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Re: NYT: "As Hedge Fund Returns Falter,..."

Yes, but when you start getting into 90% losses I think you need a logarithmic measurement.
A mere 91.6% loss represents only -10.8 decibels of "wealth attenuation."
The 99.8% loss achieved by the Canarsie Capital hedge fund represents -27.0 decibels of wealth attenuation.
by nisiprius
Fri Feb 27, 2015 7:35 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: NYT: "As Hedge Fund Returns Falter,..."
Replies: 21
Views: 1110

Re: International is disappointing

Larry Swedroe wrote "Diversification is always working. Sometimes you will like the results and sometimes you won't." The sad truth is that that typically the "diversifier" will have long periods, like a decade or so, of continuous outperformance and similar periods of underperfo...
by nisiprius
Fri Feb 27, 2015 4:03 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: International is disappointing
Replies: 37
Views: 1581

Re: Cost of medication - Costco versus Walgreens

I had the dubious honor of being diagnosed with pneumonia today. Good luck and may the antibiotic work well for you. I am on Medicare, and my Part D is the AARP sponsored United Health plan. My doctor faxed over a prescription for an antibiotic to Walgreens, and my personal responsibility for the t...
by nisiprius
Fri Feb 27, 2015 12:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cost of medication - Costco versus Walgreens
Replies: 13
Views: 876

Re: NYT: "As Hedge Fund Returns Falter,..."

...According to a recent paper divorce and marriage reduce hedge fund manager performance:... Well, the world of hedge funds--and the world of "high conviction" and "high active share" mutual funds--is just so far outside the range of things I feel equipped to deal with that it ...
by nisiprius
Fri Feb 27, 2015 10:41 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: NYT: "As Hedge Fund Returns Falter,..."
Replies: 21
Views: 1110

Re: NYT: "As Hedge Fund Returns Falter,..."

A serious challenge. Does anyone know how to find the answer: what was the greatest loss experienced in ANY mutual fund between March 2014 and January 2015? I did a google search for "worst mutual funds 2014". The top couple of links didn't quite look on target, but this USA Today story s...
by nisiprius
Fri Feb 27, 2015 9:40 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: NYT: "As Hedge Fund Returns Falter,..."
Replies: 21
Views: 1110

Re: NYT: "As Hedge Fund Returns Falter,..."

But not even a critic like Mr. Lack expects a hedge fund catastrophe. “They take less risk nowadays because that’s what their investors are asking for,” he said. “So hedge funds aren’t the most likely place for a blowup. There will just be endless mediocrity year after year delivered at great expen...
by nisiprius
Fri Feb 27, 2015 8:07 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: NYT: "As Hedge Fund Returns Falter,..."
Replies: 21
Views: 1110

Re: Why Bonds With 20 Year Horizon?

Diversifying across asset classes may provide better risk-adjusted returns. RETURN IS RETURN IS RETURN................ YOU CAN'T SPEND THE "RISK-ADJUSTMENT". You can spend it. You always have the choice of taking it as return or as risk reduction. This is very clear if you imagine a balan...
by nisiprius
Fri Feb 27, 2015 6:53 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why Bonds With 20 Year Horizon?
Replies: 26
Views: 1867

Re: Google likes this site

Google is not the only forum I use in which postings appear to get indexed within a minute or less of posting. I think Google may give special attention to popular forums. The phenomenon of "the top hit on the subject is this thread itself" is common. Let's see how long after posting befor...
by nisiprius
Thu Feb 26, 2015 5:39 pm
 
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Google likes this site
Replies: 19
Views: 982

Re: Should you tip when picking up takeout food?

If there's a tip jar, I tip. Unless there was a serious problem. I don't calculate a percentage, I drop in a dollar bill... maybe more if it's a big order. What the heck.

I hate tipping, I hate the system, but it is what it is.
by nisiprius
Thu Feb 26, 2015 5:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should you tip when picking up takeout food?
Replies: 51
Views: 3226

Re: Why Bonds With 20 Year Horizon?

It's also worthwhile reading Robert Arnott's article, Bonds: Why Bother? which is targeted exactly toward your question. Before I show his picture, I have to say that people tend to be inconsistent when using pre-1926 data and pre-1870 data. Everyone tends to cite it when they like what it seems to ...
by nisiprius
Thu Feb 26, 2015 4:19 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why Bonds With 20 Year Horizon?
Replies: 26
Views: 1867

Re: How does one increase their typing speed and accuracy?

This is very important. Or, I think it is very important. Or, they told us it was very important when I learned typing... typing on a typewriter with typebars... in the 1960s. Whatever you do, while learning, maintain an absolutely strict steady rhythm on the keys. Do not speed up for t-h-e, do not ...
by nisiprius
Thu Feb 26, 2015 4:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How does one increase their typing speed and accuracy?
Replies: 42
Views: 1335

Re: Is it actually impossible to time market crashes?

Word on the street is that the Great Crash of 2016 is coming. http://www.marketwatch.com/story/stock-market-crash-of-2016-the-countdown-begins-2015-02-25 It will definitely be more actionable to focus on that... Well, that's Paul Farrell, author of the 1994 book Think Astrology & Grow Rich: Wit...
by nisiprius
Thu Feb 26, 2015 11:27 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is it actually impossible to time market crashes?
Replies: 56
Views: 2834

Re: Is it actually impossible to time market crashes?

Alan Greenspan has famously called the dot-com bubble crash in December 1996. The most useful outcome of his warning was that the expression "irrational exuberance" has entered the lexicon of people who otherwise limit themselves to two-syllable words. Victoria And it is a perfect example...
by nisiprius
Thu Feb 26, 2015 11:10 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is it actually impossible to time market crashes?
Replies: 56
Views: 2834

Re: International increase in Target Retirement & LifeStrate

Shrug. I guess I'm just as glad I don't use these funds as that's starting to get outside my personal comfort zone. I do tend to think that Vanguard should be embarrassed to present these as funds you are expected to plan on using for a lifetime (there's no point in the glide slope if you aren't pla...
by nisiprius
Thu Feb 26, 2015 10:54 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: International increase in Target Retirement & LifeStrategy
Replies: 80
Views: 4850

Re: Is it actually impossible to time market crashes?

I understand that market timing is effectively impossible in terms of trying to predict lows / highs to make quick short-term gains. However, does this also apply to systemic risks? Things that would affect the entire economy / stock market to the point where it's not so much trying to predict the ...
by nisiprius
Thu Feb 26, 2015 7:49 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is it actually impossible to time market crashes?
Replies: 56
Views: 2834

Re: Vasgx vanguard life strategy growth - performance questi

I think Vanguard is really pretty good about providing guidance in their "risk potential categories." They are just rough categorizations and broad indications. If you go to their VASGX page you'll see a scale that puts this fund at 4 on a 1-5 scale. If you click on the words "How the...
by nisiprius
Thu Feb 26, 2015 7:22 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vasgx vanguard life strategy growth - performance question
Replies: 11
Views: 1171

Re: Vasgx vanguard life strategy growth - performance questi

My question is around performance - I looked up VASGX fund on Morningstar - and the 15 yr return on it is 4.82%. Am I reading this wrong? I thought stocks have averaged 8%, and with a bond portion to provide stability - I would expect this fund to have provided at least around 7% over that kind of ...
by nisiprius
Thu Feb 26, 2015 7:15 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vasgx vanguard life strategy growth - performance question
Replies: 11
Views: 1171

Re: Why there is no Target Date and Balanced ETF?

Why there is no Target Date and Balanced ETF?. Because these products are funds-of-funds and a Vanguard rep once mentioned that the regulations do not permit an ETF to be a fund-of-funds. I don't know why, but that's what he said. The Vanguard Total International Stock Index fund was a fund-of-fund...
by nisiprius
Thu Feb 26, 2015 6:34 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why there is no Target Date and Balanced ETF?
Replies: 6
Views: 584

Re: Illiquid Assets

Is illiquidity simply a matter of having to wait a while longer? How much longer, and what practical bounds can be placed on the waiting time? What are some actual historical examples of illiquid asset classes and how long do they stay illiquid? Regardless of investment choices, everyone's age is a ...
by nisiprius
Thu Feb 26, 2015 6:14 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Illiquid Assets
Replies: 27
Views: 1632

Re: Why Bonds With 20 Year Horizon?

From the 1920s until today I haven't found a 20 year period where bonds beat stocks. I guess you didn't look very hard. Did you truly look for yourself or did you just repeat something you read somewhere? People go on saying things they like to hear even after they stop being true... Over this twen...
by nisiprius
Wed Feb 25, 2015 10:37 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why Bonds With 20 Year Horizon?
Replies: 26
Views: 1867

Re: passive investing vs hedge funds

...I was interested in hedge funds because some of them seem to have really good returns... And some of them do not. A hedge fund manager told clients he is "truly sorry" for losing virtually all their money. Owen Li, the founder of Canarsie Capital in New York, said Tuesday he had lost a...
by nisiprius
Wed Feb 25, 2015 10:28 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: passive investing vs hedge funds
Replies: 4
Views: 326

Re: cold air from electric socket

I don't know about new construction, but in old homes it's usual if nothing special has been done. The house heat heats the rooms, not the space behind the walls, so the air in the wall interior is cold. A traditional outlet box isn't sealed, and the hole in the wall that the outlet is shaped rather...
by nisiprius
Wed Feb 25, 2015 9:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: cold air from electric socket
Replies: 15
Views: 1304

Re: Vanguard

Here you go: http://www.vanguard.com And, just to be clear--that's not being dismissive or evasive. Go to that page and you'll see http://s22.postimg.org/43kcryvwh/Captura_de_pantalla_2015_02_25_a_las_8_42_12_PM.png . They do not have storefronts or local reps, but--just like every other brokerage ...
by nisiprius
Wed Feb 25, 2015 8:48 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: [How do I invest with] Vanguard
Replies: 5
Views: 651

Re: Help! Ive been put on a performance improvement plan!

If this happens to be a large enough company that the press reports on it, and if the press is reporting that the company is trying to make a major reduction in its workforce, then you should proceed on the assumption that you're not likely to get your job back.
by nisiprius
Wed Feb 25, 2015 8:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help! Ive been put on a performance improvement plan!
Replies: 65
Views: 7514

Re: Convincing older relative to open online savings account

Leave him alone. He is in his late 80s. His average life expectancy is maybe 8 years. If he spends down that money partially, you are talking about 1% interest on about $150,000 for 8 years = $1,200. It's not that big a deal. If he were intrigued by the Internet and wanted to get in on things like F...
by nisiprius
Wed Feb 25, 2015 7:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Convincing older relative to open online savings account
Replies: 34
Views: 1415

Re: Individual TIPS

I have found managing a portfolio of about two dozen individual TIPS issues to be a PITA. And If Anything Should Happen, whereas I think my wife could manage the mutual fund portion of the portfolio perfectly well by herself, I am worried that the seeming complexity of the TIPS might lead her to thi...
by nisiprius
Wed Feb 25, 2015 6:19 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Individual TIPS
Replies: 13
Views: 686

Re: Vanguard International Equity Funds & Currency Hedging

Nisiprius, I actually created a thread discussing US dollar hedged index funds. Apologies. Yes, I even posted in that thread. Not paying as much attention as I should. As far as being able to track the index, take a look at the Deutsche X-trackers MSCI EAFE Hedged Equity ETF (DBEF) . You'll see tha...
by nisiprius
Wed Feb 25, 2015 3:53 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard International Equity Funds & Currency Hedging
Replies: 7
Views: 452

Re: Tax Quiz

70%. The pattern is perfectly clear. All the ones that related to situations I've ever encountered, I got right. The ones I missed are all areas unimportant to me. I think the suggestion that people ought be able to answer more than half of these is nonsense. Most of these you "learn by doing.&...
by nisiprius
Wed Feb 25, 2015 1:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Quiz
Replies: 22
Views: 1277

Re: Vanguard International Equity Funds & Currency Hedging

I don't understand why there have been several postings in the last month wishing for currency-hedged stock funds. The dollar has been strong - currency hedged funds would have done better over the past 6 months. :oops: Why didn't I think of that? It's not the principle of the thing, it's currency ...
by nisiprius
Wed Feb 25, 2015 10:40 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard International Equity Funds & Currency Hedging
Replies: 7
Views: 452

Re: Vanguard International Equity Funds & Currency Hedging

Strange that people were complaining about their international bond fund being currency-hedged, and now (OK, probably different people) are complaining about their stock funds not being currency-hedged. I don't understand why there have been several postings in the last month wishing for currency-he...
by nisiprius
Wed Feb 25, 2015 8:21 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard International Equity Funds & Currency Hedging
Replies: 7
Views: 452

Re: Buy and Hold Forever Stocks

...An equal weighted portfolio, if sufficiently diversified, is not significantly riskier than an index fund but the outperfomance seems to be pretty significant over time. Equal weight index funds are a different, and IMO inferior, vehicle to long-term buy and hold individual stock portfolios... W...
by nisiprius
Tue Feb 24, 2015 4:42 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Buy and Hold Forever Stocks
Replies: 89
Views: 5755

Re: How much did you have saved up for retirement at age 30?

Zero, zip, zilch, nil, nada. And no Social Security earnings, either. However that's because I had an extended stay in grad school, and it was a great time and I learned and did a lot of interesting things and I met my wife there, so I'm not going to say it was a mistake.
by nisiprius
Tue Feb 24, 2015 2:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much did you have saved up for retirement at age 30?
Replies: 164
Views: 9942

Re: Value investing doesn't even beat the S&P 500

If the goal is to beat the S&P 500 over long periods of time, it is not that hard to do. Just look at Merriman's Ultimate Buy & Hold Portfolio or Ray Dalio's All Weather Portfolio or the 7x12 portfolio to name a few. In those portfolios you only have a slice of the S&P500. In Merriman's...
by nisiprius
Tue Feb 24, 2015 2:14 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Value investing doesn't even beat the S&P 500
Replies: 45
Views: 4230

Re: Buy and Hold Forever Stocks

Someone please propose a fair, objective test of the hypothesis: "High-conviction stocks outperform the benchmark index of the category they belong to." Not sure about 'high conviction stocks'... That is precisely what I want to know about, because it always comes up in these discussions....
by nisiprius
Tue Feb 24, 2015 1:29 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Buy and Hold Forever Stocks
Replies: 89
Views: 5755

Re: Experience with Vanguard Annuities?

...The contracts themselves say that the guarantee is based on the claims ability of the company period. Says so in the contracts I have had and Id bet a lot others do... We'd have to parse the exact language. If you like, the policy itself is only backed by the claims-paying ability of the insurer...
by nisiprius
Tue Feb 24, 2015 1:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Experience with Vanguard Annuities?
Replies: 44
Views: 2597

Re: Dealing with HMO and balance billing issues

My experience... of thirty or forty years with a variety of insurance systems... is that the whole business is so messy and complicated that mistakes are frequent and it's best not to freak out prematurely. I've been scared or annoyed maybe six or eight times by bills I didn't think I should have go...
by nisiprius
Tue Feb 24, 2015 11:32 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dealing with HMO and balance billing issues
Replies: 12
Views: 613

Re: Rebalancing vs. Timing the market

This is simply my personal opinion. "Market timing" as practiced by people who call themselves "market timers" involves frequent changes--once a year or more often--of large amounts, typically ALL-in or ALL-out, typically based on "signals" from technical analysis indic...
by nisiprius
Tue Feb 24, 2015 11:11 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Rebalancing vs. Timing the market
Replies: 23
Views: 782

Re: Experience with Vanguard Annuities?

You don't transfer all investment risk with those contracts. If the insurance company can't make good then you still hold the risk. The insurance companies hold those same bonds and they can't pay if those don't produce. Insurance companies have teams of people to create contracts that put them at ...
by nisiprius
Tue Feb 24, 2015 8:53 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Experience with Vanguard Annuities?
Replies: 44
Views: 2597

Re: 10 Interesting facts about the S&P500

Ten facts about the S&P500, Article 2013. Take a guess--how many original stocks are still in the S&P500? Post your guess--no peeking :happy http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2013/08/11/10-interesting-and-little-known-facts-about-the-sp.aspx Paul I'm taking my guess without peeking. The...
by nisiprius
Tue Feb 24, 2015 8:44 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 10 Interesting facts about the S&P500
Replies: 28
Views: 3486

Re: Buy and Hold Forever Stocks

Someone please propose a fair, objective test of the hypothesis:

"High-conviction stocks outperform the benchmark index of the category they belong to."
by nisiprius
Mon Feb 23, 2015 9:21 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Buy and Hold Forever Stocks
Replies: 89
Views: 5755

Re: [What to do at] Market Top

At words prophetic I'm so pathetic that I never have found it wise To join all the other guys, And advertise What I scries; A killer-diller like Robert Shiller May know his way round a bourse, But fict or faction I won't take action 'Cause I can't tell you which way it goes! "It's a top! (Ta-da...
by nisiprius
Mon Feb 23, 2015 7:43 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [What to do at] Market Top
Replies: 57
Views: 4893

Re: Who's going to Disney this summer?

To the best of my recollection, and it is pure recollection, when we visited Walt Disney World in 1979--only one theme park!--the admission was $26 per person per day. And you got a little booklet of A, B, C, D, and E tickets for the different categories of rides, and if you ran out of "E"...
by nisiprius
Mon Feb 23, 2015 7:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Who's going to Disney this summer?
Replies: 31
Views: 1932

Re: Experience with Vanguard Annuities?

Keep in mind you are still really dealing with the insurance company. Don't have a false sense that the vanguard stamp provides much more. I like vanguard. Yes, I agree. Vanguard is hardly involved. They are only involved in two ways: a) they act as a channel--and the same policy from the same insu...
by nisiprius
Mon Feb 23, 2015 6:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Experience with Vanguard Annuities?
Replies: 44
Views: 2597

Re: Value investing doesn't even beat the S&P 500

Most people who invest in the S&P 500 fail to come close to matching the performance of the S&P 500, for similar reasons, so it is not the least bit surprising that that investors in XYZXX also fail to match/beat the S&P 500. Indeed. Vanguard 500 index fund, 15 year total return (for an...
by nisiprius
Mon Feb 23, 2015 1:25 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Value investing doesn't even beat the S&P 500
Replies: 45
Views: 4230

Re: Experience with Vanguard Annuities?

When I was shopping, I found ImmediateAnnuities.com, a website of the "Hersh Stern agency," to be useful. I got useful information from them, some polite and relevant email exchanges. I was not pressured or pestered. At that time they did not offer any inflation-linked immediate annuities,...
by nisiprius
Mon Feb 23, 2015 10:04 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Experience with Vanguard Annuities?
Replies: 44
Views: 2597

Re: Saving home movies: what medium/format?

market timer wrote:I created a gmail account for my son and send all our home videos and pictures to his email. Easy to search and with convenient time stamps.
Do you edit and organize them ("Our Canada Vacation") or do you just send him loose collections of clips--video "snapshots?"
by nisiprius
Mon Feb 23, 2015 7:24 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Saving home movies: what medium/format?
Replies: 9
Views: 489

Re: Experience with Vanguard Annuities?

They've switched to another provider (Income Solutions), so I'm not sure it's relevant, but I purchased an inflation-linked SPIA from Vanguard about eight years ago. I'm not sure what to say about the process. It was straightforward. The only insurer Vanguard then offered was, at that time, named &q...
by nisiprius
Mon Feb 23, 2015 7:19 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Experience with Vanguard Annuities?
Replies: 44
Views: 2597

Re: An alternative to alternative investments [QSPIX]

Also, correlation in a stock market crisis is a 'compared to what' question. Historical data sets are at best a limited guide, as we all know. And there's no way to know the future, the usual dilemma. However IMO it's reasonable to say that today's very low bond yields make it more likely some futu...
by nisiprius
Mon Feb 23, 2015 7:09 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: An alternative to alternative investments [QSPIX]
Replies: 307
Views: 35876

Re: Convincing a novice index funds are superior

I think the goal should be not to convince a novice that index funds are superior, but only to make him
--aware that you use them
--aware that they exist
--aware of what, exactly, they are
--aware that some advisors have conflicts of interest that lead them to talk down index funds
by nisiprius
Mon Feb 23, 2015 6:58 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Convincing a novice index funds are superior
Replies: 26
Views: 2305

Saving home movies: what medium/format?

Some years ago I made an effort to transfer all of my Super 8 and 8mm movies to... VHS cassettes. Subsequently I transferred some but not all to DVD. I have two working VHS players so there is no imminent crisis, but I realize that I'd better do something about it. As of 2015 I worry that DVD may be...
by nisiprius
Mon Feb 23, 2015 6:51 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Saving home movies: what medium/format?
Replies: 9
Views: 489
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