Search found 3767 matches

by bertilak
Tue Jul 28, 2015 1:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I reject a medical exam during insurance application without consequences?
Replies: 46
Views: 2228

Re: Can I reject a medical exam during insurance application without consequences?

bertilak , for your case it's not quite easy. Cause if they ask "Have you been ever denied or issued a life insurance at non-standard risk or higher premium?" (or something to that effect), you cannot say "No" to that. I can say "No" because I was never issued a policy...
by bertilak
Tue Jul 28, 2015 12:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I reject a medical exam during insurance application without consequences?
Replies: 46
Views: 2228

Re: Can I reject a medical exam during insurance application without consequences?

Not having read all the responses this may be redundant ... When I applied for term life insurance the questionnaire included the question "Have you ever been turned down for life insurance?" I could honestly answer "No." I presume a "yes" would have been a red light. W...
by bertilak
Tue Jul 28, 2015 12:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Motley Fool - Good Enough Why rules of thumb beat precision
Replies: 27
Views: 2356

Re: Motley Fool - Good Enough Why rules of thumb beat precision

That is an excellent article. Confusing precision with accuracy is a hot button of mine, maybe even to excess. One of the causes of complex AAs is the urge to increase risk-adjusted returns but the projected improvements seem to me to lie in the gap between precision and accuracy. This is why I am 5...
by bertilak
Tue Jul 28, 2015 9:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 873
Views: 155943

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Headhunters On My Doorstep by Maarten Troost The author recounts his adventures in the South Pacific following in the footsteps of Robert Louis Stevenson. Troost is also the author of The Sex Lives of Cannibals which almost made me sick from laughing so hard. You will likely also enjoy In Trouble A...
by bertilak
Mon Jul 27, 2015 5:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 50/50 asset allocation
Replies: 62
Views: 4631

Re: 50/50 asset allocation

You can split 50-50 between Wellesley and Wellington to average 50/50 stocks/bonds. Two funds ain't that hard. I used to do my 50/50 like that but it messes up optimal placement of asset-classes in taxable vs tax-advantaged accounts. If everything is in tax-advantaged (as min was at first) then 50/...
by bertilak
Sun Jul 26, 2015 7:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: CrashPlan NOT a whole-drive system backup solution?
Replies: 29
Views: 1843

Re: CrashPlan NOT a whole-drive system backup solution?

Mac OS X actually has four dates: creation, modification, last opened, and last accessed. In normal Mac operations they do pretty much what you would expect and want. For whatever reasons, a Mac "copy" preserves all four dates (including creation date). CrashPlan is not preserving any of ...
by bertilak
Sun Jul 26, 2015 9:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: CrashPlan NOT a whole-drive system backup solution?
Replies: 29
Views: 1843

Re: CrashPlan NOT a whole-drive system backup solution?

Does it preserve file dates for Windows users? I'm on Windows 8.1. I just did a trial restore of a file dated Aug 26, 2010 that was deleted on 9/22/2014 and it's "modified" date was correctly restored. Note that Windows keeps track of TWO file dates: created and modified. If you make a co...
by bertilak
Sun Jul 26, 2015 6:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: CrashPlan NOT a whole-drive system backup solution?
Replies: 29
Views: 1843

Re: CrashPlan NOT a whole-drive system backup solution?

Right, CrashPlan is not a whole drive recovery system, but that is not a good backup solution anyway. There is a difference between system recovery and backup/restore. Windows itself comes with full-system recovery tools so you don't need another. What one really wants is the ability to go back in t...
by bertilak
Sat Jul 25, 2015 4:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard's Automatic RMD Service - Four Options
Replies: 15
Views: 1330

Re: Vanguard's Automatic RMD Service - Four Options

Thanks all for your replies. The only real issue is that you can't specify $0.00 or 0% in the first two choices. If you wanted your RMD to come out of three funds as 0%, 20%, and 80%, you cannot do it as far as I can tell. A second manual step would be required. However, the system does allow 1%, 1...
by bertilak
Fri Jul 24, 2015 9:12 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help me with portfolio building
Replies: 7
Views: 576

Re: Help me with portfolio building

If you have total stock market you already have REITs.

It wouldn't hurt to add a SMALL allocation (5%?] of a REIT fund but it probably won't help, either.

Your home is where you live. It is not a liquid investment. I say don't count it.
by bertilak
Thu Jul 23, 2015 6:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Blue chip or index Funds? Well, would ya Punk?
Replies: 20
Views: 2254

Re: Blue chip or index Funds? Well, would ya Punk?

investorguy1 wrote:A couple things to consider. Right now you may consider some of those companies to be blue chips. In 20 years from now that may change.

Enron was once a Blue Chip. Its highest stock price was in 1999. They filed for bankruptcy in 2001.

Didn't take 20 years. Turns out they were the punks.
by bertilak
Thu Jul 23, 2015 11:02 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice Sought in International Fund Choice
Replies: 24
Views: 1339

Re: Advice Sought in International Fund Choice

"The chief value of money lies in the fact that one lives in a world in which it is overestimated."--H. L. Mencken As prolific as he was, Mencken didn't give us very many money quotes. Here are a few more. For the last two I had to stretch the point a little. ⋅ Wealth - any inco...
by bertilak
Thu Jul 23, 2015 10:11 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice Sought in International Fund Choice
Replies: 24
Views: 1339

Re: Advice Sought in International Fund Choice

A confession! As I was about to pull the trigger on converting some TSM to TISM I took a look at the Morningstar growth charts and noticed: ⋅ TSM was on an extended upswing and at an all-time high. ⋅ TISM was hovering around for a couple of years without making much progress and ...
by bertilak
Wed Jul 22, 2015 8:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice Sought in International Fund Choice
Replies: 24
Views: 1339

Re: Why not follow Vanguard experts?

Taylor Larimore wrote: Concentrate on your overall stock/bond ratio.

Best wishes.
Taylor

Taylor, my overall stock/bond AA will remain the same, 50/50. My stock allocation will be 80% US and 20% intl. So, I think I have just barely enough international to make a difference!
by bertilak
Wed Jul 22, 2015 7:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice Sought in International Fund Choice
Replies: 24
Views: 1339

Re: Advice Sought in International Fund Choice

The common wisdom is to hold the International funds in your taxable account so as to capture the foreign tax credit on your 1040 each year.<snip> First Thought: That will cause a significant taxable event selling my TSM to convert to TISM.<snip> Second Thougt: I suppose I could do it in my tIRA an...
by bertilak
Wed Jul 22, 2015 12:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does how often you check your portfolio correlate with returns
Replies: 35
Views: 2636

Re: Does how often you check your portfolio correlate with returns

I doubt very many people have a portfolio of 100% S&P500. They usually have some other investments, so that they can look daily and find something that has gone up. I think that is one reason that some financial salesreps put people in 20 to 30 different investments. That way, the rep can alway...
by bertilak
Wed Jul 22, 2015 12:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help me with portfolio building
Replies: 7
Views: 576

Re: Help me with portfolio building

Emergency Funds: $9000. Debt: Home Mortgage: $41,000 left to pay. 4.125% interest. Monthly payment is about $1100. Total home worth about $220,000. New home. Other than home payment, no other debt payment is there. Both cars (small sedans) are paid off. No student loan debt or credit card debt. Tax...
by bertilak
Tue Jul 21, 2015 12:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice Sought in International Fund Choice
Replies: 24
Views: 1339

Re: Advice Sought in International Fund Choice

The common wisdom is to hold the International funds in your taxable account so as to capture the foreign tax credit on your 1040 each year. Having said that I've been too lazy to rearrange my portfolio to accomplish this, having set it up incorrectly in the first place (very small, direct Internat...
by bertilak
Tue Jul 21, 2015 10:26 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice Sought in International Fund Choice
Replies: 24
Views: 1339

Re: Advice Sought in International Fund Choice

One more question! I remember there being something about recovering taxes paid on foreign investments. Does this mean that it matters which account I use to hold the international fund? Taxable Roth IRA traditional IRA If it makes a difference I am just bumping up against the 25% bracket and taking...
by bertilak
Tue Jul 21, 2015 10:09 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice Sought in International Fund Choice
Replies: 24
Views: 1339

Re: Advice Sought in International Fund Choice

The main difference is that total international has more small/mid cap coverage. The other is mostly large caps. Ah. Just like US funds, the large caps nearly swamp the effect of the small caps so the funds' stats in all areas are very close. That little extra in VTIAX so far hasn't shown an advant...
by bertilak
Tue Jul 21, 2015 9:55 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice Sought in International Fund Choice
Replies: 24
Views: 1339

Advice Sought in International Fund Choice

I have been invested in a two-fund portfolio: VTSAX: Vanguard Total Stock Market VNTLX: Vanguard Total Bond Market I have been hearing so much about the wisdom of diversifying internationally I decided to take a look at what Vanguard offers. I see two international funds: VWIAX: Vanguard FTSE All-Wo...
by bertilak
Mon Jul 20, 2015 4:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The true cost of high expenses
Replies: 2
Views: 1028

The true cost of high expenses

As I read through Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk I keep coming across interesting ideas. A quote: In May 1995, Morningstar reported on mutual funds that invest in bonds and that charge [12b-1 fees], fees that come out of the shareholders’ pockets, had standard deviations that average...
by bertilak
Sun Jul 19, 2015 2:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costco Prescription Glasses
Replies: 17
Views: 1377

Re: Costco Prescription Glasses

Be aware that Costco does not sell Trivex lenses, which I prefer. See http://www.allaboutvision.com/lenses/polycarb.htm.

At least that's true for my Local Costco.
by bertilak
Sun Jul 19, 2015 2:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: leverage and beating the market
Replies: 37
Views: 2503

Re: leverage and beating the market

When leverage is involved the beating can go either way.
by bertilak
Sun Jul 19, 2015 9:39 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Three-fund portfolio for retirees?
Replies: 10
Views: 1422

Re: Three-fund portfolio for retirees?

retiredjg is right: earnings of a company can be handed out as dividends or folded back into the company to increase its NAV. Kind of a wash there as can be seen by the chart below which compares three broad equity index funds, each paying a different level of dividends. The chart shows total return...
by bertilak
Sun Jul 19, 2015 5:30 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Three-fund portfolio for retirees?
Replies: 10
Views: 1422

Re: Three-fund portfolio for retirees?

My first thought is "Don't rock the boat." It's hard to answer your question without knowing the following: ⋅ Are all investments in tax advantaged accounts? Any Roth? ⋅ When you take an RMD where does the money go? ⋅ What exactly are those income-oriented inv...
by bertilak
Sat Jul 18, 2015 5:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: The Morningstar Lifetime Allocation Indexes Contain an Inflation Hedge
Replies: 6
Views: 673

Re: The Morningstar Lifetime Allocation Indexes Contain an Inflation Hedge

Some people here dismiss commodities outright as just for speculators, and for whatever reason this seems to be some kind of emotionally charged issue like for precious metals. I don't really get it. This is a philosophical issue about what investing actually is. Some would say that the individual ...
by bertilak
Wed Jul 15, 2015 1:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why Rational People are Risk Averse
Replies: 33
Views: 3621

Re: Why Rational People are Risk Averse

IlliniDave wrote:I don't consider myself risk averse in that realm, just prudent.

Maybe I should have titled the thread "Bernoulli tells us why (and by about how much) prudent people are risk averse."
by bertilak
Wed Jul 15, 2015 10:52 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why Rational People are Risk Averse
Replies: 33
Views: 3621

Re: Why Rational People are Risk Averse

This. Risk aversion is essentially driven by fear, an emotion. So the premise is rational people act irrationally, meaning they are not strictly rational. Only if you disagree with Bernoulli, and many since then. Also consider this: Would you take the risk of investing if the expected return was ze...
by bertilak
Wed Jul 15, 2015 10:49 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why Rational People are Risk Averse
Replies: 33
Views: 3621

Re: Why Rational People are Risk Averse

This. Risk aversion is essentially driven by fear, an emotion. So the premise is rational people act irrationally, meaning they are not strictly rational. Only if you disagree with Bernoulli, and many since then. Also consider this: Would you take the risk of investing if the expected return was ze...
by bertilak
Wed Jul 15, 2015 9:00 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why Rational People are Risk Averse
Replies: 33
Views: 3621

Re: Why Rational People are Risk Averse

Browser wrote:You may want more, but will it make you happier?

as I wrote:I am fairly sure that more will make me at least a little bit happier.
by bertilak
Wed Jul 15, 2015 8:40 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why Rational People are Risk Averse
Replies: 33
Views: 3621

Re: Why Rational People are Risk Averse

Interesting way of looking at the utility of increasing wealth and its affect on risk tolerance. That might explain why I like Wm. Bernstein's approach of after you have won the "game" (sorry those who find investing and game in the same sentence upsetting) stop playing and his have 20-25...
by bertilak
Mon Jul 13, 2015 6:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why Rational People are Risk Averse
Replies: 33
Views: 3621

Why Rational People are Risk Averse

I am re-reading Peter Bernstein's Against the Gods , having recently seen it mentioned here on BH. It is just chock-full of profound insights. Here is something that follows from Bernoulli's utility theory. In summary the theory says that the value of new wealth is not measured in monetary units (e....
by bertilak
Sat Jul 11, 2015 6:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: interest rates and raising equity stake
Replies: 16
Views: 1373

Re: interest rates and raising equity stake

Maybe it takes FI recovers more slowly, but it usually doesn't have as much recovery to do. +1 Bertilak Raising a ship in 10 feet of water is much easier than the Titanic in 1000 feet of water Exactly. Another thing is that I dispute that equities do recover faster than FI. I was too lazy to get re...
by bertilak
Sat Jul 11, 2015 6:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Cost Basis with DCA
Replies: 13
Views: 665

Re: Cost Basis with DCA

Of course you can always reset the clock by selling the entire position at some point in time. I did just that back in 2009! I bought back innediately in a different set of investments. It was my first step away from the hodgepodge left over from my days with a "Senior Wealth Manager" (1....
by bertilak
Sat Jul 11, 2015 6:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Cost Basis with DCA
Replies: 13
Views: 665

Re: Cost Basis with DCA

I don't know current rules. In the old days one could not mix and match average cost and spec ID for the same fund in the same account. I believe there are some old posts answering this question. I don't know why one would ever want to use average cost anyways. I think it was a mistake by mutual fu...
by bertilak
Sat Jul 11, 2015 5:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should you own different portfolios
Replies: 14
Views: 1593

Re: Should you own different portfolios

In this case it is possible to add everything up calculate an overall AA but the results of that are just an artifact of the real underlying and distinct goals and perhaps constraints.. The overall numbers are not actionable. They cannot be used to monitor and manage the individual portfolios which...
by bertilak
Sat Jul 11, 2015 5:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Cost Basis with DCA
Replies: 13
Views: 665

Re: Cost Basis with DCA

Specific ID is best. FIFO, LIFO, HIFO, WIFO, ad nauseum FO are all subsets of Specific ID. So choose Specific ID. livesoft, Question: Since brokers are required to track things by lot in any case, isn't this really a decision that can be made at withdrawal time? Can one even mix and match? For exam...
by bertilak
Sat Jul 11, 2015 9:31 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should you own different portfolios
Replies: 14
Views: 1593

Re: Should you own different portfolios

If you have a single goal then a single portfolio, perhaps spread over several accounts makes good sense. There would be a single AA to maintain across those accounts, without necessarily restricting each account to the same AA. If you have multiple goals I think it makes sense to look at it as mult...
by bertilak
Fri Jul 10, 2015 5:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: interest rates and raising equity stake
Replies: 16
Views: 1373

Re: interest rates and raising equity stake

Maybe it takes FI recovers more slowly, but it usually doesn't have as much recovery to do.
by bertilak
Thu Jul 09, 2015 1:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Calculation of Asset Allocation to Gauge Risk to Net Worth
Replies: 12
Views: 843

Re: Calculation of Asset Allocation

I don't make those kinds of adjustments because I don't think the precision is justified by the whims of Mr. Market. But, in general, I don't think it is wrong to do what you are doing; I just question the utility. Specific comment on the methodology: I can't reconcile two line items: -- Including p...
by bertilak
Tue Jul 07, 2015 12:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How many Bogleheads tilt Value?
Replies: 49
Views: 3318

Re: How many Bogleheads tilt Value?

sambb wrote:i tilt a little -- don't really care what bogle thinks of it. I see little downside in tilting.

If you only tilt a little there is also little upside, assuming there is any upside at all.
by bertilak
Tue Jul 07, 2015 12:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: If you don't care about volatility, are long-term bonds better than total bond?
Replies: 66
Views: 5893

Re: If you don't care about volatility, is long-term bonds better than total bond?

Isn't there an additional risk beyond volatility? A risk that's there even if you hold the bond to maturity?

Over a long period of time many unanticipated things can happen to reduce or destroy the value of a bond. Isn't that, in general, why they pay more?
by bertilak
Mon Jul 06, 2015 12:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How aggressive are you in Taxable?
Replies: 37
Views: 3111

Re: How aggressive are you in Taxable?

Yiu, personally, associate your taxable account with shorter-term savings goals but that doesn't mean everyone does.
by bertilak
Mon Jul 06, 2015 12:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vanguard's Security image going away?
Replies: 71
Views: 6953

Re: Vanguard's Security image going away?

I find it reassuring when I see my security image.

Discontinuing it because some (most?) people don't pay attention to it seems odd. MOST people don't invest with Vanguard. Should they fold the company and discontinue the whole thing?
by bertilak
Sun Jul 05, 2015 10:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Cash on the Sidelines as guide to Cash in AA
Replies: 8
Views: 1117

Re: Cash on the Sidelines as guide to Cash in AA

So somehow DCA protects an investor from choosing an inappropriate AA? I don't think so. DCA can't prevent an investor from choosing an inappropriate asset allocation, but it can prevent them from implementing it. How many times have we seen people choose 100% stocks? With DCA, those people are not...
by bertilak
Sun Jul 05, 2015 8:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Cash on the Sidelines as guide to Cash in AA
Replies: 8
Views: 1117

Re: Cash on the Sidelines as guide to Cash in AA

In terms of DCA vs. lump sum, lump sum provides greater potential returns, but anyone lump summing should be aware that this is possible: https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=168496 So somehow DCA protects an investor from choosing an inappropriate AA? I don't think so. What if...
by bertilak
Sun Jul 05, 2015 1:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bernstein - ["Against the Gods" versus] Nassim Taleb
Replies: 7
Views: 1517

Re: Bernstein - ["Against the Gods" versus] Nassim Taleb

Since no one else has replied, let me chime in. I have read Against The Gods but not the Taleb books. I have read reviews and commentary about Taleb's writing. Based on that limited knowledge I think there would be little overlap, other than looking at some of the same things from widely different p...
by bertilak
Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Cash on the Sidelines as guide to Cash in AA
Replies: 8
Views: 1117

Re: Cash on the Sidelines as guide to Cash in AA

If you roughly market weight (beware considerations of free float and other adjustments) noncash financial assets, you end up with something like this: http://www.pragcap.com/is-the-global-financial-asset-portfolio-the-perfect-indexing-strategy I don't think this is that useful an approach, just on...

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