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Re: 401(k) - What's your opinion?

Tough question. Too soon? It may be too soon to ask this question, but I'm not sure how much time employers who have high cost plans should be given to wake up to the fact that investments are a plan's biggest cost and neither they nor their consultant has the skills to pick managed funds that will...
by Alskar
Tue Jul 29, 2014 9:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 401(k) - What's your opinion?
Replies: 9
Views: 805

Re: 401(k) - What's your opinion?

I've seen no discernible change in 401(k) fees; they're still exorbitant! On the positive side, there is lots of talk about fees now, but it's all talk and no action.
by Alskar
Tue Jul 29, 2014 5:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 401(k) - What's your opinion?
Replies: 9
Views: 805

Re: finding an adviser/handholder for wife

I live happily in Portland, Oregon. My financial affairs are pretty much in order (including will, family trust, wife's IRA, my IRA, joint investment and checking accounts). I'm scheduled to undergo some extensive surgery in a few weeks. I'm in the process of creating an instruction letter for my w...
by Alskar
Mon Jul 28, 2014 7:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: finding an adviser/handholder for wife
Replies: 24
Views: 3339

Re: Adding Corporates to Total Bond Market Index

William Bernstein's new book "Rational Expectations: Asset Allocation for Investing Adults" contains some interesting insight into this topic. Chapter 6, entitled "To ETF or Not ETF" says: Corporate bond funds are curiously problematic. For many years, Vanguard maintained a “corp...
by Alskar
Fri Jul 25, 2014 2:04 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Adding Corporates to Total Bond Market Index
Replies: 76
Views: 6626

Re: Here's another "where should I retire" thread

A few suggestions come to mind: 1. Grants Pass, Oregon. Combines the mountains you enjoy with the Rogue river and a few lakes. 2. Sisters, Oregon in Central, Oregon. 3. Bend, Oregon near sisters, but a larger city 4. Ashland, Oregon. Many of the Microsoft millionaires retired in Ashland. Similar to ...
by Alskar
Wed Jul 23, 2014 6:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Here's another "where should I retire" thread
Replies: 104
Views: 6140

Re: Is this a good rate ?

You don't say what the term is for the mortgage you are asking about. 4% is pretty good for a 30 year mortgage, but the closing costs seem really high to me. If I were in your shoes I would get a quote from these three companies: 1. First Internet Bank of Indiana ( https://www.firstib.com/ ) 2. Nati...
by Alskar
Wed Jul 23, 2014 12:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is this a good rate ?
Replies: 5
Views: 598

Re: Blog:Vanguard index fund security lending in 2013

You can ignore this if I'm picking nits (I truly am NOT trying to be a pain): The Wiki now says, "As the stock owner retains the share rights, the borrower must pass all dividends received to the owner." However, page 3 of Vanguard's "Securities lending: Still no free lunch" says...
by Alskar
Tue Jul 22, 2014 12:40 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Blog:Vanguard index fund security lending in 2013
Replies: 16
Views: 1533

Re: Adding Corporates to Total Bond Market Index

I also made a change due solely to what Mr. Bogle said about the total bond fund. About 15 months ago I split my bond holdings in half between Intermediate Term Investment Grade (VFIDX) and Total Bond Mkt (VBTLX). It is has gone from 50/50 to 53/47, respectively. I am pleased with the results. Are ...
by Alskar
Tue Jul 22, 2014 12:20 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Adding Corporates to Total Bond Market Index
Replies: 76
Views: 6626

Re: Blog:Vanguard index fund security lending in 2013

Here is another inconsistency: This page ( http://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Securities_lending#Short_selling_stock ) says, "Voting rights are also retained by the stock owner." However, this page ( http://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Securities_lending ) says "Borrower motivations for borrow...
by Alskar
Mon Jul 21, 2014 5:26 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Blog:Vanguard index fund security lending in 2013
Replies: 16
Views: 1533

Re: Blog:Vanguard index fund security lending in 2013

I found what I believe to be a slight disagreement between the Wiki and Vanguard's "Security lending: Still no free lunch". I'm posting it in case somebody wants to update the Wiki. Under the second bullet item on page 3 of "Securities lending: Still no free lunch" it says, "...
by Alskar
Mon Jul 21, 2014 5:18 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Blog:Vanguard index fund security lending in 2013
Replies: 16
Views: 1533

Re: Adding Corporates to Total Bond Market Index

Munir wrote:Are you aware that there are many Bogleheads who are fans of actively-managed Wellesley, Wellington, Dodge & Cox funds, and DFA funds?

No, I was not aware of that. I'm not really in the club.
by Alskar
Mon Jul 21, 2014 12:43 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Adding Corporates to Total Bond Market Index
Replies: 76
Views: 6626

Re: Implementing Two-Factor Authentication for Fidelity Acco

The rep didn't say yes or no, he just sounded completely clueless. "Two what...?" Is there a department I should be talking to? Call Fidelity at: (800) 673-2938. This will take you directly to the right group. If you want to talk to your regular account executive use this phrase: "Sy...
by Alskar
Mon Jul 21, 2014 12:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Implementing Two-Factor Authentication for Fidelity Accounts
Replies: 35
Views: 9075

Re: Blog:Vanguard index fund security lending in 2013

Great article! Thanks for writing this! I've wondered how Vanguard consistently posts returns that are less than the ER below the index they track. Now I know! I understand how it benefits Vanguard to loan out securities, but I'm not clear what the borrower gets out of this arrangement. I can't see ...
by Alskar
Fri Jul 18, 2014 6:07 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Blog:Vanguard index fund security lending in 2013
Replies: 16
Views: 1533

Re: Adding Corporates to Total Bond Market Index

I also made a change due solely to what Mr. Bogle said about the total bond fund. About 15 months ago I split my bond holdings in half between Intermediate Term Investment Grade (VFIDX) and Total Bond Mkt (VBTLX). It is has gone from 50/50 to 53/47, respectively. I am pleased with the results. Are ...
by Alskar
Fri Jul 18, 2014 2:27 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Adding Corporates to Total Bond Market Index
Replies: 76
Views: 6626

Re: It is time to retire when you .......

I knew it was time to retire when . . . I was so burned out on my tech job that each time I needed to use the restroom I walked downstairs from my 3rd story office and walked outside to a random restroom on the other side of the campus. Just to get outside and get away. I thought I had invented thi...
by Alskar
Thu Jul 17, 2014 2:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: It is time to retire when you .......
Replies: 104
Views: 9677

Re: Implementing Two-Factor Authentication for Fidelity Acco

So... do Fido and Vanguard both offer two factor to everyone? Is there a secret club one needs to join? I can't speak for Vanguard, but Fidelity seems to be picking and choosing who they let into the club. I just gave Fidelity a call and they walked me through the steps I listed at the top of this ...
by Alskar
Tue Jul 15, 2014 2:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Implementing Two-Factor Authentication for Fidelity Accounts
Replies: 35
Views: 9075

Re: Solar panels, are they worth it?

If there are so many variables that make it difficult to decide cost-efficiency of solar panels before purchase, isn't it easier: 1. To lease solar panels and thus letting solar companies worry about maintenance, degradation, etc? 2. To assume possible monthly saving, however tiny it is, as long as...
by Alskar
Sun Jul 13, 2014 3:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solar panels, are they worth it?
Replies: 53
Views: 5004

Re: Brokered CD's vs Bonds

That's right Alskar, if interest rates rise you'll be in a better place with direct CDs. You have this more right than some of your respondents, it's not about intentions or willpower. Not about market pricing either, which merely reflects future opportunity losses; it's all about that early withdr...
by Alskar
Sun Jul 13, 2014 3:27 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Brokered CD's vs Bonds
Replies: 24
Views: 2670

Re: Brokered CD's vs Bonds

If you aren't going to sell, why do you care if their NAV fluctuates? Their value at maturity does not change, so how are non-brokered CDs better? Because if the interest rate rises significantly I may wish to sell. If I "sell" (break the CD) a non-brokered CD I just pay the EWP. If I sel...
by Alskar
Fri Jul 11, 2014 8:44 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Brokered CD's vs Bonds
Replies: 24
Views: 2670

Re: Brokered CD's vs Bonds

In addition, brokered CDs behave exactly like bonds because they are bonds. They are actually less liquid too. If you are going to do CDs, at least get one with a break fee. That's the answer to my question: A brokered CD is exactly a bond. Thanks! By "break fee" I assume you mean the ear...
by Alskar
Fri Jul 11, 2014 8:35 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Brokered CD's vs Bonds
Replies: 24
Views: 2670

Brokered CD's vs Bonds

I decided this was an "Investing Theory" question not a "Personal Investment" question. Please move if I picked the wrong forum. I've been contemplating the purchase of some brokered CD's, but since they can be sold on the open market like bonds, I expect that they would behave l...
by Alskar
Fri Jul 11, 2014 6:58 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Brokered CD's vs Bonds
Replies: 24
Views: 2670

Re: Denver: Visiting and Possible Relocation

Thank you all for the wonderful responses. Regarding PDX, it has certainly changed the last few years. I believe a bunch of http://www.wweek.com/portland/blog-31656-the_death_of_cartopia_brings_the_end_of_the_golden_age_of_food_carts.html foodcart pods are closing down. They're replacing them with ...
by Alskar
Fri Jun 27, 2014 1:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Denver: Visiting and Possible Relocation
Replies: 25
Views: 1741

Re: Denver: Visiting and Possible Relocation

1) We lived in Portland, OR for a number of years and really liked the neighborhood feeling, where I can walk everywhere--small shops, independently owned cafes, great restaurants, etc. I lived near NW 23rd (Trendythird) if you are familiar with that place. I'm looking for something similar in Denv...
by Alskar
Mon Jun 23, 2014 7:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Denver: Visiting and Possible Relocation
Replies: 25
Views: 1741

Re: It is time to retire when you .......

Woodshark wrote:My favorite answer to "It's time to retire when...." is short, sweet and to the point.

"When you have enough and you've had enough"

+1 Perfection! I don't have enough, but I have had enough which is a bummer.
by Alskar
Fri Jun 20, 2014 5:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: It is time to retire when you .......
Replies: 104
Views: 9677

Re: Late starters: what age did you start investing?

I owe a debt of gratitude to an older engineer I was working with in 1993. I was 32 years old. He worked for AT&T/Bell Labs. This was during the collapse of that once-great institution and he was really sweating his own retirement situation. During lunch one day he asked me how much I was saving...
by Alskar
Fri Jun 20, 2014 3:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Late starters: what age did you start investing?
Replies: 73
Views: 5555

Re: Employee Fiduciary 401k vs. Costco/Intuit 401k

From what they told me, you can get vanguard funds and many others through them (or their custodian MG Trust, more properly,who charges 7bp). If you purchase ETFs, not sure what the cost would be. Any particular place you saw with good SIMPLE 401k or IRA options? We quickly eliminated the SIMPLE 40...
by Alskar
Wed Jun 18, 2014 9:09 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Employee Fiduciary 401k vs. Costco/Intuit 401k
Replies: 29
Views: 6517

Re: Employee Fiduciary 401k vs. Costco/Intuit 401k

Thanks. EF and JF Actuarial seem to cost more than Online 401k. The company is four people. I've seen low cost SIMPLE IRAs out there, not sure I've some across the SIMPLE 401ks (though there doesn't seem to be much difference anyway). Thanks for your help. I never got complete pricing from Online 4...
by Alskar
Wed Jun 18, 2014 7:05 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Employee Fiduciary 401k vs. Costco/Intuit 401k
Replies: 29
Views: 6517

Re: Employee Fiduciary 401k vs. Costco/Intuit 401k

Current cost information for the Vanguard Small Business 401(k) can be found in this thread: http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=98810 Employee Fiduciary is extremely transparent about their pricing. It can be found here: http://www.employeefiduciary.com/401k-plan-pricing-and-401...
by Alskar
Wed Jun 18, 2014 12:53 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Employee Fiduciary 401k vs. Costco/Intuit 401k
Replies: 29
Views: 6517

Re: How can I get the best mortgage rate?

Search this forum for lots of options. In my experience, First Internet Bank ( http://www.firstib.com ), Amerisave, National Mortgage Alliance (NMA) and PenFed are all good options. I've refinanced with FirstIB, Amerisave and PenFed. Of these three, FirstIB is my preferred mortgage provider. I've re...
by Alskar
Tue Jun 17, 2014 4:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How can I get the best mortgage rate?
Replies: 13
Views: 1461

Re: engineers - please help with engineering school selectio

I grew up in Colorado. I received my BSEE from the University of Colorado in Boulder in December 1983. I feel like I got a thoroughly mediocre education at CU. The professors were not interested in teaching and I found it very difficult to learn in extremely large lecture halls. My freshman physics ...
by Alskar
Thu Jun 12, 2014 5:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: engineers - please help with engineering school selection
Replies: 119
Views: 5268

Re: Early Retirement Extreme book by Jacob Lund Fisker

I really don't know that Fisker is out to "beat the market" in the classic sense (caveat: I don't know what his current work entails). His thing as best as I can tell is generating passive income trough dividend paying stocks. Index funds don't really serve his goals without having a supe...
by Alskar
Thu Jun 12, 2014 3:21 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Early Retirement Extreme book by Jacob Lund Fisker
Replies: 20
Views: 3745

Re: Early Retirement Extreme book by Jacob Lund Fisker

I'm coming late to this party, but I have a few thoughts: I have been very fortunate to have worked with some truly brilliant people throughout my career. I am not using "brilliant" to be hyperbolic. By "brilliant" I mean truly 6 sigma or more out on the Gaussian distribution of ...
by Alskar
Tue Jun 10, 2014 7:58 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Early Retirement Extreme book by Jacob Lund Fisker
Replies: 20
Views: 3745

Re: Customer service - Vanguard vs Fidelity

I agree with the OP comments about Vanguard. I am a Flagship member. I like their products and don't need hand holding so I seldom call them and don't want to pay expenses for a bricks and mortar facility. I call Vanguard maybe once every couple years. Recently there was a problem with the Vanguard...
by Alskar
Mon Jun 09, 2014 6:06 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Customer service - Vanguard vs Fidelity
Replies: 93
Views: 8929

Re: Anyone here own a safe?

Here's a link to a previous thread on this topic: http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=108055 I own a safe. I think it provides some protection from fire and from casual theft, but I don't kid myself about it being totally secure. Mine is made by Liberty. I purchased a nice Champ...
by Alskar
Thu Jun 05, 2014 9:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone here own a safe?
Replies: 91
Views: 12550

Re: if savings rate is most important.....

I'd say asset allocation. Asset allocation largely determines your portfolio performance.
by Alskar
Thu Jun 05, 2014 8:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: if savings rate is most important.....
Replies: 24
Views: 2322

Re: Poll: Luxury and Happiness

This thread is very interesting to me. It helps explain some things I've wondered about all of my life. FWIW, I have never really enjoyed any car I've ever owned including the BMW 5 Series I owned. Sure it drove great and was really quiet, but it was very costly to maintain. I was actually relieved ...
by Alskar
Thu Jun 05, 2014 6:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Poll: Luxury and Happiness
Replies: 141
Views: 8119

Re: Solar panels, are they worth it?

We live in Texas DFW. It gets really hot from June to Oct and our electric bills are way high during these months. Our home is 3500 square feet 5 bedrooms 4 baths, 2 levels home. It takes a lot to cool or heat up the 2nd floor. We only have electricity no gas in our home. We live on 20 acres rural ...
by Alskar
Wed Jun 04, 2014 6:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solar panels, are they worth it?
Replies: 53
Views: 5004

Re: Teaching Personal Finance next year... what to include?

I think Allan Roth's book, "How a Second Grader Beats Wall Street" would be pretty accessible as well.
by Alskar
Tue Jun 03, 2014 2:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Teaching Personal Finance next year... what to include?
Replies: 51
Views: 2413

Re: declining job due to travel

The "process" of the lines, screening, and general hassle of air travel - before you even board the plane is large (having just made a short domestic air trip earlier this month). That tortuous process is the same whether you are flying 200 miles of 10,000 miles. Sometimes there may be th...
by Alskar
Tue May 27, 2014 2:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: declining job due to travel
Replies: 92
Views: 9191

Re: declining job due to travel

I would be required to travel to China every three months for a week each time. When I was younger with no kids this wouldn't be a problem. And I'll be honest, taking a plane on a seventeen hour flight freaks me out. I say that having been ok flying to Europe a few times in the past. This says noth...
by Alskar
Fri May 23, 2014 6:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: declining job due to travel
Replies: 92
Views: 9191

Re: What our company's 401k Advisor said about 1.5% Fees

what I am curious to know is ... is the CFOs argument valid? Are we paying high fees (an no way around this) because our total asset as a company is low? Because not many people contribute, etc??? is this a dead end??? You're CFO is wrong. He just isn't familiar with lower cost alternatives. Here i...
by Alskar
Fri May 23, 2014 5:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What our company's 401k Advisor said about 1.5% Fees
Replies: 113
Views: 15008

Re: Fidelity vs. Vanguard

If you search this forum you'll find several Fidelity vs Vanguard threads with more information. FWIW, I closed my Vanguard accounts a couple of years ago and now hold my all-Vanguard ETF portfolio at Fidelity. I found the customer service at Vanguard to be appallingly poor and the Vanguard website ...
by Alskar
Fri May 23, 2014 4:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity vs. Vanguard
Replies: 75
Views: 7951

Re: is 2.5% worth the minor inconvenience? [checking account

Starting in July, they'll require five purchases of $51 or more instead of the current 15 of any size. Haven't decided if I'll continue with it or not. That's a new wrinkle I hadn't heard of before. My RCA put a cap on ATM fee reimbursements at $25/month, but they haven't put limits on the transact...
by Alskar
Fri May 16, 2014 5:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: is 2.5% worth the minor inconvenience? [checking account]
Replies: 33
Views: 2148

Re: is 2.5% worth the minor inconvenience? [checking account

For me the answer to the OP's question is "yes, absolutely". My local CU has a reward checking account with an interest rate of 2.25% APY up to $25K. They require 12 debit/credit transactions a month as well as the usual ACH deposit, electronic statement and logging in once per month. I ke...
by Alskar
Thu May 15, 2014 7:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: is 2.5% worth the minor inconvenience? [checking account]
Replies: 33
Views: 2148

Re: what is the hardest financial decision?

Hardest for me: Do I have enough money to retire?
by Alskar
Thu May 15, 2014 6:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: what is the hardest financial decision?
Replies: 55
Views: 4978

Re: need router advice

Netgear N750 WNDR 4300 router. Best router I've over owned. Love the "Guest" login feature that allows my guests to access the internet, but prevents them from routing onto my home network. Great range and great bandwidth.
by Alskar
Fri May 09, 2014 7:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: need router advice
Replies: 56
Views: 3620

Re: 401k Benchmarks

Most employees don't know how lucky they are to have an associate like you who is willing to educate the employer on what a truly low cost 401(k) plan looks like. I can't add anything to what has already been said about benchmarks, but I will say this. When educating employers it helps to remember ...
by Alskar
Wed May 07, 2014 1:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 401k Benchmarks
Replies: 27
Views: 5960

Re: Implementing Two-Factor Authentication for Fidelity Acco

Thanks! Are both of your yubikeys the "Yubikey VIP?" No, one is just a standard OTP (OATH) enabled YubiKey for accessing LastPass in case I lose my primary Yubikey VIP. I can always call customer service at Fidelity and get my account registered to a different Yubikey VIP, but without a Y...
by Alskar
Tue May 06, 2014 1:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Implementing Two-Factor Authentication for Fidelity Accounts
Replies: 35
Views: 9075

Re: 401k Benchmarks

The people selling the high cost plans are good at trotting out the risks, but I've yet to see a plan which offers low cost, broadly diversified index funds get hammered. If someone can show me otherwise, I'd love to see it. I completely agree. The salespeople from UBS are really great at sowing FU...
by Alskar
Sun May 04, 2014 4:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 401k Benchmarks
Replies: 27
Views: 5960

Re: Implementing Two-Factor Authentication for Fidelity Acco

Alskar, in one of your previous posts on this thread, you mentioned the below. I wanted to take you up on your offer since I am finding myself needing to do exactly this.. Thanks in advance for helping explain how this is done, and for all the other useful information you posted on this thread. &qu...
by Alskar
Sat May 03, 2014 1:36 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Implementing Two-Factor Authentication for Fidelity Accounts
Replies: 35
Views: 9075
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