Search found 1466 matches

by BigJohn
Tue Jan 16, 2018 6:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Are we in an Index fund bubble? Are we irrationally overlooking individual stock analysis?
Replies: 18
Views: 2614

Re: Are we in an Index fund bubble? Are we irrationally overlooking individual stock analysis?

By indexing all we know is that we will pay less in costs than those who choose active management via active mutual funds. We also know that an index will achieve the market average less those very low costs. All active funds in aggregate will also achieve that average but since they are taking a m...
by BigJohn
Tue Jan 16, 2018 6:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Merrill Edge best choice for higher net worth accounts?
Replies: 39
Views: 4506

Re: Merrill Edge best choice for higher net worth accounts?

The OP was considering a move, and said "I've heard that [Vanguard] customer service isn't the best" as one of the reasons for considering the move. That invites comments about Vanguard customer service. A lot of people, including me, have had good experience with Vanguard customer service. I truth...
by BigJohn
Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Rethinking the use of Vanguard Total Bond Fund in my 3 Fund Porfolio
Replies: 5
Views: 886

Re: Rethinking the use of Vanguard Total Bond Fund in my 3 Fund Porfolio

We use Vanguard Intermediate-term Bond Index Fund Admiral Shares (VBILX) as our only bond fund. I’m not a fan of TBM and this is my choice as well. I based my decision on the type and duration of bonds and whether they fit my needs not past performance. That said, I think it’s likely that 20 year’s...
by BigJohn
Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:50 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Sequence of Return Risk impact on Retirement
Replies: 103
Views: 4234

Re: Sequence of Return Risk impact on Retirement

For those looking for a formula or plan that guarantees success, Dandy's list is a good reminder of why you are not going to find that in managing sequence of return risk or any other risk for that matter. I think the right questions to ask are what adjustments do you make? If you are worried about ...
by BigJohn
Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Inflation Protected Bonds - Short or Longer Term Duration?
Replies: 11
Views: 896

Re: Inflation Protected Bonds - Short or Longer Term Duration?

The ST TIPS bonds fund will have a greater correlation with inflation. That's why VG launched that fund, to give better inflation tracking. I know this is what VG said in their paper a few years back but if I recall correctly, the actual tracking difference was pretty small and maybe not statistica...
by BigJohn
Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Sequence of Return Risk impact on Retirement
Replies: 103
Views: 4234

Re: Sequence of Return Risk impact on Retirement

I agree with comments that it’s difficult to have a formulaic glide path. My current plan started retirement at 35/65 about 3 years ago. Since the market has been kind to me, I’ve sold stock annually to rebalance back to that target. If there isn’t a bear market in the first 10 years of retirement, ...
by BigJohn
Mon Jan 08, 2018 8:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Smallest % worth Allocating in your Portfolio
Replies: 30
Views: 1980

Re: Smallest % worth Allocating in your Portfolio

I'm with the 10 - 20% crowd based on some simple math. Assume that your base portfolio returns 4% real and your tilt is supposed to give an incremental 1% (a typical number quoted for SCV tilt). With a 2% tilt you raise the expected total to 4.02%, a 5% tilt to 4.05%, a 10% tilt to 4.1% and a 20% ti...
by BigJohn
Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New tax plan-62 year old convert to Roth before RMD?
Replies: 31
Views: 2444

Re: New tax plan-62 year old convert to Roth before RMD?

Thanks again for the links Bigjohn. I have read through them and wonder what you and Victoria decided about conversion and how it has worked out. I was unaware of the Medicare issues, and really appreciate you mentioning them. Seems to me with the new tax law and lower temporary rates, that would m...
by BigJohn
Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:03 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Hitting The Sell Button
Replies: 222
Views: 24623

Re: Hitting The Sell Button

Sometimes paying tax is a necessary evil. Don't let the (tax) tail wag the (investment) dog. +1, especially if you are not sleeping well at night because you feel your risk is too high. What's worse, locking in gains, paying taxes and sleeping better or..... a significant correction that lowers you...
by BigJohn
Sat Jan 06, 2018 3:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TaxAct and alternatives
Replies: 109
Views: 8290

Re: TaxAct and alternatives

teen persuasion wrote:
Sat Jan 06, 2018 10:34 am
Looking now, neither IRS nor the state have any freefile options up yet - both tell you to "come back in January"!
Official start date for accepting returns is 1/29/18 https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/2018-tax-f ... -taxpayers
by BigJohn
Sat Jan 06, 2018 2:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What strategy do you use to reduce sequence of returns risk in retirement?
Replies: 117
Views: 7266

Re: What strategy do you use to reduce sequence of returns risk in retirement?

I've been thinking about this and get a bit stuck with the idea that most bonds in a 3 fund portfolio are in tax-deferred space so you wind up pulling from your 401k/tIRA, etc. early in retirement and incurring income tax (hopefully at a lower rate than when working). If your equity funds, e.g. Tot...
by BigJohn
Fri Jan 05, 2018 6:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New tax plan-62 year old convert to Roth before RMD?
Replies: 31
Views: 2444

Re: New tax plan-62 year old convert to Roth before RMD?

moe, be aware that the IRMAA issue is not the only thing that can cause discontinuities and jumps in your actual marginal tax rate that bear little relationship to your listed tax bracket. The tax code is full of this kind of stuff and depending on your circumstances, it can have a significant impac...
by BigJohn
Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A Case for Bonds in Taxable?
Replies: 24
Views: 2593

Re: A Case for Bonds in Taxable?

I agree with your approach, but for my clarification in your scenario, can you sell the bonds in you tax deferred and replace in your tax deferred with stocks....and then sell some stocks in your taxable....if you need the cash? (specific to the scenario you're referring to). depending how big the ...
by BigJohn
Thu Jan 04, 2018 6:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A Case for Bonds in Taxable?
Replies: 24
Views: 2593

Re: A Case for Bonds in Taxable?

I’m in a similar situation, 9 years to RMD/SS, doing significant Roth conversions and living off my taxable account. In this situation having taxable at 100% stocks is not a prudent approach in my opinion It leaves you open to either a significant sequence of return risk if there is a correction or ...
by BigJohn
Thu Jan 04, 2018 6:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "VB Account Agreement"--Checkwriting? No written orders? What IS this really about?
Replies: 16
Views: 1370

Re: "VB Account Agreement"--is checkwriting on death row? What IS this really about?

On the check writing issue, I recently moved from a heritage MF account to a brokerage account. Check writing dies not appear to be on it’s death bed but it is different with a brokerage account. In the old MF structure the checks were tied to a specific fund account number. As a result, I could hav...
by BigJohn
Thu Jan 04, 2018 6:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Hitting The Sell Button
Replies: 222
Views: 24623

Re: Hitting The Sell Button

I’m 61 and have been retired for about 3 years. I did my annual rebalancing earlier this week and based on the kind of year it’s been that required selling a fairly large chunk of TSM and TISM to IT bond fund. Given the size, my initial reaction was to potentially moderate the amount. However, after...
by BigJohn
Wed Jan 03, 2018 6:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What strategy do you use to reduce sequence of returns risk in retirement?
Replies: 117
Views: 7266

Re: What strategy do you use to reduce sequence of returns risk in retirement?

Just posted this in your other discussion on bond allocation but it seems to fit here as well. https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=3699434#p3699434 A few other comments.... I agree that VPW is also an effective methods but I would prefer not to have the potential large swings it might b...
by BigJohn
Wed Jan 03, 2018 5:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Age In Bonds after 65 with 25X, 35X, 50X ??? Your Approach?
Replies: 35
Views: 2840

Re: Age In Bonds after 65 with 25X, 35X, 50X ??? Your Approach?

Going into early retirement (at age 58) I was comfortably below a 4% SWR so not too concerned about size of portfolio at that time. The one risk that did concern me was sequence of return. I took an LMP type approach and put my bond allocation at an amount on which I felt I could live for 35 years. ...
by BigJohn
Tue Jan 02, 2018 6:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: REGISTRATION FOR 2018 BOGLEHEAD CONTEST
Replies: 141
Views: 8168

Re: REGISTRATION FOR 2018 BOGLEHEAD CONTEST

Form is a great change, thanks. I may have inadvertently submitted two entries with my user name, hope that does not screw up your system. My apologies if it causes issues.
by BigJohn
Tue Jan 02, 2018 6:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Savings Bond Wizard to be eliminated 5/18
Replies: 42
Views: 4130

Re: Savings Bond Wizard to be eliminated 5/18

Well this is an unwelcome new year’s gift. Anyone have any recent experience with converting paper bonds to a Treasury Direct account? The horror stories from a few years back made me very lery to take this step with my kids paper bonds..
by BigJohn
Mon Jan 01, 2018 8:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Feedback and Diversifying Vested RSUs
Replies: 3
Views: 308

Re: Portfolio Feedback and Diversifying Vested RSUs

One other comment to add on RSU's. Going forward, I'd sell all vesting RSU immediately. The vest price is normal income in that year anyway and a few days of gain/loss won't be significant in the long run. This is how I handled RSUs for many years to keep the exposure to my company stock down.
by BigJohn
Sun Dec 31, 2017 8:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Netflix, Your Current Favorite Show
Replies: 285
Views: 32769

Re: Netflix, Your Current Favorite Show

My sons got me hooked on the BBC series Sherlock Holmes. A really fantastic modern day update to some of my favorite childhood reading.
by BigJohn
Sun Dec 31, 2017 10:57 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth Conversion - Break Even Calculation - How do you do it?
Replies: 27
Views: 2021

Re: Roth Conversion - Break Even Calculation - How do you do it?

Using firecalc ballpark estimates it seems we should be able to live fine on RMDs (4%) and SS and that income should be a little more than half of my income now. That would probably put me in a lower marginal tax bracket although I am not really sure how to calculate this with some degree of certai...
by BigJohn
Sun Dec 31, 2017 7:13 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth Conversion - Break Even Calculation - How do you do it?
Replies: 27
Views: 2021

Re: Roth Conversion - Break Even Calculation - How do you do it?

with so many moving parts and not clear how much a future marginal tax rate might differ from the current (no clear tax benefit) it seems to me more prudent maybe to take a more hands off approach. Maybe better to wait another year and do some more tax research than trying to micromanage?? My two c...
by BigJohn
Sat Dec 30, 2017 8:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth Conversion - Break Even Calculation - How do you do it?
Replies: 27
Views: 2021

Re: Roth Conversion - Break Even Calculation - How do you do it?

Here is a post on my attempt to look at break even analysis on Roth conversion. I agree with comment above about looking at your specific situation, especially with respect to marginal tax rates that can be different than you expect based on tax code complexities. Recognize that there are a lot of a...
by BigJohn
Fri Dec 29, 2017 6:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: CleanTech/Energy Funds & ETFs
Replies: 32
Views: 1187

Re: CleanTech/Energy Funds & ETFs

I agree with your belief in the need for a lower carbon footprint but maybe that won’t come from existing technologies in which you’d be investing. As an example, what if there were a major breakthrough in low cost carbon capture technology from power plants? This could take the pressure and subsidi...
by BigJohn
Fri Dec 29, 2017 2:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is Roth IRA conversion easy with Vanguard?
Replies: 26
Views: 1816

Re: Is Roth IRA conversion easy with Vanguard?

I never got an "invitation" to convert to a brokerage account and I hope I never do based on everything I've read here about it. FWIW, I was were you are several years ago with some legacy mutual fund accounts that I didn't want to change. Ultimately changed tIRAs to brokerage type last year so I c...
by BigJohn
Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TurboTax Prices
Replies: 153
Views: 17470

Re: TurboTax Prices

See comparison of versions here. Basically amounts to Premier providing more help and support but both have ability to produce the same tax return.
https://turbotax.intuit.com/personal-ta ... e/desktop/
by BigJohn
Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Partial Roth Conversions ?
Replies: 6
Views: 800

Re: Partial Roth Conversions ?

I’m doing it for two reasons. First, I’m trying to avoid the tax torpedo at age 70 when both RMDs and SS start and significantly increase my AGI. Second, I’m trying to get some balance of assets between tIRA and Roth to be able to optimize withdrawal strategy (I started retirement with no Roth asset...
by BigJohn
Thu Dec 28, 2017 12:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is Roth IRA conversion easy with Vanguard?
Replies: 26
Views: 1816

Re: Is Roth IRA conversion easy with Vanguard?

I just did my end-year adjustment and the on-line conversion took a minute or less. However, one requirement for doing it on-line is that both accounts need to be the new brokerage type account. Not an issue for the OP since both will be new accounts but posting this for anyone reading that has an o...
by BigJohn
Fri Dec 22, 2017 11:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Income tax software, "Tax Slayer".
Replies: 16
Views: 1460

Re: Income tax software, "Tax Slayer".

kaneohe, I've played around with TaxSlayer 2017 a bit and agree the Federal version is improved from last year. Not sure about your state but our state returns were very problematic last year. I'm less optimistic about improvements there based on the feedback we've gotten from TaxSlayer developers b...
by BigJohn
Fri Dec 22, 2017 8:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Income tax software, "Tax Slayer".
Replies: 16
Views: 1460

Re: Income tax software, "Tax Slayer".

jebmke wrote:
Fri Dec 22, 2017 12:22 pm
I use the Pro online version for TaxAide. It would not be my first choice for tax software.
I'm a TaxAide volunteer as well. I'll keep buying TurboTax to do my family's taxes.
by BigJohn
Fri Dec 22, 2017 8:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Please Post Tax Bill Questions Here [was Tax Bill Omnibus Thread]
Replies: 878
Views: 48721

Re: Please Post Tax Bill Questions Here [was Tax Bill Omnibus Thread]

Given the alternative under forum rules, which was no discussion allowed at all, I think this was a nice compromise by the site's owners. They have borne the cost (less donations) and admin hassle of running this place for 10+ years. Give them a break, and your thanks. +1 and my thanks to the site ...
by BigJohn
Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Please Post Tax Bill Questions Here [was Tax Bill Omnibus Thread]
Replies: 878
Views: 48721

Re: Tax Bill Omnibus Thread

Exemption is different from standard deduction. No more exemption is my understanding. If I recall correctly the extra exemption for over 65 was eliminated several years ago and replaced with an increased standard deduction. Since the new rules keep the incremental standard deduction for over 65, t...
by BigJohn
Wed Dec 20, 2017 6:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Please Post Tax Bill Questions Here [was Tax Bill Omnibus Thread]
Replies: 878
Views: 48721

Re: Tax Bill Omnibus Thread

I have no idea how existing and/or unused AMT tax credits will be handled under the new law, but my suspicion is that the unused credits simply go "poof" and disappear, much like they would if you couldn't use them all up in time (say, for example, in regards to unused foreign tax credits). If you ...
by BigJohn
Tue Dec 19, 2017 10:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Question re: Funeral
Replies: 18
Views: 2111

Re: Question re: Funeral

I feel like option 1 could also yield minimal participation since it's somewhat anonymous. My sympathies for your loss. Having just gone through this I'd mention the following. I worded #1 as "In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to....". This was how others I saw were worded and comes acr...
by BigJohn
Tue Dec 19, 2017 5:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TIPS and / or Total Bond Fund in AA?
Replies: 26
Views: 1661

Re: TIPS and / or Total Bond Fund in AA?

Whether or not this is actually an issue in practice is another discussion. If these bonds are part of a balanced and rebalanced portfolio of stocks and bonds from which one is withdrawing, it probably doesn't matter very much. This is the case so I think we are finally on the same page. I apprecia...
by BigJohn
Tue Dec 19, 2017 3:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TIPS and / or Total Bond Fund in AA?
Replies: 26
Views: 1661

Re: TIPS and / or Total Bond Fund in AA?

Thanks longinvest, I always learn something from your posts. If you don't mind, I'd appreciate your perspective on the following. For reasons I won't go into, I really don't want to construct and manage a non-rolling ladder of individual bonds. I also agree with your comments about the irreversible ...
by BigJohn
Tue Dec 19, 2017 10:53 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TIPS and / or Total Bond Fund in AA?
Replies: 26
Views: 1661

Re: TIPS and / or Total Bond Fund in AA?

I guess we're talking past each other, I've already agreed there is no interest rate risk in the long duration bonds in Bernstein LMP approach. While they are not identical (per discussion in wiki article), I'm just not sure how a fund with an average duration at or shorter than my long term liabili...
by BigJohn
Tue Dec 19, 2017 10:32 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TIPS and / or Total Bond Fund in AA?
Replies: 26
Views: 1661

Re: TIPS and / or Total Bond Fund in AA?

dbr, I'm not trying to be difficult and I understand the use of a TIPS ladder in an LMP. I also understand that if held to maturity, the the long bond interest rate risk is neutralized. What I'm trying to understand is this comment A TIPS fund does insure against inflation but not against real inter...
by BigJohn
Tue Dec 19, 2017 10:17 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TIPS and / or Total Bond Fund in AA?
Replies: 26
Views: 1661

Re: TIPS and / or Total Bond Fund in AA?

dbr, I understand the concept of interest rate risk. I'm just not sure how a TIPS ladder can be a lot different than a TIPS fund holding similar securities. In many cases, I can see the TIPS ladder might have more interest rate risk. For example, if I have a ladder out 20 or 30 years, I've invested ...
by BigJohn
Tue Dec 19, 2017 10:01 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TIPS and / or Total Bond Fund in AA?
Replies: 26
Views: 1661

Re: TIPS and / or Total Bond Fund in AA?

A TIPs fund could lose value so it cannot insure effectively against unexpected inflation, IMO. Not sure I agree with this. Same argument is often maybe for other bond funds vs individual bonds and I don't see TIPS as any different. https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Individual_bonds_vs_a_bond_fund A ...
by BigJohn
Tue Dec 19, 2017 6:42 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: using Roth 401k funds to pay taxes on conversion
Replies: 4
Views: 438

Re: using Roth 401k funds to pay taxes on conversion

Earl, I agree that the effect is the same. Either way the taxes are being paid from inside the IRAs rather than from taxable investments. As a result, the impact on Roth conversion economics is also the same.
by BigJohn
Mon Dec 18, 2017 9:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TIPS and / or Total Bond Fund in AA?
Replies: 26
Views: 1661

Re: TIPS and / or Total Bond Fund in AA?

Now, inflation seems not to have been a major concern for the last ten years or so. TIPS protect that part of your portfolio from the risk of unexpected future inflation so in my mind what has happened in the past is immaterial. It's a bit like all insurance, you pay a premium and then if you don't...
by BigJohn
Mon Dec 18, 2017 8:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: using Roth 401k funds to pay taxes on conversion
Replies: 4
Views: 438

Re: using Roth 401k funds to pay taxes on conversion

Either way you end up with less in Roth.... That being said, I would use outside money to get the most in Roth. I think everything I've read on the benefits of Roth conversions assume that taxes are paid from funds outside the IRAs. The issue with your approach is that you do end up with less in th...
by BigJohn
Sun Dec 17, 2017 6:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: too much $ in my company of work?
Replies: 51
Views: 4098

Re: too much $ in my company of work?

My two cents having managed through a concentrated stock position. First, don’t let the tail wag the dog. In your case the tail is taxes and the dog is the risk you are taking with a concentrated stock position. In your shoes I’d pick a target (say 10% of total stock allocation) and then sell as nee...
by BigJohn
Sat Dec 16, 2017 8:29 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth Conversion ... Timing
Replies: 19
Views: 1725

Re: Roth Conversion ... Timing

retiredjg wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 7:05 am
Forbes is talking about eliminating the opportunity for taxpayers to recharacterize Roth IRA conversions.
I agree but isn't Roth conversion what this whole thread is about? Hence the warning to the OP that a strategy of overconverting and then recharacterizing back to optimum might be at risk.
by BigJohn
Fri Dec 15, 2017 6:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: tax management: taking full advantage of AMT sweet spot
Replies: 15
Views: 1932

Re: tax management: taking full advantage of AMT sweet spot

I’ve looked for and found the AMT sweet spot when trying to decide how much Roth conversion to do but.... like our tax code it’s really complex. I tried a few simple estimators and got different answers depending on how much and what simplification was included. Ultimately I had to do a fairly rigor...
by BigJohn
Fri Dec 15, 2017 6:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth Conversion ... Timing
Replies: 19
Views: 1725

Re: Roth Conversion ... Timing

Retiredjg, Without discussing pros/cons of pending legislation, see the second paragraph for why this is being considered.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/ashleaebel ... e626a21cba
by BigJohn
Wed Dec 13, 2017 8:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TaxAct and alternatives
Replies: 109
Views: 8290

Re: TaxAct and alternatives

Is anyone familiar with TaxSlayer? https://www.taxslayer.com/ It appears that this is for online use only with no downloaded application available. Is that correct? Has anyone used it who may have some comments about it? I prepare tax returns as part of the IRS volunteer program (VITA/TCE). Last ye...