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Re: 401k Max-out Strategy

I spread it over the year, except in the last year when I retired at the end of summer. That year I front loaded. As for filling up to the limit, we could actually go over. The excess would go into an old legacy, pre-401k plan that accepted after tax dollars. So the excess contributions would be aft...
by Stonebr
Wed Feb 25, 2015 9:59 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k Max-out Strategy
Replies: 16
Views: 1808

Re: newbie, help!

Welcome to the forum! Resident physician with a 2-year-old? You must be busy. I've read through your profile and have a few comments on the 5 questions you asked: 1. Your financial health doesn't need much improvement. You are doing a great job. First and foremost, your debt load is low and under co...
by Stonebr
Wed Feb 25, 2015 8:22 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: newbie, help!
Replies: 2
Views: 283

Re: Out-of-state bank account

This reminds me of an IRA account I opened back in the 1980s. A savings and loan (remember those?) based in Kansas ran advertisements in the WSJ once a week during the days of high interest rates. They were offering LONG-term CDs of 25 or 30 years at 12+%. You'd deposit $800 and get $25,000 on matur...
by Stonebr
Wed Feb 25, 2015 3:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Out-of-state bank account
Replies: 2
Views: 269

Re: Recommend a quality (and reasonably priced) knife set

We have both Cutco and Chicago Cutlery. Both are excellent and American made. Not cheap, however.
by Stonebr
Wed Feb 25, 2015 11:39 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommend a quality (and reasonably priced) knife set
Replies: 64
Views: 2375

Re: Helping simplify and minimize fees

Vanguard Balance Index is 60% in stocks, so going with 90% allocated to it puts the US Equity portion at about 55% rather than the desired 50%. You get closer to the desired asset allocation by going to 85% Vanguard Balanced Index. Then 5% in EuroPacific and the rest in Stable Value or Baird Core Pl...
by Stonebr
Tue Feb 24, 2015 1:03 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Helping simplify and minimize fees
Replies: 2
Views: 175

Re: Making my accounts more tax efficient

This may not be the smartest advice you get, but it's my take... Roth is my favorite tax shelter. Everything in it, once I've paid the piper, is tax free forever. Because of that, I have it 100% equities. I want it to grow BIG. I want Roth to be the 800 lb. gorilla of my portfolio, maybe not tomorro...
by Stonebr
Mon Feb 23, 2015 9:16 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Making my accounts more tax efficient
Replies: 2
Views: 355

Re: Value investing doesn't even beat the S&P 500

I for one think it's a lot harder to stick to an allocation strategy when you have a bunch of different equity pieces: large cap, small cap, value, momentum low vol, quality factors, european developed, pacific developed, emerging, etc. etc. You just get too microscopic looking at all the pieces, r...
by Stonebr
Mon Feb 23, 2015 4:51 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Value investing doesn't even beat the S&P 500
Replies: 45
Views: 4269

Re: Thoughts on replacing tires?

Consumer Reports annual tire article is published each November.
by Stonebr
Sat Feb 21, 2015 8:56 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thoughts on replacing tires?
Replies: 60
Views: 3402

Re: Full Faith and Credit

I lost lots of money in the 80s and 90s following the advice of Felix Zulauf and the other Barron's Roundtable talk-a-lots.

I'm quite surprised anybody still reads Barron's.
by Stonebr
Fri Feb 20, 2015 9:50 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Full Faith and Credit
Replies: 37
Views: 2310

Re: Safe way to demonstrate stereo speakers?

I think this is one of those things that's kinda unavoidable with CL, especially because it requires other gear to test what you're selling. Maybe have someone else in the house with you? +1 Also... Google the buyer. Or go snooping on Facebook. One thing I do with all my CL sales is google the pote...
by Stonebr
Fri Feb 20, 2015 9:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Safe way to demonstrate stereo speakers?
Replies: 6
Views: 440

Re: Poll: Largest fraudulent charge to your credit card(s)?

My first experience with fraudulent cc charges was a few years ago when 5 charges all showed up over a period of 3 days, each of them for about $200-250. Three were for a website called Sephora which my wife tells me is something about cosmetics, and two for the Lego website. AMEX
by Stonebr
Fri Feb 20, 2015 9:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Poll: Largest fraudulent charge to your credit card(s)?
Replies: 49
Views: 2352

Re: Car Battery in Unusual Cold

With each step up in grade, you generally get a better warranty. However, the way to evaluate batteries is not the warranty period, it is by looking at the ratings. CCA is the cold cranking capability in amps. Reserve capacity, is the length of time the battery can keep the car operating if you los...
by Stonebr
Thu Feb 19, 2015 6:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Battery in Unusual Cold
Replies: 87
Views: 3684

Re: Car Battery in Unusual Cold

With each step up in grade, you generally get a better warranty. However, the way to evaluate batteries is not the warranty period, it is by looking at the ratings. CCA is the cold cranking capability in amps. Reserve capacity, is the length of time the battery can keep the car operating if you los...
by Stonebr
Thu Feb 19, 2015 4:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Battery in Unusual Cold
Replies: 87
Views: 3684

Re: Credit Card accounts (leave open or close?)

I think you should ignore your FICO score. I did for 40+ years and it has had no impact on my life. I've opened and closed accounts, got mortgages, car loans, etc. without every actually knowing or caring what my score was. I think that spending your life energy worrying about crap like this is a co...
by Stonebr
Thu Feb 19, 2015 12:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Card accounts (leave open or close?)
Replies: 26
Views: 1377

Re: Credit Score and Changing Cards

I have to say that at age 63 I've never once in my life looked up or cared about my credit score. I knew I had one, but the fact that I paid my bills on time and KNEW that I was a good credit risk was sufficient. If I didn't like a credit card because of its annual fee or lousy service, I cancelled ...
by Stonebr
Thu Feb 19, 2015 12:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Score and Changing Cards
Replies: 7
Views: 579

Re: American Funds departure or stay?

You own the A-shares of these American Funds, meaning you've already paid a 5.75% front end load. These are not, as you say, "index funds" but rather just plain old actively managed mutual funds. The funds themselves have fairly low Expense Ratios (ERs) -- not as low as Vanguard's, but sti...
by Stonebr
Thu Feb 19, 2015 11:32 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: American Funds departure or stay?
Replies: 17
Views: 856

Re: Recommend a general U.S. history book

There are hundreds of books out there. Any recommendations? ⋅  A People's History of the United States of America , by Howard Zinn. First one that popped into my mind. Very unconventional and politically controversial, but it was a real eye-opener for me. The section on Columbus's genocid...
by Stonebr
Wed Feb 18, 2015 2:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommend a general U.S. history book
Replies: 22
Views: 1103

Re: Selling gold bars

There was a thread on this last week. Many of your questions are answered there.

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=158303

poster's name was suspiciously like yours. What gives?
by Stonebr
Wed Feb 18, 2015 10:07 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling gold bars
Replies: 4
Views: 457

Re: University of Phoenix

Only if they majored in anthropology.
by Stonebr
Mon Feb 16, 2015 3:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: University of Phoenix
Replies: 20
Views: 2230

Re: Relative working at Safeway

My parents lived in retirement for 30 years on a very small pension and SS. They were pretty happy and never felt deprived, living inexpensively in Downeast Maine. I would imagine they were at or below the poverty line. They had absolutely zero interest in the American Consumerist lifestyle. They we...
by Stonebr
Mon Feb 16, 2015 8:23 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Relative working at Safeway
Replies: 22
Views: 2605

Re: gold bar

The price at the "we buy gold" places varies a lot. There is a mail order place in California that is very trustworthy and gives a fair price. I assume you mean California Numismatic Investments at http://www.golddealer.com. I've sold coins to them several times through mail order and can...
by Stonebr
Sun Feb 15, 2015 11:09 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: gold bar
Replies: 11
Views: 1143

Re: 5.6% stable value fund - what allocation?

Can we ask how this company did in 2007-09? Insurance companies generally did pretty well during this period. Not their stock prices, but their General Accounts did okay -- loaded with bonds. Their commercial real estate took a hit, but bonds and other fixed income were the place to be -- and that'...
by Stonebr
Sun Feb 15, 2015 10:26 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 5.6% stable value fund - what allocation?
Replies: 29
Views: 2525

Re: Just no petroleum or defense?

You will find it difficult to get to 100% of what you want. The world is full of compromises. However, you might try a screening tool like http://www.socialfunds.com This might help you take a step in the direction you want to go. You might find, for example, that for now Vanguard's FTSE Social Inde...
by Stonebr
Sat Feb 14, 2015 10:16 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Just no petroleum or defense?
Replies: 49
Views: 2761

Re: 5.6% stable value fund - what allocation?

Sounds like company specific risk is in play. It's a good return but I certainly wouldn't put many of my eggs in this one basket. It'd be like owning company stock in your 401k. Don't forget you already have your job tied up in the same company. Like I said above it's nothing at all like owning sto...
by Stonebr
Sat Feb 14, 2015 1:18 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 5.6% stable value fund - what allocation?
Replies: 29
Views: 2525

Re: 5.6% stable value fund - what allocation?

Thanks to those of you that gave your wide-ranging thoughts. This fund is the reserves of the insurance company I work for. When I started there over 13 years ago the funds return was over 8.5%. It has been going down over the years in line with the interest rates, but still an wonderful option and...
by Stonebr
Sat Feb 14, 2015 1:16 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 5.6% stable value fund - what allocation?
Replies: 29
Views: 2525

Re: Investment vs Pension

timboktoo wrote:I don't think I'd take a pension even if it claimed to offer me a million a year.

- Tim


-1 Completely disagree.
by Stonebr
Thu Feb 05, 2015 3:34 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investment vs Pension
Replies: 19
Views: 1413

Re: Preventing Ice Build up in my roof gutters

For a permanent solution the attic needs to be the same temp as the outside. We had to have more roof vents added, soffit vents all checked, bathroom fans venting to the outside, all vent tubing in the attic insulated, whole house fan sealed during winter, and significant insulation added, and even...
by Stonebr
Wed Feb 04, 2015 3:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Preventing Ice Build up in my roof gutters
Replies: 23
Views: 1841

Re: Vanguard Wellesley Fund

Our 401k now has a new vehicle to allow me to invest a portion outside the 401k (but it is still tax sheltered- i.e. it is still part of the 401k). :sharebeer By this I assume you mean that the plan sponsors are offering some kind of brokerage window that allows you access to additional funds not i...
by Stonebr
Wed Feb 04, 2015 3:06 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Wellesley Fund
Replies: 19
Views: 4110

Re: time to replace my router?

You have a MacBook, I think. I think you might consider an Apple Airport Extreme router. It gets positive reviews and integrates easily with Apple products (Mac, MacBook, iPhone, iPad, etc). It is more expensive than other routers, but is considered super easy to configure from your Mac or iPhone (...
by Stonebr
Tue Feb 03, 2015 6:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: time to replace my router?
Replies: 45
Views: 3390

Re: Vanguard website has Yellow Triangle over lock

I tried it on my Mac with both Safari and Firefox -- no yellow triangle.

If you google something like "yellow triangle web page padlock" you'll find that others have the same experience with other websites. There are a lot of purported explanations for it.
by Stonebr
Fri Jan 30, 2015 10:45 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vanguard website has Yellow Triangle over lock
Replies: 35
Views: 3486

Re: What mutual fund companies do you use?

Vanguard. My wife has an IRA and brokerage with Fidelity. In the past I've owned funds at: T. Rowe Price, USAA, CGM, Financial Services, Templeton, Mutual Series, Scudder, Value Line, United Services, Tocqueville, Tweedy Browne, Gabelli, Nvest, Loomis-Sayles, Davis Selected, SoGen, American Funds, T...
by Stonebr
Tue Jan 27, 2015 8:39 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What mutual fund companies do you use?
Replies: 63
Views: 3144

Re: Bank adviser did some terrible advising...Help please

I've talked to typical bank employees trying to sell this stuff and my take is that they are not crooks. What they are is dumb. They've had a one week training class and get a job title that makes them a glorified sales person -- a financial advisor. They are sincere, young, and wet behind the ears....
by Stonebr
Tue Jan 27, 2015 8:20 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bank adviser did some terrible advising...Help please
Replies: 25
Views: 1865

Re: ANNUITY is unaccaptable & not a good word

Friends, I feel as when I sent my first check to a mutual fund from a company called Vangaurd about 20 odd years back, not knowing whether I will ever see my money again. As it happens, over time I matured as an invester and learnt a little about managing my funds from this forum than any where els...
by Stonebr
Thu Jan 22, 2015 11:37 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: ANNUITY is unaccaptable & not a good word
Replies: 8
Views: 1011

Re: Any care required for gold coin?

Above all NEVER clean it as that is the best way to get rid of all the value. You've given very good advice about handling collectible coins, but a gold eagle will retain essentially all of its value even if it's run over by a truck. The only exception might be some of the scarce dates like 1992.
by Stonebr
Wed Jan 21, 2015 12:36 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Any care required for gold coin?
Replies: 10
Views: 886

Re: Annuity Concerns

Generally speaking there are two kinds of annuity: 1) Good ones -- single premium immediate annuities or SPIAs, and 2) POISONOUS ones -- variable and indexed annuities and other complicated insurance products with hidden costs and guarantees that are difficult to understand, and punishing surrender ...
by Stonebr
Tue Jan 20, 2015 7:48 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Annuity Concerns
Replies: 8
Views: 740

Re: 5.6% stable value fund - what allocation?

There are some Stable Value funds with high guaranteed rates, usually invested years and years ago when bond yields were much higher. However, these funds seldom let new investors in, for fear of diluting the "old money" with new investments at today's much lower yields. I agree that you n...
by Stonebr
Sun Jan 18, 2015 2:41 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 5.6% stable value fund - what allocation?
Replies: 29
Views: 2525

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

The Imitation Game. A great movie. +1. Saw it yesterday. Other recent: Wild -- very good, wonderful performance by Witherspoon The Theory of Everything -- very good, but for movies about scientists I thought The Imitation Game was better. It had a more focused story to tell, and the sequencing of s...
by Stonebr
Sun Jan 18, 2015 1:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 563
Views: 68844

Re: HELP!!! with run amok investment board!

Your only recourse is to write to the board. They will continue business as usual if they don't hear from plan participants. Get your co-workers to chime in. The more people the board hears from, the more they will listen. It will also help to remind them of their fiduciary responsibility. I assume ...
by Stonebr
Thu Jan 15, 2015 7:59 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HELP!!! with run amok investment board!
Replies: 25
Views: 3757

Re: Wellington Fund as primary retirement investment

She could do a lot worse. I've recommended this fund on two occasions to friends who either don't have the time or interest in hearing a long spiel on indexing. These folks have invested in Wellington, gone through the downturn of 2008-2009 and come back to thank me.

Also my wife owns it...
by Stonebr
Thu Jan 15, 2015 4:01 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Wellington Fund as primary retirement investment
Replies: 29
Views: 4830

Re: Loss of water pressure when using hot water

Because the pressure change affects the whole house, you probably want to check the hot water tank itself. The fluctuation in temperature would also implicate the tank. If it, like the house, is 10 years old, you may be due for a new one. Here's a link to wikiHow with some info on troubleshooting lo...
by Stonebr
Wed Jan 14, 2015 8:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Loss of water pressure when using hot water
Replies: 24
Views: 2216

Re: Questioning the conventional logic on dividend reinvestm

I suspect that dividend reinvestment might make more sense for those in accumulation than those in distribution. We're retired and pulling money from investments. It makes no sense to reinvest dividends and then sell shares a month later. Much easier at tax time to not have to file Schedule D -- jus...
by Stonebr
Tue Jan 13, 2015 7:00 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Questioning the conventional logic on dividend reinvestment
Replies: 24
Views: 2224

Re: Would managed funds beat index funds IF...

It is likely that the pros do better than individuals, even though quite a few pros are simply mediocre dimwits. The better ones are not dimwits and they have all that expensive research and all those 12 hour days they put in at work. It does pay off, otherwise I don't know how anyone could argue th...
by Stonebr
Tue Jan 13, 2015 3:34 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Would managed funds beat index funds IF...
Replies: 34
Views: 2437

Re: What was your costliest investment mistake?

Getting locked into two real estate limited partnerships early in my investing life. Fortunately they were in an IRA so I could avoid complexities of tax reporting -- these were not leveraged RE investments so they were specifically structured for the IRA market by a big insurance company. These LPs...
by Stonebr
Tue Jan 13, 2015 3:17 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What was your costliest investment mistake?
Replies: 119
Views: 9755

Re: Help: Writing my first Investment Plan

I've had a written IPS for many years. It's gotten simpler over the years as I've learned more. It would fit on a 3x5 card. Basically, all it is is the asset allocation split between equity and fixed. There's a short mention of international. I used to have all kinds of detail about rebalancing band...
by Stonebr
Mon Jan 12, 2015 8:16 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help: Writing my first Investment Plan
Replies: 10
Views: 1171

Re: Why do you like to travel and AA question?

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime."

- Mark Twain
by Stonebr
Mon Jan 12, 2015 1:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why do you like to travel and AA question?
Replies: 16
Views: 1143

Re: Nova Scotia in early summer, camping, with dog?

Folk music Ceilidhs are fairly common and great entertainment -- Celtic fiddlers especially. Whale watching is superb both in the Bay of Fundy and out from Cape Breton Island. Also boat trips to see puffins. I recall a quirky tourist trap devoted to the Giant of Cape Breton, a guy who was 8 feet tal...
by Stonebr
Sun Jan 11, 2015 10:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Nova Scotia in early summer, camping, with dog?
Replies: 11
Views: 1653

Re: Home Energy Audit - worth it?

Here's a link to a page that summarizes some of the energy auditor certification programs. http://www.energycircle.com/learn/home-energy-audits/certification. You might want to try http://www.bpi.org to find a BPI certified building analyst in your area. The other professional designations are RESNE...
by Stonebr
Sun Jan 11, 2015 9:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Energy Audit - worth it?
Replies: 22
Views: 2343

Re: Social Security and Pension Question:

A $95k annual income from COLA adjusted annuities is better than about 80% of American families. That gives you the freedom to do pretty much anything you want with your portfolio. The question then becomes, what is your sleeping point? That is, if you increase your equity holdings, are you going to...
by Stonebr
Sat Jan 10, 2015 11:32 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Social Security and Pension Question:
Replies: 36
Views: 3616

Re: Psychology vs. Fundamentals of investing

It's been a 10 year evolutionary process for me. Today I'm 100% indexed -- 3 fund. The downturn in 2008-9 gave me the opportunity to convert entirely to indexing. However, my wife still clings to GE stock that her grandmother gave her in 1988, and she still holds her IRA 100% in Fidelity Contrafund ...
by Stonebr
Sat Jan 10, 2015 11:17 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Psychology vs. Fundamentals of investing
Replies: 61
Views: 4540
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