Search found 1580 matches

by BigJohn
Wed Oct 10, 2018 10:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Anyone tax loss harvesting bond funds?
Replies: 12
Views: 1047

Re: Anyone tax loss harvesting bond funds?

I also harvested a loss in intermediate term tax-exempt bond fund around the first of this month. I went 50/50 long/limited term tax exempt and if things keep going like they have been this week, I'll probably harvest again around the first of next month. I'm using the losses to unwind some very old...
by BigJohn
Sat Oct 06, 2018 8:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: The Psychological Dimension Of The Transition To Retirement
Replies: 25
Views: 2798

Re: The Psychological Dimension Of The Transition To Retirement

Two different aspects of retirement transition mentioned in comments above, financial and social. On the financial side I've focused on greater simplicity and using a liability matching approach to setting my early retirement stock/bond allocation. There are obviously no guarantees but I feel this g...
by BigJohn
Tue Oct 02, 2018 5:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is an emergency fund just about market timing?
Replies: 103
Views: 5524

Re: Is an emergency fund just about market timing?

Not even close to the same in my opinion. Market timing = thinking your judgement is good enough to predict the future EF = an insurance policy that helps cover the potential impacts of unpredictable bad events. Like all insurance policies, there is a cost and you hope you never gave to use it but.....
by BigJohn
Tue Oct 02, 2018 5:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Will and POA questions
Replies: 5
Views: 675

Re: Will and POA questions

Personally, I am not a proponent of DIY with respect to estate planning. I’m a DIY person at heart but am in full agreement with this statement. The issues can be complex and are largely governed by state laws which do differ. In addition, there is no “do over” for an error/omission here. If I scre...
by BigJohn
Fri Sep 28, 2018 2:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VG PAS Recommendations - Surprised/Disappointed?
Replies: 27
Views: 2868

Re: VG PAS Recommendations - Surprised/Disappointed?

You might want to take a look at the holdings in Tax-Managed Balanced and see if the bond portfolio has a wider and flatter range of maturities than Intermediate Tax Exempt. If so, then at least there's a case to be made that they are being internally consistent. ..... This comparison would not see...
by BigJohn
Fri Sep 28, 2018 9:57 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VG PAS Recommendations - Surprised/Disappointed?
Replies: 27
Views: 2868

Re: VG PAS Recommendations - Surprised/Disappointed?

My thought is rather than discourage or dissuade your friends, why not give VPAS your endorsement? Do you think they'll get better lower cost financial advice elsewhere? I've already told them that, while I might not do it the exact same way, the VPAS recommendations are prudent and reasonable for ...
by BigJohn
Fri Sep 28, 2018 9:47 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VG PAS Recommendations - Surprised/Disappointed?
Replies: 27
Views: 2868

Re: VG PAS Recommendations - Surprised/Disappointed?

.... Just trying to bring some objectivity to the discussion by highlighting conclusions based on facts not in evidence. Well, there are not many topics on this forum that can be "proven" with facts. That's why we have such spirited discussions on things like smart beta or the need for internationa...
by BigJohn
Thu Sep 27, 2018 8:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VG PAS Recommendations - Surprised/Disappointed?
Replies: 27
Views: 2868

Re: VG PAS Recommendations - Surprised/Disappointed?

" I have to admit I see no logic here" It appears that if you can't yourself identify the rationale behind a recommendation, you assume it's illogical. There's no reason whatever for such an assumption. Not sure I understand your apparent hostility here. I stated my opinion and ask for others persp...
by BigJohn
Thu Sep 27, 2018 10:31 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VG PAS Recommendations - Surprised/Disappointed?
Replies: 27
Views: 2868

Re: VG PAS Recommendations - Surprised/Disappointed?

Update on VG PAS rationale for some of the choices.... For the S&P fund addition, it's there to balance an existing holding that is largely mid-cap stocks. The imbalance is fairly small so not sure it would be worth the added complexity to me but at least the logic seems sound. For the 3 muni bond f...
by BigJohn
Fri Sep 21, 2018 6:07 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How real is cyber risk?
Replies: 176
Views: 9987

Re: How real is cyber risk?

SpaethCo and jkrm, thank you for the helpful replies. With several layers of hacking needed and the fact that it would require me to be specifically targeted, I think I'm comfortable with my current setup. If I was a very high net worth individual with a well known public presence like the guy in th...
by BigJohn
Thu Sep 20, 2018 6:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How real is cyber risk?
Replies: 176
Views: 9987

Re: How real is cyber risk?

Forgive the potential ignorance of these questions but I’m trying to better understand the vulnerability of 2FA via SMS to my iPhone. Also trying to understand what value, if any, transaction alerts add to my security. My understanding... to be vulnerable they have to have already gotten my PW so le...
by BigJohn
Thu Sep 20, 2018 6:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: General 2018 Tax Question
Replies: 33
Views: 3721

Re: General 2018 Tax Question

I do not see any problem for the tax software companies, Most of the draft forms have been available for quite some time. Yes, many of the line numbers have moved to separate schedules, but retained the same line numbers. As someone who has been in IT for 4+ decades. Even if the line numbers had ch...
by BigJohn
Wed Sep 19, 2018 6:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Advisor suggesting 7 Bond funds for my 40%
Replies: 44
Views: 5346

Re: Vanguard Advisor suggesting 7 Bond funds for my 40%

The real issue for me is the mix of ST, IT and LT bonds of the same/similar type. If you want an IT duration, buy IT. If you want shorter, mix in ST. If you want longer, mix in LT. What does having a mix of all three accomplish? A friend received a similar recommendation from PAS recently (all new f...
by BigJohn
Wed Sep 19, 2018 6:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: General 2018 Tax Question
Replies: 33
Views: 3721

Re: General 2018 Tax Question

I think it would be more accurate to say I was being a bit sarcastic. Tax preparers who charge "by the form" will get a benefit. Other than that, it's probably not much different. I agree with both comments. I’m an AARP volunteer tax preparer and as far as I can tell, only one line of the 70+ line ...
by BigJohn
Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:25 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Advisor suggesting 7 Bond funds for my 40%
Replies: 44
Views: 5346

Re: Vanguard Advisor suggesting 7 Bond funds for my 40%

That is a very unusual suggestion from a Vanguard advisor. I have one bond fund (Vanguard Total Bond Market) which is very diversified with good quality bonds. It has worked well. Unfortunately this doesn’t seem to be unusual from VG PAS these days. This is the third or fourth thread (one started b...
by BigJohn
Wed Sep 12, 2018 5:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Municipal Bond Ladder / Tax Efficient Allocation of New Funds
Replies: 23
Views: 1910

Re: Municipal Bond Ladder / Tax Efficient Allocation of New Funds

Another vote for a high quality intermediate term municipal bond fund for three reasons. In addition to the stated fees, there is also a “hidden” cost in the bid/ask spread that can be significant for smaller lots of bonds. The fund will be far more diversified than your ladder. The liquidity of ind...
by BigJohn
Mon Sep 10, 2018 5:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: One bond fund is enough?
Replies: 16
Views: 1726

Re: One bond fund is enough?

I’m seeing more and more discussions here where VG is recommending a fairly complex bond portfolio. I know they feel very strongly about the importance of international bonds so I think their most simple would be Total Bond and Total International Bond. They seem to be recommending the other two to ...
by BigJohn
Sat Sep 08, 2018 7:41 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Financial Planner really expensive?
Replies: 19
Views: 2052

Re: Financial Planner really expensive?

My two cents... If you can do it yourself, the 0.3% is expensive relative to zero. However, many people are just not comfortable doing it themselves and want advice. Only you can decide if you have what it takes to be a DIY investor and that decision can only be made after getting a bit of education...
by BigJohn
Wed Sep 05, 2018 5:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: "Take risk on the equity side" -> Drop corporate bonds from bond fund? AAA-AA gov only? [Non-US]
Replies: 22
Views: 1296

Re: "Take risk on the equity side" -> Drop corporate bonds from bond fund? AAA-AA gov only? [Non-US]

The question is, where on the risk-return gradient in the bond portfolio is the point of "too much risk in the bond portion, take risk in equity instead". This is indeed the question but if you ask 10 people you’re likely to get 11 different answers. Some will say only short US government bonds. Ot...
by BigJohn
Fri Aug 31, 2018 5:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Evaluate Vanguard's Proposed Plan for my portfolio
Replies: 22
Views: 2249

Re: Evaluate Vanguard's Proposed Plan for my portfolio

I agree this appears to be more complex than it needs to be. Specifically, I’m not sure why they aren’t using total stock vs a mix of S&P 500 plus extended market. Also not sure what value all three tax-exempt fund have vs just intermediate term. It’s also unclear what benefit tax managed balanced a...
by BigJohn
Fri Aug 31, 2018 6:32 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New Vanguard AMT-free National Municipal Bond Fund
Replies: 139
Views: 27543

Re: New Vanguard AMT-free National Municipal Bond Fund

I have been subject to the AMT on and off for many years while owning VWIUX as my muni bond fund. I can't recall a year where it had income subject to the AMT although I guess that could change at some point, especially with far fewer people subject to the AMT under the new tax laws. No reason not t...
by BigJohn
Sat Aug 25, 2018 3:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: planning for inflation protection
Replies: 8
Views: 857

Re: planning for inflation protection

I’m working toward a 50/50 split between TIPS and nominal bonds as my inflation hedge. I personally don’t think 100% TIPS is a big problem, just my choice.
by BigJohn
Fri Aug 24, 2018 10:35 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Larry Swedroe: TIPS Versus Nominal Bonds
Replies: 46
Views: 4102

Re: Larry Swedroe: TIPS Versus Nominal Bonds

One of the most helpful and clear articles on this topic I’ve read. Reinforces my reasons for moving to a 50/50 split of TIPS vs nominals and gives me something to consider on whether I should go farther into TIPS.

Thanks to Larry for writing and Random Walker for posting.
by BigJohn
Fri Aug 24, 2018 9:35 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VG PAS Recommendations - Surprised/Disappointed?
Replies: 27
Views: 2868

Re: VG PAS Recommendations - Surprised/Disappointed?

Thanks to all for the input. I've given them some suggested questions to ask about why some of the choices and if it can be made more simple. I'll post back if I learn anything of interest.
by BigJohn
Tue Aug 21, 2018 4:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VG PAS Recommendations - Surprised/Disappointed?
Replies: 27
Views: 2868

Re: VG PAS Recommendations - Surprised/Disappointed?

Afty wrote:
Tue Aug 21, 2018 1:51 pm
Is it possible that your friends expressed a desire to hold an S&P 500 fund?
Nope, they made no specific requests and actually input a desire for simplicity which is one of the reasons I'm surprised by the results.
by BigJohn
Tue Aug 21, 2018 1:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VG PAS Recommendations - Surprised/Disappointed?
Replies: 27
Views: 2868

Re: VG PAS Recommendations - Surprised/Disappointed?

Thanks for comments so far, a few clarifications... Sorry if this came across as characterizing this as a big problem. Agree that there is no disaster waiting to happen here since all choices are low cost and lowest possible risk. Just surprised at what I view as unnecessary complexity. No, they don...
by BigJohn
Tue Aug 21, 2018 10:25 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VG PAS Recommendations - Surprised/Disappointed?
Replies: 27
Views: 2868

VG PAS Recommendations - Surprised/Disappointed?

Answering questions for some friends that are considering using VG PAS. I was surprised and actually a bit disappointed at the recommendations given. Looking for other perspectives before I give them feedback. For background, a retired mid-60's couple that has "won the game". VG asset allocation rec...
by BigJohn
Mon Aug 06, 2018 3:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Durable Power of Attorney: Implementation Report
Replies: 54
Views: 3941

Re: Durable Power of Attorney: Implementation Report

Vanguard - A Hard to walk into the Vanguard office since it is over 300 miles away. However, my Vanguard reps, one when I was caring for my aunt and another more recently when I began managing my father's finances, guided us through all the necessary steps and set up new accounts in my aunt's name ...
by BigJohn
Mon Aug 06, 2018 3:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do We need health insurance??
Replies: 137
Views: 9630

Re: Do We need health insurance??

Health insurance gives you rates for services that are negotiated by the insurance company. A hospitalization that can cost $250,000 at the hospital "rack (cash) rate" for something like a heart pacemaker or a cardiac stent with a couple of days in the hospital can get a negotiated rate of $75,000 ...
by BigJohn
Mon Aug 06, 2018 2:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Any Experience? - Vanguard Customer Service When Transferring Accounts from Large Brokerage Firm
Replies: 19
Views: 1110

Re: Any Experience? - Vanguard Customer Service When Transferring Accounts from Large Brokerage Firm

I moved an account from Wells to VG about a year ago without issue. Agree with comments above about how to make sure it goes smoothly. I'd add that sending them a secure email on their site (not from your personal email account) in advance with an attached pdf of the account statement may ease the p...
by BigJohn
Sat Aug 04, 2018 7:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Transferring UTMA Account to Beneficiary
Replies: 7
Views: 599

Re: Transferring UTMA Account to Beneficiary

Had to log-on to VG for something else and got curious. To initiated this on-line go to "My Accounts" then "Account Maintenance" then "Account Ownership" (under Personal Profile). Down the left side you'll see an option to remove yourself from a UGMA/UTMA account. The former minor has 14 days to com...
by BigJohn
Sat Aug 04, 2018 5:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Transferring UTMA Account to Beneficiary
Replies: 7
Views: 599

Re: Transferring UTMA Account to Beneficiary

I’ve done this before with my kids a few years back. Not sure were the link is these days but there was a way to initiate this process on-line. It requires email contact info for the former minor who will get notified of the incoming account. They have some maximum time in which to respond. I can’t ...
by BigJohn
Thu Aug 02, 2018 5:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Charitable giving strategy
Replies: 43
Views: 2395

Re: Charitable giving strategy

I used to do United Way through work payroll deduction. It was easy and the norm. Unfortunately, their percentage overhead costs continued to grow so that less and less was getting to local charities over the years. Once I retired I changed to directly supporting local charities that I knew would sp...
by BigJohn
Mon Jul 30, 2018 5:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Transunion Credit Lock or Freeze? Credit Report Hell!
Replies: 9
Views: 1212

Re: Transunion Credit Lock or Freeze? Credit Report Hell!

A short article about the difference. My two cents.... I don’t trust these companies as far as I could throw them and opted for the freeze.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/nickclemen ... 6b10c124ce
by BigJohn
Sun Jul 29, 2018 5:11 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Paper on Roth Conversion Analysis
Replies: 123
Views: 9550

Re: Vanguard Paper on Roth Conversion Analysis

After the cumulative effects from several years of RMDs, how does one plan on leaving a larger tIRA/401k balance? A Roth account does not have RMDs and for the inherited smaller (younger=smaller) RMDs are non-taxable allowing for further tax free growth. Also many heirs may end up in higher tax bra...
by BigJohn
Sat Jul 28, 2018 8:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Paper on Roth Conversion Analysis
Replies: 123
Views: 9550

Re: Vanguard Paper on Roth Conversion Analysis

But why no talk/analytics about the Roth IRA and it's value as an estate-planning tool? I think this is probably the most important feature (for me at least). In my mind this is just a different scenario on the tax rate questions. It also brings more assumptions and complications as well as you nee...
by BigJohn
Sat Jul 28, 2018 4:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Paper on Roth Conversion Analysis
Replies: 123
Views: 9550

Re: Vanguard Paper on Roth Conversion Analysis

For a pure retirement calculation - "nothing at all." You can certainly play around with tIRA balances and Roth balances and see which runs out of money first depending on your spending model - which is in a sense what I do by adjusting the average tax rate of earnings of Roth funds and the % tIRA ...
by BigJohn
Fri Jul 27, 2018 1:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Paper on Roth Conversion Analysis
Replies: 123
Views: 9550

Re: Vanguard Paper on Roth Conversion Analysis

I wish there was an "explain to me like I'm 5" version of this thread. Pretty much everything posted anywhere right now screams convert to Roth because taxes are on sale. I continue to agree with Five K... the 50,000 foot view is convert if you expect your conversion marginal tax rate to be lower o...
by BigJohn
Thu Jul 26, 2018 6:54 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Paper on Roth Conversion Analysis
Replies: 123
Views: 9550

Re: Vanguard Paper on Roth Conversion Analysis

The tax code is indeed complex, but the marginal tax rate is simply calculated by "dividing the amount of additional taxes that will be due (or reduced) by the amount of income involved." One can (and should) broaden the definition of "tax" in this case to include income-related things such as IRMA...
by BigJohn
Wed Jul 25, 2018 7:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Paper on Roth Conversion Analysis
Replies: 123
Views: 9550

Re: Vanguard Paper on Roth Conversion Analysis

Yeah, that single tax bracket is a killer. That's why we are converting into the 22% bracket. Survivor will definitely be in the 22% single bracket, if not the 24%. I'm not sure people realize the impact of being single on their tax bracket after being MFJ for a while. It's something to consider .....
by BigJohn
Wed Jul 25, 2018 7:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Paper on Roth Conversion Analysis
Replies: 123
Views: 9550

Re: Vanguard Paper on Roth Conversion Analysis

In the case of someone who took their pension as a lump sum (ugh), I hope they did it early enough to convert $900k of it to a Roth (leaving them $675k -- converted at average 25% bracket), to match up with now a smaller $1.1 million in the IRA. I also hope they stay married because being single is...
by BigJohn
Wed Jul 25, 2018 6:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need advice will vs trust for my situation
Replies: 28
Views: 2127

Re: Need advice will vs trust for my situation

I concur with those who recommend some type of trust. My caveat, from experiences of many, is that under no circumstances would I name a specific corporate trustee. If no family is available, I'd tap that trusted, level-headed friend. This doesn't mean the friend has to do the work themselves. It m...
by BigJohn
Wed Jul 25, 2018 5:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: size/liquidity of your emergency fund in retirement?
Replies: 9
Views: 1186

Re: size/liquidity of your emergency fund in retirement?

For simplicity sake I’ve reduced my accounts to holdings at VG and a brick and mortar bank for checking, savings and safety deposit box. In retirement, the “emergency” I plan for is different than it was while working. I have no pension and have not yet started SS so all income is from investment po...
by BigJohn
Wed Jul 25, 2018 5:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Paper on Roth Conversion Analysis
Replies: 123
Views: 9550

Re: Vanguard Paper on Roth Conversion Analysis

I think you missed my point - if you have at least 5% of your savings going toward the Roth (95% IRA / 5% Roth) then your retirement tax bracket never goes above 12%, because you spend down the Roth money only when necessary. I’m missing something here when you say “never” goes above 12%. It doesn’...
by BigJohn
Tue Jul 24, 2018 5:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need advice will vs trust for my situation
Replies: 28
Views: 2127

Re: Need advice will vs trust for my situation

Like others, I’m no expert and many of these issues are governed by state law so getting expert, local advice is critical. I will mention one other worry that may be an issue depending on state law. If you just give your daughter the money and then she gets divorced, half of your money could end up ...
by BigJohn
Mon Jul 23, 2018 9:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Larry Swedroe: Size Factor Not Dead
Replies: 46
Views: 4626

Re: Larry Swedroe: Size Factor Not Dead

I would say the answer is you wait your entire investing career. I think one should only develop a factorized plan if it is well thought out up front and the investor intends to stick to it for the duration. Part of thinking it out well is considering the possibility that the premium has been finan...
by BigJohn
Mon Jul 23, 2018 6:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best Available 2018 tax estimator
Replies: 44
Views: 8366

Re: Best Available 2018 tax estimator

Yea, that was my thinking as well but thought I’d ask.
by BigJohn
Mon Jul 23, 2018 6:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Larry Swedroe: Size Factor Not Dead
Replies: 46
Views: 4626

Re: Larry Swedroe: Size Factor Not Dead

So, full disclosure, I’m not a factor investor, just too risky and uncertain for my SWAN needs. However, this “short term burst” idea triggered a couple of questions.... How long do you wait for a burst? What if the factor has been significantly (not totally) arbitraged away by lower cost and higher...
by BigJohn
Mon Jul 23, 2018 8:28 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pension Lump Sum: Short-term bonds?
Replies: 37
Views: 2133

Re: Pension Lump Sum: Short-term bonds?

To each his own but I personally wouldn't consider FFRHX a "safe" bond investment for early retirement. It looks like it's ~90% below investment grade (ie junk) bank notes (not Corporate bonds). In the 2008/09 financial crisis it dropped ~20% while a total bond index fund essentially sailed through....