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JMacDonald

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  1. Hi Tony, Here is some more news about LTC: http://bucks.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/11/metlife-to-stop-offering-new-long-term-care-insurance/?ref=business LTC is such an uncertain insurance that it is difficult to know what to do. Best Wishes, Joe
  2. Hi Tony, This company has been discussed on the Boglehead website. Here is a link to the conversations: http://www.google.com/search?q=Genworth+Financial&sitesearch=bogleheads.org You will need to select the ones that are about LTC. I was going to get LTC, but I decided against it. Joe
  3. Hi Dan, I have never flown on Southwest. I have been flying more since I retired. What makes Southwest better than other airlines? Is it cheaper, or is the service better? This boarding pass thing on Southwest doesn't sound like fun. I haven't had that problem on the airlines that I have flown on. Best wishes, Joe
  4. Hi, The city that I live in auctions off cars every week that the owners have not claimed. It is possible to get a car for a bit of cash. I don't know if this happens in your city, but I think it would be one way to get cheap transportation. Best Wishes. Joe
  5. Hi Steve, Nice letter. Did any newspapers print it? You letter states what I tell people about savings: it is not a get rich scheme, you create wealth over time. Best Wishes, Joe
  6. Hi, Since most of us on this board are probably teachers, we should be getting a pension. I see the money we save with our 403bs, Roth IRAs, and taxable funds as being the nest egg that gives us options. It can fill the funding gap from what we might need to supplement our pensions. I have been using my portfolio to fund my trips. My pension takes care of my basic costs. My expensives are very low. My trips are expensive even though I try to keep cost down. Without my nest egg, I would have kept working for several more years. So I think it is important for teachers to fund a nest egg as not to be dependent on their pension and to have options. Joe
  7. Hi, One could count a pension as a bond and have a 100% of your investments in equities, but that would be risky. I like Larry Swedroe approach to asset allocation: http://www.moolanomy.com/1231/what-is-the-...ncing-strategy/ I found Larry's approach useful when I designed my portfolio. I could easily have a 100% in equites even in retirement, but I am closer to 80% in bonds. Why? Because I no longer need to take the risk. Joe
  8. Hi, I know nothing about the funds you have in your post. Have you used the Morningstar tool, Instant *-Ray? If not, enter your fund into it and see if you like what you see. BTW, I think tracking a fund for 6 months tells you nothing. What matters to me is the cost of the fund and if it is an index fund. http://portfolio.morningstar.com/RtPort/Fr...p;runMode=MSTAR Joe
  9. Hi Steve, Machu Picchu sounds interesting. Did you go on your own or did you go on a tour? Joe
  10. Hi Steve, We still have a half a year to go so I am not counting my chickens until they hatch. I am going to London in September. When I was there in October, 2008, the bottom fell out of the market. I hope it does better this time. Joe
  11. Hi, Here is John Bogle's take on the bond market: http://www.morningstar.com/Cover/videoCenter.aspx?id=339533 Here is an article in the LA Times about bonds: http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-petr...,5484137.column Joe
  12. Hi AP, I can understand your concern about the future of the bond market. As for myself, I am over 80% bonds now. I hold a diversity of bond funds. I know that when the interest rates go up, the value of my bonds funds will go down. However, I don't care because they will still continue to pay dividends. In time the dividends should go up as the bond funds acquire the higher interest bonds. I don't plan on selling any shares in my bonds funds, only use the dividends to supplement my income. My only concern would be if the bonds should default, then that would be a real loss. I bet, however, the lost won't anything like what we have seen recently in the equity market. Joe, This is sort of difficult for me to understand. Is the key thing to not sell the bond funds when the value declines, and instead simply take dividend distribution? Hi AP, Bond funds go up and down in value depending on what the interest rate is doing. However, the rate the bond pays doesn't change even if new bonds pay a different interest rate. It would be like if you get a bank CD that pays 5% for five years. It doesn't matter if the bank starts paying 4% or 6% the next day, your CD will still pay 5%. I am retired now. I have basically set up my portfolio to give me dividends. I do not intend to sell shares. I only intend to take the distributions that the bond funds provide despite whatever happens to the value of the fund. This goes against the view that one should consider total return when taking distributions from one's portfolio. However, in my situation, I am not dependent on my portfolio to fund my retirement so I am ignoring that conventional wisdom. I don't know if this makes it any clearer to you. I have sliced and diced my bond funds as I did my equity funds. I fully expect to see the value of some of those funds drop when interest rate go up sometime in the future. However I don't think the interest rate that they are paying will drop. At any rate it will be interesting to see how this works out. Joe
  13. Hi AP, I can understand your concern about the future of the bond market. As for myself, I am over 80% bonds now. I hold a diversity of bond funds. I know that when the interest rates go up, the value of my bonds funds will go down. However, I don't care because they will still continue to pay dividends. In time the dividends should go up as the bond funds acquire the higher interest bonds. I don't plan on selling any shares in my bonds funds, only use the dividends to supplement my income. My only concern would be if the bonds should default, then that would be a real loss. I bet, however, the lost won't anything like what we have seen recently in the equity market.
  14. Hi, Here is an interesting book that you may want to read: http://www.amazon.com/Fearful-Rise-Markets...8990&sr=1-1 Here an extract from the book: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/6d6ad426-63ac-11...0144feab49a.htm Best Wishes, Joe
  15. Hi, Actually, I was amused by this. It reminded me of a nursery rhyme: For want of a nail the shoe was lost. For want of a shoe the horse was lost. For want of a horse the rider was lost. For want of a rider the battle was lost. For want of a battle the kingdom was lost. And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.
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