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Re: smartphones

Smartphones are cheap enough (my last one cost $50, not including the add-on memory card) that they're pretty easy to justify for a traditional dumbphone user. There are plenty of uses that don't involve communications: offline maps/GPS, music, books, games, etc. Since I don't have a GPS unit in my ...
by dumbmoney
Sun Apr 05, 2015 6:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: smartphones
Replies: 24
Views: 1775

Re: Archival CD - MDisc

I suspect many people underestimate the life of ordinary media. I've recently gone back through old media in my personal possession and had generally good results. The vast majority of decade-old optical discs are fully readable now, and for the ones that aren't, I'm not sure if they were good when...
by dumbmoney
Fri Mar 06, 2015 4:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Archival CD - MDisc
Replies: 25
Views: 1496

Re: Factors and zero-sum investing

For some reason, people who practice factor investing are reluctant to say they can beat their fellow, less factor enlightened, investors. Beating the market is gauche. It's much cooler to say that one is diversifying among asset classes.
by dumbmoney
Sat Jan 24, 2015 11:11 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Factors and zero-sum investing
Replies: 58
Views: 3197

Re: Malware problem on new PC

A few years ago you would have had to do something boneheaded to get malware, but now it's such a jungle...even legit programs come bundled with "optional" malware (optional in the sense that if you read everything carefully and click/unclick the right boxes, you can avoid installing it. B...
by dumbmoney
Thu Jan 22, 2015 3:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Malware problem on new PC
Replies: 42
Views: 2715

Re: Does securities lending matter more than expense ratios?

I wouldn't exactly call it free money. A lot of the hard to borrow, high rebate stocks are eventually headed to zero. Yeah. It might actually be better to sell such stocks than to lend them at exorbitant rates. Even an index fund can do this, provided that sampling is acceptable. As for not-hard-to...
by dumbmoney
Thu Jan 22, 2015 2:00 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does securities lending matter more than expense ratios?
Replies: 29
Views: 2002

Re: How to get things wrong - Swiss Franc (CHF)

How can a central bank, with the capacity to create an unlimited amount of money, become insolvent in any meaningful sense? It's insolvent if it can't main price stability (i.e. a constant rate of inflation). That does not make sense, at least under standard definitions and practices. Central banks...
by dumbmoney
Thu Jan 22, 2015 12:40 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How to get things wrong - Swiss Franc (CHF)
Replies: 32
Views: 3618

Re: How to get things wrong - Swiss Franc (CHF)

richard wrote:How can a central bank, with the capacity to create an unlimited amount of money, become insolvent in any meaningful sense?


It's insolvent if it can't main price stability (i.e. a constant rate of inflation).
by dumbmoney
Thu Jan 22, 2015 9:05 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How to get things wrong - Swiss Franc (CHF)
Replies: 32
Views: 3618

Re: Non Dividend Paying Stocks in Index Mutual Funds?

darrellr wrote:But lack of a dividend can be a yellow flag. Some say dividends prove the company has real cash. I don't believe Enron had dividends.


It did.
by dumbmoney
Thu Jan 22, 2015 8:38 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Non Dividend Paying Stocks in Index Mutual Funds?
Replies: 6
Views: 844

Time to sell international bonds?

European bond yields are crazy low. Japanese bond yields are (still) crazy low. Diversification is good all things being equal, but this asset class seems like a sure loser. Anyone disagree?
by dumbmoney
Mon Jan 05, 2015 7:28 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Time to sell international bonds?
Replies: 23
Views: 1651

Re: How to make a long bet on Crude Oil

You can't make a direct bet on oil, for the simple reason that storing oil is expensive (unlike, say, gold). Well (pun intended), you can store oil. Just leave it in the ground where nature has been storing it for millions of years. If you want to know really accurately how much you've got, drill s...
by dumbmoney
Mon Dec 22, 2014 1:10 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to make a long bet on Crude Oil
Replies: 28
Views: 2783

Re: Do Companies Index Their Profits?

I've wondered why companies that retain earnings purely for tax reasons don't invest in stock indexes.
by dumbmoney
Mon Dec 22, 2014 2:37 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do Companies Index Their Profits?
Replies: 15
Views: 1278

Re: How to make a long bet on Crude Oil

You can't make a direct bet on oil, for the simple reason that storing oil is expensive (unlike, say, gold). If you buy oil futures or oil stocks, your investment will do better if oil goes up than if it doesn't, but that's not the same thing as an investment that profits if oil goes up by any amount.
by dumbmoney
Mon Dec 22, 2014 2:27 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to make a long bet on Crude Oil
Replies: 28
Views: 2783

Re: Update: 6 years into Buffett's Bet With Hedge Funds

Did anyone go to the Morningstar article linked to in the OP's link? (That is confusing, here is the link) http://www.morningstar.in/posts/27750/will-warren-buffett-win-this-bet.aspx This part was shocking to me. I knew it was bad, but I didn't think it was this bad: When hedge-fund managers do gen...
by dumbmoney
Tue Dec 09, 2014 7:04 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Update: 6 years into Buffett's Bet With Hedge Funds
Replies: 24
Views: 2959

Re: Understanding why we market weight

a zero turnover fund might be even better, and it would necessarily not be market weighted (or anything-weighted). Just buy the very best single company stock. No turnover you don't control. Problem solved. Of course, some investors live in a more realistic world. There used to be a zero turnover E...
by dumbmoney
Tue Dec 02, 2014 10:12 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Understanding why we market weight
Replies: 18
Views: 1668

Re: Understanding why we market weight

Wish peter71 were still active in the forum; he was something of a fan of equal weighting (or at least didn't dislike it). I like market weighted stock funds because of the low turnover. But a zero turnover fund might be even better, and it would necessarily not be market weighted (or anything-weigh...
by dumbmoney
Mon Dec 01, 2014 4:55 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Understanding why we market weight
Replies: 18
Views: 1668

Re: My MMF just distributed a LTCG

Uncle Pennybags wrote:How can a MM fund have a LTCG? I thought they held very short term securities, nothing close to a year.


Ordinary bonds are limited to 397 days, but certain types of variable rate bonds have no maturity limit.
by dumbmoney
Sat Nov 29, 2014 12:50 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: My MMF just distributed a LTCG
Replies: 10
Views: 1446

Re: An alternative to alternative investments [QSPIX]

This reminds me of ishares Diversified Alternatives Trust (ALT):

viewtopic.php?t=46143

which during its 3.5 year existence didn't do much of anything (good or bad).
by dumbmoney
Thu Nov 27, 2014 10:17 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: An alternative to alternative investments [QSPIX]
Replies: 319
Views: 39251

Re: DVD-R, RW and VHS Player

I just threw away a couple of VHS units because I haven't used them for 15 years.

Still have an analog Tivo that I don't use, and will probably throw away also.

What exactly do you want to record?
by dumbmoney
Mon Oct 27, 2014 6:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: DVD-R, RW and VHS Player
Replies: 13
Views: 1310

Re: What happened to the audiophile?

Bad sounding MP3s existed for a blip of time, and disappeared 10 years ago. The baseline standard these days is perfection. So I can't relate to complaints about the purely technical aspects of music. Everything is so good, it's boring. There's no excitement in a mature, stagnant technology.
by dumbmoney
Wed Oct 15, 2014 5:51 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What happened to the audiophile?[High quality music sources]
Replies: 71
Views: 4228

Re: MOM faltering? [Momentum]

Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems that the only method of predicting momentum returns is to assume the historical return. With stocks/bonds/cash, there are methods of predicting the return besides assuming the historical. Yields and such. That's a comfort since you are not just blindly betting t...
by dumbmoney
Thu Jul 31, 2014 12:31 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: MOM faltering? [Momentum]
Replies: 94
Views: 6618

Re: Light Bulb Durability

Even LEDs contain toxic elements: The Dark Side of LED Lightbulbs . (FWIW that piece seems a bit over the top, especially as it comes from Scientific Americans. They take LEDs to task because they contain copper. Well duh, guess how much more copper there is in the power lines to those LEDs, never ...
by dumbmoney
Wed Jul 09, 2014 2:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Light Bulb Durability
Replies: 59
Views: 4822

Re: What smartphone plan do you use?- off contract

You ought to be able to get that down to $40/month with AirVoice or H2O for example, but coverage is on the prepaid network which has a few gaps here and there. If you'd be happy with 500Mb you can get it down to $30. So the network is AT&T but the coverage isn't a drop in replacement? I've alw...
by dumbmoney
Sun Jun 15, 2014 6:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What smartphone plan do you use?- off contract
Replies: 100
Views: 6196

Re: How To Encourage A Young (Sensitive) Child In Sports

My memories of sports around that age are that I hated it, because I literally didn't know what I was doing. Didn't know the rules, couldn't play without making a fool of myself. It was embarrassing, not fun.
by dumbmoney
Mon Jun 09, 2014 2:18 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How To Encourage A Young (Sensitive) Child In Sports
Replies: 115
Views: 6017

Re: why not closed end mutual funds?

I recall some people on the forum bought closed end funds at a deep discount (20% or more) during the 2008 financial crisis. That was a good move, but in general, I think they should be avoided.
by dumbmoney
Mon Jun 09, 2014 12:58 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: why not closed end mutual funds?
Replies: 27
Views: 1546

Re: Investors hold the lowest percentage of stocks in 50 yea

Isn't the all-knowing efficient market the font of all investment wisdom, representing the collective judgment of all that is currently known? If it says the collective average investor owns 37% stocks, what makes you think you are wiser and therefore it is better to own more than that? According t...
by dumbmoney
Mon Jun 09, 2014 12:31 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Investors hold the lowest percentage of stocks in 50 years
Replies: 38
Views: 4680

Re: Investors hold the lowest percentage of stocks in 50 yea

I would suggest that the AAII asset allocation survey is more meaningful. And it shows that the average stock allocation is above the long term average of 60% (not surprising since stocks have gained a lot recently and not everyone rebalances). It's more interesting to know what people somewhat like...
by dumbmoney
Fri Jun 06, 2014 6:28 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Investors hold the lowest percentage of stocks in 50 years
Replies: 38
Views: 4680

Re: Can we have negative interest rates?

In short, it's not going to happen. It did happen. It's happening right now. Before now the smallest interest rate move in the history of the european central bank was 0.25% (see http://www.ecb.europa.eu/stats/monetary/rates/html/index.en.html). The latest move was 0.1%. They can keep cutting rates...
by dumbmoney
Fri Jun 06, 2014 2:34 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Can we have negative interest rates?
Replies: 33
Views: 3467

Re: Can we have negative interest rates?

An arbitrarily negative central bank target rate isn't possible under the current system, because of the option to withdraw currency (with its fixed 0% yield). Currently there isn't any central bank that is even at zero. Japan is lowest, but they haven't been as low as zero for years. In short, it's...
by dumbmoney
Wed Jun 04, 2014 1:16 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Can we have negative interest rates?
Replies: 33
Views: 3467

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 1:50 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Last chance to sell Russian investments?
Replies: 2
Views: 326

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 1:17 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Thought experiment: a "diversification" joke
Replies: 8
Views: 1086

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 12:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Windows XP to Linux Question with existing HW
Replies: 61
Views: 3569

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 3:37 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: LED lights currently worth it personal financewise?
Replies: 55
Views: 2814

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 1:19 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why do investors prefer cash dividends?
Replies: 126
Views: 5992

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 4:27 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Stocks that Don't Pay Dividends - Greater Fool Driven?
Replies: 73
Views: 5067

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 7:41 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Stocks that Don't Pay Dividends - Greater Fool Driven?
Replies: 73
Views: 5067

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 6:24 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Stocks that Don't Pay Dividends - Greater Fool Driven?
Replies: 73
Views: 5067

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 5:39 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Stocks that Don't Pay Dividends - Greater Fool Driven?
Replies: 73
Views: 5067

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 10:08 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bitcoin price plunges
Replies: 246
Views: 21288

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 11:52 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Quant funds find reality simply too hard
Replies: 12
Views: 1163

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 6:07 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Long-Term Risk, Mean Reversion, and Dispersion of Returns
Replies: 20
Views: 1741

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 10:01 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is 60/40 really the gold standard?
Replies: 35
Views: 5649

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

Zero market correlation.
by dumbmoney
Tue Jan 21, 2014 2:37 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: BRK go to for weird risks - NCAA bracket bet
Replies: 16
Views: 1505

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
Mon Jan 20, 2014 11:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is there a low cost cell phone plan, limited minutes?
Replies: 66
Views: 4586

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 3:50 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bond funds are not riskier than bond ladders
Replies: 120
Views: 7118

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 3:31 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bond funds are not riskier than bond ladders
Replies: 120
Views: 7118

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 6:32 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Jack Bogle: We Need to Fix the Bond Index
Replies: 89
Views: 9992

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 7:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trouble trusting US healthcare
Replies: 70
Views: 3456

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 2:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Funniest Movie Ever
Replies: 227
Views: 16122
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