Search found 451 matches

by robertalpert
Fri Nov 21, 2014 1:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: GAO Concerned your IRA may be too big!
Replies: 25
Views: 6005

Re: GAO Concerned your IRA may be too big!

mwm158 wrote:I guess the IRS won't like it when one the lottery tickets I invest in with my IRA wins big!
If investing lottery tickets in taxable account, can losses be deductable?
by robertalpert
Wed Oct 15, 2014 12:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Clothes Dryer drying very slowly
Replies: 24
Views: 5606

Re: Clothes Dryer drying very slowly

In addition to checking out the vent piping;

UNPLUG THE DRYER --- Then check out the impeller located inside of the drier (perhaps arms length from the air exit opening). Cleaning a lint-encrusted impeller can help.
by robertalpert
Mon Oct 13, 2014 12:21 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Losing money, please advise
Replies: 36
Views: 6914

Re: Losing money, please advise

If you are currently putting new money into the market, rejoice. There is a great sale going on. If you are fully invested already and not needing the money for a few years, then the market is irrelevant. I have considered changing my allocation from 75/25 to 60/40. But have decided to wait till nex...
by robertalpert
Sat Oct 04, 2014 10:29 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: TSP advice for former Ohio PERS member
Replies: 3
Views: 1343

Re: TSP advice for former Ohio PERS member

Expense ratios within the Ohio PERS are better than (less costly than) Vanguard expense ratios --- but not quite as low as TSP expense ratios. https://www.opers.org/investments/defined-contribution/morningstar-profiles.shtml I would leave the money in Ohio PERS just in case you may return the Ohio s...
by robertalpert
Sat Oct 04, 2014 12:03 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: little help with Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund Admiral
Replies: 9
Views: 1220

Re: little help with Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund Adm

If you want to decrease your tilt from extended market, the market has already done that for you. No further change is needed.
by robertalpert
Fri Oct 03, 2014 4:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Am I crazy to try to tackle all 4 issues at once?
Replies: 29
Views: 4408

Re: Am I crazy to try to tackle all 4 issues at once?

Getting the 401K match may be among the first things to do. At the moment, paying credit card debt is exactly the same as emergency fund. A zero balance credit card is a good emergency fund for the time being (temporarily). Once the credit debt is is completely paid, then emergency fund will migrate...
by robertalpert
Sun Sep 14, 2014 8:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hearing aids - for those that use them
Replies: 29
Views: 3627

Re: Hearing aids - for those that use them

Definately ask at the VA first. They may provide them free. If not VA eligible And if you are currently employed or seeking employment ------ then contact your local office of State Vocational Rehabilitation Services. If retired (and without VA assistance), you may be on your own. But in any case, v...
by robertalpert
Sat Sep 13, 2014 12:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Roof Needed Soon... Advice?
Replies: 48
Views: 4651

Re: New Roof Needed Soon... Advice?

We are planning a re-roofing project during September or October. Our house was re-roofed 35 years ago and not yet in dire need, but it's old enough for replacement. Getting a copper metal roof would be the longest lasting, but will be twice or three times the cost of asphalt shingles. We were told ...
by robertalpert
Sat Aug 09, 2014 9:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Insulation Question
Replies: 25
Views: 3227

Re: Insulation Question

Incidentally, this is the 5th summer since we we re-roofed and installed ridge vents and a few extra mushroom vents near the high peak of our steep pitched hip roof; and installed hardiplank perforated soffit which greatly increased the cool air intake and air flow. Even though we didn't add any in...
by robertalpert
Fri Aug 08, 2014 2:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Insulation Question
Replies: 25
Views: 3227

Re: Insulation Question

Somebody in the class asked the architect about using this spray foam for an existing (older) house. He said he did not recommend it, because spray foam is meant to completely seal the attic. Existing attics are meant to be vented, and the joints are simply not built to make a perfect seal practica...
by robertalpert
Mon Jul 14, 2014 10:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I'm cosigner .. Friend thinking of bankruptcy .. Pls help
Replies: 80
Views: 19539

Re: I'm cosigner .. Friend thinking of bankruptcy .. Pls hel

If you put the car title in your name, then you would be libel for any auto accident your friend may have. If paying the loan, leave the car in the driver's name, unless you plan to immediately sell the car.
by robertalpert
Wed Jul 02, 2014 12:29 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Trick question for new investors.
Replies: 25
Views: 2917

Re: Trick question for new investors.

Here is a trick question for you guys. You can choose option A or B. Question: Which one would you rather choose. A) The stockmarket is high and stays high for a while. B) The stockmarket is low and stays low for awhile. Depends on your stage of investment. NEW investors would be in accumulation ph...
by robertalpert
Fri Jun 27, 2014 7:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Personal Development Books
Replies: 39
Views: 4713

Re: Personal Development Books

Kahlil Gibran
by robertalpert
Thu Jun 26, 2014 9:27 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Intl. Small - ETF vs Fund
Replies: 9
Views: 997

Re: Vanguard Intl. Small - ETF vs Fund

The fee you see is what it takes for Vanguard to break even for that fund. At 2.5B, there just aren't enough assets to drive the fees down to match what the average Vanguard index fund. It took about 50B-60B for Emerging Markets to eliminate the purchase/redemption fees. I wander why investors buy ...
by robertalpert
Sun Jun 22, 2014 11:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone here use Personal Capital?
Replies: 62
Views: 39391

Re: Anyone here use Personal Capital?

Ice-9 wrote: I have more than 30 accounts, so I really need a service like this.

How come you have 30 accounts?
by robertalpert
Sun Jun 22, 2014 11:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone here use Personal Capital?
Replies: 62
Views: 39391

Re: Anyone here use Personal Capital?

I use it and find it an interesting amusing view to allocation. One frustration with personal capital is not being able to print or save their results. But for serious allocation / rebalance decisions, I just use Vanguards portfolio analysis and testing tool. I did the personal capital assessment la...
by robertalpert
Sun Jun 22, 2014 9:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Washing Machine Lint Traps/Filters
Replies: 24
Views: 12034

Re: Washing Machine Lint Traps/Filters

but I understand that bleach is not a good idea with septic systems. I don't have one (but I might by next month!) so I'm just repeating what I've heard. I was told that, used in moderation, bleach is OK. To me that is not a ringing endorsement. It means it is not really OK but if your septic syste...
by robertalpert
Sat Jun 21, 2014 9:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Washing Machine Lint Traps/Filters
Replies: 24
Views: 12034

Re: Washing Machine Lint Traps/Filters

If your washing machine is old (and if a top loader), you might consider getting a new front loader. They use much less water. Less water in means less water out (and probably less lint). A few years ago we got a front load LG and it works well. Though a caution about mold and front-loaders: Since w...
by robertalpert
Fri Jun 13, 2014 9:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Problem with Market Timing
Replies: 19
Views: 2279

Re: The Problem with Market Timing

It seems to me there is never a way to predict stock market movement by looking at the stock market itself. But are there times when taking queues from the bond market may help? Eg {When the treasury yields inverts (3-month yielding more than 10-year); When the spread between treasuries to junk bond...
by robertalpert
Tue Jun 10, 2014 11:19 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: I've Got $100K -- Where To Start?
Replies: 39
Views: 5494

Re: I've Got $100K -- Where To Start?

..... but I'm having severe analysis paralysis in terms of getting started. The concept of "capital gains taxes" scares me and has prevented me from putting the money anywhere yet. If complexity causes some of your analysis paralysis, you could consider exploring simplicity. That is plunk...
by robertalpert
Tue Jun 03, 2014 10:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "The Nasty, Brutish Life of the Modern Mutual Fund Manager"
Replies: 10
Views: 2319

Re: "The Nasty, Brutish Life of the Modern Mutual Fund Manag

Bacarella, now co-manager of the Monetta Young Investor Fund (MYIFX), says a good manager can help protect clients in down markets by limiting a fund’s risk exposure. Risk exposure should be mediate by overall asset allocation. If Barcala is referring to holding more cash prior to market correction...
by robertalpert
Mon May 19, 2014 8:18 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: LPL financial planner cost
Replies: 35
Views: 8485

Re: LPL financial planner cost

With the exception of ALARX and VWINX, all your other listed funds have 12-b fee of 0.25%, This kickback goes directly to your financial advisor.


I am curious about how much did your LPL advisor charge in transaction fees to acquire these funds?
by robertalpert
Mon May 19, 2014 7:54 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: LPL financial planner cost
Replies: 35
Views: 8485

Re: LPL financial planner cost

Hi, I thought the out of pocket expense will be 1.0% and nothing else. The 1% management expense IS the only "out of pocket" expense. All other expenses are imputed within the funds themselves. The best funds generally have expense ratios ranging from 0.05% to 0.20%. You may or may not be...
by robertalpert
Mon May 19, 2014 7:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is the best brand of 3 ton air conditioner & furnace?
Replies: 46
Views: 51439

Re: What is the best brand of 3 ton air conditioner & furnac

We bought a 3 ton Rheem AC and Rheem furnace in April 2008. We faced the decision to go with R22 or the new Puron. We chose the R-22 because it is a more efficient refrigerant than Puron and does not have the contamination risks. Units designed for R22 can still be manufactured, but can no longer b...
by robertalpert
Fri May 16, 2014 12:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is the best brand of 3 ton air conditioner & furnace?
Replies: 46
Views: 51439

Re: What is the best brand of 3 ton air conditioner & furnac

We bought a 3 ton Rheem AC and Rheem furnace in April 2008. We faced the decision to go with R22 or the new Puron. We chose the R-22 because it is a more efficient refrigerant than Puron and does not have the contamination risks. Units designed for R22 can still be manufactured, but can no longer be...
by robertalpert
Fri May 09, 2014 10:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Price of Outperformance
Replies: 35
Views: 4818

Re: The Price of Outperformance

I think it has been fairly accepted that you can outperform with a smaller amount of money. However, when investing in a fund, if a fund has been outperforming and people have now seen this, they would now lump in to that fund. The fund manager faces a bit of a problem, they either invest in securi...
by robertalpert
Sat Apr 26, 2014 2:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HELOC to pay off student loans?
Replies: 33
Views: 7836

Re: HELOC to pay off student loans?

Thank you everyone for your responses. It helped me to explore different options. Robertalpert, thank you for your comment. I agree that it's not good to risk the house. But regardless, I still have to pay the student loans. What if I replaced the student loans with a loan that had a lower interest...
by robertalpert
Sun Apr 20, 2014 4:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HELOC to pay off student loans?
Replies: 33
Views: 7836

Re: HELOC to pay off student loans?

It's a terrible idea to risk the house for the sake of some interest on student loan. Keep the heloc at zero as part of available credit. If you ever need to use money in an emergency, use emergency near-cash funds. In true emergency (eg job loss), then go to credit cards. Reserve heloc to pay off t...
by robertalpert
Wed Apr 16, 2014 11:31 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: leaving scottrade
Replies: 10
Views: 3912

Re: leaving scottrade

If the total capital gain is not too unreasonably large, I'd sell all first, then transfer only cash. That way, Scottrade is responsible for reporting cost basis / gain. If transferring in-kind, the brokerage of origin may only be responsible for providing cost basis for investments purchased only w...
by robertalpert
Tue Apr 08, 2014 10:15 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Advantage of 50/50 Wellington/Wellesley in Roth IRA?
Replies: 8
Views: 2673

Re: Advantage of 50/50 Wellington/Wellesley in Roth IRA?

I believe there is about a 25% overlap of Wellington's companies are also in Wellesley, but both funds are large value. Holding both makes it more difficult to get to the $50K admiral level. Many would say there is no reason to hold either, let alone both. But I think that if Wellington represents y...
by robertalpert
Fri Mar 28, 2014 12:51 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: New money to buy lagging sectors?
Replies: 26
Views: 1811

Re: New money to buy lagging sectors?

If you are implying a scheme to equal weighting sectors; It may beat the market based on increased small factor. That is just another way to select an increased risk portfolio with perhaps increased return. But with time / transaction costs. Perhaps consider buying an equal weight fund. I prefer cap...
by robertalpert
Tue Mar 25, 2014 9:22 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Does anyone have an opinion on WealthFront?
Replies: 43
Views: 8004

Re: Does anyone have an opinion on WealthFront?

...according to their Wealthfront Investment Methodology White Paper , "naïve" mean variance optimization (MVO)--that is to say MVO based only on actual financial data--"is sensitive to input parameters and tends to produce concentrated and unintuitive portfolios if the parameters ar...
by robertalpert
Tue Mar 25, 2014 8:13 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Does anyone have an opinion on WealthFront?
Replies: 43
Views: 8004

Re: Does anyone have an opinion on WealthFront?

The website refers to mean variance optimization. I just wonder if that translates to changing (adjusting) allocation mix yearly, quarterly, monthly, or weekly depending on what their mean variance program output dictates?
by robertalpert
Sat Mar 22, 2014 2:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: You can lead a horse to water... [Giving financial advice]
Replies: 50
Views: 7206

Re: You can lead a horse to water... [Giving financial advic

Are they willing to read and implement a helpful book: Suzie Orman -- Laws of Money http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/laws-of-money-suze-orman/1102003283?ean=9780743245180 While Suzie Orman will never be a good source on investment, this book is quite good for what it is, facing personal financial dif...
by robertalpert
Fri Mar 21, 2014 10:43 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TIPS Intermediate Fund vs. International Bond Fund
Replies: 35
Views: 4537

Re: TIPS Intermediate Fund vs. International Bond Fund

It's true that Vanguard added international bond fund to target / life strategy. Vanguard also has short tips fund as part of their target income fund. I think TIPs are a good addition when your stock bond allocation is equal of more conservative than 50-50. Higher than 50% stock allocations may ade...
by robertalpert
Wed Mar 12, 2014 11:45 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Target Retirement, Life Strategy, Wellington
Replies: 7
Views: 1662

Re: Target Retirement, Life Strategy, Wellington

Perhaps a 529 plan if your adult children (or your minor grandchildren) may use educational services in the future.

Or for taxable investing, How about tax managed balance fund vtmfx (stock / bond: 47%/52%).
by robertalpert
Wed Mar 12, 2014 7:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How old is too old to buy first house?
Replies: 17
Views: 3134

Re: How old is too old to buy first house?

retirement in a low cost, warm place probably in Latin America or Asia. Sounds like a plan. Are you actually going to move to south or east at retirment? Perhaps a vacation there during summer and during winter to test the seasonal waters. Does "low cost, warm place" translate to a house,...
by robertalpert
Tue Mar 11, 2014 10:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why is index investing better considering these funds
Replies: 23
Views: 3597

Re: Why is index investing better considering these funds

Typical fund comparisons / histories go back 10 or 15 years. But that is really too recent for a true comparison. Before considering actively managed funds, you really need much longer timeframes (perhaps 40 years) to distinguish its true worth against index funds (beyond the random chance out-perfo...
by robertalpert
Tue Mar 04, 2014 1:01 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Total International Stock vs Dodge & Cox Int'l
Replies: 23
Views: 6551

Re: Vanguard Total International Stock vs Dodge & Cox Int'l

When historically comparing dodfx to the vanguard index fund, may be better to compare with vanguard's vfwix instead. Total international changed it's index just year ago to more closely align with index of vfwix going forward. Also, many more than 99% of actively managed funds revert to mean. But i...
by robertalpert
Wed Feb 26, 2014 12:46 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Ding! Check engine light is now on. [PE10 exceeds 25]
Replies: 108
Views: 14096

Re: Ding! Check engine light is now on. [PE10 exceeds 25]

Clearly_Irrational, - How did you come across these indicators? Individually or as a group from someone's commentary? If the second, do you have a link or search terms? I've been researching crash detection for some time. Every so often I find a decent paper or article that suggests a measure that ...
by robertalpert
Mon Feb 24, 2014 10:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taking out a mortgage from same bank you have CD at
Replies: 12
Views: 1106

Re: Taking out a mortgage from same bank you have CD at

What's your tax rate? If 25%, then both are effectively at 3%. If higher than 25%, then effective mortgage rate may be less than 3% and you're coming out ahead by keeping CD and paying mortgage month to month. Edit: not sure how CD interest handled (taxwise). Tax rate may not actually matter. Does a...
by robertalpert
Wed Feb 19, 2014 7:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Market Crash Stategies?
Replies: 40
Views: 4644

Re: Market Crash Stategies?

During the 2007-2008 freefall, based on the "news" and rate of descent, I sold out 100% to cash after the initial week or so, and months later, bought back in after several weeks of consistent growth. Can you tell more specifics about what you noticed (prior to) the free-fall that grabbed...
by robertalpert
Tue Feb 11, 2014 9:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What to do when a parent's money runs out?
Replies: 236
Views: 42848

Re: What to do when a parent's money runs out?

If you plan to help her financially, it's important to gain insight into her expenditures. You might consider (with her permission) signing up & entering her sources of credit -- debit --- payment activity into mint.com. You may get a fully picture of her uses of her funds.
by robertalpert
Tue Feb 11, 2014 1:37 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Would you overweight to get into Admiral shares?
Replies: 28
Views: 2722

Re: Would you overweight to get into Admiral shares?

If Vanguard truly meets your needs better, what is there that keeps you from moving there? It doesn't make sense to me unless I'm all in one account to use target funds since I don't have similar funds in my other accounts. I would either do target funds (like fidelity freedom, not index) in my oth...
by robertalpert
Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:14 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Would you overweight to get into Admiral shares?
Replies: 28
Views: 2722

Re: Would you overweight to get into Admiral shares?

Shredder wrote:Ugh - I just chatted with them and they don't offer an indexed age based allocation fund like Vanguard does. Another win for Vanguard. Why couldn't I have just started with them :)


If Vanguard truly meets your needs better, what is there that keeps you from moving there?
by robertalpert
Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need a new all in one printer
Replies: 55
Views: 6690

Re: Need a new all in one printer

We bought a Brother MFC-J875DW all in one color jet. Bought in on sale for $99 (was originally $149). So far it works great.
by robertalpert
Tue Feb 04, 2014 11:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Vanguard Wellington Pull
Replies: 32
Views: 5786

Re: The Vanguard Wellington Pull

Wellington has been around since 1929. Kind of hard to find a fund to compare it to. AIVSX has been in existence almost that long like 1933 and over the common lifetime it way outperforms Wellington but of course AIVSX doesn't hold much if any bonds so you'd pretty well expect that. I just avoid ac...
by robertalpert
Wed Jan 29, 2014 3:57 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: My annualized returns are WORSE than yours. Why?
Replies: 87
Views: 9491

Re: My annualized returns are better than yours. Why?

plats wrote:
robertalpert wrote:
sscritic wrote:I think some people left their sarcasm detectors at home this morning. The OP is clearly pulling our leg.

My leg does feel a little out of joint this morning.
I have only one leg now.

Sorry for your loss.
by robertalpert
Wed Jan 29, 2014 12:31 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Owning Wellington & Wellesley
Replies: 30
Views: 6146

Re: Owning Wellington & Wellesley

1) I'm not at all clear on the rationale for investing in Wellington and Wellesley. People do mention doing this surprisingly often on this forum. It's not that it seems like such a terrible thing, but I just don't get it. Sort of like making a cake by mixing Duncan Hines and Betty Crocker cake mix...
by robertalpert
Tue Jan 28, 2014 5:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When the market tanks, what happens to cash flow?
Replies: 22
Views: 2454

Re: When the market tanks, what happens to cash flow?

Cash flow, as the OP asked, is independent of the share price in the short term and correlated in the long term. Yield, which might be what you're thinking of, would be inversely correlated in the short term (but by a factor of 1x, not bond duration), but independent in the long term. At least, if ...