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Re: Why do we tip restaurant servers?

I know this is a controversial subject, but why do we tip restaurant servers? There is no logical reason that I know of except to say it is customary. There is no logical reason I know of to shake hands except that it is customary. There is no logical reason that I know of to speak English except t...
by nisiprius
Fri Aug 22, 2014 7:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why do we tip restaurant servers?
Replies: 22
Views: 723

Re: Stopping Junk mail from USPS

A long time ago I used the Direct Marketing Association's "Mail Preference Service," and while it did not, by any means, eliminate junk mail, it made a huge difference. One way I can tell is that I wasn't able to noodge my wife into using it, so she gets much more than I do. http://www.dma...
by nisiprius
Fri Aug 22, 2014 6:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Stopping Junk mail from USPS
Replies: 9
Views: 366

Re: Fidelity front page: Is that value stock cheap or troubl

Of course it's baloney. Fidelity isn't endorsing it. Brokerages like to run anything that will keep people interested, and, in particular, interested in trading , because that's where they make their money. The title says it is going to tell you "How to buy value stocks and avoid falling knives...
by nisiprius
Fri Aug 22, 2014 5:17 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fidelity front page: Is that value stock cheap or troubled?
Replies: 2
Views: 169

Re: Juice up your cash returns (!) [What do you consider cas

The idea of not holding cash as actual cash seems to be getting more popular as the time of 0.01% money market fund yields continues. Here's an idea that instead of holding actual cash, you hold a riskier stock/bond portfolio at 130% of your cash needs, to account for the increased volatility: Safe...
by nisiprius
Fri Aug 22, 2014 2:07 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Juice up your cash returns (!) [What do you consider cash?]
Replies: 7
Views: 998

Re: How to weather market downturn with a high chance of lay

DonCamillo wrote:...We Bogleheads love this quote from the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland;
Don't just do something, stand there!
I was hoping you were right, because I a) love Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and b) love that saying, but I can't find it there, nor in Through the Looking-Glass.
by nisiprius
Fri Aug 22, 2014 1:50 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How to weather market downturn with a high chance of layoff
Replies: 39
Views: 2532

Re: Tipping the virtual waiter/waitress?

I was reading the following thread and it got me to thinking about another close topic in regards to tipping. http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=145332&start=50 With our recent state raise to the minimum working wage (we live in a state where the employer must pay a tipped ...
by nisiprius
Fri Aug 22, 2014 1:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tipping the virtual waiter/waitress?
Replies: 15
Views: 788

Re: Is the Aggregate Index Too Heavy in Treasuries?

Doc, I meant to bug you about this in your thread about style drift in Total Bond and other intermediate-term bond funds. Vanguard has a chart that they call "bond style," that is based on average weighted maturity , uses the words "short," "medium," and "long,&quo...
by nisiprius
Fri Aug 22, 2014 11:35 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is the Aggregate Index Too Heavy in Treasuries?
Replies: 39
Views: 1553

Re: Is the Aggregate Index Too Heavy in Treasuries?

There's some kind of bond math effect. The relationship between interest rate and bond value is not linear. The "duration" is just the slope of the curve at that particular interest rate. For any particular bond, an interest rate change from 5% to 5.01% causes a different change in value t...
by nisiprius
Fri Aug 22, 2014 11:28 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is the Aggregate Index Too Heavy in Treasuries?
Replies: 39
Views: 1553

Re: Do you tip on the tax?

I tip in cash and I round up to some nice round number. My wife and I negotiate on the amount--it's sort of potlatch, we tend to raise each other's suggestions rather than reduce them--and it is partially based on our joint currency holdings. The starting point is mental arithmetic based on 1/5 of s...
by nisiprius
Fri Aug 22, 2014 8:45 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you tip on the tax?
Replies: 86
Views: 2329

Re: Yes you can time the markets.....

As usual you can read the whole article by doing a Google search on the full title, which is Yes, Virginia, You Can Time the Market and using the Google link. Well, that's an interesting choice of title and I think it tells us everything we need to know. What is the meaning of "Yes, Virginia?&q...
by nisiprius
Fri Aug 22, 2014 8:15 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Yes you can time the markets.....
Replies: 3
Views: 718

Re: Is the Aggregate Index Too Heavy in Treasuries?

That's a great chart, simplegift, thanks for posting. I had the wrong mental model, completely. The article title is "Is the Aggregate Index Too Heavy in Treasuries " and I think other people have used the phrase "Treasuries" rather than "government bonds," so, you know...
by nisiprius
Fri Aug 22, 2014 7:47 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is the Aggregate Index Too Heavy in Treasuries?
Replies: 39
Views: 1553

Re: When did you hear of Bill Miller and Legg Mason Value Tr

The poll results don't support my hypothesis, do they? I hate it when that happens.
by nisiprius
Thu Aug 21, 2014 10:02 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When did you hear of Bill Miller and Legg Mason Value Trust?
Replies: 22
Views: 1277

Re: Is the Aggregate Index Too Heavy in Treasuries?

Slow double-take. So, taking ogd's interpretation and simplegift's great phrase, the article is warning that the Barclay's Aggregate Index has been undergoing "safety drift." That is what we have been discussing. But meanwhile, Doc, in an interesting thread entitled Vanguard Bond funds Sty...
by nisiprius
Thu Aug 21, 2014 6:56 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is the Aggregate Index Too Heavy in Treasuries?
Replies: 39
Views: 1553

Re: Is the Aggregate Index Too Heavy in Treasuries?

A related question is whether a stock index and/or fund has constant risk (and on what time scale). I understand bobcat2 to say that "volatility clustering" is more or less a demonstrated and accepted fact...
by nisiprius
Thu Aug 21, 2014 6:35 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is the Aggregate Index Too Heavy in Treasuries?
Replies: 39
Views: 1553

"including the possible loss of the money you invest"

I've noticed, starting maybe six months ago, that everyone seems be using stronger and plainer language in their "all investing is subject to risk" disclaimer. I think this is a Good Thing. Vanguard, for example, says here : All investing is subject to risk, including the possible loss of ...
by nisiprius
Thu Aug 21, 2014 5:15 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "including the possible loss of the money you invest"
Replies: 4
Views: 868

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Halfway through the play, The Admirable Crichton , by J. M. Barrie. Finished Piers Dudgeon, J.M. Barrie, the Du Mauriers, and the Dark Side of "Peter Pan" . Probably only read about 2/3 of it though as I did a lot of skipping and skimming--I have never read anything by Daphne Du Maurier an...
by nisiprius
Thu Aug 21, 2014 4:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V
Replies: 3201
Views: 1086241

Re: Is the Aggregate Index Too Heavy in Treasuries?

I really wish that people (including Jack Bogle) would not phrase it that way. The Aggregate Index is what it is. I see no reason to think that Barclay's is screwing up their calculations. If the Aggregate Index includes more Treasuries that it used to, it is because there are proportionately more T...
by nisiprius
Thu Aug 21, 2014 4:22 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is the Aggregate Index Too Heavy in Treasuries?
Replies: 39
Views: 1553

Re: A random walk...

Clearly_Irrational wrote:
baw703916 wrote:If the market follows a random walk, why don't returns follow a normal distribution?
The market isn't actually a random walk, it's a levy flight.
Which is another way of saying "it's not a random walk, it's much worse than that."
by nisiprius
Thu Aug 21, 2014 3:54 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A random walk...
Replies: 21
Views: 1614

Re: Investors Pour Into Vanguard, Eschewing Stock Pickers

Any idea what percentage of the total money invested at Vanguard is in "index" vs. "managed" funds? According to Morningstar , at the end of 2013, about 70% of Vanguard's assets were indexed and about 30% were actively-managed. The suburban Pennsylvania behemoth now manages $2.3...
by nisiprius
Thu Aug 21, 2014 2:36 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Investors Pour Into Vanguard, Eschewing Stock Pickers
Replies: 63
Views: 4559

Re: What can happen to a union pension?

Thanks everyone, great things to keep in mind. I am not sure about PBGC but will look into that. If it matters, this is not a public pension, so tax payers do not fund it. http://www.pbgc.gov/about/who-we-are.html The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) protects the retirement incomes of mo...
by nisiprius
Thu Aug 21, 2014 1:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What can happen to a union pension?
Replies: 10
Views: 1054

Re: Why aren't annuities better than investment drawdowns?

To add a wisecrack to what dbr said: Suppose your analysis showed that homeowner's insurance was a better "money's worth"--paid out a higher percentage of premiums in claims, then car insurance. Suppose you owned a car and did not own a house. What kind of insurance would you buy? Homeowne...
by nisiprius
Thu Aug 21, 2014 12:54 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why aren't annuities better than investment drawdowns?
Replies: 46
Views: 2795

Re: Why aren't annuities better than investment drawdowns?

Where is the best place online to shop for and compare annuities? If you have a Vanguard, account Vanguard ain't half bad. You need to log into your Vanguard account, and drill down: What We Offer, Annuities, Consider An Income Annuity, Log on and Get a quote through Vanguard Annuity Access. You wi...
by nisiprius
Thu Aug 21, 2014 12:45 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why aren't annuities better than investment drawdowns?
Replies: 46
Views: 2795

Re: How to weather market downturn with a high chance of lay

P.S. Although I'm not a fan of Jeremy Siegel, whose cheerleading for stocks, in my opinion, goes beyond enthusiasm into spin and dogmatism, I trust his data, and Stocks for the Long Run makes a good case for its being OK to invest in stocks at peaks. Not ideal, but good enough. Of course, if you can...
by nisiprius
Thu Aug 21, 2014 12:32 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How to weather market downturn with a high chance of layoff
Replies: 39
Views: 2532

Re: A random walk...

The book is, and has always been, a grab-bag. The title has always had a dual meaning. A random walk is a ramble, and it could have been entitled "Burton Malkiel's Rambling Thoughts on Investing." Starting around 1990, the title changed from A Random Walk Down Wall Street to A Random Walk ...
by nisiprius
Thu Aug 21, 2014 12:24 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A random walk...
Replies: 21
Views: 1614

Re: How to weather market downturn with a high chance of lay

...but there's such a thing as recession (with proper definition from the NBER if one needs a precise declaration.) Why is it not better to only buy into index fund during recession?... Because that is like Will Roger's advice, Don't gamble; take all your savings and buy some good stock and hold it...
by nisiprius
Thu Aug 21, 2014 11:50 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How to weather market downturn with a high chance of layoff
Replies: 39
Views: 2532

Re: Why aren't annuities better than investment drawdowns?

[Added by nisiprius] Read researchmed's follow-up post, below . I did not mean to recommend 100% annuitization for anyone, but rather than paraphrase here what he says, I recommend reading his post. ---- Annuities are not better or worse, they are different. This is a clear case where it makes sens...
by nisiprius
Thu Aug 21, 2014 9:40 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why aren't annuities better than investment drawdowns?
Replies: 46
Views: 2795

Re: Investors Pour Into Vanguard, Eschewing Stock Pickers

I actually find this just a little bit troubling. No, I am not someone who sells active funds using the "what if everybody indexed" talking point, but I do worry about "will success spoil Vanguard?" Jack Bogle has a essay, is it in "Clash of the Cultures?" about the ris...
by nisiprius
Thu Aug 21, 2014 7:00 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Investors Pour Into Vanguard, Eschewing Stock Pickers
Replies: 63
Views: 4559

Re: How to weather market downturn with a high chance of lay

...Could you explain where this dividend may be coming from if the US S&P 500 index is exactly the same (at some point) in 2006 and in 2008?... The easiest thing to do is look at a growth chart. A growth chart shows you the total return of an index fund. When you invest in a mutual fund, you ar...
by nisiprius
Wed Aug 20, 2014 10:00 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How to weather market downturn with a high chance of layoff
Replies: 39
Views: 2532

Re: How to weather market downturn with a high chance of lay

...given the fact that during boom years we tend to have more money to invest, whereas in downturns we tend to have less (due to layoffs, less work for freelancer, etc.) In other words, in theory all the highs and lows will balance out. But in practice, we tend to invest more during highs and less ...
by nisiprius
Wed Aug 20, 2014 5:57 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How to weather market downturn with a high chance of layoff
Replies: 39
Views: 2532

Re: What can happen to a union pension?

Many scenarios are possible. One question, may be obvious but since I don't have such a pension I don't know the ins and outs... is it insured by the PBGC?

http://search.pbgc.gov/search/InsuredPl ... e=c&page=1
by nisiprius
Wed Aug 20, 2014 4:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What can happen to a union pension?
Replies: 10
Views: 1054

When did you hear of Bill Miller and Legg Mason Value Trust?

I claim that because excitement over an apparent trend builds exponentially, most of the people who hear about a trend, hear about it late in the process when it is almost over. To test this hypothesis, I would like you to think back as best you can and see whether you can remember the approximate y...
by nisiprius
Wed Aug 20, 2014 3:03 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When did you hear of Bill Miller and Legg Mason Value Trust?
Replies: 22
Views: 1277

Re: Defining "Stay the Course"

My mental model currently is this. And it's just a model. Please insert an "I think" or "possibly" or "maybe" before everything that follows. I believe that the statistics that show "Investor returns" are a lot lower than "fund returns" are true. I a...
by nisiprius
Wed Aug 20, 2014 2:55 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Defining "Stay the Course"
Replies: 32
Views: 2487

Re: Any reason I should not pick the admiral funds equivalen

For example, someone might have a very negative reaction to anything referring to the sea, so they wouldn't want to have Admiral shares. Ok, that's my contribution. Who else has something even more far-fetched? "I've memorized all of the fund numbers and ticker symbols and don't want to have t...
by nisiprius
Wed Aug 20, 2014 2:19 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Any reason I should not pick the admiral funds equivalent?
Replies: 18
Views: 1623

Re: Any reason I should not pick the admiral funds equivalen

:oops: Thanks to sscritic for sending me a PM pointing out to me that I goofed. I said Vanguard does not "demote" Admiral merely because of market movements. In fact, the prospectus for Vanguard 500 Index Fund (see p. 26) and probably all the others says: Mandatory Conversions to Investor ...
by nisiprius
Wed Aug 20, 2014 1:51 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Any reason I should not pick the admiral funds equivalent?
Replies: 18
Views: 1623

Re: Do interest rates really matter when buying a home?

Well of course they matter, but consider one thing. A change in interest rates tends to change the value of the home. In a similar way a change in interest rates changes the value of a bond. When interest rates are low, a seller can charge a higher price for their home, then interest rates are high...
by nisiprius
Wed Aug 20, 2014 12:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do interest rates really matter when buying a home?
Replies: 8
Views: 780

Re: To be truly rich, take stock of your life before investi

The phrase " take stock of your life" instantly recalled to mind: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HW5ykXDYcLk Taking stock of what I have and what I haven't What do I find? The things I got will keep me satisfied Checking up on what I have and what I haven't What do I find? A healthy balan...
by nisiprius
Wed Aug 20, 2014 12:03 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: To be truly rich, take stock of your life before investing
Replies: 22
Views: 3016

Re: Will you have to pay your parent's long term care costs?

Those who resist LTCi and annuities in the interests of leaving a legacy to their children should be sure they know how their children feel about this. I suspect some children are more concerned about the possibility of having to support their parents during their lives than they are about inheritin...
by nisiprius
Wed Aug 20, 2014 11:57 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will you have to pay your parent's long term care costs?
Replies: 55
Views: 3282

Re: POLL: Age for Collecting Social Security Benefits

Seems to mix apples and oranges, people potentially many years from retirement and those retired. Any answer I gave would be theoretical: waiting till 70 is the theoretically right answer assuming today's system continues as is, you have the money to reach 70 without SS, and it seems fairly likely ...
by nisiprius
Wed Aug 20, 2014 7:38 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POLL: Age for Collecting Social Security Benefits
Replies: 76
Views: 4145

Re: POLL: Age for Collecting Social Security Benefits

My decision about when to claim was influenced by two considerations:

a) I was over 62 and thus eligible,

b) my unemployment benefits were about to run out and I hadn't managed to get a single job interview.
by nisiprius
Wed Aug 20, 2014 7:34 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POLL: Age for Collecting Social Security Benefits
Replies: 76
Views: 4145

Re: Dow Jones Index Fund?

...QWERTY keyboards are analogous. They aren't sensible given today's technology, but everyone wants them because that's what they are used to... The analogy I like is the Blue Hills Weather Observatory. It continues to measure barometric pressure in inches of mercury, not millimeters. They using g...
by nisiprius
Wed Aug 20, 2014 7:19 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Dow Jones Index Fund?
Replies: 41
Views: 2048

Re: Any reason I should not pick the admiral funds equivalen

Wow, that's amazing. Another glitch in the tool. Incidentally, if you have more than a $10,000 total in an Investor shares fund held at Vanguard, eventually Vanguard will automatically convert them to Admiral shares. Basically there is NO reason not to pick Admiral shares. I can think of three very ...
by nisiprius
Wed Aug 20, 2014 7:03 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Any reason I should not pick the admiral funds equivalent?
Replies: 18
Views: 1623

Re: Pressure Cookers?

I never considered the pressure cooker and a microwave the same thing. Then again, I use a microwave only to heat up food I already made. Whereas a pressure cooker, I'm making soups, pilafs, legumes... Funny, I could have sworn that my old Presto manual warned NOT to cook anything thick or pasty li...
by nisiprius
Tue Aug 19, 2014 9:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pressure Cookers?
Replies: 46
Views: 3137

Re: VBMPX safe enough for saving for tuition

...Do you guys think VBMPX is safe enough for money I'll need over the next three years?... Let's see what Vanguard says, not that it's clear or unambiguous or gospel, but nevertheless it's some kind of touchstone. Just to emphasize, these "risk categories" are broad and their description...
by nisiprius
Tue Aug 19, 2014 9:40 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VBMPX safe enough for saving for tuition
Replies: 7
Views: 562

Re: Blog:iShares to close target retirement ETFs

Whoa, those didn't last long. They were only launched in, let's see... 11/05/2008. The fund industry seems to have the attention span of a toddler. They sell these things as a complete lifetime retirement savings plan that you're supposed to commit to for a lifetime, and they can't even keep them go...
by nisiprius
Tue Aug 19, 2014 4:58 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Blog:iShares to close target retirement ETFs
Replies: 12
Views: 950

Re: Why would anyone own a treasury bond fund?

I have holdings about twenty individual TIPS issues which I've been collecting over the years and they are a royal PITA. (Just nobody gets the wrong idea about my net worth they are all tiny amounts, most of them having being purchased with annual Roth contributions). They have a bad habit of maturi...
by nisiprius
Tue Aug 19, 2014 2:46 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why would anyone own a treasury bond fund?
Replies: 20
Views: 1688

Re: Pressure Cookers?

Use one 2-3x per day for years. I really don't understand how they were never in the mainstream. I mean, they are affordable and reduce the time of cooking exponentially, not too mention makes food more flavorful IMO. If you're starting out, look for an electric one. InstantPot is a good starter. T...
by nisiprius
Tue Aug 19, 2014 12:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pressure Cookers?
Replies: 46
Views: 3137

Re: Is a big war coming ???

...DBC is an ETF... How can it be both "an ETF" (exchange traded fund ) and also " not a mutual fund or any other type of Investment Company within the meaning of the Investment Company Act of 1940?" The prospectus has some other interesting remarks: their capital letters, "...
by nisiprius
Tue Aug 19, 2014 11:56 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is a big war coming ???
Replies: 37
Views: 3748

Re: Is a big war coming ???

Would this mean thePowerShares DB Commodity Index Tracking Fund, DBC? Please comment on the following language and tell me whether you think it is important and, if not, why not ? The Fund is not a mutual fund or any other type of Investment Company within the meaning of the Investment Company Act ...
by nisiprius
Tue Aug 19, 2014 11:34 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is a big war coming ???
Replies: 37
Views: 3748

Re: Defining "Stay the Course"

Here is my own "theory..." The top path represents perfectly staying the course. The bottom path represents outright market timing--big changes involving big fractions of the portfolio. It's about 2-1/2 times as long as a straight course--about an extra 150% more distance. The third path r...
by nisiprius
Tue Aug 19, 2014 11:06 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Defining "Stay the Course"
Replies: 32
Views: 2487

Re: Is a big war coming ???

I have recently bought 3% of my portfolio into the DBC commodities index. I did this largely because my strategy is to only put new money into asset classes that are currently out of favor. I want to diversify my holdings somewhat and add a little inflation protection. Right now, it does feel a lit...
by nisiprius
Tue Aug 19, 2014 10:41 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is a big war coming ???
Replies: 37
Views: 3748
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