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by telemark
Sun May 24, 2015 5:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Stemikger "Volatility is far from synonymous with risk."
Replies: 48
Views: 2395

Re: Stemikger "Volatility is far from synonymous with risk."

We can agree on what volatility means. It's well defined, easy to measure, and has nice statistical properties. Risk is a lot more complicated. Even with something as simple as bonds we can identify many different risks: default risk, interest rate risk, liquidity risk, inflation risk, etc. Buffett ...
by telemark
Sat May 23, 2015 4:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Most effective wifi upgrade for range/speed?
Replies: 17
Views: 1207

Re: Most effective wifi upgrade for range/speed?

lightheir wrote:We'll see if the new router makes my repeater superfluous.

The N and C standards both use multiple antennas, so there's reason to think this might happen. If nothing else, you should get better performance in the areas near the router.
by telemark
Sat May 23, 2015 3:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Most effective wifi upgrade for range/speed?
Replies: 17
Views: 1207

Re: Most effective wifi upgrade for range/speed?

I also am embarrassed to admit that I've been using Wireless G all along because my laptops are all wireless-G era. However, out of sheer frustration, I bought an excellent NetGear 5mHz wifi repeater and found that it could actually repeat signal on the opposite side of my house into the garage. He...
by telemark
Fri May 22, 2015 8:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bill Gross Thinks the End Is Near
Replies: 54
Views: 6599

Re: Bill Gross Thinks the End Is Near

I prefer to get my predictions from people who show some willingness to learn from experience. On the other hand, the tie is pretty cool.
by telemark
Fri May 22, 2015 10:13 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Symbol for Blackrock US Debt (BTC)
Replies: 4
Views: 262

Re: Symbol for Blackrock US Debt (BTC)

If it doesn't trade publically there won't be a ticker symbol. It may be a Collective Investment Trust. These are common in 401K plans and Blackrock runs a lot of them. In that case you won't see dividends reported separately, because they're automatically rolled into the NAV.
by telemark
Fri May 22, 2015 8:36 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard implements 20 character passwords
Replies: 65
Views: 10411

Re: Vanguard implements 20 character passwords

You can put the entire contents of this Web page in there and it will be the same length hash output. . There is a trivially higher amount of computation involved, but it's really trivial. . Your smart phone could hash millions of passwords a day. Which is why MD5 is no longer considered acceptable...
by telemark
Thu May 21, 2015 1:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: W. Buffett can earn 50% return, why don't you?
Replies: 31
Views: 3121

Re: W. Buffett can earn 50% return, why don't you?

1999 was shall we say an interesting year for the stock market. I don't know if Mr. Buffett would promise the same thing in 2015. He usually counsels patience.
by telemark
Tue May 19, 2015 10:28 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Estimating Portfolio Return
Replies: 13
Views: 1079

Re: Estimating Portfolio Return

Mathematically the correct formula is to calculate the 12th root of the annual return and multiply by that. But market returns are so variable that your method is more than close enough. Even for simple interest the difference is pretty small.
by telemark
Tue May 19, 2015 10:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: passport card faster than passport?
Replies: 32
Views: 1981

Re: passport card faster than passport?

We're allowed to talk about the stupid things we've done, so... The last time I flew somewhere, there was no human agent at the check in desk. We had to check in with a machine I had never seen before. At some point it asked me to put either my driver's license or my passport in a slot. I already ha...
by telemark
Thu May 14, 2015 7:45 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why is the nasdaq higher than the S&P500 index?
Replies: 8
Views: 1033

Re: Why is the nasdaq higher than the S&P500 index?

Interesting question. Wikipedia has a chart for the NASDAQ Composite showing the price since it started at $100 in 1971. The S&P 500 is much older and I can't find a corresponding chart, but the short answer seems to be that the NASDAQ is much more volatile. For example, it gained 85% in 1999 an...
by telemark
Tue May 12, 2015 6:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: transferring files from a PC to a Mac
Replies: 5
Views: 360

Re: transferring files from a PC to a Mac

It'll work. Windows and OS X use different file systems on their hard drives, but they both read and write FAT32. The same holds for Linux, if you ever need to deal with that.
by telemark
Mon May 11, 2015 7:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Why Would an Experienced Investor Buy a Target-Date Fund?"
Replies: 38
Views: 4610

Re: "Why Would an Experienced Investor Buy a Target-Date Fund?"

Which changes that Vanguard made do you feel made the funds less diversified and therefore less desirable? IMO, the changes made the funds even MORE diversified and thus, even more desirable. Investors didn't have to do any "tweeking" around the edges as new funds, such as International B...
by telemark
Mon May 11, 2015 1:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Why Would an Experienced Investor Buy a Target-Date Fund?"
Replies: 38
Views: 4610

Re: "Why Would an Experienced Investor Buy a Target-Date Fund?"

Unfortunately, this doesn't protect you from the fund provider tinkering with the allocation, and the fund providers are under pressure to make their allocations attractive to new investors. Even Vanguard, or should I say especially Vanguard, changes their target date funds far more often than I cha...
by telemark
Thu May 07, 2015 8:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A Yale Portfolio Slice 'n Dice Question
Replies: 34
Views: 2187

Re: A Yale Portfolio Slice 'n Dice Question

Taylor Larimore wrote:Past performance does not forecast future performance.

Especially if you're going to compare a 90/10 portfolio with a much more conservative one.
by telemark
Thu May 07, 2015 1:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: McNabb op ed - possible 8% cash requirement
Replies: 33
Views: 2988

Re: McNabb op ed - possible 8% cash requirement

Shrug. If a mutual fund has the potential of crashing and burning so horribly that it could trigger a financial crisis, I don't want to own it anyway. Nothing that Vanguard manages is even remotely in that category.

Hint: think LTCM, and maybe some existing hedge funds.
by telemark
Thu May 07, 2015 12:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A Yale Portfolio Slice 'n Dice Question
Replies: 34
Views: 2187

Re: A Yale Portfolio Slice 'n Dice Question

Disclosure: I'm using the version you listed with one modification (total international instead of the developed/emerging split) version in my Roth IRA. I didn't open a Roth IRA until my late 40s, so it's a small part of my total portfolio. If you want to try this, the fund choices make a Roth proba...
by telemark
Sun May 03, 2015 8:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Don't invest in something you don't understand."
Replies: 55
Views: 3447

Re: "Don't invest in something you don't understand."

I just got a prospectus from one of my funds..... every year I say I'm going to take the time and actual read the things, then I get to lines like "The fund follows a fair value hierarchy that distinguished between market data and the fund's own market assumption (unobservable inputs). these i...
by telemark
Fri May 01, 2015 1:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard's 40th Anniversary - is it built for the long term?
Replies: 4
Views: 512

Re: Vanguard's 40th Anniversary - is it built for the long t

I only see two possible problems: either indexing falls so far out of fashion that they can no longer stay in business, or they do something incredibly stupid to destroy their own business. Neither of those seems very likely. As long as they stick to their core business of low cost investing, their ...
by telemark
Thu Apr 30, 2015 8:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Unconstrained" food fight
Replies: 6
Views: 1321

Re: "Unconstrained" food fight

I want my bond funds to be boring. I don't want to be up after midnight wondering what they're doing.
by telemark
Wed Apr 29, 2015 1:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [get music from a smartphone to an old car stereo]
Replies: 14
Views: 1010

Re: [get music from a smartphone to an old car stereo]

FM transmitters generally don't work well because a car makes a fairly effective Faraday cage, with the transmitter on the inside and the antenna on the outside. A pity, it seems like such a promising idea.
by telemark
Wed Apr 29, 2015 10:35 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: RE Social security being taxed--new chart by Scott Burns
Replies: 41
Views: 4681

Re: RE Social security being taxed--new chart by Scott Burns

Thanks for all the replies. It was the effect on SS taxation that interested me, and Doc has answered that.
by telemark
Tue Apr 28, 2015 11:57 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: RE Social security being taxed--new chart by Scott Burns
Replies: 41
Views: 4681

Re: RE Social security being taxed--new chart by Scott Burns

Is there any advantage to arranging to receive income as capital gains or qualified dividends, rather than ordinary income?
by telemark
Mon Apr 27, 2015 11:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Another reason NOT to use (free) Wifi
Replies: 53
Views: 6235

Re: Another reason NOT to use (free) Wifi

How can "they" invade my privacy? Let's say a mall/store uses multiple WiFi access points to triangulate my position. They use my phone's MAC address to distinguish my phone from 100 other phones in the same area. Can they use that info to send me unsolicited email or text messages? No. C...
by telemark
Mon Apr 27, 2015 10:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Another reason NOT to use (free) Wifi
Replies: 53
Views: 6235

Re: Another reason NOT to use (free) Wifi

If you carry a cell phone the service provider always knows approximately where you are, so it can route calls to you. But you can save some battery life by turning off wifi when you're not using it, especially if you're walking around and your phone is constantly scanning for networks.
by telemark
Sun Apr 26, 2015 3:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Water Heater
Replies: 42
Views: 3909

Re: New Water Heater

My water heater is under the counter in the bathroom, which is great in terms of getting hot water right away but leaves very little space for the heater. When I had a new one put in two years ago the plumber broke the counter top trying to fit it in. I'm thinking when this one gives out I should ju...
by telemark
Fri Apr 24, 2015 11:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Opening Online Savings Account with Credit Freeze
Replies: 10
Views: 997

Re: Opening Online Savings Account with Credit Freeze

It's a known issue with Ally: see here and here and here and here. Easiest solution is to find another bank; no one has reported this problem with any bank but Ally.
by telemark
Fri Apr 24, 2015 12:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Converting 8mm and VHS tapes to digital
Replies: 11
Views: 1004

Re: Converting 8mm and VHS tapes to digital

I did a bit of this around 2002, also using the ADVC with a Mac, making DVDs to send to family members. It was so time consuming I quickly gave it up, but most of that was the DVD conversion, and I was using a slow computer even for the time. If I try any more I'll probably just convert to a more mo...
by telemark
Mon Apr 20, 2015 7:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 723
Views: 105029

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz , L. Frank Baum, 1900. Saw the movie (who hasn't?) several times but never read the book. Turns out the book is quite charming. Only about quarter of the way through it so far. The book reads smoothly and naturally without the language seeming to be an artifact of the tim...
by telemark
Mon Apr 20, 2015 7:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 723
Views: 105029

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Ray Bradbury, The October Country.

I grew up always hearing how great Bradbury was, but never really saw it. I preferred authors like Heinlein and Asimov. Giving him another try now.

What I notice immediately is how many of the stories are about middle-aged, apparently childless married couples.
by telemark
Mon Apr 20, 2015 3:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 841
Views: 117466

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

The problems with The Imitation Game are fairly well known. Another take:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/01/26 ... have_been/
by telemark
Sun Apr 19, 2015 8:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Who is Ameriprise? Got invitation from a financial advisor]
Replies: 32
Views: 2976

Re: Ameriprise

I contributed to an Ameriprise-run 401K plan for more than twenty years, starting when they were still part of American Express, and I count that as the main reason I'm still not ready to retire :oops: Would you believe 1.5% in expenses for an S&P 500 index fund? And expensive tax-sheltered insu...
by telemark
Sat Apr 18, 2015 8:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New Job, Please Help with 401k Choices
Replies: 5
Views: 599

Re: New Job, Please Help with 401k Choices

Also, the Stable Value fund *might* be a good choice. What matters there is not the expense ratio but the interest rate, which is normally reported after expenses.
by telemark
Sat Apr 18, 2015 12:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is there a good IPOD alternative?
Replies: 27
Views: 1829

Re: Is there a good IPOD alternative?

Another vote for the Sansa Clip. It handles all the common audio formats, and if you need more space you can add a microSD card.
by telemark
Fri Apr 17, 2015 8:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Proof vinyl has higher music ceiling than mp3?
Replies: 36
Views: 2598

Re: Proof vinyl has higher music ceiling than mp3?

I'll say this much, I read a quote from a high executive in the music industry once that said the vinyl record will outlast the CD. I thought he was nuts at the time, but now it is looking more and more like he was right. You never know. Maybe the hipsters of 2040 will be looking for old CRT TV sets.
by telemark
Fri Apr 17, 2015 7:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Proof vinyl has higher music ceiling than mp3?
Replies: 36
Views: 2598

Re: Proof vinyl has higher music ceiling than mp3?

The amazing thing about vinyl is that it works at all. A couple of ancillary points: I convert everything to FLAC these days, being unable to see any reason not to, but when I was encoding to MP3 I got the best results using variable bit rate (VBR). I think constant bit rate only survives for market...
by telemark
Mon Apr 13, 2015 10:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: VPN killing my Internet
Replies: 31
Views: 2860

Re: VPN killing my Internet

Using a VPN is a security measure, particularly useful when conducting financial or investing matters over the internet, so it's a issue of interest to many of us.
by telemark
Mon Apr 13, 2015 8:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k converting PIMCO Tot Return to Loomis Sayles - advice?
Replies: 13
Views: 1131

Re: 401k converting PIMCO Tot Return to Loomis Sayles - advi

There is no way to evaluate their performance or risk. You can, however, be sure it has a front end load and high expense ratio.....Gordon Let's not jump to conclusions. There's no evidence of a front end load, and 0.25% is quite reasonable for a managed fund. Vanguard charges more than that for so...
by telemark
Mon Apr 13, 2015 10:35 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k converting PIMCO Tot Return to Loomis Sayles - advice?
Replies: 13
Views: 1131

Re: 401k converting PIMCO Tot Return to Loomis Sayles - advi

Looking at your link, the thing that jumps out at me is the performance in 2008: 1.57% for Loomis vs. 5.24% for the Barclay's index. On the other hand, the following year Loomis made 18.42% :!: vs. 5.93% for the index, and only making 1.57% in 2008 is not too bad in a year when many alternatives to ...
by telemark
Sat Apr 11, 2015 8:44 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k bond fund recommendation?
Replies: 8
Views: 832

Re: 401k bond fund recommendation?

I have the exact same funds in an old 401K. I use the BlackRock fund and have been very happy with that choice. PTTRX is actively managed, so it sometimes outperforms and sometimes underperforms. Its star manager, Bill Gross, was forced out about a year ago, so future performance may differ from the...
by telemark
Wed Apr 08, 2015 5:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Year round storage container for CDs in car
Replies: 14
Views: 762

Re: Year round storage container for CDs in car

Burn copies to keep in your car? This also protects against theft.
by telemark
Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good Modern Science Fiction
Replies: 182
Views: 12682

Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

'We Can Remember it For you' became Total Recall? I think a lot of people did not understand the movie (by the director of Robocop and Starship Troopers) which I am more and more convinced is a satire. I don't understand that movie either, and your theory is as good as any. Or maybe Verhoeven just ...
by telemark
Wed Apr 08, 2015 10:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good Modern Science Fiction
Replies: 182
Views: 12682

Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Like many "idea" SF writers, Dick had trouble with longer forms, but novels were where the money was. A lot of his novels are pretty bad, but usually in interesting ways and brilliant in places. In contrast, some of the short stories, like We Can Remember It For You Wholesale, seem perfect...
by telemark
Wed Apr 08, 2015 8:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good Modern Science Fiction
Replies: 182
Views: 12682

Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

if you go to a book store (remember those) you can see rows of his short story works and some of Dick's lessor known novels like 'Ubik' and some that are not in the Sci-Fi realm. Or, try a library, the man had a tremendous output in his short life - 1928-1982. Don't need to, they're sitting on my b...
by telemark
Tue Apr 07, 2015 8:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good Modern Science Fiction
Replies: 182
Views: 12682

Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Never where to go with the Philip K Dick oeuvre, but The Man in the High Castle (now a TV series, apparently) is pretty good. There is a pilot episode from Amazon. You can stream it for free, even without a Prime membership. It's been a long time since I read the book, but the adaptation seems fait...
by telemark
Tue Apr 07, 2015 11:16 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Get rid of stocks because you lost faith in company product
Replies: 29
Views: 2229

Re: Get rid of stocks because you lost faith in company prod

I can't believe no one has posted this link yet. Scott Adams on buying what you hate...

Although I don't really agree with his approach either. Letting your emotions guide your investing is a mistake.
by telemark
Sat Apr 04, 2015 8:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help Picking from horrible choices:
Replies: 14
Views: 1303

Re: Help Picking from horrible choices:

I took the liberty of reformatting your list and sorting the sections by expense ratio, as I find that makes it easier for me to spot the cheap/expensive funds. I also shortened some of the fund names so they wouldn't wrap and eliminated the tax-exempt section since it doesn't make sense in an IRA. ...
by telemark
Fri Apr 03, 2015 3:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How does one invest without rebalancing?
Replies: 17
Views: 1739

Re: How does one invest without rebalancing?

What to do with new money if you don't rebalance? I think it would depend on why you have chosen not to rebalance, and it's clear from previous threads that people have different reasons for not rebalancing. If you worry that rebalancing lowers your expected return, you should put new money into sto...
by telemark
Tue Mar 31, 2015 3:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why Mac only has online version of WillMaker and Turbo Tax?
Replies: 14
Views: 904

Re: Why Mac only has online version of WillMaker and Turbo T

Those programs are written by Quicken and Intuit, so the decision isn't Apple's to make, and using the online versions doesn't give Apple any access to the data, so that particular reason seems unlikely. It is true that Apple seems to be steering its customers away from traditional desktop systems, ...
by telemark
Mon Mar 30, 2015 2:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retiring June 2015 - Fed Rate Increase
Replies: 4
Views: 647

Re: Retiring June 2015 - Fed Rate Increase

If you roll over to the same allocation you had in the 401K, the effect is entirely neutral. Unless the market happens to move in the time it takes to do the transfer, and there's no way to predict that.
by telemark
Sat Mar 28, 2015 9:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Does rebalancing make sense for guaranteed assets?
Replies: 8
Views: 815

Re: Does rebalancing make sense for guaranteed assets?

telemark, your comment is interesting. Do you think that the bond index has a bigger chance of being less than 3.10% vs. more than 3.10% in the next year? No, not really. I was just expressing jealousy at anyone being able to get that rate in a fixed account. There's a long thread on the subject so...

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