Search found 35708 matches

by nisiprius
Tue Sep 18, 2018 8:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Guaranteed access for Medigap policies
Replies: 12
Views: 372

Re: Guaranteed access for Medigap policies

Well, see, that's exactly the kind of thing that was driving me crazy when I was looking at Medicare Advantage plans. If you ask "can I switch back if I don't like it," things get derailed while you listen to is a series of complicated and confusing rules and options that take a while to figure out-...
by nisiprius
Tue Sep 18, 2018 8:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Matter/scatter, part 9. Small-cap value and the "ten-fund portfolio."
Replies: 1
Views: 236

Matter/scatter, part 9. Small-cap value and the "ten-fund portfolio."

Part 1: Introduction , Part 2: Bond fund choices, , Part 3, International bonds, Part 4: Bond allocation . Part 5: International stocks Part 6: Expense ratios Part 7: Bonds during the financial crisis Part 8: Small-caps and micro-caps Appendix: Methodology Brief notes: 1) In these Monte Carlo simul...
by nisiprius
Tue Sep 18, 2018 6:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Guaranteed access for Medigap policies
Replies: 12
Views: 372

Re: Guaranteed access for Medigap policies

I can't answer your question. I ended up on Traditional Medicare with Medigap (and have been very happy) because at the time, in my state, I couldn't get a straight answer to a similar question. The printed material, the insurer's website, and what the insurer's rep told me were significantly differ...
by nisiprius
Tue Sep 18, 2018 6:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Warren Buffett and Jack Bogle agree on the formula for long-term success: 'Buy and hold' "
Replies: 6
Views: 730

Re: "Warren Buffett and Jack Bogle agree on the formula for long-term success: 'Buy and hold' "

Taylor probably has a long list of "gems" on the subject, but I think I'll add what Jeremy Siegel has said in Stocks for the Long Run 5/E . The boldfacing is mine. These are from chapter 15, "Stocks and the Business Cycle." If you can predict the business cycle, you can beat the buy-and-hold strateg...
by nisiprius
Tue Sep 18, 2018 11:59 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: With expense-free funds, are other Fidelity fund obsolete?
Replies: 7
Views: 465

Re: With expense-free funds, are other Fidelity fund obsolete?

Both Fidelity and Vanguard's fund lineup has gotten cluttered up with old funds that that seem to have been superseded by new! improved! funds. A Vanguard example is the Vanguard FTSE All-World Ex-US fund, VFWIX, and the Vanguard Total International Stock Index Fund, VGTSX. I don't know the reasons ...
by nisiprius
Tue Sep 18, 2018 10:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I see now why Rollovers can take FOREVER ....
Replies: 55
Views: 4491

Re: I see now why Rollovers can take FOREVER ....

To the best of my recollection there have been about two occasions when an account transfer has worked quickly and smoothly. Both were "ACAT transfers" of entire retirement accounts , and they took well under five business days and went right the first time. The six or eight other times there have a...
by nisiprius
Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:34 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why I left Wealthfront
Replies: 35
Views: 10434

Re: Why I left Wealthfront

...At the end of the day, I'm not saying Wealthfront will fail... Wealthfront has succeeded in staying in business under the same name, but in my view Wealthfront has failed about four times to find a long-term sustainable strategy. Wealthfront has changed so many times during its brief existence t...
by nisiprius
Tue Sep 18, 2018 6:30 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Four International ETFs that are better diversifiers than VXUS
Replies: 28
Views: 2082

Re: Four International ETFs that are better diversifiers than VXUS

vineviz named "Vanguard FTSE All-Wld ex-US SmCp ETF (VSS)," as one of the four that backtested best, in a backward-looking exploration of about 100 ETFs. It had inception in 2010. He chose to look at ISZE and HDEF. That had the side effect of cutting the time period to about three years. By using VS...
by nisiprius
Tue Sep 18, 2018 6:00 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Four International ETFs that are better diversifiers than VXUS
Replies: 28
Views: 2082

Re: Four International ETFs that are better diversifiers than VXUS

This is the difference we are looking at, i.e. this is the chart I see when I click on the PortfolioVisualizer link vineviz provided.

Image
by nisiprius
Mon Sep 17, 2018 7:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Unchanging opinions
Replies: 25
Views: 2124

Re: Unchanging opinions

We will have an interesting real-world text the next time I see my doctor. A few years ago, due to another issue, I said to her "I wonder if I really should be taking 81 mg. of aspirin per day? My doctor told me to do it about twenty years ago, but not for any specific problem I had." She said "hmmm...
by nisiprius
Mon Sep 17, 2018 4:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Trend Following failure
Replies: 7
Views: 684

Re: Trend Following failure

Does this look like a disaster to you? https://www.portfoliovisualizer.com/backtest-portfolio?s=y&timePeriod=2&startYear=1985&firstMonth=1&endYear=2018&lastMonth=12&endDate=09%2F16%2F2018&initialAmount=10000&annualOperation=0&annualAdjustment=0&inflationAdjusted=true&annualPercentage=0.0&frequency=...
by nisiprius
Mon Sep 17, 2018 4:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Four International ETFs that are better diversifiers than VXUS
Replies: 28
Views: 2082

Re: Four International ETFs that are better diversifiers than VXUS

1) I understand perfectly that "Four International ETFs that are better diversifiers than VXUS" is verbal shorthand for "Four International ETFs that would have been better diversifiers than VXUS," but it would please me if you would edit the thread title to be strictly accurate. 2) In October 2015,...
by nisiprius
Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: “Costly race to bottom on mutual fund fees”
Replies: 13
Views: 1701

Re: “Costly race to bottom on mutual fund fees”

...I will change my mind when I meet my first Vanguard customer who is a billionaire... He's "investment strategist at Mauldin Economics." Missing from his comment is the assertion that he's met any billionaire customers of other firms, such as John Mauldin's firm, Mauldin Solutions LLC. This is a ...
by nisiprius
Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Unchanging opinions
Replies: 25
Views: 2124

Re: Unchanging opinions

By the way, who said "Do I contradict myself? Very well then, I contradict myself. I am large, I contain multitudes?" For answer, drag mouse from here >>>>>>>> Walt Whitman, "Song of Myself" <<<<<<<< to here.
by nisiprius
Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard vs. EJ vs. Fidelity
Replies: 13
Views: 905

Re: Vanguard vs. EJ vs. Fidelity

I had a rollover IRA account with Fidelity for about eight years, as well as a Fidelity-managed 401(k) at work. Fidelity seems to be pretty good at everything. I decided I wanted to consolidate my Fidelity and Vanguard accounts at a single firm and it was almost a coin-flip decision. That's because ...
by nisiprius
Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:15 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Unchanging opinions
Replies: 25
Views: 2124

Re: UNCHANGING OPINIONS

I don't think generic statements about whether it is good or bad to change your mind mean much. For example, I don't think the behavior of these students in this particular experiment has "important implications for the design of institutions such as the procedures used by ... juries." Our system of...
by nisiprius
Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I see now why Rollovers can take FOREVER ....
Replies: 55
Views: 4491

Re: I see now why Rollovers can take FOREVER ....

Lucky me, when I was a substitute teacher I had no problems like this because the state in their wisdom automatically and involuntarily enrolled me in a 403(b) program with, IIRC, Great West. I did not have the option of not contributing, and the only investment option was a money market fund (real ...
by nisiprius
Mon Sep 17, 2018 6:17 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Advisor suggesting 7 Bond funds for my 40%
Replies: 38
Views: 4244

Re: Vanguard Advisor suggesting 7 Bond funds for my 40%

Why bonds. In the last 10 years what would you have made. I'm 5% mm and 95% in stocks In the last 10 years I'm up 15% per year. Why would a 10 year bull market be a useful time frame for deciding why bonds? Bonds: because the market doesn't always go up for 10 years. Benjamin Roth, The Great Depres...
by nisiprius
Sun Sep 16, 2018 6:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Employer won't Match 401k. Why?
Replies: 52
Views: 5281

Re: Employer won't Match 401k. Why?

Employers don't offer a match entirely out of the goodness of their heart. They offer a match because it encourages participation in the plan. They need to do this to keep the plan available and useful to highly-compensated employees (HCE's). The SEC has rules requiring high participation to make su...
by nisiprius
Sun Sep 16, 2018 4:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 3286
Views: 992871

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis, Dom Masurro (in English translation), having read about half the stories in The Alienist and Other Stories of Nineteenth-Century Brazil . Very tart, ironic, and quite contemporary-sounding if translations by two different translators are to be believed. A New Yorker a...
by nisiprius
Sun Sep 16, 2018 12:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Advisor suggesting 7 Bond funds for my 40%
Replies: 38
Views: 4244

Re: Vanguard Advisor suggesting 7 Bond funds for my 40%

Crazy. John C. Bogle has said "You simply do not need to put your money into 8 different mutual funds." And that's for the entire portfolio. Vanguard's own all-in-one LifeStrategy funds are funds-of-funds, and the whole portfolio only uses four different funds--Total Bond Market Index Fund and Total...
by nisiprius
Sun Sep 16, 2018 12:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Larry Swedroe: Disrupted Expectations
Replies: 53
Views: 5960

Re: Larry Swedroe: Disrupted Expectations

I agree with you, Norclom. It's all "assume a spherical cow." The arguments are "my spherical cow is better than your spherical cow." Factor mavens: spherical cows should have tilted axes. Index investors: cheap spherical cows are better than expensive spherical cows. Dividend investors: spherical H...
by nisiprius
Sun Sep 16, 2018 7:25 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Larry Swedroe: Disrupted Expectations
Replies: 53
Views: 5960

Re: Larry Swedroe: Disrupted Expectations

So many things in investing remind me of the remarks in a paper by Cowles and Jones, 1937, "Some A Posteriori Probabilities in Stock Market Action." This paper showed the phenomena now called "momentum" and "mean reversion" (under the names "inertia" and "reversals"). It gave convincing evidence for...
by nisiprius
Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:37 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Larry Swedroe: Simple Factor Investing
Replies: 46
Views: 4186

Re: Larry Swedroe: Simple Factor Investing

[Edited] This posting had been a comment about the article is still giving an access error at etf.com. Larry Swedroe sent me a PM with an explanation, and says he is rewriting it and reposting it and hopefully will have that done shortly.
by nisiprius
Sat Sep 15, 2018 6:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Boglehead is anti-entrepreneur?
Replies: 62
Views: 3816

Re: The Boglehead is anti-entrepreneur?

Let’s say someone came to us with a stable six figure 9-5 MegaCorp job, and well on his way to a comfortable retirement in his 50s. And he wants to know whether he should scratch the entrepreneurial itch of his that he’s had for years. How many of us would advise him to take he plunge? As above, th...
by nisiprius
Sat Sep 15, 2018 5:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Boglehead is anti-entrepreneur?
Replies: 62
Views: 3816

Re: The Boglehead is anti-entrepreneur?

Would you advise a young person in their 20s or 30s, inclined to the entrepreneurial life, to go for it or stick to the Steady Eddie approach, and why? If someone were an entrepreneur I'd think they'd know it by their late twenties or early thirties. I can't imagine a born entrepreneur paying atten...
by nisiprius
Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Small cap tilt
Replies: 24
Views: 1580

Re: Small cap tilt

Even the idea of a higher return can be challenged. One issue is that the higher return is completely attributable to one single time period of nine years: 1975-1983. A small-cap investor obtained no benefit from any holding period that didn't include those years. If I only had a dollar for every t...
by nisiprius
Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:02 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Small cap tilt
Replies: 24
Views: 1580

Re: Small cap tilt

I don't use a small-cap tilt. The original paper (Banz 1981) that called attention to a small firm effect, now called the size factor, was based on a flawed data. When the data is corrected, the magnitude of the effect decreases. The effect is acknowledged by factor advocates to be one of the less s...
by nisiprius
Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:52 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Matter/Scatter appendix: notes on methodology
Replies: 23
Views: 1406

Re: Matter/Scatter appendix: notes on methodology

A pending question from the discussion we had in your first scatter/matter post. So far, I did not adjust the $100 for (monthly) inflation in my own models, and this isn't consistent with the way PV does it - yeah, I should fix that. Please clarify how you do it first? [*]The performance is not bas...
by nisiprius
Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to help teenager fix silly mistakes in math?
Replies: 50
Views: 3106

Re: How to help teenager fix silly mistakes in math?

The best way to expose errors is to find a solution two different ways. They should agree. If not, there is something wrong with one or both. A variation on this is to make a rough calculation as a sanity check. For example, what the sign should be? What order of magnitude are you expecting? Also, ...
by nisiprius
Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Matter/Scatter appendix: notes on methodology
Replies: 23
Views: 1406

Re: Matter/Scatter appendix: notes on methodology

Lognormal. That's the word I was searching for. We expect the distribution to be lognormal, not normal. And it isn't unrealistic, real-world distributions of financial outcomes are lognormal, not normal. I think I heard that somewhere, anyway. It isn't randomizing just the order, it is randomizing t...
by nisiprius
Thu Sep 13, 2018 8:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Matter/Scatter appendix: notes on methodology
Replies: 23
Views: 1406

Re: Matter/Scatter appendix: notes on methodology

Siamond, although this is tangential to your comments, and may not interest you, I've been thinking that rather than display the end state as a scatter cloud, it might be better to display the entire swath of time courses for the simulations. That is, the historic course, with the 500 different walk...
by nisiprius
Thu Sep 13, 2018 4:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to help teenager fix silly mistakes in math?
Replies: 50
Views: 3106

Re: How to help teenager fix silly mistakes in math?

I don't have any answer. When I was a substitute teacher I would always tell students "Unless your teacher has told you to do it mentally, write it out. Write every single step, one step at a time. Don't try to combine steps in your head. You don't get extra points for doing it in your head. If you ...
by nisiprius
Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Isn't cap weighting less diversified than equal weighting?
Replies: 72
Views: 2899

Re: Isn't cap weighting less diversified than equal weighting?

(Shrug) Give me a good, accepted, consensus definition of "diversification," "risk," "concentration," and "tilt" and maybe we can get somewhere. Right now this thread has been pretty much talking past one another. In 1982, AT&T broke up. As it happened, I personally owned 40 shares of AT&T at the ti...
by nisiprius
Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:10 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Isn't cap weighting less diversified than equal weighting?
Replies: 72
Views: 2899

Re: Isn't cap weighting less diversified than equal weighting?

Seawater is 96.5% water and 3.5% dissolved salts. If you fill an aquarium with seawater, you will be filling it mostly with water. Would anybody describe that as "highly concentrated in water?" It isn't, it's simply natural seawater. Market cap weighting is the natural composition of the stock mark...
by nisiprius
Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:50 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What do I do with my investments during a downturn/recession?
Replies: 24
Views: 2722

Re: What do I do with my investments during a downturn/recession?

1) You think about it , to make sure that your portfolio really is aligned with your risk tolerance. When the risk hasn't shown up, that alignment does not seem very important. There doesn't seem to be much really at stake. It is easy to make a lazy assumption that you are risk-tolerant, for any num...
by nisiprius
Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:33 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Isn't cap weighting less diversified than equal weighting?
Replies: 72
Views: 2899

Re: Isn't cap weighting less diversified than equal weighting?

Yes by definition market cap weighting is highly concentrated in the large stocks. No, "by definition" it is no such thing. Indeed, market cap weighting, by definition, puts the most dollars in the same stocks that the market puts the most dollars into . However, to call that a "concentration" is s...
by nisiprius
Thu Sep 13, 2018 6:35 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Isn't cap weighting less diversified than equal weighting?
Replies: 72
Views: 2899

Re: Isn't cap weighting less diversified than equal weighting?

An investment in the (usual, cap-weighted) S&P 500 is fairly close to being the same as an investment in the cap-weighted total market, because it includes about 80% of the market by cap weight . If the goal is to mimic the market portfolio, an S&P 500 fund comes reasonably close. It's 80% of the wa...
by nisiprius
Wed Sep 12, 2018 8:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lab test prices - exasperating!
Replies: 101
Views: 5699

Re: Lab test prices - exasperating!

So is it pointless to ask for pricing? In my experience, as nearly as I can tell... yes. Do you just go ahead with the treatment/tests/procedure and hope they don't bill you an obscene amount that's not covered under insurance? Why, yes. That is what I do. Because I haven't figured out what else to...
by nisiprius
Wed Sep 12, 2018 6:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Larry Swedroe: Benchmark Smoke And Mirrors
Replies: 14
Views: 1127

Re: Larry Swedroe: Benchmark Smoke And Mirrors

What benchmark does Dimensional use for DFSCX? The Russell 2000 index. 1) Should we suspect Dimensional of choosing it "because of the ease of outperforming it?" 2) Is it appropriate to benchmark a "micro cap" fund to a small-cap index? 3) Would it be in appropriate to benchmark a "micro cap" fund ...
by nisiprius
Wed Sep 12, 2018 5:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Mother, can I trust the stock market?
Replies: 19
Views: 2237

Re: Mother, can I trust the stock market?

...For example, how can I know that my shares of stock and my bonds are genuine and mine alone? Can some malicious person potentially inject fake securities (say, shares of Microsoft) or sell the same shares more than once?... As I understand it, the answer is "SIPC insurance." (And private insuran...
by nisiprius
Wed Sep 12, 2018 5:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Matter/Scatter appendix: notes on methodology
Replies: 23
Views: 1406

Re: Matter/Scatter appendix: notes on methodology

Thanks for documenting the methodology, Nisiprius. I don't have much to add, we already had a good discussion in Part1, and I documented in this post the issues I see with such approach. To summarize, I just don't see that the scatter clouds are adding much value to the points (big cross) on which ...
by nisiprius
Wed Sep 12, 2018 5:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Isn't cap weighting less diversified than equal weighting?
Replies: 72
Views: 2899

Re: Isn't cap weighting less diversified than equal weighting?

Define "diversification" first and then we can talk about it. I ought to stop at the snappy sound bite, but we also have to ask why we diversify and what we expect to get out of it. We also have to compare and contrast equal weighting (which to me is both goofy, illogical, and very difficult and exp...
by nisiprius
Wed Sep 12, 2018 4:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Harry Browne Permanent Portfolio Discussion (Cont'd)
Replies: 668
Views: 155073

Re: Harry Browne Permanent Portfolio Discussion (Cont'd)

I just noticed the Global X Permanent ETF, PERM, ceased trading on 10/06/17. I guess it was only a temporary ETF, after all.
by nisiprius
Wed Sep 12, 2018 4:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Larry Swedroe: Simple Factor Investing
Replies: 46
Views: 4186

Re: Larry Swedroe: Simple Factor Investing

...I think they have changed their business strategy a bit over the years, and offering some funds through retirement plans and college savings plans. They have the building blocks for it through their Core funds which are pretty much like Total Stock Index funds. My guess is that, without taking a...
by nisiprius
Wed Sep 12, 2018 2:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Avoiding creeping complexity
Replies: 14
Views: 1401

Re: Avoiding creeping complexity

I agree about complexity. It is hard to avoid. I've been trying to squeeze it out gradually for about twelve years now. One of the tough things for a working couple is that you end up with his-and-hers 401(k)'s. And his-and-hers Roth IRAs. So without even trying, even if you rolled over your 401(k)'...
by nisiprius
Wed Sep 12, 2018 12:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Larry Swedroe: Simple Factor Investing
Replies: 46
Views: 4186

Re: Larry Swedroe: Simple Factor Investing

The ultimate in simplicity, of course, is a target date fund. DFA's target date funds... I think it is interesting how little factor tilt there is in DFA's target date funds (well, the 2060 fund anyway). Dimensional has 29% in small-caps and mid-caps, only 5% more than Vanguard. And it has no value...
by nisiprius
Wed Sep 12, 2018 10:45 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Larry Swedroe: Benchmark Smoke And Mirrors
Replies: 14
Views: 1127

Re: Larry Swedroe: Benchmark Smoke And Mirrors

With those facts in mind, let’s benchmark NEAGX against a more appropriate [index] than the Russell 2000 Index benchmark, which is sometimes chosen by active managers because of the ease of outperforming it. Due to the transparency of its reconstitution rules, active managers could choose to front-...
by nisiprius
Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:32 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Can you time the forex market?
Replies: 10
Views: 642

Re: Can you time the forex market?

Actually, it could be even worse, nedsaid. I live in a town of thirty thousand, which has a closed Facebook group with ten thousand members. About a month ago, somebody was asking about FOREX. A friend had told her that it was a pretty good way to make money and was telling her about, IIRC a no-cost...
by nisiprius
Wed Sep 12, 2018 8:35 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Can you time the forex market?
Replies: 10
Views: 642

Re: Can you time the forex market?

FOREX is traditionally one of the riskiest of all asset classes. It seems as if every couple of years you read news stories about giant banks losing literally hundreds of millions of dollars because of making a bad currency bet. FOREX is particularly bad because the expected long-term return is zero...