Search found 3021 matches

by stlutz
Mon May 02, 2016 10:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Small Cap Value Index Expense Ratio Decreases
Replies: 24
Views: 2236

Re: Vanguard Small Cap Value Index Expense Ratio Decreases

I noticed today that in response to VG dropping the ER on the Smallcap Index fund to .08%, Schwab had dropped the ER on their small-cap ETF (SCHA) to .07%.
by stlutz
Sun May 01, 2016 8:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Minimum AUM for an ETF?
Replies: 8
Views: 417

Re: Minimum AUM for an ETF?

Which ETFs are you specifically concerned about?

I think the answer is usually, "it depends".

If it's a mainstream asset class from an established provider with a low fee, I usually figure it will grow over time.
by stlutz
Sat Apr 30, 2016 10:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: If I invest in VWIUX today, will I have a capital loss from the premium bonds maturing?
Replies: 7
Views: 563

Re: If I invest in VWIUX today, will I have a capital loss from the premium bonds maturing?

oh ok. so I wont have a 5-10% capital loss, that's good. But unless rates go up sometime in the next decade, my annual fund income will fall in like 10 years from the current 2.85% to the much lower SEC yield right? Actually, no. Distributions are based on the yield-to-maturity of the bonds at the ...
by stlutz
Sat Apr 30, 2016 10:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: If I invest in VWIUX today, will I have a capital loss from the premium bonds maturing?
Replies: 7
Views: 563

Re: If I invest in VWIUX today, will I have a capital loss from the premium bonds maturing?

Not so much anymore. Interest rates have been low for a long time now, so the fund doesn't own a lot of bonds that it purchased with 6 or 7% yields any longer.

In short, what you are asking about has already happened.
by stlutz
Sat Apr 30, 2016 12:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Efficient frontier? "Indexing" and valuation distortions
Replies: 32
Views: 1881

Re: Efficient frontier? "Indexing" and valuation distortions

I think the popularity of traditional cap-weighted index funds will actually shrink going forward. The big change in asset management is the move from human to artificial intelligence. Most things that humans are doing in finance can be done by a computer given the right data inputs. The cost of hav...
by stlutz
Sat Apr 30, 2016 12:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Efficient frontier? "Indexing" and valuation distortions
Replies: 32
Views: 1881

Re: Efficient frontier? "Indexing" and valuation distortions

There is an argument that index funds (or at least behemoth index fund managers like Vanguard and Blackrock) should be illegal under anti-trust law. In a free-market economy, we want companies to aggressively compete against each other. The argument is that when everybody owns everyone, there is no ...
by stlutz
Sat Apr 30, 2016 11:25 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The long term volatility of value stocks vs the market
Replies: 26
Views: 2046

Re: The long term volatility of value stocks vs the market

One additional note for thinking about markets now and going forward. One way you can look at this question is to look at the characteristics of low-volatility equity ETFs like USMV or SPLV. On average, over time, low-volatility stocks have tended toward the value size of the fence--not always, but ...
by stlutz
Sat Apr 30, 2016 11:17 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The long term volatility of value stocks vs the market
Replies: 26
Views: 2046

Re: The long term volatility of value stocks vs the market

In this paper: https://www8.gsb.columbia.edu/sites/valueinvesting/files/files/06davis_fama_french_2000_29-97.pdf, Fama/French/Davis say that they collected their additional historical data beyond what was available in Compustat from Moody's Industrial Manuals. CRSP has the best database of historica...
by stlutz
Fri Apr 29, 2016 6:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The long term volatility of value stocks vs the market
Replies: 26
Views: 2046

Re: The long term volatility of value stocks vs the market

Yes, I think there's an insoluble problem with trying to decide what historical span of years should "count." Long before the time period gets long enough for the statistical sampling to settle down, you are talking about a span of years in which you can't possibly believe you are looking...
by stlutz
Fri Apr 29, 2016 6:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Customer Service
Replies: 132
Views: 8904

Re: Is Vanguard phone support always this bad?

The root of the problem with VG seems to be IT. That creates a lot of problems which overwhelms their support departments.
by stlutz
Fri Apr 29, 2016 6:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Muni Bond Ladder (or UMA) vs. Muni Bond Funds
Replies: 2
Views: 259

Re: Muni Bond Ladder (or UMA) vs. Muni Bond Funds

Suppose your tax situation, tax laws, or both change. Or for some other reason you no longer want to own muni bonds. Or you want to move to a different manager. Which is easier to extract yourself from?

With individual muni bonds, the buying is easy; the selling--not so much.
by stlutz
Fri Apr 29, 2016 2:03 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The long term volatility of value stocks vs the market
Replies: 26
Views: 2046

Re: The long term volatility of value stocks vs the market

Isn't that just a feature of 1972-present (particularly, the tech bubble exacerbating realized growth volatility)? Value took a beating when the markets crashed around the Great Depression, for what it's worth. Over a longer period of time, value was more volatile on average. No, the problem is rea...
by stlutz
Thu Apr 28, 2016 11:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Would investing in just high yield ETFs/ bonds do the trick?
Replies: 9
Views: 732

Re: Would investing in just high yield ETFs/ bonds do the trick?

High yield bonds are high yield for a reason--they default more frequently than investment-grade bonds do. For the purposes of illustration, let's assume that the level of interest rates never changes over the next 20 years. You get a 6% coupon from your high yield bonds and you lose 3% per year to ...
by stlutz
Thu Apr 28, 2016 11:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The long term volatility of value stocks vs the market
Replies: 26
Views: 2046

Re: The long term volatility of value stocks vs the market

This a a great resource for comparing various assets historical returns and volatility: https://www.portfoliovisualizer.com/backtest-asset-class-allocation With the data, you tend to see two factors somewhat at war with each other: 1) The more concentrated your portfolio is, the more volatile it get...
by stlutz
Wed Apr 27, 2016 10:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VSUX versus IEFA [Vanguard Total Int'l vs. iShares MSCI EAFE]
Replies: 6
Views: 413

Re: VSUX versus IEFA

Total International: VXUS (Vanguard); IXUS (iShares)
EAFE countries: VEA (Vanguard); IEFA (iShares)

There are no significant advantages/disadvantages between the two options with either pair.
by stlutz
Wed Apr 27, 2016 10:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why not ETFs?
Replies: 57
Views: 3669

Re: Why not ETFs?

Leaving my 401K out of it for the moment, I hold both funds and ETFs. I wish I only held ETFs as I would prefer not to hold my account at Vanguard, which I must do with Admiral class shares. I know I could convert the mutual funds to ETFs, but I don't trust VG to do that without messing up the cost ...
by stlutz
Wed Apr 27, 2016 9:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: FIBAX Fidelity Intermediate Treasury index fund - State tax exempt?
Replies: 6
Views: 400

Re: FIBAX Fidelity Intermediate Treasury index fund - State tax exempt?

See this page for the document where Fidelity lists the percentage of income from US government sources which would be exempt from state tax:
l
https://www.fidelity.com/taxes/fidelity ... nformation
by stlutz
Wed Apr 27, 2016 1:20 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Allan Roth on why bond funds are better than individual bonds
Replies: 63
Views: 4915

Re: Allan Roth on why bond funds are better than individual bonds

My thoughts as someone who owns bond funds, bond ETFs, and individual bonds (Treasuries and brokered CDs): --The funds and ETFs that are available nowadays are so cheap that cost is simply not a legitimate argument in favor of individual bonds. A difference of a fraction of a year in duration betwee...
by stlutz
Wed Apr 27, 2016 12:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: One question about medical insurance in-network service
Replies: 10
Views: 689

Re: One question about medical insurance in-network service

Was it your expectation that the service would covered? If so, I would contact the insurer to find out what information is needed to get the claim covered. Then contact your doctor to get the needed information/paperwork sent to the insurer.
by stlutz
Wed Apr 27, 2016 12:24 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do bond funds REALLY work?
Replies: 16
Views: 1815

Re: How do bond funds REALLY work?

Can there be a scenario where municipal bonds actually go UP when interest rates go up because people way undervalued them? Example, people think that the government is going to raise interest rates by say 5%, so they start dumping their bonds, the price drops, but then the government only raises r...
by stlutz
Tue Apr 26, 2016 11:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I Hate My Job: Politics at Work (Advice Needed)
Replies: 105
Views: 10872

Re: I Hate My Job: Politics at Work (Advice Needed)

I'm getting a few advice of "do a good job and you'll be fine" - I'm afraid that's extremely naive. I think it's more that in your current situation, anything you do besides doing a good job doesn't do you any good. This board is full of if not dominated by people who have been successful...
by stlutz
Tue Apr 26, 2016 10:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I Hate My Job: Politics at Work (Advice Needed)
Replies: 105
Views: 10872

Re: I Hate My Job: Politics at Work (Advice Needed)

Any job is a combination of good and bad. Ask your self what are the things you most care about and focus on those. This could be: Money recognition work/life balance liking the things you work on liking the people you work with security making the world a better place ... No job provides all or eve...
by stlutz
Tue Apr 26, 2016 9:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Laminate Flooring Installers - finding local contractors
Replies: 7
Views: 401

Re: Laminate Flooring Installers - finding local contractors

I had installation done through a local flooring company a couple of years back and paid $2.25 as the "base rate", but the actual bottom line cost was higher. I'd focus on that. Things like removal of old carpet/flooring, moving furniture, removal/re-installation of baseboards cost extra. ...
by stlutz
Sun Apr 24, 2016 9:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Municipal bond fund/etf ?
Replies: 15
Views: 2688

Re: Municipal bond fund/etf ?

That is correct.
by stlutz
Sat Apr 23, 2016 5:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is Vanguard's "Active" TIPS fund necessary?
Replies: 24
Views: 1026

Re: Is Vanguard's "Active" TIPS fund necessary?

Nope.

The VG fund has tracked its benchmark very closely over the years, making it a "closet" index fund.
by stlutz
Sat Apr 23, 2016 5:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: If past performance doesn't indicate future performance, why buy stocks?
Replies: 43
Views: 4044

Re: If past performance doesn't indicate future performance, why buy stocks?

Investors might well reevaluate their desire to hold 50% stocks in light of the new bond issuance (as well as other factors). The idea that stock values would automatically go up with a new bond issue (by definition) is not very mainstream. If nothing else, look how the overall world portfolio stoc...
by stlutz
Sat Apr 23, 2016 5:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Did TIPS Really work?
Replies: 41
Views: 3311

Re: Did TIPS Really work?

Just to bring a number of the thoughts together. It has been noted that TIPS were poor performers in 2014 and 2015. So let's come back to that later. If I use portfolio visualizer and compare returns from 1998 to 2013 on TIPS vs 92% intermediate treasuries and 8% long treasuries, I get the following...
by stlutz
Sat Apr 23, 2016 12:28 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Did TIPS Really work?
Replies: 41
Views: 3311

Re: Did TIPS Really work?

I market time TIPS. When abuss368 starts a thread every other week talking about how bad TIPS are, I buy. When he goes silent on them, I sell. I got my last buy signal last fall and have done quite well with them... (In reality, I added some TIPS late last year when the "expected inflation"...
by stlutz
Sat Apr 23, 2016 12:07 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: If past performance doesn't indicate future performance, why buy stocks?
Replies: 43
Views: 4044

Re: If past performance doesn't indicate future performance, why buy stocks?

Think about it more in terms of the constitution of financial markets. There are three factors that play together 1) In a growing economy, debt increases over time. 2) Investors generally like to hold a balance of stocks and bonds. 3) Business owners do not like to issue new equity as it means they ...
by stlutz
Fri Apr 22, 2016 11:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is Coffeehouse Portfolio Not Preferred by BHs?
Replies: 54
Views: 5328

Re: Is Coffeehouse Portfolio Not Preferred by BHs?

I think there are several reasons it doesn't get a ton of attention: a) It's a great portfolio so it's hard to bash on it. Hence, fewer threads. :D b) Schultheis himself actually focuses more on the fundamentals of investing than the exact allocation. So, when he writes and speaks he tends to focus ...
by stlutz
Thu Apr 21, 2016 9:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard versus David Swenson
Replies: 28
Views: 3566

Re: Vanguard versus David Swenson

What the returns of REITs vs. the overall market or Treasuries vs. munis will be is always a matter of odds. Doing things like controlling costs or minimizing taxes are guarantees. Focus on what you can control (risk, costs, taxes) first and worry about the things you can't control (which equities w...
by stlutz
Mon Apr 18, 2016 9:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Consumer Cellular- a tale
Replies: 14
Views: 1896

Re: Consumer Cellular- a tale

Unlike pretty much every other MVNO, CC is post-paid. Hence the taxes and credit check (which AT&T and Verizon do if you sign up for post-paid with them).
by stlutz
Sat Apr 16, 2016 11:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is not to like about iShares Core Total USD Bond Market?
Replies: 19
Views: 1843

Re: What is not to like about iShares Core Total USD Bond Market?

Because both advocates of investing in "high-yield," speculative, low-credit-quality, "junk" bonds and skeptics agree that it is a distinct asset class. It is not the same kind of investment as investment-grade bonds, and there's no fundamental reason to mix them together. It mi...
by stlutz
Sat Apr 16, 2016 9:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is not to like about iShares Core Total USD Bond Market?
Replies: 19
Views: 1843

Re: What is not to like about iShares Core Total USD Bond Market?

A "normal" total bond fund (e.g. AGG/BND) will take all of the losses when an issue is downgraded to junk and participate in the none of the gains when it gets upgraded. This fund of course still takes the losses from downgrades but it does get the gains when an issue is upgraded. On the o...
by stlutz
Fri Apr 15, 2016 10:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Investing legends change their bond portfolio
Replies: 29
Views: 4090

Re: Investing legends change their bond portfolio

For the sake of discussion, let me propose a couple of ways of thinking about it that are different from the trend of this and most threads on this matter: 1) I think it's been said before that one should look at their entire portfolio and not pieces in isolation. What someone can do if they increas...
by stlutz
Tue Apr 12, 2016 7:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Small-Cap Value Fund Dynamics?
Replies: 9
Views: 1026

Re: Small-Cap Value Fund Dynamics?

EDIT: So the S&P 600 Value Index, which IJS tracks, re-balances once per year...but for a value strategy is that too often, or in other words, can that hurt total returns by not letting some of the deeper value plays stay at higher weightings just after 1 year of positive growth? I know value s...
by stlutz
Fri Apr 08, 2016 12:54 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I Forgot to Convert My Backdoor Roth - Now What?
Replies: 13
Views: 1491

Re: I Forgot to Convert My Backdoor Roth - Now What?

How good is your new 401K in terms of the investment options? If it's a really good 401K, it could be worth the effort. Over 30 years, that $20K would grow to $150K at 7%/yr. 25% tax on $130,000 gain is a fair amount of change and worth giving some consideration to. But, that's still less that the i...
by stlutz
Thu Apr 07, 2016 11:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is TLH too much work for you?
Replies: 32
Views: 2772

Re: Is TLH too much work for you?

I had a eye opening example shown to me why holding bonds in taxable is a bad practice. I hope not TLH'ing, isn't as expensive.... Suppose that at the end of 2015 you had $10K cash in a tax deferred acct and another $10K in a taxable acct... This example is probably not a good one as it only applie...
by stlutz
Wed Mar 30, 2016 9:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best current CD Rates?
Replies: 7
Views: 1407

Re: Best current CD Rates?

Here is the authoritative site for CD rates: https://www.depositaccounts.com/
by stlutz
Tue Mar 29, 2016 10:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Updates on the status of Linux
Replies: 70
Views: 4399

Re: Updates on the status of Linux

I've been using Linux for so long that I find myself complaining when I'm at work how much harder Windows is to use and how things just don't work as easily as when I'm at home. It really is a very boring experience, in a good way.
by stlutz
Sun Mar 27, 2016 11:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: leaving vanguard due to math errors / poor customer service?
Replies: 92
Views: 8987

Re: leaving vanguard due to math errors / poor customer service?

Vanguard has had cost-basis problems for years, and not just on the brokerage side.

e.g. viewtopic.php?t=119436

I currently only hold existing taxable mutual fund holdings at VG (wish ETFs had been available when I started out!). Otherwise I buy ETFs at Fidelity.
by stlutz
Sun Mar 27, 2016 11:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TIPS Anyone?
Replies: 92
Views: 7191

Re: TIPS Anyone?

I made a market-timing move into TIPS late last year. The implied inflation rate when comparing the 10 year nominal vs. the 10 year TIP didn't seem credible to me (i.e. too low). So far, so good!
by stlutz
Sun Mar 27, 2016 11:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When does hiring lawyer for auto accident makes sense?
Replies: 26
Views: 2177

Re: When does hiring lawyer for auto accident makes sense?

1/3 of the gross amount collected is standard and not something you'll have much luck negotiating. What type of company does your friend work for? If it's a large company that has a self-funded health plan, you should ask prospective attorney's how they will handle the health plan's subrogation clai...
by stlutz
Sat Mar 26, 2016 4:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Return of Capital for Schwab ETF's
Replies: 16
Views: 1443

Re: Return of Capital for Schwab ETF's

Thanks, stlutz. I'd been to those pages before. But even following your instructions to the letter I still can't find what I'm looking for. I'd previously found a page showing % of income for foreign holdings, but nothing showing the foreign tax withheld, either a % of the distribution or a dollar ...
by stlutz
Sat Mar 26, 2016 1:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TaxAct and Form 8606
Replies: 20
Views: 1204

Re: TaxAct and Form 8606

Did you have a *Traditional* IRA with a balance > $0 at the start of 2015?
by stlutz
Sat Mar 26, 2016 12:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Return of Capital for Schwab ETF's
Replies: 16
Views: 1443

Re: Return of Capital for Schwab ETF's

All I want to know is the 2015 FTC percentage, based on either the distributions received or the 1099 dividends reported. If you have any prior years available I'd be thankful for that, as well. And if anyone here has the same info for FNDF I'd appreciate it. I can't believe that this info isn't ea...
by stlutz
Tue Mar 22, 2016 7:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Brokered CDs - Different brokers?
Replies: 9
Views: 820

Re: Brokered CDs - Different brokers?

You can just register at Fidelity (no need to open an account) and compare their offerings vs. Vanguard at any time.
by stlutz
Tue Mar 22, 2016 7:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Transferring brokered CDs to new custodian?
Replies: 4
Views: 284

Re: Transferring brokered CDs to new custodian?

Transferring them should not be a problem. They are publicly-traded securities with Cusip numbers. Did you buy them new issue or on the secondary market? If it's the later, you'll want to make sure that cost basis information will transfer over okay. If you bought them a new issues, that's not a pro...
by stlutz
Tue Mar 22, 2016 10:33 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Return of Capital for Schwab ETF's
Replies: 16
Views: 1443

Re: Return of Capital for Schwab ETF's

Schwab doesn't list any return of capital distributions for these funds on their website: https://www.csimfunds.com/public/csim/home/products/exchange_traded_funds/distributions.html?symbol=SCHF https://www.csimfunds.com/public/csim/home/products/exchange_traded_funds/distributions.html?symbol=SCHC ...
by stlutz
Sun Mar 20, 2016 8:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Lazy portfolio - Mutual funds or ETFs?
Replies: 42
Views: 4497

Re: Lazy portfolio - Mutual funds or ETFs?

In taxable I'm a fan of ETFs. They allow you to separate the manager of your assets from the custodian of your assets if you so desire in the future. With funds, if you decide 10 years from now that you're unhappy with Vanguard's customer service/website/something else, you can easily transfer ETFs ...

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