Search found 80 matches

by informal guide
Wed Jun 21, 2017 11:30 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard invite - transition to a Brokerage Acct
Replies: 31
Views: 1334

Re: Vanguard invite - transition to a Brokerage Acct

I wonder if the invite is some sort of test or pilot project, given no one else is reporting receiving this?
by informal guide
Sat Jun 17, 2017 9:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Considering switching from AMEX BCP to BCE
Replies: 5
Views: 395

Re: Considering switching from AMEX BCP to BCE

Six months ago, I closed a fee-based Amex card (Delta Platinum.). when I spoke with Amex customer service, they indicated that one can cancel a card until the bill due date on the month the annual fee is charged. So I did it and my fee was credited back to my now closed account and my final Delta mi...
by informal guide
Tue Jun 13, 2017 7:51 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Variable Life Insurance as an Investment Vehicle
Replies: 39
Views: 2218

Re: Variable Life Insurance as an Investment Vehicle

Even the Ameritas VUL product (among the better ones) skims 3% off premium payments. The only reason I have one is that when I was a kid (in the 60's) my mother bought a Mutual Benefit whole life product. The company went into "rehabilitation" (insurance speak for bankruptcy); when it emer...
by informal guide
Tue Jun 13, 2017 7:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: medicare premium amount
Replies: 37
Views: 2202

Re: medicare premium amount

I looked carefully on the notice/bill - -there was no mention of a fee. The only cost I identified is the stamp. The downside is that you apparently cannot set this up as auto-instructions for the credit card. One must do it (and mail it) each time. I will let you know in a week or so when it is pro...
by informal guide
Mon Jun 12, 2017 4:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Poll: Do Bogleheads own Stocks?
Replies: 77
Views: 6464

Re: Poll: Do Bogleheads own Stocks?

Is there any way to revise my answers? I incorrectly answered the question "% of equities in individual stocks?" rather than "% of portfolio in individual stocks." That moves me from 25-50% reported to 10-25%, given that I am roughly 65% equities.
by informal guide
Mon Jun 12, 2017 2:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: medicare premium amount
Replies: 37
Views: 2202

Re: medicare premium amount

I just received my first bill over the weekend - -for 4 months at $134/month. The same day I got the second letter I have received that tells me I am subject to IRMAA . (June birthday, not yet drawing SS, received my Medicare card about two weeks ago) At least for the moment I am using a credit card...
by informal guide
Wed Jun 07, 2017 4:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Would You Sell Berkshire?
Replies: 17
Views: 1311

Re: Would You Sell Berkshire?

If you are charitably inclined, you may want to donate some of it to a charitable gift fund, rather than sell it and pay taxes(Fidelity, Schwab, and Vanguard all offer them) In the mid-1980's. I had the good fortune to buy a very small odd lot of brk (now brk.a) for less than $3000/share. Today it i...
by informal guide
Tue Jun 06, 2017 4:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wedding Ring repair
Replies: 5
Views: 556

Re: Wedding Ring repair

My wife got a new version after more than 25 years - -because she gave the central stone to our daughter's, about - to - be fiance. The view is that this will keep the rock in the family through the next generation, given that our daughter now has her engagement ring. The good news is that my wife n...
by informal guide
Tue Jun 06, 2017 1:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Expense Ratio Advantage
Replies: 37
Views: 2748

Re: Vanguard Expense Ratio Advantage

Yes, the featured index funds now have very similar expense ratios - -although I like the fact that Vanguard has few capital gains distributions vs. Fidelity, due to their patented fund/ETF structure (only of value to taxable investments - -not IRAs). But I really like the significantly higher yield...
by informal guide
Wed May 31, 2017 10:49 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Effective July 20, 2017, Vanguard will impose a $10 wire fee on outgoing wire redemptions from nonretirement accounts."
Replies: 28
Views: 2646

Re: "Effective July 20, 2017, Vanguard will impose a $10 wire fee on outgoing wire redemptions from nonretirement accoun

I assure you that whatever bank Vanguard uses for its client outbound Fed funds wire transfers, that bank charges Vanguard explicit, per wire fees - -likely in the $5+ per wire range. My guess is that a higher proportion of clients call to make wire transfers, including one time wires to third parti...
by informal guide
Wed May 31, 2017 9:59 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Effective July 20, 2017, Vanguard will impose a $10 wire fee on outgoing wire redemptions from nonretirement accounts."
Replies: 28
Views: 2646

Re: "Effective July 20, 2017, Vanguard will impose a $10 wire fee on outgoing wire redemptions from nonretirement accoun

As a former banker, I am sure that Vanguard is charged by its bank(s) for every outbound client Fed wire transfer - -- I wouldn't be surprised if it is $5 or more per item - -and that is before the extra costs that Vanguard incurs. I don't see any problem in Vanguard passing on its increased costs t...
by informal guide
Sat May 27, 2017 9:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Third-party travel insurance, anyone?
Replies: 34
Views: 1959

Re: Third-party travel insurance, anyone?

We bought it through Allianz for a trip to South America that focused on a cruise but included other travel in South America. We arranged the air separately - -business class, non-refundable on an overseas airline that we were unlikely to fly again. Three weeks before the trip, the cruise was cancel...
by informal guide
Wed May 24, 2017 8:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Save mobile deposit checks?
Replies: 16
Views: 1845

Re: Save mobile deposit checks?

I keep mine for a month, notating on them where and when I deposited them. I have used these for a couple years with no incidents - - until last month when my bank reversed one that they's accepted when I deposited it, supposedly because of a bad image. The bad news is they didn't call or e-mail me ...
by informal guide
Thu May 18, 2017 11:59 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: At crossroads with Annuity
Replies: 21
Views: 1827

Re: At crossroads with Annuity

One clarification on Friar's good response regarding withdrawals from annuities- -I believe withdrawals from variable annuities are taxed as income first. so the only way you could spread today's $30,000 gain (unless you annuitize) is to take, say, $10,000 per year for the first two years . Then the...
by informal guide
Mon May 15, 2017 7:57 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Best way to hold Treasury Bills???
Replies: 37
Views: 3423

Re: Best way to hold Treasury Bills???

If one is investing serious amounts of money in a regular account (not an IRA), there is one other advantage of buying Treasury Bills (not notes or bonds) directly , either from a brokerage account or through Treasury direct. Interest earned is not taxed until maturity. So if one buys a one year Tre...
by informal guide
Sun May 07, 2017 5:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Auto Insurance - When do you drop collision insurance?
Replies: 7
Views: 1016

Re: Auto Insurance - When do you drop collision insurance?

Geico in PA offers $2500 deductible on collision and comprehensive. That is my choice. It helps if you have an $1800 loss that gooses your rates for several years if reported.
by informal guide
Sat May 06, 2017 10:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to get out of a apartment renter lease? They want $3,600
Replies: 40
Views: 3197

Re: How to get out of a apartment renter lease? They want $3,600

My daughter in the NY area was on the other side of a transaction like this. She found a place through a web site, Leasebreak.com (I have no financial interest in it!). She agreed to take on a 15 month lease, the old tenant kicked in a bit to lower the first three months rent, and the landlord got a...
by informal guide
Sat May 06, 2017 9:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Puerto Rico Bonds Bankrupcy
Replies: 37
Views: 3935

Re: Puerto Rico Bonds Bankrupcy

I own a small P.R bond insured by one of those smaller, less solvent bond insurers. When P.R. defaulted, I got paid less than 25% of the interest due on the bond over the last three semi-annual interest payments. It is currently trading at around 60% of par, with a 5.5% coupon and a 2019 maturity. ...
by informal guide
Wed May 03, 2017 5:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Puerto Rico Bonds Bankrupcy
Replies: 37
Views: 3935

Re: Puerto Rico Bonds Bankrupcy

Another interesting aspect of the P.R financial debacle is the various bond insurers. Bonds insured by some fiscally strong insurers are rated investment grade and are trading in he low investment grade price range; there are other bond insurers that are barely solvent (in insurance speak, under reh...
by informal guide
Sun Apr 30, 2017 12:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turned down for umbrella policy
Replies: 23
Views: 3246

Re: Turned down for umbrella policy

I am not an insurance pro, but this, along with my Geico experience, tells me two things about how Geico thinks about writing umbrella policies. In discussions I've seen on umbrella policies, there are lots of "tripped on the sidewalk" type discussions, but it sounds like Geico believes th...
by informal guide
Tue Apr 25, 2017 2:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Transferring DAF funds from VG to Fidelity
Replies: 9
Views: 558

Re: Transferring DAF funds from VG to Fidelity

We did a transfer the other way - a partial transfer from the Fidelity CGF to a Vanguard Charitable account (not mine - -I only have an account at Fidelity). I did it because the cause I was supporting held their assets in a Vanguard Charitable account. We also moved money successfully from Fidelity...
by informal guide
Mon Apr 24, 2017 4:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard NY MMF vs. Savings Accounts
Replies: 4
Views: 545

Re: Vanguard NY MMF vs. Savings Accounts

The SEC yield is after all fund expenses. Bank (or credit union) savings and money market accounts, don't generally charge fees, but they certainly do incur expenses - - the expenses are bundled into the "declared" rate of interest. What this means for investors is that the banks set the i...
by informal guide
Sat Apr 22, 2017 1:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS refund today!
Replies: 43
Views: 3541

Re: IRS refund today!

I wish I could have e-filed, to get my refund faster. Unfortunately, I had to include a rarely used form this year that is not supported by turbo-tax (Form 926), so I had to mail. As someone who has required minimum distributions from an inherited retirement account, I try to estimate my taxes in mi...
by informal guide
Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to reduce my income tax
Replies: 31
Views: 3206

Re: How to reduce my income tax

Have you considered a high deductible health plan, coupled with a health savings account? I found the health savings account (HSA) to be great - - if contributions are deducted from your pay, it is truly triple tax free -- unlike 401k accounts, one doesn't even pay FICA and Medicare taxes on the dol...
by informal guide
Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:02 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Seven corrections on Vanguard tax information statements
Replies: 2
Views: 652

Seven corrections on Vanguard tax information statements

This year I received seven different corrections on my lengthy Vanguard brokerage tax information statement - -literally more than 300 pages of wasted postage and paper for 1-2 insignificant changes (such as a $1 difference in a tax-exempt bond premium). Each week another one seemed to arrive. I had...
by informal guide
Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fidelity card 2% but NOT as statement credit
Replies: 27
Views: 2675

Re: Fidelity card 2% but NOT as statement credit

For me, the Fidelity card works well. I certainly like the 2% into my Fidelity account; I also like being able to see balances and access from my Fidelity logon, rather than having to go to a separate logon. I have two minor beefs - one is the 1% foreign transaction fee - -certainly better than some...
by informal guide
Tue Apr 18, 2017 9:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cabo San Lucas ?
Replies: 13
Views: 1546

Re: Cabo San Lucas ?

My wife and I love Cabo and have gone there every year since 2008. Significant wealth in the Cabo area is made and lost in local real estate and time shares. You won't get through the airport without being accosted by shills for the business, offering you lots of freebies. If, at any time you do suc...
by informal guide
Mon Apr 03, 2017 10:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Alliant savings now 1.05%
Replies: 8
Views: 1610

Re: Alliant savings now 1.05%

For my short term reserves, I prefer he yield pick-up with a version without FDIC that is a run by Vanguard- - -VFSTX, Short term Investment Grade bond fund, yielding 2.00% or its admiral class equivalent, yielding about 10 bp more (for $50K minimum). If Federal/State taxes are at 35% or higher, I u...
by informal guide
Thu Mar 30, 2017 12:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: anyone have AAII membership
Replies: 8
Views: 1031

Re: anyone have AAII membership

I joined (as a life member) some 35 years ago. I still get their publications, etc. they do not accept ads, but do have occasional cross marketing campaigns for things like money market funds. My view is they are interesting, with occasional very good articles in their journal. I find their year-end...
by informal guide
Tue Mar 14, 2017 10:25 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need help saving for college in Taxable Account
Replies: 9
Views: 839

Re: Need help saving for college in Taxable Account

We have two children DD - 16 yr and DS - 14 yr. We have saved $110,000 in 529 plans total for both of them. That should cover about 2 years of college expenses for each one of them. 1. Keep funding 529 accounts. Risk here is that if kids get scholarship or get a lot of AP credits then the money in ...
by informal guide
Tue Mar 14, 2017 10:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Passive Income offset
Replies: 7
Views: 684

Re: Passive Income offset

You might want to consider residential rental real estate, if you feel comfortable with the long term market price changes in a local market. In some localities one can buy a property, with deductible mortgage financing, that can generate positive cash flows but incur passive losses, due to deprecia...
by informal guide
Tue Jan 10, 2017 2:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fidelity cuts index fund fees (but returns are lower).
Replies: 47
Views: 5730

Re: Fidelity cuts index fund fees (but returns are lower).

I have owned FSTVX in a taxable account for years. Student points out that 2016 performance net of expense ratios versus VTSAX are identical (12.66%). However, for those of us with taxable accounts, Fidelity has distributed taxable capital gains for each of the last two years at an annualized rate ...
by informal guide
Tue Jan 10, 2017 1:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone went to top 10 business school? Got a 730 on GMAT. Thoughts?
Replies: 25
Views: 7861

Re: Anyone went to top 10 business school? Got a 730 on GMAT. Thoughts?

I second the "go for it" suggestion. You may get some money too. A family member recently applied to several top 10 MBA business schools (after 3 1/2 years of work). She got into 3 of 4 where she applied - -but the interesting thing was that, without her asking or applying, 2 of 3 offered ...
by informal guide
Mon Jan 09, 2017 5:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fidelity cuts index fund fees (but returns are lower).
Replies: 47
Views: 5730

Re: Fidelity cuts index fund fees (but returns are lower).

I have owned FSTVX in a taxable account for years. Student points out that 2016 performance net of expense ratios versus VTSAX are identical (12.66%). However, for those of us with taxable accounts, Fidelity has distributed taxable capital gains for each of the last two years at an annualized rate o...
by informal guide
Sat Jan 07, 2017 12:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Large cash allocation in Fidelity's index funds
Replies: 13
Views: 1673

Re: Large cash allocation in Fidelity's index funds

My understanding is that index funds frequently have a cash position - --but that they maintain exposure (but do not leverage) to the market being followed with comparable futures positions to ensure a fully invested position. There are two different reasons for doing this - -one, to handle daily ca...
by informal guide
Thu Jan 05, 2017 9:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: NYS 529 Deduction Question
Replies: 4
Views: 598

Re: NYS 529 Deduction Question

My understanding is there are no carryover provisions in the NY plan (unlike Ohio). However, the good news (in the program description) is that rollover contributions from a non-NY plan to NY plan do get the NYS tax deduction. So you could make a larger contribution to the Ohio or Vanguard Nevada pl...
by informal guide
Fri Dec 09, 2016 9:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vacation ideas in Europe or South America - Feb 18-25??
Replies: 9
Views: 880

Re: Vacation ideas in Europe or South America - Feb 18-25??

An up and coming place my wife and I would recommend is Cartagena, Columbia. Last year there were nonstop flights from Miami and Altanta, among other US gateways to South America. It is a beautiful walled city (going back to 1533) that is tropical in climate and right on the Carribean. One could mak...
by informal guide
Fri Dec 02, 2016 9:21 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard VA questions
Replies: 5
Views: 632

Re: Vanguard VA questions

The answer to both of your questions is yes. It is good that it is managed by advisor services, because there are no tax consequences of rebalancing within an annuity.
by informal guide
Wed Nov 30, 2016 10:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity DAF contribution experience
Replies: 14
Views: 762

Re: Fidelity DAF contribution experience from Vanguard brokerage

I just last week had a very speedy and favorable experience transferring NYSE stocks from my Vanguard brokerage account to my Fidelity DAF. I submitted the Fidelity paperwork (completed totally online from the Fidelity DAF site) directly to Vanguard -- I was told by Vanguard that because it is going...
by informal guide
Mon Nov 21, 2016 9:58 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How closely do Vanguard fund and ETF versions track each other?
Replies: 8
Views: 1064

Re: How closely do Vanguard fund and ETF versions track each other?

If you are tax loss harvesting now and have dividend reinvesting, I suggest you turn off the dividend reinvest feature for the security you are tax loss harvesting. VTIAX last year paid its December dividend reinvestment on December 18. If it pays it the same date this year and you reinvest, you wil...
by informal guide
Sun Nov 20, 2016 6:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 529 Plan options for NJ residents working in NY
Replies: 12
Views: 1167

Re: 529 Plan Interest accumulation investments in NY and NV

Grok: "To me this is an example of "returnless risk". The yield on this "Vanguard Interest Accumulation Portfolio" is a meager 1.06%. And one has to worry about insurance companies going bust. I'd rather take the 0.36% from the fidelity bank account as it is federally insure...
by informal guide
Sun Nov 20, 2016 2:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paid Loss Ratios for Car Insurance
Replies: 7
Views: 794

Re: Paid Loss Ratios for Car Insurance

Gretchen is a talented journalist who is willing to write about a wide variety of financial topics for the Times . One certainly cannot argue with the analysis of loss ratios. However, I am not inclined to agree with her basic conclusion: Companies with higher paid loss ratios dispense more money to...
by informal guide
Sat Nov 19, 2016 8:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dehumidifier for our basement
Replies: 19
Views: 1431

Re: Dehumidifier for our basement

We picked up one of the Chinese ones (Aeonaire) )at our local Costco last summer for a very good price - -if my memory is correct it is a 70 pint model for about $150. It has done wonders for our basement, We built a shelf just above the "slop sink" in the basement and it sits there draini...
by informal guide
Sat Nov 19, 2016 8:05 pm
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2016!
Replies: 234
Views: 29716

Re: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2016!

Thanks, Meriam!

But I haven't yet started the dive to understand Medicare signup and options (except for allthe $$ I;ve paid into it!) - -it will be my spring project!
by informal guide
Sat Nov 19, 2016 3:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 529 Plan options for NJ residents working in NY
Replies: 12
Views: 1167

Re: 529 Plan options for NJ residents working in NY

two amplifications to Grok87's answer. 1) The math for the impact of the NY/NJ tax situation is rather complex. As I understand it,it comes down to the marginal tax rate for your income level in each state. As long as you pay NY income taxes (remember to include NYC taxes too), you do get the benefi...
by informal guide
Sat Nov 19, 2016 3:08 pm
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2016!
Replies: 234
Views: 29716

Retirement Class of 2016 - COBRA benefit discovered

I retired from a long term financial services job January 31 of 2016, at just over 63 1/2. Talk about reduced stress! But on the other hand,I certainly have needed to and have enjoyed being proactive in business-related and social interactions. I discovered a neat little health care quirk of my reti...
by informal guide
Fri Nov 18, 2016 11:58 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard account upgrade question
Replies: 4
Views: 1034

Re: Vanguard account upgrade question

My understanding is whenever Vanguard "daily accrual" funds, like bond and money market funds (except for inflation-protected funds) are closed or transferred to a brokerage account (the upgrade process or a transfer to another institution or registration at Vanguard), the accrued dividend...
by informal guide
Fri Nov 18, 2016 11:34 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where to park cash - Nov 2016
Replies: 6
Views: 1739

Re: Where to park cash - Nov 2016

My preference, for simplicity sake, is to use one of two Vanguard funds - Short Term Investment Grade or Limited Term Muni bond funds (SEC yields of 1.63% and 1.09%) I typically draw upon these assets once or twice a quarter. I find the downsides of this approach to be more than offset by the upside...
by informal guide
Sun Nov 13, 2016 9:04 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Reinvest dividends or sweep to settlement account
Replies: 20
Views: 1684

Re: Reinvest dividends or sweep to settlement account

IMHO, it depends on whether you are still an accumulator or are drawing down assets for living (i.e., retired), as well as whether the accounts are tax-deferred/exempt (IRA, 529, and HSA). Even as an accumulator in taxable accounts, I prefer to direct dividends to settlement account to avoid the una...

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