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by livesoft
Sun Feb 08, 2009 9:51 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: can i defer tax on my bonus?
Replies: 18
Views: 4830

That's how it works. But let's step aside from the bonus for a second and ask a question about your 401(k) plan: (1) Do you get a company match? (2) If so, how is the match computed? Must you contribute each paycheck to get the best match? For example, my spouse's employer will contribute up to 3% o...
by livesoft
Sun Feb 08, 2009 9:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Under the Hood - The Retirement Engine Rebuilt
Replies: 15
Views: 3205

Hmmm, while a great idea, I'm gonna guess that the results of such software are to require one to save more than they can afford and to keep working longer than they want to. That's pretty much what you have already without the software. The final goal of buying an inflation-adjusted annuity is gonn...
by livesoft
Sun Feb 08, 2009 6:35 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Shorting Treasuries?
Replies: 2
Views: 967

Everybody else has already done it. You are not missing anything and neither are 100 million other people.
by livesoft
Sun Feb 08, 2009 4:24 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Why "disallowed amount" for loss on VG tax form?
Replies: 34
Views: 8757

True. So it's a mystery that needs to be solved.
by livesoft
Sun Feb 08, 2009 3:40 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: living on dividends/interest
Replies: 3
Views: 1064

Here is a Vanguard whitepaper on the subject: https://institutional.vanguard.com/iip/pdf/WP_TotalRet.pdf Even not in retirement, I take the dividends from my taxable accounts and decide what to do with them: spend them or use them to rebalance my portfolio. Sometimes rebalancing means buy more of wh...
by livesoft
Sun Feb 08, 2009 3:32 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Why "disallowed amount" for loss on VG tax form?
Replies: 34
Views: 8757

Right, if you sold all shares and did not buy any until more than 30 days later, there shouldn't be a problem with a wash sale.

Did anything happen between Jan 1, 2008 and Oct 16, 2008?
by livesoft
Sun Feb 08, 2009 3:26 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: can i defer tax on my bonus?
Replies: 18
Views: 4830

I was just planning on contributing extra this month, to shield the tax. Seems like this is a bad strategy according to everyone's replies. No, it is not a bad strategy unless your company requires you to contribute every paycheck to get the most match for the year AND by contributing your bonus no...
by livesoft
Sun Feb 08, 2009 12:47 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: can i defer tax on my bonus?
Replies: 18
Views: 4830

Yes. Last year, I got my bonus moved from December to January. I set my 401(k) contribution level to the maximum allowed by my company, so that most of the bonus went directly into my 401(k) plan. Hint: Not only do this change online, but be sure to tell the HR/payroll folks that you have done this ...
by livesoft
Sun Feb 08, 2009 10:36 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: For trader types...here's your chance to sell and make money
Replies: 6
Views: 1334

If you simply look at the standard broad market ETFs like VTI, VEU and VEA you can see that they have increased by about 8%, 10%, and 8%, respectively. [ political remark removed]. Simply by rebalancing your 401(k) this year on days when the general stock market dropped significantly would put you a...
by livesoft
Sun Feb 08, 2009 9:27 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: For trader types...here's your chance to sell and make money
Replies: 6
Views: 1334

Sometimes it really doesn't do any good to beat the market. If the market is down 40% and you are down only 35%, that's not very comforting.
by livesoft
Sun Feb 08, 2009 8:55 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: My Advisor's Opinions - Investment and Retirement Planning
Replies: 18
Views: 3200

...found that link before, but didn't understand what Monte Carlo analysis was used for. After reading and asking questions in this thread: http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=31763 , I see the point now. Nice, a java based program. Why is this planner free? IOW, what are it's limitatio...
by livesoft
Sat Feb 07, 2009 11:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax - Traditional IRA deductible contribution limit
Replies: 3
Views: 1003

I don't think it means anything because it's a software program and not the IRS rules. Consult the IRS rules for what the income limits are for a traditional IRA contribution to be deductible when you are eligible to participate in a qualified plan like your 401(k)s.
by livesoft
Sat Feb 07, 2009 9:28 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: To Fix a Pension's Bond Problem...
Replies: 12
Views: 1925

The short end is covered by the money market. Since your participants should take the long view, they should be offered intermediate term bond funds regardless of any current events, yields and NAVs in the market. You also need to provide education, so that participants know what to do with what you...
by livesoft
Sat Feb 07, 2009 8:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: NYT: In FL, Despair & Foreclosures
Replies: 11
Views: 2195

I read the article and found it depressing. But it's the same kind of depression I get when I go back East on visits and drive through little ex-suburban towns. I alway wonder, "What do the people here actually do for a living? Where does their income come from?" And the answer appears to be "govern...
by livesoft
Sat Feb 07, 2009 8:51 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Where to park cash????
Replies: 20
Views: 6058

What little cash I have, I keep in Vanguard tax exempt money market, Vanguard GNMA, and Vanguard short-term investment grade bond. I guess it's not "cash" if kept in the latter 2 funds! You can probably use a mixture of funds or even leave it where it's at. There ought to be small pop in equities wh...
by livesoft
Sat Feb 07, 2009 8:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: My Advisor's Opinions - Investment and Retirement Planning
Replies: 18
Views: 3200

For more on MonteCarlo simulations for retirement planning, you may wish to visit www.flexibleretirementplanner.com In a nutshell a Monte Carlo simulation uses input probablities (say on expected returns for various investment classes, say US stocks are 8% long term) and standard deviations (but the...
by livesoft
Sat Feb 07, 2009 7:46 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Why "disallowed amount" for loss on VG tax form?
Replies: 34
Views: 8757

Did you keep any shares of FTSE ex-US in your portfolio? Did you reinvest dividends into FTSE ex-US? Answers to these questions will help clarify possible answers. Also provides dates of sales and purchases. It appears that $300 of your loss may have been affected by a wash sale. This only defers th...
by livesoft
Sat Feb 07, 2009 7:01 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: To Fix a Pension's Bond Problem...
Replies: 12
Views: 1925

We just went through this with our plan. On one hand, I don't think you want so many funds that the participants get confused. OTOH, you want funds that are useful for everyone in the plan: younger & older, those with no other investment options and those who might use Roths or spouses' plans. You n...
by livesoft
Sat Feb 07, 2009 5:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: bottom?
Replies: 22
Views: 3713

On Approach wrote:I believe there's a better chance than not that the bottom is behind us - ....

Just a gut feel.
I agree our bottoms are behind us. It is hard to feel a bottom through your gut though.
by livesoft
Sat Feb 07, 2009 5:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: drat! failed to fill 15% bracket
Replies: 19
Views: 2968

Usually the first edition of the latest software comes out around Thanksgiving week. We usually do a prelim run of our taxes over Th'ing weekend in order to make adjustments to tax withholding, decide the TLH things, decide when to donate to charity (Dec 31st or Jan 6th), decide when to pay prop tax...
by livesoft
Sat Feb 07, 2009 2:48 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Stock investing and the myth of Sisyphus
Replies: 27
Views: 4424

A defined benefit plan is a pension plan. There have been plenty of pension plans that went belly up or changed the rules. Sometimes folks with these plans end up kissing the ground, but not for the reason you suggested. And pension plans have investments behind them in the same way that 401(k) plan...
by livesoft
Sat Feb 07, 2009 2:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any computer geeks out there?
Replies: 10
Views: 2165

Did you install onto your PC the software that came with your video camera?
by livesoft
Sat Feb 07, 2009 10:11 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Is it even possible to find out my 401(k) expenses?
Replies: 36
Views: 4306

My spouse's 401(k) plan is a high fee one from Hartford. On one page of a plan document listing fees is says "Other fees 0%*" with a footnote at the bottom: "*Other fees do not include other fees." which is rather amusing. Elsewhere about 4 pages later it tells about 1% insurance mortality and expen...
by livesoft
Sat Feb 07, 2009 9:12 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Please educate me (and others) on individual bond investing
Replies: 10
Views: 2197

I think someone wrote a book on the subject. :)
by livesoft
Fri Feb 06, 2009 9:23 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Ideal 401K Construction
Replies: 9
Views: 1486

My point was not that certain funds are available. You want a custodian that will make your HR & payroll people happy as well as the CFO and CEO happy. Believe me, the BOA, USB and MassMutual folks are promising how seamless and low-cost their plans are wrt to the company. And how they take the head...
by livesoft
Fri Feb 06, 2009 8:51 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Ideal 401K Construction
Replies: 9
Views: 1486

Livesoft - I was very surprised to find out that the plan size is only ~ $11,000,000. Vanguard will not be an option secondary to the needs of a few self directors. Leonard - your suggestion is already within the mix. Thanks for your replies. I can recommend that you take a look at Fidelity. Their ...
by livesoft
Fri Feb 06, 2009 7:45 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Ideal 401K Construction
Replies: 9
Views: 1486

When we went shopping for new vendors, our choices and costs became limited by the amount of assets in the plan. Can you give us an idea about the amount of assets in your plan? We have between $10MM-$15Million and Vanguard itself would not touch us.
by livesoft
Fri Feb 06, 2009 6:49 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard's Best and Most Underrated Bond Fund?
Replies: 17
Views: 4924

We need more gurus like Larry Swedroe to disseminate bad stories about GNMA bonds. This will put off buyers and lower prices. Lower prices mean higher yields. What a bargain!
by livesoft
Fri Feb 06, 2009 6:43 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio partitions: does this make sense?
Replies: 9
Views: 1242

I wouldn't worry about even 5%-of-portfolio changes in asset allocation, so I think you are confusing yourself with the math.
by livesoft
Fri Feb 06, 2009 5:42 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: vanguard internet site problems
Replies: 15
Views: 3079

Open up multiple browser windows and use ALt+tab to switch between browser windows. Also, don't use the <backspace> key because that's a browser shortcut to go back to the previous link or URL. It's also possible that your keyboard is sticky or defective and sends <backspace> out. Using another brow...
by livesoft
Fri Feb 06, 2009 5:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: NC 529plan offers Vanguard Funds, but what's a V unit?
Replies: 3
Views: 1282

Many plans have "unit prices" for the share values. These are a mathematical trick to take into account things like expenses and dividends. For example, rather than buy more shares with a reinvested dividend, they simply increase the "unit price" while you keep the same number "529 shares". Ohio doe...
by livesoft
Fri Feb 06, 2009 5:16 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Question re: Fund exchange
Replies: 9
Views: 1395

Maintain asset allocation while trying to get to cheaper funds. I don't see a need to put 2045 into the MM now. Then ask your question again in October.
by livesoft
Fri Feb 06, 2009 4:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How can you get free real time bid/ask (Post Arca Web Book)?
Replies: 21
Views: 12745

paulob wrote:Where I find it useful in seeing more of the supply and demand. If both the spread is narrow and there are lots of volume in range, I may even place a market order.
Ditto.
by livesoft
Fri Feb 06, 2009 3:06 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Asset Allocation Question
Replies: 4
Views: 1552

1. 73% equities seems high to me for an early retiree, but it's your call. Your portfolio return on investment is not going to be much different with a 63% equities asset allocation, is it? 2. My feelings on the deferred sales charges are that you are gonna pay them whether you wait (via the higher ...
by livesoft
Fri Feb 06, 2009 2:57 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: A Simple Plan
Replies: 24
Views: 3758

I'm confused by your idea of simplicity. Suppose you buy VT (or VTI and VEU) for your taxable account and Vanguard intermediate term bond fund for your tax-advantaged account (simply a location switch from your original post and a slight change to funds). You still have only 3 funds. You gain about ...
by livesoft
Fri Feb 06, 2009 2:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How can you get free real time bid/ask (Post Arca Web Book)?
Replies: 21
Views: 12745

Be careful about "size", for some brokers "size" is in unit of 100 shares, for some it is single shares. With your numbers, I think "size" units are 100 shares.
by livesoft
Fri Feb 06, 2009 2:26 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: A Simple Plan
Replies: 24
Views: 3758

.... So putting this money in stocks seems risky. I know I am not touching my IRA/401k for 20+ years, so that seems to be the place for stocks. I know this doesn't minimize my taxes, but it does seem to fit my risk profile? Are bond funds (esp. fed tax free munis) a poor way to generate modest inco...
by livesoft
Fri Feb 06, 2009 1:16 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: A Simple Plan
Replies: 24
Views: 3758

Welcome to the forum. Since you have just 2 posts, I will assume you have not read many of the threads on these forums. Perhaps start by reading some the one at the top of this link: http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewforum.php?f=1 and then about 20 more with titles that catch your fancy. It is oft...
by livesoft
Fri Feb 06, 2009 12:51 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: A Simple Plan
Replies: 24
Views: 3758

I don't like the plan because it doesn't take advantage of tax laws to the parse your asset allocation into the best locations of tax-advantaged and taxable accounts.

You should at least consider alternate plans that are just as simple.
by livesoft
Fri Feb 06, 2009 12:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How can you get free real time bid/ask (Post Arca Web Book)?
Replies: 21
Views: 12745

When I use the real-time quote at finance.yahoo.com for GWX it is definitely stale. At investor.msn.com the real-time quote is also stale wrt bid/ask, but the time of last trade almost 40 minutes ago is accurate. Thus there have been NO trades of GWX in that time. So the 40 minutes old "last" price ...
by livesoft
Fri Feb 06, 2009 12:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How can you get free real time bid/ask (Post Arca Web Book)?
Replies: 21
Views: 12745

Like Paul, I have access to WF and TDAM. The WF real-time quotes are real-time and not stale. I have never seen a discrepancy between these two brokers. You do know that bid/ask offers are constantly changing. In that regard, anything we write here will be "stale" by at least a second or two. With s...
by livesoft
Fri Feb 06, 2009 11:46 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard's Best and Most Underrated Bond Fund?
Replies: 17
Views: 4924

We own the Vanguard GNMA bond fund. It has been discussed many times on this forum. Some people like them ... alot ... and some people don't. A search turns up many threads with GNMA or VFIIX in them. Yep, Larry Swedroe disses GNMAs, while folks who own them laugh all the way to the bank. Folks who ...
by livesoft
Thu Feb 05, 2009 11:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: More strange Vanguard ETF behavior
Replies: 17
Views: 3113

Ah, the ol' painting the tape trick. It's even easier in the modern digital world.
by livesoft
Thu Feb 05, 2009 12:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I want to do my taxes myself!
Replies: 18
Views: 3087

There is no way to know if doing taxes will be easy for you. I find it easy, but frustrating. But I am good with numbers (I do Fourier transforms in my head all day long). I find TT easy, but you may not. I write computer software and routinely use computers for more than just web browsing, so I am ...
by livesoft
Thu Feb 05, 2009 12:21 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Happy! Happy! Joy! Joy! New company 401(k) plan!
Replies: 9
Views: 2318

Happy! Happy! Joy! Joy! New company 401(k) plan!

Ah, finally! Our company has selected a new custodian for our 401(k) plan and despite all the actively managed funds that one can select, there was still room to put in some Fidelity Spartan index funds with e.r.'s of 0.1%. All it took was getting on the 401(k) committee and 2 years of behind the sc...
by livesoft
Thu Feb 05, 2009 12:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: reasonable rate for portfolio management?
Replies: 6
Views: 1309

It all depends on the size of the portfolio. It is easy to find 0.5% of AUM plus expense ratios if you do not have a face-to-face advisor and sizeable assets. If you need face-to-face, the it seems to me that the costs go up. I think 0.75% is below the industry average, but that average is a decoy n...
by livesoft
Thu Feb 05, 2009 8:22 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Tax-Managed Small Cap TLH
Replies: 9
Views: 2127

Eric Haas has provided us with a nice list of possible near-equivalent funds for the various asset classes here: http://www.altruistfa.com/dfavanguard.htm I always consult his list when I need substitute fund for any given asset class. If MOBoglehead reads the info there, they will find that it is N...
by livesoft
Wed Feb 04, 2009 10:53 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: No Courage to Rebalance...
Replies: 34
Views: 10633

You don't have to rebalance all at once. I noticed that the stock market went up 20% from later November to early January. Don't you feel bad that you missed a 20% gain? Maybe we should have rebalanced twice already and today is not bad day for a 3rd time? I've begun rebalancing, but I don't have th...
by livesoft
Wed Feb 04, 2009 10:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is it a bad idea to max out my 401k right away?
Replies: 5
Views: 1642

I do it, but my spouse does not. The reason she doesn't is that her company gives out up to a max percentage per paycheck. So to get the highest company contribution, she has to put in at least 3% per paycheck all year long. Therefore, she calculates that 3% per paycheck to make sure she gets the mo...
by livesoft
Wed Feb 04, 2009 4:57 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Please Review Portfolio
Replies: 19
Views: 2593

The suggested portfolios are close enough to be identical suggestions in my book. :) However, I don't think Shireman28's placement of the funds take into account the realities of rebalancing; retiredjg hinted at this already. I do not prefer emerging markets in tax-deferred because they are so volat...