Search found 209 matches

by cjcerny
Tue Dec 08, 2015 11:40 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Wife uncomfortable investing in taxable account
Replies: 41
Views: 3198

Re: Wife uncomfortable investing in taxable account

I would pay off the mortgage with that cash rather than invest it. The mortgage is probably her main source of uncertainty. After it is paid off, try again to invest it.
by cjcerny
Fri Dec 04, 2015 1:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Keeping cash on the sidelines?
Replies: 6
Views: 1183

Re: Keeping cash on the sidelines?

I stopped reading after "I know it's foolish to wait...". Set up an auto contribution if that helps.
by cjcerny
Fri Dec 04, 2015 12:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HELP! New Investor
Replies: 4
Views: 637

Re: HELP! New Investor

I would consider paying off any/all loans prior to investing. On paper, it might not make sense to pay off a 4% loan if you can make 6% investing the same money but, in practice, the feeling of being debt free is pretty close runner up to sex. :happy But you have the right idea. Stuff your tax advan...
by cjcerny
Thu Dec 03, 2015 10:43 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Are individual stocks really a bad idea?
Replies: 55
Views: 9772

Re: Are individual stocks really a bad idea?

Find Warren Buffett's 2012-2014 Berkshire shareholder letters on the interwebz and read the passages where he speaks to individual investors. If the most famous (and maybe the best) stock investor of the past 50 years can't sway you towards the least expensive broad stock index fund, then no one can.
by cjcerny
Wed Dec 02, 2015 3:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Helping my parents see the light with Ameriprise
Replies: 75
Views: 11663

Re: Helping my parents see the light with Ameriprise

How about buying them a copy of Bogle's Little Book Of Common Sense and asking them to read it?
by cjcerny
Wed Dec 02, 2015 7:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What am I missing ? ... Smart Phones $100 vs. $600
Replies: 65
Views: 9456

Re: What am I missing ? ... Smart Phones $100 vs. $600

Functionally, they are the same. The more expensive phone is faster, has a better display, and better cameras.
by cjcerny
Wed Dec 02, 2015 7:32 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Couple in 50s need investment help
Replies: 49
Views: 8125

Re: Couple in 50s need investment help

I would keep your investing super simple. Determine a stock/bond ratio--maybe 60/40, 50/50, or 40/60. Use Total Stock Market fund and Total Bond Market fund and that's it. No individual stocks. If you can put the bond portion in a tax advantaged account, do it. If you can't, consider muni bond index...
by cjcerny
Mon Nov 30, 2015 12:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 23 year old wanting to retire before 50
Replies: 44
Views: 8751

Re: 23 year old wanting to retire before 50

Doesn't sound like there is any room for a wife or children in your plan, which is fine, but uncommon. You'll need to make financial concessions to have those things in your life.
by cjcerny
Tue Nov 17, 2015 7:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best credit card for cash back
Replies: 104
Views: 22353

Re: Best credit card for cash back

Consumer Reports recently covered this. They went through the best rewards cards for multiple scenarios. Track it down at your local library.
by cjcerny
Tue Nov 17, 2015 7:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 1999 Honda Civic, 200K miles --- buy a new 2016 Civic?
Replies: 75
Views: 10137

Re: 1999 Honda Civic, 200K miles --- buy a new 2016 Civic?

I would not buy a 2016 Civic. It is a brand new model with lots of changes. It will likely have some teething problems. I would wait until the 2018 model year if you want the new model. Otherwise, I would go with a 2015.
by cjcerny
Tue Nov 17, 2015 6:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thoughts on replacing tires?
Replies: 72
Views: 11017

Re: Thoughts on replacing tires?

Get Michelin Defender. Depending on the size, will run you $450-$550 after the $75 rebate they frequently over. Getting them from a place that offers you free rotation and balancing for the life of the tire is a good idea.
by cjcerny
Mon Nov 16, 2015 4:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Handling high CC debt
Replies: 64
Views: 4718

Re: Handling high CC debt

How about renting the house and moving to a $600/month apartment. That might put another $1k-1.2k a month in your pocket to use on the credit card debt. This is like a 9 alarm fire you have to put out here.
by cjcerny
Mon Nov 16, 2015 4:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Handling high CC debt
Replies: 64
Views: 4718

Re: Handling high CC debt

Is selling the house and moving to a $600/month apartment an option? That's the one I would take if I was in that pickle.
by cjcerny
Mon Nov 16, 2015 3:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: ira investment help
Replies: 7
Views: 684

Re: ira investment help

Don't do it. Stay the course. Even conservative portfolios like that have down years--this is one of them. There will likely not be many. The tides will likely turn in your favor again in future years. Don't fret about what your portfolio balance is on a regular basis. If you're worried, save some o...
by cjcerny
Fri Nov 13, 2015 1:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Grandmother has Major Debt Issues - Help Needed
Replies: 21
Views: 3034

Re: Grandmother has Major Debt Issues - Help Needed

Grandma is in a tough spot, no doubt. Obviously, bankruptcy and debt negotiation are two options that might be available to you. However, it sounds like grandma does have assets, and her creditors and a bankruptcy judge are not going to be inclined to agree to either one of those options if that is ...
by cjcerny
Fri Nov 13, 2015 12:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Grandmother has Major Debt Issues - Help Needed
Replies: 21
Views: 3034

Re: Grandmother has Major Debt Issues - Help Needed

Also: Does anyone know how this would unwind if Grandma died tomorrow? I know that house would be sold to pay HELOC and any extra would pay off personal credit card debt. But what happens to the partnership real estate stake? Would the estate be forced to sell her partial stake to pay off the rest ...
by cjcerny
Fri Nov 13, 2015 12:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Grandmother has Major Debt Issues - Help Needed
Replies: 21
Views: 3034

Re: Grandmother has Major Debt Issues - Help Needed

I suspect the best you can hope for is that grandma's creditors cancel her cards. They will do this if they determine that grandma's debt is too risky for them.
by cjcerny
Fri Nov 13, 2015 10:12 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 3 Fund Portfolio w/my 401k Options
Replies: 9
Views: 1993

Re: 3 Fund Portfolio w/my 401k Options

You've made fine choices. However, I would give the international stock thing another think. Bogleheads love international stock. Bogle himself says don't bother. You're paying 8 times the expenses on the international to get it over US only stock. In my mind, that merits further pondering and readi...
by cjcerny
Fri Nov 13, 2015 7:07 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to do with $50K now and discretionary $7500/month going forward (please advise)
Replies: 25
Views: 5013

Re: What to do with $50K now and discretionary $7500/month going forward (please advise)

All that future cash needs to go into a taxable account, obviously. I would put all of it in VTSAX and then rearrange your tax advantaged accounts so that they contain the 10% bonds. If there's any room left over in the tax advantage accounts, go back to VTSAX. P.S. The expense ration on your Americ...
by cjcerny
Thu Nov 12, 2015 8:12 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: My friend is hoarding cash. What do you say?
Replies: 78
Views: 11841

Re: My friend is hoarding cash. What do you say?

You say "My friend, your grasp on reality is tenuous."
by cjcerny
Thu Nov 12, 2015 7:46 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio advice - old man
Replies: 27
Views: 2984

Re: Portfolio advice - old man

Being Bogleheads, we prize low expenses and simplicity. If you want to stay with Fidelity, you can accomplish both by having a portfolio that consists of 50% Spartan Total Market Index Fund and 50% Spartan U.S. Bond Index Fund. I suspect the returns from that would be even better than what you are c...
by cjcerny
Thu Nov 05, 2015 1:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Use the chip credit card in the US?
Replies: 20
Views: 2507

Re: Use the chip credit card in the US?

Most merchants are not yet required to use chip readers by their banks. They can optionally do so. The Oct. 1st date was an arbitrary date deemed by the credit card industry to demarcate who will be paying for the fraudulent use of credit cards. The responsibility for that now falls on the merchants...
by cjcerny
Thu Nov 05, 2015 11:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is DIY Car maintenance that hard these days?
Replies: 51
Views: 5826

Re: Is DIY Car maintenance that hard these days?

I do the basics on my Toyota--oil change, coolant flush, air filters, brake pads, etc. If you catch a sale on these services, it isn't any less expensive to do them yourself. IMO, main advantage of doing them yourself is that you know they got done right and you can do them when you have the time, n...
by cjcerny
Thu Nov 05, 2015 7:48 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Friend wants to compare advisor to Vanguard, am I making the appropriate comparisons?
Replies: 19
Views: 1928

Re: Friend wants to compare advisor to Vanguard, am I making the appropriate comparisons?

I would just run those funds through a backtester to compare them. Obviously, backtesting isn't going to tell you what is going to happen going forward, but it's an easy place to start.
by cjcerny
Wed Sep 23, 2015 2:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Logic Check - Purpose of bonds in MY portfolio
Replies: 13
Views: 5820

Re: Logic Check - Purpose of bonds in MY portfolio

If the level of volatility in your portfolio does not cause you any stress or cause you to constantly question or change your plan, then there isn't any reason to lower it. Just keep in mind that things might be different once you retire or experience a change in life circumstances. While you are wo...
by cjcerny
Wed Sep 23, 2015 12:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Approximating VTSAX in employer 401K?
Replies: 7
Views: 592

Re: Approximating VTSAX in employer 401K?

With those expenses, you should be asking yourself if you should be contributing anything to your plan or if you should be using an IRA or Roth IRA instead. That's very expensive, despite the fact that you've seen more expenses in other plans.
by cjcerny
Wed Sep 23, 2015 11:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is an ideal vehicle to handle a long commute?
Replies: 93
Views: 8487

Re: What is an ideal vehicle to handle a long commute?

I would not buy snow tires unless you find that a set of all season tires that performs well in the snow do not perform well enough. Try Michelin Defender for all season tires.
by cjcerny
Wed Sep 23, 2015 10:41 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Please help. Need Advice. Negative Rate of return on 401k and Roth IRA.
Replies: 33
Views: 14713

Re: Please help. Need Advice. Negative Rate of return on 401k and Roth IRA.

ROSC: Your original plan (buy international stocks and bonds down the road to go with your domestic stocks) is a fine plan. Just stick to it and you'll be fine--I promise. You'll have plenty of ups and downs over the years, but there will likely be many more up years. A target based plan is also a g...
by cjcerny
Tue Sep 22, 2015 6:45 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I'd like to start investing early - maybe too early?
Replies: 17
Views: 1628

Re: I'd like to start investing early - maybe too early?

Once you have regular income from a job and have the minimum $$ to open an account, I think you should just open a Roth IRA at Vanguard and start piling money into VTSMX. At 18, you won't need that money for a long time and don't need to worry about bonds just yet. Keep in mind that you will also be...
by cjcerny
Tue Sep 22, 2015 5:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Using debit card(s) in France
Replies: 16
Views: 1786

Re: Using debit card(s) in France

Rick Steves is correct--using an ATM is as easy as pie in Europe. Make sure you know what your PIN NUMBER is--some folks remember it by the letters here in the US because their ATM usually has letters on the number keys too. I've never seen a European ATM that had letters on the PIN pad keys.
by cjcerny
Fri Sep 18, 2015 10:07 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Talk me off the Ledge
Replies: 73
Views: 7909

Re: Talk me off the Ledge

Were you investing in late 2008 with the market totally tanked? What was your allocation then? Did you lose sleep over what happened? Try to remember how you felt back then and act accordingly now. Personally, we all have a different tolerance for risk, and that tolerance changes based on your life ...
by cjcerny
Fri Sep 18, 2015 9:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Complete Car Noob- Help Making First Vehicle Purchase
Replies: 72
Views: 8994

Re: Complete Car Noob- Help Making First Vehicle Purchase

Just buy a newer Accord if you like it. It's still a fine choice. Just be aware that a 1 or 2 year old Accord will probably set you back at least $18k or so.
by cjcerny
Thu Sep 17, 2015 12:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering Michelin Premier A/S tires for my Honda Accord. Any thoughts?
Replies: 33
Views: 24394

Re: Considering Michelin Premier A/S tires for my Honda Accord. Any thoughts?

Michelin Defender is a great tire in any weather. A/S might be similar.
by cjcerny
Thu Sep 17, 2015 12:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Wellesley for next 20+ years in IRA?
Replies: 47
Views: 7821

Re: Wellesley for next 20+ years in IRA?

Wellesley is a fine conservative choice. If you want to index instead, something like 30% total stock market and 70% bond market will likely get you a very similar return and volatility at less than half the cost of Wellesley.
by cjcerny
Thu Sep 17, 2015 10:46 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 38yo Looking for advice in setting up from scratch
Replies: 9
Views: 1614

Re: 38yo Looking for advice in setting up from scratch

I would keep it real simple. Put all your bonds ($14400x.28) in your IRA. If there is any space left over in the IRA, fill it up with stock. Then, put the rest of the stock in your cash account. Rebalance the IRA yearly so the percentages are still correct. There isn't really any more sheltering you...
by cjcerny
Mon Sep 14, 2015 2:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Family Car Recommendations
Replies: 85
Views: 9278

Re: Family Car Recommendations

Accord and Camry are really the way to go--especially if you buy a gently used 3 year old car. Subaru Forester is another option to consider. I don't think 4 wheel drive is really something you need. If you put a nice set of all-weather tires on (like the Michelin Defender), you'll get very good sno...
by cjcerny
Mon Sep 14, 2015 12:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with inherited IRA investments
Replies: 17
Views: 1822

Re: Help with inherited IRA investments

Seems like the place to start would be to calculate what your expenses will be in retirement. If the pension and the retirement savings you have already (not including the inheritance) will cover your expenses, then you don't need to invest the inheritance for yourself and can be invested for your d...
by cjcerny
Mon Sep 14, 2015 9:06 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Everyone is saying to get out of Bond Funds? Ignore?
Replies: 55
Views: 11024

Re: Everyone is saying to get out of Bond Funds? Ignore?

No Boglehead is going to tell you to get out of bonds, that's for sure. A Buffett-head might do that. The only other consideration to "getting out of bonds" is that there are other sources of income that could be considered to be "bonds" than traditional bonds. Keep in mind that bonds equate to stab...
by cjcerny
Mon Sep 14, 2015 8:00 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: People who are tapping their retirement savings for living expenses need bonds
Replies: 32
Views: 3209

Re: News Flash: Retirees Need Bonds

I would modify the title of the thread to say "People who are tapping their retirement savings for living expenses need bonds", which is most of us. If you receive enough regular income from social security or a pension or an annuity or all of them to cover your living expenses, then bonds are not n...
by cjcerny
Mon Sep 14, 2015 7:17 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is my asset allocation okay?
Replies: 35
Views: 3081

Re: Is my asset allocation okay?

The difference between Bogle and Buffet really boils down to volatility. Investing most or all of your money in stocks, as Mr. Buffet suggests, is going to result in wild ups and downs. A small percentage of people can handle wild ups and downs--most people cannot. The odds are that you are in the m...
by cjcerny
Tue Sep 08, 2015 9:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Family Car Recommendations
Replies: 85
Views: 9278

Re: Family Car Recommendations

Other than a Camry or an Accord, only other vehicle worth looking at is the Subaru Legacy.
by cjcerny
Tue Sep 08, 2015 7:14 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is the diversification in international stocks necessary?
Replies: 16
Views: 2637

Re: Is the diversification in international stocks necessary?

Bogle says no. Bogleheads say yes. I'm with Bogle, but I understand the reasoning used by Bogleheads for some international exposure. Bogle says he doesn't have a problem with a small amount of international exposure. I don't think a right answer can really be quantified--you'll likely find periods ...
by cjcerny
Tue Sep 08, 2015 6:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Life lessons: Making loans to friends. Insights? Revelations?
Replies: 191
Views: 24386

Re: Life lessons: Making loans to friends. Insights? Revelations?

I loan money to friends/family, but I only loan less than my state's small claim court limit and I make sure that the loan is legally documented for my state and gets stamped by a notary. I also make sure that they have collateral for it. Never had a problem yet.
by cjcerny
Fri Sep 04, 2015 2:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with retired parents' portfolio - TIAA experts welcome!
Replies: 44
Views: 3434

Re: Help with retired parents' portfolio - TIAA experts welcome!

I agree - right now we're just in the education stage! My siblings haven't the slightest interest in personal finance and wouldn't know what I was talking about if I said asset allocation to them, so I don't anticipate issues there - I think they'll just be glad that I am looking out for my parents...
by cjcerny
Fri Sep 04, 2015 1:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with retired parents' portfolio - TIAA experts welcome!
Replies: 44
Views: 3434

Re: Help with retired parents' portfolio - TIAA experts welcome!

I understand. I've been in this situation too, when my father passed away and my mother inherited his assets. Does sound like some action needs to be taken, but I wouldn't lift a finger without first getting your parents and siblings on board too. Transparency is the key to success here, I suspect.
by cjcerny
Fri Sep 04, 2015 1:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to avoid losing a cell phone
Replies: 57
Views: 4770

Re: How to avoid losing a cell phone

There are a couple of different Bluetooth tag systems available commercially that are designed to fight this problem. Proximo, PebbleBee, and Pixie Point are the names of some of them. They work on anything you stick them to.
by cjcerny
Fri Sep 04, 2015 12:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with retired parents' portfolio - TIAA experts welcome!
Replies: 44
Views: 3434

Re: Help with retired parents' portfolio - TIAA experts welcome!

I don't think there's that much to fix here either, especially if you haven't been asked to fix anything by your parents. The expenses aren't terrible and you'll never get the up front load back if they were charged one, obviously. Could be that the asset allocation is off, by that would be fairly e...
by cjcerny
Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Switch to Admiral a big tax hit?
Replies: 15
Views: 2082

Re: Switch to Admiral a big tax hit?

Didn't realize that it was a tax-free switch. Thanks for the help. Much appreciated.
by cjcerny
Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Switch to Admiral a big tax hit?
Replies: 15
Views: 2082

Switch to Admiral a big tax hit?

I just passed the $10k mark in VTSMX. Wondering if I would take a big tax hit to move to everything to VTSAX or if the tax hit is worth it because of the additional expense savings. Thoughts?