Search found 34214 matches

by nisiprius
Sat Feb 17, 2018 11:20 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: ETFs a cause of market turbulence?
Replies: 13
Views: 858

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: 1891

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: 21
Views: 1735

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: 183
Views: 22164

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: 183
Views: 22164

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: 126
Views: 5297

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: 183
Views: 22164

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: 53
Views: 3670

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: 676

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: 676

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: 488

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: 53
Views: 3670

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: 6759

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: 2009

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: 4142

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: 1695

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: 6759

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: 1622

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: 3566

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: 3369

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: 5642

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: 3556

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: 1622

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: 16
Views: 2359

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: 1622

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: 2776

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: 2776

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...
by nisiprius
Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Did you learn anything from the market correction?
Replies: 155
Views: 10064

Re: Did you learn anything from the market correction?

Did you learn anything from the market correction? The main thing I learned is that I have no idea whether we just experienced a market correction or the beginning of a severe bear market. Not clear yet if I will get away with a hard tap on the shoulder or if the market is still going to punch me i...
by nisiprius
Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Misguided Beliefs of Financial Advisors
Replies: 15
Views: 2776

Re: The Misguided Beliefs of Financial Advisors

Winthrop: Can you lead a band? "Professor" Harold Hill: No. Winthrop: Are you a big liar? Harold: Yes. Winthrop: Are you a dirty rotten crook? Harold: Yes. Winthrop: Leave me go, you big liar! Harold: What's the matter? You wanted the truth, didn't you? Now I'm bigger'n you and you're going to stand...
by nisiprius
Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: how did you determine your risk tolerance?
Replies: 103
Views: 4776

Re: how did you determine your risk tolerance?

...holding cash is losing money... No, it isn't. Not unless by "cash" you actually mean literal, physical currency in storage--and by "money" you mean, not money (dollars) but inflation-adjusted purchasing power. 1) Short-term treasury bills generally have kept up with inflation and eked out a tiny...
by nisiprius
Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What if you only live off dividends?
Replies: 69
Views: 5493

Re: What if you only live off dividends?

Many people worry whether a 4% SWR will work in the future. Complicated attempts have been made to calculate a new SWR. Mainstream strategies use a total return approach and will liquidate a share of principal each year to meet the SWR payment. The assumption is that the assets will grow back. What...
by nisiprius
Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Did you learn anything from the market correction?
Replies: 155
Views: 10064

Re: Did you learn anything from the market correction?

I learned that I'm older than I thought, because that seemed like just a little minor turbulence. I honestly shocked that people are making so much ado about it. Me, too. I'm a little shocked that a Facebook acquaintance who used to work at Wellington Management posted distress that, after the drop...
by nisiprius
Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Did you learn anything from the market correction?
Replies: 155
Views: 10064

Re: Did you learn anything from the market correction?

I learned from a financial columnist that You can no longer trust the 200-day moving average as a stock-market indicator. Just as I learned that I could no longer trust my lucky rabbit's foot when I slipped on the banana peel and fell down the manhole and had the anvil land on me. I learned that the...
by nisiprius
Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costco 'Goodyear' wiper blades
Replies: 24
Views: 2185

Re: Costco 'Goodyear' wiper blades

Anyone happen to know who "really" makes the Toyota-branded wiper blades I sometimes allow the dealer to sell me for a grotesquely inflated price? The truth of the matter is that I let them do it sometimes because they have in fact been a) the right size--the books hanging by a chain from the wiper ...
by nisiprius
Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:30 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Did you learn anything from the market correction?
Replies: 155
Views: 10064

Re: Did you learn anything from the market correction?

...Our first market correction (10% decline from peak)... Personally I experienced losses of 10k and 19k on back to back days and still feeling good so this helped confirm my aggressive AA (100/0) is fine for me... If a 10% decline had spooked you, it would have confirmed that your asset allocation...
by nisiprius
Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Explain why long-term bonds aren't awesome
Replies: 20
Views: 1689

Re: Explain why long-term bonds aren't awesome

feels like bonds are pretty much as risky as equity without the return potential ... [100/0 guy that knows nothing about bonds, accumulation phase] 1) You are a movie actor. You have reason to believe that the studio is solvent and able to pay the costs of producing a film. Which is riskier? A cont...
by nisiprius
Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costco 'Goodyear' wiper blades
Replies: 24
Views: 2185

Re: Costco 'Goodyear' wiper blades

The biggest problem I have with wiper blades is that I think that a) they have a short shelf life, and b) they don't have a freshness date! My experience with wiper blades has been very variable. I can buy the same kind twice and one time they will be soft and wipe smoothly, without streaks, and ano...
by nisiprius
Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Explain why long-term bonds aren't awesome
Replies: 20
Views: 1689

Re: Explain why long-term bonds aren't awesome

The Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund is a reasonable starting point. You may decide that is not your preferred bond fund, but do not be too quick to assume that any other bond fund is far better, "awesome." If you think you see something that is far better, you missed something, you are overloo...
by nisiprius
Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Explain why long-term bonds aren't awesome
Replies: 20
Views: 1689

Re: Explain why long-term bonds aren't awesome

So if I understand right.. rising interest rates are BAD for those already holding bonds, because you've already locked yourself in to a lower rate of return. And falling interest rates are GOOD for those holding bonds because you've locked yourself into a better return than is in the present? No, ...
by nisiprius
Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Explain why long-term bonds aren't awesome
Replies: 20
Views: 1689

Re: Explain why long-term bonds aren't awesome

The average effective maturity in that fund is 24 years. That means you are locking yourself into a specific interest payment rate for about that long. To anyone who lived through the inflation of the late 1970s, that is an awfully long commitment. Between 1971 and 1986, the value of the dollar was ...
by nisiprius
Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: USPS Flat Rate Boxes - How do they work?
Replies: 27
Views: 2060

Re: USPS Flat Rate Boxes - How do they work?

One caveat. Always do a reality check to make sure that what you put into the box weighs enough that the flat rate costs less than the usual "weight rate." I have twice used flat-rate boxes, and had the post office clerk tell me "do you realize that it would cost less to mail it in a regular box?" B...
by nisiprius
Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Warren Buffett explains how to invest in stocks when inflation hits markets"
Replies: 9
Views: 3369

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

Once again, someone who is not Warren Buffett claims to be able to channel his insights and translate them into specific advice for retail investors. The author is described merely as a "CNBC editor," not a colleague or friend of Buffett's who might understand Buffett's methodology in a deep way. Th...
by nisiprius
Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Emergency fund question - 3 vs 6 months and should I lower my 401k contribution to get there...
Replies: 74
Views: 2977

Re: Emergency fund question - 3 vs 6 months and should I lower my 401k contribution to get there...

The canonical emergency is "job loss." In thinking about job loss, the most important number to establish is "will I get unemployment benefits if that happens, and how much will they are likely to be?" The answer varies quite a bit by state. Assuming that your chief risk of job loss is your company ...
by nisiprius
Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I think US interest rates could drop.
Replies: 55
Views: 5172

Re: I think US interest rates could drop.

I think U.S. interest rates could go in any direction they darn please. The first posting I noticed in this group that said "interest rates can only go up" was in 2009: I know people don't like to market time but interest rates are currently zero and whether rates rise in 2010 or 2011 or 2015, event...
by nisiprius
Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:47 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Random conversations regarding money
Replies: 44
Views: 4525

Re: Random conversations regarding money

ny_rn wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:35 am
- "Gold has never declined."
That is really amazing, but it falls in the all-too-common category of people accepting and repeating something they would like to be true, without spending ten minutes on a reality check.
by nisiprius
Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: L.L. Bean, Citing Abuse, Tightens Its Generous Policy on Returns
Replies: 41
Views: 4323

Re: L.L. Bean, Citing Abuse, Tightens Its Generous Policy on Returns

I hate it. I think companies are a lot of companies are engaging in brand self-destruction (for example, Hershey's bringing out a "Hershey"-branded candy bar with no chocolate in it). At the moment, Lands' End's policy remains "Guaranteed. Period," while Eddie Bauer is still has an "unconditional li...
by nisiprius
Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:08 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Help new boglehead understand expense ratios
Replies: 11
Views: 772

Re: Help new boglehead understand expense ratios

I am trying to understand which fund did better over the past 10 years. According to a comparison of the funds (done from my Schwab account) $10,000 invested 10 years ago in EKJAX would now be worth $30,169 while that same amount in VTSAX would be $25,863. Was EKJAX $4,300 better or does this not t...
by nisiprius
Sun Feb 11, 2018 8:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fidelity halts investor purchases of three VIX-focused ETFs
Replies: 12
Views: 1283

Re: Fidelity halts investor purchases of three VIX-focused ETFs

I am grateful to XIV for one thing.

I thought Nassim Nicholas Taleb's chart about the Thanksgiving turkey was just a joke.

Image

It came true.

Image
by nisiprius
Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Arguments against rising equity glide path?
Replies: 40
Views: 2374

Re: Arguments against rising equity glide path?

I think glide paths are reasonable. I also think the main reason they came into being has very little to do with theory or optimization. The problem it was intended to solve is HR's problem: what to tell people about their 401(k). "Use the fund that matches your retirement year" ain't half bad, and ...