Search found 226 matches

by trasmuss
Sat Dec 30, 2017 4:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gulf coast vacation ideas?
Replies: 9
Views: 846

Re: Gulf coast vacation ideas?

We're leaving next week for Gulf Shores Alabama. The Best Western there is right on the beach. There seems to be a lot to do with plenty of walking paths, history, etc. Next week will be colder than we like but the prices for an beachfront room with a balcony were less than $100 per night and we're ...
by trasmuss
Fri Dec 29, 2017 5:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Act discount
Replies: 9
Views: 1120

Tax Act discount

For those who use Tax Act if you order prior to the end of the year you get a 30% discount. I kept waiting for an e-mail from them with their discount offer and it never came so went to their website to check.
by trasmuss
Fri Dec 15, 2017 5:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Honda CRV is MotorTrend's SUV of the year
Replies: 87
Views: 8239

Re: New Honda CRV is MotorTrend's SUV of the year

My first new car was the 1973 Motor Trend Car of the Year. How could you go wrong? Unfortunately it was the Chevrolet Vega.
by trasmuss
Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Keurig died...what now?
Replies: 73
Views: 5660

Re: Keurig died...what now?

Try Taster's Choice French Roast and use a microwave. I got a Keurig for Christmas but still use the instant most of the time. It is convenient, will save you money, and there isn't anything to break or clean. I actually prefer it over everything except Starbucks House Blend and only have that rarel...
by trasmuss
Sat Nov 04, 2017 2:10 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Have TIPS truly been tested yet?
Replies: 48
Views: 4602

Re: Have TIPS truly been tested yet?

If you are trying to protect against unexpected inflation TIPS are likely to meet your needs (as well or better than anything else). I was surprised that they dropped in the 2008 stock crisis. They did not provide the protection that standard treasuries did. Once they recovered I exchanged what I ha...
by trasmuss
Fri Sep 08, 2017 4:57 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Fear of Finance?" AARP interview with Jack Bogle
Replies: 37
Views: 6615

Re: "Fear of Finance?" AARP interview with Jack Bogle

Mr. Bogle has been consistent over the years saying a maximum of 20% of equities for international. So if you have 50% stocks he would recommend a MAXIMUM of 10% of the portfolio in international stocks. There is an interesting webcast available on Vanguard concerning international investing. The pe...
by trasmuss
Thu Aug 03, 2017 4:07 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is now time to move into international stocks?
Replies: 57
Views: 7587

Re: Is now time to move into international stocks?

When looking at valuations international stocks definitely look "cheaper" based on price to book and price to earnings ratios. I think it pays to also look at return on equity and earnings growth rates. The domestic market excels on these measures. So yes, you are paying for a better return on equit...
by trasmuss
Mon Jul 31, 2017 3:47 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: John Bogle Has Been Right About Investing In International Stocks
Replies: 505
Views: 36771

Re: John Bogle Has Been Right About Investing In International Stocks

I don't know if it has been pointed out but I believe Taylor has about 30% of his equities in international (Taylor can correct with the exact amount). So while he admires Mr. Bogle he has decided to keep a substantial portion in international. More than Mr. Bogle recommends. The chart showing retur...
by trasmuss
Mon Jul 17, 2017 4:25 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best Investment Options for Inheritance
Replies: 9
Views: 1067

Re: Best Investment Options for Inheritance

I don't see a need or benefit to a brokerage account. Just put the entire amount into either the Vanguard Total Stock Market fund or Index 500 fund in a taxable account. Use your 401k or IRA's for bonds. Avoid complicating things with annuities and leave the account to your heirs on a stepped up bas...
by trasmuss
Mon Jul 03, 2017 10:25 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does Vanguard gain anything from us investing more internationally?
Replies: 28
Views: 2841

Re: Does Vanguard gain anything from us investing more internationally?

I do agree with Vanguard that investing internationally in stocks and bonds likely decreases day to day volatility. It is possible that they feel low volatility decreases investors buying and selling and panicking when portfolios drop. Whether total return will increase is anyone's guess (especially...
by trasmuss
Wed Jun 14, 2017 7:43 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: International Bonds
Replies: 7
Views: 1048

Re: International Bonds

Jhfenton has a good point. It is surprising that Vanguard doesn't have an actively managed international bond fund. Their fund managers are familiar with them since they seem to invest in them in their actively managed balanced and bond funds. Perhaps that is one advantage of a fund such as Intermed...
by trasmuss
Wed Jun 14, 2017 3:59 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: International Bonds
Replies: 7
Views: 1048

International Bonds

I use Total Bond for all of the bond portfolio. I have avoided Total International Bond because of the higher expense, lower credit quality, lower yield, and higher duration. In reviewing the bond portfolio of Wellesley Income, Core Bond, and Intermediate Term Investment Grade funds I noticed they h...
by trasmuss
Thu Apr 06, 2017 3:44 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: When should one start including TIPS in their bond allocation?
Replies: 7
Views: 993

Re: When should one start including TIPS in their bond allocation?

If you are interested in Vanguard's thoughts on it you can review the Target Retirement portfolio for the approximate year you plan to retire. You will notice no TIPS for someone your age and a gradual increase as you get much closer to retirement.
by trasmuss
Wed Mar 15, 2017 8:24 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Shiller says market is "way overpriced" - what a shocker
Replies: 34
Views: 4919

Re: Shiller says market is "way overpriced" - what a shocker

Anazon is correct. Bogle did an excellent speech in the late 1990's which was then available on the websites. He talked about how high the equity markets were and how unsustainable it was. He also said you could get 7 1/2% from bond funds so why risk it? You can probably find the speech out on the w...
by trasmuss
Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:40 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do you avoid international investing like Jack Bogle?
Replies: 151
Views: 11010

Re: Do you avoid international investing like Jack Bogle?

I am at 20% of stocks. Vanguard research says you will get 85% of the diversification benefits with 20%. I believe most of the benefits of international diversification is in currency diversification, not company diversification. It would be interesting to have Larry (or someone into research) explo...
by trasmuss
Tue Mar 14, 2017 4:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard - Money Market Funds
Replies: 16
Views: 3174

Re: Vanguard - Money Market Funds

I do and have since the mid 1980's. The higher interest rates are nice but another main reason I use a money market in my taxable account is the ease in transferring money to and from other accounts (including our checking account). If the checking account gets too big I transfer some to the money m...
by trasmuss
Sun Mar 12, 2017 3:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: ST TIPS Volatility
Replies: 8
Views: 692

Re: ST TIPS Volatility

A wide variety of replies. Thank you. I guess another option would be to open a money market fund within the IRA and then have Total Bond dividends fund it. There are many options. I'm not sure any are better than Total Bond and taking RMD's from Total Bond or Total Stock depending upon which way th...
by trasmuss
Sun Mar 12, 2017 6:01 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: ST TIPS Volatility
Replies: 8
Views: 692

ST TIPS Volatility

In three years I will have to start making RMD's. For this reason I am considering moving some of my Total Bond Index to shorter duration bonds to at least have enough to make a couple of years worth of RMD's. I am considering the Short Term Inflation Protected Securities fund for several reasons. I...
by trasmuss
Fri Jan 27, 2017 5:07 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Swedroe's guidelines to Bonds
Replies: 113
Views: 10484

Re: Swedroe's guidelines to Bonds

A nice advantage of Vanguard Total Bond is that the expense ratio is the lowest at only 6 basis point. This ads up for larger portfolios. I personally am not concerned about the corporates and MBS mixed into Total Bond. Since I will be taking RMD's in three years the intermediate duration (especiall...
by trasmuss
Tue Jan 17, 2017 6:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Biting the bullet and getting off the roof.
Replies: 41
Views: 6473

Re: Biting the bullet and getting off the roof.

I went with Leaf Guard last August and am very happy. I fell twice from the ladder and found myself cleaning the gutters almost weekly since they clogged with virtually every rain. No more problems! I had tried screens, etc. before but was never satisfied. For me it was worth the money and my only r...
by trasmuss
Sun Jan 15, 2017 5:47 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Sectarian / Minnesota Life VAL Policy Mutual Funds
Replies: 4
Views: 479

Re: Sectarian / Minnesota Life VAL Policy Mutual Funds

I'm guessing you mean "Securian" which is the name of the downtown St. Paul company.

I suggest you look it up on Morningstar.com . That is a good place to go if you want to see history and comments on a non-Vanguard mutual fund.
by trasmuss
Sun Jan 15, 2017 5:42 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Flagship Reps
Replies: 91
Views: 9463

Re: Flafship Reps

I haven't received any notice yet but if the change is correct it won't bother me. I do feel it will make a difference to some, however. My sister enjoys having one rep. call her every year to make annual recommendations on asset allocation and RMD amounts. Talking to someone different (with perhaps...
by trasmuss
Tue Jan 10, 2017 5:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting Subaru Legacy(4Cyl 2.5L or V6 3.6R?)
Replies: 56
Views: 10504

Re: Getting Subaru Legacy(4Cyl 2.5L or V6 3.6R?)

We bought a 2016 Legacy in July and have been very happy with it. We test drove the 2.5 and had no problems with its performance (we didn't bother test driving the 3.6). It seemed especially snappy from a dead stop (not sure if that is the torque, the CVT, or a touchy accelerator). We bought the Sub...
by trasmuss
Sun Jan 08, 2017 5:50 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Suggestions for 70-year-old retiree's portfolio
Replies: 18
Views: 3310

Re: Suggestions for 70-year-old retiree's portfolio

If you are considering the route of going with two balanced funds I would suggest at least considering the Wellesley Income fund as one of them. The last time I checked it had about 18% of stocks as foreign and has had a good record since 1970. As soon as you deviate from Total Stock and Total Bond ...
by trasmuss
Fri Dec 30, 2016 4:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are International Markets overdue for great gains?
Replies: 43
Views: 4102

Re: Are International Markets overdue for great gains?

International stocks will likely start outperforming domestic stocks when the value of the US dollar starts to weaken relative to foreign currencies. When will this be? I don't know. It can take years for these trends to happen. I'm sure there are other factors. Foreign companies have an edge in com...
by trasmuss
Fri Nov 25, 2016 3:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Comparing Balanced Funds
Replies: 4
Views: 715

Re: Comparing Balanced Funds

Add Wellington to your mix.
by trasmuss
Fri Nov 25, 2016 2:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why International Stocks
Replies: 73
Views: 9222

Re: Why International Stocks

It is important to remember that currency trends can last a long time. The dollar is at a 13 year high. If it remains so (or goes higher) international stocks will be facing a strong headwind. How long this will last is unknown. I am guessing that Larry will acknowledge, however, that these trends c...
by trasmuss
Tue Sep 20, 2016 3:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Recommendation on Tax Preparation Software
Replies: 26
Views: 2518

Re: Recommendation on Tax Preparation Software

I have used Tax Act for many years and have been happy. It costs less but does what is needed.
by trasmuss
Sat Aug 13, 2016 3:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth conversion & state income taxes
Replies: 12
Views: 1317

Re: Roth conversion & state income taxes

I live in Minnesota so I face the same situation with state taxes. In Minnesota property tax refunds are also affected so I also lost money there as my income went up with Roth conversions. The first year I retired I bit the bullet and converted up to the 25% bracket. I did a smaller chunk the secon...
by trasmuss
Wed Dec 16, 2015 5:39 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Should I follow Jack Bogle in "I don't do International"
Replies: 90
Views: 10544

Re: Should I follow Jack Bogle in "I don't do International"

Thank you, Dancer. The Global Minimum Volatility fund is attractive for more than one reason. Hedging currency risk is a big plus for it. I checked it out when it first came out but didn't invest in it. I have a fairly simple portfolio and didn't want to add another fund but it may be worth another ...
by trasmuss
Mon Dec 14, 2015 8:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I continue to postpone Social Security?
Replies: 27
Views: 3051

Re: Should I continue to postpone Social Security?

The odds are that your wife will benefit most by delaying the highest earners social security because she will likely outlive you by quite a few years (statistically). From a pure dollars standpoint you will likely be ahead by delaying the highest earner's social security (yes, the free money of a r...
by trasmuss
Mon Dec 14, 2015 8:27 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Equity Income (VEIPX)
Replies: 55
Views: 14508

Re: Vanguard Equity Income (VEIPX)

One question may be to ask is how any income oriented fund will do in a rising interest rate environment. I remember watching my Fidelity Equity Income fund languish many years ago. If I were going to invest in a higher than market yield domestic equity fund I would be comfortable with Vanguard Equi...
by trasmuss
Mon Dec 14, 2015 6:06 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Should I follow Jack Bogle in "I don't do International"
Replies: 90
Views: 10544

Re: Should I follow Jack Bogle in "I don't do International"

While Morningstar may be correct that currency risks balance out over time it is important to point out that it can take a long time. Perhaps someone can come up with a long term chart showing the US dollar vs. others. My recollection of international returns is that they seem to go in trends and th...
by trasmuss
Thu Dec 10, 2015 5:08 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Convert to Roth if you have a lot to convert?
Replies: 31
Views: 4273

Re: Convert to Roth if you have a lot to convert?

You didn't mention whether you have equities in taxable accounts. We are getting quite a bit of dividends from our equity taxable accounts and they are all currently tax free since we are in the 15% tax bracket (until RMD's). We would give this up if we converted enough to push us to the 25% bracket.
by trasmuss
Wed Dec 09, 2015 9:41 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New Vanguard International Requirement Thoughts
Replies: 10
Views: 1591

Re: New Vanguard International Requirement Thoughts

Vanguard's thoughts on international investing are clear. Simply look at Life Strategy funds or Total Retirement funds or read any of their papers. If you feel uncomfortable with their advice it would not seem to make sense to give them 1% to manage your portfolio. The service is intended for those ...
by trasmuss
Mon Oct 26, 2015 10:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lump Sum or Pension - would like another perspective
Replies: 28
Views: 2012

Re: Lump Sum or Pension - would like another perspective

You can check www.immediateannuities.com to see how much and what type of an annuity a particular lump sum would buy.
by trasmuss
Mon Oct 19, 2015 4:28 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Eliminate International?
Replies: 78
Views: 7404

Re: Eliminate International?

Everyone has to determine their own comfort level. For me it has been 20% of stocks to international. In addition to comfort level the extra 9 basis points for international investing also matters. Almost tripling expenses adds up.
by trasmuss
Mon Oct 19, 2015 4:05 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retirees doing 50/50
Replies: 35
Views: 5546

Re: Retirees doing 50/50

I'm 65 and have been retired 3 1/2 years. We went 50-50 before retirement and plan to stay that way indefinitely. I found that 66% stocks was more than I liked going into the 2000 bear market. I can handle 50-50 without losing sleep. Reading the book by Ben Stein "Yes Boomers Can Retire" h...
by trasmuss
Sun Oct 18, 2015 5:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SS File Suspend then file restricted for spouse
Replies: 8
Views: 1294

Re: SS File Suspend then file restricted for spouse

Getting about $8,000 cash now for an income stream of less than $30 a month in four years sounds like a pretty good deal. I don't remember the exact amount but it was two spousal payments and two of my payments (before suspension). I agree that having to decide this while sitting in front of her as ...
by trasmuss
Sat Oct 17, 2015 7:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SS File Suspend then file restricted for spouse
Replies: 8
Views: 1294

Re: SS File Suspend then file restricted for spouse

Thanks for the information. It does soften the blow.

I still missed August and September, however, so I still missed out on about $2500. Hopefully my post will help someone in similar circumstances.
by trasmuss
Sat Oct 17, 2015 7:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SS File Suspend then file restricted for spouse
Replies: 8
Views: 1294

SS File Suspend then file restricted for spouse

My wife reached full retirement age (FRA) in August. I will reach it in December. I thought I had fully researched the subject and went with the plan for me to file and suspend when I reached FRA and then to have my wife file a restricted application for spousal benefits only. Then we would both con...
by trasmuss
Sun Oct 11, 2015 9:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How are Medicare Part B premiums paid if one is not drawing SS
Replies: 24
Views: 2247

Re: How are Medicare Part B premiums paid if one is not drawing SS

In my experience they bill me quarterly. I then use a cash back credit card to pay the bill. In 4 years when I start social security I'll have it taken out of social security for convenience. I do have the option of having it taken out of my checking account; perhaps if I would have chosen that opti...
by trasmuss
Mon May 25, 2015 3:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Window replacement -- Renewal by Andersen?
Replies: 31
Views: 5875

Re: Window replacement -- Renewal by Andersen?

About 12 years ago we had all 10 windows of our house replaced with Renewal by Anderson. No regrets. They were expensive (about $1k per window) but we've been happy with the quality. A lot depends upon how long you plan to live in the house.
by trasmuss
Tue May 19, 2015 9:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Las Vegas visit ( first time)
Replies: 38
Views: 5535

Re: Las Vegas visit ( first time)

I loved Valley of Fire state park. If you go there try to rent "The Professionals" with Lee Marvin and watch it before going. The narrow canyon scene was filmed there and is one of the hikes you can go on (I think it had the word white in it. I also enjoyed visiting the Gold and Silver Paw...
by trasmuss
Mon May 04, 2015 9:21 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Monthly Income Funds
Replies: 12
Views: 2009

Re: Monthly Income Funds

Fidelity also has (or used to) a Minnesota muni fund.
by trasmuss
Fri May 01, 2015 6:58 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Financial Plan Under the New [ 0.3% ] Fee
Replies: 33
Views: 7423

Re: Vanguard Financial Plan Under the New .03% Fee

I find it interesting that the allocation to international stocks and bonds matches Vanguard's old recommendations (e.g. 30% of stocks for international) and not the new (40% of stocks for international). The Target Retirement funds still seem to match the old also (at least the 2015 fund). I can se...
by trasmuss
Tue Mar 31, 2015 8:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [living in] Minneapolis-St. Paul
Replies: 55
Views: 5321

Re: [living in] Minneapolis-St. Paul

I've lived in a suburb of the TC for 50 years (and 15 years before that in Eau Claire Wisconsin which has basically the same weather). You didn't mention where you have lived. I would give you the same advice that I would give someone thinking of moving to Florida or Arizona. Pick the month that you...
by trasmuss
Wed Mar 25, 2015 7:41 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: One single investment in a taxable account
Replies: 10
Views: 2035

Re: One single investment in a taxable account

I am retired and have both the Index 500 and Total Stock fund in my taxable account. I am receiving dividends from both and am happy with both. I am in the 15% tax bracket so the dividends are currently tax free. Your current tax bracket may or may not be relevant once you retire depending upon your...
by trasmuss
Tue Mar 10, 2015 4:36 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to create a 3% return portfolio?
Replies: 52
Views: 7273

Re: How to create a 3% return portfolio?

Has anyone purchase annuities through Vanguard? Does this provide an extra level of security or are they simply brokers? Thanks. Vanguard don't sell the annuities themselves, you get quotes from big insurance companies like Principal and Omaha, but if you have a pension you probably don't need an S...
by trasmuss
Fri Mar 06, 2015 4:49 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Reasons not to use Total Bond Market?
Replies: 83
Views: 9749

Re: Reasons not to use Total Bond Market?

Currently the yield on Total Bond is 2.09% and the yield on Intermediate Term Investment Grade (often cited for representing corporates) is 2.39%. That isn't much of a difference. So at this time I have 100% in Total Bond. But as Taylor has said many times; any short or intermediate term high quali...