Search found 223 matches

by Alchemist
Sun Oct 08, 2017 2:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Password Protection
Replies: 52
Views: 3127

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: 32204

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: 1712

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: 1207

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: 32204

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: 2031

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: 3963

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: 764

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: 3536

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: 6390

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: 32204

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: 6390

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: 32204

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: 32204

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: 1807

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: 1807

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: 2002

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: 6390

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: 82
Views: 67008

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: 2914

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: 1360

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: 2914

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: 5105

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: 5105

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...
by Alchemist
Tue Aug 01, 2017 12:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Has the "bond bubble" caused you to change your allocation?
Replies: 90
Views: 9882

Re: Has the "bond bubble" caused you to change your allocation?

I am at 90/10 so anything that bonds do will not have a huge impact on my current portfolio. With that said, my bond component is entirely in the TSP G Fund so my principle is guaranteed, and rising rates would be a good thing for the money that is in there. If I did not have access to the G Fund, I...
by Alchemist
Sat Jul 29, 2017 1:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which Credit Card Companies Do You Like?
Replies: 57
Views: 4336

Re: Which Credit Card Companies Do You Like?

I have been very happy with Amex since getting their Platinum card in 2013. It is now my primary card, with my only other card being a USAA cash back Visa (for the increasingly rare occasion someone doesn't take Amex). However, the Amex Platinum is not for everyone but as a frequent traveler for bot...
by Alchemist
Thu Jul 27, 2017 11:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: If you were under 30 and had $3000 to invest, what would you do?
Replies: 14
Views: 1305

Re: If you were under 30 and had $3000 to invest, what would you do?

Like the others said, VTSMX Vanguard Total Stock Index fund. When you get over $10k, upgrade to admiral shares.
by Alchemist
Fri Jul 21, 2017 10:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bogle is pro-SCV!
Replies: 36
Views: 4266

Re: Bogle is pro-SCV!

Given the lack of a published transcript, and Merriman's history of hyperbole, exaggerations, and potential mis-representations (see his articles on VTSAX for example...) I give little credence to his characterization of the discussion. I know he is well thought of by many Bogleheads and I do not me...
by Alchemist
Sat Jul 15, 2017 9:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is now time to move into international stocks?
Replies: 57
Views: 7003

Re: Is now time to move into international stocks?

Do not market time, it is a losers game. You should determine what international allocation you want over the next few decades and then stay the course.

I am 100% U.S. and have no plans on changing.
by Alchemist
Sat Jul 15, 2017 9:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 90:10 AA - what don't you believe about it?
Replies: 101
Views: 7535

Re: 90:10 AA - what don't you believe about it?

I am at 90/10 but I do not think that is appropriate for everyone. I don't even think it is likely to be appropriate for me when I am closer to retirement. The reason I hold it is that the entire idea is to have a larger portfolio when I retire than if I had a lower risk AA. But I balance the increa...
by Alchemist
Fri Jul 14, 2017 8:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How are folks handling the unprecedented rise in the market ?
Replies: 166
Views: 18757

Re: How are folks handling the unprecedented rise in the market ?

I'm just standing here, doing nothing. Well nothing different anyway. Continuing my normal monthly contributions to investment accounts as I always have.
by Alchemist
Fri Jul 07, 2017 2:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: J. Clements' Perspective: Past Perfect, Future Tense
Replies: 21
Views: 2951

Re: J. Clements' Perspective: Past Perfect, Future Tense

I have two issues with the premise of the article. The first is the assumption that P/E will collapse to a 1960's level. Far fewer people, as a percentage of the population, were invested in stocks back then. With the advent of the 401(k) and easy to use brokerage services the number of people inves...
by Alchemist
Fri Jul 07, 2017 2:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Recent absence of advantage for the "classic factors strategy"
Replies: 17
Views: 1506

Re: Recent absence of advantage for the "classic factors strategy"

P.S. To my eyeball, the key period is 2000-2002. During that period of time, a number of asset classes went up while the stock market was going down, REITs and small value in particular. This period of time "made" the reputation of these asset classes as diversifiers, but the feat has not been repe...
by Alchemist
Fri Jul 07, 2017 9:57 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth TSP - Worth it?
Replies: 15
Views: 1544

Re: Roth TSP - Worth it?

While I am generally a fan of the Roth TSP, in your case it probably is not the best route. Rolling over your old 401(k) to a Vanguard Roth IRA is what I would recommend. The Trad/Roth mixing rules of the TSP do not make much sense, and I am grateful that the Roth TSP option was available when I sta...
by Alchemist
Tue Jul 04, 2017 9:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bogleheads: you should be buying 10-year old cars
Replies: 173
Views: 14542

Re: Bogleheads: you should be buying 10-year old cars

This is absurd, about "no one advocating buying a..." luxury car, if one is referring to one's self, and one has the money and preference for it. Here we go *again* with the judgmental attitude about decisions that others make. IF someone can afford it (medical/housing/retirement/etc., is taken car...
by Alchemist
Fri Jun 30, 2017 12:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can you share some of your financial goals?
Replies: 69
Views: 8331

Re: Can you share some of your financial goals?

Maybe not low when taking into account all those other things. I guess you are keeping your finances separate from your husband in this scenario? Oh no not at all. But we just got married a month ago so we are still intertwining our financial lives (he is a Japanese citizen with most his assets in ...
by Alchemist
Thu Jun 29, 2017 8:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can you share some of your financial goals?
Replies: 69
Views: 8331

Re: Can you share some of your financial goals?

1. Have a net worth of $1 million by the time I retire from the military at age 42 (I'm currently 30 with 8 years of active duty service as an officer) It will allow me and my husband to have the flexibility to do whatever we want for the next phase of our life. We have no interest in actual early ...
by Alchemist
Wed Jun 28, 2017 9:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does Jack Bogle have a conundrum on his hands?
Replies: 63
Views: 4758

Re: Does Jack Bogle have a conflict of interest?

Some Boglehead's seem to have a very high opinion of Merriman but anything I have see of him is, well, someone else already said it better:
triceratop wrote: None of this means that Jack Bogle has a conflict of interest which seems highly dubious to me, and almost offensive.
Emphasis mine.
by Alchemist
Wed Jun 28, 2017 9:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can you share some of your financial goals?
Replies: 69
Views: 8331

Re: Can you share some of your financial goals?

1. Have a net worth of $1 million by the time I retire from the military at age 42 (I'm currently 30 with 8 years of active duty service as an officer) It will allow me and my husband to have the flexibility to do whatever we want for the next phase of our life. We have no interest in actual early r...
by Alchemist
Wed Jun 28, 2017 9:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any Reason to Stay With USAA?
Replies: 21
Views: 1836

Re: Any Reason to Stay With USAA?

I love USAA for banking and insurance. For investments? It is important to keep in mind that their investment service is actually run by.....Fidelity. So you can buy/sell Fidelity funds/etfs cost free. I have my Roth IRA at USAA but it is entirely invested in a Fidelity fund (FUSVX). I may one day ...
by Alchemist
Tue Jun 27, 2017 2:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any Reason to Stay With USAA?
Replies: 21
Views: 1836

Re: Any Reason to Stay With USAA?

I love USAA for banking and insurance. For investments? It is important to keep in mind that their investment service is actually run by.....Fidelity. So you can buy/sell Fidelity funds/etfs cost free. I have my Roth IRA at USAA but it is entirely invested in a Fidelity fund (FUSVX). I may one day m...
by Alchemist
Wed Jun 14, 2017 7:26 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Larry Swedroe: Persistence Of The Value Premium
Replies: 47
Views: 5652

Re: Larry Swedroe: Persistence Of The Value Premium

I think "factor crowding" and just the fact that the big boys (ie institutional investors, hedge funds) aren't going to let any factor "premium" exist for public consumption explains why these factors have not been obtainable for the common investor. DFA came about in the early 90s, great timing, t...
by Alchemist
Wed Jun 14, 2017 7:18 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Roth 401k > Traditional 401k
Replies: 58
Views: 4041

Re: Roth 401k > Traditional 401k

I think coming up with a general recommendation for Roth vs Traditional is a bit of a fools errand. The tax code is so complex that each persons individual circumstance may dictate very different recommendations. With that said, I think a Roth has one significant advantage over Traditional that has ...
by Alchemist
Sun Jun 11, 2017 8:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bogle Doubles Down on US Index Funds
Replies: 118
Views: 15716

Re: Bogle Doubles Down on US Index Funds

I for one am with Bogle on this. I am a U.S. only investor and the main reason for that has not yet been mentioned in this thread. The world is exposed to U.S. black swans, infact some parts of the world suffer worse than the U.S. itself when there is an American black swan event like the Financial ...
by Alchemist
Mon Jun 05, 2017 7:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: USAA's New (Irritating) Security Protocol
Replies: 19
Views: 1989

Re: USAA's New (Irritating) Security Protocol

Also as a reminder to everyone, if you do not adhere to the cyber security policies of your financial institutions then you are not covered for losses in the event a criminal gains access to your accounts. That goes for banks, investment firms, credit cards, ect Not sure this an acurate statement. ...
by Alchemist
Mon Jun 05, 2017 6:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: USAA's New (Irritating) Security Protocol
Replies: 19
Views: 1989

Re: USAA's New (Irritating) Security Protocol

I would be upset if they didn't use 2FA. Infact I'm very thankful USAA goes a step further and offers options beyond SMS 2FA which has known vulnerabilities. I get my one time codes via an app on my phone that generates new ones every 30 seconds. You do realize the bad guys are getting better at cra...
by Alchemist
Sun May 28, 2017 5:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Second Thoughts on Whole Life Insurance <1 Year into it - Advice???
Replies: 52
Views: 4044

Re: Second Thoughts on Whole Life Insurance <1 Year into it - Advice???

Here is what you should do: Step 1: Fire your "Financial Advisor"....they aren't one if they recommended this. As Nate79 has pointed out, they are infact just as slimy salesman trying to rip you off. Step 2: Cancel the Whole Life policy IMMEDIATELY. The fact that you will have paid thousands of doll...
by Alchemist
Mon May 22, 2017 7:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: To auto loan or not to auto loan?
Replies: 23
Views: 1783

Re: To auto loan or not to auto loan?

Cash, hands down. Using debt to buy consumer goods changes the psychology around your decision making. A car payment 'feels' less than just writing a $45k check. It makes the friction of purchasing smaller by making the upfront psychological pain less (this also makes the sales person's job of up-se...
by Alchemist
Tue May 16, 2017 12:41 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Tilting: Will lowered contextual risk of factors eventually eliminate the risk premium?
Replies: 8
Views: 895

Re: Tilting: Will lowered contextual risk of factors eventually eliminate the risk premium?

I think the more important question, and the real risk in this discussion, is what if the SCV premium never shows up in your investing lifetime? Then you are left with far less money (smaller equity position, higher costs, underperformance) at the time when you need it. That is the real risk worth c...
by Alchemist
Tue May 16, 2017 12:37 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: NBC WB interview on Jack Bogle
Replies: 13
Views: 1804

Re: NBC WB interview on Jack Bogle

I think Warren Buffet just happens to like the S&P 500 because he knows exactly what is in it, vice a number of Total Market indices. I kind of agree, I've mentioned before that I just split the difference. My taxable account owns Total Market via VTSAX as it is more tax efficient. My Roth TSP/I...