Search found 26482 matches

by Valuethinker
Tue Jun 30, 2015 9:16 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Has anyone noticed the Japanese stock market lately?
Replies: 15
Views: 2009

Re: Has anyone noticed the Japanese stock market lately?

I just sold out of a position in Japan yesterday I have the same concern that it's essentially a manufactured asset price bubble - but then that's I think what you've also got in Europe and the US, and it's just a question of do valuations look reasonable? At the stock level I think they do - but I...
by Valuethinker
Tue Jun 30, 2015 9:13 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are REITs necessary in a portfolio? Why?
Replies: 31
Views: 1899

Re: Are REITs necessary in a portfolio? Why?

I own them through the broad indexes and have a large position in real estate via my home valued at around 25% of my investment portfolio. That's plenty for me so have no interest in adding more real estate positions. It's popular here to pretend a personal residence isn't a real estate position bu...
by Valuethinker
Tue Jun 30, 2015 8:55 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are REITs necessary in a portfolio? Why?
Replies: 31
Views: 1899

Re: Are REITs necessary in a portfolio? Why?

It's important here to state clearly: - REIT funds invest in quoted REITs, very little of which is invested in single family dwellings and condos of the type that crashed in 2007-09 in the USA. (I am excluding mortgage REITs in this discussion, as VG does from its fund) Commercial RE (offices, hotel...
by Valuethinker
Tue Jun 30, 2015 8:52 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are REITs necessary in a portfolio? Why?
Replies: 31
Views: 1899

Re: Are REITs necessary in a portfolio? Why?

The litmus test for me is always to look at what happened to the fund in 2008/9. In the case of VNQ, it dropped 65% in value from the start of the crash (Sept 16). That is a little too much for my tolerance level. Some people here say that the 2008/9 crash was unique in that it was primarily a cris...
by Valuethinker
Tue Jun 30, 2015 8:51 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are REITs necessary in a portfolio? Why?
Replies: 31
Views: 1899

Re: Are REITs necessary in a portfolio? Why?

I have the TIAA Real Estate Fund. I have been thinking about getting out of it due the the high expense ratio of 0.87%, the highest ER of my investments, but Ferri's article convinced me to reconsider, at least for now. I have recently switched from CREF, with an ER of 0.33% to their Equity Index F...
by Valuethinker
Tue Jun 30, 2015 8:48 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VDE lacking clean energy
Replies: 24
Views: 995

Re: VDE lacking clean energy

The Energy industry (upstream & downstream) is in business to make money for their shareholders. If alternative business line can do that...fine. In most cases, alternative energy requires subsidies from governments to even exist...and even most of those go belly up. The core business of the en...
by Valuethinker
Tue Jun 30, 2015 7:36 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Traveling to Santorini in September....
Replies: 14
Views: 1268

Re: Traveling to Santorini in September....

Should I be concerned? http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3141480/Hundreds-queue-outside-banks-fears-Grexit-grow-ahead-MPs-vote-bailout-referendum.html I'll be flying through Athens on Agean Air then on to Santorini with my wife. I've already spent the money on the hotel and airfare. In light ...
by Valuethinker
Tue Jun 30, 2015 7:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Propane Oven Makes Me Sick
Replies: 19
Views: 1036

Re: Propane Oven Makes Me Sick

Ok. I'm getting the picture that something is probably amiss. This is my first gas oven and I was wondering if it is just me. I can be sensitive to other kinds of combustion (car exhaust, fireplace, etc.) and I wondered if that might extend to propane too. It had occurred to me that the burner migh...
by Valuethinker
Tue Jun 30, 2015 6:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel to Greece
Replies: 58
Views: 4125

Re: Travel to Greece

I do like Paul Krugman on this one "the Troika made Tsipras a reverse Corleone offer: an offer he cannot accept" sums it up quite nicely. http://faculty.chicagobooth.edu/anil.kashyap/research/papers/A-Primer-on-the-Greek-Crisis_june29.pdf Not quite the same view, but worth a read-- good su...
by Valuethinker
Tue Jun 30, 2015 6:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel to Greece
Replies: 58
Views: 4125

Re: Travel to Greece

The travel advisory from the British government right now is to take enough cash to cover all your outgoings on holiday in Greece. To be clear, cash means Euros: you won't get great rates at local foreign exchange places. Right now foreign payments are not affected by the capital controls. However o...
by Valuethinker
Tue Jun 30, 2015 6:49 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VDE lacking clean energy
Replies: 24
Views: 995

Re: VDE lacking clean energy

I'm just saying that given the state of the energy market, the charter of the ETF is extremely overweight fossil fuels. ... I personally am in favor of a global shift to renewable energy, even if it costs some money to get there, and I have no illusions that it will happen without a compelling shor...
by Valuethinker
Tue Jun 30, 2015 6:40 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VDE lacking clean energy
Replies: 24
Views: 995

Re: VDE lacking clean energy

http://etfdb.com/etfdb-category/alternative-energy-equities/ 10 green energy ETFs. http://etfdb.com/etf/ICLN/#holdings clean portfolio Top Ten Holdings GAM 5.97% Gamesa Corporacion Tecnologica SA VWSYF 5.83% Vestas Wind Systems A/S SCTY 5.70% SolarCity Corp CLPXF 5.29% China Longyuan Power Group Cor...
by Valuethinker
Tue Jun 30, 2015 6:33 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VDE lacking clean energy
Replies: 24
Views: 995

Re: VDE lacking clean energy

I reviewed VDE's holdings recently and found that that ETF is enormously overinvested in fossil fuels -- not much in the way of solar/clean energy. Anyone have opinions on whether or not this is likely to change? This will not happen until "clean energy" companies can become viable withou...
by Valuethinker
Tue Jun 30, 2015 3:22 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VDE lacking clean energy
Replies: 24
Views: 995

Re: VDE lacking clean energy

...The US nuclear utilities are largely independent: Exelon and Constellation are the big operators, from memory. People like Southern Company and TVA (government owned) also run reactors... Exelon and Southern Company are in the Vanguard Utilities ETF (VPU). I'm not finding Constellation in any of...
by Valuethinker
Tue Jun 30, 2015 3:17 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 10 Reasons to take your pension annuity over a lump sum
Replies: 44
Views: 8378

Re: 10 Reasons to take your pension annuity over a lump sum

The key things with a DB pension are: - longevity insurance - you (and your survivor, I would almost always encourage a retiree to choose a spousal survivor benefit) can't outlive their money - portfolio diversification - a fixed (or even better a COLA) income stream is highly diversifying against a...
by Valuethinker
Tue Jun 30, 2015 3:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel to Greece
Replies: 58
Views: 4125

Re: Travel to Greece

Thanks for the hints. I'm not to concerned about a complete collapse. I've been wanting to visit, and I think 2016 will likely be cheaper than early 2015 was. (Especially for more local places.) I always book local apartments instead of hotels. Will evaluate taking in Euros as the trip gets closer....
by Valuethinker
Tue Jun 30, 2015 3:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel to Greece
Replies: 58
Views: 4125

Re: Travel to Greece

From what I've read social unrest may the the biggest risk. Although commodities may also be an issue. I've read imports of medicine is continuing only by the forbearance of the manufactures. They are not being paid. Re pharmaceuticals they did do some sort of deal with the Greek government, so I a...
by Valuethinker
Mon Jun 29, 2015 12:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VDE lacking clean energy
Replies: 24
Views: 995

Re: VDE lacking clean energy

Just to be argumentative... presumably one invests in a sector in with the idea that the companies in the sector are in similar businesses and form a coherent group of stocks with similar behavior. They have to classify things somehow. Vanguard's capsule description of VDE says that it "Includ...
by Valuethinker
Mon Jun 29, 2015 12:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VDE lacking clean energy
Replies: 24
Views: 995

Re: VDE lacking clean energy

I'm just saying that given the state of the energy market, the charter of the ETF is extremely overweight fossil fuels. I'd assumed it had SOMETHING in renewable energy, but it doesn't. It should. Something over 80% of all energy used in the world economy comes from fossil fuels. The big non fossil...
by Valuethinker
Mon Jun 29, 2015 11:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel to Greece
Replies: 58
Views: 4125

Re: Travel to Greece

If you want to go to Greece, I'd recommend gobs and gobs of US dollar singles. Stuff your pants, as it were. Have you ever traveled outside of the US? You might want to try some time. To the OP:I would not cancel a Greek trip planned for later this year. Maybe bring some more cash (Euros...) than I...
by Valuethinker
Mon Jun 29, 2015 10:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel to Greece
Replies: 58
Views: 4125

Re: Travel to Greece

I am reminded of the fascinating story of what happened in Georgia during the Depression. (Perhaps it happened other places too, I just don't know if it is as well documented.) Municipalities just started printing their own unauthorized local currencies ("scrip") and it became a de facto ...
by Valuethinker
Mon Jun 29, 2015 10:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel to Greece
Replies: 58
Views: 4125

Re: Travel to Greece

On travel insurance. I was not thinking about trip cancellation. I was thinking about health care. As long as you have health insurance in place that pays out in Euros or the New Drachma (should it exist), there will be a hospital willing to take you. And an insurer (based in the USA or elsewhere) t...
by Valuethinker
Mon Jun 29, 2015 10:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel to Greece
Replies: 58
Views: 4125

Re: Travel to Greece

Thanks for all your analysis, Valuethinker, also in the other thread. Greece is almost certainly going to be an excellent travel destination in 2016. If there are riots, they will most likely be confined to central Athens (Syntagma Square), and tourists will be able to stay far away. In all likelih...
by Valuethinker
Mon Jun 29, 2015 10:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel to Greece
Replies: 58
Views: 4125

Re: Travel to Greece

I live next door to Greece and I wouldn't book anything before next Wednesday. About 80 years ago, Germans would bomb everything down. Nowadays, different type of bomb has been dropped in Greece. That is an offensively bad use of reasoning by false analogy. I don't excuse it because Greek politicia...
by Valuethinker
Mon Jun 29, 2015 10:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel to Greece
Replies: 25
Views: 1450

Re: Travel to Greece

In case you only want to stay 1 day, but you have 3 days for Athens, there are buses going to Delphi and Mycanae. I once was in the area for 3 weeks a long time ago and was able to spend more days in Athens, am still very much interested in Ancient History. Museums may be closed or open restricted ...
by Valuethinker
Mon Jun 29, 2015 10:22 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VDE lacking clean energy
Replies: 24
Views: 995

Re: VDE lacking clean energy

I reviewed VDE's holdings recently and found that that ETF is enormously overinvested in fossil fuels -- not much in the way of solar/clean energy. Anyone have opinions on whether or not this is likely to change? There are ETFs specialising in green energy. The underlying stocks are very volatile. ...
by Valuethinker
Mon Jun 29, 2015 10:17 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What was the 2008 crash like in real time?
Replies: 217
Views: 18969

Re: What was the 2008 crash like in real time?

We learned that parking our money in a safe investment - a money market fund at TD Ameritrade - was not safe. In September 2008, I heard something about "the Reserve Fund" and I thought "oh no." I went into our TD Ameritrade accounts on line and immediately tried to sell our Res...
by Valuethinker
Mon Jun 29, 2015 10:12 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What was the 2008 crash like in real time?
Replies: 217
Views: 18969

Re: What was the 2008 crash like in real time?

I have lived through the Oil Embargo and Inflation of the 1970s, when Stocks were pronounced dead and Gas lines occupied our days and the Prime interest rate was around 20%. The economy has never been 'normal' in my lifetime, but it has been a heck of lot more turbulent than it is now. The Stock Ma...
by Valuethinker
Mon Jun 29, 2015 10:01 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Traveling to Santorini in September....
Replies: 14
Views: 1268

Re: Traveling to Santorini in September....

Should I be concerned? http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3141480/Hundreds-queue-outside-banks-fears-Grexit-grow-ahead-MPs-vote-bailout-referendum.html I'll be flying through Athens on Agean Air then on to Santorini with my wife. I've already spent the money on the hotel and airfare. In light ...
by Valuethinker
Mon Jun 29, 2015 9:59 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Traveling to Santorini in September....
Replies: 14
Views: 1268

Re: Traveling to Santorini in September....

Thanks All, I've had some people suggest I bring dollars since it's stable and they all accept it....... Who accepts dollars? This is Europe, not the pre 1989 Soviet Bloc. We use Euros (although here where I am next door to Greece we don't accept either). Unless you want to exchange your USD at mon...
by Valuethinker
Mon Jun 29, 2015 8:53 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Puerto Rico Governor Says Island’s Debts Are ‘Not Payable’
Replies: 37
Views: 2983

Re: Puerto Rico Governor Says Island’s Debts Are ‘Not Payable’

The Governor of California will someday say the same thing. California is running a financial surplus I believe? I agree CA has particular politico-economic issues (narrowness of tax base, irrational property taxation, government by voter proposition) which give it instability. On the other hand it...
by Valuethinker
Mon Jun 29, 2015 8:49 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Housing Market in Southern California
Replies: 25
Views: 2277

Re: Housing Market in Southern California

Even though the economy is supposedly doing better than a year ago, today I saw 2 homeless families outside a market looking for food/money. celia There is the fantasy economy and then there is reality. A friend of mine would say "it's a recession if you're working, it's a depression if you ar...
by Valuethinker
Mon Jun 29, 2015 6:03 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Puerto Rico Governor Says Island’s Debts Are ‘Not Payable’
Replies: 37
Views: 2983

Re: Puerto Rico Governor Says Island’s Debts Are ‘Not Payable’

What I can't fathom is how Puerto Rico's debt managed to get that big in the first place. They have what, 3.6 million people total? They never, ever should have been allowed to borrow that much. A warning about financial markets. They invested on the basis of an 'implicit guarantee' that the US Fed...
by Valuethinker
Mon Jun 29, 2015 6:02 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Puerto Rico Governor Says Island’s Debts Are ‘Not Payable’
Replies: 37
Views: 2983

Re: Puerto Rico Governor Says Island’s Debts Are ‘Not Payable’

"A U.S. commonwealth with a population of 3.6 million, Puerto Rico carries more debt per capita than any state in the country. The island has been staggering under the increasing weight of those obligations for years as its economy has tanked, triggering an exodus of island residents to the ma...
by Valuethinker
Mon Jun 29, 2015 6:00 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Puerto Rico Governor Says Island’s Debts Are ‘Not Payable’
Replies: 37
Views: 2983

Re: Puerto Rico Governor Says Island’s Debts Are ‘Not Payable’

"Commonwealth" is a nomenclature used by four of the constituent states of the United States of America in their official, full state names. These states are Kentucky,[1] Massachusetts,[2] Pennsylvania,[3] and Virginia. The four are among the first 15 states to join the Union. This design...
by Valuethinker
Mon Jun 29, 2015 6:00 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Puerto Rico Governor Says Island’s Debts Are ‘Not Payable’
Replies: 37
Views: 2983

Re: Puerto Rico Governor Says Island’s Debts Are ‘Not Payable’

Puerto Rico events have long been discounted by the market-- it was rated junk. Hence the zero holdings by most VG funds, which only hold investment grade. I suspect most of the bonds will be held by vulture funds, who will be looking to use legal action to improve the terms of the debt writeoff. We...
by Valuethinker
Sun Jun 28, 2015 5:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel to Greece
Replies: 58
Views: 4125

Re: Travel to Greece

Another thing which should be understood. Greece is at its limit. You don't impose a 25% fall in GDP on a modern democracy, outside of wartime or an extraordinary circumstance like the fall of the USSR (thinking the Baltic Republics), and get away with it. At least not if you then promise them even ...
by Valuethinker
Sun Jun 28, 2015 4:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel to Greece
Replies: 58
Views: 4125

Re: Travel to Greece

What's the risk? Based on history, Greek civilization will still be there in 2016. They've been around longer than we have. Sure, but what if Greece goes through a deeper economic collapse that leads to civil unrest, major crime wave, etc, military coup? It's not a matter of Greece being around, mo...
by Valuethinker
Sun Jun 28, 2015 4:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel to Greece
Replies: 58
Views: 4125

Re: Travel to Greece

Just to understand. The disruption to the financial system of a Grexit is a risk. But that is to some extent "in the price"-- we haven't had a bank run so much as a very fast bank walk, but the Greeks have pulled a large chunk of their personal savings out of the banking system-- much of t...
by Valuethinker
Sun Jun 28, 2015 4:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel to Greece
Replies: 58
Views: 4125

Re: Travel to Greece

WSJ now reporting Greek banks will not open on Monday. The first stage in an uncontrollable collapse. What would travel insurance get you? How would you make a claim? The first stage in a Grexit, yes. Uncontrollable collapse? No. Travel insurance presumably pays out in the currency of the country i...
by Valuethinker
Sun Jun 28, 2015 4:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel to Greece
Replies: 58
Views: 4125

Re: Travel to Greece

If you want to go to Greece, I'd recommend gobs and gobs of US dollar singles. Stuff your pants, as it were. Still waiting to see if the new Drachma trades above or below the old Zimbabwean currency. I so love Zimbabwe; its currency was worth less than the paper it was printed upon. The American bi...
by Valuethinker
Sun Jun 28, 2015 4:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel to Greece
Replies: 58
Views: 4125

Re: Travel to Greece

livesoft wrote:The Greeks may all be on migrant boats to Africa by then.


Not.
by Valuethinker
Sun Jun 28, 2015 4:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel to Greece
Replies: 58
Views: 4125

Re: Travel to Greece

harrychan wrote:There are so many places to go. Greece would not make my top 20 list considering the circumstance.


Whatever happens, Greece is likely to be a *lot* cheaper in 2016.
by Valuethinker
Sun Jun 28, 2015 9:45 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The next Lehman - this week? [Greek default]
Replies: 146
Views: 12714

Re: The next Lehman - this week? [Greek default]

It's unclear to me whether we are now worse off (Greek default and Grexit much more likely) or not (other countries better insulated from Greek default). What are the chances that this will become a full-on European and then global crisis? I hope Valuethinker will weigh in! In the sense that (parts...
by Valuethinker
Fri Jun 26, 2015 8:53 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Has anyone noticed the Japanese stock market lately?
Replies: 15
Views: 2009

Re: Has anyone noticed the Japanese stock market lately?

fredflinstone wrote:
This stock market boom occurred despite massive appreciation in the Yen.

.


You mean depreciation of the Yen. An increase in the number of Yen per $1 is a depreciation of the Yen against the dollar.

As per other posts, that has offset a lot of the stock index gains.
by Valuethinker
Wed Jun 24, 2015 5:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much insurance should I get?
Replies: 6
Views: 1011

Re: How much insurance should I get?

You need an individual Long Term Disability policy for the husband. There are many threads here. Remember you can only cover 60-65% of pre disability income. Get as long a deductible period (ie self insurance) as you can stand: at least 90 days (when I bought, after about 120 days it didn't make mu...
by Valuethinker
Wed Jun 24, 2015 3:17 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What was the 2008 crash like in real time?
Replies: 217
Views: 18969

Re: What was the 2008 crash like in real time?

There was a moment when we stopped worrying about stock prices, and started worrying whether our bank deposits were safe-- whether these seemingly solid financial institutions would disappear into vapor. That was the real moment of true fear-- going from 'what am I worth?' to 'Am I worth anything'? ...
by Valuethinker
Tue Jun 23, 2015 5:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What was the 2008 crash like in real time?
Replies: 217
Views: 18969

Re: What was the 2008 crash like in real time?

The truth of the matter is not only did we not know WHEN the decline would end, we did not really know whether it would end at all. True with any decline, I suppose. That is one of the reasons why the 2000-03 one was so grueling -- it was stretched out over a longer period than 08-09. Perhaps, but ...
by Valuethinker
Tue Jun 23, 2015 5:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What was the 2008 crash like in real time?
Replies: 217
Views: 18969

Re: What was the 2008 crash like in real time?

On the bright side, I did have the wherewithall to pick-up some TIPS at fire-sale prices! :) A poster here, and my mind goes blank, had a thread about "back up the truck" (and buy TIPS at firesale prices). Grok87 I think. They were paying 3% real yields, in retrospect it was the buy of th...
by Valuethinker
Tue Jun 23, 2015 5:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What was the 2008 crash like in real time?
Replies: 217
Views: 18969

Re: What was the 2008 crash like in real time?

When I have a moment I shall try to find my post. It was about the unprecedented conditions in the money markets and the risks to us all of total financial collapse. I suggested increasing reserve funds held in bank CDs and other FDIC guaranteed accounts, to as much as 18 months of expenses. I also ...

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