Search found 60093 matches

by livesoft
Tue Feb 12, 2008 8:52 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Municipal Bond Help
Replies: 2
Views: 850

I want to write that distributions does not necessarily equal dividends. Your dividends are tax-free (watch out for AMT considerations) and if reinvested they will increase your cost basis. There is a remote possibility that the fund will distribute capital gains at year-end. These are not tax-free,...
by livesoft
Tue Feb 12, 2008 7:45 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is VTSAX now a better deal than VTI?
Replies: 26
Views: 5253

I do not believe there is an equal probability of going up and down. If that was the case, I am going to state that the stock market averages would basically remain flat and go nowhere. In general the stock market goes up very roughly about 75% of the time and down the other 25% of the time. However...
by livesoft
Mon Feb 11, 2008 10:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bonds Allocation?
Replies: 13
Views: 3212

What I wrote is simplified version of the timing of buying/selling TIPS whether in a fund, an ETF or the bonds themselves that has been stated previously on this forum. I sold my VIPSX and bought VFSTX in November. In hindsight, there were still gains to be made, but that doesn't bother me at all. I...
by livesoft
Mon Feb 11, 2008 10:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Funds closed to new investors
Replies: 3
Views: 1182

Unlimited supply? That's hilarious. A mutual fund usually cannot hold more than 5% of a single company's stock. So suppose the fund gets so large that it owns 5% of all the different companies that it want to. If more money comes in, then the fund manager has to buy stock in bad companies or hold ca...
by livesoft
Mon Feb 11, 2008 10:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bonds Allocation?
Replies: 13
Views: 3212

I'll make TIPS buying simple. Look at this chart:
http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/DFII10
When the blue line goes above 2.5%, then buy TIPS. When the blue line goes below 1.5%, then sell TIPS. :)
by livesoft
Mon Feb 11, 2008 8:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax-Deferred Accounts
Replies: 3
Views: 1108

You do know that unrealized capital gains are not taxed, right?
by livesoft
Mon Feb 11, 2008 6:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What's wrong with building entire portfolio using ETFs?
Replies: 15
Views: 4322

Rick's article and his ETF book outline a few scenarios except the absolutely cheapest one which many people on this forum use:

Buy ETFs with no commission and buy Vanguard mutual funds with no commission --- all at a certain brokerage whose initials are WellsFargo. It's the best of both worlds.
by livesoft
Mon Feb 11, 2008 2:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: IRS audit help
Replies: 26
Views: 5882

This other forum is not a bad place to ask your questions as well:
http://moneycentral.msn.com/community/m ... =TaxCorner

Some ex-IRS folks answer questions there.
by livesoft
Mon Feb 11, 2008 1:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Which Bond Fund
Replies: 5
Views: 1602

FWIW, the 2 Vanguard bond funds that I am currently using are the GNMA one and the St Inv Gr Adm.

I did exchange out of "Infl Prot" after its big run-up since June 2007. I would consider it again once the rates go back up (and the NAV drops).
by livesoft
Mon Feb 11, 2008 12:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: The Revised Rebate As Passed By Congress
Replies: 30
Views: 6020

I am amazed that anyone is actually worrying about this gift from the government. If $300 or $600 is gonna change your life, then you got other more severe problems going on. Tell your retiree friends in the neighborhood the following: "You're gonna know what you get when the check comes in the mail...
by livesoft
Mon Feb 11, 2008 12:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: VBS to WellsTrade transferred in 2 business days
Replies: 3
Views: 807

Do not enter the cost basis info for your transferred assets because (if it hasn't already happened) WF will pull that info over from VBS as well. At least they did that for my holdings that were transferred from TDAmeritrade.
by livesoft
Mon Feb 11, 2008 11:20 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Calculating Cost Basis: Broker's Job or Mine?
Replies: 12
Views: 2906

I've never had a broker do this for me. In recent years, my brokers have used GainsKeeper which does this for you, but I keep track in MSMoney where I can run the report trivially. Of course, that means I've had to keep records up to date. Also, I doubt that if I was audited that the IRS would belie...
by livesoft
Mon Feb 11, 2008 9:53 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is VTSAX now a better deal than VTI?
Replies: 26
Views: 5253

Re: Liquidity

Nope. Check the intraday charts and you will see the story. Could you please elaborate? What are the chances of getting in higher or lower than end-of-day NAV? Isn't it 50/50? Are you saying that the intra-day fluctuations may cost well more than the bid/ask spread? Prices fluctuate and often by 0....
by livesoft
Mon Feb 11, 2008 7:54 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What's wrong with building entire portfolio using ETFs?
Replies: 15
Views: 4322

I use stock ETFs, but presently I prefer to use bond funds rather than bond ETFs. I hold these bond funds in my tax-advantaged accounts. I just perceive the reinvestment of monthly bond fund dividends to be easier if I own a bond fund rather than the ETF. Perhaps someone who uses bond ETFs can chime...
by livesoft
Sun Feb 10, 2008 10:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is VTSAX now a better deal than VTI?
Replies: 26
Views: 5253

Re: Liquidity

I believe what livesoft was pointing out was that we shouldn't be concerned with the bid/ask spread so much, rather whether we are able to pick up the ETF at a price that is at or below the price at close (when the MF shares would be purchased). But with a liquid ETF like VTI, that should happen no...
by livesoft
Sun Feb 10, 2008 8:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Isn't performance more important than capital gains ?
Replies: 11
Views: 2712

One should not compare primecap to a total market fund because primecap has some foreign stocks (including Canada) in it. A better comparison might be a combination of an S&P500 fund and a foreign fund.

So first get your apples to apples right.
by livesoft
Sun Feb 10, 2008 7:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: To reinvest or not? (For a younger investor)
Replies: 16
Views: 2950

Yep, do whatever works for you. Whether you reinvest distributions or not, you should certainly keep your year-end statements in a place where you can access them easily 20 years from now. I keep my annual statements with my tax return for the year.

Plan ahead.
by livesoft
Sun Feb 10, 2008 3:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: At what age did you (really, really) become a Boglehead?
Replies: 7
Views: 1508

I have never been a boglehead and never will be.
by livesoft
Sun Feb 10, 2008 3:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is VTSAX now a better deal than VTI?
Replies: 26
Views: 5253

You have to look at the bid/ask spread when the market is open and VTI is actively traded. I believe it's less than 10 cents most of the time or about 0.07%. But maybe that's not the comparison you want to make. On the day that you buy VTI, did you pay less than the NAV that someone who buys VTSAX p...
by livesoft
Sun Feb 10, 2008 9:56 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Should everyone have an Emergency Fund?
Replies: 41
Views: 9147

Re: Should everyone have an Emergency Fund?

I'm thinking of shifting from 85/15 stock/bond (excluding my emergency fund money) to 80/20 stock/bond and getting rid of my taxable emergency fund. Anyone see this as a bad idea? I think it's a great idea, so I have done exactly that. I used the money in my tax-exempt money market fund to buy a to...
by livesoft
Sun Feb 10, 2008 7:43 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Admiral Shares Status?
Replies: 2
Views: 1303

How you get Admiral shares is clearly described on the Vanguard web site. If after your exchange into total stock market you have at least $100K in total stock market, then you can 'get', 'convert', 'click on a button' and have admiral shares. Is it the right thing to do? Probably not if you are goi...
by livesoft
Sun Feb 10, 2008 7:15 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Improvements/Advice to my portfolio
Replies: 9
Views: 2024

Here is the 9 grid box style for the 403/Roth IRA/taxable account. I assume the 403(b) is funded for 1 year and ignore the TIAA-CREF as I can't find the ticket symbols to enter in Morningstar X-Ray. ... As PiperWarrior wrote your 9-box style grid looks pretty much like a total stock market grid (tr...
by livesoft
Sun Feb 10, 2008 12:08 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Improvements/Advice to my portfolio
Replies: 9
Views: 2024

Can you tell us your 9-box style grid? And your percentages of domestic/international/etc so that we don't have to work them out? Re-read your post. Do you see how it is confusing? You use percentages in some places and dollar amounts in others. And your percentages add up to a total overall portfol...
by livesoft
Sat Feb 09, 2008 10:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Struggling with fixed income allocation. Advice appreciated
Replies: 6
Views: 1892

A GNMA fund? Decent yield, backed by government. What's not to like?
by livesoft
Sat Feb 09, 2008 10:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Asset Allocation Opinion
Replies: 28
Views: 3907

livesoft, Here's the inside of my mind...I didn't select this group of funds. And I don't play darts :). I was in Target Retirement 2030. This broker I'm talking about said I needed to get out of 2030 and gave me the allocations I've listed on this post. ... Well, that explains a bit. I have notice...
by livesoft
Sat Feb 09, 2008 10:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to Examine Fund Composition
Replies: 5
Views: 1322

by livesoft
Sat Feb 09, 2008 7:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Asset Allocation Opinion
Replies: 28
Views: 3907

He said this would be a good allocation.
If the broker really said that about the portfolio you proposed, then that would be a major reason to never do business with him in my book.
by livesoft
Sat Feb 09, 2008 7:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Asset Allocation Opinion
Replies: 28
Views: 3907

Die Hard, I am interested in getting inside your mind because it will help me answer posts on this forum. You joined at the beginning of the year. There are all kinds of posts here about using index funds from Vanguard in one's asset allocation. But then you come and propose a set of funds that look...
by livesoft
Sat Feb 09, 2008 7:59 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vangurd Accounting Methods
Replies: 3
Views: 1048

Since VMMXX (VG prime money market fund) is a money market fund, the NAV does not change and there are no realized capital gains. You do not report on your tax return any withdrawals. You do report the dividends as you will get a 1099DIV with those earnings each year. Therefore, the idea of FIFO, LI...
by livesoft
Sat Feb 09, 2008 7:25 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Taxable accounts adjustment for AA -- can it be that high?
Replies: 37
Views: 7018

Finally, is anyone aware of good method of figuring out Percentage of Dividends and Percentage of Distributed Gains? I have always considered an equity fund's "Yield" to be its dividend rate, so if you have the total distribution rate, you can subtract out the yield to get capital gains distributio...
by livesoft
Fri Feb 08, 2008 10:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: financial engines
Replies: 3
Views: 1006

Used it. Waste of effort. It's one of those free perks if you have 'status' at Vanguard. They hide it very well ... very good reason.
by livesoft
Fri Feb 08, 2008 8:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Best place to secure a car loan?
Replies: 5
Views: 1622

Info on various kinds of loans can be found at www.bankrate.com
by livesoft
Fri Feb 08, 2008 8:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How much int'l? VG Portfolio Watch has The Answer!
Replies: 22
Views: 4738

There is a big difference between "caution" and "dangerous".
by livesoft
Fri Feb 08, 2008 8:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Anyone considering a Dodge and Cox fund?
Replies: 14
Views: 6074

I used to own DODBX, but sold all of it. If you invest in index funds with the same asset allocation at DODBX, I think you come out ahead. Therefore, no reason to consider DODBX.
by livesoft
Fri Feb 08, 2008 7:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: finally: gov't rebate logic published. do you get $1200+?
Replies: 14
Views: 3110

"No rebate for you!"

Couple with 2 kids and low income get $1800 which is 5% of $36,000. So if AGI is more than $150K + $36K = $186K, no rebate. That was easy. Nothing to worry about.

OTOH, maybe I should retire this year. That will mean eligible for Roth IRAs and the rebate.
by livesoft
Fri Feb 08, 2008 6:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Best place to secure a car loan?
Replies: 5
Views: 1622

Re: Best place to secure a car loan?

Did anyone tell you that a loan has monthly payments? So I don't see how you are gonna "eliminate those monthly payments for a while".

Decades ago we used USAA, but more recently dealers give out 0% loans and rebates at the same time.
by livesoft
Fri Feb 08, 2008 4:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Rates are so low -should I get a mortgage on paid off house
Replies: 24
Views: 4830

Would the extra cash flow required to make mortgage payments put you in a higher tax bracket? Would they make any SS benefits taxed more when you get to that point?
by livesoft
Fri Feb 08, 2008 9:54 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Automated Cash Flow (for kids)
Replies: 11
Views: 2082

I didn't read all the responses, so if I look like a dork ... so be it. Our teenager opened a free checking/savings account at WellsFargo where we have our checking/brokerage account. We pay her allowance by ACH from our account via bill pay. There is no "I didn't get my allowance" story because it ...
by livesoft
Fri Feb 08, 2008 9:25 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Taxable accounts adjustment for AA -- can it be that high?
Replies: 37
Views: 7018

Have you ever done your own taxes? If so, you would realize that hardly anyone pays more than about 15% average rate for income taxes. This is because the tax rates are progressive in that the first several thousand dollars of taxable income are actually tax-free. Although my marginal rate is 34% wh...
by livesoft
Thu Feb 07, 2008 8:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What happened to TIPS today?
Replies: 33
Views: 6919

If this is true then I think it is time for me to relieve myself of my 50% bond holdings in the TIPS fund. I thought that the TIPS fund, like housing values and stocks, only went up. At least that is what I was told. That's why I was told to lump sum rather than DCA. Uh, bad jokes should go in the ...
by livesoft
Thu Feb 07, 2008 7:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Can I link Vanguard acct to my checking acct?
Replies: 14
Views: 3191

Die Hard wrote:livesoft-
Explain what you mean, please. Do you have actual checks with your Vanguard account? Sorry to sound naive, but what you're saying would be very handy. thanks
Yes, as Mel confirms above.
by livesoft
Thu Feb 07, 2008 7:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What happened to TIPS today?
Replies: 33
Views: 6919

EmergDoc wrote:They go up AND down? WTH?
:D
by livesoft
Thu Feb 07, 2008 7:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Can I link Vanguard acct to my checking acct?
Replies: 14
Views: 3191

Additionally, one can write a check on a Vanguard MM fund and deposit it in your checking account. My bank puts no holds on such checks, so that the money is available instantly and even faster than with a free ACH transfer.
by livesoft
Thu Feb 07, 2008 10:45 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: First time Poster’s IRA @ $1,000,000: Shares Wisdom Learne
Replies: 151
Views: 77784

Have you participated in the early retirement forum: http://www.early-retirement.org/forums/ ?

Lots of stories over there similar to yours. You might enjoy hanging out there, but you may be a little old nowadays for those folks :)
by livesoft
Thu Feb 07, 2008 9:50 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Establishing goals
Replies: 4
Views: 846

OK, here's a goal I had when I was younger: I wanted enough invested so that at age 40, my investments would grow annually more than the amount of my salary. With that goal, I was able to never worry about having to work past age 40.

Since you are already 35, I suggest you make a goal for age 45.
by livesoft
Wed Feb 06, 2008 10:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Depresson Mentality: Cash in the Safety Deposit Box?
Replies: 21
Views: 5284

Katrina is a poor example of why to have cash around. There were folks who had to leave their cash under water in their homes. There were folks who claimed their money burned up when their home caught fire. As I've written before, cash is practically useless in a weather related emergency. When our ...
by livesoft
Wed Feb 06, 2008 3:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TIAA-CREF
Replies: 23
Views: 5961

by livesoft
Wed Feb 06, 2008 3:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: wash sale 30 day rule?
Replies: 4
Views: 1413

No, you do not need to wait 30 days from the last buy to sell all shares and deduct the loss. The reason is that no 'replacement shares' are involved. So selling all your VTSMX and buying VFINX sounds like a good tax-loss harvesting plan. But consider that if VFINX goes up 10% in the next 30 days th...
by livesoft
Wed Feb 06, 2008 11:53 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TIAA-CREF
Replies: 23
Views: 5961

I have a 403(b) with TIAA-CREF. It's very easy to find out about their funds on their web site which is www.tiaa-cref.org. I don't think there is anything opaque about them. They have many index funds as well.
by livesoft
Wed Feb 06, 2008 11:23 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Governmental Mortgages in Total Bond Fund
Replies: 12
Views: 2353

Alright, given that it has lower risk than some thing, why does the VG GNMA fund yield around 5%? Is that a mis-perception in the market place that all-things-with-mortgage-in-the-name are bad? Is it sort of the opposite effect of the flight-to-quality that appears to have depressed the yields of TI...