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Re: making your own will or trust

The real question that needs to be asked is not whether anyone has had experience in writing your own will, but whether anyone has had experience being the executor or heir of someone who wrote their own will . One can say whether one has written their own will, but not how well it worked in the end!
by nisiprius
Wed Apr 16, 2014 6:52 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: making your own will or trust
Replies: 7
Views: 280

Re: Stocks: How Bad It Can Get

Calm Man, the correction was roughly from 16,600 down to 16,000 on the DOW but the news media really played it up and people scare easily. I know it was roughly 3% but when the media gets a hold of that watch out. A 30% correction will cause some folks to get religion. 1) Since when is a 3-4% drop ...
by nisiprius
Tue Apr 15, 2014 10:43 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Stocks: How Bad It Can Get
Replies: 57
Views: 4060

Re: Why You Shouldn't Fear Japan

That's very interesting and new, or certainly new to me.

What was your data source, was it no-cost or do you have access to some subscription service?
by nisiprius
Tue Apr 15, 2014 10:23 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Japan Does not Show That Stocks are Dangerous
Replies: 22
Views: 908

Re: Inflation adjusted charts and historical fund data.

I don't know of such a tool. I wish there were one. Morningstar lets you choose a couple of dozen currencies and does currency conversion, I wonder why they can't include constant dollars as one such "currency?" I assume you already know how to download CPI-U itself directly from the BLS w...
by nisiprius
Tue Apr 15, 2014 9:37 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Inflation adjusted charts and historical fund data.
Replies: 2
Views: 206

Re: TIAA-CREF is buying Nuveen?

I didn't parse the "power of .ORG" campaign too closely, but surely TIAA-CREF still claims to be non-profit? Please don't tell me I was taken in by a campaign whose whole purpose was to make me think it was a non-profit when it wasn't... For what it's worth, and I have a pretty high regard...
by nisiprius
Tue Apr 15, 2014 8:33 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TIAA-CREF is buying Nuveen?
Replies: 40
Views: 1968

Re: VTI vs. VTSAX

See http://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/ETFs_vs_mutual_funds for a capsule summary. The differences are microscopic and unimportant. But no difference however microscopic seems unimportant to a devotee, so there are perennial arguments. It absolutely boils down to convenience and personal taste. People w...
by nisiprius
Tue Apr 15, 2014 8:24 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VTI vs. VTSAX [Vanguard Total Stk Mkt: ETF vs. Mutual Fund]
Replies: 3
Views: 351

Re: Can this 4% CD be trusted?

The ad itself states there is a 1.25% APY and a 2.75% bonus. It also states that they require a $15k deposit. There you go. The only remaining question is how much you are allowed to invest in the CD. I can't quite read the fine print but I'm thinking the $15,000 is probably the limit. So, you inve...
by nisiprius
Tue Apr 15, 2014 4:48 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Can this 4% CD be trusted?
Replies: 21
Views: 2054

Re: Why are total bond market funds so often recommended?

It's pretty easy... same reason as for the S&P 500. The Barclay's, formerly Lehman Brothers, Aggregate Index is an historically important, familiar index that was basically the first important, good-faith, well-founded effort to capture an entire market. As such, it has more data and history beh...
by nisiprius
Tue Apr 15, 2014 4:29 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why are total bond market funds so often recommended?
Replies: 20
Views: 1856

Re: Can this 4% CD be trusted?

Your image link doesn't work... if the ad is for a rather short-term CD, it is probably something close to a scam. The scam is not exactly the CD itself. Nor is it the interest rate, but the CD doesn't have that rate, it is for a much lower rate and the firm running the ad cuts you a check for the d...
by nisiprius
Tue Apr 15, 2014 2:13 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Can this 4% CD be trusted?
Replies: 21
Views: 2054

Re: A portfolio with a 7% yield? Your thoughts?

Don't you mean "has had?" Actually the article itself is making my head spin--I can't tell whether his return and volatility numbers are even accurate numbers about past history. And, of course, every time you tweak the portfolio, and it sounds as if he does that constantly, you invalidate...
by nisiprius
Tue Apr 15, 2014 1:53 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A portfolio with a 7% yield? Your thoughts?
Replies: 9
Views: 865

Re: NYTimes: Inexpensive Advice for Index-Fund Investments

DARN, which I could remember it... flipping through some money magazine in a dentist's office there was an article that mentioned the very salient point that several firms like Wealthfront and Betterment have already folded . I have of course also forgotten (YES, I'm old) the names of the firms... t...
by nisiprius
Tue Apr 15, 2014 1:50 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: NYTimes: Inexpensive Advice for Index-Fund Investments
Replies: 15
Views: 1803

Re: Stocks: How Bad It Can Get

I do not know the answer to this question, but if you were diversified going into the great depression (actually the market initial crash) how much buying power did you have afterwards. For example, if you had cash in some form, government bonds, cash under the mattress, how much more buying power ...
by nisiprius
Tue Apr 15, 2014 1:39 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Stocks: How Bad It Can Get
Replies: 57
Views: 4060

Re: gold , silver, copper and uranium only

So, to be clear, what gold, silver, copper and uranium have in common is that they have all had recent... how to say this... let me think... :wink:
big upward bountiful bets, letting everyone speculate?
by nisiprius
Tue Apr 15, 2014 1:31 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: gold , silver, copper and uranium only
Replies: 46
Views: 2151

Re: Stocks: How Bad It Can Get

Clearly_irrational, I believe it is always that way. It is what is sometimes euphemistically called the "business cycle." The idea of some golden age when things were "normal" is a fantasy.
by nisiprius
Tue Apr 15, 2014 1:04 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Stocks: How Bad It Can Get
Replies: 57
Views: 4060

Re: Stocks: How Bad It Can Get

Chart in the Economist http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2014/04/daily-chart-7 of the peak to trough decline in the American and British stock markets (local currency) during select financial crises. A graphic reminder that the stock market can fall pretty far. Also a reminder that the 2...
by nisiprius
Tue Apr 15, 2014 12:42 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Stocks: How Bad It Can Get
Replies: 57
Views: 4060

Re: Asness & Fama on Bloomberg TV NOW

JUST tuned in... Bogle: HFT on balance is a plus... there needs to be more transparency... they should be reporting (something) to the SEC... trading ahead of someone is a problem, it's equivalent to, his words, "inside information." When he started the fund, he says he never heard of Fama...
by nisiprius
Tue Apr 15, 2014 11:34 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Asness & Fama on Bloomberg TV NOW
Replies: 18
Views: 697

Re: Why is mid-cap discussed so much less than large and sma

I will say that a lot of the talk is associated with a region of the financial thinking universe that orbits around Fama and French, and that the mutual fund company DFA (Dimensional Fund Advisors) orbits around Fama and French, and DFA does not appear to have any mid-cap funds, so I guess that mid...
by nisiprius
Tue Apr 15, 2014 10:52 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why is mid-cap discussed so much less than large and small?
Replies: 18
Views: 1007

Re: Why is mid-cap discussed so much less than large and sma

It is an interesting question, because, as is so often the case, the growth charts don't match the talk. The talk is all "small" and "small value" and "heavy factor loading." But a casual lay glance suggests that the differences between "large" and "not l...
by nisiprius
Tue Apr 15, 2014 10:01 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why is mid-cap discussed so much less than large and small?
Replies: 18
Views: 1007

Re: SCV premium is a history/math story, its not scientific

...First, "There are an "infinite number of strategies worse than this one" is vacuously true. I would reword it slightly: there are an infinite number of strategies that cannot be proved to be better or worse than this one. Even in hindsight, the other strategies will either have do...
by nisiprius
Mon Apr 14, 2014 9:14 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: SCV premium is a history/math story, its not scientific
Replies: 46
Views: 2163

Re: gold , silver, copper and uranium only

Osmium is where the real money is. Well, when they find some more uses for it. One of the rarest metals and the most dense of naturally occurring elements. I am stockpiling fountain pen tips just in case fusion or the space elevator depends on heavy use of Osmium. You never know. I will always have...
by nisiprius
Mon Apr 14, 2014 8:56 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: gold , silver, copper and uranium only
Replies: 46
Views: 2151

Re: TIAA-CREF is buying Nuveen?

...What remains to be see is whether TIAA/CREF just treats Nuveen as a holding and lets it operate independently or whether they will attempt to integrate Nuveen's financial products... Let's say you want an index fund that tracks the S&P 500. Institutional shares: TIAA-CREF, TIEIX, 0.06%. Nuve...
by nisiprius
Mon Apr 14, 2014 8:44 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TIAA-CREF is buying Nuveen?
Replies: 40
Views: 1968

Re: SCV premium is a history/math story, its not scientific

Oh, and of course we always need to remember that...

"Investing is not a science."--John C. Bogle, Clash of the Cultures, p. 1.

Image
by nisiprius
Mon Apr 14, 2014 5:21 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: SCV premium is a history/math story, its not scientific
Replies: 46
Views: 2163

Re: Bitcoin knockoff

Chaz, according to Wikipedia there are at least sixty "bitcoin knockoff" cryptocurrency systems, including nine that they call "notable:" Bitcoin, Ripple, Litecoin, Peercoin, Dogecoin, Mastercoin, Namecoin, Auroracoin, and Primecoin. I suppose one of the attractive features is th...
by nisiprius
Mon Apr 14, 2014 4:03 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bitcoin knockoff
Replies: 6
Views: 628

Re: Fundamental Indexing

I recently ranted about this. Observation #1: since they are a little different from a cap-weighted index, sometimes they will do a little better, sometimes a little worse, it won't make much difference, and if the fund lasts twenty years, twenty years from now we will know whether it did better or ...
by nisiprius
Mon Apr 14, 2014 12:06 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fundamental Indexing
Replies: 9
Views: 747

Re: Schwab Fundamental Index Funds

And, hey, it's a big world out there, and lots of alternatives... and you will note that the Vanguard Dividend Appreciation Index ETF did almost as well as Schwab Fundamental and dropped much less in 2008-2009 than either the Schwab Fundamental or the Vanguard 500 Index fund. That is NOT to be a pi...
by nisiprius
Mon Apr 14, 2014 11:47 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Schwab Fundamental Index Funds
Replies: 11
Views: 1174

Re: VTSAX: Does it eliminate the need for dividend funds?

Please see my recent rant here. 1) If there isn't much difference in the growth chart, there isn't much difference to you as an investor. 2) In fact there is very little difference in the growth charts for dividend focussed funds and the total market. They make about the same amounts of money during...
by nisiprius
Mon Apr 14, 2014 10:51 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VTSAX: Does it eliminate the need for dividend funds?
Replies: 7
Views: 899

Re: The Case for Dividend Stocks in Retirement (article)

The obvious bedrock point is this. In real life, if the two growth charts almost coincide , then it doesn't matter which fund you are using. In real life, when you overlay the price charts of dividend focussed funds with total market funds, they are so different that it is almost a joke plotting the...
by nisiprius
Mon Apr 14, 2014 9:01 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Case for Dividend Stocks in Retirement (article)
Replies: 27
Views: 2174

Re: SCV premium is a history/math story, its not scientific

LH, I think you're right, but I also think that most of it applies to most investing strategies . Thus, I don't quite go along with Bogle's statement, but almost: There are an infinite number of strategies worse than this one: Commit, over a period of a few years, half of your assets to a stock inde...
by nisiprius
Mon Apr 14, 2014 8:37 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: SCV premium is a history/math story, its not scientific
Replies: 46
Views: 2163

Re: Why does Vanguard use average return iso compound annual

Sooooooo.... when they quote an average annual return, is a year 365 days or 360? :twisted:

Just being mischievous. I don't know and I don't care...
by nisiprius
Mon Apr 14, 2014 7:37 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why does Vanguard use average return iso compound annual?
Replies: 79
Views: 3446

Re: Why does Vanguard use average return iso compound annual

Really, at this point, aren't we all in vehement agreement? ⋅ The phrase "average annual total return" is a slight misnomer, because the world "average" all by itself is ambiguous, and because in ordinary usage in a non-financial context it usually means the arithmetic ...
by nisiprius
Mon Apr 14, 2014 7:35 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why does Vanguard use average return iso compound annual?
Replies: 79
Views: 3446

Re: Hand held illuminated magnifying glass

The doctor doesn't have suggestions? And (of course?) have you tried searching using the search term "low vision" rather than the word "magnifier?" The field of electronic magnifiers is evolving so rapidly and costs are coming down... I can't offer personal experience so really s...
by nisiprius
Mon Apr 14, 2014 7:22 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hand held illuminated magnifying glass
Replies: 13
Views: 699

Re: gold , silver, copper and uranium only

...And how is it ever protection against sovereign risk?... Fortunately, there's a law against sovereigns ever interfering with gold; it is intrinsically free from all regulation and there is no way any government can prohibit private ownership of gold or impose controls on the free transborder flo...
by nisiprius
Mon Apr 14, 2014 7:08 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: gold , silver, copper and uranium only
Replies: 46
Views: 2151

Re: Hand held illuminated magnifying glass

Several random tangential thoughts. 1) With anything optical someone looks through, there is simply no substitute for having the user try them out for himself. 2) If it takes batteries, find out what kind. If they are button cells, and if the device is going to be used often, part of the gift should...
by nisiprius
Sun Apr 13, 2014 10:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hand held illuminated magnifying glass
Replies: 13
Views: 699

Re: gold , silver, copper and uranium only

"gold , silver, copper and uranium..." That makes me want to sing "One of these things is not like the others, one of these things doesn't belong." Are these really considered to be some kind of coherent class, and, if so, what is it that uranium is supposed to have in common wit...
by nisiprius
Sun Apr 13, 2014 7:31 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: gold , silver, copper and uranium only
Replies: 46
Views: 2151

Re: How can "value beats growth" be a rule?

It's not a truism. Burton Malkiel--not that he's always right, just that these things are never as cut-and-dried as advocates say--brushes aside "The Value Will Win record" in one page in a chapter called "Potshots at the Efficient Market Theory and Why They Miss." Did you see &q...
by nisiprius
Sun Apr 13, 2014 1:02 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How can "value beats growth" be a rule?
Replies: 21
Views: 1281

Re: HSA cost benefit analysis

Have you, yet, personally encountered a situation where you actually had to pay the full deductible? Based on other postings in the forum, I get the impression that people judge, quite correctly, that an economic analysis favors the high deductible plan--they can afford the risk and it is beneficial...
by nisiprius
Sun Apr 13, 2014 11:01 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA cost benefit analysis
Replies: 22
Views: 1414

What % of stock market "drive" is gambling?

I'm wondering whether there's any way to approach the question objectively. It seems like a truism that the stock market is used and is usable for two different purposes, which Bogle calls "speculation" and "investment." They are inextricably mixed. The stock market serves the lo...
by nisiprius
Sun Apr 13, 2014 10:47 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What % of stock market "drive" is gambling?
Replies: 23
Views: 2380

Re: Cambria Global Value - Value Tilt

The composition reported in the last semiannual report doesn't look too much like the reference portfolio to me. The stock portfolio, for example, is nothing like the S&P 500 in domestic or EAFE in international. Heavy bets on individual sectors, individual countries, and I'm pretty sure China, ...
by nisiprius
Sat Apr 12, 2014 5:51 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Cambria Global Value - Value Tilt
Replies: 20
Views: 820

Re: Stock markets in free fall?

Inflation is the silent portfolio killer for bond/fixed income heavy portfolios. Oh, if only there were some kind of bond that were, I don't know, indexed to inflation, so that you your low-risk portfolio was also free from inflation risk. Of course you wouldn't win when inflation was lower than th...
by nisiprius
Sat Apr 12, 2014 5:25 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Stock markets in free fall?
Replies: 92
Views: 6440

Re: Why does Vanguard use average return iso compound annual

sscritic wrote:...Actually, I think everything you mention is taught in elementary school, except the stem and leaf...
I'll bet the Réaumur temperature scale isn't. :D (What? Argumentative? Me?)
by nisiprius
Sat Apr 12, 2014 4:07 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why does Vanguard use average return iso compound annual?
Replies: 79
Views: 3446

Re: A foolish investor?

How would you feel if the value of your portfolio dropped by 50%? What would you do if that happened? If that were the case twenty years from now, well I'd be pretty disappointed. But if you are asking if I would sell, of course not.... I would not be so cavalier with that "of course not."...
by nisiprius
Sat Apr 12, 2014 4:04 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: A foolish investor?
Replies: 13
Views: 1498

Re: I'm buying more equities now. Going for 95-98%

...bonds actually are riskier over time... ...I think that equities are safer than bonds over longer periods (about 12 years and up)... But Jeremy Siegel, author of Stocks for the Long Run , does not think so. He said ...many of you who have gone to my presentations have probably seen that slide be...
by nisiprius
Sat Apr 12, 2014 3:46 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Stock markets in free fall?
Replies: 92
Views: 6440

Re: Stock markets in free fall?

Hmmm... I wonder why you were seeing that and I'm not? OK, another try.

Image

I'm going to replace the URL in my previous posting with this one.
by nisiprius
Sat Apr 12, 2014 2:15 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Stock markets in free fall?
Replies: 92
Views: 6440

Re: Why does Vanguard use average return iso compound annual

The SEC has apparently decided to do away with logic and redefine the meaning of average and investment companies apparently have caved in ... I speak up when the SEC, against all logic, redefines average to mean anything but, and I would like to see the investment industry do the same. The SEC isn...
by nisiprius
Sat Apr 12, 2014 1:31 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why does Vanguard use average return iso compound annual?
Replies: 79
Views: 3446

Re: Is there an alternative view ? [Alternatives to index fu

Now, add to this the fact that DFA's funds are not index funds, but it is a little difficult for someone who isn't a DFA advocate to give a fair presentation of what they are. I call them passive quant funds. Is "patient trading" correctly described as "passive?" How about the m...
by nisiprius
Sat Apr 12, 2014 1:15 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is there an alternative view ? [Alternatives to index funds]
Replies: 14
Views: 1266

Re: Stock markets in free fall?

Has anyone noticed that the S&P 500 has plummeted to levels not seen since February 10, 2014? L. :wink: Is this for real? Or sarcastic?... I seem to have been one of the few people to have noticed the emoticon, so let me add a few more of them. Leeraar posted one of these. :wink: :wink: :wink: ...
by nisiprius
Sat Apr 12, 2014 1:12 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Stock markets in free fall?
Replies: 92
Views: 6440

Re: Value vs Growth in one sentence

But maybe it isn't an inefficiency. Maybe it is a proper expression of a utility function. If growth stocks are skewed in the upward direction--high chance of slightly mediocre performance, tiny chance of hitting the jackpot (ten-bagger, as Peter Lynch called them) then value stocks must be skewed i...
by nisiprius
Sat Apr 12, 2014 1:02 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Value vs Growth in one sentence
Replies: 3
Views: 432

Re: Can I get some alpha? (DFA / Wealthfront)

bigjohn, personally I pretty much agree with you--you can chalk me up as a DFA skeptic. But the differences between DFA and Vanguard are more in the nature of sibling rivalry, or two wings of the same party, or two regional conferences of the same religious denomination. I once made what I thought w...
by nisiprius
Sat Apr 12, 2014 11:35 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Can I get some alpha? (DFA / Wealthfront)
Replies: 58
Views: 2815

Re: Playing Defense [against possible market correction]

Thanks to all of you for your kind replies and actionable ideas. Greatly appreciated. Well some of the replies were not perhaps quite optimally kind, but if you've read anything by Bogle you should have expected that in this forum... You could take the time, if you haven't already, to look at Bogle...
by nisiprius
Sat Apr 12, 2014 10:43 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Playing Defense [against possible market correction]
Replies: 36
Views: 2841

Re: Bannability Index

I was seriously tempted to join in the fun--running through possible puns--but I think I'm going to say, instead, that we need to appreciate how much work the moderators do in the way of editing and deleting posts so that they do not have to suspend or ban the posters.
by nisiprius
Sat Apr 12, 2014 9:58 am
 
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Bannability Index
Replies: 10
Views: 708
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