Search found 394 matches

by bnes
Fri Jun 06, 2014 11:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Recommendation for an HSA
Replies: 3
Views: 611

Re: Recommendation for an HSA

fmzip wrote:Best place to buy Vanguard Admiral shares at a fraction of Admiral share prices
They say 'Average expense ratio of 0.21'. Are they marking up the funds?
by bnes
Fri Jun 06, 2014 7:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Confession: I bought a stock. What is wrong with me?
Replies: 68
Views: 7756

Re: Confession: I bought a stock. What is wrong with me?

I think it entirely reasonable to say that in your AA, that 5% is for playing individual stocks.
Stick to your AA.
by bnes
Thu Jun 05, 2014 12:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Family cars for non-drivers.
Replies: 38
Views: 2800

Re: Family cars for non-drivers.

Buy the car you need every week.
Rent, share, or borrow the car you need occasionally.
Before you buy, rent the type of car you think you need.
by bnes
Thu Jun 05, 2014 11:47 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Gold and Silver as an Insurance Policy?
Replies: 37
Views: 2994

Re: Gold and Silver as an Insurance Policy?

Holding actual coins has risk: for example the risk of theft while delivering them. There are also high transaction fees. A Gold ETF has none of that. You have several doomsday scenarios: Katrina, asteriod srike, civil war or goverment collapse. With a regional event like Katrina you need short term...
by bnes
Thu Jun 05, 2014 4:43 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What would you do with gold coins?
Replies: 25
Views: 2250

Re: What would you do with gold coins?

Nobody's mentioned risk: risk the coins will be stolen.
The transaction and holding costs of physical gold are huge.

So if you like gold as 'money', get GLD (the gold trust), not actual coins.
If you like gold because it's shiny, thnk twice about where you keep them.
by bnes
Wed Jun 04, 2014 11:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: High Deductible Heath Plan vs Co-Pay healh plan
Replies: 23
Views: 1777

Re: High Deductible Heath Plan vs Co-Pay healh plan

You've heard about the best case, and the worst case. How about the average case? I have an HDHP and HSA (which works similarly to your HRA for these purposes). First, we pay nothing extra for preventative care. We have no reason to fear our annual exams from a cost point of view, not even paying a ...
by bnes
Tue Jun 03, 2014 11:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What happens if a virus hacks Vanguard?
Replies: 16
Views: 2245

Re: What happens if a virus hacks Vanguard?

I am hoping that someone can explain exactly what types of backups would help in the scenario OP described, and also how they would help (i. e., what would backups actually do to help an investor if his/her financial accounts were hacked)? Your backups don't help at all. Vanguard's backups do help ...
by bnes
Tue Jun 03, 2014 10:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What happens if a virus hacks Vanguard?
Replies: 16
Views: 2245

Re: What happens if a virus hacks Vanguard?

An attacker will likely gain your email access first, then reset passwords on brokerage accounts, and kill off the email notification. You may never notice, as the better attackers won't disable your email at any point. Then the sky is the limit. Transferring money into a checking account of another...
by bnes
Tue Jun 03, 2014 7:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Charles Schwab or Morgan Stanley?
Replies: 10
Views: 15768

Re: Charles Schwab or Morgan Stanley?

You can pay CS for advice.
With MS, you get the advice if you want it or not.
by bnes
Tue Jun 03, 2014 7:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Newbie IRA rollover question
Replies: 12
Views: 761

Re: Newbie IRA rollover question

What's the total portfolio value?
by bnes
Tue Jun 03, 2014 7:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do I pull the rip cord on this particular whole life policy?
Replies: 8
Views: 1028

Re: Do I pull the rip cord on this particular whole life pol

Sunk costs are sunk costs. If the policy is likely to be abandoned before death, when's the time to get out? The options here are: 0) Do a "Reduced paid-up death benefit" conversion. 1) Take the cash value and reinvest it. 2) Drop the dividend reinvestment, but keep policy in force. 3) Make no chang...
by bnes
Tue Jun 03, 2014 6:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What happens if a virus hacks Vanguard?
Replies: 16
Views: 2245

Re: What happens if a virus hacks Vanguard?

If your individual login is discovered, your account could be drained without your noticing. If Vanguard's entire system is hacked, that's what backups are for. -- For this reason don't pirate your operating system, don't run IE 6, don't run other versions of IE, don't engage in unsafe online behavi...
by bnes
Tue Jun 03, 2014 2:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do I pull the rip cord on this particular whole life policy?
Replies: 8
Views: 1028

Re: Do I pull the rip cord on this particular whole life pol

What is the total cash value projection at year 20, both guaranteed and not guaranteed? Obviously, the policy is about to make a turn to an improved IRR, and you've got considerable sunk costs. A bigger concern is that you are probably underinsured. Year Age Premium Cash IRR/Cash Death Benefit IRR/...
by bnes
Tue Jun 03, 2014 2:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 529 vs taxable for 15% marginal tax bracket?
Replies: 41
Views: 4200

Re: 529 vs taxable for 15% marginal tax bracket?

@jasonv made a good point that might be missed. In the 15% tax bracket, you benefit by 'harvesting' taxable gains. Once a year sell assets, realize the gains at 0% tax rate, then buy back similar assets (subject to the easily avoided 'wash sale rule'). Then when or if your income rises, your tax obl...
by bnes
Tue Jun 03, 2014 1:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Newbie IRA rollover question
Replies: 12
Views: 761

Re: Newbie IRA rollover question

You've got it right: initiate the transfer at the receiving brokerage, and the receiver takes care of the details. Make sure the destination is the same type of IRA. For the funds at American Funds, keep in mind you paid a significant sales charge, probably 5.5%. On a total return basis, including s...
by bnes
Tue Jun 03, 2014 2:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Process for surviving spouse.
Replies: 50
Views: 8861

Re: Process for surviving spouse.

Was anyone on Medicaid?
Watch out for clawbacks:
http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2014/02/ ... dvice.html
by bnes
Tue Jun 03, 2014 2:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Section 179- Gross Vehicle Weight 6000lbs
Replies: 15
Views: 12129

Re: Section 179- Gross Vehicle Weight 6000lbs

You are aware the rules tightened, making it harder for vanity SUVs to qualify? You've got to slap your business name on the outside, or rip out all the seats. Is this a vanity SUV or a true specalized working truck?
by bnes
Tue Jun 03, 2014 1:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do I pull the rip cord on this particular whole life policy?
Replies: 8
Views: 1028

Do I pull the rip cord on this particular whole life policy?

Ok, it happened. In 2005 I was sold Whole Life. Got it. Now what? There are actually two separate policies, husband and wife. They are similar so I'll give just one: Current Value Penn Mutual Traditional LifeWise Whole Life Policy date 5/23/2005 Net Death Benefit $151,003 One month premium $151.50 (...
by bnes
Mon Jun 02, 2014 4:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pay off car loan or stay in market?
Replies: 22
Views: 2069

Re: Pay off car loan or stay in market?

If you owned the car "free and clear", would you borrow against it to invest? If so, keep the debt. Most (but I'm sure not all) would say, no, they wouldn't borrow against a paid off car to invest. So if that's you, why keep the loan? He already has the loan. So the marginal cost of holding it is n...
by bnes
Mon Jun 02, 2014 4:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 529 vs taxable for 15% marginal tax bracket?
Replies: 41
Views: 4200

Re: 529 vs taxable for 15% marginal tax bracket?

Easy answer: a 529 is not a good match for you. 529 costs, even at Vanguard, are too high. You don't have the kid yet. The only angle for which a 529 might make sense is finanial aid (See http://www.savingforcollege.com/intro_to_529s/does-a-529-plan-affect-financial-aid.php ). But you really need to...
by bnes
Mon Jun 02, 2014 4:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fwd: "Shrinking Alpha" analysis from Morningstar
Replies: 2
Views: 550

Fwd: "Shrinking Alpha" analysis from Morningstar

I thought this of interest to boggleheads. It shows how much of active mutual fund performance is due to the market itself: http://seekingalpha.com/article/2245443-shrinking-alpha#comments_header It rather reads as critical of active mutual funds. Note that dead funds are included (those that went t...
by bnes
Mon Jun 02, 2014 4:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: place to invest: physician sign-on bonus
Replies: 14
Views: 1283

Re: place to invest: physician sign-on bonus

How quickly must you pay it back, if you leave? If it's not so quick, your 2nd job sallary might cover it.
by bnes
Mon Jun 02, 2014 12:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Re-balancing a home loan as a cash investment?
Replies: 15
Views: 1246

Re: Re-balancing a home loan as a cash investment?

The duration of a 30-year mortgage is about 10 years, and the 10-year Treasury is yielding 2.44%, so it is still slightly better to max out your IRA with Treasury bonds than to pay down your mortgage. The house in question is rentable, and barring the need for the capital in the house, present rent...
by bnes
Mon Jun 02, 2014 12:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pay off car loan or stay in market?
Replies: 22
Views: 2069

Re: Pay off car loan or stay in market?

You're clearly fiscally responsible. Keep the loan. The payments are modest enough you can handle them even if the market tanks. Set up auto-draft from checking to make it easy. Your 1.9% loan is below even the Fed's inflation target. Your cost of holding the loan is close to zero. If you believe in...
by bnes
Mon Jun 02, 2014 12:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: place to invest: physician sign-on bonus
Replies: 14
Views: 1283

Re: place to invest: physician sign-on bonus

You'd be better off negotiating a higher sallary, compared to the sign up bonus.
Golden Handcuffs like this benefit your employer, that's why they do them.

You don't really want to be forced into years of holding this money at low returns, just because of a worry you'll have to pay it back.
by bnes
Mon Jun 02, 2014 12:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to Invest Excess Cash?
Replies: 10
Views: 1803

Re: How to Invest Excess Cash?

As others noted you can start giving charitably (QCD or otherwise), or start giving less than the annual exclusion to your daughter: http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/Frequently-Asked-Questions-on-Gift-Taxes The duaghter can funnel those gifts into a Roth or a 529 colleg...
by bnes
Mon Jun 02, 2014 12:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: another "kid" with a widowed 80 year old dad question
Replies: 10
Views: 2831

Re: another "kid" with a widowed 80 year old dad question

Regarding a roth ira- if he puts his total net (4-6K) to fund it, could that be a red flag for the IRS? He was worried about getting audited(?) and I didn't know if his concern was valid :? Opening an IRA is not a red flag in any way, as long as the rules are followed. The maximum is $6500 or the t...
by bnes
Sun Jun 01, 2014 12:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Deductible Investment Options for Wife
Replies: 15
Views: 1296

Re: Deductible Investment Options for Wife

What's your health insurance like? If anyone in the family is in a "high deductable health plan" (HDHP) you can contribute pre-tax dollars to a Health Savings Account (HSA). That HSA money can be treated much like an IRA, except it allows withdrawals for medical expenses. The money can be spent, or...
by bnes
Sun Jun 01, 2014 1:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: sprinkler system question
Replies: 29
Views: 4499

Re: sprinkler system question

We also have a sprinkler system for our home, that is, a fire sprinkler system. Best not to run that system when on vacation. To be clear for those who may not know: A typical fire event opens an average of two sprinkler heads. Code-compliant sprinklers create an alarm when activated or when a pipe...
by bnes
Wed May 28, 2014 1:57 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing HSA Contributions
Replies: 6
Views: 805

Re: Investing HSA Contributions

HSAs are insanely flexible. The list of ways to spend the money tax free is long and flexible. Especially if you've maxed out other tax deferred options, and have low fees in the account, invest in stocks and bonds in the HSA. You either get your money tax free, or you get it tax free. Or, it's tax ...
by bnes
Wed May 28, 2014 1:54 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Re-balancing a home loan as a cash investment?
Replies: 15
Views: 1246

Re: Re-balancing a home loan as a cash investment?

However, at 3% (presumably something like 2.16% after tax in a 28% bracket) paying down the mortgage doesn't even give an adequate risk-free return to be profitable. Admiral shares of Long-Term Tax-Exempt yield 2.73% with very little credit risk. The LT Tax-Exempt may have little credit risk, but t...
by bnes
Wed May 28, 2014 1:40 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: AAPL
Replies: 232
Views: 63977

Re: AAPL

Fact is almost everyone owns AAPL. It's a top holding in mutual funds, active or not. Your low cost index fund holds a lot of Apple.
You are probably non-diversified with regard to AAPL stock tanking, even as the most die-hard bogglehead.
by bnes
Wed May 28, 2014 1:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: sprinkler system question
Replies: 29
Views: 4499

Re: sprinkler system question

You can mitigate concerns (um "hedge them"), by installing a water leak alarm. These are a good idea (um "have a high ROI") for vacation homes in cold climates, but are a way to have peace of mind in any climate. I shopped for one, and made a list of the ones I found over at: http://guides.obviously...
by bnes
Mon May 26, 2014 7:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Re-balancing a home loan as a cash investment?
Replies: 15
Views: 1246

Re: Re-balancing a home loan as a cash investment?

Keep in mind: because of high real estate taxes, the mortgage interest deduction is substantial, so the cost of holding the funds is less than 3.00%. I'm bullish enough to expect that over 28 years the equities will return more than that. If the loan was 4% or 6% paying it off would be a simpler dec...
by bnes
Mon May 26, 2014 7:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Lump Sum into 529 - Picking the college type
Replies: 9
Views: 1267

Re: Lump Sum into 529 - Picking the college type

I'd look carefully at the 529 account fees, vs. your other tax deferred options. If your 401k, IRA or Roth are not maxed out, your first dollar might better go there.
The math is unfortunately complicated: http://www.bankrate.com/brm/news/529/20051024a1.asp
by bnes
Mon May 26, 2014 6:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Transfer an investment account?
Replies: 2
Views: 496

Re: Transfer an investment account?

Or: have your father open a Vanguard account, and initiate a trustee transfer. This is very easy and has no tax consequences. Have him name you as a beneficiary on the new account (check with your family first). Now have him gift $14,000/$28,000 per year to you (See http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Sma...
by bnes
Mon May 26, 2014 6:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Re-balancing a home loan as a cash investment?
Replies: 15
Views: 1246

Re: Re-balancing a home loan as a cash investment?

As the OP: Thanks for the the thought of a mortgage as a negative bond (http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=11861 ). To answer questions: If my wife and I were to loose our incomes, we'd pay the mortgage by selling taxable investments. We can drop expenses by dropping private schooling f...
by bnes
Mon May 26, 2014 6:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need Help Planning - 529 vs mortgage
Replies: 7
Views: 1479

Re: Need Help Planning - 529 vs mortgage

I observed in my 529 that fees were way higher than the 401k, IRA or Roth. That tipped the difference for me: I contribute the maximum to the others and let the 529 funds languish. Note my 529 is at Vanguard. I have a similar question to you about investing in a fund vs. investing in a mortgage: htt...
by bnes
Mon May 26, 2014 6:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with elderly portfolio -- nearing end of draw down
Replies: 25
Views: 2716

Re: Help with elderly portfolio -- nearing end of draw down

At 90% stock this portfolio seems managed not for them, but for the heirs.
It's crazy risky for them living out the ends of their lives.
Their expenses are way high.

What are their goals? Is it important to them to leave something to the next generation, or not?
by bnes
Mon May 26, 2014 12:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Re-balancing a home loan as a cash investment?
Replies: 15
Views: 1246

Re-balancing a home loan as a cash investment?

I'm seeking opinion on how I should treat an outstanding home loan, when re-balancing investments. Assume: Income earner. Home, presently market priced at around $800k, with property taxes north of $8,000 per year. Home loan of $190k, at 28 year fixed rate of 3.00% Tax preferred investments of $300k...
by bnes
Mon May 26, 2014 3:43 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Total Return Charts
Replies: 24
Views: 14874

Re: Total Return Charts

I must be missing something. I can find total return for mutual funds at Morningstar, but can't chart that against a dividend paying equity. Is Morningstar so limited? So far we have (for 2014): http://www.etfreplay.com/combine.aspx (only seems to have ETFs and indexes). http://www.dividendchannel.c...
by bnes
Sat May 24, 2014 6:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Total Return Charts
Replies: 24
Views: 14874

Re: Total Return Charts

Sadly, after all these years this thread is still quite relevant. Even a broker like Schwab is largely stuck in a price only charting world. I found a very nice TR/DRIP calculator at a little known website: http://www.dividendchannel.com/drip-returns-calculator/ Here's an example, demonstrating the ...
by bnes
Fri May 23, 2014 12:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: BlackRock? LifePath Index 20XX Fund J. Any info?
Replies: 34
Views: 20984

Re: BlackRock? LifePath Index 20XX Fund J. Any info?

On the face of it, this is a balanced low cost index fund of funds. The question is there fund selection risk, as they vary the composition over time? And what's that 30.60% cash line doing there? (The link by the way comes from a large company 401k fund. The expense ratios are rather low in that 40...
by bnes
Fri May 23, 2014 1:36 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: BlackRock? LifePath Index 20XX Fund J. Any info?
Replies: 34
Views: 20984

Re: BlackRock? LifePath Index 20XX Fund J. Any info?

I know this is an old thread. However I found a fresh new link to details on the LifePath index funds: http://profile.morningstar.com/profile/HTMLPage.asp?ClientCode=005&ID=SPUSA057NX&View=portfolio The fund holds no stocks, and unlike some blackrock funds does not lend securities. Top 25 Holdings R...