Search found 637 matches

by digit8
Thu Apr 16, 2020 2:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: That's it! Commodity ETFs is snake oil! I'm out!!!
Replies: 75
Views: 7389

Re: That's it! Commodity ETFs is snake oil! I'm out!!!

Andrew Tobias had a great line I can't remember exactly but was roughly: 99% of investors wind up losing money investing in commodities. I submit you now know everything you will ever need to know about investing in commodities.
by digit8
Wed Mar 18, 2020 7:49 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Beware of HELOC freezes.
Replies: 22
Views: 2313

Re: Beware of HELOC freezes.

Any bank offering a HELOC includes provisions that allow them to freeze with minimal and vague justifications. They should be treated as a nice-to-have, not an essential and especially not as an emergency fund.
by digit8
Wed Mar 11, 2020 9:01 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Can You Retire on the S&P 500?
Replies: 60
Views: 5859

Re: Can You Retire on the S&P 500?

Kind of the wrong question. The truth of it is millions retire in some form or another with zero savings, let alone an investment of any kind. As a society we have not (yet) reached the point where we stick rocks in grandpas pockets and roll him into the river the day after he stops working. People ...
by digit8
Wed Mar 11, 2020 8:37 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Prime Money Market Fund (VMMXX) breaks 1.00 (% not $)
Replies: 242
Views: 52886

Re: Vanguard Prime Money Market Fund (VMMXX) breaks 1.00 (% not $)

Bumping this since the MM yields will likely be heading down below 1.00 soon. It was nice while it lasted. When I did my taxes I was surprised at how much interest I'd earned for 2019. 1 Month Treasury yield 3/3 1.11 3/4 1.00 3/5 0.92 3/6 0.79 3/9 0.57 3/10 0.57 The 7-day SEC yield on VMMXX is list...
by digit8
Thu Mar 05, 2020 7:11 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Differences between Federal and Prime money market funds??
Replies: 25
Views: 2208

Re: Differences between Federal and Prime money market funds??

In a worst case scenario, the Prime fund can be subject to liquidation fees and a gate(halting redemptions), while the Federal can't. For my own peace of mind I found that enough of a difference that I use Federal, but with pure clear-eyed logic it's not really that scary....or at least, it's firmly...
by digit8
Wed Mar 04, 2020 7:58 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Rate cut - so whats next for cash
Replies: 28
Views: 4636

Re: Rate cut - so whats next for cash

Hi All, With the rate cut, any suggestions on where to put cash. I currently have mine on money market funds and high yield online savings account. Should I just stay put? What are you doing with your cash after the rate cut? The (admittedly limited) options available depend on what you're doing wi...
by digit8
Thu Feb 13, 2020 8:20 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: FIRED!! [Unexpectedly laid off]
Replies: 59
Views: 12851

Re: LAID OFF!!

Make no mention of it being unexpected and do not express your dismay or anger- biggest red flag for future employers. No one wants to hire perceived disgruntled employee. Plus one to everything, but especially this. I've been a hiring manager for 5 years and continue to be shocked by how many peop...
by digit8
Wed Feb 05, 2020 9:31 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: My wife's Morgan Stanley Financial advisor passed at 44 years old
Replies: 21
Views: 4356

Re: My wife's Morgan Stanley Financial advisor passed at 44 years old

We saved enough to meet our desires to retire fairly early (mid-50's) and support the same non-frugal financial lifestyle in retirement that we lived while working. IMO that strikes a good balance between living in the present and preparing for the future, which may or may not unfold as planned. Ye...
by digit8
Thu Jan 30, 2020 10:56 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Can I Dump My Emergency Fund?
Replies: 128
Views: 11300

Re: Can I Dump My Emergency Fund?

One practical point that hasn't been touched on yet- even if you don't take a haircut in a downturn, you could see one come tax time. I'm going to see the biggest tax bill of my life after having to take a huge chunk of my taxable account (my MMSA "primary" fund was drained). If I had to do it all o...
by digit8
Wed Jan 22, 2020 8:09 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Is ibond always better than taxable?
Replies: 42
Views: 2772

Re: Is ibond always better than taxable?

I've heard that I bonds can be a major pain in the butt to deal with, especially for heirs or surviving spouses. Ask yourself it's worth the trouble when you can get similar characteristics from TIPS. I actually always had an easy experience with Ibonds, less than 2 minutes to get in and do whateve...
by digit8
Wed Jan 22, 2020 8:00 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Emergency Fund in Taxable Account
Replies: 10
Views: 1639

Re: Emergency Fund in Taxable Account

avenger wrote:
Tue Jan 21, 2020 9:11 pm
My entire portfolio is my emergency fund.
+1. In a true emergency, nobody says "oh, wait, I can't use that money, it's not designated "Emergency Fund" in my mental accounting!"
by digit8
Thu Jan 09, 2020 10:49 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: In my opinion, Best Overall Retirement Article
Replies: 95
Views: 11166

Re: In my opinion, Best Overall Retirement Article

Minor point, but I hate the tendency of articles to emphasize the relative recency of the American retirement system. All too often authors, or readers, use that to launch into a point that because it's still new in a historical perspective, there is no right or reason to expect or enjoy it. "Yes, y...
by digit8
Sun Jan 05, 2020 3:10 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Emergency Fund vs Line of Credit
Replies: 20
Views: 1866

Re: Emergency Fund vs Line of Credit

When the economy tanked in 2008, the banks closed everyone's HELOCs at exactly the time when they needed cash. So, no, your LOC is not a cash reserve. +1. Financial institutions absolutely never, under any circumstances, provide credit without also giving themselves an escape hatch to terminate tha...
by digit8
Thu Dec 19, 2019 8:12 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Question about I bonds for emergency fund
Replies: 5
Views: 560

Re: Question about I bonds for emergency fund

Do you think I bonds are good for 1st tier emergency fund for someone in 35% bracket versus prime money market, high yield savings, or short to intermediate munis? I already have several years of expenses in intermediate muni fund. Another issue I have is That once the money is in I bonds, it may f...
by digit8
Fri Nov 29, 2019 3:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are TIPS really a good inflation hedge? Pros and Cons
Replies: 164
Views: 15021

Re: Are TIPS really a good inflation hedge? Pros and Cons

So you are scared that much of 3.73% average annual inflation? Or you think it's such an unthinkable scenario? In case you did not know, prices more than quadrupled between 1970 and 2000 in US. In that time frame, I-bonds, if they existed, would have lost close to a third of purchasing power with 4...
by digit8
Fri Nov 29, 2019 1:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are TIPS really a good inflation hedge? Pros and Cons
Replies: 164
Views: 15021

Re: Are TIPS really a good inflation hedge? Pros and Cons

Imagine an I bond "maturing" in 30 years where prices tripled over time and imagine that by that time you are in 50% marginal federal tax rate, either because of a tax law change for your situation or it might be possible even today (e.g. the way some benefits work out, like Social Security taxatio...
by digit8
Thu Nov 14, 2019 10:54 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Emergency Fund - High Yield Savings Account?
Replies: 8
Views: 603

Re: Emergency Fund - High Yield Savings Account?

So long as it's to an FDIC or NCUA insured institution, there is no reason not to jump ship. At a certain point, it's worth stopping the rate shop and settling for "good enough" returns on an efund, but .03% sure doesn't sound like that point!
by digit8
Mon Oct 21, 2019 12:51 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Not *that* EF fund question [EF based on market conditions]
Replies: 4
Views: 529

Not *that* EF fund question [EF based on market conditions]

I think I'm pretty clear on the range of opinions about the placement of emergency funds here in general on any given particular day. But how many here make adjustments to that placement over time based on changes to the market? For instance, anyone using a money market right now who might switch if...
by digit8
Wed Oct 16, 2019 9:14 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Where to Put "Extra" Taxable Savings
Replies: 28
Views: 3640

Re: Where to Put "Extra" Taxable Savings

To me, all money is retirement money. I invest it to our desired AA. The sooner we hit the number, the sooner we retire. +1, with caveats. Well, being cynical, I always think of all money as emergency fund money. In either case, there is some value in fiddling with location. Opening, say, a new tax...
by digit8
Wed Oct 16, 2019 8:57 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Investing into CDs vs Bonds
Replies: 13
Views: 2023

Re: Investing into CDs vs Bonds

You can, with a little effort, get a 1 year CD for 2.25%. With FDIC insurance it's considered to be nearly zero risk. The Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Mutual Fund VBTLX also has an SEC yield of 2.25%. However it has an average duration of 6.2 years so it's MUCH more interest rate sensitive (wit...
by digit8
Fri May 24, 2019 10:45 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: VTSAX or VTWAX over the next 35 years?
Replies: 181
Views: 29741

Re: VTSAX or VTWAX over the next 35 years?

Over the next 35 years, I'm not sure the difference is enough to sweat over. Someone starting a job today and putting 10, 15% of their income for life into either one of these is probably going to be, objectively, fine. Yeah, they might have some 20/20 hindsight and kick themselves for not going wit...
by digit8
Thu Mar 21, 2019 9:05 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What will be the effect of negative interest rates?
Replies: 28
Views: 2466

Re: What will be the effect of negative interest rates?

With the Fed's abrupt change of course, it now appears likely, to me at least, that the U.S. could eventually (as soon as the next recession) see the same kind of 0% or negative interest rate environment that many others in the industrialized world face now or have faced (in the case of Japan) for ...
by digit8
Sun Mar 03, 2019 10:44 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Moving Emergency Fund from I Bonds at Treasury Direct to something at Vanguard?
Replies: 21
Views: 2738

Re: Moving Emergency Fund from I Bonds at Treasury Direct to something at Vanguard?

I used to make the comparison of I Bonds with duct tape for their versatility. I've found in practice a more apt comparison might be with a knickknack shelf- purchases that seemed like a good idea at the time, which become just another item needing maintenance, time and trouble. There are no taxes ...
by digit8
Sun Mar 03, 2019 1:54 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Moving Emergency Fund from I Bonds at Treasury Direct to something at Vanguard?
Replies: 21
Views: 2738

Re: Moving Emergency Fund from I Bonds at Treasury Direct to something at Vanguard?

Good decision, TD is a major headache. I'd just auto roll short term treasuries at Fidelity. No cost to buy or sell. +1. I think the problems associated with TD get overblown to some degree, but certainly aren't enough to justify the very moderate difference in returns available via (for me) Vangua...
by digit8
Sun Jan 13, 2019 1:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Asset Mix Chart [Vanguard website shows incorrect asset allocation]
Replies: 16
Views: 1384

Portfolio Watch Problem

[Thread merged into here, see below. --admin LadyGeek] Logged in this morning and my (all personal Vanguard, taxable and IRA) portfolio reflects as having 28% "Unknown" composition. Perhaps even more troubling, no single asset I have is at that exact percentage, so I guess parts of several investme...
by digit8
Thu Dec 20, 2018 3:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does the national debt affect your investing strategies?
Replies: 21
Views: 1547

Re: Does the national debt affect your investing strategies?

Not really, for much the same reason I don't invest in physical gold or some such. In the (highly unlikely) scenario of things getting so horrible that investing that way would make a difference, my portfolio would be the least of my concerns. 95% of my US holdings are total stock and total bond. To...
by digit8
Mon Dec 17, 2018 2:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What Happened to you during the Financial crisis of 2007–2008
Replies: 249
Views: 23444

Re: What Happened to you during the Financial crisis of 2007–2008

Mainly in 2007-2008 I was wrapped up in hating my job at a highly conservative credit union. I spent most of that year having to shut down home equity lines of credit as values shifted,then trying to work out ways members could get them reopened..... A disheartening process at best since it was a ca...
by digit8
Fri Nov 02, 2018 7:48 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I Bond fixed rate = 0.5%
Replies: 90
Views: 10213

Re: I Bond fixed rate = 0.5%

Is I Bond a good place to park some emergency fund? I assume it is based on what I have read so far. But someone above pointed out 1-year Treasury is yielding more and tax-free(??) But I assume that doesn't have the level of liquidity like I Bond. Is that right? Where do you guys park your emergenc...
by digit8
Thu Oct 18, 2018 10:00 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Forever Stamps as an Investment?
Replies: 32
Views: 4229

Re: Forever Stamps as an Investment?

I think it's Andrew Tobias who mentions some executive that bought pallets full of Cepacol mouthwash and pointed out that this executive was essentially protecting himself from inflation by doing so. Buy pretty much anything in bulk, that won't go bad, and you're probably saving yourself some money ...
by digit8
Fri Oct 12, 2018 9:04 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does it make sense to consider that stocks are 'on sale' when there's a correction?
Replies: 84
Views: 4927

Re: Does it make sense to consider that stocks are 'on sale' when there's a correction?

Like a lot of rules of thumb, "stocks on sale" is a succinct way to put something that only makes sense if you add some qualifiers mentally, foremost among them that while there are no guaruntees in life, you can make an educated guess. It was not unreasonable in 2007-2008 for those hardy souls buyi...
by digit8
Thu Sep 20, 2018 10:08 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Switch to Brokerage Accounts
Replies: 60
Views: 12455

Re: Vanguard Switch to Brokerage Accounts

Although it is interesting to hear people's thoughts on the pro and cons of the switch to brokerage accounts, I think the underlying issue most "legacy" account holder have is that they have spent years fine tuning their relationship with Vanguard (especially with regard to the treatment of dividen...
by digit8
Mon Sep 03, 2018 3:03 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What to do with cash/emergency fund
Replies: 36
Views: 4444

Re: What to do with cash/emergency fund

Keep in mind that Vanguard does keep the possiblity of imposing a gate suspending withdrawals from Prime in certain circumstances. The odds of it happening are miniscule, but that would be a hard hit to take on a day you needed the money. What does this mean and does it apply to other money market ...
by digit8
Thu Aug 30, 2018 2:43 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What to do with cash/emergency fund
Replies: 36
Views: 4444

Re: What to do with cash/emergency fund

Keep in mind that Vanguard does keep the possiblity of imposing a gate suspending withdrawals from Prime in certain circumstances. The odds of it happening are miniscule, but that would be a hard hit to take on a day you needed the money.
by digit8
Mon Jul 16, 2018 8:14 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are Bonds Always Safe? — A Second Look at U.S. Portfolio Disasters
Replies: 108
Views: 10740

Re: Are Bonds Always Safe? — A Second Look at U.S. Portfolio Disasters

No such thing as "always" safe. You allocate assets recognizing that on any given day some investments will do poorly but can be offset by others that do well in the same conditions. This one protects your principal, that one matches inflation, the other does well during some markets trends but drop...
by digit8
Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:51 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Capping Emergency Fund
Replies: 53
Views: 5766

Re: Capping Emergency Fund

In general the advice/target for an emergency fund is 6 months of expenses. I'm curious at what point in total assets this rule doesn't make sense. For me, never. I put less in then I did when I was starting out, but I continue to contribute regularly. With that said, my EF holdings are mainly a mo...
by digit8
Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:20 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Where do you keep your Emergency Fund?
Replies: 81
Views: 15699

Re: Where do you keep your Emergency Fund?

I keep way more than I should in my rewards checking which is my real "sleep at night" money. But for purely emergency funds, I have two buckets- cash goes to Vanguard Federal Money Market once a month. I eyeball the balance every quarter or so and if it feels a little overstuffed I move a piece of ...
by digit8
Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:07 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Target date funds....unsophisticated?
Replies: 64
Views: 5608

Re: Target date funds....unsophisticated?

Target date funds, really? Yup. Really. You’re missing the fact that most people that have lives to live will not rebalance regularly and, for fear of market conditions, may even hesitate to rebalance. Reality trumps theory. It is well worth a few extra basis points in a tax advantaged account to t...
by digit8
Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:49 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I-bonds look pretty bad right now
Replies: 92
Views: 13487

Re: I-bonds look pretty bad right now

Then you pay federal tax but not state and local taxes. You cannot hold an I-bond longer than 30 years. Based on a marginal tax rate of 22%, and assuming that CPI inflation is constant, here is what I got: There is an old joke about the worlds greatest scientest spending 10 years coming up with the...
by digit8
Mon Jun 04, 2018 7:53 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Is it fine to have 100% of portfolio in VTSAX
Replies: 33
Views: 9855

Re: Is it fine to have 100% of portfolio in VTSAX

Over the next 10 years? Sure, you're fine, better than the average investor in fact. I would say, make a plan for yourself over the 10 years before you think about adding bonds- read up on Bogleheadism and investing in general. Be open to other equities at that time as well. But 30's to 40's just in...
by digit8
Tue May 29, 2018 8:19 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Emergency Fund Alternatives
Replies: 16
Views: 2266

Re: Emergency Fund Alternatives

^^ Yep, I'm thinking I may do some 50/50 or some other split where 50% is in an online savings account, the rest is invested in a fund(s) that return. Maybe I'll adjust the ratio as time passes, and continue to cover with my brokerages. +1. I've tried just about every possible option and this is th...
by digit8
Thu May 24, 2018 11:43 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Theory: Total World Index a Sure Fire Win [VT/VTWSX]
Replies: 155
Views: 19810

Re: Theory: Total World Index a Sure Fire Win [VT/VTWSX]

FWIW, I think on this thread and the subject in general, there is a lot of combining/conflating the idea of best returns, and good enough returns. There is a not-zero chance that a 100% US Equity portfolio will prove to not perform as well as a total world one over the next 30 years, and a not-zero ...
by digit8
Tue May 22, 2018 1:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Announces Plans To Launch Total World Bond ETF
Replies: 30
Views: 5277

Re: Vanguard Announces Plans To Launch Total World Bond ETF

pokebowl wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 1:06 pm
Now if only they would offer admiral shares of VTWSX.
Still, it's down to a .19 EF, which ain't bad. I think the last time I seriously considered it, I was on the fence at like .32%, so I guess it's time to run the numbers again.....
by digit8
Tue May 15, 2018 8:37 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: A Very Unique Inflation Fund
Replies: 11
Views: 1739

Re: A Very Unique Inflation Fund

That's a pass hard enough to cut diamonds for me personally. To much we don't know, and what we do know about is done more easily, cheaper through other means. If you go with this, at least keep in mind that it's not intended to be your primary holding, just supplemental.
by digit8
Tue May 08, 2018 8:48 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Emergency Fund Investment Plan
Replies: 24
Views: 3080

Re: Emergency Fund Investment Plan

OK, I'm probably going to get flamed for this but going to put it out there anyway . . . I don't have an "emergency fund", per se. Never have, never will. What I do have is a HELOC. I promise to try not to flame, because 95% of your reasoning makes perfect sense to me. Still, as a guy who spent mos...
by digit8
Thu Apr 26, 2018 7:58 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Considering a CD ladder
Replies: 46
Views: 11608

Re: Considering a CD ladder

No, it's fine. You have some minor misconceptions (regarding the differences between bonds and bond funds), but that's OK. +1 on both counts. I think it's worth giving some serious thought to some of the counterpoints and alternative plans that have been proposed here- but in the end the CD ladder ...
by digit8
Wed Apr 11, 2018 8:48 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Emergency Fund Investing
Replies: 24
Views: 2696

Re: Emergency Fund Investing

I call it the passive/agressive approach: 6 months in an MMSA, with regular additional deposits. Once it gets to a decent amount above 6 months worth- usually $500 bucks or so- I move the excess into a taxable S&P 500 fund.
by digit8
Tue Mar 27, 2018 11:58 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Vanguard sends out erroneous "not enough money in settlement fund" notice]
Replies: 94
Views: 9042

Re: Concerns with Vanguard

As far as security concerns go, I've worked at financial instituions my whole life and the major ones all have similar strengths and concerns. There is a case for diversifying to reduce the risk of losing everything to one hacker- but a counter argument that it's in effect multiplying the number of ...
by digit8
Tue Mar 27, 2018 8:36 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Is anyone buying CDs now instead of I bonds?
Replies: 22
Views: 4486

Re: Is anyone buying CDs now instead of I bonds?

You can't really know what the optimal choice is until after the fact. But I've gone from being a die-hard I Bond advocate to thinking it's not worth the hemming and hawing about the difference between the two. Sure, inflation could go crazy high, but it could also continue to be unexpectedly low- a...
by digit8
Tue Feb 27, 2018 9:45 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What exactly happened in Japan...and can it happen here?
Replies: 52
Views: 11727

Re: What exactly happened in Japan...and can it happen here?

Can it happen here? Yes, anything can. Is it likely enough to be in my Top 10 or 20 worries? No. Tough to talk about without straying into politics, but for the most part you're talking about two countries with significant differences in their national economy, and majorly different roles in the wor...
by digit8
Tue Feb 27, 2018 9:36 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are CD's or "savings accounts" allowed in 403b's?
Replies: 19
Views: 1357

Re: Are CD's or "savings accounts" allowed in 403b's?

No dig on the OP's perfectly valid and reasonable question- but I'd argue it's an interesting picture of a general mood shift, how we've gone from multiple (so many!) threads with versions of "should we invest more in foreign equities?" to multiple takes on "Bonds or CD's?" (not exactly the OP's poi...