Search found 46 matches

by AlphaLess
Mon Oct 30, 2017 8:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: My 401k is almost all cash now. 1/2 Mil
Replies: 89
Views: 8991

Re: My 401k is almost all cash now. 1/2 Mil

First time poster here. Have around $530K all in Stable Fund. Age 48. I have seen crashes of 1999 and then 2008. Since 2011 I started selling and now it is all cash. Thinking that I will see one more major crash, buy back all again and retire after next cycle. I play around with ETF GLD, SLV but th...
by AlphaLess
Mon Oct 30, 2017 9:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a Home in a 500 year Flood Plain
Replies: 32
Views: 1674

Re: Buying a Home in a 500 year Flood Plain

In the presence of regime shifts (such as the ones we are experiencing in our decade) old models are useless.
by AlphaLess
Mon Oct 30, 2017 9:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a Home in a 500 year Flood Plain
Replies: 32
Views: 1674

Re: Buying a Home in a 500 year Flood Plain

Why encourage poor urban planning and bid up inefficient services like flood insurance?

Move to another area that does not have flood dangers at all.
by AlphaLess
Mon Oct 30, 2017 9:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Request for Promotion letter to Senior Management
Replies: 155
Views: 12574

Re: Request for Promotion letter to Senior Management

TIME
TO FIND
A NEW
JOB

Please write that 100 times. And then follow through.
by AlphaLess
Sun Oct 29, 2017 11:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Appropriate Life Insurance in late 40’s – nearing retirement
Replies: 16
Views: 1519

Re: Appropriate Life Insurance in late 40’s – nearing retirement

Questions:

1. what is your age,
2. what is your health rating,
3. how long do you want to have death (term-life) insurance,
4. how many dollars?

you might find a cheaper policy at term4sale or something like that.
by AlphaLess
Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Early-retired 35 year old with $1 million
Replies: 198
Views: 18880

Re: Early-retired 35 year old with $1 million

Congratulations!

Without knowing the spending side of the equation, this discussion is a bit meaningless.
by AlphaLess
Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SWR with a real return of 1.6%
Replies: 45
Views: 3883

Re: SWR with a real return of 1.6%

1. Are you concerned that the data available for consideration is historic and that the models can't account for any sea-change in economics, especially US economics? I have significant concerns that: (a) existing data is HIGHLY overfit in various models: in other words, future may not resemble the...
by AlphaLess
Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SWR with a real return of 1.6%
Replies: 45
Views: 3883

Re: SWR with a real return of 1.6%

With 0 volatility a 4% SWR only requires around 1.3% real returns. So, yes, it is all about volatility. That's why retirement researchers have made such a big deal about "sequence of returns" over the past 30 years. The 4% SWR is based on a 30 year period (1966-1996) when real returns were way abov...
by AlphaLess
Fri Oct 20, 2017 11:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA taxation in Calif
Replies: 21
Views: 1825

Re: HSA taxation in Calif

mega317 wrote:
Fri Oct 20, 2017 11:03 pm
AlphaLess wrote:
Fri Oct 20, 2017 10:45 pm
Sure, it grows in value, but I fail to see the gains.
Huh?
If you contribute $1,000 and later have $2,000, then you have $1,000 in gains.
No, you don't.

You only have $1000 in gains when you sell the thing.
by AlphaLess
Fri Oct 20, 2017 11:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Life in AMT Hell (or, How I Learned to Keep Worrying and Hate the Exemption Phaseout)
Replies: 65
Views: 8324

Re: Life in AMT Hell (or, How I Learned to Keep Worrying and Hate the Exemption Phaseout)

* Make more money I will vote for "Make more money" * 100. Let me put it this way: would you rather take the {AMT/or 39.6% tax bracket} OR making 2x or 3x your current pay? Or put another way: if my employer charitable decides to pay me double my pay tomorrow, I won't be complaining. Not even about...
by AlphaLess
Fri Oct 20, 2017 11:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Life in AMT Hell (or, How I Learned to Keep Worrying and Hate the Exemption Phaseout)
Replies: 65
Views: 8324

Re: Life in AMT Hell (or, How I Learned to Keep Worrying and Hate the Exemption Phaseout)

Alas, we can't all be livesoft and live in states without income tax and >$100k of carry-forward investment losses. How many of you have found yourselves in AMT Hell, where the exemption phaseout demons torture you for making the exact amount of money you make. I suspect the most common road to Hel...
by AlphaLess
Fri Oct 20, 2017 11:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: new 401(k) limits announced
Replies: 88
Views: 13111

Re: new 401(k) limits announced

Why couldn't they just make it $18,600 instead? That would be nice and divisible by 24 (or 12) for payroll contribution. At the current limit, it's an easy $750 bi-monthly ($1500 monthly) to max out. For 2018, it will be $770.83333 bi-monthly ($1541.66667 monthly). Hitting the exact limit just got ...
by AlphaLess
Fri Oct 20, 2017 11:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Re: Where to buy a Vanguard hat? An Update and good news
Replies: 110
Views: 17695

Re: Where to buy a Vanguard hat? An Update and bad news

Sheepdog wrote:
Mon Mar 27, 2017 10:49 am
I see Raymond James shirts and hats, so why not Vanguard too, Vanguard.
Easy. Anyone selling hats and shirts is in the business of marketing. Often times, marketing means selling stuff that people don't really need.
by AlphaLess
Fri Oct 20, 2017 10:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement Account Stolen by Identity theft
Replies: 384
Views: 53249

Re: Retirement Account Stolen by Identity theft

OP: The financial institutions breached their duty to protect your father’s assets when they realeased them to a party who was not your father. You need to have him retain an attorney specializing in banking matters, and have the attorney file a claim for redress. All the other concerns about catch...
by AlphaLess
Fri Oct 20, 2017 10:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement Account Stolen by Identity theft
Replies: 384
Views: 53249

Re: Re:UPDATE: Retirement Account Stolen by Identity theft

So for those of you who are interested, here is the latest installment of new information. The initial call to the custodian of the IRA (Transamerica), which both changed the email address and requested forms for withdrawal of funds, was made from a telephone located at the place my father worked, ...
by AlphaLess
Fri Oct 20, 2017 10:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Returning only the signature page [of a legal document]
Replies: 12
Views: 1183

Re: Returning only the signature page [of a legal document]

I recently had to get my signature on a document notarized. The notary would not affirm the signature unless the entire document was present. I had to go home, print another page, and come back the next day because there were two almost identical pages in the document. Only the page numbers differe...
by AlphaLess
Fri Oct 20, 2017 10:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Returning only the signature page [of a legal document]
Replies: 12
Views: 1183

Re: Returning only the signature page

It seems to be very much standard practice to sign and email back only the signature page when finalizing an agreement electronically. I'm always puzzled by this but I do it anyway. Does this ever lead to disputes over the content of the agreement? I've never seen this, either electronically or sen...
by AlphaLess
Fri Oct 20, 2017 10:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit scores fell this month a lot for no reason
Replies: 40
Views: 2611

Re: Credit scores fell this month a lot for no reason

I monitor my scores via various credit cards for all 3 bureaus, getting the FICO Score 8 numbers. My scores are typically 820-840 but this month they all fell into 780s-799. My utilization % is 0, no inquiries, and I made no charges more than $200. I have a 25+ year history. My only negative repeat...
by AlphaLess
Fri Oct 20, 2017 10:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA taxation in Calif
Replies: 21
Views: 1825

Re: HSA taxation in Calif

I think any interest is also taxable annually, whether or not you withdraw it. Your custodian will send any needed 1099-Int or B or Div (I only ever got the first one...). Are you sure? Have you received such a form for an HSA account? I'm not sure how that would be possible. Forms 1099-INT, 1099-B...
by AlphaLess
Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How many money accounts do you have? And how do you Keep track of them?
Replies: 28
Views: 2640

Re: How many money accounts do you have? And how do you Keep track of them?

Use a password manager.

Carefully describe every account in the password manager (because you might multiple of some).
by AlphaLess
Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Larry Swedroe: Evidence Of Shrinking Alpha
Replies: 5
Views: 1111

Re: Larry Swedroe: Evidence Of Shrinking Alpha

The ONLY folks who should care about if markets are really efficient on mostly efficient are academics who are trying to publish. I respectfully disagree with this statement. Even according to Vanguard, market efficiency has brought investment costs down. E.g., see this: https://www.cnbc.com/2014/0...
by AlphaLess
Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are stocks going up only because all the alternatives are lousy?
Replies: 45
Views: 5009

Re: Are stocks going up only because all the alternatives are lousy?

Bonds usually refer to non-defaultable government securities, denominated in the currency that the government has control of. No they don't. There's a reason iShares, Vanguard, and everyone else in the world calls these things "bonds". Because they are bonds. I disagree. Every investment bank, trad...
by AlphaLess
Thu Oct 05, 2017 9:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are stocks going up only because all the alternatives are lousy?
Replies: 45
Views: 5009

Re: Are stocks going up only because all the alternatives are lousy?

Funny, I look at my portfolio and I see bonds that are up 6.2%, 17.7%, 14.4%, 13.1%, 9.0%, and 8.6%. Anyone who says bonds have little return right now doesn't know what they are talking about. What bonds are you talking about? Those percents that you are quoting: over what period? 1 month? YTD? 1 ...
by AlphaLess
Thu Oct 05, 2017 8:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: MoviePass-Too good to be true, but it's legit.
Replies: 138
Views: 15441

Re: MoviePass-Too good to be true, but it's legit.

F150HD wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 5:27 am
has been in news awhile....sounds like a good deal if one's local theater actually participates. Whats the downside?
This is one of those things that if you are not falling, then you are not skiing hard enough.

This is not a sustainable business model. So take it for a full ride.
by AlphaLess
Thu Oct 05, 2017 8:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you foresee a drop in housing prices in the next 5 years
Replies: 53
Views: 5701

Re: Do you foresee a drop in housing prices in the next 5 years

dm200 wrote:
Tue Oct 03, 2017 4:05 pm
My guess/opinion is that the answer depends a great deal on the locality.
Excellent point.
by AlphaLess
Thu Oct 05, 2017 8:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you foresee a drop in housing prices in the next 5 years
Replies: 53
Views: 5701

Re: Do you foresee a drop in housing prices in the next 5 years

As the title says do you foresee a drop in housing prices due to prices being too high for new potential home buyers being priced out of the market? Edit: To clarify I am not asking if there will be another housing market crash, but that a simple supply and demand issue where prices are too high fo...
by AlphaLess
Thu Oct 05, 2017 8:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are stocks going up only because all the alternatives are lousy?
Replies: 45
Views: 5009

Re: Are stocks going up only because all the alternatives are lousy?

Personally, I'm starting to think about Buffett's "be fearful when others are greedy..." mantra, as I'm hearing more "novice" investors spouting off about how well they've done with this or that stock pick. All I hear about is how stocks are overpriced. The real question is: are there measurable cr...
by AlphaLess
Thu Oct 05, 2017 8:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are stocks going up only because all the alternatives are lousy?
Replies: 45
Views: 5009

Re: Are stocks going up only because all the alternatives are lousy?

The market will pull back...as it always does. And then it will go up again. But consider that even a large (say, 10%) drop in SPX will simply bring it back to where it was in March, 2016. Which would still be double what it was in mid-2009. Personally I do feel that low bond yields are having an e...
by AlphaLess
Thu Oct 05, 2017 8:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are stocks going up only because all the alternatives are lousy?
Replies: 45
Views: 5009

Re: Are stocks going up only because all the alternatives are lousy?

Funny, I look at my portfolio and I see bonds that are up 6.2%, 17.7%, 14.4%, 13.1%, 9.0%, and 8.6%. Anyone who says bonds have little return right now doesn't know what they are talking about. What bonds are you talking about? Those percents that you are quoting: over what period? 1 month? YTD? 1 ...
by AlphaLess
Thu Oct 05, 2017 8:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are stocks going up only because all the alternatives are lousy?
Replies: 45
Views: 5009

Re: Are stocks going up only because all the alternatives are lousy?

Stocks are going up for many reasons: 1. Economy is doing relatively well. Earnings are increasing slowly (http://www.multpl.com/s-p-500-earnings/table?f=m - notice the drop around 1.5 years ago). Unemployment is at structural lows. Consumer confidence is up, 2. Global safety bond yields are low, 3....
by AlphaLess
Thu Oct 05, 2017 8:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Umbrella insurance
Replies: 46
Views: 8692

Re: Umbrella insurance

just checked Geico, 1 milion policy in PA is now $299 a year. Just checked GEICO: 1MM -> $150 2MM -> $250 3MM -> $360 4mm -> $480 I presume it is not just the state that matters. What matters are: - your individual profile (e.g., do you make 1-2 claims per year on your Auto / House with them), - zi...
by AlphaLess
Thu Oct 05, 2017 8:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to improve credit score
Replies: 23
Views: 1443

Re: How to improve credit score

About the best advice I could give (and again, I'm NOT an expert) is to NOT close any credit cards you have had for a while, unless there is an annual fee associated with it. Excellent point. One more tip: even if it has an annual fee, explore changing the card type in a way that: (a) the new one d...
by AlphaLess
Wed Oct 04, 2017 10:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to improve credit score
Replies: 23
Views: 1443

Re: How to improve credit score

I used to have a limited number of credit cards, with a couple of them around 15-20 years old, and no mortgage or installment loans. My scores were in the 770-780 range. Then I started the App-O-Rama scheme, popular in the mid-200s. Initially, my score took a dive to 740s. It stayed lower-ish for a ...
by AlphaLess
Wed Oct 04, 2017 10:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does anyone hold cash?
Replies: 58
Views: 6032

Re: Does anyone hold cash?

I always have a couple of hundred dollars in my pocket.

Does that count?

Or, say, if I have 3% in cash, does that count?
by AlphaLess
Wed Oct 04, 2017 10:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Are credit cards rewards worth it?
Replies: 103
Views: 6605

Re: Are credit cards rewards worth it?

So, $165K spend on cash-back cards. That has got to yield at least: - $400 on Amex PBlue - $430 on Amazon - $1,900 on Citi Double Cash - $1,000 on Fido. So that's $3,750 cashback. So roughly, 2.2%. Probably similar on the Amex MR card. Have you considered periodically opening new accounts to take a...
by AlphaLess
Tue Oct 03, 2017 11:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2320
Views: 421693

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Find 3-6 new good cards per year, with high bonus spend.
Apply, direct the least juicy spend to those cards.
Repeat.
2x number of cards if you have a spouse.
by AlphaLess
Tue Oct 03, 2017 11:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Future of Active vs Index Investing
Replies: 33
Views: 2721

Re: The Future of Active vs Index Investing

I mean there was no staying the course with Enron, Lehman, Kodak, more recently Equifax, etc.. I wonder how many passive funds were forced to hold on to these companies when it was pretty clear the future was very bleak. For every active manager who sold those companies on the way down, there was a...
by AlphaLess
Tue Oct 03, 2017 10:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Would you take a pay cut to work from home?
Replies: 67
Views: 5773

Re: Would you take a pay cut to work from home?

I would not take a pay cut to work at home. I feel like I am significantly more productive at work, have access to more resources (people and other), and I use my commute as a way to get exercise. If they paid me 20% more, I might consider giving up the office. However, my employer feels the same wa...
by AlphaLess
Tue Oct 03, 2017 10:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Are credit cards rewards worth it?
Replies: 103
Views: 6605

Re: Are credit cards rewards worth it?

Just curious: more than anything, I am curious to know your weighted average cash-back rate (rather than how much you spend, but one gives the other) I’m already in bed (early morning tomorrow), but I will look at Quicken tomorrow afternoon and see if I can get an annual spend and reward with each ...
by AlphaLess
Mon Oct 02, 2017 9:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I bought a car without thinking too much about value
Replies: 45
Views: 4266

Re: I bought a car without thinking too much about value

retiredjg wrote:
Sat Sep 30, 2017 11:07 am
Sure, you could have bought a used car. But you love this one, you feel safe in it, and you can afford it. I think second guessing this purchase is a waste of your energy. Just enjoy it and move on.
What retiredjg said!
by AlphaLess
Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why do 10-yrs US Treasuries have a higher yield than European Junk Bonds?
Replies: 34
Views: 3463

Re: Why do 10-yrs US Treasuries have a higher yield than European Junk Bonds?

I've seen a graph showing that the yield on 10-year US Treasuries (2.33%) is now higher than the yield on European Junk Bonds (2.32%) (unfortunately I am not savvy enough to be able to insert the graph here - showing the evolution of the respective yields). Anyway, how can this be consistent with t...
by AlphaLess
Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:46 pm
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: Retirement Class of 1998 (Sheepdog's Experience)
Replies: 45
Views: 4529

Re: Retirement Class of 1998 (Sheepdog's Experience)

My wife and I took nice vacations foreign and domestic, kept up our home, enjoyed theater, live music and attending sporting events often. We share our good fortune with groups in need. I have watched my health, exercised often, and told my wife and children that I loved them. I stay busy, keep up ...
by AlphaLess
Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Future of Active vs Index Investing
Replies: 33
Views: 2721

Re: The Future of Active vs Index Investing

My question is therefore, without any difference in Cost between Active or Passive Funds how would your Investing strategy change? Would you still index based on market cap? In my humble opinion, active management will not be able to outperform passive management, under *ANY* fee assumption. Two ar...
by AlphaLess
Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Are credit cards rewards worth it?
Replies: 103
Views: 6605

Re: Are credit cards rewards worth it?

I use credit rewards cards. We usually earn about $2500/year, but the past 12 months I think we are on track for $3000. Amex Blue Preferred - Groceries Amazon Prime Store Card - 5% on Amazon PenFed for gasoline Fidelity 2% Visa and Citi Double Cash 2%- everything else I think it is worth it. We hav...