Search found 191 matches

by wintermute
Sat Mar 26, 2011 12:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Article: 401K auto-enrollment savings rates too low
Replies: 8
Views: 1511

Unless you know what those people are doing with the rest of their money and what their income is, you can't say that their 401k rate is too low. For example, I only contrib 4% (to get 1% match), then I max my roth at the beginning of every year.
by wintermute
Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why Small-Cap Value rather than Growth or Index?
Replies: 33
Views: 7734

It seems to me the real question is, what holding periods do the markets value? If value (or small value)'s wavelength (price minus geometric return, leaving mean variance only) is longer than the market cares to hold, but shorter than yours, you can earn the premium. I wonder if the premium is inta...
by wintermute
Mon Mar 21, 2011 11:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Where Are the Ultra-Short Bond Funds?
Replies: 27
Views: 4700

Looks like Penfed offers goods rates on IRA cd's. Why bother with ST bonds or MM, or anything inbetween? Term Dividend Rate APY 1-Year 0.990% 1.00% 2-Year 1.240% 1.25% 3-Year 1.490% 1.50% 4-Year 1.980% 2.00% 5-Year 2.230% 2.25% 7-Year 2.720% 2.75% I don't know off hand if Penfed guarantees early wit...
by wintermute
Mon Mar 21, 2011 10:11 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How Indexers are Exploited by Hedge Funds
Replies: 48
Views: 7321

Re: How Indexers are Exploited by Hedge Funds

My friend suggested that the best way to prevent yourself from being a victim of this scam is not to invest in index funds that track indexes based on market capitalization weighting but to instead judge stocks by dividend yield, i.e. use fundamental indexing rather than market cap indexing. What's...
by wintermute
Sun Mar 20, 2011 5:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Guesstimation of future declines in bond prices
Replies: 26
Views: 4555

It's interesting that ST index isn't between ST treasury and ST corp. That seems to imply that agency bonds would take a bigger hit than treasuries (guessing ST index's holdings). The chart also seems to indicate credit spread compression would be much more pronounce at the long end. That's very int...
by wintermute
Mon Mar 14, 2011 10:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Japan - really bad day in stock market
Replies: 76
Views: 10646

marstaton4 wrote:I've got some cash sitting idle right now, tomorrow looks tempting to purchase some VPL. I do hate playing the falling knife game.
Makes you ponder bands vs periodic rebalancing, and risk, doesn't it? :D
(It's only at 90% of my target alloc now, so I'll be rebalancing soon.)
by wintermute
Mon Mar 14, 2011 10:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Magnitude of Ally loyalty bonus
Replies: 8
Views: 2384

I just got .25%. I wish I had known about this, I'd have put most of my money in that one! :lol If you want to game it, open a $1 cd for 3 months, then send them an email asking to renew to 5 years and put the rest in. Even if you put the full amount in for 3 months, you come out ahead (vs. 1.2% in ...
by wintermute
Sun Mar 06, 2011 3:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where to put $40k in emergency funds?
Replies: 23
Views: 13246

Just keep it where it is. +1 CapOne is where most of my cash is. You have to go out to a year on cd's to get comparable interest. I-bonds, are at ~0% so they will not pace inflation (due to taxes). If you think the small risk is worth it, you could keep 4-6 months in savings and put the rest in a 5...
by wintermute
Fri Feb 25, 2011 1:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you buy "off-brand" gasoline?
Replies: 81
Views: 15799

I work in the industry and here's the deal: Base gas: At any one time, all the base gasoline in an area is the same. Non-rural areas change to low Reid vapor pressure (less volatile) gas in summer. There are some places that add cheaper (more volatile) butane to the left over gas from summer, but th...
by wintermute
Wed Feb 23, 2011 11:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TIPS ETF
Replies: 25
Views: 4282

According to morningstar, you only gain .04% yield for 2.26 more duration for LTPZ vs TIP.
by wintermute
Fri Feb 11, 2011 10:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Leverage with Vanguard Index Funds
Replies: 33
Views: 5477

The OP is suggesting he can do interest rate arbitrage, more or less. You borrow at one rate, then lend (buy bonds) at a higher rate, possibly at a different maturity and credit rating. It's possible on a small scale: eg, get a 0% car loan, put the car money you had in a CD. You just have to work ou...
by wintermute
Thu Feb 10, 2011 12:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ken Olsen, founder of DEC, dies
Replies: 33
Views: 3859

I still have an Alphaserver. 8) One of my favorite archs, even tho it's little endian. I've owned a few different alphas, my favorite a up2000 mobo with dual 833mhz 21264 cpu's. I wrote a couple patches for linux/alpha years ago.
by wintermute
Tue Feb 01, 2011 12:03 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Anyone like the new Wells Trade interface?
Replies: 115
Views: 14162

On the main accounts screen, the totals don't match what shows in my accounts' "holdings" screens and it's way after market close.
by wintermute
Wed Jan 26, 2011 12:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Morningstar-Forum Thread of Myths Makes Me Sad :[
Replies: 7
Views: 1744

Let them pay the cost of price discovery for us. 8)

It's amazing how everyone thinks they're above average at everything in life.
by wintermute
Wed Jan 26, 2011 12:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Netflix vs. Cable
Replies: 84
Views: 13428

We recently dumped Dish Network (long story) and installed a new HD OTA Antenna in the attic. The HD reception over the antenna is far better than anything over Dish or Cable. The antenna along with Netflix and TiVo costs me $22.99/month and is the greatest thing I've ever owned. I watch more tv no...
by wintermute
Tue Jan 18, 2011 11:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: small value premium time dependent?
Replies: 9
Views: 1196

Re: small value premium time dependent?

What are the counterarguments against this? Here's mine. Are you the same as the average dollar-weighted stock holder? You probably have more tax shelter so you can take more dividends and short term gains. Eg, a small, value, or reit fund (but don't forget you both pay trading costs). On the other...
by wintermute
Sun Jan 16, 2011 7:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Timber REITs are tax-efficient
Replies: 32
Views: 6275

Personally I think correlation chasing makes about as much sense as performance chasing. I bet a lot of market sectors have low correlations with the total market. If you pick a bunch of totally random stocks they probably will too.

but maybe I'm wrong. :)
by wintermute
Sat Jan 15, 2011 1:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Merriman- Keep Allocations the Same in Taxable & Tax Adv
Replies: 70
Views: 11357

I didn't see any mention of shared risk/return in this thread. Stocks held in taxable that are _not_ passed on share risk and return with the government. Ones that will be inherited, you retain the full risk/return, just like a Roth. However, that risk/return is asymmetric, which I don't ever seen m...
by wintermute
Fri Jan 14, 2011 5:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Grok's investing tip #1/10 Take your risk on the equity side
Replies: 113
Views: 31208

What about credit spread compression when rates rise? Any chance of that happening?
by wintermute
Thu Jan 13, 2011 12:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Tax advantages of ETFs Overhyped
Replies: 7
Views: 1727

Funds are better than ETF's when ER's are the same or close. See Rick Ferri's recent posts about stale ETF NAV's hiding the true spreads. ETF's don't have minimums, so smaller portfolios can use them to get the desired AA. If you have enough to get Admiral shares, do it.
by wintermute
Sat Jan 01, 2011 2:14 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: GORDO wins the 2010 Boglehead Contest!!!!
Replies: 32
Views: 5058

I would like to subscribe to your newsletter! Where will NFLX be in 12 days?
by wintermute
Fri Dec 24, 2010 5:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The new young investor: Shunning stocks
Replies: 30
Views: 4545

Here's my personal story, FWIW: I was 100% some sort of money market fund in an old 401k until I was 25, and about 80% until 27. In my 20s I saw my boss and others fretting over mutual funds and such and I decided it was a zero-sum suckers game. It made no sense to me that everyone thought they coul...
by wintermute
Sun Dec 19, 2010 11:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why do people say TIPS are less tax efficient than nominals?
Replies: 17
Views: 2493

If TIPS are a significant part of your assets, it's probably a good idea to try to keep them in your Roth. I've struggled over T-ira vs Roth placement (putting higher expected return assets in Roth vs making each account's assets equal).
by wintermute
Sun Dec 19, 2010 2:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why do midcaps seem to be missing from model portfolios?
Replies: 20
Views: 3143

Plug them into morningstar instant x-ray and balance so they match a total stock index like VTI.
by wintermute
Sun Dec 12, 2010 7:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Can a short-term bond fund lose money over a 1 year horizon?
Replies: 11
Views: 2395

A fund is a ladder that keeps rolling over. If you need the money in 1 year, you don't want it to still have a 1 year duration risk when that year is up. (And actually short term funds are about 2-3 years.) Use either a maturity/duration of a bond or CD that matches when you need the money, or use s...
by wintermute
Tue Dec 07, 2010 9:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does any Retiree buy TIPS bonds via Treasury Direct?
Replies: 11
Views: 2293

You can do both. Build a ladder and use a fund for ease of rebalancing or selling in case of emergency.
by wintermute
Sun Nov 28, 2010 11:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you tell your kids how much you're worth?
Replies: 45
Views: 6493

I tell my kids everyday. Keeps them in line. :P One of the most valuable exercises I ever had occurred in, I think it was junior high school, seventh or eighth grade, when we were given the task of "making a budget for a family that earns $5,000 a year." (This was in the late fifties). Basic financi...
by wintermute
Sun Nov 28, 2010 1:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: ┬┐Could you turbocharge for MPG, not HP?
Replies: 55
Views: 4582

Turbocharged gas engines typically have less torgue for a given horsepower and substantially less torgue than a diesel engine. So don't expect a turbocharged gas engine in a pickup truck to give you the towing/hauling capacity. Turbocharged diesels on the other hand may have less torgue than a norm...
by wintermute
Mon Nov 22, 2010 12:32 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Long Term Bonds are suddenly very respectable
Replies: 47
Views: 6061

I do a barbell approach (partially because of my terrible 401k):

20% short-term gov/credit
5% TIP
5% TLT (long treasuries)
= 30%

That gives me ~4.7 duration, last I checked (but duration is tricky with tips).

(I also have a few % gold and junk, but that's another story).
by wintermute
Sat Nov 20, 2010 1:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ally Bank [lowers interest rate on savings]
Replies: 43
Views: 6702

Capital one has InterestPlus which is 1.3% + 10% of that as a bonus, w/o a costco card. If you use IE as your browser it doesn't show up tho!
by wintermute
Fri Oct 22, 2010 11:43 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: long-term gains: >1 year or >=1 year?
Replies: 16
Views: 3424

For some stupid reason I didn't actually search irs.gov. I shouldn't be doing financial stuff in the middle of the night. :?

Langkawi, thanks for the info.
by wintermute
Fri Oct 22, 2010 12:52 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: long-term gains: >1 year or >=1 year?
Replies: 16
Views: 3424

long-term gains: >1 year or >=1 year?

From I've read online, long term capital gains are for assets held > 1 year. Can someone in the know confirm this for sure? I bought a stock on 12/31/2009 and I'm wondering if I were to sell it on the 31st, if I could take it as a long-term. (For those who curious, it's NFLX, which I've already sold...
by wintermute
Thu Oct 14, 2010 9:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Taylor
Replies: 138
Views: 22513

Keep your spirits up! If you apply the same determination as you have to investing, you'll have a big edge up on it.
by wintermute
Mon Oct 11, 2010 11:41 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: High frequency trading on 60 minutes last night
Replies: 46
Views: 5656

The problem is the exchanges and the SEC. I have a huge problem with the completely arbitrary trade cancellations which favor the HFT firms. That is what the SEC should be investigating. When HFT algos screw up and lose millions they get trades canceled. If you ever make a mistake, try calling up th...
by wintermute
Sat Oct 09, 2010 6:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "risk" is so inconsistently used, its meaningless
Replies: 28
Views: 3336

When I first starting reading about investing, I found the term "risk" to be a bucket that various unknowns were thrown into and it annoyed me also. I would like to third the idea that everyone say "volatility" or "price risk" or something instead of just "risk".
by wintermute
Sat Oct 09, 2010 6:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: State Street ETF as an secondary alternative to Vanguard
Replies: 12
Views: 1541

I think splitting among logins is good idea when practical (ie, you meet all the minimums you want to). ETF's I think are even more transparent than funds because they are redeemed by authorized third parties.
by wintermute
Sun Oct 03, 2010 9:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: WSJ article: "Adviser Says No to ETFs"
Replies: 37
Views: 5503

Stop-loss only works when the stock is down for a long time. It should be called a loss lock-in order. I guess there are just a lot of truly clueless investors out there (and maybe bad advisers). Back when I traded only individual stocks, it seemed obvious to me that a "stop-loss" was a bad idea, an...
by wintermute
Wed Sep 29, 2010 9:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: best hedge(s) against falling home equity?
Replies: 22
Views: 2504

If the market goes down as a whole, others are along with yours - rents probably would too. Since you always need a place to live, only relative values are important. What you're losing when things go down is opportunity cost. Also it's probably impossible get a new mortgage when you have negative e...
by wintermute
Wed Sep 29, 2010 11:55 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Underperformance of Bridgeway Ultra-Small Mkt Fund BRSIX
Replies: 6
Views: 1609

Using a benchmark that's impossible to accurately track isn't a fair comparison. A better measure would be total return and sharpe ratio vs other funds.
by wintermute
Sun Sep 26, 2010 8:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Treasuries must go down"
Replies: 59
Views: 10272

FWIW, I have a bit of a barbell. Since the only bond found in my 401k that's half decent is a short-term gov/credit, and being a fan of the Permanent Portfolio concept I have: 20% short-term gov/high-quality 5% TIP 5% TLT 5% JNK 2% IAU (and I have one gold coin) That gives me a weighted duration of ...
by wintermute
Sun Sep 26, 2010 7:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The bed bug problem
Replies: 31
Views: 5711

I've been bitten before in a hotel room, 2 nights in a row (switched rooms after that and told them). It itched like crazy for days! I keep my luggage in the basement in case it gets infested. I looked all over that room, under the mattress, along the walls, etc, but couldn't find the bastards.
by wintermute
Fri Sep 24, 2010 9:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What Do You Do with Your Play Money?
Replies: 28
Views: 4579

Have a play account but generally take it pretty seriously. Have my own railroad index that I made a year ago and take bets in companies I analyze. Most recent purchase was NFLX @ $100. I sold my NFLX down to around the ~$500 I originally purchased. I bought it at $56.06, sold most of it at $168.17...
by wintermute
Thu Sep 23, 2010 8:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Treasuries must go down"
Replies: 59
Views: 10272

One thing to consider in a high inflation environment would be to move tips from a T-IRA to Roth to avoid any further taxation on your purchasing power. If they seemed to be exceeding stocks.
by wintermute
Sun Sep 19, 2010 12:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any way to get a newspaper to print a retraction?
Replies: 28
Views: 3857

The few times I have seen a news article on a subject about which I had firsthand knowledge, there was always some factual error in the article. I've learned to lower my expectations. +1 I extend this and assume that ALL news is factually wrong or missing important details that likely changes the c...
by wintermute
Sat Sep 18, 2010 11:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 500% bullion return in 48 hours! :)
Replies: 19
Views: 2818

People I know use forever stamps right after buying them. You should keep them for several years at least.
by wintermute
Thu Sep 16, 2010 9:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When will mortgage rates increase?
Replies: 9
Views: 1734

Keep in mind that higher interest rates can lower the price of homes. Can, not will. I found a couple interesting links: blog discussion: http://seattlebubble.com/blog/2010/02/09/do-rising-interest-rates-lead-to-falling-home-prices/ Marc Roth says they're positively correlated, not negatively: http:...
by wintermute
Sat Sep 11, 2010 4:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Motor oil, 5W20 vs 5W30
Replies: 33
Views: 15692

Check out the bobistheoilguy.com forums. People there debate endlessly over oil brands, additives (the ones already in your oil - not those snake oil additives), and used oil analysis.
by wintermute
Fri Sep 10, 2010 10:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Broader effects of index investing
Replies: 6
Views: 1737

This is something I thought about when first studying investing. My conclusions:If more people index, it leaves more opportunities for active managers and stock pickers. More active funds would become worth their fees. Indexing is simply trying to mirror everyone else's aggregate valuations, so it a...
by wintermute
Wed Sep 08, 2010 10:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: another candidate for 'greatest post' - re gold and silver
Replies: 9
Views: 2234

I came to a similar conclusion recently. Silver is easier to use as money. A 1/10oz gold coin is tiny (diameter of a dime) and very thin. I just got a couple rolls of Kennedy half dollars. The reason I went with Kennedy's is so they aren't mistaken for regular coins and sent thru a change machine. A...
by wintermute
Mon Sep 06, 2010 9:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Online dating sites - worth it?
Replies: 253
Views: 45369

Don't get discouraged if you don't get replies for a while. I've had no responses for a while, then all of a sudden a whole bunch. It's random. I'd like to second the point about tailoring your replies the profiles, but try to be different at the same time, if you can. Pick something related instead...