Search found 589 matches

by learning_head
Fri Aug 26, 2016 10:25 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Cash balance plan with high fees but tax benefit
Replies: 8
Views: 940

Re: Cash balance plan with high fees but tax benefit

I came across this site where someone put together a spreadsheet for comparison of exactly these questions. You could paramterize the 401(k) plan with the parameters of the plan in question and compare with taxable account. https://earlyretirementnow.com/2016/06/22/retirement-account-comparison/ Th...
by learning_head
Fri Aug 26, 2016 9:36 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TIPS - Did you give up?
Replies: 380
Views: 41446

Re: TIPS - Did you give up?

I think of a TIPS ladder (bought at auction, held to maturity) as the ultimate annuity. ... 100% inflation protected. [Updated thanks to #Cruncher point below] That's not quite true for taxable accounts due to taxes on inflation component. The larger the inflation the less buying power you will hav...
by learning_head
Fri Jun 24, 2016 2:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: house affordability question
Replies: 39
Views: 2091

Re: house affordability question

for some perspective, we're currently paying 3k/month to rent (includes utilities, cable). using a mortgage calculator and factoring in our desired area, if we were to put down 300k (38%) toward an 800k house, using a 30-year fixed w/ 3.6% interest, our monthly payments would be almost exactly the ...
by learning_head
Fri Jun 24, 2016 1:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Cash balance plan with high fees but tax benefit
Replies: 8
Views: 940

Re: Cash balance plan with high fees but tax benefit

So... how do we decide whether to contribute more or not?

If information I provided is not enough, I can provide any additional info needed.
by learning_head
Mon Jun 20, 2016 9:08 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Cash balance plan with high fees but tax benefit
Replies: 8
Views: 940

Re: Cash balance plan with high fees but tax benefit

Hi KSActuary, Could you elaborate? What kind of more info should we look for? What kind of more aggressive benefits are there for older participants? I think all can optionally contribute up to same limits (~45k) and investments are managed the same way. Would the decision whether to participate dep...
by learning_head
Thu Jun 16, 2016 10:14 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Cash balance plan with high fees but tax benefit
Replies: 8
Views: 940

Re: Cash balance plan with high fees but tax benefit

Thanks for reply DDM4inv79 Today's marginal rate is 40% (0.28*1.25 for AMT marginal rate of 35% + 5% state tax). Future marginal rate is expected to be ~50% in a few years. Retirement marginal rate might be 20% or 30% (it's likely at least 20 years away, so who knows...) Placing a dollar into the pl...
by learning_head
Sat Jun 11, 2016 12:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Cash balance plan with high fees but tax benefit
Replies: 8
Views: 940

Cash balance plan with high fees but tax benefit

A relative started a job at a practice with ability to contribute to "cash balance retirement plan" administered and run by Stifel Nicolaus. Basically, looks like a collection of actively managed funds. Overall (mutual fund + administrator) fees are ~1.5% to 2%. However, tax deferral seems...
by learning_head
Wed Apr 20, 2016 12:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: SPIA contract review
Replies: 1
Views: 335

SPIA contract review

Has anyone hired a lawyer or any other professional to review an SPIA contract by any chance? If so, how did you pick the reviewer? I am told a person has 7 days to review the contract when they buy SPIA and can back out only during that time. Otherwise, you are signed up for life of course. I was a...
by learning_head
Wed Apr 20, 2016 12:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Dissapointed in Penfed: will nickle and dime you
Replies: 7
Views: 1516

Re: Dissapointed in Penfed: will nickle and dime you

Have you tried asking them to waive the fee? and trying later w/ another person if you get denied? sometimes it depends how that person's day is going when you ask; perhaps on how big a customer you are. someone there was nice enough to volunteer to waive the fee for the CU statements before I got ...
by learning_head
Sat Apr 02, 2016 9:41 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Dissapointed in Penfed: will nickle and dime you
Replies: 7
Views: 1516

Re: Dissapointed in Penfed: will nickle and dime you

Hi Kaneohe, 2) This could be a semantic thing.......when something matures on this date does it mature on 12:01AM or 11:59PM that day? My experience like yours is that funds are normally available the date of maturity for almostd all others. True, but under either case, if maturity date falls on Sun...
by learning_head
Sat Apr 02, 2016 7:16 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Dissapointed in Penfed: will nickle and dime you
Replies: 7
Views: 1516

Dissapointed in Penfed: will nickle and dime you

I've been a member of over 20 credit unions and banks and Penfed has been annoying me in various ways that I thought I'd summarize for others thinking of joining it. They seem to be nickle and diming in all kinds of ways: (1) My CDs recently started maturing with Penfed. I normally double check that...
by learning_head
Fri Feb 19, 2016 2:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: net investment income tax and carryfoward capital loss
Replies: 4
Views: 497

Re: net investment income tax and carryfoward capital loss

Thanks Two Headed Mule! Do you know if this changed in 2014? The new rules starting 2014 mention explicitly Schedule D lines 6 and 14 (carryover loss from prior years), and so I thought accounting for this may have changed starting 2014, but I think what you described would be the same from before a...
by learning_head
Thu Feb 18, 2016 1:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: net investment income tax and carryfoward capital loss
Replies: 4
Views: 497

net investment income tax and carryfoward capital loss

Hi there, Form 8960 (Net Investment Income Tax) indicates there are some new rules starting 2014 regarding treating carryforward capital losses, but I could not figure out how to apply them. Say person X sold some stock and has -$10,000 capital loss in 2015 (so, $3000 goes to line 13 of 1040 and $70...
by learning_head
Mon Jan 11, 2016 2:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: penfed cd maturity: funds not available til day after
Replies: 2
Views: 359

penfed cd maturity: funds not available til day after

Discovered what seems to be a Penfed quirk today: normally I get access to my funds on the date of maturity, but at Penfed, it's a day after. My CDs matured yesterday (Sunday) but they told me to wait until tomorrow :-\ Hopefully, the interest will reflect an extra day (or even 2 days in my case)...
by learning_head
Mon Nov 16, 2015 9:55 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How I beat Indexing... in 1 hour
Replies: 89
Views: 19076

Re: How I beat Indexing... in 1 hour

1) Beginner's Luck 2) Let Vanguard do most of research for you 3) Take some chances, do a modicum of research 4) Enjoy nice Capital grille Dinner, knowing you beat the market, and the Index Funds 5) Beginner's misfortune. The lesson you learned is that you can have "fun" and win if you do...
by learning_head
Mon Nov 16, 2015 7:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: At what level does the cost of something matter to you?
Replies: 64
Views: 7414

Re: At what level does the cost of something matter to you?

For rare, one-off purchases, $20 seems to be the magic number for me. If something costs over $20, I start thinking about comparison shopping and such. For regular purchases like groceries, it's a harder question - if I see items next to each other, I'll give it some thought, but I don't bother with...
by learning_head
Mon Nov 16, 2015 7:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: background check site thoughts?
Replies: 1
Views: 296

background check site thoughts?

Could any of you folks recommend a background check site for a household employee, like a nanny? Or alternatively, suggest which ones to stay away from? After some googling I saw a recommendation for "Instant Checkmate", but my Web-of-trust plugin marks it as "red" / "scam&q...
by learning_head
Tue Oct 20, 2015 3:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Selling all equities, discuss why I'm wrong. :)
Replies: 226
Views: 28427

Re: Selling all equities, discuss why I'm wrong. :)

Dividend stocks are not bonds. There is no such thing a reliable company when it comes to dividends. There is no such thing as "blue chips". In stock markets, there are many strategies that work well in most cases, but when you lose, you lose big, wiping out all your prior wins and more. R...
by learning_head
Fri Oct 16, 2015 6:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is Wade Pfau right about annuities over [bond funds] in a retirement portfolio?
Replies: 67
Views: 7183

Re: Is Wade Pfau right about annuities over [bond funds] in a retirement portfolio?

There are many future expenses that are not that hard to predict if you keep track of your expenses. CPI-adjusted SPIAs to cover such expenses (beyond other annuities like SS and pensions) seems like a good fit, and precisely the kind of instrument that one would want to hedge the risk of living for...
by learning_head
Sat Oct 10, 2015 5:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are Low Interest Rates the New Normal?
Replies: 29
Views: 3916

Re: Are Low Interest Rates the New Normal?

Interesting observation and stats. Thanks for posting, Simplegift. I am far from being an expert in macro economics, but I would have thought high inflation could be with any age of the population (e.g. if government decides to print a lot of money). In such a case, would you expect interest rates t...
by learning_head
Wed Oct 07, 2015 4:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Northwest FCU 3-year 3.04% Add-On CD
Replies: 329
Views: 29576

Re: Northwest FCU 3-year 3.04% Add-On CD

Thanks Kevin! I just came across this thread and followed your instructions that have been very helpful! It did not allow me to deposit $10 fee + $5 (their same application page claimed this was minimum for new primary savings acct even though minimal balance there is $1) + 15k, since maximum was li...
by learning_head
Mon Oct 05, 2015 5:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Protect bank account number from utilities?
Replies: 10
Views: 1338

Re: Protect bank account number from utilities?

... Yes, giving your bank account number to a utility is a risk, but so is handing your check to the check-out girl at the grocery store or mailing checks to pay your utility bills... Another approach would be to use bank's online bill-pay "push", where bank pushes funds over to utilities...
by learning_head
Mon Oct 05, 2015 4:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Protect bank account number from utilities?
Replies: 10
Views: 1338

Re: Protect bank account number from utilities?

... Yes, giving your bank account number to a utility is a risk, but so is handing your check to the check-out girl at the grocery store or mailing checks to pay your utility bills... Another approach would be to use bank's online bill-pay "push", where bank pushes funds over to utilities...
by learning_head
Mon Oct 05, 2015 2:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Protect bank account number from utilities?
Replies: 10
Views: 1338

Protect bank account number from utilities?

A friend is thinking about signing up for automatic bill pay by various utilities to automate payments. This requires going to multiple utility companies and giving them bank account number (CC payments in this area get charged a fee by most utilities). This means that hackers of any of these utilit...
by learning_head
Fri May 29, 2015 12:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 25 Month CD at 2.27% at US Alliance Federal Credit Union
Replies: 24
Views: 5176

Re: 25 Month CD at 2.27% at US Alliance Federal Credit Union

These are callable :-( This is the first time I hear of callable CU/bank CDs. Oh well... From same blog entry: "The Credit Union has the right to call or redeem Certificate Accounts early. To call or redeem your Certificate Account early, the Credit Union will provide 60 days written notice to ...
by learning_head
Fri May 29, 2015 12:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Will Single Premium Immediate Annuities be better with higher interest rates?
Replies: 49
Views: 5586

Re: Will Single Premium Immediate Annuities be better with higher interest rates?

What about CPI-adjusted ones? Would they be affected one way or another with higher (nominal) interest rates?
by learning_head
Sat May 02, 2015 1:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Intermediate Grade Corp vs Intermed Grade Investment?
Replies: 16
Views: 1967

Re: Intermediate Grade Corp vs Intermed Grade Investment?

(I know this is an older post but in other threads I did not see this mentioned either)... another difference according to Vanguard site:
- VFIDX is actively managed
- VICSX is passively managed (and tracking Barclays U.S. 5–10 Year Corporate Bond Index)
by learning_head
Fri Feb 20, 2015 2:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Incorrect total basis on form 8606 for a prior year
Replies: 35
Views: 5824

Re: Incorrect total basis on form 8606 for a prior year

Thanks Alan, Leeraar. I guess I should have just sent it in with a letter, but now I feel like I have to add 1040X too - not a big deal, since filling it out is very easy per their instructions - just basic info at the top, and some simple text explanation box which I would have put in a letter anyw...
by learning_head
Thu Feb 19, 2015 7:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Incorrect total basis on form 8606 for a prior year
Replies: 35
Views: 5824

Re: Incorrect total basis on form 8606 for a prior year

I also have an issue with incorrect basis I had reported last year and it did not affect last years taxes or really any numbers outside of the form. I emailed IRS asking whether I need to file 1040X or new 8606 is sufficient. In short, they said to file 1040X as well since I filed 1040, even though ...
by learning_head
Fri Jan 30, 2015 1:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Google finance performance comparison tool
Replies: 18
Views: 2690

Re: Google finance performance comparison tool

^Well, I can show you actual calculated values to show that it does get within a couple of basis points for quite a few years of returns I looked at for two Vanguard bond funds, but even if I did that, we'd still agree that we can't rely on it. Kevin Hi Kevin, I found my older post where I had desc...
by learning_head
Wed Jan 28, 2015 5:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Google finance performance comparison tool
Replies: 18
Views: 2690

Re: Google finance performance comparison tool

Yahoo's adjusted close price cannot be used to get total return actually; at least if you try to use it directly via (AdjPriceEnd - AdjPriceStart) / AdjPriceStart. I think if you dig into how they compute it, you will find it does not work. And yes, I have seen a lot of issues with their data reliab...
by learning_head
Tue Oct 21, 2014 5:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can anybody to backdoor Roth IRA investments?
Replies: 14
Views: 2385

Re: Can anybody to backdoor Roth IRA investments?

As a side thing to consider - between Jan and April you could invest for both last year and current year, putting in 11k (if 5.5k per year) every 2 years. Of course, you still have to file tax forms @5.5k/year and designate your contributions properly but if your transfers could be happening once ev...
by learning_head
Tue Oct 21, 2014 4:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Health care tilt
Replies: 77
Views: 5692

Re: Health care tilt

To add to what avalpert said, just because there will always be a need for doctors, does not mean *investing* in that sector will outperform total market. It does not means that profits in healthcare sector will keep up with rest of total market either. As was mentioned, it could easily become much ...
by learning_head
Sat Aug 09, 2014 10:06 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Maxing roth 401k vs trad 401k in high income tax bracket
Replies: 13
Views: 1752

Re: Maxing roth 401k vs trad 401k in high income tax bracket

possibility of lower tax rates in the future, due to state tax changes (moving), high medical expenses/deductions despite high income, lowered future income taxes (ha!), etc. You forgot the most important one... possibility of lower tax rates in the future because you retired and no longer have tha...
by learning_head
Fri Aug 08, 2014 8:23 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Maxing roth 401k vs trad 401k in high income tax bracket
Replies: 13
Views: 1752

Re: Maxing roth 401k vs trad 401k in high income tax bracket

+1 on thx1138 In short, Roth = Traditional if your current tax situation is same as in retirement, except yes, there are some small advantages to Roth: (1) if you contribute the maximum amount (which is same for them), more of your money is tax-advantaged (because of say 17k limit, only part of it b...
by learning_head
Sun Jul 27, 2014 5:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: If you tax adjust, how has it changed your life?
Replies: 16
Views: 2397

Re: If you tax adjust, how has it changed your life?

Imagine there were no tax differences but instead your Roth IRA balances were presented to you is US dollars, your taxable accounts in Australian dollars and your Traditional IRA / 401(k) in Canadian dollars, would you feel comfortable just adding these "dollars" up or setting AA based on ...
by learning_head
Thu Jul 24, 2014 4:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The article on tax efficient placement needs to be rewri
Replies: 75
Views: 5425

Re: The article on tax efficient placement needs to be rewri

learning_head, I don't know if you realize it, but you have provided a simplified summary of the Reichenstein paper. Kevin Did not read this paper (thanks Taylor for the link) but it does not surprise me (I had communicated with him during my investigations on this back in 2009 and learned a lot fr...
by learning_head
Thu Jul 24, 2014 4:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bonds beat stocks over the last 15 years
Replies: 93
Views: 10101

Re: Bonds beat stocks over the last 15 years

Were there any long periods when cash beat both? (what about in other countries?)
by learning_head
Thu Jul 24, 2014 4:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The article on tax efficient placement needs to be rewri
Replies: 75
Views: 5425

Re: "Asset Location Revisited"

This paper concludes by indicating that except in rare cases, investors should hold stocks in taxable accounts and bonds in retirement accounts . (underline mine) Thanks Taylor. For those still confused, here's a simple proof anyone should be able to follow/reproduce: Assumptions: Stock divs: 2%. S...
by learning_head
Tue Jul 15, 2014 10:34 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: a close look at value and momentum
Replies: 259
Views: 22371

Re: a close look at value and momentum

Hi Larry, aside from DFA funds (which require hiring an adviser), which funds would you recommend for capturing SV? I know you just mentioned BOSVX. Is there others? Similarly, if you could suggest some Int'l SV funds that you like outside of DFA, that would be great!

Thanks!
by learning_head
Sat Jun 14, 2014 12:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to pick: RSU or stock options?
Replies: 29
Views: 3428

Re: What to pick: RSU or stock options?

mhc wrote:You could play with an options calculator to see if the 4:1 ratio is equitable.


Any suggestions on how to do this? I am not exactly following here.
by learning_head
Sat Jun 14, 2014 12:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to pick: RSU or stock options?
Replies: 29
Views: 3428

Re: What to pick: RSU or stock options?

Yes, these are NQSOs (I edited OP to mention this too). I think I have 3 months after leaving company to exercise these though don't recall for sure. I will probably stay with the company for a while but yes, good to consider what happens if I don't.

Thanks
by learning_head
Sat Jun 14, 2014 8:15 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to pick: RSU or stock options?
Replies: 29
Views: 3428

What to pick: RSU or stock options?

Hi folks, would love some help with a choice that Mega-Corp is offering, i.e. a choice of RSUs or options: - take 1 RSU, or - take 4 stock options (NQ) - (could also split some RSUs / some stock options in whatever proportion I want but based on same 1-to-4 ratio as above) Both vest over 4 years (1/...
by learning_head
Mon Jun 09, 2014 6:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: High P/E = high future returns?
Replies: 20
Views: 1793

Re: High P/E = high future returns?

I think PEs have reliable predictive value when they reach very extreme levels either low or high. Extreme PEs directly reflect extreme investor sentiment levels, either pervasive panic or euphoria which is what drives net buying or selling of stocks and therefore PEs. Lowest PEs occur when all hop...
by learning_head
Sun Jun 08, 2014 7:56 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: High P/E = high future returns?
Replies: 20
Views: 1793

High P/E = high future returns?

It's been said a number of times on these threads that P/E (and P/E10) have some predictive power, explaining maybe 40% of future returns where higher PEs imply lower returns in following 10 years. (In part, this is based on this Vanguard paper ). So, just knowing this, I would expect that when I lo...
by learning_head
Sat May 24, 2014 10:48 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: SPIA - what do guarantee associations cover?
Replies: 23
Views: 2866

Re: SPIA - what do guarantee associations cover?

On the question of present value of CPI-adjusted SPIA, would the CPI-adjusted nature of it make it easier to compute because instead of using a discount rate one has to guess, one can just use CPI itself? In other words, if I have $1000/year payment, CPI-adjusted, and my life expectancy is 30 years...
by learning_head
Sun May 11, 2014 8:20 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why is Two Fund Less Popular Than Three Fund Portfolio?
Replies: 151
Views: 15370

Re: Why is Two Fund Less Popular Than Three Fund Portfolio?

the UK based 'LifeStrategy' fund is too overweighted towards UK equities for my liking. Not sure how much is the overweighting there but... I think everyone may want to have a pretty large home-country bias. Perhaps non-US investors should have less of it due to smaller size of their home country m...
by learning_head
Sun May 11, 2014 7:43 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: SPIA - what do guarantee associations cover?
Replies: 23
Views: 2866

Re: SPIA - what do guarantee associations cover?

On the question of present value of CPI-adjusted SPIA, would the CPI-adjusted nature of it make it easier to compute because instead of using a discount rate one has to guess, one can just use CPI itself? In other words, if I have $1000/year payment, CPI-adjusted, and my life expectancy is 30 years,...

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