Search found 108 matches

by sdrone
Thu Jan 17, 2013 12:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Four-corners portfolio vs TSM/small-value
Replies: 13
Views: 1853

Re: Four-corners portfolio vs TSM/small-value

If I use 10 year returns off Morningstar, and compare SPY/IWD/IJS to VTI, I get 8.55% over the last 10 years vs 7.9%. Interesting. The last 10 years have all been due to small cap value; both SPY and IWD underperformed VTI. Btw, what are you using for int'l value? You know what's going to come of th...
by sdrone
Thu Jan 17, 2013 11:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would you buy a used laptop?
Replies: 20
Views: 1595

Re: Would you buy a used laptop?

I like to use work as a beta test site. I look at the laptops we have at work, and then find refurbished ones of the same model. There are companies on Ebay that sell tens of thousands of laptops coming off lease this way - they come already formatted with OS, etc. So, for instance, we use thousands...
by sdrone
Thu Jan 17, 2013 11:44 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Four-corners portfolio vs TSM/small-value
Replies: 13
Views: 1853

Re: Four-corners portfolio vs TSM/small-value

Btw - you use ETFs and your .sig says you have int'l value. Which ETF do you use for int'l value?
by sdrone
Thu Jan 17, 2013 11:42 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Four-corners portfolio vs TSM/small-value
Replies: 13
Views: 1853

Re: Four-corners portfolio vs TSM/small-value

THEORETICALLY outperformed, correct?
by sdrone
Thu Jan 17, 2013 12:57 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Berkshire Hathway B Fund - Fun Money - Worth It?
Replies: 36
Views: 3256

Re: Birkshire Hathway B Fund - Fun Money - Worth It?

Interesting note: Buffet jokes about the B shares in the biography "Snowball" and refers to them as basically being worthless.

I've owned the B shares in the past; I thought it was interesting to see how he just saw them as a way to make money.
by sdrone
Mon Jan 14, 2013 3:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Questions to ask when buying a used car
Replies: 12
Views: 1405

Re: Questions to ask when buying a used car

IMO, the 2 biggest steps are... 1. KNow what you want to pay before you go to the dealer. I base my price on blue book plus like to like comparisons. 2. Be absolutely ready to walk out if you aren't going to get your price. Last time I bought a used car (2 years ago) I dunno if I can count how many ...
by sdrone
Sat Jan 12, 2013 12:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Get a Scanner!
Replies: 69
Views: 8835

Re: Get a Scanner!

I use 1 folder per year. IN each folder, docs are named "year vendorname month" So, a document might be named "2012 tmobile december.pdf" The folder sorts alphabetically, so if you're looking for a tmobile bill, they're all in a row. If you wanna save space, since they're already in a directory "201...
by sdrone
Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Get a Scanner!
Replies: 69
Views: 8835

Re: Get a Scanner!

stan1 wrote: I am skeptical of using Evernote for archiving.
So skip the Evernote step and just save them as PDFs on your drive.
by sdrone
Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Get a Scanner!
Replies: 69
Views: 8835

Re: Get a Scanner!

Fyi, lifehacker.com recently had a feature on using the Doxie scanner for this type of thing. http://lifehacker.com/5973033/how-i-turned-three-years-of-paper-into-a-highly-organized-searchable-document-database-in-two-days I've had a couple of scanners, and they just don't seem to let me do this typ...
by sdrone
Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting rid of rootkits
Replies: 47
Views: 8743

Re: Getting rid of rootkits

Not to be smart, but if someone tells you this:
It even went so far as erasing TDSS Killer from the DVD
Find another source for information.
by sdrone
Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting rid of rootkits
Replies: 47
Views: 8743

Re: Getting rid of rootkits

For god's sake don't re-install your OS. Re-imaging computers has really killed people's approach to fixing computer problems over the last 15 years. Several people have pointed out tools that will help. There are lots of ways to go about this, including http://www.maximumpc.com/article/howtos/ultim...
by sdrone
Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Furnace: Brand Recommendations
Replies: 36
Views: 6549

Re: Home Furnace: Brand Recommendations

Consumer Reports usually recommends American Standard, which is what I got.

Several vendors have told me there are only 2 furnace manufacturers - but it's been several years since I researched my furnace so I don't remember the manufacturer names.
by sdrone
Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any change to your 2013 paycheck?
Replies: 68
Views: 6483

Re: Any change to your 2013 paycheck?

The other variable there is what dates your paycheck covers. For instance, my employer pays "late." "Pay period" would be, for instance, 12/1 to 12/14. "Pay date" would be 12/21. Some companies pay at the end of your pay period, others pay later. A paycheck on 1/3 could easily be for a pay period in...
by sdrone
Tue Dec 11, 2012 4:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: have you *ever* got a 1099 for CC hoop-jumping bonuses?
Replies: 10
Views: 978

Re: have you *ever* got a 1099 for CC hoop-jumping bonuses?

I have not, and I've done it quite a bit.
by sdrone
Tue Dec 11, 2012 12:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First time homebuyer - 20% down vs 3% down
Replies: 43
Views: 3656

Re: First time homebuyer - 20% down vs 3% down

"Wanting a 15 year mortgage signifies that intellectually you know it's best to pay the loan off as quickly as possible; why not start with 20% down?" If you're disciplined with your money, why would you ever commit more than you need to? Get your loan as cheaply as possible. Put down as little as p...
by sdrone
Mon Dec 10, 2012 8:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheaper Internet: Defeating the cable demon
Replies: 28
Views: 4122

Re: Cheaper Internet: Defeating the cable demon

That's odd. Comcast turned mine off the day I canceled.
by sdrone
Mon Dec 10, 2012 5:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheaper Internet: Defeating the cable demon
Replies: 28
Views: 4122

Re: Cheaper Internet: Defeating the cable demon

Play hardball. I do this: 1. Are you able to avoid short service outages? I use VOIP at home, and cannot do without service 2. Interesting, I wonder if the fine print is different in different geographic areas. This used to be a year in my area. I'm trying to drill down to fine print on their websi...
by sdrone
Mon Dec 10, 2012 3:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheaper Internet: Defeating the cable demon
Replies: 28
Views: 4122

Re: Cheaper Internet: Defeating the cable demon

Unfortunately, Comcast is learning. I did the "renew every 6 months" thing for years. What they now do, though is only apply that to the cable channel rate. It does not apply to HD rates or to the cost of DVRs/HD set top boxes, or to internet. So at best you can get a discount on, say, 40% or 50% of...
by sdrone
Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recent Experience with AT&T home and/or small business servi
Replies: 7
Views: 1812

Re: Recent Experience with AT&T home and/or small business s

" The service has been first rate." Heh. Now there's something you don't usually hear about ATT! ATT may have the worst customer service in the world. Even when compared to Comcast. Especially on the business side. That said, the service is as reliable as any other service. I'm on their DSL right no...
by sdrone
Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Swedroe 2011 Alpha Portfolio Question?
Replies: 1
Views: 356

Re: Swedroe 2011 Alpha Portfolio Question?

That's interesting - I may start tracking that in my portfolio list. Not sure how far back performance history will go.
by sdrone
Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Winter Boots
Replies: 27
Views: 4316

Re: Winter Boots

Victoria: 10 minutes! btenny: thanks for the tip, I'll check them out. They come in the usual "medium" (D) width, but maybe I can find a retail store to try them on. Dratkinson: I've seen those on military stuff, but I've never pulled the trigger. Amazon has them but few/no reviews last time I check...
by sdrone
Mon Nov 26, 2012 3:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Winter Boots
Replies: 27
Views: 4316

Re: Winter Boots

I'd kill to find some good pull-on boots for winter. Going in and out of the house with lace-ups is annoying. Sad thing is I have both REI and LL BEan within 10m of me.

Unfortunately, I also have feet that measure at, or even narrower than, AAA.
by sdrone
Thu Nov 08, 2012 1:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting another key made for my car
Replies: 52
Views: 28546

Re: Getting another key made for my car

This is what I was referring to. Toyota is bad about this. go see a dealer. It's gonna cost you a lot.

Apparently this new key type or whatever started around 2007, when I bought my car. You can complain, and the dealer will apologize profusely. It's the manufacturer's fault.
by sdrone
Wed Nov 07, 2012 10:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting another key made for my car
Replies: 52
Views: 28546

Re: Getting another key made for my car

I've done this recently on 2 different vehicles. IT SUCKS.

2006 Honda Pilot: spare key with remote buttons = $250../

2007 Toyota Camry: spare key with remote buttons = $375. Lose the one you had? It's around $500 to get a completely new one. It's so bad the dealer offers "key insurance."
by sdrone
Tue Oct 23, 2012 3:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cash back CC with least hassle to redeem rebates?
Replies: 26
Views: 6574

Re: Cash back CC with least hassle to redeem rebates?

NOTE: The great 3% cashback on gas on the Costco Amex does not apply to gas bought at Costco. Their story they told us is that people were scamming them by lining up multiple cars and purchasing all the gas on 1 card.
by sdrone
Mon Oct 08, 2012 11:09 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Index Changes: Comparing FTSE to MSCI
Replies: 17
Views: 1905

Re: Vanguard Index Changes: Comparing FTSE to MSCI

Oh sweet, a little less exposure to Japan. I've often considered slicing and dicing a little bit due to paranoia about Japan.
by sdrone
Mon Oct 08, 2012 11:07 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Index Changes: Comparing FTSE to MSCI
Replies: 17
Views: 1905

Re: Vanguard Index Changes: Comparing FTSE to MSCI

I've been looking for something like this - thank you.
by sdrone
Thu Oct 04, 2012 3:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Any regrets moving from a active manager to passive indexing
Replies: 52
Views: 5736

Re: Any regrets moving from a active manager to passive inde

It's not that simple. You're assuming the asset allocation of the 21 funds was the same as the asset allocation of a 3 fund portfolio, Rick Ferri No, not really. I'm assuming that the financial advisor and the customer have probably never really talked about asset allocation, so I'm trying to keep ...
by sdrone
Thu Oct 04, 2012 10:25 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Any regrets moving from a active manager to passive indexing
Replies: 52
Views: 5736

Re: Any regrets moving from a active manager to passive inde

So how has the aggregate performance of these 21 funds done compared to an index or a 3 fund portfolio? If your 21 funds haven't outperformed, take the stats for the last 10 years or whatever to your advisor and demand an explanation. Have fun with it. If he can't provide an explanation, demand that...
by sdrone
Mon Sep 24, 2012 9:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Homeowners' insurance - is it worth it?
Replies: 59
Views: 10418

Re: Homeowners' insurance - is it worth it?

It's awesome that it would not break the bank if you had to replace your house. But here's the question I always ask myself: Would it have broken my bank account in December 2008 or March 2009? $450/year isn't much to pay. I'm actually doing a survey on my house now (some 6 page thing from State Far...
by sdrone
Tue Sep 18, 2012 12:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The iPad can replace a computer
Replies: 63
Views: 6059

Re: The iPad can replace a computer

I keep looking at a tablet but... 1. I game occasionally. so my PC has to stay. 2. I'm not sure I can get my wife to give up her PC. 3. Quicken. We're very used to it for tracking our checking account. I'm not sure I'm comfortable with moving the data to something like a google spreadsheet. 4. I bui...
by sdrone
Tue Jul 17, 2012 1:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to buy/Not buy at Sams/Costco
Replies: 44
Views: 9421

Re: What to buy/Not buy at Sams/Costco

Generic Zyrtec (30 count) at Target: $12.50

Generic Claritin (365 count) at Costco: $32

Yearly cost at Target: $150
Yearly cost at Costco: $32

Costco has generic Zyrtec, but I was so excited I forgot to check the price.
by sdrone
Wed Jun 27, 2012 11:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Skunk Removal
Replies: 29
Views: 37533

Re: Skunk Removal

I tested quite a few of the "home remedies" and found none of them worked. Cut off access to the den. You can't do it with dirt or gravel, they can dig through that. You can't just throw junk in there - they can move it or get around it. Flooding it MIGHT work, but you'll have to deal with the smell...
by sdrone
Thu Feb 02, 2012 4:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Riskless return for Sharpe ratio?
Replies: 18
Views: 1583

Re: Riskless return for Sharpe ratio?

I was wondering the same thing. Now I'm wondering what the heck people are using every time they show a Sharpe ratio. Heh.
by sdrone
Thu Feb 02, 2012 2:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Riskless return for Sharpe ratio?
Replies: 18
Views: 1583

Re: Riskless return for Sharpe ratio?

Thank you, but it has nothing to do with my question.

I did not say that I changed my portfolio as a result of the information. I said that I tracked many "lazy portfolios" as a point of comparison. I enjoy going over the results.
by sdrone
Thu Feb 02, 2012 12:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Riskless return for Sharpe ratio?
Replies: 18
Views: 1583

Riskless return for Sharpe ratio?

I keep a spreadsheet of the returns of lots of "lazy portfolios" as a learning exercise and as a point of comparison for my own portfolio. I've tried to calculate a Sharpe ratio the last couple of years as a way of measuring the risk-adjusted return. I'm no spreadsheet jockey, but I've managed to fi...
by sdrone
Thu Jan 26, 2012 3:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: updating the Merriman Fidelity portfolio
Replies: 5
Views: 1397

Re: updating the Merriman Fidelity portfolio

If you have a Fidelity account, you can buy ETFs, which is what Merriman recommends. I assume you're just trying to avoid the occasional $10 commission?
by sdrone
Wed Jan 11, 2012 7:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Three-Fund Portfolio
Replies: 2167
Views: 1352240

Re: The Three Fund Portfolio

Why the transfer? You can buy Vanguard ETFs in your Fidelity account pretty cheaply.
by sdrone
Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:52 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Emerging Market Allocation - M* Xray
Replies: 4
Views: 604

Re: Emerging Market Allocation - M* Xray

VXUS is very new - I was working on the same issue yesterday, and went so far as to call Vanguard. They couldn't even tell me the emerging markets percentage in VXUS. Unfortunately, you can't always find the information you need (they were only able to make a guess at the small cap percentage in VTI...
by sdrone
Tue Jan 10, 2012 8:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Three-Fund Portfolio
Replies: 2167
Views: 1352240

Re: The Three Fund Portfolio

If you're looking at a 3 or 4 fund portfolio spread across different types of accounts (401k, IRA, Roth IRA, taxable) what's the best fund to hold in your taxable accounts?

1. US total market
2. Total international
3. Total bond market or others like Treasury funds
by sdrone
Mon Jan 09, 2012 12:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Performance: 3 fund portfolio vs. slice and dice
Replies: 3
Views: 965

Re: Performance: 3 fund portfolio vs. slice and dice

No rebalancing needed. The results for each year (e.g. 2011) are simply 30% of the year end performance for VTI, 30% of the year end performance for VEU, and 40% of the year end performance for IEF or VTI. Sorry, I should have put percentages into the simply portfolio spreadsheets. There's too much ...
by sdrone
Mon Jan 09, 2012 11:53 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Performance: 3 fund portfolio vs. slice and dice
Replies: 3
Views: 965

Performance: 3 fund portfolio vs. slice and dice

First, let's get this out of the way: I'm usually a slice and dicer, using low cost ETFs (mostly Vanguard). Taylor's post about using simple Vanguard portfolios caught me right in the middle of 2 things: 1) evaluating my 2011 performance and 2) getting mad once again about the crap investment choice...
by sdrone
Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:53 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Three-Fund Portfolio
Replies: 2167
Views: 1352240

Re: The Three Fund Portfolio

the ETFs we're talking about (VTI, etc.) hold stocks. The "wind down" of ETFs has already been tested several times, and has "worked as expected." There are times when I'm far more comfortable being able to sell my holdings during the day rather than waiting to be stuck with the end of the day closi...
by sdrone
Wed Jan 04, 2012 4:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Three-Fund Portfolio
Replies: 2167
Views: 1352240

Re: The Three Fund Portfolio

If you're worried about the "Vanguard" risk of investing in one or more of their mutual funds, then simply invest in their ETFs. The ETFs are the same investment, and when an ETF liquidates, you simply get the stocks that the ETF owned. Posts like this always make me look back at what I'm doing, whi...
by sdrone
Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Where to read about the mortgage/economic crisis in EU?
Replies: 5
Views: 856

Ok, good stuff. Fistful of Euros I should have remembered; there are just so many blogs to keep track of. I'm not sure I knew about Baseline Scenario.

man, Economist is great. If they were just a little less expensive I'd keep a subscription.

Thanks for the ideas!
by sdrone
Thu Apr 29, 2010 10:49 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Where to read about the mortgage/economic crisis in EU?
Replies: 5
Views: 856

Where to read about the mortgage/economic crisis in EU?

I like to read about money/finance as an attempt to be a well informed investor. As a result, I've read tons of stuff over the last few years including articles about Goldman Sachs, Countrywide, New Century, Michael Burry, and California mortgage entrepeneurs, and books like Bailout Nation, When Gen...
by sdrone
Tue Mar 30, 2010 9:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Number of Funds in a Lazy Portfolio
Replies: 8
Views: 3421

When trying to figure out why a portfolio outperforms, you should look at the composition of the portfolio.

The Aronson portfolio has 10% in emerging markets. That's a good thing to have in a year like 2009.
by sdrone
Wed Nov 11, 2009 11:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bear Stearns hedge fund managers acquitted
Replies: 9
Views: 2259

I don't know much about the case, but this doesn't make sense. "House of Cards" had excerpts from the investment letters. They mistated the amount invested in subprime mortgages (something like 10% vs. 70%, according to the book). That would seem to be a pretty clear case of fraud.
by sdrone
Tue Oct 06, 2009 10:36 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is it possible to go int'l + value without Japan?
Replies: 3
Views: 857

Is it possible to go int'l + value without Japan?

I'm hoping I'm missing something. I'm curious about trying to minimize my exposure to Japan while still using broad market international ETFs or funds. For the international portion of my portfolio, I've been using EFV (EAFE international value) plus VSS (international smallcap that includes emergin...
by sdrone
Wed Sep 09, 2009 10:24 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why I choose "The Majesty of Simplicity" for my signature
Replies: 42
Views: 26253

"When there is a gap between perception and reality, it is only a matter of time until the gap is resolved in favor of reality." That's interesting. Heh. I just finished "When Genius Fails" and that's pretty much the basis of Long Term Capital Management. Just make sure your timeframe is long enough!