Search found 739 matches

by Eric
Sun May 24, 2020 10:47 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Bogleheads' Reading Strategies for Boglehead Forums
Replies: 21
Views: 1438

Re: Bogleheads' Reading Strategies for Boglehead Forums

I generally just scan the post titles on bogleheads.org for topics of interest. But yes, if I see that either the first or last comment was by a poster I particularly like, I may click on the thread even if the topic doesn't otherwise draw me in. I agree that people sometimes "respond in a way the O...
by Eric
Fri May 22, 2020 12:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax attorney weirdness
Replies: 40
Views: 3227

Re: Tax attorney weirdness

Why do you think that "there's very little an individual can do?" :confused The rest of my statement was, there's very little an individual can do beyond what's regularly discussed on Bogleheads (and should be familiar to a good CPA or maybe, as another poster suggested, financial planner). The typ...
by Eric
Fri May 22, 2020 12:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax attorney weirdness
Replies: 40
Views: 3227

Re: Tax attorney weirdness

I'm a tax lawyer, though I mostly deal with estate and gift taxes. As another poster mentioned, in most cases there's very little an individual can do to reduce his or her income tax liability, beyond contributing to retirement plans, tax-efficient investing, and other fairly straightforward techniq...
by Eric
Wed May 13, 2020 9:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Mutual Fund Platform EOL
Replies: 245
Views: 8647

Re: Vanguard Mutual Fund Platform EOL

Interesting, thanks. The main reason I care about this is that the old platform still offers true, cumulative year-to-date paper statements, while the new platform does not.

(Please, no arguments about paper vs. electronic. That's a whole other thread. ;-) )
by Eric
Sat Mar 14, 2020 5:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: ETFs at Discount to NAV: Anyone Freaking Out?
Replies: 68
Views: 4458

Re: ETFs at Discount to NAV: Anyone Freaking Out?

HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Sat Mar 14, 2020 5:45 pm
ETFs are built to be liquid while they underlying holdings may not be. Why the assumption that the two things should be equal in value?
I just would not have expected VTI to be more liquid than its underlying holdings, considering that those holdings are mostly actively-traded large-cap stocks.
by Eric
Sat Mar 14, 2020 5:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: ETFs at Discount to NAV: Anyone Freaking Out?
Replies: 68
Views: 4458

Re: ETFs at Discount to NAV: Anyone Freaking Out?

When was the last time a company was ever bought or sold for book value? Book value isn't accurate for most companies, because (1) the underlying asset values may be stale and (2) it doesn't account for "going concern" or management value. Are either of those issues for a mutual fund or ETF that pa...
by Eric
Sun Feb 16, 2020 11:03 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Solo 401k at Vanguard not allowing rolling in IRA
Replies: 75
Views: 2847

Re: Solo 401k at Vanguard not allowing rolling in IRA

What plan document provision or term . . . cannot be followed by having two plans? The plan document(s) provide for both elective (employee) and nonelective (employer) contributions. With respect to the nonelective employer contribution, how would one comply with both plans, without making the same...
by Eric
Sun Feb 16, 2020 12:26 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Thoughts on Fidelity's new Zero funds
Replies: 36
Views: 3588

Re: Thoughts on Fidelity's new Zero funds

Oddly enough, FXAIX, with a higher expense ratio, has eked out fifteen bucks more than FNILX Perhaps this has changed, but the S&P 500 historically has not been defined as the 500 largest stocks. Rather, it has been the 500 companies that Standard & Poor's considers to be the most important or most...
by Eric
Sat Jan 04, 2020 7:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quickbooks alternative that preserves old data?
Replies: 7
Views: 808

Re: Quickbooks alternative that preserves old data?

Since QuickBooks is the gold standard for small business accounting software, every competitor in the space has some form of import capability. (Emphasis added.) "Some form of" are the key words here. Unfortunately, the import feature of each online program I've looked at (except those that cost as...
by Eric
Sat Jan 04, 2020 7:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quickbooks alternative that preserves old data?
Replies: 7
Views: 808

Re: Quickbooks alternative that preserves old data?

While not exactly what you asked, have you considered letting the current desktop QB run on a dedicated computer and allow remote access to that machine via “Log me in” or other remote access program? That's an interesting idea, thanks. But I think it would be too techie (and person-dependent) for ...
by Eric
Sat Jan 04, 2020 6:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quickbooks alternative that preserves old data?
Replies: 7
Views: 808

Re: Quickbooks alternative that preserves old data?

Preserving 20+ years worth of HOA transaction data: Barely even ranks on the nice-to-have list I appreciate your perspective on this, and your thoughtful comments. I'd like to give an equally thoughtful reply, but unfortunately I will be tied up offline for the whole day and don't want the thread t...
by Eric
Fri Jan 03, 2020 10:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quickbooks alternative that preserves old data?
Replies: 7
Views: 808

Quickbooks alternative that preserves old data?

My wife is the new Treasurer of our neighborhood's HOA. Historically the HOA has used the desktop version of Quickbooks, but they've been thinking about switching to Quickbooks Online. (Directors like the idea of more than one person being able to login and review the figures at any time. While my w...
by Eric
Thu Jan 02, 2020 10:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home security monitoring company recommendations.
Replies: 15
Views: 1385

Re: Home security monitoring company recommendations.

whomever wrote:
Wed Jan 01, 2020 9:00 pm
Alarmrelay.com runs about $9 a month, and has worked fine for us for several years.
We have also used Alarm Relay (also known as Watchlight), for 20+ years, with no problems.
by Eric
Wed Dec 04, 2019 10:39 am
Forum: US Chapters
Topic: Interest In forming North Texas Boglehead Group
Replies: 35
Views: 6121

Re: Interest In forming North Texas Boglehead Group

I live in Plano and often attend the dfwdiehards meetings in Irving. FWIW it's about a 20 minute drive from my home near George Bush and the Tollway, not too bad. I'm happy to see others in the Plano/Frisco area but worry a little about splitting an already small group. Ramesh isn't involved anymore...
by Eric
Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Amex cost to restaurant
Replies: 41
Views: 4702

Re: Amex cost to restaurant

OP should use whatever he wants to. For a $60 tab, difference is negligible. Order a drink, huge profit margin. I take your point, but couldn't the same be said of most expense discussions on Bogleheads? A person's asset allocation makes a huge difference in their returns, much more than the expens...
by Eric
Sun Dec 01, 2019 5:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Amex cost to restaurant
Replies: 41
Views: 4702

Re: Amex cost to restaurant

I appreciate that people will have different thoughts on the “why do you care” issue. To keep the thread focused, though, let’s zero in on the figures. If the bill is $60 and I would otherwise have used a “rewards” VISA or MasterCard (which have higher processing fees than a regular VISA or MasterCa...
by Eric
Sun Dec 01, 2019 4:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Amex cost to restaurant
Replies: 41
Views: 4702

Amex cost to restaurant

I’m thinking about getting an Amex* card for the first time, primarily for use at small (non-chain) restaurants. However, I’m wondering what additional costs I would be imposing on the restaurant, versus using a VISA or MasterCard rewards card. I see a lot of conflicting information about this onlin...
by Eric
Fri Nov 29, 2019 6:47 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard vs. Fidelity
Replies: 62
Views: 5680

Re: Vanguard vs. Fidelity

Wages, salaries, and benefits are part of expenses. Profit is what is left over after all expenses are paid. Fidelity pays dividends to the Johnson Family. If Vanguard actually has money left over after all the expenses are paid, they lower the ERs of their funds to bring it back into balance. Call...
by Eric
Tue Nov 26, 2019 3:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: FZROX vs VTSAX
Replies: 28
Views: 6075

Re: FZROX vs VTSAX

Close but it is interesting that the final value is slightly higher for FZROX. Probably because of the 0% ER. I think the difference is too large to be explained by that. Compared to Fidelity's slightly broader total market fund, the Zero fund has outperformed by nearly 21 basis points. Compared to...
by Eric
Fri Nov 22, 2019 10:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Latest on transition to new investment platform - Vanguard
Replies: 35
Views: 3095

Re: Latest on transition to new investment platform - Vanguard

Warning for those who like paper statements:

The brokerage accounts do not provide cumulative (full-year) statements. The old-style mutual fund accounts, by contrast, do provide full-year statements at year-end, allowing you to throw away the intermediate monthly or quarterly statements.
by Eric
Sat Nov 16, 2019 5:12 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Charitable gift annuities - doing well by doing good?
Replies: 20
Views: 1247

Re: Charitable gift annuities - doing well by doing good?

The standard formula is 50% of the value at your life expectancy, which is less than 50% of the present value. The 10% rule means that very young annuitants may get a lower payout than the 50% formula would give. You’re right. I started to correct that with an edit, but not as clearly as you just d...
by Eric
Sat Nov 16, 2019 4:21 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Charitable gift annuities - doing well by doing good?
Replies: 20
Views: 1247

Re: Charitable gift annuities - doing well by doing good?

Under the tax rules, the charity's interest must be more than 10%. In other words, on an actuarial, net present value basis, the donor must be expected to get back less than 90% of what they put in. Possibly the donor could still come out ahead after tax in limited circumstances, but I'd check the f...
by Eric
Thu Nov 07, 2019 8:13 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Cost basis step up on death of spouse?
Replies: 43
Views: 3214

Re: Cost basis step up on death of spouse?

Also, how is the property titled? I realize I am asking you to trust the information of one lawyer Boglehead (me) over what you are reading in LegalZoom and the other DIY resources referenced in this thread. All I can tell you is that in Texas, what you are reading (and repeating here) is wrong. Th...
by Eric
Wed Nov 06, 2019 10:44 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Cost basis step up on death of spouse?
Replies: 43
Views: 3214

Re: Cost basis step up on death of spouse?

Some properties are titled under an individual and I am not sure whether the ownership may be changed easily. Examples are company stocks acquired through ESPP and RSU after marriage. Are they also stepped up in a community property state? Folks, classifying property as community or separate is sta...
by Eric
Wed Nov 06, 2019 9:55 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Cost basis step up on death of spouse?
Replies: 43
Views: 3214

Re: Cost basis step up on death of spouse?

For federal tax purposes, shouldn’t all tax payers be treated equally? Why would it be ok for people in community property states to have full step up in basis and slobs in states without community property be stuck with 1/2 step up? As one of the “slobs in states without community property,” I see...
by Eric
Wed Nov 06, 2019 8:56 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Cost basis step up on death of spouse?
Replies: 43
Views: 3214

Re: Cost basis step up on death of spouse?

So, if a property is owned by one spouse before marriage and continues to be solely owned by that spouse after marriage, it should be presumed to be a separate property, right? If you can prove it was owned before marriage, then yes, it’s that spouse’s separate property. For real estate, usually yo...
by Eric
Tue Nov 05, 2019 9:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Cost basis step up on death of spouse?
Replies: 43
Views: 3214

Re: Cost basis step up on death of spouse?

in a community property state, real estate must be titled as community property to get the full step-up. This is not true in Texas. Here, all property is presumed to be community property unless proven otherwise by clear and convincing evidence. Doesn't matter whether the phrase "community property...
by Eric
Thu Oct 31, 2019 12:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Uber VISA rewards cut
Replies: 77
Views: 12948

Re: Uber VISA rewards cut

Questions for Wells Fargo Propel Amex users: 1. Can the rebate be redeemed by applying it to the balance on the credit card itself? (I don’t want to have to open a WF bank account just to collect the rebate.) 2. Can redemptions be automated, or do you have to manually request redemption each time? T...
by Eric
Mon Oct 28, 2019 4:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Uber VISA rewards cut
Replies: 77
Views: 12948

Uber VISA rewards cut

This was one of the best cash-back cards for dining, but unfortunately the rewards were too rich to last. I just received an email from them explaining that they will no longer pay rebates in cash (just "Uber Cash" redeemable for "Uber rides, Uber Eats, or rides with JUMP bikes and scooters"). They'...
by Eric
Wed Sep 25, 2019 3:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Experience with Blue Cross Blue Shield Texas ?
Replies: 6
Views: 776

Re: Experience with Blue Cross Blue Shield Texas ?

Dealt with BCBSTX this year regarding the chronic & complex medical needs of a relative. Found them to be highly bureaucratic and largely infuriating to deal with as it relates to obtaining covered, in-network specialty care. Even bypassing the normal process and taking issues directly to ranking f...
by Eric
Wed Sep 04, 2019 11:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: semi-DIY solar panels
Replies: 39
Views: 3538

Re: semi-DIY solar panels

Thanks for all the helpful ideas and suggestions! I'm now leaning against though we'll continue to mull the issue. Signing off for now but just wanted to let everyone know we appreciate the input.

Eric
by Eric
Sun Sep 01, 2019 11:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: semi-DIY solar panels
Replies: 39
Views: 3538

Re: semi-DIY solar panels

unclescrooge wrote:
Sun Sep 01, 2019 8:54 pm
It can't be rocket science.
That's what my BIL's electrician thinks, too. It makes me wonder why the price of the major players is so much higher. I guess it's still too hard to get good information/service so people are willing to pay a premium for the security of the major name.
by Eric
Sun Sep 01, 2019 11:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: semi-DIY solar panels
Replies: 39
Views: 3538

Re: semi-DIY solar panels

My take it that anyone who feels comfortable installing a new 120V circuit in their house should be comfortable installing a solar energy system. You'll probably need to pull a permit and get a licensed electrician to do the final tie-in to the main panel after you get your city permits and do the ...
by Eric
Sun Sep 01, 2019 10:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: semi-DIY solar panels
Replies: 39
Views: 3538

Re: semi-DIY solar panels

There may also be additional state contractor licensing requirements to meet for solar installations. My state (Texas) tends to be light on these types of requirements. The state legislature actually recently let the licensing requirement for plumbers lapse, though that may be reinstated. The utili...
by Eric
Sun Sep 01, 2019 10:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: semi-DIY solar panels
Replies: 39
Views: 3538

Re: semi-DIY solar panels

IMO the biggest risk is changes to the regulatory structure affecting compensation rates. Will your system still pay for itself if you only get paid the wholesale rate for electricity you put back into the grid? Can this problem be addressed by "undersizing" the system so that it never generates mo...
by Eric
Sun Sep 01, 2019 5:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: semi-DIY solar panels
Replies: 39
Views: 3538

semi-DIY solar panels

My brother-in-law is a homebuilder and thinking about offering solar panels to his customers. However, he's still getting up to speed and may learn on his own home or (if my wife and I are interested) on ours. Likewise, the electrician he works with regularly would also be learning, though the elect...
by Eric
Fri May 10, 2019 10:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vacant Lake Lot. Sell or Hold?
Replies: 54
Views: 3350

Re: Vacant Lake Lot. Sell or Hold?

Vacant land has always been higher commission. I've seen it usually at 10% Interesting. Do you know why that is? For commercial property, large undeveloped tracts, etc., I could see the broker adding value in helping identify and work with potential buyers. But if we're talking about a platted resi...
by Eric
Fri May 10, 2019 9:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vacant Lake Lot. Sell or Hold?
Replies: 54
Views: 3350

Re: Vacant Lake Lot. Sell or Hold?

She wanted 8% commission based on it being a vacant lot. I know this is water under the bridge, but it's not clear to me why the commission would be higher for a vacant lot. Seems like much less work for the realtor. She doesn't have to show the property, ooh and ah over the flooring and cabinets, ...
by Eric
Fri Mar 22, 2019 1:34 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Rolling my own total bond fund
Replies: 8
Views: 378

Re: Rolling my own total bond fund

Proposed allocation . . . Vanguard Total International Bond Index Fund: 5.2% I don't think you need (or want) this fund if your goal is to replicate the Total Bond Market index. My understanding is that TBM's "foreign" allocation consists of bonds denominated in U.S. dollars and traded in the U.S. ...
by Eric
Sat Mar 16, 2019 12:24 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 401(K) and asset protection
Replies: 30
Views: 2073

Re: 401(K) and asset protection

This is one of many reasons why it is a good idea to keep a copy/image of every Form 5498, 1099-R, Form 8606, etc... Agreed, but who can get a client to do this? For that matter, I'm not sure I've done this, and I'm a fairly anal-retentive tax lawyer. It's cleaner, I think, to leave assets in a qua...
by Eric
Fri Mar 15, 2019 11:34 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 401(K) and asset protection
Replies: 30
Views: 2073

Re: 401(K) and asset protection

Don't comingle 401(k) rollover funds with contributed IRA funds. Natalie Choate has written that IRAs funded from qualified plan rollovers have better asset protection than contributory IRAs. Please provide a source for this. State law is what protects IRAs, but I've never heard of a state that off...
by Eric
Wed Jan 23, 2019 9:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: cash-back credit card with automatic redemption
Replies: 19
Views: 1452

Re: cash-back credit card with automatic redemption

Thanks all for the very helpful suggestions! We'll probably recommend the Capital One Savor card based on his spending, but several of these are possibilities. I'm happy to see that there are, in fact, good options for people who want the redemption to be automatic.

Eric
by Eric
Tue Jan 22, 2019 11:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: cash-back credit card with automatic redemption
Replies: 19
Views: 1452

cash-back credit card with automatic redemption

I'm looking for a cash-back credit card for an older relative who does not use the Internet. I have several cash-back cards myself, but all but one (Fidelity VISA) require me to log in to a website periodically to request a redemption. He won't do that, and I don't really want to have to do that for...
by Eric
Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard To Liquidate Convertible Securities Fund
Replies: 25
Views: 2526

Re: Vanguard To Liquidate Convertible Securities Fund

If investors should own the market portfolio, why should convertibles or preferred stocks be excluded from that? I don't see why common stocks and corporate bonds are inherently superior to convertibles or preferred stocks. One potential issue with preferred stocks: They provide a tax benefit to co...
by Eric
Sat Dec 29, 2018 3:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Amex rewards dollars for closed account?
Replies: 24
Views: 827

Re: Amex rewards dollars for closed account?

If you really want to make an exact purchase amount, buy gas and stop filling when you hit your target.
by Eric
Fri Dec 28, 2018 4:53 pm
Forum: US Chapters
Topic: My favorite Boglehead posters
Replies: 154
Views: 13207

Re: My favorite Boglehead posters

Though it has been a long time since he posted, John Norstad was one of the best long-time posters.

Eric
by Eric
Tue Oct 09, 2018 6:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: .
Replies: 17
Views: 2694

Re: Fidelity Visa Signature: Car Rental, No Collision/Comprehensive

We do not carry collision or comprehensive insurance. Some years ago, when we returned a rental car, the rental company found damage to a bumper that I am sure we did not cause. Where was this and what company? Was it at an airport location or a neighborhood/hotel rental location? Enterprise, at a ...
by Eric
Tue Oct 09, 2018 3:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: .
Replies: 17
Views: 2694

Re: Fidelity Visa Signature: Car Rental, No Collision/Comprehensive

We do not carry collision or comprehensive insurance. Some years ago, when we returned a rental car, the rental company found damage to a bumper that I am sure we did not cause. Nevertheless, the rental company insisted we were liable and made a claim against our liability insurance, which paid. Our...
by Eric
Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:29 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard adding commission free index funds, better core replacements?
Replies: 8
Views: 1369

Re: Vanguard adding commission free index funds, better core replacements?

I don't use ETFs, but I like the fact that iShares Core Total USD Bond Market ETF (IUSB) follows a slightly broader bond market index that includes a small percentage of junk bonds.
by Eric
Sat Aug 25, 2018 1:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Executor - Vanguard
Replies: 23
Views: 3285

Re: Executor - Vanguard

I have considered using Vanguard Trust as the trustee as well. After I told my estate planning attorney my intention, here is his response. To tell you the truth, I don't quite understand what he is saying. "As for the choice of Trustee, based on your comments, I would go with Cumberland Trust who ...