Search found 33450 matches

by nisiprius
Wed Sep 12, 2007 11:13 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: The Hartford's longevity insurance: WHERE can I get a quote?
Replies: 61
Views: 19853

Re: WHY BUY ANNUITIES?

I respectfully disagree. Rather than finding annuity threads largely unnecessary and mostly unproductive, I find them to be quite interesting and educational. I find the topic of using annuities as supplementary income in retirement with the possibility of improving portfolio survivability to be qu...
by nisiprius
Wed Sep 12, 2007 11:06 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: The Hartford's longevity insurance: WHERE can I get a quote?
Replies: 61
Views: 19853

Please give us an update on your attempt to get a quote. OK. 1) Nobody from A. G. Edwards has called me back yet. 2) My big local insurance agent hasn't replied to my email. Like many places, particularly smallish businesses, there are a few that actually use email, but a lot that publish email add...
by nisiprius
Tue Sep 11, 2007 9:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k Rollover question
Replies: 7
Views: 1930

Re: 401k Rollover question

I was reading another post and wasn't sure if I read this correctly, but... Can you transfer 401k funds to Vanguard while you are still employed at the company through which the 401k is provided? If you're over 59-1/2 , you probably can. My 401(k) is handled by Fidelity and I was told that I couldn...
by nisiprius
Tue Sep 11, 2007 9:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: The Hartford's longevity insurance: WHERE can I get a quote?
Replies: 61
Views: 19853

An annuity takes a pool of insurers' premiums and puts a leakproof envelope around them that makes sure that the annuitant's heirs get nothing. Just as a refresher, I'll repeat what Taylor Larimore wrote HERE : This is in contrast with an immediate annuity. With this product, one's heirs will get n...
by nisiprius
Tue Sep 11, 2007 1:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: The Hartford's longevity insurance: WHERE can I get a quote?
Replies: 61
Views: 19853

Waiting assumes that there are alternatives that are obviously much better than an annuity. It's by no means clear to me that ultrasafe, conservative investments like a TIPS ladder are all that much better. Owning the T-Bills/TIPS for yourself means you don't have to pay for the actuary's Rolex and...
by nisiprius
Tue Sep 11, 2007 11:34 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Protection against deflation
Replies: 10
Views: 2155

Valuethinker wrote:You could suffer some pretty unpleasant losses in value of TIPS, most TIPS are trading a long way above par?

I've only bought them at issue and only intend (and so far only have) sold them at maturity. I try not to pay attention to what my brokerage statements say about them in between.
by nisiprius
Tue Sep 11, 2007 10:35 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Protection against deflation
Replies: 10
Views: 2155

Just finished reading Deflation: What Happens When Prices Fall by Chris Farrell. I thought it was pretty interesting. He pointed out that periods of deflation have been quite common throughout history and were often thought to be the normal condition in periods of technological advance. I realized t...
by nisiprius
Tue Sep 11, 2007 8:40 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: The Hartford's longevity insurance: WHERE can I get a quote?
Replies: 61
Views: 19853

As an actuary, I'd call that a good explanation of how annuities work. Each year that the annuitant survives provides him/her an extra "survival return," (multiplier) on top of the investment return, derived from the other annuitants who didn't survive that year. But don't forget the ER. ...
by nisiprius
Mon Sep 10, 2007 7:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: WSJ: We are watching you, Diehards.org ...
Replies: 47
Views: 13164

401(k)'s -> Multiplicity of accounts

Another problem with 401(k)s has not been mentioned, but it is obvious from the postings of people puzzling over their asset allocations who begin by listing six different accounts, each with different fund families in them. These days, many couples work, many jobs come with 401(k)s, and many people...
by nisiprius
Mon Sep 10, 2007 7:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: The Hartford's longevity insurance: WHERE can I get a quote?
Replies: 61
Views: 19853

Quasimodo wrote:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tontine

And here I thought the "Tontine" was the bell they rung at Lloyds.

So, something I never thought about: do the insurance companies send out hit squads after long-lived annuitants?
by nisiprius
Mon Sep 10, 2007 6:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: The Hartford's longevity insurance: WHERE can I get a quote?
Replies: 61
Views: 19853

nisiprius, see if the following jibes with your assumptions. I wrote it a couple of years ago, for naive posters on SPIAs. Disregard any that does not relate. 4) SPIAs are God- sent to retirees who have not saved enough. I have always figured SPIAs into my retirement plans or the equivalent thereof...
by nisiprius
Mon Sep 10, 2007 6:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Sources for historical data?
Replies: 15
Views: 2851

I'll have to plead ignorance. I don't know what a "martingale" is. I assume it's not a good thing. It's a method for making a guaranteed steady income by playing a routette wheel... it's the mother of all gambling "systems." Assume you wish to secure a completely safe, guarantee...
by nisiprius
Mon Sep 10, 2007 4:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Sources for historical data?
Replies: 15
Views: 2851

Secondly, there's no point in fretting about "reverse dollar-cost averaging" unless you're comparing it to a specific alternative, and I'm frankly suspicious that the plausible alternative of "using cash reserves to wait out the bear market" is really just a sort of martingale. ...
by nisiprius
Mon Sep 10, 2007 2:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: The Hartford's longevity insurance: WHERE can I get a quote?
Replies: 61
Views: 19853

The reason I mention earmarking money into a TIPS fund and sitting on it to buy an annuity, is because that is exactly what the insurance company is doing with your initial premium. Except, that if you die early or need the money, it is there for you vs. being locked away in the insurco's general a...
by nisiprius
Mon Sep 10, 2007 11:36 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: WSJ: We are watching you, Diehards.org ...
Replies: 47
Views: 13164

Re: alphabet soup

I think we should convert everything into just IRAs and Roth IRAs, open up TSP to everybody, raise the contribution limit to something high like $20,000 or $30,000, and let people make withdrawals without penalty for whatever they want. Uh, these plans are supposed to be used for retirement . The t...
by nisiprius
Mon Sep 10, 2007 11:09 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Sources for historical data?
Replies: 15
Views: 2851

Re: historical returns

Thanks to Simba and the many others who replied above. I compiled the historical returns of Vanguard funds since inception. I discussed this topic here . You can download the spreadsheet here . I also have the yields for various funds from 1986. You can download that spreadsheet here . Cb has alread...
by nisiprius
Mon Sep 10, 2007 11:04 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Sources for historical data?
Replies: 15
Views: 2851

Pardon my naive question, but why? The short answer is: because these, or investments so similar to them as not to matter, are the core of my own holdings. The long answer is: I'm trying to answer to my own satisfaction the question, some interrelated questions bearing on the question of how many m...
by nisiprius
Mon Sep 10, 2007 8:40 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Can you still get a physical paper bond with coupons?
Replies: 5
Views: 1109

They are perfect collectibles! I give it about thirty years before technology moves on to something else and plastic cards will be collected the way scripophilists collect stock certificates. Not the same thing, but The Art of the Market I just checked out from the library. Yeah, I'm old enough to ...
by nisiprius
Mon Sep 10, 2007 7:50 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [poll] Will the Fed Cut Interest Rates and Should they?
Replies: 12
Views: 2460

My vague and not-well-informed impression is that the Fed thinks its top-priority job is to keep inflation down, period, end-of-story. It will sacrifice everything else to that goal if it needs to. Faced with both the need to fight inflationary pressures and the need to give the economy a boost, it ...
by nisiprius
Mon Sep 10, 2007 7:25 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Sources for historical data?
Replies: 15
Views: 2851

Sources for historical data?

I'm looking for reasonable historical data sets to do some personal spreadsheeting and poking around. Essentially what I'd like is the equivalent of the "growth of $10,000 charts" for VFINX and VBMFX, but going back for fifty years instead of only ten. (How far back does the Lehman Brother...
by nisiprius
Mon Sep 10, 2007 5:18 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Can you still get a physical paper bond with coupons?
Replies: 5
Views: 1109

Plastic cards will be the new collectibles!

Coupon bonds have not been issued for at least 15 years. There are undoubtedly some still in existence but you'd never find them. John I just had an "aha!" moment. Today, the commonest, uh, value-holding thingy is a credit card or something the same size, made of the same plastic, with, u...
by nisiprius
Mon Sep 10, 2007 5:12 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: The Hartford's longevity insurance: WHERE can I get a quote?
Replies: 61
Views: 19853

IMHO your best bet is to put away $10,000 into a TIPS fund, and earmark it for bying a SPIA, if you remember to do that when you are 85. I don't think so. I'm going to post something on this when I've got my numbers together a bit more. Many people sort of hate the idea of annuities and there is a ...
by nisiprius
Sun Sep 09, 2007 8:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Can you still get a physical paper bond with coupons?
Replies: 5
Views: 1109

Can you still get a physical paper bond with coupons?

Brooding about gifts for a granddaughter... thought about a stock certificate, but it suddenly occurred to me that a bond with actual coupons that could be clipped might be more fun. Come to think of it, I've never owned one myself (although I do remember my parents once having a bond from which cou...
by nisiprius
Sun Sep 09, 2007 8:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How much money is the elusive "enough" for you?
Replies: 16
Views: 4580

Re: I think "enough" depends on a yearly income

Enough is having in the future enough money to let us buy the goods and services that are "enough" for us today.. The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom. Prudence is a rich ugly old maid courted by Incapacity. He who desires but acts not, breeds pestilence. He whose face gives n...
by nisiprius
Sun Sep 09, 2007 7:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: The Hartford's longevity insurance: WHERE can I get a quote?
Replies: 61
Views: 19853

The BRK SPIA pricer is fun. For example, a $100,000 SPIA for a 25yo Male that will start paying in 2047 (when he is 65) will pay out $57,246 per year But, A $100,000 SPIA issued today to a 65yo male will only pay out $7,890 per year. To get 57,246 pa you would have to invest $725,533. So behold the...
by nisiprius
Sun Sep 09, 2007 7:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How much money is the elusive "enough" for you?
Replies: 16
Views: 4580

Re: Pikers!

Those cottages at Newport look nice. Any time you think you'd be happy with a McMansion, take a little trip to Rhode Island and become envious and discontented. [...] So, those of you who think that $25 million is "enough..." you need to aim higher. About a thousand times higher. Even win...
by nisiprius
Sun Sep 09, 2007 4:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Visiting the Commercial Bank
Replies: 14
Views: 3977

Re: Not exactly southport -

The banks like to say, rightly, that credit unions have no stockholders and are not in business to make a profit. So to compare them to banks gives CUs an unfair advantage. I do not agree with this statement. Neither can you believe what bankers say about credit unions. Credit unions are owned by t...
by nisiprius
Sun Sep 09, 2007 3:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: The Hartford's longevity insurance: WHERE can I get a quote?
Replies: 61
Views: 19853

Isn't there some better way to find agents that represent The Hartford then to start calling them at random and asking? What about this "find an agent" form on their website? You don't have to enter your real contact info. Just make up some and use the real zip code. m By the way an insur...
by nisiprius
Sun Sep 09, 2007 3:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard lowering ER on TSM
Replies: 22
Views: 5937

VGTSX, VFWIX, will the "real" fund please stand up

Total International Stock Index fund expenses are also down according to the semi-annual report; from 0.32 to 0.28. The underlying Europe, Pacific, and Emerging Markets index funds expenses are also all down 2-3 basis points. Bob Hoo boy... I'm confused. Which is the "real" total internat...
by nisiprius
Sun Sep 09, 2007 1:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: The Hartford's longevity insurance: WHERE can I get a quote?
Replies: 61
Views: 19853

Have you tried an independent insurance agent in your town? As you say, Harford does not have direct sales. If I wanted an insurance product, I wouldn't call A.G. Edwards as my first choice. If you find an agency that carries The Hartford products, you are probably better off walking in the door an...
by nisiprius
Sun Sep 09, 2007 9:06 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How much money is the elusive "enough" for you?
Replies: 16
Views: 4580

Pikers!

The plutocrats of the gilded age sought, not merely to live on the interest without "invading the principal," but to live on the interest on the interest. That would require a principal of something like 400 times income. Twenty-five million would only support a piddling $62,500/year initi...
by nisiprius
Sun Sep 09, 2007 8:46 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Visiting the Commercial Bank
Replies: 14
Views: 3977

Rant

When was the last time Vanguard supported your daughter's softball team? When was the last time Bank of America did? When my kids were in the Little League, it was all small local businesses. As far as I know, none of the small local banks are commercial banks. They're savings banks, S&L's, and...
by nisiprius
Sun Sep 09, 2007 8:16 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: The Hartford's longevity insurance: WHERE can I get a quote?
Replies: 61
Views: 19853

The Hartford's longevity insurance: WHERE can I get a quote?

Another thread mentioned longevity insurance... summary appended below. Has anyone succeeded in reaching an actual agent who knows about The Hartford's "Income Security" product and knows how to give estimates and quotes for it? Don't want a discussion of the pros and cons... I don't want ...
by nisiprius
Sat Sep 08, 2007 7:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: REITs Intentions
Replies: 43
Views: 15298

I started adding TIAA Real Estate cautiously about the time it started, mostly because Burton Malkiel recommends real estate for its diversifying effect in Random Walk Down Wall Street. I had about 4% of my portfolio in TIAA Real Estate. In July I decided I wanted to consolidate accounts, liquidated...
by nisiprius
Sat Sep 08, 2007 5:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What do you think of your 401k?
Replies: 25
Views: 5709

Plus, my company doesn't offer a match. Now I feel much better. My employer matches the first $250 (!) I wonder how many tiny little 401(k)'s Fidelity is administering and if my employer gets any flack from Fidelity about it. I'd think the profits on a $500 account would hardly pay for the cost of ...
by nisiprius
Sat Sep 08, 2007 4:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What do you think of your 401k?
Replies: 25
Views: 5709

I regard my employer's 401(k) plan as a) very good and b) completely satisfactory. It's managed by Fidelity. It's not a perfect fit for my style or the Boglehead style, but what would be? Some of the funds have expense ratios that I object to on the principle of the thing, but they're not insultingl...
by nisiprius
Sat Sep 08, 2007 7:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Singularity Investing
Replies: 21
Views: 5321

Savvy investors need to be prepared for another inevitable technology development. As Aubrey de Grey http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aubrey_de_Grey has pointed out, the number of problems to be solved before aging can be eliminated completely, is a very small number . So, lifespans of 150, 300, 900 yea...
by nisiprius
Fri Sep 07, 2007 3:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Singularity Investing
Replies: 21
Views: 5321

"Exponential growth"

Somewhere, out there, rain or shine, boom or bust, exponential growth is taking place. Indeed. It's taking place right now in my savings bank "money market" account. The number of dollars in that account is a very close fit to $3215 * exp((y - 2007) * 0.0185) where y is the current date (...
by nisiprius
Fri Sep 07, 2007 3:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Another "Surprise" on Wall Street
Replies: 18
Views: 4143

Today was another buying opportunity (I hope). I took a capital loss in VG high yield municipal bond fund two weeks back. I have been DCA that money into VTSMX, buying on dips like today. I hope the market bottom occurs before all my all cash is gone. I am hoping for a Santa Claus rally later this ...
by nisiprius
Fri Sep 07, 2007 3:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Singularity Investing
Replies: 21
Views: 5321

This time it's different! Just like the last time. As always, in order to profit from something like this: *You have to see it coming. *Not everybody else can see it coming, or they'll bid up the price and it will just be like RCA in the 1920s (radio, it's gonna be big, big , I'm telling you) or the...
by nisiprius
Fri Sep 07, 2007 10:39 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard lowers bar to become "affluent" client
Replies: 13
Views: 4583

What would you call that thing? A lead American Express card? A carbon American Express card?

Or is it actually some new kind of iPod?
by nisiprius
Fri Sep 07, 2007 9:22 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: When To Take Social Security
Replies: 31
Views: 8984

It does appear as if, when analyzed, it will probably turn out that living off the next egg for up to four years before starting to draw Social Security benefits will probably work better , but I have to say the idea induces panicky feelings in me. Living off your nest egg for 4 years is just like ...
by nisiprius
Fri Sep 07, 2007 4:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refusing to pay a bill
Replies: 20
Views: 7226

Ideas

Whenever you realize that you're getting into a "situation," start a physical file and document, document, document. Every time you're on the phone with someone, get their name, ask for a reference number for the conversation--not every place has such a thing but some do, and for the ones ...
by nisiprius
Thu Sep 06, 2007 7:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: stumbled here....so confused- savings and funds
Replies: 9
Views: 2701

Most important number: $215,000 saved. How does that fit with where you want to be at retirement? Looks pretty good to me, I'm sure I hadn't saved 1-1/2 years' salary at age 34 and I don't think many other 34-year-olds have... Next most important number. Forget all the details, just classify everyth...
by nisiprius
Thu Sep 06, 2007 6:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: When To Take Social Security
Replies: 31
Views: 8984

It does appear as if, when analyzed, it will probably turn out that living off the next egg for up to four years before starting to draw Social Security benefits will probably work better , but I have to say the idea induces panicky feelings in me. Living off your nest egg for 4 years is just like ...
by nisiprius
Thu Sep 06, 2007 3:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: When To Take Social Security
Replies: 31
Views: 8984

I like the idea of taking the SS at 62 and optionally paying the government back at a later date to get a higher monthly amount. Do folks that apply to do this ever get rejected? Is this a right or a privilege? Of course, there is always the chance the government could stop allowing it in the futur...
by nisiprius
Thu Sep 06, 2007 2:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pre-FRA Social Security earnings "penalties..."
Replies: 5
Views: 1299

Here's another misleading statement

Here's another one! And this is in a column about questions you should ask your financial advisor to see whether they know what they're doing: http://www.fool.com/personal-finance/retirement/2006/08/04/5-questions-for-your-financial-advisor.aspx When should I begin receiving Social Security benefits...
by nisiprius
Thu Sep 06, 2007 11:05 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: When To Take Social Security
Replies: 31
Views: 8984

All of the above are your options to meet your expenses, but if you don't know what those are, it's cart-before-the-horse. Start with the expenses. How much cash flow do you need annually to survive comfortably without eating dogfood? How much would you like to have each year? If early SS meets bot...
by nisiprius
Thu Sep 06, 2007 7:30 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: When To Take Social Security
Replies: 31
Views: 8984

Taking SS a year early decreases benefits by 6% for the rest of your lives. For a man and wife of your ages, a lifetime annuity with COLA adjustments will return 4.4% of the initial premium for life. Delaying SS for a year, you're effectively getting a 6% annuity to FRA. Thereafter, you get an 8% a...
by nisiprius
Thu Sep 06, 2007 5:21 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: When To Take Social Security
Replies: 31
Views: 8984

Taking SS a year early decreases benefits by 6% for the rest of your lives. For a man and wife of your ages, a lifetime annuity with COLA adjustments will return 4.4% of the initial premium for life. Delaying SS for a year, you're effectively getting a 6% annuity to FRA. So far, I'm with you. There...