Search found 5531 matches

by market timer
Mon Aug 31, 2015 8:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: If you lost your job, what expenses would you keep/get rid of?
Replies: 27
Views: 2572

Re: If you lost your job, what expenses would you keep/get rid of?

If it looked like potentially a long term unemployment spell, I'd get expenses down to 4% of my portfolio. That's what I did last year when I took some time off. Since we have a paid off house with only $1K/year operating expenses (taxes, insurance, condo fees, etc.), it is easy to live cheaply if n...
by market timer
Sun Aug 30, 2015 8:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Blue collar worker and millionaire dream
Replies: 31
Views: 3659

Re: Blue collar worker and millionaire dream

The math is simple. The average US married couple with children and a house spends about $75,000 per year, after taxes. Is that right? Median household income is less then $45k. Is it something about average vs median? households with children making more? The median married household with two chil...
by market timer
Sun Aug 30, 2015 2:52 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best use of a Roth
Replies: 4
Views: 691

Re: Best use of a Roth

The conventional wisdom around here is to put the most tax inefficient investments in retirement accounts. International equities are fairly tax efficient, so they are usually best held in taxable. Any foreign tax withheld from dividend payments can be reclaimed on your 1040 if held in taxable, but ...
by market timer
Fri Aug 28, 2015 7:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: NYC- Where to buy a good quality sofa or sectional?
Replies: 9
Views: 631

Re: NYC- Where to buy a good quality sofa or sectional?

When I lived there, I used Craigslist to furnish my apartment. There are always people leaving town and selling brands like Crate & Barrel at a huge discount.
by market timer
Fri Aug 28, 2015 12:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Should I use margin to buy a balanced fund?
Replies: 782
Views: 125468

Re: Should I use margin to buy a balanced fund?

Rob Bertram wrote:10% stock / 5% long-term treasury / 85% short-term treasury x 26

Going 22x leverage on 2-year Treasuries into a rate hiking cycle? This could get interesting.
by market timer
Thu Aug 27, 2015 8:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Thinking "Differently" about Dividend Yield
Replies: 5
Views: 904

Re: Thinking "Differently" about Dividend Yield

This is just one of those questions that really makes no sense, I just wanted to get others opinions on the thought process I agree with your friend--the GE dividend yield is 3.91% based on the current price. I don't see why purchase price is relevant for this calculation. That you continue to own ...
by market timer
Tue Aug 25, 2015 8:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Share your networth progression
Replies: 241
Views: 54171

Re: Share your networth progression

FItoBFree wrote:Jan 2014 - ($110,332.26); new salary ~$73k (Aug 2013-Mar 2014)
Jan 2015 - ($48,166.05); new salary ~208k (Mar 2014-present)

How did you get this salary bump?
by market timer
Tue Aug 25, 2015 8:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone with experience taking a voluntary (pre-retirement) break from employment?
Replies: 29
Views: 4074

Re: Anyone with experience taking a voluntary (pre-retirement) break from employment?

I resigned from a job with a ~$200K salary in my mid-30s. That was a tough decision. I had saved $700K, which could support a modest lifestyle on a 4% withdrawal rate. I chose to go without health insurance and pay out of pocket. My health care expenses that year declined from $9,000 in premiums the...
by market timer
Sun Aug 23, 2015 11:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 955
Views: 189912

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Rabbit, Run , by John Updike. Amazon blurb: Rabbit, Run is the book that established John Updike as one of the major American novelists of his—or any other—generation. Its hero is Harry “Rabbit” Angstrom, a onetime high-school basketball star who on an impulse deserts his wife and son. He is twenty...
by market timer
Sun Aug 23, 2015 3:53 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What are you up YTD? [Year To Date]
Replies: 528
Views: 76328

Re: What are you up YTD? [Year To Date]

Up 4% ytd. Getting clobbered in international equities and commodities. Was up much more a couple months ago. Current alloctation: 25% EM equities 25% Developed int'l equities 15% US equities 15% Long term Treasuries 25% Health care REITs 20% Mortgage REITs 10% Gold 20% Oil -55% Cash Is the negativ...
by market timer
Sun Aug 23, 2015 12:59 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What are you up YTD? [Year To Date]
Replies: 528
Views: 76328

Re: What are you up YTD? [Year To Date]

Up 4% ytd. Getting clobbered in international equities and commodities. Was up much more a couple months ago.

Current alloctation:
25% EM equities
25% Developed int'l equities
15% US equities
15% Long term Treasuries
25% Health care REITs
20% Mortgage REITs
10% Gold
20% Oil
-55% Cash
by market timer
Fri Aug 21, 2015 11:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Got a great entry level full time offer (70K + 10K signing bonus), not sure if I should accept or decline
Replies: 35
Views: 4391

Re: Got a great entry level full time offer (70K + 10K signing bonus), not sure if I should accept or decline

If this was an IB analyst job in NY, I would basically flat out reject this offer as inferior, to say, making 50K a year in some midwestern city doing something - anything - else. This job in NY has to pay 3x more than equivalent job in the midwest to be worthwhile. Don't underestimate the value of...
by market timer
Fri Aug 21, 2015 10:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Student Loan Relief
Replies: 8
Views: 918

Re: Student Loan Relief

OP didn't mention a public service job.
by market timer
Fri Aug 21, 2015 9:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Student Loan Relief
Replies: 8
Views: 918

Re: Student Loan Relief

To qualify for forgiveness, you have to make 240-300 monthly payments while enrolled in the Income Based Repayment plan. That plan started sometime around 2008, so nobody is close to qualifying. All federal loans are eligible for forgiveness.
by market timer
Thu Aug 20, 2015 11:26 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A deeper look at gold. What's the "right" price?
Replies: 45
Views: 3117

Re: A deeper look at gold. What's the "right" price?

Which is why Harry Browne came up with the idea of the Permanent Portfolio. He was originally a pretty big goldbug, but recognizing how tough it was to hold gold over the long term, he began recommending that one reduce gold holdings to 25% of one's portfolio and hold the other 75% in stocks and bo...
by market timer
Thu Aug 20, 2015 11:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Prepping to sell home: Pay Mortgage or Pay Student Loans
Replies: 38
Views: 3142

Re: Prepping to sell home: Pay Mortgage or Pay Student Loans

I'd prepay the student loans. Then, when your wife leaves her job, you won't have to make the student loan payments for a while. Prepaying the mortgage does nothing to help your cash flow in the short run. Selling the house seems way too expensive for not much in the way of cost savings. You have e...
by market timer
Thu Aug 20, 2015 11:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Prepping to sell home: Pay Mortgage or Pay Student Loans
Replies: 38
Views: 3142

Re: Prepping to sell home: Pay Mortgage or Pay Student Loans

I'd prepay the student loans. Then, when your wife leaves her job, you won't have to make the student loan payments for a while. Prepaying the mortgage does nothing to help your cash flow in the short run. Selling the house seems way too expensive for not much in the way of cost savings. You have en...
by market timer
Wed Aug 19, 2015 8:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mathematicians or statisticians here? Seeking your advice
Replies: 70
Views: 6989

Re: Mathematicians or statisticians here? Seeking your advice

Most jobs seem to fall broadly into two categories: "modeling" (PDEs, dynamical systems, etc), and "statistics" (machine learning, actuarial/financial math, "data analysis", etc). If you are looking for jobs that have "quant" in the title, that's probably rig...
by market timer
Wed Aug 19, 2015 12:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mathematicians or statisticians here? Seeking your advice
Replies: 70
Views: 6989

Re: Mathematicians or statisticians here? Seeking your advice

Glad to hear you're enjoying the math coursework.

For us to give better direction, I think it would be helpful for you to give examples of the type of work you'd like to do. Spend some time on LinkedIn or other jobs sites and see which jobs you'd enjoy. That would help identify the best path forward.
by market timer
Wed Aug 19, 2015 8:46 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A deeper look at gold. What's the "right" price?
Replies: 45
Views: 3117

Re: A deeper look at gold. What's the "right" price?

A few comments: 1. Extraction =/= Production (we need a supernova for that) 2. Real interest rates matter. Gold is less attractive when long term government bonds offer 3+% real yields (higher opportunity cost), which they did over most of the time period the "Golden Constant" was measured...
by market timer
Mon Aug 17, 2015 8:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: the 12 commandments of gold bugs
Replies: 62
Views: 4384

Re: the 12 commandments of gold bugs

a) "Is gold a true intrinsic measure of value and a stable store of value?" or b) "Is gold a speculative investment that sometimes makes lucrative gains for gold owners?" If the question is (b), then the answer is "yes," and 1934 was a time when hypothetical gold owner...
by market timer
Sun Aug 16, 2015 8:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: the 12 commandments of gold bugs
Replies: 62
Views: 4384

Re: the 12 commandments of gold bugs

...For the past century, an ounce of gold has generally bought 15 barrels of oil +/- 5 barrels. I expect in 40 years, an ounce of gold will buy roughly 15 barrels of oil... What's your source for that? [Chart showing that during the last century an ounce of gold bought anywhere from 7 to 37 barrels...
by market timer
Sun Aug 16, 2015 8:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: the 12 commandments of gold bugs
Replies: 62
Views: 4384

Re: the 12 commandments of gold bugs

Sure, you could buy Dec 2020 WTI futures for $64, a premium of about 50% over spot. After five years, you could roll to 2025, and so on, up until 2055. There is considerable uncertainty around contango/storage costs. It's not clear to me that this reduces variance relative to buying and holding gol...
by market timer
Sun Aug 16, 2015 11:03 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: the 12 commandments of gold bugs
Replies: 62
Views: 4384

Re: the 12 commandments of gold bugs

I often wonder what people will be doing in 40 years to pay the income taxes that give the dollar its value, as work is increasingly automated. When I was a child, my family would drive up to my grandparents cottage on summer weekends and holidays. Among other things, my grandparents had decades-ol...
by market timer
Sun Aug 16, 2015 10:56 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: the 12 commandments of gold bugs
Replies: 62
Views: 4384

Re: the 12 commandments of gold bugs

...For the past century, an ounce of gold has generally bought 15 barrels of oil +/- 5 barrels. I expect in 40 years, an ounce of gold will buy roughly 15 barrels of oil... What's your source for that? I tried using http://www.eia.gov/beta/api/qb.cfm?sdid=PET.F000000__3.A for oil, http://www.measur...
by market timer
Sun Aug 16, 2015 9:58 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: the 12 commandments of gold bugs
Replies: 62
Views: 4384

Re: the 12 commandments of gold bugs

Is it a good thing to own something that keeps pace with the price of commodities when the price of commodities is relentlessly down and then down some more? Just own commodities if you want to keep pace with the price of commodities, yes? Yes, if you believe in liability matching. As for owning go...
by market timer
Sun Aug 16, 2015 9:49 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: the 12 commandments of gold bugs
Replies: 62
Views: 4384

Re: the 12 commandments of gold bugs

And these specious arguments about "too much debt" pushing up the price of gold? Why? What mechanism could be at work? Do people and governments pay debts in gold? You could explain the mechanism using something like the Fiscal Theory of the Price Level: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fisc...
by market timer
Sun Aug 16, 2015 9:43 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: the 12 commandments of gold bugs
Replies: 62
Views: 4384

Re: the 12 commandments of gold bugs

In any case, oil was just one example of all the commodities one consumes. Gold is not a bad proxy for this entire basket over the long run, likely better than T-bills. Isn't the high volatility of gold a problem for trying to use it to match future liabilities? For the past century, an ounce of go...
by market timer
Sun Aug 16, 2015 3:16 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: the 12 commandments of gold bugs
Replies: 62
Views: 4384

Re: the 12 commandments of gold bugs

Suppose you want to hedge your future energy costs (as measured by the price of WTI) in the year 2055. Which of these two investments, if held for 40 years, has the lowest variance in number of barrels of oil you can purchase in 2055: (1) an ounce of gold, (2) $1116 in short term T-bills rolled ove...
by market timer
Sun Aug 16, 2015 12:39 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: the 12 commandments of gold bugs
Replies: 62
Views: 4384

Re: the 12 commandments of gold bugs

Currently, a barrel of WTI (oil) costs $42. An ounce of gold costs $1116. Said another way, an ounce of gold buys 26.6 barrels of WTI. Suppose you want to hedge your future energy costs (as measured by the price of WTI) in the year 2055. Which of these two investments, if held for 40 years, has the ...
by market timer
Sat Aug 15, 2015 9:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Inverse ETFs
Replies: 44
Views: 2817

Re: Inverse ETFs

It is not suitable for long-term holding. It is only suitable for trading "as frequently as daily." I think we're mostly in agreement about the mechanics of this fund, the point you've brought up is essentially how to balance the monitoring/transaction costs against tracking error. Just t...
by market timer
Sat Aug 15, 2015 7:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Inverse ETFs
Replies: 44
Views: 2817

Re: Inverse ETFs

In practice daily reconstitution means you have to pay attention daily, not that the instrument is never suitable for any longer period. +1 As for whether one should use inverse ETFs, my suggestion would be simply to reduce equity exposure by selling shares first. However, tax implications of share...
by market timer
Tue Aug 11, 2015 10:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Your First Job
Replies: 113
Views: 6568

Re: Your First Job

First paid work involved bailing hay on a nearby farm at age 12. Starting working for my parents in a warehouse around age 15. Did that full-time during high school summers. Also worked part-time jobs in fast food after school in high school. The trend now seems to be for high school students, at le...
by market timer
Sat Aug 08, 2015 3:39 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 28 y/o, Planning for early financial independence and semi-retirement.
Replies: 6
Views: 1014

Re: 28 y/o, Planning for early financial independence and semi-retirement.

I think others have addressed your financial questions. As for a career, I recommend looking into computational biology, as your background will be most useful there.
by market timer
Thu Aug 06, 2015 10:17 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: rank order fixed income options
Replies: 37
Views: 3883

Re: rank order fixed income options

Sorry, but what is "utilities" in this context? Is this a new asset class? Are there funds for it? I've not heard about it before... Investopedia defines the utilities sector as follows: "A category of stocks for utilities such as gas and power. The utilities sector contains companie...
by market timer
Tue Aug 04, 2015 7:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: rank order fixed income options
Replies: 37
Views: 3883

Re: rank order fixed income options

I think equity REITs are very similar to long term TIPS. I'm sorry but, really? Equity REITs, along with utilities, tend to have very stable dividend streams that rise with inflation. The volatility of these assets is more a function of the discount rate than earnings, as the former is more variabl...
by market timer
Mon Aug 03, 2015 11:00 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: rank order fixed income options
Replies: 37
Views: 3883

Re: rank order fixed income options

letsgobobby wrote:Any further ideas?

Consider utilities for your taxable account. They share some characteristics with long term bonds, but with better tax treatment and likely higher returns.
by market timer
Mon Aug 03, 2015 9:17 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: US citizen/expat living in Belgium - investment advice
Replies: 15
Views: 1192

Re: US citizen/expat living in Belgium - investment advice

If your plan is to buy stocks, it doesn't matter whether you exchange euros into dollars before buying stocks or simply buy stocks with euros. You end up owning the same investments. Just pick the brokerage that is cheapest and easiest. For most US citizens, that means using a US brokerage.
by market timer
Sat Aug 01, 2015 10:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Zero Interest Rates on I-Bonds
Replies: 20
Views: 2442

Re: Zero Interest Rates on I-Bonds

I agree with #Cruncher. Those I bonds have good rates relative to the market, we've just had a temporary downturn in CPI due to the oil slump.
by market timer
Sat Aug 01, 2015 11:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best use of early retirement (low income) years?
Replies: 15
Views: 1561

Re: Best use of early retirement (low income) years?

Yeah, savings bonds might bump your marginal tax rate on something like a Roth conversion from 15% to 25% in 20 years. To determine whether this is a problem, you should consider the alternative. I guess munis? There you sacrifice some yield for the next 20 years (vs. savings bonds), but you save on...
by market timer
Sat Aug 01, 2015 11:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: real estate in NYC
Replies: 38
Views: 3151

Re: real estate in NYC

Not only are housing prices very high in NYC, you also have to pay the city income tax if you live there, which works out to about $20K/year for you. I know people who moved to NJ specifically to avoid that tax. As others have suggested, I would look for work elsewhere, particularly since you are a ...
by market timer
Sat Aug 01, 2015 6:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What's Your Monthly Food/Groceries Spending? My is through the roof?
Replies: 201
Views: 13911

Re: What's Your Monthly Food/Groceries Spending? My is through the roof?

To make you feel better, here is our daily food budget for two adults:

Breakfast: $5 (coffee + croissants at home)
Lunch: $15 (restaurant)
Afternoon coffees: $5 (Starbucks)
Dinner: $40 (restaurant, includes 1 alcoholic drink)

Total: $65/day or about $2K/month
by market timer
Sat Aug 01, 2015 4:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: expecting zero taxes this year (FEIE); how to avoid tax on 403(b) contributions
Replies: 3
Views: 383

Re: expecting zero taxes this year (FEIE); how to avoid tax on 403(b) contributions

I would go with option 2: Rollover to an IRA then convert to a Roth. I do not believe you can apply the FEIE to conversions; however, you have some tax-free space in the form of a standard deduction and personal exemptions. You should try to convert your rollover IRA to your Roth at least up to the ...
by market timer
Fri Jul 31, 2015 9:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Anyone hold Long Term Bonds?
Replies: 45
Views: 3156

Re: Anyone hold Long Term Bonds?

I generally have a large allocation to long term bonds. My time horizon is (hopefully) long. I'm investing to fund my own consumption in 30+ years or that of my children. The typical analysis of MPT is a one-year horizon. I guess that kind of myopia makes sense if you are a portfolio manager, since ...
by market timer
Wed Jul 29, 2015 11:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cash EE bond to pay down the mortgage?
Replies: 7
Views: 556

Re: Cash EE bond to pay down the mortgage?

I would be inclined to consider the $11K EE bond as part of my emergency fund, and use $11K from the emergency fund (not the EE bond) to pay down the mortgage.
by market timer
Mon Jul 27, 2015 8:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Help buying LEAPs
Replies: 26
Views: 2225

Re: Help buying LEAPs

This isn't my specialty, but I wonder who would take the short side of the 30-year option trade. That would be costly for a bank to keep on its balance sheet. I think there are variable annuities with floors that might actually be similar. Why would it be costly for a bank to keep on its balance sh...
by market timer
Mon Jul 27, 2015 11:23 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Help buying LEAPs
Replies: 26
Views: 2225

Re: Help buying LEAPs

ideally a risk averse investor with a limited time horizon wants a stock index or stock portfolio with a floor. so say stock index with a long term put option. mathematically this is equivalent through put call parity to a zero coupon long term bond plus a long term call option. Yeah, I agree with ...
by market timer
Sun Jul 26, 2015 5:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Unique Social Security Question
Replies: 3
Views: 760

Re: Unique Social Security Question

Why not hire the kids for $7500/year each? Then they can put the money in their Roth IRAs.
by market timer
Sat Jul 25, 2015 10:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Help buying LEAPs
Replies: 26
Views: 2225

Re: Help buying LEAPs

Has Zvi Bodie published anything where he argues why TIPS + LEAPS is superior to TIPS + equities? I read some of the stuff linked to in the earlier thread, and agree with essentially everything he has written. However, I have not seen him justify the why of this strategy. I agree with the basic liab...

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