# Calculators, etc.

Calculators, Videos, Articles, Resources and a Poem

Calculators & Tools:

Video:

Warren Buffett: WB’s plan for his widow

Ray Dalio: How the economy works

Articles:

At various points on this blog I suggest only about 20% of active managers out-perform the index. That’s being generous:

For an even longer period – 1976-2006, 30 years the odds are much worse. Less than 1%: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/almost-no-one-can-beat-the-market-2013-10-25

From the New York Times: How many mutual funds routinely rout the market? Zero.

A poem:

Andrew Waits performs his poem on wealth. Worth a listen even if poetry isn’t your thing.

1. Clint says

Hey Jim,
When using compound interest calculators to run the numbers over the next, say, 20 or 30 years, what is best to assume for the % return? Let’s say you’re invested 100% in VTSAX, for simplicity’s sake.

Reading various blogs and forums, the assumptions for market return are all over the place. Some say assume 7% (10% market return – 3% inflation), some say to assume 5%, some assume 2%, etc.

In your experience and worldview, what is the number you’d put in for the next 20+ years to get a realistic picture of what amount you will have to draw from?

Thanks!

• jlcollinsnh says

Hi Clint…

Tough question in that it requires a crystal ball. 🙂

That’s likely why the assumptions are all over the lot. You have to predict both the rate of inflation and the rate of return.

I tend to use 8% for no better reason than that it seems in the middle of all the others.

But mostly I think it is important to think of these calculators as “what if” tools while saving and investing as much as possible.

• Dave says

Hi JL, just to confirm – you’re saying the 8% market return less 3% inflation? And as such, a net 5% gain per year?

• Nafi says

Hi for all,

I like so much this kind of calculation, where the inflation rate came to the equation, otherwise, we are making our returns speculative.

kind regards,

2. Jian says

Mr. Collins,

Thanks for taking my idea (and turning it into reality)! I’m good at the first, but generally too lazy on implementation. BTW, the name is spelled “Jian”, which is direct phonetic translation from Chinese word “坚” or “堅” (the traditional version, still used in Taiwan).

I think this FIRE calculator is worthy of your collection page. Thanks!
http://www.firecalc.com/

• jlcollinsnh says

Hi Jian…

Thank you for the idea! And the firecalc link. I’ve never checked that out, but I’ve seen it referenced many times. Based on your suggestion, up it goes!

My apologies on the name spelling. D’oh! Names are important and I appreciate the correction.

3. G-dog says

I would like an aggregation of the various graphs and charts. I could swear that I saw a chart that illustrated how much fees steal from your returns over time, but now I cannot find it! Maybe I made it up …?

4. Nate says

I’ve been looking for a portfolio rebalancing tool/program. Do you know of one? Not sure why Vanguard doesn’t offer one on their site. They have every other calculator out there. They will help you rebalance once a year through their Personal Advisor Service but it takes a while to get an appointment. Sometime over a month. During down markets, this can be nerve racking. It would be nice to have a program where you can plug in your most recent figures from the current day and reallocate right away.

I know I could probably create a spreadsheet to do this but if there is already a program available, this would save me the hassle.

Thanks.

• jlcollinsnh says

Hi Nate…

No, I’m afraid I don’t. But perhaps the bigger question is why you would need one.

The only thing I can think is that you have a large number of holdings that makes what should be an easy and simple process complex, and that in my world is probably a mistake.

In any event, short of finding such a tool, I can think of two options…

—you might want to consider Betterment: https://jlcollinsnh.com/2013/12/16/betterment-wants-to-give-you-25/

For a modest fee they will place you in multiple index funds mirroring your desired allocation and maintain it for you using the most tax-efficient means available.

Or…

—you could simplify your holdings as I describe here: https://jlcollinsnh.com/2014/06/10/stocks-part-xxiii-selecting-your-asset-allocation/

In any event, good luck and if you find the tool you are looking for please post a link here.

Thanks!

• Nate says

Jim,

Like you said in your: “Selecting Your Asset Allocation” article … if only I had it to do over again … sigh. I have to rebalance money spread over many different places. I retired earlier this year at age 51. I have money in a 401K which I am trying to decide what do with … SEPP, rollover into a traditional IRA and then slowly, over a number of years convert into a ROTH or a little of both??

I also have a Roth IRA, an HSA, I-Bonds, as well as quite a bit in taxable accounts. Everything is indexed. Total expensive ratio over the entire portfolio is .06%. You’re right though, it’s more complicated than it needs to be. But reallocating everything at this point, to the portfolio you had described in your article, would result in a huge tax hit.

According to Vanguard, my portfolio is very well allocated. I just need to work at keeping it that way. I would like to be able to do it on my own, when I need to.

Thanks for your input Jim, I appreciate it. I’ll be sure to post a link if I come across a decent rebalancing tool.

5. Povilas Panavas says

“The Global Rich List” makes you rethink your life in terms how rich we are. According to it, by my income I’m within 0,39% of richest people. Meanwhile, I was thinking I should find ways to increase my salary.

However, that’s quite accurate as I’m going to retire in less when 3 years.

jlcollinsnh, thank you for your Stock series, those were really helpful and allowed me to finally start investing (I live in United Kingdom, so also thanks to EconoWiser (part XXI).

• jlcollinsnh says

Yep. That’s an incredible tool.

Still, no reason not to increase your income if you can. It will just get you to FI faster and/or with a bit more.

Once you start living below your means and investing the difference, you almost can’t help but become steadily wealthier. When the time comes to burn off some of the excess, here’s an idea: https://jlcollinsnh.com/2012/02/08/how-to-give-like-a-billionaire/

By the way, Mrs. EW is unlikely to see your kind words here. Perhaps you might post them under her guest post where she will?

Thanks!

6. Review says

Thank you for this list, I am looking into compound interest and also trying to find a good retirement calculator. This list is great and going to keep me busy for a while. I saw the Betterment commercials and want to check that out too. Thanks!

7. Wbeard says

I just discovered a Rent vs Own calculator from Realtor.com that reminded me of your post about owning vs renting your primary residence. Thought you might enjoy it/find it useful. Love your blog and tell many people about it. Thanks!

Sorry for the long url. I don’t know how to make a pretty, short one. 🙂

8. Joy says

Hi
There is a Collective Investment Fund that track S &P 500.
Legal & General S&P 500® Collective Investment Trust Fund Class A.
very low ER. 0.01.
Wondering if it is a good choice. I don’t have any total stock market option in my 401 k.

9. Jason says

First off thank you for taking the time to write such an informative book. I enjoyed purchasing and listening to your advice. This may be a long shot but was considering asking you if what I have chosen seems reasonable and if you could share your opinion or any advice.

Age: 27 Occupation engineering Salary: 55000 Before taxes Debt: 0 Monthly Expenses 1,200 Month
I have accounts
VBIAX Balance 20,188 Contribute 100 monthly
VASGX Balance 5,386 Contribute 75 Monthly
VIMAX Balance 10,266 Contribute 100 Monthly
Should I sell those mutual funds and just purchase the VTSAX?
Also Contribute 5% to company 401K to T.ROWE TRSGX through a company other than Vanguard. Balance around 8,000

• jlcollinsnh says

Hi Jason…

While your three Vanguard funds are fine, as you know from reading my book & blog they are not my first choice. Not sure why they are yours, but the decision to change should be weighed against your reasons for buying them in the first place.

I would suggest you try to find a lower cost index fund in your 401K replace TRSGX.

But much more importantly, I would suggest you look for ways to increase your savings/investing rate. You are off to a great start and focusing on making this better is the most powerful thing you can do.

10. RangerOne says

I have a general question on dividends that isn’t perfectly clear. Generally with a stock in a company that would pay dividends. The dividend amount payed over the course of the year is per stock held and not necessarily linked to the stocks overall price. Though it does seem dividends paid after left to the discretion of the company based on performance.

So how does that transfer to an index where you have a share in many companies only some of which pay dividends. You and all financial institutions note that S&P 500 dividends component is roughly 2-3% of the gains annualized for a portfolio of this index.

Would that mean in a crash if say the value of my index holding was sliced in half, I could commensurately assume my dividends pay out would be half what it was at the higher value???

I guess the disconnect for me is, since dividends are dolled out based on quantity of shares should the dividend rate not be linked to the the number of shares, not their total value? Or does accounting for indexes change this relationship.

11. Mark Kaminski says

Have I missed it, but I don’t see the calculator for account-holders at TD Ameritrade. I believe it is a very slightly simplified version of “MoneyGuidePro” (which is used by industry professionals). For account-holders it’s called “Goal-Planner” and it strikes me as very sophisticated if one dives in deep. I think it’s free to most account-holders at TD (or it has been for me). I’ve been using it for some time. It will track your investments and allow you to play any number of what-if scenarios. Do you know if it has weaknesses?

• Mark Kaminski says

Thanks Jim.
I’ve used a number of calculators, or, more correctly, analysis software packages over the years. I also have no interest in the program, but I believe MoneyGuidePro is otherwise expensive (at https://www.moneyguidepro.com/ifa/). It’s my understanding that it’s for industry professionals (yes, financial planners – wink – and, yes, I share your opinions of the “need” for those folks – doublewink). I’d never have paid for it and was delighted to be offered it by my contact at TD Ameritrade. The link (presuming it was OK to post, sorry if not) has a video that summarizes it. I *think* it’s very powerful… and, amongst other data-points, it allows one to plug in future purchases (like planning for a car or home improvement) as well as other possible sources of income (like inheritance and others). The deeper one goes into it, the more sophisticated it becomes. I’ll have to compare it in a more side-by-side way to some of the others you’ve mentioned.

Thanks again.
– Mark

• Mark Kaminski says

Follow-up:
Looked into the software. It seems that it’s to be licensed for professionals (whatever all that means). No obvious pricing so I snooped around elsewhere and found that it might be \$150/month!!! So, I guess I’m very glad to have been offered it at TD (for fee – and I have no idea if that’s because of my total holdings there). Obviously, it would appear to be much too costly for regular investors.
Thanks again.
– Mark

12. Mike Kammerer Jr says

Hi Jim-

When reading, listening to podcasts and browsing the internet on the topic of retirement, I always hear you should be saving 10-15% of your income for retirement. I am 34 and a teacher in NJ. I contribute 7.5% of my salary to the pension system. Should I be contributing 10-15% on top of that or just an additional 7.5% into a seperate retirement account? I have lobbied my school district (it’s about to be approved) to add a self directed Vanguard 403 B plan so I am trying to figure out my numbers and what I can afford. Thanks for the time Mike

13. Ryan Stamer says

Hi Jim,

I love your blog. I only started reading through it three months ago, but it’s truly had a profound impact on my life. You’ve made it very simple for people like me who don’t gravitate towards finances naturally!

I used the stockchoker calculator and I had a question for you. Historically I’ve been in mutual funds with expense ratios of .75% – 1.25%. Since reading your blog I’ve pivoted towards low cost index funds because I understand conceptually how high those fees will add up over time. However, when I use stockchoker, it shows that I would have made more over the past 10 years with many of the growth mutual funds I was in than I would have with a total stock market index fund. I know the fees add up over time, but can you help me understand why I should ignore that and stick with the index funds?

I want to believe! But the math is tripping me up a bit. Would appreciate your perspective, and thank you again for your wonderful blog.

Best,
Ryan

14. Tri Nguyen says

These resources are awesome. Thank you!

The “Comparing annualized growth rates between any two dates” link no longer works. The new link is the top of the google results page when you google that title. I can’t seem to paste it here, or WordPress thinks my comment is a spam.

15. Bill H says

Hi JL,

Hi Tae,

Hope you and your family are doing well!

I have a fund in my employer retirement account called Invesco Stable value trust B1. It’s not exciting averaging 1% return usually just for some safety at my age of 58.

I tried to find something like it in all the Vanguard funds but I dont see any.

All I see is money markets making 0.02% P U !!!!!

Can you see if I’m missing something? – I prefer Vanguard – something like a short term income fund making an avg 1%….

Kind regards

Bill H / Arizona…

16. James says

Is there a calculator that shows after-tax returns on investments? For example, I invest in a 70/30 portfolio and hold for 30 years. My LTCG are x% and STCG are y% and a hypothetical ROR of 6%. What is tax impact on investment? Saw some info on Bogleheads but no simple calculator.

Thanks!

17. CanWeTurnBackTime says

Mr. Collins,
I’ve listened to your book (twice). It has been very helpful. As a result, my husband and I have begun contributing heavily to our 457s, but we are close to retirement. I know we are not able to contribute to our 457 after we officially retire, but I am a bit confused as to what happens next. Do we simply continue to invest in index funds after retirement, with post-tax dollars, with the understanding that investments will no longer be tax-deferred? Or is there a better option (I know not retiring is one option but my husband has decided on a date and is not changing his mind)?
Thank you kindly for any advice you can offer!

18. V says

Hello Jim,
I just finished reading your book. Great book – great concert and recommendations, and easy to understand. Thank you! I have decided to make some changes to my portfolio. I reside in Canada and there are two ETFs here from Vanguard that holds VTI. The first one is VUS (Canadian Dollar hedged) and VUN (not hedged). From what I have read so far and based on the trends, hedged funds provided an additional layer of insurance but generally have yielded lower returns. I am looking for long term investing and tilted towards the unhedged option. Do you have any recommendations on what would be a better option?
Thanks

19. Peter says

Not very fancy looking but super solid and detailed financial planning and retirement calculator I use is Pralana. If you prefer to see how the numbers roll up and look at details, this Excel based tool is outstanding. I tried some of the ones mentioned but struggle with not seeing what is behind the graphs etc. in the web based tools. Plus, Pralana is more flexible and inclusive of even exotic situations.

https://pralanaretirementcalculator.com/pralana-gold/

20. Sones says

Hi Mr. Collins,

I want to start by thank you for creating a valuable financial guide which is easy to consume and implement irrespective of which walk of life you may be in.
Is there a calculator that you have/recommend to calculate how I should plan my income distribution based on my annual income?
I am currently struggling to define the split of my income across savings bucket, spend bucket and how I should plan for my retirement and the minimum investment i need to plan monthly to arrive at that goal.

I am 31 years old and I’d like to plan my finances so I can easily classify a few financial buckets without impacting the quality of my retirement life and future years.
The buckets I wanted to consider were:
-Monthly investment amount
-Guilt free/personal spend bucket/month
– travel bucket/ year
-savings bucket needed for future family planning (assuming 2 kids in next 6 years)

Its overwhelming as I am lost and unsure where to start from.Thank you for everything you do and any advice you can provide to help me start and plan.

21. Amanda Gomes says

Hello. JL
I’m Amanda 35y, I have a doubt, because I’m trying to invest in vanguard using the company name Avenue, but, I think the rates are very expensive to my money of Brazil, 2%, i was thinking to invest in ETFs in bank Brazilian, still that rates be expensive, As Avenue, I think so, What your opinion I should to invest in Brazil or vanguard with rates Avenue?

Thank you so much for attention