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Old 03-11-2008, 04:32 PM   #21
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Hi Nord,

Where exactly is this on Fidelity. I am looking for it and can not seem to find it.

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It turns out that some of this can be done via Fidelity's sample trade calculator as well.

Thanks for the download functions and the websites, everyone. The spreadsheet worked out fine and checked with my back-of-the-envelope calculations.
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Old 03-11-2008, 09:14 PM   #22
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<snip>

We spent two weeks unloading a third of our Berkshire Hathaway shares and finished a couple days before the annual report was posted. (Some days the limit orders went through, some days not so much.) Average sale share price was $4700 and BRK closed today at $4509. It feels good to do it right once in a while. I suspect BRK will be back up above $5000 by 2009.

Of course 29 Feb's fire sale was similarly much appreciated for 3 March's purchases of DVY, PID, & IJS. I'd been holding off for the late spring or even summer but this was too good to resist.

<snip>

Dirty market timer!


-CC
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Old 03-12-2008, 11:17 PM   #23
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Hi Nord,
Where exactly is this on Fidelity. I am looking for it and can not seem to find it.
I think you have to have an account with Fidelity and be logged in. For me it's on the "Accounts & Trade" tab, "Trade", scroll down to the Analyze section on the left, and choose "Hypothetical Trade". Fidelity uses either your actual portfolio data or you can enter your own numbers.

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Dirty market timer!
Well, when the rest of the market sucks and your portfolio's tanking, it does tend to raise the remaining Berkshire %%. We held some of the shares for as little as 29 months and others for as long as six years...

If I'd really been successfully timing the market then I would've nailed that 300-point drop. As it was I just felt stupid. But then I didn't call the 400-point jump either!

I'll check back with more dirty market-timing reports when our Berkshire shares drop below 18% or rise above 28%.
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Old 03-13-2008, 04:29 PM   #24
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Actually this would be a useful tool to have. Something that allows you to put in the tickers, your current number of shares, and your desired allocation. After that have it automatically tell you how much of each share you should sell and buy to meet the desired allocation. Such a tool would only take a few hours of programming to create in a web based form. Hmmm
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Old 03-14-2008, 09:03 AM   #25
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Nords: I appreciate the reply.

Did you sell the old (assuming cheaper) shares or more expensive shares (of Berkshire)?

How'd you pick that particular Small Cap Value Index? Seems like there's a dozen to choose from.

Actually, I'm just envious of having something to rebalance. Right now I just have VG Total Stock Mkt Index.

-CC
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Old 03-14-2008, 02:57 PM   #26
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Nords: I appreciate the reply.
Did you sell the old (assuming cheaper) shares or more expensive shares (of Berkshire)?
How'd you pick that particular Small Cap Value Index? Seems like there's a dozen to choose from.
We sold the most expensive "B" shares (least capital gains) and our cost basis is now $2164/share. We took a deep breath and nailed some nice ones during July 2002 at $2045/share.

It was a lot easier five years ago when index ETFs were relatively new. We chose the S&P600 small-cap value because it was a lower turnover, only 0.25%, and was reconstituted less frequently. At the time the Russell small-cap indexes used to announce their reconstitutions way in advance, leading to a lot of front-running and reducing their returns. But there may be better indices these days.

Of course now Vanguard has entered the fray, but I haven't done the math on their lower ER vs the cap gains taxes.

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Actually, I'm just envious of having something to rebalance. Right now I just have VG Total Stock Mkt Index.
I think never having to rebalance might be an even better deal, and you might have found it!

Actually we prefer an international and small-cap tilt to our portfolio (because I have a military COLA'd pension) so hopefully we'll be rebalancing every 5-10 years.

Or you could just buy Berkshire and let it grow to 65% of your portfolio before you rebalance it. That worked for our kid's college fund but I wouldn't recommend repeating that little stroke of luck tactic.
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