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Income from cash...where to invest?
Old 10-22-2011, 10:26 AM   #1
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Income from cash...where to invest?

I've been away from this group for quite a while. DW had serious health issues, now better, and then she had a car accident taking surgery, now getting better. I also had to do cpr on a rental house after long-term tenant moved out. Retirement for me has been anything but relaxing.

Anyway, here's my question: where are you guys putting cash these days? I'm sitting on what is for me a lot of cash after two CD's expired. With bond returns so low, CD interest almost nothing and MM returns less than nothing I am at a loss of what to do next. A few years back I took some cash and bought another rental house and renovated it. My thinking at the time was that I would hold it a couple of years, get a 9% return from leasing it, and then sell it for a nice return. The last step in that plan was hijacked by the housing mess, so I'm sitting tight until...

I could buy another rental house, cheap, but that's a hole I'm already pouring too much time into. Any ideas for cash investment for income? Or should I just forget it and look for more bargains in equity investments? Any thoughts?
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Old 10-22-2011, 10:45 AM   #2
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As someone older (and wiser) has said many times, "Psst - Wellseley".

VWIAX Vanguard Wellesley Income Adm, mutual funds, quote, price - Morningstar

I/DW have more than a bit invested there, and are quite satisified over the pittance our respective CD/MM funds returns...

As former landlords, we don't wish to persue "possibilites" at our age. We're looking for less than perfect, more than CD/MM rates. VWIAX fits our needs, at this time of life.

As for you? Only you can determine what is best...
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Old 10-22-2011, 11:01 AM   #3
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How much risk are you willing to take? Wellsely is certainly less volatile than many funds, but it still responds to the market, going up and down.
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Old 10-22-2011, 11:04 AM   #4
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Wellsely is certainly less volatile than many funds, but it still responds to the market, going up and down.
Take a look at the dividends. Quarterly payments (checks) to me/DW are quite nice. Since we hold the account in Roth IRA's, what we receive is what we can spend.

It's a bit more than simple accumulation/returns on net value.

Just another view....
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Old 10-22-2011, 11:17 AM   #5
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I am not arguing against Wellsely, just want to make sure that people realize it invests in securities that can go up and down while they enjoy the income they produce.
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Old 10-22-2011, 11:23 AM   #6
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I can't say I'm surprised about the Wellesley recommendations. That's been a strong core fund for this group for as long as I've been lurking around. I'll look at it again, and thanks. My only concern with any bond fund at the moment is, with interest rates so low, the NAV will take a hit as rates eventually rise. I suppose you have to take the good with the bad.
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Old 10-22-2011, 12:03 PM   #7
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I'm keeping what little cash I have in a short/intermediate tax-free bond fund. It's getting over 3% and is equivalent to over 5% taxed.
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Old 10-22-2011, 12:14 PM   #8
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The key appears to be short to intermediate duration right now. Does anyone invest in actual bonds instead of bond funds?
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Old 10-22-2011, 12:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tightasadrum
I can't say I'm surprised about the Wellesley recommendations. That's been a strong core fund for this group for as long as I've been lurking around. I'll look at it again, and thanks. My only concern with any bond fund at the moment is, with interest rates so low, the NAV will take a hit as rates eventually rise. I suppose you have to take the good with the bad.
I would be fired quickly if I was ever hired as a financial advisor, but you seem to be reluctant to risk your capital, and interest rate spikes appear to worry you. I would be careful about going against your gut and dumping it all into the market if that is not your nature. Some small potato ideas you might think about 1) Explore a 7 year CD and see what early termination fees are. Penn Fed has a 2.75% rate. One year interest penalty, but if rates spike in 2 years you are still better off taking the penalty than having a one year cd. Plus if rates don't budge you continue to get the better payout waiting. 2) Several local banks in my area anyway offer 3% and 4% interest on your checking account ($30k max) if you do direct deposit and make 8 or so debit transactions. 3) If you are married you can get 20k in I Bonds that currently pay 4.6% for next 6 months and 3.06% the following 6 months if you purchase before Oct. 31. Pickings are slim in the guaranteed world, but it is better than 1% 1 year CD, and it keeps you from beating your head against the wall if you put it all in the market and it goes down. If someone else has 100% ideas that pay better please speak up, because I'm ready to try it also!
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Old 10-22-2011, 12:28 PM   #10
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I just invest in mutual funds (whether bond or equity). I moved much of my money market balance to Vanguard's Total Bond Market. That way it gives my monthly income a little extra boost. Of course when interest rates go up I may wish I had left it in money market or bought a CD as others suggest. I don't think there is a perfect solution to your dilemma, or if there is then I don't know about it yet.
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Old 10-22-2011, 12:49 PM   #11
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prosper.com, check it out
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Old 10-22-2011, 01:29 PM   #12
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I parked my spare cash in FGMNX, a GNMA bond fund. Less volatility than most of the other options I looked at (particularly 2007-2009) and a decent current yield. Up a few percent in price from when I bought it, plus dividends. Much better than the 0% I was trying to beat. But I'm no bond investor, so maybe someone has a better current recomendation.
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Old 10-22-2011, 03:19 PM   #13
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Vanguard Life strategy fund is good - 10% stock and the rest bonds/cash. Decent yield and pretty darn safe....
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Old 10-22-2011, 04:12 PM   #14
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You didn't indicate how much money we are talking about, but here would be my free suggestion (remember free advise is worth every penny you pay for it!)

Search these threads for details, or see Treasury Direct (or start by going to a Federal Reserve Bank) and check out I-Bonds. For another couple of weeks (I think) the set point, based on the 6-month inflation rate is over 4.5%. The next set point (for the next 6 months) is (I think) over 3%. So, for a year, you could get a half decent rate on 20,000 of your cash ($5K for you and $5K for your wife in paper form and the same amounts from Treas. Direct).

Again, do you research, but this is what I did and the major downside is that you will lose some of the interest if you cash in after the 1 year (drop dead) waiting period. Still, seems like the best deal in town, based on safety and interest rate.

Otherwise, I'd go with rescume's suggestion (borrowed with love from unclemick.)

Good luck with this. These are tough times for cash!! Oh, and YMMV.
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Old 10-22-2011, 05:08 PM   #15
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I'm just back from dealing with a plumbing issue. I thought I would watch football this afternoon,but...ah, the life of a landlord.

So many suggestions. thank you. I'll be looking into each of them. I prefer to spread the cash around anyway. Bernie Madoff could have never crippled me.
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Old 10-22-2011, 05:26 PM   #16
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prosper.com, check it out

I have to ask, captiva: have you invested in this peer-to-peer organization yourself?
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Old 10-22-2011, 05:28 PM   #17
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Captiva, also please post an introduction in the 'Hi, I am..." section so that we can get to know you. Thanks!
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Old 10-22-2011, 05:45 PM   #18
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The key appears to be short to intermediate duration right now. Does anyone invest in actual bonds instead of bond funds?
We have a muni portfolio of 13 issues with a current yield of 4.48%.
Yields to first call range from 3.15% to 5.48%.
The earliest purchase in the muni portfolio was done in 2002, the most recent in 2010.
The first call dates range from 2012 to 2023.
20% is in AA3 rated, 11.5% in AA2 rated, and 68.5% in AA1 or better.
If you have several brokerage accounts, it pays to shop around because the markups can vary substantially.
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Old 10-22-2011, 05:51 PM   #19
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I suppose I should mention, for clarity, that I do have other investments in equities, mostly index funds, and commodity futures fund (pcrix), and a managed fund with a broad 60/40 collection. But since I'm trying to delay social security for at least one more year for full benefits, I miss that 4.5% the CD's were paying when I pay bills each month. I wanted to make it clear that I don't fear volatility in the market for my long-term investments, but we still have to feed the pets, gas up and pay the light bills every month. So, more income is more better.
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Old 10-22-2011, 06:04 PM   #20
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I would pursue the options listed above nd also look into a modest slice in junk. While not totally embarassingly good a deal, junk has sold off with equities and yields are reasonably attractive. You could also look at some floating rate loan funds or closed end funds. But these things are considerably more risky than a CD (but less than equities).
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