Search found 1460 matches

by Stonebr
Sun Jun 26, 2016 5:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pension Buyout - now or wait?
Replies: 12
Views: 1662

Re: Pension Buyout - now or wait?

It sounds like the (former) employer is either freezing or terminating their defined benefit pension plan. The financial liability for your life benefit will be on somebody's books for the next 34 years -- either the company or an insurer that takes on the liability through a "closeout annuity purch...
by Stonebr
Wed Jun 22, 2016 7:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Using toll roads without transponder?
Replies: 19
Views: 2492

Re: Using toll roads without transponder?

We did not do anything to pre-register with Florida when we were there in February with our Maine registered car. I don't know about other states, but Florida takes a photo of your license plate as you pass through their tolls. At the end of the month they send you a bill through US Postal Service. ...
by Stonebr
Tue Jun 21, 2016 4:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retirement savings withdrawals
Replies: 20
Views: 3146

Re: Retirement savings withdrawals

You're running up against your employer's 401(k) disbursement policies, not against laws. I'm not sure exactly what the 15-year part means. Maybe you can start and stop. Maybe not. This is my take, too. In my own situation my 401k allows the following: 1) take everything at once; 2) take 120 instal...
by Stonebr
Sun Jun 19, 2016 8:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FICO score drops
Replies: 9
Views: 1532

Re: FICO score drops

I have happily ignored FICO scores all my life. I suggest you do the same.
by Stonebr
Mon Jun 13, 2016 4:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Iceland triggering second thoughts on foreign bonds?
Replies: 42
Views: 4940

Re: Iceland triggering second thoughts on foreign bonds?

You can default on your car payments, mortgage, and credit cards and not violate any laws. The days of debtor prisons are, thankfully, long gone. General Motors and Chrysler can default on their bonds. Countries like Mexico and Russia have defaulted in one way or another, so why not Iceland? There's...
by Stonebr
Sun Jun 12, 2016 3:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying summer cottage overseas
Replies: 17
Views: 2666

Re: Buying summer cottage overseas

sunny_socal wrote:While we live in California but there's a summer cottage in Finland I'm thinking of buying:
Well that's convenient. :twisted:
by Stonebr
Sun Jun 12, 2016 7:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replace timing belt and water pump - dealer or indepedent?
Replies: 20
Views: 2525

Re: Replace timing belt and water pump - dealer or indepedent?

Make sure they use genuine Toyota parts, no matter who does the work.
by Stonebr
Mon May 30, 2016 3:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: buying art?
Replies: 17
Views: 1645

Re: buying art?

I think you should buy what you like and pay what you want. Fine art is beautiful and fun to live with. It's all entirely subjective, so don't expect any two "experts" to agree on anything. "Art" is too big a subject to become an expert at anyway -- especially if you have only a few $thousand. The w...
by Stonebr
Mon May 16, 2016 4:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any beekeepers out there?
Replies: 35
Views: 3513

Re: Any beekeepers out there?

Look into Xerces Society The honey bee is an introduced species from Europe. Don't know anything about Xerces Society, sure it is fine group, but in defense of honeybees as pollinators, which indeed were brought over by first Spanish, French and English colonists (native Americans called them white...
by Stonebr
Mon May 16, 2016 4:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it OK to leave home wifi on?
Replies: 55
Views: 5964

Re: Is it OK to leave home wifi on?

I turn ours off every night to save money. It's on a power strip with the modem and printer. All the idling phantom loads on this one power strip burn about 20Watts. This saves about 73 kWh per year (10 hours a night/365 days a year -- actually more when we go on vacation). I do this with every othe...
by Stonebr
Mon May 16, 2016 1:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any beekeepers out there?
Replies: 35
Views: 3513

Re: Any beekeepers out there?

More information on helping pollinators in these books: Bringing Nature Home - Douglas Tallamy 100 Plants to Save the Bees - The Xerces Society Attracting Native Pollinators: The Xerces Society Guide, Protecting North America's Bees and Butterflies - The Xerces Society Also, check into your local Au...
by Stonebr
Mon May 16, 2016 1:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any beekeepers out there?
Replies: 35
Views: 3513

Re: Any beekeepers out there?

very interesting. thanks for the reply. With the horrible shortage of bees I'm just wondering what each of us can do to help. So many bees have been lost. Look into Xerces Society. http://www.xerces.org/ You can do more about the pollinator problem by planting native North American plants, avoiding...
by Stonebr
Tue May 10, 2016 7:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 30 minute commute?
Replies: 80
Views: 14844

Re: 30 minute commute?

texasdiver wrote:Anyone here drive a 30 minute commute on a daily basis and not find it too bad?
Reach for something better: my best commute was a 15 minute walk each way. I had it for 14 years.
by Stonebr
Fri May 06, 2016 12:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: remodel: energy-independent house!
Replies: 37
Views: 3823

Re: remodel: energy-independent house!

Like the business cliche, you can't manage what you haven't measured. You need to get a handle on kWh of electricity and therms of gas. As someone above mentioned, the home energy yardstick is a good place to start... https://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?fuseaction=HOME_ENERGY_YARDSTICK.showGetStart...
by Stonebr
Tue May 03, 2016 3:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity or Vanguard
Replies: 93
Views: 12457

Re: Fidelity or Vanguard

My wife and I have accounts at both Vanguard and Fidelity. I can't tell a difference in customer service. But then with buy and hold Boglehead portfolios there isn't much we need in the way of service. The web interfaces are different, but I wouldn't rate one better than the other -- just different....
by Stonebr
Sat Apr 23, 2016 7:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: dividend stocks
Replies: 175
Views: 14423

Re: dividend stocks

In a taxable account, all dividends are taxed as regular income. LT capital gains are taxed at a lower rate. Uh. Excuse me? My qualified dividends and cap gains are both taxed at a 0% rate. It all depends on your bracket. This is a nice deal for retirees with lots of assets and little income (other...
by Stonebr
Fri Apr 22, 2016 11:44 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: James Dale Davidson's prediction of 2016 collapse
Replies: 46
Views: 23196

Re: James Dale Davidson's prediction of 2016 collapse

James Dale Davidson has been predicting collapse since at least 1987. His books like Blood in the Streets (1987), and The Great Reckoning (1991) are firmly in the gloom and doom genre. He runs an advisory service that caters to the fears of his clients. As I recall, his typical portfolio is big on c...
by Stonebr
Thu Apr 21, 2016 10:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Advice- Young Medical Professional
Replies: 1
Views: 644

Re: Portfolio Advice- Young Medical Professional

1. 90/10 will work great until you run into your first big bear market, then when your pants are soiled you'll realize it may not have been the smartest idea. But this is something only experience can prove. It is very interesting to me that when I was your age the market catastrophes affected me em...
by Stonebr
Sun Apr 17, 2016 8:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why not buy a DIVIDEND stock?
Replies: 36
Views: 5652

Re: Why not buy a DIVIDEND stock?

I tried the dividend stock thing about 15 years ago and all the dividends got cut or the stocks got killed. These were what looked (at the time) like great companies -- BP, GE, Pfizer, ConocoPhillips, Fannie Mae, etc. Some were companies with AAA rated bonds (at the time). Note the repeated parenthe...
by Stonebr
Sat Apr 16, 2016 7:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Coin Collecting (will coins increase or decrease in value?)
Replies: 36
Views: 4809

Re: Coin Collecting (will coins increase or decrease in value?)

Not a bad idea to wind down and sell off hobby collections before you die. Heirs seldom know or care enough about your hobby to make the right decisions. These things just end up an annoyance and delay final settlement of an estate.
by Stonebr
Mon Apr 04, 2016 12:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: led vs cfl
Replies: 102
Views: 9295

Re: led vs cfl

My opinion is that CFL is a clumsy, obsolete technology that has only existed as a transition step to better things. LED technology is here to stay and has reached the price and function that makes it the use of choice far and away. My house is almost completely converted to LED including even T8 t...
by Stonebr
Fri Apr 01, 2016 9:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: GRE Study Materials
Replies: 22
Views: 2349

Re: GRE Study Materials

A good 4 year education in arts and sciences is the best preparation. If you are cramming, I'd suggest Shakespeare, Mark Twain and Calculus by Thomas.
by Stonebr
Thu Mar 31, 2016 9:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New Boglehead: Portfolio review (retirement, reallocation, and new management)
Replies: 14
Views: 2158

Re: New Boglehead: retirement, reallocation and new management??

1. No recent experience with CS (Charles Schwab? I assume?). As for the "issues" with Vanguard, I have happily ignored them. As a passive investor in index funds, I seldom need any customer service, and I haven't seen a capital gains distribution in living memory. I keep my own records for cost basi...
by Stonebr
Wed Mar 30, 2016 4:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Binoculars for Birding Boglehead-wise
Replies: 23
Views: 2384

Re: Binoculars for Birding Boglehead-wise

I don't think you can go wrong with 8x40 (or 42) in the $300 to $600 price range. Brand names don't matter too much. Like you, I started with inexpensive 7x35 but eventually found that they just didn't cut it in low light situations like dusk or deep forest. You want something that's comfy in your h...
by Stonebr
Wed Mar 16, 2016 6:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: One boring day in the market, one legendary fund bucks the trend
Replies: 28
Views: 6615

Re: One boring day in the market, one legendary fund bucks the trend

I think the OP was right to bring this to the forum's attention. This is about something more than just a one day drop in fund price. IMO, it is about a once top notch fund that has seemingly lost its way. I would agree. Sequoia is not just any fund, it's a kind of benchmark for active management -...
by Stonebr
Mon Mar 14, 2016 7:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Audiobooks performed by the author
Replies: 12
Views: 1386

Re: Audiobooks performed by the author

Judy Collins -- Sweet Judy Blue Eyes: My Life in Music

Her reading voice is as great as her singing. This is her autobiography.
by Stonebr
Mon Mar 14, 2016 4:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fixed index annuities
Replies: 9
Views: 3376

Re: Fixed index annuities

Here's the skinny from the bogleheads wiki page: https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Equity-indexed_annuity Fixed Index Annuity is another term for Equity-indexed annuity (according to Nationwide's own website). Whatever you call them, these annuities are high-cost, high-commission, high-complexity "pro...
by Stonebr
Sat Mar 05, 2016 12:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: home weatherization--worth it?
Replies: 28
Views: 3969

Re: home weatherization--worth it?

My house IS more comfortable, and I am saving ~25% on my annual heating and cooling bills. On a cost basis, my work has an 8 year simple payback, but I am very satisfied due to a combination of better comfort and health (lower allergies/dust) and energy savings. +1 This is a really key point. So ma...
by Stonebr
Fri Mar 04, 2016 8:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Visiting Belize City
Replies: 28
Views: 3094

Re: Visiting Belize City

I have not been there but the state department has information on destinations that you should read. See the tab under safety. http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/belize.html At least there is no travel warning like for some other countries, such as Columbia. For some people, the S...
by Stonebr
Fri Mar 04, 2016 7:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Visiting Belize City
Replies: 28
Views: 3094

Re: Visiting Belize City

It has been more than 20 years since I was there, but I can't imagine it's changed much. The city is really a small town. We could walk around in the daytime, but at night it was better to be in a car. Sin city. We were there during a national holiday and there was a parade -- kids, young women, peo...
by Stonebr
Thu Mar 03, 2016 6:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do You Give Your Friends Investment Advice?
Replies: 58
Views: 6336

Re: Do You Give Your Friends Investment Advice?

I steered my elderly parents through the investment world for a couple of decades -- Vanguard LifeStrategy. About 14 years ago I was asked by two co-workers on separate occasions for suggestions on an investment vehicle that would be suitable. Both were investing through IRAs, both had been burned b...
by Stonebr
Mon Feb 29, 2016 4:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is Stable Value Fund in 401K Good Alternative to Money Market?
Replies: 14
Views: 1972

Re: Is Stable Value Fund in 401K Good Alternative to Money Market?

That said, if the SVF purported to yield anything in excess of 3%, I'd get a bit nervous. At 4%, I'd get both nervous and jerky. Old plans with lots of old participants sometimes have lots of "old money" in their SV, which may have been invested years and years ago. My own company's plan is like th...
by Stonebr
Mon Feb 29, 2016 1:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is Stable Value Fund in 401K Good Alternative to Money Market?
Replies: 14
Views: 1972

Re: Is Stable Value Fund in 401K Good Alternative to Money Market?

There's an excellent write up in the bogleheads wiki: https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Stable_value_fund For what it's worth, many of us still use our company plans' stable value accounts. I'm several years retired and continue to use SV as my primary fixed income investment. For all the years I work...
by Stonebr
Thu Feb 25, 2016 9:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Winter Tire Tips
Replies: 30
Views: 3139

Re: Winter Tire Tips

Yeah, well, here I am driving through Florida with my Hakkapeliittas. Too lazy to switch out before we left, and we didn't know what the weather would be on the way down from Maine or going back. :(
by Stonebr
Thu Feb 25, 2016 9:16 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do I pay capital gains on trades within an IRA
Replies: 19
Views: 2102

Re: Do I pay capital gains on trades within an IRA

And another thing... You won't even have to keep track of buy and sell transactions as long as they occur within the shelter of the IRA. This is one of the chief advantages of IRAs -- simplified record keeping.
by Stonebr
Thu Feb 18, 2016 8:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Leave Thermostat Alone or Adjust It?
Replies: 81
Views: 7425

Re: Leave Thermostat Alone or Adjust It?

Canadian study says "Yes" -- Turn your thermostat down.

http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/odpub/pdf/63816.pdf
by Stonebr
Sun Jan 31, 2016 6:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacing timing belt on 2009 Accord(Do it or sell?)
Replies: 83
Views: 27491

Re: Replacing timing belt on 2009 Accord(Do it or sell?)

No brainer.

Do the maintenance.
by Stonebr
Fri Jan 29, 2016 3:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to stop junk mail for a deceased person
Replies: 61
Views: 6019

Re: How to stop junk mail for a deceased person

I have had this problem for the past year following my mother's death. As the executor of her estate I wanted all of her mail. The junk mail was tough but not impossible to stop. Unfortunately, you will have to make a lot of phone calls directly to senders. Fortunately, nearly all of the ones I had ...
by Stonebr
Sun Jan 24, 2016 7:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Metlife life insurance statement -- can I shred?
Replies: 1
Views: 345

Re: Metlife life insurance statement -- can I shred?

Maybe keep it. If you die, your survivors will know it exists when they go through all your stuff and find it. Employers are usually pretty good about handling all these benefits on death of an employee, but you won't be around to make sure...
by Stonebr
Wed Jan 20, 2016 5:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fisher Investments?
Replies: 18
Views: 3025

Re: Fisher Investments?

Anybody have anything good or bad to say about these money managers? I've never seen them mentioned before. Lucky3 Ken Fisher used to write a column for Forbes. Maybe he still does. Back in the day (early 90s) I was a typical active investor. I read and sometimes followed advice from various "gurus...
by Stonebr
Mon Jan 11, 2016 7:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with TLH in Wellington
Replies: 14
Views: 1078

Re: Help with TLH in Wellington

Don't forget there was a reinvestment of wellington dividends and gains in your IRA on the 24 Dec which is a buy within the 30 days before the proposed TLH sale. Yes, that is a problem, isn't it? The distribution was rather large, too. Don't the tax loss rules just affect the shares bought in the 6...
by Stonebr
Sun Jan 03, 2016 6:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Windows Won't Stay Raised Who to Contact?
Replies: 12
Views: 1633

Re: Windows Won't Stay Raised Who to Contact?

The ropes that connect the windows themselves to the counterweights inside the frames have probably broken. Is it evident when looking at the tracks your windows slide up in that there is a pulley in the top. Some of your windows may still have a rope running up and over that pulley. A carpenter/ha...
by Stonebr
Fri Jan 01, 2016 6:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Someone dumped their boat on property
Replies: 18
Views: 2716

Re: Someone dumped their boat on property

I agree with renue74. Call the cops and report it. While I don't pretend to know the legal steps after this, going on record with a police report seems like a no-brainer first step.
by Stonebr
Fri Jan 01, 2016 6:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Woody Guthrie New Years Resolutions
Replies: 0
Views: 494

Woody Guthrie New Years Resolutions

What are yours? Woody Guthrie's from 1942: 1. Work more and better 2. Work by a schedule 3. Wash teeth if any 4. Shave 5. Take bath 6. Eat good -- fruit -- vegetables -- milk 7. Drink very scant if any 8. Write a song a day 9. Wear clean clothes -- look good 10. Shine shoes 11. Change socks 12. Chan...
by Stonebr
Fri Jan 01, 2016 5:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Another look at High Yield Bonds in a Portfolio
Replies: 69
Views: 5720

Re: Another look at High Yield Bonds in a Portfolio

"Most Americans have more knowledge about William Shakespeare than they do about investing."

Possible that knowledge about Shakespeare might be more useful in all the ways that really matter.
by Stonebr
Wed Dec 30, 2015 10:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best No Annual Fees Rewards/Cash-Back Credit Cards
Replies: 87
Views: 18384

Re: Best No Annual Fees Rewards/Cash-Back Credit Cards

I don't know what the best one is currently. But one thing I do know is that the deals change all the time. Whatever is best today will not be the best next year. So just look for one that's good enough.
by Stonebr
Wed Dec 30, 2015 9:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Disappointed with Vanguard account
Replies: 13
Views: 2712

Re: Disappointed with Vanguard account

aitadag wrote: Is there a better way to do this?
Two steps instead of one:

1. Click Exchange and redeem $X of Bond and buy whatever you want by % or $ or "distribute evenly."
2. Click Exchange and redeem $Y of Stock and buy whatever you want by % or $ or "distribute evenly."

Am I missing something?