Search found 2862 matches

by House Blend
Sun Aug 02, 2015 8:30 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Does Vanguard update cost basis after wash sale?
Replies: 6
Views: 355

Re: Does Vanguard update cost basis after wash sale?

So does this mean, if the wash sale is in the same account, they would also adjust your basis up when you sell the later bought shares? If it's in the same account, I believe the IRS requires them to flag and adjust for wash sales. As to whether you can rely on them to adjust basis and report corre...
by House Blend
Sat Aug 01, 2015 12:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Netflix DVD delivery slowdown?
Replies: 132
Views: 23932

Re: Netflix DVD delivery slowdown?

I am also surprised that DVDs are still happening - streaming is so nice, and can choose things instantly. Sure, if everything was available (legally) for streaming, with an interface as convenient as the one on Netflix, I would have no use for disks. (And I will welcome that day, if it ever comes....
by House Blend
Sat Aug 01, 2015 11:57 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Holding forecasters accountable
Replies: 10
Views: 908

Re: Holding forecasters accountable

The media never does because accountability ruins the game One of the things I enjoyed about the old version of PBS Nightly Business Report is that they had a regular segment in which they would bring in an "expert" to bless us with his/her three new stock picks. HOWEVER, before that, the...
by House Blend
Fri Jul 31, 2015 8:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Donating from retirement accounts?
Replies: 9
Views: 512

Re: Donating from retirement accounts?

I know Roth IRA contributions generally can be withdrawn tax-free, so there's something. That leaves the Roth IRA gains and traditional 401k untouchable. Is there any magic we can do to access any of these, if we eventually want to? For the 401k, could it be as simple as rolling over the pre-tax 40...
by House Blend
Fri Jul 31, 2015 3:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is comparisons between money-weighted vs time-weighted returns fair?
Replies: 16
Views: 889

Re: Is comparisons between money-weighted vs time-weighted returns fair?

You are correct. Anyone making periodic contributions will "lag" the fund's performance (be it up or down). No, that's not correct, as I have explained in my previous two posts. What is correct is that fund returns and investor returns measure two different things, and differences between...
by House Blend
Fri Jul 31, 2015 1:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is comparisons between money-weighted vs time-weighted returns fair?
Replies: 16
Views: 889

Re: Is comparisons between money-weighted vs time-weighted returns fair?

In the example of the Balanced Index Fund, if you invested $1,000 at the beginning of every quarter, your XIRR basically assumes that you had $4,000 the whole time and only put in $1,000 at a time by choice. So it shows you made a total of $200 for the year and says your annual return is $200/$4000...
by House Blend
Thu Jul 30, 2015 2:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is comparisons between money-weighted vs time-weighted returns fair?
Replies: 16
Views: 889

Re: Is comparisons between money-weighted vs time-weighted returns fair?

Say he's putting the money in the Balanced Index Fund over the period of 2014. It's total return from January 1st through December 31st was 9.99% last year. However, all 4 quarters were positive. So his personal return is going to be less than 9.99%. Because he wasn't able to get all the money in o...
by House Blend
Thu Jul 30, 2015 1:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New professor, TIAA-CREF AA
Replies: 11
Views: 670

Re: New professor, TIAA-CREF AA

The TIAA-CREF web site talks about 0.15% going forward and perhaps even higher after Feb 2016. Where does it say this? Click on the little "i" or "?" next to the expense ratio posted on the web page. It is probably in the prospectus, too. No, that's content-free CYA lawyer langu...
by House Blend
Tue Jul 28, 2015 10:10 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Taxable income computation by Vanguard
Replies: 25
Views: 1157

Re: Taxable income computation by Vanguard

P.S. I am asking this question in the context of my general financial planning. This is my first full year in retirement with relatively low income from the pensions. Ideally, I would like to use this opportunity to do Roth conversions. However, my traditional retirement account is in the TSP, and ...
by House Blend
Mon Jul 27, 2015 7:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The forgotten inaccuracies of our small predictions
Replies: 18
Views: 1859

Re: The forgotten inaccuracies of our small predictions

Have you ever noticed… as tourist, traveler, whatever… that before you visit a place, you have a visual mental picture of what it is going to look like? Then, as soon as you get there, you discover that it looks different. Not necessarily disappointing, I just mean that mentally you imagined that w...
by House Blend
Mon Jul 27, 2015 1:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Recent windfall - Currently 95% of assets in single stock - Tax and asset allocation advice appreciated
Replies: 79
Views: 5179

Re: Recent windfall - Currently 95% of assets in single stock - Tax and asset allocation advice appreciated

If they spread the sales over two years, that won't save them any in LTCG taxes because the amount if split evenly will still be taxed at 23.9%, but their other income will get another year of being taxed at about 40%. No. Their first dollar of LTCG would be taxed at 0%, the last at 23.8%, so there...
by House Blend
Sun Jul 26, 2015 2:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Cleaning up investment accounts - seeking some advice
Replies: 7
Views: 750

Re: Cleaning up investment accounts - seeking some advice

On your last point regarding if the taxable account is a long term investment (not part of future house down payment) - yes, this is correct - 40k from the taxable is for the down payment, the other 40k is for long-term investment. I am okay with making this 100% equity since I don't feel I will ne...
by House Blend
Sun Jul 26, 2015 2:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: confused about best strategy for foreign income while abroad on sabbatical
Replies: 14
Views: 684

Re: confused about best strategy for foreign income while abroad on sabbatical

You probably are not ok for IRA contributions, or at least not if the FEIE ends up giving you no US taxable compensation. ("Compensation" here is a technical term.) Eligible compensation for IRA contribution purposes does not include "any amounts (other than combat pay) you exclude fr...
by House Blend
Fri Jul 24, 2015 2:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is the Vanguard advisor service worth while for me?
Replies: 18
Views: 1423

Re: Is the Vanguard advisor service worth while for me?

So the actual tax was $2940, then I paid an extra $1250 because my payments to Obama Care were too low. That explains it. Agreed. And it is clear that your taxable account is producing qualified dividends that are being taxed at 0%, as I surmised earlier. The good news is that you have some extra s...
by House Blend
Fri Jul 24, 2015 9:11 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Cleaning up investment accounts - seeking some advice
Replies: 7
Views: 750

Re: Cleaning up investment accounts - seeking some advice

Welcome to the forum. I would question the use of 95% Roth in your retirement portfolio. Unless you expect a significantly higher tax bracket in your future, a more balanced mix of traditional and Roth assets is likely to be better. Note also that marriage, children and a mortgage will tend to lower...
by House Blend
Thu Jul 23, 2015 9:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is the Vanguard advisor service worth while for me?
Replies: 18
Views: 1423

Re: Is the Vanguard advisor service worth while for me?

You pay $4,000 in Federal income taxes on $27,000 of taxable income? Wow! Is that high or low? I just enter the numbers in Turbo Tax and do what it says. Almost all that income is from taxable interest on real estate loans. For 2014, $27K of taxable income with no qualified dividends or LTCG buys y...
by House Blend
Wed Jul 22, 2015 9:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to pay taxes on blog income?
Replies: 53
Views: 3731

Re: How to pay taxes on blog income?

I am planning to start a blog. While my reasons for the blog are personal ambitions, I am also considering advertising that would generate income. How is such income taxed? If you have aspirations of filing Schedule C and deducting expenses against income, it needs to qualify as a "business ac...
by House Blend
Tue Jul 21, 2015 11:11 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Auto Div Reinvesting. Really so bad?
Replies: 33
Views: 3421

Re: Auto Div Reinvesting. Really so bad?

I have a question that pertains to this thread to the folks who have been reinvesting dividends in a taxable account. If one has accumulated numerous tax lots via reinvesting dividends and one decides to sell all shares at one time and when it comes to tax time do all these lots need to be typed in...
by House Blend
Tue Jul 21, 2015 10:30 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth IRA contributions with income above limit
Replies: 4
Views: 602

Re: Roth IRA contributions with income above limit

If you don't currently have a traditional IRA with significant pretax dollars in it, probably the best option is to do a recharacterization to a trad IRA, followed later by a conversion from the trad IRA back to the Roth IRA. 1. I don't have any Traditional IRAs now. In order to start the process, ...
by House Blend
Mon Jul 20, 2015 11:52 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth IRA contributions with income above limit
Replies: 4
Views: 602

Re: Roth IRA contributions with income above limit

The Backdoor Roth may be relevant, but it is not the most important step. The important step is to "undo" your $1500 Roth contribution. You cannot simply transfer it to a traditional IRA. If you don't currently have a traditional IRA with significant pretax dollars in it, probably the best...
by House Blend
Fri Jul 03, 2015 12:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is the Duration of Your Bond Portfolio? And Why?
Replies: 61
Views: 5629

Re: What is the Duration of Your Bond Portfolio? And Why?

TIAA Traditional Annuity in a SRA/GSRA is liquid and has zero duration. TIAA Traditional Annuity in a RA/GRA has a duration of 4.5 years because of the 10-year withdrawal rule; while the quoted value of the fund may not fall when rates rise, you must continue to earn the lower rate over a 10-year w...
by House Blend
Tue Jun 30, 2015 9:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TLH and wash sale with living trust and across accounts
Replies: 2
Views: 268

Re: TLH and wash sale with living trust and across accounts

1. For an IRA, yes. For a 401(k), unclear. I don't think there is a definitive answer available. FWIW, I do not hold shares of TSM in my 401(k) for exactly this reason. 2. Yes. If you TLH a muni fund, all of the usual wash sale rules apply. In addition, you would prefer not to sell shares purchased ...
by House Blend
Sun Jun 28, 2015 8:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SS bennies
Replies: 23
Views: 3359

Re: SS bennies

So the year of zero income would have been less than 10k. My income has been 10x that for the past decade. Dollar wise, how much difference would a year of zero income, when I was literally just above minimum wage, make ? I actually do still have all of my tax returns :) It's a bit messy, and depen...
by House Blend
Fri Jun 19, 2015 10:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS "Safe Harbor" & withholding vs. 1099 income
Replies: 19
Views: 1728

Re: IRS "Safe Harbor" & withholding vs. 1099 income

There is an exception that seems to have been glossed over in this thread. If you do make estimated tax payments, then calculating whether you're in one of the safe harbors is more complicated. In particular, simply having made payments totalling 100%/110% of last year's tax liability is not suffic...
by House Blend
Fri Jun 19, 2015 9:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS "Safe Harbor" & withholding vs. 1099 income
Replies: 19
Views: 1728

Re: IRS "Safe Harbor" & withholding vs. 1099 income

There is an exception that seems to have been glossed over in this thread. If you do make estimated tax payments, then calculating whether you're in one of the safe harbors is more complicated. In particular, simply having made payments totalling 100%/110% of last year's tax liability is not suffici...
by House Blend
Thu Jun 18, 2015 9:52 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Selling Fund Before Dividend Distribution & Buying it Right Back to Avoid Withholding Tax
Replies: 16
Views: 2493

Re: Selling Fund Before Dividend Distribution & Buying it Right Back to Avoid Withholding Tax

Let's take Vanguard Small-Cap Value ETF (VBR) as an example - let's ignore the smaller distribution and only take he $1.845 distribution into account. FWIW, using VBR as an example is a bit problematic here. Vanguard has announced that this fund is switching to a quarterly distribution schedule. I ...
by House Blend
Wed Jun 17, 2015 8:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Communicating with the IRS
Replies: 3
Views: 661

Re: Communicating with the IRS

tried calling the IRS but as expected was never able to get a human. All I really want is to hear "we got your documentation and you're all set" so I don't have to stress out about this. Has anyone experienced anything similar to this - if so, how did you get confirmation that the issue w...
by House Blend
Wed Jun 17, 2015 8:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TIAA Real Estate Account as non-403(b) deferred annuity?
Replies: 10
Views: 832

Re: TIAA Real Estate Account in taxable?

Does anybody want to speculate why TIAA-CREF does not offer the TIAA Real Estate account (TREA) to the general retail investor? If the unwashed hordes could buy TREA in a deferred annuity, I think the biggest problem might be to scale up their strategy. They've found ~100 suitable properties. Could...
by House Blend
Wed Jun 17, 2015 10:59 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 403b Loan from TIAA CREF [Portfolio help]
Replies: 2
Views: 464

Re: 403b Loan from TIAA CREF [Portfolio help]

You are paying yourself interest on the loan, so even if the reason for the drop in payment from $400 to $30 is to stretch the process out, you're the one being enriched by any extra interest paid. Edit : No. Looks like the above statement is completely wrong, at least according to the previous thre...
by House Blend
Tue Jun 16, 2015 10:05 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: tIRA's RMDs causing increasing tax concerns
Replies: 62
Views: 7622

Re: tIRA's RMDs causing increasing tax concerns

In addition to the factor epsilon-delta mentioned, here's another reason why a Roth conversion might still be worthwhile. If SS income puts you in the zone where the marginal tax cost of a Roth conversion is 27.75%, and you will be in the 25% bracket when RMDs start, then it's possible that the las...
by House Blend
Tue Jun 16, 2015 9:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mom's Employer - Lots of Issues
Replies: 21
Views: 3221

Re: Mom's Employer - Payroll Mistakes (and other issues)

If the pay was direct deposited, be prepared for the possibility that all of the incorrect deposits will be yanked out of the account, without notification or permission from her. Fun things could happen if there are insufficient funds. I saw this happen first hand, many years ago, when I temporaril...
by House Blend
Mon Jun 15, 2015 8:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Anyone have multiple IRAs through different brokerage firms?
Replies: 25
Views: 2096

Re: Anyone have multiple IRAs through different brokerage firms?

Yes, per person, but there are restrictions based on income and if you are covered by a plan at work. As I recall if you are covered by a plan at work you cannot deduct a tIRA. Not true. Even if you are covered by a retirement plan at work, your 2015 IRA contribution is fully deductible if your mod...
by House Blend
Mon Jun 15, 2015 4:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: tIRA's RMDs causing increasing tax concerns
Replies: 62
Views: 7622

Re: tIRA's RMDs causing increasing tax concerns

It appears that a Roth Conversion would not be advisable in this case if the marginal tax rate to convert is higher than the 25% tax rate expected after age 70.5. The marginal tax rate related to Social Security taxation might be 22.5% or 27.75%. Since we are talking about filling the 15% bracket, ...
by House Blend
Mon Jun 15, 2015 9:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: History of taxes
Replies: 5
Views: 1045

Re: History of taxes

I recently stumbled across this website with historical rates for long-term capital gains: http://taxfoundation.org/article/federal-capital-gains-tax-rates-1988-2013. Is this correct that they only go back to 1988? If so, I assume before 1988 capital gains were taxed no differently than any other i...
by House Blend
Sun Jun 14, 2015 4:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: tIRA's RMDs causing increasing tax concerns
Replies: 62
Views: 7622

Re: tIRA's RMDs causing increasing tax concerns

Electron, As I pointed out in my previous post, the tax cost of a Roth conversion depends on your marginal tax rate for ordinary income (and how it changes as you increase the conversion amount). Simply having taxable income in the 15% bracket does not mean that your marginal rate is 15%. Now that y...
by House Blend
Sun Jun 14, 2015 10:39 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TIAA CREF annual policyholder vote
Replies: 5
Views: 770

Re: TIAA CREF annual policyholder vote

Despite the language on the "ballot", it's absurd to call this a vote. It's a survey at best. The TIAA Board is going to continue doing whatever they please.
by House Blend
Sun Jun 14, 2015 10:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 1001
Views: 160803

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

Kill the Messenger. Very good drama about investigative journalism. "Based on a true story" (i.e., exaggerated for maximum manipulative effect).

Not at the level of All the President's Men, but still compelling.
by House Blend
Sun Jun 14, 2015 10:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Variable Annuity - Does it become part of inheritance?
Replies: 38
Views: 2908

Re: Variable Annuity - Does it become part of inheritance?

IRegrettably, you will just need to ask your folks, and they may not know or understand. If you can glance at one of their statements it will probably be clear. Also if possible take a look at tax documents, especially Forms 5498 and 1099-R. Note that if it is an ANYA (Annuity Not Yet Annuitized) i...
by House Blend
Sat Jun 13, 2015 1:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TLH Int Term Tax-Exempt --> CA Int Term Tax-Exempt?
Replies: 4
Views: 501

Re: TLH Int Term Tax-Exempt --> CA Int Term Tax-Exempt?

That's a peculiar choice for a non-CA resident. You are paying the premimum for a concentrated risk, and not reaping the reward for taking that risk (no CA taxes). I would TLH into Limited Term, or Long Term, or a combination of the two if you want to match average duration. Or just go with another ...
by House Blend
Sat Jun 13, 2015 1:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: tIRA's RMDs causing increasing tax concerns
Replies: 62
Views: 7622

Re: tIRA's RMDs causing increasing tax concerns

If I do a Roth conversion in the 15% marginal income tax bracket to avoid paying taxes at 25% when RMDs kick in, I figure I'd need a time horizon of at least 8 years before breaking even on that move. ($15 @ 7% / yr. increases to $25 in about 8 years?). That's of course if the portfolio generates a...
by House Blend
Fri Jun 12, 2015 2:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TIAA Traditional and Rising Interest Rates
Replies: 49
Views: 3262

Re: TIAA Traditional and Rising Interest Rates

TIAA hasn't "locked" your 4.1% (or, for current investors 3.75%) for you during those nine years. They could drop to their contractual minimum of 3% at any time they choose. I thought that this was incorrect but after reading TIAA's website, you may be correct. "Additional amounts ar...
by House Blend
Fri Jun 12, 2015 2:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TIAA Traditional and Rising Interest Rates
Replies: 49
Views: 3262

Re: TIAA Traditional and Rising Interest Rates

I contributed to T-C for forty years. Good rule of thumb is to put a percentage into Trad in your GRA that you are comfortable annuitizing for monthly income when you get older. Not a bad rule of thumb if you are sure you will be comfortable annuitizing with TIAA in the future. I know they have bee...
by House Blend
Fri Jun 12, 2015 2:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TIAA Traditional and Rising Interest Rates
Replies: 49
Views: 3262

Re: TIAA Traditional and Rising Interest Rates

They could drop to their contractual minimum of 3% at any time they choose. Really? I thought they could drop anything above the contractual minimum any time they choose, but they have to give you at least the contractual minimum. That is precisely what I said. They could drop to their contractual ...
by House Blend
Fri Jun 12, 2015 10:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What should my wife do if I die early? [was: Vanguard PAS as Plan B]
Replies: 18
Views: 2483

Re: What should my wife do if I die early? [was: Vanguard PAS as Plan B]

FWIW, I have seen what can happen when Spouse 1 handles all of the investing and retirement accounts and Spouse 2 takes no interest (and has no aptitude for it). Then Spouse 1 dies at a young age. Dad was Spouse 1 and Mom was Spouse 2. Short synopsis: Mom's best friend just happens to be married to ...
by House Blend
Thu Jun 11, 2015 5:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TIAA Traditional and Rising Interest Rates
Replies: 49
Views: 3262

Re: TIAA Traditional and Rising Interest Rates

^Well, I suppose she should click on that entry--it's a link, not just text.
And be sure to RTFF (read the fine footnotes).
by House Blend
Thu Jun 11, 2015 5:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TIAA Traditional and Rising Interest Rates
Replies: 49
Views: 3262

Re: TIAA Traditional and Rising Interest Rates

4) Click the + sign, it will expand to give the guaranteed rate as well as the crediting rate of every vintage. Yes, that works if you already have TIAA traditional, but if you have your measly ~$100 in a money market account and want to get more info to see if you should exchange into TIAA traditi...
by House Blend
Wed Jun 10, 2015 12:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 1001
Views: 160803

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

This current prison break in the news has me wanting to catch a prison movie. The prison in the news was featured in a movie, but now the name of it escapes me. BFG More than one commentator has compared the escape to Shawshank Redemption . (But it wasn't filmed there.) Plenty of other good ones co...
by House Blend
Wed Jun 10, 2015 12:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Does VWITX = VBTLX
Replies: 4
Views: 430

Re: Does VWITX = VBTLX

Reasons to hold VWITX: 1. You are in a high tax bracket, and have decided that the risk and tax tradeoffs are such that you prefer to have more bonds in taxable and fewer bonds in tax-advantaged accounts. Or, 2. All of your tax-advantaged accounts are filled with ordinary bond funds such as VBTLX, y...
by House Blend
Wed Jun 10, 2015 10:54 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Please help me understand tax-exempt bond funds
Replies: 12
Views: 1631

Re: Please help me understand tax-exempt bond funds

CA now has a 50% threshold for a muni bond fund. This is from the Bogleheads Wiki: " All interest from tax-exempt mutual funds is taxed unless at least 50% of the assets are in bonds not taxed by CA" which agrees with TurboTax. This is a relatively new requirement and it is why 100% of th...

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