Search found 1638 matches

by Electron
Thu Sep 21, 2017 5:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security - Applying Online for Age 70 Benefit - Avoiding Retroactive Payments
Replies: 5
Views: 789

Re: Social Security - Applying Online for Age 70 Benefit - Avoiding Retroactive Payments

Thanks all for the help. I plan to start the application online and see where the unequivocal statement is entered. It looks as though the application can be saved online for later submission. I assume that some individual is assigned to each application and that I retain a copy to back up the infor...
by Electron
Tue Sep 19, 2017 12:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security - Applying Online for Age 70 Benefit - Avoiding Retroactive Payments
Replies: 5
Views: 789

Social Security - Applying Online for Age 70 Benefit - Avoiding Retroactive Payments

I've seen the Wiki page with information on Social Security and Retroactive payments. https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Social_Security#Retroactive_payments The recommendation to avoid any Retroactive payments is to include a statement similar to the following on the application: "I wish to receive my...
by Electron
Fri Sep 15, 2017 11:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Auto Battery
Replies: 31
Views: 2783

Re: Auto Battery

Here is some information appropriate to this thread. https://www.optimabatteries.com/en-us/experience/2010/12/what-normal-parasitic-draw "The key to long life for any battery is to make sure battery voltage doesn't drop below 12.4 volts. The combination of a significant parasitic draw and long perio...
by Electron
Fri Sep 15, 2017 1:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Another battery question
Replies: 25
Views: 2154

Re: Another battery question

However, when I read the instructions it advised to purchase a charger regulator so that my battery does not over charge. I just looked at the manual for the 1.5 watt solar charger and it appears to include information for higher wattage solar panels as well. Note the table showing recommended wire...
by Electron
Fri Sep 15, 2017 11:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Another battery question
Replies: 25
Views: 2154

Re: Another battery question

Regarding the spark risk, I thought the recommendation was to always connect the negative lead last but to make the connection away from the battery on a frame bolt. In that way, any spark would be a safe distance from the battery. Hydrogen gas should only be present when a battery is charging and f...
by Electron
Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Another battery question
Replies: 25
Views: 2154

Re: Another battery question

An ammeter can be connected in series with one lead if you want to see the charge current. As mentioned in an earlier reply, the charge current will likely be only a fraction of one ampere. One interesting thing about charging a lead-acid battery is that surface charge builds up on the plates and ef...
by Electron
Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Another battery question
Replies: 25
Views: 2154

Re: Another battery question

I would connect the solar charger and then measure the voltage at the battery terminals using a digital voltmeter. You need to see where the voltage is relative to float voltage. "Float voltage is the voltage at which a battery is maintained after being fully charged to maintain that capacity by com...
by Electron
Tue Aug 08, 2017 2:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replace car battery after X years or wait till it dies?
Replies: 124
Views: 12103

Re: Replace car battery after X years or wait till it dies?

Here is an article that may explain why car batteries sometimes fail with little apparent warning. As a battery ages, the cold cranking amperage remains relatively high. The battery capacity, however, declines over time and may not be noticed by the car owner. See Figures 5 and 6. Battery capacity i...
by Electron
Mon Aug 07, 2017 10:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replace car battery after X years or wait till it dies?
Replies: 124
Views: 12103

Re: Replace car battery after X years or wait till it dies?

Here are four very informative videos on the car battery that are really worth watching. I started with Part 3 which provides information on the Conductance Testers. One of the videos discusses Smart Chargers and shows the results after using the recondition mode to remove sulfate deposits. Battery ...
by Electron
Mon Aug 07, 2017 2:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replace car battery after X years or wait till it dies?
Replies: 124
Views: 12103

Re: Replace car battery after X years or wait till it dies?

Here is some information on how Conductance Testers actually work. https://dellsservicecenter.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/169-112C-Auto-Conductance-Q-A-Duotones.pdf "Conductance is a measurement of the battery's ability to produce current. To measure conductance, the tester creates a small signal...
by Electron
Sun Aug 06, 2017 3:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replace car battery after X years or wait till it dies?
Replies: 124
Views: 12103

Re: Replace car battery after X years or wait till it dies?

Only test with the right tester. Avoid the 100a load testers (https://www.amazon.com/Schumacher-BT-100-Battery-Load-Tester/dp/B000AMBOI0/ ). You'll may be pulling more than that in cold weather. A 500a load tester is better. I got one of these and it give you a number, and I hear it's pretty good, ...
by Electron
Mon Jun 05, 2017 2:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Ultra-Short-Term Bond Fund now available
Replies: 74
Views: 17168

Re: Vanguard Ultra-Short-Term Bond Fund now available

Vanguard Ultra Short Term Bond (VUBFX) is mentioned in the June 5, 2017 WSJ. It's a short sentence or two that's unclear to me. "Vanguard Group, for example, advises investors in its Ultra-Short-Term Bond Fund (VUBFX) to hold off on tactical moves as a way to manage some of this (credit) risk....
by Electron
Sat Jun 03, 2017 1:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Ultra-Short-Term Bond Fund now available
Replies: 74
Views: 17168

Re: Vanguard Ultra-Short-Term Bond Fund now available

Of course this example shouldn't apply to a bond fund but maybe there is some similar factor involved (interest rate swaps maybe?). The notes in the Annual Report on pages 37-46 provide information on the various derivatives. The derivatives include Futures Contracts, Options on Futures Contracts, ...
by Electron
Thu Jun 01, 2017 1:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Ultra-Short-Term Bond Fund now available
Replies: 74
Views: 17168

Re: Vanguard Ultra-Short-Term Bond Fund now available

The monthly dividends paid by this fund have varied quite a bit. Also note that no distribution yield is provided. m The investment portfolio appears to include significant use of derivatives. See pages 33-46 in the Annual Report dated 1-31-17. The same is true for Vanguard Short Term Investment Gra...
by Electron
Fri May 19, 2017 4:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Excel Macro using Yahoo Finance- not working
Replies: 26
Views: 4706

Re: Excel Macro using Yahoo Finance- not working

I also noticed the problem with Yahoo Finance very recently. The Excel macro I use for individual quotes still works, but another macro that previously downloaded Yahoo Finance Historical Data no longer works. Both macros use Excel QueryTables. I even tried doing a Web Query manually with the correc...
by Electron
Tue Apr 18, 2017 12:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Tax form 1116 questions
Replies: 41
Views: 5303

Re: Tax form 1116 questions

For lines 3d and 3e, gross income means the total of your gross receipts (reduced by cost of goods sold), total capital and ordinary gains (before subtracting any losses), and all other income (before subtracting any deductions). This appears to be the one place on my tax return where I may have to...
by Electron
Mon Apr 17, 2017 4:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Tax form 1116 questions
Replies: 41
Views: 5303

Re: Tax form 1116 questions

Yes, "total income for federal ..." goes on Line 3e. As a point of interest, Form 1040 Line 22 includes the words "This is your total income". The Instructions for Form 1116, Line 3e, use the terminology "gross income from all sources and all categories, both U.S. and forei...
by Electron
Sun Apr 09, 2017 4:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Excel function to return latest price
Replies: 39
Views: 8045

Re: Excel function to return latest price

Has anyone noticed any changes at Yahoo Finance in how they respond to requests for historical data? I have a number of Excel spreadsheets with macros that download individual security prices and historical index data. As of this week, I noticed that the historical index data is being directed to di...
by Electron
Thu Apr 06, 2017 10:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Janus Fund merging to Janus Research [sell before it merges?]
Replies: 1
Views: 2352

Re: Janus Fund merging to Janus Research [sell before it merges?]

The Janus Report included with the March statement discusses both fund mergers. There should be little difference selling before or after each fund merger. In December, taxable account holders could see additional capital gains depending on portfolio turnover after the mergers are complete. I'd keep...
by Electron
Wed Apr 05, 2017 2:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why are tax-exempt money market yields so high?
Replies: 25
Views: 5490

Re: Why are tax-exempt money market yields so high?

neurosphere wrote:Update, below is the 7 day yield on the Vanguard Municipal MM fund (new name, same fund) since October.

The last two Fed Rate Hikes were on 12-14-16 and 3-15-17, and your chart shows how quickly the yield on the Vanguard Municipal Money Market fund reacted to those increases.
by Electron
Sat Mar 25, 2017 4:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Active Bond Funds Holding Their Own
Replies: 20
Views: 1798

Re: Active Bond Funds Holding Their Own

Thanks for the note on Bloomberg. The Factsheet that I mentioned for the US Aggregate Bond Index is now available from Bloomberg at the second link below.

https://www.bloombergindices.com/bloomb ... esources/#

https://www.bbhub.io/indices/sites/2/20 ... regate.pdf

The iShares AGG ETF appears to track the original index while Vanguard has moved to the Float Adjusted Index.
by Electron
Sat Mar 25, 2017 2:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Active Bond Funds Holding Their Own
Replies: 20
Views: 1798

Re: Active Bond Funds Holding Their Own

The results of the study are certainly worth noting, but the end of the article make a qualifying statement. Refer to the paragraph that starts as follows: "Fixed-income ETFs are just not as good as equity ETFs at replicating either the fixed-income universe as a whole or the specific sectors t...
by Electron
Tue Mar 21, 2017 5:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why is NAV Limited to Two Decimal Places?
Replies: 36
Views: 4707

Re: Why is NAV Limited to Two Decimal Places?

I think there are two separate issues to consider. NAV is rounded to the nearest cent while share balances have three decimal places for the fractional shares. The NAV error due to rounding increases as NAV drops. Consider a case where NAV is $1.00 per share. The rounding could result in an error ap...
by Electron
Wed Mar 15, 2017 1:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund - Variation in Daily Accrued Income
Replies: 10
Views: 1616

Re: Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund - Variation in Daily Accrued Income

Thanks for the link describing the Day Count Conventions. The paragraph titled Actual Methods states that all days in a coupon period are valued equally, so it doesn't look like those conventions would explain the daily variations in the chart. Attached are two more charts for comparison with the Va...
by Electron
Sat Mar 04, 2017 2:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund - Variation in Daily Accrued Income
Replies: 10
Views: 1616

Re: Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund - Variation in Daily Accrued Income

What doesn't make any sense is that the accrual is about 40 cents over a period of 45 days. You may not be interpreting the chart correctly. That account accrues income of approximately $10.00 per day but the amount has been rising. The account is currently accruing about $10.40 per day as interest...
by Electron
Fri Mar 03, 2017 2:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund - Variation in Daily Accrued Income
Replies: 10
Views: 1616

Re: Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund - Variation in Daily Accrued Income

Here is an updated chart covering 1-01-17 through 3-02-17. Note the increase in accrued income on 2-27-17 and 2-28-17. I don't know if this is related, but the Barclays Fact Sheet states that the bond index is rebalanced on the last business day of each month. That means that the composition of the ...
by Electron
Tue Feb 28, 2017 5:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund - Variation in Daily Accrued Income
Replies: 10
Views: 1616

Re: Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund - Variation in Daily Accrued Income

House Blend - Thanks for your comments. My understanding is that bonds accrue interest every day. If you buy or sell an individual bond in a brokerage account, accrued interest is handled separately from the rest of the transaction. The buyer and seller both receive the amount to which they were ent...
by Electron
Tue Feb 28, 2017 3:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund - Variation in Daily Accrued Income
Replies: 10
Views: 1616

Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund - Variation in Daily Accrued Income

This is a post for those familiar with the inner workings of bond funds. The chart below shows the income that has accrued daily in the Vanguard Total Bond Market fund in one specific account. The actual data has been scaled so that the accrued income on January 1 was $10.00. The chart shows quite a...
by Electron
Sun Jan 29, 2017 1:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Actively Managed Account tax question
Replies: 11
Views: 1156

Re: Actively Managed Account tax question

I'm not going to be happy if I'm paying cap gains tax on these taxable accounts now with no cost benefit at withdrawal. If you sell the shares at some later date, your taxable capital gain will be less than it would have been had the fund made no capital gains distributions. This is because the NAV...
by Electron
Wed Dec 28, 2016 2:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: High Yield Corporate Bonds Have Less Interest Rate Risk?
Replies: 17
Views: 1801

Re: High Yield Corporate Bonds Have Less Interest Rate Risk?

If rising interest rates are the result of a strengthening economy, corporate bonds will see credit upgrades and lower default rates. Those factors have a positive effect on the prices of existing bonds and can help offset declines related to higher rates. There are many factors that can impact the ...
by Electron
Wed Dec 21, 2016 12:20 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VMMXX-Vanguard Prime Money Market Fund
Replies: 20
Views: 4014

Re: VMMXX-Vanguard Prime Money Market Fund

Currently (for me) Vanguard California Tax-Exempt Money Market Fund (VCTXX) is yielding more than the Vanguard Federal MM settlement fund. I'd suggest keeping an eye on the various Money Market Funds as the SEC Yields are always changing. The current SEC Yields are as follows: Prime Money Market - ...
by Electron
Sun Dec 18, 2016 4:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Over the last 40 years, 71% of the stock market's return came from dividends, not capital appreciation,"
Replies: 91
Views: 9156

Re: Over the last 40 years, 71% of the stock market's return came from dividends, not capital appreciation,"

Here is another interesting analysis to consider. m "Here are but a few examples of conclusions that I contend can mislead investors. On December 6, 2010 the heads of Black Rock’s global equity team suggested that 90% of US equity returns over the last century have been delivered by dividends a...
by Electron
Sat Dec 17, 2016 2:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Roth Conversion between ex div & record date
Replies: 11
Views: 820

Re: Vanguard Roth Conversion between ex div & record date

For mutual funds, is the record date the date on which it is written whether we own the fund or not, and if yes, we receive our dividends and cap gains? Does this mean there is no in-limbo period (ie. like the 2-day ex-dividend period for stocks) before the record date when we would "own"...
by Electron
Fri Dec 16, 2016 11:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Roth Conversion between ex div & record date
Replies: 11
Views: 820

Re: Vanguard Roth Conversion between ex div & record date

The chart does not say the ex div date, but my understanding is that it should be 2 days before the record date (am I correct?), which would be Dec. 20. (I'm assuming that mutual funds have ex div dates) Two days before the record date applies to individual stocks as a result of the three day settl...
by Electron
Fri Dec 09, 2016 10:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Optimizing Inherited IRA RMDs
Replies: 20
Views: 2044

Re: Optimizing Inherited IRA RMDs

I'll add two other thoughts.

Consider Tax Loss Harvesting in years when taxable accounts show any unrealized losses.

Charitable contributions can also be used to benefit the charity and reduce your taxes. Beyond that, just be happy with whatever amount remains after paying taxes.
by Electron
Fri Dec 09, 2016 3:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Optimizing Inherited IRA RMDs
Replies: 20
Views: 2044

Re: Optimizing Inherited IRA RMDs

One interesting thing about Inherited IRAs is that their lifetime is finite. The distributions often end before age 85 unless the distributions start in later years. Take a look at the Single Life Expectancy Table in Publication 590-B (Table I). In the case of a starting age of 35, the initial divis...
by Electron
Mon Nov 28, 2016 3:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bond Funds when Rates Rise?
Replies: 16
Views: 3349

Re: Bond Funds when Rates Rise?

Here is some interesting information on Treasury Yields and Inflation going back to the 1960s. m m There are times when longer term interest rates react favorably to rate increases by the Federal Reserve. In other words, longer term rates can actually decline when the market believes the Fed is ahea...
by Electron
Mon Nov 28, 2016 2:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bond Funds when Rates Rise?
Replies: 16
Views: 3349

Re: Bond Funds when Rates Rise?

Historically, Treasury Securities have yielded some premium over the inflation rate depending on the maturity. It's all based on supply and demand as investors want to be compensated for the risk they are taking. Riskier bonds such as corporates typically trade at a yield higher than the same maturi...
by Electron
Tue Nov 22, 2016 3:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why are bonds dropping? They are supposed to be safe.
Replies: 171
Views: 23836

Re: Why are bonds dropping? They are supposed to be safe.

I put $100,000 in VG GinnieMae fund in June of 2008. Monthly dividend checks were always right around $400 for the first few months; by the beginning of 2009 they started slipping and continued to slip and slide - below $300 - starting last year and continuing into 2016 some checks slipped to barel...
by Electron
Mon Nov 21, 2016 5:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why are bonds dropping? They are supposed to be safe.
Replies: 171
Views: 23836

Re: Why are bonds dropping? They are supposed to be safe.

One problem with looking at bond fund returns is that bond funds didn't exist (at least not the ones we're talking about) during the periods when bonds had really bad returns, especially in real terms. For the 16-year period 1966-1981, intermediate-term Treasuries had a cumulative real return of -3...
by Electron
Sat Nov 19, 2016 2:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why are bonds dropping? They are supposed to be safe.
Replies: 171
Views: 23836

Re: Why are bonds dropping? They are supposed to be safe.

Bonds as a "safe" part of a portfolio . . Bonds have never been considered safe in the short term unless close to maturity. If you want a return greater than what is available from a risk free asset you have to take risk and invest for the longer term. However, bonds of suitable credit qu...
by Electron
Fri Nov 18, 2016 5:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why are bonds dropping? They are supposed to be safe.
Replies: 171
Views: 23836

Re: Why are bonds dropping? They are supposed to be safe.

You sure you got that correctly, isn't it a proposed rise to between 50 and 75 basis points? FED does not intend to raise the borrowing rate 50 or 75 basis points. My chart was posted three years ago only as an example to graphically illustrate the Point of Indifference concept. I was not attemptin...
by Electron
Fri Nov 18, 2016 3:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why are bonds dropping? They are supposed to be safe.
Replies: 171
Views: 23836

Re: Why are bonds dropping? They are supposed to be safe.

The CME Fed Watch Tool is predicting a 90% plus probability of a Fed target target rate rise of 50-75 bps. That's BIG . A rise of 50-75 bps would indeed be significant. That increase might also impact the short end of the yield curve more than the long end. This discussion prompted me to review the...
by Electron
Fri Nov 18, 2016 2:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax bomb at 70 1/2
Replies: 71
Views: 10495

Re: Tax bomb at 70 1/2

Am I the only one offended by the "tax bomb" reference?

Try an Internet search on Tax Torpedo which is a term that has been seen in many articles.

Michael Kitces has used the term Tax Bomb in regards to lapsing life insurance policies when a large loan is also involved.
by Electron
Wed Nov 16, 2016 1:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax bomb at 70 1/2
Replies: 71
Views: 10495

Re: Tax bomb at 70 1/2

I'd also review all other sources of income. You may want to emphasize qualified dividends, capital gains, and tax exempt income rather than ordinary income. However, we all need to think about any impact from tax reform which could require changes in our planning. Note also that lower marginal tax ...
by Electron
Sat Nov 12, 2016 5:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why did the Short Term Investment Grade Dividend go down so much for the month of September
Replies: 18
Views: 3050

Re: Why did the Short Term Investment Grade Dividend go down so much for the month of September

I read through the notes in the latest Semiannual Report to see if derivatives could impact the dividend from month to month. Here are a few paragraphs extracted from the report. There are many more notes and they are not easy to understand. Any comments? Also note the last paragraph where they stat...
by Electron
Thu Nov 10, 2016 3:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: An alternate to DNP [DNP Select Income Fund Inc.]
Replies: 21
Views: 2053

Re: An alternate to DNP [DNP Select Income Fund Inc.]

I'll add a few comments to my earlier post. Regular withdrawals from a mutual fund would be very easy to do in a tax sheltered account. Distributions would be reinvested and would not be a complication. In a taxable account, you would want to anticipate distributions where possible and minimize the ...
by Electron
Wed Nov 09, 2016 3:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: An alternate to DNP [DNP Select Income Fund Inc.]
Replies: 21
Views: 2053

Re: An alternate to DNP

One approach is to use Morningstar Charts to compare Total Returns. The chart below shows that Vanguard Wellington and Wellesley both outperformed DNP since inception in 1987. If you find a fund that meets your needs, you could take a fixed level of income and withdrawals from the fund at any interv...
by Electron
Fri Nov 04, 2016 12:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any recs for a Linux-compatible laptop?
Replies: 62
Views: 6477

Re: Any recs for a Linux-compatible laptop?

An Internet search on Linux, UEFI, Secure Boot will provide a lot of helpful information. Here is one good site.

https://www.linux.com/learn/how-install ... ecure-boot
by Electron
Thu Nov 03, 2016 5:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any recs for a Linux-compatible laptop?
Replies: 62
Views: 6477

Re: Any recs for a Linux-compatible laptop?

Take a look at the Ubuntu and Linux Mint forums. The Ubuntu Hardware Forum has a thread on Laptop Compatibility.

https://ubuntuforums.org/index.php
https://forums.linuxmint.com/