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Re: Athens and London, what to do and where to stay?

Concerning strikes and disruptions in Athens. It's best not to stay right on Syntagma Square if there is reason for concern. That's where the demonstrations and tear gassing is much more likely. I met one tourist couple who had some trouble getting back to their hotel on Syntagma Square, the hotel m...
by tadamsmar
Fri Oct 24, 2014 1:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Athens and London, what to do and where to stay?
Replies: 32
Views: 1170

Re: How to buy oil in the stock market?

Breeder reactors are essentially a dead issue. I can't think of anyone who has a breeder reactor programme going? Although the article does say Oak Ridges TN is again producing the isotope (about 3 lbs pa, a probe uses c 10 lbs). Russia has a big breeder reactor program. This from a few months ago:...
by tadamsmar
Fri Oct 24, 2014 11:36 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How to buy oil in the stock market?
Replies: 32
Views: 1760

Re: Athens and London, what to do and where to stay?

We visited Athens for a few years ago. When we arrived at our hotel, they said we had to transfer to another hotel, the Jason Inn. We were given a room on the main street near the hotel's brightly lit sign. The Jason Inn is an OK location a short walk to the gate of the Ancient Agora, but it would b...
by tadamsmar
Fri Oct 24, 2014 9:51 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Athens and London, what to do and where to stay?
Replies: 32
Views: 1170

Re: How to buy oil in the stock market?

I was thinking you could use the fast neutron flow to make bomb grade atomic material? I am not clear in my mind whether U 235, U 238 or Plutonium but I think the latter? Any little country with some uranium and a few nuclear physicists could then build a bomb-- at least a crude one. I can't find a...
by tadamsmar
Fri Oct 24, 2014 9:16 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How to buy oil in the stock market?
Replies: 32
Views: 1760

Re: How to buy oil in the stock market?

Off topic, but: I am surprised they went live with that. Because if they have done it, it's as important to National Security, potentially, as the development of the hydrogen bomb. A fusion reactor that small would also be a great bomb-making plant. A fusion (aka hydrogen) bomb requires a fission bo...
by tadamsmar
Fri Oct 24, 2014 8:46 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How to buy oil in the stock market?
Replies: 32
Views: 1760

Re: How to buy oil in the stock market?

Just wanted to make sure the OP understood the significance of the work "intended". In this case, I did not want him/ her to assume hey USO to oil is like GLD to gold. That is the mistake many make. The product is a futures product and want to make sure they knew it was not the same thing...
by tadamsmar
Thu Oct 23, 2014 12:45 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How to buy oil in the stock market?
Replies: 32
Views: 1760

Re: How to buy oil in the stock market?

At the risk of appearing overly snarky, do you really think that someone who doesn't know how to look things up on Google should be doing something like speculating on the direction of oil prices? I don't think it's that easy, at least if the goal is to "invest" in the spot price. Nothing...
by tadamsmar
Thu Oct 23, 2014 12:40 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How to buy oil in the stock market?
Replies: 32
Views: 1760

Re: Why do Engineers Think They’ll Be Good at Picking Stocks

In addition, Thorp, while a professor of mathematics at MIT, met Claude Shannon, and took him and his wife Betty Shannon as partners on weekend forays to Las Vegas to play roulette and blackjack, at which Thorp was very successful.[12] His team's roulette play was the first instance of using a wear...
by tadamsmar
Thu Oct 23, 2014 12:01 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why do Engineers Think They’ll Be Good at Picking Stocks?
Replies: 115
Views: 6711

Re: How to buy oil in the stock market?

USO is intended to track spot oil prices, not sure how well they do. That is not correct. ALL commodity funds outside of gold, silver, and metals are priced on the futures market. That is the whole point of the futures market. One can not buy and store billions of barrels of oil or thousands of pig...
by tadamsmar
Thu Oct 23, 2014 11:10 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How to buy oil in the stock market?
Replies: 32
Views: 1760

Re: How to buy oil in the stock market?

USO is intended to track spot oil prices, not sure how well they do.
by tadamsmar
Thu Oct 23, 2014 10:49 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How to buy oil in the stock market?
Replies: 32
Views: 1760

Re: Smart people, please help us (agriculture exemption)

You can probably just rent it to a farmer who is willing to keep the records. Advertise it as farm land for rent. You will probably have to decide if you want to allow hunting since there is profit for the farmer in selling the hunting rights, the hunting rights usually go the the renter by default....
by tadamsmar
Thu Oct 23, 2014 8:31 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Smart people, please help us (agriculture exemption)
Replies: 19
Views: 877

Re: Yes, 100% of economists were dead wrong about yields

This that been going on since 2010, it's been the conventional wisdom that investors should flee the TBM for shorter durations, check out this thread: http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=65069 In that thread people were betting that 2.0% CDs would outperform the TBM for the next year, bu...
by tadamsmar
Thu Oct 23, 2014 8:12 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 100% of [surveyed] economists were dead wrong about yields
Replies: 27
Views: 3219

Re: Why do Engineers Think They’ll Be Good at Picking Stocks

Just thinking generally about who tries to pick stocks... The educational system can do a good job of teaching people how to make money but it does a poor job (or no job at all) of teaching them how to invest money (except for certain majors). So, in general, people who get prepared for a good-payin...
by tadamsmar
Wed Oct 22, 2014 3:18 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why do Engineers Think They’ll Be Good at Picking Stocks?
Replies: 115
Views: 6711

Re: Why do Engineers Think They’ll Be Good at Picking Stocks

Also, Scott Young's generalization about economists being good at this stuff is easy to refute by just pointing out the spectacular failure of LTCM, a hedge fund founded by top economists including 2 Nobel laureates:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long-Term_ ... Management
by tadamsmar
Wed Oct 22, 2014 1:32 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why do Engineers Think They’ll Be Good at Picking Stocks?
Replies: 115
Views: 6711

Re: Why do Engineers Think They’ll Be Good at Picking Stocks

I try to read or at least skim the citations in OPs before posting, looking for a point where the author makes a blatantly wrong claim and also a point where they blink (and telegraph that they know they are blowing smoke). Often takes only a few seconds to hit pay dirt. Scott Young indicates that ...
by tadamsmar
Wed Oct 22, 2014 11:30 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why do Engineers Think They’ll Be Good at Picking Stocks?
Replies: 115
Views: 6711

Re: Why I won't have bond funds

nisi, Your plot just shows a recently improving economy and recent flat outlays that really don't bear much on the actual concern. The actual concern is more the federal outlay growth that is built into federal law and viewed as hard to repeal and hard to overcome with a growing economy. Your plot h...
by tadamsmar
Wed Oct 22, 2014 10:42 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why I won't have bond funds
Replies: 47
Views: 6239

Re: Why do Engineers Think They’ll Be Good at Picking Stocks

I try to read or at least skim the citations in OPs before posting, looking for a point where the author makes a blatantly wrong claim and also a point where they blink (and telegraph that they know they are blowing smoke). Often takes only a few seconds to hit pay dirt. Scott Young indicates that h...
by tadamsmar
Wed Oct 22, 2014 10:24 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why do Engineers Think They’ll Be Good at Picking Stocks?
Replies: 115
Views: 6711

Re: Why I won't have bond funds

From the article:

My greatest risk is not growing my retirement account as much as humanly possible over the next ten to 15 years.


Actually, your greatest risk is not saving enough in an environment where returns in general (on bonds and stocks) are expected to be low.
by tadamsmar
Tue Oct 21, 2014 11:43 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why I won't have bond funds
Replies: 47
Views: 6239

Re: Why I won't have bond funds

From the article:

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).


Actually, today we have an environment where rates can fall up to 100% and that's the same environment we have everyday.
by tadamsmar
Tue Oct 21, 2014 11:39 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why I won't have bond funds
Replies: 47
Views: 6239

Can 401K distributions cover IRA RMDs?

Looks like you have to take RMDs from 401Ks and some other similar employer accounts, you can't cover the requirement by taking more than is required from IRAs. But the rules for IRAs are more flexible.

Can you take more from your 401K and none from your IRAs to meet your overall RMD?
by tadamsmar
Tue Oct 21, 2014 11:18 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Can 401K distributions cover IRA RMDs?
Replies: 2
Views: 193

Re: Buy a new car, or fix the old one?

These result appear to be very specific and the study considered only crashes that presented the "possibility" that ESC would have made a difference. That study was based on comparisons of real-world data on essentially the same vehicles with and without ESC. It was a study of vehicles or...
by tadamsmar
Fri Oct 17, 2014 1:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy a new car, or fix the old one?
Replies: 55
Views: 2967

New explanation for SV premiums?

The 2 explanations I have seen for the small and value risk-adjusted return over-performance are: (1) it's behavioral and (2) it's hidden risk. But could that large growth stocks are not as risky as they appear? Perhaps LG has more reversion to mean (RTM) than SV, so that they have lower standard de...
by tadamsmar
Fri Oct 17, 2014 11:14 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New explanation for SV premiums?
Replies: 1
Views: 294

Re: How to write an effective complaint letter

Looks like replacement instructions start on page 32:

http://download.lenovo.com/consumer/mob ... nglish.pdf
by tadamsmar
Fri Oct 17, 2014 10:25 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to write an effective complaint letter
Replies: 27
Views: 1407

Re: Poll: which portion of the chart shows higher volatility

Your point about noise in the SD is very well taken. What it means is that there is noise in the Sharpe ratio, too--which accords with common sense and with casual observation of Morningstar's published Sharpe ratios. For a given sample from a random variable, the error in the SD estimate must be m...
by tadamsmar
Fri Oct 17, 2014 9:48 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Poll: which portion of the chart shows higher volatility?
Replies: 26
Views: 1450

Re: Poll: which portion of the chart shows higher volatility

This isn't the right form for a graph to estimate standard deviations, because the time series is meaningless: 4,-5,3,-3,1 and -5,-3,1,3,4 have the same standard deviation but look very different. It would be possible to estimate standard deviation from a histogram, or from a line graph of cumulati...
by tadamsmar
Fri Oct 17, 2014 9:39 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Poll: which portion of the chart shows higher volatility?
Replies: 26
Views: 1450

Re: Buy a new car, or fix the old one?

Insurance can be cheaper on a new car. I traded an 92 Prelude for a late model used Accord and the insurance bill was cheaper on the Accord even after adding collision. This is because certain modern safety features reduce insurance rates a lot. (And, the drivers who choose Preludes might be more a...
by tadamsmar
Fri Oct 17, 2014 9:11 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy a new car, or fix the old one?
Replies: 55
Views: 2967

Re: Buy a new car, or fix the old one?

Insurance can be cheaper on a new car. I traded an 92 Prelude for a late model used Accord and the insurance bill was cheaper on the Accord even after adding collision. This is because certain modern safety features reduce insurance rates a lot. (And, the drivers who choose Preludes might be more ac...
by tadamsmar
Fri Oct 17, 2014 8:04 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy a new car, or fix the old one?
Replies: 55
Views: 2967

Re: Poll: which portion of the chart shows higher volatility

nisi, A 1% reduction in volatility would be like a 1% increase in the Sharpe ratio. That comparable to a 1% increase in returns with flat volatility. Whereas us Bogleheads get the vapors about a 0.1% reduction in the ER which is comparable to a 0.1% increase in returns. If you plotted a 1% decrease ...
by tadamsmar
Thu Oct 16, 2014 6:46 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Poll: which portion of the chart shows higher volatility?
Replies: 26
Views: 1450

Re: Your personal risk level: Got your flu shot yet?

Ninegrams wrote:No flu shot for me. Show me the peer reviewed studies of efficacy and maybe I'll change my mind.


Here's a list:

http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/qa/publications.htm

But a summary for the common man is a easier to digest:

http://www.webmd.com/vaccines/how-effec ... lu-vaccine
by tadamsmar
Thu Oct 16, 2014 1:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Your personal risk level: Got your flu shot yet?
Replies: 93
Views: 2967

Re: Your personal risk level: Got your flu shot yet?

Thanks for the links. I still don't see the age ranges but I assume children and the elderly are more likely to die from the flu than a healthy, say 20 year old. I'd also be interested in seeing the number per year -- not a range of 3,000 to 49,000. For the 2010 that includes both pneumonia and the...
by tadamsmar
Thu Oct 16, 2014 10:51 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Your personal risk level: Got your flu shot yet?
Replies: 93
Views: 2967

Re: Any reason not to buy the International Bond Index Fund?

Notice that Vanguard says "U.S. investors considering international bonds should balance the diversification benefits against both the costs involved and the inherent benefits of preserving a core allocation to the U.S. bond market" but doesn't say how to do it. Notice that Vanguard does ...
by tadamsmar
Thu Oct 16, 2014 10:12 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Any reason not to buy the International Bond Index Fund?
Replies: 15
Views: 1853

Re: Your personal risk level: Got your flu shot yet?

Influenza routinely kills 30,000 - 40,000 people per year in the USA. Traffic crashes, about the same. The Ebola outbreak has, this year, killed about 4,500 people worldwide. The number of people dying from West Nile Virus in the USA varies from less than a hundred up to a few hundred per year. Get...
by tadamsmar
Thu Oct 16, 2014 9:45 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Your personal risk level: Got your flu shot yet?
Replies: 93
Views: 2967

Re: Your personal risk level: Got your flu shot yet?

Indeed it is. So is wearing my seatbelt and not texting and driving. But until the flu shot becomes law (or I'm otherwise compelled to submit) I will leave you well enough alone. Last I checked they don't make enough for everyone anyway so I will kindly pass mine to the more susceptible. The shot y...
by tadamsmar
Thu Oct 16, 2014 9:00 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Your personal risk level: Got your flu shot yet?
Replies: 93
Views: 2967

Re: Owning property jointly with family member

If I correctly assume that you own this property 50/50 with someone else, I don't see how the other party can do anything without your agreement. Net, when you say brother will give property to his son, how can ownership be transferred without you? I know that is not true in my state, NC. Any owner...
by tadamsmar
Wed Oct 15, 2014 6:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Owning property jointly with family member
Replies: 15
Views: 1235

New case of Ebola in U.S.: Is it the latest market headwind?

Just had to post this:

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/ebola-and ... 32618.html

The media always identifies a cause for market fluctuation.

I particularly like the part where they take it all back:

but let’s be honest...
by tadamsmar
Wed Oct 15, 2014 1:09 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New case of Ebola in U.S.: Is it the latest market headwind?
Replies: 13
Views: 1298

Re: It's a good day to adhere to your IPS

The good news is that it's getting easier by the minute to adhere to my IPS.

Looks like I may not have to rebalance much after all on my birthday in November!
by tadamsmar
Wed Oct 15, 2014 1:02 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: It's a good day to adhere to your IPS
Replies: 19
Views: 1768

Re: TSP Withdrawal and RMD Question

Big Mig wrote:Your father doesn't need to do anything until he's ready to make a withdrawal, except make sure the TSP has correct, up-to-date information. He can make changes on the web site if he moves, for example.


Note that he has to file for withdrawals, ready or not, by the deadline.
by tadamsmar
Wed Oct 15, 2014 12:52 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TSP Withdrawal and RMD Question
Replies: 12
Views: 583

Re: TSP Withdrawal and RMD Question

It's important to have your correct date of birth filed with the TSP, otherwise their process will not approximate your RMD's correctly.
by tadamsmar
Wed Oct 15, 2014 12:49 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TSP Withdrawal and RMD Question
Replies: 12
Views: 583

Re: TSP Withdrawal and RMD Question

The TSP even made a change to allow for the 2009 RMD suspension:

http://www.afsa.org/retiree/pension.pdf

Looks like they allowed participants to cut monthly payments to the minimum ($25) for 2009 and then change back to using life expectancy after 2009.
by tadamsmar
Wed Oct 15, 2014 11:55 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TSP Withdrawal and RMD Question
Replies: 12
Views: 583

Re: It's a good day to adhere to your IPS

Just like every other day of the year, regardless of what the market does. Sure, it's not as fun as "It's a good day to be heavy in [insert whatever is up today]," but are we not Bogleheads? When I read that, my first thought was "Why would he post that?" My second thought was &...
by tadamsmar
Wed Oct 15, 2014 11:23 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: It's a good day to adhere to your IPS
Replies: 19
Views: 1768

Re: TSP Withdrawal and RMD Question

This seems to indicate that the payments based on life expectancy will a sufficiently good approximation: Payments are calculated based on IRS life expectancy tables.(5) (5) The IRS Single Life Table, Treas. Reg. § 1.401(a)(9)-9, Q&A-1, is used to calculate monthly payments based on life expecta...
by tadamsmar
Wed Oct 15, 2014 10:50 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TSP Withdrawal and RMD Question
Replies: 12
Views: 583

Re: PhD in Computer Engineering?

I think IBM hires quit a few PhDs for research:

http://www.research.ibm.com/
by tadamsmar
Wed Oct 15, 2014 8:58 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: PhD in Computer Engineering?
Replies: 33
Views: 3342

Re: Buy a new car, or fix the old one?

Now I have never put numbers to it, but in my mind, the likelihood of a person being injured in a car crash is directly proportional to the time spent in the car and therefore, the likelihood of a car outliving its safety features would be a statistical outlier to a person who drives it so little t...
by tadamsmar
Tue Oct 14, 2014 4:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy a new car, or fix the old one?
Replies: 55
Views: 2967

Re: Buy a new car, or fix the old one?

In other words the statistical probability of a person who's car is not physically worn out before it needs to be replaced for safety obsolescence is much more likely to need to spend that money with other safety issues in their life than to buy a new car for safety features alone. Not a sound argu...
by tadamsmar
Tue Oct 14, 2014 3:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy a new car, or fix the old one?
Replies: 55
Views: 2967

Re: Buy a new car, or fix the old one?

I've seen the same posts, and the safety concerns are overblown, IMO. Safety advances are incremental, and there will always be new features at diminishing returns. It's not generally true that they are incremental. Sometimes a single feature is a big leap. ESC and the collapsible steering wheel ar...
by tadamsmar
Tue Oct 14, 2014 2:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy a new car, or fix the old one?
Replies: 55
Views: 2967

Re: Buy a new car, or fix the old one?

I plan on upgrading my car every 10-15 years mostly motivated by safety innovations. I would look at what additional safety you would get out of a new car vs keeping the 12 year old one. Is this really something to be concerned about (I'm asking non-sarcastically)? I've seen a few other posters wit...
by tadamsmar
Tue Oct 14, 2014 1:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy a new car, or fix the old one?
Replies: 55
Views: 2967

Re: Will and Estate Planning - do i or not need an attorney

We had a DYI wills for a while. I eventually went to an attorney. They helped us create wills, durable POAs, health care POAs, and advanced directives. I am not convinced you need a attorney, but it's certainly saves you some effort and provides some assurance. I don't think lawyers are perfect. The...
by tadamsmar
Tue Oct 14, 2014 1:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will and Estate Planning - do i or not need an attorney
Replies: 26
Views: 2262

Re: Bill Sharpe on the 4% SWR rule (he thinks it's silly)

From the Trinity Study: the purpose of withdrawal rate analysis is to provide investors with a planning tool that can be used to evaluate the sustainability of various withdrawal rates For example, Peter Lynch argues in a 1995 Worth Magazine article that based on his professional experience and know...
by tadamsmar
Tue Oct 14, 2014 12:36 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bill Sharpe on the 4% SWR rule (he thinks it's silly)
Replies: 51
Views: 4624

Re: Buy a new car, or fix the old one?

Thanks for the informative resource. My 2002 Maxima actually does have stability control. It was offered as an option starting with 2002 models. I had looked it up here and it says that its not available. http://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings/safety-features But after your post, searched for confirmatio...
by tadamsmar
Tue Oct 14, 2014 11:02 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy a new car, or fix the old one?
Replies: 55
Views: 2967

Re: First RMD Divisor - 27.4 or 26.5

Seems to me that the first RMD dividend is also ambiguous.

Is it the balance at the end the year prior to when you turn 70.5?

Or, is it the balance at the end of the year prior to the April 1 deadline?

Or, does it depend on when you take the distribution?

My guess is it's the first one I listed.
by tadamsmar
Tue Oct 14, 2014 10:42 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First RMD Divisor - 27.4 or 26.5
Replies: 11
Views: 1034
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