Search found 34764 matches

by nisiprius
Thu Mar 29, 2018 9:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best Bond Fund
Replies: 5
Views: 794

Re: Best Bond Fund

My main bond fund is the Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund, which a) a low-cost b) index fund c) that seeks to track the Bloomberg Barclay's U.S. Float-adjusted Aggregate Index. PNIIX is a) a low-cost b) index fund c) that seeks to track the almost-identical Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bon...
by nisiprius
Thu Mar 29, 2018 8:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Simple-minded inspection of actual low-vol fund
Replies: 16
Views: 1177

Re: Simple-minded inspection of actual low-vol fund

lack_ey, what's a good place to check for leopards that have changed their spots, i.e. SCAUX being rechristened "low volatility" and changing strategy and aims? I thought Morningstar tried to draw vertical dotted lines at such discontinuities but I guess they don't always do it.
by nisiprius
Thu Mar 29, 2018 8:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Simple-minded inspection of actual low-vol fund
Replies: 16
Views: 1177

Re: Simple-minded inspection of actual low-vol fund

So, using DEF as my fair representative of "low vol" stocks, I find that (unlike SCAUX!) compared to VTSMX, it indeed had meaningfully lower volatility measured by standard deviation, lower drawdown during 2008-2009, and a higher Sharpe ratio. The stocks selected by the managers really did have lowe...
by nisiprius
Thu Mar 29, 2018 1:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Other than simplicity/convenience, what's the case to be made for a total bond portfolio?
Replies: 14
Views: 1013

Re: Other than simplicity/convenience, what's the case to be made for a total bond portfolio?

...they have equity-like risk... Just to be clear: it is "equity-like" (stock-like) in that their performance is related to the company's business success or problems, and they are likely to go down at the same time equities (stocks) go down. But they have perhaps a fifth as much of that risk as st...
by nisiprius
Thu Mar 29, 2018 1:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Other than simplicity/convenience, what's the case to be made for a total bond portfolio?
Replies: 14
Views: 1013

Re: Other than simplicity/convenience, what's the case to be made for a total bond portfolio?

The same as the case to be made for any cap-weighted total market portfolio. 1) Your portfolio has the same properties as "the market portfolio," which has unique characteristics in financial economics. Given a certain set of assumptions, it is the mean-variance optimum portfolio. It's not arbitrary...
by nisiprius
Thu Mar 29, 2018 1:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Simple-minded inspection of actual low-vol fund
Replies: 16
Views: 1177

Re: Simple-minded inspection of actual low-vol fund

Would Vanguard Dividend Growth (VDIGX) fall into the category? I don't think so, "dividend growth" is a traditional category of its own. As for the others: PowerShares S&P 500 Low Volatility Portfolio (SPLV), 5/5/2011 Russell 1000 Low Volatility ETF (LVOL), 2/29/2012 iShares MSCI USA Minimum Volati...
by nisiprius
Thu Mar 29, 2018 10:14 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is technical analysis all smoke and mirrors?
Replies: 62
Views: 4844

Re: Is technical analysis all smoke and mirrors?

jalbert wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 1:27 am
Sequences of coin tosses also exhibit “momentum”.
As Wikipedia says, "citation needed." What's your source for this? Oh, wait, probably found it:

Dynamical Bias in the Coin Toss

OK, very interesting.
by nisiprius
Thu Mar 29, 2018 9:55 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Explain one more time how balance funds work
Replies: 37
Views: 3048

Re: Explain one more time how balance funds work

OP here. I'm not sure if those who currently have a balanced fund of some sort have concluded anything about "rebalancing" their own portfolio vs letting the the fund itself do it. But is it safe to assume that on "average balance" funds at Vanguard (Target, Lifestyle, etc) generally do as well as ...
by nisiprius
Thu Mar 29, 2018 8:50 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Simple-minded inspection of actual low-vol fund
Replies: 16
Views: 1177

Simple-minded inspection of actual low-vol fund

Before I post my usual simple-minded comparison of an actual "low volatility stock" mutual fund to Total Stock--with particular emphasis on whether "low volatility" stocks had low volatility in 2008-2009--I want to ask for suggestions of any other funds to look at besides the Invesco Low Volatility ...
by nisiprius
Thu Mar 29, 2018 8:21 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Explain one more time how balance funds work
Replies: 37
Views: 3048

Re: Explain one more time how balance funds work

alex_686 wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 11:28 am
...My current thinking is that 70/30 is better, with a small position towards REITs...
I've told you how I calculated the numbers 27/73. How did you (or anyone else) calculate the numbers 70/30? Or 60/40?
by nisiprius
Thu Mar 29, 2018 6:39 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does anyone feel they missed out on AMZN, NFLX,TSLA?
Replies: 113
Views: 12164

Re: Does anyone feel they missed out on AMZN, NFLX,TSLA?

Some lunch room conversations at work indicated that some people seem to have made a killing in at least one of these companies. Why then are they still hanging around the lunchroom at work? My guess is that it is like the acquaintance of mine who went to an Atlantic City casino for a weekend, play...
by nisiprius
Thu Mar 29, 2018 6:05 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Exit / Bonus Farming plan... what can go wrong?
Replies: 34
Views: 2800

Re: Vanguard Exit / Bonus Farming plan... what can go wrong?

My life experience on brokerage transfers is that they get screwed up at least 1/3rd of the time, no matter how straightforward they seems to be. My life experience on $100 "free money" deals is that it doesn't pay to get too cute. Don't form the habit of stealing bait from mousetraps. I would add t...
by nisiprius
Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Do You Value Your Home for Net Worth Purposes?
Replies: 150
Views: 9042

Re: How Do You Value Your Home for Net Worth Purposes?

You have to begin by asking why you want to know your net worth and what you will use the number for. I've never been able to figure out any actual use for it other than to make me feel good and/or have an answer if someone asks me my net worth. Which I don't think has ever happened, in fact. I can...
by nisiprius
Wed Mar 28, 2018 4:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Should I be worried about the S&P Index fund ?
Replies: 51
Views: 5692

Re: Should I be worried about the S&P Index fund ?

My rationale for investing in a total market index fund--essentially the same considerations as an S&P 500 index fund--is that it represents the whole market, whatever it is . Cap-weighting puts me on both sides of every trade, and is the allocation that minimizes (does not eliminate, minimizes) the...
by nisiprius
Wed Mar 28, 2018 4:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Invest in Tesla?
Replies: 17
Views: 1240

Re: Invest in Tesla?

Tesla Bonds are in Free Fall Elon Musk’s creditors are suddenly having a serious bout of buyer’s remorse.... bondholders are asking hard questions about whether Musk can deliver on his bold promise to bring electric cars to the masses before the company runs out of cash. On Wednesday, Tesla’s notes...
by nisiprius
Wed Mar 28, 2018 2:59 pm
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: A lot of heavy hitters this morning
Replies: 244
Views: 17333

Re: A lot of heavy hitters this morning

fittan, I agree with you.
by nisiprius
Wed Mar 28, 2018 2:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Anyone hold any defensive funds in their portfolio?
Replies: 41
Views: 3476

Re: Anyone hold any defensive funds in their portfolio?

Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund. Bonds have worked. Yes they have dragged down portfolio returns considerably, but in return they actually have cushioned the blow in downturns. In 2008-2009, they cushioned it a lot , not "a bit." Sectors and "tend-to's" are unreliable, and not very powerful ev...
by nisiprius
Wed Mar 28, 2018 2:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does anyone feel they missed out on AMZN, NFLX,TSLA?
Replies: 113
Views: 12164

Re: Does anyone feel they missed out on AMZN, NFLX,TSLA?

The only reason Tsla is so successful is their range. OMG, that is what you think, the car goes 0-60 in 2.3 seconds. I am sure you can get a deal on a used Chevy Volt. I don't think they have any special sauce there, though. I don't want to be too much like the Pointy-Haired Boss in Dilbert, "reaso...
by nisiprius
Wed Mar 28, 2018 2:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: China and EM
Replies: 13
Views: 1388

Re: China and EM

...DFA limits the cap-weight of any one country in their emerging market indexes to 12.5%, I believe — but this then defeats the purpose and advantages of a true cap-weighted index... DFA's funds are not index funds. They don't use the word "index" anywhere. I don't want to go down the tired old ra...
by nisiprius
Wed Mar 28, 2018 1:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Do You Value Your Home for Net Worth Purposes?
Replies: 150
Views: 9042

Re: How Do You Value Your Home for Net Worth Purposes?

You have to begin by asking why you want to know your net worth and what you will use the number for. I've never been able to figure out any actual use for it other than to make me feel good and/or have an answer if someone asks me my net worth. Which I don't think has ever happened, in fact. I can'...
by nisiprius
Wed Mar 28, 2018 12:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Receive dividends from Index funds?
Replies: 23
Views: 1901

Re: Receive dividends from Index funds?

It doesn't matter how you slice it. If you take money out of a portfolio, it will grow more slowly than if you leave it in and reinvest it. It doesn't matter how the money comes out, or how it stays in. There isn't any magic. The question is whether you can afford to let your retirement savings not ...
by nisiprius
Wed Mar 28, 2018 12:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is technical analysis all smoke and mirrors?
Replies: 62
Views: 4844

Re: Is technical analysis all smoke and mirrors?

A characteristic feature of most of the "technical analysis" that I have looked at is it uses hedged, allusive, ambiguous Delphic language that makes it impossible to tell if any prediction is actually being made, and, if so, what the prediction is and when it is supposed to come true. As a result, ...
by nisiprius
Wed Mar 28, 2018 10:29 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Pfau: Why Bond Funds Don't Belong in Retirement Portfolios
Replies: 143
Views: 23418

Re: Pfau: Why Bond Funds Don't Belong in Retirement Portfolios

Reviving this 2015 post. So this is 2018. And the discussion is still germaine. Would like more 2018 thoughts if you like. Then I tried to find what a Single Premium Annuity would cost today at age 80 with say $200,000 if portfolio money to invest. But got to many offers to buy. Could someone tell ...
by nisiprius
Wed Mar 28, 2018 10:05 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are we missing recession /bear market beginning
Replies: 174
Views: 17328

Re: Are we missing recession /bear market beginning

...I haven't read this whole thread, but it does seem like there is way more volatility then we've seen in awhile. up 3% today, down 3% tomorrow....the swings are getting larger and seem to come more frequently... Given what happened to speculators betting on "short volatility" (that volatility wou...
by nisiprius
Wed Mar 28, 2018 9:34 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is technical analysis all smoke and mirrors?
Replies: 62
Views: 4844

Re: Is technical analysis all smoke and mirrors?

...And like Santa, I think they exist. ??? If that's a joke, it's one level too deep for me to get. I would say this. The question with technical analysis and many investment strategies is not " could there be something to it?" The question is "Well, for the sake of argument, let's suppose there is...
by nisiprius
Wed Mar 28, 2018 9:17 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Max-funding an Index Universal Life policy to the IRS limit??
Replies: 107
Views: 5312

Re: Max-funding an Index Universal Life policy to the IRS limit??

...I am scratching my brain thinking of how I am going to tell this person that I want out.... NotWhatYouThink kind of beat me to it but I don't want to waste my posting. Memorize these words--don't say them exactly but keep using some variation on them: "Thank you very much for your help, but my d...
by nisiprius
Wed Mar 28, 2018 8:40 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Max-funding an Index Universal Life policy to the IRS limit??
Replies: 107
Views: 5312

Re: Max-funding an Index Universal Life policy to the IRS limit??

#3 WHAT WOULD THE BOGLEHEAD COMMUNITY SUGGEST I DO MOVING FORWARD GIVEN MY LIMITED KNOWLEDGE Keep your money in the bank for now. If you really feel the bank accounts you have now are likely to lose seriously to inflation going forward, shop around for higher-interest bank accounts. Don't do anythi...
by nisiprius
Wed Mar 28, 2018 8:34 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Max-funding an Index Universal Life policy to the IRS limit??
Replies: 107
Views: 5312

Re: Max-funding an Index Universal Life policy to the IRS limit??

... am risk averse... Although I don't think this is hugely important, it is a detail that every insurance buyer should consider, especially if you consider yourself "risk averse." The state guaranty associations are what protects you if an insurance company fails. And they do fail: according to NO...
by nisiprius
Wed Mar 28, 2018 8:18 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Max-funding an Index Universal Life policy to the IRS limit??
Replies: 107
Views: 5312

Re: Max-funding an Index Universal Life policy to the IRS limit??

...I have the majority of my assets sitting in a bank account losing against inflation... Unless it was a zero-interest-rate business checking account or a really lousy bank account, you are probably not losing to inflation. Historically, decent bank savings accounts (and "money market deposit acco...
by nisiprius
Wed Mar 28, 2018 8:08 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where do I invest TODAY?
Replies: 10
Views: 1289

Re: Where do I invest TODAY?

With regard to "is the International market slightly less overvalued than the US," accounting standards are different in every country, I don't think anyone but a real expert would know how to interpret valuation numbers for more than one or two countries. I don't think it's possible to say whether ...
by nisiprius
Wed Mar 28, 2018 8:02 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where do I invest TODAY?
Replies: 10
Views: 1289

Re: Where do I invest TODAY?

I try to expunge words like TODAY and NOW from my investment thinking. I have an informal rule, which admittedly is sometimes honored in the breach, of trying to wait a full month between deciding on an action and take that action. And I have a rule which in fact I have followed, which is "no big su...
by nisiprius
Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:14 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is technical analysis all smoke and mirrors?
Replies: 62
Views: 4844

Re: Is technical analysis all smoke and mirrors?

I don't think calling time-series momentum "technical analysis" does anything but muddy the waters... any more than calling smart beta "stock-picking" or rebalancing "market timing." Or saying that antibiotics are like rubbing green mold on a wound. Or that vaccination is a kind of homeopathy. Or th...
by nisiprius
Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:05 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What would you do if you were in charge of a State Pension Fund?
Replies: 36
Views: 2032

Re: What would you do if you were in charge of a State Pension Fund?

Here's what one state treasurer is doing. The $90 billion investor who's out to fire Wall Street ...As the newly elected treasurer of North Carolina, [Dale Folwell is] by law the one person who gets to decide how to manage the state pension fund for government employees, the world’s 26th-largest poo...
by nisiprius
Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: More bad news for Wealthfront
Replies: 30
Views: 6967

Re: More bad news for Wealthfront

Fanfare Aaaaaaaaand, they're off! Source https://imgur.com/pQouSns.png It's a beautiful day for the race, folks. Safety Pin has been scratched, Girdle is in the stretch, Chewing Gum is sticking to the rail... Vanguard Total Bond Fund, VBMFX, is in yellow. It isn't comparable to risk parity funds. I...
by nisiprius
Tue Mar 27, 2018 8:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Max-funding an Index Universal Life policy to the IRS limit??
Replies: 107
Views: 5312

Re: Max-funding an Index Universal Life policy to the IRS limit??

P.S. For a nice very risk-averse savings vehicle, you should at least consider series I savings bonds.
by nisiprius
Tue Mar 27, 2018 8:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Max-funding an Index Universal Life policy to the IRS limit??
Replies: 107
Views: 5312

Re: Max-funding an Index Universal Life policy to the IRS limit??

Try to get out of this policy. Try very hard. Maybe you've signed up but depending on your state policy you may be able to get out. Very likely you are not committed until you actually receive the complete, full, thick legal wad of paper that actually is the policy, and very likely there is some kin...
by nisiprius
Tue Mar 27, 2018 6:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: DFA Funds Direct Access w/o Advisor ? John Hancock
Replies: 15
Views: 1980

Re: DFA Funds Direct Access w/o Advisor ? John Hancock

...Came up during a conversation with an institutional money manager on several of these strategies out there, and he just said DFA has tried the value premium and it just hasn't produced enough exccess returns. Also about AQR funds trying out these other alternative strategies / factors. One of th...
by nisiprius
Tue Mar 27, 2018 4:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Explain one more time how balance funds work
Replies: 37
Views: 3048

Re: Explain one more time how balance funds work

Having a 60/40 portfolio is based of formal investment theory, mostly in creating a mean variant portfolio - highest return for a given level of risk... I have tried and failed to find any good explanation of how the traditional 60/40 portfolio was derived. If you have a reference that demonstrates...
by nisiprius
Tue Mar 27, 2018 3:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Explain one more time how balance funds work
Replies: 37
Views: 3048

Re: Explain one more time how balance funds work

Here's why I think it's not a big deal. You simply have to contrive an unusual situation to see any big difference in the results of rebalancing strategy. For example, the blue line here is the Vanguard Balanced Index Fund, which rebalances almost continuously to a 60/40 allocation, and the red line...
by nisiprius
Tue Mar 27, 2018 11:56 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Grok's LMP-4: The 3-legged stool approach to retirement planning
Replies: 114
Views: 7579

Re: Grok's LMP-4: The 3-legged stool approach to retirement planning

Serious question. Is there, in fact, any real body of real-life data on the actual experiences of real retirees who have actually closely followed one or another retirement plan? My preconception is that no, I doubt that there is. Before the 401(k) became really popular, which probably means some ti...
by nisiprius
Tue Mar 27, 2018 8:00 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Grok's LMP-4: The 3-legged stool approach to retirement planning
Replies: 114
Views: 7579

Re: Grok's LMP-4: The 3-legged stool approach to retirement planning

Just a little gripe about that "three-legged stool" phrase. I don't know who invented it. It's annoyed me for a long time. It's just a way of taking a chaotic, patchwork, unplanned, irrational, inadequate situation and pretending that it is a rational system designed to meet a need... Thanks. You m...
by nisiprius
Mon Mar 26, 2018 8:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Grok's LMP-4: The 3-legged stool approach to retirement planning
Replies: 114
Views: 7579

Re: Grok's LMP-4: The 3-legged stool approach to retirement planning

Just a little gripe about that "three-legged stool" phrase. I don't know who invented it. It's annoyed me for a long time. It's just a way of taking a chaotic, patchwork, unplanned, irrational, inadequate situation and pretending that it is a rational system designed to meet a need. It's sort of lik...
by nisiprius
Mon Mar 26, 2018 7:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Digital alarm clock suggestions?
Replies: 38
Views: 2930

Re: Digital alarm clock suggestions?

(I have to think that the people suggesting smartphones, smart speakers--or whatever you call Echos and Homepods and Google Homes--did not read my personal desiderata... for example, it's hard to silence the alarm on a smartphone by giving it a swat with your palm in a dark room). I used to have a l...
by nisiprius
Mon Mar 26, 2018 4:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: China and International Index
Replies: 7
Views: 740

Re: China and International Index

Wierd... When I initially set up my 3 fund I guess FTIGX didn't exist. I've got FSGUX right now, and it looks like they added small cap to FSGUX and made FTIGX. Yes, that's right. In mutual funds, "International" meant "developed markets" and the EAFE index for a long time. The Fidelity Internation...
by nisiprius
Mon Mar 26, 2018 4:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: More bad news for Wealthfront
Replies: 30
Views: 6967

Re: More bad news for Wealthfront

Phineas J. Whoopee wrote:
Mon Mar 26, 2018 2:14 pm
I had understood Wealthfront to be disruptive. Was I wrong?
PJW
Like many startup companies, they meant to be disruptive--and maybe they even were--but they aren't the ones profiting from the disruption. Think Edwin H. Armstrong and FM radio... Palm Inc. and the PalmPilot... Xerox and the Alto...
by nisiprius
Mon Mar 26, 2018 3:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: More bad news for Wealthfront
Replies: 30
Views: 6967

Re: More bad news for Wealthfront

Wealthfront treats me great in their free tier. No derivatives, no fees, and free TLH. There's a free tier? No 0.25% uniform asset charge for you? Oh, I see, it says here: Wealthfront does not charge an advisory fee on the first $10,000 of assets under management for all clients who sign up prior t...
by nisiprius
Mon Mar 26, 2018 3:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Skype on Windows?
Replies: 25
Views: 758

Re: Skype on Windows?

I take Spanish lessons over the Internet via Skype videocalls; I also chat with Spanish language companions. For the time being, virtually all the teachers on the site I use, use Skype. It's a "Skype and other" situation. Skype seems to be the de facto standard. I don't; I use the Mac and the Androi...
by nisiprius
Mon Mar 26, 2018 1:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: GE Microwave Weird Issue
Replies: 22
Views: 1837

Re: GE Microwave Weird Issue

I have no idea what is going on but a microwave turning itself on seems to me to be a very bad business and it would put me into territory where I would say "I do not want this fixed because the design itself must be defective, I need to get a new microwave... and not from GE... even if it means jus...
by nisiprius
Mon Mar 26, 2018 1:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: More bad news for Wealthfront
Replies: 30
Views: 6967

Re: More bad news for Wealthfront

Actually, this thread, Burton Malkiel, Wealthfront CIO makes very interesting reading today. Rick Ferri's comment "Umfundi's" response are particularly interesting: Sorry, I didn't explain myself well. It's not the investment management side that's valuable, it's the software side. The portfolios al...