Search found 1396 matches

by BigJohn
Sun Jun 01, 2014 9:33 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard or DFA? "Vanguard, in a landslide..."
Replies: 54
Views: 5953

Re: Vanguard or DFA? "Vanguard, in a landslide..."

For some odd reason we get these mudslinging threads where people talk about DFA's marketing machine, etc. but then many of the world's most esteemed finance prof's also seem to practice/preach/teach it. They must just all be suckers. If only they were aware of Jack Bogle and Vanguard. Matjen, feel...
by BigJohn
Tue May 27, 2014 10:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Jack Bogle - International Bonds
Replies: 57
Views: 4658

Re: Jack Bogle - International Bonds

I believe that adding international bonds to a high quality US bond portfolio is a solution in search of a problem. Frankly I don't see the need for them. The main purpose of bonds in a portfolio is to preserve capital and to offset the volatility of equities. Quality US bonds do that very effectiv...
by BigJohn
Sun May 18, 2014 7:17 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Book recommendation for 25 y.o.-first job
Replies: 12
Views: 1325

Re: Book recommendation for 25 y.o.-first job

A really easy starting point would be William Bernstein's booklet If You Can: How Millennials Can Get Rich Slowly . Bob +1 I just gave a copy to all my 20 something children, nieces and nephews. At 16 pages it's a quick read and is very informative. It will also give you a suggested list for what t...
by BigJohn
Wed May 14, 2014 5:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Pros and cons? re: Withdrawing from retirement account early
Replies: 14
Views: 2168

Re: Pros and cons? re: Withdrawing from retirement account e

While the primary rationale for this strategy is tax management, there is one other advantage that I haven't seen mentioned in this thread. If you intend to leave any $$ to heirs, the most advantageous thing you can do for them is to have them inherit Roth accounts. Since there are no RMDs , the mo...
by BigJohn
Tue May 13, 2014 11:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Pros and cons? re: Withdrawing from retirement account early
Replies: 14
Views: 2168

Re: Pros and cons? re: Withdrawing from retirement account e

Agree with comments above that there is no one right answer. Based on what I've read on this site and elsewhere as well as spreadsheet simulations for my situation I'd say these are two key enablers 1) You need to be fairly confident that you will be in a significantly higher tax bracket when RMDs k...
by BigJohn
Tue May 13, 2014 11:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Books for someone who is not that interested
Replies: 48
Views: 5403

Re: Books for someone who is not that interested

If You Can by William Bernstein, free and only 16 pages long so she can read it in an hour. Clear, to the point, and a quick read. Available free here: m +2 Very short and an easy read but will give your daughter all the right info for a good start (save early, low cost matters, watch out for inves...
by BigJohn
Sun May 11, 2014 9:11 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What does it take to make a banker notice you ?
Replies: 32
Views: 5051

Re: What does it take to make a banker notice you ?

I agree with previous post that you should consider getting the free Vanguard financial plan. You can search this forum as there are several threads that will help you understand what you are going to get and the pros/cons. Also, the Finance Buff went through this entire process. You can review his ...
by BigJohn
Sun May 11, 2014 6:32 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Poll: Do you own Total Bond Market?
Replies: 50
Views: 5734

Re: Poll: Do you own Total Bond Market?

Yes but only about 10% of bond allocation is in Total Bond all in a traditional IRA. About 45% in a Stable Value Fund earning just over 3% in my 401(k), The other 45% is in a taxable account and split between VG Limited, Intermediate and Long Term Muni Bond Funds.
by BigJohn
Sat May 10, 2014 9:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Behavioral Impacts of the Sequence of Returns
Replies: 53
Views: 3269

Re: Behavioral Impacts of the Sequence of Returns

Optimizing money is relatively easy. Optimizing across money, freedom, and happiness if far harder. Fully agree. I'm a long time lurker who has read and enjoyed many of your posts. My bet would be that like me you've got the money fairly well optimized. Big question I've struggled with is the net h...
by BigJohn
Sat May 10, 2014 8:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Behavioral Impacts of the Sequence of Returns
Replies: 53
Views: 3269

Re: Behavioral Impacts of the Sequence of Returns

I have customized the LMP/RP approach to my situation and preferences. Between the date of retirement and the onset of Social Security as the age of 70, I will live off my pensions and cash reserves. At the age of 70, I will have much less cash but will start collecting Social Security as a new, su...
by BigJohn
Sun May 04, 2014 7:02 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Input on South Carolina 401(a) Investment Options
Replies: 7
Views: 1297

Re: Input on South Carolina 401(a) Investment Options

Beth & Alec,

Appreciate you sharing your personal experiences, helps a lot. Thanks!
by BigJohn
Fri May 02, 2014 8:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Input on South Carolina 401(a) Investment Options
Replies: 7
Views: 1297

Re: Input on South Carolina 401(a) Investment Options

Sleep, thanks. These are choices for the ORP. In her line of work it is likely that she will need to change employers in 4 - 5 years. As a result, a defined contribution and portable 401(a) felt more appropriate than a defined benefit plan which seems more geared to life time employment. She can als...
by BigJohn
Thu May 01, 2014 8:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Input on South Carolina 401(a) Investment Options
Replies: 7
Views: 1297

Re: Input on South Carolina 401(a) Investment Options

House Blend,

Thanks for the input and suggestion. The total list of choices is long so I've modified my post to include the companies and some information on the best 3 fund portfolio given available choices for each. Any other comments welcome.
by BigJohn
Thu May 01, 2014 6:57 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: A 22 year mess
Replies: 29
Views: 6213

Re: A 22 year mess

Ugh! I feel so wishy-washy. In my opinion you're being too hard on yourself. I think you've done very well and have chosen an appropriate user name You've taken control of your finances, started getting yourself educated, sought advice on issues you don't fully understand and are invested in very l...
by BigJohn
Thu May 01, 2014 12:12 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Input on South Carolina 401(a) Investment Options
Replies: 7
Views: 1297

Input on South Carolina 401(a) Investment Options

My daughter is about to graduate and has accepted a job working for the state of South Carolina. She's heard enough from me over the years to ask for my advice on her 401(a) investment choices. My employer of 35+ years has a very simple and very low cot 401(k) so I'm not used to the complexity I fou...
by BigJohn
Wed Apr 30, 2014 11:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: A 22 year mess
Replies: 29
Views: 6213

Re: A 22 year mess

Workinghard, glad to hear you had a good meeting with VG about financial plan results. Sounds like you are now OK with a 60/40 target and want to simplify to eliminate some of the fund clutter. Based on your posts, another even more simple option that some like would be to just pick a VG Target Reti...
by BigJohn
Wed Apr 30, 2014 7:04 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fama/French Factors: "A Come-to-Buffet Moment" (from M*)
Replies: 74
Views: 6496

Re: Fama/French Factors: "A Come-to-Buffet Moment" (from M*)

Saw this article just before I went to bed last night. Figured there would be a thread this morning with all the usual participants in this debate and am not disappointed. In reading the comments this article obviously hasn't changed anyone's position and I didn't think it would. For me it just conf...
by BigJohn
Wed Apr 30, 2014 12:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Did (will) you pay off your mortgage by retirement?
Replies: 68
Views: 5244

Re: Did (will) you pay off your mortgage by retirement?

I could pay off before retirement but choose not to given low interest rate and even lower effective interest rate when tax deductions are taken into account. Keeping mortgage is no worse than break-even with what I'm earning on investments I'd have to sell and more than likely a small net gain.
by BigJohn
Tue Apr 29, 2014 8:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: A 22 year mess
Replies: 29
Views: 6213

Re: A 22 year mess

Workinghard, based on your response to me and your last questions you may have some misunderstanding of the difference between rebalancing and an approach that some advocate in terms of what to do during a market downturn. Here's a few words that might help explain the difference. For just rebalanci...
by BigJohn
Mon Apr 28, 2014 11:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: A 22 year mess
Replies: 29
Views: 6213

Re: A 22 year mess

I'm 58 and just finished getting a VG plan done so in a similar situation. My perspective on your questions 1 & 2) A bit surprised that VG recommend a 70% allocation to stock. For your stage in life this seems a bit aggressive. Some advocate the age in bonds approach which would put you at about...
by BigJohn
Sat Apr 26, 2014 10:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: muni bond funds and amt
Replies: 3
Views: 1289

Re: muni bond funds and amt

I own several of the national Vanguard muni funds. All have zero AMT liability. Not sure exactly what fund you're interested in but if you go the the Vanguard site, find the fund and click on the "Portfolio & Management" tab you'll see the % of the funds income that is subject to the A...
by BigJohn
Sat Apr 26, 2014 12:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Interesting series on M* active funds
Replies: 10
Views: 2648

Re: Interesting series on M* active funds

You might get some insight into why most on this forum are believers in passive index investing from reading these threads regarding the most recent SPIVA report. The first one contains a link to the SPIVA report that I would highly recommend at least skimming through it. If you don't want to do tha...
by BigJohn
Wed Apr 23, 2014 12:08 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Thinking about retiring early - tell me what I've missed
Replies: 42
Views: 6798

Re: Thinking about retiring early - tell me what I've missed

My two cents starting with full disclosure that I am a very conservative and risk averse individual. While certainly an attractive vision, at 42 you're taking on a lot of risk giving up a $275K/yr job. A few thoughts for you to consider. One general rule of thumb you'll see on this forum is the need...
by BigJohn
Sun Apr 20, 2014 10:08 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What Muni Bond in Taxable Brokerage Account
Replies: 7
Views: 1177

Re: What Muni Bond in Taxable Brokerage Account

At your age and already in the highest tax bracket the longer duration is less of an issue. However, one word of caution about giving too much focus to lower taxes. While it's important, you need to be sure you're not taking on so much additional aggregate risk that you regret that decision. Agree w...
by BigJohn
Sun Apr 20, 2014 8:22 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What Muni Bond in Taxable Brokerage Account
Replies: 7
Views: 1177

Re: What Muni Bond in Taxable Brokerage Account

Difficult to get too specific without more detailed knowledge of your entire portfolio and situation (eg age). Took a quick look at M* on both and will give you a couple of things to consider. Both are about 8 year duration so relatively long for muni funds. As a result you're taking some interest r...
by BigJohn
Wed Apr 16, 2014 11:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Individual bonds VS bond fund
Replies: 7
Views: 972

Re: Individual bonds VS bond fund

I just had a meeting with a VG CFP and got a somewhat different perspective on "the computer said". Plan they recommended included several changes with which I did not agree. Reason for one of the disagreements was tax consequences of selling some low cost basis employer stock. When I ques...
by BigJohn
Tue Apr 15, 2014 7:48 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: My financial advisor doubt
Replies: 40
Views: 8755

Re: My financial advisor doubt

Frugal Al wrote:Did you get tangled up in double negatives, BigJohn?


Maybe, I think we are saying the same thing but your words are more clear.
by BigJohn
Mon Apr 14, 2014 11:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: My financial advisor doubt
Replies: 40
Views: 8755

Re: My financial advisor doubt

Check out this thread about DFA vs VG. Be sure to check out the link to the White Coat Investor comparison of DFA vs non-DFA (mostly VG). http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=136943 As you'll see in the thread, there is lots of debate on whether DFA really has a persistent advant...
by BigJohn
Sat Apr 12, 2014 4:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Can I get some alpha? (DFA / Wealthfront)
Replies: 58
Views: 5314

Re: Can I get some alpha? (DFA / Wealthfront)

matjen, reread your post and guilty as charged I'm in the middle of reading "Thinking Fast and Slow" so I'll use those paradigms in my defense. My System 1 (the fast one) reacted as follows. I saw Nisi's name and the fact that he is a DFA skeptic. Both of these give him instant credibility...
by BigJohn
Sat Apr 12, 2014 3:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lump Sum vs Annuity: A New Question?
Replies: 63
Views: 7803

Re: Lump Sum vs Annuity: A New Question?

Leeraar, I have never heard of this as an option and it does not exist in my annuity plan. It appears to somewhat mitigation the early choices on longevity I talked about for myself. As has been said many times on this thread, each case is different. Between this and the fact that your lump sum appe...
by BigJohn
Sat Apr 12, 2014 11:40 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Can I get some alpha? (DFA / Wealthfront)
Replies: 58
Views: 5314

Re: Can I get some alpha? (DFA / Wealthfront)

Anyway, the distance between true active management and whatever it is that DFA does is far far greater than the distance between DFA and Vanguard. Nisi, as a long time lurker I have always learned a lot from your posts and this one in no exception, thanks!! I remain skeptical that DFA can continue...
by BigJohn
Sat Apr 12, 2014 10:48 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Can I get some alpha? (DFA / Wealthfront)
Replies: 58
Views: 5314

Re: Can I get some alpha? (DFA / Wealthfront)

Matjen, I didn't ignore your posts, I just respectfully (I think ) disagree, at least for most people. I wouldn't presume to say what Dr Bernstein does or doesn't advise for this clients. However, I just finished his latest booklet "If You Can". At 57, I'm far from a millenial but read it ...
by BigJohn
Sat Apr 12, 2014 10:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lump Sum vs Annuity: A New Question?
Replies: 63
Views: 7803

Re: Lump Sum vs Annuity: A New Question?

I'm a little surprised, given the low funding levels (around 63% if I understood you correctly), the plan is allowed to offer 100% lump sums. Maybe they got a waiver. My 63% number was based off corporate average from 2013 report for 2012. I just went on-line and looked at the most recent SEC 10K f...
by BigJohn
Sat Apr 12, 2014 8:39 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Can I get some alpha? (DFA / Wealthfront)
Replies: 58
Views: 5314

Re: Can I get some alpha? (DFA / Wealthfront)

I must say I do not understand the persistence of comments and articles that contain the premise that investing with DFA is somehow like investing with Vanguard. Reread this thread and have read many others much the same (long time lurker) and would summarize what I've heard about DFA as follows 1) ...
by BigJohn
Sat Apr 12, 2014 7:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lump Sum vs Annuity: A New Question?
Replies: 63
Views: 7803

Re: Lump Sum vs Annuity: A New Question?

"Period certain" is not "apples to apples". Annuity options with the company all include at least 5 year period certain, no choice. So I did compare apples to apples as I looked at outside annuity with the same features as the work annuity all of which are tied to the same lump ...
by BigJohn
Fri Apr 11, 2014 10:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lump Sum vs Annuity: A New Question?
Replies: 63
Views: 7803

Re: Lump Sum vs Annuity: A New Question?

Since it keeps coming up I ran the numbers. As I stated earlier, there are lots of options for annuity so I compared apples to apples on two cases. For annuity on just me with 5 Year period certain what I could buy per that website is 100% of the work annuity (good mental math mindbogle ) . For join...
by BigJohn
Fri Apr 11, 2014 6:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lump Sum vs Annuity: A New Question?
Replies: 63
Views: 7803

Re: Lump Sum vs Annuity: A New Question?

I was lucky enough to be grandfathered under the pre 2006 PPA method for the lump sum calculation (made it by a year). Agree that those that come under the new rules will have a tougher decision, especially if compounded by an interest rate increase over the next few years. Keeping my finger crossed...
by BigJohn
Thu Apr 10, 2014 7:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lump Sum vs Annuity: A New Question?
Replies: 63
Views: 7803

Re: Lump Sum vs Annuity: A New Question?

Many thanks for all the input and debate. To answer some of the questions posed My super mega-corp had 2013 pension funding had ~63%, among the lowest of the mega-cap companies. My standard pension is based on my salary converted to a monthly payment that is only good for my lifetime. I'll take a de...
by BigJohn
Wed Apr 09, 2014 7:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lump Sum vs Annuity: A New Question?
Replies: 63
Views: 7803

Re: Lump Sum vs Annuity: A New Question?

G$$, not sure I've missed longevity risk but we clearly view how to mitigate differently. After 35 years at just a modest 2.5%/yr inflation, the non-COLA annuity only has ~40% of it's original purchase power. A lump sum in low cost index funds with a conservative asset allocation (at least 40 % in b...
by BigJohn
Tue Apr 08, 2014 11:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Asset location strategies for taxes are OK; but not great
Replies: 75
Views: 9945

Re: Asset location strategies for taxes are OK; but not grea

Agree with the comments that somewhere between absolute tax efficiency and exactly the same in all is optimal, at least it has been for me. As examples, I moved essentially all international into taxable in order to claim the foreign tax credit. However, I kept substantial US stock & bonds index...
by BigJohn
Tue Apr 08, 2014 10:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lump Sum vs Annuity: A New Question?
Replies: 63
Views: 7803

Re: Lump Sum vs Annuity: A New Question?

What you have to realize is that these risks are in no way equal. In fact it is quite easy to see when you stop and think about it, that if you take the lump sum, the risk is orders of magnitude larger for a loss than if an insurance company and the PBGC are backing the money. The longer you hang o...
by BigJohn
Tue Apr 08, 2014 8:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lump Sum vs Annuity: A New Question?
Replies: 63
Views: 7803

Re: Lump Sum vs Annuity: A New Question?

Many thanks to all for the responses. Key issue for me is not whether lump sum vs annuity is a better deal at the point of decision. Since I'm retiring at 58, my thinking is more driven by risk management decisions over the long term. A few more details to answer some of the questions posed. My annu...
by BigJohn
Tue Apr 08, 2014 12:33 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What next after you have enough sort of.
Replies: 31
Views: 4152

Re: What next after you have enough sort of.

I am currently planing to retire in the next 6 - 12 months so have been giving this a lot of thought over the last several years. Tweaked my IPS a bit to adjust my asset allocation a little more heavily toward bonds. Nothing extreme, just gliding from 70/30 to 60/40 over the last several years. With...
by BigJohn
Sat Apr 05, 2014 10:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lump Sum vs Annuity: A New Question?
Replies: 63
Views: 7803

Re: Lump Sum vs Annuity: A New Question?

OK, I went and educated myself on SS taxation. Not the first time and won't be the last time that this site has given me something to go do more research on, thanks. Conclusion I've come to is that my SS will be taxed whether I take annuity or lump sum so not a differentiation that will drive the de...
by BigJohn
Thu Apr 03, 2014 11:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lump Sum vs Annuity: A New Question?
Replies: 63
Views: 7803

Re: Lump Sum vs Annuity: A New Question?

Thanks for responses to date. Some answers to questions. Carl53 - I'm a chemical engineer working for super-giant mega corp so not too worried about pension default but..... you just never know. While not the main driver, the principle of risk diversification and not having too much dependence on yo...
by BigJohn
Thu Apr 03, 2014 12:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lump Sum vs Annuity: A New Question?
Replies: 63
Views: 7803

Lump Sum vs Annuity: A New Question?

Long time lurker, first time poster so let me first say thanks for all the help and education I've received from this site. Now on to my question which while based on my situation feels appropriate in the Investing Theory section (apologies in advance if that is not correct). I am going to make the ...