Search found 35900 matches

by nisiprius
Tue Sep 16, 2008 9:48 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard's 2nd "calm the natives" article today
Replies: 25
Views: 5283

Does a responsible company help to market a product and then claim ignorance?. There's one point I'd really, really, really like to know. Does Vanguard think the the high ratings of the actual insurance underwriters (as opposed to the parent corporation) mean anything or not? AIG's website lists ra...
by nisiprius
Tue Sep 16, 2008 4:55 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Rush Is On to Prevent A.I.G. From Failing (New York Times)
Replies: 32
Views: 6679

There are many retired Vanguard investors who have purchased income annuities through Vanguard from AIG. Some of those are contributors in this forum. There are government guarantees for those annuities up to a certain amount, but it must still cause some nervousness to those annuity holders. I'm o...
by nisiprius
Tue Sep 16, 2008 4:34 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Can there be a "run" on an insurance company?
Replies: 3
Views: 979

Can there be a "run" on an insurance company?

If the policyholders of AIG's sound subsidiaries are safe, someone better start making that really clear, and not just in bland soundbites. I am reading stories that AIG has been allowed to "access" the funds of its subsidiaries. I don't know what "access" really means. This AP story says Struggling...
by nisiprius
Mon Sep 15, 2008 6:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Can only New Yorkers safely buy large annuities?
Replies: 10
Views: 2456

Re: Email from New York Guaranty Corporation

Dan, There's no contradiction. Our website points out that if you have three contracts with the same company, you only get the $500K limit once. The NYID OGC's letter takes the position that if you have three contracts with three different companies, the $500K limit applies separately to each. Plea...
by nisiprius
Mon Sep 15, 2008 4:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The bear market is over
Replies: 242
Views: 75944

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by nisiprius
Mon Sep 15, 2008 1:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Calm down!
Replies: 49
Views: 8650

Re: Calm down!

Annuities are insured by the state for $100 K per firm ($500 K in New York, and this list for 8 other states with higher limits). A technicality which may or may not be important. They are not "insured." They are protected, in some way. http://www.nolhga.com carefully uses the expression "safety ne...
by nisiprius
Mon Sep 15, 2008 1:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Calm down!
Replies: 49
Views: 8650

I'll point out calmly and mildly that in another thread I posted an angry rant of doom and gloom, followed immediately by optimistic expression of hope that perhaps the high-Best's-rated entity that issued my annuity, AIG Life Insurance Company, might be decoupled from the fate of American Internati...
by nisiprius
Mon Sep 15, 2008 12:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: AIG annuity unit for sale?
Replies: 23
Views: 7384

As I continue to whistle a happy tune: the article headline is "AIG allowed to access ," (not "borrow from,") its subsidiaries. "The move will allow AIG to use those assets as collateral to borrow cash," presumably from someone else (who?) Assuming AIG Life Insurance Company, my annuity issuer, is o...
by nisiprius
Mon Sep 15, 2008 11:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Insurance guaranty associations: aggregate limits
Replies: 1
Views: 834

Congratulations on getting a real clarification, in writing. And thanks. Sounds like an answer... for one state.
by nisiprius
Mon Sep 15, 2008 11:36 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: AIG annuity unit for sale?
Replies: 23
Views: 7384

Norbert Schlenker wrote:And now I have to walk back because the regulators have blinked.

AIG allowed to access $20 bln of assets in subsidiaries

I would write that headline differently.

You have been thrown under the bus.
Oh. Never mind then. Thanks anyway.
by nisiprius
Mon Sep 15, 2008 11:25 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: AIG annuity unit for sale?
Replies: 23
Views: 7384

But if that's the reality of the situation I sure wish someone would come out and say so. I'll say so and I'll do it without looking one damned thing up. AIG is a holding company with many subsidiaries. One of those subsidiaries has issued your annuity. Unless the subsidiary doesn't have the assets...
by nisiprius
Mon Sep 15, 2008 9:44 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Lehman's employees: why did they hold on?
Replies: 27
Views: 6249

Re: Lehman's employees: why did they hold on?

Why on Earth would someone concentrate so much of their wealth in one company's stock? Assuming that is not a rhetorical question... Imagine that you work in a place that puts stress on loyalty and "being a team player." If you don't buy into those values you probably will be unhappy and leave. The...
by nisiprius
Mon Sep 15, 2008 8:11 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: My Girlfriend's Portfolio: Your Thoughts.
Replies: 11
Views: 2634

For years I've held a small portion of my holdings in socially responsible funds. It's my money and I'll do what I please with it and this is what I pleased to do with some of it. Currently it's all Pax World Balanced Fund. (ER nearly 1%, eeeewwwww.) http://www.freeimagehosting.net/uploads/f319b3f65...
by nisiprius
Mon Sep 15, 2008 7:13 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: AIG annuity unit for sale?
Replies: 23
Views: 7384

Of course... having bought an AIG SPIA last year, that is in fact $25,000 over my state's $100,000 protection limit... as I hold my head erect and whistle a happy tune... maybe AIG is a curate's egg and I have one of the parts of it that are very good. ...in my dreams, the rating agencies are someho...
by nisiprius
Mon Sep 15, 2008 5:58 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: AIG annuity unit for sale?
Replies: 23
Views: 7384

IF it were actually to play out that an insurer went instantaneously from A+(Best), AA+ (S&P), Aa2 (Moody's), AA+ (Fitch) to insolvent, go directly to insolvent, do not pass Go, etc. and the result of that was that annuitants were affected in any way beyond seeing a new logo on the monthly payment c...
by nisiprius
Mon Sep 15, 2008 5:03 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Question on state guaranty annuity/insurance coverage
Replies: 3
Views: 1001

I don't have a clue. And, yeah, I was starting to wonder about that. At first click I can't find anything on NOLHGA's website that advises you as to which state's website you should be reading. I just leafed through my Vanguard/AIG certificate, the actual contract, and am intrigued to see that the n...
by nisiprius
Mon Sep 15, 2008 4:35 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Greenspan says this may be once in century...
Replies: 38
Views: 7739

P. S. With regard to the magnitude of whatever it is that's going on: Bloomberg is using this language: 'Tectonic' Shift on Wall Street as Lehman Fails, Merrill Sold , In the biggest reshaping of the financial industry since the Great Depression, two of Wall Street's most storied firms, Merrill Lync...
by nisiprius
Mon Sep 15, 2008 4:32 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Greenspan says this may be once in century...
Replies: 38
Views: 7739

Wow. I see there's not a lot of love for Mr. Greenspan here. Before the mob readies the hangman's rope over the oak, it might be worth remembering that there are probably just a couple of dozen people in the world that have the big picture knowledge of our financial system that he has. Love him or ...
by nisiprius
Sun Sep 14, 2008 9:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The bear market is over
Replies: 242
Views: 75944

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It's beginning to look as if tomorrow might be interesting.
by nisiprius
Sun Sep 14, 2008 7:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The meaning of Lehman
Replies: 31
Views: 5875

!!! Trivia fact

The firm was founded by Henry, Emanuel and Mayer Lehman in 1850. Where do you think it was founded? Answer is here An anniversary of sorts: On September 13th, 1900, the New York Times lists Lehman Brothers as among those sending aid to hurricane-ravaged Galveston, Texas. They sent $100, of a total o...
by nisiprius
Sun Sep 14, 2008 7:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Lehman's Fate Is in Doubt (New York Times)
Replies: 18
Views: 3830

What's Bear Stearns got that Lehman Brothers ain't got?
by nisiprius
Sun Sep 14, 2008 7:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: AIG selling assets to raise capital
Replies: 5
Views: 1409

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/15/business/15aig.html?hp And still not a word from Vanguard about the financial condition of AIG, whose annuities VG sells. Deafening silence that does not speak well of management IMHO. Bob U. The About the Issuer page has not been updated since June and still says ...
by nisiprius
Sun Sep 14, 2008 4:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Greenspan says this may be once in century...
Replies: 38
Views: 7739

Here's a link to one article about his remarks.

My, he's speaking so plainly and clearly these days... I can understand everything he says.
by nisiprius
Sun Sep 14, 2008 4:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Lehman Chronicles.
Replies: 18
Views: 4047

What happens, you ask? Maybe we can switch from benchmarks to menschmarks. Character counts. :lol: In the meantime, let's not forget that Vanguard and Wellington Management (according to Yahoo Finance) own a fair amount of LEH equity. Tomorrow could be painful. http://finance.yahoo.com/q/mh?s=LEH I...
by nisiprius
Sun Sep 14, 2008 2:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Lehman Chronicles.
Replies: 18
Views: 4047

Nobody's asking the important question: if Lehman Brothers goes under, what happens to the Lehman Aggregate Bond Index? The fate of a score of index funds hangs in the balance! Maybe they can raise some cash by selling the naming rights. "Minnesota Vikings Aggregate Bond Index" "Budweiser Aggregate ...
by nisiprius
Sun Sep 14, 2008 1:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Your Personal Inflation Rate in Retirement
Replies: 15
Views: 2988

Heh. I used the Fidelity retirement planning tools as one of my 'can I retire yet' checks. The Poor Market 90% confidence model had me running out of cash when I was 98 after I send in my annual $350,000 health insurance premium.... That calculator assumed a 2.43% rate of inflation and a 7% medical...
by nisiprius
Sun Sep 14, 2008 1:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Passive Market Based Investing Put to Test?
Replies: 13
Views: 2385

Re: Passive Market Based Investing Put to Test?

meckaneck wrote:"We are at an inflection point in the global financial markets.
Oooh! They can not only call the tops and bottoms, they can call the inflection points! They must really be good!
by nisiprius
Sun Sep 14, 2008 12:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Past Performance chasing
Replies: 20
Views: 3484

IMHO it's a great question with no good answer. William Bernstein has an excellent and relevant article about this, which everyone should read if they haven't, entitled Only Two Centuries of Data . The model behind Boglehead investing seems to be that year-to-year investment results are the superpos...
by nisiprius
Sun Sep 14, 2008 10:02 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Can only New Yorkers safely buy large annuities?
Replies: 10
Views: 2456

I may have missed it, but how do you determine what your "coverage" is? For example, I'm in my second year of SPIA payments. According to the documents, I am more than covered for my initial "buy in". However, if you take the terms of the policy I hold, total payments (on this guaranteed term SPIA)...
by nisiprius
Sun Sep 14, 2008 9:51 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Can only New Yorkers safely buy large annuities?
Replies: 10
Views: 2456

Given the possible (though still unlikely) failure of AIG this week, I've spent some time researching state guarantees of annuity coverage, and have not found good news. As daryll40 pointed out to me in another thread, most state guaranty organizations only cover an annuity from each company for $1...
by nisiprius
Sat Sep 13, 2008 9:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Buying Shares Directly Versus Mutual Funds
Replies: 15
Views: 3289

Re: Buying Shares Directly Versus Mutual Funds

Suppose you have $300,000. If MER is 0.5% then you pay $1500 per year in management fees. This seems like a lot to me. If the point is to avoid management fees, you're putting your thumb on the scales, as Vanguard index funds have ERs quite a bit lower than that. And with $300,000 to play with, you...
by nisiprius
Sat Sep 13, 2008 8:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Management Shakeup at Fidelity
Replies: 4
Views: 1877

http://www.freeimagehosting.net/uploads/aa103bce99.png Give the devil his due. FBALX could lose quite a bit and still be ahead of everyone's favorite balanced index fund and everyone's favorite actively managed balanced fund. For the record I hold VBINX and I'm not planning to change, but I wouldn'...
by nisiprius
Sat Sep 13, 2008 8:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I pay off a 5.75% mortgage?
Replies: 72
Views: 12696

Re: Should I pay off a 5.75% mortgage?

My head tells me to invest the money, and use that money to pay the mortgage, and take the interest deduction. My heart tells me to pay off the mortgage. Determine whether you primarily think of your house as a financial asset to be deployed in the optimum way, or whether it feels more like a cozy ...
by nisiprius
Sat Sep 13, 2008 5:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Q&A with Moshe Milevsky from CNN/Money Magazine
Replies: 52
Views: 11789

Re: A question about state insurance

If this were a poll, I would vote for choice number 2. Not that I wish you to get shorted by $45K, mind you. :wink: It's just that that wording makes more sense to me. JMHO, of course. I'm getting increasingly cranky about the difficulty of an ordinary consumer getting plain answers to plain questi...
by nisiprius
Sat Sep 13, 2008 4:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Lehman Chronicles.
Replies: 18
Views: 4047

Re: The Lehman Chronicles.

Oh man, oh man, that photograph taken through the skyscraper window speaks volumes... I can almost smell the underarm fear-odor in that room.
by nisiprius
Sat Sep 13, 2008 3:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retirement Product Brainstorming
Replies: 10
Views: 2082

a) A privately issued inflation-protected bond, i.e. a bond that is indexed to CPI-U b) A privately issued inflation-protected bond which is indexed, not to the CPI, but to an inflation index that is calculated by an independent research institution (not the BLS and not the bond issuer)... for those...
by nisiprius
Sat Sep 13, 2008 3:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: S&P 500 vs. TSM
Replies: 34
Views: 7577

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by nisiprius
Sat Sep 13, 2008 1:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Q&A with Moshe Milevsky from CNN/Money Magazine
Replies: 52
Views: 11789

Re: State Limits per Individual

Deleting most of previous post. With respect to a cap on total protection per individual it appears that I was mostly wrong and daryll40 was mostly right: the main NOLHGA website says the overall benefit 'cap' in most states for an individual life is $300,000, though some states have maximums that a...
by nisiprius
Sat Sep 13, 2008 1:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Q&A with Moshe Milevsky from CNN/Money Magazine
Replies: 52
Views: 11789

Not to divert this discussion from it's drift off-topic, but I wonder how Milevsky got to be someone we should pay attention to. His portfolio ideas aren't feasible for 98% of investors, and his recommendations of variable annuities are suspect at the least. He is employed by an insurance company. ...
by nisiprius
Sat Sep 13, 2008 12:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Need to Take Risk: Equity Risk vs Longevity Risk
Replies: 139
Views: 17080

Another part of the problem is the absolute aversion to anything that smells of market timing. As the story goes, neither market valuations nor economic etc. conditions have any bearing on predicting future market performance. Someone must know how to value company stocks from fundamentals, or the ...
by nisiprius
Sat Sep 13, 2008 11:33 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Your Personal Inflation Rate in Retirement
Replies: 15
Views: 2988

Re: Your Personal Inflation Rate in Retirement

I just read Scott Burns' latest post "Medicare-the greatest threat to our retirement standard of living": http://assetbuilder.com/blogs/scott_burns/archive/2008/09/12/medicare-the-biggest-threat-to-our-retirement-standard-of-living.aspx He points out that medicare premiums have increased about 4.6%...
by nisiprius
Fri Sep 12, 2008 6:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Q&A with Moshe Milevsky from CNN/Money Magazine
Replies: 52
Views: 11789

Re: State insurance

I have no concerns about the state insurance for annuities. You just need to keep the value of each annuity (fixed or variable) below $100 K. A technicality, or maybe not: it is not "insurance." There's no specific promise of performance made. The http://www.nolhga.com website carefully refers to i...
by nisiprius
Fri Sep 12, 2008 3:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best Way To Save For Taxes
Replies: 13
Views: 2528

As others have noted, the law is that you must pay as you go. For salary, you pay roughly the right amount through your payroll withholding. For everything else (large amounts of taxable investment earnings) you're required to file estimated tax forms and pay up quarterly. You fill out the "W4 form"...
by nisiprius
Fri Sep 12, 2008 9:58 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Q&A with Moshe Milevsky from CNN/Money Magazine
Replies: 52
Views: 11789

Re: Longevity and inflation risks in retirement

Consider the following quote from the interview. Q. What investment products are we talking about? A. One category is pensions or annuities, typically a fixed monthly check that an insurance company or pension fund guarantees to keep sending you as long as you live. That's a great solution to longe...
by nisiprius
Fri Sep 12, 2008 9:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wachovia Financial Advisor
Replies: 40
Views: 10486

Tonythered, let me be clear. I know nothing about reverse convertible bonds beyond what I scarfed up in a few minutes of Googling, and everything I've posted has just been poking around and thinking out loud. I think it is appropriate for you to make your mother aware that this advisor's choices mig...
by nisiprius
Thu Sep 11, 2008 9:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The bear market is over
Replies: 242
Views: 75944

Today:
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by nisiprius
Thu Sep 11, 2008 5:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fidelity's Dynamic Strategies Fund
Replies: 3
Views: 1634

Fidelity's Dynamic Strategies Fund

I've heard of slice-and-dice, but this is pulverize . Fidelity's Dynamic Strategies Fund was the featured item today on my Fidelity home screen so I thought I'd glance at it. It's billed as an asset allocation fund, but "this new unique offering will be managed in a flexible or 'go-anywhere' style.....
by nisiprius
Thu Sep 11, 2008 12:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Can We Again Refinance and Party On?
Replies: 20
Views: 5534

I think nobody really knows. Almost everything you read about this sort of thing is being spun in one direction or another. Politicians of both parties will wring their hands one minute over how terrible the deficit is when asked to spend money on something they're opposed to, and not worry about it...
by nisiprius
Thu Sep 11, 2008 12:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Need to Take Risk: Equity Risk vs Longevity Risk
Replies: 139
Views: 17080

[Never mind. Deleting one more spin of an old broken record...]
by nisiprius
Thu Sep 11, 2008 11:47 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Yale: Delayed Gratification, Intelligence Linked
Replies: 34
Views: 7484

Re: Yale: Delayed Gratification, Intelligence Linked

According to a study published in Psychological Science , "[Yale] researchers presented 103 healthy adults a variety of scenarios, all having to do with trading a larger financial reward down the road for a smaller one today. Participants were asked if they would trade $2,000 today for $40,000 in e...