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Re: Is it a bad move to buy a home now?

If this question really means, will I make money when I sell, then the answer is, there's really no way to know. There could be a market shock tomorrow and prices could fall. Or maybe there's some good news and you get a moonshot. Maybe there's a meth lab next door and all the home values in the nei...
by scone
Wed Apr 23, 2014 5:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is it a bad move to buy a home now?
Replies: 18
Views: 1248

Re: Process for building home?

You have lots of choices. You can go to a subdivision and buy a spec house, with some say on the finishes. There are pros and cons. You can go to a subdivision that will "build to spec" from a plan. More pros and cons. You can buy a piece of raw land, and hire a contractor to build, usuall...
by scone
Wed Apr 23, 2014 11:49 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Process for building home?
Replies: 9
Views: 357

Re: About to close on house, but permitting not done

This is a little long and rambling, but I hope it's useful, or at least entertaining. :happy Unpermitted work is very, very common, and it's not necessarily due to some evil plot. Personally, I have never bid on a home that had complete documentation of all work since the home was first built. (You ...
by scone
Wed Apr 23, 2014 11:22 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: About to close on house, but permitting not done
Replies: 6
Views: 604

Re: Is social security a good investment?

Hmmm. An inflation adjusted federally backed annuity. I'll take that. Anyway, here's a guy who likes it, and unlike me, actually knows what he's talking about:

http://wpfau.blogspot.com/2014/04/delay ... tment.html
by scone
Tue Apr 22, 2014 12:37 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is social security a good investment?
Replies: 33
Views: 1439

Re: are you too conservative with your investments?

I recognize this essay from your book. It has had a huge influence on me, and my portfolio. If not for this, I'd probably be all bonds, thinking that was "safe," and instead I'm happily 30% stock / 70% bonds. Thank you very much!
by scone
Tue Apr 22, 2014 12:33 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: are you too conservative with your investments?
Replies: 13
Views: 2185

Re: Warren Buffett

Take a look at BAM, LUK and DHR. These 3 investment conglomerates have absolutely dominated over the past 20-30 years. It can be done and it's not just luck. These companies don't get any publicity like Warren Buffett which is good. If the Bogleheads knew how to beat the market, they would not have...
by scone
Tue Apr 22, 2014 12:26 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Warren Buffett
Replies: 45
Views: 2358

Re: Forced job responsibility putting me in a panic

"I also want to know why they feel that this is the best use of my time and why they think I am the best candidate for this." I wouldn't make that assumption. It may be that all the other candidates were able to weasel out of the assignment, and you're the only option left. It's even poss...
by scone
Tue Apr 22, 2014 12:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Forced job responsibility putting me in a panic
Replies: 32
Views: 2112

Re: Some websites are.......[predicting stock market correct

There are some people out there who make a good living preaching doom and gloom. They are known as permabears or permadoomers. They will never change their tune because they would lose followers and money if they did. The financial media let them yammer on because they need the ratings and the click...
by scone
Tue Apr 22, 2014 11:43 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Some websites are.......[predicting stock market correction]
Replies: 22
Views: 2424

Re: Does Asset Allocation beat the S&P 500?

Because you never know. The S & P could lag the foreign markets for years. Or bonds could outperform-- it has happened. So you could go 100% S & P, and possibly make out like a bandit, or possibly get the average return, or possibly do very badly indeed. Personally, I'd rather diversify and ...
by scone
Tue Apr 22, 2014 11:23 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does Asset Allocation beat the S&P 500?
Replies: 75
Views: 3415

Re: Possible fraud? Getting mail about a car I don't own.

Back in the Jurassic period I was a database geek and did a lot of mail merge applications. The people who input the data are not that motivated, because it's a boring stopgap job that doesn't pay very well. The people who order the bulk mailings are not motivated to clean up the database, because i...
by scone
Sun Apr 20, 2014 8:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Possible fraud? Getting mail about a car I don't own.
Replies: 16
Views: 1406

Re: Mel's Unloved Mid-Caps Finally Getting Some Respect

Just for giggles, I looked at my equity funds using the Fidelity GPS software. All nine funds, whether large, small, foreign, or domestic, had some mid-cap money in there. Is it possible that mid-caps are doing well because they are catching a bid all over the place, as it were?
by scone
Sun Apr 20, 2014 5:07 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Mel's Unloved Mid-Caps Finally Getting Some Respect
Replies: 40
Views: 2968

Re: Trying to clean up personal finance

HHS has a loan repayment program through the National Health Service Corps. I think they have finished for the year, but there's always next year, and there are related state programs.
by scone
Fri Apr 18, 2014 6:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trying to clean up personal finance
Replies: 17
Views: 1667

Re: Gold vs. Bonds as an Asset Allocation Hedge

To the OP and startingagain. If you download the Simba spreadsheet, which is in the wiki, you can see the performance of the Permanent Portfolio, which has a gold allocation of 25%. You can also type in your own portfolio, and vary the allocation percentage to get a feel for how this thing tends to ...
by scone
Fri Apr 18, 2014 5:38 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Gold vs. Bonds as an Asset Allocation Hedge
Replies: 24
Views: 1974

Re: Portfolio minimum?

You aren't being silly at all, 15k is plenty. I would start with the most basic portfolio, namely half in stock, VTI, and half in bonds, BND. As the portfolio gets bigger, you can branch out into total international. Alternatively, you could start with 5k in each ETF, and leave it alone. Some people...
by scone
Fri Apr 18, 2014 4:12 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio minimum?
Replies: 9
Views: 1140

Re: ESPP Shares - What to do?

We always sell immediately. IMO it's always all about risk management. The perceived health of the company is totally irrelevant-- you're just making a concentrated bet, and you likely won't be rewarded for it.
by scone
Fri Apr 18, 2014 10:00 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ESPP Shares - What to do?
Replies: 19
Views: 1089

Re: *poor* Bogleheads

My husband and I "came up fron nothing," and now that we have more or less "made it," we have issues that no one in our family has had for generations. So where should we go for objective advice other than books, and forums like the Bogleheads? That said, there are a lot of fruga...
by scone
Fri Apr 18, 2014 9:06 am
 
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: *poor* Bogleheads
Replies: 78
Views: 5345

Re: Property Taxes

In my town, in New Hampshire, the taxes are based on previous sales and a survey of the features of the home. They also add value if there is a view. There is a web page that explains the criteria. You may have some such explanation on your town's web page, or maybe on a handout at the tax clerk's o...
by scone
Thu Apr 17, 2014 7:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Property Taxes
Replies: 6
Views: 536

Re: Monte Carlo Software

I-Orp has a Monte Carlo function.
by scone
Thu Apr 17, 2014 6:30 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Monte Carlo Software
Replies: 13
Views: 1194

Re: Over-55 communities a ripoff?

My mother in law lives in one of these and she's quite happy. In addition to the social activities, she has a gardener who comes in once a week, and a maid who comes in every morning. Any help she needs is just a phone call to the club house concierge, and she has many friends. The social contact is...
by scone
Thu Apr 17, 2014 5:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Over-55 communities a ripoff?
Replies: 38
Views: 2711

Re: Just had offer accepted on a house! (Advice pls!)

Buy an owner's title insurance policy. The lender's title policy protects the lender, not you. Have a real estate lawyer look over the title docs. Title companies vary a lot in competence, and impaired title issues are a massive headache. Due diligence. Go to the applicable planning department and a...
by scone
Wed Apr 16, 2014 8:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Just had offer accepted on a house! (Advice pls!)
Replies: 29
Views: 2110

Re: Blog: The Coffeehouse portfolio

Thanks! This portfolio is somewhat similar to mine. I like the style of presentation and the links are great. However, I did spot a small typo-- the REITs ETF. Thanks, again.
by scone
Tue Apr 15, 2014 1:54 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Blog: The Coffeehouse portfolio
Replies: 1
Views: 888

Re: Anyone use Fidelity as their bank account?

BTW, Fido has cash back Amex and Visa cards, and you can direct the cash into your brokerage account or a 529.

https://www.fidelity.com/cash-managemen ... ress-cards

https://www.fidelity.com/cash-managemen ... ature-card
by scone
Tue Apr 15, 2014 11:26 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone use Fidelity as their bank account?
Replies: 27
Views: 1762

Re: What does "invest in the market mean"

To me, "the market" is the sum of stocks, bonds, cash, and other instruments held throughout he the world. So in order to spread my investment risk and reward, I own mutual funds and ETFs that represent large, small, domestic, international, value, and growth segments of the stock market. ...
by scone
Mon Apr 14, 2014 5:04 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What does "invest in the market mean"
Replies: 11
Views: 879

Re: gold , silver, copper and uranium only

If I were going to invest in metals I'd buy some IAU for our Roths, and rebalance regularly. The diversification and
"panic insurance" is worth a small allocation, and I wouldn't have to deal with the weird tax issues.
by scone
Mon Apr 14, 2014 4:53 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: gold , silver, copper and uranium only
Replies: 46
Views: 2244

Re: Financing the Purchase of Land

You can get a loan to purchase land, but at the retail level, it's usually in a package to build a home. Developers can get raw land loans, but they can also "get killed by the carry." You are looking at a lot of debt and taxes just to give the kids a bigger playground, and in my experienc...
by scone
Mon Apr 14, 2014 4:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financing the Purchase of Land
Replies: 6
Views: 580

Re: TIPS and the Equity Bear

So, just for comparison, are there other historical instances of bonds acting weirdly? Any sort of bond? I'm thinking, if other bonds have periodic bizarre flukes, then TIPs aren't unique in that. But if TIPs are the only bonds that have ever done anything rather bizarre and unexpected, then maybe i...
by scone
Mon Apr 14, 2014 3:55 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TIPS and the Equity Bear
Replies: 20
Views: 1602

Re: gold , silver, copper and uranium only

There have been some epic gold threads here, but I think many people have moved over to craigr's site on the Permanent Portfolio.
by scone
Sun Apr 13, 2014 8:46 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: gold , silver, copper and uranium only
Replies: 46
Views: 2244

Re: TIPS and the Equity Bear

IIRC Larry said the 08 phenomenon was caused by Lehman dumping TIPs to try to stay alive, and that was not likely to happen again as the TIPs market is much more liquid now. I have no dog in this, I merely mention it.
by scone
Sun Apr 13, 2014 8:17 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TIPS and the Equity Bear
Replies: 20
Views: 1602

Re: What next after you have enough sort of.

IMO, once you have "enough," the rest is about the taxman, inflation, and random chance. All unknown unknowns, really. So you are right back at the most fundamental level: how much risk to take under conditions of uncertainty. IMO, in that situation, you have to make a commitment to one of...
by scone
Thu Apr 10, 2014 8:11 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What next after you have enough sort of.
Replies: 31
Views: 3386

Re: 23 / Would love some advice!

Go over to the Vanguard web site, and have a look at their "all in one" retirement funds. You buy one fund, put money in every month, and that's it. No rebalancing or other fiddling, because the professionals at Vanguard do it for you. The expense ratio is very reasonable, too. IMO this is...
by scone
Wed Apr 09, 2014 10:21 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 23 / Would love some advice!
Replies: 12
Views: 860

Re: The Unthinkable Disaster: What If Your Account Disappear

FWIW, I'm still waiting to get my Reserve Primary Fund money back, even though it supposedly settled last year. :(

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/09/ ... 4Q20130907
by scone
Mon Apr 07, 2014 2:42 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: The Unthinkable Disaster: What If Your Account Disappeared?
Replies: 43
Views: 4695

Re: Help, please.

IMO you should base it mostly on recent comps* in the neighborhood, not so much on square footage. A small house tends to have a higher square foot cost than a larger house anyway, because some of the costs are fixed. So if you go strictly by square feet and all the other houses are much larger, tha...
by scone
Mon Apr 07, 2014 2:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home improvement plans not filed with town?
Replies: 21
Views: 962

Re: Firecalc says I will be 100% successful but ...

Try lowering your social security, your spouse's (if any) social security, and raising spending to cover an increased cost of Medicare. So you are modeling possible changes to the laws. And, while this is sad, you could also model what happens if one spouse dies early in retirement. You could also a...
by scone
Mon Apr 07, 2014 10:58 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Firecalc says I will be 100% successful but ...
Replies: 13
Views: 2312

Re: How are you preparing for the coming bear market

Since Bear markets happen on a regular basis there is one coming, not that anyone knows when. Is there anything you do to prepare for the coming bear market beyond "stay the course"? Cash in the bank. That FDIC guarantee may not be perfect, but it's rather calming. And I bought some real ...
by scone
Sat Apr 05, 2014 12:29 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How are you preparing for the coming bear market
Replies: 104
Views: 7861

Re: Most efficient bond maturities for lower stock allocatio

So my question is, do five-year treasuries still produce the highest Sharpe ratio with only a 30% stock allocation? Are one-year treasuries more efficient with my lower allocation to stocks? According to Simba's spreadsheet, it's the five year that's most efficient. When I substitute any other sort...
by scone
Sat Apr 05, 2014 12:16 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Most efficient bond maturities for lower stock allocations?
Replies: 8
Views: 569

Re: How am I doing and/or stress/sanity check :)

I'd suggest three things: 1. If you aren't already doing this, have savings automatically deducted from your paycheck each month. That's the single most important thing you can do, IMO, both in terms of meeting your goals and stressing out less. 2. Spend some time with Firecalc, the retirement model...
by scone
Fri Apr 04, 2014 10:48 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How am I doing - stress check UPDATED with INFO
Replies: 14
Views: 1605

Re: Portfolio Advice needed for 67 year old mother

There are just too many funds here. Way too many. IIWY I'd work on the tax advantaged accounts first, boil them down to 3 - 5 funds, and then start working on taxable. Fidelity has some great low cost funds in the Spartan Advantage series, and some cheap ETFs through the iShares partnership. I would...
by scone
Fri Apr 04, 2014 10:31 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Advice needed for 67 year old mother
Replies: 9
Views: 640

Re: Fibonacci numbers: has Cramer lost his mind?

No. Cramer makes a good living creating "content" to fill in between the ads. That's all this is, infotainment and click bait, and the more clownish it is, the more buzz it creates, driving traffic and making more money.
by scone
Thu Apr 03, 2014 10:02 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fibonacci numbers: has Cramer lost his mind?
Replies: 20
Views: 1821

Re: Switching to Treasury Fund

There's also iShares GOVT, which is across the curve. It's a free trade for me at Fidelity, which is why I use it. I'm not sure about Merrill. I used to use IEI, and I noticed the two funds don't behave the same way, even though their duration is close. But why that should be so is beyond my pay gra...
by scone
Mon Mar 31, 2014 8:49 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Switching to Treasury Fund
Replies: 9
Views: 1150

Re: Metal roof vs asphalt shingles

Metal roofs can make more noise in the rain-- some people like the sound, others don't. Snow tends to slide off all at once in large masses, so you need to be aware around entrances and plan for it. Sometimes the paint will peel off, so do your research and get a good brand. Detailing and venting a ...
by scone
Mon Mar 31, 2014 10:19 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Metal roof vs asphalt shingles
Replies: 7
Views: 900

Re: How much to build a small house from scratch?

Anywhere from $50 to $250 per square feet or more. I'm not snarking, that's the range you could get depending on where it is built and the level of finish. So your question can't really be answered until you get more specific. In doing your research, I'd look at the plans Ross Chapin puts out, he ha...
by scone
Mon Mar 31, 2014 10:05 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much to build a small house from scratch?
Replies: 28
Views: 1584

Re: Reading room chair - what to pay and where to purchase?

In this price range, to get good quality you need to buy used. There are lots of excellent consignment shops that sell quite good American made furniture. Some of it looks practically brand new. And you won't be bothered by salespeople.
by scone
Sat Mar 29, 2014 2:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Reading room chair - what to pay and where to purchase?
Replies: 29
Views: 2441

Re: Statement of the Retirement Funding Problem

This is pointing out the obvious, but the company providing the annuity could go bankrupt, which to me makes it riskier than the government bond solution. And the state insurance fund doesn't completely reassure me. Even if the annuity solution is cheaper than the bond ladder, the consequences of f...
by scone
Tue Mar 25, 2014 7:05 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Statement of the Retirement Funding Problem
Replies: 89
Views: 5696

Re: How important are Int'l Bonds?

To the OP, I'd recommend you spend some time with Simba's spreadsheet, making up your own portfolios that include international bonds. You could set up a range with increasing increments of bonds, to see how helpful or dangerous they might be. For myself, having pounded away in that spreadsheet for ...
by scone
Tue Mar 25, 2014 6:23 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How important are Int'l Bonds?
Replies: 44
Views: 3800

Re: Statement of the Retirement Funding Problem

This is pointing out the obvious, but the company providing the annuity could go bankrupt, which to me makes it riskier than the government bond solution. And the state insurance fund doesn't completely reassure me. Even if the annuity solution is cheaper than the bond ladder, the consequences of fa...
by scone
Tue Mar 25, 2014 6:05 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Statement of the Retirement Funding Problem
Replies: 89
Views: 5696

Re: Saving a % of income vs saving a $ amount?

We did it by having a portion of our pay checks directed to savings before we ever saw them, so we didn't have to make any deliberate effort to save. As the paychecks increased, the savings increased, but our spending stayed about the same. If you save most of your salary increases and bonuses over ...
by scone
Tue Mar 25, 2014 5:45 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Saving a % of income vs saving a $ amount?
Replies: 23
Views: 3031

Re: Frugality regret: What thing do you regret not spending

Dental work. If I had done some "optional" things about 20 years ago, I would have a lot less trouble now. I also regret not buying Apple stock when I first saw the Lisa, and thought to myself, "this will change the world." I wasn't even thinking about making money on it, just ho...
by scone
Tue Mar 25, 2014 5:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Frugality regret: What thing do you regret not spending on?
Replies: 112
Views: 14343

Re: Really confused by Bernstein

Alternatively, if you have a 2% withdrawal rate, a high equity allocation is pointless. On another issue, not all Boomers have parents who enjoyed an "affluent" retirement-- in fact a lot of the Greatest Generation folks where held back by the Depression and the war. These are the types of...
by scone
Tue Mar 25, 2014 5:20 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Really confused by Bernstein
Replies: 168
Views: 12902

Re: William Bernstein-When you've won the game, why keep pla

I'm planning on about a 2 -2.5% withdrawal rate. Combine that with SS, and it's pretty much exactly what we are living on now, and we're not deprived in any way. If you're living a middle class lifestyle in America, you're already living high on the hog compared to the planetary average. I'm not sur...
by scone
Sun Mar 23, 2014 7:05 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: William Bernstein-When you've won the game, why keep playing
Replies: 241
Views: 25064
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