Search found 74 matches

by Big Dutch
Sat Oct 13, 2018 12:21 pm
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: West Michigan Bogleheads Chapter - chat
Replies: 33
Views: 1559

Re: New West Michigan Bogleheads Chapter Established

LMCU only pays on 15k per account but you and your spouse can each have an account. 30k at 3% guaranteed is pretty nice.

Big Dutch
by Big Dutch
Tue Aug 21, 2018 10:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where to buy engagement ring?
Replies: 56
Views: 4096

Re: Where to buy engagement ring?

I purchased my wife's engagement ring several years ago at James Allen and was very pleased with the website, price and quality. The customer service was also superb.

I recently purchased some diamond stud earrings and found Blue Nile to be the best value for a quality set.

Good luck!

~Big Dutch
by Big Dutch
Tue Aug 07, 2018 7:01 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Don't Obsess About Expense Ratios"
Replies: 240
Views: 21641

Re: "Don't Obsess About Expense Ratios"

Captain kangaroo wrote:
Mon Aug 06, 2018 6:40 pm
Pre-Fidelity announcement:

"Lowest expense ratio possible is essential!"

Post-Fidelity announcement:

"Actually, don't worry about them! Stay with Vanguard!"
+1
by Big Dutch
Fri Jul 27, 2018 11:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Yet another "can I afford it"?
Replies: 42
Views: 4078

Re: Yet another "can I afford it"?

delamer wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 4:26 pm
Seems that a great compromise with your wife would be to buy a used, 2 or 3 year old version of one of your preferred vehicles.
+1
by Big Dutch
Wed Jun 06, 2018 4:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Top Shelf Liquor Overrated?
Replies: 191
Views: 18445

Re: Top Shelf Liquor Overrated?

And in case some folks think it's all an illusionary placebo effect in which you presume the 2x$ bottle should taste better, so therefore it does, allow me to disagree. Go in the opposite direction and buy the cheapest bottles of generic gin or rum you can find and you may likely find they are UNDE...
by Big Dutch
Fri May 25, 2018 1:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which tickets would you buy in advance (Europe)?
Replies: 20
Views: 1328

Re: Which tickets would you buy in advance (Europe)?

We found the Roma Pass to a good value in Rome during a three night stay. Access to major sites and some public transportation.

~Big Dutch
by Big Dutch
Fri May 25, 2018 8:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rum and Summer Cocktails
Replies: 30
Views: 2227

Re: Rum and Summer Cocktails

Kraken Black Spiced Rum is very reasonably priced and very drinkable. On the few occasions where a friend and I drank copious amounts of the stuff (dark & stormy w/ Goslings ginger beer) we felt great the next morning. Certainly better than we deserved. YMMV.

:sharebeer

Big Dutch
by Big Dutch
Thu May 17, 2018 8:48 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why do so many people quote "You will likely be in a lower tax bracket in retirement"
Replies: 550
Views: 38364

Re: Why do so many people quote "You will likely be in a lower tax bracket in retirement"

Also keep in mind that it's your effective tax rate that matters when you withdraw. When you save it's the marginal rate. When I contribute to my 401K, it reduces my taxable income--thus I'm taking money "off the top" in terms of income. Whatever bracket I'm in, I'm getting a deduction at my margin...
by Big Dutch
Wed May 02, 2018 1:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I-bond fixed rate = 0.3%
Replies: 62
Views: 8572

Re: I-bond fixed rate = 0.3%

When I log in as of today and see my i Bonds from 2012 and 2013 it shows a 2.48% interest rate. ... Those I Bonds with a current interest rate of 2.48% have a 0% fixed rate. That current interest rate is calculated using the semi-annual inflation adjustment set in Nov 2017 [1.24%], not the one set ...
by Big Dutch
Fri Apr 06, 2018 10:13 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Final, Definitive Thread on Brokerage Transfer Bonuses
Replies: 1226
Views: 213128

Re: The Final, Definitive Thread on Brokerage Transfer Bonuses

Well, the Fidelity link contained there is: https://rewards.fidelity.com/offers/friendsandfamilyoffer2 That doesn't mention a bonus, so I suspect that it is indeed incorrect. I approached Fidelity about matching other offers a while back, and they declined. I am transferring a $1M portfolio from VG...
by Big Dutch
Wed Feb 28, 2018 2:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much cash do you keep at any time on checking?
Replies: 183
Views: 16692

Re: How much cash do you keep at any time on checking?

$30k @ 3% in LMCU high yield checking accounts (one $15k account each for me and my wife). I consider this our emergency fund.

~Big Dutch
by Big Dutch
Wed Feb 21, 2018 9:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Public Service Loan Forgiveness-Has it worked for anyone?
Replies: 29
Views: 3832

Re: Public Service Loan Forgiveness-Has it worked for anyone?

My SIL received public student loan forgiveness 2-3 years ago. No issues there. The earliest one could have received any forgiveness through the public service forgiveness program was roughly fall of 2017. 10 years of eligible payments are needed, and the program began fall of 2007. Ah, sorry, I sh...
by Big Dutch
Wed Feb 21, 2018 9:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Maui and what other island?
Replies: 35
Views: 3266

Re: Maui and what other island?

I haven't been to the big island but I'd second Kauai. Laid back, lots to do outside (hike, kayak, etc.). Beautiful beaches and snorkeling go without saying. My personal favorite over Oahu and Maui. Great. Thanks. Any idea on how inter island travel works between Maui and Kauai? Boat? Plane? We jus...
by Big Dutch
Wed Feb 21, 2018 8:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Public Service Loan Forgiveness-Has it worked for anyone?
Replies: 29
Views: 3832

Re: Public Service Loan Forgiveness-Has it worked for anyone?

My SIL received public student loan forgiveness 2-3 years ago. No issues there. BIL and a friend are in process and haven't reported any issues yet.

~Big Dutch
by Big Dutch
Fri Feb 02, 2018 2:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bonds - Am I missing something
Replies: 89
Views: 9065

Re: Bonds - Am I missing something

It seems to me that this post might be getting hung up on semantics. I don't know what posters' annual expenses are but keeping 1-2 years in cash is hardly "100% equity", especially if this money is available to be invested during a downturn. IMO, that would be more conservative than holding some % ...
by Big Dutch
Wed Jan 31, 2018 2:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A weekend in Rome - what would you do?
Replies: 13
Views: 955

Re: A weekend in Rome - what would you do?

St. Peter's Basilica is my #1 must see destination. The detail and scale of the interior are impossible to convey. Quite a sight. The amount of art horded in the Vatican was also a lot of fun to see, not to mention the Sistine Chapel. The Pantheon, Vittorio Emanuele II monument, Trevi Fountain and P...
by Big Dutch
Mon Jan 29, 2018 12:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: what do/did you do with your evenings with a Toddler in winters ?
Replies: 63
Views: 4646

Re: what do/did you do with your evenings with a Toddler in winters ?

We have a 2 year old son. He loves the YMCA kidzone to play with other kids or play in the pool with us. I build blanket forts on that are enjoyed, destroyed and rebuilt the next day - great fun. My son thinks he's a frog. Bath time almost every night is great fun as well as a way to keep him clean ...
by Big Dutch
Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wall Street Journal - What Gives?
Replies: 7
Views: 1982

Re: Wall Street Journal - What Gives?

I had a print subscription for years too, although not as long as you. It eventually got too expensive so I'd cancel, wait for the inevitable "new subscriber deal" and resubscribe. Did that once or twice but got tired of the hassle and switched to The Economist. A different type of "newspaper" but I...
by Big Dutch
Thu Oct 05, 2017 6:28 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Health Savings Account recommendation
Replies: 22
Views: 3740

Re: Health Savings Account recommendation

We just started using SelectAccount this year and have been very pleased so far. Very easy to use and can do almost everything online. Low cost access to index funds was key for us.

Good luck on your search!

~Big Dutch
by Big Dutch
Wed Sep 13, 2017 3:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turned down for umbrella insurance
Replies: 57
Views: 7095

Re: Turned down for umbrella insurance

We were current customers of Auto-Owners insurance when we applied for an umbrella policy greater than $1mm. Paperwork was minimal and we didn't need to provide any supporting documentation. Our net worth was lower than the umbrella amount by at least a factor of two and we had no issues. Premiums a...
by Big Dutch
Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:32 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Experience with High Yielding Money Market Accounts
Replies: 31
Views: 4400

Re: Experience with High Yielding Money Market Accounts

We've had an online AMEX savings account for the last several years. It's not the highest rate on your list but it was extremely easy to set up & use online. Keep in mind the standard monthly transaction limit (6?). We do everything online, very clean and simple. I'd highly recommend.

~Big Dutch
by Big Dutch
Tue Sep 05, 2017 8:26 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Interest bearing HSA
Replies: 5
Views: 691

Re: Interest bearing HSA

2.6% fixed seems pretty good to me, I'd just count it as part of my bond allocation and leave it there. I had 2% with a local credit union - I was content to let it ride until they recently dropped it to 1%. I just moved our HSA over to SelectAccount so we could access low cost mutual funds. ~Big Du...
by Big Dutch
Thu Aug 31, 2017 10:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pork shoulder on Weber E-310: Best practices?
Replies: 37
Views: 3219

Re: Pork shoulder on Weber E-310: Best practices?

I bought the Weber Genesis S-330 last fall and love it! Well made andnot to hard to assemble. Just a word of warning - I was used to my old propane grill and the new grill is HOT! Nice even heat, but I really had to dial down the burners to avoid overcooking meat.

~Big Dutch
by Big Dutch
Tue Aug 29, 2017 1:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Driving a car [in] Italy, any suggestion?
Replies: 47
Views: 4564

Re: Driving a car Italy, any suggestion?

It's a little intimidating at first but it's a great way to get off the beaten path and explore Tuscany in particular. As others have advised: have your IDL with you at all times and avoid the ZTLs religiously (expensive fines). Drivers are aggressive given how narrow/tiny many roads are but aren't ...
by Big Dutch
Thu Aug 24, 2017 1:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What is the portfolio role of a leveraged bond fund like PONDX?
Replies: 60
Views: 5620

Re: What is the portfolio role of a leveraged bond fund like PONDX?

I held PONDX as the largest component of my tax-deferred bond position for a number of years. The fund was a hold-over from my pre-Boglehead days; I didn't mind the risk and like the returns. But the more I read the more I realized that I didn't understand what it held/how it worked. So, I switched ...
by Big Dutch
Tue Aug 01, 2017 8:00 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Munis at Fidelity: FTABX or VTEB?
Replies: 41
Views: 4920

Re: Munis at Fidelity: FTABX or VTEB?

I was in a similar position with perhaps a slightly shorter time horizon and decided to go with MUB. Free trades, same ER (0.25%). I typically buy in blocks and don't reinvest dividends to minimize tax lots.

~Big Dutch
by Big Dutch
Fri Jul 21, 2017 2:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Commuters (that drive), what do you listen to?
Replies: 60
Views: 4150

Re: Commuters (that drive), what do you listen to?

100% recommend Audiobooks on the Audible phone app. Overdrive is a free app that you could also use; I haven't used it but have several friends who recommend it. I have a ~30 commute each way = 1 hour per day = 20 hours a month. Add in some additional listening time during workouts, runs, etc. and I...
by Big Dutch
Wed Jun 14, 2017 1:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 3330
Views: 1002614

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

I'm "reading" (Audible recording) The Secret History by Donna Tartt. The plot is a bit macabre but I've thoroughly enjoyed this book. She builds and dissects her characters with rare depth and her writing style is a pleasure to read. This is one of those few books that I would describe as immersive ...
by Big Dutch
Tue Apr 25, 2017 8:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 3731
Views: 1065503

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

Although I enjoy film noir (most recently Nocturnal Animals, superb!), my wife has a lighter taste in movies. One movie that we both really enjoyed recently was Song of the Sea. It's an animated film with a beautiful score. The style is more drawn rather than CGI. The story is a mythical quest and I...
by Big Dutch
Mon Apr 10, 2017 9:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ordering a Weber grill this week
Replies: 164
Views: 17984

Re: Ordering a Weber grill this week

I bought a Weber Genesis E-330 last summer. Love it! It's my first brand-new grill and it's incredible how hot it runs, even when I don't use the sear station (4th burner). I sadly overcooked several nice cuts of meat before adjusting to the new grill. I can't yet speak to longevity but it's easy to...
by Big Dutch
Wed Mar 15, 2017 7:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $464.12 dinner bill last night. No regrets.
Replies: 78
Views: 12542

Re: $464.12 dinner bill last night. No regrets.

Amazing story, thank you for sharing!
by Big Dutch
Fri Feb 24, 2017 10:59 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Total World expense ratio lowered
Replies: 38
Views: 9228

Re: Total World expense ratio lowered

Doc,

Love the signature, made me smile. :happy

~Big Dutch
by Big Dutch
Fri Feb 17, 2017 7:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Umbrella 1 million $500
Replies: 32
Views: 3465

Re: Umbrella 1 million $500

Ditto the previous comments, seems expensive. $292 for 3mm umbrella w/ Auto-Owners, although that includes several discounts (alumni, multi-policy). Two cars, one motorcyle, multiple rentals.

~Big Dutch
by Big Dutch
Wed Feb 08, 2017 10:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Brokerage with Easiest Steps for IRA Conversion
Replies: 11
Views: 1124

Re: Brokerage with Easiest Steps for IRA Conversion

Fidelity is very easy and all online for both conversions and re-characterizations. I've completed both with no issues.

~Big Dutch
by Big Dutch
Wed Feb 08, 2017 10:51 am
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: How Did You Become A Boglehead? What Led You Here?
Replies: 168
Views: 21112

Re: How Did You Become A Boglehead? What Led You Here?

It was either White Coat Investor or Tipswatch, I honestly can't remember which! Both good supplementary resources.

~Big Dutch
by Big Dutch
Fri Jan 27, 2017 7:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reached a milestone: $500K in Retirement Accounts
Replies: 44
Views: 7157

Re: Reached a milestone: $500K in Retirement Accounts

Congratulations kuttolas! That's a great story, keep it up and don't take your foot off the gas!
by Big Dutch
Tue Jan 03, 2017 12:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are Younger people funding 529 Plans?
Replies: 109
Views: 9895

Re: Are Younger people funding 529 Plans?

My wife and I were both 35 when we had our first child; he's now just over 1 year old. We started a 529 (MESP) the month he was born and contribute lump sums during the year in addition to family contributions. We live in MI and receive a state tax deduction up to $10,000/year (joint filers). State ...
by Big Dutch
Thu Dec 22, 2016 10:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 3731
Views: 1065503

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

I'll cast my vote for Nocturnal Animals, saw it in the theater last week and really enjoyed it. Not without its flaws, but it was a refreshing change of pace from the formulaic flicks that are so common today.

~Big Dutch
by Big Dutch
Mon Nov 14, 2016 8:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lake Michigan Credit Union HSA
Replies: 4
Views: 1094

Re: Lake Michigan Credit Union HSA

We're also members of LMCU. HSA is very straightforward, no "gotchas" or fees. Also easy to access with checks/debit cart. However, the interest rate dropped from 2% annually to 1% in second quarter of this year. Still not bad but it's motivated me to look elsewhere for a better long-term return sin...
by Big Dutch
Fri Oct 28, 2016 7:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you make your Martini?
Replies: 63
Views: 6999

Re: How do you make your Martini?

3 parts Bombay Sapphire gin, 1 part Grey Goose Vodka, splash of dry Vermouth. Shaken well over ice and strained, twist of lemon. I just added one to my To Do list for tonight.

~Big Dutch
by Big Dutch
Wed Oct 19, 2016 7:55 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New Ibond variable rate 2.76% on November 1st. Thoughts?
Replies: 87
Views: 17025

Re: New Ibond variable rate 2.76% on November 1st. Thoughts?

You'd have to pay me a lot more than $50 to deal with Treasury Direct, that's for sure. I just don't get what the difficulty is with Treasury Direct. I find it pretty simple to use. What am I missing? +1 lots of complaints on this forum but I've never had a problem with Treasury Direct either. ~Big...
by Big Dutch
Tue Sep 27, 2016 4:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Uncle Sam Pays Almost Twice The Yield On Treasurys--If You Know Where To Look
Replies: 85
Views: 14500

Re: "Uncle Sam Pays Almost Twice The Yield On Treasurys--If You Know Where To Look

I just wanted to say that I've really enjoyed this thread. There's frustration on both sides after numerous posts, but both groups have clearly put a lot of thought into this topic from their own perspective. As someone who's been on the fence with Series EE bonds over the last couple of years (I've...
by Big Dutch
Mon Sep 26, 2016 3:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Protein Powders
Replies: 45
Views: 4622

Re: Protein Powders

+1 Optimum Nutrition whey protein powder, especially if you might be mixing it into milk, water, smoothies, etc. I've tried numerous powders and this one mixes better than any I've tried. Clumps or grittiness are a big turnoff, especially to someone not used to it.

~Big Dutch
by Big Dutch
Fri Sep 16, 2016 7:56 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I have $3,000 to gamble
Replies: 71
Views: 10381

Re: I have $3,000 to gamble

whodidntante wrote:Buy the Wall Street Journal. Spread the stock listings on your wall. Throw a dart. Go all in on that excellent stock pick. I have a better system, but you need to have a cat for it to work.
LOL :happy
by Big Dutch
Tue Sep 13, 2016 10:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2016 Murano or 2016 Acura MDX
Replies: 36
Views: 5822

Re: 2016 Murano or 2016 Acura MDX

I can't speak to the current model MDX but we own a 2012 MDX Tech package w/ AWD. I've also had back issues and am tall - comfort and head clearance were key for me. We tried out similar age Nissan and Mazda as well but the Acura was in another league in terms of comfort. And it should be, for the p...
by Big Dutch
Fri Aug 12, 2016 1:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity Rewards Visa 2% cash back
Replies: 73
Views: 12854

Re: Fidelity Rewards Visa 2% cash back

So far so good here. We've had this card for several months and my first automated point redemption (2% cash) just went through to my Fidelity brokerage account. Very easy. Extra money for withdrawal or taxable investing. I used to use the Delta Amex but don't travel as much for work these days. Del...
by Big Dutch
Thu Aug 04, 2016 3:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: best jumbo mortgage rates esp 15 year
Replies: 10
Views: 1193

Re: best jumbo mortgage rates esp 15 year

Same. Our 15Yr jumbo was 3.25% with excellent credit, 20% down. Michigan. We closed this past April and this was the best I could find at that time.

~Big Dutch
by Big Dutch
Thu Aug 04, 2016 10:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Florence, Italy Hotel?
Replies: 18
Views: 1313

Re: Florence, Italy Hotel?

A lot of the hotels we looked at in larger Italian cities were small, expensive and dated decor/layout. We did Airbnb in Rome two years ago and had a great experience. It was much cheaper than hotels and a larger, more updated space. Would highly recommend.

~Big Dutch
by Big Dutch
Thu Jul 21, 2016 10:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 3330
Views: 1002614

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Just finishing the duology I, Claudius and Claudius the God by Robert Graves. The first was quite good, the second a bit more meandering but I think I'm just tiring of the subject/voice after two reasonably sized books.

Next up: Hanns and Rudolf by Thomas Harding.

~Big Dutch