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Re: cold air from electric socket

You can cheaply make your own electrical outlet sealing pads from thin flat foam packing material. Don't recall where I've seen it, but would check with ACE or Home Depot. I re-purposed what I'd received in the shipments. Remove electrical cover. Lay it on the packing foam. Trace outline/openings wi...
by dratkinson
Thu Feb 26, 2015 8:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: cold air from electric socket
Replies: 15
Views: 1156

Re: No VWIUX at Fidelity

If you expect to own a 3-fund Vanguard portfolio, double-check the availability of VTSMX/VTSAX (and your international choice) at Fidelity. I don't have a Fidelity account, so this is half-remembered hearsay from others: You can't get Vanguard Admirals shares at Fidelity. If it proves to be true tha...
by dratkinson
Thu Feb 26, 2015 7:46 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: No VWIUX at Fidelity
Replies: 14
Views: 897

Re: Is a generator worth it?

Lots of past topics on backup/emergency generators. Can search for them. Recall interesting reading. Street cred for doing good deeds with the neighbor(s) is overrated. It can backfire such that it comes to be *expected* that you will solve their problems. Increasing requests will cause you to feel ...
by dratkinson
Thu Feb 26, 2015 6:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is a generator worth it?
Replies: 33
Views: 1292

Re: Can someone please help me with this investment thing!

We need to get your history before offering a retirement prognosis. Please add the information requested in the sticky "Asking Portfolio Questions". Copy/edit offline/paste into your original post. Use your post's Edit button to edit your post. While the requested additional information is...
by dratkinson
Wed Feb 25, 2015 5:18 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Can someone please help me with this investment thing!
Replies: 17
Views: 1114

Re: Advice and direction for a beginner

Things I forgot in above. Costs matter. This is Mr Bogle's mantra. In your 401k, that, plus having a broad index fund (S&P500 index), guided my recommendation. If you had a cheaper money-market fund, and could get the employer's match and then roll everything over to Vanguard, I'd have recommend...
by dratkinson
Wed Feb 25, 2015 3:43 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice and direction for a beginner
Replies: 10
Views: 1329

Re: Advice and direction for a beginner

Here's the revised post. Hopefully I got everything. I was confused on some sections so let me know if I should editing anything. Thanks again. Emergency funds: Yes Slowly bring this up to 6 mos. of living expenses. Debt: None Tax Filing Status: Single Tax Rate: 15% Federal, 5.75% State (I had a ha...
by dratkinson
Wed Feb 25, 2015 2:30 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice and direction for a beginner
Replies: 10
Views: 1329

Re: Accurate home blood pressure monitor?

Timely topic. Searched more reviews and exchanged an Ho-metics (Walgreens branded, second failure in ~3 years) for an Omron BP760. It was what they had in stock and was $59 if you signed up for their free rewards program, otherwise ~$80. Initial impression: Omron is quieter and quicker than exchange...
by dratkinson
Sat Feb 21, 2015 10:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Accurate home blood pressure monitor?
Replies: 42
Views: 6303

Re: All-World ex-US vs Total International Stock

Remembering. Back in the day when VGTSX was a fund of funds, it didn't qualify for the foreign tax credit, so you bought its three components: Europe, Pacific, and Emerging Markets funds. The FTSE fund solved the FTC problem, but lost EM. I thought the FTSE fund had EM all along at least it did whe...
by dratkinson
Sat Feb 21, 2015 9:33 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: All-World ex-US vs Total International Stock
Replies: 19
Views: 2023

Re: All-World ex-US vs Total International Stock

Remembering. Back in the day when VGTSX was a fund of funds, it didn't qualify for the foreign tax credit, so you bought its three components: Europe, Pacific, and Emerging Markets funds. The FTSE fund solved the FTC problem, but lost EM.
by dratkinson
Fri Feb 20, 2015 10:19 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: All-World ex-US vs Total International Stock
Replies: 19
Views: 2023

Re: What is your favorite consumer product?

Invisible Fence -- lets my dog enjoy our yard for hours in good weather. In today's 1 degree cold, lets her do her business quickly while I finish my cup of coffee in the warm kitchen. As close to priceless as it gets in my life. I had a friend whose dog disappeared from his yard when he had one of...
by dratkinson
Fri Feb 20, 2015 9:56 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is your favorite consumer product?
Replies: 143
Views: 8013

Re: Reward checking account paying 3+% interest -- good idea

I've thought before about these types of accounts, but never could figure out a way to automate the required transactions so I wouldn't forget and owe the fee. As this 3+% is taxable, just decided to buy more stocks as LTCGs receive favorable tax treatment, but ordinary interest does not. Over the l...
by dratkinson
Fri Feb 20, 2015 9:48 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reward checking account paying 3+% interest -- good idea?
Replies: 5
Views: 852

Re: American Funds departure or stay?

Research "sunk cost fallacy", as you seem to be responding to this behavioral error. Call Vanguard and have them initial your Roth IRA transfer to them. If you have not done so, make your 2014 Roth contribution before 15 April. Most of us have a "friend" story. I bought whole lif...
by dratkinson
Thu Feb 19, 2015 7:38 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: American Funds departure or stay?
Replies: 17
Views: 847

Re: Has anyone restored windows?

My house is not as old as yours, but it still has the original single-pane aluminum windows, but vinyl storm windows were added later. Checked on an Energy Star (.gov) website where you enter your home description, utility bills, appliances info, and it recommends upgrade idea. Long story short: it ...
by dratkinson
Wed Feb 18, 2015 3:50 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Has anyone restored windows?
Replies: 25
Views: 1771

Re: Cast Iron Skillet Cooking

Speaking of cornbread. I remember my parent's cornbread as being sweet, but long ago forgot recipe. It was cooked in a CI skillet with a broken handle, so like a large cake pan. Come forward to today. At supper with friends, enjoyed their cornbread and asked about recipe. Turned out it was from a bo...
by dratkinson
Wed Feb 18, 2015 3:08 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cast Iron Skillet Cooking
Replies: 109
Views: 13078

Re: Tax Exempt Investing

Only other gotcha I can think of is the Alternative Minimum Tax. SS taxation. Given: We have one total fixed income investment. When I look at the SS tax worksheet, I see ordinary dividends (from higher-yield taxable bonds, if that is our choice) come in on line 3. Tax exempt dividends (from lower-y...
by dratkinson
Tue Feb 17, 2015 2:55 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax Exempt Investing
Replies: 11
Views: 1128

Re: Dual Momentum Investing

... I read the book, and the simple strategy is laid out in a flow chart. I could teach my 16 year old son how to execute it. Excellent. Problems solved. Implement strategy and report as you make your changes so we may follow along with your results. (I'm looking for something to do as my fun money...
by dratkinson
Tue Feb 17, 2015 2:54 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Dual Momentum Investing
Replies: 55
Views: 4156

Re: new portfolio.

When you edit your post so it's structure/clearer for us to understand, include: if you will retire with a pension, retirement expenses vs. income, will your be taking SS as soon as possible or can delay until age 70. Example. If no pension and you must live on your investments during retirement, th...
by dratkinson
Tue Feb 17, 2015 12:29 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: new portfolio.
Replies: 2
Views: 281

Re: Expecting a big inheritance - Should it change my life?

Recently reviewed Calumet Farms and Lundy. $90M surplus to $150M debt in four years. You are not starting with as much surplus, but a comparable lifestyle change will be as quickly devastating for both you and your brother. Beliefs controls thoughts. Thoughts control actions. Actions control outcome...
by dratkinson
Sun Feb 15, 2015 6:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Expecting a big inheritance - Should it change my life?
Replies: 124
Views: 7828

Re: "How to Fix a Client Portfolio"

Scone, If you are uncomfortable sharing your information with the forum, this is how I did my taxable account fixed income analysis.... I downloaded the spreadsheet from excel1040.com and input my last tax return to create an identical tax-return baseline. Using SEC yields and my fixed income $inves...
by dratkinson
Fri Feb 13, 2015 7:28 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "How to Fix a Client Portfolio"
Replies: 31
Views: 2310

Re: "Muni bonds are overused" ?

After all, one has to do special things with tax-exempt interest when it comes to taxation of Social Security benefits Can you elaborate on this point? I am helping someone out with their taxes and they do have tax-exempt interest and SS. We just started working on the taxes, but I'd be interested ...
by dratkinson
Fri Feb 13, 2015 5:23 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "How to Fix a Client Portfolio"
Replies: 31
Views: 2310

Re: "How to Fix a Client Portfolio"

scone, The use of muni bond does not mean "no tax reporting required", because you have to report them. However, the federal tax reporting effort is same in both cases: muni and taxable bonds. A muni bond fund dividends are reported as one entry on form 1040. A taxable bond fund dividends ...
by dratkinson
Fri Feb 13, 2015 4:04 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "How to Fix a Client Portfolio"
Replies: 31
Views: 2310

Re: Became a Vanguard investor by way of WRL IUL

Congratulations, you learned your lesson much sooner and for much less than I. Topic: General personal finance. Read The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need , by Andrew Tobias. Topic: General personal investing. Read The Boglehead's Guide to Investing . Get both from your local library. While wai...
by dratkinson
Fri Feb 13, 2015 3:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Became a Vanguard investor by way of WRL IUL
Replies: 11
Views: 632

Re: Dealing with Long Term Capital Loss Carryover

The $3K loss/year is sheltering an equal amount of ordinary income at their marginal tax rate. Assuming the 15% fed bracket, sheltering $3K or ordinary income reduces fed taxes by $450. If they sold some shares for a $3K long-term gain, the $3K annual loss carry over would offset the gain. As a long...
by dratkinson
Thu Feb 12, 2015 2:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dealing with Long Term Capital Loss Carryover
Replies: 9
Views: 758

Re: Daily update for Mutual Fund

Run this after 6PM, east coast time. ~75 symbol limit.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/quoteslo ... TSAX,VTSMX


Excel also has a way to download daily prices. Handy if you are using Excel to track your investments.
by dratkinson
Thu Feb 12, 2015 1:45 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Daily update for Mutual Fund
Replies: 13
Views: 887

Re: This is a Doozy! [allocation with land and business]

Think of your land and business as an investment in real estate. As you have a significant un-diversified (think: increased risk) real estate investment, so you have no reason to overweight more through any REIT fund.
by dratkinson
Wed Feb 11, 2015 3:08 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: This is a Doozy! [allocation with land and business]
Replies: 6
Views: 868

Re: Wiki comments requested: The importance of asset allocat

Copied/pasted, in case you change it on me. ;) Asset allocation is the process of dividing an investment portfolio among different asset categories, such as stocks, bonds, and cash.[1] This process of determining which mix of assets to hold in a portfolio is a personal one . The asset allocation tha...
by dratkinson
Tue Feb 10, 2015 6:01 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Wiki comments requested: The importance of asset allocation
Replies: 208
Views: 10256

Re: First job, first everything

BL wrote:...
If you worked at all in 2014, you could put up to that amount or 5500, whichever is less, into a Roth IRA,...

+1

15 April contribution deadline applies.
by dratkinson
Sun Feb 08, 2015 3:56 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: First job, first everything
Replies: 23
Views: 1251

Re: First job, first everything

Ensure you read The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need, by Andrew Tobias. It covers a wide range of personal finance topics.

You have until ~15 Apr 2016 to fund your 2015 IRA, so plenty of time. In case it was not mentioned previously, the Roth is preferred over the traditional.



Welcome.
by dratkinson
Sat Feb 07, 2015 3:14 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: First job, first everything
Replies: 23
Views: 1251

Re: Private Car Sale - Risks ?

Local law enforcement (city police, county sheriff) sometimes make their facilities available as a safe meeting place. Can't hurt to ask.
by dratkinson
Fri Feb 06, 2015 5:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Private Car Sale - Risks ?
Replies: 35
Views: 1824

Re: Advice and direction for a beginner

Sounds like you have more disposable income than we first thought. For a better answer, we need better information. Please re-state your situation in the form of the sticky: "Asking Portfolio Questions". Rework your original post into that format. Those of us following you will see the upd...
by dratkinson
Fri Feb 06, 2015 5:41 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice and direction for a beginner
Replies: 10
Views: 1329

Re: Advice and direction for a beginner

The bad news. Your rIRA rate is so low because it's in a short-term bank CD. The good news. Your rIRA rate is so low, any penalty paid (3-months lost interest?) when you transfer it will also be low. Call Vanguard and tell them you want to move your bank rIRA to Vanguard. Vanguard has a few options ...
by dratkinson
Thu Feb 05, 2015 2:22 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice and direction for a beginner
Replies: 10
Views: 1329

Re: Higher tax bracket means different bond fund?

Since the LTCG should be small, if you could forecast the increased earnings (degree completion,...), could convert/sell TBM the year before, below the 25% bracket, and pay 0% LTCG tax.
by dratkinson
Thu Feb 05, 2015 1:42 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Higher tax bracket means different bond fund?
Replies: 9
Views: 1020

Re: Best ways to save on electricity bill

i have a question about heating bill. ... Search: compare NG vs heat pump. The answer is "it depends on your situation: location, home construction, utility costs, equipment age, thermostat setting,...." Find the analytical details there. You can safely ignore sites which do not give prim...
by dratkinson
Wed Feb 04, 2015 6:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best ways to save on electricity bill
Replies: 47
Views: 4606

Re: How to advise 23 year old brother with $50k

Suggest he come here and take a look... while researching his investing options. Should be easy enough for him to compare notes with other military members the forum has advised.
by dratkinson
Tue Feb 03, 2015 6:25 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to advise 23 year old brother with $50k
Replies: 13
Views: 1319

Re: What exactly is "wealthy?"

Pajamas wrote:Wealthy is having more than you need.


+1

Wealth is stored time. If you have more stored time than you need for your lifetime, then you are wealthy
by dratkinson
Tue Feb 03, 2015 6:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What exactly is "wealthy?"
Replies: 47
Views: 4021

Re: Wiki comments requested: The importance of asset allocat

On several wiki pages, such as Asset allocation and Risk and return: an introduction , we make a very bold statement: http://www.bogleheads.org/w/images/c/c8/Ambox_notice.png Asset allocation is one of the most important decisions that investors can make. In other words, the importance of an invest...
by dratkinson
Mon Feb 02, 2015 7:36 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Wiki comments requested: The importance of asset allocation
Replies: 208
Views: 10256

Re: Best ways to save on electricity bill

Turn off electric driveway heater between snowstorms.
by dratkinson
Mon Feb 02, 2015 6:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best ways to save on electricity bill
Replies: 47
Views: 4606

Re: Do retired Bogleheads have rising net assets?

Retired. Pension. Distributions cover ~half my COL but withdrawing 0%, thanks to pension. Assets rising at market rates based on AA. The trick is to live below your means.
by dratkinson
Mon Feb 02, 2015 6:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do retired Bogleheads have rising net assets?
Replies: 42
Views: 4436

Re: First Time Dog Owners -- Any Regrets?

What about a big dog-like cat. There are some, and they can take care of themselves. The Maine Coon breed comes to mind.
by dratkinson
Mon Feb 02, 2015 6:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: First Time Dog Owners -- Any Regrets?
Replies: 83
Views: 5896

Re: Is now a bad time to buy a mutual fund?

The short answer. Now is a good time to buy mutual funds. The long answer. Now may not be a good time for YOU to buy mutual funds. Why? By asking the question, it suggests you have not studied investing. Investing without study is guaranteed to result in buyer's remorse at the first market drop. The...
by dratkinson
Fri Jan 30, 2015 5:55 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is now a bad time to buy a mutual fund?
Replies: 13
Views: 1229

Re: What mutual fund companies do you use?

Vanguard and Treasury Direct. But rethinking TD.

Question. How do we research mutual fund companies? I'm wanting to research the companies providing Westcore Funds and Aquila Funds, but don't know where to start.
by dratkinson
Thu Jan 29, 2015 5:33 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What mutual fund companies do you use?
Replies: 63
Views: 3135

Re: Beginning Teen Investor

With earned income, invest in a Roth IRA. A target-date retirement (TDR) fund is simplest option. You want to begin investing in your Roth IRA as soon as possible because you only get one allocation per year, and missed allocations can not be made up. While this may not be an issue now, it will beco...
by dratkinson
Wed Jan 28, 2015 4:33 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Beginning Teen Investor
Replies: 11
Views: 1215

Re: 400ft Driveway - How do I plow the snow?

No snow here... this time. When I played with tractors, spent a lot of time on this old tractor forum: http://simpletractors.com/club2/portal_content.asp With every snowstorm (Under: Discussions > Tractor Discussions > Show & Tell), you could always count on pictures/videos of someone using thei...
by dratkinson
Tue Jan 27, 2015 8:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 400ft Driveway - How do I plow the snow?
Replies: 67
Views: 5308

Re: 400ft Driveway - How do I plow the snow?

... Great. Just great. Thanks guys, never knew hand warmers existed for snowblowers until I read this.... If your gloves don't keep you warm (waterproof ski gloves should), suggest trying the thin-packet chemical hand warmers (Walmart, REI,...). Insert into your gloves/boots. Depending upon variety...
by dratkinson
Tue Jan 27, 2015 12:50 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 400ft Driveway - How do I plow the snow?
Replies: 67
Views: 5308

Re: Do any young investors use Only fixed income?

I was that young FI investor. Owned CDs from 1980-2000. What a monumental waste of compounding time. Was afraid to invest in anything else. Didn't find the lazy portfolio concept until 2005, and this forum in 2007. Wish someone had shown me the way sooner. Equities have been like the difference betw...
by dratkinson
Mon Jan 26, 2015 7:00 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do any young investors use Only fixed income?
Replies: 35
Views: 3334

Re: 400ft Driveway - How do I plow the snow?

My neighbor hires someone to clear their driveway. Always seem to be hiring a new guy because the old guy doesn't do it right or in a timely fashion. They start early to get a jump on the storm, but that means some drives must be plowed twice in a long storm. My neighbor doesn't like paying for plow...
by dratkinson
Mon Jan 26, 2015 6:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 400ft Driveway - How do I plow the snow?
Replies: 67
Views: 5308

Re: Tax efficiency ignoring capital gains

Your example of selling assets every couple of years to generate LTCG is less tax-efficient than just holding the assets. No need to pay taxes if they can be postponed. (Unless you are doing a Roth conversion.) What if you're going to sell the assets at some point anyway, say for retirement or to b...
by dratkinson
Mon Jan 26, 2015 5:12 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Tax efficiency ignoring capital gains
Replies: 6
Views: 855

Re: Tax efficiency ignoring capital gains

I'm trying to understand the concepts of tax efficiency and tax aware asset allocation, and I have a question so that I can make the best decisions for my portfolio: are tax efficiency benefits and recommendations, such as putting bonds in IRAs and international stocks in taxable accounts primarily...
by dratkinson
Sun Jan 25, 2015 4:17 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Tax efficiency ignoring capital gains
Replies: 6
Views: 855

Re: Reporter doing story on pitfalls of doing one's own taxe

If I must pay for a mistake, I want the mistake to be mine. Was doing my taxes by mail with a distant CPA. Busy, noticed I was getting money back, so signed and mailed return to IRS. Later studied my copy of return. Notice "interest paid" on a small loan had been listed as "interest e...
by dratkinson
Thu Jan 22, 2015 6:08 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Reporter doing story on pitfalls of doing one's own taxes
Replies: 40
Views: 4788
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