Search found 3249 matches

by mhc
Wed Jan 18, 2017 7:19 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why Vanguard why? (Donating to Donor advised Fund)
Replies: 19
Views: 1407

Re: Why Vanguard why? (Donating to Donor advised Fund)

I know this may not help, but I use Vanguard Charitable. The first time I did a transfer, I had a very specific request. I called Vanguard Charitable on how to handle it. The rep conferenced in a Vanguard rep, and the three of us worked it out. The transfer went through without a hitch. Since then, ...
by mhc
Fri Jan 13, 2017 10:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retiree health care premium before reaching medicare age
Replies: 17
Views: 1159

Re: Retiree health care premium before reaching medicare age

Given that the ACA is about to be repealed and we have no idea what will replace it, what people are paying now will not be particularly helpful to you going forward. It is impossible to predict healthcare costs even a few years out at this time. Agree. Last year I went on my state's exchange to de...
by mhc
Thu Jan 12, 2017 3:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you typically spend in a restaurant?
Replies: 171
Views: 9105

Re: How much do you typically spend in a restaurant?

For family of 5, dinner usually runs $80-100, no alcohol. We live in an average cost of living city. Last time I was in Dallas for work, I took two people out to dinner to an average cost restaurant. Two of us had a beer a piece. No appetizers or desserts. With tax and tip, the bill came to $150. I ...
by mhc
Thu Jan 12, 2017 1:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Update on mix in DAF for long term?
Replies: 9
Views: 422

Re: Update on mix in DAF for long term?

Your numbers don't add up to 100%. I have similar goals to you in my DAF. Mine is at Vanguard Charitable. I use: Growth (all in one option) Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund 20% Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund 55% Vanguard Total International Stock Index Fund 25% I think 80/20 AA is good ...
by mhc
Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Amazon Prime card, no annual fee, 5%(!) back on Amazon purchases
Replies: 72
Views: 6619

Re: Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

I just got the Amazon Store Card for the 5% because the Amazon Visa was only giving 3%. Now the Amazon Visa will give me 5%. :x :x :x
by mhc
Wed Jan 11, 2017 11:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where do you keep your emergency fund?
Replies: 80
Views: 6018

Re: Where do you keep your emergency fund?

There are lots of threads on this.

If you want a dedicated EF, then an online savings accout can get you about 1%. You could ladder CDs or use a short term bond fund. If you have a large portfolio, a dedicated EF is not necessary.
by mhc
Tue Jan 10, 2017 3:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: ICMA retirement transfer to Vanguard [457 plan administrator]
Replies: 6
Views: 350

Re: ICMA retriement transfer to Vanguard

I'm a gov't employee with a pension, 457k plan, and roth ira all through ICMA. From reading on here, it seems that switching my roth ira from ICMA to vanguard is the best thing for me. Is this complex to with a roth ira from one company to vanguard? TIA I'm pretty sure my DW had a ICMA IRA when we ...
by mhc
Tue Jan 10, 2017 3:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How often do you make contributions to your portfolio?
Replies: 15
Views: 1009

Re: How often do you make contributions to your portfolio?

I make contributions whenever I have a cash available above a certain minimum threshold. I add it to the fund that needs it most. This occurs probably 6-8 times a year. I have a spreadsheet to show me where to make the contribution. I probably only spend a couple hours a year doing this. I wish it t...
by mhc
Mon Jan 09, 2017 11:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you avoid aggregators? Best expense tracker for manual entry?
Replies: 13
Views: 804

Re: Do you avoid aggregators? Best expense tracker for manual entry?

I use excel to track expenses. It take me less than an hour a month. One sheet per year. One column per month. One row per item. I track each bill I pay, atm, donations per charity, .... I do not break out credit card spending into categories. I just leave them as one item. I believe my credit card ...
by mhc
Mon Jan 09, 2017 10:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is CreditKarma legit?
Replies: 11
Views: 1386

Re: Is CreditKarma legit?

I believe they are legit. They make money by looking at your info and recommending products that may benefit you. The tax software is free but limited at this time. I believe I saw they do not handle Foreign Income Credit or something like that. There is a couple different ways for recouping foreign...
by mhc
Fri Jan 06, 2017 12:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do we need life insurance?
Replies: 18
Views: 1139

Re: Do we need life insurance?

If you don't need the insurance, then don't buy it. It is usually more cost efficient to self insure.

Insurance is to manage risk. If you are not at risk, then no need for insurance.
by mhc
Thu Jan 05, 2017 12:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Am I wasting time with additional funds
Replies: 30
Views: 2000

Re: Am I wasting time with additional funds

I would probably only have one fund per account. I follow the 3-fund, but I wouldn't worry about the exact AA until you hit $50k. Your saving rate is more importatant at this point. I believe in keeping it simple.

VTI in one account
VXUS in the other
Done
by mhc
Thu Jan 05, 2017 11:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Prime shipping to post office for pickup?
Replies: 18
Views: 1184

Re: Amazon Prime shipping to post office for pickup?

Never heard of that before.

I would not have picked it up. I would have contacted Amazon and told them to deliver it to the door or refund the purchase. If I want to drive to get a microwave, I can more easily stop at Walmart and get one.
by mhc
Wed Jan 04, 2017 11:04 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Classifying "Other" investments in Vanguard Portfolio Watch
Replies: 4
Views: 389

Re: Classifying "Other" investments in Vanguard Portfolio Watch

As far as I can tell, the feature went away when the new aggregator came. I have the same problem. My 401k uses CITs that show up as other. I have given up on Portfolio Watch. I never really found it that useful in the first place, so I don't mind losing it. Thanks. What do you use in place of Port...
by mhc
Tue Jan 03, 2017 2:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Classifying "Other" investments in Vanguard Portfolio Watch
Replies: 4
Views: 389

Re: Classifying "Other" investments in Vanguard Portfolio Watch

As far as I can tell, the feature went away when the new aggregator came. I have the same problem. My 401k uses CITs that show up as other. I have given up on Portfolio Watch. I never really found it that useful in the first place, so I don't mind losing it.
by mhc
Mon Jan 02, 2017 2:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help evaluate new job offer with no 401k match
Replies: 14
Views: 811

Re: Help evaluate new job offer with no 401k match

The new job sounds better because the opportunity to advance. That is probably worth much more than the match.

What are the ER for current 401k? The lower ER at Vanguard may make up for losing the match over the long run . Also, with advancement, you may be able to save more.
by mhc
Wed Dec 28, 2016 10:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any Backyard Chefs out there? Do you have any specialties?
Replies: 25
Views: 1532

Re: Any Backyard Chefs out there? Do you have any specialties?

A smoker opens up the ability to do many things, but lately my family has been craving my yogurt marinated chicken. I cut the chicken breast into one inch cubes and put into a one gallon bag with Greek yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, garlic, and cumen. I let it marinate for several hou...
by mhc
Wed Dec 14, 2016 4:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gift bag recommendation $5 to $15
Replies: 18
Views: 1375

Re: Gift bag recommendation $5 to $15

$5-$15 gift card to local coffee shop or some other business.
by mhc
Wed Dec 14, 2016 4:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cancun / Playa de Carmen – transportation issue with infant and toddler
Replies: 11
Views: 1049

Re: Cancun / Playa de Carmen – transportation issue with infant and toddler

Have you considered a baby bjorn for the infant and a backpack for the toddler? These may be better than a stroller.
by mhc
Wed Dec 14, 2016 10:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fridge Water Filter Cartridges...A Scam?
Replies: 26
Views: 2617

Re: Fridge Water Filter Cartridges...A Scam?

I have never replaced mine in over 5 years. My city has good water. I don't know what it would filter out. It seems like an unnecessary feature for me. In some parts of the country, it might be a nice feature. Your city may have good water at the source, but how's the condition of the pipes between...
by mhc
Wed Dec 14, 2016 9:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fridge Water Filter Cartridges...A Scam?
Replies: 26
Views: 2617

Re: Fridge Water Filter Cartridges...A Scam?

I have never replaced mine in over 5 years. My city has good water. I don't know what it would filter out. It seems like an unnecessary feature for me.

In some parts of the country, it might be a nice feature.
by mhc
Tue Dec 13, 2016 10:11 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retirement Planning Net Worth & Income/Expense Form
Replies: 3
Views: 518

Re: Retirement Planning Net Worth & Income/Expense Form

Since you are going to review the information with Vanguard and Fidelity, I would ask each of them for their forms. This way you can present the information they are looking for.
by mhc
Mon Dec 12, 2016 10:32 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Portfolio Watch -- quick question
Replies: 6
Views: 537

Re: Vanguard Portfolio Watch -- quick question

I linked the accounts via Yodlee so they pull in automatically whenever I login. The valuations are accurate and up to date but to my surprise the software does not seem to recognize what type of MF's they are. If the funds are in your 401k, they may not be mutual funds. They may be collective inve...
by mhc
Fri Dec 09, 2016 4:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Shouldn't Gain/Loss Calculations Account For Inflation?
Replies: 18
Views: 888

Re: Shouldn't Gain/Loss Calculations Account For Inflation?

Lieutenant.Columbo wrote:Thank you for this reply, mhc
mhc wrote:The key is to never sell. Then when you die your hiers get a stepped up cost basis
1. does this apply to both index funds as well as real estate?
2. do you yourself follow the spirit your maxim?
thank you


Yes, but I will never know if I actually carry it out.
by mhc
Fri Dec 09, 2016 10:47 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Shouldn't Gain/Loss Calculations Account For Inflation?
Replies: 18
Views: 888

Re: Shouldn't Gain/Loss Calculations Account For Inflation?

I can't disagree, and have always thought that some kind of indexing of gains is called for. It would, however, make tax forms even more complicated. I guess the reduced tax rates on long-term gains is an (imperfect) attempt to account for it. TomatoTomahto, The more I think about it, the more I th...
by mhc
Thu Dec 08, 2016 10:28 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax Loss Harvesting with VTSAX and VFIAX
Replies: 7
Views: 762

Re: Tax Loss Harvesting with VTSAX and VFIAX

OP, sounds like the only mistake you made was not having the expectation that you may hold VFIAX for a very long period of time. I did the same thing a number of years ago. My gains are so large now that I do not want to ever sell those shares. I donate a portion of my VFIAX every year and then use ...
by mhc
Wed Dec 07, 2016 11:03 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Stock Options Help
Replies: 18
Views: 1048

Re: Stock Options Help

As far as timing of options exercise, the "normal" procedure is to exercise shortly before expiration at ten years (usually). This is especially so if option grants are going to be an annual compensation benefit. I don't think that's the "normal procedure" at all. For most peopl...
by mhc
Wed Dec 07, 2016 9:49 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Stock Options Help
Replies: 18
Views: 1048

Re: Stock Options Help

When you receive the options, there should be documentation available that answers all of your questions. If you cannot find the documentation, ask your manager, HR rep, benefits person, and/or the stock administrator. Otherwise, look for a co-worker that is knowledgable.
by mhc
Wed Dec 07, 2016 9:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I fill out survey evaluation of my boss?
Replies: 53
Views: 4353

Re: Should I fill out survey evaluation of my boss?

I know from personal experience that even if HR says it will be anonymous, it won't be. I know from personal experience if everyone in a group complains, you will enter a HR nightmare. HR is for the benefit of upper management. Sometimes lower management. Rarely for individual contributors. After ma...
by mhc
Tue Dec 06, 2016 1:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Physical security solution for basement door?
Replies: 19
Views: 1453

Re: Physical security solution for basement door?

What about a couple of 2x4 brackets and a board. Easy to install and low cost.

https://www.amazon.com/National-N235291 ... B000BO9NFI
by mhc
Mon Dec 05, 2016 1:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Silly FICO Score "Key Factors"
Replies: 7
Views: 724

Re: Silly FICO Score "Key Factors"

My understanding is the credit utilization rate is a snapshot in time. It really doesn't matter if you pay off your balances in full each month. What matters is the utilization rate when the snapshot is taken.
by mhc
Fri Dec 02, 2016 9:29 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: At 10x, how long before I reach 25x?
Replies: 18
Views: 3709

Re: At 10x, how long before I reach 25x?

realt return years 1x years 0.5x 0.03 12 17 0.04 11 15 0.05 10 13 0.06 9 12 0.07 9 11 0.08 8 10 How do you arrive at these figures, mhc? I get different results: Add Annually Growth 1x 0.5x ------ ---- ---- 0% 15.0 30.0 1% 12.8 22.4 2% 11.3 18.0 3% 10.1 15.1 4% 9.1 13.0 5% 8.3 11.5 6% 7.7 10.3 7% 7...
by mhc
Thu Dec 01, 2016 4:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: allocation question
Replies: 4
Views: 465

Re: allocation question

I wouldn't go through the trouble of adding international bonds. They would probably only have a small impact on the portfolio. The impact could be positive or negative. You have a nice simple portfolio. Leave good enough alone.
by mhc
Thu Dec 01, 2016 1:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: At 10x, how long before I reach 25x?
Replies: 18
Views: 3709

Re: At 10x, how long before I reach 25x?

realt return years 1x years 0.5x
0.03 12 17
0.04 11 15
0.05 10 13
0.06 9 12
0.07 9 11
0.08 8 10
by mhc
Wed Nov 23, 2016 4:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax Loss Harvesting -- Wash-Sale Rule
Replies: 2
Views: 290

Re: Tax Loss Harvesting -- Wash-Sale Rule

They are different funds. Looks good. Fidelity also has other good International funds you could use if you do not want to switch to Vanguard.
by mhc
Wed Nov 23, 2016 12:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax sheltered investment vehicles help
Replies: 14
Views: 640

Re: Tax sheltered investment vehicles help

1) what is considered a high deductible plan? 2) is a backdoor Roth IRA better than a standard brokerage account? 3) if number 2 is correct, why would anyone invest in a brokerage account? It seems everyone should invest everything in backdoor IRA when compared to a brokerage account? 1. Your medic...
by mhc
Wed Nov 23, 2016 11:42 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Backdoor Roth Question
Replies: 6
Views: 409

Re: Backdoor Roth Question

When the tax laws changed that removed income limits on IRA conversions, I converted my DW IRA to a Roth. It cost me about $3-4k in taxes. I figured it would be more tax efficient over the 15-20 years that we could backdoor money. It also made everything simpler, which I highly value. You could run ...
by mhc
Wed Nov 23, 2016 10:59 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax sheltered investment vehicles help
Replies: 14
Views: 640

Re: Tax sheltered investment vehicles help

If you have a high deductible medical plan that qualifies for an HSA, then max that out first.

I would then use the backdoor roth. You can learn about this on the wiki.
by mhc
Tue Nov 22, 2016 4:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why would anyone do tax loss harvesting??
Replies: 25
Views: 1655

Re: Why would anyone do tax loss harvesting??

You got it, but you can't buy an exact same fund. The law says the funds cannot be substantially identical. Vanguard's TSM fund is probably not substantially identical to the Fidelity TSM fund, at least not for me.
by mhc
Fri Nov 18, 2016 10:51 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: vanguard current asset pie mix became mostly OTHER?
Replies: 2
Views: 343

Re: vanguard current asset pie mix became mostly OTHER?

Do the funds in your 401k have ticker symbols? Are you sure they are really mutual funds?
by mhc
Fri Nov 18, 2016 10:41 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Safely removing large sum from Vanguard brokerage account
Replies: 7
Views: 950

Re: Safely removing large sum from Vanguard brokerage account

You should be able to look up your cost basis to see what your captial gains are. You will have to account for losses/gains on your taxes. Any short term gains will be taxed as normal income. If the value really hasn't changed much, then don't worry about the tax implications. There should be no fee...
by mhc
Fri Nov 11, 2016 10:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Two Plumbing Tools
Replies: 13
Views: 1445

Re: Two Plumbing Tools

1. For my kitchen sink, I can only use a basin wrench. For my bathroom sinks, I have not needed a basin wrench. For under sink work, a head lamp is also really great.
by mhc
Mon Nov 07, 2016 1:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Got a very wide range of plumbing contractor bids. Is this normal?
Replies: 19
Views: 1741

Re: Got a very wide range of plumbing contractor bids. Is this normal?

Very common. I have seen this with plumbers, painters, radon mitigation, ....
by mhc
Mon Nov 07, 2016 11:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Echo
Replies: 84
Views: 10062

Re: Amazon Echo

I bought one this past summer. We use it occasionally. It was a mediocre descision to buy one.

It is good for streaming Amazon music.
by mhc
Fri Nov 04, 2016 4:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gaming system for kids?
Replies: 53
Views: 4591

Re: Gaming system for kids?

I second the Xbox or Playstation recommendation, especially if you can align with friends. Both are good systems.

When my son was 7, I had to play with him to get him past the hard levels. I'm glad those days are over.
by mhc
Fri Nov 04, 2016 12:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Higher expected returns = Lower expected losses?
Replies: 25
Views: 1929

Re: Higher expected returns = Lower expected losses?

Go chart a TSM fund vs a TBM fund for the last 20 years. TSM has a higher expected return. See how the two funds move. It may answer your question.
by mhc
Tue Nov 01, 2016 1:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Paid off home. View as bond or cash in AA if you plan to sell in retirement?
Replies: 32
Views: 2643

Re: Paid off home. View as bond or cash in AA if you plan to sell in retirement?

I would not include it as a bond or cash because it is neither.

AA is based on need and ability to take risk. With a paid off home, you ability to take risk may be higher. If so, then your AA could lean more towards equities.

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