Search found 329 matches

by DarkHelmetII
Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:22 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Gold?
Replies: 83
Views: 3672

Re: Gold?

[ erroneous post ]
by DarkHelmetII
Sun Jul 21, 2019 2:48 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Gold?
Replies: 83
Views: 3672

Re: Gold?

My opinion is that gold is not an investment but rather an insurance policy of sorts. Its cost is the drag on portfolio performance. Its value can be seen in times of unanticipated inflation runups and / or catastrophic events. I don't own gold and am not necessarily advocating to do so. But rather...
by DarkHelmetII
Thu Jul 18, 2019 2:41 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: thinking of moving American Funds 529 to Vanguard
Replies: 9
Views: 464

Re: thinking of moving American Funds 529 to Vanguard

Just choose an asset allocation based on time horizon and risk tolerance: https://investor.vanguard.com/529-plan/ ... ed-options
by DarkHelmetII
Thu Jul 18, 2019 12:59 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Just sat through a wealth-management sales pitch.
Replies: 96
Views: 9490

Re: Just sat through a wealth-management sales pitch.

"Withdrawals from a VA are tax deferred so there would never be a reason to place one in a tax-favored account like an IRA."

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by DarkHelmetII
Wed Jul 17, 2019 12:26 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Gold?
Replies: 83
Views: 3672

Re: Gold?

My opinion is that gold is not an investment but rather an insurance policy of sorts. Its cost is the drag on portfolio performance. Its value can be seen in times of unanticipated inflation runups and / or catastrophic events. I don't own gold and am not necessarily advocating to do so. But rather ...
by DarkHelmetII
Wed Jul 17, 2019 11:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Deducting loss on a rental property
Replies: 9
Views: 691

Re: Deducting loss on a rental property

I think this does a good summary: https://www.therealestatecpa.com/blog/ultimate-guide-irs-schedule-e . Here are some key excerpts: - If your adjusted gross income (line 37 of IRS Form 1040) is less than $100,000, you are able to take the loss reported on line 26 of Schedule E up to a maximum amount...
by DarkHelmetII
Wed Jul 17, 2019 7:24 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 401 Rollover Questions...
Replies: 7
Views: 441

Re: 401 Rollover Questions...

My understanding is the 19,000 is across all accounts / employers. The "new" employer's 401x custodian won't in this case prevent you from overfunding but ultimately the IRS will come knocking on your door.
by DarkHelmetII
Tue Jul 16, 2019 6:18 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: AA for 529 accounts sanity check
Replies: 5
Views: 484

Re: AA for 529 accounts sanity check

Vanguard 529 age-based recommendations, "Aggressive" at age 17 years says 20% stock (https://investor.vanguard.com/529-plan/ ... ed-options). That, coupled with my gut, says consider trimming 10% equities off the 2 year time horizon reducing equity to 20%. Just my 2 cents.
by DarkHelmetII
Tue Jul 16, 2019 11:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Being a hands off homeowner
Replies: 48
Views: 2733

Re: Being a hands off homeowner

Renting a SFH, or TH, is not out of the question (at least where I live). In fact, I love it. Don't know about your specific market but that is something I'd consider.
by DarkHelmetII
Tue Jul 16, 2019 8:48 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Company Stock at discount - immediate sell
Replies: 16
Views: 873

Re: Company Stock at discount - immediate sell

Well the "win" is a guaranteed gain on the stock. Not necessarily guaranteed. Case in point .... I recently acquired stock through my Employer Stock Purchase Plan at a price days before a material drop in price. Now, averaged out over several years I have certainly come out ahead but I would argue ...
by DarkHelmetII
Tue Jul 16, 2019 8:45 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Company Stock at discount - immediate sell
Replies: 16
Views: 873

Re: Company Stock at discount - immediate sell

Have done this for several years across multiple employers. He pays taxes on the ST "gain" as ordinary income Correct there is no real win for him I would challenge this statement. Even at less favorable ordinary tax rate this is close to "free money." Is it worth your friend's time? And worth the m...
by DarkHelmetII
Tue Jul 16, 2019 7:18 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: S & P 500 Fund
Replies: 9
Views: 1392

Re: S & P 500 Fund

Cap gains rate on growth and dividends, assuming you hold for one year
by DarkHelmetII
Sun Jul 14, 2019 8:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: No A/C in Office [not a safe work environment]
Replies: 86
Views: 7549

Re: No A/C in Office [not a safe work environment]

My two cents: 1) unless you have some certifiable heart condition or similar, going to be hard to find a clear case for working from home 2) despite #1 buy thermometer and record temps, just in case you eventually do need to escalate having more data will help 3) can you convince office building and...
by DarkHelmetII
Sun Jul 14, 2019 8:09 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: High ER 401k vs Taxable Account
Replies: 21
Views: 1125

Re: High ER 401k vs Taxable Account

Another vote to proceed with 401k e.g. 0.47% isn't THAT bad. Not a big enough difference to forgo tax benefits and other protections that come from being in a retirement account.
by DarkHelmetII
Fri Jul 12, 2019 3:53 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Advice for a College Grad Looking to Build Wealth
Replies: 31
Views: 1544

Re: Advice for a College Grad Looking to Build Wealth

Seems like you are doing well. 1) Check 401k for mega back-door roth 2) When income exceeds roth ira limit do "regular" back door roth 3) Consider HSA 4) Yes, keep it simple 5) Don't let IRS limits cap what you have mentally allocated for retirement you can simply put $$ into taxable and "earmark" f...
by DarkHelmetII
Fri Jul 12, 2019 7:45 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Mutual of America target date fund / management fee
Replies: 9
Views: 373

Re: Mutual of America target date fund / management fee

1) .28% and .34% are a little higher than ideal but really aren't THAT bad 2) specifically on the impact between 0.28% vs. 0.34% that will have fairly small impact; I think the bigger question is if you are comfortable with the Target date fund glide path ... if so, then 0.06% is arguably a small pr...
by DarkHelmetII
Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:38 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Investiment advice
Replies: 11
Views: 1002

Re: Investiment advice

vipertom1970 wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:30 pm
not a pro to give advice but I think 50% in international is very very aggressive.
I agree
by DarkHelmetII
Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Turkish Airlines ?
Replies: 38
Views: 2541

Re: Turkish Airlines ?

jucor wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 8:27 pm
I have flown Turkish several times on transatlantic flights and have been very pleased with the service. They, along with many other "national" carriers have service levels that, IMHO, exceed the service on U.S. legacy carriers by a fair margin.
+1
by DarkHelmetII
Mon Jul 08, 2019 1:48 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Finding an adviser to pay for advice
Replies: 16
Views: 1430

Re: Finding an adviser to pay for advice

1) Post here 2) Find a fee-only, fiduciary advisor who will do a "one-time" sanity check; I did one for $2,000. Not the easiest to find as many want your "Assets Under Management" for the yearly income (exact reason why you as the investor don't want to do that). With a little education there is abs...
by DarkHelmetII
Mon Jul 01, 2019 7:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Traveling Overnight / Wife Near-Term / No Family In Town - how to handle
Replies: 21
Views: 2121

Traveling Overnight / Wife Near-Term / No Family In Town - how to handle

I have two overnight trips (each one night) with a pregnant wife who is due early August. We have a 3 year old. No family in town. If wife goes into labor while I am out of town at a minimum somebody needs to watch the 3 year old until I get back.

How have others solved this? Overnight nanny?
by DarkHelmetII
Sat Jun 29, 2019 8:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Random Walk down Wall Street - Bonds
Replies: 6
Views: 876

Re: Random Walk down Wall Street - Bonds

On your #2, remember that bonds can also go up / down in value according to net asset value, which can sometimes be negatively correlated to equities. So one may consider that looking only at the yield of a money market vs. that of a bond field gives an incomplete picture.
by DarkHelmetII
Sat Jun 29, 2019 7:26 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Money market vs. Bond etf
Replies: 9
Views: 1097

Re: Money market vs. Bond etf

dbr wrote:
Sat Jun 29, 2019 10:55 am
If you wouldn't normally have $4000, then you should not be taking risk with that money.
+1. Could possibly squeeze a little higher interest rate with a slightly higher yielding Money Market, but that takes time and how much is the hassle worth?
by DarkHelmetII
Fri Jun 28, 2019 2:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pursued the wrong career?
Replies: 37
Views: 6662

Re: Pursued the wrong career?

Find a "data science" gig at a leading Management Consulting, Professional Services, or Technology firm looking for "Smart PhDs" to monetize the math. Position yourself as relevant for particular industries.
by DarkHelmetII
Thu Jun 27, 2019 3:20 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Metlife Flexible Premium Variable Live Insurance---cash value
Replies: 7
Views: 384

Re: Metlife Flexible Premium Variable Live Insurance---cash value

Thanks, But I still pay taxes on the complete amount when I roll over the cash value of the insurance policy to the annuity, correct? There should be a way of separating the after tax premiums paid from any gains. "The tax code also says that you can make a tax-free exchange from : 1) a life insura...
by DarkHelmetII
Thu Jun 27, 2019 8:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Landlords - assessing amount security deposit to return?
Replies: 50
Views: 3418

Re: Landlords - assessing amount security deposit to return?

I have a management company that gives me an explicit breakdown of normal wear and tear (e.g. landlord responsibility) vs. tenant responsibility. Two turnovers and have not had any major issues (one tenant complained a little but was clear contractually what they owed and certainly there were no tak...
by DarkHelmetII
Thu Jun 27, 2019 7:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1st time Home-buyer Questions
Replies: 19
Views: 1156

Re: 1st time Home-buyer Questions

I am currently living in the DC area and generally familiar with NOVA. In a "normal" market your finances are absolutely in-line with buying. I've seen this play out before in the early / mid-2000's in NOVA / DC. Focus on Rent vs. Buy costs and don't underestimate costs of maintenance. One can also ...
by DarkHelmetII
Wed Jun 26, 2019 2:05 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Help with 401k/investment
Replies: 8
Views: 531

Re: Help with 401k/investment

Even without mega backdoor (that would just be additional icing on the cake), if employer is matching in post tax even after 19k I would certainly consider that
by DarkHelmetII
Mon Jun 24, 2019 2:33 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Alternative to Van. Inter. Term Tax Exempt Fund at Fidelity
Replies: 4
Views: 408

Re: Alternative to Van. Inter. Term Tax Exempt Fund at Fidelity

According to portfoliovisualizer the Vanguard and Fidelity intermediate term tax exempt funds track pretty closely: https://www.portfoliovisualizer.com/backtest-portfolio?s=y&timePeriod=4&startYear=1985&firstMonth=1&endYear=2019&lastMonth=12&calendarAligned=true&endDate=06%2F23%2F2019&initialAmount=...
by DarkHelmetII
Fri Jun 21, 2019 9:08 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Help with friend's 401k plan
Replies: 13
Views: 880

Re: Help with friend's 401k plan

My two cents: 1) target date at 0.5% isn't THAT bad and as others pointed out, I agree significant behavioral risk going more complex that could outweigh a higher expense ratio 2) maybe tell this friend that - hey you can do this yourself, but keep it simpler, for example maybe don't need to pull in...
by DarkHelmetII
Fri Jun 21, 2019 7:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Highest % cash back credit card
Replies: 77
Views: 5522

Re: Highest % cash back credit card

I have capital one visa 2% cash back all purchases. Annual fee waived in first year per terms & conditions. At one year I asked what they could do to keep me and they indefinitely waived annual fee. Did they hassle you at all for that? Venture with no annual fee would be great. I would not say that...
by DarkHelmetII
Thu Jun 20, 2019 7:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Highest % cash back credit card
Replies: 77
Views: 5522

Re: Highest % cash back credit card

I have capital one visa 2% cash back all purchases. Annual fee waived in first year per terms & conditions. At one year I asked what they could do to keep me and they indefinitely waived annual fee.
by DarkHelmetII
Sat Jun 15, 2019 8:11 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: [ETF vs. Mutual Fund questions]
Replies: 53
Views: 1773

Re: which is better ETF or MF ???

Old_Dollar wrote:
Sat Jun 15, 2019 6:11 am
I like mutual funds simply because the vehicles helps put another barrier in between me and the scourge of market timing.
+1
by DarkHelmetII
Tue Jun 11, 2019 3:00 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Please critique my portfolio/investment plan
Replies: 4
Views: 631

Re: Please critique my portfolio/investment plan

1) I would personally dial back equities a little bit if you are looking at 15 year time horizon. 2) I would not lose sleep over large-cap tilt. If and when you get better small and mid-cap options, just have that percentage documented in your plan so that you are not chasing returns based on recent...
by DarkHelmetII
Fri Jun 07, 2019 4:46 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Consideration for Maxing 401K with awful fee structure
Replies: 12
Views: 614

Re: Consideration for Maxing 401K with awful fee structure

What are the chances you will be at this job more than 5 years? Point is you can always move to new 401k or an IRA when you leave current position.
by DarkHelmetII
Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:14 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Any downsides to consolidating retirement accounts?
Replies: 11
Views: 1010

Re: Any downsides to consolidating retirement accounts?

Upside is simplification as you point out. Other factors to consider, however, that could favor not consolidating depending on your specific situation and preferences: 1) Institutional risk - one may choose to have $$ with different institutions (e.g. Vanguard, Fidelity, Schwab) ... a mute point if ...
by DarkHelmetII
Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:44 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 401k options - Choose a bond fund or two target funds to get AA?
Replies: 16
Views: 810

Re: 401k options - Choose a bond fund or two target funds to get AA?

Can you contribute to a combination of Fidelity 500 US Index and the Vanguard 2015 target fund to achieve the equity / bond allocation you prefer?
by DarkHelmetII
Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:51 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Total Bond Market Index in my Vanguard Taxable?
Replies: 4
Views: 415

Re: Total Bond Market Index in my Vanguard Taxable?

Why bonds are *generally* (there are always exceptions) better off in a tax-deferred account: 1) Relative to equities, a greater portion of the total return (dividends + growth in asset value) comes from dividends and dividends are taxed as they are earned (e.g. monthly / quarterly), not just went y...
by DarkHelmetII
Tue Jun 04, 2019 8:14 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How do I invest 55k
Replies: 12
Views: 1404

Re: How do I invest 55k

Whether in a 401k or taxable account, look for a low-cost, passively managed, large cap blended index fund such as Vanguard's S&P 500 index (VFIAX). Basically, there are two dimensions to your question: 1) where to place the money from a tax-efficiency standpoint, and 2) what type of investment (e.g...
by DarkHelmetII
Fri May 31, 2019 7:06 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard moving clients from mutual funds to ETFs?
Replies: 34
Views: 4026

Re: Vanguard moving clients from mutual funds to ETFs?

It's just that Mr. Bogle was so very opposed to ETFs (mostly due to the temptation to trade) that it makes me wonder if this is a good idea. This is largely my aversion to ETFs as well, IMHO it's a behavioral thing. Plenty of "good" ETFs but psychologically, at least for me, I like having mutual fu...
by DarkHelmetII
Fri May 31, 2019 5:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Forgot to mail check to IRS for taxes ($4000) - what now
Replies: 24
Views: 2782

Re: Forgot to mail check to IRS for taxes ($4000) - what now

It's probably best NOT to jump the gun by trying to calculate interest and penalties yourself, that kind of helpfulness sometimes backfires. Agreed. While I have not been in this *exact* same situation with the IRS, having been the recipient of several auto-generated / "rule-driven" IRS mailings, t...
by DarkHelmetII
Tue May 28, 2019 6:53 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Taxable Bond or Muni?
Replies: 18
Views: 3275

Re: Taxable Bond or Muni?

Also consider treasuries as those don't get taxed at state level.
by DarkHelmetII
Tue May 21, 2019 2:11 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Stop contributing to 401K with hope of company match later this year?
Replies: 5
Views: 588

Re: Stop contributing to 401K with hope of company match later this year?

I would just peanut butter spread the remaining $6k from now through end of December. Technically would lose a few $$ in match but am also balancing with simplicity (e.g. avoiding the paperwork to stop contributions today, restart in August etc...).
by DarkHelmetII
Mon May 20, 2019 3:51 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Value Investing. What am I missing here?
Replies: 7
Views: 908

Re: Value Investing. What am I missing here?

I would say that the "boglehead response" would be that by exclusively buying value stocks one is in essence picking winners and losers which contradicts prevailing boglehead philosophy. BH's (stereotypically speaking) definitely hold value stocks as part of the portfolio but do not "choose" to hold...
by DarkHelmetII
Fri May 17, 2019 8:45 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What "other" tax advantaged accounts should one know about?
Replies: 7
Views: 1591

Re: What "other" tax advantaged accounts should one know about?

be weary of products such as variable annuities or VULs sold as a "holy grail" for tax efficiency. They have their (limited) time and place but in many cases one is simply better off putting money into a very low-cost, tax efficient, passively managed index fund such as VFIAX in a taxable brokerage ...
by DarkHelmetII
Thu May 16, 2019 11:26 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Taxable Account to avoid sitting on the sidelines!
Replies: 13
Views: 1097

Re: Taxable Account to avoid sitting on the sidelines!

simple tax-efficient low-cost index fund such as VFIAX. Consider all accounts, taxable and non-taxable, in determining and managing asset allocation.
by DarkHelmetII
Thu May 16, 2019 8:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reservations about job offer
Replies: 65
Views: 4184

Re: Reservations about job offer

I might be in the minority here, for better or for worse I have grown to not pay much attention to job titles. There's just so much variability as to when a VP is a "real" VP; the difference between a sales engineer and solution architect and so on... I look at three things: a) money / benefits pack...
by DarkHelmetII
Tue May 14, 2019 7:09 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: One time fee only advisor - costs?
Replies: 20
Views: 1877

Re: One time fee only advisor - costs?

I got a fee only fiduciary review for $2,000. Was helpful for an unbiased sanity check. But, regardless of how much you are willing to pay, I think it is hard to find any one professional who truly understands the nuances of real estate + all of the tax wrinkles (with and without the real estate) in...
by DarkHelmetII
Sun May 05, 2019 10:44 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Cleaning Up Old Employer HSAs
Replies: 3
Views: 239

Re: Cleaning Up Old Employer HSAs

I read through many posts here on HSAs but could not find an answer to my specific question. My wife and I both have HSAs through past employers that are now charging monthly fees. The total fees across both of us is ~$150 per year, which is significant given we have <$10k total in these accounts. ...
by DarkHelmetII
Fri May 03, 2019 8:31 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Boglehead investing through a major downturn
Replies: 36
Views: 3819

Re: Boglehead investing through a major downturn

Here is an article called "What if You Only Invested at Market Peaks?": https://awealthofcommonsense.com/2014/02/worlds-worst-market-timer/. Can read for yourself, but basically gives a point of view based on several decades of history that even if you only bought in at the single absolute worst pos...