Search found 158 matches

by mbrasher1
Wed Jun 03, 2015 9:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with a retiree's portfolio
Replies: 2
Views: 569

Help with a retiree's portfolio

My mom is a retired librarian in her mid 80s and in reasonable health. We recently sold her house and are looking for advice on investing the proceeds. She has a recently updated California trust and has recently moved into an “independent living” facility. She recently gave up driving so has no car...
by mbrasher1
Fri Sep 02, 2011 6:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: portfolio healthcheck -- life after USG job
Replies: 9
Views: 1952

I believe the TSP also permits separated employees to transfer money into the TSP from IRAs and the like. If you are considering withdrawing all of your TSP funds to switch them you may want to reconsider, if only to have the option of a "backdoor TSP contribution" years later. The TSP is a well-des...
by mbrasher1
Wed Jul 27, 2011 12:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: All this talk of US debt default - a basic question
Replies: 50
Views: 4686

Apparently, S&P has warned against debt prioritization.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/07/ ... DR20110727
by mbrasher1
Thu Jun 02, 2011 8:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: tobacco use and buy & hold
Replies: 28
Views: 3061

norookie wrote::? Troops were also given butts to supplement rations before and during conflicts up to the 70s I know for sure.
And in WW2 the troops called them coffin nails.
by mbrasher1
Thu Jun 02, 2011 8:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Gold/Chocolate Ratio: A Yummy Look at Gold Values
Replies: 13
Views: 1625

Having said that, I see a potential for a new financial product. The question is how to call it: - Chocolate covered gold bars? or - Gold covered chocolate bars? Victoria Hah! This already exists. In India, children's candy is commonly covered with super-thin edible gold or silver foil called varak...
by mbrasher1
Thu May 19, 2011 3:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Q2 2011 Philly Fed/Gordon Model Update
Replies: 11
Views: 1696

Here , courtesy of "fluffy is taken," is a great post showing real earnings growth/year. Clearly, starting and ending points matter. Bernstein's 1.3% # looks like a good, conservative, estimate to me. It could be higher, due to share buybacks, but is generally bound by GDP/capita growth. I tried go...
by mbrasher1
Tue May 17, 2011 2:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: G Fund Can't Buy Treasuries
Replies: 17
Views: 2361

The value of all nonmarketable bonds is dependent on the ability to convert them to marketable bonds. Sam This seems wrong to me. The Feds do not issue bonds when a TSP owner gets a distribution from his account. They get cash. One could construe the value as dependent on the value of the dollar bu...
by mbrasher1
Sun May 15, 2011 8:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: plum creek lumber
Replies: 35
Views: 5583

As I recall, there was a flurry of articles about how great timber was several years ago. It is uncorrelated with the stock market, it grows a little bit each year and has REIT status for several companies, etc. I believe that the Yale endowment portfolio owned timberland directly. The problem is th...
by mbrasher1
Tue May 10, 2011 11:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bogle on Harry Browne's Permanent Portfolio
Replies: 52
Views: 9568

This guy posts here, too (I forget his name). http://crawlingroad.com/blog/2008/12/22/permanent-portfolio-historical-returns/ I was surprised to see that the PP returned positive returns in 2008 (+2%) and has had negative returns for only one year since the early 1970s (1981). Looking at the promine...
by mbrasher1
Tue Apr 26, 2011 4:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: buy O’Hare General Airport Revenue Bonds ?
Replies: 11
Views: 1840

Are the bonds callable? That could make them unattractive if rates increase and unattractive if rates decrease.
by mbrasher1
Tue Apr 12, 2011 5:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: LA Times publishes rare 403b topic. Highest fees in U.S.
Replies: 37
Views: 6255

Only sort of related: my wife (a CA teacher also) signed up for the 403b managed by TIAA-CREF which include alot of good fund choices, including two DFA funds. I only recently noticed that the salary withdrawals were not appearing in the TIAA accounts and that the pay stub had them going into a tax ...
by mbrasher1
Tue Apr 12, 2011 5:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Advantages of Roth conversions?
Replies: 25
Views: 4232

A number of people will spend time out of the labor market -- through unemployment, staying home with the kids, illness, extended travel, disability, doing unpaid sabbaticals, missionary work or whatever. More will experience depressed income due to low commissions (realtors, eg.). For these people ...
by mbrasher1
Sat Jun 05, 2010 1:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Saving 11%/year leads to what annuity at retirement?
Replies: 8
Views: 1597

This is difficult to do the math, because federal salaries grow faster than inflation, with COLAs to cover inflation, and then step and grade increases are added on top of that; locality pay is added on top of that. In this way, higher paid senior employees are subsidized by lower paid and entry lev...
by mbrasher1
Thu May 27, 2010 12:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Rewards Credit Card
Replies: 42
Views: 11007

Amex Costco true earnings business card has 4% on gas (but only 1% at supermarket gas stations), 3% at restaurants, 2% on travel and 1% on everything else. The cash back comes in the form of a certificate that must be redeemed at costco (for either cash or goods). The Schwab credit card gives 2% on ...
by mbrasher1
Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Aging parents: resources
Replies: 2
Views: 915

Aging parents: resources

My dad is 89 and my mom is 79. They are starting to need lot more help than before. I was wondering if someone had any suggestions for a website that would give a roadmap of the issues that the family ought to consider -- updating long term care insurance, establishing a trust or will, etc. You guys...
by mbrasher1
Sun Nov 08, 2009 10:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Most expensive colleges
Replies: 72
Views: 9198

I went to an Ivy school and as several have pointed out, their large endowments mean that few students pay the stated tuition, room and board. I had the same 3 roommates for 4 years. Of the 4, two paid full freight because their parents were wealthy; one paid the same in tuition, room and board as U...
by mbrasher1
Mon Oct 26, 2009 12:22 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Average Wilshire 4500 stock up 120% March-Sept 2009
Replies: 5
Views: 1368

Average Wilshire 4500 stock up 120% March-Sept 2009

In a setting like this, it is kind of hard NOT to beat the market if you are small cap biased.

http://greenbackd.com/2009/10/20/brains ... ll-market/
by mbrasher1
Fri Oct 16, 2009 9:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Billionaire among 6 nabbed in inside trading case
Replies: 15
Views: 3268

Amazing that he isn't happy with $1 billion. I am happy with a small fraction of that, my liberty, my wife and two babies.
by mbrasher1
Thu Oct 08, 2009 12:58 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Gold vs Gold ETF - any resource to understand?
Replies: 34
Views: 4502

Gold is one of those love it or hate it kind of holdings: the barbarous relic and all that. This blog is maintained by a boglehead and writes interestingly about gold: http://crawlingroad.com/blog/ The problem I have with gold is that it is taxed as a collectible (not sure if this applies to bullion...
by mbrasher1
Thu Oct 01, 2009 11:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 60% S&P 500 and 40% Company Stock, Moderate Risk?
Replies: 16
Views: 2410

It amazes me that people compound the risk of losing a major source of income (job with a company) and doubles down with adding company risk to one's net worth. And a company need not go bankrupt to fall from grace. Look at the shares of respected firms: Lehman, Bear Stearns, CIT, AIG, Barings, John...
by mbrasher1
Sun Sep 20, 2009 5:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Cash for Clunkers bill charged to social security and TIPS
Replies: 10
Views: 2279

1. The US GDP is $about $14 trillion. The $3 billion in cash for clunkers is 3/14,000 of the US GDP. It gets a lot of ink but how can the CPI effect be as large as the cynics suggest? Maybe that is why these articles do not attempt to estimate the effect, because it is so small. 2. The Dept of Labor...
by mbrasher1
Sun Sep 20, 2009 12:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are YOU Currently Reading? PART II
Replies: 1043
Views: 294134

Just about to start Stalingrad by Antony Beevor. I've read Beevor's The Battle for Spain and really liked it. Stalingrad is supposed to be one of the most popular of his history books so I'm really looking forward to it. Anyone else read it? Yep, I have read most of Beevor's books. The Stalingrad b...
by mbrasher1
Sun Sep 20, 2009 12:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: S&P 500 - how it is generated.
Replies: 7
Views: 1193

Oddly, for an index representative of 500 large companies in the US, it does not include Berkshire Hathaway which is about #6 in market cap.
by mbrasher1
Fri Sep 18, 2009 1:09 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Improvements in CalSTRS 403b - more DFA funds, lower VG fees
Replies: 0
Views: 682

Improvements in CalSTRS 403b - more DFA funds, lower VG fees

CalSTRS is improving its fund lineup by offering: 1. VG TIPS Fund institutional shares -- reduces the ER to .09% from .25% on the previously offered investor class TIPS fund (VIPSX) 2. added to the lineup DFA International Small Company Fund (DFISX) (added to the DFA Global Portfolio and the Emergin...
by mbrasher1
Sun Aug 30, 2009 11:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Buy-and-hold strategy losing grip on investors
Replies: 50
Views: 7902

Re: you people

I get it now. and will be gone bunch of sour ass losers who need to vent. good luck and good buy ...get it good buy? buy low sell high ever heard that???? Sorry you feel targeted. You should stick around awhile and read some other posts -- not just the ones about you. You will find that there are a...
by mbrasher1
Sat Aug 22, 2009 12:49 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: anybody else time, rebalance, etc. today?
Replies: 39
Views: 4931

I rebalanced into bonds today also. Thank you, TSP. It is so easy and costless to do.
by mbrasher1
Sun Aug 16, 2009 9:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 1982 bull
Replies: 17
Views: 2844

I believe it was 1978, that defined contribution plans first arrived (someone please correct me if I am wrong - I wouldn't know, I only began professional work in 1978). The IRA arrives via ERISA in 1974 and the 401(k) arrived in 1978 amendments to the IRC. Both took 4-5 years to become effective, ...
by mbrasher1
Sun Aug 16, 2009 7:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Ten Figure Men ...
Replies: 3
Views: 1567

Re: The Ten Figure Men ...

mcmd wrote: The first rule about S&B is: We don't talk about S&B. :D
Yep, there needs to be a good conspiracy story about how Bonesmen started the Vietnam War. They were everywhere in the national security bureaucracy at the Time.
by mbrasher1
Fri Aug 14, 2009 11:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Updated CAPE & q charts
Replies: 71
Views: 10727

fwiw, the economist has a review of smithers' new book. See http://www.economist.com/research/artic ... 0&fsrc=nwl
by mbrasher1
Mon Aug 10, 2009 1:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Semi-retiring in your 30's
Replies: 105
Views: 22934

I agree with MossySF about China. I am told a live-in maid is less than $1000 a year. A live-in cook is about the same, but it's cheaper to eat out all the time. I personally know it is cheaper to buy new underwear every day than to have the hotel wash your underwear for you. If you want ot retire ...
by mbrasher1
Mon Aug 10, 2009 12:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Was someone making money in 2008?
Replies: 11
Views: 1880

Zero sum in what sense? Certainly not the textbook definition of zero sum. In bad years most people do poorly. In good years most people do well. Do you mean zero sum in comparison to an all-inclusive stock market index? Most people underperform the indices due to trading costs, management fees, spr...
by mbrasher1
Sun Aug 09, 2009 9:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Japan's economy (20 years of recession and counting)
Replies: 41
Views: 6036

You make the old mistake of projecting current trends far into the future and conclude that they would become critical if they go on for much longer. Typically, those trends are not inevitable, it is just that so far they are not critical so the effort to do anything against them are very limited. ...
by mbrasher1
Sun Aug 09, 2009 7:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Easy q: REITS in TSM
Replies: 2
Views: 907

The proportions from that link are as of 9/30/08 and they may not reflect the recent volatility in REITs.
by mbrasher1
Sun Aug 09, 2009 4:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Using p/e to determine stock versus bond allocation
Replies: 19
Views: 2963

Few thoughts First Valuations should matter. Example, the lower the P/E the lower your need to take risk because the higher the expected return----and vice versa This statement of Larry's is interesting because the strategy that follows the insight is counterintuitive. Does that mean when valuation...
by mbrasher1
Sun Aug 09, 2009 3:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Emerging Market Bonds VS EM Equity
Replies: 15
Views: 2131

China's a special case of an EM country that might be able to default on its bonds w/o shooting itself in the foot . . but Chile or Taiwan? Hmmm. Argentina has defaulted on its bonds several times in the past 30 years. Currently, they are mostly locked out of the credit markets, but they will be ba...
by mbrasher1
Sun Aug 09, 2009 12:48 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Emerging Market Bonds VS EM Equity
Replies: 15
Views: 2131

I know that EM bonds have been "the rage" over the last few years. But looking at their spreads over Treasuries they had narrowed pretty significantly, and investors were not being compensated for the risk. Reaching for those few extra points of yield is exactly what destroyed many investors in CDOs...
by mbrasher1
Sat Aug 08, 2009 3:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are Public Equities for Suckers?
Replies: 26
Views: 3764

Roger Lowenstein's Origins of the Crash, published in 2004, vividly describes how stock options permit management to loot a company. Most shareholders could care less when the stock price is rising and bay for blood only after the crash. It is a given that at many companies the company is run for th...
by mbrasher1
Tue Aug 04, 2009 11:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why not open the thrift saving plan to everyone in the US?
Replies: 72
Views: 8551

The TSP is also funded by forfeited agency contributions. When a federal employee leaves before s/he has vested (1 year's service), the amounts the agency contributed for that employee remain with the Federal Retirement Thrift Board, to defray the costs of the TSP. According to the GAO in a 2007 rep...
by mbrasher1
Sun Aug 02, 2009 12:52 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Our prayers have been answered: Peru ETF!
Replies: 50
Views: 8314

caklim00 wrote:What is this crap? Where is Ex-US Small Cap Value?
Yeah, and where is Peru Small Cap Value?
by mbrasher1
Sun Jul 26, 2009 7:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: investing in china
Replies: 22
Views: 3364

Hmmm. I doubt you will get many positive responses on this board, unless you live in China or expect to derive alot of your income there. China is up something like 80% this year. Investing in China right now is performance chasing at its absolute worst, and you may well be buying into a richly pric...
by mbrasher1
Sat Jul 25, 2009 2:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Health Savings Accounts
Replies: 60
Views: 16821

It will be necessary for the plan to juggle the math carefully. High-deductible plans can cover preventive care from the first dollar, so healthy people may have some of their costs covered by the plan. But unless a plan has a lot of people with huge medical bills, getting to 76% coverage is incons...
by mbrasher1
Fri Jul 24, 2009 8:36 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Health Savings Accounts
Replies: 60
Views: 16821

Problems for HSAs -- the health care bills moving through Congress would probably end HSAs.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... 72842.html
by mbrasher1
Wed Jul 22, 2009 1:14 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: the benefit of asset allocation and rebalancing
Replies: 14
Views: 2736

Someone else will have to supply the data you ask for but there is a modest rebalancing bonus when you shift between investments. Rebalancing causes you to rebalance away from one that has increased in value, and rebalance into cheaper assets. In his book Unconventional Success, David Swensen descri...
by mbrasher1
Sun Jul 19, 2009 12:32 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TIPS + LT Treasury Bonds + MMF
Replies: 25
Views: 4055

In general long term bonds do not pay off. Except for the past 27 years (during which time holders of 30 yr zero coupon bonds have enjoyed a return 11x that of the S&P500, according to Gary Shilling -- google it). Holders of long term bonds have enjoyed strong capital gains as interest rates have d...
by mbrasher1
Sun Jul 19, 2009 12:02 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Health Savings Accounts
Replies: 60
Views: 16821

MossySF wrote:I currently keep my HSA money at Patelco earning 5.12% APY.
I know this was written awhile ago, but Patelco has joined the rest of the world in offering lower interest rates. They dropped from 5.12% to 2%. Not sure when, but they are much less attractive now.
by mbrasher1
Fri Jul 17, 2009 11:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Robert Kiyosaki ("Rich dad poor dad")
Replies: 52
Views: 10544

http://www.johntreed.com/Kiyosaki.html Yep, John Reed's takedown of Kiyosaki is priceless. I read one of his books lent to me by a friend and found it also to be vague garbage. And the thing is, realitytruthprozac, if his philosophy can be summarized in four words, why does he need more than a doze...
by mbrasher1
Sat Jul 11, 2009 9:41 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Deflation Plays?
Replies: 9
Views: 2173

Long term zero coupon bonds, by far, would be the top performing asset class in a deflation scenario. Chris Yep, long term zero coupons have by far beaten the S&P 500 for the last 25 years. See http://www.forbes.com/2009/04/22/treasury-deflation-stocks-personal-finance-guru-insight-gary-shilling.ht...
by mbrasher1
Thu Jul 09, 2009 4:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Drive Much? - A CC Rewards Story
Replies: 17
Views: 3079

With the Costco Amex card for small business they give you 4% cashback on gas, 3% at restaurants, 2% on travel and 1% everywhere else. The cash is in the form of a rebate at Costco and it totaled $850 for us this year. Not bad.
by mbrasher1
Mon Jul 06, 2009 10:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I want to chuck it all, quit my job, and travel the world
Replies: 121
Views: 17321

I traveled for a year perhaps 7-8 years ago and it was definitely the right thing to do for me. Probably for you also. You can certainly afford it. Unless you are staying in expensive European hotels, you will not blow through the money. Africa, China, India, Southeast Asia are all dirt cheap, and h...