Search found 230 matches

by grberry
Thu Feb 24, 2011 9:29 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Fixed percent allocation of funds to India and China ?
Replies: 5
Views: 1094

Rebalancing (link to our wiki article) serves to lower risk levels with negligible effect expected on total portfolio returns. (The small effect is from transaction costs.) Rebalancing helps because multiple investments are not perfectly correlated. In any given time period, one will do better vers...
by grberry
Wed Feb 23, 2011 9:43 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Analyze my allocations and make suggestions for improvement!
Replies: 10
Views: 2208

I join with prior responders in recommending simplifying the account structure first. The Valic pension and 403(b) are different enough that you may have to leave them alone. The pension you almost certainly do. The 403(b) might be in mutual funds or in an annuity contract. If it is in mutual funds,...
by grberry
Wed Feb 23, 2011 9:39 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Analyze my allocations and make suggestions for improvement!
Replies: 10
Views: 2208

Thanks Dave and Flossy! Dave, a few questions on some points you made: "1. ...Strive to have an average duration of around 5 years" I don't quite understand that part, What specifically should have an average duration of 5 years? Where can I read more on this topic? Duration is a term that applies ...
by grberry
Wed Feb 23, 2011 9:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Safe Savings Rates
Replies: 58
Views: 16908

I think it will be hard enough to convince people to save consistently for 30 years. If you can convince them to save for 40 years, then more power to you. For the baseline case I consider, if the only thing you change is that someone saves for 40 years instead of 30 years, then the "safe savings r...
by grberry
Wed Feb 23, 2011 9:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: inflation testing your home value...
Replies: 13
Views: 1442

I use zillow to update my value, checking often enough to see that its estimates for my house have a fairly high variance from period to period. The one time the house has been reappraised since purchase, the zillow estimate was within 5% to 10%. So I figure it is off 5% to 10%. The tax appraisal mi...
by grberry
Wed Feb 23, 2011 9:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much disability insurance do I really need?
Replies: 18
Views: 2135

Generally speaking, get it if you can. My recollection is that there may be a legal limit, and I'm sure the insurers set a limit, on how high a percentage of your pre-tax income can be replaced by disability insurance. (They do this so that you can't be better off financially by being disabled than ...
by grberry
Wed Feb 23, 2011 8:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Amending my 2009 taxes for small 1099 div.???
Replies: 10
Views: 6965

I would take the time to do the taxes again and file. A pain in the butt, but knowingly leaving the wrong return on file exposes you to a longer audit period and more penalities if later discovered. The cost would be small if you were doing the taxes yourself, you may end up paying the accountant mo...
by grberry
Wed Feb 23, 2011 8:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 5/1 ARM or 30 year fixed mortgage ?
Replies: 21
Views: 4329

It is highly unlikely that future ARM resets will be meaningfully down from that rate. It is more likely than not that future resets will be meaningfully up from that rate. If you it was possible that you could have a 100% guarantee of paying off the loan in five years without using cash that is ava...
by grberry
Tue Feb 22, 2011 11:59 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Safe Savings Rates
Replies: 58
Views: 16908

A few thoughts. 1) I note that one of the assumptions in the paper is that "Portfolio administrative and planning fees are not charged" (page 4). A unrealistic assumption, as there will be mutual fund fees, but one that Bogleheads in general will come closest to. Anyone building a spreadsheet tool s...
by grberry
Tue Feb 22, 2011 11:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much of your raise do you save?
Replies: 25
Views: 3015

I budget raises the way I generally budget income: 1) Taxes 2) Tithing & Charity 3) Retirement Savings 4) Prepaying mortgage 5) Consumption Taxes are pretty much automatic; they get about 20% of every raise. "Tithing" and charity requires me to make decisions, but since I do give away more than 10% ...
by grberry
Tue Feb 22, 2011 11:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Who Here Received Financial Education?
Replies: 20
Views: 2671

I'm not answering the poll, because I think this is real but smaller than what the questioner is asking about. I was a Boy Scout, and earned the Personal Management merit badge. (Under the pre-2004 requirements, to which I linked.) I earned it primarily in a class setting with homework, but three on...
by grberry
Tue Feb 22, 2011 12:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Philosopy of Incentive Pay & Stock options
Replies: 4
Views: 894

I'm one of the odd birds in that my job performance directly affects one component of each year's cash bonus targets for everyone in the company, and indirectly affects a second, adding up to about 70% of the weight of the targets. Yet the marginal effect of any one decision is miniscule... When the...
by grberry
Tue Feb 22, 2011 12:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Who do you tell about Bogleheads?
Replies: 23
Views: 4431

I said people who tell me about their investments, because it was closest to accurate. Accurate would have been "people who ask me for help with investing", which is a much smaller number, but not a better match for any other option.
by grberry
Tue Jan 25, 2011 1:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: USAA "Home Protector"
Replies: 13
Views: 11994

I concur with the prior posters who recommend basing your decision primarily on the age of the house in question, as that is the known variable that primarily determines the odds of needing this coverage and the value of the coverage. Since it is known to both USAA and you, it probably also influenc...
by grberry
Wed Mar 10, 2010 2:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: OT: Home ownership cost. Calculations right?
Replies: 18
Views: 2537

Re: OT: Home ownership cost. Calculations right?

1) 2009 I itemized deductions with no property taxes and mortgage interest. 2) State income tax is 5.3%. Does these 2 points make any change to my calculation? #1 argues for no change. #2 argues, based on the rate, that you may live in a state (MA) where interest on a mortgage is not deductible fro...
by grberry
Thu Mar 04, 2010 2:57 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Got Employee Stock Options? Grok's rule for when to exercise
Replies: 78
Views: 13818

Re: Managing Your Employee Stock Options

.... If the holders of ESOs want to reduce the risk during the holding period, they can easily sell exchange traded calls or sometimes buy puts on the company stock. .... John Olagues Unfortunately, the above is often forbidden by law and/or company policy. I know at least some classes of employee ...
by grberry
Thu Mar 04, 2010 2:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bond Markets don't see inflation until its too late?
Replies: 44
Views: 5108

... Is the article factually correct in its asserts that historically yields lag inflation? Looking at charts is not always the best way to answer this question, especially if there is only one clear lag in the chart.... In simplest form this can be answered by just about anyone if you get the raw ...
by grberry
Wed Jul 08, 2009 4:10 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Mortgage or pay cash?
Replies: 50
Views: 8406

(Note that you can't take out a loan to invest in municipal bonds in order to take advantage of this; interest on a loan used to purchase municipal bonds is not deductible. Isn't margin interest usually deductible? Generally speaking, if you take a loan to purchase something making taxable income, ...
by grberry
Mon May 18, 2009 12:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is an attorney worth it for a refinance with existing bank?
Replies: 7
Views: 1465

Re: Is an attorney worth it for a refinance with existing b

.... I did read all the l loan documents in their entirety and compared them against the documents from the original mortgage. ... That is my recommendation if you go on your own. Especially if the prior document is recent, there should be few to no changes to the legaleses. The amount, interest ra...
by grberry
Fri May 15, 2009 10:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: my moral dilemma: how much to budget for "giving back?&
Replies: 38
Views: 5174

Fundamentally, your spending pie has a limited number of primary slices: 1) Taxes - you can't afford to not pay these 2) Consumption (includes housing costs) 3) Giving (tithe and charity) 4) Savings (for future consumption and future giving). There is a legal and moral obligation to pay your taxes. ...
by grberry
Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:55 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: At what age should TIPS be part of your portfolio
Replies: 35
Views: 7002

I think the following rules of thumb are worthwhile: 1) No asset class is meaningful at less than 5% of the total portfolio, so until TIPS and regular bonds would each be 5% or more of the total portfolio it is probably worth eliminating one of them and using the other for the combined percentage. W...
by grberry
Wed Apr 29, 2009 5:18 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Diversification Dilemma
Replies: 19
Views: 2790

I agree with the prior posters that said that the family peace is highly valuable, and in itself worth leaving serious money in the stock. Wait until your wife wants to get something, then point out that the primary reason for investing in a stock is to eventually sell it and use the proceeds for so...
by grberry
Wed Apr 29, 2009 4:41 pm
Forum: US Chapters
Topic: SOUTH of BOSTON - CHAPTER 36--FIRST MEETING
Replies: 31
Views: 7127

I'll be there, the good Lord willing and the creek don't rise.
by grberry
Wed Apr 29, 2009 8:51 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: GM Prospectus re: exchanging bonds for stock
Replies: 37
Views: 5447

If I were a bondholder, I would reject the proposal, based on both the independent logics of tfb's analysis and Rick Ferri's analysis. I read it here: http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2009/04/gm-to-become-government-motors.html If the deal goes through as currently proposed.... * The Treas...
by grberry
Wed Apr 29, 2009 8:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Life Insurance
Replies: 12
Views: 2558

Buying life insurance to leave money to the beneficiary is rarely wise if that is the sole reason, as probably the objective can be better achieved simply by investing the insurance costs well. (On average, the insurance costs are enough to cover the payout, the costs of mailing you the mailers you ...
by grberry
Tue Apr 28, 2009 11:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Life and disability insurance while between jobs?
Replies: 3
Views: 1129

Disability : I believe that, assuming you live in the U.S., you can only privately buy disability insurance to cover up to a specified percentage of your income (less than 100%). If my recollection here is accurate, while earning no income, you can't buy disability insurance. If your wife has quali...
by grberry
Mon Apr 27, 2009 3:13 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Save into House Fund, or College Fund?
Replies: 3
Views: 924

My gut instinct is to encourage the house fund until such time as you are confident you will have 20%. (Think about the number of children also; if you are thinking you want two but the second proves to be twins, you'll actually have three, and want housing space for all of them.) This is a combinat...
by grberry
Thu Apr 23, 2009 1:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Imcensed -Vg proxy statement details hard to reach online
Replies: 4
Views: 1395

I got my proxy email today. I was also somewhat disgruntled because I was unable to locate the actual proxy, either on Vanguard's site or on the voting page where Vanguard had said it would be. The search above enabled me to find and read the proxy. But it would have been a lot better design for Van...
by grberry
Wed Apr 22, 2009 9:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Employer switching from DB to DC pension plan
Replies: 9
Views: 2031

It will largely be out of your control until such time as the employer announces details. The details will depend on the type of defined benefit plan the employer has and the type of defined contribution plan you are moving to. Do read everything you get related to the change very carefully, and be ...
by grberry
Mon Apr 20, 2009 3:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Social (Peer-to-Peer) Lending as an Asset Class?
Replies: 6
Views: 1863

I've looked. It is far too risky for my taste. You are taking on risk levels that are probably comparable to credit card debt (or slightly riskier) for return levels that aren't as good as credit card debt. I can't back this up with solidly researched numbers, but it is my conclusion from reported e...
by grberry
Mon Apr 20, 2009 2:58 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Help for my 65 year old Aunt
Replies: 7
Views: 1867

Re: Help for my 65 year old Aunt

I’m new to the group but would like your advice for my Aunt living alone at this time. Input: Age 65 retired in good health with net income of $21,600 year (SS and small pension) Owns her home, valued at $175m to $200m I assume this is likely a typo; the property tax alone on a home of 175 million ...
by grberry
Mon Apr 20, 2009 2:36 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Is there a bond bubble?
Replies: 42
Views: 8007

I also don't think that you need to be worried much about a bubble in TIPS. I certainly haven't noticed my TIPS holdings in the Vanguard fund rising unnaturally, but I haven't been looking too closely either. With those low expense ratios, any of the bond funds look quite reasonable. However, you ar...
by grberry
Sun Apr 19, 2009 8:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why do employers choose poor 401k plans?
Replies: 40
Views: 6927

In my case it was my ignorance that got us in a bad plan. This poster has nailed the primary reason. The average employee and investor is ignorant of the virtues of a low cost plan. This includes the average employee that makes the decision about the company's 401K plan. If you don't know that the ...
by grberry
Thu Apr 16, 2009 2:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relocation Housing Specialists
Replies: 4
Views: 1162

I don't know this company or the industry well. What I do know is that homeowners insurance often includes a provision for the insurance company to provide alternative housing in the event of a covered claim (fire, etc...) leaving the insured party without coverage. I'd bet that landlord's insurance...
by grberry
Wed Apr 15, 2009 9:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fed Buyback of TIPS 4/16/09
Replies: 9
Views: 1985

Re: I hold long dated Tips

Can the Treasury buy them from me if I don't want to sell them? Buying back a debt instrument from the same issuer is known as calling a bond. The call terms on a bond are part of the original issue terms of the bond, and are disclosed if you have read all the relevant materials. Generally speaking...
by grberry
Wed Apr 15, 2009 4:06 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Complete Retirement Makeover
Replies: 11
Views: 2395

Livesoft, That is as interesting concept. Everyone seems to be pushing Roth's over a 401k because the money will grow tax free. I always thought it was wise to max out a Roth first? There is no "always" rule here. It depends on you, your current and projected future tax situation, and your personal...
by grberry
Wed Apr 15, 2009 3:41 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Good ROTH IRA's?
Replies: 10
Views: 1710

Re: Good ROTH IRA's?

Does anyone have some recommendations for one? With low maintenance fees? Decent investments? Vanguard would be my first choice. If starting, rather than rolling over an account with significant funds already inside it, select electronic statements to keep the fees down. Plenty of decent investment...
by grberry
Wed Apr 15, 2009 3:31 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Time to Get Serious, But Unsure of Where to Start?
Replies: 9
Views: 2548

Re: investing

You need to define your goals. I would agree that your situation can and probably will chance dramatically over the short term. There isn't a clear goal here, but you will need funds available. Your retirement goal is separate and you have to come up with an overall asset allocation that you can st...
by grberry
Wed Apr 15, 2009 3:12 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Ohio 529 Options for 2 and 4 Year Olds
Replies: 21
Views: 3697

I'm not in Ohio, but use that plan. So I like the options in it. Using the usual 10 year rule for stocks, when each kid turns 8 you should stop buying more stocks for that kid. My kids are roughly the same age as yours, so I'm not looking too far down the glide path. But my intent is to stop buying ...
by grberry
Tue Apr 14, 2009 5:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Goldman earnings and gamesmanship?
Replies: 31
Views: 4414

But here is what I do not understand: About a month ago we found out that AIG paid something like 12.9B to Goldman Sachs. So, was Goldman Sachs actually down 11.3B and now shows a profit because AIG gave it 12.9B???? You are confusing cash flow with income. For you and me personally, they are large...
by grberry
Tue Apr 14, 2009 4:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Friends at Financial Institutions
Replies: 9
Views: 1738

The good news: major financial institutions already have 1) controls to limit access, and 2) software looking to identify patterns of inappropriate access so that those doing it can be addressed. The bad news: Your worries about your friends and family are too narrowly focused. Any employee of the i...
by grberry
Thu Apr 09, 2009 3:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Well Fargo big profit due to refinancing surge..but..
Replies: 2
Views: 1073

Look for whether or not the bank has sold those mortgages. If they have, somebody else owns the timebomb. If they haven't the bank owns the timebomb. They might still sell it in the future.
by grberry
Thu Apr 09, 2009 3:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Calculus I Help Please
Replies: 119
Views: 16349

I have been trying to solve this problem for two days now and have become completely confused. If i use x and 50-x would the equation be, Pi(x/2(pi)^2)+[(Sqrt 3)/6](50-x)=A There is are at least two errors here. Progressing further requires fixing them. The circle has a parenthesis error. The trian...
by grberry
Thu Apr 09, 2009 12:34 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: TIPS Mutual Funds vs Inflation
Replies: 8
Views: 3079

In theory, the value of an individual TIPS bond should increase with past inflation. And indeed, the actual principle value at maturity does rise with past inflation. However, the current market value of a TIPS bond is affected as much or more by market expectations of future inflation over the life...
by grberry
Wed Apr 08, 2009 3:41 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: GICs/GACs fund?
Replies: 13
Views: 3858

Those do look like Guaranteed Investment Contracts (GICs) that are all too commonly found inside Stable Value funds of a retirement plan. These are not money market funds, they are contracts with a specific insurer. Basically, the plan has negotiated a contract with the insurer(s) at a certain point...
by grberry
Wed Apr 08, 2009 3:26 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 10% "voluntary" salary reduction or 10% donation
Replies: 23
Views: 4590

Even if the "donation" would be legitimate, there are many trade-offs. You have already identified the Medicare tax as a definite difference. There are many other tax differences that may or may not apply to you. For example, many provisions in the tax code are a function of Adjusted Gross Income (A...
by grberry
Tue Apr 07, 2009 6:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Survey - 40 Percent of US Firms Freezing Pay
Replies: 66
Views: 8834

I'm in a company that is doing well. I no longer have visibility to employee comp plans for the future, so I can actually comment. * 2008 revenue up 31% over 2007. * 2008 earnings per share up roughly 75% over 2007. * Bonus at roughly 95% of target (we'd planned to do even better, but banks are a ma...
by grberry
Tue Apr 07, 2009 5:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Maine Travel
Replies: 19
Views: 3471

Depending on traffic, particularly at the New Hampshire toll booth, Portland is 2 to 2.5 hours drive away from Boston. That puts it about at the reasonable limit for a day trip. You can reasonably go further for a two day trip; say the Boothbay Harbor region. If you can do a three or more day trip, ...
by grberry
Mon Apr 06, 2009 8:11 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 529 quandry
Replies: 5
Views: 1247

You definitely have the right to roll the funds over to a different state's 529 plan. In general, if a state offers a tax break for using its in state 529 plan, then it may or may not also choose to recapture that tax break if you roll it over to a different state's 529 plan. If you didn't get a tax...
by grberry
Mon Apr 06, 2009 7:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much is the job security of a federal job worth in $$$?
Replies: 86
Views: 13251

Re: How much is the job security of a federal job worth in $

Is the job security and benefits such as health care after retirement, TSP, and defined benefit pension, worth a 20% reduction in salary? 30%? More? Would you leave your job right now if a federal job was available to you at a lower salary? In theory, all this is calculable. You can find the cost o...