Search found 33460 matches

by nisiprius
Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: GE and the myth of "safe blue-chip stocks"
Replies: 73
Views: 7213

Re: GE and the myth of "safe blue-chip stocks"

...The price of GE is the lowest since the depths of the financial crisis of 2009. To her, this is a golden opportunity... I wonder if there are any shares of Enron still extent? Just think how low the prices of Enron is. Perhaps there are some Enron employees that still have printed stock certific...
by nisiprius
Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: GE and the myth of "safe blue-chip stocks"
Replies: 73
Views: 7213

Re: GE and the myth of "safe blue-chip stocks"

Nisi, it's worse than you thought: GE shares plunge 8% for biggest decline since housing recession after turnaround plan unveiled General Electric announces it will cut its dividend in half as part of a broader corporate restructuring. It plans a renewed focus on health care, aviation and energy. C...
by nisiprius
Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Keurig died...what now?
Replies: 73
Views: 5163

Re: Keurig died...what now?

French Press Come on, folks. The premise of the original post is that his wife "likes the K-cup concept." You don't mess around with stuff your life companion likes. He wants to know if there are better K-cup brewers than Keurig-branded brewers, not if there is any other way to make coffee. Some pe...
by nisiprius
Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Keurig died...what now?
Replies: 73
Views: 5163

Re: Keurig died...what now?

You didn't say how long your wife has had it... I haven't heard anything in the folkways about Keurig machines being short-lived, and the one in the teachers' break room in the school where I substitute-teach is a Keurig 1.0 that's being going strong for at least six years, under probably heavy use....
by nisiprius
Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:23 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Does Magic Formula works or ever worked for you?
Replies: 39
Views: 9783

Re: Does Magic Formula works or ever worked for you?

You said it was a serious question that deserves a real answer. I respect that. So in brief: It is apparent that you haven't read Greenblatt. Otherwise, you'd see that there are not 2 Magic Formulas. The so called "Magic Formula" is really just a simple screen. For backtesting purposes, Greenblatt ...
by nisiprius
Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:51 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: “Flight to Quality:” the old way of thinking?
Replies: 16
Views: 1474

Re: “Flight to Quality:” the old way of thinking?

I've learned to pretty much ignore all the stuff about "When X happens, Y will happen, so investors will do Z, resulting in Q." All the "tends to" statements. None of it is reliable. It is all after-the-fact "rational actor" explanations of what happened the last time. I hold Vanguard Total Bond (an...
by nisiprius
Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:37 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: GE and the myth of "safe blue-chip stocks"
Replies: 73
Views: 7213

GE and the myth of "safe blue-chip stocks"

This isn't really about GE, and it isn't a prediction--either that GE will cut its dividend, or that GE will be dropped from the Dow. But according to today's headlines, people are speculating about, even anticipating both of these things. The Dow has no mechanical rules for inclusion; as I understa...
by nisiprius
Sun Nov 12, 2017 10:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Personal Black Swan
Replies: 46
Views: 5682

Re: The Personal Black Swan

From the look and time, I’d say it was the Russian Exchange....went to zero. I do not consider that a broadly diversified portfolio - as I specified. (Shrug) Yes. That's a fair criticism of what I said. I was thinking of "diversified" in the older meaning of "invested in the stocks of many differen...
by nisiprius
Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What Makes U.S. Treasuries the World's "Safe" Asset?
Replies: 24
Views: 2476

Re: What Makes U.S. Treasuries the World's "Safe" Asset?

Just to point out the obvious, whether or not they are the world's safe asset today, things can change, and with surprising speed. In the James Bond novels, in Thunderball (1961), Ernst Stavro Blofeld says proudly that all of SPECTRE's funds in held in "Swiss francs and Venezuelan bolivars...the har...
by nisiprius
Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bitcoin: Significance of 12 transactions per second?
Replies: 28
Views: 2866

Re: Bitcoin: Significance of 12 transactions per second?

Poster grayfox went on a five page discovery of Bitcoin. Here is where he discovered the capacity problem. https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=3504009#p3504009 Ron Wow, that's all fascinating. I'm a bitcoin skeptic but not so obsessed with it that I'd followed that thread. Apart from e...
by nisiprius
Sun Nov 12, 2017 3:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are we headed for a crash or...
Replies: 19
Views: 1814

Re: Are we headed for a crash or...

HAMLET: Do you see yonder cloud that's almost in shape of a camel? LORD POLONIUS: By the mass, and 'tis like a camel, indeed. HAMLET: Methinks it is like a weasel. LORD POLONIUS: It is backed like a weasel. HAMLET: Or like a whale? LORD POLONIUS: Very like a whale. Take a clean copy of that chart, t...
by nisiprius
Sun Nov 12, 2017 12:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: My favorite bond portfolio
Replies: 19
Views: 2592

Re: My favorite bond portfolio

A key question is: suppose one holds both intermediate-term bonds and cash. (By "cash" I mean carefully chosen, interest-earning accounts). Can you really make an important, worthwhile improvement by going from two categories--intermediate-term bonds and cash--to three--intermediate-term bonds, shor...
by nisiprius
Sun Nov 12, 2017 11:31 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: AA: Should I List Junk Bond Fund Under Stocks or Bonds?
Replies: 12
Views: 726

Re: AA: Should I List Junk Bond Fund Under Stocks or Bonds?

The stocks/bonds/cash (aka equities/fixed income/short-term reserves) classification is imprecise, but the conclusions one would draw from it are imprecise, too. It's always a problem because there are always assets that don't fit. On the other hand, Vanguard provides only four LifeStrategy funds, w...
by nisiprius
Sun Nov 12, 2017 11:08 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Personal Black Swan
Replies: 46
Views: 5682

Re: The Personal Black Swan

...But really, any broadly diversified portfolio, if held long-term and rebalanced, is pretty safe in the sense that a catastrophic market loss is effectively impossible... Nope. It's possible. https://s8.postimg.org/64qwe59sl/Captura_de_pantalla_2017-11-12_a_la_s_11.01.55_AM.png https://s8.postimg...
by nisiprius
Sat Nov 11, 2017 8:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: My favorite bond portfolio
Replies: 19
Views: 2592

Re: My favorite bond portfolio

"Furthermore, he makes the case to mix short and intermediate term bonds. This way, the bonds will do exactly what you need them to do in the event of a crisis." During the financial crisis of 2008-2009, I felt that plain old total bond (VBMFX, blue) did do exactly what I needed it to do. Arguably t...
by nisiprius
Sat Nov 11, 2017 8:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: My favorite bond portfolio
Replies: 19
Views: 2592

Re: My favorite bond portfolio

...but i'm not sure how he is running his backtest starting in 1970 as he claims. tips didn't exist then... ...and I don't know of any short-term TIPS fund before 2009. Indeed, this article says: Pimco To Launch First Short-Term TIPS ETF August 24, 2009 Pimco is ready to launch the first short-term...
by nisiprius
Sat Nov 11, 2017 6:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Should you own only non-U.S. stocks?
Replies: 63
Views: 6132

Re: Should you own only non-U.S. stocks?

I used to say "just tell me how much of your stock allocation you want to be invested internationally, from 0 to 50%, and I can find you an expert who recommends that allocation." Now I can take out that reservation and just say, unconditionally, "just tell me how much of your stock allocation you w...
by nisiprius
Sat Nov 11, 2017 10:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Swedish Death Cleaning [De-clutter your home]
Replies: 63
Views: 6737

Re: Swedish Death Cleaning

I won't get too far into it except to say that in some cases, in the case of things like books that were really important to me forty years ago when I was in grad school, or other items which have sentimental value and I keep around for the memories they trigger... I find that it is easier to let go...
by nisiprius
Sat Nov 11, 2017 10:03 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How much does diligent rebalancing add to a portfolio?
Replies: 35
Views: 2279

Re: How much does diligent rebalancing add to a portfolio?

One caution about "diligently." William J. Bernstein wrote this, and in this case the authority has a special status because he helped to popularize the phrase "rebalancing bonus:" Is there any reason to believe that, on average, rebalancing will help more than it hurts? Not if we believe that marke...
by nisiprius
Sat Nov 11, 2017 8:22 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How much does diligent rebalancing add to a portfolio?
Replies: 35
Views: 2279

Re: How much does diligent rebalancing add to a portfolio?

Rebalancing forces investors to leverage volatility (buy low and sell high). If your 50-50 portfolio drifts to 60-40 as market valuations increase, you sell stocks to bring it back to 50-50, and if there's a recession or market correction and it drifts to 40-60 you buy stocks at a lower price. Let'...
by nisiprius
Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Next Bear Market, Ben Carlson
Replies: 13
Views: 2069

Re: The Next Bear Market, Ben Carlson

Excellent. I particularly liked: There is near universal agreement that many investors will freak out during the next downturn in stocks yet no one assumes they will be part of this group that panics. Surely, everyone else will become hysterical when stocks get crushed but I’ll stay level-headed and...
by nisiprius
Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Individual Stocks
Replies: 22
Views: 1414

Re: Individual Stocks

Thanks! Any thoughts on Dividend Aristocrats? Yeah. My thoughts are that they aren't very different from the rest of the stock market. Or, at least, since inception of the SPDR S&P Dividend ETF, SDY, which tracks the S&P High Yield Dividend Aristocrats Index, it hasn't behaved very differently from...
by nisiprius
Thu Nov 09, 2017 8:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do telecom stocks have a future?
Replies: 64
Views: 3335

Re: Do telecom stocks have a future?

I still have a fairly large lump of big telecom stocks from my legacy of working in that field. (1) Does telecom have a future or will cord-cutting kill this industry? (2) Are these stocks worth keeping as quasi-bond equivalents? (3) I read somewhere that they are essentially like convertible bonds...
by nisiprius
Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What backup service to use?
Replies: 28
Views: 2059

Re: What backup service to use?

I'm testing Backblaze with Mac OS X. I've only been using it for four weeks and don't have a definitive opinion yet. I'm quite unhappy about what Code42 (Crashplan) did, and it's too long a story but the reason why I'm not just using up my remaining year with them is that I just upgraded to a new Ma...
by nisiprius
Thu Nov 09, 2017 9:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Eye Doctor $30 to get your Rx? Is this normal?
Replies: 78
Views: 5300

Re: Eye Doctor $30 to get your Rx? Is this normal?

My interpretation and guesswork is that the place she went to was probably legal, but dishonest in a small way: they possibly have a policy of waiving the cost of the refraction if you buy glasses there. But they did not explain that up front. Eye doctors' offices around here typically have a big si...
by nisiprius
Thu Nov 09, 2017 9:45 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Has “Dividend Yield” Become Globally Obsolete?
Replies: 35
Views: 2167

Re: Has “Dividend Yield” Become Globally Obsolete?

Very interesting stuff, SimpleGift, you are calling attention to lots of interesting stuff, thanks... NASDAQ has a "buyback achievers" index, there's at least one ETF that tracks it (PKW) and at least one international buyback achievers ETF (IPKW). I keep waiting for them to get some forum attention...
by nisiprius
Thu Nov 09, 2017 9:37 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TIPS at a young age?
Replies: 23
Views: 1079

Re: TIPS at a young age?

...And they are very volatile... Very volatile? 60/40, Total Stock and Total Bond (VBMFX), portfolio 1, blue; 60/40, Total Stock and Vanguard Inflation-Protected Securities, VIPSX, portfolio 2, red. 80/20, Total Stock and Total Bond, portfolio 3, orange. Source https://s1.postimg.org/7ycwxrwdbj/Cap...
by nisiprius
Thu Nov 09, 2017 9:24 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TIPS at a young age?
Replies: 23
Views: 1079

Re: TIPS at a young age?

TIPS aren't that complicated. People like to make them sound complicated because they don't like TIPS (there isn't any way for anybody to make a lot of money out of them). I think the investment industry hates them because they used to be able to sell you stocks on the premise that you simply must h...
by nisiprius
Thu Nov 09, 2017 8:52 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do telecom stocks have a future?
Replies: 64
Views: 3335

Re: Do telecom stocks have a future?

If you assume that you just don't know, then what is your best course of action?
by nisiprius
Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:07 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "The small-cap effect really has failed to materialize"
Replies: 37
Views: 5070

Re: "The small-cap effect really has failed to materialize"

...Are small-caps supposed to have a better risk-adjusted return, or just a higher absolute return, as a compensation for the added risk?... That is an interesting and somewhat elusive point, as many writers who recommend small-caps just don't make that clear. The original Banz paper was quite clea...
by nisiprius
Wed Nov 08, 2017 7:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: DFA access
Replies: 27
Views: 2475

Re: DFA access

Image

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by nisiprius
Wed Nov 08, 2017 7:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Emerging Markets - Returns Lower than Claimed?
Replies: 19
Views: 1912

Re: Emerging Markets - Returns Lower than Claimed?

I'm taking it that you're implying returns will be lower than historical returns provided by MSCI? I think I am saying, rather, that emerging markets are literally new and their nature has been constantly changing over the short period of time they have existed. It's not even remotely the same list...
by nisiprius
Wed Nov 08, 2017 6:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "The small-cap effect really has failed to materialize"
Replies: 37
Views: 5070

"The small-cap effect really has failed to materialize"

Warning, I'm cherry-picking from an article to draw a conclusion that seems to be the opposite of that of the article as a whole The title of the article is actually 2 ETF Picks to Harness the Small-Cap Effect . I'm scratching my head, because Ben Johnson seems to start off by blowing the small-cap ...
by nisiprius
Wed Nov 08, 2017 6:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Emerging Markets - Returns Lower than Claimed?
Replies: 19
Views: 1912

Re: Emerging Markets - Returns Lower than Claimed?

In 1988, the stock markets in the MSCI Emerging Markets index represented less than 1% of global stock markets by capitalization. Today it is 10%, a tenfold increase in twenty-nine years. To quote Mark Twain, extrapolating the shortening of the Mississippi river, "any calm person, who is not blind o...
by nisiprius
Wed Nov 08, 2017 3:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Crypto Currency as Good or Bad as SW That Creates It
Replies: 1
Views: 398

Re: Crypto Currency as Good or Bad as SW That Creates It

With cryptocurrency, there's always an alibi. This time it is this is a problem with the smart contract code built on top of ethereum, not with ethereum itself. But the whole point of ethereum, and the reason it's being hyped as being the real thing and that all the big players are interested in it,...
by nisiprius
Wed Nov 08, 2017 9:47 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Difference in dividend funds
Replies: 6
Views: 396

Re: Difference in dividend funds

You have to state your personal theory or reason for wanting a dividend-oriented fund. These represent different strategies. Don't choose based on the 1-3-5-10 return charts or Morningstar star ratings, that is not a good practice. If you cannot state for yourself your reason for choosing one of the...
by nisiprius
Wed Nov 08, 2017 9:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Morningstar: Cognitive decline in aging. A strong case for portfolio simplification?
Replies: 98
Views: 7691

Re: Morningstar: Cognitive decline in aging. A strong case for portfolio simplification?

I do disagree with nisi and sheepdog on this one by doing the following. When I receive email notification about statement availability, I logon and download a copy to my computer. I have a very straight forward system all in a single folder for just financial statements by account by month/year so...
by nisiprius
Wed Nov 08, 2017 9:14 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Emerging Markets - Returns Lower than Claimed?
Replies: 19
Views: 1912

Re: Emerging Markets - Returns Lower than Claimed?

For better or worse, one of the reasons emerging markets have garnered so much attention is that they have, in fact, had bursts of greed-inspiring outperformance. Distinguishing between recency, the sampling error of the choice of time period, and the expectations for the long term is a challenge. O...
by nisiprius
Wed Nov 08, 2017 6:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Eye Doctor $30 to get your Rx? Is this normal?
Replies: 78
Views: 5300

Re: Eye Doctor $30 to get your Rx? Is this normal?

...Yes this is normal. Every single ophthalmologist that I'm aware of charges for refractions... I don't think you read the original post. The refraction had already been done. The $30 charge was assessed in the optical shop as the cost of giving her the prescription that the shop already had. That...
by nisiprius
Tue Nov 07, 2017 5:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is short term tips etf appropriate for part of emergency fund?
Replies: 21
Views: 1480

Re: Is short term tips etf appropriate for part of emergency fund?

I bonds are quite unique in what they do and you should make sure you understand them. I think they are perfect for an emergency fund once you've waited out the first year. In general, I don't see why a short-term bond fund of any kind wouldn't be OK for an emergency fund. Just look at the fluctuati...
by nisiprius
Tue Nov 07, 2017 5:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "I took all my money out of the stock market and it feels amazing"
Replies: 69
Views: 8705

Re: "I took all my money out of the stock market and it feels amazing"

So the author knows, "exactly how much money I need to live on", which implies that she knows her exact age at death, the annual change in CPI, her spending rate and interest rates for this exact time. What a leap to believe she knows these factors. If she uses the money to buy an inflation-indexed...
by nisiprius
Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:14 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: SIPC
Replies: 3
Views: 323

Re: SIPC

No, it does not. Financial securities have risks, both of a decline in value, and of shenanigans or fraud. Holding those securities at a brokerage adds an extra layer of risk, the risk of shenanigans or fraud at the brokerage itself. The SIPC insures against the extra risk of using a brokerage rathe...
by nisiprius
Mon Nov 06, 2017 5:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Anybody using Vanguard Managed Payout?
Replies: 7
Views: 1041

Re: Anybody using Vanguard Managed Payout?

Maybe the monthly (as opposed to quarterly or semiannual) payouts is the value add? I still don’t see though how this is different from me requesting monthly withdrawals from any other fund. What *would* you choose for monthly income? The value add is both that the payouts are monthly, and also tha...
by nisiprius
Mon Nov 06, 2017 2:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Morningstar: Cognitive decline in aging. A strong case for portfolio simplification?
Replies: 98
Views: 7691

Re: Morningstar: Cognitive decline in aging. A strong case for portfolio simplification?

Pssst. "Apple, table, penny." How many people know what I am talking about? Zen question: is it really cheating to know the answer to a memory test by heart? You're not really supposed to remember the three items after you leave the office. And you're not supposed to teach everyone the only three t...
by nisiprius
Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:32 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Dr. Shiller's Portfolio is Tilted Toward Europe and Emerging Markets
Replies: 19
Views: 2402

Re: Dr. Shiller's Portfolio is Tilted Toward Europe and Emerging Markets

I think it is a big mistake to translate "this is what I do myself" into "this is my recommendation for others."
by nisiprius
Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Morningstar: Cognitive decline in aging. A strong case for portfolio simplification?
Replies: 98
Views: 7691

Re: Morningstar: Cognitive decline in aging. A strong case for portfolio simplification?

4) Completely liquidating about two dozen separate TIPS bonds and replacing them with a single TIPS mutual fund. What is your reasoning for choosing between a liquidating ladder and a fund? I'm considering the same idea. Simplification, no more and no less. Simplification at the expense of optimiza...
by nisiprius
Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:16 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Volatility and Risk relationship
Replies: 29
Views: 1963

Re: Volatility and Risk relationship

...I have very high appetite for volatility (I will be able to stay the course even if market went down 40% - at least I think I would based on scenarios I have run). I find that percentage number, 40%, an odd choice. "One half" is a kind of psychological breakpoint; it somehow is easier to imagine...
by nisiprius
Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:06 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Volatility and Risk relationship
Replies: 29
Views: 1963

Re: Volatility and Risk relationship

People who are trying to sell risky investment to risk-averse investors like to play rhetorical games around the word risk . There is also a constant tendency to distort and oversimplify the nuanced statements by gurus; for example, Warren Buffett said "Volatility is far from synonymous with risk," ...
by nisiprius
Mon Nov 06, 2017 10:08 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I-bond inflation irony?
Replies: 35
Views: 3572

Re: I-bond inflation irony?

.,.I get the impression that TIPS and inflation-adjusted annuities are the main alternatives to I-bonds?... Series I savings bonds are really very different from TIPS. Not necessarily better, but very different. They are not really comparable, even though they are both called "bonds" and are both i...
by nisiprius
Mon Nov 06, 2017 6:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Morningstar: Cognitive decline in aging. A strong case for portfolio simplification?
Replies: 98
Views: 7691

Re: Morningstar: Cognitive decline in aging. A strong case for portfolio simplification?

Pssst. "Apple, table, penny."

How many people know what I am talking about?

Zen question: is it really cheating to know the answer to a memory test by heart?