Search found 359 matches

by billthecat
Thu Jun 06, 2019 9:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bond index funds at risk due to BBB investment grade corporate bonds?
Replies: 10
Views: 949

Bond index funds at risk due to BBB investment grade corporate bonds?

The current issue of On Investing from Schwab includes an article cautioning about corporate bonds, and says, in part: We believe U.S. corporate bond yields are poised to move modestly higher throughout 2019 and into 2020—which could continue to pull prices lower and negatively impact total returns ...
by billthecat
Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:01 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Sell i-bonds?
Replies: 9
Views: 1168

Re: Sell i-bonds?

I am buying I bonds each year to get the most of the annual limit, but those bonds with low fixed rates (0, .1, .2, etc.) going to be sold eventually for a home down payment. I don't think i bonds are worth buying until November, however .5 fixed is pretty solid imho. I think they are a reasonable ...
by billthecat
Fri May 17, 2019 12:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone use Treasury Direct ?
Replies: 34
Views: 1954

Re: Anyone use Treasury Direct ?

yES .. I use and love it .. no problems despite often reading here that some are unhappy ... works perfect with my password manager .. easy login .. easy transfers to and from my bank. I'm curious how it works perfect with your password manager? I'm overall pretty satisfied with Treasury Direct, bu...
by billthecat
Fri May 17, 2019 12:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone use Treasury Direct ?
Replies: 34
Views: 1954

Re: Anyone use Treasury Direct ?

yES .. I use and love it .. no problems despite often reading here that some are unhappy ... works perfect with my password manager .. easy login .. easy transfers to and from my bank. I'm curious how it works perfect with your password manager? I'm overall pretty satisfied with Treasury Direct, bu...
by billthecat
Wed May 15, 2019 11:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 50x minimum expenses to use VPW?
Replies: 28
Views: 4128

Re: 50x minimum expenses to use VPW?

I don't see a way to make cfiresim tell me how long a VPW portfolio will last. Can you provide a description of how you make it do that? Without bounds, cfiresim shows an ending balance of $22-40K (average of $32k) - i.e. zero effectively. My observation was that when I include an upper bound on sp...
by billthecat
Tue May 14, 2019 2:27 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Selling Series I Bonds
Replies: 43
Views: 3980

Re: Selling Series I Bonds

I am considering liquidating my iBonds as they are now over 5 years old. Interest rates show as follows: Jan 2013 - 2.32% Jan 2012 - 2.32% May 2011 - 1.4% I assume the "fixed" rate component is 0% for all these years, correct? So the interest rates I see are "floating" and change every 6 months bas...
by billthecat
Tue May 14, 2019 12:01 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Selling Series I Bonds
Replies: 43
Views: 3980

Re: Selling Series I Bonds

I am considering liquidating my iBonds as they are now over 5 years old. Interest rates show as follows: Jan 2013 - 2.32% Jan 2012 - 2.32% May 2011 - 1.4% I assume the "fixed" rate component is 0% for all these years, correct? So the interest rates I see are "floating" and change every 6 months bas...
by billthecat
Fri May 10, 2019 8:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cfiresim.com not fully working at the moment?
Replies: 14
Views: 981

Re: Cfiresim.com not fully working at the moment?

I was trying to test some asset allocations at www.cfiresim.com but for some reason I only get graphs, and no statistics in numbers. Is there something wrong with the website or am I perhaps doing something wrong? I've tried different browsers with and without adblock. Cfiresim has been abandoned f...
by billthecat
Fri May 10, 2019 2:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cfiresim.com not fully working at the moment?
Replies: 14
Views: 981

Re: Cfiresim.com not fully working at the moment?

I was trying to test some asset allocations at www.cfiresim.com but for some reason I only get graphs, and no statistics in numbers. Is there something wrong with the website or am I perhaps doing something wrong? I've tried different browsers with and without adblock. Make sure the start date is t...
by billthecat
Sat May 04, 2019 12:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 50x minimum expenses to use VPW?
Replies: 28
Views: 4128

Re: 50x minimum expenses to use VPW?

No. VPW is focused on consumption that is variable. You should have a base of other income as an underlying foundation. This includes things like Social Security, a pension, an annuity or a TIPS ladder. The allows you to just get by if you don't have other income. Anything above that level would be...
by billthecat
Wed May 01, 2019 8:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Series I Savings Bonds Buying Opportunity
Replies: 52
Views: 9399

Re: Series I Savings Bonds Buying Opportunity

When I'm wrong, well ... "I was wrong." The Treasury has surprised me in the past by setting odd-ball fixed rates on the I Bond. This one was maybe the biggest surprise, for me, because the data showed a fixed rate of 0.2% to 03% looked much more likely than staying at 0.5%. However, I applaud the ...
by billthecat
Thu Apr 25, 2019 10:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 50x minimum expenses to use VPW?
Replies: 28
Views: 4128

Re: 50x minimum expenses to use VPW?

Does the VPW backtesting allow you to cap the spending at something less than what VPW allows? Yes, I know you don't have to spend what it allows - I'm interested in knowing the backtesting results if I cap the spending. <snip> We can see that it makes essentially no difference, outside of a few ye...
by billthecat
Thu Apr 25, 2019 6:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 50x minimum expenses to use VPW?
Replies: 28
Views: 4128

Re: 50x minimum expenses to use VPW?

No. VPW is focused on consumption that is variable. You should have a base of other income as an underlying foundation. This includes things like Social Security, a pension, an annuity or a TIPS ladder. The allows you to just get by if you don't have other income. Anything above that level would be...
by billthecat
Thu Apr 25, 2019 6:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 50x minimum expenses to use VPW?
Replies: 28
Views: 4128

Re: 50x minimum expenses to use VPW?

As written upthread, the Variable Percentage Withdrawal plan assumes your basic expenses are covered by something other than the part of your portfolio you're managing with VPW . They might be covered by some other part of your portfolio, or by another thing or things. Nice work if you can get it. ...
by billthecat
Wed Apr 24, 2019 12:05 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Schwab municipal bond funds.
Replies: 5
Views: 741

Re: Schwab municipal bond funds.

X528 wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:07 pm
Is there a cheaper and better alternative to SWNTX (Schwab tax-free bond fund) available through Schwab with no transaction fee and low initial minimum investment?
What’s wrong with SWNTX?

Comparison with MUB
by billthecat
Sun Apr 14, 2019 10:55 pm
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: Expat friendly brokerages as of April 2019?
Replies: 8
Views: 1094

Re: Expat friendly brokerages as of April 2019?

At what point are you considered an expat? If you're traveling the world, slowly, 2 mos. here 3 most there, is that considered an expat? And if you are an expat, why not just maintain a US address and phone number? Even without an address, a number of states will aggressively consider you a resident...
by billthecat
Fri Apr 12, 2019 6:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard admiral shares available in Schwab for a lower minimum
Replies: 3
Views: 579

Re: Vanguard admiral shares available in Schwab for a lower minimum

You are right, got this message when I tried to buy - We cannot process your order because shares for this fund are only available to institutional customers.. I had planned to house my taxable account fixed income holdings at Vanguard but when I looked at the comparison using Portfolio Visualizer,...
by billthecat
Fri Apr 12, 2019 3:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard admiral shares available in Schwab for a lower minimum
Replies: 3
Views: 579

Re: Vanguard admiral shares available in Schwab for a lower minimum

I looked up Vanguard California Intermediate-Term Tax-Exempt Fund Admiral Shares (VCADX) - it shows $50k minimum in Vanguard, but Schwab is showing $2.5k minimum. It seems its better to buy in Schwab - is there a catch that I am missing? First, it has a transaction fee. Curious to know how much? Tr...
by billthecat
Sun Apr 07, 2019 8:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The capital gains cliff (27% tax)
Replies: 35
Views: 3387

Re: The capital gains cliff (27% tax)

My plan will be to convert all of my 401k/ira to Roth by the time I am 70. That's slightly different question than "convert at low rates vs. tax gain harvest." You may not want to convert all traditional balances before being subject to RMDs. Depending on your other income (e.g., SS, pension) there...
by billthecat
Sun Apr 07, 2019 3:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The capital gains cliff (27% tax)
Replies: 35
Views: 3387

Re: The capital gains cliff (27% tax)

I started thinking about this when I retire in a few years and will have a pretty substantial 401k/IRA that I want to convert to a Roth over a 15 year period. When playing with the math, I figured if I do capital gains, tax gain harvesting in 1 year creating enough to live on for 2 years, the follo...
by billthecat
Sun Apr 07, 2019 2:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The capital gains cliff (27% tax)
Replies: 35
Views: 3387

Re: The capital gains cliff (27% tax)

Remember interest from tax-free bonds is included in the computation of Modified AGI to determine how much SS is taxed. Sure but I'm trying to deal with what to do about the unused "A" space before collecting social security. I don't want it to go to waste. And anyway it won't be a problem in my ca...
by billthecat
Sun Apr 07, 2019 2:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The capital gains cliff (27% tax)
Replies: 35
Views: 3387

Re: The capital gains cliff (27% tax)

This post is to highlight the capital gains cliff that occurs when jumping from the 0% to the 15% capital gains tax bracket. I will do this in what I hope is a simple example for 2018: top of 12% tax bracket in 2018 is $77,400 lets assume: $50k in long term capital gains or qualified dividends $51,...
by billthecat
Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thinking of selling my financed iPhone XS Max and going back to Android...
Replies: 40
Views: 2569

Re: Thinking of selling my financed iPhone XS Max and going back to Android...

kjvmartin wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 9:01 am
mortfree wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 8:36 am
Buyers remorse.

Keep the iPhone.
I miss TouchID and do not care as much for FaceID because it's harder to use in low light in the morning and incognito during a meeting.
FaceID doesn’t use ambient light; it will work in pitch black.
by billthecat
Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:34 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Larry Swedroe: Benefits Of International Diversification
Replies: 86
Views: 6846

Re: Larry Swedroe: Benefits Of International Diversification

Just to be clear, though, most of the difference between the classic portfolio original, and with international removed, can be attributed to removing the international bond component. If you want to look at the effect of including or excluding only international stocks, look at this backtest: Clas...
by billthecat
Wed Apr 03, 2019 10:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth Conversions - Estimating Future Tax Rates
Replies: 47
Views: 2740

Re: Roth Conversions - Estimating Future Tax Rates

I keep it simple. Or, at least that is my plan. I'm still working but might convert some this year since I'm not working a full year. Every year I look at what my marginal tax rate will be for that year. I convert up to the top of my current bracket. I can't predict what future brackets will be. So...
by billthecat
Sun Mar 31, 2019 2:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "The best and worst U.S. states for retirement"
Replies: 275
Views: 26822

Re: "The best and worst U.S. states for retirement"

What is the best state to be a resident of (for US tax purposes) while traveling the world? Cost of living won't matter, though state taxes would; quality of life won't matter because you won't be there; health care won't matter if you are getting care while abroad. Strictly on an income tax basis, ...
by billthecat
Wed Mar 27, 2019 11:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can one make Roth IRA contributions without having earned income?
Replies: 24
Views: 2070

Re: Can one make Roth IRA contributions without having earned income?

Correct, it's not possible to contribute to a Roth without earned income. The sources of income you described don't qualify. You can, of course, convert current Traditional IRA funds into a Roth. Check the wiki for details. And, even though the conversion will be taxed at earned income tax rates, i...
by billthecat
Tue Mar 26, 2019 11:18 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Series I Savings Bonds Buying Opportunity
Replies: 52
Views: 9399

Re: Series I Savings Bonds Buying Opportunity

I really appreciate the tips and tricks in the forums. I'm new to I Bonds and had planned to just buy at the end of every May (5k) and end of every November (5k), to spread it out. But given the tip here, it looks like I'll just get 10k in April instead (this year). It's a little bit of "market timi...
by billthecat
Tue Mar 26, 2019 11:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paper I Bonds
Replies: 35
Views: 2382

Re: Paper I Bonds

Thanks to what I've learned here, this was our first year taking advantage of the tax refund as paper I Bonds. I was a bit surprised to receive 11 separate I Bonds of various denominations and am curious what others do with these paper bonds - hold as paper in safe deposit or convert them to electr...
by billthecat
Tue Mar 19, 2019 11:21 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: TreasuryDirect - Don't let your survivor lose assets
Replies: 53
Views: 4705

Re: TreasuryDirect - Don't let your survivor lose assets

How do you even setup POD at TD? I can't figure it out. I tried to go through the process and it seemed to be setting up a co-owner instead. Edit the registration, click the "Add New Registration" button. Another poster posted a link to full the instructions above (see post by Angst). I may be misu...
by billthecat
Tue Mar 19, 2019 11:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CPA is not including form 8606 for my backdoor Roth
Replies: 86
Views: 5971

Re: CPA is not including form 8606 for my backdoor Roth

A simple Roth conversion does not require Part I. Is it possible that is what you are doing? No, it was backdoor Roths. So my CPA filled out part II correctly but didn't bother to fill in part I. I gather the requirement to fill in part I is new as of a couple of years ago? I only started doing bac...
by billthecat
Tue Mar 19, 2019 12:56 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: TreasuryDirect - Don't let your survivor lose assets
Replies: 53
Views: 4705

Re: TreasuryDirect - Don't let your survivor lose assets

Angst wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 11:03 am
Perhaps these instructions will help some people. I haven't tried this myself:
How do I add a secondary owner or beneficiary to my securities?
So if I understand this correctly, to have a beneficiary the beneficiary needs to have a registration with TD (aka, an account with TD), correct?
by billthecat
Tue Mar 19, 2019 10:35 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: TreasuryDirect - Don't let your survivor lose assets
Replies: 53
Views: 4705

Re: TreasuryDirect - Don't let your survivor lose assets

After noticing multiple complaints about the complexity of dealing with TreasuryDirect after a bond-holder dies, I decided to call today for clarification. I'm documenting some points of my conversation here. My case is simple: My wife and I each hold bonds, and we each have a Treasury Direct onlin...
by billthecat
Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CPA is not including form 8606 for my backdoor Roth
Replies: 86
Views: 5971

Re: CPA is not including form 8606 for my backdoor Roth

So my CPA filled out part II correctly but didn't bother to fill in part I. I gather the requirement to fill in part I is new as of a couple of years ago? I only started doing backdoor Roths in TY2017. It's an oversight without any tax impact though. And it hasn't interfered with my getting my refun...
by billthecat
Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:08 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are I Bonds like cash or bonds?
Replies: 16
Views: 1191

Are I Bonds like cash or bonds?

If your planning calls for a certain percentage (or dollar amount) in cash and a certain percentage of bonds, do you consider I Bonds cash or bonds?

Some folks use it as their EF so that sounds like cash.
by billthecat
Sat Mar 09, 2019 3:47 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio review request
Replies: 2
Views: 384

Portfolio review request

Hi all...I've been going through a process of reforming my investments, almost done. Below is where it stands - I appreciate your feedback. Basics Emergency funds: Due to excess cash at the moment, quite a lot. Debt: Home mortgage fixed@3.875%, rental mortgage ARM@5.125% Tax Filing Status: Single Ta...
by billthecat
Wed Mar 06, 2019 5:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rental property sale and adjusted basis
Replies: 1
Views: 155

Re: Rental property sale and adjusted basis

Yes, and obviously that would not include the prepaid items (prepaid insurance, interest, taxes, HOA and the like) as you expensed them presumably.
by billthecat
Sun Mar 03, 2019 9:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bonds in taxable calculation
Replies: 9
Views: 793

Re: Bonds in taxable calculation

The percentage tax cost for stocks (the difference between tax-free and taxable stock returns) is lower than the percentage tax cost for bonds. The difference gets larger as your time horizon gets longer; a 2% stock yield taxed at 15% adds only 0.3% per year, plus the small increase in the percenta...
by billthecat
Sun Mar 03, 2019 9:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard vs everyone else
Replies: 38
Views: 4208

Re: Vanguard vs everyone else

To the OP's main question: Past performance is no guarantee of future results. This minor out-performance of a few bp by Vanguard's funds might disappear for the next 20 years. This could be due to tracking error, the underlying index, and any number of other factors that are totally beyond our con...
by billthecat
Sun Mar 03, 2019 3:11 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Asset Allocation - Cash Position
Replies: 18
Views: 1621

Re: Asset Allocation - Cash Position

When reading about asset allocations and the various ratios like 60/40 for stocks/bonds, I'm unclear if that 40% is also supposed to include your cash position. Does 40% of all my investable assets include both my bonds and my cash reserves? Or is your cash position completely outside that 100% as ...
by billthecat
Sat Mar 02, 2019 2:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard vs everyone else
Replies: 38
Views: 4208

Re: Vanguard vs everyone else

SCHB is good, but when I compare it with VTI at https://etfdb.com/tool/etf-comparison/SCHB-VTI/, VTI seems a little better (slightly better performance). [...] When you get into significant holdings, like $1.5M in equity, $1M in bonds, $250K in money market, the difference in performance is a few t...
by billthecat
Sat Mar 02, 2019 11:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Experience with Apple Pay?
Replies: 71
Views: 6593

Re: Experience with Apple Pay?

Not sure what there is to love about paying for something using a different means...maybe the novelty factor? I use my credit card, takes a whole 5 seconds, if that. Apple Pay is more secure because the merchant doesn't get your credit card number. Take a look at this list of data breaches. It's al...
by billthecat
Fri Mar 01, 2019 6:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard vs everyone else
Replies: 38
Views: 4208

Vanguard vs everyone else

The wiki gives alternatives to Vanguard holdings , such as Schwab (SCHB, SCHF, SCHZ), Fidelity, etc., etc. But do the others really compare? SCHB is good, but when I compare it with VTI at https://etfdb.com/tool/etf-comparison/SCHB-VTI/, VTI seems a little better (slightly better performance). SCHZ ...
by billthecat
Wed Feb 27, 2019 7:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Placing large buy orders - any special risks?
Replies: 12
Views: 718

Re: Placing large buy orders - any special risks?

400k$ is not a large buy order, only time that type of size would make any difference is in a very illiquid issue. There is certainly a threshold where size can move the execution price but for most large asset ETFs you are at least one zero if not two away from it. Schwab says • Large block transa...
by billthecat
Wed Feb 27, 2019 7:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Placing large buy orders - any special risks?
Replies: 12
Views: 718

Re: Placing large buy orders - any special risks?

Thesaints wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 7:14 pm
It depends on the ETF volume. Do you FOK ?
Not sure. What does it mean to FOK?
by billthecat
Wed Feb 27, 2019 7:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Placing large buy orders - any special risks?
Replies: 12
Views: 718

Placing large buy orders - any special risks?

Are there any special risks when placing large (>$400,000) buy orders (an ETF)?

I'll use a limit order to prevent buying at an expected jump in 'asks' but anything else?
by billthecat
Wed Feb 27, 2019 4:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Designating I Bond beneficiaries on TreasuryDirect.gov
Replies: 8
Views: 722

Designating I Bond beneficiaries on TreasuryDirect.gov

I'm used to going into my brokerage or 401K and simply changing the beneficiaries whenever I want, right online. Any tips on how to do this on TreasuryDirect?
by billthecat
Wed Feb 27, 2019 12:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Software That Searches Inside PDF Files
Replies: 21
Views: 852

Re: Software That Searches Inside PDF Files

The scanned vs real text question has not clearly been answered to me. Anyone using Windows or a Mac can scan search through a folder full of pdf files for strings of text. It's very easy, so I assume you're talking about scanned documents, not pdfs that have literal text in them. Is this correct? ...