Search found 135 matches

by darkhorse346
Wed Jan 17, 2018 8:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: London/Paris Trip Questions
Replies: 41
Views: 1743

Re: London/Paris Trip Questions

I'd look into the high-speed trains between cities. Google EuroStar/Thalys and check out your options. Top speeds reach 300 kph (186 mph) and the pricing is very reasonable. Looks like you could get between London and Paris in about 2.5 hours. Cannot speak to the London/Paris trip but experienced ro...
by darkhorse346
Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2018 Withholding Tables
Replies: 88
Views: 11487

Re: IRS announces new withholding tables for 2018

At the time of this post, the IRS has taken down the withholding tables from their site.

https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/n1036.pdf
by darkhorse346
Sat Jan 06, 2018 9:20 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Can American Funds be worth the load?
Replies: 17
Views: 2754

Re: Can American Funds be worth the load?

For those interested, American Funds F-1 shares are now available for Vanguard brokerage accounts. No loads or transaction fees, but do impose a 0.25 12b-1.
by darkhorse346
Sat Dec 30, 2017 8:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: ATTENTION: Vanguard 529s? - Better Check Your Balance(s)
Replies: 44
Views: 2906

Re: ATTENTION: Vanguard 529s? - Better Check Your Balance(s)

Appears that the Vanguard 529 account balances have been restored.
by darkhorse346
Sat Dec 30, 2017 7:15 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: ATTENTION: Vanguard 529s? - Better Check Your Balance(s)
Replies: 44
Views: 2906

ATTENTION: Vanguard 529s? - Better Check Your Balance(s)

Checked Vanguard 529 account balances this morning and it showed there was no money in there! Money was in there yesterday and no transactions have taken place. Message sent to Vanguard to fix the problem, but won't hear back until next week. Hopefully, this is just the result of a system update tha...
by darkhorse346
Sun Jul 16, 2017 6:08 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Can American Funds be worth the load?
Replies: 17
Views: 2754

Re: Can American Funds be worth the load?

There is no need to pay a load. You can get these funds at Fidelity, Schwab, etc. without a front load. Unfortunately, the F-1 share class I'm referencing still impose a 12b-1 fee as part of the overall expense ratio. Avoid the load and get the lowest cost share class if you must use American Funds....
by darkhorse346
Tue Jul 11, 2017 5:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Dave Ramsey's advice on investing?
Replies: 57
Views: 5416

Re: Dave Ramsey's advice on investing?

Bottom line: Give Dave a break. I, like many of you, take issue with his investing approach. Very optimistic and too aggressive for most people. The 12% in "good growth stock mutual funds" could easily cause many to not save enough. Eight percent withdrawal rate in retirement? Not good and dangerous...
by darkhorse346
Sat Jun 24, 2017 6:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fun place to stop overnight en route from Florida Keys to Tampa ( not Disney)
Replies: 35
Views: 3603

Re: Fun place to stop overnight en route from Florida Keys to Tampa ( not Disney)

South Seas Island Resort at Captiva Island. They have great activities for kids and families.
by darkhorse346
Fri Jun 09, 2017 5:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Avoiding the Hassle Factor - Vanguard, Schwab, or Fidelity?
Replies: 52
Views: 6408

Re: Avoiding the Hassle Factor - Vanguard, Schwab, or Fidelity?

I bank at Schwab, hold most of our investment accounts at Vanguard, except for my wife's 403(b) which is at Fidelity because her employer doesn't allow her to invest with Vanguard. All are excellent on the customer service end. I have seen complaints about Vanguard CS in these forums, but have neve...
by darkhorse346
Mon Jun 05, 2017 8:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Avoiding the Hassle Factor - Vanguard, Schwab, or Fidelity?
Replies: 52
Views: 6408

Re: Avoiding the Hassle Factor - Vanguard, Schwab, or Fidelity?

I had a problem with Vanguard while settling my father's estate. I was the executor. Vanguard received my paperwork from the state of CT appointing me as the executor. In the state of CT your appointment s for a year. It says just that on the notarized form. Dad's estate consisted of eight insuranc...
by darkhorse346
Mon Jun 05, 2017 5:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Avoiding the Hassle Factor - Vanguard, Schwab, or Fidelity?
Replies: 52
Views: 6408

Re: Avoiding the Hassle Factor - Vanguard, Schwab, or Fidelity?

sambb wrote:would definitely avoid vanguard and choose fidelity or schwab.
Are you speaking from experience, sambb?
by darkhorse346
Sun Jun 04, 2017 5:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Avoiding the Hassle Factor - Vanguard, Schwab, or Fidelity?
Replies: 52
Views: 6408

Re: Avoiding the Hassle Factor - Vanguard, Schwab, or Fidelity?

They are both good, as is Schwab too. Of these 3, IMHO Fidelity has the best website for individual bonds. I don't care for Schwab's bond page. Vanguard's bond page is OK, just not as good as Fido. I did have an occasion to speak with a VG bond desk guy who was very pleasant and helpful. I don't th...
by darkhorse346
Fri Jun 02, 2017 6:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Avoiding the Hassle Factor - Vanguard, Schwab, or Fidelity?
Replies: 52
Views: 6408

Re: Avoiding the Hassle Factor - Vanguard, Schwab, or Fidelity?

Have accounts at VG and Fido. Fido for 35 years, including our "checking/bill paying account" Fido is, in our experience, very easy to use. Easy to reach by phone 24/7 (understand from prior post that's not true for employer 401k, which seems reasonable that they would not be 24/7, and that's our e...
by darkhorse346
Thu Jun 01, 2017 5:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Avoiding the Hassle Factor - Vanguard, Schwab, or Fidelity?
Replies: 52
Views: 6408

Re: Avoiding the Hassle Factor - Vanguard, Schwab, or Fidelity?

8-) I am currently with Schwab and have used Vanguard and Fidelity in the past. I generally handle all investments on my own and my fiancee also has no interest in handling them. I am biased toward Schwab they have the Intelligent Advisory service. There is a .28 fee that is capped with the cash dra...
by darkhorse346
Tue May 30, 2017 7:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Avoiding the Hassle Factor - Vanguard, Schwab, or Fidelity?
Replies: 52
Views: 6408

Re: Avoiding the Hassle Factor - Vanguard, Schwab, or Fidelity?

I'd like to get some real world experiences from people who had to deal with inheritances, MRDs, etc. at Vanguard, Schwab, or Fidelity. My step-mom passed away last year and it was easy to transfer her assets from several brokers, including Schwab, to Vanguard. Just called Vanguard up and they init...
by darkhorse346
Tue May 30, 2017 5:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Avoiding the Hassle Factor - Vanguard, Schwab, or Fidelity?
Replies: 52
Views: 6408

Re: Avoiding the Hassle Factor - Vanguard, Schwab, or Fidelity?

Did you know what you and your dad wanted to do before contacting Vanguard or did they guide you all on this? My father and I knew what we wanted, but I went over everything with my Vanguard rep, and with their Transition office rep, to be sure I could make transactions on the account I was setting...
by darkhorse346
Mon May 29, 2017 3:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retiring in southern college town
Replies: 78
Views: 7182

Re: Retiring in southern college town

Isabelle77 wrote:Another +1 for Charlottesville, VA.
Charlottesville, VA - great choice!
by darkhorse346
Mon May 29, 2017 11:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HR Experts- is a PHR/SPHR worth it?
Replies: 7
Views: 1270

Re: HR Experts- is a PHR/SPHR worth it?

I spend quite a bit of my time in the realm of Human Resources as an operations person and have been for years. I was wondering if there are any HR people out there who could comment on whether the PHR or SPHR certification has been worth it for them, especially financially career wise? Certainly, ...
by darkhorse346
Mon May 29, 2017 10:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Avoiding the Hassle Factor - Vanguard, Schwab, or Fidelity?
Replies: 52
Views: 6408

Re: Avoiding the Hassle Factor - Vanguard, Schwab, or Fidelity?

About eight years ago I was POA and then executor for my aunt. All of her savings was in bank CDs and Treasury bills. As the CDs and T bills matured I consolidated all of her money at Vanguard and then distributed her remaining funds to her heirs after her death. Vanguard was very helpful and every...
by darkhorse346
Sun May 28, 2017 5:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retiring in southern college town
Replies: 78
Views: 7182

Re: Retiring in southern college town

I'm going to throw a curve ball out there -- what about Auburn, Alabama? It's not coastal but you are maybe a 2 hour drive from the Panama City beaches. Dothan, AL is not really a college town but has a cool small town feel. You are maybe 1 hour from Panama City FL there. I spent quite a bit of tim...
by darkhorse346
Sun May 28, 2017 4:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Avoiding the Hassle Factor - Vanguard, Schwab, or Fidelity?
Replies: 52
Views: 6408

Re: Avoiding the Hassle Factor - Vanguard, Schwab, or Fidelity?

A recent example of customer service at Vanguard - I sent a message on Wednesday asking a pretty simple question. No response so far. Not even a response saying they got the message. I've not had any problems with Vanguard for the past 14-15 years, but then again, it's basically been adding money t...
by darkhorse346
Sun May 28, 2017 11:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Avoiding the Hassle Factor - Vanguard, Schwab, or Fidelity?
Replies: 52
Views: 6408

Re: Avoiding the Hassle Factor - Vanguard, Schwab, or Fidelity?

I'd like to get some real world experiences from people who had to deal with inheritances, MRDs, etc. at Vanguard, Schwab, or Fidelity. Thank you. I think WellsTrade has the best 1099-B and 1099-DIV in terms of accuracy, timeliness, and ease of use at tax time. We've got multiple Wells Fargo banks ...
by darkhorse346
Sun May 28, 2017 10:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Avoiding the Hassle Factor - Vanguard, Schwab, or Fidelity?
Replies: 52
Views: 6408

Re: Avoiding the Hassle Factor - Vanguard, Schwab, or Fidelity?

I'd like to get some real world experiences from people who had to deal with inheritances, MRDs, etc. at Vanguard, Schwab, or Fidelity.

Thank you.
by darkhorse346
Sun May 28, 2017 10:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Avoiding the Hassle Factor - Vanguard, Schwab, or Fidelity?
Replies: 52
Views: 6408

Re: Avoiding the Hassle Factor - Vanguard, Schwab, or Fidelity?

A local office can be helpful as long as good people staff them and turnover is low. I think you have to do some test runs by having accounts at all of them (add TDAmeritrade, too), then make your own personal decision. You may decide to consolidate … or not. We found hassles everywhere, but differ...
by darkhorse346
Sun May 28, 2017 9:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Avoiding the Hassle Factor - Vanguard, Schwab, or Fidelity?
Replies: 52
Views: 6408

Avoiding the Hassle Factor - Vanguard, Schwab, or Fidelity?

I've been with Vanguard for a long time and have had no problems. Having said that, my family's needs are going to expand beyond picking good, low-cost target retirement funds for IRAs in the next few years. I'm knowledgeable about mutual funds and do not have a need for an advisor. Spouse has zero ...
by darkhorse346
Sun Apr 30, 2017 7:00 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Does Portfolio Size Influence Stock/Bond Allocation?
Replies: 43
Views: 5394

Re: Does Portfolio Size Influence Stock/Bond Allocation?

David, This is interesting and I think could help a lot of people besides just me. Can you explain "the math" behind what you said below? (For example, how did you estimate that a 50% drop could cost an investor 25% and how, by holding 60% stocks, the cost could be reduced to only 15%?) Thank you fo...
by darkhorse346
Mon Jan 09, 2017 8:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How to know your risk tolerance, without ever living through a crash?
Replies: 29
Views: 2964

Re: How to know your risk tolerance, without ever living through a crash?

I think it makes more sense to look at the amount of money one could potentially be down instead of the percentage. Investor A is 30 and has $50K in retirement savings. S(he) experiences a 50% decline. Not pleasant, but the account is down to $25K and s(he) has 35 more years to invest. Investor B is...
by darkhorse346
Mon Jan 09, 2017 8:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: all the debate over tilting away from market-cap weighting
Replies: 27
Views: 2870

Re: all the debate over tilting away from market-cap weighting

This forum has been an immense help to my family, but I do find myself getting lost in all the debate over factor tilts/tilting away from market-cap weighting or anything that shifts a stock portfolio away from the closest possible representation of the total U.S. stock market or the global stock m...
by darkhorse346
Mon Jan 09, 2017 8:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with paying off debt
Replies: 56
Views: 5708

Re: Help with paying off debt

Car payment 1: $255 per month with 36 months remaining (3.28% interest) 8k remaining balance Student Loan $6250 remaining (not being billed yet, as I am still in school.) Will start to be billed in about 4 months. Interest is at 3.6% Car payment 2: $270 per month with 48 months remaining (0% intere...
by darkhorse346
Mon Jan 09, 2017 8:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: International versus Domestic
Replies: 9
Views: 1363

Re: International versus Domestic

I think you'd be okay with anything between 20% and 50% of your stock allocation in international.

There really is not a "wrong" answer.
by darkhorse346
Mon Jan 09, 2017 8:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Looking to add international and other portfolio advice
Replies: 30
Views: 2473

Re: Looking to add international and other portfolio advice

You really really can't go wrong with either fund. Yes, Total International is less expensive and more diversified, but International Growth is no slouch either. It's low cost and has seasoned managers. It does tend to take additional risks on the margins, but it could hardly be characterized as a b...
by darkhorse346
Sun Oct 30, 2016 1:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth Conversions - Best Practices and Lessons Learned
Replies: 16
Views: 2916

Re: Roth Conversions - Best Practices and Lessons Learned

A thread with links to help answer your questions: Which brokers do hassle-free Roth cnvrsn recharacterizations The main lesson seems to be to understand IRS Form 8606 really well by reading the instructions and the form itself. Also learn the vocabulary: rollover, conversion, recharacterization, R...
by darkhorse346
Sun Oct 30, 2016 9:23 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth Conversions - Best Practices and Lessons Learned
Replies: 16
Views: 2916

Re: Roth Conversions - Best Practices and Lessons Learned

cheese_breath wrote:
user5027 wrote:1) I open a new Roth. It makes recharacterizations easier....
+1 You can combine your Roths into one after the period for recharacterizing has expired.
Thank you, User and CB.

Please explain "recharacterizations". How does these work?
by darkhorse346
Sun Oct 30, 2016 8:58 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth Conversions - Best Practices and Lessons Learned
Replies: 16
Views: 2916

Roth Conversions - Best Practices and Lessons Learned

I'd greatly appreciate feedback on these questions: 1. What are some best practices when considering converting a traditional IRA to a Roth? I've read the Wiki, but would appreciate more information. (Example: If one currently has a Roth, do you roll the traditional IRA into the current Roth account...
by darkhorse346
Thu Oct 27, 2016 6:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: No-Load American Funds Available at Fidelity/Schwab
Replies: 14
Views: 3515

Re: No-Load American Funds Available at Fidelity/Schwab

alec wrote:I think it would be funny if inflows at the new low cost AF's went up after this happens. Just think, all they had to do was lower costs. :shock:
+1 :beer
by darkhorse346
Wed Oct 26, 2016 7:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: No-Load American Funds Available at Fidelity/Schwab
Replies: 14
Views: 3515

Re: No-Load American Funds (w/o 12b-1) Coming Soon

Changes continue for American. Just Friday, it was announced that they were seeking SEC approval for an F-3 share class. These would be no-load AND no 12b-1 fees. This is a big deal and great for investors seeking active management at low cost. This is just the beginning... http://www.investmentnew...
by darkhorse346
Mon Oct 24, 2016 7:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: No-Load American Funds Available at Fidelity/Schwab
Replies: 14
Views: 3515

Re: No-Load American Funds (w/o 12b-1) Coming Soon

Changes continue for American. Just Friday, it was announced that they were seeking SEC approval for an F-3 share class. These would be no-load AND no 12b-1 fees. This is a big deal and great for investors seeking active management at low cost. This is just the beginning... http://www.investmentnews...
by darkhorse346
Mon Oct 10, 2016 6:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best Options for Emergency & Car Replacement Funds at VG
Replies: 8
Views: 1173

Re: Best Options for Emergency & Car Replacement Funds at VG

Purpose : Option 1 Month Living Expenses + Emergencies (< $5K) : VG Prime Money Market Fund 5 Months of Living Expenses + Car Replacement : VG Short Term Bond Index Fund Given today's low interest rates there is nothing to see here. Your plan is fine, keeping everything in MM is fine. I don't see a...
by darkhorse346
Sun Oct 09, 2016 3:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best Options for Emergency & Car Replacement Funds at VG
Replies: 8
Views: 1173

Re: Best Options for Emergency & Car Replacement Funds at VG

Purpose : Option 1 Month Living Expenses + Emergencies (< $5K) : VG Prime Money Market Fund 5 Months of Living Expenses + Car Replacement : VG Short Term Bond Index Fund Given today's low interest rates there is nothing to see here. Your plan is fine, keeping everything in MM is fine. I don't see a...
by darkhorse346
Sun Oct 09, 2016 12:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: No-Load American Funds Available at Fidelity/Schwab
Replies: 14
Views: 3515

Re: No-Load American Funds Available at Fidelity/Schwab

I think that Fidelity and Schwab are trying to get a competitive advantage over Vanguard by being the only brokerages that can offer American Funds F-1 shares without a financial advisor. This is a big deal that American is going this route as they have always emphasized the importance of investors ...
by darkhorse346
Sun Oct 09, 2016 11:54 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best Options for Emergency & Car Replacement Funds at VG
Replies: 8
Views: 1173

Re: Best Options for Emergency & Car Replacement Funds at VG

BolderBoy wrote:
darkhorse346 wrote:Also, what do I need to consider relative to taxes with this structure?
What is your federal / state tax bracket?
Federal: 25% / State: 5%

Thank you.
by darkhorse346
Sun Oct 09, 2016 7:39 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best Options for Emergency & Car Replacement Funds at VG
Replies: 8
Views: 1173

Best Options for Emergency & Car Replacement Funds at VG

We have a taxable Vanguard brokerage account temporarily sitting in Vanguard Prime MMF. This brokerage account is specifically designated for emergencies and car replacement. I am aware that options such as Ally online savings accounts, FDIC-insured savings accounts at banks, etc., may offer higher ...
by darkhorse346
Sat Oct 08, 2016 6:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: No-Load American Funds Available at Fidelity/Schwab
Replies: 14
Views: 3515

Re: No-Load American Funds Available at Fidelity/Schwab

Strangely, my initial link to the M* article, "American Funds Embraces a No-Load World", is no longer available... :confused The links below show that the no-load, F-1 shares of American Funds are available at Schwab and Fidelity: http://www.schwab.com/public/schwab/investing/investment_help/invest...
by darkhorse346
Fri Oct 07, 2016 6:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: No-Load American Funds Available at Fidelity/Schwab
Replies: 14
Views: 3515

Re: No Load American Funds Available at Fidelity/Schwab

Agree. No load, no transaction fees, but still 0.25% 12b-1 fees paid to Fidelity or Schwab. Expense ratios for F-1 shares tend to hover near R-4 shares (found in company retirement plans). Strategically, this makes sense for American and the two brokerages. Fidelity and Schwab could gain a competiti...
by darkhorse346
Fri Oct 07, 2016 5:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: No-Load American Funds Available at Fidelity/Schwab
Replies: 14
Views: 3515

No-Load American Funds Available at Fidelity/Schwab

Strangely, my initial link to the M* article, "American Funds Embraces a No-Load World", is no longer available... :confused The links below show that the no-load, F-1 shares of American Funds are available at Schwab and Fidelity: http://www.schwab.com/public/schwab/investing/investment_help/investm...
by darkhorse346
Thu Oct 06, 2016 8:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Three Full Days in Asheville, NC - Help for First Timers
Replies: 30
Views: 3716

Re: Three Full Days in Asheville, NC - Help for First Timers

Asheville is a great place! We had a great trip thanks in large part to the Bogleheads! Your ideas and suggestions were spot on. The Biltmore was fantastic. We also took a special tour of the servants quarters and learned a lot. What an amazing place and story! Downtown Asheville was eclectic and an...
by darkhorse346
Wed Sep 28, 2016 8:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vacation ideas on Florida's Gulf Coast.
Replies: 31
Views: 2890

Re: Vacation ideas on Florida's Gulf Coast.

Highly recommend Sanibel and Captiva Islands, just west of Fort Myers.
by darkhorse346
Wed Sep 28, 2016 8:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Savannah and Charleston
Replies: 23
Views: 3125

Re: Savannah and Charleston

It has been a number of years since I flew into SAV and CHS, but I remember the airport in SAV is really nice and open. You could stay at the Westin and take a water taxi across the river to Savannah. Charleston is fantastic. Be sure to visit The Battery and all the local homes and merchants downtow...
by darkhorse346
Sun Sep 25, 2016 8:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Three Full Days in Asheville, NC - Help for First Timers
Replies: 30
Views: 3716

Three Full Days in Asheville, NC - Help for First Timers

If you had three full vacation days in Asheville, NC in the fall, what would you be sure to do?
- Places to See and Visit?
- Places to Eat?
- Suggested itineraries?

Planning first time visit and I'd greatly appreciate your suggestions!
:beer
by darkhorse346
Sun Sep 25, 2016 9:11 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Brokerage Account User-Friendliness
Replies: 10
Views: 1380

Re: Brokerage Account User-Friendliness

Thank you, dbr. Anyone else care to weigh in?