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by steve roy
Mon May 25, 2015 6:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: A Lesson
Replies: 1
Views: 41

A Lesson

I've been a slice-and-dicer for some time now. I listen to Swedroe. I listen to Taylor Larimore. I pay close attention to Dr. Bernstein. I mash bits and pieces of each of these gurus together and get ... the portfolio I own. (Eclectic, that's me.) I've got a bunch of different Vanguard funds, and wh...
by steve roy
Sat May 23, 2015 10:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio for maxed long-term return
Replies: 4
Views: 661

Re: Portfolio for maxed long-term return

You have a stock-bond allocation similar to the 90% stocks/10% bonds of the 2050 Target Date Fund, the difference being that the Target Date goes with two stock funds that are cap weighted, and you go with equal weightings for small caps, mid caps, and large caps, with a value tilt. And you throw RE...
by steve roy
Sat May 23, 2015 10:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do I really need International equities in my portfolio ?
Replies: 39
Views: 2610

Re: Do I really need International equities in my portfolio ?

Do you really need international equities in your portfolio?

Come back in twenty years, I'll let you know.
by steve roy
Sat May 23, 2015 5:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are Bond ETFs a bad idea?
Replies: 39
Views: 2130

Re: Are Bond ETFs a bad idea?

You want more international, take it on the equity side.

Last year I heard a former VG exec concede that "investor demand" was what drove the creation of an international bond fund at Vanguard.
by steve roy
Sat May 23, 2015 2:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Advice from John Bogle and Warren Buffett
Replies: 35
Views: 2471

Re: advice from John Bogle and Warren Buffett

There are a variety of asset allocations that will get you where you want/need to go. A three fund portfolio can work. A six fund portfolio will be okay. A small cap value tilt might be just ducky over the next 19.5 years. But nobody, and I mean NOBODY, can predict which AA will work best. So pick a...
by steve roy
Thu May 21, 2015 9:57 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Latest Attack on Index Funds
Replies: 7
Views: 1138

Re: The Latest Attack on Index Funds

No reference to the enduring under-performance of actively managed funds.

There's a surprise.
by steve roy
Sun May 17, 2015 7:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What's so great about simplicity?
Replies: 114
Views: 8055

Re: What's so great about simplicity?

My portfolio (mainly Vanguard funds) isn't particularly simple. I've got a bunch of bond funds. I've got a multiplicity of stock funds. Although I'm mostly in index funds, I've got my share of active funds: Wellesley, Intermediate Tax Exempt bonds, etc. The abundance of funds doesn't bother me. I lo...
by steve roy
Sun May 17, 2015 9:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Maintaining AA in VG LifeStrategy Income Fund
Replies: 3
Views: 308

Re: Maintaining AA in VG LifeStrategy Income Fund

I don't think any of Vanguard's Lifestrategy funds had problems in '08-'09. As a practical matter, I can't imagine conservative funds having outflow difficulties in a major downturn. (People would be pounding on the steel-plated door to get IN.) I haven't studied the prospectus, but to satisfy redem...
by steve roy
Thu May 14, 2015 1:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: CNBC Article...Active managers beating the market! (Well, almost)
Replies: 6
Views: 657

Re: CNBC Article...Active managers beating the market! (Well, almost)

Yeah, hm hm. Active Managers Outperforming their Indexes! Read All About It! And then, when you read, you note that a majority of active managers are STILL under-performing the indexes ... in this great year for active managers. And we know what a crappy year for active managers looks like. 80% unde...
by steve roy
Wed May 13, 2015 7:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to suggest downsizing to Parent
Replies: 23
Views: 2494

Re: How to suggest downsizing to Parent

My mother, in her late eighties, refused to stop driving or leave her house, though it was as clear as a Mojve sunrise that her cognitive abilities were in decline. My brother wrote the DMV at her doctor's suggestion and she was called in for new testing. Which she passed. The doc was amazed. But th...
by steve roy
Sun May 03, 2015 7:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Leaving our financial advisor over a period of months
Replies: 33
Views: 2562

Re: Leaving our financial advisor over a period of months

I've done this sort of thing four times. Thrice professionally -- changing the administrator of a mid-size 401(k) Plan (I'm a trustee), and once personally with a financial advisor. In each instance I told the financial advisor/company representative why* the departure was taking place, made it clea...
by steve roy
Sun May 03, 2015 7:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Leaving our financial advisor over a period of months
Replies: 33
Views: 2562

Re: Leaving our financial advisor over a period of months

I've done this sort of thing four times. Thrice professionally -- changing the administrator of a mid-size 401(k) Plan (I'm a trustee), and once personally with a financial advisor. In each instance I told the financial advisor/company representative why* the departure was taking place, made it clea...
by steve roy
Sat May 02, 2015 9:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Everyone is saying to get out of Bond Funds? Ignore?
Replies: 41
Views: 4932

Re: Everyone is saying to get out of Bond Funds? Ignore?

Most of the financial people I listen to (even the ones I respect who have their head on straight) are saying that being in Bond funds right now is a bad idea. I really like the idea of staying the course and the avoidance of Market timing. The reason for this is usually clear in the world of equit...
by steve roy
Sat Apr 25, 2015 9:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Please sanity check my new asset allocation plan
Replies: 5
Views: 642

Re: Please sanity check my new asset allocation plan

I'll second Duckie's endorsement. I think most of us overthink our AA, so you're tilting to a broad-market stance and jettisoning the sector investing is a good thing.

And yeah, see if you can refi with a lower interest home loan.
by steve roy
Sat Apr 25, 2015 5:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Portfolio + Tax Concerns
Replies: 13
Views: 896

Re: Vanguard Portfolio + Tax Concerns

Others will likely have other input, but here's mine: In your traditional IRA, the Vanguard S & P 500 and Vanguard Total Stock Market indexes are pretty much the same thing. Me, I would ditch the 500 fund and merge the $117k with the $145k (Total Stock Market). Overall, you can simplify a bit by...
by steve roy
Sat Apr 25, 2015 5:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is the 1% Cost of Managing Money Worth It?
Replies: 53
Views: 4765

Re: Is the 1% Cost of Managing Money Worth It?

My take: The main reason to have a Financial Advisor is to have somebody to talk you out of stupid, panicky decisions. Most people would be adequately-served selecting a Life Strategy or Target Date Fund and leaving things at that, no advisors required. Sadly, some among us have difficulty maintaini...
by steve roy
Fri Apr 24, 2015 10:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cruises
Replies: 35
Views: 4513

Re: Cruises

A night like this on the SS Smooth Sailing ...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jup-5Xu1OOU

... and you might rethink your love of cruises.
by steve roy
Fri Apr 24, 2015 12:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cruises
Replies: 35
Views: 4513

Re: Cruises

Cruisecritic (as mentioned above) and other sites display deals on various types of cruises. Look for repositioning cruises where the Big Boat is moving from, say, the Mediterranean to the Caribbean. Mrs. Steve Roy and I did a cruise like that from Spain to Florida two and a half years ago, and it w...
by steve roy
Thu Apr 23, 2015 6:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is a Boglehead?
Replies: 55
Views: 2948

Re: What is a Boglehead?

Lives below her means.
by steve roy
Thu Apr 23, 2015 6:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: John Hancock Funds (JFIVX & RLBFX)
Replies: 20
Views: 1584

Re: John Hancock Funds (JFIVX & RLBFX)

My employer's 401k is with John Hancock. This thread got me interested in what fund I was invested in and what the expense ratios are. I'm currently invested in the JH Retirement To 2050 JRIOX fund with an expense ratio of 1.13. Looking at all the John Hancock funds available to me, the fund with t...
by steve roy
Wed Apr 22, 2015 12:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [What is safest vehicle on the road today that I can buy?]
Replies: 108
Views: 7287

Re: [What is safest vehicle on the road today that I can buy

For cost-benefit, the Honda Accord should be at the top of your list. Good safety ratings, good offset test.
by steve roy
Wed Apr 22, 2015 12:47 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: John Hancock Funds (JFIVX & RLBFX)
Replies: 20
Views: 1584

Re: John Hancock Funds (JFIVX & RLBFX)

Somebody is getting shafted, and it ain't John Hancock. Do you see something specific in the fund's info that makes you say that? Sure. Thirty basis points. Six times what the Vanguard version costs. Seems like a good reaming to me. Vanguard would definitely be a better deal, but the funds I posted...
by steve roy
Mon Apr 20, 2015 5:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best way to get rid of practically worthless stock
Replies: 15
Views: 1532

Re: Best way to get rid of practically worthless stock

If the certificates are pretty, frame them and sell on e-bay as art objects.

Who knows? Maybe some bites.
by steve roy
Mon Apr 20, 2015 4:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 30 y/o looking for proper asset allocation
Replies: 15
Views: 1490

Re: 30 y/o looking for proper asset allocation

My AA is

62% bonds/32% stocks -- 24% international stocks, 76% domestic -- small cap value tilt. -- return 5.6%.

(The Mrs. has a more conservative allocation through the Feds' Thrift Savings Plan -- our overall AA is 68%-70% bonds/ 30-32% stocks.)
by steve roy
Mon Apr 20, 2015 4:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What are the best Vanguard Funds to buy?
Replies: 12
Views: 1738

Re: What are the best Vanguard Funds to buy?

For what it's worth, we set up a non-retirement VG Total Stock Index Fund for our youngest fund. We put $9,000 in ... and today it's worth $35k.

We keep telling him to just let it ride. (Whether he will or not is anyone's guess.)
by steve roy
Mon Apr 20, 2015 3:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: John Hancock Funds (JFIVX & RLBFX)
Replies: 20
Views: 1584

Re: John Hancock Funds (JFIVX & RLBFX)

oinkyboinky wrote:
steve roy wrote:Somebody is getting shafted, and it ain't John Hancock.


Do you see something specific in the fund's info that makes you say that?


Sure. Thirty basis points. Six times what the Vanguard version costs.

Seems like a good reaming to me.
by steve roy
Sat Apr 18, 2015 2:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Is The Worst Car You Have Ever Owned?
Replies: 39
Views: 1892

Re: What Is The Worst Car You Have Ever Owned?

1995 Taurus. It was the classic rental car of the period, and the quality was not high. The engine was noisy, underpowered and thirsty. The transmission disintegrated as the car closed in on 100k. And the fuel pump was not durable. The Taurus's gave out when we were on the 395 in the high desert (Ca...
by steve roy
Fri Apr 17, 2015 11:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: John Hancock Funds (JFIVX & RLBFX)
Replies: 20
Views: 1584

Re: John Hancock Funds (JFIVX & RLBFX)

Somebody is getting shafted, and it ain't John Hancock.
by steve roy
Fri Apr 17, 2015 11:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New York New York casino
Replies: 9
Views: 1488

Re: New York New York casino

Good steakhouse in the hotel, plus several other nice eateries. The names of ALL of them escape me. (Aren't I useful?)

But you can find good restaurants at all the big hotels around there. No deals, as there was in my long-ago youth, but plenty of eating choices.
by steve roy
Fri Apr 17, 2015 1:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Stocks are on sale, should I buy?
Replies: 54
Views: 5952

Re: Stocks are on sale, should I buy?

Just put the money in as you can. You've got forty-plus years to go, so you should now be acquiring equities no matter which way the market is going.
by steve roy
Fri Apr 17, 2015 1:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What do you drive, and why?
Replies: 249
Views: 25056

Re: What do you drive, and why?

I drive a 2004 Saturn Vue, four-cylinder with a stick (five-speed). I drive it because my oldest son, for whom we had purchased the vehicle when he went to college, wanted to get rid of it and I was driving a beat-up 2001 Taurus. Glomming onto the Vue was a step up for me. (Note: I tend to be frugal...
by steve roy
Sun Apr 05, 2015 9:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 841
Views: 117463

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

Saw DreamWorks Animation's Home today. Light, enjoyable comedy. The vocal perfromances were all excellent, with a particular hat tip to Steve Martin.
by steve roy
Fri Apr 03, 2015 4:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Have P/E Ratios Affected Your Asset Allocation?
Replies: 52
Views: 2835

Re: Have P/E Ratios Affected Your Asset Allocation?

Not very much. I have an Asset Allocation and I contribute money to it as I have money. I focus more on costs of investments than the P/E of investments. That said, I could see shifting out of some assets and into others if there was a BIG opportunity. (This might include shifting from 30/70 to 35/6...
by steve roy
Thu Apr 02, 2015 5:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Did you learn anything from 2008?
Replies: 105
Views: 9045

Re: Did you learn anything from 2008?

There will be a time when the market crashes and doesn't recover. I would caution against the "I knew all along it would come right back" line of thinking. No one knew at the time anything of the sort. While I agree that no one can know that a market will come right back, is it not also t...
by steve roy
Thu Apr 02, 2015 5:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Did you learn anything from 2008?
Replies: 105
Views: 9045

Re: Did you learn anything from 2008?

There will be a time when the market crashes and doesn't recover. I would caution against the "I knew all along it would come right back" line of thinking. No one knew at the time anything of the sort. I'm confident when the sun reaches its red star phase, the stock market will crash and ...
by steve roy
Tue Mar 31, 2015 1:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Total International Vs. Small Cap Intl
Replies: 15
Views: 1974

Re: Total International Vs. Small Cap Intl

Like livesoft, I split my foreign ho9ldings between large and small cap. I'm not an adherent to cap-weighted equity investments, but certainly many here invest in the big "Total Stock" indexes, and so buy the domestic or international market. Nothing wrong with it, it's simple and easy, bu...
by steve roy
Tue Mar 31, 2015 1:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Balanced Portfolio - Help Identifying Problems
Replies: 2
Views: 311

Re: Balanced Portfolio - Help Identifying Problems

Looks pretty good to me. I wouldn't re-balance so often, but if it's not a problem it likely won't hurt. I would probably own 60% global, rather than 50%. But these at nit-picks. At the last Bogleheads conference (in PA), a lot of the experts thought that constant, even yearly re-balancing wasn't re...
by steve roy
Tue Mar 31, 2015 12:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How many of you invest in individual stocks?
Replies: 70
Views: 5276

Re: How many of you invest in individual stocks?

Did. Don't now.

The Mrs. DOES have individual stocks. She's owned a chunk of Disney stock for years and years, and plans on continuing to own it.

Me, I bailed out of individual stocks in mid-2008, when I detected a tidal wave on the horizon. Haven't owned anything but mutual funds since.
by steve roy
Mon Mar 30, 2015 11:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Did you learn anything from 2008?
Replies: 105
Views: 9045

Re: Did you learn anything from 2008?

What did I (re)learn?

Don't freak out.
by steve roy
Sun Mar 29, 2015 11:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Weird situation with active vs. index
Replies: 12
Views: 1293

Re: Weird situation with active vs. index

Me, I'd go with the Mid Cap Index, since it's as inexpensive an anything.

Maybe some of these funds will come down in cost as time goes on.
by steve roy
Sun Mar 29, 2015 10:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Weird situation with active vs. index
Replies: 12
Views: 1293

Re: Weird situation with active vs. index

Understand why your husband's 401(k) Plan has high-cost index funds: The funds aren't expensive to run, but the Plan is (likely) getting money back from the Plan administrator on the spread. This money pays for the costs of running the plan. My thought: These high-price index funds won't necessarily...
by steve roy
Sun Mar 29, 2015 10:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investment/Retirement advice
Replies: 8
Views: 991

Re: Investment/Retirement advice

To get it done quick, just dump the money in a Target Date or Life Strategy fund. You can sort the money into different individual funds later, after they're built up. The main thing is to get in under the wire, THEN fine tune.
by steve roy
Sun Mar 29, 2015 4:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investment/Retirement advice
Replies: 8
Views: 991

Re: Investment/Retirement advice

The way the Mrs. and I do it, we First fund our 401(k)s. Next fund the Roth IRAs. Next fund investment accounts consisting of index funds and tax exempt bond funds. (We slice and dice, employing a small cap value tilt.) Finally we feed a money market fund, but truth to tell more weekly cash flow goe...
by steve roy
Sat Mar 28, 2015 12:05 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard FTSE All-World ex-US Small-Cap ETF
Replies: 17
Views: 3041

Re: Vanguard FTSE All-World ex-US Small-Cap ETF

I've owned this ETF for some time. It's half of my foreign asset allocation, and I'm fine with it. I'll be purchasing more over the next two years. A lot more.
by steve roy
Fri Mar 27, 2015 7:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard's Week In Review
Replies: 19
Views: 2201

Re: Vanguard's Week In Review

I would look at this:

http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/

Bill McBride has great charts and lots of down-the-middle analysis. But there are plenty of places to get analysis and reporting. I guess you just choose your flavor, and go.
by steve roy
Fri Mar 27, 2015 1:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard Problems [Account transactions]
Replies: 22
Views: 3276

Re: Vanguard Problems

Vanguard products are great, their customers service reminds me of Walmart. The way I have dealt with this is by increasingly using Fidelity. When I was looking to open a Solo 401K there was a stark difference between the two. To be honest I felt like Vanguard didn't care if they got my business or...
by steve roy
Thu Mar 26, 2015 6:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Automatic investing in to VG mutual funds
Replies: 12
Views: 1315

Re: Automatic investing in to VG mutual funds

I used to buy Wellesley with automated weekly purchases. My wife still does it. Never a problem.
by steve roy
Mon Mar 23, 2015 7:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Munis for Diversification?
Replies: 14
Views: 1425

Re: Munis for Diversification?

There's no 100% correct way to do it. If you run out of room in your tax-advantaged space, then use Munis. I do. But if you can jam your bonds into IRAs and 401(K)s and place equities on the investment side of your portfolio, that's okay too. If you've got big retirement accounts with lots of bonds ...

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