Search found 249 matches

by Alchemist
Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Paul Merriman and Small Cap Value
Replies: 137
Views: 14803

Re: Paul Merriman and Small Cap Value

No worries. I didn't mean it to sound like I was jumping on you. It was just that I hear the phrase "willing to accept a decade or more of underperformance" so often in conjunction with SCV that I wanted to investigate it and see if it was true. It's not. (Before anybody else points it out ... it h...
by Alchemist
Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Don't make the mistake I made (Telemarketing hell)
Replies: 67
Views: 8602

Re: Don't make the mistake I made (Telemarketing hell)

Most cellphone carrier's will automatically block many of these calls, but only if you activate the feature on your plan. It is free, but not on by default. I have T-Mobile and this year my spam calls got out of control (multiples a day). I activated the scam call blocking feature on my cellphone ab...
by Alchemist
Thu May 24, 2018 11:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Theory: Total World Index a Sure Fire Win [VT/VTWSX]
Replies: 155
Views: 12823

Re: Theory: Total World Index a Sure Fire Win [VT/VTWSX]

I would say that the biggest flaw in the OP's theory is that investing across the world vs investing just in the U.S. is a frictionless difference. Adding international is not equivalent to simply adding more companies to a broader index like the shift from the S&P 500 to TSM. You are adding new cur...
by Alchemist
Tue Apr 24, 2018 12:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Structuring Newlywed Finances for Fairness and Less Arguments
Replies: 84
Views: 6516

Re: Structuring Newlywed Finances for Fairness and Less Arguments

I think it is important to realize that there is not necessarily one answer for how marital finances have to be managed or structured. In my case, when me and my husband were married (about a year ago now) we took a 'burn the ships' approach where we disclosed then merged everything possible (IRAs o...
by Alchemist
Sun Mar 11, 2018 7:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Torn between Vanguard, Fidelity and Schwab
Replies: 171
Views: 19368

Re: Torn between Vanguard, Fidelity and Schwab

Not to be picky but when I say complex password, I mean a combination of special characters (@#%^^#$) and alpha numeric characters. If you want a strong password, you need this. I agree...Fidelity allows you to use up to 20 characters including uppercase, lower case, numbers, and special characters...
by Alchemist
Sun Mar 11, 2018 7:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity and online passwords.
Replies: 31
Views: 1993

Re: Fidelity and online passwords.

You can also just set up Voice Print verification for phone access. It removes the need to type in a password via the phone.
by Alchemist
Mon Mar 05, 2018 10:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Torn between Vanguard, Fidelity and Schwab
Replies: 171
Views: 19368

Re: Torn between Vanguard, Fidelity and Schwab

I mainly use Vanguard and Schwab but have had Fidelity. Schwab is my favorite for two reasons, low cost funds and 2 factor authentication. I use a key bob with random numbers to login. Fidelity does not even allow complex passwords. I would certainly prefer two-factor authentication, but my Fidelit...
by Alchemist
Sun Mar 04, 2018 11:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Finally get it, Step 2 - Get rid of FA at Fidelity?
Replies: 65
Views: 4739

Re: Finally get it, Step 2 - Get rid of FA at Fidelity?

A lot of folks on Bogleheads forums recommend Fidelity over Vanguard for the supposedly better online access, IT services, tax forms processing time etc etc. The only reason mutual fund industry has started offering low cost index funds is due to the pioneering and untiring work by Vanguard. This i...
by Alchemist
Sun Mar 04, 2018 11:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Study: Population Aging and Real Interest Rates, 1960-2060
Replies: 22
Views: 3339

Re: Study: Population Aging and Real Interest Rates, 1960-2060

I'm not sure this is accurate. I don't know that people really agree on the definition of "large economy" but if we look at the top 10% of countries by GDP -- the ones that are bigger than 90% of the world -- these are the ones that are both large economies and growing labor force: US, China, Unite...
by Alchemist
Sat Mar 03, 2018 12:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Study: Population Aging and Real Interest Rates, 1960-2060
Replies: 22
Views: 3339

Re: Study: Population Aging and Real Interest Rates, 1960-2060

My feeling is that, in theory, demographics should be be a major driver of interest rates. However, in practice, I believe there are other factors that can swamp the demographic effects. I do not know if they are enough to swamp the effects, but certainly become a significant factor. For instance, ...
by Alchemist
Sat Mar 03, 2018 12:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Finally get it, Step 2 - Get rid of FA at Fidelity?
Replies: 65
Views: 4739

Re: Finally get it, Step 2 - Get rid of FA at Fidelity?

I have $453,639 in a tax-deferred IRA at Fidelity managed by a FA who charges a 1%, I listed all the investments below. Sooo it is the same concept, I am paying too many fees at Fidelity too. Finally getting it, not sure what took so long. I was hoping the folks on this board could weigh in on what...
by Alchemist
Mon Feb 26, 2018 10:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Larry Swedroe: What Investors Should Worry About
Replies: 118
Views: 10945

Re: Larry Swedroe: What Investors Should Worry About

How can anyone, particularly on a Bogleheads forum, take seriously the advice to buy mutual funds with 1.5%-2.69% Expense Ratios?

Costs matter.

Isn't the obvious, low cost, diversification for interest rate/inflation risks to buy CD ladders and/or TIPS?
by Alchemist
Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard site is crashed now?
Replies: 188
Views: 16397

Re: Vanguard site is crashed now?

My question is why so many Bogleheads were trying to login today? I understand why the unwashed masses logged in, but I thought Bogleheads were better than that. If you have an appropriate allocation there is no need to login today, or tomorrow, or next week. Just a few times a year should be plent...
by Alchemist
Sat Feb 03, 2018 1:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: John Bogle and Japanese Stock market.
Replies: 33
Views: 3242

Re: John Bogle and Japanese Stock market.

And the stock market does not know this? You've seen something that the world's investors, in a world of globally mobile capital, have not seen? Perhaps it does know this, and it is why the valuations for Europe and Developed Asian markets are noticeably lower than for the U.S. market...just a thou...
by Alchemist
Tue Jan 30, 2018 11:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Any recommendations on transferring to Vanguard?
Replies: 10
Views: 1316

Re: Any recommendations on transferring to Vanguard?

It may be worth calling Fidelity or Schwab to ask if you could sell them without a fee if you transfer to them. Even if it is not normally their policy, in order to get your business they may let you do so. The advantage of flexibility which Vanguard lacks. Vanguard funds are great, but they are not...
by Alchemist
Sat Jan 27, 2018 9:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I don't think my lady is very good at saving money, how do I handle?
Replies: 50
Views: 4092

Re: I don't think my lady is very good at saving money, how do I handle?

If you guys are not married, then you are only asking for trouble by mingling any of your money anyway. Until you get married, you and her can spend your incomes however you want. If you really want a joint financial future; there is a ceremony for that (usually associated with rings and cake) :wink...
by Alchemist
Wed Jan 24, 2018 10:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Still using a 5 year old iphone 5. Who's with me? No new phones!!!
Replies: 151
Views: 9674

Re: Still using a 5 year old iphone 5. Who's with me? No new phones!!!

Keeping a phone until it runs out of OS/Security updates is perfectly fine and a frugal thing to do. Keeping it past that time is pound foolish. So much critical info about our daily lives, and financial lives, are on or go through our phones. Keeping the security software up to date is crucial for ...
by Alchemist
Mon Jan 22, 2018 9:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Brokerage Account Change to Fidelity - Pros and Cons
Replies: 20
Views: 1356

Re: Brokerage Account Change to Fidelity - Pros and Cons

I moved from Vanguard to Fidelity. In my Roth IRA I just invest in Fido's index funds, and in taxable I have a mix of Vanguard and iShares ETFs. I can say that I have been very happy with the move, which was motivated by some customer service/IT issues at Vanguard. I have called a couple times with ...
by Alchemist
Sun Jan 21, 2018 7:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone at Goldman Sachs/Marcus bank 1.5%?
Replies: 41
Views: 6634

Re: Anyone at Goldman Sachs/Marcus bank 1.5%?

Anybody have an opinion on AMEX at 1.35%? I have had a savings account with them for several years (its where I stash my car fund money). They have no minimum balance requirements and they automatically increase the rates as they become available with easy transfers to/from my checking account at a...
by Alchemist
Sun Jan 21, 2018 6:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What unexpected emergencies require sizeable emergency cash funds available immediately in a checking account?
Replies: 95
Views: 8694

Re: What unexpected emergencies require sizeable emergency cash funds available immediately in a checking account?

Is it really the case that the military do not get paid during a shutdown, as in, it either happened to you or someone who's account you trust? As a matter of fact it is happening right now. During the last shutdown in 2013, a special bill was passed specifically to fund military payroll. No such b...
by Alchemist
Sun Jan 21, 2018 1:07 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What's your U.S. : International ratio?
Replies: 213
Views: 38146

Re: What's your U.S. : International ratio?

100% U.S.

When Buffet and Bogle agree on something; it is hard to disagree with them. Demographics and geopolitical considerations seal the deal for me.

It has worked out over my investing lifetime thus far, we shall see if that continues to be the case (I'm 30).
by Alchemist
Sat Jan 20, 2018 8:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What unexpected emergencies require sizeable emergency cash funds available immediately in a checking account?
Replies: 95
Views: 8694

Re: What unexpected emergencies require sizeable emergency cash funds available immediately in a checking account?

As someone who works for the Federal government (military officer), I can say a Government Shutdown. I will probably get paid at the end of the month.....but there is no underestimating, shall we say, unpredictable events in the nations capital. Thankfully I keep three months of expenses in a saving...
by Alchemist
Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Taxable Dilemma: Fidelity Mutual vs Vanguard ETF
Replies: 12
Views: 1313

Re: Taxable Dilemma: Fidelity Mutual vs Vanguard ETF

I am a former Vanguard brokerage customer currently at Fidelity. I had a large taxable position in VTI that came along when I moved to Fidelity. After thinking it over, I decided I preferred the simplicity of keeping the same ETF instead of adding ITOT or worrying about the tax efficiency of FTSVX (...
by Alchemist
Mon Jan 01, 2018 2:27 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What are you up YTD? [Year To Date]
Replies: 1857
Views: 340145

Re: What are you up YTD? [Year To Date]

21.27%

I am 90/10, All U.S. 'two fund' portfolio....more than two actual funds but everything is split Total U.S. index funds and 10% bonds/cash (split between savings account and AGG ETF)
by Alchemist
Fri Nov 24, 2017 7:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: if you could use only 1 investment firm...
Replies: 79
Views: 5953

Re: if you could use only 1 investment firm...

Fidelity I consolidated all my investments outside of the TSP into Fidelity earlier this year and when I retire from the military I will likely roll most/all my TSP into my Roth IRA at Fidelity. Their website and app are excellent (including their security options), as is their customer service. Add...
by Alchemist
Sun Oct 08, 2017 2:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Password Protection
Replies: 83
Views: 7544

Re: Password Protection

There are different kinds of risk that must be weighed against each other when making cyber security choices. In the case of password managers, everyone should have one. The only real discussion point to me is whether or not to have one with cloud backup/sync capability. Personally I have decided th...
by Alchemist
Thu Sep 21, 2017 8:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Customer Service
Replies: 301
Views: 36991

Re: Vanguard Customer Service

Just a couple of additional thoughts on this. With the millions of people who have accounts at Vanguard, there will of course be thousands of stories like mine or others who have encountered customer service issues. Given that investment companies like Vanguard hold the majority of individual's weal...
by Alchemist
Wed Sep 20, 2017 4:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Please help with evaluation of whole life and term from Northwest mutual.
Replies: 18
Views: 1983

Re: Please help with evaluation of whole life and term from Northwest mutual.

Not to beat up the OP with the math, but just for demonstration for anyone else reading this thread I ran some quick numbers Over three years the premiums cost $33,963. The current cash value is $18,890 which means that this policy cost 15,073 in fees! Compared to the term (worth twice as much cover...
by Alchemist
Wed Sep 20, 2017 4:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 5-6 wks. for IRA transfer, (expletive deleted)
Replies: 10
Views: 1528

Re: 5-6 wks. for IRA transfer, (expletive deleted)

This seems bizarre. I transferred my Roth IRA from USAA to Fidelity in less than a week. Is it because this is coming from a bank and not a brokerage?
by Alchemist
Wed Sep 20, 2017 4:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Customer Service
Replies: 301
Views: 36991

Re: Vanguard Customer Service

The customer service was good, but it also wasn't good because you had to go to a human interface to fix a problem that never, ever should have occurred in the first place. If you wander around on the web you read lots of instances where the real customer problem at all kinds of companies is inexpl...
by Alchemist
Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Military: Investing a Windfall in Expensive Market?
Replies: 16
Views: 2443

Re: Military: Investing a Windfall in Expensive Market?

First of all, well done on being a Boglehead and financially aware! I am a 30 year old Air Force Captain and was in a similar situation with similar goals three years ago. I am now at a networth or around $270k. It seemed like it took forever to reach $100k, but the next milestone arrived much faste...
by Alchemist
Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice Badly Needed---Meeting with Financial Advisor
Replies: 49
Views: 4712

Re: Advice Badly Needed---Meeting with Financial Advisor

Rudy is absolutely right, RUN DO NOT WALK away from this guy. He is not a financial advisor, he is an insurance salesman. He does not care about what investments are appropriate or beneficial for you, he just wants to earn sales commissions from selling you terrible products. Vanguard, among a few o...
by Alchemist
Thu Sep 14, 2017 6:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: AMEX app
Replies: 16
Views: 973

Re: AMEX app

It is a pretty good app, especially after a recent update a couple months ago. The vast majority of my interaction with my account (tracking purchases, paying my balance, ect) I do through the app. I pretty much only use the the website when booking travel.
by Alchemist
Thu Sep 14, 2017 6:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: US removing Kaspersky Antivirus from government computers
Replies: 38
Views: 4523

Re: US removing Kaspersky Antivirus from government computers

I am mainly a Mac/iOS person but my normal travel computer is a Surface Pro 3 since Windows plays nice with my work email/web applications. I have TrendMicro installed on that machine. I had assumed it was American since I knew they had offices in California. Turns out they are actually Japanese, ju...
by Alchemist
Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity Security
Replies: 66
Views: 8470

Re: Fidelity Security

I guess the way I see it is the VA adds some level of security, but given the process it isn't foolproof. Somebody would have to have a LOT of your information to be able to answer the questions they ask, but it isn't impossible. Like, say, all the information that Equifax knows about you? Or in my...
by Alchemist
Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Customer Service
Replies: 301
Views: 36991

Re: Vanguard Customer Service

But again I have to admit my own part in causing this issue in the first place. I wonder how many people have gone to a non-local bank in order to pick up a few basis points on their savings account or get some other kind of "special" credit card reward points. Given the problems that Alchemist des...
by Alchemist
Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity Security
Replies: 66
Views: 8470

Re: Fidelity Security

Can you elaborate? If someone steals your number, wouldn't you realize this fairly quickly as you would stop getting calls and texts? Also, if it's a two factor code from the past, and possibly somehow still in your text history somewhere, it would no longer be valid. Yes you are right that an old ...
by Alchemist
Tue Sep 12, 2017 9:23 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Customer Service
Replies: 301
Views: 36991

Re: Vanguard Customer Service

That is strange and inexcusable. As a point an investment account at USAA would not be with USAA FSB but rather with USAA Investment Management Company or similar. Here is a list of all the actual companies involved in the various products at USAA. Does your IRA statement really say USAA FSB? Inter...
by Alchemist
Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:49 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Customer Service
Replies: 301
Views: 36991

Re: Vanguard Customer Service

Just wanted to update this thread with some new info that might help some others with a similar issue. I had been trying to move my Roth IRA at USAA over to Vanguard for some time (more than a year and a half) but was told, over and over again, by Vanguard that I had to get a Medallion Signature Gua...
by Alchemist
Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:14 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: S&P500 ex-FAANGs
Replies: 26
Views: 2328

Re: S&P500 ex-FAANGs

Completely agree with your first point; however, considering the valuations of some of these companies, I'm concerned about mean reversion, which history also teaches That is certainly a good point, but there are two ways for valuations to mean revert. One is of course what everyone fears, the pric...
by Alchemist
Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:01 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: S&P500 ex-FAANGs
Replies: 26
Views: 2328

Re: S&P500 ex-FAANGs

This would seem to be a counter-historical way to invest to me. What I mean is that it is completely normal, IIRC, for a few companies in the S&P 500 index to account for almost all the gains. Which companies those happen to be, of course, changes through the years. Now its FANG, used to be somethin...
by Alchemist
Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Two Factor Authentication and One Time Passwords
Replies: 24
Views: 3104

Re: Two Factor Authentication and One Time Passwords

cell-phone hacking requires special hardware, i think. I usually select pin-code by sms but nothing is 100% secure Unfortunately, all it takes is some social engineering of your cell phone company. The hackers, as he tells it, had called up Verizon, impersonated him, and convinced the company to re...
by Alchemist
Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity Security
Replies: 66
Views: 8470

Re: Fidelity Security

I haven't signed up for the voice security as I am not sure whether it is more or less secure than password. It would be more secure if it requires both but I think it is using voice to replace password. I definitely think it is more secure than a password. The reason I say that is two fold. The fi...
by Alchemist
Tue Sep 05, 2017 10:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Experience selling car to Carmax?
Replies: 103
Views: 134183

Re: Experience selling car to Carmax?

During college I actually worked in their Car Buying department. First I have to say that Carmax was a wonderful company to work for, good pay/benefits and a very positive culture and atmosphere. Even as a part time worker going through college, everyone there treated me with respect and was common ...
by Alchemist
Tue Sep 05, 2017 10:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are you a "car guy" or "car gal", how do you fund?
Replies: 41
Views: 3794

Re: Are you a "car guy" or "car gal", how do you fund?

Shortest length of ownership (not car year) is 15 years. At time of purchase they were funded through discretionary income. DD is a late model Toyota 4 Runner. As another poster said, I do not consider a person in/out of late models every few years a car guy/gal. Why draw arbitrary lines of who is ...
by Alchemist
Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Moving in with my parents [how to handle financing]
Replies: 12
Views: 1740

Re: Moving in with my parents [how to handle financing]

This sounds like a very complex deal with lots of potential tax implications, you should consult a tax professional and probably an estate attorney before you do anything. I believe there is a way to have, basically, an 'early inheritence' where your parents can gift you money but that it counts aga...
by Alchemist
Mon Sep 04, 2017 5:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are you a "car guy" or "car gal", how do you fund?
Replies: 41
Views: 3794

Re: Are you a "car guy" or "car gal", how do you fund?

I love cars! I appreciate sports cars (and nice cars in general) of all sorts, but my favorite are American muscle cars. My first car was a 2000 Camaro, after that I got a 2005 Pontiac GTO. Had to sell the GTO when I moved to Japan for a few years, and while there I drove a 2003 Skyline. My current ...
by Alchemist
Fri Sep 01, 2017 5:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Demographic Headwinds for Stocks and Bonds?
Replies: 47
Views: 5896

Re: Demographic Headwinds for Stocks and Bonds?

A couple of reasons why greatly overweighting the U.S. market may not be such a good idea: The demographic advantage that the U.S. has today over other advanced and emerging economies is based solely on its higher immigration rates — and the somewhat higher fertility rates of these newcomers, as di...
by Alchemist
Wed Aug 30, 2017 4:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Demographic Headwinds for Stocks and Bonds?
Replies: 47
Views: 5896

Re: Demographic Headwinds for Stocks and Bonds?

Why is no one pointing out what seems, at least to me, the obvious actionable advice: overweight the U.S. in your portfolio. In most of the international investing threads I point to exactly this issue as one of the main reasons I am a U.S.-only investor. This issue is also one of the reasons I am c...