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Last chance to sell Russian investments?

I wonder what would happen to a U.S. investment in Russian stocks (or bonds for that matter) if serious economic sanctions were imposed (such as the sanctions on Iran). Any guess as to what the damage would be, -50%? -90%? -100%? As of 02/28/2014, Russia is 6.4% of Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets and...
by dumbmoney
Thu Apr 10, 2014 2:50 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Last chance to sell Russian investments?
Replies: 2
Views: 289

Re: Thought experiment: a "diversification" joke

Occasionally someone will ask about holding 50% growth index and 50% value index for diversification. That is "funny" because those indexes are usually rebalanced to 50% market weight (so a 50/50 mix replicates the total market, at least if you rebalance in sync with the indexes).
by dumbmoney
Thu Apr 03, 2014 2:17 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Thought experiment: a "diversification" joke
Replies: 8
Views: 1022

Re: Windows XP to Linux Question with existing HW

How much free space do you have available? If you're only using, say, 10GB out of the 50GB, then you could shrink down the Windows partition to 20GB and use the remainder for linux. That way you could always go back to XP if you needed it for something.
by dumbmoney
Mon Mar 31, 2014 1:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Windows XP to Linux Question with existing HW
Replies: 61
Views: 2275

Re: LED lights currently worth it personal financewise?

The Crees have a 10 year warranty, which inspires confidence even if nobody knows if they will last. Definitely start buying them, but there's no sense in doing a mass conversion. Incandescents are good for little-used lights, and if a flourescent is working well I would leave it alone. And the pric...
by dumbmoney
Sun Mar 16, 2014 4:37 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: LED lights currently worth it personal financewise?
Replies: 55
Views: 2475

Re: Why do investors prefer cash dividends?

Buybacks are consistently larger than dividends now for U.S. stocks (something to keep in mind when comparing current dividend yield to the historical average). So one answer to the question is, they don't.
by dumbmoney
Tue Mar 04, 2014 2:19 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why do investors prefer cash dividends?
Replies: 126
Views: 5542

Re: Stocks that Don't Pay Dividends - Greater Fool Driven?

A stock that never paid any dividends (and never was sold, etc). would have present value of future dividend flow of infinity times zero, i.e. it would be indeterminate, i.e. it would be whatever people believed. But a stock that is going to pay dividends someday has a value. It's "pay me now ...
by dumbmoney
Fri Feb 28, 2014 5:27 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Stocks that Don't Pay Dividends - Greater Fool Driven?
Replies: 73
Views: 4282

Re: Stocks that Don't Pay Dividends - Greater Fool Driven?

Phineas J. Whoopee wrote:
dumbmoney wrote:In fact the Fed still owns a vestigial hoard of gold.

It does not.


Thanks for the correction.
by dumbmoney
Thu Feb 27, 2014 8:41 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Stocks that Don't Pay Dividends - Greater Fool Driven?
Replies: 73
Views: 4282

Re: Stocks that Don't Pay Dividends - Greater Fool Driven?

... (Incidentally, a similar issue comes up when people talk about the fundamental value of inconvertible paper money. Money is a debt of the central bank even if it's inconvertible for an indefinite period of time. Only when the bank goes out of business, or ceases to regard the money as its debt,...
by dumbmoney
Thu Feb 27, 2014 7:24 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Stocks that Don't Pay Dividends - Greater Fool Driven?
Replies: 73
Views: 4282

Re: Stocks that Don't Pay Dividends - Greater Fool Driven?

And then there is Berkshire Hathaway, where the company's ownership has made it clear they will never p ay a dividend. They've made it clear that they won't pay a dividend for an indefinite period of time. That's not at all the same as never paying a dividend. (Incidentally, a similar issue comes u...
by dumbmoney
Thu Feb 27, 2014 6:39 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Stocks that Don't Pay Dividends - Greater Fool Driven?
Replies: 73
Views: 4282

Re: Bitcoin price plunges

I have now heard the comments that bitcoin is not really a "currency" in the true sense but more like a commodity (gold). With the volatility it has shown over the past year, that is still an understatement. It might be a better analogy-- I like that. Bitcoin is a commodity not a currency...
by dumbmoney
Tue Feb 25, 2014 11:08 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bitcoin price plunges
Replies: 246
Views: 17937

Re: Quant funds find reality simply too hard

The hedge funds should not have been blindsided by the existence of the Federal Reserve, it was created in 1913 and a hundred years is long enough that they ought to have heard about it and what it does. If 100 years isn't enough, the Bank of England was founded in 1694. (Not that I think central b...
by dumbmoney
Fri Feb 21, 2014 12:52 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Quant funds find reality simply too hard
Replies: 12
Views: 1109

Re: Long-Term Risk, Mean Reversion, and Dispersion of Return

Long-term investing in a fixed portfolio is probably very risky, as companies go out of business. If you invest in an index like the S&P 500, the composition is continually changing as less successful companies are replaced in the makeup of the index. I am willing to bet, for example, that a po...
by dumbmoney
Wed Feb 19, 2014 7:07 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Long-Term Risk, Mean Reversion, and Dispersion of Returns
Replies: 20
Views: 1348

Re: Is 60/40 really the gold standard?

Peter Bernstein agrees that 60/40 is a great asset allocation. As you likely know, Peter Bernstein would go on to flip flop on this position only a year later, as Bogle notes in: http://www.vanguard.com/bogle_site/sp20030605.html Thanks for the link, that's a nice essay that I don't remember readin...
by dumbmoney
Sun Feb 09, 2014 11:01 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is 60/40 really the gold standard?
Replies: 35
Views: 5203

Re: BRK go to for weird risks - NCAA bracket bet

Zero market correlation.
by dumbmoney
Tue Jan 21, 2014 3:37 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: BRK go to for weird risks - NCAA bracket bet
Replies: 16
Views: 1438

Re: Is there a low cost cell phone plan, limited minutes?

Someone already mentioned about lycamobile(uses T-mobiles network). I have been using this for quite sometime as with lycamobile there is no contract. And if you dont want to pay any monthly charges you just pay as you go.I use their pay as you go plan for 2c a minute.No monthly charges. you bring ...
by dumbmoney
Tue Jan 21, 2014 12:00 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is there a low cost cell phone plan, limited minutes?
Replies: 63
Views: 3425

Re: Bond funds are not riskier than bond ladders

Suppose a fund satisfies redemptions by selling the most liquid bonds. This works fine as long as redemptions are balanced by inflows. It also works fine as long as the market for the illiquid bonds doesn't rapidly change. But if informed investors exit, then the fund's buffer of liquid bonds will ...
by dumbmoney
Tue Jan 14, 2014 4:50 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bond funds are not riskier than bond ladders
Replies: 120
Views: 6383

Re: Bond funds are not riskier than bond ladders

I'm not sure of the actual mechanics, and I don't think anyone's given an authoritative answer to the question, but to a first approximation I don't see why it would. Say investors X and Y each own shares amounting to one millionth of the fund. Conceptually one could imagine all of the fund's asset...
by dumbmoney
Tue Jan 14, 2014 4:31 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bond funds are not riskier than bond ladders
Replies: 120
Views: 6383

Re: Jack Bogle: We Need to Fix the Bond Index

My interpretation of what Jack is saying is that he'd rather have a bond index that mimics the average bond fund, rather than an index that mimics the bond market. This would benefit investors if the bond funds' asset allocation is somehow better for the typical investor than the market allocation (...
by dumbmoney
Fri Jan 10, 2014 7:32 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Jack Bogle: We Need to Fix the Bond Index
Replies: 77
Views: 7151

Re: Trouble trusting US healthcare

Most doctors are ethical, but some just want to make as much money as possible. No great sales skills are required. When a doctor recommends something, it's hard to say no.
by dumbmoney
Thu Jan 09, 2014 8:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trouble trusting US healthcare
Replies: 70
Views: 3260

Re: The Funniest Movie Ever

Apart from "Airplane!", the Zucker-Abrams-Zucker crew did a lot of other great ones. "The Naked Gun" series is probably the most notable, but don't forget "Kentucky Fried Movie", "Hot Shots!", and "Top Secret!". (For a deeper dive, check out the six...
by dumbmoney
Thu Jan 02, 2014 3:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Funniest Movie Ever
Replies: 201
Views: 10513

Re: The Funniest Movie Ever

Being There
A Fish Called Wanda
by dumbmoney
Thu Jan 02, 2014 10:30 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Funniest Movie Ever
Replies: 201
Views: 10513

Re: From a flip phone to a smart phone, can I do this?

With google voice (free), you can have a phone number that rings multiple phones, such as a cell phone and skype (a voip service). Skype costs $5/month. You can save money, but I wouldn't recommend it if you want something that "just works" without effort.
by dumbmoney
Mon Dec 30, 2013 1:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: From a flip phone to a smart phone, can I do this?
Replies: 16
Views: 911

Re: Just returned new laptop with Window 8.1

So what can you do with Windows 8, that you can't do with Windows 7, or for that matter Windows XP ? Vista/7/8 vs XP...64-bit (actually there is a little known 64-bit version of XP, but not widely used or supported), newer DirectX (needed for latest games), that's about it. 8 vs 7...8 should be cal...
by dumbmoney
Fri Dec 27, 2013 9:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Just returned new laptop with Window 8.1
Replies: 104
Views: 7776

Re: Just returned new laptop with Window 8.1

It's possible to use Win8 almost exactly like previous versions with a little setup:
1) install Classic Shell: http://www.classicshell.net
2) change program defaults so that full screen tablet mode doesn't get accidentally invoked when you click on files
by dumbmoney
Thu Dec 26, 2013 11:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Just returned new laptop with Window 8.1
Replies: 104
Views: 7776

Re: Small caps overvalued?

If small or value or whatever has done better than theory predicts, then you should expect some reversion to the mean and you should not be greedy and expect to be able to keep all the outperformance during the good times while hopping out and avoiding the underperformance during the bad times--tha...
by dumbmoney
Fri Dec 20, 2013 11:45 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Small caps overvalued?
Replies: 55
Views: 7369

Re: No Silver Bullets (Just Old Snake Oil in New Bottles)

Did you notice that the GMO emerging market stock forecast changed from 6.5% on Sept. 30 to 3.2% on Oct. 31? I don't think market movements can account for that...
by dumbmoney
Tue Dec 10, 2013 1:37 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: No Silver Bullets (Just Old Snake Oil in New Bottles)
Replies: 5
Views: 1236

Re: E-Book subscriptions ?

nisiprius wrote:
Achelois wrote:...Additionally, I have the Overdrive app and download both e-books and audiobooks from my town's library....
Me, too. Quite valuable.


It's great when they have something you want, but don't you find the Overdrive selection to be terrible? Or is it only my library?
by dumbmoney
Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: E-Book subscriptions ?
Replies: 18
Views: 665

Re: Is there a way for you and I to borrow at the Fed rate?

Not directly. But in effect, you can borrow at something close to the Fed Funds rate by using index futures. Obligatory MT thread link:

viewtopic.php?f=10&t=5934
by dumbmoney
Sun Dec 01, 2013 10:04 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is there a way for you and I to borrow at the Fed rate?
Replies: 11
Views: 1095

Re: Connecting HDTV without HDMI box

I only have basic cable and watch mostly local stations. If I drop Comcast and just use an antenna to pick up local stations do you know -- 1. WIll these stations be in HD? 2. What will be the resolution, 480, 720, 1080? Yes. ABC and FOX use 720, the others use 1080. Sub-channels (e.g. weather) are...
by dumbmoney
Sun Dec 01, 2013 8:45 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Connecting HDTV without HDMI box
Replies: 35
Views: 1630

Re: Connecting HDTV without HDMI box

You would connect the cable box to your new plasma TV the same way as you do now. Nothing changes. http://customer.comcast.com/help-and-support/cable-tv/cable-box-user-manuals/ Perhaps, but only if the OP is not using the COMPOSITE cable option presently. I seem to recall that High Def only works w...
by dumbmoney
Sat Nov 30, 2013 5:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Connecting HDTV without HDMI box
Replies: 35
Views: 1630

Re: Connecting HDTV without HDMI box

It used to be, you could connect the cable directly to your TV. But recently Comcast has started encrypting all channels, even free ones (there's a chance this hasn't occurred in your area yet, but if not, it will soon). So your options for HD are either to dump Comcast and use an antenna, or else i...
by dumbmoney
Sat Nov 30, 2013 2:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Connecting HDTV without HDMI box
Replies: 35
Views: 1630

Re: Cheap 9-10 inch tablets / Black Friday deals

Edit: I have an iPhone and am very happy with it (along with my iMac and MacBook Pro), but I can't see the point of also getting a tablet, e.g., an iPad. The idea of an inexpensive e-reader I can throw in my bag and read from but not worry about losing, dropping or charging is appealing. Am I makin...
by dumbmoney
Sat Nov 30, 2013 1:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheap 9-10 inch tablets / Black Friday deals
Replies: 49
Views: 3805

Re: Cheap 9-10 inch tablets / Black Friday deals

Barnes and Noble is selling (online, with free shipping) the Nook Simple Touch for $39 and Nook HD for $79. That's crazy cheap!

(Neither is a 9-10" tablet, but this seemed like a good place to mention it).
by dumbmoney
Thu Nov 28, 2013 10:46 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheap 9-10 inch tablets / Black Friday deals
Replies: 49
Views: 3805

Re: Bitcoins as investment

The thing is that right now, it is pretty debatable whether or not Bitcoins are an investment, but they sure are a marvelous speculation. They have everything , including the best "storyline." I think it's a better storyline than "the Internet" was in the year 2000. Just as good...
by dumbmoney
Wed Nov 27, 2013 8:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bitcoins as investment
Replies: 190
Views: 10536

Re: Cheap 9-10 inch tablets / Black Friday deals

I have the second generation (the one sold last Christmas) and the only sites it doesn't work with are Flash sites - which I think is true for all tablets (if I am wrong, someone please let me know what tablets do support Flash because I would love to buy one). Adobe has ceased development of Flash...
by dumbmoney
Mon Nov 25, 2013 6:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheap 9-10 inch tablets / Black Friday deals
Replies: 49
Views: 3805

Re: Tablets and Readers and Smartphones, oh my lol

Keeping in mind that my price point is $50-60, I'm thinking that if I got a tablet, the first thing I'd do is disassemble it. Not the hardware, but the operating system. I think that's called rooting? And I think it can only be done on Android models. I like to tinker with Windows and customize it ...
by dumbmoney
Thu Nov 21, 2013 5:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tablets and Readers and Smartphones, oh my lol
Replies: 31
Views: 1933

Re: T-mobile. 2 Lines $80. iPhone $549. Nokia Lumia $126.

The ultra frugal way is to pay $0.10/minute, no monthly fee. (You do have to pay $100 per phone up front). No data plan. For light usage, this is cheaper than any monthly fee plan.

Don't buy the phones from t-mobile, get them cheaper elsewhere.
by dumbmoney
Thu Nov 21, 2013 4:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: T-mobile. 2 Lines $80. iPhone $549. Nokia Lumia $126.
Replies: 18
Views: 1825

Re: Windows 7 stability and usability ...

I use Win8, because I needed a 64-bit OS (>4GB of RAM) and Microsoft offered a cheap upgrade. But I actually think XP is the most polished OS Microsoft has ever made, and it's been downhill from there. Vista created havoc because it took so long to come out, and wasn't well supported initially. Win7...
by dumbmoney
Thu Nov 21, 2013 7:22 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Windows 7 stability and usability ...
Replies: 40
Views: 2561

Re: How does Football,Baseball work???

When I saw the subject line, I thought of George Carlin.

http://www.baseball-almanac.com/humor7.shtml
by dumbmoney
Wed Nov 20, 2013 7:18 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How does Football,Baseball work???
Replies: 120
Views: 5354

Re: Bitcoins as investment

I'm often asked to explain bitcoins so I've been trying to come up with the best metaphor. To me the keys are that it's not legal tender (so it's not currency), has a finite supply (so it's not beanie babies), and no material value (not gold or precious metals). So far I've come up with collectible...
by dumbmoney
Wed Nov 13, 2013 11:24 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bitcoins as investment
Replies: 190
Views: 10536

Re: Morningstar list-article on funds with good investor ret

VTSMX and FSTMX were started at different times - that alone could account for the difference. If VTSMX didn't exist, people would be investing in VFINX (S&P 500) or something like it. So the fund flows into VTSMX don't tell you much about investor timing, they just reflect when VTSMX was opened...
by dumbmoney
Wed Nov 13, 2013 10:50 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Morningstar list-article on funds with good investor returns
Replies: 23
Views: 1938

Re: Dollar Cost Averaging -- good or evil?

What makes my head spin is that the same investing experts claim that (1) long term investing is less risky than short term investing (at least when it comes to stocks), and (2) you can reduce risk by dollar cost averaging - which is a deliberate shortening of the investment period. A direct contrad...
by dumbmoney
Fri Nov 08, 2013 4:06 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Dollar Cost Averaging -- good or evil?
Replies: 48
Views: 2378

Re: Total cap since 1926? "Investor returns" for whole marke

A couple papers: What are Stock Investors' Actual Historical Returns? Evidence from Dollar-Weighted Returns http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=544142 Dollar-Weighted Returns to Stock Investors: A New Look at the Evidence http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1299004 Not ...
by dumbmoney
Mon Nov 04, 2013 8:50 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Total cap since 1926? "Investor returns" for whole market?
Replies: 7
Views: 1110

Re: Sci-Fi Short Story Recs

I recently TRIED to read Stranger in a Strange Land, after having heard of all the hubbub about it for the last 30 years for me (I'm pushing 40). It's been a while, but as I recall, the first half or so was good, or at least not bad, and the second half was a hack job, as if it were finished by a g...
by dumbmoney
Wed Oct 30, 2013 3:14 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sci-Fi Short Story Recs
Replies: 60
Views: 3112

Re: Refurbished Ipad or ???

The Nook HD+ (9", 1920x1280) at $150 is quite a bargain.
by dumbmoney
Fri Sep 27, 2013 11:24 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Refurbished Ipad or ???
Replies: 17
Views: 1280

Re: Why do stocks go up beyond the rate of inflation?

US companies therefore do more buybacks, so the difference on dividend yield is somewhat compensated. Estimates by about 1%. Overall US cos *do* have lower payout ratios (Div per share/ Earnings per share): Including buybacks, the yield for U.S. stocks is currently around 5%. Buybacks are consisten...
by dumbmoney
Sat Sep 07, 2013 7:47 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why do stocks go up beyond the rate of inflation?
Replies: 75
Views: 5762

Re: Why no Vanguard 2% cash back Visa card?

nisiprius wrote:Some things Fidelity doesn't do include, oddly enough, ETFs.


Weirdly, they have exactly one ETF, about 10 years old. Recently they've registered a bunch of new ones - some me-too sector funds and some actively managed bond funds.
by dumbmoney
Thu Aug 29, 2013 1:46 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why no Vanguard 2% cash back Visa card?
Replies: 36
Views: 3814

Re: Vanguard needs a cash+ product

I agree that Vanguard should offer an ultra short bond fund (actually they already have one, but it's for non-US investors). But with short term yields so low, it wouldn't offer much at the moment.
by dumbmoney
Fri Aug 16, 2013 6:17 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard needs a cash+ product
Replies: 18
Views: 1572

Re: would a portfolio last forever if you only took the divi

It's true that you lose diversification over time with a static portfolio, but it's a slow process. Note that shrinkage of the number of stocks is not the same as shrinkage of value. The loss of diversification may may be quicker than you think. Consider the S&P500 swapping out 5-10% of the con...
by dumbmoney
Wed Aug 07, 2013 11:20 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: would a portfolio last forever if you only took the dividend
Replies: 31
Views: 3106

Re: would a portfolio last forever if you only took the divi

Agree - you definitely need a mechanism to get new stocks into the portfolio. Over a very long period of time, many/most/all companies will go out of business. The sum value of holding them is the dividends paid out over the years that they were in business. if you want growth to offset this, you w...
by dumbmoney
Wed Aug 07, 2013 3:10 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: would a portfolio last forever if you only took the dividend
Replies: 31
Views: 3106
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