Search found 209 matches

by jodydavis
Wed Sep 21, 2011 7:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering moving from NYC
Replies: 83
Views: 9037

Re: Considering moving from NYC

I've lived variously in a bunch of cities mentioned in this thread (NYC, Boston, Seattle, and SF). I think it all depends on how much you value the things you mention in your post (arts, culture, diversity) vs. the things you would get elsewhere (low cost, warm weather). For me, the tradeoff pointed...
by jodydavis
Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:51 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Simple 3fund portfolio, or complicated value-tilt portfolio?
Replies: 41
Views: 7527

It's a generational portfolio designed to go over an extremely long time horizon, and will hopefully still be going long after I've died of old age (and I'm 28). Seriously, folks, don't worry about the 80% stocks allocation. The point isn't how long the time horizon is, it's how your mother will li...
by jodydavis
Fri Sep 09, 2011 7:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Money and Happiness
Replies: 36
Views: 4247

This article reminds me of the somewhat famous "marshmallow" experiments with children that showed that those who could delay gratification and receive two marshmallows rather than eating one marshmallow right away, were also much better off financially when they reached their 30s. Those children w...
by jodydavis
Wed Aug 03, 2011 8:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How did you find a job compatible with happiness?
Replies: 105
Views: 13100

Interesting question. A couple of thoughts: 1. I think it's pretty normal for folks in their 20s to be dissatisfied with their jobs. You'd have to be pretty fortunate to love your very first job, mostly b/c most 20-year-olds simply don't know what they want to do. They might think they do, but they ...
by jodydavis
Tue Jul 26, 2011 12:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why not to have too many credit cards
Replies: 24
Views: 4688

Reward Bonuses

I agree that people generally have to be very disciplined with respect to credit cards, making sure to pay them in full every month, etc. That said, if you are disciplined and your credit score is generally pretty good, there are some amazing sign-up bonuses you can get, that are worth real money if...
by jodydavis
Mon Jul 11, 2011 10:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Belize
Replies: 8
Views: 1396

I spent a week there about two years ago and had a great time. I would definitely recommend splitting your time b/w the interior (Cayo) and the beach (cayes). Six days should be enough to do that. In the interior, there are lots of nice jungle lodges. We stayed at Chaa Creek, which was terrific, tho...
by jodydavis
Wed Jun 08, 2011 2:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Luggage Recommendations
Replies: 38
Views: 9228

Another vote for Eagle Creek. Very solidly made. Also, their packing cubes make it possible to buy a smaller bag and still fit a lot of stuff in it. It's amazing how much more you can pack using the cubes (I didn't believe this until I tried it). Other brands I've liked: Travelpro for rollaboards. V...
by jodydavis
Tue Jun 07, 2011 9:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trip to Europe in September
Replies: 36
Views: 5731

I agree that Avignon would be a lovely initial base of operations. It's a lovely town, and it's very easy to reach a lot of the sights in Provence. You could also spend a night or two in some of the small towns, which are very charming. A lot of the fun is just getting in the car and exploring, disc...
by jodydavis
Sun Jun 05, 2011 5:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trip to Europe in September
Replies: 36
Views: 5731

One concern I have about Paris is the potential for unpleasant interactions with the service staff such as waiters, store clerks etc. I have heard this isn't so much of an issue in the countryside. We should be unlikely targets for this type of arrogant passive aggressive behavior as we try to beha...
by jodydavis
Sun Jun 05, 2011 12:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Alaska cruise vacation and Vancouver travel tips
Replies: 29
Views: 3339

1. Don't skimp on the excursions, if you can afford it. Alaska is amazing, and to see more of it, you need to leave the ship.

2. Take at least one, maybe more, excursions that get you up in the air. Helicopter to glacier, flight-seeing, etc. Spectacular.
by jodydavis
Thu May 26, 2011 9:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Volkswagen Reliability
Replies: 39
Views: 6016

I have a 99 Passat with about 95k miles on it. I would say my experience with it is generally consistent with the reputation - more fun to drive than Japanese cars, but with slightly higher maintenance costs. Costs started to increase around the 60k mark. Also, small minor plastic parts started to b...
by jodydavis
Tue May 24, 2011 3:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do Bogleheads Gamble Online?
Replies: 47
Views: 4263

Played online poker for about a year back in the mid-2000s, strictly low-limit and for entertainment. Did it mostly to see if I could make money. Made only minimal amounts over and above the rake, although I probably didn't play enough hands to be very certain. Made lots of money on the free bonuses...
by jodydavis
Sun May 22, 2011 10:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My friends are making bone-headed decisions
Replies: 67
Views: 9417

This is the crux of my dilemma. I myself am never particularly receptive to unsolicited advice, so I think butting in at this point is probably counter-productive; at the same time, though, I see them passing along their bad spending habits and their "I've gotta have it now" syndrome to their kids....
by jodydavis
Sat May 07, 2011 1:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Six figure jobs are a dime a dozen
Replies: 99
Views: 14203

Re: Six figure jobs are a dime a dozen

15% of household incomes are above 100K. I think this statistic alone (especially if adjusted for 2-income households) is enough to establish that these jobs are definitely not "a dime a dozen." As for how to get such a job, it's probably a combination of: (1) hard work (often necessary but not suf...
by jodydavis
Tue Apr 26, 2011 1:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mexico Dangers
Replies: 126
Views: 65341

OK, to sum up the posts so far. Those that have actually travelled there or done any actual research say that it is safe. Those who say it isn't appear to be basing their feelings solely on events that occurred hundreds of miles away where conditions are completely different or a general fear/distr...
by jodydavis
Mon Apr 25, 2011 2:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mexico Dangers
Replies: 126
Views: 65341

I've been to both Belize and Mexico (Playa del Carmen, just south of Cancun) in the past few years. Both of these places are quite safe as long as you take simple precautions, as you would traveling anywhere - i.e. stay in reasonably well-traveled areas, be street smart, etc. If you wandered through...
by jodydavis
Sat Apr 16, 2011 11:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Private School - Can We Afford It?
Replies: 95
Views: 11058

You asked about affordability, and the only way to figure this out is to carefully run the numbers, making sure you have budgeted enough to cover all of the expenses (not just tuition, but also supplies, books, activities, fund-raising time, etc.). So get out the spreadsheet. My guess is that if you...
by jodydavis
Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lone Travel Destination Needed Fast!
Replies: 35
Views: 7647

1. Cambodia, specifically Angkor Wat. Amazing ruins, lots of walking, an interesting culture & history, tasty food, very inexpensive, well-adapted for tourism so English is not a problem. You can get a visa on entry. 2. Belize/Guatemala. Excellent jungle lodges, Mayan ruins, caves, lots of hiking an...
by jodydavis
Sun Jan 09, 2011 10:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why Chinese Mothers are Superior
Replies: 73
Views: 7860

Please, please don't take this column seriously. As a son of a Chinese mother and having many, many friends who are children of Chinese mothers, I can say with some confidence that this is a complete caricature and exaggeration. Do Chinese mothers push their children, sacrifice a lot, and expect hig...
by jodydavis
Tue Dec 21, 2010 10:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will you pay any federal estate tax?
Replies: 55
Views: 5689

You guys have not looked at the bright side. With no estate tax there is no stepped up basis and your heirs would have to pay capital gains. Not paying the tax till 5 mil and getting a stepped up basis is quite a gift. Dave Wow, I never realized this. (Shows you how much attention I paid to my esta...
by jodydavis
Sat Dec 18, 2010 1:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Visiting Boston in January
Replies: 16
Views: 1800

Friends of mine on a budget stayed at the John Jeffries House and were satisfied. I second this recommendation. Inexpensive, clean B&B-like rooms, good location near Charles Street, Boston Common, the T (subway). As a transplanted west-coaster, clothing-wise I would say: warm hat and gloves. You mi...
by jodydavis
Mon Dec 06, 2010 3:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trip to Grand Canyon
Replies: 48
Views: 5277

For 9 days, you could do a nice circuit: Las Vegas, Bryce, Zion, North Rim, and then back to Vegas to rest in a nice comfy hotel. Did this a few years back, and it was just about the right amount of time. Bryce: lots of nice short hikes, with immediately rewarding scenery. Very accessible. Out of th...
by jodydavis
Wed Oct 20, 2010 12:21 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 25-year old new attorney needs help getting started
Replies: 22
Views: 3574

Getting rid of debt, having a decent cash pile is the difference between making/shaping your own career and being a slave to your debt. And believe me this will be difficult. All around you will see your friends living it up, buying a Benz, new entertainment system on credit, ordering bottle servic...
by jodydavis
Tue Oct 19, 2010 7:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: best airline(s)??? guidance requested from 'frequent flyers'
Replies: 27
Views: 3026

Another vote for JetBlue. Love the satellite TV - makes the flight pass faster.

Have never flown Virgin, but hear good things about them and would like to try someday.
by jodydavis
Wed Oct 06, 2010 11:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: alaska cruise
Replies: 35
Views: 5476

Excursions, excursions

There are tons of opportunities to do trips onshore. In fact, the excursions are a huge part of the trip (and can be quite expensive, so budget accordingly). Helicopter rides to glaciers, floatplane rides to watch grizzlies, kayaking, fishing, whale watching, dog-sled riding ... lots of stuff to see...
by jodydavis
Mon Sep 27, 2010 8:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What do you consider as very rich?
Replies: 122
Views: 18538

It really is such a relative term, usually used to refer to folks who "make more money than I do."

Follow up question: how many people self-identify as "rich"?
by jodydavis
Tue Sep 21, 2010 12:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2 month vacation - where to travel
Replies: 31
Views: 6485

Africa / Safari?

If you want to go with a group and cost is no object, why not try a safari in Africa? It pretty much requires a big chunk of time, and group trips are more the norm than the exception. Also, going to Europe or many parts of Asia can be done reasonably easily, whereas making it all the way out to Afr...
by jodydavis
Mon Jul 12, 2010 1:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cell phone and internet access while travelling abroad
Replies: 7
Views: 1686

You can also find a cheap unlocked GSM phone on eBay and then buy a SIM card once you get to Europe. A pretty inexpensive solution. For cheap internet, I agree that internet cafes are probably the best option, with the advantage that you can use Skype for phone calls. Or, if you can bring your own l...
by jodydavis
Mon Jun 21, 2010 8:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rice Cookers?
Replies: 42
Views: 8599

Another vote in favor of rice cookers. I have a simple one-button Zojirushi, which has seen near-daily use for 10+ years. Cooks rice perfectly every time. 6 or 8 cup capacity, but I only cook 1 or 2 cups at a time. If you cook rice with any regularity, it's definitely worth it, as you don't need to ...
by jodydavis
Mon Jun 14, 2010 8:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pickup Basketball
Replies: 15
Views: 2078

As another point guard, I agree with the advice given so far. If he knows what he is doing, then there's not much you can do, other than try to outscore him. However, given that you say he's not very coordinated, then there's hope. Pick him up as far out as you can, to maximize the distance he has t...
by jodydavis
Sat Jun 05, 2010 9:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: is it expensive to travel abroad when you retire?
Replies: 39
Views: 5138

Just wanted to point out, if you have never traveled outside the U.S. before and are concerned about the expense, that travel costs can vary tremendously from region to region, more than you might realize. Western Europe is very expensive. Eastern Europe less so. And compared to both, SE Asia and Ce...
by jodydavis
Wed May 19, 2010 3:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Most interesting thing to see in the world?
Replies: 113
Views: 15163

My votes for "most amazing foreign sights" - 1. Another vote for Angkor Wat. Cambodia is such an interesting country (haunted is the word that comes to mind). The temples at Angkor are awe-inspiring. And even though it's a developing country, the tourist infra-structure is reasonably well-developed,...
by jodydavis
Wed May 19, 2010 8:39 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Help with investing inheritance
Replies: 46
Views: 5513

Goals: Where I see myself is a much harder question to answer. I've got my whole life ahead of me, but I'm not sure about the answers to most of those questions. I have some vague desire to "make a difference", but that hasn't led to anything concrete.... In 20 or 30 years? I really don't know. In ...
by jodydavis
Thu Mar 25, 2010 11:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is this a bad idea? Home buying edition.
Replies: 2
Views: 683

Is this a bad idea? Home buying edition.

Hi all, I'm about to sell my existing house and buy a new one and wanted to get advice about how to manage the timing of the sale and purchase. Ideally, I would love to time the sale and the purchase so that they happen roughly at the same time. However, for various reasons, this might not happen. I...
by jodydavis
Sat Mar 13, 2010 2:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you gamble?
Replies: 106
Views: 30872

I gamble occasionally and find it enjoyable. Monthly informal poker game. Yearly trip to Vegas with friends, where I play low-limit poker and tournaments. Will occasionally play blackjack and craps, but just for variety, viewing this as paying for the entertainment. Over the years, am up on poker, d...
by jodydavis
Wed Mar 10, 2010 5:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Personal Finance Advice for High School Students
Replies: 101
Views: 16604

What a great idea. I think personal finance should be taught in every high school (and I definitely wish I had taken it in high school). You might take a look at Eric Tyson's Personal Finance for Dummies - a lot of common sense ideas presented in an accessible form. In terms of the things to teach, ...
by jodydavis
Sun Mar 07, 2010 6:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you like math?
Replies: 110
Views: 30551

I liked math right up until junior year of college, at which point, I very much did not like it. Which was a problem, since I was majoring in physics. I managed to stagger over the finish line, but just barely. For most (i.e. non-science) folks, I think it would be much better to have less calculus ...
by jodydavis
Wed Mar 03, 2010 11:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is college worth it?
Replies: 152
Views: 14405

You can quibble with any particular study, but if you claim that that academic studies in general "in no way validates any point, yours or anybody else's" then you are necessarily rejecting the scientific method. No, I am not rejecting the scientific method. I am upholding it. Methodology is what m...
by jodydavis
Wed Mar 03, 2010 1:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is college worth it?
Replies: 152
Views: 14405

This is only country in the world that has the track record to allow even the poorest among us to become wealthy. This is simply false. Several other developed countries in Europe and Asia have a far better track record at making their poor become wealthy. I've traveled to several of these countrie...
by jodydavis
Tue Mar 02, 2010 9:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estate planning - need a lawyer or not?
Replies: 21
Views: 3414

I agree. $1250 seems reasonable for what he is offering to do. And you're insuring against a substantial downside risk - i.e. that the documents you put together yourself may not be enforceable or may not do what you think they do. Plus, he may have some good ideas about ways you haven't thought of ...
by jodydavis
Sun Feb 28, 2010 11:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Counter argument on travel
Replies: 148
Views: 18657

Travel is the new status symbol. Anyone can go out and buy a $500 Gucci purse, real or fake (this was a status symbol of the '80's). Today, it's being able to brag to your friends and family that you're vacationing in Cambodia. It makes you look worldly because you tell them you're experiencing dif...
by jodydavis
Fri Feb 19, 2010 4:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendations for a Vegas Bachelor Party
Replies: 32
Views: 6690

Going to Vegas means drinking all night, staying out until 5:00 am, eating a big breakfast, and crashing in your hotel room... and then doing it again the next day! I'm right there with you. I suspect this is a generational thing. I've been going pretty much every year for the last 15 years with a ...
by jodydavis
Thu Feb 18, 2010 12:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendations for a Vegas Bachelor Party
Replies: 32
Views: 6690

This is a good (and funny) site with reviews of Vegas hotels, aimed at the budget conscious: http://www.cheapovegas.com If you are looking to save money on hotels, the best bets are downtown (Golden Nugget is nicest) or off-strip (Rio, Palms, Orleans). If you are willing to take a cab to the strip, ...
by jodydavis
Sat Feb 13, 2010 11:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cruise ships and motion-sickness?
Replies: 33
Views: 8612

By the way, if you haven't already, you might check out the Disney Cruise Line board at Cruisecritic.com. Lots of good info there.
by jodydavis
Sat Feb 13, 2010 11:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cruise ships and motion-sickness?
Replies: 33
Views: 8612

On the Disney cruise I went on, there was one day of reasonably rough seas, and you could definitely feel the boat moving up and down a bit. Nothing sudden, just a gentle but persistent up and down feeling. It was kind of neat, actually. In the end, all of us took Bonamine (the non-drowsy version of...
by jodydavis
Thu Feb 11, 2010 10:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Opinions about Disney Cruises?
Replies: 9
Views: 2406

I agree with the generally positive comments above. I went on a multi-generational cruise with my daughter, brother and parents several years ago in the Caribbean. It was the first cruising experience for all of us, and it was very positive. Tons of kids activities. The kids clubs are apparently a h...
by jodydavis
Tue Feb 02, 2010 6:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting a letter of rec from a prof
Replies: 8
Views: 1710

As a current prof, I would suggest first sending an email, asking for the recommendation (and reminding the prof, if necessary, who you are, how you did in his class, etc.). It's always better to ask first, rather than send a bunch of materials assuming that the answer is yes. That being said, I wou...
by jodydavis
Sun Jan 10, 2010 11:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Mortgage Walk Away Poll
Replies: 166
Views: 21302

I'm curious -- to the folks who view walking away from the mortgage as a moral issue, what do you think about Morgan Stanley walking away from its obligations (despite clearly having an ability to pay) with respect to its San Francisco commercial real estate? I don't think about it a lot. When I wa...
by jodydavis
Sun Jan 10, 2010 1:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Mortgage Walk Away Poll
Replies: 166
Views: 21302

I'm curious -- to the folks who view walking away from the mortgage as a moral issue, what do you think about Morgan Stanley walking away from its obligations (despite clearly having an ability to pay) with respect to its San Francisco commercial real estate? See: http://blogs.wsj.com/developments/2...
by jodydavis
Sat Jan 02, 2010 1:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Non-Bogleonian? Engagement Ring Time
Replies: 137
Views: 23472

Just went through the engagement ring shopping experience about a year ago. Some thoughts: 1. Confirm that she really wants a 2 carat ring. That's a pretty big ring. If you go ring shopping with her, and if she really is as money-conscious as you say, once she sees the cost and tries on some rings, ...