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Re: Buffett 2-fund portfolio and 75/50

You are over-thinking this and have gone from very complicated to still much too complicated. This same question has been asked here hundreds (maybe thousands!) of times, and usually it gets the same answer: The Three Fund Portfolio. You can backtest, believe in the S&P 500 fund over Total Marke...
by clearwater
Sun Jul 06, 2014 3:20 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Buffett 2-fund portfolio and 75/50
Replies: 18
Views: 2574

Re: Help With Costless Collar Option Implementation

There's a joke in here somewhere about wandering into the wrong party.
by clearwater
Wed Jul 02, 2014 3:39 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help With Costless Collar Option Implementation
Replies: 17
Views: 911

Re: Cutting the cable cord - how did you do it?

Well over a year ago I took my big, heavy, CRT television to a donation place where they happily accepted it. I never bought another TV. It's the best decision I ever made. Life's too short. Television is just physical and mental noise. Try going a month without TV and you'll be amazed how much bett...
by clearwater
Sun Jun 15, 2014 9:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cutting the cable cord - how did you do it?
Replies: 63
Views: 4385

Re: Talk me out of buying a Porsche Convertible. DISASTER!!!

I plan on asking the shop to reimburse me the $7K for the engine rebuild, the $700 for the IMS bearing (it was destroyed when the oil was filled with shrapnel and can't be reused), plus the rental truck, trailer, hotel rooms, air fare, basically everything. It will come to almost $10K. If they refu...
by clearwater
Sun Jun 15, 2014 2:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Talk me out of buying a Porsche Convertible. DISASTER!!!
Replies: 45
Views: 6338

Re: Talk me out of buying a Porsche convertible. Turning 40

The Boxter is a great, fun car. With one significant issue which can make for much unhappiness. If it doesn't happen, you have a great ride. If so, well.... Google "IMS bearing failure". That's the Boxster's fatal flaw. You can fix it ahead of time, which is a good idea. If you're an engin...
by clearwater
Wed May 14, 2014 2:27 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Talk me out of buying a Porsche convertible. Turning 40 soon
Replies: 42
Views: 5024

Re: Maintenance $$'s spent over the lifetime on your Car

What tread depth do I replace tires? That's exactly what I'm saying. I don't replace the tire until it's broken. The tread wears down, then some weird metal-like stuff starts showing through, then the tire will either break while I'm driving or I'll go outside one morning and the tire will be flat....
by clearwater
Wed Apr 02, 2014 1:48 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Maintenance $$'s spent over the lifetime on your Car
Replies: 38
Views: 2913

Re: Is Our Accountant Over-Charging Us?

If this were me, the first words I would use when I talk to my accountant next time would be "you're fired". Someone is paying for their people to apparently learn on the job, and that someone is you. My story: I used an accountant to prepare my taxes for years and years. I'd spend a ton o...
by clearwater
Wed Apr 02, 2014 1:36 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is Our Accountant Over-Charging Us?
Replies: 30
Views: 3541

Re: 8 hour layover in Honolulu. How to use time.

People don't want to trade individual stocks, and recommend the three fund portfolio for a reason -- keep it simple. You are trying to do WAY too much, with WAY too many unknowns. What if your flight gets in late? What if the weather is bad and you had turbulence across the ocean and everyone is bea...
by clearwater
Sun Mar 16, 2014 12:59 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 8 hour layover in Honolulu. How to use time.
Replies: 51
Views: 3837

Re: Stopping Junk Mail

Put it in an envelope along with a BIG NOTE to remove you from their mailing list or you will keep sending everything back to them. Send it to their CEO at the corporate HQ address, and write that SAME address in the return address area at top left. Drop it in the mail. It will arrive at their HQ PO...
by clearwater
Tue Mar 11, 2014 12:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Stopping Junk Mail
Replies: 17
Views: 1259

Re: Tax Exempt Bonds - Risks Involved

From September 2008...data from Moody's and S&P http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CRPT-110hrpt835/html/CRPT-110hrpt835.htm WOW! That's dramatic. If anything, that helps me think that using Interm. Tax Exempt along with Total Bond is acceptable, since high quality munis sure look pretty safe. That li...
by clearwater
Fri Mar 07, 2014 6:38 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Tax Exempt Bonds - Risks Involved
Replies: 76
Views: 4237

Re: Tax Exempt Bonds - Risks Involved

I've been thinking more on this topic and not sure what to do (I suppose that's a good sign). As Taylor says "when experts disagree, it's probably because it doesn't matter". I've come up with just a few ideas: a) Interm Tax Exempt (VWITX) + Total Bond (BND / VBMFX) -- this is what I have ...
by clearwater
Fri Mar 07, 2014 5:52 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Tax Exempt Bonds - Risks Involved
Replies: 76
Views: 4237

Re: Tax Exempt Bonds - Risks Involved

Wow, this is timely. I am going through this process right at this very moment. I am a former business owner and semi-retired. Some part of my bond income is used for living expenses. In the not to distant past, I had a little bit of Vanguard High Yield (VWEHX) following Rick Ferri's recommendation....
by clearwater
Thu Mar 06, 2014 4:52 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Tax Exempt Bonds - Risks Involved
Replies: 76
Views: 4237

Re: Where to buy polo shirts?

I have a bunch of experience with this (maybe too much). LL Bean until three years ago had the best polo shirts, hands down. They fit great, fair price, lots of colors. If you didn't put them in the dryer they would last forever. Then they fixed what wasn't broken, and treated the fabric so they are...
by clearwater
Fri Feb 28, 2014 5:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to buy polo shirts?
Replies: 63
Views: 9407

Re: Way to fetch SEC yields from Vanguard (for spreadsheet)?

Thanks for the replies. I agree that Vanguard is unlikely to do this kind of thing -- it's not their focus. It's really no big deal since as you said I can have my code just screen scrape it as needed. Yahoo Finance's tool is pretty slick since you just pass it a parameter and they return raw data; ...
by clearwater
Mon Jan 06, 2014 3:44 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Way to fetch SEC yields from Vanguard (for spreadsheet)?
Replies: 3
Views: 339

Way to fetch SEC yields from Vanguard (for spreadsheet)?

There may be a real simple way to do this, but I can't find it. Is there a way from Vanguard to download the current SEC yield for a fund programatically? I have an automated system (some Python code) to import current yields into my spreadsheet from Yahoo and Google. Yahoo shows TTM yields, Google ...
by clearwater
Fri Jan 03, 2014 7:28 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Way to fetch SEC yields from Vanguard (for spreadsheet)?
Replies: 3
Views: 339

Re: What does a Bogle TV look like?

I got rid of my TV about seven months ago. It was one of the best things I've ever done.
by clearwater
Thu Jan 02, 2014 9:27 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What does a Bogle TV look like?
Replies: 78
Views: 4236

Vanguard Wellesley (VWINX) + Berkshire (BRK.B)?

Summary: Considering combining Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B) with Vanguard Wellesley (VWINX) in its own standalone account. I have three accounts: my "core" account which is your standard Bogleheads type portfolio; a "stock" account where I hold some individual securities; and a Rot...
by clearwater
Wed Dec 04, 2013 6:06 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Wellesley (VWINX) + Berkshire (BRK.B)?
Replies: 1
Views: 585

Re: Hertz PlatePass Program--Feel Burned

I am almost 60 years old and have done a lot of business in my life. It truly seems that just the last few years, I am finding myself tricked and trapped more and more by companies doing stuff like this. Perhaps I am just imagining it. But I am far from the most casual and careless consumer around....
by clearwater
Mon Sep 30, 2013 9:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hertz PlatePass Program--Feel Burned
Replies: 27
Views: 3290

Re: Jewelry repair at Ben Bridge?

A caution on Ben Bridge. They will add you to their mailing list. You will find it a real job to get removed. I ultimately wrote a letter to Mr. Bridge himself, who to his credit wrote back and apologized. Then I took in my watch to get a battery replaced, and it started all over again. I had to wri...
by clearwater
Mon Sep 30, 2013 8:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Jewelry repair at Ben Bridge?
Replies: 3
Views: 425

Re: Flooring fiasco

I did not have a contractor. We purchased this flooring through a local flooring store. They used their own installers (some didn't speak much English). No one checked to see if the floor was level. .... The basement was a mess of thin strips of wood after they finished putting in the floor. You've...
by clearwater
Wed Sep 18, 2013 10:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flooring fiasco
Replies: 22
Views: 2217

Warning on "free" Morningstar trial

Take note that you may want to steer clear of Morningstar's "free" 14 day trial. You'll have to sign up with credit card number, etc, then you have 14 days to cancel. BUT -- there is no "CANCEL ME" button on the web page, and instead you have to call their 800 number where they s...
by clearwater
Mon Sep 09, 2013 4:35 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Warning on "free" Morningstar trial
Replies: 24
Views: 1831

Re: International funds not popular at Vanguard?

(edited to include mutual fund classes, some additional comments): You're right in that they are very, very new. I'd just have expected a faster influx of buyers if there was demand. Comparing to the mutual funds: Vanguard REIT Index Adm (VGSLX): 34.5B Vanguard Global ex-US Rel Est Idx Inv (VGXRX): ...
by clearwater
Wed Jul 10, 2013 2:29 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: International funds not popular at Vanguard?
Replies: 8
Views: 1614

International funds not popular at Vanguard?

I try to follow a 70/30 U.S. / International split in all sectors. Some time ago I implemented this across Real Estate Index (VNQ), and International Real Estate (VNQI). Looking today I was somewhat amazed to see the International Real Estate Fund only has 788 million in assets, compared to 17.82 bi...
by clearwater
Wed Jul 10, 2013 2:03 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: International funds not popular at Vanguard?
Replies: 8
Views: 1614

Re: Will rebalance into REIT today

I'm simplifying my portfolio to move more towards Taylor's three fund model (not quite there, but closer). To do that, yesterday I sold: Pacific (VPL), Europe (VGK), Emerging Markets (VWO), and iShares Canada (EWC), so that I could buy Total International (VXUS). Turns out all those international fu...
by clearwater
Thu Jun 20, 2013 4:16 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Will rebalance into REIT today
Replies: 14
Views: 1362

Re: Bonds including Intl (BNDX)

2. Is there a single-state muni fund with reasonably low costs available for your location, either through Vanguard or another provider? If yes, I might be tempted to replace the Vanguard International Bond fund with this. 3. All of your bond funds are intermediate-term, each with a duration over 5...
by clearwater
Wed Jun 19, 2013 3:41 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bonds including Intl (BNDX)
Replies: 2
Views: 714

Bonds including Intl (BNDX)

I'm restructuring my bond allocation, and wonder if anyone else has done something like this. This is all in taxable as tax advantaged space has no room (the taxable space is much bigger, by a substantial factor). The tax considerations for my holding something like Total Bond are negligible at the ...
by clearwater
Wed Jun 19, 2013 3:53 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bonds including Intl (BNDX)
Replies: 2
Views: 714

Re: Please advise on Gold Coin Purchase

Some people when it comes to gold will take an interest in telling you how to spend your money. It's the one thing here that brings out opinions you probably didn't ask for when you wanted an answer to a simple question. The best thing to do if you want to buy bullion is tune out the noise. Buying c...
by clearwater
Mon Jun 03, 2013 12:55 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Please advise on Gold Coin Purchase
Replies: 28
Views: 2077

Re: Timber REITs

Also note that many of the REIT index funds (such as Vanguard's "VNQ" product) often do not include timber REITs in their holdings. This is I think partly due to many of the timber companies only converted to the REIT form a few years ago.... maybe they'll be added to the index soon. The s...
by clearwater
Thu May 30, 2013 4:33 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Timber REITs
Replies: 14
Views: 1489

Re: "As is" clause in real estate

Having purchased a house which had an "AS IS" clause added late in contract negotiations, all I can say is: RUN AWAY. There is some, or multiple, reasons for those two magic words. You don't want to know my experience (it's a long story, and you can probably guess) but if you ask around to...
by clearwater
Thu May 30, 2013 4:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "As is" clause in real estate
Replies: 41
Views: 1943

Re: Interstate Moving Company - Experiences

As someone who has moved 24 times, please take my advice on this: It is almost never, ever, worth moving furniture if you are going more than 500 miles. You can get to the destination and typically buy *brand new* furniture cheaper than it cost to pack, move, and unpack the old stuff (which also may...
by clearwater
Thu May 02, 2013 11:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Interstate Moving Company - Experiences
Replies: 29
Views: 1527

Re: Telemarketers

You need to throw technology at this problem. And unfortunately the traditional phone companies don't have it. You can use Google Voice, which will let you set up rules to deny or screen inbound calls. For a free service, it's pretty darned good. You can use a mobile phone and a call block or screen...
by clearwater
Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [stopping] Telemarketers
Replies: 29
Views: 1697

Re: Should I sell my home?

No realtor (R) [note 1] ... I mean real estate agent... is your friend. They are salespeople, the same as someone who tries to sell you a car or insurance. All the same behaviors apply. It's one of the most ridiculous industries in the world when it comes to people who want to put their hand in your...
by clearwater
Thu Apr 18, 2013 12:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I sell my home?
Replies: 10
Views: 1133

Re: Upgrading Cookware?

I guarantee you that most of the fantastic fancy meals you've had in restaurants have been made in stuff bought at the restaurant supply store. The food doesn't know how shiny the pan is. If you use fresh ingredients, you're 90% of the way there. Learn your stove and pots and pans and how they trans...
by clearwater
Wed Apr 17, 2013 6:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Upgrading Cookware?
Replies: 48
Views: 4474

Re: Help me manage a $7 million portfolio.

You've got plenty of advice already, but have you considered talking to one of "Bogleheads Own" and give Rick Ferri a call? http://www.rickferri.com/about/about-rick http://www.portfoliosolutions.com/ (I have no affiliation other than reading his postings and books, and trust his rational,...
by clearwater
Wed Apr 17, 2013 6:12 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help me manage a $7 million portfolio.
Replies: 105
Views: 12749

Re: Vanguard High Yield

Larry is right, of course. But I think Rick is *more* right. I hold High Yield Bonds as recommended by Rick, along with Total Bond (BND), and Inflation Protected (VIPSX), and have enjoyed the additional income. Additionally adding this component to the overall bond mix more correctly approximates th...
by clearwater
Sun Apr 14, 2013 9:36 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard High Yield
Replies: 139
Views: 9019

Re: Three fund portfolio - the evolution?

Thank you again to Taylor for all his contributions to the forum and the three fund portfolio. Although I still slice and dice and have a few more funds, I'm trending closer and closer to the three fund model as well.... I'll probably end up with the "five fund" version, which is pretty cl...
by clearwater
Mon Mar 25, 2013 2:05 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Three fund portfolio - the evolution?
Replies: 13
Views: 3260

Three fund portfolio - the evolution?

It's tax time, and I'm diligently working my way through the process. But while doing the taxes I got to wondering... and this is a question really for Taylor -- what was the "inspiration" for the three fund portfolio? Was there some process that naturally led to its construction (e.g. sim...
by clearwater
Sun Mar 24, 2013 6:20 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Three fund portfolio - the evolution?
Replies: 13
Views: 3260

Re: Alternatives to Quicken

I'm in the same bind as you. I've tried them all. Moneydance had a terrible user interface (although GnuCash was even worse). iBank had a better UI although still not great. Both of them had difficulty correctly importing large amounts of Quicken data. I have data going back to 1992. I'd like to bri...
by clearwater
Fri Mar 15, 2013 1:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Alternatives to Quicken
Replies: 41
Views: 24453

Re: Anyone Choosing to Retire in Maryland?

I left the area in the late '90s. It used to take me from 45-90 minutes (each way) to go 30 miles on the Beltway. Sometime I would cut through the District just to keep my sanity (same amount of road time, but at least I was moving). Summers are miserable. Winters are tolerable unless it snows, and ...
by clearwater
Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:11 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone Choosing to Retire in Maryland?
Replies: 76
Views: 4852

Re: Has anyone eliminated cable and Internet?

Check out StraightTalk for low cost GSM service. You can get a package with data services for about $45/month. It's sold through WalMart. You can just buy the plan and get a SIM via the WalMart web page... no need to go the store. Check what size SIM the iPad uses though... if it's the same nano siz...
by clearwater
Sat Feb 09, 2013 9:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Has anyone eliminated cable and Internet?
Replies: 10
Views: 1629

Re: New gold-colored watch for friend [digital]

It's the big watch-shaped beacon in the sky!

Only Petrocelli can save us now!
by clearwater
Fri Feb 01, 2013 5:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New gold-colored watch for friend [digital]
Replies: 9
Views: 978

Re: Scanning 35mm Slides and Color Negatives

A followup to my earlier note. Costco / Walgreens / Walmart and the like typically use a Fuji Frontier for scanning. The results can be quite good, as long as you get an operator who knows the software and manages it correctly during the run. A typical complaint with Frontier scans is blown out high...
by clearwater
Mon Jan 28, 2013 9:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Scanning 35mm Slides and Color Negatives
Replies: 24
Views: 2574

Re: Scanning 35mm Slides and Color Negatives

Does a regular flatbed like the CanoScan 9000 work OK, or should I use a special scanner? Has anyone used a service that does this? I have about 10,000 slides that I have decided to digitize. I'm a professional photographer so can save you a lot of time, since I hear this question almost daily. 10,...
by clearwater
Mon Jan 28, 2013 6:02 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Scanning 35mm Slides and Color Negatives
Replies: 24
Views: 2574

Re: My (horrible) experience with Vanguard

I was going to move to Vanguard, but have decided to stay at Schwab. Although I spent an hour on the phone with concierge services to figure out all the right forms to transfer, I've noticed a few things with Vanguard. The forms are overly complex (compared to Schwab or Fidelity); I don't know why t...
by clearwater
Mon Jan 14, 2013 3:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My (horrible) experience with Vanguard
Replies: 82
Views: 10460

Re: Buying American Gold & Silver Eagles (monthly)

Let's say over a period of a year you obtain 50 individual 1 oz silver bullion coins that have nothing more than the date - 2012 - on them. But (that's a big BUT), but, you have paid over the past year a variety of prices for each of the 1 oz coins. For instance, in January you buy 3 coins at $37.5...
by clearwater
Thu Jan 10, 2013 7:12 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Buying American Gold & Silver Eagles (monthly)
Replies: 22
Views: 2198

Re: Buy now...retire there later?

Use variable substitution in this equation and see if it still makes sense. For example, you could replace "house" with "widget". In this instance, let's use something that makes some kind of sense just so you get the idea. Let's use "car". Now your scenario is: We have...
by clearwater
Sun Jan 06, 2013 9:33 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Buy now...retire there later?
Replies: 40
Views: 3821

Re: Dinner Guest Issues

Wow. So much complexity. If you are inviting people over for more than burgers on the grill and some beer, you are going to deal with problems. Somehow in the last few decades people started being special snowflakes. Enough already. This isn't so hard. If you're the guest: Ask what you can bring. Br...
by clearwater
Sun Dec 30, 2012 6:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dinner Guest Issues
Replies: 149
Views: 12126

Re: Finding cheap flights to Alaska

Anybody have any suggestions for finding cheap flights to Alaska for a summer trip??? Alaska Airlines is the "de facto" carrier and will get you anywhere you need to go in-state. They are based out of Seattle, but now fly almost everywhere in the U.S. -- even to Hawaii. They also have the...
by clearwater
Wed Dec 26, 2012 5:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Finding cheap flights to Alaska
Replies: 7
Views: 620

Re: What is the best way to buy Silver

Not to thread jack but does anyone purchase silver bars like these 100 oz bars: http://www.apmex.com/Product/57949/100_oz_Royal_Canadian_Mint_RCM_9999_Fine_Silver_Bar.aspx ? Seems like a more practical way than to hold 100 individual silver coins, but curious for feedback. Stick with 1 ounce coinag...
by clearwater
Wed Dec 26, 2012 5:50 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is the best way to buy Silver
Replies: 7
Views: 2178

Re: BND combined with PIMCO Total Return (PTTRX)

I love these "Please predict the future for me" posts. I didn't ask that. This is actually a situation that is pretty interesting. Is it worthwhile to keep around a managed fund which fundamentally is run pretty darned close to an index mix.... but uses some rather complex strategies to d...
by clearwater
Fri Dec 21, 2012 11:24 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: BND combined with PIMCO Total Return (PTTRX)
Replies: 32
Views: 2108
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