Search found 83 matches

by statman
Thu Jan 18, 2018 2:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A "Home" cell phone?
Replies: 46
Views: 3781

Re: A "Home" cell phone?

Another vote for VOIP. We use Vonage. We make use of: Two numbers, for summer/winter homes, both ring the same Vonage box, which we take with us. So local number in both places. Free or very cheap international calls -- my wife calls China weekly. Voicemail transcripts sent to my email -- easier tha...
by statman
Thu Jan 18, 2018 2:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Rebalancing in last 12 months
Replies: 19
Views: 1222

Re: Rebalancing in last 12 months

Twice, when equity AA exceeded bands. Second was donation of appreciated fund shares to charity, the save-taxes way to bring equities back to AA.
by statman
Tue Jan 02, 2018 11:32 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Savings Bond Wizard to be eliminated 5/18
Replies: 42
Views: 4124

Re: Savings Bond Wizard to be eliminated 5/18

HueyLD is correct: my first batch of Ibonds were converted to electronic form and appeared in my TD account in just 2.5 weeks, and this was at holiday time. So even though TD remains somewhat awkward to use, service has improved greatly.
by statman
Mon Jan 01, 2018 5:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Savings Bond Wizard to be eliminated 5/18
Replies: 42
Views: 4124

Re: Savings Bond Wizard to be eliminated 5/18

Pity. Loved the Wizard. The Savings Bond Calculator does work (in Firefox), but adds a step: click your saved .html file to see your inventory at the TD website, then click "Return to savings bond calculator" to get the current values. I'm in the process of converting from paper to electronic, but a...
by statman
Sun Dec 31, 2017 3:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Buffett wins his bet: S&P500 beats selected hedge funds over last 10 years
Replies: 45
Views: 6127

Re: Buffett wins his bet: S&P500 beats selected hedge funds over last 10 years

From Buffett's 2016 letter, a perfect commentary: "The wealthy are accustomed to feeling that it is their lot in life to get the best food, schooling, entertainment, housing, plastic surgery, sports ticket, you name it. Their money, they feel, should buy them something superior compared to what the ...
by statman
Sat Dec 30, 2017 10:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can't reach Vanguard site with VPN on
Replies: 14
Views: 1028

Re: Can't reach Vanguard site with VPN on

I have no difficulty logging into Vanguard (from my home PC) using a VPN. But Bank of America does not allow logins via VPN -- I called to ask when I could not login. So your outcome depends on the policies of the specific institution.
by statman
Mon Dec 11, 2017 7:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Investment Advice
Replies: 34
Views: 4094

Re: Vanguard Investment Advice

Well, let me briefly record recommendations from a Vanguard CFP (apparently a senior manager based on my portfolio size and the fact that I am considering VPAS for my wife after my demise). I completed the VPAS data form and gave some added information about my situation. He had clearly become famil...
by statman
Wed Nov 29, 2017 4:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 and taxes
Replies: 7
Views: 986

Re: 529 and taxes

Not sure of the intent of the question. Contributions to a 529 have no federal tax implications, and state tax implications only if your state gives a tax credit for contributions to its own 529 plan. When we funded 529s for our grandchildren, we had the parents open the account so that they are the...
by statman
Wed Nov 29, 2017 4:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why should I donate to my alma mater?
Replies: 133
Views: 9667

Re: Why should I donate to my alma matter?

Lots of factors here. I give nothing to Princeton (my alma mater) because they are rich. But we do give to SUNY New Paltz, where my wife (from a very poor family) got an excellent education for very little money. And New Paltz doesn't get the alum donations that Princeton does -- our $150,000 put us...
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: 10995

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: 89
Views: 25168

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: 931

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: 2553

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: 9006

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: 3083

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: 3848

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: 1088

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: 1513

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: 10471

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: 1153

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 credit lines m...
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: 14877

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 automatically be inv...
by statman
Mon Jun 27, 2016 4:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bank of america preferred rewards program
Replies: 16
Views: 3009

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: 2714

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: 2287

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: 1930

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: 3465

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: 2230

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 he argued c...
by statman
Thu Mar 10, 2016 2:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard rep calls: consolidating into brokerage
Replies: 21
Views: 3513

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: 3000

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: 11863

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: 1113

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: 8488

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: 8535

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: 6725

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: 2517

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: 3423

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: 2126

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: 19549

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: 4455

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: 5341

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: 5321

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: 2662

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: 5836

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: 1064

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: 1016

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: 1698

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: 2787

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: 5596

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: 1077

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: 21183

Re: Dear Bogleheads - time to pony up

The check is in the mail. I agree that an annual fundraiser should be held.