A new job is exciting but the transition is brutal. By staying at the same company I get the benefit of tapping into an unadvertised job outside my established area of expertise, but I also don’t get a clean break between the old and the new. For the last two months I have been practically working two jobs. That’s why I haven’t done these Friday reading list for quite some time. I’m catching up. The list is naturally longer than usual.
Finding the Best Time to Invest by Michael Piper at Oblivious Investor
Mike is doubtful of my experiment with buying on a dip. So are many commentators there and on my post. I want to emphasize one more time it’s an experiment, not a recommendation. My portfolio allocation won’t change by 1% whether I put the money into the fund or just leave it in cash. I’d love to see the experiment fail. It means my investments are going to infinity and beyond.
Are There Really “Breakpoints” With Term Life Insurance? at The White Coat Investor
White Coat Investor took actual quotes from different term life insurance carriers at different amounts to see if there are breakpoints with term life insurance. Check it out if you are curious of the results.
Couch Potato for Hire by Dan Bortolotti at Canadian Couch Potato
A blogger in Canada is teaming up with a financial advisory firm to offer low cost advice to investors. That’s great. I may do that after I retire.
Vanguard International Bond Fund by Michael at Long-Term Returns
Vanguard is launching an international bond fund. I’m not going to invest in it. Michael put it very well:
More to the point, actual holdings of this fund — at least the four biggies we know about in Japan, Germany, France, and UK government bonds — have yields that are similar to or lower than equivalent US securities.
More States Weigh Digital Car Insurance Cards by Ann Carrns at New York Times Bucks Blog
I didn’t know my auto insurance company GEICO offers a mobile phone app that shows proof of insurance. If states offer another app that stores vehicle registration it would be even better.
Muni Bonds, 529 Safety, Asset Allocation by Michael at Long-Term Returns
Someone ran my post about the MetLife stable value fund in Colorado 529 plan by Michael at LTR. I’m glad to see Michael approved it.
Short-Term TIPS Fund vs. Intermediate-Term TIPS Fund by Michael Piper at Oblivious Investor
The inflation protection is the same. The fund with a higher yield has a higher risk. Tough choice.
Buy Savings Bonds or Pay Off Mortgage Early? by Michael at Financial Ramblings
This choice is easy. Pay off mortgage.
Safe Withdrawal Rates In Today’s Low Yield Environment – Walking On The Edge Of A Cliff? by Michael Kitces at Nerd’s Eye View
Research by Dr. Wade Pfau et. al. shows the 4% safe withdrawal rate could fail 50% of the time if interest rates stay this low. How long will interest rates stay this low? I noticed the 10-year Treasury yield actually crept above 2% (from a low of 1.4% last year). That’s a good sign.
Health Care Spending In America, In Two Graphs by Lam Thuy Vo and Jacob Goldstein at NPR Planet Money
The two graphs show that health care spending went up pretty much proportionally in all categories but the percentage paid out of pocket is much lower now.
Free Breast Pumps And The Cost Of Health Care by Zoe Chace at NPR Planet Money
When things are "free" — i.e. paid by others — people buy more of it. When people buy more of it, prices go up. When prices go up, people demand that others pay for it. We get a nice circle like those on PowerPoint presentations.
Adaptu, the Portland version of Mint, is pulling the plug by Brent Hunsberger at The Oregonian
Startups fail, but consumers get free services before they fail. Be an early adopter and sign up for those new services. When they enter a market, they will offer an enticement. They lose VC’s money when they do that. Their loss is your gain.