Search found 228 matches

by trasmuss
Mon Nov 25, 2013 4:48 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: US/International Allocation help!!!!
Replies: 19
Views: 1852

Re: US/International Allocation help!!!!

As portfolios get larger the expense difference between Total Stock Admiral and Total International Admiral (5 basis points vs. 16) begins to come into play. Vanguard used to recommend 20% of equities. So far I haven't seen any compelling reasons for a higher percentage. Perhaps in the future.
by trasmuss
Tue Nov 12, 2013 7:47 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The key to investment success
Replies: 33
Views: 3751

Re: The key to investment success

When John Bogle correctly warned of excessive stock prices in a speech in 1999 there was an alternative. The intermediate term corporate fund was then paying 7.5%. In retrospect it seems like a "no brainer" and yet most people (including myself) did not follow the advice. Stock prices are no where n...
by trasmuss
Tue Oct 22, 2013 10:57 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Factors to Consider, US-International Equity Split
Replies: 49
Views: 4649

Re: Factors to Consider, US-International Equity Split

At least Mr. Bogle and Mr. Swedroe appear to agree that the long term expected returns of domestic and international equities are likely to be similar. A lower level of international equities will mean lower expenses and reduced tracking error. A higher level may mean reduced volatility. So far I do...
by trasmuss
Fri Oct 04, 2013 10:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Wax
Replies: 42
Views: 4151

Re: Car Wax

I have used Nu Finish (The once a year car polish) liquid for quite a few years. It is easy to put on, easy to wipe off, and seems to last a long time.
by trasmuss
Thu Aug 22, 2013 7:54 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Momentum everywhere, even in government bonds
Replies: 7
Views: 1113

Re: Momentum everywhere, even in government bonds

This one kind of lost me. I believe Investors Business Daily paper used to use momentum to pick stocks. I can't believe the article is implying that an actively managed stock and/or bond portfolio has an advantage over indexing. Or is it? How would this be applied in real life for the non profession...
by trasmuss
Fri Jul 12, 2013 2:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Total Intl Lags Active
Replies: 22
Views: 2044

Re: Total Intl Lags Active

Interesting. To me performance chasing would be transferring my Total International to Total Stock. Or my Total Bond to Total Stock.

All of my funds are indexed. That doesn't mean that I shouldn't question them from time to time.

Tom
by trasmuss
Fri Jul 12, 2013 11:27 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Total Intl Lags Active
Replies: 22
Views: 2044

Re: Total Intl Lags Active

Thanks for the input. I was comparing with International Value and International Growth. I no longer have easy access to Dodge and Cox International since I retired and moved everthing to Vanguard. For now I will probably stick with Total International but I will consider the active funds when I reb...
by trasmuss
Fri Jul 12, 2013 6:29 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Total Intl Lags Active
Replies: 22
Views: 2044

Total Intl Lags Active

In theory I like the Vanguard Total International fund. It is where I currently have all of my international investments. At this time, however, the fund is providing lower returns than either of Vanguard's actively managed funds. Not just currently (YTD) but also for 1 year, 5 year, or 10 year retu...
by trasmuss
Wed Jun 05, 2013 7:36 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Purchase fee eliminated for Vanguard Short Term TIPS fund
Replies: 19
Views: 2309

Re: Fee eliminated for VG short-term TIPS fund (VTAPX/VTIPX)

This is why I don't buy Vanguard funds with purchase fees. I also find it interesting that there is no purchase fee for the new international bond fund but there was for the short term TIPS fund. If the purchase fee is to offset trading costs one would think there would be at least as high of tradin...
by trasmuss
Sat May 18, 2013 5:26 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is VTIP better than VIPSX? [Short-Term vs. (longer) TIPS]
Replies: 12
Views: 4236

Re: Is VTIP better than VIPSX?

I transferred my intermediate TIPS fund money to Total Bond about six weeks agao. I didn't like the high duration of the TIPS fund. The reason I didn't transfer it to the short term TIPS fund is I didn't like the .25% purchase fee of the short term fund. The Total Bond fund did reduce my duration bu...
by trasmuss
Fri May 17, 2013 5:25 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Annuity Feature in the Vanguard Balanced Index
Replies: 7
Views: 888

Re: Annuity Feature in the Vanguard Balanced Index

It sounds like you may be looking at information for the fund that is part of the Vanguard variable annuity (as opposed to the regular mutual fund). Is this correct? If so, you have the option of converting the amount in the fund into an annuity stream (variable or fixed). The amount of the guarante...
by trasmuss
Sat May 11, 2013 9:27 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need advice on funds for newly retired 72yr old
Replies: 8
Views: 2107

Re: Need advice on funds for newly retired 72yr old

I wouldn't even consider the managed payout funds for the reason you mentioned; too high equity exposure. The answer will depend upon how the person will respond to risk taking and how they will react when their portfolio drops in value. You mention preservation of capital; virtually no fund (includ...
by trasmuss
Thu May 09, 2013 5:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When should I start taking Social Security?
Replies: 22
Views: 2282

Re: When should I start taking Social Security?

When you review your states laws with your elder care attorney check into how income is treated vs. assets. You may find it beneficial to consider purchasing a large immediate single fixed annuity when you get closer to your wife going into a nursing home. You would first find out the spousal impove...
by trasmuss
Thu May 02, 2013 7:21 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 20 year term life vs. Roth IRA
Replies: 24
Views: 4404

Re: 20 year term life vs. Roth IRA

I think you will find that term life coverage for yourself is quite inexpensive. You didn't mention if you have kids, what your debts are, etc. If your wife would have a tough time getting by if you die you likely need term life insurance coverage. I don't know where you live (cost of living) but at...
by trasmuss
Mon Apr 22, 2013 8:04 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: taxable account ? about dividends
Replies: 9
Views: 1616

Re: taxable account ? about dividends

You may need to ask Vanguard. I'm not sure you can direct dividends to a non existing Vanguard money market without first establishing the money market (with a $3,000 minimum).

You can try it online and see if the system allows it.

Tom
by trasmuss
Mon Apr 22, 2013 8:04 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: taxable account ? about dividends
Replies: 9
Views: 1616

Re: taxable account ? about dividends

You may need to ask Vanguard. I'm not sure you can direct dividends to a non existing Vanguard money market without first establishing the money market (with a $3,000 minimum).

You can try it online and see if the system allows it.

Tom
by trasmuss
Thu Apr 18, 2013 8:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Early Retirement - take money and invest?
Replies: 11
Views: 2889

Re: Early Retirement - take money and invest?

If you don't take it now do you have to wait until 62 or can you basically start taking it when you want? If you can start it basically any time I would wait until you find our how much income you will be making on your next job. Then if the pension amount would put you in a higher tax bracket (or w...
by trasmuss
Wed Apr 10, 2013 11:40 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to do with Bonds?
Replies: 22
Views: 2329

Re: What to do with Bonds?

If you don't want to lose any principal then bond funds are not appropriate. Even the Short Term Corporate fund can lose principal. CD's are one of the few options. If you are in good health, you may wish to consider an immediate fixed income annuity for part of your money. The disadvantage is that ...
by trasmuss
Fri Apr 05, 2013 4:55 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Preferences While Investing in Taxable Accounts
Replies: 7
Views: 972

Re: Preferences While Investing in Taxable Accounts

I use the Total Stock Market fund and the Index 500 fund in my taxable account (different purposes). I have been pleased with both when tax time comes. Note: with the current tax laws you will not pay any federal tax on the dividends if you are in the 15% tax bracket or below. I use Total Bond in my...
by trasmuss
Thu Apr 04, 2013 6:17 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: My Review of Vanguard's Financial Plan
Replies: 55
Views: 10954

Re: My Review of Vanguard's Financial Plan

Vanguard used to recommend 50% indexed and 50% actively managed for equities. They also used to recommend six different bond funds instead of total bond. And they also used to recommend 20% of equities to international instead of 30%. There old plans (in my opinion) were needlessly complex, reduced ...
by trasmuss
Wed Apr 03, 2013 6:37 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I convert Traditional IRA to Roth?
Replies: 15
Views: 3199

Re: Should I convert Traditional IRA to Roth?

Personally I would not see any benefit to converting your IRA to a Roth at this time. If there is a chance that your rates could drop before you begin taking retirement pensions; then that may be a good time.

Tom
by trasmuss
Fri Mar 29, 2013 11:29 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard's Official Position on Bonds as of 3/28/13
Replies: 25
Views: 4404

Re: Vanguard's Official Position on Bonds as of 3/28/13

Is there a reason that Vanguard's 401k stable value fund at 1.91% isn't available to all investors?

Tom
by trasmuss
Fri Mar 29, 2013 5:34 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: ROTH vs. Traditional 401K
Replies: 23
Views: 2161

Re: ROTH vs. Traditional 401K

Assuming tax brackets are the same when working as in retirement; the net amount of the Roth and traditional 401k are identicle (as Doc said). There is one other thing to consider that caught me a couple of years back. I also have a stock fund in my taxable account. Currently dividends for stocks in...
by trasmuss
Tue Mar 26, 2013 6:22 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Target Retirement Funds adding International Bonds
Replies: 27
Views: 3389

Re: Vanguard Target Retirement Funds adding International Bo

Dumbmoney, sorry I can't provide a source for the 13% in Russian bonds. I only remember reading it and being astounded. I could be wrong and the source where I read it could also be wrong. At this point none of us have to make any decisions based on the new fund. As soon as Vanguard releases it I do...
by trasmuss
Sun Mar 24, 2013 7:23 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Target Retirement Funds adding International Bonds
Replies: 27
Views: 3389

Re: Vanguard Target Retirement Funds adding Internaitonal Bo

Isn't anyone concerned that 13% of the fund (top holding) is in Russian bonds? I remember getting burned with Fidelity Balanced fund because of the Mexican bonds it held. Regarding Mr. Bogle it may be importat to remember that he doesn't object to tactical asset allocation (at least regarding percen...
by trasmuss
Thu Mar 21, 2013 10:55 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I am back - if anyone cares
Replies: 37
Views: 4759

Re: I am back - if anyone cares

Yes, you are correct. The yield would increase so the losses wouldn't be as bad as I depicted. Nevertheless, unless you are sure you would hold the fund for many years it would be a risky (for bonds anyway) bet. If interest rates do surge up at some point many would not have the faith to continue to...
by trasmuss
Thu Mar 21, 2013 9:06 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I am back - if anyone cares
Replies: 37
Views: 4759

Re: I am back - if anyone cares

The duration of the long term treasury fund is 15.5 years. That means you can lose almost 13% if interest rates go up 1% (duration minus yield). It is already down 3.58% this year. It wouldn't be for me. My guess is Swenson would be just as happy with the intermediate term treasury fund with a durat...
by trasmuss
Mon Mar 18, 2013 1:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why target date funds add TIPS only at retirement?
Replies: 36
Views: 4413

Re: Why target date funds add TIPS only at retirement?

If Vanguard feels TIPS are appropriate for Target Retirement Income why are they not included in Life Strategy Income?

Tom
by trasmuss
Wed Mar 13, 2013 5:43 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Holding Bonds in ROTH vs Trad IRA
Replies: 2
Views: 335

Re: Holding Bonds in ROTH vs Trad IRA

If you believe that equities will return more over the long term then the Roth would be preferable for equities since it won't be taxed when you take it out.

Tom
by trasmuss
Tue Mar 12, 2013 11:27 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Low tax bracket and avoiding investments
Replies: 11
Views: 843

Re: Low tax bracket and avoiding investments

Dividends are tax free for those in the 15% or lower tax bracket. This is a nice advantage of equity funds in a taxable account.

Tom
by trasmuss
Sat Mar 09, 2013 5:52 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What asset classes to put in a Roth?
Replies: 61
Views: 5922

Re: What asset classes to put in a Roth?

There is an extra benefit to holding stocks in a non deferred account if you are in the 15% or lower bracket. Currently dividends are tax free. I hold only equities in our Roths to hopefully maximize long term returns. I hold all our bonds in our tax deferred IRA's/401k's (as well as equities). I ho...
by trasmuss
Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:32 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Could bogleheads vote on Top 10 "asks" of Vanguard?
Replies: 100
Views: 8688

Re: Could bogleheads vote on Top 10 "asks" of Vanguard?

I would like to see an Admiral version of Vanguard's funds of funds (e.g. Life Strategy and/or Target Retirement. I would expect the minimum to be higher than other admiral funds. Perhaps $100k. I think it would be to Vanguard's advantage in lower trading compared to people holding individual funds ...
by trasmuss
Thu Feb 28, 2013 3:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Question
Replies: 11
Views: 1278

Re: Social Security Question

Assuming heath is good and finances permit it, there would be no reason to pass up on this opportunity. This is what I plan to do. Of course, this is also one of the areas that would be logical to be eliminated since it gives an advantage to married people.

Tom
by trasmuss
Sun Feb 24, 2013 6:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The 3 Rules for Increasing Your Social Security Benefits
Replies: 26
Views: 4307

Re: The 3 Rules for Increasing Your Social Security Benefits

My current plan is the same as SGM's. The way that it works is that SGM will apply for and then immediately suspend payments at 66. That would then allow his spouse to apply for a spousal only (assuming the spouse is 66). Both can then delay taking their own SS until they each turn 70. In addition t...
by trasmuss
Wed Feb 20, 2013 10:25 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: why so much down VG tip should i sell now
Replies: 12
Views: 1830

Re: why so much down VG tip should i sell now

The TIPS fund has a higher duration (over 8 years) than other Vanguard intermediate funds (a little over 5 for Total Bond). This means if interest rates move up you may lose more and should have more volatility in this fund than other intermediate high quality funds. The new short term TIPS fund has...
by trasmuss
Wed Feb 20, 2013 10:17 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Short Term Tips Fund Purchase Problem
Replies: 6
Views: 542

Re: Short Term Tips Fund Purchase Problem

I thought the purpose of the purchase fee was to avoid problems like this. How is Vanguard going to handle the transition of Target fund TIPS?
by trasmuss
Mon Feb 18, 2013 12:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fund of Funds Change
Replies: 3
Views: 550

Re: Fund of Funds Change

The old TIPS fund represents 5% of my portfolio. Although I didn't like the long duration I was going to keep it. Now I'm concerned that there will be a large selloff to accomodate the change to the new short term fund for the Vanguard Target funds (plus others like Taylor changing to the short term...
by trasmuss
Sun Feb 10, 2013 5:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retirement - when/how to withdraw funds
Replies: 7
Views: 2105

Re: Retirement - when/how to withdraw funds

The current tax laws make taxable equity investments very attractive if you are in the 15% bracket. Dividends are tax free. Inheritance is also tax free (stepped up basis) to your heirs. It may make sense (depending upon your circumstances) to withdraw from tax deferred up to the 15% bracket and the...
by trasmuss
Tue Dec 25, 2012 10:12 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Your International vs. U.S. Stock Allocation?
Replies: 73
Views: 11151

Re: Your International vs. U.S. Stock Allocation?

Nisprius; I think we agree that the definition of "peanuts" and "chump change" depends on the size of the portfolio. .13% can amount to hundreds of dollars a year.

Tom
by trasmuss
Mon Dec 24, 2012 7:13 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Your International vs. U.S. Stock Allocation?
Replies: 73
Views: 11151

Re: Your International vs. U.S. Stock Allocation?

The expenses of Total International Admiral are three times higher than Total Stock Admiral. It is worth mentioning for those who feel expenses are important and especially those with large portfolios.
by trasmuss
Mon Dec 24, 2012 7:01 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Can I reduce future taxes on IRA with earlier withdrawals ?
Replies: 25
Views: 2140

Re: Can I reduce future taxes on IRA with earlier withdrawal

If you don't need to live on the money and are primarily thinking about taxes, you have another option. Convert enough of your IRA to bring you to the top of your marginal tax bracket. If you feel you will be in a higher tax bracket when you need the money a Roth IRA conversion is a good value. Even...
by trasmuss
Sun Oct 07, 2012 4:35 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Social Security spousal benefits: one or two?
Replies: 5
Views: 860

Re: Social Security spousal benefits: one or two?

I had the same question and phoned social security. The answer was no. Only one can do it.
by trasmuss
Sat Aug 25, 2012 4:41 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Short Term Bond Fund vs Prime Money Market
Replies: 30
Views: 6882

Re: Short Term Bond Fund vs Prime Money Market

If it is a taxable account you may wish to consider the Limited Term Muni fund. It doesn't pay a lot but it is federal tax free and doesn't seem to be as volatile as some of the other short term bond funds. The Short Term Muni fund is even less volatile but also pays less. For me the Limited Term fu...
by trasmuss
Mon Aug 20, 2012 2:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pay taxes now or defer as long as possible?
Replies: 21
Views: 4685

Re: Pay taxes now or defer as long as possible?

Thanks YDNAL. Scott Burns is my favorite columnist. I appreciate the link.
by trasmuss
Mon Aug 20, 2012 12:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pay taxes now or defer as long as possible?
Replies: 21
Views: 4685

Re: Pay taxes now or defer as long as possible?

We're not taking social security yet so that won't enter into the taxes at this time. We would use IRA withdrawals to pay the taxes on the conversions making sure to keep them within the 15% bracket.

Right now Roths make up 12% of our investments, taxable accounts 20%, and tax deferred accounts 68%.
by trasmuss
Mon Aug 20, 2012 11:15 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pay taxes now or defer as long as possible?
Replies: 21
Views: 4685

Re: Pay taxes now or defer as long as possible?

Thank you for the replies. We have pensions that pay about half of what we plan to spend. We aren't taking social security. The current plan is for my spouse to take a spousal at 66 and both of us to take full social security at 70. The size of the IRA is fairly large so between RMD's on it and soci...
by trasmuss
Mon Aug 20, 2012 8:39 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pay taxes now or defer as long as possible?
Replies: 21
Views: 4685

Pay taxes now or defer as long as possible?

Is it best to defer taxes as much as possible in tax deferred IRA accounts? Or is it best to use Roth conversions to go up to the top of the tax bracket you are in? I am retired age 62 and am in the 15% tax bracket. I don't need to withdraw enough from IRA's to move me into the 25% bracket. I can sp...
by trasmuss
Sun Jul 01, 2012 8:41 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: To lump or not to lump that is the question
Replies: 5
Views: 1174

Re: To lump or not to lump that is the question

In 7 years a lot can change. Interest rates, for example, could soar reducing the lump sum option considerably. Your current portfolio and spending needs at that time may also affect your decision. No one can say what would be the best option for you at that time based on today's information. I woul...
by trasmuss
Sun May 06, 2012 11:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Re: What stops you from retiring today?
Replies: 100
Views: 9001

Re: What stops you from retiring today?

No options for sabatical or summer off. The company is downsizing and laying people off. Once I leave it will be for good. If I do stay until the end of the year I will hopefully have many healthy summers to come. There are no guarantees, however. I'm 50-50 and keep going back and forth. Retirement ...
by trasmuss
Sun May 06, 2012 10:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Re: What stops you from retiring today?
Replies: 100
Views: 9001

Re: What stops you from retiring today?

I would give up about $775 a year in pension retiring now vs. the end of the year. Plus 5 months of free post 65 healh insurance. My wife would get 75% of the $775 after I'm gone. More is always tempting. I'm giving up $4k per year in pension by retiring at 63 instead of 65. Tom