Search found 1944 matches

by Bfwolf
Mon Dec 27, 2010 12:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best book you read in 2010
Replies: 20
Views: 2958

Cherokee8215 wrote:Post Office by Charles Bukowski.
I read "Ham and Rye," my first sojourn into Bukowski, this year and really enjoyed it. I'll have to add "Post Office" to the list.
by Bfwolf
Mon Dec 27, 2010 11:59 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Back door Roth: any way to "skip" the tIRA step?
Replies: 7
Views: 1123

Acquiring a spouse to handle the process would go in the category of "major hassle." :)

I converted my pre-tax tIRA to a Roth earlier this year, so no issue with confounding pre-tax vs. post-tax conversions going forward.
by Bfwolf
Mon Dec 27, 2010 11:54 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Brand new to investing- Need advice
Replies: 44
Views: 5412

You can change your allocation any time you want. Since this would be in a Roth, there are no tax implications to selling one mutual fund/ETF and buying another. Keep in mind that some mutual funds will charge you a redemption fee if you sell them soon after purchasing them. As far as I can tell, Va...
by Bfwolf
Mon Dec 27, 2010 11:31 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Back door Roth: any way to "skip" the tIRA step?
Replies: 7
Views: 1123

Back door Roth: any way to "skip" the tIRA step?

My salary is too high to contribute to a Roth directly, so I am interested in the "back door Roth" for tax year 2011, where I make non-deductible contributions to a tIRA and then immediately convert to my Roth. There is a mild hassle factor here: I have to create a tIRA that I'm not really using, an...
by Bfwolf
Mon Dec 27, 2010 9:19 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Brand new to investing- Need advice
Replies: 44
Views: 5412

Laura's advice to put the money in a Target Retirement Fund is excellent given you are still learning the ropes. It will automatically re-balance for you while my suggestion would've required you to rebalance yourself. Simpler is better.
by Bfwolf
Mon Dec 27, 2010 2:52 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Brand new to investing- Need advice
Replies: 44
Views: 5412

The advice to invest $5,000 in a Roth is sound, assuming we're talking about a retirement goal. You can withdraw the $5,000 (though not any earnings) penalty/tax free at any time. And since you're in such a low tax bracket, you'll come out way ahead vs. Uncle Sam with a Roth right now. Keep in mind ...
by Bfwolf
Mon Dec 27, 2010 2:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How successful have you been with a budget?
Replies: 43
Views: 3979

Shoetrip, maybe the day of your next trip, you need to announce in horror that you accidentally bought 1 plane ticket instead of 2 and the flight is all sold out now. Then it's nothing but $25/day hostels and $2 you-call-it happy hours for you. :)
by Bfwolf
Mon Dec 27, 2010 1:57 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Brand new to investing- Need advice
Replies: 44
Views: 5412

Many great discussions have been launched on ETFs vs. their underlying mutual funds, but as long as the ETF has enough trading volume in it to be highly liquid and efficient, the differences are pretty small and should not be a driving decision maker for you at this point. What's important is: 1) De...
by Bfwolf
Mon Dec 27, 2010 1:40 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Brand new to investing- Need advice
Replies: 44
Views: 5412

Congratulations on starting to save at such an early age! You are certainly well ahead of the curve. I would advise you to read some of the Boglehead recommended books before you do anything. Your questions are basic (nothing wrong with that), which means your #1 need is foundational knowledge which...
by Bfwolf
Mon Dec 27, 2010 1:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Finally have money, what should I do with it?
Replies: 36
Views: 5055

Re: Finally have money, what should I do with it?

Hello all, Been a lurker for a while after the site was linked from Fatwallet Finance. I am writing this post to get some advice on how to handle my money now that I have some. Here is some background: 31yo $96,000 Salary $106,000 Mortgage @ 6.375% - Appraised at $110,000 & paying PMI $120,000 Stud...
by Bfwolf
Mon Dec 27, 2010 12:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How successful have you been with a budget?
Replies: 43
Views: 3979

I do not use a budget. I tried mint.com but it didn't work for me. Fortunately, I am pretty frugal by nature and make a good living. But honestly, I don't even track my savings at all. Money just accumulates in my checking account at whatever rate it does. I like to keep about $5,000 there so when i...
by Bfwolf
Sun Dec 26, 2010 10:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are emergency funds really necessary for everybody?
Replies: 33
Views: 4292

Thanks, Taylor. I'm definitely in good company if I'm in the same boat as you and Mel.
by Bfwolf
Sun Dec 26, 2010 10:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are emergency funds really necessary for everybody?
Replies: 33
Views: 4292

I haven't read all the back and forth yet, but the first two responses sum it up pretty well. Also, Bfwolf, do you have a spouse? If something were to happen to you, would your spouse be comfortable selling securities from taxable to handle an emergency? That might be one more reason to keep emerge...
by Bfwolf
Sun Dec 26, 2010 8:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are emergency funds really necessary for everybody?
Replies: 33
Views: 4292

Thanks everybody for the thoughtful responses. I was never that worried about it, but it's nice to hear that my logic is reasonable. I do have all my taxable investments in stocks, but as Livesoft pointed out, I can sell stocks in a bear market emergency and then move bond money in my 401K back into...
by Bfwolf
Sun Dec 26, 2010 7:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are emergency funds really necessary for everybody?
Replies: 33
Views: 4292

Are emergency funds really necessary for everybody?

Despite the fact that it's against prevailing Boglehead wisdom, I do not have an emergency fund...I only have about a month's worth of expenses in my checking account. Everything else is invested in stock funds and bond funds. My rationale: I have several years worth of expenses in my taxable invest...
by Bfwolf
Fri Dec 24, 2010 10:42 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Fund for my son
Replies: 17
Views: 1780

Texas_archer, I don't mean to pile on, but I must agree with everybody else who has responded. Using a 529 will save you a great deal in taxes. Just because you are a Texas resident doesn't mean you have to use a Texas 529. Others have suggested the Utah 529 which would be an excellent choice. If yo...
by Bfwolf
Fri Dec 24, 2010 10:03 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Young Investor with 70% in blue-chips?
Replies: 25
Views: 3282

To answer your questions: 1) I think you are probably right not to sell off the stocks. Paying capital gains on 60% of the value is a very stiff price to pay for increased diversification. Your diversification position is not that terrible--most of these stocks are in different sectors. If I think w...
by Bfwolf
Sat Dec 18, 2010 5:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hello Chicago !!!! [restaurant recommendations]
Replies: 44
Views: 4832

Speaking of Greektown, I definitely recommend Meli for brunch. It's at the corner of Jackson and Halsted. Usually a bit of a wait on weekends, but the food is outstanding.
by Bfwolf
Sat Dec 18, 2010 5:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hello Chicago !!!! [restaurant recommendations]
Replies: 44
Views: 4832

Santorini (138 South Halsted Street, (312) 829-8820). The best of the Greektown restaurants, especially noted for its seafood - grilled octopus is wonderful. It has a fireplace which makes it extra welcoming on a typical Chicago winter day. When the weather is nice, we tend to go down the lock to A...
by Bfwolf
Mon Dec 13, 2010 12:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Offers New Accounting Choices
Replies: 13
Views: 3065

My apologies for not reading the original post closely enough. Thanks, guys.
by Bfwolf
Mon Dec 13, 2010 9:55 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Offers New Accounting Choices
Replies: 13
Views: 3065

Re: Vanguard Offers New Accounting Choices

Beginning January 1, 2011, new IRS-mandated requirements governing the reporting of investment basis and gains or losses on nonretirement accounts will go into effect for clients of Vanguard Brokerage Services®. In anticipation of the new reporting requirements, Vanguard will offer two cost-basis c...
by Bfwolf
Mon Dec 13, 2010 1:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What would you do with a check for $.01?
Replies: 56
Views: 9082

Re: What would you do with a check for $.01?

Whenever I see a penny on the ground (cent in America), I pick it up. I say to my friends: This little penny will make me a wealthy fellow! It's a philosophical point of view, your actions with small amounts of money don't change their character with larger quantities. Frugality Insurance! :) Bourg...
by Bfwolf
Mon Dec 13, 2010 1:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Weatherman predicts January will be coldest since 1740
Replies: 30
Views: 4974

There is actually a company called Planalytics that offers as one of their services forecasting the weather in broad strokes (e.g. "it's going to be a colder than average Winter") several months out. There's some science behind it, and I think that they think they can do better than 50% with their f...
by Bfwolf
Sun Dec 12, 2010 6:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hello Chicago !!!! [restaurant recommendations]
Replies: 44
Views: 4832

+1 for Blackbird and Avec. Cafe Iberico in River North is a fun and loud tapas restaurant. A full meal with plenty of sangria will only run about $25 a person. However, they don't take reservations for small parties so on Friday/Saturday nights you can expect to wait over an hour. Coast Sushi in Buc...
by Bfwolf
Fri Dec 03, 2010 12:52 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Is employer stock considered part of your asset allocation
Replies: 17
Views: 2157

This is tricky. If you have confidence you'll still be at the company to receive the RSUs, I'd include them in your asset allocation. Options are tougher because it's not like owning stock: relatively small changes to the stock price will create dramatic changes to the value of the options. So how w...
by Bfwolf
Tue Nov 23, 2010 8:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Puzzling Football Question
Replies: 31
Views: 3204

Harold, your last question has bothered me as well. Just did a little web research and found this interesting article which addresses the question.

http://www.east-coast-bias.com/2007/10/ ... -line.html
by Bfwolf
Tue Nov 23, 2010 5:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I'm concerned about these "Vanguarding" radio ads
Replies: 23
Views: 2476

Radio is really cheap, too. You could have a robust radio media plan for 6 months to a year for a $1 million or so. A solid TV media plan would cost you 10 times as much.
by Bfwolf
Tue Nov 23, 2010 12:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I'm concerned about these "Vanguarding" radio ads
Replies: 23
Views: 2476

I am ignorant on your question about whether Vanguard has published ROIs for its advertising. But I can comment that you don't need a special phone number to track ROIs. You can conduct a piece of market research called a marketing mix analysis which uses fancy statistics to determine ROIs for your ...
by Bfwolf
Wed Nov 17, 2010 11:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Scuba diving Diehards!
Replies: 49
Views: 4796

The best diving I've ever done was in the Perhentian Islands in Malaysia. Koh Tao and the Great Barrier Reef were both minor disappointments to me.
by Bfwolf
Mon Nov 15, 2010 10:19 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: "Keep your risk on the equity side."
Replies: 17
Views: 2457

As explained to me by my finance professor 10 years ago: If you have a graph of risk vs. return and the efficient frontier plotted on it, and then draw a line from the risk-free point on the graph that is tangential to the efficient frontier, the tangential point on the efficient frontier is the mar...
by Bfwolf
Fri Nov 12, 2010 7:52 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: When does 2011/2012 Roth conversion income occur?
Replies: 4
Views: 1809

If I'm reading the replies correctly, you guys are saying the tax is due in equal quarters throughout the year. If you fall within safe harbor rules, of course, it's not due until April 15 of the following years.

Yes?
by Bfwolf
Fri Nov 12, 2010 1:50 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: When does 2011/2012 Roth conversion income occur?
Replies: 4
Views: 1809

When does 2011/2012 Roth conversion income occur?

I converted my tIRA to a Roth earlier this year, splitting the associated income taxes between 2011 and 2012. When in 2011 and 2012 does the income occur for purposes of when I need to pay estimated tax? Split evenly throughout the year? All occurs at same date as my conversion (i.e. if I converted ...
by Bfwolf
Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:15 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Selling specific shares with Vanguard
Replies: 3
Views: 1100

Very helpful, DBR. Thank you.
by Bfwolf
Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: All inclusive vacation
Replies: 6
Views: 1574

Haven't been to the Sandals Ocho Rios but went to Couples Tower Isle near Ocho Rios in February. It was very nice and I would recommend it. I've found tripadvisor.com to be an excellent resource for this kind of thing--Sandals Ocho Rios is rated quite high so I imagine it's a good hotel.
by Bfwolf
Thu Nov 11, 2010 11:15 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Selling specific shares with Vanguard
Replies: 3
Views: 1100

Selling specific shares with Vanguard

A few weeks ago I moved my investment accounts from Scottrade to Vanguard seeing as all I owned was Vanguard mutual funds anyway. I wanted to sell some specific shares to incur capital losses, so I went through the trouble of entering my cost basis information on Vanguard's Web site. A few days ago ...
by Bfwolf
Wed Nov 10, 2010 11:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ally Overdrew Checking Account When Purchasing High Yield CD
Replies: 26
Views: 5370

I recently set up a checking account with Ally with the intention of paying a few bills with them, test them out, and if I like them switch over entirely to Ally for my checking account needs. I paid the first bill, no issues. After paying the second bill, however, I got a phone call from Ally. They...
by Bfwolf
Tue Nov 09, 2010 7:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice for selling valuable coins
Replies: 6
Views: 2011

Advice for selling valuable coins

I inherited some valuable coins a few years ago and I'd like to sell them. They are in sum worth several thousand dollars. I'm concerned that if I go to a coin dealer, I will get ripped off due to the knowledge gap between the dealer (high) and me (low), plus the dealer's need for a profit margin. I...
by Bfwolf
Mon Nov 01, 2010 7:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is there still value on an MBA from a state school?
Replies: 42
Views: 7019

My opinion as a top 20 MBA grad: The value in the top 20 school is for immediate job switching. Top companies recruit at the top schools. If you want to be a McKinsey consultant, you're not going to get that job attending your local non top 20 school. The school you went to becomes relatively meanin...
by Bfwolf
Fri Oct 29, 2010 11:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Day trip to NYC, Bus or train?
Replies: 14
Views: 2881

I should've done an Internet search before I posted. It looks like the T in Boston and BART in San Francisco have begun implementing Wifi on their trains. I guess I shouldn't be surprised that Metra is lagging behind--they just started accepting credit cards for payment last year!
by Bfwolf
Fri Oct 29, 2010 11:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Day trip to NYC, Bus or train?
Replies: 14
Views: 2881

Kind of off-topic, but I'm intrigued by folks mentioning the free wi-fi on the bus. I take the Metra regional train in Chicago to work everyday, which is jammed full of folks commuting for work, and they do not offer wi-fi. I'm certain they could charge $20/month and get thousands of people to sign ...
by Bfwolf
Fri Oct 29, 2010 10:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First credit card advice?
Replies: 7
Views: 1573

I second the reco for the Capital One Venture card if you pay your card off every month (the APR is pretty high). Depending on how much you plan on spending annually, the better deal may be the free card (with lower rewards) or the annual fee card (with higher rewards). I have the annual fee card: i...
by Bfwolf
Mon Oct 25, 2010 12:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Car Accident Advice
Replies: 24
Views: 5090

I agree with the others who say let your insurance handle it. Remember, while you're paying your deductible, your insurance is paying for everything above that. So their incentives are aligned with yours--get the money from the other guy's insurance or from the other guy. Years ago I got into an acc...
by Bfwolf
Thu Oct 14, 2010 12:32 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Help
Replies: 4
Views: 858

DSI, thanks for the quick response. Regarding the back-door Roth scenario you mentioned, earlier this year I converted my rollover traditional IRA into a Roth and will have to pay taxes on it in 2011 and 2012. I just did some online research on the back-door Roth scenario you described, and I'm conc...
by Bfwolf
Thu Oct 14, 2010 11:26 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Help
Replies: 4
Views: 858

Portfolio Help

Hello everybody. I'm new to this site and was hoping I could get some help on a few questions I have about managing my portfolio. Here's the breakdown. Emergency Funds: I keep about $5,000 in my checking account which I consider to be my working capital—it’s enough money to make sure I can pay for w...