Search found 1420 matches

by djw
Thu Nov 03, 2011 12:15 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Rebalancing with Bonds (but without Bond Funds)
Replies: 11
Views: 992

Re: Rebalancing with Bonds (but without Bond Funds)

If you're in the "accumulation" phase (investing MORE money over time) you re-balance by always BUYING the thing that you have too little of at the moment that you're ready to add funds to your accounts. If you're in the "distribution" phase (net withdrawing funds, not adding more money) you re-bala...
by djw
Thu Nov 03, 2011 12:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need Help Writing a Simple Contract
Replies: 7
Views: 754

Re: Need Help Writing a Simple Contract

OP, if you are "lending my daughter the money to buy a small condo" why not simply buy the condo in your own name with you as the sole owner? Do you actually mean that you are "lending your daughter the money for a DOWN PAYMENT to buy a condo?" That's an entirely different question. If I'm right, st...
by djw
Wed Nov 02, 2011 11:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice re dealing with tree damage to neighbor's car
Replies: 40
Views: 4251

Re: Advice re dealing with tree damage to neighbor's car

I was an independent insurance agent for many years, as was my father and his father. If you read YOUR homeowner's insurance policy (near the end) you will discover that YOU are contractually-obligated to promptly report this "claim" of $3,000 ASAP to YOUR homeowner's insurance company. When the "cl...
by djw
Wed Nov 02, 2011 1:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Neighbor Says He Has No Responsibility
Replies: 22
Views: 5067

Re: Neighbor Says He Has No Responsibility

Your neighbor's contractor, and perhaps your neighbor himself as the one who hired them, is liable for general liability, completed operations, and products liability in a situation such as the OP describes -- especially if the OP is certain that the contractor is crossing the property line and the ...
by djw
Wed Nov 02, 2011 1:26 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: MF global: tell me again how Vanguard is safe from fraud?
Replies: 43
Views: 5115

Re: MF global: tell me again how Vanguard is safe from fraud

I agree wholeheartedly with the OP. Here's my "investment account" mix (aka net worth) as of 9/30/2011: 32% Primary Residence (New England) 20% Genworth -- annuity 13% Lincoln -- 403(b) fixed income (3.5% fixed return) and stocks (50% US and 50% World xUS relatively low cost stock mutual index funds...
by djw
Wed Nov 02, 2011 1:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Avoiding electronics purchases (esp. computers)
Replies: 79
Views: 6655

Re: Avoiding electronics purchases (esp. computers)

NoScript is wonderful!! I learned about NoScript from this forum and, after reading GLOWING reviews about it on several threads over several years, I finally googled and installed it a couple of weeks ago... I LOVE IT!!! It's FREE, which is the best part of all. I was so grateful that I clicked on a...
by djw
Wed Nov 02, 2011 12:47 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do it yourself Indexer ...
Replies: 42
Views: 3697

Re: Do it yourself Indexer ...

Hi Jim! Looks like an interesting strategy. I sincerely hope that you carry through on it and report back to us from time to time (every month? quarter? year?) As it happens, I will soon have $30,000 available which I intend to transfer from an existing former-employer IRA into a brand new IRA at wh...
by djw
Tue Nov 01, 2011 12:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Avoiding electronics purchases (esp. computers)
Replies: 79
Views: 6655

Re: Avoiding electronics purchases (esp. computers)

This thread got me to thinking that it would be fun to create my own personal technology timeline. I cheated and relied upon Wikipedia for some of the years. The following may have a few bugs, but it's pretty accurate: 1945 Working at Pentagon, my father used data cards (4" x 11"?); Each card had a ...
by djw
Sat Oct 29, 2011 5:58 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Some help with Tips fund
Replies: 9
Views: 1006

Re: Some help with Tips fund

My two cents is to immediately liquidate the fund, and then buy as many $1,000 ten- or twenty-year TIPS individual bonds as you can with the proceeds --- inside your existing IRA, if that's possible. Otherwise consider transferring your existing IRA to Vanguard Brokerage and do the above after it ar...
by djw
Sat Oct 29, 2011 5:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Updating a Shower
Replies: 10
Views: 4619

Re: Updating a Shower

Make certain that you install adequate grab bars while you're at it, both inside and outside the shower, bathtub, even next to your toilet and sink. We've renovated two bathrooms and added lots of grab bars in both cases. We're both over 55 and we've had three relatives that suffered serious head in...
by djw
Sat Oct 29, 2011 5:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is your portfolio at an all-time high?
Replies: 82
Views: 6697

Re: Is your portfolio at an all-time high?

I voted "No" Our portfolio is 5% below its all-time high on a quarterly basis. Our lifetime, quarterly, high was recorded on 3/31/2011. You need to take into account that my wife and I retired on 8/31/2010. We are now in the de-accumulation phase (aka not making any new money and withdrawing from ou...
by djw
Sat Oct 29, 2011 3:46 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Why Economic Models Are Always Wrong"
Replies: 33
Views: 2891

Re: "Why Economic Models Are Always Wrong"

Here's my simple, layman's analysis of the difference between a "model" of ANY kind and the real world that we all live in: A map (such as a highway road map, a globe, etc.) is a model of the surface of the Earth, but no one should mistake it for being an actual, complete, dynamic, scale model of th...
by djw
Fri Oct 28, 2011 2:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I Try To Catch Low Mortgage Rates?
Replies: 18
Views: 2162

Re: Should I Try To Catch Low Mortgage Rates?

My Magic 8 ball says: "Yes, you are correct, you have a once-in-a-lifetime chance at catching these low mortgage rates" and I suggest that you get right on this PDQ as they appear to be lacing up their Adidas as I type this.
by djw
Fri Oct 28, 2011 11:54 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Investment Advice
Replies: 6
Views: 881

Re: Investment Advice

If you're truly looking for a good brokerage account, I'd say that Vanguard is NOT the place for you. Check the ads in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Time & Money magazines to learn where the cheapest commissions on stock trades can currently be found and how many "free" trades they wa...
by djw
Fri Oct 28, 2011 9:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: underwater mortgage question
Replies: 7
Views: 1084

Re: underwater mortgage question

Hi lobon! Try these two links: LA Times: Obama administration ramps up mortgage refinancing effort http://articles.latimes.com/2011/oct/24/business/la-fi-obama-housing-20111024 A Guide to Obama's New Mortgage-Refi Plan http://www.mainstreet.com/article/real-estate/guide-obamas-new-mortgage-refi-plan...
by djw
Fri Oct 28, 2011 9:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Confused about Health Coverage
Replies: 17
Views: 1611

Re: Confused about Health Coverage

As a reformed health insurance salesman, here's the bad news and the good news. Bad News: It's incredibly difficult to figure out which plan will have been the best choice when you're looking backwards one year from now and you know what your medical expenses for 2012 turned out to be. Good News / B...
by djw
Thu Oct 27, 2011 11:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Watch the News today, this week -- big things are happening!
Replies: 37
Views: 5736

Update: Watch the News today, this week -- big things happen

Hi neverknow! To answer your question about Thursday's "cliffhanger" I suggest that you visit the CNBC home page and peruse any of the headlines in the top-most portion of the page: Dollar Declines Intensifies -- Is It All Downhill From Here? US Stocks on Track for Best Month in 37 Years Chinese Sto...
by djw
Thu Oct 27, 2011 3:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I'm Bullish this October
Replies: 217
Views: 25876

Re: I'm Bullish this October

Congratulations Rick! Good call.
by djw
Wed Oct 26, 2011 4:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gift ideas for my wife
Replies: 30
Views: 4656

Re: Gift ideas for my wife

As it so happens, we just celebrated my wife's 57th birthday a couple of weeks ago. I did what I always do, asked her to tell me what SHE wanted. She requested exactly 5 "things" which ended up costing somewhere between $100 and $200 in total: 1. PC Video Game: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire 2....
by djw
Tue Oct 25, 2011 6:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Watch the News today, this week -- big things are happening!
Replies: 37
Views: 5736

Re: Watch the News today, this week -- big things are happen

As the OP, I just wanted to personally thank everyone who has posted to this thread over the past 24 hours. I especially appreciate the folks who totally can't identify with my admitted addiction to watching CNBC, even when my health and sanity would probably benefit more from a pleasant autumn stro...
by djw
Tue Oct 25, 2011 6:51 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Cost Basis Method Selection
Replies: 7
Views: 1767

Re: Cost Basis Method Selection

The reason they're asking you is a new federal reporting requirement. They're going to need to report to the IRS every year on your behalf, whether you or they like it or not. They need this decision by you in order to know which basis they should use in their report to the IRS. For myself, unless y...
by djw
Tue Oct 25, 2011 6:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dishwasher Recommendation
Replies: 54
Views: 4468

Re: Dishwasher Recommendation

A few months ago, we started watching the Sunday newspaper inserts and found the best price at BEST BUY. I think it was a bit over $300 plus tax. It was at our Florida home, but I'm not there at the moment. I think it was a Fridgedaire. I also checked it out in Consumer Reports at our local library ...
by djw
Tue Oct 25, 2011 6:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you live your life?
Replies: 94
Views: 47535

Re: How do you live your life?

Never be afraid to change your mind or your life. I do it all the time. I'm literally doing it as I read this thread and now as I type this post. I tell people that every morning when you wake up, you have the option to make a significant change in your life. Of course, if I did that every single mo...
by djw
Mon Oct 24, 2011 11:32 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Watch the News today, this week -- big things are happening!
Replies: 37
Views: 5736

Watch the News today, this week -- big things are happening!

If you haven't watched CNBC today, Monday October 24, you might want to turn it on for awhile if you can. Wall Street has a history of really important things happening in the month of October... I haven't a clue why that is... but today and the rest of the days this week are shaping up to be histor...
by djw
Sun Oct 23, 2011 11:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TN and TX Lake Front Property
Replies: 9
Views: 1354

Re: TN and TX Lake Front Property

One cost of building a new house on vacant land which is ALWAYS under-estimated is installing utilities. Call up your local electric company and ask how much they''ll charge you PER FOOT to run an electric line out to your rural paradise!! Also, I'd imagine some issues with legally disposing of wast...
by djw
Sun Oct 23, 2011 10:54 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Article from The NY Times Magazine (10/23/11)
Replies: 15
Views: 3405

Re: Article from The NY Times Magazine (10/23/11)

The men v. women example cited by a poster above reminds me of my experience leading a training exercise called "Desert Survival" on several occasions about 25 years ago. I imagine this exercise is still around today. I learned several fascinating lessons from witnessing the behavior of several very...
by djw
Sat Oct 22, 2011 11:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Joke: Why the Commodities Selloff May Be Nearing an End...
Replies: 5
Views: 814

Re: Joke: Why the Commodities Selloff May Be Nearing an End.

Hi Langkawi! I should've clarified that it wasn't the same, but hey, it's all I've got today that's even close. Believe it or not, these days I actually read the annual fund reports from cover to cover (especially the footnotes at the very end) and I am well aware of what VGPMX owns at last report. ...
by djw
Sat Oct 22, 2011 10:30 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Rebalancing portfolio by selling overweighted losers
Replies: 10
Views: 1277

Re: Rebalancing portfolio by selling overweighted losers

Wow! I've certainly heard rumors of people who have talked themselves into buying high and then selling low, BIG TIME according to you, I think you win the bonehead Boglehead prize if you execute this trade. Unless your "REITS" are actually some sort of private real estate deals, limited partnership...
by djw
Sat Oct 22, 2011 10:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should Finances Be Shared Based on Net Worth or Net Income?
Replies: 26
Views: 3614

Re: Should Finances Be Shared Based on Net Worth or Net Inco

First of all, TECHNICALLY he's not paying half the mortgage as his name isn't on the deed. He's paying you rent presumably on time every month and the amount of the rent happens to equal half of what you're paying to the bank on YOUR mortgage. Second, EVERY partnership/marriage/relationship will soo...
by djw
Sat Oct 22, 2011 8:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Joke: Why the Commodities Selloff May Be Nearing an End...
Replies: 5
Views: 814

Joke: Why the Commodities Selloff May Be Nearing an End...

The following made me laugh so hard that I couldn't resist posting it here. The final four paragraphs of a story currently available at the top of the home page on CNBC.com: Julian Jessop at Capital Economics, though bearish on commodities as a whole because of the looming slowdown, believes gold ha...
by djw
Sat Oct 22, 2011 7:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: History: Round lots
Replies: 9
Views: 1521

Re: History: Round lots

Apropros of nothing, I can't resist adding that computers are actually binary, not decimal, and they do their calculations in hexadecimal (base 16 = 2x2x2x2) NOT base 10. They display the resulting numbers as "rounded-off" decimals only at the very end (on your screen or printout). This explains som...
by djw
Sat Oct 22, 2011 6:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: History: Round lots
Replies: 9
Views: 1521

Re: History: Round lots

Since the OP couched his post as a historical question, here's what I think I know about that. Hard as it is to believe, once upon a time people traded lots and lots of shares of stock and no one had ever heard of a computer, except the clerks who did the math might have the job title "Computer" or ...
by djw
Sat Oct 22, 2011 5:29 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: reposting this, need to figure out if i should sell my TIPS
Replies: 3
Views: 465

Re: reposting this, need to figure out if i should sell my T

A portion of my investment portfolio consists of a 10-year bond ladder. I bought each of the bonds when issued and will hold them until they mature. I've chosen to put almost nothing into bond mutual funds, only individual US corporates and Treasuries. Each bond I own has a face value of $10,000 or ...
by djw
Fri Oct 21, 2011 4:17 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Hindering Diversification?
Replies: 12
Views: 1407

Re: Vanguard Hindering Diversification?

I love and trust Vanguard, but I don't trust ANYONE enough to put too huge a percentage of my assets in their hands. My personal rule is no more than 20% of my net worth with any one custodian. I am currently in violation of my own rule in that I have too much of my net worth in my principal residen...
by djw
Fri Oct 21, 2011 3:47 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: IRS Estimated Payments
Replies: 10
Views: 858

Re: IRS Estimated Payments

Here's my simple method. One of your options is simply to make certain that your total tax withholding + estimated payments >= the total tax due of last year's 1040. That is, if the total income taxes you ended up owing last year was $1,000 as long as you have paid at least $1,000 ($250 per quarter)...
by djw
Fri Oct 21, 2011 3:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Watering down juice & milk
Replies: 71
Views: 6295

Re: Watering down juice & milk

Many years ago, I switched from whole to 2% milk. One month ago I was diagnosed with very high blood pressure, pre-diabetes, and a kidney problem (I'll spare you the gory details, but it's potentially life-shortening without proper treatment). My doctor recommended that I switch to 1% milk. I was af...
by djw
Wed Oct 19, 2011 1:57 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What is the source of returns for Whole Life Policies
Replies: 34
Views: 2217

Re: What is the source of returns for Whole Life Policies

While the forum was down, I remembered a couple of additional options that may be available to the OP: 1. You can inquire about converting the existing policy into a fully paid up policy. This would mean never paying another premium and would greatly reduce the face value of the policy, but since yo...
by djw
Sun Oct 16, 2011 1:17 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What is the source of returns for Whole Life Policies
Replies: 34
Views: 2217

In the very first post, OP mentions that he has sufficient term life coverage and doesn't need the extra coverage provided by the whole life policy. Let's make up some numbers to illustrate an option. Let's say he has $100,000 term + $100,000 whole life. If a total of $100,000 is what he decides he ...
by djw
Sun Oct 16, 2011 7:25 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: If you are buying individual stocks, what are you buying?
Replies: 15
Views: 1610

Bought 200 shares GM on 8/11/2011 @ 24.75

Bought 200 shares GM on 8/19/2011 @ 22.27

GM's closing price last Friday was 24.16

I plan to keep holding, unless or until the price doubles at which time I'd sell half.
by djw
Sun Oct 16, 2011 6:59 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What is the source of returns for Whole Life Policies
Replies: 34
Views: 2217

I'll just note that the most fascinating thing about the postings from oneanddone are the statements I made which he chose NOT to respond to... I guess that means he tacitly agrees with all of the other points that I made above?
by djw
Sat Oct 15, 2011 1:05 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What is the source of returns for Whole Life Policies
Replies: 34
Views: 2217

Talk about asking all the right questions! If every potential consumer of life insurance was as thoughtful and skeptical as the OP, we'd all be better off, except for the life insurance salesmen, of course. I don't have time for an exhaustive responsive, but let me hit the high points and perhaps an...
by djw
Sat Oct 15, 2011 12:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: In a Volatile Market,Some Turn to Insurance Instead of Bonds
Replies: 3
Views: 471

The typical commission paid to the salesman of a permanent (aka whole) life insurance policy is 55% of the first year premium you pay, then 5% of the premiums you pay in years 2 - 10, for a total of 100% of your first year premium. The dividend illustrations are cleverly designed to help you overloo...
by djw
Sat Oct 15, 2011 2:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home Insurance Claim and Mortgage Company
Replies: 3
Views: 654

Can the OP answer a few questions? 1. In which state is the mobile home located? 2. Is the insurance policy a form DP-1, 2, 3 or HO-1, 2, 3, or something else? 3. Which insurance company? 4. What are your policy limits for coverages A, B, C, D (dwelling, other structures, personal property, add'l li...
by djw
Fri Oct 14, 2011 9:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "House Hunters"(TV show)...who are these people?
Replies: 45
Views: 9677

To those wondering when a particular House Hunters episode was first shown on TV (as discussed above, NOT necessarily when the sale took place) you can visit tvguide.com > what's on tv > tv listings, roll down to the particular House Hunters episode on the time schedule, and click on House Hunters. ...
by djw
Fri Oct 14, 2011 8:16 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Need 4% return to retire
Replies: 20
Views: 3538

You certainly want to be diversified in your strategy, which is rule #1 for bogleheads. I retired last year at age 54.5, my wife was 56 and she also retired, except for very minimal part-time work. We have no children or other dependents and no debts. Our ideal strategy would be to die the day after...
by djw
Thu Oct 13, 2011 12:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendations for meaningful books?
Replies: 46
Views: 3207

How about a book about the infamous Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt, Jim Fisk, Jay Gould, etal. and the "Gilded Age / Robber Baron era", such as: The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon by 84 reviewers available in hardcover, paperback, Kindle, or ta...
by djw
Thu Oct 13, 2011 7:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trade vehicle in after a few years, or drive till it dies?
Replies: 25
Views: 3811

We own: 2001 Honda Civic 4-dr DX (in New England) 2003 Subaru Imprezza S/W (in Florida) Both purchased new (summertime "leftovers"), both approx. 67K miles currently. Now that we're retired, we anticipate driving each of them approx. 3K per year. One is located in New England, one in Florida. We spe...
by djw
Thu Oct 13, 2011 6:44 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: When withdrawing from a Vanguard fund.....
Replies: 3
Views: 816

See IRS Instructions for 1040 schedule D, pages D-6 & D-7 http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i1040sd.pdf See IRS Publication 551, page 2 http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p551.pdf The IRS's default assumption is that you're always selling the oldest shares, aka FIFO (first in, first out) but as long as you...