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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
Wed Sep 24, 2014 11:25 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard: "529 accounts, not just for kids"
Replies: 4
Views: 701

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 2:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Implications working additional job on Pension, SS, 401k
Replies: 6
Views: 495

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
Sat Sep 06, 2014 1:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Implications working additional job on Pension, SS, 401k
Replies: 6
Views: 495

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
Thu Apr 17, 2014 11:43 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Short-term Bond Index Fund
Replies: 14
Views: 2246

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 4:03 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why are total bond market funds so often recommended?
Replies: 52
Views: 5347

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 2:08 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Almost out of time: Roth, Intrm Investment OR Intrm Bond Idx
Replies: 13
Views: 542

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 11:40 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Almost out of time: Roth, Intrm Investment OR Intrm Bond Idx
Replies: 13
Views: 542

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 11:31 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Almost out of time: Roth, Intrm Investment OR Intrm Bond Idx
Replies: 13
Views: 542

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 10:46 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Almost out of time: Roth, Intrm Investment OR Intrm Bond Idx
Replies: 13
Views: 542

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
Tue Apr 15, 2014 10:21 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Almost out of time: Roth, Intrm Investment OR Intrm Bond Idx
Replies: 13
Views: 542

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 3:35 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Almost out of time: Roth, Intrm Investment OR Intrm Bond Idx
Replies: 13
Views: 542

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 3:24 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Almost out of time: Roth, Intrm Investment OR Intrm Bond Idx
Replies: 13
Views: 542

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
Mon Apr 14, 2014 3:18 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Almost out of time: Roth, Intrm Investment OR Intrm Bond Idx
Replies: 13
Views: 542

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
Thu Mar 27, 2014 12:40 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How much do I need? What's good enough?
Replies: 14
Views: 2542

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 11:21 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: John Hancock funds can't be found on morningstar?
Replies: 4
Views: 646

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
Tue Aug 13, 2013 11:17 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: John Hancock funds can't be found on morningstar?
Replies: 4
Views: 646

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
Mon Aug 12, 2013 11:09 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: John Hancock funds can't be found on morningstar?
Replies: 4
Views: 646

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
Thu Aug 08, 2013 3:56 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Community Sourced Capital
Replies: 1
Views: 193

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
Tue Jul 09, 2013 12:46 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: SEC yeild going up, Distribution Yeild still going down?
Replies: 3
Views: 414

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
Thu Jun 20, 2013 9:03 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Classical vs Behavioral Economics - Market Efficency?
Replies: 9
Views: 467

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
Wed Apr 10, 2013 12:46 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Emergency Fund in Roth IRA
Replies: 4
Views: 581

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 10:39 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Emergency Fund in Roth IRA
Replies: 4
Views: 581

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
Tue Apr 09, 2013 10:17 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Emergency Fund in Roth IRA
Replies: 4
Views: 581

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 4:58 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: argument against indexing on morningstar...
Replies: 44
Views: 3306

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 3:40 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Finally arrived: The Vanguard Total International Bond Fund
Replies: 187
Views: 22685

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 2:38 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: argument against indexing on morningstar...
Replies: 44
Views: 3306

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 1:48 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Global Investment Returns Yearbook 2013
Replies: 1
Views: 262

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 1:24 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Finally arrived: The Vanguard Total International Bond Fund
Replies: 187
Views: 22685

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 10:28 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: argument against indexing on morningstar...
Replies: 44
Views: 3306

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 10:18 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: argument against indexing on morningstar...
Replies: 44
Views: 3306

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
Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:54 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: argument against indexing on morningstar...
Replies: 44
Views: 3306

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...
by understandingJH
Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:25 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: John Hancock 401K Fee Disclosure Still not Transparent!
Replies: 0
Views: 773

Re: I Wrecked The Rental Car

I use the Blue Cash Everyday card from AMEX and it offers this type of protection, they call it Premium Car Rental Protection. If you get that card you have to opt in for the car insurance feature. You will get charged $25 when you use your AMEX card at the rental agency. It is primary coverage, but...
by understandingJH
Mon Jan 28, 2013 3:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I Wrecked The Rental Car
Replies: 28
Views: 5507

Re: Credit card swipe fees start Sunday 1/27

Here is a study not necessarily on the specific issues discussed thus far, but it does have an interesting chart at the end about how CC companies make their money: 2001 for Visa and MasterCard: Interest 71% Interchange 14% Penalty Fees 7% Cash-Advance 5% Annual Fees 2% Enhancements 1% 1999 for AME...
by understandingJH
Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:47 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit card swipe fees start Sunday 1/27
Replies: 121
Views: 9428

Re: Credit card swipe fees start Sunday 1/27

Actually there are more negatives beyond the reward card holding bunch, see http://www.laweconcenter.org/images/articles/zywicki_interchange.pdf . Uh, you do realize that this study was paid for by Mastercard, don't you? And the problem with that is what exactly? In short, the study should stand on...
by understandingJH
Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:37 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit card swipe fees start Sunday 1/27
Replies: 121
Views: 9428

How did you do for 2012 Credit Card Rewards?

Last year there was a thread about this. Thought it might be fun. Here's mine: Chase Freedom: 4.8% ($69.10) Priceline Rewards: 2.0% ($421.54) <-- awesome I can put my rent on this and is my 'daily driver' of cards! Amex BCE: 1.9% ($56.48 ) Total Rewards: 2.1% ($547.12) Total Signup Bonus: $150 (Amex...
by understandingJH
Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How did you do for 2012 Credit Card Rewards?
Replies: 53
Views: 3911

Legal Separation, Taxes, and ROTH IRA contributions

How does having a legal separation (but not a divorce) affect one's taxes and IRA contributions? I've tried to research this and this is my understanding: Not legally separated = If make $10k or more cannot contribute to a ROTH if filling separately. Not legally separated = must file either jointly ...
by understandingJH
Mon Oct 29, 2012 1:30 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Legal Separation, Taxes, and ROTH IRA contributions
Replies: 4
Views: 720

Re: Vanguard changes how they manage municipal bond funds

Another except: While these changes don't signify a seismic shift in Vanguard's muni-investing philosophy, which retains its cautious streak, they're a welcome sign that the team is serious about competing as an active manager in the muni space and not just on costs. I don't know if this is good or ...
by understandingJH
Thu May 31, 2012 12:57 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard changes how they manage municipal bond funds
Replies: 3
Views: 677

Re: Short Term Saving Options - 14 Years Worth of Comparison

I think it is an interesting chart because this topic comes up quite frequently in the forum. Two points: 1. I think 14 years is to short a study. 2. I am surprised that I-Bonds didnt do well according to the chart. ( I dont have I bonds for emergency funds.). I agree it's a short study (but these ...
by understandingJH
Thu May 31, 2012 10:17 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Short Term Saving Options - 14 Years Worth of Comparisons
Replies: 2
Views: 437

Short Term Saving Options - 14 Years Worth of Comparisons

There has been some recent threads about where to park money for emergency and short (and mid?) term savings. I was curious about the performance between the following main categories. Since these are often not graphed all together, I decided to do just that. The categories are as follows: 1) Short ...
by understandingJH
Thu May 31, 2012 9:35 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Short Term Saving Options - 14 Years Worth of Comparisons
Replies: 2
Views: 437

Re: Vanguard Short Term Bond Fund for Emergency Fund?

Hmm. I initially avoided the idea of VFSTX due to the ~10% drop it had during part of 2008. But other than that, it looks fairly stable with the higher yield (even after tax as mentioned). Long-term though (10+ years) it's return has been almost exactly on par with VBISX.
by understandingJH
Tue May 29, 2012 11:20 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Short Term Bond Fund for Emergency Fund?
Replies: 24
Views: 2760

Re: Vanguard Short Term Bond Fund for Emergency Fund?

I think Limited-Term Tax Exempt would be a better alternative for an emergency fund than Short Term Bond as currently , the former is yielding more, it's dividends are tax exempt, and it's duration is a tiny bit less. Even for the the 15% bracket, its had higher tax-equivalent yield for the last 2 y...
by understandingJH
Tue May 29, 2012 9:28 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Short Term Bond Fund for Emergency Fund?
Replies: 24
Views: 2760

TIPS & LTT - Both used to zig when stocks zag, not anymore

Due to the flight-to-safety effect, LTT are negatively correlated to stocks (notice the alternating periods of zig for zag denoted by green/red zones on the graph). TIPS used to be similar, but since 2008/9 have seemed to loose this negative correlation (see dotted line). I realize correlations can ...
by understandingJH
Thu May 17, 2012 3:16 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TIPS & LTT - Both used to zig when stocks zag, not anymore
Replies: 19
Views: 1350

Tax Loss Harvesting Muni funds w/ Specific Share ID

I know that municipal bond funds have a 6 month rule for tax loss harvesting and that having reinvested dividends is problematic as it keeps resetting the 6 month period. The rule being something like you cannot claim all of the tax loss if you held the fund (or shares?) for less than 6 months and e...
by understandingJH
Sun May 13, 2012 4:58 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax Loss Harvesting Muni funds w/ Specific Share ID
Replies: 9
Views: 572

Re: SEC Yield, Distribution Yield and NAV over 18 months

How did you get historic SEC Yield values? I have always wondered how they compared too. Thanks for starting this thread. I'm interested in the other comments it will receive.
by understandingJH
Wed Feb 29, 2012 5:31 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: SEC Yield, Distribution Yield and NAV over 18 months
Replies: 10
Views: 1514

Re: Small cap in Vanguard Total International?

You should also check whether your 401(k) fund tracks the all-country index or the EAFE index. The EAFE is more common; it is tracked by Vanguard Developed Markets Index, Fidelity Spartan International Index, and the TSP I fund. If you have an EAFE index, you may want to add an emerging markets fun...
by understandingJH
Wed Feb 29, 2012 9:16 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Small cap in Vanguard Total International?
Replies: 6
Views: 814

Re: Small cap in Vanguard Total International?

The index being tracked is MSCI ACWI IMI exUS (note the "IMI"). It includes small caps. Ah... somehow I missed that. Thank you! Do you think it matters much if one fund tracks the IMI version and another the non-IMI one (as in the case of my 401k fund)? Growth charts don't seem to make mu...
by understandingJH
Tue Feb 28, 2012 4:46 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Small cap in Vanguard Total International?
Replies: 6
Views: 814

Small cap in Vanguard Total International?

Why does VGTSX have 4% in small and 17% in mid-caps, when it's index being tracked (MSCI ACWI ex-US) has about 0% and 11% respectively? http://img843.imageshack.us/img843/7342/vgtsx.png My 401k has an international index tracking MSCI ACWI ex-US in the correct holding percentages. So why is vanguard...
by understandingJH
Tue Feb 28, 2012 4:29 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Small cap in Vanguard Total International?
Replies: 6
Views: 814

Re: Is the US market becoming the next Japan?

It does not appear to me from this chart that the S&P 500 and the Nikkei 225 are tracking very well. In my book, there is a big difference between being +50% and being -30%. That is for the entire chart. For nine years it looks like +60% and ~0%. Still a big difference to me. What am I missing?...
by understandingJH
Tue Feb 28, 2012 2:45 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is the US market becoming the next Japan?
Replies: 22
Views: 1873
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