Search found 230 matches

by grberry
Wed May 25, 2011 1:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Term Insurance & Disability Insurance taxation?
Replies: 8
Views: 1252

If you are paying for the policies with your own after-tax money, the benefits are income-tax free. Estate tax calculation is a separate issue. Thanks... any advice on estate tax calculations or thresholds? Currently $5M per person, $10M combined for husband/wife. Who knows what they'll be in the f...
by grberry
Mon Mar 28, 2011 8:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Side Job: Lawncare for Out of State Neighbor/Landlord
Replies: 11
Views: 1643

No comment on fees. Mowing, hedge trimming, and manual labor should not require a special license, but it might - check your state's law. Applying chemicals is much more likely to require a license when done for pay - definitely check before agreeing to do any of that.
by grberry
Mon Mar 28, 2011 8:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: complaint - why are we regulated to 6 online transfers/month
Replies: 28
Views: 3986

No, this is a federal regulation for savings accounts. And that regulation is not based on the method of withdrawal, it applies to the number of withdrawals. If you can come up with seven different ways to withdraw and use of each of them in the same month then you will have made seven withdrawals w...
by grberry
Sat Mar 26, 2011 2:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Article: 401K auto-enrollment savings rates too low
Replies: 8
Views: 1529

There are some tradeoffs here. The purpose of a default contribution rate is to get people who would otherwise fail to contribute to actually contribute. So having any default rate is good, by bringing more people in. At higher rates, employees who don't understand the importance are more likely to ...
by grberry
Sun Mar 20, 2011 12:05 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Selling Residence to LLC
Replies: 6
Views: 1962

As a general rule, on the liability side moving an asset into an LLC owned by the original owner reduces the risk of liabilities where the liability adheres to the asset, not to the owner. To take the example this thread started with, real property is being moved into a LLC. A slip & fall injury on ...
by grberry
Sat Mar 19, 2011 11:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is there any reason to own real assets?
Replies: 16
Views: 3253

Yes, for at least two types of real asset: 1) Real assets that you will be using and valuing the use of - a home, a boat (though most don't use their boats enough to value them), and so on. This eliminates transaction costs and unavailability risk. It may or may not be the right decision for an indi...
by grberry
Sat Mar 19, 2011 11:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reminder: check the math when using tax software
Replies: 20
Views: 4089

I found what I still consider to be a bug with TaxAct, though they didn't agree. I had dividend income on a pair of form 1099s, each for some dollars and more than 50 but less than 75 cents, with all the dividends qualified dividends. I don't have enough dividend or interest income to have to file s...
by grberry
Mon Mar 14, 2011 9:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do you use online- only banks?
Replies: 38
Views: 5287

I suppose technically my bank isn't online-only, because I think it has 1 branch somewhere in Texas. But since I live in Massachusetts, it might as well be. Even physical bank branches are connected online to the big computers at corporate...
by grberry
Mon Mar 14, 2011 8:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cost of living comparison
Replies: 2
Views: 1070

Don't forget the government one - the Bureau of Labor Statistics has regional and city CPI values as well as the headline national average. They have reorganized their website since I last dug out those, but http://www.bls.gov/cpi/#tables will be a good starting point.
by grberry
Mon Mar 14, 2011 8:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Student loan - would you ever pay this one off early???
Replies: 31
Views: 4078

Disability comes to mind, but that is about as good a loan as you can find.
by grberry
Wed Mar 09, 2011 11:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do credit card dispute always rule in customer's favor?
Replies: 19
Views: 12332

The credit card networks have processes to discuss and get evidence from both sides. Each credit card network has at least one set of dispute handling rules (a couple years ago, Visa was cutting back from eight different sets of rules to just three - if I recall correctly for credit cards issued in ...
by grberry
Mon Mar 07, 2011 3:55 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: NOT taking Social Security - What is your marginal tax rate?
Replies: 13
Views: 2426

I'm in the phase out zone for at least one credit. So my marginal tax rate is not listed above. I discovered this toying with the idea of making a traditional IRA contribution for my wife.
by grberry
Sat Mar 05, 2011 12:09 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Effective Tax rate poll
Replies: 36
Views: 4842

Federal income tax or all federal tax?
by grberry
Fri Mar 04, 2011 11:23 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: College Student - Is investing right for me?
Replies: 15
Views: 1789

What is most important at this time is that you develop financial discipline. The basic is that you should be keeping your income above your expenses (or your expenses below your income) and becoming a disciplined saver. Try to pay cash for everything possible - taking on added debt when you are sta...
by grberry
Thu Mar 03, 2011 10:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much $$ did you donate to charity in 2010?
Replies: 73
Views: 9378

That might be a fun poll: Ratio of charitable donations to Federal income tax owed. I'm sure many people are above 1. That is, they donate more to charity than they pay in income taxes. This would not be hard since something like 30% of American families pay no income taxes. More to charity than to...
by grberry
Thu Mar 03, 2011 10:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Good deal on Worker’s Comp Insurance?
Replies: 8
Views: 1352

This should vary a lot by both 1) state due to state law differences and 2) industry due to different risk levels for burger slingers versus truck drivers versus call center reps versus ...
by grberry
Thu Mar 03, 2011 10:24 pm
Forum: US Chapters
Topic: Proposed Boston Area Diehards meetup.
Replies: 25
Views: 10318

We did have a first meeting. See http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=37879. Cheryl hasn't posted here for a while, and I don't recall whether there was a second meeting that I couldn't make or not.
by grberry
Thu Mar 03, 2011 3:42 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Investing for a non-profit
Replies: 6
Views: 1087

Before the meeting, take time to read and understand the organization's financial statements. Hopefully they have been prepared in accordance with GAAP, especially FAS 117. That will help you know what the investments are and what different pools there may be. For an example, if part of the investme...
by grberry
Wed Mar 02, 2011 10:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why does the US issue TIPS?
Replies: 40
Views: 4613

The ability to compare TIPS yield and nominal treasury yield has been of value to me at work. I can turn to customers and say that the difference is the market's current expectation of inflation. I don't know if that's true in this current environment.Given the number of of flights to quality (Trea...
by grberry
Wed Mar 02, 2011 10:04 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Split AA across VG and T-C
Replies: 6
Views: 929

It is good that you are going to have some asset classes in both vehicles. That will allow you to rebalance as investment returns cause divergence from the target portfolio.
by grberry
Wed Mar 02, 2011 9:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why does the US issue TIPS?
Replies: 40
Views: 4613

The ability to compare TIPS yield and nominal treasury yield has been of value to me at work. I can turn to customers and say that the difference is the market's current expectation of inflation. This is helpful when we are negotiating the inflation language in our contracts.
by grberry
Tue Mar 01, 2011 3:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Three Fund or Core Four Portfolio
Replies: 29
Views: 6820

A lot of us have 401(k) plans that don't include the core three/four options. We are all forced into the category of "don't use these portfolios". You would have had a more informative poll if you had included "my retirement plans don't let me use these portfolios" as one of the options.
by grberry
Tue Mar 01, 2011 3:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Borrow or Fund Capital Contibution
Replies: 3
Views: 710

Effectively, you are choosing whether to purchase the firm and also borrow money to invest outside the firm. Would you borrow money to invest outside the firm if there was no change in your firm investment? If not, then you should use the bonus. If yes, then is the interest rate for the firm opportu...
by grberry
Tue Mar 01, 2011 3:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much $$ did you donate to charity in 2010?
Replies: 73
Views: 9378

Several commentators are deploring the to date poll results here versus net worth polls. This is the wrong comparison to make. Comparisons should be made to income polls, as most people here are in the accumulation phase of their life. Charitable contributions are generally made either 1) out of inc...
by grberry
Tue Mar 01, 2011 1:28 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Company Stock in Asset Allocation
Replies: 10
Views: 1927

I generally agree on selling the stock received from RSU vesting. However, you probably will incur commission costs from the sales transaction. Minimizing investment expenses is also a boglehead thing to do. What I've been doing is waiting until enough shares accumulate that the selling commission w...
by grberry
Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:39 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Simple method to hedge an employer’s stock
Replies: 12
Views: 1541

Be careful here. 1) Some very senior corporate employees are required by U.S. law to profit any gains from hedging or shorting transactions related to their corporate stock to the company. If she is in this position, the result is heads the company wins, tails you lose, and either way you pay to pla...
by grberry
Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 401K Law
Replies: 39
Views: 10922

As MossySF has said, there are two tests that must both be met for the contributions withheld from paychecks to be timely: 1) Never later than the 15th of the following month 2) As soon as administratively feasible given the regular processes of the employer, payroll provider, and plan provider. Tho...
by grberry
Mon Feb 28, 2011 4:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone ever live near a home construction project?
Replies: 22
Views: 2537

I bought and have lived near construction projects, mostly Harvard's. The first couple were removals of unused buildings. This was a minor benefit. Then they started tearing down some other buildings to build a new science complex with underground parking garage. After they had the hole in the grou...
by grberry
Mon Feb 28, 2011 2:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone ever live near a home construction project?
Replies: 22
Views: 2537

I bought and have lived near construction projects, mostly Harvard's. The first couple were removals of unused buildings. This was a minor benefit. Then they started tearing down some other buildings to build a new science complex with underground parking garage. After they had the hole in the groun...
by grberry
Sun Feb 27, 2011 11:20 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 401(k): Allocation between Roth & Trad Components
Replies: 13
Views: 1388

If you have the choice, put the assets with the higher expected future growth in the Roth, keep the lower expected growth in the Traditional. Roth should be tax fee on withdrawal. Traditional will be taxed on withdrawal. You would prefer to have more of your money completely tax free in the withdraw...
by grberry
Sun Feb 27, 2011 9:46 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Which bond fund for 401k?
Replies: 5
Views: 1404

Since you gave us Morningstar links, I used them. Flipped to the chart tab, and put all three funds on the same chart. 1) PTRAX (Pimco Total Return) has the best results over the 10 year and 20 year periods. It also has the lowest average credit quality. This is a candidate, but having the lowest qu...
by grberry
Sun Feb 27, 2011 3:48 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Bond Funds in 401k
Replies: 7
Views: 1951

Given what you have updated, it looks like the Principal Global ... is a reasonable intermediate bond fund. But the Vanguard Total Bond fund has a much better expense ratio. So while there is not reason that I can see now to stay away from that Principal fund, there is good reason to prefer the Vang...
by grberry
Sun Feb 27, 2011 3:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Global Small Cap
Replies: 3
Views: 925

A mix of small and midcap is contained in Vanguard FTSE All-World ex-US Small-Cap Index Fund Investor Shares (VFSVX) or if you have institutional size money Vanguard FTSE All-World ex-US Small-Cap Index Fund Institutional Shares (VFSNX). Over here YDNAL recommended this fund to balance someone whose...
by grberry
Sat Feb 26, 2011 11:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: If the US dollar fails, are stocks safe?
Replies: 44
Views: 6594

Re: If the US dollar fails, are stocks safe?

If the US dollar were to collapse or lose a large portion of its value because we print too much money, are stocks safe and bonds safe? Should I be considering more foreign exposure than a target date fund provides? What about gold and silver? May I rephrase the question? I will, because it could h...
by grberry
Sat Feb 26, 2011 11:34 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 401k at Ex-Employer - Pull money out?
Replies: 16
Views: 3791

Normally, these decisions should be made in the context of your entire portfolio. You didn't tell us about anything else, which makes it hard. But, generally speaking, having a major fraction of your portfolio in any one stock is a very bad idea. It was an even worse idea back when you also worked f...
by grberry
Sat Feb 26, 2011 12:46 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: In the spirit of "Shared Sacrifice"
Replies: 16
Views: 1675

Shared sacrifice means everyone sacrifices. An income limit is opposite to the concept of shared sacrifice. Increasing the age limit or an equal percentage reduction for everyone is a shared sacrifice.
by grberry
Sat Feb 26, 2011 12:29 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: New Job, Portfolio Help
Replies: 10
Views: 1594

Ok, it feels to me like you have an asset allocation you want to eventually reach. Your starting portfolio is fairly small, so you'll either have next to nothing in a given fund or have to use fewer pieces at first and reallocate in a few years when you have more in the pot. The good news is that yo...
by grberry
Sat Feb 26, 2011 12:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What to pay off first?
Replies: 11
Views: 1948

I agree with CSAstor - having a funded emergency fund will help with sleeping at night and generally having peace of mind. You may already have this. With a child on the way, it is also time to revisit your life insurance. (You'll probably have to wait to revisit your wife's until she is not pregnan...
by grberry
Fri Feb 25, 2011 11:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Index Fund Question in 401k Account
Replies: 7
Views: 975

I would use any of the Fidelity Spartan funds in my 401(k) if they were available... Because they are better than anything I have available. If you are thinking about stopping using a fund, you are going to replace it (possibly via a chain of moves) with something else. You need to compare the alter...
by grberry
Fri Feb 25, 2011 9:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: how do I compare a managed fund to a Vanguard fund?
Replies: 23
Views: 2210

I've never bought a load fund, so I can't comment on whether the load is in addition to the expense ratio. It may be. Any fees to purchase or redeem are definitely in addition to the expense ratio. On the comparison periods, you/your friend should be planning to hold stocks for 10 or more years. So ...
by grberry
Fri Feb 25, 2011 9:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help Choosing The Right Life Insurance For Me
Replies: 19
Views: 2473

I agree with others who have said to buy term. I don't think we know enough to say how much. That it would take $140K to pay off debt is a good start - buy more than that. How much more depends on more of the family & expense situation. You say there is a son. Are more children planned? Then look at...
by grberry
Fri Feb 25, 2011 8:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Jury Duty
Replies: 26
Views: 4164

If I recall correctly, in my state the employer is supposed to provide normal pay (without using up any of the employees normal paid time off) for the first three days, and the state will pay $50 a day for the fourth and later days. $50 a day is well below the state minimum wage...
by grberry
Fri Feb 25, 2011 3:12 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: HSA & employer responsibility question
Replies: 3
Views: 767

For the contributions coming from the employers money, the employer can make their own contributions as late as the tax filing deadline (without extensions) for your income tax return for the year the contribution is made for. Thus, most of the time, until April 15 of the following year. The employe...
by grberry
Fri Feb 25, 2011 2:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which financial institution stores most of your net worth?
Replies: 79
Views: 9171

For everything:
Employer selected employee plan providers: 71%
Stock dividend reinvestment plan provider chosen by stock company: 1%
My bank: 17% (no stocks/bonds)
Vanguard: 6%
Fidelity: 5%

Where I have a choice of institution:
My bank: 61% (no stocks/bonds)
Vanguard: 21%
Fidelity: 18%
by grberry
Thu Feb 24, 2011 10:57 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 401k - highly compensated employee
Replies: 23
Views: 6784

I've never heard of such limitations. People who earn above a certain level are limited to how much they can contribute to a 401K? What is the threshold? Is this universal? The dollar limit is defined by Section 414(q)(1)(B) of the tax code, and other related issues are elsewhere in 414(q). It does...
by grberry
Thu Feb 24, 2011 4:50 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Medical Marijuana Stocks As An Investment?
Replies: 54
Views: 8990

I can't really discuss medical mariuana without discussing politics, which is verboten here.

What I can say is that I don't approve of buying penny stocks; it is far, far too risky to do even if you get lucky as you say you have done.
by grberry
Thu Feb 24, 2011 11:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Computer Fan slowdown issue
Replies: 25
Views: 2335

If the fan is cycling on/off, it is cycling on because heat is building up. Some chips/motherboards/systems also throttle back the CPU and GPU (if any) when heat builds up. That could cause a perceptible slow down. So, find a way to avoid the heat buildup. Getting the laptop off of fabric surfaces s...
by grberry
Thu Feb 24, 2011 11:26 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Is diversification necessary between no-load fund families
Replies: 8
Views: 1603

I see no reason to diversify between major fund families. Certainly either all Vanguard or all Fidelity would be fine, though I think all Vanguard gives you better choices.
by grberry
Thu Feb 24, 2011 10:47 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Advice For New Investor
Replies: 6
Views: 965

On the emergency fund, I would recommend moving it out of the checking account. I keep mine in a savings account at the same bank as my checking account, some keep theirs in savings accounts elsewhere, money market funds, or CD ladders. Using anything but a checking account you will earn more intere...
by grberry
Thu Feb 24, 2011 10:27 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Bond Funds in 401k
Replies: 7
Views: 1951

Can you confirm more about the funds other than the Vanguard fund? Expense ratios, etc... I am suspecting that the "Principal Global Investors Bond and Mortgage Separate Acct" is some version of Principal's Bond & Mortgage Securities Inst Fund (ticker: PMSIX), which Morningstar shows has been taking...