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by LadyGeek
Wed May 27, 2009 1:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why is TIPS a "reference" portfolio?
Replies: 12
Views: 1848

The Tools and Calculators page on the Bogleheads Wiki now includes TIP$TER . The reason I'm using it is because there's nothing password protected. Everything is open and well documented. I would have deleted it if I didn't see exactly why it was accessing the internet (hyperlinks to the web site fo...
by LadyGeek
Wed May 27, 2009 10:57 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why is TIPS a "reference" portfolio?
Replies: 12
Views: 1848

Thank you. I was impressed with your spreadsheet design (my background is engineering). I'm using this forum to learn and always ask when I have a question. Would you consider adding some clarifications and explanations to your user manual? Perhaps it would help others, as everyone has a different b...
by LadyGeek
Wed May 27, 2009 10:11 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why is TIPS a "reference" portfolio?
Replies: 12
Views: 1848

Thanks! I knew I missed something basic, but I couldn't see the forest for the trees. :?

So, Risk allocation = Asset allocation. TIPS zeroes out (normalizes) both risk and inflation.

This spreadsheet is used to compare stock (asset) allocation against TIPS, so that added to the confusion.
by LadyGeek
Wed May 27, 2009 8:46 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why is TIPS a "reference" portfolio?
Replies: 12
Views: 1848

Why is TIPS a "reference" portfolio?

I'm following the thread about Monte Carlo and Mean Reversion . I downloaded dothemontecarlo's spreadsheet "Tip$ster" , read the manual, and ran the tutorials. However, I'm confused on the use of TIPS as a baseline portfolio. First, I understand that TIPS is an extremely safe investment. F...
by LadyGeek
Wed May 27, 2009 7:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anti-virus software choice?
Replies: 75
Views: 19025

Relax. No need to pay for anything. 8) AVG had some resource problems with their link scanner technology, but that should have been fixed by now. However, I dumped AVG at the sign of the first nag screen to update to Version 8. All you need is Avast! Free . You'll need to supply an email address to ...
by LadyGeek
Tue May 26, 2009 8:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Career Help
Replies: 10
Views: 1872

First, what is your son interested in? Hearing disability is not a reason to make a career choice. If it's not what he's interested in, he's going to hate his job. Although he will be disqualified occupations that require hearing, like public safety, there are a LOT of opportunities that don't. As S...
by LadyGeek
Mon May 25, 2009 8:27 pm
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: Britain / U.K. Equivalent to Vanguard?
Replies: 103
Views: 23522

A bit late, but there are indeed some pages in the the Bogleheads Wiki.

- Individual Savings Accounts (in need of an update)
- Personal Pensions (in need of an update)
- UK Investing
by LadyGeek
Mon May 25, 2009 8:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Blue Screen of Death-Need a little computer help from gurus
Replies: 51
Views: 8173

On the off chance you haven't tried it, be 100% sure that you know how to restore that data you so carefully backed up. Try it now, before you really need it. It might be obvious, but I've run into a LOT of people who failed to understand that critical 2nd step. Go ahead, delete a critical file. The...
by LadyGeek
Mon May 25, 2009 3:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Joint or Separate Checking Accounts
Replies: 26
Views: 5232

We've (me + spouse) always had separate accounts. The only joint account we own is an ING savings account for cash reserves. That way, both of us can contribute. The background is that we both work for a living and are used to dealing with things on our own. We agree together on who pays the bills. ...
by LadyGeek
Mon May 25, 2009 10:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Red Light Cameras
Replies: 84
Views: 10221

A buddy of mine just got nailed making a turn through an intersection in Scottsdale AZ. These guys are serious. Everything about the system, including locations are published online . They even have piezo-electric sensors buried in the roadway, checkout the FAQ . Along with the actual speed, my budd...
by LadyGeek
Mon May 25, 2009 10:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: VT, Spirit Rover is stuck in the dirt!!!
Replies: 12
Views: 2416

I don't know about humans in 3000 years, but there will be cockroaches. You can't kill a cockroach. :)
by LadyGeek
Mon May 25, 2009 10:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dashboard indicator lights
Replies: 22
Views: 4577

Thanks for the follow-up, this is good info. I think it was a good investment to have a professional look at it. Sounds like he did the right thing. Electronic circuit boards are not designed to be serviced. The standard repair technique is to replace the board. For example, if a part on your comput...
by LadyGeek
Sun May 24, 2009 8:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will Preparation Websites
Replies: 11
Views: 2377

I got a "package deal". The first thing the lawyer will tell you is that a will only takes care of things when you die. There's a huge amount of bad things that can happen where you don't die, but can't take care of yourself. You will need: Will Durable power of attorney Medical power of a...
by LadyGeek
Sun May 24, 2009 8:00 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What if the market gave you back "enough"?
Replies: 8
Views: 1873

Interesting coincidence. However, my husband does the landscaping. We have Sedum and lots of deer here as well, so I know what you're talking about. My list of "needs" includes photography. I just got a dedicated macro lens to take pictures of all our hard work. When I was in high school, ...
by LadyGeek
Sun May 24, 2009 7:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best watch for around $5,000? [Archived]
Replies: 1479
Views: 326188

Don't give up! You should always desire a better amp. Why don't you change your perspective and not use any speakers? Consider a serious pair of headphones and headphone amp. Start your research here . Less volume of air to push (your ears instead of a room) means smaller electronics. You could get ...
by LadyGeek
Sat May 23, 2009 9:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fascinating Harvard Study on Happiness
Replies: 25
Views: 5630

There are more comments here . The bottom line: - Relationships matter. - Money can't buy happiness, but it certainly helps. While I was reading the article, all I could think about was the Dead Poets Society . Those are the students who made up this study. Refer to the retort by Ed Diener on page 3...
by LadyGeek
Sat May 23, 2009 2:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What if the market gave you back "enough"?
Replies: 8
Views: 1873

Re: What if the market gave you back "enough"?

My spreadsheet says I could raise my budget by 50% for the rest of my life (though I have not a clue what I would spend this on) earn 6 month CD rates minus taxes, and not run out of money for a full 15 years past my projected lifespan. I think this is "enough", but you never know, do you...
by LadyGeek
Sat May 23, 2009 2:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best watch for around $5,000? [Archived]
Replies: 1479
Views: 326188

A more interesting question in my view is the best audio power amp for $10,000 ( looking at the McIntosh labs web site again) You'll need the best $10,000 speakers to match. Although, one could spend more. Especially on the source equipment. And interconnects. My better half has an Altis Titanium T...
by LadyGeek
Sat May 23, 2009 9:38 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Warning Vanguard brokerage is having problems.
Replies: 39
Views: 12948

I got a pop-up message box in Quicken this morning when I did the auto-update. The message was from Vanguard about possible changes in Vanguard Brokerage Service account numbers. Intuit could not verify the numbers and I should login to my VG account to check. I didn't see any messages in my VG acco...
by LadyGeek
Fri May 22, 2009 6:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Compromised Credit Card Numbers
Replies: 22
Views: 4383

Same here for Capital One expiration date and back of card code.
by LadyGeek
Fri May 22, 2009 4:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Would you pay $9.99 for this service.
Replies: 12
Views: 3292

No way. Besides, it's only for ETFs.
by LadyGeek
Fri May 22, 2009 4:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: references for job apps
Replies: 20
Views: 3019

Drug testing, background checks, etc. are conditions of employment. It's not a question of legality, it's their policy. There's no chance someone will hire you if you don't like the employment policy. Back on topic, you should check the papers you signed when you joined the company. Are you bound by...
by LadyGeek
Sun May 17, 2009 9:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bogleheads group on LinkedIn - Anybody Interested
Replies: 11
Views: 2028

No. It's a different venue - professional networking means real names, resumes and similar topics. Not the reason I joined the forum. Too many negatives down this path.

If you need to network, just PM the person you want to connect with and go from there.
by LadyGeek
Sun May 17, 2009 8:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: if you had only 1 magazine on an 8 hr flight...
Replies: 87
Views: 13813

Fly United and get a window seat. Read? Who can read anything when you can plug into "From the Flight Deck"? Best thing going, I applaud United for carrying the pilot communications live. I can listen for 8 hours easy.

Scientific American or Wired when the En-route Center activity is slow.
by LadyGeek
Sun May 17, 2009 8:44 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Stick with Traditional IRA with income-based school loans?
Replies: 4
Views: 1367

If you need some basic information about the Thrift Savings Plan, check out the Thrift Savings Plan page on the Bogleheads Wiki.
by LadyGeek
Sun May 17, 2009 3:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "My Personal Credit Crisis" by a NYT economics rep
Replies: 81
Views: 14195

I'd like to read the same article, but written by his wife.
by LadyGeek
Sun May 17, 2009 12:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: NYT: What Does Your Credit-Card Company Know About You?
Replies: 29
Views: 4569

Add noise to the data (obfuscate). For example, throw in a bottle of Thunderbird with a '94 Cabernet at the wine store. Fun to do, but not very economical.
by LadyGeek
Sun May 17, 2009 8:23 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Anyone augment their Target Retirement funds?
Replies: 10
Views: 2109

Welcome to the forum! I used a TIPS for my Roth IRA, everything else is in VG's 2010 Targeted Retirement Fund. I want simplicity, so one or two funds is just fine for me. The reason I went with TIPS was from forum suggestions that the Targeted Retirement funds are a bit shy in TIPS allocation. Also,...
by LadyGeek
Sat May 16, 2009 6:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vangugard Trustees as investment advisors
Replies: 4
Views: 1254

Are there any conflict of interest issues with their investments?
by LadyGeek
Sat May 16, 2009 9:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: NYT: What Does Your Credit-Card Company Know About You?
Replies: 29
Views: 4569

Agreed that they've been doing this for years. Take a look at those "year-end" summaries and note how everything is neatly categorized. The only difference is that someone put the effort to come up with a purchasing algorithm that can be used to profile customers. Can't the card holder be ...
by LadyGeek
Fri May 15, 2009 4:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wiki technology for personal document editing
Replies: 9
Views: 2119

Victoria, You are asking for compatibility with Excel and PowerPoint. Unless you are using Microsoft Office directly, there may be restrictions on supported features. Is there something that OpenOffice won't do? It's "mostly" compatible with Microsoft Office files. It's free. The OpenOffic...
by LadyGeek
Fri May 15, 2009 4:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Even SEC attorneys like to trade on insider information
Replies: 18
Views: 2410

Take a look at the pdf file. Around page 53 in Adobe (48 in the report), you'll find an interesting discussion about Ethics reporting and the OHR (Office of Human Resources). The text was a bit difficult to copy-n-paste directly. "No True Compliance System" Both Ethics Office and OHR offic...
by LadyGeek
Wed May 13, 2009 9:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Page loads very slow
Replies: 8
Views: 1994

Clean out your browser cache. I use this utility to get rid of all the stray files: http://www.ccleaner.com/ I cleans out a LOT of stuff, including your registry and start-up files. Be sure to do a scan for malware (trojans, etc.). Those bad guys usually want internet access, which can slow down you...
by LadyGeek
Wed May 13, 2009 4:34 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: The +1 mental disease is spreading
Replies: 55
Views: 11549

You'd know a C programmer if it just said "++" instead. Only if there's a prior value. Otherwise, initialize with: (char) 0x01; // :thumbsup (char) 0xff; // :thumbsdown ------------------------------------------------------------------ while (!(try = succeed()) ); // if you don't succeed,...
by LadyGeek
Tue May 12, 2009 9:32 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Savings Bond Calculator Question
Replies: 5
Views: 1573

This is new for me, so I updated the I Savings Bonds page on the Bogleheads Wiki . It now contains a detailed example of composite rate calculation with a 0.00 % return (source: Treasury Direct, current rate). Also, some cleanup and updated links. Comments / corrections, please let me know (wiki aut...
by LadyGeek
Tue May 12, 2009 8:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Unauthorized ACH Withdrawal
Replies: 31
Views: 16425

I had an unusual error - twice, but they were several years apart. The bank transposed 2 digits when they entered the amount of the check to be cleared. Instead of 79.86, it was 897.60 (or something like that, can't remember). All of a sudden, I got notices of overdraft and returned checks. The bank...
by LadyGeek
Mon May 11, 2009 7:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: To Sell or Not To Sell... our house.
Replies: 18
Views: 2908

Ducks - Sorry, I'm an engineer. I could turn that into a PowerPoint presentation if you wanted. Point one, point two, conclusion. :) I didn't mention the month we had no kitchen because it was getting remodeled (done about 6 months ago). The dishes don't care if you wash them in the bathroom sink. H...
by LadyGeek
Mon May 11, 2009 7:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Anyone else sick of hearing the phrase "green shoots?&q
Replies: 49
Views: 6090

It's already spread to my employer. I can't take it anymore.

I got an idea: Maybe we can call green a "viral pandemic of verbal proportions"? Let the marketing guys chew on that for a while. Payback. :wink:
by LadyGeek
Mon May 11, 2009 4:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: To Sell or Not To Sell... our house.
Replies: 18
Views: 2908

Ducks, Here's a totally different "big picture" perspective. Take a look at how I edited your post: We live in an adorable craftsman-style house that was built in 1925... 1) Finish and stay: We could finish our basement remodel, and stay in this house. Pros: (a lot) Cons: Not looking forwa...
by LadyGeek
Sun May 10, 2009 9:42 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Why this forum WILL BE successful
Replies: 207
Views: 102279

I'm hoping that the Bogleheads Wiki usage will grow as well. With regards to the previous posts, there's a more relevant thread about fund expenses here: It’s Time for Transparency (401k/403b) (Follow the link to see that I included a Mutual Fund Fee Calculators section in the wiki, which includes t...
by LadyGeek
Sun May 10, 2009 9:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: It’s Time for Transparency (401k/403b)
Replies: 17
Views: 2766

To help with the education, I just added a Mutual Fund Fee Calculators section in the Bogleheads Wiki . This is an addition to the Tools and Calculators page. Highlights: The FINRA has a fund analyzer that does real-time lookup of fund expenses. There are also a few graphical calculators so you can ...
by LadyGeek
Sun May 10, 2009 12:39 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Emergency Fund in Pennsylvania Tax-Exempt Money Market?
Replies: 5
Views: 2172

Why not use ING? I keep 10% of my available cash in a brick-n-mortar bank. It's there, ATM (instant) access if I need it. The rest is linked to ING, which is insured and only 2 business days away. I don't think the PA Tax Exempt fund is the most productive. You need to look at after-tax yields, not ...
by LadyGeek
Sun May 10, 2009 12:18 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Question for my Mom and Dad
Replies: 25
Views: 4550

Let me give another perspective. My Dad never owned stocks. In 1987, a friend convinced him to buy 200 shares of AT&T. This was his only foray into the stock market. He had no idea what he paid for them and, although he understood what a stock split was, he had no idea what was going on and neve...
by LadyGeek
Sat May 09, 2009 9:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cars: New or Used? Domestic or Foreign?
Replies: 12
Views: 2500

Doesn't auto insurance count as part of the cost? I always check with my insurance company before making a purchase.

Consider driving 10,000 miles / year and $1,000 / year insurance. That's $10 / mile / year.
by LadyGeek
Sat May 09, 2009 9:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fun with anchoring. Progress to get back to even.
Replies: 21
Views: 4022

I'm back to where I was before I let my financial advisor handle things. That's my definition of a recovery. Back with VG. Targeted retirement fund.
by LadyGeek
Sat May 09, 2009 9:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I need a PC hardware techie
Replies: 24
Views: 4667

Socket 939? I'd hate to be the bearer of bad news, but that socket was replaced by the AM2. You really don't know if it's just the mobo or a CPU/mobo problem. Time for an upgrade. Go with Intel dual-core. For mobo, I'd get a Gigabyte: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128359 Y...
by LadyGeek
Sat May 09, 2009 2:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: It’s Time for Transparency (401k/403b)
Replies: 17
Views: 2766

My employer dumped VG Windsor in favor of a "private" fund. My rant in this thread: Why did my company drop VG Windsor Fund in its 401(k)? . They're using 3 fund managers for this new fund. Somehow, it has to be more expensive than how they're currently managing the VG fund. Would the rule...
by LadyGeek
Sat May 09, 2009 2:04 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Good for Windsor Fund
Replies: 8
Views: 1591

Figures. My employer just dumped this 401(k) fund in favor of a private fund that "matches" the Vanguard Windsor fund performance.
by LadyGeek
Sat May 09, 2009 1:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help me masters of the amortization table!
Replies: 7
Views: 1575

Look in the Tools and Calculators page on the Bogleheads Wiki . You'll see a Loan and Mortgage Calculators section. I think you'll find something in the Mortgage Professor's web site. One of the calculators is "Extra Monthly Payments to Pay Off in Specified Period". Might get you close unt...
by LadyGeek
Sat May 09, 2009 1:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Baseball and the Stock Market
Replies: 17
Views: 2665

Would you divide the stock market into different leagues (AL vs. NL)? The NYSE could be the NL while the "junior" league could be NASDAQ. NYSE doesn't need a DH.