Search found 23323 matches

by grabiner
Sat Dec 13, 2008 12:27 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Target-date funds & near retirees and such
Replies: 28
Views: 4284

And when you bring up the fact that Vanguard decided to boost its equity portion of the TR funds, no one wants to debate the merits of it. I recall asking Taylor what he thought of it and got no response. Oh well. And I posted in support of the old strategy. Target retirement funds are intended for...
by grabiner
Thu Dec 11, 2008 11:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Invest in bonds when you have a mortgage?
Replies: 31
Views: 4908

Good morning, folks. First post here. Looks like a great site! 8) I don't know if it's been mentioned but in determining whether it's worthwhile prepaying a mortgage (mine is 5%) I have used the following reasoning... If you take a compound interest calculator and pop in your numbers you may be sur...
by grabiner
Thu Dec 11, 2008 11:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: You Willing To Pay 86% In Capital Gains?
Replies: 9
Views: 2343

That's astonishing. How is it possible to have a bigger cap gain distribution than the actual amount of the gain? Because shares can be redeemed without passing on the gain, leaving the remaining shareholders holding the bag. In addition, unrealized gains from previous years can be realized. For ex...
by grabiner
Thu Dec 11, 2008 10:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard to offer International Small-Cap Index Fund
Replies: 138
Views: 33311

Would this fund be okay if held in a taxable account? It should qualify for the foreign tax credit. Index funds generally don't throw off capital gains, and small blend is one of the lowest dividend producers of all equity asset classes. Except when companies grow to a market capitalization where t...
by grabiner
Thu Dec 11, 2008 10:35 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: No wash sale on gains
Replies: 7
Views: 1738

Re: No wash sale on gains

You may still pay state tax; if you are planning to hold the stock for a very long time (20 years or more), paying 6% state tax this year may be worse than paying 21% combined federal and state tax years from now. I don't see how paying 6% this year could possibly be worse than paying 21% on the ap...
by grabiner
Thu Dec 11, 2008 10:23 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: I've created an accounting mess. Keep digging or stop?
Replies: 15
Views: 3489

There is no accounting mess since Vanguard keeps track of your cost basis for you and will calculate your short and long term capital gains or losses at the end of each year. This applies only if you use average-cost accounting. If you use another method, you have to ignore the information Vanguard...
by grabiner
Thu Dec 11, 2008 10:21 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Tax loss harvesters: remember not to reinvest dividends
Replies: 2
Views: 1141

Tax loss harvesters: remember not to reinvest dividends

If you harvested a loss recently, remember to turn off dividend reinvestment in the same fund in order to avoid a wash sale. I am currently underweighted in emerging markets, so I thought about turning dividend reinvestment back on in Emerging Markets Index in order to avoid the purchase fee on the ...
by grabiner
Wed Dec 10, 2008 11:24 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Proposed change to the Investment Planning Sticky
Replies: 4
Views: 1802

Re: I treat mine as an investment

I agree with putting the HSA near the top of investment priorities if it is available. If you are in a 33% combined federal and state tax bracket, then you get a 50% match on your HSA, as it costs you only $670 to put $1000 into the account. That's almost as good as getting a 50% match on your 401(...
by grabiner
Wed Dec 10, 2008 11:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Question on wash sale rule for tax exempt funds
Replies: 6
Views: 1416

Wagnerjb wrote:By the way, I don't think you can have a "wash sale" using Vanguard's Muni bond funds. There aren't any that are substantially similar.
You can probably do it now, by selling Long-Term Insured Tax-Exempt and buying Long-Term Tax-Exempt before the two funds merge.
by grabiner
Wed Dec 10, 2008 10:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Health Saving Account vs. Flexible Spending Account
Replies: 12
Views: 2777

Re: Health Saving Account vs. Flexible Spending Account

If I pledge $2,000... I get all $2,000 in the FSA in January. For the HSA, I have to wait throughout the year as that $2,000 "builds". You can drop $2000 in your HSA account in January just like FSA. However, some HSA's are funded by employer contributions (as part of the insurance plan), and those...
by grabiner
Wed Dec 10, 2008 10:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Economic and Market Probabilities
Replies: 41
Views: 5793

Re: Economic and Market Probabilities

I6-12 months market estimates. My estimate is that within this period there is a 70-80% chance things will not improve. One would be hard pressed to find any expert saying that improvement is expected in this short term. You will find many who believe that no improvement will be seen for at least t...
by grabiner
Wed Dec 10, 2008 10:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Invest in bonds when you have a mortgage?
Replies: 31
Views: 4908

Good morning, folks. First post here. Looks like a great site! 8) I don't know if it's been mentioned but in determining whether it's worthwhile prepaying a mortgage (mine is 5%) I have used the following reasoning... If you take a compound interest calculator and pop in your numbers you may be sur...
by grabiner
Wed Dec 10, 2008 10:32 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: No wash sale on gains
Replies: 7
Views: 1738

Re: No wash sale on gains

I will be in the 15% tax bracket this year. I will therefore be paying 0% taxes on long term capital gains. I would like to confirm I can harvest some of my long term capital gains by selling some of my appreciated stock and immediately (within minutes) buying back the same stock. i.e. there is no ...
by grabiner
Tue Dec 09, 2008 10:39 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Proposed change to the Investment Planning Sticky
Replies: 4
Views: 1802

I treat mine as an investment

I agree with putting the HSA near the top of investment priorities if it is available. If you are in a 33% combined federal and state tax bracket, then you get a 50% match on your HSA, as it costs you only $670 to put $1000 into the account. That's almost as good as getting a 50% match on your 401(k...
by grabiner
Tue Dec 09, 2008 10:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Newbie Question About Rebalancing
Replies: 3
Views: 805

Re: Newbie Question About Rebalancing

I've tried researching the concept of rebalancing but there isn't much in the Boglehead Reference Library. All I would like to know is how does one rebalance? Do you purchase more funds to rebalance? Sell funds to rebalance? Exchange funds to rebalance? All of the above depending on a person's situ...
by grabiner
Tue Dec 09, 2008 10:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How do index funds avoid overvaluation of underlying stock?
Replies: 7
Views: 1811

I thought long and hard about this a few months ago. I discovered equal-weight indexing where for example a SP500 fund would own 0.20% of each of the companies exactly. I checked out past performance and it was nearly identical to the normal index. That would be a mid-cap index, though, because hal...
by grabiner
Tue Dec 09, 2008 10:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Invest in bonds when you have a mortgage?
Replies: 31
Views: 4908

From the Wiki ~ Usually, you should pay down the loan if the after-tax interest rate on the loan is significantly higher than the after-tax rate you can earn on a comparable bond investment (a low-risk bond investment with duration equal to the time until you will pay off the loan) Long-Term Treasu...
by grabiner
Tue Dec 09, 2008 10:12 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Our Tax Guy is Against TLH--Help!
Replies: 80
Views: 14803

Re: A few questions about TLH from this discussion

Based on what I have read thus far, TLH is of maximum benefit if you reinvest the tax savings. If the loss is more than you can claim in one year, do you still try to reinvest all the estimated tax savings in the year you take the loss, or do you reinvest in each year you take a claim on those loss...
by grabiner
Tue Dec 09, 2008 10:06 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Question about Cost Basis Methods
Replies: 5
Views: 1164

Re: Question about Cost Basis Methods

My question is what cost basis method I would need to use for the remaining shares? My understanding is that once you pick the specific identification method for an account, you need to stick with that method for all shares in that account. Am I correct? If so, I can certainly track all of the rema...
by grabiner
Tue Dec 09, 2008 12:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Civics Quiz
Replies: 64
Views: 9063

I also got 33, with "wall of separation" answered by elimination and Lincoln-Douglas a partial guess.
by grabiner
Tue Dec 09, 2008 12:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone thinking of 100% equity in the next 6-12 months?
Replies: 193
Views: 30083

90% equity, but comparable risk to 100% equity portfolios

I'm 90% equity, not 100%, but I have very risky equity, so I probably have more risk than most 100% equity investors. Here's my target allocation (which is the same as I have had since 2004, except that I added emerging markets small because it is now available as EWX): 5% US large growth 15% US lar...
by grabiner
Tue Dec 09, 2008 12:05 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: TLH VTMGX and VTMSX
Replies: 5
Views: 1853

Re: TLH VTMGX and VTMSX

I have substantial losses in VTMGX and VTMSX. Here is what I am thinking: -Convert VTMGX to VEA to avoid the 1% redemption fee (will have to open Vanguard Brokerage account to do this) This may not be worth it unless you have a large amount to harvest or are Flagship; you'll pay $50 to do the conve...
by grabiner
Tue Dec 09, 2008 12:02 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Our Tax Guy is Against TLH--Help!
Replies: 80
Views: 14803

Re: Taxman's bad advice

Maybe it's just me, but I don't see much benefit in it, for the long-term. Maybe I'm just too lazy and I don't count every penny? You can only stretch out $3k/year for only so long... But you'll eventually have gains, when you sell stock because you need to sell it or because you are rebalancing ra...
by grabiner
Mon Dec 08, 2008 11:50 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: how do you keep track of your AA?
Replies: 50
Views: 8826

Wiki reference on how to use a spreadsheet

I use my own spreadsheet; there is a Wiki link to my spreadsheet and to the principles for designing spreadsheets at
Using a Spreadsheet to Maintain a Portfolio
by grabiner
Mon Dec 08, 2008 11:45 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard gets it right with specific ID
Replies: 10
Views: 2532

Re: Vanguard gets it right with specific ID

Vanguard has been inconsistent with how they handle specific ID of sales, but on my last sale (on which it is particularly important because it was a very large sale to harvest a large loss), they handled it right, and they apparently now have a proper form letter. That's really good news-the fact ...
by grabiner
Mon Dec 08, 2008 11:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: (taxes) shopping for funds w/ unrealized depreciation
Replies: 5
Views: 1446

I guess I didn't consider that the funds can still realize gains this year, and so the realized loss may still be useful. A lot of funds will realize gains this year because investors bailed out and forced the fund to sell stocks, and many of those stocks were long-term holdings of the fund which s...
by grabiner
Mon Dec 08, 2008 11:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: managed funds v. index: evidence needed
Replies: 37
Views: 4979

I think I'm missing something. Don't volatility, market risk, inflation risk, and other forms of risk vary by asset class? Isn't the risk profile of 100% cash different than 100% stocks or 100% bonds? Yes but they may also vary from one fund to the next within an asset class. If you chose to go wit...
by grabiner
Sun Dec 07, 2008 10:02 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Paying Off the Mortgage Rules !!!!!!!
Replies: 85
Views: 16678

In my opinion the "peace of mind" explanations for paying off a mortgage are emotional matters above and beyond prudent business decisions. Builders, developers, private investors and Corporations all use mortgages as an ongoing financial decision for purchasing or developing property. The comparis...
by grabiner
Sun Dec 07, 2008 9:54 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard gets it right with specific ID
Replies: 10
Views: 2532

Vanguard gets it right with specific ID

Vanguard has been inconsistent with how they handle specific ID of sales, but on my last sale (on which it is particularly important because it was a very large sale to harvest a large loss), they handled it right, and they apparently now have a proper form letter. Not only does the letter acknowled...
by grabiner
Sun Dec 07, 2008 6:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: managed funds v. index: evidence needed
Replies: 37
Views: 4979

Re: managed funds v. index: evidence needed

My step father says his portfolio manager showed him how the managed funds he selected usually beat the relevant index. Part of the problem with evaluating this claim is a lack of reliable records. Does the advisor have a record of all the managed funds he recommended ten years ago, as compiled at ...
by grabiner
Sun Dec 07, 2008 5:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: managed funds v. index: evidence needed
Replies: 37
Views: 4979

Re: What mix?

What mix of index funds would you use to replicate Wellesley Admiral fund. 38% equity and 62% bonds. How would that mix compare to Wellesley's 1,3,5,10 year returns? The best approximation is 38% Value Index, 62% Intermediate-Term Investment-Grade (not quite an index but with index-like behavior an...
by grabiner
Sun Dec 07, 2008 1:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA contributions
Replies: 5
Views: 1482

This may be possible, but why would spouses have separate HSA's, when one spouse could have an HSA with a HDHP that provides family coverage? BruceM A couple with no children may be able to get two individual policies for less than the cost of one family policy. In addition, some employers give a h...
by grabiner
Sun Dec 07, 2008 12:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Health Savings Accounts: Awesome Theory - Garbage Execution
Replies: 86
Views: 15310

Re: Health Savings Accounts: Awesome Theory - Garbage Execut

HSAs in theory are incredible. Triple Tax Advantaged. You can start one when you are young and less likely to need medical care and get a cheaper high deductable health plan and put extra money into the HSA for later in life, letting it grow tax free and spending it tax free! It sounds amazing unti...
by grabiner
Sun Dec 07, 2008 12:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Health Savings Accounts: Awesome Theory - Garbage Execution
Replies: 86
Views: 15310

What does "above-the-line deduction" mean? It means it's not a deduction you itemize on Schedule A, and you get it whether you itemize or not. Doesn't it then have the same effect as contributing on a pre-tax basis? Except you can't reduce the Social Security and Medicare taxes? You might even have...
by grabiner
Sun Dec 07, 2008 12:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: (taxes) shopping for funds w/ unrealized depreciation
Replies: 5
Views: 1446

Re: (taxes) shopping for funds w/ unrealized depreciation

For my taxable investments, I'm harvesting some losses, but considering shifting permanently into the funds I exchange into. It seems like I should select new funds with roughly the same small/large growth/value AA, but I'm looking to get the best buys with regard to minimizing future capital gains...
by grabiner
Sun Dec 07, 2008 12:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Best software to track cap. gains and losses?
Replies: 1
Views: 1118

Re: Best software to track cap. gains and losses?

For those of us tax-loss harvesting for the first time: what is the best software (other than a self-made Excel worksheet) to track basis and potential cap gains and losses in a relatively simple taxable portfolio (3 or 4 funds and occasionally an individual stock or two)? I'm not a trader, just so...
by grabiner
Sun Dec 07, 2008 12:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TIPS: Facts and Fantasies
Replies: 101
Views: 15208

Re: TIPS: Facts and Fantasies

(C) Finally, looking at balanced 60/40 allocations, it appears as though we have seen higher returns from equity/nominal bond allocations of the same duration, or similar returns and far lower risk from equity/shorter bond allocations: 3/97 - 11/08 Portfolio.....................Annual Return..........
by grabiner
Thu Dec 04, 2008 9:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Someone may have opened a credit card under my name....
Replies: 18
Views: 3428

does the inquiry show up on the report? That should show the day they pull your credit record. If so have you received said card yet? The inquiry will show up on only one report of three if the issuer only checked one. The card may only be reported monthly, and probably not until after your first s...
by grabiner
Thu Dec 04, 2008 8:44 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: TLH - Any need to wait?
Replies: 5
Views: 1372

I believe the distributions (including dividends) with their dates will be posted on the Vanguard site on Dec. 8. If VLACX distributes dividends after VTSMX, one might make a case to buy back VTSMX sometime between those dates, to avoid dividend distributions in either fund. Based on 2007 data, bot...
by grabiner
Thu Dec 04, 2008 8:42 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Is it a good idea to pay more mortgage principal?
Replies: 65
Views: 12497

Most people claim the standard deduction, and therefore, most people get no tax deduction from mortgage interest. And even for those who itemize, the only way that all of your mortgage interest is tax deductible is if your itemized deductions, excluding your mortgage interest, add up to more than y...
by grabiner
Wed Dec 03, 2008 10:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What type of order do you use for buying ETFs?
Replies: 13
Views: 2298

The altruistic Eric Haas makes an interesting point about using the IIV for the fund here: http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=27054 Personally I would place the order below that level, using the average trading range for the past 5-10 days as a guide, but it depends on how much I want ...
by grabiner
Wed Dec 03, 2008 10:41 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: A Burst of End of the Year TLH... Depressing Stocks ????
Replies: 16
Views: 3036

Re: A Burst of End of the Year TLH... Depressing Stocks ????

From Market Watch: "Supposedly there's a burst of this kind of selling (TLH) right before the end of the year, depressing stocks, followed by the "January effect" rise once the selling is over. That seems plausible, but I've never seen any data to support it. Last year there certainly was no Januar...
by grabiner
Wed Dec 03, 2008 10:30 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Is it a good idea to pay more mortgage principal?
Replies: 65
Views: 12497

Re: Is it a good idea to pay more mortgage principal?

Hi everyone, I'm new to bogleheads. Many comments in this forum are real turnheads. This is my burning concern: If my mortgage interest is 5.75%, tax bracket 35% (or may be more with incoming Obama administration), is it a good idea in this current market to pay more mortgage principal after having...
by grabiner
Wed Dec 03, 2008 10:25 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Time to pay off mortgage?
Replies: 21
Views: 4363

Re: Time to pay off mortgage?

Because of a combination of procrastination and just plain luck, my wife and I did not lump-sum or DCA into equities earlier this year, leaving us with a significant % of our assets in cash. I am 51 and hope to retire in 10-15 years. I will very likely be changing jobs in January and expect a signi...
by grabiner
Wed Dec 03, 2008 10:18 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Good small cap value funds for TLH?
Replies: 1
Views: 639

Re: Good small cap value funds for TLH?

Hi Bogleheads, I'm sure this gets asked at least twice a week, but the forum search hasn't been terribly helpful. I'm looking to realize losses on my Vanguard Small Cap Value Index fund holding by selling it and replacing it with a similar ETF. What are the usual suspects and their pros and cons? I...
by grabiner
Tue Dec 02, 2008 9:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What type of order do you use for buying ETFs?
Replies: 13
Views: 2298

What type of order do you use for buying ETFs?

I just made my first purchase of an ETF today (GWX), and got to see the risks of both types of orders, although with only small amounts of money at stake since GWX is liquid; I'd like to know what other people do. I watched the spread for a few minutes around 10:00 this morning, and it was usually f...
by grabiner
Tue Dec 02, 2008 9:10 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Placing market orders for major ETF's
Replies: 18
Views: 5789

The average bid ask spread for VV is 4 cents and for VTI is 2 cents. Therefore, for 2000 shares trade it would cost about $60 in the spread for each trade (about $120) and $16 in trading costs. Total cost about $136. The expense ratio for both VTI and its underlying mutual fund is listed as 0.07%. ...
by grabiner
Tue Dec 02, 2008 9:03 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: TLH order of operations
Replies: 11
Views: 2287

Re: TLH order of operations

It seems to me that if you sell the entire holding, you merely use your total cost basis vs. total proceeds to calculate your capital gain/loss. FIFO and other methods would only apply if you are selling only a portion of your holdings. Or, am I missing something? You need to distinguish short-term...
by grabiner
Sun Nov 30, 2008 9:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: To late to TLH (near end of year)?
Replies: 22
Views: 4707

Re: capital gain and dividend distributions

So am I right about the loss of QDI as a result of buying a fund too close to the end of the year? [/i] Sorry, I can't give you an answer to an indefinite question that may require a complex answer. However, I hope this link gives you the answer you are looking for. http://www.federalincometaxfacts...
by grabiner
Sun Nov 30, 2008 9:14 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: TLH order of operations
Replies: 11
Views: 2287

Re: TLH order of operations

Laura has recommended that I rejigger my portfolio to place some TSM in taxable and some in tax deferred. 1) Would I Day 1: Sell TSM, buy S&P500 Day 31: having sent letter to VG, buy TSM (assuming S&P500 did not gain, else keep S&P500) Day 32+ exchange tax-deferred funds to TSM, etc. following Laur...