Search found 116 matches

by redstar
Wed Mar 10, 2021 11:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: PSA: Free tax preparation (VITA) available entire remotely at GetYourRefund.org hub.
Replies: 13
Views: 934

Re: PSA: Free tax preparation (VITA) available entire remotely at GetYourRefund.org hub.

OP, I have been a VITA volunteer for a few years — but our hub shut down in 2020 due to the Pandemic. Are they looking for volunteers as well? What kind of Certs/Testing is required? Not any info on the site that I can see .... Thanks WoodSpinner Hey, I volunteer for GetYourRefund and can answer th...
by redstar
Tue Jan 05, 2021 9:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What are you doing with credit points/bonuses? Best alternatives?
Replies: 35
Views: 1700

Re: What are you doing with credit points/bonuses? Best alternatives?

I bought an exercise bike with Citi points I wanted to get rid of then used Chase’s Pay Yourself Back to liquidate a ton of points. I normally would spend these on travel but I didn’t want to sit on a stockpile in case the credit card companies did a devaluation before travel went back to normal.
by redstar
Sat Jan 02, 2021 12:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Stimulus deposit
Replies: 16
Views: 2141

Re: Stimulus deposit

Normchad wrote: Sat Jan 02, 2021 12:19 am My 21 year old daughter informed me she would not get one, because she is a dependent on my tax return last year.
If she will not be a dependent on 2020 taxes, then she can get it as a Recovery Rebate Credit when she files her 2020 taxes.
by redstar
Sat Jan 02, 2021 12:40 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Difference between BRRRR and Leveraged Investing
Replies: 8
Views: 759

Re: Difference between BRRRR and Leveraged Investing

It is still leverage though and can blow up in your face at the worse time Yes, but how it blows up is a bit different. The BRRRR strategy (granted I don’t know much about it) would likely blow up in a rental market downturn. Say you owned a bunch of properties in the middle of SF in March and were...
by redstar
Sat Jan 02, 2021 12:33 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Borrowing against stock funds when making a big purchase
Replies: 26
Views: 2473

Re: Borrowing against stock funds when making a big purchase

Do you regularly make any charitable contributions? One way to discard of low cost basis shares is to donate them instead of cash that you would have donated anyways. Other than that, selling bonds plus shares that have a loss could cover the down payment. And mortgages are really nice right now, so...
by redstar
Sat Jan 02, 2021 12:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Share your net worth progression
Replies: 2490
Views: 571139

Re: Share your net worth progression

Jan 1 TSP / Gross = % gross in TSP 2013: 843 / 57408 = 1.5% 2014: 8214 / 59915 = 13.7% 2015: 18320 / 62466 = 29.3% 2016: 30312 / 65170 = 46.5% 2017: 48202 / 66230 = 72.8% 2018: 74621 / 69381 = 107.6% 2019: 87039 / 70781 = 123.0% 2020: 128745 / 75205 = 171.2% 2021: 175098 / 75957 = 230.5% My persona...
by redstar
Sat Jan 02, 2021 12:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Share your net worth progression
Replies: 2490
Views: 571139

Re: Share your net worth progression

Dates posted below as start of year, with my age (wife is a bit younger). Net worth is joint and include home/car values/loans when applicable. 2016, age 22 | -12.000 (I started grad school, wife in undergrad) 2017, age 23 | 24,500 (wife graduated, started working) 2018, age 24 | 331,000 (lucky trad...
by redstar
Fri Jan 01, 2021 11:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Difference between BRRRR and Leveraged Investing
Replies: 8
Views: 759

Re: Difference between BRRRR and Leveraged Investing

Is there much of a distinction between the idea of doing BRRRR(buy, rehab, rent, refinance, repeat) and doing leveraged investing in the stock market? Does the fact that the debt is secured make a difference, somehow driving down costs? The BRRRR crowd seems to think that real estate creates some k...
by redstar
Fri Jan 01, 2021 12:41 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Forum software upgrade bug reports and change requests
Replies: 592
Views: 203488

Re: Forum software upgrade bug reports and change requests

Would there be any way to set a user-adjustable font size on the mobile site? I find it hard to read without zooming in and panning back and forth.
by redstar
Thu Dec 31, 2020 12:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A fantastic alternative to a Peloton (at least for me)
Replies: 25
Views: 3471

Re: A fantastic alternative to a Peloton (at least for me)

I just started using Apple Fitness+ (free trial with my watch purchase). I have a fairly cheap, no-frills Sunny bike from Amazon. I like it so far! My only wish is that there was some way to digitally see resistance/cadence and match it with the video. I think that integration would be nice if I got...
by redstar
Tue Dec 29, 2020 10:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Effective Altruism. Using the fact based approach to selecting charities.
Replies: 142
Views: 5691

Re: Effective Altruism. Using the fact based approach to selecting charities.

The best intro book on the topic might be Doing Good Better by William MacAskill, who coined the term I believe. It goes through some examples, showing how your dollar can go farther by looking at global purchasing power and how effectiveness of charities matters a lot.
by redstar
Tue Dec 29, 2020 10:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Effective Altruism. Using the fact based approach to selecting charities.
Replies: 142
Views: 5691

Re: Effective Altruism. Using the fact based approach to selecting charities.

Sounds very woke. I don't disagree many charities are ineffective or spend way too much on fund raising but how in the world do they know what I think is the world's most pressing problems or that those problems are my priority? by focusing their efforts on the most promising solutions to the world...
by redstar
Sat Dec 26, 2020 4:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any decent luxury sedan with good reliability and sound system
Replies: 37
Views: 2917

Re: Any decent luxury sedan with good reliability and sound system

Currently drive 2002 Acura TL (came with Bose sound system). Love that car but might need to be replace in few months. Budget is <$40k with <20k miles. Heard nice things about Lexus ES350 but have not driven yet. Top priority is reliability and quiet car with decent sound system. Anything else out ...
by redstar
Fri Dec 25, 2020 2:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How could you "lock-in" low interest rates for the future?
Replies: 16
Views: 1863

Re: How could you "lock-in" low interest rates for the future?

First, you can ignore swaps. It does not give the answer that you are looking for. Besides, these are over-the-counter products aimed at institutional investors. Notional value starts in the millions, you need to fill out a ISDA, etc. This is a option if you planning on borrowing from a bank to bui...
by redstar
Tue Dec 22, 2020 1:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How could you "lock-in" low interest rates for the future?
Replies: 16
Views: 1863

Re: How could you "lock-in" low interest rates for the future?

I would steer you away from this. No problem, it's unlikely that I will ever do it, I just find these discussion fun (wow, what does that say about me?). My though process was: if current interest rates are bad for savers and good for borrowers, how can I take advantage of that? The way most people...
by redstar
Tue Dec 22, 2020 11:26 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How could you "lock-in" low interest rates for the future?
Replies: 16
Views: 1863

Re: How could you "lock-in" low interest rates for the future?

Borrowing rates are pretty low right now. If someone wanted to "lock-in" current rates to use in 2-3 years, how would they do it? Let's say there are two use cases: a mortgage for a future house or a margin loan to invest. At the moment this is a purely theoretical exercise, I'm just curi...
by redstar
Tue Dec 22, 2020 11:06 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How could you "lock-in" low interest rates for the future?
Replies: 16
Views: 1863

How could you "lock-in" low interest rates for the future?

Borrowing rates are pretty low right now. If someone wanted to "lock-in" current rates to use in 2-3 years, how would they do it? Let's say there are two use cases: a mortgage for a future house or a margin loan to invest. At the moment this is a purely theoretical exercise, I'm just curio...
by redstar
Thu Nov 26, 2020 9:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thanksgiving: Are you Funding your DAF now?
Replies: 10
Views: 862

Re: Thanksgiving: Are you Funding your DAF now?

I’m planning to bunch up some donations next year, so no contributions this year. I’d rather let them grow outside of the Fidelity fee and transfer them in when it makes sense for taxes.
by redstar
Wed Sep 16, 2020 11:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Prius owners...advice?
Replies: 22
Views: 2415

Re: Prius owners...advice?

When we bought a 2007 we drove it to the Toyota dealer and had them inspect it. They found out the battery had been replaced once a couple years prior, which gave us the confidence it wouldn’t fail soon so we bought it. They are very reliable cars overall, it seems.
by redstar
Fri Sep 04, 2020 6:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why not 100% PSLDX?
Replies: 846
Views: 97494

Re: Why not 100% PSLDX?

[quote=firebirdparts post_id=5474249 time=<a href="tel:1599146865">1599146865</a> user_id=149308] [quote=MindBogler post_id=5463675 time=<a href="tel:1598724644">1598724644</a> user_id=44330] How are you all accounting for the percentage of bonds / stocks that PSLDX contributes ...
by redstar
Fri Sep 04, 2020 10:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to revive a dead deep cycle battery?
Replies: 20
Views: 1419

Re: How to revive a dead deep cycle battery?

Lead acid batteries usually do not appreciate being allowed to discharge this deep - 11v is considered dead flat - and you would likely need special equipment to recover it, if at all possible Reverse polarity can happen for a number of reasons (mostly user error), but on a deeply discharged batter...
by redstar
Fri Sep 04, 2020 9:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to revive a dead deep cycle battery?
Replies: 20
Views: 1419

How to revive a dead deep cycle battery?

So I have a deep cycle marine/RV battery, the brand is Exide Nautilus Dual Purpose 27MDP. I bought it and used it a few years ago to power a smoker for long cooks without access to electricity. However, it’s sat unused for a bit in the basement and I think it has discharged. Measuring with a multime...
by redstar
Wed Sep 02, 2020 8:45 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: It's fascinating to get your kids involved in investing
Replies: 60
Views: 3490

Re: It's fascinating to get your kids involved in investing

I feel like the time horizon most of us are looking for in long term investments just don't fit what many kids imagine spending their money on. As a kid, anything longer than a few months to a year felt like it was an eternity away.
by redstar
Wed Sep 02, 2020 5:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is your age and asset allocation ?
Replies: 587
Views: 54640

Re: What is your age and asset allocation ?

As a data person, I compiled the %equities across all of the people posting so far in this thread and made a graph. I don't have rights to post images on this site, otherwise I would share the graph. Putting responses into different age buckets, here is the median percentage allocated to equities o...
by redstar
Tue Sep 01, 2020 5:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Simple (non-slip) case for iphone 11 pro max
Replies: 11
Views: 655

Re: Simple (non-slip) case for iphone 11 pro max

I have this case on iPhone 11 Pro Max (in the blue color, but they have a clear too):

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07VN7YC6X/?t ... AAYiX&th=1

The sides of the case have a textured surface to grip which seems to work well for me
by redstar
Tue Sep 01, 2020 4:36 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Hoping for quick answers - which of these do I sell to minimize tax burden? Only have 90 minutes.
Replies: 19
Views: 1205

Re: Hoping for quick answers - which of these do I sell to minimize tax burden? Only have 90 minutes.

Awesome. Thank you all, that wasn't that bad, sold. Funny.. for $300k stocks sold, I only had about $25k long term taxable gains, so I'll only have to pay maybe $4,500 in taxes for $300k in sold stocks of a lazy 3 fund portfolio. fyi, you'll likely need to file estimated taxes (unless you accelarat...
by redstar
Tue Sep 01, 2020 2:56 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Hoping for quick answers - which of these do I sell to minimize tax burden? Only have 90 minutes.
Replies: 19
Views: 1205

Re: Hoping for quick answers - which of these do I sell to minimize tax burden? Only have 90 minutes.

Awesome. Thank you all, that wasn't that bad, sold. Funny.. for $300k stocks sold, I only had about $25k long term taxable gains, so I'll only have to pay maybe $4,500 in taxes for $300k in sold stocks of a lazy 3 fund portfolio. Sorry, maybe I missed something, why did you sell $300k when you said...
by redstar
Tue Sep 01, 2020 2:43 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Hoping for quick answers - which of these do I sell to minimize tax burden? Only have 90 minutes.
Replies: 19
Views: 1205

Re: Hoping for quick answers - which of these do I sell to minimize tax burden? Only have 90 minutes.

This is off topic but... is it considered dumb to maybe just stick very heavy US? Are more and more people doing less international now? Obviously past is not proof of future performance but the US just seems to outperform INTL so much. I know there are period in history where this isn't true.. but...
by redstar
Tue Sep 01, 2020 10:16 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is your age and asset allocation ?
Replies: 587
Views: 54640

Re: What is your age and asset allocation ?

Mine (27):
125% equities / -25% cash
Equity is split 55% US / 45% Intl (close to market weight)

Spouse (25):
94% Equity (66% US / 33% Intl split)
5% company stock
1% bonds (part of a target date fund)
by redstar
Mon Aug 31, 2020 4:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: So, I was playing Pickleball and Amazon sent me an offer
Replies: 87
Views: 7635

Re: So, I was playing Pickleball and Amazon sent me an offer

I was on the Dell web site earlier this AM looking at 13" laptops and the Weather Channel radar on my phone game me a Dell sale ad when I checked the weather around 4 PM before I went out to walk. I'm not thinking it's a coincidence. It’s not a coincidence, they are linking your browsing behav...
by redstar
Mon Aug 31, 2020 4:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: So, I was playing Pickleball and Amazon sent me an offer
Replies: 87
Views: 7635

Re: So, I was playing Pickleball and Amazon sent me an offer

My anecdote: I needed a hot sauce for a recipe during the last Super Bowl party I had, so we went and bought it from the store. An hour later I got ads for the same brand and style online, and I hadn’t before. How? I realized I had used my store loyalty card at checkout which was probably already l...
by redstar
Mon Aug 31, 2020 4:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: So, I was playing Pickleball and Amazon sent me an offer
Replies: 87
Views: 7635

Re: So, I was playing Pickleball and Amazon sent me an offer

I was on the Dell web site earlier this AM looking at 13" laptops and the Weather Channel radar on my phone game me a Dell sale ad when I checked the weather around 4 PM before I went out to walk. I'm not thinking it's a coincidence. It’s not a coincidence, they are linking your browsing behav...
by redstar
Mon Aug 31, 2020 7:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What are some ways to take advantage of low interest rates besides refinancing?
Replies: 3
Views: 883

Re: What are some ways to take advantage of low interest rates besides refinancing?

One could pre-pay for durable consumer goods one will use oneself (e.g. toilet paper). If storage costs are free (you have some extra space in your house), this strategy offers 0% real. I hadn’t thought of this as a strategy, I guess I’ll have to see how much I can fit in the basement :P Borrowing ...
by redstar
Mon Aug 31, 2020 7:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: So, I was playing Pickleball and Amazon sent me an offer
Replies: 87
Views: 7635

Re: So, I was playing Pickleball and Amazon sent me an offer

Barros's Roomba discussion is the classic we talked about it among friends and you got the ad: the phone must be listening! Your friends have been identified to have similar purchases patterns as you. It only takes one of those friends to search roomba and now the whole group has been geolocated in...
by redstar
Sun Aug 30, 2020 11:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sit and Stand desk + a regular desk?
Replies: 15
Views: 954

Re: Standing desk + a regular desk?

I have the one from autonomous.ai, it is a motorized one that sits/stands. It’s been good so far!
by redstar
Sun Aug 30, 2020 11:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What are some ways to take advantage of low interest rates besides refinancing?
Replies: 3
Views: 883

What are some ways to take advantage of low interest rates besides refinancing?

When interest rates are higher, it’s a good time to shop around for yields on CDs, etc. When interest rates are lower, it’s typical to refinance your mortgage or other debt. Or maybe even buy a new house or car. If I’m not in the market for a house or car, and refinancing isn’t going to be a money m...
by redstar
Tue Aug 04, 2020 2:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Lifecycle Investing - Leveraging when young
Replies: 1293
Views: 163547

Re: Lifecycle Investing - Leveraging when young

Steve Reading wrote: Tue Aug 04, 2020 8:17 am
Quick question, are you using the normal Margin account at IB or their Portfolio Margin account? It seems like if you are operating under 2x leverage then the normal account should be fine, right?
by redstar
Fri Jul 31, 2020 10:36 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Lifecycle Investing - Leveraging when young
Replies: 1293
Views: 163547

Re: Lifecycle Investing - Leveraging when young

Would anyone be able to check my math on computing the Samuelson Share? I'm looking for a 55% US / 45% Intl. weight of equity (close to market weight). My initial guess at an RRA is 3. For risk/reward inputs into calculation, the authors suggest CAPE and VIX, but this tells me to have a 0% stock all...
by redstar
Mon Jul 27, 2020 10:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Lifecycle Investing - Leveraging when young
Replies: 1293
Views: 163547

Re: Lifecycle Investing - Leveraging when young

I have attempted to calculate optimal asset allocations for different utility functions. I tried optimizing for the fastest (on average) way to reach a certain number, or maximize the number of retirement years. You can view it in this topic . I don't know how well this utility function matches you...
by redstar
Mon Jul 27, 2020 9:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Lifecycle Investing - Leveraging when young
Replies: 1293
Views: 163547

Re: Lifecycle Investing - Leveraging when young

A simple way is to just answer "what nest egg would I need today, to retire at the standard of living I want, today?". Say that's 1M. Provided you have a Samuelson Share of 50%, then you need to hit 500K in stocks today. It's as easy as that. Thanks for the response! That's a great simpli...
by redstar
Mon Jul 27, 2020 5:10 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Creative alternatives to bonds like paying off mortgage?
Replies: 6
Views: 849

Re: Creative alternatives to bonds like paying off mortgage?

I found a post from a few years ago about trying to use an ETF called UGA (United States Gasoline Fund) to lock in some amount of gas prices. Essentially if you bought UGA, and it had minimal tracking error to gas prices, then if gas goes up you will profit in your portfolio. https://www.bogleheads....
by redstar
Sat Jul 25, 2020 10:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Lifecycle Investing - Leveraging when young
Replies: 1293
Views: 163547

Re: Lifecycle Investing - Leveraging when young

Hi all, thank you for this topic and other writing you've done on this forum. I've been generally interested in using leverage while young for a few years now, but other than owning a bit of PSLDX, I haven't taken the full plunge. I've read the Lifecycle Investing book, and I think one of my issues ...
by redstar
Wed Jul 22, 2020 10:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Getting paid while pursuing a PhD]
Replies: 43
Views: 2364

Re: [Getting paid while pursuing a PhD]

To give some current numbers, I’m in the process of finishing up a PhD in a tech related field now. I am/was paid for all 5 years of it, at approximately ~$40k/year (W2 income, taxed federally but not state or local). I live in a fairly low to mid cost of living area, and this was definitely doable ...
by redstar
Mon Jul 20, 2020 11:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lease to own tax question
Replies: 7
Views: 527

Re: Lease to own tax question

I've read (on here at least) that sometimes these are structured as contracts to optionionally purchase at an agreed upon price (where the price has been reduced by the monthly payments). In that case, I'm guessing there is no real "equity" until the purchase, so nothing was inherited? But...
by redstar
Wed Jul 15, 2020 7:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which household items have made your life easier/more convenient/happier?
Replies: 82
Views: 6927

Re: Which household items have made your life easier/more convenient/happier?

AllMostThere wrote: Wed Jul 15, 2020 7:30 pm Instant Pot! BAM, Mike Drop :D
I loved using the instant pot for a long time after buying it, but recently we've been eating less meat and I'm struggling to find recipes that necessitate it. Maybe it's just because I tend to use it for cold-weather stuff like chili.
by redstar
Wed Jul 15, 2020 7:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any way to use a phone app on a computer?
Replies: 12
Views: 1013

Re: Any way to use a phone app on a computer?

What kind of phone do you have? Generally there is no easy way to run a phone app on a computer. There are ways to "mirror" the phone screen to the computer, although the method depends on the operating systems of the phone and computer. You could connect a Bluetooth keyboard to the phone ...
by redstar
Wed Jul 15, 2020 4:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solar Gardens
Replies: 2
Views: 248

Re: Solar Gardens

As a consumer, I've wanted to participate in community solar. Unfortunately it isn't currently legal in PA. If you can make the finances make sense for you, I'd urge you to do it! Those of us that can't justify solar panels yet would like the option to still participate in solar, net metering, etc.
by redstar
Wed Jul 15, 2020 3:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solar Panel Decision
Replies: 14
Views: 1261

Re: Solar Panel Decision

Depending on your preferences for service vs. cost, you might consider Tesla. Based on another post on here , they are significantly undercutting the competition. I was seeing $1.40/watt after incentives from them last night for here in PA. Supposedly they can afford to be that cheap because they do...
by redstar
Wed Jul 15, 2020 12:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How will the technological singularity affect the stock market?
Replies: 30
Views: 1531

Re: How will the technological singularity affect the stock market?

How would this affect the stock market? Read Accelerando by Charles Stross. It's a sci-fi novel with this premise, and AI superintelligence invents Economics 2.0, which moves at a speed that humans can't keep up with. It's available for free in multiple e-book formats: https://www.antipope.org/char...