Search found 1885 matches

by BigJohn
Fri Sep 18, 2020 6:09 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bonds - Throw it all on the table!!!
Replies: 414
Views: 72995

Re: Bonds - Throw it all on the table!!!

Is optimal always the best choice? The really tough question is what parameters are important to you around which you should optimize. Some worry about unexpected inflation and buy TIPS as insurance, some don't. Some worry about sequence of return risk in early retirement, some don't. Are you optim...
by BigJohn
Thu Sep 17, 2020 11:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bonds - Throw it all on the table!!!
Replies: 414
Views: 72995

Re: Bonds - Throw it all on the table!!!

I probably should research mental decline and make allowances. That discussion would be an interesting stand alone discussion. I've seen an older family member that obviously lost some mental capabilities, but with investments and money management he was sharp until the end. In another case, the ol...
by BigJohn
Thu Sep 17, 2020 5:56 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Decision time...to lump sum or not to lump sum
Replies: 24
Views: 2002

Re: Decision time...to lump sum or not to lump sum

Was the entire lump sum taxable? That could be a big hit. The lumps sum would have been rolled out to an IRA so it would not be taxed until it is eventually withdrawn from the IRA, possibly decades in the future. This!! In fact, the lump sum rolled into an IRA facilitates Roth conversions since my ...
by BigJohn
Thu Sep 17, 2020 5:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bonds - Throw it all on the table!!!
Replies: 414
Views: 72995

Re: Bonds - Throw it all on the table!!!

BigJohn, What kind of TIPS did you get? Funds, ETFs, individual? Vanguard mutual funds. I understand the potential benefits from a ladder of individual TIPS but one on my retirement investment principles is simplicity to account for the inevitable mental decline we all experience. So I choose not t...
by BigJohn
Thu Sep 17, 2020 5:38 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Decision time...to lump sum or not to lump sum
Replies: 24
Views: 2002

Re: Decision time...to lump sum or not to lump sum

I took my pension as a lump sum when I retired six years ago at age 58. Two comments in support of what others have said. I didn’t go all in with the lump sum. Yes, probability is on your side that this is better but the implications of the two outcomes are not even (see Pascal’s wager). Others can ...
by BigJohn
Thu Sep 17, 2020 5:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bonds - Throw it all on the table!!!
Replies: 414
Views: 72995

Re: Bonds - Throw it all on the table!!!

I’ve almost finished my move from 100% treasury/corporate bond index fund to a 50/50 split of that and TIPS. Maybe just in time before inflation kicks up? Who knows but I’m comfortable with the inflation insurance and higher percentage of US government debt. The combination of high stock valuations ...
by BigJohn
Wed Aug 26, 2020 5:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Bank of XOM versus 'risk-free treasuries'" since 2009
Replies: 59
Views: 5187

Re: "Bank of XOM versus 'risk-free treasuries'" since 2009

arcticpineapplecorp. wrote: Wed Aug 26, 2020 12:36 pm
the way wrote: Tue Aug 25, 2020 12:48 pm Looks like Exxon is being dropped from the DOW 30 after 92 years. Nothing lasts forever I guess.
24 years of big company change (every 4 years):
https://americanbusinesshistory.org/lar ... 1994-2018/
One of the coolest graphics I’ve seen, thanks!
by BigJohn
Tue Aug 25, 2020 11:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth Conversion Strategy with Loss of Stretch IRA
Replies: 21
Views: 1610

Re: Roth Conversion Strategy with Loss of Stretch IRA

Thanks to all for the comments. Some of these issues I’ve already considered but might be helpful to others reading the discussion. Other issues were good food for thought and additional analysis as I tweak my plans. As always, this forum provided me with good advice and new perspectives on a diffic...
by BigJohn
Mon Aug 24, 2020 5:55 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Roth conversions
Replies: 7
Views: 1026

Re: Roth conversions

Unfortunately this is an extremely complex issue and so there are no simple calculations. Friar listed some of them but there's also IRMAA premiums and some non-linear breakpoints in the tax code that can have you paying a lot more tax than the apparent tax bracket you are in. I spent a long time wi...
by BigJohn
Sun Aug 23, 2020 11:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth Conversion Strategy with Loss of Stretch IRA
Replies: 21
Views: 1610

Re: Roth Conversion Strategy with Loss of Stretch IRA

Remember that tax laws change all the time and if I were you I would plan on many changes to come. Meaning don't worry to much about things like the loss of the stretch IRA as nothing is permanent. Are you suggesting that it would be reasonable to plan as if the stretch IRA could return? With Roth ...
by BigJohn
Fri Aug 21, 2020 3:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth Conversion Strategy with Loss of Stretch IRA
Replies: 21
Views: 1610

Re: Roth Conversion Strategy with Loss of Stretch IRA

If there is any chance that you'll want to leave the IRA's in trust (for asset protection purposes), than Roth dollars are the clear winners (even if you pay a bit more in taxes than the heirs would under outright inheritance). The SECURE act is not only the death of the stretch IRA, I think it may...
by BigJohn
Thu Aug 20, 2020 5:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth Conversion Strategy with Loss of Stretch IRA
Replies: 21
Views: 1610

Roth Conversion Strategy with Loss of Stretch IRA

Background - At retirement 5 years ago, ~65% of net worth in traditional IRA, no Roth. Doing annual Roth conversions starting at age 60 until SS (at age 70) and RMDs kick in. Current strategy is to convert an amount each year that’s about the same as my expected RMDs plus SS so taxable income is fla...
by BigJohn
Thu Aug 06, 2020 1:40 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Bond Strategy in a low interest rate environment: BND vs. BIV
Replies: 6
Views: 647

Re: Bond Strategy in a low interest rate environment: BND vs. BIV

I debated this exact choice with myself years ago when I setup my portfolio after retirement. Ultimately I went with IT Bond Index for two reasons. I liked the more constant ratio of treasuries to corporates (BND moves over time with the market) and I didn't like the mortgage backed component of BND...
by BigJohn
Tue Jul 28, 2020 5:48 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: TIPS
Replies: 20
Views: 1946

Re: TIPS

Like all insurance, there is a cost and in this case it’s that the real yield will be lower than nominal US bonds of similar duration. Let's compare apples to apples. If we compare TIPS to nominal US Treasuries, than you have no way of knowing if real yield will be lower with TIPS. At today's break...
by BigJohn
Mon Jul 27, 2020 4:45 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: TIPS
Replies: 20
Views: 1946

Re: TIPS

I think of TIPS as inflation insurance. I don’t anticipate that my house will burn down but.... it could happen so I carry homeowners insurance. Like all insurance, there is a cost and in this case it’s that the real yield will be lower than nominal US bonds of similar duration. Also, like all insur...
by BigJohn
Sat Jul 04, 2020 5:36 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: tax exempt bond funds
Replies: 15
Views: 1490

Re: tax exempt bond funds

I had a friend who received this recommendation from VG PAS. I posted about it here. I still believe that the mix of the three bond funds is needlessly complex and don't understand why VG is recommending it.

viewtopic.php?p=4079638#p4079638
by BigJohn
Tue Jun 30, 2020 5:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Rich, Broke or Dead: Visualizing probabilities of outcomes in early retirement
Replies: 155
Views: 24394

Re: Rich, Broke or Dead: Visualizing probabilities of outcomes in early retirement

Thanks for posting this tool. I like how it shows the probability of death right up there as part of the possible portfolio outcomes. Seeing the "grey wedge" of death grow and grow exponentially to where it becomes the final (and only) outcome--that sure is sobering. It puts things in their proper ...
by BigJohn
Wed Jun 24, 2020 4:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Unimpressive category averages of managed futures, multialternative, market neutral, etc.
Replies: 89
Views: 11753

Re: Unimpressive category averages of managed futures, multialternative, market neutral, etc.

At this point the managed futures industry is hanging on, waiting for a commodity bull market to repair the track record. What if many of these markets never trended in the first place, it was a premium paid by hedgers to speculators and now the field is crowded. Maybe another example of what Bill ...
by BigJohn
Sun Jun 14, 2020 5:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Thinking of closing out my Vanguard Account
Replies: 55
Views: 6757

Re: Thinking of closing out my Vanguard Account

And make it easier on my family, so they can walk into a "real building" when I die. Maybe it will be easier but... lots of complexity with estates/will so I’m guessing that they walk I the office and a sales person will immediately direct them to a “specialist” to deal with over the phone/internet...
by BigJohn
Mon Jun 08, 2020 4:20 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Does Vanguard Automatically "Step Up" Your Basis?
Replies: 21
Views: 1808

Re: Does Vanguard Automatically "Step Up" Your Basis?

afan wrote: Mon Jun 08, 2020 8:24 am So it could be "automatic" in the sense that Vanguard will record the basis once you specify the date?
Yes, I filled out the form to use date of death and a few days later the cost basis was changed to the appropriate value and all future 1099-B’s were based on that going forward.
by BigJohn
Sun Jun 07, 2020 11:51 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Does Vanguard Automatically "Step Up" Your Basis?
Replies: 21
Views: 1808

Re: Does Vanguard Automatically "Step Up" Your Basis?

I actually asked a rep this a week or so ago on a telephone call and was told yes. Ask them how they know date of death value is the correct basis. Gill I did this about 3 years ago and as I recall it the paper form asked if you wanted a stepped up cost basis and then asked about the methodology. S...
by BigJohn
Thu Jun 04, 2020 5:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turbo Tax to save Tax files
Replies: 17
Views: 1351

Re: Turbo Tax to save Tax files

I keep the TT file and the pdf indefinitely. Paper copies and backup documentation like receipts I keep for 7 years and then shred.
by BigJohn
Sun May 24, 2020 5:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How often do you change passwords on your investment accounts?
Replies: 42
Views: 2874

Re: How often do you change passwords on your investment accounts?

I always manually enter numbers into turbotax. The convenience is not worth the potential security risk. The same thing when linking banks accounts to things, I always use micro deposits. Better safe than sorry. +1 I would never consider givingthe logon credentials for my large financial accounts t...
by BigJohn
Thu May 21, 2020 4:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Dr. Malkiel: “I believe that investors need to put more China into their portfolios“
Replies: 138
Views: 9485

Re: Dr. Malkiel: “I believe that investors need to put more China into their portfolios“

It is frustrating for me as well, since this was the first book I read on investing and I would truly enjoy implementing some of Dr. Malkiel’s advice since I have great respect for his work. However with each edition, the advice changes. It is quite maddening. The question is, as passive investors,...
by BigJohn
Thu May 21, 2020 4:06 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Simplest way to gift shares at Vanguard
Replies: 22
Views: 1244

Re: Simplest way to gift shares at Vanguard

I regularly give cash donations to a non profit but I had considered instead giving shares instead since it seems I could divest some highly appreciated shares without incurring a large capital gain but the receiving non profit can sell without a capital gain tax. Do you know if the process is simi...
by BigJohn
Thu May 21, 2020 2:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard brokerage account transition
Replies: 216
Views: 24057

Re: Vanguard brokerage account transition

I take no joy in people’s angst over this but, since VG has made it clear that this is happening in the next few years, here’s a simple decision tree. What functionality does the brokerage platform not have that I want? We’ll call it A. Can I get A elsewhere? If no, then you're stuck wanting somethi...
by BigJohn
Thu May 21, 2020 10:08 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard brokerage account transition
Replies: 216
Views: 24057

Re: Vanguard brokerage account transition

. I don't know what the "old platform" Vanguard account agreement said about the above issues (I converted to the new platform several years ago and didn't keep the agreements). So I don't know whether those issues exist in the old platform or not - but my hunch is they do. I'm not happy to agree t...
by BigJohn
Wed May 20, 2020 11:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard brokerage account transition
Replies: 216
Views: 24057

Re: Vanguard brokerage account transition

. However, there may be a class action lawsuit against Vanguard if they go down this path. Based on what? Did VG promise somewhere to provide the exact same service in perpetuity? I'm not saying it won't happen, people and lawyers get together with class action lawsuits on all sorts of marginal thi...
by BigJohn
Tue May 19, 2020 4:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turning 65, Medicaire questions
Replies: 71
Views: 5001

Re: Turning 65, Medicaire questions

I turn 64 this year so just starting to read these discussions. If I understood correctly from another thread I have a significant worry about Medicare Advantage plans that is either pertinent here or can be debunked which will be useful as well. Since they are state regulated, MA plans are not tran...
by BigJohn
Tue May 19, 2020 11:24 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard brokerage account transition
Replies: 216
Views: 24057

Re: Vanguard brokerage account transition

can you address staunchlydubious' issues (below). I had not even considered these reasons and am glad staunchlydubious posted them. I have seen no response to these in particular and think they deserve some responses other than merely poo-pooing those of us who have valid concerns. (1) I insist in ...
by BigJohn
Sun May 17, 2020 1:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Mutual Fund Platform EOL
Replies: 245
Views: 8931

Re: Vanguard Mutual Fund Platform EOL

I have a beneficiary on my joint taxable account. I’m not “upgrading” unless I am certain that the beneficiary will transfer to the new platform. I am very skeptical that will be the case. What’s the worry? As soon as the transfer is done, check it and all your other account maintenance settings li...
by BigJohn
Sun May 17, 2020 12:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Mutual Fund Platform EOL
Replies: 245
Views: 8931

Re: Vanguard Mutual Fund Platform EOL

I have a beneficiary on my joint taxable account. I’m not “upgrading” unless I am certain that the beneficiary will transfer to the new platform. I am very skeptical that will be the case. What’s the worry? As soon as the transfer is done, check it and all your other account maintenance settings li...
by BigJohn
Sun May 17, 2020 12:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Mutual Fund Platform EOL
Replies: 245
Views: 8931

Re: Vanguard Mutual Fund Platform EOL

My understanding for the brokerage account is that you can have dividends reinvested, sent to your settlement fund, or sent to your outside bank account. However, I don't have a brokerage account, so I may not be exactly correct. Not that last option. My mother lost her automatic path of dividends ...
by BigJohn
Thu May 14, 2020 4:40 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Do you want to own the whole haystack [VTI] when someone has a blowtorch?
Replies: 136
Views: 11570

Re: Do you want to own the whole haystack [VTI] when someone has a blowtorch?

This guy hasn’t put down the blowtorch yet. People seem to be coming around that indexing isn’t smart right now. It’s rather painful. Indexes all in the red. Individual stocks that are covid compatible deflecting the pain keeping things in the positive. So, did you see this coming so you could buy ...
by BigJohn
Wed May 13, 2020 3:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Follow-up discussion on AA around one's retirement date
Replies: 58
Views: 2493

Re: Follow-up discussion on AA around one's retirement date

FWIW, I retired at 58 and believe that SOOR is one of the more significant risk to my retirement portfolio. As a result I went to 65% bonds at retirement. The jury is still out for me on a glide path to a higher stock allocation. I made the decision back then to hold there for 10 years and then reev...
by BigJohn
Sat May 09, 2020 10:26 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 2007 to 2020: The changing advice of "A Random Walk Down Wall Street"
Replies: 68
Views: 11236

Re: The changing advice of "A Random Walk Down Wall Street" - 2007 to 2020

This is actually a bit disappointing to me. This book, likely the 07 or 12 version, was one of the readings that created my paradigm shift to simple index investing. I personally wouldn’t touch his current recommendations with a 10 foot pole, especially replace of safe bonds with riskier assets and ...
by BigJohn
Tue May 05, 2020 9:20 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Tell me what I don't know about retirement?
Replies: 55
Views: 5075

Re: Tell me what I don't know about retirement?

I’ll combine a couple of things from above into what I think is an important retirement planning issue. As you can tell, there are lots of complicated issues with a fair chance of having the rules change with some frequency. In addition, the fact is that even without something as significant as Alzh...
by BigJohn
Thu Apr 30, 2020 8:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Bottom Line on Factor Investing
Replies: 290
Views: 12860

Re: The Bottom Line on Factor Investing

The aha moment was realizing that small caps, just like international is a way of diversifying my portfolio. Not quite the same in my mind. Overweighting small is a diversification from TSM only if it has some return generation mechanism different and independent from the rest of the market. This m...
by BigJohn
Wed Apr 29, 2020 5:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: State Farm Safe Driving App
Replies: 45
Views: 3274

Re: State Farm Safe Driving App

You couldn't "pay me" to let State Farm have access to my driving data. This is all about them managing risk and not about lowering my bill. +1 Just on principle, the less data about me that is available in these mega databases the better. I’ve taken care to setup location tracking on my phone to o...
by BigJohn
Wed Apr 29, 2020 4:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Bottom Line on Factor Investing
Replies: 290
Views: 12860

Re: The Bottom Line on Factor Investing

The aha moment was realizing that small caps, just like international is a way of diversifying my portfolio. Not quite the same in my mind. Overweighting small is a diversification from TSM only if it has some return generation mechanism different and independent from the rest of the market. This m...
by BigJohn
Wed Apr 29, 2020 10:19 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Recent Retiree using rising equity glide path - only increase equity during crashes?
Replies: 41
Views: 2340

Re: Recent Retiree using rising equity glide path - only increase equity during crashes?

I started retirement 5 years ago at 35/65 to mitigate SORR. I’d make two comments for you to consider... I think 1.5% per year is too small a change to be worth fiddling with. It’s far lower than my rebalancing tolerance bands which are set at 5%. My plan is to hold here for 10 years and then reeva...
by BigJohn
Tue Apr 28, 2020 6:26 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Recent Retiree using rising equity glide path - only increase equity during crashes?
Replies: 41
Views: 2340

Re: Recent Retiree using rising equity glide path - only increase equity during crashes?

I started retirement 5 years ago at 35/65 to mitigate SORR. I’d make two comments for you to consider... I think 1.5% per year is too small a change to be worth fiddling with. It’s far lower than my rebalancing tolerance bands which are set at 5%. My plan is to hold here for 10 years and then reeva...
by BigJohn
Tue Apr 28, 2020 1:40 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Slightly overweighting small-caps?
Replies: 33
Views: 1360

Re: Slightly overweighting small-caps?

For me the issue with a small tilt is that it really doesn’t move the total portfolio return in a meaningful way even if it works as planned. If tracking error causes you to bail out of the tilt at the wrong time, it can be an real hurt far bigger than the theoretical help. Moving the total return n...
by BigJohn
Tue Apr 28, 2020 1:34 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Recent Retiree using rising equity glide path - only increase equity during crashes?
Replies: 41
Views: 2340

Re: Recent Retiree using rising equity glide path - only increase equity during crashes?

I started retirement 5 years ago at 35/65 to mitigate SORR. I’d make two comments for you to consider... I think 1.5% per year is too small a change to be worth fiddling with. It’s far lower than my rebalancing tolerance bands which are set at 5%. My plan is to hold here for 10 years and then reeval...
by BigJohn
Sun Apr 26, 2020 11:46 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Bottom Line on Factor Investing
Replies: 290
Views: 12860

Re: The Bottom Line on Factor Investing

Not a factor investor. My two a-ha moments 1) Reading Bill Bernstein’s “Skating were the Puck Was” 2) Doing some simple math that showed a small tilt (ie 5-10%) even if true would not make a huge change in my total return. It takes a true believers to tilt at 4-5 times that amount and so I discovere...
by BigJohn
Sun Apr 26, 2020 11:34 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Is it time for us to get out?
Replies: 20
Views: 2582

Re: Is it time for us to get out?

I agree with comments above that at very high bond allocations, inflation risk becomes a bigger worry. As a result, I’d consider putting maybe half of your bond allocation in TIPS. For background, I used Bernstien’s approach to set my retirement AA at 35/65 about 5 years ago. Initially didn’t use TI...
by BigJohn
Sat Apr 25, 2020 9:35 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Help me find the weakness in this FIRE Portfolio
Replies: 94
Views: 4372

Re: Help me find the weakness in this FIRE Portfolio

Everything, Mega caps have pulled the weight of the gains for the last decade. Gold really??? Long term treasuries at 1.xx% really? Switch treasuries for total bond Switch gold for QQQ I almost feel like OP is trolling OP, do you see how much people here despise gold and long-term treasuries? These...
by BigJohn
Fri Apr 24, 2020 5:51 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Can't turn off dividend reinvestment with Vanguard
Replies: 20
Views: 1468

Re: Can't turn off dividend reinvestment with Vanguard

I converted all my accounts to brokerage years ago, primarily driven by desire to be able to do Roth conversions online. There are a few differences that I miss but I’d call them all minor inconveniences, nothing major. It’s just become the new normal. The upgrades went without a hitch but I’d make ...
by BigJohn
Fri Apr 24, 2020 9:38 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Can't turn off dividend reinvestment with Vanguard
Replies: 20
Views: 1468

Re: Can't turn off dividend reinvestment with Vanguard

Is this the old style mutual fund account? If so, I suspect you need to already hold Fed MM in order to redirect dividends there. A newer brokerage account should already contain Fed MM with a zero balance as the settlement fund. If you’re getting this message with a brokerage account something seem...
by BigJohn
Thu Apr 23, 2020 11:43 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: First 20% of bonds in long-term Treasuries
Replies: 919
Views: 65607

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

I just barbell my EDV holdings with enough cash to see me through a bad year. Problem solved. Well, problem solved for me but I'm 29 with no dependents and private disability insurance to cover lost income if I'm unable to work for medical reasons. Some of the unexpected life events you mention can...