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Re: Do I Pay Cash for my home?

Managing one's financial life is all about managing tradeoffs. In your case you are expressing a strong desire to avoid a mortgage; the primary tradeoffs that come into play are reductions in liquidity and reductions in investment returns. So as long as you go into it with your eyes open and you kno...
by Aptenodytes
Mon Dec 22, 2014 1:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do I Pay Cash for my home?
Replies: 39
Views: 2536

Re: Shiller: Buy & Hold --> Irrational Exhuberance

Nisi, I translate the survey question differently than you. I take it to mean the opposite of this statement: "You can lose a lot of money in the stock market, so if you have money in stocks you should try to sell before the prices fall." Or you could say the question is asking if you agre...
by Aptenodytes
Mon Dec 22, 2014 12:15 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Shiller: Buy & Hold --> Irrational Exhuberance
Replies: 5
Views: 740

Re: Laptop as a hard drive [Laptop as a desktop]

For home use I have been thinking going to a lap top next time around. The screen size on the bigger lap tops is on par with I have now so I'm not thinking I would need another screen. I can get a wireless mouse easy enough, most printers are wireless so I don't see a need for a docking station and...
by Aptenodytes
Mon Dec 22, 2014 10:40 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Laptop as a hard drive [Laptop as a desktop]
Replies: 28
Views: 1133

Re: Laptop as a hard drive [Laptop as a desktop]

- Peripherals on a laptop do not go obsolete more quickly than a desktop, contrary to what the poster above said. A USB hub will work no better on a desktop than a laptop, and can be used on every PC or Mac. Same with monitor connections - it's the same exact HDMI port on a desktop system as on a l...
by Aptenodytes
Mon Dec 22, 2014 9:56 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Laptop as a hard drive [Laptop as a desktop]
Replies: 28
Views: 1133

Re: Laptop as a hard drive [Laptop as a desktop]

My work computing environment is the one your wife wants. My main motivation is that as I transport the laptop from home to meetings to business trips everything is there where I need it. I'm quite happy with it, but you want to know about the negatives. Here are the negatives: 1) It is more expensi...
by Aptenodytes
Sun Dec 21, 2014 8:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Laptop as a hard drive [Laptop as a desktop]
Replies: 28
Views: 1133

Re: Am I being too conservative?

As more details emerge I think you should seriously consider reducing your equity exposure. Maybe 50%. Ditch the mid cap tilt though. Just use plain market weights. You seem to be highly risk averse.
by Aptenodytes
Sun Dec 21, 2014 11:57 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Am I being too conservative?
Replies: 19
Views: 1465

Re: Using balanced funds to avoid rebalancing

To get a rebalancing bonus, you need to allow for excursions from your nominal AA, bands we call them. That allows one to sell high, buy low to a modest degree. Example: a 50/50 AA between a TSM fund and a MM fund, for simplicity. Starting NAV of $100 for TSM, $50,000.00 in both TSM and in MM. TSM ...
by Aptenodytes
Sun Dec 21, 2014 11:13 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Using balanced funds to avoid rebalancing
Replies: 30
Views: 2011

Re: Using balanced funds to avoid rebalancing

Logic tells you that the balanced fund maximizes the stabilization of risk over any alternative. Logic also tells you that any possible premium on returns comes from deviating from that maximum. If you have two objectives you can't maximize both, so if you maximize risk equilibration you bring the r...
by Aptenodytes
Sun Dec 21, 2014 10:23 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Using balanced funds to avoid rebalancing
Replies: 30
Views: 2011

Re: How do you define "being rich"?

When I was a kid it was 2x my father's income. When I first started earning money it was 10x my income. Now I'd say it is 2x my income. I'd say most people have a multiplier they apply to their own income, and the magnitude of that multiplier declines as income rises, but it approaches 1 only at ver...
by Aptenodytes
Sat Dec 20, 2014 5:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you define "being rich"?
Replies: 119
Views: 6933

Re: Am I being too conservative?

If a 30% drop in your portfolio is the most you can stomach, then by the normal rule of thumb have a good allocation. People usually say to imagine losing half your equities and asking if you can tolerate that, for real. Your equity allocation is a bit odd though; domestic equities are tilted to mid...
by Aptenodytes
Sat Dec 20, 2014 5:15 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Am I being too conservative?
Replies: 19
Views: 1465

Re: [Poll] What's Your Tax Prep Strategy?

Need more choices. Always a good idea to make sure a poll covers all possible answers; a sure-fire way to guarantee that is to have an "other" option. Also, don't confuse software for strategy. Mys strategy is to start answering TurboTax questions; realize that only about 70% of them can b...
by Aptenodytes
Sat Dec 20, 2014 1:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Poll] What's Your Tax Prep Strategy?
Replies: 64
Views: 3717

Re: Replacement Car Savings

My advice would be to drive the Civic until it croaks. Luckily you have an option to commute on public transit when that happens. At that time buy whatever car you can afford at that time. If the Civic dies early, the new car won't be what you hope for. But it will be better than a dead Civic. Publi...
by Aptenodytes
Fri Dec 19, 2014 7:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Replacement Car Savings
Replies: 11
Views: 1547

Re: Favorite Narrators for Fictional Audiobooks

frugalguy wrote:
Aptenodytes wrote:If you want to actually listen to it, make sure it is a fiction audiobook :D


I was waiting for that. ;) :mrgreen:

You're welcome.
by Aptenodytes
Thu Dec 18, 2014 5:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Favorite Narrators for Fictional Audiobooks
Replies: 24
Views: 1235

Re: HSA question

I have read through the HSA info contained in the IRS site given but didn't see an answer to my question. Maybe I am not explaining myself correctly. I never planned on taking money out and decided on a HDHP with HSA after months of research. Layman's terms.... Say I contribute $5k on December 31, ...
by Aptenodytes
Thu Dec 18, 2014 5:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA question
Replies: 12
Views: 1290

Re: Favorite Narrators for Fictional Audiobooks

If you want to actually listen to it, make sure it is a fiction audiobook :D
by Aptenodytes
Thu Dec 18, 2014 5:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Favorite Narrators for Fictional Audiobooks
Replies: 24
Views: 1235

Re: SEP IRA vs Self 401k

Keep in mind that the contribution to a SEP IRA is made by the employer , not the employee. So I suppose the tax-deferral goes to the business, not the worker. I have no idea how that works out when the worker is the owner of the business. I'm curious to know though. The owner deducts SEP IRA contr...
by Aptenodytes
Thu Dec 18, 2014 4:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SEP IRA vs Self 401k
Replies: 11
Views: 550

Re: SEP IRA vs Self 401k

I think SEP IRAs are easier to set up (I created one and it was no more difficult than a regular individual account) but I believe self-employed 401ks bring more flexibility and power. The CPA is the one paid to actually know this stuff. One thing you could do to make the choice clearer is to give y...
by Aptenodytes
Thu Dec 18, 2014 3:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SEP IRA vs Self 401k
Replies: 11
Views: 550

Re: On average, how often do you check your investment balan

I find it very interesting that about half are checking at least daily. I definitely wouldn't have guessed this. That doesn't surprise me. Once you have whatever system you need set up for checking the balance (for many it is no more complicated than a user ID and password at Vanguard) then it only...
by Aptenodytes
Thu Dec 18, 2014 8:46 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: On average, how often do you check your investment balances?
Replies: 53
Views: 3313

Re: Why a Boglehead doesn't invest in individual companies?

Here are Boglehead moves that increase risk: Increase the equity percentage in the portfolio Increase the tilt to small-value Increase the tilt to emerging markets Unless I'm momentarily blanking, there's no other risk play to be had, from an investment point of view. Investing in individual stocks ...
by Aptenodytes
Wed Dec 17, 2014 3:58 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why a Boglehead doesn't invest in individual companies?
Replies: 57
Views: 5256

Re: How do you figure out the best location to buy a house?

I'll summarize: look at all the things you care about, taking into account ideas people have suggested that you may not have earlier realized you care about; then if you want the biggest location premium independent of those things buy the smallest house that meets those criteria. If you figure out ...
by Aptenodytes
Wed Dec 17, 2014 9:07 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you figure out the best location to buy a house?
Replies: 40
Views: 2937

Re: What is the best strategy for HSA?

HSA is normally considered the most advantageous investment vehicle, and you are investing all the way down the ladder to the least advantageous (a taxable account). So yes, you are prime candidate for taking long positions in your HSA. Max out the HSA each year, invest it in equities, and divert wh...
by Aptenodytes
Wed Dec 17, 2014 9:02 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What is the best strategy for HSA?
Replies: 6
Views: 1432

Re: Unwinding this large 19 fund portfolio

I don't understand the references to TLH. None of the funds have an unrealized loss. So don't you just sell everything that qualifies as long-term gains, and the rest as soon as they qualify?
by Aptenodytes
Wed Dec 17, 2014 7:26 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Unwinding this large 19 fund portfolio
Replies: 13
Views: 1415

Re: Invest in One Lump Sum or Spread Out?

There's no point trying to calculate what is best. This is purely an emotional determination. You go in as fast as you feel comfortable. Whatever pace that is is the right pace.
by Aptenodytes
Tue Dec 16, 2014 4:52 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Invest in One Lump Sum or Spread Out?
Replies: 9
Views: 610

Re: Selling Vehicle of Deceased

The first thing I'd do is call a used car dealer in Iowa and see what they say. Is the car in Iowa? Did one of you have power of attorney for your father in law? I suspect a used car dealer would take title from someone having power of attorney; that's something you can ask a used car dealer. Anoth...
by Aptenodytes
Tue Dec 16, 2014 3:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling Vehicle of Deceased
Replies: 26
Views: 2089

Re: Selling Vehicle of Deceased

The first thing I'd do is call a used car dealer in Iowa and see what they say. Is the car in Iowa? Did one of you have power of attorney for your father in law? I suspect a used car dealer would take title from someone having power of attorney; that's something you can ask a used car dealer. Anoth...
by Aptenodytes
Tue Dec 16, 2014 3:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling Vehicle of Deceased
Replies: 26
Views: 2089

Re: Selling Vehicle of Deceased

The first thing I'd do is call a used car dealer in Iowa and see what they say. Is the car in Iowa? Did one of you have power of attorney for your father in law? I suspect a used car dealer would take title from someone having power of attorney; that's something you can ask a used car dealer. Anothe...
by Aptenodytes
Tue Dec 16, 2014 1:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling Vehicle of Deceased
Replies: 26
Views: 2089

Re: Volvo vs. Mercedes

I could tell you my s60 experience, but really you should completely ignore almost all such anecdotes. Look at the Consumer Reports summaries.
by Aptenodytes
Tue Dec 16, 2014 12:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Volvo vs. Mercedes
Replies: 52
Views: 4704

Re: [POLL] What Fixed Income Assets Do You Use?

Poll seems like the wrong instrument. You see results by asset but not by portfolio. I use short and intermediate term treasury and corporate bond funds, and individual TIPS, and also treat my TIAA Traditional as part of the same mix. I don't have all those bond funds at the same time -- depends on ...
by Aptenodytes
Tue Dec 16, 2014 12:25 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [POLL] What Fixed Income Assets Do You Use?
Replies: 37
Views: 1726

Re: Trouble with HSA transfer

You already know that what you are seeking is a routine transaction. It might help if you named Bank X and Y. I did what you are trying transferring from Aetna HSA to Health Savings Administrators using a trustee-to-trustee transfer form. Hundreds of people here will be able to tell you similar tale...
by Aptenodytes
Tue Dec 16, 2014 10:06 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Trouble with HSA transfer
Replies: 10
Views: 724

Re: Unwinding this large 19 fund portfolio

Sorry, just read the tax bracket info in the OP. So don't sell anything in December but sell all that is possible in January that avoids bumping back into the 45% bracket. Then report back.
by Aptenodytes
Tue Dec 16, 2014 9:28 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Unwinding this large 19 fund portfolio
Replies: 13
Views: 1415

Re: Unwinding this large 19 fund portfolio

It seems like the only thing that matters is the location of the next tax-bracket threshold. Sell the maximum you can without crossing that threshold this month, repeat in January 2015, and report back on where things are then. I would sell the most risky funds first (the least indexy). If the portf...
by Aptenodytes
Tue Dec 16, 2014 9:26 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Unwinding this large 19 fund portfolio
Replies: 13
Views: 1415

Re: Is it speculation to use the Callan Periodic table?

Pure speculation. That's one reason I think they do investors a disservice by calling the table "periodic." There's no periodicity to it whatsoever. Don't try to read any into it.
by Aptenodytes
Tue Dec 16, 2014 7:58 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is it speculation to use the Callan Periodic table?
Replies: 26
Views: 1787

Re: Marketcap vs. FACTOR indexing

I've never heard of factor indexing, nor even FACTOR indexing. Factor investing is common, and probably close to a majority here use some variant of it. But we use market cap weighted indexes to do so. Vanguard's Small-cap value fund is a popular fund for such purposes. It invests in small value sto...
by Aptenodytes
Tue Dec 16, 2014 7:51 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Marketcap vs. FACTOR indexing
Replies: 6
Views: 503

Re: Went "all in" Nov 17-21 in VTTHX (2035) - worried...

Do you make better decisions when you are calm and relaxed, or panicked and nervous? You invested in VTTHX while calm and relaxed, and now you are panicked and nervous. You are experiencing a debate between calm jbrinker and panicked jbrinker. Let the jbrinker that makes better decisions win. We hav...
by Aptenodytes
Mon Dec 15, 2014 12:32 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Went "all in" Nov 17-21 in VTTHX (2035) - worried...
Replies: 26
Views: 3361

Re: How do you figure out the best location to buy a house?

I think the OP wants to know about how to find places that are, other things equal, better locations for preserving real estate value than others. Most of the responses are about the other things. I think the thought experiment is this: imagine a list of criteria for the ideal house, along the lines...
by Aptenodytes
Mon Dec 15, 2014 12:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you figure out the best location to buy a house?
Replies: 40
Views: 2937

Re: 80/20 stocks/bonds for near retirement

For those that argue against the 80/20 portfolio in retirement would your position be different if you were using a Liability Matching Portfolio. I am considering whether to have AA of 60/40 or 80/20 in the Risk portion of a liability match portfolio. Is 80/ 20 to risky for the portion of the portf...
by Aptenodytes
Mon Dec 15, 2014 12:00 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 80/20 stocks/bonds for near retirement
Replies: 26
Views: 2287

Re: How do you figure out the best location to buy a house?

I guess I should clarify and say that when I say "best," I am thinking in terms of the house being in a desirable area where reselling it would be relatively easy because many other people want to live in that area. No one can guarantee what the future holds. All you can do is look at pas...
by Aptenodytes
Mon Dec 15, 2014 10:25 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you figure out the best location to buy a house?
Replies: 40
Views: 2937

Re: Social Security maximum earnings limit question.

I downloaded the AnyPIA calculator from SSA a couple of years ago. I entered my data, I believe I had something like 37 years with at least some credit at the time but most years the income exceeded the appropriate annual maximum FICA taxable limit. Several of the early years were part-time work wh...
by Aptenodytes
Mon Dec 15, 2014 10:07 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Social Security maximum earnings limit question.
Replies: 11
Views: 728

Re: How do you figure out the best location to buy a house?

I think one subtext running through the responses is that the "location location location" mantra is obsolete. It must be at least 50 years old, if not more. If it happened to come into vogue during the long-term trough in real estate prices straddled by the two world wars, the difference ...
by Aptenodytes
Mon Dec 15, 2014 9:46 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you figure out the best location to buy a house?
Replies: 40
Views: 2937

Re: 80/20 stocks/bonds for near retirement

Another way to frame your worst case scenario is you end up with half your money invested 100% stocks. Few mortals could end up in such a place with the placidity required to stick with the plan. 4% is considered an aggressive withdrawal rate these days. Have you considered bumping it down to avoid ...
by Aptenodytes
Mon Dec 15, 2014 9:08 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 80/20 stocks/bonds for near retirement
Replies: 26
Views: 2287

Re: Please help. IPad spoiling my Christmas surprises

The choices are private browsing or a different browser used only for shopping. Some Androids permit separate identities on a single device, which also solves the problem I believe. Does Apple have no such option?
by Aptenodytes
Mon Dec 15, 2014 8:00 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Please help. IPad spoiling my Christmas surprises
Replies: 19
Views: 2538

Re: 80/20 stocks/bonds for near retirement

4% is not a relevant benchmark for a bucket strategy.

5 years seems too short a period to count on stock recovery. 10 is safer and more reasonable.

You need nerves of steel (and about 5 extra years of expenses in bonds) to do what you propose. Make sure you really have them.
by Aptenodytes
Mon Dec 15, 2014 7:50 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 80/20 stocks/bonds for near retirement
Replies: 26
Views: 2287

Re: How do you figure out the best location to buy a house?

The first thing is to come up with a list of criteria and a price range. Then start using the web sites to figure out where such places are. If you want more specific advice you should give more info. Have you narrowed it down at all? Country, state, region? How to determine the best state to live i...
by Aptenodytes
Mon Dec 15, 2014 7:39 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you figure out the best location to buy a house?
Replies: 40
Views: 2937

Re: Mebane Faber: 78% of the time you are in a drawdown

Skimmed the article, still confused. What time period are they talking about? 78% of all days you are in the stock market? 78% of all years? decades? An ETF portfolio is only ever at all-time highs for fractions of a second... does this mean the rest of the time is a drawdown? The same portfolio vi...
by Aptenodytes
Sun Dec 14, 2014 4:20 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Mebane Faber: 78% of the time you are in a drawdown
Replies: 18
Views: 1964

Re: Best allocation for "emergency" account

Anyone who has an AA that is 40% cash, relatively substantial, and not all tax-advantaged doesn't really need a separate emergency account. Emergency accounts are meant for people who have illiquid investmemts.
by Aptenodytes
Sun Dec 14, 2014 2:43 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best allocation for "emergency" account
Replies: 5
Views: 814

Re: Deductions!

I still say it is illogical to care significantly more about a 28% deduction than a 25% deduction.
by Aptenodytes
Sun Dec 14, 2014 2:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Deductions!
Replies: 31
Views: 2582

Re: Is this a reasonable asset allocation?

Whether the AA is reasonable depends on what the AA is. Your original post provided one morningstar stylebox and a subsequent response provided a very different one. Perhaps you could indicate what the actual morningstar stylebox really is. Did you actually provide an actual target AA as opposed to ...
by Aptenodytes
Sun Dec 14, 2014 12:57 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is this a reasonable asset allocation?
Replies: 14
Views: 1125

Re: Deductions!

Why do you care? Three percentage points on $3k?
by Aptenodytes
Sat Dec 13, 2014 3:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Deductions!
Replies: 31
Views: 2582

Re: Is this a reasonable asset allocation?

Also, there's no point underweighting large-cap only for the sake of overweighting mid-cap, in my view. Your base should be market weights, and if you want to tilt most would recommend tilting to small value.
by Aptenodytes
Sat Dec 13, 2014 2:44 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is this a reasonable asset allocation?
Replies: 14
Views: 1125

Re: Is this a reasonable asset allocation?

Your first post had different style box numbers -- I was going by them.

Anyway, the point is to figure out what you want, have a good reason for it, and then come up with a simple, efficient way to get it. The first can take hours, weeks or months; the second only minutes.
by Aptenodytes
Sat Dec 13, 2014 2:42 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is this a reasonable asset allocation?
Replies: 14
Views: 1125
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