Search found 1657 matches

by Electron
Mon Nov 20, 2017 11:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Part B premium unchanged for 2018
Replies: 33
Views: 2266

Re: Medicare Part B premium unchanged for 2018

Yes - my recollection as well. That Congressional action was, over time, "revenue neutral" and the tampdown of the large increase was to be paid for by some folks over a multi-year period. Where does the "revenue neutral" increase or income come from that allowed the tampdown? Are we all paying for...
by Electron
Mon Nov 20, 2017 3:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Part B premium unchanged for 2018
Replies: 33
Views: 2266

Re: Medicare Part B premium unchanged for 2018

This article from October 2016 mentions a one time loan of $7.5B to Medicare to reduce Part B premiums. http://time.com/money/4517168/2017-medicare-premiums-could-jump-20/ "A year ago, the absence of a 2016 COLA froze Part B premiums at $104.90 a month for those who were held harmless. The other gro...
by Electron
Tue Nov 07, 2017 6:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard GNMA Fund Versus Total Bond Market Index Fund
Replies: 19
Views: 2725

Re: Vanguard GNMA Fund Versus Total Bond Market Index Fund

Thanks all for the additional replies. not4me - You make an excellent point about duration. This forum often recommends that you limit the duration of a bond fund to when you may need the invested capital. Here is an excellent reference in the Wiki. See the section on Duration and Point of Indiffere...
by Electron
Sun Nov 05, 2017 1:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard GNMA Fund Versus Total Bond Market Index Fund
Replies: 19
Views: 2725

Re: Vanguard GNMA Fund Versus Total Bond Market Index Fund

The Vanguard GNMA fund (vfiix) has outperformed the Vanguard Total Bond Market index fund (vbmfx) with less volatility, measured over the full lifespan of the latter. Here is a Morningstar chart showing that comparison which goes back to 12-11-86. That time period represents nearly 31 years. http:/...
by Electron
Sat Nov 04, 2017 5:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard GNMA Fund Versus Total Bond Market Index Fund
Replies: 19
Views: 2725

Re: Vanguard GNMA Fund Versus Total Bond Market Index Fund

If you were to chase a little more return than total bond, I would suggest Vanguard Intermediate Bond (VBILX/BIV) which would be more diversified than the GNMA fund. Thanks for the suggestion on the Intermediate Term Bond Index fund. This thread was primarily about an apparent anomaly between Vangu...
by Electron
Sat Nov 04, 2017 1:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard GNMA Fund Versus Total Bond Market Index Fund
Replies: 19
Views: 2725

Re: Vanguard GNMA Fund Versus Total Bond Market Index Fund

I haven't looked at this closely, but I would note that the actual index fund covering a similar category, Vanguard Mortgage-Backed Securities (VMBS, VMBSX), which if anything should be very slightly riskier because it includes Fannie and Freddie in addition to Ginnie mortgage bonds, has notably lo...
by Electron
Thu Nov 02, 2017 4:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Ultra-Short Term Bond (VUBFX) large drop
Replies: 14
Views: 1881

Re: Ultra-Short Term Bond (VUBFX) large drop

I think they may have just switched over at a certain point for new fund launches and not touched the procedure for the old ones. I checked Core Bond (actively managed), the muni index fund, the international bond index fund, and the EM government bond index fund, and they're all monthly. These are...
by Electron
Wed Nov 01, 2017 11:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Ultra-Short Term Bond (VUBFX) large drop
Replies: 14
Views: 1881

Re: Ultra-Short Term Bond (VUBFX) large drop

It appears that this fund has a dividend policy different from many other Vanguard bond funds and actually goes ex-dividend at the end of the month. The prospectus states that dividends are declared monthly and distributed monthly. The income accrued during the month is included every day in NAV and...
by Electron
Wed Nov 01, 2017 1:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car battery?
Replies: 53
Views: 3454

Re: Car battery?

Check this link from Optima Batteries which mentions 12.4 volts as the lower threshold to maintain long battery life. https://www.optimabatteries.com/en-us/experience/2010/12/what-normal-parasitic-draw Voltage should be measured with a digital voltmeter at least 12 hours after any charging to make s...
by Electron
Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard GNMA Fund Versus Total Bond Market Index Fund
Replies: 19
Views: 2725

Re: Vanguard GNMA Fund Versus Total Bond Market Index Fund

Thanks all for the replies. The GNMA Fund looks attractive at present relative to the Bond Index and I was just trying to understand the reasons for the apparently favorable comparison. I also realize that the comparison will likely change over time. It's also possible that the fund exploited tempor...
by Electron
Mon Oct 30, 2017 12:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard GNMA Fund Versus Total Bond Market Index Fund
Replies: 19
Views: 2725

Vanguard GNMA Fund Versus Total Bond Market Index Fund

Here are some current parameters for the Admiral Shares of Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIJX) and Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund (VBTLX). At present, the GNMA fund appears to offer higher yields with shorter duration and shorter average maturity. I'm wondering if the current comparison is typical or ...
by Electron
Fri Oct 27, 2017 2:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Income for Social Security eligibility
Replies: 4
Views: 759

Re: Income for Social Security eligibility

plnelson wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2017 11:06 am
My question is what, exactly, counts as income?
This link may help answer the question.

https://faq.ssa.gov/link/portal/34011/3 ... t-benefits
by Electron
Fri Oct 27, 2017 1:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Discussion Forum?
Replies: 31
Views: 2524

Re: Social Security Discussion Forum?

As mentioned earlier, this forum would be an excellent place to post your questions. If you search on Social Security related topics, you will see that there is a great deal of expertise available right here in this forum. I would suggest starting with a single thread. Spend a little time on the wor...
by Electron
Thu Oct 26, 2017 5:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Discussion Forum?
Replies: 31
Views: 2524

Re: Social Security Discussion Forum?

I recently attempted to set up my Social Security online account at https://www.ssa.gov/myaccount/ and was rejected, apparently because of my answers to the dKBA questions. I had the exact same problem a few weeks ago and had to go to the local Social Security office to get an Access Code. That cod...
by Electron
Fri Oct 13, 2017 12:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [CNBC article: Social Security Denying Delayed Benefits]
Replies: 32
Views: 6033

Re: Is this really a Problem with Social Security.....Need a Forum S.S. Expert...

An alternative, less inflammatory way to summarize the point of the article would be as follows: If you file for Social Security after your full retirement age, your application will be automatically backdated to the later of 1) 6 months ago or 2) the date on which you reached FRA ...unless you ask...
by Electron
Mon Oct 09, 2017 1:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [CNBC article: Social Security Denying Delayed Benefits]
Replies: 32
Views: 6033

Re: [CNBC article: Social Security Denying Delayed Benefits]

Here is a very helpful article with two important tips for those filing online. https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/retirement/2017/05/10/ins-and-outs-applying-social-security-benefits/101054756/ "When you file, there are two questions that seem to trip people up, according to Brewt...
by Electron
Thu Oct 05, 2017 5:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Easy Pay and Start of Social Security Benefits
Replies: 4
Views: 714

Re: Medicare Easy Pay and Start of Social Security Benefits

What did the CMS (Medicare) tell you? I just called Medicare and spoke to an agent almost immediately after answering a number of automated questions. They said that I do not have to do anything with Easy Pay and that deductions will stop automatically after Social Security benefits have started. A...
by Electron
Wed Oct 04, 2017 12:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Easy Pay and Start of Social Security Benefits
Replies: 4
Views: 714

Re: Medicare Easy Pay and Start of Social Security Benefits

Maybe you should stop the Easy Pay ASAP in order to avoid future problems. Thanks for the reply. I had the same thought about stopping Medicare Easy Pay since Social Security payments are at least four months away. However, Medicare might then just send paper bills which would still leave a problem...
by Electron
Tue Oct 03, 2017 5:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Easy Pay and Start of Social Security Benefits
Replies: 4
Views: 714

Medicare Easy Pay and Start of Social Security Benefits

I have been paying Medicare Premiums for several years using Medicare Easy Pay. Does anything need to be done with Medicare Easy Pay when starting Social Security benefits? I understand that Medicare Premiums will be deducted from the Social Security payments. Will the Medicare Easy Pay deductions s...
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: 972

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: 972

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: 3034

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: 2418

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: 2418

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: 2418

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: 2418

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: 13207

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: 13207

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: 13207

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: 13207

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: 17750

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. “We ...
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: 17750

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: 17750

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. https://personal.vanguard.com/us/funds/snapshot?FundId=0592&FundIntExt=INT#tab=4 The investment portfolio appears to include significant use of derivatives. See pages 33-46 in the Annua...
by Electron
Fri May 19, 2017 4:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Yahoo Finance no longer works - Alternatives to download securities quotes]
Replies: 242
Views: 19747

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: 5389

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: 5389

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 foreign". I didn't know that c...
by Electron
Sun Apr 09, 2017 4:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Excel function to return latest price
Replies: 39
Views: 8517

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: 2433

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: 5609

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: 1911

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: 1911

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: 4794

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: 1671

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: 1671

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: 1671

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: 1671

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: 1671

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: 1192

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: 1840

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: 4114

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 - ...