Search found 1139 matches

by sommerfeld
Fri Nov 21, 2014 6:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard web site changes
Replies: 51
Views: 9206

Re: Vanguard web site changes

Looks like two-factor is live now. I've enabled it. You're prompted for a phone number that can receive text messages, and Vanguard sends a text message with a 6-digit code to that number; you have to enter that number into the website before it's enabled (and this presumably prevents you from being...
by sommerfeld
Mon Nov 17, 2014 6:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: first RMD from death benefit rollover?
Replies: 1
Views: 537

first RMD from death benefit rollover?

I'm helping an elderly relative with her finances. Her husband died earlier this year and she has just received a pension death benefit from his pension; rather than take it immediately as taxable income, she had the option to roll it into an IRA, and that's what she did. (The death benefit appears ...
by sommerfeld
Mon Jun 16, 2014 4:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: SEC Investing Alert: Bitcoin and Other Virtual Currency
Replies: 10
Views: 1615

Re: SEC Investing Alert: Bitcoin and Other Virtual Currency

Today it appears Bitcoin isn't so much a currency without a central authority, as it is a currency which is dependent on not having one: ... There is only way [ sic ] to hack the entire Bitcoin network, which has continued to hum along in the face of numerous Bitcoin business failures. It involves ...
by sommerfeld
Fri Jun 06, 2014 8:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POLL: Do/did you get a match? How much?
Replies: 67
Views: 5730

Re: POLL: Do/did you get a match? How much?

at my employer, the 401(k) employer match is based only on the dollar amount contributed by the employee. Regardless of your base salary, you get 1:1 until you contribute $3000/year; you get a flat $3000 if you contribute between $3000 and $6000, and you get 50% between $6000 and $17500/year; if you...
by sommerfeld
Tue May 27, 2014 7:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bitcoin Info [Investing in Cryptocurrencies]
Replies: 8
Views: 1615

Re: Bitcoin Info [Investing in Cryptocurrencies]

You can't put a bitcoin in a wallet or purse. Just binary code. Incorrect: http://www.wired.com/2014/01/casascius-back/ Those things (and other things like "paper" bitcoin wallets) are more analogous to safe deposit box keys than currency. What actually counts is what's in the committed transaction...
by sommerfeld
Sat May 17, 2014 4:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do I plan for NO Social Security
Replies: 42
Views: 3613

Re: Do I plan for NO Social Security

It's easy to make up the shortfall, just increase your return by 1%. The point is that it's impossible to save and project with precision, so you save as much as you can with some balance in your life. Fwiw, no SS is just as foolish as assuming 100% of SS. Likely to be somewhere in between. I would...
by sommerfeld
Wed May 14, 2014 4:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Newest, hottest investment fad....
Replies: 31
Views: 5588

Re: Newest, hottest investment fad....

There's a very good reason that index funds are only a few decades old. The computing power necessary to calculate the NAV and perform the accounting on a nightly basis just didn't exist before then. A colleague of mine shared this link today and I wasted entire too much time looking at it: High Sp...
by sommerfeld
Fri Apr 11, 2014 5:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: heartbleed - widespread internet security problem
Replies: 175
Views: 36132

Re: heartbleed - widespread internet security problem

The government agency tasked with defense of the nation's technical infrastructure knew of and even exploited the bug. The NSA now explicitly denies this: Reports that NSA or any other part of the government were aware of the so-called Heartbleed vulnerability before April 2014 are wrong. The Feder...
by sommerfeld
Thu Nov 07, 2013 5:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard implements 20 character passwords
Replies: 69
Views: 13226

Re: Vanguard implements 20 character passwords

Brute force hacking happens when the hackers get the password file or some other encrypted file. They can try billions of passwords/sec at their leisure on their own computers (i.e. not through the web interface). They can rent cloud computing resources from Amazon for supercomputer capabilities. T...
by sommerfeld
Thu Oct 24, 2013 4:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard: authorizing transfers between spouses?
Replies: 7
Views: 1431

Re: Vanguard: authorizing transfers between spouses?

I have exchanged from my taxable to our joint account, then to my wife's IRA. I have done that several years in a row all online. But you are wanting to exchange from your taxable to joint to her taxable. I don't know if that makes a difference or not. It appears to make a difference (transfers int...
by sommerfeld
Wed Oct 23, 2013 6:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard: authorizing transfers between spouses?
Replies: 7
Views: 1431

Re: Vanguard: authorizing transfers between spouses?

Transfers between accounts, especially within the same address, are extremely easy to do. I can only tell you what I've done, and I cannot claim to be a Vanguard expert on this, but the first step is for both of you to sign for Voice Recognition. Once you've both done that, it opens up a lot of opt...
by sommerfeld
Wed Oct 23, 2013 5:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard: authorizing transfers between spouses?
Replies: 7
Views: 1431

Vanguard: authorizing transfers between spouses?

We've signed agent authorization forms for each other, so I can transact within her accounts just fine. But it seems like the only way to move money between the accounts without speaking to a human at Vanguard is by bouncing it through a linked bank account. I tried setting up a joint account. Eithe...
by sommerfeld
Wed Aug 14, 2013 1:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What would happen if we stopped printing money?
Replies: 32
Views: 4626

Re: What would happen if we stopped printing money?

Currency shortages happen from time to time during periods of economic dislocation. What happens? People & businesses make their own local substitutes which get used until the currency shortage eases. A local family-owned pharmacy has a framed clamshell on its wall that was issued by the pharmacy as...
by sommerfeld
Mon Jul 22, 2013 6:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: bitcoin bust; bitcoin etf
Replies: 52
Views: 6799

Re: bitcoin bust; bitcoin etf

So when it comes to anonymity, i want to clarify some things. The "ledger" that shows every transaction does not show the IP address. You are all correct in being concerned about the idea of the IP address being shown, as that is a relatively easy way to actually identify a person. The way that Cry...
by sommerfeld
Tue Apr 23, 2013 4:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are bitcoins something like internet tulips?
Replies: 62
Views: 5552

Re: Are bitcoins something like internet tulips?

Who mines the bitcoins? And how did they get there in the first place to be had? How easy is it to steal someones bitcoins? it's halfway between a contest or lottery. During each round (every 10 minutes, I believe) the "miners" compete to produce the "best" answers to a specific type of puzzle. Giv...
by sommerfeld
Mon Apr 22, 2013 3:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are bitcoins something like internet tulips?
Replies: 62
Views: 5552

Re: Are bitcoins something like internet tulips?

Could someone please explain what this so-called currency is? What can people supposedly buy with it? It sounds to me like some over-hyped sleight of hand, but it is being discussed more often on some sites. I could be wrong, but my gut feeling says avoid and run away. Ignoring the cryptographic as...
by sommerfeld
Mon Apr 22, 2013 2:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are bitcoins something like internet tulips?
Replies: 62
Views: 5552

Re: Are bitcoins something like internet tulips?

He mined all of the Bitcoins using his graphics card in his PC so to him it has been free money. If I were you I'd have him buy a Kill-a-watt meter (or equivalent) from Amazon, hook it up to his PC and charge him for the power he's using to generate the bitcoins - and charge him extra if he's doing...
by sommerfeld
Sat Mar 16, 2013 3:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [POLL] What would you like Vanguard to change or improve?
Replies: 92
Views: 8660

Re: [POLL] What would you like Vanguard to change or improve

Security please. My gmail has a 2-step authentication. My life's savings has a small password which could be brute forced in several weeks (can't actually do better at Vanguard -- not enough characters). It makes me want to leave them, my email is more secure. Sad. Indeed. What I specifically want ...
by sommerfeld
Sat Mar 16, 2013 3:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Dave Ramsey Defends His Investment Advice
Replies: 120
Views: 18065

Re: Dave Ramsey Defends His Investment Advice

It would be nice to put together a concise statement for Ramsey followers who may want to understand where he and the Bogleheads differ. How about something like this? ----- From the Boglehead perspective, Ramsey's investing advice ranges from very good to very bad. The very good: Ramsey suggests t...
by sommerfeld
Tue Mar 12, 2013 3:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: VTSAX Capital Gains
Replies: 11
Views: 2371

Re: VTSAX Capital Gains

I am reviewing my fund selections towards the 3 fund solution and saw something that I am not sure of. It's this. VTSAX, the total stock market fund has not distributed capital gains for the past 2 years yet my understanding is that it is a crucial component of the 3 fund solution. It hasn't distri...
by sommerfeld
Sat Mar 09, 2013 2:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Admiral Funds
Replies: 23
Views: 2631

Re: Admiral Funds

In that time period, Wellesley Admiral gained 0.20% and Investor gained 0.16%. This would be because less of your investment went to the fee, correct? Or is there a different make-up of the two funds? Both share classes should have the same holdings in the same proportions. The Admiral shares gaine...
by sommerfeld
Wed Feb 06, 2013 10:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: specifics of credit card balances and FICO score
Replies: 11
Views: 1142

Re: specifics of credit card balances and FICO score

The reason why I'm asking is trying to figure out which credit card to pay off for first or should I pay off both credit cards equally. Thanks. If possible, pay them both off immediately. Failing that, pay off the one with the smaller balance first while paying the minimum on the other. If they're ...
by sommerfeld
Wed Feb 06, 2013 10:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Inherited trusts etc, want to build a house
Replies: 16
Views: 1021

Re: Inherited trusts etc, want to build a house

As I understand it, if we withdraw enough to simply buy the house, we will have to claim those funds as income on top of any ACTUAL income we have for the year, effectively making it appear as though we are in the highest bracket come tax time. That sounds correct for an IRA (as they're generally a...
by sommerfeld
Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Would one need to rebalance 45% VTSMX, 55% VGTSX?
Replies: 9
Views: 1631

Re: Would one need to rebalance 45% VTSMX, 55% VGTSX?

... it suddenly seemed to dawn on me that if you held a domestic and an international index fund in the same percentages as their world market cap--e.g. 45% Fidelity Spartan Total Stock Index and 55% Spartan Global ex-US Index, or 45% Vanguard Total Stock Market Index and 55% Vanguard Total Interna...
by sommerfeld
Sat Jan 05, 2013 1:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: what are your 401k's admin expenses?
Replies: 28
Views: 6742

Re: what are your 401k's admin expenses?

Fees Associated With the Plan – Vanguard-based and administered. It is likely one of the lowest cost benchmarks out there… :moneybag “MegaHugeBigCorp pays certain plan-related fees and expenses, participants are charged for certain administrative fees. Administrative fees may include trustee, recor...
by sommerfeld
Thu Dec 20, 2012 10:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Jump in Vanguard Total Stock Market Dividend
Replies: 34
Views: 5193

Re: Jump in Vanguard Total Stock Market Dividend

Some companies have done special dividends, others have pulled in multiple quarters, and yes, some have moved Q12013 to Q42012. Hard to know what dividends will look like next year. I will probably assume (for tax purposes) a fall back to something between 2011 and the 2012 run rate before the Q4 c...
by sommerfeld
Sat Dec 15, 2012 3:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Expense Ratios
Replies: 62
Views: 6207

Re: Expense Ratios

Those of you with weighted averages around 15 bps and below... are you all 3-funder's, hold a lot of individual bonds/CD's with no ER, etc? How are you able to get the average so low? My wife and I both work at places which include Vanguard Institutional Plus shares in their 401(k)s; having much of...
by sommerfeld
Fri Dec 07, 2012 6:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Random Stock Portfolio (would this work?)
Replies: 29
Views: 2293

Re: Random Stock Portfolio (would this work?)

So you basically take your money and buy a large number of completely random stocks. So, this part is a good idea, at least for certain definition of "completely random". And the market already provides this product for you... "The Fund invests by sampling the Index, meaning that it holds a broadly...
by sommerfeld
Fri Nov 23, 2012 1:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Planet Money: Why Coke cost a nickel for 70 years
Replies: 60
Views: 8056

Re: Planet Money: Why Coke cost a nickel for 70 years

American boiler ring coffee is a horror-- boiled and burnt to a taste of despair. In all fairness, percolated boiled-to-death coffee has been a distant memory in the USA for much of my own life. While there are a number of coffee chains across the USA that sell essentially coffee flavored dessert d...
by sommerfeld
Wed Sep 19, 2012 5:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Gold risk - fake bar in NYC - now TEN more 9/23
Replies: 60
Views: 5981

Re: Gold risk - fake bar in NYC

I'm a little surprised that the gold dealer in the story needed to drill a hole. well, I don't own gold as an investment or hedge or whatever. But if I suspected a bar was fraudulent based on the results of a non-destructive test I'd want to confirm my finding with a destructive test with witnesses...
by sommerfeld
Wed Sep 19, 2012 3:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Poll] My Defined Contribution Workplace Retirement Plan...
Replies: 21
Views: 1455

Re: [Poll] My Defined Contribution Workplace Retirement Plan

Generous employee match; access to Vanguard Institutional and Institutional Plus share classes.

If I were put in charge I'd swap out Institutional Index in favor of TSM, but that's the only change I'd make.
by sommerfeld
Thu Sep 13, 2012 11:56 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: who's to blame for Facebook [stock price] losses?
Replies: 28
Views: 2028

Re: who's to blame for Facebook [stock price] losses?

'While it's sad that investors have seen $50 billion disappear..." naive question: if 'investors' (traders?) lost $50 billion, didnt someone (other investors/traders/whomever) GAIN $50 billion in theses trades ??? or did the money just vanish into thin air ??? never confuse "market cap" with real m...
by sommerfeld
Sun Sep 09, 2012 8:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Purchasing an apartment while being a student. Bad idea?
Replies: 9
Views: 1389

Re: Purchasing an apartment while being a student. Bad idea?

I'm a student, I live in Scandinavia, and am wondering if I should buy an apartment. Our house prices have gone up about 500% the last 20 years, and people seem to think there's no end in sight. Renting is considered a fools game, rent is about 25% higher than the costs of an equal standard/size ap...
by sommerfeld
Sun Sep 09, 2012 2:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Science PhD --> Engineering?
Replies: 62
Views: 6193

Re: Science PhD --> Engineering?

With my background in (and love of) math, physics, programming, fluid mechanics, and thermodynamics, I've been thinking I might be very happy as an engineer and am currently exploring this route. Not only could I live almost anywhere, but the salary is typically good. My first question: which field...
by sommerfeld
Wed Sep 05, 2012 12:14 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: gold, what if scenario
Replies: 126
Views: 7862

Re: gold, what if scenario

With all gold talk, doesn't scare you that supply may become infinite. For example we could find it on another planet,find away to easily extract it ,find away to reproduce it or something else along this line?or is this to far fetched Planetary Resources (planetaryresources.com) is a startup aimin...
by sommerfeld
Fri May 18, 2012 2:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Facebook: The smart money exits
Replies: 96
Views: 10985

Re: Facebook: The smart money exits

Good thing about Facebook, of course is, unlike the domestic steel industry, it can't be outsourced to the Far East... There's actually something to that - datacenters are best located on the same continent as their users; the speed of light is finite and transoceanic cables aren't cheap. But aside...
by sommerfeld
Tue May 15, 2012 1:37 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Another way to look at the Facebook IPO
Replies: 29
Views: 2605

Re: Another way to look at the Facebook IPO

I'm actually flabbergasted that Facebook's assets and revenues are large enough to be visible when on the same linear scale as Ford's. What assets does Facebook have? Server equipment? I'd have thought they were close to a 100%-labor operation... They're operating at a scale where you measure capac...
by sommerfeld
Sun Mar 11, 2012 3:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why is home equity not considered part of a portfolio?
Replies: 57
Views: 3396

Re: Why is home equity not considered part of a portfolio?

If thought of as an investment and part of your portfolio, what is the expected real return? The long term return is about zero net of inflation, and almost certainly negative net of inflation, real estate taxes, insurance, upkeep etc If you're going to count a house you own and live in as part of ...
by sommerfeld
Fri Jan 20, 2012 4:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: POLL: At what net-worth does an individual become wealthy?
Replies: 78
Views: 7961

Re: POLL: At what net-worth does an individual become wealth

sscritic wrote:Wealthy is not having to think before you spend money. I can't do that yet, so I am not wealthy.
By that standard, I might never be wealthy.
by sommerfeld
Thu Dec 29, 2011 11:50 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Extraordinary Popular Delusion of Bubble Spotting
Replies: 127
Views: 9563

Re: The Extraordinary Popular Delusion of Bubble Spotting

K'zoo wrote:What looks like a bubble to me is college tuition. Got all the markings.
You're not the first to make that observation. Do a search for Higher Education Bubble...
by sommerfeld
Sat Nov 19, 2011 3:42 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How do hedge funds obtain high leverage?
Replies: 12
Views: 2030

Re: How do hedge funds obtain high leverage?

this sounds volatile and dangerous, have safeguards been put into place There are safeguards. Are the safeguards sufficient to deal with a worst-case failure? almost certainly not. Read "How Genius Failed", about the decline and fall of Long Term Capital Management. hypothetically: LTCM would post ...
by sommerfeld
Sat Nov 19, 2011 3:25 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is Interest a Scam?
Replies: 49
Views: 4047

Re: Is Interest a Scam?

"Wealth" is not money. Banks create and uncreate money as needed to facilitate the exchange of wealth. In a fractional reserve banking system, new "money" is created not by banks but by the combined action of borrowers and lenders. In the most basic form, a borrower signs a note promising to pay ba...
by sommerfeld
Mon Nov 14, 2011 7:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Scary movies are a threat to buy-and-hold investing
Replies: 3
Views: 562

Re: Scary movies are a threat to buy-and-hold investing

If anyone in the lab sold his/her stock, the stock price would go down in the next period, but if no one sold, the value of the stock would go up.
thus biasing results to reward fearful, bearish behavior.
by sommerfeld
Sat Oct 29, 2011 1:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costs of Full-Service Movers?
Replies: 30
Views: 2465

Re: Costs of Full-Service Movers?

For a transcontinental move (Boston to San Jose) I hired ABF/U-Pack to do the long-haul transport, and local movers at the origin to pack the trailer. (I was able to get enough volunteer help at the destination for unloading). u-pack delivers an empty semi-trailer and a loading ramp, gives you 2-3 d...
by sommerfeld
Sat Oct 22, 2011 12:57 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Android app for this forum?
Replies: 15
Views: 3615

Re: Android app for this forum?

a quick search turned up: http://www.tapatalk.com/ (requires forum admins to install a plugin) http://androidforums.com/android-applications/59299-phpbb-vbulletin-forum-client.html mentiones tapatalk and an app called bbfoc; I tried bbfoc on my Nexus S, and it seems to find posts just fine. Point it...
by sommerfeld
Thu Oct 20, 2011 8:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: IRS announces pension plan limits for 2012
Replies: 21
Views: 2545

Re: IRS announces pension plan limits for 2012

natureexplorer wrote:Bummer, $17,000.00 is not a multiple of 24. I guess I will only be contributing $16,999.92.
Can't cope with an extra $0.16 in your last paycheck of the year?
($17000.00 = $708.34 * 23 + $708.18)
by sommerfeld
Thu Oct 20, 2011 2:14 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bitcoin value falls 90% since June
Replies: 15
Views: 1581

Re: Bitcoin value falls 90% since June

operating profit is highly dependent on the mining rig (GPU type, # of GPUs), local electricity cost, and also weren't there ASIC's being developed specifically for this? I was curious about this - I had little difficulty finding forum posts where people have claimed to have heard of others buildin...
by sommerfeld
Sat Oct 15, 2011 1:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Treasury Direct Access Card
Replies: 39
Views: 11846

see this post from a VP at Google about the real-world threats facing fixed passwords: https://plus.google.com/100873628951632372330/posts/Fvr2rCPiPUu "Every day we thwart tens of thousands of hijacking attempts where the hijacker has the correct account password. We've occasionally had attackers wi...
by sommerfeld
Tue Aug 09, 2011 9:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: change in markets represent change in total capital?
Replies: 6
Views: 864

Re: change in markets represent change in total capital?

Certainly this can't be true since it is just a transfer of money when the value of a market changes. Can someone clarify this point for me more eloquently? ok, simplified example ignoring transaction costs, etc, etc., FooCorp goes public at $10/share, selling 1000 shares. Investors, collectively, ...