step. Don't put yourself in a situation where you might do some lasting financial harm.
by stm
Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Window Blinds - Bali, Levolor, Hunter Douglas
Replies: 36
Views: 94897

Re: Window Blinds - Bali, Levolor, Hunter Douglas

Went through Lowe's, waited for a 20% off sale on Bali and then used a 10% mover's coupon and 12-15% discounted gift cards. Did real wood and nice valences on the first floor, and same color fake wood on 2nd floor and bathrooms. Still ended up spending $5-6K but can say the window treatments look re...
by stm
Thu Jul 06, 2017 4:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone bought a Pixel?
Replies: 46
Views: 6199

Re: Anyone bought a Pixel?

Ton of comments about the hardware - but none about the service.

For world travelers, Project Fi is a really huge deal. We are in the middle of a trip to see the 7 wonders of the world with 3 other devices on the shared data plan and it's great!
by stm
Mon Feb 27, 2017 2:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Going to Tahiti and we're budget travelers
Replies: 41
Views: 4999

Re: Going to Tahiti and we're budget travelers

Nice OP! Looking forward to following this thread. Planning on a trip with overwater bungalows in Hilton Moorea for honeymoon at the end of the year. Going to be using pure points from CSR to cover entire trip. Same here (following this thread for future travel ideas). How are you paying for a Hilt...
by stm
Sat Feb 18, 2017 10:39 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Pre paid credit cards
Replies: 10
Views: 1156

Re: Pre paid credit cards

It's going to depend on what type of prepaid card it is. Is it credit, or can it be run as debit? Then if it's a visa/mc, there's a good chance that as a byproduct of the Durbin ammendment it has or can utilize a pin. Amex won't work. Then depending on the brand, you can liquidate it at Walmart or K...
by stm
Thu Feb 16, 2017 9:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Share your net worth progression
Replies: 1091
Views: 308511

Re: Share your net worth progression

Hit a personal milestone this year one that I would have never thought possible and thought I would share the journey FWIW. I've been 100% in equities with some good choices and bad choices along the way. 22 (1997): -20K 40K Finished MBA (student loans), career start, got married. 25 (2000): 30K 60K...
by stm
Thu Feb 16, 2017 7:35 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: VTSAX Equivalent for 401K
Replies: 4
Views: 1030

Re: VTSAX Equivalent for 401K

I don't think you can as those are US-only company funds?
by stm
Wed Feb 15, 2017 12:14 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: ETFs that Mimic VG Wellesley's & VG Wellington's Equity Investments
Replies: 19
Views: 3178

Re: ETFs that Mimic VG Wellesley's & VG Wellington's Equity Investments

I've heard a lot of good things about these two funds. Would either be suitable for a "bond" component AA in a Roth IRA?
by stm
Sun Jan 29, 2017 5:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Carribean island most like Hawaii
Replies: 63
Views: 11629

Re: Carribean island most like Hawaii

At the sake of sounding snobbish, if you're looking for "Hawaii" in the Caribbean, you're not going to find it. This is not to say that different is bad, but it's just not the same. I agree with the posters that there are many alternatives to the nature, views, and things to do. But I don't like tha...
by stm
Sun Jan 29, 2017 5:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Nissan? (Cars.)
Replies: 52
Views: 4868

Re: Nissan? (Cars.)

I've had a couple of Nissans - a '94 Maxima and a '99 Maxima. My mid life crisis car that I still have is a 2010 G37S red coupe. I've also had two Honda Accords a Toyota Camry and Toyota/Honda minivans. No doubt though, that compared to the other brands, their fit and finish isn't as good, doesn't s...
by stm
Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FL prepaid plan(4-Year Florida University Plan)
Replies: 22
Views: 5123

Re: FL prepaid plan(4-Year Florida University Plan)

I really regret not doing this for my kids. 10 years ago while I was a doc student the prepaid rate was only $11K or so :oops:

Guess that was my annual stipend though....
by stm
Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 4141
Views: 796572

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Thanks, Drew. I'm not interested in playing the signup bonus game--I understand the potential benefits, but for me it's not worth the hassle of unfreezing my credit, applying for a card, doing manufactured spend, making the arrangements to pay my bills, and then putting the card in a drawer-- and a...
by stm
Sat Jan 07, 2017 12:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chase Sapphire Reserve
Replies: 216
Views: 48171

Re: Chase Sapphire Reserve

Is this card considered a generally very good travel rewards card? Does anybody plan on using this card in year two or year three assuming the perks stay the same? I'm trying to limit the number of cards I get. I've used the Fido 2% cash back card for many years and am not familiar with points card...
by stm
Mon Dec 12, 2016 5:16 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Academia female professional seeking your suggestion
Replies: 53
Views: 11100

Re: Academia female professional seeking your suggestion

Thanks for all the great reads all... it's gratifying to see some advice that I find a bit more applicable as a fellow academic. Seems like the majority of posts here on BH are white coat or high tech which have infinitely more earning power and a different set of problems. For the OP, I'd like to e...
by stm
Sat Sep 10, 2016 4:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I upgrade my 6 year old plasma TV?
Replies: 81
Views: 23324

Re: Should I upgrade my 6 year old plasma TV?

Home theater stuff is one of my hobbies so I keep on the bleeding edge a bit. We have loved plasmas mainly because their overall picture has been hard to beat with LCDs, especially when it comes to motion resolution and black levels. Still have 4 in the house, Panasonic and Pioneer ones from 50-65"....
by stm
Sun Aug 07, 2016 1:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Points/Miles Schemes - Waste of time or worth it?
Replies: 76
Views: 17351

Re: Points/Miles Schemes - Waste of time or worth it?

flyingaway wrote:Considering it as a hobby is fine. Otherwise I would spend the time and efforts to get a better-paying job or to study for a better-paying degree.
I don't know... MS was better than our regular job. Very sad that it's ended :|
by stm
Fri Jul 08, 2016 8:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question about adding new wife to my credit cards
Replies: 16
Views: 2047

Re: Question about adding new wife to my credit cards

Depends on the card issuer. Amex in particular reports for AUs.
by stm
Sun Jun 12, 2016 12:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Actionable advice in a Brexit scenario
Replies: 162
Views: 23244

Re: Actionable advice in a Brexit scenario

Ug - I've got about 25% exposure in Vanguard European Stock Index, not to mention the other international funds.... Starting to worry a bit about this and have to figure out which the Vanguard bond fund is to hold.
by stm
Wed Jun 08, 2016 9:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Things to Do and See on Kauai, Hawaii
Replies: 75
Views: 9690

Re: Things to Do and See on Kauai, Hawaii

I think my wife told me that meals were not included in our reservation so we will have to either do something about that or see about the upgrade you mentioned. I'm not a big breakfast eater so I'm not too concerned. I figured being that I will be roaming around by myself all day and there are so ...
by stm
Tue May 10, 2016 5:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Samsung Pay vs Android Pay?
Replies: 4
Views: 968

Re: Samsung Pay vs Android Pay?

Don't forget the American Express offer currently for Samsung Pay. It's a great one $10 off $20 purchase per card.
by stm
Tue May 10, 2016 5:47 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Should I hold on to my Apple stock?
Replies: 76
Views: 10332

Re: Should I hold on to my Apple stock?

I know that I'll get castigated for this but I'm heavily overweight on Apple stock. Much came from a random, blind luck (I'll admit this) purchase years ago but it's now like 33% of my small portfolio. Never really wanted to pay the capital gains, and the dividends go towards my kids' coverdell acco...
by stm
Tue Apr 26, 2016 5:41 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: VUL - help me out of this mess
Replies: 20
Views: 2921

Re: VUL - help me out of this mess

Hi ole meph - I notice that you have posted quite a bit on the VUL situation and was wondering if you or anyone would be willing to help. I bit on this a really long time ago, purchasing a variable appreciable life insurance policy from Prudential. Seemed like a good idea at the time. Since I've alr...
by stm
Wed Apr 20, 2016 3:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When was the most stressful financial time in your life?
Replies: 142
Views: 22533

Re: When was the most stressful financial time in your life?

Much larger proportion of the academic type of doctors posting here rather than the normal MD kind so I guess I'll chime in here. My most stressful time was after grad school. I went back a bit late age wise and was in a Ph.D. program coming out right in the middle of 08-09. There were 250+ job appl...
by stm
Fri Mar 11, 2016 12:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Upping my mileage/points game
Replies: 72
Views: 8295

Re: Upping my mileage/points game

Manufactured Spending opportunities are a case of the tragedy of the commons. When MS venues are widely known, they dry out from overuse. When MS venues are restricted to a few insiders, it does not help the rest of us that there are "a lot more" of them. To look at the right place, one needs to kn...
by stm
Tue Mar 08, 2016 6:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Upping my mileage/points game
Replies: 72
Views: 8295

Re: Upping my mileage/points game

Very interesting, thanks. Seems pretty risky at high dollar amounts. No doubt we are in the sunset and it gets harder and harder as the tragedy of the commons descends and banks and CC issuers clamp down. Properly managed though, it can be very lucrative. Wife and I made more MS'ing than with our r...
by stm
Tue Mar 08, 2016 2:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Effective Tax Rate
Replies: 16
Views: 2827

Re: Effective Tax Rate

Turbotax has us at 6.25% effective tax rate. ALI is a little under 5%. Bonus question - well it was a banner year. We got more in credit card cashback than our ALI :wink:
by stm
Mon Mar 07, 2016 7:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is a CS PhD financial suicide for my profile?
Replies: 57
Views: 8859

Re: Is a CS PhD financial suicide for my profile?

I guess I'll go out on a limb - as compared to the typical boglehead I'm the wrong kind of doctor, but right kind in your case :) Nearly all Ph.D. programs, especially at R1 schools like where you are likely attending, are in the business of training people for academic careers, specifically academi...
by stm
Fri Mar 04, 2016 3:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A look at Emerging Markets, recency bias, and diversification
Replies: 32
Views: 4888

Re: A look at Emerging Markets, recency bias, and diversification

Well guys - I've been slacking on putting 2016 Roth IRAs in. Went ahead and dropped full amounts into VWO for wife and self and son's ESA. Horizon is 20+ years and 10 for him. You all are a bad influence! :) Did you significantly change your AA in doing so? Well that would mean having a plan :) We ...
by stm
Fri Mar 04, 2016 1:19 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A look at Emerging Markets, recency bias, and diversification
Replies: 32
Views: 4888

Re: A look at Emerging Markets, recency bias, and diversification

Well guys - I've been slacking on putting 2016 Roth IRAs in. Went ahead and dropped full amounts into VWO for wife and self and son's ESA. Horizon is 20+ years and 10 for him. You all are a bad influence! :)