Search found 419 matches

by Atgard
Wed Dec 27, 2017 1:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Diamonds are forever.
Replies: 94
Views: 11485

Re: Diamonds are forever.

Jeez, talk about inflation on inflation. I remember the diamond ads trying to peddle "2 months salary," then I started hearing "3 months salary," are you seriously saying they're trying to con you into spending SIX months salary now? Absurd. Just the process of shopping for a diamond should dispel t...
by Atgard
Wed Dec 27, 2017 1:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The car dealership model needs to die
Replies: 85
Views: 6089

Re: The car dealership model needs to die

On my recent car purchase, I knew exactly what I wanted, and found the car & price I wanted online... at a dealer 1,200 miles away. No problem, I did the entire transaction by email & FedEx and got exactly what I wanted at the price they said, with no hidden fees or shenanigans. I paid to have the c...
by Atgard
Sun Dec 24, 2017 12:08 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: REIT or No REIT
Replies: 98
Views: 19349

Re: REIT or No REIT

Sounds like a lot of market timing in here. Sure, if you had some way to really know how things would perform in 2018, there'd be no point in discussing everything we talk about on here. Just pick whatever will go up the most, mortgage the house & borrow all you can, and go buy yourself an island. I...
by Atgard
Sun Dec 24, 2017 10:52 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Do you have trouble standing firm on your asset allocation?
Replies: 45
Views: 4888

Re: Do you have trouble standing firm on your asset allocation?

I have similar thoughts. It's not a panic or taking on too much / too little risk thing, it's more about trying to maximize my chances of success going forward. And, like you, it's more about the % of international and REITs than the fundamental stock/bond split. Because I've seen coherent arguments...
by Atgard
Fri Dec 22, 2017 10:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: S-CORP: How do taxes work?
Replies: 33
Views: 3448

Re: S-CORP: How do taxes work?

Also, Jamesla30 gave some excellent info above, but I just wanted to repeat: a lot of people get confused with this, but an LLC is a state designation of the type of business entity. Then you can have that LLC just taxed as a normal pass-through entity (meaning you file a Schedule C on your personal...
by Atgard
Fri Dec 22, 2017 10:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: S-CORP: How do taxes work?
Replies: 33
Views: 3448

Re: S-CORP: How do taxes work?

Interesting! So technically I do NOT need to go through our payroll system in order to bonus anything above our salary? That’s how we did it with LLC (just transfer bonus amounts straight from biz to personal bank accounts). Our payroll system has a function for “bonus” and it automatically takes t...
by Atgard
Wed Dec 20, 2017 10:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help Me [Recover] My Bitcoin!
Replies: 93
Views: 14376

Re: Help Me Cash Out My Bitcoin!

Just this thread alone proves there are too many hoops and chances to permanently lose your money forever for Bitcoin to ever become mainstream. Think about how many times your parents forget their Wi-Fi or email or ISP password. Now imagine every time that happens, they are bankrupt.
by Atgard
Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What happens to my HSA in 2018?
Replies: 3
Views: 585

Re: What happens to my HSA in 2018?

Yes, you can use the HSA for any unreimbursed medical expenses (for yourself or spouse/dependent) going forward. It's kind of annoying that some high deductible plans are not HSA eligible; as far as I understand, that's because they have a max out-of-pocket that is ACA-compliant, but not HSA compli...
by Atgard
Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:05 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Gold?
Replies: 64
Views: 6230

Re: Gold?

There are probably more Puerto Rican refugees now on the Mainland than those 180,000 Vietnamese that went through Guam. I haven't heard of the P.R. folks being helped by gold. People have said "I haven't heard of" people from P.R. or Vietnam or Syria or whatever being helped by gold. How would you ...
by Atgard
Mon Nov 27, 2017 2:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: best cordless drill??
Replies: 71
Views: 6915

Re: best cordless drill??

The consensus (and my own experience bears this out), is that for normal homeowner use, it is hard to beat the value and convenience of Ryobi 18v cordless tools. They have a wide variety of tools that all take the same batteries (once you pick one brand, you're pretty much stuck there so you can swa...
by Atgard
Sun Nov 19, 2017 3:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Collection agency calls intended for another person:
Replies: 36
Views: 4041

Re: Collection agency calls intended for another person:

nolesrule wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:40 am
Changing your number is a crap shoot. Your new number is almost always someone else's old number.
That's why I only buy new phone numbers, never used or "refurbished." The quality is just not the same.

(Yes, I'm just joking. :P )
by Atgard
Sun Nov 19, 2017 3:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are expensive tires worth it?
Replies: 42
Views: 4391

Re: Are expensive tires worth it?

I have been called frugal many times, and cheap a few. But I would never ever skimp on tires. It doesn't matter how great of a car you have, how much power, what brand, what the handling performance or stopping distance are, etc. -- if the tires are crap, they are the only thing actually touching th...
by Atgard
Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:48 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The passive investing trap
Replies: 23
Views: 5723

Re: The passive investing trap

First of all, the chart is misleading because it doesn't show total price (nor does it include dividends), it just shows total amount going up (in blue), then jumps back to zero and shows the total drop in red. It doesn't count the gains you just had. It's just saying "the market went up 352.15, the...
by Atgard
Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The 4% rule DOES fail but still makes sense!
Replies: 195
Views: 19576

Re: The 4% rule DOES fail but still makes sense!

It sounds like people are really arguing (with the 2 examples) that if you have a 20% drop in Year 1, you may be in trouble. Yeah, that is really the big risk, a big drop right after retirement, although in most or all cases in the past, markets have rebounded enough that your original 4% withdrawal...
by Atgard
Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:46 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 529 Plans - At what age do I move to conservative?
Replies: 24
Views: 3235

Re: 529 Plans - At what age do I move to conservative?

I would start leaning toward more conservative once the kid is in high school. But I see you're already in an age-based plan, so it should do this for you automatically, but in an "aggressive" way (maybe the "aggressive" is 100% stock --> 75% --> 50% and the "conservative" is 80% --> 50% --> 20% or ...
by Atgard
Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Selling my house in Miami, is it smart decision?
Replies: 16
Views: 2478

Re: Selling my house in Miami, is it smart decision?

Hello, everyone has seen this crazy bull market, and to be honest I don't feel it will continue this way. So I'm selling my house for three reasons. I'm am even taking a loss on the sale. Something is missing... you think housing prices in Miami are "crazy high" and in a "crazy bull market," but yo...
by Atgard
Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Worth changing 40 gal. to 30gal. hot water tank?
Replies: 90
Views: 9005

Re: Worth changing 40 gal. to 30gal. hot water tank?

I would not downsize. The savings I think would be minimal (and you could probably achieve the same by turning the temp down a little, keeping 40 gal at 125 deg instead of 30 gal at 140 deg or whatever), you might need the extra capacity sometimes, and I think it could negatively affect resale value...
by Atgard
Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tankless Water Heaters
Replies: 10
Views: 1527

Re: Tankless Water Heaters

If you have the electrical capacity (it won't overload the wires/breaker), then it sounds like a great option. I have a whole house tankless heater and love it. The only downside was needing to run extra electrical wiring and breakers, luckily I had just enough space on our circuit breaker box and w...
by Atgard
Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do hospitals provide maternity package?
Replies: 6
Views: 728

Re: Do hospitals provide maternity package?

Due to my employer switching insurers at just the wrong time and a screw-up at HR, when my kid was born we were between insurers. When getting set to leave the hospital, they offered a flat-rate price to pay it right then with a credit card. I believe it was around $3,000 for a normal delivery with ...
by Atgard
Fri Nov 03, 2017 9:53 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How consistent will VNQ dividend be?
Replies: 66
Views: 9002

Re: How consistent will VNQ dividend be?

Just one note, for VNQ at least I have generally noticed a larger Q4 dividend than normal (and often, but not always, a lower Q1). I assume this is because, since they have to pay out 90% of profits, maybe they are conservative early on and then need to bump up the dividend at the end of the year wh...
by Atgard
Thu Nov 02, 2017 4:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Regret of selling winning stocks early
Replies: 65
Views: 11237

Re: Regret of selling winning stocks early

That's the problem right there. You're probably one of two types of people: Type A: Hew to a plan or allocation, when your stock doubles, sell half of it, etc. This type of investor will probably sell all or most of the stock before it goes to the stratosphere. Type B: LET IT RIDE! While this guy ma...
by Atgard
Mon Oct 30, 2017 9:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Car: Ever make sense to lease?
Replies: 147
Views: 20192

Re: New Car: Ever make sense to lease?

There are some rare scenarios where it makes sense, but usually only if you plan to buy a new car every 3-4 years anyway, which is not an economical or very Boglehead-ish way to do things. Most of the time, you pay more in the long run by leasing, as you have no equity are on a path to never ever pa...
by Atgard
Thu Oct 26, 2017 11:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My fear about buying a house justified?
Replies: 72
Views: 7918

Re: My fear about buying a house justified?

You really need more details to do the true rent vs. buy calculation. While rent is a nice easy number, the true cost of owning a house is more like: Monthly mortgage payment + HOA fees + home insurance + property taxes + maintenance costs (hard to estimate but 1% of house value/yr is rule of thumb)...
by Atgard
Tue Oct 17, 2017 4:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How many miles/years do you keep your car?
Replies: 108
Views: 11224

Re: How many miles/years do you keep your car?

Recently replaced a 2001 Corvette Z06 I bought new and drove for 16 years, just over 100,000 miles. Loved every minute of it. Powertrain was A+, never had a serious problem, never once broke down or left me stranded. But it was starting to get electrical gremlins and annoying little things not worki...
by Atgard
Sun Oct 15, 2017 1:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is Florida Over, 2017
Replies: 48
Views: 7368

Re: Is Florida Over, 2017

Fortunately, I am at a mountainous 14 feet above sea level (that qualifies as the "highlands" in Florida), so the worst we get is the occasional dolphin swimming by the front yard. :mrgreen: But seriously, I would certainly not buy coastal property or anything on Miami Beach. Politics aside, Miami B...
by Atgard
Mon Oct 02, 2017 4:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Yet another Solo 401k Question
Replies: 3
Views: 514

Re: Yet another Solo 401k Question

I just want to thank Spirit Rider, he's always on here answering questions about the complicated Solo 401K rules. I know you answered some of my questions in previous threads also, but your explanation here just gave me that "a-ha" moment also. I knew we had to take self employment earnings minus em...
by Atgard
Mon Oct 02, 2017 4:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Budgets: how do you track irregular income and expenses
Replies: 35
Views: 3601

Re: Budgets: how do you track irregular income and expenses

I guess everyone has ways that works for them, but I do my budget as monthly averages. So I take recurring expenses (yearly property tax, semi-annual car insurance, HOA quarterly dues, etc.) and divide them out monthly. For non-recurring expenses (house maintenance, food, travel, etc.), I estimate a...
by Atgard
Fri Sep 15, 2017 11:29 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Ted Seides "Why I lost My Bet With Warren Buffett" - Bloomberg
Replies: 94
Views: 15353

Re: Ted Seides "Why I lost My Bet With Warren Buffett" - Bloomberg

But James, active managers have ALWAYS been saying that they will be able to see crashes coming and avoid big losses, but their actual performance does not back that up. How many active managers got out of stocks right before the 2008 crash? (Or how many presciently got out of just the stocks that c...
by Atgard
Wed Sep 06, 2017 9:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Prevent mail theft; sign for USPS Informed Delivery]
Replies: 220
Views: 24603

Re: Postal Service -- "informed delivery"

They don't care about you marking things as "spam." Junk mail is a big part of the USPS's business model, they wouldn't be solvent without it. (The other option would be if stamps / postage cost far more than it does now, and I guess people as a whole would rather have the junk mail and cheaper stam...
by Atgard
Fri Aug 18, 2017 10:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ports-thunderbolt 2 vs 3, USB 3.0 vs 3.0 Type A
Replies: 10
Views: 1074

Re: Ports-thunderbolt 2 vs 3, USB 3.0 vs 3.0 Type A

For the foreseeable future, USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt 2 are the main things you will need. In fact, unless you have specialized needs (which it sure doesn't sound like from your question), you may never even use the Thunderbolt ports. USB 3.0 is the primary standard right now, and it is backward compa...
by Atgard
Wed Aug 16, 2017 3:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Prevent mail theft; sign for USPS Informed Delivery]
Replies: 220
Views: 24603

Re: Postal Service -- "informed delivery"

I find it quite useful. It's free, so there's not really any downside. The pros are that I know when (for example) an important bill, check, or notice is coming. Then I don't have to have to nag a client for his late payment if I see it will show up in my mailbox later that day. It also helps when I...
by Atgard
Tue Aug 08, 2017 9:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Depreciation As Reason to Get A New Car
Replies: 34
Views: 4688

Re: Car Depreciation As Reason to Get A New Car

First of all, even if the numbers are accurate from KBB, it hasn't depreciated 40% off the new price. It depreciated 40% off the 4-year-old price. Just think -- it can not possibly depreciate 20% (off new car price) each year, or your 2011 car would now be worth zero and would have absolutely no mor...
by Atgard
Mon Aug 07, 2017 8:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dealing (psychologically) with variable income
Replies: 15
Views: 1668

Re: Dealing (psychologically) with variable income

My income is randomly variable... the only thing I can really fall back on is that I know I'll always be able to generate something because I'm very highly skilled in my field. Realistically, I have no idea what the future holds more than a few months out and anything is possible, good or bad. The ...
by Atgard
Mon Aug 07, 2017 8:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dealing (psychologically) with variable income
Replies: 15
Views: 1668

Re: Dealing (psychologically) with variable income

I'm in this exact same scenario where my income is variable and could drastically reduce at any given time. Thankfully the last 3 years have been semi consistent with gross annual numbers being within 20% of one another. That said this year or next year it could be cut in half so I am constantly st...
by Atgard
Mon Aug 07, 2017 12:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dealing (psychologically) with variable income
Replies: 15
Views: 1668

Re: Dealing (psychologically) with variable income

I can definitely relate. You are doing things right, in that you save during the boom months and keep your expenses low so the lean months don't eat into your savings too much. (Too many people would spend everything in the good months and be in trouble.) So long as your long-term income/savings is ...
by Atgard
Mon Jul 31, 2017 9:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Philosophy major and future law student
Replies: 93
Views: 7891

Re: Philosophy major and future law student

I majored in philosophy and went to law school. I agree with others that a philosophy major is one of the better preparations for the LSAT and law school (many schools don't offer a "pre-law" major). I also agree that your undergrad major is less important if he's sure he's going to law school (or a...
by Atgard
Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: MVNO's versus the Big 4
Replies: 52
Views: 7448

Re: MVNO's versus the Big 4

Yes, in general, MVNOs use the same networks (there are only 4 networks in the U.S., everyone uses 1 of those). I have heard some may throttle max data speeds, but I'm not sure on that. I have been on MVNOs for a long time and never had any problems or coverage worse than the underlying network.
by Atgard
Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it Safe to Get Your DNA Tested?
Replies: 86
Views: 13234

Re: Is it Safe to Get Your DNA Tested?

While it is wise to consider potential ramifications -- DNA testing, screening, customized medical treatments, and fascinating genetic reproductive issues are all coming in the near future -- I think the benefits here outweigh the risks. While the ancestry stuff may be just for fun, using the raw da...
by Atgard
Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health Savings Account and "Last Month Rule"
Replies: 25
Views: 3843

Re: Health Savings Account and "Last Month Rule"

Yes, I dealt with this. Since you have until April 2018 to make the contribution, just see if you will have an HSA in 2018 or not (you should know by Dec 2017 or Jan 2018 at the latest). If yes, contribute the full amount for 2 years. If not, don't contribute anything.
by Atgard
Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Moving a car cross country
Replies: 54
Views: 4119

Re: Moving a car cross country

The quote I got ($1,200 for about 1,200 miles) included $1,000,000 of insurance. The car was fully enclosed inside a truck. Arrived without a scratch. Took 2.5 days. Got phone calls from the driver with updates each day. I recommend them highly (hopefully it's OK to mention them, I'm not affiliated ...
by Atgard
Tue Jul 11, 2017 7:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Moving a car cross country
Replies: 54
Views: 4119

Re: Moving a car cross country

I have done both driving cross-country (FL to CA) with 2 people in 2 cars (with walkie-talkies), and had a car shipped to me. Your quotes for shipping seem high, and slow. Earlier this year I shipped a new car, fully enclosed, in only 2.5 days -- it was about $1/mile ($1,200 total). Or, if you have ...
by Atgard
Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $10k House (hypothetical) at 3.75% rate, you pay $6,672.16 in interest after 30 years?
Replies: 49
Views: 6787

Re: $10k House (hypothetical) at 3.75% rate, you pay $6,672.16 in interest after 30 years?

It seems to me you are counting the income taxes (if any) from any hypothetical investment gains against the investment choice, while not counting the loss of tax deduction (if any) against the mortgage paydown choice. I think it makes sense to factor in both. However, the amounts of those taxes for...
by Atgard
Mon Jul 10, 2017 2:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $10k House (hypothetical) at 3.75% rate, you pay $6,672.16 in interest after 30 years?
Replies: 49
Views: 6787

Re: $10k House (hypothetical) at 3.75% rate, you pay $6,672.16 in interest after 30 years?

jimb , I did try to follow your long post, but it just seemed like a tautology: taking $X and paying down a 3.75% loan or buying a municipal bond @ 3.75% will have the same result. But didn't you leave out that if you pay down the mortgage, you lower your mortgage deduction and therefore pay more t...
by Atgard
Sun Jul 09, 2017 11:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $10k House (hypothetical) at 3.75% rate, you pay $6,672.16 in interest after 30 years?
Replies: 49
Views: 6787

Re: $10k House (hypothetical) at 3.75% rate, you pay $6,672.16 in interest after 30 years?

jimb , I did try to follow your long post, but it just seemed like a tautology: taking $X and paying down a 3.75% loan or buying a municipal bond @ 3.75% will have the same result. But didn't you leave out that if you pay down the mortgage, you lower your mortgage deduction and therefore pay more t...
by Atgard
Sun Jul 09, 2017 9:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $10k House (hypothetical) at 3.75% rate, you pay $6,672.16 in interest after 30 years?
Replies: 49
Views: 6787

Re: $10k House (hypothetical) at 3.75% rate, you pay $6,672.16 in interest after 30 years?

The good thing is, even though you'd pay $6672.16 in interest (using your example), due to inflation, it wouldn't actually cost you $6672.16 in today's money. Another good thing about mortgage is protection from rent increase whether it's because inflation or real estate going up. So in a way, mort...
by Atgard
Sat Jun 10, 2017 12:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: (Very) Early Retirement vs Parenthood
Replies: 74
Views: 8076

Re: (Very) Early Retirement vs Parenthood

I know I am going to get a nasty response from this but maybe get a dog. They're less intelligent, less expensive and have a shorter life span. Kids are pets with alot more intelligence, longer life span and waaaay more expensive. Obviously you'll have more of a connection since it came from you. S...
by Atgard
Sat Jun 10, 2017 1:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: (Very) Early Retirement vs Parenthood
Replies: 74
Views: 8076

Re: (Very) Early Retirement vs Parenthood

I know this is a financial forum, but you can't put a dollar value on children, or plug it into a calculator with net worth and safe withdrawal rates and determine whether having a kid is worth retiring at age X or X+5. Children are qualitatively different (and far more meaningful) than any amount o...
by Atgard
Wed Jun 07, 2017 1:40 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Thoughts on emergency account amount.
Replies: 22
Views: 3730

Re: Thoughts on emergency account amount.

This is a tough one for me. I guess I'm very conservative, as I have 3–4 years of expenses in savings accounts (mostly at least earning about 1% though, so it kinda blurs the line into my bond allocation, since many CDs don't pay much more). But I have almost all of the "risky" factors bligh mention...
by Atgard
Wed Jun 07, 2017 1:05 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Financially independent and then market crashes?
Replies: 54
Views: 8722

Re: Financially independent and then market crashes?

The problem is what does a "relative measure of safety mean"? Why would one think it's necessary to increase that level safety. At what point are you "safe enough"? Well, there is a reason why airplanes have redundant features. Why shouldn't one's portfolio? I think most of us are conservative here...
by Atgard
Tue Jun 06, 2017 11:18 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Buy car in cash ... or invest / lease
Replies: 26
Views: 3752

Re: Buy car in cash ... or invest / lease

What is the interest rate on the car loan? Let's say 6%? If so, would you borrow on margin at 6% to invest?