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by livesoft
Sat Jun 07, 2008 3:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VTSAX -> VTSMX
Replies: 4
Views: 1804

Relax. Nothing will happen for a while and then nothing will happen later.
by livesoft
Sat Jun 07, 2008 2:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: International small cap etf - taxable or tax advantage acct?
Replies: 5
Views: 1566

I hold ISV in taxable. The tax loss harvesting that I have done in the last year has paid for the expense ratio for many years into the future.
by livesoft
Sat Jun 07, 2008 1:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Most Americans are saving enough for retirement
Replies: 31
Views: 5122

If folks were not saving enough for retirement, don't you think that folks would not be retiring as much as in the past? I look around and I see folks retiring all the time.

Perhaps another way of looking at this is see how many people are employed after age 70? I suspect that it is not that many.
by livesoft
Sat Jun 07, 2008 7:27 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do Bogleheads buy into market weakness, like today?
Replies: 87
Views: 16532

It is not uncommon for professional investors to hurl themselves from windows because of those wiggles and squiggles. This is a terribly false statement. It wouldn't bother me, but you used it as a basis for seriousness, yet it's a bad joke. In reality, maybe one person has hurled themselves from a...
by livesoft
Fri Jun 06, 2008 10:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: DFA funds
Replies: 5
Views: 1962

We discussed DFA portfolios comparisons at some length on this thread: http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=18440
by livesoft
Fri Jun 06, 2008 6:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What you can learn on this board: Reader beware
Replies: 43
Views: 8566

Livesoft, ... Off the top of my head, I can't recall anything that jumps out at me from your posts that drastically differs from what The Gurus have recommended. I place great value in having different investment perspectives to consider. In light of your comment about "herd mentality", would you m...
by livesoft
Fri Jun 06, 2008 5:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What you can learn on this board: Reader beware
Replies: 43
Views: 8566

What makes you think those who post haven't done their research? If posters had done more of their own research, then there would be more strawman portfolios. Instead of (a) "Here's what's available in my 401(k), please tell me what to do", there would be more (b) "Here's what's available in my 401...
by livesoft
Fri Jun 06, 2008 4:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Total Portfolio-Weighted Expense Ratio
Replies: 15
Views: 3297

Every option in my spouse's 401(k) plan is above 2%. Every option in my 401(k) plan is above 1%.
by livesoft
Fri Jun 06, 2008 4:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What you can learn on this board: Reader beware
Replies: 43
Views: 8566

I recently re-read the Belsky and Gilovich book on behavioral finance titled Why Smart People Make Big Money Mistakes . It has a chapter on herd mentality. Despite all the good advice on this forum, there is an awful lot of herd mentality. I am surprised that anyone would follow the advice of Mel, L...
by livesoft
Fri Jun 06, 2008 3:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do Bogleheads buy into market weakness, like today?
Replies: 87
Views: 16532

OK, I bought some VTV a moment ago. I did not act on emotion. It is in my IPS that I should buy on dips like today near the market close.
by livesoft
Fri Jun 06, 2008 2:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do Bogleheads buy into market weakness, like today?
Replies: 87
Views: 16532

As some of you know, I am a buy-on-the-dips investor. On "worst days" in the market, I look at around 15 minutes before the market closes to see if I need to buy something. I will say that Fridays that are worst days are special though. Also worst days that occur after good days are special. I would...
by livesoft
Fri Jun 06, 2008 1:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: ...
Replies: 22
Views: 5574

For folks that were in the accumulation phase during your Lost Decade, it was practically a godsend. My invested assets more than tripled in value.

So your "Lost Decade" was my "Awesome Return Decade".
by livesoft
Fri Jun 06, 2008 10:16 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Asset allocation based on future health
Replies: 5
Views: 1455

I don't think asset allocation is going to be the problem. Instead, the problem will be having enough assets to cover expenses. Generally, folks who stop working are financially independent. And they get that way by having not only tax-advantaged accounts, but by having even more assets in taxable a...
by livesoft
Fri Jun 06, 2008 9:41 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: evaluating index funds, dfa funds, etfs
Replies: 17
Views: 4035

There have been many discussions of Vanguard vs DFA on this forum. It will behoove you to search for them and to read them. If you do, you will learn that there are many firms besides Altruist that can help you with getting DFA funds. Vanguard charges no fees, while DFA funds are only available thro...
by livesoft
Thu Jun 05, 2008 10:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: NEWS >>> Vanguard Plans ETF Share Split
Replies: 52
Views: 7868

And despite the news item and the routineness of stock splits, there will be a bunch of posts here about "What happened to my VTI? How could it lose 50% of my money in one day?"
by livesoft
Thu Jun 05, 2008 9:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Tricking your money brain...do you use behavioural tricks?
Replies: 24
Views: 4715

"Why Smart People Make Big Money Mistakes" is filled with behavioral finance traps, but more importantly with tips on how to overcome them. This book has saved me thousands of dollars. If you haven't read it, it would be the book I recommend most ... even before any book by Bernstein or Bogle.
by livesoft
Wed Jun 04, 2008 5:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth vs. tax-deferred savings
Replies: 19
Views: 3398

I know what you mean about the marginal/effective rates. Here is an example of what I'm thinking. I'll use made up tax brackets. To make things even simpler I'll assume no inflation and no change in the tax brackets. Tax brackets: $0-$15K 10% $15-$63K 15% $63K-$128K 28% Even though you used made-up...
by livesoft
Tue Jun 03, 2008 1:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard account service fee in non-Vanguard brokerage?
Replies: 8
Views: 2421

How much does E-trade charge one to buy a Vanguard fund? To sell a Vanguard fund?

FWIW, WellsFargo does not charge any extra fees that I am aware of. Also even Vanguard does not charge any extra fees if you follow their easy to follow rules.
by livesoft
Tue Jun 03, 2008 6:58 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: The only 3 equity funds/etfs you need
Replies: 25
Views: 5228

I doubt there are many (if any) advocates of ignoring domestic small cap on this forum. Small cap is an important component of total stock market and also of a small-cap tilted portfolio. It cannot be ignored. So in the sense that domestic small cap cannot be ignored, I will asset that international...
by livesoft
Mon Jun 02, 2008 10:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ATMs outside the US
Replies: 10
Views: 2447

As I posted previously, I used my ATM card in Beijing last month without problems. I got a very good exchange rate and my bank reimbursed me for the $1.35 charge, so no extra fees coming out of my pocket. In the last 15 years, I've used ATMs in foreign countries without any problems or extra fees. I...
by livesoft
Mon Jun 02, 2008 10:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: The only 3 equity funds/etfs you need
Replies: 25
Views: 5228

Re: The only 3 equity funds/etfs you need

vheadinvestor wrote:Would you concur that these 3 investments are all you would need for a diversified 100% equity portfolio?
....
No. This portfolio lacks international small cap in a big way.
by livesoft
Mon Jun 02, 2008 12:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Your Thoughts On Adding Small-Cap To Total Stock Market?
Replies: 19
Views: 4254

Int'l small cap value has been very, very good to me ... in the past. So has domestic small cap. So has int'l. So has emerging markets.

Past performance is no guarantee of future results.
by livesoft
Sun Jun 01, 2008 4:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Many advisor clients do not know the TOTAL cost of services
Replies: 23
Views: 5509

I do not think that even paid financial advisors know the fees that their clients are paying.
by livesoft
Sun Jun 01, 2008 1:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: mortgage vs. retirement savings
Replies: 36
Views: 5092

Refinancing only $29K would be a waste of the fees and probably not prudent. Anybody for a refinance with cash-out back to only 20% equity?
by livesoft
Sun Jun 01, 2008 8:58 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: mortgage vs. retirement savings
Replies: 36
Views: 5092

I am a big believer in not paying off one's mortgage until you start drawing social security or later. But I only believe that when one has a low rate mortgage. You do not have a low rate mortgage, so I would advocate refinancing to a low rate mortgage or paying it off.
by livesoft
Sun Jun 01, 2008 8:18 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio for average guy Bodie
Replies: 9
Views: 2114

Standard advice follows. 1. Avoid VEXMX in taxable. Although an index fund, it has paid out distributions of around 10% in one year, so it is not as tax efficient as you might imagine. 2. ...edit to remove wrong info. Thanks rickster 3. Are you gonna label your ticker symbols so folks don't have to ...
by livesoft
Sun Jun 01, 2008 7:29 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Payoff HELOC vs Start ROTH vs Add to 529
Replies: 15
Views: 2730

I would do the Roth before I did the 529 plan.

If the spouse's family are giving $2000 for education needs, then THEY should open a 529 plan with their grandchild as beneficiary. THEY should be the account owners. YOU should not have to touch the money or have your name on the account anywhere.
by livesoft
Sat May 31, 2008 11:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: job versus community
Replies: 5
Views: 1693

I'm not sure what you are driving at. Are you playing the race card or the religion card? Why does it even matter whether there is ethnic or religious diversity? Are you gonna be switching race or religion on a regular schedule? For me, I need either no commute or a very short commute no matter what...
by livesoft
Fri May 30, 2008 10:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I can't understand why Laura,Taylor.L,PiperWarrier,Mel
Replies: 30
Views: 8323

C'mon now! If you have been reading any of the posts here, then you already know the answer that your gurus friends are gonna give you. It's practically always the same: Put VFWIX in your taxable, then VTSMX. In your tax-advantaged put your bonds and your REITs. If you have room left over in tax-adv...
by livesoft
Fri May 30, 2008 8:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TIPs buy, sell, buy?
Replies: 52
Views: 10320

not2late... I think I am in the same boat. Now have a AA plan, most of the stock investments have happened but money in the IRA MM for bonds is on hold. Why...? Partially because I hear... 'tips are really good'... but 'now is a bad time to buy TIPs'. And have read threads where people were urgent ...
by livesoft
Fri May 30, 2008 12:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: emerging markets tilt
Replies: 13
Views: 2413

If it's any consolation to you, I own VWO and EEM in taxable. I have tax-loss harvested from one to the other occasionally. I think they are just fine in taxable. The dividend yield is about the same as TSM, but I think you will have more TLH opportunities and also that foreign tax credit.
by livesoft
Fri May 30, 2008 12:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TIPs buy, sell, buy?
Replies: 52
Views: 10320

Grandpaboys wrote:Tell me!!!!! Why at eighty years old would anyone buy Tips at a yield of 1.5% when I can buy Corporates at 4.5% and up or CD's at 4%.
Uh, tips don't pay 1.5%. They pay 1.5% plus the inflation adjustment. I think it comes out to 4.5% or more.
by livesoft
Fri May 30, 2008 12:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TIPs buy, sell, buy?
Replies: 52
Views: 10320

TIPS are confusing. If (and that's a big if!) the yield is 1.5% more than inflation what does that tell me? I want to compare to other yields, so 1.5% is not that meaningful to me. If TIPS are paying 4.5% now and a GNMA fund is paying 4.5% now, then I want to own the GNMA fund because I don't think ...
by livesoft
Fri May 30, 2008 11:54 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: emerging markets tilt
Replies: 13
Views: 2413

Yep, Roth IRA is the preferred location for all your assets. :)
by livesoft
Fri May 30, 2008 11:50 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: WellsTrade PMA / Brokerage accounts?
Replies: 72
Views: 18218

Hmmm, I have postage-paid envelopes and I get my ATM fees reimbursed ... including ATM fees in foreign countries.
by livesoft
Fri May 30, 2008 9:30 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do you keep up with the ever-changing tax laws?
Replies: 12
Views: 3134

Each year, the IRS publishes a "What's new" section in Publication 17:
http://www.irs.gov/publications/p17/index.html
by livesoft
Fri May 30, 2008 9:19 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: DFA vs Vanguard---Big Bet!!!
Replies: 48
Views: 10516

SmallHi, I am one of the first to say that the M* data has errors. I have to presume that errors exist in their data for other funds as well including Vanguard funds. My main point is that comparison of portfolios is difficult and you have confirmed that. Perhaps you can propose a Vanguard or ETF po...
by livesoft
Fri May 30, 2008 7:53 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: almost mid-year- report card,what is your YTD return?
Replies: 63
Views: 12700

100% equity port. YTD through May 29th = (-1.74%) - calculated via Morningstar. Just beware that tThe M* that I use calculates YTD return as if you had owned your existing funds in the existing amounts from the first day of the period you are testing. That is, it does not take any transactions into...
by livesoft
Fri May 30, 2008 7:00 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: almost mid-year- report card,what is your YTD return?
Replies: 63
Views: 12700

-1.2% calculated by MSMoney, but total portfolio is actually higher than on 1/1/2008 due to new additions.
by livesoft
Fri May 30, 2008 6:22 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to lookup (or calculate) captial gains and dividends?
Replies: 4
Views: 1365

Look up the fund at Vanguard. Click on "Distributions". Use a spreadsheet or a program like Quicken or MSMoney for analysis.
by livesoft
Fri May 30, 2008 6:17 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: DFA vs Vanguard---Big Bet!!!
Replies: 48
Views: 10516

Here are some more thoughts on my previous post. It looks to me like DFA is slightly better over the long term. At least in that case DFA is not losing you money over Vanguard plus you get the services of an advisor. If you can get a DFA advisor at the 0.5% AUM fee or less then it would be a good wa...
by livesoft
Fri May 30, 2008 5:49 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: DFA vs Vanguard---Big Bet!!!
Replies: 48
Views: 10516

Re: A Comparison of Vanguard and DFA

...My portfolio is: 30% Large Value - DFLVX 30% Small Value - DTMVX 16% Int'l Small Value - DISVX 12% Int'l Value - DTMIX 12% Emerging Value - DFEVX A comparable Vanguard alternative would seemingly be: LV - VIVAX SV - VISVX ISV - VINEX ILV - VTRIX Emrg - VEIEX ... Looking forward to hearing your c...
by livesoft
Fri May 30, 2008 4:56 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio help with taxable funds, early retiring in 6 years
Replies: 38
Views: 5311

If you are 49 now, you may already be eligible to contribute the $5000 catch-up contribution to your 401(k). You must reach 50 by 12/31/2008. Some folks with birthdays later in the year do not plan ahead and do not have the extra $5000 from late-in-the-year paychecks to contribute. What month is you...
by livesoft
Fri May 30, 2008 4:41 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: WellsTrade PMA / Brokerage accounts?
Replies: 72
Views: 18218

I am pleased to use the PMA checking account as my primary account. It is a superb checking acount, so I am surprised you haven't closed all your other checking accounts and switch to it already. I see no reason to have another checking account.
by livesoft
Thu May 29, 2008 5:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mold on Drywall in House
Replies: 17
Views: 4882

Fix the leaks.
Bleach.
Paint.
by livesoft
Thu May 29, 2008 3:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: portfolio help needed
Replies: 38
Views: 5448

Wow, I see a number of DFA funds in your portfolio. If you had a DFA-sanctioned advisor previously, why not try a different DFA-sanctioned advisor?
by livesoft
Thu May 29, 2008 2:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Inflation Protected Fund
Replies: 20
Views: 3912

Re: Correction

Sorry, but the above statement is incorrect. I have never suggested market-timing bonds or stocks. In my opinion, it is a losing strategy. We have owned 50% Total Bond Market Index Fund and 50% Inflation-Protected Securities Fund since the latter fund's inception in 2000. We have no intention of se...
by livesoft
Thu May 29, 2008 1:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing in Grad School
Replies: 4
Views: 1211

When I was a grad student, I was able to open an IRA with $2000. I still have that IRA today.

I think your best bet is to save up $1000 and open an account at Vanguard holding their STAR fund. Don't waste your time with Scottrade, savings bonds nor cheap stocks ... ever.
by livesoft
Thu May 29, 2008 12:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio makeover almost complete - some tweaking?
Replies: 5
Views: 1611

lazyrad wrote:Ha! I am far from an expert. All I did was read a few books and lurk a lot on this forum. I'll leave that up to the real experts.
Ha! There are no real experts ... just a bunch of folks who read a few books and read this forum.