Search found 163 matches

by jamacq
Wed Aug 23, 2017 6:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Eclipse viewing
Replies: 61
Views: 5539

Re: Eclipse viewing

I've been an avid amateur astronomer for a very long time. Up until this week, I had never seen a total eclipse (only partials). I prepared, made the trip to South Carolina and was able to take some photographs through a small telescope. Here is one that I took from Cross Hill, SC. http://astroimage...
by jamacq
Wed Jan 04, 2017 7:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: madsinger monthly report (December 2016)
Replies: 13
Views: 2459

Re: madsinger monthly report (December 2016)

Newsletter returns are now entered into the chart. The "number 1 performing portfolio" in the past 10 years, by the slimmest of margins: Wellington at 6.89% annualized return. Makes me wonder why I'm even trying to do anything different than that! -Brad. I've been looking at the same thin...
by jamacq
Mon Oct 31, 2016 8:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Visit Fairbanks, Alaska to see Northern Lights?
Replies: 10
Views: 1400

Re: Visit Fairbanks, Alaska to see Northern Lights?

Here are the pictures I took outside of Fairbanks back in March 1994.

http://astroimages.org/aurora.html

I've seen the aurora from Norway, Iceland, Maine and Fairbanks. No contest, best location I've seen them from was Fairbanks.

Jeff
by jamacq
Sun May 01, 2016 8:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Planetarium software that only shows BRIGHTER nebulas?
Replies: 4
Views: 485

Re: Planetarium software that only shows BRIGHTER nebulas?

Another thing you could do is continue to use your current app and just restrict yourself to looking for the Messier Objects. Those are designated with an Mxxx. These are the brighter objects that were cataloged by Charles Messier while comet hunting and are all visible in binoculars. M57 The Ring N...
by jamacq
Sun May 01, 2016 8:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Planetarium software that only shows BRIGHTER nebulas?
Replies: 4
Views: 485

Re: Planetarium software that only shows BRIGHTER nebulas?

I use The Sky which does what you want.
by jamacq
Sun Jan 24, 2016 10:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Download Vanguard accounts to Quicken question
Replies: 2
Views: 404

Re: Download Vanguard accounts to Quicken question

If I recall, Quicken actually asks if you want to treat each fund as a separate account or together in one account. I recommend together in one account. Treat an account as Vanguard does. You may have a taxable account at Vanguard and a separate IRA account also. Each of these accounts may have seve...
by jamacq
Sat Nov 07, 2015 7:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Waiting to 66 For SS Equals 8.3% COLA'd Annuity?
Replies: 50
Views: 5008

Re: Waiting to 66 For SS Equals 8.3% COLA'd Annuity?

That's the simplest case I've seen made for delaying. Rather than calculating a break-even age, etc...this puts it in simple terms of an attractive price for a great annuity. I just did the math for the similar case of waiting until age 70 using my benefit estimate. Based on my benefit estimate for ...
by jamacq
Thu Nov 05, 2015 6:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 401k matching limits
Replies: 4
Views: 1040

Re: 401k matching limits

Your analysis looks correct. Some people are also able to continue contributing on an aftertax basis up until the $53k limit.
by jamacq
Sat Oct 31, 2015 9:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Low-cost and low-maintenance hobbies?
Replies: 69
Views: 9198

Re: Low-cost and low-maintenance hobbies?

Stargazing/Astronomy. Runs the entire range of cost. You can start with your eyes and clear, dark night. Move up to a pair of binoculars and if desired add in a modestly priced Dobsonian Telescope. But at the higher end, you can invest in specialized digital camera, high-end telescopes and on and on...
by jamacq
Mon Aug 24, 2015 9:45 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: VHT down 27% - Glitch or missed opportunity
Replies: 59
Views: 8710

Re: VHT down 27% - Glitch or missed opportunity

Got some shares at 101.45 this morning. Currently over 130. VV also had an oversized drop.
by jamacq
Thu Jun 25, 2015 7:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Scotland / Ireland Castles?
Replies: 29
Views: 4172

Re: Scotland / Ireland Castles?

I did a self exploring tour of the castles that were used filming Monty Python's Holy Grail. Going back this year to revisit a few. Duone Castle (also used in filming other shows like Outlander and Winterfell in Game of Thrones). Also Castle Stalker from Holy Grail. Both very picturesque.
by jamacq
Sat Apr 04, 2015 6:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The train from Oslo to Copenhagen? Copenhagen ideas?
Replies: 25
Views: 3151

Re: The train from Oslo to Copenhagen? Copenhagen ideas?

Copenhagen is a really fun city to walk. It's called the city of spires because of the all of the amazing spires on the government buildings. It also boasts one of the oldest amusement parks (Tivoli). Be sure to visit Nyhavn. Probably my single favorite city to visit. Both times I visited I stayed a...
by jamacq
Wed Mar 25, 2015 9:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Booking a cruise online
Replies: 8
Views: 1998

Re: Booking a cruise online

Cruisecompete.Com is a good way to go. Find the cruise and Cabin type you want, enter it on the site and travel agents make offers. I've used it three times now very successfully saving quite a bit over the cruise line or Travelocity.
by jamacq
Fri Feb 13, 2015 10:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pick Out My New TV For Me
Replies: 30
Views: 4223

Re: Pick Out My New TV For Me

Very happy with recent purchase of 70" Vizio M Series. I compared to Samsung and found good value in the Vizio.

http://www.amazon.com/VIZIO-M702i-B3-70 ... s=m702i-b3

I bought on sale Black Friday and see the current Amazon price is about the same as I paid. Good value in my opinion. Excellent picture.

Jeff
by jamacq
Wed Dec 31, 2014 5:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best albums from 2014?
Replies: 63
Views: 7646

Re: Best albums from 2014?

Sound Mirror by Syd Arthur. Relatively new British prog group. Saw them at a recent YES concert as the opening act.
by jamacq
Wed Dec 24, 2014 2:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: After-tax 401(k) Limit
Replies: 5
Views: 811

Re: After-tax 401(k) Limit

Agree that 1% is better than nothing and we are taking advantage of it. Was briefly excited when I found they too offered this feature. Had visions of significantly pumping up her Roth IRA but alas it will just be a little extra.

Thanks for your replies.

Jeff
by jamacq
Wed Dec 24, 2014 1:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: After-tax 401(k) Limit
Replies: 5
Views: 811

After-tax 401(k) Limit

Both my employer and my spouse's employer allow after-tax contributions and in-service withdrawals of those contributions. My employer does not limit the amount...the only limitation is the overall IRS limit of $52k in 2014 and $53k in 2015. However, my spouse's 401(k) limits after-tax contributions...
by jamacq
Mon Dec 22, 2014 3:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paycheck "leap year"
Replies: 38
Views: 10186

Re: Paycheck "leap year"

My company will have a 27th paycheck this year and it causes an issue in the 401k since this company doesn't do end-of-year true ups. What this means is that in order to get the maximum 401k match it's important that you contribute at least the minimum amount each paycheck to get the match. If you m...
by jamacq
Sat Nov 01, 2014 1:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Post-tax 401k to Roth IRA vs. Roth 401k. What's the dif?
Replies: 6
Views: 870

Re: Post-tax 401k to Roth IRA vs. Roth 401k. What's the

My employer just added the Roth 401k option for next year but it is not the best option for me. My employer allows after-tax contributions which allows me to do the Roth IRA rollover. They allow withdrawal of just the after-tax portion and associated earnings which I can then send to Vanguard and ad...
by jamacq
Wed Sep 24, 2014 12:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Quicken to track investments - how are you using it?
Replies: 9
Views: 1197

Re: Quicken to track investments - how are you using it?

You can get the best of both worlds. Quicken does a fine job at keeping track of investment lots, cost basis and current value of investments. To track asset allocation and IRR, I export from Quicken reports into Excel using a simple macro. Essentially, I just copy and paste from several reports inc...
by jamacq
Tue Sep 17, 2013 4:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Weight Loss Plans?
Replies: 178
Views: 17271

Re: Weight Loss Plans?

caloriecount.about.com is also a good website for keeping track of food, activity and weight logs. It helped me to lose a significant amount of weight and continue to track.
by jamacq
Thu Nov 22, 2012 5:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: In-Service Rollover of After-Tax 401(K) Dollars – Legal?
Replies: 28
Views: 1935

Re: In-Service Rollover of After-Tax 401(K) Dollars – Legal?

I just did a direct rollover from aftertax contributions to 401(k) to my Vanguard Roth. I called Vanguard to confirm whether I needed to first go to a rollover and then convert to Roth and they informed me that that was not required...just go directly to Roth. My company website permits me to withdr...
by jamacq
Mon Jul 09, 2012 9:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Amerisave Mortgage
Replies: 8
Views: 1474

Re: Amerisave Mortgage

I'm in the middle of a refi with them. A little slow to respond to questions but so far the process seems to be moving along. Rates are very good compared to NFCU, PENFED, etc. I'm getting 3.5% with reduction in closing costs (negative points), resulting in almost no closing costs.
by jamacq
Thu Dec 29, 2011 4:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Penfed Cash Rewards CC dropping cash back to .25%
Replies: 58
Views: 8206

Re: Penfed Cash Rewards CC dropping cash back to .25%

I made the switch to the new Penfed. It's an easy switch...they let you keep your existing card and number and just change the terms to the new card offer. You can still get the equivalent of cash back by getting a Visa cash card in payment for your points. 5 points (5%) on gas, 3 points for grocery...
by jamacq
Sat Dec 17, 2011 4:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Muni Bond Posts: Why the lack of interest?
Replies: 38
Views: 2611

Re: Muni Bond Posts: Why the lack of interest?

My best investment YTD by far has been my T. Rowe Price Virginia Tax Free Bond Fund (PRVAX). Tax free yield of 4.03% and YTD total return of 10.05%. I wish Vanguard would offer a VA muni fund. I have to think there are enough VA customers to make it worthwhile for them.

Jeff
by jamacq
Sat Nov 05, 2011 8:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Amazon Chase Card/Points
Replies: 13
Views: 21397

Re: Amazon Chase Card/Points

leod wrote:citi forward is better
5% points on amazon and food purchases


Does that apply to all purchases at Amazon or only books?
by jamacq
Sat Nov 05, 2011 5:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Amazon Chase Card/Points
Replies: 13
Views: 21397

Re: Amazon Chase Card/Points

I have the card and use it only for Amazon purchases. It works great. The nicest thing is that you don't have to redeem points by getting a check. You can apply any amount of points (no minimum) to your next Amazon purchase and it just reduces the purchase price.
by jamacq
Sat Nov 05, 2011 7:01 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Question for bogleheads with custom portfolio spreadsheets
Replies: 8
Views: 928

Re: Question for bogleheads with custom portfolio spreadshee

I have automated my spreadsheet with a self-written vba script that pulls reports from Quicken and pastes my holdings into a tab of the spreadsheet. Then on another tab, the funds are sorted by allocation to show my current allocation. However, I treat allocation a bit simpler than you are attemptin...
by jamacq
Thu Nov 03, 2011 6:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard/Quicken quote glitch today (11/3/11)?
Replies: 5
Views: 907

Re: Vanguard/Quicken quote glitch today (11/3/11)?

I updated this evening around 7pm and had no issue. I have REIT Index but not the others in your list.

Jeff
by jamacq
Thu Nov 03, 2011 2:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Beware the Long Tail
Replies: 6
Views: 1247

Beware the Long Tail

Interesting article on market risk in the latest issue of Science News. http://www.sciencenews.org/view/feature ... _Long_Tail

Article postulates that extreme events/market moves are more likely than current risk models based on Gaussian distributions suggest.

Jeff
by jamacq
Sun Oct 30, 2011 8:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $54K Tax Advantaged Space Per Year
Replies: 25
Views: 3652

Re: $54K Tax Advantaged Space Per Year

Here's another topic thread that covered this issue. Looks like the strategy may be allowed.

viewtopic.php?p=923229
by jamacq
Sun Oct 30, 2011 7:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $54K Tax Advantaged Space Per Year
Replies: 25
Views: 3652

Re: $54K Tax Advantaged Space Per Year

Hmmm.. Now I am concerned. Cashistrash looks to be correct here. Following the trail from his Fairmark link I found this IRS newsletter entry to employers: m My account in my employer’s retirement plan is made up of employer contributions, my after-tax employee contributions, and earnings on both. C...
by jamacq
Sun Oct 30, 2011 3:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $54K Tax Advantaged Space Per Year
Replies: 25
Views: 3652

Re: $54K Tax Advantaged Space Per Year

Spat: Couple of things to note. The limits are $16.5k contribution pre-tax to your 401(k). This will go up to $17k next year. Then $49k ($50k next year) for total contributions. Perhaps you know this but I didn't see mention of it. The total you can contribute directly to the pre-tax and to the Roth...
by jamacq
Sat Oct 22, 2011 11:23 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401(k) Contribution Limits Question
Replies: 2
Views: 372

Re: 401(k) Contribution Limits Question

The fidelity pdf indicates then that the employer match will stop once a total of $50k is reached. This would then allow an additional employee contribution of $5,500 to reach a total amount of $55,500 for the year.

Thanks.
by jamacq
Sat Oct 22, 2011 10:58 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401(k) Contribution Limits Question
Replies: 2
Views: 372

401(k) Contribution Limits Question

I have a question concerning the calculation of the cap on total contribution limits for a 401(k). Please correct any assumptions below. I am over 50 and my employer allows after-tax contributions. My employer also provides a match against the employee contribution as well as a percentage of salary ...
by jamacq
Fri Oct 21, 2011 6:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Maxim Combined Contribution Limit of 403B, 457B and 401K
Replies: 5
Views: 834

Re: Maxim Combined Contribution Limit of 403B, 457B and 401K

I believe under the circumstances you provided that you should be able to contribute an additional $6.5k to your 401(k) this year to end up with a combined $16.5k total contribution to your 403(b) and 401(k).
by jamacq
Sun Oct 16, 2011 8:02 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How are you doing YTD?
Replies: 68
Views: 4772

According to Quicken my YTD Return is 4.45% ---- That is with about 30% Stocks 50% Bonds and 20% Cash. With the Caveat that I have been a Quicken User for 18 Years and the Quicken Programs are so riddled with Bugs that I wouldn't doubt that I'm negative for the year. I gave up trusting the Quicken ...
by jamacq
Sun Oct 09, 2011 7:52 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Military Investing
Replies: 125
Views: 50404

I understand with the military pay to fund the Roth IRA first. But at what point it makes sense to put first into the TSP. I just put on O-4 in the Navy, and it seems that taxes went up more than I expected. I'm a Florida resident, so I don't pay state tax. Thank you!! Navy Chop: I think a lot depe...
by jamacq
Fri Oct 07, 2011 2:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quicken premiere 2012
Replies: 10
Views: 1541

I upgraded by download from Amazon on Oct 1. I use the product heavily so usually upgrade quickly after release. My verdict is that if you have 2011, you probably won't find anything worth upgrading for. Very minor changes. One change they made caused me a bit of work. They changed the format of rep...
by jamacq
Wed Oct 05, 2011 3:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Asteroid Vesta
Replies: 6
Views: 874

In the course of photographing galaxies and nebula, I sometimes catch asteroids and satellites in my images. The link below shows two asteroids that I captured in one image and a video that I created that shows the asteroids slowly moving against the background stars over the course of a three hour ...
by jamacq
Sun Sep 04, 2011 12:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Decking material
Replies: 26
Views: 5170

It supposedly needs to be retreated every two years or so to retain the color. Time will tell for me. Much of my deck is not exposed to sun so it may not need restaining as often as the only purpose of the stain is to protect from discoloration due to UV. It does not need staining to otherwise prote...
by jamacq
Sun Sep 04, 2011 9:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Decking material
Replies: 26
Views: 5170

Doesn't the Brazilian walnut has the same issue of changing color with some silver like color change over the time, like some of the boardwalks on beaches. Thanks Yes....the IPE will change color if not protected with a UV protectant. I am using a product called IPE Oil which gives the wood a darke...
by jamacq
Sat Sep 03, 2011 8:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Decking material
Replies: 26
Views: 5170

Installing an IPE deck and screen porch now. I did a lot of research on this topic before investing in this deck/porch and am very glad I found IPE. It's a Brazilian Walnut with beautiful grain and color and not that much more expensive than the composites. As others have posted here, stain is neede...
by jamacq
Sun Aug 07, 2011 8:40 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Anybody remember slide rules?
Replies: 54
Views: 4251

Image
by jamacq
Sat Aug 06, 2011 4:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best music to put on our MP3 players for next week?
Replies: 44
Views: 3052

Close to the Edge, YES

http://youtu.be/dEfZY04fsr0
by jamacq
Sun Jul 31, 2011 8:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay advances from Penfed if govt. is delayed: Classy move
Replies: 11
Views: 1643

I applaud all three companies. I'm a member of all three and appreciate that they are supporting their customers as they should. For those that think it's not fair to subsidize those in the military that need their paycheck, I recommend you find a different credit union or insurance company to do bu...
by jamacq
Sat Jul 30, 2011 5:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What's your current rate of return for this year?
Replies: 82
Views: 7834

Maybe the poster would have been better off asking, "how much is your portfolio up net your YTD contributions?" After making my post, I realized it underestimated the return because I did a YTD net worth change net contributions. It tends to underestimate my returns because the percentage...