Search found 343 matches

by JimInIllinois
Sat Jan 19, 2013 10:05 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: AA- How to balance stocks without using bonds?
Replies: 2
Views: 424

Re: AA- How to balance stocks without using bonds?

If you buy I-bonds today they pay zero interest. Their only return is the inflation adjustment, which makes them a very price-stable version of a commodity like gold. If you have access to it, the TIAA Real Estate Account is also price-stable (short-term). It holds some bonds (less than 20%) for liq...
by JimInIllinois
Fri Jan 18, 2013 12:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Holding off 2013 I-Bond Purchase
Replies: 31
Views: 4878

Re: Holding off 2013 I-Bond Purchase

I just scheduled my I-bond purchase for January 30. Six months at 1.76% is close to a year in a savings account, so it's a draw if the next inflation component is zero and a win otherwise.
by JimInIllinois
Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Holding off 2013 I-Bond Purchase
Replies: 31
Views: 4878

Re: Holding off 2012 I-Bond Purchase

crowd79 wrote:If the next I-Bond rate is indeed 0.00%, it is probably worth it to sell your current bond holdings and take a 3 month penalty and park it in a savings account for a few months.
Unless your current I-bond holdings plus your planned purchases exceed $10,000.
by JimInIllinois
Wed Jan 02, 2013 11:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth 401k conversion, from fiscal cliff
Replies: 5
Views: 1587

Re: Roth 401k conversion, from fiscal cliff

For a state like Illinois that doesn't tax Roth conversions (considered a distribution), does this mean I can contribute to a regular 401k (tax-free) and then convert it to a Roth (paying federal taxes only) and thereby avoid state taxes on the contribution?
by JimInIllinois
Wed Jan 02, 2013 8:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is there such a thing as too much tax deferral?
Replies: 15
Views: 2018

Re: Is there such a thing as too much tax deferral?

Given your current marginal rate there is no reason not to defer. The only reason to defer less would be if you expected your marginal rate in retirement to be higher than your marginal rate now, in which case you would want to use Roth accounts instead. If you retire early you will want to have fun...
by JimInIllinois
Wed Jan 02, 2013 7:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I Bonds - for 2013
Replies: 24
Views: 6267

Re: I Bonds - for 2013

Thanks, #Cruncher. I'll wait to see the December CPI on January 16 but probably go ahead and buy in late January.
by JimInIllinois
Tue Jan 01, 2013 11:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I Bonds - for 2013
Replies: 24
Views: 6267

Re: I Bonds - for 2013

According to http://www.savings-bond-advisor.com/cpi-inflation-update/ the November CPI-U is down .51% from September. If this trend holds and the next I-bond inflation adjustment is zero, then bonds purchased in January would have a return for the first year of 0.88%. Is that low enough that people...
by JimInIllinois
Thu Dec 27, 2012 3:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tilting in taxable - seeking advice
Replies: 13
Views: 1582

Re: Tilting in taxable - seeking advice

Your suggested portfolio looks great. My one concern is if you will actually be able to implement your rebalancing plan, since selling overweighted assets will generate taxable gains for your parent and they may not want to pay additional taxes to buy an out-of-favor asset class. You may be better o...
by JimInIllinois
Thu Dec 20, 2012 11:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The last word: Pay off Mortgage early decision
Replies: 48
Views: 4394

Re: The last word: Pay off Mortgage early decision

An example of that is a working couple, age 50, with 15 years left on their mortgage (most would agree 15 years is a long-term situation) - what we would call a perfectly normal situation until the primary breadwinner loses their job and due to circumstances beyond their control are unable to find ...
by JimInIllinois
Thu Dec 20, 2012 5:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The last word: Pay off Mortgage early decision
Replies: 48
Views: 4394

Re: The last word: Pay off Mortgage early decision

I think the liquidity argument is important. I would not deplete my taxable accounts to pay down the mortgage, and I would not skip contributions to tax-advantaged accounts to pay it down either. Given a taxable account of more than twice the mortgage balance while maxing-out tax-advantaged contribu...
by JimInIllinois
Fri Oct 26, 2012 11:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Merriman's advice for adding bonds over time
Replies: 65
Views: 7791

Re: Merriman's advice for adding bonds over time

I think there is a logical way to merge these. If you count the "emergency fund" as part of the asset allocation, then a young investor should be entirely in safe assets (savings bonds, a ladder of CDs, or 80% bonds / 20% stocks) until they have several months of living expenses. Once that base is a...
by JimInIllinois
Thu Oct 25, 2012 11:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Merriman's advice for adding bonds over time
Replies: 65
Views: 7791

Re: Merriman's advice for adding bonds over time

What Rick Ferri and others before him are basically saying is that young investors should forgo the higher expected return of stocks, because he's worried they might do something stupid. But it's better advice to tell young investors not to do something stupid :D I tried that on my kids when they w...
by JimInIllinois
Thu Oct 25, 2012 6:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sock questions
Replies: 55
Views: 5338

Re: Sock questions

I bought several packs of Gold Toes from BJs. Algorithmic complexity of laundry dropped big time. I tried this but after a few months the socks faded differently, and it looks odd if I match random socks. I have to sort the socks by shade of gray and then pair them starting with the two darkest etc...
by JimInIllinois
Mon Oct 08, 2012 10:03 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: *Sorry for asking* Is this forum biased?
Replies: 100
Views: 10282

Re: *Sorry for asking* Is this forum biased?

Those on this board tend to enjoy living frugally, saving, and investing. Reading this board will not make you more frugal if your natural inclination is to max out your credit cards, live for today, and try to get rich quick. Bogleheads also enjoy the freedom of knowing it's not worth their time tr...
by JimInIllinois
Sun Oct 07, 2012 10:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: For New investors - Important Investing Concepts
Replies: 37
Views: 2842

Re: For New investors - Important Investing Concepts

Hint: Stickies do not show up at http://www.bogleheads.org I think this nails it. It took me months to discover the individual forum listings with the sticky posts, while there is a big attractive list of "Post a New Topic" links on the main http://www.bogleheads.org page. The sticky posts should e...
by JimInIllinois
Sun Oct 07, 2012 12:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Fine Print on Stable Value Funds
Replies: 31
Views: 3345

Re: The Fine Print on Stable Value Funds

After all, we know that stable value funds are riskier than money market funds simply because stable value funds have higher returns, thereby confirming once again the often overlooked, yet profound, link between risk and return. Asserting that stable value is higher risk because it is higher retur...
by JimInIllinois
Mon Sep 24, 2012 4:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Age 37 Portfolio help
Replies: 5
Views: 1144

Re: Age 37 Portfolio help

1. Do I really need REIT in stocks and what is the desire % for REIT? 2. TIPS are added to the portfolio because of the inflation going ahead with 40bil from FED? Is that right? Do I need them? 3. VWESX fund is for corporate bonds. According to Bogle interview corporate will be good for next couple...
by JimInIllinois
Tue Sep 18, 2012 3:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's the best way to "ladder" an emergency fund?
Replies: 13
Views: 4035

Re: What's the best way to "ladder" an emergency fund?

I don't know if there is a best way but mine is Checking account credit card Online savings account EE bonds Taxable I bonds Roth As a side note EE bonds look like a good deal to me for those who do a LOT of taxable investing John I'd sell off taxable before the EE bonds, especially if the EE bonds...
by JimInIllinois
Fri Sep 14, 2012 8:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: rebalancing today
Replies: 20
Views: 2194

Re: rebalancing today

dratkinson wrote:[self censorship] I'm worried the market bounce may be artificial... and would feel doubly bad if I allowed myself to be tricked into incurring a taxable event by selling to rebalance. [/self censorship]
You would feel bad if you sold high and had to buy low???
by JimInIllinois
Sat Sep 08, 2012 10:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Desperate advice for personal finance from a novice
Replies: 21
Views: 2573

Re: Desperate advice for personal finance from a novice

Is your wife a "financial idiot" like you? If she has some spare time and a reasonable interest in the topic (she should, since she's likely to outlive you) the important stuff is pretty basic.
by JimInIllinois
Wed Sep 05, 2012 8:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I hate the Lazy portfolio(s)
Replies: 41
Views: 6039

Re: I hate the Lazy portfolio(s)

I would have opted for the equally descriptive " Efficient Portfolio ." That was my first thought, but it overlaps with the efficient frontier concept too much. I'd call them "Low-Maintenance Portfolios". Just add cash and adjust the allocation annually. I guess that makes target-date funds "Zero M...
by JimInIllinois
Thu Aug 02, 2012 9:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What Would You Invest in with $15,000 Extra Cash?
Replies: 30
Views: 5431

Re: What Would You Invest in with $15,000 Extra Cash?

retiredjg wrote:
kydan in another thread wrote:We have our first baby due at the end of this month.
Maybe it's time for you to get serious.:wink:

This is a good place to start. Wiki article link: Getting Started
In that case, life insurance and a safe car.
by JimInIllinois
Thu Aug 02, 2012 9:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Convince me to hold bonds in my retirement portfolio
Replies: 16
Views: 3353

Re: Convince me to hold bonds in my retirement portfolio

If your job is 100% secure and recession-proof then you probably don't need bonds right now. Count one year of future contributions as part of your bond allocation (it's as good as cash, right?) and ramp up your target bond allocation over time at 1% per year. If your income is insecure during a rec...
by JimInIllinois
Tue Jul 31, 2012 4:30 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TIPS in Retirement Portfolio
Replies: 15
Views: 2623

Re: TIPS in Retirement Portfolio

Adding I-bonds (of which you can buy $10,000 per year) would guarantee no losses either real or nominal. TIPS may lose nominal value and right now are guaranteed to lose real value if held to maturity.
by JimInIllinois
Sat Jul 21, 2012 2:08 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Should I avoid total stock market index funds?
Replies: 45
Views: 4827

Re: Should I avoid total stock market index funds?

A company can do four things with earnings: pay dividends, buy back its own stock, accumulate financial assets, or expand its operations. The last three tend to increase earnings per share, which should lead to a proportional increase in the stock price that can be harvested by investors as capital ...
by JimInIllinois
Thu Jul 19, 2012 9:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help i have saved about 65,000 in the last three years
Replies: 25
Views: 5503

Re: Help i have saved about 65,000 in the last three years

I know zero about semis, but if the new tractor was significantly more fuel efficient and you pay those costs yourself then it might be a good investment. Do the math, don't just use this as an excuse to buy a new truck.
by JimInIllinois
Thu Jul 05, 2012 3:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for a combination printer/fax/scanner
Replies: 16
Views: 1717

Re: Looking for a combination printer/fax/scanner

Very happy with my Canon laser printer. Ethernet port (or wireless) is highly recommended if you have a laptop or multiple users.
by JimInIllinois
Thu Jul 05, 2012 3:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recumbent exercise bike recommendations needed
Replies: 26
Views: 6858

Re: Recumbent exercise bike recommendations needed

Sears sells some brands and I think they might be able to do this as well. A friend of mine bought an elliptical machine from Sears. The people who delivered it were not Sears employees, had never assembled one before, didn't read the instructions, and broke it while trying. My bike, in contrast, w...
by JimInIllinois
Wed Jul 04, 2012 9:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recumbent exercise bike recommendations needed
Replies: 26
Views: 6858

Re: Recumbent exercise bike recommendations needed

I want to get this ASAP so I can build up my muscles prior to hip replacement surgery in about 3 months. I also don't want to mess around with having to return something or buy something that won't hold up or isn't the right machine for me or that will screw up my new hip. Wouldn't a variety of wei...
by JimInIllinois
Tue Jul 03, 2012 10:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recumbent exercise bike recommendations needed
Replies: 26
Views: 6858

Re: Recumbent exercise bike recommendations needed

I just wanted to add that the LifeCycle seat is trivial to adjust: Sit. Put feet on pedals. Lift lever under side of seat. Push with legs to move seat back or relax and seat slides downhill towards pedals. Release lever when confortable.
by JimInIllinois
Tue Jul 03, 2012 9:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recumbent exercise bike recommendations needed
Replies: 26
Views: 6858

Re: Recumbent exercise bike recommendations needed

I've had a LifeCycle R7i for years. I forget what I paid but it's definitely worth the price. First, it's stable and indestructable. Second, it forces you to exercise at constant power - resistance goes down as you pedal faster and up as you pedal slower so that your work per second stays the same. ...
by JimInIllinois
Tue Jul 03, 2012 10:29 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Allan Roth: Putting the investor first.
Replies: 21
Views: 2688

Re: Allan Roth: Putting the investor first.

I don't buy this whole point of view. Millionaires don't become multi-millionaires by taking all risk off the table. Did Steve Jobs or Bill Gates quit when they got to $2M or $3M in assets? Should you?? Steve Jobs got rich because of Apple. Bill Gates got rich because of Microsoft. Their finances w...
by JimInIllinois
Mon Jul 02, 2012 10:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Allan Roth: Putting the investor first.
Replies: 21
Views: 2688

Re: Allan Roth: Putting the investor first.

In reading Mr. Roths article, he says that Dr. Bernstein contends that when one reachs 20 to 25 times their needs, after Social Security, that they have "won the game" and should take risk off the table. I thought the general consensus was 30 times ones need . There is , in my opinion, a signficant...
by JimInIllinois
Thu Jun 28, 2012 9:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: POLL: Best Place for Some of My Taxable Investing?
Replies: 18
Views: 2837

Re: Best Place for Some of My Taxable Investing?

But Vanguard's Total Bond Market, for example, has historically shown 7.7%, 6.2%, and 5.6% for the past 1, 5, and 10 years respectively. More risk, sure, especially in this low-rate environment. But maybe it's worth it? Or maybe not? Recent bond returns are capital gains due to falling interest rat...
by JimInIllinois
Fri Jun 15, 2012 10:13 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Experience Placing Cash Needs in Tax-Advantaged Acct?
Replies: 16
Views: 1449

Re: Experience Placing Cash Needs in Tax-Advantaged Acct?

sunnyday wrote:Have you considered I-bonds too?
Yes, I have them and they are a good choice for a true emergency account, but you're limited to $10,000 per year so I can't buy enough and I would want to hold what I can buy to maturity.
by JimInIllinois
Fri Jun 15, 2012 8:50 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Experience Placing Cash Needs in Tax-Advantaged Acct?
Replies: 16
Views: 1449

Re: Experience Placing Cash Needs in Tax-Advantaged Acct?

If you had $100k in a taxable account and $10k EF, $2.5k escrow for taxes and $2.5k for a new car in a few years. Why not invest all of it and guarantee yourself the principal on the cash balances? So, if the market went down you would not allocate losses to your old "cash" balances. And, if it wen...
by JimInIllinois
Thu Jun 14, 2012 5:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Stable value fund as emergency fund
Replies: 21
Views: 2381

Re: Stable value fund as emergency fund

As far as the insurance, if Prudential Ins Co of America goes under couldn't you lose 39.9% of whatever you have in the fund? And there's nothing in place to cover something like a security breach on the prudential's servers and money is removed from the fund? Those are very unlikely, but I'm not s...
by JimInIllinois
Thu Jun 14, 2012 9:12 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Stable value fund as emergency fund
Replies: 21
Views: 2381

Re: Stable value fund as emergency fund

What are the typical withdrawal restrictions? That fund is only available in your 457 plan, so you are limited by the withdrawal and frequent trading restrictions of the plan rather than the fund itself. For example, you may not be allowed to transfer from stable value to money market. These restri...
by JimInIllinois
Wed Jun 13, 2012 9:04 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Experience Placing Cash Needs in Tax-Advantaged Acct?
Replies: 16
Views: 1449

Experience Placing Cash Needs in Tax-Advantaged Acct?

I'm considering the strategy described at http://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Placing_Cash_Needs_in_a_Tax-Advantaged_Account and wonder how many people use this strategy and have actually reversed the process to get cash back out. I'm also curious if livesoft still has under $100 in his checking account ...
by JimInIllinois
Tue Jun 12, 2012 8:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When tilting toward SmVal do you use Index or Explorer?
Replies: 11
Views: 1825

Re: When tilting toward SmVal do you use Index or Explorer?

I do use International Explorer for international small-cap, but only because it is larger and has a lower expense ratio than the newer index fund.
by JimInIllinois
Tue Jun 12, 2012 9:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone else value "things" over "experiences"?
Replies: 48
Views: 4353

Re: Anyone else value "things" over "experiences"?

I'd rather take such money and spend it on things that I like - a nice wristwatch, fancy camera equipment, etc. I get much more enjoyment that way, and plus this stuff has monetary value so that I can resale later on. The "things" worth owning pay dividends in the form of experiences. You can enjoy...
by JimInIllinois
Tue Jun 12, 2012 9:00 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Starting a Portfolio
Replies: 15
Views: 1190

Re: Starting a Portfolio

The windfall was a little north of $1.8m - I'm looking to invest probably around 1.2 and keep the rest in cash at the moment. If you put $1.2M in a 20/80 stock/bond fund with $0.6M in cash that's really a 13% stock allocation. The first 20% of stocks in a portfolio actually reduces volatility (hist...
by JimInIllinois
Sat Jun 09, 2012 2:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Laptop Security at Conference
Replies: 14
Views: 1353

Re: Laptop Security at Conference

I hear warnings about laptops being stolen at libraries, but not conferences. If you have an older beat-up laptop the risk is even lower. The cost of the conference is probably more than the value of the laptop so I wouldn't be paranoid with cable locks etc. Just be sure there isn't anything confide...
by JimInIllinois
Fri Jun 08, 2012 9:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: one child inherited, the other didn't
Replies: 72
Views: 5674

Re: one child inherited, the other didn't

But I don't recall anyone ever making a legal issue of it during the 10 years I lived in Alaska. Interesting point. Surely this is well-established law by this point but I couldn't find it on the web. If the state of Alaska wanted to they could defer all payments to children into a lump sum when th...
by JimInIllinois
Fri Jun 08, 2012 9:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: one child inherited, the other didn't
Replies: 72
Views: 5674

Re: one child inherited, the other didn't

This lack of knowledge didn't stop Jim and John from voicing their opinions instead of asking for clarifications. Instead they assumed the worst and proceeded with their name-calling. If a post is badly written you should refrain from interpreting it at all, instead of interpreting it based on your...
by JimInIllinois
Thu Jun 07, 2012 9:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: one child inherited, the other didn't
Replies: 72
Views: 5674

Re: one child inherited, the other didn't

My grandmother gave some money in a mutual fund to our eldest child before she died. It was done through the Uniform Gifts to Minors Act and I was named to manage the money. Much later, we decided to split the money and apply it towards the tuition of both our children. So it sounds like the full s...
by JimInIllinois
Thu Jun 07, 2012 2:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: one child inherited, the other didn't
Replies: 72
Views: 5674

Re: one child inherited, the other didn't

My grandmother gave some money in a mutual fund to our eldest child before she died. It was done through the Uniform Gifts to Minors Act and I was named to manage the money. Much later, we decided to split the money and apply it towards the tuition of both our children. This seems to be a clear bre...
by JimInIllinois
Fri Jun 01, 2012 6:10 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where to put money for house downpayment in 10 years
Replies: 17
Views: 1885

Re: Where to put money for house downpayment in 10 years

But livesoft will post in a few seconds that it is Ok to put the money into EM stocks, since you won't really need them on the exact day. Something like this isn't necessarily a bad strategy. Set a savings target. Every year invest 10% of that target in a small value stock ETF and set a good-til-ca...
by JimInIllinois
Fri Jun 01, 2012 5:47 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where to put money for house downpayment in 10 years
Replies: 17
Views: 1885

Re: Where to put money for house downpayment in 10 years

What I guess I don't understand is that I Bond rates now are about 2.20%, when aren't the average market returns much higher than this? Yes, time-averaged returns on investments subject to market, economic, and inflation risks are much higher than for an investment with a fixed real (i.e., inflatio...
by JimInIllinois
Thu May 31, 2012 8:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where to put money for house downpayment in 10 years
Replies: 17
Views: 1885

Re: Where to put money for house downpayment in 10 years

Is this a lump sum or are you going to be saving for the next ten years?

I'd suggest:

1) I-bonds - guaranteed to keep up with inflation (before taxes) and zero price fluctuation

2) 10-year bank CDs - guaranteed nominal return

3) 80% total bond market fund, 20% total stock market index fund