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Re: An alternative to alternative investments [QSPIX]

I think this "cost per unit of risk exposure" is... questionable. The cost is the cost. If you start saying you get to divide the cost by two because you are getting long and short risk exposure or whatever people are saying, why can't you apply the same argument to e.g. any high-expense a...
by nisiprius
Sat Jan 31, 2015 10:16 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: An alternative to alternative investments [QSPIX]
Replies: 276
Views: 31532

Re: The Efficient Frontier and your portfolio

I showed some Personal Capital output including an efficient frontier comment in this thread: http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=2328668#p2328668 What year range is that efficient frontier chart covering? That can be a fairly important detail... for example, if it's only fifteen years,...
by nisiprius
Sat Jan 31, 2015 10:01 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Efficient Frontier and your portfolio
Replies: 6
Views: 604

Re: Is this the "new cash"?

...The question is: would you be willing to trade a marginally higher volatility for a higher return with the portion of your holdings devoted to stable value?... Who promises what to me? Who promises that the return will in fact be higher and that the volatility will in fact be only "marginal...
by nisiprius
Sat Jan 31, 2015 9:42 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is this the "new cash"?
Replies: 11
Views: 1279

Re: Is this the "new cash"?

Using the word "cash" is spin and obfuscation. The characteristic of cash and cashlike investments (physical currency, checking accounts, savings accounts, money market mutual funds, series I savings bonds after the first year is past) is that you can use them at any instant in time, and t...
by nisiprius
Sat Jan 31, 2015 8:01 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is this the "new cash"?
Replies: 11
Views: 1279

Re: question about investing in oil, USO

The other question I have to ask, and forgive me for being harsh: what research did you do on a) the price of oil, and b) the price of USO? This is what I was able to find: a) What happened to the price of oil, 2009-mid 2014? source http://s5.postimg.org/ytxhv8y7r/nymex_crude_oil_future_chart.jpg b)...
by nisiprius
Sat Jan 31, 2015 7:38 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: question about investing in oil, USO
Replies: 11
Views: 459

Re: question about investing in oil, USO

...I'm looking at the ETF symbol USO because it's my understanding that this tracks the price of oil. My simple mind grasps it as such: if the price of a barrel of oil goes up 20%, USO should go up ~20%. If the price of a barrel of oil goes down 20%, USO should also drop ~20%. Is my basic understan...
by nisiprius
Sat Jan 31, 2015 7:25 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: question about investing in oil, USO
Replies: 11
Views: 459

Re: "Planet Money" is shorting SPY

Around 2007, some change in regulations allowed mutual fund companies to launch "130/30 funds," which hold an 30% actively managed short position. These were a lot of rhetoric about there being far fewer investors shorting stocks, therefore lots of market inefficiency on the short side--an...
by nisiprius
Sat Jan 31, 2015 4:12 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Planet Money" is shorting SPY
Replies: 21
Views: 2061

Re: Would anyone go 100% bonds if...

I believe that Suze Orman has said that she is 100% invested in Muni Bonds. If you are rich enough, you can do a lot of stuff. Only 96%, as of 2007 anyway. A rather unkind headline on someone's part, incidentally, hopefully not Jaffe's. Suze Orman's Investment Portfolio [according to] Orman's inter...
by nisiprius
Sat Jan 31, 2015 3:55 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Would anyone go 100% bonds if...
Replies: 36
Views: 2512

Re: The Efficient Frontier and your portfolio

...base its correlations using a long (~100 yr) time span... There ain't no sich. None of the interesting, trendy asset classes have indexes that go back that long. No international index goes back earlier than 1970. Emerging markets doesn't go back earlier than 1988. Fama-French data, and those th...
by nisiprius
Sat Jan 31, 2015 2:03 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Efficient Frontier and your portfolio
Replies: 6
Views: 604

Re: 4 essential documents: Suze Orman

Old joke that applies here.

Guy: "What? $62.00? Just for twisting a little gadget? I demand an itemized bill."

Mechanic: "Sure."

"ITEMIZED BILL

For twisting a little gadget: $0.30
For knowing which little gadget to twist: $61.70"
by nisiprius
Sat Jan 31, 2015 11:17 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 4 essential documents: Suze Orman
Replies: 27
Views: 3362

Re: Chaos, complexity and entropy [for non-physicists]

With apologies in advance to Leeraar, I always think I see interesting parallels between financial "science" and the early prescientific emergent history of things like thermodynamics. The EMH is somewhat like the first law of thermodynamics (energy is conserved, perpetual motion is imposs...
by nisiprius
Sat Jan 31, 2015 10:10 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Chaos, complexity and entropy [for non-physicists]
Replies: 87
Views: 4568

Re: Seriously ???

P.S. Quick test, just a reality check to see what is going to happen. The latest version of Numbers I have is Numbers '08. It is not 2008. It is now 2015. Try again with the latest version of Numbers (3.52) instead of a 7-year old version. Seriously. You try it. I assume you have that version or yo...
by nisiprius
Sat Jan 31, 2015 9:53 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Microsoft Excel vs. Apple Numbers
Replies: 14
Views: 923

Re: Microsoft Excel vs. Apple Numbers

P.S. Quick test, just a reality check to see what is going to happen. The latest version of Numbers I have is Numbers '08. I am going to try to open the Simba Backtest spreadsheet we have here on the forum. It took three minutes to open. When it opened, it says "Some warnings occurred." ht...
by nisiprius
Fri Jan 30, 2015 9:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Microsoft Excel vs. Apple Numbers
Replies: 14
Views: 923

Re: Microsoft Excel vs. Apple Numbers

I'm a certified Apple fanboy. I bought my first Mac in February, 1984. I have personally owned nothing but Macs ever since. I use Microsoft Excel 2011 for the Mac. I used Microsoft Multiplan in 1985, upgraded to Excel when they did a Mac version, and have stuck with Excel, perhaps buying every other...
by nisiprius
Fri Jan 30, 2015 9:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Microsoft Excel vs. Apple Numbers
Replies: 14
Views: 923

Re: One Fund Stox Portfolio? VTI

Seems OK. I am skeptical of theories about "3-4 years cash to avoid selling stox in a bear market ." The crash of 1929 was followed by a 7 year long bear market, which had only recovered for three months when it was followed by another crash in 1937 and another 7-8 year long bear market. Y...
by nisiprius
Fri Jan 30, 2015 9:27 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: One Fund Stox Portfolio? VTI
Replies: 4
Views: 405

"Planet Money" is shorting SPY

I guess I don't know what to say about it except I like their podcast, and they are always doing interesting things, and it will be interesting to see how it comes out.

We Shorted America!
by nisiprius
Fri Jan 30, 2015 9:23 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Planet Money" is shorting SPY
Replies: 21
Views: 2061

Re: Would anyone go 100% bonds if...

,,,Would anyone here go 100% bonds if you had more than enough money for the rest of your life? (i.e. suddenly made/inherited millions of dollars or more than you ever think you could spend, even in a low interest rate environment)? Yes. Or would you still put at least 10-20% in stocks? No. But I m...
by nisiprius
Fri Jan 30, 2015 4:02 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Would anyone go 100% bonds if...
Replies: 36
Views: 2512

Re: What will be the biggest investment surprises of 2015?

There will be general agreement that all of the "risk factors" have finally been discovered, and that the complete list of 5,126 risk factors explains 100% of the performance of the stock market.
by nisiprius
Fri Jan 30, 2015 3:12 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What will be the biggest investment surprises of 2015?
Replies: 82
Views: 7993

Re: Barry Ritholtz - Breaking with Bogle

Look, it's almost an accident of history that the Standard & Poor's 500 Index was built in a market-capitalization-weighted form. Where does he get that ? Before 1923 there were various stock market "averages" and "barometers." In 1923 Irving Fisher published "The Makin...
by nisiprius
Fri Jan 30, 2015 2:59 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Barry Ritholtz - Breaking with Bogle
Replies: 12
Views: 2520

Re: Mac reliability?

P.S. Comprising 10% of the market they are approaching 90% of my support calls for 'waaahhh, my email won't work'." As an anecdote, that doesn't tell us much. Did he really compile numbers? Is it a matched population or is it possible that Apple users as a group are in fact less technically ski...
by nisiprius
Fri Jan 30, 2015 10:47 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mac reliability?
Replies: 78
Views: 3116

Re: Mac reliability?

Anyone who says there's a big difference is grinding an axe. Your friend is simply displaying his own preferences and biasses. I would say their reputation was built on "ease of use," not "reliability." You can check Consumer Reports--it's best to check the actual category of pro...
by nisiprius
Fri Jan 30, 2015 10:41 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mac reliability?
Replies: 78
Views: 3116

Re: 4 essential documents: Suze Orman

Suze Orman has an online program for $63 that can generate these 4 documents. 1. a Will, 2. a Revocable Living Trust, 3. an Advanced Directive (is it same as Financial power of attorney) 4. a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care. The offer includes free updates if your situation changes. Her i...
by nisiprius
Fri Jan 30, 2015 10:15 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 4 essential documents: Suze Orman
Replies: 27
Views: 3362

Re: VG Prime Money Market Fund

I'm trying to keep things simple. Too many accounts. That its my thought behind it. There's no good answer. You can't get the safety of an FDIC-insured account and the convenience of having all your accounts at Vanguard. It's as simple is that. It is my personal opinion that FDIC insurance is worth...
by nisiprius
Fri Jan 30, 2015 7:31 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VG Prime Money Market Fund
Replies: 21
Views: 2034

Re: Thoughts on DFA equities?

See the wiki article, DFA, for some orientation. Instead of asking "which is better," I think you have to say "Do I personally understand DFA's products to my own satisfaction? Do I think they are better because I am looking for high loading on HmL and willing to pay a little more to ...
by nisiprius
Fri Jan 30, 2015 7:00 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Thoughts on DFA equities?
Replies: 14
Views: 882

Re: Scottsdale, AZ - what to do?

There's a Vanguard facility in Scottsdale, but there's probably no easy way to visit it and maybe nothing interesting to see there...
by nisiprius
Thu Jan 29, 2015 9:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Scottsdale, AZ - what to do?
Replies: 31
Views: 1734

Re: Bringing up 529s to the grandparents

claudia wrote:...Let your in-laws know that you have a 529 account and that you are diligently contributing monthly...
+1.

I think this is all that needs to be said. Of course if they look blank you may need to explain that it is a college savings account.
by nisiprius
Thu Jan 29, 2015 8:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bringing up 529s to the grandparents
Replies: 58
Views: 3067

Re: The missing value premium- a 10 year global lookback

With regard to Merriman's " I show the results of an 82-year study of value stocks vs. growth stocks..." At the risk of stating the obvious, the value premium was only "discovered" in 1992, less than 25 years ago. The data that was used to discover it--data that was the result of...
by nisiprius
Thu Jan 29, 2015 7:54 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The missing value premium- a 10 year global lookback
Replies: 52
Views: 2391

Re: Searching with google while using Safari

I have mixed feelings about the single bar. As others have noted Firebox still has separate search and URL fields. Most of the time the single bar is, frankly, a convenience, but it is another piece of badly-defined "do what I mean." What exactly determines whether the string of characters...
by nisiprius
Thu Jan 29, 2015 7:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Searching with google while using Safari
Replies: 31
Views: 1249

Re: Country factor funds, ER .3%

comeinvest wrote:...Also, don't "value" and "quality" cancel each other out to some extent?...
But my hot chocolate with espresso tastes like it has coffee! I'm allergic to coffee! I didn't want coffee in it.
by nisiprius
Thu Jan 29, 2015 5:50 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Country factor funds, ER .3%
Replies: 4
Views: 388

Re: Help - DH's bank wants to switch his RMD to VALIC

He should dig in his heels and refuse to do ANYTHING quickly. He should say "Just put it all into a SAVINGS ACCOUNT for now. Yes, a SAVINGS ACCOUNT. Yes, I insist. I want time to research this and think it over." The harder they push for him to do it now, the harder he should push back not...
by nisiprius
Thu Jan 29, 2015 3:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help - DH's bank wants to switch his RMD to VALIC
Replies: 12
Views: 671

Re: High Expense Funds vs Vanguard: No Difference?

...However, it appears that in the short run (a handful of years), when i do a regression analysis of the mutual funds ---> in my 401k <--- which have higher expense ratios (more than 1%) to their vanguard counterpart, neither of them appear to have significant alpha (plus or minus)... How did thos...
by nisiprius
Thu Jan 29, 2015 2:32 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: High Expense Funds vs Vanguard: No Difference?
Replies: 37
Views: 2597

Re: Does college tuition indeed keep up with inflation?

When it comes to front loading 529, the rule of thumb I was told is to contribute an amount equal to full tuition in today's prices so that it would grow inflation adjusted by the time you need it in the future. But that seems like an exorbitant growth in tuition over time. Is there really any data...
by nisiprius
Wed Jan 28, 2015 6:43 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does college tuition indeed keep up with inflation?
Replies: 15
Views: 1069

Re: Any reason NOT to buy treasuries individually?

You are missing a Vanguard statement that is printed in landscape format with a 2" header and 1" footer leaving only 5 inches for information, that uses 8 lines to identify each TIPS bonds, can thus only fit three bonds on each page, and therefore requires a total of 30 pages. :annoyed THA...
by nisiprius
Wed Jan 28, 2015 4:52 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Any reason NOT to buy treasuries individually?
Replies: 17
Views: 1430

Re: Renaissance tech vs EMH

True story: when I was a kid at summer camp, we were getting together some kind of camp fair or carnival, and I thought it would be a clear idea to build a Galton's Quincunx (official name for the pegboard thing) and make it into a sort of fairground game of chance. The player would drop a tennis ba...
by nisiprius
Wed Jan 28, 2015 10:56 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Renaissance tech vs EMH
Replies: 37
Views: 1836

Re: Renaissance tech vs EMH

And that's the point. People have, in recent memory, claimed it wasn't their fault, must be somebody else's fault, can't be their fault, when a normal distribution failed to accurately model the risks they took, yet they continued to rely on the very assumption which sunk them, in order to show it ...
by nisiprius
Wed Jan 28, 2015 9:33 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Renaissance tech vs EMH
Replies: 37
Views: 1836

Re: Why do brokerages give commission free-etfs

The companies don’t have a revenue-sharing agreement in place, which is intended to defray servicing costs to provide the funds without commissions, said Mark Wiedman, global head of iShares. For iShares ETFs, Fidelity receives compensation from the ETF sponsor, its affiliates or both as part of an...
by nisiprius
Wed Jan 28, 2015 8:34 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why do brokerages give commission free-etfs
Replies: 19
Views: 1799

Re: Why do brokerages give commission free-etfs

...They get paid a slice of the ETF's expense ratio... Are you sure? Really? How does that show up on the disclosure documents? Are ETFs allowed to charge 12b-1 fees and if so why can't I find one listed, e.g. for ITOT? I've assumed it was pure loss leader, and that, like banks ATM machines, they m...
by nisiprius
Wed Jan 28, 2015 8:20 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why do brokerages give commission free-etfs
Replies: 19
Views: 1799

Re: VXUS and VTI names

I would love to read some inside account of just how the process does work. The PIMCO Total Return Bond ETF started out life as TRXT, and then a month later it was changed to... BOND. How the heck did Gross snag that little bit of primo real estate? And if BOND was available, why did Vanguard settle...
by nisiprius
Wed Jan 28, 2015 8:15 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VXUS and VTI names
Replies: 14
Views: 958

Re: Anyone know when CD rates will increase?

Does anyone know when CD rates will increase? If not, is there anyway to make a reliable estimate? 2.25% is the highest I see at the moment for bank CDs. Repeat after me: Nobody even knows IF CD rates will increase. Nobody even knows IF CD rates will increase. Nobody even knows IF CD rates will inc...
by nisiprius
Wed Jan 28, 2015 7:48 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Anyone know when CD rates will increase?
Replies: 69
Views: 4754

Re: Vanguard's Recommended Portfolio

It's a fine portfolio whose bond portion is more complex and contains more "fine tuning" than the stock portion. John C. Bogle has said, of the Barclay's Aggregate, "we need to fix the index." He has said he think it is too high in Treasuries and needs more corporates. (I find th...
by nisiprius
Wed Jan 28, 2015 7:27 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard's Recommended Portfolio
Replies: 16
Views: 2129

Re: Renaissance tech vs EMH

Depending on how cynical you are about Wall Street, insider trading could be a cause of Renaissance's success. The problem with "how does EMH explain XYZ" is that at any given instant of time, among the 11,000 hedge funds, 9000 mutual funds, and 1300 ETFs, there are always going to be som...
by nisiprius
Tue Jan 27, 2015 8:34 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Renaissance tech vs EMH
Replies: 37
Views: 1836

Re: Chaos, complexity and entropy simplified

I'm about 2/3 of the way through the paper and I think it is excellent, excellent, excellent. And it fits very nicely with what I perceived and experienced. The word "obscene" literally means something so awful that you cannot bear to look directly at it. One of the things I really kick my...
by nisiprius
Tue Jan 27, 2015 6:31 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Chaos, complexity and entropy [for non-physicists]
Replies: 87
Views: 4568

Re: Renaissance tech vs EMH

The problem with "how does EMH explain XYZ" is that at any given instant of time, among the 11,000 hedge funds, 9000 mutual funds, and 1300 ETFs, there are always going to be some of them that have truly extraordinary records that appear to violate EMH. And naturally the ones we hear about...
by nisiprius
Tue Jan 27, 2015 3:41 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Renaissance tech vs EMH
Replies: 37
Views: 1836

Re: data mining vs. historical performance

Amazingly often, people will post historical data to make a point, and not give any explanation for the choice of the time period used. I don't mean posting in this forum necessarily, I mean anywhere. There is a problem even with "all available data," but often what is shown is not "a...
by nisiprius
Tue Jan 27, 2015 1:59 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: data mining vs. historical performance
Replies: 39
Views: 1588

Re: Refund from the IRS? Why?

I always get a tax refund. It is, very simply, a luxury, like a $5,000 watch, that I treat myself to. I do it that way because it is too much work to get it exactly right, and I feel irritable when I owe money and pleased when I get money back. I do it because it pleases me. I don't lose any sleep o...
by nisiprius
Tue Jan 27, 2015 12:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refund from the IRS? Why?
Replies: 51
Views: 4872

Re: Is it time to give-up on TIPS?

...One very good hedge against inflation is to have a fixed rate nominal debt. Debtors love inflation. So to be clear that means a fixed rate mortgage is a good inflation hedge... Which still is missing the point, because you are still in the world where inflation matters to you and you win or lose...
by nisiprius
Tue Jan 27, 2015 11:40 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is it time to give-up on TIPS?
Replies: 42
Views: 4471

Re: Asness - The Small-Firm Effect Is Real, and It’s Spectac

I, too, welcome Cliff Asness to the thread. One detail. He assumed that the only reason someone might not catch a Seinfeld reference is youth. Another possibility is, of course, that one didn't watch the show. I find that the reference is to an episode entitled "The Implant," http://en.wik...
by nisiprius
Tue Jan 27, 2015 8:32 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Asness - The Small-Firm Effect Is Real, and It’s Spectacular
Replies: 62
Views: 6371

Re: Get 17% in russian savings account?

Boring answer: what about VGOVX, Vanguard's emerging markets bond index fund. Russia is its 2nd largest holding, almost 10%. Dollar denominated, no currency risk. I didn't look at the full list of holdings but a Russian bond with a 7.5% coupon caught my eye. And if Russia tanks you still have 90% of...
by nisiprius
Tue Jan 27, 2015 8:17 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Get 17% in russian savings account?
Replies: 49
Views: 4454

Re: What's wrong with volatility if buy&hold

First, bobcat2, the big question. In your opinion, are we in a volatility cluster now? Should we be cutting back on stock allocation now? How does an ordinary guy know? It doesn't matter to me, though, because I think the right strategy for me is to keep my stock allocation adjusted to my risk toler...
by nisiprius
Mon Jan 26, 2015 7:50 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What's wrong with volatility if buy&hold
Replies: 52
Views: 3362
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