Search found 35297 matches

by nisiprius
Sun Jun 01, 2008 11:20 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Clearing Up Misconceptions on ST Corporate Bonds
Replies: 90
Views: 22458

Does it matter much?

Image
by nisiprius
Sun Jun 01, 2008 9:43 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Consumers recover only 71% of money stolen by online theft
Replies: 4
Views: 1116

In interpreting that 71% figure, the thing I'd like to know is how it is distributed by size of loss . Let's suppose for example--strictly hypothetical to make a point but not wildly impossible--that 90% of all dollars lost were on transactions of less than $200. Let's suppose that they all involve ...
by nisiprius
Sun Jun 01, 2008 8:27 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 20% inflation?
Replies: 26
Views: 5252

My house value tripled to big funny money numbers during the housing bubble but it did not improve my standard of living one little bit. The bubble did do serious damage to younger peoples standard of living since they couldn't afford anything but crappy housing. Now housing is coming down so the s...
by nisiprius
Sun Jun 01, 2008 8:06 am
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Morningstar Gone?
Replies: 98
Views: 33335

Yeah, when I post reply, it takes me to the main index? Have to find the post again by browsing various categories in order to reply. After this one, I'm not going to do that. Alex, are you watching? That's a bug. An annoying one, but obviously a bug. I haven't got it completely characterized, but ...
by nisiprius
Sat May 31, 2008 5:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Schwab On Investing Magazine
Replies: 7
Views: 2259

... it exists only to give the reader an illusion of knowledge on which to trade and select active funds... without spilling the beans that active management and most trading costs are a complete waste, a simple transfer of your wealth to the financial industry. What next? Surely you're not going t...
by nisiprius
Sat May 31, 2008 4:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Expected Return?
Replies: 29
Views: 5184

Although I picked "crystal ball" instead of "none of above". I assumed that "crystal ball" was a tongue in cheek alternative to "none of the above", and used it in that sense. Please do not believe that I gaze into a large glass ball when faced with complex decisions :D I sometimes gaze into a larg...
by nisiprius
Sat May 31, 2008 10:06 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 20% inflation?
Replies: 26
Views: 5252

In the late 1960's, we had a war with no tax increases, since voters don't like taxes. Wars are expensive. A decade later, after an oil crisis, inflation topped at 16%. To my untutored eye, conditions look the same to me now--high gov't borrowing and price shocks from energy costs. For reasons unkn...
by nisiprius
Sat May 31, 2008 10:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: what's happenning?
Replies: 25
Views: 6433

Oh my - such a problem (from one who remembers "carbon paper" and "telephone booths") :roll: Isn't it amazing how: --there's no carbon paper but we still "cc" our emails? --there's no dial on the telephone but we still use "dial-up?" --we still speak of cash registers going "ka-ching" even though t...
by nisiprius
Fri May 30, 2008 8:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Single-Premium Immediate Annuities (SPIAs) as an Asset Class
Replies: 70
Views: 11105

But that's not a possibility. If that money wasn't being used to buy an annuity, it'd be sitting there in TIPS or bonds or something like that. So for someone in my situation , I think it's perfectly reasonable to think of the annuity as being a slice of my assets, a part of my portfolio--a part th...
by nisiprius
Fri May 30, 2008 5:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Single-Premium Immediate Annuities (SPIAs) as an Asset Class
Replies: 70
Views: 11105

You've found the Milevsky/Chen paper that's been discussed previously at the Morningstar site by folks like me (and others) who endorse the paper's central thesis--namely, in their words, that one needs to consider: the total asset and product allocation decision in retirement which includes both c...
by nisiprius
Fri May 30, 2008 4:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Looking for a table of bear market declines
Replies: 14
Views: 2763

IMHO that table is a little misleading. The thing that everyone needs to look at and commit to memory is a chart of total return of the S&P 500, on a logarithmic scale adjusted for inflation . On such a chart, what you see from about 1965 to 1985 is not several "bear markets," but a twenty-year barr...
by nisiprius
Fri May 30, 2008 3:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is TIAA-CREF a good deal?
Replies: 8
Views: 4397

I'll go out on a limb and give three oversimplified answers. Assuming you decide you do want to annuitize, a) it's certainly not a bad deal; b) you're not going to find anything out there that's a much better deal. If anyone knocks TIAA and says they've got something much better, do not trust them. ...
by nisiprius
Fri May 30, 2008 9:06 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Porfolio review request + how to navigate life change
Replies: 17
Views: 3111

We are going through this process now. I dropped to half time a couple of months ago and plan/hope to stay at that level for a long time. My wife earned about half what I did, and has just gone from full time to fully retired a few weeks ago. I'm just going to blather some random thoughts Don't know...
by nisiprius
Fri May 30, 2008 8:27 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Saving too much for retirement ?
Replies: 51
Views: 11887

Re: Saving too much for retirement ?

It's ironic that the study was from the U of Wisconin, because my wife is always 'badgering' me :lol: , because that's what she feels about me and my indulgence in planning for my retirement. If you live in Wisconsin, and you have even the slightest need for life insurance, do be sure to check out ...
by nisiprius
Fri May 30, 2008 8:14 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Liability of a passenger in a cab accident
Replies: 9
Views: 5383

I don't see that the legal details matter, except as an intellectual exercise. When all is said and done, it would seem as a matter of common sense that the person who opens the door is responsible for the consequences of opening the door. $175 isn't very much money. It cost me $1000 the last time I...
by nisiprius
Fri May 30, 2008 7:36 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Expected Return?
Replies: 29
Views: 5184

You ask for an expected return for next year. My $0.02: An ''expected'' return only exists if you know a priori that next year's returns and the last umpteen year's returns are independent random samples from the same population. Since this isn't even close to being true, anything based on this assu...
by nisiprius
Fri May 30, 2008 5:14 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: DFA vs Vanguard---Big Bet!!!
Replies: 48
Views: 10429

Re: dfa vs vanguard

Again, I recognize the plethora of articles and folks who back Vanguard over DFA. However isn't the proof in the pudding? By that I mean: in terms of my portfolio DFA was the way to go from 2000 until now Wouldn't 100% Vanguard Energy Fund (VGENX, 15.73%/year over last ten years) have even more pro...
by nisiprius
Fri May 30, 2008 4:40 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Argument for TSM
Replies: 34
Views: 6371

This is just the crabby suspicious know-nothingism, but what, exactly, happened to all the old arguments against overseas investing, specifically that it is high-risk because overseas markets are less transparent, less well-regulated, and more subject to influence by speculators and stock manipulato...
by nisiprius
Thu May 29, 2008 6:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Diversification with commodities?
Replies: 22
Views: 8114

The appeal to authority: based on what I read, experts don't think commodities are such safe and powerful diversifiers than an ordinary naïve investor like myself does himself harm by just ignoring them. 1) Tobias: [This book] is about the forest, not the trees... Accordingly, this book will summari...
by nisiprius
Thu May 29, 2008 4:39 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: The Censorship Bar on Bogleheads is Set Pretty Low
Replies: 107
Views: 27094

DRiP Guy wrote:If you want politics, religion, sports, pron, or an argument,
All teh 133t spell it "pr0n," with a zero.
by nisiprius
Thu May 29, 2008 4:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long Term Care Insurance Premium Increase
Replies: 15
Views: 3043

Makes me glad I opted for the ten-year premium payment option. Six down, four to go, no premium increases yet, and I have funds set aside and earmarked for those last four payments. I agree with Bob U. and previous posters that an 11% premium increase doesn't sound bad at all--not the sort of thing ...
by nisiprius
Thu May 29, 2008 12:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 8 Reasons why $8-a-gallon gas is good
Replies: 12
Views: 3351

In my limited experience, 90% of the problems with mass transit can be traced to insufficient frequency of service. We all like comfort and so forth but when it comes down to it, if public transportation will get us reasonably close to where we need to go in a reasonable time, we'll put up with it. ...
by nisiprius
Thu May 29, 2008 11:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are YOU Currently Reading? PART II
Replies: 1043
Views: 293902

"An Innocent Man" by John Grisham. I found it disappointly one-sided. In Grisham's presentation, it is very difficult to fathom why the lawmen in the town acted the way they did. The way in which the guy repeated started to be given mental-health help and then repeatedly fell through the cracks aga...
by nisiprius
Thu May 29, 2008 11:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: what's happenning?
Replies: 25
Views: 6433

Lucky, if you're feeling calm: if I'm composing a very long post, I always make a point of doing a "select all" and "copy" before I press "submit." Then if something goes wrong I can paste into a word processor or something and recover the text. I've never quite figured this out, but some combinatio...
by nisiprius
Thu May 29, 2008 8:13 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bond Allocation for Fidelity, person retiring in 10 years?
Replies: 5
Views: 2252

I got royally ticked off at Fidelity U. S. Bond Index (FBIDX) for underperforming its index last year and dumped it in favor of Vanguard Total Bond Market (VBMFX). In point of fact over the past ten years Fidelity U. S. Bond Index (FBIDX) has performed almost identically to Vanguard Total Bond Marke...
by nisiprius
Thu May 29, 2008 8:03 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: ...
Replies: 17
Views: 2794

Speculation? In commodities?

Masters: I'm shocked, shocked to find that speculation is going on in here!
Aide: [handing him a check] Your earnings, sir.
Masters: (quietly) Oh, thank you very much.
Lieberman: Round up the usual suspects!
by nisiprius
Wed May 28, 2008 8:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Postal Mail Addressed To My Father At My House -- Why?
Replies: 27
Views: 8383

After the wedding, they began to receive all kinds of junk mails with my name sent to their address. Even Playboy Catalogs! Our daughter hasn't been at our address for fifteen years, but we still occasionally receive Victoria's Secret catalogs addressed to her. Actually, two copies, both addressed ...
by nisiprius
Wed May 28, 2008 5:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are YOU Currently Reading? PART II
Replies: 1043
Views: 293902

TTo me it seems intuitively obvious that one person's writing style marks them like a fingerprint, but apparently this is a terribly controversial notion. Writers certainly have schticks, and I'm not sure whether they're fully in control of them. I have a theory--it's only a theory, because I haven...
by nisiprius
Wed May 28, 2008 8:32 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When to add bonds?
Replies: 28
Views: 5632

Burton Malkiel's current edition of A Random Walk Down Wall Street suggests 5% cash, 20% bonds for "age mid-twenties," the earliest life-cycle stage he shows. That's one rule-of-thumb, one-size-fits-all answer.
by nisiprius
Wed May 28, 2008 8:26 am
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: The Censorship Bar on Bogleheads is Set Pretty Low
Replies: 107
Views: 27094

By nature of the fact that many here prescribed to a set ntion of the best strategy to invest, I can see (many on) this site is relatively close-minded. Sure, but you were talking about censorship, not cliqueishness. What you expect from a venue called "Bogleheads" or "Vanguard diehards?" I underst...
by nisiprius
Wed May 28, 2008 8:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Travel for those who rarely do or those that do alot tricks.
Replies: 20
Views: 5014

Possible tip: How do two people unfamiliar with (e.g.) the Milwaukee airport, coming in from different cities, choose a suitable meeting place? It's not so easy to find out whether there's more than one Avis car-rental desk at the airport, for example. AAA has local storefront offices everywhere, an...
by nisiprius
Wed May 28, 2008 5:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Travel for those who rarely do or those that do alot tricks.
Replies: 20
Views: 5014

Tip: when seeking a bathroom in strange territory, consider any office building that has many different businesses in it. Better yet, consider almost any medical building. They are virtually certain to have the rest rooms out in the common corridors rather than inside any of the office complexes. Ei...
by nisiprius
Wed May 28, 2008 5:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are YOU Currently Reading? PART II
Replies: 1043
Views: 293902

Slogging through a book whose title, yes, this is the title, is Lawrence Sanders McNally's Bluff . The book is by Vincent Lardo. I was had. I didn't spot the subtlety when I picked up the book at the library; I just said, "Ah, one of Lawrence Sanders' Archy McNally books I haven't read." It's the th...
by nisiprius
Tue May 27, 2008 5:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Masters or PhD? Part time or full time?
Replies: 63
Views: 14789

If you have to ask whether you want a Ph. D., it might not be right for you. A Ph. D. requires (or is supposed to require) high quality work of original scholarship. It's not career preparation. It's not in order to do something else. It's a thing in itself. It's supposed to lead to more of the same...
by nisiprius
Tue May 27, 2008 1:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Problems with my broker
Replies: 15
Views: 3013

Try Schwab?

I'm just starting to set up a portfolio and I've been having problems finding a company to set up my accounts with. I’ve tried going through several different companies and have been disappoint by the level of service I received, mostly I think due to my age Very, very unlikely. and the size of my ...
by nisiprius
Tue May 27, 2008 11:16 am
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: The Censorship Bar on Bogleheads is Set Pretty Low
Replies: 107
Views: 27094

With regard to commercialism, presumably you're perceiving some pro-Vanguard bias. But I've praised Fidelity and TIAA numerous times for various things. I've posted mild knocks on Vanguard Brokerage Services. I'm a chronic whiny complainer about Vanguard's Managed Payout Funds, and I've made snarky ...
by nisiprius
Tue May 27, 2008 8:41 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Single-Premium Immediate Annuities (SPIAs) as an Asset Class
Replies: 70
Views: 11105

An annuity creates a cash flow and that future cash flow is obviously an asset, but it cannot be part of the AA. That would not make any sense. 1) It makes sense to TIAA, or at least to one TIAA wealth advisor (I haven't polled them). So I don't think it can't be a completely nutty way to look at i...
by nisiprius
Tue May 27, 2008 4:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Postal Mail Addressed To My Father At My House -- Why?
Replies: 27
Views: 8383

If it's your father's address, it's a postal mistake, and it happens. We just grin and bear it. We get mail addressed to the same house number on totally different streets in our neighborhood (within walking distance); we just walk them over to the right recipient ourselves. I'm sure you're aware th...
by nisiprius
Mon May 26, 2008 4:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: bill gross: what does unreal inflation mean for investment?
Replies: 31
Views: 6796

There no doubt that if the way inflation was calculated in the 1970's the way it is today,current 2008 CPI would be higher,it's just question of how much higher,I wish someone could seriously sit down and do the math. Me, too. Unfortunately, this is exactly what the people saying CPI is vastly infl...
by nisiprius
Mon May 26, 2008 4:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Investing and the possible decline of American civilization
Replies: 47
Views: 10568

Sellars and Yeatman, in 1066 And All That , published in 1931, ended the book with a very short chapter saying "America was thus top nation, and History came to a ." (Read that as "full stop.") We've had 75 years of being "top nation," about as long as these things usually last, so if our decline we...
by nisiprius
Mon May 26, 2008 3:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How many miles?
Replies: 21
Views: 4626

Believe it or not... zero. Not the principle of the thing, but it just worked out that way. We've taken a couple of bike rides and numerous walks (to pick up groceries, etc.) Oh, wait, I lied. We had our driveway sealed on Saturday, so I pulled both cars out of the driveway, parked them on the stree...
by nisiprius
Mon May 26, 2008 2:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: USA Today article on Gen Xers not saving
Replies: 20
Views: 4868

market timer wrote:That quote dates back to an era when MSFT was about twice its current price and trees grew to the sky.
... and businesses used secretaries. (See edited post above).
by nisiprius
Mon May 26, 2008 1:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: USA Today article on Gen Xers not saving
Replies: 20
Views: 4868

I read this article a while back that said that Microsoft employs more millionaire secretaries that any other company in the world. They took stock options over Christmas bonuses. It was a good move. They're not millionaires yet ... unless they sold that stock. I once worked for a Fortune 500 high-...
by nisiprius
Mon May 26, 2008 10:20 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Reconciling the Doom and Gloom on marketwatch.com
Replies: 19
Views: 4525

Re: Reconciling the Doom and Gloom on marketwatch.com

How do all you you fellow dieharders "keep the faith" and stick with an AA plan which has any significant exposure to the US economy? Again, I have done the market timing thing to ill effect and I clearly don't have a crystal ball, but I honestly do not see upside potential in the US equities marke...
by nisiprius
Mon May 26, 2008 10:13 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How much do you plan to leave to your children?
Replies: 48
Views: 10180

Oops, should have read the question. Answered a different question from the one that was asked. Whatever is left will go 100% to my wife/kids. I will also leave them a non-binding note ''suggesting'' that they give a little bit of it to charity... and not naming any charity. I thought the question w...
by nisiprius
Mon May 26, 2008 9:52 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Single-Premium Immediate Annuities (SPIAs) as an Asset Class
Replies: 70
Views: 11105

It can get even trickier (conceptually) if you have purchased period certain SPIAs During the duration of the period certain, an SPIA is exactly what people who knock them think it is: a vehicle whereby you hand over money to an insurance company, they set up something like a bond ladder, and pay y...
by nisiprius
Mon May 26, 2008 9:44 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Single-Premium Immediate Annuities (SPIAs) as an Asset Class
Replies: 70
Views: 11105

My view and that of many others is that the annuity ladder is part of the income stream plan and affects AA with regard to risk assessment. My belief is that an analysis that treats the annuity as a locked-in bond allocation has got to end up yielding the same decisions as taking it out of the port...
by nisiprius
Mon May 26, 2008 8:46 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Single-Premium Immediate Annuities (SPIAs) as an Asset Class
Replies: 70
Views: 11105

I've dithered on this one myself, and I haven't found any "standard" answers. There have been other discussions about this in the group. I think you and I are among a group of people just starting to ask this question. Warning: I have no financial credentials whatsoever, I'm just a guy who bought so...
by nisiprius
Mon May 26, 2008 6:48 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Buffett thinks the recession is here
Replies: 8
Views: 2464

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had every...
by nisiprius
Mon May 26, 2008 6:38 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Q&A with Gus Sauter
Replies: 27
Views: 7293

Lastly, why get stuck on identifying the top performing fund manager. If you select an active fund over its indexed counterpart, then monitor performance going forward. If the active fund lags behind in an up market, click the mouse and switch to the index one, or get out completely. Managers may g...