Search found 63764 matches

by livesoft
Thu Jun 04, 2009 9:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with Financial Plan
Replies: 2
Views: 641

Best emerging markets fund: VWO, next best EEM.

Whenever I need to fill an asset class, I consult first with http://www.altruistfa.com/dfavanguard.htm for ideas, then make up my own mind.
by livesoft
Thu Jun 04, 2009 8:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sewer Backup Rider in home insurance questions
Replies: 16
Views: 7862

What's your deductible? I imagine that any sewage backup damage would be well under the deductible, so why have this as a rider?
by livesoft
Thu Jun 04, 2009 8:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: how long do shop light fixtures last?
Replies: 12
Views: 2046

Fluorescent lights lose a significant fraction of their light output in about a year. So folks who run plant aquariums regularly replace their full-spectrum tubes. There are also special tubes for corals and other kinds of light fixtures. And ballasts do go bad. There are cheap ballasts that use a l...
by livesoft
Thu Jun 04, 2009 8:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: ETFs v.s. Equivalent Mutual Funds
Replies: 4
Views: 1767

You can't compare them day-to-day because the ETF does not usually trade at the net asset value (whatever that is) while the fund share price is reported as the net asset value. The closing price (i.e. the last traded price) of the ETF could be at a premium or discount to the NAV. Furthermore, when ...
by livesoft
Thu Jun 04, 2009 6:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help for new college grad
Replies: 27
Views: 3771

The only appeal of the STAR fund is the $1000 initial minimum investment.
by livesoft
Thu Jun 04, 2009 5:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: future 401k rollover
Replies: 8
Views: 1701

You should probably be maxing out your 401k like clockwork if you are in the higher than 15% marginal income tax bracket. And you gotta make sure to capture any company match. In the future, you can do the rollover, but I wouldn't do the conversion unless I was in the sub-15% marginal income tax bra...
by livesoft
Thu Jun 04, 2009 4:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Asset Class Question
Replies: 9
Views: 1724

If you keep reading, I think you will discover that it won't really matter whether international is 50% of your equities or 30% of your equities or something else. More important is the small cap and value tilt.
by livesoft
Thu Jun 04, 2009 4:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Asset Class Question
Replies: 9
Views: 1724

I did take a look at that thread yesterday. It sparked my interest. I just can't make up my mind. Well, we can't make up your mind for you either. :) Did you read the research behind that thread? That research is shown in the books "The Four Pillars of Investing" and "All About Asset Allocation". I...
by livesoft
Thu Jun 04, 2009 3:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do I account for emergency funds in my AA?
Replies: 19
Views: 3452

My alter-ego would like to know what you mean by "1 year in emergency funds"? If you mean 1 year of expenses, then your expenses are probably too high. If you can reduce your expenses in half, then you would have 2 years of expenses in your emergency fund and could probably afford to put half of you...
by livesoft
Thu Jun 04, 2009 3:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Asset Class Question
Replies: 9
Views: 1724

Hi MachAF, I'm curious if you read some of the other threads on this forum. More than half of the folks who answer questions here overweight small caps stocks and they also overweight value stocks compared to the weighting present in the total stock market index. We would gladly welcome you to the c...
by livesoft
Thu Jun 04, 2009 3:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Taxable investing
Replies: 4
Views: 1559

The tax efficiency differences among these are small. Since you will be paying foreign taxes on the dividends from the foreign equity funds and you can get tax credits for those, I would place those very slightly ahead of the others. So my tax efficiency rank would be: VEURX, VPACX > VTSMX > VISVX N...
by livesoft
Thu Jun 04, 2009 12:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Question how do you close a car dealership in <30 days?
Replies: 9
Views: 1989

many of the dealerships will still sell cars and run a service department. They have lots of inventory, so no need to be out of business in 30 days. The GM sign comes down and "Harry's New & Used Cars" sign goes up. The dealers would like to ship the remainders back, but that won't happen because it...
by livesoft
Thu Jun 04, 2009 8:46 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: roth ira
Replies: 3
Views: 876

Roth IRAs are a great place to hold any and all investments that you choose. The issue is really what other investments you have and what other accounts you have. But you gave no other information.
by livesoft
Wed Jun 03, 2009 10:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: pay off house
Replies: 59
Views: 10348

6.5% is high. Pay off house if you have the money.
by livesoft
Wed Jun 03, 2009 10:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: if in the loss should I switch out now or wait till gain?
Replies: 10
Views: 1831

Take losses now.
by livesoft
Wed Jun 03, 2009 5:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does doubling my mortgage principal payments make sense?
Replies: 28
Views: 5929

No it doesn't make sense to pay it off early. But you have to use your imagination and think ahead. In 2011, you will be able to buy CDs that are FDIC-insured that will be paying a 7% rate of interest. If you pay off your mortgage now, you will not have the big pile of cash that you can use to buy t...
by livesoft
Wed Jun 03, 2009 4:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help for new college grad
Replies: 27
Views: 3771

It's a good plan. And you should have enough confidence in your own plans that you shouldn't worry what anonymous forum posters think about it.
by livesoft
Wed Jun 03, 2009 4:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help for new college grad
Replies: 27
Views: 3771

The enemy of a good plan is a perfect plan. Buy Target Retirement and stick with that for awhile ... unless your 401(k) has an easy way to roll your own. For example, suppose you have a Fidelity 401(k) with Fidelity Freedom Funds and Spartan index funds. You will have one-quarter the expenses if you...
by livesoft
Wed Jun 03, 2009 1:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: the bogle method in 1 less than 50 words
Replies: 43
Views: 7115

As long as we are brainwashing people, how about this:
Give me all your money.
by livesoft
Wed Jun 03, 2009 11:01 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: EM Performance Chasing
Replies: 19
Views: 2692

I think it is hard to figure out what the "typical investor" got for their return of the EM ETF. I must say that I tax-loss-harvest between EEM and VWO. If I look at my return for my emerging markets asset class, I am sure I did OK. If you look at EEM or VWO in isolation, then I am sure it does not ...
by livesoft
Wed Jun 03, 2009 10:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Choices of college/major
Replies: 72
Views: 9624

Actually, I think CalTech has had some difficulty in attracting freshmen, so if it is a school you want to go to, by all means apply. I think it is mainly a school for graduate work. But if all the CalTech grads or faculty want to jump on me for those statements, please do so.
by livesoft
Wed Jun 03, 2009 10:45 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Opinions on buying more Reit (vgsix)
Replies: 20
Views: 3712

You either believe in your asset allocation plan and follow it or you don't.

Yesterday, in an automated transfer set up a couple years ago, I purchased more TIAA real estate account to increase my holdings to 7% of my portfolio. TREA is my worst performing asset this year.
by livesoft
Wed Jun 03, 2009 8:34 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Emerging Mkts. What % of your retirement AA
Replies: 35
Views: 4971

OK, if I owned DODFX or some American funds or some Vanguard funds which have emerging markets embedded in it ... how do I do the calculation? :) M* says I have 10% of total portfolio in EM. That's about one-third of my int'l holdings. I'll grant you it is somewhere between 6% and 12%, but I'm not s...
by livesoft
Wed Jun 03, 2009 8:21 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: time to re-balance?
Replies: 6
Views: 1462

The wiki mentions transaction costs, but not specifically taxes. I would try to avoid taxable short term cap gains. I would not worry about LT cap gains so much.
by livesoft
Wed Jun 03, 2009 7:57 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Emerging Mkts. What % of your retirement AA
Replies: 35
Views: 4971

How do I figure out the number? (and to within 2%?)
by livesoft
Wed Jun 03, 2009 7:50 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Ultimate Buy and Hold - 8 slices vs 4
Replies: 733
Views: 338854

Les et al., one has to get past the fund being an unknown and think strictly about the asset class. This will be true of many funds. Small/mid foreign has been around a long, long time ... it's just that Vanguard only had VINEX in this area. DFA, TRowePrice, Fidelity, MFS, Driehaus and other fund co...
by livesoft
Wed Jun 03, 2009 7:08 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Reducing equity allocation
Replies: 6
Views: 1521

It's obviously best to do this in one simple exchange when the stock market reaches an all-time time such as when the DJIA was around 14,000. In the same way it is best to rebalance from bonds to equities at the market lows, it is best to move from equities to bonds at the market highs. Good luck wi...
by livesoft
Tue Jun 02, 2009 9:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: bit of data even shocked me
Replies: 82
Views: 12462

Everytime I see that DFA slide indicating nearly 3x the return the first 20 days of the bull market vs all bull market days, I walk away impressed. Is it correct to believe these higher returns are a function of the higher volatility in bear markets and as volatility drops later in bull markets the...
by livesoft
Tue Jun 02, 2009 9:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VTSMX vs VFINX
Replies: 9
Views: 15643

Here's a key deciding factor:
Your 401(k) has VFINX and not VTSMX. Your choice: VFINX.
Or perhaps:
Your 401(k) has VTSMX and not VFINX. Your choice: VTSMX.
If you have access to both, then VTSMX because you get more than a measly representation of 500 stocks in VFINX.
by livesoft
Tue Jun 02, 2009 8:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: bit of data even shocked me
Replies: 82
Views: 12462

And you participated in the run-up as long as you were in the asset class. For example, if you owned VWO and sold it in mid-March, or mid-April or early-May or whenever and replaced it with EEM, so that your EEM is only up 20%, you still got the full 69% return of the emerging markets asset class si...
by livesoft
Tue Jun 02, 2009 8:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Ultimate Buy and Hold - 8 slices vs 4
Replies: 733
Views: 338854

An asset class is an asset class. It doesn't really matter which fund you use to fill the asset class as long as it is low cost and relatively true to the asset class. The Vanguard fund is the latecomer to the scene, but there are many others that have been there long before it.
by livesoft
Tue Jun 02, 2009 7:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: bit of data even shocked me
Replies: 82
Views: 12462

Weston Wellington of DFA talked to these explosive upsides in his webinar

http://www.dfaca.com/share/whatshou

In particular watch Part 6, slide 5.
by livesoft
Tue Jun 02, 2009 6:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Ultimate Buy and Hold - 8 slices vs 4
Replies: 733
Views: 338854

You gotta take "ultimate" out of the name. Perhaps this is "sliced" portfolio, but not a "diced" one.
by livesoft
Tue Jun 02, 2009 6:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Choices of college/major
Replies: 72
Views: 9624

... I would also suggest that the university choice matters. It is not just the "name" of the school, but also that big-name-schools will select the best classmates for your son. The fact that most of the Google brainpower is from Stanford is not just a geographic convenience. And conversely, a geo...
by livesoft
Tue Jun 02, 2009 6:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Assistance: Essential Asset Class Diversification
Replies: 24
Views: 4149

I don't see a problem with equal weights for all 4 equity ETFs, but I think anything within 10% is gonna give pretty much the same results. It may be more risk and volatility than you want though.
by livesoft
Tue Jun 02, 2009 5:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Safe withdrawal rate versus IRA taxes
Replies: 12
Views: 3906

You can use the ESPlanner basic for free at their web site.

You may also wish to look at http://www.i-orp.com/
by livesoft
Tue Jun 02, 2009 4:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Assistance: Essential Asset Class Diversification
Replies: 24
Views: 4149

I would put bonds in tax-deferred. So: Roth 6% bonds 401k 5% TIPS Taxable 25% VTI 25% VBR 25% VEU 14% VSS If you wanted to reduce amounts in taxable and increase amounts in real estate, you could pay off your mortgage. :) At age 30, I could (and did) live with 10% fixed_income. I'm not conversant on...
by livesoft
Tue Jun 02, 2009 4:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Assistance: Essential Asset Class Diversification
Replies: 24
Views: 4149

You write that presently your taxable:tax_advantaged is in a ratio of about 9:1. Will it always remain close to this? That is, are you contributing 9 times to taxable the amount that you contribute to tax-advantaged? If so, I would suggest that you buy house if you have not already done so. If so an...
by livesoft
Tue Jun 02, 2009 3:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Assistance: Essential Asset Class Diversification
Replies: 24
Views: 4149

I would not bother with DJP nor GLD. I would certainly not have DJP in taxable. I would use VBR (small value) instead of VB (small blend). I would not use REITs if I had to put them in taxable or if I had to put [muni] bonds in taxable to make room for REITs in tax-advantaged. I would own TIPS at wh...
by livesoft
Tue Jun 02, 2009 2:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How low can you go?
Replies: 3
Views: 1079

$0 for some of my accounts. Even less for some others. I guess you have to be more specific.
by livesoft
Tue Jun 02, 2009 1:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to do with additional income?
Replies: 25
Views: 4154

Some guys would start a second family unknown to the first.
by livesoft
Tue Jun 02, 2009 1:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: REIT Index Fund Alternative?
Replies: 8
Views: 2113

You do realize that REITs are found in other index funds such as small cap value and mid cap value. Can you get your REIT fix that way? I was never compelled to buy a separate REIT index fund if it was not readily available to me. That said, the lowest expense ratio fund in my spouse's 401(k) is a R...
by livesoft
Tue Jun 02, 2009 12:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: what if scenario - Vanguard did not exist
Replies: 12
Views: 1668

Same place I do now and the same way. Years ago there were ETFs: SPY, MDY, IWM and I owned them all. Fidelity has small cap int'l funds before Vanguard did.

Very few of our assets are at Vanguard. There are better and less expensive places to invest.
by livesoft
Tue Jun 02, 2009 9:00 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice on Vanguard Roth IRA
Replies: 4
Views: 1249

I would do what Vanguard suggests. I think a recharacterization just tells them you are not doing a Roth, but you are doing a traditional IRA. You can't even do a traditional IRA without eligible earned income, so you probably cannot recharaceterize. Simply do what Vanguard suggests. From your other...
by livesoft
Tue Jun 02, 2009 7:06 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Ultimate Buy and Hold - 8 slices vs 4
Replies: 733
Views: 338854

Re: So ..... to make all this very simple.

Based on this discussion, to make it very simple, which Vanguard funds by name would someone buy to implement this? I take it the graph at the top is only for the equity portion? And then, which funds by name for the bond portion? I named them in the third post in this thread. A bond portion: BND, ...
by livesoft
Mon Jun 01, 2009 9:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Keeping Track of Taxes
Replies: 7
Views: 1746

I just use my most recent copy of TurboTax to run 2009 numbers. Then at Thanksgiving, I buy the new version and run again. Then around Christmas, I run again to see if any year-end moves are warranted. We do this because of the way we contribute to our 401(k)s. I had no taxes withheld from my payche...
by livesoft
Mon Jun 01, 2009 8:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Ultimate Buy and Hold - 8 slices vs 4
Replies: 733
Views: 338854

What would I do in that situation? I would have a much more flexible asset allocation. I would simply not worry about being out-of-whack ... especially at a young age.

hint: if you are quick, you can simply DELETE duplicate posts rather than edit them. :)
by livesoft
Mon Jun 01, 2009 8:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401 k fees
Replies: 3
Views: 1001

My spouse's plan has annual expense ratios of about 2.25%. She gets a 3% of salary match. Even with these horrendous fees, the 401(k) makes sense because of our marginal income tax bracket. So I think what you read about fees is nice, but take it with a grain of salt. The reality is that your 401(k)...
by livesoft
Mon Jun 01, 2009 6:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Ultimate Buy and Hold - 8 slices vs 4
Replies: 733
Views: 338854

Triple digit golfer wrote:...
I have a set-up as follows right now. Only the 500 index is in the 401(k). Everything else Roth IRA:

500 index 49%
TSM 7%
TISM 24%
TBM 20%
Why have 7% TSM in your Roth since 75% of it duplicates your 500 index in the 401k? Why not have 7% SV instead? I'm only asking because of your lament.
by livesoft
Mon Jun 01, 2009 6:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Ultimate Buy and Hold - 8 slices vs 4
Replies: 733
Views: 338854

TrevH: Thanks for the post. I've come to the same conclusion just from a practical standpoint: One can simplify the FundAdvice portfolio and still get about the same results with the same risk. My 401(k) has all the different asset classes, so that's not a problem for me. Plus it's such a small amou...