Search found 83 matches

by HiAlphaLowBeta
Thu Nov 15, 2012 4:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Beginner HSA questions
Replies: 8
Views: 847

Re: Beginner HSA questions

Is there anybody out there that would be willing to check over my spreadsheet to make sure I didn't overlook any calculations? Is this something that I can post? It is not in Google but rather Excel 2010. Thanks. Just checking to see if anybody can review my spreadsheet or at the very least, my opt...
by HiAlphaLowBeta
Mon Oct 29, 2012 3:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Beginner HSA questions
Replies: 8
Views: 847

Re: Beginner HSA questions

I am in the process of determining if a switch to HDHP from PPO would be beneficial for our family. We would like the tax-advantaged space especially since it is a given that eventually it will be used on medical expenses, even if not for several years. I created a spreadsheet that I believe makes i...
by HiAlphaLowBeta
Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: MINT
Replies: 43
Views: 5995

Re: MINT

I tried using Mint. But like other similar free online programs, I can't access many of my accounts including the account that contains 90% of my assets. I've tried resolving but the bank I'm trying to access doesn't allow sites like Mint to access their website. So I stopped using it. Unfortunate b...
by HiAlphaLowBeta
Fri Oct 26, 2012 4:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Contributing more than $17k to 401k
Replies: 15
Views: 1551

Re: Contributing more than $17k to 401k

I'm stoked. I just got an email from my HR department. They are going to add two new funds. One is an Oppendheimer EM fund (ER .89%) which I don't care about but I'm really happy that they are adding the VG total bond fund. I suggested that they add VG index funds and they took it to committee and h...
by HiAlphaLowBeta
Fri Oct 26, 2012 12:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Contributing more than $17k to 401k
Replies: 15
Views: 1551

Re: Contributing more than $17k to 401k

I would suggest submitting a formal letter to your HR department and ask that they make changes to allow after-tax contributions. My employers plan didn't have many low-cost funds and I was able to convince them to add a few Vanguard index bond and stock funds. I'm now trying to convince them to off...
by HiAlphaLowBeta
Tue Sep 18, 2012 3:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: [Portfolio Help] Wells Fargo Advisors vs. Vanguard
Replies: 13
Views: 2961

Re: [Portfolio Help] Wells Fargo Advisors vs. Vanguard

Did you know that Wells Fargo Advisors has the best deal going for DO-IT-YOURSELFers? The rep probably doesn't even know or if they do, they will not want you to know about it. Check out: Wells Fargo PMA package with WellsTrade absolutely free brokerage account. I find that it is better than Vangua...
by HiAlphaLowBeta
Tue Sep 18, 2012 3:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Please explain differences between Wills/Trust
Replies: 18
Views: 2437

Re: Please explain differences between Wills/Trust

Can someone please explain to me how to use a Crummey Trust in conjunction with a life insurance policy to avoid estate taxes? Since the estate tax possibly will reduce from $5MM to $1MM after this year, isn't is possible (and maybe a good idea) to setup a Crummey Trust for your children with a life...
by HiAlphaLowBeta
Fri Sep 14, 2012 10:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best HSA custodian
Replies: 54
Views: 24780

Re: Best HSA custodian

I just received the information from my HR department regarding Healthhub, the Payflex website for my HSA. We're required to contribute to their plan if we want the $1000/yr employer contribution and pre-tax payroll deductions. There are NO fees AT ALL so my main concern was that they would have poo...
by HiAlphaLowBeta
Mon Sep 10, 2012 12:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Inheritance to be held in expensive trust for ~10 years
Replies: 55
Views: 8026

Re: Inheritance to be held in expensive trust for ~10 years

I don't know much about trusts, but can you propose to the other beneficiaries that you manage the trust on behalf of the others? Or have it managed jointly? As long as the trustee has the legal ability to manage the trust, my understanding is that you can act as trustee. Then there would not be any...
by HiAlphaLowBeta
Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best HSA custodian
Replies: 54
Views: 24780

Re: Best HSA custodian

The custodian affiliated with my employer (PayFlex - Healthhub.com) has no fees whatsoever , at least that is what my HR department told me. I haven't signed up yet. I'm still waiting to hear back from HR as to their suite of investment options. I tried asking PayFlex, but they said I have to sign ...
by HiAlphaLowBeta
Fri Sep 07, 2012 4:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best HSA custodian
Replies: 54
Views: 24780

Re: Best HSA custodian

The custodian affiliated with my employer (PayFlex - Healthhub.com) has no fees whatsoever , at least that is what my HR department told me. I haven't signed up yet. I'm still waiting to hear back from HR as to their suite of investment options. I tried asking PayFlex, but they said I have to sign u...
by HiAlphaLowBeta
Thu Aug 30, 2012 8:17 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: My 401K fee disclosure was released today...
Replies: 26
Views: 6317

Re: My 401K fee disclosure was released today...

All - I apologize if my original post was misleading. My company had always posted ER's for all of their funds. I assumed all other companies were doing the same thing. My 401k plan only has one VG option and it is the S&P 500 fund with an ER of I believe 6 bps. There is also a total bond fund w...
by HiAlphaLowBeta
Wed Aug 29, 2012 4:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: My 401K fee disclosure was released today...
Replies: 26
Views: 6317

My 401K fee disclosure was released today...

I work for a decent sized bank in the Midwest ($13 Billion in assets) and they just released the required 401k plan fee disclosure. I was very happy to find out that the only fee (outside of loan/distribution fees) is an annual $75 per person administration fee. I currently have $34K in my 401k so t...
by HiAlphaLowBeta
Fri Aug 17, 2012 9:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Furniture "protection plans'
Replies: 10
Views: 5528

Re: Furniture "protection plans'

I used to view them the same way. I get the "scotchguard" protection to fabric furniture but I also have two children (3 mo and 2 year old). It has paid for itself tenfold. And at least the fabric protector that was used on our furniture, you really can just wipe off the stain. If I didn't...
by HiAlphaLowBeta
Tue Jul 31, 2012 2:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Management Software Online or Program
Replies: 6
Views: 1042

Re: Portfolio Management Software Online or Program

I've used Fund Manager for years although I've gotten lazy lately and am not doing my monthly downloads. Actually, that's a goal of mine-- to NOT pay attention to my portfolio monthly. They have a free trial version: m For anybody that uses this software, are you able to download stock quotes, both...
by HiAlphaLowBeta
Fri Jul 27, 2012 4:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Which Bond Fund to use?
Replies: 14
Views: 2571

Re: Which Bond Fund to use?

Hi HiAlphaLowBeta, I would keep it simple and use the Total Bond Market in tax advantaged and Intermediate Term Tax exempt in taxable. You will like the one fund approach. Simple and effective. So really there would be two bond funds. I'm thinking of setting up my accounts with these rough allocati...
by HiAlphaLowBeta
Fri Jul 27, 2012 1:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Which Bond Fund to use?
Replies: 14
Views: 2571

Re: Which Bond Fund to use?

Hi HiAlphaLowBeta, I have read many interviews and watched many clips of Jack Bogle where he notes that he invests in the Total Bond Market Index Fund in his tax advantaged accounts, and Intermediate/Limited Term (with the majority in Intermediate) Tax Exempt Bond Fund in his taxable investments. H...
by HiAlphaLowBeta
Thu Jul 26, 2012 8:52 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Which Bond Fund to use?
Replies: 14
Views: 2571

Re: Which Bond Fund to use?

I also want to know which fund to use. I have about 99% of my assets in taxable (no choice) and currently have almost solely individual munis for tax purposes. I want to simply my bond portfolio into ideally one fund. I like the three fund approach with TBM. However, since this is taxable, would I b...
by HiAlphaLowBeta
Wed Jul 25, 2012 3:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Total Bond Fund SEC Yield below 2%
Replies: 73
Views: 8200

Re: Total Bond Fund SEC Yield below 2%

I found the following Vanguard white paper interesting. I'm sticking with the total bond fund regardless of rates...otherwise, aren't we market timing? Just keep your original SAA and rebalance as needed.

https://advisors.vanguard.com/iwe/pdf/I ... omain=true

Any thoughts?
by HiAlphaLowBeta
Thu Jul 19, 2012 11:41 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need help to simplify complex and fee ridden portfolio
Replies: 15
Views: 2016

Re: Need help to simplify complex and fee ridden portfolio

I currently use the low-fee Utah plan as it was recommended when I opened it for my grandson and I can take a deduction here in Arizona, but of course there are others you might consider. Check the Morningstar.com evaluations for other ideas. Did you check to see if Nebraska will allow a deduction ...
by HiAlphaLowBeta
Thu Jul 19, 2012 9:50 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need help to simplify complex and fee ridden portfolio
Replies: 15
Views: 2016

Re: Need help to simplify complex and fee ridden portfolio

Consider also 529 educational savings plans for each of your two children. This is a tax-advantaged method for saving for college. There are many choices of plans using low-cost Vanguard or Fidelity mutual funds and you don't have to use the ones operated by your state. However if there are good on...
by HiAlphaLowBeta
Wed Jul 18, 2012 2:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Whole Life - Should we cash out?
Replies: 8
Views: 1833

Re: Whole Life - Should we cash out?

I was in a similar position to you. I just cashed in a whole life policy my parents started for me many years ago. Of course, the agent tried to convince me not to by saying ridiculous things like I could borrow money against the policy. I have term life because it is cheap, and will not need life ...
by HiAlphaLowBeta
Wed Jul 18, 2012 12:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Whole Life - Should we cash out?
Replies: 8
Views: 1833

Re: Whole Life - Should we cash out?

You didn't mention how much you paid in premiums over the term. So do you have a loss if you cashed it in? I recommend maybe do a 1035 exchange into anther product , like an annuity, if you don't want the death benefit anymore. A lot of folks bought life insurance thinking they might need to provid...
by HiAlphaLowBeta
Wed Jul 18, 2012 11:36 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need help to simplify complex and fee ridden portfolio
Replies: 15
Views: 2016

Re: Need help to simplify complex and fee ridden portfolio

Welcome, and nice screen name, by the way! Thanks! 1. I do plan on increasing my 401k contribution. Not sure if I'll go up to the $17K, but at least $12-14K Please explain why you would choose to give up the opportunity to have tax-deferred, tax-lowering 401k space in order to put money into taxabl...
by HiAlphaLowBeta
Tue Jul 17, 2012 2:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Whole Life - Should we cash out?
Replies: 8
Views: 1833

Re: Whole Life - Should we cash out?

We currently have a nice cash cushion so I'd probably just invest it into a few Vanguard funds (we are re-evaluating our portfolio).

Any arguments in favor of keeping the policy?
by HiAlphaLowBeta
Tue Jul 17, 2012 2:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Whole Life - Should we cash out?
Replies: 8
Views: 1833

Whole Life - Should we cash out?

I have a whole life insurance policy on myself with a death benefit of $205K with a cash value of $32K. I'm 31 years old and in good health. My wife is my beneficiary and my children second after her. The insurance was setup by my parents when I was a toddler. The annual premiums are $1,227 and out ...
by HiAlphaLowBeta
Tue Jul 17, 2012 2:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need help to simplify complex and fee ridden portfolio
Replies: 15
Views: 2016

Re: Need help to simplify complex and fee ridden portfolio

RuralAvalon - I might just keep the funds at WF and transfer them to my WellsTrade account. I get 100 free trades per year which would be more than enough. The benefit of this approach is that I now have all my accounts together (WF has our IRA accounts). I wouldn't sell the assets right away. Do yo...
by HiAlphaLowBeta
Tue Jul 17, 2012 12:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need help to simplify complex and fee ridden portfolio
Replies: 15
Views: 2016

Re: Need help to simplify complex and fee ridden portfolio

BL - 1. I do plan on increasing my 401k contribution. Not sure if I'll go up to the $17K, but at least $12-14K 2. In my 401k, the bond choices are as follows: FTRBX (Federated Total Return Bond) net ER is 35 bps TGBAX (Templeton Global Bond) net ER is 63 bps FOSPX (Tributary Short/Int Bond) net ER ...
by HiAlphaLowBeta
Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:48 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need help to simplify complex and fee ridden portfolio
Replies: 15
Views: 2016

Re: Need help to simplify complex and fee ridden portfolio

BL - 1. I do plan on increasing my 401k contribution. Not sure if I'll go up to the $17K, but at least $12-14K 2. In my 401k, the bond choices are as follows: FTRBX (Federated Total Return Bond) net ER is 35 bps TGBAX (Templeton Global Bond) net ER is 63 bps FOSPX (Tributary Short/Int Bond) net ER i...
by HiAlphaLowBeta
Mon Jul 16, 2012 4:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need help to simplify complex and fee ridden portfolio
Replies: 15
Views: 2016

Need help to simplify complex and fee ridden portfolio

Emergency funds = Yes, 12 months + Debt: $118,925 - 30 yr mortgage – 5% ($1125/month PITI) Home value – Approx $210,000 Tax Filing Status: Married filing Jointly Tax Rate: 28% Federal 6.7% State State of Residence - Nebraska Age: Myself - 31 – Spouse - 30 Desired Asset allocation: 80-85% stock / 15-...
by HiAlphaLowBeta
Fri Jul 13, 2012 2:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Section 529 Tax Implications
Replies: 0
Views: 312

Section 529 Tax Implications

My wife and I have two children (2yr old and newborn). We setup a 529 plan when our son was born and over the past two years, contributed $23000. Now that we have another child, we want to contribute to her college fund. However, we would also like to fund UTMA accounts for each as a vehicle to tran...
by HiAlphaLowBeta
Wed Jul 11, 2012 3:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Active vs. Index - How to persuade spouse
Replies: 15
Views: 2215

Re: Active vs. Index - How to persuade spouse

Thank you for the advice. I think I'll start off by showing her how much in fees that we pay annually and how this compounds year after year. I'll also show how it is almost impossible to perform better than an index year after year when you account for excessive turnover and management fees. I'll e...
by HiAlphaLowBeta
Wed Jul 11, 2012 2:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Active vs. Index - How to persuade spouse
Replies: 4
Views: 478

Active vs. Index - How to persuade spouse

Hi - My wife and I currently have our investments managed by Wells Fargo private bank as we have a high net worth. I posted a year or so ago asking for advice on which Vanguard funds to invest in if we moved from being managed by Wells to managing the portfolio ourselves. We were given good advice a...
by HiAlphaLowBeta
Wed Jul 11, 2012 1:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Active vs. Index - How to persuade spouse
Replies: 15
Views: 2215

Active vs. Index - How to persuade spouse

Hi - My wife and I currently have our investments managed by Wells Fargo private bank as we have a high net worth. I posted a year or so ago asking for advice on which Vanguard funds to invest in if we moved from being managed by Wells to managing the portfolio ourselves. We were given good advice a...
by HiAlphaLowBeta
Fri Sep 23, 2011 3:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Effects of Standard Deviation
Replies: 7
Views: 871

Effects of Standard Deviation

I have been curious of the impact of standard deviation on the CAGR of a portfolio over the long run. I ran various monte carlo simulations (1000) for SD of 2, 4, 6, 8 & 10 percent. Given a long enough timeframe (i.e., 10-70 years), the CAGR difference between portfolios was negligible. I used 8...
by HiAlphaLowBeta
Tue Sep 13, 2011 12:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retirement Calculators and Spending Models
Replies: 74
Views: 14559

emkute wrote:I've had fun with this one:

https://www.planwithvoyant.com/voyant/main/login


I registered for an account however the Voyant java app isn't loading correctly. It is taking forever which leads me to believe that it isn't going to work on my PC :x

Did anybody else who has tried to use Voyant have this problem?
by HiAlphaLowBeta
Fri Sep 09, 2011 2:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: online calculator needed
Replies: 12
Views: 1814

In Excel, assuming that you start out with nothing invested, if X is A1, Y is A2 and Z is A3, then the formula is as follows: FV(A3,A2,-A1,0,0) This assume that you are adding the $10000 at the end of the year/period. If at the beginning of the year/period, then it is FV(A3,A2,-A1,0,1) Please note t...
by HiAlphaLowBeta
Fri Sep 02, 2011 10:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Kitchen remodeling cold feet
Replies: 33
Views: 5084

Re: The downside to remodeling.

Hi Villian: Don't overlook the downside of remodeling (in addition to $30,000 less cash). We recently replaced our kitchen cabinet doors and installed a new dishwasher because the old white dishwasher didn't match the new doors. We had to stay home for the workmen who never arrived on time and did ...
by HiAlphaLowBeta
Fri Sep 02, 2011 9:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Kitchen remodeling cold feet
Replies: 33
Views: 5084

I'd call some local contractors and ask. You could start by going to Home Depot and pricing the stuff you want. Get a feel for prices. If it's a new bathroom, you'll have to add plumbing and electrical. These guys are well-paid, so that could cost you the most. Tile is not that expensive, and there...
by HiAlphaLowBeta
Fri Sep 02, 2011 9:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Kitchen remodeling cold feet
Replies: 33
Views: 5084

Not to derail the conversation, but how much would you say is reasonable for a bathroom remodel? Nothing fancy, but probably install a tub (knock out a portion of the wall). We might not install the tub because it would cut into our storage space and I'm not sure it would fit anyway. I'm not into th...
by HiAlphaLowBeta
Thu Sep 01, 2011 1:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Building materials prices
Replies: 10
Views: 1085

As the owner of a remodeling company, I can tell you that there have been multiple price increases this year. Do you anticipate prices to decline any in the next few months? I imagine the majority of materials they will need is insulation and caulking. I would put it off until next year but we can'...
by HiAlphaLowBeta
Thu Sep 01, 2011 10:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Building materials prices
Replies: 10
Views: 1085

Building materials prices

My wife and I are hiring a contractor to winterize our home this fall. The contractor will be adjusting the door jambs, adding caulking to our windows and doors, adding insulation into our walls and attic, and a few other misc items. We originally had a quote back in April, but we weren't able to pr...
by HiAlphaLowBeta
Thu Aug 25, 2011 3:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Individual Bond valuations
Replies: 7
Views: 898

I use www.municipalbonds.com. You can type the cusip in there as well. Why do you want to get rid of individual municipals? You get a liquidity premium for holding to maturity. You also get a free lunch: stagger your bonds 10% in each year of the next 10 years. Then re-invest them in the current 10...
by HiAlphaLowBeta
Thu Aug 25, 2011 2:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Individual Bond valuations
Replies: 7
Views: 898

Hi, HALB. I'm going to assume you already know that the only way to determine what you can sell a bond for today is to ask your broker to solicit bids for you. If you want to get a ball park number before calling the broker, here are a couple of ways. 1. If a bond is held in a broker account, the m...
by HiAlphaLowBeta
Thu Aug 25, 2011 2:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Individual Bond valuations
Replies: 7
Views: 898

Hi Alpha, -- sorry, I couldn't resist I'm afraid I don't understand what you're looking for. Given the yield to maturity (YTM) one can calculate a bond's price, and given the price one can calculate its YTM. But it sounds like you are missing both the YTM and the price. Is this correct? Are you jus...
by HiAlphaLowBeta
Mon Aug 22, 2011 12:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Individual Bond valuations
Replies: 7
Views: 898

Individual Bond valuations

I have various individual bonds (30 - mostly muni) that I would like to value as I am considering selling them in order to simplify my portfolio to bond mutual funds. I read the following paper by Vanguard which explains how to calculate the current value. m While I understand the calculation, I don...
by HiAlphaLowBeta
Fri Aug 19, 2011 11:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone buy a new car recently? Paperwork comment/question.
Replies: 37
Views: 6077

My last two cars I purchased ($35K and $32K) in March 2001 and August 2010 were purchased with a personal check. No credit checks were done on either purchase nor was I asked for any detailed personal information. Maybe they trust someone old enough to be their father or grandfather. When I was tol...
by HiAlphaLowBeta
Fri Aug 19, 2011 8:57 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: U.S. stocks in freefall
Replies: 3944
Views: 1038430

I am buying. Bought last week, this week, and buying again today. At some point I figure I will reach levels beyond which I don't want to deplete my cash position. If the market keeps falling after that point then I would have bought too early. Oh, well, the perils of not having crystal balls. I'm ...
by HiAlphaLowBeta
Thu Aug 18, 2011 2:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: U.S. stocks in freefall
Replies: 3944
Views: 1038430

Thanks for the feedback. I'm still working on my AA plan, and I do contribute to my 401k (My balance is very small (1%) compared to my taxable so it hardly impacts my AA). Still kinda seems like market timing because by buying 100% stocks you are changing your AA based off market conditions rather t...
by HiAlphaLowBeta
Thu Aug 18, 2011 2:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: U.S. stocks in freefall
Replies: 3944
Views: 1038430

I am buying. Bought last week, this week, and buying again today. At some point I figure I will reach levels beyond which I don't want to deplete my cash position. If the market keeps falling after that point then I would have bought too early. Oh, well, the perils of not having crystal balls. I'm ...