Search found 88 matches

by serenity
Fri Apr 04, 2008 7:05 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Diehard Contrarian Investing?
Replies: 34
Views: 7000

Why exactly would the methods stop working? As I understand, there are two sources of "making money" from investments. 1) The "Real" return of an investment. ie: I buy some seeds, plant a tree, it bears fruit. 2) The "Speculative" return of an investment. At times, people are willing to pay me more ...
by serenity
Fri Mar 14, 2008 4:06 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: When to begin contributing to a 529?
Replies: 20
Views: 4367

In my opinion, there is nothing special about college vs. any other large expense you desire to make. Start saving for it as soon as you can. Plan how you will pay for it. Execute that plan. If you want to pay for your children's college, then save money for that. I didn't save for my retirement 100...
by serenity
Fri Mar 14, 2008 3:53 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: College Savings for Most Parents
Replies: 7
Views: 1627

mike_up_north, In my opinion you already did the most important part. You thought about how you were going to pay for a large future expense and are looking at and evaluating options. One major reason I contributed to 529s was to "take care" of certain expenses at times when I felt my income was hig...
by serenity
Wed Mar 12, 2008 4:00 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Finish funding Roth or pay down debt??
Replies: 15
Views: 3773

I haven't thought about "Roth space" before. Interesting idea that I have to noodle a bit...however... I recently had to decide whether or not to pay off a mortgage. I found a lot of advice was based on inertia....if you already had a mortgage, you should invest extra money. If you didn't have a mor...
by serenity
Wed Mar 12, 2008 12:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What was your dumbest purchase ever?
Replies: 43
Views: 9225

My dumbest and smartest purchase..... Stock in Sun Microsystems. Bought it because....um....well...I'm not sure. Java was cool. Went up for a while. Went down for a long while. Went back up above what I paid for it. Went sharply up for no reason I could understand. Sold it. Made some money. Had no i...
by serenity
Wed Mar 12, 2008 12:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is everybody sticking with their investment plan lately?
Replies: 41
Views: 8223

Just started a new plan in the last month. Well, "new plan" is a nice way of saying "to have a plan". I feel I can keep a buy and hold mentality, but one key to this for me is to just not look that often at the portfolio. However, since I'm still getting everything set up the way I want it, I have t...
by serenity
Wed Mar 12, 2008 11:29 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 401K - Employer contrib question
Replies: 6
Views: 2395

I do not believe this is a Labor or IRS issue at this time. I believe there is a lot of flexibility in how companies are legally allowed to handle this. I'm not saying you should be happy, just that your issue may not be one of law. You need more information. That information needs to come from your...
by serenity
Mon Mar 10, 2008 7:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Time to switch from property tax to sales tax for cities?
Replies: 19
Views: 3794

I believe housing prices are still up significantly over the last 10 years. Perhaps when housing prices go up drastically, our elected leadership shouldn't increase expenses to meet income without any possibility of decreasing those expenses when prices revert back to sane levels? That type of finan...
by serenity
Mon Mar 10, 2008 12:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Whats a good multifunction printer and online faxing
Replies: 6
Views: 1746

I have used many. They all work (the technology is VERY common now). Each has its quirks. I don't know how to compare them anymore because they are all basically the same. A few criteria: 1) Paper feed: Some feed vertically, some with the paper lying flat. Your preference is usually dictated by your...
by serenity
Mon Mar 10, 2008 12:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Advice on these three stocks...Visa, E*Trade, Take-Two
Replies: 11
Views: 2800

mobster011 wrote:I'm gonna buy the Boglehead's Guide to Investing because I am certainly not that well educated on investing.
Given your choice of four purchase options: ETrade, Take-Two, Visa, Boglehead's Guide, you just made the right purchasing decision. Good luck and have fun!

serenity
by serenity
Mon Mar 10, 2008 12:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity mySmart Cash Account is a bit of a disappointment
Replies: 38
Views: 15449

indexfundfan wrote:The numbers on the checks are "unofficially" supported. This could potentially backfire if something goes wrong.
I'll have to update my direct deposit then. Thanks for letting me know.

serenity
by serenity
Mon Mar 10, 2008 7:12 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Investing at a young age then stopping?
Replies: 23
Views: 4663

How in the world is anyone ever going to retire? most people dont start saving until their mid to late 30s, sometimes 40sm and even then wont max out their 401ks/IRAs and have thousands of dollars of CC debt. In my mind, this is the #1 (and perhaps fatal) flaw in the current US retirement system. I...
by serenity
Mon Mar 10, 2008 6:52 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: RISK: "Need, willingness, and ability" revisited
Replies: 45
Views: 8557

Larry, Thanks for your replies. I believe I understand the statement better now. I think I was hung up a little unnecessarily on the word "need". I think I was reading it on some "cosmic scale of human need" basis as opposed to just what is necessary to take on accomplishing goals. Prior to my lates...
by serenity
Mon Mar 10, 2008 6:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity mySmart Cash Account is a bit of a disappointment
Replies: 38
Views: 15449

I used the numbers from the printed checks they sent to me. My payroll check has been direct deposited with no issues.

serenity
by serenity
Sun Mar 09, 2008 3:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity mySmart Cash Account is a bit of a disappointment
Replies: 38
Views: 15449

I recently (last 4 weeks) switched to the mySmart cash account. I must say I am extremely happy with my account, although I agree with most of the points of the original poster. I guess I chalk this up to what's important to the OP is different than to me. 1) Account opening: I agree. Mostly, I foun...
by serenity
Sun Mar 09, 2008 3:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: RISK: "Need, willingness, and ability" revisited
Replies: 45
Views: 8557

I believe I understand the intended meaning of "need" or "desire" when applied to a specific goal. I guess the part that is eluding me is how the statement is applied when the "goal" is a bit more open ended. What if the "need" is zero? However, the ability to tolerate risk is high (or at least high...
by serenity
Fri Mar 07, 2008 8:50 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: HELP: Have S-Corp, like to lease to write off payment
Replies: 4
Views: 1897

What tibbits said is consistent with what I have been told by my CPA (I am also an S-Corp owner). There is no big "S-Corp" loophole for this.

The same is true for anything the company provides to you as a benefit. You can't just put something you want under the business and magically avoid taxes.
by serenity
Thu Mar 06, 2008 5:33 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Children's savings accounts
Replies: 16
Views: 5029

Children's savings accounts

I have small children who get regular money given to them for birthdays / holiday / whatever from relatives. $50 here, $100 there. Far more than they could desire to spend on stuff. We currently just put it in a savings account, which is in their name. At the moment, each account is slightly below $...
by serenity
Thu Mar 06, 2008 5:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sailing...
Replies: 10
Views: 2843

That website looks great. I'll definitely be checking that out. Annapolis Sailing School is where I took my lessons last year. Very nice. My wife and I rented a boat one day after that as well and had a very positive experience. My biggest hurdle is that I have little kids, one of which is not yet m...
by serenity
Thu Mar 06, 2008 2:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sailing...
Replies: 10
Views: 2843

Sailing...

We've had a few unseasonably nice days here in the Wash D.C. area and I'm starting to get the sailing itch again. I took sailing lessons last summer. I don't own a boat (yet). I have found a few more places that will rent sailboats to me (what are they thinking?!?). Anyone else sail? I'm thinking of...
by serenity
Thu Mar 06, 2008 10:56 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 529 Guide for Bogleheads
Replies: 53
Views: 12275

The Virginia (VEST) 529 plan is good but the one thing I don't like about their plan is that although you can set up automatic contributions from your checking account, you can't electronically fund your account anytime you want -- you have to write a check. I really do not want to go thru such a m...
by serenity
Thu Mar 06, 2008 10:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Outlook is grim for retirees' health care costs
Replies: 23
Views: 5453

I'm not sure what articles like this mean. One could write an article that said "retirees will need to spend upwards of $250,000 on automobiles and related expenses in their retirement". We would all read this and immediately ask questions like: 1) What kind of cars? Porsche or Honda? 2) How long ar...
by serenity
Thu Mar 06, 2008 9:32 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 529 Guide for Bogleheads
Replies: 53
Views: 12275

PW, this is a great start, but the posts make it look like one can invest in individual Vanguard funds if they wish to. This is certainly not the case with Utah nor with the Ohio VINC option. In both cases you get a collection of funds in the asset mix chosen by the provider. In Virginia, you can i...
by serenity
Wed Mar 05, 2008 10:49 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Question: High expense 401k or taxable account
Replies: 21
Views: 4488

Check out a few of the other threads on 401k providers. I called Vanguard and asked them for a list of companies that provide their funds with no-wrap fees. I contacted many off that list. So far, Employee Fuduciary seems very good to me and the lowest cost for the employer. Everything they have sen...
by serenity
Wed Mar 05, 2008 8:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fireproof Safes
Replies: 18
Views: 5474

You know, I hadn't considered just a safe deposit box. I was surprised how inexpensive they are. $35 a year for a 3"x5" safe. Having important papers in two locations instead of one makes a lot of sense for both theft and fire reasons.

serenity
by serenity
Wed Mar 05, 2008 7:54 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How does EMH explain consistent market underperformers?
Replies: 15
Views: 2495

However someone told me once that its not true, and that the business you are investing in is itself making money so even if no one sold shares of a stock, it should increase in value because the underlying assets are more valuable. However that didnt quite make sense to me, since the share price i...
by serenity
Wed Mar 05, 2008 7:40 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Question: High expense 401k or taxable account
Replies: 21
Views: 4488

Don't assume the owner or his friend had much knowledge in this area or are heavily emotionally invested in this choice. Speaking from experience, there are 8 million things a small business owner is concerned about and we look for advice from many places to help make decisions. Your plan is identic...
by serenity
Wed Mar 05, 2008 7:26 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Financial Planning
Replies: 12
Views: 3243

1) Welcome to the club. Your friends will often have nicer cars, bigger TVs, and take more lavish vacations. They will borrow 100% for their house, and 100% to put their kids through college. One day, when this starts to catch up with them and you have accumulated assets, they will decide you are "r...
by serenity
Tue Mar 04, 2008 3:19 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Closing Question - Please Help!
Replies: 12
Views: 3209

Your thoughts are greatly appreciated. Be as absolutely dispassionate about this as possible. Everyone else you are working with will be. You are conducting a business transaction. Everyone involved will tell you things are "normal" and "that's how they are done". Insist that you understand and are...
by serenity
Tue Mar 04, 2008 2:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Your Internet Service Provider Evaluation is appreciated.
Replies: 54
Views: 13264

I am a geek. I don't gamble, some music downloads, no porno, extensive gaming..;) I've also had many different connections over a long period of time. I currently have Verizon FIOS. It is excellent. It is as good as cable was (my prior connectivity option). My pricing is baked into combo phone/tv/in...
by serenity
Tue Mar 04, 2008 2:01 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Closing Question - Please Help!
Replies: 12
Views: 3209

Whenever I have done this type of transaction, it has ALWAYS been done through an attorney's escrow account. This puts the money with the attorney, not the other party or the bank, until AFTER all paperwork is signed. You might inquire if this is what your attorney intends. It's not signed until it'...
by serenity
Tue Mar 04, 2008 12:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Contibution Percentage of Salary
Replies: 13
Views: 3387

As an employer, we get to see what our employees contribute to their 401ks. Although we do not get to know with 100% what ELSE an employee might be doing, many times through discussions we do know a bit about an employee's personal situation. It has been my experience that the majority of employees ...
by serenity
Tue Mar 04, 2008 11:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Contibution Percentage of Salary
Replies: 13
Views: 3387

NYCPete wrote:IMO, matching contributions are best looked at as icing.
As an employer, I really hope your idea doesn't catch on...;) That match costs me a lot of money. I hope I can get a little more than "icing" out of it!!!!

serenity
by serenity
Mon Mar 03, 2008 5:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: OT - Transitioning to a Mac
Replies: 34
Views: 10399

VMWare Fusion is outstanding. I have been using this for 3.5 months now. Performance is great, stability is excellent, integration with Mac OSX is superb. This could allow me to switch to a Mac full time. You can download a free 30-day trial from the VMWare website. if you don't have a copy of Windo...
by serenity
Mon Mar 03, 2008 5:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Any better choices than ADP for payroll?
Replies: 16
Views: 6332

Our experience with Paychex has not been great. In my opinion, you can easily trade in your problems/complaints with ADP to Paychex for a new set of problems/complaints. I used Quickbooks Payroll Service for a while and was unhappy with the level of support they offered when there was a problem. It ...
by serenity
Sat Mar 01, 2008 10:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Can anyone explain taxes and my paycheck to me
Replies: 5
Views: 2400

Go to the IRS website and download Pub 15 Circular E. This is the employers guide to withholding taxes for payroll. Although it is large, it is fairly straightforward to read and follow. I ran payroll manually for my business for several years, and this was how I calculated everything.

serenity
by serenity
Sat Mar 01, 2008 10:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Being your own Insurance Company?
Replies: 14
Views: 3159

Insurance can be very valuable. I think you should insure for two things: 1) Losses that are extremely high dollar value, but extremely unlikely 2) Losses that, although unlikely, are not ones you are willing to afford to make. Car: a) Collision on a car: If you can afford a new car or can afford re...
by serenity
Sat Mar 01, 2008 10:01 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: House down payment cash, 2 year window.
Replies: 5
Views: 1651

I was saving a pot of money for something last year and used T-Bills as a safe way to earn money on my funds and get rates slightly higher than an online savings account. T-Bill rates or pretty low right now though.... Money Markets are better at the moment. My current "cash buckets" are in Money Ma...
by serenity
Sat Mar 01, 2008 9:57 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Investing a Lump Sum in the Current Market
Replies: 7
Views: 2414

Just did this myself. I think you should think carefully about your goals. 1) Is your goal to "beat" everyone else? Then market time it. If you believe prices will drop, then you should wait, or DCA. 2) Is your goal to participate in the market and let your money grow in the long term? In that case,...
by serenity
Thu Feb 28, 2008 11:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: We're switching 401k plan providers at work
Replies: 48
Views: 10844

leonard, I understand your viewpoint better now. I agree with you completely regarding 1 and 2. I suppose 3 could be a matter of opinion for the company, although I have always liked Fidelity in this regard, so I doubt I would agree with them on this point. 4 is of course the whole point..;) Thanks ...
by serenity
Thu Feb 28, 2008 8:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: We're switching 401k plan providers at work
Replies: 48
Views: 10844

Micheal wrote: Unfortunately, it appears your company is putting you in a position where you can't stay in your 401k Admin position and execute your fiduciary duty. I still feel like I want to push back on here a little bit leonard. I think you are making an enormous assumption. You are assuming th...
by serenity
Thu Feb 28, 2008 2:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Combining indexing, active management for better performance
Replies: 34
Views: 6921

Could someone provide a side-by-side-yearly-return for 100% passive vs, say, 50%-50% active-passive? That would settle the score once and for all. Well, that's the real trick now isn't it..;) Which active funds would you like to use? The ones that won or the ones that lost vs. indexing? The real tr...
by serenity
Thu Feb 28, 2008 2:08 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Diehards Ruined my Credit!
Replies: 54
Views: 12827

I'm only recently entirely debt free, so I suppose this could become a problem for me at some point as well. However, I pay for EVERYTHING I can on a credit card. I have to go to the ATM less, and I write fewer checks. The credit card provides me a handy statement each month of my purchases. I then ...
by serenity
Thu Feb 28, 2008 11:19 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Some Homes Are Worth Negative
Replies: 24
Views: 5339

There was a local news interview that I thought was particularly interesting on this topic. The man being interviewed was extremely upset with the government meddling in the mortgage "crisis". I found myself very sympathetic to his point of view. Basically, he watched house prices rise at an insane ...
by serenity
Wed Feb 27, 2008 4:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: We're switching 401k plan providers at work
Replies: 48
Views: 10844

Leondard, You are absolutely correct about my other posts...;) It does seem that there are options that can meet everyone's needs. I was merely stating that a rational person could come to a decision that a higher cost option, with certain funds available (perhaps actively managed funds), with a goo...
by serenity
Wed Feb 27, 2008 3:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Saving Money by Not Treating Social Phobia
Replies: 43
Views: 9824

Assuming we are treating this purely as a financial decision....

I say "treat it". At 23, your lifetime earnings potential should go up dramatically without the effects of a social phobia. You should reap rewards for at least 40 working years.

serenity
by serenity
Wed Feb 27, 2008 3:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: We're switching 401k plan providers at work
Replies: 48
Views: 10844

Just a slight counter-argument to offer. Price is not the only consideration. I think you can absolutely discharge your duty as a fiduciary faithfully while costing your plan participants more money. You are being asked to make a judgment call, and you have many factors to take into consideration. O...
by serenity
Wed Feb 27, 2008 3:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Some Homes Are Worth Negative
Replies: 24
Views: 5339

This is very common around here. Particularly in older neighborhoods with WW2 era housing where the land has become extremely valuable but the houses are very small and not particularly interesting architecturally. People that can afford the land don't want to live in that type of house. So, you can...
by serenity
Wed Feb 27, 2008 7:26 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: In what form do you keep your emergency fund?
Replies: 96
Views: 25293

The case between using credit vs. your own funds can be a very simple financial decision. Can you earn more money from investing (safely) your emergency funds than you would pay in interest to borrow money between the time of need to the time you can liquidate your investments. I like to avoid utili...
by serenity
Tue Feb 26, 2008 9:57 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Single book for retirement planning
Replies: 5
Views: 1412

Single book for retirement planning

I am in the process of looking at new 401k options for my employees. I would like to give each employee an investing / retirement planning book when we make the switch. What one book would you recommend?

Thank you,

serenity