Search found 40899 matches

by nisiprius
Sun Sep 27, 2020 6:10 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Customer Service: How to Proactively Avoid a Problem
Replies: 13
Views: 637

Re: Vanguard Customer Service: How to Proactively Avoid a Problem

In all situations involving transfers of assets, always contact and work with the firm receiving the assets, never the firm sending them. The firm that is receiving them is the one that has the motivation to work hard, follow up, double check, etc.
by nisiprius
Sun Sep 27, 2020 5:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Joe Montana vs S&P since 1981 $1 invested
Replies: 11
Views: 1989

Re: Joe Montana vs S&P since 1981 $1 invested

runner3081 wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 4:16 pm Listing price may or not actually correlate with value. Check back if or when it sells.
+1. Exactly.
by nisiprius
Sun Sep 27, 2020 4:14 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Says I'm Too Growth Oriented?
Replies: 8
Views: 664

Re: Vanguard Says I'm Too Growth Oriented?

I have a standard 3 fund (total stock, total bond, total intl) portfolio across all of my accounts with the exception of an SP 500 Fidelity index in my 401k. I ran the Vanguard portfolio analyzer and it says that I am emphasizing growth, and should consider adding value. That is surprising since I ...
by nisiprius
Sun Sep 27, 2020 12:39 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Just Found Out We Are Expecting First Child - Now What
Replies: 20
Views: 1651

Re: Just Found Out We Are Expecting First Child - Now What

Elinor Goulding Smith wrote:It sometimes happens, even in the best of families, that a baby is born. This is not necessarily cause for alarm. The important thing is to keep your wits about you and borrow some money.
Source
by nisiprius
Sun Sep 27, 2020 11:06 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does the three fund portfolio provide adequate protection from inflation?
Replies: 42
Views: 2349

Re: Does the three fund portfolio provide adequate protection from inflation?

The big question here is probably whether a balanced portfolio with both stocks and bonds provides adequate protection. Balanced index funds don't go back to the last period of double-digit inflation, and neither do balanced funds with international exposure. I don't like to play fantasy football ba...
by nisiprius
Sun Sep 27, 2020 9:21 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does the three fund portfolio provide adequate protection from inflation?
Replies: 42
Views: 2349

Re: Does the three fund portfolio provide adequate protection from inflation?

Past statistics, specifically the SBBI data back to 1926, show that over longish periods of time, stocks, bonds (long-term Treasury, long-term corporate, and intermediate-term Treasury), and Treasury bills (i.e. "cash") have all had a positive real return--they have all beaten inflation. Therefore, ...
by nisiprius
Sun Sep 27, 2020 8:27 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does the three fund portfolio provide adequate protection from inflation?
Replies: 42
Views: 2349

Re: Does the three fund portfolio provide adequate protection from inflation?

Bonds are a poor hedge. Nominal bonds are a poor hedge. TIPS exist, and I have never been able to figure out why those with professional involvement in investing never mention them. It's as if they literally didn't exist. They are not the answer to life, the universe, and everything, but they do ex...
by nisiprius
Sun Sep 27, 2020 8:13 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why do people end up with 10-15 funds in their 401k?
Replies: 59
Views: 4078

Re: Why do people end up with 10-15 funds in their 401k?

Because it costs them nothing at all to do it, and the brochures and booklets their employer gives them don't tell them not to. The company feels it's lived up to all responsibilities by advising, nudging, or defaulting people into a single target-date fund. Beyond that, it's blame-the-victim for wh...
by nisiprius
Sun Sep 27, 2020 7:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Battery issues - SHORT Drive due to COVID (Work From Home)
Replies: 48
Views: 2426

Re: Car Battery issues - SHORT Drive due to COVID (Work From Home)

You know those USB charging outlets that plug into the car 12V power outlets? For about $15, you can get one that has a digital display of the car's battery voltage. Amazon has a bunch. The one I got happened to have a brand name of ReVIVE. (The display in the picture is showing "A" because it cycle...
by nisiprius
Sun Sep 27, 2020 7:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Starting Medicare & never ending phone calls from uhc
Replies: 17
Views: 1256

Re: Starting Medicare & never ending phone calls from uhc

They're pushing Medicare Advantage. Medicare Advantage is basically private health insurance, with low premiums, because they are subsidized by money from the government. Very roughly, instead of acting as an insurer themselves, the government takes about the same amount of money and gives it to an ...
by nisiprius
Sat Sep 26, 2020 7:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Help my try to rationalize why I should ignore Nasdaq
Replies: 39
Views: 2183

Re: Help my try to rationalize why I should ignore Nasdaq

VTI = Vanguard Total Stock Market index fund, also available as a mutual fund QQQ = PowerShares QQQ Trust, later Invesco QQQ Trust, ETF tracking the NASDAQ-100 index This doesn't really mean anything but for the record: I don't have the exact dates it was added, but on December 31, 2010, VTI was hol...
by nisiprius
Sat Sep 26, 2020 1:44 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Opinion on switching to Vanguard brokerage services from the original Vanguard accounts...
Replies: 11
Views: 964

Re: Opinion on switching to Vanguard brokerage services from the original Vanguard accounts...

There is no difference in safety between mutual funds held directly and mutual funds held in a brokerage. What happens is that a) You add some risk by holding the mutual fund at a brokerage instead of holding it yourself. b) SIPC insurance protects you against that additional risk. To fill that out ...
by nisiprius
Sat Sep 26, 2020 12:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Help my try to rationalize why I should ignore Nasdaq
Replies: 39
Views: 2183

... Aside from the dot com bust it seems that Nasdaq has consistently and significantly outperformed sp500... But aside from that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play? Why on earth would you ignore the dot com bust? Of course, any investment is going to look great if you throw out the times whe...
by nisiprius
Sat Sep 26, 2020 8:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 4606
Views: 1280895

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Just finished Two on a Tower , by Thomas Hardy (best known for The Master of Casterbridge, Tess of the d'Urbervilles , and The Return of the Native .) What a stinker! But it held my interest from beginning to end... partly for weird reasons. I had finished reading W. Somerset Maugham's Cakes and Ale...
by nisiprius
Fri Sep 25, 2020 10:32 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Myths of international investing - Fidelity
Replies: 130
Views: 8013

Re: Myth's of international investing - Fidelity

...Does this mean you don't hold any international?... No. About 20% of my stock allocation is invested in the Vanguard Total International Stock Index Fund. ...and do not recommend it to new investors?... No. New investors need to make a decision and stick to it, and 0% is one end of a range of pe...
by nisiprius
Fri Sep 25, 2020 9:31 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Swenson's Yale Portfolio
Replies: 23
Views: 2127

Re: Swenson's Yale Portfolio

I was also heartbroken to learn just a few years ago that Gregory Bateson's story about the oak beams of New College Hall, Oxford, is untrue. (The story is that the beams only last four hundred years due to eventual beetle infestation, and that Oxford owns forest land, and that one oak grove is devo...
by nisiprius
Fri Sep 25, 2020 8:55 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Swenson's Yale Portfolio
Replies: 23
Views: 2127

Re: Swenson's Yale Portfolio

Yale is planning to be around for another 300 years and I'm not. I used to believe throwaway remarks about the holding period for endowment funds being institutional lifetimes rather than human lifetimes--until 2008-2009 when it transpired that Harvard had invested most of its operating funds in it...
by nisiprius
Fri Sep 25, 2020 7:50 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: VTSAX for roughly 10 year investment?
Replies: 11
Views: 1727

Re: VTSAX for roughly 10 year investment?

Here are the actual statistics for ten-year holding periods for the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund. (I'm using investor shares, VTSMX, rather than Admiral in order to get a longer time period). I am not going to tell you how to judge whether the risk is acceptable to you (it wouldn't be for ...
by nisiprius
Fri Sep 25, 2020 6:48 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Myths of international investing - Fidelity
Replies: 130
Views: 8013

Re: Myth's of international investing - Fidelity

"Myth 2: International investing is too risky." Now, of course, they get off the hook by saying "too." But it's no myth that international investing is riski-ER. Not an awful lot, but some, and that shouldn't be swept under the rug. There are all sorts of legitimate ways to say "there is more risk, ...
by nisiprius
Fri Sep 25, 2020 6:17 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Myths of international investing - Fidelity
Replies: 130
Views: 8013

Re: Myth's of international investing - Fidelity

I have to wonder if there weren't some "frontier markets" countries that had even higher returns in some years than the ones Fidelity showed. That is, some years in which the highest return was from a "frontier market," and thus you could make a phony case that you ought to include frontier markets ...
by nisiprius
Thu Sep 24, 2020 7:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Air fryers
Replies: 18
Views: 2308

Re: Air fryers

We've had ours (NuWave, 6 quart) about six months, and after using it "for everything" the first few weeks, it seems to be starting to gather dust. My wife commented that "the problem is that it is only good for industrial food." That is, it is really great for things like frozen chicken nuggets, fr...
by nisiprius
Thu Sep 24, 2020 6:48 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: When did VTI add in Tesla?
Replies: 10
Views: 1085

Re: When did VTI add in Tesla?

I have the greatest difficulty navigating EDGAR and I'm not going to try to pin it down any closer than to say this: by December 31, 2010 not only the Total Stock Market Index Fund, but also the Small-Cap Index Fund, the Small-Cap Growth Index Fund, and the Extended Market Index Fund were all holdin...
by nisiprius
Thu Sep 24, 2020 5:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Swenson's Yale Portfolio
Replies: 23
Views: 2127

Re: Swenson's Yale Portfolio

(His last name is spelled Swensen , with two e's, Scandinavian fashion). I keep blinking to make sure I am reading this correctly: "Swensen long has disdained U.S. stocks despite their impressive performance, and Yale’s endowment has a weighting of just 2.25% in domestic equities." Sorry, does that...
by nisiprius
Thu Sep 24, 2020 5:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Myths of international investing - Fidelity
Replies: 130
Views: 8013

Re: Myth's of international investing - Fidelity

It has actually convinced me of the opposite. The article is full of such nonsense that it makes me feel that I am being sold something, at high pressure, by a clever salesperson who is trying to mislead without technically lying. Investors who lack international exposure miss out on the world's bes...
by nisiprius
Thu Sep 24, 2020 2:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Stock Market Recent Sell Off Mystery
Replies: 67
Views: 6611

Re: Stock Market Recent Sell Off Mystery

I have to admit I was very taken by an analogy the other day... in an interview with Joshua W. Brown of Ritholtz Wealth Management on NPR's Planet Money: BROWN: And I’m now going to give you my favorite analogy. So a woman is walking through Central Park, and she’s got a dog. What’s a very active ki...
by nisiprius
Thu Sep 24, 2020 12:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Increase in Margin Reqs - IB
Replies: 23
Views: 1894

Re: Increase in Margin Reqs - IB

There's the broker, the bull and the bear; it's queer, but it's not a joke, For you get the bull 'til your bankroll's bare and your broker says you're broke! And here is the song They sing the whole day long: "Oh, the market's not so good today, your stocks look kind of sick; In fact your stocks dr...
by nisiprius
Thu Sep 24, 2020 11:54 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I dont understand compound interest.
Replies: 47
Views: 4685

Re: I dont understand compound interest.

I do think the "wonder" of compound interest is oversold, though. It's so easy to look at a chart and say "If only I had put $10,000 into the Vanguard 500 Index Fund in 1976, I'd have almost a million dollars today." https://imgur.com/FVAwvI4.png This a) the compounding of the inflation rate, and b)...
by nisiprius
Thu Sep 24, 2020 7:02 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What did your accounts look like in your 30's?
Replies: 69
Views: 4993

Re: What did your accounts look like in your 30's?

Nonexistent. I was a graduate student for nine years--it's unusual to take that long and still actually get the degree, but I did. So from the mid-sixties through the mid-seventies my wife and I were living on roughly $3,000/year, the equivalent of about $20,000, in grad student quasipoverty. So I w...
by nisiprius
Thu Sep 24, 2020 6:43 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Stock Market Recent Sell Off Mystery
Replies: 67
Views: 6611

Re: Stock Market Recent Sell Off Mystery

I'm not sure I know of any situation where it is worth asking "why" something happened in the stock market. Everybody want to know "why," so there is a demand for answers, which creates a supply of answers. But they are basically folk tales. The best you can say about them is that perhaps they are a...
by nisiprius
Wed Sep 23, 2020 8:35 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Long Suffering VXUS Holder No More
Replies: 124
Views: 10053

Re: Long Suffering VXUS Holder No More

When I mentioned what I did and why to a Vanguard rep I expected to get a stern talking to, but to my surprise she said something like "Yeah, we've been re-looking at our recommendation to diversify with VXUS." [...] What do you think? I think the V rep was agreeable because that's what their train...
by nisiprius
Wed Sep 23, 2020 6:40 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How Many Brokerage Companies Are Too Many?
Replies: 45
Views: 2796

Re: How Many Brokerage Companies Are Too Many?

It's entirely personal. At one point, for historical reasons, I had approximately three--Vanguard, Fidelity, and TIAA-CREF which wasn't exactly a brokerage. I struggled over a period of nearly a decade to get that whittled down to one. I now have everything at Vanguard--it was tough deciding between...
by nisiprius
Wed Sep 23, 2020 5:42 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Thoughts on GNMA bond funds
Replies: 24
Views: 2586

Re: Thoughts on GNMA bond funds

[...] prepayment risks looks to be over with record low mortgage rates [...] If refinancing mega-thread is anything to go by, prepayment risk is anything but over. But where, in the forty-year history of the Vanguard GNMA Bond Fund, has it ever caused a problem? The Vanguard GNMA fund, VFIIX, had i...
by nisiprius
Wed Sep 23, 2020 2:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: In which companies do you own a single share, or token amount, of stock?
Replies: 111
Views: 8875

Re: In which companies do you own a single share, or token amount, of stock?

Currently, none. For a number of years I owned forty shares of an electric company and once traveled to their annual meeting and introduced a shareholders' resolution, which was defeated by, I don't remember, something like 99.25% against, 0.75% for. I gave a stock certificate for a single share of ...
by nisiprius
Wed Sep 23, 2020 2:25 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Thoughts on GNMA bond funds
Replies: 24
Views: 2586

Re: Thoughts on GNMA bond funds

I've read so many sophisticated explanations of why GNMA bonds do this when that happens, and convexity, and risk, and so forth, and I've never been able to see any of it on a growth chart. The Vanguard GNMA fund, VFIIX, outperformed Total Bond from inception through 2018 with a lower standard devia...
by nisiprius
Wed Sep 23, 2020 10:08 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: High Dividend for diversification
Replies: 42
Views: 2726

Re: High Dividend for diversification

According to the Boglehead ideas, which I personally believe in: 1) Since you can't pick stocks, period, you can't pick dividend stocks either. It's not as if it were difficult to identify the best stocks , but easy to identify the best of the dividend stocks. Therefore, there is no advantage in pic...
by nisiprius
Wed Sep 23, 2020 9:21 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I dont understand compound interest.
Replies: 47
Views: 4685

Re: I dont understand compound interest.

Also: https://imgur.com/H3mBe3E.png Notice that the point is not to show the benefit of compounding as such, but to show how compounding gives an advantage to an early start. Notice that the balances for Eric Early and Larry Lately are exactly the same during their first ten years of contributions.
by nisiprius
Wed Sep 23, 2020 8:56 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I dont understand compound interest.
Replies: 47
Views: 4685

Re: I dont understand compound interest.

Here is the detailed working for "Larry Lately." At the start of 1979, he has $0.00. (He adds nothing). During 1980, he earns 8% of $0.00 = $0.00 At the end of 1980, he has $0.00 + $0.00 = $0.00. At the start of 1980, he has $0.00. (He adds nothing). During 1981, he earns 8% of $0.00 = $0.00 At the ...
by nisiprius
Wed Sep 23, 2020 8:55 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I dont understand compound interest.
Replies: 47
Views: 4685

Re: I dont understand compound interest.

Here is the detailed working for "Eric Early." (Doing the calculation in Excel was easy. Getting Excel to format the narrative was difficult!) At the start of 1979, he has $0.00. He adds $4,000.00. Now he has $4,000.00. During 1980, he earns 8% of $4,000.00 = $320.00 At the end of 1980, he has $4,00...
by nisiprius
Wed Sep 23, 2020 8:06 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I dont understand compound interest.
Replies: 47
Views: 4685

Re: I dont understand compound interest.

Actually, the example given in the book is pretty complicated to reproduce. I just deleted a long post because I see that I wasn't really following the book example... and neither is anyone else.

Image
by nisiprius
Tue Sep 22, 2020 6:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit score mystery
Replies: 26
Views: 2003

Re: Credit score mystery

FICO sells customers something like two dozen different kinds of credit scores, for different purposes. There isn't any such thing as "the" FICO store.
by nisiprius
Tue Sep 22, 2020 3:11 pm
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: I am looking for a crypto-broker! Where do you buy your bitcoin/etherum/etc?
Replies: 24
Views: 1697

Re: I am looking for a crypto-broker! Where do you buy your bitcoin/etherum/etc?

The first-ever crypto ETF has been approved for listing on the Bermuda Stock Exchange (BSX). An alternative to investing directly in crypto-currency: The Hashdex Nasdaq Crypto Index ETF https://finance.yahoo.com/news/nasdaq-sec-registered-fund-manager-150707828.html I think this is at least the thi...
by nisiprius
Tue Sep 22, 2020 1:17 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Trlgx vs fxaix
Replies: 11
Views: 652

Re: Trlgx vs fxaix

...instead of saying/writing "the man who beat the S&P" they wrote "beats" as if he would continue to do that indefinitely into the future, just because he may have done so in the past... the past is not prologue. I couldn't agree more. I would like to see a ban on the use of the present tense when...
by nisiprius
Tue Sep 22, 2020 12:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Camping Lantern
Replies: 44
Views: 2366

Re: Camping Lantern

Why do people feel the need to illuminate the whole site? Some people don't seem to like wearing headlamps, at least all the time. Others just like the feel of a lit up space. But I agree that headlamps and flashlights are generally better means of lighting. They are much more energy efficient. And...
by nisiprius
Tue Sep 22, 2020 12:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Camping Lantern
Replies: 44
Views: 2366

Re: Camping Lantern

I'll just say that since good LED headlamps became available, we've really never felt the need for area lighting. I confess to keeping a couple of spares with batteries in them... and having two different kinds, the older kind with a somewhat-focussed beam and the newer "COB" lamps that illuminate a...
by nisiprius
Tue Sep 22, 2020 12:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do items magically appear in your Amazon cart?
Replies: 27
Views: 1682

Re: Do items magically appear in your Amazon cart?

No, it hasn't ever happened to me. (And, incidentally, my wife has her own Amazon account).
by nisiprius
Tue Sep 22, 2020 6:37 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Trlgx vs fxaix
Replies: 11
Views: 652

Re: Trlgx vs fxaix

Are you familiar with the legendary Bill Miller and his Legg Mason Value Trust fund, which beat the S&P 500 in 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006; inspired a book https://imgur.com/l4EGgHC.png ; and was widely cited as absolute proof of...
by nisiprius
Mon Sep 21, 2020 7:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Your recent experience of visiting a dentist
Replies: 63
Views: 4217

Re: Your recent experience of visiting a dentist

I had a routine cleaning. They checked my temperature, they had only one patient in the office at a time, the dentist wore an N95 mask, her assistant wore a procedure mask. The biggest difference was that previously, she worked without an assistant; this time, she had an assistant to hold a suction ...
by nisiprius
Mon Sep 21, 2020 5:54 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How often does underlying holdings and sectors change in Index Fund (VTSAX)
Replies: 4
Views: 356

Re: How often does underlying holdings and sectors change in Index Fund (VTSAX)

In a cap-weighted total market index fund like VTSAX, the underlying holdings hardly change at all. Stocks that are added to or removed from a total market index are very small stocks and adding or deleting them only affects a tiny percentage of the dollar value of the holding. One of the benefits o...
by nisiprius
Mon Sep 21, 2020 1:27 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How does total stock market index rebalance value vs growth
Replies: 8
Views: 462

Re: How does total stock market index rebalance value vs growth

It doesn't need to rebalance. It holds the whole market. The whole market is in balance at all times. Growth and value aren't defined as absolutes, they are defined as percentiles of the market. Fama and French originally defined them this way: We also break NYSE, Amex, and NASDAQ stocks into three ...
by nisiprius
Mon Sep 21, 2020 12:16 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity Zero funds vs Vanguard performance
Replies: 38
Views: 4000

Re: Fidelity Zero funds vs Vanguard performance

Assume that there isn't any, or that the difference is random noise and doesn't matter. It's just not worth fussing about. It's like trying to figure out why you topped off the tank, drove 200 miles, topped it up again, and drove the same route, topped up again, and one time it took 4.94 gallons and...