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We have medium oak with white six panel doors. We bought this house specifically for the numerous windows and stained trim.

If you don't care, then stick with the herd, since you don't care and are planning on selling. I'll bet if we sold now, the new owners would just come in and slap white all over everything.
Investor Alley / Re: Australian Investing Thread
« Last post by marty998 on Today at 07:50:24 PM »
Great posts Chris, FFA, Potm.

One additional theory I have is that US executives are a little bit more entrepreneurial than their antipodean counterparts. They hence retain more profits to reinvest and grow their businesses...

Depends of course on the size of the company, it's sector, and stage of its lifecycle as FFA pointed out.

CSL is a great example of a growth company, well managed over the  *long* term. Pays a small dividend, completely unfranked, but still a market favourite for the growth it has consistently delivered. The US market has loads of CSL's. The ASX has ..... well just CSL and perhaps a few more. If you know their names please let me know, I need some investment ideas ! :)

Apart from CSL we really lack quality science, tech and biotech companies.

CSL used to be a government entity - Commonwealth Serum Laboratories. Since listing on the ASX if I recall correctly it's gone on to be a 100 bagger.

I know there was a big blowup last year about budget funding for the CSIRO....perhaps if the government privatised that one... well you never know if one day it could match the phenomenal performance of CSL.
IB is excellent but if you are new to investing I would look elsewhere.
Investor Alley / New to site - Please evaluate portfolio
« Last post by Daniel1973 on Today at 07:48:55 PM »
I am new to the site and would value comments on my portfolio.

Emergency Fund:  Yes, six months
Tax rate:  28% Federal, 4.24% State
State of residence:  Az
Age: 41
Desired asset allocation:  80% stocks, 20% bonds
Desired international allocation:  30% stocks

Total portfolio is mid-six figures.  I have included my invetments below, indicating the expense ratio of each fund as well as what percentage each is of my total portfolio.
Current Retirement Assets:      
Taxable                                              Expense Ratio            Percentage
VTI - Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF   0.05%            1.744076085%
VTI - Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF   0.05%            0.383221225%
VTI - Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF   0.05%            0.08079392%
His 401K      
Bond Market Index Fund                           0.06%            1.47587969%
S&P 500 Index Fund                           0.05%          38.34614997%
International Index Fund                           0.13%            9.734240504%
Russell 200 Index Fund                           0.07%          26.31360376%
His Roth at Vanguard      
VBTLX - Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund Admiral Shares    0.08%   3.624320429%
VTIAX - Vanguard Total International Stock Index Admiral Fund    0.14%   4.362618428%
VTSAX - Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund Admiral Shares    0.05%   10.37146651%
Her Roth at Vanguard      
VBMFX - Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund Investor Shares                   0.20%   0.710367719%
VGTSX - Vanguard Total International Stock Index Fund Investor Shares   0.22%   0.855387827%
VTSAX - Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund Investor Shares             0.05%   1.997873936%
New Annual Contributions      
$18000 his 401K (Employer match of 6%)      
$5500 His Roth IRA      
$5500 Her Roth IRA      
Available Funds      
Funds available in his 401K      
Lifecycle Funds:      
Fund                                          Expense Ratio      
Lifecycle Retirement Fund           .32%      
Lifecycle 2020 Fund                    .35%      
Lifecycle 2025 Fund                    .36%      
Lifecycle 2030 Fund                    .37%      
Lifecycle 2035 Fund                    .38%      
Lifecycle 2040 Fund                    .38%      
Lifecycle 2045 Fund                    .38%      
Lifecycle 2050 Fund                    .39%      
Lifecycle 2055 Fund                    .40%      
Index Funds:      
Fund                                                 Expense Ratio      
Bond Market Index Fund                    .06%      
Balanced Index Fund                         .07%      
S&P 500 Index Fund                          .05%      
International Index Fund                   .13%      
Russell 2000 Index Fund                    .07%      
Actively Managed Funds:      
Fund                                                           Expense Ratio      
Stable Value Fund                                        .29%      
Global Bond Fund                                         .36%      
Diversified Real Asset Fund                          .72%      
U.S. Large Companies Fund                         .31%      
Global Equity Fund                                      .68%      
International Companies Fund                     .63%      
U.S. Small/Mid Companies Fund                  .69%      
Science and Technology Fund                      .65%      

Prior to a few days ago and finding this forum, my wife and I were 100% in Vanguards VTI fund.  I just reallocated to the three portfolio fund allocation of 56% Total Stock Market, 24% International Stock market, and 20% Total Bond Market.
I am also in the process of moving money in my 401K into the Bond Market Index Fund.  I was formerly 34% S&P 500 Index Fund, 33% International Index Fund and 33% Russell 200 Index fund.
I am doing the right thing moving into bonds with current low interest rates in order to diversify my portfolio to include bonds?

I have a taxable account for each of my two children, as well as a taxable account for my wife and I.  I also have two 529 accounts I recently opened for my two children.  I have read both sides about including bonds in my taxable accounts and am looking for advice on fund selection and allocation for my taxable accounts.

All comments are welcome regarding my current portfolio and asset allocations, as well as advice on how to add to my taxable accounts when I have income available, as I do not have $3000 to add to them at this time to meet the Vanguard Investor Share minimums for all funds, so that is why I am currently in VTI in them as it allowed me to open them with a lower initial contribution.

Thank you
The CPI is manipulated by the government to keep it artificially low because what it pays out to the population is based on it.

I don't care if you want to argue if inflation is a tax or not, but tin-foil hat conspiracy theories like this?  You're better than that.  :)
.          I guess I'm way better than that given that I typed that entry off the top of my tin foil covered hat and it happens to be almost plagerism of this Forbes article.
If You Want To Know The Real Rate Of Inflation, Don't Bother With The CPI

Common sense tells us the Consumer Price Index is not an adequate measure of inflation. For the second year in a row the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) remained under 2 percent.  On average, consumer prices increased 1.5 percent, according to the government. However, the government has incentives to keep this statistic as low as possible. In fact, the CPI doesn’t even measure inflation, rather a range of consumer spending behaviors. The CPI is perhaps one of the most important government statistics because it affects a number of public programs and is used as a benchmark to set public policy. But it’s accuracy is questionable, especially when compared with other agency’s inflation measures.

Why does the government want low inflation numbers?

The CPI is tied to the incomes of about 80 million Americans, specifically: Social Security beneficiaries, food stamp recipients, military and federal Civil Service retirees and survivors, and children on school lunch programs. The higher the CPI, the more money the government needs to spend on these income payments to keep pace with the cost of living. However, this same government is about $17 trillion in debt. If the CPI is low, the less money the government needs to spend on cost of living adjustments, something seniors are astutely aware of.

The government has a few resources at its disposal to manipulate the CPI. First, the Bureau of Labor Statistics operates under a veil of secrecy. The raw data used to calculate the CPI is not available to the public. When I asked why, I was told  “so  companies can’t compare prices.” This makes very little sense because companies can easily compare prices with data openly available on the internet. It also makes it impossible to audit their findings. Additionally, over the past 30 years, the government has changed the way it calculates inflation more than 20 times. These ‘methodological improvements’ to the CPI are said to give a more accurate measure of consumer prices. However, these changes could also be a convenient way to include or exclude certain products that give favorably low results, but there’s no way to know, given the lack of transparency.              bottom line> the government reported CPI inflation number has only a small basis in reality.    I'm   I00% sure the government doesn't have 25,000 NSA workers spying on us all,  because that's what the agency director said.     Whatever number you pick or whether ones sees it as a tax or not is a pretty moot point.  The point is that it is relentless and damn hard to work around. 
Investor Alley / Re: Saving - first time ever...advice please
« Last post by MDM on Today at 07:46:21 PM »
- I am leaving my current low 6 figure job for another low 6 figure job.  I was given a severance package.  I will have a lump sum - about 9 months pay. I have a 401K with my current job.  I will also have one with my new job.  (the new one does not match much at all - 1 or 2%).  Should I roll over the existing 401K into the new 401K?  Should I open a retirement type IRA and roll it in there?  A little of both?
Which has the best funds & fees for your desired asset allocation?

- I would also like to open a retirement/ IRA regardless of the above and have it come straight out of my check (if not my check, then my bank account after taxes).
You can set up automatic investments at any of the usual suspects (Vanguard, Fidelity, Schwab, ...)

- I'd like to also open some sort of savings account for some emergency cash. (I have about 3 months of emergency cash right now).  I was thinking Everbank for this.
Appears GE Capital (among others) pays higher interest for savings.

- I also exchange a small % of my after tax cash for precious metals and hold the physical metal.  This I do pretty much manually, weekly or monthly depending on what I am exchanging my fiat currency for.

- Finally, I would like to have some of my money work harder for quicker returns (months to a few years).  Stocks, funds? etc...

I am 42.  My assets are not much.  401K and a house that should be paid off in about 12 years.

Even if you simplify the % of where my money should go would help me.  I don't care if it has to be $5 a week or $1 a week to put away, I just need some idea on how to break this up before I blow it on crap.
Put the annual maximum you can (e.g., $18K to 401k, $5500 to tIRA, $3350 to HSA) to tax deferred accounts, then into taxable investments with any left over after expenses.

You could do worse than starting with
Investor Alley / Re: What will the next 10%+ correction look like?
« Last post by FrugalExpat on Today at 07:45:48 PM »
Of course there's no guarantee that the next drop will work out so well for a good asset allocation strategy

The quoted portion of your post has been the theme (and the point) of the discussion in this thread.  Sure, your Coffee House Portfolio would have been the better bet for the 1972-investor.  But if you expand your dataset to include the entire historical record instead of that cherry-picked period of stock-investing calamity, then a stock-heavy (100% or close to it) allocation would have been your best bet.  As long as you're using history as a guide, diversifying your asset allocation to include conservative assets actually decreased your chances of portfolio success (in addition to leaving you with a smaller portfolio ending value).  But the whole point is that you can't necessarily use history as a guide (even though we may have no better option), because who the hell knows what will happen in the future?
Actually, it seems that was supposed to be the theme of this thread, but it changed paths into worrying about past crashes.

But to the rest of your post, I challenge the assumption that 100% stocks has outperformed across the historical record.  Virtually any intelligent asset allocation strategy (all with bond holdings in excess of 20%) has yieled a CAGR of between 8%-11% from the 1970s to today (see  A Coffeehouse allocation has yielded 10.54%.  The S&P has yielded 10.48%.  Asset allocation has outperformed in the crashes but still makes (a bit less) money in the bull runs.

However, I agree that if your goal is to make the most investing, then a stock heavy allocation is your best bet, you will probably have some good bull markets in the mix that will peak above a more conservative mix.  The present day bull market is an example of that, where the S&P average is about 1% higher than the average AA strategy.  But, if your goal is to retire soon and live off investment income, then you need to smooth out the crashes, because volatility will kill your portfolio just as much as poor average returns when you are making regular withdrawals, which is the opposite of dollar-cost averaging.

Yes, I already made the point about how history doesn't guarantee the future, but most of this thread has been about worrying about history.  You needn't worry about retiring in 1973 or 2001 if you have a good AA strategy, but you do have to worry about them if you have 100% stock strategy. 
Ask a Mustachian / Re: recurring nosebleeds
« Last post by scrubbyfish on Today at 07:43:33 PM »
My son (age 20) [...] I gave him a saline nasal spray to try, but you know they saying about leading a horse to water.

May not work with a 20 year old, but the deal I made with my kid last year was this: "I'll pay for the nasal stuff. If you apply it every single day without prompting, it's free. If you don't, you have to pay me back for it." He applied it diligently. (But it had no effect.) Maybe this pitch will work if you buy a $200 ointment? ;)

My guy had one last night just after he went to bed, woke with one this morning...then wiped out doing a bike trick (two more areas of bleeding)...then a third nosebleed. Oh, us! Massive crying jag after the bike wipeout, but he's totally fine and happy now.

Happily, only one nosebleed in his life was what I'd call bad -took ages to stop. Most are quite mild (though definitely obvious and needing 5-10 minutes to stop).

HappierAtHome, thank you!!! (As a kid, I got them randomly, and as a teen only in the searing desert heat we lived in. None since.)
She definitely has a great attitude, and attitude will get you quite far.  I have a family member who's currently getting by (barely) in northern California on roughly $11,000/year.  It's pretty scary when they talk about things, but they have a great attitude and still enjoy the best things in life, such as hiking, biking, and doing other (nearly) free activities with friends.  Best of all, to be in your 50's and pick mainly healthy hobbies like that also reinforces your ability to care for yourself by keeping your health up while also surrounding yourself with people who you actually have something in common with.
Mustachian Book Club / Re: Baroque Cycle by Neal Stephenson
« Last post by Pasquatch on Today at 07:40:18 PM »
Neal Stephenson is easily one of my favorite fiction writers.  Those were AWESOME books.  I'd go with Cryptonomicon by Stephenson if you haven't read it.  It follows the descendants of the Waterhouses from the Baroque Cycle.
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