Search found 2643 matches

by psteinx
Fri Dec 08, 2017 1:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sweet Gum Balls
Replies: 28
Views: 1722

Re: Sweet Gum Balls

They can do more than that. My somewhat elderly mother hurt herself via sweet gum ball. I believe she was walking the neighborhood, turned an ankle or foot from a gumball (on the sidewalk I think), and suffered a relatively serious injury. Moral - keep the gumballs off the sidewalks (which is probab...
by psteinx
Thu Nov 30, 2017 1:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is there any reason to invest in real estate?
Replies: 98
Views: 7214

Re: Is there any reason to invest in real estate?

And I don't mean to denigrate the value of even a $30K windfall. But that's not really very early retirement money in the US...
by psteinx
Thu Nov 30, 2017 1:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is there any reason to invest in real estate?
Replies: 98
Views: 7214

Re: Is there any reason to invest in real estate?

Also, to re-emphasize, scale and consistency matter. There are lots of high ROI opportunities available at tiny scale. Some common ones include pursuing brokerage bonuses, frequent flyer bonus, CC signup bonuses. Even coupons, groupons and the like count, I suppose. But these things aren't particula...
by psteinx
Thu Nov 30, 2017 12:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is there any reason to invest in real estate?
Replies: 98
Views: 7214

Re: Is there any reason to invest in real estate?

The big boys wouldn't because they can't. A pension fund isn't going to chase a $50k profit even if it does represent a 50% return because the logistics of investing enough in that strategy to move the needle on a $2 billion portfolio are overwhelming. It's perfectly reasonable for somebody with a ...
by psteinx
Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Active to Passive - but how to get there?
Replies: 9
Views: 830

Re: Active to Passive - but how to get there?

You should figure out your approximate total marginal tax rate on long term capital gains. There's a good chance it's something like 20% basic fed, plus 3.8% ACA fed, plus 13% Cali, less perhaps some amount of the Cali that can be deducted on your fed. Though if you're an AMT payer, any deduction fo...
by psteinx
Wed Nov 29, 2017 12:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is there any reason to invest in real estate?
Replies: 98
Views: 7214

Re: Is there any reason to invest in real estate?

I own 15 rental properties. They are a pain, but I've managed to get an 18% return on average over the past 23 years. It's very different from investing in listed securities, and not for everyone. I'd be interested in a somewhat more detailed accounting. Cash on cash? Full IRR computation with infl...
by psteinx
Tue Nov 28, 2017 5:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Larry Swedroe: Managing Risk With Factors
Replies: 121
Views: 9575

Re: Larry Swedroe: Managing Risk With Factors

What is the 95% confidence interval saying though? For a drug test, it's saying that the observed effect had, statistically, less than a 1 in 20 chance of happening by chance. And since presumably the drug formulation won't change (much), and the patient populations used on won't change (much, altho...
by psteinx
Tue Nov 28, 2017 2:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Larry Swedroe: Managing Risk With Factors
Replies: 121
Views: 9575

Re: Larry Swedroe: Managing Risk With Factors

Unfortunately, I think it can be more difficult to draw forward-looking conclusions from financial data as opposed to medical data. Changes in health and drug reactions among broad human populations are likely to be pretty slow over time. If drug B works a bit better than the previous status quo (A)...
by psteinx
Tue Nov 28, 2017 1:25 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Inheriting a large sum, slightly intimidated.
Replies: 51
Views: 5113

Re: Inheriting a large sum, slightly intimidated.

Some good, albeit varied and somewhat inconsistent, advice in this thread already. Some thoughts: 1) There's a major psychological aspect to this. Adjusting mindset, etc. Perhaps you've been anticipating a large inheritance at some point, perhaps not. But taking a little time waiting for this to set...
by psteinx
Mon Nov 27, 2017 6:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: CAR: Buy new, buy used (2016), lease new
Replies: 56
Views: 2827

Re: CAR: Buy new, buy used (2016), lease new

OP: If you really don't have any particular need for a vehicle before January 1, you may want to research your local/state tax situation, and see if delaying a transaction into the new year saves taxes/fees/etc. In my state, there are taxes on certain personal property (including cars) that are base...
by psteinx
Mon Nov 27, 2017 12:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tesla truck unveil
Replies: 142
Views: 8830

Re: Tesla truck unveil

Compare Tesla to some other high tech companies with high early-ish valuations. The latter may have lost money, or perhaps broken even early, but had high valuations that have, with time, apparently been shown to be realistic. Think Amazon, Google (Alphabet), Facebook, etc. The latter group are fund...
by psteinx
Tue Nov 21, 2017 6:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 501(c)(3) Public-Charity or a Private Foundation?
Replies: 31
Views: 1311

Re: 501(c)(3) Public-Charity or a Private Foundation?

Before you (and others) jump on bitting the heck out of the Fidelity guy I do understand what you are saying. I am an extremely skeptical guy myself and very cautious of conflict-of-interest situations. I can usually smell the rat 10 miles out :D My adviser knows that and he knows not to play that ...
by psteinx
Tue Nov 21, 2017 5:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 501(c)(3) Public-Charity or a Private Foundation?
Replies: 31
Views: 1311

Re: 501(c)(3) Public-Charity or a Private Foundation?

I would NOT rely on your Fidelity rep's opinion that a DAF you control can recommend grants to a 501c3 you control. I think there was a recent thread somewhere on these forums where the opposite conclusion was mentioned. This is a lot of money. IMO, you should do your own research and/or hire an acc...
by psteinx
Tue Nov 21, 2017 2:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tesla truck unveil
Replies: 142
Views: 8830

Re: Tesla truck unveil

I suspect there's a recall effect to this - you can more easily recall the woulda coulda shoulda investments (in companies making products you like) when said companies go on to prosper and see a soaring stock price. Easier to forget similar instances where the parent company flounders subsequently.
by psteinx
Tue Nov 21, 2017 11:09 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Tax Basics Cheatsheet?
Replies: 9
Views: 1538

Re: Tax Basics Cheatsheet?

There are indeed a lot of tax permutations and issues for taxable investment accounts. Publication 550 from the IRS is the general publication on this, and is quite thick and complex, but even it is not clear on every possible issue. Granted, a typical investor with a modest portfolio, all in bond a...
by psteinx
Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is investing with Vanguard a tragedy of the commons?
Replies: 41
Views: 4771

Re: Is investing with Vanguard a tragedy of the commons?

I think there are a lot of control-type issues that are probably becoming real issues right now, but will grow much more intense if the passive industry in general, and Vanguard in particular, grow at recent rates. Compound Vanguard's recent growth over 5-15 more years, and it just becomes SUCH a do...
by psteinx
Mon Nov 20, 2017 4:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is investing with Vanguard a tragedy of the commons?
Replies: 41
Views: 4771

Re: Is investing with Vanguard a tragedy of the commons?

Yeah, we're heading for a future where a small # of fund companies - Vanguard plus perhaps Blackrock, Fidelity and maybe another few, will have, collectively, effective voting control of most large US listed companies. (Not all - indexes are generally free-float weighted, and many companies are effe...
by psteinx
Mon Nov 20, 2017 2:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Larry Swedroe: Managing Risk With Factors
Replies: 121
Views: 9575

Re: Larry Swedroe: Managing Risk With Factors

Passive and active are really about degrees - not a strict black/white, binary thing. With passive, you still must decide how to allocate investments generally (high level), index methodologies, and other things. That said, a small/value tilted factor is, by a reasonable definition, IMO, a significa...
by psteinx
Mon Nov 20, 2017 1:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Larry Swedroe: Managing Risk With Factors
Replies: 121
Views: 9575

Re: Larry Swedroe: Managing Risk With Factors

To summarize my post in shorter form: In my opinion, using a small value tilt and/or "Larry portfolio" is not a relatively riskless way to improve expected outcomes, as some advocate. There is a real chance that if you do so, down the line you will be worse off, perhaps much worse off, than if you'd...
by psteinx
Mon Nov 20, 2017 1:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Larry Swedroe: Managing Risk With Factors
Replies: 121
Views: 9575

Re: Larry Swedroe: Managing Risk With Factors

Yet another rehash of the same tilting argument. Re: the linked article... I skimmed it, and didn't look up the paper(s) that Swedroe is referencing. But apparently, the considered downside is if the factor premiums, going forward, are 1/3 less than they have been. In my opinion, the potential downs...
by psteinx
Thu Nov 16, 2017 5:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help for semi retired friend with 8 figure savings
Replies: 68
Views: 5319

Re: Help for semi retired friend with 8 figure savings

I don't think that all professional money managers are fabulous or the best approach for all individuals. But on a portfolio as large as this: 1) The AUM fees (or fixed fees) shouldn't be wildly large and 2) There's vast room for improvement in this portfolio (in my opinion) Basically, I think that ...
by psteinx
Thu Nov 16, 2017 4:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help for semi retired friend with 8 figure savings
Replies: 68
Views: 5319

Re: Help for semi retired friend with 8 figure savings

1) OP - what's the context for this? Does the friend really want your help? How has this been indicated? 2) Assuming that the friend really does want OP's advice, it just seems kinda odd. Very wealthy person, with money invest poorly (in my opinion) doesn't turn to professionals, nor to self educati...
by psteinx
Thu Nov 16, 2017 2:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: BMW to Chevy Bolt?
Replies: 30
Views: 2424

Re: BMW to Chevy Bolt?

Re: the charging. I think you'd be a little "safer" if your daily commuting needs were ~25% of battery capacity, or less. That way, you could go 2 days without a charge and end the third day at about >=25% charge. If the chargers in your complex were all still busy on the 3rd day, then you could act...
by psteinx
Thu Nov 16, 2017 2:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Basement heating
Replies: 12
Views: 774

Re: Basement heating

I checked since my initial post - we have 4 vents in the basement. Oddly, 3 of them were mostly/entirely closed, even though I'm pretty sure I opened everything a month or so back. May be a conflict with my wife, who prefers things a bit cooler? Will discuss with her later.
by psteinx
Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: BMW to Chevy Bolt?
Replies: 30
Views: 2424

Re: BMW to Chevy Bolt?

Hmm, 4-5 EVs now for only 2 charging stations. I would think the target would be >1 station/EV. You're under that now, and it'll likely get worse. This would be a major area of concern for me, were I in your shoes.
by psteinx
Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Basement heating
Replies: 12
Views: 774

Re: Basement heating

Ugly, would take up significant floor space, and only 1500W. I think an electric space heater (baseboard?) solution that I'd want would be >1500W. I think 1500W is the max for a single plug-in device, but a wired device, or combination of devices, might go above that.
by psteinx
Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: BMW to Chevy Bolt?
Replies: 30
Views: 2424

Re: BMW to Chevy Bolt?

The Bolt sounds pretty good in your case, if you're happy with the Bolt in general. Obviously, a Bolt is not a BMW 335i. Caveats: By selling the BMW, leasing the Bolt, you're signing up for long term lease payments, unless/until you BUY (not lease) something in the future. That said, the gas savings...
by psteinx
Thu Nov 16, 2017 12:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Basement heating
Replies: 12
Views: 774

Re: Basement heating

Some specific questions about baseboard heating, since that seems to be a prime contender: * Is this generally installed by an HVAC company or an electrician/electrical contractor? * If we went more of an on-demand route, and had a reasonable number of these things, how long would it take to raise t...
by psteinx
Thu Nov 16, 2017 12:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Basement heating
Replies: 12
Views: 774

Basement heating

TLDR: I'm looking for an efficient way to add heat to our basement to supplement our existing forced air HVAC. Ideally this system would be: * Moderately priced to install * Allow relatively efficient, easy, part time usage, coinciding with basement usage times - either via a timer or easy to use ma...
by psteinx
Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What might you ask In-laws' FA?
Replies: 37
Views: 2733

Re: What might you ask In-laws' FA?

A safer approach, perhaps, is to encourage the in-laws to self-educate, so they'll feel comfortable making their own choices (or supervising the choices of an adviser). And to follow up my own post, a risk of self-education is that that self-education may lead to confidence, or even overconfidence,...
by psteinx
Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What might you ask In-laws' FA?
Replies: 37
Views: 2733

Re: What might you ask In-laws' FA?

1) It's HIGHLY unlikely that they're only paying a fee on withdrawals. Figuring out what the actual fee to the FA is, starting as a percentage, then converting that to an actual annual dollar figure, may be clarifying. Compare that annual fee, in dollars, to what they spend on their house, utilities...
by psteinx
Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $23k credit card emergency
Replies: 76
Views: 8336

Re: $23k credit card emergency

You show car insurance and gas, but nothing for maintenance or for a car payment. It's nice to have a paid off car - perhaps some old college car or whatever. But old cars need maintenance, and eventually, replacement. As was already pointed out, the budget is also missing entertainment (your drinki...
by psteinx
Tue Nov 07, 2017 12:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Amortize Premium Munis to Call Date or Maturity Date?
Replies: 18
Views: 1137

Re: Amortize Premium Munis to Call Date or Maturity Date?

And by the way, it would make sense for it to work as Huey says. If that were NOT so, then issuers could issue bonds with huge premiums, huge coupons, and YTCs that were fairly normal, allowing investors to book large "phantom" losses. Imagine a 30 year bond, issued at 150, with a coupon of 55%, and...
by psteinx
Tue Nov 07, 2017 12:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Amortize Premium Munis to Call Date or Maturity Date?
Replies: 18
Views: 1137

Re: Amortize Premium Munis to Call Date or Maturity Date?

Can you point to something in an IRS pub or other good source that expresses this? (I'm not saying it's not accurate, but I don't think I've heard/read this before, and I've spent a lot of time trying to understand the right way(s) to determine muni bond basis - the various ways that discounts and p...
by psteinx
Tue Nov 07, 2017 10:19 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Amortize Premium Munis to Call Date or Maturity Date?
Replies: 18
Views: 1137

Re: Amortize Premium Munis to Call Date or Maturity Date?

HueyLD wrote:
Tue Nov 07, 2017 6:14 am
In the year a bond is called, the remaining premium is amortized down to zero.
Do you have a source for this statement?
by psteinx
Mon Nov 06, 2017 4:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Coffee (etc.) machines, late 2017 (K-Cup, Nespresso, etc.)
Replies: 6
Views: 828

Coffee (etc.) machines, late 2017 (K-Cup, Nespresso, etc.)

Available devices change over time, and I have a few particular interests, so I'm starting a new thread on this. I assume that there are others thinking about this, especially with Christmas coming. History: We've had a couple of Tassimo machines in the past (similar to a K-Cup machine, but ultimate...
by psteinx
Mon Nov 06, 2017 3:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard or Merrill Lynch
Replies: 20
Views: 1816

Re: Vanguard or Merrill Lynch

Thank you both for the insight. It is in a taxable account so that is where it gets sticky. Is it worth transferring it to take the 20% capital gains hit? Or just stick to the 0.5%. Hopefully I can transfer in kind. I will ask Vanguard to see how this can work. 1) There's a pretty high chance, I wo...
by psteinx
Wed Nov 01, 2017 10:42 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Limited Term SPIA as bridge income until Social Security? SPIA Ladder Viability?
Replies: 27
Views: 1075

Re: Limited Term SPIA as bridge income until Social Security? SPIA Ladder Viability?

To get a more precise figure, you can play with Excel or an online spreadsheet. I'm a little surprised Immediate Annuities doesn't quote you the exact figure. To be precise, you can't just divide the extra amount received by 10 - it's a little trickier than that. Remember that halfway through the 10...
by psteinx
Wed Nov 01, 2017 10:40 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Limited Term SPIA as bridge income until Social Security? SPIA Ladder Viability?
Replies: 27
Views: 1075

Re: Limited Term SPIA as bridge income until Social Security? SPIA Ladder Viability?

120 months of payment

$6912 per

So $829440 in payments
$750000 paid up front

So the extra you're receiving, back, is $79440, or ~10.6%.

But you're getting that back over *10* years, not 1. So your annual return on this is one point something percent.
by psteinx
Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:38 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Global Market Portfolio as a single ETF?
Replies: 28
Views: 1781

Re: Global Market Portfolio as a single ETF?

Thomas (OP): You can kind of go down this rabbit hole pretty deep. Depends what you mean by "investable securities"... Do you include bank CDs? Gold, silver, platinum, diamonds, rubies? Old master paintings and coins? Most houses aren't readily investable (i.e. the housing stock of Missouri or Monte...
by psteinx
Thu Oct 26, 2017 12:55 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The case against leverage...
Replies: 14
Views: 1573

Re: The case against leverage...

Even if he doesn't intend to sell: 1) The property has to throw off enough income to cover: 1a) Operating costs 1b) Maintenance and upgrades (to keep it market competitive) 1c) His desired profit margin What kind of property is this? Who would be the tenant(s)? How financially stable would such tena...
by psteinx
Wed Oct 25, 2017 12:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Windfall Question - Farmland Rental versus Sale
Replies: 31
Views: 1798

Re: Windfall Question - Farmland Rental versus Sale

While it is quite possible or even likely that the ~1.9% yield is below market (and OP has said as much), it does not necessarily follow that any yield that's below the rate on a mortgage means that this farmland, or farmland generally, is a bad investment. Remember, the total return of farmland is ...
by psteinx
Wed Oct 25, 2017 11:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Windfall Question - Farmland Rental versus Sale
Replies: 31
Views: 1798

Re: Windfall Question - Farmland Rental versus Sale

Vacation cabins and old houses are somewhat different from farmland, with a steady tenant farmer in place. A vacation cabin is either for the owner's pleasure (so, a clear cash drain, in terms of taxes, maintenance, insurance, etc), or generally rented in short increments (so, a lot of management ef...
by psteinx
Wed Oct 25, 2017 11:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Windfall Question - Farmland Rental versus Sale
Replies: 31
Views: 1798

Re: Windfall Question - Farmland Rental versus Sale

Take on the farmer is that they are generally stable. The fact that they can't get a financial institution to put up the money now makes me nervous, as I have no further insight into cash-flow or other financial stability issues. BTW, I would not read too much into this. I'm not a farmer myself, an...
by psteinx
Wed Oct 25, 2017 10:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Windfall Question - Farmland Rental versus Sale
Replies: 31
Views: 1798

Re: Windfall Question - Farmland Rental versus Sale

My DW and FIL had a... complicated relationship. [snip] Prior to the stroke the relationship was not good. I assume the last sentence is in reference to the father-daughter relationship, pre-stroke, not any of the relationships with the tenant. Correct? Something I forgot to ask in my first post, b...
by psteinx
Wed Oct 25, 2017 10:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Windfall Question - Farmland Rental versus Sale
Replies: 31
Views: 1798

Re: Windfall Question - Farmland Rental versus Sale

My FIL made it known (though not in the will) that he hoped the land could be sold to the tenant after he passed. Just zeroing in on this. Its one sentence, but could be read a lot of different ways and to various degrees, as far as father's intent. In general, I think inheritor should try to honor...
by psteinx
Wed Oct 25, 2017 10:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Windfall Question - Farmland Rental versus Sale
Replies: 31
Views: 1798

Re: Windfall Question - Farmland Rental versus Sale

So, the good news is that while your current net worth, aside from this inheritance, is modest*, your high incomes** should allow you to save quite a bit, assuming you keep a reasonably frugal lifestyle. Your house is not too pricey relative to your incomes, and paying down student debt accounts for...
by psteinx
Mon Oct 23, 2017 11:47 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are all Vanguard Funds an Index Fund?
Replies: 15
Views: 1097

Re: Are all Vanguard Funds an Index Fund?

OP seems a bit unclear on some terms, and frankly, some terms have fuzzy boundaries/definitions, generally. The following are not necessarily legal definitions, but common definitions: Mutual Fund: Pools assets from multiple investors, invests in multiple stocks, bonds or other assets. Can be active...
by psteinx
Fri Oct 20, 2017 9:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trust Fund advice, complicated family situation
Replies: 7
Views: 1067

Re: Trust Fund advice, complicated family situation

Four of the beneficiaries are 41 or older. The remaining two are still somewhat young, at 20 and 21, but are likely to be older when you die.

Why bother with a trust at all? Why not divide and directly bequeath the shares of at least the older 4, if not all 6?
by psteinx
Thu Oct 19, 2017 5:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How much tax do I pay on stocks sold through brokerage account?
Replies: 6
Views: 400

Re: How much tax do I pay on stocks sold through brokerage account?

Taxes on funds sold, as the OP describes, are generally based on the seller's capital gain. Capital gain is the price you sold for (per unit/share/whatever) minus your basis in those same units/share/etc. The basis is usually the price you paid. If you invested $10K in one fell swoop in a fund, then...