Search found 37682 matches

by nisiprius
Thu Jul 18, 2019 6:04 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does minimum volatility give better returns?
Replies: 24
Views: 2363

Re: Does minimum volatility give better returns?

Just a nit-picking detail, but an important one. Nobody can answer the question "does minimum volatility give better returns?" The only question that can be answered is " has minimum volatility given better returns?" Two other relevant questions: has it given better risk-adjusted returns? and, has i...
by nisiprius
Wed Jul 17, 2019 5:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Take the cash or the free dinner?
Replies: 61
Views: 4538

Re: Take the cash or the free dinner?

I dont think there's a catch. I think $200 offers of "free money" are what they think it is worth to them to buttonhole you. I've scored amounts in that ballpark twice. Once was a "black Friday" deal with ING Direct when they were still ING Direct, it was some odd amount like $144 for opening up an ...
by nisiprius
Wed Jul 17, 2019 5:08 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Should I invest in VMATX? [Vanguard Massachusetts Tax-Exempt Fund]
Replies: 5
Views: 402

Re: Should I invest in VMATX? [Vanguard Massachusetts Tax-Exempt Fund]

Putting a significant amount of one's total portfolio into a single state seems like a lot of concentration and not much diversification. It's probably because the bonds are probably very safe, but still.
by nisiprius
Tue Jul 16, 2019 5:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Agree? Article: Tracking the Agg? Why the Bond Index May Not Work.
Replies: 14
Views: 1752

Re: Agree? Article: Tracking the Agg? Why the Bond Index May Not Work.

I pretty much ignore any arguments or discussion about an investment strategy "working." That includes even arguments that confirm my personal bias. The people making the argument never spell out what they mean by an investment "working." Often it seems to mean "outperform something." Often it means...
by nisiprius
Tue Jul 16, 2019 2:41 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Concentration risk in brokerage account(s) > SIPC
Replies: 3
Views: 355

Re: Concentration risk in brokerage account(s) > SIPC

It's not very difficult or expensive to have more than one brokerage if you think that's an issue. I don't think SIPC protection is as important to ordinary investors as are the investment Company Act of 1940 protections to mutual fund owners. That would suggest that if you want to invest in a total...
by nisiprius
Tue Jul 16, 2019 2:15 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: International Bond Fund - yes or no?
Replies: 11
Views: 922

Re: International Bond Fund - yes or no?

My personal judgement: the Vanguard Total International Bond Index Fund is a case of "doesn't matter enough to warrant any action." If you don't already have it, e.g. by having owning a Vanguard Target Retirement or LifeStrategy fund, the case for adding it is so weak that it doesn't justifying chan...
by nisiprius
Mon Jul 15, 2019 6:25 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Wealthfront now offers 2.51% APY
Replies: 59
Views: 6192

Re: Wealthfront now offers 2.51% APY

I don't think the issue is the short gap during which your money is in limbo, nor do I think it is a "lose-all-your-money" issue. I think the issue is "are you dependent on the integrity of Wealthfront's IT and accounting practices that --keep records that link your name to your money, and --provide...
by nisiprius
Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is the Boglehead opinion of the inverted yield curve?
Replies: 70
Views: 6656

Re: What is the Boglehead opinion of the inverted yield curve?

My opinion is that we don't have an inverted yield curve yet. Everybody is jumping the gun because they want something exciting to write about. Actually there doesn't seem to be any standard specific definition of exactly what constitutes an inverted yield curve--yes, "short" term interest rates are...
by nisiprius
Sun Jul 14, 2019 7:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Wealthfront now offers 2.51% APY
Replies: 59
Views: 6192

Re: Wealthfront now offers 2.51% APY

...[In a Wealthfront account] the funds are held in FDIC-insured accounts in the actual customer's name . This is why it's important to know which banks they partner with: your FDIC insurance only extends to $250k per individual per institution, so you need to manage that limit... If you have one o...
by nisiprius
Sun Jul 14, 2019 7:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Short term treasury
Replies: 9
Views: 1107

Re: Short term treasury

Vanguard offers an ultra short bond fund, with a duration of 0.9 years: https://investor.vanguard.com/mutual-funds/profile/overview/vubfx It is *not* just treasuries, however. For the curious, and using the same conventions as in my previous post, there have been 40 overlapping six-month periods si...
by nisiprius
Sun Jul 14, 2019 6:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why factor investing isn't working
Replies: 483
Views: 19832

Re: Why factor investing isn't working

...To conclude: the equity premium is so large that it cannot be explained by risk alone. So why couldn’t efficient markets and rational investors have also arbitraged it away, given your belief that the small value premium might have been arbitraged away?... You say that the equity risk premium "i...
by nisiprius
Sun Jul 14, 2019 6:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why factor investing isn't working
Replies: 483
Views: 19832

Re: Why factor investing isn't working

...[Economics] also has been called "the dismal science." The problem I have with economics is that some folks want to reduce it all to formulas, just like with markets, economies are behaviorally driven. The math is fine but you need to put the markets and the economy on the couch. Economics is on...
by nisiprius
Sun Jul 14, 2019 6:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Short term treasury
Replies: 9
Views: 1107

Re: Short term treasury

With an individual bond, even a short-term treasury, if the interest rates that apply to that term rise, the market value of your bond will fall. It has nothing to do with the soundness or credit quality of the Treasury. That only applies if you hold the bond to maturity. The Treasury is virtually c...
by nisiprius
Sun Jul 14, 2019 5:46 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard: "download holdings" shows only lumped totals for brokerage accounts?
Replies: 7
Views: 408

Re: Vanguard: "download holdings" shows only lumped totals for brokerage accounts?

Is this by any chance a 403b type account? No, it's a personal Roth IRA that's never been connected to an employer or institution. ...Vanguard has been transferring ALL of the Brokerage holdings to TDAmeritrade, where all of the details are listed, and where all Brokerage transactions will take pla...
by nisiprius
Sun Jul 14, 2019 3:33 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard: "download holdings" shows only lumped totals for brokerage accounts?
Replies: 7
Views: 408

Vanguard: "download holdings" shows only lumped totals for brokerage accounts?

I'm not sure when it happened, but apparently my Roth IRA account has been "upgraded" to the brokerage platform. But not my rollover IRA account. Here's the weird thing. The "Holdings" web page continues to show individual line-item listings for each holding, grouped by account. But if I try to down...
by nisiprius
Sun Jul 14, 2019 12:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why factor investing isn't working
Replies: 483
Views: 19832

Re: Why factor investing isn't working

...[Economics] also has been called "the dismal science." The problem I have with economics is that some folks want to reduce it all to formulas, just like with markets, economies are behaviorally driven. The math is fine but you need to put the markets and the economy on the couch. Economics is on...
by nisiprius
Sun Jul 14, 2019 8:59 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A 1971 report on investing for retirement
Replies: 2
Views: 1146

A 1971 report on investing for retirement

I'm not saying anything here is dramatically different from today. I am certainly not saying a software engineer retiring in 2019 should invest the same way as a farmer retiring in 1971. Nor does this article provide detailed portfolio examples. Nope, nothing about factor tilts here! However, I thou...
by nisiprius
Sun Jul 14, 2019 8:37 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What asset class is gold?
Replies: 41
Views: 2652

Re: What asset class is gold?

P.S. Looking for old examples of the traditional (i.e. pre-2000, because that's about when a lively interest in "alternatives" started to grow), I found this one, from 1971: Conversion of Farm Assets for Retirement Purposes https://imgur.com/nqJQkvS.png As expected, the only categories considered ar...
by nisiprius
Sun Jul 14, 2019 6:42 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What asset class is gold?
Replies: 41
Views: 2652

Re: What asset class is gold?

Actually, I don't see that it matters much, unless we want to argue ideology. You have stocks, bonds, cash, and "other," and apart from reminding yourself what percentage of your portfolio is "other," there isn't really that much you can do with it. The plain fact of the matter is that traditional a...
by nisiprius
Sat Jul 13, 2019 8:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Standard Car Key Battery Life for Late Model Vehicles
Replies: 27
Views: 1419

Re: Standard Car Key Battery Life for Late Model Vehicles

Our experience over ten years with a "smartkey" fob was that we had to replace the batteries maybe every three years or so. We got a decent amount of warning--the fob keeps working, just over a shorter and shorter range. I don't think we ever let it get to the point where one of us had to borrow the...
by nisiprius
Sat Jul 13, 2019 7:24 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What asset class is gold?
Replies: 41
Views: 2652

Re: What asset class is gold?

Gold is a commodity, and it behaves like one. Here is are the "real" (inflation-adjusted) total growth of four assets. One of them is Treasury bills. One of them is gold. The two others are salt and cobalt, unquestionably "commodities." Classify them according to behavior. See if you can pick out wh...
by nisiprius
Sat Jul 13, 2019 6:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "Objective" Importance of Keeping Your Physicians?
Replies: 63
Views: 4441

Re: "Objective" Importance of Keeping Your Physicians?

I'll give one "objective" reason, although I suspect it will raise as many questions as it answers. I think you get less unnecessary testing and defensive medicine while you are staying with one doctor. I've had four primary care doctors in thirty years. The first change was because my employer chan...
by nisiprius
Sat Jul 13, 2019 9:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Android storage leaks?
Replies: 5
Views: 448

Android storage leaks?

(Yes, I was an idiot to think that 8 gigs would be enough...) Samsung Galaxy Luna, SM-S120VL, 8GB, Android version 6.0.1, special to TracFone I think, with an external 128 GB SD card. All applications that can be moved to the SD card have been moved--currently there's only one such application, Amaz...
by nisiprius
Fri Jul 12, 2019 7:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medigap vs Advantage: Which did you select?
Replies: 194
Views: 7622

Re: Medigap vs Advantage: Which did you select?

We chose traditional Medicare and Medigap (supplemental). The reasons are: When we checked out the estimated total cost on the Medicare website, the difference was not huge. Yes, Medicare Advantage was going to be less expensive, but it going to be like maybe 15% cheaper. Certainly not half the cost...
by nisiprius
Fri Jul 12, 2019 10:42 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Three problems with probability of ruin
Replies: 13
Views: 1995

Re: Three problems with probability of ruin

The interview is at My Preferred Planning Software is MaxiFi . I agree with you about "Kotlikoff's solution--no surprise here..." And while everyone understands the obvious issues with "probability of ruin," there are serious issues with anything else. At least with ruin, we can agree on whether it ...
by nisiprius
Fri Jul 12, 2019 9:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Avoid MD-88s [commercial aircraft]?
Replies: 61
Views: 3140

Re: Avoid MD-88s [commercial aircraft]?

There are so many factors, and these are such low-frequency events, that while I admit to being worried about such things I shrug it off in terms of decision-making. Who remembers what kind of aircraft was involved in the infamous ValuJet crash? That was a crash caused by careless maintenance, and i...
by nisiprius
Fri Jul 12, 2019 7:25 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: S&P Indices: Blending Factors In Smart Beta Portfolios
Replies: 9
Views: 865

Re: S&P Indices: Blending Factors In Smart Beta Portfolios

...Moreover the correlations remain low during periods of crisis... Let's see how some multifactor funds and ETF did around year-end 2018. That is, did these low correlations pay off in cushioning the decline? I have not looked at this before and will post whatever I find. I'm going to include VFMF...
by nisiprius
Fri Jul 12, 2019 6:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Automatic Watches
Replies: 87
Views: 4170

Re: Automatic Watches

...I think my next watch will be an Eco-Drive. Won't the rechargeable battery eventually need to be replaced if the watch is kept long enough? Is that like replacing any other quartz watch battery or is some special procedure required? I believe the watch would have to go back to Citizen for replac...
by nisiprius
Fri Jul 12, 2019 6:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Automatic Watches
Replies: 87
Views: 4170

Re: Automatic Watches

B&O Magazine, August, 1929, p. 33: How Accurate Should Your Watch Be? By Carl Mccandless, Head Watchmaker,, Youngstown, Ohio (Pugh Bros. Jewelry Co., Official Watch Inspectors, Baltimore and Ohio Railroad) .... a man's pocket watch is ordinarily held for long periods at a time in one position in th...
by nisiprius
Fri Jul 12, 2019 6:02 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Asset Allocation of the Ultra-Wealthy, can I copy their portfolio with index funds?
Replies: 63
Views: 4701

Re: Asset Allocation of the Ultra-Wealthy, can I copy their portfolio with index funds?

Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Skin in the Game, p. 167: It is easy to scam people by getting them into complications--the poor are spared that kind of scamming. This is the same complication we saw in chapter 9 that makes academics sell the most possibly complicated solution when a simple one will do. Furt...
by nisiprius
Fri Jul 12, 2019 6:01 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [From May 4, 2019] Vanguard Founder Jack Bogle's Investment Tips, 12 Years Later
Replies: 3
Views: 476

Re: [From May 4, 2019] Vanguard Founder Jack Bogle's Investment Tips, 12 Years Later

The article in turn references a 2007 article, written for Barron's by Bogle himself but not previously published: The Late Vanguard Founder Jack Bogle on 4 Simple Tips for Successful Investing . Nothing unfamiliar to Bogleheads. Four principles explained in four short paragraphs. With regard to sim...
by nisiprius
Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Automatic Watches
Replies: 87
Views: 4170

Re: Automatic Watches

I can't speak to the accuracy of exquisitely fine watches in, say, the 1950s. But, before the Bulova Accutron, it was just taken for granted that a good watch might gain or lose half a minute a day or so. That's the reason why there were so many public clocks everywhere. People expected to set their...
by nisiprius
Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why factor investing isn't working
Replies: 483
Views: 19832

Re: Why factor investing isn't working

...Instead, what I think Larry was suggesting is that the only reasonable way to evaluate the quality of a decision is based on the information available at the time the decision was made ... That doesn't really get you anywhere, because it just pushes the judgement into another area: how do you de...
by nisiprius
Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why Is Cord Not Included?
Replies: 32
Views: 3835

Re: Why Is Cord Not Included?

As mention of DEC bought to mind... when I was buying gear, back in the minicomputer days, when you were actually negotiating a complex $60,000 purchase with a salesperson, I learned to write in a condition: "It is understood that the agreed price includes all needed cables, including any not specif...
by nisiprius
Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:05 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Three most important elements of investment success
Replies: 67
Views: 5535

Re: Three most important elements of investment success

John C. Bogle devoted a full chapter of Common Sense on Mutual Funds to "Investing with Simplicity." The chapter is very similar to this speech on the Vanguard website, Investing with Simplicity. ; a pity that technical glitches have resulted in the loss of all charts. For years I used the Fidelity ...
by nisiprius
Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:38 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Three most important elements of investment success
Replies: 67
Views: 5535

Re: Three most important elements of investment success

Occam's Razor. Basically - when there are multiple solutions, the simplest one, or the one with the least assumptions, is the better choice. Goes back 800 years, probably still true. He didn't mention Occam, but in 2001, Bogle wrote: Pillar 2. When All Else Fails, Fall Back on Simplicity. There are...
by nisiprius
Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:47 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How accurate are the cost savings in Vanguard's Portfolio Watch?
Replies: 5
Views: 605

Re: How accurate are the costs savings in Vanguard's Portfolio Watch?

I started to write a post defending Vanguard, but on looking into it some more, I think yeah, Vanguard put a thumb on the scales. Shame on them. Vanguard compares everything to one all-purpose 1.02% "industry average." On looking at some material from the Investment Company Institute my snap judgeme...
by nisiprius
Wed Jul 10, 2019 6:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Major changes in VWOB (Vanguard Emerging Markets Govt Bond ETF) portfolio (almost no China)?
Replies: 10
Views: 1060

Re: Major changes in VWOB (Vanguard Emerging Markets Govt Bond ETF) portfolio (almost no China)?

I don't know how this figures in to what's been discussed above, but note that Vanguard Emerging Markets Government Bond ETF (VWOB), Portfolio and Management Vanguard Emerging Markets Government Bond ETF seeks to track the performance of a benchmark index that measures the investment return of U.S. ...
by nisiprius
Wed Jul 10, 2019 4:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is a Boglehead and what Investing Lessons can you Learn?
Replies: 5
Views: 710

Re: What is a Boglehead and what Investing Lessons can you Learn?

It's a good article. It's based on the main points of the Bogleheads investment philosophy , which I've long thought is excellent. I think it "The Bogleheads Investment Philosophy" is mostly attributable to Rick van Ness. He deserves a lot more credit than he seems to get, for this clear codificatio...
by nisiprius
Wed Jul 10, 2019 1:22 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: VOO vs bonds
Replies: 62
Views: 2943

Re: VOO vs bonds

...I just hope that in 17 years when I am old enough to retire It is not right after a big crash. I understand stock exposure versus time to retirement and that it takes 5-7 years to get your money back after a crash... It's a detail, but I think it's important. After the stock crash of 1929, the b...
by nisiprius
Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:12 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: VOO vs bonds
Replies: 62
Views: 2943

Re: VOO vs bonds

The part about nobody knows it not really quite true. Out of pretty much all banks and experts, including Bogle, Blackrock, Morningstar etc. all agree it will be much less than in the past. Almost no one is predicting over 4-5%. That is much different than no one can predict the market, isn't it? O...
by nisiprius
Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:08 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: VOO vs bonds
Replies: 62
Views: 2943

Re: VOO vs bonds

I know I am beating a dead horse here BUT I ask you: Do you believe the s&P 500 will beat bonds in the next 10 years? Everyone assumes it will but I can get A+ bonds at 4% and many say the S&P will return 3-4% now as opposed to its historic 6-7% returns. I am going to stick with VOO because there i...
by nisiprius
Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:02 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [2014 Interview with] Jack Bogle: Latest Investor Trends Are Just That--Trends
Replies: 20
Views: 1044

Re: Jack Bogle: Latest Investor Trends Are Just That--Trends

Bogle: "So, I'm straight down in the middle, capture the returns delivered by bonds, capture the returns delivered by the interest coupons delivered by bonds, capture the dividend yields and earnings growth captured by stocks. And then forget it until you retire." I continue to have issue with this...
by nisiprius
Wed Jul 10, 2019 7:40 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Americans believe they need $1.7 million, on average, to retire
Replies: 284
Views: 27031

Re: Americans believe they need $1.7 million, on average, to retire

This American doesn't believe that because we retired with less than that. (I did some reality checks and found that a very conservative withdrawal rate would put us at the median family income for the town we live in, so I figured that would probably feel OK about it).
by nisiprius
Wed Jul 10, 2019 6:59 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [2014 Interview with] Jack Bogle: Latest Investor Trends Are Just That--Trends
Replies: 20
Views: 1044

Re: Jack Bogle: Latest Investor Trends Are Just That--Trends

Bogle: Well, there is certainly an odd group of index funds out there. Most, but not all of them, are in the ETF, as they would say, space. And something like triple leverage on the S&P 500 and bet on whether you think it's going to go up or down. It's just absurd. Only a nut cake or a fruit cake w...
by nisiprius
Wed Jul 10, 2019 6:46 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [2014 Interview with] Jack Bogle: Latest Investor Trends Are Just That--Trends
Replies: 20
Views: 1044

Re: Jack Bogle: Latest Investor Trends Are Just That--Trends

Note that the transcript is from an October, 2014 interview. Benz opens with a remark: One of the biggest buzz terms in the industry these days is strategic beta or a smart beta. What's your take on that particular phenomenon? Notice, by the way, that this particular buzzword has in fact fallen out ...
by nisiprius
Wed Jul 10, 2019 6:02 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: POST YOUR QUESTIONS FOR THE EXPERTS PANEL Q&A HERE
Replies: 36
Views: 2844

Re: POST YOUR QUESTIONS FOR THE EXPERTS PANEL Q&A HERE

Morningstar category averages, for categories like "managed futures," "multialternative," and "commodities broad basket," often stunningly underperform expectations set by advocates. Are Morningstar category averages a fair way to judge what real-world investors have experienced in a category, or ar...
by nisiprius
Tue Jul 09, 2019 5:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why factor investing isn't working
Replies: 483
Views: 19832

Re: Why factor investing isn't working

..."Factor investing, for patient investors who understand the risks, has the potential to improve a portfolio’s long-term risk-adjusted return, especially when strategies used are transparent, use sufficiently researched factors , and have low management fees and good implementation characteristic...
by nisiprius
Tue Jul 09, 2019 3:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wealthfront Wants Login Info.
Replies: 7
Views: 503

Re: Wealthfront Wants Login Info.

Not sure what you mean about "instant verification." LifeIsGood says that Wealthfront asked him for a password. I've done all kinds of verification and created "electronic signatures" without providing a password to an account I had with some other company. If you mean those personal questions... di...
by nisiprius
Tue Jul 09, 2019 3:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wealthfront Wants Login Info.
Replies: 7
Views: 503

Re: Wealthfront Wants Login Info.

It would be a deal-breaker for me. When you create a login at Vanguard or anywhere else, you physically or electronically sign something saying, one way or another, that you agree not to disclose your password. I don't disclose my passwords, period. That's what everyone who issues me a password tell...