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Re: Is it actually impossible to time market crashes?

I believe it's impossible to know when market crashes will happen, with certainty. If you get it right, it's just luck. When the 2008 crash started, I was seized with panic, and persuaded my DH we had to get out. Many months later, after the initial shock had passed, I began studying investing, and ...
by scone
Thu Feb 26, 2015 11:37 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is it actually impossible to time market crashes?
Replies: 56
Views: 2608

Re: New Investor - Portfolio Guidance

IIWY I'd just clean this up a bit and call it good. Sell the individual stocks, get out of the high expense bond fund, if possible, and maybe consider double tax-free bonds in taxable, since you are in New York. The emergency fund cash could go in a CD, as long as you can "break" it with a...
by scone
Wed Feb 25, 2015 10:57 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New Investor - Portfolio Guidance
Replies: 3
Views: 326

Re: Fidelity 401k Portfolio Help

This is fine, the Spartan Advantage funds are very cheap and decent index funds. Stick to that series, and you should do very well. Congratulations and welcome! :beer
by scone
Thu Feb 19, 2015 2:42 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity 401k Portfolio Help
Replies: 6
Views: 624

Re: Credit Score got hit hard

There was a thread on this, but it appears that there are folks who forget about credit cards and there are folks who do not forget about credit cards. It appears that credit scores do reflect how careful people are with paying attention to their credit card bills no matter what. There are other wa...
by scone
Thu Feb 19, 2015 10:08 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Score got hit hard
Replies: 41
Views: 3825

Re: Credit Score got hit hard

There was a thread on this, but it appears that there are folks who forget about credit cards and there are folks who do not forget about credit cards. It appears that credit scores do reflect how careful people are with paying attention to their credit card bills no matter what. There are other wa...
by scone
Thu Feb 19, 2015 9:51 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Score got hit hard
Replies: 41
Views: 3825

Re: Another--should I rent it or sell it--post

IIWY, I'd consider a remodel. Add a master suite and a family room. That gets you to your square footage and you keep the location. If you rent it for many years, you will have to remodel anyway, and it will likely be a lot more expensive in the future, due to rising prices and possibly higher inter...
by scone
Thu Feb 19, 2015 7:13 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another--should I rent it or sell it--post
Replies: 25
Views: 1381

Re: Music / Song Help

American Pie, Bohemian Rhapsody, Another Brick in the Wall.
by scone
Wed Feb 18, 2015 4:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Music / Song Help
Replies: 52
Views: 2211

Re: Is my pension safe?

I'm currently working on plans for retirement. Hope to do so within the next year. Currently, I have a pension from my old company (a worldwide advertising agency) that's been accruing for the last six years while I've been at my current position. The big question is: How do I know my pension is sa...
by scone
Wed Feb 18, 2015 4:50 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is my pension safe?
Replies: 8
Views: 1035

Re: Wills/Trusts & Voices of Experience (not legal advice)

Structure the trust so that the money beings to pay out after the ex dies. If the child dies before the ex, the money goes somewhere else. Personally, I wouldn't tell the child or the ex about these arrangements. That could leave her up the creek if there's some difficulty before the ex dies. Also,...
by scone
Tue Feb 17, 2015 6:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wills/Trusts & Voices of Experience (not legal advice)
Replies: 12
Views: 1012

Re: 401k: reducing expenses with BlackRock funds + VIIX

These funds are great, but I'm not sure about the Extended Market if you want to duplicate Total Stock. For myself, I would go for at least 20% Extended Market, because I like the mid and small cap exposure.
by scone
Tue Feb 17, 2015 6:32 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k: reducing expenses with BlackRock funds + VIIX
Replies: 7
Views: 471

Re: Wills/Trusts & Voices of Experience (not legal advice)

Structure the trust so that the money beings to pay out after the ex dies. If the child dies before the ex, the money goes somewhere else. Personally, I wouldn't tell the child or the ex about these arrangements.
by scone
Tue Feb 17, 2015 6:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wills/Trusts & Voices of Experience (not legal advice)
Replies: 12
Views: 1012

Re: "How to Fix a Client Portfolio"

Scone,, I'm trying to capture the best of both worlds as my tax situation evolves. Both Total Bond and Tax Exempt Muni in taxable account :happy Sounds good to me. I'm just beginning to realize that DH and I may spend much of our retirement in a higher tax bracket than we are in now. Only the first...
by scone
Fri Feb 13, 2015 5:14 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "How to Fix a Client Portfolio"
Replies: 31
Views: 2310

Re: "How to Fix a Client Portfolio"

I think Allan Roth's article is excellent. Thanks for posting the link, Taylor. Scone, we don't know enough about your situation to say a lot, but here are a few comments. 1) If you are in a very low tax bracket, you may not even need to use muni bonds - you might make more money using taxable bond...
by scone
Fri Feb 13, 2015 5:02 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "How to Fix a Client Portfolio"
Replies: 31
Views: 2310

Re: "How to Fix a Client Portfolio"

scone, The use of muni bond does not mean "no tax reporting required", because you have to report them. However, the federal tax reporting effort is same in both cases: muni and taxable bonds. A muni bond fund dividends are reported as one entry on form 1040. A taxable bond fund dividends...
by scone
Fri Feb 13, 2015 4:33 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "How to Fix a Client Portfolio"
Replies: 31
Views: 2310

Re: "How to Fix a Client Portfolio"

Thanks, Taylor. I see where you are coming from, but my husband just isn't going to do this sort of stuff, nor am I going to argue with him about it. The guy has high blood pressure, heart trouble, etc. Some things are not worth the stress. In any case, I'm happy with our portfolio as is, I just wan...
by scone
Fri Feb 13, 2015 2:51 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "How to Fix a Client Portfolio"
Replies: 31
Views: 2310

Re: Before building your house, what should you haven known/

My wife & I are exploring the option to teardown our home & rebuilding. We plan to hire professionals, but I'd like to learn as much about the process as possible. It's one of the largest financial investments of my life, so it's worth my time to be informed. :-) Are there books you'd recom...
by scone
Fri Feb 13, 2015 2:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Before building your house, what should you haven known/read
Replies: 14
Views: 1200

Re: "Muni bonds are overused" ?

Thank you, Taylor. I have a question: under the "Where to Put the Assets" graphic, there's a note saying "muni bonds are overused." Why does he say that? scone: I'm not Allan, but I'll guess he is referring to the fact that a bond broker knows it is easier to sell a bond that is...
by scone
Fri Feb 13, 2015 1:24 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "How to Fix a Client Portfolio"
Replies: 31
Views: 2310

Re: Dealing with Contractors

What you really need to know is, what caused the "spindles" to fail? Was it mechanical, or could there be dry rot? If there is dry rot, you have a project on your hands, because all the old rotten material will have to be torn out and replaced. If the spindles simply had more force on them...
by scone
Fri Feb 13, 2015 1:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dealing with Contractors
Replies: 9
Views: 687

Re: "How to Fix a Client Portfolio"

Thank you, Taylor. I have a question: under the "Where to Put the Assets" graphic, there's a note saying "muni bonds are overused." Why does he say that?
by scone
Fri Feb 13, 2015 12:37 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "How to Fix a Client Portfolio"
Replies: 31
Views: 2310

Re: am I mess?

Welcome. I'd say you are not a mess, but your finances could be improved. That goes for all of us, no one is perfect. The good news, as EmergDoc suggests, is that you can fix the problem pretty easily, by paying off the car. IIWY I'd save up the total amount, and then pay it off all at once. I would...
by scone
Tue Feb 10, 2015 4:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Am I a mess?
Replies: 30
Views: 3251

Re: LED Shop light

I can't use flouros, they give me migraines. LEDs are a great replacement, the give a bright white light for working, and no annoying buzzy sound.
by scone
Tue Feb 10, 2015 1:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: LED Shop light
Replies: 10
Views: 712

Re: Supporting parents while renting home to them

I can kind of see the logic here. If you are going to pay for the parents' shelter anyway, might as well own it, get the deductions, and have an asset. But if you are committed to supporting them, and it looks like you might have to foot all their bills, then you should pay the bills directly and li...
by scone
Tue Feb 10, 2015 1:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Supporting parents while renting home to them
Replies: 7
Views: 957

Re: When 60/40 just isn't appropriate

^^ Yes, I'm aware of the math, but since the problem isn't that simple, it doesn't solve anything that I need to solve. If you can tell me the monthly CPI for the next half century, that would be helpful. Also whether SS will keep paying at the rate we currently expect. And a heads up on future tax...
by scone
Sun Feb 08, 2015 6:01 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When 60/40 just isn't appropriate
Replies: 127
Views: 12980

Re: When 60/40 just isn't appropriate

^^ Yes, I'm aware of the math, but since the problem isn't that simple, it doesn't solve anything that I need to solve. If you can tell me the monthly CPI for the next half century, that would be helpful. Also whether SS will keep paying at the rate we currently expect. And a heads up on future tax ...
by scone
Sun Feb 08, 2015 5:46 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When 60/40 just isn't appropriate
Replies: 127
Views: 12980

Re: Is Risk Real?

What's that lone green bond dot amongst the stock dots? Emerging market bonds?
by scone
Sun Feb 08, 2015 5:21 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is Risk Real?
Replies: 74
Views: 3814

Re: When 60/40 just isn't appropriate

I think the 30/70 portfolio, with a 2.5% withdrawal rate, will go through hell and high water. It even does pretty well when interest rates are rising, as long as inflation isn't too bad. And of course, today one can use TIPS to help with inflation. For me, it's so much simpler to save more now, so...
by scone
Sun Feb 08, 2015 5:02 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When 60/40 just isn't appropriate
Replies: 127
Views: 12980

Re: portfoliovisualizer.com

Here's a list of the databases they are using: https://www.portfoliovisualizer.com/faq#dataAccuracy

And here's a contact record, with a memo field big enough for a bug report: https://www.portfoliovisualizer.com/contact
by scone
Sun Feb 08, 2015 2:54 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: portfoliovisualizer.com
Replies: 6
Views: 680

Re: When 60/40 just isn't appropriate

I think the 30/70 portfolio, with a 2.5% withdrawal rate, will go through hell and high water. It even does pretty well when interest rates are rising, as long as inflation isn't too bad. And of course, today one can use TIPS to help with inflation. For me, it's so much simpler to save more now, so ...
by scone
Sun Feb 08, 2015 2:21 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When 60/40 just isn't appropriate
Replies: 127
Views: 12980

Re: Lending money to family - I can't say no

If BIL is "supporting the entire family" then why is she asking you for money? How do you know bills are being paid with this money? The first thing that pops into my mind is some sort of addiction. Much easier to hide than commonly supposed. If that's the case, the sooner you get this und...
by scone
Sat Feb 07, 2015 1:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lending money to family - I can't say no
Replies: 82
Views: 5707

Re: Health Insurer, Anthem, Hacked

FWIW, Bloomberg is still sticking to its story about the espionage angle. Even if it's true, I'm not sure how that changes our risk.
by scone
Sat Feb 07, 2015 12:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Health Insurer, Anthem, Hacked
Replies: 99
Views: 7915

Re: An alternative to alternative investments [QSPIX]

I might not invest in it, but the approach is worth studying. Just the effort to understand how the parts work together gives a lot of insight into how markets work, and since I'm invested in the markets, I am always looking to improve my understanding. So, as soon as I'm finished with my current bo...
by scone
Sat Feb 07, 2015 12:04 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: An alternative to alternative investments [QSPIX]
Replies: 307
Views: 35838

Re: Lending money to family - I can't say no

There are a lot of screaming red flags here. "BIL has even used his children as bargaining chips (MIL not allowed to see grandkids unless she agreed to some conditions including the access)." This kind of family dynamic makes me think group counseling should happen stat--not counseling wit...
by scone
Sat Feb 07, 2015 11:47 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lending money to family - I can't say no
Replies: 82
Views: 5707

Re: What to buy sweetie for Valentine's Day

The Gemvara website lets you build jewelry virtually, so you can see what it would look like, and they ship it where ever you like. If you stick to silver as your base metal, and use semi-precious stones like amethyst and topaz, it's not expensive. You can also have a message engraved on the inside....
by scone
Sat Feb 07, 2015 10:51 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to buy sweetie for Valentine's Day
Replies: 97
Views: 5717

Re: Ten Year Treasuries Up 1.68 to 1.95 This Week

How long does this take to filter through into mortgages? I've got a house for sale under contract and due to close Feb. 28. It has already partially filtered into current mortgage rates. I have been watching rates for a refinance and I followed the 10 yr treasury yields closely. I locked a rate of...
by scone
Sat Feb 07, 2015 10:32 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Ten Year Treasuries Up 1.68 to 1.95 This Week
Replies: 24
Views: 1951

Re: Ten Year Treasuries Up 1.68 to 1.95 This Week

How long does this take to filter through into mortgages? I've got a house for sale under contract and due to close Feb. 28.
by scone
Sat Feb 07, 2015 9:40 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Ten Year Treasuries Up 1.68 to 1.95 This Week
Replies: 24
Views: 1951

Re: Best Small Cap Value Funds

IEIS is having the same trouble as DLS et.al. International stocks look riskier, to your average punter, even though they are cheaper than domestic. So IEIS hasn't caught a break, and even though the specifications look good, if it does not gather assets, it might not survive. However, there has bee...
by scone
Sat Feb 07, 2015 7:35 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Best Small Cap Value Funds
Replies: 43
Views: 4234

Re: Vanguard Total Bond - Not reccomended by Swedroe??

It's all relative. Intermediate and Long Treasuries tend to rise quite vigorously just when stocks are tanking, so they can reduce your drawdowns more than Total Bond-- not always true, but generally. Any disturbance in the Force tends to cause this lemming-like behavior. Total bond isn't bad though...
by scone
Fri Feb 06, 2015 4:52 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Total Bond - Not reccomended by Swedroe??
Replies: 23
Views: 3750

Re: Best Small Cap Value Funds

I use QSMLX, from AQR, for domestic small cap value, and IEIS for international small cap value. I also use VSS. I have no idea what Vanguard's plans are. :happy

P.S. That's a lovely ship avatar!
by scone
Fri Feb 06, 2015 1:16 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Best Small Cap Value Funds
Replies: 43
Views: 4234

Re: Health Insurer, Anthem, Hacked

If folks are setting the credit freeze online, how do you determine you have reached a genuine site and not a copycat? :confused
by scone
Fri Feb 06, 2015 9:15 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Health Insurer, Anthem, Hacked
Replies: 99
Views: 7915

Re: Complete and utter newbie wanting direction...

You are already ahead of the pack, just taking an interest in this topic. I think the most important thing is your saving rate. If you can't save, nothing else matters. So IIWY I'd get in the habit of saving for retirement as well as paying down your debt. It will be hard for the first few years, bu...
by scone
Thu Feb 05, 2015 6:13 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Complete and utter newbie wanting direction...
Replies: 28
Views: 1860

Re: Stock/Bond Ratio

Taylor Larimore wrote:Martin:

My bond allocation is the amount of money that I cannot afford to lose.

Best wishes.
Taylor


That's brilliant. May I use that as my signature? :D
by scone
Thu Feb 05, 2015 5:55 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Stock/Bond Ratio
Replies: 24
Views: 2236

Re: Health Insurer, Anthem, Hacked

I got an email saying the system was breached, with a lot of weasel language probably written by a lawyer and PR staff. But they didn't exactly say that every person associated with Anthem in any way has had their data stolen. Thusly: "Anthem will individually notify current and former members ...
by scone
Thu Feb 05, 2015 5:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Health Insurer, Anthem, Hacked
Replies: 99
Views: 7915

Ultra-low or Negative Mortgage Rates and Retirement?

The other day I ran across a news sound byte about some Denmark bank offering negative mortgage rates for some customers. I don't understand how that works, I mean, how do they resell a loan like that? Boy, do we live in interesting times. Anyway, I'm wondering if there is some fixed interest rate t...
by scone
Thu Feb 05, 2015 12:09 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Ultra-low or Negative Mortgage Rates and Retirement?
Replies: 1
Views: 294

Re: Are TIPS the ultimate inflation hedge?

4. Weirdly, if you put TIPS into the Portfolio Visualizer and compare it to nominals, the drawdowns in the 70s are much worse for TIPS. So is the fault inherent in TIPS, or the synthetic model used by the software? I have no idea. I was doing something in PV and got what I thought was a surprising ...
by scone
Thu Feb 05, 2015 11:28 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are TIPS the ultimate inflation hedge?
Replies: 27
Views: 2009

Re: Pull permits for a minor remodel?

Yes, I've dealt with this issue and worked as the general contractor on my own home. I personally wouldn't bother to get a permit just to change and outlet, but it sounds like you are doing a gut job. If it were my design, I'd try to work around the existing electrical, so I wouldn't need to pull a ...
by scone
Thu Feb 05, 2015 10:58 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pull permits for a minor remodel?
Replies: 35
Views: 3019

Re: How do we ship a china cabinet?

You need a specialist packer/shipper who does "white glove" delivery and placement. I'm going to guess the cabinet probably comes in two parts, lower server and upper hutch. This comes apart and has to be covered with bubble wrap, especially the feet. The drawers should be secured, as well...
by scone
Thu Feb 05, 2015 9:35 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do we ship a china cabinet?
Replies: 14
Views: 801

Re: Health Insurer, Anthem, Hacked

OK, I take this one seriously, especially with Social Security numbers involved. It's enough of a concern for me to go ahead and place the security freezes at Equifax, Transunion and Experian. Been meaning to do it for a few weeks, but this pushed me over the edge. ...theta I just got the email thi...
by scone
Thu Feb 05, 2015 9:19 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Health Insurer, Anthem, Hacked
Replies: 99
Views: 7915

Re: Bill Gross warns about bonds. Are you worried?

I'm not worried about interest rate increases, particularly. The thing that kills bonds is inflation. Except for TIPS, apparently.
by scone
Wed Feb 04, 2015 5:42 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bill Gross warns about bonds. Are you worried?
Replies: 38
Views: 5109

Re: Are TIPS the ultimate inflation hedge?

^^ Johno 1. I wonder if it's possible to be paid for lower liquidity, but also have to pay an insurance premium, so it nets out more or less to nothing much. Total handwaving here. 2. Agreed, at the time, Larry Swedroe was said to be pounding the table that TIPS were a screaming deal. And no way to ...
by scone
Wed Feb 04, 2015 5:37 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are TIPS the ultimate inflation hedge?
Replies: 27
Views: 2009

Re: Are TIPS the ultimate inflation hedge?

No matter how hard I try, I just can't seem to really, deeply, truly understand TIPS. For instance, people say TIPs are designed to counter unexpected inflation, but they use them to product against garden variety expected normal inflation. But TIPS typically don't pay as well as nominal Treasuries ...
by scone
Wed Feb 04, 2015 6:30 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are TIPS the ultimate inflation hedge?
Replies: 27
Views: 2009
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