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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Newport describes how "follow your passion" is a treacherous guidance, because it intuitively feels right, it's widely promoted, and at the same time it's likely to lead one to a failure. In some areas, such as arts and sports, for some people, following passion works well. But the majori...
by ruralavalon
Thu Oct 30, 2014 10:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 136
Views: 9654

Re: Guidance with employer's 401k fund selection

Welcome to the forum :) . Its good to see that you are thinking of low-expense index investing, and maxing your contributions to the 401k. You have an excellent menu of funds to choose from in the 401k, you are very fortunate. Before picking funds to use you need to think about asset allocation, bei...
by ruralavalon
Thu Oct 30, 2014 10:07 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Guidance with employer's 401k fund selection
Replies: 4
Views: 156

Re: Good active funds to use in 401ks w/o index funds?

One needs to be careful with e/r and turnover criteria. Reducing the e/r by 50% starting at 100 bps gets you 50 bps but that same 50% reduction starting at 50 bps only gets you 25 bps. If you start making decisions based on the difference between an e/r of 0.10 and 0.20 you are kidding yourself. In...
by ruralavalon
Thu Oct 30, 2014 5:17 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Good active funds to use in 401ks w/o index funds?
Replies: 11
Views: 812

Re: Please review my strategy (new at investing)

Welcome to the forum :) . Its good to see that you are debt free, and when new to investing already understand the importance of good diversification using low expense index funds. That puts you far ahead of most your age. Is there a reason you want ETFs in one of the accounts? With investments of y...
by ruralavalon
Thu Oct 30, 2014 4:48 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Please review my strategy (new at investing)
Replies: 2
Views: 242

Re: Need help: Roll over to new plan or leave $$ in old plan

The old 401k plan has some excellent fund choices (several as good as you could get in an IRA), hulio82 did not give us any information to cause fear of keeping that account, and stated no desire to do a rollover IRA of any type. We don't have information about the desirability/non-desirability of a...
by ruralavalon
Thu Oct 30, 2014 4:00 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need help: Roll over to new plan or leave $$ in old plan?
Replies: 18
Views: 942

Re: Bad to max out my 457 and 401k before wife's 401k?

They certainly don't make it easy to determine your investing expenses, for either plan.
by ruralavalon
Thu Oct 30, 2014 2:40 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bad to max out my 457 and 401k before wife's 401k?
Replies: 13
Views: 853

Re: Good active funds to use in 401ks w/o index funds?

For the general approach, we have two wiki articles. First: How to build a lazy portfolio , which was specifically written to help investors decode their employer plan fund options. Next: Approximating Vanguard target date funds While the goal is to use low-cost index funds, you just try to make do...
by ruralavalon
Thu Oct 30, 2014 12:17 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Good active funds to use in 401ks w/o index funds?
Replies: 11
Views: 812

Re: Fidelity Mutual Fund Strategy?

Can you list for us all the accounts you now have, which firm they are with, their relative sizes, and what funds you hold in each? Like this: 401k @ xyz co (zz% of total) Fund a Fund b Fund c IRA @ Vanguard (yy% of total) Fund a Fund d New account @ Fidelity ($10k will be xx% of total) No funds yet...
by ruralavalon
Thu Oct 30, 2014 12:08 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity Mutual Fund Strategy?
Replies: 11
Views: 910

Re: Help with Investing for my wife's retirement

The Life Strategy funds are a nice package of the great funds Avalon suggested (with some international bonds thrown in) at very low cost for a totally balanced single fund that needs no attention. Set and forget. It is possible you would have received a different answer if you posted everything in...
by ruralavalon
Thu Oct 30, 2014 11:15 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with Investing for my wife's retirement
Replies: 11
Views: 766

Re: Help with Investing for my wife's retirement

Simple -- 45%, Vanguard Institutional Index VINIX 0.04% 10%, Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund Institutional Class Shar VIEIX 0.08%, <= ~ 4:1 ratio S&P 500 to Ext. Mkt. 25%, Vanguard Developed Markets Index Fund Institutional VTMNX 0.07%, <= ~ 30% of total stocks 20%, Vanguard Total Bond Mark...
by ruralavalon
Thu Oct 30, 2014 11:08 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with Investing for my wife's retirement
Replies: 11
Views: 766

Re: Bad to max out my 457 and 401k before wife's 401k?

I've now had some more time to review the pdf document you linked for her 401k plan. I want to look more into the fees. Some seem to be fixed and others asset based. I don't think the document I linked has all of the fees, so I'll do the math and try to figure out what they all are. Here's the diffe...
by ruralavalon
Thu Oct 30, 2014 9:35 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bad to max out my 457 and 401k before wife's 401k?
Replies: 13
Views: 853

Re: Help with Investing for my wife's retirement

.18 is nothing. Use the life cycle fund and keep it simple. +1 Keep it simple, especially since she doesn't want to deal with it. She is fortunate to have great choices, in case she wants to split it out later. Another +1 If something ever happens to you she could just leave the investments on auto...
by ruralavalon
Thu Oct 30, 2014 7:33 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with Investing for my wife's retirement
Replies: 11
Views: 766

Re: Bad to max out my 457 and 401k before wife's 401k?

Tax wise, does it matter if I contribute half my income to tax deferred retirement and my wife only $2-3,000? Overall fund and fee wise, it makes sense to me to max out my accounts first as the overall cost will be lower with a better selection of funds in the SDBA. Provided all the plans are tradi...
by ruralavalon
Wed Oct 29, 2014 9:46 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bad to max out my 457 and 401k before wife's 401k?
Replies: 13
Views: 853

Re: Bad to max out my 457 and 401k before wife's 401k?

Tax wise, does it matter if I contribute half my income to tax deferred retirement and my wife only $2-3,000? Overall fund and fee wise, it makes sense to me to max out my accounts first as the overall cost will be lower with a better selection of funds in the SDBA. Provided all the plans are tradi...
by ruralavalon
Wed Oct 29, 2014 9:16 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bad to max out my 457 and 401k before wife's 401k?
Replies: 13
Views: 853

Re: Bad to max out my 457 and 401k before wife's 401k?

How much (in dollars) does she get per year in the maximum employer match? Compare the fees ($43.69 x 4 = 174.76/yr) to that, not to the account balance. It's almost impossible for it to be a good idea to pass up an employer match, that's free money. That's like ripping up a part of her paycheck. I...
by ruralavalon
Wed Oct 29, 2014 9:05 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bad to max out my 457 and 401k before wife's 401k?
Replies: 13
Views: 853

Re: Bad to max out my 457 and 401k before wife's 401k?

How much (in dollars) does she get per year in the maximum employer match? Compare the fees ($43.69 x 4 = 174.76/yr) to that, not to the account balance. It's almost impossible for it to be a good idea to pass up an employer match, that's free money. That's like ripping up a part of her paycheck. If...
by ruralavalon
Wed Oct 29, 2014 8:46 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bad to max out my 457 and 401k before wife's 401k?
Replies: 13
Views: 853

Re: Help with Investing for my wife's retirement

These are the funds to use in her work-based plan for a "three-fund" portfolio: Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund Institutional Class Shar VIEIX .08 Vanguard Institutional Index VINIX .04 Vanguard Developed Markets Index Fund Institutional VTMNX .07 Vanguard Total Bond Market Index - Adm...
by ruralavalon
Wed Oct 29, 2014 7:46 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with Investing for my wife's retirement
Replies: 11
Views: 766

Re: simplify and diversify

I have spent some time reviewing the lazy portfolios and as of now, I like the "Rick Ferri Core Four." I'm not sure why I like it but I guess I like that he added a REIT in there. As for allocation, I was thinking 70/30 or 60/40 (stocks/bonds) but leaning towards 60/40 so it'd be: 36% tot...
by ruralavalon
Wed Oct 29, 2014 7:10 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: simplify and diversify
Replies: 19
Views: 2884

Re: Fidelity Mutual Fund Strategy?

Thank you for the information. How does this model look to you? Fidelity Spartan® 500 Index Fund Investor Class(MUTF:FUSEX) $2500 Fidelity Spartan® Total Market Index Fund Investor Class(MUTF:FSTMX) $2500 Fidelity Spartan® International Index Fund Investor Class(MUTF:FSIIX) $2500 Fidelity® Total Bo...
by ruralavalon
Wed Oct 29, 2014 6:31 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity Mutual Fund Strategy?
Replies: 11
Views: 910

Good active funds to use in 401ks w/o index funds?

I had a mediocre 401k with the only index fund being an off-brand S&P 500 fund, ER around 0.50%. So in investor help threads without good index fund choices in work-based plans, I like to try to help by looking for useable active funds to suggest to the poster. I would be interested in your idea...
by ruralavalon
Wed Oct 29, 2014 5:47 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Good active funds to use in 401ks w/o index funds?
Replies: 11
Views: 812

Re: 401(a) Rollover to Traditional or Roth?

My spouse has about $8k in a 401a account from a previous employer. She is not currently working and thus cannot rollover into a new employer’s retirement plan. This leaves rollover into either a Roth or Traditional IRA, and the question I have is which one. . . . . . Spouse will likely start worki...
by ruralavalon
Wed Oct 29, 2014 5:11 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401(a) Rollover to Traditional or Roth?
Replies: 5
Views: 383

Re: No retirement benefit at work - where then should she in

Here's my question: I am trying to convince my g/f to start investing as much as possible and as early as possible (she's 28). She's a private school teacher and makes about 34k/year before taxes, but there's virtually no retirement benefit for her. Thus, I'm trying to help guide her to where she s...
by ruralavalon
Wed Oct 29, 2014 4:52 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: No retirement benefit at work - where then should she invest
Replies: 8
Views: 699

Re: Should I buy more REITs?

InvestorNewb wrote:To answer some of the questions:

- I do not have an IPS < -- Here is my dilemma
by ruralavalon
Wed Oct 29, 2014 4:32 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I buy more REITs?
Replies: 39
Views: 3438

Re: Need help: Roll over to new plan or leave $$ in old plan

Leave the old 401k where it is: excellent Vanguard total international fund; excellent Vanguard total bond market & OK PIMCO Total Return Bond fund; OK S&P 500 fund @ 0.25%; excellent Vanguard small cap fund. New 401k has little to recommend it other than S&P 500 fund @ 0.13%, and an OK ...
by ruralavalon
Wed Oct 29, 2014 12:38 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need help: Roll over to new plan or leave $$ in old plan?
Replies: 18
Views: 942

Re: Need advice on Asset Allocation

Welcome to the forum :) . Summary. Saves between $70K-90K yearly Current holdings @ Ameriprise , moving to Vanguard to index funds (65%): Non-qualified account: $115,000 = 13% (about $20 - 40k/yr goes here) My Roth IRA: $145,000 = 16% Wife's Roth IRA: $45,000 = 05% Individual 401K: $275,000 = 31% (a...
by ruralavalon
Wed Oct 29, 2014 8:51 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need advice on Asset Allocation
Replies: 5
Views: 611

Re: First Attempt at Posting my Portfolio for review

I'll suggest some priorities, what you might want to concentrate on first to get this moving -- I think its going to be essential (the key to the whole question of what to invest in) to find out whether each active 401k allows in-service transfers, and if so how often and under what limitations. (It...
by ruralavalon
Wed Oct 29, 2014 5:50 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: First Attempt at Posting my Portfolio for review
Replies: 17
Views: 2309

Re: Young Investors Plan – I'm Firing Questions!

Thanks blue! I wasn't clear on that, I was thinking I could do $5500 for each - that makes my choice simple. I may have to post what they offer, it seems like their expenses were high from what I recall. Yes, post a list of the funds offered (fund names, tickers, & expense ratios) in the 403b. ...
by ruralavalon
Wed Oct 29, 2014 5:14 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Young Investors Plan – I'm Firing Questions!
Replies: 13
Views: 1740

Re: Betterment Portfolio Review - Need 3 Fund equivalent %

It's not 'overlap and duplication', it's a value tilt :oops: As for the OP's question, you really can't do the same portfolio in only 3 or 4 funds, as you would necessarily have to give up some of the tilt. But you can do the value tilt, much more easily, less complicated, and fewer funds, like thi...
by ruralavalon
Tue Oct 28, 2014 12:38 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Betterment Portfolio Review - Need 3 Fund equivalent %
Replies: 8
Views: 518

Re: Should I buy more REITs?

REIT at 17% is ample.

Do you have any fixed income (bonds or CDs) at all? You didn't mention that and you should have some.
by ruralavalon
Tue Oct 28, 2014 11:43 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I buy more REITs?
Replies: 39
Views: 3438

Re: Betterment Portfolio Review - Need 3 Fund equivalent %

I believe the duplication is for tax loss harvesting purposes. No, for tax loss harvesting you would not hold the duplicate funds at the same time. If I had to guess I'd say they're trying to overweight emerging markets and value. But the most of the duplicate positions are so tiny they can't possi...
by ruralavalon
Tue Oct 28, 2014 11:21 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Betterment Portfolio Review - Need 3 Fund equivalent %
Replies: 8
Views: 518

Re: Betterment Portfolio Review - Need 3 Fund equivalent %

That's certainly an odd portfolio, with enormous overlap and duplication, and unnecessarily complexity, for no particular benefit that I can see. Here is something simpler, with equivalent diversification -- 60%, Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund Admiral, ER 0.05% 30%, Vanguard Total Internatio...
by ruralavalon
Tue Oct 28, 2014 11:03 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Betterment Portfolio Review - Need 3 Fund equivalent %
Replies: 8
Views: 518

Re: new investor needs help

bunimovich wrote:i do not have an access to 401k, 403b, or 457
Are you self-employed?

If so there are types of tax-protected accounts that you can set up, like a solo 401k, SEP IRA, and SIMPLE IRA.
by ruralavalon
Tue Oct 28, 2014 10:51 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: new investor needs help
Replies: 5
Views: 279

Re: new investor needs help

Welcome to the forum :) . It's good to see you debt free and starting young at saving and investing. The first thing to look at is your work-based plan, like a 401k or 403b, let us know if there is one and what funds are offered in it. Is there an employer match? If so how much? About how, much do y...
by ruralavalon
Tue Oct 28, 2014 10:49 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: new investor needs help
Replies: 5
Views: 279

Re: Need help with GF's 401k options

Thanks for the help. Obviously it's her decision how she allocates her money, but I'm just trying to connect with you guys in order to get some ideas. Would there be quite a bit of overlap in the VIIIX and FSMAX funds? No overlap at all, without extended market she's missing mid/small U.S. companies.
by ruralavalon
Tue Oct 28, 2014 9:27 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need help with GF's 401k options
Replies: 5
Views: 685

Re: First Attempt at Posting my Portfolio for review

I was unaware an active 401k could be transferred at any age. When a current employee reaches age 59 1/2 the plan can allow distribution of employee deferrals and Roth contributions if it chooses (mine does for instance) so the funds could be rolled into an IRA or another plan that would accept it....
by ruralavalon
Mon Oct 27, 2014 11:24 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: First Attempt at Posting my Portfolio for review
Replies: 17
Views: 2309

Re: Asset Allocation w/ New Investment Options in 401k

Rural, thanks for your help. It's simple and low cost. I'm going to consider using your model, but replace The Growth Fund of America with something more "blendy" such as ICA [American Funds Investment Company of America, AIVSX, ER 0.61] or [American Funds] Fundamental Investors [ANCFX, E...
by ruralavalon
Mon Oct 27, 2014 9:46 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Asset Allocation w/ New Investment Options in 401k
Replies: 18
Views: 1303

Re: Help with new Trad Vanguard IRA allocations

Welcome to the forum :) . It's great to see that you are debt free other than the mortgage note. In my opinion you need a minimum of 20% in bonds. At ages 23 & 23 it's a big mistake to assume that you have a high risk tolerance, before you have experienced your first market collapse. Lots of peo...
by ruralavalon
Mon Oct 27, 2014 7:29 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with new Trad Vanguard IRA allocations
Replies: 3
Views: 325

Re: new 401k plan help

awesome, thank you very much for pointing me in the direction of the wiki and letting me know about the 18k limit next year. what do you recommend just VIIIX and small cap or do you think it is worth it to add mid cap as well? Either way will work, my own personal preference is for fewer funds and ...
by ruralavalon
Mon Oct 27, 2014 5:05 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: new 401k plan help
Replies: 12
Views: 821

Re: Lower Expenses vs Consolidation

I like the idea of supplementing TSP I . . .. . But what percentage of each?

Total International, VTIAX, is about 04% small, 15% emerging. There is a wiki article "approximating total international stock market."
by ruralavalon
Mon Oct 27, 2014 3:20 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Lower Expenses vs Consolidation
Replies: 7
Views: 963

Re: new 401k plan help

VIIIX and small cap will give me the total us stock market? I dont need Vanguard Mid-Cap Index Inst Plus as well? Either way can work. On the wiki see: "approximating total stock market". I understand that it is risky [emphasis added], not having bonds, realistically I can lose all of my ...
by ruralavalon
Mon Oct 27, 2014 2:54 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: new 401k plan help
Replies: 12
Views: 821

Re: New to investment planning

Welcome to the forum :) . It's good to see that you are debt free, that's always a great start. 2. Any fund recommendations for her 403? (see list from link above) The pdf you link is unhelpful, it does not contain the all-important expense information, or description the content of several funds of...
by ruralavalon
Mon Oct 27, 2014 12:37 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New to investment planning
Replies: 8
Views: 743

Re: Total bond market vs. Total international bond market /

1) We don't use the international bond fund, I think it adds unnecessary complexity and extra expense, with little or no readily apparent benefit. 2) I don't understand your second question. On the Bogleheads' wiki look at "principles of tax-efficient fund placement". 3) He has suggested 1...
by ruralavalon
Mon Oct 27, 2014 10:49 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Total bond market vs. Total international bond market / IRA
Replies: 7
Views: 528

Re: new 401k plan help

You can approximate Vanguard Total Stock Market by combining 83% Vanguard Institutional VIIIX, ER 0.02%, and 17% Vanguard Small Cap, VSPCX, ER 0.06%, (about a 5:1 ratio). In my opinion it's a big mistake to entirety skip bonds. You are just 22, and it's easy to overestimate your risk tolerance befor...
by ruralavalon
Mon Oct 27, 2014 10:24 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: new 401k plan help
Replies: 12
Views: 821

Re: Help Choosing Fund For 403(b)

What are the relative sizes of your three accounts? Like this:
403b, ???%
Roth IRA, ???%
Taxable account, ???%
Total = 100%
by ruralavalon
Mon Oct 27, 2014 10:06 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help Choosing Fund For 403(b)
Replies: 5
Views: 481

Re: "Jack Bogle on Warren Buffett, Bill Gross and How to Inv

The use of the S&P 500 is used for historical reasons, but the difference between the TSM and S&P500 are negligible. Worth remembering: (1) the performance of the S&P 500 and TSM funds has been nearly identical; and so (2) never switch from S&P 500 to TSM trying to diversify when th...
by ruralavalon
Mon Oct 27, 2014 7:22 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Jack Bogle on Warren Buffett, Bill Gross and How to Invest"
Replies: 17
Views: 2909

Re: Barron's Article on Schwab (Indexing)

All 401Ks should have an at least the components to build a three-fund-portfolio at a decent cost. Its amazing that so many plans do not meet even this minimal criteria. Agree that this is a good idea, but it's more than minimal. It's close to optimal for many plan participants, in the sense that a...
by ruralavalon
Mon Oct 27, 2014 6:43 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Barron's on Schwab [CEO prefers Indexing for 401ks]
Replies: 16
Views: 2134

Re: Portfolio Help

See above for percentage ideas now added.
by ruralavalon
Sun Oct 26, 2014 9:14 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Help
Replies: 4
Views: 489

Re: First Attempt at Posting my Portfolio for review

40/60 is a bit conservative, it hurts portfolio longevity to have too little in stocks. Many projections are run at 60/40. I retired at 50/50, and am still there at age 69. I would suggest at least 20% of stocks in international stocks. Look at delaying taking SS benefits as long as feasible, to inc...
by ruralavalon
Sun Oct 26, 2014 8:25 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: First Attempt at Posting my Portfolio for review
Replies: 17
Views: 2309

Re: Portfolio Help

I started Vanguard investing with Core Four, have gotten away from the basic 4 trying to chase hot fund :(. Could use some help reconfiguring my mix for moderate risk Here you go, but you have to tell us -- your age, pension availability, other assets or investments, stability of employment, your f...
by ruralavalon
Sun Oct 26, 2014 7:47 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Help
Replies: 4
Views: 489

Re: Retooling Spouse's Investment Portfolio w/ Limited Optio

I think I'm leaning toward my original allocation. S&P 40% Extended Market 20% Intermediate Treasury Bonds 20% International Index 20% Though I haven't heard back on this, I think I feel better holding Intermediate Treasury Bonds over the long-term vs holding PIMCO, which invests 68% in TIPS an...
by ruralavalon
Sun Oct 26, 2014 6:50 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retooling Spouse's Investment Portfolio w/ Limited Options
Replies: 7
Views: 494
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