Search found 32536 matches

by nisiprius
Fri May 26, 2017 8:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Stockpile Website
Replies: 6
Views: 799

Re: Stockpile Website

It sounds like the kind of enterprise whose business model is grandparents. The grandparents are lured into buying gifts for grandkids. The grandkid hates the gift. The parents get stuck with the tax nuisance of a 1099-DIV, a Schedule D, and paying taxes on $14.89 in dividends. The parents will hove...
by nisiprius
Fri May 26, 2017 6:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Boglehead Portfolio vs. All Other Possible Investments
Replies: 45
Views: 2236

Re: Boglehead Portfolio vs. All Other Possible Investments

Well, John C. Bogle wrote a whole book entitled The Clash of the Cultures: Speculation vs. Investment and what he means by it is "rapid trading of financial instruments of all kinds." When I entered this business in 1951, right out of college, annual turnover of U.S. stocks was about 15 pe...
by nisiprius
Fri May 26, 2017 4:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is international a momentum investment?
Replies: 14
Views: 767

Re: Is international a momentum investment?

Sorry, what's your chart testing? Is there an alleged tendency for the relative performance of U.S. and international to persist in consecutive years? That is, the hypothesis that if the U.S. beat international last year, it's like to beat international this year, too?
by nisiprius
Fri May 26, 2017 3:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is international a momentum investment?
Replies: 14
Views: 767

Re: Is international a momentum investment?

Here's a chart of the relationship between the EAFE index total return in pairs of consecutive years. Each point is plotted at Y = one year's return versus X = the previous year's return. The value of the one-year autocorrelation over 1970-2016 inclusive is 0.08. Between one year and the next year, ...
by nisiprius
Fri May 26, 2017 1:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Great Depression Lesson - Is Total Bond Market Too Risky?
Replies: 20
Views: 1792

Re: Great Depression Lesson - Is Total Bond Market Too Risky?

Yes, I want to chime in too about mortgage-backed securities. I'm basically saying the same thing as lack_ey. I'm not sure what alex_686 means when he says "Of those MBS almost all are issued by, and thus insured by, Federal agencies. This explicit guarantee is new ." I don't think the gua...
by nisiprius
Thu May 25, 2017 3:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Zacks says sell Wellesley!?
Replies: 73
Views: 6940

Re: Zacks says sell Wellesley!?

If I could revisit a question just to make sure nobody has an answer... Let's say that Wellesley is basically suitable for an investor. That is, let's suppose the investor wants a fund that is vaguely similar to Vanguard's description: This 40 year-old, income-oriented balanced fund offers exposure ...
by nisiprius
Thu May 25, 2017 3:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Boglehead Portfolio vs. All Other Possible Investments
Replies: 45
Views: 2236

Re: Boglehead Portfolio vs. All Other Possible Investments

Simple question: Is a passive, low-cost, diversified index portfolio* really the best bet to achieve the highest possible risk-adjusted, long-term returns anywhere? I don't know. How do you know this? I don't know. There are a large number of "sensible" portfolios that are good enough. We...
by nisiprius
Thu May 25, 2017 2:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Paying someone to build a website
Replies: 13
Views: 768

Re: Paying someone to build a website

Incendiary, if the website doesn't make money for you, and if you aren't trying to keep it secret, I don't see why you couldn't post the actual url here. I've taken a couple of homebrew websites that I'd made myself--before WordPress got famous--out of html, javascript, and php, realized that WordPr...
by nisiprius
Thu May 25, 2017 12:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Paying someone to build a website
Replies: 13
Views: 768

Re: Paying someone to build a website

Is this an e-commerce website or is it basically just a place where you go and read pages? Is it driven by some kind of database of customer orders or inventory or does it just get written by humans, page by page? I'm not suggesting this as a good idea, just a way to scope out what we're looking at:...
by nisiprius
Thu May 25, 2017 11:34 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Sell in May and Go Away: Fact or Fiction?
Replies: 32
Views: 5664

Re: Sell in May and Go Away: Fact or Fiction?

I believe the saying is completely out of date, and originated in the days when wealthy people took European vacations in summer and were out of touch with their brokers. It wasn't a strategy for improving returns, it was just a description of a custom. But now that we can send Marconigrams from abo...
by nisiprius
Thu May 25, 2017 8:28 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: SEC Rejects Winklevoss Bitcoin ETF
Replies: 66
Views: 6086

Re: SEC Rejects Winklevoss Bitcoin ETF

P.S. There's a considerable history of hyped stories that prove bitchain has made it. A few years back there was a national story about "bitcoin ATM machines," for example. Yeah, that sounded like a big deal. At is happens I live in the New England area and once in a while get into South S...
by nisiprius
Thu May 25, 2017 8:22 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: SEC Rejects Winklevoss Bitcoin ETF
Replies: 66
Views: 6086

Re: SEC Rejects Winklevoss Bitcoin ETF

I think she mentioned mining just to be part of the gang; I don't think they're mining very much! Even among ardent anti-bitcoiners, it's fair to say that that her statements constitute an endorsement of bitcoin by Fidelity. That's. A. Big. Deal. I think you're exaggerating. It's not nothing, its i...
by nisiprius
Wed May 24, 2017 4:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VTSMX vs Schwab Total Stock Market Index Fund
Replies: 13
Views: 1028

Re: VTSMX vs Schwab Total Stock Market Index Fund

I won't try to be evasive. Nope, there's no obvious reason to prefer the Vanguard fund. Does the difference matter much, enough to prefer the Schwab fund? Not to me. Others might not agree. The difference is so paper-thin that my judgement is that the expense ratio difference is a featherweight on t...
by nisiprius
Wed May 24, 2017 11:25 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: SEC Rejects Winklevoss Bitcoin ETF
Replies: 66
Views: 6086

Re: SEC Rejects Winklevoss Bitcoin ETF

"We set up a small bitcoin and ethereum mining operation…that miraculously now is actually making a lot of money,” she said. Any details? The bitcoins are, in fact, being systematically converted to (fiat) money and not just being taken at their "market value?" Hobbyists have long had...
by nisiprius
Wed May 24, 2017 11:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity customer protection guarantee-void if you use Mint?
Replies: 39
Views: 2736

Re: Fidelity customer protection guarantee-void if you use Mint?

Just my personal guess is that it's in the "grey area," of things that are in the fine print--but you don't know whether it's the company's policy to play hardball. But, yes, I absolutely do feel this is a big problem, a deal-breaker problem with Mint etc. It's not so much the risk of Mint...
by nisiprius
Wed May 24, 2017 7:49 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are all markets efficient?
Replies: 28
Views: 1300

Re: Are all markets efficient?

The efficient market hypothesis is an hypothesis . Academics (presumably) are applying the scientific method. They are saying "how different is what we see from what we would see if markets were efficient?" The usual finding is "not provably different." You must at all times main...
by nisiprius
Wed May 24, 2017 7:23 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Moody's cuts China's credit rating
Replies: 7
Views: 1044

Re: Moody's cuts China's credit rating

And how did Moody's rate our banks prior to the 2008 subprime collapse? ???? Not sure where you're going with that. Before 2008-2009, the four ratings agencies--the NRSRO's, "nationally recognized statistical ratings organizations"--A. M. Best, Fitch, Moody's, and S&P--rated U.S. sove...
by nisiprius
Wed May 24, 2017 6:56 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do I need to add small and mid cap?
Replies: 10
Views: 989

Re: Do I need to add small and mid cap?

One exercise you should do is to plot some charts (see how to use Morningstar growth charts )and form an opinion for yourself on "how much difference is there between the S&P 500 and the total market?" I'll give you my personal opinion but it's much more important that you do it for yo...
by nisiprius
Tue May 23, 2017 9:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: SEC Rejects Winklevoss Bitcoin ETF
Replies: 66
Views: 6086

Re: SEC Rejects Winklevoss Bitcoin ETF

Wow, after I put in all that work on a snarky original post, you're telling me that I might need to eat my words and take it all back? :annoyed
by nisiprius
Tue May 23, 2017 9:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Higher return vs higher ER: international and emerging market ETFs
Replies: 7
Views: 665

Re: Higher return vs higher ER: international and emerging market ETFs

All of the published numbers for returns, and the growth-of-$10,000 charts you see in published materials and on websites like Morningstar, are net of expenses. The expense ratio is an interesting disclosure, but you don't need to subtract it from published returns or anything like that. It's alread...
by nisiprius
Tue May 23, 2017 8:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Missed window for selling Fairholme Fund (FAIRX)?
Replies: 35
Views: 1729

Re: Missed window for selling Fairholme Fund (FAIRX)?

This may be just another form of irrational mind game, but anyway. You haven't told us exactly when you bought the fund. Name the date, or strike a rough average of the general time you bought it, go to Morningstar or some other information source, and calculate what your average annual return was d...
by nisiprius
Tue May 23, 2017 7:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are risk factors just ways to take on additional risk?
Replies: 27
Views: 999

Re: Are risk factors just ways to take on additional risk?

The short answer is . . . maybe! For a slightly longer version of this answer, see Section II of this paper, which is a little dated at this point but gives a nice overview of the possible explanations for the factor premiums, only some of which involve investor risk: https://www.msci.com/documents...
by nisiprius
Tue May 23, 2017 6:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The dot com "do over" bull market?
Replies: 67
Views: 5804

Re: The dot com "do over" bull market?

The thing about bubbles is you can't see them from the inside. Agreed. All the debates in which some say it's a bubble and some say it's not are sterile. They don't lead to any reliable actions you can take. Stay the course using a stock allocation that's low enough that you can bear to stay the co...
by nisiprius
Tue May 23, 2017 6:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are risk factors just ways to take on additional risk?
Replies: 27
Views: 999

Re: Are risk factors just ways to take on additional risk?

I'm personally skeptical about the whole "factor" business. I'll quickly state the standard answers to your question without either defending them or criticizing them. One is that yes, they are just ways to take on additional risk. But even if they are, if they are uncorrelated with each o...
by nisiprius
Tue May 23, 2017 12:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tea recommendations
Replies: 10
Views: 996

Re: Tea recommendations

I like the style of tea called Lapsang Souchang; it's the kind with a smoky taste. I don't drink all that much tea and have more or less given up buying loose tea because, despite the cost savings, a half pound of tea just isn't going to stay fresh for the time it takes me to drink it. I like it uns...
by nisiprius
Tue May 23, 2017 12:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "The Problem With Factor Investing Research"
Replies: 58
Views: 2499

Re: "The Problem With Factor Investing Research"

"Fama and French’s work has become the foundation for Dimensional Fund Advisors, which formed portfolios focused on cheap small-cap stocks that were accessible for retail investors via the financial advisor channel." Seems kind of sloppy to say that a 1992 paper "has become the founda...
by nisiprius
Tue May 23, 2017 11:47 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Pimco BOND - other Vanguard similar funds or ?
Replies: 14
Views: 1087

Re: Pimco BOND - other Vanguard similar funds or ?

Even under Bill Gross, the backbone of PIMCO's success had been a massive staff of managers and analysts. Major cracks in that foundation would have been a red flag, but they haven't materialized . Thanks. I searched on that exact quotation and found the whole report here . ps56k, you might find it...
by nisiprius
Tue May 23, 2017 8:07 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Pimco BOND - other Vanguard similar funds or ?
Replies: 14
Views: 1087

Re: Pimco BOND - other Vanguard similar funds or ?

PIMCO's BOND is what it is. Bill Gross co-founded PIMCO (the name is officially spelled in all-uppercase) in 1987, and from then until 2014 managed the PIMCO Total Return bond fund, PTTRX. During that time he acquired a very considerable "cult of personality." PTTRX is the kind of fund I p...
by nisiprius
Mon May 22, 2017 8:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Zacks says sell Wellesley!?
Replies: 73
Views: 6940

Re: Zacks says sell Wellesley!?

Morningstar is giving it five stars (for risk- and category-adjusted past performance), and a "gold" analyst rating.
Image
by nisiprius
Mon May 22, 2017 8:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Zacks says sell Wellesley!?
Replies: 73
Views: 6940

Re: Zacks says sell Wellesley!?

Look at this year's performance and the performance of the long bonds that it holds. It has really cost folks money this year with the FOMC raising the FFR. This is expected to continue. OK, I'm looking at it and I'm not seeing it. What am I missing? This year, it's made 3.5% so far and the year is...
by nisiprius
Mon May 22, 2017 7:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Zacks says sell Wellesley!?
Replies: 73
Views: 6940

Re: Zacks says sell Wellesley!?

Do they suggest a similar fund that has a strong "buy" rating?
by nisiprius
Mon May 22, 2017 3:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why Invest in Average?
Replies: 34
Views: 2964

Re: Why Invest in Average?

(Shrug) Nothing interesting about it other than the cuteness of the presentation. I'm sure you've noticed that it doesn't make any rational point at all--it doesn't try to visually show how high-conviction investing can give better results than the average. The sculptor could just as easily have mad...
by nisiprius
Mon May 22, 2017 2:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: International fund that has 'only' millions in assets rather than billions? [FTIPX]
Replies: 8
Views: 957

Re: International fund that has 'only' millions in assets rather than billions? [FTIPX]

I have one last thought. I'm assuming that Fidelity Global ex U.S. Index Fund, FSGUX or another share class, is actually available to you. I think it would be worthwhile for you to call Fidelity--whether or not you have an account there, but especially if you do--and ask them what the difference is ...
by nisiprius
Mon May 22, 2017 11:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Net worth is overrated
Replies: 76
Views: 8781

Re: Net worth is overrated

I've never been able to figure what legitimate financial planning purpose "net worth" is for, other than a) feeling smug, b) bragging, and c) allowing financial advisors and others to decide whether it's safe for them to try to sell you stuff that is only suitable for "high net worth&...
by nisiprius
Sun May 21, 2017 8:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: International fund that has 'only' millions in assets rather than billions? [FTIPX]
Replies: 8
Views: 957

Re: International fund that has 'only' millions in assets rather than billions? [FTIPX]

It's a very new fund. Inception 6/28/2016, less than a year old. I don't think there's a problem. One difference between mutual funds and ETFs is that bid-asked spread and liquidity are not issues. You are guaranteed the end-of-day NAV, whether or not the fund itself is actually able to transact at ...
by nisiprius
Sun May 21, 2017 2:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Value vs Equal vs Other Weighing
Replies: 13
Views: 738

Re: Value vs Equal vs Other Weighing

The most "interesting" claim made for departing from cap-weighting... well, I'm too lazy to look them up and quote them properly so I'll give a biassed summary filtered by my warped recollections... but there were some thought-leader types making the amazing claim that any departure from c...
by nisiprius
Sun May 21, 2017 1:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: FAN [First Trust Global Wind Energy ETF]
Replies: 17
Views: 672

Re: FAN [First Trust Global Wind Energy ETF]

Look, I'm not being careful about this, I'm just poking around in the list of companies... but Royal Dutch Shell? Seriously? That's not a wind farm company. The ETF, and the index, seem to be an index of companies that (presumably) are big participants in the wind energy business, but offhand I can'...
by nisiprius
Sun May 21, 2017 1:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: FAN [First Trust Global Wind Energy ETF]
Replies: 17
Views: 672

Re: FAN [First Trust Global Wind Energy ETF]

Here's another question. You say "I want to get exposure to wind farms." Well, is FAN primarily an investment in wind farms? I don't know an easy way get a quick answer so I spot checked one company. Alstom SA is in France, and I know practically nothing about energy in France except I thi...
by nisiprius
Sun May 21, 2017 1:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: FAN [First Trust Global Wind Energy ETF]
Replies: 17
Views: 672

Re: FAN [First Trust Global Wind Energy ETF]

I want to get exposure to wind farms and Is the ETF "FAN" a good investment? Seems like they are putting up allot of Windmills. Monster wind farm off shore on East Coast off Rhode Island , Also An approved wind farm off the eastern shores of Long Island will be the largest in the country....
by nisiprius
Sun May 21, 2017 9:07 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Yield Curve and the Next Stock Market Correction
Replies: 36
Views: 3123

Re: Yield Curve and the Next Stock Market Correction

Very cool. You can also see a very different presentation of the yield curve flattening on the dynamic yield curve web page at stockcharts.com Since the idea that a flattening or inverted yield curve predicts recessions has been around for a long time. Wikipedia's article says "Campbell R. Harv...
by nisiprius
Sun May 21, 2017 8:51 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: This is how many fund managers actually beat index funds
Replies: 9
Views: 3041

Re: This is how many fund managers actually beat index funds

What a fascinating example of ambiguous English. (I'm not being snarky, I don't think whoever wrote the headline was trying to spin anything). "This is how many fund managers actually beat index funds" can, and in this case does, mean the same thing as "This is how few fund managers a...
by nisiprius
Sun May 21, 2017 7:07 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Value vs Equal vs Other Weighing
Replies: 13
Views: 738

Re: Value vs Equal vs Other Weighing

...However, it bugs my mind that a pro-cyclical portfolio such as that (meaning it gives more weight to the assets that go up in price, less weight to those that go down in price) is the best portfolio... Well, this is basically a mindset and a framing issue, but unfortunately this particular frami...
by nisiprius
Sat May 20, 2017 10:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Anyone else track the value of their investments by discounting the value of equities?
Replies: 64
Views: 3571

Re: Anyone else track the value of their investments by discounting the value of equities?

I track the worth my investable assets 2 ways. One, the traditional way, adding everything up and seeing what the total is. The second way is by discounting the value of equities by 40% and adding them up giving me a "Bear Market" value for my investable assets. This way I feel I truly un...
by nisiprius
Sat May 20, 2017 4:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: please evaluate my portfolio, is it too risky
Replies: 13
Views: 1357

Re: please evaluate my portfolio, is it too risky

We can look at the past behavior of this portfolio with Portfolio Visualizer, which says "The time period was automatically adjusted based on the available data (Dec 2001 - Apr 2017) for the selected asset: Vanguard PRIMECAP Fund Admiral Shares (VPMAX)." Portfolio 1 (blue) is your portfoli...
by nisiprius
Sat May 20, 2017 4:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone know what "book" an advisor or insurance salesperson would offer to buy for a prospective client?
Replies: 26
Views: 1372

Re: Anyone know what "book" an advisor or insurance salesperson would offer to buy for a prospective client?

I bet that the "book" is 32 pages or less in length, and "saddle-stitched" (stapled). There's a long-standing tradition of referring to booklets as "books," often with rhetoric "free book, jam-packed with all the information you need to get started on building a be...
by nisiprius
Sat May 20, 2017 2:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I switch my Vanguard funds to lower cost Schwab funds?
Replies: 38
Views: 2446

Re: Should I switch my Vanguard funds to lower cost Schwab funds?

have seen all the Schwab advertising on billboards etc....my guess is, it feels like a purposeful bait and switch specifically targeting indexers like at VG. One switches, then in X years the costs go back up. Some Vanguard fans like to suggest this. It was frequently suggested maybe ten years ago ...
by nisiprius
Sat May 20, 2017 6:08 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I switch my Vanguard funds to lower cost Schwab funds?
Replies: 38
Views: 2446

Re: Should I switch my Vanguard funds to lower cost Schwab funds?

Do the math, make your decision, but verify that this is really an "other things being equal" situation. Is it really true that your "Chase account" gives you access to a) Admiral shares, of b) mainstream Vanguard index funds for no transaction fee? That's amazing, especially acc...
by nisiprius
Fri May 19, 2017 8:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Interesting conversation with an alleged SS actuary
Replies: 63
Views: 4703

Re: Interesting conversation with an alleged SS actuary

At a rough level, yes, it is supposed to be actuarially neutral. One frequently hears that it is beneficial to delay Social Security because that results in an increase in monthly benefits, as if that fact alone was compelling. (Worse, I've even heard it suggested that since delaying Social Security...
by nisiprius
Fri May 19, 2017 6:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Information Technology - VGT or VITAX
Replies: 50
Views: 2581

Re: Vanguard Information Technology - VGT or VITAX

For a company as conspicuous as Amazon, there might be some public information about how S&P and MSCI arrived at their classification. It might be interesting to track it down. For a company that big, they probably gave it some thought. It's just vague blarney but they do say in an FAQ that Stan...
by nisiprius
Fri May 19, 2017 3:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Information Technology - VGT or VITAX
Replies: 50
Views: 2581

Re: Vanguard Information Technology - VGT or VITAX

In other words, you don't mean ...I wish they would boot IBM out and add Amazon to their top 10 holdings... You mean "I wish S&P and MSCI would reclassify IBM as not being in the information technology sector, and Amazon as being in the information technology sector." What sector do yo...

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