Search found 34236 matches

by nisiprius
Mon Feb 19, 2018 7:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Will REIT funds ever see another drawdown like 2008?
Replies: 32
Views: 2456

Re: Will REIT funds ever see another drawdown like 2008?

It's just ordinary common sense to assume that if it actually happened once, it could happen again. Nassim Nicholas Taleb has noted: Risk management professionals look in the past for information on the so-called ​worst-case scenario ​and use it to estimate future risks – this method is called “stre...
by nisiprius
Mon Feb 19, 2018 4:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Understanding an ETF by it's Name
Replies: 20
Views: 487

Re: Understanding an ETF by it's Name

The dictionary definition of "international" is: 1. Of, relating to, or involving two or more nations: an international commission; international affairs. 2. Extending across or transcending national boundaries: international fame. An "international" investment is one that crosses a border. To a U.S...
by nisiprius
Mon Feb 19, 2018 12:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Sell me on the benefits of an emergency fund
Replies: 119
Views: 6393

Re: Sell me on the benefits of an emergency fund

...And BTW, you do realize (as I and later radiowave have pointed out) that with recent inflation and rates of return on VMMXX (or similar funds), you are currently "losing money" by your own definition? No, my own definition of "losing money" is "decreasing number of dollars," and I think that is ...
by nisiprius
Mon Feb 19, 2018 11:09 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is it "cute" to invest in sector funds?
Replies: 22
Views: 1137

Re: Is it "cute" to invest in sector funds?

Larry Swedroe, "Rules of Prudent Investing:" #17: Owning individual stocks and sector funds is more akin to speculating, not investing. The market compensates investors for risks that cannot be diversified away, like the risk of investing in stocks versus bonds. Investors shouldn't expect compensati...
by nisiprius
Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:13 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Buying and Spending Bitcoin
Replies: 193
Views: 22963

Re: Buying and Spending Bitcoin

Fortune gives a long, interesting, complicated, and credible account: Coinbase's Overcharging Glitch Is Both Worldpay and Visa's Fault . Oh so reminiscent of other technology finger-pointing arguments! --Coinbase said blamed Visa, because only Visa cardholders experienced the duplicate charges. --V...
by nisiprius
Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:50 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Sell me on the benefits of an emergency fund
Replies: 119
Views: 6393

Re: Sell me on the benefits of an emergency fund

Over the maximum time period Morningstar can show me, an investment in the Vanguard Tax-Exempt Money Market Fund would have grown $10,000 on 6/30/1980 to $29,872.49 on 12/31/2017. The CPI was 82.50 at the end of June, 1980, and 247.910 at the end of December, 2017. Therefore $29,872.49 was equivalen...
by nisiprius
Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:03 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Sell me on the benefits of an emergency fund
Replies: 119
Views: 6393

Re: Sell me on the benefits of an emergency fund

...Regarding "opportunity cost", you are arguing semantics... Yes. Indeed. I am. That is what I am doing. You can take your money market fund (interest taxable as ordinary income) and I'll take my balanced portfolio of (say) muni bonds (zero tax) and tax-efficient stock index funds or ETF's (modest...
by nisiprius
Mon Feb 19, 2018 7:18 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Buying and Spending Bitcoin
Replies: 193
Views: 22963

Re: Buying and Spending Bitcoin

[Added] But note in_reality's added remarks in the post following this one. [Further added]A Feb 16th item in Fortune judges that Coinbase's Overcharging Glitch Is Both Worldpay and Visa's Fault . If you made purchases between Jan. 22nd and Feb.11th this year using coinbase, you may have been overch...
by nisiprius
Sun Feb 18, 2018 10:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Sell me on the benefits of an emergency fund
Replies: 119
Views: 6393

Re: Sell me on the benefits of an emergency fund

...First of all, your calculation needs to be done on an after-tax basis... When have you seen people quote returns on mutual funds or stock market "on an after-tax basis?" People frequently will say "the U.S. stock market has had a real return of 6.4% since 1900" without mentioning taxes, even in ...
by nisiprius
Sun Feb 18, 2018 9:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Switching to Gov't Bonds as you get closer to retirement?
Replies: 6
Views: 701

Re: Switching to Gov't Bonds as you get closer to retirement?

You probably can't purchase Admiral shares of the Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund, VBTLX, at Fidelity. You can, however, purchase Premium shares of the Fidelity U.S. Bond Index Fund, FSITX. If I wished to have an account at Fidelity, and not to have an account at Vanguard, I wouldn't hesitate ...
by nisiprius
Sun Feb 18, 2018 9:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fixed Income is an Appropriate Term
Replies: 8
Views: 1253

Re: Fixed Income is an Appropriate Term

The income from a bond is a heck of a lot more "fixed" than the income from a dividend-paying stock.
by nisiprius
Sun Feb 18, 2018 8:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you wear a wedding band? [at a job interview]
Replies: 125
Views: 6639

Re: Do you wear a wedding band? [at a job interview]

Job interview? Wow. I never thought about it until this very instant. Of course as a software engineer my personal presentation was never of the essence, although I customarily wore shirtsleeves, tie, and dress slacks. I worked twice with recruiters and neither of them said anything about my appeara...
by nisiprius
Sun Feb 18, 2018 8:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Switching to Gov't Bonds as you get closer to retirement?
Replies: 6
Views: 701

Re: Switching to Gov't Bonds as you get closer to retirement?

I don't really have strong feelings about it. The idea that corporate bonds have "equity risk" is obviously true and obviously important for corporate "high yield" (low quality) bonds, but it isn't a very big effect for investment-grade bonds. They took about a 10% hit in 2008-2009. Do you feel that...
by nisiprius
Sun Feb 18, 2018 6:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Sell me on the benefits of an emergency fund
Replies: 119
Views: 6393

Re: Sell me on the benefits of an emergency fund

...The dilemma n having a large cash position as an "emergency fund" is that it is not keeping up with inflation so over time you are losing money and putting a drag on overall assets... People who are trying to sell you mutual funds and securities often say something like this and I don't think it...
by nisiprius
Sun Feb 18, 2018 6:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you wear a wedding band? [at a job interview]
Replies: 125
Views: 6639

Re: Do you wear a wedding band?

Yes. Plain gold band. This is my third one; I lost two of them in amateur theatrical productions, it seems as if directors always have some reason why your character wouldn't wear one. I paid about the same amount for each of them--$30. My first had a brushed "Florentine" finish on it, and it was so...
by nisiprius
Sun Feb 18, 2018 1:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How long did it take you to get an official offer after clearing the interview process? Any delays?
Replies: 13
Views: 770

Re: How long did it take you to get an official offer after clearing the interview process? Any delays?

It's been different every time for me. I think the longest was in 1989, where I was told verbally that I had the job in November and did not receive an offer letter until January, i.e. about two months. I don't have a voice recording of what was said in November but it was something like "we're goin...
by nisiprius
Sun Feb 18, 2018 1:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is the most the stock market has ever been down in 5 year period?
Replies: 19
Views: 2944

Re: What is the most the stock market has ever been down in 5 year period?

-100% for some smaller modern economies, and major historical nations. Thankfully, stock risk is bounded at - 100% so limits investor risk. WW1 and WW2 periods were over - 70% for many major European countries. Japan in 1980s, Argentina since 1900, a range of emerging market economies. Anyone looki...
by nisiprius
Sun Feb 18, 2018 1:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is the most the stock market has ever been down in 5 year period?
Replies: 19
Views: 2944

Re: What is the most the stock market has ever been down in 5 year period?

If you assume a 5% real return and a 20% standard deviation, then the standard deviation of 5-year annualized returns would be 9%. This means that 1/6 of all 5-year periods would lose more than 4% annualized (18% cumulative), and 1/40 would lose more than 13% annualized (50% cumulative). These are ...
by nisiprius
Sun Feb 18, 2018 12:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Sell me on the benefits of an emergency fund
Replies: 119
Views: 6393

Re: Sell me on the benefits of an emergency fund

I don't like postings that make challenges like "sell me..." I'm not interested in seeing whether my irresistible sales force is stronger than your immovable sales resistance. "Emergency fund" advice is, in reality, all over the map, and I have yet to see any data-based statistical data of what emer...
by nisiprius
Sun Feb 18, 2018 7:23 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Which book for an 18 year old who is asking about investing?
Replies: 37
Views: 2130

Re: Which book for an 18 year old who is asking about investing?

The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need by Andrew Tobias. Solid, broad ranging financial advice and an easy read. That was my first thought, and although I don't think the book has aged well, it might still be my first recommendation. The blunt, simple stuff in the first few chapters, like "chai...
by nisiprius
Sun Feb 18, 2018 7:07 am
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Using math notation in Bogleheads posts
Replies: 10
Views: 1014

Re: Using math notation in Bogleheads posts

I wouldn't mind the ability to include really rudimentary things like superscripts in Bogleheads' posts. For many things, when I do need to post a formula, the reason is often related to the possibility of using a spreadsheet to do calculations, and I feel that an Excel "formula" is good enough. I a...
by nisiprius
Sat Feb 17, 2018 9:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Emerging Markets "lost decade" is over
Replies: 65
Views: 9363

Re: The Emerging Markets "lost decade" is over

...China is a country that thinks long term about its future - as an old civilization it tends not to be myopic and focus on short term gains. Furthermore, he political structure encourages long term thinking. If anything, your points favour investing in China... That's exactly what many in the U.S...
by nisiprius
Sat Feb 17, 2018 11:20 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: ETFs a cause of market turbulence?
Replies: 13
Views: 933

Re: Index funds a cause of market turbulence?

Before I read it, I'm going to express a casual suspicion: the author can be connected with a part of the investment industry that is threatened by the growth of index funds. Now let's see if I'm right. OK, I was wrong. Sorry. Shame on me. I won't delete this but I'll strike it out. I admire the rh...
by nisiprius
Sat Feb 17, 2018 10:08 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bberg: bond bulls say they'll have the last laugh
Replies: 16
Views: 2108

Re: Bberg: bond bulls say they'll have the last laugh

Both funds continually pump out interest in the form of fund dividends, and also experience fluctuations in capital value on top of that. In the case of bonds, capital appreciation is not usually the reason for owning an investment-grade bond fund. In an investment-grade bond fund there shouldn't, a...
by nisiprius
Sat Feb 17, 2018 9:45 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Larry Swedroe's portfolio: does the fact that SC are expensive cause a problem?
Replies: 37
Views: 3154

Re: Larry Swedroe's portfolio: does the fact that SC are expensive cause a problem?

Is it "a fact" that small caps are expensive? I continually read statements in the forum and elsewhere that one asset class or another is "expensive" or "cheap" and I never understand how anybody knows.
by nisiprius
Fri Feb 16, 2018 7:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Buying and Spending Bitcoin
Replies: 193
Views: 22963

Re: Buying and Spending Bitcoin

With regard to cryptocurrencies handled at ATM machines, if I use the coinatmradar.com website recommended above, and set the scale so that it will give me a total for ATM machines in New York City, like this, https://imgur.com/teaurvC.png then I find a total of 164 ATM machines. If I uncheck Bitcoi...
by nisiprius
Fri Feb 16, 2018 6:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Buying and Spending Bitcoin
Replies: 193
Views: 22963

Re: Buying and Spending Bitcoin

Jonathan is correct, that I posted assertions without evidence in that posting. With regard to bitcoin ATMs, I was influenced by this article: I tried to buy $1 of bitcoin from a Las Vegas ATM — and it just proves how far bitcoin is from replacing regular money Some Las Vegas restaurants accept paym...
by nisiprius
Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to get child's skin in the game for college?
Replies: 135
Views: 6374

Re: How to get child's skin in the game for college?

College is what it is. Here are some random personal observations. It will be clear what I think but everyone is different. 1) A typical college load may be 15 hours/week actually spent in classes, and most colleges actually spell out that a student is normally expected to spend 2-3 hours of persona...
by nisiprius
Fri Feb 16, 2018 10:32 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Buying and Spending Bitcoin
Replies: 193
Views: 22963

Re: Buying and Spending Bitcoin

As Greyfox noted, Bitcoin was designed and up to maybe 2015 universally presented as a practical payment system, not a base technology on which others could build a practical payment system someday. It was supposed to directly compete with credit cards and PayPal online. What little real-world expos...
by nisiprius
Thu Feb 15, 2018 9:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is the evidence against slice and dice?
Replies: 59
Views: 4397

Re: What is the evidence against slice and dice?

https://imgur.com/uWMneqM.png Nisi, Thanks for the contribution, but again the charts are only useful if you are entering on year x and selling everything on year y. Personally, I HATE using anything but rolling returns. They have the disadvantage of not being independent data points, but completel...
by nisiprius
Thu Feb 15, 2018 8:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: American Funds Growth Fund vs Index
Replies: 9
Views: 702

Re: American Funds Growth Fund vs Index

... Edit #2 I don't know why nisi posted about the AGTHX fund, I thought the OP was talking about GFACX They appear to be the same fund -- different classes maybe? Although AGTHX has an ER of 0.64% and GFACX has an ER or 1.44%.... My bad. They are different share classes of the same fund. I have up...
by nisiprius
Thu Feb 15, 2018 6:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: American Funds Growth Fund vs Index
Replies: 9
Views: 702

Re: American Funds Growth Fund vs Index

[NOTE: Corrected to use the share class mentioned by the original poster, GFACX, instead of AGTHX.--Nisi] Here's why he's talking about what GFACX, American Growth Fund of America, did over twenty years: because GFACX (blue) did not outperform either the S&P 500 index (orange) or the Vanguard Total ...
by nisiprius
Thu Feb 15, 2018 6:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Mac Antivirus?
Replies: 5
Views: 507

Re: Best Mac Antivirus?

I use the no-cost versions of Malwarebytes and Avast. I like Malwarebytes because whatever it does, it does quickly. Both of them are fairly assertive about nagging me to upgrade to the paid version, but I don't, not because I'm a cheapskate, but because I don't want the added features of the paid v...
by nisiprius
Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is the evidence against slice and dice?
Replies: 59
Views: 4397

Re: What is the evidence against slice and dice?

The Fama and French research wasn't published until 1992, and tools in the form of mutual funds for slicing and dicing weren't available before then. For example, the DFA US Small Cap Value Portfolio fund had its inception in 1993; Vanguard Small Cap Value Index Fund, 1998; T. Rowe Price Small-Cap V...
by nisiprius
Thu Feb 15, 2018 12:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Wisdom of Bitcoin
Replies: 90
Views: 6800

Re: Wisdom of Bitcoin

I like the idea of bitcoin as a portable store of value which can evade government control, confiscation, collapse, etc. Years ago when family immigrated to America, all their valuables had to be left behind. It would be nice to have say 1/2 of networth stored in something that could be protected a...
by nisiprius
Thu Feb 15, 2018 10:11 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How Inflation Works (NYT)
Replies: 21
Views: 2145

Re: How Inflation Works (NYT)

Inflation is good for debtors and bad for creditors. This is obvious, yet often not pointed out. The New York Times article fails to mention it, for example. I don't see it mentioned yet in this thread. We bought a house in the mid-1970s and the monthly mortgage payments, initially a heavy burden, g...
by nisiprius
Thu Feb 15, 2018 8:46 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I've never rebalanced - Can I do ok without it?
Replies: 35
Views: 4177

Re: I've never rebalanced - Can I do ok without it?

Unless they're investing in a full-bore multi-asset slice-and-dice factorized portfolio of highly volatile holdings, I don't think anyone needs to rebalance very often . Once every three, four, five years simply conduct the same exercise you conducted at the beginning: look at your pie chart, see wh...
by nisiprius
Thu Feb 15, 2018 8:10 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is VTI really "total stock market" with only 1478 holdings?
Replies: 12
Views: 1728

Re: Is VTI really "total stock market" with only 1478 holdings?

I agree on going to the source for anything you actually care about (i.e. well before making any transaction). I agree that etfdb isn't reliable; I can't even imagine where they could have gotten numbers like those. I find Morningstar to be reasonably reliable. The three biggest issues with Mornings...
by nisiprius
Thu Feb 15, 2018 7:00 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Wisdom of Bitcoin
Replies: 90
Views: 6800

Re: Wisdom of Bitcoin

And because the mining hardware is, apparently, purpose-built to mine bitcoin only, the large and expensive mining installations can't be repurposed to anything else. A significant proportion of bitcoin mining hardware simply consists of rows upon rows of graphics cards. Those can obviously be repu...
by nisiprius
Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Digital alarm clock suggestions?
Replies: 26
Views: 1686

Re: Digital alarm clock suggestions?

Edit to add: The CubieWink is basically the same clock, with a regular cord and without the power outlets on top... The CubieWink is actually the one I've ordered. Mostly because $40 is cheaper than $60, and I don't need the outlets. The Alexa is a nonstarter for too many reasons to list... one bei...
by nisiprius
Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: C-Suite etiquette advise needed
Replies: 27
Views: 3620

Re: C-Suite etiquette advise needed

There is non-alcoholic wine, just as there is non-alcoholic beer. If possible try to talk to the hotel in advance, but I expect that most hotels that serve wine have at least one--probably exactly one, but one--non-alcoholic wine. It's probably not a big taste thrill, but at least they will give it ...
by nisiprius
Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Warren Buffett explains how to invest in stocks when inflation hits markets"
Replies: 9
Views: 3395

Re: "Warren Buffett explains how to invest in stocks when inflation hits markets"

Do you happen to have a reference for him saying 'retail investors' should buy s&p 500 index? 2016 shareholder letter The bottom line: When trillions of dollars are managed by Wall Streeters charging high fees, it will usually be the managers who reap outsized profits, not the clients. Both large a...
by nisiprius
Wed Feb 14, 2018 12:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: In plain English, please explain what was VIX, what happened to it and why?
Replies: 68
Views: 5764

Re: In plain English, please explain what was VIX, what happened to it and why?

The generic but, I think, useful answer is that it is part of the irregular cycle described by Kindleberger in Panics, Manias, and Crashes . There is a crisis. Regulations are passed to prevent its recurrence. Time passes without any fresh crisis. Everyone relaxes, including regulators. There is alw...
by nisiprius
Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:50 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is This Action by Megacorp Legal?
Replies: 64
Views: 3624

Re: Is This Action by Megacorp Legal?

I've had a company send me a notice that they would be eliminating one fund in the 401(k) and automatically exchanging my holdings in it for a not-very-equivalent fund. (I didn't pay much attention to it because I have not been with the company for years, and as far as I know have a balance of exact...
by nisiprius
Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Digital alarm clock suggestions?
Replies: 26
Views: 1686

Re: Digital alarm clock suggestions?

This alarm clock is dead simple, pricy but worth every penny. The dial is super easy to use for setting the time, the dial is also the button for turning off the alarm with once easy swat. You can also dim the display down to nothing if you need to sleep in the dark. https://www.amazon.com/gp/produ...
by nisiprius
Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:35 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is the most the stock market has ever been down in 5 year period?
Replies: 19
Views: 2944

Re: What is the most the stock market has ever been down in 5 year period?

Eyeballing a chart for what looks like the biggest drop, then looking up the numbers: Ibbotson SBBI Classic Yearbook, Total Return Index (like a growth chart, including reinvested dividends), for large-cap stocks (S&P 500 since 1957 and similar indices before that) June, 1927, 1.251 June, 1932, 0.48...
by nisiprius
Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Digital alarm clock suggestions?
Replies: 26
Views: 1686

Digital alarm clock suggestions?

I thought the $20 Emerson "SmartSet" clock I bought a couple of years ago was the clock o' my dreams but it has started to malfunction, so I want a replacement. Here are the desiderata. Any suggestions? Must-haves: a) Easy to set, by which I mean it must have either four dedicated buttons for "ahead...
by nisiprius
Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:38 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Misguided Beliefs of Financial Advisors
Replies: 15
Views: 2810

Re: The Misguided Beliefs of Financial Advisors

The claim that "behavioral coaching" adds 150 bps of return is particularly interesting. For purposes of discussion let's say that the canonical behavioral issue is, in their words, Persuading investors not to abandon the markets when performance has been poor or dissuading them from chasing the nex...
by nisiprius
Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:54 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Misguided Beliefs of Financial Advisors
Replies: 15
Views: 2810

Re: The Misguided Beliefs of Financial Advisors

I wonder how their results compare to those of the Vanguard study that found that advisors add several percent to clients' realized returns, mainly from behavioral coaching. I don't recall a Vanguard study like that. I know of something Vanguard published that simply assumed or asserted this adviso...