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Re: Why I won't have bond funds

...What's disturbing about this is that for years, we've been critical of experts telling everyone "this time it's different" - as in the tech boom in the late 1990s, for example. Now, we have experts telling us "this time it's different", but now we're supposed to pay attention...
by nisiprius
Wed Oct 22, 2014 10:06 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why I won't have bond funds
Replies: 39
Views: 4662

Re: More in equities as you age ?

It's just a draft paper but I think it is worthy of note: Bogleheads thread started by Beliavsky: How wealth shocks affect the health of the elderly Paper: Wealth Shocks and Health Outcomes: Evidence from Stock Market Fluctuations , by Hannes Schwandt. I find that wealth shocks strongly affect physi...
by nisiprius
Wed Oct 22, 2014 8:43 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: More in equities as you age ?
Replies: 9
Views: 585

Re: Just wondering how you personally calculate net worth

In my head. No need for great accuracy.
by nisiprius
Wed Oct 22, 2014 7:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Just wondering how you personally calculate net worth
Replies: 30
Views: 1499

Re: question about "avoid buying the dividend"

It's not a great big deal. It's basically stale advice. The tax considerations are what they are, but the real meaning of the advice is "don't get taken by a dishonest sales technique" which... surely ???? ... is not used any more. It comes from the days when unscrupulous stockbrokers woul...
by nisiprius
Wed Oct 22, 2014 12:48 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: question about "avoid buying the dividend"
Replies: 11
Views: 798

Re: "You're invited to...." (nonsense talk and dinner)

I brought up this point yesterday: 5. Other seminar attendees are probably not sharp; otherwise they would not be there. You are not likely to enjoy your table mates, and still you are likely to be influenced by their views (in addition to the views expressed by the organizers). There may even be s...
by nisiprius
Wed Oct 22, 2014 12:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "You're invited to...." (nonsense talk and dinner)
Replies: 68
Views: 3784

Re: "You're invited to...." (nonsense talk and dinner)

It's more than disconcerting to think that one of the "guests" at the table might be a stealth salesperson. Given folks' propensity to be polite, I can imagine how table conversation might be steered. I'm never cynical enough. Never thought of that. Now that you bring it up, I'll bet ther...
by nisiprius
Wed Oct 22, 2014 9:53 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "You're invited to...." (nonsense talk and dinner)
Replies: 68
Views: 3784

Re: Why I won't have bond funds

...In an article on May 24, 2014 Malkiel wrote: " I think US Treasury Bonds are a little frightening today when you look at near record-low interest rates, our dysfunctional federal government and how hard it is for us to rein in our structural budget deficit"... So let me be sure I have ...
by nisiprius
Wed Oct 22, 2014 9:34 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why I won't have bond funds
Replies: 39
Views: 4662

Re: IBM: Stock Buybacks Gone Wrong?

Cringely has some interesting things to say about Buffett, too. For those who like to read things and pick stocks, I am absolutely NOT saying Cringely has the crystal ball, but I am saying that most of the financial writers are an echo chamber and it is quite interesting to read comments from an int...
by nisiprius
Wed Oct 22, 2014 7:54 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: IBM: Stock Buybacks Gone Wrong?
Replies: 50
Views: 2593

Re: IBM: Stock Buybacks Gone Wrong?

Companies can also go out of business if "Customers no longer trust [them] to manage projects well, get the projects finished, or have the projects work as promised." That part of it matters, too. Yes, really, it does. Absolutely, but I'm not sure stock buybacks are directly responsible f...
by nisiprius
Tue Oct 21, 2014 10:38 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: IBM: Stock Buybacks Gone Wrong?
Replies: 50
Views: 2593

Re: Forbes Article On Active vs Passive Investing

"If you look up and see a bowling ball falling out of the window you’re standing under, will you brace yourself and hope for the best? No. You’ll step out of the way." That's because a bowling ball follows the rules of physics, has inertia, and has a predictable trajectory. People like Nov...
by nisiprius
Tue Oct 21, 2014 10:28 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Forbes Article On Active vs Passive Investing
Replies: 27
Views: 2638

Re: IBM: Stock Buybacks Gone Wrong?

Companies can also go out of business if "Customers no longer trust [them] to manage projects well, get the projects finished, or have the projects work as promised." That part of it matters, too. Yes, really, it does.
by nisiprius
Tue Oct 21, 2014 10:13 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: IBM: Stock Buybacks Gone Wrong?
Replies: 50
Views: 2593

Re: IBM: Stock Buybacks Gone Wrong?

Anyone interested in IBM should read Robert X. Cringely's searing, scathing, lacerating, brutal, blistering, excoriating critique, The Decline and Fall of IBM . See the introduction here to get the idea. According to Cringely, Wall Street is just beginning to realize that IBM is in trouble, and acco...
by nisiprius
Tue Oct 21, 2014 10:01 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: IBM: Stock Buybacks Gone Wrong?
Replies: 50
Views: 2593

Re: "You're invited to...." (nonsense talk and dinner)

...A friend of mine bragged about going to time-share presentations just to get the free dinner. She said cheerfully, "Oh, I don't have any problems at all. When they come over to give me the sales talk, I just tell them 'I'm just here for the free dinner.'" And she is trying unsuccessful...
by nisiprius
Tue Oct 21, 2014 8:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "You're invited to...." (nonsense talk and dinner)
Replies: 68
Views: 3784

Re: Why I won't have bond funds

Sigh. Today we have an environment where rates have very little room to fall and at some point will go up (we just don’t know when). Once rates finally rise, bond prices will fall, which means investors will lose money. The 10-year Treasury rate is 2.21%. It's down from 3%. It had plenty of "ro...
by nisiprius
Tue Oct 21, 2014 8:29 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why I won't have bond funds
Replies: 39
Views: 4662

Re: Why I won't have bond funds

Sigh. Yet another example of confusing risk and return. Low return is not the same thing as risk. Low return sucks, but it doesn't make bonds "unsafe." It just makes them low in return. And of course, to the question "I wonder: is there some kind of bond that’s immune to interest rate...
by nisiprius
Tue Oct 21, 2014 8:15 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why I won't have bond funds
Replies: 39
Views: 4662

Re: Why include International Index in AA?

It's controversial. Although the conventional wisdom strongly favors allocating 20% to 50% of one's stock holdings to international stocks, the case that it will actually help much is surprisingly weak, given the frequency and intensity with which it is recommended. I do hold international, not beca...
by nisiprius
Tue Oct 21, 2014 7:38 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why include International Index in AA?
Replies: 31
Views: 1718

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

...Curiosity got the better of me - plus I found a free Kindle download :) I said "Project Gutenberg" but actually am reading the "free Kindle download." Virtually all the Kindle books that are converted "by a community of volunteers" are PG texts, and most though not ...
by nisiprius
Tue Oct 21, 2014 6:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 125
Views: 8410

Re: Health care tilt

An acquaintance of mine had "robotic" prostate surgery. The robot was actually a computer-controlled micromanipulator. Actually, it's a great argument for a healthcare tilt. The machine did not make itself. A company did, and its share price is probably through the roof. "Healthcare&...
by nisiprius
Tue Oct 21, 2014 6:19 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Health care tilt
Replies: 77
Views: 3637

Re: Health care tilt

"Robotic" prostate surgery has become very common. "Last year, 73,000 American men — 86 percent of the 85,000 who had prostate cancer surgery — had robot-assisted operations." And that was written in 2009! The "robot" is actually a computer-controlled micromanipulator. ...
by nisiprius
Tue Oct 21, 2014 5:55 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Health care tilt
Replies: 77
Views: 3637

Re: "You're invited to...." (nonsense talk and dinner)

I received an "invitation" from Dale A. Frank of Dale A. Frank Financial Group and Insurance Agency. "You're invited to a critically timed event for those preparing for retirement". A talk followed by dinner at a stodgy restaurant. "This is an educational program only, Ther...
by nisiprius
Tue Oct 21, 2014 5:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "You're invited to...." (nonsense talk and dinner)
Replies: 68
Views: 3784

Re: Vanguard website down

??? Vanguard.com is working for me. I find isup.me helpful, and it is reporting that "http://vanguard.com is up," in whatever way they determine this.
by nisiprius
Tue Oct 21, 2014 4:52 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard website down
Replies: 7
Views: 840

Re: Stocks as long term investments

Michael, I sense a certain ambivalence... you are posting in this thread about investing in individual stocks. Whether or not one or two well-chosen individual stocks offer more risk-adjusted reward than the market as a whole, it still a riskier choice. More risk, perhaps more reward, perhaps reward...
by nisiprius
Tue Oct 21, 2014 4:49 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Stocks as long term investments
Replies: 48
Views: 3116

Re: How do so many HCEs contribute the max to 401k

So at the end of the day there isn't much risk here. Worst case scenario is I get a check back and pay taxes that I would have paid anyway. Best case, my company passes the test and I keep the money in. Right? Right. This assumes that your company accountants are competent and will issue you a chec...
by nisiprius
Tue Oct 21, 2014 1:53 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do so many HCEs contribute the max to 401k
Replies: 29
Views: 2404

Re: Leon Cooperman giving the same advice as Warren

Jeff Albertson wrote: The real puzzle, why would anyone watch CNBC? It's okay to watch it, but it's very important to keep the mute button pressed. Garland Whizzer Unless John C. Bogle is on and talking about the importance of staying the course, while second-by-second updates of the S&P scroll...
by nisiprius
Tue Oct 21, 2014 1:46 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Leon Cooperman giving the same advice as Warren
Replies: 47
Views: 3153

Re: Leon Cooperman giving the same advice as Warren

I don't know whether or not Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund is "better" or "worse" than the Vanguard 500 Index Fund. What I can personally say about them is this. My original reason for owning Vanguard 500 Index Fund was that I wanted to own "the stock market," a...
by nisiprius
Tue Oct 21, 2014 1:39 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Leon Cooperman giving the same advice as Warren
Replies: 47
Views: 3153

Re: GT Advanced Technology Files for Chapter 11

Anyone who was closely following the company would have noticed that insiders had been dumping the stock hand over fist since July. It's usually not a good sign when top executives and directors are exercising their options and immediately liquidating 100%. A look at insider selling is breathtaking...
by nisiprius
Tue Oct 21, 2014 12:45 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: GT Advanced Technology Files for Chapter 11
Replies: 8
Views: 1173

Re: Multiple Fake "Thank you for your order"?

P.S. Social engineering works. Sure, I have learned to ignore "SEEKING YOUR IMMEDIATE ASSISTANCE" and other familiar phishing. In fact, it occurs to me that another good reason to avoid big banks is that it is easier to ignore emails about my Bank of America account if I don't have a Bank ...
by nisiprius
Tue Oct 21, 2014 10:40 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Multiple Fake "Thank you for your order"?
Replies: 35
Views: 2249

Re: Multiple Fake "Thank you for your order"?

Now I suddenly receive similar spam in several fairly independent email accounts at the same time. What's your theory on how this could happen? I'm not Greg, but I hope you don't mind if I respond. I like that you qualify "independent" with "fairly", but it still seems that you'...
by nisiprius
Tue Oct 21, 2014 10:32 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Multiple Fake "Thank you for your order"?
Replies: 35
Views: 2249

Re: Risk in a high dividend stock portfolio

Dividend stock enthusiasts quibble about this--crushing arguments never actually crush anyone--but I still think the crushing argument is a comparison of the total return growth charts of dividend-oriented stock funds versus others. For example, the Vanguard Equity Income fund, VEIPX, blue (actively...
by nisiprius
Tue Oct 21, 2014 9:51 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Risk in a high dividend stock portfolio
Replies: 16
Views: 1466

Re: Risk in a high dividend stock portfolio

P.S. I am wondering... are there any examples of companies that have chosen to issue two classes of stock, one which pays dividends and one which doesn't? It would be a great real-world test of whether the market believes the Modigliani–Miller theorem.
by nisiprius
Tue Oct 21, 2014 9:17 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Risk in a high dividend stock portfolio
Replies: 16
Views: 1466

Re: Risk in a high dividend stock portfolio

Hi all, I'm a few years (2 to 5) until retirement, I'm wondering about high dividend stocks. Looking at the site, http://www.dividend.com/dividend-stocks/high-dividend-yield-stocks.php and eliminating say the first 12, just because the dividend is so high you will see 80 stocks paying between 15.69...
by nisiprius
Tue Oct 21, 2014 9:13 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Risk in a high dividend stock portfolio
Replies: 16
Views: 1466

Re: Why is VIPSX (TIPS) active?

Is it difficult, e.g. for regulatory reasons, to change a technically-active fund into an index fund, I wonder? There doesn't actually seem to be any point in its not being an index fund. The orange line here is the TIP ETF, which is an index ETF tracking the Barclays U.S. Treasury Inflation Protect...
by nisiprius
Mon Oct 20, 2014 10:12 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why is VIPSX (TIPS) active?
Replies: 17
Views: 1216

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Just finished The Sirens of Titan , by Kurt Vonnegut. Loved it. Finished the preface to The American Credo , by H. L. Mencken and George Jean Nathan, online at http://www.gutenberg.org/files/23858/23858-h/23858-h.htm , and have read about 200 of the articles of the "Credo" itself. I am com...
by nisiprius
Mon Oct 20, 2014 9:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 125
Views: 8410

Re: Why do people use age instead of life expectancy?

One interesting aspect of life expectancy is that it appears to be becoming a bit more predictable over time — in other words, the statistical distribution of "age at death" is getting narrower and narrower (chart below). For one, more folks are surviving childhood and living to an older ...
by nisiprius
Mon Oct 20, 2014 9:12 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why do people use age instead of life expectancy?
Replies: 43
Views: 2901

Re: Multiple Fake "Thank you for your order"?

greg, what's disturbing is the email accounts in which I received these. THESE email accounts have NOT previously received spam. They are ones that I do not give to merchants or supply to websites. Each of them is used to communicate with a different set of people, and generally these people do not ...
by nisiprius
Mon Oct 20, 2014 9:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Multiple Fake "Thank you for your order"?
Replies: 35
Views: 2249

Re: TBM too much treasury?

[...their willingness to exclude greater than 50% of the world's bond market by rejecting international bonds (hedged or not) even as they've come to embrace international stocks. In this 21st century, is an investor limiting her bond holdings to domestics, as a matter of choice, widely diversified...
by nisiprius
Mon Oct 20, 2014 8:53 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TBM too much treasury?
Replies: 67
Views: 4165

Re: Multiple Fake "Thank you for your order"?

I've seen exactly the same thing. I think it's new and troubling. I have a number of different email addresses. One is a "garbage" email address that I use for every stupid thing that doesn't deserve my email address but insists on it; it's supposed to be the one I can throw away if it att...
by nisiprius
Mon Oct 20, 2014 7:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Multiple Fake "Thank you for your order"?
Replies: 35
Views: 2249

Re: Fundamental Index Funds?

What about bubbles? I heard that cap weighted indexing cannot shield one from bubbles while fundamental can. Is there any merit to this statement? If so, doesn't it argue against cap weighting? No. Stocks are stocks, and whenever I hear that some flavor of stocks provides "protection" or ...
by nisiprius
Mon Oct 20, 2014 5:06 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fundamental Index Funds?
Replies: 14
Views: 1293

Re: Leon Cooperman giving the same advice as Warren

...Does it make you wonder why two of these giants would be wrong... No. Particularly if you state their advice as "stay out of bonds." You don't, you go beyond that, but the point is that the details matter. Where their opinions are of value is when you look closely a) what the advice ac...
by nisiprius
Mon Oct 20, 2014 4:26 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Leon Cooperman giving the same advice as Warren
Replies: 47
Views: 3153

Re: 2 Fund Portfolio...which Bond fund?

I would say that any intermediate-term , investment-grade bond fund can do the job, and beyond intermediate-term , investment-grade you should look into it a bit, make a reasonable choice, and then stick with it. I think Total Bond is a good choice. If it makes sense to you, I don't think you should...
by nisiprius
Mon Oct 20, 2014 1:03 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 2 Fund Portfolio...which Bond fund?
Replies: 4
Views: 441

Re: New Paper ". . . and the Cross-Section of Expected Retur

Why "t-stats" at all? "Student's" t-test was invented in 1908 for making statistical measurements of beer quality--that is to say industrial process control. It makes a huge boatload of strong assumptions which actually apply quite well in a wide range of real-world situations. ...
by nisiprius
Mon Oct 20, 2014 11:13 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New Paper ". . . and the Cross-Section of Expected Returns"
Replies: 8
Views: 624

Re: VWRL a great buy right now?

For those who like me thought VWRL sounds like a radio station... VWRL = Vanguard FTSE All-World ETF and Morningstar seems to be puzzled by it. Probably it's not available in the US. Google finds me a site that says "Vanguard FTSE All-World ETF ... seeks to track the performance of the FTSE All...
by nisiprius
Mon Oct 20, 2014 10:09 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: VWRL a great buy right now? [Vanguard FTSE All-World ETF]
Replies: 6
Views: 683

Re: 50/50

P.S. Be sure to read The FInance Buff's article on rebalancing bands and try doing a little math yourself. The cult of rebalancing mostly applies to people with slice-and-dice portfolios of fairly volatile assets... you might be surprised just how long it takes for a 50/50 allocation of two separate...
by nisiprius
Mon Oct 20, 2014 9:12 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 50/50
Replies: 7
Views: 1153

Re: 50/50

Fidelity Asset Manager 50%, FASMX, sort of. Strategy: "Maintaining a neutral mix over time of 50% of assets in stocks, 40% of assets in bonds, and 10% of assets in short-term and money market instruments though FMR may overweight or underweight in each asset class ." This is thus theoretic...
by nisiprius
Mon Oct 20, 2014 8:57 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 50/50
Replies: 7
Views: 1153

Re: How do so many HCEs contribute the max to 401k

You need to delicately ask your HR department about this. The IRS has rules that are intended to keep companies honest and to insure that the 401(k) is really and truly a companywide plan, and isn't just used by "highly compensated employees." There are rules regarding the amount of partic...
by nisiprius
Mon Oct 20, 2014 8:41 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do so many HCEs contribute the max to 401k
Replies: 29
Views: 2404

Re: WSJ's Jon Clements: "How to Make Your Savings Outlive Yo

P.S. We spend our working lives intuitively adjusting our spending to our somewhat variable and unpredictable income. Nobody ever suggests running a Monte Carlo analysis of one's future earnings. Nobody ever suggests that your spending at age 25 should be governed by statistical projections of your ...
by nisiprius
Sun Oct 19, 2014 5:20 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: WSJ's Jon Clements: "How to Make Your Savings Outlive You"
Replies: 14
Views: 2737

Re: WSJ's Jon Clements: "How to Make Your Savings Outlive Yo

Too lazy to look at the paper now, but a long time ago I had what I thought was the bright idea of, conceptually, constantly evaluating your remaining life expectancy and gauging your spending by dividing your portfolio by the number of years of remaining life expectancy. With of course adjustment b...
by nisiprius
Sun Oct 19, 2014 5:16 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: WSJ's Jon Clements: "How to Make Your Savings Outlive You"
Replies: 14
Views: 2737

Re: TBM too much treasury?

I still want to know: if not the Barclay's Float-Adjusted Aggregate Index, then what index? If you do not personally wish to invest in "the dollar denominated investment grade bond market, but excluding Treasuries, agencies and MBS held in Federal Reserve accounts" that is your prerogative...
by nisiprius
Sun Oct 19, 2014 1:33 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TBM too much treasury?
Replies: 67
Views: 4165

Re: TBM too much treasury?

The reasons TBM is considered skewed is missing from the thread. My understanding is that all the bonds the Federal Reserve has purchased and held are included in the construction of the total bond index. But if one considers those bonds as just being the government financing itself (printing money...
by nisiprius
Sun Oct 19, 2014 1:16 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TBM too much treasury?
Replies: 67
Views: 4165

Re: POLL: How fulfilling is your retirement?

I've been semiretired for several years but only fully retired for less than a year. None of the answers really fits. I think I would replace "About what I expected" with "About what I hoped ." Greatest adventure of my life? honestly, no, or not yet anyway.* More fulfilling? I ho...
by nisiprius
Sun Oct 19, 2014 11:34 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POLL: How fulfilling is your retirement?
Replies: 34
Views: 2974
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