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Re: Employer Reimbursing Health Insurance Premiums - Taxable

I have individual health insurance that is medically underwritten. It is considered a "grandfathered plan" under the ACA. My employer has been reimbursing me for the premiums of this plan. Historically, this was done pre-tax. The premium reimbursements were not disclosed on my w-2. My emp...
by G-Money
Tue Oct 21, 2014 3:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Employer Reimbursing Health Insurance Premiums - Taxable???
Replies: 12
Views: 607

Re: Employer Reimbursing Health Insurance Premiums - Taxable

It seems that the rules don't apply to plans with fewer than two active employees: " In accordance with Code § 9831(a)(2) and ERISA § 732(a), the market reforms do not apply to a group health plan that has fewer than two participants who are current employees on the first day of the plan year&...
by G-Money
Tue Oct 21, 2014 1:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Employer Reimbursing Health Insurance Premiums - Taxable???
Replies: 12
Views: 607

Re: Employer Reimbursing Health Insurance Premiums - Taxable

pshonore wrote:More info if you're an active employee:

https://news.leavitt.com/health-care-re ... rohibited/

Thanks. No mention of grandfathered individual market plans, but perhaps that's intentional.
by G-Money
Tue Oct 21, 2014 1:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Employer Reimbursing Health Insurance Premiums - Taxable???
Replies: 12
Views: 607

Re: Employer Reimbursing Health Insurance Premiums - Taxable

From that same article: "IRS on its website said if an employer pays the cost of an accident or health insurance plan — outside payment from a retirement plan — for employees and their spouse and dependents, the payments are not wages and are not subject to Social Security; Medicare; or federa...
by G-Money
Tue Oct 21, 2014 1:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Employer Reimbursing Health Insurance Premiums - Taxable???
Replies: 12
Views: 607

Re: Employer Reimbursing Health Insurance Premiums - Taxable

When I looked into this as an employer, I came to the same conclusion, that it is taxable income. Remember, this costs the employer more (as well as costing you more), so it is not something he wants any more than you do. There may be workarounds (eg cafeteria plans), but that is beyond me. Thanks ...
by G-Money
Tue Oct 21, 2014 11:58 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Employer Reimbursing Health Insurance Premiums - Taxable???
Replies: 12
Views: 607

Employer Reimbursing Health Insurance Premiums - Taxable???

I have individual health insurance that is medically underwritten. It is considered a "grandfathered plan" under the ACA. My employer has been reimbursing me for the premiums of this plan. Historically, this was done pre-tax. The premium reimbursements were not disclosed on my w-2. My empl...
by G-Money
Tue Oct 21, 2014 10:48 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Employer Reimbursing Health Insurance Premiums - Taxable???
Replies: 12
Views: 607

Re: Dumb CD question

Call_Me_Op wrote:Interestingly, my credit union offers a 5 year CD with no early withdrawal penalty.

That is interesting. Are you sure that CU allows early redemptions?
by G-Money
Mon Oct 20, 2014 7:13 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Dumb CD question
Replies: 10
Views: 895

Re: Dumb CD question

If your holding period was 21 months, you'd come out ahead using the 21 month CD and not the 34 or 60 month. I use the spreadsheet at the bottom of this wiki page to run the math. http://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Comparing_CDs
by G-Money
Mon Oct 20, 2014 7:11 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Dumb CD question
Replies: 10
Views: 895

Re: TBM too much treasury?

Look past that single sentence in the Bogleheads philosophy. We have a bigger tent here than that. You can overweight asset classes (think the many threads on tilting and slice-and-dice) or shun them altogether (not just HY; a non-negligible portion don't even invest in international equities, and ...
by G-Money
Thu Oct 16, 2014 3:04 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TBM too much treasury?
Replies: 67
Views: 4170

Re: TBM too much treasury?

As a thought experiment, I am curious what a 'Total Capital Market' fund would look like. A fund that holds stocks (common and preferred; domestic and international) and bonds (government and corporate; safe and junk; domestic and international) in their proportion to total market capitalization. F...
by G-Money
Thu Oct 16, 2014 2:47 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TBM too much treasury?
Replies: 67
Views: 4170

Re: TBM too much treasury?

Fair enough, you can exclude any sector of any market from your portfolio for any reason you wish. I could exclude railroad companies from my portfolio because I don't like trains, but my reason would not be based on Boglehead principles. The difference is I quoted language from the Boglehead Wiki ...
by G-Money
Thu Oct 16, 2014 2:46 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TBM too much treasury?
Replies: 67
Views: 4170

Re: TBM too much treasury?

Thus, if the overall bond market allocates some value to high yield bonds, why are Bogleheads "trying to pick the specific securities or sectors of the market" by excluding the bond market allocation to high yield bonds? In addition to the reasons eloquently stated by ogd, I would also su...
by G-Money
Thu Oct 16, 2014 2:08 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TBM too much treasury?
Replies: 67
Views: 4170

Re: TBM too much treasury?

Thus, if the overall bond market allocates some value to high yield bonds, why are Bogleheads "trying to pick the specific securities or sectors of the market" by excluding the bond market allocation to high yield bonds? In addition to the reasons eloquently stated by ogd, I would also su...
by G-Money
Thu Oct 16, 2014 1:55 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TBM too much treasury?
Replies: 67
Views: 4170

Re: Any reason not to buy the International Bond Index Fund?

On the other hand, I don't think an allocation to VTABX will result in any great harm, either.
by G-Money
Tue Oct 14, 2014 10:36 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Any reason not to buy the International Bond Index Fund?
Replies: 15
Views: 1848

Re: Any reason not to buy the International Bond Index Fund?

Higher fees, higher risk, questionable benefit. That's my reasoning, too. VTABX (Total International Bond Admiral) has a higher ER, lower credit quality, and longer average duration than VBTLX (Total Bond Admiral). But there yield is nearly 100 bp lower than VBTLX. So VTABX offers more risk than VB...
by G-Money
Tue Oct 14, 2014 10:35 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Any reason not to buy the International Bond Index Fund?
Replies: 15
Views: 1848

Re: Vanguard sued for charging too little

G-Money, what is your opinion on this lawsuit? Do you think the client-ownership structure is at risk? I don't have an opinion. Not a corporate/tax attorney, so really have no idea what the issues are and whether there's any merit to the claim. Not following the case with great interest; just happe...
by G-Money
Mon Aug 25, 2014 6:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard sued for charging too little
Replies: 187
Views: 22121

Re: Vanguard sued for charging too little

"Danon left Sullivan & Cromwell after four years, then worked at three other Wall Street firms over the next six years. Such firm-hopping at big law shops, Colon says, is common" I wonder if "firm-hopping" is actually that common. Three firms in six years? Yes, it is. Partic...
by G-Money
Mon Aug 25, 2014 5:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard sued for charging too little
Replies: 187
Views: 22121

Re: Vanguard sued for charging too little

Danon has let his bar association memberships lapse... Whoa. Why did he do that? My guess is the rest of the sentence answers the question: . . . and he said he didn't expect to work as a corporate tax lawyer again. Was he expecting the bar association to begin disciplinary action against him, and ...
by G-Money
Mon Aug 25, 2014 5:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard sued for charging too little
Replies: 187
Views: 22121

Re: WSJ/Zweig- The Decline and Fall of Fund Managers

I have sense of deja vu here. Zweig says In an article in the latest issue of the well-respected Financial Analysts Journal, Mr. Ellis argues that fund managers equipped with sophisticated analytical tools, electronic trading and instantaneous access to news are engaged in an arms race resulting in...
by G-Money
Sat Aug 23, 2014 7:32 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: WSJ/Zweig- The Decline and Fall of Fund Managers
Replies: 21
Views: 2576

Re: TIPS: a separate Bond category?

I see where you're coming from, but I choose "C. Doesn't matter." Seriously. You're looking at a difference of 3.33% for each bond within your bond allocation depending on whether you choose A or B. Assuming a 60/40 stock/bond portfolio, that's the difference between having a bond allocati...
by G-Money
Thu Aug 14, 2014 8:59 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TIPS: a separate Bond category?
Replies: 13
Views: 1390

Re: Going 60+% international? (US resident)

Which is it: you want to replicate global weightings, or you want to chase valuations?

If the former, 50/50 is the global weight: https://personal.vanguard.com/us/funds/ ... =INT#tab=2

If the latter, good luck.
by G-Money
Fri Aug 08, 2014 11:16 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Going 60+% international? (US resident)
Replies: 83
Views: 6189

Re: Refinance to include student loans?

A refi probably doesn't make sense, since you are unlikely to get a better rate than 3.75% without paying lots of closing costs. Perhaps consider a Home Equity Loan or HELOC to pay off the student loan. HELOC rates are typically variable, bit the rate should be much lower, closing costs should be mi...
by G-Money
Tue Aug 05, 2014 2:03 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance to include student loans?
Replies: 5
Views: 546

Re: With Rates Likes These, Why Would Anyone Go for a Mortga

Because the Prime rate is variable, while traditional (fixed rate) mortgages are not.
by G-Money
Tue Jul 29, 2014 10:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: With Rates Likes These, Why Would Anyone Go for a Mortgage?
Replies: 12
Views: 2913

Re: In your opinion, who is in a riskier financial position?

Just because you are less risky than someone on the edge of catastrophe, does not mean you are not risky and should not improve your financial position to a more rational position. You also gave person B a $50k increase in Networth over person A in the scenario. Also, many people do not like the id...
by G-Money
Thu Jul 24, 2014 10:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: In your opinion, who is in a riskier financial position?
Replies: 36
Views: 3032

Re: In your opinion, who is in a riskier financial position?

Person A. Person A has MUCH less liquidity. Indeed, it appears Person A only has liquid assets of $5,000, with no ability to borrow. Person B has greater net assets, and more importantly, the assets are liquid. A $20,000 emergency would appear to be disastrous for Person A, but Person B could manage...
by G-Money
Thu Jul 24, 2014 4:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: In your opinion, who is in a riskier financial position?
Replies: 36
Views: 3032

Re: Bond funds- your percentage of intermediate vs. short-te

1. The Vanguard target Retirement Fund has an allocation to short-term TIPS. So do the 2010 and 2015 Target Retirement Funds. 2. I don't have an allocation to short-term bond funds. If you want low- or no-risk fixed income, it has been my experience that CDs and bank savings accounts offer better ra...
by G-Money
Tue Jul 22, 2014 6:24 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bond funds- your percentage of intermediate vs. short-term?
Replies: 12
Views: 1217

Re: Joel Greenblatt's "magic formula"

(the web site to utilize per book, so far free) had funny piece on it in the March 07 Personal Finance edition, pg. 10. The editor basically relayed the correspondence of a reader who followed the web site and its numerous choices. The reader's actual results turned out to be quite poor esp. compar...
by G-Money
Mon Jul 21, 2014 9:00 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Joel Greenblatt's "magic formula"
Replies: 22
Views: 5449

Re: how often do you look at your account

DFrank wrote:Quarterly.

Same here. When my paper statements come in the mail.
by G-Money
Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:15 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: how often do you look at your account
Replies: 70
Views: 3777

Re: Question on Vanguard Balanced Funds

The LifeStrategy fund has international stocks and international bonds to go along with the domestic equities and bonds it holds. The Balanced Fund does not.
by G-Money
Tue Jul 08, 2014 10:00 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Question on Vanguard Balanced Funds
Replies: 10
Views: 1236

Re: Want international exposure? You already have it.

I've never understood on what scale you measure "diversification". Is it a linear scale that is a function of the raw number of economic entities I own a piece of? How many large multinational auto companies, pharmaceutical companies, banks, and so forth do I need to own to be "diver...
by G-Money
Mon Jul 07, 2014 10:58 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Want international exposure? You already have it.
Replies: 65
Views: 6517

Re: Want international exposure? You already have it.

Diversification is a simple and practical solution for an uncertain future. If you are certain that international diversification will not provide a material benefit over a US only allocation, then obviously you don't need to diversify internationally. I am not so certain, so I diversify internation...
by G-Money
Mon Jul 07, 2014 9:09 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Want international exposure? You already have it.
Replies: 65
Views: 6517

Re: Slice and dice and tilting the market

David Swensen recommends a tilt on the domestic side to REITs, not SCV, and his last recommendation was to split international 60/40 developed/emerging. So that's a slice&dice/tilt that doesn't directly incorporate FF factors. Your portfolio looks like a somewhat simplified version of the Aronso...
by G-Money
Mon Jun 23, 2014 1:27 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Slice and dice and tilting the market
Replies: 14
Views: 1080

Re: VAIPX versus VBTLX: compare theorectical expected return

Maybe someone can expound in more detail, but I think, naively, that the expected return of a bond fund is best estimated by the current SEC yield. That would be a nominal yield for total bond and a real yield for TIPS. One would have to reconcile the two by having an expectation for inflation. Yes...
by G-Money
Thu Jun 19, 2014 10:20 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VAIPX versus VBTLX: compare theorectical expected return
Replies: 5
Views: 351

Re: VAIPX versus VBLTX: compare theorectical expected return

VBLTX = Vanguard Long-Term Bond Index VBTLX = Vanguard Total Bond Index Assuming OP meant VBLTX, that fund is riskier. It has a longer average duration, so greater term risk. It is about 40% corporates, so more credit risk. And VBLTX invests in nominal bonds, so it has inflation risk that VAIPX obvi...
by G-Money
Thu Jun 19, 2014 9:17 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VAIPX versus VBTLX: compare theorectical expected return
Replies: 5
Views: 351

Re: Mortgages/Black Swans/Larry Portfolio/Antifragility

If you want to make A and B more similar in risk, if you assume that stocks and real estate are equally risky (which you appear to do in the OP), just do the following: Investor A has $450,000 in stocks, $200,000 in bonds, and rents. Investor B has $0 in stocks, $600,000 in bonds, a $550,000 house, ...
by G-Money
Fri Jun 13, 2014 12:06 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Mortgages/Black Swans/Larry Portfolio/Antifragility
Replies: 27
Views: 1830

Re: Mortgages/Black Swans/Larry Portfolio/Antifragility

Of course "B" is riskier. B is leveraged, A is not. So in up markets, A can expect to do better, and in down markets, B can expect to do better. B has higher expected returns to compensate for the increased risk.
by G-Money
Fri Jun 13, 2014 12:01 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Mortgages/Black Swans/Larry Portfolio/Antifragility
Replies: 27
Views: 1830

Re: Blue Line Jumps 11 Percent

We need to make this thread actionable. Should I buy more Blue? Or sell now since valuations are so high?
by G-Money
Thu Jun 12, 2014 11:15 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Blue Line Jumps 11 Percent
Replies: 5
Views: 749

Re: Diversification apply to portfolios as well??

Diversifying model portfolios also could get a little cumbersome, given how many are out there: http://whitecoatinvestor.com/150-portfo ... han-yours/ :twisted:

If only they made an index fund that tracked all of the model portfolios relative to their prevalence . . . :wink:
by G-Money
Tue Jun 10, 2014 5:31 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Diversification apply to portfolios as well??
Replies: 20
Views: 831

Re: Diversification apply to portfolios as well??

Portfolios are not assets, nor are they asset classes. Diversification at the asset level makes sense to avoid idiosyncratic risk. For example, you would not want to put all of your savings in a single stock or bond from a company because there are all sorts of risks that could be unique to that com...
by G-Money
Tue Jun 10, 2014 5:30 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Diversification apply to portfolios as well??
Replies: 20
Views: 831

Re: VTMGX vs. VTIAX [Vanguard Developed Markets vs. Total In

If you want to keep your portfolio as simple as possible, skip the slices that are just 5% of equity. Those will barely move the needle. I vote for Total International. The only reason I'd hold Developed Markets is if I wanted to slice and dice between developed and emerging, or if I had some reason...
by G-Money
Wed Jun 04, 2014 1:15 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VTMGX vs. VTIAX [Vanguard Developed Markets vs. Total Int'l]
Replies: 8
Views: 632

Re: Corp bond question (Ang's online textbook)

Why does the Sharpe ratio of an asset class in isolation matter? To the extent Sharpe ratio is at all meaningful, wouldn't it be much more important to know the Sharpe ratio of your entire portfolio? This is where the answer lies. In Four Pillars Bill Bernstein uses short term corporate bonds in hi...
by G-Money
Tue Jun 03, 2014 10:46 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Corp bond question (Ang's online textbook)
Replies: 7
Views: 598

Re: Tilting the Three-Fund Portfolio

Personally not a fan. I like LifeStrategy and Target Retirement funds as one fund solutions. Less so when it comes to mixing with other funds to tilt. Biggest problem: It would take me more than 1 second to determine how much of my portfolio was in each asset class. How much would be in internationa...
by G-Money
Tue Jun 03, 2014 7:03 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Tilting the Three-Fund Portfolio
Replies: 8
Views: 1438

Re: Corp bond question (Ang's online textbook)

Why does the Sharpe ratio of an asset class in isolation matter? To the extent Sharpe ratio is at all meaningful, wouldn't it be much more important to know the Sharpe ratio of your entire portfolio? Corporate bonds may have better risk-adjusted returns, but my understanding is they are also more hi...
by G-Money
Tue Jun 03, 2014 6:53 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Corp bond question (Ang's online textbook)
Replies: 7
Views: 598

Re: Moving 1.5 bedrooms 400 miles

Is the stuff worth the cost of moving? When I moved (admittedly, a much longer distance), I determined it was cheaper to just sell my furniture and buy new stuff in my new city. I wasn't particularly attached to any of the furniture. Perhaps the closer distance makes it worthwhile to move rather tha...
by G-Money
Thu May 29, 2014 9:20 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Moving 1.5 bedrooms 400 miles
Replies: 19
Views: 1120

Re: Jack Bogle - International Bonds

abuss368 wrote:I would take it you have no plans to invest in this asset class? Taxable bonds and TIPS?

Not now. Total (domestic) bond in 401(k) and higher-yielding CDs in Roth for me.
by G-Money
Tue May 27, 2014 12:46 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Jack Bogle - International Bonds
Replies: 57
Views: 3270

Re: Jack Bogle - International Bonds

As to the question, why shouldn't I drop the global weight of non US bonds from 65% ish (last I checked US was roughly 35% of global bond market) to ZERO?.... I have to answer with questions.... what do you know that the market does not? Why do you expect the US to do well while the rest of the wor...
by G-Money
Tue May 27, 2014 12:45 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Jack Bogle - International Bonds
Replies: 57
Views: 3270

Re: Jack Bogle - International Bonds

I always pay attention when Jack Bogle speaks. What did he mean by "they have hedging costs"? The performance of the international bond is in a currency of a different country. Vanguard invests in currency contracts to convert that performance in foreign currency back into US Dollars. Thi...
by G-Money
Tue May 27, 2014 12:31 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Jack Bogle - International Bonds
Replies: 57
Views: 3270

Re: Do you need international bonds?

Thank you, Rick. I had a feeling I was missing something. If I understand your post correctly, there's very little advantage to invest in international bonds now, at least hedged funds. Foreign bonds are yielding significantly less than domestic bonds of similar duration and credit risk. As you note...
by G-Money
Mon May 26, 2014 3:45 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do you need international bonds?
Replies: 29
Views: 2919

Re: Do you need international bonds?

Thanks Rick and Larry. I'm struggling to figure out if anyone can hedge cheaply. The Vanguard fund has over $23 billion in assets, which seems like a lot to me. So I would figure if anyone could hedge cheaply, Vanguard could. But I look at the difference in SEC yield between Total International Bond...
by G-Money
Mon May 26, 2014 2:52 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do you need international bonds?
Replies: 29
Views: 2919

Re: Total International Bond Index Fund - does it have a pla

But while VBILX has an SEC yield (which is a close approximation of it's expected return) of 2.56%, the international bond fund has an SEC yield of 1.42%. A spread of 114 basis points for similarly risky bond funds is, IMO, huge. I think of it this way: if one FDIC-insured bank a block away from yo...
by G-Money
Mon May 26, 2014 2:41 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Total International Bond Index Fund - does it have a place
Replies: 6
Views: 512
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