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by Rodc
Thu May 28, 2015 2:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Once in a life time trip.
Replies: 116
Views: 5454

Re: Once in a life time trip.

The OP says this will be a one time gig since they can't afford to do it more than once. If that's a fact, then I think they have the wrong mindset. I have never spent $20,000 for a two week vacation and I've done a lot of them. Better would be: what sort of trips can you do each year from the kids...
by Rodc
Thu May 28, 2015 10:49 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Stemikger "Volatility is far from synonymous with risk."
Replies: 84
Views: 4379

Re: Stemikger "Volatility is far from synonymous with risk."

If I were to offer up a slight improvement for a simple and easy to understand measure of risk I would suggest the basic 95th percent confidence range Mean +/- 2*Stdev (which of course is wrong, flawed and incomplete as it assumes Gaussian etc.). That at least folds in expected returns with expecte...
by Rodc
Thu May 28, 2015 10:45 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Stemikger "Volatility is far from synonymous with risk."
Replies: 84
Views: 4379

Re: Stemikger "Volatility is far from synonymous with risk."

...Does someone have an actual risk measure of two actual moderately diversified investments where A is clearly more risky than B, and yet by using standard deviation we would judge A to be clearly less risky than B? Super interesting question. The best example I've been able to come up with is sho...
by Rodc
Thu May 28, 2015 9:28 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Stemikger "Volatility is far from synonymous with risk."
Replies: 84
Views: 4379

Re: Stemikger "Volatility is far from synonymous with risk."

I'm reminded of the saying: All models are wrong, but some are useful. Clearly standard deviation is not risk itself, but is a proxy for risk. It seems to me that somethings are true: 1) Stdev is "wrong" (that might be better phrased as flawed or incomplete) 2) Stdev is useful (if were not...
by Rodc
Thu May 28, 2015 7:44 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Portfolio Volatility is a Big Drag on Returns
Replies: 48
Views: 4127

Re: Portfolio Volatility is a Big Drag on Returns

I can make volatility go to zero by putting cash under my bed. Since 1972 the average yearly stock purchase power of money under the bed was more volatile than money invested in T-Bills :) Typically buying -4.01% less stock than a year earlier on average with a 19.56% standard deviation (best year ...
by Rodc
Thu May 28, 2015 7:34 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Stemikger "Volatility is far from synonymous with risk."
Replies: 84
Views: 4379

Re: Stemikger "Volatility is far from synonymous with risk."

Trying to think of an analogy for volatility or risk. Suppose a tight-rope walker is crossing a chasm on an elastic rope. The elasticity of the rope may determine the volatility (rise and fall of the acrobat). The risk however could be the worst case fall scenario determined by the height of the ro...
by Rodc
Thu May 28, 2015 7:33 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Stemikger "Volatility is far from synonymous with risk."
Replies: 84
Views: 4379

Re: Stemikger "Volatility is far from synonymous with risk."

...Does someone have an actual risk measure of two actual moderately diversified investments where A is clearly more risky than B, and yet by using standard deviation we would judge A to be clearly less risky than B? Super interesting question. The best example I've been able to come up with is sho...
by Rodc
Thu May 28, 2015 7:30 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Stemikger "Volatility is far from synonymous with risk."
Replies: 84
Views: 4379

Re: Stemikger "Volatility is far from synonymous with risk."

Tomorrow, a market goes down 30%, then on the next day, up to a point slightly above where it started, then the next day it's down 30% again, then again up slightly above, so that, in a year, the return works out to 10%. And suppose that this happens in each and every year. You can have 10% return ...
by Rodc
Thu May 28, 2015 7:27 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Stemikger "Volatility is far from synonymous with risk."
Replies: 84
Views: 4379

Re: Stemikger "Volatility is far from synonymous with risk."

...Does someone have an actual risk measure of two actual moderately diversified investments where A is clearly more risky than B, and yet by using standard deviation we would judge A to be clearly less risky than B? CAPE ratio Large-Cap U.S. stocks 1995-1999 vs Bonds http://i59.tinypic.com/k3r5gw....
by Rodc
Thu May 28, 2015 7:19 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Stemikger "Volatility is far from synonymous with risk."
Replies: 84
Views: 4379

Re: Stemikger "Volatility is far from synonymous with risk."

Does someone have an actual risk measure of two actual moderately diversified investments where A is clearly more risky than B, and yet by using standard deviation we would judge A to be clearly less risky than B? Depends on how you define "more risky". :) My complaint about the framework...
by Rodc
Tue May 26, 2015 7:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much does social security factor into your retirement income?
Replies: 169
Views: 11112

Re: How much does social security factor into your retirement income?

While I hope to have enough that I wouldn't need SS, I fully expect it to still be there and still paying out near 100% for people like me (i.e. not a high enough earner or high enough net worth to get means tested out). Also, with my expenses and the spousal benefit, I expect SS to cover ~95% of o...
by Rodc
Tue May 26, 2015 6:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Stemikger "Volatility is far from synonymous with risk."
Replies: 84
Views: 4379

Re: Stemikger "Volatility is far from synonymous with risk."

I tried once to find a risk measure that made sense and was not rather well correlated with standard deviation. I failed. Does someone have an actual risk measure of two actual moderately diversified investments where A is clearly more risky than B, and yet by using standard deviation we would judge...
by Rodc
Tue May 26, 2015 5:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Portfolio Volatility is a Big Drag on Returns
Replies: 48
Views: 4127

Re: Portfolio Volatility is a Big Drag on Returns

I can make volatility go to zero by putting cash under my bed. Does that increase my returns? Does that make it more likely I will achieve my goals? Fundamentally expected returns go up with increasing risk. One can fiddle around the edges by trying to build a portfolio of assets with low, or even n...
by Rodc
Tue May 26, 2015 3:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Once in a life time trip.
Replies: 116
Views: 5454

Re: Once in a life time trip.

At age 7 we spent two week in the Grand Tetons/yellowstone with our twin boys. The last three nights one boy burst into tears saying he never wanted to leave Wyoming. I decided that was evidence I had done good. At age 11 we sent two weeks in Italy in Rome, Sorrento and Capri. The boys decided Mom's...
by Rodc
Tue May 26, 2015 3:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need to sell old home. Should we spend money to modernize it first?
Replies: 38
Views: 2813

Re: Need to sell old home. Should we spend money to modernize it first?

As others have noted, if many areas of NE this will be a tear down. Even with a small lot. Builder will build to the legal setbacks. Many people in my town buy million dollar plus houses with essentially no yard left. I wouldn't, but many do. If that does not apply, one thing not mentioned, along wi...
by Rodc
Tue May 26, 2015 10:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do-it-yourself handy person: How did you learn?
Replies: 33
Views: 3150

Re: Do-it-yourself handy person: How did you learn?

Mom and dad certainly got me started. Books at times helped as an adult. Just pondering before starting helps a lot. An auto mechanic once told me that 80% of the battle is just being brave enough to start. Most things frankly are not that hard if you think it through and do not rush, and are meticu...
by Rodc
Fri May 22, 2015 2:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Neighbor hired a surveyor. Should I be nervous?
Replies: 81
Views: 10401

Re: Neighbor hired a surveyor. Should I be nervous?

I thought we had a different relationship that's what stings the most. Maybe you did have a different relationship. If I were your neighbor, I wouldn't have responded the way you describe you would have responded, even if we were previously on good terms. That doesn't make your neighbor a pr*ck. Li...
by Rodc
Fri May 22, 2015 10:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much does social security factor into your retirement income?
Replies: 169
Views: 11112

Re: How much does social security factor into your retirement income?

IMHO, your view may be tainted by gross exposure to "negative longevity". Right. I once overheard an orthopedist or some such doctor telling someone in an airport that people should not run. Why all the runners he sees in his office have injuries! :oops: As an aside, many people who might...
by Rodc
Fri May 22, 2015 10:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much does social security factor into your retirement income?
Replies: 169
Views: 11112

Re: How much does social security factor into your retirement income?

While I hope to have enough that I wouldn't need SS, I fully expect it to still be there and still paying out near 100% for people like me (i.e. not a high enough earner or high enough net worth to get means tested out). Also, with my expenses and the spousal benefit, I expect SS to cover ~95% of o...
by Rodc
Thu May 21, 2015 3:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How 529 college savers invest.
Replies: 16
Views: 1631

Re: How 529 college savers invest.

I use an age based fund of index funds. So I am doing this the right way according to this article. But the mistake the article makes is it looks at this as if the investor only has one investment to fund college. Someone might factor in the fact that they have substantial investments outside the 52...
by Rodc
Thu May 21, 2015 2:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much does social security factor into your retirement income?
Replies: 169
Views: 11112

Re: How much does social security factor into your retirement income?

I'm 28, so any assumption about SS is just a big, hairy, audacious guess . The same goes for speculation about market returns, career progression, and whether I'll wake up tomorrow. I save 20% of gross, enjoy life, and cross my fingers. I'll let you know how it goes. :sharebeer Wise beyond your yea...
by Rodc
Thu May 21, 2015 2:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much does social security factor into your retirement income?
Replies: 169
Views: 11112

Re: How much does social security factor into your retirement income?

SS will be the smallest leg of my three legged stool. Then too my wife has a modest pension and SS coming as well, so really a five legged stool. All in SS is still the lowest amount of SS, pensions and investments, though all are large enough to be meaningful. Will SS still be the smallest after t...
by Rodc
Thu May 21, 2015 2:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage Payoff Calculation? Help!
Replies: 19
Views: 1011

Re: Mortgage Payoff Calculation? Help!

I use the calculator built into windows for this exact problem. Start the calculator, click on View->Worksheets->Mortgage. Select the drop down and click on Term (years). I use the current mortgage balance as the "price", 0 for the "down payment", and put in the interest rate an...
by Rodc
Thu May 21, 2015 9:00 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Predicting the Past
Replies: 2
Views: 309

Re: Predicting the Past

On the one hand yes. On the other hand once folks thought of SWR upwards of 10% and the original SWR study based on history showed it was more like 4%. All the computers in the world, and PhDs, won't be able to give us more than one significant digit (if that) so agree that all the work to refine th...
by Rodc
Thu May 21, 2015 8:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage Payoff Calculation? Help!
Replies: 19
Views: 1011

Re: Mortgage Payoff Calculation? Help!

Have you tried to Google this? I haven't but it might work. You can peruse the financial functions in Excel or the equivalent. I don't recall off hand, but I think I have done just this sort of thing in years past. Or, just do a little trial and error with the mortgage calculator you have. Put in a ...
by Rodc
Tue May 19, 2015 4:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Target Allocations between equities and bonds - Is the reasoning sound?
Replies: 49
Views: 3428

Re: Target Allocations between equities and bonds - Is the reasoning sound?

From Buffet upstream: "It is true, of course, that owning equities for a day or a week or a year is far riskier (in both nominal and purchasing-power terms) than leaving funds in cash-equivalents. That is relevant to certain investors — say, investment banks — whose viability can be threatened ...
by Rodc
Sun May 17, 2015 6:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What's so great about simplicity?
Replies: 118
Views: 8859

Re: What's so great about simplicity?

I think like others that simplicity will help many reduce mistakes. For example fiddling with things that over the years add up to performance chasing, fad chasing, which tends to lead to buy high and sell low too often. It also often leads to lower costs. None of this is guaranteed. FWIW: I do not ...
by Rodc
Sun May 17, 2015 6:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much does social security factor into your retirement income?
Replies: 169
Views: 11112

Re: How much does social security factor into your retirement income?

I figure I will get between 100% and 70% of what is promised. I expect to take it at age 66.5 and figure I will bridge the gap from retirement until 66.5 out of investments. I expect to retire between 62 and 65. Similarly I expect I will take my pension at age 65 and have to bridge the gap with my i...
by Rodc
Sun May 17, 2015 6:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I apply for manager's job or continue as a techie?
Replies: 145
Views: 9795

Re: Should I apply for manager's job or continue as a techie?

They might prefer someone who actually wants the job vs someone who only kind of sort of wants the job. If you apply now you will likely be a weaker candidate than if you had applied early,because it will be clear you don't really have the drive to go after the job. That said, best of luck however y...
by Rodc
Fri May 15, 2015 10:50 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Working Age population vs. stock purchases
Replies: 6
Views: 785

Re: Working Age population vs. stock purchases

You might try a search of the site. This is a frequent topic. I might note that as incomes rise in the developing world there could be a huge increase in buyers. Not to mention profits and thus dividends. I don't know, but from what you read the average boomer has very little savings/investments, so...
by Rodc
Fri May 15, 2015 8:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lightweight camping gear
Replies: 41
Views: 2722

Re: Lightweight camping gear

Tarps are great if you're experienced in site selection and different pitching techniques with your tarp. They're not as forgiving as a tent, which is an enclosed shelter - when it comes to wind and rain protection. Also, some people don't like tarps because creepy-crawlies can get on you since you...
by Rodc
Fri May 15, 2015 6:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Am I a Millionaire???
Replies: 53
Views: 6366

Re: Am I a Millionaire???

I don't think there is anything wrong multiple milestones. Nothing wrong with being proud/happy to have hit the million dollar networth milestone. Personally since I could easily turn my house into cash and move into an apartment, retirement community, nursing home, or to buy house/condo in a less e...
by Rodc
Fri May 15, 2015 6:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lightweight camping gear
Replies: 41
Views: 2722

Re: Lightweight camping gear

I'm a long distance hiker with a 8 lb summer base weight - here's what I recommend. Tent: http://www.tarptent.com Pack: http://www.ula-equipment.com Sleeping Bag: http://www.westernmountaineering.com I like the tarp tent, though wonder why not just use a tarp? Add a tree or hiking pole and some cor...
by Rodc
Fri May 15, 2015 5:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much can I spend on a car?
Replies: 157
Views: 8663

Re: How much can I spend on a car?

I was more or less in your shoes many years ago, though not living at home. I bought a 2 year old Accord 2 door hatchback. I suggest something similar (I note that a Civic today is the equivalent of the older Accords in size though many more bells and whistles). That said, finding a really good deal...
by Rodc
Tue May 12, 2015 6:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Philosophies of frugality.
Replies: 60
Views: 5821

Re: Philosophies of frugality.

My wife and I are very frugal. We drink water when we go out. In 20 years, I will not remember that coke. We will have a nice wine, however, as that actually adds to the experience of dining out if we are somewhere nice. . In my world, a very frugal person would never spend 7+ bucks on some liquid ...
by Rodc
Tue May 12, 2015 6:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Philosophies of frugality.
Replies: 60
Views: 5821

Re: Philosophies of frugality.

My wife hates to budget. So over time I gave up. Not worth fighting over. Instead, we use the pay your first method many here advocate above. Liquid funds sufficient to cover at least 6 months of expenses. Money goes in each month to modest pensions, not optional. Money goes into 401K each month plu...
by Rodc
Tue May 12, 2015 6:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I Hate Vacations
Replies: 113
Views: 9194

Re: I Hate Vacations

How about taking more three or four day weekends to do simply stuff? Take a couple of days whenever chores pile up or you have errands to run. Invite old friends or family you like to visit and hang out with them for a while. No need to make vacation a production. Personally I like vacations and my ...
by Rodc
Tue May 12, 2015 1:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lightweight camping gear
Replies: 41
Views: 2722

Re: Lightweight camping gear

If you want to go light I would suggest that it might be better to carry something like a sweatshirt I applaud you for suggesting "multi-use", a great way to save weight. But not a sweatshirt. They are typically cotton or cotton blend, and one general rule of backcountry travel is not to ...
by Rodc
Tue May 12, 2015 8:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lightweight camping gear
Replies: 41
Views: 2722

Re: Lightweight camping gear

On just a two day trip I won't have extra clothes for a pillow, but I could use a towel if I have one on a hand. I've used a sweatshirt before -- I can sleep on a hard surface, but like a half decent pillow. If you want to go light I would suggest that it might be better to carry something like a s...
by Rodc
Mon May 11, 2015 7:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: International - Who really is at 40%
Replies: 93
Views: 6686

Re: International - Who really is at 40%

renue74 wrote:I see a lot of talk to "going to 40%" for International stock fund allocation, but who is there? Is now a good time to do this?


Not me.

I'm 45% of stocks (or pretty close). 60/40 stocks/bonds.

Is this a good time? Maybe.
by Rodc
Mon May 11, 2015 7:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lightweight camping gear
Replies: 41
Views: 2722

Re: Lightweight camping gear

Tent stakes (or could use bags depending on condition) You already mentioned you tend to do overnighters with an eye on the weather. In my experience, you don't need tent stakes (other than the ones for the rain fly). Put your pack in the tent, that and your weight is enough. You can even use rocks...
by Rodc
Mon May 11, 2015 2:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lightweight camping gear
Replies: 41
Views: 2722

Re: Lightweight camping gear

Definitely want a headlamp. Weighs almost nothing and works great (you don't need a high end one, the basic LED headlamps work fine). Never know when you need to get up and deal with something at night, or get to campsite after dark because trail was harder than expected, whatever. I consider this a...
by Rodc
Mon May 11, 2015 5:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lightweight camping gear
Replies: 41
Views: 2722

Re: Lightweight camping gear

After looking around a bit, I'm leaning towards the ALPS Zephyr (Zenith) 2 person tent. I think the extra space will be a nice plus, especially if my daughter gets interested when she gets older. The tent is 4.5 lbs packed, but packs down to 18x6" so a similar pack size to many of the solo ten...
by Rodc
Mon May 11, 2015 5:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lightweight camping gear
Replies: 41
Views: 2722

Re: Lightweight camping gear

Agree with the doc, reducing the packing list helps a lot. For example carry high density no-cook food and leave the stove and fuel behind. Carry a piece of lightweight plastic sheet and some cord to make a shelter when needed, otherwise just use it for a ground cloth and sleep sans tent. I have don...
by Rodc
Wed May 06, 2015 3:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: If I Knew Then What I Know Now
Replies: 61
Views: 12260

Re: If I Knew Then What I Know Now

Man, I'm going to steal that, give it to my kids and tell them I wrote it! Maybe better to tell them you wrote, they might not listen to Dad. :) (though we cover this ground from time to time in the hopes it sinks in and they are at least a little impressed that I have managed to follow a path more ...
by Rodc
Wed May 06, 2015 2:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 1929 was a great year to buy stocks
Replies: 92
Views: 5094

Re: 1929 was a great year to buy stocks

Interesting. But it shouldn't come as a total surprise. As other threads here have explained, PE10 -- the best predictor we have -- still explains only 40% of the 10-year return. Evidently, it's not a perfect predictor for the 30-year return either. Likely at longer time scales it predicts less tho...
by Rodc
Tue May 05, 2015 6:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Pfau, Kitces, & Target-Date Fund glide paths
Replies: 29
Views: 2660

Re: Pfau, Kitces, & Target-Date Fund glide paths

I didn't read the paper, but I read Kitces's blog about it (can't find a link) and it really didn't seem they were saying to use a stock-increasing glide path. Instead they considered what happens when you replace an SPIA(+stocks) with bonds(+stocks). The rising glide path is merely an artifact of ...
by Rodc
Tue May 05, 2015 5:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Pfau, Kitces, & Target-Date Fund glide paths
Replies: 29
Views: 2660

Re: Pfau, Kitces, & Target-Date Fund glide paths

I didn't read the paper, but I read Kitces's blog about it (can't find a link) and it really didn't seem they were saying to use a stock-increasing glide path. Instead they considered what happens when you replace an SPIA(+stocks) with bonds(+stocks). The rising glide path is merely an artifact of ...
by Rodc
Mon May 04, 2015 5:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New car every 5 years instead of 10?
Replies: 129
Views: 9924

Re: Consumer Reports on leasing vs. buying

Consumer reports had an article some years ago on this, and I suspect things are little changed. Rodc: This may be the article: Pros and Cons of Leasing a Car Best wishes. Taylor Thanks. That is an update on the one I read which was further back. A good topic to bring back every few years for them ...
by Rodc
Mon May 04, 2015 5:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Will you buy self-driving car?
Replies: 235
Views: 9308

Re: Will you buy self-driving car?

10 to 20 years from now I might really need one and will be grateful to be able to buy one.

By then all the bugs will be worked out and the price will have normalized.

A nice electric scooter was a godsend for my mother and her ability to function independently. This will be even better.

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