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Re: Which book to start with?

I would start with the Boglehead Guide to Investing, 2d Edition, which was published this month.
by mptfan
Fri Aug 29, 2014 2:32 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Which book to start with?
Replies: 6
Views: 302

Re: My husband's " WILL", $ left for me to live on....

Not to go too far OT, but you might be surprised by the number of limitations on a person's right to freely contract, both as to form and substance. There are all sorts of public policy bases for invalidating contracts that are purportedly "freely" entered into. Try enforcing a noncompete...
by mptfan
Fri Aug 29, 2014 2:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My husband's " WILL", $ left for me to live on....
Replies: 258
Views: 16982

Re: My husband's " WILL", $ left for me to live on....

LeeMKE wrote:Most prenups sunset at 10 years, either by agreement or by statute.

Really? Can you provide a source for this statement?
by mptfan
Fri Aug 29, 2014 2:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My husband's " WILL", $ left for me to live on....
Replies: 258
Views: 16982

Re: My husband's " WILL", $ left for me to live on....

Some states (not mine) do require that a person be actually represented by counsel, not just sign what is often a boilerplate recitation that they had the opportunity but declined. No lawyer, no enforcement. As for your final question, if I were a lawyer in a state with the above requirement, and I...
by mptfan
Fri Aug 29, 2014 11:42 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My husband's " WILL", $ left for me to live on....
Replies: 258
Views: 16982

Re: My husband's " WILL", $ left for me to live on....

You say you signed a prenup. Did you have separate counsel or did you work with one lawyer (obviously, his)? If you lived in my state, and did not have separate counsel, your prenup would be not be legally binding. Lev Really? What if she knew that she could get separate counsel, but she chose not ...
by mptfan
Fri Aug 29, 2014 10:41 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My husband's " WILL", $ left for me to live on....
Replies: 258
Views: 16982

Re: My husband's " WILL", $ left for me to live on....

Bottom line is this: laws will vary by state, but in general a prenup will only cover what existed before the marriage whereas assets/income generated during the marriage are shared in some way. Huh? Where did you get this from? Prenups can cover what existed before or after a marriage, there is no...
by mptfan
Thu Aug 28, 2014 5:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My husband's " WILL", $ left for me to live on....
Replies: 258
Views: 16982

Re: S&P500 over 2000

Show me where Shiller is actually quoted saying that. It doesn't exist. You can read the article and there is no quote by Shiller saying that. Just because a lot of internet sites copy a lie, that doesn't make it true. Every site I see with that quote refers to the same article, which has a headlin...
by mptfan
Thu Aug 28, 2014 12:05 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: S&P500 over 2000
Replies: 68
Views: 5334

Re: Portfolio Tracker suggestion?

I use Google Sheets. I have it set up to automatically download my mutual fund share prices, and it then automatically calculates the totals.
by mptfan
Tue Aug 12, 2014 2:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Portfolio Tracker suggestion?
Replies: 24
Views: 1572

Re: Fear of Disclosing Net Worth

I would suspect "they" already know. If you spend time on the computer or buy with plastic, there is loads of data on your spending habits, your leisure time habits, etc. etc. etc. THEY KNOW ALREADY. Spending and net worth are two entirely different things. My point is that there is a ver...
by mptfan
Sun Aug 10, 2014 6:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fear of Disclosing Net Worth
Replies: 60
Views: 8129

Re: Fear of Disclosing Net Worth

bengal22 wrote:I would suspect "they" already know. If you spend time on the computer or buy with plastic, there is loads of data on your spending habits, your leisure time habits, etc. etc. etc. THEY KNOW ALREADY.

Spending and net worth are two entirely different things.
by mptfan
Sun Aug 10, 2014 2:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fear of Disclosing Net Worth
Replies: 60
Views: 8129

Re: High Yield Bonds - Uncorrelated to Stocks and Bonds?

According to my calculations, High Yield Bonds have a .72 correlation with the total stock market index fund over the last 30 years.
by mptfan
Thu Aug 07, 2014 12:17 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: High Yield Bonds - Uncorrelated to Stocks and Bonds?
Replies: 73
Views: 4763

Re: Help me save my parents from Merrill Lynch

The first question is did they ask you for your help? If the answer is no, then stop and bite your tongue. If the answer is yes, proceed.
by mptfan
Sat Jul 26, 2014 8:09 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help me save my parents from Merrill Lynch
Replies: 54
Views: 6058

Re: Rich Spouse, Poor Spouse

freddie wrote:I know other couples who have been married for 20 years and they split the check at the restaurant. Seems to work for them.

Are you serious? To each his own, but that is not my idea of a marriage.
by mptfan
Thu Jul 24, 2014 4:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rich Spouse, Poor Spouse [Tax filing apportionment]
Replies: 77
Views: 5698

Re: Adding Corporates to Total Bond Market Index

The counter argument to this, and it is a pretty sound one, is that rather than tilting more towards corporates instead slightly increase your stock allocation if you need more "yield" - i.e. return. Recall especially how corporates, even highly rated ones, behave in a crisis. They tank. ...
by mptfan
Fri Jul 18, 2014 2:31 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Adding Corporates to Total Bond Market Index
Replies: 76
Views: 7013

Re: stocks about to plunge

There was some weakness in 2013 but by September my indicators were suggesting it was still too early to call, which looks to have been correct. My current data suggests we're still in a period of market order that started July 2011. Latest crash indicator reading is only 14.29/100 (over 30 is usua...
by mptfan
Tue Jul 08, 2014 3:25 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: stocks about to plunge
Replies: 39
Views: 7843

Re: Windows 7 free support will be ending in 2015

DH finally got a Mac after many years/iterations of ThinkPads, and after a few weeks of "getting to know you...", he just announced he really likes it. I used to have software that couldn't run on a Mac, but I no longer use it (and it can probably run on a Mac now anyway). So maybe... I a...
by mptfan
Tue Jul 08, 2014 3:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Windows 7 free support will be ending in 2015
Replies: 27
Views: 2328

Re: The Risk of Short-term Bond Funds

This thread (and almost all the bond-panic threads) repeatedly miss the central point. All the worry is over interest rate risk (or duration risk). If you start investing at age 30 and die at 90, your holding period is 60 years, or something like 20x the duration of an intermediate bond fund. In su...
by mptfan
Mon Jul 07, 2014 10:51 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Risk of Short-term Bond Funds
Replies: 152
Views: 10865

Re: Does corporate credit risk add value

nisiprius wrote:They are really one and the same thing; they are correlated.

These are different statements....they can be different and correlated.
by mptfan
Fri Jul 04, 2014 3:16 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does corporate credit risk add value
Replies: 71
Views: 4299

Re: Does corporate credit risk add value

Vanguard's Total Market Bond Index Fund contains 6579 distinct bonds spawning across a wide range of maturities and low levels of credit risk. I guess that an investor that decides to only invest in a small subset of these bonds (short and intermediate treasuries) must really feel lucky! Or and inv...
by mptfan
Fri Jul 04, 2014 2:30 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does corporate credit risk add value
Replies: 71
Views: 4299

Re: Bernstein: Don’t Bother With International Bonds

I'm also troubled by Dr. Bernstein's use of the often repeated slogan to 'take your risk on the equity side.' Many experts say this, but despite trying, I haven't yet found any academic research that supports it. IMO, stocks and bonds are both potentially risky assets that blend well in a portfolio...
by mptfan
Mon Jun 30, 2014 5:11 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bernstein: Don’t Bother With International Bonds
Replies: 112
Views: 9225

Re: Buy A New Windows Computer Now?

One word... Chromebook.
by mptfan
Tue Jun 24, 2014 4:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy A New Windows Computer Now?
Replies: 53
Views: 2962

Re: Late starters: what age did you start investing?

I would not call 30 late.
by mptfan
Thu Jun 19, 2014 10:43 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Late starters: what age did you start investing?
Replies: 73
Views: 5647

Re: Do REITs (and slicing in general) reduce risk?

steve, thank you for proving my point for me. I hear what you are saying, but I will never understand why people argue that TSM is the default or optimal allocation for stocks, while at the same time, they reject the market allocation to bonds. Sorry, that is inconsistent to me no matter how many t...
by mptfan
Sat Jun 14, 2014 2:24 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do REITs (and slicing in general) reduce risk?
Replies: 65
Views: 3708

Re: Do REITs (and slicing in general) reduce risk?

steve, thank you for proving my point for me. I hear what you are saying, but I will never understand why people argue that TSM is the default or optimal allocation for stocks, while at the same time, they reject the market allocation to bonds. Sorry, that is inconsistent to me no matter how many ti...
by mptfan
Sat Jun 14, 2014 12:41 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do REITs (and slicing in general) reduce risk?
Replies: 65
Views: 3708

Re: Do REITs (and slicing in general) reduce risk?

The first argument, which is to hold them according to their true cap weight, doesn't seem to sit right with me. What if bonds were 20% of the US economy. Would that make it optimal to always hold 20% bonds? Of course not. We don't hold things to their arbitrary representation of the US economy, we...
by mptfan
Sat Jun 14, 2014 11:59 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do REITs (and slicing in general) reduce risk?
Replies: 65
Views: 3708

Re: Cutting the cable cord - how did you do it?

He could tell by listening to what I was saying that I was not moving, but rather, I was cancelling cable because I no longer wanted it. How loud is your voice? :) Usually the windows are a several feet apart. Where I used to go, the line was kept back so that customers had some privacy. I guess ma...
by mptfan
Sat Jun 14, 2014 11:31 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cutting the cable cord - how did you do it?
Replies: 63
Views: 4484

Re: Do REITs (and slicing in general) reduce risk?

What makes investing in land any different from investing in gold? Because the demand for land is grounded in a real need that increases with population growth? Yes, and because land produces income in the form of rent payments that gold does not. Land is an income producing asset and gold is not.
by mptfan
Sat Jun 14, 2014 11:27 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do REITs (and slicing in general) reduce risk?
Replies: 65
Views: 3708

Re: Cutting the cable cord - how did you do it?

I had to take the cable box to the local office of the cable provider and wait in line and walked up to the window and told them I wanted to cancel my service completely and I gave them back their box. The guy standing next to me turned and looked at me like I was crazy, The guy next to you had nev...
by mptfan
Sat Jun 14, 2014 11:20 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cutting the cable cord - how did you do it?
Replies: 63
Views: 4484

Re: Cutting the cable cord - how did you do it?

I had to take the cable box to the local office of the cable provider and wait in line and walked up to the window and told them I wanted to cancel my service completely and I gave them back their box. The guy standing next to me turned and looked at me like I was crazy, I think some people just can...
by mptfan
Sat Jun 14, 2014 9:49 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cutting the cable cord - how did you do it?
Replies: 63
Views: 4484

Re: I cannot make the jump and retire

I don't know the details of your work situation or if it is feasible for you, but I would suggest starting to pull back on the number of hours you work. Start with a target of working 75% of the hours that you work now, and see how that feels. If you still feel burnt out, try 50%. If you still feel ...
by mptfan
Sat Jun 14, 2014 8:34 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I cannot make the jump and retire
Replies: 73
Views: 8204

Re: The Biology of Risk

2008 was not a black swan, in the sense of an event that could not possibly be foreseen. Numerous writers identified the housing bubble from 2003 onward and expected a recession (at least) to follow its collapse. Others observed that during a recession the stock declines, on the average, 28%. If yo...
by mptfan
Sat Jun 14, 2014 8:26 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Biology of Risk
Replies: 91
Views: 4593

Re: Is the first million really the hardest?

randombogler wrote:naive question - how do you ascertain you have achieved the mark, if its net worth and includes your house, stocks, bonds - that value varies everyday. Is it the fact that the current value >= 1 M.

I assumed the question related to retirement savings, not net worth.
by mptfan
Fri Jun 13, 2014 5:33 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is the first million really the hardest?
Replies: 64
Views: 7834

Re: Is the first million really the hardest?

telemark wrote:At some point the gains and losses in your portfolio will start to outweigh your contributions. Where that point occurs depends on how early you start and how much you can afford to save.

It also depends on the portfolio return.
by mptfan
Thu Jun 12, 2014 10:26 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is the first million really the hardest?
Replies: 64
Views: 7834

Re: Is the first million really the hardest?

I have not reached it yet, but according to my spreadsheet, the first million of retirement savings (not net worth) will take about 25 years to accumulate (that includes a divorce along the way), and the second will take about 7.
by mptfan
Thu Jun 12, 2014 10:03 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is the first million really the hardest?
Replies: 64
Views: 7834

Re: Do REITs (and slicing in general) reduce risk?

So how can slicing the total market into REIT/non-REIT reduce risk? If that were true, why not slice your portfolio into even more market segments and sectors? Because although REITS are stocks, and therefore part of the total stock market by definition, many people consider them to be a distinct a...
by mptfan
Wed Jun 11, 2014 3:02 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do REITs (and slicing in general) reduce risk?
Replies: 65
Views: 3708

Re: "Be Fearful: There May Be a 5% Drop in the S&P 500"

5%!!! Good Lord, run for dem hills - especially since the S&P is up 5.5% this year alone, why goodness that means for the mathematically challenged I'd still be up only 50 bps, more than a US Treasury bill pays! :oops: I'm still waiting for that 20% off sale. As placeholder noted, you would be ...
by mptfan
Wed Jun 11, 2014 2:52 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Be Fearful: There May Be a 5% Drop in the S&P 500"
Replies: 10
Views: 1670

Re: Do REITs (and slicing in general) reduce risk?

My data tells me that REITs have a .51 correlation with the total stock market index fund over the last 30 years, and over that time, REITs have had a CAGR of 10.58% while TSM was 11.2%, while exhibiting almost identical standard deviation (18.02 vs 17.91). So my conclusion is that REITs provide rea...
by mptfan
Wed Jun 11, 2014 2:23 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do REITs (and slicing in general) reduce risk?
Replies: 65
Views: 3708

Re: "Be Fearful: There May Be a 5% Drop in the S&P 500"

A 5% drop in the S&P 500 would be about where it was on April 15, less than two months ago. Oh, the horror!
by mptfan
Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:03 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Be Fearful: There May Be a 5% Drop in the S&P 500"
Replies: 10
Views: 1670

Re: Addicted to saving?

by mptfan
Mon Jun 09, 2014 2:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Addicted to saving?
Replies: 24
Views: 2584

Re: Age in Bonds (The Bogle Rule)

manwithnoname wrote: Why invest in bonds that are going to yield 3% at best for the next 5 or so years?

You can invest in bonds that are yielding 5.44% right now. Take a look at Vanguard's high yield corporate bond fund.
by mptfan
Sat Jun 07, 2014 1:28 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Age in Bonds (The Bogle Rule)
Replies: 135
Views: 11146

Re: VGD Intermediate corp bond vs total bond

It appears that the default rate for investment grade corporate bonds is fairly negligible (0.4% in 2008). Here's 2011 SP study https://www.standardandpoors.com/ratings/articles/en/us/?articleType=HTML&assetID=1245330814766 The true amount of losses is even less than the default rate because &q...
by mptfan
Mon Jun 02, 2014 3:14 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: VGD Intermediate corp bond vs total bond
Replies: 7
Views: 589

Re: Keeping up with the neighbors and Balance

One very helpful way to deal with this is to compare yourself to people less fortunate than yourself, rather than looking at people who spend more or have more stuff. I have gone on several volunteer trips to places in Mexico, Peru and Guatemala and spent time with the truly impoverished. It really...
by mptfan
Mon Jun 02, 2014 3:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Keeping up with the neighbors and Balance
Replies: 95
Views: 10010

Re: Keeping up with the neighbors and Balance

This is a thread on a similar topic entitled "Do you regret saving too much?"...

viewtopic.php?f=10&t=98393
by mptfan
Mon Jun 02, 2014 10:23 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Keeping up with the neighbors and Balance
Replies: 95
Views: 10010

Re: Total Bond Index Fund amd Retirement

principle ..... principal.
by mptfan
Sun Jun 01, 2014 11:43 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Total Bond Index Fund and Retirement
Replies: 16
Views: 2014

Re: Total Bond Index Fund amd Retirement

I think it would be reasonable to allocate up to 50% of your portfolio to the total bond fund, but putting substantially all or all of your investments in that fund would be a mistake in my opinion. Consider this... in the last 20 years (I only have data going back to 1993), the total bond fund had ...
by mptfan
Sun Jun 01, 2014 11:33 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Total Bond Index Fund and Retirement
Replies: 16
Views: 2014

Timing of bond fund dividend payments

Some bond funds pay dividends monthly, on the last business day of the month. For example, Vanguard's Total Bond Market fund and the Vanguard High Yield Corporate Bond fund pay dividends monthly, on the last business day of each month. My question is, do they pay dividends based on the number of sha...
by mptfan
Sun Jun 01, 2014 11:22 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Timing of bond fund dividend payments
Replies: 8
Views: 872

Re: international diversification

Vanguard seems to focus (in the above paper) on the volatility aspect of the portfolio only, but if I am more interested in the long term returns (rather than how bumpy the short term road may be), should I have more weight given to the international equities. If you are only interested in the long...
by mptfan
Thu May 29, 2014 4:56 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: international diversification
Replies: 4
Views: 371

Re: Is it okay to think of my stocks as bonds?

Stocks are stocks, and bonds are bonds, and never the twain shall meet. I agree with you, but apparently some Bogleheads do not. In the thread linked below, some Bogleheads argued that High Yield Corporate Bonds should be considered "part equity and part fixed income." http://www.boglehea...
by mptfan
Thu May 29, 2014 10:16 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is it okay to think of my stocks as bonds?
Replies: 22
Views: 1981

Re: BoA - Paying extra on mortgage principal

What is the basis of your conclusion that you can eliminate PMI after 10 months? Are you assuming that if you pay down the mortgage more quickly than the regular schedule, and you get the balance below a certain threshold that the lender will automatically eliminate PMI? If this is your assumption, ...
by mptfan
Thu May 29, 2014 8:20 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: BoA - Paying extra on mortgage principal
Replies: 26
Views: 2607
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