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Re: When do you feel comfortable financially to have kids?

Never. We basically put it off for as long as we could. DW was 36 when our son was born. Now I wonder whether we'll regret this decision to wait if/when we are older and looking forward to grandkids. The upside is that I can afford to be a stay-at-home dad.
by market timer
Thu Nov 27, 2014 12:14 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When do you feel comfortable financially to have kids?
Replies: 28
Views: 1036

Re: Favorite nonfiction books

Molecular Biology of the Cell, Alberts et al.
Complexity, Waldrop
Evolution of Cooperation, Axelrod
The Most Instructive Games of Chess Ever Played, Chernev
by market timer
Wed Nov 26, 2014 10:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Favorite nonfiction books
Replies: 61
Views: 2732

Re: Valuation of EE Savings Bonds

You can argue that this is just liquidity (the two are not unrelated), but I think when we're talking about ridiculous differences in timeline, tomorrow vs in 15 years , you might as well give it a different sort of value. We're talking about having the choice to exit a 15 year trade you no longer ...
by market timer
Wed Nov 26, 2014 9:56 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Valuation of EE Savings Bonds
Replies: 35
Views: 1884

Re: Valuation of EE Savings Bonds

...My take is that you should value something at what you would be willing to pay for it on the open market, even if that market does not exist... Well, there is an authentic question here. When entering numbers in a spreadsheet, when should I use "the market value" and when should I use ...
by market timer
Wed Nov 26, 2014 9:26 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Valuation of EE Savings Bonds
Replies: 35
Views: 1884

Re: Valuation of EE Savings Bonds

So here we have a poster of market timer 's caliber (for whom I have a ton of respect) gushing over the value of a put option that in reality becomes essentially worthless within a few years, compared to the zero coupon bond he is basing his valuation on. The problem is, in five years the zero coup...
by market timer
Wed Nov 26, 2014 9:09 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Valuation of EE Savings Bonds
Replies: 35
Views: 1884

Re: Valuation of EE Savings Bonds

... I'd like to refine the third approach (present value) to account for three things: (1) optionality, (2) tax treatment, (3) liquidity. .... EE bonds are not just 20-year zero coupon bonds, but 20-year zero coupon bonds with a put option ... Sure, EE bonds have some advantages versus a 20-year ze...
by market timer
Wed Nov 26, 2014 9:01 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Valuation of EE Savings Bonds
Replies: 35
Views: 1884

Re: Valuation of EE Savings Bonds

Do I need to change the compounding frequency in my original PV calculation? The compounding frequency should match what the WSJ uses for quoting its yields; however, this is a level of precision that is probably not necessary here. To verify the valuation, I would just use the bid price on Nov 203...
by market timer
Tue Nov 25, 2014 11:28 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Valuation of EE Savings Bonds
Replies: 35
Views: 1884

Re: Valuation of EE Savings Bonds

Personally, I believe if newly issued $10K EE bonds could trade on the market, they would trade for roughly $12K at today's rates, with the $2K premium split 50/50 between the above-market rate (3.5% vs. 3.0% for comparable duration Treasuries) and value of optionality. I agree with with your asses...
by market timer
Tue Nov 25, 2014 10:28 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Valuation of EE Savings Bonds
Replies: 35
Views: 1884

Re: Valuation of EE Savings Bonds

This is a surprisingly controversial topic on here. We have had several threads in the past on how to value both EE and I bonds. My take is that you should value something at what you would be willing to pay for it on the open market, even if that market does not exist. Indeed, this is exactly the q...
by market timer
Tue Nov 25, 2014 9:14 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Valuation of EE Savings Bonds
Replies: 35
Views: 1884

Re: Girlfriend with a LOT of Student debt.

From what you've described, I'm willing to bet she's on either Public Service Loan Forgiveness or some other loan forgiveness program. If so, this debt is very manageable--just think of it as a tax on your joint income. Down the road, you might want to postpone an official marriage until the loans a...
by market timer
Mon Nov 24, 2014 9:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Girlfriend with a LOT of Student debt.
Replies: 166
Views: 12522

Re: 401k loan to pay off CC & student debt

I would take out the 401K loan and keep the PenFed balance transfer offer as an option in case of an emergency.
by market timer
Sun Nov 23, 2014 10:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 401k loan to pay off CC & student debt
Replies: 15
Views: 1635

Re: Europe off-season (late Jan), 11 days, $3K budget

Thanks for all the suggestions. I'm discussing them with DW now. You can go to Moscow. Ruble is down and Aeroflot is cheap. Moscow and St. Petersburg are high on my list of places to visit next, but I'm worried they would be too cold in January. Just saw the avg high in Moscow in January is well bel...
by market timer
Thu Nov 20, 2014 9:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Europe off-season (late Jan), 11 days, $3K budget
Replies: 19
Views: 1450

Europe off-season (late Jan), 11 days, $3K budget

DW and I are thinking of booking a trip to Europe in late Jan. We have been to most of the major cities already (London, Paris, Rome, Venice, Vienna, Prague, Amsterdam), so were thinking of something less crowded this time. Excluding airfare, we'd like to keep the trip under $3K (~$270/day for 11 da...
by market timer
Thu Nov 20, 2014 11:17 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Europe off-season (late Jan), 11 days, $3K budget
Replies: 19
Views: 1450

Re: GDX +20% since Nov 5th lows

Took profits today on GDX and GDXJ of 15-20%, still own GG. Probably booked profits way too early.
by market timer
Tue Nov 18, 2014 10:58 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: GDX +20% since Nov 5th lows
Replies: 9
Views: 1039

Re: What to calculate withdrawals on?

Using a withdrawal rule, such as 4%, on only a fraction of one's total wealth will lead to too little consumption. You should include not only assets you have access to today, but also the present value of pensions and retirement accounts you will have access to in the future.
by market timer
Tue Nov 18, 2014 12:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What to calculate withdrawals on?
Replies: 11
Views: 923

Re: GDX +20% since Nov 5th lows

I didn't get the exact low, but am up double digits on purchases of GG, GDX, and GDXJ made on Oct 30-31. These comprise 10% of my portfolio, a meaningful punt. Quite a volatile time for the miners.
by market timer
Tue Nov 18, 2014 9:57 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: GDX +20% since Nov 5th lows
Replies: 9
Views: 1039

Re: Emergency and earmarked funds - investing ideas

Is it possible to pay for any of this just from normal monthly savings? I'd probably drop the emergency fund and use a credit card with a 0% purchase APR to buy stuff for the home, the wedding, and possibly the engagement ring.
by market timer
Tue Nov 18, 2014 9:28 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Emergency and earmarked funds - investing ideas
Replies: 8
Views: 959

Re: How Not to Retire

No one with the wherewithal to find this board is going to come close to making any of the juvenile mistakes he made Well, I certainly can't agree with this statement. Fortunately, it's easier to overcome loss when one is still employed than after retiring. I'm reminded of a quote from The Way of A...
by market timer
Mon Nov 17, 2014 7:29 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Not to Retire
Replies: 67
Views: 6913

Re: What NW amount makes this person financially free?

Incidentally, I fit your example pretty closely--mid-30s, spending $20-25K/year. I had no qualms about leaving the workforce with around $500K invested, 40 quarters paid into Social Security (qualifying for benefits of $18K/year in today's dollars at full retirement age), and a paid off condo. Of co...
by market timer
Sat Nov 15, 2014 6:06 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What NW amount makes this person financially free?
Replies: 19
Views: 2441

Re: What NW amount makes this person financially free?

Depends on how easily you can find another job. Shouldn't be hard to find a job capable of supporting $24K/year spending. No need to wait for financial independence before taking a 4-month vacation.
by market timer
Sat Nov 15, 2014 2:52 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What NW amount makes this person financially free?
Replies: 19
Views: 2441

Re: 36 y.o. New at investing, am I in too much debt?

Or someone mentioned taking a 15k loan from my 403b? And pay myself interest back. But I'm not 100% agreeing with that unless I'm missing something? I was the one who recommended the 403b loan, and actually I'd recommend taking the maximum amount, which is likely $50K, to pay down your high interes...
by market timer
Sat Nov 15, 2014 12:21 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 36 y.o. New at investing, am I in too much debt?
Replies: 63
Views: 5055

Re: question about my student loans...

I will get in touch with them. Wish I had done this sooner. I naturally should have looked into this sooner but I would think any extra payments should go towards the principal not an interest payment. I think the payments were probably applied correctly. What FRx is missing is that unsubsidized st...
by market timer
Fri Nov 14, 2014 7:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: question about my student loans...
Replies: 17
Views: 1636

Re: Living abroad in retirement

Keep in mind that Japan is a large country that skews towards an older demographic. These are going to be overwhelmingly Japanese-Americans and Americans married to Japanese. I expect very few Americans without ties to Japan would choose to retire there, due to its relatively high cost of living and...
by market timer
Fri Nov 14, 2014 11:45 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Living abroad in retirement
Replies: 4
Views: 456

Re: a look at gold and its hedging value

On the other hand, research by Claude Erb and Campbell Harvey showed that, after conversion into gold, the military rate of pay between U.S. Army captains of today and Roman centurions under Emperor Augustus is comparable. If your horizon is that long, it seems like gold would be a good inflation h...
by market timer
Fri Nov 14, 2014 11:15 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: a look at gold and its hedging value
Replies: 48
Views: 3307

Re: 36 y.o. New at investing, am I in too much debt?

I'm surprised at some of the harsh responses here. IMO, your debt is not high at all relative to your income, and I would not recommend selling your house, especially if it's where you plan to raise your family. It is, however, wasteful to have $12K on credit cards at 13%, to pay PMI, and to have st...
by market timer
Fri Nov 14, 2014 12:06 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 36 y.o. New at investing, am I in too much debt?
Replies: 63
Views: 5055

Re: I want to be a millionaire, please critique my plan

What kind of pension will you receive in 7-10 years? The value of this pension should be factored into your net worth calculations, as it determines how much you can afford to spend each year. It sounds like you might be able to retire comfortably before you are even 40.
by market timer
Wed Nov 12, 2014 9:23 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I want to be a millionaire, please critique my plan
Replies: 26
Views: 4466

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

Just watched Interstellar on an IMAX screen. For me, the plot was a disappointment, but I enjoyed the visuals. It's currently way overrated at #11 all-time on IMDB.
by market timer
Wed Nov 12, 2014 8:05 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 222
Views: 18401

Re: Semi Retirement Plan, check in

Your plan is reasonable. Much will change over the next 10 years, but by saving 50% of your gross pay, you are buying yourself flexibility. My one suggestion is to consider taking out a 401K loan to pay down your student loans, assuming doing so would not interfere with your ability to contribute to...
by market timer
Tue Nov 11, 2014 11:08 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Semi Retirement Plan, check in
Replies: 4
Views: 581

Re: Investing/saving during residency with large student loa

I made quite a few payments during residency (income based repayment/PSLF), which almost evened out the annual interest. Since becoming an attending physician, I found that the adjusted repayment rates will end up with me repaying the rest of the loans before the 10 year mark. The monthly repayment...
by market timer
Sun Nov 09, 2014 8:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Investing/saving during residency with large student loans
Replies: 17
Views: 1235

Re: Life purpose revisited

Image
All Is Vanity (1892)
by market timer
Sun Nov 09, 2014 11:38 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Life purpose revisited
Replies: 55
Views: 7638

Re: Investing/saving during residency with large student loa

I think the best thing for me to do is to think about the number of payments I have made rather than the total balance and live my life/save/invest as if they did not exist for the next 4.5 years until I am done with training and making decisions on future jobs. Easier said than done though. I shou...
by market timer
Sun Nov 09, 2014 8:28 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Investing/saving during residency with large student loans
Replies: 17
Views: 1235

Re: Do IBonds make sense living in a high inflation area

While the cost of living is higher in a place like NYC, the actual rate of inflation is not very different. Here is a graph of CPI y/y in NYC vs the US:

Image
by market timer
Sun Nov 09, 2014 12:13 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do IBonds make sense living in a high inflation area
Replies: 30
Views: 2949

Re: Investing/saving during residency with large student loa

My plan for my student loans is either to go for public service loan forgiveness after residency (I will have 6 years working for the state/nonprofit at that point and need four more) or go into private practice and throw everything I have at my loans while maintaining the same lifestyle I have now...
by market timer
Sat Nov 08, 2014 11:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Investing/saving during residency with large student loans
Replies: 17
Views: 1235

Re: Good book for 13 year old?

What kinds of questions is he asking? I suspect the most effective way of teaching him how to manage money is to discuss how you manage your own investments. I think you are about a decade too early if you want to get him a book on how to manage money. Until he has significant assets of his own, it'...
by market timer
Sat Nov 08, 2014 8:38 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Good book for 13 year old?
Replies: 14
Views: 1681

Re: Seasonal Indexation Impacts in TIPS Prices and Yields

Is there any underlying reason why the adjustment for the 5.0 and 8.0 TIPS in the chart are almost always positive? Some of the others have a mean less than 0. TIPS maturing in the summer require a positive seasonal adjustment to the YTM to take into account the seasonality in CPI. Note that the 5....
by market timer
Fri Nov 07, 2014 11:14 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Seasonal Indexation Impacts in TIPS Prices and Yields
Replies: 17
Views: 1888

Re: Part Time Work in Tech Fields - Early Retirement

Thanks for the responses. I might try some technical recruiters to see what they say. I do like the idea of jumping on more open source software projects and see where it takes me. At this point, I do not mind going down a path that might take awhile to build income (like blogging, etc), but being ...
by market timer
Fri Nov 07, 2014 10:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Part Time Work in Tech Fields - Early Retirement
Replies: 12
Views: 1834

Re: Seasonal Indexation Impacts in TIPS Prices and Yields

Agree with this analysis. Also worth noting that while the TIPS market looks efficient with regard to anticipating seasonal inflation, the I bond market is not. Therefore, one may be well advised to take that into account in deciding when to buy and redeem the I bonds. Huh? What I Bond market? I Bo...
by market timer
Fri Nov 07, 2014 12:46 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Seasonal Indexation Impacts in TIPS Prices and Yields
Replies: 17
Views: 1888

Re: Seasonal Indexation Impacts in TIPS Prices and Yields

Agree with this analysis. Also worth noting that while the TIPS market looks efficient with regard to anticipating seasonal inflation, the I bond market is not. Therefore, one may be well advised to take that into account in deciding when to buy and redeem the I bonds.
by market timer
Thu Nov 06, 2014 7:59 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Seasonal Indexation Impacts in TIPS Prices and Yields
Replies: 17
Views: 1888

Re: VGPMX: anyone contrarian enough to buy it?

I bought miners the last two days of last week with about 10% of my portfolio: ... This was investment without much thought or reason behind it. Allocating 10% of a portfolio without much thought or reason? :confused Well, I guess that's better than 100% :D Yeah, and this is why I need to get a job...
by market timer
Sun Nov 02, 2014 10:21 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VGPMX: anyone contrarian enough to buy it?
Replies: 79
Views: 10107

Re: VGPMX: anyone contrarian enough to buy it?

I bought miners the last two days of last week with about 10% of my portfolio: GG, GDX, and GDXJ. The volatility right now is staggering. Goldcorp, for example, opened Friday down 9%, then rallied over 10% from the open to close positive on the day. The key news on Friday was the BOJ's announcement ...
by market timer
Sun Nov 02, 2014 9:09 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VGPMX: anyone contrarian enough to buy it?
Replies: 79
Views: 10107

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

Gone Girl, the best movie I've seen this year.
by market timer
Sun Nov 02, 2014 8:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 222
Views: 18401

Re: Is $700,000 enough to retire? Opinions please .

The side business is a now popular cafe/coffeehouse in a newly revitaled small town main street. But has been a while becoming profitable as we started it from scratch and through sweat equity. We run it on the side while maintaining our full time jobs and family life. Find it now is a ballast busi...
by market timer
Sun Nov 02, 2014 10:00 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is $700,000 enough to retire? Opinions please .
Replies: 86
Views: 12499

Re: Bonds versus student loan repayment

Based on your interest rate, I'm guessing these loans were consolidated around 2005 and are probably on a 25-year repayment schedule. That would put them at around 16 years remaining maturity, maybe a little longer if you were in school when consolidating. Personally, I would not be in a rush to pay...
by market timer
Sat Nov 01, 2014 10:29 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bonds versus student loan repayment
Replies: 14
Views: 993

Re: Should I use margin to buy a balanced fund?

Can you set an order for which holdings are to be liquidated first? You will usually receive a notice that you are in a call and have time to reduce exposure on your own (anywhere from a few minutes to a few days, depends on the broker). However, I have not used a broker where I have given advance ...
by market timer
Sat Nov 01, 2014 9:29 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Should I use margin to buy a balanced fund?
Replies: 488
Views: 48118

Re: Should I use margin to buy a balanced fund?

If you want to leverage a balanced portfolio why can't u just leverage the stock portion of it? Then you don't have to worry about whether rising interest rates will negate your bond returns. You could just put 40 percent of your money in bonds as then 60 percent in a leveraged etf and achieve 1.6 ...
by market timer
Sat Nov 01, 2014 6:40 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Should I use margin to buy a balanced fund?
Replies: 488
Views: 48118

Re: Should I use margin to buy a balanced fund?

Looking at long term Eurodollar futures, interest rates will not only have to rise, but they will have to rise FAST for me to lose money on this trade. 1% by Dec 2015, 2% by Dec 2016, and 2.5% by Dec 2017 and 3% by Dec 2018. You consider that "FAST"? In the previous cycle (2004-2006), Fed...
by market timer
Fri Oct 31, 2014 10:10 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Should I use margin to buy a balanced fund?
Replies: 488
Views: 48118

Re: End of QE2 or Where did it go?

Not enough consumption, the money is being saved. If you are Keynesian, which by the way I am not, this calls for higher fiscal spending, i.e., big public work, etc. If not a Keynesian, then what are you? I forgot if there was/is another type of econ theory being taught? :confused Freshwater econom...
by market timer
Thu Oct 30, 2014 10:47 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: End of QE2 or Where did it go?
Replies: 13
Views: 1516

Re: Career change: realistic expectations and risks

Is it possible to transfer in the military to a role that uses your background in CS? People always think the grass is greener, but you should appreciate how good you have it right now: only six years out of school, kids, can afford for your wife to be a SAHM, $400K net worth. Very few in the privat...
by market timer
Thu Oct 30, 2014 10:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Career change: realistic expectations and risks
Replies: 27
Views: 2826

Re: $116k Med School Debt - Pay Off or PSLF?

1,500/month x 6 years till it is forgiven. This means you would have paid $108K, and and will have the rest forgiven. Lets do the math if you start today with $116K and pay $1500/month in 6 years you will have paid 108K, 33.5K in interest and still have 40.5K left to pay off if instead you paid $3K...
by market timer
Thu Oct 30, 2014 9:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $116k Med School Debt - Pay Off or PSLF?
Replies: 44
Views: 2645
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