Search found 1894 matches

by Ketawa
Mon Jul 02, 2012 1:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Cash Back Credit Card?
Replies: 56
Views: 646163

Re: Best Cash Back Credit Card?

Try out NerdWallet; you can input your spending patterns and preferences, and it will determine which cards might be best for you.
by Ketawa
Thu Jun 28, 2012 12:34 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Old Question-Paying Off Mortgage?
Replies: 18
Views: 1708

Re: Old Question-Paying Off Mortgage?

Something strange is going on with your numbers -- paying off your mortgage is a guaranteed return of 5.375% minus an appropriate amount for interest rate tax deduction if you itemize. I am skeptical that you are benefiting from the full deduction, but it is not a 7.7% return, it is 5.375% or less. ...
by Ketawa
Tue Jun 19, 2012 2:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pacific ETF (VPL) vs Pacific Admiral Index (VPADX)
Replies: 8
Views: 964

Re: Pacific ETF (VPL) vs Pacific Admiral Index (VPADX)

Your time periods are different so you're not comparing apples to apples. Try going to the Morningstar page for VPADX, use the Growth of $10k Chart, and add VPL to it.
by Ketawa
Sun Jun 17, 2012 11:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Critique my rent vs. buy decision and analysis of mortgage
Replies: 7
Views: 932

Re: Critique my rent vs. buy decision and analysis of mortga

A few more costs to factor in. I didn't see the real estate agents commission and other selling costs subtracted out when you eventually sell the condo when you move. When you want to sell the condo you will likely need to paint it and put new carpets in. If you have to leave the condo empty for si...
by Ketawa
Sun Jun 17, 2012 7:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Critique my rent vs. buy decision and analysis of mortgage
Replies: 7
Views: 932

Re: Critique my rent vs. buy decision and analysis of mortga

The savings is 8-9k annually, or about 33k over 4 years. Main inputs into NYT calculator are: Monthly rent: 1,700 Home price: 300,000 Down payment: 8% Mortgage rate: 2.75% Property taxes: 1% Annual home price change: 3% Annual rent increase: 3% In advanced settings change: Rate of return on investme...
by Ketawa
Sun Jun 17, 2012 6:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fixed Income Question
Replies: 4
Views: 612

Re: Fixed Income Question

Larry Swedroe had a good post about California muni bonds a couple of weeks ago. Recommendations come at the end. http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505123_162-57446280/why-you-shouldnt-buy-california-go-bonds/ In short, a national muni fund is probably the correct choice (if munis make sense for you). As ...
by Ketawa
Sun Jun 17, 2012 6:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Critique my rent vs. buy decision and analysis of mortgage
Replies: 7
Views: 932

Re: Critique my rent vs. buy decision and analysis of mortga

What is your goal? Are you just trying to game the BAH? Are you thinking that the BAH money is coming back to you in equity versus going straight to a landlord? Why are you locking all your extra cash (BAH) into a property you are holding short term? My goal is to make the decision that makes the m...
by Ketawa
Sun Jun 17, 2012 6:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Critique my rent vs. buy decision and analysis of mortgage
Replies: 7
Views: 932

Critique my rent vs. buy decision and analysis of mortgage

Sorry I originally posted this in the wrong forum. I was wondering if I could get some advice on 1) a rent vs. buy decision, and 2) a type of mortgage and how to pay it down. First some background: I am active duty military 25 years old at time of move Would be at next duty station for at least 4 ye...
by Ketawa
Thu Jun 14, 2012 10:12 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401(k) Vs. Roth 401(k)
Replies: 37
Views: 2472

Re: 401(k) Vs. Roth 401(k)

Here's a good breakdown by tfb. Traditional is typically better since there's a good chance you can get a 0% tax rate on the gains by filling up your lower tax brackets later in life or performing Roth conversions.

http://thefinancebuff.com/case-against-roth-401k.html
by Ketawa
Sat Jun 09, 2012 4:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Indexes are a mess
Replies: 57
Views: 7949

Re: Vanguard Indexes are a mess

I had a hard time justifying Russell 2000 Value (IWN/VTWV) and S&P SC 600 Value (IJS/VIOV) over MSCI SCV Index (VBR). Looking at the Morningstar growth chart for over 10 years, a $10k initial investment has only about $250 difference. http://i46.tinypic.com/2zje0ef.jpg In the end I decided to just s...
by Ketawa
Mon Jun 04, 2012 3:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone regret paying off mortgage early?
Replies: 348
Views: 82483

Re: Anyone regret paying off mortgage early?

I'll be so bold and raise my hand to state paying your mortgage off right now is a foolish idea. Primary Reasons: - Too much NW into one asset (that's illiquid to boot!) - Your primary residence is not an investment ... I find it very interesting Bogleheads are all about asset allocation, yet many ...
by Ketawa
Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:16 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Viability of a Constant U.S./International Split
Replies: 32
Views: 2030

Re: Viability of a Constant U.S./International Split

I'm going nuts: Vanguard has a web page with some kind of title like "statistics" that, among other things, lists the current U. S./International percentage split for the FTSE Total Global index, and thus is a handy reference to the current percentage--or would be if I could find it. But I can't! A...
by Ketawa
Mon Apr 16, 2012 8:32 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Small caps as a separate country
Replies: 16
Views: 1252

Re: Small caps as a separate country

Just a little more data. Small cap index funds are broadly diversified, while the examples of countries with "similar profiles" have <1% the number of holdings and about 10x the market cap. VB: Vanguard Small Cap ETF # of Holdings: 1746 Avg Market Cap: $1.3 billion VSS: Vanguard FTSE All-World ex-US...
by Ketawa
Thu Apr 12, 2012 9:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: When do 'tax managed' funds make sense?
Replies: 12
Views: 1218

Re: When do 'tax managed' funds make sense?

My guess is that there is a small advantage for the three-fund portfolio, but the advantage is not worth the complexity issues if you are holding a market weight. If you have started with Total International, stick with it; if you already have Tax-Managed International, or if you have to slice and ...
by Ketawa
Thu Apr 12, 2012 8:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: When do 'tax managed' funds make sense?
Replies: 12
Views: 1218

Re: When do 'tax managed' funds make sense?

They aren't much, but to me they are a guaranteed annual advantage and just add a couple of lines to the spreadsheet. That bid/ask spread over 30+ years becomes nothing, and VXUS has a fairly large spread itself. At any rate, since I already overweight VWO and VSS, it made sense to me to hold VEA in...
by Ketawa
Thu Apr 12, 2012 8:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: When do 'tax managed' funds make sense?
Replies: 12
Views: 1218

Re: When do 'tax managed' funds make sense?

I was running some numbers myself to decide this and concluded that if one was comfortable slicing and dicing and could accept some small tracking error, it would be always be more efficient to hold separate Tax-Managed Intl (VEA), Emerging Markets (VWO), and Intl Small-Cap (VSS) than merely the bro...
by Ketawa
Wed Apr 11, 2012 2:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do short-term goals affect fund placement? (put bonds where)
Replies: 8
Views: 776

Re: Do short-term goals affect fund placement? (put bonds wh

You seem to have the right idea, I would just review this entry from the Wiki and take note of the fine points (make sure your gains will be LTCG).

http://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Placing_ ... ed_Account
by Ketawa
Mon Apr 09, 2012 1:41 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: can you capture the small premium
Replies: 154
Views: 7994

Re: can you capture the small premium

Good call! If I asked nicely would you be willing to provide us with the same kind of analysis on small stocks today? Calculating a future small premium would be based on the relative valuation between the two today, what a reasonable projection of future growth for each would be, and what a sensib...
by Ketawa
Thu Apr 05, 2012 1:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [POLL] If you gamble, what do/did you play?
Replies: 42
Views: 2782

Re: [POLL] If you gamble, what do/did you play?

I've only played blackjack with basic strategy and card counting. With the right rules, you can get the odds barely in your favor, especially if you can do things like surrender. Even then it's a high variance and low return. Really just did it for the entertainment, and that entertainment was expen...
by Ketawa
Mon Apr 02, 2012 12:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: shoe sizes
Replies: 5
Views: 784

Re: shoe sizes

The simplest thing to do is order multiple sizes from Zappos, then return the shoes that don't fit. Free shipping in both directions.
by Ketawa
Mon Apr 02, 2012 11:54 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Update on Roth TSP in April Newsletter
Replies: 13
Views: 1552

Update on Roth TSP in April Newsletter

The April 2012 TSP newsletter has some more information about how the Roth TSP will work. https://www.tsp.gov/PDF/formspubs/high12b.pdf Of greatest interest to me was that participants will not be able to have different allocations between the pre-tax and post-tax accounts. I know this starts to get...
by Ketawa
Mon Apr 02, 2012 1:19 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Poll:Tax-Privileged vs. Taxable: Which has more?
Replies: 57
Views: 2779

Re: Poll:Tax-Privileged vs. Taxable: Which has more?

57/43 advantaged/taxable. 24 years old, only have so much in taxable since I didn't know any better for so long.
by Ketawa
Wed Mar 21, 2012 2:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Using "Specific Identification" tax method at Vanguard
Replies: 15
Views: 1180

Re: Using "Specific Identification" tax method at Vanguard

It was my understanding that to sell noncovered shares using Spec ID, you just needed to keep your own cost basis records. This was my impression from the thread where a Vanguard rep answered questions about the new policies. I do this using a spreadsheet that can account for share splits, mutual fu...
by Ketawa
Mon Feb 20, 2012 9:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you value a pension?
Replies: 24
Views: 2963

Re: How do you value a pension?

I used the TSP Annuity calculator here to figure out how much a pension/annuity is worth. You can compare level payments vs. inflation-indexed payments, different starting ages, single/joint. The inflation increase is capped at 3% per year, so this may slightly undervalue a pension that has full COL...
by Ketawa
Fri Feb 17, 2012 2:25 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Military Investing: Roth TSP strategy?
Replies: 14
Views: 2048

Re: Military Investing: Roth TSP strategy?

I'd recommend taking a look at these two articles: http://thefinancebuff.com/roth-401k-for-people-who-contribute-max.html http://thefinancebuff.com/case-against-roth-401k.html Personally, I'm going to contribute enough to Traditional to bring me down to the 15% tax bracket, then put the rest in Roth...
by Ketawa
Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: SV and Reit Tilters Only Please
Replies: 60
Views: 4437

Re: SV and Reit Tilters Only Please

SCV: 30% of domestic stocks, 15% of overall portfolio. Split between ~20% (i.e. 10% of total) in RZV and ~10% (i.e. 5% of total) in VBR. I put new money towards VBR and buy/sell RZV when it hits my "bands" within SCV to minimize commissions. REIT: 10% of equities, 8% of overall portfolio. The rest o...
by Ketawa
Sun Feb 05, 2012 1:37 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Trade Small Cap Index for Value?
Replies: 7
Views: 865

Re: Trade Small Cap Index for Value?

I would not switch at this point. After you retire, might your marginal tax rate drop to 15%? If so, and if current tax code is extended (at least for people with your level of income), perhaps you could exchange some small into small value and pay 0% on the cap gains. In the meantime, take solace ...
by Ketawa
Sat Feb 04, 2012 5:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Poll: How many hours do you work?
Replies: 37
Views: 4058

Re: Poll: How many hours do you work?

Probably about 20...I'm in grad school under military funding. 7.5 hours of class a week (9 credits) and I certainly don't spend much more than 12 hours a week on homework. This'll probably change once I have to start doing research.
by Ketawa
Thu Feb 02, 2012 12:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any thoughts on Roth 401k
Replies: 3
Views: 507

Re: Any thoughts on Roth 401k

I'd recommend reading this article. Part of the analysis is your marginal tax rate now vs. marginal tax rate in retirement. It's also still good to have some assets in Traditional 401(k) for tax diversification and to take advantage of times in your life when you may be low-income and can rollover t...
by Ketawa
Sun Jan 15, 2012 6:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Number of State Allowances to Claim for Zero Withholding
Replies: 4
Views: 633

Re: Number of State Allowances to Claim for Zero Withholding

I think you should consider calling your state department of revenue. But first, perhaps, you should download and take a look at a form that Google found for me: http://tax.ohio.gov/documents/forms/ohio_individual/individual/2008/IT_IT4MIL.pdf IT 4 MIL, Military Employee Withholding Exemption Certi...
by Ketawa
Sun Jan 15, 2012 5:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Number of State Allowances to Claim for Zero Withholding
Replies: 4
Views: 633

Number of State Allowances to Claim for Zero Withholding

I'm working on adjusting my tax withholding for 2012. I'm an Ohio resident in the military, and I live outside Ohio, so I will owe zero state income tax this year. However, income tax is still deducted from my paycheck and I always end up with a sizable refund. Pertinent info: Single Annual taxable ...
by Ketawa
Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you own Apple products?
Replies: 114
Views: 7853

Re: Do you own Apple products?

1 iPod Classic It has my entire music library on it, and integrates with my custom (installed myself!) car audio system, so I can make playlists in iTunes and/or listen to any artist at any time. 1 iPod Shuffle (an older model) Flash memory is great for working out, lightweight, clips onto the waist...
by Ketawa
Mon Jan 09, 2012 4:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thanks Broncos (from a Bears fan)
Replies: 170
Views: 22324

Re: Thanks Broncos (from a Bears fan)

I do enjoy the booth team of Jim Nantz and Phil Simms, they seem to do a solid job of analysis, and Jim Nantz is a far more interesting play-by-play commentator than Joe Buck.
by Ketawa
Fri Jan 06, 2012 12:22 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Stange Job Interview Questions
Replies: 66
Views: 5326

Re: Stange Job Interview Questions

Here's a question that I got asked at an interview and like a lot: You have two barrels at the top of a hill with a constant slope. They are the same size and weight. One barrel is solid and the other is filled with liquid. If you roll the barrels down the hill, which one gets to the bottom first? ...
by Ketawa
Thu Jan 05, 2012 4:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FICO Scores
Replies: 27
Views: 2260

Re: FICO Scores

I found it interesting when I recently applied for a new credit card (AMEX Blue Cash Preferred) and they reported my FICO score was 787. However, I did not actually receive the lowest APR of the three possibilities, I had the rate in the middle. Not that this matters much to me since I pay in full e...
by Ketawa
Wed Nov 16, 2011 9:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Droid X tethering
Replies: 7
Views: 692

Re: Droid X tethering

I would try the EasyTether Pro app. It works great for my Droid Incredible and will give you step-by-step directions on how to get it working. It used to be available only on the Amazon App Store for about $5, but now I think it's up to $10 on both the Android Market and Amazon App Store.
by Ketawa
Sun Nov 06, 2011 12:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Slicing & Dicing/Tilting - Did You Stop As You Aged?
Replies: 13
Views: 1526

Re: Slicing & Dicing/Tilting - Did You Stop As You Aged?

Thanks for the advice. I do not see myself increasing the number of accounts I have, leaving everything at either Vanguard or the TSP. This is another reason I went with VSS over some of the other ETFs like SCZ or DLS for Intl Small Cap, I'd rather just keep it with one company, not worry about trad...
by Ketawa
Sat Nov 05, 2011 10:58 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Slicing & Dicing/Tilting - Did You Stop As You Aged?
Replies: 13
Views: 1526

Re: Slicing & Dicing/Tilting - Did You Stop As You Aged?

Thanks for the input everyone. I could probably do without slicing & dicing my intl stocks, but I like having more opportunities for TLH with the separate funds, the currency diversification benefits, etc. I think that the best plan is one you can stick with, and I'm confident I can stick with this.
by Ketawa
Fri Nov 04, 2011 11:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Slicing & Dicing/Tilting - Did You Stop As You Aged?
Replies: 13
Views: 1526

Slicing & Dicing/Tilting - Did You Stop As You Aged?

Hello everyone, I'm 24 years old, and my current asset allocation is: 35.28% Total Stock Market (VTI) 15.12% Small-Cap Value (VBR) 5.40% MSCI Europe (VGK) 5.40% MSCI Pacific (VPL) 5.40% MSCI Emerging Markets (VWO) 5.40% FTSE All-World ex-US Small-Cap (VSS) 8.00% REIT (VNQ) 20.00% G Fund It seems com...
by Ketawa
Sat Oct 15, 2011 1:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How are TSPers planning to use the Roth option?
Replies: 21
Views: 1960

Also, The Finance Buff has two articles that do a great job breaking down the things to consider. I can't link them (not enough posts yet) but one is called "Roth 401(k) for People Who Contribute the Max" and the other is "The Case Against Roth 401(k)".
by Ketawa
Sat Oct 15, 2011 1:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How are TSPers planning to use the Roth option?
Replies: 21
Views: 1960

Personally, I think I am going to split between Roth and Traditional TSP. I think I will contribute enough to Traditional to get my taxable income down into the 15% bracket, then put the rest into Roth. I stilll haven't decided yet if I plan to stay in the military long enough to get the pension, he...
by Ketawa
Mon Aug 22, 2011 8:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Planning – Roth and TSP
Replies: 6
Views: 956

Thanks for the note on using S Fund to increase small cap exposure, hadn't thought of that. I was also doing some more research and found out I may be able to take advantage of the below strategy. I could increase my allocation into the G Fund for cash needs. I'm not able to link the Wiki entry sinc...
by Ketawa
Mon Aug 22, 2011 5:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Planning – Roth and TSP
Replies: 6
Views: 956

Re: Portfolio Planning – Roth and TSP

You can go the route of just adding emerging markets. If you want to avoid the purchase fee on that fund, just use Vanguard's Total International (in taxable or Roth IRA) which already contains emerging markets. I think I will focus on G, C, and S funds in my TSP and use my Roth for Vanguard Total ...
by Ketawa
Mon Aug 22, 2011 7:00 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Planning – Roth and TSP
Replies: 6
Views: 956

Portfolio Planning – Roth and TSP

Good morning all, This forum has been great and thanks in advance for the advice. I recently finished reading The Bogleheads' Guide to Investing and I'm already chomping at the bit to improve my portfolio. I realized I needed to start managing tax efficiency and start up my TSP, as I'm in the unifor...