Search found 3031 matches

by JamesSFO
Sat Jun 16, 2018 6:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I take possession of a certified mail?
Replies: 126
Views: 12503

Re: Should I take possession of a certified mail?

To the best of my knowledge this particular process is limited to construction and may vary by state. Despite being a California lawyer, I'm not sure the interpretation about opening the certified mail you (or someone on this thread) was giving was correct (again not legal advice...) See: https://l...
by JamesSFO
Fri Jun 15, 2018 6:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I take possession of a certified mail?
Replies: 126
Views: 12503

Re: Should I take possession of a certified mail?

I'm curious. (Aside am a lawyer, not providing legal advice, but I struggle to see an advantage to NOT obtaining the letter. If this person is mad at you might as well learn exactly what they are up to.)
by JamesSFO
Sun Jun 10, 2018 8:34 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Portfolio analyzer that shows underlying stocks
Replies: 5
Views: 242

Re: Portfolio analyzer that shows underlying stocks

Is there a portfolio analysis tool anywhere that will show you the actual underlying stocks owned if you own a mutual fund? I am trying to analyze a portfolio run by a financial advisor that holds about 60 mutual funds. I'm trying to show that the funds are probably redundant and/or overlapping but...
by JamesSFO
Sun Jun 10, 2018 8:31 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: High expense ratios in Vanguard 401k
Replies: 16
Views: 1403

Re: High expense ratios in Vanguard 401k

Thanks Spirit Rider. Not knowing much about the 401k industry, I assumed my employer was dealing with Vanguard directly. But it sounds like they are likely using a third party administrator. I'm a little surprised that Vanguard thinks it is ok for third parties to sell overpriced funds in 401k plan...
by JamesSFO
Thu Jun 07, 2018 8:29 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard's own 401k plan eliminating S&P 500 Index option!
Replies: 86
Views: 7430

Re: Vanguard's own 401k plan eliminating S&P 500 Index option!

Is there some reason for 401k plans to have such limited choices? Why doesn't Vanguard (or any employer) just let you pick whatever funds you want? The empirical evidence is that this tends to suppress participation in the plan for the average Jane/Joe. Default enrollment (opt out) into target fund...
by JamesSFO
Thu Jun 07, 2018 7:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question on RMD Example From IRS.GOV
Replies: 3
Views: 346

Re: Question on RMD Example From IRS.GOV

I think you may be missing a not from your question, also not sure how the examples relate to Roth conversions. Either way, your RMD for a given year is based on your (traditional) IRA balance for the 12/31 on the prior year. So if on 12/31/2017 your traditional IRA balance is $0 then your RMDs for ...
by JamesSFO
Thu Jun 07, 2018 6:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can a Retired 60 yo MD, MBA Start a Law Career?
Replies: 273
Views: 12378

Re: Can a Retired 60 yo MD, MBA Start a Law Career?

I have no experience with law but I can easily see OP being very valuable to firms that deal with litigation pertaining to the medical field (a huge industry as we all know) as also as patent attorney. Not easy, but the very fact OP is even open to considering 11-12 hour work days at this age means...
by JamesSFO
Wed Jun 06, 2018 11:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I Bonds & Revocable Living Trust
Replies: 7
Views: 835

Re: I Bonds & Revocable Living Trust

But what is the purpose of having a trust if you are purchasing $10,000 per SS outside of the trust? Well, my "JamesSFO Individual Account" is actually in my trust as far as the state of California is concerned, I have my list of assets in the trust and that account is listed out in and has been no...
by JamesSFO
Tue Jun 05, 2018 10:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can a Retired 60 yo MD, MBA Start a Law Career?
Replies: 273
Views: 12378

Re: Can a Retired 60 yo MD, MBA Start a Law Career?

Fascinating thread and the OP has received a lot of good advice.
by JamesSFO
Sun Jun 03, 2018 10:40 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Schwab Intelligent Portfolio vs. Schwab Target Fund
Replies: 71
Views: 6810

Re: Schwab Intelligent Portfolio vs. Schwab Target Fund

Having only been trying the product for <1 month it is hard to say much more about it. I think if I were going to do a roboadvisor (which I am :D) then picking Schwab for 0 additional direct fees (yes the cash drag) would be my choice. Do you think the Schwab robo offers something better than the i...
by JamesSFO
Sun Jun 03, 2018 9:06 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Schwab Intelligent Portfolio vs. Schwab Target Fund
Replies: 71
Views: 6810

Re: Schwab Intelligent Portfolio vs. Schwab Target Fund

I recently decided to give the Intelligent Portfolios a try (I'm 99% invested 3 fund) for two reasons (1) try out Schwab's customer service (so far middling to disappointing) and (2) because I was curious about the intelligent portfolio product. I picked the most aggressive allocation and my weighte...
by JamesSFO
Fri Jun 01, 2018 11:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best Advice You Never Took
Replies: 100
Views: 13171

Re: Best Advice You Never Took

I would say I let my lifestyle creep up as my income went up and repeated it. It's not been disastrous, but I could probably have brought in my retirement a few years if I did it (still working)
by JamesSFO
Thu May 24, 2018 6:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Schwab - Bad New Customer Experience
Replies: 1
Views: 632

Re: Schwab - Bad New Customer Experience

Took two more contacts this morning to try and get bank transfer re-enabled, we shall see now.
by JamesSFO
Wed May 23, 2018 10:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Schwab - Bad New Customer Experience
Replies: 1
Views: 632

Schwab - Bad New Customer Experience

So I decided somewhat on a whim and somewhat to try Schwab's praised services to give their Intelligent Portfolios a try. Opened account (personal revocable trust) online Sunday no problems. Got a call Monday AM that all was set and I was initially impressed. However, it's gone downhill from there: ...
by JamesSFO
Sun May 20, 2018 4:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Personal Advisory Services vs. Schwab Intelligent Advisory
Replies: 41
Views: 4722

Re: Vanguard Personal Advisory Services vs. Schwab Intelligent Advisory

Does Schwab have two similarly named offerings? The "Intelligent Portfolios" are $0 fee (https://intelligent.schwab.com/) and then "Intelligent Advisory" (https://www.schwab.com/public/schwab/investment_advice/intelligent_advisory) has a 0.28% AUM cap of $1.4M or so. Very similar names, but differen...
by JamesSFO
Sun May 20, 2018 10:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Apple Pay and Paypal
Replies: 8
Views: 707

Re: Apple Pay and Paypal

Short answer unless you can link your PayPal debit card to your Apple Pay, I don't think so.

Longer answer: I'm not 100% sure what you are trying to do
by JamesSFO
Wed May 16, 2018 1:29 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: This is Unbelievable - another Vanguard customer support odyssey
Replies: 59
Views: 12199

Re: This is Unbelievable - another Vanguard customer support odyssey

Yes but we're all too lazy to do that. Please summarize. Hmmm... The thing I noted is the positive comments about Vanguard are all over the place, in other words, little consistency, but the negative comments are relatively consistent. Two things stood out to me: 01) A number of CSRs expressed they...
by JamesSFO
Tue May 15, 2018 4:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Customer Service Improvement Incentive?
Replies: 12
Views: 1332

Re: Vanguard Customer Service Improvement Incentive?

(1) Don't assume that what you see on this forum is fully representative of experiences. This board likely over-presents the number of negative Vanguard interactions/problems relative to the customer base at large. (2) Vanguard has owned up to understaffing and is hiring (3) Even so, it takes time t...
by JamesSFO
Tue May 15, 2018 9:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can a <median household save 1 year of expenses every year?
Replies: 158
Views: 8087

Re: Can a <median household save 1 year of expenses every year?

This is an interesting thread I know it is only in the last few years (~20 years into my adult working life now) that I've been able to consistently save 1x my expenses/year. I have generally had jobs above the median income and no kids; however, live in a VHCOL area and had a mortgage for 15 of the...
by JamesSFO
Mon May 14, 2018 6:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: keyless ignitions and carbon monoxide
Replies: 83
Views: 4936

Re: keyless ignitions and carbon monoxide

They are easy to disable. I did so on the used outback we bought If I somehow disabled my push button start/stop, my truck would just be a lawn ornament henceforth. There's no other way to start the vehicle, without some custom aftermarket work. I believe you are misparsing, not disable push start/...
by JamesSFO
Mon May 14, 2018 12:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Employee Fiduciary Update - 15 months in
Replies: 12
Views: 1448

Re: Employee Fiduciary Update - 15 months in

Interesting, thanks for sharing. We've had good luck with Ascensus/Vanguard. But even still have noticed mistakes where some of their year end projections do not match payroll submissions through their portal. I think at the end of the day running a 401K turns out to be harder than it seems like it ...
by JamesSFO
Mon May 14, 2018 7:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: keyless ignitions and carbon monoxide
Replies: 83
Views: 4936

Re: keyless ignitions and carbon monoxide

They are easy to disable. I did so on the used outback we bought If I somehow disabled my push button start/stop, my truck would just be a lawn ornament henceforth. There's no other way to start the vehicle, without some custom aftermarket work. I believe you are misparsing, not disable push start/...
by JamesSFO
Mon May 14, 2018 7:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Small company 401k plans
Replies: 42
Views: 2603

Re: Small company 401k plans

Not intending to hijack the thread but can someone recommend me the cheapest TPA and overall service for a sole prop with 2 partners set up as Qualified Joint Venture? There will only be 2 people who are partners and no employees. I got plenty of time so I would like to do the administrative work m...
by JamesSFO
Sat May 12, 2018 10:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Small company 401k plans
Replies: 42
Views: 2603

Re: Small company 401k plans

Not intending to hijack the thread but can someone recommend me the cheapest TPA and overall service for a sole prop with 2 partners set up as Qualified Joint Venture? There will only be 2 people who are partners and no employees. I got plenty of time so I would like to do the administrative work m...
by JamesSFO
Sat May 12, 2018 10:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Small company 401k plans
Replies: 42
Views: 2603

Re: Small company 401k plans

I will put in for Vanguard/Ascensus, all customer support is through Ascensus and they are great. Since we are a small employer and I am one of the owners and have the largest plan balance get most of the benefit from NOT having an 8 basis point fee on funds (Employee Fiduciary) and others charge. O...
by JamesSFO
Fri May 11, 2018 11:38 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Backdoor ROTH for 1 Year Only? Worth It?
Replies: 12
Views: 685

Re: Backdoor ROTH for 1 Year Only? Worth It?

So then just make a traditional IRA contribution, e.g. $X. Let it deposit and then chose convert and if your custodian is Vanguard it should trivially go into your existing Roth IRA.

There will be 2 lines you'll fill out on your 8606 beyond the lines you need to already for your existing Roth.
by JamesSFO
Fri May 11, 2018 11:11 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Backdoor ROTH for 1 Year Only? Worth It?
Replies: 12
Views: 685

Re: Backdoor ROTH for 1 Year Only? Worth It?

The resulting Roth IRA account will already be set up this way to then next year you can use it for "front door" or "regular" Roth IRA contribution... So for the 2 minutes and one form 8606 this year (you'll need more in future years anyhow) it's probably worth doing.
by JamesSFO
Wed May 09, 2018 12:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cost Basis: Average Cost at Vanguard. Can I change to Specific ID
Replies: 2
Views: 448

Re: Cost Basis: Average Cost at Vanguard. Can I change to Specific ID

I believe that IF you have sold using average cost basis already you are "stuck" with that. If you have not yet sold you should switch to your preferred cost basis methodology, e.g. specific ID, or FIFO, etc, before making any sales
by JamesSFO
Sun May 06, 2018 2:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Yet another CP2000 for Roth IRA conversion thread
Replies: 14
Views: 1402

Re: Yet another CP2000 for Roth IRA conversion thread

Same problem for 2016 and Roth IRA, my CPA called IRS and they are working to fix... IRS error
by JamesSFO
Sat May 05, 2018 6:25 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Backdoor Roth (Vanguard) Do I "buy" or "exchange?"
Replies: 8
Views: 570

Re: Backdoor Roth (Vanguard) Do I "buy" or "exchange?"

I believe both can work; however, I personally use "Buy" and pick the source of funds as my settlement fund for that account
by JamesSFO
Thu May 03, 2018 8:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to buy a safe "power bank" to replace my recalled AmazonBasics unit?
Replies: 60
Views: 4523

Re: How to buy a safe "power bank" to replace my recalled AmazonBasics unit?

So I'd say Amazon was OK on making the refund (the original notice had said it would be in the form of a gift card), bad on keeping customers informed of the steps of the recall process, and I'm unhappy about my personally not having noticed the gift card's (silent) arrival. Thanks again Nisiprius ...
by JamesSFO
Thu May 03, 2018 6:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to buy a safe "power bank" to replace my recalled AmazonBasics unit?
Replies: 60
Views: 4523

Re: How to buy a safe "power bank" to replace my recalled AmazonBasics unit?

Hmm, I just went through my gift card balance history and cannot find any credit, will have to try calling them.
by JamesSFO
Thu May 03, 2018 1:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to buy a safe "power bank" to replace my recalled AmazonBasics unit?
Replies: 60
Views: 4523

Re: How to buy a safe "power bank" to replace my recalled AmazonBasics unit?

Has anyone gotten a refund or replacement battery from Amazon? I completed the recall and shipped my battery back and now nothing...
by JamesSFO
Sun Apr 29, 2018 12:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What's wrong with this critique of indexing?
Replies: 124
Views: 8616

Re: What's wrong with this critique of indexing?

my point was that even if markets were efficient (which they probably aren't) market cap weighting doesn't seem to be the most rational solution (leaving out the practical question of turnover costs). Ah, ok I think I missed that aspect, thanks for clarifying. I think the response back is that ther...
by JamesSFO
Sun Apr 29, 2018 11:44 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What's wrong with this critique of indexing?
Replies: 124
Views: 8616

Re: What's wrong with this critique of indexing?

Can you please point out at which point the following reasoning is wrong? 1) If one believes in the EMH and in common asset pricing models, then one accepts the idea that all information about firms in the stock market is baked into their current prices, so that for every stock you should expect th...
by JamesSFO
Sat Apr 28, 2018 1:34 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why pay extra for VIHAX instead corresponding ETF VYMI?
Replies: 1
Views: 333

Re: Why pay extra for VIHAX instead corresponding ETF VYMI?

Some people truly prefer mutual funds and VG's philosophy makes it so they charge the purchase/redemption fees to reduce chaos for other mutual fund holders.
by JamesSFO
Fri Apr 27, 2018 5:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financial Bill of Rights for Patients
Replies: 3
Views: 462

Re: Financial Bill of Rights for Patients

Thanks, intriguing article given the number of posts here about medical billing issues etc
by JamesSFO
Thu Apr 19, 2018 12:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How good are Vanguard bond funds?
Replies: 52
Views: 5454

Re: How good are Vanguard bond funds?

Doc can you point to the original source of your table?
by JamesSFO
Wed Apr 18, 2018 4:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Your Money Or Your Life
Replies: 49
Views: 6939

Re: Your Money Or Your Life

Amusingly a friend just picked up this book to read the new edition and mentioned we read it ten-plus years ago. I don't recall it but her older emphasis on bonds, bonds, bonds, seems very odd today.
by JamesSFO
Sun Apr 15, 2018 7:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How much is too much in a Fidelity or VG account?
Replies: 24
Views: 4736

Re: How much is too much in a Fidelity or VG account?

Unlike savings accounts with FDIC insurance there isn't the same type of guarantee in brokerage accounts (SIPC coverage isn't really quite the same, it protects against "loss" of the securities, e.g. a VG or Fido employee somehow manages to remove securities from your account). I personally have nea...
by JamesSFO
Fri Apr 13, 2018 11:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to find annual fee charged by Vanguard & Fidelity
Replies: 4
Views: 689

Re: How to find annual fee charged by Vanguard & Fidelity

If you had a Vanguard PAS account you would know the fee is 0.30% of Assets Under Management (AUM). Not sure of Fidelity's fees for comparable products. Trading fees would be disclosed on specific transactions.

I do NOT believe the law refers to the basic expense ratios of ETFs or mutual funds.
by JamesSFO
Thu Apr 12, 2018 8:59 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Crazy to start 529 without kids??
Replies: 49
Views: 3784

Re: Crazy to start 529 without kids??

4) You didn't mention your age/marital status/interest in kids (or nieces/nephews) but if you don't use for self who would use it (otherwise there are usually some penalties + taxes on withdrawal) Anyway, now I’m 27 and single and have $1M heading my way in the next few weeks. I maxed my Roth IRA f...
by JamesSFO
Thu Apr 12, 2018 7:06 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Crazy to start 529 without kids??
Replies: 49
Views: 3784

Re: Crazy to start 529 without kids??

Personally I would not put more than the LESSER of (a) one year tuition and (b) state max that is deductible in [either way stopping around 1 year tuition if doing investment over multiple years]. Rationale: 1) You may change your mind and 529 money while flexible for reassignment is somewhat limiti...
by JamesSFO
Wed Apr 11, 2018 6:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is rebalancing with new money only superior?
Replies: 17
Views: 1012

Re: Is rebalancing with new money only superior?

Let's simplify and assume all of the holdings are in retirement accounts (e.g. ignore taxes). So you have a pile of money $X in funds F1, F2, F3... And you have enough money $Y about to be incorporated in that could help you right the distribution between F1 and F3. The money has no "memory" There m...
by JamesSFO
Wed Apr 11, 2018 4:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Am I being unreasonable? [Send daughter to private kindergarten]
Replies: 70
Views: 4176

Re: Am I being unreasonable?

I do not think you are being unreasonable, but I also do not think that makes you right either. It sounds like this is the first significant monetary/value disagreement between you and your wife. No set of (internet) strangers is going to shift her viewpoint (or yours) very much. What are some of he...
by JamesSFO
Tue Apr 10, 2018 3:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with ineligible 2016 + 2017 Roth contributions
Replies: 8
Views: 398

Re: Help with ineligible 2016 + 2017 Roth contributions

retiredjg wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 3:53 pm
JamesSFO wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 2:53 pm
Question why was the 2016 contribution not allowed? Were they over the income limit? Or something about MFJ?
It is something about married filing separately. The Roth MAGI for those folks is $10k. Completely nuts - I have no idea why.
TIL! (today I learned) Thanks!
by JamesSFO
Tue Apr 10, 2018 2:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with ineligible 2016 + 2017 Roth contributions
Replies: 8
Views: 398

Re: Help with ineligible 2016 + 2017 Roth contributions

Question why was the 2016 contribution not allowed? Were they over the income limit? Or something about MFJ?

Not sure on the answer but this sounds like an area where a CPA more familiar with the rules could help.
by JamesSFO
Mon Apr 09, 2018 7:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: USAA Check Clearing Time
Replies: 7
Views: 542

Re: USAA Check Clearing Time

Weird, do you have a savings account at USAA? I do and usually my mobile checks are same day available (clearing takes a bit more)
by JamesSFO
Sat Apr 07, 2018 1:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Customer Service
Replies: 37
Views: 3267

Re: Vanguard Customer Service

DCCBOONE I am blunt and I don't suffer fools, especially WHEN I'M PAYING THEIR SALARIES. The problems I referred to started as follows and I will let you judge who is in the wrong. I called up and asked to be connected to the retirement unit. I don't know if I said please.. The rep wanted to know w...
by JamesSFO
Sat Apr 07, 2018 7:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "The Secret"
Replies: 19
Views: 2753

Re: "The Secret"

NYTimes book review of the sequel offers useful criticism ( https://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/26/books/review/Chabris-t.html ) The intuitive appeal of such stories illustrates the human tendency to see things that happen in sequence — first the positive thinking, then the positive results — as forming...