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Re: First Time Home Buyer dilemma in SoCal

Hello Bogleheads: I am hoping you might be able to shine light on my goal on getting in the pool of home ownership as a first time home buyer...I am struggling with finding the best course of action on the path of investment. Please help. Background: My husband and I have been renting in Los Angele...
by kenyan
Mon Sep 22, 2014 6:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First Time Home Buyer dilemma in SoCal
Replies: 24
Views: 1538

Re: What can I do next?

I wanted to know what you think about my situation and where I should go from here when it comes to my finances. I max out my ROTH IRA and add some money to Vanguard total stock market index sometimes but I don’t know what to do with the rest of my money. I live my life to the fullest. I am have be...
by kenyan
Mon Sep 22, 2014 11:54 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What can I do next?
Replies: 5
Views: 628

Re: How to achieve a balance between "saving" and "living"?!

My cautionary tale. My husband and I got married and had children early. Since we didnot save for retirement in our 20's, heck there was no such thing as Ira's or 401ks when we were 20, we went crazy in the savings mode. No vacations, no dinners out nothing. Fast forward to last year and my husband...
by kenyan
Sat Sep 20, 2014 3:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to achieve a balance between "saving" and "living"?!
Replies: 47
Views: 4516

Re: We have a grocery problem... [Household budget]

Maybe you should go out to eat more often? Or do take out. It might be cheaper. For us, Chinese takeout is about $30, but we don't eat everything at one meal. The $30 would be 6 adult meals. We dine in our favorite Tex-Mex place and not counting margaritas, $30 with a to-go box would be $30 and als...
by kenyan
Sat Sep 20, 2014 3:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: We have a grocery problem... [Household budget]
Replies: 141
Views: 8628

Re: How to achieve a balance between "saving" and "living"?!

As for really wanting something that would cut years off of my retirement, I had kids. :happy
by kenyan
Fri Sep 19, 2014 6:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to achieve a balance between "saving" and "living"?!
Replies: 47
Views: 4516

Re: How to achieve a balance between "saving" and "living"?!

There's no easy answer; it really depends upon you. This is a frequent concern around here, as the forum is filled with super-savers. Here's a recent thread: http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=140344 One good thing is that you are truly ahead of the game. Very few people take re...
by kenyan
Fri Sep 19, 2014 6:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to achieve a balance between "saving" and "living"?!
Replies: 47
Views: 4516

Re: We have a grocery problem...

Family of 4 in a HCOLA. We are averaging about $700/month for groceries, and $125/month for restaurants. That's 100% food, though; I break out household sundries separately. Kids are young and don't eat that much, but still cost a fair amount due to the amount of fresh produce/fruit they consume. We...
by kenyan
Fri Sep 19, 2014 5:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: We have a grocery problem... [Household budget]
Replies: 141
Views: 8628

Re: Buy PCRIX today?

Crossed a rebalancing band, you should buy. Sounds like you also need to examine your IPS. What is the reason you allocated 5% to commodities? Has that reason changed? If not, then you're just performance chasing. Hopefully, the reason was not that you expected consistently great performance from th...
by kenyan
Fri Sep 19, 2014 4:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy PCRIX today?
Replies: 29
Views: 2350

Re: Most cost effective means of protecting physical assets

An alarm system from ADT will cost about $50 a month for two years. This includes monitoring and paying down the cost of the hardware. After that you pay for monitoring alone, which is like $30 per month. You get a homeowners insurance deduction, the value of which I forget. I don't think the econo...
by kenyan
Fri Sep 19, 2014 4:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Most cost effective means of protecting physical assets
Replies: 50
Views: 3961

Re: 41 y.o. asking for portfolio advice

Why are you investing in as roth 401k? At your tax rates, a trad 401k is a no-brainer? I think the OP is saying the 401k is traditional to 17.5k + match, with the additional amount up to $52k in an after-tax savings option converted to Roth via the "Mega-Backdoor Roth." If your first 17.5...
by kenyan
Thu Sep 18, 2014 3:37 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 41 y.o. asking for portfolio advice
Replies: 4
Views: 913

Re: The boglehead way to buy furniture

IKEA. Their cheap stuff is good enough for storage and spare bedrooms. And their better stuff is every bit is as good as normal mid-range furniture at about half the price. IKEA furniture has essentially zero resale value. That's not to say it's bad, it's just to say it's disposable. We were sad to...
by kenyan
Thu Sep 18, 2014 3:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The boglehead way to buy furniture
Replies: 56
Views: 4765

Re: OBi110 -or- Ooma Telo for home phone service?

911 capability was very important to us (cell phone reception was not good at our previous apartment, and we have young children), so we went with Ooma. I gather that you can now pay a fee to get E911 via Obi. We're very happy with our Ooma at $4/month. Doesn't matter to you now that you've made you...
by kenyan
Thu Sep 18, 2014 3:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: OBi110 -or- Ooma Telo for home phone service?
Replies: 33
Views: 1108

Re: Low down payment and invest or big down payment?

Don't waste money on PMI. Once you're over 20%, it's really up to you. A more risk-averse person certainly could do fine by eliminating/avoiding debt. I wouldn't give up tax-advantaged space (and/or the ability to utilize one's tax-advantaged space) to do it.
by kenyan
Thu Sep 18, 2014 3:13 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Low down payment and invest or big down payment?
Replies: 7
Views: 961

Re: Pfau: Valuation-based market timing improves returns

What was concluded - was Pfau right or not? Or did we end up with the usual opinions and call it a draw? Don't know that there was a conclusion, just differing points of view. I do know that the OP, after much discussion in the thread, did not implement the plan (he disappeared from the forums for ...
by kenyan
Thu Sep 11, 2014 6:51 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Pfau: Valuation-based market timing improves returns
Replies: 6
Views: 1188

Re: Should I break my CD at Ally and get a new one's ?

Downside - you're going to make very little extra money off of this, and you're trading in a 60 day early withdrawal penalty for a 6 month early withdrawal penalty . What if CDs go up to 3% next year, or the next, or the next? That extra EWP will more than wipe out your gains. Back-of-the-envelope s...
by kenyan
Thu Sep 11, 2014 5:10 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I break my CD at Ally and get a new one's ?
Replies: 14
Views: 1832

Re: Why don't the LifeStrategy funds have Admiral Status??

I've always thought there was no gap; that the ER was a direct prorating of the constituent funds. It is. Just look under "Fund Holdings" to see the funds held. So I just did a quick spreadsheet calc with Life StrategyGrowth VASGX which has a stated ER of 0.1700% I calculated a prorated E...
by kenyan
Thu Sep 11, 2014 2:03 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why don't the LifeStrategy funds have Admiral Status??
Replies: 17
Views: 1342

Re: Why don't the LifeStrategy funds have Admiral Status??

I would GUESS they use the gap in fees to pay for the extra overhead of the fund, since it's a fund of funds....... Do they show what exactly the fund invests in?... Do they use the institutional share class of the base funds?? I've always thought there was no gap; that the ER was a direct proratin...
by kenyan
Thu Sep 11, 2014 1:10 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why don't the LifeStrategy funds have Admiral Status??
Replies: 17
Views: 1342

Re: Why don't the LifeStrategy funds have Admiral Status??

Their funds-of-funds use Investor Shares. The minor exception is that they use their TBM 2 fund rather than TBM, which carries lower expenses and can't be invested with directly.
by kenyan
Thu Sep 11, 2014 1:03 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why don't the LifeStrategy funds have Admiral Status??
Replies: 17
Views: 1342

Re: Pfau: Valuation-based market timing improves returns

Very long discussion of this topic/publication here, assuming it's the same work (didn't check to make sure, but the title is the same):

viewtopic.php?f=10&t=75585&newpost=1484011
by kenyan
Thu Sep 11, 2014 1:01 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Pfau: Valuation-based market timing improves returns
Replies: 6
Views: 1188

Re: Why did REITs drop today?

Diversification. Sounds fine to me. They've had plenty of days this year of shooting up when the market was tame or down.
by kenyan
Thu Sep 11, 2014 12:54 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why did REITs drop today?
Replies: 26
Views: 4046

Re: Historical DCA returns for mutual funds

There are extra variables that can't be covered easily by a website; it depends upon what that individual's starting investment is, as well as the rate at which the money is coming in. To cut it even finer, it would also need the specific contribution dates for each period. The only real answer for ...
by kenyan
Wed Sep 10, 2014 3:46 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Historical DCA returns for mutual funds
Replies: 1
Views: 195

Re: Should I care about large cap value?

If you are looking for HML factor loading, RPV Guggenheim S&P 500 Pure Value might be a good option. Higher loading than DFLVX actually, pretty low expenses, and a much more impactful Large Value allocation than VIVAX. I currently own VIVAX, and certainly have no plan to spend money on an advis...
by kenyan
Wed Sep 10, 2014 12:27 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Should I care about large cap value?
Replies: 17
Views: 1199

Re: How much value can an advisor add for the average invest

Certainly, many people can benefit. However, if we are discussing the average investor, shouldn't we also discuss the average adviser? The majority of people in the field are salespeople first and foremost. I'm not sure how many of those would be performing the valuable services being discussed.
by kenyan
Wed Sep 10, 2014 11:11 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How much value can an advisor add for the average investor?
Replies: 71
Views: 4660

Re: Should I care about large cap value?

If you are looking for HML factor loading, RPV Guggenheim S&P 500 Pure Value might be a good option. Higher loading than DFLVX actually, pretty low expenses, and a much more impactful Large Value allocation than VIVAX. I currently own VIVAX, and certainly have no plan to spend money on an adviso...
by kenyan
Wed Sep 10, 2014 10:43 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Should I care about large cap value?
Replies: 17
Views: 1199

Re: "Why 97% of People Don't Use 529 College Savings Plans."

California does not offer a state tax benefit. However, due to state taxes our (long-term) capital gains tax rate for those in the 25% federal bracket is more on the order of 23-25% than the 15% many others pay.
by kenyan
Wed Sep 10, 2014 10:25 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Why 97% of People Don't Use 529 College Savings Plans."
Replies: 110
Views: 10498

Re: What's the riskiest Bogleheadish asset?

One's personal residence could be the riskiest asset, depending upon your definition. Extreme concentration of capital/lack of diversification, with far more adverse consequences for many people in the latest crash than the charted assets being discussed above.
by kenyan
Wed Sep 10, 2014 10:10 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What's the riskiest Bogleheadish asset?
Replies: 81
Views: 7067

Re: So, when does a market timer get back in?

Laughing at market timers seems to be popular here, but the answer to the question posed in the subject line is simple. A proper technical trading system tells you when to enter and when to exit. If your strategy is to own stocks when the S&P is above its 200-day moving average, the price cross...
by kenyan
Mon Sep 08, 2014 11:44 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: So, when does a market timer get back in?
Replies: 54
Views: 5522

Re: Market at a all time high ( Sept 2014) , time to cash ou

In the 15% bracket the taxes would be zero. Money from stock sale would go into current bond funds paying 2-3 %. No loss of income if fact may make a little more income. If anything the large capital gain is eating a hole in my pocket. If your large capital gain is your concern, address your concer...
by kenyan
Fri Sep 05, 2014 11:02 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Market at a all time high ( Sept 2014) , time to cash out?
Replies: 49
Views: 3731

Re: POLL: What was the first stock you ever bought?

36 years old, and I've never bought or owned (directly) a share of stock. I suppose I should try it out at some point, but I don't have a 'play money' allocation and don't intend on adding one in the near future.
by kenyan
Fri Sep 05, 2014 10:51 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: POLL: What was the first stock you ever bought?
Replies: 74
Views: 2821

Re: FL Prepaid , 529, or side account

Taxable makes sense over the 529 in my mind for your case. No state tax, no capital gains tax, and no restrictions on your investments and capital.

Personally, I'd probably go taxable over the prepaid plan as well, but I can see an argument for trying that out.
by kenyan
Fri Sep 05, 2014 9:54 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FL Prepaid , 529, or side account
Replies: 2
Views: 192

Re: "Vanguard 529 College Savings Plan cuts costs (again)"

I have some money with New York for that sweet 0.17% ER, but it's always worth remembering that California's plan became more competitive with its switch to TIAA-CREF: Index U.S. Equity Investment Portfolio (TSM): 0.12% Index U.S. Large Cap Equity Investment Portfolio (S&P 500): 0.11% Index Int...
by kenyan
Thu Sep 04, 2014 10:48 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Vanguard 529 College Savings Plan cuts costs (again)"
Replies: 16
Views: 1483

Re: Rewards credit card advice

I wonder if any of you have calculated the value of airline miles earned and redeemed versus a cash back reward? I feel like I can rarely use my miles unless I pay more of them or change the days I fly., which affects net cost of leisure travel. If I spend about 50k a year on a two percent cash bac...
by kenyan
Thu Sep 04, 2014 10:42 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rewards credit card advice
Replies: 33
Views: 7364

Re: Rewards credit card advice

I too highly recommend the Sallie Mae Mastercard for gas, groceries, and bookstores (where Amazon counts as a bookstore). 5% on the first $250/250/750 per month in those categories. No annual fee, and you don't need a Sallie Mae loan to apply or redeem - redemptions can be statement credits. Intere...
by kenyan
Wed Sep 03, 2014 3:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rewards credit card advice
Replies: 33
Views: 7364

Re: Rewards credit card advice

One additional tip - use online shopping portals for cash back as well. ShopDiscover often has 5-10% additional cash back on stores you already planned to buy things at. Around the holidays, with 5% Discover category reward + 5-10% ShopDiscover, this can really add up. If not there, try FatWallet an...
by kenyan
Wed Sep 03, 2014 3:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rewards credit card advice
Replies: 33
Views: 7364

Re: "Vanguard 529 College Savings Plan cuts costs (again)"

dickenjb wrote:Now they are only 2 bps more expensive than the NY plan, which also uses Vanguard funds.


Only the age-based options, it seems. Interesting that it costs more to select your own funds.

Nevertheless, this is all in the direction of goodness. Keep those low cost pressures up!
by kenyan
Wed Sep 03, 2014 11:26 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Vanguard 529 College Savings Plan cuts costs (again)"
Replies: 16
Views: 1483

Re: Help: I've been chasing returns

My AA is currently 100% stocks My 2013 returns were phenomenal (25.5%) To put things in perspective - you think your 2013 returns were phenomenal, but that's just the sort of thinking that keeps active managers fat and happy. Your 2013 returns were actually horrifically bad, considering your asset ...
by kenyan
Tue Sep 02, 2014 6:47 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help: I've been chasing returns
Replies: 12
Views: 1565

Re: Saving for Down Payment

I tend to be one of the voices in support of a more aggressive asset allocation for down payment savings than is generally recommended on this forum. Most people will say that "stocks are not appropriate for a goal less than (5-10) years; you should be in money markets/cash, CDs only." I g...
by kenyan
Tue Sep 02, 2014 6:35 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Saving for Down Payment
Replies: 11
Views: 915

Re: Two Roth IRAs - New Millenium Fund vs. Admiral shares

I'm a 23 year old who is new to investing and I want to make sure I start off on the right foot. I have a Roth IRA with Fidelity and it currently holds ~3700. I am willing to take risk and I have been buying shares of the New Millenium fund because I believe in the Top 10 holdings of the fund. The ...
by kenyan
Tue Sep 02, 2014 1:25 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Two Roth IRAs - New Millenium Fund vs. Admiral shares
Replies: 1
Views: 245

Re: E

If you believe in warning signs, the dot-com crash had those warning signs blaring starting in 1995 or so. The entire chart you posted is therefore meaningless, since you were mostly in bonds for that period. The truth is that there are always warning signs; it's only in retrospect that we know whi...
by kenyan
Tue Sep 02, 2014 1:04 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why invest in bonds?
Replies: 103
Views: 6254

Re: Why invest in bonds?

If you believe in warning signs, the dot-com crash had those warning signs blaring starting in 1995 or so. The entire chart you posted is therefore meaningless, since you were mostly in bonds for that period. The truth is that there are always warning signs; it's only in retrospect that we know whic...
by kenyan
Tue Sep 02, 2014 10:17 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why invest in bonds?
Replies: 103
Views: 6254

Re: The Mega Backdoor Roth IRA

My plan recently changed to allow for the 'mega backdoor roth ira' deal. I am seriously thinking about doing this, but I have wondering if it would be prudent to keep these roth conversions in a separate roth ira from the one i've been doing the regular backdoor conversions with. I could keep one e...
by kenyan
Mon Sep 01, 2014 11:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Mega Backdoor Roth IRA
Replies: 144
Views: 21114

Re: Why invest in bonds?

Charts don't tell the whole story. Rather than someone who invests once in 1994, consider someone who is investing periodically, like most real (non-retired) people. A glance at a chart of VBIIX (Intermediate, high-quality bonds) versus VFIAX (100% stocks) seems to indicate that the all-stock invest...
by kenyan
Mon Sep 01, 2014 4:29 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why invest in bonds?
Replies: 103
Views: 6254

Re: Replicating VTSAX from my 401K

Thanks for the assistance... Here is my proposed asset allocation for my 401K: 45% VINIX (Vanguard Inst. Index) .04% 11% VIEIX (Vanguard Extended Market Index) .08% 24% VTIAX (Vanguard Total Intl. Stock Index) .14% 20% VBTIX( Vanguard Total Bond Index) .07% Does this look correct? That is correct i...
by kenyan
Fri Aug 22, 2014 3:48 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Replicating VTSAX from my 401K
Replies: 4
Views: 554

Re: small cap: vb vs ijs vs des

perhaps i'm missing the point... why would you not want dividends? i am thinking that i love especially monthly dividends so that it's buying into the market as dollar cost averaging? You would not want dividends if you have the fund in a taxable account and are not immediately using the funds. It ...
by kenyan
Fri Aug 22, 2014 10:57 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: small cap: vb vs ijs vs des
Replies: 7
Views: 615

Re: Replicating VTSAX from my 401K

In case it's not clear, VINIX = VFINX, and VIEIX = VEXMX in every way except expenses - you have the nicer, cheaper versions available to you.
by kenyan
Thu Aug 21, 2014 3:35 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Replicating VTSAX from my 401K
Replies: 4
Views: 554

Re: Low Tax Bracket & Almost Retired - Tax Exempt or Not??

I'm confused. Based on the info below, it looks like muni's are a better deal in either the 15 or 25 % brackets. What am I missing? Baird Intermediate (BMBIX) ave duration: 4.62 ave credit: AA 30-day SEC yield: 1.66 iShares 3-7 year Treasury (IEI) ave duration: 4.52 ave credit: AA 30-day SEC yield:...
by kenyan
Thu Aug 21, 2014 3:08 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Low Tax Bracket & Almost Retired - Tax Exempt or Not??
Replies: 11
Views: 1135

Re: Simplisafe Home Security Systems

I researched going this route a while ago. We decided to go with guardian. I read through the simpli safe forums. The major problem I had was the lack of options. I prefer to have a glass break sensor on my system. For years they were promising this technology but never delivered. This was not unco...
by kenyan
Wed Aug 20, 2014 10:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Simplisafe Home Security Systems
Replies: 34
Views: 2472

Re: Way to maximize Retirement Savings Contribution Credit

Why not get her to change her withholding, such that she receives the $500 throughout the year instead of as a refund?
by kenyan
Wed Aug 20, 2014 3:25 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Way to maximize Retirement Savings Contribution Credit
Replies: 11
Views: 587

Re: Simplisafe Home Security Systems

sorry for being so ignorant, but if you don't subscribe to the monitoring service and there is an intruder do you get an email or a text on your cell phone, or multiple cell phones? Plus a siren at home that will go off? how does the alarm work in case of an intruder? Thanks for all the replies If ...
by kenyan
Tue Aug 19, 2014 3:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Simplisafe Home Security Systems
Replies: 34
Views: 2472

Re: Simplisafe Home Security Systems

kenyan - The big vulnerability in the system is that the base station needs to survive the 30 seconds (or however long you set it up to be) between when a sensor is tripped and when the system contacts the monitoring center. The base is silent during this time, but if the burglar finds and destroys...
by kenyan
Tue Aug 19, 2014 2:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Simplisafe Home Security Systems
Replies: 34
Views: 2472
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