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Re: smartphone over wifi - still possible?

I don't think anyone can make a smartphone not be able to access the internet over wifi. They can require that you purchase a data plan if you have a smart phone. That may be what you are thinking of, and it is annoying. You may need to carry a cheap voice-only phone, linked to a cell carrier, and a...
by Aptenodytes
Thu Nov 20, 2014 9:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: smartphone over wifi - still possible?
Replies: 15
Views: 746

Re: Fitbit, Vivofit, or other?

i have the Jawbone Up, a freebie from a conference. I don't think it is considered a leading choice, but I can say that I like the battery life (about a week), which seems to be its main competitive advantage. If I were buying one, I think I'd want one that captures heart rate; the Up only covers mo...
by Aptenodytes
Thu Nov 20, 2014 9:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fitbit, Vivofit, or other?
Replies: 7
Views: 497

Re: One Source to follow world markets ?

I can understand your wanting to be exposed to such information in order to deepen your understanding of markets; you seem to acknowledge that doing so will not help your investment prowess one bit. Therefore asking for advice on how to proceed in this forum is a bit like asking for advice on how to...
by Aptenodytes
Tue Nov 18, 2014 1:56 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: One Source to follow world markets ?
Replies: 26
Views: 1796

Re: Waitress giving me discount - ethical question

I get it, what is bothering you is that this waitress may be stealing from her boss my giving you a discount. In the past I bartender and waitressed and never was allowed to discount food for "regulars," unless there was a problem - the food was late, didn't taste right, whatever. If it i...
by Aptenodytes
Mon Nov 17, 2014 10:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Waitress giving me discount - ethical question
Replies: 60
Views: 5950

Re: Explain purpose of bonds in low yields

... In any event, you have no ability to predict the price swings so even if you thought such swings mattered there's nothing you could do about it anyway. 1) There's no free lunch 2) Markets are volatile 3) Markets are unpredictable .... But holding cash makes less sense because of (3). Aptenodyte...
by Aptenodytes
Mon Nov 17, 2014 1:26 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Explain purpose of bonds in low yields
Replies: 10
Views: 788

Re: Explain purpose of bonds in low yields

Same as it ever was. Bonds provide ballast against wild swings in your portfolio. This benefit comes with a cost -- lower expected returns. How much lower varies over time, because markets vary over time. In your retirement portfolio you are investing for the long term, so it doesn't matter what hap...
by Aptenodytes
Sun Nov 16, 2014 11:22 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Explain purpose of bonds in low yields
Replies: 10
Views: 788

Re: Need Help with an Xbox purchase ...

Back to the OP, a key thing to consider is the on-line capability. If you new to X-Box and trying to economize, you won't be inclined to spring for the X-Box Live. But young people consider it essential. The X-Boxes all come with the wifi built in, but you have to pay for access through a separate s...
by Aptenodytes
Sat Nov 15, 2014 9:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need Help with an Xbox purchase ...
Replies: 10
Views: 814

Re: Need Help with an Xbox purchase ...

This may be a little picky, but the abbreviation of your username on the front page is unintentionally offensive. Is there any way to fix that? 1) I'm not familiar with the term so I looked it up in Urban Dictionary, which tells me it is an offensive term in North Wales. Not even Wales, just north ...
by Aptenodytes
Sat Nov 15, 2014 9:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need Help with an Xbox purchase ...
Replies: 10
Views: 814

Re: Why Not 100% Treasuries if your Risk is on the Equity Si

In general, your instincts are right. If you want to set-and-forget, then there's no role for corporates (unless you bring them in via Total Bond Fund which I think most people would be harmless). i'm one who doesn't set-and-forget; there are shifts in the bond market that make sense to respond to. ...
by Aptenodytes
Sat Nov 15, 2014 8:36 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why Not 100% Treasuries if your Risk is on the Equity Side?
Replies: 40
Views: 3574

Re: Your car(s) are equal to how many months income

The tails aren't quite right. Left tail should be 0 and right should be 8+. I answered but am not sure why. The first answer is < 1 month which includes 0 and the last answer is 7+ i.e. > 7 which includes 8+ Yes, but the problem isn't that the tails don't go far enough away from the middle, it is t...
by Aptenodytes
Wed Nov 12, 2014 7:38 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Your car(s) are equal to how many months income
Replies: 93
Views: 5931

Re: Your car(s) are equal to how many months income

Undefined, $0 / $0 No that would be one month's income. 0=0 it's not 0/0 :happy I had a car and income like that myself once :happy In my mathematics I was taught that market timer is right -- 0/0 is undefined. However, I find it hard to understand how a car can be worth $0. Every car has some valu...
by Aptenodytes
Wed Nov 12, 2014 7:31 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Your car(s) are equal to how many months income
Replies: 93
Views: 5931

Re: Your car(s) are equal to how many months income

The tails aren't quite right. Left tail should be 0 and right should be 8+.

I answered but am not sure why.
by Aptenodytes
Wed Nov 12, 2014 6:05 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Your car(s) are equal to how many months income
Replies: 93
Views: 5931

Re: How do you track the value of your illiquid assets ?

I don't need precision to a tenth degree. I would be happy to have some number I can update once a year within, say, $50-80k. Er, +-$50-80k precision for a ~$1m house is exactly what I meant by the 1/10th degree oven analogy. You can't possibly act on information with greater than +-$300K precision...
by Aptenodytes
Wed Nov 12, 2014 5:18 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you track the value of your illiquid assets ?
Replies: 50
Views: 2471

Re: How do you track the value of your illiquid assets ?

If you want to estimate net worth I think Zillow is more representative than an insurance company's replacement cost estimate. If you wanted to you could sell your house at market value, but there's no mechanism for cashing in the house in exchange for insurance-based replacement cost. I have found...
by Aptenodytes
Wed Nov 12, 2014 2:19 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you track the value of your illiquid assets ?
Replies: 50
Views: 2471

Re: How do you track the value of your illiquid assets ?

How do you value this type of illiquid assets ? I don't. I might estimate replacement cost for insurance purposes, but that's about it. That's about if for me too with the exception that I would want a more specific number of an asset's value if I want to sell it. But as far as worrying about month...
by Aptenodytes
Wed Nov 12, 2014 1:05 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you track the value of your illiquid assets ?
Replies: 50
Views: 2471

Re: How do you track the value of your illiquid assets ?

The first observation is that if you are finding it a struggle, just stop. There's no conceivable value that could justify a struggle. To answer your question directly, though, I just use Zillow and I update the number once a year, typically on New Year's Day. I suppose the reason I do it is similar...
by Aptenodytes
Wed Nov 12, 2014 1:01 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you track the value of your illiquid assets ?
Replies: 50
Views: 2471

Re: HSA reimbursement of non-dollar expenses

I'm sure an accountant can look up the specific rules for you. You might be able to look them up yourself. But if I faced this situation I would simply follow basic due diligence analogous to what the US government considers satisfactory for travel reimbursement. e.g. print out an exchange rate quot...
by Aptenodytes
Tue Nov 11, 2014 10:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA reimbursement of non-dollar expenses
Replies: 3
Views: 369

Re: Amazon store card - change of terms?

If you want to micro-manage your credit cards, you should be reading the credit card sites such as nerdwallet. I decided a while ago not to sweat it on a regular basis, and just do a review every couple of years to make sure I'm not missing out on something significant. The 3% card you already have ...
by Aptenodytes
Tue Nov 11, 2014 10:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon store card - change of terms?
Replies: 5
Views: 1060

Re: letting profits run or sell...

So you are buying more and also thinking of selling? That's weird.
by Aptenodytes
Thu Nov 06, 2014 7:36 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: letting profits run or sell...
Replies: 34
Views: 2563

Re: PenFed Visa card for Gas program changing, now with a fe

I am a little confused as to why everyone is referring to the Penfed rewards gas program as 5%. I receive 5 "points" on my gas purchases. Unlike my chase card, 5 "points' does not equal $0.05. The rebate is less than 5% of my gas purchases. You must have a different card. Mine gives ...
by Aptenodytes
Thu Nov 06, 2014 12:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: PenFed Visa card for Gas program changing, now with a fee.
Replies: 132
Views: 30360

Re: Tough spot, decided to lease a car

You fear about car repairs I think is traceable to the lack of an emergency fund. Without an emergency fund, any irregular expense adds to your debt, and you correctly want to get out of debt. That's one reason you need a big-picture solution, not a car-lease solution. With an emergency fund, you ca...
by Aptenodytes
Tue Nov 04, 2014 1:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tough spot, decided to lease a car
Replies: 209
Views: 13793

Re: Tough spot, decided to lease a car

Spending more than you earn is not a question of different priorities, it is a question of being out of touch with reality. Saying you can't save because your expenses are too high is a sign of highly delusional thinking. The logical approach is exactly the opposite (it is the highly frugal people w...
by Aptenodytes
Tue Nov 04, 2014 1:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tough spot, decided to lease a car
Replies: 209
Views: 13793

Re: Should I stop tracking past performance?

If it doesn't affect your behavior then it does no harm and no good. So toss a coin.
by Aptenodytes
Tue Nov 04, 2014 12:36 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Should I stop tracking past performance?
Replies: 36
Views: 2181

Re: Tough spot, decided to lease a car

The car question is embedded in a bigger budgeting question. My guess is that if you want solid advice you should give a more complete picture of your budget, both what it is now and how you envision it unfolding over the next five years. Out of context it is hard to know how to respond. You are ask...
by Aptenodytes
Tue Nov 04, 2014 9:39 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tough spot, decided to lease a car
Replies: 209
Views: 13793

Re: Morbid Question

It may seem obvious, but from what I can tell you need to enlist you wife in coming up with a plan. It has to work for her, so I think she has to be part of the planning. You have plenty of time, so don't rush it. I don't think it will be as hard as you fear. You have lots of resources, hopefully lo...
by Aptenodytes
Mon Nov 03, 2014 9:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Morbid Question
Replies: 28
Views: 4026

Re: What are you up YTD?

Based on what I see on this page, Bogleheads are doing fine YTD--but the year is not over--here are some of the numbers. Equity/Bond/YTD 21/79 = 05.73% 45/55 = 06.80% 48/52 = 05.95% 50/50 = 07.21% 50/50 = 07.67% 60/40 = 06.90% 60/40 = 07.26% 75/25 = 07.79% 80/20 = 06.88% 80/20 = 09.00% 80/20 = 18.0...
by Aptenodytes
Sun Nov 02, 2014 7:33 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What are you up YTD?
Replies: 213
Views: 18572

Re: Equal weight or volume weight between world regions

... Trying to increase risk by altering your regional weights goes against the conventional wisdom, and in this case I don't see any evidence to suggest the conventional wisdom is wrong. ... I don't disagree with what you wrote, but would like to point out OP asked about decreasing risk, not increa...
by Aptenodytes
Sun Nov 02, 2014 6:41 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Equal weight vs. capitalization weight between world regions
Replies: 18
Views: 1216

Re: Only 3 factors determine stock market returns

The MarketWatch story was pretty dumb (even misspelled one of the authors' names). Here's a link to the actual paper . From the abstract: Three mutually uncorrelated economic shocks that we measure empirically explain 85% of the quarterly variation in real stock market wealth since 1952. We use a mo...
by Aptenodytes
Sun Nov 02, 2014 5:27 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Only 3 factors determine stock market returns
Replies: 9
Views: 1267

Re: Equal weight vs. capitalization weight between world reg

My advice is don't try to invent a new approach from scratch. Do something that lots of smart disinterested experts think is best.

Pick a US percentage between 50% and 70%. For the non-US portion, use market weights.
by Aptenodytes
Sun Nov 02, 2014 4:07 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Equal weight vs. capitalization weight between world regions
Replies: 18
Views: 1216

Re: How to make withdrawals during retirement

Livesoft. I have reread your post several times. I would love to "withdraw at the market high for the year". Please tell me a day or two before the high will be. Thank you LarryG You need to run his post through Google Translate. He is telling the OP it doesn't matter when he withdraws th...
by Aptenodytes
Sun Nov 02, 2014 3:31 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to make withdrawals during retirement
Replies: 28
Views: 2243

Re: Equal weight or volume weight between world regions

Regions make sense as a diversification strategy, not a risk strategy. If you want to take on more risk, increase your small and small-value holdings, both domestically and globally, or just increase your equity holdings across the board. Trying to increase risk by altering your regional weights goe...
by Aptenodytes
Sun Nov 02, 2014 2:07 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Equal weight vs. capitalization weight between world regions
Replies: 18
Views: 1216

Re: A Returns Spreadsheet for Bogleheads

If people are interested in investing in public goods, something I think would be extremely useful would be an online spreadsheet that tracked returns of a small number of model portfolios against different levels of equity exposure. It would have some of the same benefits of the so-called "per...
by Aptenodytes
Sun Nov 02, 2014 11:02 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A Returns Spreadsheet for Bogleheads
Replies: 31
Views: 3532

Re: Considering short-term, investment-grade bonds for Roth

Are you sure you want bonds in your Roth at all? They normally are better suited for a traditional IRA or 401-k equivalent. Do you have such accounts? Thanks, Aptenodytes, for your reply. I do not mean to change the direction of the discussion, but your point about not placing bonds in a Roth caugh...
by Aptenodytes
Sat Nov 01, 2014 9:30 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Considering short-term, investment-grade bonds for Roth IRA
Replies: 20
Views: 942

Re: Considering short-term, investment-grade bonds for Roth

Are you sure you want bonds in your Roth at all? They normally are better suited for a traditional IRA or 401-k equivalent. Do you have such accounts? Setting aside the question of where bonds should sit, there's nothing remotely like a consensus here on how to choose bond funds. I think there are b...
by Aptenodytes
Sat Nov 01, 2014 8:55 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Considering short-term, investment-grade bonds for Roth IRA
Replies: 20
Views: 942

Re: Does the future of exp ratios factor into your decision?

columbia wrote:My guess is that the Total World fund at Vanguard would have greater investments if they introduced an Admiral fund and lowered the ER to at least .20.
So I'm sure it affects some decisions.

Yeah, but that's an effect based on current costs, not predictions of future costs.
by Aptenodytes
Fri Oct 31, 2014 6:05 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does the future of exp ratios factor into your decision?
Replies: 21
Views: 1095

Re: Does the future of exp ratios factor into your decision?

I don't see how this is possibly relevant to any decision-making. A prudent investor will always keep an eye on costs. If a given fund becomes uncompetitive with respect to cost, then you simply switch. There's no need to stick with an expensive fund today because you think it may go down later, or ...
by Aptenodytes
Fri Oct 31, 2014 4:52 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does the future of exp ratios factor into your decision?
Replies: 21
Views: 1095

Re: Early SS or Higher IRA Withdrawal??

Unless you are near flat broke it just about always makes sense to delay ss to 70. And that requires elevated withdrawals until age 70. Can't really have one without the other. The annual percentages prior to age 70 are irrelevant. You need to look at the big picture and post-70 equilibrium.
by Aptenodytes
Wed Oct 29, 2014 4:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Early SS or Higher IRA Withdrawal??
Replies: 19
Views: 1581

Re: AA canceled flight: premium seat fee not refunded

So I recently had to cancel an American Airlines flight. I had been stupid enough to pay up for a premium seat. Apparently when you cancel a flight, they just make you forfeit that premium seat fee- i.e. you can't carry it over to the flight you rebook. Pretty nice scam on American Airlines part hu...
by Aptenodytes
Wed Oct 29, 2014 10:09 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: canceled flight on AA: premium seat fee not refunded
Replies: 30
Views: 2314

Re: Checking monthly - may not even notice the October "cras

If you had to withdraw money near the bottom of the recent little trough, it could cost some money. I had to: RMD, which had been prescheduled. But I invest for longer term always. RMDs don't require that you remove money from your portfolio, merely that you shift it out of an tax-advantaged accoun...
by Aptenodytes
Wed Oct 29, 2014 10:03 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Checking monthly - may not even notice the October "crash"
Replies: 51
Views: 4400

Re: A Challenge for Bogleheads - the market has changed

The second thing I find with this type of approach - there is typically someone telling you (preaching to you even) to buy low and sell high - they will say something like "I do that, it's just smart". My response back is always "are you measuring how you are doing against some sort ...
by Aptenodytes
Wed Oct 29, 2014 9:07 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A Challenge for Bogleheads - the market has changed
Replies: 53
Views: 6748

Re: A Challenge for Bogleheads - the market has changed

People such as Schiller, who put great faith in valuations and are far more thoughtful and intelligent than the average commentator, do not advocate this kind of approach. They say it is a good time to invest in stocks, just don't expect returns as high as you'd get with lower valuations. Then there...
by Aptenodytes
Wed Oct 29, 2014 8:12 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A Challenge for Bogleheads - the market has changed
Replies: 53
Views: 6748

Re: How much do you keep in bucket one for those that use th

I'm not a personal fan of buckets, but I understand the attraction. Of what I've read, Christine Benz has the most clear-headed exposition of how to do it. See this recent article . What you are calling bucket 1 seems to correspond to what she calls buckets 1 and 2 together. Her guidance on how much...
by Aptenodytes
Wed Oct 29, 2014 7:29 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much do you keep in bucket one for those that use the
Replies: 7
Views: 1300

Re: Tilted to SV by mistake, should I TLH out of it?

And this is why I don't like DCA. For all the claimed psychological benefits, I think it's very prone to "revisiting", "waiting until the present conditions blahblah" and in general wallowing in instability. In addition, if the OP is going from single stock to AA using DCA, that...
by Aptenodytes
Tue Oct 28, 2014 2:06 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tilted to SV by mistake, should I TLH out of it?
Replies: 37
Views: 1705

Re: Tilted to SV by mistake, should I TLH out of it?

If you are still worrying about how you will react - you need to add enough bonds to make your portfolio conservative enough that you are sure you WILL NOT react. Make it very conservative and see how you react to market pullbacks. If you are okay through a market pullback or 2 - then maybe - maybe...
by Aptenodytes
Tue Oct 28, 2014 11:10 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tilted to SV by mistake, should I TLH out of it?
Replies: 37
Views: 1705

Re: Ham and Egger's Theory? [Buy Whatever Cap Size is laggin

HamNEgg, Look up something called the "Dogs of the Dow" strategy. It involved buying the worst performing stocks in the Dow every year. It worked till it didn't. This strategy and variations have been tried before. The Achilles heel of all these is that there is no natural "timeframe...
by Aptenodytes
Tue Oct 28, 2014 9:56 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Ham and Egger's Theory? [Buy Whatever Cap Size is lagging) ]
Replies: 38
Views: 3183

Re: Should I buy more REITs?

backpacker wrote:Go big or go home. If you think that a dedicated REIT allocation makes sense, hold enough to make a difference. David Swenson is awfully smart and suggests 20%.

Is Swenson still recommending 20% in REITs, even given their very high valuations?
by Aptenodytes
Tue Oct 28, 2014 9:29 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I buy more REITs?
Replies: 45
Views: 5050

Re: Tilted to SV by mistake, should I TLH out of it?

I never look at the comparative returns of my asset categories. You shouldn't either. They simply aren't relevant to any possible decision you could make. They can do harm, however. As Larry says, Don't confuse strategy and outcome . Whether your decision to tilt to small-value was wise or not has a...
by Aptenodytes
Tue Oct 28, 2014 7:30 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tilted to SV by mistake, should I TLH out of it?
Replies: 37
Views: 1705

Re: What funds are negatively correlated with stocks?

Long-term U.S. treasuries do the job. Do yourself a favor and plot a chart of TLT vs VTI and see the power of negative correlation. Those are far from negatively correlated, but I see the benefits. In fact, it is the lack of negative correlation that brings the benefits -- you want the two assets t...
by Aptenodytes
Mon Oct 27, 2014 12:25 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What funds are negatively correlated with stocks?
Replies: 24
Views: 2997

Re: Bucket Approach Redux

I've been practicing a sort of bucket approach, adapted to the work of William Sharpe on lockbox investing and withdrawals. I divided my portfolio into 5-year increments and invested them in TR funds based on withdrawal ages for me. Then every five years I'll have a fund invested in the TR income f...
by Aptenodytes
Mon Oct 27, 2014 7:17 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bucket Approach Redux
Replies: 35
Views: 2612

Re: What funds are negatively correlated with stocks?

We haven't heard from the OP, but I'm thinking they used the word "hedge" to mean "diversify."

I don't think the post was about hedging at all.
by Aptenodytes
Mon Oct 27, 2014 5:55 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What funds are negatively correlated with stocks?
Replies: 24
Views: 2997
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