Search found 3620 matches

by Tramper Al
Wed Feb 22, 2023 1:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fidelity Core Real Estate Fund
Replies: 9
Views: 1953

Re: Fidelity Core Real Estate Fund

Feels like a hard no, and I'll stick to my current liquid and accessible real estate vehicles.
by Tramper Al
Sun Jan 22, 2023 12:58 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Move from Fidelity Brokerage to IRA without one day lag/fluctuation?
Replies: 14
Views: 1009

Re: Move from Fidelity Brokerage to IRA without one day lag/fluctuation?

You could always just transfer $6500 cash (assuming available) into the Roth. Then, simultaneously sell the position in taxable while you buy it in the Roth, so no change in market exposure, no missing out.

However, selling in taxable will either 1) result in a taxable capitol gain - do you want that? or 2) result in a harvested taxable loss - but will run you into wash rules if you buy the same security in the Roth within 30 days before/after. In that case it is usually preferable to identify a different security/instrument that you judge quite comparable, just not identical.
by Tramper Al
Sat Jan 21, 2023 2:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does anyone else not use a fixed asset allocation?
Replies: 69
Views: 8328

Re: Does anyone else not use a fixed asset allocation?

My asset allocation slides, with the % Equity target moving down as the $ Investment Assets goes up. This is my "need to take (equity) risk" approach. I do not adjust for age, but I do have a prescribed multi-step adjustment for retirement (really it's for lack of wage income), self and spouse.
by Tramper Al
Mon Jan 16, 2023 7:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: why put bonds in IRA? Isn't it better to have growth stocks?
Replies: 27
Views: 3670

Re: why put bonds in IRA? Isn't it better to have growth stocks?

Yet, many investors fail to understand that prioritizing the location of assets into specific accounts changes the effective after-tax riskiness of the portfolio. A few investors do realize this. There's a wiki page about it which is called Tax-adjusted asset allocation . But, it's almost never referred-to or discussed in the forum. I actually read this (location) thread specifically to find out if and when anyone would point out the importance of after-tax adjustment. I have kept and adjusted my asset allocation by this method for many years, and I fully understand the why of it. That wiki page is pretty good. Location becomes very straightforward actually. But I learned years ago that it is painful and ultimately pointless to try to disc...
by Tramper Al
Wed Jan 11, 2023 1:54 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity BrokerageLink for 403b/457b account?
Replies: 5
Views: 382

Re: Fidelity BrokerageLink for 403b/457b account?

Interesting. I can get a brokerage link to both 403b and 457b accounts and DCP account. The "auto" trade you mention is disturbing. Is there a list of "prohibited" stocks or is it company specific? It's likely up to each employer/HR whether they want to provide this for their 457b. Likewise, I'd guess the individual company agreement determines what is offered or allowed to he held in the account. If you read your agreement, you might find some language about "concentrated positions" or "high risk assets" or the like. Maybe something about options, futures, leveraged products, "derivatives" or some such. It's not going to matter to Bogleheads, and you can always hold that one thing elsewhere.
by Tramper Al
Wed Jan 11, 2023 1:00 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity BrokerageLink for 403b/457b account?
Replies: 5
Views: 382

Re: Fidelity BrokerageLink for 403b/457b account?

My wife's 403b has had an associated BrokerageLink for 10+ years, and it has been mostly good. The "core" 403b has some good low cost index funds, but just a very few. The brokerage side, in contrast, offers every Fidelity (index) fund, every EFT (Vanguard and all others) on a no-commission basis. It even maintains the divider between trad 403b and Roth 403b holdings, so there are actually 2 brokerage accounts. You can direct 95% of new contributions to the brokerage. If the core 403b account exceeds 5% of the total, then you can move a little bit over. There are a few restrictions on assets - I think we can't buy individual timber REITs, for example. And then one day Fidelity overnight liquidated the gold bullion ETF position (vi...
by Tramper Al
Wed Jan 04, 2023 10:47 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Unhappy with Vanguard - any advice on moving to Fidelity? [Incorrect RMD]
Replies: 54
Views: 6450

Re: Unhappy with Vanguard - any advice on moving to Fidelity?

I've been using both Vanguard and Fidelity for many many years. Given enough time, an error or two will occur anywhere - the real test (for me) is how readily the reps and back office acknowledge their error and go about fixing or undoing it for you. Fidelity has been very good in that regard. Certainly the web site, response time, level of competence in phone rep all seem much better at Fidelity (vs. Vanguard). They have a great selection of index funds and they don't nickel and dime me with fees like many brokerages (but not Vanguard) do. I really only (still) use Vanguard because of old employer plans and one or two particular instruments that are most convenient to hold there. The worst error that almost happened was Vanguard mistakenly...
by Tramper Al
Wed Jan 04, 2023 10:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What to do with interest accumulated doing back door Roth?
Replies: 5
Views: 498

Re: What to do with interest accumulated doing back door Roth?

I try to make the Traditional contribution on the first market/business day of the year (accomplished yesterday) and then the Roth conversion on the second (today), for a few reasons. I'm trying to avoid unnecessary tax, having to remember to report and pay it, or having Traditional account sitting there with $0.87 or something like that, forever. Though the cash amount is listed as "settled" and "available for withdrawal, I have been unable to process the Roth conversion online this morning (at Fidelity), the error message indicating "try again later". I could wait another day. What I've seen at Fidelity on occasion is that after the Roth conversion - if some $ shows up later (like a dividend at the end of the mont...
by Tramper Al
Tue Jan 03, 2023 10:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529's basic question/concept
Replies: 163
Views: 11351

Re: 529's basic question/concept

KlangFool wrote: Tue Jan 03, 2023 10:08 am
If someone want to use the back door method, there will be no income limit. We are discussing the direct method.

KlangFool
Perhaps you are, but the OP is saying he "does not qualify" for a Roth, which simply is not true. He may not know how to get there.
by Tramper Al
Tue Jan 03, 2023 10:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529's basic question/concept
Replies: 163
Views: 11351

Re: 529's basic question/concept

I hit quote.
by Tramper Al
Tue Jan 03, 2023 10:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529's basic question/concept
Replies: 163
Views: 11351

Re: 529's basic question/concept

Sorry, having a little trouble posting today.
by Tramper Al
Tue Jan 03, 2023 10:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529's basic question/concept
Replies: 163
Views: 11351

Re: 529's basic question/concept

Ooops again.
by Tramper Al
Tue Jan 03, 2023 9:27 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard site problems
Replies: 50
Views: 4261

Re: Vanguard site problems

For some years now, and certainly in 2022, I was able to modify or cancel a mutual fund order during the day - at least until around 2-3pm. But today, all of the "order status" clicks just show the order as "in progress" with no check box or other pathway to modify. This is in (2) Roth IRAs of the "Brokerage" type, and it is definitely a change from last week. The front page warning for me indicates Vanguard is having trouble with "Employer Plan Account Information", though to me that would not seem to relate to IRAs. They send you via a link called "Retirement Plans" but it times out / goes white. I agree that this is not a good look for Vanguard, and the company remains among the worst web...
by Tramper Al
Sun Jan 01, 2023 8:09 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do we think of 529 Differently Now with Roth Conversion (Passed Omnibus Changes)
Replies: 111
Views: 14484

Re: Do we think of 529 Differently Now with Roth Conversion (Passed Omnibus Changes)

How exactly is the 529 provider going to determine age of the account if the 529 was rolled in from another state plan in the past? Even more interesting if there has been more than 1 jump. In the 17 years we have owned the 529, it has gone through 3 plans (all changes to capture state tax deduction). I will need to look back and find the original open date, I guess share that with the 529 provider? I have a very similar situation, I think, having rolled more than once partial 529 account balances over 17-18 years, VA-OH-NY-TN. And with recent qualified withdrawals I have been trying to prioritize the older accounts (with largest % earnings). But I'll probably as much as possible just try to use the older accounts (which still have balance...
by Tramper Al
Sat Dec 31, 2022 5:57 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Suggestions for Roth IRA - 18 year old investor
Replies: 6
Views: 446

Re: Suggestions for Roth IRA - 18 year old investor

Hey, thanks for these tries.

I wasn't clear, I think. No U.S. equities, no bonds (certainly not corporate bonds), and at Fidelity - so no Vanguard fund, though via ETF is fine.

I'll probably just go with my first impulse, for a low cost diversified international/EM instrument. For me, there is nothing complicated about that, vs. a multi-asset changing target sort of fund.
by Tramper Al
Sat Dec 31, 2022 5:00 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Suggestions for Roth IRA - 18 year old investor
Replies: 6
Views: 446

Suggestions for Roth IRA - 18 year old investor

My now 18 year old son actually had earned income in 2022, so I am working through the logistics of opening and funding an IRA for him. Me, I've never had a Roth without the conversion step, but perhaps for him it's just a straight contribution. I don't know, but I'll work that out while I wait for his 1099. Meanwhile, what might you suggest for his portfolio? It will be at Fidelity, so I am considering one of the index funds or an EFT. 60/40 of course, got to have the bonds to smooth returns, right? Just kidding. I'm thinking FAPDX, the EM index fund. Our (parents) portfolio is way out of balance to the U.S. Equity allocation (because they're all taxable), but perhaps that shouldn't matter for him. He's looking at 41+ years until age 59.
by Tramper Al
Fri Dec 30, 2022 12:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do we think of 529 Differently Now with Roth Conversion (Passed Omnibus Changes)
Replies: 111
Views: 14484

Re: Do we think of 529 Differently Now with Roth Conversion (Passed Omnibus Changes)

I think they have done a good job making it more useful, but not exploitable. I believe the changing of beneficiary’s will not restart 15 year clock was their intent. Mainly, because of the scenario where parents save for multiple children in one account and were going to use for the first, change benes then pay for the second etc. reseting the 15 year clock would really disadvantage those people. How about, though, a change in beneficiary to a parent (and account owner)? Someone who in 2024, in our case, actually will have earned income and a Roth IRA. Would that be exploitative if allowed? Our backup plan for an overfunded 529 has been the prospect of educating grandchildren (many years out), which probably remains the most viable option...
by Tramper Al
Fri Dec 30, 2022 9:05 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do we think of 529 Differently Now with Roth Conversion (Passed Omnibus Changes)
Replies: 111
Views: 14484

Re: Do we think of 529 Differently Now with Roth Conversion (Passed Omnibus Changes)

If I am understanding all of this correctly . . . It seems like a key piece of the "strategy" relevant to the new law would be to have placed some funds into 529 with the owner/parent as beneficiary, some 15 years ago. Either different 529s with child beneficiary could have been used for education, and/or some amount could undergo a beneficiary change from parent to child. But without that old account balance with parent as beneficiary, it's not possible to rollover anything to a parent Roth. Do I have that correct? We are in those years where parents are still earning/contributing and kids are not. Starting a new 15 year clock now would take us far beyond our earned income years. So perhaps the only part we could take advantage o...
by Tramper Al
Fri Dec 30, 2022 8:17 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Do new 529 rules allow this?
Replies: 15
Views: 1753

Re: Do new 529 rules allow this?

My favorite 529 when I started all this for our 3 kids was the Virginia VEST program, and I still have funds there from contributions 15+ years ago. Of the plans I use now, VA actually has the best online tool to capture/download these ancient transactions today. Unfortunately, however, every time I switched investment options, VA VEST gave me a new account number and closed out the old one. From TIPS to REITs, etc. the accounts with the contributions going way back are all now zero balance. The current account # then is just 2 or 3 years old in some cases. I don't know how this would work to satisfy a 15 year old account requirement. I don't have this issue at the other 529 providers - OH, NY, TN.
by Tramper Al
Tue Oct 25, 2022 4:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: First 20% of bonds in long-term Treasuries
Replies: 1930
Views: 216657

Re: First 20% of bonds in long-term Treasuries

I have pretty much always eschewed using any corporate bonds - in favor of a clean separation between stocks/equity risks and bonds (purely interest rate risk). I do have a TIPS allocation. My AA scheme likely will never reach 20% bonds, so it's 100% long term treasuries - ideally as EDV.

I suppose I have been rebalancing in all the say down!
by Tramper Al
Thu Jul 23, 2020 4:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Screened in porch - Yay or Nay
Replies: 47
Views: 5141

Re: Screened in porch - Yay or Nay

Sitting here on my screened porch in the old family cottage lakeside in New Hampshire, I'd have to say Yes. Much of the work to maintain (and there will be some) can be DIY, depending.
by Tramper Al
Mon Jan 28, 2019 11:48 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: fidelity brokeragelink - bookkeeping for tradition/roth 401k
Replies: 12
Views: 1814

Re: fidelity brokeragelink - bookkeeping for tradition/roth 401k

I can answer this with regard to my wife's Fidelity 403b account which has both Roth and traditional sides, as well as BrokerageLink. Since I tax-adjust our holdings (at the margin) for asset allocation purposes, it is critical to be able to clearly delineate between Roth and traditional, which can definitely be done. The basic (a limited few mutual funds available) 403b account is a little tricky for Roth/traditional only until you work out how to do it. On the usual "positions" account view online they are both mixed together, apparently in the "same account". But if you go to summary, then view balances, then source show details you CAN see the split nicely. When you want to make a transaction, you are given the choic...
by Tramper Al
Fri Dec 15, 2017 12:07 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What to do with T. Rowe Price funds
Replies: 18
Views: 3503

Re: What to do with T. Rowe Price funds

What I have done in this situation (years ago) is make a little spreadsheet. For each year starting now, compute the after tax value of your current position (column 1) vs. what the appropriate index fund position (column 2) would be after selling the mutual fund and paying the CG tax. Give them both the same (reasonable) annual "performance", and charge each the respective ER. It is surprising how quickly such a sale might pay for itself, and especially telling when you look several years out.
by Tramper Al
Fri Dec 15, 2017 11:14 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Buying Real Silver and Gold (Not Bitcoin)
Replies: 201
Views: 26201

Re: Buying Real Silver and Gold (Not Bitcoin)

grayfox wrote: Fri Dec 15, 2017 9:23 am I asked about Silver bullion coins. They had the price printed. Spot+$3.00 for Silver American Eagle. He said Spot Price was $16, so $19 total. I asked about Sales Tax. 7.75% for less than $1,500. He also guy said that they bought back at Spot+$1.50. So only a $1.50 spread.
Now, I would consider a spread of $1.50 on a $16 purchase to be huge - 9% or so. That's a lot of friction to overcome, and I think this helps to make the ETF form more appealing. Who among us would tolerate even a 1% spread in a stock ETF? That's a few years of ER costs right there in the purchase, yikes.
by Tramper Al
Thu Dec 14, 2017 2:55 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Thoughts on using safe-ish investments to buy S&P 500 on margin in December?
Replies: 176
Views: 9719

Re: Thoughts on using safe-ish investments to buy S&P 500 on margin in December?

OK, I just read an article that says that SPY might go ex-dividend tomorrow. If that happens, I'll let you guys know next week whether I considered it a buy or sell signal today.
by Tramper Al
Thu Dec 14, 2017 1:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Buying Real Silver and Gold (Not Bitcoin)
Replies: 201
Views: 26201

Re: Buying Real Silver and Gold (Not Bitcoin)

I have never bought a dozen 100 oz bars at the same time maybe up to 30 - 10 oz bars of silver though. Over many years I have seen the buy /sell spread (same vendor / same time) vary between 4 and 8% dependent upon the metal being bought and the time of the purchase. As far as pretty minted coins are concerned we do not view these as one of our collectables or art - we are buying metal at the bullion price with no thought to the 'markup' and potential tax issues that follow investing in rare items. That does not mean that the approach with collectable value is at all wrong just not something that we are knowledgeable about or that I can comment on. We do have a couple of safe deposit boxes that have some room - as well as potential other s...
by Tramper Al
Thu Dec 14, 2017 1:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Buying Real Silver and Gold (Not Bitcoin)
Replies: 201
Views: 26201

Re: Buying Real Silver and Gold (Not Bitcoin)

I have not seen the shipping or carry costs that you mention - perhaps look up the spreads on Silver Palladium gold at a few places like JMbullion. If you already have safe deposit boxes or other secure storage a dozen 100 oz bars of silver take up very little space - palladium much less than silver. They'll vary based on your approach, sure. At one extreme you could buy locally and bury Eagles in a sack in your crawl space. So other than the spread that is basically costless - if you already have a crawl space, shovel and a sack, that is. I would suggest that if you are seeing "free" shipping/insurance and the like, that those costs (just like at Amazon) are baked into the spread. I am getting 75lbs weight for your dozen 100 oz....
by Tramper Al
Thu Dec 14, 2017 1:35 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Thoughts on using safe-ish investments to buy S&P 500 on margin in December?
Replies: 176
Views: 9719

Re: Thoughts on using safe-ish investments to buy S&P 500 on margin in December?

This is gambling. It is compulsive and thrill seeking behavior. It is not investing. Until you are willing to accept this nobody here can help you. This is true. The problem is I was a math major so can prove why one should avoid casinos, but this S&P bet seemed certain to have a positive expected value and there's no math to prove why it was a bad bet. A positive expected value over what time period? The activity you've described is confined to a few hours or days. Jittter/noise is the predominate factor in that time span. He does have a point, though, as nearly all of us believe that the expected value of holding the S&P 500 long term is positive. If I could own shares in it every day from 9:45a to 3:45p without ever putting up a...
by Tramper Al
Thu Dec 14, 2017 1:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Buying Real Silver and Gold (Not Bitcoin)
Replies: 201
Views: 26201

Re: Buying Real Silver and Gold (Not Bitcoin)

I have not seen the shipping or carry costs that you mention - perhaps look up the spreads on Silver Palladium gold at a few places like JMbullion. If you already have safe deposit boxes or other secure storage a dozen 100 oz bars of silver take up very little space - palladium much less than silver. They'll vary based on your approach, sure. At one extreme you could buy locally and bury Eagles in a sack in your crawl space. So other than the spread that is basically costless - if you already have a crawl space, shovel and a sack, that is. I would suggest that if you are seeing "free" shipping/insurance and the like, that those costs (just like at Amazon) are baked into the spread. I am getting 75lbs weight for your dozen 100 oz....
by Tramper Al
Thu Dec 14, 2017 1:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Buying Real Silver and Gold (Not Bitcoin)
Replies: 201
Views: 26201

Re: Buying Real Silver and Gold (Not Bitcoin)

I have not seen the shipping or carry costs that you mention - perhaps look up the spreads on Silver Palladium gold at a few places like JMbullion. If you already have safe deposit boxes or other secure storage a dozen 100 oz bars of silver take up very little space - palladium much less than silver. They'll vary based on your approach, sure. At one extreme you could buy locally and bury Eagles in a sack in your crawl space. So other than the spread that is basically costless - if you already have a crawl space, shovel and a sack, that is. I would suggest that if you are seeing "free" shipping/insurance and the like, that those costs (just like at Amazon) are baked into the spread. I am getting 75lbs weight for your dozen 100 oz....
by Tramper Al
Thu Dec 14, 2017 1:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Buying Real Silver and Gold (Not Bitcoin)
Replies: 201
Views: 26201

Re: Buying Real Silver and Gold (Not Bitcoin)

I have not seen the shipping or carry costs that you mention - perhaps look up the spreads on Silver Palladium gold at a few places like JMbullion. If you already have safe deposit boxes or other secure storage a dozen 100 oz bars of silver take up very little space - palladium much less than silver. They'll vary based on your approach, sure. At one extreme you could buy locally and bury Eagles in a sack in your crawl space. So other than the spread that is basically costless - if you already have a crawl space and a sack, that is. I would suggest that if you are seeing "free" shipping/insurance and the like, that those costs (just like at Amazon) are baked into the spread. I am getting 75lbs weight for your dozen 100 oz. bars, b...
by Tramper Al
Thu Dec 14, 2017 1:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Buying Real Silver and Gold (Not Bitcoin)
Replies: 201
Views: 26201

Re: Buying Real Silver and Gold (Not Bitcoin)

The behavior of gold as an asset within a wider more traditional portfolio is interesting, and need have nothing at all to do with journeys in fantasy books or doomsday scenarios generally. It also wouldn't be the first asset used in portfolios that "just sits there", particularly when considered in real (rather than nominal) terms. As a student of the permanent portfolio and other and various asset allocation strategies, I have a rather modest allocation to gold ETFs and have had for many years. The problems with the ETFs are 1) the extra accounting you have do in a taxable location, 2) the tax treatment generally, and 3) the expenses. Holding bullion in U.S. Gold Eagles ought to give you the ability to allocate to gold without e...
by Tramper Al
Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:42 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Thoughts on using safe-ish investments to buy S&P 500 on margin in December?
Replies: 176
Views: 9719

Re: Thoughts on using safe-ish investments to buy S&P 500 on margin in December?

I don’t get the question. You've been posting a lot, what did you read here that lead you to believe that anyone might describe investing on margin as a Boglehead activity? Now to single anyone out, but I do find it tiresome to read about how superior (and inflexible) is the singular Boglehead approach, as if it is all black and white and there is just one (right) way to get to Dublin. And that's coming from someone who probably practices with 90%+ compliance to the party line. Poor guy the other day just wanted to buy some land in Pakistan (as if) and was immediately told oh no we don't do that here. Anyone who has had an IRA and a mortgage has invested with leverage/margin, regardless of the mental accounting or rationalization employed....
by Tramper Al
Wed Dec 13, 2017 7:50 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Thoughts on using safe-ish investments to buy S&P 500 on margin in December?
Replies: 176
Views: 9719

Re: Thoughts on using safe-ish investments to buy S&P 500 on margin in December?

unstartable wrote: Wed Dec 13, 2017 7:41 pm Is calling out a troll against the rules?
Hey now, I have strong BH tendencies. Followed IPS for 20 years, something like 90%+ in the lowest cost index funds and ETFs available, The most controversial things I do (other than carry a debt that most people would call a mortgage) is I made my own timber index fund (because I like how it fits in the portfolio and tax treatment) and I have a hedge fund position (managed by Vanguard though).
by Tramper Al
Wed Dec 13, 2017 7:38 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Thoughts on using safe-ish investments to buy S&P 500 on margin in December?
Replies: 176
Views: 9719

Re: Thoughts on using safe-ish investments to buy S&P 500 on margin in December?

whiteprius wrote: Wed Dec 13, 2017 7:33 pm Wow 1.5%? Fidelity charges like 7% margin interest
Yes, I abandoned Fidelity as a margin lender some years ago. I'm paying 2.25% now, so have held on to my higher paying (older) iBonds for now. I''ll fine with closing out the loan, but I find it hard to justify paying cap gains taxes when salary chips away at it nicely.
by Tramper Al
Wed Dec 13, 2017 7:28 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Thoughts on using safe-ish investments to buy S&P 500 on margin in December?
Replies: 176
Views: 9719

Re: Thoughts on using safe-ish investments to buy S&P 500 on margin in December?

Do you disciplined folks have margin accounts, or do you refuse that feature on purpose to avoid temptation? I shouldn't have gotten one. Should have done cash only. I bought the S&P 500 on margin, back in 1994 or so, and have carried a margin debt ever since. A couple of times I have taken a mortgage to buy a house, but I just can't bear to pay the bank say 3.75% when I can instead pay my broker more like 1.5%. So I write a check to pay off the mortgage. Lately, the rate has crept up, though, with the Fed tightening. I designate an amount equal to about 15-20% of our house value as acceptable debt. I can unwind it easily, and that becomes more likely if rates rise. But as long as the cost of debt service is so darn low, and tax deduct...
by Tramper Al
Tue Dec 05, 2017 2:01 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Asset allocation across accounts: Twist?
Replies: 23
Views: 2564

Re: Asset allocation across accounts: Twist?

Now the question, do you account for taxes at all in the relative valuation of your taxable and tax-favored locations? That is to say, if you are systematically locating one asset (stocks) in taxable and another (bonds) in tax-favored, is your AA really what you think it is? This is the reason I have my 401k money have the same allocation as my roth ira and taxable money. I still look at all my accounts as one portfolio but since some of the money in my 401k is the governments (taxes) it doesn't seem right to pretend it is all mine. For example, if I want my overall portfolio to be 50/50 and I have 50k bonds in my 40k and 50k stocks in my roth ira, am I really 50/50? I would argue no because some of the 50k bonds is owed to the government....
by Tramper Al
Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard customer service reps need some training
Replies: 66
Views: 8987

Re: Vanguard customer service reps need some training

Finally had to call Vanguard recently - I also try never to do this. Brutal.

I clicked to open a brokerage window in a workplace retirement account that otherwise is limited to like 4 funds. Sold some shares out of the only fund I can use (due to AA) for use in the VBO and now it sits in cash. Supposed to take 1-2 days but a month later still waiting, still "pending". Been trying via secure email to no effect. On hold an hour or so with different reps to finally hear: yeah, not fixed yet.
by Tramper Al
Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:46 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Does this constitute a wash sale, and is Vanguard's cost basis accounting correct?
Replies: 20
Views: 1931

Re: Does this constitute a wash sale, and is Vanguard's cost basis accounting correct?

Is there not an issue too involving the short term holding of a muni bond fund sold for loss and the tax-free nature of its distributions?
by Tramper Al
Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:02 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Asset allocation across accounts: Twist?
Replies: 23
Views: 2564

Re: Asset allocation across accounts: Twist?

It is all really just mental accounting, unless you do plan to use substantial funds in one location (taxable) before they are even accessible in another (IRA). But as others have said, that's a separate issue. And it's clearly very inefficient to duplicate portfolios everywhere or otherwise flip your locations without a good reason. In practice, the sort of "problem" you run into is when an equities asset class does so well that you can't easily rebalance out of it any further without realizing huge taxable gains, as you've already sold everything in that class from your tax-favored locations. A good problem to have, obviously. Now the question, do you account for taxes at all in the relative valuation of your taxable and tax-fav...
by Tramper Al
Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:48 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: REIT Index -- Vanguard vs Fidelity?
Replies: 9
Views: 5392

Re: REIT Index -- Vanguard vs Fidelity?

Nothing wrong with the Fidelity fund, we use it in captive 403bs and 457bs, and depending on the particular workplace account one might not have access to the Vanguard ETF or admiral share class. My bias is that I should avoid transaction fees and unnecessarily higher expense ratios. If you stick with the index (formerly Spartan) funds in Advantage class, then Fidelity's offerings are outstanding.
by Tramper Al
Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Smooth Glide Paths with Logistic Functions
Replies: 5
Views: 740

Re: Smooth Glide Paths with Logistic Functions

I use what I consider symmetry on the multiplicative scale for rebalancing bands, for example a 20% loss mirrors a 25% gain. This can also be considered a logarithmic scale. A decade or two ago, I set up my AA to adjust linearly by 1% (decrease equities, increase fixed income) per year, in line with life changes (age and years to retirement). In practice, even with all of your equities in taxable, you can rebalance to this extent using dividends as long as the yield exceeds that 1%. Later, though, I revised this so that my AA adjusts mainly to the total net assets (as bigger balance means less need for risk). Each 7% gain in assets resulted in a 0.5% change in equities %, though with a threshold where that stops and thereafter stays level. ...
by Tramper Al
Mon Nov 20, 2017 1:43 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Cost basis question about Vanguard's covered/uncovered mutual fund shares
Replies: 28
Views: 3585

Re: Cost basis question about Vanguard's covered/uncovered mutual fund shares

When I make a partial transfer of mutual fund shares between say Wells Fargo and Vanguard, there is a rule followed (in this case FIFO) to determine the (covered) cost basis of the shares transferred is (under specific ID). So it's actually a way to isolate shares of a given type/date. Since some brokerages (I believe Vanguard included) won't let me ID shares with a sell order (at least the way I do it online), I have resorted to partial transfers in order to sequester the fund shares I am considering selling, so that a sell all order will accomplish what I intend. Basically, for the covered cost basis era, I try hard to match up what the brokerage will report via 1099B with what I wish to report on Schedule D via specific ID. And a questio...
by Tramper Al
Mon Nov 20, 2017 1:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Where, then? [to discuss investing strategies under proposed legislation]
Replies: 3
Views: 829

Where, then? [to discuss investing strategies under proposed legislation]

Can anyone suggest a forum where one can discuss investment strategies under proposed legislation? Sometimes it's helpful to plan ahead, I think.
by Tramper Al
Thu Nov 02, 2017 2:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Yahoo Finance no longer works - Alternatives to download securities quotes]
Replies: 294
Views: 72694

Re: Excel Macro using Yahoo Finance- not working

I'm looking for suggestions on how to continue to download a .csv from somewhere that contains symbol & closing price. So far I have not found anything very easy to use. I'm now even wondering about setting up a dummy portfolio with 1 share of each of the 35 quotes I want to track. Can someone point me to a good alternative? I have at times used the .csv download method, but at other times I have simply copy/pasted the column of prices (in your case 35) from the online source right into my spreadsheet. You just have to make sure your lists of securities matches correctly. What you could do is simply set up your 35 tickers and their prices in a Google Sheet spreadsheet. Then you could easily access them there and copy/past the column in...
by Tramper Al
Thu Nov 02, 2017 12:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Yahoo Finance no longer works - Alternatives to download securities quotes]
Replies: 294
Views: 72694

Re: Excel Macro using Yahoo Finance- not working

I used Excel and the Yahoo add-on (and then later the macro) for many years for my AA spreadsheet which includes tax-adjustment and cost basis tracking, among other things. But it was painful at times, like when Yahoo Finance went on holiday, or stopped "supporting" one thing or another. More than once I lost capacity for days to weeks at a time. And at the very least with any new computer I was having to install Office 2003 from an ancient CD and track down the add-on .exe and all that. And then the program started to get very SLOW - for that sheet only, as if it was bogged down by all those prices it ever imported over many years. A year or so ago, I did make the switch to Google sheets and it really has been great. Everything i...
by Tramper Al
Thu Jul 20, 2017 4:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Complex (profitable?) Roth Conversion Strategy
Replies: 23
Views: 3156

Re: Complex (profitable?) Roth Conversion Strategy

The more disparately returning but volatile asset classes you have in your AA, the more opportunities you will have to keep the winners, turn back the clock on the losers in this sort of Roth conversion approach. Have been doing it since first allowed in 2010. By simply selling X in one location and buying X in your current Roth conversion, you can run the conversion game on any asset you want (and the same one year after year) while sticking with your AA, nothing complicated there. Especially useful if your AA includes permanent portfolio classes like long term treasuries or gold, in addition to things like volatile stocks, REITs, etc., each of which can have very big up and down years. I've always wanted to do it with a pair of UP/DOWN ve...
by Tramper Al
Sun Jul 16, 2017 6:49 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: My Favorite Alternative Funds
Replies: 229
Views: 48083

Re: My Favorite Alternative Funds

This is a very valuable thread topic, but I am surprised by a couple of key omissions.

1) Expenses. They matter in this universe too.

2) VMNFX. I saw just a couple of mentions in passing, but Vanguard's own low cost retail hedge fund did not make the top 5 summary list? Yes, at one point I bought the indicated minimum direct from Vanguard and then scaled back to my AA target amount the very next day. But I have since found I can buy as little as $50 worth in a new or additional position, at WellsTrade. But I almost never see it discussed here in any serious way.
by Tramper Al
Tue Jun 27, 2017 6:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: VGK, VPL, VWO, & VSS vs VXUS?
Replies: 11
Views: 4564

Re: VGK, VPL, VWO, & VSS vs VXUS?

My AA and its monitoring spreadsheet is STILL set up this way, so I separately track developed Europe, Pacific, Int'l Small, and so on. I have an EM allocation equal to developed, and split that into 4 regions + small also. I was looking for a potential reblancing bonus, and also wished to avoid riding a big bubble to the burst in one region or another (I think Japan was the big example in the Ferri paperback). In actual practice, though, more and more of the tax-protected positions I actually use for rebalancing are in accounts (like Fid 403b, 529s, etc.) where I can't really slice by region. So my spreadsheet converts funds like total international into the 3 regions, but I have rarely needed to act on them, by directing new contributions...
by Tramper Al
Mon May 08, 2017 10:18 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Anyone still able to pull in TIAA Real Estate Quote?
Replies: 4
Views: 971

Re: Anyone still able to pull in TIAA Real Estate Quote?

Great, thank you. I will try this alternative.