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by nisiprius
Thu Aug 17, 2017 4:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Magic Formula
Replies: 6
Views: 892

Re: Magic Formula

Altough I don't know the story behind it, which is not as simple as "the funds sucked," it's worth noting anyway. Whenever I read about something like the Magic Formula, I am always suspicious when it involves an individual investing in individual stocks. If the formula is so good, why doesn't someo...
by nisiprius
Wed Aug 16, 2017 8:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why do we (passive index investors) invest at market weight?
Replies: 34
Views: 2131

Re: Why do we (passive index investors) invest at market weight?

Because the market itself invests at market weight.
by nisiprius
Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: what was the actual return of BND last year?
Replies: 19
Views: 1753

Re: what was the actual return of BND last year?

Given that the duration of BND is about six years, and given that Vanguard itself says (in the explanation under the risk category logo) and it may be suitable for investors with a time frame of 4-10 years, you should not expect positive total return in every single 12-month period. 12-month periods...
by nisiprius
Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why/how can Android web browsers stall the whole OS?
Replies: 8
Views: 786

Why/how can Android web browsers stall the whole OS?

I'm talking about a sample size of two: an Amazon Kindle Fire which uses Amazon's own web browser, "Silk," and an Amazon-modified Android 4.1, and a Samsung smartphone running Samsung's browser ("Internet") and a reasonably up-to-date Android version (6.1). Although the situation is worse with the K...
by nisiprius
Tue Aug 15, 2017 4:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ObamaCare 2018
Replies: 50
Views: 6155

Re: ACA 2018

We used to be pretty punctilious in this forum about calling it "ACA" and that's probably still a good idea....
by nisiprius
Tue Aug 15, 2017 4:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Good Banks to Avoid Fees (No minimums, etc.)
Replies: 9
Views: 587

Re: Good Banks to Avoid Fees (No minimums, etc.)

Small local banks. Check for FDIC insurance ( never seen one that didn't but check), check "financial strength" rating at Bankrate.com or Bauerfinancial.com just to make sure they aren't really troubled (one star out of five, for example). Only once in fifty years have I ever needed a service that m...
by nisiprius
Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Dumb, basic question about market-cap weighted funds?
Replies: 35
Views: 1802

Re: Dumb, basic question about market-cap weighted funds?

An important point to keep in mind is that a cap-weighted total market index fund mirrors the total market, and the total market itself is cap-weighted . An interesting corollary is that if you imagine a large trade, large enough to move market prices, that is purely speculative, that does not move ...
by nisiprius
Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retired Boglehead obsession with money- devil's advocate
Replies: 66
Views: 6665

Re: Boglehead obsession with money- devil's advocate

I don't think I do worry that much about money... at about age 55, I remember going over my spreadsheet and saying to my wife, "We're there! We're not where I want to be, but if we reached 65 with no more than we have now... assuming Social Security and Medicare... we'd be OK. A bit cramped, but OK....
by nisiprius
Sun Aug 13, 2017 5:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to buy glasses for eclipse viewing ?
Replies: 55
Views: 4094

Re: Where to buy glasses for eclipse viewing ?

Yes to the colander. Or any other pinhole projection technique. Here's another good approach. Go to a drugstore and buy the weakest pair of reading glasses they sell, strength "1.00" diopters. It can be a cheap pair, it doesn't need to be a good pair. I have a pair I bought a couple of days ago for ...
by nisiprius
Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How far would you travel to see The Eclipse?
Replies: 133
Views: 6562

Re: How far would you travel to see The Eclipse?

If you are not going to travel to see totality, but are in an area where you will be getting a partial eclipse... I've seen a partial eclipse where the sun shrank down to a small crescent. THAT's not, IMHO, such a big deal--it's cool, like seeing a full-circular rainbow, or a seriously good meteor s...
by nisiprius
Fri Aug 11, 2017 4:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How far would you travel to see The Eclipse?
Replies: 133
Views: 6562

Re: How far would you travel to see The Eclipse?

1800 miles. Wish me luck on the weather. In 1963 I drove 200 miles to Maine for the eclipse mentioned in a couple of Stephen King's novels but encountered broken overcast before and after totality--and total overcast during totality. At a highway rest stop, I think I convinced a guy that it might be...
by nisiprius
Sun Aug 06, 2017 6:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Greenspan: Look Out When Bonds Pop
Replies: 58
Views: 8144

Re: Greenspan: Look Out When Bonds Pop

I have read dozens of such warnings over the last ten years or so and all I can say is that I just don't understand them. They never say clearly what they mean by "bonds," exactly what kind of investors they are warning, and just what--in terms of numbers, not vague handwaving adjectives, they are w...
by nisiprius
Sat Aug 05, 2017 4:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Study: Who Sold Stock During the 2008-9 Crash?
Replies: 85
Views: 7074

Re: Study: Who Sold Stock During the 2008-9 Crash?

Did the study examine the investor's stock allocation? Were the people who sold people that had been advised or otherwise noodged toward a too-aggressive stock allocation?
by nisiprius
Thu Aug 03, 2017 4:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are value stocks safer or more risky?
Replies: 49
Views: 3737

Re: Are value stocks safer or more risky?

The conventional thinking, with which I personally am prepared to agree with, is that stocks and stock mutual funds that fall in one of the "value" boxes of a Morningstar style box diagram--that is to say they "load on the value factor" as defined by the Fama and French reserach-...
by nisiprius
Fri Jul 28, 2017 7:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to organize toddler books
Replies: 18
Views: 1361

Re: How to organize toddler books

It's been a long time since we did this, but at times they were organized by the spreading them out wherever they were last read and then shoving them under the couch if a guest arrived unexpectedly! haha. Three kids age 4 and under will do that to a family. +1 My first thought was "organize t...
by nisiprius
Fri Jul 28, 2017 7:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: GF Picking a college major
Replies: 105
Views: 5196

Re: GF Picking a college major

College is tough to get through. Work is tough to get through. It is my considered opinion that the first priority should be "something you love to do," because it's going to be tough enough even if you do love it. It is also my opinion that nobody can predict how well they will do in a pa...
by nisiprius
Fri Jul 28, 2017 6:39 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: ABC's of the relationship between "advisor," "broker," and "custodian"
Replies: 10
Views: 1039

Re: ABC's of the relationship between "advisor," "broker," and "custodian"

Advisor and broker/dealer are straight forward. When a customer works with an advisor who uses Fidelity to hold the assets and execute trades, Fidelity is the broker/dealer. A clearing firm is a broker's broker. When VBS outsourced to Pershing, VBS was the broker/dealer. Pershing was the "real...
by nisiprius
Fri Jul 28, 2017 6:37 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Intitial investment advice for 58 couple with approx 175k cash IRA
Replies: 23
Views: 1559

Re: Fidelity and Ishares equivalent to vanguard 4 fund portfolio

One detail: what do you mean by "four funds?" Vanguard's Total International Bond Market Index Fund is pretty unique and I don't think there's anything even close to similar, either in Fidelity's own index fund lineup, or in the iShares lineup. The only think I know that's similar is the P...
by nisiprius
Thu Jul 27, 2017 4:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: U.S. Stock Market — My, How You’ve Changed!
Replies: 52
Views: 5289

Re: U.S. Stock Market — My, How You’ve Changed!

Google Image search found me the context; I edited my post. You look at the Joshua Brown article and tell me what you think. It's a legitimate graphic if it's illustrating changes in how stocks are classified. It's not so legitimate if it is claiming to show changes in the stock market itself.
by nisiprius
Thu Jul 27, 2017 4:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: U.S. Stock Market — My, How You’ve Changed!
Replies: 52
Views: 5289

Re: U.S. Stock Market — My, How You’ve Changed!

It's a nutty graphic. I'd like to see the context. Somehow it smells to me like yet another attack on cap-weighted indexing--it's illogical to hold the whole market because the market keeps changing, or something like that. OK, Google Image Search found it for me. The original source is a Wall Stree...
by nisiprius
Thu Jul 27, 2017 3:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: U.S. Stock Market — My, How You’ve Changed!
Replies: 52
Views: 5289

Re: U.S. Stock Market — My, How You’ve Changed!

Huh? I don't get it. Somebody is saying that materials (Kennecott Copper, etc), energy (Exxon), consumer discretionary (Walt Disney, Marriott), consumer staples (Campbell's Soup), healthcare (Merck), information technology (IBM, NCR, Burroughs), telecom (AT&T) didn't exist in 1976? Or that they ...
by nisiprius
Thu Jul 27, 2017 3:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why are some bonds funds going up with the Stock markets?
Replies: 12
Views: 1540

Re: Why are some bonds funds going up with the Stock markets?

...the strange thing is as the stock market shoots for the moon the IUAG bond price also keeps going up and up. This confuses me as I thought the price of bonds were supposed to drop as stocks rose and rise as stocks drop as a balancing effect?... You misunderstood, or the person who told you they ...
by nisiprius
Thu Jul 27, 2017 1:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why are they beating S/P? What am I missing?
Replies: 72
Views: 4316

Re: Why are they beating S/P? What am I missing?

Bill Mason at Legg Mason Value Trust beat the S&P for 17 straight years, a record, until he didn't and lost it all and more back. Bernard Madoff did pretty well over a long time period too, until his Ponzi scheme went bust and ALL was lost except for pennies on the dollar. Sometimes you get luc...
by nisiprius
Thu Jul 27, 2017 12:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Anybody with substantial gains in FANG stocks ?
Replies: 22
Views: 1981

Re: Anybody with substantial gains in FANG stocks ?

What? (Google) Oh. Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, and Google.

Why G? It's not "Google" any more. Oh, well, never mind.
by nisiprius
Thu Jul 27, 2017 11:21 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: ABC's of the relationship between "advisor," "broker," and "custodian"
Replies: 10
Views: 1039

Re: ABC's of the relationship between "advisor," "broker," and "custodian"

A. An "Advisor" is somebody who gives advice. I have always seen this in the context of a person or a team. So people. Think salesmen, stockbroker, or portfolio manager. B. A "Broker/Dealer" is a firm that can execute trades. Generally a member of FINRA. C. A "Custodian&quo...
by nisiprius
Thu Jul 27, 2017 11:09 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: ABC's of the relationship between "advisor," "broker," and "custodian"
Replies: 10
Views: 1039

ABC's of the relationship between "advisor," "broker," and "custodian"

I'm peripherally involved in something which seems to involve the names of three different companies: a) An "advisor," a small firm; b) A "broker/dealer," which is the name printed at the top of the statements showing what is in which account; c) A "custodian and clearing fi...
by nisiprius
Wed Jul 26, 2017 9:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to View Total Eclipse? - Kansas City / Nashville et al
Replies: 97
Views: 5945

Re: Where to View Total Eclipse? - Kansas City

...Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I think I recall reading that the 100% path is approx 50 miles wide at ground level, so you don't need to bisect the centerline precisely... The width of the path of totality is theoretically 70 miles. Within that path, the duration of totality varies. At the...
by nisiprius
Wed Jul 26, 2017 9:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to View Total Eclipse? - Kansas City / Nashville et al
Replies: 97
Views: 5945

Re: Where to View Total Eclipse? - Kansas City

We had campground reservations arriving August 20th and departing August 23rd, and I got sufficiently freaked out by the traffic scare talk that we extended them back to August 18th. Oh, and I swore to my wife: we will be spending August 21st in the state park, no matter what. Even if the radar map ...
by nisiprius
Wed Jul 26, 2017 8:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are bitcoins nonsense?
Replies: 73
Views: 4423

Re: Are bitcoins nonsense?

My crystal ball tells me the value of bitcoin will very abruptly goto $0. I predict some time in the future there will either be another hack on a major exchange or some other very large public ransomware attack asking for bitcoins and the feds will step in and shut the whole thing down. The feds c...
by nisiprius
Wed Jul 26, 2017 12:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: International correlations hit 20 year low
Replies: 33
Views: 2901

Re: International correlations hit 20 year low

Without any attempt to put error bounds on it, that chart is silly. I have three observations. The first is that correlations are very, very, noisy. Since I don't know how to put error bounds on it myself it's just my own hand-waving, but I think the only thing that can be gleaned from that chart is...
by nisiprius
Wed Jul 26, 2017 11:32 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bloomberg--Meet the Man Who Is Going to Run Vanguard
Replies: 5
Views: 1077

Re: Bloomberg--Meet the Man Who Is Going to Run Vanguard

BR: You wrote that with “asset classes fully priced, we should also be prepared for a lower return environment.” What should investors do in anticipation of lower-expected returns? TB: Well, investing is not alchemy -- you can’t create returns where there are none. You have to accept what the marke...
by nisiprius
Wed Jul 26, 2017 11:25 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are bitcoins nonsense?
Replies: 73
Views: 4423

Re: Are bitcoins nonsense?

...I think the counter is that there will never be inflation, so if dollar inflation is say 2% p.a. long run, bitcoins will generate that return in the long run. Similar arguments run towards gold, but gold has a number of advantages (and some disadvantages)-- you are not reliant on technology to k...
by nisiprius
Wed Jul 26, 2017 11:19 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are bitcoins nonsense?
Replies: 73
Views: 4423

Re: Are bitcoins nonsense?

Imagine that it is 1978.
  • Are personal computers nonsense?
  • Or should I buy stock in Commodore International, Limited?
There are other options! You can believe bitcoin is not nonsense, without either using it or "investing" in it.
by nisiprius
Wed Jul 26, 2017 10:43 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why not Schwab instead of Vanguard?
Replies: 68
Views: 4611

Re: Why not Schwab instead of Vanguard?

Schwab's fine. (And I'm 100% at Vanguard now... and I've used Schwab in the past). But don't choose them because of marginally lower expense ratios, though, choose them because of other comparisons that are important to you. When I first became aware of mutual funds, in the late 1980s, to the best o...
by nisiprius
Wed Jul 26, 2017 6:50 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are bitcoins nonsense?
Replies: 73
Views: 4423

Re: Are bitcoins nonsense?

"Is bitcoin nonsense?" is a meaningless question. In my opinion: ⋅ The technology behind bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is not "nonsense." It works. It's not a perpetual motion machine (or "overunity device," which is what enthusiasts call them--do a YouTu...
by nisiprius
Mon Jul 24, 2017 7:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Wes Gray on MTUM and discrepancy with Momentum
Replies: 7
Views: 745

Re: Wes Gray on MTUM and discrepancy with Momentum

matjen, which is closer to your personal view?

a) This means MTUM is good, because it's all about the moolah, the spondulix, the Benjamins.

b) This means MTUM is bad, because it's not doing what it's supposed to do.
by nisiprius
Mon Jul 24, 2017 7:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is there any reason not to? [4% Checking]
Replies: 36
Views: 3779

Re: Is there any reason not to? [4% Checking]

As to making many tiny transactions just to satisfy the terms of the agreement, there have been cases where banks closed the accounts of people who were doing that. Some are described here.
by nisiprius
Mon Jul 24, 2017 4:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: John Bogle Has Been Right About Investing In International Stocks
Replies: 505
Views: 31529

Re: John Bogle Has Been Right About Investing In International Stocks

Simplegift wrote:...
Image
...
Without taking a position here, let me just say that that's a very nice chart.

(Is anybody kidding themselves yet that they see a predictable cycle in it? :twisted: )
by nisiprius
Mon Jul 24, 2017 4:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Ben Carlson on Commodities
Replies: 12
Views: 1130

Re: Ben Carlson on Commodities

My reaction is irritation with what I will call "the financial advice community in general." I shouldn't criticize Ben Carlson, because I don't know what he's said about commodities in the past, but from perhaps 2006 to 2013-14 or so, there really was a broad consensus that your ordinary r...
by nisiprius
Mon Jul 24, 2017 2:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Does VGTSX have potential to go up? Double? Triple?
Replies: 13
Views: 2385

Re: Does VGTSX have potential to go up? Double? Triple?

VGSTX is a fund of funds. It includes all sorts of things including bonds. For each component that outperforms, there is probably another that will be underperforming. The logic of holding VGSTX would not be to double or triple quickly, but to get similar returns to any other blended fund with perh...
by nisiprius
Mon Jul 24, 2017 1:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to buy (or invest) into Bitcoin?
Replies: 35
Views: 4534

Re: How to buy (or invest) into Bitcoin?

What's the current status of the Winklevoss bitcoin trust ETF, COIN? It was dead, rejected by the SEC, then bitcoin prices shot up in April on news that the SEC had accepted an appeal and would review it. I've heard nothing since then...
by nisiprius
Sun Jul 23, 2017 8:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Reasons to Deviate from the Global Market Portfolio
Replies: 36
Views: 4178

Re: Reasons to Deviate from the Global Market Portfolio

The first question that needs to be asked is whether there is a "global market." Simply talking about the "Global Market Portfolio" doesn't mean there really is a global market. Wikipedia notes twenty major stock exchanges with market caps ranging from $0.8 up to $19 trillion, bu...
by nisiprius
Sun Jul 23, 2017 9:15 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Can a TIPS ladder 'fail' ?
Replies: 97
Views: 7003

Re: Can a TIPS ladder 'fail' ?

There is always "reinvestment risk." It could fail if new TIPS are not being issued by the Treasury at the time when you need to roll over one that matured. During the brief period when the U.S. had a budget surplus there actually were times when I wanted to buy one and the Treasury was no...
by nisiprius
Sat Jul 22, 2017 1:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How leveraged should your US market investments have been?
Replies: 16
Views: 1635

Re: How leveraged should your US market investments have been?

Ask markettimer! Who got his idea from a couple of Yale professors who made a similar analysis around 2005 and concluded that all young investors should be using 2X leverage. Forum regulars will remember the weeks when Market Timer changed his avatar from Don Quixote to Raskolnikov, and seemed to b...
by nisiprius
Sat Jul 22, 2017 11:30 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Larry Swedroe: REITs Aren't Special
Replies: 106
Views: 8368

Re: Larry Swedroe: REITs Aren't Special

This reflects a change of heart. REITs were once a "must have" asset class by the advocates of factor tilting. What happened is that all of the yield chasing put REIT valuations out of sight, that is, they no longer represent value. There was also rethinking about commodities, once recomm...
by nisiprius
Fri Jul 21, 2017 8:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Larry Swedroe: REITs Aren't Special
Replies: 106
Views: 8368

Re: Larry Swedroe: REITs Aren't Special

The evidence from academic studies demonstrates that equity REITs, both domestic and international, offer an attractive risk/return trade-off and provide meaningful diversification benefits to portfolios. Thus, investors with the ability to hold equity REITs in a tax-advantaged account should consi...
by nisiprius
Fri Jul 21, 2017 3:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Continue stock picking or invest in index funds
Replies: 26
Views: 2484

Re: Continue stock picking or invest in index funds

youngin87 wrote:...My style is to buy established companies that are undervalued...
I think you mean "My style is to buy established companies that I judge to be undervalued."
by nisiprius
Fri Jul 21, 2017 12:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Can anyone convince me I need international stock in my portfolio?
Replies: 162
Views: 8387

Re: Can anyone convince me I need international stock in my portfolio?

As long as I continue to live in the United States, should I worry about the strength of the dollar relative to other currencies ? Why? When the dollar gets weaker, any imports you buy will be more expensive for you. Since the U.S. is a net importer, I think there is very good reason to be concerne...
by nisiprius
Fri Jul 21, 2017 12:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is there any reason not to? [4% Checking]
Replies: 36
Views: 3779

Re: Is there any reason not to? [4% Checking]

P.S. My life experience to date is that I've scored $150 once in "free money," $200 once in "free money" (account-opening bonuses), maybe $600 grand total once and $600 grand total another time in bank deals that started out really good and slowly faded out over 2-3 years. They w...