Search found 51 matches

by lernd
Sat Aug 12, 2017 7:10 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Individual stocks for fun
Replies: 24
Views: 1602

Re: Individual stocks for fun

I dabble in small-cap/micro-cap biotech stocks. It's in my field and Phase 2b and 3 trials are usually published in journals that I can easily access. I look for companies in late stage drug trials that I believe have a chance of success, or companies with drugs pending FDA approval that I think are...
by lernd
Tue Jul 25, 2017 1:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financial Characteristics of Physicians
Replies: 24
Views: 2165

Re: Financial Characteristics of Physicians

I heard or read somewhere (in a medical context) - "never mistake confidence for competence." I like the quote and remember it daily in my own medical practice. Looking at the methodology, I would note that the results are self-reported surveys and consist of ~2,300 responses from an initi...
by lernd
Sun Jul 23, 2017 7:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How am I doing? (dual physician household)
Replies: 45
Views: 5649

Re: How am I doing? (dual physician household)

Personal assets look more than fine. Here's what you could be doing better: more charitable contributions.
by lernd
Sun Jun 18, 2017 12:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Child Gift/Investment question
Replies: 2
Views: 243

Child Gift/Investment question

My uncle (who has no children), recently gave money to each of my small children to be used for their future educations. It is a generous gift based on his fixed income (I have little knowledge of his finances), though a small amount (currently about 5%) relative to my childrens' current 529 balance...
by lernd
Tue Jun 06, 2017 9:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Suit for [medical] residency interviews
Replies: 57
Views: 3646

Re: Suit for residency interviews

I've heard to wear navy or charcoal. All of the different brands/options are more overwhelming than studying for boards. It's the biggest interview of my life, where do you guys recommend I get a suit? I'm thinking Dillards/Nordstrom/J Crew/etc....preferring in the $500 range. Make sure the suit (a...
by lernd
Sun Jun 04, 2017 8:14 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is the best way to invest for cash flow?
Replies: 18
Views: 2108

Re: What is the best way to invest for cash flow?

Bond mutual funds usually pay a monthly dividend that could be directly deposited into a bank account. Municipal funds can provide can provide tax free income in a given state.

I'm not saying Bond funds are the best way to invest for cash flow, but they are one way to invest for cash flow...
by lernd
Fri May 26, 2017 12:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard REIT ETF ER increased?!?
Replies: 13
Views: 1967

Re: Vanguard REIT ETF ER increased?!?

The OP probably saw a yellow banner across the top of his/her account that said the fund expense has increased from .10 to .12. That's what I saw earlier this week. That's exactly what happened. And I had to do a double-take because usually when that banner appears, it's because the ER is being low...
by lernd
Fri May 26, 2017 12:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard REIT ETF ER increased?!?
Replies: 13
Views: 1967

Vanguard REIT ETF ER increased?!?

VNQ's ER went up from 0.1% to 0.12%. Come on Vanguard, that's bucking your usual (and awesome) trend! :oops:
by lernd
Tue Apr 11, 2017 10:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Viewing Northern Lights (the full colors)
Replies: 17
Views: 1764

Re: Viewing Northern Lights (the full colors)

As a photohobbyist and someone who went to Iceland a few years ago to see the northern lights, I have the following observations: 3. To the naked eye, there is still plenty of color - I remember greens, red/orange waves. I wouldn't worry too much about not seeing "enough" with the naked e...
by lernd
Tue Apr 11, 2017 9:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Viewing Northern Lights (the full colors)
Replies: 17
Views: 1764

Re: Viewing Northern Lights (the full colors)

As a photohobbyist and someone who went to Iceland a few years ago to see the northern lights, I have the following observations: 1. You do not want to be looking through your camera, making camera adjustments etc with the northern lights in full effect. Any picture you capture cannot do justice to ...
by lernd
Mon Apr 03, 2017 7:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Screwed over by the airlines...
Replies: 42
Views: 5183

Re: Screwed over by the airlines...

Do you really want to fly on an airline that skimps on security, ignores weather, and takes risks with mechanical problems? Decisions regarding which flights to cancel are often not security-related....they are often related to the airline's bottom line. Haven't you noticed that sometimes an airlin...
by lernd
Fri Mar 31, 2017 12:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The order of personal financial sources to pay for kid's college?
Replies: 11
Views: 965

Re: The order of personal financial sources to pay for kid's college?

You can use any or all of it except No. 5. Keep contributing to 457 as you can not recover that space. Rest is up to you. I would use regular accounts first and even I-bonds ahead of Taxable Mutual fund accounts but it will not make a big difference. I am guessing mutual fund account has gained a l...
by lernd
Wed Mar 15, 2017 7:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $464.12 dinner bill last night. No regrets.
Replies: 78
Views: 10863

Re: $464.12 dinner bill last night. No regrets.

Congrats! And a wonderful story.
by lernd
Fri Mar 03, 2017 9:39 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Ever dip your feet into individual stocks?
Replies: 63
Views: 4285

Re: Ever dip your feet into individual stocks?

Agree with others who have said they use their "play" money. I have about 1% of total investments in individual stocks, total of about 5 different companies. I have invested in micro/small-cap companies in a field related to my work because it is my belief (correctly or incorrectly) that m...
by lernd
Mon Feb 27, 2017 11:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Understanding an HSA - help
Replies: 7
Views: 757

Understanding an HSA - help

I have (what may be a silly) question regarding HSAs and High Deductible Health Plans (HDHP): Through a previous employer, an HSA was set up for me as I had a HDHP with that employer. I made annual contributions to the HSA. I have since moved on to another job, but kept that HSA (without making any ...
by lernd
Sun Feb 05, 2017 11:06 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Total Stock Index is not TOTAL?
Replies: 19
Views: 2130

Re: Vanguard Total Stock Index is not TOTAL?

CRSP says the index comprises "nearly 100%" of the market, which isn't very precise. It also says that as of 12/30/2016, the total market cap of the index was $23,417,755 million and that the smallest company in the index had a market cap of $3 million (!). (For comparison, the weighted a...
by lernd
Sun Feb 05, 2017 8:16 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Total Stock Index is not TOTAL?
Replies: 19
Views: 2130

Vanguard Total Stock Index is not TOTAL?

I was curious and doing a bit of poking around, from what I can see, there are > 5,000 companies listed on US stock exchanges (the number seems to vary a bit based on the source, and obviously the number changes). In comparison, VTSMX only has about 3500 holdings. 1. are the 1500 or so companies not...
by lernd
Fri Jan 20, 2017 2:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Easy Ways to Save a Little Money (Like Churning)
Replies: 21
Views: 3843

Re: Easy Ways to Save a Little Money (Like Churning)

The word "churning" I think implies it all - the cash back "rewards" are designed to encourage spending.

Another poster said it best that less spending is the best way to save...
by lernd
Thu Jan 12, 2017 1:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home heating options
Replies: 63
Views: 3651

Re: Home heating options

Don't know if it has been said already, but if it is possible, look into geothermal (it will require well drilling on your property). My wife and I did it for our home (new construction) and it is fantastic. It provides both heating/cooling. Older geothermal systems often times needed a "supple...
by lernd
Wed Dec 28, 2016 1:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Minor's inheritance - UGMA? UGMT?
Replies: 6
Views: 364

Re: Minor's inheritance - UGMA? UGMT?

They are 1 and 3 - so looking at about 20 years of growth (without anymore "planned" contributions). with the UGM accounts, they assume control of it at the age of 18 right? Can the account or trust be structured to postpone that until say 25?
by lernd
Wed Dec 28, 2016 12:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Minor's inheritance - UGMA? UGMT?
Replies: 6
Views: 364

Minor's inheritance - UGMA? UGMT?

My wife's grandfather passed away recently. In his will, he left a small amount of money to each of his great-grandchildren. It's approximately $3,000 for each of our two children (among many great grandchildren). Anyway, my wife and I are trying to figure out what to do once the money is disbursed ...
by lernd
Mon Dec 26, 2016 5:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Massachusetts 529 plan
Replies: 10
Views: 975

Re: Massachusetts 529 plan

Effective January 1, 2017 through the 2021 tax year, contributions to Massachusetts 529 plans of up to $1,000 per year by an individual, and up to $2,000 per year by a married couple filing jointly, are deductible in computing Massachusetts taxable income. The deduction doesn't sound like it's per ...
by lernd
Sun Dec 04, 2016 7:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to define "Retirement?"
Replies: 38
Views: 2983

Re: How to define "Retirement?"

How will you know if you are retired? How do you know that you are retired? What is a good definition/defining moment that signifies retirement? In the simple case, if one works for an organization, puts in their "retirement papers," and then no longer works, that surely is retirement. Mo...
by lernd
Thu Dec 01, 2016 4:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is there any no-risk investment option?
Replies: 22
Views: 1843

Re: Is there any no-risk investment option?

Paying down debt that has > 5% interest?
by lernd
Wed Nov 30, 2016 4:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Does purchase timing (for capital gains) matter in retirement accounts?
Replies: 2
Views: 415

Re: Does purchase timing (for capital gains) matter in retirement accounts?

It is general advice not to purchase shares in a fund if a capital gain is being distributed soon because you are "paying for the capital gain." My question is, if you are doing this within a retirement account, does it really matter since the capital gain does not incur taxation? lernd: ...
by lernd
Wed Nov 30, 2016 2:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Does purchase timing (for capital gains) matter in retirement accounts?
Replies: 2
Views: 415

Does purchase timing (for capital gains) matter in retirement accounts?

It is general advice not to purchase shares in a fund if a capital gain is being distributed soon because you are "paying for the capital gain." My question is, if you are doing this within a retirement account, does it really matter since the capital gain does not incur taxation? Basicall...
by lernd
Thu Oct 13, 2016 10:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is this ER bill normal (medical billing)
Replies: 64
Views: 5471

Re: Is this ER bill normal (medical billing)

And my apologies to the OP, because when I posted a personal story illustrating that ER doc participation or non-participation in a plan could indeed affect your bill, I didn't know that other posters would seize on it to drag your thread into a more general discussion of what doctors deserve. Toug...
by lernd
Wed Oct 12, 2016 6:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is this ER bill normal (medical billing)
Replies: 64
Views: 5471

Re: Is this ER bill normal (medical billing)

When will people realize that problems with billing/medical costs are a systems problem and not one with physicians. Physician salaries are a minuscule portion of overall healthcare costs. Doctors haven't screwed up the system, people in suits with no medical degrees have. That ER doctor made a corr...
by lernd
Wed Oct 12, 2016 8:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vacation in Peru/Ecuador in December
Replies: 10
Views: 1242

Re: Vacation in Peru/Ecuador in December

If you would like to see Machu Picchu and enjoy hiking, I HIGHLY recommend Mountain Lodges of Peru. It's about 7 days of hikes, but you get to sleep in a lodge each night so it's not like you're completely roughing it. You don't do the Inca trail, instead going an alternate route (the Salkantay Trai...
by lernd
Tue Oct 11, 2016 11:35 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Third year medical student, where to begin
Replies: 29
Views: 2505

Re: Third year medical student, where to begin

Just thought of some other quick things: 1. Get disability insurance before you finish residency, make sure it is own occupation (specific for your specialty) 2. During medical school and residency you will inevitably be invited to lunches with guest speakers who are financial people. They'll say ho...
by lernd
Tue Oct 11, 2016 11:23 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Third year medical student, where to begin
Replies: 29
Views: 2505

Re: Third year medical student, where to begin

As a physician, I would like to add the following advice: Be the best medical student and resident in your chosen field as you can be. I don't want to be a downer, but don't spend too much of your time studying or reading financial books, spend that time learning medicine. Sure, in your free time (i...
by lernd
Sun Oct 09, 2016 6:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Struggling with "Live like a Resident" versus "Keeping up with the Joneses"
Replies: 109
Views: 15615

Re: Struggling with "Live like a Resident" versus "Keeping up with the Joneses"

2. Demonstrations of wealth do not equal wealth. Those cars may be leased at ridiculous cost, colleagues may be mortgaged to the hilt and up to their eye balls in debt. What you think people own may actually be rented. You don't know the arguments they've had at home about bills, or the stress fina...
by lernd
Sun Oct 09, 2016 9:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Struggling with "Live like a Resident" versus "Keeping up with the Joneses"
Replies: 109
Views: 15615

Re: Struggling with "Live like a Resident" versus "Keeping up with the Joneses"

I know what you are talking about. When I finished my residency and took my first attending physician job, it was in a wealthy town. I parked my Civic in the physicians' lot and it was hard not to notice that is was one of the few non-luxury cars (though my favorite car in the lot was a 20+ year old...
by lernd
Fri Oct 07, 2016 5:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Target Retirement 2030? Something else?
Replies: 16
Views: 1693

Re: Target Retirement 2030? Something else?

Most Target Retirement Date Funds (including Vanguard's) likely operate with the assumption that they exist in tax sheltered accounts - 401ks, IRAs etc. Therefore, they are not designed to necessarily be tax efficient, and looking at Vanguard Target Retirement 2030, short term capital gains have bee...
by lernd
Wed Oct 05, 2016 10:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Making my own target retirement fund?
Replies: 10
Views: 992

Making my own target retirement fund?

My 401K has some great choices (ie: Vanguard funds!) and some terrible choices - actively managed, high ERs, crap. The 401k setup has a method for creating a target retirement date like system of auto rebalancing, but the problem is it uses all the high ER funds and not the Vanguard ones. One thing ...
by lernd
Mon Oct 03, 2016 9:27 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: zero-dividend investing in taxable account
Replies: 58
Views: 7427

Re: zero-dividend investing in taxable account

ough. You add a lot of risk to avoid or rather postpone realizing a puny 2% dividend. The "puny" 2% dividend is 0.48% annual tax drag (plus 0.05% ER), which adds up over the decades. I would refer you to m and take a look at the "Appendix: comparison of hypothetical tax costs" I...
by lernd
Sat Sep 24, 2016 10:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: bonds in taxable account?
Replies: 6
Views: 933

Re: bonds in taxable account?

Looking to put about 30% of our taxable account into bond funds. Lernd: It is not clear if you have stocks in your retirement accounts. If so, you should probably exchange these stocks for higher yielding taxable bonds before placing tax-exempt bonds in taxable accounts? Best wishes Taylor I keep m...
by lernd
Sat Sep 24, 2016 7:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: bonds in taxable account?
Replies: 6
Views: 933

Re: bonds in taxable account?

To clarify, I am interested in Bond Mutual funds. Not interested in purchasing individual bonds myself. Sorry if that was confusing.
by lernd
Sat Sep 24, 2016 7:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: bonds in taxable account?
Replies: 6
Views: 933

bonds in taxable account?

Hi, Need some advice about what type of bond MF might be good in a taxable account. Wife and I currently maxing retirement accounts, both in our Mid-30s, live in Massachusetts with 5.1% income tax, federal marginal tax bracket of 33%. Using Vanguard. Looking to put about 30% of our taxable account i...
by lernd
Fri Sep 09, 2016 11:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Gas station - good business?
Replies: 69
Views: 6369

Re: Gas station - good business?

I'm always weary of ads in the paper listing "businesses" for sale in industries I know nothing about. Seems like the guy selling the business probably knows more about it than I do and has determined that it's not worth it hence the for sale ad. And offering to buy someone's profitable bu...
by lernd
Fri Sep 09, 2016 10:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: exchange vs sell?
Replies: 13
Views: 1806

Re: exchange vs sell?

unfortunately (or fortunately?) it's in a taxable account. Thank you for the information and tip about dividend switching (though it'll take a while to rebalance that way)
by lernd
Fri Sep 09, 2016 10:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: exchange vs sell?
Replies: 13
Views: 1806

exchange vs sell?

In an effort to rebalance my portfolio, I would like to shift around some holdings from one mutual fund to another (in vanguard). If I "exchange" one fund for another (one of the options on the Vanguard website) will I still incur any capital gains that I've accumulated?
by lernd
Sat Sep 03, 2016 4:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is there an investment with a FIXED rate of 3.5% or higher?
Replies: 32
Views: 4772

Re: Is there an investment with a FIXED rate of 3.5% or higher?

Just to make sure you are comparing apples to apples: Depending on your marginal tax bracket and how far into the mortgage you are your "return" on the mortgage will vary as you can deduct the mortgage interest each year. Similarly, returns outside of tax sheltered accounts will need to fa...
by lernd
Sun Aug 21, 2016 1:46 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Seemingly Too Good To Be True Investment Opportunity: Invest or Don't?
Replies: 85
Views: 8038

Re: Seemingly Too Good To Be True Investment Opportunity: Invest or Don't?

"This business is specifically successful for small and nimble companies. They are taking advantage of a disparity in pricing. If Bestbuy is selling an item for $199 in store for 1 week only and elsewhere the price remains $230 (or even if the following week it returns to the original price), t...
by lernd
Wed Aug 03, 2016 9:56 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 529 Rebalance plan
Replies: 2
Views: 340

529 Rebalance plan

hi, just thinking about my son's 529 plan (he's 2). Currently I've been contributing in a 90-10 stocks-bonds ratio (total stock/international stock in fixed 75-25% and broad US bond index). Obviously as he gets older, I'll want to both rebalance my portfolio (which currently, due to stock market inc...
by lernd
Fri Jun 03, 2016 10:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anybody successfully start writing fiction for pay as a side income?
Replies: 25
Views: 3357

Re: Anybody successfully start writing fiction for pay as a side income?

I have a friend who does a ton of blogging and self published a book through Amazon. He still has a day job. He treats the writing as a hobby and enjoys it, but between his blog (via advertisements) and his E-book, he might make enough to go out for an inexpensive dinner by himself once every few mo...
by lernd
Tue May 24, 2016 8:22 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Your 529 Plan - Thoughts and Strategies
Replies: 43
Views: 5941

Re: Your 529 Plan - Thoughts and Strategies

1. How old are your children who you're saving for? 18 months. 2. Which 529 Plan do you invest in? Vanguard - Nevada. Our in-state plan is through Fidelity (I think) and their options were more expensive. Additionally, our state gives us zero tax benefits for contributions so there really is no diff...
by lernd
Tue May 24, 2016 7:46 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need Moral Support for FA Breakup!
Replies: 68
Views: 6093

Re: Need Moral Support for FA Breakup!

When in tricky situations where your interests are different from the other party's interests, I find it helpful to say something along the lines of, "I'm doing what I feel is best for me and my family" . Being too specific opens the door to a conversation that gets diverted from the actua...
by lernd
Fri May 20, 2016 8:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Rollover - silly concern
Replies: 27
Views: 2581

Rollover - silly concern

I recently changed jobs and want to rollover my Fidelity 401k into my existing IRA with Vanguard. I called Fidelity and they explained the process to me which involves mailing me a check of my 401k balance, which, once I receive, I will have to forward on to Vanguard. I'm a little worried about this...