Search found 340 matches

by CppCoder
Wed Apr 26, 2017 7:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance to 15 Yr Mortgage
Replies: 12
Views: 1471

Re: Refinance to 15 Yr Mortgage

We also decided to open up a HELOC while we were doing the refinancing with the same bank. However, we'll be paying closing costs out of pocket. The HELOC offers a 6 month intro rate at 2.80% (after that 4.0%) which we'll use to pay off part of DW student loan (3.75%). You're going to borrow at 4.0...
by CppCoder
Wed Apr 26, 2017 7:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How should I factor my pension into my AA in retirement
Replies: 8
Views: 928

Re: How should I factor my pension into my AA in retirement

I have a (promise of) a pension. I ignore it for rebalancing purposes. My retirement is too far away to do anything else. Since you are close to retirement, I would view the pension for what it is, a fixed income stream. What fraction of your expenses does the pension cover? I wouldn't try to use th...
by CppCoder
Wed Apr 19, 2017 6:57 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Selling Mutual Fund shares - watch ETF prices at 3:45pm?
Replies: 19
Views: 1991

Re: Selling Mutual Fund shares - watch ETF prices at 3:45pm?

You didn't specify which fund, but if it is a Vanguard fund with a dual etf share class, you could always convert to the etf and then just sell that directly intraday. On the other hand, if you've been in the fund a while, will the 1% or less (assuming you're not selling on a RBD) fluctuation really...
by CppCoder
Sun Apr 16, 2017 1:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Insurance Premium - How to decrease.
Replies: 41
Views: 3705

Re: Home Insurance Premium - How to decrease.

Do you own your home outright or have a mortgage? Good luck getting the bank to agree with your plan for your burned down house. In fact, every mortgage I've had stipulates that if I choose not to carry adequate homeowner's insurance, the bank will buy it on my behalf and then charge me for it. My u...
by CppCoder
Sun Apr 16, 2017 1:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Budget multitool knife
Replies: 24
Views: 2070

Re: Budget multitool knife

I'm personally partial to Victorinox Swiss Army knives. They also have multitools. As a bonus, for the car, you can get the rescue tool, which will give you a window breaker, belt cutter, and a special saw for cutting safety glass as well as an assortment of more "standard" swiss army knif...
by CppCoder
Sun Apr 16, 2017 12:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why would anyone want to buy bond funds?
Replies: 92
Views: 9157

Re: Why would anyone want to buy bond funds?

I'll give the same answer I always give to the question of why own bond funds vs. individual bonds (the question was not whether or not to own bonds). I want to place bonds predominantly in my 401k, and I only have the option of buying them through an index fund. Where choices are available, I also ...
by CppCoder
Sun Apr 16, 2017 12:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New phone..any advantages to buying at Costco?
Replies: 24
Views: 3045

Re: New phone..any advantages to buying at Costco?

As Gill said above, Costco usually creates some kind of bundle of equipment. It's a good deal if it's stuff you would have bought anyway, but it's of little use otherwise. I think we got a free car charger and a screen protector last time we bought an android phone (Samsung Galaxy S5) at Costco.
by CppCoder
Sat Apr 15, 2017 12:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What constitutes "a lot" of money?
Replies: 81
Views: 11039

Re: What constitutes "a lot" of money?

. What is the point of accumulating wealth just to let it sit in a pile so you can oogle it? If they aren't going to use it, perhaps they should work more actively to give it away like Gates and Buffet. This would be my view as well. I don't really understand money hoarders. Reminds me a bit of ano...
by CppCoder
Sat Apr 15, 2017 11:15 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: My Story so far. Totally confused! Vanguard, Charles Schwab, Merrill Edge. Managing own portfolio... or NOT?
Replies: 86
Views: 6043

Re: My Story so far. Totally confused! Vanguard, Charles Schwab, Merrill Edge. Managing own portfolio... or NOT?

- Tax loss harvesting IMOP, tax loss harvesting is what my advanced math teacher used to call a second order effect. As in, "you can simplify the equations and get a good enough answer by ignoring the second order effects". This is a problem that active advisers create for themselves and ...
by CppCoder
Fri Apr 14, 2017 10:47 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How often should I contribute to my taxable account?
Replies: 23
Views: 2724

Re: How often should I contribute to my taxable account?

I invest in taxable every two weeks on the day my direct deposit hits my bank. The exception might be the first few weeks of the year when I fund my IRAs for the year.
by CppCoder
Thu Apr 13, 2017 7:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: FTIPX vs. IXUS (international ex-US)
Replies: 10
Views: 541

Re: FTIPX vs. IXUS (international ex-US)

Interesting question, are IXUS and FTIPX "substantially identical" for tax loss harvesting purposes? Obviously, the IRS doesn't specify, and I could see one arguing either side. They are both index investments meant to track the same index. However, one is an ETF and the other is an open ...
by CppCoder
Thu Apr 13, 2017 6:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: FTIPX vs. IXUS (international ex-US)
Replies: 10
Views: 541

Re: FTIPX vs. IXUS (international ex-US)

Interesting question, are IXUS and FTIPX "substantially identical" for tax loss harvesting purposes? Obviously, the IRS doesn't specify, and I could see one arguing either side. They are both index investments meant to track the same index. However, one is an ETF and the other is an open e...
by CppCoder
Thu Apr 13, 2017 2:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Im new, Im reading "the Book". Question for my kids....
Replies: 27
Views: 2123

Re: Im new, Im reading "the Book". Question for my kids....

Given that I max two Roth IRAs each year and add another $20k ish via the mega backdoor Roth,... CppCoder, Are you saying you contribute $5,500 to a Roth for each of you each year AND contribute about $10,000 to a TIRA for each of you each year? If so, you can't do that. The maximum IRA contributio...
by CppCoder
Wed Apr 12, 2017 9:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Im new, Im reading "the Book". Question for my kids....
Replies: 27
Views: 2123

Re: Im new, Im reading "the Book". Question for my kids....

I don't have separate accounts for my kids (other than 529s), but, if you do want to go that route, consider the implications of different account structures (e.g., in your name vs. UTMA). If you keep it as your account, it grows to $1 million, and you want to hand it over to your kids, it has gift ...
by CppCoder
Wed Apr 12, 2017 8:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: final, last dumb question: REITS vs Equity Funds
Replies: 20
Views: 1392

Re: final, last dumb question: REITS vs Equity Funds

What they are (equities), and how you treat them are two different issues. A $1 bill and a $5 bill are both cash, but if I want $20 in my pocket, I can choose to treat the ones and fives the same (don't care, as long as I have $20) or differently (I maintain 3 fives and 5 ones). Personally, I consid...
by CppCoder
Tue Apr 11, 2017 12:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I just invest in one Mutual Fund
Replies: 25
Views: 1600

Re: Should I just invest in one Mutual Fund

My logic is the following: Having $9,000 in one Mutual Fund will compound to a much greater amount than having $3,000 in 3 different Mutual Fund accounts. So why split 3 ways when you can have the entire amount in one diversified Mutual Fund? Is this logic sound or foolish? ! Whether to choose one ...
by CppCoder
Tue Apr 11, 2017 9:26 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Did Declining rates actually matter"
Replies: 26
Views: 2042

Re: "Did Declining rates actually matter"

The more I read the more confused I get about why I am investing in bond funds. So if I am understanding this correctly it seems like everything is pointing towards staying out of bond funds and just buy some 5 year CD's? It seems like I get almost the same yield and no risk of decreasing NAV. If i...
by CppCoder
Tue Apr 11, 2017 9:13 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: mutual fund vs etf
Replies: 7
Views: 490

Re: mutual fund vs etf

If you want to go with mutual funds, and you are not married to Vanguard funds, you can construct a 3-fund portfolio at Schwab in mutual funds with minimums from $1 on their equity funds to $100 on their bond fund. Total domestic market fund seems comparable to VTSAX, "total" international...
by CppCoder
Mon Apr 10, 2017 1:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Are mutual funds better than ETF`s in a taxable account with no selling at all
Replies: 13
Views: 745

Re: Are mutual funds better than ETF`s in a taxable account with no selling at all

The above advice is all correct operating under the assumption that Vanguard will be your custodian. However, if you choose to purchase your funds at a different brokerage, say, Fidelity, you would be better off with VTI because the commission would be much smaller ($4.95 vs. $49.95 on initial purch...
by CppCoder
Fri Apr 07, 2017 4:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is Fidelity total stock market fund (FSTVX) tax efficient
Replies: 22
Views: 1848

Re: Is Fidelity total stock market fund (FSTVX) tax efficient

One can determine their own personal tax-efficiency level for any fund they might wish to own or already own: https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=208818 Sure, FSTVX is tax-efficient, but is it more or less tax-efficient than something else? I downloaded the spreadsheet from this post, ...
by CppCoder
Fri Apr 07, 2017 2:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with college choice
Replies: 125
Views: 5381

Re: Help with college choice

midlemom wrote:I interpreted this as, bigger State schools have a wider variety of students from all socioeconomic and academic levels, whereas private schools like Duke, Emory and Vanderbilt have more smart rich kids ?


Fixed that for you...just an opinion.
by CppCoder
Fri Apr 07, 2017 2:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy Car Outright or Finance it?
Replies: 9
Views: 635

Re: Buy Car Outright or Finance it?

Avoid filing IRS form 709? If you are buying a car as a gift for someone, and the car exceeds $14k, you would have to file a gift tax form if the car is titled in the recipients name and is from one individual to another (not in your case because the "we" implies you and a spouse gifting, ...
by CppCoder
Fri Apr 07, 2017 1:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Are there stipulations to buying and selling index funds?
Replies: 4
Views: 369

Re: Are there stipulations to buying and selling index funds?

Hi, I am a new investor and have a question regarding index funds. If one day I decide to buy shares of an index fund like SWPPX or SWTSX, are there any stipulations to how soon I can sell those shares and then purchase more? Like if I sold a bunch of SWPPX today, could I turn around and buy more t...
by CppCoder
Fri Apr 07, 2017 12:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Passive income (raise my annual salary) ideas
Replies: 16
Views: 1255

Re: Passive income (raise my annual salary) ideas

This post sound about right. I'm not going to go crazy with my index funds. I promised myself at most I will take only half of what I get from it. Index funds have about 7% annual return (over ten years) so if I get lets say a 1,000 dollars from it, only 500 dollars at most will I view as spending ...
by CppCoder
Thu Apr 06, 2017 8:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with college choice
Replies: 125
Views: 5381

Re: Help with college choice

Yes, he plans to visit on admitted student days and possible do an overnight there. Vandy has reached out to him and a CV scholarship peer to ask any questions. If Vandy is truly not a good fit, then he can always go to our instate 'public ivy' NCAA champion :) Wait, UNC is on the table too? That's...
by CppCoder
Thu Apr 06, 2017 8:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need recommendation for home alarm system
Replies: 18
Views: 1005

Re: Need recommendation for home alarm system

We've been very happy with Smith Thompson, but I think they are geographically limited:

https://smiththompson.com/
by CppCoder
Thu Apr 06, 2017 7:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: STEM & "coding" toys for little ones ?
Replies: 41
Views: 3291

Re: STEM & "coding" toys for little ones ?

Maybe someone with "coder" in his username should chime in :D. I echo a lot of the sentiments above...legos (duplos are more age appropriate), exploring, books, puzzles, etc. However, you did ask for specific toys, so here's one my kids seem to enjoy, the Fisher Price Code-a-Pillar: https:...
by CppCoder
Wed Apr 05, 2017 12:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Two quick questions on implementing the 3 fund portfolio
Replies: 6
Views: 883

Re: Two quick questions on implementing the 3 fund portfolio

⋅  I think it is personal preference. Personally, I would exclude 1-2 years of the cash from the investment AA and include 4-5 years. So, to make your math more complicated, I would include 60-80% of the cash as part of your fixed income allocation. Here is my personal determining factor,...
by CppCoder
Wed Apr 05, 2017 8:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with college choice
Replies: 125
Views: 5381

Re: Help with college choice

I'll confess to not having read the full thread, as it's late, but the topic and dilemma speak to me. Objectively, these are all great schools. Yes, some are better than others. But to a large degree, especially as an undergrad, the best students will rise to the top of their institutions, and if t...
by CppCoder
Wed Apr 05, 2017 8:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with college choice
Replies: 125
Views: 5381

Re: Help with college choice

In response to CPPcoder, I am glad I helped you to think of a joke, but if you are implying that I am like the person in your Notre Dame joke, you are twisting my words. I do not look for ways to tell people where I went to school, whether at work or in social settings. I tell them when they ask. N...
by CppCoder
Tue Apr 04, 2017 9:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with college choice
Replies: 125
Views: 5381

Re: Help with college choice

In my profession it is pretty rare that anyone even asks where I went undergrad. If anything it only comes up at social gatherings. This reminds me of a joke my friend (undergrad Notre Dame) likes to tell. Q: How can you tell which guy at a party went to Notre Dame? A: Oh, don't worry, he'll tell y...
by CppCoder
Tue Apr 04, 2017 9:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with college choice
Replies: 125
Views: 5381

Re: Help with college choice

I just looked at the latest college rankings. Vandy is 15th which is tied with Cornell, Rice, and Notre Dame. Do well there and graduate with no debt sounds pretty good. Is it too late to try to negotiate some more financial aid? For CS I would think GT would be higher on the list. You need to look...
by CppCoder
Tue Apr 04, 2017 8:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with college choice
Replies: 125
Views: 5381

Re: Help with college choice

Why have you or your kid summarily rejected Georgia Tech from your list? You do realize that it's the second best school on your list for STEM subjects (behind Berkeley). I was accepted to Vanderbilt and Georgia Tech for undergrad and chose Georgia Tech (engineering, not CS). For my PhD, I only appl...
by CppCoder
Tue Apr 04, 2017 7:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VNQ vs VTI?
Replies: 4
Views: 496

Re: VNQ vs VTI?

the return on VNQ is even lower than VTI, can someone enlighten me why would people buy VNQ? am i missing something? Because tomorrow is not yesterday. VTI is a total U.S. equities fund. VNQ is a U.S. REIT fund. One invests in these for exposure to different (parts of the) markets. If you don't lik...
by CppCoder
Tue Apr 04, 2017 6:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where can I get fair advice?
Replies: 12
Views: 1229

Re: Where can I get fair advice?

Yes, here is where to start. If you want some help, have you considered Vanguard's robo advisor service ( PAS) @ 0.3%? 50k min. Fidelity and Schwab have similar low cost services. PAS https://investor.vanguard.com/financial-advisor/financial-advice Paul I thought VPAS was a live person, not a robot...
by CppCoder
Tue Apr 04, 2017 4:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Conflict of Interest at work - could I get fired?
Replies: 21
Views: 3034

Re: Conflict of Interest at work - could I get fired?

I live in Houston. You can't throw a rock and not hit a person working for a different oil company (often within the same house). I've never heard of anyone being fired for disclosing a similar conflict of interest, and I really do know spouses working for different oil companies for decades. A like...
by CppCoder
Tue Apr 04, 2017 4:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where can I get fair advice?
Replies: 12
Views: 1229

Re: Where can I get fair advice?

Yes, here is where to start. If you want some help, have you considered Vanguard's robo advisor service ( PAS) @ 0.3%? 50k min. Fidelity and Schwab have similar low cost services. PAS https://investor.vanguard.com/financial-advisor/financial-advice Paul I thought VPAS was a live person, not a robot.
by CppCoder
Tue Apr 04, 2017 4:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax question: Converting Single Stocks in Taxable account to Index Funds
Replies: 9
Views: 721

Re: Tax question: Converting Single Stocks in Taxable account to Index Funds

1. Stop reinvesting dividends today. 2. Consider donating shares held long-term to a donor-advised fund if you itemize to get a charitable deduction. 3. Gift shares to your children a little each year and have them harvest the gains without paying taxes (or to your grand children :) ) 4. Die. You w...
by CppCoder
Tue Apr 04, 2017 4:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage for less than the value of the home
Replies: 17
Views: 2278

Re: Mortgage for less than the value of the home

I see a lot of people suggested to take a mortgage for a larger amount and then immediately pay it down. If you do this, make sure that the lender will allow you to recast your mortgage. If you recast, it will reset the monthly payment to the amount that amortizes the loan over the original duration...
by CppCoder
Tue Apr 04, 2017 8:30 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Social Security for Millennials
Replies: 144
Views: 13616

Re: Social Security for Millennials

I don't worry about it or plan for it. The maximum benefit now is something on the order of $32k per year, so 79% of that is on order of $25k per year. When the annual maximum social security benefit is on the order of your monthly take home pay, potential social security income becomes a round off ...
by CppCoder
Tue Apr 04, 2017 8:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Megaback door Roth + Backdoor Roth
Replies: 4
Views: 504

Re: Megaback door Roth + Backdoor Roth

I was curious if one could do *both* simultaneously. Any insights would be helpful. I have lost out on Roth contributions and would love to make up and my current megacorp allows me to do a megabackdoor roth IRA. Yes, you can do both. Insight: Keep your traditional IRA "clean." That is, i...
by CppCoder
Mon Apr 03, 2017 11:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I'm thinking "no" on Medicare - pls confirm
Replies: 32
Views: 3332

Re: I'm thinking "no" on Medicare - pls confirm

Or another analogy: I have never died, so I don't need life insurance. OR, I don't plan to die, so I don't need life insurance. I like your thinking. I'm canceling all of my insurance policies right away! Just out of curiosity, does your plan come with a money back guarantee in case it doesn't work...
by CppCoder
Sun Apr 02, 2017 2:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: running tax software on Linux using Windows virtual machine
Replies: 27
Views: 1599

Re: running tax software on Linux using Windows virtual machine

I've been using linux as my regular desktop since 1999-2000. I've done or tried just about every possible tax permutation. When I was still in graduate school, I punted and did my taxes with a paper and pencil. After I got a "real" job, I had a dual boot and logged into windows once per ye...
by CppCoder
Fri Mar 31, 2017 8:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Saving 50% of salary; what does it really mean?
Replies: 142
Views: 10495

Re: Saving 50% of salary; what does it really mean?

Follow on question to high savers:- ============================ Does your savings manifest itself as temporary growing bank balance or ends up straight in to brokerage or mutual fund account as income flows in? Do you wait until certain time or certain milestone before moving it towards investment...
by CppCoder
Wed Mar 29, 2017 7:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Mega Backdoor: In-Plan vs Out-of-plan conversion
Replies: 20
Views: 888

Re: Mega Backdoor: In-Plan vs Out-of-plan conversion

retiredjg wrote:Well, it went down or my memory is bad. Either could be correct. :D

It went down. I think sometime in the last two years.

And neither cost is acceptable.

I totally agree. Buying Vanguard mutual funds at Fidelity is just a bad idea. Either buy Fidelity index funds or open a Vanguard account.
by CppCoder
Wed Mar 29, 2017 5:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Mega Backdoor: In-Plan vs Out-of-plan conversion
Replies: 20
Views: 888

Re: Mega Backdoor: In-Plan vs Out-of-plan conversion

You don't get to roll your Roth 401k (where your in-plan Roth rollover lands) out to Roth IRA until you leave employment. I think that is plan specific. I do my mega backdoor via in-plan Roth 401k conversion because I have a really good 401k. However, the SPD states that I have the same withdrawal ...
by CppCoder
Wed Mar 29, 2017 5:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Mega Backdoor: In-Plan vs Out-of-plan conversion
Replies: 20
Views: 888

Re: Mega Backdoor: In-Plan vs Out-of-plan conversion

We have heard they make rolling after-tax 401k out to Fidelity IRA very easy. I assume that includes Roth IRA. Fidelity now has a REIT index fund you could use in that new Fidelity Roth IRA. You can probably find a good SCV ETF on their no transaction fee list. I don't think there is a "small ...
by CppCoder
Tue Mar 28, 2017 7:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I open a Taxable Account?
Replies: 7
Views: 869

Re: Should I open a Taxable Account?

Yes, putting a portion of the money in your checking account into investments sounds like a good idea. On a different note, I would recommend maxing out your contributions to your retirement accounts, especially to the TSP since you're in the 25% tax bracket. +1 If you are talking about retirement ...
by CppCoder
Tue Mar 28, 2017 7:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Choosing Portfolio options for 529 on nysaves.com
Replies: 12
Views: 293

Re: Choosing Portfolio options for 529 on nysaves.com

I'm not quite sure what the confusion is - they are very up-front about listing what the underlying funds are and at what proportion. We are in the aggressive age-based program which is a glide path plan. It's 70% Total Stock and 30% Total International until age 5 at which point it changes to 75/2...
by CppCoder
Mon Mar 27, 2017 8:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Backdoor Roth w/existing IRA with 50 dollars in it
Replies: 5
Views: 210

Re: Backdoor Roth w/existing IRA with 50 dollars in it

Hi. We talked about this earlier. The only reason to keep the new Roth IRA separate assuming that you started out with all non-deductible tIRA funds is if it declines in value while in the Roth, you can undo the transaction (return of excess contribution I think, not just re-characterize) and then ...

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