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Re: Where is Larry Swedroe

His tweets have links to his articles, and he's been writing a great deal lately, including two books.
by scone
Thu Mar 19, 2015 8:27 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Where is Larry Swedroe
Replies: 18
Views: 4114

Re: Underpriced house recently sold

Either an insider sale, or possibly some sort of "deal killer" flaw. In my area, that's often asbestos or black mold. Houses like that generally go to contractors who can do remediation themselves, or through their best buddy at a "friends and family" discount, in return for the ...
by scone
Thu Mar 19, 2015 8:25 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Underpriced house recently sold
Replies: 13
Views: 1495

Re: master bath remodel: return on investment?

Just guessing, but it sounds like the contractor could be making his usual cut, possibly adding in some money to cover design time, and possibly then adding in some more if he provides the materials -- buying wholesale and charging you retail. Nothing illegal or even immoral about that, as some cust...
by scone
Thu Mar 19, 2015 8:18 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: master bath remodel: return on investment?
Replies: 42
Views: 2818

Re: master bath remodel: return on investment?

For those wondering about the $35K price tag, this would be a major remodel. Some specifics: - it is a large room, and due to unusual choices made during original construction, the proposal is essentially a "gut & replace" - the vanity would need to be relocated - the shower would nee...
by scone
Thu Mar 19, 2015 5:17 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: master bath remodel: return on investment?
Replies: 42
Views: 2818

Re: low returns and variance drag - changing investment appr

I'm just saving more, which is the least risky alternative from a personal point of view. OTOH it may be that this behavior just adds to the global problem-- another few droplets in a world awash in savings, driving down returns.
by scone
Tue Mar 17, 2015 5:35 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: low returns and variance drag - changing investment approach
Replies: 2
Views: 376

Re: If 2% is real, we are . . . . ?

I'm just not feeling the horror. We've been saving about 50% for many years and didn't even notice it much. And we never made really vast sums of money. And yet we have all the usual American middle class gizmos, decent cars, a house in the burbs. Once you get the basics in place, spending more does...
by scone
Wed Mar 11, 2015 10:24 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: If 2% is real, we are . . . . ?
Replies: 63
Views: 6225

Re: Where to retire in New England?

The coast of Maine or New Hampshire. Near enough to the train so you can get into Boston without a car. New Hampshire has no income tax, but they do tax dividends and interest. Maine has much lower property taxes. For us, it's pretty much a wash. Culture wise, the coast is where it's at in terms of ...
by scone
Wed Mar 11, 2015 7:37 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to retire in New England?
Replies: 101
Views: 7507

Re: Will you buy an Apple Watch?

No, I don't like the design, particularly the proportions if the case and strap. Apart from the whiz-bang technical aspects, it's rather ordinary.
by scone
Mon Mar 09, 2015 8:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Will you buy an Apple Watch?
Replies: 320
Views: 16408

Re: What's Wrong With This Portfolio ?

Your uncle sounds adorable. If he has SS and possibly a muni pension sufficient for his needs, along with an emergency fund, then he's not doing badly at all. In which case, Wellington and Wellesley are far, far from the worst choices that could be made.
by scone
Mon Mar 09, 2015 8:36 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What's Wrong With This Portfolio ?
Replies: 6
Views: 614

Re: Bernstein: 2% investment returns over next 20 years

Just a factoid: Dr. Bernstein is a neurologist, not an economist, AFAIK-- unless he's picked up a doctorate recently! He writes very knowledgably on economic and financial topics, with a special emphasis on financial history. I believe he also manages money. I'm still waiting for him to write the de...
by scone
Mon Mar 09, 2015 2:55 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bernstein: 2% investment returns over next 20 years
Replies: 216
Views: 22864

Re: Bernstein: 2% investment returns over next 20 years

The article says 0% real on bonds-- I wonder if he means short Treasuries, which IIRC is what he generally recommends? Maybe if we all play nice he'll join us on this thread! :D
by scone
Mon Mar 09, 2015 11:39 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bernstein: 2% investment returns over next 20 years
Replies: 216
Views: 22864

Re: Muni bonds vs. Treasuries - Please explain to me like I'

VWAHX tanked in the crash because it holds junky bonds. If you're o.k with that, and want them only for income, it might work out for you. But if risk makes you nervous, as you indicate, then you want bonds with a higher credit rating, and possibly a shorter duration. There really is no other way-- ...
by scone
Mon Mar 09, 2015 11:33 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Muni bonds vs. Treasuries - Please explain to me like I'm 5
Replies: 25
Views: 2552

Re: Balance of bonds

Take a look at Total Bond or a Treasury fund. VFICX pays well, but it took a major hit in the last crash, which is not what you want bonds to do. I would also look at buying an international fund, and selling the Health sector fund. And personally, I wouldn't feel complete without a small cap fund o...
by scone
Sat Mar 07, 2015 7:49 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Balance of bonds
Replies: 3
Views: 523

Re: safest bond fund to buy right now?

I'd go for a Treasury money market. Or maybe SHY. But you're losing money to inflation there, so some people are just parking in longer CDs.
by scone
Sat Mar 07, 2015 7:28 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: safest bond fund to buy right now?
Replies: 8
Views: 839

Re: Bonds, REITs, Utilities, Commodities and Stocks down - W

This is just a hissy fit, but there will be more going forward, as we put ZIRP behind us. I don't believe there will be any "safe haven" other than cash, which loses to inflation anyway. On the up side, yields may increase, and valuations may come down from nosebleed levels. At least the e...
by scone
Sat Mar 07, 2015 7:23 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bonds, REITs, Utilities, Commodities and Stocks down - Wow
Replies: 66
Views: 4279

Re: Thought you might enjoy taking this quiz

Annnddddd..... we're back! Totally flubbed the quiz-- just finished Black Swans and reading Shrinking Alpha now... :D
by scone
Sat Mar 07, 2015 7:09 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Thought you might enjoy taking this quiz
Replies: 3
Views: 1253

Re: Washing Dress Shirts

I separate whites from colors. Whites get a small amount of mild detergent, washing soda, borax, and OxiClean. Colors get the same except for no OxiClean. Normal cycle, normal tumble dry. No starch. I only use bleach when I need to sterilize. Removing minerals like iron in the wash water also helps.
by scone
Fri Mar 06, 2015 10:39 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Washing Dress Shirts
Replies: 38
Views: 2706

Re: Investing pounds - don't live in UK

Can you buy UK government bonds?
by scone
Mon Mar 02, 2015 2:59 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing pounds - don't live in UK
Replies: 6
Views: 578

Re: Vanguard Managed Payout to add new fund

"Vanguard Alternative Strategies Fund follows an actively managed approach and seeks to generate an absolute return by investing in a range of well-defined, diversified alternative strategies, which will be implemented using a combination of long and short positions in equities, forward foreig...
by scone
Sun Mar 01, 2015 7:29 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Managed Payout to add new fund
Replies: 30
Views: 2842

Re: Mid Thirties - Messy Retirement Portfolio ~$600k

What can we do to simplify the fund allocations? All you really need is a broad indexed domestic stock fund, a broad indexed international stock fund, and a broad indexed domestic bond fund. If you look through the list of the funds you have available, almost invariably the cheapest will be broad i...
by scone
Sun Mar 01, 2015 6:04 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Mid Thirties - Messy Retirement Portfolio ~$600k
Replies: 4
Views: 924

Re: rebalancing & purchasing when fear is present

There is definitely a fear factor. So I have taken myself out of the loop as much as possible. There's a widget in the Fidelity software we use, that lets me automatically direct the new money into various slots in the allocation, e.g. S& P 500, emerging markets, etc. It's not perfect, but it he...
by scone
Sun Mar 01, 2015 5:51 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: rebalancing & purchasing when fear is present
Replies: 8
Views: 455

Re: This Morning's Dilbert - Investment Help

This stuff is brilliant. It's easy to read, it's got the punch, and great visuals. If you put a short essay with each cartoon to explain the underlying issues, it would make a very effective teaching tool. It could potentially reach a wide audience, as many people won't read investing books because...
by scone
Sat Feb 28, 2015 2:33 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: This Morning's Dilbert - Investment Help
Replies: 24
Views: 5073

Re: This Morning's Dilbert - Investment Help

This stuff is brilliant. It's easy to read, it's got the punch, and great visuals. If you put a short essay with each cartoon to explain the underlying issues, it would make a very effective teaching tool. It could potentially reach a wide audience, as many people won't read investing books because ...
by scone
Sat Feb 28, 2015 10:07 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: This Morning's Dilbert - Investment Help
Replies: 24
Views: 5073

Re: Getting Australian Dollars

Try AAA (American Automobile Association), they tend to be cheaper than Travelex. The savings might even cover a membership fee, if you aren't a member already. Have fun in Oz. :D
by scone
Sat Feb 28, 2015 7:26 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting Australian Dollars
Replies: 13
Views: 743

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: 3099

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: 7
Views: 844

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: 719

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: 3964

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: 3964

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: 1469

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: 2372

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: 1055

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: 1068

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: 505

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: 1068

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: 2439

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: 2439

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: 2439

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: 2439

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: 1257

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: 2439

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: 719

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: 2439

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: 31
Views: 3899

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: 729

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: 986

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: 13513

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: 13513

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: 3873

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: 13513
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