Search found 229 matches

by trasmuss
Sat Jun 28, 2014 1:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How many Bogleheads golf?
Replies: 81
Views: 6850

Re: How many Bogleheads golf?

I gave up golf in the 1970's. My bad slice meant either lessons, frustration, or giving it up. I didn't want to pay for lessons and didn't want to pay to play when I wasn't enjoying it. Since then I have walked for exercise without golf and have no regrets.
by trasmuss
Sat Jun 28, 2014 1:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bernstein: Don’t Bother With International Bonds
Replies: 112
Views: 14858

Re: Bernstein: Don’t Bother With Intnational Bonds

It is a short time and I am still watching, but... Since I put money in Vanguard's Total International Bond fund it has outperformed my Total Bond fund and has provided some diversification (they don't always go up and down at the same time). I remain a skeptic but so far perhaps Vanguard's experts ...
by trasmuss
Fri Jun 20, 2014 4:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: American Automobile Assn (AAA)
Replies: 51
Views: 4992

Re: American Automobile Assn (AAA)

I've had a membership for years. The reason was I didn't want to be stranded on a trip in a place where I wouldn't know who to call for help. Plus, when grandkids arrived I didn't want my wife stranded while I was at work. As it turns out so far we have never used the membership for emergency help. ...
by trasmuss
Thu Jun 05, 2014 4:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gutter Strainer - Is this worth it?
Replies: 14
Views: 3652

Re: Gutter Strainer - Is this worth it?

I tried the product you are considering. It didn't work for me (the gutters clogged) and I took them out. I had the screens on the gutters for several years. Overall I was satisfied with them but took them off this year because I noticed silt was building up in them (and I still needed to clean out ...
by trasmuss
Mon May 19, 2014 10:19 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: a tale of two small value funds
Replies: 30
Views: 4195

Re: a tale of two small value funds

Larry, you are correct that tracking error does bother me with international funds (stocks and bonds). Therefore I have only 20% of equity and currently 14% of bonds in international funds. I've only been in the international bond fund a couple of months and so far the total return has been about eq...
by trasmuss
Mon May 19, 2014 7:48 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: a tale of two small value funds
Replies: 30
Views: 4195

Re: a tale of two small value funds

I wonder how many investors actually lower their equity allocations because they choose a riskier asset as part of their portfolio. I also wonder how many will stick with the riskier fund when things go badly (or either fund for that matter). I am guessing that some may respond that is why an adviso...
by trasmuss
Sun May 11, 2014 5:38 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Poll: Do you own Total Bond Market?
Replies: 50
Views: 5833

Re: Poll: Do you own Total Bond Market?

Total Bond represents 30% of our portfolio. We also have 5% in the Total International Bond and 14% in a stable value (1% money market to bring it to 50%). I am watching the International Bond fund. If I end up not feeling it adds value that portion will be going back to the Total Bond. I have thoug...
by trasmuss
Sun May 04, 2014 8:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sell Taxable or IRA for new roof
Replies: 2
Views: 425

Re: Sell Taxable or IRA for new roof

Thank you for your input, dickenjb. I would be able to do a $35k or so Roth conversion and still do a $10k withdrawal for the roof. Doing the $10k withdrawal now would leave me with plenty of time before the end of the year to decide whether to do a conversion and if done where to pay the taxes from...
by trasmuss
Sun May 04, 2014 7:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sell Taxable or IRA for new roof
Replies: 2
Views: 425

Sell Taxable or IRA for new roof

I'll be needing a new roof and will need to sell from either a taxable account or an IRA. Let's approximate at $7k. Age 64: RMD's at age 70 will be a factor so selling from the IRA would help reduce RMD's. I have $15k of tax losses to harvest each year at $3k per year if I sell from the IRA instead ...
by trasmuss
Thu May 01, 2014 7:41 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth conversion strategy
Replies: 24
Views: 2458

Re: Roth conversion strategy

Excellent point, Bob is not my name. In my case deferred balances are such that conversions would still leave a high balance. While it may not apply to me your example could apply to many. It is also an example of how the future is unpredictable. Future tax rates, life span, health, etc. are all unk...
by trasmuss
Thu May 01, 2014 5:24 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth conversion strategy
Replies: 24
Views: 2458

Re: Roth conversion strategy

I am at the same point. I converted my wife's IRA to a Roth last year. I now have to decide whether to do conversions the next 5-6 years before RMD's kick in. I am in Minnesota so taxes are high (and will be higher when RMD's start). My wife and I are delaying social security until 70 so everything ...
by trasmuss
Tue Apr 29, 2014 8:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Moving Dad to nursing home this week
Replies: 11
Views: 3056

Re: Moving Dad to nursing home this week

The laws can be different in every state. Therefore you will either need to contact an elder care attorney or look up the laws in your state/county. For example, you will want to know the maximum amount that your mother can have protected, whether an annuity for your mother could be purchased to bri...
by trasmuss
Tue Apr 29, 2014 7:50 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Seeking the majesty of simplicity - Portfolio Advice please
Replies: 12
Views: 3748

Re: Seeking the majesty of simplicity - Portfolio Advice ple

If you are in the 15% tax bracket you may find that there would be no capital gains to pay to sell taxable funds. Check the tax laws for 2014 (I am not a tax advisor...). Also, your state may treat gains differently than the federal.
by trasmuss
Tue Apr 22, 2014 7:10 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: opened up wellesley for kids
Replies: 9
Views: 1629

Re: opened up wellesley for kids

You didn't mention what your tax bracket is. And, of course, even if it is low now it can grow as the years go on. I personally would not put Wellesley in a taxable account unless I was actually living off the quarterly payouts. I would be happy to have Wellesley in an IRA since it is an excellent f...
by trasmuss
Sun Apr 20, 2014 1:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: POLL: what's the deal with Tuna Fish?
Replies: 48
Views: 7934

Re: POLL: what's the deal with Tuna Fish?

My preference is for Starkist solid white in water vs. chunk light. It costs more but it is very good.
by trasmuss
Sun Apr 20, 2014 1:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Global Minimum Volatility Fund
Replies: 30
Views: 6137

Re: Global Minimum Volatility Fund

I would think that the Global Minimum Volatility fund does duplicate holdings in Total Stock and Total International since those two funds hold so many of the marketable securities (especially Total Stock). Perhaps there is a "screen" that measures the duplication that someone can comment on.
by trasmuss
Sun Apr 20, 2014 9:06 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Global Minimum Volatility Fund
Replies: 30
Views: 6137

Re: Global Minimum Volatility Fund

Thank you for your input, Steve. I will read up on the sources you mentioned. If I end up investing in this fund it would be in an IRA. Although the fund is small and actively managed it has low expenses. Quite surprising. It will be interesting a year or so from now if others "discover" this fund o...
by trasmuss
Fri Apr 18, 2014 2:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Which: Dividend Growth or High Yield Dividend?
Replies: 13
Views: 3006

Re: Which: Dividend Growth or High Yield Dividend?

Dividend Growth has a good record of total return (not just dividends but increase in share value). You didn't mention whether you would have capital gains to pay if you sell Dividend Growth so it is difficult to comment. Dividend Growth, Equity Income, and the index varieties are all good funds. If...
by trasmuss
Fri Apr 18, 2014 10:47 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Global Minimum Volatility Fund
Replies: 30
Views: 6137

Re: Global Minimum Volatility Fund

Vanguard isn't advertising it as a fund to go with for performance. In fact they say it will likely lag in a bull market. But if it has lower volatility and perhaps doesn't drop as much in the nasty markets it may be a good addition to a portfolio. There must be a reason that Vanguard is including i...
by trasmuss
Fri Apr 18, 2014 5:42 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Global Minimum Volatility Fund
Replies: 30
Views: 6137

Global Minimum Volatility Fund

I first noticed this fund when I saw that Vanguard uses it for 20% of their Managed Payout fund. It is a global fund that uses hedging (similar to the International Bond fund) for the international stocks. It is a fairly new fund so it is too early to come to any conclusion concerning its merits. Ho...
by trasmuss
Tue Apr 08, 2014 10:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My Vanguard Financial Plan...additional bond funds
Replies: 19
Views: 2618

Re: My Vanguard Financial Plan...additional bond funds

Vanguard financial plans used to recommend six different bond fund split evenly between short, intermediate, and long term funds in both corporate and index funds. At that time they said they didn't like the MBS part of Total Bond. Then they made a major shift to all Total Bond. Then they shifted to...
by trasmuss
Sat Mar 29, 2014 7:39 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Make sense to switch from TR to Adm Index?
Replies: 9
Views: 938

Re: Make sense to switch from TR to Adm Index?

That's a tough call. You would have to compare your tax obligation with consideration of what tax bracket you are in. One thing to mention is that your TR fund will have a higher portion of non tax efficient bonds as time goes on. Plus your capital gains will likely be a bigger hit as time goes on. ...
by trasmuss
Tue Mar 25, 2014 6:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you work part time in retirement?
Replies: 59
Views: 6459

Re: Do you work part time in retirement?

I retired almost two years ago at 62. After taking the summer off I got a part time job in a City building. I get a lot of exercise setting up meeting rooms, cleaning tables and windows, etc. Part janitor, part building security, part customer service/public contact. It is quite a change from my des...
by trasmuss
Thu Feb 06, 2014 4:55 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Reporter looking for retiree withdrawing prior to RMD
Replies: 16
Views: 1778

Re: Reporter looking for retiree withdrawing prior to RMD

Last year I did my first Roth conversion and was able to convert my wife's IRA to her Roth and still remain within the 15% bracket. I have no regrets since it not only eliminates one account but also eliminates having to track a $2k non deductible contribution. I am questioning whether it makes sens...
by trasmuss
Wed Feb 05, 2014 8:43 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with Picking Vanguard Roth Fund
Replies: 1
Views: 363

Re: Help with Picking Vanguard Roth Fund

I'm using the Total Stock Admiral fund for my Roth. If you want more diversification the Target or Life Strategy funds would be good. I would probably switch out of the Growth and Income fund to either the Total Stock fund or the Target or Life fund to get more diversification at a lower cost. The G...
by trasmuss
Mon Feb 03, 2014 5:40 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Wellesley & Target Funds or Indexing
Replies: 12
Views: 2774

Re: Wellesley & Target Funds or Indexing

Since you want a 65% stock allocation another option would be to go with Wellington. That allows you to have only one fund.
by trasmuss
Sat Jan 25, 2014 5:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Age in Bonds - Who Follows a Different Strategy?
Replies: 132
Views: 9816

Re: Age in Bonds - Who Follows a Different Strategy?

There is a video out on Morningstar where Mr. Bogle says he feels that Social Security should be taken into consideration rather than just being "age in bonds". He has said before that age in bonds can be a starting point. Even his books (e.g. Bogle on Mutual Funds and Common Sense) describe a start...
by trasmuss
Thu Jan 23, 2014 5:48 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What's your one big takeaway from the Crash of 2008?
Replies: 379
Views: 64448

Re: What's your one big takeaway from the Crash of 2008?

Only regular treasuries were a safe haven. My TIPS fund was the biggest surprise (I stayed with it but sold it last year). Today my only bond fund is Total Bond (although Short Term Investment Grade is still appealing). I do wish Vanguard had a stable value fund or that CD's were easier to purchase ...
by trasmuss
Sun Jan 19, 2014 6:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Convert to Roth?
Replies: 15
Views: 2196

Re: Convert to Roth?

Thank you JW. I'll download the spreadsheet and use my data in it. My guess is you and others are correct; it makes sense to convert up to the 15% tax bracket. Last year I did $45k; mainly to wipe out my wife's IRA. Doing $40k a year allows me some extra for living needs in case they are needed. I h...
by trasmuss
Sun Jan 19, 2014 4:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Owning Wellington & Wellesley
Replies: 30
Views: 5842

Re: Owning Wellington & Wellesley

You are basically owning large cap value stocks and intermediate corporate bonds. They "could" lag in an increasing interest rate rising environment. Nevertheless, if you continue to hold them they should do fine over the long run. If you are impatient, however, and can not tolerate performing less ...
by trasmuss
Sun Jan 19, 2014 3:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Convert to Roth?
Replies: 15
Views: 2196

Re: Convert to Roth?

Thanks for the analysis, Jimb. I actually have a loss on the S&P 500 fund thanks to tax loss harvesting back in 2008 or 2009 (Total Stock to S&P 500). I was going to move back to Total Stock once my 60 days was up but the market had already gone up quite a bit. The 500 fund has been very tax efficie...
by trasmuss
Sun Jan 19, 2014 1:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Convert to Roth?
Replies: 15
Views: 2196

Re: Convert to Roth?

Thanks all. Yes, perhaps I am overemphasizing Minnesota's tax environment. But they do seem to need a lot to pay for all the road salt and pothole repairs. I'm going to assume that within six years the 85% taxable social security will be 100% taxable. If it isn't, I'll be pleasantly surprised. I'm h...
by trasmuss
Sun Jan 19, 2014 12:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should everyone own I Bonds?
Replies: 44
Views: 7579

Re: Should everyone own I Bonds?

I had some EE and I bonds and sold them. The reason I did it was for simplicity. I simply did not like having them grow tax deferred and the thought of having to sell them down the road one by one. Or worse, leaving them to heirs to deal with. I much prefer having a bond fund within an IRA and using...
by trasmuss
Sun Jan 19, 2014 12:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Convert to Roth?
Replies: 15
Views: 2196

Re: Convert to Roth?

I live in Minnesota. Especially at this time of year I would love to consider moving to a no tax or low tax state. This won't be a consideration, however, since the kids and grand kids all live in the same area. If there were a possibility of moving I would definitely put off any conversions until a...
by trasmuss
Sun Jan 19, 2014 12:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Convert to Roth?
Replies: 15
Views: 2196

Re: Convert to Roth?

I'm in the 15% Federal tax bracket and approximately 10% State. I can convert about $40k to a Roth each year for the next six years and still remain in those tax brackets. In other words I would convert up to the limit to still remain in my current tax brackets. At age 70 I will move to the 25% Fede...
by trasmuss
Sun Jan 19, 2014 10:25 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Convert to Roth?
Replies: 15
Views: 2196

Re: Convert to Roth?

Thank you for your input and link to the article. While I'm sure my children would rather inherit a Roth than a regular IRA, inheriting a taxable stock fund would also be welcome. As far as that goes, they should be grateful for a regular IRA also. I won't have a large enough estate to worry about e...
by trasmuss
Sun Jan 19, 2014 8:39 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Convert to Roth?
Replies: 15
Views: 2196

Convert to Roth?

The Roth conversion tools I have seen do not seem to take into account the lost value of the amount used to pay the tax on the conversion. I am 64. I can convert about $40k each year for the next 6 years and still remain in the 15% bracket. At age 70 when SS and RMD's are started I will be in the 25...
by trasmuss
Thu Jan 16, 2014 8:49 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Larry Kudlow bad advice on bonds
Replies: 52
Views: 6166

Re: Larry Kudlow bad advice on bonds

In the shows I watched Larry never said he had all of his money in stocks. In fact he recently stated that he "took some off the table". As others have mentioned, he may have his non stock money in cash, CD's, or whatever. I have mine 100% in Total Bond. At least in 2013 a money market would have be...
by trasmuss
Thu Jan 16, 2014 8:24 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: In retirement, best to have all rIRA or both rIRA and tIRA?
Replies: 13
Views: 1765

Re: In retirement, best to have all rIRA or both rIRA and tI

An example of when having some in a traditional IRA would be nice is if someone has major medical expenses or other deductible expenses later on. At that point it would be helpful having some traditional IRA money to use since it may be offset. The benefits of the Roth are well known. I also believe...
by trasmuss
Thu Jan 09, 2014 3:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Jack Bogle: We Need to Fix the Bond Index
Replies: 89
Views: 12179

Re: Jack Bogle: We Need to Fix the Bond Index

By the way, Vanguard did play with the index a few years back. They over emphasized corporate bonds at that point thinking they represented a better value. Total Bond that year underperformed the index and Vanguard promised not to play around any more. Adding corporates because they yield more does ...
by trasmuss
Thu Jan 09, 2014 3:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Jack Bogle: We Need to Fix the Bond Index
Replies: 89
Views: 12179

Re: Jack Bogle: We Need to Fix the Bond Index

Don't forget that it was the high treasury content of Total Bond that helped it perform in the 2008 stock decline. And don't assume that corporate bonds will necessarily come back as quickly again as they did then. Let there be no mistake; corporates carry a higher risk than treasuries. Also remembe...
by trasmuss
Thu Jan 09, 2014 1:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bill Gross's investment outlook 2014
Replies: 8
Views: 1963

Re: Bill Gross's investment outlook 2014

Thanks. So after reading it would you interpret it to mean (Vanguard wise) Total Bond would be the most appropriate? Short Term Investment Grade? A combination? Perhaps it is purposefully left somewhat vague meaning that we should leave it up to the Pimco folks to take care of that. Or maybe I just ...
by trasmuss
Thu Jan 09, 2014 8:12 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: REITs And Your Portfolio
Replies: 58
Views: 9577

Re: REITs And Your Portfolio

If it hasn't been mentioned yet, tracking error should be taken into consideration by some investors. Reits are a sector fund and will sometimes underperform the overall market. If you aren't willing to stick with them (perhaps for a long period) when they are underperforming, you should stick with ...
by trasmuss
Sun Dec 22, 2013 12:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Thinking about chucking it all and going Wellington
Replies: 72
Views: 9824

Re: Thinking about chucking it all and going Wellington

Although I am not currently invested in them, I am a big fan of Wellesley and Wellington. They have long term track records. I would be concerned, however, how high dividend stocks will do if we continue in a rising interest rate environment. I remember being in Fidelity Equity Income in a previous ...
by trasmuss
Sat Dec 21, 2013 4:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Took 2k out of my Vanguard money market
Replies: 21
Views: 2715

Re: Took 2k out of my Vanguard money market

There is no capital gain or loss so you do not have to report it. That is one "advantage" of money market funds.
by trasmuss
Wed Dec 11, 2013 8:17 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard is changing 3 funds
Replies: 11
Views: 3637

Re: Vanguard is changing 3 funds

I am sure Vanguard has given a great deal of consideration before adding another manager to Long Term Investment Grade. Although I am not in the fund, if I were I would be concerned that a great manager (bonds and stocks) is going to be managing a smaller piece of the fund. Wellington has truly been...
by trasmuss
Wed Dec 11, 2013 8:01 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Jack Bogle: Past performance is terrible guide to future
Replies: 16
Views: 1951

Re: Jack Bogle: Past performance is terrible guide to future

It appears to be human nature to try to "out think the index". It happens even with true Bogleheads. Mr. Bogle has in the past talked about perhaps using Intermediate Term Bond Index instead of Total Bond to avoid mortgage backed securities. Recently he has talked about using corporate bond index fu...
by trasmuss
Mon Dec 09, 2013 8:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Only TIPs portfolio
Replies: 24
Views: 1698

Re: Only TIPs portfolio

A need for 1% now could turn into a need for more in the future (both in a nursing home, for example). There isn't anything wrong with locking in the 1% using individual bonds, CD's, a fixed income annuity, or a combination. I personally would want the rest invested. Something as simple as Target Re...
by trasmuss
Wed Dec 04, 2013 5:28 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Foreign Stocks For The Long Run
Replies: 63
Views: 6560

Re: Foreign Stocks For The Long Run

How much of the difference in returns between domestic and international stocks (as measured by Total Stock vs. Total International) is caused by the value of the dollar? How fast do trends change? I remember when any international fund was beating domestic funds (remember the Trans Commingled Fund ...
by trasmuss
Sat Nov 30, 2013 7:15 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: intermediate corporates as bond strategy?
Replies: 25
Views: 2748

Re: intermediate corporates as bond strategy?

I understand being concerned about call risk in a decreasing interest rate environment (corporations can call the higher interest bonds and issue lower cost bonds). It is hard to imagine corporations calling in much of this low interest debt, however. Larry has mentioned some reasons why they may wi...