Search found 650 matches

by Alto Astral
Tue May 16, 2017 4:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Almost done saving for emergency fund...now what?
Replies: 8
Views: 1030

Re: Almost done saving for emergency fund...now what?

Saving 70% on a $70K income is $49k. This would be $490k over 10 years. You would need to get one or more rental properties and rent it out. If its out-if-state rentals, you would need to hire a managements company. This would reduce your rental income. Your rental income would meed to be $4k/month ...
by Alto Astral
Mon May 15, 2017 9:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I-bonds vs 1-2 year CDs
Replies: 4
Views: 815

Re: I-bonds vs 1-2 year CDs

For a 2-3 year horizon, it may not make a big difference with $40K. You won't pay state tax for the i bonds. Federal tax will be deferred for that duration. I prefer/max out i bonds before any CDs
by Alto Astral
Thu May 11, 2017 8:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: what to look for in homeowner's insurance?
Replies: 5
Views: 726

Re: what to look for in homeowner's insurance?

Amica has pretty good reviews. I think top in consumer reports. I've had them for over a year. They explained and recommended appropriate coverage. Pleasant process.
by Alto Astral
Sat May 06, 2017 12:42 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: A few Questions from a young investor.
Replies: 19
Views: 1286

Re: A few Questions from a young investor.

With < $5500 IRA: If you already have an emergency fund VanguardTotalStockIndex is all you need. You can hold your emergency fund in a Roth IRA if that helps you max it out. In that case, split that portion into either VanguardTotalBondIndex or VanguardPrimeMoneyMarket. This should be fine till you ...
by Alto Astral
Sat May 06, 2017 12:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Stay home with kids?
Replies: 103
Views: 7698

Re: Stay home with kids?

2 young kids, 1 in full-time preschool and 1 school aged Are you out of your mind Steven? I would go nuts taking care of kids at home and I (like you and most parents) love my kids to death: 3 year old and newborn. Your preschooler will go to school in a year or two. So it would be like an early re...
by Alto Astral
Sat May 06, 2017 12:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Job Decision
Replies: 53
Views: 3770

Re: Job Decision

I was trapped in employment due to immigrant status for many years. Yes, an H-1B or similar visa severely restricts job mobility while you greencard is being processed. I can empathize with you and you may have been unable/unwilling to negotiate a pay-raise during this time to avoid jeopardizing/re...
by Alto Astral
Fri May 05, 2017 8:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Swing Set 2700.00??
Replies: 35
Views: 3312

Re: Swing Set 2700.00??

Easily. I know a neighbor 's cost $4K installed
by Alto Astral
Fri May 05, 2017 8:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing 25k using DCA
Replies: 13
Views: 915

Re: Investing 25k using DCA

$25k is not DCA. Just mind games. If plan B makes you feel better, thats fine.
by Alto Astral
Tue May 02, 2017 4:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Managing finances for a new Indian immigrant parent
Replies: 11
Views: 1168

Re: Managing finances for a new Indian immigrant parent

1. This can be a longer term thing, say within 1-2 years. I would recommend to liquidate those and invest in vanguardtotalstock market index here. You will have the stock-growth along with better tax efficiency and cost. You may want to do it sooner, while the markets are doing well. 2. Yes, you can...
by Alto Astral
Tue May 02, 2017 12:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is 401k loan really a bad idea?
Replies: 57
Views: 3447

Re: Is 401k loan really a bad idea?

I say this without knowing the rest of your portfolio. Its fine as long as you understand the implications. I did it during an emergency and took me a year or so to pay it back. But 50K out of 500K is a smaller portion of your 401k so it will likely not impact your overall asset allocation too much.
by Alto Astral
Tue May 02, 2017 12:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: If you had 30,000 dollars to invest in your future, how would you do it?
Replies: 49
Views: 5111

Re: If you had 30,000 dollars to invest in your future, how would you do it?

My parents actually have a decent amount of money saved for me to go to college. School has just never been my thing so I have been holding off. However, if thats what it will truly take to get a good paying job then i will work my hardest for it. I think im going to go to school, for mechanical en...
by Alto Astral
Sun Apr 30, 2017 1:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I bonds May 2017
Replies: 66
Views: 8144

Re: I bonds May 2017

I tried logging in to buy some and got this message:
TreasuryDirect is unavailable.
We apologize for the inconvenience and ask that you try again later.
by Alto Astral
Sun Apr 30, 2017 12:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Personal Capital transaction history
Replies: 9
Views: 1363

Re: Personal Capital transaction history

ok, so it seems like you can go further back than the "last year" tab, at least. thanks! would still love to hear from any one who knows for sure.. I got 10 years worth transactions back till Dec 2007 but the website didnt open until 2009, per google? It probably grabbed transactions that...
by Alto Astral
Sun Apr 30, 2017 9:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Personal Capital transaction history
Replies: 9
Views: 1363

Re: Personal Capital transaction history

jsa307 wrote:ok, so it seems like you can go further back than the "last year" tab, at least. thanks!

would still love to hear from any one who knows for sure..

I got 10 years worth transactions back till Dec 2007
by Alto Astral
Fri Apr 28, 2017 6:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which sonicare toothbrush do you recommend?
Replies: 13
Views: 870

Re: Which sonicare toothbrush do you recommend?

I got the basic one. I think its called plus and not platinum/diamond. Its beyond amazing. Charge stays fir a week. Got after-market brush heads from amazon. Hreat buy. Dental hygienist very happy with results during routine visits.
by Alto Astral
Thu Apr 27, 2017 4:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is $20K I-Bonds considered cash or bond?
Replies: 62
Views: 4700

Re: Is $20K I-Bonds considered cash or bond?

Looks like opinion is divided although most have cast their vote one way rather than the other. Me, I look to what you want to do with the answer. In your asset allocation calculations, you appear to have only two splits - a 70% and a 30%. If that is strictly stocks vs bonds, where does cash fall i...
by Alto Astral
Tue Apr 25, 2017 4:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is $20K I-Bonds considered cash or bond?
Replies: 62
Views: 4700

Re: Is $20K I-Bonds considered cash or bond?

I don't view my portfolio as equities/bonds. I view it as equities/fixed income, where fixed income includes anything that provides interest on a regular basis (bond funds, CDs, individual bonds). Where would you classify High Yield bonds? I think you are on the right track, but for me the divide h...
by Alto Astral
Tue Apr 25, 2017 4:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is $20K I-Bonds considered cash or bond?
Replies: 62
Views: 4700

Re: Is $20K I-Bonds considered cash or bond?

I am planning to buy $20K in I-bonds in each of His+Her accounts either before/in May. Just to clarify - did you mean to say that you plan to buy $10k in each account? As you know, the annual purchase limit per person/entity is $10k. So, you can buy $10k for yourself, $10k for your wife, $10k for y...
by Alto Astral
Sun Apr 23, 2017 10:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is $20K I-Bonds considered cash or bond?
Replies: 62
Views: 4700

Re: Is $20K I-Bonds considered cash or bond?

I don't know how people come up with their own definition of cash. My post was not really about the technicalities or definition. Rather my goal was a simply to find if I am maintaining my AA. In the context of AA, I've seen folks list their assets as stocks, bonds, cash. The cash portion is usuall...
by Alto Astral
Sun Apr 23, 2017 1:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is $20K I-Bonds considered cash or bond?
Replies: 62
Views: 4700

Re: Is $20K I-Bonds considered cash or bond?

In questions like this there is no "is considered" but anyone can certainly themselves consider I bonds to be either depending on what the distinction means to you. Most often in the context of a forum like this the issue would be whether or not the asset is marketable and has a fluctuati...
by Alto Astral
Sun Apr 23, 2017 1:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is $20K I-Bonds considered cash or bond?
Replies: 62
Views: 4700

Re: Is $20K I-Bonds considered cash or bond?

I consider a bond a bond whether it is corporate, government or municipal, and consider cash as cash in the bank. If your target AA is 70/30 than the iBonds are part of your 30% bonds in my opinion. Ok, thanks. I saw a few ibonds vs cd posts. Based on that I wasn't sure if it was in the cash or bom...
by Alto Astral
Sun Apr 23, 2017 10:41 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is $20K I-Bonds considered cash or bond?
Replies: 62
Views: 4700

Is $20K I-Bonds considered cash or bond?

Him: Age=37, Income=130K Her: Age=32, Income=100K Desired AA: 70/30 Emergency Funds - 12 months (@ $5K/ month living expense) $50K (1,2,3,4,5 year CD Ladder of $10K each at CapitalOne ranging 1.3%-2.3%) $10K Regular Checking accounts (negligible interest) Investments 9% Cash: $40K (Checking Accounts...
by Alto Astral
Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Differential aggressiveness for ROTH vs 401K
Replies: 31
Views: 2513

Re: Differential aggressiveness for ROTH vs 401K

I do. I have vanguard total bond index in our ROTHs. The hope is that thw value will be somewhat stable if i need to withdraw any contributions. Needed to do it once before. I was using the ROTH as emergency fund and kept it all in prime money market.
by Alto Astral
Thu Apr 13, 2017 1:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 20yr fixed, 30yr fixed, or 7/1 ARM
Replies: 48
Views: 3372

Re: 20yr fixed, 30yr fixed, or 7/1 ARM

I my case I needed to pick between 15 and 30 year. I picked 30 and started making payments towards principal. That way if all went well, I would have paid it off in 15 years. The flexibility helped since I decided to py the minimum and instead shore up via investmens so I have more options with kids...
by Alto Astral
Mon Apr 03, 2017 3:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Transfers from one money market account to another
Replies: 7
Views: 482

Re: Transfers from one money market account to another

Yes that sounds right. I picked "Buy/Sell" since I wanted the Federal funds to buy stock index. Why don't you try with a smaller amount first. Bwsides you will have a second page to "Review" and it goes through only when you click "Submit"
by Alto Astral
Mon Apr 03, 2017 3:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Target Retirement vs Total Stock Market
Replies: 13
Views: 2111

Re: Vanguard Target Retirement vs Total Stock Market

If your question is handling total stock+bond yourself, then yes. It will likely give you fine grained control over you asset allocation. The expense ratio should be lower too.
by Alto Astral
Sat Apr 01, 2017 12:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Requesting Thoughts on 401k Options
Replies: 4
Views: 274

Re: Requesting Thoughts on 401k Options

I would just stick to
BNY Mellon Broad Market Stock Index Fund 0.04%

You can have bonds in RothIRA, spouse's 401k etc
by Alto Astral
Fri Mar 31, 2017 9:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Feel Behind -- Thoughts on my Strategy?
Replies: 17
Views: 1749

Re: Feel Behind -- Thoughts on my Strategy?

Why are you not maxing out your 401k ank keeping it at $4k? Is it just enough for company match? opting to put $11k in 401k vs roth ira will also reduce your taxable income.
by Alto Astral
Thu Mar 30, 2017 10:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need a Vine for a Masonry Wall
Replies: 21
Views: 1337

Re: Need a Vine for a Masonry Wall

Espalier Fruit tree ? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Espalier Not vine but could not resist mentioning
by Alto Astral
Thu Mar 30, 2017 9:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Age 40 - Financial Analysis Wanted
Replies: 42
Views: 5358

Re: Age 40 - Financial Analysis Wanted

mortfree wrote:If you are a purist BH, stop reading now
Investments:
Taxable - Apple (2007), Google (2008), IBM, Berkshire Hathaway, Sirius Satellite, S&P 500 SPY
Roth - Apple, Berkshire, Caterpillar, Exxon, Ford, United Healthcare, VYM, VTI, VWINX

Come back, prodigal son :)
by Alto Astral
Thu Mar 30, 2017 9:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: This is my first time and need a little help
Replies: 7
Views: 748

Re: This is my first time and need a little help

VFX (extended market) should include small+mid cap. I stick only to total stock index (VTI)
by Alto Astral
Thu Mar 30, 2017 9:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Quandary of ML Stock Picker vs. VTSMX or VFINX
Replies: 16
Views: 1102

Re: Quandary of ML Stock Picker vs. VTSMX or VFINX

Right now, I'm going thru the quandary of keeping my ML stock picker and his 1% service charge who has averaged about 11.5% return from March 31, 2016 thru today. Welcome! I am glad you stumbled here. You've just saved yourself 1% fee + a lot of heartache in a bear market. I started off with "...
by Alto Astral
Thu Mar 30, 2017 9:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Age 40 - Financial Analysis Wanted
Replies: 42
Views: 5358

Re: Age 40 - Financial Analysis Wanted

$457K investments &cash + $230K paid-off home seem awesome. Given the home cost, it appears you are not in a HCOL area. Wife's expense at $20K seems on the higher side relative to her income. Otherwise you are doing great!
by Alto Astral
Thu Mar 30, 2017 8:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Radon mitigation credit at closing
Replies: 16
Views: 1354

Re: Radon mitigation credit at closing

Personally I would feel much better if they could fix before the closing, or am I overthinking about it? what do you all suggest? In IL, $1500 is a usual credit. Since you made the offer, I am guessing you like this house. Like someone mentioned, the sale may fall through. You may continue looking ...
by Alto Astral
Thu Mar 30, 2017 2:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Back door Roth IRA for past year
Replies: 8
Views: 497

Re: Back door Roth IRA for past year

This site has how to report on your tIRA contributions using various tax software: https://thefinancebuff.com/the-backdoor-roth-ira-a-complete-how-to.html I contributed $11K last month to each of mine and wife's accounts. Tax software generated one page of 8086 for each of us. In your case, it would...
by Alto Astral
Wed Mar 29, 2017 9:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do I need new tires?
Replies: 51
Views: 3801

Re: Do I need new tires?

I changed my 10+ year Accord tires after 5 years in IL. They seemed chipping a bit; natural wear. Got small kids; did not want to risk.
by Alto Astral
Wed Mar 29, 2017 4:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help for a beginner opening a ROTH at Vanguard
Replies: 16
Views: 1164

Re: Help for a beginner opening a ROTH at Vanguard

If you have a 401k, consider that and your Roth IRA together. Both should account for your desired asset allocation. A conservative asset allocation would be 70% stock and 30% bonds across all your accounts (excluding emergency funds). If you have mostly stocks in your 401k then you can have bonds i...
by Alto Astral
Wed Mar 29, 2017 8:32 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help selling foreign stock
Replies: 5
Views: 491

Re: Help selling foreign stock

Its listed on NYSE. Yes, I believe there were some dividends.
by Alto Astral
Tue Mar 28, 2017 9:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where can I buy Vanguard Funds w/o Fees ?
Replies: 37
Views: 3204

Re: Where can I buy Vanguard Funds w/o Fees ?

No issues with Vanguard customer service. Both wife and I have accounts. Both have taxable, ira and roth accounts
by Alto Astral
Tue Mar 28, 2017 9:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Not opting for 529... anyone else?
Replies: 175
Views: 10765

Re: Not opting for 529... anyone else?

Nope. Building up reserves in case of long term un/underemployment
by Alto Astral
Tue Mar 28, 2017 9:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Job change - ESPP Hold Period Requirement
Replies: 6
Views: 474

Re: Job change - ESPP Hold Period Requirement

I had ESPP at a prior employer. I think they bought twice a year and we could sell immediately (or in 6 months, I forget). It was a while back so I dont remember details. However, it was a sweet discount. I would do it again even if I needed to hold it a year. There's the obvious risk but its capped...
by Alto Astral
Tue Mar 28, 2017 8:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I open a Taxable Account?
Replies: 7
Views: 939

Re: Should I open a Taxable Account?

Thank you for the responses. I will consider upping my TSP contribution. Should I go more conservative since I am mostly all stock in other investments? Being the VTMFX? Yes, go conservative to something like 70/30 AA. You can keep bonds in roth if you would like. Max out TSP. It saves for retireme...
by Alto Astral
Tue Mar 28, 2017 7:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help selling foreign stock
Replies: 5
Views: 491

Help selling foreign stock

Tax: Married-Filing-Jointly, 28% Bracket Hi, I have some ESPP stock from an ex-employer that I got 3-4 years back for $6K. Its gained around $4K and is now at around $10K. I'd like to sell it and put that towards VanguardTotalStockIndex in my taxable account. The company is headquartered outside US ...
by Alto Astral
Mon Mar 27, 2017 9:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Critique My AA
Replies: 10
Views: 733

Re: Critique My AA

I'd put it all in total stock market since you are just talking RothIRA. I have bondIndex in my RothIRA, but thats to balance the stocks in 401k. I'd recommend not to slice and dice till its around $50K
by Alto Astral
Mon Mar 27, 2017 12:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Electric Space Heaters - Does expensive one heat better than cheap one?
Replies: 20
Views: 1009

Re: Electric Space Heaters - Does expensive one heat better than cheap one?

I got a couple of these for around $20. Lasko 9.2 in. 1500-Watt Electric Portable Ceramic Compact Heater. Pretty quick and warm. I got store pickup for HomeDepot but Amazon, Walmart, Target all have it http://www.homedepot.com/p/Lasko-9-2-in-1500-Watt-Electric-Portable-Ceramic-Compact-Heater-754200/...
by Alto Astral
Sat Mar 25, 2017 4:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where to park excess cash
Replies: 12
Views: 2495

Re: Where to park excess cash

Open a Vanguard Brokerage account, put some in Prime Money Market, set up a Settlement fund (Federal MM) and consider Brokered CDs. Link to bank or credit union account(s). Then, when you are ready for some Mutual Funds - you are all set. I bought a brokered CD from Schwab this week -- 1.85% for a ...
by Alto Astral
Fri Mar 24, 2017 10:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: home buying negotiation tips
Replies: 10
Views: 1258

Re: home buying negotiation tips

It was a sellers market last year for us. Multiple-offer situation. We loved the home. Luckily got it. Never regretted offering over asking price. This was the first home we bought so I am not experienced enough to give tips. But I can say this - after two years of searching we felt this was the one...
by Alto Astral
Fri Mar 24, 2017 10:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage refinancing help understanding costs
Replies: 2
Views: 300

Re: Mortgage refinancing help understanding costs

The difference in very small. I'd stick with 30YF. You could always pay more towards principal thereby reducing the overall interest you pay through the life of your loan. That way my thought process between choosing 15YF vs 30YF. I started doing some pre-payments but recently stopped and instead op...
by Alto Astral
Fri Mar 24, 2017 10:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Jumping back in the market
Replies: 29
Views: 4177

Re: Jumping back in the market

I went in with $35k in a week. dbr recommended today to just go in and don't look back and I did. Your amounts may be larger and I can understand. For me it boiled down to if I was willing to pretend to DCA over then next week/month etc vs just go all in. I decided I would spend all the time checkin...
by Alto Astral
Fri Mar 24, 2017 9:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wife Getting PHD. Should I open a 529 Account
Replies: 6
Views: 955

Re: Wife Getting PHD. Should I open a 529 Account

A friend suggested we open an Oklahoma 529 plan ( details here ). We were told that that we can put $10,000 per year each ($20,000 total) into the account and then immediately withdraw it to pay for the expenses and our state income tax liability would be reduced by the $20,000 that we put into the...

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