NinjaPigeon - My Flight to Financial Independence

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Vanguard Security Changes

I've been hearing for several months that Vanguard has slowly been phasing their customer base into the new security system. This morning I received an email notifying me that it was my turn.

When I logged into Vanguard it brought up a notice telling me that I'd need to change my security. After hitting continue it informed me that I'd need to perform two steps:
  • Select and name my security image.

  • Select and answer three security questions.

I cliked the button to get started, and was presented with an image selected on my behalf. It wasn't really my style so I clicked a button allowing me to pick a different one. There are 10 pages of 8 images to choose from. Once you pick one, you enter a name for the image and continue.

You are then given a screen where you choose questions from a drop down list. I'm a little disappointed they didn't follow Emigrant Direct's lead and allow free-form questions, but this is still quite a step up from before.

At the bottom of that screen there is a checkbox labeled "Check this box if this is a public computer or you don't plan to use it again to access your accounts." I'm not so sure I like them remembering my computer. I never click the option for that on ING Direct, and they nag me everytime.

The Vanguard wording seems to encourage you to always use the same computer. Personally, I'd rather that they always ask me my security question. However, that's gonna require that I click that checkbox every single time I log in to keep it from remembering me. Contrast that with ING, which does the opposite by having you click the checkbox to make it remember you.

Once you are at the end, you click submit and you are brought to a screen that reminds you of the new features and shows you your security image and its name one last time.

This is certainly an improvement over the previous authentication methods, and I'm glad to see the industry moving in this direction. Hopefully it will become a standard that other banks adopt in the near future.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Car Tag Registration

Well, it only took me eight months, but I've finally updated my car registration. It occurred to me that since I'm getting close to the time when ad valorum taxes are due, that it might be a good idea if the tag office knew where I lived. Since I had today off from work anyway, I went down to the tag office to get it changed. The best part? They didn't charge me! Last time I did this it cost me $5. But now I've got a nasty premonition that that $5 will come back to haunt me come ad volorum time...

Monday, October 02, 2006

Fidelity BrokerageLink in 401K

Got my welcome letter stating that my application for BrokerageLink is now processed. They gave me an account number and a little brochure explaining very vaguely how the program works.

What they don't tell me is which funds I can invest in and how much that will cost. A friend at work says I should be able to buy most of the Fidelity funds without a fee, but I want to find that somewhere in writing. I looked at the website, and there's a bit to it, so I'm gonna need more time to figure it out.

Anyway, now I have to decide which funds to buy! I think I'm gonna go the same as I did in my Roth and get one of those Freedom Funds that auto adjusts allocations for me. I am feeling a bit overwhelmed already with just handling the mutual funds in my after tax account.

Net Worth - September 2006

Nothing exciting happened this month. Still making progress, but one of my contracts hasn't paid up yet. I'm also a little over extended right now and payday can't come soon enough.

Very possible I might miss my goals for the end of the year, also.