Search found 187 matches

by Whiggish Boffin
Tue Jun 30, 2015 11:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TIPS - Did you give up?
Replies: 29
Views: 1725

Re: TIPS - Did you give up?

I still have my TIPS, and intend to buy some more. Two years ago, I put about 1/3 of my nest egg into a TIPS ladder. If I lose my job, the ladder will support me in genteel poverty until I'm 70. I can then claim the highest Social Security benefit. I want to invest the ladder's money at minimal risk...
by Whiggish Boffin
Fri May 08, 2015 2:25 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A Yale Portfolio Slice 'n Dice Question
Replies: 34
Views: 2283

Re: A Yale Portfolio Slice 'n Dice Question

Did BTOP50 become available to the general public around 2009? I see a blip up as the dumb money buys in, and then nowheresville, daddy-o. An example of Rekenthaler's Rule: "If the bozos know about it, it doesn't work any more." I (a bozo) wonder if the same thing is happening to small/val...
by Whiggish Boffin
Fri May 08, 2015 1:40 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retired, need help with investment
Replies: 30
Views: 3171

Re: Retired, need help with investment

What kind of thing is that Great American annuity? There are forty-'leven different things called "Annuities". Bogleheads favor a few, dislike most of them. Can you cover (house payment + condo payment + car payment + living expenses) out of (pension + Social Security + wages + condo renta...
by Whiggish Boffin
Thu May 07, 2015 11:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A Yale Portfolio Slice 'n Dice Question
Replies: 34
Views: 2283

Re: A Yale Portfolio Slice 'n Dice Question

Swensen does things with the Yale Endowment that he expressly does not reccommend to individual investors. A chapter in Unconventional Success on Non-Core Asset Classes covers those things that ordinary investors shouldn't touch -- corporate bonds, junk bonds, asset-backed securities,foreign bonds, ...
by Whiggish Boffin
Thu May 07, 2015 10:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A Yale Portfolio Slice 'n Dice Question
Replies: 34
Views: 2283

Re: A Yale Portfolio Slice 'n Dice Question

The MarketWatch page shows long-term Treasuries for the Yale Unconventional nominal-bonds. Swensen does not recommend them for small investors. He replied to a question from the old Vanguard Diehards forum, recommending you hold Treasuries matching the market duration. The Vanguard Intermediate-Term...
by Whiggish Boffin
Sun Apr 26, 2015 10:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: how to ask friend my money back?
Replies: 32
Views: 3662

Re: how to ask friend my money back?

"If you lend someone $20 and you never see him again, it was probably worth it."
Summary of a scene from A Bronx Tale
(YouTube link deleted; foul language)
by Whiggish Boffin
Sat Apr 25, 2015 9:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Your experiences of high inflation periods
Replies: 60
Views: 3369

Re: Your experiences of high inflation periods

I got my first engineering job after college in the DC area, around Christmas 1976. Starting salary was $12,800/year. Lived at home for two years, paid off school loans, then bought a 1-br condo for $27,000 at 9-3/8%. By 1981, I was making $30,000/year, which was partly merit-based but mostly inflat...
by Whiggish Boffin
Sat Feb 07, 2015 1:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Complete and utter newbie wanting direction...
Replies: 28
Views: 2046

Re: Complete and utter newbie wanting direction...

The tax benefit of a Traditional IRA is that you get a tax deduction when you contribute. Once you reach age 59-1/2, you will pay income tax on withdrawals of contributions and investment returns. With a Roth IRA you get no tax deduction when you contribute. The tax benefit of a Roth IRA is that aft...
by Whiggish Boffin
Thu Jan 08, 2015 10:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Just finished Bogleheads' Guide to Investing and...
Replies: 19
Views: 2982

Re: Just finished Bogleheads' Guide to Investing and...

Vanguard's LifeStrategy Growth fund, which is 80% stock / 20% bonds, requires a first-time investment of $3000. After that, you can kick in as little as $1 at a time.
by Whiggish Boffin
Tue Jan 06, 2015 11:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Poll: Do you own I Bonds?
Replies: 62
Views: 5909

Re: Poll: Do you own I Bonds?

I have enough in I bonds to support me in genteel poverty for one year. I wanted an emergency fund that would be safe, and hold its purchasing power automatically. The biggest hassle setting it up is that the latest year's purchase is not acessible. I can handle that now, being of sound mind and hav...
by Whiggish Boffin
Sun Dec 14, 2014 2:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does your work define you?
Replies: 30
Views: 2938

Re: Does your work define you?

I have been an electronics design engineer since Jimmy Carter was president. For some years now, my job has been hanging by a thread. My small inheritance from my father will go to buy my very own oscilloscope. It may just gather dust, but I'll see it on the shelf and say "I still could if I wa...
by Whiggish Boffin
Fri Dec 05, 2014 12:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Youngster talented in science and math
Replies: 47
Views: 3715

Re: Youngster talented in science and math

The Discovery of Subatomic Particles , Steven Weinberg Great Experiments in Physics: Firsthand Accounts from Galileo to Einstein , ed. Morris Shamos The Chemical History of a Candle , Michael Faraday For later, or if he's really hungry: Experimental Researches in Electricity , Michael Faraday Gener...
by Whiggish Boffin
Thu Dec 04, 2014 1:32 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What % of your fixed-income is TIPs?
Replies: 71
Views: 3873

Re: What % of your fixed-income is TIPs?

87% of my fixed income is in TIPS. Two years ago, I took Dr. Bernstein's advice to heart: When you've won the game, stop playing. I realized I could secure my minimum living expenses for the rest of my life, using the safest possible investments: a TIPS ladder, deferred Social Security, and a Single...
by Whiggish Boffin
Tue Dec 02, 2014 11:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real Estate or REITs?
Replies: 4
Views: 928

Re: Real Estate or REITs?

This topic comes up pretty often. Last February, this thread had nisiprius, LH, Valuethinker, and craigr weighing in: REITs or Individual Real estate investments? When you own individual real estate, you are in a business that requires irregular working hours and unstructured problem-solving. REITs ...
by Whiggish Boffin
Sun Nov 09, 2014 10:54 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: “Buffett” Has Two Tees [poem]
Replies: 13
Views: 2625

Re: “Buffett” Has Two Tees [poem]

Another guy that folks misspell
Is that endowment guy at Yale --
(Wrote "Unconventional Success")
Half of his fans here make a mess.
I'll preach 'till everybody knows
That "David Swensen" has no ohs.
by Whiggish Boffin
Thu Nov 06, 2014 10:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 22, I want to be rich, looking for a high reward fund
Replies: 67
Views: 7441

Re: 22, I want to be rich, looking for a high reward fund

Grt2bOutdoors said: Learn a skill that can not be offshored to cheaper locales, will always be in demand and pays you a fair or lucrative wage over your career. In the Navy, you might pick up a security clearance that you can carry into civilian life. A security clearance qualifies you for many jobs...
by Whiggish Boffin
Thu Sep 25, 2014 10:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is Now a Good time to Buy Bonds ???
Replies: 19
Views: 2371

Re: Is Now a Good time to Buy Bonds ???

I'd say buy the bonds and take what comes. People are nervous these days about stocks, too. If there's a bond crash, you'll grumble. If there's a stock crash instead, you'll wail and rend your garments and wish you had more bonds. At any rate, either one at this time will seem like a flyspeck when y...
by Whiggish Boffin
Thu Sep 18, 2014 8:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Inflation Bonds - Staying the Course?
Replies: 43
Views: 3320

Re: Inflation Bonds - Staying the Course?

I'm staying the Swensen/Bodie course. I am 62, hanging onto my job by a fraying thread. I got my 2nd comma recently. I have about 60% of my nest egg in a Swensen lazy portfolio, and 40% in an 8-year TIPS ladder. The Swensen is 30% bonds, split into 15% intermediate TIPS and 15% intermediate Treasuri...
by Whiggish Boffin
Thu Sep 18, 2014 8:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What are the components of inflation?
Replies: 33
Views: 1745

Re: What are the components of inflation?

Concerning practical implications of velocity, there was this from CNN on 3 Sep. 2014: Fed: US consumers have decided to 'hoard money' . The article refers to What Does Money Velocity Tell Us about Low Inflation in the U.S.? , a paper by Yi Wen and Maria Arias at the St. Louis Fed. The gist is: Infl...
by Whiggish Boffin
Tue Sep 09, 2014 10:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good Modern Science Fiction
Replies: 182
Views: 13677

Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Try Neal Stephenson's The Diamond Age , a Cinderella story in a nanotech future. Nell, a doomed underclass girl in Shanghai, comes by a stolen fairy-tale book (Interactive teaching supercomputer) made for an aristocrat's daughter. (Nell gets beat up on the playground. The book hears her crying, and ...
by Whiggish Boffin
Fri Aug 29, 2014 10:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does anyone have 'Lazy Portfolios'?
Replies: 85
Views: 7203

Re: Does anyone have 'Lazy Portfolios'?

In 2007, I put my nest egg in a David Swensen lazy portfolio: 30% US stock index, 15% developed int'l stock index, 10% emerging int'l stock index, 15% US real estate, 15% Treasury bonds, and 15% TIPS. I had to rebalance heavily in the 2007 real-estate decline, the 2008 stock crash, the 2009 real-est...
by Whiggish Boffin
Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POLL: My home is worth less/more in 2014 than in 2007?
Replies: 94
Views: 6749

Re: POLL: My home is worth less/more in 2014 than in 2007?

One-bedroom condo just outside the DC Beltway, assessed at about $200k in 2007, and $140k now.
by Whiggish Boffin
Mon Jul 21, 2014 4:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which Bernstein Book?
Replies: 27
Views: 2053

Re: Which Bernstein Book?

The Intelligent Asset Allocator is Dr. Bernstein's first book, (c) 2001. It is aimed at people who do not flee from basic math and statistics. If you are an engineer, programmer, doctor, actuary, or technician, you'll be quite at home. On the following pages, there are boxed sections of Math Detail...
by Whiggish Boffin
Wed Jul 16, 2014 8:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: POLL: Do you have a dedicated REIT allocation?
Replies: 123
Views: 8882

Re: POLL: Do you have a dedicated REIT allocation?

In Unconventional Success , David Swensen recommends a default portfolio of: 30% US stock 15% developed int'l stock 5% emerging-market int'l stock 20% real estate 15% nominal Treasuries 15% TIPS. I went 100% all-in on Swensen's allocation in January 2007, and learned about rebalancing real fast. I n...
by Whiggish Boffin
Sat Jun 28, 2014 6:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SS Gap Until 70?
Replies: 29
Views: 2703

Re: SS Gap Until 70?

Calm man -- If you have the LMP, you don't need to draw from the balanced portfolio. Everything in the LMP is inflation-adjusted. The combination of Social Security, TIPS ladder, and CPI-adjusted SPIA covers your basic living expenses, with inflation protection, for life, at minimum risk. The OP say...
by Whiggish Boffin
Sat Jun 28, 2014 2:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SS Gap Until 70?
Replies: 29
Views: 2703

Re: SS Gap Until 70?

Calm man -- Yes, it would. So would drawing $6k/month from the balanced portfolio. The 4% rule says a balanced portfolio has a 95% chance of staying solvent over a 30-year retirement, if withdrawals are limited to 4% the first year and inflation-adjusted afterward. It doesn't guarantee against spend...
by Whiggish Boffin
Sat Jun 28, 2014 12:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SS Gap Until 70?
Replies: 29
Views: 2703

Re: SS Gap Until 70?

I just put your numbers into #Cruncher's TIPS-ladder spreadsheet to figure out a TIPS ladder that meets your needs. Assuming you'd start taking money in Jan. 2015, you could buy a ladder for $716k that would pay you an inflation-adjusted $72k/year. The yield-to-maturity is negative at -0.611% -- the...
by Whiggish Boffin
Mon Jun 23, 2014 11:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New to Forum with Questions, Eager to Learn
Replies: 5
Views: 593

Re: New to Forum with Questions, Eager to Learn

If you haven't already, see the thoughts of EmergDoc aka Dr. Jim Dahle . He is an emergency physician in Utah, who got the Air Force to buy him his MD. He has made over 9850 posts to Bogleheads since 2007, quite a few from Afghanistan. He wrote the Wiki page on Military Finance , wrote Chapter 4 on ...
by Whiggish Boffin
Thu Jun 12, 2014 9:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medical Textbook for the Layperson?
Replies: 22
Views: 1987

Re: Medical Textbook for the Layperson?

Human Physiology: The Mechanisms of Body Function is a pre-med text that approaches physiology from the viewpoint of feedback systems. It has anatomical pictures, but also block diagrams of signal/process flow. It has more to say about how bodies are supposed to work than about fixing them when the...
by Whiggish Boffin
Mon Jun 09, 2014 11:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What does this mean? [investing terms and concepts]
Replies: 14
Views: 1198

Re: What does this mean? [investing terms and concepts]

These books cover bond math, and a lot more. I'd recommend you start with Strategic Financial Planning and try the others if you're still hungry after that. Strategic Financial Planning over the Lifecycle: A Conceptual Approach to Personal Risk Management , by Charupat, Huang & Milevsky, Cambrid...
by Whiggish Boffin
Mon Jun 02, 2014 9:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Swenson question
Replies: 10
Views: 1126

Re: Swenson question

I went all-in on a Swensen allocation in January 2007. By March 2009, REITs had dropped 74%, US stocks 52%, and developed-world stocks 54%. I learned that I possess the self-discipline to stay the course and rebalance in major downturns. I also learned why you have to have some bonds.
by Whiggish Boffin
Mon Jun 02, 2014 9:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Technical Analysis Drags Down Performance
Replies: 52
Views: 2553

Re: Technical Analysis Drags Down Performance

Is a random stock chart chart a valid test of technical analysis? Serious chess players are much better than non-players at remembering an arrangement of chessmen reached in a game, but can't remember a random placement of chessmen any better than non-players. Likewise, if technical analysts were se...
by Whiggish Boffin
Thu May 15, 2014 11:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is the best brand of 3 ton air conditioner & furnace?
Replies: 46
Views: 4489

Re: What is the best brand of 3 ton air conditioner & furnac

My apartment-size Carrier furnace needed the inducer motor replaced every two years -- a $350 service call. Seemed like a planned-obsolescence annuity for the service guys. I replaced the system with a Trane 2-stage system that's run 8 years with one problem (dead igniter).
by Whiggish Boffin
Thu May 15, 2014 10:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: David Swensen's Book Unconventional Success
Replies: 34
Views: 4243

Re: David Swensen's Book Unconventional Success

Prolific Boglehead poster grok87 posted a series of investing tips. The first: Grok's investing tip #1/10 Take your risk on the equity side [H]igher bond yields means higher risk (measured by correlation with equities) and not necessarily higher returns. Stick to treasuries and TIPs for the bond por...
by Whiggish Boffin
Wed May 07, 2014 9:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is 6 months of savings needed?
Replies: 33
Views: 3932

Re: Is 6 months of savings needed?

The six-month emergency fund should be safe and liquid . Money in a mattress, or a savings account, is at long-term risk of inflation. You could put it in an inflatable mattress*, though. Once you've banked six months' living expenses, save a seventh month and buy Series I savings bonds with it. The...
by Whiggish Boffin
Wed May 07, 2014 12:03 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Obtaining TIPS Index Ratios -- WSJ Accrued Principal
Replies: 5
Views: 838

Re: Obtaining TIPS Index Ratios -- WSJ Accrued Principal

Thanks. I needed that.
(I never dreamed I'd be one of the 0.1% ...)
by Whiggish Boffin
Sat May 03, 2014 2:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TIPS Price in Your Account ?
Replies: 11
Views: 1296

Re: TIPS Price in Your Account ?

Doc -- Probably I'm not sure what I mean either. OK, Quicken just uses what it downloads, and Vanguard only downloads the unadjusted prices, and other brokers do it differently. I haven't downloaded TIPS data from anyone but Vanguard. The Quicken community links are worse than I remembered. This thr...
by Whiggish Boffin
Sat May 03, 2014 11:22 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TIPS Price in Your Account ?
Replies: 11
Views: 1296

Re: TIPS Price in Your Account ?

I have a TIPS ladder at Vanguard, and a bunch of Series I savings bonds. I despair of finding their value via a quick, easy download. Quicken is entirely ignorant of inflation adjustments to TIPS and I bonds. (The Quicken support forum gives a complex accounting entry that, to my non-accountant mind...
by Whiggish Boffin
Sat May 03, 2014 11:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why am i stressed after being laid off? (3yr expenses saved)
Replies: 15
Views: 2646

Re: Why am i stressed after being laid off? (3yr expenses sa

Your feelings might have nothing to do with financial security. Rejection hurts. In the state of nature, people are tribal. Even introverts need people to connect with (just not as often as extroverts). You have no family, and you don't mention any social network. If your job was your life, a layoff...
by Whiggish Boffin
Sat May 03, 2014 8:31 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Deciding whether to annuitize
Replies: 14
Views: 1034

Re: Deciding whether to annuitize

(dbr beat me to it!) Jim Otar's Unveiling the Retirement Myth covers this in detail. In Chapters 41-44, he classifies retirement situations into -- Red Zone (8% withdrawal rate required; keep working, annuitize completely and cut back spending ruthlessly), Gray Zone (4% withdrawal rate required; ann...
by Whiggish Boffin
Fri May 02, 2014 3:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Other ways to invest/make money?
Replies: 22
Views: 2243

Re: Other ways to invest/make money?

A reporter was asking people outside a Los Angeles restaurant "How is your screenplay going?" None of them said "Screenplay? What screenplay?"
by Whiggish Boffin
Sat Apr 26, 2014 8:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bogle Baptism
Replies: 32
Views: 3512

Re: Bogle Baptism

This is not investing advice. You have that covered.
Read The Inner Ring, a short essay by C. S. Lewis. Much of Lewis's writing is religious. This essay is not -- just right reason and plain observation. It likely will be of practical use to you.
by Whiggish Boffin
Wed Apr 23, 2014 11:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bonds - Are they essential in a new portfolio?
Replies: 8
Views: 1690

Re: Bonds - Are they essential in a new portfolio?

There are certain things that cannot be explained to a virgin either by words or pictures. Nor can any description that I might offer here even approximate what it feels like to lose a real chunk of money that you used to own. Psychologically, if you're new to investing and your all-stock portfolio...
by Whiggish Boffin
Wed Apr 23, 2014 10:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is it a bad move to buy a home now?
Replies: 34
Views: 7516

Re: Is it a bad move to buy a home now?

John94549 --
If that's Sunnyvale, CA, the heart of Silicon Valley, then $40k in 1973 was four years' salary for a new-minted BSEE, and the mortgage rate was 7.5%. Still, rates would double by 1980.
by Whiggish Boffin
Thu Apr 17, 2014 9:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Baby Boomers: Top 10 Movies
Replies: 49
Views: 4326

Re: Baby Boomers: Top 10 Movies

Li'l Abner cartoonist Al Capp, a man of the Right, did a college lecture tour in the late '60s. A student asked his opinion of Easy Rider. He said "I liked it. It had a happy ending."
by Whiggish Boffin
Sun Apr 13, 2014 7:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Use brokerage window for REITS and TIPS?
Replies: 7
Views: 548

Re: Use brokerage window for REITS and TIPS?

That's what I've done and it's worked out fine. I'm holding a Swensen lazy portfolio in my 401(k). (Yale's endowment manager David Swensen wrote Unconventional Success for individual investors. Taylor Larimore includes it among the Gems . Swensen recommended a default portfolio of 30% US stock index...
by Whiggish Boffin
Wed Apr 09, 2014 7:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Getting over huge mistakes
Replies: 30
Views: 3815

Re: Getting over huge mistakes

This older (62) Boglehead can tell you that it's not bad at all, and you can likely retire at not too great an age, sit beneath your own vine and fig tree, and delight in the wife of your youth, and your children, and perhaps theirs. Net worth over half a mil, about $366k socked away, a house you lo...
by Whiggish Boffin
Thu Apr 03, 2014 6:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Please help identify quote: I'm richer than he because...
Replies: 28
Views: 3314

Re: Please help identify quote: I'm richer than he because..

VictoriaF wrote:I am richer than he because I will die with more toys.

The one who dies with the most toys, dies.
(Those who say "wins" have yet to show experimental verification.)
by Whiggish Boffin
Sat Mar 15, 2014 10:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Has anyone purchased an inflation adjusted SPIA?
Replies: 24
Views: 2630

Re: Has anyone purchased an inflation adjusted SPIA?

asterix0 said: When I bought real dollar annuities in 2008, the payout for a real dollar annuity was only two-thirds of that I would have received (in year 1) for constant dollar annuities. My breakeven point was 17 years. If your house doesn't catch fire, fire insurance doesn't protect you. If infl...

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