Search found 222 matches

by John151
Wed Dec 07, 2016 6:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is a money market fund better than a tax-exempt bond fund?
Replies: 12
Views: 1387

Re: Is a money market fund better than a tax-exempt bond fund?

Thank you, dratkinson. I don’t mind price fluctuations in my stock funds, or in bond funds in my tax-advantaged accounts. The problem with my tax-exempt bond fund is that it’s earmarked for emergencies and major unplanned purchases, so I’d like to keep it as stable and as liquid as possible. And sin...
by John151
Tue Dec 06, 2016 5:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is a money market fund better than a tax-exempt bond fund?
Replies: 12
Views: 1387

Re: Is a money market fund better than a tax-exempt bond fund?

Thanks to everyone for your advice. I’ve decided to harvest a tax loss by selling half of my shares in Vanguard’s Limited-Term Tax-Exempt Bond Fund, with the proceeds going into Vanguard’s Short-Term Tax-Exempt Bond Fund. It has a slightly lower yield with slightly less volatility.
by John151
Sat Dec 03, 2016 2:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is a money market fund better than a tax-exempt bond fund?
Replies: 12
Views: 1387

Is a money market fund better than a tax-exempt bond fund?

I’m invested in both the Vanguard Prime Money Market Fund and the Vanguard Limited-Term Tax-Exempt Bond Fund. As of December 2, the year-to-date return on the money market fund is 0.43%, while the return on the tax-exempt bond fund is -0.55%. So would I have been better off in the money market fund?...
by John151
Thu Oct 20, 2016 11:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does your bank charge for paper statements?
Replies: 26
Views: 1769

Re: Does your bank charge for paper statements?

I’ve had a checking account at my local bank for decades, and for the last several years I’ve done almost all of my banking online. In July, without any prior notice, my bank started debiting my account two dollars a month for paper statements sent to me through the mail. Is this common? Why would ...
by John151
Thu Oct 20, 2016 3:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does your bank charge for paper statements?
Replies: 26
Views: 1769

Does your bank charge for paper statements?

I’ve had a checking account at my local bank for decades, and for the last several years I’ve done almost all of my banking online. In July, without any prior notice, my bank started debiting my account two dollars a month for paper statements sent to me through the mail. Is this common?
by John151
Mon Oct 10, 2016 11:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Losses in a muni bond fund
Replies: 9
Views: 1941

Re: Losses in a muni bond fund

But the wiki also says this: Note that most Vanguard Tax Exempt funds (and others like them) are not subject to the preceding 6 month rule because of the way they accrue and pay out interest (dividends). The 6 month rule for tax exempt interest comes from 26 U.S. Code § 852(b)(4)(B), but there is an...
by John151
Sat Oct 01, 2016 2:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Yields on Money Market Funds
Replies: 5
Views: 751

Yields on Money Market Funds

If investors shift from prime money market funds to government money market funds, will yields on prime money market funds rise a bit, and yields on government money market funds fall?
by John151
Sat Sep 03, 2016 3:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you stop yourself from checking your balances?
Replies: 66
Views: 4169

Re: How do you stop yourself from checking your balances?

I check my account balances whenever I add to them, and that’s usually once a month. I add to whichever asset class is below my target range. I don’t rebalance my accounts through exchanges unless they have drifted well out of their allocation bands, and that happens only rarely.
by John151
Thu Sep 01, 2016 1:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: November I-Bonds
Replies: 2
Views: 788

Re: November I-Bonds

We can’t be sure what will happen in November, so why not invest $5,000 now and $5,000 in November?
by John151
Sun Aug 14, 2016 1:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bogleheads: Asset-Allocation and Rebalancing
Replies: 74
Views: 6397

Re: Bogleheads: Asset-Allocation and Rebalancing

My stock funds are slightly above my bands, but all of my stock funds are in taxable accounts, and selling shares to rebalance would cost me a lot in capital gains taxes. So I’m practicing what I think of as “passive” rebalancing. I’ve stopped adding to stocks, and I’m putting new money (including m...
by John151
Thu Aug 11, 2016 4:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to address a college professor with a PhD (Dr. or Prof.)
Replies: 60
Views: 3068

Re: How to address a college professor with a PhD (Dr. or Prof.)

I’m a retired university professor with a Ph.D. I prefer to be addressed as “Your Eminence,” but I’m willing to settle for “Professor.” I would never ask anyone to call me “Doctor,” because I don’t know anything about birthing babies.
by John151
Sat Jul 23, 2016 2:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Reliving the Nightmare of the Crisis
Replies: 119
Views: 9392

Re: Reliving the Nightmare of the Crisis

I added enough to stocks to maintain my stock allocation. I also thanked God that my stock allocation was fairly modest (35%), and that my stock investments were all in index funds. I have a cousin who was about 90% in stocks, and most of that was in the stock of just one bank. The bank went bust, a...
by John151
Wed Jul 13, 2016 4:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mac Computer
Replies: 21
Views: 1672

Re: Mac Computer

Not sure I understand the question. I have a Mac, and I process transactions on my Vanguard accounts using a web browser called Firefox. You can download Firefox for free. It's a general, all-purpose web browser, and I'm using it right now.
by John151
Sat Jun 25, 2016 12:21 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: International stocks in free fall
Replies: 118
Views: 11131

Re: International stocks in free fall

Why would anybody sell in a down market, unless it’s to harvest a tax loss? Even then, one should buy back in, choosing something that’s similar but not substantially identical.

At the moment, I don’t have any losses to harvest. I’m planning to buy instead.
by John151
Thu Jun 09, 2016 2:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do you track your own purchases?
Replies: 19
Views: 1464

Re: Do you track your own purchases?

I keep careful records of all of my investment transactions and have done so for many years. This is relatively easy, because I’ve limited my Vanguard investments to two stock funds, four bond funds, and a money market fund. I receive a statement from Vanguard annually, and I compare it to my own re...
by John151
Sat Jun 04, 2016 3:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Vanguard Developed Markets Index Fund now tracking new FTSE index."
Replies: 22
Views: 2961

Re: "Vanguard Developed Markets Index Fund now tracking new FTSE index."

I agree, Rob. I bought the fund when it was tax-managed because I wanted a tax-managed fund. Now that it’s no longer tax-managed, my taxes have gone up, and I’m trapped in the fund because of capital gains. Some time ago, Vanguard asked me to take part in a customer satisfaction survey. I praised Va...
by John151
Thu Jun 02, 2016 12:23 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Vanguard Developed Markets Index Fund now tracking new FTSE index."
Replies: 22
Views: 2961

Re: "Vanguard Developed Markets Index Fund now tracking new FTSE index."

rob wrote:I wish I had never bought into this fund.... Vanguard's style drift on this one is disgraceful!

+1
by John151
Wed Jun 01, 2016 3:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How persnickety are you with your rebalance bands?
Replies: 39
Views: 3098

Re: How persnickety are you with your rebalance bands?

For many years, I faithfully rebalanced to keep my allocations within five percentage points of my targets. In recent years, though, my stocks have risen to seven or eight percentage points above my target, and I’ve decided to leave them alone. All of my stocks are in taxable accounts, and if I reba...
by John151
Mon May 30, 2016 6:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retiree feelings about nest egg
Replies: 36
Views: 6720

Re: Retiree feelings about nest egg

I retired fourteen years ago and haven’t had to draw on my nest egg at all. I’m single, I don’t have a family to provide for, my wants are fairly simple, and my pension more than covers my expenses. I’d have to dip into savings to buy something major, like a new car, but I’m happy driving the same c...
by John151
Thu May 26, 2016 3:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Did you retire before normal retirement age?
Replies: 93
Views: 13153

Re: Did you retire before normal retirement age?

I retired from academe at 55 with a state pension and enough in savings to see me through to the end of my days. I’ve never regretted retiring that early.
by John151
Wed May 18, 2016 10:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TaxAct 2015
Replies: 54
Views: 6921

Re: TaxAct 2015

I think TaxAct is a better bargain than TurboTax and H&R Block. I used TaxAct this year, and I’ve locked in for next year too.
by John151
Fri May 06, 2016 3:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retirees: Who's not changing their AA, ever?
Replies: 46
Views: 4502

Re: Retirees: Who's not changing their AA, ever?

I’m in my late sixties and have about 30% of my investments in stocks. I don’t plan to change that, unless the market changes it for me. And even then, I probably won’t make any changes myself. I’ll just let my stocks stay wherever they are.
by John151
Fri May 06, 2016 3:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: how much cash do you carry in your wallet?
Replies: 152
Views: 15766

Re: how much cash do you carry in your wallet?

In a typical month, I spend about $30 in cash, and that’s roughly what I keep in my wallet.
by John151
Wed May 04, 2016 3:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How many funds in your portfolio?
Replies: 99
Views: 7764

Re: How many funds in your portfolio?

I have a local checking account, TIAA Traditional, and U.S. Savings Bonds. All of my other investments are in Vanguard funds: a money market fund, four bond funds (split between taxable and tax-deferred accounts), and two stock index funds (one domestic and one international, both of them in taxable...
by John151
Sun May 01, 2016 5:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Limited-Term Tax-Exempt Fund > Ally Bank?
Replies: 12
Views: 1565

Re: Vanguard Limited-Term Tax-Exempt Fund > Ally Bank?

I keep a bit over two percent of my savings in a Vanguard money market fund in case of emergencies. I also have about eight percent of my savings in Vanguard’s Limited-Term Tax-Exempt Bond Fund. I consider it to be emergency money, but I haven’t had to draw on it so far, and I’ve had the fund for se...
by John151
Thu Apr 28, 2016 10:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help getting out of a tiaa traditional
Replies: 22
Views: 1203

Re: Help getting out of a tiaa traditional

TIAA-CREF offers a number of stock and bond funds, some with higher fees than Fidelity funds. But TIAA Traditional is considerably more stable, and the yield is net of expenses. In other words, you get the full 3%. I’d keep it all in TIAA Traditional. In fact, that’s what I do.
by John151
Thu Apr 28, 2016 9:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help getting out of a tiaa traditional
Replies: 22
Views: 1203

Re: Help getting out of a tiaa traditional

I count TIAA Traditional as a bond, and it forms about 25% of my bond allocation. I’d add to it if I could, but I can’t, because I’m retired. And I wish I didn’t have to start taking required minimum distributions from it, beginning next year. It has a very good and very dependable yield, and with v...
by John151
Mon Apr 25, 2016 5:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pros/Cons of Condo Living?
Replies: 43
Views: 4790

Re: Pros/Cons of Condo Living?

Picking up on something ladders11 said, you should try to find out how many units in the association are owner-occupied and are likely to stay that way. Mortgage lenders may shy away from associations where over half of the units are rentals. This might not be a problem when you’re buying, but it co...
by John151
Mon Apr 25, 2016 3:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pros/Cons of Condo Living?
Replies: 43
Views: 4790

Re: Pros/Cons of Condo Living?

I've lived in a condo association for over thirty years, and I've spent some of those years as a board member. Board members are almost always well-intentioned, but they're unpaid volunteers, and there's a limit to how much they're willing to do. For example, in my association, the board is required...
by John151
Sun Apr 24, 2016 12:00 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Sell ibonds? Or hold?
Replies: 22
Views: 3089

Re: Sell ibonds? Or hold?

I had some I Bonds with a fixed rate of less than 1%. I sold them last year. Fortunately, I had bought a lot of I Bonds when the fixed rate was considerably more than 1%, and I’m hanging onto those. Money that I might have invested in new I Bonds is going into a tax-exempt bond fund instead.
by John151
Sun Apr 17, 2016 2:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Refund (Where Did It Go)
Replies: 21
Views: 1518

Re: Tax Refund (Where Did It Go)

I usually arrange my withholdings so that I’ll owe a small amount to the IRS. It’s been several years since I received a refund.
by John151
Sun Apr 17, 2016 2:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Did You File Your Income Taxes for 2015?
Replies: 101
Views: 5782

How Did You File Your Income Taxes for 2015?

Most of us have filed our 2015 income taxes by now, and it would be interesting to see how we filed them. Did you do your taxes by hand? Did you have a paid preparer do them for you? Or did you use computer software, and, if so, which software package did you use? I’d been filing with TurboTax for o...
by John151
Sat Apr 16, 2016 2:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Count TIAA Traditional towards the bond allocation?
Replies: 17
Views: 1282

Re: Count TIAA Traditional towards the bond allocation?

hafjell wrote:I can't find the ER for TIAA Traditional. Any ideas?

I think the stated interest rate is net of expenses, so it’s already been factored in.
by John151
Fri Apr 15, 2016 10:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I Bonds before end of the month?
Replies: 20
Views: 4313

Re: I Bonds before end of the month?

I bought the legal limit on I Bonds when the fixed rate was between 3.6% and 1%. When the fixed rate dropped below 1%, I stopped buying them (but didn't sell them). With new money, I thought I’d do as well or better with a tax exempt bond fund. And I think I have.
by John151
Fri Apr 15, 2016 1:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Count TIAA Traditional towards the bond allocation?
Replies: 17
Views: 1282

Re: Count TIAA Traditional towards the bond allocation?

I count TIAA Traditional as a bond, and it makes up about 25% of my bond allocation. It’s a great investment. I’d like to add to it, but I can’t, now that I’m retired. And I’m sorry that I’ll have to start taking required minimum distributions from it next year. I’d like to hold TIAA Traditional for...
by John151
Tue Apr 12, 2016 6:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirees: what's your Withdrawal Rate for this and last year?
Replies: 79
Views: 7807

Re: Retirees: what's your Withdrawal Rate for this and last year?

Let’s say that I take a required minimum distribution of $25,000 by selling shares in my IRA. Let’s say that I pay $7,500 in federal and state income taxes on that amount, and that I reinvest the remainder in a taxable account. What is the size of my withdrawal? Is it the full $25,000? Or is it $25,...
by John151
Tue Apr 12, 2016 12:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirees: what's your Withdrawal Rate for this and last year?
Replies: 79
Views: 7807

Re: Retirees: what's your Withdrawal Rate for this and last year?

Fortunately I have not had to withdraw from retirement savings. SS,Pension, a few dividends have been sufficient. Wouldn't spending dividends be the same as a withdrawal? I think it’s a matter of definition. To me, a withdrawal would involve selling shares. I wouldn’t count spending the income from...
by John151
Tue Apr 12, 2016 11:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirees: what's your Withdrawal Rate for this and last year?
Replies: 79
Views: 7807

Re: Retirees: what's your Withdrawal Rate for this and last year?

Toons wrote:Fortunately I have not had to withdraw from retirement savings.
SS,Pension, a few dividends have been sufficient.

+1
by John151
Sun Apr 10, 2016 2:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Savings Bonds
Replies: 3
Views: 663

Re: Savings Bonds

Do you want to increase your stock allocation? If so, cash in the bonds and invest the proceeds in a stock index fund, such as Vanguard Total Stock Market. If not, invest the proceeds in a tax-exempt bond fund, such as Vanguard Limited-Term Tax-Exempt. Or you could invest in both.
by John151
Sat Apr 02, 2016 1:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Who needs Money Market accounts any more?
Replies: 55
Views: 6770

Re: Who needs Money Market accounts any more?

I can’t imagine doing without the money market fund I have at Vanguard. Dividends from my other Vanguard funds are paid into it. I keep about two percent of my assets in it as an emergency reserve. I can write checks on it whenever I need to. And it’s paying slightly more (0.42%) than my local check...
by John151
Tue Mar 29, 2016 6:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is your current Cash to Investment ratio?
Replies: 112
Views: 7215

Re: What is your current Cash to Investment ratio?

I’m sixty-eight and have about two percent of my savings in cash (a checking account and a money market fund). As I enter my seventies, I plan to gradually increase cash to 5%. It doesn’t bother me that cash pays so little. I just like knowing the money is there if I need it.
by John151
Tue Mar 08, 2016 4:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turbo Tax - Deluxe or Premier?
Replies: 20
Views: 1601

Re: Turbo Tax - Deluxe or Premier?

I’ve gotten tired of TurboTax’s opaque pricing, so this year I calculated my federal and state taxes using the online versions of both TurboTax and TaxAct. The results were exactly the same, but the prices were very different: $71.98 for TurboTax, and $14.98 for TaxAct. I went with TaxAct.
by John151
Thu Mar 03, 2016 4:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do You Give Your Friends Investment Advice?
Replies: 58
Views: 4813

Do You Give Your Friends Investment Advice?

I would never give a friend investment advice unless he asks me to, and I’m hesitant about giving advice even then. If a friend followed my advice with poor results, I’d feel partly responsible, and I might end up losing his friendship as well. So when friends ask for advice on their investments, I ...
by John151
Sat Feb 20, 2016 2:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Prime Money Market (Settlement fund) - quick question
Replies: 13
Views: 2757

Re: Vanguard Prime Money Market (Settlement fund) - quick question

I have dividends from my Vanguard stock and bond mutual funds deposited into my Prime Money Market Fund. Proceeds from the sale of Vanguard funds go into the fund as well. I also use it as a cash reserve, either to purchase shares in other Vanguard funds, or to be used in case of emergencies. Curren...
by John151
Thu Feb 18, 2016 8:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TaxAct 2015
Replies: 54
Views: 6921

Re: TaxAct 2015

I used TurboTax as discounted by Vanguard for many years, and then switched to TaxAct when Vanguard dropped its discounts. I was able to complete and efile my federal and state returns in an hour or two, without any problems or glitches. My federal return was accepted within minutes, and my state re...
by John151
Wed Feb 03, 2016 3:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What age did you retire
Replies: 84
Views: 7898

Re: What age did you retire

I qualified for early retirement at fifty-five and decided to go for it. I’ve never regretted my decision.
by John151
Sat Jan 30, 2016 2:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Who else is holding in cash? [For future investing]
Replies: 66
Views: 5741

Re: Who else is holding in cash?

I’m a conservative retiree pushing seventy, and my targets are 5% in cash, 65% in bonds, and 30% in stocks. Right now I have 2% in cash, 66% in bonds, and 32% in stocks. I’m slightly overweighted in bonds and stocks, so new money is going into cash. In my case, that means a money market fund. It doe...
by John151
Sat Jan 23, 2016 6:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you use the service of a CPA or you do your tax yourself?
Replies: 88
Views: 7393

Re: Do you use the service of a CPA or you do your tax yourself?

My taxes are usually pretty simple: Form 1040, Schedule B, and sometimes Schedule D. I prepared my taxes by hand for about twenty-five years, and then switched to TurboTax in the late 1990’s. As a Vanguard investor, I was able to use TurboTax for free until this year, when Vanguard discontinued its ...
by John151
Fri Jan 22, 2016 9:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TaxAct Plus vs TurboTax vs H&R Block for 2015
Replies: 117
Views: 11358

Re: TaxAct Plus vs TurboTax vs H&R Block for 2015

I calculated my federal and state income taxes for 2015 using both TurboTax and TaxAct. The results were exactly the same, but the prices were very different: $71.98 for TurboTax, and $14.98 for TaxAct. I’m going with TaxAct.

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