Search found 978 matches

by Independent George
Mon Jan 30, 2017 12:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard's Wellesley Income fund is incredible
Replies: 604
Views: 126006

Re: Vanguard's Wellesley Income fund is incredible

I don't know about 'incredible', but I hold Wellesley as my 'intermediate' tier of savings. My 1% savings account is the first tier (minimal risk, minimal returns) and kept as an emergency fund. My retirement accounts are the last tier, and invested 100% in index funds. It has the longest time horiz...
by Independent George
Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay down 1.9% loan or invest
Replies: 61
Views: 7413

Re: Pay down 1.9% loan or invest

The math says to invest it - but given how financially stable you already are, emotionally I'd be more inclined to pay off the loan. Once you have enough 'cushion', I feel there is more psychological benefit to increasing your monthly net than there is in trying to maximize your net gains.
by Independent George
Wed Dec 14, 2016 11:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [55% of households have Zero Credit Card Debt]
Replies: 30
Views: 4068

Re: US households (indebted) average $16k credit card debt!!!

Even that 16k average for people who roll debt can be misleading. I bought my condo in 2007 (I know, don't remind me), and put about 15k worth of repairs on a credit card that I rolled over for about 3 years... at 0% interest. One of them charged a $75 transfer fee which got waived when I called the...
by Independent George
Thu Nov 17, 2016 4:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Online Banking Recommendations
Replies: 18
Views: 3511

Re: Online Banking Recommendations

I use Schwab checking for one reason: they reimburse my ATM fees every month. They also used to pay 1% interest, but that was pre-2008.

Ally for savings.
by Independent George
Tue Nov 15, 2016 2:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Monthly grocery costs? How do you keep it low?
Replies: 155
Views: 27379

Re: Monthly grocery costs? How do you keep it low?

Cereal is cheap. We started having a cereal dinner when we were on our "money diet". We actually eat cereal for dinner a few times a month even now, as we found it is quick, easy, and we enjoy it. (We eat healthier cereals, not sugary ones). . Any recommendations? My wife switched to comp...
by Independent George
Tue Nov 15, 2016 11:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Monthly grocery costs? How do you keep it low?
Replies: 155
Views: 27379

Re: Monthly grocery costs? How do you keep it low?

$600-$700 for 4 sounds about right. I'm single and in my late 30s. According to Mint, I spent $258/month on groceries in 2016; that's up from $247 in 2015. I must admit I splurged over the last couple months after I bought a vacuum sealer and an immersion circulator - I expect spending to drop now t...
by Independent George
Tue Nov 15, 2016 10:52 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: If I wasn't investing, I wouldn't be.....today
Replies: 12
Views: 2373

Re: If I wasn't investing, I wouldn't be.....today

I entered the job market in 2000... just as the tech bubble crashed. I took a low-paying job, gradually advanced, and kept plugging away until I paid off my loans in 2006-ish; this allowed me to both up my investment contributions and put down a deposit for my condo... in June 2007. After which I to...
by Independent George
Wed Oct 26, 2016 2:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need help. Drowning in debt and worried about the future and retirement
Replies: 244
Views: 39475

Re: Need help. Drowning in debt and worried about the future and retirement

I'm getting frustrated with it. So far she seems ok with small changes but not any big drastic changes. Then stick with small changes for now; a financial plan only works if everybody buys in and follows it. It's much better to make small changes that everyone can follow and which last a long time ...
by Independent George
Wed Oct 26, 2016 2:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need help. Drowning in debt and worried about the future and retirement
Replies: 244
Views: 39475

Re: Need help. Drowning in debt and worried about the future and retirement

I will definitely never buy a new car again. There's nothing wrong with buying new, and several points in favor of it (warranty, reliability, etc.). It's just a question of how much you're paying, and how much you're borrowing, versus your current income & liabilities. "I'll never borrow a...
by Independent George
Wed Oct 26, 2016 12:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need help. Drowning in debt and worried about the future and retirement
Replies: 244
Views: 39475

Re: Need help. Drowning in debt and worried about the future and retirement

I keep kicking myself about my poor past choices. Stop it! I understand the stress (I emptied my savings to buy my condo in 2007, and watched its value - and my net worth - plummet 60% just 18 months later), but you have to let it go. The bad decisions have already been made, and are in the past no...
by Independent George
Wed Oct 26, 2016 12:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need help. Drowning in debt and worried about the future and retirement
Replies: 244
Views: 39475

Re: Need help. Drowning in debt and worried about the future and retirement

Two options: 1750 down either way with a 6.25 % interest rate. Current rate is 13.24% 72 months: 308.65 a month 66 months: 348.90 a month Go with the 72 month refinance; if the interest rate is the same 6.25% either way, take the longer term. You can always pay additional principal to pay off the b...
by Independent George
Wed Oct 26, 2016 12:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dream house sold yesterday :(
Replies: 41
Views: 9830

Re: Dream house sold yesterday :(

I'd take a breath, and try to remember: there is no such thing as a dream home; a house is only a pile of bricks and timber which you happen to live in. It's not the building you live in that matters, but the people who live in it with you. You'll find another place to live, and as long as you do th...
by Independent George
Wed Oct 26, 2016 12:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What would you do? Payoff...
Replies: 12
Views: 1956

Re: What would you do? Payoff...

What are your total monthly expenditures? I'd try to keep at least 20k in the emergency fund, but that still leaves $9k available to pay down debt. I'd target the 3.75% student loan first, because (1) student loan debt cannot be discharged in bankruptcy, (2) the condo is an investment property, so t...
by Independent George
Wed Oct 26, 2016 10:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need help. Drowning in debt and worried about the future and retirement
Replies: 244
Views: 39475

Re: Need help. Drowning in debt and worried about the future and retirement

I'm going to dissent a little bit regarding the car - downgrading to something cheaper is definitely the right next step, but a "beater" to me means something that will die on you at the worst possible time. You want something cheaper, but not so cheap as to be unreliable. Reading the last...
by Independent George
Tue Oct 25, 2016 2:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need help. Drowning in debt and worried about the future and retirement
Replies: 244
Views: 39475

Re: Need help. Drowning in debt and worried about the future and retirement

I'm single, so take everything I say with a grain of salt. Right now, your biggest problems aren't actually financial, but emotional and behavioral. Don't get me wrong - you're not in a good place financially, but neither are you in a terrible place. The fact that nobody's even mentioned filing for ...
by Independent George
Wed Oct 19, 2016 1:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Samsung Exploding Washing Machines & CPSC Involvement
Replies: 51
Views: 11019

Re: Samsung Exploding Washing Machines & CPSC Involvement

Wow, what a bad couple months for Samsung. I really hope I can leverage this into a really cheap phone upgrade in the future. I've actually been very happy with their products (including my S6 smartphone), so I'm not ready to give up on all their products quite yet. I'm hoping for that happy medium ...
by Independent George
Tue Oct 11, 2016 12:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Got myself into some trouble.. [Use emergency fund for credit card debt?]
Replies: 48
Views: 8260

Re: Got myself into some trouble.. [Use emergency fund for credit card debt?]

1. Good for you on paying off the debt. That massive credit card debt actually does constitute an emergency in my eyes (assuming it is indeed a one-time event). 2. We really need more info to really give any practical advice - what's your current monthly income, and what are your living expenses? Ho...
by Independent George
Tue Oct 11, 2016 10:45 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Active vs Passive
Replies: 30
Views: 3986

Re: Active vs Passive

Jack FFR1846 wrote:Rick Ferri (Boglehead contributor) actually wrote an article about this. If the monkeys are beating the market, then someone has to be losing out to the monkeys. Do you want to be losing to monkeys?
Hmm...

I would like to buy your monkey!!!
by Independent George
Wed Sep 28, 2016 9:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trader Joe's Fans - good value?
Replies: 164
Views: 27138

Re: Trader Joe's Fans - good value?

The water crackers are the biggest discount I've noticed compared to other grocery stores - $1.99 at TJ versus $3.99 every other place. I stock up every few weeks or so.
by Independent George
Tue Sep 27, 2016 2:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How it really feels to have investments during a bear market?
Replies: 74
Views: 9490

Re: How it really feels to have investments during a bear market?

Don't know what you all were invested in to lose 60% of your portfolio's value. In 2008/2009 I was invested in 100% equities (S&P index) and my total decline was 47%. I entered the workforce in 2001, and a combination of student loan payments, increasing income, and youthful stupidity (I was a ...
by Independent George
Tue Sep 27, 2016 9:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Office headsets
Replies: 13
Views: 1513

Re: Office headsets

If you're not constrained by size and don't mind looking ridiculous in the office, the most efficient hack is to combine a really small, in-ear headset (such as this one) with a set of shooting earmuffs . The downside is that even the slimline models are comparatively big and bulky. The upside is th...
by Independent George
Tue Sep 27, 2016 9:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How it really feels to have investments during a bear market?
Replies: 74
Views: 9490

Re: How it really feels to have investments during a bear market?

It's awful - just awful - but survivable. I was in double trouble in '08, because I had just cleared out most of my savings to buy a condo in '07. Not only did my retirement accounts drop 60%, but I was suddenly holding a 200k mortgage on a 150k property. I still had my six months' living expenses i...
by Independent George
Thu Sep 22, 2016 2:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Companion Dogs for an older person
Replies: 42
Views: 5586

Re: WHAT DOGS TEACH US

Sheepdog wrote: Eat with gusto and enthusiasm. Stop when you have had enough.
My dog has no idea what you mean by "stop", or "enough". You're just making up words now.
by Independent George
Thu Sep 22, 2016 1:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chicago Food/Restaurant Recommendations
Replies: 60
Views: 6328

Re: Chicago Food/Restaurant Recommendations

Of course, any Boglehead food post requires referencing GMU economist Tyler Cowen's Six Rules for Dining Out . At fancy and expensive restaurants (say, $50 and up for a dinner), you can follow a simple procedure to choose the best meal. Look at the menu and ask yourself: Which of these items do I le...
by Independent George
Thu Sep 22, 2016 12:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Companion Dogs for an older person
Replies: 42
Views: 5586

Re: Companion Dogs for an older person

Dogs are individuals and can vary in temperaments and personalities, but Labs in particular have a high tendency towards hyperactivity and over-exuberance in an 80-pound frame. They're crazy friendly and I adore them, but unless she's still very active herself, they might not the best choice. I woul...
by Independent George
Thu Sep 22, 2016 11:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chicago Food/Restaurant Recommendations
Replies: 60
Views: 6328

Re: Chicago Food/Restaurant Recommendations

Honestly, I would have no problem spending the $$$ to go to Topolobombo and the like an enjoying the meal. But I would add that on my next trip, I plan to stop at a Mexican restaurant that specializes in goat tacos and goat stew that is a mile or two north of Midway Airport. This place , I presume?...
by Independent George
Thu Sep 22, 2016 10:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chicago Food/Restaurant Recommendations
Replies: 60
Views: 6328

Re: Chicago Food/Restaurant Recommendations

Its a status thing. From what ive seen over the years people believe the bigger the price tag the better the food. Even if the food is mediocre they've already been conditioned to think its great. Same goes for those who "love" expensive wine. Each time a test is done (tests where they em...
by Independent George
Thu Sep 22, 2016 10:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chicago Food/Restaurant Recommendations
Replies: 60
Views: 6328

Re: Chicago Food/Restaurant Recommendations

If you're willing to take a cab/Uber trip, there are some really great, casual places out in the neighborhoods in the $50 range. My list is a bit Lakeview-centric because that's where I live, but I've tried to give you a decent selection. Lakeview (North side, near Wrigley Field): Beef Shack (Belmon...
by Independent George
Wed Sep 21, 2016 5:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chicago Food/Restaurant Recommendations
Replies: 60
Views: 6328

Re: Chicago Food/Restaurant Recommendations

Also, I'll echo Malnati's and Pequod's as the best deep dish in the city. Malnati's has the delicious butter crust, Pequod's has the carmelized onions... they're both very different, but outstanding in their own ways.
by Independent George
Wed Sep 21, 2016 4:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chicago Food/Restaurant Recommendations
Replies: 60
Views: 6328

Re: Chicago Food/Restaurant Recommendations

As a Boglehead, I have to ask you: what are you willing to spend per person? I can think of more great places to eat at all price points than you'll have be able to visit. Where you're staying, I can think of several places: Topolobompo - Mexican fine dining, $100-$150 per person, including drinks. ...
by Independent George
Tue Sep 20, 2016 2:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 4900
Views: 939344

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

They do. But in the 4th quarter of 2015, they did something different. Initially, it was a regular 5x for up to $1,500 in spending on Amazon. Some time in the middle of the 4th quarter I've read on a blog that Chase has extended the bonus to 10x for up to $1,500 in spending, AND, the best part, one...
by Independent George
Tue Sep 20, 2016 11:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 4900
Views: 939344

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

In 4Q2016, Freedom 5x categories include Wholesale clubs, department stores and drug stores. In 4Q2015, Freedom 5x for Amazon was from the beginning of the quarter, but then they added 10x. It became possible to get 22.5k UR by spending $3k on Amazon. I used Freedom to purchase Amazon credit, which...
by Independent George
Tue Aug 23, 2016 9:40 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Customer Service Issues
Replies: 102
Views: 14033

Re: Vanguard Customer Service Issues

I've been with Vanguard for ten years now, and I don't think I've ever called/emailed them. I have no idea what their customer service is like.
by Independent George
Tue Aug 23, 2016 8:21 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The power of investing early VS. Dollar cost averaging
Replies: 29
Views: 4087

Re: The power of investing early VS. Dollar cost averaging

The better comparison is lump sum in January vs. 1/12th sum each month (or 1/26th biweekly etc). Vanguard looked at this and showed lump sum wins 2/3 of the time. https://pressroom.vanguard.com/nonindexed/7.23.2012_Dollar-cost_Averaging.pdf Logically, if the market trend is upwards (and by God it b...
by Independent George
Wed Aug 17, 2016 5:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is there a such thing as a blue collar Boglehead?
Replies: 251
Views: 44415

Re: Is there a such thing as a blue collar Boglehead?

Occasionally brewery people hear it from tourists. "Your job is pretty/so cool, too bad it's not a real job/you don't make much money". We have to keep a poker face and bite our tongues. Huh. Whenever I've heard something like that, it's always been in the context of "It's not work i...
by Independent George
Wed Aug 17, 2016 12:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The True Cost of Owning a Dog
Replies: 176
Views: 24453

Re: The True Cost of Owning a Dog

I adopted my dog just over seven years ago, making somewhere in the 8-9 years range. I've been lucky in that she hasn't had any major medical expenses, but that's certain to change as she gets older. My biggest annual expenses are for the dog walker & boarding. In purely financial terms, I've sp...
by Independent George
Wed Aug 17, 2016 11:40 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [403b fiduciary lawsuits: MIT Yale NYU Duke Hopkins Penn Vanderbilt Emory Columbia]
Replies: 97
Views: 15315

Re: Update: Emory & Columbia; New Fiduciary cases: 403b's at MIT Yale NYU & Duke Hopkins Penn Vanderbilt

So we simultaneously have lawsuits (1) against universities for offering too many expensive fund choices and (2) against Vanguard because its funds are too inexpensive.
by Independent George
Fri Aug 12, 2016 2:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Asymmetrical Information and Financial Markets
Replies: 12
Views: 1308

Re: Asymmetrical Information and Financial Markets

I think it's unquestionable that there are bubbles and market inefficiencies that are easily seen in hindsight. The trick has always been seeing it ahead of time (and having the timing right) - and that's not something I believe can be done consistently.
by Independent George
Wed Aug 10, 2016 12:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New EJ ad touts cost transparency
Replies: 11
Views: 1642

Re: New EJ ad touts cost transparency

Great googly moogly.

$40/year for an IRA, plus an additional 2% EACH for reinvesting dividends and dollar-cost-averaging?!!!
by Independent George
Tue Aug 09, 2016 4:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Talking about the Bogleheads approach with non-Bogleheads
Replies: 64
Views: 6920

Re: Talking about the Bogleheads approach with non-Bogleheads

That's interesting. Are you saying that if someone was invested in a fund of funds like a TargetRetirement fund or a LifeStrategy fund that they would sell when the noise was too much without even looking at what their fund was doing? That is, they would sell LifeStrategy on a decline and buy on an...
by Independent George
Tue Aug 09, 2016 4:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Talking about the Bogleheads approach with non-Bogleheads
Replies: 64
Views: 6920

Re: Talking about the Bogleheads approach with non-Bogleheads

I think the best answer is to politely offer to explain the Boglehead approach, and then leave it to them whether they want to hear you out or change their accounts. If they agree with you, then you've helped out your friends. If they decline the offer, or they accept, but decide not to switch, then...
by Independent George
Thu Aug 04, 2016 10:33 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: An elite new breed of hedge fund managers
Replies: 4
Views: 1270

Re: An elite new breed of hedge fund managers

I remember John Stossel did something similar years ago, where he literally threw darts at a wall with the WSJ financial pages (this was in the 90s) taped up in order to pick stocks. My objection to that is that you won't get a true random sampling, as the darts would tend to converge on the center ...
by Independent George
Thu Aug 04, 2016 9:00 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Avoid International?
Replies: 103
Views: 14021

Re: Avoid International?

Indeed. I was just noting the buy high / sell low mentality. Another candidate for this discussion are REITs. Gotcha. I have to admit, it's really painful for me to watch my Target Date fund (35% international!) crawl forward, especially because I would have preferred a smaller (20%-25%) internatio...
by Independent George
Thu Aug 04, 2016 8:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: daves ramsey new ELPs [Endorsed Local Providers]
Replies: 37
Views: 4980

Re: daves ramsey new ELPs [Endorsed Local Providers]

He does do a great job on getting people out of debt, but his continued pushing of a 100% stock portfolio with exaggerated expected returns will lead some people to a poor retirement. OTOH, if he did not have his message, more people would have problems, so in the long run I suppose he helps a lot ...
by Independent George
Thu Aug 04, 2016 8:45 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Avoid International?
Replies: 103
Views: 14021

Re: Avoid International?

If a reader used topic titles to invest they'd avoid international and go 100% Wellesley. So..... I wouldn't be surprised if international didn't start outperforming and Wellesley underperformed. Wellesley is supposed to underperform, isn't it? I hold Wellesley expecting higher returns and more ris...
by Independent George
Thu Aug 04, 2016 8:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: daves ramsey new ELPs [Endorsed Local Providers]
Replies: 37
Views: 4980

Re: daves ramsey new ELPs

I don't see that as contradictory. Paying a debt that you owe to the original creditor is one thing, but paying a debt collector who purchased the debt for pennies on the dollar, and who uses unethical or illegal practices to coerce you into paying is another. You beat me to it. The original credit...
by Independent George
Wed Aug 03, 2016 4:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Investors love "lottery tickets" new paper supporting that theory
Replies: 33
Views: 4718

Re: Investors love "lottery tickets" new paper supporting that theory

I'm fairly certain that 99% of the people who post on this board would handle lottery winnings just fine.

Of course, if I had a net worth equal to what some of you have posted, I'd have already retired.
by Independent George
Wed Aug 03, 2016 3:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: daves ramsey new ELPs [Endorsed Local Providers]
Replies: 37
Views: 4980

Re: daves ramsey new ELPs

Nah, Ramsey is just greedy and scamming on investments. I used to be one of his best fans. My point is that his seminars on escaping debt and controlling spending are actually very, very good. Even factoring greed into the mix, I can't wrap my head around how one product can be so good, while the o...
by Independent George
Wed Aug 03, 2016 12:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Investors love "lottery tickets" new paper supporting that theory
Replies: 33
Views: 4718

Re: Investors love "lottery tickets" new paper supporting that theory

I buy lottery tickets as part of a pact with some family members. I don't do it because I expect to ever win, but because I couldn't bear missing out in the (equally unlikely) scenario where on of them wins. $10 a month doesn't seem so bad.
by Independent George
Wed Aug 03, 2016 12:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: daves ramsey new ELPs [Endorsed Local Providers]
Replies: 37
Views: 4980

Re: daves ramsey new ELPs

Oddly it was Dave Ramsey who got me engaged to get out of debt. My wife and I both went to a 5 hour lecture that went by like an hour. Totally turned us around. Then I looked at his investing ideas and was so disappointed. Apparently I had finished reading enough books that I knew that it made no s...