Wednesday Roundup – Back at the Ranch Edition

Well… We’re back from vacation. We’ve actually got home this past weekend, but it’s taken awhile to get back into the swing of things. All in all, we had a great vacation, which has made returning to the “real world” all the more difficult. Before I go any further, I want to take a minute to thank the individuals that provided guest posts in my absence:

» Being Frugal
» Clever Dude
» Dylan Ross
» Moolanomy
» My Two Dollars
» No Credit Needed
» Paid Twice
» The Money Guy

With that said, here are some articles from the past week or so that caught my eye…

» Is it Better to Receive a Tax Refund or Owe the IRS?
Flexo asks (and answers) the age old question. As for me, we’re going to owe a bunch, and I couldn’t be happier about it. Our managed our estimated payments to avoid any penalties, but otherwise took it as an opportunity to practice a bit of tax arbitrage.

» The Disability Insurance Maze
This piece really caught my eye because disability insurance is something that I really, really, really need to look into. This is a rather lengthy article, but well worth the read.

» Reverse Strategy: Decreasing Contribution Percent
This is an interesting perspective. Start investing as aggressively as possible when you’re young and you’ll be able to ratchet back the amount you’re saving as time goes by.

» What is Social Capital?
LazyMan tackles the issue of social capital. This is actually a topic that JD over at GetRichSlowly covered in the not-so-distant past. Ever since I first read his article, I’ve kept the concept in the back of my mind and thought about it a lot. LazyMan offers an interesting perspective on the topic, as well.

» How Much Do You Spend on Your Kids’ Birthday Parties?
Given that we have four kids, this is a topic that’s near and dear to my heart. And guess what? There’s not a snowball’s chance in hell that I’d ever spend $3k on a birthday party — especially not for a one year old!

» Target-Dated Retirement Funds: Friend or Foe?
This is an interesting post on a topic that I’ve been thinking a lot about lately. Target retirement funds certainly make investing easy, but they’re not necessarily the right solution for everyone.

5 Responses to “Wednesday Roundup – Back at the Ranch Edition”

  1. Anonymous

    Hey Nickel, thanks for the quick reply! I’m pretty comfortable trusting vanguard, but I still might give them a call before starting our Roth IRA. Thanks for your hard work! I hope you get fair compensation.

    Just to let you know who’s reading your blog: twenty-something, married, last year of a masters, training to be a Christian pastor, looking forward to some sort of an income…

  2. Nickel

    Ryan: It might vary from fund to fund, but my understanding of the Vanguard offerings is that there is one fee. It’s a bit higher than you’d pay for, say, the 500 Index fund but that’s because other underlying funds (Emerging Markets, etc) have higher fees associated with them. It appears to be sort of an average of the underlying classes, and is probably at least as low as you could achieve by buying the different funds separately. That being said, I’m not 100% sure on this.

  3. Anonymous

    Hey Nickel,

    Could you explain the expense ratios of target dated funds? Are there two layers of expenses? As in, the expenses of the target fund itself and of all the funds contained within?
    (cuz that would be a lot of expenses, some being quite hidden)

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