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by Garco
Mon May 25, 2015 12:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 36 Years Old With No Investments
Replies: 12
Views: 2064

Re: 36 Years Old With No Investments

The one thing that alarms me is that the OP mentions the ages of the three children but doesn't propose setting aside money for college costs. While a couple of posters referred to setting up 529 plans, I hope the OP's analysis goes further than that. He may find himself with a lot of money 15 years...
by Garco
Mon May 25, 2015 11:52 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Plan for Asset Allocation changes with age
Replies: 14
Views: 901

Re: Plan for Asset Allocation changes with age

I'd like to borrow a term from theories of evolution: punctuated equilibrium. As I have moved from young investor, to mid-career, to pre-retirement, and now retirement stages, my AA changed with my self-definition of my financial and work status. Of course, I read the literature, including the vario...
by Garco
Mon May 25, 2015 11:51 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Plan for Asset Allocation changes with age
Replies: 14
Views: 901

Re: Plan for Asset Allocation changes with age

--**DELETE DUPLICATE ENTRY8**--
by Garco
Fri May 15, 2015 8:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Am I a Millionaire???
Replies: 53
Views: 6362

Re: Am I a Millionaire???

Being a millionaire ain't what it used to be. When Marilyn Monroe starred in the film "How to Marry a Millionaire" in 1953, and the old TV series "Millionaire" was on the air during the "Golden Age of Television" in 1955-1960 THAT's when being a millionaire was really s...
by Garco
Thu May 14, 2015 10:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone went to top 10 business school? Got a 730 on GMAT. Thoughts?
Replies: 20
Views: 2906

Re: Anyone went to top 10 business school? Got a 730 on GMAT. Thoughts?

To the OP: You're getting good advice about work experience: 3-5 years, progressive responsibility, problem solving and creativity . Your GMAT makes you "eligible," but you need a story-line, and I don't see it yet. Go to the website of 3 or 4 top MBA programs. Look at the application form...
by Garco
Wed May 13, 2015 3:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Total beginner needs advice
Replies: 16
Views: 1964

Re: Total beginner needs advice

Good decision. Keep on keeping it simple. Focus on your career, not your investing.
by Garco
Wed May 13, 2015 2:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Poll: Increasing international equities
Replies: 70
Views: 5575

Re: Poll: Increasing international equities

As that old joke goes, I have predicted 5 of the last 2 turns in the international stock market. I stay with international allocations of 25-35% in my various equities accounts. Sometimes I win. Sometimes I lose. Steady as she goes.
by Garco
Wed May 13, 2015 11:12 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Advice: Especially with TIAA Real Estate
Replies: 21
Views: 944

Re: Portfolio Advice: Especially with TIAA Real Estate

Because of TREA's special characteristics I also treat it (as does TIAA-CREF) as a distinct asset class -- no matter that, as I wrote earlier on this thread -- it is technically a form of equity holding. I think the idea of assuming that TREA is 50-50 stocks vs. fixed income is OK if you're trying t...
by Garco
Tue May 12, 2015 12:03 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Advice: Especially with TIAA Real Estate
Replies: 21
Views: 944

Re: Portfolio Advice: Especially with TIAA Real Estate

I also treat TREA as if it was not equities, though technically it involves ownership shares (units) in real estate property -- I.e., it's not a bond. Nonetheless TREA behaves differently from stocks and has a low correlation with stock market performance. In your reckoning I wouldn't include TREA i...
by Garco
Sat May 09, 2015 2:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Stop contributions to retirement accts due to future RMDs
Replies: 77
Views: 5428

Re: Stop contributions to retirement accts due to future RMDs

What an investor should do nowadays is different from what an investor should have done previously. I never had an option NOT to contribute to my 401k while I was employed. And I never had a built-in employer arranged Roth option in that 401k. And since I stayed employed right up til the year I had ...
by Garco
Mon May 04, 2015 11:53 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Best Time of Year to Rebalance Portfolio?
Replies: 54
Views: 4061

Re: Best Time of Year to Rebalance Portfolio?

Deadwood wrote:I find rebalancing each year on my birthday works well :happy

So your birthday works well, eh? Would you mind sharing the date with the rest of us? :wink:
by Garco
Mon May 04, 2015 10:02 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Best Time of Year to Rebalance Portfolio?
Replies: 54
Views: 4061

Re: Best Time of Year to Rebalance Portfolio?

My approach is totally subjective but also "behavioral." By reserving the end of year as the time when I rebalance, I reduce the chances that I will fiddle around with my allocations in response to short-term news or random shifts in the marketplace (I do follow the financial news). By and...
by Garco
Sun May 03, 2015 11:35 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Will I want to/need to annuitize assets at TIAA-CREF?
Replies: 16
Views: 757

Re: CREF Stock v. Fidelity Spartan 500?

To the OP, I think you have a "defined contribution plan," not "defined benefit plan." I agree with the Wizard. Also, cost aside, you should also realize that CREF Stock is about 30% international, so it can't be directly compared with straight U.S. only portfolios (S&P 500 o...
by Garco
Fri May 01, 2015 7:28 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retirees - What would you have done differently?
Replies: 48
Views: 6566

Re: Retirees - What would you have done differently?

At age 47 (2010), I had been retired for 2 years. So, I wouldn't have done anything differently to mess that up. :happy I was a full Professor by age 40- then I spent the next 17 years trying to convince people that it really was a job. :happy Anyone who thinks a tenured professor doesn't have a jo...
by Garco
Thu Apr 30, 2015 2:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Total beginner needs advice
Replies: 16
Views: 1964

Re: Total beginner needs advice

The statement above that international has underperformed "lately" is incorrect. Of course this may depend on what "lately" means. I have 25-35% of my equities in international: VTSNX and other broad based international funds.
by Garco
Thu Apr 30, 2015 11:27 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: dollar cost averaging at present high price levels
Replies: 22
Views: 2783

Re: dollar cost averaging at present high price levels

Stifle those suicidal thoughts. When I reflect back on what happened to the stock market over my DCA course, from 1975 to 2014, I know that there was nothing better that I did financially than stay the DCA course. Never mind that it was my employer who kept me to the straight and true course. In mid...
by Garco
Wed Apr 29, 2015 10:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retirees - What would you have done differently?
Replies: 48
Views: 6566

Re: Retirees - What would you have done differently?

When I was 47, I was at the busiest stage of my career. I had a good DC retirement plan, contributing 15% per month of a constantly increasing salary. I never changed my asset allocation. I had two kids who would be going to college within the next 10 years, and I was putting money away for that. No...
by Garco
Tue Apr 28, 2015 9:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Asset allocation portfolio program with TIAA CREF?
Replies: 8
Views: 429

Re: Asset allocation portfolio program with TIAA CREF?

Thank you! I'll try that. It also couldn't work for CREF Bond Market and CREF Social Choice. The X-ray version I used was the one you get with TD Ameritrade. I don't know if that makes a difference. If you "don't know," why not go directly to the M* website and find out? I can assure it i...
by Garco
Tue Apr 28, 2015 8:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Asset allocation portfolio program with TIAA CREF?
Replies: 8
Views: 429

Re: Asset allocation portfolio program with TIAA CREF?

sawhorse wrote:
dodecahedron wrote:Ticker for TIAA real estate is QREARX.

Yes but it doesn't work in the X-ray.


Try it again. It works for me in M* Instant X-Ray.
by Garco
Tue Apr 21, 2015 2:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: move retirement plan from VALIC to Vanguard ?
Replies: 4
Views: 436

Re: move retirement plan from VALIC to Vanguard ?

Definitely, a switch to Vanguard or Fidelity is in order. Your friend can probably create approximately equivalent and approximately cost efficient portfolios in either one. A question is whether both the VG or Fido plans offers access to investments from other companies, and which funds -- in TRP, ...
by Garco
Tue Apr 14, 2015 9:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Raiding Taxable to Max Out Tax-Deferred Space
Replies: 18
Views: 1211

Re: Raiding Taxable to Max Out Tax-Deferred Space

I think your broad strategy is reasonable, to pack cash into tax deferred. I would also especially pay attention to good opportunities to expand your Roth contributions, to reduce the tax hit that will surely come down the road. I'm not clear how many years you expect to be $50K in the hole. But it'...
by Garco
Sun Apr 12, 2015 3:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The $1 Million Goal: Source of Motivation or Discouragement?
Replies: 172
Views: 16436

Re: The $1 Million Goal: Source of Motivation or Discouragem

My parents bought a home for $39.5K in Los Angeles area in 1961 (yes, same reference point when they would have been very happy indeed if they'd been gifted with $1M while they still had 5 children to get through college). That house sold in 2013 for $875K. It wasn't beach property. But it was a gre...
by Garco
Sun Apr 12, 2015 2:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The $1 Million Goal: Source of Motivation or Discouragement?
Replies: 172
Views: 16436

Re: The $1 Million Goal: Source of Motivation or Discouragem

I don't understand the fascination with $1 million as a goal. Yes, it's a nice sum to have. But a million dollars ain't what it used to be, back when I was growing up in the 1960's and the TV show "Millionaire" was popular. A guy named Michael Tipton shows up on your doorstep out of the b...
by Garco
Sun Apr 12, 2015 12:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The $1 Million Goal: Source of Motivation or Discouragement?
Replies: 172
Views: 16436

Re: The $1 Million Goal: Source of Motivation or Discouragem

I don't understand the fascination with $1 million as a goal. Yes, it's a nice sum to have. But a million dollars ain't what it used to be, back when I was growing up in the 1960's and the TV show "Millionaire" was popular. A guy named Michael Tipton shows up on your doorstep out of the bl...
by Garco
Sun Apr 12, 2015 12:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: International Investing
Replies: 65
Views: 4453

Re: International Investing

If you do an M* X-Ray on VTSNX (total international), you'll see that ~40% of its holdings are in Asia. Same for RERGX (AF Europacific) (I own both of these funds). The latter is a bit more into EM within Asia. But I like them both as investments in world economic development. My own "total int...
by Garco
Mon Apr 06, 2015 7:54 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Did you learn anything from 2008?
Replies: 105
Views: 9059

Re: Did you learn anything from 2008?

I "learned" that although nearly 100% of my lifetime savings were locked into a 401k, there was relatively little that I could do about my accumulation when the crash hit. I had no investments in taxable accounts. Also, since I still had a well-paying job anything that was happening to my ...
by Garco
Fri Apr 03, 2015 9:23 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How did your 401k and IRA do 1st quarter?
Replies: 28
Views: 1995

Re: How did your 401k and IRA do 1st quarter?

Just fine. My main retirement fund was up 2.6% (PRR -- personal rate of return, i.e., not counting contributions or subtractions from outside). 3-year 10.2%, 5-year 10.2%, since January 2009 12.2% (PRR). I did reposition my portfolio AA more toward international at end of 2014 (in line with some dis...
by Garco
Thu Apr 02, 2015 7:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: how often do you check performance?
Replies: 70
Views: 5057

Re: how often do you check performance?

For the first 20 years in which I contributed to a retirement fund, I essentially never actively checked the performance of my account -- but the manager of the fund sent quarterly and annual reports that I did glance at and file. I also never once changed my initial 75-25 contribution ratio for tha...
by Garco
Sun Mar 29, 2015 11:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How many of you invest in individual stocks?
Replies: 70
Views: 5286

Re: How many of you invest in individual stocks?

I own a handful of individual stocks, all of which I inherited. I sold a few but kept a few that had substantial capital gains since the stepped up date. I'm not sure when, if ever, I will sell these stocks. They make up only about 3% of my portfolio's value.
by Garco
Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where to put 20k for an emergency?
Replies: 6
Views: 1093

Re: Where to put 20k for an emergency?

I have 3 locations for emergency funds: 1) Fidelity Cash Account (earning bupkis at this time). (Insured) 2) Credit union savings and MMF + additional cash balance in checking (earning bupkis). (Insured) 3) HELOC (credit union). I have no current HELOC balance but have a $60K LOC, so there is no imm...
by Garco
Wed Mar 25, 2015 4:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TIPS versus TIAA Trad for fixed-income ?
Replies: 14
Views: 900

Re: TIPS versus TIAA Trad for fixed-income ?

" I am deferring a decision on annuitization until I reach my early 70's, perhaps 73. And then, to allow for inflation, I would probably annuitize in 2 or 3 tranches, say age 73 and 76." Perhaps a stupid question, but you just intend to take the RMD's from 70 until you annuitize? Yes, tha...
by Garco
Wed Mar 25, 2015 2:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TIPS versus TIAA Trad for fixed-income ?
Replies: 14
Views: 900

Re: TIPS versus TIAA Trad for fixed-income ?

To the OP: I also hold money in Traditional in a TIAA RA. The vintage system does work to your advantage if you annuitize, but so does your age (independent of the payout rates of your vintages). I am deferring a decision on annuitization until I reach my early 70's, perhaps 73. And then, to allow f...
by Garco
Mon Mar 23, 2015 4:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Grad School - Max out Roth IRA or use for tuition?
Replies: 10
Views: 1022

Re: Grad School - Max out Roth IRA or use for tuition?

Vote: (D) due to the high rate, I'd pay the tuition instead of a ROTH funding. 7.2% is a terrible rate in the current environment. Also note you must have *earned* income to fund a ROTH. Often teaching stipends are not earned income. You can tell if income is earned or unearned based on the form it...
by Garco
Sun Mar 22, 2015 2:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tricky-to-categorize assets
Replies: 11
Views: 488

Re: Tricky-to-categorize assets

Interesting problem. When categorizing my assets, I start with the different accounts, defined by purpose and legal/tax status rather than AA. Specifically, I have 5 "retirement accounts" (403b, 457b, etc.), and I have two "taxable accounts." The specific asset allocations -- and...
by Garco
Thu Mar 19, 2015 10:33 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with retirement portfolio
Replies: 4
Views: 636

Re: Help with retirement portfolio

@bmoran: I haven't wrapped my mind about your complex investments. But one thing to keep in mind about income vs. total return investing is that once you begin to take your required minimum distributions at age 70, in my opinion it doesn't matter much how you think about that with regard to your tax...
by Garco
Mon Mar 16, 2015 1:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice wanted re inherited stocks etc
Replies: 6
Views: 879

Re: Experienced advice wanted re inherited stocks etc

I agree with Wagnerjb: pay off the student loan immediately. Your plan to max out your 403b is a good one, substituting taxable cash from the inheritance for the foregone income from salary. You might consider doing this every year. Also you could consider other steps of this kind. When I received i...
by Garco
Tue Mar 10, 2015 11:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Evaluating new job offer and 401k plan
Replies: 30
Views: 2619

Re: Evaluating new job offer and 401k plan

Just 2 points. 1. You're young. Take the most interesting or challenging job. 2. If being involved in an interesting startup engages you it does not matter that you may have 60 hr weeks. That's what new ventures are about. If you're also getting part ownership, you should be putting in extra time. Y...
by Garco
Sun Mar 08, 2015 3:10 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New 401k portfolio
Replies: 6
Views: 696

Re: New 401k portfolio

I like the 4-fund proposal and the percentage allocation to each one. I also encourage the 75% stock allocation. This is very close to what I did at your age. I stayed with 75% contributions for next 20 years!
by Garco
Wed Mar 04, 2015 1:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Backpedaling: Rising Equity Allocation During Retirement
Replies: 38
Views: 4050

Re: Backpedaling: Rising Equity Allocation During Retiremen

It's more complex than that, but basically that's fair. My "stash" is actually invested in two ways, some just for inflation protection, some for total return. It also "insures itself" in that I draw the LTCI premiums from it, as a form of wealth insurance. My "retirement fu...
by Garco
Wed Mar 04, 2015 1:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Backpedaling: Rising Equity Allocation During Retirement
Replies: 38
Views: 4050

Re: Backpedaling: Rising Equity Allocation During Retiremen

Yes. But both in the comments of Pfau's that are linked, plus his response to a question, he seems unwilling to offer any default recommendation for those who are not able to carefully design a plan that incorporates their own risk acceptance/aversion or initial conditions (interest rate environmen...
by Garco
Wed Mar 04, 2015 1:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Backpedaling: Rising Equity Allocation During Retirement
Replies: 38
Views: 4050

Re: Backpedaling: Rising Equity Allocation During Retiremen

The best asset allocation is one with the most in stocks that you can "tolerate". What you can tolerate is based on a variety of individual factors two of which are the ratio of living expenses to nest egg size, and temperament to market swings. Once you mitigate your liquidity risk (need...
by Garco
Wed Mar 04, 2015 1:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Backpedaling: Rising Equity Allocation During Retirement
Replies: 38
Views: 4050

Re: Backpedaling: Rising Equity Allocation During Retiremen

I am a big fan of Pfau. But while he is reviewing the "rising equity allocation" idea, he ought to look at the levels recommended at various ages, whether or not they rise. So what's the "best" AA at age 50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75 etc.? What implication does Pfau's recent recanting h...
by Garco
Tue Mar 03, 2015 10:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Poll: Increasing international equities
Replies: 70
Views: 5575

Re: Poll: Increasing international equities

I chose "other." The Vanguard decision about international has zero effect on my asset allocation. I already had ~35% international in my equities across my different qualified and taxable accounts. I am thinking about my international bond/FI allocation, but don't have access to outstandi...
by Garco
Mon Mar 02, 2015 1:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k is changing - need advise
Replies: 6
Views: 473

Re: 401k is changing - need advise

Several of the newly offered funds are decent in principle, but the class (ER) of the stock is absurd. I am thinking especially about the AF Europacific Growth. It's a fine (managed) fund. I own it. But my ER is .49 (class R6), not 1.14. Meantime you could do a lot worse than the Invesco Equally Wei...
by Garco
Sat Feb 28, 2015 4:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Rick Ferri looking to internationalize his portfolio
Replies: 357
Views: 49738

Re: Rick Ferri looking to internationalize his portfolio

Those of us who have stayed the course with a significant international holding for the last 5 years or more have paid a price. So if at last international equities may outperform domestic U.S. we will have done the right thing well before others who have lately come on board. I suspect that it woul...
by Garco
Wed Feb 25, 2015 10:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How T-C members & family get TREA outside of employer plans
Replies: 20
Views: 1985

Re: How T-C members & family get TREA outside of employer pl

TREA? (a) Here's some basic information: https://www.tiaa-cref.org/public/tcfpi/investment/profile?symbol=41091375 (b) You should be aware that there are some trading restrictions, which I described recently on another post and will restate here. TIAA may tighten them over time to protect the liquid...
by Garco
Tue Feb 24, 2015 1:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TIAA-CREF Stock Account 403(b)
Replies: 8
Views: 592

Re: TIAA-CREF Stock Account 403(b)

Though I definitely encourage you to consider TREA, especially given what you just mentioned, you should also know about a couple of trading restrictions. 1. Currently (since April 2011), the maximum you can transfer into TREA is $150,000. So if, for example, you already had $150K or more invested i...
by Garco
Tue Feb 24, 2015 1:07 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TIAA-CREF Stock Account 403(b)
Replies: 8
Views: 592

Re: TIAA-CREF Stock Account 403(b)

Based on your private communication to me, you may have access to QREARX -- TIAA Real Estate Account -- which is not a REIT but instead a fund with direct ownership of commercial real estate. I encourage you to consider that. It's kind of half-bond, half-equities in how it behaves. Nothing only goes...
by Garco
Mon Feb 23, 2015 11:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TIAA-CREF Stock Account 403(b)
Replies: 8
Views: 592

Re: TIAA-CREF Stock Account 403(b)

The first thing to check is which of the funds on the link that you give are available in the plan that the sponsoring institution authorizes. Many institutions make available only a fraction of those funds in their plan. Some of them offer non-TIAA-CREF funds alongside TIAA-CREF funds. If you can p...
by Garco
Mon Feb 23, 2015 9:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What age do you guys plan to retire?
Replies: 143
Views: 9508

Re: What age do you guys plan to retire?

I never had a specific plan but expected to retire at ~65. In my line of work, it's common for folks who continue to be productive to stay working. But the relation between my age and critical events (children's ages and college years, market swoons) interacted to lead me to defer retirement til age...

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