Archive for July, 2008

I read this book called The Lazy Person’s Guide to Investing about a year ago and have been trying to follow its strategies.  Funny thing is it is more work than my previous method of just buying Vanguard Total Stock Market Index.

Here are my notes from the book.

Couch Potato Portfolio – rebalance once a year

  1. 50% Vanguard 500 Index (VFINX)
  2. 50% Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund (VBMFX)

Basic No-Brainer Portfolio

  1. 25% Vanguard 500 Index (VFINX)
  2. 25% Vanguard Small-Cap Index (NAESX)
  3. 25% Vanguard European Stock Index (VEURX)
  4. 25% Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund (VBMFX)

Kiplinger’s Keep-It-Simple Version of the Laziest Portfolio

  1. 25% Large-Cap Stock Funds – Vanguard 500 Index or the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index
  2. 25% Foreign Stock Funds – Vanguard European Stock Market Index or Vanguard Total International Stock Market Index
  3. 25% Small-Cap Stock Funds – Vanguard Small-Cap Index or Vanguard Small-Cap Value Index Fund
  4. 25% Domestic Bond Funds – Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund or more conservative Vanguard Short-Term Bond Index Fund

Consider buying shares in Berkshire Hathaway, it is the only thing that seems to consistently beat the market (this was not in the book, it just mentioned what Warren Buffet does).

Ultimate Keep-It-Simple Portfolio for Dummies

  1. 33% Vanguard Total Stock Market Index (VTSMX)
  2. 33% Vanguard Total International Stock Market Index (VGTSX)
  3. 33% Vanguard Intermediate-Term Tax Exempt Fund

Dilbert’s Fab-u-lous One-Page Personal Finance Book

  1. Make a will.
  2. Pay off your credit cards.
  3. Get term life insurance if you have a family to support.
  4. Fund your 401(k) to the maximum.
  5. Fund your IRA to the maximum.
  6. Buy a house if you want to live in a house and can afford it.
  7. Put six months’ expenses in a money market account.
  8. Take whatever money is left over and invest 70% in a stock index fund and 30% in a bond fund.  Buy the directly from the fund company and never touch them until retirement.
  9. If any of this confuses you, or you have something special going on (retirement, college planning, tax issues), hire a fee-based financial planner, not one who charges a percentage fee based on your portfolio’s size.

Diblert’s Anti-Weasel Defense Portfolio

  1. 70% Vanguard Total Stock Market Index (VTSMX)
  2. 30% Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund (VBMFX)

Second Grader’s Starter Portfolio

  1. 60% Vanguard Total Stock Market Index (VTSMX)
  2. 30% Vanguard Total International Stock Market Index (VGTSX)
  3. 10% Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund (VBMFX)

Frank Kim’s Portfolio 🙂

  1. 66% Vanguard Total Stock Market Index (VTSMX)
  2. 33% Vanguard Total International Stock Market Index (VGTSX)

I have nothing in bond funds since this is for my retirement.  We’ll see how we do. 🙂

You can read more in this recent article, ‘Lazy Portfolios’ 8 winners for a bear-recession by Paul Farrell.

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Not to sound sacrilegious but my MacBook has been resurrected.  On Tuesday, July 22 it died.  On Thursday, July 24 we brought it into the Apple Store and it was repaired rather quickly (simple repair, replace the hard drive and install a new operating system).  Today we finally picked it up and then following these instructions I was able to restore the MacBook to the state it was in when I last did a backup, July 13.  It looks like we did not lose any important documents and I am amazed at how easy Time Machine is.

These are my thoughts from this experience.

  1. I love Time Machine, it is the most pain free backup system I have ever used.
  2. I love the Apple store.  Having the convenience of driving somewhere and asking a live person to repair it is incredibly valuable.  I was so happy with my experience that I bought two monitor cables and a wireless keyboard for my MacBook.
    Apple Mini DVI to VGA Adapter

    Mini DVI to VGA Adapter

    Mini-DVI to DVI Adapter

    Apple Wireless Keyboard

    Wireless Keyboard

  3. I may not buy any other brands simply because no other brand offers the complete support experience that Apple does.  For example I have a support contract w/ Lenovo and I have no idea where to take it for service.
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Thanks to Topher I listened to this NPR interview Fees, Cheats and ‘Gotcha Capitalism’.

It is neat listening to NPR through the internet. Though I did not catch the whole interview I basically came to the conclusion there are a lot of fees that are unfair and there is not much consumers can do. And the government, FTC, has not been able to help much because they have more work to do but their department has been halved. I am all for reducing taxes and government budgets but I would double regulatory budgets, I think they are so important.

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There is this great Video Tutorial: How to Get Out of Your Verizon Contract Without an Early Termination Fee by Ely Rosenstock of Crastinate.com.

I enjoyed watching it, it is just over nine minutes long, and learning how, by using Verizon’s own wording, you can get out of your contract.  However it sounds like a lot of work, i.e. Ely Rosenstock said he spoke with five different people before his contract was terminated.  But I do want to get out of AT&T soon and use the lovely iPhone 3G.

Crastinate.com has a series of articles of Ely Rosenstock trying and eventually canceling his contract.

Verizon Ignores Customer Agreement, GameFly Does it Right – July 18
Verizon Update – July 20
Verizon Finally Agrees to Follow Their Own Contract – July 21
How to Port Your Number Without Paying the Early Termination Fee – July 29

Finally there is the AT&T Refer-A-Friend program.  Every time an AT&T person refers a friend, that person gets an AT&T $25 gift card and the friend does too.  If you don’t have a friend, email Ely Rosenstock to refer you so that both you and he get the $25 gift card.

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White Chrysanthemums

 | July 24, 2008 11:04 AM

A friend of mine’s passion is helping the cause of the surviving military sex slaves in Korea.  Recently she created a site, based on a college degree project, called White Chrysanthemums.

From her site I found the following:

White Chrysanthemums will not:

  1. use the label “comfort women” – the term “comfort women” is an euphemism for enforced military sex labourer or slave.  It was coined by the Japanese government and military officials, and sexual industry agents, all hoping to obscure the reality behind the term.  Instead, the term “military sex slaves” is used.
  2. spell Corea with a ‘K’ – Corea is the original spelling which was replaced by the Japanese government during the Japanese annexation and colonization beginning in 1905.  Japan did not want Corea to be in front of Japan in the alphabetical lineup of nations, thus the change.
  3. refer to these women as “victims” – they are survivors

It seems also there is a strong link between Japan continuing to cover up the sex slaves past and modern Japanese society’s viewpoint of women and its modern day sex slaves.

The Kamoto Rubber Manufacturing Company, the biggest condom maker in Japan, … recently produced condoms with two names: “Rubber Man” and “Attack Champion”…  this term is highly provacative, closely associated with collective rapes and Japanese pornographic cartoons such as Reipu man (Rape man).

The Japanese army officially provided Japanese soldiers with the origianl condom called “Attack Champion” to use in the camps during WWII.  It is obvious that this reissued name is reminiscent of the sex slaves.

Some Japanese corporations still reward productive businessmen by organizing “sex tours” of prostitution houses in cities across South-East Asia.  Investigative reports also show that women from South-East Asia are recruited by agencies for work in Japan as receptionists, hostesses, and waitresses.  When the women arrive, the agency takes their passports and are forced to become prostitutes.  Such practices in Japan today show just how low a woman’s position is in society and how little respect the Japanese have for females.  If Japan addresses the sex slaves’ issue, it might send a stronger message against such practices in Japan.

I spent much of the morning reading most of this website. While I was in college I too read up a lot about this horrible nightmare. But while before I read about this with anger towards Japan I know find myself feeling sorrow not only for the survivors but for the Japanese people.

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This Baby Got Book video, a parody of Baby Got Back, is amusing and I think has some pretty funny verses.

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