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Re: Maryland 529 Plan Tax Tip

JLJL, Very interesting! I think you posted the wrong link -- this is what you meant for a link: https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=146281 I'm not sure if the state would question the approach of making the spouses beneficiaries AND account holders for themselves. This may or ma...
by BillyG
Thu Apr 16, 2015 6:00 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Maryland 529 Plan Tax Tip
Replies: 3
Views: 384

Maryland 529 Plan Tax Tip

Assuming you are a MD resident funding a Maryland 529 I just noticed a way to double up on tax savings, assuming you have a spouse. (I understand the arguments about fees versus the Vanguard administered plans in other states, but that's a separate subject.) Maryland allows an income exclusion of $2...
by BillyG
Wed Apr 15, 2015 10:31 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Maryland 529 Plan Tax Tip
Replies: 3
Views: 384

Re: Gearing up for big replacement windows project

Mojave, The old paint has lead in it, but that can be dealt with. Old windows are beautiful and refurbishing them takes time but is satisfying. You could start with one window and see how it is put together with the rope tied to pocked weights inside the window jambs. You might want storm windows on...
by BillyG
Fri Apr 10, 2015 10:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gearing up for big replacement windows project
Replies: 35
Views: 2590

Re: Gearing up for big replacement windows project

I highly suggest you don't use Pella windows. They are not very good quality although they do a LOT of advertising to make you think otherwise. When you buy their windows you are paying for that advertising. Their aluminum cladding is roll-formed rather than extruded like Marvin windows -- roll form...
by BillyG
Sun Apr 05, 2015 2:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gearing up for big replacement windows project
Replies: 35
Views: 2590

Re: Anti-virus software on my MAC?

First do what nisiprius said, and second, you should install anti-virus software. I have a friend who is an IT guru and he caught the Ransom virus trying to run on his computer before he installed antivirus. It almost got him but he powered down the computer quickly. Google the Ransom virus if you h...
by BillyG
Tue Feb 17, 2015 12:18 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anti-virus software on my MAC?
Replies: 20
Views: 1345

Re: Has anyone restored windows?

If the windows are in decent shape it would be a real shame to lose those very old windows from an old house. The comments about sealing and insulating around the weight pockets are right on target. Good storm windows will help as well. You'll be dealing with lead paint, but you already know that in...
by BillyG
Tue Feb 17, 2015 12:13 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Has anyone restored windows?
Replies: 25
Views: 2011

Re: Attic Retrofit: Spray Foam Insulation [Updated w Images]

Zadie, that does sound terrible. I've seen the horror stories online but I also know many people who have used it successfully. It should not be sprayed in cold weather or on cold surfaces, even with the heated supply lines. I hope they got rid of the smell. It does smell awful when it is curing. I ...
by BillyG
Mon Feb 16, 2015 5:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Attic Retrofit: Spray Foam Insulation [Updated w Images]
Replies: 50
Views: 5470

Re: Attic Retrofit: Spray Foam Insulation [Updated w Images]

We had open cell foam done in our attic 2 years ago. A few weeks after the install the entire house started smelling like chemicals. They had to come back and rip everything out, by hand. Took 5 guys 5 days. Brutal. I would never do form in a retrofit again. Luckily the installer stood by their wor...
by BillyG
Mon Feb 16, 2015 3:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Attic Retrofit: Spray Foam Insulation [Updated w Images]
Replies: 50
Views: 5470

Re: Attic Retrofit: Spray Foam Insulation [Updated w Images]

Dan,

Congratulations on the great results! It's good to see the extra insulation and your insulation approach are for you. The added comfort is a really big plus that doesn't always show up in the numbers, but it keeps everyone happy at home. :-)

Billy
by BillyG
Mon Feb 16, 2015 3:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Attic Retrofit: Spray Foam Insulation [Updated w Images]
Replies: 50
Views: 5470

Re: soundproofing walls

The advice you received is good. Roxul is good, adding mass as in attaching mass-loaded vinyl sheets over the studs is good, resilient channels are good, double-layer drywall and green glue is good, and you can buy sound-deadening drywall with layers of metal inside but it costs about $100/sheet. Th...
by BillyG
Mon Jan 26, 2015 11:52 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: soundproofing walls
Replies: 13
Views: 1640

Re: Flagship financial planner advice?

I agree with SpringMan....0.3% is not a ridiculous fee to pay for financial advise; it is less than 95% of people in the US pay and the advise is trustworthy. And.....if you pass before the significant other who doesn't want to learn financial planning they can call "The Vanguard Man" and...
by BillyG
Sat Jan 24, 2015 3:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Flagship financial planner advice?
Replies: 54
Views: 5487

Re: Flagship financial planner advice?

I'm sorry, I understand getting guidance for a 0.3% ER. I don't understand the VALUE of getting rebalancing assistance for a 0.3% ER. This "service" costs Vanguard nothing in time or expenses other than the amount they invested in building the spreadsheet or program so I consider 0.3% to b...
by BillyG
Sat Jan 24, 2015 1:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Flagship financial planner advice?
Replies: 54
Views: 5487

Re: Flagship financial planner advice?

I met with VG financial planner and here's what he recommends: 60% stocks (30% US Large cap, 13% US Small cap, 17% international) 40% bonds (30% US short and intermediate, 5% international, 5% US long term) All VG funds and recommended the rebalancing management plan with them with a 0.3% fee. I am...
by BillyG
Sat Jan 24, 2015 11:37 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Flagship financial planner advice?
Replies: 54
Views: 5487

Re: W. Bernstein, WSJ 1/20/2015

And the link: http://www.wsj.com/articles/how-to-tell-if-your-retirement-nest-egg-is-big-enough-1421726456 "So, retirement nest-egg-wise, what constitutes “winning”? Simple: You’ve won when you’ve acquired enough assets to provide your basic living expenses for the rest of your life." Billy
by BillyG
Wed Jan 21, 2015 10:35 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "When you've won the game, stop playing"
Replies: 83
Views: 8942

Re: Major issues with new HSABank.com website

I've been trying to transfer money there for three weeks... I agree the website is disorganized, and my money still hasn't been transferred TO them even though the transferring institution is ready and waiting.
Billy
by BillyG
Thu Jan 08, 2015 6:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Major issues with new HSABank.com website
Replies: 27
Views: 2652

Re: Building a Home/New Technology

Don't use SIPs. They are so 80s... and there are myriad problems. I used to be sold on them but there are too many horror stories. Repairs and rewiring are nightmares. You are better off putting foam panels on the outside. Green Building Advisor is OK but there are some real hacks over there. Much m...
by BillyG
Sat Jan 03, 2015 12:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Building a Home/New Technology
Replies: 46
Views: 3935

Re: Building a Home/New Technology

And a home intercom -- these are very inexpensive and the keypads are connected by CAT5. There are doorbell keypads as well that let you talk with those outside without opening your door. Intercoms are good for kids, for the hard of hearing, or those wanting to preserve their voices. Our alarm insta...
by BillyG
Tue Dec 30, 2014 9:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Building a Home/New Technology
Replies: 46
Views: 3935

Re: Building a Home/New Technology

I second Gardenweb -- their kitchen forum is second to none. Our kitchen is 100 times better than it would have been without the help from ladies at Gardenweb. http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/kitchbath/ OK, I exaggerate. The kitchen is only 20 times better than it would have been. Appliances, too. P...
by BillyG
Tue Dec 30, 2014 8:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Building a Home/New Technology
Replies: 46
Views: 3935

Re: Building a Home/New Technology

We finished a big renovation a few years ago. The most important things you can do relate to the lifetime of your structure, which means preventing moisture and bulk water from entering your structure and becoming trapped there. This means Grace Ice & Water shield on your roof, or at least 6 fee...
by BillyG
Tue Dec 30, 2014 7:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Building a Home/New Technology
Replies: 46
Views: 3935

Re: Camcorder vs. iPhone vs. DSLR Camera

A fourth option is a non-DSLR camera that is very high quality and that you can put in your pocket or purse. Take a look at the Sony RX-100 series. These take fast excellent photos in low light because of the larger image sensor. The videos are nice as well. I've stopped using my DSLR for the most p...
by BillyG
Tue Dec 16, 2014 1:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Camcorder vs. iPhone vs. DSLR Camera
Replies: 39
Views: 2756

Re: Foreign Investors Pile Into Bonds

Does this mean that buying US Treasuries has an aspect that is like buying foreign bonds, but without the currency risk? Just kidding, but about 20% serious... considering that buying U.S. stocks gives you some international exposure to foreign businesses of the U.S. companies, although stock econom...
by BillyG
Tue Dec 16, 2014 12:39 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Foreign Investors Pile Into Bonds
Replies: 2
Views: 626

Foreign Investors Pile Into Bonds

From the WSJ -- Google the title to get non-paying access: http://www.wsj.com/articles/foreign-investors-pile-into-bonds-1418690550?mod=WSJ_hp_LEFTWhatsNewsCollection "Regardless, buying U.S. Treasury bonds has been a winning strategy this year for investors. The debt has a total return, reflec...
by BillyG
Tue Dec 16, 2014 11:16 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Foreign Investors Pile Into Bonds
Replies: 2
Views: 626

Re: Harvey paper says re-balancing adds risk

Browser, That sounds about right. It probably doesn't make much difference except to Bogleheads who overthink and overanalyze on their way to "staying the course." Nothing wrong with that. And you're right that forgetting to rebalance sometimes ends up well in terms of letting momentum wor...
by BillyG
Sat Dec 13, 2014 1:10 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Harvey paper says re-balancing adds risk
Replies: 73
Views: 5341

Re: Harvey paper says re-balancing adds risk

I have yet to hear a good answer as to why the different treatment for rebalancing with new money versus buy/sell existing funds. Billy As far as I'm concerned, you answered the question yourself. There's an expense when buying/selling in both fees and taxes, so unless your portfolio moves way out ...
by BillyG
Sat Dec 13, 2014 12:14 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Harvey paper says re-balancing adds risk
Replies: 73
Views: 5341

Re: Harvey paper says re-balancing adds risk

I have yet to hear a good answer as to why the different treatment for rebalancing with new money versus buy/sell existing funds.
Billy
by BillyG
Fri Dec 12, 2014 9:59 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Harvey paper says re-balancing adds risk
Replies: 73
Views: 5341

Re: Harvey paper says re-balancing adds risk

I have a question. Maybe there's a simple answer but it's escaping me now. Most people agree that it makes sense to rebalance to maintain AA when adding "new money" to a portfolio. Please correct me if I'm wrong that "most people" advise doing this. What is the theoretical or pr...
by BillyG
Fri Dec 12, 2014 12:47 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Harvey paper says re-balancing adds risk
Replies: 73
Views: 5341

Re: Harvey paper says re-balancing adds risk

I have a question. Maybe there's a simple answer but it's escaping me now. Most people agree that it makes sense to rebalance to maintain AA when adding "new money" to a portfolio. Please correct me if I'm wrong that "most people" advise doing this. What is the theoretical or pra...
by BillyG
Fri Dec 12, 2014 12:21 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Harvey paper says re-balancing adds risk
Replies: 73
Views: 5341

Re: Ad hoc travel to Antarctica

Victoria, Thank you for starting another fascinating thread. Before reading this, visiting Antarctica was not high on my list of places to visit. Not that I didn't want to visit but there were other destinations crowding out the view. Now I can't stop thinking about it and the adventure that awaits ...
by BillyG
Tue Dec 09, 2014 4:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ad hoc travel to Antarctica
Replies: 51
Views: 2898

Re: Harvey paper says re-balancing adds risk

when stocks are moving up, rebalancing decreases risk (moving stocks to bonds). When stocks are moving down, rebalancing adds risk (moving bonds to stocks). As pointed out upthread, the goal is to maintain risk at a fairly constant level. You are not getting to the heart of the idea though because ...
by BillyG
Tue Dec 09, 2014 3:58 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Harvey paper says re-balancing adds risk
Replies: 73
Views: 5341

Re: Ad hoc travel to Antarctica

Victoria,

I don't have any direct advice but I find Tripadvisor very helpful in my travels. I looked at the Ushuaia forum and was directed to the Antarctica forum below -- there's a fair amount of information here!
http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g1 ... tures.html

Billy
by BillyG
Mon Dec 08, 2014 6:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ad hoc travel to Antarctica
Replies: 51
Views: 2898

Re: Youngster talented in science and math

For me, model rocketry were the kits I enjoyed the most. After all, what's better than a legitimate way to work with explosives for a teen-age boy. I almost seriously injured myself trying to reload an Estes rocket engine with match heads. I re-loaded Estes model rocket engines, too. I did a scienc...
by BillyG
Mon Dec 08, 2014 10:40 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Youngster talented in science and math
Replies: 47
Views: 3566

Re: Vanguard Gave the Only Honest Rollover Advice (In a Surv

Thanks for the excellent posts Billy. The culture at Vanguard is different because of Jack Bogle's efforts. Thank you again St. Jack. You could have pursued being a billionaire, but you chose to keep costs low and help the individual investor. You are not one of the billionaire Johnsons. Thank you....
by BillyG
Fri Dec 05, 2014 3:17 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Gave the Only Honest Rollover Advice (In a Survey)
Replies: 12
Views: 2141

Re: Vanguard Gave the Only Honest Rollover Advice (In a Surv

Last winter, he called 15 financial-services firms to ask for advice on whether he ought to roll over—or transfer—the retirement money he had saved via a 401(k)-type plan in his prior job at the U.S. Labor Department to an IRA. If the question was exactly as stated, I'm surprised that the reps, inc...
by BillyG
Thu Dec 04, 2014 9:11 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Gave the Only Honest Rollover Advice (In a Survey)
Replies: 12
Views: 2141

Re: Vanguard Gave the Only Honest Rollover Advice (In a Surv

Holy cow. Good for Vanguard. I am really impressed. I try not to be more enthusiastic about Vanguard than they deserve, but that is just great. I agree. It was not by any means a scientific survey, and you never know who will pick up the phone on the other side of an 800 call, but I am impressed to...
by BillyG
Thu Dec 04, 2014 7:31 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Gave the Only Honest Rollover Advice (In a Survey)
Replies: 12
Views: 2141

Re: Stanley Kubrick's 2001 a space odyssey

I loved the movie when it came out. After I set up my home theater it was the first Blu-ray Disc I watched -- and I made my wife and kids watch it with me. Afterwards my kids said "Dad, that was weird" and they looked at me funny. They also don't trust my movie recommendations anymore. Oh ...
by BillyG
Thu Dec 04, 2014 7:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Stanley Kubrick's 2001 a space odyssey
Replies: 66
Views: 6895

Re: Wanted: Investors’ Horror Stories About Advisers

Good point -- I will edit my post to put the warning up front. The link is directly from the WSJ article. As I understand it they are looking for verifiable complaints/stories about advisers, not anonymous stories.
Billy
by BillyG
Thu Dec 04, 2014 6:35 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Wanted: Investors’ Horror Stories About Advisers
Replies: 2
Views: 432

Wanted: Investors’ Horror Stories About Advisers

WSJ article by Karen Damato says: http://blogs.wsj.com/totalreturn/2014/12/04/wanted-investors-horror-stories-about-advisers/?mod=WSJ_hps_sections_yourmoney "The Consumer Federation of America recently launched an online questionnaire seeking investors’ stories. The aim: to help in pushing for ...
by BillyG
Thu Dec 04, 2014 6:24 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Wanted: Investors’ Horror Stories About Advisers
Replies: 2
Views: 432

Vanguard Gave the Only Honest Rollover Advice (In a Survey)

See: Ditch a Super-Cheap 401(k) for an IRA? Sure, IRA Sellers Say http://blogs.wsj.com/totalreturn/2014/12/04/ditch-a-super-cheap-401k-for-an-ira-sure-ira-sellers-say/ "Eleven of the 15 firms—including Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, Wells Fargo, T. Rowe Price Group -- told him to roll the mone...
by BillyG
Thu Dec 04, 2014 5:19 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Gave the Only Honest Rollover Advice (In a Survey)
Replies: 12
Views: 2141

Re: What % of your fixed-income is TIPs?

I'm 60/40 stocks/bonds and 25% of my bond portfolio is in TIPS -- in other words 10% of my total allocation is TIPS in Vanguard's intermediate TIPS fund. I'm not sure if I'll keep the same TIPS ratio if and when I change my asset allocation with age. I guess I have some work to do on my IPS for futu...
by BillyG
Tue Dec 02, 2014 11:38 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What % of your fixed-income is TIPs?
Replies: 71
Views: 3748

Re: Why Bother With Bonds free Kindle download/Nov.21 - Nov.

I bought the book and read it before the free Kindle version became available, and it was well worth it -- a very good book for Bogleheads and those who are not (yet) Bogleheads.
Billy
by BillyG
Sun Nov 23, 2014 11:02 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why Bother With Bonds free Kindle download/Nov.21 - Nov.25
Replies: 26
Views: 3701

Re: Want to Save Money: Be grateful

Good stuff: "Psychologists have long known that negative emotions like anger and fear can alter decisions (often for the worse), but until recently, we haven’t focused on the effects of positive emotions on decision making. The emotion of gratitude, viewed from a cost-benefit perspective, stres...
by BillyG
Sun Nov 23, 2014 10:19 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Want to Save Money: Be grateful
Replies: 11
Views: 3026

Re: New Tony Robbins Book on Financial Freedom

Tony Robbins interview on wsj.com: http://www.wsj.com/video/tony-robbins-on-what-makes-him-angry/D8594FEB-DF3D-4E3D-924B-BA01A43FCCF1.html?mod=trending_now_video_4 You know, when Tony Robbins said he has interviewed the 50 most financially successful people to learn their "secrets" this is...
by BillyG
Fri Nov 21, 2014 3:08 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New Tony Robbins Book on Financial Freedom
Replies: 90
Views: 23318

Re: Bob Brinker portfolio

The fact that his newsletter is called Market[-]Timer should be enough to scream non-Boglehead.
Billy
by BillyG
Tue Nov 18, 2014 10:11 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bob Brinker portfolio
Replies: 45
Views: 8253

Re: Bob Brinker portfolio

I thank everyone who had input. I have learned a lot from this website. Although I have learned a lot about investing, saving and no-load mutual funds from Mr. Brinker, I have decided to follow the BH approach. I have decided to go 70/30 with 4 core fund portfolio based on Rick Ferri's recommendati...
by BillyG
Sun Nov 16, 2014 7:51 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bob Brinker portfolio
Replies: 45
Views: 8253

Re: New Tony Robbins Book on Financial Freedom

There is one thing Tony Robbins is certainly very,very good at.....making money.Like him or not he is also one of the best motivational speakers/life coaches.I bought some of his tapes about 25 years ago.I still remember how he spoke about the need for certainty and uncertainty in our lives,which g...
by BillyG
Sun Nov 16, 2014 10:19 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New Tony Robbins Book on Financial Freedom
Replies: 90
Views: 23318

Re: How to buy "junk" bonds as an individual investor?

If you are thinking of diversifying your portfolio with bonds I suggest you take a look at this book -- it is a quick read -- called "Why Bother With Bonds." http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=149909 You are taking your risk with stocks, and one main purpose of bonds ...
by BillyG
Sun Nov 16, 2014 10:11 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to buy "junk" bonds as an individual investor?
Replies: 24
Views: 1756

Re: New Tony Robbins Book on Financial Freedom

I can not believe that walking on hot coals won't burn your feet. http://www.oprah.com/own-oprahs-next-chapter/Oprah-Walks-on-Fire-Video That's a good video. Investing in individual stocks and active funds will burn you and I suspect that's why a lot of us are here, after getting burned by that fir...
by BillyG
Sat Nov 15, 2014 10:36 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New Tony Robbins Book on Financial Freedom
Replies: 90
Views: 23318

Re: "Why Bother With Bonds" -- A Gem

Bogleheads: Rick Van Ness is a successful private investor and retired executive who provides investor education using online videos, short books, and workshops. Rick has an MBA in Finance and is a valuable contributor to our forum and our wiki. Below are excerpts from his latest book, Why Bother W...
by BillyG
Fri Nov 14, 2014 10:01 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Why Bother With Bonds" -- A Gem
Replies: 33
Views: 9488

Re: Great camera to take pics?

I'll second the others who recommend the Sony RX100. It has a larger image sensor than regular point and shoots although not as big a sensor as DSLRs and micro 4/3 cameras. It takes fabulous photos and you really can put it in your pocket. You cannot put a DSLR or micro 4/3 camera in your pocket, so...
by BillyG
Sun Nov 09, 2014 2:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Great camera to take pics?
Replies: 44
Views: 6366

Re: New Tony Robbins Book on Financial Freedom

Tony Robbins has some good information to share although lot of people are turned off by his style. It is based on research by others and he just repackaged it, doing quite well in the process. About 25 years ago some of his approaches to goal setting and achieving those goals were very helpful to m...
by BillyG
Mon Nov 03, 2014 10:46 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New Tony Robbins Book on Financial Freedom
Replies: 90
Views: 23318
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