Search found 2692 matches

by JamesSFO
Thu Jan 19, 2017 3:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medical Billing Disagreement - Stark Law
Replies: 59
Views: 3072

Re: Medical Billing Disagreement - Stark Law

I just will chime in that I had to have a series of ~6 visits for a wart removal and despite the practice using an EMR experience and each visit being subjectively identical to me, each was coded, billed, and reimbursed differently by the doctor and my insurance. I found it incredibly frustrating. I...
by JamesSFO
Wed Jan 18, 2017 10:50 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: An index isn't an index isn't an index...
Replies: 23
Views: 2381

Re: An index isn't an index isn't an index...

I think this just shows different methodologies. Not sure that there is more to be said than that. Without studying the index composition methodology it's hard to make other conclusions. For example, S&P's methodology is posted https://us.spindices.com/documents/methodologies/methodology-sp-us-i...
by JamesSFO
Wed Jan 18, 2017 10:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much to spend on a house?
Replies: 29
Views: 3072

Re: How much to spend on a house?

You don't provide any insight into what part of the country? In certain high-cost-of-living (HCOL) areas, housing prices are "insane" and some of the very good rules of thumb here don't work. E.g. I had to buy a place that was over 5x my income in the SF Bay Area initially. Good luck.
by JamesSFO
Tue Jan 17, 2017 11:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard's old "free" TurboTax. Was it really free?
Replies: 11
Views: 1379

Re: Vanguard's old "free" TurboTax. Was it really free?

I'm not sure this is an actionable discussion... Every actual (or contemplated) expense by Vanguard could similarly come under similar scrutiny. At some point you have to decide you believe that the funds have the right incentives to pressure corporate to spend wisely.
by JamesSFO
Tue Jan 17, 2017 1:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Flagship Reps
Replies: 62
Views: 5010

Re: Flagship Reps

HueyLD wrote:Come on, folks! If you are flagship, you can afford any version of any tax software.


Of course, and it was a nice perk that was tangible, easy to understand, and felt like a type of loyalty recognition that was particularly useful.
by JamesSFO
Mon Jan 16, 2017 9:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Collision Avoidance Systems
Replies: 15
Views: 1074

Re: Collision Avoidance Systems

Almost all new cars will have forward collision avoidance as mandatory by ~2018. It's well worth it, IMHO.
by JamesSFO
Sun Jan 15, 2017 10:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying off mortgage
Replies: 14
Views: 1491

Re: Paying off mortgage

I've yet to see anyone on here how has paid it off come back and say they regret it. I did it when I turned 40 (now 44) and it's been fantastically liberating.
by JamesSFO
Sun Jan 15, 2017 12:43 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Flagship Reps
Replies: 62
Views: 5010

Re: Flafship Reps

Also Vanguard's web page is still saying personal rep for flagship

http://www.early-retirement.org/forums/f27/vanguard-flagship-downgraded-to-team-of-advisers-82937.html

EDIT: Actually it no longer is specifically saying one specific Flagship rep...
by JamesSFO
Sun Jan 15, 2017 12:41 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Flagship Reps
Replies: 62
Views: 5010

Re: Flagship Reps

Hmm, I've not received any such notice. I still have my rep. There was an Aug 2016 thread on another forum about a similar message

http://www.early-retirement.org/forums/f27/vanguard-flagship-downgraded-to-team-of-advisers-82937.html

So maybe they are doing this selectively?
by JamesSFO
Thu Jan 12, 2017 9:59 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Robo-advisors vs Vanguard
Replies: 26
Views: 2821

Re: Robo-advisors vs Vanguard

On the topic of robo-advisors, if you end up heading down that route, one to look into is Wisebanyan. While wealthfront charges a fee, Wisebanyan operates without charging you. They do essentially the same thing. With the most aggressive selection, I'm 90% stocks, 10% bonds. There's a referral syst...
by JamesSFO
Wed Jan 11, 2017 11:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: thoughts about financial advisors comments regarding roth 401k
Replies: 30
Views: 3191

Re: thoughts about financial advisors comments regarding roth 401k

It's hard to come up with a "right" answer for this (as in 1+1 = 2) because which is right depends on assumptions projected out 20-30 years about the tax code, returns on investments, etc. Very smart folks on this forum have argued strongly (from facts) that the traditional (deductible) 40...
by JamesSFO
Wed Jan 11, 2017 8:18 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: [403(b) Fidelity or TIAA Cref allocation, and do I want one?]
Replies: 137
Views: 5001

Re: EJ not [costing me as much as] others?

ai_3_us wrote:...I think that at the very best my portfolio is performing on par with the indices (after fees)...


Your portfolio return of ~7.5% well underperformed a simple VG Total Stock/VG Total Intl portfolio last year not sure how you think it is performing on par. :confused
by JamesSFO
Tue Jan 10, 2017 12:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Lose 403(b) Benefits if Rollover?
Replies: 8
Views: 749

Re: Lose 403(b) Benefits if Rollover?

Once in an IRA, the IRA rules would apply. So a 4xx rolled to a (rollover) IRA is subject to IRA withdrawal rules.

There are some odd corners with Roth IRA/Roth 401K 5 year aging requirements and creditor protection in some states, but overall it's now an IRA.
by JamesSFO
Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Switching 401k to simple IRA
Replies: 4
Views: 322

Re: Switching 401k to simple IRA

I will also second moving to a Safe Harbor plan, we have ours with Vanguard/Ascensus. 2 owners + 2 employees, it's worth it.
by JamesSFO
Sun Jan 08, 2017 4:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Sweep Fund Wash Sales?
Replies: 3
Views: 198

Re: Vanguard Sweep Fund Wash Sales?

Given that all of the sweep funds strive maintain a NAV of $1.00 absent an extraordinary event there can be no wash sale.
by JamesSFO
Sun Jan 08, 2017 1:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: roll T IRA to Solo 401k
Replies: 3
Views: 203

Re: roll T IRA to Solo 401k

I think they don't allow it because of the KISS principle (keep it simple stupid). They offer a basically no fee 401K and they few some of the limits as simplifying their record keeping roll and keeping costs down. Ditto on not offering admiral shares in the solo 401k. I think they have also made th...
by JamesSFO
Sun Jan 08, 2017 1:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Requirements to change passwords frequently?
Replies: 31
Views: 2012

Re: Requirements to change passwords frequently?

I think overall the consensus is that password changing is destructive and the NIST recommendations bear this out. But it will take a while for those recommendations to filter down to corporate IT departments.
by JamesSFO
Sun Jan 08, 2017 1:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying off my mortgage
Replies: 9
Views: 1045

Re: Paying off my mortgage

Paying off my mortgage in high cost of living (HCOL) SF Bay Area/Silicon Valley has been so freeing. I'm much less worried if I lose my job, etc.
by JamesSFO
Thu Jan 05, 2017 9:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: You have 5-10 minutes to teach someone about personal finance
Replies: 54
Views: 3947

Re: You have 5-10 minutes to teach someone about personal finance

NYTimes had a nice collection of financial management advice on a postcard, one was posted above, here's the NYTimes story with several of them: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/09/your-money/how-should-you-manage-your-money-and-keep-it-short.html?_r=0 I find David Bach's "Automatic Millionaire&q...
by JamesSFO
Wed Jan 04, 2017 7:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Backdoor Roth - do I have it right?
Replies: 9
Views: 614

Re: Backdoor Roth - do I have it right?

How long does it take for VG to settle the tIRA contribution in order to convert? I made a contribution (source is a bank account) to my tIRA on the morning of 3rd. I expected that the funds will be available after close (4 PM eastern) to convert to ROTH IRA. However, as of this morning, my funds s...
by JamesSFO
Tue Jan 03, 2017 11:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Backdoor Roth - do I have it right?
Replies: 9
Views: 614

Re: Backdoor Roth - do I have it right?

Sounds right, at Step 3 if at Vanguard it will say "convert to Roth IRA" on the balance and holdings page. More generally it is NOT a recharacterization, but a conversion.

EDIT to add: yep you'll also need to file a form 8606 with your taxes
by JamesSFO
Sat Dec 31, 2016 12:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: My wife's SEP Ira - loaded to the gills, what to do.
Replies: 20
Views: 1292

Re: My wife's SEP Ira - loaded to the gills, what to do.

I have another stupid question. Are loads charged yearly on the entire amount, or are they charged only once on new money being invested? Loads are charged at the time of purchase. Expense Ratio is the annual amount charged for maintaining the account. + other fee's - digging into the pros. of each...
by JamesSFO
Thu Dec 29, 2016 1:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 2017 Boglehead Contest Reminder
Replies: 14
Views: 929

Re: 2017 Boglehead Contest Registration

I don't think entries are open yet...
by JamesSFO
Thu Dec 29, 2016 12:34 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How many of you invest 100% at Vanguard?
Replies: 118
Views: 7261

Re: How many of you invest 100% at Vanguard?

I have all but about 5% at Vanguard, that 5% is at Fidelity. It keeps me aware of other options and would provide some flexibility if Vanguard's systems ran into problems.
by JamesSFO
Wed Dec 28, 2016 6:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does Vanguard always have our best interests in mind?
Replies: 55
Views: 4557

Re: Not Bad

I know this is a first world issue but now I'm locked in due to taxable gains and Vanguard metaphorically pulled the rug out from under taxable investors in this fund...... The tax drag on the "new" merged fund is higher than the orig TM fund. Rob: Vanguard Tax- Managed Fund was merged in...
by JamesSFO
Wed Dec 28, 2016 9:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Could a joint checking account with my sister impact mortgage application?
Replies: 2
Views: 269

Re: Could a joint checking account with my sister impact mortgage application?

I highly doubt it. Depending on their thoroughness, they may ask questions about large deposits in accounts, e.g. if you deposit $5K initially in there, and you would write a short 1-3 sentence explanation. I got questioned about a $5K deposit into my regular checking account (inheritance from grand...
by JamesSFO
Tue Dec 27, 2016 11:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does Vanguard always have our best interests in mind?
Replies: 55
Views: 4557

Re: Does Vanguard always have our best interests in mind?

Aside from style/formation drift of the target date (TR) funds (and to a lesser degree LifeStrategy (LS) funds) are there other concerns? The TR 20xx funds have definitely had style drift and it's unclear whether it is for the better or not but that seems to me very different from not trusting Vangu...
by JamesSFO
Mon Dec 26, 2016 9:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Any disadvantage to purchasing Vanguard ETF on Merrill Edge?
Replies: 4
Views: 504

Re: Any disadvantage to purchasing Vanguard ETF on Merrill Edge?

I don't think so, just be aware of the general issues when buying ETFs/stocks.
by JamesSFO
Sat Dec 24, 2016 10:27 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Can I trust SIPC?
Replies: 22
Views: 1012

Re: Can I trust SIPC?

I think aside from pure Ponzi schemes the insurance will work as intended. So spend more time avoiding crazy investments from shady folks and less worrying about how to hold your funds. All IMHO
by JamesSFO
Sat Dec 24, 2016 9:26 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Can I trust SIPC?
Replies: 22
Views: 1012

Re: Can I trust SIPC?

It hasn't happened yet, but Kotlikoff is saying the structure is in place. "SIPC-appointed and SIPC-controlled trustee might sue you for withdrawing funds from your own brokerage account is entirely omitted from SIPC’s homepage in what I consider to be an act of consumer fraud." Is this g...
by JamesSFO
Sat Dec 24, 2016 8:38 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Can I trust SIPC?
Replies: 22
Views: 1012

Re: Can I trust SIPC?

Found 3 articles on PBS that the OP might be referencing: Original - June 20, 2014 - http://www.pbs.org/newshour/making-sense/one-use-brokerage-accounts/ SIPC rebuttal - June 26, 2014 - http://www.pbs.org/newshour/making-sense/your-brokerage-account-is-safe-with-the-securities-investor-protection-co...
by JamesSFO
Sat Dec 24, 2016 8:36 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Can I trust SIPC?
Replies: 22
Views: 1012

Re: Can I trust SIPC?

It's not that it's a scam, it's that what it protects is very different than say FDIC insurance. SIPC protects against unscrupulous brokers or firms taking your certificates that they are holding on your behalf (up to $500K). Quoting their own page about what is NOT covered: SIPC does not protect ag...
by JamesSFO
Wed Dec 21, 2016 1:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Should everyone use a backdoor Roth?
Replies: 16
Views: 2444

Re: Should everyone use a backdoor Roth?

Heads up: SEP IRA would prevent using back door Roth without pro rata kicking in What this means is that if all $4,000,000 was in TIRA/SEP IRAs, a non-deductible $6,500 contribution to TIRA would mean that all of the conversion (even more than $6,500) would be taxed except the per cent that is calc...
by JamesSFO
Wed Dec 21, 2016 12:25 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Should everyone use a backdoor Roth?
Replies: 16
Views: 2444

Re: Should everyone use a backdoor Roth?

Heads up: SEP IRA would prevent using back door Roth without pro rata kicking in
by JamesSFO
Sun Dec 18, 2016 4:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flying with Norwegian
Replies: 24
Views: 2263

Re: Flying with Norwegian

I flew their premium economy Oakland -> Stockholm and their economy to Denmark and Barcelona. I was quite pleased. Just read up and be aware what you are getting so you aren't surprised. Overall I found it a better experience than United long haul.
by JamesSFO
Fri Dec 16, 2016 2:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 20% Match on 401k.. sorta.
Replies: 45
Views: 4514

Re: 20% Match on 401k.. sorta.

It's tricky. I've done HR for small companies and run my own business. It's hard to balance these choices and it sounds like they are doing more than some companies (having a match) and less than others (delayed entry, etc.).
by JamesSFO
Fri Dec 16, 2016 12:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fidelity Announces Short-Term Trading Fee Removal
Replies: 26
Views: 3672

Re: Fidelity Announces Short-Term Trading Fee Removal

Interesting, I noticed the fees were gone on my index funds at Fidelity last week and was puzzled but didn't track down the change so they perhaps implemented this a few days ago even. Very cool.
by JamesSFO
Mon Dec 12, 2016 7:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is there a tool that lets you know how much overlap you have between funds?
Replies: 3
Views: 388

Re: Is there a tool that lets you know how much overlap you have between funds?

One "cheat" I use for a lot of actively managed funds is to just chart the growth of $10K compared to the S&P500 for a bunch of funds, I find a lot of actively managed stock funds are closet index funds and you can get a sense of the likely overlap easily that way.
by JamesSFO
Mon Dec 12, 2016 1:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Stocks soaring
Replies: 13
Views: 2535

Re: Stocks soaring

What does your investment policy statement (IPS) say about rebalancing? If you haven't addressed it yet about once/year should be fine so maybe come January you either re-allocate (if no weird tax consequences) or steer your new investments to help you get back to balance.
by JamesSFO
Sat Dec 03, 2016 1:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Prime Getting Stingy?
Replies: 90
Views: 10941

Re: Amazon Prime Getting Stingy?

I've found they are often 1 day even on things where I pay for value shipping (SF Bay Area); however, I also have found they are tetchier/stingier if things go wrong. So for example I had something show delivered that didn't show up for another 2 days (thanks postal service for nothing) and Amazon d...
by JamesSFO
Fri Dec 02, 2016 11:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Just got a PENALTY letter from IRS...
Replies: 4
Views: 1182

Re: Just got a PENALTY letter from IRS...

First time abatement of some penalties is available: http://www.journalofaccountancy.com/iss ... 37885.html
by JamesSFO
Wed Nov 30, 2016 9:11 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Free tool like Morningstar portfolio x-ray?
Replies: 36
Views: 3278

Re: Free tool like Morningstar portfolio x-ray?

Most of the Xray features of Morningstar are free directly through them if you share your portfolio. That was a tip I got here once, it does require manual input of your holdings but as a buy-and-hold mostly 3-funder it wasn't a big deal to input.
by JamesSFO
Tue Nov 29, 2016 11:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Radical Fix for 401(k)s"
Replies: 6
Views: 907

Re: "Radical Fix for 401(k)s"

Down with fiduciary duty? PJW FWIW, his actual proposal is somewhat unclear but I think he's proposing that there be a fairly standardized lineup of 401K providers and so the point is less about moving the fiduciary duty and more about switching to a structure where every organization has something...
by JamesSFO
Tue Nov 29, 2016 9:06 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Convert investor share to admiral share fund. [Spain]
Replies: 2
Views: 622

Re: Convert investor share to admiral share fund. [Spain]

If you are using an internet broker why not just buy the ETFs to begin with which have the same (lower) expense ratio as the admiral shares... Very few internet brokers will provide access to admiral shares if any...
by JamesSFO
Sun Nov 27, 2016 9:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: My 403(b) new fee structure ?
Replies: 3
Views: 391

Re: My 403(b) new fee structure ?

I think they are just saying under the old system you would have: Fund 1: Fund ER X, management ER Y, shown ER X+Y new system: Fund 1: Fund ER X Separately: 0.20 403(b) fee The old fees may have been highly varied and/or uneven depending on a variety of factors such as refunds from the fund, etc. So...
by JamesSFO
Sun Nov 27, 2016 11:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fraudulent charges on Chase Sapphire card
Replies: 15
Views: 1796

Re: Fraudulent charges on Chase Sapphire card

It's not clear chip+PIN is better than chip+signature. I know I once read a comparative article on it using Singapore as an example but am not finding that now, I did find this discussion: https://krebsonsecurity.com/2014/10/chi ... signature/
by JamesSFO
Wed Nov 23, 2016 10:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Apple Watch 2 Distance from iPhone?
Replies: 11
Views: 1172

Re: Apple Watch 2 Distance from iPhone?

If you are on a known to your iPhone WiFi network, then the watch will join that network too... So phone/watch distance can be greater than might be apparent from Bluetooth alone if on a known WiFi network...

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