Search found 468 matches

by wjo
Wed May 23, 2018 10:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Legally Exempt IRAs from Medigap Countable
Replies: 5
Views: 661

Re: Legally Exempt IRAs from Medigap Countable

I'd second the need for a 2nd opinion from specialists in eldercare. This is a complex area of law that varies by state, so advice you get here may not be correct in your state. Similarly, there may be be ways to shield the assets using annuities in a trust, but that shouldn't mean the ones that the...
by wjo
Mon May 07, 2018 5:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retirement bonds
Replies: 67
Views: 7725

Re: Retirement bonds

This is interesting. I wonder, though, can a government afford to pay for inflation protection for all its retirees? I seem to remember and article from Bill Bernstein discussing the challenges of TIPS if everyone wanted one. The broader point is that for countries with significant parts of the popu...
by wjo
Sun May 06, 2018 9:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Factors Suggesting One Should Buy SPIA
Replies: 90
Views: 6991

Re: Factors Suggesting One Should Buy SPIA

I am planning to purchase an annuity for us, mostly b/c we do not have children and I like the idea of steady income when we may have less mental capacity. The purchase will come from the fixed income side of our portfolio, leaving the equity side to grow and provide inflation protection. I do belie...
by wjo
Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: PSA - beware auto import on tax software
Replies: 4
Views: 446

PSA - beware auto import on tax software

A public service announcement (PSA) - doing my taxes last night, using TaxAct, for the first time I automatically imported tax information from Fidelity. Multiple forms, lots of transactions this year. One immediate problem is that a taxable sale was recorded twice as a duplicate, with the cost basi...
by wjo
Sun Feb 04, 2018 10:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Personal liability risk for unit owners in condo association?
Replies: 13
Views: 1415

Re: Personal liability risk for unit owners in condo association?

I have no opinion on the liability. But... make sure you look at the HOA reserves. Many, many smaller condo Assoc neglect the reserves for roof, siding, parking lot. I would want a good look at the Financial statements. And any use of those reserves in the last few years. A nice big assessment righ...
by wjo
Mon Jan 29, 2018 3:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard's advice on bond portion of portfolio
Replies: 42
Views: 6923

Re: Vanguard's advice on bond portion of portfolio

I'm reminded of one of Taylor's statements that 'when experts disagree, it may not make much difference.' Any healthy exposure to a well-diversified bond fund is likely to be sufficient and achieve the portfolio objective of balancing out stock risk (i.e., reducing volatility). There are lots of arg...
by wjo
Fri Oct 27, 2017 3:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How Well Do You Know About Retirement Income?
Replies: 40
Views: 5300

Re: How Well Do You Know About Retirement Income?

37/38. Need to brush up on Medicare ;) I thought the test was good and fair - may have been sponsored by people who sell annuities, but I didn't see any obvious bias in the questions/answers. What was asked was pretty comprehensive about different aspects of retirement planning, including medical ca...
by wjo
Thu Sep 14, 2017 4:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wondering if solar is worth it - does my utility bill seem high? (Arizona)
Replies: 40
Views: 3378

Re: Wondering if solar is worth it - does my utility bill seem high? (Arizona)

I installed solar panels a few years ago - but then sold my house. But was happy with my investment in solar. After incentives, I figured I was making about a 4%+ return on my investment. Of course, this is all after tax money, which is the best kind. If power prices go up, savings would increase. I...
by wjo
Wed Aug 23, 2017 11:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying property in France
Replies: 27
Views: 3127

Re: Buying property in France

The posters above are right on. Owning property with family is a recipe for future tears in general. Think about the risks should their be a need for one sibling to sell or a divorce? With four sets of people, a problem is very likely even with the best of intentions. French law is very complicated....
by wjo
Mon May 01, 2017 11:35 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Value's Rough Patch Not a Concern for AQR's Ronen Israel
Replies: 4
Views: 797

Re: Value's Rough Patch Not a Concern for AQR's Ronen Israel

Sounds like from the discussion that AQR is discovering fundamental indexing approach to value (pick cheap stocks within sectors rather than simple sorts across all industries). Seems like some backtracking there given Cliff Asness and Rob Arnott went back and forth on the their approaches. Or am I ...
by wjo
Tue Jan 17, 2017 1:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Basic question on Hybrid cars
Replies: 64
Views: 5342

Re: Basic question on Hybrid cars

I'll second the vote for the Accord Hybrid. We own one and love it...no compromises. But, in general, hybrid technology is mature enough that you can choose whatever model and it will be a good improvement in !mileage over the gas model.
by wjo
Wed Dec 28, 2016 4:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Nissan Leaf ?
Replies: 40
Views: 4649

Re: Nissan Leaf ?

I bought a used 2013 Leaf with 11k miles on it a few months ago. So far, so good. I just have a 110v charger and no issues. I don't have need of a faster charger given my typical driving range. For an around town car, it is fantastic. The somewhat elevated driving position is nice, and there is plen...
by wjo
Sun Nov 27, 2016 12:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why do reviewers love the Dell XPS 13 but users don't?
Replies: 67
Views: 11232

Re: Why do reviewers love the Dell XPS 13 but users don't?

FWIW, I use the XPS13 as my travel notebook for work. It has been a good and reliable machine. Small form factor and weight make it easy to travel with. No issues. However, it isn't a full size laptop so there some compromises from the form factor. I wouldn't want it as my sole machine but for trave...
by wjo
Mon Sep 19, 2016 1:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: avalon hybrid
Replies: 32
Views: 3075

Re: avalon hybrid

I test drove the Avalon hybrid and regular version. Both very nice cars. Given total cost of ownership...esp resale...I would agree with the posters who mention the Lexus ES as an alternative. But you can't really go wrong with the Avalon. Another car to look at is the Honda Accord hybrid. It is a g...
by wjo
Mon Sep 12, 2016 11:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Presidential Election Insurance, Use T-Bills?
Replies: 65
Views: 6040

Re: Presidential Election Insurance, Use T-Bills?

Isn't the general suggestion to have high quality treasuries in general as opposed to corporate bonds in terms of gaining diversifying power? In the 08-09 crash, wasn't it treasuries that were the the only asset the jumped up a bit as opposed to down - corporate bonds were down IIRC. Isn't your ques...
by wjo
Fri Aug 26, 2016 9:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Surprised by Costco Citi VISA first statement
Replies: 28
Views: 5157

Re: Surprised by Costco Citi VISA first statement

Because of these problems with knowing what counts for variable rewards cards, I have been very happy with fixed reward cards. Currently I use the Barclay's Arrival Plus card - 2.1% cash back and no foreign transaction fees. The no foreign transaction fees and additional .1% cash back generally pay ...
by wjo
Fri Aug 26, 2016 9:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fidelity competing harder w/Vanguard
Replies: 92
Views: 11748

Re: Fidelity competing harder w/Vanguard

Competition is good. One more reason for me to be happy with having accounts at Fidelity. New money is going into some of these Fidelity (ex Spartan) index funds. I am not worried that Fidelity will raise its expenses - competition should keep the expenses low for some time. Securities lending benef...
by wjo
Tue Aug 16, 2016 7:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with University of Texas System 403b/Roth 403b
Replies: 15
Views: 1583

Re: Help with University of Texas System 403b/Roth 403b

I would definitely use an IRA first before contributing to a company/university retirement plan. If so fortunate through outside resources to be able contribute to both, the university plans are pretty good. A rare circumstance is access to TIAA products. If risk averse, it is hard to find a much be...
by wjo
Thu Apr 28, 2016 12:30 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A Look at Seasoned Equity Offerings
Replies: 2
Views: 571

Re: A Look at Seasoned Equity Offerings

Good summary.

It is strange this wasn't studied more earlier?

Is anyone taking advantage of this information in funds?
by wjo
Tue Mar 22, 2016 10:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I Really want to start my own RE Development business, but scared and busy
Replies: 5
Views: 773

Re: I Really want to start my own RE Development business, but scared and busy

Sounds like you have talent but lack a business plan - and perhaps a partner to fill in skills gaps. Marketing and finance are job one for entrepreneurs. Rather than making the jump quickly, why don't you work on a business plan and lay the ground work for moving forward, all while saving like crzay...
by wjo
Sat Jan 30, 2016 11:47 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New S&P Target Date funds built on TIPS
Replies: 18
Views: 3655

Re: New S&P Target Date funds built on TIPS

Thanks, Bobcat, for the update. These duration matching structures are one of the most interesting innovations in financial products. I hope the indices are picked up into sucesful products...however, I am uncertain how well these will be marketed. I expect that their performance will deviate quite ...
by wjo
Fri Jan 15, 2016 12:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Inherited RMD - is this a strange situation?
Replies: 8
Views: 936

Re: Inherited RMD - is this a strange situation?

I think when transferring accounts with required RMDs, the general practice if the for firm sending the money to take the RMD out for the year. So I think what happened is ok and you have satisfied your RMD for 2016. Vanguard can process RMDs for 2017 on. The question is to make sure the correct tax...
by wjo
Fri Jan 15, 2016 12:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What age does LBYM (being a big saver) pay off?
Replies: 81
Views: 12656

Re: What age does LBYM (being a big saver) pay off?

OP - It really starts to pay off when you realize you have enough of a financial cushion to retire or ride our a storm of no income, even if you had to take a drop in your standard of living. In our 40s now, we have enough saved that if we choose we could move to a low cost of living area and live m...
by wjo
Wed Dec 16, 2015 6:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is TIAA-CREF one of the "good guys"?
Replies: 62
Views: 14864

Re: Is TIAA-CREF one of the "good guys"?

I can relay an experience with a free consultation with a TIAA wealth management advisor (WMA). We got the full treatment of a financial plan. Basically, move everything to TIAA-CREF custody and you are given a plan generated using proprietary analysis from Ibbotson and associates. They developed an...
by wjo
Tue Sep 15, 2015 9:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I'm moving from Crashplan to Amazon Cloud Storage
Replies: 13
Views: 6432

Re: I'm moving from Crashplan to Amazon Cloud Storage

This is really good information. I am a happy Crashplan user so far but did not understand this aspect of the service. I have been very happy using it across three computers (family plan) and do like the encryped nature of the service. Here, I don't trust Amazon, Google, others to keep my stuff secu...
by wjo
Mon Aug 31, 2015 11:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: AQR/Asness - How Can a Strategy Still Work If Everyone Knows About It?
Replies: 116
Views: 10315

Re: AQR/Asness - How Can a Strategy Still Work If Everyone Knows About It?

No, that's not quite what Mr. Asness is saying. What I read between the lines is this: most of the factors have a behavioral component and a risk component. Before everyone knows about it, you get both; after everyone knows about it, you get only the risk component. Think about the biggest factor o...
by wjo
Wed May 27, 2015 2:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cost of a "free" PhD program is around half a million? How does anyone afford this?
Replies: 91
Views: 9197

Re: Cost of a "free" PhD program is around half a million? How does anyone afford this?

A PhD is a lifestyle choice as much as an economic one.

6.7 years seems long for a phd in STEM. I think the average is more like 4-5. It may be there is deviation between the median and the average as there are long tails out there (esp for people who drop out for a time and return to finish....)
by wjo
Mon May 18, 2015 12:32 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Time to reach 1M and 2M milestones
Replies: 162
Views: 50261

Re: Time to reach 1M and 2M milestones

Getting to the first million means you can live on your own terms, you are not tethered to a job. With a 4% withdrawal rate, you should be able to support a reasonable middle class life on $40K/year (maybe not in SF/NYC, but true in most of the world). Beyond that point, there are diminishing retur...
by wjo
Mon May 18, 2015 12:06 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Time to reach 1M and 2M milestones
Replies: 162
Views: 50261

Re: Time to reach 1M and 2M milestones

In reality, once people hit a certain level of wealth they don't compound at the same rates they have in the past. I have to write that my experience shows the portfolio did not slow down. One reason is that one cannot really contribute a significant new fraction to the portfolio when it is large. ...
by wjo
Sun Apr 26, 2015 10:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Experience with transporting oversized art piece?
Replies: 7
Views: 937

Re: Experience with transporting oversized art piece?

Maybe this is not a DIY job. I once bought a couple of paintings online from Sotheby's in London. Not sculpture, but still, they were packed by a firm contracted by the seller and arrived in perfect, bulletproof condition. The shipping cost 25% of the paintings' value. Look for a company that does ...
by wjo
Sun Apr 26, 2015 9:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying condo in commercial building
Replies: 10
Views: 1854

Re: Buying condo in commercial building

Be sure to look at how the condo association works with the two types of owners. The association rules could have been written up by the commercial owners to greatly favor the commercial owners. This. Financing may be more limited, but far more important are the association rules of how the buildin...
by wjo
Fri Apr 24, 2015 10:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What I learned at my mandatory employee 403(b) info meeting
Replies: 52
Views: 8692

Re: What I learned at my mandatory employee 403(b) info meet

If it makes you feel any better, I am always surprised that many of my phd level colleagues know so little about our retirement system - it is not just school teachers, although I agree with you that the teacher population is particularly vulnerable due to the pension "replacement" for social securi...
by wjo
Tue Mar 17, 2015 12:53 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: low returns and variance drag - changing investment approach
Replies: 2
Views: 574

low returns and variance drag - changing investment approach

The recent threads about a low return world have me thinking about investing approaches. It is well understood that geometric return is less than arithmetic return due to variance drag (aka volatility drag, variance drain). What specifically concerns me that no one is saying that in a low return wor...
by wjo
Mon Mar 16, 2015 11:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Worried about my condo association board of directors
Replies: 12
Views: 1806

Re: Worried about my condo association board of directors

Many HOA Boards are term limited - so there is a search for good members. One thing that might be holding others back from volunteering is a fear of an irrevocable commitment. I might suggest you gently talk with the current Board about thinking about training their replacements, perhaps one at at t...
by wjo
Mon Mar 16, 2015 10:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: An oddball portfolio suggestion: TR Income + equities
Replies: 5
Views: 879

Re: An oddball portfolio suggestion: TR Income + equities

I like the idea of simplification and I like the idea of autopilot. In the scheme of all the things one could do, this is a pretty good proposition. I am not a huge fan of the TR income fund (disclosure - I did put my elderly Aunt in it), for a couple of reasons: 1) VG's seeming urge to tinker with ...
by wjo
Thu Mar 12, 2015 1:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "7 Ways to Simplify Your Investments"
Replies: 3
Views: 1167

Re: "7 Ways to Simplify Your Investments"

Thanks, Taylor, for posting this. I think it is missing one of the biggest - look for consolidation among accounts. In today's world, a family can easily have several 401ks, IRAs, and other accounts. There may be more opportunities to consolidate than they know. I was recently able to merge 4 accoun...
by wjo
Thu Feb 26, 2015 10:06 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: International increase in Target Retirement & LifeStrategy
Replies: 235
Views: 35967

Re: International increase in Target Retirement & LifeStrate

I don't like it. Vanguard keeps changing its advice and they seem to be trend following. This strikes me as damaging to long-term returns as who is to say they won't keep changing at the wrong time, hurting returns. There seems to be little basis for these changes apart from valuations have changed....
by wjo
Sat Feb 14, 2015 1:40 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Future Stock Returns in an Aging World?
Replies: 25
Views: 3975

Re: Future Stock Returns in an Aging World?

So let's say we reach stasis - zero population growth. Productivity is up so we produce new TV's faster than ever before. But why should anyone buy a new TV unless it has more cool new features than the old TV? If so, it is not so much a matter of productivity increasing, it is innovation. OK, so l...
by wjo
Sat Feb 14, 2015 1:26 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What is "internal real rate of return?"
Replies: 3
Views: 710

Re: What is "internal real rate of return?"

The wiki article is confusing - but IRR is confusing. In general, IRR is computed from nominal values as you represent future cash flows as actual dollars income/expenses in that year - or using what is known as current dollar assumptions (bad terminology). To calculate the real IRR, you need cash f...
by wjo
Sat Feb 14, 2015 12:21 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Risk Parity Portfolio?
Replies: 3
Views: 869

Re: Risk Parity Portfolio?

I've read many articles about risk parity when establishing a portfolio. However, I have yet to see an example(s) of a risk parity portfolio. So does anybody have a good example of one? Also, what Vanguard funds would one have to use to create one? There are some open ended mutual funds that have r...
by wjo
Sat Feb 14, 2015 12:08 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What is "internal real rate of return?"
Replies: 3
Views: 710

Re: What is "internal real rate of return?"

Just skimmed the document. What they are doing is removing inflation adjustment from the calculations, leaving just the real rate or rates after inflation. In general, the nominal interest rate (i) is approximately equal to the real rate (r) plus the inflation rate (i). Or n ~ r + i. We typically ar...
by wjo
Fri Feb 06, 2015 11:25 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Global Minimum Volatility?
Replies: 44
Views: 7979

Re: Global Minimum Volatility?

Want to lower your volatility? Up your bond allocation. What's the evidence that fiddling around with different categories of stocks is going to work any better than that? Unfortunately that tends to have the effect of dropping your returns.... But Vanguard is suggesting that low-vol will, too . Va...
by wjo
Tue Feb 03, 2015 11:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do retired Bogleheads have rising net assets?
Replies: 42
Views: 6506

Re: Do retired Bogleheads have rising net assets?

Re: Do retired Bogleheads have rising net assets? by Sheepdog » Mon Feb 02, 2015 6:50 pm I have been retired since 1998 (16 years) so I have gone thru 2 major downturns. I have taken out an average of 4.56% a year. The total of my invested assets has risen 7% edit: Calculated the growth of total as...
by wjo
Wed Jan 21, 2015 5:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "When you've won the game, stop playing"
Replies: 83
Views: 12876

Re: "When you've won the game, stop playing"

In the same vein, Leerar's point is well taken: if you have plenty of human capital left when you've "made your number" (I get it, I'll stop with the acronyms), no reason why you can't keep piling on. But, again, if that happens just before you retire, a great deal more caution is called for. Bill ...
by wjo
Wed Jan 21, 2015 11:21 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: “How Does Aging Affect Financial Decision Making?”
Replies: 69
Views: 7189

Re: “How Does Aging Affect Financial Decision Making?”

Watching my family, what strikes my is how quickly decline can happen. There may be a slow early decline that is barely noticeable, but then what comes later can be very rapid. And most important, we don't know when the rapdid decline may start. It may never, but it can happen - and start very young...
by wjo
Tue Jan 20, 2015 4:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Any Variable Annuity have lower fees than Vanguard's?
Replies: 8
Views: 1395

Re: Any Variable Annuity have lower fees than Vanguard's?

Does anyone have any experience with TIAA-CREF? I've been looking at their Variable Annuities, trying to make sense of it, and it seems too good to be true. Specifically, the TIAA Access Variable Annuities Level 1 / Tier 1. You might try the Morningstar TIAA-CREF forum. I believe there is a large t...
by wjo
Sat Jan 10, 2015 11:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Alternatives to Target or LifeStrategy in Taxable Accounts?
Replies: 13
Views: 1981

Re: Alternatives to Target or LifeStrategy in Taxable Accoun

I think it would be helpful to get some idea of the amounts we are talking about and the marginal tax rates these folks face. If low, it may not make much difference. Without more information, using tax managed balanced would be the default choice for one fund in taxable. Alternately, Total Stock (p...
by wjo
Sat Jan 10, 2015 4:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is a Sub-4% SWR a Boglehead Quirk?
Replies: 177
Views: 15571

Re: Is a Sub-4% SWR a Boglehead Quirk?

Not a specific Boglehead quirk - several thoughtful finance people (Wade Pfau comes to mind) have looked at the past work and rethought it running lower bond returns in particular. This tends to reduce the SWR. Most of the research also uses US stock returns, which in the post war era have been atyp...
by wjo
Fri Jan 09, 2015 11:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Vanguard Group execs say deflation a real risk..."
Replies: 61
Views: 7883

Re: "Vanguard Group execs say deflation a real risk..."

TIPS and Inflation Bonds: How does this impact the "need" for holding them and placement in a well diversified portfolio? TIPS have only been around since 1997 so they are "new" and have not been tested in a multitude of environments. They reduce the uncertainty of inflation by a constant real valu...
by wjo
Fri Jan 09, 2015 5:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do you use lifestrategy/ asset allocation funds?
Replies: 77
Views: 15330

Re: Do you use lifestrategy/ asset allocation funds?

Yes, I use a Life Strategy or similar fund in three of our accounts. I like they auto rebalance to my desired allocation and I don't have to tinker with them or otherwise bother. With multiple retirement accounts, it makes life simpler if I only have to worry about rebalancing across a smaller numbe...