Search found 49 matches

by echidna
Mon Jan 21, 2019 1:52 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Highest Guaranteed Return Investment for My 75 Year-Old Dad?
Replies: 27
Views: 2655

Re: Highest Guaranteed Return Investment for My 75 Year-Old Dad?

SPIAs were been mentioned by only one poster here, but that would be my first choice, for something that's guaranteed and foolproof once it's started. It won't have any inflation protection, but neither will the other candidates mentioned. Last I enquired with Fidelity (early 2018), you could get a...
by echidna
Mon Jan 21, 2019 12:42 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Highest Guaranteed Return Investment for My 75 Year-Old Dad?
Replies: 27
Views: 2655

Re: Highest Guaranteed Return Investment for My 75 Year-Old Dad?

I've known people who are so conservative, they parked large sums of cash in (very safe) banks at quite modest interest rates. I pointed out that there is actually a big risk associated with this, namely inflation. Admittedly we have relatively low inflation at the moment, but in the 70's (and who k...
by echidna
Fri Jan 18, 2019 2:21 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Should I increase my stock allocation to 90% stocks?
Replies: 63
Views: 5118

Re: Should I increase my stock allocation to 90% stocks?

But she says she spends $26k. What’s to believe? The OP may be living on $26k a year now. First of all, I suspect that is because of consciously holding expenses down to maximize savings. Most people with that income would be spending far more. Allowing for more generous general expenses post-retir...
by echidna
Fri Jan 18, 2019 3:25 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Should I increase my stock allocation to 90% stocks?
Replies: 63
Views: 5118

Re: Should I increase my stock allocation to 90% stocks?

First of all, congratulations on being an early and aggressive saver/investor. I wish I had saved like this when I was 30! It sounds to me like your issues/questions are more about lifestyle issues than investing per se. Let me venture a few thoughts. I also have lived/worked in the SF Bay Area and ...
by echidna
Wed Apr 25, 2018 3:23 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Schwab Vs Fidelity Vs Vanguard
Replies: 88
Views: 26135

Re: Consumer Reports: "Vanguard #1 on Service"

whodidntante: Thanks to Jack Bogle, Vanguard is the only mutual fund company owned by its shareholders. There is no conflict of interest or profits going to stockholders. It's an interesting question to speculate on why then then Vanguard's customer service is on average distinctly inferior to that...
by echidna
Wed Apr 25, 2018 2:00 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Schwab Vs Fidelity Vs Vanguard
Replies: 88
Views: 26135

Re: Schwab Vs Fidelity Vs Vanguard

Vanguard is known for the lowest cost in the industry but it looks like Schwab may be beating them lately. Take a look at above link, Schwab has low investment requirement yet able to match or beat Vanguard by 0.01% or so. Am I missing something? Maybe. The quoted expense ratio is not necessarily t...
by echidna
Wed Apr 25, 2018 1:38 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Schwab Vs Fidelity Vs Vanguard
Replies: 88
Views: 26135

Re: Schwab Vs Fidelity Vs Vanguard

whodidntante: Thanks to Jack Bogle, Vanguard is the only mutual fund company owned by its shareholders. There is no conflict of interest or profits going to stockholders. It's an interesting question to speculate on why then then Vanguard's customer service is on average distinctly inferior to that...
by echidna
Wed Apr 25, 2018 1:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Help poke holes? Roger Ibbotson recommends a Fixed Index Annuity as a partial bond alternative.
Replies: 23
Views: 2879

Re: Help poke holes? Roger Ibbotson recommends a Fixed Index Annuity as a partial bond alternative.

Of course, it is a 9 year commitment. I did not read every word, but in scanning the referenced paper I saw no reference to liquidity . I can sell "Total Bond" or "Intermediate Term Corporate" and access my funds with a 1 day settlement time. I'm not trying to support Ibbotson's thesis (quite the c...
by echidna
Wed Apr 25, 2018 10:49 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Schwab Vs Fidelity Vs Vanguard
Replies: 88
Views: 26135

Re: Schwab Vs Fidelity Vs Vanguard

Keep in mind that expenses are just part of the equation. Exactly. Splitting hairs over sub-tenths of a percent in expenses, while ignoring other factors that affect performance is silly. Funds invested in essentially the same thing (e.g., index funds) can differ in performance for many reasons oth...
by echidna
Wed Apr 25, 2018 10:08 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Help poke holes? Roger Ibbotson recommends a Fixed Index Annuity as a partial bond alternative.
Replies: 23
Views: 2879

Re: Help poke holes? Roger Ibbotson recommends a Fixed Index Annuity as a partial bond alternative.

I don't know of any annuity product that makes much sense during the *accumulation* phase prior to retirement. Just stick with low-fee market investments - that's basically all the insurance companies have to work with during that phase, as you are relatively unlikely to die during this time. Post-r...
by echidna
Sat Apr 07, 2018 11:10 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Guggenheim's Scott Minerd's dire forecast for financial markets
Replies: 17
Views: 2472

Re: Guggenheim's Scott Minerd's dire forecast for financial markets

Another revealing Swedroe post about prediction, but this time reporting a comprehensive survey by other authors is at http://www.etf.com/sections/index-investor-corner/swedroe-grading-forecasters?nopaging=1 . At the end of this post, he notes that Warren Buffet advises you to ignore all forecasts b...
by echidna
Wed Mar 21, 2018 1:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taxes on bonus
Replies: 13
Views: 1796

Re: Taxes on bonus

I experienced variable withholding with my former employer, depending on whether they combined a bonus with a regular paycheck or paid it separately. But at the end of the day, my understanding is that you can manipulate your overall withholding by submitting a new W-4 to your employer, and changing...
by echidna
Mon Mar 05, 2018 3:33 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Torn between Vanguard, Fidelity and Schwab
Replies: 182
Views: 34283

Re: Torn between Vanguard, Fidelity and Schwab

I mainly use Vanguard and Schwab but have had Fidelity. Schwab is my favorite for two reasons, low cost funds and 2 factor authentication. I use a key bob with random numbers to login. Fidelity does not even allow complex passwords. I would certainly prefer two-factor authentication, but my Fidelit...
by echidna
Mon Mar 05, 2018 1:46 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Torn between Vanguard, Fidelity and Schwab
Replies: 182
Views: 34283

Re: Torn between Vanguard, Fidelity and Schwab

relative newbie to investing in general .... tomorrow get to sit down for my second session with an advisor in a nearby local Fidelity office While Fidelity and Schwab don't have reputations for doing everything they can to steal your money, they still need to make a profit. Please be careful about...
by echidna
Sun Mar 04, 2018 9:12 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Torn between Vanguard, Fidelity and Schwab
Replies: 182
Views: 34283

Re: Torn between Vanguard, Fidelity and Schwab

I'm a newbie with Vanguard (and a relative newbie to investing in general). After reading John Bogle's "Little Book" and another by Paul Merriman (both Vanguard focused), I decided to open an account with them a couple of weeks ago, move my tIRA from TIAA-CREF, and also to invest a large amount of c...
by echidna
Sat Feb 24, 2018 12:27 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Is the RMD required prior to IRA rollover?
Replies: 8
Views: 931

Re: Is the RMD required prior to IRA rollover?

Thank you House Blend (and jehmke) for that information! I'm not quite sure when the word "rollover" came into the picture, but I believe I began by simply saying I wanted to move the IRA elsewhere to a like IRA (I've never had to do this before). The process they described involves them sending a c...
by echidna
Fri Feb 23, 2018 10:21 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Is the RMD required prior to IRA rollover?
Replies: 8
Views: 931

Re: Is the RMD required prior to IRA rollover?

The Investopedia article I referenced above contains a link to a massive IRS document (154 pages!) on RMD's. This is a document dating from 2002, labelled "Required Distributions from Retirement Plans", "Final and temporary regulations", so I'm not sure if it is current, but anyhow, after much effor...
by echidna
Fri Feb 23, 2018 9:42 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Current Vanguard password practices?
Replies: 39
Views: 3823

Re: Current Vanguard password practices?

It's only trivial if the hash is easy to compute. The choice of hash is entirely up the the web site storing the password. They can choose to make it as hard as they want. If the web site chooses a hash that costs a penny to compute on optimized hardware (and the web site gets to choose both the ha...
by echidna
Fri Feb 23, 2018 9:18 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Is the RMD required prior to IRA rollover?
Replies: 8
Views: 931

Is the RMD required prior to IRA rollover?

I have a situation with TIAA-CREF, where I am about to roll over a traditional IRA with them to a traditional IRA at another provider. They have been insisting that they need to make the RMD (calculated on this account in isolation) prior to the rollover (I am age 70 1/2 this year). This appears to ...
by echidna
Thu Feb 22, 2018 4:49 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Current Vanguard password practices?
Replies: 39
Views: 3823

Re: Current Vanguard password practices?

Actually I was assuming pretty lousy storage practices. With a 20 character random password, the only thing you really need to worry about right now is whether the password was actually properly hashed at all. IM A O it's lousy storage practice if a 3 byte random character password can be usefully ...
by echidna
Wed Feb 21, 2018 11:37 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Current Vanguard password practices?
Replies: 39
Views: 3823

Re: Current Vanguard password practices?

Secondly, in saying a strong password is not crack-able in a finite time, you are assuming best-practices password storage, etc. There have been all too many cases in the past where this was not so - everything from unencrypted passwords or unsalted hashed passwords or passwords encrypted with a co...
by echidna
Wed Feb 21, 2018 10:30 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Current Vanguard password practices?
Replies: 39
Views: 3823

Re: Current Vanguard password practices?

Typically, a brute force attack would not be directed against the web site itself. Instead, it would be directed against a stolen copy of a database containing account IDs and passwords. In that case, shouldn’t we also change our passwords regularly? If the password is strong enough and you have no...
by echidna
Tue Feb 20, 2018 10:27 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Current Vanguard password practices?
Replies: 39
Views: 3823

Re: Current Vanguard password practices?

I would say that it's not so much Vanguard's password policy that counts as *yours*. Simply put, the best thing to do password-wise is use a randomly-generated password, exploiting the maximum length and the full character set allowed by Vanguard (or whoever). Passwords you can remember are likely t...
by echidna
Mon Feb 19, 2018 3:36 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Sell me on the benefits of an emergency fund
Replies: 119
Views: 9084

Re: Sell me on the benefits of an emergency fund

Who knows what the future will bring, but absent a crystal ball, I would place much more faith in the more immediate past as a predictor of what is to come, at least for the near term. Dude your first post in this thread referenced the "long long term". Now we're on near term? Sorry, the "long long...
by echidna
Mon Feb 19, 2018 2:52 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Sell me on the benefits of an emergency fund
Replies: 119
Views: 9084

Re: Sell me on the benefits of an emergency fund

Over the maximum time period Morningstar can show me, an investment in the Vanguard Tax-Exempt Money Market Fund would have grown $10,000 on 6/30/1980 to $29,872.49 on 12/31/2017. The CPI was 82.50 at the end of June, 1980, and 247.910 at the end of December, 2017. Therefore $29,872.49 was equivale...
by echidna
Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:30 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Sell me on the benefits of an emergency fund
Replies: 119
Views: 9084

Re: Sell me on the benefits of an emergency fund

...Regarding "opportunity cost", you are arguing semantics... Yes. Indeed. I am. That is what I am doing. You can take your money market fund (interest taxable as ordinary income) and I'll take my balanced portfolio of (say) muni bonds (zero tax) and tax-efficient stock index funds or ETF's (modest...
by echidna
Sun Feb 18, 2018 10:59 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Sell me on the benefits of an emergency fund
Replies: 119
Views: 9084

Re: Sell me on the benefits of an emergency fund

...First of all, your calculation needs to be done on an after-tax basis... When have you seen people quote returns on mutual funds or stock market "on an after-tax basis?" People frequently will say "the U.S. stock market has had a real return of 6.4% since 1900" without mentioning taxes, even in ...
by echidna
Sun Feb 18, 2018 10:13 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Sell me on the benefits of an emergency fund
Replies: 119
Views: 9084

Re: Sell me on the benefits of an emergency fund

Reading over all the posts here, I'm struck by the very different perspectives different people have, and I think to a large extent, this reflects different life situations. Of course, I tend to think first from my own current situation. Example 1: A couple in mid-life with a large mortgage, kids in...
by echidna
Sun Feb 18, 2018 7:26 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Sell me on the benefits of an emergency fund
Replies: 119
Views: 9084

Re: Sell me on the benefits of an emergency fund

A money market fund didn't "lose money," which means a smaller number of dollars except when people are trying to bash cash or TIPS. It didn't fail to keep up with inflation. It beat inflation. Competitive bank accounts would have done the same thing. You can keep money in an emergency fund without...
by echidna
Sun Feb 18, 2018 5:37 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Sell me on the benefits of an emergency fund
Replies: 119
Views: 9084

Re: Sell me on the benefits of an emergency fund

I think to discuss this logically, you need to begin by defining "emergency". In this context, we are particularly referring to things that affect financial security. Then make a list of potential emergency situations and assign some rough level of consequence (magnitude, duration of effects) and pr...
by echidna
Sun Feb 18, 2018 2:27 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Does the absence of need for a legacy affect your AA or SWR?
Replies: 24
Views: 2237

Re: Does the absence of need for a legacy affect your AA or SWR?

One of the big unknowns in retirement is long term care (assisted living or skilled nursing care). Spending it while you can could leave a spouse or couple in difficult if not dire straights if they don't have enough to cover these late life expenses. I'm not sure if you are referring to my post (i...
by echidna
Sun Feb 18, 2018 1:13 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Does the absence of need for a legacy affect your AA or SWR?
Replies: 24
Views: 2237

Re: Does the absence of need for a legacy affect your AA or SWR?

Like some here, I am recently retired with a large enough portfolio to assure my desired retirement living expenses and then some. I'm still deciding how to allocate funds for the future. Right now, the portfolio is conservatively invested. I am leaning towards annuitizing a significant portion (in ...
by echidna
Sat Feb 17, 2018 11:40 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Does the absence of need for a legacy affect your AA or SWR?
Replies: 24
Views: 2237

Re: Does the absence of need for a legacy affect your AA or SWR?

Being single, I haven't investigated the case of a couple who might want a joint and survivor annuity. So you would have to investigate for your specific case, where an annuity may be less advantageous than for a single retiree. But what I can say is that if you are single, retiring around 70, and o...
by echidna
Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:05 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: I'm Lost Please Help Me :(
Replies: 20
Views: 2829

Re: I'm Lost Please Help Me :(

I'm not sure why there is so much emphasis above on paying off a 3% 15-year loan. By all means pay it off at an accelerated rate, especially if that makes you more comfortable, but I would not seriously deplete my cash to pay it off as fast as possible. If rather than using a large amount of cash to...
by echidna
Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:17 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Arguments against rising equity glide path?
Replies: 40
Views: 4553

Re: Arguments against rising equity glide path?

Well, the question really just becomes one of fear or sleeping well. If an 80/20 portfolio can sustain a 3.5% WR for a long retirement then how is it bad for an 80 year old? It should survive just as well for them as for a 50 year old. How is it less likely to survive a given time period based on t...
by echidna
Sun Feb 11, 2018 3:27 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Arguments against rising equity glide path?
Replies: 40
Views: 4553

Re: Arguments against rising equity glide path?

Nearly all this discussion seems to presume one thing - that bonds are the way to "de-risk" a portfolio heavy in equities. At least for the 30-year retirement scenario (retirement at say age 70, which is essentially my case), I am coming to believe that annuities (SPIA-type) are highly worthy of con...
by echidna
Sat Feb 10, 2018 3:34 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio review for newbie?
Replies: 11
Views: 1033

Re: Portfolio review for newbie?

I fail to see what is wrong with the car loan. Let's say the OP is buying a car and needs say $10000 for this purpose, and has two options to raise this amount: (a) pay cash, and effectively deplete his investment portfolio by $10000 immediately; (b) take out a loan for $10000 at 1.9% interest for s...
by echidna
Fri Feb 09, 2018 6:59 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio review for newbie?
Replies: 11
Views: 1033

Re: Portfolio review for newbie?

My thought (if you haven't already done so) would be to set up a simple spreadsheet, showing, for each year going forward, your initial portfolio balance, annual contributions, and portfolio gain based on some assumed percentage return on the portfolio per year. Then you can calculate the portfolio ...
by echidna
Fri Feb 09, 2018 3:45 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: ETF. What and how do you use them?
Replies: 35
Views: 1944

Re: ETF. What and how do you use them?

My feeling is if I can have an ETF that is essentially equivalent to a particular mutual fund, but in addition (among other things) allows intra-day trading, then I want the intra-day trading capability. Not to abuse it, but because it has real value in particular situations. I've been caught a coup...
by echidna
Mon Jan 29, 2018 2:10 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Sequence of returns for early retiree
Replies: 14
Views: 2907

Re: Sequence of returns for early retiree

At what point, if this crazy upward momentum continues, can I forget about the whole sequence of returns thing, not that I dwell on it at all. To some extent you can never stop worrying about it. The future could always be extremely, horribly bad. Especially with a very long retirement like yours. ...
by echidna
Sun Jan 28, 2018 5:39 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Allocation Dilemma - Bonds or No Bonds, retiring 8 years @ 50y/o, w/ $ lasting to 90s.
Replies: 65
Views: 5714

Re: Allocation Dilemma - Bonds or No Bonds, retiring 8 years @ 50y/o, w/ $ lasting to 90s.

Fourth--the page 2 Monte Carlo results graph showing your portfolio has a 36% probability of success directly contradicts the data on the very last page, which lists the probability at 75%. Funny how the probability of the adviser's portfolio is the same in both... Is that because of the different ...
by echidna
Sun Jan 28, 2018 3:38 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Allocation Dilemma - Bonds or No Bonds, retiring 8 years @ 50y/o, w/ $ lasting to 90s.
Replies: 65
Views: 5714

Re: Allocation Dilemma - Bonds or No Bonds, retiring 8 years @ 50y/o, w/ $ lasting to 90s.

Understood, it's a PDF so its safe, but it's too much to copy paste, a lot of graphical tables. https://uploadfiles.io/9ilby maybe there's a way you can view online. I'll see if I can do it again. I'm apparently more risk-tolerant as I did download the file. (I have an old computer I use for access...
by echidna
Sun Jan 28, 2018 2:08 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Allocation Dilemma - Bonds or No Bonds, retiring 8 years @ 50y/o, w/ $ lasting to 90s.
Replies: 65
Views: 5714

Re: Allocation Dilemma - Bonds or No Bonds, retiring 8 years @ 50y/o, w/ $ lasting to 90s.

Let's say your deficit is $20k. That would be a 2% withdrawal from a $1 million dollar portfolio. That should certainly be sustainable over 50 years with even a 50% stock allocation. Something still is not adding up for me. Maybe I've misread something in what you've posted. Are the educational exp...
by echidna
Sat Jan 27, 2018 5:16 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Municipal Bonds - 100% When All You Need is the Income
Replies: 55
Views: 8006

Re: Municipal Bonds - 100% When All You Need is the Income

"Risk is the probability that your investment portfolio will fail to achieve your goals for retirement income and for leaving a legacy." That is one perfectly reasonable idea to have about risk that is important to lots of people, but there is no reason to pick that idea for risk before all the oth...
by echidna
Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:50 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Municipal Bonds - 100% When All You Need is the Income
Replies: 55
Views: 8006

Re: Municipal Bonds - 100% When All You Need is the Income

You are right. But a little quibble--not with you, but rather with investing vocabulary used by just about everyone (including Vanguard in their materials) in describing this: I think if we want to call things by their proper names, we (as a community) need to start using the word "risk" properly. ...
by echidna
Thu Jan 18, 2018 9:10 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Whether to annuitize (or not) an IRA
Replies: 6
Views: 631

Re: Whether to annuitize (or not) an IRA

COLA-adjusted immediate annuities have become rare and dear (meaning extremely expensive). They used to be quite common 15-20 years ago when I was looking, but no more. They are basically prohibitively expensive and not worth it in my opinion. The next best thing is one that adjusts upward by, say,...
by echidna
Thu Jan 18, 2018 8:23 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Whether to annuitize (or not) an IRA
Replies: 6
Views: 631

Re: Whether to annuitize (or not) an IRA

Assuming my calculations above are correct, what I take away from this is that the SPIA annuities beat the managed portfolio at achieving my goals, unless relatively high and consistent rates of return are assumed for the latter. I would be interested in members opinions on how likely it is that lon...
by echidna
Thu Jan 18, 2018 8:14 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Whether to annuitize (or not) an IRA
Replies: 6
Views: 631

Re: Whether to annuitize (or not) an IRA

Taking case (a) above first, from immedannuities.com, I got a quote of about $29.0k income per year (7.26%) from a $400k SPIA contract for life. For the managed IRA, with annual withdrawals of this amount, I calculate that for a portfolio of 50/50 bonds and stocks, with a constant annual return of 4...
by echidna
Thu Jan 18, 2018 7:59 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Whether to annuitize (or not) an IRA
Replies: 6
Views: 631

Whether to annuitize (or not) an IRA

Hi, I'm a new member here in what seems like a great resource, and looking to educate myself on managing my retirement portfolio. My question (I'm sure I'll ask a lot more!) is about using annuities in a specific situation. I've done a fair bit of reading on the forum in the annuity threads (frankly...