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Re: Beware Vanguard DOES NOT update all your account values

I have Vanguard ETFs in Vanguard accounts, and only mutual funds plus a stable value fund in an "Outside investment" account. The values of the Vanguard ETFs (in Vanguard accounts) reported on the overview/home page always seem to lag one day behind the values in the "balances and hol...
by petrico
Sat Apr 19, 2014 12:01 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Beware Vanguard DOES NOT update all your account values
Replies: 56
Views: 4549

Re: POLL: why carry cash?

I usually pay with a card but when a tip is required, tip with cash. I think servers generally appreciate paper tips, at least I've had a few mention that. I always add the tip to my credit card bill and charge it. If you tip in cash, then this encourages them to cheat and not report their earnings...
by petrico
Sat Apr 19, 2014 10:52 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POLL: why carry cash?
Replies: 225
Views: 7443

Re: Tax Question: How to Depreciate Water Heater?

As you can see from all the different opinions expressed here, tax law is not really cut and dried, and is really poorly written. I Couldn't agree with you more on that last point Ralph! Thanks to everyone who responded, and a special thanks to HueyLD and sscritic for my new-found understanding of ...
by petrico
Sun Apr 13, 2014 6:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Question: How to Depreciate Water Heater?
Replies: 16
Views: 921

Re: Tax Question: How to Depreciate Water Heater?

Improvements. You must capitalize any expense you pay to improve your rental property. An expense is for an improvement if it results in a betterment to your property, restores your property , or adapts your property to a new or different use. ... The expenses you capitalize for improving your prop...
by petrico
Sat Apr 12, 2014 7:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Question: How to Depreciate Water Heater?
Replies: 16
Views: 921

Re: Tax Question: How to Depreciate Water Heater?

Table 1-1 shows examples of improvements that are not considered "repairs." The grouping is there for presentation purposes. Table 2-1 actually tells you which recovery period to use for what item. Don't be confused. Too late not to be confused! :) Using Table 2-1, there is no entry for &...
by petrico
Sat Apr 12, 2014 6:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Question: How to Depreciate Water Heater?
Replies: 16
Views: 921

Re: Tax Question: How to Depreciate Water Heater?

Peter, Take a look at page 8 again and it has a definition for "residential rental property." I understand your confusion, but that category is reserved for building or structure related items that cannot be separated from the building/structure and includes such items an pipes, furnaces,...
by petrico
Sat Apr 12, 2014 5:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Question: How to Depreciate Water Heater?
Replies: 16
Views: 921

Re: Tax Question: How to Depreciate Water Heater?

My non-expert reading: 1) yes 2) separate for depreciation purposes means separate for depreciation purposes. Increase the basis, but when you sell, the depreciation recapture (I know, someone will explain that's the wrong term) will include each separate item of depreciation. Also, next year, you ...
by petrico
Sat Apr 12, 2014 5:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Question: How to Depreciate Water Heater?
Replies: 16
Views: 921

Re: Tax Question: How to Depreciate Water Heater?

Use the 5-year GDS recovery period. See Pub 527 page 8. Hi HueyLD, Thanks for your reply. It seems you are classifying the water heater as 5-year property. However, do you agree that it is an "improvement" as explicitly identified in Table 1-1? If so, wouldn't this statement apply? "...
by petrico
Sat Apr 12, 2014 5:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Question: How to Depreciate Water Heater?
Replies: 16
Views: 921

Tax Question: How to Depreciate Water Heater?

These are some last minute tax questions concerning a small single family house my siblings and I have been renting out for five years. We've been reporting the rental income and expenses, and depreciating the property using straight line depreciation over a 27.5 year recovery period. We replaced th...
by petrico
Sat Apr 12, 2014 4:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Question: How to Depreciate Water Heater?
Replies: 16
Views: 921

Re: Should I be afraid to upgrade from windows 8.0 to 8.1?

Finally Windows 8.0 will be supported for a long time so while you shouldn't be afraid to upgrade there is also no compelling reason to upgrade if you don't want to. Not as long as many people think. Microsoft is treating 8.1 with the same rules as a service pack. Meaning you have 2 years to instal...
by petrico
Wed Apr 09, 2014 6:52 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I be afraid to upgrade from windows 8.0 to 8.1?
Replies: 6
Views: 428

Re: Just returned new laptop with Window 8.1

First and foremost I want to thank everyone for their suggestions and moral support over the past few months. I found the Classic Shell download to be very helpful as well as links such as Windows8Secrets and WheresMyCheese. However, while helpful, they were not sufficiently so to let me feel as &q...
by petrico
Wed Apr 09, 2014 6:34 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Just returned new laptop with Window 8.1
Replies: 104
Views: 7827

Re: Anyone else very reluctant to buy right now?

Based on one of Warren Buffet's favorite metrics for determining fair market value, that is total market cap vs. GDP, the market is significantly overvalued right now. Last I checked, total market cap was sitting well over 18 trillion, with GDP closer to 15 trillion. Am I alone in being extremely r...
by petrico
Mon Apr 07, 2014 1:11 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Anyone else very reluctant to buy right now?
Replies: 124
Views: 12198

Re: John Bogle, Index Icon, Accused of Timing Market

John Bogle has not become a wild-eyed market timer. He is doing what many rational investors do and that is pay attention to valuations. He has also endorsed reaching for yield a bit, putting part of the stock portion of a portfolio into dividend stocks and using a corporate bond fund as part of th...
by petrico
Sun Apr 06, 2014 12:18 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: John Bogle, Index Icon, Accused of Timing Market
Replies: 44
Views: 4975

Re: Replacement for Windows XP Computer

Have had the new computer for several days now. It's certainly much snappier and more responsive. A really good choice, and it starts up in 15 seconds -- which is faster than I think I've ever seen. But what really prompted me to post though is that Windows 8.1 is fantastic. It's like having a whol...
by petrico
Sun Apr 06, 2014 12:04 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacement for Windows XP Computer
Replies: 72
Views: 4180

The "ink-stained wretch" is back! ;-)

Jonathan Clements is back, though his first column since his departure six years ago is more of a teaser than anything. Jonathan Clements Rejoins Sunday Journal If you recall, I'm the ink-stained wretch who spent 18 years at the Journal touting the virtues of saving early and often, keeping investme...
by petrico
Sat Apr 05, 2014 11:50 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Jonathan Clements to return to Wall Street Journal Sunday.
Replies: 29
Views: 3203

Re: John Bogle, Index Icon, Accused of Timing Market

The lesson Nelson learns from the interview with Bogle, whose “cult-like following” has “hundreds of thousands of individual investors hanging on his every word,” is to “trust a philosophy, not a person” who “can easily be swayed by prevailing market sentiments.” “I really don't mean to be nit-pick...
by petrico
Sat Apr 05, 2014 1:26 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: John Bogle, Index Icon, Accused of Timing Market
Replies: 44
Views: 4975

Re: Decently written article on retirement

Thanks Marmot -- that was informative. The first example is a guy that had $130k in his retirement account in his 50s after a career of working. I just can't wrap my head around people like that of that age group (baby boomers mostly) who have that little saved. How the hell do you come of age in an...
by petrico
Mon Mar 31, 2014 11:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Decently written article on retirement
Replies: 22
Views: 3124

Re: Trouble with Financial Engines Account?

Thanks everyone for confirming that it's not just me. I've been checking once a week and it's still not working. I haven't actually complained yet, but I hope Vanguard is tracking the number of failed attempts to connect. I access Financial Engines through the my accounts page at Vanguard - no probl...
by petrico
Mon Mar 31, 2014 11:11 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Trouble with Financial Engines Account?
Replies: 14
Views: 1409

Re: Purchasing New Tires for Car and Need Suggestions

All seasons are meant for Houston or Florida. They are not substitutes for winter tires. They are fine for the summer in winter regions but are not fine for winters or for seasons where the temperature gets below 40F. Tire compounds are built for temperature ranges and winter tires stay pliable and...
by petrico
Sun Mar 30, 2014 1:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Purchasing New Tires for Car and Need Suggestions
Replies: 38
Views: 2043

Re: Poll: how did you decide on stock/bond allocation?

Other Originally, many years ago I knew very little other than stocks had higher expected returns and risk than bonds, and being young I could take more risk than someone older. 100% stocks seemed too high and under diversified in some vague sense so I picked 70/30 and stayed more or less there for...
by petrico
Sun Mar 30, 2014 1:25 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Poll: how did you decide on stock/bond allocation?
Replies: 35
Views: 1862

Re: Purchasing New Tires for Car and Need Suggestions

Hello, I recently had my tires inspected and have been told that I need to get new tires as they are not in the best shape. They are the factory tires that came with the car and have lasted almost 5 years. I am wanting to get all season tires. I live in the Northeast and definitely need something t...
by petrico
Sun Mar 30, 2014 12:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Purchasing New Tires for Car and Need Suggestions
Replies: 38
Views: 2043

Re: Auto repair - "Threads getting thin in oil pan drain plu

This is not uncommon, especially on older car. Threads do wear out. However, if you have a trusted local mechanic, getting it replaced there would likely be less expensive than having it done at the dealership. This is not a major / complicated job so any competent mechanic should be able to do it....
by petrico
Thu Mar 27, 2014 6:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Auto repair - "Threads getting thin in oil pan drain plug"
Replies: 40
Views: 1780

Re: Replacement for Windows XP Computer

I'd take a 4th Gen i3 with 4GB of ram and an SSD over an i7 with 4GB and a 7200 RPM drive for any Office/Email/Internet user out there. Meaning, if your use case is web browsers, Outlook, and Microsoft Office, your top speed gain is going to be that SSD. I'll vouch for part of this. I chose the lat...
by petrico
Sat Mar 22, 2014 8:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacement for Windows XP Computer
Replies: 72
Views: 4180

Re: Installing Win8.1 on an old PC - one successful data poi

And if anyone has any pointers for win8 desktop themes that make it look less like a car-crash in a pastel colour paint factory I'd be really grateful for their help. Regards, John. Hi John, I know what you mean about the aesthetics. The out of the box defaults were absolutely brutal. Before I coul...
by petrico
Sat Mar 22, 2014 8:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Installing Win8.1 on an old PC - one successful data point
Replies: 24
Views: 1594

Re: Replacement for Windows XP Computer

Thanks everyone. I have a much better idea what to look for now. One thing I'm still thinking over. One of the recommendations I've seen is to get "64-bit Windows 7 Pro with a Windows 8 disk". If I did so, that would seem to bridge the Windows 7/8 divide. Could any of you give any insight...
by petrico
Thu Mar 20, 2014 12:59 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacement for Windows XP Computer
Replies: 72
Views: 4180

Trouble with Financial Engines Account?

I often like to review my portfolio with the tools provided in the Financial Engines account available free through Vanguard. However, for the past several weeks the account has been unable to pull in my account data from Vanguard, giving the following notice: http://i62.tinypic.com/14bqa8w.jpg Has ...
by petrico
Sat Mar 15, 2014 11:51 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Trouble with Financial Engines Account?
Replies: 14
Views: 1409

Re: Can I beat 2.75% guaranteed via mortgage paydown?

If you itemize deductions, the return on your pre-payments may be less than 2.75%.

--Peter
by petrico
Sat Mar 15, 2014 11:22 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Can I beat 2.75% guaranteed via mortgage paydown?
Replies: 73
Views: 4525

Re: What to put in a taxable account.

From reading the wiki and other sources I gather one needs to focus on keeping tax efficient funds and ETF's in taxable accounts. Does anyone have specific recommendations, or could you tell what you keep in your accounts. Blister: Vanguard's Total Stock Market Index Fund and Total International In...
by petrico
Sat Mar 15, 2014 11:09 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What to put in a taxable account.
Replies: 9
Views: 909

GAAA!!!!! Another "Analysis," this by Fidelity!

I can't believe how bad some recent journalism has been on the Roth/Traditional question. Here's another article that would completely mislead most readers: Can't Save? Change Your Plan The moral of the story? If you can't save enough, save more! Unfortunately, most casual readers would be left with...
by petrico
Sat Mar 15, 2014 10:42 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 20% More in Roth vs. TIRA, Even w/Uniform Tax Rate?
Replies: 20
Views: 1172

Re: 20% More in Roth vs. TIRA, Even w/Uniform Tax Rate?

Thanks for your comments. It's hard to believe this is what is meant by "research," a word used twice in the same paragraph to describe whatever it was that T. Rowe Price published. So the study is saying "if you save more money each year, you will have more money when you retire"...
by petrico
Thu Mar 13, 2014 1:40 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 20% More in Roth vs. TIRA, Even w/Uniform Tax Rate?
Replies: 20
Views: 1172

20% More in Roth vs. TIRA, Even w/Uniform Tax Rate?

This article appeared in my local paper: Stern Advice-To save best, think health accounts, Roth IRAs Could someone please explain this statement? A 25-year old who faces the same income tax rate in retirement as during his working years would end up with 20 percent more money to spend in retirement ...
by petrico
Wed Mar 12, 2014 7:17 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 20% More in Roth vs. TIRA, Even w/Uniform Tax Rate?
Replies: 20
Views: 1172

Re: Happy fifth birthday! [since the 2008-2009 market crash]

XIRR doesn't give you five year returns, it gives you one week returns, one month returns, three month returns, and returns from every time you invested in the last 1825 days (I know there is at least one leap year in there, so this won't go all the way back to five years ago). If you want to know ...
by petrico
Wed Mar 12, 2014 7:02 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Happy fifth birthday! [since the 2008-2009 market crash]
Replies: 54
Views: 3352

Re: Happy fifth birthday! [since the 2008-2009 market crash]

pshonore, Doc and LH: you have described the XIRR function as I know it, thanks. The dollar-weighted return (XIRR) is the only meaningful measure of annualized returns I know of when there have been withdrawals from and/or contributions to a portfolio. I'm still confused by sscritic's comments, as h...
by petrico
Mon Mar 10, 2014 11:21 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Happy fifth birthday! [since the 2008-2009 market crash]
Replies: 54
Views: 3352

Re: HUGE retirement decision.

May I ask what state gov you work for? Those are very good benefits specifically the health care benefit. Connecticut. However we are under an old grandfathered retirement system that hasn't been available since 1984. Great pension and health benefits but that pension system doesn't exist for emplo...
by petrico
Sun Mar 09, 2014 10:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HUGE retirement decision.
Replies: 71
Views: 6005

Re: Happy fifth birthday! [since the 2008-2009 market crash]

XIRR doesn't give you five year returns, it gives you one week returns, one month returns, three month returns, and returns from every time you invested in the last 1825 days (I know there is at least one leap year in there, so this won't go all the way back to five years ago). If you want to know ...
by petrico
Sun Mar 09, 2014 9:03 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Happy fifth birthday! [since the 2008-2009 market crash]
Replies: 54
Views: 3352

Re: HUGE retirement decision.

You have a very, very rich plan and we are seeing some of those plans going under scrutiny for restructure (too generous and costly to sustain), so I'd want a little more weighting to income from outside that source. Note that the OP's plan was closed to new employees in 1984. (The rest of the tier...
by petrico
Sun Mar 09, 2014 2:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HUGE retirement decision.
Replies: 71
Views: 6005

Re: HUGE retirement decision.

Hullodare, Have you actually gone to HR and asked them to "run the numbers" for you, or are you relying on the online calculator? The only reason I ask is because some people I've known have been pleasantly surprised, with the detailed comp's working out slightly better than expected. --Pe...
by petrico
Sun Mar 09, 2014 2:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HUGE retirement decision.
Replies: 71
Views: 6005

Re: Happy fifth birthday!

David, Is XIRR an appropriate measure, given the fact that I've added significant contributions in the past 5 years? Assuming so, my 5-year XIRR from 3/9/09 to 3/9/14 = 16.83%. (Yes, it's accurate.) The portfolio is more than 3.4 times what it was on March 9, 2009. Throughout the past 4 years or so ...
by petrico
Sun Mar 09, 2014 2:18 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Happy fifth birthday! [since the 2008-2009 market crash]
Replies: 54
Views: 3352

Re: HUGE retirement decision.

sscritic wrote:
petrico wrote:sscritic, I'm not sure what you mean by "giveaway."

The mystery state that the OP didn't want to reveal. The capitalization of plus to PLUS comes straight from Connecticut. I could be wrong about the state, but I don't think so.

Aaaaah, thank you. And yes, it all looks familiar.
by petrico
Sun Mar 09, 2014 1:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HUGE retirement decision.
Replies: 71
Views: 6005

Re: Poll: Do you use the Amazon link here to make purchases?

Of course I do! I have also made a one-time donation by check to the forum. I feel tremendously indebted to this forum for all the help I've received here over the years, and I love having the opportunity to give back, even if it's a tiny amount, at no cost to me. Oh, and how is it possible the Bogl...
by petrico
Sun Mar 09, 2014 1:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Poll: Do you use the Amazon link here to make purchases?
Replies: 24
Views: 1216

Re: HUGE retirement decision.

1. Option D - Straight Life Annuity. This option provides you with the highest monthly benefit for your lifetime. However, all payments stop at your death. 2. Option A - 50% Spouse. This option first provides a reduced monthly benefit to you for life. Then, 50% of that benefit will continue after y...
by petrico
Sun Mar 09, 2014 1:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HUGE retirement decision.
Replies: 71
Views: 6005

Re: is 4gb memory, 500gb hd adequate for new desktop?

We have to remember what forum this is: some people here feel they have to ask permission to replace their '78 Toyota after only 378k miles. It was only two years ago that I retired my 1999 desktop. If this was 1999, some people might be saying 128mb would be overkill (64mb was standard.) Exactly r...
by petrico
Sat Mar 08, 2014 4:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: is 4gb memory, 500gb hd adequate for new desktop?
Replies: 56
Views: 1872

Re: Larry Swedroe Presentation on Passive Investing

Great conversation! I especially liked the lesson that it's not how good or bad the news is that moves the market, it's how much better or worse than expected the news is that matters.

And yes, that was a good introduction. Nice to "meet" you, Larry.

Thanks for the link, Mel.

--Peter
by petrico
Sat Mar 08, 2014 3:47 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Larry Swedroe Presentation on Passive Investing
Replies: 13
Views: 2327

Re: How Many Funds Do You Have in Taxable?

Just two:

Vanguard Total Stock Market Index (VTSAX)
Vanguard Emerging Markets Stock Index (VEMAX)

I do not hold these funds or anything similar anywhere else.

--Peter
by petrico
Wed Mar 05, 2014 9:56 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How Many Funds Do You Have in Taxable?
Replies: 97
Views: 4901

Re: Stable Value Rate Below "Guaranteed Minumim"?

Thank you all for your thoughts. I really needed a reality check on this one. It seems some of you agree that this is a noteworthy departure from a published commitment. I think this warrants a letter to the state employees retirement commission to question the justification for the breach. Of cours...
by petrico
Sun Mar 02, 2014 8:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Stable Value Rate Below "Guaranteed Minumim"?
Replies: 17
Views: 1157

Re: Stable Value Rate Below "Guaranteed Minumim"?

3% minimum was likely instituted before an interest rate climate like today was envisioned. On one hand I can understand you being upset, on the other hand you pay taxes and does an artificially high rate of return seem fair to you (now imagine you aren't the beneficiary of said artificially high r...
by petrico
Sat Mar 01, 2014 9:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Stable Value Rate Below "Guaranteed Minumim"?
Replies: 17
Views: 1157

Re: Stable Value Rate Below "Guaranteed Minumim"?

Connecticut Stable Value Fund invests in instruments that guarantee an annual 3% minimum net rate of interest for the life of the contract and that may credit a higher interest rate from period to period. You don't know how long the life of the contract is. Maybe the said life has reached to the en...
by petrico
Sat Mar 01, 2014 6:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Stable Value Rate Below "Guaranteed Minumim"?
Replies: 17
Views: 1157

Stable Value Rate Below "Guaranteed Minumim"?

Our 457b Stable Value fund just declared a new interest rate below the stated "guaranteed minimum rate." Has that happened anywhere else? Is this outrageous (even illegal), or am I overreacting? Any recommendations? Before now, the Connecticut Stable Value Fund always had a guaranteed mini...
by petrico
Sat Mar 01, 2014 3:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Stable Value Rate Below "Guaranteed Minumim"?
Replies: 17
Views: 1157

Re: Will VSS, VNQI ER Estimates Be Lowered Soon? [Yes]

If history is a guide, might the expense ratios for these two ETFs be lowered again soon? Wherever Cramer gets his advanced info, he was correct last time. As I mentioned on another recent thread, you can get info about expense ratios in advance by reading the (semi-)annual reports of the funds in ...
by petrico
Fri Feb 28, 2014 6:43 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Will VSS, VNQI ER Estimates Be Lowered Soon? [Yes]
Replies: 23
Views: 2276

Re: Will VSS, VNQI ER Estimates Be Lowered Soon? [Yes]

Yes, lots of good news from Vanguard. I was especially encouraged to see the Global ex-US Real Estate fund is now offering admiral shares. Once (or if) those purchase/redemption fees go away I'll gladly dump the ETF share class and buy the mutual fund. (Still no admiral shares for the FTSE x-US Smal...
by petrico
Fri Feb 28, 2014 1:38 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Will VSS, VNQI ER Estimates Be Lowered Soon? [Yes]
Replies: 23
Views: 2276
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