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ResNullius wrote:When you guys find the answer, please post it here so the rest of us will know what to do.


I'd suggest broad global diversification across asset classes. I'd reject "set and forget" 100% TIPS, 100% U.S., or 100% anything.-----Jim
by rokid
Sun Apr 25, 2010 9:49 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Michael Burry: Short the U.S. Government?
Replies: 5
Views: 914

Michael Burry: Short the U.S. Government?

In today's Washington Post Bill Gross expresses concern about U.S. Treasuries. In addition, Michael Burry (co-star of Michael Lewis's The Big Short ) states: "Strictly looking at the monthly Treasury statement of receipts and outlays, as an 'investor,' you see a company you might want to short....
by rokid
Sun Apr 25, 2010 8:25 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Michael Burry: Short the U.S. Government?
Replies: 5
Views: 914

FrugalInvestor wrote:Rokid,

How is the trip planning proceeding?


Unfortunately, I'm getting a hip replacement this year. Therefore, the Alaskan trip will have to wait until 2011.

However, thanks for all of the great information.-----Jim
by rokid
Wed Apr 21, 2010 9:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Alaskan Trip
Replies: 49
Views: 7480

Can anyone explain why Paulson's activity, secretly shorting a CDO, is good for the economy/society? Why should we continue to allow these secret side bets that can jeopardize the entire financial system?----Jim
by rokid
Mon Apr 19, 2010 10:33 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: SEC charges Goldman Sachs with Fraud
Replies: 258
Views: 20013

Effective rate: 18%

Marginal Rate: 28%

----Jim
by rokid
Sat Apr 17, 2010 2:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Effective Tax Rate - POLL
Replies: 48
Views: 5819

This should be interesting: 1. Someone is going to make their career prosecuting GS. 2. Mr. Tourre will not take the fall all by himself. He'll implicate as many people as possible to cut a deal. 3. It will be difficult for any politician to slow roll or block the prosecution in the current politica...
by rokid
Fri Apr 16, 2010 5:13 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: SEC charges Goldman Sachs with Fraud
Replies: 258
Views: 20013

VictoriaF wrote:I read somewhere that watching TV is the second worst waste of time after commute to work.

Victoria


I disagree. Staff meetings are the worst waste of time. :wink:
by rokid
Fri Apr 09, 2010 8:43 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone get rid of TV all together?
Replies: 115
Views: 11684

Vermont Castings. An excellent grill. I bought mine at Home Depot.-----Jim
by rokid
Mon Mar 29, 2010 3:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a gas barbeque grill?
Replies: 33
Views: 3903

Re: computer maintenance questions

This will find bad hard drive sectors and move the information to a safe place. It's a treatment, not a cure. For a couple of my PCs, it has been the cure. You mentioned your hard disk is filled. Have you tried "disk cleanup"? If not, go to Windows Explorer, and right click on the "L...
by rokid
Thu Mar 25, 2010 7:15 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: computer maintenance questions
Replies: 37
Views: 4247

Bridgewater estimated an average return for the period (1970-1998) of 9.5% and a standard deviation of 4.1%. For the same period, Chen and Terrien estimated an average return of 8.84% and a standard deviation of 9.16%.---Jim
by rokid
Wed Mar 24, 2010 9:26 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bridgewater Assoc Synthetic TIPS data
Replies: 15
Views: 3503

Paul,

Thanks for the post. I'll compare the Bridgewater data to my partial Ibbotson S-TIPS data. ---Jim
by rokid
Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:59 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bridgewater Assoc Synthetic TIPS data
Replies: 15
Views: 3503

Re: Townhouse Special Assessment

Now, should it fall on the shoulders of the 56 homeowners to pay roughly $1.4 million for the part of the project that cannot be covered by the association's savings fund, we're looking at a cost of around $24,000 per homeowner. Sounds expensive to me. They're quoting approximately $30K per unit. S...
by rokid
Mon Mar 22, 2010 10:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Townhouse Special Assessment
Replies: 47
Views: 4578

Re: Seeking a vacation house in Corolla, NC (outer banks)

Any recommendations for specific houses or rental companies? Recently, we've had good luck renting from Twiddy. http://www.twiddy.com/ Try to get a Friday to Friday rental. There's only one two lane road to Corolla, Hwy 12, and it's quite congested on Saturday when most of the rentals start. Incide...
by rokid
Sun Mar 21, 2010 9:25 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Seeking a vacation house in Corolla, NC (outer banks)
Replies: 13
Views: 2984

Re: Using Credit Card to Pay Federal Taxes

southerndoc wrote:Can I deduct the surcharge from my 2010 taxes?


It appears that you may be able to to deduct the surcharge depending on your circumstances. See the last paragraph of the page.-----Jim

https://www.payusatax.com/personalincometaxes.aspx
by rokid
Sun Mar 21, 2010 7:54 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Using Credit Card to Pay Federal Taxes
Replies: 13
Views: 2238

Re: Vacation to New York City and D.C.

Taking the family (10 and 16 yr olds) to NYC and DC in late Jun. Want to do the typical tourist sights (Statue of Liberty, DC Mall etc). Plan on 2-3 full days in each location. Any recommendations for Hotels and other activities? Will have a rental, but don't want to do much driving in the cities. ...
by rokid
Sat Mar 20, 2010 8:13 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vacation to New York City and D.C.
Replies: 20
Views: 2319

Well, I just filled out my Census form and put it in the mailbox. I hope the information helps our government (federal, state, and local) and the private sector build a better America.------Jim
by rokid
Wed Mar 17, 2010 9:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Census
Replies: 91
Views: 7402

I am scared to call the GSA and tell them this because I would prefer the GSA job to the FBI one and don't want to offend them. Do you still think I should contact GSA regardless? I'd take the FBI job. If GSA offers you a better job and the loan repayment, take it. What can the FBI do? Just tell th...
by rokid
Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Interview in the Federal Government coming up...need advice
Replies: 36
Views: 6087

Hence, if that is the case, the tool needs a lot more refinement and I would ignore for now.RM Per the Vanguard site, the 1 year return difference between VFINX and the S&P 500 index was only .01%, not 3.49%. Therefore, without knowing how Wolfram defines returns, or anything else, I also can't...
by rokid
Mon Mar 15, 2010 11:42 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Wolfram Alpha (search engine): Good fund info tool
Replies: 11
Views: 2573

Interesting tool. I was surprised that over the last 15 years the Vanguard 500 index (VFINX) has trailed the S&P 500 index by 1.74% annually. The Fidelity 500 index (FUSEX) has trailed the S&P 500 index by 1.87% annually. In both cases the tracking error dwarfs the advertised expense ratio. ...
by rokid
Mon Mar 15, 2010 10:46 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Wolfram Alpha (search engine): Good fund info tool
Replies: 11
Views: 2573

We pay $5K a year in property taxes on a similar sized colonial located on a 1/2 acre lot in Northern Virginia. ----Jim
by rokid
Mon Mar 15, 2010 8:12 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much do you pay in property taxes per year?
Replies: 68
Views: 9792

Re: Census Reminder Letter

cyclysm wrote:Is there any research out there proving that sending a heads up notice 1-2 weeks in advance of the "action required" mailing increases the response/completion rate on the action item?


Probably.-------Jim
by rokid
Mon Mar 08, 2010 10:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Census Reminder Letter
Replies: 60
Views: 5743

I got one too!-----Jim
by rokid
Mon Mar 08, 2010 10:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Census Reminder Letter
Replies: 60
Views: 5743

sage1166 wrote:The only online math resource you'll ever need: http://www.khanacademy.org/


sage1166,

Thanks for the reference! That's quite a resource. :D ---Jim
by rokid
Sun Mar 07, 2010 6:14 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need introduction to statistics
Replies: 29
Views: 3452

Here are my returns (IRR) for the last 6 years

2004: +18.11%
2005: +8.03%
2006: +15.27%
2007: +6.50%
2008: -29.97%
2009: +29.00%

A passive, broadly diversified portfolio with an equity emphasis.

-----Jim
by rokid
Sat Mar 06, 2010 1:15 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Serious Question - Boglehead performance over last 5 years
Replies: 41
Views: 4723

Re: Body scanners arrive at airports

I think its terrible. I'm not getting scanned if I can help it- don't need the extra radiation thanks! It appears that the radiation is very low level - equivalent to two minutes on an airplane. http://www.boston.com/business/technology/articles/2010/03/06/logan_airport_adds_new_full_body_scanners/...
by rokid
Sat Mar 06, 2010 7:25 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Body scanners arrive at airports
Replies: 25
Views: 2378

We bought the Eureka Boss Smartvac recommended by Consumer Reports several years ago. It has been great. Does the job and has been very reliable. Our only complaint is that it's heavy, i.e. it's no fun doing the stairs in our colonial. However, if your apartment is on one floor, that's not a problem...
by rokid
Fri Mar 05, 2010 8:50 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bagless HEPA vacuum recommendations?
Replies: 3
Views: 781

I've been satisfied with Emigrant Direct. Their rate is 1.1%.-----Jim
by rokid
Thu Mar 04, 2010 12:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Recommendations for Online Savings Bank
Replies: 28
Views: 4211

Does a decades long bear market also imply decades of stagnant wages? If so, you might to want to wish for a vibrant economy and save more. :wink: -----Jim
by rokid
Wed Mar 03, 2010 5:57 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Get on your knees & pray for a decades long bear market?
Replies: 41
Views: 4282

Re: Baby-boomers, bubbles and emerging markets

..Banks didn’t cause the credit crisis.. Note that this study was commissioned by Barclay's and Credit Suisse. How interesting that it exonerates banks. Brad Actually, the Financial Times article discusses two different studies. The Credit Suisse study, which was done by Dimson, Marsh and Staunton ...
by rokid
Sun Feb 28, 2010 7:56 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Baby-boomers, bubbles and emerging markets
Replies: 5
Views: 1379

SecretAsianMan wrote:I can't believe the NHL is even considering not letting NHL players play in future Olympics. It is by far the best way to get some great exposure and to attract new fans in the U.S.

SAM


Unfortunately, Gary Bettman is not exactly a brainiac. :wink: ----Jim
by rokid
Sat Feb 27, 2010 9:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: U.S. vs. Canada for Olympic hockey gold
Replies: 51
Views: 4300

My first patient, an 80 year old oil field worker from west Texas named "Red" had liver cancer and lived for 3 months. I brought him Texas style cornbread when I visited because he claimed he couldn't find any locally that wasn't too sweet. He missed his ranch near Odessa and told stories...
by rokid
Sun Feb 21, 2010 5:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Giving back
Replies: 33
Views: 3764

The article is right on. People have lots more carry on luggage. The overhead bins are full, as are, the planes. I used to always check my bags. Now, I never check bags.

The next flying innovation will be standing room only - like on the subway. 8) ----Jim
by rokid
Sun Feb 21, 2010 12:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: WaPo article on airline baggage fees
Replies: 30
Views: 3238

Maybe the media has unfairly focussed the spotlight on Toyota, but, alas, it seems that Toyota deserves it. They've been sowing the wind for a while and now they are reaping the whirlwind. It's not over yet. I scheduled my 2006 Avalon for the pedal fix. However, the dealer stated they didn't have t...
by rokid
Wed Feb 17, 2010 8:41 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Toyota Safety Update II
Replies: 11
Views: 1587

Rochester Big and Tall on Connecticut Avenue in DC. They carry Allen Edmonds shoes.------Jim

http://www.rochesterclothing.com/store/en_US/index.jsp
by rokid
Sun Feb 14, 2010 9:14 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Store for men's large shoes in DC or Manhattan?
Replies: 5
Views: 1317

At the very least, could they add a slice of Tips to the Total Bond Index fund? Per Morningstar, VBMFX holds: TIPS .16% Foreign Corporate 4.66% Foreign Government 1.43% Does anyone understand the purpose of the small allocations to TIPS and Foreign? Are they part of the index?-----Jim
by rokid
Wed Feb 10, 2010 1:04 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard on International Bond Funds
Replies: 32
Views: 4887

Down here.------Jim
by rokid
Mon Feb 08, 2010 7:56 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: is vanguard site down -->can someone confirm it is not me
Replies: 22
Views: 3637

Does anyone else in the group think the guy was bumping up the bill? Seems like a lot of angst for a buck and change. I would have given $20 and suggested any extra go to the waitress.-----Jim
by rokid
Sun Feb 07, 2010 11:58 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Paying your fair share on a dinner bill
Replies: 94
Views: 11030

newgrange is really neat if you can get a tour out there Newgrange is neat. A megalithic tomb that's almost 5,000 years old. If you're not claustrophobic, you can go (squeeze) inside. Towards the end of the tour, the guide turns off all of the lights. Then, the guide turns on a single beam from the...
by rokid
Sun Feb 07, 2010 8:16 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Visiting Ireland
Replies: 29
Views: 3149

I agree that you should see Trinity College and the Book of Kells. If you go to Trinity, take one of the student led tours of the college. It's only 1 Euro more than the Book of Kells admission fee (10 Euro for the book of Kells and 11 Euro for the Book of Kells and the tour). I enjoyed the tour mu...
by rokid
Sat Feb 06, 2010 12:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Visiting Ireland
Replies: 29
Views: 3149

In the First Circle by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. This is the just released, uncensored version of The First Circle which was published in the Soviet Union in 1968. Solzhenitsyn self-censored the book so that it could be published. The new version is 20% longer than the original. I've found Solzhenits...
by rokid
Thu Feb 04, 2010 10:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are YOU Currently Reading? PART III (12/11/2009)
Replies: 424
Views: 67497

The only thing I can figure is that there has been a substantial increase in Medicaid recipients, and the low reimbursement rates of the government plan is forcing doctors and hospitals to charge private insurers a lot more money for the same care. Per the BLS, the unadjusted increase for Dec 2008-...
by rokid
Sun Jan 31, 2010 9:40 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Health Insurance Premium just went way up
Replies: 49
Views: 5043

My Federal BC/BS went up 12.5%. Compared to everyone else, OPM must be doing a fairly good job of negotiating price.
by rokid
Sun Jan 31, 2010 8:10 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Health Insurance Premium just went way up
Replies: 49
Views: 5043

I searched "construction", "Michigan" on USAJOBS and got 101 hits. You might want to check it out. -----Jim

http://www.usajobs.gov/
by rokid
Sat Jan 30, 2010 11:18 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What Might You Say to Those of us Who Will Never Work Again?
Replies: 43
Views: 6148

Per the LA Times, Toyota has yet to fully confront the uncontrolled rapid acceleration problem. According to the article, reports of uncontrolled rapid acceleration in Toyotas date back to 1999. CTS started manufacturing the pedal for Toyota in 2005. Incidentally, my wife experienced rapid accelerat...
by rokid
Sat Jan 30, 2010 10:34 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: WOW!! Toyota Suspending Sales of Recalled Models
Replies: 145
Views: 13492

From this morning's Washington Post: "How will it stand up to other tablets if I pour a test tube full of blue water on it?" "iPad's biggest problem: You can't use one while swimming." There's also a 2007 "MADtv" iPad parody (Google it). Apparently, Steve Jobs doesn't w...
by rokid
Thu Jan 28, 2010 8:35 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Apple Unveils New Tablet Computer
Replies: 158
Views: 13545

Remember the 1986 Audi uncontrolled acceleration problem? 60 Minutes and some anecdotal sob stories convinced everyone it was a problem with the car - but it was all bunk. "Audi modified the accelerator and brake pedals, installed systems that prevent shifting from park unless the brake is pre...
by rokid
Thu Jan 28, 2010 6:30 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: WOW!! Toyota Suspending Sales of Recalled Models
Replies: 145
Views: 13492

Can we now safely assume that floor mats never had anything to do with this problem? Yes. I've already received "it's the floor mat/accelerator pedal" recall on my 2006 Avalon. Since my 2006 is also part of the new recall, it is clear to me that Toyota is lurching towards a solution, i.e....
by rokid
Tue Jan 26, 2010 10:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: WOW!! Toyota Suspending Sales of Recalled Models
Replies: 145
Views: 13492

I wish to comment on your statement "for those who still believe in MPT". It is not clear to me why you pose that question, but if it is because of the issue of correlations, I wish to make a point. mpt follower, Actually, my statement was in support of MPT. Under MPT, the investor with t...
by rokid
Tue Jan 26, 2010 11:59 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Diversification Benefits of U.S.-Based Global Bond Funds
Replies: 15
Views: 2112

You are right in all your comments. The point here is that currently there is opposition to invest in foreign bonds in this forum, not unlike, I suppose there was opposition to invest in foreign stocks not very long ago. Or, prior to 2008, "I take my risk with equities..." to argue agains...
by rokid
Tue Jan 26, 2010 8:40 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Diversification Benefits of U.S.-Based Global Bond Funds
Replies: 15
Views: 2112

Last Spring my 2006 Avalon's rubber (?duh!) oil line burst on the highway. Fortunately, my engine wasn't ruined. It cost me $400+ for the towing and the repair. I contacted Toyota and they acted like I was the first person to ever experience the problem. Of course, the Internet was full of complaint...
by rokid
Mon Jan 25, 2010 10:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Toyota - systemic problem but no recall issued
Replies: 18
Views: 2676
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