Search found 482 matches

by VaR
Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are mutual funds safer than ETFs?
Replies: 10
Views: 622

Re: Are mutual funds safer than ETFs?

Could you be more specific about your concern with ETFs? Supposing, what are you afraid will happen with your ETF? 1. If you are worried that you will issue a market order to sell your ETF at a time that the ETF is having a liquidity crisis, then this is a legitimate concern with an ETF. You can mit...
by VaR
Thu Jun 21, 2018 6:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need new Cable Modem + Router - Please recommend
Replies: 35
Views: 1820

Re: Need new Cable Modem + Router - Please recommend

Dumb question, sorry: if you have a router, why do you need a modem? I have Verizon FIOS. I have a router, that I can see, more around turn on/off. If I have a modem I'm not aware of where that is in my system. Is it possible its in the Optical Network terminal, the "ONT"? I have Verizon FiOS as we...
by VaR
Thu Jun 21, 2018 12:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need new Cable Modem + Router - Please recommend
Replies: 35
Views: 1820

Re: Need new Cable Modem + Router - Please recommend

OP, are you happy with the wifi performance with your current equipment? We got a separate cable modem and mesh router (we went with Google so my spouse could handle the install and maintenance). OTOH, I recommended that my sister get an integrated cable modem/router combo. This is because she has a...
by VaR
Wed Jun 20, 2018 10:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is individual Bonds better than Bond Fund?
Replies: 30
Views: 1852

Re: Is individual Bonds better than Bond Fund?

Bond funds, in the interest of convenience, encourage the investor to ignore premature redemptions and lost principle during rising rates. Individual bonds avoid this problem if the investor waits for his bonds to mature rather than selling early. The individual investor needs to decide which is mo...
by VaR
Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: thermostat a/c setting
Replies: 17
Views: 911

Re: thermostat a/c setting

I would be concerned about high humidity affecting things in the house. How high does the humidity get if the house is tight and you're gone 10-12 hours? Does it get up to more than 60%? For reference, most people seem to recommend a setback of 5-8 degrees in the summer. I doubt most houses are tha...
by VaR
Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: General Electric booted from Dow Jones Industrial Average
Replies: 46
Views: 4764

Re: General Electric booted from Dow Jones Industrial Average

Still, the correlation between price weighted (like DOW), market cap, and equal weighted funds is pretty clear over the long term. I'm not sure any one is a clear winner depending on what period you look at, they track pretty closely. It's at least partly due to the following: 1. The price-weighted...
by VaR
Wed Jun 20, 2018 12:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: thermostat a/c setting
Replies: 17
Views: 911

Re: thermostat a/c setting

dm200 wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:42 am
I would be concerned about high humidity affecting things in the house.
How high does the humidity get if the house is tight and you're gone 10-12 hours?

Does it get up to more than 60%?

For reference, most people seem to recommend a setback of 5-8 degrees in the summer.
by VaR
Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Water heater installation situation
Replies: 56
Views: 4358

Re: Water heater installation situation

My sister appears to have a similar problem she just called me about. She wants to get a new water heater but because of advances in design, the new water heater is 2" wider than the old one. Her pipes come up from the slab and based on calculations that I've done using pi in my calculations, it *ma...
by VaR
Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Approximating total stock market
Replies: 22
Views: 1790

Re: Approximating total stock market

I probably should have provided more explanation. This "99% replication" claim refers to the correlation (r-squared) between VIIIX (Vanguard Institutional Index) and VTSMX (Vanguard Total Stock Mkt Idx). I got the figures by using the Portfolio Visualizer "Match Factor Exposure" tool and constraini...
by VaR
Mon Jun 18, 2018 1:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Approximating total stock market
Replies: 22
Views: 1790

Re: Approximating total stock market

Thanks for all your replies. Funds in my 401k are as follows: Vanguard Institutional Index Fund Institutional Plus Shares (VIIIX) - 0.02% Vanguard Mid-Cap Index Fund Institutional Plus Shares (VMCPX) - 0.03% Vanguard Small-Cap Index Fund Institutional Shares (VSCIX) - 0.04% Vanguard Total Internati...
by VaR
Mon Jun 18, 2018 12:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is individual Bonds better than Bond Fund?
Replies: 30
Views: 1852

Re: Is individual Bonds better than Bond Fund?

What kind of fixed income do you want to invest in? I see nothing wrong with investing in a portfolio of individual treasurys or CDs. OTOH, I don't think it's practical for the individual investor to hold a sufficiently diversified credit portfolio. Do you have predetermined lumpy cashflow needs? If...
by VaR
Sun Jun 17, 2018 8:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Approximating total stock market
Replies: 22
Views: 1790

Re: Approximating total stock market

Based on this wiki page, the US total stock market caps equal 81% large, 4% mid and 15% small. https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Approximating_total_stock_market However, Vanguard's Portfolio Analysis for my VTSAX fund shows 71% large, 21% mid and 8% small. Question, which is most reliable to follow ...
by VaR
Fri Jun 15, 2018 4:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Water heater installation situation
Replies: 56
Views: 4358

Re: Water heater installation situation

I know this isn't the least costly suggestion, but do you think it would be feasible to reroute the two pipes that make the platform necessary? Where do you think these pipes are going from/to. Is this on the first floor or basement? Is it right on top of the slab or is there something below? I susp...
by VaR
Thu Jun 14, 2018 6:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: cooling upstairs floor without central AC
Replies: 19
Views: 1261

Re: cooling upstairs floor without central AC

1. Do you own this home?
2. How do you cool the first floor?
3. Why not just install window AC units for the summer and turn them on when it's hot?
4. Is installing a whole house fan an option?
by VaR
Thu Jun 14, 2018 6:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Jumbo vs Conforming Loan and then Recast
Replies: 4
Views: 368

Re: Jumbo vs Conforming Loan and then Recast

Can we assume that the Wells Fargo jumbo loan is the best rate of all the lenders you've looked at? The only small insight I have is that if Wells Fargo transfers your services to another servicer and you can't recast to lower your payments, that you will have that $100,000 sitting around and you ca...
by VaR
Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Using donor advised fund to diversify stock with large capital gains
Replies: 38
Views: 2228

Re: Using donor advised fund to diversify stock with large capital gains

Let's say that you itemize deductions every year and don't need to bunch your charitable donations. I've read that lump sum contributions to a DAF can be suboptimal to annual contributions because with annual contributions, your future donations and thus your charitable deductions would be expected ...
by VaR
Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would you choose text or email for two-factor authentication?
Replies: 50
Views: 2802

Re: Would you choose text or email for two-factor authentication?

It was mentioned earlier in the thread -- my solution is to use Google Voice. It is easy to set up (if you already have a US phone number....) and once setup you can access the SMS from anywhere in the world that has an internet connection. Except you should not use Google Voice for SMS 2FA for you...
by VaR
Tue Jun 12, 2018 4:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Water heater installation situation
Replies: 56
Views: 4358

Re: Water heater installation situation

It appears that procedures/policies vary between Home Depot stores. I was able to buy my heater at the going price and have my plumber come, pick it up, and install it. I paid the plumber. HD had offered to arrange installation, but their contrtactor would not provide a price IN ADVANCE. So I went ...
by VaR
Tue Jun 12, 2018 4:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing when someone else gets all dividends
Replies: 80
Views: 4742

Re: Investing when someone else gets all dividends

One thing about REIT funds is that it is hard to know beforehand how much of their "yield" will be capital gains distribution vs return of capital vs income. Two Harbors example: I found an explanation of their 2017 dividends and it looks like 60% of their dividend is actually a return of capital. S...
by VaR
Tue Jun 12, 2018 2:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing when someone else gets all dividends
Replies: 80
Views: 4742

Re: Investing when someone else gets all dividends

I'm going to go through a few of the holdings to analyze what they are. People can post their results and I will try to summarize here. symbol - yield - name - my understanding of the product GGM - 10.13% - Guggenheim Credit Allocation fund - junk bonds and bank loans with some ABS TWO - 12.48% - Tw...
by VaR
Tue Jun 12, 2018 1:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing when someone else gets all dividends
Replies: 80
Views: 4742

Re: Investing when someone else gets all dividends

No, this is as of March of this year. It's a mix of investment trusts and close ended mutual funds. Very far from bogleheads standards. Interesting. That's a remarkably high yield and I'd be interested to know how they achieved it. How long has this trust been going? And do you know how much apprec...
by VaR
Tue Jun 12, 2018 1:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would you choose text or email for two-factor authentication?
Replies: 50
Views: 2802

Re: Would you choose text or email for two-factor authentication?

I usually choose text, though I know it's not entirely secure.

I've just been trained to believe that for email, the delivery mechanism itself, SMTP (right?), is insecure. Is text messaging equally insecure?

Also, I do worry about the security of text messaging with iMessage integration.
by VaR
Tue Jun 12, 2018 1:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing when someone else gets all dividends
Replies: 80
Views: 4742

Re: Investing when someone else gets all dividends

The original portfolio was held with a FA. It contains over 80 holdings including 60 mutual funds with a total dividend yield of 4.45%. However, the fees for the mutual funds in the portfolio totaled 1.92%. It's hard to continue this strategy because the fees cut into the principal and don't seem t...
by VaR
Tue Jun 12, 2018 11:19 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing when someone else gets all dividends
Replies: 80
Views: 4742

Re: Investing when someone else gets all dividends

I finally got to take a deeper look into the trust document. It specifies that "all of the net income" be distributed to the fourth party. After they pass, the trustee shall distribute the "remaining trust property" to the first three parties pro rata. The trustee is also tasked to "determine in a ...
by VaR
Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:16 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing when someone else gets all dividends
Replies: 80
Views: 4742

Re: Investing when someone else gets all dividends

OK. Thanks for that. I had read somewhere the term “dividend income” used for a ST CG distribution. I see for Wellesley a good fraction (30%?) of the distribution is capital gains, which, I believe in this trust case, would not be distributable to the income beneficiary. Is that right? Type $/Share...
by VaR
Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:08 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing when someone else gets all dividends
Replies: 80
Views: 4742

Re: Investing when someone else gets all dividends

Those criteria may be fair and Wellesley a good choice. Wellesley currently yields about 3%. It doesn't matter what the fund description says, the trustees still have to form an interpretation of what is fair, equitable, and practical. To do that you could compare that 3% yield to an expected retur...
by VaR
Mon Jun 11, 2018 5:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Water heater installation situation
Replies: 56
Views: 4358

Re: Water heater installation situation

I just replaced my water heater myself and put it on a new 24x24x6" wood platform because the new tank was a little shorter than the old one and I didn't want to reconfigure the plumbing and duct work. Please don't report me to the city building department. I might know of an identical situation in...
by VaR
Mon Jun 11, 2018 4:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing when someone else gets all dividends
Replies: 80
Views: 4742

Re: Investing when someone else gets all dividends

Why not Wellesley Income Fund. 3.21% current yield and a nice track record. Should provide a decent level of income and some appreciation for modest growth. The current yield is comparable to a 5 yr CD. Or you could consider a CD ladder for all or some of the amount. It will provide decent income a...
by VaR
Mon Jun 11, 2018 1:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Water heater installation situation
Replies: 56
Views: 4358

Re: Water heater installation situation

OP, did the plumber who refused to install the gas water heater say which part of the code you're in violation of and what you'd have to do in order for him to install it?
by VaR
Mon Jun 11, 2018 2:16 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing when someone else gets all dividends
Replies: 80
Views: 4742

Re: Investing when someone else gets all dividends

I know you didn’t ask me but, isn’t a reasonable alternative the unitrust concept and simply pay out a percentage of the trust value each year to the beneficiary? No need to define or refer to income in that type of trust. Yep, that's a good not-unreasonable alternative to separating the idea of pr...
by VaR
Sun Jun 10, 2018 7:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How does an investor best adjust asset allocation from 85/15 to 70/30?
Replies: 23
Views: 1876

Re: How does an investor best adjust asset allocation from 85/15 to 70/30?

KlangFool wrote:
Sun Jun 10, 2018 7:17 pm
Just do it.
+1

Aside: I find it remarkable that Nike trademarked JUST DO IT.
by VaR
Sun Jun 10, 2018 7:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing when someone else gets all dividends
Replies: 80
Views: 4742

Re: Investing when someone else gets all dividends

Thanks, but the question was a little more than that. I can see how the existence of "shares" of an asset, and the payment of dividends and interest from those shares gives us an arbitrary distinction. But the problem is that financial understanding for investments today such as stocks and mutual f...
by VaR
Sun Jun 10, 2018 6:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tv mount with no studs
Replies: 20
Views: 1876

Re: Tv mount with no studs

How much does this television weigh? And what kind of mount were you intending to use? A simple flat tilt-mount or a swivel mount? Oops, I see that the OP said they want a swivel. And are you sure the backing blocks are concrete and not the old cinder blocks? If concrete I think you can use either c...
by VaR
Sun Jun 10, 2018 6:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing when someone else gets all dividends
Replies: 80
Views: 4742

Re: Investing when someone else gets all dividends

This is really quite different than a charitable remainder trust. This is a personal trust that pays only net income to a beneficiary whereas a CRT pays either an annuity amount or a percentage of the trust to the beneficiary. Income from such a trust is irrelevant whereas it is crucial to the bene...
by VaR
Sun Jun 10, 2018 5:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing some of mom's money,
Replies: 31
Views: 2006

Re: Investing some of mom's money,

Regarding what to do with the $95,000 check. I think it might be a nice exercise to treat it like a model 3-fund portfolio and invest it under a reasonable asset allocation for her like 50/50 equity/fixed income or 25/25/50 total stock/total international/total bond. Rebalance annually or under one ...
by VaR
Sun Jun 10, 2018 5:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing when someone else gets all dividends
Replies: 80
Views: 4742

Re: Investing when someone else gets all dividends

This is correct. I've done some investigation and the trustees have an obligation to all four parties. In your mind is a 50/50 portfolio one that is half focused on dividends (like a bond fund and a dividend yield fund) and half invested normally without a focus on dividends? Or would you focus one...
by VaR
Sun Jun 10, 2018 3:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Mea culpa - market-timing with REITs - what to do now?
Replies: 25
Views: 2814

Re: Mea culpa - market-timing with REITs - what to do now?

I would avoid looking at recent performance of either REITs or International in order to determine what you should do. It does strike me that you may not have a great deal of conviction with respect to setting and following your IPS. You need to address this first by having a plan. It does strike me...
by VaR
Thu Jun 07, 2018 5:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What lubricant to use for Freezer slide out door runners?
Replies: 12
Views: 610

Re: What lubricant to use for Freezer slide out door runners?

Make sure that the problem isn't caused by ice buildup on the runners, wheels, or bearings. This was a problem on our bottom freezer refrigerator and eventually caused the entire thing to have to be replaced.
by VaR
Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Upgrade to SSD for 5-year old desktop?
Replies: 64
Views: 3361

Re: Upgrade to SSD for 5-year old desktop?

^ how fast are they? I just tested Word, Excel, Evernote, Virtual Box and H&R Block on my conventional drive. Using the "one-one thousand" time clock I'd say all opened up in a second or less except for Block which took a couple of seconds. The classic comparison is boot time into Windows. As alway...
by VaR
Wed Jun 06, 2018 5:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Guidance About New Spouse's IRS Issues
Replies: 61
Views: 5433

Re: Guidance About New Spouse's IRS Issues

Just wanted to post an update since we've made it through to the other side. We wound up paying off the IRS to the tune of around $150k via a home refinance (home appreciated significantly over the course of 2 years). Thankfully, with everything else we've done during that time, we've more than dou...
by VaR
Wed Jun 06, 2018 5:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Upgrade to SSD for 5-year old desktop?
Replies: 64
Views: 3361

Re: Upgrade to SSD for 5-year old desktop?

+1 on the SSD upgrade. Will be well worth it for the perceived speed increase. What's with only having a "weekly" backup? I bought an online backup service that does continuous backups. If your computer isn't on very much and your home is air conditioned, I don't see why your computer wouldn't last ...
by VaR
Mon Jun 04, 2018 7:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need to replace my Vizio TV..............
Replies: 35
Views: 2519

Re: Need to replace my Vizio TV..............

Yep, as El Greco said, I too think Sony has the best picture and the most natural colors, better than Samsung which is a little more candy-color to as I see it. Just IMHO. Sony has a great picture, but you always need to get your set professionally calibrated or at least buy and use of the of blu-r...
by VaR
Wed May 30, 2018 2:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HOA Treasurer Software Recommendation?
Replies: 17
Views: 968

Re: HOA Treasurer Software Recommendation?

FYI, I use QuickBooks but my predecessor used Excel.

A friend of mine recommended Buildium.
by VaR
Wed May 30, 2018 2:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HOA Treasurer Software Recommendation?
Replies: 17
Views: 968

Re: HOA Treasurer Software Recommendation?

Also, OP, don't mean to barge into your thread, but what do you folks do for an autopay solution for dues? Not quite sure what "autopay solution" means here. Some folks have their dues sent to our bank directly from their bank. According to the prior treasurer, our bank will no longer allow this fo...
by VaR
Wed May 30, 2018 1:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Can anyone recommend Any Social Responsible fund/s?
Replies: 17
Views: 1293

Re: Can anyone recommend Any Social Responsible fund/s?

A couple of things: 1. I see that Schwab publishes a list of socially conscious funds based on Morningstar data: https://www.schwab.com/public/file/P-9561751/ 2. I'd suggest looking at accessing this space via low cost ETFs or index funds. The aforementioned Vanguard FTSE Social Index Fund is a good...
by VaR
Wed May 30, 2018 1:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HOA Treasurer Software Recommendation?
Replies: 17
Views: 968

Re: HOA Treasurer Software Recommendation?

I'd also like to register interest in an answer to this as treasurer of a small 4-unit HOA.

Also, OP, don't mean to barge into your thread, but what do you folks do for an autopay solution for dues?
by VaR
Wed May 30, 2018 1:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: GFCI trips when toaster oven turned on
Replies: 33
Views: 1822

Re: GFCI trips when toaster oven turned on

Thanks everyone for all the ideas and advice. I replaced the GFCI and that solved the problem. No more odd tripping of the GFCI from the toaster on the "sister" circuit. Here's some additional info for completeness: 1. I did notice that the electrical box with the GFCI contains two leads - presumabl...
by VaR
Mon May 28, 2018 3:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: GFCI trips when toaster oven turned on
Replies: 33
Views: 1822

Re: GFCI trips when toast oven turned on

I assume your toaster oven has a three prong plug with ground. So there's some sort of crack around the heating element which allows a small amount of current to leak to the metal body of the oven which is grounded, hence tripping the GFCI. I should have mentioned that there's nothing wrong with th...
by VaR
Mon May 28, 2018 1:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: GFCI trips when toaster oven turned on
Replies: 33
Views: 1822

Re: GFCI trips when toast oven turned on

Very unusual situation. I agree! This means the toaster oven outlet is miswired and not downstream from the GFCI. You mean under the 2014 NEC, right? I'm pretty sure that under whatever version of the NEC that was in force back in 1987, you were only required to GFCI protect outlets that were under...
by VaR
Mon May 28, 2018 1:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: GFCI trips when toaster oven turned on
Replies: 33
Views: 1822

Re: GFCI trips when toast oven turned on

When the toaster trips the GFI, does the toaster continue to operate with the GFI tripped? If not, that particular outlet is downstream from the GFI even if others are not. Yes, the toaster continues to toast after the GFCI is tripped. I'm using that to assume that the island outlet is not downstre...