Search found 230 matches

by grberry
Tue Jan 15, 2008 11:46 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How most of the Boglehead files their taxes
Replies: 57
Views: 18025

I reported as self. I use the free TaxAct (download version) for federal calculations, but check the forms myself and file and print paper copies. To concerned about privacy to efile. And too cheap to pay for state software and/or filing fees.
by grberry
Wed Jan 09, 2008 3:03 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How much home can I afford?
Replies: 20
Views: 4971

Here are the steps I recommend: 1) Do a budget 2) Determine what mortgage payment + property tax + insurance payment fits the budget. 3) Start living on that budget, saving the difference between line 2 and your current rent. 4) Use a calculator to figure what mortgage fits your budgeted payment. Av...
by grberry
Wed Jan 09, 2008 2:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What's your weighted average expense ratio?
Replies: 27
Views: 8545

Greater than 75% of funds in 401K drives my ER over 0.5%. And I'm choosing low cost funds in it, but the only low cost options are a "stable value" (cash/money market) at 0.25% and S&P 500 index at 0.35%, and that isn't enough diversification, even with the other accounts. I wish there was a law req...
by grberry
Fri Dec 21, 2007 10:30 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why was Black-Scholes Equation seldom get mentioned?
Replies: 6
Views: 1881

Because it is primarily relevant to traders of theoretical (not actual) options and to accountants who are responsible for reporting stock option expenses under FAS 123(R). For traders of actual options, it might be interesting, but is rarely something they need to actually look at.
by grberry
Fri Dec 21, 2007 10:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Talking to Semi-Adult Child About Net Worth
Replies: 17
Views: 3868

At least draft your estate plan. Then hold a family conference - including all your children - to discuss it. Precision isn't needed, broad outlines are. For some families, having an outside person (CPA, knowledgable friend, financial planner, etc...) present is helpful - but for others it would be ...
by grberry
Wed Dec 19, 2007 5:48 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How do you maintain trade records for taxes, etc.
Replies: 9
Views: 2583

Multiple

I keep paper records. I enter everything in quicken. For some items, I also use Excel in addition - and certainly am going to double check any complex tax calculations there, such as when I sell shares of a stock I've held for 25 years with dividend reinvestment and stock splits along the way.
by grberry
Tue Dec 18, 2007 5:53 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Asset Allocation and Inheritance Advice
Replies: 3
Views: 1225

Emergency fund: None There is your first action item, to come ahead of anything else. Have an emergency fund. It should be reasonably liquid and not in a retirement account. General recommendations are 3-6 months of living expenses - which includes paying the mortgage and other bills but doesn't in...
by grberry
Mon Nov 19, 2007 5:08 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Idea buy % of home from someone in cash flow problem?
Replies: 12
Views: 2920

one more potential difficulty

One additional difficulty - the existing mortgage may or may not require repayment if the property is converted to rental use. You'd need to read the actual mortgage to learn this. If she'd have to refinance anyway, including you becomes much less desirable for her.
by grberry
Wed Oct 24, 2007 8:26 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: what to do with large cash position
Replies: 7
Views: 2587

With an expected use time of one year, do not put it into stocks. In that time frame, suitable vehicles are CDs, savings accounts, money market accounts, money market funds, and short term bond funds. I don't believe that banks, as a whole, are at risk. Certain individual banks may be. If you are wo...
by grberry
Wed Oct 24, 2007 8:22 am
Forum: US Chapters
Topic: Second Try at doing a Boston Area Diehards meeting
Replies: 30
Views: 11714

Folks, this won't happen unless some one individual decides to make it happen, by choosing and arranging place and time. Who will that person be? Why not YOU?

(Why not me? 'cause my life is full enough that I probably can't make any plausible time for the group to meet.)
by grberry
Thu Oct 18, 2007 12:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What's wrong w/ harvesting losses at year end?
Replies: 4
Views: 1528

If waiting to year end, watch the dividend dates (stocks & mutual funds) and capital gain distribution dates (mutual funds). Even assuming the price does drop dollar for dollar, dividends and any short term gains are income/short term capital gain, and a long term capital loss is less tax valuable t...
by grberry
Thu Oct 18, 2007 12:20 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Load Funds for 401K
Replies: 3
Views: 1625

Re: Load Funds for 401K

... All the new funds are Class A Shares so I asked how much was the front load for each fund. The rep said that the front load is waived in the 401K plan. Is this possible? If so, why they bothered to indicate the Share Class? ... For many funds, one of the best classes for a 401K plan is the high...
by grberry
Tue Oct 16, 2007 1:58 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Financial Open House - Help me reconstruct Portfolio
Replies: 4
Views: 1538

The prior posters have given some good advice on the structuring of the retirement funds. I will echo their advice to use the TSP while you can. It is a superior alternative to almost any privately available plan. I have some other advice, which may or may not be relevant, depending on what you have...
by grberry
Tue Oct 16, 2007 1:42 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Asset distribution of the average Vanguard investor
Replies: 10
Views: 3265

One possible explanation for a relative overweighting of money market funds is that Vanguard investors, as a whole, are also investing non-retirement funds with Vanguard, and such funds will generally be more conservatively invested than retirement funds. For an example, we know some posters here ke...
by grberry
Mon Oct 15, 2007 12:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: USAA asks for 54% HO increase in FL
Replies: 17
Views: 7745

USAA is also a member owned company. So they really can't pull out of a geographic market the way that for profit companies can. They need to stay in the markets their members are in or are likely to be in. To become a USAA member, you have to be in the military, or family/descendent of an existing ...
by grberry
Wed Oct 10, 2007 9:56 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How much yearly income to feel "comfortable"?
Replies: 32
Views: 8847

I picked a number range, but the real answer was provided above. About 10% more. Comfortable for me is defined as not having to worry about cash flow - manage yes, worry no. Of course, the number range would change radically if any of the following occurred: 1) moved to a location with a different c...
by grberry
Wed Oct 10, 2007 9:47 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Complicating Asset Allocation with several accounts
Replies: 2
Views: 1375

Depends

The right answer depends on the size of each account (as % of total) and the total planned asset allocaton. It also depends on whether you are committed to managing one portfolio for the couple. Let's start with a simple case. Your two smallest accounts are each suitable locations (tax advantaged or...
by grberry
Thu Oct 04, 2007 8:19 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do you donate cash to Charity every year?
Replies: 26
Views: 7225

We tithe: 1) 10% of take home salary to our local church via checks 2) 10% of the difference between take home and and gross salary to Christian organizations and missionaries via checks and automated electronic fund transfers 3) 10% of bonuses and stock option gains to special gifts, normally via c...
by grberry
Tue Oct 02, 2007 4:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New Medicare premium announced--
Replies: 6
Views: 2582

Re: New Medicare premium announced--

Hi Bob: That requires registration, which I don't care to do. Can you provide an executive summary? Much thanks. Mel "standard Medicare premium would rise to $96.40 a month next year, an increase of $2.90 a month. The 3.1 percent increase is the smallest since 1999-2000," "About 5 percent of benefi...
by grberry
Fri Sep 28, 2007 4:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does Vanguard charge a fee to transfer out?
Replies: 20
Views: 5644

Sound like someone is now working for Chase/JPMorgan or similar outfit. Some financial institutions require all their employees to have the same custodian so that their compliance group can receive a single statement from one organization (and in the same format) on all employee's financial activit...
by grberry
Thu Sep 27, 2007 3:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Has 911 service been upgraded to non-landline phones?
Replies: 6
Views: 1924

Landline phones are (or were, may become untrue with a switch to fiber), powered through the phone company's wiring from their stations, which generally have emergency generators. However, a new in home cordless phone/answering machine/all-in-one gizmo probably also needs it's own additional power, ...
by grberry
Wed Sep 26, 2007 2:12 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Cost/Benefit Analysis: Moving from NJ to Raleigh, NC. HELP!
Replies: 30
Views: 8401

one time transaction costs omitted

There are also one time transactional costs to any move. You won't get the market value of the house; you'll get probably 94% to 95%, and the broker will get the rest. (Plus a few incidental fees elsewhere and closing costs on the new place, minus good negotiation with the broker...). And a bit of c...
by grberry
Wed Sep 26, 2007 2:08 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: AA/Reconciling finances after marriage
Replies: 10
Views: 2621

First, MA tax rate is 5.3%, not 5%. The 0.3% is unlikely to make a difference, but might matter to a decision on using municipal bonds in taxable account versus regular bonds in a tax advantaged account. I see your overall tax rate as 30.3%. Then, a terrible kicker - Mass taxes interest from out of ...
by grberry
Wed Sep 26, 2007 9:09 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Is this common (or even legal)?
Replies: 24
Views: 6105

The real regulation is "The regulations require that participant contributions to a 401k be deposited to the plan on the earliest date that they can be reasonably segregated from the employer's general assets, but in no event later than the 15th business day of the month following the month in which...
by grberry
Wed Sep 26, 2007 9:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Has anyone had luck trying to reduce their cable TV bill?
Replies: 29
Views: 8615

It is hard to go down from zero. So I haven't been able to reduce it. The companies just aren't willing to pay me to not have their service. Sigh...
by grberry
Tue Sep 18, 2007 4:37 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Disability Insurance- When to drop it
Replies: 9
Views: 4669

Obviously, you would drop it the day that you retire. Drop it when your savings for this purpose, self insure for your need. You say that you have had the policy for 20 years, so I'd guess that you have no more than 20 years until retirement. Don't assume your employer coverage will remain in place ...
by grberry
Sat Sep 15, 2007 10:14 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 401k Which makes more sense 6% before or after?
Replies: 8
Views: 2492

Your employer's matching contribution must, by law, go into the traditional 401K account, not the Roth 401K account. This may be the deciding factor. (Their contribution should be the same whether yours are pre or post tax.) If you are currently in a high tax bracket (federal+state+local combined), ...
by grberry
Fri Sep 14, 2007 8:10 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Expensive House vs More in the Market?
Replies: 16
Views: 4158

Re: Expensive House vs More in the Market?

... I bought a larger/nicer house than my family really needs ... Your current family, or your potential future family? If you absolutely certain you won't have more kids or take in one or more parents/siblings, I'd consider the downgrade. If your needs might expand, I wouldn't move. Housing is not...
by grberry
Fri Sep 14, 2007 3:47 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Stock Options and Company Buyouts
Replies: 2
Views: 855

Re: Stock Options and Company Buyouts

Yuba wrote:...

Here is the questions.
1) I assume that the options will not automatically be exercised on the day the deal closes?
...

Rick dba Yuba
Don't assume. Get a written answer from the company.
by grberry
Fri Sep 14, 2007 12:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bank runs reminders that MMFs safer than MMAs?
Replies: 18
Views: 5408

Interesting comparing the insurance limits

In the US, FDIC insurance covers up to USD 100,000 at 100%. (To those accounts covered...) In the UK, FSCS covers bank accounts up to GBP 2,000 (~USD 4,000) at 100%, and the next GBP 33,000 (~USD66,000) at 90%. So the UK 100% coverage limit is much lower (roughly 4% of US limit), and the largest amo...
by grberry
Thu Sep 13, 2007 7:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Longing the S&P500 with Options?
Replies: 6
Views: 1337

It is only feasible as far forward as somebody else is willing to go short... which won't be that far forward.
by grberry
Thu Sep 13, 2007 1:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Prosper.com - get loans or loan money yourself
Replies: 42
Views: 12004

Re: propser

And yet 40 lenders have lent out over 100K each using prosper.com. With one exception, the Experian ROI for all of them is 9% or greater. Are these folks all idiots, or are we missing something? ... Cheers, David I'm voting that they are idiots who have learned from experience. The risk of defualt ...
by grberry
Thu Sep 13, 2007 1:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I read the book and I am having a blast but I have questions
Replies: 9
Views: 2291

First - is that money market fund truly part of your retirement/long term funds, or is it an emergency fund/checking account? If the latter, it should be removed from consideration. As you are both 30, a 70/30 stock/bond split is reasonable. Will you be able to sleep if 35% of the value in the portf...
by grberry
Thu Sep 13, 2007 12:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Employment question
Replies: 9
Views: 2624

Don't fill it out inaccurately. Does it have your name, or any sort of tracking number or code on it? If no, I'd fill it out because it can't hurt your chances and I took enough statistics to know that non-response is a significant source of bias. If it has any sort of tracking ID, I wouldn't. If th...
by grberry
Thu Sep 13, 2007 9:31 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Medical Creditor Protection ??
Replies: 7
Views: 1650

You need to see a lawyer with asset protection experience that is specific to your state of residence . Bankruptcy protection rules vary by state. For example, in Massachusetts, old balances in tax advantaged retirement accounts are generally protected, but contributions within the last 5 years that...
by grberry
Thu Sep 13, 2007 8:53 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: does it make sense to pay off house as my bond allocation
Replies: 53
Views: 16374

Yes, doubly so if you have an ARM. A mortgage is effectively a negative bond, as larryswedroe already explained. With an ARM, you have instead of a bond equivalent, a negative bond fund equivalent where the current value doesn't move when yields change, so it is worse than the bond fund in rising ra...
by grberry
Wed Sep 12, 2007 10:54 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: House Buying Book recommendations?
Replies: 10
Views: 3145

Two topics

I don't have particular recommendations. But you do need to cover two topics. Almost all home buying purchases are really two separate purchases: a purchase of a home and a purchase of a mortgage. Educate yourself on both.
by grberry
Sun Sep 09, 2007 3:28 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Do you upgrade your Quicken or MS Money every year?
Replies: 40
Views: 12770

I ran my Quicken 99 until I upgraded the computer, which was after the online updating ended. I intend to do the same with my current version, a 2006 version. Yeah, the current version is a little better than the 1999 version, but not enough to have justified the expense of annual upgrades. Which le...
by grberry
Sun Sep 09, 2007 3:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 20-year Term Life Insurance Question
Replies: 12
Views: 3437

thinking about need - don't forget social security

In thinking about your need, take a look at the social security survivors benefits for kids and spouse caring for a minor. I've never seen a needs calculator that included these, but while you kid(s) are under 18 there is a significant benefit there. The social security administration's website is t...
by grberry
Fri Sep 07, 2007 9:33 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Phase One Complete (Debt Gone) - Time for Phase Two (AA)
Replies: 17
Views: 3494

I'd agree with the prior poster on the Roth versus Regular question. You are currently in a marginal tax bracket of about 43% (probably a bit less if you can itemize deductions). The odds are pretty good that your marginal tax rate in retirement will not be worse than that, and it is likely to be be...
by grberry
Fri Sep 07, 2007 9:28 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Question about TR Funds and 401k
Replies: 9
Views: 2373

General consensus is to view the entire retirement portfolio as a whole. Target Retirement funds are a form of balanced fund that messes up asset allocation planning. Those funds you mentioned in the 401K are all excellent choices, assuming the are all Vanguard funds. Too much depends on how much yo...
by grberry
Fri Sep 07, 2007 9:46 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: OT: Asset/Liability Protection Lawyers
Replies: 8
Views: 2189

You definitely need someone experienced in your local state, which you haven't specified. Laws vary by state as to what can be protected how or is automatically protected. I'd check with any finance professionals or lawyers in other fields that you work with already. They may have something to say. ...
by grberry
Fri Sep 07, 2007 8:59 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Question on Quicken
Replies: 16
Views: 4255

Quicken is a reasonable tool, especially if you have multiple accounts. Recreating history on cash is nearly impossible; I wouldn't try. When I started using it, I was very anal about recording cash expenditures every day so I'd know what I was spending money on. After a few months, I looked at what...
by grberry
Thu Sep 06, 2007 3:53 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Specific share ID method of redemptions: worth the bother?
Replies: 24
Views: 6154

specific share affects other situations

If you do specific share identification for sales, you can also do specific share identification for charitable gifts. At the present time (I won't pretend to predict the actions of congresscritters) when shares are given to a charity, the charitable deduction is the market value of the shares, rega...
by grberry
Thu Sep 06, 2007 3:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why hold mutual funds over corresponding ETFs?
Replies: 35
Views: 8052

RaleighStClaire wrote:
Ah. Well, I have a loss in all of my funds right now, maybe I should sell them, take the tax loss, and then buy them? I have about $3000 in losses, so it seems very worthwhile to do this.
Remember the wash sale rules if you consider this. You need to stay out of the funds for 30 days.
by grberry
Thu Sep 06, 2007 11:08 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Why are you "stuck" with a bad 401k?
Replies: 44
Views: 13344

One factor that makes for a "bad" 401k plan is a 1 year waiting period before you can join. How does such a waiting period help the employer? - Joppy Depends on the industry/employer. If the employer, or even a specific division, with high turnover rates a waiting period can significantly reduce ad...
by grberry
Tue Sep 04, 2007 4:06 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Why are you "stuck" with a bad 401k?
Replies: 44
Views: 13344

perspective

This thread gives me some perspective. I feel, after hanging around this crowd, that I have a poor 401(K), because it isn't at index fund levels. But I've got a ER of between 0.8% and 0.9%, and have two funds available with ERs of 0.35% or less (only one of which I'm using, as the other is a MM equi...
by grberry
Sat Sep 01, 2007 7:53 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: CPA recommendation in Boston
Replies: 4
Views: 1464

I know a couple CPAs through personal relationships, but since I do my own taxes I can't really offer a recommendation for any of them. (If I need professional CPA advice in some year or another, I call my father, who is one and doesn't charge me for it.) There are a few Boston area diehards that ar...
by grberry
Fri Aug 31, 2007 9:04 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 403b vs. Roth IRA
Replies: 11
Views: 4915

The Roth IRA has an annual contribution limit. If she is contributing less than that limit to the 403b, I can't see a reason not to make the switch. (Even if you choose to get the same funds now, the freedom of choice in the future may be valuable.) If she is contributing more than that limit, only ...
by grberry
Fri Aug 31, 2007 8:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wal-Mart really makes me mad sometimes
Replies: 55
Views: 16379

Compare like things please

... I'm getting ready to graduate and get out into the real world and I just wanted to check to see how much the HMO costs if I don't find another job right away and need to use it. $220.00 a month per person!!!!!!!!!!! My girlfriend works for a local car dealer and pays $32 a month for her HMO!!!!...