Search found 42 matches

by stm
Tue Sep 05, 2017 11:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: SUNY System 403(b) Annuity Options
Replies: 11
Views: 869

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: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with children's college fund (11+6), mirror Vanguard 529?
Replies: 4
Views: 806

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: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Newbie help!
Replies: 9
Views: 771

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: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: suggestion on buying our first home
Replies: 31
Views: 2764

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: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: please help...am I overextended - first home
Replies: 78
Views: 7179

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: 33
Views: 69961

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: 4852

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: 4259

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: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pre paid credit cards
Replies: 10
Views: 863

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: 607
Views: 162271

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: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VTSAX Equivalent for 401K
Replies: 4
Views: 426

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: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: ETFs that Mimic VG Wellesley's & VG Wellington's Equity Investments
Replies: 16
Views: 1813

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: 8795

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'...
by stm
Sun Jan 29, 2017 5:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Nissan? (Cars.)
Replies: 52
Views: 4048

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: 2850

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: 2317
Views: 419961

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: 32788

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: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Academia female professional seeking your suggestion
Replies: 53
Views: 9908

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: 13012

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&q...
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: 7047

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: 1613

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: 19777

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: 72
Views: 6768

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: 767

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: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I hold on to my Apple stock?
Replies: 76
Views: 9564

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: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VUL - help me out of this mess
Replies: 20
Views: 2496

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: 94
Views: 13546

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: 7675

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 n...
by stm
Tue Mar 08, 2016 6:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Upping my mileage/points game
Replies: 72
Views: 7675

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: 2407

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: 7645

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 academic r...
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: 4500

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 haven'...
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: 4500

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! :)
by stm
Wed Feb 24, 2016 2:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Carry on luggage
Replies: 99
Views: 15305

Re: Carry on luggage

Costco. I just replaced my 20 year old carry on that I bought there. The new one is lighter and has 4 wheels that roll instead of 2. I prefer the 2-wheelers. I have no problem wheeling them around and adding two additional wheels removes useable interior space. Since this is typically my only bag I...
by stm
Sun Jan 10, 2016 3:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: profitable hobby?
Replies: 119
Views: 14703

Re: profitable hobby?

Mark me as one of the travelers into the points and miles hobby. Lots of ups and down but my wife now works full time manufacturing spend. We always wonder when the shoe will always drop (e.g. bluebird/serve) but one door closes, another opens. We've been in the hobby for years, but took it very ser...
by stm
Sun Jan 10, 2016 4:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chase Ultimate Rewards - redeeming for Hyatt Hotel stays
Replies: 21
Views: 2161

Re: Chase Ultimate Rewards - redeeming for Hyatt Hotel stays

Definitely lots of ways to extract value using UR->Hyatt transfers. We spend a lot of vacations this way along with manufacturing UR. Have redeemed around 5 million UR in the last 3 years. If you have any questions about good values, ask away :D
by stm
Wed Dec 09, 2015 4:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with children's college fund (11+6), mirror Vanguard 529?
Replies: 4
Views: 806

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

Thanks for your feedback - I agree it's too aggressive given the 11 year old's age and will probably scale back to 50/50 stock/bonds. Emerging markets looks to be further weakening so I will hold the S&P500 instead. Tough call on the secondary education since she is a few years away from high sc...
by stm
Tue Dec 08, 2015 11:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with children's college fund (11+6), mirror Vanguard 529?
Replies: 4
Views: 806

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

Hi All, Looking for some advice in rebalancing our kid's college funds. My oldest just turned 11 and I went and looked at Vanguard's Nevada 529 and was shocked at the differences that their age based plan recommends (50% bonds). We have a Coverdell for each child mainly 1) we've been able to contrib...
by stm
Mon Apr 06, 2015 7:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Manufactured Spending - Good Idea / Bad Idea?
Replies: 124
Views: 19718

Re: Manufactured Spending - Good Idea / Bad Idea?

tj wrote:More than your full time job? That seems a bit exaggerated.


Unfortunately for my ego, no :D But we're in between the middle rung and the next one down on the first page. Gross margin around ~3.9%.
by stm
Sun Apr 05, 2015 10:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Manufactured Spending - Good Idea / Bad Idea?
Replies: 124
Views: 19718

Re: Manufactured Spending - Good Idea / Bad Idea?

The issue with MS is that you can't just take what you've been doing and then "do more of it". Much of the stuff quoted in this thread like Redbird etc, is difficult to scale up. My wife does it as a part time job, and makes more than my full time job. In large volumes, the social engineer...
by stm
Mon Mar 02, 2015 5:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio advice + rebalancing
Replies: 2
Views: 462

Re: Portfolio advice + rebalancing

@Kaudrey, Thanks for the feedback. I've updated the OP to include percentages as well as some rough estimates of holdings. With regards to the foreign, right now ~65% of our total holdings are in S&P500 related funds. With the S&P500 perhaps a bit on the expensive side, I was hoping to diver...
by stm
Mon Mar 02, 2015 2:24 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio advice + rebalancing
Replies: 2
Views: 462

Portfolio advice + rebalancing

Emergency funds: 6 Months Debt: Mortgage $220K 3.375% 30 year (Home value ~$350K) Tax Filing Status: Married filing jointly, 2 dependents Tax Rate: 25% Federal, 6% State State of Residence: KY Age: 39 self + 40 spouse Desired Asset allocation: 100% stock currently, not risk adverse but open to sugge...