Search found 32118 matches

by nisiprius
Fri Mar 24, 2017 9:18 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: So why exactly is everyone gloomy about bonds?
Replies: 13
Views: 662

Re: So why exactly is everyone gloomy about bonds?

1) Not everybody is. Vanguard, for example-- obviously an interested party, though --has issued some very sensible, adult assessments of the situation: Yield surge: Remember the real role of bonds in your portfolio Vanguard's global head of fixed income discusses bonds, rising rates, and liquidity 2...
by nisiprius
Fri Mar 24, 2017 8:01 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Justification for Adding REITs
Replies: 21
Views: 1006

Re: Justification for Adding REITs

...I guess if you make the case that one should invest in an asset class in proportion to its weight in the economy, that could be a justification for adding more REITs... Yes, but what drives me bananas is so very often people will suggest you should invest according to the weight in the economy w...
by nisiprius
Thu Mar 23, 2017 6:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why did my fund GO UP so much?
Replies: 33
Views: 2487

Re: Why did my fund GO UP so much?

livesoft, please, please... tell us where the screenshot is from.
by nisiprius
Thu Mar 23, 2017 6:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help Overcoming a Lead Paint Phobia
Replies: 14
Views: 778

Re: Help Overcoming a Lead Paint Phobia

1) In our area, you can buy lead paint test kits in hardware and home improvement stores. They cost about $10 but they are really just sampling kits, and you have to send the sample in a mailer to a lab to actually get the test done... takes a few weeks, costs $40 or something like that. 2) There ar...
by nisiprius
Thu Mar 23, 2017 5:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Justification for Adding REITs
Replies: 21
Views: 1006

Re: Justification for Adding REITs

1) Same as with other kinds of tilts. Small value is just a subset of the total market, but there is a sophisticated argument to be made that it is better to have a small-cap value tilt, and there might be something to it. 2) It is a fact that REITs have special rules that make them structurally dif...
by nisiprius
Thu Mar 23, 2017 4:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Blog on emerging Markets, and investors underweighting them
Replies: 63
Views: 3379

Re: Blog on emerging Markets, and investors underweighting them

Nisprius My anecdotal experience is both that most investors vastly underweight international in general, and then vastly underweight EM even if they hold developed Larry But how? Do they say, outright, "I only want developed markets," and check their funds to make that's what they get? O...
by nisiprius
Thu Mar 23, 2017 2:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Voyager Select Worth moving funds to get there?
Replies: 4
Views: 525

Re: Vanguard Voyager Select Worth moving funds to get there?

I actually hadn't noticed any difference between Voyager and Voyager Select. I wouldn't jump through any hoops or do anything inconvenient just to get to the next level. I hadn't noticed that I now can have "Consultations with a CFP professional through Vanguard Personal Advisor Services if you...
by nisiprius
Thu Mar 23, 2017 10:56 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Which of these two bond funds is "better"?
Replies: 14
Views: 850

Re: Which of these two bond funds is "better"?

The answer to your question may be "neither". Do you have access to this: https://www.trsnyc.org/ASPENMemberPro/Account/FixedReturnFund ? If so, I would have that be my only fixed income holding. Wow. Teacher88, yes, you should look into this. And, of course, ask some hard questions about...
by nisiprius
Thu Mar 23, 2017 9:05 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Which of these two bond funds is "better"?
Replies: 14
Views: 850

Re: Which of these two bond funds is "better"?

They are both excellent choices for a "core" bond fund. They are more than "pretty good." They are very similar. They are both intermediate-term, investment-grade bond funds. They are both low-cost index funds. Although the differences don't matter much, you have to form some per...
by nisiprius
Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:24 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Blog on emerging Markets, and investors underweighting them
Replies: 63
Views: 3379

Re: Blog on emerging Markets, and investors underweighting them

...What benchmark does VG use for its fund?... The general answer to this question can be found quite easily. 1) Vanguard.com 2) Fund name or ticker, in this case "Total World" or VTWSX, into "search the site or get a quote" box, wait for drop-down, select. 3) Portfolio & Ma...
by nisiprius
Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:16 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Blog on emerging Markets, and investors underweighting them
Replies: 63
Views: 3379

Re: Blog on emerging Markets, and investors underweighting them

Larry (and others): in your experience, how do investors underweight emerging markets? That is, among clients who invest in international stocks, what are the ones who underweight emerging markets invested in, and what do they have to say about it? People with 401(k)'s, what international stock fund...
by nisiprius
Wed Mar 22, 2017 4:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Blog on emerging Markets, and investors underweighting them
Replies: 63
Views: 3379

Re: Blog on emerging Markets, and investors underweighting them

(For the record, my international stock investment is Vanguard Total International, so within my foreign stocks I personally do not underweight emerging markets...) Emerging markets risk , which is the chance that the stocks of companies located in emerging markets will be substantially more volatil...
by nisiprius
Wed Mar 22, 2017 2:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do I share internet with my neighbor?
Replies: 17
Views: 1318

Re: How do I share internet with my neighbor?

...Wifi range extenders work and you'll get a better signal in a far location, BUT at a reduced speed. It basically halves it, which could or could not be an issue. Just thought I'd mention it... I kinda-sorta think it's "same bandwidth, just increased latency" but I don't know. Ours is s...
by nisiprius
Wed Mar 22, 2017 2:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do I share internet with my neighbor?
Replies: 17
Views: 1318

Re: How do I share internet with my neighbor?

For extending WiFi range, a $60 "WiFi Range Extender" worked as advertised for me. Our house isn't all that big, and originally when my wife moved her desk and computer upstairs I was too lazy to try to put in a cable, she tried WiFi, and everything worked fine. Then she started to have pr...
by nisiprius
Wed Mar 22, 2017 1:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Do I Do More?
Replies: 17
Views: 1632

Re: How Do I Do More?

Personally, the only way I have ever been able to save money is to arrange for it to be done automatically. Both my wife and I find that our behavior tends to be controlled by the size of the balance in our checking account. For us the key to savings has been to automate it, even if it's as simple s...
by nisiprius
Tue Mar 21, 2017 9:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: WSJ: S&P 500′s Rally Is Falling Behind the World
Replies: 15
Views: 3079

Re: WSJ: S&P 500′s Rally Is Falling Behind the World

I found the headline puzzling because I hadn't noticed anything like that, but I hadn't been paying attention. On quickly checking, I found that if we look at the last 12 months, the Vanguard 500 Index Fund, VFINX, has vastly outperformed the Vanguard European Index Fund, VEURX. It was slightly behi...
by nisiprius
Tue Mar 21, 2017 2:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Harvard endowment beats S&P 500 by 2% a year over last 40 years
Replies: 50
Views: 5887

Re: Harvard endowment beats S&P 500 by 2% a year over last 40 years

The other thing that needs to be said is that, unfortunately, financial data is badly behaved and averages don't settle down over time the way you might expect them to. The average (CAGR) for the S&P 500 and its predecessors, 1926-1998 inclusive, a period of 74 years, was 11.39%. But the CAGR fo...
by nisiprius
Tue Mar 21, 2017 8:25 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: PortfolioVisualizer added inflation adjustment
Replies: 2
Views: 312

PortfolioVisualizer added inflation adjustment

I have no connection with PortfolioVisualizer other than thinking it's a very useful tool and using it all the time. Well, I have one other connection with them. Some weeks ago I sent them an email saying I thought it would be nice if they offered the option of correcting for inflation in the "...
by nisiprius
Tue Mar 21, 2017 8:20 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Does Vanguard have contrarian funds ?
Replies: 25
Views: 1708

Re: Does Vanguard have contrarian funds ?

OK, I want to state this very carefully. There are some mutual funds that are designed to go up when the market goes down. I think investing in any of them is a very, very, very bad idea, but they exist and they do what they say. Vanguard does not offer any funds like this. Why is it a bad idea? Bec...
by nisiprius
Tue Mar 21, 2017 7:32 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Does Vanguard have contrarian funds ?
Replies: 25
Views: 1708

Re: Does Vanguard have contrarian funds ?

I am worried about a crash so where can I dump a significant Vanguard portfolio in to once I see signals of a pullback or recession? I do not want to ride out a 20% pullback? Too old! To begin by answering your question as directly as possible: no. 1) Vanguard does not have any mutual funds that ar...
by nisiprius
Mon Mar 20, 2017 7:28 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Risks of Margin Account (VBS)
Replies: 5
Views: 262

Re: Risks of Margin Account (VBS)

Here's a very old post in this forum, which might or might not still be relevant: Margin Account Dangers Today , by StoneReader, Mon Jul 14, 2008. The safest thing to do is to convert your margin account to a cash account. You can not do this online or by phone. Vanguard requires a letter requesting...
by nisiprius
Mon Mar 20, 2017 7:24 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Risks of Margin Account (VBS)
Replies: 5
Views: 262

Re: Risks of Margin Account (VBS)

When I opened my Vanguard brokerage account 15 years ago, I requested it be enabled for margin trading. Soon after, I decided that buying on margin / short selling was inappropriate for me. That, to me, is a good enough reason to get the margin capability disabled. ...I guess I could ask for my bro...
by nisiprius
Mon Mar 20, 2017 7:10 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Trouble with Macroeconomics by Paul Romer
Replies: 6
Views: 654

Re: Trouble with Macroeconomics by Paul Romer

Making the best case I can for this being a legitimate topic, I'd say: generally this forum is not too sympathetic to using macroeconomic analyses to guide investments. Speaking for myself, the reasons include: 1) All financial predictions are unreliable. In April 2014, Bloomberg, asked 68 economist...
by nisiprius
Sun Mar 19, 2017 9:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Harvard endowment beats S&P 500 by 2% a year over last 40 years
Replies: 50
Views: 5887

Re: Harvard endowment beats S&P 500 by 2% a year over last 40 years

How do you explain that? Probably, taking more risk than the S&P 500 and making investments that are less liquid than the S&P 500. You would expect to be compensated for both. Investments that are appropriate for Harvard are probably not appropriate for me. Harvard does not plan to retire a...
by nisiprius
Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2.25% High Yield Checking - FSCU
Replies: 11
Views: 1673

Re: 2.25% High Yield Checking - FSCU

I had an account like that once, jumped through the hoops, all worked as advertised, I got the high rates. However, both the rates themselves and the maximum balance on which you got that rate declined. Within less than three years, it had gone from a very high rate on balances up to $50,000, to a c...
by nisiprius
Sat Mar 18, 2017 7:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What percentage of the global stock and bond market consists of non-US assets?
Replies: 7
Views: 529

Re: What percentage of the global stock and bond market consists of non-US assets?

In Global Fixed Income: Considerations for U.S. Investors , dated February 2014, the authors say However, the first decade of the 2000s brought an acceleration of globalization, increased access to information, a general liberalization of world credit markets, and widespread growth of debt issuance ...
by nisiprius
Sat Mar 18, 2017 7:14 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I am in US equities and cash. Am I an idiot?
Replies: 43
Views: 4735

Re: I am in US equities and cash. Am I an idiot?

...One of my weaknesses or strengths depending on your point of view is that I do not watch my investments carefully enough. I mean I care or else I would not be in vanguard and understand things like expense ratios matter and that active managed funds rarely beat the indexes. However, I will somet...
by nisiprius
Fri Mar 17, 2017 6:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Autonomous Vehicles and Drone Deliveries
Replies: 31
Views: 1595

Re: Autonomous Vehicles and Drone Deliveries

I think autonomous vehicles are going to come along more slowly than you'd believe from the hype. And it will be regional. I think this is one of these problems where the last 10% of the problem takes ten times as long to solve as the first 90%. Right now, we live in a world in which every driver is...
by nisiprius
Fri Mar 17, 2017 8:03 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I am in US equities and cash. Am I an idiot?
Replies: 43
Views: 4735

Re: I am in US equities and cash. Am I an idiot?

I don't think you're an idiot. As Taylor Larimore likes to say "there are many roads to Dublin." John C. Bogle has said "investing is not a science." It's your money and your life and your decisions. It's important to stay the course, you can only do that if you have a firm convi...
by nisiprius
Wed Mar 15, 2017 8:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do many banks "secretly" have private deposit insurance covering excess above $250,000?
Replies: 51
Views: 5461

Re: Do many banks "secretly" have private deposit insurance above $250,000?

talzara wrote:...In 2007, the FDIC issued a report on voluntary deposit insurance. In addition to the Massachusetts insurance funds, they found three other companies that sold voluntary deposit insurance to banks...
Thank you very much, Talzara.
by nisiprius
Wed Mar 15, 2017 3:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to do with $100???
Replies: 70
Views: 4013

Re: What to do with $100???

If it were me, I'd pick from (in something like this order): Favorite charity; Nice dinner for DW; Large tip for local waitperson (get a brand new $100 bill from the bank if you're going to do that, increases the WOW factor); Household account (for unexpected expenses); Another purchase (and anothe...
by nisiprius
Wed Mar 15, 2017 3:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do many banks "secretly" have private deposit insurance covering excess above $250,000?
Replies: 51
Views: 5461

Re: Do many banks "secretly" have private deposit insurance above $250,000?

Just to be clear about my own question... suppose you have a normal FDIC-insured bank and you put $400,000 into one, ordinary, single account. Thus, $250,000 is insured by the FDIC and $150,000 is not insured by the FDIC. The bank rep was suggesting that some banks have a situation that is exactly p...
by nisiprius
Wed Mar 15, 2017 2:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Total Stock Market vs S&P 500 and Small-Cap Funds?
Replies: 12
Views: 1250

Re: Total Stock Market vs S&P 500 and Small-Cap Funds?

In your Roth IRA you can change your mind at any time with no tax consequences. Since you are not yet sure what you want to do, I suggest you start out with the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund. Then take a good long breath, take your time looking at alternatives and thinking, and ask question...
by nisiprius
Wed Mar 15, 2017 11:38 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do many banks "secretly" have private deposit insurance covering excess above $250,000?
Replies: 51
Views: 5461

Do many banks "secretly" have private deposit insurance covering excess above $250,000?

I raised a question about deposit insurance at a bank that does happen to have non-FDIC insurance for the amounts exceeding $250,000. For various reasons they're not sure they can open the kind of account I need and said "why are you here instead of at your own bank?" And I said "beca...
by nisiprius
Wed Mar 15, 2017 9:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to do with $100???
Replies: 70
Views: 4013

Re: What to do with $100???

Buy something that will require you to spend time doing something. Maybe a really fancy jigsaw puzzle. Maybe go to some place that sells fancy kits for building something... building a clock out of cardboard pieces, or assembling a little "robotics" thing, or one of these... http://www.gra...
by nisiprius
Wed Mar 15, 2017 8:06 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Redneck/All American Bank
Replies: 17
Views: 2153

Re: Redneck/All American Bank

Plenty of less questionable banks paying 1-1.05%... What's "questionable" about it? It looks fine to me. Note: according to their website, the correct spelling of their "real" name is "All America Bank" ( America , without the "n" at the end). They say they'r...
by nisiprius
Wed Mar 15, 2017 7:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Convincing Someone To Dump A Bad Financial Advisor
Replies: 39
Views: 3127

Re: Convincing Someone To Dump A Bad Financial Advisor

I would intervene only if: ⋅ Your mother has asked you for your help, or ⋅ Your mother is cognitively impaired, so much so that a doctor would agree that she is, or ⋅ You are dead-seriously convinced that the advisor is a scam artist. By "scam artist" I don't ...
by nisiprius
Wed Mar 15, 2017 7:21 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why does AA on Vanguard Target Retirement Funds not match conventional advice?
Replies: 17
Views: 1048

Re: Why does AA on Vanguard Target Retirement Funds not match conventional advice?

"Why does AA on Vanguard Target Retirement Funds not match conventional advice?" Because nobody knows. One of the most dangerous behavioral errors in investing is overconfidence. And yet, people writing about investing usually do so with an air of total confidence in their very specific re...
by nisiprius
Wed Mar 15, 2017 7:03 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Who has the cheapest funds? It’s more complicated than you think
Replies: 27
Views: 2598

Re: Who has the cheapest funds? It’s more complicated than you think

Now, I don't quite understand the "badness" of tracking error. Let's say that the fund doesn't hold quite enough of company XYZ. Company XYZ's CEO is found to have skipped town and gone to Russia with his 22 year old secretary and a bunch of classified documents needed to run the company....
by nisiprius
Wed Mar 15, 2017 6:13 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Who has the cheapest funds? It’s more complicated than you think
Replies: 27
Views: 2598

Re: Who has the cheapest funds? It’s more complicated than you think

It's a complicated question because it's the wrong question. Both of them are cheap enough. Hear, hear! I got most of the advantage of low expense ratios when I switched to investor shares of the 500 Index in 1990. The changes since then are nice, but compared to the initial savings they are roundi...
by nisiprius
Wed Mar 15, 2017 6:02 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund Composition
Replies: 8
Views: 1066

Re: Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund Composition

Some folks on the forum would consider 0.72% international enough for the whole portfolio. :mrgreen: Paul Actually, there was one year when the Fidelity Spartan Total Market Index Fund, which, like the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund is supposed to track the total US market, had 4% internati...
by nisiprius
Tue Mar 14, 2017 9:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund Composition
Replies: 8
Views: 1066

Re: Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund Composition

I haven't looked into the country breakdown of the CRSP Total Stock Market Index, but, in case you haven't noticed, the S&P 500 (!!!!) contains stocks of several foreign companies: Chubb Limited (Zurich, Switzerland) Mylan N.V. (Amsterdam, Netherlands) Schlumberger Ltd. (Curaçao) TE Connectivity...
by nisiprius
Tue Mar 14, 2017 8:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: FBI warns of Binary Options Fraud
Replies: 3
Views: 1026

Re: FBI warns of Binary Options Fraud

What exactly is a binary option? It’s a type of options contract in which the payout depends entirely on the outcome of a yes/no proposition, typically related to whether the price of a particular asset—like a stock or a commodity—will rise above or fall below a specified amount. Unlike regular sto...
by nisiprius
Tue Mar 14, 2017 6:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Specific Book Recommendations - passing the time on Amtrak
Replies: 13
Views: 551

Re: Specific Book Recommendations - passing the time on Amtrak

When you get on the train see if you can get a window seat, as there are AC outlets under them and you can keep your Kindle charged. Maybe not important if you have a traditional e-Ink Kindle, important to me with my Kindle Fire. It's just my thing but I find Lee Child's "Jack Reacher" nov...
by nisiprius
Tue Mar 14, 2017 1:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why don't things "feel" bubbly?
Replies: 76
Views: 8328

Re: Why don't things "feel" bubbly?

People have been waiting for international equities to catch up to U.S. equities for a long time now, but the former has underperformed the latter for 30 years and counting (in total). They may still outperform going forward, but if history is any indicator of the future, it could take a long time ...
by nisiprius
Tue Mar 14, 2017 12:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why don't things "feel" bubbly?
Replies: 76
Views: 8328

Re: Why don't things "feel" bubbly?

I'm not sure, but from what I understand, Buffett seems to have a similar theory to myself (and I got shot down for it not long ago when I discussed it on this forum) regarding the relationship between interest rates and stocks. He seems to think that low interest rates help to push stocks higher a...
by nisiprius
Tue Mar 14, 2017 9:55 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why don't things "feel" bubbly?
Replies: 76
Views: 8328

Re: Why don't things "feel" bubbly?

Well, I don't try really hard not to act on my feelings. But I agree they don't feel bubbly. There isn't any "story." There isn't much in the way of what Burton Malkiel calls "castles in the air." Usually (?) bubbles are accompanied by several things: 1) People you know perso...
by nisiprius
Tue Mar 14, 2017 9:33 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How Many Contribute To A Retirement Fund But Never Invest
Replies: 21
Views: 2296

Re: How Many Contribute To A Retirement Fund But Never Invest

Two details. 1) "Savings" doesn't mean "a bank account," and "investment" doesn't mean "securities." "Savings" mean the part of your income that is not spent, and "investment" is whatever you do with it. If your savings are not spent, they ...
by nisiprius
Tue Mar 14, 2017 9:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 2541
Views: 650206

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

"Hidden Figures." Excellent, excellent, excellent. However, after you watch it, do read the Wikipedia summary of Departures from the story in the book ("John Glenn, who was much older than depicted at the time of launch, did ask specifically for Johnson to verify the IBM calculations,...
by nisiprius
Mon Mar 13, 2017 5:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: SEC Rejects Winklevoss Bitcoin ETF
Replies: 35
Views: 3176

Re: SEC Rejects Winklevoss Bitcoin ETF

I think we should separate the issues of bitcoin itself from the issues of a bitcoin ETF . Now, if you prefer a Darwinian laissez-faire marketplace where the only projection is caveat emptor, and any effects of inside information are regulated only by the invisible hand, fine, that's your prerogativ...

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