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Re: International increase in Target Retirement & LifeStrate

For those upset with VG for not staying the course, how many of you were invested at even 30% foreign stocks in 2000, if at all? How many were invested in REITS? Small value? Ibonds when they were paying over 3% plus inflation? How many kept their stock/bond allocation static from 1999-2007, say? Th...
by rj49
Fri Feb 27, 2015 8:27 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: International increase in Target Retirement & LifeStrategy
Replies: 121
Views: 8283

Re: Need Income-Wellesley & Wellington or just Wellesley

Bill Bernstein had a good quote, that more money has been lost reaching for yield than at the point of a gun. Investors in Wellesley/Wellington will find this out if and when the 40-year bull market in bonds is reversed, especially with its high proportion of longer-duration corporate bonds. Harold ...
by rj49
Thu Feb 26, 2015 8:35 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need Income-Wellesley & Wellington or just Wellesley
Replies: 27
Views: 4704

Re: Cell Phone in Canada

For those who go crazy without internet and email, I found that one free way (other than hunting for free wifi) to get internet access throughout Canada was through an old Kindle Keyboard (3G version, not wifi). It gets free 3G internet through the experimental browser on the Kindle, which is slow a...
by rj49
Thu Feb 26, 2015 2:34 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cell Phone in Canada
Replies: 5
Views: 479

Re: Breaking up with USAA--banking alternatives welcomed

I keep USAA for insurance, but I don't want to get sucked into their other offerings. My problem with them was several years ago when their chairman sent out emails when some financial legislation was going through congress, urging USAA members to contact their congress members to vote the way USAA ...
by rj49
Thu Feb 26, 2015 2:19 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Breaking up with USAA--banking alternatives welcomed
Replies: 16
Views: 1956

Re: Vanguard Wellesley Income Fund a Buy?

Or you could just buy the composite indices that have beaten both Wellesley and Wellington over the past year, getting higher returns, lower costs, and lower taxes from portfolio turnover (over 108% for Wellesley for last year and 70% or so for Wellington). Wellington has lagged its benchmark over t...
by rj49
Mon Feb 23, 2015 7:23 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Wellesley Income Fund a Buy?
Replies: 37
Views: 3534

Re: Withdraw TSP to Convert Traditional to Roth?

Even though it may not seem like a huge deal now, maintaining access to the 'free lunch' of the TSP G fund would seem like a worthwhile advantage to keeping it open. Someday interest rates will climb, and then having G fund as an option will seem well worth it (although it's difficult to hold onto i...
by rj49
Mon Feb 23, 2015 7:11 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Withdraw TSP to Convert Traditional to Roth?
Replies: 13
Views: 1076

Re: Cloud based storage for tax documents

If you're going to scan, you might also put them all on a USB thumb drive and keep them in your paper financial files (my escrow agent did that for all my real estate paperwork). I seem to remember reading that 3 years is the recommended number of back returns to keep paper copies of, but you can do...
by rj49
Tue Feb 17, 2015 12:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cloud based storage for tax documents
Replies: 7
Views: 559

Re: PRIMECAP and Contrafund

With Contrafund you're running into single-manager risk, especially since the current manager has been on board since 1990, so after 25 years with one fund he might choose to move on. With Primecap you have multiple managers, each responsible for sub portfolios, so there's less risk theoretically of...
by rj49
Mon Feb 16, 2015 10:20 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: PRIMECAP and Contrafund
Replies: 7
Views: 739

Re: Are TIPS the ultimate inflation hedge?

One of the problems with TIPS is investor behavior, namely the urge to flee when you're not getting rewarded through inflation adjustments--I sold a lot of the old 3% ibonds when inflation was so low and the market was booming. Then there's the complexity, especially in taxable accounts, and figurin...
by rj49
Tue Feb 03, 2015 10:01 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are TIPS the ultimate inflation hedge?
Replies: 27
Views: 2018

Re: Boglehead Fitbit group

My Fitbit was broken for about a week. I called the customer service and they sent me a new one no questions asked. People who have one, on average, supposedly walk 43% more. Now that I have one, I believe it. I am on the site as "Robert C." You'd think the technology would be built into ...
by rj49
Fri Jan 30, 2015 7:36 pm
 
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: Boglehead Fitbit group
Replies: 33
Views: 2812

Re: Good Wines

You might check a site called the Reverse Wine Snob (just google to find it). He rates wines in the $10-20 category and puts out a top 10 list for Costco and Trader Joes wines. He evaluates taste, but then deducts points based on price, a nice Boglehead-ish approach.
by rj49
Fri Jan 30, 2015 7:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good Wines
Replies: 54
Views: 4390

Re: Closing unused credit cards - should I do it?

The other argument for closing an unused card is the risk of identity theft and card fraud. Since a lot of stolen card numbers are resold, it could be used much later, when you might have a different address or phone number or email. I decided that sign-up bonuses aren't worth the hassles of card ro...
by rj49
Wed Jan 21, 2015 1:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Closing unused credit cards - should I do it?
Replies: 16
Views: 1311

Re: Why no cult/theory/strategy of US regional stock investi

I actually tried something like this in the late 90s, when I dipped my toe into a few individual stocks through Sharebuilder. I decided to just follow Peter Lynch's advice to invest in what you know, so I had a very extreme home bias of only Seattle companies: Amazon, Starbucks, and Boeing. Actually...
by rj49
Sun Jan 18, 2015 12:45 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why no cult/theory/strategy of US regional stock investing?
Replies: 21
Views: 1623

Re: Amazon product restricted to Prime members. Is this new?

I browse Amazon a lot and buy many things from them, but I've not seen that before check elsewhere. I have increasingly found Amazon to be no better in term of price than other sites (and B&M stores like Target). I rarely use Amazon any more. That is correct, their prices for smaller items aren...
by rj49
Thu Dec 04, 2014 11:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon product restricted to Prime members. Is this new?
Replies: 34
Views: 4303

Re: Amazon product restricted to Prime members. Is this new?

In our household Amazon Prime is a no-brainer. The UPS guy stops by at least 3 times a week with Amazon purchases. And we are always streaming a movie or tv show or something from their web streaming service (included with Prime). I don't see how they can afford it. Although I did see a headline ye...
by rj49
Thu Dec 04, 2014 11:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon product restricted to Prime members. Is this new?
Replies: 34
Views: 4303

Re: Movie dialog, "The Social Network." Hard to hear?

A large part is due to actor Jesse Eisenberg's quiet monotone. Another bad one is Heath Ledger in "Brokeback Mountain", incomprehensible mumbling. The worst, though, has to be Christian Bale and Tom Hardy's Bane in "Dark Knight Rises" (made worse by me watching it on a plane). He...
by rj49
Sun Nov 23, 2014 11:08 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Movie dialog, "The Social Network." Hard to hear?
Replies: 15
Views: 2708

Re: Oatmeal suggestions

I find a nice balance between the blandness/mushiness and the preparation pains of steel-cut: Trader Joe's Organic Multigrain Hot Cereal. It has rye, barley, oats, and wheat, so you get a variety of grains, and it has a nice texture, and is quick to make. I also like almond milk with my cereal, whic...
by rj49
Fri Nov 21, 2014 10:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Oatmeal suggestions
Replies: 147
Views: 13634

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

Spain might be a good option, with both off-season and tough-economy savings, and lots of interesting larger and smaller cities to choose from. I heard Rick Steves lecture last night, and his books and website are a great source for inexpensive but central lodging and meals, and for any country you ...
by rj49
Thu Nov 20, 2014 2:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Europe off-season (late Jan), 11 days, $3K budget
Replies: 19
Views: 2182

Re: Vanguard ETF vs. Mutual Fund when expenses equal

I have found that mutual funds are better at making me approach investing long-term, instead of obsessing over sales price, looking for trendy and hot ETF asset classes, and the temptation to go from ETFs to individual stocks (since you already have a brokerage account, why not?). I also found with ...
by rj49
Thu Nov 13, 2014 6:51 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard ETF vs. Mutual Fund when expenses equal
Replies: 27
Views: 2087

Re: I'm Scared! Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 - What to d

Your investment seminar experience and investment fears reminded me of this very good book I recently read as my Amazon Prime free monthly read: http://www.amazon.com/What-When-Get-Stupid-Radically-ebook/dp/B00EDWTFU2 It pointed out how many get tempted into the 'free lunch' seminars and throw away ...
by rj49
Fri Nov 07, 2014 1:42 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I'm Scared! Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 - What to do!
Replies: 39
Views: 8060

Re: Bucket Approach Redux

I've been practicing a sort of bucket approach, adapted to the work of William Sharpe on lockbox investing and withdrawals. I divided my portfolio into 5-year increments and invested them in TR funds based on withdrawal ages for me. Then every five years I'll have a fund invested in the TR income fu...
by rj49
Sun Oct 26, 2014 9:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bucket Approach Redux
Replies: 35
Views: 3016

Re: What is the appeal of smart watches?

I use a Pebble smart watch, which has an e-ink screen, so the battery life is long enough not require nightly charging, and it mostly just does notifications of email, calls, and other things from my iphone, so it's not a major techie distraction. That means I don't have to constantly check and turn...
by rj49
Sun Oct 26, 2014 8:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is the appeal of smart watches?
Replies: 22
Views: 2320

Re: Fixed-Fee Advisor in Texas

Scott Burns has a company in Plano, TX, called AssetBuilder. He was a personal finance columnist in a Dallas newspaper for some time and originated the Couch Potato Portfolio of 50/50 stocks/bonds. He also wrote a lot about downsizing in retirement (he even tried living in an Airstream trailer for a...
by rj49
Sat Oct 11, 2014 1:39 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fixed-Fee Advisor in Texas
Replies: 14
Views: 1536

Re: Time to go back to cash and ditch the Credit Card?

There are several studies that show that people using credit cards spend much more than those using cash. Target's RedCard led to a big increase in store spending (I've overspent there because of the card), and McDonalds customers spent much more per visit when they put in credit card machines. The ...
by rj49
Sat Sep 27, 2014 9:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Time to go back to cash and ditch the Credit Card?
Replies: 39
Views: 3457

Re: Amazon.com as a selling service

For niche items, eBay is your best bet, I think, since you're more likely to come in contact with niche buyers, particularly for collectibles, antiques, clothing, and dishes (my sister just sold her wedding china on there, which has languished on craigslist for years). Amazon is best for popular ite...
by rj49
Mon Sep 22, 2014 4:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon.com as a selling service
Replies: 17
Views: 1865

Re: Guidance moving to Seattle

To follow up on carless life, the most popular way to visit Vancouver and Portland for the young and carless is BoltBus, which is a nice clean bus with wifi with no stops except the big cities, no odd Greyhound types, and fares as low as $1. For skiing, there are various bus services also that go to...
by rj49
Sat Sep 06, 2014 2:21 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Guidance moving to Seattle
Replies: 21
Views: 2053

Re: Guidance moving to Seattle

Both lower Queen Anne (around Seattle Center) and Ballard have dozens of new apartment complexes going up, which might push prices down a bit. The former is a 5-minute bus ride from downtown, and Ballard has a Rapid Ride bus that can take a bit longer, but not as long as the bus routes from Green La...
by rj49
Sat Sep 06, 2014 2:17 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Guidance moving to Seattle
Replies: 21
Views: 2053

Re: How to avoid REITs in index funds for taxable?

Whatever changes you make will have more impact than the negligible tax costs of REITs in the TSM (possibly higher ER for a cobbled-together portfolio, along with potential gains passed over). The correlation between the SP500 and TSM is fairly high, so REITs aren't going to really have any major ef...
by rj49
Thu Sep 04, 2014 1:58 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How to avoid REITs in index funds for taxable?
Replies: 3
Views: 450

Re: table suggests total bond not best as diversifier

You have to ask yourself how much benefit you could get in a downturn that would benefit LT Treasuries versus the severe losses that could result if and when interest rates climb. Looking at the past doesn't really account for the cost/benefit analysis of interest rates starting at such a low level....
by rj49
Sun Aug 31, 2014 6:01 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: table suggests total bond not best as diversifier
Replies: 20
Views: 2179

Re: Need another bank besides Capital One

DiscoverBank gives a 10-cent cashback for checks, ATM card usage, and other things, as well as sign-up bonuses that would probably surpass whatever interest you'd get from another bank. For those who live in WA, BECU gives 4% back on the first $500 in checking and savings. I also like Penfed for the...
by rj49
Fri Aug 22, 2014 11:05 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need another bank besides Capital One
Replies: 24
Views: 2318

Re: I don't have enough cash for index funds

I personally would avoid ETFs, especially for a new investor. It's just too easy to chase what's hot, to constantly fiddle with your portfolio or follow some popular portfolio (remember not too long ago when everyone was gaga over Harry Browne?). If you read Mr. Bogle on ETFs, he'll give good reason...
by rj49
Thu Aug 14, 2014 11:28 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I don't have enough cash for index funds
Replies: 42
Views: 4005

Re: Mac Airbook

Have you considered an imac? I bought an open-box model for $1200 on MacMall a few months ago, with a glorious 27" screen and impossibly-thin edges, and it has 1TB of memory, so you'd never run out of storage. If you search on imac on MacMall, you can see all their options (and they give free s...
by rj49
Thu Aug 14, 2014 3:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mac Airbook
Replies: 38
Views: 3690

Re: Vanguard Balanced Index vs. Vanguard Lifestrategy Modera

You might look at Wellington as compared to Balanced index. Agree that 50 years is a long time and balanced funds perhaps too conservative. investor One of the problems with Wellington over a 50-year period is that it has completely changed its investing philosophy and focus over the past 50 years,...
by rj49
Wed Aug 13, 2014 2:44 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Balanced Index vs. Vanguard Lifestrategy Moderate
Replies: 17
Views: 2713

Re: Renting forever: financial suicide?

The unstable and uncertain status of marriage, employment, and other factors are good arguments to support a renting lifestyle, especially in a place where most housing is unaffordable for most. Either if you could lose a job, which could jeopardize paying a mortgage, but if you needed to move elsew...
by rj49
Mon Aug 11, 2014 9:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Renting forever: financial suicide?
Replies: 92
Views: 11788

Re: PenFed v. Truecar v. BJs v. Costco auto buying

If you live in a larger city, you might be able to find a reputable, capable auto broker who will do everything for you, without all the hassles. Most people pay 6% of a home price to have realtors do the negotiation and we pay a yearly fee to have Vanguard experts buy and sell the stocks and bonds ...
by rj49
Mon Aug 11, 2014 1:01 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PenFed v. Truecar v. BJs v. Costco auto buying
Replies: 24
Views: 6756

Re: 3.3% Vanguard 10 year CD

You could have had up to 7 years at 3% last January through Penfed, and every year around that time they've offered superior long-term CD rates, with the penalty of a year's worth of interest for breaking it early. I had a ladder set up of 6.25% in 2007, then 5% or so a few years later, so if you st...
by rj49
Sat Aug 09, 2014 10:11 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 3.3% Vanguard 10 year CD
Replies: 99
Views: 10844

Re: Going 60+% international? (US resident)

Buying low makes sense, unless you were investing internationally in the 1990s, when Japan dragged down the international indices. There's some cultural/home bias to rationalize all the underweighting of international, such as Europe being all geriatric socialist societies (when China, Japan, and ev...
by rj49
Sat Aug 09, 2014 1:53 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Going 60+% international? (US resident)
Replies: 85
Views: 7081

Re: Who or what inspired you and your investing approach?

Joe Dominguez, in his "Your Money or Your Life" book, who along with Thoreau, gave me the inspiration to save for early retirement in my early 40s. His investing approach, not a bad one at the time, was to invest in LT Treasury bonds, then yielding well over 10% (I suppose a LT Treasury bo...
by rj49
Fri Aug 08, 2014 12:41 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Who or what inspired you and your investing approach?
Replies: 93
Views: 4859

Re: Moving? The US Post Office Offers Discount Coupons

I don't know if it's still offered, but for a move last October I got a 10% Target coupon on the change-of-address site, good for anything in the store, with no purchase limit. So I not only got some stuff for my new place, but I also got 15% off an ipad and other things (combined with the 5% Target...
by rj49
Fri Aug 08, 2014 12:25 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Moving? The US Post Office Offers Discount Coupons
Replies: 11
Views: 3150

Re: Telephone Calls! Help!

Get a pay-by-the-minute cell phone to use as your 'landline' and then simply keep it turned off. T-Mobile pay-as-you-go stores phone messages online, so I can see who called and listen to messages that way, instead of being bothered by telemarketers. If it's a repeat solicitor, I just delete the mes...
by rj49
Fri Aug 08, 2014 12:17 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Telephone Calls! Help! [Stopping telemarketing calls]
Replies: 107
Views: 9536

Re: Considering buying a Prius or a Volt

Have you looked at the Honda Accord plug-in hybrid? It seems more family-car oriented, and since it also allows running just on electricity, might give higher fuel savings over a Prius. It's also eligible for HOV in CA, along with the usual tax credits. The next-generation Prius is supposed to have ...
by rj49
Thu Aug 07, 2014 12:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering buying a Plug-in Prius or a Volt
Replies: 40
Views: 3051

Re: Current Relevance of Short Term Bonds - Bill Bernstein Q

A safe alternative that would satisfy Dr. BIll's criteria would have been investing in 7-year Penfed CDs starting in 2007. It would have brought a 6.25% compounded yield from 2007-20014, and it could have been reinvested in January for another 7 years at 3%. No clothespin needed (except at tax time)...
by rj49
Wed Aug 06, 2014 12:08 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Current Relevance of Short Term Bonds - Bill Bernstein Q
Replies: 11
Views: 1277

Re: Target Date Fund vs. 60/40 Allocation

I wouldn't switch out the Vanguard funds in your 401k for a Wells Fargo one, because of higher prices and what is probably an inferior portfolio, with a high possibility of added fees and expenses when it came time to withdraw. I would hedge my bets and allocation by keeping the Vanguard funds in yo...
by rj49
Wed Aug 06, 2014 1:35 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Target Date Fund vs. 60/40 Allocation
Replies: 9
Views: 1328

Re: Best Coffee Maker? What do you have?

Folks, For people using Aeropress, are you brewing the coffee using the normal Aeropress process or the inverted Aeropress process?? KlangFool I vary between regular and inverted. I had problems with leaking around the filter, but then found a metal filter on Amazon that greatly reduces the problem...
by rj49
Wed Aug 06, 2014 1:17 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Coffee Maker? What do you have?
Replies: 75
Views: 6669

Re: Exchange Explorer (VEXRX) for Small Cap Index (VSMAX)?

Sounds good to me, especially since there won't be tax consequences. If you have the nice luxury of being retired and not needing to touch the IRA for 20 years, you should get some good compounding and returns over the years, while Explorer will have manager changes, times of underperformance, and t...
by rj49
Tue Aug 05, 2014 4:27 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Exchange Explorer (VEXRX) for Small Cap Index (VSMAX)?
Replies: 1
Views: 285

Re: REITS-worth the time to add 10% into portfolio

Ask yourself why you don't add other VG sector funds for diversification, such as Energy, Health Care, or Precious Metals, all which have also had some great returns at times. You can also ask if you would have been so anxious to invest in them in 2007-2008, when they crashed more than the overall m...
by rj49
Tue Aug 05, 2014 4:14 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: REITS-worth the time to add 10% into portfolio
Replies: 33
Views: 2800

Re: I Strayed From The Path...Forgive Me.

A lot of us dipped out toes into the water of buying individual stocks, especially during the latter 1990s when the direction of everything was up. Then 1999 came along and we that stocks drop too. There's nothing wrong with playing around a bit if you have sufficient resources, though, and even sev...
by rj49
Mon Aug 04, 2014 9:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I Strayed From The Path...Forgive Me.
Replies: 34
Views: 6114

Re: Suze Orman - Doesn't Like Target Date Funds

In terms of the retail arena, VG is about the only company one should do target date/balanced funds with. In 401Ks, there seem to be better options in some cases. The non-VG target date funds in my 401K charge .12%. I have to disagree here; T. Rowe Price has one of the absolute best assortments of ...
by rj49
Sun Aug 03, 2014 10:40 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Suze Orman - Doesn't Like Target Date Funds
Replies: 26
Views: 4565

Re: planning to travel a lot soon...how to build up points?

https://www.penfed.org/PenFed-Premium-Travel-Rewards-American-Express-Card/ This one has travel rewards,an initial spending bonus, and no foreign transaction fees. On the other hand, if have enough money to travel widely, why not just use something like the Capital One card that pays back 1.5% on ev...
by rj49
Sat Aug 02, 2014 4:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: planning to travel a lot soon...how to build up points?
Replies: 14
Views: 4342

Re: How does car trade-in work?

You might look at finding a reputable auto broker to just deal with all the hassles and haggling for you. I think one I looked at in Seattle charged $400, had good reviews on yelp, and arranged purchasing a new car and selling the old one, so you don't have to even set foot in a dealership. To me it...
by rj49
Sat Aug 02, 2014 3:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How does car trade-in work?
Replies: 71
Views: 4946
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