Search found 674 matches

by billyt
Wed Oct 26, 2016 3:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health Equity insufficient funds
Replies: 8
Views: 576

Re: Health Equity insufficient funds

OK, maybe its just me. Strange that the customer service rep would make up a story about a software problem serious enough to take a week to resolve. In the meantime I do not have access to my money. Very unsettling.

billyt
by billyt
Wed Oct 26, 2016 12:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health Equity insufficient funds
Replies: 8
Views: 576

Re: Health Equity insufficient funds

Thanks for that Kosmo.

So everything was normal as late as Monday. I initiated my transaction on Tuesday and got the 'failed, insufficient funds' notice today. Customer service seemed well aware of the problem, so it is not just me.
by billyt
Wed Oct 26, 2016 10:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health Equity insufficient funds
Replies: 8
Views: 576

Re: Health Equity insufficient funds

Yes, Health Equity is a trustee, and my money is supposedly at Merrick Bank in an FDIC insured account. Both my last statement and online show the correct balance. Nonetheless I cannot access my funds to pay bills, and the automated email told me the 'transaction failed' due to 'insufficient funds'....
by billyt
Wed Oct 26, 2016 10:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health Equity insufficient funds
Replies: 8
Views: 576

Re: Health Equity insufficient funds

bump....

Is there any possibility that Health Equity is insolvent?
by billyt
Wed Oct 26, 2016 7:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health Equity insufficient funds
Replies: 8
Views: 576

Health Equity insufficient funds

I am concerned about my Health equity HSA account. I have a savings balance approaching 5 figures, but when I applied for reimbursement yesterday I got an email saying there was insufficient funds. I spoke to a representative who said there was a 'software problem' that 'might not get fixed until ne...
by billyt
Thu Sep 15, 2016 6:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Favorite Coffee
Replies: 147
Views: 10689

Re: Favorite Coffee

Cafe Bustelo is the best!
by billyt
Wed May 18, 2016 6:16 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: SS or not
Replies: 22
Views: 2179

Re: SS or not

Do the math. If I take SS today (64), my SS plus 4% of my portfolio would be about $43k annual. If I wait unitl 66, I can draw about $44.5k, starting today, and at 66 SS plus 4% of my remaining portfolio will supply $44.5k. If I wait until 70, I can spend $47k, starting today, and at 70 SS plus 4% o...
by billyt
Tue May 17, 2016 4:14 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Yield curve flattest since 2007
Replies: 2
Views: 619

Re: Yield curve flattest since 2007

All but the overnight rate are set my the market (demand), not the Fed.
by billyt
Wed Apr 20, 2016 2:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: When to start Social Security. A different take
Replies: 107
Views: 10912

Re: When to start Social Security. A different take

One can experiment with the timing of SS payments and its impact on retirement income and portfolio values using FIRECALC. I found, for my case, that income stream, portfolio longevity, and terminal values were all increased with the delay of SS benefits until 70. Of course, this does assume you wil...
by billyt
Sun Feb 28, 2016 9:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to know when buying furniture?
Replies: 28
Views: 3584

Re: What to know when buying furniture?

Start going to estate sales and buy high-quality furniture for pennies on the dollar. In many cases, you cannot duplicate the quality of pieces that were made decades ago at any price new.

billyt
by billyt
Fri Feb 19, 2016 8:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Leave Thermostat Alone or Adjust It?
Replies: 81
Views: 5981

Re: Leave Thermostat Alone or Adjust It?

We have a geothermal heat system (Waterfurnace) here in New York State. Trust me, you do no want those back-up electrical resistance bars coming on under any circumstances as they gobble electricity like there is no tomorrow. There is no question that with this type of system, keeping the thermostat...
by billyt
Sat Nov 07, 2015 8:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: antiques [Swedish mid-century modern seating]
Replies: 17
Views: 1473

Re: antiques [Swedish mid-century modern seating]

Thanks for all the thoughtful and useful info. We have been buying a lot of furniture lately, mostly at estate sales where nice pieces are hundreds instead of thousands. However, it is also certainly true that it would be very difficult to find similar quality at $4k in something new. Looks like I h...
by billyt
Fri Nov 06, 2015 11:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: antiques [Swedish mid-century modern seating]
Replies: 17
Views: 1473

Re: antiques [Swedish mid-century modern seating]

Thanks for that. A potential uninsured loss of $4k is not a consideration when it comes to making the wife happy! I was wondering if anyone has any idea if this is a reasonable price for the set. According to the dealer, it is from the 1940's.
by billyt
Fri Nov 06, 2015 11:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: antiques [Swedish mid-century modern seating]
Replies: 17
Views: 1473

antiques [Swedish mid-century modern seating]

My wife has her heart set on a Swedish mid-century modern living room set consisting of a love seat and 2 chairs, which is selling for $4k at a local antiques dealer. I know a bit about woodworking and furniture and it appears in good shape and well made. However, I know zilch about antiques in gene...
by billyt
Thu Jul 30, 2015 3:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Long-Term Decline of Interest Rates
Replies: 63
Views: 7660

Re: The Long-Term Decline of Interest Rates

Interest rates are constantly changing. The role of bonds in a portfolio does not.
by billyt
Thu Apr 30, 2015 9:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: MA slow to use my check? should I do something?
Replies: 19
Views: 2961

Re: MA slow to use my check? should I do something?

Mailed my MA tax return on 4/13. Check still hasn't cleared. I was concerned too, now I feel better.

Thanks
by billyt
Wed Mar 18, 2015 2:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Interest rate hike signaled
Replies: 25
Views: 3013

Re: Interest rate hike signaled

More interestingly, bond funds are also increasing in value in response to the news.
by billyt
Thu Mar 05, 2015 2:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Spousal Responsibility for Nursing Home Care
Replies: 6
Views: 1270

Re: Spousal Responsibility for Nursing Home Care

An elder care attorney in your state can be a valuable resource in sorting out your options.
by billyt
Fri Jan 23, 2015 6:04 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Initial SEC yield and subsequent 5yr and 10yr returns
Replies: 142
Views: 10296

Re: Initial SEC yield and subsequent 5yr and 10yr returns

Kevin: Before you get too deep with all these charts, I would consider the sources of error in the data, which may entirely explain the deviations you are seeing. For example, the SEC yield is a 30 day average. The actual yield on any given day can be significantly different. Furthermore, the bonds ...
by billyt
Wed Jan 21, 2015 7:10 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Initial SEC yield and subsequent 5yr and 10yr returns
Replies: 142
Views: 10296

Re: Initial SEC yield and subsequent 5yr and 10yr returns

Hi Kevin: I was commenting on your analysis of the data. You showed that the mean difference was 0.04% with a standard deviation of 0.67%. That would make the error of the mean (divide by square root of the number of observations) something like 0.2%. So you showed that the difference between the SE...
by billyt
Tue Jan 20, 2015 5:40 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Initial SEC yield and subsequent 5yr and 10yr returns
Replies: 142
Views: 10296

Re: Initial SEC yield and subsequent 5yr and 10yr returns

For the ten year return, the average of the error terms is 0.04%. Right. So if you invest equal amounts in a bond fund each year for ten years, and then wait ten years, you will get almost exactly the average of the initial yields. This is totally consistent with Bogle's statement that nearly 100% o...
by billyt
Sun Jan 18, 2015 7:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Initial SEC yield and subsequent 5yr and 10yr returns
Replies: 142
Views: 10296

Re: Initial SEC yield and subsequent 5yr and 10yr returns

Furthermore, the reason that we focus on small differences in expense ratios is because this is something that we can control. It make sense to go for those extra basis points that Admiral shares afford. Market returns on the other hand are completely beyond any investors control. As far as predicti...
by billyt
Sun Jan 18, 2015 6:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Initial SEC yield and subsequent 5yr and 10yr returns
Replies: 142
Views: 10296

Re: Initial SEC yield and subsequent 5yr and 10yr returns

The idea that nearly 100% of bond fund returns come from the interest is not mine, but comes from John Bogles "Little Book of Common Sense Investing." It is indeed common sense. If this is true, then over time, the average return must converge with the average SEC yield. I don't know how a...
by billyt
Sun Jan 18, 2015 6:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Initial SEC yield and subsequent 5yr and 10yr returns
Replies: 142
Views: 10296

Re: Initial SEC yield and subsequent 5yr and 10yr returns

Yes it will. If rates go up, the NAV will fall to and you will have to wait to earn that 1.87% return. If rates fall, you will get an early windfall, but earn less going forward. Shares of total bond that you buy today will earn close to 1.87% over the next ten years. Hopefully, rates will increase ...
by billyt
Sun Jan 18, 2015 6:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Initial SEC yield and subsequent 5yr and 10yr returns
Replies: 142
Views: 10296

Re: Initial SEC yield and subsequent 5yr and 10yr returns

Kevin: To call the difference between 2% and 3% a 33% difference, while technically correct, is a ridiculous way to look at it. Over the 10 years, your returns will be similar to the initial SEC yield, that is the bottom line. Moreover, although there may be a difference between the initial yield an...
by billyt
Sun Jan 18, 2015 12:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Initial SEC yield and subsequent 5yr and 10yr returns
Replies: 142
Views: 10296

Re: Initial SEC yield and subsequent 5yr and 10yr returns

The SEC yield is forward looking. Bonds have a fixed face value and a fixed return. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out their value or forward return. Bond desks trade these things furiously in an attempt to gain an advantage based on predictions of future interest rates. None of this t...
by billyt
Sun Jan 18, 2015 11:51 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Initial SEC yield and subsequent 5yr and 10yr returns
Replies: 142
Views: 10296

Re: Initial SEC yield and subsequent 5yr and 10yr returns

And the SEC yield is simply a standardize way for expressing the current yield.
by billyt
Sun Jan 18, 2015 11:49 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Initial SEC yield and subsequent 5yr and 10yr returns
Replies: 142
Views: 10296

Re: Initial SEC yield and subsequent 5yr and 10yr returns

No caveat needed. The historical record clearly shows that in spite of constantly changing interest rates and yield curves, the initial SEC yield is predicts the subsequent 10 year yield with a good degree of accuracy.
by billyt
Sun Jan 18, 2015 8:45 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Initial SEC yield and subsequent 5yr and 10yr returns
Replies: 142
Views: 10296

Re: Initial SEC yield and subsequent 5yr and 10yr returns

dkturner: Distribution yield can be higher or lower than SEC yield. Over time the tend to average out to the same thing.
by billyt
Sun Jan 18, 2015 8:42 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Initial SEC yield and subsequent 5yr and 10yr returns
Replies: 142
Views: 10296

Re: Initial SEC yield and subsequent 5yr and 10yr returns

Google is your friend. Start here: How to Predict the Next Decade's Bond Returns - WSJ. It is really a no-brainer. Virtually all bond returns come from the interest. There is a reason they call it fixed income.
by billyt
Sun Jan 18, 2015 8:25 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Initial SEC yield and subsequent 5yr and 10yr returns
Replies: 142
Views: 10296

Re: Initial SEC yield and subsequent 5yr and 10yr returns

Are we looking at the same graph? The SEC yield and 10 year returns are within 1%. It has been show in a number of studies that the initial SEC yield explains 90% of the subsequent returns.
by billyt
Sun Jan 18, 2015 7:44 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Initial SEC yield and subsequent 5yr and 10yr returns
Replies: 142
Views: 10296

Re: Initial SEC yield and subsequent 5yr and 10yr returns

dkturner: You are misinformed. SEC yield is a very accurate predictor of subsequent 10 year return.
by billyt
Fri Jan 16, 2015 8:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Inflation-Indexing Wish List
Replies: 12
Views: 1163

Re: Inflation-Indexing Wish List

Be careful what you wish for. The CPI is currently declining.
by billyt
Fri Jan 16, 2015 8:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Home: All cash or mortgage?
Replies: 21
Views: 2281

Re: New Home: All cash or mortgage?

We recently faced this decision. After much discussion and analysis, we still weren't sure. Many pros and cons on both sides which tend to balance out. In the end we split the difference, putting half down. If we change our minds, we could always pay it off. We will see how this looks after a few ye...
by billyt
Wed Jan 14, 2015 2:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Short term bonds in rising interest rates?
Replies: 26
Views: 3569

Re: Short term bonds in rising interest rates?

At the present time rates are falling, not rising. The Fed may raise short term rates, but the market has much more control over longer rates. No one can tell you if investing in short term bonds today will turn out to have been the winning strategy 10 years from now.
by billyt
Tue Jan 13, 2015 3:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bond Yield and rising interest rates
Replies: 6
Views: 958

Re: Bond Yield and rising interest rates

News flash - interest rates are not rising. They are falling.
by billyt
Mon Jan 12, 2015 12:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why Is "Deflation" A Bad Thing??? How To Prepare/Profit?
Replies: 87
Views: 7711

Re: Why Is "Deflation" A Bad Thing??? How To Prepare/Profit

You thought 2008 was bad? If deflation takes hold it will absolutely kill the real estate market. Who would take out a 30 year mortgage to finance something that is going to drop in value year after year? If all asset prices are going to fall far into the future, the only thing to do is sell everyth...
by billyt
Fri Jan 09, 2015 6:36 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Callan Periodic Table of Investment Returns 2014
Replies: 26
Views: 5589

Re: The Callan Periodic Table of Investment Returns 2014

So the top performer for 2014 was long term treasury bonds? It figures. Judging by the posts on this forum, this has been one of the most hated/feared asset classes for several years now.
by billyt
Thu Jan 08, 2015 6:17 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bonds had a pretty good year in 2014?
Replies: 11
Views: 1845

Re: Bonds had a pretty good year in 2014?

Looking at past returns for bond funds is particularly misleading. Bonds are fixed income investments and over time will only return the interest payments, as NAV changes sum to zero in the long run. Yes, bond funds last year all had returns in excess of their SEC yields, with long term bonds doing ...
by billyt
Sat Dec 06, 2014 9:56 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bond Funds
Replies: 6
Views: 624

Re: Bond Funds

No need to make a prediction. This has already happened over the last year, especially in real yields (TIPS). The strategy of shortening duration in anticipation of rising rates has backfired so far, and it may get worse.
by billyt
Fri Dec 05, 2014 7:22 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Interest Rates — How Low, For How Long?
Replies: 14
Views: 1976

Re: Interest Rates — How Low, For How Long?

You are dead wrong. Everyone on this board knows for sure that interest rates have nowhere to go but up, up, up! Just kidding... I think your analysis is well thought out. Those that have shortened the duration of their fixed income portfolio in anticipation of rising rates have lost out big time th...
by billyt
Wed Nov 05, 2014 1:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: iBonds at zero % fixed
Replies: 84
Views: 11538

Re: iBonds at zero % fixed

hoops: No one is asking you to blindly accept anything. The CPI numbers have been independently verified by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Million Prices Project as posted up thread. You don't have to trust the gov't, but independent verification is the gold standard for cross checking th...
by billyt
Thu Aug 28, 2014 7:51 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Worst Investment You Can Make: Buying a Home
Replies: 135
Views: 21785

Re: The Worst Investment You Can Make: Buying a Home

Sell your house. Invest the money. Use the earnings to pay for rent forever.
by billyt
Tue Jul 08, 2014 5:18 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Risk of Short-term Bond Funds
Replies: 154
Views: 16464

Re: The Risk of Short-term Bond Funds

Thanks. I have basically been saying this over and over again to little avail. After a while, I get to exhausted to respond anymore.
by billyt
Fri Jul 04, 2014 7:14 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Risk of Short-term Bond Funds
Replies: 154
Views: 16464

Re: The Risk of Short-term Bond Funds

Dollar cost averaging into a bond fund for 30 years and out for 30 years is essentially the same as holding for 60 years. Money you need this month to pay your bills should be in a bank account. Money you need to spend for the next few years should be in short term bonds or CD's. Match your duration...
by billyt
Fri Jul 04, 2014 6:44 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Risk of Short-term Bond Funds
Replies: 154
Views: 16464

Re: The Risk of Short-term Bond Funds

This thread (and almost all the bond-panic threads) repeatedly miss the central point. All the worry is over interest rate risk (or duration risk). If you start investing at age 30 and die at 90, your holding period is 60 years, or something like 20x the duration of an intermediate bond fund. In suc...
by billyt
Wed Jul 02, 2014 1:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Risk of Short-term Bond Funds
Replies: 154
Views: 16464

Re: The Risk of Short-term Bond Funds

Most of us hold a balanced portfolio of stocks and bonds for our investing lifetime. We are dollar cost averaging into (accumulating) and out of (decumulating) over this long time frame. Under these conditions, an intermediate term bond fund will always significantly outperform a short term bond fun...
by billyt
Wed Jul 02, 2014 12:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Risk of Short-term Bond Funds
Replies: 154
Views: 16464

Re: The Risk of Short-term Bond Funds

The article shows returns since 2009 and quotes 1, 3 and 5 year returns. TBM returns more over all three time frames as is totally expected given its higher yield. TBM will always return more than a short term fund over a reasonably long time periods, as the returns of bond funds is determined almos...
by billyt
Wed Jul 02, 2014 12:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Risk of Short-term Bond Funds
Replies: 154
Views: 16464

Re: The Risk of Short-term Bond Funds

It is good to see this nice clean rebuttal of all of those 'bond panic' threads from the last few years. It is hard to understand why folks think they know more than the market. Glad I stayed the course.
by billyt
Fri Jun 13, 2014 9:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is a 2% withdrawal rate bulletproof ?
Replies: 48
Views: 4622

Re: Is a 2% withdrawal rate bulletproof ?

You can either optimize your AA for maximum portfolio balance (for your heirs), or maximum portfolio survival (for you). These are 2 entirely different and opposite goals, so you can't optimize for both.

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