Search found 37206 matches

by nisiprius
Mon Jan 14, 2008 7:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Key difference between TIPS & I-Bonds
Replies: 23
Views: 4866

strafe wrote:For a tax deferred account, I prefer TIPS because the real interest rate is set at auction.
That's good, because you can't hold I bonds in a tax deferred account... or, at least, some years ago I wanted to and was unable to find any way to do it.
by nisiprius
Mon Jan 14, 2008 7:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Could the government change their minds?
Replies: 41
Views: 6805

Sure they could. Large organizations break promises all the time. (Private corporations have been breaking promises to retirees about the terms of their pensions and health insurance, for example). But given the number of people with Roth IRAs it would be a politically dangerous move. If it were to ...
by nisiprius
Mon Jan 14, 2008 5:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Grass Makes Better Ethanol than Corn Does
Replies: 9
Views: 2212

Can it really be true that none of the vast oceans of ethanol now being manufacturered are being illegally repurposed to beverage use?
by nisiprius
Mon Jan 14, 2008 5:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Key difference between TIPS & I-Bonds
Replies: 23
Views: 4866

nisiprius TIPS in fact do offer protection against deflation. They will always provide the stated real return OR HIGHER if held to maturity. Say you buy a TIPS at par with 2% real rate and you have deflation of 5% a year. if hold to maturity the real return will be 7% and the only tax due will be o...
by nisiprius
Mon Jan 14, 2008 5:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: what financial advice or sayings drive you nuts?
Replies: 65
Views: 11692

Here is a good one often told by active managers: "Index funds are dangerous." It sometimes seems to me that the vast majority of the statements I've read saying you that something is "risky" or "dangerous" or "leaves you vulnerable" are, in fact, dishonest. They're intended to shake your faith in ...
by nisiprius
Mon Jan 14, 2008 4:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: what financial advice or sayings drive you nuts?
Replies: 65
Views: 11692

Sunny wrote:The first is seemingly contradictory advice...
"Cut your losses and let your profits run."

"Buy low, sell high."
by nisiprius
Mon Jan 14, 2008 2:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Key difference between TIPS & I-Bonds
Replies: 23
Views: 4866

Oh, TIPS pay interest twice a year and thus generate a useful income stream. If you don't really want that income but you want the real value of your TIPS holds to grow, you need to reinvest that interest in more TIPS. I bonds do not. They pay nothing until you redeem them, then you get all the accu...
by nisiprius
Mon Jan 14, 2008 10:53 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: S&P vs Total Market
Replies: 12
Views: 2977

Re: Total Market Index or S&P 500 Index fund?

Hi Mehitabel: Take the experienced advice of the man who started both these index funds. John Bogle's favorite fund is Total Stock Market Index Fund. Enough said. Best wishes. Taylor Actually, back when VFINX was called Vanguard Index Trust, soon after I first bought it, Vanguard offered an index f...
by nisiprius
Mon Jan 14, 2008 9:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Three coins in the fountain -picker!
Replies: 6
Views: 1991

Through the rip-puls how they shine

I'd never take coins from a fountain, because I regard them as the legitimate property of whomever takes care of or owns the fountain. These coins aren't lost or, in my view abandoned. They've been deliberately thrown there by someone. It's a three-party transaction in which the legitimate parties a...
by nisiprius
Mon Jan 14, 2008 7:55 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Total Stock Index vs. Asset Class Indexes
Replies: 11
Views: 2693

Re: Total Stock Index vs. Asset Class Indexes

But you should also have some bonds in that portfolio. 100% stocks sounds great on paper but most investors can't handle the real-world experience. Who says it even sounds great on paper? What, exactly, are the mainstream investment books recommend 100% equities? Burton Malkiel, in A Random Walk Do...
by nisiprius
Sun Jan 13, 2008 8:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: what financial advice or sayings drive you nuts?
Replies: 65
Views: 11692

"...but if you had done that, then you would have missed out on the umpteen percent gains that occurred when..."

(Right. And people who don't play the lottery never win the lottery, either).
by nisiprius
Sun Jan 13, 2008 8:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: what financial advice or sayings drive you nuts?
Replies: 65
Views: 11692

Various dishonest ways to boost something more risky and knock something less risky.

"Sure, stocks have their risks, but you need to consider all kinds of risks, such as the risk that you may fail to achieve your financial goals."
by nisiprius
Sun Jan 13, 2008 7:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What Book Are YOU Currently Reading?
Replies: 566
Views: 233837

The Annotated Wizard of Oz , ed. Michael Patrick Hearn. Having been selected for the role of the Tin Man in an upcoming church production of The Wizard of Oz --(I'm not a member of that church but a neighbor is)--I'm decided to treat myself to a copy of that book, which I've been meaning to get for...
by nisiprius
Sun Jan 13, 2008 7:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What Book Are YOU Currently Reading?
Replies: 566
Views: 233837

Christine_NM wrote:for nisiprius -
Here's that spot in Tom Jones. (No copyright.)
Not yet, anyway.
I searched the text on Project Gutenberg for "reader".
So did I.
Fielding is very solicitous of his dear readers:
Indeed.

I gave up after glancing at the first forty or so. Thank you so much for persevering.
by nisiprius
Sun Jan 13, 2008 6:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Key difference between TIPS & I-Bonds
Replies: 23
Views: 4866

I bonds have no fixed maturity date. (There is a 3-month's-interest penalty if you redeem them in less than five years, and they stop earning interest in thirty years, which is called their maturity). If you buy a TIPS, it has a fixed maturity rate of 5, 10, or 20 years. If you wait to maturity it ...
by nisiprius
Sun Jan 13, 2008 12:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: S&P vs Total Market
Replies: 12
Views: 2977

Instead of theorizing, go to the Vanguard website, research funds, find Vanguard Total Stock Market, click on the Performance tab, and overlay the hypothetical-growth-of-$10,000 curves for it and Vanguard Index 500 for the last ten years. What I get from this exercise is that whether to choose VTSMX...
by nisiprius
Sun Jan 13, 2008 10:19 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [poll]Would you buy Vanguard Global Total Market Index Fund?
Replies: 17
Views: 3835

It's not for me. Your mileage may vary. I'm just not convinced about as having a high a percentage of international as "total global" would imply. I think people are overinterested in international investing due a) the ease with ordinary investors can now buy international funds, and b) recency effe...
by nisiprius
Sat Jan 12, 2008 10:37 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Stay at Fidelity vs Move to Vanguard??
Replies: 66
Views: 21070

Re: Fidelity vs Vanguard

Oh, another thing I like better about Fidelity. Their website lets you superimpose "hypothetical growth of $10,000" curves for funds from any family, whereas Vanguard only lets you compare different Vanguard funds. A very interesting exercise. When you compare FSTMX and VTSMX (total stock market), t...
by nisiprius
Sat Jan 12, 2008 11:17 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Stay at Fidelity vs Move to Vanguard??
Replies: 66
Views: 21070

I am in the processing of consolidating my portfolio and have been weeding out my active funds over the past few months. I understand the weeding out process, but is there a real need to consolidate? I have approximately the same amounts dollar-wise at both Fidelity and Vanguard. I do have to admit...
by nisiprius
Sat Jan 12, 2008 7:37 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Stay at Fidelity vs Move to Vanguard??
Replies: 66
Views: 21070

I've been brooding about similar things. I used to have three big roughly equal accounts at TIAA-CREF (403(b)), Vanguard (taxable, rollover IRA, and Roth IRA) and Fidelity (401(k)) I'm trying to clean up and consolidate. It's not easy when you think all three places are very good! I moved all my mov...
by nisiprius
Fri Jan 11, 2008 2:19 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Advice Needed... 25% of portfolio in t-bills... bonds?
Replies: 3
Views: 1089

Re: Advice Needed... 25% of portfolio in t-bills... bonds?

I need a plan on what to do with 25% of my fixed income assets. It is a sizable amount of money and is in 3 month and 6 month t bills. I assume I need to be in bonds but... - which funds? - which percentage mix? - timing... should I convert all t bills now as they come up for renewal? So am looking...
by nisiprius
Fri Jan 11, 2008 1:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What if this were 1980?
Replies: 18
Views: 3361

Re: What if this were 1980?

Someone recently posted a link to a very, very interesting article by William Bernstein entitled Only Two Centuries of Data . Read it... he concludes: With hindsight we can see that the 5% stock-bond return gap in the 20th century was the result of a totally unexpected inflationary burst produced by...
by nisiprius
Fri Jan 11, 2008 11:13 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Good time to buy Gold for investment and where to buy?
Replies: 20
Views: 4249

There's a lot of ideological baggage surrounding gold. Be sure you're aware of it and that you share that ideology. Here's what Andrew Tobias says about it in The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need : Gold itself pays no interest and costs money to insure. It is a hedge against inflation, all rig...
by nisiprius
Fri Jan 11, 2008 11:04 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Amazing Conversation with Broker Friend
Replies: 11
Views: 3552

Re: Amazing Conversation with Broker Friend

I replied that "The relevant question with stock picking is: what do you know that the market doesn't already know? Unless you have insider info, on which it is illegal to act, the answer will always, for the rest of your career, be 'Nothing.'" 10 minutes later he replied "Hmm...never thought of th...
by nisiprius
Fri Jan 11, 2008 11:01 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Inflation on the horizon...?
Replies: 10
Views: 2355

Re: Inflation on the horizon...?

If significant inflation is on the horizon for 2008, what shifts should be made in a portfolio to defend against it? Buy more TIPS? I suspect this has occurred to others, which is probably why the TIPS I bought this week have that sucky yield (1.625% coupon, yield 1.654%) If you want to "defend" ag...
by nisiprius
Fri Jan 11, 2008 6:52 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: WSJ article on TIPS on 1/9
Replies: 6
Views: 2368

Underperform? Outperform? What do people think TIPS are for ? I buy TIPS for risk minimization. I buy them because I know in advance exactly how they will perform. There may be other investments that will do better or worse but I don't know in advance which they will be, and, frankly, I doubt that t...
by nisiprius
Thu Jan 10, 2008 3:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What Book Are YOU Currently Reading?
Replies: 566
Views: 233837

The General's Daughter, by Nelson DeMille
by nisiprius
Thu Jan 10, 2008 11:06 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Any positive news out there
Replies: 7
Views: 1900

http://img231.imageshack.us/img231/3562/djiadl9.th.jpg 1) If I look at the Dow from a distance and squint, I don't see any problem. At least, not yet. 2) The stock market is acting just about the way it's supposed to, and just about the way I expect it to, so what's the big deal? Bonds seem to be d...
by nisiprius
Thu Jan 10, 2008 6:09 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What percent international?
Replies: 50
Views: 11257

I doubt that international matters!

It seems to me that the wide range of "conventional-wisdom" recommendations on international percentage shows that in fact, it doesn't matter much how much you have. If international had a long, consistent track record of being significantly uncorrelated with U. S. stocks, then modern portfolio theo...
by nisiprius
Wed Jan 09, 2008 10:47 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Your _mechanics_ for systematic withdrawal from a portfolio?
Replies: 5
Views: 1768

Your _mechanics_ for systematic withdrawal from a portfolio?

Those of you who are taking systematic withdrawals from a portfolio, hopefully at a safe withdrawal rate... but nevertheless drawing down assets, not just taking the income... ...what are the mechanics by which you do it? I don't think I'm unique in having a dogs'-breakfast of accounts... currently ...
by nisiprius
Wed Jan 09, 2008 6:58 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Transfer TIPS from Vanguard to Fidelity?
Replies: 4
Views: 1459

nisiprius, Please post the results of your investigation when they become available. I have an opposite situation. I have an IRA at Fidelity (a roll-over from an old 401(k)) and I bought TIPS at an auction through Fidelity. I was thinking about eventually consolidating my money at Vanguard and was ...
by nisiprius
Tue Jan 08, 2008 4:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Transfer TIPS from Vanguard to Fidelity?
Replies: 4
Views: 1459

Transfer TIPS from Vanguard to Fidelity?

I'm considering transferring my TIPS holdings from Vanguard to Fidelity, mostly because Fidelity charges no fees for selling TIPS on the secondary market market (for online trades). Neither Vanguard nor Fidelity charge a fee for buying TIPS at auction online, but Vanguard charges a minimum of $40 fo...
by nisiprius
Tue Jan 08, 2008 2:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Discussion on Risk - Beyond Short Term Volatility
Replies: 12
Views: 3070

A homely example of a distribution with a "fat tail&quo

I realized the other night that there is a very simple, familiar example of a variable that has "fat tails" or is subject to "black swan" events. It's the duration of my commute home. I haven't kept records, but since it is the sum of many separate small legs of the a trip, each of which has somewha...
by nisiprius
Tue Jan 08, 2008 10:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Poll - Do you read fund reports?
Replies: 7
Views: 1696

Some news organization should analyze them!

I do look at them, impulsively and capriciously. I like to keep an eye on whether the stuff in the fund is the sort of stuff I'd expect the fund to have, based on its name, for example. The problem is that, as with corporation annual reports, they appears to be deliberately written to be bland and o...
by nisiprius
Tue Jan 08, 2008 6:04 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Who beats the market average?
Replies: 40
Views: 8879

I believe it is still debated as to whether anyone ever beats the market except as a result of pure chance. Chance is certainly enough to explain a great deal of what is observed. About half of all active funds will outperform the market in any one year, about a quarter will outperform it two years ...
by nisiprius
Mon Jan 07, 2008 8:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Looking for a New Mutual Fund at Fidelity
Replies: 3
Views: 1195

Re: Looking for a New Mutual Fund at Fidelity

nugbuster wrote:Currently I’m invested in Fidelity Blue Chip Value Fund (FBCVX); I want to keep my money at fidelity but I would like to try a different, better performing fund.
Can you articulate your reason for wanting to try a "different, better performing fund?"
by nisiprius
Mon Jan 07, 2008 8:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: SWR vs. Inflation Indexed Annuity
Replies: 3
Views: 1031

("Annuity" here means "single premium immediate annuity," SPIA, also called an "immediate income annuity," IIA). You absolutely cannot assume that an annuity payout equates to a safe rate of withdrawal from a portfolio. If it did, then, obviously, there would be no rational reason for anyone to buy ...
by nisiprius
Mon Jan 07, 2008 10:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is it just me? Warning (Political in nature)
Replies: 9
Views: 3502

The birth of a baby is always a blessed event that always deserves to be celebrated. As Carl Sandburg wrote A baby is God's opinion that life should go on. The future of that baby and that mother will be better if her friends and family recognize it as the marvelous miracle that it is. Don't worry, ...
by nisiprius
Mon Jan 07, 2008 9:53 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Discussion on Risk - Beyond Short Term Volatility
Replies: 12
Views: 3070

Here's my (tendentious!) question on "risk."

The risk of equities is often presented as if it were relatively unimportant for a long-term buy-and-hold investor. That is, the risk is that returns are likely to be high and certain to be positive ; the worst-case scenario is that they might not be much better than bonds. The risk is the uncertain...
by nisiprius
Sun Jan 06, 2008 6:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New-style annuity offers guaranteed income, access
Replies: 8
Views: 1866

...I am thinking about the "longevity insurance" products. In pure form, you pay at age 65, say, and receive nothing if you don't live until age 85. In my mind, it is the same kind of bet as an immediate annuity... If you were to invest the premium from 65 to 85 and buy an immediate annuity at 85, ...
by nisiprius
Sun Jan 06, 2008 5:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I think Vanguard has better service than Fidelity
Replies: 26
Views: 5520

I have also found Vanguard to be the most candid of any fund company I've ever dealt with. If they've screwed up in their management of a fund, they'll tell you in their annual report, along with what they intend to do to fix it. Oh how rare that is! I'll be very, very interested to see what Fideli...
by nisiprius
Sun Jan 06, 2008 5:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: These CD Rates are INSANE!!! Whats the catch?
Replies: 30
Views: 5713

Because we are located in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, a tax-free jurisdiction, the income derived from deposits is not taxable. Nonsense. Of course it is taxable. It is entered on Schedule B, Part III, "Foreign Accounts and Trusts," or at least it was last year. If they were sleazy but minimall...
by nisiprius
Sun Jan 06, 2008 4:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Short Term Fees/Limitations on Vanguard Index Funds
Replies: 6
Views: 1752

...but you will be prohibited from switching BACK to large-cap value online, for 60 days. Theoretically you could still switch back to it by phone or mail. Given valuations, though, I wouldn't make the switch anyway. :wink: I don't think you can do it by phone. The rules say you can do it by mail. ...
by nisiprius
Sun Jan 06, 2008 2:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New-style annuity offers guaranteed income, access
Replies: 8
Views: 1866

Re: New-style annuity offers guaranteed income, access

A new kid on the annuity block is one that offers "guaranteed lifetime income"; it's aimed at older boomers and younger seniors. With these annuities, your account is invested in a stock and bond portfolio managed by the annuity company. The annuities promise a guaranteed lifetime income stream wit...
by nisiprius
Sun Jan 06, 2008 11:03 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: citigroup - what to do . . .
Replies: 57
Views: 11276

Just don't make the mistake of thinking "it can't go lower." I've known at least three people who lost very substantial chunks of money... in one case, basically their entire retirement savings... in company stock. In the later case, when he received the stock, it was at $40 a share. By the time it ...
by nisiprius
Sun Jan 06, 2008 10:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Great Debaters - Great Movie, but
Replies: 13
Views: 2680

...I think there's quite a bit of race pimping in movies these days... What's "race pimping"? It sure sounds bad.----Jim It's not like the good old days... when movie bathrooms had no toilets, married couples selpt in twin beds, and Cary Grant was able to escape from the bad guys in North By Northw...
by nisiprius
Sun Jan 06, 2008 9:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Great Debaters - Great Movie, but
Replies: 13
Views: 2680

Re: The Great Debaters - Great Movie, but

We saw the Great Debaters this evening and completely enjoyed the movie. In the movie the debate team from Wiley College, a small black college in Texas develops a outstanding debate team the eventually debates at Harvard University and wins. The only problem is that in real life Wiley never debate...
by nisiprius
Sun Jan 06, 2008 7:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Investing" in a front load washer
Replies: 53
Views: 12559

Why buy a front-load washer when there are so many no-load washers to choose from?

Sorry, sorry :wink:
by nisiprius
Sat Jan 05, 2008 11:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: International didn't help you much in 2000,2001,2002,2008
Replies: 74
Views: 21152

I think the reason I am reluctant to invest more than about 1/4 of my equities allocation in international stocks is that I don't invest in stuff I don't understand, and in some vague, hazy, poorly-thought-out way I have a gut feeling that I don't understand European, let alone Asian companies as we...
by nisiprius
Sat Jan 05, 2008 9:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How "total" is Vanguard Total Stock Market Index?
Replies: 6
Views: 2293

The MSCI US Broad Market Index extends to 3775 stocks. That is about the extent of the liquid US stock market. The Vanguard Total Stock Market (VTSMX) currently holds 3632 of those. Does that mean that in the United States, the number of mutual funds is larger than the number of major-exchange-trad...