Search found 673 matches

by ElJay
Sun Jan 23, 2011 8:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Travelex requests a lot of info for prepaid Euro cards...
Replies: 2
Views: 819

It doesn't look any more onerous than opening a new bank account post-USA PATRIOT Act.
by ElJay
Tue Jan 18, 2011 11:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New car vs. used car: what are lifetime saving of used cars?
Replies: 78
Views: 14841

I'm not impressed by Dave Ramsey's slide show. It was in the painful to watch category. I know I'm not the target audience, but I think he's exaggerating or misstating the numbers by a large margin. I have yet to see a car that loses 25% of its value after being driven off of the lot. Plus I can't s...
by ElJay
Fri Jan 14, 2011 11:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Heading to Europe for 9 days, need help
Replies: 17
Views: 2388

Saw this article (New Hassles for Travelers) in today's WSJ and remembered this thread. It talks about issues related to using credit cards overseas. When are the US card issuers going to get their act together? They don't have to actually use the chip + pin during acceptance in the USA, but it sur...
by ElJay
Fri Jan 14, 2011 11:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Service of Notice" on Lease Agreement --- Thought
Replies: 17
Views: 1713

The lease I'm renting under has a similar clause with even stricter wording, since I don't have the option of finding somebody to take over the remainder of the lease. After the first lease was up I tried to go month-to-month, but the owner wasn't keen to that and wanted me to sign another lease. My...
by ElJay
Fri Jan 07, 2011 7:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car buying and financial ratios - what do Bogleheads do?
Replies: 100
Views: 11027

This forum may be unbiased when it comes to investing, but it has an extreme bias against nice cars. :lol:
by ElJay
Fri Jan 07, 2011 7:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pimco Total Return Bond
Replies: 20
Views: 3223

brisni wrote:I wonder what changes he is making given his very negative outlook recently...
http://www.pimco.com/Pages/OffWithOurHeads.aspx
I don't know if I can post anything more than :roll: without violating the board rules.
by ElJay
Mon Dec 27, 2010 6:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is the American Dream Over?
Replies: 39
Views: 4798

The dream may be there for a few lucky people, but for the masses just trying to get by, it is looking pretty dim in my opinion. I suspect it will continue to be this way until Corporate America wakes up and realizes that it needs to employ Americans and pay them a decent wage if it expects to do an...
by ElJay
Mon Dec 20, 2010 12:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a 2008 car with 100,000 miles?
Replies: 20
Views: 7841

Chryslers have a lousy reliability record (no doubt the recent statistics agree) but you want to get into a vehicle with 100k miles? :? I've seen plenty of GM cars run deep into 100k, but along the way they've encountered the bad alternator, dead fuel pump, failing water pump, and other things that ...
by ElJay
Sun Dec 19, 2010 11:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reliable cars based on anecdotal evidence?
Replies: 23
Views: 3077

I participate in a site called TrueDelta. It collects repair histories from car owners regularly throughout the year and aggregates them into reliability scores. I don't see a lot of surprises from his data.
by ElJay
Tue Dec 07, 2010 12:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: random song thread
Replies: 90
Views: 8505

Borodin is my recent discovery

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sStAP7zghRw
by ElJay
Tue Nov 23, 2010 11:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How did you first decide to sign up with Vanguard?
Replies: 91
Views: 10806

Found Vanguard and this forum from a discussion on fatwallet.com
by ElJay
Thu Oct 28, 2010 9:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Innovative way to deal with rude airplane passengers
Replies: 147
Views: 15383

I don't quite understand why people recline their seats on shortish flights when you can't possibly sleep. I hate it when mine reclines by accident, since the button is usually placed perfectly to be pressed by the side of one's leg. My biggest problem in the past few years is on airlines which have...
by ElJay
Wed Oct 27, 2010 6:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FICO Score Calculation
Replies: 12
Views: 3867

TransUnion's worthless score generator told me I had too many revolving credit lines and that I should open up more "premium" credit cards. Perhaps they should add some logic to their algorithm so it doesn't tell people things that conflict with each other.
by ElJay
Wed Oct 27, 2010 5:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HDTV question
Replies: 11
Views: 2341

Eh, I'm late to the party too. I finally got my first HDTV delivered last weekend.

I like the idea of having the internet connectivity as part of the player. Those are generally easier and cheaper to replace than a TV set when the online streaming options inevitably change.
by ElJay
Sun Oct 24, 2010 12:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I see a car pricing anomaly coming
Replies: 20
Views: 3963

I appreciate TPMS too. It gave me enough time to get off of the highway and stop in a safe place to put on a spare. (Like an idiot I was ignoring the loud "hiss" sound that was audible-- I assumed it was some other vehicle around me. The TPMS quickly after made it clear it was indeed my problem.) I ...
by ElJay
Sun Oct 24, 2010 11:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dan Neil in WSJ: Chevy Volt a success
Replies: 334
Views: 35478

It seems like a car for people who feel the Prius isn't exclusive enough. I expect to see our local Whole Foods lot loaded with these things very quickly. Now if the government would give me a $7500 tax credit to buy a diesel that gets good fuel economy and nice power, then that would be something i...
by ElJay
Mon Oct 11, 2010 5:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Forbes column - Get Off the Car Loan Merry-Go-Round
Replies: 79
Views: 9802

Worth pushing out retirement for several years? Why not invest the money, get out of the rat race earlier, and have less need to drive such a car with those luxuries? I suppose one could live on Ramen noodles and in a $150/wk hotel room, travel nowhere, and ride the bus until they reach 59.5 and sa...
by ElJay
Sun Oct 10, 2010 8:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Forbes column - Get Off the Car Loan Merry-Go-Round
Replies: 79
Views: 9802

A car is a tool that gets you from A to B. Yes, many people on this forum hold this opinion and it has been discussed ad nauseum. A used one of these will be the perfect Boglehead car in the next few years. 8) A car is part of my "live for today" splurges. Yes, I could save more for retirement if I...
by ElJay
Sun Oct 10, 2010 7:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Opera Company of Philadelphia goes to the Market
Replies: 12
Views: 1322

That looked a lot funner than the time I took a stroll through Reading Terminal Market... All I could think was get me out of this packed madhouse.
by ElJay
Wed Oct 06, 2010 11:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What Now For High Value Vanguard Investors
Replies: 100
Views: 17515

Well, I am even more likely to "stay the course" with Vanguard since they treat me so well, even though I am not Daddy Warbucks. Maybe some day I can be a "best customer," whatever that is. If you want to regain some sort of exclusivity that is somehow now lost because more statements will say "Admi...
by ElJay
Thu Sep 23, 2010 10:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is the Recession Over for You?
Replies: 60
Views: 8290

For me it ended this summer when I found a new job and got a significant raise in the process. It's amazing how having a surge of new discretionary income can change one's broader outlook on the economy. Working for an employer that isn't on its last legs helps as well.
by ElJay
Sun Sep 19, 2010 4:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Adventures in paying off my mortgage
Replies: 23
Views: 10889

What's the name of this horrific mortgage company, so the rest of us can avoid them? If the payoff amount was $20, would they also require a cashier's check?
by ElJay
Tue Sep 14, 2010 6:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's wrong with a 0% interest auto loan?
Replies: 49
Views: 9408

Re: Closing the circle

Bammerman wrote:And: I don't remember asking anyone in my original post whether I should buy a used car or a new car, and yet many people weighed in on that issue.
Don't take it personally. Every thread on this forum about cars very quickly devolves into some argument about how bad purchasing a new one is.
by ElJay
Sun Aug 29, 2010 3:02 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: To purchase Pimco Total Return or not?
Replies: 17
Views: 4110

I dumped PIMCO Total Return from my 401k about a year ago and moved my bond allocation to my IRA with VG Total Bond Idx. I slowly became uncomfortable holding Total Return because of these properties about it: Use of leverage Black-boxish feeling (I can't understand the holdings in the annual report...
by ElJay
Sun Aug 29, 2010 2:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it time to buy a new car?
Replies: 47
Views: 6945

grogs4dogs wrote:Cars are the worst investment in the world. Drive them off the lot and 10-15% of your purchase price evaporates into thin air.
Who says it's an investment? To me it's an expense which I budget for.
by ElJay
Fri Aug 20, 2010 10:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Avoiding currency conversion fee with PayPal
Replies: 7
Views: 1897

natureexplorer wrote:
ElJay wrote:I think getting a credit card in a foreign country is going to be rather challenging.
Why would you want to do that?
Sorry, I misread what you wrote.
by ElJay
Thu Aug 19, 2010 9:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: hope he knows what he is doing
Replies: 10
Views: 2385

I think he'd be better off buying $55k a year in Powerball tickets.
by ElJay
Thu Aug 19, 2010 9:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Avoiding currency conversion fee with PayPal
Replies: 7
Views: 1897

Can't you opt to have PayPal charge your card in the transaction's currency and then let your credit card apply the exchange rate and fees? I think getting a credit card in a foreign country is going to be rather challenging.
by ElJay
Wed Jul 28, 2010 4:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Hurray for TreasuryDirect!
Replies: 14
Views: 3601

I am going to contact TD to find out what to do in this situation for online-only accounts. TD expects people to take the form into a physical branch of any local bank and get the form signed. I am sure that will go over very well with the bank staff: "Hey, I am not a customer of yours, but could y...
by ElJay
Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Hurray for TreasuryDirect!
Replies: 14
Views: 3601

So how would I register my HSBC Direct savings account, where I do not have a physical branch I can walk into to get a form like this signed? You must sign the form in the presence of an authorized certifying official available at a bank, trust company, or credit union and mail it to us for processi...
by ElJay
Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Allan Roth's Skimp or Splurge - Millionaire’s Car
Replies: 72
Views: 12509

Status symbol? A Lexus doesn't impress me much. An Aston Martin or Maserati, now that makes me gawk at you. I dunno, having a half decent car that is fun to drive and relatively new is one of my "live for today" expenses. Sure, I could save more by driving a cheaper vehicle. I could also die tomorro...
by ElJay
Mon Jul 12, 2010 5:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Shielding Assets to Receive Medicaid, If Needed?
Replies: 46
Views: 6613

My limited experience has shown nursing home care is quite lousy no matter who is paying. It's the same dump of a facility and same ambivalent workers, though it is true that finding an open bed is a lot easier if you're paying your own way. If people can "game the system" by planning for a lookback...
by ElJay
Sat Jul 10, 2010 8:31 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 401k Vesting Dispute - Need Advice.
Replies: 22
Views: 6023

Another good reason to roll over ASAP after leaving a company. I agree, this is a great point and an issue I'd never considered. I recently left a job and had planned to let my money sit in the 401k for a while. My 401k is primarily Roth contributions, but it also has some pre-tax matching/rollover...
by ElJay
Wed Jul 07, 2010 6:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Proposed Postal Increase
Replies: 23
Views: 3116

The only time I typically use stamps is when I go on vacation and send postcards back home. I am a little puzzled by the timing of this change, January 2. I think they are limited to one increase in first class rates per year, indexed to inflation (CPI), and that rule started with the increase in Ma...
by ElJay
Tue Jul 06, 2010 6:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Prescreen & Opt out Notice
Replies: 12
Views: 2248

I did a permanent opt-out by mail, but when I moved the offers started coming again. I did another permanent opt-out under my new address and the only credit offers I get now are from non-credit-related mailing lists (alumni association, frequent flyer/hotel programs, etc). I suspect some companies ...
by ElJay
Tue Jun 22, 2010 6:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Closing Old $0 Balance Vanguard Fund Accounts? Good or Bad?
Replies: 18
Views: 17629

Vanguard seems to delete them automatically after a couple of years. This combined with the hide $0 accounts feature makes me not worry abou tthem.
by ElJay
Wed Jun 16, 2010 6:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: No fees on a 401k?
Replies: 13
Views: 1790

I worked for a large company that had a 401k with $750 million in assets. According to the annual report, the cost to administer the plan was only about $50k/yr and that was absorbed by the company. The expense ratios of the fund offerings matched the published rates.
by ElJay
Sat Jun 12, 2010 6:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are reinvested dividends counted as 'new money' added?
Replies: 12
Views: 3679

I only consider new money as my contributions. Reinvested dividends are simply shares in and do not affect my cash position/flow or savings rate.
by ElJay
Sat Jun 12, 2010 6:35 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 401k options review (PIMCO vs. Vanguard total bond)
Replies: 9
Views: 2745

PIMCO Total Return is too black box for my taste. I owned it for a while since it was the only bond option in my 401k. Last year I moved that allocation to my Vanguard IRA/Total Bond Market instead. In addition the company PIMCO is owned by Allianz, purveyors of elder abuse, so I'd just as soon avoi...
by ElJay
Wed Jun 09, 2010 5:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Most tax-friendly states for high income families?
Replies: 16
Views: 3394

I think tax rate is about 1023948120957120597th on the list of things I consider when I look at a place to live, right behind what color the sky is in the area and the amount of gravity at the location.
by ElJay
Sun Jun 06, 2010 10:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TIAA-CREF Bold New Plan
Replies: 41
Views: 9534

Alright, level 4 is a ripoff, which are the only ones that matter to me since they're the only ones for sale in my plan. So to me, they're a ripoff. Maybe I'd be more inclined to give them more money if they weren't trying to rip me off.
by ElJay
Fri Jun 04, 2010 10:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TIAA-CREF Bold New Plan
Replies: 41
Views: 9534

I can stomach the prices of the CREF VAs. However the TIAA "Access Annuity" mutual fund wrappers are a ripoff. I have no clue why I would buy the "TIAA Access Account TIAA-CREF Equity Index Fund Level 4," which costs twice as much as the CREF VA version of the Russell 3000 index.
by ElJay
Tue Jun 01, 2010 8:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ARG! Can I reduce my car expense?
Replies: 84
Views: 10457

I also wonder about $1300 in annual maintenance on a newish car. I drive in a rather crazy manner and I end up spending about $500-600 every couple of years on tires. Add on a couple of oil changes a year as well (every ~6k miles). Brake job periodically... But $110/mo? That seems really high no mat...
by ElJay
Fri May 14, 2010 8:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Poll] Do You Encrypt Your Wi-Fi?
Replies: 47
Views: 5677

WPA2 with random 63 character password.
by ElJay
Fri May 07, 2010 8:08 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: wow - amazing picture of average american family
Replies: 104
Views: 16785

The rich are a minority. There is real danger that the majority will simply vote away the wealth of the minority because they can. The moral values that prevented this from consideration in the past are slowly but surely weakening. What is moral about having wealth (and top earnings) so extremely c...
by ElJay
Thu May 06, 2010 2:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: WOW - The Dow is Crashing - down 900 points so far today!
Replies: 222
Views: 30304

What lucky fellow bought all this stuff for 15 cents?
by ElJay
Thu May 06, 2010 2:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: WOW - The Dow is Crashing - down 900 points so far today!
Replies: 222
Views: 30304

Is there some data feed problem with the trades? Real time quotes over at Yahoo have shown VTI to fluctuate between -33% and -3% within a few minutes.
by ElJay
Mon Apr 19, 2010 8:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cash Back Credit Cards
Replies: 31
Views: 5504

The problem with Citi Forward is that the ThankYou points awards keep getting diluted. It's hard to find decent 1pt = $.01 redemptions anymore. In addition, Citi is adding annual fees to many of their other credit card products, and that is making me nervous. So far though, there's no annual fees on...
by ElJay
Thu Apr 15, 2010 8:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tax Returns: Certified Mail vs Certificate of Mailing
Replies: 54
Views: 21100

A coworker of mine brought his tax return to work and used the company mail machine to put Certified + Return Receipt on it: $4.34. I put 44 cents on mine a month and a half ago and it got there just fine.
by ElJay
Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Effective Tax Rate - I continue to be amazed
Replies: 85
Views: 11352

Re: Effective Tax Rate - I continue to be amazed

Work doesn't pay. At 50, I will soon take early retirement. And then my taxes and tax rates will go way down. If you can afford to retire at 50, it seems your work must have paid something? I'm sure another person will be happy to fulfill your job and pay the taxes that come with it. Seriously, bei...