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Re: TIAA-CREF is buying Nuveen?

Make no mistake, TIAA-CREF is in it for the money. They are looking to boost their bottom line, they are most definitely not non-profit. ..and I'm one of the people who receives the profit as are all of the fund holders; underneath, TIAA is mutual insurance company, a lot like Vanguard. Mutual comp...
by ourbrooks
Mon Apr 14, 2014 7:59 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TIAA-CREF is buying Nuveen?
Replies: 44
Views: 2469

Re: I can't figure out my current asset allocation?

TIAA Traditional Annuity is also in an asset class by itself. One way to decide what is an asset class is to look at correlation with other assets; if an asset moves up and down like stocks, it probably should be classified as a stock for asset allocation purposes, even if the underlying financial s...
by ourbrooks
Sun Apr 13, 2014 9:14 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I can't figure out my current asset allocation?
Replies: 12
Views: 646

Re: Question about TIPS yield

The difference is likely due to a combination of the difference in coupon and the difference in accrued principal; the higher paying one has a coupon of 2% and an inflation adjusted principal of $1265; the lower one has a coupon of only 1.25% and an accrued principal of 1104. Applying a 2% rate to $...
by ourbrooks
Thu Apr 10, 2014 6:52 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Question about TIPS yield
Replies: 2
Views: 402

Re: Do you think the biotech sector will be hurt long term?

It's hard to avoid speculating about how Gilead came up with their pricing. The market for $1,000 a day drugs can't be all that large for an illness often associated with intravenous drug use. My speculation is that it's because a number of Gilead's competitors are at work on Hepatitis C drugs of th...
by ourbrooks
Wed Apr 09, 2014 3:53 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do you think the biotech sector will be hurt long term?
Replies: 55
Views: 2523

Re: A Rynamic Approach to a Retirement Spending

Logical the strategy might be, but how practical is it, or any other variable withdrawal strategy? Any kind of variable withdrawal strategy needs to be paired with a variable spending strategy. The %%/2.5% strategy means that you need to be able to adjust your spending by a factor of two. Alas, for ...
by ourbrooks
Sat Apr 05, 2014 4:38 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A Rynamic Approach to a Retirement Spending
Replies: 6
Views: 654

Re: How much to build a small house from scratch?

Figure $100 - $200 a square foot, construction materials and labor only, foundation to roof. To get a more precise figure, you'd have to have a very detailed set of plans, e.g., do you want smooth walls or a textured finish? (The textured finish is 25% less expensive.) Do you want batt insulation, b...
by ourbrooks
Sun Mar 30, 2014 9:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much to build a small house from scratch?
Replies: 28
Views: 1584

Re: ANY secure Internet access while traveling?

A VPN is only useful if you need to access data that's inside a private network. An example of a private network would be a business which had its own server and had computers connected to the server locally. Typically, computers on that network can directly access each other's files, etc. If all of...
by ourbrooks
Wed Mar 19, 2014 8:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: ANY secure Internet access while traveling?
Replies: 54
Views: 3360

Re: Lump sum option

Where did you get the 8% return number from? That's roughly the historical, real returns from a 100% stock portfolio. What do you think the odds are of getting that rate of return over the next seven years, especially if you include a large portion of bonds at today's interest rate. I'd try a lower ...
by ourbrooks
Sat Mar 15, 2014 5:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lump sum option
Replies: 8
Views: 775

Re: How to regard Pension in AA

Actually, it doesn't matter at all whether you consider the lump sum pension payout as part of your bond allocation or not. If your only investing goal is maximum long term return, then you should be 100% in stocks. Over the long term, holding any substantial amount of bonds will lower your returns....
by ourbrooks
Sat Mar 15, 2014 5:09 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to regard Pension in AA
Replies: 7
Views: 682

Re: SWR w/current projected stock/bond returns

So if the expected real return on stocks is gong to be in the neighborhood of 4% and the real return on bonds is going to be essentially 0-1% what would would be a stab at a safe withdrawal rate of a 60/40 stock/bond portfolio? Starting to wonder if all the discussions on SWR have been predicated o...
by ourbrooks
Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:20 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: SWR w/current projected stock/bond returns
Replies: 19
Views: 1068

Re: How much house to buy?

Way, way back when, when real estate was cheap, the guideline was twice your annual salary. By today's standards, that's impossibly conservative. For mortgage eligibility purposes, people often use the guideline that your housing expense should be no more than 28% of your gross salary; practically s...
by ourbrooks
Sun Mar 09, 2014 7:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much house to buy?
Replies: 21
Views: 2136

Re: SWR w/current projected stock/bond returns

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2286146

The article has both a graph and tables which give the numbers. If they're right, SPIAs look really, really good.
by ourbrooks
Sun Mar 09, 2014 5:41 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: SWR w/current projected stock/bond returns
Replies: 19
Views: 1068

Re: Best place to buy backpacking and camping gear

From the REI site: If your item has a manufacturing defect in its materials or workmanship, you can return it at any time. Many of our items also have a separate warranty from the manufacturer, and you can also return any of those items that don’t meet the manufacturer's warranty. I had an REI brand...
by ourbrooks
Sat Mar 08, 2014 4:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best place to buy backpacking and camping gear
Replies: 24
Views: 1435

Re: How to Invest for an 88 Year Old???

I'm guessing that overall your mother is spending something like $90,000 - $100,000 a year and taking in $24,000. At that rate, her liquid assets will be gone in less than three years, no matter how they are invested. You might want to consider moving her into a memory care or assisted living facili...
by ourbrooks
Wed Mar 05, 2014 9:35 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to Invest for an 88 Year Old???
Replies: 10
Views: 1309

Re: 25x expenses and taxes?

Look at the total rate, not the marginal rate. Even if you are withdrawing $100,000 a year from a retirement account and you have no significant deductions, you'll still probably end up paying no more than $10,000-$15,000 in taxes. Even if you bump up the 25x figure to account for 15% in taxes, it r...
by ourbrooks
Wed Mar 05, 2014 9:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 25x expenses and taxes?
Replies: 9
Views: 1031

Re: How are retirees from 2000 doing today ?

If you're interested in the results of a simulation study, in addition to reports of personal experiences, you might want to read: http://wpfau.blogspot.jp/2012/06/grim-news-another-look-at-2000-retiree.html Unfortunately, if the stock market crashes in the next few years, bonds are unlikely to prov...
by ourbrooks
Sat Mar 01, 2014 8:31 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How are retirees from 2000 doing today ?
Replies: 30
Views: 3631

Re: Retirement: Protect Your Critical First Decade

I think you meant Michael Kitces, not to be confused with Michael Kitches, who also publishes on financial topics. Here's a link to an article by Wade Pfau and Michael Kitces which discusses rising equity glide paths: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2324930
by ourbrooks
Wed Feb 26, 2014 10:06 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retirement: Protect Your Critical First Decade
Replies: 38
Views: 3559

Re: Trying to decide between TIAA-Cref and Prudential Retire

So, this really just needs to be a decision based exclusively about which investment options are available and the cost of such. Beyond that, I would not place bets on the culture, rating, and philosophy of one firm or the other. Review the investment options and then decide. TIAA does have 1 or 2 ...
by ourbrooks
Tue Feb 25, 2014 9:52 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Trying to decide between TIAA-Cref and Prudential Retirement
Replies: 24
Views: 1824

Re: Self protecting a SPIA against inflation

Suppose you are 66 year-old man. From http://www.immediateannuities.com/ $450K would buy annuity that pays $2,726 per month ($32,712 per year), which is 7.27% of $450,000. Suppose you expect inflation of about 3%. How about spending only $18,000 per year, which is 4%, and saving the remainder, $14,...
by ourbrooks
Tue Feb 25, 2014 9:29 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Self protecting a SPIA against inflation
Replies: 47
Views: 2280

Re: Trying to decide between TIAA-Cref and Prudential Retire

I agree with those who have expressed a preference for TIAA-CREF. However, I would recommend that you focus on their distinctive annuity accounts. You can get mutual funds elsewhere that are as good as, or better than, those at TIAA-CREF. What you can't get elsewhere are high quality annuity accoun...
by ourbrooks
Tue Feb 25, 2014 9:04 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Trying to decide between TIAA-Cref and Prudential Retirement
Replies: 24
Views: 1824

Re: Outsource programming to bidding sites like Freelancer.c

It would be very, very unusual if the specifications you had in mind are tight enough so that a developer could write code without making lots of probably wrong assumptions on what you want. There are people who claim that the only specification that is adequate is one which can be proved mathematic...
by ourbrooks
Mon Feb 24, 2014 10:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Outsource programming to bidding sites like Freelancer.com?
Replies: 20
Views: 1455

Re: Self protecting a SPIA against inflation

There's a very simple, not perfect, but "good enough" solution: an SPIA ladder. You set aside some additional money at the time of your main SPIA purchase and, every five years, you buy another SPIA to compensate for the reduction in real payments of the previous ones. Why not just buy a ...
by ourbrooks
Sun Feb 23, 2014 10:27 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Self protecting a SPIA against inflation
Replies: 47
Views: 2280

Re: Help with Pension Decision

Your dual life expectancy from the IRS tables is 35 years, so if your breakeven for the annuity is 17 years, so the odds of your being ahead with the annuity are very high. The 4% rule is based on a 30 year retirement; you have a 50/50 chance of one or both of you living beyond 35 years. You probabl...
by ourbrooks
Sat Feb 22, 2014 8:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with Pension Decision [Lump Sum vs. Annuity]
Replies: 27
Views: 1577

Re: The role of a construction manager

For residential construction, a construction manager might do the following: 1. Find and hire the different crews. This may involve collecting bids, etc. 2. Schedule work for the different trades and arrange the inspections. Make sure that the plumbers don't show up until the framers are done and th...
by ourbrooks
Sat Feb 22, 2014 7:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The role of a construction manager
Replies: 8
Views: 530

Re: Self protecting a SPIA against inflation

There's a very simple, not perfect, but "good enough" solution: an SPIA ladder. You set aside some additional money at the time of your main SPIA purchase and, every five years, you buy another SPIA to compensate for the reduction in real payments of the previous ones. Why not just buy a l...
by ourbrooks
Sat Feb 22, 2014 6:24 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Self protecting a SPIA against inflation
Replies: 47
Views: 2280

Re: Cloud security

Secure relative to what threat? If your house caught fire today and you couldn't get your computer out, would you be better off having stuff on your local computer or in someone's server farm? If you do store backups off site, how secure are the storage locations both against acts by people and acts...
by ourbrooks
Thu Feb 20, 2014 8:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cloud security
Replies: 5
Views: 301

Re: Tools for developing PHP / MySQL-based data driven web s

Before you turn on your web site, learn as much as you can about web site security. In the old days, the worst that could happen is that someone gained access to your server and put up pages that said unpleasant things. Nowadays, malware is placed on the server, often unbeknownst to the web site own...
by ourbrooks
Thu Feb 20, 2014 8:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tools for developing PHP / MySQL-based data driven web site?
Replies: 72
Views: 4576

Re: What is an appropriate "failure rate" in SWR studies?

If I interpret the methodology in the study correctly, it is trivially easy to reduce the failure rate to zero. In their methodology, the annual withdrawal amount is $13,950, adjusted annually for inflation, regardless of the portfolio size at retirement!! If all you've got at retirement is $100,000...
by ourbrooks
Tue Feb 18, 2014 9:54 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is an appropriate "failure rate" in SWR studies?
Replies: 64
Views: 3927

Re: What to do in Austin, TX

matjen wrote:Visit Dimensional Fund Advisors! :P


How much should I expect to pay to get in?

From the outside, the building is pretty obnoxious; it sits on top of a cliff and looms over the highway below. Maybe I'd find it more appealing if that's where my money was being managed.
by ourbrooks
Tue Feb 18, 2014 9:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to do in Austin, TX
Replies: 44
Views: 2818

Re: What to do in Austin, TX

Take a plane to Dallas and visit Dallas instead. The end of SXSW? Hope you're either staying with relatives or have a hotel room in San Antonio. $100 hotel rooms in Austin go to $500 during SXSW because large entertainment corporations have bought out all the rooms to house all the people who've flo...
by ourbrooks
Mon Feb 17, 2014 11:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to do in Austin, TX
Replies: 44
Views: 2818

Re: Good Harbor Financial

How does their performance over the past decade compare to VGENX or VGHCX or VTMSX? Although not normally thought about this way, each of these funds has a strategy. It's a stock selection strategy, not a market timing strategy, but it's a strategy none the less. What is it about the GH or F Squared...
by ourbrooks
Wed Feb 12, 2014 10:47 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Good Harbor Financial
Replies: 17
Views: 1722

Re: Portfolio theory and the riskless (safest) asset

That's about 3.4%, pretty much in the same ballpark as what people are recommending these days for a safe withdrawal rate from a stock/bond portfolio. The safe withdrawal figures are based on a 30 year retirement while the annuity lasts as long as you do. Against that, you have to consider that the ...
by ourbrooks
Mon Feb 10, 2014 9:40 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Portfolio theory and the riskless (safest) asset
Replies: 54
Views: 3718

Re: Layed off and now retiring. Need advice...

You might want to check whether the amount of your pension will be larger if you take it later; if it isn't, then taking it now means you'll be collecting for longer. If you assume 3% inflation, by the time you reach 70, the real value of your pension will have declined to 62% of what it is today, a...
by ourbrooks
Sun Feb 09, 2014 9:50 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Layed off and now retiring. Need advice...
Replies: 65
Views: 7340

Re: Layed off and now retiring. Need advice...

The OP didn't say at what age the pension kicks in. 54? 65? Let's presume that it kicks in at 65. Your Social Security is almost enough to cover your expenses and the Social Security payout currently is adjusted for inflation. At age 70, your short fall is a mere $1,000; your pension will more than ...
by ourbrooks
Sun Feb 09, 2014 9:30 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Layed off and now retiring. Need advice...
Replies: 65
Views: 7340

Re: CPU speed

Intel has a number of different processors lines which trade off between performance, power consumption and cost. The top of the line is the Core series, followed by the Pentium and Celeron series. Just to give a reference points, the top of the line mobile Core I7 processors has twice the number of...
by ourbrooks
Sat Feb 08, 2014 9:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: CPU speed
Replies: 43
Views: 2637

Re: Bitcoin price plunges

MtGox could be just an isolated problem or it could be indicative of some deeper problem. Under the covers, all of the bitcoin exchanges rely on existing banking infrastructure to accomplish exchanges with other currencies. What if there is some fundamental problem with accomplishing this, say, SWIF...
by ourbrooks
Fri Feb 07, 2014 6:42 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bitcoin price plunges
Replies: 246
Views: 18069

Re: Help understanding my pension plan

State government pensions are backed by the taxing power of the government; in other words, the voters can decide to increase taxes in order to pay your pension. That may explain why the default rate in the past of government pensions, at all levels, has been 1/3 of 1%, lower than private pensions. ...
by ourbrooks
Sun Feb 02, 2014 9:14 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help understanding my pension plan
Replies: 10
Views: 747

Re: Social Security name confusion

Sometimes I wonder in Twilight Zone situations like these whether there is some old childhood "enemy" working at the <whatever> office, who is finally "getting even" with whatever perceived slight they think they are remembering from days of old. It's the only thing that remotel...
by ourbrooks
Sat Feb 01, 2014 4:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security name confusion
Replies: 35
Views: 1874

Re: Social Security name confusion

I'd suggest going to the office and reviewing ALL of your mother's Social Security data as well as your own. Social Security has gone through many generations of computer systems; they were already storing data electronically before many of the founders of Google/Amazon/Twitter/Facebook were even bo...
by ourbrooks
Thu Jan 30, 2014 8:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security name confusion
Replies: 35
Views: 1874

Re: Option selling vs. buy-and-hold

Believe it or not, there's a Vanguard fund which invests in options; it's called the Market Neutral Fund (VMNFX); it has a $50,000 minimum so make sure you check that box if you look it up on the Vanguard site. Since it's Vanguard running the fund, it's highly likely that the people who manage it ar...
by ourbrooks
Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:41 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Option selling vs. buy-and-hold
Replies: 14
Views: 1163

Re: Age in Bonds - Who Follows a Different Strategy?

Age in stocks. By the time I'm 90, I plan on holding 90% equities.
I plan to get there by following a "bonds first" withdrawal strategy.
No, I'm not attempting to be humorous.
by ourbrooks
Sat Jan 25, 2014 9:04 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Age in Bonds - Who Follows a Different Strategy?
Replies: 132
Views: 6603

Re: If You Were 24 Years Old What Would You Do?

Yup, the numbers probably do say that you're better off keeping debt and investing extra funds at higher rates of return, but the numbers alone aren't the whole story. Any calculation that says investments do better is presuming large stock investments; over long periods of time, bonds have often re...
by ourbrooks
Thu Jan 23, 2014 10:47 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: If You Were 24 Years Old What Would You Do?
Replies: 34
Views: 3198

Re: Clone backup to restore dead laptop hard drive?

If you ever happened to use Windows 7 Backup, the backup built into the OS, and selected "System Image," onto the WD drive, there may be a system image which can be copied, on any Windows machine, including the one you backed up, to a new, bare hard drive. All you have to do is hook the ne...
by ourbrooks
Thu Jan 23, 2014 8:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Clone backup to restore dead laptop hard drive?
Replies: 13
Views: 613

Re: hybrid cars

I'd buy a hybrid even if they cost more in the long run, for the very same reason people buy a larger engine or a better stereo system. They're nicer to drive; the smoothness and quiet at the low end can't be matched by a combustion engine. Luxury car makers have discovered this fact as well. People...
by ourbrooks
Tue Jan 21, 2014 9:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: hybrid cars
Replies: 55
Views: 2730

Re: Should one in Retirement Rebalance

There are some recent papers by Wade Pfau and Michael Kitches that re-visit the whole issue of whether you should increase your bond holdings in retirement. If you want to reduce your risk, it's a no brainer to hold more bonds, right? Well, the answer depends on which risk you're talking about, risk...
by ourbrooks
Mon Jan 20, 2014 10:01 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Should one in Retirement Rebalance
Replies: 17
Views: 1188

Re: TIAA Traditional vs. Bonds - What would you choose?

You know that Ben guy, the one who just left some big bank in Washington? Well, he keeps part of his money in TIAA Traditional; it's a matter of public record. There's a rumor, probably false, that the reason why he quit his Washington job after eight years was because that's how long the universit...
by ourbrooks
Sun Jan 19, 2014 9:28 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TIAA Traditional vs. Bonds - What would you choose?
Replies: 43
Views: 1791

Re: TIAA Traditional vs. Bonds - What would you choose?

You know that Ben guy, the one who just left some big bank in Washington? Well, he keeps part of his money in TIAA Traditional; it's a matter of public record. There's a rumor, probably false, that the reason why he quit his Washington job after eight years was because that's how long the university...
by ourbrooks
Sat Jan 18, 2014 2:01 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TIAA Traditional vs. Bonds - What would you choose?
Replies: 43
Views: 1791

Re: U or V shaped nature of retirement spending

That U/V shaped pattern occurred with at least three of my relatives. At the end of life, people need more help in everyday life activities; that's NOT covered by health insurance. In many cases, they can stay at home and pay for extra care; in the LTC biz, that's called "community care." ...
by ourbrooks
Sat Jan 11, 2014 2:48 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: U or V shaped nature of retirement spending
Replies: 15
Views: 1146

Re: Trouble trusting US healthcare

It doesn't have to be the doctors themselves; often, it can be the organization they work for. Imagine that you're the manager of a hospital and you've got a few too many empty beds. Just send out a memo to all of your docs about being very careful about prematurely releasing patients, that the hosp...
by ourbrooks
Thu Jan 09, 2014 11:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trouble trusting US healthcare
Replies: 70
Views: 3265

Re: Please help me with my asset allocation

When you say exposure to "oil" do you mean exposure to the price of crude oil/natural gas or do you mean exposure to the business returns of energy companies? If it's the later you mean, then I note that nearly all of the publically traded oil companies are in Vanguard Total Stock Market f...
by ourbrooks
Thu Jan 09, 2014 11:15 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Please help me with my asset allocation
Replies: 5
Views: 388
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