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Re: New and Trying to Make Good Decisions

Your study, demonstrated attention to detail, and execution of BH philosophy is obvious. Municipal bonds. If needed, you are a candidate for using municipal bonds in your taxable account. The recommended fund is a national intermediate-term (~5 year duration) fund. Vanguard's is VWITX($3K min)/VWIUX...
by dratkinson
Thu Sep 18, 2014 5:50 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New and Trying to Make Good Decisions
Replies: 17
Views: 1081

Re: Talk Me Off The Edge

... We've been happy with Total Bond, ... Our goal is to focus on total returns for our entire portfolio, not income. Stick with TBM if you have no better reason to change than your worry about interest rate risk. Yes, TBM will drop when interest rates rise, but it will recover as old bond issues a...
by dratkinson
Tue Sep 16, 2014 3:50 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Talk Me Off The Edge
Replies: 8
Views: 1684

Re: Should I purchase retirement home with in-laws?

I think it's also a bad idea to do the partnership. How about you buying the home and renting it to them? Double check the IRS requirements on "rental property". Seem to recall they frown if rented for below market value (half your mortgage payment = partnership equivalent) to close relat...
by dratkinson
Tue Sep 16, 2014 3:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I purchase retirement home with in-laws?
Replies: 18
Views: 1280

Re: Seeking Boglehead Perspectives on Portfolio

I'm a novice investor so be forewarned. Your implementation of BH philosophy, based on funds selected, seems acceptable. Study is obvious. Holding emergency funds in CD with low surrender hurdle vs. cash/savings is advocated by many seeking higher interest rates. Your taxable plan appear to be mains...
by dratkinson
Tue Sep 16, 2014 1:38 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Seeking Boglehead Perspectives on Portfolio
Replies: 5
Views: 469

Re: Investment advice for a young beginner

Follow the advice in the BH book about choosing an asset allocation and selecting funds. Use the lowest-cost, broadest-index fund options available to you. Consider all of your accounts as one portfolio: place (1) bonds in one account, stocks in another, or (2) duplicate funds in each account. Your ...
by dratkinson
Mon Sep 15, 2014 5:37 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investment advice for a young beginner
Replies: 4
Views: 300

Re: Do I need to hold my emergency fund in cash?

Just to be the devil's advocate: Suppose an individual has investments and owns a home free and clear - what's to stop that person from establishing a HELOC on the primary residence and using that for emergency funding? In other words, have a zero loan balance until the need arises, borrow from the...
by dratkinson
Sun Sep 14, 2014 9:06 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do I need to hold my emergency fund in cash?
Replies: 29
Views: 3166

Re: Do I need to hold my emergency fund in cash?

+1 for tiered EFs: 1. Credit cards. 2. Two months of living expenses in online checking. 3. $1K in local B&M savings for after-hours cash. 4. Half year in tax-exempt mmkt. Checks. Primary function: redistributions target for rebalancing. 5. Two years in I bonds. Buying them with fed tax return m...
by dratkinson
Sun Sep 14, 2014 8:03 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do I need to hold my emergency fund in cash?
Replies: 29
Views: 3166

Re: 18 and Need Help Starting

Was reading another topic and thought of something to get you some brownie points on your paper. Your high-income career will make you ineligible for a Roth IRA (income limits). However you will be eligible for a traditional IRA (no income limits), but at that income level your annual contribution w...
by dratkinson
Sat Sep 13, 2014 3:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 18 and Need Help Starting
Replies: 30
Views: 2036

Re: Which generator do you have?

... It's not the solar panels that require the grid, it's the inverters and controllers. ... The solution to all this is to get a controller designed to work off grid, rather than trying to fool a grid tied system. Thank you. You've given me a much better understanding of the technical issues. I ap...
by dratkinson
Sat Sep 13, 2014 1:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which generator do you have?
Replies: 127
Views: 7357

Re: Is there a "catch" in this Xfinity offer ?

You really shouldn't have a comcast.net or att.net email address for this very reason. Get out of the stone age and get a gmail account. I actually have both and use the att.net for all my site signups, but you're right in that I would be better off the get another web based account. I have fastmai...
by dratkinson
Fri Sep 12, 2014 2:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is there a "catch" in this Xfinity offer ?
Replies: 23
Views: 1595

Re: Which generator do you have?

I've thought of a way to trick a grid-tied-only solar system into producing power. ... That won't work well. There is usually a mismatch between the power generated by the panels and the power needed by local loads. The controller sends any excess power to, or takes any deficit in power from, the g...
by dratkinson
Fri Sep 12, 2014 1:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which generator do you have?
Replies: 127
Views: 7357

Re: Which generator do you have?

... Be careful on this. On a lot of solar installations I have seen, the grid goes down, so does your solar. This is done for grid stability reasons I assume. Make sure there is a way to isolate from the grid. ... I've thought of a way to trick a grid-tied-only solar system into producing power. Af...
by dratkinson
Thu Sep 11, 2014 3:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which generator do you have?
Replies: 127
Views: 7357

Re: Which generator do you have?

I have a Generac iX2000. It's a piece of junk. The inverter module died ... So, a perfectly good motor is headed to the trash heap due to faulty electronics. ... Option #1. I seem to recall the people on the utterpower.com website were developing a tapered plug/shaft to fit into the end of motors f...
by dratkinson
Wed Sep 10, 2014 4:32 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which generator do you have?
Replies: 127
Views: 7357

Re: No good bond funds available. Other options?

Using muni funds extends your tax-advantaged space. Not true. You pay no taxes, but at the cost of worse yields that you would have had otherwise. ... Truthfully, I didn't check the SEC yields before posting. Didn't realize CA IT's was so close to IT treasury's. VFITX, intermediate-term treasury (s...
by dratkinson
Tue Sep 09, 2014 5:19 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: No good bond funds available. Other options?
Replies: 15
Views: 1330

Re: No good bond funds available. Other options?

Your tax brackets could support this option. Put either of these in a taxable account. CA IT municipal bond fund: VCAIX ($3K min, ER 0.20%). CA LT municipal bond fund: VCITX ($3K min, ER 0.20%). At $50K invested, Admiral shares kick in and ER drops to 0.12% Temper interest-rate risk by choosing the ...
by dratkinson
Tue Sep 09, 2014 2:26 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: No good bond funds available. Other options?
Replies: 15
Views: 1330

Re: What do you measure your AA against?

Vanguard has a portfolio what-if tool that gives the long-term results of past stocks/bonds/cash allocations you've entered. Could use that as a yardstick to compare against your return. If you entered 100% allocations to each, would get the long-term results of individual components (stocks, bonds,...
by dratkinson
Sun Sep 07, 2014 4:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What do you measure your AA against?
Replies: 20
Views: 1116

Re: Need Help; First Time Investor

+1 Stop. It makes a big difference whether you are age 20 or age 65: you don't say. Plus you've left out a lot of other information we need. What? (1) First, do your required reading. It will bring you up to speed on the BH investing philosophy and methods, and help you understand the advice you wil...
by dratkinson
Sun Sep 07, 2014 4:15 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need Help; First Time Investor
Replies: 4
Views: 226

Re: Portfolio Advice Needed $1M age 40

Wow thanks for the quick replies. A few more details: 1. In addition to maxing our 401k / IRAs we save about $10-$12K/month. ... Suggest editing your OP to include all of this information: click the edit button. Why? It's easier for anyone offering suggestions to have all of the facts in one place....
by dratkinson
Sun Sep 07, 2014 4:13 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Advice Needed $1M age 40
Replies: 18
Views: 2039

Re: [Helping someone] think like a rich person

"Rich people plan for three generations, poor people plan for Friday night." Sayings are okay, but believe your friend needs a how-to book. For personal-finance advice, read The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need by Andrew Tobias. Covers most topics she will encounter in daily life. Be...
by dratkinson
Sun Sep 07, 2014 3:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Helping someone] think like a rich person
Replies: 40
Views: 4148

Re: My IPS in computer pseudocode [Investment Policy Stateme

OP. Your idea for reminder messages took root when I read it. This month I'm responded to my first Excel reminder based on your idea. With no new money going into my Roth, still accumulating, and wanting to shoot for the moon (equities only, no bonds), the equities are rebalanced by redirecting quar...
by dratkinson
Sat Sep 06, 2014 10:02 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: My IPS in computer pseudocode [Investment Policy Statement]
Replies: 23
Views: 2469

Re: Do you consider your emergency fund part of your portfol

Do you consider your emergency fund part of your portfolio?

No. I consider my portfolio to be part of my emergency fund.
by dratkinson
Sat Sep 06, 2014 4:26 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do you consider your emergency fund part of your portfolio?
Replies: 50
Views: 3038

Re: Drawing down a windfall...

If memory serves, the 4% safe withdrawal rate was recommended for a 30-year retirement horizon: 65-95. Starting withdrawals in ones 40s would require a much lower rate to sustain. One additional wrinkle. There have been recent topics about current market returns only supporting a 3% safe withdrawal ...
by dratkinson
Sat Sep 06, 2014 4:20 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Drawing down a windfall...
Replies: 55
Views: 4087

Re: Which generator do you have?

Weighing in on the plug-in NG furnace issue. I too don't see the problem. (Full disclosure. My central heat is hard-wired NG, but believe plug-in furnace solution to be elegantly simple.) Electric code compliance. If we can plug in a 1500 watt electric heater, then why can't we plug in a 600 watt NG...
by dratkinson
Thu Sep 04, 2014 4:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which generator do you have?
Replies: 127
Views: 7357

Re: Which generator do you have?

Emergency lights. I do have several kerosene lamps (flat-wick and Aladdin), candles, and flashlights for emergency lighting, but wanted something a little more convenient, safer, and automatic. So.... I have several of the small battery-backed 3-in-1 night lights in my hallway mounted high up on th...
by dratkinson
Thu Sep 04, 2014 4:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which generator do you have?
Replies: 127
Views: 7357

Re: 18 and Need Help Starting

My second-level thinking just kicked in. If you are having trouble with this personal-finance retirement-planning exercise, then you probably have problems with other real-life personal finance issues. Suggest you read The Only Investment Guide You'll Every Need , by Andrew Tobias. It briefly covers...
by dratkinson
Wed Sep 03, 2014 5:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 18 and Need Help Starting
Replies: 30
Views: 2036

Re: does this (gardening?) tool exist?

Can you attach a "claw grabber" to the back of your long pruner? If above would be too heavy, can you attach a long telescoping painters pole to a claw grabber? In either case, rig a rope so you can activate claw from ground. I use a Fiskars telescoping pruning saw/bypass lopper. Hung cut ...
by dratkinson
Wed Sep 03, 2014 4:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: does this (gardening?) tool exist?
Replies: 9
Views: 1119

Re: Need good bank for 84y.o. ma who doesn't want online ban

Could try a credit union: fees should be lower than at a bank. Ask to see some of their printed statements to get a feel for them and if they will suit your needs. Sample entires from my CU statement: Deposit: ACH METLIFE - TYPE: "transaction identifying information" $xx.xx (quarterly stoc...
by dratkinson
Wed Sep 03, 2014 4:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need good bank for 84y.o. ma who doesn't want online banking
Replies: 16
Views: 920

Re: Which generator do you have?

Have installed a backup sump pump that uses city water. How well does this work? What happens if the city loses power also? ... Believe city water pressure comes for a municipal water storage tank, so some backup time there before it runs dry. And municipal water pumping should be an essential serv...
by dratkinson
Wed Sep 03, 2014 4:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which generator do you have?
Replies: 127
Views: 7357

Re: Coin Counting Machines

Coinstar as an Amazon credit to avoid fee for me. My nightly change gets dumped into a big mason jar and when full it goes to the Coinstar. The funny thing is that a quart size jar filled to the top with random change seems to always hold $104 plus or minus $3. A quart holds ~$100 in change. Good t...
by dratkinson
Wed Sep 03, 2014 3:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Coin Counting Machines
Replies: 58
Views: 4041

Re: Which generator do you have?

... So for $10K installed, using natural gas, and with automatic cutover, basically no hauling of unit or fueling, should one wait (or bother with several piecemeal units) or simply get now? All of us are getting older, why not do the full blown deal initially if possible (budget is needed of cours...
by dratkinson
Wed Sep 03, 2014 3:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which generator do you have?
Replies: 127
Views: 7357

Re: 18 and Need Help Starting

... When where you going to figure this out on your own? Now? Or when you are in your 40s-50s, when most of your investing life (N) has been wasted? Your teacher is brilliant! Take him a big box of chocolates. Wow this is super helpful. So how do I figure out how to weasel my way out of paying so m...
by dratkinson
Wed Sep 03, 2014 4:55 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 18 and Need Help Starting
Replies: 30
Views: 2036

Re: Which generator do you have?

Home: hot water--NG standing pilot storage tank type; heating--NG furnace; cooling--swamp cooler; electric range. An NG range, backup heat, and generator connection are on my list of modifications after I upgrade my NG service. I have two portable units which connect through a manual 200A whole-hous...
by dratkinson
Tue Sep 02, 2014 3:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which generator do you have?
Replies: 127
Views: 7357

Re: Which generator do you have?

... Some questions out of total ignorance: - is the home heating oil equivalent to diesel? Ie clean enough for a modern diesel engine? ... So would you be OK if you did this? Both from a practical point of view (quality of fuel) and from a legal/ tax point of view. Searched "red diesel generat...
by dratkinson
Tue Sep 02, 2014 2:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which generator do you have?
Replies: 127
Views: 7357

Re: 18 and Need Help Starting

Kudos to teacher. He's using your class time to force you to think about things most people don't get around to until their late 40s-50s, when it is almost too late. Retiring as a millionaire by 65 has been done by many on a modest income. Read The Millionaire Next Door for details. Live frugally. S...
by dratkinson
Sun Aug 31, 2014 4:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 18 and Need Help Starting
Replies: 30
Views: 2036

Re: bonds in taxable. which fund?

Suggest reading the recommended bond books by Swedroe and Thau. Thumbnail overview. IT. Intermediate term is the textbook-recommended sweet spot for price stability (interest rate risk) and dividends. A quarter of my TE bonds are here. I consider them a 3rd-tier emergency fund. LT. But I don't worry...
by dratkinson
Sun Aug 31, 2014 2:51 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: bonds in taxable. which fund?
Replies: 6
Views: 570

Re: should I buy a 5 yr annuity to get me to 70

You need 600/mo and have ~5 years to get to age 70. So you need: 600 x 12 x 5 = ~$36K. You've got $225K. Don't really see a problem. If you go the annuity route, your cost is sunk/nonrecoverable and your benefits are fixed. If you go the self-insured route, your expenses may be less than expected, s...
by dratkinson
Sat Aug 30, 2014 4:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: should I buy a 5 yr annuity to get me to 70
Replies: 8
Views: 737

Re: Ideas for thanking a doctor

Once gave a doctor a thank you card attached to something like this: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-fMqIUFv8V4g/T3CgvvCW5PI/AAAAAAAABW0/zRTh5Wo7Abc/s400/Glass+Apple+Wallpapers+3.jpg At the time (~2000), local PBS station was featuring a glass artist. Liked his work and ordered from his studio.
by dratkinson
Sat Aug 30, 2014 2:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ideas for thanking a doctor
Replies: 74
Views: 4628

Re: Index Stategy Question

... As far as I can tell Wilshire only covers US markets, what I am looking for includes various international indexes such as the DAX and FTSE. ... Wist of stock market indexes: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_stock_market_indices See "Global" indexes at top of above listing. Above ...
by dratkinson
Fri Aug 29, 2014 3:53 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Index Stategy Question
Replies: 10
Views: 652

Re: Index Stategy Question

What did your finance professor recommend as sources? He mentioned "any means at your immediate disposal, the library, the internet.." Its a general research project, nothing specific. This 'W' index/strategy is something I have come across before that I wanted to write this paper on, I j...
by dratkinson
Fri Aug 29, 2014 11:53 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Index Stategy Question
Replies: 10
Views: 652

Re: Index Stategy Question

I would have suggested the Wilshire indexes, but they're no secret to the public. +1 My guess as well. Wilshire indexes: http://www.wilshire.com/indexes/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilshire_5000 http://www.investopedia.com/terms/w/wilshire5000equityindex.asp Vanguard's US total stock market index...
by dratkinson
Fri Aug 29, 2014 11:19 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Index Stategy Question
Replies: 10
Views: 652

Re: Gas station etiquette

Have seen it happen often. Driver B could have ignored the open pump because gas filler door was on the wrong side: valid reason, and explains why driver B favored one pump side over the other. So you were correct to proceed and make use of the open pump. It speeds up the line: all the drivers behin...
by dratkinson
Thu Aug 28, 2014 7:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gas station etiquette
Replies: 46
Views: 2932

Re: Study: poor 5-yr U.S. returns -- overweight foreign?

I don't know if anyone has looked at this, but I decided to see what would have happened if an investor had switched his equity allocation annually between TSM and TI based on which had the highest returns the previous year. In other words, if TSM outperformed TI, he would invest 100% in TSM the fo...
by dratkinson
Thu Aug 28, 2014 6:09 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Study: poor 5-yr U.S. returns -- overweight foreign?
Replies: 47
Views: 3224

Re: Study: poor 5-yr U.S. returns -- overweight foreign?

"Study: poor 5-yr U.S returns -- overweight foreign?" Had to search my offline notes. I know nothing and can prove it, but William Bernstein says .... From: "Momentum" -- http://www.efficientfrontier.com/ef/199/momentum.htm Under subtopic: "An Unfair Advantage", 3rd par...
by dratkinson
Wed Aug 27, 2014 7:42 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Study: poor 5-yr U.S. returns -- overweight foreign?
Replies: 47
Views: 3224

Re: I/EE Bonds as tax advantaged space expansion

I have maxed out my Roth for this year. And I will max out my Roth in February, maybe March, of next year. Is that what you meant? Yes. If you will max out your tax-advantaged space (401k/IRA/...) every year, then your second scenario does not apply. After maxing out your TA space for the year and ...
by dratkinson
Tue Aug 26, 2014 2:22 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I/EE Bonds as tax advantaged space expansion
Replies: 10
Views: 823

Re: I/EE Bonds as tax advantaged space expansion

I don't plan on buying any I or EE bonds until the month after I turn 24, to try to qualify for the tax free education benefit of I/EE bonds in case I have children in the future, but... Let me just make sure I understand this correctly. If I have maxed out my tax advantaged space with Vanguard tot...
by dratkinson
Tue Aug 26, 2014 1:39 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I/EE Bonds as tax advantaged space expansion
Replies: 10
Views: 823

Re: Do vanguard funds compound monthly?

What about the VFFVX Vanguard Target Retirement 2055 Fund Investor Shares? I have both dividends and capital gains set to 'reinvest'. Is this a good fund to invest at age 22? If so, when should I start branching out and investing in other vanguard funds? Thanks. The purpose of a target retirement f...
by dratkinson
Tue Aug 26, 2014 1:07 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do vanguard funds compound monthly?
Replies: 11
Views: 1266

Re: Renewing a lease of a(n electric) car with a 'fixed pric

You seem to like your current car, so could you not just renew the lease for 3 years? Just exchange paperwork by mail, never visit the dealership. Would think the new lease on your used vehicle should be less than you now pay and also less than on a new vehicle, plus no new "money down".
by dratkinson
Sun Aug 24, 2014 2:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Renewing a lease of a(n electric) car with a 'fixed price'
Replies: 8
Views: 713

Re: Best nose hair trimmer (is this okay to ask?)

Haven't seen this suggestion yet.

Warmed body wax... on the end of a popsicle stick... wait for it to harden... then one quick yank. Okay, two quick yanks.



I was joking, but after my laugh, found a search of "body wax nose hair" returned some interesting hits.
by dratkinson
Sun Aug 24, 2014 2:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best nose hair trimmer (is this okay to ask?)
Replies: 36
Views: 2727

Re: Stopping Junk mail from USPS

... with the caveat of political organizations, where more effort is required. One of my neighbors is an unregistered political independent... so on no lists and claims to get no political mail. Also claims to get no political phone solicitations/opinion surveys. It's a thought. May try it the next...
by dratkinson
Sun Aug 24, 2014 1:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Stopping Junk mail from USPS
Replies: 26
Views: 1920
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