Search found 316 matches

by harvestbook
Mon Nov 20, 2017 4:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 529 or not 529?
Replies: 21
Views: 1861

Re: 529 or not 529?

I like the plan of starting one mostly with the idea of using it for the later kids. That way you can be a little more aggressive since you won't be forced into using it even if the market takes a downturn. My daughter starts next year and it's 60 percent stocks/40 percent bonds, but I quit adding t...
by harvestbook
Mon Nov 20, 2017 7:31 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Survivorship bias and stock for the long term
Replies: 4
Views: 572

Re: Survivorship bias and stock for the long term

That's why I invest like it's 1900 and keep a global cap weight, because nobody knows what the next 100 years will bring. But I assume if we're still around as a species, it is because we had growth, improvements, technological breakthroughs, and enough social stability to achieve those things. As t...
by harvestbook
Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:45 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing help family of four....Do nothing?
Replies: 22
Views: 1876

Re: Investing help family of four....Do nothing?

If you get a state tax credit for 529, then it is a good choice for some of the money. Don't forget that the 529 is not for a specific one-time expenditure--like, your tenth grader won't be needing the money just in three years, but in three, four, five, and six years. Whether that's time enough to ...
by harvestbook
Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:37 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The passive investing trap
Replies: 23
Views: 4277

Re: The passive investing trap

I've noticed a lot of financial writers/bloggers conflate ETFs with passive indexing with low-cost investing. I suppose ETFs make it more tempting to trade around but I don't consider ETFs "passive." I consider "passive" an investing style, not a trading vehicle. For many of us, it's about cost. If ...
by harvestbook
Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Shiller is 'concerned' after lowest sentiment data readings in over 16 years
Replies: 8
Views: 2059

Re: Shiller is 'concerned' after lowest sentiment data readings in over 16 years

He is rambling and throwing lots of stuff at the wall, from investor sentiment to politically-driven market moves to his pet math formula, yet he has a rare moment of clarity and honesty when he admits he "could be wrong."
by harvestbook
Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:05 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with daughters first investments
Replies: 12
Views: 714

Re: Help with daughters first investments

I'd be more aggressive, like the newest target-date fund. Depends on if the intent is maximum risk/return or to give her encouragement to do it herself. My daughter is almost 18 and I use aggressive funds for her (60 percent small-cap tilt, the rest is mix of total US and international). If the draw...
by harvestbook
Tue Nov 07, 2017 8:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: From 100% equity to 80/20. Overnight or over a year?
Replies: 23
Views: 1875

Re: From 100% equity to 80/20. Overnight or over a year?

Would you be selling stocks from a taxable account to buy the bonds? I'm about 90/10 but most of my forward contributions will be to a Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth fund (80/20) in my solo 401k. So I am letting that slow move toward 80/20 over a few years work for me. Not thrilled about the low inter...
by harvestbook
Mon Nov 06, 2017 7:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Much should I fund my HSA and Why?
Replies: 21
Views: 1836

Re: How Much should I fund my HSA and Why?

Second on maxing the HSA after getting 401k match. Don't forget that savings on next year's income tax can go to other investments or expenses, so that $2800 or so is saving you hundreds of dollars immediately. The only downside is you need to be committed to building it--there are no HSAs that let ...
by harvestbook
Mon Nov 06, 2017 3:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Larry Swedroe: Slaughtering The High Dividend Sacred Cow
Replies: 192
Views: 12999

Re: Larry Swedroe: Slaughtering The High Dividend Sacred Cow

I look at reinvested dividends as a way to buy more shares of the funds, which price-per-share growth doesn't do. But I understand it's a zero-sum game anyway--whether you have more shares of slightly lower value or fewer shares of slightly greater value is a wash.
by harvestbook
Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Dividends make up for high mutual fund fees
Replies: 31
Views: 2029

Re: Dividends make up for high mutual fund fees

In situations like this, it is best not to appear too smart, or the whole room will be knocking down your door in a decade when they're all broke and don't know why.
by harvestbook
Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I Cut the Cord yesterday!
Replies: 51
Views: 4327

Re: I Cut the Cord yesterday!

Its odd that people brag about cutting the cable then they purchase other services to replace cutting the cable. Netflix, hulu, youtube tv, playstation tv, etc etc. Cutting from $100 a month to $30 or so is not nothing. I've never had cable but I don't mind paying $10 a month for Netflix (and we ge...
by harvestbook
Sun Nov 05, 2017 1:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: A small inheritance, student loans, and a wedding...I want to invest.
Replies: 27
Views: 1685

Re: A small inheritance, student loans, and a wedding...I want to invest.

If she's set on the $20K then I guess that is that, but I'd push more to meet in the middle at $10k. If she needs some incentive, take her to a compounding calculator like https://www.investor.gov/additional-resources/free-financial-planning-tools/compound-interest-calculator and plug in $20,000 and...
by harvestbook
Sun Nov 05, 2017 8:02 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: U.S. & International Allocation
Replies: 36
Views: 3305

Re: U.S. & International Allocation

Let's face it, we are all active managers making active investment decisions, even when we think we're using a three-fund portfolio to "capture what the market gives us." I doubt anyone in the entire world has an exact global weight allocation. This is one of my favorite blog posts showing the true ...
by harvestbook
Sat Nov 04, 2017 4:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing in index funds at this moment
Replies: 50
Views: 3640

Re: Investing in index funds at this moment

The longer you wait, the more shares and dividends I will be able to accumulate. I don't mind sharing, but I'm not forcing anyone into the market, either.
by harvestbook
Sat Nov 04, 2017 5:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: This is why I'm glad I started investing at 23
Replies: 27
Views: 4658

Re: This is why I'm glad I started investing at 23

For me the entire goal is financial independence. Retirement and all the rest is optional! I turned down promotions in my job because I knew I wanted a real career working for myself. Now I have that career and it will last as long as my brain is viable, if I want. Investing sure helps with the "ind...
by harvestbook
Fri Nov 03, 2017 7:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Alway contribute to HSA if incurring medical expenses?
Replies: 10
Views: 1042

Re: Alway contribute to HSA if incurring medical expenses?

Even if you can't max it, it is certainly smart to at least use it for current medical expenses. Cutting $3,000 off your taxable income saves real money. I consider it the best tax break in America if you're eligible.
by harvestbook
Fri Nov 03, 2017 7:49 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I invest my emergency fund?
Replies: 29
Views: 3105

Re: Should I invest my emergency fund?

I pushed half my emergency fund (about 3 months out of 6 month expenses) into taxable account invested in intermediate term municipal bonds. Figure it's unlikely to be used and should return a little more than 1% savings account. I'm considering keeping about 1 month in cash/savings and the rest in...
by harvestbook
Wed Nov 01, 2017 4:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: what % return do you use?
Replies: 62
Views: 4133

Re: what % return do you use?

I project a range of 4-6 percent nominal for rough planning but that''s not just for 10 years. Just as important to me is knowing where I can cut spending if necessary, so whatever the market gives will be workable.
by harvestbook
Wed Nov 01, 2017 9:39 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Roth IRA for children
Replies: 38
Views: 2597

Re: Roth IRA for children

I match my daughter's income in a Roth (invested in Vanguard Target Retirement 2060). She works part-time for my wife's housekeeping business. I plan to continue the match through her college years as long as she works part-time. She also has a brokerage UTMA that's a back-up college fund and she ev...
by harvestbook
Wed Nov 01, 2017 9:11 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I Sell Energy Index (VDE) and take loss?
Replies: 51
Views: 4115

Re: Should I Sell Energy Index (VDE) and take loss?

I made the same gamble, buying "low" in late 2015, not absolute bottom but near it. I sold in January this year when it was up and wiped the sweat off my brow. I made a decent return but also realized I was speculating. I don't even like energy morally, I was just being greedy. I did the same thing ...
by harvestbook
Wed Nov 01, 2017 8:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Reason to have a Will?
Replies: 24
Views: 2070

Re: Reason to have a Will?

Our will and medical directive cost around $550.

If nothing else, do it in kindness to whomever has to deal with this stuff after you're safely off the hook.
by harvestbook
Fri Oct 27, 2017 7:01 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: International Returns this month
Replies: 19
Views: 1700

Re: International Returns this month

I don't know much but I'm 100 percent certain there is absolutely nothing about markets that "is not being talked about" by the financial media, including stuff that's not even there.
by harvestbook
Thu Oct 26, 2017 6:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: N.Carolina 529 no longer state tax decuctible
Replies: 31
Views: 3846

Re: N.Carolina 529 no longer state tax decuctible

I had a NC 529 both the last year there was a deduction and the following year (before I realized the deduction was gone). I just left that amount in the account, it's done fine and the extra fees aren't all that egregious. But I will start drawing it down next year so it wasn't worth the hassle of ...
by harvestbook
Sat Oct 21, 2017 1:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Has the general public ever been correct about market crashes?
Replies: 47
Views: 3805

Re: Has the general public ever been correct about market crashes?

Bulls experience long years of irrational exuberance and bears get fleeting moments of grim satisfaction.
by harvestbook
Wed Oct 18, 2017 11:07 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: bitcoin makes you rich
Replies: 49
Views: 4033

Re: anhybody buying bitcoin

Four percent of the Bitcoin holders own about 95 percent of the market--a very small group is manipulating prices, and no one knows who they are (probably not even each other.) I was curious about it at the end of last year and thought about buying one when it was around $1,000 but then the hype sta...
by harvestbook
Tue Oct 17, 2017 5:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone who started a business what made you comfortable enough to take the chance?
Replies: 25
Views: 2072

Re: Anyone who started a business what made you comfortable enough to take the chance?

I started a digital publishing company in 2010 and by the end of the year I was making more doing that than on my full-time journalism job. I remember thinking two things: "I'm losing money by going to work" and "If I took this rate of growth to a bank, I could borrow money on it" (Not that I needed...
by harvestbook
Tue Oct 17, 2017 12:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard expects "decent sized correction" soon, sometime, maybe later
Replies: 68
Views: 7182

Re: Vanguard expects "decent sized correction" soon

It's possible we never have another correction.

It's possible.
by harvestbook
Tue Oct 17, 2017 6:52 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Roth as good as you think?
Replies: 29
Views: 3596

Re: Roth as good as you think?

I look at it as a flexibility tool instead of just a math problem-- Roths are immune from forced RMDs so you can better control your cash flow, tax rate, and overall taxes in retirement. Roths also help buffer you somewhat from being forced to sell as much into a downturn during RMDs. Since we can't...
by harvestbook
Sun Oct 15, 2017 7:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Larry Swedroe: Non-US Valuations Look Attractive
Replies: 74
Views: 7379

Re: Larry Swedroe: Non-US Valuations Look Attractive

I like 50/50 and have been close to it all along (inspired by Paul Merriman). I won't have the same investing window that Bogle and Buffet did or even live in the same world. When they were beginning their careers, China was the 45th-ranked economy in the world. Now it's second and the gap is closin...
by harvestbook
Sun Oct 15, 2017 4:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA investment [use guaranteed 4% or use equities]
Replies: 22
Views: 1484

Re: HSA investment [use guaranteed 4% or use equities]

I have two HSAs, one at our bank yielding 1.5 percent and another all invested 90/10 for the long haul. We use the bank HSA for current medical expenses. I'd love to get 4 percent on it. So remember you don't have to go "all in" on the 4 percent if you don't want to. You can also let it build to som...
by harvestbook
Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:01 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 2050 Target Retirement Fund
Replies: 11
Views: 1481

Re: 2050 Target Retirement Fund

Not a bad plan. I like diversification. Another way to do it is keep $10K in Total Stock to get the low ER and shift $3K to the 2050 fund, then adjust as the funds grow (add the $5.5 contributions to the 2050 fund until it is over $10K and then shift to another admiral fund and repeat). I wouldn't b...
by harvestbook
Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:43 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Investing Books Debunked
Replies: 24
Views: 4097

Re: Investing Books Debunked

I can't remember which "millionaire" book it was but the central thesis was "pay yourself first, even if you have to stiff all the people you owe money to." The best book was Zweig's "Your Money and Your Brain." That's where I learned that I couldn't control the market but I could control my inheren...
by harvestbook
Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:36 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 100% in bond to wait for market crash?
Replies: 122
Views: 12195

Re: 100% in bond to wait for market crash?

You've got a lot of money but it seems to be causing you misery instead of joy. You really would be okay just holding it in cash and forgetting about it and going on with your life. You'd also be okay dumping some or all in the market and going on with your life. Bogle's projecting 3 percent real re...
by harvestbook
Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health Care for 2018, Curious About Other's Increases
Replies: 21
Views: 2663

Re: Health Care for 2018, Curious About Other's Increases

I am also on BCBS in North Carolina and my rate increase are very similar to yours over the years (family plan for three people). Next year going from $1,020 to $1,155 a month. I was expecting a 15-20 percent increase based on the noise insurers were making but also believe they are close to pricing...
by harvestbook
Sun Oct 08, 2017 7:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone go 100% Ally or another online bank for all banking needs?
Replies: 61
Views: 5278

Re: Anyone go 100% Ally or another online bank for all banking needs?

B & M's are also handy when you need to withdraw a larger amount of cash than an ATM trip.
by harvestbook
Sat Oct 07, 2017 8:18 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bogle himself is saying we will expect like 3% for the next decades
Replies: 141
Views: 15966

Re: Bogle himself is saying we will expect like 3% for the next decades

I've seen other sensible-seeming projections of 3 percent real in a decade. However, I doubt I will be taking all my money out in 10 years or investing it all today, so the information or guess isn't very actionable. Even if I knew it was true, I wouldn't do much of anything differently. I use 4-6 p...
by harvestbook
Tue Oct 03, 2017 8:08 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What are you up YTD? [Year To Date]
Replies: 1584
Views: 281961

Re: What are you up YTD? [Year To Date]

I can't easily tell since I make contributions steadily. Since I started using Vanguard in mid-2013, I've made 11 percent. This is using a fairly aggressive and slightly modified Merriman portfolio (I use total stock markets instead of S& P or Developed Market funds and I am lighter on international...
by harvestbook
Thu Sep 28, 2017 5:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Prioritizing investments - 401(k), HSA, Roth, or Trad IRA?
Replies: 16
Views: 1148

Re: Priotizing investments - 401(k), HSA, Roth, or Trad IRA?

I'm weird in that I rank an HSA much higher than most people do (if it's in an investment account.) It's the only place you get the tax deduction plus tax-free growth and tax-free withdrawals. True, it is largely limited in use, but who isn't going to have medical expenses at some point, especially ...
by harvestbook
Wed Sep 27, 2017 11:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My boneheaded financial mistakes
Replies: 77
Views: 9902

Re: My boneheaded financial mistakes

Invested in sports cards and comic books in the 1990s instead of the stock market (to be fair, I didn't even know "ordinary people" could buy stocks-- I thought you had to wear a suit and tie.) When I left my employer and started my own business, I invested via Edward Jones, rolling my 401(k) into a...
by harvestbook
Mon Sep 18, 2017 6:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Calling out the not so rich bogleheads
Replies: 233
Views: 26144

Re: Calling out the not so rich bogleheads

My general rule of thumb is not to offer any (solicited) advice on someone's portfolio if they have more than I do. In general, though, all I care about are principles and experience, not personalities or size. I'm here to learn, not to measure or brag. Plenty of rich people are miserable and terrib...
by harvestbook
Sun Sep 17, 2017 5:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: S & P broke major technical/psychological number
Replies: 21
Views: 2924

Re: S & P broke major technical/psychological number

Sweet, time to sell out and nab me some Bitcoins!
by harvestbook
Thu Sep 14, 2017 7:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bitcoin in 3-fund indexed portfolio?
Replies: 191
Views: 16310

Re: Bitcoin in 3-fund indexed portfolio?

Even at its peak, Bitcoin was only about .02 percent of global market cap and therefore not worth weighting in a portfolio seeking to replicate the world. And its peak may well have already passed.

Even if you don't own Bitcoin, you will own whatever businesses eventually benefit from it, if any.
by harvestbook
Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:04 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: ownership of "small cap value" stocks
Replies: 50
Views: 3635

Re: ownership of "small cap value" stocks

Isn't that true of every factor, though? That's why there are factor funds: because there is a (marketable) factor.
by harvestbook
Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Companies/Brands You Love?
Replies: 157
Views: 10544

Re: Companies/Brands You Love?

None, really. Most of my choices are made completely on cost and/or convenience. I don't automatically assume a brand name is better than a generic.
by harvestbook
Mon Sep 04, 2017 10:25 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do you use lifestrategy/ asset allocation funds?
Replies: 77
Views: 13356

Re: Do you use lifestrategy/ asset allocation funds?

I use LifeStrategy Growth for my individual 401K because there are no admiral shares. I like the simplicity and there would be no ER savings to slice and dice. My wife uses TD 2060 in her i401k because she doesn't care about bonds at all but one fund is simpler. I slice and dice admiral shares in my...
by harvestbook
Fri Sep 01, 2017 9:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hurricane Harvey relief?
Replies: 42
Views: 3361

Re: Hurricane Harvey relief?

Houston Food Bank.

Samaritan's purse is certainly not without its warts.
by harvestbook
Wed Aug 30, 2017 8:41 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Perhaps you shouldn't rebalance your international stock allocation
Replies: 21
Views: 4491

Re: Perhaps you shouldn't rebalance your international stock allocation

aj76er wrote:
Tue Aug 29, 2017 4:52 pm
Here are some reasons to hold a fixed percentage of international (less than market weight):

Thus, it always isn't about higher return, but about mitigating risk, cost, and complexity.
And the opposite of those reasons is exactly why I prefer hold international at global market weight.
by harvestbook
Mon Aug 28, 2017 2:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fear of Stock Market - Is it smart to be cautious?
Replies: 39
Views: 3601

Re: Fear of Stock Market - Is it smart to be cautious?

I find immense psychological value in being out of debt. Given your use of the word "fear," perhaps the security of known savings of $388,000 is worth more than the theoretical gains of the market. I like 3 because if you do both, you won't really "guess wrong." You can also argue that this gives yo...
by harvestbook
Mon Aug 28, 2017 2:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Reducing International Holdings?
Replies: 14
Views: 1458

Re: Reducing International Holdings?

Hardly anyone takes all their money out at once, though. So even when you hit that certain date (retirement or whatever it is) it's not like whatever the market is doing at that time is your fate for the rest of your investable life. It's an ongoing cycle of rises and falls. Personally I see anythin...