Search found 31911 matches

by nisiprius
Sun Feb 19, 2017 7:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is it worth filing an amended tax return?
Replies: 18
Views: 1100

Re: Is it worth filing an amended tax return?

(Shrug) Weigh the time and effort against the $18. I've probably filed 1040X-s half a dozen times in my lifetime, it wasn't hard and it always went smoothly. Maybe half the times were I will tell you exactly what I would do in this situation. I'd start to do it. I'd get it half-done. I'd leave the p...
by nisiprius
Sun Feb 19, 2017 6:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bonds Are Riskier Than You Think? Article implications for today?
Replies: 60
Views: 4515

Re: Bonds Are Riskier Than You Think? Article implications for today?

Do you really think TIPS are priced for lower returns on average than nominal Treasuries of equivalent maturity? That would be the case if there's a premium for the inflation adjustment that's much larger than the premium for the lower liquidity. I haven't investigated this myself. I haven't looked...
by nisiprius
Sun Feb 19, 2017 6:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Challenge: Oldest BOND FUND in Morningstar?
Replies: 43
Views: 14854

Re: Challenge: Oldest BOND FUND in Morningstar?

[Same question as the other thread. Do you think this is a logarithmic scale? Do you think that affects the straight-line shape? Same answer. Of course it is, and that's why a straight line is valid. The fund does not behave as expected, which is one of the reasons I posted it. It shows almost no c...
by nisiprius
Sun Feb 19, 2017 5:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bonds Are Riskier Than You Think? Article implications for today?
Replies: 60
Views: 4515

Re: Bonds Are Riskier Than You Think? Article implications for today?

Well, lack_ey, if I may oversimplify (again): if you have a specific personal goal of reducing inflation risk in the fixed income part of your portfolio--then it makes sense to include a significant TIPS allocation in your portfolio. If you don't, then it probably doesn't. If you are willing to take...
by nisiprius
Sun Feb 19, 2017 4:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bonds Are Riskier Than You Think? Article implications for today?
Replies: 60
Views: 4515

Re: Bonds Are Riskier Than You Think? Article implications for today?

In that passage, Buffett's failure to mention TIPS, even briefly in an aside, makes it suspect. That failure to even mention TIPS is something I see a lot, not just from Buffett, and frankly I think people leave it out because it complicates the simplistic story they want to present. If high inflat...
by nisiprius
Sat Feb 18, 2017 3:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bonds Are Riskier Than You Think? Article implications for today?
Replies: 60
Views: 4515

Re: Bonds Are Riskier Than You Think? Article implications for today?

In that passage, Buffett's failure to mention TIPS, even briefly in an aside, makes it suspect. That failure to even mention TIPS is something I see a lot, not just from Buffett, and frankly I think people leave it out because it complicates the simplistic story they want to present.
by nisiprius
Sat Feb 18, 2017 3:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bonds Are Riskier Than You Think? Article implications for today?
Replies: 60
Views: 4515

Re: Bonds Are Riskier Than You Think? Article implications for today?

2. You seem to be implying I cherrypicked data to compare 1946 to 1980 and 1981 to 2015. No, I'm sorry if it read that way. I think that's a perfectly appropriate pair of time periods to compare. I first compared year-end 1940-1980 for this fund, then year-end 1980-date for this fund, and was surpr...
by nisiprius
Sat Feb 18, 2017 3:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Induction cooktop impressions?
Replies: 31
Views: 1579

Re: Induction cooktop impressions?

One negative is that our electric bill did go up substantially, maybe $30 per month. We switch from the gas range in the oven to electric induction and electric oven. In our region (Chicagoland) gas is definitely cheaper then electricity Interesting. We're starting from a traditional (Calrod resist...
by nisiprius
Sat Feb 18, 2017 3:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bonds Are Riskier Than You Think? Article implications for today?
Replies: 60
Views: 4515

Re: Bonds Are Riskier Than You Think? Article implications for today?

Yes, this fund might be not be a fair choice. The numbers you show for ten-year Treasuries are quite consistent with the numbers in the SBBI table for "intermediate-term government bonds." The reason I chose it is that it is the only bond fund I know of for which Morningstar has data going...
by nisiprius
Sat Feb 18, 2017 2:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bonds Are Riskier Than You Think? Article implications for today?
Replies: 60
Views: 4515

Re: Bonds Are Riskier Than You Think? Article implications for today?

Source https://s10.postimg.org/hn2i2fy4p/Captura_de_pantalla_2017_02_18_a_las_11_11_24_AM.png Do you think that might be a logarithmic scale? Of course. That's why I drew a straight line, representing a constant CAGR. That's why the straight line is valid. If this fund had had different performance...
by nisiprius
Sat Feb 18, 2017 11:25 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bonds Are Riskier Than You Think? Article implications for today?
Replies: 60
Views: 4515

Re: Bonds Are Riskier Than You Think? Article implications for today?

Someone asked about this in another thread, but I think it's worth double-posting here. This is probably the oldest bond fund that has continuous data back to inception in Morningstar: "Wells Fargo Advantage High Yld Bond, EKHBX," inception 9/11/1935. Some cautions. I don't know what was r...
by nisiprius
Sat Feb 18, 2017 11:18 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Challenge: Oldest BOND FUND in Morningstar?
Replies: 43
Views: 14854

Re: Challenge: Oldest BOND FUND in Morningstar?

I've occasionally used these, particularly PINCX. A problem is that I don't really know what kinds of bonds were in the funds. Two of them are named "High Yld" and "High Income" but that category didn't really exist before the 1980s so who knows what they were, so I don't like to...
by nisiprius
Sat Feb 18, 2017 10:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Induction cooktop impressions?
Replies: 31
Views: 1579

Re: Induction cooktop impressions?

Twenty replies, twenty "I love it"-s, not one complaint. And, yes, we'll need new cookware, got it. I'm particularly impressed that people liked induction best, regardless of whether they preferred gas over traditional electric or the other way around. Thanks to all. I have my answer (but ...
by nisiprius
Sat Feb 18, 2017 10:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Life insurance policy on kids - prudent?
Replies: 35
Views: 1885

Re: Life insurance policy on kids - prudent?

Again: I didn't, I wouldn't, but if you do it's your money, your life, your decision--but only if the amount of insurance and the premium are so truly negligible that you don't need to make it a line item in your household budget. Oh... while I'm mentioning stories... ever read the short story, &quo...
by nisiprius
Sat Feb 18, 2017 10:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Life insurance policy on kids - prudent?
Replies: 35
Views: 1885

Re: Life insurance policy on kids - prudent?

No, not prudent. As best you can remember, was this financial planner associated with a firm that could sell you life insurance? I'll betting a nickel, even money, that he was. No, unless the child is supporting the entire family with the child's lucrative acting or entertaining career. Exactly. You...
by nisiprius
Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Financial Advisors and their fund picks
Replies: 10
Views: 980

Re: Financial Advisors and their fund picks

I'm it's also fun, or dilettantism. When you're starting out even as a do-it-yourselfer, you keep reading all these articles and reading about neat stuff that sounds good, so you say "I ought to have some of that." It's sort of like approaching a buffet. You know that what is really going ...
by nisiprius
Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "preview" of bear market
Replies: 16
Views: 2890

Re: "preview" of bear market

...And, most interesting, but there's another small factor, which I saw in VBINX, which was 60% stocks but fell 34% instead of 53%-of-60% = 32%, and that's the effect of continuous rebalancing, [color=#0040FF]which on the way down is constantly throwing good money after bad and thus making the decl...
by nisiprius
Fri Feb 17, 2017 8:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What is the equiv. to VASIX Life Strategy Income but without international, Balanced Index plus Total Bond, Other??
Replies: 16
Views: 876

Re: What is the equiv. to VASIX Life Strategy Income but without international?

Either shrug and accept the international, or buy the individual funds. If you really want nothing but US stocks and US bonds, that's two funds, and if you do the math and are realistic about how closely you need to hold to the asset allocation, you'll conclude that rebalancing doesn't need to be do...
by nisiprius
Fri Feb 17, 2017 8:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Visiting the National Parks
Replies: 27
Views: 1342

Re: Visiting the National Parks

Help, my wife wants to visit ALL of the National Parks. (whoopee) So, my thought is fly into a central location, rent a car and drive to as many as we can in a 1 week period over the months in the Spring, Summer and Fall 2017. So, any ideas where to start and then the next one and so one. Whoa. Wel...
by nisiprius
Fri Feb 17, 2017 7:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard Web Site Down?
Replies: 98
Views: 3406

Re: Vanguard Web Site Down?

(Shrug) Not everybody needs to react the same way. I think it's reasonable to expect a big financial institution like Vanguard to have a website that runs 24x7 with very high availability (except for a very small number of preannounced maintenance down periods). I think it's reasonable to expect nea...
by nisiprius
Fri Feb 17, 2017 6:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: The Cost of Holding Cash
Replies: 4
Views: 748

Re: The Cost of Holding Cash

If inflation increases, the interest rates on "cash" will increase. Long-term, the real return (above inflation) on Treasury bills has been about 0.51% annualized, and good bank savings accounts have not been terribly different from Treasury bills. Series I savings bonds are not exactly ca...
by nisiprius
Fri Feb 17, 2017 4:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Stock Market Fears
Replies: 54
Views: 5248

Re: Stock Market Fears

For many years now I have stayed the course, but lately I have begun to wonder if this is a wise plan. I recently read a post by a Boston economist who suggested moving everything to short-term Treasuries in anticipation of a market crash. At any given time you can always find experts saying a cras...
by nisiprius
Fri Feb 17, 2017 4:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Induction cooktop impressions?
Replies: 31
Views: 1579

Induction cooktop impressions?

My wife is eyeing one. (After all, our old stove is 28 years old and the oven is starting to rust through, and not one of the Calrod units, each of which has been replaced several times, is level... it's time). We can read reports and so forth. Magnets don't stick to a lot of our pots and pans so we...
by nisiprius
Fri Feb 17, 2017 4:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "preview" of bear market
Replies: 16
Views: 2890

Re: "preview" of bear market

You can pretty much do it in your head if assuming no change in bonds. Multiply percent drop in stock by percent allocation to stocks for total portfolio percent drop. So at 70% stocks, a 30% drop in stocks is a 21% drop in portfolio. Yes. Given that you can't predict how much a bear market will de...
by nisiprius
Fri Feb 17, 2017 12:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to recognize self-help, pop-statistics, “Big Idea” books?
Replies: 4
Views: 341

Re: How to recognize self-help, pop-statistics, “Big Idea” books?

To me, a "self-help" book is a book that offers specific guidance you can follow so that you can learn something or improve your skills or your life, just by reading the book, without a human teacher or coach or instructor. For example, Nolo Press publishes self-help books that give you in...
by nisiprius
Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard Web Site Down?
Replies: 98
Views: 3406

Re: Vanguard Web Site Down?

I just tried logging in, and as of 10:13 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, I'm in and looking at my accounts and everything looks correct, including "Account Activity" entries for last night's transactions. By the way I'm not trying to be a Vanguard cheerleader or anything like that. At the mome...
by nisiprius
Fri Feb 17, 2017 8:56 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Charlie Munger's Comments on Index Funds versus "Stock Picking"
Replies: 12
Views: 2049

Re: Charlie Munger on Index Funds

Very nice, very articulate, very sensible.
by nisiprius
Fri Feb 17, 2017 8:50 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Foreign Exposure in Vanguard Bond funds
Replies: 19
Views: 1239

Re: Foreign Exposure in Vanguard Bond funds

With regard to the prospectus boilerplate, "at least 80% of the fund’s assets will be invested in bonds held in the index," a few days ago I emailed a question to one of Vanguard’s press contacts, using an email address published on their website, and got this reply: Over 98% of Total Bond...
by nisiprius
Thu Feb 16, 2017 3:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is 30% stock enough to keep up with (or beat) inflation?
Replies: 39
Views: 3028

Re: Is 30% stock enough to keep up with (or beat) inflation?

...So withdrawal rate makes a lot more of a difference in portfolio failure rates than AA does (if you stay within parameters)?... It depends on what you consider an acceptable failure rate. If you want a failure rate that's noticeably lower than 5%, the stock allocation makes amazingly little diff...
by nisiprius
Thu Feb 16, 2017 3:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's the secret to happiness?
Replies: 39
Views: 2537

Re: What's the secret to happiness?

Charles Kingsley wrote:We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all that we need to make us really happy is something to be enthusiastic about.
by nisiprius
Thu Feb 16, 2017 12:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Planning for a long term trip
Replies: 14
Views: 942

Re: Planning for a long term trip

Mail: For a six-week US road trip, I begged and pleaded at the post office and they agreed to hold mail for six weeks. For a nine-week US road trip, I set up a mail forwarding account with a firm with the unlikely name of "St. Brendan's Isle," based on a recommendation from a full-time RV-...
by nisiprius
Thu Feb 16, 2017 12:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is 30% stock enough to keep up with (or beat) inflation?
Replies: 39
Views: 3028

Re: Is 30% stock enough to keep up with (or beat) inflation?

...Over the past few years, I've been told by three CFPs that I needed at least 60% in stocks, preferably more... When I was preparing for retirement, Fidelity offered a "Fidelity Retirement Income Planner," which is an insanely detailed SWR simulator. You entered details like what years ...
by nisiprius
Thu Feb 16, 2017 10:12 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What is it best to do with cash sitting around in a savings account?
Replies: 13
Views: 1588

Re: What is it best to do with cash sitting around in a savings account?

I would say that your first step would be to do due diligence on those "bank savings accounts" and make sure you are getting acceptably good interest rates... and that you have thought through your need for perfect liquidity, because you could probably be putting some of that money into CD...
by nisiprius
Thu Feb 16, 2017 9:42 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is 30% stock enough to keep up with (or beat) inflation?
Replies: 39
Views: 3028

Re: Is 30% stock enough to keep up with (or beat) inflation?

1) Nobody knows. 2) The historical real return ( above inflation) over the period 1926-2014 has been: 6.98% for large-company stocks 3.05% for long-term corporate bonds 2.66% for long-term government bonds 2.26% for intermediate-term government bonds (most comparable to Total Bond fund) 0.51% for Tr...
by nisiprius
Wed Feb 15, 2017 10:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why own individual stocks?
Replies: 59
Views: 3553

Re: Why own individual stocks?

I'm looking at individual stocks that were purchased through the years, some date back to 1981. I'm stunned at the lack of growth and what could have been accomplished with an index fund. So, what are the benefits to owning stocks? I don't think there are any. Buying individual stocks is kept alive...
by nisiprius
Wed Feb 15, 2017 5:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why Dollar Cost averaging is lousy
Replies: 23
Views: 2534

Re: Why Dollar Cost averaging is lousy

Although it is a little tangential to the normal (never-to-be-resolved) argument, I do feel that rather than investing a large sum literally all at once, it is reasonable to divide it up into fractions and spread it out in installments over a not-too-long period of time. For example, split it into q...
by nisiprius
Tue Feb 14, 2017 9:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Math help needed. Calculating allocation Wellington Wellesley Total Bond to 30/70.
Replies: 22
Views: 1670

Re: Math help needed. Calculating allocation Wellington Wellesley Total Bond to 30/70.

Another way to think about this is: if Wellesley were 40/60 and LifeStrategy Income were 20/80 then a 50/50 mix of the two would split the difference and give you 30/70.
by nisiprius
Tue Feb 14, 2017 8:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Windshield repair gone wrong....
Replies: 19
Views: 2025

Re: Windshield repair gone wrong....

I'd replace the windshield. I've replaced windshields on my cars three times just because they were six years old or so and six years' accumulation of tiny scratches and dings was starting to interfere with vision at night with oncoming headlights. The first two times it was OEM glass and it was jus...
by nisiprius
Tue Feb 14, 2017 8:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Math help needed. Calculating allocation Wellington Wellesley Total Bond to 30/70.
Replies: 22
Views: 1670

Re: Math help needed. Calculating allocation Wellington Wellesley Total Bond to 30/70.

...DW wants the Wellesley Income Fund to have a strong presence so I'm trying to build around it. The goal is about 30/70 allocation. I've also tried combinations with the Balanced Index Fund (VBIAX 60/40) and/or also Total Stock (VTSAX) and Total Bond (VBTLX). Sort of a hybrid index plus active co...
by nisiprius
Tue Feb 14, 2017 4:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are stock valuations so high because interest rates are so low?
Replies: 28
Views: 2198

Re: Are stock valuations so high because interest rates are so low?

...are more worried about missing out on the huge rise, capitulating on the up-side.... I love it! Is "capitulating on the up-side" standard terminology or did you invent it? One of the characteristics I think I've noticed reading about bubbles in the past is that they go on so long that ...
by nisiprius
Tue Feb 14, 2017 3:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why Bull and Bear?
Replies: 11
Views: 877

Re: Why Pull and Bear?

Basically... nobody knows. Like many things in languages, "it just is." The names go back at least to the 1700s; Wikipedia quotes a 1769 book: The Bubbles are indeed burst, and the Race Horses of Exchange-Alley long since dead, but Bulls and Bears still subsist in their original vigour and...
by nisiprius
Tue Feb 14, 2017 1:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are stock valuations so high because interest rates are so low?
Replies: 28
Views: 2198

Re: Are stock valuations so high because interest rates are so low?

So now CAPE is about 29, a level exceeded only in 1929 before the crash and in the period of 1998-2001 in the dot.com meltup and meltdown period. Yeah, but it a lot more than 29 in 1998-2001. Why aren't we running toward the exits? Because we stay the course. I figure it must be that in the previou...
by nisiprius
Tue Feb 14, 2017 8:11 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Foreign Exposure in Vanguard Bond funds
Replies: 19
Views: 1239

Re: Foreign Exposure in Vanguard Bond funds

To summarize or put my own spin on it: 1) "The" bond market isn't the same as the stock market; there isn't any central "bond exchange" and definitions of what should be in "the" bond market are somewhat vague or arbitrary. 2) The Vanguard Total Bond Market index fund t...
by nisiprius
Mon Feb 13, 2017 10:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Planning for Retirement: Why do it the recommended way?
Replies: 26
Views: 2454

Re: Planning for Retirement: Why do it the recommended way?

The plan assumes that your 401(k) plan isn't too good. 401(k) plans usually aren't as good as Roth in individual brokerage account in two ways: limited fund choices and extra fees, often hidden as best they can. When I was working, even though I'm a fine-print reader, I didn't even realize that the ...
by nisiprius
Mon Feb 13, 2017 6:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard leaves crumbs for active fund managers
Replies: 21
Views: 2567

Re: Vanguard leaves crumbs for active fund managers

...How is Vanguard owning 40% of shares and voting rights in most major companies any better than having the state owning 40% of shares and voting rights in most public companies in many foreign markets?... It wouldn't be, but it doesn't. I'm not sure where you got 40%. To begin with, I believe tha...
by nisiprius
Mon Feb 13, 2017 10:52 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Closet indexing and passive killers
Replies: 4
Views: 568

Re: Closet indexing and passive killers

John C. Bogle commented years ago, and I think this is more or less a truism anyway, that as funds grow big, they are forced closer and closer to the index by the requirements for a fund to be considered "diversified:" Generally, a diversified fund is required to invest more than 75% of th...
by nisiprius
Mon Feb 13, 2017 8:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is 130k a good salary in IT?.
Replies: 40
Views: 5346

Re: Is 130k a good salary in IT?.

I just barely cracked $100,000 around early 2000's. I don't know if that's "good" or not, it seemed pretty good to me at the time. It wasn't either super low or super high according to the various industry surveys. Inflation-adjusted that's just about $130,000 now. Oooh, a 10% bonus. Nice!...
by nisiprius
Mon Feb 13, 2017 8:06 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fearful Investor and Close to Retirement
Replies: 48
Views: 5405

Re: Fearful Investor and Close to Retirement

P.S. One final observation. You are probably reading stuff about what an unusual time this is, how the stock market is at an all-time high, how things are not normal, unprecedented, uncharted territory yadda yadda yadda. It is always that way. There has never been a time when people said "Oh, t...
by nisiprius
Mon Feb 13, 2017 7:51 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fearful Investor and Close to Retirement
Replies: 48
Views: 5405

Re: Fearful Investor and Close to Retirement

I'm going to make a suggestion later. But that's all it is. It's your money, your responsibility. Unfortunately, the markets are what they are. They are a good gamble with the emphasis equally on good and gamble . There's an element of chance and risk. It's hard to deal with. In my personal opinion,...

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