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Re: CalPERS Eliminates Hedge Fund Program

CALPERS could still achieve its 7.5% return target by using leverage. Specifically, Private Equity/ LBO transactions and infrastructure funds. Both use significant levels of leverage to increase returns. EDIT: also Real Estate. Inherently lower returns than equities, but you can leverage an office b...
by Valuethinker
Thu Sep 18, 2014 12:26 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: CalPERS Eliminates Hedge Fund Program
Replies: 42
Views: 2538

Re: Real Estate Question

Sell and simplify. It's also a call to arms about getting rid of 'stuff'. My parents resisted doing this and my Mum is now in her 80s sitting in a house full of 'stuff' with neither the energy nor inclination to get rid of it. When she does have to move it's going to be very painful to her when we h...
by Valuethinker
Wed Sep 17, 2014 12:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real Estate Question
Replies: 20
Views: 1305

Re: Could someone explain this bond fund's maturity measures

Here's a link to the portfolio of PONDX: http://portfolios.morningstar.com/fund/summary?t=PONDX&region=usa&culture=en-US In the "bond maturity breakdown" section, it shows about 50% of the bonds in this fund have maturity >20 years. And under "bond statistics" it shows t...
by Valuethinker
Wed Sep 17, 2014 12:06 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Could someone explain this bond fund's maturity measures
Replies: 6
Views: 351

Re: Very lost on random inherited bonds in portfolio

The yield on those bonds is very likely much lower, as they have appreciated to match comparable market bonds. In other words, they are no longer 6% investments, but maybe 3% - too lazy to check. The only thing that would prevent me from selling is if the spreads were high, suggesting that I actual...
by Valuethinker
Wed Sep 17, 2014 12:03 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Very lost on random inherited bonds in portfolio
Replies: 8
Views: 623

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley Nicholas Taleb in Fooled by Randomness will take you through the gaping flaw in this study, but in case you have yet to spot it. Doing a 'snapshot' of a group of people who are millionaires now does not tell you that that is how to become a millionaire...
by Valuethinker
Wed Sep 17, 2014 11:58 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V
Replies: 3351
Views: 1148767

Re: energy star rating versus building code requirement - MA

If you are concerned about energy efficiency of a home for purchase, you can conduct a blower door test and perhaps thermal imaging. You would be surprised how sloppy some contractors are with preventing air infiltration and installing insulation. I would also visually inspect attic insulation. Esp...
by Valuethinker
Tue Sep 16, 2014 4:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: energy star rating versus building code requirement - MA
Replies: 6
Views: 464

Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Towards the end of his career, RAH's novels got very long, very meandering, explicitly sexual, and very weird. Turned out, he had a tumor that was blocking the flow of blood to his brain (really!) and after it was removed, his fiction (and, reportedly, his personality) really changed again. Wow! Th...
by Valuethinker
Tue Sep 16, 2014 4:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good Modern Science Fiction
Replies: 129
Views: 5135

Re: "The Education of a Value Investor"

Robert, How easy is the efficient frontier data to use? I have some private fund data I would like to run through this analysis. Will the analysis work with yearly or quarterly data or only monthly? If you are interested in Pabrai, he has purchased an insurance company from which he plans to invest...
by Valuethinker
Tue Sep 16, 2014 4:11 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "The Education of a Value Investor"
Replies: 26
Views: 2463

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Finished Graham Greene's The Quiet American. Fabulous, fabulous book. I really enjoyed it, the dry wit, the cynicism, the poetic descriptions, everything. Just some of the few sentences that I loved/laughed out loud at. There were too many to note down: Describing Phuong, the main character's love ...
by Valuethinker
Tue Sep 16, 2014 4:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V
Replies: 3351
Views: 1148767

Re: Very lost on random inherited bonds in portfolio

These bonds were part of an inherited fund and I have no idea what to do with them. Should I sell them, keep them, and if I were to sell them, what ask price should I set? Should I just wait for them to mature? I've learned the basics of bonds but only in theory and am very lost on how to apply the...
by Valuethinker
Tue Sep 16, 2014 4:02 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Very lost on random inherited bonds in portfolio
Replies: 8
Views: 623

Re: Tiny house movement.

My brother talks about doing this every now and then (in eastern Ontario). He did some research and found that anything within a decent driving distance of a town or city is zoned such that this is not permissible. Most land around here is zoned such that you need a permanent residence on the lot, ...
by Valuethinker
Tue Sep 16, 2014 3:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [can my family live in a] Tiny house
Replies: 54
Views: 3344

Re: [can my family live in a] Tiny house

It is a reasonable bet that you can live in 300 square feet per person. A 1500 square foot house in London is not a small house for a family of 5 (it's not huge). The key is to have ways of being together. Eg more small rooms. also noise discipline. Nothing annoys me more at friends houses than when...
by Valuethinker
Tue Sep 16, 2014 3:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [can my family live in a] Tiny house
Replies: 54
Views: 3344

Re: Interest rates

The problem with assessing the impact of ZIRP on seniors (or any other cohort "spending" income from FI) is the paucity of data. Everyone seems to assume seniors are running around with oversize CD portfolios, Social Security, and little else. Ergo, ZIRP must have impacted spending, or re...
by Valuethinker
Sun Sep 14, 2014 12:06 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Interest rates
Replies: 12
Views: 1394

Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

I've also enjoyed reading the Well World books by Jack Chalker, as well as the Pip and Flinx books by Alan Dean Foster and also his Icerigger trilogy. Icerigger is basically a western but none the poorer for it. Imaginative world. I much prefer Heinlein's early books to his more famous books, like ...
by Valuethinker
Sun Sep 14, 2014 11:55 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good Modern Science Fiction
Replies: 129
Views: 5135

Re: Recommended World War I book

Barbara Tuchman's The Guns of August This is an outstanding book. I think that particular book of hers is horribly overrated. Even the abridged version of Churchill's WWI memoir offers a far superior treatment of the events leading up to the war. My understanding is that modern historiography gener...
by Valuethinker
Sun Sep 14, 2014 11:38 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommended World War I book
Replies: 37
Views: 1877

Re: Why is REIT only sector fund recommended in slice & dice

Hi jay22, I am unsure if Small Cap Index is recommended, but most often Small Cap Value is mentioned. Best. Interesting. Any idea why Small Cap Value is recommended to tilt instead of Small Cap Index? If you look at the Fama French results, the value effect is considerably stronger than the small c...
by Valuethinker
Sat Sep 13, 2014 12:28 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why is REIT only sector fund recommended in slice & dice?
Replies: 113
Views: 7427

Re: Recommended World War I book

Barbara Tuchman's The Guns of August This is an outstanding book. If you are looking for a tome, I suggest "The Last Lion" by William Manchester. It's actually a trilogy covering the life of Winston Churchill, but the stories about Churchill in the as lord of the Admiralty are priceless. ...
by Valuethinker
Sat Sep 13, 2014 12:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommended World War I book
Replies: 37
Views: 1877

Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Heinlein certainly wrestled with censorship of his works (many of us would argue to their benefit-- old man Heinlein on sex was not, generally, an uplifting read). Some of Stross' novels also have some sex, especially it would seem Saturn's Children: Stross's robopervy tribute to the late late Hein...
by Valuethinker
Fri Sep 12, 2014 2:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good Modern Science Fiction
Replies: 129
Views: 5135

Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Towards the end of his career, RAH's novels got very long, very meandering, explicitly sexual, and very weird. Turned out, he had a tumor that was blocking the flow of blood to his brain (really!) and after it was removed, his fiction (and, reportedly, his personality) really changed again. Wow! Th...
by Valuethinker
Fri Sep 12, 2014 2:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good Modern Science Fiction
Replies: 129
Views: 5135

Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

I . I found Lem unreadable but I second Terry Prachett, who is hilarious! The thing to understand about Stanislas Lem and even more so Boris & Arkday Strugatsky, is that they were writing under communist regimes-- censored. It is never entirely clear whether the censors just didn't understand t...
by Valuethinker
Fri Sep 12, 2014 12:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good Modern Science Fiction
Replies: 129
Views: 5135

Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

M. A. Foster is another very good sci-fi writer whose books don't depend very much on whiz-bang technology but are primarily explorations of human (and quasi-human) nature. http://sf-encyclopedia.com/entry/foster_m_a stopped way too young. Unclear whether he died or what. The Morphodite or the Gene...
by Valuethinker
Fri Sep 12, 2014 12:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good Modern Science Fiction
Replies: 129
Views: 5135

Re: Angry when stock market is down

Does anyone else get angry/edgy/cranky on days where the stock market is down? In the last couple of days, I find little things "set me off". But maybe it could also be other factors in my life. For instance, it's annoying to see REITs down 1.8% today. I won't sell, but I'm just annoyed. ...
by Valuethinker
Fri Sep 12, 2014 11:25 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Angry when stock market is down
Replies: 79
Views: 3914

Re: Is USD the best currency to choose for index fund invest

I found that I can open an account with interactive brokers. I want to invest in mainly US index funds (large cap, mid cap, small cap) combined with option to automatically reinvest dividends. I will invest in world total stock market as well. What do you think would be the best currency to choose ...
by Valuethinker
Fri Sep 12, 2014 11:16 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: [from Euro country, use USD to invest in US index funds?]
Replies: 19
Views: 1131

Re: I've never been a fan of commodity funds

Looks like a good time to buy. :sharebeer Oversupply means a cutback in production. A cutback in production will most likely lead to undersupply in the future - which should cause commodities to rise. So. Looks like a good time to buy. :beer There is a lot of question about the reliability of Chine...
by Valuethinker
Fri Sep 12, 2014 11:11 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I've never been a fan of commodity funds
Replies: 28
Views: 2161

Re: Options vesting period coming to close, need advice

Hello all! First time poster here. Great community here it appears. I'm a novice investor (having only in the past couple of years become debt free with a higher income), but I have some questions about employer-granted stock options. I have searched the forum for similar threads and I picked up so...
by Valuethinker
Fri Sep 12, 2014 8:50 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Options vesting period coming to close, need advice
Replies: 8
Views: 505

Re: A 'really good book' you did NOT enjoy

The Fountainhead. One of the characters reminded me of a coworker at the time. Very depressing. "Atlas Shrugged" regularly wins awards as the 'most influential book in my life' on surveys, up there with the Bible. I couldn't finish it. Polemics disguised as novels seldom work. I read both...
by Valuethinker
Fri Sep 12, 2014 8:41 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A 'really good book' you did NOT enjoy
Replies: 226
Views: 10571

Re: A 'really good book' you did NOT enjoy

Hugh Grant redeemed himself by appearing in Cloud Atlas. Redeemed himself for what? The Jane Austen movies. I forget which one(s) he was in since they are a blur in my mind. I didn't know that he cheated on Elizabeth Hurley, and now that I do, I really don't care about that. I mind my own business....
by Valuethinker
Fri Sep 12, 2014 8:36 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A 'really good book' you did NOT enjoy
Replies: 226
Views: 10571

Re: A 'really good book' you did NOT enjoy

The Fountainhead. One of the characters reminded me of a coworker at the time. Very depressing. "Atlas Shrugged" regularly wins awards as the 'most influential book in my life' on surveys, up there with the Bible. I couldn't finish it. Polemics disguised as novels seldom work. I felt some...
by Valuethinker
Fri Sep 12, 2014 8:13 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A 'really good book' you did NOT enjoy
Replies: 226
Views: 10571

Re: A 'really good book' you did NOT enjoy

The Fountainhead. One of the characters reminded me of a coworker at the time. Very depressing. You know the old joke. "JRR Tolkein and Ayn Rand are 2 favourites of adolescents. One writes about superhuman characters and encourages the reader to live in a fantasy world that he or she can never...
by Valuethinker
Fri Sep 12, 2014 8:12 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A 'really good book' you did NOT enjoy
Replies: 226
Views: 10571

Re: Percentage of bond money in foreign bonds

I just ran Vanguards Portfolio watch on my investments. It analyzes your investments. I got one of those "consider" banners. It says this: "Holding more foreign bonds can potentially increase the level of diversification in your portfolio. Allocating up to 20% of your bond portfolio ...
by Valuethinker
Fri Sep 12, 2014 7:49 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Percentage of bond money in foreign bonds
Replies: 8
Views: 776

Re: Recommended World War I book

http://www.amazon.com/Peace-End-All-Ott ... icot+sykes http://www.amazon.com/Line-Sand-Anglo-F ... icot+sykes These cover the Picot Sykes agreement and the creation of Jordan Iraq Syria Lebanon Palestine-- which haunts us to this day. Remember that at this time, it was known there was oil in Iran, ...
by Valuethinker
Fri Sep 12, 2014 6:09 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommended World War I book
Replies: 37
Views: 1877

Re: BMW X3 vs Mercedes GLK350

I had a point above on diesels in North America. They are great conceptually, but I see practical issues in terms of additional cost, additional cost of fuel and potential reliability issues (the complexity of the emissions control systems: this is not a 1970s Mercedes diesel). With the Mercedes GL...
by Valuethinker
Fri Sep 12, 2014 4:46 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: BMW X3 vs Mercedes GLK350
Replies: 33
Views: 2620

Re: Citi: Just use leverage for 10% bond returns

ANd because that is not reasonable, all of a sudden junk bonds become more reasonable to buy - so one stupid times another stupid thing makes the solution - must be math using irrational numbers to get that working out. Citibank says that leveraging junk is safer than leveraging less risky bond typ...
by Valuethinker
Fri Sep 12, 2014 4:44 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Citi: Just use leverage for 10% bond returns
Replies: 28
Views: 2900

Re: Citi: Just use leverage for 10% bond returns

all of a sudden junk bonds become more reasonable to buy - so one stupid times another stupid thing makes the solution - must be math using irrational numbers to get that working out. ..take the risk on the stock side and not the bond side.. I am absolutely not recommending that anybody do this, no...
by Valuethinker
Fri Sep 12, 2014 4:39 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Citi: Just use leverage for 10% bond returns
Replies: 28
Views: 2900

Re: Interest rates

With lower interest rates there should be more economic activity than if they were higher. That's why the Fed is keeping short-term rates low right now. Except of course, as you noted, it reduces the income of savers and many Seniors. So at least 13% of the population is probably spending considera...
by Valuethinker
Thu Sep 11, 2014 5:55 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Interest rates
Replies: 12
Views: 1394

Re: Interest rates

Fiscal policy is the setting of taxes and spending. In general, because the US has a very long drawn out budgetary process which is always a compromise between the legislative and the executive, US fiscal policy does not have a big impact on interest rates and inflation. There have been periods when...
by Valuethinker
Thu Sep 11, 2014 5:52 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Interest rates
Replies: 12
Views: 1394

Re: Interest rates

I believe I am posting this to the correct forum, "Investing - Theory, News & General Discuss" as my post is more general (non-personal) and my goal is understanding. I am trying to better understand the impacts, the why's and the whens of raising interest rates. I would appreciate he...
by Valuethinker
Thu Sep 11, 2014 5:49 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Interest rates
Replies: 12
Views: 1394

Re: Beginner questions, don't shoot

http://xetra.com/xetra/dispatch/en/kir/navigation/xetra/100_market_structure_instruments/100_instruments/200_etfs http://www.boerse-frankfurt.de/en/etfs/etfs+indexfunds That magic word UCITS means it is approved in the EU for individual investment, and that should mean your tax authority should reco...
by Valuethinker
Thu Sep 11, 2014 5:35 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Beginner questions, don't shoot
Replies: 10
Views: 1472

Re: Citi: Just use leverage for 10% bond returns

OK, I am clearly slow on the math here - I thought, by definition, leveraging means you are borrowing money to invest into a higher yielding (hopefully) investment ? How do you do that when you invest into (normal) bonds ? Bonds give you some 2-4 % right now - where can you borrow money for less th...
by Valuethinker
Thu Sep 11, 2014 5:31 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Citi: Just use leverage for 10% bond returns
Replies: 28
Views: 2900

Re: Citi: Just use leverage for 10% bond returns

I can't imagine how that could go wrong! But why stop at 10% returns? Why not 100%, or 1000%? Long Term Capital Management I was being facetious. :oops: So was I. Pointing out that there is historical precedent. Although LTCM was heavily leveraged against bond arbitrages that exploited small differ...
by Valuethinker
Thu Sep 11, 2014 5:29 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Citi: Just use leverage for 10% bond returns
Replies: 28
Views: 2900

Re: Hedge Mortgage Interest Rates

As long as you live in the USA, it is generally possible to fix your mortgage interest rate, out to 30 years? It is expensive or impossible to do that in other countries, but in the USA that is your best hedge. If you are trying to hedge a mortgage you might take out in the future, say to buy a prop...
by Valuethinker
Thu Sep 11, 2014 5:27 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Hedge Mortgage Interest Rates
Replies: 7
Views: 634

Re: Citi: Just use leverage for 10% bond returns

I'm not suggesting anyone do the trade, but isn't borrowing short to lend longer-term the business model of every bank? Yes, and going back many years, that was the reason for many bank failures in late 1980's and early 1990s. They lent long term on mortgages which they held in their portfolio, and...
by Valuethinker
Thu Sep 11, 2014 2:41 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Citi: Just use leverage for 10% bond returns
Replies: 28
Views: 2900

Re: Citi: Just use leverage for 10% bond returns

technovelist wrote:I can't imagine how that could go wrong!
But why stop at 10% returns? Why not 100%, or 1000%?


Long Term Capital Management
by Valuethinker
Thu Sep 11, 2014 2:36 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Citi: Just use leverage for 10% bond returns
Replies: 28
Views: 2900

Re: Citi: Just use leverage for 10% bond returns

I guess I should clarify that my reason for posting this article wasn't particularly whether Citi (or Bloomberg for that matter) is behaving irresponsibly--you can find some analyst to support almost any position. Or whether chasing yield in this way is a good idea--it's pretty much a Boglehead tru...
by Valuethinker
Thu Sep 11, 2014 12:26 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Citi: Just use leverage for 10% bond returns
Replies: 28
Views: 2900

Re: "The Education of a Value Investor"

Doesn't it bother you that so many professional investors claim to be using a "Warren Buffett approach?" Buffett, as far as I know, has never taught or written or codified his approach, and has never suggested he had a methodology that could be used by anyone else but him. Of course his m...
by Valuethinker
Thu Sep 11, 2014 11:19 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "The Education of a Value Investor"
Replies: 26
Views: 2463

Re: Citi: Just use leverage for 10% bond returns

I'm not suggesting anyone do the trade, but isn't borrowing short to lend longer-term the business model of every bank? Yes, and going back many years, that was the reason for many bank failures in late 1980's and early 1990s. They lent long term on mortgages which they held in their portfolio, and...
by Valuethinker
Thu Sep 11, 2014 8:37 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Citi: Just use leverage for 10% bond returns
Replies: 28
Views: 2900

Re: Which generator do you have?

Rather than a generator we'll just do solar, cost is comparable and grid tied helps offset the normal monthly utility costs. We have zero risk of tornado / hurricane so our loss of power would be either earthquake, social unrest or grid breakdown. Another thing to keep in mind is the last thing you...
by Valuethinker
Thu Sep 11, 2014 7:42 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which generator do you have?
Replies: 127
Views: 7243

Re: BMW X3 vs Mercedes GLK350

Both are great cars. I would say go with which one feels better to you. I would suggest you buy the diesel version of either as the fuel economy is significantly higher. I have family that owns the GLK250 and they get 35 mpg in the highway versus a typical 24 mpg for the V6. The torque of the diese...
by Valuethinker
Thu Sep 11, 2014 7:34 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: BMW X3 vs Mercedes GLK350
Replies: 33
Views: 2620

Re: BMW X3 vs Mercedes GLK350

Not sure re where the OP lives but when my relation bought a BMW (in North America) he discovered the local dealers are just not competitive on price. There are relatively few dealers I guess, and an affluent customer base. So hard to get a significant discount on list unless you live in quite a big...
by Valuethinker
Thu Sep 11, 2014 7:31 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: BMW X3 vs Mercedes GLK350
Replies: 33
Views: 2620

Re: BMW X3 vs Mercedes GLK350

funeshah wrote:Thanks everyone for your feedback!


The extended warranty would tip me towards BMW.

The Germans make lovely cars which are great to drive, but they are not cheap to fix. Not even here in the UK let alone Canada/ North America.
by Valuethinker
Thu Sep 11, 2014 7:29 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: BMW X3 vs Mercedes GLK350
Replies: 33
Views: 2620
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