Search found 30785 matches

by nisiprius
Fri Sep 30, 2016 11:49 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: VTIP VANGUARD SHORT-TERM INFLATION PROTECTED SECS
Replies: 2
Views: 84

Re: VTIP VANGUARD SHORT-TERM INFLATION PROTECTED SECS

TIPS are a kind of bond. They work like other bonds. The issuer, in this case the Treasury, pays out inflation-adjusted interest payments every six months, and your inflation-adjusted principal when the bond matures. You can't do anything else with the Treasury. If you want your principal back befor...
by nisiprius
Fri Sep 30, 2016 9:13 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard ETFs vs. Index Funds
Replies: 13
Views: 1090

Re: Vanguard ETFs vs. Index Funds

P.S. The reason why some people--I think this includes Bogle--dislike ETFs is not because they are intrinsically bad, but because of a feeling that the reason they were created was in order to facilitate and encourage speculation. The example I like to point to is Morningstar's charts. Ask Morningst...
by nisiprius
Fri Sep 30, 2016 9:09 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard ETFs vs. Index Funds
Replies: 13
Views: 1090

Re: Vanguard ETFs vs. Index Funds

First, a Vanguard ETF is a kind of index fund . Don't let anyone distract you from that main point. An ETF is a kind of mutual fund--an E xchange T raded F und. The difference between, say, a Vanguard index fund and the corresponding Vanguard ETF are like the differences between the same brand of be...
by nisiprius
Fri Sep 30, 2016 8:41 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Target funds [are they bad to use for retirement?]
Replies: 9
Views: 622

Re: Target funds [are they bad to use for retirement?]

They are fine. If someone says there's something wrong with target-date funds, take it in the same way you might take someone saying that Dunkin' Donuts coffee is completely unacceptable and nobody should ever drink it, or similar opinions about computers or cars. Target-date funds are sort of like,...
by nisiprius
Thu Sep 29, 2016 5:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Financial adviser's advice
Replies: 15
Views: 1394

Re: Financial adviser's advice

Fixed index annuity - 37.50% I'm very sorry, but this is a red flag... "fixed index annuities" are hard-to-understand products that have a reputation for being oversold to people who don't fully understand them. They were formerly called a "equity indexed annuities" and got such...
by nisiprius
Thu Sep 29, 2016 3:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: reit allocation
Replies: 25
Views: 1457

Re: reit allocation

Swensen writes about complex ideas with precision and thus is worth studying carefully. When he writes Real estate assets combine characteristics of fixed income and equity. Fixed-income attributes stem from the contractual obligation of tenants to make regular payments as specified in the lease co...
by nisiprius
Thu Sep 29, 2016 1:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How it really feels to have investments during a bear market?
Replies: 74
Views: 5221

Re: How it really feels to have investments during a bear market?

saladdin wrote:...But to me my actual 250k feels like 1 mill. Meaning it's years of savings, losing it all destroys all plans. Doesn't matter the amount, if it's your nest egg...
Yes. When a retirement account drops, "number of years of savings" is the metric by which I, for one, measure the loss.
by nisiprius
Thu Sep 29, 2016 11:23 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: FiveThirtyEight's "Hack Your Way To Scientific Glory"
Replies: 17
Views: 1784

Re: FiveThirtyEight's "Hack Your Way To Scientific Glory"

Thanks Nisiprius. This reminds me of my favorite quote when someone is spouting statistics: Figures often beguile me, particularly when I have the arranging of them myself; in which case the remark attributed to Disraeli would often apply with justice and force: "There are three kinds of lies:...
by nisiprius
Thu Sep 29, 2016 10:17 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: FiveThirtyEight's "Hack Your Way To Scientific Glory"
Replies: 17
Views: 1784

FiveThirtyEight's "Hack Your Way To Scientific Glory"

This is simply brilliant. The topic is the scientific method, the methodology of research studies, and the ease with which you can find "statistical significance" if you are allowed to trawl around backtesting multiple hypotheses on old data (rather than committing to one and testing it go...
by nisiprius
Thu Sep 29, 2016 7:14 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Can you actually buy VG funds through Fidelty?? (odd error)
Replies: 18
Views: 2118

Re: Can you actually buy VG funds through Fidelty?? (odd error)

All I can say is that the whole thing is weird and has been for years... certainly since Vanguard lowered the Admiral shares bar to $10,000... and that nobody who's posted here seems to know what's going on behind the scenes regarding "the rules" or the process by which brokerages offer mu...
by nisiprius
Thu Sep 29, 2016 6:42 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: reit allocation
Replies: 25
Views: 1457

Re: reit allocation

This sort of comparison is always difficult to make and always contentious. In 1998, Bill Schultheis published The Coffeehouse Investor, which presented a simple portfolio which nevertheless incorporated the conventional wisdom of the day, including small tilts, value tilts, a 10% international stoc...
by nisiprius
Thu Sep 29, 2016 6:06 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: reit allocation
Replies: 25
Views: 1457

Re: reit allocation

Do you figure a REIT into your stock allocation or your bond allocation? I've seen it done both ways in investment books. Or should a REIT be allocated as a separate entity in a portfolio? Not a stock and not a bond but a separate fund. It seems to me that a REIT is a stock so should be part of you...
by nisiprius
Thu Sep 29, 2016 5:51 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Consolidating Accounts - Tax Implications?
Replies: 3
Views: 301

Re: Consolidating Accounts - Tax Implications?

1) I am just pointing you to what Vanguard says on a web page. This is not tax advice. Common questions about account transfers What's an "in kind" transfer? When you transfer "in kind," you simply move your investments to us "as is." There's no selling or buying involv...
by nisiprius
Wed Sep 28, 2016 7:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: dividend index funds
Replies: 14
Views: 1595

Re: dividend index funds

I'm just going to quickly state my own beliefs, and leave it to you to ask further questions. Dividend stocks are not fundamentally better or worse than other stocks. Dividend stocks "leak" money in the form of dividends, which can't be used to grow the company. Therefore, generally speaki...
by nisiprius
Wed Sep 28, 2016 6:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I should probably have life insurance, right?
Replies: 19
Views: 1188

Re: I should probably have life insurance, right?

I do not have life insurance. OK. I self-insure. No, you don't. What you should be saying is that "I am willing to take the risk." Or, if you are supporting others, "My family is willing to accept the risk." Insurance means that a large number of people are grouped together, so ...
by nisiprius
Wed Sep 28, 2016 5:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Has anyone been tempted to buy AMZN?
Replies: 64
Views: 3251

Re: Has anyone been tempted to buy AMZN?

P.S. It's hard to realize it now, and I don't know if Amazon actually invented it, but I remember buying something from Amazon in the late 1990s and, for the first time, seeing the "shopping cart" metaphor, and thinking how really brilliant it was. It's hard to realize that it wasn't obvio...
by nisiprius
Wed Sep 28, 2016 5:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Has anyone been tempted to buy AMZN?
Replies: 64
Views: 3251

Re: Has anyone been tempted to buy AMZN?

...I will never buy an individual stock again but if I did I would certainly look at Amazon. What is amazing about Amazon is their ability to see and move into new markets... Yes, and in fact I remember an interview with Jeff Bezos in the not-so-late nineties, in which he explained why they had dec...
by nisiprius
Wed Sep 28, 2016 5:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What should I do with this knack? Super Recognizer
Replies: 18
Views: 1596

Re: What should I do with this knack? Super Recognizer

I don't know how you can monetize it directly, but this is a valuable skill in many professions... teachers and school administrators, for example.
by nisiprius
Wed Sep 28, 2016 4:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Trouble with "Buy and Hold"
Replies: 139
Views: 10404

Re: The Trouble with "Buy and Hold"

The very presence of market-cap-weighted funds can have the effect of inflating the share price of larger companies. This cycle begins with a large company with a growing share price. Next, the market cap of the company increases. As a result, the market-cap-weighted funds must purchase more share ...
by nisiprius
Wed Sep 28, 2016 3:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Remodel blunter: kitchen design flaw. What can I do now?
Replies: 41
Views: 3454

Re: Remodel blunter: kitchen design flaw. What can I do now?

We have a normal-sized sink. Underneath it it there are, however two separate doors, and the opening behind each door is only 10-1/2" wide. I've done very minor things behind there myself, it's no fun but plumbers know various tricks. Our old garbage disposer died and the plumber we use regular...
by nisiprius
Wed Sep 28, 2016 7:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How it really feels to have investments during a bear market?
Replies: 74
Views: 5221

Re: How it really feels to have investments during a bear market?

I am only curious, how does it really feels when the market "crashes"? How difficult is it to fight (sheep following) and not locking your losses? Or it is not that difficult after all with good education? The market dropped over 10% earlier this year. How did that feel to you? Did you ev...
by nisiprius
Wed Sep 28, 2016 6:46 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What stocks can I buy when it comes to Marijuana?
Replies: 27
Views: 1986

Re: What stocks can I buy when it comes to Marijuana?

A looooonnnnggg time ago I quit even thinking about "individual stocks in businesses related to headlines."
by nisiprius
Tue Sep 27, 2016 8:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: No Extended Market stocks? How bad is it?
Replies: 10
Views: 884

Re: No Extended Market stocks? How bad is it?

It's not very bad, because a) the "extended market" stocks only amount to 20% of the total market by capitalization, and b) according to PortfolioVisualizer, the correlation between the Vanguard 500 index fund and the Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund, 1987-2016, based on daily returns, ...
by nisiprius
Tue Sep 27, 2016 6:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How it really feels to have investments during a bear market?
Replies: 74
Views: 5221

Re: How it really feels to have investments during a bear market?

I feel the need to reprise this: In 1940, in Where are the Customer's Yachts , in the chapter on "Customers, That Hardy Breed," Fred Schwed wrote: Like all of life's rich emotional experiences, the full flavor of losing important money cannot be conveyed by literature. Art cannot convey to...
by nisiprius
Tue Sep 27, 2016 3:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How it really feels to have investments during a bear market?
Replies: 74
Views: 5221

Re: How it really feels to have investments during a bear market?

A very important point for me is that I didn't feel it as a percentage drop. I felt it in three ways: a) Number of years it had taken me to save up the amount of money that had just vanished from my account. The number of years my wife and I settled for keeping older cars, taking inexpensive vacatio...
by nisiprius
Tue Sep 27, 2016 11:06 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The allocation you pick has little to do with performance success
Replies: 42
Views: 4113

Re: The allocation you pick has little to do with performance success

soboggled wrote:Though I am intuitively skeptical of the finding that AA doesn't matter at all, no one here has disproved it, either...
I don't know what would constitute "proof," but what about Robert T.s post? Pretty convincing, I'd say.
by nisiprius
Mon Sep 26, 2016 7:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Harvard Endowment Losses Tied to Value Stocks
Replies: 57
Views: 4790

Re: Harvard Endowment Losses Tied to Value Stocks

nisiprius - you've got unmatched periods, by a non-trivial amount. You're right. :oops: Let me correct that... For the ten-year period 6/30/2005 to 6/30/2015, matching the endowment data, Morningstar shows VBIAX growing $10,000 to $19,755.87 ... hmmm... interesting... 7.04%, which is actually highe...
by nisiprius
Mon Sep 26, 2016 4:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Harvard Endowment Losses Tied to Value Stocks
Replies: 57
Views: 4790

Re: Harvard Endowment Losses Tied to Value Stocks

There's another aspect to all this. When it comes to university endowment funds, all I ever year about is Yale, Yale, Yale. (And Harvard, but usually not in a good way). So, the best university endowment fund beat the index. OK. So what? The best roll of the dice beats the average roll of the dice, ...
by nisiprius
Mon Sep 26, 2016 1:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard GNMA fund as a short-term asset?
Replies: 18
Views: 1356

Re: Vanguard GNMA fund as a short-term asset?

The choice of the GNMA fund suggests a misunderstanding. GNMAs are guaranteed by the government and thus are "safe" in the sense of being unlikely to default, and Morningstar gives it an "average credit quality" of AAA. (Oddly enough) the Vanguard Intermediate-Term Treasury fund ...
by nisiprius
Mon Sep 26, 2016 10:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Were these microwave oven potentially harmful?
Replies: 7
Views: 843

Re: Were these microwave oven potentially harmful?

Microwaves are non-ionizing radiation. So is infrared radiation, but infrared radiation burns and cooks things. Microwave radiation is dangerous; for example, it can cause cataracts in the eye. However, microwaves have longer wavelengths than light waves, so it can't easily get through tiny holes an...
by nisiprius
Mon Sep 26, 2016 9:42 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Sharpe Ratio's Shortcomings
Replies: 2
Views: 244

Re: Sharpe Ratio's Shortcomings

It's not a very insightful article although I did appreciate the part about the theoretical but negligible effect of using average Treasury bill returns as the riskless return instead of incorporating the Treasury bills as a third volatile asset. But the conclusion is silly. He is complaining that t...
by nisiprius
Mon Sep 26, 2016 7:30 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The allocation you pick has little to do with performance success
Replies: 42
Views: 4113

Re: The allocation you pick has little to do with performance success

Putting aside my opinion of Mebane Faber (a spinmeister), he wasn't talking about the allocation you and I pick. The title of the article is "Which Institution Has The Best Asset Allocation Model?" None of these are basic stocks/bond/cash allocations, or U.S. stocks/international stocks/bo...
by nisiprius
Sun Sep 25, 2016 9:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: From the SEC. Nine habits that can undermine investor performance. Spoiler they mention momentum
Replies: 4
Views: 488

Re: From the SEC. Nine habits that can undermine investor performance. Spoiler they mention momentum

Momentum is interesting. Given that it was mentioned by that name, in print, in the early 1900, and that the first formal academic paper on it was published in the late 1930s, the market has had about a century to notice it and price it in. You'd think it would have done it by now. Fred Schwed (1940...
by nisiprius
Sun Sep 25, 2016 4:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How much is free lifetime healthcare worth? [Start business in US or Canada?]
Replies: 22
Views: 1882

Re: How much is free lifetime healthcare worth? [Start business in US or Canada?]

Bylo, what can you say personally about the idea that, compared to U.S.-ians, Canadians experience long waits for routine procedures?
by nisiprius
Sun Sep 25, 2016 2:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: QQQ's [PowerShares QQQ - "NASDAQ-100" index ETF]
Replies: 10
Views: 521

Re: QQQ's [PowerShares QQQ - "NASDAQ-100" index ETF]

Anyone have any opinion not the qqq's seems like the nasdaq really outperforms long term should i be devoting more to following it? I don't think so. Don't look just at return, also look at risk. And look at the real-life history of QQQ. The first day QQQ was available was 3/10/1999. If you had put...
by nisiprius
Sun Sep 25, 2016 1:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How much is free lifetime healthcare worth? [Start business in US or Canada?]
Replies: 22
Views: 1882

Re: How much is free lifetime healthcare worth?

Put me on the "hard to say" list. However, a very rough number for health care costs in the United States, if you paid for your own health insurance, is about $25,000/year for a family of four, perhaps $10,000 for an individual, up to Medicare age (65). Then perhaps $5,000/year from age 65...
by nisiprius
Sun Sep 25, 2016 7:20 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Vanguard Core Bond Fund opens to investors]
Replies: 123
Views: 16954

Re: [Vanguard Core Bond Fund opens to investors]

M* says that only 0.79% of the Core Bond Fund's holdings are TIPS (under portfolio). What am I missing? You're missing the point I'm trying to make! I'm missing it too, so I wonder if you could make it again? Do you just mean that it's heavy in Treasuries, or that it's heavy in TIPS which are a spe...
by nisiprius
Sun Sep 25, 2016 6:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best Frugal Way to Create a Will
Replies: 32
Views: 3981

Re: Best Frugal Way to Create a Will

In my opinion, having a lawyer draw up a will is pretty frugal. They don't really charge all that much. The will you draw up yourself may be "legal," but it might cost your heirs thousands of dollars in legal fees to explain to New York State Surrogate's Court why is is "legal." ...
by nisiprius
Sun Sep 25, 2016 6:33 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Should synthetic ETFs be avoided?
Replies: 33
Views: 1725

Re: Should synthetic ETFs be avoided?

The question is whether a) they are difficult to understand, b) whether you think you understand the one you are buying, and c) whether there is really any good reason to buy something that is a challenge to understand. The mutual funds I buy, and the ETFs I would consider buying, are things I think...
by nisiprius
Sat Sep 24, 2016 9:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Harvard Endowment Losses Tied to Value Stocks
Replies: 57
Views: 4790

Re: Harvard Endowment Losses Tied to Value Stocks

I don't think this is actually true. Yale and Harvard returns are too high. Look, it doesn't matter. Even if it is true that there are a select few at the top 0.1% of money managers that offer higher returns, it is irrelevant to pretty much everyone on this forum. Right... it's another form of the ...
by nisiprius
Sat Sep 24, 2016 6:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Harvard Endowment Losses Tied to Value Stocks
Replies: 57
Views: 4790

Re: Harvard Endowment Losses Tied to Value Stocks

And universities dont need to completely index, they can index 80% of their portfolio and still Swensen-up the rest of their portfolio with exotic assets and still end up better than they are now Is there any evidence of that other than dogma? Has any body run the math on what type of return Yale, ...
by nisiprius
Sat Sep 24, 2016 10:00 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Arnott and Asness Square Off on Factor Investing
Replies: 17
Views: 1533

Re: Arnott and Asness Square Off on Factor Investing

The whole article is very interesting to me. By the way, it doesn't match the headline--I don't see any "great debate" there. The most interesting thing to me is that if you read it from beginning to end--well, skim it, anyway--it's pretty darn hard to come out feeling that factors are cut...
by nisiprius
Sat Sep 24, 2016 9:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trader Joe's Fans - good value?
Replies: 91
Views: 7230

Re: Trader Joe's Fans - good value?

I like Trader Joe's and if there were one a little closer to us I'd shop there more often. I do have a question, though. When I shop at Trader Joe's I have the impression that, within reason, you name it, they have it--but only one kind , never a choice. Is that your impression, too? If so, is that ...
by nisiprius
Sat Sep 24, 2016 9:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 100 Things Not Worth a Penny
Replies: 32
Views: 2477

Re: 100 Things Not Worth a Penny

Fitbit Charge HR. No, that's not fair--in my opinion it's worth about $14.95. Kiplinger's magazine. (The other finance magazines aren't worth much, either, but Kiplinger's is amazingly vague and generic). "Resealable" food packaging. They seal the zipper shut with that snot-glue stuff, and...
by nisiprius
Fri Sep 23, 2016 9:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Email from Financial Advisor
Replies: 22
Views: 3450

Re: Email from Financial Advisor

You probably aren't paying the load in the 401(k), and the numbers for mutual funds are always net of fees, so the comparison is fair enough and it is what it is. In talking to your company, I suggest not trying to prove anything or convince anyone of the superiority of index funds. I suggest approa...
by nisiprius
Fri Sep 23, 2016 8:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trader Joe's Fans - good value?
Replies: 91
Views: 7230

Re: Trader Joe's Fans - good value?

I thought you were asking whether these were a good value:

Image

(photoshopped, not real)
by nisiprius
Fri Sep 23, 2016 8:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Harvard Endowment Losses Tied to Value Stocks
Replies: 57
Views: 4790

Re: Harvard Endowment Losses Tied to Value Stocks

I glanced at the 2016 report . http://s16.postimg.org/yledl2had/Captura_de_pantalla_2016_09_23_a_las_8_46_35_PM.png Anyone know of anything with a little more detail, like tables of numbers instead of a small graph with fat lines? Although they are obviously pleased that "the value of $1,000 in...
by nisiprius
Fri Sep 23, 2016 6:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Trouble with "Buy and Hold"
Replies: 139
Views: 10404

Re: The Trouble with "Buy and Hold"

...Show me a case where a market timing strategy (that does not benefit from hindsight) achieves the same long-term return but at half volatility. https://extradash.com/en/strategies/models/5/faber-tactical-asset-allocation/ Scroll to Table 6. And what happened when Faber created an actual product ...
by nisiprius
Fri Sep 23, 2016 2:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Trouble with "Buy and Hold"
Replies: 139
Views: 10404

Re: The Trouble with "Buy and Hold"

Any system that can be used to match has matched the return of buy and hold while reducing risk can, by an adjustment in manipulating asset allocation to suit past returns , be used to beat demonstrate how one could have beaten buy and hold with the same risk. I hope my changes are acceptable. (Tak...
by nisiprius
Fri Sep 23, 2016 2:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Trouble with "Buy and Hold"
Replies: 139
Views: 10404

Re: The Trouble with "Buy and Hold"

Any system that can be used to match the return of buy and hold while reducing risk can, by an adjustment in asset allocation, be used to beat buy and hold with the same risk. Would that still be possible with a market timing system? The challenge I'd see there is that you don't control the amount ...

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