Search found 180 matches

by understandingJH
Thu May 28, 2015 5:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cost of a "free" PhD program is around half a million? How does anyone afford this?
Replies: 91
Views: 6824

Re: Cost of a "free" PhD program is around half a million? How does anyone afford this?

However, the OP was benchmarking PhD to people with just BS. I don't know about BS-only careers, but statistically a good chunk of them never hit 6 figures, whereas for almost all professional degrees you will hit 6 figures, and it's only a matter of time whether you reach it early career or mid ca...
by understandingJH
Thu May 28, 2015 10:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cost of a "free" PhD program is around half a million? How does anyone afford this?
Replies: 91
Views: 6824

Re: Cost of a "free" PhD program is around half a million? How does anyone afford this?

Thanks and that's a good point. I am aware of data science being a superset of fields that includes bioinformatics sharing similar skills. That indeed is an option. Did you take Andrew Ng's Coursera class on machine learning by the way?
by understandingJH
Thu May 28, 2015 10:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cost of a "free" PhD program is around half a million? How does anyone afford this?
Replies: 91
Views: 6824

Re: Cost of a "free" PhD program is around half a million? How does anyone afford this?

What made you decide in your 30s that a PhD is what you want to do? Why didn't you go to college after high school? You are in a field (programming) where skills are valued on the job market more than academic qualifications. I think your best option is to continue as a programmer, but work on bioi...
by understandingJH
Thu May 28, 2015 7:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cost of a "free" PhD program is around half a million? How does anyone afford this?
Replies: 91
Views: 6824

Re: Cost of a "free" PhD program is around half a million? How does anyone afford this?

Wow, many more comments than I expected on this thread. Thank you all for taking the time out of your busy schedules to respond. I think more details about my situation would be helpful. I agree that monetizing everything isn't a good idea, including a PhD, at least as the sole decision factor. Nisi...
by understandingJH
Wed May 27, 2015 3:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cost of a "free" PhD program is around half a million? How does anyone afford this?
Replies: 91
Views: 6824

Re: Cost of a "free" PhD program is around half a million? How does anyone afford this?

The increase in income is serious oversight in certain fields, e.g. psychology, were the BS/BA is worthless to the larger job market. In my case, my income is already higher than the median income would be for a researcher in the field I am interested in. BTW, the duration to graduation is extereme...
by understandingJH
Wed May 27, 2015 2:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cost of a "free" PhD program is around half a million? How does anyone afford this?
Replies: 91
Views: 6824

Re: Cost of a "free" PhD program is around half a million? How does anyone afford this?

Well, my daughter got her PhD last year. She had generous fellowship stipends (which is not too uncommon in STEM fields) and with her frugal habits (thanks to growing up in our house, I guess), she managed to save a pretty astonishing amount ($100K) during that time despite going to school in a HCO...
by understandingJH
Wed May 27, 2015 2:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cost of a "free" PhD program is around half a million? How does anyone afford this?
Replies: 91
Views: 6824

Re: Cost of a "free" PhD program is around half a million? How does anyone afford this?

My wife went into a phd program right out of grad school when she was 21. She completed the program in 4 years, college was free and was paid a stipend of around $30k. Her degree was in biology and she is now a scientist for the FDA. Not sure how its costing her half a million in potential earnings...
by understandingJH
Wed May 27, 2015 2:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cost of a "free" PhD program is around half a million? How does anyone afford this?
Replies: 91
Views: 6824

Re: Cost of a "free" PhD program is around half a million? How does anyone afford this?

... she managed to save a pretty astonishing amount ($100K) during that time despite going to school in a HCOL area with pretty expensive rents. (Roommates, home-cooking, thriftshop clothing, a CSA co-op share of fresh produce, biking everywhere--no car needed I can't imagine saving $100k on $30k a...
by understandingJH
Wed May 27, 2015 1:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cost of a "free" PhD program is around half a million? How does anyone afford this?
Replies: 91
Views: 6824

Cost of a "free" PhD program is around half a million? How does anyone afford this?

Many PhD programs can be free or at little cost (perhaps a thousand or two per year in fees, but free tuition) and with a stipend of around $20k to support yourself (though barely). Of course there are opportunity costs. For a person who already has a career the idea of grad school for a research jo...
by understandingJH
Mon Mar 30, 2015 1:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bond Interest - No Where to Go But Up?
Replies: 8
Views: 1264

Bond Interest - No Where to Go But Up?

http://www.vox.com/2015/2/5/7981461/negative-interest-rates-europe What prevents Bond rates from going negative in the US? Everyone expects interest rates to rise and are concerned about losing money in the process. Couldn't we also gain money if interest rates went to zero or below (from the rise i...
by understandingJH
Fri Mar 27, 2015 8:37 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Capitalism Distribution
Replies: 8
Views: 1360

The Capitalism Distribution

I found this really interesting and while some use this research to advocate trend-based active investing, I think it helps further make the case for index investing as you won't know going forward which 25% of stocks account for most of the market performance: The Capitalism Distribution
by understandingJH
Tue Oct 14, 2014 10:25 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Looming Corporate Bond Crash?
Replies: 4
Views: 687

Re: Looming Corporate Bond Crash?

If you are in or nearing retirement, you are fine having a large % of your fixed income portfolio with investment grade corporates. If you are young or under 45, you would probably want to be more in treasuries and increase your equities for more return. My retirement AA is 80% stocks. I'm not real...
by understandingJH
Tue Oct 14, 2014 10:18 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Looming Corporate Bond Crash?
Replies: 4
Views: 687

Looming Corporate Bond Crash?

NOTE: the reason for the title is the link at the end of this post About 2/5 of my emergency fund is in ST and IT investment grade bond funds. I use a tiered approach to my EF taking on increased risk and liquidity concerns to try to keep up with the CPI-U. Here are the yields for the various savin...
by understandingJH
Fri Oct 03, 2014 3:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: GDP, CPI - What to do if they aren't accurate?
Replies: 8
Views: 610

Re: GDP, CPI - Rigged?

If you have a passive, low cost portfolio and re-balance appropriately you don't really need to know these data as it relates to investing. All of these data are estimates based on sampling and are, therefore, subject to error.[/quote] I am taking a passive, low cost approach. I think the boglehead ...
by understandingJH
Fri Oct 03, 2014 3:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: GDP, CPI - What to do if they aren't accurate?
Replies: 8
Views: 610

Re: GDP, CPI - Rigged?

I don't get why this is labeled a conspiracy theory, which is often a derogatory word and is dismissive. The methods in which CPI and GDP are calculated many feel aren't accurate, same goes for unemployment. My use of the term rigged is imprecise, so I've fixed that with a word that is a better fit.
by understandingJH
Fri Oct 03, 2014 3:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: GDP, CPI - What to do if they aren't accurate?
Replies: 8
Views: 610

Re: GDP, CPI - Rigged?

I think discussing the by whom and for what falls off topic on these forums. I don't wish to turn this thread political. I was just mentioning that if one feels that these numbers are rigged, what is the best course of action?
by understandingJH
Fri Oct 03, 2014 2:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: GDP, CPI - What to do if they aren't accurate?
Replies: 8
Views: 610

GDP, CPI - What to do if they aren't accurate?

Suppose one doesn't trust the GDP and CPI figures seeing them as inaccurate, which economists like Paul Craig Roberts assert, or even Bill Gross with respects to the CPI. What does this mean with regards to our investment decisions? Are TIPs, nominal bonds, CDs, and savings accounts problematic if i...
by understandingJH
Wed Sep 24, 2014 10:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard: "529 accounts, not just for kids"
Replies: 4
Views: 797

Re: Vanguard: "529 accounts, not just for kids"

Considering that adults wouldn't have much of a time horizon to save for college for themselves (and thus probably would not want to invest in stocks), wouldn't the use of US Savings I-Bonds be better as the interest won't be taxed if used for education? Of course Vanguard wouldn't include that opti...
by understandingJH
Sat Sep 06, 2014 1:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Implications working additional job on Pension, SS, 401k
Replies: 6
Views: 560

Re: Implications working additional job on Pension, SS, 401k

I double checked, and in my state public employees do not pay into social security. Related to the 5-zeros in SS (if working 30 years), I would assume if I had 5-very low years (5-hour weeks with student pay at that!) in a pension plan, that also would hurt. I wonder if the added years of service, w...
by understandingJH
Sat Sep 06, 2014 12:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Implications working additional job on Pension, SS, 401k
Replies: 6
Views: 560

Implications working additional job on Pension, SS, 401k

A bit about my background before I get to my question: ⋅ I contribute up to the company match in my 401k ⋅ At the end of this year I'll have 49 social security credits (12 years of work @ 4 credits, plus 1 year of work @ 1 credit) ⋅ I have at least 30 more years to work...
by understandingJH
Thu Apr 17, 2014 10:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Short-term Bond Index Fund
Replies: 14
Views: 2637

Re: Short-term Bond Index Fund

In a taxable account, Limited-Term Tax-Exempt, has a SEC yield of 0.78 (25% tax bracket puts it on par with 1.04% savings account, but with the principal at risk of course). Short Term Bond Index is taxable with a slightly lower yield (0.76). Additionally, distribution yields of short term funds cur...
by understandingJH
Tue Apr 15, 2014 3:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why are total bond market funds so often recommended?
Replies: 52
Views: 5538

Re: Why are total bond market funds so often recommended?

Nice question. I'm looking forward to answers. I assume the reason is diversification as you have mortgage/asset backed, treasury, and corporate bonds. Also there is probably a historical competent for the recommendation as the aggregate bond index has been the standard "market index" (des...
by understandingJH
Tue Apr 15, 2014 1:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Almost out of time: Roth, Intrm Investment OR Intrm Bond Idx
Replies: 13
Views: 620

Re: Almost out of time: Roth, Intrm Investment OR Intrm Bond

Thanks for all your feedback. In the end, I decided to go with the intermediate-term investment grade fund.
by understandingJH
Tue Apr 15, 2014 10:40 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Almost out of time: Roth, Intrm Investment OR Intrm Bond Idx
Replies: 13
Views: 620

Re: Almost out of time: Roth, Intrm Investment OR Intrm Bond

If you need more time to study your options, just put your 2013 contribution in the Short term fund that you already own and take your time. There are no tax consequences to exchange to a different fund inside IRA accounts. IMO, for emergency funds return of your money is more important than return...
by understandingJH
Tue Apr 15, 2014 10:31 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Almost out of time: Roth, Intrm Investment OR Intrm Bond Idx
Replies: 13
Views: 620

Re: Almost out of time: Roth, Intrm Investment OR Intrm Bond

You mention that you have some "emergency" money in savings bonds. You might want to take a look at today's post on this thread re I bonds, and consider the possibility of buying bonds in May. If the calculation offered in that last post on May's new inflation-adjusted rate is correct, I ...
by understandingJH
Tue Apr 15, 2014 9:46 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Almost out of time: Roth, Intrm Investment OR Intrm Bond Idx
Replies: 13
Views: 620

Re: Almost out of time: Roth, Intrm Investment OR Intrm Bond

You are overanalyzing this. Either will be fine. You are talking about a $5500 investment. Perhaps, and I tend to do that often. That said, one reason I'm doing this is to better understand what I'm investing in instead of just comparing past performance. So the difference of a fund with much more ...
by understandingJH
Tue Apr 15, 2014 9:21 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Almost out of time: Roth, Intrm Investment OR Intrm Bond Idx
Replies: 13
Views: 620

Re: Almost out of time: Roth, Intrm Investment OR Intrm Bond

Also looking at morning star charts, aside from 2008/9, there isn't much difference between the interim-term bond index and the investment grade funds. What I do notice is that for the near future investment grade seems better because of lower duration, higher distribution (yeah I know it's backward...
by understandingJH
Mon Apr 14, 2014 2:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Almost out of time: Roth, Intrm Investment OR Intrm Bond Idx
Replies: 13
Views: 620

Re: Vanguard Interm Investment Grade or Interm Bond Index?

Didn't read it was a tax advantaged account. My emergency fund is in a taxable account. The reason for me doing this is I'd like to build a 12 month emergency fund, though at least 6-months would suffice. I'm right now at 5 months. I've been using tax-advantaged space as a place to park some of my ...
by understandingJH
Mon Apr 14, 2014 2:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Almost out of time: Roth, Intrm Investment OR Intrm Bond Idx
Replies: 13
Views: 620

Re: Vanguard Interm Investment Grade or Interm Bond Index?

imgritz wrote:Mine is in Vanguard Limited-Term Tax-Exempt Fund.


I have a little bit of my emergency fund in there too! But seeing this is a IRA purchase, it's hard to justify a tax exempt bond.
by understandingJH
Mon Apr 14, 2014 2:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Almost out of time: Roth, Intrm Investment OR Intrm Bond Idx
Replies: 13
Views: 620

Almost out of time: Roth, Intrm Investment OR Intrm Bond Idx

I'm looking to purchase as an emergency fund. I have a good portion of my emergency fund in a rewards checking account and a small portion in Savings Bonds. I put last years ROTH IRA contribution to Short Term Investment Grade. It managed to earn about 1.4%, not quite enough to keep up with inflatio...
by understandingJH
Thu Mar 27, 2014 11:40 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How much do I need? What's good enough?
Replies: 14
Views: 2610

How much do I need? What's good enough?

31 year horizon $29k already saved $80k income. $11-16.5k planned savings per year I don't expect my income to increase beyond inflation. I list a range for my savings per year because my expenses have gone up recently and I'm still building my emergency fund so I've been using my ROTH to capture ta...
by understandingJH
Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:21 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: John Hancock funds can't be found on morningstar?
Replies: 4
Views: 847

Re: John Hancock funds can't be found on morningstar?

I have some JH funds in my 401(k) and sometimes Morningstar has some trouble with them and later they seem to come back. Yahoo Finance can see that fund (JETSX). Also, JH has changed ticker symbols on me more than once so check with your plan to see if there's any updated info. Yeah, they changed t...
by understandingJH
Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:17 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: John Hancock funds can't be found on morningstar?
Replies: 4
Views: 847

Re: John Hancock funds can't be found on morningstar?

The VIT in JHVIT stands for "Variable Insurance Trust". Since it is an insurance product and not a security, that might be why you can't look it up on Morningstar. Even if you could look it up, you wouldn't learn much, as you're not actually invested directly JHVIT. You're invested in a &...
by understandingJH
Mon Aug 12, 2013 10:09 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: John Hancock funds can't be found on morningstar?
Replies: 4
Views: 847

John Hancock funds can't be found on morningstar?

I like checking the performance of my specific investments, and am used to going to morning star and plugging them in, such as JETSX (JHVIT Total Stock Market Index I). But now Morningstar acts like it can't find the tickler, even though it's listed on this page: http://quote.morningstar.com/TickerL...
by understandingJH
Thu Aug 08, 2013 2:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Community Sourced Capital
Replies: 1
Views: 219

Community Sourced Capital

Community Sourced Capital

How would investing money like that work? Where would one's return be? If the return is an improved community, how would you prevent incurring an overall financial loss (and ignoring inflation) when inevitably some of the business would fail?
by understandingJH
Tue Jul 09, 2013 11:46 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: SEC yeild going up, Distribution Yeild still going down?
Replies: 3
Views: 455

SEC yeild going up, Distribution Yeild still going down?

Can someone explain to me why the distribution yield is going down even though the SEC is going up? (for example on limited term tax exempt). Also, if the distribution yield is still going down, then why is the NAV dropping? Is the NAV based on the SEC only? The SEC has gone up by about ~25bps since...
by understandingJH
Thu Jun 20, 2013 8:03 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Classical vs Behavioral Economics - Market Efficency?
Replies: 9
Views: 529

Classical vs Behavioral Economics - Market Efficency?

Quick question, the efficient market hypothesis, this stems from classical (rational) economic model right? If behavioral economics is a better model, does that call into question the efficient market hypothesis? There is a lot written on behavioral economics, and I just finished Dan Ariely's class ...
by understandingJH
Tue Apr 09, 2013 11:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Emergency Fund in Roth IRA
Replies: 4
Views: 886

Re: Emergency Fund in Roth IRA

I would avoid the short-term TIPS fund because you don't benefit from its inflation protection in the very low yield. The amount you can withdraw penalty-free from the Roth IRA in an emergency is equal to the dollar amount you contributed; thus, if there is 10% inflation, your $5500 in the TIPS fun...
by understandingJH
Tue Apr 09, 2013 9:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Emergency Fund in Roth IRA
Replies: 4
Views: 886

Re: Emergency Fund in Roth IRA

I updated my OP by the way. As far as how long, it probably will be under "emergency" status for about 1-2 years before it gets switched to "retirement."
by understandingJH
Tue Apr 09, 2013 9:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Emergency Fund in Roth IRA
Replies: 4
Views: 886

Emergency Fund in Roth IRA

So, I'm about to open a Roth for 2012 to store a portion of my emergency fund (with the intent to later switch it over to be retirement assets once I build back up cash funds in non tax advantaged space). I'm debating between the following choices (and welcome suggestions beyond my choices): Vanguar...
by understandingJH
Wed Feb 06, 2013 3:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: argument against indexing on morningstar...
Replies: 44
Views: 3481

Re: argument against indexing on morning star...

Being open-minded is great for mulling philosophical conjectures - but when it comes to spending/investing money, I prefer more concrete criterion. Much of the active vs. passive debate is pure strawman, but as someone starts pitching "Why settle for Vanguard's TSM when for a mere 1.5% more, y...
by understandingJH
Wed Feb 06, 2013 2:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Finally arrived: The Vanguard Total International Bond Fund
Replies: 187
Views: 26306

Re: Finally arrived: The Vanguard Total International Bond F

In other words, you either get extra risk for no return, or you can retune your portfolio and get the same risk but lower return. Extra risk is bad in itself . Extra risk may be worth it if you get extra return. Extra risk is not worth it if all it happens is that it "just evens out in the end...
by understandingJH
Wed Feb 06, 2013 1:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: argument against indexing on morningstar...
Replies: 44
Views: 3481

Re: argument against indexing on morning star...

I don't really see how this is a group think issue. There are countless studies that show over the long-term (decades) that active fund investing will lose to passive fund investing (after expenses, taxes, turn over etc.). Will there be a few active funds that do better? Yes. However, finding these...
by understandingJH
Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Global Investment Returns Yearbook 2013
Replies: 1
Views: 299

Re: Global Investment Returns Yearbook 2013

Lot's of interesting charts to look at and things to read. I looked at the Russian profile and realized that there are greater risks to markets than great depressions and Japan-style stagnation. Look at Russia: After the 1917 revolution, Russia ceased to be a market economy. We therefore distinguish...
by understandingJH
Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Finally arrived: The Vanguard Total International Bond Fund
Replies: 187
Views: 26306

Re: Finally arrived: The Vanguard Total International Bond F

Interesting news, as regards hedged vs. unhedged , I'll have to reread the Vanguard white paper. But I did take the PIMCO Global Bond Fund and compared the differences between the hedged (PGDAX ER 0.80) and unhedged (PADMX ER 0.80) share classes. To me it looks like hedged has less volatility and sl...
by understandingJH
Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:28 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: argument against indexing on morningstar...
Replies: 44
Views: 3481

Re: argument against indexing on morning star...

The answer to this seems obvious to me: on a dollar-weighted basis, the average dollar performs above average. Well duh! Funds with above-average returns grow faster than funds with below-average returns, so the number of absolute dollars will naturally grow larger in the higher-performing funds ov...
by understandingJH
Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:18 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: argument against indexing on morningstar...
Replies: 44
Views: 3481

Re: argument against indexing on morning star...

The article advocates selecting proven low cost funds that are well above average. For example, funds like Wellington, Contra, and Sequoia have very good long term records. Occasionally they may underperform but disciplined investors are unlikely to sell them then, if ever. The article emphasizes q...
by understandingJH
Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:54 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: argument against indexing on morningstar...
Replies: 44
Views: 3481

Re: argument against indexing on morning star...

Interesting perspective the author provides and I welcome hearing about other perspectives, information, and studies. I think here on this board we run a high risk for group-think, confirmation bias, and black and white thinking (i.e. low-cost index-based investing is the one-true religion of invest...
by understandingJH
Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: John Hancock 401K Fee Disclosure Still not Transparent!
Replies: 0
Views: 1523

John Hancock 401K Fee Disclosure Still not Transparent!

In my 401k they have an international index fund that used to have tickler JEIEX. Back last year they notified us that they were reducing the expense ratio by 1 basis point and the underlying fund was changing from JHVIT International Equity Index Trust A (Class I) [JEIEX], which no longer appears t...

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