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Everything posted by sschullo

  1. Finally getting around to reading (listen on audio) Roger Lowenstein's massive tome about Buffett. I am about half way through. Buffett has the right balance on not just money but life. He focuses on capital but also one character, never expecting more from others than he would of himself. He focuses on the company balances sheets but also has a keen sense of management and their character. He focuses on investments but has superb management skills that would put most major CEOs to shame. When he takes his work seriously, he is not serious. His homespun philosophy, small town country values and sense of humor, is why people respond to well to him because they believe him. He is genuinely authentic and organic, makes decision relying on the data directly from the companies, not statistics or math from academia or anybody else. Finally, he is transparent in everything he does, thinks long term, treats the companies that he manages or owns like a marriage, for the long term. Obviously, with all of this in mind he thoroughly rejets just about everything that happens on Wall Street--especially the trading mania and short term outlook. https://www.amazon.com/Buffett-American-Capitalist-Roger-Lowenstein/dp/0812979273/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2BCL1OU23LZIJ&dchild=1&keywords=roger+lowenstein+buffett&qid=1621350262&sprefix=roger+low%2Caps%2C210&sr=8-1
  2. After successive DOW and S&P record highs this year, my portfolio is up 3.3% after close of markets Friday May 7, 2021. 38/64 stock to bonds. Time to rebalance, again, to my original 30/70 AA plan. I keep taking money out of stocks and it keeps growing back!
  3. Never had the time nor the interest. Bogle is plenty enough for this ordinary investor. I love and respect what he is doing with his money in the Gates foundation.
  4. Hi Tony, I have been reading the huge gains in the last year. Its cherry picking the would of, could of, should of gotten in the market at the EXACT bottom of a major crash a year ago to record highs now. Useless information. I am quite happy with my 9.34% 2020 return and with the .87% return Q1.
  5. Hi, Way late for this Q1 report which concludes March 31st. Less than 1.0% return for the first quarter, 2021. Enjoy, Steve
  6. Hey Matt, Good to see you here. This site is the oldest forum for enlightening teachers on the hazards of the 403b. These days, most people are joining the FB page and tuning in on Scott and Dan's Zoom meetings. I enjoyed your information about Aspire as you were a guest one of their Zoom meetings a few months ago. Aren't those Zoom meetings terrific? Sometimes over a hundred teachers from all over the country listen in and ask questions. This week, I will be on a panel with three other people. We are all retired. Two are teachers, one a brilliant school district custodian who just retired at 55, and one a 36 year old author. She is part of the FIRE movement. I just adore both the FI and FIRE movements. Heck I didn't start saving for retirement until I was 37! These young people are the future and they are making us older folks rethink this thing called "RETIREMENT." Again good to see you.
  7. Are any of these companies good choices? NO! None. As you already know, "they all suck."
  8. sschullo


    I have used TIAA for years and currently have money in their traditional annuity paying 3.0%. I am a retiree also. I can take it out at any time with no surrender fees. Like the others I have never heard of TIAA keeping your money to pay for health premiums! The most common complaint about TIAA is people sign up for the higher interest product and don't know that TIAA has either a 7 year or a 10 year surrender period on those higher paying products. As krow36 said, there have a product that pays more interest than I get but it is frozen. But the health premium connection makes no sense. We're here to help answer your employer plan and IRA questions. CHAT WITH US We're currently unavailable. Please try us again soon. CHAT WITH US REQUEST A CALL We're currently unavailable. Please try us again soon. REQUEST A CALL CALL US 800-842-2252 WEEKDAYS 8 AM - 10 PM (ET) Our busiest time is 12 - 2 p.m. on Mondays. For personalized advice: Schedule a session now
  9. Hi Magatuck, Also known as a Single Premium Immediate Annuity (SPIA). This is the only time when an annuity is appropriate. You are helping you mom purchase a pension, a private pension to get a guaranteed payout for the rest of her life. These products may have riders such a inflation protection and pay out to a descendant upon her death. But with each rider, it costs in the monthly benefit. May sure you and your mom understand what you are getting into. The sales people are very good at taking care of their interests, and not your moms. We are teachers here on this forum and we have been sold terrible annuity products during our working years, which is a big problem with public K12 teachers. Whyme suggested bogleheads and there are tons of discussion threads already available. Here is the Boglehead wiki: https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Immediate_fixed_annuity Do not purchase a variable annuity! or any other annuities. ONLY A SPIA from a low cost company such as TIAA. Others may have suggestions for other low cost companies. good luck, Steve
  10. This will be interesting! Talking to a salesperson about fees is like talking to a salesperson about fees! This is another one of those creative topics for T-shirt slogans. Any ideas? Sorry Warsad, for going off your topic. We will wait for your update.
  11. Hi CT, Below is my pie chart AA for a 73 year old retiree with a teachers pension. As I said in my PM to you, I have 50% of my money in the 3 fund portfolio. It looks complicated because I have different types of bonds, muni bonds for tax purposes, Treasury Direct for inflation protection, and international bonds for more diversification. 1. I do not factor my pension into my asset allocation. However, I constructed a conservative portfolio because my pension is not enough to fund my retirement, and so I need my investments. Also, if you look at this Vanguard chart (https://investor.vanguard.com/investing/how-to-invest/model-portfolio-allocation) where I made the decision to have a 30/70 stock bond split, you will see that the past returns are 7.7%. I can live with that! 2. I use the simple strategy. I do not dabble in factor investing. Too time consuming, too complicated because it encourages risk taking to "beat the market." Here is a lengthy discussion on the topic: https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=199165 Good luck, Steve
  12. I agree with Tony. The insurance salesman is going to mislead you. They are not financial advisers who would point you in the direction of taking care of your interests. I would not waste my time. As krow said, you can still find information on 403bcompare.com.
  13. Hi CTinker, Sorry about the disappointment. But people still use it. I can think of a few disappointments (and cheers) of my own when it comes to corporate America. The egregious, unethical, self-conflicted and aggressive selling of high cost 403(b) annuities to our colleagues for the sole purpose of collecting a commission or high costs, or both. Steve PS I have cheers for Telsa and the vision of clean and sustainable energy production and consumption.
  14. I guess I am lucky as I have never been vandalized on Facebook. I also have accounts on Twitter and LinkedIn. In fact I have two Facebook accounts, one personal and one business for the books I am giving away. Never had any problems. Oh, once in awhile on the FB messenger site somebody posts some scam. No big deal. I will continue to frequent facebook 403bwise.org private group because that's where the action is, going on 2500 teachers who are bright and ACTIVE for teaching their colleagues about the hazards of 403b everywhere. This site has been dead for years now. It has tons of good content and is a good resource for the FB groups, but the discussion part is good for the few teachers who come here for help, but not so good for reforming the system. What I have done over the years is not post anything personal such as my birthdate and I have had my SS# frozen for years. My credit union will shut me down if I don't tell them I will be out of town and using my credit card. Security is on everybody's mind, but we have to do our part too.
  15. Scott is right, there is more to life than just saving money and watching it grow. I stayed motivated because of values that extended beyond myself and realized that material things were not just expensive, but didn't make me happier. Thankfully, I think most people realize this, but they still purchase new cars every 3 or 4 years, which is extremely wasteful. What made me happy was doing things that I loved, such as reading, going to school, writing, doing things for free, or even paying for the experience. For example, I earned a Phd at UCLA because I had a research idea and it resulted in a paper presented at the American Educational Research Association annual convention, or I wrote a Op-Ed article supporting bilingual education that was published in the LA Times. I also wrote investment articles for my union newspaper for 13 years, all for free. I also write reviews on many books both financial and novels published on Amazon. Here is my review of Your Money or Your Life by Vicky Collins that Scott quoted: https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R34XCX7436D7ZK/ref=cm_cr_srp_d_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=0143115766
  16. This is standard response to day traders and gamblers: Not so smart "investor" Dad: “If you just match the benchmark, you are getting an average return. Why would you ever want to be average?” he asked. And I like the genuinely smart son's answer which is also decades old: Smart Investor Son: “Well, Dad, that still would put me ahead of most active investors.” Nothing ever wrong with the "average" return over many years. The fact is that the average return from the stock market since the 1870s according to Morgan Housel: United States capitalistic system produces about 6.8% return minus inflation since the 1870s (3.1% average inflation generates a total return of 9.9%). Has anybody else read Housels book, the Psychology of Money? Here is my 4 star review on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R30TAIVAFIZBC8/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B084HJSJJ2
  17. Thanks guys, Here is another chart I created to show how fees eat into your investments in DOLLARS. Many times when we say to our colleagues that 2% is way over the top in costs, some people think that 2% is very low! I have posted this chart before but I think it's worth posting again. For the record I pay a miniscule $1132.00 in 2020 for my entire portfolio! And that $1132 is calculated by the value of my portfolio at the end of the year. Vanguard as with most companies get their costs by the quarter. The value of my portfolio is about 10% lower at the end of Q1 last year because of the pandemic correction. But its too much work calculating my costs every quarter when the primary point is clear enough that my costs are extremely low. That's the point. If I paid 1.0% AUM for a financial adviser, for example, instead my current cost of $1132.00, I would be paying over $17,000! Oven ten years, that's $170,000 lost to fees and that's just 1.0%! ONE PERCENT FOLKS! Jack Bogle said it a long time ago and kept saying it until he died two years ago at age 89 on January 16, "FEES MATTER!"
  18. Just when we thought 2020 was over and a new better year would begin in earnest, all hell breaks loose in DC. For what it's worth, there are three things I am pleased: 1. my wife and I are healthy, 2. a new administration in one week, and 3. my portfolio's performance for 2020--9.34% What is incredible is that I am not taking a lot of risk and yet, I am compensated well above the risk I am taking. I know the standard deviation (SD) of my individual investments but not the entire portfolio. About a third of my portfolio, taxable equities, have a standard deviation of 18 to 25 (high), and 2/3 of my portfolio is 7 or less (low). SD is the measure of market volatility. Both stocks and bonds performed better than expected in 2020. For those of you who are new to this site, I share my portfolio allocation, my costs in percentages and dollars and the returns of my individual securities. So many of you come here and want to get out of such and such annuity but need to know where you are going, and when you get your diversified portfolio set up, how does it work. That's why I share my portfolio every quarter. I did the same thing decades ago by getting out of 2 of those horrible annuity products and into genuine stock and bond investments. My portfolio is easily replicated by the broadest asset classes of the Vanguard choices, Treasury Direct and TIAA. Here are the particulars of my portfolio as of December 31, 2020. All the data and statistics are from the portfolio feature on Morningstar. I created the following graphs and tables from Excel. Hope this will be useful for those of you still learning about constructing your balanced and diversified portfolio. Asset Allocation
  19. I don't understand your question. While I would never again put my money in any insurance company (except TIAA), I agree with krow36. But when an insurance company rep "swears" anything, my red flag goes up big time. They can say anything! He/she does not want you to leave! It is an old emotional game played with educators' minds for decades. Since we are kind folks we tend to believe what is said to us. It is what's written in the contract you signed that counts. I would check there about the mortality fee. As you probably know, M&E fees are hideous, wasteful and absolutely useless. Happy new year and congratulations on your upcoming retirement. I have been retired for 12 years and love it. Steve
  20. Hi whyme, I figure you were on to something that I either forgot or never read. Hey that's great for our colleagues going forward, and it simplifies the mind numbing regulations. That's why I rely on people like you to keep track of the old and new regs. I read the regulations and try to remember, but I don't, there are sooooooooooo many. Scotty D. and Micheal D. are too long standing posters who know all, and I mean, ALL the regs. All I know is my portfolio expenses are still .07% and my 2020 return was a mindblowing 9.34% for my boring conservative portfolio! Nothing boring about 9.34%. I will put up those numbers in about a week or so. And happy new year to you. Stay healthy and safe. We are not over this thing yet. Steve
  21. Am already registered! Steve
  22. Same as what whyme and Tony said. It makes no sense to leave your money in your employer's sponsored plan and pay the extra costs of administration. Roll them over to Vanguard or fidelity as soon as you retire. With the 457b plan, you have to be separated from service in order to do a rollover. 403b plan you have to be 59.5. hope this all helps, Steve
  23. Consider your wife extremely lucky that she hit it twice, growth and international went through the roof in 2020. Good for you for rebalancing out of this fund, or at least reducing your exposure. Might be due to style drift. Managed funds often do this when the stocks are doing great, especially Tesla this year! OMG! You have to dig deeper into the prospectus to find out why Tesla was an exception because you are right, Tesla should not be in this fund. The data says this fund invests 14% of its holdings in the U.S. https://investor.vanguard.com/mutual-funds/profile/portfolio/vwilx Your experience is exactly why I do not invest in such a narrow part of the market. I really don't know if my portfolio is diversified, as you found out, as time goes by. You might as will be invested in Tesla stock! Interestingly, 58% is what my portfolio returned in 1999 with the tech bubble, and you know don't want to know what happened to my portfolio 2 years later. Since those terrible years 20 years ago, I have my money in broadest diversified index funds, only two equity funds. Total Stock market index and total international stock market index and a balance fund, Wellesley.
  24. Everytime the market is as rip roaring as it has been since 2008 (with occasional short term hiccups), some people are lucky with their short-term, overnight get rich, style. Of course there will be some people who made it big on Tesla stock. There are many problems with reporting about this kind of "investing" but the first one is that there is no follow up that I know of five or ten years down the road. To nobody's surprise for the regulars here, and from all the books that I have read, this is how NOT to invest: https://www.morningstar.com/news/dow-jones/20201227504/investors-double-down-on-stocks-pushing-margin-debt-to-record This is anadulterated g ambling!
  25. bk10s, There was one important factor I left out. I don't need to take the risk to grow my portfolio as somebody who is working or retiring at a younger age than normal retirement. At my age, I have won the game. I have "enough". I have enough fixed income and enough investments. My portfolio is about the preservation stage and if I am lucky enough it might grow enough to keep pace with inflation and pay the income taxes. If not, I will still have enough to last the rest of my days. I have two healthcare plans, long term insurance and best of all I am extremely fortunate that I can manage my money without an expensive adviser and save a ton of money. Here is a discussion on bogleheads about the "ability, willingness and need to take risk." https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=333831&newpost=5684634 Below is a table I created and posted on this forum previously. It shows who I actually pay (in green) compared to the cost of somebody else managing my portfolio. The difference is staggering!
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