Search found 58 matches

by JohnDoh
Tue Jun 27, 2017 11:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Unable to Escape from Quicken Island ...
Replies: 6
Views: 234

Unable to Escape from Quicken Island ...

This is partly to vent ... ... partly to share ... ... partly to solicit insights. Here goes: 1) I have been a longtime Quicken (Windows 7 Pro) user. In general I have found the software to be fine but HATED the company for its business practices and its seemingly-endless inability to build rock-sol...
by JohnDoh
Mon Jun 19, 2017 7:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Wealth doesn't come with a handbook"
Replies: 2
Views: 1069

"Wealth doesn't come with a handbook"

Although this recent WaPo article is explicitly pitched as a guide for the "ultra-rich", I think many of the considerations apply, mutatis mutandis , to most families of any means (as various threads here over the years seem to support). A how-to guide from the ultra-rich: What to tell you...
by JohnDoh
Thu May 18, 2017 7:57 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bogleheading with TD Ameritrade
Replies: 11
Views: 631

Re: Bogleheading with TD Ameritrade

You may be able to solve two problems (one of which you may not know you have :D) at the same time. 1) I infer from your OP that you are funding your HSA through payroll deductions. As several folks around here have observed, that may not be the optimal move because the HSA deduction is pre-FICA and...
by JohnDoh
Thu May 04, 2017 6:54 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best SCV to choose from?
Replies: 14
Views: 1915

Re: Best SCV to choose from?

In the old Boglehead days, many folks consulted Eric Haas's "DFA vs Vanguard" recommendations for a wide range of asset classes (which actually includes funds/ETFs from other providers also). The analyses even take asset location into account. I've often found it helpful. http://altruistfa...
by JohnDoh
Sat Apr 22, 2017 8:44 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Those that hold international equities at market-cap weight: what is your method?
Replies: 24
Views: 2540

Re: Those that hold international equities at market-cap weight: what is your method?

Many years ago, I adopted a strategy propounded by Rick Ferri. Of International Equity allocation: 1/3 Europe TSM (VGK) 1/3 Pacific TSM (VPL) 1/3 Emerging TSM (VWO) It's simple and it guards against having a bubble / crash in any one region (e.g. Japan of yore) highjacking the international allocati...
by JohnDoh
Sat Jan 28, 2017 12:49 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Scott Burns is Signing Off -- He'll be missed
Replies: 25
Views: 6597

Re: Scott Burns is Signing Off -- He'll be missed

I owe a particular debt to Miss Ozgood, my 11th grade English teacher. I wanted to be an engineer and an astronaut, but she started the fire. She asked her students to write sentences instead of diagraming them, and I did. School is not so easy and it is not for the most part very fun, but then, if...
by JohnDoh
Thu Dec 29, 2016 10:30 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TIAA Traditional: "Fair Value" or "Free Lunch"?
Replies: 31
Views: 2687

Re: TIAA Traditional: "Fair Value" or "Free Lunch"?

Hidden capital achieved through TIAA’s reserve conservatism and an "extremely strong competitive position that it has cultivated by delivering a strong value proposition to the U.S. higher education pension market." [snip] "the existence of hidden capital through reserve conservatism...
by JohnDoh
Wed Dec 28, 2016 11:57 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TIAA Traditional: "Fair Value" or "Free Lunch"?
Replies: 31
Views: 2687

Re: TIAA Traditional: "Fair Value" or "Free Lunch"?

Following up on House Blend, this is the General Account portfolio as of September 30, 2016: https://www.tiaa.org/public/pdf/performance/retirement/profiles/TIAA_Gen_Act_Fin_Strength.pdf And here is A. M. Best's analysis (and rating) as of June 2016: http://www3.ambest.com/ambv/bestnews/pressconten...
by JohnDoh
Mon Dec 26, 2016 12:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TIAA Traditional: "Fair Value" or "Free Lunch"?
Replies: 31
Views: 2687

Re: TIAA Traditional: "Fair Value" or "Free Lunch"?

That being the case, it follows that the even lower rates offered for Traditional in an IRA make that particular menu item a horribly overpriced non-free lunch. Not sure why you'd think that. The current 2.1% crediting rate for new IRAs is still higher than CD rates and doesn't require any term com...
by JohnDoh
Mon Dec 26, 2016 12:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TIAA Traditional: "Fair Value" or "Free Lunch"?
Replies: 31
Views: 2687

Re: TIAA Traditional: "Fair Value" or "Free Lunch"?

That being the case, it follows that the even lower rates offered for Traditional in an IRA make that particular menu item a horribly overpriced non-free lunch. Not sure why you'd think that. The current 2.1% crediting rate for new IRAs is still higher than CD rates and doesn't require any term com...
by JohnDoh
Mon Dec 26, 2016 11:14 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TIAA Traditional: "Fair Value" or "Free Lunch"?
Replies: 31
Views: 2687

Re: TIAA Traditional: "Fair Value" or "Free Lunch"?

I suspect it is recency bias that says Traditional is a fine fixed income option. How did it do in the 1950's, 60's and 70's? Just last week I moved 20% of my investment in my SVF to Total Bond Market. I'll likely do more. Yields on these have swapped leads a couple times over the past 8 years, but...
by JohnDoh
Mon Dec 26, 2016 11:06 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TIAA Traditional: "Fair Value" or "Free Lunch"?
Replies: 31
Views: 2687

Re: TIAA Traditional: "Fair Value" or "Free Lunch"?

Yes, your TIAA TA looks like a good deal now, but when bonds were paying 7% to 10%, the TIAA traditional was paying about 5%, right? This is the point I was driving at in the OP. Is TIAA Traditional now (and recently) a "good deal" or a "fair deal" for investors? Because the fli...
by JohnDoh
Mon Dec 26, 2016 12:14 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TIAA Traditional: "Fair Value" or "Free Lunch"?
Replies: 31
Views: 2687

TIAA Traditional: "Fair Value" or "Free Lunch"?

I just came across a September 2016 TIAA "White Paper" TIAA Traditional Annuity: Adding safety and stability to retirement portfolios https://www.tiaa.org/public/pdf/compliance/tiaa-traditional-white-paper.pdf Although apparently similar to previous versions, this White Paper had some very...
by JohnDoh
Wed Dec 14, 2016 8:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA 2017 contributions
Replies: 7
Views: 1215

Re: HSA 2017 contributions

Another great resource is THE FINANCE BUFF. This pages seems relevant to your situation:

https://thefinancebuff.com/hsa-contribution-limit-two-plans-mid-year-changes.html

There are many other great pages on the site.

P.S. I believe TFB posts here also.
by JohnDoh
Wed Dec 14, 2016 8:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Timing of Roth IRA conversion
Replies: 30
Views: 4183

Re: Timing of Roth IRA conversion

Seems like these are about the only times one can actually follow Will Rogers' famous investing advice:

Don't gamble; take all your savings and buy some good stock and hold it till it goes up, then sell it. If it don't go up, don't buy it.


:moneybag :beer :shock:
by JohnDoh
Mon Dec 12, 2016 9:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with ACA MAGI and tax loss harvesting
Replies: 12
Views: 1137

Re: Help with ACA MAGI and tax loss harvesting

Hello, I am trying to finalize my 2016 income so that it is within the ranges for the ACA while also low in taxes. I am from a state which doesn't expand Medicaid. As I understand, this means I need to have income above the FPl or $11,880 for 2016 to qualify for the ACA subsidy. Here is my situatio...
by JohnDoh
Mon Oct 03, 2016 10:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Early planning for ACA 2017
Replies: 20
Views: 2980

Re: Early planning for ACA 2017

It seems like there is really a two-sided dance to all this. On the one side are the intertwining of income, prices, and subsidies. The second half is the makeup of the specific plans themselves. I'm concerned that there is a "race to the bottom" going on in terms or provider networks (an...
by JohnDoh
Mon Sep 19, 2016 5:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with Condo Capital Gain/Loss Strategy
Replies: 6
Views: 749

Re: Help with Condo Capital Gain/Loss Strategy

Thanks, Mule and littlebird. Very helpful. Friend and I were able to confirm Mule's understanding of the gain/loss rules, which Friend says enhances the attractiveness of the long-term renting option. I guess the next issue is whether maintaining the condo as an investment makes sense in the current...
by JohnDoh
Sat Sep 17, 2016 8:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with Condo Capital Gain/Loss Strategy
Replies: 6
Views: 749

Help with Condo Capital Gain/Loss Strategy

"A friend" :happy is looking for advice on the following situation. Condo ⋅ Friend owns a condo in a major city that was purchased for cash and has been owner-occupied for more than 10 years. For our purposes, let's say the purchase price was $200,000. ⋅ For a variety o...
by JohnDoh
Wed Jan 27, 2016 11:22 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: HSA Administrators Adds DFA/Dimensional Funds
Replies: 4
Views: 1060

HSA Administrators Adds DFA/Dimensional Funds

HSA Administrators (now known as Health Savings Administrators [?]) is now offering 22 Dimensional funds, including 10 target retirement funds, in addition to the long-standing lineup of Vanguard funds. http://healthsavings.com/dimensional/ http://www.ssuchronicle.com/2016/01/26/healthsavings-admini...
by JohnDoh
Wed May 28, 2014 5:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I keep my TIAA account?
Replies: 31
Views: 2345

Re: Should I keep my TIAA account?

FWIW, I personally would approach the situation this way. 1) I believe a more diversified portfolio is better than a less diversified portfolio. TIAA TRAD and TREA are generally considered to be unique asset(s) (classes) that are not available elsewhere and therefore are valuable additions to a more...
by JohnDoh
Sun Apr 13, 2014 10:00 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: skewing to take advantage of capital-loss carryforward?
Replies: 8
Views: 1034

Re: skewing to take advantage of capital-loss carryforward?

Timber REITs generally throw off ~100% LTCG. http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=66833 In the opinion of some, "timber" is a distinct asset class and thus worth allocating to regardless of tax issues. http://www.advisorperspectives.com/newsletters10/Timber_as_an_Asset_Class.php...
by JohnDoh
Sun Jan 19, 2014 8:57 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Passive Investing: The Evidence"
Replies: 19
Views: 3751

Re: "Passive Investing: The Evidence"

Many thanks for the comments; it's always heartening when such a knowledgeable community of passive investors appreciates what we are trying to do! You may be interested to learn that we are currently in pre-production for another similarly weighty video focusing on systematic investing which shoul...
by JohnDoh
Wed Jan 15, 2014 8:19 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does tax efficient allocation cause glide path issue?
Replies: 3
Views: 630

Re: Does tax efficient allocation cause glide path issue?

Don't forget savings bonds. As part of the glide path -- and depending on income -- one can (should IMHO) start maxing out (to the extend possible) annual I Bond purchases. This give one: 1) additional tax sheltered space; 2) additional inflation-protected fixed income allocation; 3) an I-Bond ladde...
by JohnDoh
Sun Jan 12, 2014 8:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I bonds and Vanguard
Replies: 12
Views: 1617

Re: I bonds and Vanguard

I could have sworn that I had seen a $5,000 trust limit somewhere. (But perhaps that was when the purchase limits were $5,000 rather than $10,000 ??) In any case, I found Treasury Direct's page on purchase limits: https://www.treasurydirect.gov/indiv/help/TDHelp/help_ug_137-PurchaseLimitLearnMore.ht...
by JohnDoh
Sun Jan 12, 2014 8:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I bonds and Vanguard
Replies: 12
Views: 1617

Re: I bonds and Vanguard

In the Code of Federal Regulations, you is the account holder. If you have a trust that has an account, you is your trust. If you have an account, you is you. Both yous share the same SSN, so you in both your incarnations can acquire $20k a year, $10k each. You or your refers to a TreasuryDirect pr...
by JohnDoh
Sun Jan 12, 2014 12:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Asset Allocation for Middle Age
Replies: 32
Views: 5955

Re: Asset Allocation for Middle Age

At the risk of highjacking the OP's question, I'd like to offer a different way of framing the "middle age problem". I don't think it is primarily a problem of asset allocation. I think it is primarily a problem of designing and implementing a sensible (to you) "pre-retirement glide p...
by JohnDoh
Sun Jan 12, 2014 11:39 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Callan periodic table of investments for 2013
Replies: 12
Views: 3324

Re: Callan periodic table of investments for 2013

Allianz has long put out their own periodic table, and I've just found their latest. It covers 2003-2013 (the column heading says "YTD 2013" but the footnote says data is "as of 12/31/13"; it was probably a running chart that did not have its heading changed at year-end). It incl...
by JohnDoh
Sat Jan 11, 2014 10:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Callan periodic table of investments for 2013
Replies: 12
Views: 3324

Re: Callan periodic table of investments for 2013

I like to amend the chart by showing the fluctuating division between "winners" and "losers". Among other things it facilitates several observations: 1) In 8 of 20 years (40% of the time), EVERY asset class was a "winner" but in no year was EVERY asset class a "los...
by JohnDoh
Tue Jan 07, 2014 10:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: At what point is a 401k/403b/457b not worth it?
Replies: 21
Views: 2510

Re: At what point is a 401k/403b/457b not worth it?

Although variable annuities are generally sniffed at around here, there is now at least one very low cost variable annuity via Jefferson National ( http://www.jeffnat.com ) which charges a fixed $240 per year fee in addition to the ERs of the underlying investments. Although the vast bulk of their o...
by JohnDoh
Mon Dec 30, 2013 1:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ACA Income Tax Planning Strategies
Replies: 64
Views: 10519

Re: ACA Income Tax Planning Strategies

MAGI has many different definitions, depending on context. For the purpose of ACA subsidies, you can find the definition in IRC 36B(d)(2)(B): http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/26/36B#d Wow. That's great. This forum never ceases to amaze me. Thanks! For "ACA MAGI" I find the document ...
by JohnDoh
Sun Dec 29, 2013 2:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Commodities Funds: A Decade of Disaster
Replies: 196
Views: 19341

Re: Commodities Funds: A Decade of Disaster

Thanks, Robert, for the additional data and charts and analysis. I'm going to have to think more on them. (Mebbe I'm treed ... :annoyed ) On a technical point, I note that the prior series begin in January 2003 and the current series appears to begin in June 2004 (and not January 2004). Is that corr...
by JohnDoh
Sun Dec 29, 2013 2:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Commodities Funds: A Decade of Disaster
Replies: 196
Views: 19341

Re: Commodities Funds: A Decade of Disaster

1) There was NOT a "Decade of Disaster", but rather a "2.5-Year Disaster"; 2) The disaster has been over for almost 3 years. We have many choices to make when constructing a portfolio. The objective in most cases is to have additions to portfolio add value. If we consider the ch...
by JohnDoh
Sun Dec 29, 2013 12:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Commodities Funds: A Decade of Disaster
Replies: 196
Views: 19341

Re: Commodities Funds: A Decade of Disaster

One further thought. Assuming Robert's chart is accurate (which I do) and the isolation of the major disconnect between CCF prices and spot prices to the late-2008-to-early-2011 timeframe (which I'm still sticking with), it appears that at least two things follow: 1) There was NOT a "Decade of ...
by JohnDoh
Sun Dec 29, 2013 12:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ACA Income Tax Planning Strategies
Replies: 64
Views: 10519

Re: ACA Income Tax Planning Strategies

Now that I've been noodling on this for a while, I think I have a reasonable grasp of the various ways to reduce MAGI and pick up various benefits such ACA premium credit and Saver's Credit. (I'm in a bronze plan with HSA and so not eligible for cost-sharing subsidies, I don't think.) Thanks again ...
by JohnDoh
Sun Dec 29, 2013 12:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Commodities Funds: A Decade of Disaster
Replies: 196
Views: 19341

Re: Commodities Funds: A Decade of Disaster

Fair enough as to onset. But why the end of the disconnect in early 2011? Did CCFs become massively LESS POPULAR then? Has there been a massive outflow of AUM since 2011? (Serious questions.) I don't know, but just speculating that maybe the disconnect was larger during the transition as money flow...
by JohnDoh
Sun Dec 29, 2013 12:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: So, you want to invest in CCFs ...
Replies: 3
Views: 728

So, you want to invest in CCFs ...

In another thread, Commodities Funds: A Decade of Disaster , the general wisdom of investing in Collateralized Commodities Futures (CCFs) is under discussion. In this thread, I'd like to focus on analyzing the relative merits of the various vehicles for investing in CCFs. In other words, for the pur...
by JohnDoh
Sun Dec 29, 2013 11:37 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Commodities Funds: A Decade of Disaster
Replies: 196
Views: 19341

Re: Commodities Funds: A Decade of Disaster

I am struck by something: almost all of the disconnect between CCFs and spot seems to take place between late 2008 and early 2011. From mid-2005 to late 2008 there is a mild disconnect, especially in the late 2007/early 2008 spike. But nonetheless by late 2008 the cumulative returns of CCFs and spo...
by JohnDoh
Sun Dec 29, 2013 10:51 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Commodities Funds: A Decade of Disaster
Replies: 196
Views: 19341

Re: Commodities Funds: A Decade of Disaster

Robert: Thanks very much for getting, charting and analyzing the data. Your first chart reproduces the chart I posted from the Gorton and Rouwenhorst paper I believe, and your second chart give actual data in place of my crude extensions based on Dr. Bernstein's initial claims about CCF and spot pri...
by JohnDoh
Sat Dec 28, 2013 2:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Commodities Funds: A Decade of Disaster
Replies: 196
Views: 19341

Re: Commodities Funds: A Decade of Disaster

To those who advocate commodities. John C. Bogle has said "Successful investing involves doing just a few things right and avoiding serious mistakes." Successful investing involves doing just a few things right and avoiding serious mistakes. 1) Describe a category of investor for whom, in...
by JohnDoh
Sat Dec 28, 2013 12:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Commodities Funds: A Decade of Disaster
Replies: 196
Views: 19341

Re: Commodities Funds: A Decade of Disaster

Had CCFs behaved as they were "supposed" to, they would have both improved returns and reduced volatility in a portfolio that replaced stocks with CCFs 1:1. Are you referring to the way the historical indexes performed vs live funds and before "dumb money" when you say "sup...
by JohnDoh
Sat Dec 28, 2013 11:45 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Commodities Funds: A Decade of Disaster
Replies: 196
Views: 19341

Re: Commodities Funds: A Decade of Disaster

Just to double-check my memory I consulted Dr. Bernstein's excellent book, The Intelligent Asset Allocator . Chapter 4 is entitled "The Behavior of Real-World Portfolios". Around page 44 and on Figure 4-2 (also on page 44) Dr. Bernstein discusses the effect of various duration bonds on the...
by JohnDoh
Sat Dec 28, 2013 10:53 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Commodities Funds: A Decade of Disaster
Replies: 196
Views: 19341

Re: Commodities Funds: A Decade of Disaster

I think the essence of the "disaster" can be seen in the following chart from Gorton and Rouwenhorst article referenced earlier ( Facts and Fantasies about Commodity Futures ) which I have modified to include the past decade as represented by Dr. Bernstein. (I do not have the actual data b...
by JohnDoh
Sat Dec 28, 2013 1:27 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Commodities Funds: A Decade of Disaster
Replies: 196
Views: 19341

Re: Commodities Funds: A Decade of Disaster

Hi All: Well, by popular demand here's a plot that answers the question, "does a CCF improve overall portfolio performance?" https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/29031758/Screenshot%20from%202013-12-27%2021%3A19%3A19.png This is a little complicated, so I'll explain. The two curves plot po...
by JohnDoh
Fri Dec 27, 2013 6:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Wolf of Wall St - victims still seeking compensation
Replies: 24
Views: 3999

Re: Wolf of Wall St - victims still seeking compensation

Or the silent, 1928 L'Argent based on the novel of the same title by Emile Zola (available in English as Money).
by JohnDoh
Fri Dec 27, 2013 11:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ACA Income Tax Planning Strategies
Replies: 64
Views: 10519

Re: ACA Income Tax Planning Strategies

Now that I've been noodling on this for a while, I think I have a reasonable grasp of the various ways to reduce MAGI and pick up various benefits such ACA premium credit and Saver's Credit. (I'm in a bronze plan with HSA and so not eligible for cost-sharing subsidies, I don't think.) Thanks again t...
by JohnDoh
Thu Dec 26, 2013 7:06 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TIAA Real Estate Account, bond-like or Madoff-like?
Replies: 79
Views: 11373

Re: Year-end update: What are TREA Market Timers thinking?

Since I know it is going to go up smoothly another 10% over the next 6-9 months, I now know that I should certainly not sell it until that happens. The Wisdom of Crowds actually projected closer to a 9% gain for this calendar year, I believe. The gain projected above would be way above the present ...
by JohnDoh
Wed Dec 25, 2013 2:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Commodities Funds: A Decade of Disaster
Replies: 196
Views: 19341

Re: Commodities Funds: A Decade of Disaster

One table may not become two, but it can have desert plate on top of that table because of diversification bonus. Did you mean diversification or co-relation (one day I will spell this thing right) bonus? I think wbern addressed that in his OP: "The fallacy in the argument for MCF's is that it...

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