Search found 198 matches

by amphora
Sat Apr 07, 2018 4:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Has used furniture dropped in value dramatically?
Replies: 119
Views: 11757

Re: Has used furniture dropped in value dramatically?

Wanted to offer a millennial perspective to this discussion.

While children may not want their parents’ furniture, grandchildren will gladly accept it as long as the furniture’s not too ugly. Free beats IKEA.
by amphora
Wed Mar 14, 2018 1:21 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: your cash is trash at brokers J.Zweig - WSJ
Replies: 23
Views: 4407

Re: your cash is trash at brokers J.Zweig - WSJ

Yeah, it's well known that this is a major source of profits for brokerage firms along with margin loans and stock loans. This doesn't bother me much. I prefer for brokers to profit from the spread in sweep accounts than from hidden fees or pushing their own high expense ratio mutual funds. Investor...
by amphora
Sat Feb 03, 2018 3:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Total Bond Market Index Fund vs. CDs?
Replies: 33
Views: 4759

Re: Total Bond Market Index Fund vs. CDs?

This decision depends on individual CD early withdrawal penalties, which are bank dependent. CDs are also safer than TBM as TBM contains ~ 30 % corporate bonds.

The better apples to apples comparison is between CDs and the Intermediate Treasury Index.
by amphora
Sat Feb 03, 2018 1:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Motley Fool ETF Debuts (TMFC)
Replies: 11
Views: 1762

Re: Motley Fool ETF Debuts (TMFC)

I enjoyed reading the Motley Fool when I was younger. The books and website offer a fun introduction to investing though it's certainly not the BH approach. It's great that they're putting their money where their mouth is and launching an ETF. It's certainly not an index fund and I'm skeptical of th...
by amphora
Fri Dec 22, 2017 4:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bitcoin in Freefall
Replies: 166
Views: 18825

Re: Bitcoin in Freefall

As a passive / value investor, I'm still hung up on what's the fundamental value of bitcoin. I didn't buy bitcoins for the same reason I don't own commodities. @ those who have "invested " in bitcoin, congrats but how do you figure the fundamental value? With bitcoin's market cap at ~ $300 B and the...
by amphora
Wed Dec 13, 2017 4:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Jim Simons Medalion fund averages 71.8% annual return
Replies: 26
Views: 4396

Re: Jim Simons Medalion fund averages 71.8% annual return

Things I've read about the Medallion Fun: it is not a compounded return, most of the gains are not reinvested, it can only make 70% a year on a fairly small amount due to the type of trades they do. Exactly. Commenters seem to be missing this point. The size of Medallion is strictly capped so it is...
by amphora
Mon Oct 30, 2017 12:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you subscribe to digital newspapers?
Replies: 95
Views: 6514

Re: Do you subscribe to digital newspapers?

I have a digital subscription to NY Times, which I read regularly. I consider NYT and The Washington Post to be the two irreplaceable newspapers because their investigative reporting sets the agenda for the country. Most other newspapers and TV stations just piggyback off their reporting. I don't th...
by amphora
Thu Oct 26, 2017 8:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Warm Shirt for Winter
Replies: 41
Views: 4664

Re: Warm Shirt for Winter

I recommend flannel. It's lighter than a sweater and will keep you warm.
by amphora
Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I contact a lawyer?
Replies: 69
Views: 4263

Re: Should I contact a lawyer?

If you can't find it in yourself to have this conversation in a friendly and collegial manner, then just drop it entirely. Yes, I will be going that route. We have requested a new Vtext and the district has declined to purchase more modern materials for the courses we teach. She wanted the document...
by amphora
Thu Jul 20, 2017 1:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Books not to read.
Replies: 155
Views: 14625

Re: Books not to read.

Maybe it's the circle of friends / family I have, but I read the Millionaire Next door when I was a young adult (early 20s) and it made a lot of sense to me and I vowed I'd try to reduce my expenses to accumulate wealth and go it that route. have seen my fair share of friends and colleagues navigat...
by amphora
Sun Jul 16, 2017 2:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: most tax efficient way to keep semi-liquid cash
Replies: 8
Views: 835

Re: most tax efficient way to keep semi-liquid cash

Unfortunately the only way not to pay any taxes is to not accrue any interest or dividends. So if you put the money in a brick and mortar bank savings or money market account, say Wells Fargo, Chase, Bank of America, etc. the savings rate is so low you will collect a minimal amount of interest but ...
by amphora
Wed Jul 12, 2017 3:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: EE Bonds?
Replies: 44
Views: 2736

Re: EE Bonds?

With low interest rates and low inflation right now, EE bonds do seem like a solid investment. As others have said, EE bonds are best bought when close to retirement because you can choose to defer all taxes until bond redemption / maturity.
by amphora
Wed Jul 05, 2017 1:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thinking of moving from MA to RI
Replies: 19
Views: 2854

Re: Thinking of moving from MA to RI

You can certainly find something in your price range within 60 minutes of Boston, just not in the inner suburbs. I think you may be misjudging commute times as it takes 30 minutes to get from Waltham to Boston. It takes 60 minutes to get from Boston to Worcester or Providence, so there are many opt...
by amphora
Mon Jul 03, 2017 4:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Permanent Portfolio
Replies: 14
Views: 1341

Re: Permanent Portfolio

Past performance does not predict future results. 8-) Looking at the individual components, it doesn't seem like an ideal portfolio. Long bonds have had quite a run over the last 30 years as interest rates have declines, but in our low interest environment with a flatter yield curve, it doesn't offe...
by amphora
Mon Jul 03, 2017 4:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thinking of moving from MA to RI
Replies: 19
Views: 2854

Re: Thinking of moving from MA to RI

I work in Boston and can potentially transfer to Providence. Wife has a home office. We currently rent in Waltham and my commute is 45-60 minutes door to door. For $400-500k, there doesn't seem to be anything in MA comparable to homes in RI that offer a decent commute (<60 minutes), good schools, a...
by amphora
Tue Jun 27, 2017 12:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Splitting Value and Growth in taxable/non-taxable
Replies: 27
Views: 2158

Re: Splitting Value and Growth in taxable/non-taxable

I think it makes sense to hold different funds in taxable compared to non-taxable so you don't have to worry about wash sales when you tax loss harvest. You could try dividing it up with value v. growth or large cap v. small/mid cap -- whatever you prefer. But first decide on an overall asset alloca...
by amphora
Tue Jun 27, 2017 12:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 Superfund Question
Replies: 7
Views: 868

Re: 529 Superfund Question

I do recall you posting at one point you also hold a prepaid 4 year college plan for each of your kids at State of Washington I did, but sold that 18 months ago and all of the money is now in stocks. It's interesting that the OP has a higher risk tolerance for retirement than for college, whereas I...
by amphora
Tue Jun 20, 2017 10:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estimated Taxes, Safe Harbor and AMT
Replies: 4
Views: 579

Re: Estimated Taxes, Safe Harbor and AMT

1.) You're following the IRS safe harbor ruled correctly. Don't worry. Just keep a flush savings account for the tax bill in April 2018.
by amphora
Sun Jun 18, 2017 9:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What Is The Right Amount For An Emergency Fund?
Replies: 27
Views: 3480

Re: What Is The Right Amount For An Emergency Fund?

I think the bigger question is what counts towards an emergency fund. I would count all cash, CDs and liquid fixed income that's not held in a retirement account but NOT available credit lines or stocks.
by amphora
Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best cruise
Replies: 50
Views: 4835

Re: Best cruise

This is kinda like saying "what car should I buy. By the way, I will buy it 5 years from now." I would start by haunting cruisecritic Lol :D Perfect comparison +1 for Cruise Critic and there are plenty of last minute deals for non-peak weeks. As for what cruise line, it depends on what's you're loo...
by amphora
Tue Apr 11, 2017 10:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Yale Endowment Blasts Low-Fee Critics, Says Gains Would Lag
Replies: 30
Views: 3873

Re: Yale Endowment Blasts Low-Fee Critics, Says Gains Would Lag

It's worth pointing out though both Harvard and Yale have very large endowments with diverse investments including private equity and timberland, they are managed quite differently. David Swensen at Yale chooses hedge fund managers to invest with and decides upon an asset allocation, but outsources ...
by amphora
Mon Apr 03, 2017 5:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IS 200k household income "middle income" these days? Has that threshold increased?
Replies: 42
Views: 6948

Re: IS 200k household income "middle income" these days? Has that threshold increased?

As someone familiar with Boston, I understand where OP is coming from but 200 - 250 K is upper middle class, whatever that means. Certainly housing prices have inflated A LOT in the Boston area over the last decade. What I think OP is noticing is that in many suburbs of Boston, the average family in...
by amphora
Mon Feb 13, 2017 2:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401K: Critique and advice needed
Replies: 5
Views: 555

Re: 401K: Critique and advice needed

My suggestion: Allocate all of the money in this 401k to FSTMX, FUSEX or VTIAX. Use bond funds in other accounts since your don't have any good bond funds here.
by amphora
Mon Feb 06, 2017 1:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "The Undoing Project," by Michael Lewis
Replies: 19
Views: 4735

Re: "The Undoing Project," by Michael Lewis

What is the best order to read Thinking Fast and Slow and The Undoing Project ? I have them both on my Kindle. Read Thinking Fast and Slow first. I find that Michael Lewis' books are a made for Hollywood version of important highbrow topics. Read Thinking Fast and Slow for the actual ideas; Read Th...
by amphora
Mon Feb 06, 2017 3:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: low cost one person DB plan
Replies: 35
Views: 3814

Re: low cost one person DB plan

I am not aware of any DB plans cheaper than Schwab -- at least none with transparent pricing. Also I believe you may be too young to make the solo DB plan worthwhile as the plan administrator makes an actuarial determination of your max contribution. According to Schwab, the DB plan only makes sense...
by amphora
Sat Jan 28, 2017 5:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Student Earned Income, ROTH IRA
Replies: 9
Views: 781

Re: Student Earned Income, ROTH IRA

I may be mistaken but I believe she can open a Roth IRA with Vanguard and just buy ETF shares since she doesn't meet the minimum for mutual funds.
by amphora
Tue Jan 03, 2017 11:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Are there downsides to index funds??
Replies: 9
Views: 1637

Re: Are there downsides to index funds??

The downside is you "settle" for the market returns. You're not going to lose everything on some penny stocks but you also won't discover the next Warren Buffett. It's a choice worth making.
by amphora
Sun Dec 18, 2016 2:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Yahoo email advice
Replies: 17
Views: 3276

Re: Yahoo email advice

Also consider ProtonMail -- it is considered very secure and has automatic two-factor authentication.
by amphora
Fri Dec 09, 2016 9:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Merrill Brokers get ultimatum to refer clients to other parts of BOA
Replies: 22
Views: 2576

Re: Merrill Brokers get ultimatum to refer clients to other parts of BOA

It sets a bad precedent when you have referral requirements, but requiring 2 referrals over an entire year is a very low bar.
by amphora
Wed Dec 07, 2016 10:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: article of interest regarding Vanguard as a monopoly
Replies: 27
Views: 3429

Re: article of interest regarding Vanguard as a monopoly

This was an opinion piece in the NY Times today that is on a topic near and dear to Bogleheads. It argues that Vanguard, Blackrock, State Street, etc are anti-competitive monopolies that, on balance, harm the economy. Vanguard doesn't own the companies - individual funds do. If one of those funds i...
by amphora
Thu Nov 24, 2016 4:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Parent’s Case Study (come inside for a 2.57% exp ratio!) - Cancer
Replies: 11
Views: 3348

Re: Parent’s Case Study (come inside for a 2.57% exp ratio!) - Cancer

I would focus on where the money is going. I would figure out how much the rental properties and boat and primary residence are worth.

Unless there's a lot of value in those, if your dad retires it seems like your parents would need to cut back their expenses to live off investments + SS.
by amphora
Mon Nov 14, 2016 9:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio return: very low. Any suggestions
Replies: 36
Views: 4601

Re: Portfolio return: very low. Any suggestions

I was going to just say stay the course but your returns are way below the market returns. The S&P 500 Vanguard Index is up 7.79 % year to date. Not sure what active stock fund you're invested in but you're getting sub market returns for a higher expense ratio.
by amphora
Mon Nov 14, 2016 12:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much is business worth?
Replies: 49
Views: 5779

Re: How much is business worth?

I agree with other responses, especially that there is a wide range of potential valuations and it could be worth much less than you imagined. I think you might reconsider selling the business if your wife can earn say 50 - 70 K as a nearly passive owner, though of course that would still entail work.
by amphora
Sun Oct 30, 2016 11:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: too much passive indexes => bad governance?
Replies: 15
Views: 1798

Re: too much passive indexes => bad governance?

Let's be clear, it's not an index fund problem, it's not a passive investing problem, it's a mutual fund problem. Actually in Bogle's view it's much wider than that, he views with alarm the transition from "owner's capitalism" to "managers' capitalism." I agree. The issue does not solely affect ind...
by amphora
Sun Oct 30, 2016 8:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Guaranteed 6.8% by paying down student loans?
Replies: 18
Views: 2411

Re: Guaranteed 6.8% by paying down student loans?

TIAX wrote:
pierremonfrere wrote: In general, I would agree with the advice to pay down a debt at 6.8% rather than invest, but I just wonder if I am missing something here?
What you're missing is you can refi into a much lower rate
+1

The rate you can refinance at is the relevant rate.
by amphora
Tue Oct 11, 2016 3:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for Help from BH Bridge Players
Replies: 23
Views: 1921

Re: Looking for Help from BH Bridge Players

wilked wrote:Bridge baron widely agreed to be the best app out there. Suggest buying it and using it to learn

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bridge- ... 17339?mt=8
+1 for Bridge Baron as a great way to learn
by amphora
Wed Sep 28, 2016 6:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Anyone feel like ripping this asset allocation to shreds?
Replies: 58
Views: 4349

Re: Anyone feel like ripping this asset allocation to shreds?

I'll bite 8-) Your portfolio is way too light on stocks (only 30% of your allocation) and too heavy on commodities/gold. Bogleheads generally aren't huge fans of gold/commodities because they don't generate profits; it's an inflation hedge or speculation. https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Commodities ...
by amphora
Mon Sep 12, 2016 9:42 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How much saved at 30 to be "done saving"
Replies: 35
Views: 7434

Re: How much saved at 30 to be "done saving"

Depending on your situation, I don't know if your plan is particularly practical. In order to accumulate a big enough nest egg by age 30 you'll need a relatively high income with a high savings rate. After age 30, if you spend all of that high income every year, I doubt you'll be able to sustain tha...
by amphora
Wed Sep 07, 2016 7:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Critique my AA [Asset Allocation]
Replies: 9
Views: 1221

Re: Critique my AA [Asset Allocation]

The obvious critique is you don't have any fixed income investments. Since you have access to a TSP, a suggestion would be to invest in the G Fund. Even if you have a high risk tolerance, 20% in the G Fund would still allow for an aggressive portfolio.
by amphora
Tue Sep 06, 2016 3:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to do with my CD collection
Replies: 35
Views: 3672

Re: What to do with my CD collection

I expected this thread to be about certificates of deposit :)
by amphora
Tue Aug 30, 2016 11:27 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I-Bonds or EE-Bonds for another tier within Emergency Fund
Replies: 6
Views: 852

Re: I-Bonds or EE-Bonds for another tier within Emergency Fund

The advantage of I bonds over EE bonds is that I bonds offer inflation protection as they adjust based on the the inflation rate. EE bonds are nominal bonds that double in value after 20 years.

https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/EE_savings_bonds

https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/I_savings_bonds
by amphora
Wed Aug 24, 2016 12:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Parents have enough for retirement?
Replies: 26
Views: 4333

Re: Parents have enough for retirement?

To answer the original question, yes! Using a 4% annual withdrawal rate, your parents can safely get $32,000 from their soon-to-be investments plus $14,400/year from Social Security, which add up to $46,400, which is roughly what your parents estimate as their annual expenses. The main issue is that...
by amphora
Mon Aug 08, 2016 8:41 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: NYT: Zen and the Art of 401(k) Maintenance
Replies: 13
Views: 2587

NYT: Zen and the Art of 401(k) Maintenance

Great article. The telling part is that Fidelity seems to be burying the results of a study that could benefit customers. I guess fewer transactions would be bad for business. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/06/your-money/401k-retirement-plan-investment-stock-markets.html?mabReward=A6&action=click&pg...
by amphora
Thu Aug 04, 2016 4:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "4% Rule" ...is broken? [argumentative]
Replies: 150
Views: 12580

Re: "4% Rule" ...is broken? [argumentative]

If you're very concerned that a 4% withdrawal rate is too high, you should consider buying an annuity...it's the most straightforward way to guarantee a constant withdrawal stream. Also, if you're convinced 3% is the the new 4%, an annuity will allow you to really increase your withdrawal rate. TLDR...
by amphora
Tue Aug 02, 2016 9:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to value a deferred annuity?
Replies: 15
Views: 1159

Re: How to value a deferred annuity?

To help us value it, what is the annual income from the annuity once you turn 86? Is it inflation adjusted or cost of living adjusted?
by amphora
Sun Jul 31, 2016 7:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Consumer Reports, how could you? [Investment Company Buying Guide]
Replies: 74
Views: 9135

Re: Consumer Reports, how could you? [Investment Company Buying Guide]

This thread is sounding like a lynch mob. I don't get the Consumer Reports in print anymore but I subscribe to their online version and have found it very helpful. I consult it before making any significant purchases. I don't find that it covers some areas I'm interested in, but generally the ones ...
by amphora
Tue Jul 26, 2016 6:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Achieving a Tax Efficient Portfolio with Limited Starting Funds
Replies: 3
Views: 385

Re: Achieving a Tax Efficient Portfolio with Limited Starting Funds

I think your plan to to just put the extra cash in VTSMX makes sense...it's tax efficient enough. Once you get to $10k or so in your taxable account you can add in a bond fund of your choice.
by amphora
Thu Jul 21, 2016 1:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 3% cd
Replies: 23
Views: 4286

Re: 3% cd

Series EE US savings bonds are very similar 3.5% 20-year CDs. Seen this way, EE bonds are probably the best "CD" around if you just look at interest rates. They do have the equivalent of a very draconian "early withdrawal penalty" if you redeem in less than 20 years -- you get almost no interest th...