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by bertilak
Thu May 28, 2015 5:11 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retired, need help with investment
Replies: 27
Views: 2520

Re: Retired, need help with investment

sylviakit wrote:... what do you mean by equities.

equities = stocks.
by bertilak
Wed May 27, 2015 2:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: American Express sneakery
Replies: 37
Views: 4337

Re: American Express sneakery

It makes sense that current balance is the most important number to show for most people. One pay interest on that current balance if not pay in full by due date. There is no interest on (outstanding balance - current balance) (new charge during that period). I do think the OP use the credit card i...
by bertilak
Wed May 27, 2015 8:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: American Express sneakery
Replies: 37
Views: 4337

Re: American Express sneakery

AMEX user here. I too was confused a bit at first, but for a different reason. It was not immediately obvious what the difference was between "current balance" and "outstanding balance." Both of those are "current" numbers. If not why even show them to me? What they cal...
by bertilak
Tue May 26, 2015 6:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Young Investor Looking For Advice
Replies: 16
Views: 939

Re: Young Investor Looking For Advice

Also, Bertilak mentioned Options. I am not sure what these are. I only mentioned them because you you said something about options in your original post. I see now I took that the wrong way. You were using the dictionary, every day, definition of the term. Don't bother to investigate. Just remember...
by bertilak
Tue May 26, 2015 4:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Wellington & Wellesley
Replies: 32
Views: 3599

Re: Wellington & Wellesley

So, why are Wellington and Wellesley funds different from all other Vanguard active funds? This paper, https://www2.bc.edu/jonathan-reuter/research/active_201208.pdf, makes the argument that there are two kinds of active mutual funds: ⋅ Mutual funds sold through brokers. and ⋅ M...
by bertilak
Tue May 26, 2015 3:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Young Investor Looking For Advice
Replies: 16
Views: 939

Re: Young Investor Looking For Advice

Hello all, I joined to ask for some advice, so this is my first post on this forums. My financial situation: I am currently a debt-free student, age 19, and I am wanting to get started investing. I am able to set aside roughly $100 a month for investing purposes. I am very much a novice when it com...
by bertilak
Mon May 25, 2015 9:12 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Plan for Asset Allocation changes with age
Replies: 14
Views: 908

Re: Plan for Asset Allocation changes with age

Shouldn't an investor make a gradual transition from 80/20 to 70/30 to 60/40, etc? Allocations need not be precise beyond the the degree to which their risk/return expectations are fairly fuzzy to begin with. In other words, moving from 60/40 to 58/42 is nearly meaningless. You could say the same f...
by bertilak
Sat May 23, 2015 5:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What's so great about simplicity?
Replies: 118
Views: 8899

Re: What's wrong with complication?

Q: What's wrong with complication? A: ?? I'd give you an answer but it's too complicated for a forum post. OK, I WAS going to say "Read a Bogle book or two." I have done that and I think he has an answer. ⋅ First, one must understand Bogle's CMH - the Cost Matters Hypothesis. &s...
by bertilak
Sat May 23, 2015 5:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What's so great about simplicity?
Replies: 118
Views: 8899

Re: What's wrong with complication?

Leeraar wrote:Q: What's wrong with complication?

A: ??


I'd give you an answer but it's too complicated for a forum post.
by bertilak
Sat May 23, 2015 11:37 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What's so great about simplicity?
Replies: 118
Views: 8899

Re: What's so great about simplicity?

Fallible wrote:Then again, there is the simplicity considered essence, knowing what is essential. That, IMO, brings us back to the financial, to investing, and the Bogleheads' philosophy of what is essential to invest wisely.

I like that one.
by bertilak
Sat May 23, 2015 10:18 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What's so great about simplicity?
Replies: 118
Views: 8899

Re: What's so great about simplicity?

As I gain experience and age, I see a benefit to a simple but diversified and balanced portfolio without such tilts. I am not there ... (yet?) Though, how much less I read financial threads and BH suggests I am getting there. Bold statements on tilts: ⋅ You don't need to tilt to X to get ...
by bertilak
Wed May 20, 2015 12:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What's so great about simplicity?
Replies: 118
Views: 8899

Re: What's so great about simplicity?

garlandwhizzer wrote:In my case inexperience and lack of sophistication in financial market knowledge led me to a complex time consuming portfolio.


But with EHM, MPT, Factors, Tilts, PE10, Discount Brokers, No-load funds, CEFs, ETFs, MLPs, unpriced REITs, etc., isn't it different this time around? :happy
by bertilak
Wed May 20, 2015 12:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What's so great about simplicity?
Replies: 118
Views: 8899

Re: What's so great about simplicity?

As I understand it, once you get past having all 85% of your SS taxed, the tax falls back down to 15% (marginal) until you enter the 25% bracket. So maybe you could consider converting all the way up to the top of the 15% bracket instead of just part way there. That's what I'm doing now but hadn't ...
by bertilak
Wed May 20, 2015 8:11 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What's so great about simplicity?
Replies: 118
Views: 8899

Re: What's so great about simplicity?

I only have two more years before 70.5 and taxes on Roth conversion can (still) be paid out of SS+pension cash flow. I don't expect to do Roth conversions once RMDs kick in. (Depends on tax analysis that year but I'm assuming for planning purposes it will not be the best strategy. I'm not even sure...
by bertilak
Tue May 19, 2015 7:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What's so great about simplicity?
Replies: 118
Views: 8899

Re: What's so great about simplicity?

PS: Unfortunately, complexity in one's tax avoidance strategy can be warranted, at least when you have taxable savings. At let in my case I think simplicity has helped my tax strategy: ⋅  Taxable account : All stocks, no bonds. ⋅  Tax-advantaged accounts : Mix of stocks and bond...
by bertilak
Tue May 19, 2015 1:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What's so great about simplicity?
Replies: 118
Views: 8899

Re: What's so great about simplicity?

... I have about 10% in a "Fun Money" account...my fun money started out as 8% of my portfolio, if you get my drift... Serious question, which so far I have never seen answered by a "fun money" advocate. Do you have a firm policy, written or otherwise, about what you would do if...
by bertilak
Tue May 19, 2015 10:15 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What's so great about simplicity?
Replies: 118
Views: 8899

Re: What's so great about simplicity?

PS: Unfortunately, complexity in one's tax avoidance strategy can be warranted, at least when you have taxable savings. At let in my case I think simplicity has helped my tax strategy: ⋅  Taxable account : All stocks, no bonds. ⋅  Tax-advantaged accounts : Mix of stocks and bond...
by bertilak
Tue May 19, 2015 9:34 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What's so great about simplicity?
Replies: 118
Views: 8899

Re: What's so great about simplicity?

Dandy wrote:Simplicity is in the eye of the beholder.

At some point it's no longer your eye that's beholding.

Either natural causes or the proverbial bus can bring in a new set of eyes.
by bertilak
Mon May 18, 2015 2:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What's so great about simplicity?
Replies: 118
Views: 8899

Re: What's so great about simplicity?

I don't want to debate portfolio composition (not the right thread to argue that going 30% small value reduces volatility while increasing return), but why do you hold the TSM/TISM combo rather than the simpler Total World Stock? I don't hold TISM, only TSM. I just wanted to admit that many would s...
by bertilak
Sun May 17, 2015 9:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What's so great about simplicity?
Replies: 118
Views: 8899

Re: What's so great about simplicity?

2) It isn't so much that simplicity gives higher returns. It is more that it doesn't give noticeably worse results. You might get some returns by adding a little complexity (small cap, value, emerging market tilts, splitting bonds up) but we are talking things like 6 funds and not the 20+ funds tha...
by bertilak
Sun May 17, 2015 8:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What's so great about simplicity?
Replies: 118
Views: 8899

Re: What's so great about simplicity?

Edited to add that I really like nisiprius's first line: "What's great about simplicity is that it prevents you from kidding yourself that you know more than you really know." I like that one too. Or as a famous person once said: http://i60.tinypic.com/346asuh.png I also like Simplicity g...
by bertilak
Sun May 17, 2015 7:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What's so great about simplicity?
Replies: 118
Views: 8899

Re: What's so great about simplicity?

Really interesting and helpful -- thank you. For those who are committed to simplicity but evolved to the position, did you sell off funds and absorb the tax hit to get to newfound simplicity? Any thoughts on the extent to which taking a tax hit to gain simplicity is worth it? I realize it depends ...
by bertilak
Sun May 17, 2015 6:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What's so great about simplicity?
Replies: 118
Views: 8899

Re: What's so great about simplicity?

retiredjg wrote:Once a person had achieved all that [understanding], there is no real need for simplicity if they wish to deviate from it.


Perhaps I have not yet achieved a high enough degree of understanding, but I would add to the above:

"... nor is there a need to deviate from simplicity."
by bertilak
Sun May 17, 2015 5:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help Re-balancing Portfolio before retirement
Replies: 8
Views: 936

Re: Help Re-balancing Portfolio before retirement

Thank you for the guidance so far. Really helpful. Her emergency fund looks large. Is she in CDs or other interest bearing holdings there? She is Cap One 360 earning 0.75%. What about paying off the loan with her cash ? We discussed having her pay down her mortgage while she's working. I think she'...
by bertilak
Wed May 13, 2015 7:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The BIG problem with the S&P 500 index?
Replies: 37
Views: 6034

Re: The BIG problem with the S&P 500 index?

Moreover, movements in these indicators are expressed in "points," such as "down 500 points." What's wrong with percentages? I used to wonder the same thing. I think the answer is that those who care the most (the chart watchers) think in terms of chart patterns and things like ...
by bertilak
Tue May 12, 2015 2:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Why Would an Experienced Investor Buy a Target-Date Fund?"
Replies: 38
Views: 4640

Re: 9 Reasons Why Experienced Investors Chose Target-Date Funds

As the glide path gets more conservative as #Cruncher noted, how should one rebalance (esp. if all the re-balancing is done on the tax-deferred side)? Should one start busting these out into their individual components by buying/selling? Should one take the year-end dividends and buy the required c...
by bertilak
Tue May 12, 2015 10:32 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Anybody 50/50?
Replies: 78
Views: 6181

Re: Anybody 50/50?

Honestly I don't know what my risk tolerance is because I just started investing this year. I get the concept of market cycles and I know Stocks have performed better than bonds over time, but I haven't been in a bad market and seen my 401k look like a 101k so I don't know how I'd feel or act. I'm ...
by bertilak
Tue May 12, 2015 10:27 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Anybody 50/50?
Replies: 78
Views: 6181

Re: Anybody 50/50?

If I may borrow from Taylor Larimore, "there are many roads to Dublin"...but some are less bumpy. :happy I like to say there are many roads but the best is not the fastest nor the most fun to drive. The best is the one where you won't get lost! I think "fun to drive" has a great...
by bertilak
Tue May 12, 2015 9:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Having a website
Replies: 18
Views: 1636

Re: Having a website

A friend who owns a small business told me about these guys: ICDSoft They have hosted a domain for me since about 2002. I have no complaints. I used to have a website there when I was teaching but that's now gone. It was very basic and hand-built with raw html. I currently have a different website ...
by bertilak
Tue May 12, 2015 9:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Math for Retirees and the 4% Withdrawal Rule
Replies: 89
Views: 9846

Re: New Math for Retirees and the 4% Withdrawal Rule

So people saying that going forward we should drop to 3% or even 2.5% are basically predicting the next 20-30 years will be absolutely horrible ... I see a difference between predicting worst case and preparing for worst case. Risk is the product of likelihood and consequences. Predicting has to do...
by bertilak
Tue May 12, 2015 8:52 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Anybody 50/50?
Replies: 78
Views: 6181

Re: Anybody 50/50?

I couldn't sleep with a 50/50 portfolio thinking about the long-term gains I would fear that I was leaving on the table. Look at it this way --- you ARE getting those long term gains with a huge chunk (half) of your portfolio. Why get greedy and put the whole thing at high risk? That's the way I lo...
by bertilak
Mon May 11, 2015 10:16 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: i have no idea where to start
Replies: 4
Views: 472

Re: i have no idea where to start

See the Wiki: Getting Started EDIT: added the following ... Another starting point: EmergDoc's Investing Plan Thread Yet another: Investing Made Simple ... Explained in 100 Pages or Less by Boglehead's own Mike Piper (AKA ObliviousInvestor). There are other books that go into more detail, but this o...
by bertilak
Fri May 08, 2015 9:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medicare Supplement Plan
Replies: 3
Views: 408

Re: Medicare Supplement Plan

With all things being equal is better to buy a Medicare Supplement Plan with Issue age rated or Attained age rated pricing ? Are there other things to look at besides type of pricing? Example credit rating, etc. Thanks The answer under the "all things being equal" condition would be "...
by bertilak
Fri May 08, 2015 8:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retired, need help with investment
Replies: 27
Views: 2520

Re: Retired, need help with investment

I am also retired with three accounts: Taxable Traditional IRA Roth IRA First, you need a very basic asset allocation (AA): Stocks vs bonds. You have had some advice on this above. Given the level of income you already have you have much freedom of choice in an AA -- pretty much anything middle-of-t...
by bertilak
Fri May 08, 2015 10:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do Updates to Home Increase Market Value?
Replies: 32
Views: 2195

Re: Do Updates to Home Increase Market Value?

The realtor may have given you a low range in order to sell it quickly. I believe this is why you need to look out for yourself with realtors. Their income depends on two things: ⋅ The amount of their commission ⋅ How often they GET a commission Quick sales do more for their bot...
by bertilak
Fri May 08, 2015 10:25 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Non traded REITs and indexed annuities
Replies: 49
Views: 2198

Re: Non traded REITs and indexed annuities

If you google 'REIT wrecks' you should find some interesting horror stories. Here's the site, but does anyone know what happened to it? http://reitwrecks.com It looks like the most recent articles are from 2010-2011 and the forums having been largely inactive for at least the past year. Look at the...
by bertilak
Thu May 07, 2015 5:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to do with 1940's refrigerator that still works?
Replies: 36
Views: 2719

Re: What to do with 1940's refrigerator that still works?

What to do with 1940's refrigerator that still works?

Fill it with beer! :sharebeer
by bertilak
Tue May 05, 2015 6:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 741
Views: 106921

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

I'm just three stories into Hercule Poirot - the Complete Short Stories which has over 50 stories (including, I think, a novella or two). I have, and have read, a couple dozen Poirot novels and look forward to the short stories. The series of PPS TV shows staring David Suchet as Poirot were what got...
by bertilak
Wed Apr 29, 2015 11:07 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help for Mom
Replies: 8
Views: 885

Re: Help for Mom

Again, see my edit. Can't seem to get things right (or complete) the first time!
by bertilak
Wed Apr 29, 2015 10:52 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help for Mom
Replies: 8
Views: 885

Re: Help for Mom

D, See my edit above in blue . Left that out, but given your situation it probably doesn't matter. Just wanted to correct an error. Generally, if one needs to put bonds in a taxable account Munis (tax free) bonds are a consideration, but in a low tax bracket you are probably better off getting the h...
by bertilak
Wed Apr 29, 2015 8:47 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VTSAX vs VFIAX/VIMAX/VSMAX
Replies: 13
Views: 1528

Re: VTSAX vs VFIAX/VIMAX/VSMAX

I think one of the advantages of having the 3 funds instead of just the VTSAX is I do have the opportunity to tilt more towards mid cap and small cap as historically they can outperform large caps. The risk is higher but so is the potential reward, A simpler way to fine tune your risk is to adjust ...
by bertilak
Tue Apr 28, 2015 2:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help for Mom
Replies: 8
Views: 885

Re: Help for Mom

First, I would get rid of ALL the funds and ALL the individual stocks in the portfolio. I don't believe cap gains are a consideration in the 15% tax bracket, but I am not a tax expert. Second, I would use only index funds. I personally have only two major investments: Total Stock Market (TSM) and To...
by bertilak
Mon Apr 27, 2015 2:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 741
Views: 106921

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Nicolas wrote:Something Like An Autobiography by Akira Kurosawa, the acclaimed film director.

Was it written from multiple, conflicting, points of view? :happy
by bertilak
Mon Apr 27, 2015 8:04 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why I Chose Target Retirement Funds
Replies: 54
Views: 6749

Re: Why I Chose Target Retirement Funds

I told my siblings, who don't know and care about investing, to put money in a Target Retirement fund that best matches the retirement year and ignore it. Actually, most people who believe in Target Date funds advise people not to look at the date in the fund title but the allocation it actually ha...
by bertilak
Sun Apr 26, 2015 12:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why I Chose Target Retirement Funds
Replies: 54
Views: 6749

Re: Why I Chose Target Retirement Funds

sambb wrote:I far prefer target or lifestrategy over 3 fund. In tax deferred. For some reason here there is a passion for 3 fund.

Three separate funds allow you to locate different asset classes in the most appropriate accounts (taxable, Roth, traditional IRA, etc.).
by bertilak
Sat Apr 25, 2015 7:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retirement Allocations
Replies: 13
Views: 1310

Re: Retirement Allocations

It includes my SS but not my wifes that will be 15,000 per year in 2024. I asked to see if your actual withdrawal from investments was $70K instead of $90K as that would be a more reasonable withdrawal percentage, 3.8% instead of 5.3%. I think that would still be a bit high to be considered really ...
by bertilak
Sat Apr 25, 2015 5:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: “How Does Aging Affect Financial Decision Making?”
Replies: 67
Views: 4764

Re: “How Does Aging Affect Financial Decision Making?”

Another way aging affects financial decision making:

Getting stuck in the past, unwillingness to even consider changing. Some people simply HATE change, and will even say so. This is emotional rather than intellectual. I have seen it. It affects more than financial decision making.
by bertilak
Sat Apr 25, 2015 3:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Has anyone been to Armenia or "Stans" such as Kazakhstan
Replies: 6
Views: 929

Re: Has anyone been to Armenia or "Stans" such as Kazakhstan

No I have not been there, but I think the book The Great Game: The Struggle for Empire in Central Asia by Peter Hopkirk will provide some good background before you go. Another book which covers events in the area during Word War I is Mission o Tashkent by Colonel F.M. Bailey. I put review of it Her...
by bertilak
Sat Apr 25, 2015 2:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity 3-fund portfolio between 401k/Roth IRA/Brokerage
Replies: 2
Views: 448

Re: Fidelity 3-fund portfolio between 401k/Roth IRA/Brokerag

Asset placement, especially with higher taxes, which is your case, is very important. I would arrange as follows or as close to this as possible: ⋅  Taxable Account : All equities here as they are the most tax efficient. If you have more equities than fit in here, use the ones with the low...

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