Search found 31291 matches

by nisiprius
Wed Dec 07, 2016 6:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "When It Comes to Diversification, Don't Be Naive"
Replies: 1
Views: 341

Re: "When It Comes to Diversification, Don't Be Naive"

There's a huge logical problem with equal-weighting. If you cap-weight, then the S&P 500 is 80% of the market, which is a very reasonable representation of the market as a whole. In S&P's own delightfully mealy-mouthed, yet accurate statement, "The S&P 500 focuses on the large-cap s...
by nisiprius
Wed Dec 07, 2016 5:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is Vanguard having issues managing Total Bond Market?
Replies: 13
Views: 2204

Re: Is Vanguard having issues managing Total Bond Market?

In the same paragraph that it says it's had higher tracking volatility than that of its peers, it also mentions that it's "one of the four funds (AGG, BND, SCHZ, and BNDS) tracking what is essentially the same index" and on the same page it lists "Top Competing ETFs" as AGG, SCH...
by nisiprius
Wed Dec 07, 2016 3:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Are Bonds a Good Investment Now?
Replies: 17
Views: 1235

Re: Are Bonds a Good Investment Now?

1) If the Fed hikes the overnight rate, that may or may not have much effect on the longer rates, like the 10-year rate. In 2004-2007 the overnight rate rose from 1% to 5%, but there was little effect on the longer rates (which are set by the market, not the Fed) and little effect on bond funds. 2) ...
by nisiprius
Wed Dec 07, 2016 2:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I fill out survey evaluation of my boss?
Replies: 29
Views: 2006

Re: Should I fill out survey evaluation of my boss?

I wouldn't. And I didn't, when I once got a similar survey--not as direct or brutal as "grade your boss," but a survey on my opinions about the corporate culture. And was unpleasantly surprised a week later when I got a call from HR saying that I hadn't sent in my totally anonymous, untrac...
by nisiprius
Wed Dec 07, 2016 2:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Simplyfying to 1-Fund Portfolio?
Replies: 10
Views: 974

Re: Simplyfying to 1-Fund Portfolio?

Vanguard has an RMD service that makes it easy to satisfy the RMD by distributing proportionally from multiple mutual funds.
by nisiprius
Wed Dec 07, 2016 12:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Eclipse viewing
Replies: 17
Views: 891

Re: Eclipse viewing

One other thought, just in case you don't go. Plan ahead a bit on how to enjoy the partial eclipse. All this stuff will come in handy if you decide to "go for it," anyway. One big thing to start looking for is a very low-power positive lens Ideally you'd like about 1 diopter. Look at the &...
by nisiprius
Wed Dec 07, 2016 12:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why is actual raw sugar hard to find?
Replies: 25
Views: 2571

Re: Why is actual raw sugar hard to find?

Interesting. The Goya brand panela, in a tidy round cake, that says "Product of Columbia, :oops: Colombia" has a pleasant stronger-than-brown-sugar taste. Some online sources complain that it isn't authentic. But the butt-ugly, scarily-authentic-looking irregular lumps of "Jaggery (Ja...
by nisiprius
Wed Dec 07, 2016 12:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Cash Equivalents" ?
Replies: 6
Views: 504

Re: "Cash Equivalents" ?

(Shrug) I don't think short-term Treasuries are cash equivalents. To me , the characteristics of a "cash equivalent" is: a) It never goes down in dollar value, ever, even by a little. If I don't make any withdrawals, a month from now the number showing in my account will not be a penny les...
by nisiprius
Wed Dec 07, 2016 11:46 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is Vanguard having issues managing Total Bond Market?
Replies: 13
Views: 2204

Re: Is Vanguard having issues managing Total Bond Market?

As for return, when the difference is so tiny, tiny assumptions matter, but for my time range I'm going to use "since inception of AGG," and I'm going to plot Total Bond Admiral shares first to force a total return plot, and I'm going to add BND and AGG to that. If you put $10,000 into Tot...
by nisiprius
Wed Dec 07, 2016 11:26 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is Vanguard having issues managing Total Bond Market?
Replies: 13
Views: 2204

Re: Is Vanguard having issues managing Total Bond Market?

Executive summary: yes, in my exploration below I see the flicker of a shade of a scintilla of evidence that iShares AGG is microscopically "better" than Vanguard BND. I'm influenced by the fact that both ETF.com and Morningstar seem to be saying so. It's not at all clear that this applies...
by nisiprius
Wed Dec 07, 2016 10:29 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Any reason not to sprinkle in some small cap index?
Replies: 6
Views: 723

Re: Any reason not to sprinkle in some small cap index?

Here is one possible reason: The Twelve Pillars of Wisdom, John C. Bogle, 2001: Pillar 2. When All Else Fails, Fall Back on Simplicity. There are an infinite number of strategies worse than this one: Commit, over a period of a few years, half of your assets to a stock index fund and half to a bond i...
by nisiprius
Wed Dec 07, 2016 7:27 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: ETF vs. index funds
Replies: 12
Views: 962

Re: ETF vs. index funds

Thanks everyone. I like the beer analogy. I was wondering if there was some specific advantage to ETF besides small initial investments of which I was unaware. The advantages have to do with things that most Bogleheads don't want or need to do. ETFs look and work exactly like stocks, while mutual f...
by nisiprius
Tue Dec 06, 2016 9:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: the economics of Spinn coffee making
Replies: 28
Views: 2301

Re: the economics of Spinn coffee making

Anyway, the more I read the more I think this is more like a low-end restaurant/professional gadget than a home gadget. It is a prosumer device. It is overkill for most people (k-cups for the win) but there are tons of customers of moderately pricey gear that lets you pretend you know what your are...
by nisiprius
Tue Dec 06, 2016 6:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why is actual raw sugar hard to find?
Replies: 25
Views: 2571

Re: Why is actual raw sugar hard to find?

I made some aguapanela, according to the very simple recipe I saw on the web--the recipe said 1/2 cup grated panela, 1 liter of water, 2 cinnamon sticks, simmer for 30 minutes. Lemon or lime optional (I didn't use it). I cut all the quantities in half. I made 8 ounces for my wife and I, drank it hot...
by nisiprius
Tue Dec 06, 2016 5:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: the economics of Spinn coffee making
Replies: 28
Views: 2301

Re: the economics of Spinn coffee making

Thanks for calling this to my attention. But it's not for me: the fact that it only works with beans is a dealbreaker. The days when you could get inexpensive bean coffee (for years I drank A&P 8 O'Clock) are almost gone, crowded off the shelves by K-cups. And on reading over the FAQ , "Can...
by nisiprius
Tue Dec 06, 2016 3:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Eclipse viewing
Replies: 17
Views: 891

Re: Eclipse viewing

That reminds me, livesoft. I've never seen the Green Flash. Have you?
by nisiprius
Tue Dec 06, 2016 3:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Eclipse viewing
Replies: 17
Views: 891

Re: Eclipse viewing

To make a bad pun, "totally different." I've seen a much-more-than-90% partial eclipse and it was sorta neat, the shadows of my hands looked like claws and underneath a tree all the little dappled spots were little dappled crescents and there was an eerie "it feels cloudy-but-not-clou...
by nisiprius
Tue Dec 06, 2016 3:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: simulating wealth building effects of home ownership
Replies: 37
Views: 2118

Re: simulating wealth building effects of home ownership

There are no magically-good "wealth building effects of home ownership." Buying a house is very expensive and salespeople selling anything expensive like to frame it as if it were an "investment." It is complicated and difficult to assess the financial effect of owning a house (d...
by nisiprius
Tue Dec 06, 2016 1:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Another "emergency fund in muni bonds" question...
Replies: 14
Views: 1160

Re: Another "emergency fund in muni bonds" question...

Sure, why not? You understand the issue of volatility in the "backup emergency fund." In my opinion the need for an emergency fund is completely real and valid, but I've never seen a very insightful discussion of them. The first thing that's overlooked is that the canonical "emergency...
by nisiprius
Tue Dec 06, 2016 12:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: History of the Cross Section of Stock Returns (paper)
Replies: 7
Views: 625

Re: History of the Cross Section of Stock Returns (paper)

Let me re-summarize. This is what I think the paper is saying, corrections and enlightenment welcomed. 1) The newer factors, discovered circa 2010 or so, and creating a “factor zoo” by 2014, rely on various accounting data that isn’t in the CRSP database, but was available in a database called Compu...
by nisiprius
Mon Dec 05, 2016 10:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Isn't Vanguard misleading investors with BNDX?
Replies: 11
Views: 1824

Re: Isn't Vanguard misleading investors with BNDX?

My personal feeling is that the extra cost is negligible but the diversification benefit is also negligible. In a related thread, I looked at some data from an article by Craig Israelsen, which according to him showed the importance of international bonds--in his case, using an index of bonds not he...
by nisiprius
Mon Dec 05, 2016 10:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: History of the Cross Section of Stock Returns (paper)
Replies: 7
Views: 625

Re: History of the Cross Section of Stock Returns (paper)

Beliavsky, trying to understand... 1) I take it that this isn't a published paper, yet? The author's website calls it "work in progress." 2) The paper does not apply to the original Fama-French three-factor model, which did not rely on Compustat data, but does apply to the newer factors, w...
by nisiprius
Mon Dec 05, 2016 5:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Penn Treaty insurance, let's see how the guaranty associations perform
Replies: 6
Views: 555

Penn Treaty insurance, let's see how the guaranty associations perform

I don't know how I missed this a couple of weeks ago. This is worth watching to see how well the state guaranty associations actually perform in what is said to be the "biggest health insurance failure ever." A Google News search for "penn treaty" yielded "Collapse of Long-T...
by nisiprius
Mon Dec 05, 2016 3:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Israelsen's Research on International Bonds
Replies: 8
Views: 632

Re: Israelsen's Research on International Bonds

Using the data in Craig Israelsen's article, and the usual "MPT/CAPM" analysis in terms of an efficient frontier and a tangent line to it from the riskless asset, I did some calculations to see if a mixture of assets tracking the two indexes as he defined them is really better than either ...
by nisiprius
Mon Dec 05, 2016 12:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is best health ministry for health insurance?
Replies: 24
Views: 1835

Re: What is best health ministry for health insurance?

And, I assume you have already decided that you have no problem attesting that the participating adult members included herein are Christians living by biblical principles; attend group worship regularly (health permitting); follow scriptural teaching with regard to alcohol; and do not use tobacco o...
by nisiprius
Mon Dec 05, 2016 12:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is best health ministry for health insurance?
Replies: 24
Views: 1835

Re: What is best health ministry for health insurance?

... I'm really just looking for a low-premium, high-deductible catastrophic-type plan. Currently, I'm considering http://www.chministries.org/... Just to check off another item, were you planning to sign up for "CHM's Catastrophic Bills Program? http://www.chministries.org/img/brotherskeeper.j...
by nisiprius
Mon Dec 05, 2016 11:54 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Israelsen's Research on International Bonds
Replies: 8
Views: 632

Re: Israelsen's Research on International Bonds

I'm ignoring his paper because I can't find the words "currency" or "hedge" anywhere in the article. Can you? This is a key point that absolutely needs to be mentioned in any discussion of international bonds. The data that he presents seems inconsistent with Vanguard's data, whi...
by nisiprius
Mon Dec 05, 2016 11:41 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: History of the Cross Section of Stock Returns (paper)
Replies: 7
Views: 625

Re: History of the Cross Section of Stock Returns (paper)

Beliavsky The problems noted are exactly why we established in Your Complete Guide to Factor Based Investing the five criteria of persistence, pervasiveness, robustness, implementability, and intuitiveness before one should consider investing in a factor. It's to minimize if not avoid the risks of ...
by nisiprius
Mon Dec 05, 2016 11:39 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: History of the Cross Section of Stock Returns (paper)
Replies: 7
Views: 625

Re: History of the Cross Section of Stock Returns (paper)

This is a bombshell... and of course I am happily pouncing on it as confirmation of my pre-existing bias. All financial statistics are hugely influenced by choice of endpoints, and it's just about humanly impossible not to fudge a little bit, even unconsciously, if one is allowed to choose them. (Ev...
by nisiprius
Mon Dec 05, 2016 11:20 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Isn't Vanguard misleading investors with BNDX?
Replies: 11
Views: 1824

Re: Isn't Vanguard misleading investors with BNDX?

Well, I don't think any fund companies, left to themselves, would disclose anything about fees or costs--it's a regulatory requirement. If you think funds should disclose more (I do), that would be up to the SEC. As with other index funds, BNDX has the goal of tracking an index, and we can see for o...
by nisiprius
Sun Dec 04, 2016 6:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any particular oven toaster you preffer????
Replies: 21
Views: 1349

Re: Any particular oven toaster you preffer????

It's been a while, but we quit using toaster ovens after two fires, both occurring with what were name-brand ovens at the time. Been too long to remember but I'm sure they were agency-certified (UL and friends). A toaster fire is pretty scary and impressive. Because of the continuous heat source, th...
by nisiprius
Sun Dec 04, 2016 4:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why is actual raw sugar hard to find?
Replies: 25
Views: 2571

Re: Why is actual raw sugar hard to find?

Various sources suggest that "jaggery" or "jagri" is about the same thing and that it can be found in Indian ethnic markets, but I haven't had a chance to visit the nearest one yet.
by nisiprius
Sun Dec 04, 2016 12:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why is actual raw sugar hard to find?
Replies: 25
Views: 2571

Re: Why is actual raw sugar hard to find?

Clearly, I didn't understand what "raw sugar" means, and panela is simply less refined, and refined in a different way, from brown sugar or "turbinado sugar." As to why it's hard to find, I guess it's just the usual mysteries of local economics, and culture. I have to say the blo...
by nisiprius
Sun Dec 04, 2016 12:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: comments on this 2 funds
Replies: 21
Views: 1146

Re: comments on this 2 funds

Which you should do, or whether you should do something else entirely, depends entirely on what you are trying to do and what choices are available to you. If you are trying to invest in "the stock market" and are trying to avoid making a bet on the future behavior of any parts, segments, ...
by nisiprius
Sat Dec 03, 2016 7:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why is actual raw sugar hard to find?
Replies: 25
Views: 2571

Re: Why is actual raw sugar hard to find?

When I worked in the cane sugar industry a long time ago, "raw sugar" meant unprocessed sugar right off the boat. While I've eaten it and served it to others after careful inspection, I wouldn't consider it suitable as a consumer product in the U.S. Possibly if it were packaged in the cou...
by nisiprius
Sat Dec 03, 2016 3:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tracking the Total Stock Index Fund and Total Stock International Stock Index
Replies: 12
Views: 786

Re: Tracking the Total Stock Index Fund and Total Stock International Stock Index

...you can't quite get the indexes themselves one can track the CRSP US Total Market Index ( benchmark followed by the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund ) live here Yes and no. 1) It only goes back to 2011. 2) It's price, not total return. It won't track your personal holding in the fund if yo...
by nisiprius
Sat Dec 03, 2016 12:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 32 GB or 128GB storage for a new smartphone?
Replies: 35
Views: 2576

Re: 32 GB or 128GB storage for a new smartphone?

Tangential. I have a cheap refurbished 8 GB smartphone. My old iPod also has 8GB. I have 146 GB of music on my computer. Rather than replace my iPod, I paid $30 for a 64 GB memory chip for my smartphone, the largest that the phone's instruction manual said that it would accept. Yes, it's way better ...
by nisiprius
Sat Dec 03, 2016 11:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why is actual raw sugar hard to find?
Replies: 25
Views: 2571

Why is actual raw sugar hard to find?

Just curious. I ordered and received a block of "panela," Colombian raw sugar in cake form, called "piloncillo" in Mexico, widely used in Latin American cooking. Is there supposed to be something wrong or unhealthy about it? It's imported by Goya, the big importer of Latin Americ...
by nisiprius
Sat Dec 03, 2016 11:07 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tracking the Total Stock Index Fund and Total Stock International Stock Index
Replies: 12
Views: 786

Re: Tracking the Total Stock Index Fund and Total Stock International Stock Index

I strongly recommend Morningstar, because it unequivocally is tracking total return rather than just price. However, you can't quite get the indexes themselves, at least easily. I don't think it matters. In order to go back as far as possible, use the Investor share classes, and as a surrogate for t...
by nisiprius
Sat Dec 03, 2016 7:28 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Total Stock Market or Indvidual Index funds?
Replies: 6
Views: 700

Re: Total Stock Market or Indvidual Index funds?

One important consideration is that, begin tax-sheltered, you can change your investments at any time without being concerned about tax consequences. Therefore, if you want to, say, take a year to do homework, read the (conflicting) opinions you will get here in this forum, and think it over, you ca...
by nisiprius
Fri Dec 02, 2016 9:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: how do I play music on an Android phone?
Replies: 18
Views: 1896

Re: how do I play music on an Android phone?

I've only tried one music player and it works for me, so I haven't tried any other. The one I use is called PowerAmp, and it has more or less roughly the same functionality as my old iPod has. It cost $4. I bought a 64 gig memory card for my phone for about $30. You tell the app what folder you have...
by nisiprius
Fri Dec 02, 2016 8:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 8mm Video Camera
Replies: 13
Views: 762

Re: 8mm Video Camera

Print spotting. OMG I forgot print spotting. See... you had to keep everything perfectly clean. And I never did. (And neither did whoever did the processing for the local camera store or drugstore). Yeeessssss, I had a negative brush with a little strip of polonium in it, radioactive enough to ioniz...
by nisiprius
Fri Dec 02, 2016 8:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 8mm Video Camera
Replies: 13
Views: 762

Re: 8mm Video Camera

...Too bad. The most fun I ever had in photography was processing Plus-X in my kitchen sink, then printing the resulting negatives in my basement darkroom. I'm contemplating setting up another darkroom just to get back to that. Digital photography just doesn't have the "soul" of a well-do...
by nisiprius
Fri Dec 02, 2016 8:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is the advantage of Mutual Funds over ETFS?
Replies: 26
Views: 1286

Re: What is the advantage of Mutual Funds over ETFS?

SpartanBull, since you say "Personally, I only have mutual funds," and since it sounds as if you're skeptical that they have any advantages, the obvious suggestion is that you give ETFs a try, if your accounts and so forth are set up in a way that makes it easy to do (e.g. you have a tax-s...
by nisiprius
Fri Dec 02, 2016 8:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is the advantage of Mutual Funds over ETFS?
Replies: 26
Views: 1286

Re: What is the advantage of Mutual Funds over ETFS?

This is especially troublesome when taking RMDs. You really need to be sure you don't undershoot or you will have some 'splainin' to do to the IRS. Is it really necessary to get the exact minimum of one's RMD, or can one be happy with an extra $30 to $100 in the RMD? And can't one have both ETFs an...
by nisiprius
Fri Dec 02, 2016 6:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 8mm Video Camera
Replies: 13
Views: 762

Re: 8mm Video Camera

I wouldn't do it unless you are sure he has a strong personal fascination with this technology. There are three factors you may not be considering. First, cost. I have no idea what it is nowadays but, oh, twenty or thirty years ago, 50 feet of Super 8 film cost about $5 and then having it processed ...
by nisiprius
Fri Dec 02, 2016 4:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Any Lazy portfolio can make profit even in 2008 crash?
Replies: 32
Views: 2210

Re: Any Lazy portfolio can make profit even in 2008 crash?

...If there were industry sectors profitable during 08-09, then we should be able to make a diversified portfolio. What would such a portfolio look like? Vanguard provides a suite of 11 ETFs, each tracking one of the industry sectors. Not one of them made money in 2008-2009, not one. They varied on...
by nisiprius
Fri Dec 02, 2016 4:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is the advantage of Mutual Funds over ETFS?
Replies: 26
Views: 1286

Re: What is the advantage of Mutual Funds over ETFS?

There isn't any big difference. However, this is my personal list of the small advantages that mutual funds have for me. Since ETFs have no advantages for me, I used mutual funds. 1) Ability to place an order any time. While I was working, I always felt that it was slightly disrespectful to my emplo...
by nisiprius
Fri Dec 02, 2016 10:01 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is This Insane?
Replies: 28
Views: 3463

Re: Is This Insane?

...Where I am: I've been investing for almost 3 years now- currently hold: 25% VTIAX, 25% VTSAX(401k), 10% VEMAX, and too much cash. I'm scared of a crash but the seemingly insane portfolio above pulls itself out of crashes pretty quick too. Then you have, I take it, not personally experienced even...
by nisiprius
Fri Dec 02, 2016 9:38 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is This Insane?
Replies: 28
Views: 3463

Re: Is This Insane?

...It's call "Swedroe's Minimizing Fat Tails Portfolio", or something close to it.... NO, IT ISN'T. It's true that (one version of the "Larry Portfolio" or "Swedroe Minimizing Fat Tails Portfolio") has its stock allocation split equally between small-cap value and emer...

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