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Re: What can happen to a union pension?

The key here is PBGC and in particular, I assume if it is covered this is a multi-employer plan? After the Mafia heavily infiltrated the Teamster Union and Pension plan, I know the Justice Department really cracked down. So one hopes that there is a lot of Federal supervision here to reduce fraud ri...
by Valuethinker
Thu Aug 21, 2014 12:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What can happen to a union pension?
Replies: 10
Views: 960

Re: Daily Telegraph: World War One Archive

... Very, very few military visionaries foresaw the shape of the war they were getting into. 'Home before the leaves fall' was the general sentiment. Hoping this isn't taken as political commentary, because it surely isn't meant to be, rhetorically speaking how many times in history have military v...
by Valuethinker
Thu Aug 21, 2014 12:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Daily Telegraph: World War One Archive
Replies: 89
Views: 5725

Re: Air conditioning

Now that they make central air conditioning I'm happy to use it. I turn it on when the desert temperatures require it and leave it on till things cool down. Why in the world would I struggle to avoid using it? Down here in Texas it get's incredibly hot (and can be quite humid). Running the AC is a ...
by Valuethinker
Thu Aug 21, 2014 12:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Air conditioning
Replies: 27
Views: 1501

Re: Air conditioning

We use a multi-tiered approach. Southern California (different climate) but it should still apply. Low power whole house fan which is quiet and can run all night. Crack the desired windows to adjust airflow as desired. As long as the temperature outside cools down to an acceptable level this works ...
by Valuethinker
Thu Aug 21, 2014 12:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Air conditioning
Replies: 27
Views: 1501

Re: High Yield Bonds - Uncorrelated to Stocks and Bonds?

Hi Rick, Do you plan to stick with an allocation to High Yield bonds or are you considering merging the allocation into Total Bond Index and Intermediate TIPS? I have been reading more and more articles about the flight from high yield (recent bias!). Best. Surely you mean 'rebalancing towards High...
by Valuethinker
Wed Aug 20, 2014 11:10 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: High Yield Bonds - Uncorrelated to Stocks and Bonds?
Replies: 69
Views: 4118

Re: What's happening with my Stable Value fund?

Flattening yield curve could mean higher interest rates in the short term and lower ones in the long term.

That is the definition of a flattening yield curve in fact.

So perhaps the short rates the fund is getting on its investments have gone up (a bit) but the longer term yields are falling?
by Valuethinker
Wed Aug 20, 2014 10:46 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What's happening with my Stable Value fund?
Replies: 16
Views: 1795

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

2001 and Day the Earth Stood Still are nominally based on short stories too, however the connection is very tenuous and could arguably called insignificant. The Thing's connection to Who Goes There is much stronger. And the second The Thing (the John Carpenter remake) the more so? Closer to the ori...
by Valuethinker
Wed Aug 20, 2014 9:44 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V
Replies: 3200
Views: 1084305

Re: Specific bond info from yahoo bond screener

Hi, I really like the Yahoo Bond Screener, found here: http://screener.finance.yahoo.com/bonds.html One limitation: when I pull up a bond, I cannot see what the par value is. I would be happy to jump over to another site, like morningstar, to look it up (for eg, here): http://www.morningstar.com/Co...
by Valuethinker
Wed Aug 20, 2014 9:35 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Specific bond info from yahoo bond screener
Replies: 4
Views: 205

Re: Specific bond info from yahoo bond screener

Unless it is an inflation linked bond, the par value is almost always $100. That's how the Yield to Maturity is calculated ($100 at redemption). Note that the key thing is if the corporate bond is callable. You might have to read the prospectus to find that out. If it is callable, you want to look a...
by Valuethinker
Wed Aug 20, 2014 9:34 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Specific bond info from yahoo bond screener
Replies: 4
Views: 205

Re: Blog:iShares to close target retirement ETFs

Whoa, those didn't last long. They were only launched in, let's see... 11/05/2008. The fund industry seems to have the attention span of a toddler. They sell these things as a complete lifetime retirement savings plan that you're supposed to commit to for a lifetime, and they can't even keep them g...
by Valuethinker
Wed Aug 20, 2014 8:49 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Blog:iShares to close target retirement ETFs
Replies: 12
Views: 938

Re: Blog:iShares to close target retirement ETFs

What happens when an ETF is closed? Do the holders just get cashed out or is there a 'roll over' option? Does this pose a taxable distribution problem for an individual investor in the USA? the fund will be liquidated and investors holding the ETF at the end will receive the cash proceeds. This wil...
by Valuethinker
Wed Aug 20, 2014 8:47 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Blog:iShares to close target retirement ETFs
Replies: 12
Views: 938

Re: Defined Benefit Plan Costs?

Yes but it's possible to get a feel of norms. Which are about 15% of pensionable salary (gross, employer + employee contribution) for a 1.67% pa accrual retire after 35 years scheme. Add in full CPI indexing or a higher accrual rate and you are talking 20, 25%. It's only an approximation, but it's ...
by Valuethinker
Wed Aug 20, 2014 8:45 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Defined Benefit Plan Costs?
Replies: 36
Views: 1737

Re: Blog:iShares to close target retirement ETFs

Hi: New blog posting ---> iShares to close target retirement ETFs Blackrock iShares has announced the imminent closing and liquidation of the firm’s target retirement exchange-traded funds. Trading is to be halted on October 15, 2014 (see the quote to the right.) regards, What happens when an ETF i...
by Valuethinker
Wed Aug 20, 2014 8:26 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Blog:iShares to close target retirement ETFs
Replies: 12
Views: 938

Re: B&H Photo - NY City Experience

There are many many camera and electronics dealers in New York that advertise in the back pages of photography magazines etc. and do business via the Web. Many of them have, uh, "interesting" physical locations which are documented on these pages: http://donwiss.com/pictures/BrooklynStore...
by Valuethinker
Wed Aug 20, 2014 8:21 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: B&H Photo - NY City Experience
Replies: 35
Views: 2155

Re: Defined Benefit Plan Costs?

The paperwork I have on the plan is not very specific. However it does say that is a defined benefit pension plan,. It's is the normal retirement benefit will be determined based on the some of your frozen accrued benefit if applicable and a retirement benefit formula equal to 3%% of your monthly c...
by Valuethinker
Wed Aug 20, 2014 8:19 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Defined Benefit Plan Costs?
Replies: 36
Views: 1737

Re: Pension – Lump Sum Rollover or Keep it?

Because of the way the IRS requires lump sum payouts to be determined the amount of your lump sum payout could be higher now (when interest rates are at historic lows) then it may be at future times (when interest rates may be higher). There is also the possibility that the manner in which lump sum...
by Valuethinker
Wed Aug 20, 2014 7:49 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pension – Lump Sum Rollover or Keep it?
Replies: 9
Views: 621

Re: Which countries really provide health care to all citize

I wanted to apologize to everyone for getting dragged into this. I can see where this is going, now. In the desire to inform, I am sometimes naive I react fiercely to what I believe to be factual untruths or ideological opinions disguised as statements of fact (eg on macroeconomics). Yet here there ...
by Valuethinker
Wed Aug 20, 2014 7:44 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which countries really provide health care to all citizens?
Replies: 12
Views: 1423

Re: Which countries really provide health care to all citize

I think I figured out the key term: "Single payer" This list shows that Obamacare and Germany are "insurance mandate," while the UK, Canada and Sweden are "single payer." I guess the questionable ones are the "two tier" like France and Australia. http://truec...
by Valuethinker
Wed Aug 20, 2014 7:31 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which countries really provide health care to all citizens?
Replies: 12
Views: 1423

Re: Daily Telegraph: World War One Archive

For anyone interested, there are some nice pictures of coins dated 1914 covering many of the belligerents of WWI here: http://www.coincommunity.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=184793 I just finished the Hew Strachan book recently; it really does a good job of covering the major political topics of WWI...
by Valuethinker
Wed Aug 20, 2014 6:53 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Daily Telegraph: World War One Archive
Replies: 89
Views: 5725

Re: Which countries really provide health care to all citize

There are various obfuscating terms like "universal health care" which make this hard to figure out. For example, Canada, I'm pretty sure, does give health coverage to all citizens, regardless of employment or income. However, Germany, which is often described as having "universal&qu...
by Valuethinker
Wed Aug 20, 2014 6:46 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which countries really provide health care to all citizens?
Replies: 12
Views: 1423

Re: Tract Home - Things to Watch During Construction

Get good windows. Dual pane is probably standard, with argon and low-e coating. You might benefit from triple pane. I'm sure there's a calculation you could do to determine the payoff, based on your location, fuel cost, etc. If the difference is not huge, just go triple. . A mistake I made was to s...
by Valuethinker
Wed Aug 20, 2014 6:30 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tract Home - Things to Watch During Construction
Replies: 55
Views: 2720

Re: Canada-specific investment advice

OP - in Canada you might want to also compare XIU etf, its fees are much lower than mutual funds, and while it is just Canada, it does fairly well. XIU is fine for his Canadian exposure but OP needs global diversification. Canadian stocks have done well. It's been a decade for resource stocks. And ...
by Valuethinker
Wed Aug 20, 2014 6:00 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Canada-specific investment advice
Replies: 12
Views: 687

Re: US REITs already have international exposure

Another aspect worth considering about REITs is their role in the portfolio as inflation protection, and not just diversification. Based on the studies I've seen, there seems to be strong evidence that publicly-traded equity REITs (such as Vanguard's REIT Index) have historically provided effective...
by Valuethinker
Wed Aug 20, 2014 5:49 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: US REITs already have international exposure
Replies: 14
Views: 1185

Re: Canada-specific investment advice

Re small size of ETF 1. management expense ratios are higher, the fixed costs of establishing and managing the ETF are spread over fewer assets 2. if ETFs don't reach say $100m in size quite quickly then the manager may simply close them, giving you back your money or moving it into an ETF that is l...
by Valuethinker
Wed Aug 20, 2014 5:44 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Canada-specific investment advice
Replies: 12
Views: 687

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

seeshells wrote:Business Adventures:Twelve Classic Tales from Wall Street, by JBrooks.


Brooks had an old fashioned style, but an absolute classic.

Wasn't Warren Buffett recommending this the other day?
by Valuethinker
Tue Aug 19, 2014 4:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V
Replies: 3200
Views: 1084305

Re: Canada-specific investment advice

Equities (Total: 75%) FTSE Canada All Cap Index ETF (VCN) (37.5%) (https://www.vanguardcanada.ca/advisors/etfs/etfs-detail-overview.htm?portId=9561) FTSE All-World ex Canada Index ETF (VXC) (37.5%) (https://www.vanguardcanada.ca/advisors/etfs/etfs-detail-overview.htm?portId=9548) ) A little more ch...
by Valuethinker
Tue Aug 19, 2014 4:07 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Canada-specific investment advice
Replies: 12
Views: 687

Re: Canada-specific investment advice

Vanguard Canadian Aggregate Bond Index ETF seeks to track, to the extent reasonably possible and before fees and expenses, the performance of a broad Canadian bond index. Currently, this Vanguard ETF seeks to track the Barclays Capital Global Aggregate Canadian Float Adjusted Bond Index (or any suc...
by Valuethinker
Tue Aug 19, 2014 4:00 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Canada-specific investment advice
Replies: 12
Views: 687

Re: Canada-specific investment advice

Valuethinker, thank you so much for your detailed answer. I took some time to answer as I've been reading-reading-reading. This seems like such an important decision in my life that I do not want to rush with incomplete information. You should keep the Emergency Fund. Even with Employment Insurance...
by Valuethinker
Tue Aug 19, 2014 3:56 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Canada-specific investment advice
Replies: 12
Views: 687

Re: Is a big war coming ???

I always wondered if 'The Big One' blew in Europe and we did *not* go nuclear (both low probability events) then what would the world look like by Christmas. Assume the USSR struck on 1st August in a surprise attack. Assume the greatest tank battle in history (military historian Gwyn Dyer 'I am sta...
by Valuethinker
Tue Aug 19, 2014 3:45 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is a big war coming ???
Replies: 37
Views: 3737

Re: Is a big war coming ???

I always wondered if 'The Big One' blew in Europe and we did *not* go nuclear (both low probability events) then what would the world look like by Christmas. Although things change over time, I gamed out this scenario several times back when it was the Soviet Union we were worried about. (I like ta...
by Valuethinker
Tue Aug 19, 2014 3:39 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is a big war coming ???
Replies: 37
Views: 3737

Re: Pension – Lump Sum Rollover or Keep it?

Hi all. I’m about to turn 43, my wife is 41. We just received a lump sum option from our pensions for working at the same company and I’m not sure what to do. On a scale from one to ten we are about a 7 health wise. We have two kids and are in ‘good shape, generally speaking from our 401ks/IRAs. He...
by Valuethinker
Tue Aug 19, 2014 10:42 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pension – Lump Sum Rollover or Keep it?
Replies: 9
Views: 621

Re: Pension – Lump Sum Rollover or Keep it?

Monthly payouts at 65 but could take lump sum at 55 and there is %50 survivorship. I would take the monthly pension. 27,518 / 549 / 12 It will only take 4 years to accumulate the lump sum that you are being offered. That was the quick and dirty calc I did up front, but I don't think that is represe...
by Valuethinker
Tue Aug 19, 2014 10:40 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pension – Lump Sum Rollover or Keep it?
Replies: 9
Views: 621

Re: commodity funds and currency risk

I want to add a 5% allocation to a broad commodity basket to my portfolio, but I've ran into a snag: I don't think I understand the potentially involved currency risk (if any). The thing is: I am located in Finland, so my local currency is the euro. I have a good understanding of currency risk when...
by Valuethinker
Tue Aug 19, 2014 9:56 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: commodity funds and currency risk
Replies: 8
Views: 572

Re: commodity funds and currency risk

dodonnell Only problem is that there are correlations that matter. When dollar falls commodity prices tend to rise, as I explained. That helps offset the long dollar position, and vice versa Larry Let me see if i can hone in on what you are explaining: Would my previous post answer be more valid, i...
by Valuethinker
Tue Aug 19, 2014 9:54 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: commodity funds and currency risk
Replies: 8
Views: 572

Re: Pension – Lump Sum Rollover or Keep it?

Hi all. I’m about to turn 43, my wife is 41. We just received a lump sum option from our pensions for working at the same company and I’m not sure what to do. On a scale from one to ten we are about a 7 health wise. We have two kids and are in ‘good shape, generally speaking from our 401ks/IRAs. He...
by Valuethinker
Tue Aug 19, 2014 9:51 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pension – Lump Sum Rollover or Keep it?
Replies: 9
Views: 621

Re: Is a big war coming ???

I always wondered if 'The Big One' blew in Europe and we did *not* go nuclear (both low probability events) then what would the world look like by Christmas. Assume the USSR struck on 1st August in a surprise attack. Assume the greatest tank battle in history (military historian Gwyn Dyer 'I am stan...
by Valuethinker
Tue Aug 19, 2014 9:23 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is a big war coming ???
Replies: 37
Views: 3737

Re: Is a big war coming ???

As long as we're just having a bull session: what commodities are likely to experience the big run-ups? That would not only require a lot of expertise I don't have, regarding basic materials and industrial production, it would also help to know where the war will be, and between whom and whom. Didn...
by Valuethinker
Tue Aug 19, 2014 9:03 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is a big war coming ???
Replies: 37
Views: 3737

Re: Is a big war coming ???

The list of commodities making bottoms is growing. It was gold, copper, silver and now cotton, grains and sugar. Commodities go up in war times. The S&P has risen strongly for 3 years and the commodities have fallen the same amount of time and are making bottoms. The value is in the commodities...
by Valuethinker
Tue Aug 19, 2014 8:57 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is a big war coming ???
Replies: 37
Views: 3737

Re: Defined Benefit Plan Costs?

Medical costs have been going up faster than inflation for decades. Obamacare made this problem worse by mandating coverage such as equal limits for mental and physical health coverage and for coverages that were not included in lower price plans such as contraception.? And yet US healthcare cost g...
by Valuethinker
Tue Aug 19, 2014 7:06 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Defined Benefit Plan Costs?
Replies: 36
Views: 1737

Re: Defined Benefit Plan Costs?

The schedule has become more obnoxious with rotating 12 hour night and weekend shifts, as well as increased workload, and new tasks to complete daily which were not previously there. The bonus is taxable salary. Profit sharing is another retirement account. I also have personal IRA funding on the s...
by Valuethinker
Tue Aug 19, 2014 7:02 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Defined Benefit Plan Costs?
Replies: 36
Views: 1737

Re: Defined Benefit Plan Costs?

The actual cost of a defined benefit plan is always going to be unknown. The amount of money that actually must go in will depend on how the plan investments perform. For corporate (not government) plans the standard rule is based on bond yields so that more money has to be in the plan for it to be...
by Valuethinker
Tue Aug 19, 2014 7:00 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Defined Benefit Plan Costs?
Replies: 36
Views: 1737

Re: Has indexing gotten too big?

Index funds constituted 14% and 3% of equity and fixed income funds, respectively, in market-capitalization terms. I read somewhere that only around 25% of stocks are held in funds, with the rest of stocks being directly held (not sure if this is still accurate). Thus only around 3.5% of stocks are...
by Valuethinker
Tue Aug 19, 2014 6:58 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Has indexing gotten too big?
Replies: 10
Views: 1693

Re: Has indexing gotten too big?

Index funds constituted 14% and 3% of equity and fixed income funds, respectively, in market-capitalization terms. I read somewhere that only around 25% of stocks are held in funds, with the rest of stocks being directly held (not sure if this is still accurate). Thus only around 3.5% of stocks are...
by Valuethinker
Tue Aug 19, 2014 6:06 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Has indexing gotten too big?
Replies: 10
Views: 1693

Re: New iShares Global REIT ETF

VEET: 238 holdings; 62% US, the rest in UK, Australia, Japan, Canada, France, and a couple others. On the other hand Vanguard's REIT Index has 138 holdings, and their Ex-US REIT Index has 532 holdings with a much larger percentage of emerging markets. I think REET would make a good choice for many ...
by Valuethinker
Tue Aug 19, 2014 6:03 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New iShares Global REIT ETF
Replies: 5
Views: 571

Re: Implied future real interest rates

The current market forecast of real interest rates is consistent with a 'Secular Stagnation Theory'. That the US economy is not going back to full employment any time soon, and inflation and interest rates are not going up. http://www.voxeu.org/article/secular-stagnation-facts-causes-and-cures-new-v...
by Valuethinker
Tue Aug 19, 2014 5:53 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Implied future real interest rates
Replies: 7
Views: 844

Re: Your biggest "Missed Money" event that still kills you?

Sold my house in Southwest Florida for $350,000. Not a bad profit, having paid $142,000 a number of years earlier. However, the purchaser sold it six years later for nearly one million. Had the same experience with the next house. Bought it in 1995 for $255,000 and sold it for $308,000 three years ...
by Valuethinker
Tue Aug 19, 2014 5:46 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Your biggest "Missed Money" event that still kills you?
Replies: 95
Views: 6608

Re: Your biggest "Missed Money" event that still kills you?

Not investing in Tesla before its first earnings report. I had just heard CTO JB Straubel talk at an energy conference and tested the model S and was very enticed. However, I didn't want to pick a stock that could boom or bust. You blew it on that one, but quite frankly, as a general rule it is a g...
by Valuethinker
Tue Aug 19, 2014 5:41 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Your biggest "Missed Money" event that still kills you?
Replies: 95
Views: 6608

Re: Inflation-indexed SPIAs: A Good Deal?

My working assumption is that since inflation is an additional unpredictable risk, it is going to be harder to decide whether or not something is "a good deal" than it is for a situation where the only variable is the mortality curve. My working assumption is that the insurance companies ...
by Valuethinker
Tue Aug 19, 2014 5:39 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Inflation-indexed SPIAs: A Good Deal?
Replies: 12
Views: 1290

Re: Implied future real interest rates

Interesting. I was looking at CD rates and was wondering how much to take from them in terms of implied future rates, eg these terms and rates 6 Months 0.70% 9 Months 0.70% 12 Months 1.04% 18 Months 1.14% 24 Months 1.19% 30 Months 1.14% 3 Years 1.34% 4 Years 1.64% 5 Years 2.23% 6 Years 2.27% The ba...
by Valuethinker
Tue Aug 19, 2014 5:33 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Implied future real interest rates
Replies: 7
Views: 844

Re: Rebalance + stay the course ... or dial it down on stock

Emergency fund: Four months of expenses in MMF (although could also access non-IRA investing account w/current value of about 14 months of expenses) Debt: Home mortgage only; 15-year at 4.25 with 11 years to go Tax Filing Status: Married Filing Jointly Tax Rate: 25% Federal, no state tax (Texas) Ag...
by Valuethinker
Tue Aug 19, 2014 5:25 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Rebalance + stay the course ... or dial it down on stocks
Replies: 10
Views: 1881
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