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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: 25
Views: 1148

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: 25
Views: 1148

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: 8
Views: 598

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: 10
Views: 511

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: 20
Views: 1509

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: 1544

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: 1544

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: 685

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: 19
Views: 1915

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: 47
Views: 1998

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: 60
Views: 3082

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: 60
Views: 3082

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: 1907

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: 1544

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: 41
Views: 2757

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: 543

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: 884

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: 1674

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: 41
Views: 2757

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: 3711

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: 3711

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: 20
Views: 1509

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: 3711

Re: Is a big war coming ???

As long as we're just having a bull session: what commodities are likely to experience the big run-ups? That would not only require a lot of expertise I don't have, regarding basic materials and industrial production, it would also help to know where the war will be, and between whom and whom. Didn'...
by nisiprius
Tue Aug 19, 2014 8:13 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is a big war coming ???
Replies: 37
Views: 3711

Re: Is a big war coming ???

The list of commodities making bottoms is growing. It was gold, copper, silver and now cotton, grains and sugar. Commodities go up in war times. The S&P has risen strongly for 3 years and the commodities have fallen the same amount of time and are making bottoms. The value is in the commodities...
by nisiprius
Tue Aug 19, 2014 8:00 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is a big war coming ???
Replies: 37
Views: 3711

Re: Vanguard as Very Long Term Stock Broker?

I think you can use Vanguard Brokerage Services to do the kind of investing you are talking about, you won't notice any particular love or hate. If you mean, "if I all I do at Vanguard is hold stocks in a VBS account, will they call me or send me mail pestering me to buy Vanguard mutual funds&q...
by nisiprius
Tue Aug 19, 2014 7:43 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard as Very Long Term Stock Broker?
Replies: 18
Views: 1444

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Piers Dudgeon, Neverland: J. M. Barrie, the Du Mauriers and the Dark Side of “Peter Pan.” Skimming and skipping, and trying to maintain some critical/skeptical distance, as the book is controversial and Dudgeon goes way too far in the direction of speculation although he seems to label it clearly, a...
by nisiprius
Tue Aug 19, 2014 7:24 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V
Replies: 3196
Views: 1081914

Re: Credit Union(s) Lowering rate on existing certificate (C

I would say that fine print reservations like this are one of the great life mysteries I have never solved. How much weight, exactly, should one place on them? Over the years I've had many conversations that went just like this: “Yes, technically we could change the rate on your existing certificate...
by nisiprius
Tue Aug 19, 2014 7:12 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Credit Union(s) Lowering rate on existing certificate (CD)
Replies: 10
Views: 1151

Re: Is PIMCO Bond fund 50% cash?

Due to its size, Pimco uses derivatives overlay strategies to position its portfolio and gain targeted market exposure. It's essentially using cash equivalents + derivatives, and this isn't necessarily swinging for the fences. The Oppenheimer chart is pretty typical for that firm. And if I am inves...
by nisiprius
Mon Aug 18, 2014 10:51 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is PIMCO Bond fund 50% cash?
Replies: 23
Views: 2178

Re: Why no transaction alerts from Vanguard/others?

Me four, by emails. I wouldn't want and therefore haven't explored whether or not they offer text messages.
by nisiprius
Mon Aug 18, 2014 10:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why no transaction alerts from Vanguard/others?
Replies: 16
Views: 1210

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

A Narrative of the Life of Mrs. Mary Jemison , by James E Seaver. Twelve year old Mary Jemison's family was killed and she was made a captive in western Pennsylvania in 1755, during the French and Indian War (aka the Seven Years War). At Fort Pitt she was sold to two Seneca sisters, lived in Ohio a...
by nisiprius
Mon Aug 18, 2014 5:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V
Replies: 3196
Views: 1081914

Re: Would you buy these funds that were recommended?

You didn't say if he discussed stock allocation with you, and if he didn't, that's a more serious issue than high fees. Don't feel bad about it. You never feel good about a situation like this but you are probably out of it. The main thing is that you now need to steel yourself psychologically for t...
by nisiprius
Mon Aug 18, 2014 5:28 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Would you buy these funds that were recommended?
Replies: 30
Views: 1361

Re: Would you buy these funds that were recommended?

According to Morningstar, VIrtus Premium Alphasector (VAPAX) is 99.5% invested in stocks. Neuberger Berman Abs Ret Multi-Mgr A NABAX is 87% invested in stocks. Columbia Contrarian Core A LCCAX is 98% invested in stocks. Did you understand this, clearly? Did you say "I want this money invested i...
by nisiprius
Mon Aug 18, 2014 4:44 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Would you buy these funds that were recommended?
Replies: 30
Views: 1361

Re: Dow Jones Index Fund?

Thanks for the replies, I guess there is no Index fund from Vangaurd. I know it is 30 companies, and not 3,500 like the total market. But, it appears to gain more than the S&P 500 , or am i wrong? I think you are off on the wrong track, but if you want to do this, you might want to look at the ...
by nisiprius
Mon Aug 18, 2014 1:57 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Dow Jones Index Fund?
Replies: 41
Views: 1907

Re: Bad(?) advice given about Target Date Retirement funds

Let's put it this way. It is more important to have the right asset allocation than to be on a precisely correct glide path. I think the general concept of lowering portfolio risk with age is obviously valid--even though it is constantly being challenged. But it is all rough and ready, it's not phys...
by nisiprius
Mon Aug 18, 2014 1:41 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bad(?) advice given about Target Date Retirement funds
Replies: 72
Views: 4254

Re: 'Risk Creep' - new term

One problem with "risk creep" is euphony... it's a little hard to say aloud. Try to say it ten times fast. It's almost as hard as "Wealthfront." (Let's see, "risk creep" has four consonants in a row, "Wealthfront" has five...) It probably says something about ...
by nisiprius
Mon Aug 18, 2014 10:36 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 'Risk Creep' - new term
Replies: 26
Views: 2128

Re: Is PIMCO Bond fund 50% cash?

...Well, in that case, this messes up my AA. I'm too young to hold this much cash... As noted, you probably aren't. But my sour opinion is that, at any age, one should not be holding an investment that is so complicated that reputable financial information sources disagree as to whether the cash ho...
by nisiprius
Mon Aug 18, 2014 10:23 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is PIMCO Bond fund 50% cash?
Replies: 23
Views: 2178

Re: POLL: Breaking up with advisor

My employer's Fidelity-managed 401(k) offered a free annual "retirement checkup," and I went to one as I approached retirement. In many ways I was very favorably impressed. The advisor had "CFP" on his card. He did not do any hard sell. (Well, when he learned that I liked Vanguar...
by nisiprius
Mon Aug 18, 2014 9:58 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: POLL: Breaking up with advisor
Replies: 39
Views: 2068

Re: Inflation-indexed SPIAs: A Good Deal?

My working assumption is that since inflation is an additional unpredictable risk, it is going to be harder to decide whether or not something is "a good deal" than it is for a situation where the only variable is the mortality curve. My working assumption is that the insurance companies a...
by nisiprius
Mon Aug 18, 2014 9:22 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Inflation-indexed SPIAs: A Good Deal?
Replies: 12
Views: 1280

Re: Inflation-indexed SPIAs: A Good Deal?

These products have caps and thus don't necessarily keep up with inflation. No, they don't. Or not necessarily. Please try not to say important things like that, casually, without checking your facts. It took me all of ten minutes to get this information from Vanguard's insurance partner: http://s3...
by nisiprius
Mon Aug 18, 2014 9:13 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Inflation-indexed SPIAs: A Good Deal?
Replies: 12
Views: 1280

Re: Retirement Party Discussions

...The doctoral candidate also mentioned that a certain company did not want to hire CFPs because the ethical requirements of that professional designation precluded their selling of certain insurance products... Stunning if true and speaks well for the CFP Board of Standards. I guess the CFP crede...
by nisiprius
Mon Aug 18, 2014 8:49 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retirement Party [Investment] Discussions
Replies: 50
Views: 3794

Re: What was Underestimated\Overestimated in Retirement

I'd say the biggest surprise was the total cost of healthcare, since both my wife and I have been in excellent health. There's the cost of the Part B that gets subtracted from your SS check, then there's the supplemental plan costs (constantly increasing at an alarming rate), the cost of the Plan D...
by nisiprius
Sun Aug 17, 2014 8:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What was Underestimated\Overestimated in Retirement
Replies: 48
Views: 4511

Re: Is PIMCO Bond fund 50% cash?

http://portfolios.morningstar.com/fund/summary?t=PTTRX&region=usa&culture=en-US http://s24.postimg.org/d9c01tjw5/Screen_Shot_2014_08_17_at_8_11_55_PM.png I seriously doubt that PTTRX is 50% cash in any meaningful sense of the word. I don't want to dig into it but Morningstar's portfolio comp...
by nisiprius
Sun Aug 17, 2014 8:09 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is PIMCO Bond fund 50% cash?
Replies: 23
Views: 2178

Re: WSJ: Is Your Portfolio Too Diversified?

...how the heck are hedge funds an asset class?... They are being touted as such, and there are, I think--gawd, yes, there are--ETFs that invest in hedge funds. Pretty sneaky way to make it possible for "unqualified" investors to invest in investments open only to "qualified" in...
by nisiprius
Sun Aug 17, 2014 11:33 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: WSJ: Is Your Portfolio Too Diversified?
Replies: 18
Views: 2784

Re: WSJ: Is Your Portfolio Too Diversified?

I think it's a good article, even though the phrase "too diversified" is problematical. The big problem is that the word "diversification" doesn't have a clear meaning and is manipulated for marketing reasons. The factual controversy is that traditionally, investing meant securit...
by nisiprius
Sun Aug 17, 2014 10:58 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: WSJ: Is Your Portfolio Too Diversified?
Replies: 18
Views: 2784

Re: What was Underestimated\Overestimated in Retirement

I am not sure that either of these amounts to much and I haven't done any math... 1) The total impact of senior discounts is tiny, but it is as big as some of the falsely precise numbers people use when calculating things. Of course many "senior discounts" are offered by places that offer ...
by nisiprius
Sun Aug 17, 2014 10:10 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What was Underestimated\Overestimated in Retirement
Replies: 48
Views: 4511

Re: 'Risk Creep' - new term

... if we assume the FDIC to have the same credit rating as the US Treasury. I think it's extreme that the FDIC would fail to honour its obligations. Extreme but, I guess, must be assigned a probability, however small. Interesting, I've never really thought about the fact that FDIC isn't necessaril...
by nisiprius
Sun Aug 17, 2014 9:49 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 'Risk Creep' - new term
Replies: 26
Views: 2128

Re: Poll for 65+ Seniors

I responded 22 months ago and have since reduced my AA from over 50% equities to 45%. Last 22 months have been a Bill Bernstein "game winner", and my need to take risk has decreased. I too have timed the market, I mean trimmed back, I mean taken some off the table, I mean quit while I was...
by nisiprius
Sun Aug 17, 2014 9:26 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Poll for 65+ Seniors
Replies: 51
Views: 5697

Re: Vanguard Bond funds Style change

Taylor, Doc was very careful about how he phrased it: several Vanguard bond funds have moved into the next higher duration Morningstar style box ... AFAIK the category of a fund will not change until some time (3 years?) has passed since the style box has changed... It is what it is. For whatever re...
by nisiprius
Sat Aug 16, 2014 9:51 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Bond funds Style change
Replies: 19
Views: 1765

Re: Vanguard Bond funds Style change

Thanks, Doc. I probably would not have noticed that and it is worth noticing. http://s30.postimg.org/v23kx57ld/Screen_Shot_2014_08_16_at_8_18_02_PM.png 5.62 years doesn't seem terribly long but it's noticeably longer than the 4 years I'd anchored on. It certainly complicates the story to say that &q...
by nisiprius
Sat Aug 16, 2014 8:17 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Bond funds Style change
Replies: 19
Views: 1765
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