Search found 1517 matches

by BigJohn
Thu May 18, 2017 12:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When 60/40 just isn't appropriate
Replies: 182
Views: 29467

Re: When 60/40 just isn't appropriate

There is no risk free decision so all of this a balancing act trying to manage multiple risks that drive your portfolio in opposing directions. Agree with comments above that 30/70 certainly increases the risk posed by inflation if you hold nominal bonds. However, this risk can be mitigated fairly e...
by BigJohn
Thu May 18, 2017 12:00 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tilting/Factors: My Conclusions (Challenges welcome)
Replies: 48
Views: 3735

Re: Tilting/Factors: My Conclusions (Challenges welcome)

I hope that the indexers and tilters can agree to disagree and share a beer after a lively discussion. I've come to believe that tilting is just another risk/benefit decision not too different than deciding on your asset allocation. I'm satisfied with my decision to accept a market average return f...
by BigJohn
Wed May 17, 2017 6:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tilting/Factors: My Conclusions (Challenges welcome)
Replies: 48
Views: 3735

Re: Tilting/Factors: My Conclusions (Challenges welcome)

The second strategy I have endorsed is a small/value tilting strategy. My best guess is that over an investing lifetime, this might net you another 0.50% to 1.00% increase in your annual returns, though I lean towards the 0.50%. nedsaid, I think you need to context the expected return based on how ...
by BigJohn
Wed May 17, 2017 5:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When 60/40 just isn't appropriate
Replies: 182
Views: 29467

Re: When 60/40 just isn't appropriate

I retired two years ago and am currently age 60. Deferred for two years and then chose a lump sum in lieu of a pension a few months ago. As a result, 100% of current income comes from interest/dividends/liquidation. Planning to wait until age 70 to start SS, doing Roth conversions until that time. C...
by BigJohn
Mon May 15, 2017 11:58 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When 60/40 just isn't appropriate
Replies: 182
Views: 29467

Re: When 60/40 just isn't appropriate

willthrill81 wrote:They have a great example of how impactful sequence of returns risk was for retirees in 1973, 1974, and 1975 on the home page.
I haven't use FireCalc in a while so had not seen the graphic, a really powerful illustration. Thanks for pointing it out.
by BigJohn
Sun May 14, 2017 7:22 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: WSJ: Most market anomalies academics have identified don’t exist
Replies: 53
Views: 6759

Re: WSJ: Most market anomalies academics have identified don’t exist

grok, right now I'm relying on stocks to counter inflation so you're right, stagflation could be an issue. It's why I'm considering splitting my bonds allocation and adding TIPS. RandomWalker, I'm not reading the book for financial advice but more to understand how our brain handles (or does not han...
by BigJohn
Sat May 13, 2017 7:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: WSJ: Most market anomalies academics have identified don’t exist
Replies: 53
Views: 6759

Re: WSJ: Most market anomalies academics have identified don’t exist

Isn't Taleb a fan of sort of a barbell approach: combination of riskless and most risky? A ton of T-bills and a dose of the riskiest asset classes? I haven't read any specific investment recommendations (yet?). My comment was just based on the principle that it's difficult to predict big events bec...
by BigJohn
Sat May 13, 2017 6:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Who among us purchased flood insurance in a low risk flood zone and filed a claim?
Replies: 4
Views: 983

Re: Who among us purchased flood insurance in a low risk flood zone and filed a claim?

Last year we had what FEMA has called a 1000 year flood event. 30,000+ homes in the area were flooded. Lots of people in FEMA low risks areas had 1 - 3 feet of water. Some had flood insurance because it was cheap and boy are they glad they did. Many did not and are either having to eat the costs out...
by BigJohn
Sat May 13, 2017 6:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: WSJ: Most market anomalies academics have identified don’t exist
Replies: 53
Views: 6759

Re: WSJ: Most market anomalies academics have identified don’t exist

The reality is that the markets have a way of doing the very thing that you never expected. I'm in the middle of reading Taleb's "The Black Swan" and so far this is the essence of what I've taken away regarding it's application to investing. On one hand it worries me as I agree with comments above ...
by BigJohn
Thu May 11, 2017 7:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Construction for Couple about to retire
Replies: 17
Views: 2357

Re: Portfolio Construction for Couple about to retire

livesoft, I understand and can't argue with the logic. In my particular circumstance with taxable much smaller that t-IRA, I value stability in taxable to ensure I have the $$ to pay taxes on Roth conversions. I expect taxable to be largely depleted by the time I hit SS/RMDs so tax lost harvesting w...
by BigJohn
Thu May 11, 2017 6:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Construction for Couple about to retire
Replies: 17
Views: 2357

Re: Portfolio Construction for Couple about to retire

I retired about two years ago, my comments below. My first thought was to fill taxable and tax-advantaged in the manner you described but my concern was exposing the entire taxable portion to stock market risk. I completely understand that it's the stock 50% portion of the portfolio and I do the sam...
by BigJohn
Tue May 09, 2017 10:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: LMP-2: Should you take the lump sum?
Replies: 26
Views: 3675

Re: LMP-2: Should you take the lump sum?

So one way to be a disciplined spender is to set up a 30 year tips ladder. This might bring structure to someone who is already a fairly disciplined spender but not sure this would help in most cases. The lump sum is so large relative to existing savings that it creates the emotional reaction of "w...
by BigJohn
Mon May 08, 2017 10:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: LMP-2: Should you take the lump sum?
Replies: 26
Views: 3675

Re: LMP-2: Should you take the lump sum?

I recently took the lump sum but was grandfathered into a plan using 95% of the 30 year treasury rate so it was just too good a deal to pass up. I have implemented an LMP approach using high quality short and intermediate term bond funds not TIPS. I'm giving some consideration to moving a portion of...
by BigJohn
Mon May 08, 2017 10:11 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to efficiently use FIRECALC?
Replies: 19
Views: 1848

Re: How to efficiently use FIRECALC?

Thank you, but then how else I can decide if my retirement saving plan is enough? right now I am really struggling with knowing what is the bare minimum that at least I should be saving for retirement (specially I started late in the game), and thought that calculator can help with that.. I agree w...
by BigJohn
Mon Apr 17, 2017 7:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Customer Service
Replies: 301
Views: 35697

Re: Vanguard Customer Service

littlebird, thanks for the PM.

Doc, thanks for the example, never had that issue but my account structure and needs appear to be more simple, at least right now.
by BigJohn
Mon Apr 17, 2017 6:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help me decide pension benefits, single life, 50%, 75% and/or 100% survival benefits
Replies: 41
Views: 3822

Re: Help me decide pension benefits, single life, 50%, 75% and/or 100% survival benefits

Is the pension COLA'd? I suspect not so don't forget that 100% of today's number might only be worth 50 -75% of the purchasing power in 10 - 20 years. The uncertainty of inflation on a non-COLA'd pension is the best reason to go with the 100% option in my opinion.
by BigJohn
Mon Apr 17, 2017 6:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Customer Service
Replies: 301
Views: 35697

Re: Vanguard Customer Service

Unless/until the day comes when 1 spouse needs to act for the other, or a child needs to act for the surviving spouse. Then problems really begin at Vanguard. littlebird, I'm interested in what issues you've had. I have full agent authorization to act on behalf of my wife and haven't had any issues...
by BigJohn
Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Customer Service
Replies: 301
Views: 35697

Re: Vanguard Customer Service

Just can't bear the thought of sending a paper check to Vanguard... I've done it twice without issue. Funds invested as instructed 3 business days after the check was put in the mail (2 days transit, 1 day to get in VG system). I've also done share donation to charities via paper and snail mail wit...
by BigJohn
Sat Apr 08, 2017 7:13 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Looking for a source to analyze Fixed Index/Equity Indexed Annuities
Replies: 18
Views: 1444

Re: Looking for a source to analyze Fixed Index/Equity Indexed Annuities

I was asked to help someone in a similar situation, fortunately they only had one fixed index annuity. I'm not aware of any comprehensive website to analyze but here is a discussion I started to get some input based on the specifics of their annuity https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=2...
by BigJohn
Thu Apr 06, 2017 5:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pension -lump sum or monthly payout?
Replies: 29
Views: 2680

Re: Pension -lump sum or monthly payout?

I had to make this decision recently. I took the lump sum for reasons in put in this discussion https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=2016199 There are lots of other discussions on this topic that you can find with a search, here are a couple https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php...
by BigJohn
Fri Mar 24, 2017 7:01 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 100% stocks w/pension?
Replies: 40
Views: 5449

Re: 100% stocks w/pension?

I guess it all comes down to how secure the pension is, which I believe to be very secure personally.. Don't mean to be a wet blanket but are you really that sure? Many state and local pensions are strained because of very generous benefits coupled with years of low returns. Took me about 30 second...
by BigJohn
Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:16 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is Emergency fund necessary with 2 RMDs?
Replies: 18
Views: 1844

Re: Is Emergency fund necessary with 2 RMDs?

Retired people don't need emergency funds. Another circumstance where this is not true would be if one of the couple is incapable of managing financial matters. My ER is there for this reason with all bill paying on auto-pilot. If I get hit by a bus, all the bills get paid for 6 - 12 months until o...
by BigJohn
Thu Mar 16, 2017 6:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bought my first individual TIPS, now I am in love!
Replies: 34
Views: 4893

Re: Bought my first individual TIPS, now I am in love!

Not sure I would do a TIPS fund but this individual TIPS thing has me feeling wibbly wobbly. Curious as to why you wouldn't buy a TIPS fund? Do you hold other parts of your bond allocation in individual bonds? Don't get me wrong, if I were going to hold any individual bonds, a ladder of Treasury or...
by BigJohn
Mon Mar 13, 2017 7:06 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Flagship
Replies: 3
Views: 981

Re: Flagship

sanfran2015 wrote:I assume that they update status automatically, but it has been over a month and they havent changed it yet.
It will not happen automatically, you have to make the request either via phone or email. Based on my experience, once request is made the change is done within a few days.
by BigJohn
Sat Mar 11, 2017 7:33 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Edward Jones Guided Solutions Fees
Replies: 47
Views: 14001

Re: Edward Jones Guided Solutions Fees

Vanguard offers a management option (P.A.S.) that costs 0.3% instead of 1.35%. They will also put you in low-cost, broad based index funds. You can use Vanguard P.A.S. while you are learning and deciding whether or not you want to self-manage. Vanguard will not "hassle" you if you decide to to self...
by BigJohn
Sat Mar 11, 2017 7:10 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard taxable experience in 2017
Replies: 6
Views: 1014

Re: Vanguard taxable experience in 2017

I have a taxable account using SpecID. I do tax lost harvesting when the opportunity presents itself and have never had an issue with VG's cost basis accounting.
by BigJohn
Sat Mar 04, 2017 3:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: In-service roll over
Replies: 10
Views: 927

Re: In-service roll over

If you look at my first link and scroll down to "Which types of distributions can I roll over?" there are 9 exceptions listed for a retirement plan rollover. As I read it, assuming you don't have any of those exceptions, your distribution should be eligible for a rollover and if executed correctly s...
by BigJohn
Sat Mar 04, 2017 1:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: In-service roll over
Replies: 10
Views: 927

Re: In-service roll over

I'd like to see the links as well. When in doubt about a website comment, always look as the IRS documents. Here are two that say what you describe is a non-taxable event if executed correctly (eg within time limt, no loans, etc) https://www.irs.gov/retirement-plans/plan-participant-employee/rollove...
by BigJohn
Tue Feb 28, 2017 4:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 17 year old just starting/need advice
Replies: 28
Views: 2861

Re: 17 year old just starting/need advice

I think you're plan is good. An alternative would be to consider one of Vanguards Target Retirement funds. One advantage right now would be you get more diversified sooner with no worry about the minimums. You also won't have to consider annual rebalancing which can get impacted by minimums early on...
by BigJohn
Mon Feb 27, 2017 6:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 17 year old just starting/need advice
Replies: 28
Views: 2861

Re: 17 year old just starting/need advice

Welcome to the forum! For someone just starting out I'd suggest reading William Bernstein's "If You Can". It's written by a very well respected author, it's only 16 pages long and it's specifically written for people just starting out. Best of all it's available for free here http://www.etf.com/docs...
by BigJohn
Wed Feb 22, 2017 6:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VBILX vs VBTLX [Vanguard Intermediate-Term vs. Total Bond]
Replies: 49
Views: 8858

Re: VBILX vs VBTLX [Vanguard Intermediate-Term vs. Total Bond]

I want my bond holdings to produce or at least tread water during down years for stocks, but VFIDX is mostly corporate bonds. What about VWLTX to accomplish both longer duration/total return and hedging against stock decline? VWTLX has an even longer duration so more interest rate sensitivity. In a...
by BigJohn
Wed Feb 22, 2017 7:26 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VBILX vs VBTLX [Vanguard Intermediate-Term vs. Total Bond]
Replies: 49
Views: 8858

Re: VBILX vs VBTLX [Vanguard Intermediate-Term vs. Total Bond]

Took a quick look at what happened when rates increased late last year. VBTLX dropped about 4%, VBILX dropped about 5%. So a noticeable difference but to me at least not one that is significant or worrisome.
by BigJohn
Tue Feb 21, 2017 11:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VBILX vs VBTLX [Vanguard Intermediate-Term vs. Total Bond]
Replies: 49
Views: 8858

Re: VBILX vs VBTLX [Vanguard Intermediate-Term vs. Total Bond]

The same forces that shift the composition of total bond will do the same for this (actually, maybe fractionally even less, as Vanguard's total bond float adjusts out government holdings of bonds). And that is mostly not about Fed action regardless. While there is no doubt that it moves, I think it...
by BigJohn
Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VBILX vs VBTLX [Vanguard Intermediate-Term vs. Total Bond]
Replies: 49
Views: 8858

Re: VBILX vs VBTLX [Vanguard Intermediate-Term vs. Total Bond]

I struggled with the same question. I think that in 20+ years the difference in your portfolio using one vs the other will be minimal and no way to tell which will be "better". However, a choice needs to be made and I opted for VBILX. I was leaning this way because VBTLX has a high percentage of mor...
by BigJohn
Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Splitting FI between Total Bond and Short-Term?
Replies: 11
Views: 1444

Re: Splitting FI between Total Bond and Short-Term?

This will reduce your duration but the real question you need to answer is WHY you want a shorter duration. With a time horizon of 15-20 years, the duration of total bond or any other high quality, low cost intermediate term bond fund is short enough not to be a worry. If you want shorter because of...
by BigJohn
Fri Feb 17, 2017 3:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Who would quit playing if they already won?
Replies: 106
Views: 13435

Re: Who would quit playing if they already won?

To gradually ladder in smaller SPIA's over time has a huge "sleep factor" value. Also, a viable strategy to ameliorate the lower interest rates you mention (maybe). If I where to use SPIA's this would be my approach but for a different reason. I'd spread the SPIA's across several providers to parti...
by BigJohn
Fri Feb 17, 2017 8:16 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Who would quit playing if they already won?
Replies: 106
Views: 13435

Re: Who would quit playing if they already won?

While certainly an issue, loss of control is not my big worry with a SPIA. Two things that do cause me some concern are executing right now and basically locking in the current low interest rates and the impact of inflation over 30+ years. From what I've heard (have not checked myself), inflation ad...
by BigJohn
Wed Feb 15, 2017 10:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sequence Risk--academic question
Replies: 2
Views: 386

Re: Sequence Risk--academic question

I retired two years ago and implemented something similar but I'm not sure the approach is exact enough to answer the question on whether the cash cushion is included. Both the lower stock allocation and the cash cushion will reduce your risk but at the cost of expected lower return. The question is...
by BigJohn
Wed Feb 15, 2017 8:20 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Really need rebalance advice.
Replies: 11
Views: 1337

Re: Really need rebalance advice.

I called VG today (twice) and asked the same question. Are my sell and buy numbers that I see online - in real time ? They told me the only time to be certain of your buy/sell number is execute @ 4.00pm EST. Then what you see is what you receive, or what you will pay. I sold a fund after the Mkt cl...
by BigJohn
Wed Feb 15, 2017 12:06 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Really need rebalance advice.
Replies: 11
Views: 1337

Re: Really need rebalance advice.

Logged onto to my account and here's what I have on my home page. Under the "Asset Mix" tab in the middle of the page there are two pie charts (big "Current mix" and smaller "Target"). To the left of the target pie chart there is a statement that comments on current vs target and starts out with "Yo...
by BigJohn
Tue Feb 14, 2017 11:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Really need rebalance advice.
Replies: 11
Views: 1337

Re: Really need rebalance advice.

VG has a tab on your Account page called ASSET MIX. At least on my VG homepage that tab is he asset allocation target I input to the system as my target. It is not their recommendation. There is a link in that box to change your target allocation to whatever you choose. Not sure how it got set to 7...
by BigJohn
Tue Feb 14, 2017 6:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How & when to sell lots of a single stock with huge capital gains
Replies: 40
Views: 3620

Re: How & when to sell lots of a single stock with huge capital gains

A long as their retirement is secure without this stock then they can afford to optimize the solution over time rather than worry about shorter term risk mitigation. As other have suggested, doing all of their charitable giving with this stock, either through a DAF or direct share transfer, is the o...
by BigJohn
Tue Feb 14, 2017 6:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Who would quit playing if they already won?
Replies: 106
Views: 13435

Re: Who would quit playing if they already won?

At a 2% withdrawal I'd no longer worry about shallow risk and would completely focus on what I could do about deep risk. How much you need to worry about shallow risk depends to some extent on your asset allocation. Even at 2%, if you were invested in 100% stock, shallow risk at the wrong time (ie ...
by BigJohn
Mon Feb 13, 2017 7:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Who would quit playing if they already won?
Replies: 106
Views: 13435

Re: Who would quit playing if they already won?

Wricha, I'm in a similar situation and while I didn't get to meet Dr Bernstein, I've read many of his books. My plan going into retirement was to hold 60/40 forever but.... after reading "The Ages of the Investor" and "Deep Risk" I decided to make a change using his LMP approach. I reset my bond all...
by BigJohn
Mon Feb 13, 2017 7:56 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Really need rebalance advice.
Replies: 11
Views: 1337

Re: Really need rebalance advice.

(According to VG should be 70/30) Can you tell me where VG says this should be your asset allocation? Frankly seems stock heavy to me given your ages and 80/20 even more so. Also, within your bond allocation your are holding a high yield corp bond fund (ie junk bonds) which makes the bond side of y...
by BigJohn
Fri Feb 10, 2017 3:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Wow, Vanguard Flagship service is bad. Really bad.
Replies: 170
Views: 30684

Re: Wow, Vanguard Flagship service is bad. Really bad.

had filed for personal bankruptcy just before joining Vanguard team. I scanned a few sites, and most seemed to agree that personal bankruptcy, while not a disqualifying event, is not a positive sign for a broker. The negative emotion and worry over this with no data on his performance seems unjusti...
by BigJohn
Fri Feb 10, 2017 1:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does Micheal Kitces Rising Retirement Glidepath Still have legs
Replies: 47
Views: 5073

Re: Does Micheal Kitces Rising Retirement Glidepath Still have legs

FWIW, these "glide paths" IMO make no sense at all. Investors should be reevaluating their AA based on changing assumptions, which includes investment horizon (which is changing) and also market returns (if they are greater than expected your need to take risk now might be a lot less, and thus one ...
by BigJohn
Fri Feb 10, 2017 7:54 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: First Steps in My Retirement Planning
Replies: 4
Views: 844

Re: First Steps in My Retirement Planning

For someone just starting out I'd suggest reading William Bernstein's "If You Can". It's written by a very well respected author, it's only 16 pages long and it's specifically written for people in their 20's. Best of all it's available for free here http://www.etf.com/docs/IfYouCan.pdf . All my chi...
by BigJohn
Thu Feb 09, 2017 7:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does Micheal Kitces Rising Retirement Glidepath Still have legs
Replies: 47
Views: 5073

Re: Does Micheal Kitces Rising Retirement Glidepath Still have legs

Kitces bond tent and Bernstein's LMP approaches are somewhat similar ways to manage sequence of return risk in early retirement. I think these approaches are a prudent way to manage that risk and realize that I may get a lower return as a result. No surprise there as lower risk and lower return go h...
by BigJohn
Wed Feb 08, 2017 7:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Wow, Vanguard Flagship service is bad. Really bad.
Replies: 170
Views: 30684

Re: Wow, Vanguard Flagship service is bad. Really bad.

Longtime customer and have always found their service top-notch. However, I start every conversation with a secure email, which is followed by a phone-appointment. Consistent with my experience and the process I use. When I've sent email in advance my flagship reps (3 reps in 10 years) have always ...