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by nisiprius
Sun Jul 24, 2016 11:16 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Help Me Understand: Why Shouldn't AA Be 100% Stocks During Accumulation Phase?
Replies: 22
Views: 715

Re: Help Me Understand: Why Shouldn't AA Be 100% Stocks During Accumulation Phase?

The magic of "100%" bothers me. People are constantly talking about that specific number. The Vanguard Target Retirement Funds stay at 90% stocks from the beginning up until 25 years before retirement, i.e. up until age 40. https://s32.postimg.org/tqurc1eg5/Captura_de_pantalla_2016_07_24_a...
by nisiprius
Sun Jul 24, 2016 9:47 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Trying the Impossible - Financing 30-Year Retirements with 40-Year Careers
Replies: 69
Views: 8218

Re: Trying the Impossible - Financing 30-Year Retirements with 40-Year Careers

At a glance, this presentation is full of spin. Distracting us from the "data ink" by decorating it with pictures of hale elder celebrities is anecdotal evidence at its worst. Looks prove nothing. Eisenhower looked a lot older after his heart attack. John Adams lived to be 90. That doesn't...
by nisiprius
Sun Jul 24, 2016 9:39 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Trying the Impossible - Financing 30-Year Retirements with 40-Year Careers
Replies: 69
Views: 8218

Re: Trying the Impossible - Financing 30-Year Retirements with 40-Year Careers

If it is impossible to finance a thirty-year retirement with a forty-year career, then there cannot be any such thing as a retired professional athletes.
by nisiprius
Sat Jul 23, 2016 5:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: SPY / TLT Portfolio [SPDR S&P 500 / iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond]
Replies: 17
Views: 772

Re: SPY / TLT Portfolio

...Yes the long term correlation is close to zero, not negative. The correlation during financial crises, perhaps when it matters most, has been negative. And the correlation lately has been negative... Yes, but you also have to ask: how much is that in dollars? Even when the correlation is negativ...
by nisiprius
Sat Jul 23, 2016 3:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Declining or Rising equity allocation in retirement?
Replies: 54
Views: 3100

Re: Declining or Rising equity allocation in retirement?

I now wonder if the "Sell-in-a-panic-at-the-bottom Investor" is actually a rarity and a mythical creation of financial news media and institutions in order to make normal [the majority of] investors feel good about themselves for not selling. I doubt it. A big problem is that people who s...
by nisiprius
Sat Jul 23, 2016 1:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Crazy to hold (BNDX) International Bonds?
Replies: 39
Views: 2049

Re: Crazy to hold (BNDX) International Bonds?

...Nisiprius – Most of my money is in USD and I earn money in USD. If the USD crashes it will be a lot more expensive for me to buy anything that imported... 1) During 2002-2008, the dollar weakened about 35% relative to a basket of world currencies. Did you notice a problem then? During 1985-1988,...
by nisiprius
Sat Jul 23, 2016 12:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: SPY / TLT Portfolio [SPDR S&P 500 / iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond]
Replies: 17
Views: 772

Re: SPY / TLT Portfolio

...The 2 have a negative correlation... Please do not say things like that. Please be accurate... so that you will be accurate inside your own head... and say, "in the past, the two have had a negative correlation." This isn't a detail. Just as you always need to be asking, in the forefro...
by nisiprius
Sat Jul 23, 2016 9:07 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Reliving the Nightmare of the Crisis
Replies: 72
Views: 4568

Re: Reliving the Nightmare of the Crisis

Warning, car analogy! :D A semi trailer is 8-1/2 feet wide. A highway lane is 12 feet wide. A car is six feet wide. Normally, a semi approaching you on a two-lane road clears you by 1-3/4 + 3 = 4-3/4 feet. Semis are not always exactly in the center of the lane, so there is fluctuation in the clearan...
by nisiprius
Sat Jul 23, 2016 8:10 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is buy low, sell high the same as market timing?
Replies: 29
Views: 1760

Re: Is buy low, sell high the same as market timing?

1) No, "buy low, sell high" is not the same as market timing, because you do not need to do any market timing in order to buy low, sell high. There are no absolutes but according to past statistics, a strategy of buying a portfolio as close as feasible to the S&P 500, simply waiting tw...
by nisiprius
Fri Jul 22, 2016 8:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: U.S. Stock Market Increasingly Detached from U.S. Economy
Replies: 19
Views: 2224

Re: U.S. Stock Market Increasingly Detached from U.S. Economy

You say "those wishing to increase their exposure to the U.S. economy may want to focus more on small and mid-cap stocks or REITs (with less overseas revenue exposure), rather than the broad market indexes." But never do you give a rationale for why you would want to do a thing like that. ...
by nisiprius
Fri Jul 22, 2016 6:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: High Yield Junk Bonds
Replies: 21
Views: 1464

Re: High Yield Junk Bonds

I think a small slice (5%) of true junk is probably OK as long as the rest of the bond allocation is solid. I would probably not do this myself though. I think the Vanguard high yield funds are not rated as junk. Last I checked they were actually in the mid quality range, not low quality. According...
by nisiprius
Fri Jul 22, 2016 3:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Declining or Rising equity allocation in retirement?
Replies: 54
Views: 3100

Re: Declining or Rising equity allocation in retirement?

Nisiprius Good write up but with one BIG flaw, that study you cite (with the 3% SWR) would only show that result if you foolishly looked only at US data, a triumph of the optimists mistake of classic proportions. Try that in other countries like Japan and see what happens. And note with today's low...
by nisiprius
Fri Jul 22, 2016 9:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: World VCR production is ending next month. What to do with my old VHS tapes?
Replies: 53
Views: 3644

Re: World VCR production is ending next month. What to do with my old VHS tapes?

...Alert to all good frugal BHs - Used DVDs are now incredibly cheap! We are progressively buying used DVD copies of our favourite movies, TV series, etc and chucking out the VHS tapes. DVD seems a far more robust and hence longer-lasting medium. Thank you for that. I never even thought about that....
by nisiprius
Fri Jul 22, 2016 9:14 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are you feeling uncomfortable? [with your investments]
Replies: 38
Views: 3421

Re: Are you feeling uncomfortable? [with your investments]

I'm comfortable, Vanguard says my personal rate of return for 1 year has been 3%, but inflation has only been 1%, so I've been growing. Nothing to brag about, but enough. I've done nothing with my investments to make myself uncomfortable, and I'm not going to do so just to conform with some saying. ...
by nisiprius
Fri Jul 22, 2016 8:52 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Declining or Rising equity allocation in retirement?
Replies: 54
Views: 3100

Re: Declining or Rising equity allocation in retirement?

Concentrating solely on portfolio failure statistics, as Pfau and Kitces did, leaves out two very important elements. 1) Failure to take risk tolerance seriously. Pfau and Kitces make what is almost an aside: The clear caveat of this approach is that it may create concerns for seniors in their later...
by nisiprius
Fri Jul 22, 2016 7:14 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help With Ranking the Risk/Safety of Investments
Replies: 1
Views: 160

Re: Help With Ranking the Risk/Safety of Investments

I just don't think it's a useful exercise. It's certainly not useful unless you say what you personally mean by "risk" and "safety." Even then, you can't do it with any real precision. Somewhere in A Random Walk Down Wall Street , Burton Malkiel has a too-whimiscal cute chart... ...
by nisiprius
Fri Jul 22, 2016 7:03 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard site shows funds not owned?
Replies: 14
Views: 1066

Re: Vanguard site shows funds not owned?

This has annoyed me for maybe ten years. The problem is that "hide zero balances" doesn't really take care of it. It's just cosmetic and it's just on that page. For example, if you decide to download transactions, accounts with zero balances are still displayed. You are given the option to...
by nisiprius
Thu Jul 21, 2016 8:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: World VCR production is ending next month. What to do with my old VHS tapes?
Replies: 53
Views: 3644

Re: World VCR production is ending next month. What to do with my old VHS tapes?

One important tip. The biggest problem in keeping old equipment alive, for me, involves remotes. For about twenty years now, the gear can't really be operated with full functionality from the front panel--you need the remote. But not only do remotes get lost, it's easy to forget them and neglect to...
by nisiprius
Thu Jul 21, 2016 4:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: in a digital world, why does "cash" have a storage cost?
Replies: 22
Views: 1399

Re: in a digital world, why does "cash" have a storage cost?

I heard that podcast, and I believe they were discussing the (serious!) alternative of storing physical currency . They were saying that it's a little easier in the Eurozone because there are €1000 notes, and that you could store the equivalent of about €10 million in a suitcase... but that the peop...
by nisiprius
Thu Jul 21, 2016 4:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where do you buy individual stocks?
Replies: 43
Views: 2018

Re: Where do you buy individual stocks?

Given your plan, you won't be making all that many trades, so I don't see that it matters much where you do it. If I understand correctly, you already have a Roth IRA. Where do you have it? If it is a full-service brokerage, just buy your stocks at the same place; why complicate things by creating a...
by nisiprius
Thu Jul 21, 2016 11:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: LED lights or bulbs
Replies: 21
Views: 2015

Re: LED lights or bulbs

You might find this article interesting http://www.newyorker.com/business/currency/the-l-e-d-quandary-why-theres-no-such-thing-as-built-to-last Hah! The problem we're having is that we just love LED bulbs (compared to CFL's) because the color rendering is soooooo much better, and because they come ...
by nisiprius
Thu Jul 21, 2016 10:41 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Crazy to hold (BNDX) International Bonds?
Replies: 39
Views: 2049

Re: Crazy to hold (BNDX) International Bonds?

My opinion: it's not crazy to hold Vanguard Total International Bond index Fund. It's not crazy not to hold any Vanguard Total International Bond Index Fund. I can't believe it can make much difference either way. What I think is crazy--or at least would be crazy for me--would be to hold un hedged f...
by nisiprius
Thu Jul 21, 2016 7:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: LED lights or bulbs
Replies: 21
Views: 2015

Re: LED lights or bulbs

(Shrug) LED technology is still new, different companies do have different technology, the electronics in them is sensitive to different temperatures... one possibility is just to follow the line of least resistance and go back to using incandescents. Do the math on electricity costs and bulb costs....
by nisiprius
Wed Jul 20, 2016 12:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Which factors have risk-based explanations and which don't
Replies: 8
Views: 636

Re: Which factors have risk-based explanations and which don't

The study looked at the FOUR new factors which came AFTER the FF four factors of beta, size, value and momentum. yes MOM is almost surely a behavioral story, though some risk explanations have been tried. I don't buy them My new book will cover each of the factors and the intuition behind them Re M...
by nisiprius
Wed Jul 20, 2016 10:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why did the car salesman stop replying to my emails
Replies: 70
Views: 6153

Re: Why did the car salesman stop replying to my emails

There's no universal rule but many salespeople really want to get you to come in in person. It's more likely that they will be able to close the sale. You've made an investment of time to come in. They have a better chance to read your body language, and make momentary adjustments in the deal. If th...
by nisiprius
Wed Jul 20, 2016 6:57 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity beats Vanguard in ER
Replies: 30
Views: 2666

Re: Fidelity beats Vanguard in ER

Schwab did something like this a year or so go, revamping their line of index ETFs and giving all of them expense ratios that were 0.01% lower than Vanguard's. It's not of much significance except as a marketing move. I have some brand loyalty to Vanguard but as of 2016 the nice situation is that a ...
by nisiprius
Tue Jul 19, 2016 6:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: OK to stay in cash if you have 40-50x annual expenses?
Replies: 61
Views: 4992

Re: OK to stay in cash if you have 40-50x annual expenses?

I think there's some confusion here surrounding the word "cash" (as there often is). In part this is because investment companies want to convince people that there is something wrong with keeping your money in the bank. Literal cash, physical currency, bundles of $100 bills in a safe depo...
by nisiprius
Tue Jul 19, 2016 5:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much are these microscopes worth and what should I do with them?
Replies: 15
Views: 1159

Re: How much are these microscopes worth and what should I do with them?

I agree with those who suggest spending a few minutes on eBay to see what similar microscopes are selling for on eBay. I think that selling them on eBay, if you're willing to take the time to write good descriptions, is probably the way to get the most money for them. I agree with FreeAtLast that &q...
by nisiprius
Tue Jul 19, 2016 5:58 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Adding value by combining value and Momentum
Replies: 35
Views: 2369

Re: Adding value by combining value and Momentum

All of the justifications for factor-based strategies are based on very-long-term backtesting, that assumes that the investor is going to follow the strategy faithfully and without deviation for periods of time of many decades . Meanwhile, the strategies that are presented, publicized, and recommend...
by nisiprius
Mon Jul 18, 2016 5:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Berkshire Hathaway Class B
Replies: 42
Views: 3026

Re: Berkshire Hathaway Class B

...he has said that [one of] his 2 biggest regrets financially [has] been not getting in on Berkshire Hathaway stocks early on.... He regrets not getting in on it early, so he's suggesting that you get in on it later than he did. Do you see a problem here? ...owning BH stock is like owning a mutual...
by nisiprius
Mon Jul 18, 2016 3:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TIAA Traditional Annuity as sole fixed income component
Replies: 66
Views: 5125

Re: TIAA Traditional Annuity as sole fixed income component

One additional thought, prompted by the arrival of a TIAA statement. TIAA does not categorize asset allocations into the traditional three categories of "cash" (aka "short-term reserves,") "bonds" (aka "fixed income,") and "stocks" (aka "equitie...
by nisiprius
Mon Jul 18, 2016 2:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Traits of Happiest Retirees
Replies: 81
Views: 11319

Re: Traits of Happiest Retirees

...14. "Happy retirees love treating themselves to a nice steak at Ruth's Chris or LongHorn..." These are the only two that lost me. Not sure how "Ruth's Chris" and "Longhorn" made it in the same reference. Two ends of the spectrum. Since I don't know the LongHorn chai...
by nisiprius
Mon Jul 18, 2016 1:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Anti-Boglehead Claims There is a Better Way to Invest
Replies: 74
Views: 7645

Re: Anti-Boglehead Claims There is a Better Way to Invest

Yes, he's well known in this forum. Merriman promotes the investing style sometimes called "slicing and dicing," "tilting," or "factor-based investing." A lot of posters in this forum basically agree with that, a lot don't. Unfortunately Merriman's article is shrill, ov...
by nisiprius
Mon Jul 18, 2016 10:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Orlando Disney Parks
Replies: 41
Views: 3000

Re: Orlando Disney Parks

If you will have a car with you, you want to take note of this: McDonald's, 1596 Buena Vista Drive, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830. From All-Star Music Resort, 0.8 miles, 5 minutes. Trust me, you will be glad to know this after the first time you eat at the resort's restaurant. We visited Walt Disney Wo...
by nisiprius
Mon Jul 18, 2016 5:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Okinawa: No Word for Retirement!
Replies: 6
Views: 1553

Re: Okinawa: No Word for Retirement!

I'm not sure how the English language has evolved, but the idea of retirement at 65, for ordinary wage earners, as an expected societal norm (even if not everybody achieves it), did not enter American culture until around the 1920s and 1930s. Before that there'd been pensions for a few specific cate...
by nisiprius
Mon Jul 18, 2016 5:46 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Treasury Bond Fund as deflation hedge?
Replies: 25
Views: 1117

Re: Treasury Bond Fund as deflation hedge?

Why do you think you need a deflation hedge? I've heard this before but I still don't understand it. What bad thing happens to you in deflation if you don't have a deflation hedge? nisiprius, 1) I have mortgage debt. 2) I have stock. Which do you have more of? Are you, overall, a creditor (positive...
by nisiprius
Sun Jul 17, 2016 8:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Treasury Bond Fund as deflation hedge?
Replies: 25
Views: 1117

Re: Treasury Bond Fund as deflation hedge?

Why do you think you need a deflation hedge? I've heard this before but I still don't understand it. What bad thing happens to you in deflation if you don't have a deflation hedge? Deflation is bad if you are in debt because you need to pay off the same number of dollars and dollars are harder to ea...
by nisiprius
Sun Jul 17, 2016 9:30 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Pokemon Go" -- should buying Nintendo have been obvious?
Replies: 88
Views: 4464

Re: "Pokemon Go" -- should buying Nintendo have been obvious?

I want to give another example.... You know World of Warcraft right? Most highly successful traditional model (non-Mobile) MMO. It was a new kid on the block in the world of MMOs back in 2004. What led it to be able knock out the competition is that it had a strong base of already developed source ...
by nisiprius
Sun Jul 17, 2016 9:21 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Safe Withdrawl Rate if you don't care about legacy
Replies: 21
Views: 2438

Re: Safe Withdrawl Rate if you don't care about legacy

None of the usual "safe withdrawal rate" studies assume that you care about a legacy. They are simply based on whether or not you run out of money in your lifetime. Of course, most of them do give you "terminal wealth distribution" curves at the end which you can take into accoun...
by nisiprius
Sun Jul 17, 2016 8:30 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Pokemon Go" -- should buying Nintendo have been obvious?
Replies: 88
Views: 4464

Re: "Pokemon Go" -- should buying Nintendo have been obvious?

posted 6 years ago... No, you don't get it. It's too late, now. This is "backtesting." The fact is that you did not choose to say anything about Pokemon Go here in this forum until after it was known to be a hit, at which point you claimed its success was "predictable." Now, aft...
by nisiprius
Sat Jul 16, 2016 2:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Graph of 2 or more funds added together
Replies: 3
Views: 222

Re: Graph of 2 or more funds added together

You can sort of do this at Portfolio Visualizer, in the "backtest portfolio" section, but you have to give the quantities of the different funds as percentages of total portfolio, not as dollar numbers.
by nisiprius
Sat Jul 16, 2016 1:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Traits of Happiest Retirees
Replies: 81
Views: 11319

Re: Traits of Happiest Retirees

It's good to know the names of the brands that will make you happy. <---Irony

How about this one?
0: Retirees in good health are happy, retirees in poor health are unhappy.

That's about as useful and actionable as many of the others.
by nisiprius
Sat Jul 16, 2016 1:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Pokemon Go" -- should buying Nintendo have been obvious?
Replies: 88
Views: 4464

Re: "Pokemon Go" -- should buying Nintendo have been obvious?

The huge popularity in the game WAS predictable by anyone that was into the games. People have been saying for years trying to convince nintendo that they should make a MMO Pokémon game. I recall in the late 90s or early 2000's that an nintendo executive commented that online gaming was a fad! Hone...
by nisiprius
Sat Jul 16, 2016 9:28 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Stocks at all time high?
Replies: 34
Views: 3905

Re: Stocks at all time high?

...Someone needs to help me with this statement about bond funds... Since statements like "stocks are at an all-time high" usually refer to a price index, without dividends included, it's reasonable to look at bond funds the same way. Looking at Fidelity Investment Grade Bond Fund, which ...
by nisiprius
Sat Jul 16, 2016 7:25 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Another look at corporate bonds
Replies: 166
Views: 9093

Re: Another look at corporate bonds

I don't think one needs to do much quantitative analysis, the broad lines are pretty clear to anyone who was paying attention in 2008-2009. I really am baffled by all the love corporate bonds have been getting lately, although I think part of the answer lies in the five-year returns at October-2008-...
by nisiprius
Fri Jul 15, 2016 6:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Risky job opportunity, or Microsoft at its start?
Replies: 32
Views: 2600

Re: Risky job opportunity, or Microsoft at its start?

"Do you want to sell sugared water for the rest of your life? Or do you want to come with me and change the world ?" ...We are part of the world. So, if we change ourselves, we are changing the world. It is impossible for us not to change the world. It is just a question of degree... Fair...
by nisiprius
Fri Jul 15, 2016 6:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Avoid mid and small caps?
Replies: 19
Views: 2586

Re: Avoid mid and small caps?

Here's my PortfolioVisualizer exercise: Source https://s31.postimg.org/gzrkevn8b/Captura_de_pantalla_2016_07_15_a_las_7_41_47_PM.png This is angels-on-the-head-of-a-pin stuff. No normal human being can possibly notice or care about the difference in volatility between a standard deviation of 15.08% ...
by nisiprius
Fri Jul 15, 2016 6:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Pokemon Go" -- should buying Nintendo have been obvious?
Replies: 88
Views: 4464

Re: "Pokemon Go" -- should buying Nintendo have been obvious?

The efficient market is not the omniscient market. Nobody, and I mean nobody--not Nintendo, not "the wisdom of the crowd"--knows what is going to be a hit.
by nisiprius
Fri Jul 15, 2016 6:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Raising a reader
Replies: 53
Views: 3157

Re: Raising a reader

...Also, especially as your son grows older, make sure you set limits on "screen time", whether it's a computer, iPad, or Television... Believe it or not, my mom limited our screen time (she didn't call it that!) in the 1950s. She just said we couldn't watch too much television. It wasn't...

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