Search found 5272 matches

by Epsilon Delta
Fri Jan 29, 2016 5:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How safe are Bonds? Is cash a good substitute?
Replies: 18
Views: 1957

Re: How safe are Bonds? Is cash a good substitute?

MODERN PORTFOLIO THEORY: Invest in stocks and bonds -- Not stocks and cash. MPT says no such thing. Depending on how you want to look at it cash is either the riskless asset, which you hold along with the market portfolio, or cash is part of the market portfolio, so you hold it at market weight alo...
by Epsilon Delta
Thu Jan 28, 2016 5:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: File taxes via mail or electronically
Replies: 75
Views: 4061

Re: File taxes via mail or electronically

Again, not true. There are many, many other risks. Just because you can't think of any others doesn't mean they don't exist. Just because you can't enumerate them doesn't mean they do exist. It's 2016. We can put people on the moon and we can secure electronic communications. No we can't. We could ...
by Epsilon Delta
Wed Jan 27, 2016 4:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Form 8606 Questions
Replies: 7
Views: 815

Re: Form 8606 Questions

Form 8606 is not used to report withdrawals from an inherited IRA. Form 1040 is used for that. Not just because it's inherited. But if an inherited traditional IRA has basis, or an inherited Roth IRA is not 5 years old, a 8606 could be required for a withdrawal. OP should probably read the instruct...
by Epsilon Delta
Wed Jan 27, 2016 2:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is my package stuck in German customs? Now what?
Replies: 14
Views: 1176

Re: Is my package stuck in German customs? Now what?

How was it sent?

For surface mail from Europe two months is not out of line, it could still be sitting in the hold of a ship chugging across the Atlantic.
by Epsilon Delta
Wed Jan 27, 2016 11:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I think MacBook Air has a "bug"
Replies: 32
Views: 2172

Re: I think MacBook Air has a "bug"

And by the way...why should a system need to go down for an upgrade? What law of physics is that? Seriously? A running system has orders of magnitude of orders of magnitude more states than a stopped system. Writing code to dealing with umpteen gazillion run time possibilities is much harder than w...
by Epsilon Delta
Tue Jan 26, 2016 11:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2016 Mazda CX-3, Honda HR-V, Subaru Crosstrek (or Honda Civic)?
Replies: 28
Views: 2268

Re: 2016 Mazda CX-3, Honda HR-V, Subaru Crosstrek (or Honda Civic)?

I don't quite understand the reasoning behind requiring chains on all but AWD cars. If the conditions call for chains, an AWD vehicle will not make it very far on all-season tires, won't it? As I understand it's not that the roads are that bad, it's that the traffic is quite heavy. While you might ...
by Epsilon Delta
Tue Jan 26, 2016 7:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is your favorite Financial Quote or Metaphor??
Replies: 179
Views: 9358

Re: What is your favorite Financial Quote or Metaphor??

Peter Foley wrote:live below your means. (The Dickens version is fine, but too many words to remember quickly.)


Never take advice from people using LSD.
by Epsilon Delta
Tue Jan 26, 2016 6:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone driven Oregon to Chicago in Jan-Feb?
Replies: 25
Views: 1453

Re: Anyone driven Oregon to Chicago in Jan-Feb?

Is it worth checking the weather and then picking your route or are the four day forecasts not accurate enough to make a difference when the routes are only a few hundred miles apart?
by Epsilon Delta
Tue Jan 26, 2016 4:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Properly Assessing Public Schools
Replies: 55
Views: 3060

Re: Properly Assessing Public Schools

The quality of your parents and the value in education they instill in you are bigger determinants of educational outcomes than peers or teachers. +1/2 That's certainly true, but let's not underestimate the impact of quality teachers and peers. My parents valued education extremely highly, and inst...
by Epsilon Delta
Tue Jan 26, 2016 2:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Properly Assessing Public Schools
Replies: 55
Views: 3060

Re: Properly Assessing Public Schools

Op, I don't think sites like great schools and school digger are very helpful, at least in my area. The problem is not just finding data, but interpreting it. The data is easy to interpret. Almost any data that is put forward is a measure of the socio-economic status of the parents. It's unclear wh...
by Epsilon Delta
Tue Jan 26, 2016 2:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bond funds in a high default environment? (How they react, theoretically)
Replies: 6
Views: 438

Re: Bond funds in a high default environment? (How they react, theoretically)

Note that in the case of the Dow Jones Industrial Average if a stock drops to zero, the index drops to zero. Therefore as with GM, they eject a stock on the verge of bankruptcy very quickly. DJIA is an anomaly though (not market cap weighted). Please explain. The DJIA is calculated by adding the pr...
by Epsilon Delta
Mon Jan 25, 2016 9:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is your favorite Financial Quote or Metaphor??
Replies: 179
Views: 9358

Re: What is your favorite Financial Quote or Metaphor??

Too many people spend money they earned to buy things they don’t want to impress people that they don’t like. It's usually given as: Too many people spend money they haven't earned to buy things they don’t want to impress people that they don’t like. Not sure if your's was a typo or a somewhat diff...
by Epsilon Delta
Mon Jan 25, 2016 6:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Convert portion of 2015 Roth Contribution to Traditional to get more Savers Credit
Replies: 7
Views: 373

Re: Convert portion of 2015 Roth Contribution to Traditional to get more Savers Credit

I guess the next question be when I can then do a Roth conversion without screwing up the credits. Any insight please? The results are very fact specific and also interact with other AGI based credits such as EIC and possibly things like the ACA tax credits. You usually want to convert in a year wh...
by Epsilon Delta
Mon Jan 25, 2016 5:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Backdoor Roth vs. Taxable Brokerage
Replies: 4
Views: 461

Re: Backdoor Roth vs. Taxable Brokerage

If you have an existing traditional IRA, either from prior year contributions or from rolling over a 401(k) you can convert some or all of it in any year. This is a good idea if your retirement tax rate will be higher or equal to your current rate.
by Epsilon Delta
Mon Jan 25, 2016 1:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS filing - certified mail with or without return receipt
Replies: 7
Views: 841

Re: IRS filing - certified mail with or without return receipt

As I understand, certified and registered mail are the only USPS methods of mailing that the IRS can legally accept as proof of timely filing should there be a "we didn't get your return, here's a penalty for not filing" or "we got your return, but it was postmarked late, here's a pe...
by Epsilon Delta
Mon Jan 25, 2016 1:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Computer] Backup Date issues
Replies: 16
Views: 831

Re: [Computer] Backup Date issues

I agree on the importance of restoring the file fully, including all of the date information. A restore that doesn't completely restore every bit of file metadata... including not only dates, but permissions and ACLs and what-have-you (and yet, resource forks on a Mac even though they are deprecate...
by Epsilon Delta
Mon Jan 25, 2016 1:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Computer] Backup Date issues
Replies: 16
Views: 831

Re: [Computer] Backup Date issues

The most reliable backup / restore software is the one that comes with the operating system. I can't speak for all OS's but as a general proposition this is quite wrong. At one time AT&T shipped a backup utility with system V that would quite happily back up a 30 meg drive to a 5 meg tape. Luck...
by Epsilon Delta
Mon Jan 25, 2016 12:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Password Management and Safekeeping
Replies: 72
Views: 5446

Re: Password Management and Safekeeping

At 8 characters, or 11 characters, hash tables are useful things and dictionary words should be avoided. At 30 characters, the number of possible permutations makes it just as computationally expensive to produce the hash tables as it does to check them. In other words, at 30 characters with a numb...
by Epsilon Delta
Mon Jan 25, 2016 12:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Please correct my logic
Replies: 17
Views: 1240

Re: Please correct my logic

tadamsmar wrote:AUB means the union of sets A and B

The volatility of AUB must be less than or equal to the volatility of A

That's not right. Let A be a $100 bill and B a share of Verizon
by Epsilon Delta
Mon Jan 25, 2016 11:26 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: ROTH contribution dilemma
Replies: 2
Views: 463

Re: ROTH contribution dilemma

Very little difference. Making the partial direct contribution could have a tiny advantage (Worth at most $52) if you need to take a distribution before 2020. Making it all back door is slightly simpler paper work. It is also robust if you underestimated your income, even if you end up having to ame...
by Epsilon Delta
Fri Jan 22, 2016 11:46 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Hold risk constant or hold return constant?
Replies: 132
Views: 6399

Re: Hold risk constant or hold return constant?

Sure, there are issues with using standard deviation as a measure of risk, and one of the biggest is that most people care more about downside risk than upside risk. Sure, MPT--as I understand it, which I think is some kind of combination of MPT and CAPM--the body of theory that results in pictures...
by Epsilon Delta
Fri Jan 22, 2016 11:13 am
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Upcoming East Coast snow and Bogleheads servers
Replies: 18
Views: 1716

Re: Upcoming East Coast snow and Bogleheads servers

... or the grid collapses under the load once it gets down to 50 and everyone turns the heat to max.
by Epsilon Delta
Fri Jan 22, 2016 10:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Geothermal Heat Pumps
Replies: 18
Views: 1663

Re: Geothermal Heat Pumps

BTU's is BTU's , so any unit, geothermal or air source, can be sized so as to perform well for temperature/humidity control in the warm months. While I agree that a well designed ground source geothermal system can effectively control humidity, I don't agree with your BTUs is BTUs statement. Dehumi...
by Epsilon Delta
Thu Jan 21, 2016 9:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Small amount in Roth
Replies: 10
Views: 355

Re: Small amount in Roth

If you buy VTI the "cash turd" will be less than $100. It really doesn't matter what you do with $100. Call it part of your bond portfolio, earning 0% instead of .15% and be done with it. If this bothers you join OCD Anonymous and hash it out there. Or find an ETF whose price is close to ...
by Epsilon Delta
Thu Jan 21, 2016 9:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Small amount in Roth
Replies: 10
Views: 355

Re: Small amount in Roth

If you buy VTI the "cash turd" will be less than $100. It really doesn't matter what you do with $100. Call it part of your bond portfolio, earning 0% instead of .15% and be done with it. If this bothers you join OCD Anonymous and hash it out there. Or find an ETF whose price is close to a...
by Epsilon Delta
Thu Jan 21, 2016 8:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: CC Purchase Accounting Disagreement: When Charged vs. When Paid
Replies: 31
Views: 839

Re: CC Purchase Accounting Disagreement: When Charged vs. When Paid

I did not see the other contentious discussion, and it puzzles me that differences of opinion or approach would (or should) get contentious. It seems to me that charging a purchase would mean that the expenditure is made right then and you have taken a loan to pay for the purchase. When you pay the...
by Epsilon Delta
Thu Jan 21, 2016 7:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Hold risk constant or hold return constant?
Replies: 132
Views: 6399

Re: Hold risk constant or hold return constant?

"In a paper I finished in 1962 that was published in 1964, I found you didn't have to assume only one factor. That basic result comes through in a much more general setting. There could be five factors, or 20 factors, or as many factors as there are securities. In a Markowitz framework, where ...
by Epsilon Delta
Thu Jan 21, 2016 7:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: CC Purchase Accounting Disagreement: When Charged vs. When Paid
Replies: 31
Views: 839

Re: CC Purchase Accounting Disagreement: When Charged vs. When Paid

Did my net worth go down when I pressed the "buy" button? Is my net worth down yet? Several days later, the transactions are no longer "pending" and are now included in my balance. [Is my net worth down yet?] Buying something does not, in theory, change your net worth. It change...
by Epsilon Delta
Thu Jan 21, 2016 7:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Hold risk constant or hold return constant?
Replies: 132
Views: 6399

Re: Hold risk constant or hold return constant?

It's been a long time since I read Sharpe but IIRC he developed the risk/return theory and then tested various measures of "risk" and the best fit for the data was SD. I'm not sure what you mean by "best fit for the data". If there was any examination of peoples actual behavior ...
by Epsilon Delta
Thu Jan 21, 2016 6:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: CC Purchase Accounting Disagreement: When Charged vs. When Paid
Replies: 31
Views: 839

Re: CC Purchase Accounting Preference: When Charged vs. When Paid

For contributions, the IRS says use the date you charged to a charge card, not the date you paid the charge card bill. So I'd say the IRS would say that you spent the money the day you charged the purchase. Thanks. Use tax in my state works the same way. That may be a valid part of the reasoning be...
by Epsilon Delta
Thu Jan 21, 2016 3:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Hold risk constant or hold return constant?
Replies: 132
Views: 6399

Re: Hold risk constant or hold return constant?

Is there a measure of risk that works well for all investors? If you look at CAPM the answer is standard deviation or in other words variance. It is uncertainty. But when we get into these discussions the thoughts often goes to the idea of losing money. CAPM defines risk as s.d. for the purposes of...
by Epsilon Delta
Thu Jan 21, 2016 2:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Confounding Bias for Investment Complexity
Replies: 22
Views: 1984

Re: The Confounding Bias for Investment Complexity

Image

Whose?

(Responding to State Street, not Nisiprius)
by Epsilon Delta
Thu Jan 21, 2016 2:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Filled up brand new minivan with DIESEL?? We don't think so. Next steps, need input ASAP
Replies: 112
Views: 10166

Re: Filled up brand new minivan with DIESEL?? We don't think so. Next steps, need input ASAP

I had the same issue many years ago (late 90's) in Germany. Drove only for a couple of miles from the gas station when the car stopped. Garage found Diesel mixed in (was easy even for me to smell when they showed it to me). I still did have the receipt and when calling the gas station they declined...
by Epsilon Delta
Thu Jan 21, 2016 1:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: When is an HSA account no longer worth it?
Replies: 21
Views: 1961

Re: When is an HSA account no longer worth it?

I've had an HSA mostly over the last 15 years, but also had a regular PPO. I would say that if you know you are going to have big medical expenses, switch to a better plan those years. HSAs are great if you are healthy. I'm confused how this is allowed. I thought that in order to be eligible for an...
by Epsilon Delta
Thu Jan 21, 2016 1:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: When is an HSA account no longer worth it?
Replies: 21
Views: 1961

Re: When is an HSA account no longer worth it?

We had almost exactly the same question - we were both on his high deductible plan, which was great because we were in our early 30s with no health problems. We've decided to start "trying" so I've gone onto my company's traditional plan but he's stayed with the high deductible offered th...
by Epsilon Delta
Wed Jan 20, 2016 4:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Reopens Treasury money market
Replies: 14
Views: 1793

Re: Vanguard Reopens Treasury money market

Does anyone know if they also rescinded the $10,000 per day purchase limit that was imposed at the same time it closed to new investors?
by Epsilon Delta
Wed Jan 20, 2016 3:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why does Total Bond Market have so many capital gains distributions?
Replies: 18
Views: 1735

Re: Why does Total Bond Market have so many capital gains distributions?

Interesting. So is this just a case of bond indexing requirements i.e. tracking the index as close as possible, even if it triggers capital gains. I noticed the vanguard muni funds, which are not indexed, distribute almost no capital gains, if none at all in the last few years. You say that like ca...
by Epsilon Delta
Wed Jan 20, 2016 2:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Filled up brand new minivan with DIESEL?? We don't think so. Next steps, need input ASAP
Replies: 112
Views: 10166

Re: Filled up brand new minivan with DIESEL?? We don't think so. Next steps, need input ASAP

A very long time ago foolish me once ran the gas tank to empty to see how much gas was in there exactly. I had an extra gallon with me. But there was then so much air in the fuel lines that 2 guys in a house next to my stop in the country, knowing how to bleed the lines, had a long time to get my c...
by Epsilon Delta
Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cold spots in certain rooms. Why? How to solve?
Replies: 28
Views: 1833

Re: Cold spots in certain rooms. Why? How to solve?

Many chimney dampers don't actually seal that well. It's hard to weatherstrip the opening. One test is to cover the fireplace opening with a sheet of newspaper, and see if it is being sucked into the fireplace. Mostly blocking the opening makes the draft more apparent because it's concentrated in a ...
by Epsilon Delta
Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [ I have] overspent this month.
Replies: 30
Views: 4007

Re: [ I have] overspent this month.

Saying that you're paying the 31% to the CC instead of "paying the minimim (and APR)" means you're not "saving" it. Why? Because you're "spending" it...on the CC debt, the "expense" which was not made at the time of purchase, so therefore is being made NOW . ...
by Epsilon Delta
Tue Jan 19, 2016 10:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cold spots in certain rooms. Why? How to solve?
Replies: 28
Views: 1833

Re: Cold spots in certain rooms. Why? How to solve?

The heat needed in each room will vary with conditions. On a sunny 45 degree day a south facing room might need no additional heat, all the heat should be sent to the other rooms, while on a cloudy 0 degree day the south facing room might require half the available heat. Any fixed split between the ...
by Epsilon Delta
Tue Jan 19, 2016 9:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Safety of new Corolla vs new Camry
Replies: 38
Views: 2405

Re: Safety of new Corolla vs new Camry

Lexus IS 250 2WD 16 (0-37) Lexus IS 250 4WD 30 (0-68) Correlation data is always easy to generate. Coming up with the causes to explain the data is always much harder. And then figuring out what applies to you is probably the hardest. Assuming normality, there's only a 75% chance the 2WD is actuall...
by Epsilon Delta
Tue Jan 19, 2016 8:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Effect of Roth conversion/recharacterization on RMD?
Replies: 7
Views: 666

Re: Effect of Roth conversion/recharacterization on RMD?

I knew that "Linear optimization under constraints" course would come in useful someday.
by Epsilon Delta
Tue Jan 19, 2016 8:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Filled up brand new minivan with DIESEL?? We don't think so. Next steps, need input ASAP
Replies: 112
Views: 10166

Re: Filled up brand new minivan with DIESEL?? We don't think so. Next steps, need input ASAP

Twins Fan wrote:Some folks will come up with all kinds of reasons to justify being lazy. :happy


I need no reason to be lazy. It's work that needs a justification. Pumping gas twice as often is all effort, no reward.

I will however fill up early if tomorrow's forecast is unpleasant or I'll be wearing a suit.
by Epsilon Delta
Tue Jan 19, 2016 7:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Safety of new Corolla vs new Camry
Replies: 38
Views: 2405

Re: Safety of new Corolla vs new Camry

That has been going on for years. My 2007 Corolla was several inches longer than my friend's 1992 Camry. The weight of the Corolla has been going up by about 25lb per year for about 4 decades. By 1999 it got so big it left room for the Yaris, which was the size of the original Corolla. In 2020 or s...
by Epsilon Delta
Tue Jan 19, 2016 7:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Better to be Paid on W-2 or as an Independent Contractor?
Replies: 15
Views: 1513

Re: Better to be Paid on W-2 or as an Independent Contractor?

I wouldn't consider it a wash unless it was $250K and $350K. As an employee, the employer pays 1/2 of FICA, typically 80% of health insurance, provides dental insurance, vision insurance, short term disability, long term disability, life insurance, unemployment insurance, workman's compensation. Th...
by Epsilon Delta
Tue Jan 19, 2016 3:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Out of Network emergency coverage under ACA... does maximum out of pocket still apply?
Replies: 12
Views: 632

Re: Out of Network emergency coverage under ACA... does maximum out of pocket still apply?

Now what happens if a medical condition requires admittance to an out-of-network hospital and I'm not in shape to avoid it by traveling to an in-network facility? :shock: my understanding is that once you are stable and out of ICU you need to call a cab :oops: Sort of, there are criteria for when t...
by Epsilon Delta
Tue Jan 19, 2016 3:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Out of Network emergency coverage under ACA... does maximum out of pocket still apply?
Replies: 12
Views: 632

Re: Out of Network emergency coverage under ACA... does maximum out of pocket still apply?

I believe the ACA did at least two things that help this situation. Not solve, but help. 1) It defines emergency from the point of view of a reasonable layman, not a doctor. It's amazing that this is a step forward, but it is an improvement over some of what it replaces, that's how bad things were. ...
by Epsilon Delta
Tue Jan 19, 2016 3:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Password Management and Safekeeping
Replies: 72
Views: 5446

Re: Password Management and Safekeeping

Everything can be hacked even a password vault. Best recourse is to use a long master password (11 or more) and change number frequently. Most people get tired of changing passwords or use a simple passwords which may open the window to hackers. 11 characters is prone to be brute forced by a state ...
by Epsilon Delta
Tue Jan 19, 2016 2:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home automation experts
Replies: 14
Views: 1470

Re: Home automation experts

Do you want a solution for just these lights or are you more ambitious? This is the difference between stopping looking when you've found the first system that will solve your problem at a reasonable price and researching flexibility, continued availability, etc. which don't matter very much if it's...

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