Search found 345 matches

by JimInIllinois
Tue Dec 13, 2011 10:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: American Airlines is walking away from their debts.
Replies: 47
Views: 3653

Re: American Airlines is walking away from their debts.

Any Boglehead who has owned a TSM mutual fund for a while owns has profits from corporations like Kmart who have made use of strategic bankruptcies. We are in no position to condemn strategic mortgage default. You do realize that Kmart stock became worthless when they declared bankruptcy, right? Bo...
by JimInIllinois
Sat Dec 03, 2011 11:03 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Rick's Rules for Lump Sum Investing
Replies: 215
Views: 16759

Re: Rick's Rules for Lump Sum Investing

What if the market moves sharply higher after starting DCA. Have you minimized regret? No, you now have a new problem - finding yourself rooting for pullback. You go from regret of being in to regret of being out. Worse yet, your client probably just incurred a large cost that dwarfs expense ratio ...
by JimInIllinois
Sat Dec 03, 2011 2:05 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Rick's Rules for Lump Sum Investing
Replies: 215
Views: 16759

Re: Rick's Rules for Lump Sum Investing

People don't really want to maximize expected return or risk-adjusted return. They want to minimize regret . The biggest potential cause of regret is the market dropping shortly after investing the entire lump sum, because you could have avoided it by waiting a few weeks. Waiting is good because imp...
by JimInIllinois
Tue Nov 29, 2011 4:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Americans spend $1 billion annually in unnecessary state tax
Replies: 147
Views: 22827

Re: Backdoor Both -- have your cake and eat it too

So, if I have already made my 2011 Roth IRA contribution, can I recharacterize it to a deductible IRA and then convert it back to a Roth? Any gotchas? You can do this recharacterize - it as a traditional contribution in the year you make it. I forget whether you have a delay before you can convert ...
by JimInIllinois
Tue Nov 29, 2011 3:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Americans spend $1 billion annually in unnecessary state tax
Replies: 147
Views: 22827

Re: Backdoor Both -- have your cake and eat it too

It looks like this strategy would also be applicable (with greater rewards) to a 401(k)/(403(b)/457(b) plan that allows in-plan Roth rollovers. Anyone have a plan that allows such a rollover?
by JimInIllinois
Tue Nov 29, 2011 2:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Americans spend $1 billion annually in unnecessary state tax
Replies: 147
Views: 22827

Re: Backdoor Both -- have your cake and eat it too

So, if I have already made my 2011 Roth IRA contribution, can I recharacterize it to a deductible IRA and then convert it back to a Roth? Any gotchas?
by JimInIllinois
Wed Nov 09, 2011 3:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Nightmare mortgage story - advice sought
Replies: 11
Views: 1637

Re: Nightmare mortgage story - advice sought

Wasn't there just a modification to HARP announced to allow more underwater borrowers who are current on their payments to refinance? It sounds like that might be right up your alley and you could lock in today's rate instead.
by JimInIllinois
Wed Nov 09, 2011 12:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Median net worth in US by age
Replies: 84
Views: 12231

Re: Median net worth in US by age

Does that include retirement accounts and home value? good question. from the report: "Household wealth is the sum of all assets (house, car, savings account, 401(k) account, etc.) minus the sum of all debts (home mortgages, car loan, student loan, credit card debt, etc.) of everyone living in the ...
by JimInIllinois
Wed Nov 09, 2011 11:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Nightmare mortgage story - advice sought
Replies: 11
Views: 1637

Re: Nightmare mortgage story - advice sought

Yeah, I would have contacted an attorney back in 2002 when Wells was screwing around with me. Why have they waited 9 years to contact an attorney? It seems kind of bizarre. I think it would be hard to protest the terms of a contract after having sent in payments under the terms of that contract for...
by JimInIllinois
Wed Nov 09, 2011 11:35 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Median net worth in US by age
Replies: 84
Views: 12231

Re: Median net worth in US by age

How much of the change in seniors' assets is due to the fact that people are increasingly likely to have defined-contribution retirement plans (included in assets) rather than pensions (not included in assets)? I never even saw this mentioned.
by JimInIllinois
Wed Nov 02, 2011 8:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice re dealing with tree damage to neighbor's car
Replies: 40
Views: 4019

Re: Advice re dealing with tree damage to neighbor's car

So here's the latest update. The estimate to repair the damage is $3,000. My mental picture was of something around $500. I want to be a good neighbor, but I don't think I can afford to buy it at that price. Taylor and others who counseled generosity, what do you think now? The "tough love" approac...
by JimInIllinois
Tue Nov 01, 2011 2:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice re dealing with tree damage to neighbor's car
Replies: 40
Views: 4019

Re: Advice re dealing with tree damage to neighbor's car

If your tree overhangs your neighbor's property (which I assume is the case here) then it is my understanding that he is allowed to cut it back to the property line at his own expense. If you don't want him doing that you might want to be nice and pay for some of the damage. (I assume if the tree is...
by JimInIllinois
Mon Oct 31, 2011 9:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Launch of New Fidelity Index Mutual Funds
Replies: 127
Views: 24657

Re: Launch of New Fidelity Index Mutual Funds

I don't mean to bump this again, but... Would any of you be worried that Fidelity may not be able to track the proper indexes with so little AUM at this time in these new funds? If you plot FSGUX and VGTSX there is a difference, much more than between the VTSMX and FSKTX total US market index funds...
by JimInIllinois
Sun Oct 30, 2011 11:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Launch of New Fidelity Index Mutual Funds
Replies: 127
Views: 24657

Re: Launch of New Fidelity Index Mutual Funds

Any chance the new Spartan funds will just buy their corresponding Vanguard ETFs until they have enough capital to operate efficiently on their own? I wouldn't let that possibility keep you awake at night. Actually I'm hoping they take that approach. The hidden trading costs of individual stocks wo...
by JimInIllinois
Sun Oct 30, 2011 11:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Launch of New Fidelity Index Mutual Funds
Replies: 127
Views: 24657

Re: Launch of New Fidelity Index Mutual Funds

How long do you wait to invest in them? For instance many of the funds only have a few million dollars in them so far? Would one be worried about properly tracking the index with such low amount of funds? I'm worried about it. Any chance the new Spartan funds will just buy their corresponding Vangu...
by JimInIllinois
Thu Oct 20, 2011 12:54 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Desperate for Feedback
Replies: 13
Views: 1672

Re: Desperate for Feedback

Nonetheless, I am curious about how I'd go about saving the maximum allowed. (I plan to fully fund my Roth. What I am permitted to contribute to my retirement (about 3% of my salary) is fixed by the State. What other savings vehicles should I be considering?) You probably have access to a supplemen...
by JimInIllinois
Fri Oct 14, 2011 3:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: AA Advice for New, Young, Investors
Replies: 38
Views: 2594

it seems to me that if an investor is in debt that paying off that debt is equivalent to buying a bond. In other words, getting rid of a negative bond is the same as buying a positive bond. They are not equivalent because a bond is a liquid asset. Paying down debt is definitely an investment that p...
by JimInIllinois
Fri Oct 14, 2011 8:51 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: AA Advice for New, Young, Investors
Replies: 38
Views: 2594

MDINDEBT: When people say "asset allocation" they are talking about all of your accumulated assets, not just this month's addition. Most people allocate their additions to steer their asset allocation towards its target. The question of how much to allocate towards paying down debt vs saving and inv...
by JimInIllinois
Wed Oct 12, 2011 10:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: AA Advice for New, Young, Investors
Replies: 38
Views: 2594

I think we could use a relatively short wiki page on this topic. Something like the personal finance, investing, and retirement planning start-up kits compressed into a single page for people just starting to save and invest.
by JimInIllinois
Wed Oct 12, 2011 10:51 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Desperate for Feedback
Replies: 13
Views: 1672

So you're suggesting that in a severe bear market he can tolerate a loss of $9800 but not a loss of $11,200. You really think that extra $1400 is going to crack him? It's $28K for crying out loud. The allocation just doesn't matter much. Going 60/40 instead of 80/20 matters a lot when you're 60 and...
by JimInIllinois
Tue Oct 11, 2011 10:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Desperate for Feedback
Replies: 13
Views: 1672

I would ditch the Prudential and American options in your FRS plan and use only these four: FRS Select US TIPS Index .02% FRS Select US Bond Enhanced Index .05% FRS Select Stock Market Index Fund .02% FRS Select Foreign Stock Index Fund .02% You can use the Roth for emerging markets, small-cap, and ...
by JimInIllinois
Sun Oct 09, 2011 6:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Lets play devil's advocate. Could index investing fail?
Replies: 30
Views: 3263

Indices buy things at market weight at market prices, which are determined by other active market participants, not the PE and VC firms promoting the stock. And if the active participants are willing to overpay relative to "fair value" because they know they can sell out to the index funds in 6 mon...
by JimInIllinois
Sun Oct 09, 2011 10:32 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Lets play devil's advocate. Could index investing fail?
Replies: 30
Views: 3263

Indices buy things at market weight at market prices, which are determined by other active market participants, not the PE and VC firms promoting the stock. And if the active participants are willing to overpay relative to "fair value" because they know they can sell out to the index funds in 6 mon...
by JimInIllinois
Sat Oct 08, 2011 11:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Lets play devil's advocate. Could index investing fail?
Replies: 30
Views: 3263

I worry more about the possibility that the system as a whole will change or has changed so that ordinary shareholders fail to get their share of the overall returns. Some ways this might occur: 1. PE firms take undervalued companies out of indexes, lever them up, then spin them back out to the pub...
by JimInIllinois
Tue Sep 27, 2011 9:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to do with house money?
Replies: 11
Views: 1808

Re: What to do with house money?

2 mortgages for a SHORT time? Good luck with that. In case you've been living under a rock for the past 3 years houses are not selling and unemployment is high so houses are likely not to sell for quite some time. Think about it for a second... If the OP plans to buy a house, does not that mean tha...
by JimInIllinois
Tue Sep 20, 2011 11:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: True Grit (2010)
Replies: 46
Views: 9468

Just saw "Once Upon a Time in the West". I loved the dialogue in "True Grit" when I saw it, but Leone's work does at least as well with almost none.
by JimInIllinois
Tue Sep 13, 2011 10:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Are Bond funds too high?
Replies: 34
Views: 4991

Bonds are overpriced. They may become more overpriced in the future and stay that way for a decade for the same reasons they are overpriced today. But if as an individual investor you can get a higher yield on a federally-insured CD than you can on medium term bonds you should prefer the CD.
by JimInIllinois
Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Total Bond Fund or Stable Value Fund
Replies: 19
Views: 5402

You're missing that a SV fund holds a diversified portfolio of fixed income assets. The insurance contracts don't matter unless the (relatively safe, TBM-style investments) underperform significantly. On top of that, they hold insurance contracts from a handful of different insurance companies, so ...
by JimInIllinois
Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:02 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Indexing and market timing both have their place?
Replies: 29
Views: 3010

Re: Indexing and market timing both have their place?

1. Indexing vs. Security Selection First of all there is the choice of investments. You can hold a market index or you can hold only a part of the market. Indexing means you choose to hold all stocks cap weighted. Anything else is a form of security selection. Picking individual stocks is security ...
by JimInIllinois
Thu Sep 08, 2011 10:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Indexing and market timing both have their place?
Replies: 29
Views: 3010

Re: Paul Merriman and market timing

Bogleheads: Mr. Merriman's newsletter, FundAdvice.com, has been tracked by the Hulbert Financial Digest since 12/31/1984. Editor, Mark Hulbert reports that as of June 30, 2011, Fund Advice portfolios have an annualized return of 7.8% compared with the Wilshire 5000 Index return of 10.7% . Fund Advi...
by JimInIllinois
Thu Sep 01, 2011 9:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Most misleading statements in investing
Replies: 57
Views: 5112

"If you had bought $10K of <investment> in <year>, today it would be worth <amount>."

Most investors who did probably lost money by buying high and selling low along the way, and they did it for reasons you're not immune to.
by JimInIllinois
Mon Aug 22, 2011 11:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Illinois pension vs. 457b, 403b
Replies: 24
Views: 5296

The Fidelity Spartan funds in the 403b are dirt cheap and cover a wider variety of asset classes than the 457 index choices. Plus you have the option of a Roth 403b, unlike the 457.
by JimInIllinois
Thu Aug 11, 2011 9:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Young family starting out from the Dave Ramsey plan...
Replies: 21
Views: 3730

The TSP is really a great deal. If you're worried about bonds, the "G" fund (I think) gives bond-like yields with stability of principle.
by JimInIllinois
Mon Aug 08, 2011 9:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Have you hit your rebalancing bands yet?
Replies: 41
Views: 9079

The higher your stock allocation the more stocks have to drop to hit your 5% band. If your target is 90/10 and we assume bonds don't change then to hit 85/15 your stocks would have to drop by 37%. To go from 75/25 to 70/30 the required drop is 22%, which is a pretty big correction. What really surpr...
by JimInIllinois
Mon Aug 08, 2011 7:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Anyone else buy equities today?
Replies: 102
Views: 12128

all this posting on boglehead made me check my allocation almost everyday since last week, today i hit my rebalancing bond. should i hold or rebalance pr wait a few days til my original date of 9/1? I'd do just enough to stay inside your band now and then all the way to your target allocation on 9/1.
by JimInIllinois
Sun Aug 07, 2011 2:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Boglehead thoughts on putting in a pool
Replies: 45
Views: 6051

Pools are expensive to install, expensive and time-consuming to maintain, make it harder to sell the house, and lower the value of a house by the cost of filling it in. They are also dangerous, especially to young children. I'd go for a hot tub in a covered, screened-in location. If you really want ...
by JimInIllinois
Sat Aug 06, 2011 5:41 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Advice Need. First Time Investing in Taxable Acct
Replies: 17
Views: 1855

Go read about tax-efficient asset placement again. There is no reason to balance across asset classes within accounts, only across the entire portfolio. Your taxable account should contain stock index funds. In particular, your taxable account should first be used for your allocation to tax-efficien...
by JimInIllinois
Thu Aug 04, 2011 10:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Merriman ultimate buy and hold?
Replies: 8
Views: 2417

The Merriman strategy is to take higher risk on the equity side with small-cap, value, etc. while holding zero-credit-risk short and intermediate term treasuries and TIPS on the bond side. The Boglehead strategy is to use market weights for both stocks and bonds. The argument against market weights ...
by JimInIllinois
Thu Aug 04, 2011 9:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: my thoughts on today's action
Replies: 71
Views: 9579

Re: few thoughts

And there is no way to lower interest rates further, so hard to get monetary stimulus An increase in inflation will lower real interest rates and I just read today about a bank charging its largest customers to hold their cash for them, so negative nominal rates aren't completely impossible. Is the...
by JimInIllinois
Thu Aug 04, 2011 1:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How much time do you spend on Bogleheads' site?
Replies: 5
Views: 902

You should do a poll.
by JimInIllinois
Tue Aug 02, 2011 9:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to Put in Roth/General Starter Advice+
Replies: 16
Views: 2807

If you want the Merriman slice and dice, here's how I'd do it (you get to work out the dollar amounts yourself and the exact percentages aren't that important): In your taxable account: Vanguard Value Index - VIVAX Vanguard Small Cap Value Index - VISVX maybe Vanguard Emerging Markets - VEIEX stock ...
by JimInIllinois
Mon Aug 01, 2011 11:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to Put in Roth/General Starter Advice+
Replies: 16
Views: 2807

There is a well-established risk premium for small stocks and value stocks, while international stocks simply diversify your portfolio. Emerging markets are probably in your non-US index already, and REITs are used for diversification as well. Since you can only do one fund in your Roth at first I'd...
by JimInIllinois
Sun Jul 31, 2011 9:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to Put in Roth/General Starter Advice+
Replies: 16
Views: 2807

Here's some more specific advice Vanguard 500 Index - VFINX - tax efficient but asset class in 401k Vanguard Value Index - VIVAX - tax efficient, taxable account Vanguard Small Cap Index - NAESX - tax efficient but asset class in 401k Vanguard Small Cap Value Index - VISVX - tax efficient, taxable a...
by JimInIllinois
Sun Jul 31, 2011 9:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is He a Friend?
Replies: 38
Views: 5595

Re: Is He a Friend?

He'll say something along the lines of, "Well, you have plenty of money". Just say "Yeah, gotta spend it somewhere." and change the subject. You've avoided any potential argument by agreeing with him, plus suggested money and the things it buys aren't that important to you so he shouldn't feel pres...
by JimInIllinois
Sat Jul 30, 2011 11:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Two Steps Back for Financial Education
Replies: 7
Views: 1311

stratton wrote:Sometimes 2% paid within 10 days can be a bad idea.
I'm intrigued because I have no idea what this means. :?
by JimInIllinois
Sat Jul 30, 2011 10:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Downsizing at Work
Replies: 28
Views: 5634

Dale_G wrote:
Watty wrote: snip ... and some companies have even put it in their job adds that they do not hire the unemployed.
Have you got a source for this?
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/26/busin ... bless.html
by JimInIllinois
Thu Jul 28, 2011 10:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Netflix Still A Bargain
Replies: 23
Views: 3076

Re: Netflix Still A Bargain

I am able to view three DVD's weekly because of this quick turn around time plus watching INSTANT NETFLIX. I am retired and can watch the DVD's at my leisure and generally watch them the day that I receive them and send it back the next day. Does this mean the DVD arrives in the morning mail, you w...
by JimInIllinois
Thu Jul 28, 2011 8:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Netflix Still A Bargain
Replies: 23
Views: 3076

Re: Netflix Still A Bargain

I am able to view three DVD's weekly because of this quick turn around time plus watching INSTANT NETFLIX. I am retired and can watch the DVD's at my leisure and generally watch them the day that I receive them and send it back the next day. Does this mean the DVD arrives in the morning mail, you w...
by JimInIllinois
Thu Jul 28, 2011 9:41 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TIPS Death Spiral
Replies: 50
Views: 7725

The appeal of gold is 0% real return over very long periods of time and lots of people seem to be buying that. A risk-free 0% real return on TIPS for much shorter periods doesn't seem that bad. Inflation insurance isn't free.