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by nisiprius
Thu Jul 19, 2018 6:48 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why Does Vanguard Emerging Markets not Tie to Market Caps?
Replies: 6
Views: 622

Re: Why Does Vanguard Emerging Markets not Tie to Market Caps?

Here's my understanding. The rationale for cap-weighted, total market indexing is based on financial economics theory. The theory concerns the special status and characteristics of the market itself--that is to say, the entire set of all the securities that are traded within a market. I don't actual...
by nisiprius
Wed Jul 18, 2018 7:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why is leveraging property good but leveraging stocks bad?
Replies: 169
Views: 10479

Re: Why is leveraging property good but leveraging stocks bad?

... The behavior of these leveraged ETFs is slightly more complicated than an unleveraged fund (or possibly than other means of achieving the same leverage), but not by much... Many leveraged ETFs don't go back to very far. UPRO, for example, began in 2009 and thus has only been available during a ...
by nisiprius
Wed Jul 18, 2018 7:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Flatting Yield Curve - buckle up for the storm?
Replies: 27
Views: 2010

Re: Flatting Yield Curve - buckle up for the storm?

We don't have an inverted yield curve. We have a "normal" yield curve: Dynamic Yield Curve https://imgur.com/BcxrTfx.png So, to justify taking specific actions, you need to parlay several predictions. You must predict changes in two different interest rates... ...predict that they will change in suc...
by nisiprius
Wed Jul 18, 2018 7:59 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do you handle the urge to DO something?
Replies: 66
Views: 3745

Re: How do you handle the urge to DO something?

I also have a notion that "six months is the dangerous time." By that, I mean that every six months or so is about how often I run across something that is really tempting to "try." I'll read some idea and say "That really is convincing, that really sounds worthwhile, I probably should adjust my por...
by nisiprius
Wed Jul 18, 2018 7:46 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do you handle the urge to DO something?
Replies: 66
Views: 3745

Re: How do you handle the urge to DO something?

If I can't resist, here's how I cope. I don't recommend it or defend it, I'm just saying it's what I do. 1) Engage in meaningless tidying. For example, due to... whatever... I have a ragbag of cashlike funds in my Vanguard account, including Prime Money Market, Federal Money Market, Short-term Bond ...
by nisiprius
Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 35 minute connection for flight, long enough?
Replies: 58
Views: 2700

Re: 35 minute connection for flight, long enough?

I would never do a 35 minute connection, not ever... but especially not at a holiday time. If you miss your connection, regardless of all the who-pays-for-it questions, however you get on "the next plane," it all depends on the availability of seating on a "next plane" and there won't be much. Also,...
by nisiprius
Tue Jul 17, 2018 8:02 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: In defense of short-term treasuries
Replies: 89
Views: 4889

Re: In defense of short-term treasuries

[*]The extra return of intermediate-term bonds, compared to short-term bonds (or cash!) is large enough to care about. Really? Don't you mean "has been" instead of "is"? And doesn't it depend on the period we look at? How do you know what the returns will be going forward over any particular time p...
by nisiprius
Tue Jul 17, 2018 7:57 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why is leveraging property good but leveraging stocks bad?
Replies: 169
Views: 10479

Re: Why is leveraging property good but leveraging stocks bad?

...How does Kelly Criterion explain why 500% property isn't ruinous? Is it because principal is constantly being repaid?... I don't know. It would be an interesting discussion. First of all, I keep being bothered by your characterization of the difference as being solely the difference in asset cla...
by nisiprius
Tue Jul 17, 2018 6:38 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: GMO 7 year forecasts are worse than a toss of a coin
Replies: 15
Views: 1574

Re: GMO 7 year forecasts are worse than a toss of a coin

Jeremy Grantham, co-founder and chief investment strategist at GMO, the asset manager based in Boston, calls timber “a perfect investment” for someone with a time horizon of, say, 20 years or more. “Timber is safer than stocks but not quite as safe as Treasury inflation-protected bonds,” he said. “...
by nisiprius
Tue Jul 17, 2018 5:27 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why is leveraging property good but leveraging stocks bad?
Replies: 169
Views: 10479

Re: Why is leveraging property good but leveraging stocks bad?

...What is niggling at the back of my head is why even the proponents of leveraging a stock portfolio would only recommend 2x or 3x leverage (where 3x leverage is actually 2x after-tax) and 5x leverage is irresponsible... There is another can of worms that needs to be opened: the "Kelly criterion."...
by nisiprius
Mon Jul 16, 2018 7:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: GMO 7 year forecasts are worse than a toss of a coin
Replies: 15
Views: 1574

Re: GMO 7 year forecasts are worse than a toss of a coin

Thanks for this! Yes, I remember now... GMO's forecasts usually get discussed in this forum... GMO was so sure that emerging markets stocks would outperform US stocks, and by a large amount. So all of this prompts the question: given the size of those errors, why don't they at have the humility to s...
by nisiprius
Mon Jul 16, 2018 3:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do you feel about my allocation to growth funds?
Replies: 4
Views: 186

Re: How do you feel about my allocation to growth funds?

1) VWIGX isn't an index fund. It's actively managed. 2) The three index funds are oriented toward something called the growth factor, which is a mathematical measurement that identifies large groups of stocks that behave in ways that are similar to each other and different from value stocks. It does...
by nisiprius
Mon Jul 16, 2018 3:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Heart Rate Monitors Fitbit vs. Garmin
Replies: 24
Views: 1411

Re: Heart Rate Monitors Fitbit vs. Garmin

I can't speak to the Versa, but I really can't say enough bad about the Fitbit Charge HR. It has completely soured me on Fitbit. Basically it has never synced reliably with either my old Android smartphone (Android 4.3), my wife's old Android smartphone (4.3), my new Android smartphone (6.0), or my ...
by nisiprius
Mon Jul 16, 2018 1:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where to get a $100 bill?
Replies: 49
Views: 4886

Re: Where to get a $100 bill?

With regard to banks not exchanging bills for non-depositors: My friend has replied, but he worked at a credit union: With credit unions, the law basically says that credit unions must have membership requirements that exclude at least someone on the planet, and can only do business with their membe...
by nisiprius
Mon Jul 16, 2018 1:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TripAdvisor "Points" & "Levels" ?
Replies: 8
Views: 584

Re: TripAdvisor "Points" & "Levels" ?

Many sites are doing things like that. Points and seals and pages showing virtual "stickers" and "badges" you've earned. Makes me feel like I'm back in grade school and getting smiley and star stickers.
by nisiprius
Mon Jul 16, 2018 11:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where to get a $100 bill?
Replies: 49
Views: 4886

Re: Where to get a $100 bill?

In my part of the country, no, most banks will not exchange money unless you are a depositor. They really won't. I don't know exactly why not. I'll ask a friend who's a retired teller.
by nisiprius
Mon Jul 16, 2018 11:05 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing in oil?
Replies: 13
Views: 886

Re: Investing in oil?

Be really careful. I don't think there is an index fund or ETF that tracks "the price," that is to say the spot price of a barrel of oil. I don't know how it would do it. It is fairly difficult to follow the price of a commodity, that is to say the "spot price." The problem is that if you actually b...
by nisiprius
Sun Jul 15, 2018 9:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where to get a $100 bill?
Replies: 49
Views: 4886

Re: Where to get a $100 bill?

Just a crazy idea, but many years ago I went to a business meeting that happened to be in a casino hotel in Reno. I was kind of shocked to discover that the ATM machine there only dispensed $100 bills. I don't know if that's true everywhere. So if there's a casino nearby you could try that. Also, I ...
by nisiprius
Sun Jul 15, 2018 6:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: In defense of short-term treasuries
Replies: 89
Views: 4889

Re: In defense of short-term treasuries

To me, bonds are just a a way to adjust risk and return of a stock portfolio to lower values that match my personal risk tolerance. I feel that: Any "low correlation," diversification, MPT benefit of stocks and bonds playing off against each other, is only significant for long-term bonds. But even f...
by nisiprius
Sun Jul 15, 2018 3:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why is leveraging property good but leveraging stocks bad?
Replies: 169
Views: 10479

Re: Why is leveraging property good but leveraging stocks bad?

All leverages are bad. Our friends at the Wharton School would disagree with this statement. In finance, it is taught that debt can lower a firm's cost of capital , allowing it to be more profitable. This is the reason why companies such as AAPL issue bonds to buy back shares of stocks. They are bo...
by nisiprius
Sun Jul 15, 2018 1:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Are the returns published annual or cumulative?
Replies: 2
Views: 260

Re: Are the returns published annual or cumulative?

In those 1-3-5-10 year tables, the returns are, in my experience, always annual ized . This is also called "compound annual growth rate" or CAGR. Here's what annual ized means. Unlike bank accounts, investment values fluctuate a lot. They aren't the same every year and there may be losses in some ye...
by nisiprius
Sun Jul 15, 2018 7:06 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why is leveraging property good but leveraging stocks bad?
Replies: 169
Views: 10479

Re: Why is leveraging property good but leveraging stocks bad?

... You can play around with language and no categories are precise. However: 1) I don't think a mortgage on the house you live in is "good," it's more of a "necessary evil." 2) Is a mortgage on the house you live in "leverage?" It's debt, it's borrowing, but is it "leverage?" A dictionary defines ...
by nisiprius
Sat Jul 14, 2018 10:27 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Larry Swedroe: Look Past Expense Ratios
Replies: 71
Views: 5958

Re: Larry Swedroe: Look Past Expense Ratios

stlutz wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 9:39 pm
...Nisiprius and Swedroe aren't really talking about the same thing...(Nisiprius' point)...(Swedroe's point)...(nisi's point)... (Swedroe's point)..(nisi's point).
Nice! I'll confirm that you understand my point of view accurately.
by nisiprius
Sat Jul 14, 2018 10:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: At last: the answer to longevity planning for retirement spending
Replies: 11
Views: 801

Re: At last: the answer to longevity planning for retirement spending

How accurate is "accurate?" "More accurate" doesn't necessarily mean "accurate." "But at the older ages, it becomes a little more random who is going to die, it’s almost about bad luck.” That hardly lives up to the promise of "a blood test that reveals how long a person has left to live." Among 50- ...
by nisiprius
Sat Jul 14, 2018 9:11 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why is leveraging property good but leveraging stocks bad?
Replies: 169
Views: 10479

Re: Why is leveraging property good but leveraging stocks bad?

You can play around with language and no categories are precise. However: 1) I don't think a mortgage on the house you live in is "good," it's more of a "necessary evil." 2) Is a mortgage on the house you live in "leverage?" It's debt, it's borrowing, but is it "leverage?" A dictionary defines "leve...
by nisiprius
Fri Jul 13, 2018 6:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Larry Swedroe: Look Past Expense Ratios
Replies: 71
Views: 5958

Re: Larry Swedroe: Look Past Expense Ratios

Larry Swedroe sent me this PM: sorry but this is also wrong: In order to believe that market beta has a persistent and worthwhile premium, one needs to believe only that businesses are capable of making money and that (in a loosely-coupled general sort of long-term way) stocks of money-making compan...
by nisiprius
Fri Jul 13, 2018 11:46 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: what is the historical real return of total bond?
Replies: 15
Views: 1292

Re: what is the historical real return of total bond?

I'd really like an estimate of how total bond may do over the next 20-30 years. As would I. A large chunk of my retirement portfolio is in Total Bond. (With no plans to change). Unfortunately, any long-term historical chart of pretty much anything to do with bonds is going to look more or less like...
by nisiprius
Fri Jul 13, 2018 11:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do insurance agents add value? How?
Replies: 24
Views: 1451

Re: Do insurance agents add value? How?

???? You didn't get a notice from the insurance company itself, in the form of a paper, printed, USPS-mailed letter?
by nisiprius
Fri Jul 13, 2018 9:11 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Siegel and the business cycles
Replies: 5
Views: 415

Re: Siegel and the business cycles

Some verbatim quotations from Jeremy Siegel, Stocks for the Long Run 5/E , chapter 15, "Stocks and the Business Cycle." The chapter begins by quoting Paul Samuelson, 1966: "The stock market has predicted nine out of the last five recessions." Siegel writes ...the markets and the economy are often ou...
by nisiprius
Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:50 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Larry Swedroe: Look Past Expense Ratios
Replies: 71
Views: 5958

Re: Larry Swedroe: Look Past Expense Ratios

Larry Swedroe has PMed me to say: IMO big and common mistake you don't need as you say to believe that another factor has higher risk adjusted return, It can even have lower risk-adjusted return in isolation and add value because it adds a unique/independent and thus low correlating risk which might...
by nisiprius
Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:49 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Larry Swedroe: Look Past Expense Ratios
Replies: 71
Views: 5958

Re: Larry Swedroe: Look Past Expense Ratios

...So you don't need to assume market inefficiency. It is sufficient to assume merely that different investors care more or less about their exposure to different sources (or dimensions) of risk... On the one hand, you're correct. And it meshes in well with the quotation from Fama that I cited. On ...
by nisiprius
Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:32 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Siegel and the business cycles
Replies: 5
Views: 415

Re: Siegel and the business cycles

Actually I think this is a misrepresentation of what Siegel really says in the book, and the quotation is taken out of context. Siegel goes to considerable pains to point out that it is hard to predict recessions, most people who have tried have failed badly, and the National Bureau of Economic Rese...
by nisiprius
Fri Jul 13, 2018 6:44 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Larry Swedroe: Look Past Expense Ratios
Replies: 71
Views: 5958

Re: Larry Swedroe: Look Past Expense Ratios

...The point is that market beta is just another factor, no more and no less... I think it is very different from other factors, in two aspects: ease of access, and coexistence with the efficient market hypothesis. 1) You get a good loading on market beta at no additional cost once you decide to in...
by nisiprius
Thu Jul 12, 2018 8:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The value of international stocks, in pictures
Replies: 62
Views: 7375

Re: The value of international stocks, in pictures

... http://i.imgur.com/PAn9bsOl.jpg ... I think the inclusion of emerging markets is a distraction. It's fantasy football, for two reasons. I know Dimson & al tried to gen up some kind of numbers, but: the term "emerging markets" was not even coined until 1981; the first emerging markets index wasn...
by nisiprius
Thu Jul 12, 2018 8:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Larry Swedroe: Look Past Expense Ratios
Replies: 71
Views: 5958

Re: Larry Swedroe: Look Past Expense Ratios

Larry Swedroe has PM-ed me with two comments on my posting . The first refers to my quotation from Russell Kinnel of Morningstar. saying is that expense ratio is the most powerful predictor -- you misused the statement--as should say when loadings on factors are the same. The second is note also the...
by nisiprius
Thu Jul 12, 2018 8:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Larry Swedroe: Look Past Expense Ratios
Replies: 71
Views: 5958

Re: Larry Swedroe: Look Past Expense Ratios

I can't reproduce your results. Could you copy and paste the link from PortfolioVisualizer? Look for the word "link" just after Portfolio Analysis Results. Usually you can copy that link, probably by right-clicking on it and choosing from a list of options. Then paste it into a posting. That was en...
by nisiprius
Thu Jul 12, 2018 7:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When does frugal cross the line to cheapskate?
Replies: 136
Views: 9436

Re: When does frugal cross the line to cheapskate?

If your frugality is making someone unhappy, you've crossed the line. That someone could be somebody else ("stingy,") or it could be you ("miserly.")
by nisiprius
Thu Jul 12, 2018 5:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Larry Swedroe: Look Past Expense Ratios
Replies: 71
Views: 5958

Re: Larry Swedroe: Look Past Expense Ratios

That plot is only 6 years of data. I know, but the three funds Larry Swedroe named have only existed for about six years. I commented later in my post on what happens if I first change VSIAX to VISVX, and then remove BOSBX. But I really wanted to include BOSBX as it had both the highest expenses an...
by nisiprius
Thu Jul 12, 2018 2:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Larry Swedroe: Look Past Expense Ratios
Replies: 71
Views: 5958

Re: Larry Swedroe: Look Past Expense Ratios

When has anyone recommending or selling a fund with a higher expense ratio ever said anything other than "yes, it costs a little more, but it's worth it?" And yet, Morningstar continues to say, most recently in 2016, that (my boldfacing) Fund Fees Predict Future Success or Failure The expense ratio ...
by nisiprius
Thu Jul 12, 2018 9:20 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What recent (last ~8 months) events have changed the total US stock market?
Replies: 14
Views: 1303

Re: What recent (last ~8 months) events have changed the total US stock market?

There have been some drastic swings Is this true? It sure doesn't feel like the movement has been extraordinary. I have not looked at specific data compared to historical norms. I don't see anything "drastic." I've drawn circles by hand around "big swings:" yellow for those that look about the same...
by nisiprius
Wed Jul 11, 2018 8:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The value of international stocks, in pictures
Replies: 62
Views: 7375

Re: The value of international stocks, in pictures

Over 1921 to 1996, the compound capital return on U.S. equities was 6.95 percent . . . . the return on the global comprehensive index was 7.25 percent. How is this to be reconciled with Dimson & al's findings that for 1900-2015, total real return (CAGR) was: 6.4% for the U.S. 5.0% for the world 4.3...
by nisiprius
Wed Jul 11, 2018 3:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A Great Investor has only one word of advice
Replies: 7
Views: 1271

Re: A Great Investor has only one word of advice

1) The article does not cite any source for the supposed Markowitz quotation. Therefore, it is impossible to find the context and understand exactly what Markowitz meant by "diversify" here. 2) The article contains 30 words from Markowitz and 128 words from Cullen Roche. And that's only counting wor...
by nisiprius
Wed Jul 11, 2018 12:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone take naps at work?
Replies: 93
Views: 5355

Re: Anyone take naps at work?

The answer is that while I was working, a) yes, I did take naps, and b) I didn't do it too openly. I generally took my naps out in the car in the parking lot, during lunch break, and I usually parked my car on a sort of second section of the parking lot, built when the company headcount was higher, ...
by nisiprius
Wed Jul 11, 2018 11:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tick Tubes and boxes. Permethrin Fipronil
Replies: 22
Views: 1781

Re: Tick Tubes and boxes. Permethrin Fipronil

Pretty tangential, but given the concern with ticks... ...has anyone else done a double-take at the passage in Tom Sawyer concerning what I can only call a "pet tick?" Tom is so enamored of the tick that he trades Huck his tooth for it. "Say—what’s that?” “Nothing but a tick.” “Where’d you get him?”...
by nisiprius
Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tick Tubes and boxes. Permethrin Fipronil
Replies: 22
Views: 1781

Re: Tick Tubes and boxes. Permethrin Fipronil

Last summer we had a bunch of clothing treated with a permethrin treatment called Insect Shield. A web search will turn them up. Look at the tab on "IS your clothes." The biggy, I'm sorry to say, is that I just can't say from our own experience whether or not it was effective. Our trips since we got...
by nisiprius
Wed Jul 11, 2018 8:49 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The value of international stocks, in pictures
Replies: 62
Views: 7375

Re: The value of international stocks, in pictures

Are we comparing all S&P 500 vs. S&P 500/EAFE mix, or all S&P 500 vs. S&P 500/xUS stock (which would of course include emerging markets)? linear to log graphs, now a complete axing of 20% of international stocks - the most uncorrelated to US stock group i might add. It's hard to keep up with the ch...
by nisiprius
Wed Jul 11, 2018 6:37 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The value of international stocks, in pictures
Replies: 62
Views: 7375

Re: The value of international stocks, in pictures

The presentation is described as illustrating 1) the "value" of international stocks, and 2) the "diversification benefits." What the presentation actually shows is that international stocks have performed quite differently from US stocks. They have, and by quite a lot. They have leapfrogged each ot...
by nisiprius
Wed Jul 11, 2018 5:19 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The value of international stocks, in pictures
Replies: 62
Views: 7375

Re: The value of international stocks, in pictures

Appreciate the good graphical presentation, thanks. Some will always quibble with the choice of start/end dates, but decades are about as defensible and unbiased a choice as any, in my view. An example of the power and effectiveness of simple data visualizations to perhaps break down preconceived i...
by nisiprius
Tue Jul 10, 2018 5:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Dow 40000 prediction for 2025
Replies: 44
Views: 3868

Re: Dow 40000 prediction for 2025

Knowing the past isn't the same thing as predicting the future. Unless you have interesting definitions for those words. :wink: Sure it is. I just predict it after the fact. Quite seriously, I add things to my "bucket list" after I've done them. That way I don't get fretful at realizing that life i...
by nisiprius
Tue Jul 10, 2018 4:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Masterbath Remodel - Tub or No Tub ?
Replies: 57
Views: 3222

Re: Masterbath Remodel - Tub or No Tub ?

We did what we wanted. We didn't think about resale value. We're both retired, getting on in years, and somewhat concerned about falls, and guilty about the water and energy usage of a tub. What we wanted was a nice big shower with a comfortable seat and grab bars, so that's what we got. Our house i...