Search found 6942 matches

by Kevin M
Thu May 26, 2016 6:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: As bad as I think it is? [403(b) plan choices]
Replies: 36
Views: 2772

Re: As bad as I think it is? [403(b) plan choices]

While the OP's choices are less than ideal, it is always much better to invest with a bad plan instead of nothing at all. Here's why: Importance of saving early Although if the OP is in a lower tax bracket, it would likely seem better to invest in a Roth and Taxable than to have a 2% drag, no? Agai...
by Kevin M
Thu May 26, 2016 5:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: If TSM and SP500 are so alike, why even do TSM?
Replies: 40
Views: 3458

Re: If TSM and SP500 are so alike, why even do TSM?

But the S&P 500 isn't a large-cap index, that is to say it isn't a systematic, unbiassed selection of the 500 largest cap stocks in the market. I disagree that the S&P 500 isn't a large-cap index, and I don't think we should define large-cap index fund in a way that happens to suit your arg...
by Kevin M
Thu May 26, 2016 1:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: As bad as I think it is? [403(b) plan choices]
Replies: 36
Views: 2772

Re: As bad as I think it is?

My daughter's 401k plan is just about as bad. The ERs on her American funds actually are a bit higher. We are using the American Funds EuroPacific Growth R2 fund (RERBX) with an ER of 1.58% in her plan, and using her IRA and her husband's 401k for the other asset classes. As with your plan, she does...
by Kevin M
Thu May 26, 2016 12:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: If TSM and SP500 are so alike, why even do TSM?
Replies: 40
Views: 3458

Re: If TSM and SP500 are so alike, why even do TSM?

I keep hearing that TSM and SP500 are so much alike, either is fine. In that case, why not just stick with SP500 and nothing else? Why have ANY small caps at all? Can you explain why your default choice would be S&P500 instead of total market? Is it because you hear about one on the news and no...
by Kevin M
Thu May 26, 2016 12:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: For liquidity, why buy Treasuries given existence of high-yield online bank accounts?
Replies: 14
Views: 1147

Re: For liquidity, why buy Treasuries given existence of high-yield online bank accounts?

I would break down the recent historical return into 3 parts: 1. Dividends 2. Capital gains from decreasing interest rates 3. Capital gains from the "roll yield" captured from rolling down the yield curve (bonds bought with higher rates at 10 years sold at a premium with 3 years remaining...
by Kevin M
Thu May 26, 2016 11:55 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: For liquidity, why buy Treasuries given existence of high-yield online bank accounts?
Replies: 14
Views: 1147

Re: For liquidity, why buy Treasuries given existence of high-yield online bank accounts?

PeteyDink, your observation is correct. In general, top-tier FDIC-insured deposit accounts have been a good deal for retail investors over at least the last five years. This goes for CDs as well as savings accounts. Since a savings account has no credit risk or term risk (interest rate risk), the cl...
by Kevin M
Wed May 25, 2016 7:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Autonomous cars are here: Tesla Model S Driver Caught Sleeping on Autopilot
Replies: 3
Views: 724

Re: Autonomous cars are here: Tesla Model S Driver Caught Sleeping on Autopilot

Looks like it's in stop and go traffic, and this is one area in which the Tesla AP really shines. But it's not perfect, and regardless of the type of driving, I do "take the con" away from AP periodically when I don't like the way it's driving.

Kevin
by Kevin M
Wed May 25, 2016 7:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bernstein says emergency fund part of your "asset allocation?"
Replies: 59
Views: 4528

Re: Bernstein says emergency fund part of your "asset allocation?"

I haven't picked up Four Pillars in a few years, so this motivated me to grab it and check out Bill's thoughts on the topic raised in the OP. I just finished reading it and I got the impression he was referring mainly to retirees when he said that. I'll have to double check. We've already "lost...
by Kevin M
Wed May 25, 2016 1:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: guaranteed 5% vs stocks?
Replies: 175
Views: 20823

Re: guaranteed 5% vs stocks?

I've moved $50K from my bond fund in taxable account to these accounts. Good for you! I'm really behind the curve on this one. Realistically, it's only a very small % bump from the bond returns. On a risk adjusted basis, it's actually a significant bump from bond yields. Yield on the 5-year Treasur...
by Kevin M
Wed May 25, 2016 1:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: guaranteed 5% vs stocks?
Replies: 175
Views: 20823

Re: guaranteed 5% vs stocks?

OK, first step for first card done, and will follow the advice to proceed patiently and methodically per tfb's blog post. As long as everything goes well, I'll probably set up at least 5 each for spouse and me, using the priorities shared here--maybe more. First source of funding will be cash reserv...
by Kevin M
Tue May 24, 2016 8:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: guaranteed 5% vs stocks?
Replies: 175
Views: 20823

Re: guaranteed 5% vs stocks?

I'm feeling shamed into finally taking some action on this. Is this post by tfb on the detailed steps still 100% applicable?

NetSpend Prepaid Card + 5% Savings Account

I note that he does emphasize to do the steps in order, and not try to rush things.

Thanks,

Kevin
by Kevin M
Tue May 24, 2016 4:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: guaranteed 5% vs stocks?
Replies: 175
Views: 20823

Re: guaranteed 5% vs stocks?

Kevin, it is interesting to see you chiming in here, since I view you as an expert on bond alternatives, and you seem to be frequently seeking out CDs with the best rates. You have been a very helpful source in my search for high yielding and safe fixed investments. Do you own these accounts? And i...
by Kevin M
Tue May 24, 2016 12:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: guaranteed 5% vs stocks?
Replies: 175
Views: 20823

Re: guaranteed 5% vs stocks?

Since the 5% doesn't compound if you're maxed out, what's the real rate of return on the Netspend accounts for, say, five years, if you sweep the Netspend interest into a 1% savings account as it's paid quarterly? It depends how you define rate of return, but the compounding isn't hugely significan...
by Kevin M
Fri May 20, 2016 10:14 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: guaranteed 5% vs stocks?
Replies: 175
Views: 20823

Re: guaranteed 5% vs stocks?

what I am wondering is why %5 return attracts so many people here in this forum? It's simple: because the yield on other safe, fixed-income alternatives is closer to 2% or less. Yield on a 5-year Treasury is about 1.4%, and that has interest-rate (term) risk, while the alternatives being discussed ...
by Kevin M
Thu May 19, 2016 7:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Capital One 360 New Money Market Account, 1% on over 10k
Replies: 84
Views: 11351

Re: Capital One 360 New Money Market Account, 1% on over 10k

Yes, Ally is great when it comes to flexibility, products offered, ACH transfers, links to external accounts, and ease of opening additional accounts of all types. Hi Kevin, since you have both accounts, are there any compelling reasons for existing CapOne 360 users to switch to Ally as their prima...
by Kevin M
Thu May 19, 2016 3:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Never-ending Taxable Bond Dilemma
Replies: 24
Views: 2833

Re: Never-ending Taxable Bond Dilemma

My rule of thumb is that munis are break-even with taxable bonds of comparable risk at a 25% marginal tax rate.<snip> I am also not an expert, and don't claim a good basis for this rule of thumb<snip> Bummer! I've been posting based on the same working assumption, having seen you state this in many...
by Kevin M
Thu May 19, 2016 2:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tesla X
Replies: 224
Views: 32295

Re: Tesla X

Since the X has 12V outlets, I'm contemplating on getting this following cooler/warmer: http://www.amazon.com/Wagan-EL6224-12V-Cooler-Warmer/dp/B00NHBYOA6/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1463630239&sr=8-6&keywords=electric+cooler#Ask It'll come handy for long-distance road trips. Interesting! We...
by Kevin M
Thu May 19, 2016 1:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Capital One 360 New Money Market Account, 1% on over 10k
Replies: 84
Views: 11351

Re: Capital One 360 New Money Market Account, 1% on over 10k

Yes, Ally is great when it comes to flexibility, products offered, ACH transfers, links to external accounts, and ease of opening additional accounts of all types.
by Kevin M
Sun May 15, 2016 8:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: guaranteed 5% vs stocks?
Replies: 175
Views: 20823

Re: guaranteed 5% vs stocks?

Other banks have similar requirements, or at least limit the number of accounts that can be linked (with Capitalone360 it is three accounts total). Although I haven't yet jumped on this band wagon, out of laziness, this does highlight yet another reason to use a good hub bank. Although it doesn't a...
by Kevin M
Fri May 13, 2016 3:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tesla X
Replies: 224
Views: 32295

Re: Tesla X

Btw, back on topic, have you or any other of the Tesla owners sprung for a CHAdeMO adapter? I have not, on road trips always use Superchargers or have the hotel valet recharge vehicle. Since can be recharged overnight using simple 110 volt outlet at least partially never had problems at hotels gett...
by Kevin M
Fri May 13, 2016 2:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tesla X
Replies: 224
Views: 32295

Re: Tesla X

You may have some reduced regeneration initially when the car is cold but the battery warms up quickly and it's a non issue within a few miles. True for me in mild climate, but if you read one of the linked posts above, you'll see that in very cold climate it can take quite a few miles for full reg...
by Kevin M
Fri May 13, 2016 2:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tesla X
Replies: 224
Views: 32295

Re: Tesla X

It has been suggested (here? Tesla Motors forum?) that drivers who have previously driven a manual transmission vehicle adapt more quickly to regen braking, as it's not entirely dissimilar. YMMV???? :D Interesting. Previous vehicle, since 2007, was manual transmission Honda Accord. I still found re...
by Kevin M
Thu May 12, 2016 11:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tesla X
Replies: 224
Views: 32295

Re: Tesla X

Regarding Teslas in cold weather, they are very popular in Norway. Don't know if it's still true, but a year or two ago they were the best selling car overall in Norway, and Norway was the second biggest country market after the US (although financial incentives are particularly attractive in Norway...
by Kevin M
Mon May 02, 2016 2:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Well Done Ally Bank - CD purchase
Replies: 54
Views: 8867

Re: Well Done Ally Bank - CD purchase

I was looking at Barclay's with their current 2.05% 5-year CD. Any thoughts? Also curious about Barclays. We're there in a savings and not sure we should be there. Anyone have experience with their on-line savings account or CD's, or how they stand up to Ally? Barclays is fine for what they offer. ...
by Kevin M
Sun May 01, 2016 9:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Capital One 360 New Money Market Account, 1% on over 10k
Replies: 84
Views: 11351

Re: Capital One 360 New Money Market Account, 1% on over 10k

I opened this MM with Capital One. But I dont see any option to add a beneficiary. It gives some options about Living Trust, but I dont want to pay attorney fees to set it up just so I can add a beneficiary where other banks let you do that directly. Anyone here know a workaround for it? Thanks! Pr...
by Kevin M
Fri Apr 29, 2016 2:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 29 yo and married: Do I need a will and/or trust?
Replies: 10
Views: 977

Re: 29 yo and married: Do I need a will and/or trust?

I think you should get the Nolo Press book on creating your own living trust and read it. It will give you a solid foundation to more forward in your decision making. I have learned a lot from that book (and others), and have actually used the templates to create living trusts for family members. It...
by Kevin M
Fri Apr 29, 2016 1:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Inherited property and family issues
Replies: 39
Views: 3300

Re: Inherited property and family issues

Agree that inherited property should be sold ASAP unless beneficiary co-owners are like-minded, business oriented, individuals who agree that it's in their best interest to retain the property as co-owners. My three brothers and I inherited my dad's condo. One of the brothers had an emotional attach...
by Kevin M
Wed Apr 20, 2016 9:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Don't Include 529s in Portfolio, Correct?
Replies: 14
Views: 1355

Re: Don't Include 529s in Portfolio, Correct?

Can't imagine how you could stay the course during downturns if you lump college savings in with retirement funds. Different timeframes and goals. It depends on your situation and how much you understand the fungibility of your investments. I'm already retired, and with last child just having gradu...
by Kevin M
Wed Apr 20, 2016 5:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Don't Include 529s in Portfolio, Correct?
Replies: 14
Views: 1355

Re: Don't Include 529s in Portfolio, Correct?

Yes, I do. Money is fungible, and I have access to a good stable value fund in a 529, so this just counts as part of my fixed income allocation. College expenses are funded out of taxable accounts so far. I may just keep 529 and change beneficiary to granddaughter.

Kevin
by Kevin M
Mon Apr 18, 2016 12:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Tax filing mistakes made by your CPA (or yourself)]
Replies: 69
Views: 4495

Re: [Tax filing mistakes made by your CPA (or yourself)]

My problem is that I paid those options the prior year. It's a big-ish problem because this has gone on for a number of years but now I need to re-file my prior year taxes because I'd be taxed twice say in 2014 when I sold them and 2015 when they expire. And the problem is I can only go back 2 year...
by Kevin M
Sun Apr 17, 2016 3:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Tax filing mistakes made by your CPA (or yourself)]
Replies: 69
Views: 4495

Re: [Tax filing mistakes made by your CPA (or yourself)]

Kevin M, I believe what happened in our exchange was a problem with reading tone on a message board. The "Google" tax pros I'm referring to are those who argue over every item, causing you to spend hours and hours explaining and then are upset with fees. Did not mean it to be derogatory t...
by Kevin M
Sat Apr 16, 2016 11:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Tax filing mistakes made by your CPA (or yourself)]
Replies: 69
Views: 4495

Re: [Tax filing mistakes made by your CPA (or yourself)]

I can't comment on the situation for your friend that you are asking about because I don't know the facts of the situation <snip> I presented what I think are the relevant facts. I truly was hoping for some more substantial feedback on the actual facts I presented and my understanding of the applic...
by Kevin M
Fri Apr 15, 2016 7:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Tax filing mistakes made by your CPA (or yourself)]
Replies: 69
Views: 4495

Re: [Tax filing mistakes made by your CPA (or yourself)]

Here are some mistakes made by the CPA of the trustee of a trust of which a good friend of mine is the beneficiary. These are mistakes on the pro-forma 8949s and Schedule D she provided as guidance in filling out his tax return, and on the K-1 issued as a result of the 1041 she prepared. This all is...
by Kevin M
Fri Apr 15, 2016 6:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Where to park $$$ while DCA/VCA
Replies: 31
Views: 1142

Re: Where to park $$$ while DCA/VCA

Kevin, thank you for your balanced thoughts. After much deliberation, I've decided to full invest now (also in keeping with Toons' short but sweet advice) with the option to overbalance with the next correction. Great! This is a much better idea than holding the money out of the market. Good luck! ...
by Kevin M
Fri Apr 15, 2016 3:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Where to park $$$ while DCA/VCA
Replies: 31
Views: 1142

Re: Where to park $$$ while DCA/VCA

Long-story made short: they get the slightest nausea with the next bear market because of their disinterest. I've chosen a ~50-50 breakdown for them, tilting it on the more aggressive end for their age given their investments, income, and savings outside of their IRA's. It's simple and split about ...
by Kevin M
Fri Apr 15, 2016 1:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Where to park $$$ while DCA/VCA
Replies: 31
Views: 1142

Re: Where to park $$$ while DCA/VCA

DCA/VCA is a reasonable thing to consider when investing a lump of cash that you have just received out of nowhere. In my opinion, it is not a reasonable approach to consider for money that has just come out of the market. Although I agree in general, I'll continue to mildly champion the other side...
by Kevin M
Fri Apr 15, 2016 12:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Where to park $$$ while DCA/VCA
Replies: 31
Views: 1142

Re: Where to park $$$ while DCA/VCA

EDIT: Some clarifying posts were added while I was writing this. I'll let it stand as is, but keep in mind that it was written without the fuller context. What attracts me to DCA/VCA is that it provides some hedge against 2016 being the next 2008 (or 2000, etc.). Becoming 100% vested at the market t...
by Kevin M
Fri Apr 15, 2016 12:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Count TIAA Traditional towards the bond allocation?
Replies: 17
Views: 1019

Re: Count TIAA Traditional towards the bond allocation?

It's much more effective to think in terms of relatively risky assets and relatively safe assets for the top level asset allocation. Unless you own real estate or other risky assets, this basically translates into stocks and fixed income, so think "fixed income" instead of "bonds"...
by Kevin M
Thu Apr 14, 2016 12:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Filed my Form 4868 this week (extension to file tax return)
Replies: 31
Views: 1207

Re: Filed my Form 4868 this week (extension to file tax return)

A parent who is using tax software to help an adult child complete a tax return may find the deadline comes too soon. <snip> Returns mailed to him on April 1 should have arrived on April 4, but probably didn't fit in his apartment mailbox; so they were returned to me on April 12, too late to count ...
by Kevin M
Thu Apr 14, 2016 12:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Filed my Form 4868 this week (extension to file tax return)
Replies: 31
Views: 1207

Re: Filed my Form 4868 this week (extension to file tax return)

I help a friend with his taxes, and this year I had him file federal and state extensions, along with payments of the fairly large anticipated tax bills. There was a large mistake on a K-1 he received for a distribution from his deceased dad's trust related to the sale of the dad's home, and the tru...
by Kevin M
Mon Apr 11, 2016 5:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard California LT Muni Bond VCITX
Replies: 6
Views: 375

Re: Vanguard California LT Muni Bond VCITX

I own some of this fund and the CA Intermediate-Term fund, but only to maintain a little exposure to term risk and the unique credit risk associated with munis (different than corporate credit risk). The bulk of my fixed income (70%) is in CDs purchased directly from banks and credit unions, as thes...
by Kevin M
Sun Apr 10, 2016 2:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Long term cd vs bonds?
Replies: 10
Views: 821

Re: Long term cd vs bonds?

But interest rates could go higher or lower, and bond funds are meant to mitigate changing interest rate conditions, and that is why they always should be a significant part of your asset allocation. I disagree. The primary purpose of fixed income is to provide safety, hopefully with some real retu...
by Kevin M
Sun Apr 10, 2016 2:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Long term cd vs bonds?
Replies: 10
Views: 821

Re: Long term cd vs bonds?

This is an excellent CD. Yield way above the competition, and an early withdrawal penalty of only six months of interest. I recently bought a similarly good CD (84 month, 3%, EWP=180 days interest), but it was (and still is) available only as an IRA CD. I offered a proof of why even a 5-year CD at 2...
by Kevin M
Sun Apr 10, 2016 12:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Creating sub-accounts in vanguard
Replies: 13
Views: 2487

Re: Creating sub-accounts in vanguard

Creating separate accounts and using a spreadsheet to track them is a simple solution to the problem--as long as you're comfortable with spreadsheets. Just use one column in the sheet to identify the purpose of the account, with the other columns used for account number, fund name, ticker, shares, p...
by Kevin M
Sun Apr 10, 2016 12:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Improve bond holdings?
Replies: 43
Views: 2999

Re: Improve bond holdings?

I've been working all week on Andrews FCU. Luckily I had pdf's of drivers license, etc.. Took all week to get the basic account opened. <snip> Online banking sure takes some hours of work. This is a perfect example of what I mentioned above. Different people have different experiences with opening ...
by Kevin M
Sat Apr 09, 2016 1:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mango prepaid card - 4.8% (effective) APY
Replies: 478
Views: 272713

Re: Mango prepaid card - 4.8% (effective) APY

I've just started this after reading another thread. After so many accounts, I think Ally limits ACH transfers to 6 per month. With folks who have many accounts, do you use a different bank for ACH push/pulls? As others have mentioned, use a checking account. I use Ally as my hub bank, since it's g...
by Kevin M
Sat Apr 09, 2016 1:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Improve bond holdings?
Replies: 43
Views: 2999

Re: Improve bond holdings?

I hadn't thought about doing a direct transfer. The liquidity of my IRA investments is not a major concern (I don't plan on touching them until RMDs), but a put option obviously has value if rates increase. Yes, it's a bit of a mindset change, but once you do one, you may find that doing IRA transf...
by Kevin M
Fri Apr 08, 2016 8:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Improve bond holdings?
Replies: 43
Views: 2999

Re: Improve bond holdings?

As Taylor Larimore has so often taught us: "Stocks let us eat well. Bonds let us sleep well." If your portfolio is large enough, you don't need stocks to eat well. And holding some bonds doesn't seem to help a lot of people when their stocks tank. Little sayings like this don't really hel...
by Kevin M
Fri Apr 08, 2016 8:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Improve bond holdings?
Replies: 43
Views: 2999

Re: Improve bond holdings?

It makes sense to argue that a CD is better than a treasury of the same term due to credit risk (same for both), term risk (advantage to CD given possibility of early withdrawal) and substantially higher yield. Treasuries have advantages for some investors (a highly liquid market, possibility of sa...
by Kevin M
Thu Apr 07, 2016 3:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Improve bond holdings?
Replies: 43
Views: 2999

Re: Improve bond holdings?

If you believe bond markets are efficient, it is easy to prove that a good 5-year CD provides a higher risk-adjusted yield than any of your bond funds (or my bond funds).... Mechanically, how are you buying CDs in taxable and tax deferred? Direct, Vanguard brokered, something else? BTW, how do you ...

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