Search found 43 matches

by MitchellF
Sat Mar 31, 2012 1:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Think Twice About that Financial Advisor
Replies: 44
Views: 4830

Re: Think Twice About that Financial Advisor

One of the things I struggle with is that I do think that investors deserve sound financial advice from expert practicioners. The doctor model is a fine example, you can trust medical advice (generally) because your MD has extensive training and qualifications as well as robust regulation. I would l...
by MitchellF
Wed Aug 03, 2011 9:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Somewhat complicated Roth IRA conversion question?
Replies: 3
Views: 468

You are basically correct. If the TIRA is converted in full he will have taxable income of 20,000. That assumes that he properly filed Form 8606 in the years he made those non deductible contributions. If not, he could file them retroactively to secure his existing basis. That might take considerab...
by MitchellF
Wed Aug 03, 2011 8:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Somewhat complicated Roth IRA conversion question?
Replies: 3
Views: 468

And of course Murphy's rule says I post in the wrong forum. Could the mods move this to Personal Investments?
by MitchellF
Wed Aug 03, 2011 8:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Somewhat complicated Roth IRA conversion question?
Replies: 3
Views: 468

Somewhat complicated Roth IRA conversion question?

I am helping my father out and I will consult a tax advisor, but I have found that the first one I spoke with didn't know the rule, and made a vague promise to look it up. My father has three accounts: Traditional IRA = $50,000 Roth IRA = $10,000 Supplemental 403b plan = $~200,000 He made non deduct...
by MitchellF
Fri Jul 29, 2011 2:21 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Young poker player, lots of cash and variable income
Replies: 42
Views: 8837

First, greetings to a fellow 2+2er (presumably). There is a surprising number of poker players who recognize the wisdom of the Bogle philosophy. I think that is true for a number of reasons that aren't pertinent to this discussion. Most responses have focused on your 401k, but I see you losing the m...
by MitchellF
Sun Mar 15, 2009 6:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Mortgage rate in Japan 2.375%!
Replies: 15
Views: 2759

Someone educate me. Why is it not possible for me to call the Bank of Tokyo and have them give me a mortgage. I understand that there are currency risks, which has brought down Iceland and has Poland in trouble, but can't I hedge those? Or couldn't a Japanese bank package the mortgage with a currenc...
by MitchellF
Fri Mar 13, 2009 2:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: looking for cfp course
Replies: 29
Views: 4269

Adrian, I am with you on most things, but I have trouble understanding your problems with the CFP mark. The financial industry is positively awash in bogus designations that require no effort to achieve. The only two relevant to financial planning are the CFP and CHFC. Both of them require study tha...
by MitchellF
Fri Mar 06, 2009 1:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cube Steak
Replies: 23
Views: 3798

I have been buying chuck steak at about $5.50 for three pounds. Braising over several hours or all day using various recipes makes it as tender as one could possibly wish and can feed my wife and I for days. The funny thing is that I am not at all price conscious when it comes to food, but I would r...
by MitchellF
Tue Oct 21, 2008 7:47 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Anybody unable to get credit?
Replies: 71
Views: 13452

I am one of many whose home equity line was cut off yesterday. It wasn't unexpected as my 25% equity in the home is all but gone at this point. My line was $95,000 and it was cut to 0. This doesn't have an immediate impact, but I was relying on the HELOC as a part of my emergency savings. Instead of...
by MitchellF
Tue Sep 02, 2008 12:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Complaint Filed Against Vanguard
Replies: 81
Views: 19963

Finally, an area of the law in which I have some knowledge allows me to comment. Several years ago the UIGEA was passed. This made it illegal to fund accounts for most forms of internet gambling in the United States. It manifestly did not make it illegal to play online poker for example, but it did ...
by MitchellF
Mon Aug 11, 2008 9:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Jim Cramer and Virginia Lottery
Replies: 3
Views: 1801

Ahh, but look closely, that isn't Jim Cramer. It is a spoof of his show with a guy who looks remarkably like Jim. The guy in the commercial is younger though and can't pull off the shtick with a straight face.
by MitchellF
Mon Jun 23, 2008 11:12 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Book on great Depression?
Replies: 13
Views: 4516

I would strongly recommend "The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl" by Tim Egan. It isn't a comprehensive depression history, but Egan looks at a fascinating story within the depression. It was among my favorite books I read last year and I am just i...
by MitchellF
Thu Jun 19, 2008 4:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Suze not a big fan of indexing, says 'be more active'
Replies: 58
Views: 12507

I don't even like her get out of debt advice. The "Can I afford it?" part of her show is pointless because the answer is no. I differ from the Diehard consensus, I suppose, in accepting that working people will inevitably carry debt and that very young people are unlikely, as a group, to be able to ...
by MitchellF
Wed May 28, 2008 7:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are YOU Currently Reading? PART II
Replies: 1043
Views: 299275

Re: Writer recognition

I also find this topic interesting. In general, there could be three different questions: 1. Who wrote this (book, article, etc.)? 2. Did John Smith write this (book, article, etc.)? 3. What are different web sites where John Smith posts and what aliases he uses at each site? The first question is ...
by MitchellF
Wed May 28, 2008 1:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are YOU Currently Reading? PART II
Replies: 1043
Views: 299275

Today's book is "Author Unkown: On the Trail of Anonymous" by Don Foster. Really a fascinating topic. Foster 'found' a lost Shakespeare poem by using textual analysis to prove that the word usage and syntax matched Shakespeare's writing and no one else's. He later unmasked Joe Klein as the author of...
by MitchellF
Tue Apr 22, 2008 11:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Favorite Overlooked, Practically Forgotten Actor/Actress
Replies: 51
Views: 12006

Re: Cazale

John Cazale (Fredo in The Godfather), before his untimely death. He was also the best thing about 'Dog Day Afternoon'. To give you a more recent and probably more controversial pick, Stephen Rea is consistently terrific. He is best known for 'The Crying Game', a terrific movie wholly aside from the...
by MitchellF
Mon Apr 21, 2008 8:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Favorite Overlooked, Practically Forgotten Actor/Actress
Replies: 51
Views: 12006

One of the greatest film actors - and often overlooked - most certainly was: Charles Laughton . David Charles Laughton was a wonderful actor, but the great shame may be that he only directed one movie. Night of the Hunter is among the greatest movies ever made, and may be the greatest by a one time...
by MitchellF
Fri Apr 11, 2008 10:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: America's top 10 favorite books
Replies: 34
Views: 6981

Harry Potter is well worth reading and aside from being a great story is also a fascinating look at an author changing along with her readers. The first two books are simple and enjoyable, but clearly aimed at the 'young adult' market. Her writing and characterization improves markedly with each boo...
by MitchellF
Sat Mar 22, 2008 9:38 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Join the fight to limit TSP trading costs
Replies: 18
Views: 3962

If you follow the link from the advocates for the current unrestricted system you come to a message board called www.tsptalk.com. The board is a virtual meeting place for people who are day trading in one of the few venues that still allows it. If you want a truly horrifying experience take a look a...
by MitchellF
Tue Mar 18, 2008 9:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A Surprise Gift
Replies: 23
Views: 6929

Maybe the simplest thing would be to open the account in your own name and create a Roth the first year she has earned income, ultimately funding the 10k into the Roth. You may have some taxes to pay if you have a couple of good years, but you would eventually shut off that spigot once it is in the ...
by MitchellF
Mon Nov 19, 2007 11:10 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Any Military Give Me a Hand?
Replies: 27
Views: 7298

I have never been in the military, but I strongly disagree with some of the sentiments expressed here. The military is having a difficult time recruiting for obvious reasons. They need decent men and women who are dedicated to doing a difficult job well. That does not necessarily mean that compensat...
by MitchellF
Mon Sep 10, 2007 8:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Do You Dress, What Is Your Style and Why?
Replies: 55
Views: 18864

I dress in a suit most days, some days just a shirt and tie. Pretty much everything is purchased from Brooks Brothers Outlet. I have tried and tried to go cheaper, but the quality and durability of their clothing is just unmatched. It is also so easy because their selection is so conservative and cl...
by MitchellF
Wed Sep 05, 2007 10:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "This time it REALLY IS different."
Replies: 21
Views: 6016

One of my favorite books of all times is Charles McKay's "Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds", originally published in 1841 . These types of thoughts, 'this time it's different' have been around for centuries. The only thing I can say is we do have a limited ability to learn f...
by MitchellF
Wed Aug 29, 2007 8:21 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 401K Analysis of Where People Stand
Replies: 33
Views: 13983

I find this data hard to reconcile both with what I have seen and with the warnings that the average American hasn't saved nearly enough for their retirement. I am at just about average and I have saved significantly more than I would have thought my friends have. I have also heard an oft repeated s...
by MitchellF
Mon Aug 27, 2007 12:35 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: mandatory distribution from employer-sponsored IRA
Replies: 11
Views: 3682

In that case your father would still be employed by the sponsoring institution and may choose to delay RMDs until he retires from that employer. The question is then, can he reverse the RMD once it has started? TIAA CREF usually opens an MDO account where they calculate the amount necessary and auto...
by MitchellF
Fri Aug 17, 2007 5:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How does the mainstream retail investment business get paid?
Replies: 6
Views: 1749

Good info Mitchell, thanks... What about fund superstores like Fidelity, that offer funds from other plans? Do they subsist solely on kickbacks from the other funds offered, or do they charge enough in transaction fees and annual account fees to make their money that way, or what? I can't speak for...
by MitchellF
Fri Aug 17, 2007 2:28 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Should married couples only have joint accounts
Replies: 29
Views: 9481

Mptfan, I notice that you reprimanded someone for the exact same type of advice that you proceeded to give later. My feelings are that we are all smart enough to filter advice and seek sources of information outside of an anonymous message board. Advice that is qualified by wording that, in effect, ...
by MitchellF
Fri Aug 17, 2007 2:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How does the mainstream retail investment business get paid?
Replies: 6
Views: 1749

This is a good question, we can also broaden the scope to ask how providers of retirement plans like your 401k get paid. When you walk into an Edward Jones office you will usually have a choice between A,B and C shares, which we are largely familiar with. The maximum A share load for most fund famil...
by MitchellF
Mon Aug 13, 2007 2:50 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How to persuade my employer to make index funds available
Replies: 7
Views: 2263

I have been meaning to start a topic on this point for a while. Suffice it to say that you have to understand what services the 401k provider gives to the company and what the cost of administering the plan is, if you stand a chance of changing things. An argument that only addresses the idea that i...
by MitchellF
Wed Jul 18, 2007 2:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I have finally learned that talking about money...
Replies: 40
Views: 14898

While there are sources for looking at salary data on the internet they are not a substiute for the type of data that co-workers and colleagues can provide. For instance my wife is an economist who specializes in the oil and gas industries. She can find data on the internet for the earinings of an '...
by MitchellF
Wed Jul 18, 2007 11:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I have finally learned that talking about money...
Replies: 40
Views: 14898

I think one of the most important areas where I would like to see a change is that it continues to be mostly taboo to discuss salary. This gives management a real lever against their employees because they can make the offer you will accept, rather than an offer that is based on parity with other pe...
by MitchellF
Wed Jul 18, 2007 11:20 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fear Selling for Financial Advisors-Earn the Big Bucks
Replies: 4
Views: 2010

I found this tidbit to be priceless: "6. Learn savvy “monstering” techniques – the U.S. intelligence agencies use these questioning techniques to wear down suspected terrorists that they are interviewing in order to get the information they want – we will share with you slightly less offensive strat...
by MitchellF
Thu Jul 12, 2007 7:36 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Calling all young people...what is your Asset Allocation?
Replies: 66
Views: 23426

I am 34 and I am:

17% TIAA Real Estate
8% Bond and cash
75% Equity
by MitchellF
Fri Jul 06, 2007 2:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: To Tip or Not To TIP
Replies: 18
Views: 6633

I recently had a long hotel stay in Denver, CO. After eating out many night in a row I ordered room service. The bill came with a subtotal, a line for tips, and the total. I asked the guy who delivered it if any gratuity was included in the first amount. He said, "there is a small gratuity included"...
by MitchellF
Mon Jul 02, 2007 7:39 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Providing Financial Advise: When do you need to be a RIA?
Replies: 22
Views: 5472

At least from the text posted above, it seems clear that giving out free advice is fine. If you want to get paid for your advice, or more specifically make a business of this, then you probably want to pass the relevant test. Well said. It really is that simple. Reading the act does help. The first...
by MitchellF
Thu Jun 28, 2007 9:09 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Need Help for 457b Plan for daughter
Replies: 22
Views: 6525

All the funds with "A" in the names are load funds so I would eliminate them right off the list. What's left that are definitely no-load are: Maxim S&P500 - 0.60% ER Janus Advisor Forty S - 1.18% ER PIMCO Total Return Admin - 0.68% ER Wells Fargo Gov Sec Inv - 0.95% ER Two funds may or may not be n...
by MitchellF
Mon Jun 25, 2007 2:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How much of your portfolio is in index funds?
Replies: 35
Views: 13922

About 75% indexed. My only non indexed holding is DODFX, and I included cash as a non indexed holding, which is debatable. I feel pretty comfortable with that balance and am unlikely to be adding managed funds in the future.
by MitchellF
Fri May 25, 2007 1:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Interesting Article from from the archives
Replies: 4
Views: 1665

Interesting Article from from the archives

I was just fishing around in Reference Library section of the site and came across this article, which raises some points I had not fully considered. http://www.cass.city.ac.uk/airc/pdf/WP0012.pdf The author offers a criticism of indexing that I think has some merit, although I am not sure how effic...
by MitchellF
Thu May 17, 2007 1:05 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Limiting 401(k) Elective Deferrals
Replies: 11
Views: 3637

My first thought was that the employee must be an Highly Compensated Employee, which I believe requires compensation of more than 100k, but I think he is saying he is not within that band. If you are an HCE you can be restricted based on the results of the plan's non-discrimination testing. If he is...
by MitchellF
Wed May 16, 2007 9:27 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Boglehead newbie with beginning investing questions
Replies: 32
Views: 12226

Max out your 401k. Does your wife have a 401k? Max that out too. And fund Roths for you and your wife. All told, that's about $40k a year. Hopefully you can afford that on a joint $100k income. If not, you're probably spending too much money. I find this type of advice can be disheartening. There a...
by MitchellF
Fri May 11, 2007 11:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Top Four For Lunch
Replies: 25
Views: 9993

Richard Francis Burton would be first. Truly the most fascinating character who ever lived. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Francis_Burton You didn't specify dead or alive, so I am taking liberties. I will think about the other three, and fill out those slots with living people. I can pretty mu...
by MitchellF
Fri May 11, 2007 11:21 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What is your age and AA?
Replies: 219
Views: 69038

Age 33 wife is 31

26% Med/Small
7% EM
31% International
28% LC
8% TIAA RE

I am such a slacker, I really need to rework this a bit. I do feel that with a SD that is lower than bond funds I am comfortable using the TIAA RE for a while instead of bonds.
by MitchellF
Fri May 11, 2007 11:13 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Another annuity story
Replies: 53
Views: 26117

Recently, my State Farm Insurance agent (who provided me with reasonably priced car, home and umbrella coverage) retired. The long-term relationship worked well. Never once , in over 30 years, did he ever push any investment products (and yes, he had a license to sell mutual funds). Looking back, I...