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Re: USA Today inadvertently makes case for EE bonds

Nisiprius, I enjoy your posts. I ran across something in Nassim Taleb's book Antifragile that I thought you would appreciate as it speaks to stock risk. I'll quote: ..."they take the worst historical recession, the worst war, the worst historical move in interest rates, or the worst point in un...
by animule
Sat Mar 15, 2014 5:16 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: USA Today inadvertently makes case for EE bonds
Replies: 13
Views: 1902

USA Today inadvertently makes case for EE bonds

Interesting article from USA Today on investing lessons over the past 14 years. The return of the S&P 500 over that time period was roughly what you can get right now from a Series EE savings bond with zero return risk, held to maturity since these bonds are guaranteed to double over 20 years. h...
by animule
Sat Mar 15, 2014 11:03 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: USA Today inadvertently makes case for EE bonds
Replies: 13
Views: 1902

Re: Small Cap Tilting

VTMSX is different in one important regard.

It is based on the S&P 600 which requires a company to have at least 3 years of profitable results.

Because of this the fund did not load up on dot com garbage during the tech boom.

This offered some downside protection vs other small cap indexes.
by animule
Sun Mar 09, 2014 2:47 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Small Cap Tilting
Replies: 84
Views: 6220

Re: Layover in Amsterdam

Spent about a week there a couple of years ago with our family. We did most of the museums while there. The one I liked the best was the Dutch Resistance Museum which covered the World War II period. Fascinating. It's near the zoo. And take one of the canal tour boats. It's great to see the place fr...
by animule
Wed Feb 26, 2014 12:06 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Layover in Amsterdam
Replies: 23
Views: 1041

Local college invests 56% of assets in "alternatives"

Local newspaper just wrote an article on the University of Rochester's endowment. I thought it was interesting that the endowment is so aggressively invested in "alternative" investments. According to the summary page on the plan, it is 56% invested in "alternative" investments l...
by animule
Mon Feb 24, 2014 9:24 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Local college invests 56% of assets in "alternatives"
Replies: 16
Views: 1250

Re: LED lightbulbs

Bought several Cree bulbs at Home Depot in October for a home office. Use them in a basement office on a dimmer switch.

First one just burned out. Think the bulb has a 10 year guarantee; but need to mail it back to Cree for a replacement.

Pain in the rear.

Hang onto your receipts.
by animule
Sat Feb 22, 2014 11:37 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: LED lightbulbs
Replies: 186
Views: 13789

Re: What are reliable refrigerator brands these days?

Bought a Whirlpool about four years ago; model has refrigerator on bottom, freezer on top. Freezer said to be the "most efficient" unit on the market with the lowest energy costs. Thing was a lemon from the get-go. Spent about 5-6 days using the garage as the refrigerator/freezer after it ...
by animule
Mon Feb 17, 2014 10:03 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are reliable refrigerator brands these days?
Replies: 51
Views: 3765

Ric Edelman "times have changed" claim

Caught some of the Ric Edelman show on the radio over the weekend and he had an extensive discussion on investing today, referencing John Bogle. Ric said that "times had changed" and that "age in bonds" was old fashioned, and that even somebody of the stature of John Bogle is &qu...
by animule
Tue Jan 21, 2014 9:16 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Ric Edelman "times have changed" claim
Replies: 24
Views: 3604

Re: Why bonds within your asset allocation?

Regarding the 5% "guarantee," this is the sort of thing that Bernie Madoff promised in his fund several years ago. I agree on the "red flags" comment. A 5% guarantee in today's ultra low interest rate environment doesn't sound right. You need to understand what this fund is reall...
by animule
Fri Dec 20, 2013 3:54 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why bonds within your asset allocation?
Replies: 27
Views: 2801

Re: FINRA fines Oppenheimer for overpricing muni bond deals

Oppenheimer has a history of playing fast and loose with the facts. Earlier this year, many of their state-specific mutual funds took a major hit when it was disclosed they contained huge helpings of Puerto Rican bonds. http://www.forbes.com/sites/jakezamansky/2013/10/28/the-puerto-rican-bond-plot-t...
by animule
Sun Dec 15, 2013 9:11 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: FINRA fines Oppenheimer for overpricing muni bond deals
Replies: 4
Views: 454

Re: Anybody buying EE bonds these days

Get an extra 0.5% for going 15 years out on the curve? Plus a brutal EW penalty? Seems like a bad deal to me. Only benefit to EE is tax deferral. You are assuming that rates will go up in the future. Millions of Japanese investors thought the same thing; many of those investors did not see this hap...
by animule
Sun Dec 08, 2013 1:22 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Anybody buying EE bonds these days
Replies: 47
Views: 3191

Re: Market "melt up" and the Airplane Game

More evidence of froth in the US market, courtesy of Bloomberg Business Week: http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-11-27/subprime-loans-are-boosting-car-sales As the fifth anniversary of the Federal Reserve’s policy of keeping interest rates near zero approaches, the market for subprime borrowi...
by animule
Sat Nov 30, 2013 5:24 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Market "melt up" and the Airplane Game
Replies: 71
Views: 6264

Re: Wood burning stoves in New England

Let's not forget that wood is a renewable resource as opposed to fossil fuels. One upon a time 80 and 90's fuel oil was economical also. Natural gas is now but that will be short lived. Large industrial users are converting from oil to NG and there is the exporting of NG to Europe in process due to...
by animule
Mon Nov 25, 2013 8:28 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wood burning stoves in New England
Replies: 88
Views: 4593

Capital One Quicksilver: 1.5% reward, thoughts?

Anyone out there have any experience with the Capital One Quicksilver credit card? 1.5% reward on all purchases, no limits. Outside of the 5% off on gas Penfed card and the 3% off on groceries American Express Blue Cash card, I don't have anything above 1%. This sounds attractive. I have three other...
by animule
Sun Nov 24, 2013 4:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Capital One Quicksilver: 1.5% reward, thoughts?
Replies: 91
Views: 7383

Re: Oppenheimer misleads muni bond investors

The current muni bond problems at Oppenheimer rhyme with the same issues many of the firm's bond funds had in 2008. http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505123_162-37640185/oppenheimers-bond-fund-blowup-worse-than-you-think/ Oppenheimer's Core Bond fund -- presumably suited to serve as an investor's core bon...
by animule
Mon Oct 21, 2013 8:51 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Oppenheimer misleads muni bond investors
Replies: 10
Views: 1277

Re: Oppenheimer misleads muni bond investors

It gets better. Oppenheimer took a $2 billion line of credit out so they would not have to dump all of their Puerto Rican bond holdings at once. Brilliant. Instead of six-shooters, their courage is fortified by a $2 billion line of credit provided by a group of lenders led by Citibank that allows th...
by animule
Sun Oct 20, 2013 10:43 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Oppenheimer misleads muni bond investors
Replies: 10
Views: 1277

Oppenheimer misleads muni bond investors

Check out this gem from Oppenheimer as the fund family loaded up several of its state specific municipal bond funds with Puerto Rican bonds. Not exactly sure what part of Massachusetts that Puerto Rico is domiciled in. Hard to believe this practice is legal. Would be interesting to know if any Vangu...
by animule
Sun Oct 20, 2013 10:38 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Oppenheimer misleads muni bond investors
Replies: 10
Views: 1277

Re: "Chip" credit card for foreign travel

Have to include my experiences here. Traveled to London for work in July - the UK had always been okay with regular non chip and pin credit card. Not this time. Turned into a huge pain in the rear. It was hit or miss being able to use the regular credit card. Even the hotel - Holiday Inn Express - c...
by animule
Sun Sep 22, 2013 10:37 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Chip" credit card for foreign travel
Replies: 70
Views: 8850

Re: Time to abandon a global portfolio?

If anything, the paper is a contrarian indicator. You would most likely see articles like this, and sentiment like this, after a long period of underperformance by international stocks. Seasoned investors know that this is often a sign of an asset class that may have room to run. This year alone, Va...
by animule
Sun Aug 18, 2013 3:07 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Time to abandon a global portfolio?
Replies: 21
Views: 2559

Re: Wall Street Journal Subscriptions on Ebay question

Been dreading the whole Wall Street Journal renewal scenario for months, given how much chatter and complaints there have been at WSJ.com on $600 plus renewals.

Sprang for the $130 one year subscription a short time ago on Ebay.

Subscription started two or three days later.

Happy as a clam.
by animule
Sun Jul 28, 2013 7:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wall Street Journal Subscriptions on Ebay question
Replies: 18
Views: 2437

Re: All Stocks Anyone?

So how is that "100% stock" portfolio holding up these days?

Interesting to see if any views have changed over the last 10 days.
by animule
Fri Jun 21, 2013 7:32 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: All Stocks Anyone?
Replies: 64
Views: 6097

Re: All Stocks Anyone?

Someday, somebody is going to do an academic study of bogleheads posts as a way of signaling market tops and bottoms. Any time you see these "I'm 100% stocks" or "All Stocks Anyone?" posts as well as the "Do You Really Need Bonds?" threads, you know you may be near an i...
by animule
Sun Jun 02, 2013 11:26 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: All Stocks Anyone?
Replies: 64
Views: 6097

Re: 100% equities, anyone?

Age 50, wife 50 too. House paid off. Three kids with one college education pretty much paid off. Net worth about $1.2 million w/o home value figured in. 68% stocks, 32% bonds. Bonds split about 50/50 in Ibonds/EEbonds/Stable value and bond index funds. Have shifted some of wife's funds into target d...
by animule
Sat May 11, 2013 10:39 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 100% equities, anyone?
Replies: 149
Views: 9638

Re: Market "melt up" and the Airplane Game

Another interesting data point to note, reflecting the growing number of car loans made to sub-prime buyers. Article titled "Americans are borrowing again but still less than before the freeze" in The Wall Street Journal, May 7, 2013 (type exact title of article in Google News to find it):...
by animule
Sat May 11, 2013 10:04 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Market "melt up" and the Airplane Game
Replies: 71
Views: 6264

Re: Market "melt up" and the Airplane Game

More interesting stats on margin debt suggesting a more speculative market: http://www.forbes.com/sites/bradlamensdorf/2013/05/08/money-where-the-mouth-is/ The NYSE recently announced that margin debt amounted to $379.5 billion in March. That’s the second-highest figure on record, behind only the $3...
by animule
Fri May 10, 2013 8:42 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Market "melt up" and the Airplane Game
Replies: 71
Views: 6264

Negative interest rates in Europe coming?

Heard this on Bob Brinker's Moneytalk show earlier today, and there are a few references to it today on the internet. The European Central Bank is considering negative interest rates; essentially charging banks a fee to safeguard their money. It appears we are in uncharted territory with this. http:...
by animule
Sun May 05, 2013 10:50 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Negative interest rates in Europe coming?
Replies: 5
Views: 914

Bubble watch: dividend paying stocks

When the investment world is so enamored of dividend paying stocks to the point that bond funds actually ditch bonds to hold them, then maybe all this talk of a 'bond bubble" is misplaced and maybe the real bubble is in dividend paying stocks. "Bond Funds Running Low on... Bonds" http...
by animule
Thu May 02, 2013 11:10 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bubble watch: dividend paying stocks
Replies: 1
Views: 515

Re: Article: EE Bonds are the best Long Term bond

I've always felt that EE bonds are dismissed a little too quickly by many bogleheads. A lot of posters here seem to think that EE bonds basically have no value and that I bonds are the only savings bond worth having, but the reality is that we have no idea what inflation and interest rates will be ...
by animule
Sat Apr 20, 2013 9:37 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Article: EE Bonds are the best Long Term bond
Replies: 77
Views: 5232

Re: Tiny down payments for home mortgages are back

I just don't see an increase in the availability of 5 to 10% down mortgages as a wholesale invitation to moral hazard. Not everyone's a chiseler. Or a high roller. Young people starting out, for instance, might need the 'leg up' that a 5% down mortgage provides. It certainly helped us 40 years ago ...
by animule
Wed Apr 17, 2013 8:15 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Tiny down payments for home mortgages are back
Replies: 25
Views: 3632

Re: Tiny down payments for home mortgages are back

No money down mortages are also making a comeback... http://www.cutimes.com/2013/03/27/no-money-down-mortgages-stage-a-comeback?ref=hp Two credit unions, NASA Federal Credit Union and Navy Federal Credit Union, are offering members mortgages without requiring any down payment or mortgage insurance. ...
by animule
Sun Apr 14, 2013 2:34 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Tiny down payments for home mortgages are back
Replies: 25
Views: 3632

Tiny down payments for home mortgages are back

Down payments for new mortgages are creeping down. Check out the growth in the number of home mortgages that have less than 20% down. http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/04/14/lower-down-payment-loans-more-common/2075095/ In another sign of the housing market's brightening outlook, mor...
by animule
Sun Apr 14, 2013 12:32 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Tiny down payments for home mortgages are back
Replies: 25
Views: 3632

Re: Market "melt up" and the Airplane Game

More evidence that margin debt is creeeping up... Need any more proof that US stock investors are positively giddy? NYSE says margin debt jumped 10% in January alone to $364 billion, 32% higher than a year earlier and the third-highest ever, trailing just June and July 2007. http://blogs.wsj.com/mar...
by animule
Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:04 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Market "melt up" and the Airplane Game
Replies: 71
Views: 6264

Re: Market "melt up" and the Airplane Game

From today's Wall Street Journal (February 23, 2013)... http://stream.wsj.com/story/latest-headlines/SS-2-63399/SS-2-175265/ Margin debt - borrowing that individual investors use to juice up returns on their brokerage accounts - exceeds $330 billion, up 24% in 12 months. The return of the S&P 50...
by animule
Sat Feb 23, 2013 12:13 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Market "melt up" and the Airplane Game
Replies: 71
Views: 6264

Re: Market "melt up" and the Airplane Game

Hi Keith,

Here's another chart offering some food for thought. If you're comfortable with this, good for you. That makes one of us.

Image
by animule
Sat Feb 23, 2013 11:43 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Market "melt up" and the Airplane Game
Replies: 71
Views: 6264

Re: Market "melt up" and the Airplane Game

Much of the market's recent rise is being supported by borrowed money. This is not comforting. It’s interesting to note the tight correlation between margin debt and stock prices in our world that is so overly obsessed with nominal wealth. And we even encourage the use of leverage in the chase for t...
by animule
Sat Feb 23, 2013 10:39 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Market "melt up" and the Airplane Game
Replies: 71
Views: 6264

Re: Where were you financially in your late twenties?

Wife and I had $52k in retirement savings at age 34. Today, we're both 50 with combined retirement savings of $1.1 million. The name of the game is to save as much as you can in tax deferred investments, and keep bumping those up every time the maximums go up. The money will add up faster than you t...
by animule
Mon Feb 18, 2013 7:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where were you financially in your late twenties?
Replies: 191
Views: 12040

Re: Market "melt up" and the Airplane Game

Define risk any way you choose. No one can argue with the fact that the market is 3 steps forward one step back. From 1929-2011, the record is 21 and 9 (years with a gain vs years with a loss). The chart below is a picture of a 7 and 5 record. We must give this risk a wide berth. http://globalquote...
by animule
Sun Feb 03, 2013 1:40 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Market "melt up" and the Airplane Game
Replies: 71
Views: 6264

Re: Market "melt up" and the Airplane Game

More evidence of performance chasing - from today's Wall Street Journal: Small investors are jumping back into the stock market after abandoning it during the financial crisis. Many analysts and strategists say individual investors are providing another source of fuel for the stock market. One piece...
by animule
Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:19 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Market "melt up" and the Airplane Game
Replies: 71
Views: 6264

Re: Market "melt up" and the Airplane Game

In an Ibbotson Associates report on Lifetime Asset Allocations: Methodologies for Target Maturity Funds , they present a chart of the "equity glide paths of the largest target maturity fund families." http://i46.tinypic.com/1fe88p.jpg A common element is that none of them follow a straigh...
by animule
Sun Jan 27, 2013 9:52 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Market "melt up" and the Airplane Game
Replies: 71
Views: 6264

Re: Market "melt up" and the Airplane Game

Bingo. The market has doubled, now it's "safer." Yikes. Great time to become more conservative, not less. How about this? Exactly as conservative this year as last year. Exactly as conservative next year as this year. Hi Zabooma, This means that you would be more conservative this year, t...
by animule
Sun Jan 27, 2013 5:14 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Market "melt up" and the Airplane Game
Replies: 71
Views: 6264

Re: Market "melt up" and the Airplane Game

Rainier wrote:You mean posts like: "I've had a large amount of cash on the sidelines the past few years now I want back it. The market looks safer now."


Bingo.

The market has doubled, now it's "safer." Yikes.

Great time to become more conservative, not less.
by animule
Sun Jan 27, 2013 3:36 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Market "melt up" and the Airplane Game
Replies: 71
Views: 6264

Market "melt up" and the Airplane Game

The market "melt up" over the past month and the rapid change in sentiment among small investors (reported by USA Today and others) makes me think about the Airplane Game. There was a time maybe 15 years ago or more in my area where this was all the rage. It was basically an illegal Ponzi ...
by animule
Sun Jan 27, 2013 3:23 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Market "melt up" and the Airplane Game
Replies: 71
Views: 6264

Re: To go or not to go - family trip to Europe

You should pull the trigger on this. We did almost the same type of vacation you are talking about this past summer. Five of us including kids ages 13, 16 and 19 went to Iceland and Amsterdam. We stayed three nights in Iceland and eight nights in Amsterdam. We flew over on Icelandair and if you do t...
by animule
Wed Dec 05, 2012 8:27 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: To go or not to go - family trip to Europe
Replies: 81
Views: 4732

Re: Las Vegas Trip

I go to Vegas about twice a year for business, and I've stayed at a lot of places there. Some good, some bad (Sahara (gone now) but had a fixed thermostat so that when its 110 outside, your room is like 85 degrees and the Riviera - smokiest place of all time). Even stayed at a couple of time shares ...
by animule
Mon Oct 22, 2012 7:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Las Vegas Trip
Replies: 56
Views: 3356

Re: Jamaica Vacation - Any tips?

Went to Jamaica on a cruise maybe 15 years or so ago, and couldn't believe the lineup of people waiting to beg from you on shore. It's like a third of the island is unemployed. You feel like a mark when you get off of the ship. This was Ocho Rios, by the way. Went there for work maybe 5 or 6 years a...
by animule
Sat Oct 06, 2012 9:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Jamaica Vacation - Any tips?
Replies: 74
Views: 4176

Re: Iceland [for vacation]

Hi Everyone, Had a chance to visit Iceland in late July of this year. Have to say that the place blew us away. Only spent three days there, but holy smokes - this place is just amazing as far as the natural beauty is. We rented a car and stayed in a place just outside of Reykjavik, did the Golden Ci...
by animule
Fri Sep 07, 2012 11:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Iceland [for vacation]
Replies: 29
Views: 3802

Re: Chip & PIN credit cards in France?

Returned from nearly two weeks in Europe in mid-August, most of those in the Netherlands and part of the time was in Iceland. Have to say that it was always a mystery as to which form of payment would work. I got a Travelex chip and pin card and put Euros on the card (via a credit card debit - if yo...
by animule
Sat Aug 25, 2012 1:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chip & PIN credit cards in France?
Replies: 17
Views: 1924

Re: Current Retirement System Hopeless? (NY Times)

"Even for those who know their “number” and are prepared for retirement (it happens, rarely), these conversations aren’t easy. At dinner one night, a friend told me how much he has in retirement assets and said he didn’t think he had saved enough. I mentally calculated his mortality, figured h...
by animule
Sun Jul 22, 2012 3:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Current Retirement System Hopeless? (NY Times)
Replies: 14
Views: 1834

Re: CNNMoney - Millionaires in the making

This was also on Yahoo. Good article, but I don't get the impression that anyone involved understands that $1 million doesn't go far. Bogleheads see $1 million and mark that down to maybe $40k per year to live on in retirement. The general public sees that number and thinks Ferrari.
by animule
Sat Jul 21, 2012 11:38 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: CNNMoney - Millionaires in the making
Replies: 42
Views: 6174

Re: Iceland

Has anyone been to Iceland on vacation? My wife and I will be there for 10 days in the fist part of August. We arrange with a local travel company to do a self drive tour. I get a car, a place to stay every night as we travel the 1400 km loop and a detailed map/cell phone/GPS, etc. Is there anythin...
by animule
Sat Jul 21, 2012 10:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Iceland [for vacation]
Replies: 29
Views: 3802
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