Search found 2044 matches

by jhfenton
Tue Jan 19, 2016 2:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How to compare mutual funds after expenses
Replies: 11
Views: 768

Re: How to compare mutual funds after expenses

All mutual fund performance data is reported net of (after) expenses. If you want to compare an active fund's performance to a benchmark, I suppose you could subtract the expense ratio from the index, but that's giving the fund too much credit. If it's an active fund, it's supposed to overcome expen...
by jhfenton
Tue Jan 19, 2016 1:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: comparing an etf to a mutual fund
Replies: 3
Views: 435

Re: comparing an etf to a mutual fund

Even Morningstar does it, and it drives me batty. The "Chart" tab on an ETF yields a meaningless price chart. The "Chart" tab on a mutual fund yields a meaningful growth-of-$10K chart. You get completely different charts if you start with the VO chart and add SMBYX as a compariso...
by jhfenton
Tue Jan 19, 2016 1:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Mechanics of selling ETF and buying the fund
Replies: 14
Views: 1230

Re: Mechanics of selling ETF and buying the fund

I did it eight times after moving our accounts from TD Ameritrade to Vanguard. All of my exchanges were in tax-deferred so I didn't have to worry about gains or wash sales. I confirmed with Vanguard CSR that I could do it. And I still only did one (VBR->VSIAX = Vanguard Small Cap Value) the first da...
by jhfenton
Tue Jan 19, 2016 12:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax Loss Harvesting
Replies: 15
Views: 1172

Re: Tax Loss Harvesting

I reinvest for my tax-exempt bond funds. I'm not likely to ever TLH even my Vanguard Long-Term Ohio Tax Exempt. I don't reinvest for my Vanguard Emerging Markets Index ETF (VWO) because I don't want to deal with fractional shares that I can't manually sell. I do have Vanguard Emerging Markets Index ...
by jhfenton
Tue Jan 19, 2016 11:57 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax Loss Harvesting
Replies: 15
Views: 1172

Re: Tax Loss Harvesting

If the positions are eligible for SpecID, the lot data will show up the day after you make the election on the website. I initially had one mutual fund position (Vanguard Ohio Long-Term Tax Exempt) default to AvgCost. When I switched it to SpecID, the lots showed up the next day. I use SpecID for ev...
by jhfenton
Tue Jan 19, 2016 10:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard incorrectly flagged wash sale - what to do?
Replies: 27
Views: 2899

Re: Vanguard incorrectly flagged wash sale - what to do?

I agree with this. The disallowed loss from lot 1 is transferred as an increase in basis to lot 2. The sale of lot 2 then closes out the transaction, and mathematically (and tax-wise) you are exactly where you thought you'd be. This should be the case. I had the same thing happen to me with a small...
by jhfenton
Tue Jan 19, 2016 9:59 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: eyeing micro-cap stocks
Replies: 39
Views: 3651

Re: eyeing micro-cap stocks

The trouble with such ideas is that they always work great IF you pick the right stocks. And there's the rub. With micro-caps in particular, the kinds of ratios, etc, that you get from a regular screener can easily conceal all sorts of evil stuff going on under the hood. You'd really want to take a...
by jhfenton
Mon Jan 18, 2016 9:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is being "defensive" on bonds the same as market timing?
Replies: 3
Views: 462

Re: Is being "defensive" on bonds the same as market timing?

Yes. It's market timing. If you're building your own bond portfolio, I can understand tweaking duration a bit at the margins, going from the long end of intermediate to the short end of intermediate. Maybe changing a bond portfolio's average duration from 6.5 years to 5 years. But I don't see the wi...
by jhfenton
Mon Jan 18, 2016 8:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: vanguard short term bond index
Replies: 21
Views: 2331

Re: vanguard short term bond index

That doesn't sound like staying the course. It sounds like market timing based on an interest rate prediction. Folks have far too much fear of interest rate increases. Unless you're talking about 20-30 year bonds, or long-term zero coupon bonds, the potential principal loss from modest interest rate...
by jhfenton
Mon Jan 18, 2016 8:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Any explanation to why Wealthfront is quoting a much higher EM capitalization than Vanguard?
Replies: 13
Views: 1328

Re: Any explanation to why Wealthfront is quoting a much higher EM capitalization than Vanguard?

From the Wealthfront page: "Figures are not float adjusted and Korea is considered an emerging market consistent with MSCI indexes."

Vanguard follows FTSE indexes, which consider South Korea a developed market. And the FTSE indexes Vanguard follows are float-adjusted.
by jhfenton
Sun Jan 17, 2016 12:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Prime: doing the math...is it worth it?
Replies: 111
Views: 14137

Re: Amazon Prime: doing the math...is it worth it?

I canceled prime a few years ago when they raised the price to a hundred bucks, but restarted it in April when I got rid of cable TV. Not sure if I want to end time to analyze my orders in great detail, but I know I have gotten back about $15-20 in credits for digital media purchases by agreeing to...
by jhfenton
Sun Jan 17, 2016 11:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Prime: doing the math...is it worth it?
Replies: 111
Views: 14137

Re: Amazon Prime: doing the math...is it worth it?

According to Amazon, we placed 116 Amazon orders in 2013, 91 in 2014, and 89 in 2015. A few of those are single shopping carts split into separate orders by Amazon, but on a per-order basis, it's still been about a dollar per order over the last three years (at $79/year). We just renewed in December...
by jhfenton
Sat Jan 16, 2016 8:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Oil and the Stock Market - Why?
Replies: 27
Views: 2120

Re: Oil and the Stock Market - Why?

I have found it striking too, and somewhat irrational. I understand that declining oil prices may in some sense reflect decreased demand, slowing economic growth, etc., in addition to increased supplies, but why should the prospect of a further drop due to increased supplies from Iran or Saudi Arabi...
by jhfenton
Sat Jan 16, 2016 1:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Alternatives to Savings Accounts?
Replies: 12
Views: 1148

Re: Alternatives to Savings Accounts?

Gotcha, guess those are off the table then. Capital gains and losses on short-term or ultra-short-term bonds are usually quite small, as the NAV doesn't vary widely. I use Limited-Term Tax Exempt (VMLTX/VMLUX) as my manual money market fund, so I have lots of tiny gains and losses (fortunately Vang...
by jhfenton
Sat Jan 16, 2016 12:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VFIUX (Intermediate Treasury) vs. VSIGX (Intermediate Government Bond Index)
Replies: 13
Views: 1921

Re: VFIUX (Intermediate Treasury) vs. VSIGX (Intermediate Government Bond Index)

VSIGX follows the 3-10 year Barclays as a benchmark. VFIUX follows the 5-10 year Barclays as a benchmark. The latter is 10 years older and has multi-billions in assets. VSIGX has yet to crack 1 billion. I've been comparing these for a couple of years and still can't see much difference. When ready ...
by jhfenton
Sat Jan 16, 2016 12:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Alternatives to Savings Accounts?
Replies: 12
Views: 1148

Re: Alternatives to Savings Accounts?

I think it makes sense to keep some cash at 1% in "high-yield" savings, but I personally don't feel the need to keep more than a few months of expenses in cash. The next tier could be 5-year CDs (eventually a ladder of them), safe and generating 2%+, but less liquid. Or it could be Vanguar...
by jhfenton
Sat Jan 16, 2016 12:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VFIUX (Intermediate Treasury) vs. VSIGX (Intermediate Government Bond Index)
Replies: 13
Views: 1921

Re: VFIUX (Intermediate Treasury) vs. VSIGX (Intermediate Government Bond Index)

Would one rather hold the index in taxable? For unique reasons, I hold VFIUX (Int. Treasury) in taxable (25% bracket) and now that I see the other option, I'm wondering if a switch would be wise. 5 year Morningstar tax cost ratio, which I believe is still based on the highest brackets, is 1.0% for ...
by jhfenton
Sat Jan 16, 2016 12:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VFIUX (Intermediate Treasury) vs. VSIGX (Intermediate Government Bond Index)
Replies: 13
Views: 1921

Re: VFIUX (Intermediate Treasury) vs. VSIGX (Intermediate Government Bond Index)

They are very, very similar funds with identical expense ratios. The main difference is that VSIGX is an index fund with a $10,000 minimum and an ETF share class (VGIT). VFIUX is technically not an index fund, so the Admiral Shares minimum is $50,000 and there is no ETF share class. I have no idea w...
by jhfenton
Sat Jan 16, 2016 11:59 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Index Funds (Admiral) vs ETFs (Advantages and disadvantages)
Replies: 24
Views: 5317

Re: Vanguard Index Funds (Admiral) vs ETFs (Advantages and disadvantages)

Re-balancing is infinitely easier with mutual funds compared to ETFs. With mutual funds, all positions, across multiple brokerage houses or DC plan administrators, can be simply and instantaneously re-balanced. Mutual funds offer the ability to exchange shares in one action rather than a cumbersome...
by jhfenton
Sat Jan 16, 2016 11:14 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Index Funds (Admiral) vs ETFs (Advantages and disadvantages)
Replies: 24
Views: 5317

Re: Vanguard Index Funds (Admiral) vs ETFs (Advantages and disadvantages)

Generally admiral and ETF shares have the same expense ratio, but this is not a certainty. I believe a sector fund recently demo'd a basis point diference and so did the total international annual report. Yes. With the new expense ratios announced for some funds in December, there were two sector f...
by jhfenton
Fri Jan 15, 2016 10:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Index Funds (Admiral) vs ETFs (Advantages and disadvantages)
Replies: 24
Views: 5317

Re: Vanguard Index Funds (Admiral) vs ETFs (Advantages and disadvantages)

I'd add the ease of automated investments with mutual funds and T+1 settlement for faster cash withdrawals (versus T+3 for ETFs), but otherwise your list captures most of the differences in my mind. I would also discount portability as an advantage, since--except for a few bond funds--all Vanguard m...
by jhfenton
Fri Jan 15, 2016 10:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Best way to move ETFs into Mutual Funds
Replies: 3
Views: 585

Re: Best way to move ETFs into Mutual Funds

Great info! Thanks so much for the response! Greatly appreciated Yesterday and today are good examples of good days and bad days to convert. Yesterday, VXUS (Total International) closed at a premium with international markets down and U.S. markets up; today it closed at a discount with U.S. markets...
by jhfenton
Fri Jan 15, 2016 8:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Vanguard Online Access Problems]
Replies: 113
Views: 5043

Re: Vanguard account access issues this evening?

stevewolfe wrote:Duplicate post of here.

Bottom line is the website is down and there is no ETA.

Thank you so very much. If you notice, we posted simultaneously, both at 7:51 PM EST exactly, and we have each acknowledged the other's thread.

And besides, service has been restored.
by jhfenton
Fri Jan 15, 2016 8:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Vanguard Online Access Problems]
Replies: 113
Views: 5043

Re: Vanguard account access issues this evening?

I spoke to the most delightful representative. She said that they were having issues, so they locked everyone out for security reasons. Hence the ominous mobile app message. No ETA on a remedy. She was unaware of Bogleheads.org, but promised to pay us a visit, as she is a "finance nerd." S...
by jhfenton
Fri Jan 15, 2016 8:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Vanguard Online Access Problems]
Replies: 113
Views: 5043

Re: Vanguard.com

I spoke to the most delightful representative. She said that they were having issues, so they locked everyone out for security reasons. Hence the ominous mobile app message. No ETA on a remedy. She was unaware of Bogleheads.org, but promised to pay us a visit, as she is a "finance nerd." S...
by jhfenton
Fri Jan 15, 2016 7:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Vanguard Online Access Problems]
Replies: 113
Views: 5043

Re: Vanguard.com

I'm also having issues logging in. It just says "Your account information is temporarily unavailable." Yep. Same here. As I posted in another thread simultaneously, the mobile app gives a more alarming error message: "Access to your account has been disabled. Please contact us."
by jhfenton
Fri Jan 15, 2016 7:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Vanguard Online Access Problems]
Replies: 113
Views: 5043

Re: Vanguard account access issues this evening?

It must be. The system told me 16 to 24 minutes. I'm probably halfway through the 16 now.

I assumed it was just an outage, but then the error on the mobile app was more concerning. I didn't want to be locked out for some mysterious reason over the long weekend.
by jhfenton
Fri Jan 15, 2016 7:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Vanguard Online Access Problems]
Replies: 113
Views: 5043

Re: Vanguard.com

Yes. We posted almost simultaneously.
by jhfenton
Fri Jan 15, 2016 7:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Vanguard Online Access Problems]
Replies: 113
Views: 5043

Vanguard account access issues this evening?

Is anyone else having trouble accessing his or her account this evening? I logged in earlier today, but this evening I am greeted on the web with "Your account information is temporarily unavailable." My wife's login, which is seldom used, results in the same error. On the mobile apps, I g...
by jhfenton
Fri Jan 15, 2016 7:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: It sure looks like a good time to invest in oil
Replies: 111
Views: 15763

Re: It sure looks like a good time to invest in oil

I'm no expert, but I disagree that this is a good time to invest in oil if you're looking for the bottom, because 1.) OPEC seems to have doubled down on its policy not to curtail production in the face of global surplus, in order to put pressure on higher-cost producers (e.g. US frackers); 2.) with...
by jhfenton
Fri Jan 15, 2016 6:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: vanguard tax exempt bond fund recommendations
Replies: 22
Views: 2672

Re: vanguard tax exempt bond fund recommendations

It's not just term risk. Sure, high quality munis basically have never defaulted out of the blue, but when you're looking way out in the future, who knows? 20+ years is a long time and a lot can happen in the meantime. If the economy is weak in the long term (you never know), if stock returns are w...
by jhfenton
Fri Jan 15, 2016 6:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Intraday pricing of mutual funds
Replies: 20
Views: 2092

Re: Intraday pricing of mutual funds

I have a subsection of my portfolio spreadsheet with an "alternate history" version of my portfolio created with ETFs instead of the corresponding Vanguard Admiral Shares fund. I use the actual NAV-to-NAV ratio for the ETF and Admiral Shares, so if the ETF trades at exactly NAV, my portfol...
by jhfenton
Fri Jan 15, 2016 5:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: WLI: How many years to front load?
Replies: 5
Views: 839

Re: WLI: How many years to front load?

Typically, the members of this site are very anti-whole life insurance. This does not mean that I am saying it is not appropriate for your situation. I have no idea whether it is or not. Most on this site would recommend against WLI, even after you have maxed out tax advantaged accounts. Pretty muc...
by jhfenton
Fri Jan 15, 2016 5:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: vanguard tax exempt bond fund recommendations
Replies: 22
Views: 2672

Re: vanguard tax exempt bond fund recommendations

I'm in Ohio, and Vanguard doesn't have an intermediate Ohio fund, so I split between limited-term (1/3) and Ohio long-term (2/3). I'd probably do that even if they did have an intermediate fund. Folks fear interest rate risk far too much and lump everything "long-term" into the same bucket...
by jhfenton
Fri Jan 15, 2016 12:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I'm sitting here watching FOX Business...14200??
Replies: 92
Views: 10266

Re: I'm sitting here watching FOX Business...14200??

They're saying we're ultimately going to dive to 14200, that's a hard pill to swallow. Would we be in a bear market at that point or a full blown recession? Aren't we in a bear right now? We're in a global bear now. Our 50% international (15% EM) portfolio is down more than 20% (IRR) from the highs...
by jhfenton
Fri Jan 15, 2016 12:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Best way to move ETFs into Mutual Funds
Replies: 3
Views: 585

Re: Best way to move ETFs into Mutual Funds

If it's a non-margin account, including a retirement account, you can sell an ETF and immediately buy a mutual fund with the proceeds, even though ETFs settle at T+3 while mutual funds settle at T+1. If you wait until the end of the day to sell the ETF, you can minimize the friction. With U.S. ETFs ...
by jhfenton
Fri Jan 15, 2016 10:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's your company 401k contribution
Replies: 105
Views: 7170

Re: What's your company 401k contribution

We have a safe-harbor plan that matches 100% on 3% and 50% on another 2%, so 5% gets you 4%. Since it's a safe-harbor plan, the match is 100% vested from day one.

My wife's former employer matched 50% on 8%, so also 4% total.
by jhfenton
Thu Jan 14, 2016 10:31 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: "Emergency Fund": MM, TIPS fund, CDs/bank acct, or IBonds
Replies: 11
Views: 732

Re: "Emergency Fund": MM, TIPS fund, CDs/bank acct, or IBonds

Admiral- I'm in a similar position. In an effort to keep things simple, I keep the MM at Vanguard earning essentially nothing. I'm not sure moving your MM balance into TIPS would be much different than moving it into your existing muni bond fund. Why not move the balance to your muni fund? Every ye...
by jhfenton
Thu Jan 14, 2016 10:02 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: "Emergency Fund": MM, TIPS fund, CDs/bank acct, or IBonds
Replies: 11
Views: 732

Re: "Emergency Fund": MM, TIPS fund, CDs/bank acct, or IBonds

Our emergency funds, as a practical matter: Tier 1 - Checking (0.x%) Tier 1b - Savings (1%) Tier 1c - Credit Card (month-long float at 0% interest) Tier 2 - Vanguard Limited-Term Tax Exempt (0.93% TE SEC Yield, 1.48% TE distribution yield) Tier 3 - Vanguard Ohio Long-Term Tax Exempt (2.15% TE SEC Yi...
by jhfenton
Thu Jan 14, 2016 9:50 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Converting ETF to Mutual Fund with no taxable event
Replies: 2
Views: 304

Re: Converting ETF to Mutual Fund with no taxable event

VTIAX is Total International, not Total World. There are no Admiral Shares of Total World, just Investor at 0.27%, ETF at 0.17%, and Institutional at 0.15%. But to answer your question, there is no mechanism to convert from ETF to mutual fund. The conversion mechanism only works in the other directi...
by jhfenton
Wed Jan 13, 2016 8:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thoughts on this NYT article about saving money
Replies: 11
Views: 3157

Re: Thoughts on this NYT article about saving money

So the alternative to indexing is? What about when you buy, you buy the market at the current market cap weight but never rebalance. No selling until you need to money. As opposed to vanguard total stock market, which has to buy and sell shares to remain at the cap weight. That's the point of cap w...
by jhfenton
Tue Jan 12, 2016 10:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is VITPX is the most cheapest of all index mutual funds?
Replies: 15
Views: 2359

Re: Is VITPX is the most cheapest of all index mutual funds?

InvestorNewb wrote:Also don't forget that the cheapest MER fund isn't necessarily the cheapest overall. There could be a higher spread between the bid and the ask price if the fund isn't as liquid.

Open-ended mutual funds don't have bid-ask spreads.
by jhfenton
Tue Jan 12, 2016 10:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Individual bonds- How does a broker make money
Replies: 8
Views: 592

Re: Individual bonds- How does a broker make money

As others have said, it's hidden in the bid-ask spread on the bonds. On treasuries, it may only be 5 bp (50 cents per $1,000 par value). Those are easy for individuals to trade in $1,000 or $5,000 blocks. And you don't have to worry about diversification. On a well-traded AAPL bond, it looks like sp...
by jhfenton
Tue Jan 12, 2016 9:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thoughts on this NYT article about saving money
Replies: 11
Views: 3157

Re: Thoughts on this NYT article about saving money

So the alternative to indexing is? What about when you buy, you buy the market at the current market cap weight but never rebalance. No selling until you need to money. As opposed to vanguard total stock market, which has to buy and sell shares to remain at the cap weight. That's the point of cap w...
by jhfenton
Tue Jan 12, 2016 9:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Lottery into SPY
Replies: 17
Views: 2117

Re: Lottery into SPY

With a purchase that large, you would probably be best served by arranging with a market maker to buy some new 50,000 share creation units.

Edit: I should have refreshed, alex_686 beat me to it.
by jhfenton
Tue Jan 12, 2016 2:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Customer Service
Replies: 301
Views: 32282

Re: Vanguard Customer Service

T called me back this afternoon after doing some homework. He has documented the money bouncing back, and has referred it to IT this time with a high priority status, since it's interfering with an IRA contribution. In the meantime, I transferred $50 via ACH to cover the debit in my Roth. In my expe...
by jhfenton
Tue Jan 12, 2016 12:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: small cap help please
Replies: 6
Views: 592

Re: small cap help please

Some of us do "overweight" small cap, particularly small cap value. I do. But if you do, you need to put it in your Investment Policy Statement and stick with it, because if it pays off, it may not pay off for a long time. And you need to be able to stick it out. If you try it, underperfor...
by jhfenton
Tue Jan 12, 2016 11:03 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Customer Service
Replies: 301
Views: 32282

Re: Vanguard Customer Service

I spoke to a different rep, B, who is going to follow up with my previous rep, T, who works in Phoenix and is not in yet. B will make sure that T follows up with me. B said that T is an advanced rep who has additional customer service capabilities like receiving direct email, so I should be able to ...
by jhfenton
Tue Jan 12, 2016 8:53 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Customer Service
Replies: 301
Views: 32282

Re: Vanguard Customer Service

And just like last week, things looked right this morning at 7:00 AM, but went agley by 8:30 AM. The system sold 4.521 shares of VMLTX at $11.06 to raise $50.00. The system bought 4.517 shares of VTMGX at $11.07 at a cost of $50.00. At 7:00 AM this morning, the cash transfer was still pending into a...
by jhfenton
Mon Jan 11, 2016 6:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do Emergency Funds Count as a part of Retirement portfolio?
Replies: 35
Views: 3382

Re: Do Emergency Funds Count as a part of Retirement portfolio?

Some folks do, on the theory that they are all assets. Some folks don't on the theory that they are separate portfolios for separate goals. I compromise. I count my second-tier and third-tier emergency funds as part of our retirement portfolio. Those are muni bond funds (second-tier) and equity inve...