Search found 3121 matches

by stlutz
Wed Jul 27, 2016 6:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Another look at corporate bonds
Replies: 192
Views: 11054

Re: Another look at corporate bonds

So I'll be the first to admit that when it comes to bonds, I know nothing. I basically know what they are and that they should be part of the 3 fund portfolio in the form of a Total Bond Fund (usually). In fact, I personally have some of my portfolio in Vanguard's Total Bond Fund and here's the rea...
by stlutz
Wed Jul 27, 2016 6:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Value of Low Volatility
Replies: 44
Views: 4572

Re: The Value of Low Volatility

ood comments; however, a casual look at the iShares LV funds show that they are overvalued relative to the regular funds. For example, based on M*, the P/E of the LV US ETF (USMV) is 21.80 versus 18.5 for the Russell 1000 ETF (IWD). Is this not a concern? I think for the entire [almost] 5 year exis...
by stlutz
Wed Jul 27, 2016 1:53 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Value of Low Volatility
Replies: 44
Views: 4572

Re: The Value of Low Volatility

And low volatility stocks have significant exposure, logically as they are more bond like with more stable earnings, to term risk and thus have benefited greatly from long term secular trend in lower rates. The data on the low volatility anomaly is robust prior to 1980. You can take the return of a...
by stlutz
Wed Jul 27, 2016 1:35 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Another look at corporate bonds
Replies: 192
Views: 11054

Re: Another look at corporate bonds

What my untrained eye would tell me is that based on this 15 year period, High Yield Corporates would have a place in an investor's portfolio. My best guess based on what I saw here is that High Yield Bonds would have a place in the equity part of the portfolio, boosting returns and decreasing vola...
by stlutz
Wed Jul 27, 2016 1:28 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Rick Ferri and Microcaps
Replies: 3
Views: 726

Re: Rick Ferri and Microcaps

My understanding is that he likes the asset sub-class in the abstract, but found that there is really no way to accurately represent that market. There are passive and semi-passive microcap funds, but their performance vs. one another varies by a rather large amount.
by stlutz
Wed Jul 27, 2016 1:25 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Customer Service
Replies: 154
Views: 12247

Re: Vanguard Customer Service

Update: I now have a more positive view of Vanguard customer service and wanted to share it to balance out my previous negative view Thanks for sharing the update! I find on these threads that the most helpful information is with how challenges were actually happened, not that there was an initial ...
by stlutz
Wed Jul 27, 2016 1:22 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Gold. OUNZ, PHYS, IAU, GLD, SGOL?
Replies: 7
Views: 447

Re: Gold. OUNZ, PHYS, IAU, GLD, SGOL?

IAU is the cheapest, so that would be the default option. If you really have specific storage requirements, I'd think you'd want the physical bars over an ETF in any case, so I don't know that something like SGOL or PHYS offers any substantive advantage over IAU or GLD. As to gold itself, I've moder...
by stlutz
Wed Jul 27, 2016 1:12 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Sell individual corporate bonds to pay off mortgage?
Replies: 25
Views: 951

Re: Sell individual corporate bonds to pay off mortgage?

Where are the bonds held? Do you (or does your broker know) the cost basis of each of them? Corporate bonds are much easier to sell than muni bonds, so you shouldn't be scared to do so as long as you are using a broker that is very transparent about the whole process (Fidelity would be one example)....
by stlutz
Sat Jul 23, 2016 6:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Scottrade and Stock Splits
Replies: 3
Views: 233

Re: Scottrade and Stock Splits

If you look at various stock quote sites (e.g. yahoo finance), it still shows pre-split prices. It should adjust with the open of trading on Monday.
by stlutz
Sat Jul 23, 2016 6:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Early retirees, at what age did you "retire"? Is it working out?
Replies: 57
Views: 7867

Re: Early retirees, at what age did you "retire"? Is it working out?

I was in tech and then retired in my mid 30s. I lasted less than a year before I got bored and went back to work on a part time basis. A job with autonomy, flexibility, and no direct reports is better than retirement. Curious what type of job it is and how you found it? Working part time in ER alwa...
by stlutz
Sat Jul 23, 2016 12:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: LCG vs LCV over the last 23 years
Replies: 32
Views: 1766

Re: LCG vs LCV over the last 23 years

Anyway, aren't both of the funds you refer to Large Cap? I thought the value premium was for small but not so much for large. Maybe I'm wrong on that. Would be glad to hear from others regarding this. Since inception in 1998, VG Small Value has outperformed Small Growth 8.16%/yr. vs. 7.88%/yr. So, ...
by stlutz
Sat Jul 23, 2016 12:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Dollar Cost Averaging versus Lump Sum Investing
Replies: 10
Views: 651

Re: Dollar Cost Averaging versus Lump Sum Investing

There was a "final, definitive" discussion on this a couple of years back...

viewtopic.php?t=132098
by stlutz
Sat Jul 23, 2016 12:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: LCG vs LCV over the last 23 years
Replies: 32
Views: 1766

Re: LCG vs LCV over the last 23 years

23 basis points each and every year adds up over time, so I wouldn't say that there has been no return premium over that time. And, doing that with less realized volatility (risk?) indicates a pretty significant advantage.
by stlutz
Mon Jul 18, 2016 10:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Adding value by combining value and Momentum
Replies: 35
Views: 2441

Re: Adding value by combining value and Momentum

Now I am confused, and a bit frustrated. Does this mean I should dump VVIAX and move to a high-expense fund I've not heard of that uses a "momentum screen" that I have not seen discussed before? Actually, Larry's articles by themselves are fine, but it always does crack me up that they ar...
by stlutz
Mon Jul 18, 2016 10:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: making VWINX (Wellesley inc) portfolio out of vanguard funds
Replies: 40
Views: 2577

Re: making VWINX (Wellesley inc) portfolio out of vanguard funds

In terms of Wellesley's benchmark, you'd use VYM (VG High Yield) and QLTA (iShares A-AAA corporate bond fund) in a 1/3, 2/3 ratio. As others have noted, this may be more tax efficient than Wellesley, but it's not optimal. Also, bonds in taxable is not a bad idea and is actually advantageous at today...
by stlutz
Mon Jul 18, 2016 10:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: VMBS vs BND
Replies: 10
Views: 838

Re: VMBS vs BND

Bonds were down in 2013. Returns that year: VMBS: -1.26% BND: -2.11% We can go back further and compare VG Total Bond mutual fund vs. Vanguard GNMA fund. The later isn't an index fund so not a perfect comparison, but still somewhat useful as that fund doesn't make big duration bets: 1994: Total Bond...
by stlutz
Sun Jul 17, 2016 9:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Merrill Lynch vs Merrill Lynch Edge
Replies: 5
Views: 647

Re: Merrill Lynch vs Merrill Lynch Edge

Unfortunately Merrill doesn't publish a lot of info. about their execution quality so it's hard to say how good they are (regardless of whether there is a difference between Edge and full-service Merrill). Fidelity, Schwab, and Scottrade all publish standardized statistics that can be compared betwe...
by stlutz
Sat Jul 16, 2016 7:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Another look at corporate bonds
Replies: 192
Views: 11054

Re: Another look at corporate bonds

Hi Larry, Currently the option-adjusted spread for BBB corporates is 1.97% (https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/BAMLC0A4CBBB). At what spread would you currently consider corporate bonds to be "worth it"? My understanding is that you are simply pointing out that investors have not been rewa...
by stlutz
Sat Jul 16, 2016 7:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Another look at corporate bonds
Replies: 192
Views: 11054

Re: Another look at corporate bonds

Why does the literature generally not adjust by duration rather than maturity for this comparison? The term risk in a 20-year corporate is lower than the term risk in a 20-year Treasury because the former has a higher coupon. If examining the contribution of credit risk and isolating other effects,...
by stlutz
Tue Jul 12, 2016 11:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What's with the criticisms of bond ladders
Replies: 33
Views: 3032

Re: What's with the criticisms of bond ladders

A couple of notes from somebody who is not anti-individual-bond by any means. First, it is not really the case that there is 0 cost for buying a new issue muni (or brokered CD). For example, Fidelity states, "Fidelity makes certain new issue products available without a separate transaction fee...
by stlutz
Wed Jul 06, 2016 1:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Huge tracking error in ETF?
Replies: 7
Views: 493

Re: Huge tracking error in ETF?

Looks pretty spot on to me:

https://www.csimfunds.com/public/csim/h ... ymbol=SCHD

My guess is that the other link is a month behind on the benchmark info. (?).
by stlutz
Wed Jul 06, 2016 12:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Muni funds vs. ladders in a withdrawal strategy
Replies: 5
Views: 690

Re: Muni funds vs. ladders in a withdrawal strategy

Apologies for the delay in responding. If you're matching specific liabilities, a bond ladder can be worth considering. More common is for people to do this with TIPS than munis as they don't have issues with calls or potential default and they of course increase in value with inflation. That said, ...
by stlutz
Mon Jul 04, 2016 11:53 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Small Cap Value question (chasing the past?)
Replies: 13
Views: 1268

Re: Small Cap Value question (chasing the past?)

Going back to the OP--I would say that you should not make a portfolio change because "I read an article this morning." One discipline I use when I see an idea that is interesting is to make note of it and then come back and reconsider months or even a year or two down the road. One you ha...
by stlutz
Sun Jul 03, 2016 9:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Credit Risk Premium
Replies: 17
Views: 1074

Re: Credit Risk Premium

Thanks for sharing the paper. A few thoughts: Obviously the key point is that a higher yielding bond of the same maturity will have a lower duration, and thus has less term risk. The research that Larry references that ignores this fact and thus underestimates the premium one can obtain from taking ...
by stlutz
Sun Jul 03, 2016 8:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Specifying type of room at cheap national chains?
Replies: 29
Views: 2070

Re: Specifying type of room at cheap national chains?

Quiet people (e.g. the people using an AARP discount) usually request 1st floor rooms. I suppose it depends on how cheap you mean by "cheap", but I almost never heard anything through the ceiling/floor; I do hear things from the neighbors and the hall.
by stlutz
Sun Jul 03, 2016 1:09 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: What happens when you speak in TICKER language.
Replies: 30
Views: 2966

Re: What happens when you speak in TICKER language.

I disagree actually. Acronyms I dislike, but tickers for funds actually make it easier for me to search and analyze the funds people are talking about. To me, all the verbal names sound the same (Vanguard large cap value blended nonfat latte whaaaat?) +1. Actually reminds me of the time when I inte...
by stlutz
Sun Jul 03, 2016 1:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vti as high yield looooong term cd
Replies: 16
Views: 1445

Re: Vti as high yield looooong term cd

Here are the historical dividends from VTI to help you determine if the fluctuations across time work for you. http://finance.yahoo.com/quote/VTI/history?period1=946710000&period2=1467352800&interval=div%7Csplit&filter=div&frequency=1d If you can fully pay the bills using just the di...
by stlutz
Sun Jul 03, 2016 12:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Muni funds vs. ladders in a withdrawal strategy
Replies: 5
Views: 690

Re: Muni funds vs. ladders in a withdrawal strategy

Should I be wary that fluctuating interest rates may mean selling fund assets at a loss vs. laddering where the payoff at maturity is relatively certain? Before I just tell you what I like for my own investing, how would you envision your ladder withdrawal strategy working (at least a high level)? ...
by stlutz
Sun Jul 03, 2016 9:05 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Devil's Advocate for not significantly changing my International Allocation
Replies: 39
Views: 3060

Re: Devil's Advocate for not significantly changing my International Allocation

Sticking with a reasonable allocation over the long haul > finding the "perfect" allocation. Price variations are mostly driven by what is unexpected, not by what is already known. The US has certainly looked better than the rest of the world over the past 7 or 8 years. But everybody has p...
by stlutz
Sat Jul 02, 2016 10:59 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VG vs. Fido - The Grass Is Not Always Greener (or Is It?)
Replies: 68
Views: 6702

Re: VG vs. Fido - The Grass Is Not Always Greener (or Is It?)

Thank you for the question, Polymath. Basically, we're eligible to upgrade to brokerage accounts, but will hold off until we are ready or VG forces the issue. Having said that, I'm researching brokerages and educating myself so we make the best, long-term choice. We have been with VG for a long tim...
by stlutz
Fri Jul 01, 2016 11:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Case study Broker trade executions
Replies: 46
Views: 5427

Re: Case study Broker trade executions

Interesting. In my orders at least I've found that when I put in an order that isn't marketable to start, but the price drops (in the case of a buy), it will execute immediately. Actually when I bought some IXUS earlier in the week (has spreads similar to VSS), once the order became marketable it ex...
by stlutz
Fri Jul 01, 2016 3:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Condo vs Townhouse Living
Replies: 35
Views: 4331

Re: Condo vs Townhouse Living

It has to be extremely quiet in my townhouse for me to hear anything from my neighbors. But I have quiet neighbors too.
by stlutz
Thu Jun 30, 2016 9:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New Investor - Vanguard vs Fidelity
Replies: 14
Views: 1250

Re: New Investor - Vanguard vs Fidelity

Suppose one or the the other was .05% cheaper.

For your $3000 investment, that amounts to $1.50 per year.

You can invest super-cheaply at both places. What are your other desires from either of these choices?
by stlutz
Thu Jun 30, 2016 9:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [TD Ameritrade lists Vanguard "Commission Free ETFs"]
Replies: 13
Views: 946

Re: [TD Ameritrade lists Vanguard "Commission Free ETFs"]

Nice detective work as always by LadyGeek!

Although I would like to see livesoft do some trades there tomorrow just to make sure. It's been too long since we've had a good livesoft trading-tricks thread. :moneybag
by stlutz
Thu Jun 30, 2016 9:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VG vs. Fido - The Grass Is Not Always Greener (or Is It?)
Replies: 68
Views: 6702

Re: VG vs. Fido - The Grass Is Not Always Greener (or Is It?)

Actually it's easier to trade more at Vanguard Brokerage than Fidelity. If I'm choosing from the no-commission ETFs at Fidelity, I must hold for 30 days before I sell or I will get charged a commission. At Vanguard there is no such restriction. I have accounts at both. I prefer Fidelity. Ironically,...
by stlutz
Thu Jun 30, 2016 9:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Wait, holding international increases risk?
Replies: 67
Views: 4554

Re: Wait, holding international increases risk?

First, a few hopefully non-controversial points: a) International stocks are more volatile to a US investor than US ones. They have market risk, but also currency risk and portions of the portfolio have greater political risks. This all leads to greater volatility. For these reasons Vanguard rates T...
by stlutz
Thu Jun 30, 2016 1:00 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Answers Your Cost Basis Questions
Replies: 13
Views: 2283

Re: Vanguard Answers Your Cost Basis Questions

Thank your for the replies!
by stlutz
Tue Jun 28, 2016 8:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is FALN an actively mgd ETF? [iShares U.S. Fallen Angels]
Replies: 11
Views: 675

Re: Is FALN an actively mgd ETF? [iShares U.S. Fallen Angels]

There is also the distinction between a BS passive index and a real passive index. ETF.com describes this fund thusly: The iShares Fallen Angels USD Bond ETF tracks a market value weighted index of bonds that were rated investment grade at issuance, but later downgraded to sub-investment grade http:...
by stlutz
Tue Jun 28, 2016 8:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fidelity lowers expense ratio of some index funds
Replies: 117
Views: 8475

Re: Fidelity lowers expense ratio of some index funds

Unfortunately index funds are a loss leader for Fidelity. Suppose I have $500K currently at Fidelity in a variety of investments and I decide I want to invest $100K of that in index funds. Are you arguing that Fidelity is better off if I move that $100K to Vanguard instead of investing in Fidelity ...
by stlutz
Wed Jun 22, 2016 11:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: European Package Tours
Replies: 23
Views: 1569

Re: European Package Tours

7 days on the ground is plenty, especially considering that you aren't trying to go to 8 cities in that time span. :happy I've done trips between 5 and 9 days (again, excluding travel time) and that's been great for me. I go one place and then return home. You should reconsider DIY. Get yourself som...
by stlutz
Wed Jun 22, 2016 10:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Hewitt 401k and General Portfolio Allocation
Replies: 14
Views: 835

Re: Hewitt 401k and General Portfolio Allocation

What is the optimal weight of international? The answer is, nobody knows. One can run historical regressions as to what worked best historically; that won't necessarily be the case going forward. I would suggest that your starting point should be market weight (roughly 50/50 US/Intl). Why would you ...
by stlutz
Tue Jun 21, 2016 10:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: bicycle recommendations
Replies: 72
Views: 4396

Re: bicycle recommendations

Road bikes today are almost nothing like one from the 1970s due to multiple major revolutions: 1) STI--that is integrating the shift and brake levers and putting them on the handlebar where you can use them from multiple hand positions. 2) The move toward wider gear ranges which is helpful for climb...
by stlutz
Sun Jun 19, 2016 9:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Simple bond selection question for retirement
Replies: 2
Views: 590

Re: Simple bond selection question for retirement

If treasuries are positively correlated to the stock market, then you want short-term bonds; if they are negatively correlated you want long term bonds. Both have happened with about equal frequency historically. That is why splitting the difference is often advocated. It's impossible to know what t...
by stlutz
Thu Jun 16, 2016 11:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendation for Refrigerator
Replies: 39
Views: 2524

Re: Recommendation for Refrigerator

I hope this isn't too much of a thread-jack, but I have a 20 year old fridge with a motor that has become quite loud? Should I try to have it repaired or just get a new one?
by stlutz
Thu Jun 16, 2016 11:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why are Vanguard Index Fund Expenses Mostly More Expensive than TSP?
Replies: 17
Views: 2076

Re: Why are Vanguard Index Fund Expenses Mostly More Expensive than TSP?

On the margin, I'm sure they make at least some money. Keep in mind that they already have multiple funds that track the S&P 500, EAFE etc. What is the marginal cost of adding one more, particularly when there is a large amount of AUM? I assume not that much.
by stlutz
Thu Jun 16, 2016 9:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dr. Charges Facilities fee of $300 - what should I do?
Replies: 142
Views: 8293

Re: Dr. Charges Facilities fee of $300 - what should I do?

Have you gotten the Explanation of Benefits (EOB) from your health insurer yet? You don't consider paying any bills until after your insurance has.
by stlutz
Tue Jun 14, 2016 12:46 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Iceland triggering second thoughts on foreign bonds?
Replies: 39
Views: 2966

Re: Iceland triggering second thoughts on foreign bonds?

Iceland is broke--they can't pay it back. To me, international bonds make no sense (aside from a couple of isolated countries like the UK). A fund like the VG one offers lower interest rates and higher risk than US treasuries. Some people say that you make up for it by non-correlation in an MPT way,...
by stlutz
Tue Jun 14, 2016 12:29 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is the lower bound for 10 year government bond yields?
Replies: 19
Views: 1479

Re: What is the lower bound for 10 year government bond yields?

The Swiss case is a special situation--they adopted negative rates to keep their currency, which is considered one of safer if not safest currency in the world from getting too strong. As a relatively small economy overall, they definitely have a capacity problem. As the dominant reserve currency, t...
by stlutz
Sat Jun 11, 2016 10:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Another ETF bid-ask spread question -- are they really this high?
Replies: 10
Views: 656

Re: Another ETF bid-ask spread question -- are they really this high?

Scroll down a bit on the quote and Fidelity lists an average spread for the past month. For example, for ITOT:

https://screener.fidelity.com/ftgw/etf/ ... e=o-NavBar

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