A reminder that non-investing general comment threads are OT

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A reminder that non-investing general comment threads are OT

Postby Alex Frakt » Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:03 pm

We've had to shut down or remove an unusual number of threads in the last few days. I assume everyone knows that political discussions are off topic here, but I'd like to take a moment to point out a couple of our forum policies that people may not be familiar with.

Most of the threads we have closed have one thing in common, they were general topics posted on one of the Personal subforums: Investing - Help with Personal Investments, Personal Finance and Personal Consumer Issues. New threads in each of these subforums must meet the following requirements

- It must be personal. In other words, you must be asking about your own situation. You can also ask on behalf of someone specific, such as a family member.

- It must be actionable. You must be able to do something specific with the replies that will make a difference in your situation.

To illustrate I'll give some examples from real threads.

Locked, neither personal, nor actionable.
Nice article over on learnvest about immigrant parents. Obviously I agree with the general tenor of the piece, though there are always exceptions to the author's generalization of immigrant parents; plus, there are always cases within the immigrant parent subset where the parents are diametrically opposite in how they handle money.

OK
First of all, i have started thinking about my parents' retirement plan... We're immigrants so my parents don't even speak very well english and they still have the european mentality of keeping cash in the house rather than investing or giving to the bank...


Locked, not personal (and it's about proposed legislation, which is also off topic).
Robert Pozen writes about 529 plans and has a few suggestions to try to get folks to use them more. But first, one has to have money to put into them, so I liked the article because it agrees with me...

OK
I am ready to open a 529 Plan for my one-year-old daughter, and I am considering the Maryland 529 Plan and the NY 529 Plan. The MD 529 is managed by T. Rowe Price and the NY Plan is managed by Vanguard. Everything else being equal, the major considerations for my decision are:...


Removed, neither personal nor actionable.
I was digging around our local Police & Fire Public Pension website recently because, like many, the funded ratio dropped again (below 80% this past year.) While this fund doesn't affect me directly, as a citizen taxpayer, it can indirectly.

To say this pension fund is actively managed would be an understatement. Full of high expense funds. The 'financial consultants' who meet with the pension board every month and provide their advice for what to sell and buy. It is a local firm who runs my wife's 401k, which leaves a little to be desired. Anyway, looking through the minutes of previous meetings, it appears the consultants just recommend funds and the board blindly approves these. There is an Investment Policy which looks good, but they are turning over a lot of funds frequently. Expenses are supposed to maintain a level comparable to average expenses (which is a joke.)

OK
The division of the company I work for was recently sold to another company. Because of this, employees have an opportunity to cash out their fixed benefit pension with the previous company.
Some of the choices I have are the following.
(My length of employment is not that great, which is reflected in the payout)

Lump sum: ~$22K which can be moved to an IRA.
Immediate annuity of ~ $100 per month.
Annuity starting at age 55 of ~$370/month
Annuity starting at age 65 of ~$525/month.
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Re: A reminder that non-investing general comment threads ar

Postby denismurf » Fri Apr 26, 2013 3:41 pm

Greetings, moderators.

It should come as no surprise that many members take offense at the lengthy discussion of which are the best guns to kill people with (as opposed to guns used for sport or hunting).

To many eyes, such a topic is no less offensive than would be something like: "Where can my daughter get the best deal on an abortion in New York City?"

That said, I have nothing but gratitude and admiration for your work in keeping the peace on bogleheads.com.
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Re: A reminder that non-investing general comment threads ar

Postby pjstack » Fri Apr 26, 2013 5:13 pm

Save yourself pain: don't read things that offend you.

Disclaimer: (Yes, I am a firearms owner.)
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Re: A reminder that non-investing general comment threads ar

Postby denismurf » Sat Apr 27, 2013 11:18 pm

To clarify one thing. I opened the gun thread initially only because I was intrigued by the original title referring only to "ccw," and I had no idea what that meant.

To clarify another, nowhere do I say that I myself am offended by a discussion about which guns to buy.

The lack of reaction to my post here, and the fact that the gun thread is still going, do, however, seem to confirm my understanding of the rules about posting consumer questions. Specifically, one can post a legitimate (under our rules) question about any legal good or service, regardless of how controversial that good or service might be to some people. What one cannot do under the rules is criticize the good or service, or the people who use them, for moral or ideological or religious or political reasons.

I assume somebody will let me know if I didn't get this right.
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Re: A reminder that non-investing general comment threads ar

Postby fishnskiguy » Sat Apr 27, 2013 11:38 pm

denismurf wrote:.

The lack of reaction to my post here, and the fact that the gun thread is still going, do, however, seem to confirm my understanding of the rules about posting consumer questions. Specifically, one can post a legitimate (under our rules) question about any legal good or service, regardless of how controversial that good or service might be to some people. What one cannot do under the rules is criticize the good or service, or the people who use them, for moral or ideological or religious or political reasons.

I assume somebody will let me know if I didn't get this right.


I'd say you got it about right. :sharebeer

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Re: A reminder that non-investing general comment threads ar

Postby bobcat2 » Sat Apr 27, 2013 11:47 pm

denismurf wrote: Specifically, one can post a legitimate (under our rules) question about any legal good or service, regardless of how controversial that good or service might be to some people. What one cannot do under the rules is criticize the good or service, or the people who use them, for moral or ideological or religious or political reasons.


Yes that is also my understanding. For example, prostitution is legal in some counties in the state of Nevada. So if you were to start a thread asking which brothel in those counties gives a guy that best bang for the buck that would be a perfectly acceptable topic, because it is a legal service in those counties. What you couldn't do here is criticize that service or the posters who use that service.

If I am wrong about this, I'm sure someone will step forward to correct my interpretation of the rules. :D

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Re: A reminder that non-investing general comment threads ar

Postby beardsworth » Sat Apr 27, 2013 11:52 pm

Guns? Brothels?

[Looking at forum masthead:] "Inspired by Jack Bogle"? I don't think so. :shock:
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Re: A reminder that non-investing general comment threads ar

Postby SteveNet » Sun Apr 28, 2013 1:30 am

As far as clicking on any topic you either don't agree with once you see it, or find personally objectionable...
Click on a different one and ignore the other...Simple.
No need to make a fuss about it.
If you feel it's out of line with the posting guidelines then report it and let the Admins handle it, that is why they are there.

This is not directed at anyone, just from my observations on some topics.
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Re: A reminder that non-investing general comment threads ar

Postby likegarden » Sun Apr 28, 2013 8:24 am

Perhaps there should be a new policy that threads which are about subjects which are offensive to many Bogleheads should be at least in a separate sub-forum which is somewhat hidden. Perhaps someone could do a poll asking if this CCW thread was / is offensive or not in this Boglehead forum.
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Re: A reminder that non-investing general comment threads ar

Postby dickenjb » Sun Apr 28, 2013 8:47 am

bobcat2 wrote: So if you were to start a thread asking which brothel in those counties gives a guy that best bang for the buck that would be a perfectly acceptable topic, because it is a legal service in those counties.


Nice wordsmithing!
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Re: A reminder that non-investing general comment threads ar

Postby VictoriaF » Sun Apr 28, 2013 9:00 am

dickenjb wrote:
bobcat2 wrote: So if you were to start a thread asking which brothel in those counties gives a guy that best bang for the buck that would be a perfectly acceptable topic, because it is a legal service in those counties.


Nice wordsmithing!


The buck is in the nature of this Forum. The bangs are customarily over-predicted.

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Re: A reminder that non-investing general comment threads ar

Postby Default User BR » Sun Apr 28, 2013 12:50 pm

Bernd wrote:Perhaps there should be a new policy that threads which are about subjects which are offensive to many Bogleheads should be at least in a separate sub-forum which is somewhat hidden. Perhaps someone could do a poll asking if this CCW thread was / is offensive or not in this Boglehead forum.

There are a great many topics offensive to some group or another. Example, ones where two same-sex partners wish to devise the best financial plan given the constraints of the law where they live. Anti-alcohol people won't like ones about choosing the best Scotch.

The question is, as those people are not forced to read the thread, why should they be catered to? As noted, they can move on to something else.


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Re: A reminder that non-investing general comment threads ar

Postby gkaplan » Sun Apr 28, 2013 5:13 pm

Default User BR wrote:
Bernd wrote:Perhaps there should be a new policy that threads which are about subjects which are offensive to many Bogleheads should be at least in a separate sub-forum which is somewhat hidden. Perhaps someone could do a poll asking if this CCW thread was / is offensive or not in this Boglehead forum.

There are a great many topics offensive to some group or another. Example, ones where two same-sex partners wish to devise the best financial plan given the constraints of the law where they live. Anti-alcohol people won't like ones about choosing the best Scotch.

The question is, as those people are not forced to read the thread, why should they be catered to? As noted, they can move on to something else.


Brian


I agree. I stopped reading the CWP permit as soon as I found out what CWP stood for, because – well I think you can figure it out.
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Re: A reminder that non-investing general comment threads ar

Postby Rob5TCP » Sun Apr 28, 2013 5:44 pm

Bernd wrote:Perhaps there should be a new policy that threads which are about subjects which are offensive to many Bogleheads should be at least in a separate sub-forum which is somewhat hidden. Perhaps someone could do a poll asking if this CCW thread was / is offensive or not in this Boglehead forum.


I would like us to AVOID, if possible, those posts. Invariably they end up with multiple ad hominems. I have other sites I post and these posting end up with nothing intelligently discussed, and each side just
accusing/blaming the other for (take your choice, lack of compassion, foresight, intelligence, integrity, and so on).

I like the rules here that keep out politics and religion and gratuitous attacks or any attacks.
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Re: A reminder that non-investing general comment threads ar

Postby Sam I Am » Sun Apr 28, 2013 6:45 pm

Message deleted.
Last edited by Sam I Am on Sun Oct 06, 2013 1:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A reminder that non-investing general comment threads ar

Postby Qtman » Mon Jul 15, 2013 5:47 am

I in general have given up on this site. My reasoning was different, my tag line was changed by the moderator to be PC and not offend anyone. Yet as I pointed out to the moderator, the post about buying a Rolex watch quickly degenerated into people moralizing about the cost of a Rolex vs feeding the starving people in the world.

The "standards" put forth by the moderator are inconsistent regarding what to call appropriate or not. Best wishes to all, I'm done with this forum.
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Re: A reminder that non-investing general comment threads ar

Postby Dulocracy » Mon Jul 15, 2013 11:57 am

While I understand that people on this board often say "why are you using this board" when people seek answers to questions about what they should do regarding subjects such as guns, many of us seek advice on this site about issues that may not normally be on this site BECAUSE we want intelligent responses from like-minded people. As an example, I posted asking for advice on tithing/charitable giving. The moderators were very patient and helped me with wording to keep it on task. For those who like to say "this question does not belong here," why then do we allow discussions about washing detergent, plumbing, and the like? While some questions may need re-wording, please understand that some of us want legitimate advice. If a subject offends you, do not try to uproot the thread by causing problems. Move along. In my previous example about charitable giving, I was asking people who did not understand finances. Asking here made more sense, as I was asking about a financial topic to gain an understanding of how other business savvy people would thing about the topic. That is why we have conversations about guns, washing detergent, and automobiles. 1000 thanks to the moderators, who try to balance minimizing drama with information production by the members.
I'm not a financial professional. Post is info only & not legal advice. No attorney-client relationship exists with reader. Scrutinize my ideas as if you spoke with a guy at a bar. I may be wrong.
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Re: A reminder that non-investing general comment threads ar

Postby gerrym51 » Mon Jul 15, 2013 12:09 pm

does that include the books read and good/bad movies threads. :mrgreen:
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Re: A reminder that non-investing general comment threads ar

Postby Alex Frakt » Mon Jul 15, 2013 4:45 pm

gerrym51 wrote:does that include the books read and good/bad movies threads. :mrgreen:

Recommendation threads on books, movies, music, etc. are on-topic. They are both personal and actionable, i.e., readers can find new things to enjoy in their leisure time.
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Re: A reminder that non-investing general comment threads ar

Postby zaplunken » Mon Jul 15, 2013 6:02 pm

Not to be critical of the mods because I am not doing that nor do I want anyone to suspect it or accuse me of it so I'm getting that out in the open, I just don't understand why some threads that don't seem to abide by the objectives of the forum are left open when similar ones are closed. It must be subtle or objective. I'm reading or following a thread and bam it's closed. I'm doing the same for another that is along the same vein (not following the objectives) and it remains open. Now ask me for an example! There are a lot but off the top of my head I can't name one but I do see it.

Gotta roll with the punches I guess.
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Re: A reminder that non-investing general comment threads ar

Postby Default User BR » Mon Jul 15, 2013 6:34 pm

Without an example, it's hard to give a meaningful answer.


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Re: A reminder that non-investing general comment threads ar

Postby grabiner » Mon Jul 15, 2013 11:49 pm

zaplunken wrote:Not to be critical of the mods because I am not doing that nor do I want anyone to suspect it or accuse me of it so I'm getting that out in the open, I just don't understand why some threads that don't seem to abide by the objectives of the forum are left open when similar ones are closed.


The moderators don't read every thread, and it takes them some time to read threads even when they do, so some lockable threads last for a while. If you believe a thread should be locked, click on the triangle with an exclamation point in the post which is the reason you believe it should be locked. This is used to flag posts with any type of problem to the moderators; you can give an explanation such as, "This thread no longer has any finance content and should be locked," or, "This thread is a duplicate; please lock it and direct followups to this other thread."
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Re: A reminder that non-investing general comment threads ar

Postby LadyGeek » Thu Jul 18, 2013 8:20 pm

To grabiner's point, it's 3 days later and I'm just reading this thread.

Please use the report post button (triangle with the "!") to flag our attention. To report a post (or PM), see the sticky at the top of this thread: REPORTING VIOLATIONS AND UNWELCOME PMs

If anyone wishes to discuss why a certain thread was / was not locked, please PM me. Stating opinions in the open forum is off-topic (see: Forum Policy "Member Rights in a Dispute"). We do listen.
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