Search found 33 matches

by blackstone
Thu Sep 11, 2014 8:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costco vs Amazon?
Replies: 60
Views: 7203

Re: Costco vs Amazon?

Not exactly Costco vs Amazon, but Costco's car & home insurance rates ( through Ameriprise ) have tended to be way better than other options ( atleast in MA ). Just that might easily pay for an executive membership.
by blackstone
Wed Apr 23, 2014 6:32 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Why Utah 529 instead of Vanguard 529?
Replies: 33
Views: 11781

Re: Why Utah 529 instead of Vanguard 529?

Just use the Aggresive Growth Portfolio https://personal.vanguard.com/us/FundsStrategyAndPolicy?FundId=4509&FundIntExt=INT and change your TSM allocation accordingly. The ER will be much lower that way. Also, total international stock index costs 0.55% from Vanguard directly. That is the main reason...
by blackstone
Wed Apr 23, 2014 6:31 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Why Utah 529 instead of Vanguard 529?
Replies: 33
Views: 11781

Re: Why Utah 529 instead of Vanguard 529?

https://personal.vanguard.com/us/FundsStrategyAndPolicy?FundId=4509&FundIntExt=INT It is 70/30 Is there a way to determine the % of International in the Vanguard/Nevada 529 portfolios? I downloaded the guide and it doesn't seem to offer this detail. For example, for the Aggressive Growth Portfolio, ...
by blackstone
Sun Mar 02, 2014 9:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: LED bulb prices
Replies: 124
Views: 22997

Re: LED bulb prices

Here in the north east, nstar is currently offering discounts on the costco bulbs. The BR30 CFLs are $4.99 / 4 pack ( these are not dimmable though). The BR30 leds are $7.99 each ( dimmable & very bright ) while the BR40 leds are $6.99 courtesy nstar.
by blackstone
Wed Feb 19, 2014 1:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Please Help Me Find A Doctor
Replies: 23
Views: 2453

Re: Please Help Me Find A Doctor

If you are in the boston metro area: http://www.harvardvanguard.org/
by blackstone
Sat Feb 08, 2014 12:54 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What fraction of VG Tot. Int. is Small Cap & Emerging?
Replies: 6
Views: 798

Re: What fraction of VG Tot. Int. is Small Cap & Emerging?

Thanks I did actually already do that, I think I am asking a more subtle question here. On face value, this would indicate that X = 17.4 and Y = 21. When VG used to have styleboxes, Y was much less that that, that is where the old ~ 10.5 number comes from, I am pretty sure M* and VG don't agree on t...
by blackstone
Sat Feb 08, 2014 12:09 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What fraction of VG Tot. Int. is Small Cap & Emerging?
Replies: 6
Views: 798

What fraction of VG Tot. Int. is Small Cap & Emerging?

Hi Folks, I can't seem to find this information easily. I am trying to figure out how to split the total international index into Emerging and Small cap fractions. Specifically, I am looking for this formula: $100 in Total International = $X Emerging + $Y International Small Cap + $(100-X-Y) Large C...
by blackstone
Tue Jan 28, 2014 10:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Most Efficient Way to Heat a Home
Replies: 86
Views: 8082

Re: Most Efficient Way to Heat a Home

Sorry, this is what I actually wanted to write: :)
So objection to fracking is *not* a good reason to stick with oil. It might be a good reason to choose a heat pump over gas. Even wood can significantly increase local air pollution problems (less of an issue if pellets).
by blackstone
Tue Jan 28, 2014 9:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Most Efficient Way to Heat a Home
Replies: 86
Views: 8082

Re: Most Efficient Way to Heat a Home

Get a free home energy assessment if you haven't already http://www.csgrp.com/homeowners-renters/ This is a good time to do it, you will be able to see where exactly your house is lacking in insulation etc. Insulate your roof, get better windows, insulate the walls in that order. MA has an 7 year in...
by blackstone
Fri Nov 01, 2013 9:30 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard 529 plan expense ratio reductions
Replies: 6
Views: 1169

Re: Vanguard 529 plan expense ratio reductions

Finally the Vanguard 529 plan has fees lower than the Ohio 529, which is slightly increasing its fees next week.
by blackstone
Mon Oct 07, 2013 3:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Please explain "Brute force attacks"
Replies: 16
Views: 2166

Re: Please explain "Brute force attacks"

You wouldn't try to brute force the login page. Instead, if say someone steals the encrypted data from Vanguard, they can spend all the time and computational effort in the world to brute force the passwords offline. Look at the recent data theft at Adobe. Fidelity's passwords ( perhaps Vanguard too...
by blackstone
Thu Jan 31, 2013 7:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Jumbo Loan Mortgage Providers
Replies: 15
Views: 1884

Re: Jumbo Loan Mortgage Providers

Also consider getting two loans rather than one. A 30 year conforming loan + an add on ARM. In some situations this works out better.
by blackstone
Thu Jan 10, 2013 7:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Implementing Two-Factor Authentication for Fidelity Accounts
Replies: 48
Views: 19987

Re: Implementing Two-Factor Authentication for Fidelity Acco

Any idea if it works with the mobile app? It is usually not a good idea to use a mobile app to login to a site when another app on the same device is the "soft" dongle for multi factor authentication. If you save your password for the app for example, if someone steals your phone, they get access t...
by blackstone
Wed Jan 02, 2013 11:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: any changes to backdoor ROTH in 2013?
Replies: 28
Views: 3485

Re: any changes to backdoor ROTH in 2013?

You can save yourself the phone call and just do an online exchange into a Roth IRA fund the next day. If you buy Prime MM in the Trad. IRA, there probably is not going to be any taxes either given the current low interest rates.
by blackstone
Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vanguard is on the Password Hall of Shame.
Replies: 250
Views: 49629

Re: Vanguard is on the Password Hall of Shame.

I don't understand this blind trust in Vanguard's IT security. Absence of evidence of break-ins is not evidence of absence of break-ins. Unfortunately, both Vanguard and Fidelity have extremely poor password policies, with Fidelity being worse. Did you know that your fidelity password is actually a ...
by blackstone
Wed Aug 15, 2012 8:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Real Estate Agent Commission Negotiable?
Replies: 42
Views: 4524

Re: Real Estate Agent Commission Negotiable?

Sometimes an agent would be willing to negotiate a lower commission in a dual agency / no MLS listing situation. You pay less in commission but sell at less than market price (but still come out ahead in net terms). The agent gets more than they would in a non-dual agency situation, thus comes out a...
by blackstone
Mon Aug 13, 2012 7:36 pm
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: New to US (from Australia)
Replies: 16
Views: 2372

Re: New to US (from Australia)

Residency for tax purposes happens rather quickly compared to residency from an immigration point of view. For most people, the IRS would like you to pay taxes as if you were a resident (including SS & Medicare) if you pass the Green-Card test or substantial presence (during the year) test even if e...
by blackstone
Fri Mar 30, 2012 3:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fidelity password security policies
Replies: 39
Views: 9677

Re: Fidelity password security policies

Fidelity used to have ATMs (atleast not any more in the branches I have visited) that only had the standard numeric keypads. Perhaps this and touchtone login is the reason for having such a policy. IIRC Vanguard had a 8 character password limit along with no distinction between caps & small letters ...
by blackstone
Sat Mar 03, 2012 5:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A little math saves on 529 plan expenses
Replies: 7
Views: 1299

Re: A little math saves on 529 plan expenses

So...for someone whos doesnt want to use their own state plan...Utah is the least expensive plan to use Vanguard funds (portfolio)? Utah does look like the winner for equity options, they don't have a TIPS only fixed income fund though. They don't offer the convenient VG Income portfolio that other...
by blackstone
Sat Mar 03, 2012 10:07 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A little math saves on 529 plan expenses
Replies: 7
Views: 1299

A little math saves on 529 plan expenses

Suppose you live in a state that does not provide any tax deductions for 529 plan contributions. There are a lot of plans offering Vanguard funds that you can chose from. If you pay attention, you can gain a slight advantage in terms of fees in many of these plans. For example, consider the Vanguard...
by blackstone
Thu Sep 29, 2011 1:09 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How much Small-Cap does the Vanguard Total Intern. have?
Replies: 17
Views: 1876

Err. no :) setting up another account with another provider is too much work & not enough return for your identity IMO. I have an old spreadsheet which kind of works that I am wedded to. ....I don't have a premium M* membership which lets you download some or all of the portfolio in a csv file. But ...
by blackstone
Thu Sep 29, 2011 1:07 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How much Small-Cap does the Vanguard Total Intern. have?
Replies: 17
Views: 1876

Re: How much Small-Cap does the Vanguard Total Intern. have?

Thanks grabiner. The Fidelity Spartan International fund (401k option) serves that role for me. What I am looking for to help me rebalance is the % of VGTSX that is equivalent to VSS (International Small Cap) and VWO (Emerging Mkts). You need a third fund. The equivalent is about 65% VEA (developed ...
by blackstone
Tue Sep 27, 2011 1:08 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How much Small-Cap does the Vanguard Total Intern. have?
Replies: 17
Views: 1876

FWIW, The M* numbers trail the VG data by about 3 months. The %'s reported on the VG site don't change much at all (I guess keeping them that way is what the quant group doing the indexing does). For my purposes, I just rounded it to the closest integer. VG doesn't make it easy to get the portfolio ...
by blackstone
Tue Sep 27, 2011 10:44 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How much Small-Cap does the Vanguard Total Intern. have?
Replies: 17
Views: 1876

Here is what I got if anyone is looking. Solving for the L and S in livesoft's formulation L = 89.5% and S = 10.5% (minimizes squared error between combining VEU & VSS and VGTSX). VGTSX then splits into 2.68% Small Cap Emerging 7.82% Small Cap Developed 23.7% Large Cap Emerging 65.8% Large Cap Devel...
by blackstone
Tue Sep 27, 2011 8:10 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How much Small-Cap does the Vanguard Total Intern. have?
Replies: 17
Views: 1876

Thanks, I will try this out. I wasn't trying to replicate VGTSX using VWO & VSS, rather, I was trying to maintain a specific weighting for developed markets small/large & emerging markets across multiple holdings. One can use the Morningstar Instant X-ray tool to make a very educated guess about thi...
by blackstone
Mon Sep 26, 2011 8:54 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How much Small-Cap does the Vanguard Total Intern. have?
Replies: 17
Views: 1876

How much Small-Cap does the Vanguard Total Intern. have?

It is time for the annual rebalancing effort here and I can't seem to find a straight answer to this simple question. VGTSX (Total International Stock Index) Large Caps %? Emerging Markets %? Small Cap %? According to Vanguard, the emerging markets % is 24.1% as of 8/31/2011 According to Morning Sta...
by blackstone
Thu Apr 28, 2011 1:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: re: advised by my computer security maven to leave Vanguard.
Replies: 166
Views: 19093

Fidelity doesn't differentiate between capital & small letters either. So it is not just Vanguard.
by blackstone
Tue Apr 12, 2011 9:01 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Recently updated fund information or What has changed?
Replies: 1
Views: 489

Recently updated fund information or What has changed?

From time to time VG sends out an email the says that
Recently updated fund information for the fund(s) you own is now available on Vanguard.com:
Is there an easy way to figure out what has actually changed?
by blackstone
Tue Apr 05, 2011 8:41 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Best Place To Purchase Municipal Bonds?
Replies: 29
Views: 4494

Thanks for your response !Bob, It looks like you're using a 5.5% tax rate for Massachusetts. I thought it was 5.3%. Also, do you itemize deductions and, if so, have you prorated your Massachusetts rate to take that into account? Or does the AMT negate that for you? I thought I did the calculation us...
by blackstone
Tue Apr 05, 2011 2:45 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Best Place To Purchase Municipal Bonds?
Replies: 29
Views: 4494

Not to hijack this thread, but, this post was quite timely, as I was just doing a similar exercise to decide if we should contribute to the Intermediate Term Fund or the MA State Tax-Exempt fund. Inter. Admiral: SEC Yield 3.30%, Avg. Duration 5.6 Years MA Tax. Exempt: SEC Yield 3.29% Avg. Duration 6...
by blackstone
Mon Jan 31, 2011 7:22 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Review Request, New 401k New Options
Replies: 7
Views: 1128

Thanks that is a good idea, I think we will slowly reduce our PTTRX stake.
by blackstone
Mon Jan 31, 2011 1:44 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Review Request, New 401k New Options
Replies: 7
Views: 1128

Hello Wagnerjb, kenyan, Chin Strap & other folks, First of all, thanks for taking the time to respond to my post. His new 401k just started this year and as of yet does not have any contributions. So in total we have: Hers: 2 Old 401ks and 1 current one His: 1 Old 401k and 1 current one. I would say...
by blackstone
Sun Jan 30, 2011 9:43 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Review Request, New 401k New Options
Replies: 7
Views: 1128

Portfolio Review Request, New 401k New Options

Hello Bogleheads, first time poster but long time lurker. Over the years I am absorbed as much as I can from this board and tried to implement it in our financial/investment decisions. The new year brought a new job and a new 401k plan with it, I thought this would be a good time to get a second opi...