Search found 156 matches

by bobbun
Thu Oct 23, 2014 11:57 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: IRS Announces new 401(k) contribution max for 2015 ($18,000)
Replies: 50
Views: 10083

Re: IRS Announces new 401(k) contribution max for 2015 ($18,

The SIMPLE-IRA limit is more relevant to me. From the link, it looks like that's going from 12k to 12.5k.
by bobbun
Wed Oct 08, 2014 2:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why Hold Cash in Retirement Account
Replies: 21
Views: 2974

Re: Why Hold Cash in Retirement Account

I keep cash in my Edward Jones SIMPLE-IRA prior to transferring the money to Vanguard for investing. Anything else would almost certainly have a negative return over the holding period.
by bobbun
Wed Oct 01, 2014 9:37 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Stock Dividend Yields & Share Buybacks — A Surprise
Replies: 76
Views: 10440

Re: Stock Dividend Yields & Share Buybacks — A Surprise

Dividend payouts tend to be quite consistent, as companies are often reluctant to cut them — but share repurchases are often volatile, following the business cycle and the stock market. I like to imagine myself as mostly indifferent on dividends, but this statement strikes me as a case for dividend...
by bobbun
Wed Sep 24, 2014 10:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Indoor rowing machine - worth it?
Replies: 73
Views: 7721

Re: Indoor rowing machine - worth it?

I have one, and my answer is "Yes, it's worth it, very much so". Compared to a treadmill, the rower: - Exercises more muscle groups - Has far lower impact on your joints, significantly reducing your risk of injury. Do research and observe proper form to ensure you don't hurt your back, though. - Has...
by bobbun
Mon Sep 22, 2014 1:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: how to prevent medical expense catastrophe?
Replies: 174
Views: 12609

Re: how to prevent medical expense catastrophe?

I don't advocate that behavior, but it does suggest that the best way to handle this is to plan for the worst case liability and keep some assets where it's hard or impossible for creditors to reach them. That will at least leave you some income after the dust settles. This is pretty common....doct...
by bobbun
Mon Sep 22, 2014 9:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: how to prevent medical expense catastrophe?
Replies: 174
Views: 12609

Re: how to prevent medical expense catastrophe?

Before this thread gets locked, I'd like to ask: "Is there ANYTHING the average person (not a physician nor an attorney) before having any sort of treatment to protect themselves from this sort of skulldrudgery? Any suggestions? Based on my observation of my mother's behavior, I do have a suggestio...
by bobbun
Tue Sep 16, 2014 8:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A 'really good book' you did NOT enjoy
Replies: 229
Views: 18328

Re: A 'really good book' you did NOT enjoy

The Road. Could it be any slower? The hobbit. I don't know if you are complaining about the book The Hobbit or signing your post as "the hobbit" but I do have an opinion of the book. I didn't like it nearly as much as the LOTR trilogy. To be fair, it was intended for children but that does not ente...
by bobbun
Fri Sep 12, 2014 1:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Why 97% of People Don't Use 529 College Savings Plans."
Replies: 262
Views: 50998

Re: "Why 97% of People Don't Use 529 College Savings Plans."

Regarding 529's being for the wealthy... I'm sure this is a narrow case, but it looks to me like if one of your goals for retirement was to get that degree (second degree, etc.) that you always wanted--presumably for personal reasons, since we're talking about after retirement--then a 529 might be a...
by bobbun
Mon Sep 08, 2014 11:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good Modern Science Fiction
Replies: 330
Views: 47338

Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

I'll add my voice to the chorus suggesting Niven. Also... Not mentioned yet, but John Varley. Definitely pick up something by Varley and read it. I suggest something from the Eight Worlds "universe".
by bobbun
Tue Aug 19, 2014 9:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mississippi wins!
Replies: 14
Views: 2323

Re: Mississippi wins!

Just doing a quick check of census data on Wikipedia, the per capita income for the country as a whole is $28,051, and for Mississippi it's $20,670. So while that $100 might get you $115.74 worth of goods, it's little consolation when you only have $73.69 in your pocket! Not that things are much bet...
by bobbun
Mon Jul 21, 2014 11:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Exceptionally high marginal rates on MD, VA students
Replies: 30
Views: 3590

Re: Exceptionally high marginal rates on students

Arkansas doesn't tax the first $11,411 of AGI, so no issue there. Not at the $10,000 mark. I would need to run tax forms to be certain, but it looks like there might be a small issue (not nearly so bad as West Caledonia) at the $15,100 mark, where a single person would need to switch from low incom...
by bobbun
Thu Jul 17, 2014 4:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Should I use margin to buy a balanced fund?
Replies: 919
Views: 212260

Re: Should I use margin to buy a balanced fund?

So my logic (which may be flawed) is this: Bonds reduce the downward standard deviation which reduces the chance of a margin call. Say that I have $100,000. I put it all in a margin account and use it, together with $100,000 margin, to put $200,000 in an 80/20 portfolio. I get a margin call once my...
by bobbun
Thu Jul 17, 2014 3:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Total Bond Yield vs. 5 year CD Interest Rates
Replies: 16
Views: 3195

Re: Total Bond Yield vs. 5 year CD Interest Rates

My bond holdings aren't large, so I use a mix of TBM in retirement accounts and a muni fund in taxable. At some spread I would use CD's instead, but I haven't really crunched the numbers just yet to figure when I might actually do so. The next time PenFed is offering 3%, I might take them up on thei...
by bobbun
Wed Jul 16, 2014 12:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: boglehead botanists...is this poison ivy?
Replies: 32
Views: 3265

Re: boglehead botanists...is this poison ivy?

Definitely not poison ivy. I really have no idea what it is, but given that the plant in the picture has alternating rather than opposite (paired) leaves, I think stinging nettle (Urtica species) and various mints can also be eliminated. Have you seen this weed in flower? Can you describe the flower...
by bobbun
Mon Jul 14, 2014 10:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: POLL: Walmart vs Amazon
Replies: 137
Views: 12113

Re: POLL: Walmart vs Amazon

Amazon, though the question isn't really a fair one from my perspective. I don't shop Wal-Mart. My reasons are more personal than general employee mistreatment, though I can say that my experience was that even for non-store employees it's not a great place to work. When I did shop at Wal-Mart, I bo...
by bobbun
Fri Jul 11, 2014 9:36 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Tax Efficiency of Treasuries
Replies: 19
Views: 2024

Re: Tax Efficiency of Treasuries

You should be able to improve the tax efficiency of your treasuries a bit by selling prior to maturity, once you have ridden the yield curve down quite a bit. In effect you'll be capturing a portion of future coupon payments immediately as a long term capital gain rather than as interest income. I'm...
by bobbun
Wed Jul 02, 2014 8:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Land sale and taxes
Replies: 16
Views: 2347

Re: Land sale and taxes

the projected listing price for the property is well below that of the appraisal. It is close to the county's assessment value. This part is a red flag for me. In my state I would never accept the assessor's value for vacant land as being support for a reasonable sale price. However, laws vary by s...
by bobbun
Wed Jul 02, 2014 2:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Health Care Fund VGHCX
Replies: 11
Views: 2537

Re: Vanguard Health Care Fund VGHCX

I have VHT and have been very happy with it. That said, I'm in the process of liquidating the position and replacing it with total stock market.
by bobbun
Wed Jul 02, 2014 1:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Keep ETF or Pay off the Mortgage?
Replies: 10
Views: 1686

Re: Keep ETF or Pay off the Mortgage?

A tax loss harvesting strategy would involve buying replacement shares similar to what you're selling. I'll go out on a limb and differ with livesoft and suggest that by paying off the house, that is what you're doing. You're basically reinvesting the money in a mortgage, which is a bond-like instru...
by bobbun
Wed Jul 02, 2014 11:02 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Hitting "The Number" too early
Replies: 49
Views: 6974

Re: Hitting "The Number" too early

Every year you get older is one less year of longevity insurance that you need. Really? Please explain. L. Unless you are not going to die, then definitely yes. When I saw the comment, what went through my head was "not quite", because life expectancy doesn't decrease an entire year for each year l...
by bobbun
Mon Jun 30, 2014 4:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: do you lie about your finances to friends
Replies: 103
Views: 12752

Re: do you lie about your finances to friends

prudent wrote:"Hey, prudent, what did you pay for your house?"
I have to answer: I'm not going to tell you what I paid.
And he accepts that.
You should tell him how to do a public records search!
by bobbun
Mon Jun 30, 2014 4:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pay down (not off) mortgage?
Replies: 53
Views: 7570

Re: Pay down (not off) mortgage?

Regarding the idea of a mortage as a negative bond and how it should affect your AA... If you're going to consider a mortgage as a negative bond, then before you adjust your portfolio, I think you should consider your house as a big undiversified investment in real estate. It produces an "income" th...
by bobbun
Mon Jun 30, 2014 8:28 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to get father on board with index funds
Replies: 34
Views: 3287

Re: How to get father on board with index funds

If your mom is thinking of going with Edward Jones you can assume the advisor will choose funds with loads. Maybe you can show her what loads of up to 5.75% of 300K comes to. $17,250. $17,250 less will get invested because that's what that nice boy could potentially skim off the top as a commission...
by bobbun
Fri Jun 27, 2014 6:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Contribution limits, no 401K option..Do I have this right?
Replies: 29
Views: 2926

Re: Contribution limits, no 401K option..Do I have this righ

A SIMPLE plan or SEP-IRA might be easier/most cost effective than your employer and offer a higher limit, see https://smallbiz.vanguard.com/ EDIT to clarify: higher limit than a personal IRA A SIMPLE-IRA definitely offers a higher limit than a traditional IRA. And it's not a joint limit, so you can...
by bobbun
Fri Jun 27, 2014 11:02 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Modeling the Worst Case for Stocks
Replies: 41
Views: 4631

Re: Modeling the Worst Case for Stocks

Right. That is scary. But I was primarily addressing the non-reversion to mean. The stock I posted went to almost zero and has stayed there for over five years. IOW, it hasn't recovered, and it shows no signs of recovering. That is far worse than a big drop and a rapid recovery. I'm not sure it fai...
by bobbun
Thu Jun 26, 2014 8:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Please help us decide where to live
Replies: 169
Views: 13064

Re: Please help us decide where to live

For a wildcard location that will be much cheaper I will throw out Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Kind of a smaller version of Asheville. I live in nearby Fayetteville, Arkansas. I'm quite happy here and hope circumstances never require me to move. The cost of living is low (even with the rather high ta...
by bobbun
Thu Jun 26, 2014 1:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Modeling the Worst Case for Stocks
Replies: 41
Views: 4631

Re: Modeling the Worst Case for Stocks

A worst case scenario doesn't have to be an immediate disaster. Consider the impact of a 20 year period of essentially flat market returns in an inflationary environment. My "guess" is that that might be more likely than any of the invasion or asteroid scenarios, and if you're trying to save for ret...
by bobbun
Thu Jun 26, 2014 12:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Contribution limits, no 401K option..Do I have this right?
Replies: 29
Views: 2926

Re: Contribution limits, no 401K option..Do I have this righ

Am I correct in my assumption that I can only contribute $6500 in 2014 to either a Roth IRA or a T-IRA. Very close, but not quite. The actual rule is that your combined contributions to both Roth IRAs and a Traditional IRAs can not exceed that amount. So it's not either/or. You can split it between...
by bobbun
Wed Jun 25, 2014 12:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Savings Bonds via Form 8888
Replies: 17
Views: 1479

Re: Savings Bonds via Form 8888

If the goal is to get the benefit of tax deferral and tax exemption for education spending, and you want to have control of the money yourself, there's already a method of doing this that doesn't involve questionable tactics with I-bonds. Look up "529 plan". You could even split your investment betw...
by bobbun
Wed Jun 25, 2014 10:35 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: PIMCO Negative AA - How to interpret?
Replies: 3
Views: 647

Re: PIMCO Negative AA - How to interpret

I think you would need to delve into a recent annual or semi-annual report to confirm with certainty. That said, my first thought on looking at the portfolio composition is that they're probably employing treasury bond futures in order to leverage the portfolio. The amount of leverage being employed...
by bobbun
Tue Jun 24, 2014 1:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: GABUX Big Yielder?
Replies: 5
Views: 725

Re: GABUX Big Yielder?

Morningstar's distribution information shows that most of the payout is, in fact, return of capital. The last few months of data suggest a managed payout policy, since the total payout is constant. However, the dividend yield is quite variable, and most of the payout is not from dividends. Expenses ...
by bobbun
Tue Jun 24, 2014 11:05 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Partially Deductible IRA or Roth?
Replies: 9
Views: 696

Re: Partially Deductible IRA or Roth?

I would just go Roth in your circumstance. However, you can calculate the amount of deductible contribution, contribute that amount to the Traditional IRA, then contribute the rest of your contribution limit to a Roth. It's not a purely either-or situation.
by bobbun
Tue Jun 24, 2014 11:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Discover card asking me to update my income
Replies: 9
Views: 3205

Re: Discover card asking me to update my income

That seems like reasonable "need to know" information from the creditor's perspective. I have no idea about the legal implications. If in doubt, I would call the number on the back of the card and proceed from there. I don't think they can actually make you provide the information if you don't want ...
by bobbun
Tue Jun 24, 2014 10:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why buy a car with cash?
Replies: 83
Views: 9097

Re: Why buy a car with cash?

My recent experience: Last fall I purchased a Subaru Outback with 1.9% manufacturer financing for 48 months. I specifically inquired about substituting a discount at more than one dealer, all of them claimed that there was no option to do so. I saw no reason to pay with cash when I could borrow at ...
by bobbun
Fri Jun 20, 2014 9:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is it impossible to buy individual foreign treasuries?
Replies: 9
Views: 752

Re: Is it impossible to buy individual foreign treasuries?

You could ask at Interactive Brokers. I haven't used them, but I did look over their site quite a bit at one point. It appears that they allow your account to hold multiple currencies simultaneously, and to use those currencies to purchase foreign securities, including some foreign bonds. I'll secon...
by bobbun
Fri Jun 20, 2014 6:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Financial math question
Replies: 10
Views: 1322

Re: Financial math question

Folks This is a simple problem with a very small pay off but the math is bugging me. If I pay an additional $7065 toward my mortgage I can eliminate a small $324/yr mortgage insurance premium. The requirement for this insurance would have gone away through amortization by Jan 2017. My simple math i...
by bobbun
Fri Jun 20, 2014 4:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cost of car compared to Gross Income
Replies: 138
Views: 16137

Re: Cost of car compared to Gross Income

Gross income has relatively little to do with how much you should spend on a car. If someone makes a million a year, then spending 100k on a car is only 10% of income, and should be "affordable", but nonetheless most of that expense clearly falls under discretionary spending. On the other hand, some...
by bobbun
Fri Jun 20, 2014 3:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Considering Paying off Home
Replies: 17
Views: 1524

Re: Considering Paying off Home

I would keep the debt, but refinance to a 15 year to take advantage of a lower rate.
by bobbun
Fri Jun 20, 2014 1:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Taxable v/s pay down mortgage v/s I Savings Bonds
Replies: 9
Views: 1163

Re: Taxable v/s pay down mortgage v/s I Savings Bonds

I like to hedge my bets - invest 60% in equities (you decide which fund) and 40% in the mortgage. Although you don't immediately realize the benefits other than more of the payment being applied to principal until it's fully paid off you could consider that to be your fixed income allocation, while...
by bobbun
Thu Jun 19, 2014 6:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is it worth it to transfer funds in an IRA to earn a bonus?
Replies: 11
Views: 952

Re: Is it worth it to transfer funds in an IRA to earn a bon

The TD Ameritrade deal looks interesting, though the pricing is a bit odd. Sweet spots (0.5%) at $10,000 and $100,000. At other breakpoints, even significantly higher ones, the yield is less. The tax implications would be of most concern to me. Any idea what they are? I'm not eligible for a deductib...
by bobbun
Thu Jun 19, 2014 3:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: what to do about bond investing if worried
Replies: 15
Views: 1532

Re: what to do about bond investing if worried

That works for a CD, but since a bond is exposed to the market, it has a fluctuating market value that pays the current market rate. Market risk only becomes a factor if you sell your bond before maturity. If you buy and hold, then you are assured of receiving your principle back. There's no such g...
by bobbun
Thu Jun 19, 2014 1:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: what to do about bond investing if worried
Replies: 15
Views: 1532

Re: what to do about bond investing if worried

I see the author made the common error of considering a bond to be a different animal than a bond fund by considering a bond to have fixed value and fixed rate. That works for a CD, but since a bond is exposed to the market, it has a fluctuating market value that pays the current market rate. Viewed...
by bobbun
Thu Jun 19, 2014 1:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: is it normal to have more in your taxable accounts
Replies: 25
Views: 2269

Re: is it normal to have more in your taxable accounts

Mine are pretty close to equal (probably something like 52/48 retirement vs taxable). The main reason for that is limitations on the amount I can invest in retirement accounts. I have a SIMPLE-IRA instead of a 401k, so my contribution limits are smaller. My expectation at this point is that taxable ...
by bobbun
Thu Jun 19, 2014 12:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Taxable v/s pay down mortgage v/s I Savings Bonds
Replies: 9
Views: 1163

Re: Taxable v/s pay down mortgage v/s I Savings Bonds

Normally I would prefer investing over paying down a mortgage at a low rate. However, that applies to a fixed rate mortgage. Since yours is variable rate, that shortens the time horizon for your investments drastically. With one possible exception, I would pay down the mortgage. The exception relate...
by bobbun
Thu Jun 19, 2014 10:00 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Risk of rolling IRA into Transamerica 401k?
Replies: 10
Views: 2970

Re: Risk of rolling IRA into Transamerica 401k?

Each employee pays about $85 per year in management fees, but we have access to institutional fund classes. Expenses range from 0.07% (Vanguard large-cap and international indexes) to 0.16-0.18% (Vanguard Target Retirement funds) to around 0.9% for several managed funds I do not use. Having reviewe...
by bobbun
Wed Jun 18, 2014 6:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Market Timing Predictions Thread
Replies: 30
Views: 2740

Re: Market Timing Predictions Thread

acegolfer wrote:I predict market timers will underperform buy and hold total stock market.
I predict that some market timers will outperform. However, it will be impossible to predict which market timers those are in advance!
by bobbun
Wed Jun 18, 2014 4:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Satellite Investments
Replies: 11
Views: 937

Re: Satellite Investments

Why are you wanting to buy I bonds with your tax return? The only good reason to ever do that is if it's the only way to buy more than you could directly. How much are you planning on allocating to I bonds? If it's less than the Treasury Direct purchase limit, just buy the bonds directly and intenti...
by bobbun
Wed Jun 18, 2014 8:31 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Market Timing Predictions Thread
Replies: 30
Views: 2740

Re: Market Timing Predictions Thread

It already exists, though you're a little late for this year.

http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtop ... 0&t=129539
by bobbun
Wed Jun 18, 2014 8:11 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Maintaining liquidity with better growth
Replies: 21
Views: 1463

Re: Maintaining liquidity with better growth

If you do without the liquidity for a year, then series I savings bonds pay more than any of the options discussed so far, even with the penalty for withdrawal within five years. There is that one year barrier, though, and there are annual limits. If you don't need all the money within a year, you m...
by bobbun
Tue Jun 17, 2014 6:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Are MBS's safe for bond heavy portfolios?
Replies: 14
Views: 1094

Re: Are MBS's safe for bond heavy portfolios?

I think it's worth mentioning that Larry's book ("The Only Guide to a Winning Bond Strategy You'll Ever Need", to be clear) was published before the housing crisis. I'm not suggesting that the points made are invalid in any way. However, at present we have the benefit of additional information about...