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Re: Nearing 40 and Never Invested

In my opinion your desired 60/40 asset allocation is within the range of what is reasonable. The stock/bond asset allocation is one of the most important investing decisions, and you are already at a reasonable decision on that point. Complete the transfer of the two IRAs to Vanguard and invest in: ...
by ruralavalon
Mon Mar 02, 2015 5:00 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Nearing 40 and Never Invested
Replies: 55
Views: 4835

Re: Poll: Average E/R

0.0756% overall ER.
by ruralavalon
Mon Mar 02, 2015 4:37 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Poll: Average E/R [Expense Ratio]
Replies: 22
Views: 937

Re: Advice on 401k allocations

What are the expense ratios for each fund? The ERs are a very critical factor in fund selection. Are there lower expense ratio choices offered for any of those fund categories? A low ER is the best known predictor of future fund performance. I would probably use either the SSgA large blend index fun...
by ruralavalon
Mon Mar 02, 2015 4:07 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice on 401k allocations
Replies: 2
Views: 226

Re: Poll: Average E/R

asif408 wrote:If anyone is under 0.05% I have to assume they are primarily using the government TSP or are lying. :D

A third alternative, in addition to TSP or lying, is a significant portion of the portfolio in something with a 0.00% "expense ratio" like Treasury bonds.
by ruralavalon
Mon Mar 02, 2015 3:57 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Poll: Average E/R [Expense Ratio]
Replies: 22
Views: 937

Re: Portfolio Advice on Mediocre 401K plan

Thanks for the response. Right now my 401k is in both of those funds, 55% in Spartan 500 index and 20% in Spartan Bond. but I also have 25% in Vangaurd Small Cap Index (VSMAX). Is this not needed for diversification? It has been doing pretty well, and I assume that most of the holdings are not in t...
by ruralavalon
Mon Mar 02, 2015 3:33 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Advice on Mediocre 401K plan
Replies: 24
Views: 1584

Re: Portfolio Advice on Mediocre 401K plan

Because I am new to this, she is reluctant to take my advice right away. Her only other source of advice is her broker however. She has agreed to read the "Bogleheads Guide to Investing" which enlightened me last year;she is reading it now, and depending on how that goes, I see her moving...
by ruralavalon
Mon Mar 02, 2015 12:19 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Advice on Mediocre 401K plan
Replies: 24
Views: 1584

Re: 401k is changing - need advise

Yes, do lodge a complaint about the loss of the S&P 500 index fund (expense 0.05) and the International index fund (expense 0.39).

If the complaint gets no results use Invesco Equally-weighted S&P 500 fund (expense 0.31).

I would not use any of the international funds offered in the 401k.
by ruralavalon
Mon Mar 02, 2015 11:36 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k is changing - need advise
Replies: 6
Views: 409

Re: What's your average ER?

0.0756% overall

Highest ER is Vanguard Total international Stock index Fund VTIAX 0.14%.
by ruralavalon
Mon Mar 02, 2015 11:16 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What's your average ER? [Expense Ratio]
Replies: 81
Views: 3407

Re: Portfolio Advice on Mediocre 401K plan

Vanguard can handle the transfer for you. I suggest having that telephone conversation today. In fact, I might not ever talk to the other guys again; sounds like a waste of time. It looks like your portfolio is basically what your wife inherited, and a few thousand here and there in money you two h...
by ruralavalon
Mon Mar 02, 2015 9:56 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Advice on Mediocre 401K plan
Replies: 24
Views: 1584

Re: Portfolio Advice on Mediocre 401K plan

Sorry for the delayed response, I have been traveling the last three days. . . . . . She did inherit an IRA from her father when he passed of roughly $200K. This is in an actively managed account with a big brokerage company. She is invested in about 12 different mutual funds (mostly blackrock) with...
by ruralavalon
Thu Feb 26, 2015 3:47 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Advice on Mediocre 401K plan
Replies: 24
Views: 1584

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Bone Deep, by Randy Wayne White. Ford teams up with a Crow fugitive seeking to recover two magical Indian artifacts, while having to deal with thieves out to collect prehistoric ivory and bone.
by ruralavalon
Tue Feb 24, 2015 8:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 511
Views: 68624

Re: 401K help

Congratulations, the ERs on the stock index funds are a big improvement.
by ruralavalon
Mon Feb 23, 2015 8:27 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401K help
Replies: 26
Views: 1599

Re: Portfolio Advice on Mediocre 401K plan

What are the current investments she has in her traditional IRA? She's pretty well diversified in her other accounts (not considering the fees at the moment), so we put it all in Fidelity Select Biotech Fund (FBIOX). When she adds her 2015 contribution we will most likely put it in a total market f...
by ruralavalon
Sun Feb 22, 2015 7:44 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Advice on Mediocre 401K plan
Replies: 24
Views: 1584

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Sparkling Cyanide, by Agatha Christie. Two apparent suicides during two celebrations at a fancy restaurant, which couldn't possibly be murders.
by ruralavalon
Fri Feb 20, 2015 11:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 511
Views: 68624

Re: 403b investment help

I see, that's where I was confused. I think that's where I've been doing things a little incorrectly, instead of treating my entire portfolio as one unit it's a little piecemeal. Now, I do have about $5600 in VBMFX in my Roth IRA. Is there any advantage to having my 10% AA for bonds only in my 403B...
by ruralavalon
Fri Feb 20, 2015 7:43 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 403b investment help
Replies: 16
Views: 1077

Re: 403b investment help

Sorry about my confusion over what funds are offered in your 403b. Look at all accounts together as a single unified portfolio, and have the overall portfolio meet your desired 90/10 asset allocation. Here is how you could do that. The percentages are percentages of the entire portfolio. Roth IRA @ ...
by ruralavalon
Fri Feb 20, 2015 9:41 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 403b investment help
Replies: 16
Views: 1077

Re: Portfolio Advice on Mediocre 401K plan

What are the current investments she has in her traditional IRA?
by ruralavalon
Fri Feb 20, 2015 9:20 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Advice on Mediocre 401K plan
Replies: 24
Views: 1584

Re: Portfolio Advice on Mediocre 401K plan

She did inherit an IRA from her father when he passed of roughly $200K. This is in an actively managed account with a big brokerage company. She is invested in about 12 different mutual funds (mostly blackrock) with terrible expense ratios, ranging from 1.2% to 2.4%. I am in the process of getting ...
by ruralavalon
Fri Feb 20, 2015 7:25 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Advice on Mediocre 401K plan
Replies: 24
Views: 1584

Re: Portfolio Advice on Mediocre 401K plan

Welcome to the forum :) . It's good to see you starting young, and you appear to already understand the importance of both good diversification and low expense ratios which puts you far ahead of most investors. In my opinion You might be better with an 80/20 asset allocation. In your 401k skip the h...
by ruralavalon
Thu Feb 19, 2015 6:09 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Advice on Mediocre 401K plan
Replies: 24
Views: 1584

Re: The challenges of staying the course...

In addition to the ER of 0.75%, what on a percent per year basis are the other fees that you had to pay?

What accounts do you have in addition to your 401k? Where are your other accounts located?
by ruralavalon
Thu Feb 19, 2015 5:29 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: The challenges of staying the course...
Replies: 66
Views: 5209

Re: The challenges of staying the course...

I thought I would give a quick update from a couple of weeks ago. We've had several conversations with our advisor to try and understand why the significant drop in performance from FY13 to FY14. While we plan to speak again tomorrow, seems as though our YoY reporting isn't an apples-to-apples comp...
by ruralavalon
Thu Feb 19, 2015 5:05 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: The challenges of staying the course...
Replies: 66
Views: 5209

Re: 403b investment help

I suggest moving your Fidelity Roth IRA to Vanguard for convenience, just one less account to keep track of and this allows easier management. I suggest not using a target retirement fund in your 401k. The main benefit of a target retirement fund is it's all-in-one simplicity. You lose that benefit ...
by ruralavalon
Thu Feb 19, 2015 10:28 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 403b investment help
Replies: 16
Views: 1077

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Unbroken , by by Laura Hildebrand. In WW II a former Olympic runner is a B 24 crewman, ditches in the Pacific while on a search and rescue mission, survives 40+ days in a raft, is captured by the Japaneese on Kwajalein and spends the war in brutal POW camps singled out for beatings and other mistre...
by ruralavalon
Wed Feb 18, 2015 4:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 511
Views: 68624

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Money Talks, by Laurence Shames. Set in New York City, a middle-aged mediocre novelist is hired to ghostwrite a book for a real estate billionaire, and gets a front row seat to the unravelling of his real estate empire.
by ruralavalon
Tue Feb 17, 2015 7:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 511
Views: 68624

Re: Increasing Retirement Contributions 401k or Roth IRA?

Do you have ticker symbol for that Core Bond Fund? Is there a fact sheet which describes what it invests in? You want intermediate term bonds, with good credit ratings. It isn't a mutual fund it is a Collective Investment Fund i.e. no ticker symbol. The fact sheet has the following information: Yie...
by ruralavalon
Mon Feb 16, 2015 8:19 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Increasing Retirement Contributions 401k or Roth IRA?
Replies: 15
Views: 1387

Re: Increasing Retirement Contributions 401k or Roth IRA?

Since you are in the 25% federal plus 6% state tax bracket, consider doing the $18k/yr maximum employee contribution to the traditional 401k and using these three funds: Vanguard S&P 500 Index Fund Admiral (VFIAX) ER 0.05% Global Trust IRM Core Bond ER 0.29% American Funds EuroPacific Growth R6 ...
by ruralavalon
Mon Feb 16, 2015 3:05 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Increasing Retirement Contributions 401k or Roth IRA?
Replies: 15
Views: 1387

Re: Portfolio Advice on underperforming Vanguard Allocation

Hi, I'm fairly new to the investing world, having started about a year. I'm not quite as happy with my portfolio performance as I would like to be, and am looking for advice on how to fine-tune it. Here's what I have (all in Vanguard): Vanguard Growth ETF - 15% Vanguard High Dividen Yield ETF - 20%...
by ruralavalon
Mon Feb 16, 2015 1:35 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Advice on underperforming Vanguard Allocation
Replies: 21
Views: 1355

Re: Increasing Retirement Contributions 401k or Roth IRA?

What interest rate is currently being paid on that Wells Fargo stable value fund?

Can you find out the expense ratio on the Global Trust IRM Core Bond Fund?
by ruralavalon
Mon Feb 16, 2015 12:37 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Increasing Retirement Contributions 401k or Roth IRA?
Replies: 15
Views: 1387

Re: Tax-efficient placement - opening Roth IRA

Welcome to the forum :) . So my question is: does that mean I should put $5,500 of a bond index into my (new) Roth, with the remaining $14,500 of bonds and the entirety of the stock allocation ($80K) into a taxable account? So it would look like on Day 1: ⋅  Taxable account: $80,000 stocks...
by ruralavalon
Mon Feb 16, 2015 11:13 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax-efficient placement - opening Roth IRA
Replies: 4
Views: 270

Re: 403b investment help

What is your age? What is your desired asset allocation?

How much will you be contributing to each account in future years?

You can improve you ER situation by using Fidelity Spartan index funds in the Roth IRA at Fidelity or by moving that IRA to Vanguard.
by ruralavalon
Mon Feb 16, 2015 11:03 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 403b investment help
Replies: 16
Views: 1077

Re: Relative working at Safeway

SSGA S&P 500 Fund (ER .16%) SSSYX 50% JPMorgan Chase 2030 (ER .47%) JSMAX (70/30 asset allocation) 30% Cash 20% That's not a bad asset allocation at all for a 48 year old. And the fund choices are better than average.
by ruralavalon
Mon Feb 16, 2015 10:44 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Relative working at Safeway
Replies: 22
Views: 2608

Re: 401k help

Welcome to the forum :) . Consider all accounts together as a single unified portfolio. Treat a S&P 500 fund as the equivalent of a domestic total stock market fund. In her 401k use BlackRock S&P 500 Stock Institutional 0.12%, and decrease your total stock market holding elsewhere to keep yo...
by ruralavalon
Mon Feb 16, 2015 10:25 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k help
Replies: 3
Views: 175

Re: Foreign Exposure or No?

I suggest using index funds for both domestic and international investing, please see: wiki article, "Bogleheads Investment Philosophy". Trying to pick individual stocks is a very bad idea.

For International stocks consider Vanguard Total International Stock Market Index Fund.
by ruralavalon
Mon Feb 16, 2015 10:13 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Foreign Exposure or No?
Replies: 8
Views: 417

Re: 401k fees. should wife max out 401k?

Are the "general admin charges" she is paying a percentage of the asset value held in the account or is she paying a flat fee?
by ruralavalon
Mon Feb 16, 2015 10:05 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k fees. should wife max out 401k?
Replies: 21
Views: 1117

Re: Lazy & Simple Portfolio Review. Should I change anythin

Thank you for your detailed posts rural. I appreciate it. I actually really like your thought process on this. And I'm sure that's why I'm not getting more responses is no one has any more to add to it. Haha. So after this year: I will fund in order: Max Roth IRA first open day in Jan Then max 401k...
by ruralavalon
Fri Feb 13, 2015 8:56 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Lazy & Simple Portfolio Review. Should I change anything?
Replies: 12
Views: 1508

Re: Lazy & Simple Portfolio Review. Should I change anythin

You have $80k cash, put $5.5k in a lump sum in your Roth IRA for the 2015 contribution, and set aside $50k for an emergency fund and possible home down-payment, which leaves $24.5k in cash uncommitted. Contribute $5.5k in a lump sum each January to the Roth IRA. Starting now setting up automatic ded...
by ruralavalon
Thu Feb 12, 2015 6:24 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Lazy & Simple Portfolio Review. Should I change anything?
Replies: 12
Views: 1508

Re: Lazy & Simple Portfolio Review. Should I change anythin

In future years if you contribute $5.5k to the Roth IRA, then how much more do you expect you might be able to contribute from your pay to investing each year?

I agree with the suggestion about checking at work to see if you have the choice of a Roth 401k.
by ruralavalon
Thu Feb 12, 2015 3:09 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Lazy & Simple Portfolio Review. Should I change anything?
Replies: 12
Views: 1508

Re: Lazy & Simple Portfolio Review. Should I change anythin

Welcome to the forum :) . It's good to see that you are debt free, and starting young at saving and investing. In my opinion at age 27 a more reasonable asset allocation might be 80/20, with at least 20% of stocks in international stocks. In the 401k I agree that the expense ratio for the Target Ret...
by ruralavalon
Thu Feb 12, 2015 12:27 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Lazy & Simple Portfolio Review. Should I change anything?
Replies: 12
Views: 1508

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

The Naked Detective , by Laurence Shames. Set in Key West, he sets up a bogus detective agency so he can deduct part of the cost of his house on his taxes. He hopes never to be hired, so he can live a peaceful life. He even turns down a would be client, but he winds up with a murder to solve when t...
by ruralavalon
Wed Feb 11, 2015 10:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 511
Views: 68624

Re: Asset Allocation Advice

I was editing my last post when you replied. Don't do any buying or selling until after deciding on your overall plan.
by ruralavalon
Wed Feb 11, 2015 2:12 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Asset Allocation Advice
Replies: 8
Views: 447

Re: Asset Allocation Advice

Yes, sell the ETF but put the proceeds in the international fund. But don't do anything until you have decided on an overall plan. Yes, 80/20 is reasonable for your age. Is there a 401k offered at work? If so what funds (fund names, tickers & expense ratios) are offered in it? It may be best to ...
by ruralavalon
Wed Feb 11, 2015 2:02 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Asset Allocation Advice
Replies: 8
Views: 447

Re: Asset Allocation Advice

It's best not to have a bond fund in a taxable account, it's not tax-efficient. Please see: wiki article, "principles of tax-efficient fund placement". You need to decide on an reasonable asset allocation (stock bond mix) to aim for. Please see part 3: wiki article, "Bogleheads Invest...
by ruralavalon
Wed Feb 11, 2015 1:46 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Asset Allocation Advice
Replies: 8
Views: 447

Re: Wall Street Journal vs. White Coat Investor

"Costs matter a great deal" is the lead sentence, and in my opinion the most important sentence, of the Vanguard statement. One reason that indexing is so important is that it usually achieves the lowest expense. Vanguard managed funds are low expense, and some are within just a couple hun...
by ruralavalon
Wed Feb 11, 2015 9:13 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Wall Street Journal vs. White Coat Investor
Replies: 28
Views: 4567

Re: Time to Re-evaluate Portfolio with 10-15 years before re

How about this idea? 401k (75%) 15%, State Farm Growth (STFGX) ER 0.00% 60%, State Farm Balanced (60/40 allocation) (STFGX) ER 0.00%, <= about 25% of portfolio in bonds IRA @ Vanguard (25%) 15%, Vanguard Total International Stock Market Index Fund Admiral (VTIAX) ER 0.14% <= about 25% of stocks 10%,...
by ruralavalon
Wed Feb 11, 2015 8:11 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Time to Re-evaluate Portfolio with 10-15 years before retire
Replies: 9
Views: 939

Re: I've maxed out my Roth IRA and my 401K, now what?

First time post here, so let me know if this has already been covered somewhere else. I've maxed out my Roth IRA and my Roth 401k. Are there any other tax sheltered retirement accounts that I can take advantage of? Or is my only option to invest in a taxable account (keeping my bonds tax-sheltered ...
by ruralavalon
Wed Feb 11, 2015 6:35 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I've maxed out my Roth IRA and my 401K, now what?
Replies: 14
Views: 1920

Re: New Interest to investing - Betterment / Company 401k

In the 401k consider using the following: 80%, Schwab S&P 500 Index Fund (SWPPX) ER 0.09%, <= good diversification, this fund covers 80% of domestic stock market 20%, Metroplolitan West Total Return Bond I (MWTIX) ER 0.45%, <= intermediate-term bond fund Those funds were not listed before. They...
by ruralavalon
Wed Feb 11, 2015 5:58 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New Interest to investing - Betterment / Company 401k
Replies: 18
Views: 1910

Re: New Interest to investing - Betterment / Company 401k

Yes, the taxable account is with betterment. Emergency Fund: Betterment taxable account - 70% bonds, 30% stocks - my thought is to allocate more towards bonds (not stocks) for less volatility. Build Wealth: Plan to contribute monthly mainly - 90% stocks, 10% bonds Yes, I just started contributing t...
by ruralavalon
Wed Feb 11, 2015 5:45 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New Interest to investing - Betterment / Company 401k
Replies: 18
Views: 1910

Re: New Interest to investing - Betterment / Company 401k

Yes, the taxable account is with betterment. Emergency Fund: Betterment taxable account - 70% bonds, 30% stocks - my thought is to allocate more towards bonds (not stocks) for less volatility. Build Wealth: Plan to contribute monthly mainly - 90% stocks, 10% bonds Yes, I just started contributing t...
by ruralavalon
Tue Feb 10, 2015 8:42 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New Interest to investing - Betterment / Company 401k
Replies: 18
Views: 1910

Re: Wall Street Journal vs. White Coat Investor

Excellent post from White Coat Investor, gives a very good summary of information on the issue. Thank s for that link.
by ruralavalon
Mon Feb 09, 2015 6:25 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Wall Street Journal vs. White Coat Investor
Replies: 28
Views: 4567

Re: Loans vs. Investing

What is the interest rate on the loan? How large is the loan? Your marginal tax rate? Paying off a loan gives a guaranteed rate of return.
by ruralavalon
Mon Feb 09, 2015 10:50 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Loans vs. Investing
Replies: 17
Views: 1763
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