Search found 74 matches

by statman
Tue Sep 26, 2017 12:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retirees, what is your marginal tax rate?
Replies: 102
Views: 10533

Re: Retirees, what is your marginal tax rate?

Mid-70s, married, 33% marginal. BUT when we finally fell out of the 39.6% bracket two years ago, we were immediately hit by the AMT. Never applied when we were at 39.6%. Ah, the tax code.
by statman
Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Vanguard fund shareholders encouraged to vote as proxy campaign gets under way."
Replies: 87
Views: 23611

Re: "Vanguard fund shareholders encouraged to vote as proxy campaign gets under way."

An interesting feature of the Vanguard proxy booklet is that it discloses the holding in VG funds of the 12 trustees/trustee nominees. In broad terms, of course: much the most common holding is "over $100,000". My attention was caught by the funds in which NO trustee has any holdings. Here is a very...
by statman
Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Wealthfront now uses VTEB (Vanguard Tax-Exempt Bond) as its default muni ETF
Replies: 3
Views: 885

Re: Wealthfront now uses VTEB (Vanguard Tax-Exempt Bond) as its default muni ETF

Note that VTEB is quite similar to VWIUX in duration (but not maturity) and quality. Slightly longer duration (5.8 vs 5.2 yrs) and slightly higher quality. But on the whole, it isn't clear to me why one would not choose the established and much larger fund unless you have to have an ETF.
by statman
Sat Jul 29, 2017 4:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are any advisors not self serving
Replies: 25
Views: 2312

Re: Are any advisors not self serving

To second Afty's comments: I have had conversations with VPAS, looking forward to the time when my wife will need an advisor. VPAS advisors are salaried, so no individual pockets to line. VPAS is willing to take account of, but not manage, assets I want to simply leave alone (Ibonds and TIAA 403b), ...
by statman
Sun Jul 09, 2017 5:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: how to destroy hard disk with personal info
Replies: 99
Views: 8389

Re: how to destroy hard disk with personal info

A question for all of you who are physically torturing defunct hard drives: what's wrong with just running DBAN?
by statman
Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Credit Suisse Yearbook 2017
Replies: 27
Views: 2941

Re: Credit Suisse Yearbook 2017

Unlike past years, the 2017 yearbook available online is just a summary. We can't read, for example, Dimson, Marsh, Stanton's essay on factor investing, just a few excerpted charts. too bad.
by statman
Sat Feb 11, 2017 8:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Preferred "disk cloning" software?
Replies: 43
Views: 3780

Re: Preferred "disk cloning" software?

Yet another vote for Clonezilla. Free, run it from CD or from a USB stick.
by statman
Mon Jan 02, 2017 1:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard flagship phone wait times
Replies: 3
Views: 1051

Vanguard flagship phone wait times

A poster in another thread said that even with over $1 million invested with Vanguard, he experienced telephone delays longer than 20 minutes several times during the past year. We have over $5 million and never experience any noticeable delay. Is this random, or a function of funds invested? I don'...
by statman
Sun Nov 06, 2016 3:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ashford watches good prices online
Replies: 9
Views: 1430

Re: Ashford watches good prices online

I bought my wife a Rado watch from Ashford 15 years ago. Saved a LOT of money over list price on this rather expensive watch. She has worn it every day since with just normal cleaning. Watches are generally reliable, so in my opinion reduced initial cost outweighs warranty weakness unless you are ex...
by statman
Mon Sep 26, 2016 1:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: public pension plan unfunded liabilities
Replies: 75
Views: 10248

Re: public pension plan unfunded liabilities

This comparison from Morningstar is relevant to Larry's recommendation. BMBIX average duration 4.42 yrs; 73% AAA, 25% AA; 50% advance refunded; net expense 0.30% VWIUX average duration 4.78 yrs; 21% AAA, 55% AA; 7% advance refunded; net expense 0.12% Returns: BMBIX 2015 2.19% 2014 4.54% 2013 -1.19% ...
by statman
Sun Sep 25, 2016 7:51 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Financial Times: Vanguard credit line
Replies: 3
Views: 1125

Financial Times: Vanguard credit line

This morning's FT has an article titled "Vanguard extends credit line to $3bn" on the practice of large fund houses arranging bank lines of credit to deal with unusually large withdrawals from their funds. The article quotes regulators as expressing concern that the existence of these cred...
by statman
Tue Aug 09, 2016 2:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard upgrading to Brokerage account comes with some nuisances
Replies: 89
Views: 14446

Re: Vanguard upgrading to Brokerage account comes with some nuisances

The "upgrade" does come with nuisances, in addition to the late availability of tax forms. Pre-upgrade, bond fund dividends for (say) 6/30 appeared in my account on the morning of 7/1, invested in the funds I had specified. Now they appear on 7/2, dated 7/1, and can no longer be automatica...
by statman
Mon Jun 27, 2016 4:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bank of america preferred rewards program
Replies: 11
Views: 2271

Re: Bank of america preferred rewards program

Yes, we keep $100,000+ in our BoA checking acct, qualifies for top preferred level. Why? Well, we long kept a fairly small amount in bank checking, much more in VG Tax-Exempt MM, which yielded much more. Now both yield nothing, and the checking acct is insured and offers the preferred advantages. So...
by statman
Tue May 24, 2016 9:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: An AMT warning for retirees
Replies: 10
Views: 2669

An AMT warning for retirees

As our earned income has decreased in retirement, we fell from the 39.6% income tax bracket to 33%. This carries with it a reduction in the tax rate for qualified dividends and long-term capital gains from 20% to 15%. (I ignore the 3.8% additional Medicare tax.) This in turn exposed us to AMT for th...
by statman
Thu Apr 07, 2016 9:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which bank for ATM use outside the US?
Replies: 26
Views: 2252

Re: Which bank for ATM use outside the US?

The original issue was which bank, not which card. Bank of America has agreements with a number of major international banks (Deutsche, BNP Paribas, BNL, etc -- roughly one per major European country) that allow use of BoA ATM/debit cards at ATMs of these banks with no fees by either bank. I find th...
by statman
Wed Apr 06, 2016 4:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How does online banking work? Fraud on credit card
Replies: 20
Views: 1867

Re: How does online banking work?

The common and effective way to auto-pay your monthly bills is to ask the payees to set up withdrawal from your designated bank account rather than to ask the bank. Almost all utility (etc) companies allow you to set this up on their Web sites. With two homes in different states, we have more that 1...
by statman
Tue Apr 05, 2016 8:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Excellent but expensive investing books
Replies: 33
Views: 3422

Re: Excellent but expensive investing books

If you have a substantial portfolio and manage it yourself, an expensive book every few years is a trivial expense vs the mgmt fees you are saving. So if you think a book will help you make good decisions, ignore the price. I recommend the books of Ilmanen and Ang mentioned earlier in this thread.
by statman
Sat Mar 19, 2016 4:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Can you time premiums?
Replies: 18
Views: 2201

Re: Can you time premiums?

In 1980, having been a professor since 1968, I began to wonder whether 50% CREF was a good idea, stocks having been pummeled my entire working career. Fortunately, Malkiel's "Inflation-Beaters Investment Guide" appeared that year. He could not predict the future (as the title shows), but h...
by statman
Thu Mar 10, 2016 2:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard rep calls: consolidating into brokerage
Replies: 21
Views: 3485

Vanguard rep calls: consolidating into brokerage

Just received a call from our Flagship rep. The consolidation of mutual fund and brokerage accounts will occur between June and August. The call was a bit confused, on both ends, so I hope that others can share what they have learned from similar encounters. 1. As far as I can tell, the changeover i...
by statman
Sun Jan 17, 2016 4:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bank of America disses older clients
Replies: 24
Views: 2975

Bank of America disses older clients

Received an email invitation from a survey organization on behalf of BoA to participate in a survey "so that they can serve you and customers like you better." The first question was "In what year were you born." When I clicked "Before 1949" the result was an immediate ...
by statman
Tue Jan 12, 2016 4:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Customer Service Issues
Replies: 102
Views: 11534

Re: Vanguard Customer Service Issues

OK, let me give 3 examples of Vanguard's failure to provide adequate service for a Flagship client. Granted, this is over a decade, but still ... 1. I wrote a check for $100,000 on my Tax-Exempt MM account. VG debited the account $200,000. No question they were wrong: the check image was sitting the...
by statman
Sun Oct 25, 2015 4:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A reason to hold international equities
Replies: 3
Views: 1101

A reason to hold international equities

It appears that interest rates will remain low for some considerable time. The dividend yield on the S&P 500 has now passed the yield on 10-yr Treasuries. Hence, investors are looking at equities for income. NOTE: International equities have considerably higher yields than US equities. Your situ...
by statman
Tue Oct 06, 2015 8:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard delays ACH funds availability
Replies: 55
Views: 8006

Vanguard delays ACH funds availability

I recently moved some funds from my checking account to my Vanguard money market account via ACH. The Vanguard web site says these funds are unavailable for 7 days, and a Flagship rep confirmed this. This delay appears clearly excessive. Bank of America (my bank) says 3 days, and in fact these funds...
by statman
Wed Aug 26, 2015 8:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I need a classic men's black dress belt
Replies: 53
Views: 8363

Re: I need a classic men's black dress belt

I have two older Coach belts (black, brown) that will last forever. I am not fond of Coach's current (and overpriced) offerings. Look at Trafalgar www.trafalgarstore.com for classic dress belts that are less expensive (and more classic) than Coach, higher quality (and more classic, but also more exp...
by statman
Mon Aug 03, 2015 7:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Houston, we have a problem... [Small cap historical performance]
Replies: 57
Views: 6495

Re: Houston, we have a problem... [Small cap historical performance]

Some quotes from Andrew Ang "Asset Management": "The size effect was discovered by Benz (1981), with similar results in Reinganum (1981), and refers to the fact that small stocks tended to do better than large stocks, after adjusting for their betas. The past tense is appropriate here...
by statman
Wed Jul 29, 2015 6:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "A Random Walk Down Wall Street"
Replies: 14
Views: 2450

Re: "A Random Walk Down Wall Street"

Let me point to a different Malkiel book: "The Inflation-Beater's Investment Guide" (1980). I finished a PhD and took an academic job in Sept 1967. You may recall that stocks were pretty much a disaster from 1968 to 1982. So about 1980, by then a full professor, I began to wonder about the...
by statman
Thu Jul 02, 2015 11:06 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Meb Faber Kindle Books - Free!
Replies: 14
Views: 3380

Re: Meb Faber Kindle Books - Free!

I don't see the books as "free" -- they appear to require signing up for Kindle Unlimited at $9.99/month after a 30-day free trial. Not interested. Amazon Prime members with a Kindle can however "borrow" the books free.
by statman
Wed Feb 11, 2015 9:59 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Credit Suisse Yearbook 2015
Replies: 5
Views: 2102

Credit Suisse Yearbook 2015

The very interesting Credit Suisse Global Investment Returns Yearbook for 2015 is now available for download.
by statman
Fri Jul 25, 2014 5:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Chip" credit card for foreign travel
Replies: 105
Views: 19435

Re: "Chip" credit card for foreign travel

Re AMEX: AMEX is accepted at almost all major hotels, larger stores and upper-crust restaurants in at least France and Italy, which I visit often. It is not accepted at most small establishments, bistros and similar, where one must use VISA/MC and pay the foreign transaction fee. I always try AMEX f...
by statman
Sun Jun 22, 2014 5:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I Bonds 5.27% interest
Replies: 33
Views: 4424

Re: I Bonds 5.27% interest

If you own Ibonds, you should download the government's Savings Bond Wizard for full info about each bond: current rate, yield to date, accumulated interest etc. I'm happy to own a bunch of the 3.0% to 3.6% Ibonds. The latter have a yield to date above 6%.
by statman
Sun Jun 22, 2014 11:47 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Can someone explain B Bernstein's math
Replies: 42
Views: 5292

Re: Can someone explain B Bernstein's math

This has been a long strand. I'm a bit surprised that no one has mentioned the work of Lubos Pastor (U Chicago) who argues that the annual return of stocks does get more volatile over time: papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1136847. The argument, oversimplified, seems to be that usual mode...
by statman
Fri Jun 20, 2014 11:32 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Morningstar article] the best fixed income investment
Replies: 55
Views: 5262

Re: Best Fixed Income Investment - Morningstar article

The article in question touts 5-year bank CDs yielding 2.25%. Interest from such CDs is taxable as ordinary income. A high-income investor would pay 43.4% of interest received (39.6% plus the 3.8% medicare tax). This reduces the after-tax yield to 1.2735%. Compare Vanguard Intermediate Tax-Exempt Ad...
by statman
Mon May 19, 2014 4:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard’s Personal Advisor Service.
Replies: 7
Views: 2648

Re: Vanguard’s Personal Advisor Service.

Thank you, Taylor. The article states that VPAS is a big deal as a benchmark -- but it is also an attractive option for folks who need an advisor. I'm happy to DIY, but my wife doesn't know small value from safflower and doesn't want to know. So I plan to engage VPAS when my demise seems immanent.
by statman
Thu Dec 12, 2013 5:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Personal Advisor Services
Replies: 26
Views: 5799

Vanguard Personal Advisor Services

We received a letter from VG introducing their new Vanguard Personal Advisor Services. I called my Flagship rep to ask how this differs from the existing Vanguard Asset Management Services. Interesting conversation. VPAS has substantially lower fees (0.3% of assets). Client keeps his/her Flagship re...
by statman
Thu Aug 15, 2013 12:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Market Valuation and Asset Allocation Decisions
Replies: 9
Views: 1048

Re: Market Valuation and Asset Allocation Decisions

I find Rick's article unclear: Surely we should consider rebalancing when the percent of e.g. US equities in our portfolio exceeds our set allocation by whatever boundary we have set for rebalancing. I recently reduced US equities for this reason, not making any judgment as to whether US equities ar...
by statman
Wed Aug 07, 2013 2:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Things to Do on visit to Sarasota, Florida
Replies: 9
Views: 1008

Re: Things to Do on visit to Sarasota, Florida

Depends on your taste. I suggest the Ringling museum, perhaps its circus museum in particular. (Sarasota was John Ringling's home and long the winter quarters of his circus.) Shelby botanical garden (not inexpensive), particularly if you like orchids. Mote Marine -- we especially like the Moat Boat ...
by statman
Sat Jul 13, 2013 3:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bank reccomendations
Replies: 16
Views: 1686

Re: Bank reccomendations

OK, heresy: I like BoA. Their Web site is clear and efficient; their ATM/debit cards can be used in Europe with no ATM fees due to arrangements with leading banks in all major European countries; their reps have been both polite and helpful; their customer service over more than a decade beats Vangu...
by statman
Tue Jun 25, 2013 7:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cell Phone Recommendations Please
Replies: 26
Views: 2723

Re: Cell Phone Recommendations Please

My wife and I use ancient LG flip phones for which the Verizon contract expired more than 3 years ago. I looked into smartphones, decided they are not intended to be used primarily as phones. I have a substantial hearing loss, can't hear any of the ring tones on e.g. iPhone and also can't hear conve...
by statman
Wed May 08, 2013 10:31 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Less volatility = more wealth, all else being equal"
Replies: 49
Views: 5562

Re: "Less volatility = more wealth, all else being equal"

For those of a mathematical bent, the approximation of G (geometric) by A - V/2 (A arithmetic, V variance) follows from a Taylor series expansion out to square terms. Details and other more accurate such approximations can be found at www.cdiadvisors.com/papers/CDIArithmeticVsGeometric.pdf. (Google ...
by statman
Fri Dec 28, 2012 9:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Florida Inheritance/Estate Issues
Replies: 9
Views: 1055

Re: Florida Inheritance/Estate Issues

I suggest renting for (say) a winter before deciding to buy or not. My wife was dubious about winters in Florida, having visited my parents in the Daytona Beach area and finding it a cultural desert. I chose Sarasota, a cultural hot spot. We rented a nice condo. After three weeks, my wife agreed tha...
by statman
Mon Nov 05, 2012 12:43 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: [merged donation threads] Dear Bogleheads - time to pony up
Replies: 277
Views: 21010

Re: Dear Bogleheads - time to pony up

The check is in the mail. I agree that an annual fundraiser should be held.
by statman
Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:44 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: another nonsensical critique of MPT
Replies: 30
Views: 2569

Re: another nonsensical critique of MPT

Markowitz' original single-period model did NOT assume normality. Being an economist, he assumed that an investor has a utility function, and then that this utility function is sufficiently smooth to be approximated by a quadratic, namely its second-order Taylor series expansion. Quadratic utility i...
by statman
Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:02 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: HSA - Bank Accounts - Inactivity Can Result in Problem?
Replies: 19
Views: 4837

Re: HSA - Bank Accounts - Inactivity Can Result in Problem?

We have 2 homes, primary residence and main bank account in Florida, summer home and small convenience bank account north. We almost never write a check on the convenience account -- having it allows us to cash checks from the main account etc. I have one utility bill automatically deducted from the...
by statman
Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:56 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: muni defaults - excellent NY Fed research
Replies: 5
Views: 792

Re: muni defaults - excellent NY Fed research

Thank you, Eric. Informed comment on this uninformed Fed study has also pointed out that many of the defaults in question are on tax-exempt bonds not issued by govt bodies (i.e., not "municipal" in any meaningful sense), but by for-profit or non-profit entities to which a municipality has ...
by statman
Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:50 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: VG short-term tax exempt vs VG Limited-term tax exempt
Replies: 14
Views: 4667

Re: VG short-term tax exempt vs VG Limited-term tax exempt

Short-term is extremely stable -- NAV varied by only 10 cents over all of 2011. With MM funds yielding nothing, I use ST in place of MM. LT is less suited for this purpose. Do remember to have the ST monthly divs sent elsewhere (I send them to Intermediate Tax-X), or using ST as if it were MM will g...
by statman
Sun Jul 22, 2012 8:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The risk of retiring when interest rates are low
Replies: 12
Views: 2989

Re: The risk of retiring when interest rates are low

Table 2 is certainly very useful. I would add one (well-known, I think) coda, for a situation still common in the generation now reaching retirement age: married couple, husband has earned substantially more than wife, hence has substantially higher SS benefits. Wife is typically no older than husba...
by statman
Fri Jan 27, 2012 10:15 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Mathematicians/Scientists:Ever consider a career in finance?
Replies: 49
Views: 4037

Re: Mathematicians/Scientists:Ever consider a career in fina

I once talked with a retired Goldman Sachs partner on a tour -- he asked if I regretted not going into finance (math A.B. Princeton, PhD Cornell, distinguished prof of statistics at a Big Ten school). NO. I greatly enjoyed the university atmosphere, the ability to work on things I thought were inter...
by statman
Tue Sep 27, 2011 10:12 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Credit Suisse Global Investment Returns Yearbook 2011
Replies: 17
Views: 2911

It is interesting (annual Dimson/Marsh/Staunton followup to Triumph of the Optimists). But it has been out since February, and as I have a copy archived I assume it was pointed to in this forum long ago.
by statman
Sat Sep 24, 2011 8:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: An interesting finance paper
Replies: 20
Views: 3034

Without attempting to parse a quite technical paper, note that Ilmanen's Expected Returns book has extensive comments on topics such as time-varying rates of return, momentum/carry/volatility as strategies, and liquidity/inflation as risk factors in investment. This material overlaps Cochrane's pape...
by statman
Fri Sep 16, 2011 9:46 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard's frequent trding restrictions: why?
Replies: 12
Views: 3226

Vanguard's frequent trding restrictions: why?

Many Vanguard funds have draconian "frequent trading restrictions." Make a $5000 withdrawal from a $500,000 fund account and deposits to that fund are barred for 2 months. Many of these funds (take VTI as an example) also have ETF shares which as far as I understand it share the same pool ...