Search found 27431 matches

by Valuethinker
Mon Feb 08, 2016 9:15 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why has Oil become such a dominant market influencer?
Replies: 17
Views: 1102

Re: Why has Oil become such a dominant market influencer?

I suspect part of the answer is that oil is a larger part of the US economy than it was in recent past. About 5 years ago or so, oil production in the US increased dramatically as a result of technology improvements that allowed certain types of drilling to be economical. The increased production c...
by Valuethinker
Mon Feb 08, 2016 7:49 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Australian Super Question
Replies: 2
Views: 204

Re: Australian Super Question

Hi all, Thanks for being so helpful with the forum! I have a question regarding franking credits and asset allocation in Australian super funds. My taxable portfolio is 25k through vanguard Etfs: 30% Aus 30% World ex US (Includes EM) 30% US 10% Cash My deferred 6k: 20% Aus 75% World (Not including ...
by Valuethinker
Mon Feb 08, 2016 7:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Coming Boglehead Zombie Apocalypse (LED bulbs)
Replies: 89
Views: 6387

Re: The Coming Boglehead Zombie Apocalypse (LED bulbs)

mouses wrote:Plastic is evil.


Yes but lightbulbs lasting 17,000 hours are never going to be a big part of our solid waste.

They now charge 5p (7.5 cents) for plastic bags in our large chain stores and supermarkets. And usage is reported to be down by 80%+
by Valuethinker
Mon Feb 08, 2016 7:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Coming Boglehead Zombie Apocalypse (LED bulbs)
Replies: 89
Views: 6387

Re: My business case for LEDs

Also, there is no need to stockpile LEDs when they go on sale. They will only get cheaper. I predict that incandescents will get more expensive until they are outlawed. What would Thomas Edison think? L. Edison of all people would recognize the necessity of technological change. A cosy duopoly betw...
by Valuethinker
Mon Feb 08, 2016 7:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Coming Boglehead Zombie Apocalypse (LED bulbs)
Replies: 89
Views: 6387

Re: The Coming Boglehead Zombie Apocalypse (LED bulbs)

So, I actually have LED's in almost every fixture in my house now. Once I found a 2700K 60 watt that felt like incandescent lighting I went all in. My stash is for in the future. When incandescent bulbs are impossible to find, I'll have loads of them.....for sale on eBay! I'm figuring this into my ...
by Valuethinker
Mon Feb 08, 2016 6:25 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: is it realistic for me to retire in 15 years?
Replies: 22
Views: 2290

Re: is it realistic for me to retire in 15 years?

There's a range of multiples of expenditure out there we are suggesting me (40x), Grt2b (33x) some 20-25x. I will state fairly uncategorically that you cannot, at today's interest rates, maintain a lifestyle for 50+ years on a 4% withdrawal rate (ie 25x). I haven't run the numbers on a Monte Carlo s...
by Valuethinker
Mon Feb 08, 2016 6:17 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pension options vs. Term Life policy
Replies: 13
Views: 821

Re: Pension options vs. Term Life policy

Many thanks to all for your thoughts and words of wisdom. This forum is a wonderful resource and I am grateful for it and for its contributors. If the pension is CPI indexed then take the survivor benefit (assuming your beneficiary has no length of life issues ie seriously life shortening condition...
by Valuethinker
Mon Feb 08, 2016 6:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Canadian dollar
Replies: 11
Views: 722

Re: Canadian dollar

Very few merchants in Canada are likely to take US dollars except for the ones that cater to tourists that are near the border and they will give you a terrible exchange rate. You should not have any problem exchanging the US dollars for Canadian Dollars at some place like a bank in Canada. You wil...
by Valuethinker
Mon Feb 08, 2016 6:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Canadian dollar
Replies: 11
Views: 722

Re: Canadian dollar

The Canadian dollar is down against the US dollar. Should I buy Canadian dollars now for a planned visit to Canada in September, or should I wait and buy the Canadian dollars in September? I have Euros and US dollars. I will be returning to Europe this week. Should I exchange the US dollars to Euro...
by Valuethinker
Sun Feb 07, 2016 12:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard International High Yield Fund
Replies: 8
Views: 576

Re: Vanguard International High Yield Fund

It's not likely that the International Dividend fund (confusing name btw) will offer diversification benefits ie these will be inferior to a total international fund. If the goal is to "ration" spending to dividends, then that works, as long as the tax position is not too disadvantageous. ...
by Valuethinker
Sun Feb 07, 2016 12:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: is it realistic for me to retire in 15 years?
Replies: 22
Views: 2290

Re: is it realistic for me to retire in 15 years?

Hello everyone just seeing what your opinions are on my retirement goal, and also any advice or tip for future investment. Me: 28 single, income 150k, 28% bracket, been working 5 years. I max out 401k every year with 4% match its at 100k currently. 70% with S&p 500, 20% with russel small cap, 1...
by Valuethinker
Sun Feb 07, 2016 12:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: is it realistic for me to retire in 15 years?
Replies: 22
Views: 2290

Re: is it realistic for me to retire in 15 years?

Employees who had a large percentage of their net worth in Enron were convinced that was a great idea too. Oh Lord, that scene in the Smartest Guys in the Room, in front of all the employees, about buying the stock. And the utility lineman (my Dad worked in utilities, it is one b** of a job, -20 de...
by Valuethinker
Sun Feb 07, 2016 12:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: is it realistic for me to retire in 15 years?
Replies: 22
Views: 2290

Re: is it realistic for me to retire in 15 years?

Stock account. 5 5k in current company stock, invested 10k and got lucky. I believe the company is very strong so I will kept it for longterm . , 45k with various individual stock, etf, and reit. will eventually liquidate these and put them with vanguard index. If it were me, I wouldn't have much i...
by Valuethinker
Sun Feb 07, 2016 12:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pension options vs. Term Life policy
Replies: 13
Views: 821

Re: Pension options vs. Term Life policy

The payout reduction you noted seems reasonable and in line with the difference between a joint and single annuity if the rates at immediateannuities.com are accurate. That $1 million term life policy will cost, what, $400-500/mo? So you net $150/mo and create a potential big hole for when you turn...
by Valuethinker
Sun Feb 07, 2016 12:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pension options vs. Term Life policy
Replies: 13
Views: 821

Re: Pension options vs. Term Life policy

When I retire from teaching at 57 I can collect half my salary at the Maximum option. If I choose an option that includes a beneficiary, my monthly amount is reduced, but my beneficiary will continue to receive the same reduced amount if I pass first. Under the same reduced option, if my beneficiar...
by Valuethinker
Sun Feb 07, 2016 10:07 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Enhancing Yield with adjustments to the Total Bond Index
Replies: 21
Views: 1065

Re: Enhancing Yield with adjustments to the Total Bond Index

ETFs of corporate bonds have serious problems due to the decline in liquidity of the corporate bond market.

It's one area I would be more comfortable using a fund.

Government bonds there's less of an issue because US Treasuries are so liquid.
by Valuethinker
Sun Feb 07, 2016 10:06 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Enhancing Yield with adjustments to the Total Bond Index
Replies: 21
Views: 1065

Re: Enhancing Yield with adjustments to the Total Bond Index

Didn't Vangaurd try to "enhance" the yield of Total Bond index 15-20 years ago by increasing exposure to corporate bonds, then suffered some nasty losses in the early 2000s leading to Total Bond underperforming its benchmark by quite a bit? I can confirm they got hit badly in 2000 -- I th...
by Valuethinker
Sun Feb 07, 2016 10:05 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard International High Yield Fund
Replies: 8
Views: 576

Re: Vanguard International High Yield Fund

I thought I had read that Vanguard is opening a new fund. The Vanguard International High Yield Fund. Does anybody know what the status of that is. If Vanguard doesn't have an offering does anybody recommend another fund companies International High Yield Fund? Is this not a HY bond fund? If so, th...
by Valuethinker
Sun Feb 07, 2016 10:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Coming Boglehead Zombie Apocalypse (LED bulbs)
Replies: 89
Views: 6387

Re: The Coming Boglehead Zombie Apocalypse (LED bulbs)

Were/are people really replacing their incandescent bulbs once a year? I don't think so. It very much depends. I replaced all my halogens with LEDs, and say a [EDIT actually 40 kwhr pcm or about £6.00 USD 10.00] drop in consumption (50 watt bulbs down to 6 watts). So yes, we really were doing 1000+...
by Valuethinker
Sat Feb 06, 2016 10:07 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Global debt, global growth, and expected returns
Replies: 13
Views: 1248

Re: Global debt, global growth, and expected returns

Bad debt and poorly allocated capital may be a detriment to growth, but I don't otherwise understand articles stressing the world's high debt level. When calculated globally, I thought net financial leverage always equaled zero : for every measure of debt there is an equal measure of savings. Yes. ...
by Valuethinker
Sat Feb 06, 2016 10:06 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Global debt, global growth, and expected returns
Replies: 13
Views: 1248

Re: Global debt, global growth, and expected returns

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/04/business/dealbook/toxic-loans-in-china-weigh-on-global-growth.html?_r=0 I have wondered about this a long time. If household debt is a drag on a household's ability to save (and invest), aren't very high levels of global debt likely to impact global savings, invest...
by Valuethinker
Sat Feb 06, 2016 10:00 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is up with Tech Industry?
Replies: 4
Views: 969

Re: What is up with Tech Industry?

LNKD, FB etc. what is with the major puke yesterday? LNKD closed at -44% I believe. http://www.reuters.com/article/linkedin-results-research-idUSKCN0VE1N0 reported significantly lower revenue growth expectations, and the market downgraded all the social media stocks. The prices got just too high re...
by Valuethinker
Sat Feb 06, 2016 9:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Coming Boglehead Zombie Apocalypse (LED bulbs)
Replies: 89
Views: 6387

Re: The Coming Boglehead Zombie Apocalypse (LED bulbs)

We are behind the times, have no LED bulbs, have no problems. Barring some revolution in incandescent technology, incandescent bulbs will be almost unobtainable within 10 years: I have seen forecasts of 90% LEDs within 5 years (working from memory) which I thought a bit extreme. Given that incandes...
by Valuethinker
Fri Feb 05, 2016 4:03 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Private equity investment
Replies: 5
Views: 705

Re: Private equity investment

I'm likely going to be making a private equity investment soon. Does anyone have experience with those? Any gotchas to watch out for? Has anyone tried sharespost.com? I don't think secondmarket.com sells shares any more. http://www.kauffman.org/~/media/kauffman_org/research%20reports%20and%20covers...
by Valuethinker
Tue Feb 02, 2016 12:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TIAA Re Acct. B/S & performance (Jan)
Replies: 29
Views: 2357

Re: TIAA Re Acct. B/S & performance (Jan)

Let's put it this way. 3% cap rate is very low by historic standards. If we face ongoing deflation or near deflation, that's going to look OK. Otherwise RE looks expensive by any yardstick. It is not an undervalued asset class. I don't see robust rental growth in a low inflation environment. The bra...
by Valuethinker
Tue Feb 02, 2016 12:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TIAA Re Acct. B/S & performance (Jan)
Replies: 29
Views: 2357

Re: TIAA Re Acct. B/S & performance (Jan)

I agree that the allocation of 10-15% of a portfolio to TREA is reasonable. I also agree that the bicoastal strategy of their property holdings is concerning, but they do have a "southern" concentration as well. Should also be mentioned that they've dallied with some international propert...
by Valuethinker
Tue Feb 02, 2016 12:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TIAA Re Acct. B/S & performance (Jan)
Replies: 29
Views: 2357

Re: TIAA Re Acct. B/S & performance (Jan)

So, 3% pa returns. Maybe 5-6% gross with a fair wind. Of course equities are not likely to do much better, either. thanks. does the 3% cap rate translate to nominal returns or real returns? if it means 3% real returns, then is that where the 5-6% gross figure comes from? 3% yield on an asset class ...
by Valuethinker
Tue Feb 02, 2016 12:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard energy fund
Replies: 14
Views: 1834

Re: Vanguard energy fund

I think the OP's question is a good one for the managers of VGELX. I share the OP's concerns about the fossil industry long-term. I think market capitalization of the fossil companies was largely about future prices and demand growth, neither of which look as likely to manifest as they did in say, ...
by Valuethinker
Tue Feb 02, 2016 11:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much life insurance do I need?
Replies: 19
Views: 1299

Re: How much life insurance do I need?

We're in a similar boat as you and aren't sure what the proper course of action is either. What I ended up doing is getting the max I could through my employer (500k) at about $100 a month. We don't necessarily *need* it, but I figure my wife could pay off the house with it and then have enough lef...
by Valuethinker
Tue Feb 02, 2016 11:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much life insurance do I need?
Replies: 19
Views: 1299

Re: How much life insurance do I need?

In portfolio diversification terms a life insurance policy should be quite diversifying. Because it hedges loss of labor income due to death. In fact it is the *only* way to hedge that. Imagine the scenario when the prime earner in the family dies at the same time as we are having a 2008-9 style cra...
by Valuethinker
Tue Feb 02, 2016 8:33 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard energy fund
Replies: 14
Views: 1834

Re: Vanguard energy fund

Valuethinker, Thanks for that insight. I started buying VGELX when oil started falling as a small portion of my portfolio. As it went down continually with no apparent bottom, I began to question whether weekly contributions to this sector could be wasteful with all the talk of transitioning our wo...
by Valuethinker
Tue Feb 02, 2016 3:21 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard energy fund
Replies: 14
Views: 1834

Re: Vanguard energy fund

Hi all, I own VGELX. Vanguard's energy fund. I know its a sector fund and that I should expect volatility. But I'm wondering about whether in the long term oil is simply used less due to pollution regulations and the push to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. Also I'm curious as to why not a sm...
by Valuethinker
Mon Feb 01, 2016 3:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dual-military couple relocating to Vilseck, Germany :)
Replies: 23
Views: 1621

Re: Dual-military couple relocating to Vilseck, Germany :)

Good stuff & excellent advice. I was specifically thinking of the soaring CHF against the Euro (it's over 1.40 now, without checking). Are you sure? The last I checked (a couple of hours ago!), 1 CHF = 0.98 US$ and 1 Euro = 1.08 US$. So, that means that 1 Euro = 1.1 CHF or so. Where/how are you...
by Valuethinker
Mon Feb 01, 2016 2:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TIAA Re Acct. B/S & performance (Jan)
Replies: 29
Views: 2357

Re: TIAA Re Acct. B/S & performance (Jan)

I agree that the allocation of 10-15% of a portfolio to TREA is reasonable. I also agree that the bicoastal strategy of their property holdings is concerning, but they do have a "southern" concentration as well. Should also be mentioned that they've dallied with some international propert...
by Valuethinker
Mon Feb 01, 2016 12:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dual-military couple relocating to Vilseck, Germany :)
Replies: 23
Views: 1621

Re: Dual-military couple relocating to Vilseck, Germany :)

Finally, since you like to travel, maximize use of those budget airlines to visit various destinations (we've used RyanAir, EasyJet, WizzAir, Brussels Air, etc.)...we really loved Prague, Budapest, Istanbul, Krakow, Athens and Santorini, Spain, Portugal, Ireland and Scotland, Belgium, Netherlands, ...
by Valuethinker
Mon Feb 01, 2016 12:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dual-military couple relocating to Vilseck, Germany :)
Replies: 23
Views: 1621

Re: Dual-military couple relocating to Vilseck, Germany :)

Rome and Florence and Venice in summer are just suffocating. How bad are they? Are they as bad as Florida in the summer? Italy is shaped like Florida, but isn't it further north? (most people don't realize that New York City is on the same latitude as Madrid ;-) . Toronto as Aix-en-Provence ;-) ) I...
by Valuethinker
Mon Feb 01, 2016 12:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy a bigger vehicle to grow into?
Replies: 28
Views: 1601

Re: Buy a bigger vehicle to grow into?

My wife and I are planning to have a child in the next year or two and will buy a new vehicle when he or she arrives. At that point, we'll be a family of 2.5, so we really won't need a much space. Even a sedan would be fine, but I'm thinking something like a CR-V would allow us to strap in a car se...
by Valuethinker
Mon Feb 01, 2016 8:49 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TIAA Re Acct. B/S & performance (Jan)
Replies: 29
Views: 2357

Re: TIAA Re Acct. B/S & performance (Jan)

History says RE has its own cycle. One of booms and periodic crashes. New England in the early 1990s (and Toronto) comes to mind-- a lot of "see thrus" and unfinished buildings. For *years*. Right now low interest rates have driven up *every* income generating asset (and the market has fo...
by Valuethinker
Mon Feb 01, 2016 8:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dual-military couple relocating to Vilseck, Germany :)
Replies: 23
Views: 1621

Re: Dual-military couple relocating to Vilseck, Germany :)

Guten Tag, My wife and I are slated to PCS to Vilseck, Germany after I finish my residency in the coming months. We are ecstatic we got our top choice! This is our first OCONUS duty station, and thus, we're slightly apprehensive. I'm looking for some recommendations to help us handle this transitio...
by Valuethinker
Mon Feb 01, 2016 8:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dual-military couple relocating to Vilseck, Germany :)
Replies: 23
Views: 1621

Re: Dual-military couple relocating to Vilseck, Germany :)

Finally, since you like to travel, maximize use of those budget airlines to visit various destinations (we've used RyanAir, EasyJet, WizzAir, Brussels Air, etc.)...we really loved Prague, Budapest, Istanbul, Krakow, Athens and Santorini, Spain, Portugal, Ireland and Scotland, Belgium, Netherlands, ...
by Valuethinker
Sun Jan 31, 2016 11:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much life insurance do I need?
Replies: 19
Views: 1299

Re: How much life insurance do I need?

I'm married and have two kids, both in preschool. We're a dual income family. We have enough saved up for retirement that we could have comfortable yet simple retirement if I stopped saving for retirement today. We've already set aside for college and have enough for the kids future college educati...
by Valuethinker
Sun Jan 31, 2016 9:09 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TIAA Re Acct. B/S & performance (Jan)
Replies: 29
Views: 2357

Re: TIAA Re Acct. B/S & performance (Jan)

History says RE has its own cycle. One of booms and periodic crashes. New England in the early 1990s (and Toronto) comes to mind-- a lot of "see thrus" and unfinished buildings. For *years*. Right now low interest rates have driven up *every* income generating asset (and the market has for...
by Valuethinker
Fri Jan 29, 2016 12:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Zero Coupon Bond Value Question
Replies: 41
Views: 1738

Re: Zero Coupon Bond Value Question

Placed a bid request on VBS this morning. Sold it an hour later for $7631.00 net. That was way easier than I thought. Not entirely clear on how this will shake out for taxes. I'm pretty sure I was 1099'd for the coupon values each year, but I'd have to check on that. I'm guessing that I can subtrac...
by Valuethinker
Thu Jan 28, 2016 12:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Zero Coupon Bond Value Question
Replies: 41
Views: 1738

Re: Zero Coupon Bond Value Question

I have a $10,000 zero I purchased back in 2008ish for around $3500-$4000ish. It matures in 2025. Yesterday's value was approx. $7,750. Bought it while at EJ and it just transferred to Vanguard. It is in a taxable account. Here is the Vanguard data on the bond: SWEETWATER CA UN HIGH SCH DIST ELECT 2...
by Valuethinker
Thu Jan 28, 2016 11:38 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Zero Coupon Bond Value Question
Replies: 41
Views: 1738

Re: Zero Coupon Bond Value Question

I would sell it. The Sweetwater Union school district is burning through about $2M of cash per year and only has about $6M cash in the bank right now. It's a small school district in Southern San Diego county that has had problems in recent years with board members and administrators taking bribes ...
by Valuethinker
Thu Jan 28, 2016 3:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Refrigerator replacement
Replies: 23
Views: 1671

Re: Refrigerator replacement

I would love a bigger freezer in my refrigerator, but not if I have to bend over to a location on the bottom of the frig. Old joints and all that. I took a shelf out of my refrigerator, leaving more room to easily see what's in there. I would look for the ability to do that if I bought a new one. I...
by Valuethinker
Thu Jan 28, 2016 3:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Refrigerator replacement
Replies: 23
Views: 1671

Re: Refrigerator replacement

I can't find the web page I used in making the calculations, but when I replaced a 20 YO fridge with a new one a few years ago I calculated the energy savings would pay for the new fridge in about 5 years. And I did notice a significant drop in my electric bills for 12 months after that. Also if yo...
by Valuethinker
Thu Jan 28, 2016 3:46 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Large amount of CDs maturing....what to do?
Replies: 132
Views: 11068

Re: Large amount of CDs maturing....what to do?

Never thought I'd see the day when folks were enamored with such a paltry yield. That said, rates these days are what they are, I suppose. Real yields though, and real after tax yields. Roughly speaking I remember in 1981 being able to get around 21% interest rates. I had no significant income then...
by Valuethinker
Thu Jan 28, 2016 3:42 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Large amount of CDs maturing....what to do?
Replies: 132
Views: 11068

Re: Large amount of CDs maturing....what to do?

Again, I want to put a pitch in for the customer service at Pioneer Valley FCU. I ran into a snag with transferring funds from Fidelity, and Alex promised me that he would hold the current rate for me for an extra week. That is fantastic, and what I hope for in cases like this. I've had a few simil...
by Valuethinker
Thu Jan 28, 2016 3:41 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Michael Burry (The Big Short) recommends Canadian bank accounts
Replies: 30
Views: 4380

Re: Michael Burry (The Big Short) recommends Canadian bank accounts

Remember when the Canadian dollar was worth about the same as the US dollar? Now it's worth 70 cents. The last time I lost 30% was in the depths of the 2008-2009 meltdown, and even then I don't think the entire portfolio dropped 30% from top to bottom. I remember I think a bottom at 62 cents. It go...

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