Search found 1232 matches

by TradingPlaces
Wed Jan 06, 2016 11:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: VWO: what a terrible performance!!
Replies: 79
Views: 11731

Re: VWO: what a terrible performance!!

I honestly don't see how VWO can have any reasonable performance, or add to any portfolio, in the next few years. My argument is: VWO is junk. Is it "junk", or does it merely not have any place in a portfolio for "the next few years"? If it was really junk, I would think timing and current valuatio...
by TradingPlaces
Wed Jan 06, 2016 10:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: VWO: what a terrible performance!!
Replies: 79
Views: 11731

Re: VWO: what a terrible performance!!

I w There are possibly 3 good economies in that list: India, South Africa, and Mexico, but they comprise a total of 27%. I honestly don't see how VWO can have any reasonable performance, or add to any portfolio, in the next few years. Of those 3, I would not put South Africa in the safe camp: - loo...
by TradingPlaces
Tue Jan 05, 2016 10:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How is Costco's gas so cheap? (15% cheaper in my area)
Replies: 59
Views: 11107

Re: How is Costco's gas so cheap? (15% cheaper in my area)

I think Coscto gas is well priced, but it is by no means cheap. Furthermore, Costco might have a price that's substantially cheaper than nearby ones, or a price that is well within those of the nearby ones. I have seen a day when costco has a 20-25cents advantage, and there was a large line at costs...
by TradingPlaces
Tue Jan 05, 2016 10:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit scores down without any clues
Replies: 28
Views: 2754

Re: Credit scores down without any clues

Define: down. Also, specify what method are you using to check the score.
by TradingPlaces
Tue Jan 05, 2016 10:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Stunning Increase In Homeowner's Ins Premium
Replies: 27
Views: 6056

Re: Stunning Increase In Homeowner's Ins Premium

I'm with the Hartford presently (switched to them 2 years ago from State Farm). Last year's Hartford insurance premium was $1043. This year they are quoting me $1650 (58% increase). Nothing has changed in my coverage, no claims, nothing. I called and the nice agent said that she could see no reason...
by TradingPlaces
Tue Jan 05, 2016 10:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Russell 3000 Index down 1.4% today - error?
Replies: 3
Views: 687

Re: Russell 3000 Index down 1.4% today - error?

I have a quite simple explanation.

Instead of using Jan-03-2016 price in the denominator, they are using Dec-31-2015 price in the denominator.

Then, they compute a simple return:

1189.23 / 1206.10 - 1 = 1.3987%, or if rounded, 1.40%.

This is just a mistake.

The closing price of Jan-05 is correct.
by TradingPlaces
Tue Jan 05, 2016 10:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Football and Index Funds
Replies: 7
Views: 1025

Re: Football and Index Funds

Off the top of my head, Bill Belichick is probably the most successful coach in recent history. He's won 223 of 336 games: 66% win rate. Not bad in a zero sum game. Mind you, he apparently cheated at least once. Vince Lombardi, namesake of the superbowl trophy, won 96 of 136: 70.5%. (I realize this...
by TradingPlaces
Tue Jan 05, 2016 10:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Football and Index Funds
Replies: 7
Views: 1025

Re: Football and Index Funds

I think the analogy is that if you let your team play without coaches, there is an even chance that it will win 50% of their games ;-) That is entirely incorrect. The correct analogy is this: - if you let your team play with an AVERAGE coach, then EVERYTHING ELSE BEING EQUAL, your team will have a ...
by TradingPlaces
Tue Jan 05, 2016 10:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Football and Index Funds
Replies: 7
Views: 1025

Re: Football and Index Funds

A few things: - 0.531 is great, but not fantastic. E.g., B.Belichick has 0.45 with Clev and 0.73 with NE and 0.666 total, B.Cowher has .623, T.Dungy has 0.556 with TambaBay, 0.759 with Indianapolis, and 0.668 total. - there are a lot of mechanisms in the NFL to push teams towards parity: draft order...
by TradingPlaces
Tue Jan 05, 2016 9:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: VWO: what a terrible performance!!
Replies: 79
Views: 11731

Re: VWO: what a terrible performance!!

I would argue that VWO is not diversified enough. It is a primarily a China / Southeast Asian index. China is trading at very high PEs, so I don't understand how VWO has a PE of 12. I would not be surprized if China index drops another 30-40% to have valuation that's in line with the rest of the wor...
by TradingPlaces
Mon Dec 28, 2015 11:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying used car from dealer, tell me your strategy
Replies: 36
Views: 5440

Re: Buying used car from dealer, tell me your strategy

2013 is close enough to new. thus, given your objectives: - use as a commuter, - get a good price. 2013 might not be a good deal, overall. you might look for a 10-year old, reliable, fuel efficient model, and drive the heck out of that. I think kelley blue book can be darn near useless, because it i...
by TradingPlaces
Mon Dec 28, 2015 1:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 5%&up return and 0 risk tolerance, are there options?
Replies: 65
Views: 5191

Re: 5%&up return and 0 risk tolerance, are there options?

But there is another very real risk when investing in Belorussian-former-SSSR FDIC term deposits. The risk is that you might just not get your money back, say, for 7 years. There are no precedences how this insurance works, and there is no explicit guarantee that you get the money in what you might ...
by TradingPlaces
Mon Dec 28, 2015 1:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 5%&up return and 0 risk tolerance, are there options?
Replies: 65
Views: 5191

Re: 5%&up return and 0 risk tolerance, are there options?

Some 401k/403b plans offer stable value funds with decent yields, so this is something to look at. I have access to just such a stable value fund, and the return is updated annually, but currently yielding just over 5%. As others have already indicated: -This is a highly uncommon yield, with very f...
by TradingPlaces
Mon Dec 28, 2015 1:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 5%&up return and 0 risk tolerance, are there options?
Replies: 65
Views: 5191

Re: 5%&up return and 0 risk tolerance, are there options?

And lastly, for other examples of risk-free, let me bring you this example. In 2008, early spring, someone who is, let's just say a senior person to me (think family member, a supervisor, someone with authority, or whatever), asks me what I think of the "broker's suggestion" (TD Ameritrade) to inves...
by TradingPlaces
Mon Dec 28, 2015 1:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 5%&up return and 0 risk tolerance, are there options?
Replies: 65
Views: 5191

Re: 5%&up return and 0 risk tolerance, are there options?

I would consider ONLY one type of asset as risk-free and generally invesetable: - US Government 3 month T-bill. Everything else is either not risk free, or is not investable. For not investable assets, see plenty of examples in this thread. For the 3-mo T-bill yield / rate, you can see this: https:/...
by TradingPlaces
Mon Dec 28, 2015 12:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dress shirts and button-down shirts - budget and quality overview
Replies: 40
Views: 7052

Re: Dress shirts and button-down shirts - budget and quality overview

Alfani, Van Heusen Geoffrey Beene I used to love these brands, and used to love going to the outlets to score some at lower prices. However, over many years of wearing shirts, I have decided that the above brands are crap. I would no longer wear them even if someone paid me to wear. For strictly bus...
by TradingPlaces
Sun Dec 27, 2015 10:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I Negotiate Salary Now?
Replies: 39
Views: 4719

Re: Should I Negotiate Salary Now?

Furthermore, as a matter of personal policy, never teach other people what you know, unless you are compensated for it, and generously. E.g., if two new young, hungry grads come in, it is not your job to teach them, unless: - you have specific and very explicit incentives built to do so, AND - thei...
by TradingPlaces
Sun Dec 27, 2015 10:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 5%&up return and 0 risk tolerance, are there options?
Replies: 65
Views: 5191

Re: 5%&up return and 0 risk tolerance, are there options?

My comment is absolutely serious. If you can come up with zero risk, 5% return, by simply leveraging at 2x, you can get a 10% return. Am I missing sonething, or would that require that you can borrow at 0% interest? -jalbert I was wondering the same thing. Ah, the details. How I love the details. T...
by TradingPlaces
Sun Dec 27, 2015 2:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 5%&up return and 0 risk tolerance, are there options?
Replies: 65
Views: 5191

Re: 5%&up return and 0 risk tolerance, are there options?

30 year treasures if held to maturity get you to 3% or so. Of course their is inflation risk. My opinion is that a 30-year treasury as risky if not more than the US total stock index. Of course, there are many sources of risk: - price risk, - principal risk. Technical measure of risk is price (or r...
by TradingPlaces
Sun Dec 27, 2015 2:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 5%&up return and 0 risk tolerance, are there options?
Replies: 65
Views: 5191

Re: 5%&up return and 0 risk tolerance, are there options?

My comment is absolutely serious. If you can come up with zero risk, 5% return, by simply leveraging at 2x, you can get a 10% return. By induction, this can be taken to quite far, eventually generating a return of 20, 30, 40%, with zero risk. Thus, you should be able to conclude that you can not mak...
by TradingPlaces
Sun Dec 27, 2015 2:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 5%&up return and 0 risk tolerance, are there options?
Replies: 65
Views: 5191

5%&up return and 0 risk tolerance, are there options?

Oh, yea, gimme some of that too.

Why stop at 5%? Why not ask 10%?

After all, if you can produce a 5% return at zero risk, you can simply leverage 2x, and get 10% return. Easy-peasy.
by TradingPlaces
Sun Dec 27, 2015 2:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I Negotiate Salary Now?
Replies: 39
Views: 4719

Re: Should I Negotiate Salary Now?

I would say that if you are in a position where what you do can be 'taught' over a 3-6 month period or even a year then you are defending a weak fortress. Just something to think about. This is one reason why older technical people get phased out. For all their vaunted claims about 'experience' - t...
by TradingPlaces
Sun Dec 27, 2015 12:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I Negotiate Salary Now?
Replies: 39
Views: 4719

Re: Should I Negotiate Salary Now?

Here are my thoughts: - are you Developer X, that is, someone who produces 10 times the results of an average developer? - are you far better than the $170/180K earning folks? If the answers to the above are resound yes, then you are severely underpaid. If not, then you have to proceed with caution....
by TradingPlaces
Sat Dec 26, 2015 6:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is your savings rate?
Replies: 146
Views: 19491

Re: What is your savings rate?

We really need a framework on how to answer these type of questions.

The answers are so heterogeneous and people include so many different categories in savings, that they are incomparable.

Also, there is no consideration for taxes. For example, 40% of our gross income goes into taxes.
by TradingPlaces
Sat Dec 26, 2015 6:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Christmas Fail
Replies: 54
Views: 8562

Re: Christmas Fail

Per my usual tradition, I decided to boycott Christmas.

I will be buying my Christmas gifts the days after Christmas.
by TradingPlaces
Sat Dec 26, 2015 5:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Next credit card for a bonus?
Replies: 109
Views: 14960

Re: Next credit card for a bonus?

I'd like to avoid spending $3k on CitiBusiness only to find out that I am not eligible for a bonus. Do you know if Citi issues only personal cards without the bonus, or also business ones? (The FlyerTalk thread has 246 pages and reading all of them to get to the answer is a formidable task.) Victor...
by TradingPlaces
Sat Dec 26, 2015 4:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Decided to try timing the market. 100% short on 9/17/15
Replies: 361
Views: 62563

Re: Decided to try timing the market. 100% short on 9/17/15

- you should have your exit signal figured out already. That is: you should be able to describe, with 100 % precision, when you will exit the short trade, and if such condition occurs, you should be ready to execute it: loss or gain. Otherwise, you don't have a system, and you are just punting. The...
by TradingPlaces
Sat Dec 26, 2015 4:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Newbie: Investing in Cryptocurrency
Replies: 28
Views: 3731

Re: Newbie: Investing in Cryptocurrency

In my opinion, cryptocurrency is not an investment. It's speculation or gambling. What's the difference? Something is an investment if you can explain how it creates value and thus can be expected to be worth more in the future. If the only reason you think something will be worth more in future is...
by TradingPlaces
Fri Dec 25, 2015 10:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Uncomfortable gift situations
Replies: 27
Views: 3964

Re: Uncomfortable gift situations

Are you saying you got all those gifts?

Or is this a general, "Dear Abby" type post?

I generally tell people not to give me useless gifts, and if they really want to give a gift, I always take cash.
by TradingPlaces
Fri Dec 25, 2015 10:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Next credit card for a bonus?
Replies: 109
Views: 14960

Re: Next credit card for a bonus?

I'd like to avoid spending $3k on CitiBusiness only to find out that I am not eligible for a bonus. Do you know if Citi issues only personal cards without the bonus, or also business ones? (The FlyerTalk thread has 246 pages and reading all of them to get to the answer is a formidable task.) Victor...
by TradingPlaces
Fri Dec 25, 2015 10:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Next credit card for a bonus?
Replies: 109
Views: 14960

Re: Next credit card for a bonus?

According to Lucky, Citi Prestige, but not Citi Premier , points can be redeemed at 1.6 cents for AA flights. As I understand it , if for example, a flight is priced as "$400 or 25,000 points," and one does not have enough points, he could pay with 20,000 points AND $80. So far so good. But I am in...
by TradingPlaces
Fri Dec 25, 2015 10:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Next credit card for a bonus?
Replies: 109
Views: 14960

Re: Next credit card for a bonus?

Suggestions requested: We will have a Intl trip to Asia in summer, mostly through British Airways. Any preference of which card(s) I can apply and then use for this travel transaction? Friendly suggestion: when you want to travel for free, you don't fix the airline. Typically, the sweet spot redemp...
by TradingPlaces
Fri Dec 25, 2015 10:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Next credit card for a bonus?
Replies: 109
Views: 14960

Re: Next credit card for a bonus?

Interesting thoughts. Here are my comments: - open a credit card strategically, - look for best opportunities. What does that mean in practical terms? If you are collecting Chase UR points to convert them into United (which might or might not be the best option), then Chase United Explorer w/ 50K bo...
by TradingPlaces
Fri Dec 25, 2015 9:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Decided to try timing the market. 100% short on 9/17/15
Replies: 361
Views: 62563

Re: Decided to try timing the market. 100% short on 9/17/15

Never EVER listen to so called "experts" If they were experts, they wouldn't be shilling their useless advice, they'd be retired. This is a backtested trading system that does not enrich "experts" and their bloated fees. Great thought: never listen to experts who are dishing out advice, for free or...
by TradingPlaces
Sat Nov 21, 2015 8:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: High Earner Careers?
Replies: 254
Views: 37446

Re: High Earner Careers?

Everybody should do a Venn diagram composed of what they love doing, what they are good at doing and what pays enough to allow a decent living standard. Sadly, as best I can tell there is no three way intersection on that diagram. Maybe. The key is to NOT HOPE that there is intersection. The key is...
by TradingPlaces
Tue Nov 17, 2015 11:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice on salary negotiation - Engineering
Replies: 22
Views: 2649

Re: Advice on salary negotiation - Engineering

Not sure if this is helpful or not but here are some real life numbers. I'm an engineer and salary ranges are available on our company intranet. My manager makes ~44% more than I do. I'm sure he gets a much larger bonus as well. My wife (in a completely different industry) was just recruited to a m...
by TradingPlaces
Tue Nov 17, 2015 10:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: High Earner Careers?
Replies: 254
Views: 37446

Re: High Earner Careers?

Ya...the 'tons of people making 300k+' thing in tech is very overblown and bubbliciously California-centric. I am consulting for a fortune 500 firm (financial services with heavy tech use) with 10B+ in revenue and they have 7 people making over 300k total comp in IT. A couple of those are making a ...
by TradingPlaces
Sat Nov 14, 2015 3:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Shady behavior by Fidelity...sneaking sector funds into target date funds.
Replies: 35
Views: 4500

Re: Shady behavior by Fidelity...sneaking sector funds into target date funds.

I don't mean to imply that what Fidelity is doing is illegal. However, I think they have their own interests, rather than the interests of investors, in mind. This is a long established pattern by Cheatdelity ... err Fidelity. Also, in the past, threads along these lines have been authored, discuss...
by TradingPlaces
Sat Nov 14, 2015 3:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: High Earner Careers?
Replies: 254
Views: 37446

Re: High Earner Careers?

Ya...the 'tons of people making 300k+' thing in tech is very overblown and bubbliciously California-centric. I am consulting for a fortune 500 firm (financial services with heavy tech use) with 10B+ in revenue and they have 7 people making over 300k total comp in IT. A couple of those are making a ...
by TradingPlaces
Sat Nov 14, 2015 3:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: [How long does is take for 401K payments to show up?]
Replies: 74
Views: 13823

Re: 401K Balance is ZERO!

Don't worry yet, but I would definitely check on it if I were you. There's a timeline of what happens: HR person sets up the deduction to your paycheck Payday happens; the $200 is deducted from your paycheck and stays in the company's bank account The $200 is sent to the 401k plan The 401k recordke...
by TradingPlaces
Sat Nov 14, 2015 2:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Valuations and market timing, and the current CAPE 10
Replies: 88
Views: 11317

Re: Valuations and market timing, and the current CAPE 10

Larry, this was an excellent article. I am a very strong believer that Valuations matter and matter a whole lot. Investors will do well if they buy good stuff at reasonable prices and even better at a discount. But going beyond this and trying timing and tactical asset allocation just doesn't seem ...
by TradingPlaces
Sat Nov 14, 2015 12:42 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Valuations and market timing, and the current CAPE 10
Replies: 88
Views: 11317

Re: Valuations and market timing, and the current CAPE 10

Larry, this was an excellent article. I am a very strong believer that Valuations matter and matter a whole lot. Investors will do well if they buy good stuff at reasonable prices and even better at a discount. But going beyond this and trying timing and tactical asset allocation just doesn't seem ...
by TradingPlaces
Sat Nov 14, 2015 12:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 5/1 or 30 year or 15 year mortgage and use the difference to invest
Replies: 16
Views: 2051

Re: 5/1 or 30 year or 15 year mortgage and use the difference to invest

Debating refinance on 1.7 mln house with 750k mortgage. My and spouse age is 50 3.5% 30 year or 5/1 2.5% (max 7.5% , max 2 % per year increase after 5 years). 15 year is 2.75% but it forces repayment Have enough cushion to pay off anytime the only reason is to free up more money for investing. 5/1 ...
by TradingPlaces
Sat Nov 14, 2015 12:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: High Earner Careers?
Replies: 254
Views: 37446

Re: High Earner Careers?

Well I can't say too much, I would say but I did review the compensation of an approximately $12 billion dollar public company once, and found that approximately 15 of the 7,000 employees had over $300,000 of base compensation. They were all at the top of the organization chart. It was probably the...
by TradingPlaces
Sat Nov 14, 2015 12:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: High Earner Careers?
Replies: 254
Views: 37446

Re: High Earner Careers?

The fastest way to become a high earning, non-rich person in USA: - wall street. But I don't mean work for Brown Brother Harriman doing god knows what. I mean look for fields that are on the cutting edge of technology and finance. Best folks going to Wall Street get to $1m in 5 years or less, - tech...
by TradingPlaces
Sat Nov 14, 2015 12:22 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: My friend is hoarding cash. What do you say?
Replies: 78
Views: 11904

Re: My friend is hoarding cash. What do you say?

Hi all and thanks in advance. A life-long friend relocated to Australia recently visited. We had a blast drinking beer and spending time in Boston. :beer Over one of our many talks, he stated that he is taking money out and stashing cash in his house. He believes that the whole house of cards is go...
by TradingPlaces
Sat Nov 14, 2015 12:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Genetic Testing for Job Application
Replies: 29
Views: 4509

Re: Genetic Testing for Job Application

They can technically extract genetic information from that urine test that most people do to test for drugs. I think it is overkill, considering that most people working for said companies are probably de facto pot-heads. In bulge bracket banks, they do all kinds of drug testing, but a lot of the tr...
by TradingPlaces
Sat Nov 14, 2015 12:14 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Money illusion: Why bonds? See S&P 500 & 10y T-bond returns, 1871-2015
Replies: 58
Views: 9277

Re: Money illusion: Why bonds? See S&P 500 & 10y T-bond returns, 1871-2015

Good thread, thanks. I would be great to have an IR column: Mean / Sd. You must have some error in your SD computation. There is no way a 100% equity portfolio has such a low SD. Yes way. That is the standard deviation of 20y real returns . N-year returns will generally be 1/sqrt(N) times the annua...