Search found 379 matches

by smectym
Wed Jun 19, 2019 1:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I retire in 1 year at 53
Replies: 30
Views: 3188

Re: Can I retire in 1 year at 53

My only comment is, what are your intentions re future financial assistance for the kids? There is no right or wrong answer to how much help we should extend to our kids for student debt, down payments, graduate school, grandkids &c. But if you’re explicitly or implicitly funding an extended family ...
by smectym
Wed Jun 19, 2019 1:08 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Should I abandon the Total International Stock Index Fund for greener pastures?
Replies: 102
Views: 8266

Re: Should I abandon the Total International Stock Index Fund for greener pastures?

I believe that the U.S. has superior laws, work ethic, regulatory oversight and other factors that have resulted in long term outperformance relative to total international. I don't believe that any of this will change (to the negative) anytime soon. I thus remain 100% invested in US equities. That...
by smectym
Mon Jun 17, 2019 11:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Should I abandon the Total International Stock Index Fund for greener pastures?
Replies: 102
Views: 8266

Re: Should I abandon the Total International Stock Index Fund for greener pastures?

In theory, one would think the argument for international diversification unassailable. (And I have some Total Int’l.). However, in practice, if a particular investor is disenchanted with international and wishes to restrict the investment horizon to US equities (perhaps on the argument, endorsed by...
by smectym
Sat Jun 15, 2019 11:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chase "You Invest" balance count for checking fees?
Replies: 7
Views: 746

Re: Chase "You Invest" balance count for checking fees?

There something else you need to pay attention to with “you invest” and its connection to your checking account. Apparently, to avoid fees on your checking, the “you invest” account must be “linked” to the checking. And that’s not automatic. Either talk to your branch contact or send a message to Ch...
by smectym
Sat Jun 15, 2019 6:21 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: High net worth individual seeks portfolio advice
Replies: 80
Views: 8015

Re: High net worth individual seeks portfolio advice

OP, the advice above about not trying to time the market and our inability to accurately predict the investment future is very sound advice and I agree with it. I took up Vanguard on its free consult with a CFP in 2010. They developed a financial plan for me, roughly 60/40. I said, "Fine, but we're ...
by smectym
Thu Jun 13, 2019 2:51 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: $1 million Where to Park?
Replies: 19
Views: 3573

Re: $1 million Where to Park?

Agree with many above: VUSXX. Checked the Treasury Direct option but currently 1 yr. bills yield less than the VUSXX rate.
Wealthfront does offer 2.5%. They state FDIC insured up to $1M. A promo, who knows how long that will stick
by smectym
Thu Jun 13, 2019 2:42 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Roth IRA or no?
Replies: 18
Views: 1459

Re: Roth IRA or no?

No, in a high state income tax state it just doesn’t pencil out
by smectym
Thu Jun 13, 2019 2:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much is your guys’ fees for your 401k?
Replies: 61
Views: 2452

Re: How much is your guys’ fees for your 401k?

Well it’s IRA converted from 401(k) and all we pay is the ER, so if you’re excluding ER we pay zero. The ER is about 0.09%
by smectym
Mon Jun 10, 2019 1:15 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Moving from Rat Race to FIRE, Near All-Time Highs (Best Way to Invest Account Sitting in 100% Cash)
Replies: 35
Views: 5954

Re: Moving from Rat Race to FIRE, Near All-Time Highs (Best Way to Invest Account Sitting in 100% Cash)

we construct our own prisons. Brilliant. That quote is one to remember. Very true. Um, “we construct our own prisons” is bit of well-worn cliché, as no doubt the poster of the trite aphorism will happily acknowledge, and any cursory web search confirm. So: not “brilliant.” And is rigorous adherence...
by smectym
Sun Jun 09, 2019 3:28 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Moving from Rat Race to FIRE, Near All-Time Highs (Best Way to Invest Account Sitting in 100% Cash)
Replies: 35
Views: 5954

Re: Moving from Rat Race to FIRE, Near All-Time Highs (Best Way to Invest Account Sitting in 100% Cash)

investor2019, the paradox of investing is that the dogmas derived from experience of what, historically, has worked for most investors under conditions typical of recent history (and bogleheads by and large live and breathe the 1982-present gestalt) aren’t guaranteed to work for any individual inves...
by smectym
Sun Jun 09, 2019 1:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you carry Umbrella Insurance?
Replies: 142
Views: 8658

Re: Do you carry Umbrella Insurance?

Sure, we carry plenty of umbrella insurance. Of course, the reason premiums are so low is that the catastrophic judgments insureds fear are rare indeed. But, prudence is the watchword.
by smectym
Fri Jun 07, 2019 11:14 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Tax Managed Balanced Fund -- PLEASE HELP
Replies: 22
Views: 2192

Re: Tax Managed Balanced Fund -- PLEASE HELP

I also own quite a bit of this fund. Like you, when I discovered the teachings here, I regretted not splitting out the stock/bond portion and considered selling it. However, it has been very tax efficient at a time when I needed that, plus pays out a lot of tax advantaged and no Fed tax dividends. ...
by smectym
Fri Jun 07, 2019 10:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How did you all do in the month of May, 2019
Replies: 125
Views: 9772

Re: How did you all do in the month of May, 2019

Surprised that I only lost $13,000 in Vanguard, the portfolio I can most easily track. But our overall positioning is similar to VWIAX and if you look at that chart it just sort of muddled along in May
by smectym
Fri Jun 07, 2019 9:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gillette Fusion razors
Replies: 57
Views: 4878

Re: Gillette Fusion razors

Gillette Sensor 2. They come in 3 plastic bags of 10 from Amazon for $17.82. Cheap, and they look and feel cheap. But deliver a smooth shave.
by smectym
Fri Jun 07, 2019 12:48 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How would you invest a lump sum of 3 million dollars in today's market?
Replies: 50
Views: 5498

Re: How would you invest a lump sum of 3 million dollars in today's market?

Financial independence is something the vast majority only dream of. It’s actually a big deal, don’t think (or invest like) it’s not. When FI is actually (and in your case suddenly) within grasp, a good idea is to prioritize protecting that independence and not letting it slip through your fingers....
by smectym
Thu Jun 06, 2019 10:05 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How would you invest a lump sum of 3 million dollars in today's market?
Replies: 50
Views: 5498

Re: How would you invest a lump sum of 3 million dollars in today's market?

Financial independence is something the vast majority only dream of. It’s actually a big deal, don’t think (or invest like) it’s not. When FI is actually (and in your case suddenly) within grasp, a good idea is to prioritize protecting that independence and not letting it slip through your fingers. ...
by smectym
Wed Jun 05, 2019 2:27 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Help talk family out of moving money to new attractive fund
Replies: 5
Views: 895

Re: Help talk family out of moving money to new attractive fund

Resuscitating this moribund thread only to flag that Woodford has suspended all redemptions in his large Equity Income Fund after a streak of bad performance led to a surge in recent outflows. This is big news in the UK, where Woodford, a former long-time Invesco “star,” is a household name among in...
by smectym
Sat Jun 01, 2019 9:03 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do you have an allocation more conservative than 50/50 ?? What is it? Why? How Bogleheads are getting it done.
Replies: 135
Views: 11973

Re: Do you have an allocation more conservative than 50/50 ?? What is it? Why? How Bogleheads are getting it done.

The “portfolio” per se is roughly a la Wellesley (VWIAX) but we don’t count large slugs of I Bonds and CD’s as within the portfolio. If we did, the mix would be such that a Vanguard advisor, if we had one, would tell us that the portfolio is too conservative. “Won the game” is a squishy benchmark, b...
by smectym
Tue May 28, 2019 9:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Putting off Social Security until 70
Replies: 106
Views: 14328

Re: Putting off Social Security until 70

We took it at (roughly) 66 because we still qualify to have lower earning spouse (“LES”) draw 50% of spouses’ SS while LES’s own benefit continues to accrue till age 70. We’re now drawing a combined $4200/month, and at 70 that will jump to circa $5000/mo., not including inflation adjustments. “waiti...
by smectym
Mon May 27, 2019 11:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is Cash Trash? The Purpose of Cash
Replies: 212
Views: 25870

Re: Is Cash Trash? The Purpose of Cash

The yield curve it typically steep on the short end. I hate cash. Today's yield curve is not typical. I was quoting post from Mr. Ferri from 3/2018 as I looked through posts on what people do with cash. I'm still comfortable with keeping reserves I'll need in a couple of years (cars, future vacatio...
by smectym
Mon May 27, 2019 11:15 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How to Opt-Out of Vanguard Personal Advisor Services
Replies: 11
Views: 2081

Re: How to Opt-Out of Vanguard Personal Advisor Services

Thank for you all for the advice. The reason I ask is that in Ramit Sethi's course, How to Win The Game of Advanced Personal Finance , he recommends the Vanguard PAS and says that, you can use the personal advisor service, get your asset allocation established, and cancel whenever you want. You can...
by smectym
Mon May 27, 2019 10:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annuity purchase
Replies: 27
Views: 2866

Re: Annuity purchase

In other situations, especially if the buyer is late ‘50s/‘60s, even into early ‘70s, a term annuity (e.g. 10 years guaranteed) may make a lot more sense and spit out a lot more monthly income. ⬆️ Emphasis mine I don’t believe this is true. I’d have to see the numbers vs. a bucket of fixed holdings...
by smectym
Sun May 26, 2019 11:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annuity purchase
Replies: 27
Views: 2866

Re: Annuity purchase

Sometimes buying a life annuity makes sense. In other situations, especially if the buyer is late ‘50s/‘60s, even into early ‘70s, a term annuity (e.g. 10 years guaranteed) may make a lot more sense and spit out a lot more monthly income. A fixed term also curtails inflation risk. The higher monthly...
by smectym
Fri May 24, 2019 7:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: American Express lowered my credit limit
Replies: 61
Views: 4977

Re: American Express lowered my credit limit

Banks are also constantly managing regulatory issues re their total credit exposure. American Express does seem to have an itchier trigger finger than other banks. I've been on the receiving end of those letters, during the crisis and otherwise. If your credit record is good and they nevertheless cu...
by smectym
Fri May 17, 2019 3:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone use Treasury Direct ?
Replies: 34
Views: 1949

Re: Anyone use Treasury Direct ?

I've been on Treasury Direct practically since inception, but used it little, other than to buy I bonds back when the limits were much higher and separate limits applied to paper and online purchases. Since the Fed began raising rates I've been using TD much more often to buy bills and 2-year notes....
by smectym
Fri May 17, 2019 2:36 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Best way to deploy $450,000 of IRA money right now
Replies: 30
Views: 2193

Re: Best way to deploy $450,000 of IRA money right now

No question the right answer on a quiz is to invest the entire lump sum at one go, but if the couple is loth to do that based on market-timing fears, of course their views must be respected. And dollar cost averaging, while theoretically sub-optimal, is not some heinous offense. It's a way to get th...
by smectym
Wed May 15, 2019 4:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cashing in Paper Savings Bonds
Replies: 6
Views: 533

Re: Cashing in Paper Savings Bonds

I recently brought a $5000 face EE bond in for redemption at a credit union. First time ever redeeming one. The teller handled the transaction routinely, without having to ask a manager what to do or how to do it; I was pleasantly surprised.
by smectym
Wed May 15, 2019 4:27 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Keep buying I Bonds or switch to Treas / BND?
Replies: 6
Views: 810

Re: Keep buying I Bonds or switch to Treas / BND?

We have a pile of I bonds that earn an average 3.73%. Not selling those, barring some emergency, prior to maturity, still 15-20 years away. But quit buying more years ago. Meanwhile we started buying treasuries, mainly in the 181-day-2 yr range. Living in a high income state treasuries are a pretty ...
by smectym
Tue May 14, 2019 7:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cash - Throw it all on the table!!!
Replies: 126
Views: 17575

Re: Cash - Throw it all on the table!!!

I treat I-bonds as cash, does that count? Delaying S.S. to 70-1/2. Have enough to get past the milestone, scheduled to avoid dreaded "last 3-month interest penalty". Plus, near 3% of portfolio is in Prime MM. Don't do anything fancy with buckets. Just make sure I have plenty cash, I-bonds. :happy C...
by smectym
Tue May 14, 2019 5:13 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 31 Years Old, Sold Company for 3MM. Want to retire. How to allocate in taxable?
Replies: 19
Views: 3088

Re: 31 Years Old, Sold Company for 3MM. Want to retire. How to allocate in taxable?

There are different ways of looking at the question, and sure, “long time horizon” arguably suggests “be more aggressive.” But accepting the parameter “this is the $ that’s going to have to last me for the next half-century or longer” counsels a more conservative approach. I would shoot for 60-40 an...
by smectym
Tue May 14, 2019 11:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I really do not like using credit cards. Do any of you have a good credit score with no credit cards?
Replies: 58
Views: 4050

Re: I really do not like using credit cards. Do any of you have a good credit score with no credit cards?

From a fraud perspective credit cards are much safer than debit cards. The law for credit card fraud is on your side. You are only liable for a maximum up to $50 if you report a fraudulent charge. The bank will quickly clear the fraudulent charge off your bill after a phone call. For debit card fra...
by smectym
Tue May 14, 2019 11:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I really do not like using credit cards. Do any of you have a good credit score with no credit cards?
Replies: 58
Views: 4050

Re: I really do not like using credit cards. Do any of you have a good credit score with no credit cards?

A current auto loan is good for a high credit score. (I don’t have one—and a bank officer told me that was hurting my otherwise high score.) If you have other revolving credit (not CC but a personal line of credit with a bank) that also works. I think it’s fair to say you need some kind of credit hi...
by smectym
Mon May 13, 2019 11:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cash - Throw it all on the table!!!
Replies: 126
Views: 17575

Re: Cash - Throw it all on the table!!!

an embarrassing amount of cash. But a lot of that is being DCA’d into investments
by smectym
Mon May 13, 2019 5:07 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Does your retirement plan work if stocks are flat or in decline for decades?
Replies: 180
Views: 10459

Re: Does your retirement plan work if stocks are flat or in decline for decades?

We somehow over the years accumulated a large position in U.S. savings bonds that presumably would be unaffected by a prolonged funk in the equity markets. We could get by just on those. Definitely get by if you assume SS payments don’t suddenly stop
by smectym
Sat May 11, 2019 3:30 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Chase You Invest for Taxable Account
Replies: 26
Views: 2994

Re: Chase You Invest for Taxable Account

I'm on the platform. Hate the name "You Invest" but apart from that agree with the positive or reassuring comments above. No hard sell, no hidden fees, no big bank horror story.
by smectym
Sat May 11, 2019 12:57 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Thinking of switching from Vanguard to Schwab Intelligent Portfolios
Replies: 28
Views: 3065

Re: Thinking of switching from Vanguard to Schwab Intelligent Portfolios

<<This has been repeated over and over yet people still talk about this fake cash drag.>> Just to clarify, “cash drag“ is not the issue. Cash drag would be the issue if Schwab IP were letting investors have access to any money market fund they chose, but were nevertheless mandating a large cash pos...
by smectym
Sat May 11, 2019 12:26 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Thinking of switching from Vanguard to Schwab Intelligent Portfolios
Replies: 28
Views: 3065

Re: Thinking of switching from Vanguard to Schwab Intelligent Portfolios

I like a lot of things about Schwab. Schwab preaches the value of a healthy cash position in a portfolio. An argument can be made for that, although cogent arguments can be made against. But nothing can justify Schwab prohibiting its Intelligent Portfolio customers access to competitive money market...
by smectym
Tue May 07, 2019 4:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is your AA, given your age? and, Why?
Replies: 219
Views: 23702

Re: What is your AA, given your age? and, Why?

40/60 but I don’t include our large (high 6 figure) savings bond portfolio. So more conservative than many others. Pensions and social security provide more money than we need anyway, and for some that would be an argument for a much more aggressive allocation to equities. But I don’t see it that wa...
by smectym
Tue May 07, 2019 4:33 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: I tried to fire my financial advisor of 12 years today...
Replies: 127
Views: 13529

Re: I tried to fire my financial advisor of 12 years today...

It’s never good to get into a personal relationship with one’s financial advisor. Avoiding anything like that is a solid argument for robo. But Vanguard is a decent compromise for those investors who just feel they have to have a human they can think of as their financial advisor. Vanguard will rota...
by smectym
Tue May 07, 2019 4:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: point of maximal pessimism for international investing
Replies: 66
Views: 5511

Re: point of maximal pessimism for international investing

I'm for 100% USA. In fact, I refuse to hold index funds because I've recently learned that many US firms actually do business in non-USA countries, depressing returns. This shocking fact has led me to craft a pure "America First" portfolio. I only purchase USA based companies that refuse to do busi...
by smectym
Tue May 07, 2019 4:05 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: VMMXX as cash
Replies: 38
Views: 5430

Re: VMMXX as cash

VMMXX is a great fund and extremely safe. I prefer VUSXX as theoretically even safer. One of those “doesn’t matter till it matters” things, but as to money market funds, between “very safe” and “even safer,” I choose the latter—despite the yield differential. https://personal.vanguard.com/pdf/VGMMR....
by smectym
Sun May 05, 2019 2:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Just Bought an Annuity
Replies: 149
Views: 11827

Re: Just Bought an Annuity

Had he bought a $250k VA, he could have gotten $14,000 per year, still be 100% invested in the market, still maintain reasonable control over his money, have the ability to take additional withdrawals, and still have a death benefit at his death. Yes, each of these comes with a tradeoff. The $14k c...
by smectym
Sun May 05, 2019 1:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Just Bought an Annuity
Replies: 149
Views: 11827

Re: Just Bought an Annuity

This is the most conservative type of annuity you can get... For sure. It's amazing the haircut you take for the COLA and the refund features. I'm a big fan of SPIA's and have purchased a number of them, all pure annuities with neither of these added features. My portfolio provides the inflation pr...
by smectym
Sat May 04, 2019 2:19 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Short Term Treasury Fund for Cash Savings?
Replies: 28
Views: 2659

Re: Short Term Treasury Fund for Cash Savings?

“For "cash" savings, you want to keep your duration shorter to minimize price fluctuation. If interest rates start to go up again, you could see a loss of principle in a bond index fund.” Agree with mojo88’s advice. In times of market stress these so-called “near-cash” instruments can take a decent...
by smectym
Sat May 04, 2019 8:43 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Say you have a pension & lot of cash. With those in mind, does it make sense to have a more aggressive allocation?
Replies: 62
Views: 4328

Re: Say you have a pension & lot of cash. With those in mind, does it make sense to have a more aggressive allocation?

I guess if one has “a lot of cash in a HYSA” then one isn’t 100% in stocks. So not sure what the question is unless OP is asking whether OP should drain the cash account to put it in stocks. There are quite a few “”I’m 100% stocks, convince me I’m wrong” and “Am I crazy to be 100% stocks?” posts lat...
by smectym
Fri May 03, 2019 1:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: VanguardAdvantage Debit - Croatia/Slovenia
Replies: 9
Views: 802

Re: VanguardAdvantage Debit - Croatia/Slovenia

>>* The team at VG that can, hopefully, answer this is out for the day, hope to get their answer tomorrow ... but would like to know of any actual experiences as well.. Vanguard is great, but they're not 24/7 and they definitely won't have your back over in Croatia and Slovenia. Credit cards for che...
by smectym
Fri May 03, 2019 12:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: VanguardAdvantage Debit - Croatia/Slovenia
Replies: 9
Views: 802

Re: VanguardAdvantage Debit - Croatia/Slovenia

If I were in your position, preparing to go abroad, I wouldn't want to have only one debit card lifeline; and certainly not Vanguard Advantage, since Vanguard is not committed to that platform and is getting ready to shut it down. If you have time prior to departure, deposit ample funds with, e.g., ...
by smectym
Thu May 02, 2019 11:59 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: I tried to use Fidelity to buy a Treasury Bill today - did I do it correctly?
Replies: 32
Views: 2376

Re: I tried to use Fidelity to buy a Treasury Bill today - did I do it correctly?

I buy T-bills at Fidelity and Vanguard on a regular basis. There is one important thing not to be confused. One unit is 1,000 T-bills. If you want to purchase for $10,000, you have to enter 10, not 10,000. Obviously there is a big difference between the two. :D "One unit is 1,000 T-bills"...not sur...
by smectym
Tue Apr 30, 2019 10:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 20 countries where 200K in retirement savings will last you decades
Replies: 232
Views: 28198

Re: 20 countries where 200K in retirement savings will last you decades

It's great to fantasize about this, but please take it from someone that has lived overseas for multiple years and was a Navy brat growing up - there is no place as good as the USA. If i had to pick second place, it would be a highly developed country, ie something from the MSCI developed (not emer...
by smectym
Tue Apr 30, 2019 10:17 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: I'm 37, late to the game, worth about 35k...
Replies: 42
Views: 7227

Re: I'm 37, late to the game, worth about 35k...

Agree with the “late to the game? What NONSENSE, why when I was your age...&c.” meme. But, while we were still getting evicted from apartments for non-payment of rent in our late 20s, “one day” we just snapped out of it. Having kids did have something to do with it, but even without that we were rea...