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Archive for December, 2018

i peeked

December 20th, 2018 at 10:07 am

I peeked at our portfolio. I haven't done anything more than look at the numbers and boy are we bleeding. Our retirement is down less than we contributed. Same with taxable. Only thing saving us is our cash.

Oh well I'm due to rebalance anyway first week in January I'll do it. We've lived through this before. In 2007-2008 because we take such an aggressive investment stance we take very large declines. This time we're down more than we contributed but since retirement is another 10 years off we're fine. Keep on investing same time monthly and annually. I won't change a single thing. In january I fund Roth IRA and kids VTI college funds.

One thing that will also save our net worth is paying off $20k in mortgage, $20k in car loans. Debt reduction. Of course paying cash for the end of our renovation helped too.

Have you peeked? Are you changing anything?

unexpected home expense

December 16th, 2018 at 10:40 am

Because of a big wind storm on Friday a section of our fence fell down and broke. Sigh. Now I have to figure out someone to come out and fix it. I really want this done asap because we are dog sitting a dog and it's hard to let the dogs out of house.

I don't want to make a claim and DH said the neighbor we share the fence with wants to talk to her insurance. Ugh. Of course they apparently have more damage than just the fence so that may be it. But I'd prefer to consider costs. Our deductible is $1000 anyway so it has to be hefty to pay. Of course if I could get DH to do it himself that would be nice. He did the fence at our last place but he isn't interested in doing the work now.

Just another home expense. People who wonder about the 1% maintenance rule? DH and I have found that it is true. We've found that things just come up and maybe some years it's like $0 but then other years big things come up all at the same time.

Driving a paid for car!

December 13th, 2018 at 09:01 am

I mailed a check for $18,091.98 off today. Does it drive better? I think a paid for car does! Gotta say I love it. Funny how our "newer" 2016 Legacy drives better than our 2015 Sienna being paid off. Anyway what a nice feeling to be out of a car loan. It's been awhile since that happened and honestly I've been annoyed this past year having two car payments.

I like having a paid for car. I like the feel. I had a 98 corolla that was paid for in 2001. DH had a 2000 Ford focus paid for in 2003 and we didn't have a car payment until 2010 when we bought a new subaru outback with a 5 year loan and took 5 years to pay it off 0.9% interest. Then in 2012 we bought a used 2006 hyundai sonata with a 5 year loan but also paid that off in 3 years. So we didn't have another car loan from 2015-2017 end.

Now it's 12/2018 and it's nice to have a paid for on the books car. The plan? I don't know at this point other than we have 3 more years to pay on the 2.24% loan for the sienna. We may decide to just pay it off if I can convince DH soon.

But right now the plan is drive my minivan another 6 years to 10 years and reevaluate. For our 2016 Legacy? I think we seriously have to take it year by and year and need by need. If DH can drive at all then maybe a second car. If not then I guess I'll keep it and never trade it in. When the self-driving car comes out that is really good comes out (not tesla) we will heavily consider it.

But boy it is nice having a paid for car again. I itch for driving a paid for minivan. How long do you keep your cars? Do you always just pay cash?

paying a financial advisor

December 11th, 2018 at 08:46 pm

So I've been doing 1 class at a time to be a Certified financial planner. It will cost $5000 to get the certificate. I enjoy the online classes. I'd like be a fee for service financial planner.

I had a phone call evaluation by personal capital today and they tried to sell me their services. It was absolutely rotten, horrible experience.

The website is great. I use it to track my spending and x-ray my investments. But I would NEVER pay 0.89% of the value of our portfolio to have them to tell me which 90 stocks to buy to replace Vanguard Total Index Stock market ETF. Let alone buy the SAME etf small cap (russell) and international, and real estate. Why would anyone?

I mean they have to beat the returns I get by a solid 1% not including all the trading fees and inefficient costs of BUYING and SELLING stocks. I got oh we know how to properly tax loss harvest. I said great so do I. And I don't need to do that since I don't take money out of my investments usually. I keep cash and hence why I have so much cash on hand so I can just pay for stuff like the car we are buying without cashing out our investments.

The woman was like oh you shouldn't have bonds or dividends outside an IRA. I was like I pay 15% mostly on our dividends. It's well worth it. Oh but if you put it in your IRA you won't pay any. Better off taking risk and having greater returns in IRA (especially Roth IRA) and not paying any taxes on large long term gains. Even 15% isn't bad on long term capital gains honestly.

It was such a miserable call. It was infuriating that she's basically trying to sell me 90 individual stocks that will "beat" the total vanguard stock index. That because I invest so heavily in the index I am too weighted in technology and not enough elsewise.

Yes if I let them manage my money they would keep techonolgy at 15% and buy 90 stocks to diversify and properly balance my large US cap investment. I can't imagine a worse sales pitch.

It made me hate idea of being a CFP if all you do is a sales pitch. Versus the idea of being fee based advisor who gives advice not to make money off commission or portfolio size.

Anyway it just left a super terrible taste in my mouth. She also said they would help me invest my DH's 401k, but when I pointed out why? There is limited optionsor investments why do I need advice?

Oh well it's a big picture thing. I told her I already did that and I rebalance my entire portfolio anyway based on his 401k because we can't pick our investments. So we have Bonds index and total stock market index in his 401k. Those were the lowest costs index.

UGH.

buying out our car lease

December 3rd, 2018 at 09:57 pm

Time flies. It's been 3 years already and it's time to buy out our car lease. It's been hard convincing DH but he's finally willing to compromise and has agreed to buying the car. I wanted to buy it 3 years ago but he refused. One of those moments where you just have to compromise.

I always think of imasaver who financed corvettes so they wouldn't buy them so quickly. I feel like the same thing. I leased a car to make DH feel better and pointed out there hasn't been enough improvement yet in cars to make it worth getting a newer model. Honestly by the time there is rapid improvement whose to say he even should be driving?

I realize that having a car is a control issue. And psychologically sometimes you gotta let things slide that are not the most financially fit decisions. If DH stops driving then it's likely we'll be a 1 car family. But until then I guess we just make the best of it.

But woah car loans are high now. We were offered 5% by chase to finance our car. So instead we plan on buying it cash this month.