Search found 761 matches

by ray.james
Wed Jun 21, 2017 3:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Christine Benz: "How to Make the Most of Your 401(k)"
Replies: 24
Views: 3151

Re: Christine Benz: "How to Make the Most of Your 401(k)"

Also, of interest most small/mid companies do not have a central place where they can manage links to all HR benefits and default logins. So in a week most will forget who the 401k provider was and whether there was a corporate link/login; whether percentage changes need to be done with 401k admin/H...
by ray.james
Tue Jun 20, 2017 12:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Alternatives to Amazon
Replies: 76
Views: 4938

Re: Alternatives to Amazon

I echo other who have mentioned target. I have found their 2 hr pickup/ship to store a very happy option and extremely comfortable. Further the online price is already matched with other retailers rather than seeing marked up ones on their own store shelves!
by ray.james
Mon Jun 12, 2017 5:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Have you canceled cable?
Replies: 91
Views: 5427

Re: Have you canceled cable?

I strongly feel the last recession/recovery made a lot of people to move away from cable as part of cost cutting and several of them realized they do not miss it as much as they had thought.
by ray.james
Mon Jun 12, 2017 2:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard emrging mrkts, Ishares emrging mrkts, Van EM gov.bonds, VEU not US,BNDX
Replies: 17
Views: 1715

Re: Vanguard emrging mrkts, Ishares emrging mrkts, Van EM gov.bonds, VEU not US,BNDX

jdkoerner, I am huge EM believer but you need to look under the hood. In VWOB, China 14.8% -- seems slowing growth but fine Mexico 8.2% - high inflation but cannot sustain a trade war with USA Brazil 7.1% -- Thanks to petro brasilero 2 govt changes in 3 years. Just out of recession but might default...
by ray.james
Mon May 22, 2017 1:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: At what point to buy new car for safety
Replies: 74
Views: 4836

Re: At what point to buy new car for safety

Also do not forget the severity of accident where someone lost a limb, severe injury etc.,

William4U, thanks for the great data and the discussion.
by ray.james
Thu May 11, 2017 1:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: General question of balance and compromise
Replies: 26
Views: 1938

Re: General question of balance and compromise

Beth, I think your question is a great one, especially because you are considering all 3 factors - spending, saving and cutting down life expenditure. My principle is simple. I strive to save 1/3rd of income unless it it detrimental to life quality. So when I was a student and made 1K per month, I s...
by ray.james
Fri May 05, 2017 2:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I'm Calling an Emerging Markets Bottom
Replies: 242
Views: 39210

Re: I'm Calling an Emerging Markets Bottom

I did re balance a little but still 30% of international is EM vs 50% before. Back when Op made this thread, the dollar index is through the roof! VWO had made an almost 40% return since this thread with dividends included. The vanguard P/E is backward looking and uses harmonic series. One of the si...
by ray.james
Thu May 04, 2017 1:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Consumer Reports
Replies: 41
Views: 3055

Re: Consumer Reports

In addition, I would like to highlight a you tube reviewer who is very objective and talks through very professionally.
-- "Alex on Autos"

He also compares with comparable cars and usage items like trunks, car seats, lugging stuff etc.,
by ray.james
Wed May 03, 2017 2:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is 401k loan really a bad idea?
Replies: 57
Views: 3446

Re: Is 401k loan really a bad idea?

Wow, a long discussion! I am with livesoft on all the points :D 401k loans are awesome and I intend to use them when opportunities of other investment arise. The only reason is I - IF I have an employer plan, that will force me repay the full amount on job loss . This is the only factor that will fo...
by ray.james
Wed Apr 26, 2017 3:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Have anyone thought ER/fees comes from gains but not total balance?
Replies: 9
Views: 903

Have anyone thought ER/fees comes from gains but not total balance?

This is actually a personal nitbit from pre-bogleheads days. I used to think adviser fees 1% is on the gains of the funds. My logic at the time when I read my first 401k plan was that I bought something and adviser is making gains, so he is taking a cut just like on profits of the gains. I did not r...
by ray.james
Sun Apr 09, 2017 6:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Tax] software asks driver license number
Replies: 15
Views: 1472

Re: [Tax] software asks driver license number

It is also need in California to e-file with a PIN but using AGI. I did not remember doing this last year.
by ray.james
Fri Mar 31, 2017 2:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Saving 50% of salary; what does it really mean?
Replies: 142
Views: 11093

Re: Saving 50% of salary; what does it really mean?

I assumed it is gross in most cases. May I add a much surprising example ? Saving in HCOL/high tax state like California. They also take only standard deduction too! 300K- 18K 401k 18 401k spouse 5K health insurance Plus FSA. They forgo even HSA! 259k - income left with 20k - standard deduction(igno...
by ray.james
Thu Mar 30, 2017 2:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: fee? Chase checking account to Vanguard Roth IRA
Replies: 3
Views: 324

Re: fee? Chase checking account to Vanguard Roth IRA

No fee for ACH push/pull. Use vanguard to add a bank account first and then pull money for chase.
If you do wire transfer then there is a small fee.
by ray.james
Wed Mar 29, 2017 12:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Not opting for 529... anyone else?
Replies: 175
Views: 10761

Re: Not opting for 529... anyone else?

We do but our choice is made is easier by employer match! yep, I was surprised when I read that in yearly benefits. Dollar to Dollar match up to 2k and up to 2 kids. My strategy is fund for 75% of state school tuition part. The rest is from cash flow/other accounts/making kids work summers. We are p...
by ray.james
Mon Mar 27, 2017 1:20 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Buy a house or wait in bay area
Replies: 34
Views: 3323

Re: Buy a house or wait in bay area

Fremont is not in the same realm of normal in terms of commutes. Some parts of the city are affected in ways that are unimaginable. Other parts are fine. As of a couple of years ago, apps started advising people working in Silicon Valley and living in the East Bay to cut through Fremont. Traffic in...
by ray.james
Sun Mar 26, 2017 11:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Buy a house or wait in bay area
Replies: 34
Views: 3323

Re: Buy a house or wait in bay area

Thanks for the great discussion! Great feedback everyone. I agree with other that if my wife were to commute long distance, this transition is not acceptable for our family too. It is an unknown at this point. Thanks for the feedback on time commitment, time constraints and other variables on earthq...
by ray.james
Fri Mar 24, 2017 6:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Buy a house or wait in bay area
Replies: 34
Views: 3323

Re: Buy a house or wait in bay area

Frisco Kid wrote:May I ask what city you work in and where are you looking to buy?


Sure, San Mateo- almost foster city/Belmont area. Looking in North Fremont area.
by ray.james
Fri Mar 24, 2017 6:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Buy a house or wait in bay area
Replies: 34
Views: 3323

Re: Buy a house or wait in bay area

I would not buy until you are ready to move in. Doing so is just speculating on where home values will go, and nobody knows that any better than they know the next week's stock prices. Agree, The thought is more of an inflation hedge in good school district if we choose to buy and rent. It is sligh...
by ray.james
Fri Mar 24, 2017 6:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Buy a house or wait in bay area
Replies: 34
Views: 3323

Re: Buy a house or wait in bay area for our circumstances

40 minute commute. Not bad though for bay area. This is in traffic.(25 mins weekend) Is that one way? The home price could drop 20% or more. Earthquake risk Yes it is one way. I am basing it on peak 4-6 pm time but I have a lot of flexibility when to start/leave work. So in that it is 40 min upper ...
by ray.james
Fri Mar 24, 2017 4:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Buy a house or wait in bay area
Replies: 34
Views: 3323

Buy a house or wait in bay area

Hello bogleheads, We see numerous threads on this topic and would welcome advice from folks who have been down the path. Our stats in Brief: Bay area double income couple. Newborn at home.(going to day care in 3 months) Have 20% downpayment for 750-850k range house. (plus 3 months EFund only after t...
by ray.james
Thu Mar 23, 2017 1:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What % of your income have you converted to wealth?
Replies: 133
Views: 16831

Re: What % of your income have you converted to wealth?

Regarding the metric, one of the issues is the 401k match not showing up in income but in the numerator. if you use medicare earnings, it shows up in the numerator and denominator. Only HSA contributions deducted from payroll would not. Is this number different from medicare earnings on W2 every ye...
by ray.james
Wed Mar 22, 2017 6:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What % of your income have you converted to wealth?
Replies: 133
Views: 16831

Re: What % of your income have you converted to wealth?

35% at age 30. I do not see it rising above 40-45% for another 8 years due to kids, daycare and other expenses.

Regarding the metric, one of the issues is the 401k match not showing up in income but in the numerator.
by ray.james
Mon Mar 20, 2017 11:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How can my parents in India invest in U.S
Replies: 12
Views: 1112

Re: How can my parents in India invest in U.S

To buy real-estate, first they will need ITIN and then may need an attorney to check the property etc but essentially if one has assets/money to do so without mortgage, it should be feasible. I think this is much more easier than opening taxable account in united states for foreigners, since real es...
by ray.james
Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Recommendation for Tax Efficient Investments for Home and Car (3-10 Year Time Frame)
Replies: 2
Views: 250

Re: Recommendation for Tax Efficient Investments for Home and Car (3-10 Year Time Frame)

vanguard limited term tax exempt is what I use for 2-4 year horizon on my house purchase.
by ray.james
Tue Mar 14, 2017 7:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why don't things "feel" bubbly?
Replies: 76
Views: 9059

Re: Why don't things "feel" bubbly?

The forward P/E is 19 and the trailing P/E is 25 to 27 for the US Stock Market. In early 2000, forward P/E's were about 32 and trailing P/E's about 45. I don't have a position on bubble or not. I have a simple numbers question. I am seeing what seems to be a much bigger disconnect than the past in ...
by ray.james
Mon Mar 06, 2017 5:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: how often do you shrug at your IPS? [Investment policy statement]
Replies: 50
Views: 4250

Re: how often do you shrug at your IPS?

My IPS looks something like this. Perhaps it will give clarity for you to know, what you must have/Do (VS) Good to have. Depending on year I hit 50-80% of each "good to have" goals. Must have/Do - Maintain 6 months emergency fund. - Max 2- Roth + 1 $401k - Put 2.5K in 529 - No Market timin...
by ray.james
Mon Mar 06, 2017 4:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much do you spend on food in a year?
Replies: 155
Views: 8198

Re: How much do you spend on food in a year?

Family of 2.5:
5K on groceries which includes toiletries etc- All costco items get clubbed in.
1.5K on fast food
1.5K on eating out.

Eating out is nice but the cost for doing so is getting pretty steep. It is actually pretty cheap to eat very good variety healthy food even in large city.
by ray.james
Tue Feb 28, 2017 3:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How reliable are forward PE ratios?
Replies: 20
Views: 1433

Re: How reliable are forward PE ratios?

As of 31 Januar 2017, according to MSCI, the US total stock market has a current PE of 25.15, but a forward PE of 18.05. International stocks have a current PE of 19.21, but a forward PE of 14.18. Current PE's can make most investors worrisome, but the forward PE's look reassuring. But how reliable...
by ray.james
Tue Feb 21, 2017 11:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How long do you keep your kitchen sponge?
Replies: 44
Views: 4062

Re: How long do you keep your kitchen sponge?

I am not much aware about this. I just put it next to window in sun to dry the sponge. I use them until they fall apart in few months. Hmnn, I should start changing them often and microwave them.
by ray.james
Tue Feb 14, 2017 2:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bogleheads not the norm?
Replies: 116
Views: 11202

Re: Bogleheads not the norm?

While several people might say how much they conform, it is important to distinguish something based on your post. A suggested recommendation is not a rule to qualify for being a boglehead! Its is all shades of Grey! Bogleheads in itself started as fans for John Bogle. But,to me the word "bogle...
by ray.james
Tue Feb 14, 2017 4:27 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Putting 1 million to work short term (3-4 years))
Replies: 14
Views: 2676

Re: Putting 1 million to work short term (3-4 years))

Limited term tax exempt/CA tax exempt combo bond funds for the money you need in 4 years.

Rest in Tax efficient 3 fund portfolio for long term investing.
by ray.james
Thu Feb 09, 2017 4:55 pm
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: Your USER NAME...what does it mean?
Replies: 342
Views: 23731

Re: Your USER NAME...what does it mean?

It is the first names of 2 colleagues whose wisdom sent me on a quest for personal finance. They also sit in adjacent cubicles to me. So when I created this account, I thought I will validate their loan payoff ideas(see my first post!).
by ray.james
Wed Feb 08, 2017 3:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A note of caution from Robert Shiller
Replies: 66
Views: 10465

Re: A note of caution from Robert Shiller

A timely research article in today's economist: http://www.economist.com/news/business-and-finance/21716578-and-very-hard-recognise-until-it-too-late-bubbles-are-rarer-you-think There were many more occasions when markets doubled over three years; around 14% of the total. After such rises, the marke...
by ray.james
Tue Feb 07, 2017 8:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What are you up YTD? [Year To Date]
Replies: 1351
Views: 233456

Re: What are you up YTD? [Year To Date]

2016 XIRR = +9.3% Benchmark return= +6.9%, so I beat my benchmark by 2.4 percentage points 2016 asset allocation = 75% Global market cap stocks, 25% fixed income and cash. 2016 Benchmark was 75% Total World stock market (VT), 20% Total Bond Market (BND) and 5% Money Market Prime (VMMXX). 2016 XIRR ...
by ray.james
Mon Feb 06, 2017 1:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A note of caution from Robert Shiller
Replies: 66
Views: 10465

Re: A note of caution from Robert Shiller

Link to the original article? would love to read it. My View- Extreme positions in the market is what starts a bubble! I am cautiously optimist rather than careful pessimist at this point. If the tax laws do change, the P/E has to be adjusted and the current runup would be as if never happened due t...
by ray.james
Fri Feb 03, 2017 4:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: It appears Fiduciary changes may not happen after all.
Replies: 84
Views: 6727

Re: It appears Fiduciary changes may not happen after all.

My wife's company renegotiated expenses because this rule is expected to go into effect. Saddened by the new outcome. I hope they do not switch back. Not much impact for me as my 401k expenses are to be approved by committee that acted as fiduciary; well before.
by ray.james
Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Deadbolt with 5 inch backset
Replies: 2
Views: 690

Deadbolt with 5 inch backset

Hello, I am trying to repair a broken deadbolt in an old apartment; that I have no idea on. The screw heads holding metal broke off in the middle which I think is because of very old model. Do I need to replace whole thing or just the face of the lock- the side where key goes in so I can screw the i...
by ray.james
Wed Feb 01, 2017 2:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: One more can I afford $1.5M house
Replies: 56
Views: 3769

Re: One more can I afford $1.5M house

I would buy in this scenario. Be prepared for economic ups/down of the real estate market and buy a house keeping few years need in perspective. Keep doing what you were, by continuing to paying off debt after home purchase. Ps: I am surprised people are suggesting not to! At Op's income levels 1.5m...
by ray.james
Fri Jan 27, 2017 5:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reached a milestone: $500K in Retirement Accounts
Replies: 44
Views: 6353

Re: Reached a milestone: $500K in Retirement Accounts

Congratulations! On to many more success. :sharebeer
by ray.james
Thu Jan 26, 2017 12:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Saving on tax software
Replies: 15
Views: 1943

Re: Saving on tax software

I reserved TaxAct a few months ago (at 30% off) but they had a better promo (50%) this week... Where is this promotion? I cannot see on the landing page. Try the link from this thread (scroll down to Jan 25th) https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=206998&newpost=3210003#p320...
by ray.james
Wed Jan 25, 2017 9:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Saving on tax software
Replies: 15
Views: 1943

Re: Saving on tax software

Taxact online is inexpensive if you're e filing Fed and state. Each year after filing I get to "reserve" the next year at a very low price I reserved TaxAct a few months ago (at 30% off) but they had a better promo (50%) this week... Where is this promotion? I cannot see on the landing pa...
by ray.james
Sat Jan 21, 2017 4:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 2016 Relative Tax Efficiency
Replies: 43
Views: 6181

Re: 2016 Relative Tax Efficiency

I was surprised at VSS yield. It is basically a mid cap value fund! dividend yield above 3% when dollar is so strong is surprising for a small cap fund!
by ray.james
Thu Jan 19, 2017 2:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: It is snowing again.
Replies: 11
Views: 1381

Re: It is snowing again.

North cal is enjoying its very wet month. Has it been 7 years since there was one? Bring on El Nina.
Its rained quite a bit in Bay area this morning. Drive safe and stay warm!
by ray.james
Thu Jan 19, 2017 2:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Refinancing 2017 Honda Civic. Honda Financial services added $75 to my loan.
Replies: 18
Views: 1812

Re: Refinancing 2017 Honda Civic. Honda Financial services added $75 to my loan.

As far as interest goes, I have never heard of it.

Are you sure that it is not doc fees added to loan? sound like the figure is around it.
In California they are capped at 65/70/80 depending on the service.
by ray.james
Wed Jan 18, 2017 4:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 50 Year Old Late Starter With Questions
Replies: 58
Views: 6702

Re: 50 Year Old Late Starter With Questions

In this position, I would open a Roth IRA and start putting into one of the life-strategy funds.(Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth Fund for 40% bonds, 60% stock. TD should have something commission free. I do not care what broker you choose, but choose someone cheap with commission free trades.)...
by ray.james
Wed Jan 18, 2017 2:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why should mutual funds have expense ratios, and not expense fees
Replies: 10
Views: 1006

Re: Why should mutual funds have expense ratios, and not expense fees

Very interesting Question. The expense ratio is calculated after the fact. When all the expeneses are added up then divided by net asset. If additional $50billion did come in the door, more than likely the expense ratio will be lower in the next prospectus. Also per SEC, you can only charge the pro ...
by ray.james
Wed Jan 18, 2017 1:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TIPS are great in "theory." But real world...
Replies: 34
Views: 3907

Re: TIPS are great in "theory." But real world...

I do not know much about tips as an asset class. They seem to do what they are intended. Whether it fits one's portfolio is another thing. The CPI used for Tips is made up of 42% housing and 13% transportation, 8% education. That is ~63% of CPI calculation. While home taxes, maintenance, transportat...

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