Search found 220 matches

by badger42
Tue Sep 25, 2018 6:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: CA Resident - What Vanguard Bonds in Taxable Account?
Replies: 7
Views: 821

Re: CA Resident - What Vanguard Bonds in Taxable Account?

Given how high CA tax rates are, treasuries might actually be a good bet there. You save the 9%+ CA tax.
by badger42
Tue Sep 25, 2018 1:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to buy a safe "power bank" to replace my recalled AmazonBasics unit?
Replies: 62
Views: 5645

Re: How to buy a safe "power bank" to replace my recalled AmazonBasics unit?

Serious question. How does one determine that Anker and Jackery are "the name brands" and that others are "no-name brands?" It's mostly by online reputation. They've been around for a good while, and have a history of delivering a quality product and not catching fire. It's sort of like buying a Kl...
by badger42
Tue Sep 25, 2018 11:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Employer says no to relocation as employee, should I offer to be contractor?
Replies: 27
Views: 1598

Re: Employer says no to relocation as employee, should I offer to be contractor?

Why not pick one of the states that your employer already has employees in? Keep the job, move to a nice 2nd or 3rd choice location, profit.
by badger42
Tue Sep 25, 2018 11:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to buy a safe "power bank" to replace my recalled AmazonBasics unit?
Replies: 62
Views: 5645

Re: How to buy a safe "power bank" to replace my recalled AmazonBasics unit?

+n for the Anker units; we have a few generations of them and they work great. Solid, reliable, do what the spec says on the box. For just phones, whatever 10Ah+ Anker you can get cheap works great. For laptops, however, they're sort of lacking - I ended up buying a Jackery Supercharge 26800 PD (rou...
by badger42
Tue Sep 25, 2018 8:38 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What investment company does your employer use?
Replies: 21
Views: 1282

Re: What investment company does your employer use?

Medium ish company. Fidelity with a really nice fund selection (Vanguard, DFA, some other stuff I ignore).
by badger42
Mon Sep 24, 2018 5:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Solo proprietor - separate bank account needed?
Replies: 7
Views: 593

Re: Solo proprietor - separate bank account needed?

A separate checking account makes recordkeeping much easier, but isn't strictly necessary. I would say the same thing about a business credit card (which really does make tracking your expenses much easier) However, given factors like the lack of other clients, the larger problem is likely that your...
by badger42
Mon Sep 24, 2018 3:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to evaluate a pay package of a startup
Replies: 9
Views: 826

Re: How to evaluate a pay package of a startup

Startups are a tradeoff. The first part is understanding what kind of startup it is. Is this business a Mom and Pop "startup" that's growing slowly (if at all), or a venture funded exponential growth business If it's the former, evaluate the offer like any other. The equity is a total crapshoot (thi...
by badger42
Mon Sep 24, 2018 9:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where are the hybrid or fully electric two seater commuting vehicles?
Replies: 41
Views: 1445

Re: Where are the hybrid or fully electric two seater commuting vehicles?

Also keep in mind that two seaters are only marginally smaller and more efficient than "small backseat" four seaters - and a "small backseat" four seater makes a perfectly fine backup family car, if you live somewhere car-centric. A pure two-seater isn't useful for "take the family somewhere if the ...
by badger42
Thu Sep 20, 2018 12:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: BlackFriday Shopping - what do you usually buy? (other than Christmas gifts)
Replies: 36
Views: 2442

Re: BlackFriday Shopping - what do you usually buy? (other than Christmas gifts)

We'll go for a hike or go to the beach. Might end up buying lunch and/or coffee but that's about it.
by badger42
Wed Sep 19, 2018 1:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any Cyclists With a Brooks Saddle?
Replies: 37
Views: 4927

Re: Any Cyclists With a Brooks Saddle?

My wife's bike has a C-17. If I were to do it again I would do the C-17 for the low-maintenance factor (not no-maintenance; the bolts do need to be periodically tightened down or they will come out), but I do like the B-17. Could you please elaborate on tightening the bolts. What'd you say after yo...
by badger42
Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any Cyclists With a Brooks Saddle?
Replies: 37
Views: 4927

Re: Any Cyclists With a Brooks Saddle?

Brooks saddles are like Subarus. Everyone who has one LOVES them. I do not have one, but I would definitely get one for the right bike. Oddly enough, I have both a Brooks saddle and a Subaru. On my 'nice' bike, I have the B-17 Champion Select. My wife's bike has a C-17. If I were to do it again I w...
by badger42
Sat Sep 15, 2018 1:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Developer Laptop
Replies: 26
Views: 1691

Re: Developer Laptop

Assuming you're looking for horsepower and value over superb portability, I would suggest (specifically for a developer workstation) considering the Lenovo P-series Thinkpads. (P52 for new and shiny, or a refurbished P51 for cheaper). DIY-upgradeable to multiple SSDs, 64GB+ RAM, and they have nice n...
by badger42
Fri Sep 14, 2018 6:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone else not save for cars?
Replies: 113
Views: 9995

Re: Anyone else not save for cars?

Our normal emergency buffer is enough to buy a car. I'd just as soon not bother with the hassles of a loan. If we hit "new car needed, buffer depleted, don't want to liquidate securities right now", we would get a loan, or just do without for a while. Uber/Lyft/bikes/transit/feet can actually cover ...
by badger42
Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Outback, Legacy, Camry Hybrid
Replies: 14
Views: 770

Re: Outback, Legacy, Camry Hybrid

The Camry is boring. I'd get the Legacy or the outback. If you drive primarily on nice paved roads, don't carry tons of stuff, and value having a locked trunk to carry / hide valuables (e.g. laptop back) in, get the Legacy. If you want more flexibility to go offroad or mostly drive on poor quality r...
by badger42
Wed Sep 12, 2018 8:55 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity, Schwab, or Vanguard
Replies: 61
Views: 4110

Re: Fidelity, Schwab, or Vanguard

Schwab does not have a total international index, but they have totally reasonable developed markets (SWISX / SCHF) and emerging markets (SCHE) offerings. Holding those in a 4:1 ratio is essentially the same as a total international index. Due to factors such as employer stock plans and 401(k)s, I h...
by badger42
Mon Sep 10, 2018 1:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Umbrella Policy: Right amount for $7 mil net worth?
Replies: 76
Views: 10929

Re: Umbrella Policy: Right amount for $7 mil net worth?

Looking at net worth and risk, the #1 thing I would consider doing is to stop driving. For that 10 times a year, take an Uber/Lyft (even one of the nice ones) and be done with it.
by badger42
Sun Sep 09, 2018 5:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones
Replies: 69
Views: 7758

Re: Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones

I work in tech, for a company you've no doubt heard of. The open office environment is all the rage, which means it's an awful lot like working from a busy airport terminal. I don't care if the audio quality is any better than a $5 set of earbuds, the Bose QC35s are a literal sanity saver in that s...
by badger42
Sun Sep 09, 2018 11:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones
Replies: 69
Views: 7758

Re: Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones

I work in tech, for a company you've no doubt heard of. The open office environment is all the rage, which means it's an awful lot like working from a busy airport terminal. I don't care if the audio quality is any better than a $5 set of earbuds, the Bose QC35s are a literal sanity saver in that so...
by badger42
Sat Sep 01, 2018 10:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Contemplating trading in a 2-year old car with <25k miles...
Replies: 23
Views: 1714

Re: Contemplating trading in a 2-year old car with <25k miles...

Keeping in mind that no car is perfect - Seat: You can get VERY nice aftermarket seats. Likely much nicer than anything you would get in another Subaru or a Toyota. Sluggishness: We have a 2010 Forester (4EAT not CVT, EJ25 motor), and there are two things that really help. - Put the transmission in ...
by badger42
Wed Aug 08, 2018 8:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Whole house generator
Replies: 31
Views: 1833

Re: Whole house generator

For those sorts of prices, why not go with a pair of Tesla Powerball units (6k/ea)? Runtime is likely comparabale to your onsite fuel storage, no moving parts, and you could still add solar later for even longer off-the-grid runtime.
by badger42
Mon Jul 30, 2018 8:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: need an outback, new, used or lease?
Replies: 29
Views: 2263

Re: need an outback, new, used or lease?

If your primary concern is the backup camera, you can get 3rd party kits for $100-$200. Far cheaper than replacing a car. Also, that $100-$200 might be better spent on a driving instructor teaching you how to back safely; an Outback has great sight lines and really shouldn't need a camera.
by badger42
Mon Jul 02, 2018 10:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: RSU Strategy
Replies: 10
Views: 898

Re: RSU Strategy

Assuming you are legal to sell (blackouts, trading windows, etc) - do whatever your IPS says you should do.

If your IPS has x% company stock, hold x% company stock and sell the rest.

If your IPS doesn't have company stock, sell it.

(IOW, treat it as fungible with cash)
by badger42
Mon Jun 11, 2018 6:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I fix the car or get rid of it?
Replies: 20
Views: 1823

Re: Should I fix the car or get rid of it?

It's a Subaru EJ25. The head gasket on that motor is not an "if" but a "when". Do the HG job (have somebody good do it) and keep driving!
by badger42
Thu May 31, 2018 11:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Enterprise vs Avis
Replies: 43
Views: 2980

Re: Enterprise vs Avis

Big corporation employees don't care the cost. Avis has plenty of business accounts. Less this and more "big corporations have pre-negotiated rates for rental cars, and what they pay has no relation to the web price". Usually the rental agencies compete for these big corporate accounts, and they're...
by badger42
Sun Apr 29, 2018 9:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Maple syrup
Replies: 59
Views: 5560

Re: Maple syrup

We buy from Costco, it was $14/qt and the quality is excellent (as far as I can tell, I'm not that discerning)

If you don't want that much syrup, Trader Joe's has smaller bottles for reasonable (higher unit cost than Costco, but nowhere near as bad as the grocery store rip-off) prices.
by badger42
Mon Apr 02, 2018 10:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Career Move: Please convince me why I should not work in tech
Replies: 74
Views: 8730

Re: Career Move: Please convince me why I should not work in tech

I'm going to give you the cynical view. Tech is good if you're disciplined. Tech is good if you can negotiate a solid package (senior-ish data science / ML type at a large tech company in a HCOL area should manage at least 300k-400k comp including base, bonus, RSUs, etc), and then save a decent chun...
by badger42
Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New laptop purchase decision
Replies: 36
Views: 3321

Re: New laptop purchase decision

Also be aware Amex adds a year at most. And I second the refurbs, I've had good experiences and saved $$ with both refurb macs and refurb Thinkpads.
by badger42
Sun Mar 18, 2018 12:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tires on a 15 year old car....Replace or not?
Replies: 79
Views: 6104

Re: Tires on a 15 year old car....Replace or not?

I've seen age + abuse related tire failures. An older relative who refuses to learn even the basics of auto maintenance had a car with ~5 or 6 year old tires. Unfortunately, she doesn't drive much, and the only time the tires ever saw an air gauge or pump (this was pre-TPMS) was when the car when it...
by badger42
Sun Mar 18, 2018 12:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2018 Forester vs CRV vs RAV4
Replies: 140
Views: 16852

Re: 2018 Forester vs CRV vs RAV4

I have an 8-year-old (2010) Forester. It has been rock solid reliable, but is definitely a bit "agricultural" in its refinement (though the 4sp auto is much more reliable than the early CVTs). It does everything I have ever asked of it, and is very much the "Swiss Army" vehicle - can do anything, bu...
by badger42
Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Android (4.3)--app lockers and lending?
Replies: 5
Views: 379

Re: Android (4.3)--app lockers and lending?

Factory wipe the phone, use a throwaway Google account or just sideload the Skype APK. And be aware that a phone running Android 4.3 is an utter security nightmare at the best of times. It's like having Windows 98 on your network. A cheap current phone (Moto E for example) would be a far better bet ...
by badger42
Fri Feb 16, 2018 4:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House for sale AO with concern
Replies: 11
Views: 1154

Re: House for sale AO with concern

When we sold a house a number of years ago, we had two offers that netted out to our ask (after a "best and final offer" cycle) Offer one: FHA loan, cash back for closing, long beg letter from the buyers Offer two: 35% down, minimal contingencies, no complications We took offer two, it was a no-brai...
by badger42
Thu Feb 08, 2018 4:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Scrapping old computer parts
Replies: 25
Views: 2109

Re: Scraping old computer parts

I ran into a similar situation with an older relative who never threw anything out, found a store (Staples, I think) that took electronics for recycling for free. They didn't blink at getting a trunkload of crap. No idea what they actually did with it, and I don't really care.
by badger42
Sun Feb 04, 2018 1:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Love your family car? Under $16,000 Used? Please share!
Replies: 57
Views: 7925

Re: Love your family car? Under $16,000 Used? Please share!

We have a 2010 (SH generation) Subaru Forester. It's the perfect Swiss Army Knife family vehicle - it can do everything well enough. It's small enough to fit in a compact parking space (this matters in downtown Monterey!), large enough to take 5 people and their stuff to the airport, and does well e...
by badger42
Sat Jan 27, 2018 12:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Your shopping strategy for new tires?
Replies: 154
Views: 14818

Re: Your shopping strategy for new tires?

The total was $423 + tax. Adding an alignment (needed, $99) was less than the cost of a 4th tire. Firestone and Pep Boys offer lifetime alignments for between 125-150 when there is a coupon. Paying $99 for (1) one is a bad deal in my opinion. I would not trust Firestone or Pep Boys near anything as...
by badger42
Sat Jan 27, 2018 11:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does it make sense to get a business credit card?
Replies: 25
Views: 1791

Re: Does it make sense to get a business credit card?

When I had a business, a business card was really useful. - All business expenses went on the business card, which meant that it provided a really easy way to double check receipts / bookkeeping (this was back when the dinosaurs roamed the earth, and paper was the source of truth) - When taking clie...
by badger42
Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Poll: BHs who rent - what % of gross do you spend on rent?
Replies: 71
Views: 4855

Re: Poll: BHs who rent - what % of gross do you spend on rent?

We rent in a crazily VHCOL area.

23% of base, 13% of base + bonus + stock
by badger42
Thu Jan 11, 2018 12:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wills and Trusts - what are you doing for the "immediate family all gone" scenario?
Replies: 8
Views: 729

Wills and Trusts - what are you doing for the "immediate family all gone" scenario?

We're in the process of doing a will / trust update. We have a solid plan for guardianship (sane cousins) and trustees (in-family CPAs) if the parents (us) die, leaving kids behind. We have living wills and healthcare directives well sorted out. What we're trying to figure out is what to do in the u...
by badger42
Mon Jan 08, 2018 8:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: home inspection on house I already live in?
Replies: 22
Views: 2145

Re: home inspection on house I already live in?

If you're going to buy it, yes, get the inspection. A good inspector may find all sorts of issues that you wouldn't notice while living there.
by badger42
Thu Dec 28, 2017 9:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: wisdom of buying a car about to be discontinued
Replies: 17
Views: 2832

Re: wisdom of buying a car about to be discontinued

In general - a discontinued model from a reputable brand is fine. You might take a bit of a hit on depreciation, but it's more likely that the seller took most of that hit.

What I would avoid is brands that are going away, as it's often hard to get parts or support for them.
by badger42
Mon Dec 25, 2017 12:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will you donate less to Charity?
Replies: 109
Views: 9051

Re: Will you donate less to Charity?

We've pre-funded the next 4-5 years via a DAF, and will just bunch deductions after that assuming current tax laws (so we'll have a huge deduction 2-3 times a decade, then spread things out via the DAF) I bet the last two weeks of 2017 have been really good for anybody who can setup a DAF quickly! (...
by badger42
Sun Dec 17, 2017 12:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much Auto Insurance to get
Replies: 12
Views: 1525

Re: How much Auto Insurance to get

Unless you are judgment proof (no assets, income is only social security, etc), if you drive in 2017 you should have umbrella. Noob here, could you please briefly go into why umbrella is a must have these days? thanks. Damages in an at-fault auto accident can easily hit $1m or more. Umbrella is so ...
by badger42
Sun Dec 17, 2017 11:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much Auto Insurance to get
Replies: 12
Views: 1525

Re: How much Auto Insurance to get

1) whatever you need to get umbrella. Otherwise, 250/500/100. 50k is half a Tesla. 2) almost certainly yes, you have a meaningful positive net worth, future earnings, etc 3) 401k is protected under ERISA, rest depends on the state Unless you are judgment proof (no assets, income is only social secur...
by badger42
Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Employers- Optimum ‘matching’ formula?
Replies: 2
Views: 253

Re: Employers- Optimum ‘matching’ formula?

What you almost certainly need is a safe harbor match, at least to get started. Employee Fiduciary has a good write-up at https://www.employeefiduciary.com/blog/safe-harbor-401k-plans-answers-to-common-questions Without a safe harbor plan, unless your employees are unusually heavy savers, you won't ...
by badger42
Sun Dec 10, 2017 11:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do girls wear Ninja Turtle character shoes
Replies: 54
Views: 3329

Re: Do girls wear Ninja Turtle character shoes

I would say both boys and girls can wear what they want :)

Having said that, my daughter would not be caught dead wearing anything with Ninja Turtles - "too derpy"
by badger42
Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: carry on luggage, 4 wheel spinner or 2 wheel rollaboard?
Replies: 29
Views: 2233

Re: carry on luggage, 4 wheel spinner or 2 wheel rollaboard?

Two wheels for ruggedness and durability. I would not want to deal with a 4-wheeler on the streets of NYC, DC, London, etc.

If you can't just carry it down the aisle of a plane, you should be checking your luggage anyway.
by badger42
Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: bank secrecy act-10k
Replies: 11
Views: 1492

Re: bank secrecy act-10k

As long as what you're doing is legal, SARs are not a problem even if one is filed. Let everybody waste their time, it will not do you any harm.

If you structure to avoid a SAR, that's illegal and can cause all sorts of headaches.
by badger42
Thu Nov 30, 2017 4:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k Contribution 2018
Replies: 28
Views: 2152

Re: 401k Contribution 2018

We do the following at the start of each year: - Backdoor Roth IRA (maxed) - first week or two of January - Pre-tax 401(k) - max allowed until hit IRS limit - Switch to after-tax 401(k) - max allowed until hitting the limit (plus in-plan Roth conversion - this is the "mega backdoor") We explicitly b...
by badger42
Wed Nov 29, 2017 6:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Liquidating Lending Club
Replies: 8
Views: 1395

Re: Liquidating Lending Club

I went through this a couple years ago, and took about a 1-2% haircut on average to get out. Given the rising default rates (and small investment I had), I didn't sweat it.
by badger42
Tue Nov 28, 2017 5:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Inheritance question: Inheriting something you aren't supposed to sell
Replies: 22
Views: 3174

Re: Inheritance question: Inheriting something you aren't supposed to sell

We have that situation with a bunch of low-value collectibles (milk glass), early to mid 1900s brown furniture, antique non-microwavable / non-dishwashable china, and a ton of what's basically "curio cabinet clutter" that one of my parents sees as their legacy and wants to give to somebody who will...
by badger42
Tue Nov 28, 2017 4:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Inheritance question: Inheriting something you aren't supposed to sell
Replies: 22
Views: 3174

Re: Inheritance question: Inheriting something you aren't supposed to sell

We have that situation with a bunch of low-value collectibles (milk glass), early to mid 1900s brown furniture, antique non-microwavable / non-dishwashable china, and a ton of what's basically "curio cabinet clutter" that one of my parents sees as their legacy and wants to give to somebody who will ...