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Re: Fidelity Contrafund

You could always split the difference and sell half of it to convert to an index fund.

I too have some Contrafund, but it represents less than 1% of my portfolio. I think about getting rid of it, and may take an opportunity when I need to rebalance to unload it.
by Middle
Tue Mar 24, 2015 5:35 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity Contrafund
Replies: 28
Views: 3349

Re: 3 fund portfolio and dividend paying index funds

Remember that by owning the Total Stock fund or ETF, you already own those dividend paying companies.
by Middle
Tue Mar 24, 2015 5:28 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 3 fund portfolio and dividend paying index funds
Replies: 3
Views: 619

Re: College funding

Actually, true, they do look at 529 accounts but only assess them at a 5.64% maximum rate towards the Expected Family Contribution whereas the UTMA and UGMA accounts have a 20% maximum. So it appears to me that the 529 is the better option for the parents. Note that there is different treatment for ...
by Middle
Tue Mar 24, 2015 5:25 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: College funding
Replies: 10
Views: 1057

Re: What do you think??

That link seems to have two different points to make. The first being the appropriate use of long term data (100+ years) and its application to relatively shorter time frames such as 30-40 years of retirement. The example of the lawyer who made a deal on what turned out to be one of the longest livi...
by Middle
Tue Mar 24, 2015 5:13 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What do you think??
Replies: 2
Views: 541

Re: Vanguard Energy Fund (VGNEX) - Cheap Enough Yet?

[/quote] Go ahead and pull the trigger with the thought of holding it for 20 years. Looking back you won't remember what happenend this year,but you will notice the "mountain growth chart" of VGENX,up ,up and away :happy[/quote] I don't know if I'd bank on the "mountain growth chart&q...
by Middle
Tue Mar 03, 2015 7:00 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Energy Fund (VGNEX) - Cheap Enough Yet?
Replies: 19
Views: 2804

Re: Realizing Capital Gains

Thanks powermega, that wiki page speaks directly to the issue. I guess the key being "If you pay state taxes now to harvest a capital gain, you lose the future growth on that amount. For a long-term investment, you may lose more by not being able to invest the state tax than you save by avoidin...
by Middle
Fri Feb 27, 2015 5:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Realizing Capital Gains
Replies: 3
Views: 401

Realizing Capital Gains

Just finished my taxes and for the first time in many years, I owe some money, net $289. Rebates are great but I know I shouldn't complain because it's not shocking and close enough to zero. I'm just trying to better understand the picture. The big difference this year was that I had LT cap gains wh...
by Middle
Fri Feb 27, 2015 2:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Realizing Capital Gains
Replies: 3
Views: 401

Refinance Math

I don't know why I have a little trouble with clarity on evaluating the math on a potential refi. Currently, I am about 5 years into a 15 yr loan at 3.75%. Monthly payment is $1200. According to the amoritization calculator I have $26k in total interest payments left. Seems I could get a new 15 year...
by Middle
Wed Jan 28, 2015 1:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Math
Replies: 4
Views: 493

Re: Fidelity Customers, What Do You Hold at FIDO?

I hold Spartan Total US Market, Contrafund, and Fidelity Balanced. The latter two were acquired prior to my switch to an indexing strategy. I often ponder getting out of Contrafund but it's not a big % of portfolio. The balanced fund has actually been quite a good performer so I just keep keeping it...
by Middle
Thu Jan 08, 2015 2:24 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fidelity Customers, What Do You Hold at FIDO?
Replies: 43
Views: 4228

Re: Why are high 401k fees maintained in competitive equilib

My 300 person firm looked into changing providers and in fact both Vanguard and Fidelity were suggested as potential providers. The feedback someone got from Vanguard was that there would have to be a third party administrator for the plan. We found one and they wanted much higher admin fees from th...
by Middle
Wed Dec 10, 2014 11:46 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why are high 401k fees maintained in competitive equilibrium
Replies: 46
Views: 2507

Re: Roll Over Old TIAA CREF Account?

Nobody knows what the terms of your TIAA contract is. Nobody knows how much money you have invested in TIAA or how big a percentage of your investments that represents. Nobody can make very useful comments without knowing that. I guess I don't really know the terms of the contract either. It's not ...
by Middle
Thu Oct 16, 2014 12:12 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roll Over Old TIAA CREF Account?
Replies: 15
Views: 862

Re: Roll Over Old TIAA CREF Account?

...as yet another problem for your widowed spouse to handle? Ouch! Do you know something I don't? No, I realize that I'm the one likely to go first and yes part of the whole reason for this is to simplify things for her. Thanks to all for the replies. I had a feeling I would get some good insights ...
by Middle
Thu Oct 16, 2014 10:17 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roll Over Old TIAA CREF Account?
Replies: 15
Views: 862

Re: $72k in 3 fund or a $72k 2 bed/1 bath condo rented

I read something recently from a well respected buy and hold blogger (Eddy Elfenbein) where said something to the effect "investing in real estate will never ever ever ever ever ever beat the stock market in the long run". The "in the long run' might be the key phrase but I have to sa...
by Middle
Wed Oct 15, 2014 5:01 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: $72k in 3 fund or a $72k 2 bed/1 bath condo rented
Replies: 21
Views: 1545

Roll Over Old TIAA CREF Account?

My wife has a TIAA CREF retirement account from when she worked at a college 10 or 12 years ago. It's her account and there's not much in it. I'm tempted to suggest that she just roll it over into a VG IRA account. She's holding the CREF Equity Index, Stock, and Growth funds and the TIAA Traditional...
by Middle
Wed Oct 15, 2014 4:47 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roll Over Old TIAA CREF Account?
Replies: 15
Views: 862

Re: Long term gains tax rebalancing vs. Tax efficient placem

I think this is discussed well on the wiki page: http://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Principles_of_tax-efficient_fund_placement Note that there is a fair amount of debate on the finer points of how to allocate assets among tax advantaged accounts and taxable accounts. Knowing your own tax situation is ke...
by Middle
Tue Oct 14, 2014 5:07 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Long term gains tax rebalancing vs. Tax efficient placement
Replies: 3
Views: 503

Re: What was your initial AA and how has that worked out?

Started investing in my late 20s but didn't find/learn about indexing until 2008 at age 45. I was 100% equities for quite a while then at age 40 probably got to maybe 95/5 or so. Currently 78/22 eq/bond at 51. I have no idea annual return since start, which was part of the problem for many years. I ...
by Middle
Tue Oct 07, 2014 1:54 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What was your initial AA and how has that worked out?
Replies: 32
Views: 2714

Re: investing during market drop

What others are getting at here, is that the technical definition of a correction is a decline of 10%. We might still get there, we might not, nobody knows. Better to have a plan where you figure out an asset allocation that you are comfortable with and let that be your guide of when to make investm...
by Middle
Thu Oct 02, 2014 12:47 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: investing during market drop
Replies: 15
Views: 1278

Re: Pimco Total Return - Keep or Sell

BlueEars wrote:From M* the 1 year performance numbers are:

4.63% BOND, Pimco Total Return ETF
3.68% PTTRX, Pimco Total Return


It's that nearly 100 bp difference that's kind of been a head scratcher ever since the beginnings of the ETF, hasn't it?
by Middle
Fri Sep 26, 2014 2:00 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Pimco Total Return - Keep or Sell
Replies: 28
Views: 2797

Re: Pimco Total Return - Keep or Sell

As of this writing, the Pimco TR ETF (BOND) is down 0.23% whereas VG Total Bond ETF is down 0.09%. Hardly seems like panic, but maybe in the Fixed Income world, relatively speaking, this is panic?
by Middle
Fri Sep 26, 2014 1:57 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Pimco Total Return - Keep or Sell
Replies: 28
Views: 2797

Re: Pimco Total Return - Keep or Sell

I have no idea, but this almost seems like the absolute worst time to dump Pimco. It had already been performing slightly below its benchmark and dealing with a lot of outflows. But this is big news and I would hazard a guess that there will be an overreaction to it. And maybe it's underperformance ...
by Middle
Fri Sep 26, 2014 1:23 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Pimco Total Return - Keep or Sell
Replies: 28
Views: 2797

Re: What's "The Herd" doing today?

I have come to believe that "don't follow the herd" doesn't mean "try to do the opposite," it means "stay the course." I like this take. For myself, whenever I try to contemplate the Herd, I get stuck trying to figure who the real drivers are behind the Herd. Because y...
by Middle
Wed Aug 27, 2014 6:55 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What's "The Herd" doing today?
Replies: 52
Views: 3864

Re: Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund - Largest Fund

Personally, I think that a few years of flat or negative returns, just might send a lot of people back into actively managed funds or whatever package Wall Street invents to try and lure people into outsized returns. But my guess is that there is a ceiling to the amount of funds flowing into passive...
by Middle
Wed Jul 02, 2014 5:38 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund - Largest Fund
Replies: 6
Views: 2007

Re: To TIPS or not to TIPS

Sorry, I didn't really want to debate TIPs as much as I was more interested to see what people thought of McCulley's note and this concept of a secular shift in the War on Inflation.
by Middle
Thu Jun 12, 2014 1:27 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: To TIPS or not to TIPS
Replies: 4
Views: 506

To TIPS or not to TIPS

I found this note from Paul McCulley at PIMCO to be a very interesting read on inflation and current valuations. It just seems to rather neatly tie a lot of Fed policy up into a nice concise little package. However, it does not inspire me to rush out and purchase any TIPs which are still not part of...
by Middle
Thu Jun 12, 2014 11:29 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: To TIPS or not to TIPS
Replies: 4
Views: 506

Re: Split emergency fund into separate categories?

I have had leaky roofs. They suck. A new roof can give you 30 years piece of mind. It's worth it. Dip in, think of it as an investment into your property raising your property value if you have to.
by Middle
Thu May 29, 2014 1:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Split emergency fund into separate categories?
Replies: 17
Views: 1248

Re: Cheap and Aggressive 401k Options

You'll want to figure out an asset allocation that you are comfortable with which should probably have a large majority in equities and then pick funds with the lowest expense ratios available. Then you'll want to contribute as much as can while not completely sacrificing near term enjoyment of life...
by Middle
Fri May 16, 2014 3:50 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Cheap and Aggressive 401k Options
Replies: 22
Views: 712

Re: Switch car insurance? State Farm vs GEICO

My feeling is that customer loyalty just doesn't matter anymore. It might get you a teensy bit better customer service at some point but everything really comes down to the bottom line. I think a lot of us are under the impression that loyalty does matter. I thought so too when I finally got myself ...
by Middle
Thu May 15, 2014 6:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Switch car insurance? State Farm vs GEICO
Replies: 42
Views: 7615

Re: How much house can you afford to buy? When is it to much

Yes, it seems like a 4 bd 4 bath house is more house than you need. And that usually means more utility and prop. tax costs than you need too.

I would also say you don't necessarily want to buy the best house on the block either especially in an area that you described as a dying city.
by Middle
Mon May 05, 2014 4:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much house can you afford to buy? When is it to much?
Replies: 34
Views: 4383

Re: Car Advice

For what it's worth (yes, I spelled it out - YISIO), I went through this exercise a few months ago. I ended up with a used Prius that I could pay cash for. If the battery system craps out on me early, this will run up my ownership cost, but if not, then I am hoping for a good solid 10 years of low o...
by Middle
Mon May 05, 2014 3:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Car Advice
Replies: 32
Views: 3077

Re: Does everyone have an Emergency Fund

I third the Roth IRA recommendation for a couple of reasons. the first is that it fits your goals of funding retirement and then you have the contributions accessible for emergencies. Second, it gives you some tax flexibility in retirement with the different taxation of Roth vs. Traditional. Persona...
by Middle
Thu May 01, 2014 12:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does everyone have an Emergency Fund
Replies: 51
Views: 4853

Re: State tax deductible 529

I think the reality check is that you might want to make sure you're not letting the tax tail wag the dog. If by saying that you're maxing out on 401k contributions you are saying that you are on target for retirement savings, then ok. But that would be where I would start because you can get a coll...
by Middle
Mon Apr 28, 2014 6:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: State tax deductible 529
Replies: 6
Views: 1647

Re: Switching Banks

In addition to the hassle factor of the RCA and possible fees in months you don't meet the requirements, also consider the opportunity cost of lost credit card rewards from the 12 monthly debit card transactions. Jim That's a good point. I actually have not been playing the credit card rewards game...
by Middle
Tue Apr 22, 2014 11:45 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Switching Banks
Replies: 30
Views: 3348

Re: Switching Banks

That rate is probably a teaser that won't last. The interest on $25k at 2.25% is about $560 a year, so maybe it'll be worth the hassle if they keep the deal going for long enough. OTOH, I suspect you'll be looking at a rate of .1 or .2% in a relatively short time. Jim Ah, now this is what was in th...
by Middle
Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:23 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Switching Banks
Replies: 30
Views: 3348

Re: Switching Banks

Yeah, I probably should retract my side comment as it does lend it itself to opening it up to a political discussion.

Back to my OP, I was looking for additional considerations in my pursuit of changing banks, and it has also led me to exploring a new or additional credit card.
by Middle
Sat Apr 19, 2014 2:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Switching Banks
Replies: 30
Views: 3348

Re: Switching Banks

So I've been reading some threads on credit card offers and am considering adding another. My current card gets no promo offers as it is tied to the Nature Conservancy but I really don't know how much they benefit. Looks like the Amex Blue Preferred or Everyday, Chase Sapphire, Fidelity Amex, and Pe...
by Middle
Fri Apr 18, 2014 2:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Switching Banks
Replies: 30
Views: 3348

Re: Switching Banks

Thanks for the replies. Interesting about the recommendation to have more than one credit card. My credit rating is very good so I'm not trying to build it up and I prefer the simplicity of a single credit card, but I thought I had read somewhere that opening up additional credit cards was a negativ...
by Middle
Thu Apr 17, 2014 11:29 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Switching Banks
Replies: 30
Views: 3348

Switching Banks

I have had a BofA checking account since 1992 without any troubles at all. I try to manage my accounts there such that I pay no fees but that has required keeping some cash there which currently pays nothing. I am considering switching to a local credit union that pays 2.25% interest on balances up ...
by Middle
Wed Apr 16, 2014 7:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Switching Banks
Replies: 30
Views: 3348

Re: Pay Off Mortgage? Better Advice?

There are many ways to look at the dilemma of paying off a mortgage or investing in terms of concrete numbers. Search around this forum and you'll probably find a few threads. Here are the reasons why if I were you, I wouldn't make extra payments on mortgage: 1. It's a less liquid asset. 2. Your cur...
by Middle
Thu Apr 03, 2014 7:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay Off Mortgage? Better Advice?
Replies: 11
Views: 1416

Re: My "Motley Fool" Interview

Everyone seemed to have liked the interview, but perhaps you have deleted it? The link doesn't link to the interview or did I miss something?
by Middle
Wed Mar 26, 2014 6:08 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: My "Motley Fool" Interview
Replies: 8
Views: 2062

Cash in Roth

I need some clarification on best location of different assets. It's probably not the best idea to keep much cash in a Roth account, right? I'm thinking in terms of someone who still has 15 years to retirement, you want to give that Roth the opportunity to grow with assets that have a higher expecte...
by Middle
Wed Mar 26, 2014 12:02 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Cash in Roth
Replies: 12
Views: 1702

Re: Statement of the Retirement Funding Problem

I'd agree the cases in which it would be optimal to fork everything over seem limited. However, realize that by creating an appropriate floor with partial annuitization allows one to get higher return in the remaining portfolio by taking a higher equity share. Dollar per dollar an annuity for someo...
by Middle
Tue Mar 25, 2014 6:04 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Statement of the Retirement Funding Problem
Replies: 89
Views: 7243

Re: Statement of the Retirement Funding Problem

@Middle - You'll want to read up a bit more on annuities and what mortality credits are. SPIAs are really a longevity insurance policy and their return and utility to the individual comes from pooled longevity risk. If you think SPIAs are "betting against a corporation" then cancel all yo...
by Middle
Tue Mar 25, 2014 2:46 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Statement of the Retirement Funding Problem
Replies: 89
Views: 7243

Re: Statement of the Retirement Funding Problem

I have a couple of thoughts on this. For one, it is my understanding that this idea that all our parents had a defined benefit plan pension is a little misleading. I wish I could recall exactly, but I read somewhere that at its peak, something like 34% of American workers had a defined pension. And ...
by Middle
Tue Mar 25, 2014 12:15 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Statement of the Retirement Funding Problem
Replies: 89
Views: 7243

Re: Understanding the LT Cap Gains Tax

Oh ok, sorry I don't have the tax return in front of me, but so the loss carryover actually does count even though LTCP are taxed at 0%.

Then that makes perfect sense. Thanks!

Edit: Now I have looked at my own return and see where it all falls in.
by Middle
Mon Mar 24, 2014 12:27 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Understanding the LT Cap Gains Tax
Replies: 11
Views: 780

Re: Understanding the LT Cap Gains Tax

But whether or not my hypothetical gain exceeds the loss carryover it shouldn't matter, right? Because even though it is added to the income line, it is later taken out in the tax worksheet because of being in the 15% bracket (as noted by earlyout above).
by Middle
Mon Mar 24, 2014 11:58 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Understanding the LT Cap Gains Tax
Replies: 11
Views: 780

Understanding the LT Cap Gains Tax

Here's what I understand:For someone in the 15% Fed tax bracket it means they pay 0 long term cap gains tax provided that the cap gains don't push them over the ceiling of the 15% tax rate. I recently experimented with this using Turbo tax, and with a return that had some carryover of losses, I stil...
by Middle
Thu Mar 20, 2014 11:37 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Understanding the LT Cap Gains Tax
Replies: 11
Views: 780

Re: interesting article on rebalancing using vanguard data

It might be worthwhile to check into a Vanguard study that was more thorough than this one by Arends and determined basically the differences in returns is not that great among the various rebalancing periods. The bottom line was "that for most broadly diversified stock and bond fund portfolios ...
by Middle
Tue Feb 18, 2014 12:21 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: interesting article on rebalancing using vanguard data
Replies: 6
Views: 630

Watch Transfers or Double Trouble

Just happened to look into my VG account today and I'm glad I did. The cash balance was notably higher and after I dug a little deeper it turns out that a transfer to the Prime Money Market account went in twice. I'm pretty darn sure I only made the one transfer but it's possible that it's my error....
by Middle
Tue Feb 04, 2014 2:14 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Watch Transfers or Double Trouble
Replies: 2
Views: 372

Re: Bonds - Throw it all on the table!!!

1) Total Bond Fund Index, Short Term Inv Grade Index, Loomis Sayles Strategic Income, Pimco Total Return. 2) All held in Roth, tIRA, and 401k. 3) I actually don't know the breakdown but I listed them in roughly descending order of allocation. 4) Age-40%. More aggressive than most, but I haven't like...
by Middle
Thu Jan 30, 2014 7:08 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bonds - Throw it all on the table!!!
Replies: 135
Views: 15692

Re: best financial podcasts for bogleheads?

I have downloaded Stitcher on my iphone to catch podcasts of This American Life, Radiolab, Freakonomics, and a couple of others. However, I have found that I just can't get into a podcast rhythm. I much prefer to read the blogoshpere.
by Middle
Tue Jan 28, 2014 11:51 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: best financial podcasts for bogleheads?
Replies: 10
Views: 1466
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