Search found 155 matches

by workerbeeengineer
Fri Jan 03, 2020 10:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Writing a will / estate planning / when does it make sense to use a trust?
Replies: 26
Views: 2730

Re: Writing a will / estate planning / when does it make sense to use a trust?

As someone who started looking at trusts myself recently, I found Beyond the Grave to be highly readable, engaging so that my spouse also was interested in reading the book. It is a lot like hearing the gossip in your neighborhood or circle but it also brings up potential problems you have assuredl...
by workerbeeengineer
Tue Dec 31, 2019 12:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Boston condo purchase and renovation experience?
Replies: 21
Views: 1392

Re: Boston condo purchase and renovation experience?

In addition to permits, are there any Condo Association rules governing your possible renovation?
by workerbeeengineer
Mon Nov 25, 2019 11:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Michelin vs Toyota tires for Corolla?
Replies: 31
Views: 2851

Re: Michelin vs Toyota tires for Corolla?

Our 2008 Highlander Hybrid came equipped with Toyo tires. Very quiet, but that was due to very soft rubber that did not hold up to even 20000 miles. In our case, we accept a bit more noise for a more durable tire.
by workerbeeengineer
Fri Nov 22, 2019 9:52 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Nevada's Vanguard 529 Savings Plan Downgrade by M*
Replies: 2
Views: 651

Re: Nevada's Vanguard 529 Savings Plan Downgrade by M*

We are in the draw-down phase with our child’s 529. We’ve been very pleased with the Vanguard Nevada plan since we transferred from the California ScholarShare plan over a decade ago. As already mentioned, I greatly appreciate the unified view of the 529 plan with my workplace retirement account. In...
by workerbeeengineer
Tue Oct 15, 2019 11:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FAFSA - tips for filling out
Replies: 25
Views: 2678

Re: FAFSA - tips for filling out

On a practical level, the IRS data transfer works very well. Still need your 2018 Fed tax return handy as not everything transfers over. I have to say we have not tried to do any asset transfers or anything like that. Expected Family Contribution (EFC) has been about double the annual cost of the re...
by workerbeeengineer
Mon Oct 14, 2019 7:41 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Helping 23-year-old with first 401K: 2 questions
Replies: 17
Views: 1147

Re: Helping 23-year-old with first 401K: 2 questions

1. I believe one extra benefit of Roths is that they can function somewhat as an emergency fund. However, that could also be a downside in that one could be tempted to withdraw funds from a Roth for something that is not really an emergency. 2. As already mentioned, not much difference in performanc...
by workerbeeengineer
Sun Oct 06, 2019 8:53 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Michael Kitces investment strategy -- opinions?
Replies: 48
Views: 4504

Re: Michael Kitces investment strategy -- opinions?

I agree that now is a very challenging time to retire, given high valuations and low interest rates (which might possibly go negative in a few years). I'm a few years out, and am sitting at an AA of 50/50 stocks/bonds. I read Pfau's book, as well as McClung’s (I basically agree with his harvesting a...
by workerbeeengineer
Thu Sep 19, 2019 6:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long Term FAFSA/College Strategy
Replies: 150
Views: 9198

Re: Long Term FAFSA/College Strategy

Savings bonds (check to see if I-Bonds have that "untaxed if used for education" feature) and 529 savings thus seem prudent. Not at the OP's income. I-bonds follow the same rules as EE bonds for education, FWIW. Agree! We are sitting on a pile of savings bonds, but income too high for the tax break...
by workerbeeengineer
Sun Jul 21, 2019 7:10 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 529 savings if not used
Replies: 6
Views: 1068

Re: 529 savings if not used

Is your decision to open or not open a 529 plan contingent on the answers you receive to the two scenarios of “kid does not go to college” or “ kid receives 100% aid”? IMO, those are rather extreme cases. Much more likely that you child goes to college, and perhaps receives some aid. So, a reasonabl...
by workerbeeengineer
Sat Jul 06, 2019 9:14 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Freedom 100 EM etf
Replies: 1
Views: 508

Re: Freedom 100 EM etf

I’ve been looking into this ETF as a replacement for Vanguard EM fund. I did not feel comfortable with thirty plus percent China exposure for various reasons.
by workerbeeengineer
Sun Jun 23, 2019 7:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Book: Living off Your Money, by M. McClung (Prime Harvesting)]
Replies: 470
Views: 122756

Re: [Book: Living off Your Money, by M. McClung (Prime Harvesting)]

I second that! Would be great to hear from someone who is following the strategy.
by workerbeeengineer
Mon Jun 17, 2019 11:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Pointless to own Emerging Markets fund if already own International?
Replies: 9
Views: 996

Re: Pointless to own Emerging Markets fund if already own International?

I reviewed Vanguard Total International and Ex-US Small Cap funds a few months ago. Both had 20% in Emerging Markets. I was holding equal percentages in those two funds and Vanguard EM fund. So in my view, I was tilting more towards EM more than I wanted. If my math is correct, instead of one third ...
by workerbeeengineer
Thu Jun 13, 2019 7:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Toyota Sienna tire replacement at 12k miles
Replies: 72
Views: 4800

Re: Toyota Sienna tire replacement at 12k miles

"Type" of tire has a lot to do with mileage received. On a previous small car, it came with "High Performance" tires. The original tires did not last a long time. I learned that "high performance" tires cost twice as much as "normal" tires and last half as long. Lose - lose (; Yes, performance tire...
by workerbeeengineer
Fri May 31, 2019 7:58 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: David Swensen Unconventional Success
Replies: 123
Views: 13912

Re: David Swensen Unconventional Success

Right after Swensen provides his well diversified equity oriented portfolio, he talks about "The Art of Personalization". He indicates that personal preferences play a pivotal role, and mentions as an example Emerging Markets. If an investor does not really feel comfortable with an EM component in h...
by workerbeeengineer
Mon May 06, 2019 12:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Educational pathway(s) for future engineer
Replies: 89
Views: 4591

Re: Educational pathway(s) for future engineer

My experience: Co-ops are good if you can get internships. Masters typically isn’t worthwhile. You need at least 1 internship/coop. Faster graduation is key (earn way more than taking more time to do a coop) Study abroad can be fun, growing experience. I’d encourage if the kid wants to and you can ...
by workerbeeengineer
Thu Apr 25, 2019 11:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Spread Sheets [for retirement planning]
Replies: 15
Views: 2071

Re: Spread Sheets

My spreadsheet is very big (spouse has a hard time looking at it), has many calculations (they are not too complicated), and is an ongoing project. The main thing is that I have a column for each account, another column for the amount I will be pulling from each account, a column for anticipated/in...
by workerbeeengineer
Sat Apr 20, 2019 5:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vacation home experiences?
Replies: 35
Views: 3816

Re: Vacation home experiences?

In my younger days, I bought a lakefront property that was fairly close to my parents. Cross- country air travel for myself. I did not own a primary home at that point. Held it for several years. Parents got most of the use, which was fine. I sold it, after buying a primary residence, for a decent p...
by workerbeeengineer
Wed Feb 13, 2019 5:19 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: ER as function of Morningstar Rating?
Replies: 2
Views: 220

ER as function of Morningstar Rating?

Setting aside question of value added of active management....I was looking at Fidelity Contra Fund (FCNTX). I believe the Morningstar rating for the fund had been 4 stars. But what I see now is that it carries a 3 star rating. ER is 0.74%, which was increased a few years ago from about 0.65% or the...
by workerbeeengineer
Wed Feb 06, 2019 8:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home Warranty
Replies: 27
Views: 1649

Re: Home Warranty

My experience same as most here. The home we purchased 20+ years ago had a Warranty. Garage door motor problem couple of days after we moved in. Tried to use the Warranty...ended up buying completely new door, motor, etc out of our own pocket. Painful at the time since we had very little cash after ...
by workerbeeengineer
Sat Feb 02, 2019 8:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Unpleasant surprise 2018 Federal Tax - high level overview?
Replies: 114
Views: 16856

Re: Unpleasant surprise 2018 Federal Tax - high level overview?

Our situation is pretty close to the OP’s. In our case, TurboTax indicates we will have to pay a very modest under withholding penalty. TT does provide an option of submiting another IRS form (Form 2110 or something close). That Form has options to request a waiver. One waiver reason choice is basic...
by workerbeeengineer
Wed Jan 16, 2019 10:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: John Bogle has died at age 89
Replies: 856
Views: 58705

Re: John Bogle has died at age 89

A giant! RIP
by workerbeeengineer
Tue Jan 15, 2019 8:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: PG&E Bonds
Replies: 49
Views: 5839

Re: PG&E Bonds

Realize this thread is speaking to PG&E bonds, but I’m curious on BH views on the stock. That is, will PG&E declare bankruptcy with stockholders wiped out? I don’t know about bankruptcy, but it isn’t a utility stock I would buy. Obviously too much risk for a sector considered “bond like.” Can’t ima...
by workerbeeengineer
Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:40 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: PG&E Bonds
Replies: 49
Views: 5839

Re: PG&E Bonds

Realize this thread is speaking to PG&E bonds, but I’m curious on BH views on the stock. That is, will PG&E declare bankruptcy with stockholders wiped out?
by workerbeeengineer
Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:02 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Help picking husband's 401k investments
Replies: 17
Views: 1148

Re: Help picking husband's 401k investments

xwafflesx, One thing I don't see mentioned, but perhaps I overlooked it or it's discussed in the links provided in various responses...I would suggest coming at this from a combined portfolio perspective rather than his and your portfolios in isolation. Decide on your risk tolerance and asset alloca...
by workerbeeengineer
Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:14 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Is my 529 glide path too aggressive?
Replies: 20
Views: 1786

Re: Is my 529 glide path too aggressive?

In my opinion, investing/ saving for college is pretty different than saving for retirement. Your time horizons for both the accumulation and drawdown phases are much much shorter. So that implies a bias to the conservative side for me. We started transitioning to an increasing conservative asset al...
by workerbeeengineer
Sun Jan 06, 2019 7:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: United, American Airlines, Delta--about the same?
Replies: 144
Views: 8731

Re: United, American, Delta--about the same?

Speaking as someone who's flown over a million miles on American and flies a decent amount for work (between 20-50 flights a year, sometimes more): If you A) don't have an allegiance to a specific airline, B) you hardly ever fly, and C) don't live in a hub city for one of the major airlines, just p...
by workerbeeengineer
Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:35 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Absurd Adviser Fees!
Replies: 16
Views: 2896

Re: Absurd Adviser Fees!

I wonder if William Sharpe has any opinion on the merger of his old company with Edelman, as well as the fees being charged?
by workerbeeengineer
Sun Dec 30, 2018 1:09 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 4 Year Time Horizon for Down-Payment Saving
Replies: 3
Views: 314

Re: 4 Year Time Horizon for Down-Payment Saving

Suggest you review the current thread we have on this forum regarding 3 year horizon for house down payment. Also agree with sport that stocks probably are not appropriate for a shorter term goal such as yours.
by workerbeeengineer
Sun Dec 30, 2018 11:17 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Investing/saving for downpayment in 3 years
Replies: 15
Views: 1105

Re: Investing/saving for downpayment in 3 years

Let's say I invest in a 3-year CD and I then need to take it out in 2.5 years. Would I get fined or lose interest for breaking the CD early, especially the ones offered through Vanguard? The YTD gains for basically all of the bond funds are below average. Should this year's past performance matter ...
by workerbeeengineer
Sun Dec 30, 2018 1:21 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Investing/saving for downpayment in 3 years
Replies: 15
Views: 1105

Re: Investing/saving for downpayment in 3 years

Thanks for all the tips. What do you think of Vanguard Short-Term Corporate Bond Index Fund Admiral Shares (VSCSX) as an investment option for 3 years? Thanks VSCSX currently has 30 day SEC yield of 3.7%. But YTD performance has only been 0.78%. While average duration as of Nov 30 was only 2.7 year...
by workerbeeengineer
Sat Dec 29, 2018 11:53 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Investing/saving for downpayment in 3 years
Replies: 15
Views: 1105

Re: Investing/saving for downpayment in 3 years

If you’re relatively certain of the time horizon, a target maturity bond ETF will likely offer the best risk-adjusted return. For example, IBDM (iShares® iBonds® Dec 2021 Term Corporate ETF) has a yield to maturity of 3.5% with interest rate risk that declines to zero as the target date approaches....
by workerbeeengineer
Sat Dec 29, 2018 11:00 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Investing/saving for downpayment in 3 years
Replies: 15
Views: 1105

Re: Investing/saving for downpayment in 3 years

Per Vanguard website Short Term Treasury Index (VSBSX) has 30 day SEC yield of 2.67%, with average duration of 1.9 years and YTD performance of 1.41%. Short Term Investment Grade Bond (VFSTX) has 30 day yield of 3.31%, with average duration of 2.5 years, but YTD performance of only 0.84%. Those are ...
by workerbeeengineer
Fri Dec 28, 2018 12:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 Withdrawal Calendar/ Academic Year Timing
Replies: 8
Views: 674

Re: 529 Withdrawal Calendar/ Academic Year Timing

We also wanted to avoid the possibility of running afoul of the the IRS wrt the 529 withdrawals. So like others here, we paid the bill for Winter quarter out of other funds. The 529 plan balance covers only a portion of the total cost of attendance at our child’s university, so using other assets wa...
by workerbeeengineer
Fri Dec 28, 2018 11:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FAFSA - is it worth filling out?
Replies: 109
Views: 6851

Re: FAFSA - is it worth filling out?

In our case, we knew our (parents) income and assets were too high to qualify for need based aid. Filled in the FAFSA anyways since DD was applying to both relatively affordable University of California campuses, but also some higher priced privates as well. Two of the three privates also required t...
by workerbeeengineer
Tue Dec 25, 2018 11:01 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Who's buying today? where's all the "dry powder" folks at? :)
Replies: 255
Views: 25665

Re: Whose buying today? where's all the "dry powder" folks at? :)

Okay... So the BHB and BSB studies showed by looking at the top 100 or so pension funds which have access to the top money managers on Wall Street which all use proprietary algorithm by folks with double masters from MIT, Princeton, and Yale as their grunt workers trading at nanosecond speeds ALL a...
by workerbeeengineer
Tue Dec 18, 2018 9:23 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Is anyone's portfolio not tanking???
Replies: 129
Views: 14183

Re: Is anyone's portfolio not tanking???

Hi all WIth the stock market going down.. I would guess that most people are getting hit. I have majority of my retirement investments with Vanguard (just a small amount with fidelity 80K and 53K with Mutual of American in a guaranteed 3% account) I just retired and trying not to take anything out ...
by workerbeeengineer
Tue Dec 18, 2018 9:11 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: The 4% rule
Replies: 71
Views: 6911

Re: The 4% rule

To go in-depth on safe withdrawl rates, also read Michael McClung and/or Wade Pfau.
by workerbeeengineer
Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: So Cal Gas company advice
Replies: 4
Views: 478

So Cal Gas company advice

Trying to understand this from investment point of view and do not want to run afoul of the board moderators from any political/ regulatory rants. We received data/analysis on our gas consumption versus last year. Use this year is up a bit. Follow-up communication (email) from Gas Company on ways we...
by workerbeeengineer
Sun Dec 16, 2018 12:22 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity Contra Fund
Replies: 24
Views: 2511

Re: Fidelity Contra Fund

Fidelity's Contrafund has a heavy tilt toward tech. I believe it had almost 8% in Facebook alone at one point, its largest holding at that time. Tech was certainly where it was at most of the year. However it is huge with 120 bil in assets. When Facebook book started to go south, you and I can sell...
by workerbeeengineer
Sat Dec 15, 2018 10:34 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity Contra Fund
Replies: 24
Views: 2511

Re: Fidelity Contra Fund

I guess part of my concern is that too many people seem to have seen too much value in FANG...but are now violently changing their minds.
by workerbeeengineer
Sat Dec 15, 2018 9:57 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity Contra Fund
Replies: 24
Views: 2511

Fidelity Contra Fund

Majority of the portfolio is in index funds. However, while perhaps not in keeping with BH philosophy, DW and I have a long term position in Fidelity Contra fund. Has done fairly well in the long term, and it’s held in DW’s IRA. We like it since the manager seems to understand the FANG stocks. As ba...
by workerbeeengineer
Sat Dec 08, 2018 11:57 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard TIPS FUND
Replies: 4
Views: 859

Re: Vanguard TIPS FUND

Ahhh...shows my ignorance for sure. Thanks for setting me straight. Any thoughts on the effectiveness of the moves?
by workerbeeengineer
Sat Dec 08, 2018 11:54 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard TIPS FUND
Replies: 4
Views: 859

Vanguard TIPS FUND

Was reviewing the end of June 2018 Semiannual report for VIPSX (yes, I know it’s now December :oops: ). I noted in the discussion on management of the portfolio that there was a long-duration bias at the start of the year. Further indicates that “we shifted out of the position in January...based on ...
by workerbeeengineer
Wed Dec 05, 2018 12:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 Withdrawals - Online vs. Paper Form
Replies: 7
Views: 607

Re: 529 Withdrawals - Online vs. Paper Form

We have Nevada sponsored Vanguard 529 Plan. Have only made qualified withdrawals online, but I believe it would be the same process for non-qualified.
by workerbeeengineer
Sat Nov 17, 2018 8:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Interview with Fidelity's Abigail Johnson
Replies: 28
Views: 3881

Re: Interview with Fidelity's Abigail Johnson

I recall Barron’s either interviewed Abby Johnson or just ran an article on her about 4-6 weeks ago. Must be Bloomberg’s turn this month?
by workerbeeengineer
Mon Nov 12, 2018 10:03 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Financial Engines thru Vanguard
Replies: 14
Views: 2044

Re: Financial Engines thru Vanguard

I have used it in the past. Monte Carlo analysis. As I remember, the tool can analyze your Vanguard assets, plus non-Vanguard assets you manually enter. There is a tutorial within the tool on how it works. If you are not familiar with Monte Carlo techniques, you should step through it. The tool gave...
by workerbeeengineer
Sat Nov 03, 2018 2:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I get vision insurance?
Replies: 39
Views: 4469

Re: Should I get vision insurance?

We have vision coverage, but have “run the numbers” multiple years at open enrollment time to see if it would make sense to drop it. Best we can figure, it’s either a wash or slightly beneficial to carry the coverage for our family of 3. This thread does make me think however...Our Child just starte...
by workerbeeengineer
Tue Oct 30, 2018 10:36 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 529 Asset Allocation question
Replies: 7
Views: 923

Re: 529 Asset Allocation question

Steel, you do not indicate your state of residence. That could enter into your decision process as some states offer state income tax deductions for 529 plan contributions. You can find discussions on that aspect here on BHs or other websites. Assuming that is not a consideration for you, then I'd s...
by workerbeeengineer
Sat Oct 27, 2018 10:18 am
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: Who should I believe?
Replies: 48
Views: 7928

Re: Who should I believe?

Aoiowl, I believe most, but not all, on this forum are in the US. So a different home bias than for yourself. My view is that while US has done very well compared to rest of world, no one can say if that will continue in the future. So my current equities asset allocation is indeed 50% US and 50% Ex...