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by scone
Wed May 20, 2015 6:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio review request - headed in right direction?
Replies: 6
Views: 379

Re: Portfolio review request - headed in right direction?

^ Sounds good, and remember, it doesn't have to be perfect, as you will be adding to it, and possibly changing jobs, for many years.
by scone
Wed May 20, 2015 11:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need Budgeting Help ASAP!
Replies: 42
Views: 1892

Re: Need Budgeting Help ASAP!

^^^That's not going to fly in NYC. You are comparing apples to oranges - what a couple does vs. what a single must do. Actually, it worked for me when I was single in NYC and Los Angeles. It also worked for long periods after I was married, when I couldn't work due to medical issues (so one salary ...
by scone
Wed May 20, 2015 10:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need Budgeting Help ASAP!
Replies: 42
Views: 1892

Re: Need Budgeting Help ASAP!

I'm going to suggest a very different approach than the others have given. It has worked for my husband and I for over 25 years. Basically, we do not "budget" at all. We simply save first , and live on whatever is left. If there are salary increases or bonuses, they are saved. Importantly,...
by scone
Wed May 20, 2015 10:08 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio review request - headed in right direction?
Replies: 6
Views: 379

Re: Portfolio review request - headed in right direction?

You have some overlap here, including a couple of funds that are relatively expensive and don't seem to add much to diversification: Harbor International Fund Institutional Class (HAINX) ER = 0.75 American Funds EuroPacific Growth Fund Class R-6 (RERGX) ER = 0.49 If it were my money, I'd sell these ...
by scone
Thu May 14, 2015 6:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Critique my FA set up IRA
Replies: 14
Views: 694

Re: Critique my FA set up IRA

It's pretty simple, really. If a fund earns 5% in a year, and costs you 1%, that's a big chunk of change that's going into someone else's pocket. If you also subtract inflation and taxes from the earnings, you aren't making much of anything. And this 1% loss compounds year after year. What you are p...
by scone
Thu May 14, 2015 6:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why is Vanguard's Web Site So Bad?
Replies: 64
Views: 4946

Re: Why is Vanguard's Web Site So Bad?

It's not just Vanguard. Fido's end user software is an annoying patchwork of poorly integrated products that should be totally overhauled, or scrapped. But don't hold your breath. A lot of companies view IT as a cost center, not a profit center. For that matter, even computer companies don't always ...
by scone
Thu May 14, 2015 11:23 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: One stop shopping for moderate US tilt?
Replies: 2
Views: 243

Re: One stop shopping for moderate US tilt?

Looking at it from another POV, if most of your bonds are domestic, you are already "tilted" on that side. I'm 30% equity, half international and EM. But all my bonds are domestic, so I'm overwhelmingly "tilted" domestic.
by scone
Thu May 14, 2015 11:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Please help me pick the right priced/location condo!
Replies: 7
Views: 619

Re: Please help me pick the right priced/location condo!

Typically banks will lend about 3x your income, which is not the same as what you can afford, of course. But $150,000 on an income of $65,000 certainly isn't extravagant. The main thing is your safety and health. Mice and rats, and their fleas, carry disease. Dangerous neighborhoods aren't worth it,...
by scone
Wed May 13, 2015 11:22 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: International Small Cap
Replies: 24
Views: 1856

Re: International Small Cap

These Fido funds are expensive. I use Vanguard VSS and iShares IEIS.
by scone
Tue May 12, 2015 3:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is this a dumb thing to do? [Pied-a-terre to share with daughter]
Replies: 41
Views: 4869

Re: Is this a dumb thing to do?

How about a duplex, or a bungalow with a granny flat,instead of a condo? That way, you both have privacy, and more control over the property. In fact, you might want to look at properties that are "accessible" in case you want to move to Boston permanently. As you kmow, the medical care is...
by scone
Tue May 12, 2015 2:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Doom and Gloom from Marketwatch
Replies: 12
Views: 2322

Re: Doom and Gloom from Marketwatch

Come on, guys, Farrell is an institution. He's been doing his hilarious shtick for years:

http://www.businessinsider.com/is-marke ... ane-2010-7

I have to wonder if he believes his own weirdness, or if it's some sort of parody, like the Onion...
by scone
Mon May 11, 2015 3:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advisor: buy a nicer home pre-retirement
Replies: 31
Views: 2970

Re: Advisor: buy a nicer home pre-retirement

^^ The assumption behind "I'll just put some grab bars in the bath and call it good" doesn't really reflect what can happen. You start out needing just a little help out of the bath, then it's a little more help to get up the stairs, then it's a walker, then a wheelchair. All those small f...
by scone
Mon May 11, 2015 2:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lecture me about "too much house"
Replies: 49
Views: 5305

Re: Lecture me about "too much house"

You probably already know this, but it bears repeating. A good neighborhood is worth every penny. A bad neighborhood, with bad neighbors, is a nightmare. Never ever do it, no matter how much you love the house. You can change the house, but you can't change the location. Take a walk through the neig...
by scone
Mon May 11, 2015 2:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bought a brand new house - what next?
Replies: 17
Views: 2047

Re: Bought a brand new house - what next?

Check all the places the construction cleanup crew might not hit, like the tops of doors, the tops of window and door casings, the back of the toilets, etc. Sometimes they don't do the windows or the heating vents, either.
by scone
Mon May 11, 2015 1:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advisor: buy a nicer home pre-retirement
Replies: 31
Views: 2970

Re: Advisor: buy a nicer home pre-retirement

The part about "senior friendly" makes sense, but only if you take it seriously and make the house wheelchair accessible everywhere. This means wider halls and doorways, larger open spaces in bathrooms and kitchens, knee space under sinks, ramps from the garage into the house, etc. I would...
by scone
Thu May 07, 2015 3:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying off student loans by selling house
Replies: 43
Views: 2572

Re: Paying off student loans by selling house

If you're going to sell the house anyway, and buy another in which to raise a family, then perforce you might have a child quite early after marriage. In that case hanging on to some extra cash could come in handy. In fact, you might reconsider selling, and stay together in your current place tempor...
by scone
Thu May 07, 2015 3:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New car vs used car -- what's your approach?
Replies: 57
Views: 2766

Re: New car vs used car -- what's your approach?

Have you seen the new Subaru WRX? Not expensive, very lively and sporty, gets great reviews and good crash test results. Huge step up from an old Corolla. :D
by scone
Wed May 06, 2015 4:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are we experiencing a bond correction or crash?
Replies: 34
Views: 5646

Re: Are we experiencing a bond correction or crash?

Bonds get no respect. Either people are complaining about the high prices and the low yields, or they're freaking out about a "crash" that raises the yield! :oops:
by scone
Wed May 06, 2015 4:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: part two of Facts and fiction on value investing bl
Replies: 70
Views: 4478

Re: part two of Facts and fiction on value investing bl

I think value is likely to continue because it's like a bad date, ugly and boring. If you go over to Business Insider, all they talk about is social media apps and biotech. Struggling companies that make stuff like toilet paper never get any space. It's human nature to want to buy the hot stocks and...
by scone
Wed May 06, 2015 3:57 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: UI issues (especially iPad)? please evaluate alternate styles
Replies: 41
Views: 2367

Re: UI issues (especially iPad)? please evaluate alternate styles

If I can avoid a sans serif font, I'm a happy camper. Thanks! :beer
by scone
Wed May 06, 2015 3:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 1929 was a great year to buy stocks
Replies: 92
Views: 5051

Re: 1929 was a great year to buy stocks

Back in those days, people generally bought stocks for the dividends. So if you paired that with Treasuries, it at least gave you an income stream, which must have been prized during the Depression. How did that go? "Milk from the cow, eggs from the hens, and stocks, by God, for their dividends...
by scone
Tue May 05, 2015 7:17 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Gross: stockbug alert, future investment returns will be miniscule
Replies: 67
Views: 5523

Re: Gross: stockbug alert, future investment returns will be miniscule

So, to sum up. Gross, the bond guy, is talking down stocks. Buffett, the stock guy, is talking up stocks.
:|
Same as it ever was.
by scone
Mon May 04, 2015 3:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Which Funds for Fidelity 401k
Replies: 5
Views: 517

Re: Which Funds for Fidelity 401k

I would go with the second choice, DIY 3 Fund, because it's a little simpler, no bid and ask spreads as with ETFS. However, IIWY I'd look at FIBAX, intermediate treasuries, for the bond portion as it's cheaper, and tends to rise in a market panic. Personally I would also add a REIT and a small cap f...
by scone
Sun May 03, 2015 10:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which of these 6 mortgages seem good?
Replies: 40
Views: 3718

Re: Which of these 6 mortgages seem good?

I would get a thirty year loan, every time. I would then take the extra thousand or so, that I would have paid on the 15 year, and bank it. I would use that money to increase the emergency fund to one year, and then dump the extea into the mortgage, or use it to pay off any higher interest debt that...
by scone
Tue Apr 28, 2015 10:15 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Taxable Bond Fund Suggestions
Replies: 5
Views: 849

Re: Taxable Bond Fund Suggestions

Is there a muni bond fund for your state? If so, and the expenses aren't too bad, that could be a great deal.
by scone
Mon Apr 27, 2015 11:08 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: John Bogle's Don't Peek Challenge
Replies: 149
Views: 13431

Re: John Bogle's Don't Peek Challenge

I actually did the "don't peek" thing in regards to our pension. This was money I couldn't rebalance or fiddle with in any way, so there was no point. We just ignored it and saved as if it were not there. But now we're very close to retirement, so I peeked. After a bit of math, I realized ...
by scone
Sun Apr 26, 2015 3:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why is international mid cap such an unloved asset class?
Replies: 6
Views: 426

Re: Why is international mid cap such an unloved asset class

According to the Morningstar X-Ray tool, VSS is about half midcap.
by scone
Sun Apr 26, 2015 9:55 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Can you make trades directly between investments?
Replies: 13
Views: 790

Re: Can you make trades directly between investments?

Maybe. I can trade directly between some Fido funds, such as FSBAX and FIBAX. I click on the "Sell to Buy" option. If that option does not appear among your choices, then perforce you won't be able to do it. However, since you should not be trading much anyway, the additional time in the M...
by scone
Thu Apr 23, 2015 5:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "How much of your portfolio is in index funds, and why?"
Replies: 91
Views: 8489

Re: "How much of your portfolio is in index funds, and why?"

I was really surprised to learn that John Bogle himself has a quarter of his portfolio in actively managed funds. And his son is an active fund manager--of a fund with a 1.25% expense ratio! Bogle has money in his son's fund, and his son's fund uses the Bogle name. I don't understand it. Why would ...
by scone
Wed Apr 22, 2015 1:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Living in New Hampshire?
Replies: 35
Views: 2575

Re: Living in New Hampshire?

I live here, and I like it very much. It's beautiful, quiet, rural. The average education level is pretty good, so it doesn't feel quite as backwoodsy as you might imagine. There is a profound awareness of history-- the past is all around you. Four season climate, four season sports. Lots of wildlif...
by scone
Tue Apr 21, 2015 12:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much do you pay in Property Taxes?
Replies: 188
Views: 10977

Re: How much do you pay in Property Taxes?

Our place is about 2000 sq. ft., on an acre, and over 7k in property taxes. No income taxes, though. New Hampster. :D
by scone
Tue Apr 21, 2015 12:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Warren Buffett on equties, treasuries, and "risk"
Replies: 46
Views: 4441

Re: Warren Buffett on equties, treasuries, and "risk"

The contractual obligation aspect of individual TIPS isn't the question. I'd like to get some idea how the TIPS market might behave under extreme stress like the seventies. Would people stick to TIPS? Sell and buy short Treasuries? Buy gold? Commodities?
by scone
Tue Apr 21, 2015 11:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Potential new home is well-priced, but...
Replies: 31
Views: 2835

Re: Potential new home is well-priced, but...

^ Hmmm, I've done a lot of remodeling and building, and I'm not sure I would call in a landscaper to get an estimate. First of all, you don't have a landscape plan with any details, so no honest landscaper can really tell you much. A dishonest one might wave his arms and conjure up pictures of lovel...
by scone
Tue Apr 21, 2015 10:52 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Warren Buffett on equties, treasuries, and "risk"
Replies: 46
Views: 4441

Re: Warren Buffett on equties, treasuries, and "risk"

^ This is part of what I don't understand about TIPS. Let's imagine it's just before the oil shock, and let's further imagine TIPS are available. The oil shock hits, and presumably TIPs shoot up like a rocket. Very well. But what happens to TIPS in subsequent years, through the seventies, when high ...
by scone
Tue Apr 21, 2015 7:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Potential new home is well-priced, but...
Replies: 31
Views: 2835

Re: Potential new home is well-priced, but...

I'd buy the house and get to work on the landscape/water issue-- that's fixable. Former SoCal gardener here: Don't put in hardscape, as that reflects heat into the house. Take out as much lawn as you can, replace with desert and Mediterranean plants. Mulch everything, several inches isn't too much. ...
by scone
Mon Apr 20, 2015 2:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Has anyone changed their asset allocation
Replies: 58
Views: 3543

Re: Has anyone changed their asset allocation

I haven't sold any stocks because our AA was already low, just 30% stock. But then we sold our house, so the big wad of cash in the bank effectively dilutes both the stock allocation and the bond duration. Since we're about two years from retirement, I'm o.k. with that, for now. 8-)
by scone
Mon Apr 20, 2015 1:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What moves does Fred need to make?
Replies: 7
Views: 720

Re: What moves does Fred need to make?

^What mhc said. Is this a trick question? :D
by scone
Mon Apr 20, 2015 1:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Am I saving too much for retirement?
Replies: 27
Views: 4757

Re: Am I saving too much for retirement?

Here's how I look at it, FWIW. If my savings rate truly got in the way of something life enhancing that I wanted to do, I would cut back. If I felt deprived of occasional special treats to the point where I started to feel trapped and resentful, I would cut back. If there's something I really needed...
by scone
Sat Apr 18, 2015 7:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio review & Questions
Replies: 2
Views: 443

Re: Portfolio review & Questions

Somehow this thread got lost in the crowd, with only one reply, so I'm bumping it. To the OP, if you look for funds with the smallest expense ratio, they will generally be index funds, so you can cut the list considerably. But you already have a pretty diversified portfolio, so I wouldn't worry, you...
by scone
Sat Apr 18, 2015 2:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cleaning out large basement - cost to rent a dumpster?
Replies: 29
Views: 2092

Re: Cleaning out large basement - cost to rent a dumpster?

Try googlig something like this: Dumpster waste junk garbage near <name of closest significant town> That should get you some hits using the map function. It's the word "near" in the string that triggers the little google hamsters to fetch the hits. If that does not work call your local du...
by scone
Wed Apr 15, 2015 12:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Investing in a house!! Qld
Replies: 2
Views: 383

Re: Investing in a house!! Qld

If you mean Queensland, Australia, then you might want to ask your question on the Australian Property Forum to get more replies. I have relatives in Queensland who invest in houses, making use of the negative gearing rules, but personally I wouldn't do it.
by scone
Thu Apr 09, 2015 12:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Poll: What is the credit limit of your credit card?
Replies: 56
Views: 3622

Re: Poll: What is the credit limit of your credit card?

We didn't have any credit cards for years and years, just a debit card, but apparently that affected our credit rating. Now we have one, use it a little every month, and presto our credit rating is back up over 800. Perverse incentives. :annoyed
by scone
Wed Apr 08, 2015 4:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I Feel Rushed/Fighting Hourglass
Replies: 16
Views: 1874

Re: I Feel Rushed/Fighting Hourglass

I think you are being way too hard on yourself, which is a waste of time and emotional energy. Life isn't all about making money. It's about personal achievement, reaching for goals-- and you are doing that in spades. Hard work and good luck is already paying off for you, in more ways than you know.
by scone
Tue Apr 07, 2015 4:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fix in Fidelity Full View
Replies: 8
Views: 1061

Re: Fix in Fidelity Full View

Thanks, I would do that if I had to, but right now I don't feel an urgent need for a workaround. The pie chart on the "front page" shows the correct amounts of all the CIT funds, it just doesn't categorize this one bond fund, which is the employer contribution, correctly. It also can't tel...
by scone
Tue Apr 07, 2015 9:29 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fix in Fidelity Full View
Replies: 8
Views: 1061

Re: Fix in Fidelity Full View

Interesting. Now if the GPS could only see my Blackrock collective investment trusts correctly. For example, it lists my AGG clone as "unknown" rather than as a bond fund. Not critical in any way, I just hate bugs.
by scone
Mon Apr 06, 2015 12:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Family member asking for money
Replies: 141
Views: 14044

Re: Family member asking for money

The first thing that popped into my mind: the family member is using his own sick child as leverage to sponge on the rest of the family, while living in an expensive house. I have to wonder if the money will really benefit the child at all.
by scone
Mon Apr 06, 2015 12:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Total bond vs. intermediate treasury
Replies: 8
Views: 667

Re: Total bond vs. intermediate treasury

In this case I'd pick FIBAX because it's cheaper and tends to rise when stocks are falling. It is a little longer in duration than some other similar funds, so just be aware it can be a bit more volatile. Fido has a short term fund, FSBAX, and a longer term fund, FLBAX, so you can mix and match to g...
by scone
Mon Mar 30, 2015 2:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bond Interest - No Where to Go But Up?
Replies: 8
Views: 1202

Re: Bond Interest - No Where to Go But Up?

In real terms, everything below about 5 years or thereabouts is already losing money. 3 month T-bills just went for 0.035%. It's interesting to me that interest rates on the public debt have been falling, more or less, for many years, and now it's almost free. I wonder, if this situation goes on for...
by scone
Mon Mar 30, 2015 1:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Am I investing in the right stocks and bonds?
Replies: 16
Views: 2047

Re: Am I investing in the right stocks and bonds?

The REIT fund is worth adding. So you could have S & P 500, small cap, small cap value, international, emerging markets, REITS, and Bonds. That's certainly comprehensive, and should serve you well. Good luck.
by scone
Mon Mar 30, 2015 12:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why would real estate be sold for $1?
Replies: 17
Views: 1901

Re: Why would real estate be sold for $1?

Apart from the contract issues noted above, there have been "dollar house" programs by various government agencies-- essentially urban renewal. Baltimore used to have one, and apparently HUD has one now. http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/housing/sfh/reo/goodn/dhmabout

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