Search found 673 matches

by ElJay
Sat Mar 23, 2013 4:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Continuous Variable Transmissions
Replies: 78
Views: 11098

Re: Continuous Variable Transmissions

I have to say it makes me laugh every time I hear a driver in a Subaru or Nissan with a CVT floor it and their engine just goes up to 5500 RPM and stays there. It's the weirdest thing. I would never buy one, and with conventional 8 speed automatics becoming the norm, I don't see any reason for CVTs ...
by ElJay
Wed Mar 20, 2013 10:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Shows Flexibility During Botched Rollover
Replies: 2
Views: 801

Vanguard Shows Flexibility During Botched Rollover

tl;dr Vanguard opened an Admiral fund in my new Rollover IRA with only an $800 starting investment. I had a 403b at TIAA-CREF that was made up of two different contracts that I wanted to roll over to a new Vanguard Rollover IRA. One of the balances was about $800 while the other was over $10000. I ...
by ElJay
Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dropping XM and Sirius
Replies: 19
Views: 3182

Re: Dropping XM and Sirius

Last year I bought a car which didn't have an XM receiver for the first time in nearly a decade and I wasn't about to wire one in. I think I generally get more variety from random shuffle on my USB stick of music in the car than what some of their channels were offering. The playlists on the decades...
by ElJay
Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vanguard is frugal too!
Replies: 21
Views: 2763

Re: Vanguard is frugal too!

I'm more worried about: What am I paying the person who thinks about putting a box to collect nickels on the copier What am I paying the person who collects and handles the nickels the box has collected I think I'd rather simply have the employees make a few personal copies a year. I mean seriously,...
by ElJay
Thu Jan 31, 2013 6:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Microsoft Sec Essentials = Bad ??
Replies: 21
Views: 4860

Re: Microsoft Sec Essentials = Bad ??

I like Security Essentials. It stays out of my face. I had been using Avast but after version 4 the program became way too distracting and too often was begging for my attention for no good reason. I want something to just work in the background, and that's what MSE does. It's even built-in to Windo...
by ElJay
Sun Dec 16, 2012 2:54 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Where to put the next $100k
Replies: 13
Views: 2845

Re: Where to put the next $100k

Hmm, $400k in income and only $100k to show for it after a year of "super frugal" living? :beer
by ElJay
Sun Dec 16, 2012 2:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Windows 8 on a real PC?
Replies: 61
Views: 5259

Re: Windows 8 on a real PC?

I would not upgrade an existing PC. However on a new PC I would choose Windows 8. I'm thinking of building a new PC early next year and I will install 8 on it. Currently I run Vista on my primary PC, because that was the latest thing in 2008 when I built this computer. It has been a fine OS despite ...
by ElJay
Fri Nov 16, 2012 8:09 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 5304 SIMPLE IRA, employer not letting me select institution
Replies: 6
Views: 4666

Re: 5304 SIMPLE IRA, employer not letting me select institut

Thanks for the info everyone. I wimped out and decided not to rock the boat. I considered doing the money market thing as well just to avoid most of the fees, but really we're talking about a few hundred bucks a year and the 3% match will outdo the ER by at least 8.5x annually. Granted, I'd rather h...
by ElJay
Tue Nov 06, 2012 8:39 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 5304 SIMPLE IRA, employer not letting me select institution
Replies: 6
Views: 4666

5304 SIMPLE IRA, employer not letting me select institution

I recently started working for a small business which has a 5304 SIMPLE IRA plan. The IRS form says I can designate a financial institution of my choice for my account. However, my employer has handed me off to a broker who wants to sign me up for ridiculously expensive funds through Pacific Life (e...
by ElJay
Sun Oct 28, 2012 7:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Confession + POLL: I succumbed to an iPad mini
Replies: 97
Views: 7051

Re: Confession + POLL: I succumbed to an iPad mini

I've had a Blackberry Playbook since it came out and I'm really happy with it. I have no interest in Apple's version of it. To me Apple has become the Toyota of technology. People just buy it because it's from Apple without testing anything else.
by ElJay
Sat Sep 01, 2012 8:27 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Assumption for Real Salary Increases?
Replies: 38
Views: 3434

Re: Assumption for Real Salary Increases?

OP, as a slight diversion.....at age 22, it is beyond reasonable to use a spreadsheet to plan salary growth and retirement. There are simply too many unknowns: the cost of health care, the future of social security, whether there will be a pension for you, whether your employers will match 401ks, w...
by ElJay
Fri Aug 24, 2012 9:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Case for NOT maxing out 401k/403b?
Replies: 19
Views: 2669

Re: Case for NOT maxing out 401k/403b?

I find the immediate tax benefit vastly outweighs the expense ratio, and those subsidized savings I get now will compound over the decades for me. Plus I don't plan on being at this employer forever, so if I'm paying 0.43% ER on my Russell 3000 index for a few years, it doesn't really matter in the ...
by ElJay
Thu Aug 23, 2012 10:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSBC Advance Online Savings- fee to transfer money?
Replies: 8
Views: 1409

Re: HSBC Advance Online Savings- fee to transfer money?

I've had an HSBC Online Savings account since the inception of them. After receiving this ridiculous message, I transferred all of my money out of the account. I did assume they meant wires and not ACHs, but I was frustrated that they didn't bother to explain or differentiate it. The website at the ...
by ElJay
Mon Jul 30, 2012 7:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rent checks getting "lost" in mail, lazy landlords
Replies: 51
Views: 12643

Re: Rent checks getting "lost" in mail, lazy landlords

If they live 20 minutes away from the property, see if they can do what my landlord does and install a mailbox on the property to collect the rent payments. On the first of the month I go down and drop off my check. My landlord comes and pick it up a few days later. I haven't had one lost yet. I'd b...
by ElJay
Fri Jul 20, 2012 8:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TV music theme recommendations?
Replies: 59
Views: 3846

Re: TV music theme recommendations?

Barnaby Jones by Jerry Goldsmith, though I have to say I love this concert arrangement more than the theme as it was in the show.
by ElJay
Sun Jul 15, 2012 6:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Penfed Auto Loan
Replies: 28
Views: 10359

Re: Penfed Auto Loan

I think their underwriting standards are generally higher than most other institutions. I can only give an anecdotal report from when I got an auto loan from them earlier this year. I was an existing customer and my credit score is >800. I went online to complete the application and was instantly ap...
by ElJay
Mon Jul 09, 2012 7:59 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Is Treasury Direct so bad that I should no longer….
Replies: 39
Views: 7246

Re: Is Treasury Direct so bad that I should no longer….

I have money go into TD every pay period and it buys I Bonds for me automatically. I log in perhaps once a quarter to make sure everything is still there.

I agree that customer service is useless in my limited interaction with them, so I hope to never encounter a serious problem.
by ElJay
Mon Jul 09, 2012 7:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What retirement contributions does your employer offer?
Replies: 68
Views: 9234

Re: What retirement contributions does your employer offer?

The 403b plan I participate in gives employees a contribution, regardless of what the employee contributes, of 2.5% after 2 years of service and then 5% after 3 years. Worked for a megacorp and got 50% of a 6% contribution, fully vested after one year of employment. Worked for a small business and g...
by ElJay
Fri Jul 06, 2012 10:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Townhouse/Condo Purchase - Am I Ready?
Replies: 15
Views: 2531

Re: Townhouse/Condo Purchase - Am I Ready?

Why would you want to purchase a condo instead of renting? To me a condo brings all of the same annoyances of renting an apartment (primarily people typically living on all sides of you) while locking you into a location that you might want to leave in a few years to find a different job. The condo ...
by ElJay
Thu Jul 05, 2012 8:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: PenFed Platinum Rewards card switch
Replies: 34
Views: 4574

Re: PenFed Platinum Rewards card switch

I got my $250 Visa card this week and I used it to pay toward my car insurance. Super easy and then it went in the trash. I also requested a $100 Amazon e-cert which was also really easy to spend for a music addict like myself. Given the option of 5%/.25% as a statement credit or 5/2/1 in points, I ...
by ElJay
Sun Jun 24, 2012 5:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IT job satisfaction
Replies: 54
Views: 7734

Re: IT job satisfaction

The development team I work on is branded "Agile" (Scrum) by management, but I am not really seeing it. The business micromanages our product backlog too much, so every release we do ends up taking twice as long as what we initially planned to do at the start. Three week releases end up being two mo...
by ElJay
Sat Jun 23, 2012 7:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New car under 15K
Replies: 10
Views: 2737

Re: New car under 15K

Chevy Sonic? I've never driven one but they look like a nice little car. If it was my money I'd probably bump my limit to $16k and get a bare bones Mazda3. I owned a 2007 Mazda3 and I thought it was a good value and fun car to drive. You probably can't go wrong in this segment as long as you don't b...
by ElJay
Sun Jun 17, 2012 6:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IT job satisfaction
Replies: 54
Views: 7734

Re: IT job satisfaction

I have a BS degree in comp sci and about 8 years in software development. I've held three jobs over this period. After an 18 month or so honeymoon period where I think everything is just great, satisfaction level can easily oscillate between 1 and 4 in a single week. No matter what I do and how good...
by ElJay
Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: paycheck savings
Replies: 9
Views: 1731

Re: paycheck savings

Actually I think the x amount saved per month is the best analysis of level of savings and investing. Does it matter if one saves 10% or 80% of their paycheck to get to that x amount?? ...Unfortunately, that is just how life works. The savings rate certainly matters to one's current lifestyle. I li...
by ElJay
Sun Jun 10, 2012 5:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Treasury Direct riskless bank for checking?
Replies: 9
Views: 1983

Re: Treasury Direct riskless bank for checking?

No guarantee that a failed bank will re-open the next Monday, and you can't use your FDIC insured money until that happens. I've never heard of the FDIC closing a bank and people being unable to access their funds. Do you have a specific instance of this happening? http://fdic.gov/consumers/banking...
by ElJay
Sat May 26, 2012 2:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: best place to get credit score?
Replies: 12
Views: 2578

Re: best place to get credit score?

When a bank pulls your credit for a mortgage approval it is considered a soft pull which does not affect your score. If you actually get the mortgage then it would hit your credit of course. This isn't how it was at a bank I worked at. We did hard pulls to all three agencies... It went through the ...
by ElJay
Fri May 18, 2012 8:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Facebook: The smart money exits
Replies: 96
Views: 11315

Re: Facebook: The smart money exits

I was subjected to CNN's coverage of this today while I was waiting at an airport... With the blow-by-blow hype you'd think we were a nation of zombie day traders, all sitting there logged on to our Ameritrade account waiting to get a chunk of FB. It's not trading yet! Why isn't it trading?! It's pr...
by ElJay
Fri May 11, 2012 7:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: EPA MPG Adjustment for Premium Fuel
Replies: 26
Views: 2227

Re: EPA MPG Adjustment for Premium Fuel

Do people buying cars that require 91 octane really care about fuel prices or fuel economy? If you go to fueleconomy.gov you can enter in the different costs for 91 octane versus 87 and get the sort of comparisons you're looking for. The car profiles on the site know what grade of fuel is "required"...
by ElJay
Thu May 10, 2012 7:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 49% of Americans saving zilch for retirement
Replies: 44
Views: 5601

Re: 49% of Americans saving zilch for retirement

Isn't it primarily a factor of income? It wasn't until my late 20s that I earned enough to actually save a decent amount of money every year and earmark some/most of it for "retirement." When I was living on $35k a year (age 25) there wasn't a lot of saving going on. What I did save went into a savi...
by ElJay
Wed May 09, 2012 10:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car to Gross Income Ratio - under 35
Replies: 41
Views: 5249

Re: Car to Gross Income Ratio - under 35

About 60%. I had a small windfall at the time. I saved half of it and the other half went towards the car I'd been drooling over since before I could drive.
by ElJay
Mon Apr 23, 2012 8:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you know the difference between IMAX and LIEmax?
Replies: 10
Views: 4238

Re: Do you know the difference between IMAX and LIEmax?

Out of curiosity, I tried to go see the Star Trek movie a few years ago at our local Liemax theater... It was sold out and they were so rude to me in explaining this that I haven't been back to try it again. This is a local chain which has plenty of other digital theaters that already look and sound...
by ElJay
Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Deleted
Replies: 170
Views: 15262

Re: just cannot justify new car

ESC should only assist as you're about to lose it. It may be blind but it's still better than you.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K3m24bjkfg0#t=2m33s
by ElJay
Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [POLL] How many miles on your car?
Replies: 141
Views: 10965

Re: [POLL] How many miles on your car?

Three months and 3500mi on my BMW 328xi. Love it. Given my luck with cars it's unlikely to see 120k miles under my ownership, but maybe I'll get lucky.
by ElJay
Wed Mar 28, 2012 8:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Will Bogleheads buy a Megamillions ticket this week?
Replies: 112
Views: 9278

Re: Will Bogleheads buy a Megamillions ticket this week?

A few bucks for a half billion dollar dream sounds fine.
by ElJay
Mon Mar 26, 2012 10:07 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Anyone already received paper I-Bonds from Tax Refund?
Replies: 46
Views: 5131

Re: Anyone already received paper I-Bonds from Tax Refund?

I received my I Bonds a few weeks after filing my return. Oddly, the bureaucrats at the Treasury Dep't decided not to send me one $5000 bond and instead sent me 12 bonds: 6 $50, 1 $200, 1 $500, and 4 $1000. So I had a lot of fun at TreasuryDirect typing in all those serial numbers to convert them. ...
by ElJay
Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Poll: Have you read the Instructions for Form 1040?
Replies: 22
Views: 1407

Re: Poll: Have you read the Instructions for Form 1040?

I reference the instructions as needed while filling out the form. I don't sit down and read them in preparation for completing Form 1040. I am still waiting for the IRS to release their own filing software or otherwise online-submittable forms. I am really not interested in third-party solutions. (...
by ElJay
Wed Mar 21, 2012 7:24 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: a day in the life of a financial advisor - diehard humor
Replies: 24
Views: 5343

Re: a day in the life of a financial advisor - diehard humor

I really like how the customer randomly says out of the blue that she hates annuities and she doesn't want one because Suzy Orman says they're evil. Suzy Orman. Suzy Orman. Suzy Orman.
by ElJay
Wed Mar 21, 2012 7:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The crop of small sedans: Cruze, Focus, Elantra, 3...
Replies: 82
Views: 7061

Re: The crop of small sedans: Cruze, Focus, Elantra, 3...

I wish there were more clean diesel options, quite frankly. They allow a bigger more substantial car with the same 40+ mpg, but I'm a little gun shy about the repair costs of a VW. I think writing off entire nameplates (Chevy or VW) based on thoughts about possible repair costs is not a great idea....
by ElJay
Tue Mar 20, 2012 6:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The crop of small sedans: Cruze, Focus, Elantra, 3...
Replies: 82
Views: 7061

Re: The crop of small sedans: Cruze, Focus, Elantra, 3...

What made you (almost) decide on the Prius? Is it all about fuel economy?
by ElJay
Tue Mar 20, 2012 6:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Car Purchase: Loan versus Cash
Replies: 26
Views: 2690

Re: Car Purchase: Loan versus Cash

Make sure the loan doesn't have prepayment penalties. Most auto loans don't, but you're talking about a "high interest" loan so who knows how bad it could be.
by ElJay
Sun Mar 18, 2012 9:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Luck or Hard Work
Replies: 53
Views: 6613

Re: Luck or Hard Work

I've never had to take a second job, though after I graduated college I did spend a couple of years with my parents that otherwise would've been very challenging on the income I was earning at the time. Still, that lousy job led to some networking which led me to a better "real" job. After a few yea...
by ElJay
Sun Mar 18, 2012 8:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Scott Burns: Trade cars instead of saving and investing
Replies: 38
Views: 3501

Re: Scott Burns: Trade cars instead of saving and investing

Or you could just drive the car you like for whatever reason and live your life instead of analyzing every cost in terms of 1 year CD returns.
by ElJay
Sun Mar 18, 2012 8:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why is 1926 used for most historic risk/return charts?
Replies: 28
Views: 3667

Re: Why is 1926 used for most historic risk/return charts?

It all seems silly. It's ridiculous that Vanguard displays to me on the portfolio analysis page, "best year: 1933" and "worst year: 1931." These returns have no useful link to the world that exists in 2012. What's the point?
by ElJay
Sat Mar 17, 2012 8:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The crop of small sedans: Cruze, Focus, Elantra, 3...
Replies: 82
Views: 7061

Re: The crop of small sedans: Cruze, Focus, Elantra, 3...

I had a first gen Mazda3 sedan (2.0l engine) that I put 60,000 miles on. It was fun to drive and very reliable. I didn't have to do much to it beyond oil changes and tires. Downsides were a terrible paint job that started rusting in the first winter, tons of road noise, terrible stereo, and an infin...
by ElJay
Mon Mar 12, 2012 6:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Saving On Gas Purchases
Replies: 6
Views: 1519

Re: Saving On Gas Purchases

A supermarket chain here had the buy $x in groceries, get $0.y off a gallon of gas for a number of years. They diluted the rewards and then about a year ago they trashed the thing entirely. The gas chain that was participating came out with their own discount card, but it's $.10/gal off your next fi...
by ElJay
Mon Mar 12, 2012 6:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you read the Wall Street Journal?
Replies: 37
Views: 3466

Re: Do you read the Wall Street Journal?

I don't regularly read it, mostly because their paywall seems to keep getting more and more aggressive. The news operation was good at one point, but I haven't really kept up on it in the past few years. The idea of giving News Corp (and the WSJ editorial page) direct payment in the form of a subscr...
by ElJay
Mon Mar 05, 2012 9:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When do you give up on a used car?
Replies: 34
Views: 4820

Re: When do you give up on a used car?

It depends on how much I like the vehicle and how much confidence I have that it won't leave me stranded on the side of the road. The last car I got rid of after 60k miles because it annoyed me and was increasingly uncomfortable to drive. Others I've driven until the transmission didn't work anymore...
by ElJay
Sun Mar 04, 2012 7:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Notebook vs. Tablet
Replies: 59
Views: 5791

Re: Notebook vs. Tablet

If you're comfortable with the 7" form factor, I would highly recommend the Blackberry Playbook. The 16GB model's $200 cost is incredibly competitive now. Another $50 will give you twice as much space for movies and music. It's got a great web browser. Books would be the only thing I'm not quite sur...
by ElJay
Fri Feb 17, 2012 10:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Found $100 Bill at Walmart
Replies: 161
Views: 16056

Re: Found $100 Bill at Walmart

How is keeping $100 you find on the floor in walmart different from finding a cell phone someone has dropped, deciding it is nicer than yours and keeping it? Do the right thing and return either one best as you can. It's different because a cellphone probably has a number programmed in it that you ...
by ElJay
Fri Feb 17, 2012 12:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: PenFed Platinum Rewards card switch
Replies: 34
Views: 4574

Re: PenFed Platinum Rewards card switch

I was leery at first but after seeing the rewards were 1pt = $0.01, I decided to switch. I really liked how the rewards were directly applied against my balance with the cash rewards card, but $250 upfront plus an extra $90-100 in grocery rewards every year makes it worth it. The rewards site is liv...