Still using total bond market?

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nix4me
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Re: Still using total bond market?

Post by nix4me »

Some of us, me included, don’t understand bonds so we don’t trust them or use them.
Always passive
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Re: Still using total bond market?

Post by Always passive »

ruralavalon wrote: Sat Apr 25, 2020 10:05 am
Always passive wrote: Sat Apr 25, 2020 2:42 am Look at the below yield to maturity data and decide for yourself

SHY (short term treasuries) 0.22%
IEI (intermediate term treasuries) 0.38%
TLT (long term treasuries) 1.16%
IGSB (short term Corp) 2.18%
LQD (intermediate term Corp - this ETF has a bit longer maturity) 2.77%
AGG (total bond) 1.42%

Now see if you can agree with me. We are as low as possible in interest rates, they may either stay where they are or go up. In either scenario, does it pay to do anything else but use a short term bond? Maybe a combination of SHY and IGSB. This will yield about the same as AGG without the duration risk
People who believe they can predict future interest rates are wrong.
Not predicting, just common sense. Besides, if you invest today in any of the bond indexes that I mentioned above, you will get the shown YTM no matter what happens with the interest rates in between. Enough studies have been made to show that to be the case. Bonds are not stocks!
So, unless you are a trader, get used to these rates.
simplesauce
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Re: Still using total bond market?

Post by simplesauce »

GaryA505 wrote: Tue Apr 14, 2020 1:31 pm I think Total Bond is obsolete. I suspect the Boglehead doctine will reflect this soon.
What do you believe the Bogleheads will recommend as an alternative?

I just finished reading the Bogleheads Guide book and Total Bond Market and a TIPS Fund was their recommendation.
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Hector
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Re: Still using total bond market?

Post by Hector »

Always passive wrote: Sat Apr 25, 2020 12:48 pm
ruralavalon wrote: Sat Apr 25, 2020 10:05 am
Always passive wrote: Sat Apr 25, 2020 2:42 am Look at the below yield to maturity data and decide for yourself

SHY (short term treasuries) 0.22%
IEI (intermediate term treasuries) 0.38%
TLT (long term treasuries) 1.16%
IGSB (short term Corp) 2.18%
LQD (intermediate term Corp - this ETF has a bit longer maturity) 2.77%
AGG (total bond) 1.42%

Now see if you can agree with me. We are as low as possible in interest rates, they may either stay where they are or go up. In either scenario, does it pay to do anything else but use a short term bond? Maybe a combination of SHY and IGSB. This will yield about the same as AGG without the duration risk
People who believe they can predict future interest rates are wrong.
Not predicting, just common sense. Besides, if you invest today in any of the bond indexes that I mentioned above, you will get the shown YTM no matter what happens with the interest rates in between. Enough studies have been made to show that to be the case. Bonds are not stocks!
So, unless you are a trader, get used to these rates.
Most bond index unds sell before maturity. Most bond index funds have returned more than YTM during the last four decades.
bikechuck
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Re: Still using total bond market?

Post by bikechuck »

frand wrote: Tue Apr 14, 2020 6:18 pm I am surprised at those who can invest in TIAA 3% guaranteed, choose to invest in total bond whose yield is less than 2% instead. Are you expecting the rate to drop further?
Some of us have TIAA Traditional (a good bond substitue) from a previous employer and need to add additional bonds or bond funds to top off the bond space in our desired allocation.
Always passive
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Re: Still using total bond market?

Post by Always passive »

Hector wrote: Thu May 14, 2020 7:09 pm
Always passive wrote: Sat Apr 25, 2020 12:48 pm
ruralavalon wrote: Sat Apr 25, 2020 10:05 am
Always passive wrote: Sat Apr 25, 2020 2:42 am Look at the below yield to maturity data and decide for yourself

SHY (short term treasuries) 0.22%
IEI (intermediate term treasuries) 0.38%
TLT (long term treasuries) 1.16%
IGSB (short term Corp) 2.18%
LQD (intermediate term Corp - this ETF has a bit longer maturity) 2.77%
AGG (total bond) 1.42%

Now see if you can agree with me. We are as low as possible in interest rates, they may either stay where they are or go up. In either scenario, does it pay to do anything else but use a short term bond? Maybe a combination of SHY and IGSB. This will yield about the same as AGG without the duration risk
People who believe they can predict future interest rates are wrong.
Not predicting, just common sense. Besides, if you invest today in any of the bond indexes that I mentioned above, you will get the shown YTM no matter what happens with the interest rates in between. Enough studies have been made to show that to be the case. Bonds are not stocks!
So, unless you are a trader, get used to these rates.
Most bond index unds sell before maturity. Most bond index funds have returned more than YTM during the last four decades.
Where would that data available?
bluerafters
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Re: Still using total bond market?

Post by bluerafters »

I still have a total bond in my employer 401k. It's not a Vanguard product but similar from a competitor. I think about it every day. I rebalanced out of a large percentage during our last drop, small percentages at a time, during March and April, into a more aggressive Russell 1000/2000 index fund.

I'm left looking for answers myself. Go all into stocks in the 401k? Open a Treasury Direct account and start there? I admit I've also contiplated a small amount of Gold, GLDM, but have yet to pull the trigger.

I've got a 20 year runway before retirement. age. I would really like to see a couple think pieces by the Bogleheads community about the TB, where it fits now and our new reality.
L82GAME
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Re: Still using total bond market?

Post by L82GAME »

bluerafters wrote: Fri May 15, 2020 6:15 am I still have a total bond in my employer 401k. It's not a Vanguard product but similar from a competitor. I think about it every day. I rebalanced out of a large percentage during our last drop, small percentages at a time, during March and April, into a more aggressive Russell 1000/2000 index fund.

I'm left looking for answers myself. Go all into stocks in the 401k? Open a Treasury Direct account and start there? I admit I've also contiplated a small amount of Gold, GLDM, but have yet to pull the trigger.

I've got a 20 year runway before retirement. age. I would really like to see a couple think pieces by the Bogleheads community about the TB, where it fits now and our new reality.
I suggest that you read Larry Swedroe’s “Winning Bond Strategy”. For the time being, we remain invested in TB, which includes corporate bonds. We have 14 yrs until retirement and can therefore justify for ourselves the additional risk and presumptive risk premium. However, we plan to change that strategy as we get closer to retirement, as we experience decreasing human capital. Accordingly, we will shift to an all Treasury securities strategy for the FI portion of our portfolio, decreasing the correlation of that portion of our AA to the equities portion of our portfolio.
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Re: Still using total bond market?

Post by Always passive »

bluerafters wrote: Fri May 15, 2020 6:15 am I still have a total bond in my employer 401k. It's not a Vanguard product but similar from a competitor. I think about it every day. I rebalanced out of a large percentage during our last drop, small percentages at a time, during March and April, into a more aggressive Russell 1000/2000 index fund.

I'm left looking for answers myself. Go all into stocks in the 401k? Open a Treasury Direct account and start there? I admit I've also contiplated a small amount of Gold, GLDM, but have yet to pull the trigger.

I've got a 20 year runway before retirement. age. I would really like to see a couple think pieces by the Bogleheads community about the TB, where it fits now and our new reality.
In my opinion bonds are dead, at least for the next few years, if not longer. Their YTM are pitiful!
There is also the possibility to lose money if/when the FED begins increasing rates if you need to sell before duration. Therefore, I would pick a short term bond fund with as low a correlation to stocks as possible, and only have enough to meet your plans and/or risk tolerance.
simplesauce
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Re: Still using total bond market?

Post by simplesauce »

Always passive wrote: Fri May 15, 2020 7:01 am
bluerafters wrote: Fri May 15, 2020 6:15 am I still have a total bond in my employer 401k. It's not a Vanguard product but similar from a competitor. I think about it every day. I rebalanced out of a large percentage during our last drop, small percentages at a time, during March and April, into a more aggressive Russell 1000/2000 index fund.

I'm left looking for answers myself. Go all into stocks in the 401k? Open a Treasury Direct account and start there? I admit I've also contiplated a small amount of Gold, GLDM, but have yet to pull the trigger.

I've got a 20 year runway before retirement. age. I would really like to see a couple think pieces by the Bogleheads community about the TB, where it fits now and our new reality.
In my opinion bonds are dead, at least for the next few years, if not longer. Their YTM are pitiful!
There is also the possibility to lose money if/when the FED begins increasing rates if you need to sell before duration. Therefore, I would pick a short term bond fund with as low a correlation to stocks as possible, and only have enough to meet your plans and/or risk tolerance.
It is an interesting problem we have here. On the one hand, Total Bond Market may not even keep up with inflation with such low yields. On the other hand, does this mean we need to adjust our risk tolerance? Does this mean we need to invest in riskier bonds?

I tend to think no, since bonds should not be for yield, but rather for safety and helping us stay the course when stocks are taking a beating. Covid-19 may have a long way to go and we may not have seen the worst yet in the market. I’m sticking with my fairly conservative asset allocation.
Rudedog
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Re: Still using total bond market?

Post by Rudedog »

I am leery of investing in bonds in the current market due to the extremely low interest rates. I have moved most of my fixed income into one year CDs. The only bonds in my portfolio are in Wellington and Wellesley, not sure that is still a good idea, but I haven't decided to move those yet. This is a strange time, the advice of all these book authors to be in BND should be questioned when interest rates are very low and don't appear to be going up anytime soon.
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Hector
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Re: Still using total bond market?

Post by Hector »

Always passive wrote: Fri May 15, 2020 1:16 am
Hector wrote: Thu May 14, 2020 7:09 pm
Always passive wrote: Sat Apr 25, 2020 12:48 pm
ruralavalon wrote: Sat Apr 25, 2020 10:05 am
Always passive wrote: Sat Apr 25, 2020 2:42 am Look at the below yield to maturity data and decide for yourself

SHY (short term treasuries) 0.22%
IEI (intermediate term treasuries) 0.38%
TLT (long term treasuries) 1.16%
IGSB (short term Corp) 2.18%
LQD (intermediate term Corp - this ETF has a bit longer maturity) 2.77%
AGG (total bond) 1.42%

Now see if you can agree with me. We are as low as possible in interest rates, they may either stay where they are or go up. In either scenario, does it pay to do anything else but use a short term bond? Maybe a combination of SHY and IGSB. This will yield about the same as AGG without the duration risk
People who believe they can predict future interest rates are wrong.
Not predicting, just common sense. Besides, if you invest today in any of the bond indexes that I mentioned above, you will get the shown YTM no matter what happens with the interest rates in between. Enough studies have been made to show that to be the case. Bonds are not stocks!
So, unless you are a trader, get used to these rates.
Most bond index unds sell before maturity. Most bond index funds have returned more than YTM during the last four decades.
Where would that data available?
You can look daily rate here: https://www.treasury.gov/resource-cente ... data=yield
Then look for the return on whatever treasury index fund you are interested in.
Google search for roll return should help too.
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Taylor Larimore
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Re: Still using total bond market?

Post by Taylor Larimore »

"Still using total bond market"
Desert Investor:

We have been using Vanguard Total Bond Market since its inception in 1986 -- and are very happy with it. It's worst annual decline was -2.66% in 1994 (it gained +16% in 1995).

Vanguard reports that TBM is up +10.86% during the past year compared with -1.23% for the Total Stock Market.

What's not to like!

Best wishes.
Taylor
Jack Bogle's Words of Wisdom: "The Vanguard Total Stock Market Index fund and its Total Bond Market cousin represent the purest form of common-sense investing."
"Simplicity is the master key to financial success." -- Jack Bogle
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bertilak
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Re: Still using total bond market?

Post by bertilak »

Taylor Larimore wrote: Fri May 15, 2020 1:35 pm
"Still using total bond market"
Desert Investor:

We have been using Vanguard Total Bond Market since its inception in 1986 -- and are very happy with it. It's worst annual decline was -2.66% in 1994 (it gained +16% in 1995).

Vanguard reports that TBM is up +10.86% during the past year compared with -1.23% for the Total Stock Market.

What's not to like!

Best wishes.
Taylor
Jack Bogle's Words of Wisdom: "The Vanguard Total Stock Market Index fund and its Total Bond Market cousin represent the purest form of common-sense investing."
Intermediate term index (VBILX) is also up about 11% over the past year. Bonds are doing OK. VBILX is about half-and-half corporate and government.
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USAFperio
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Re: Still using total bond market?

Post by USAFperio »

Just one clarifying question....

When people on this thread are saying they’re still using Total Bond Market or whatnot during these low-yielding times, are they/you meaning you’re sticking with what you already own (thus simply not selling), or that you’re actually putting more money into TBM? That seems like a big but unaddressed difference. It’s one thing to not sell the TBM you own, but another to keep buying it, and it’s a question I’ve been asking myself lately as well.

(For the record, I’ve been buying munis in taxable over the past few months, but only because my AA calls for more dollars going into bonds and I’m trying to be tax-smart. I’m hoping it’s a safe investment which will ultimately keep up with inflation.)
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Re: Still using total bond market?

Post by Norris »

Other than some I-Bonds and TSP G fund, we are all Total Bond Market. Thanks to Taylor, Mel, Nisiprius, Livesoft and others for your wisdom and sharing. And, of course, thanks to Jack Bogle!

Norris
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Re: Still using total bond market?

Post by ruralavalon »

USAFperio wrote: Fri May 15, 2020 6:34 pm Just one clarifying question....

When people on this thread are saying they’re still using Total Bond Market or whatnot during these low-yielding times, are they/you meaning you’re sticking with what you already own (thus simply not selling), or that you’re actually putting more money into TBM? That seems like a big but unaddressed difference. It’s one thing to not sell the TBM you own, but another to keep buying it, and it’s a question I’ve been asking myself lately as well.

(For the record, I’ve been buying munis in taxable over the past few months, but only because my AA calls for more dollars going into bonds and I’m trying to be tax-smart. I’m hoping it’s a safe investment which will ultimately keep up with inflation.)
Both.

We use Vanguard Intermediate-term Bond Index Fund (VBILX) for the entire bond allocation, have used it for many years, and are staying with it, no sales except for Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs). Total return of this fund is up 5.45% year to date, and up 11.73% over the last year.
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Re: Still using total bond market?

Post by Mel Lindauer »

Norris wrote: Fri May 15, 2020 7:21 pm Other than some I-Bonds and TSP G fund, we are all Total Bond Market. Thanks to Taylor, Mel, Nisiprius, Livesoft and others for your wisdom and sharing. And, of course, thanks to Jack Bogle!

Norris
Always nice to see your name on a post, Norris. Hope things are going well for you and yours.

Stay safe!
Best Regards - Mel | | Semper Fi
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SeeMoe
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Re: Still using total bond market?

Post by SeeMoe »

Put our Flagship funds into Treasury MM,s except for also 12% in the total bond index which is still holding in there. We finally realized we have Enough at our age. This disaster will take a few years to sort out as most major downturns do.

Moe.... :happy
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BW1985
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Re: Still using total bond market?

Post by BW1985 »

siriusblack wrote: Tue Apr 14, 2020 9:23 pm
Dominic wrote: Tue Apr 14, 2020 3:09 pm I wouldn't be surprised if the future wisdom is to hold some combination of CDs, high-yield savings, short-term TIPS, and long-term Treasuries. It's an extremely low credit risk barbell.
Throw in some gold, and you have something approaching the "permanent portfolio". 25% gold, 25% cash (or short-term TIPS), 25% long-term treasuries, 25% stocks.
This looks like a solid "defensive" portfolio but if one is still accumulating I don't see where the returns are supposed to come from, aside for 25% stocks.
Chase the good life my whole life long, look back on my life and my life gone...where did I go wrong?
Index24
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Re: Still using total bond market?

Post by Index24 »

Taylor Larimore wrote: Fri May 15, 2020 1:35 pm
"Still using total bond market"
Desert Investor:

We have been using Vanguard Total Bond Market since its inception in 1986 -- and are very happy with it. It's worst annual decline was -2.66% in 1994 (it gained +16% in 1995).

Vanguard reports that TBM is up +10.86% during the past year compared with -1.23% for the Total Stock Market.

What's not to like!

Best wishes.
Taylor
Jack Bogle's Words of Wisdom: "The Vanguard Total Stock Market Index fund and its Total Bond Market cousin represent the purest form of common-sense investing."
:D
simplesauce
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Re: Still using total bond market?

Post by simplesauce »

Taylor Larimore wrote: Fri May 15, 2020 1:35 pm
"Still using total bond market"
Desert Investor:

We have been using Vanguard Total Bond Market since its inception in 1986 -- and are very happy with it. It's worst annual decline was -2.66% in 1994 (it gained +16% in 1995).

Vanguard reports that TBM is up +10.86% during the past year compared with -1.23% for the Total Stock Market.

What's not to like!

Best wishes.
Taylor
Jack Bogle's Words of Wisdom: "The Vanguard Total Stock Market Index fund and its Total Bond Market cousin represent the purest form of common-sense investing."
Hi Taylor. It appears many Bogleheads focus on the current low yield only. But I think you make a good point here. There are other factors to consider, like increase of share price! Total Bond Market is a great way to invest. Up 10.86%? I’ll take it.

I often hear suggestions to buy “treasuries” direct, and avoid mutual funds. I tend to disagree. I really enjoy the structure of a bond fund, particularly TBM, because there are multiple ways for money to grow, not simply the yield. Am I incorrect?
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Re: Still using total bond market?

Post by USAFperio »

simplesauce wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 9:15 am
Taylor Larimore wrote: Fri May 15, 2020 1:35 pm
"Still using total bond market"
Desert Investor:

We have been using Vanguard Total Bond Market since its inception in 1986 -- and are very happy with it. It's worst annual decline was -2.66% in 1994 (it gained +16% in 1995).

Vanguard reports that TBM is up +10.86% during the past year compared with -1.23% for the Total Stock Market.

What's not to like!

Best wishes.
Taylor
Jack Bogle's Words of Wisdom: "The Vanguard Total Stock Market Index fund and its Total Bond Market cousin represent the purest form of common-sense investing."
Hi Taylor. It appears many Bogleheads focus on the current low yield only. But I think you make a good point here. There are other factors to consider, like increase of share price! Total Bond Market is a great way to invest. Up 10.86%? I’ll take it.

I often hear suggestions to buy “treasuries” direct, and avoid mutual funds. I tend to disagree. I really enjoy the structure of a bond fund, particularly TBM, because there are multiple ways for money to grow, not simply the yield. Am I incorrect?
I'm trying to learn, so this may be a novice question, but if the current interest rate is ultra-low, is it reasonable to buy new shares of TBM now and expect them to increase in share price when I eventually sell them in my retirement? It seems everything I read says buying bonds now is extremely foolish. If my AA calls for a rebalance of, say, $100K into bonds, is there any reason to think shares of TBM purchased today would actually appreciate over time?

I'm a believer in the 3-fund portfolio, but I wonder in particular if Taylor and other die-hard Bogleheads would still be putting their money into TBM today if they were 5-10 years pre-retirement and their AA called for adding to bonds. Is now a time for 3-funders to veer outside the 3-fund realm? Possibly munis instead? Thanks for the help.
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Taylor Larimore
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Re: Still using total bond market?

Post by Taylor Larimore »

Bogleheads:

Perhaps the best way to understand Vanguard's Total Bond Market Index Fund is to look at its historical benchmark risk and returns:

YEAR--INFLATION--BOND INDEX
1976-------4.9%--------15.6%
1977-------6.7-----------3.0
1978-------9.0-----------1.4
1979------13.3-----------1.9
1980------12.5-----------2.7
1980------12.5-----------2.7
1981-------8.9-----------6.3
1982-------3.8----------32.6
1983-------3.8-----------8.4
1984-------3.9----------15.2
1985-------3.8----------22.1
1986-------1.1----------15.2 (Inception date of Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund)
1987-------4.4-----------2.8
1988-------4.4-----------7.9
1989-------4.6----------14.5
1990-------6.1-----------8.9
1991-------3.1----------16.0
1992-------2.9-----------7.4
1993-------2.7-----------9.7
1994-------2.7---------(-2.9)
1995-------2.5----------18.5
1996-------3.3-----------3.6
1997-------1.7-----------9.7
1998-------1.6-----------8.7
1999-------2.7---------(-0.8)
2000-------3.4----------11.6
2001-------1.6-----------8.4
2002-------2.4----------10.3
2003-------1.9-----------4.1
2004-------3.3-----------4.3
2005-------3.4-----------2.4
2006-------2.5-----------4.3
2007-------4.1-----------7.0
2008-------0.1-----------5.2
2009-------2.7-----------5.9
2010-------1.5-----------6.5
2011-------3.0-----------7.7
2012-------1.7-----------4.3
2013-------1.5---------(-2.0)
2014-------1.6-----------6.0
2015-------0.7-----------0.5
2016-------2.1-----------2.6
2017-------2.1-----------3.5
2018-------2.5---------(-0.1)
2019-------2.3-----------8.7

Observation: A history of low risk and reasonable returns.

Best wishes.
Taylor
Jack Bogle's Words of Wisdom: "Deep down I remain absolutely confident that the vast majority of American families will be well served by owning their equity holding in an all-U.S. stock-market index portfolio and holding their bonds in an all-U.S. bond-market index portfolio."
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Re: Still using total bond market?

Post by Nowizard »

There seems to be as much difference of opinion about bond investing and how to currently invest in bonds, if at all, as there is about any investing topic. Some seem to be advocating switching due to current conditions, others staying the course, others holding what they have in TB but not investing further, etc. The missing piece in my opinion is that each decision is influenced by the circumstances of the individual. For us, this is one occasion where simplicity rules. As one person said, TB provided a good return last year, so some slower years can be tolerated. It is also up this year. We will stick with it and maintain our current ratio of TB and STB. Our circumstances are such that returns are not of major concern, and we can also stand a downturn should it occur. For us, we have decided that when confusion is the greatest, the smartest thing to do is nothing.

Tim
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Re: Still using total bond market?

Post by BionicBillWalsh »

Nowizard wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 12:45 pm we have decided that when confusion is the greatest, the smartest thing to do is nothing.
I love this advice and agree wholeheartedly.
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Re: Still using total bond market?

Post by ruralavalon »

BionicBillWalsh wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 1:31 pm
Nowizard wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 12:45 pm we have decided that when confusion is the greatest, the smartest thing to do is nothing.
I love this advice and agree wholeheartedly.
Me too.
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sycamore
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Re: Still using total bond market?

Post by sycamore »

USAFperio wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 9:42 am ...
I'm trying to learn, so this may be a novice question, but if the current interest rate is ultra-low, is it reasonable to buy new shares of TBM now and expect them to increase in share price when I eventually sell them in my retirement?
This question applies whether rates are ultra-low, normal, or high.
There is no known 100% for sure answer. For one thing, when is your retirement? If it's next week, I would expect the price to be about the same. If it's in 20 years, I would expect the price/NAV could be up or down but the main thing is how much in interest you got in the meantime - that's where a lot of the return from bonds usually come. Many people will speculate that rates must go up or maybe drop into negative range. My opinion is that the current SEC yield will be about what I'll get in the next 5 or 6 years (whatever the funds duration is now).
USAFperio wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 9:42 am It seems everything I read says buying bonds now is extremely foolish. If my AA calls for a rebalance of, say, $100K into bonds, is there any reason to think shares of TBM purchased today would actually appreciate over time?
Yes. And some people say no. Is your main reason for holding TBM to have appreciation? Seems silly to not say yes, but some people hold TBM (or other bonds) because they know it's not as risky as stocks and likely won't lose less in bad scenarios.
USAFperio wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 9:42 am I'm a believer in the 3-fund portfolio, but I wonder in particular if Taylor and other die-hard Bogleheads would still be putting their money into TBM today if they were 5-10 years pre-retirement and their AA called for adding to bonds. Is now a time for 3-funders to veer outside the 3-fund realm? Possibly munis instead? Thanks for the help.
I suggest starting a new thread for this question; the particulars of your situation and portfolio matter.
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Re: Still using total bond market?

Post by Hector »

sycamore wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 2:14 pm
USAFperio wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 9:42 am ...
I'm trying to learn, so this may be a novice question, but if the current interest rate is ultra-low, is it reasonable to buy new shares of TBM now and expect them to increase in share price when I eventually sell them in my retirement?
This question applies whether rates are ultra-low, normal, or high.
There is no known 100% for sure answer. For one thing, when is your retirement? If it's next week, I would expect the price to be about the same. If it's in 20 years, I would expect the price/NAV could be up or down but the main thing is how much in interest you got in the meantime - that's where a lot of the return from bonds usually come. Many people will speculate that rates must go up or maybe drop into negative range. My opinion is that the current SEC yield will be about what I'll get in the next 5 or 6 years (whatever the funds duration is now).
USAFperio wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 9:42 am It seems everything I read says buying bonds now is extremely foolish. If my AA calls for a rebalance of, say, $100K into bonds, is there any reason to think shares of TBM purchased today would actually appreciate over time?
Yes. And some people say no. Is your main reason for holding TBM to have appreciation? Seems silly to not say yes, but some people hold TBM (or other bonds) because they know it's not as risky as stocks and likely won't lose less in bad scenarios.
USAFperio wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 9:42 am I'm a believer in the 3-fund portfolio, but I wonder in particular if Taylor and other die-hard Bogleheads would still be putting their money into TBM today if they were 5-10 years pre-retirement and their AA called for adding to bonds. Is now a time for 3-funders to veer outside the 3-fund realm? Possibly munis instead? Thanks for the help.
I suggest starting a new thread for this question; the particulars of your situation and portfolio matter.
You hardly get return ~equal to SEC yield after average years of bond fund’s duration. If rate stays the same(but no inverted yield curve) or goes negative, you get more. If rate goes up, you get less.
frand
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Re: Still using total bond market?

Post by frand »

GMT-8 wrote: Fri Apr 24, 2020 4:48 pm I’m interested if those moving to a “guaranteed rate option” or TIAA realize that those are not investments per se, but insurance products?

There is a difference.
What is the difference?
nix4me
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Re: Still using total bond market?

Post by nix4me »

Taylor Larimore wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 10:44 am Bogleheads:

Perhaps the best way to understand Vanguard's Total Bond Market Index Fund is to look at its historical benchmark risk and returns:

YEAR--INFLATION--BOND INDEX
1976-------4.9%--------15.6%
1977-------6.7-----------3.0
1978-------9.0-----------1.4
1979------13.3-----------1.9
1980------12.5-----------2.7
1980------12.5-----------2.7
1981-------8.9-----------6.3
1982-------3.8----------32.6
1983-------3.8-----------8.4
1984-------3.9----------15.2
1985-------3.8----------22.1
1986-------1.1----------15.2 (Inception date of Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund)
1987-------4.4-----------2.8
1988-------4.4-----------7.9
1989-------4.6----------14.5
1990-------6.1-----------8.9
1991-------3.1----------16.0
1992-------2.9-----------7.4
1993-------2.7-----------9.7
1994-------2.7---------(-2.9)
1995-------2.5----------18.5
1996-------3.3-----------3.6
1997-------1.7-----------9.7
1998-------1.6-----------8.7
1999-------2.7---------(-0.8)
2000-------3.4----------11.6
2001-------1.6-----------8.4
2002-------2.4----------10.3
2003-------1.9-----------4.1
2004-------3.3-----------4.3
2005-------3.4-----------2.4
2006-------2.5-----------4.3
2007-------4.1-----------7.0
2008-------0.1-----------5.2
2009-------2.7-----------5.9
2010-------1.5-----------6.5
2011-------3.0-----------7.7
2012-------1.7-----------4.3
2013-------1.5---------(-2.0)
2014-------1.6-----------6.0
2015-------0.7-----------0.5
2016-------2.1-----------2.6
2017-------2.1-----------3.5
2018-------2.5---------(-0.1)
2019-------2.3-----------8.7

Observation: A history of low risk and reasonable returns.

Best wishes.
Taylor
Jack Bogle's Words of Wisdom: "Deep down I remain absolutely confident that the vast majority of American families will be well served by owning their equity holding in an all-U.S. stock-market index portfolio and holding their bonds in an all-U.S. bond-market index portfolio."
Wow - 44 years, average is 7.49 - thanks for the data. I'm an Engineer so data matters. Thanks Taylor.
simplesauce
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Re: Still using total bond market?

Post by simplesauce »

nix4me wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 7:44 pm
Taylor Larimore wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 10:44 am Bogleheads:

Perhaps the best way to understand Vanguard's Total Bond Market Index Fund is to look at its historical benchmark risk and returns:

YEAR--INFLATION--BOND INDEX
1976-------4.9%--------15.6%
1977-------6.7-----------3.0
1978-------9.0-----------1.4
1979------13.3-----------1.9
1980------12.5-----------2.7
1980------12.5-----------2.7
1981-------8.9-----------6.3
1982-------3.8----------32.6
1983-------3.8-----------8.4
1984-------3.9----------15.2
1985-------3.8----------22.1
1986-------1.1----------15.2 (Inception date of Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund)
1987-------4.4-----------2.8
1988-------4.4-----------7.9
1989-------4.6----------14.5
1990-------6.1-----------8.9
1991-------3.1----------16.0
1992-------2.9-----------7.4
1993-------2.7-----------9.7
1994-------2.7---------(-2.9)
1995-------2.5----------18.5
1996-------3.3-----------3.6
1997-------1.7-----------9.7
1998-------1.6-----------8.7
1999-------2.7---------(-0.8)
2000-------3.4----------11.6
2001-------1.6-----------8.4
2002-------2.4----------10.3
2003-------1.9-----------4.1
2004-------3.3-----------4.3
2005-------3.4-----------2.4
2006-------2.5-----------4.3
2007-------4.1-----------7.0
2008-------0.1-----------5.2
2009-------2.7-----------5.9
2010-------1.5-----------6.5
2011-------3.0-----------7.7
2012-------1.7-----------4.3
2013-------1.5---------(-2.0)
2014-------1.6-----------6.0
2015-------0.7-----------0.5
2016-------2.1-----------2.6
2017-------2.1-----------3.5
2018-------2.5---------(-0.1)
2019-------2.3-----------8.7

Observation: A history of low risk and reasonable returns.

Best wishes.
Taylor
Jack Bogle's Words of Wisdom: "Deep down I remain absolutely confident that the vast majority of American families will be well served by owning their equity holding in an all-U.S. stock-market index portfolio and holding their bonds in an all-U.S. bond-market index portfolio."
Wow - 44 years, average is 7.49 - thanks for the data. I'm an Engineer so data matters. Thanks Taylor.
Great data, agreed. I think the concern from Bogleheads is that 7.49% will not happen again for the foreseeable future.
johnsmithsf
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Re: Still using total bond market?

Post by johnsmithsf »

Taylor Larimore wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 10:44 am Bogleheads:

Perhaps the best way to understand Vanguard's Total Bond Market Index Fund is to look at its historical benchmark risk and returns:

YEAR--INFLATION--BOND INDEX
1976-------4.9%--------15.6%
1977-------6.7-----------3.0
1978-------9.0-----------1.4
1979------13.3-----------1.9
1980------12.5-----------2.7
1980------12.5-----------2.7
1981-------8.9-----------6.3
1982-------3.8----------32.6
1983-------3.8-----------8.4
1984-------3.9----------15.2
1985-------3.8----------22.1
1986-------1.1----------15.2 (Inception date of Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund)
1987-------4.4-----------2.8
1988-------4.4-----------7.9
1989-------4.6----------14.5
1990-------6.1-----------8.9
1991-------3.1----------16.0
1992-------2.9-----------7.4
1993-------2.7-----------9.7
1994-------2.7---------(-2.9)
1995-------2.5----------18.5
1996-------3.3-----------3.6
1997-------1.7-----------9.7
1998-------1.6-----------8.7
1999-------2.7---------(-0.8)
2000-------3.4----------11.6
2001-------1.6-----------8.4
2002-------2.4----------10.3
2003-------1.9-----------4.1
2004-------3.3-----------4.3
2005-------3.4-----------2.4
2006-------2.5-----------4.3
2007-------4.1-----------7.0
2008-------0.1-----------5.2
2009-------2.7-----------5.9
2010-------1.5-----------6.5
2011-------3.0-----------7.7
2012-------1.7-----------4.3
2013-------1.5---------(-2.0)
2014-------1.6-----------6.0
2015-------0.7-----------0.5
2016-------2.1-----------2.6
2017-------2.1-----------3.5
2018-------2.5---------(-0.1)
2019-------2.3-----------8.7

Observation: A history of low risk and reasonable returns.

Best wishes.
Taylor
Jack Bogle's Words of Wisdom: "Deep down I remain absolutely confident that the vast majority of American families will be well served by owning their equity holding in an all-U.S. stock-market index portfolio and holding their bonds in an all-U.S. bond-market index portfolio."
I apologize if my comments come across as dumb. I have difficulty understanding two things

1) Why we should have Total Bond, when treasury funds are historically providing very similar returns and treasuries tend to jump when stocks crash.
Here is a morningstar link for trend from 05/16/2007 to 05/15/2020. Returns of BIV and IEF are almost similar. Returns of BND and VFITX are almost similar as well
Vanguard Total Bond Market ETF : BND.
Vanguard Intermediate-Term Treasury Fund Investor Shares VFITX
VANGUARD BD IX/VANGUARD IT BD ETF BIV
iShares Barclays 7-10 Year Trasry Bnd Fd IEF

http://quotes.morningstar.com/chart/fun ... A%5B%5D%7D

2) Why Bond funds have had such good returns in general, despite the historically low interests rates since 2007 market crash. I was thinking of putting money in Ally savings account due to interest rates of 1.35%, but when I look at 13- year returns of bond ETFs, I wonder if am doing something wrong.
nix4me
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Re: Still using total bond market?

Post by nix4me »

The 80's were the bond heyday.
90's worse.
20's worse.
2010-2020 - even worse.

So yes, the average is going down down down
simplesauce
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Re: Still using total bond market?

Post by simplesauce »

nix4me wrote: Sun May 17, 2020 9:59 am The 80's were the bond heyday.
90's worse.
20's worse.
2010-2020 - even worse.

So yes, the average is going down down down
Any guess for the future of Total Bond Market? Perhaps...
2020-2030 - 0-4% return
2030-2040 - 4-8% return
2040-2050 - 8-10% return
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The purpose of bonds and other fixed-income securities

Post by Taylor Larimore »

Bogleheads:

It is a mistake to focus on bond RETURNS because the primary purpose of fixed-income is to REDUCE RISK. If "higher-return" is your primary goal it is much more efficient to simply increase your stock allocation.

Beware of bonds and other fixed-income securities promising higher return. There is a saying:

"More money has been lost from investors seeking higher return than has been lost at the point of a gun."

Bonds let us sleep well. Stocks let us eat well.

Best wishes.
Taylor
Jack Bogle's Words of Wisdom: "Reducing the volatility of your portfolio can give you downside protection during large market declines, an anchor to windward, so to speak."
Last edited by Taylor Larimore on Sun May 17, 2020 12:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Still using total bond market?

Post by MN-Investor »

I'm 67 and recently decided that I was no longer comfortable with 40% stocks. I sold shares of a single stock I was too heavily invested in and put that money into Vanguard's Short-Term Bond ETF. At this point, bonds comprise 64% of my portfolio. 37% of my portfolio is in Vanguard's Total Market Bond ETF, and 11% of my portfolio is in Vanguard's Short-Term Bond ETF.

At some point I may transition back to 40% stocks, but right now I'm just doing what allows me to sleep at night.

Oh, and I have 4% in cash and money market funds. Combined with Social Security, I can live on that for a few years.
The key to success - Save early, save often, invest well.
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Re: Still using total bond market?

Post by LazyNihilist »

Norris wrote: Fri May 15, 2020 7:21 pm Other than some I-Bonds and TSP G fund, we are all Total Bond Market. Thanks to Taylor, Mel, Nisiprius, Livesoft and others for your wisdom and sharing. And, of course, thanks to Jack Bogle!

Norris
I don't understand bonds much. But thanks to these wise people, I'm happy with The Total Bond Market funds VBTLX and FXNAX.
The strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must -Thucydides
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LazyNihilist
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Re: The purpose of bonds and other fixed-income securities

Post by LazyNihilist »

Taylor Larimore wrote: Sun May 17, 2020 10:21 am Bogleheads:

It is a mistake to focus on bond RETURNS because the primary purpose of fixed-income is to REDUCE RISK. If "higher-return" is your primary goal is higher return it is much more efficient to simply increase your stock allocation.

Beware of bonds and other fixed-income securities promising higher return. There is a saying:

"More money has been lost from investors seeking higher return than has been lost at the point of a gun."

Bonds let us sleep well. Stocks let us eat well.

Best wishes.
Taylor
Jack Bogle's Words of Wisdom: "Reducing the volatility of your portfolio can give you downside protection during large market declines, an anchor to windward, so to speak."
Thank you Taylor. The 3 fund portfolio is all I have and am pretty happy with it.
During the past 2-3 months I've done some minor rebalancing between the stocks and bonds a couple of times. But Vanguards restrictions on frequent trading with mutual funds and your advice on sticking to the 3 funds have helped prevent me from needless tinkering. :happy
The strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must -Thucydides
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Re: Still using total bond market?

Post by my name »

I retired in 2009 and no longer add money to funds. It is more about holding on to what I have. Like some above, I put my IRA bond portion into Vanguard Intermediate-term Bond Index Fund (VBILX). It had been historically outperforming the TBM and overtime seemed as safe. I also have some bonds via Vanguard Global Wellington (VGYAX). Bought into that when it began a few years ago, it's been interesting to watch as it was my first move into international. I am content with what I have. In my taxable account I have a Vanguard tax exempt state muni fund (first NJ and now PA). These states have had their fiscal challenges so their muni funds have performed really well for their category, often outperforming taxable cousins (before tax consideration).

The growing conservative side of me kept new money in cash via money market fund or bank account (insured). I rolled over my 401k's (mostly TSM) when retired and kept a chunk of that in a MM. I sold my house and also kept a chunk of that in a MM. Both times thinking I'll decide later how to invest it. Right now I'm glad it stayed in the MMs. I'm content with my overall allocation 52/32/16.
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Re: Still using total bond market?

Post by johnsmithsf »

nisiprius wrote: Tue Apr 14, 2020 2:29 pm

5) If the interest rates on the most competitive bank savings accounts were to hold solid at the 1.50% my best account is paying now, and if the SEC return on Total Bond were to dive well below 1.50% and show every sign of staying there, then, yes, I might consider exchanging Total Bond for a savings account. I don't think that's likely--all the banks seem to be in a race to cut interest rates.

Why Bond funds have had such good returns in general, despite the historically low interests rates since 2007 market crash. I was thinking of putting money in Ally savings account due to interest rates of 1.35%, but when I look at 13- year returns of bond ETFs, I wonder if am doing something wrong.

http://quotes.morningstar.com/chart/fun ... A%5B%5D%7D

https://www.consumerismcommentary.com/rates/
mikeyzito22
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Re: Still using total bond market?

Post by mikeyzito22 »

mlcolorado wrote: Tue Apr 14, 2020 11:12 pm Has been easy to set it and forget it, and enjoy the monthly income now that we are retired. I believe that this is not "The Best Possible," but it seems to be OK so far.
When you say enjoy the income, do you just dump dividends into checking?
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Re: Still using total bond market?

Post by willthrill81 »

nix4me wrote: Sat Apr 25, 2020 10:33 am Some of us, me included, don’t understand bonds so we don’t trust them or use them.
In some ways, bonds are very simple. You loan someone money, and they repay it with interest.

In other ways, bonds are very complex. It's difficult for many to comprehend bond convexity, for instance.
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Re: Still using total bond market?

Post by nix4me »

willthrill81 wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 3:12 pm
nix4me wrote: Sat Apr 25, 2020 10:33 am Some of us, me included, don’t understand bonds so we don’t trust them or use them.
In some ways, bonds are very simple. You loan someone money, and they repay it with interest.

In other ways, bonds are very complex. It's difficult for many to comprehend bond convexity, for instance.
Bond funds is what I should have said. And bond fund yields. A single bond is simple to understand.
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Re: Still using total bond market?

Post by JimmyD »

Yep. Been maxing out two 401k contributions straight into Total Bond funds for a few months now due to the run up in equities.

As Taylor said, I'm not concerned about the yield or return. Its purpose is to serve as the low risk portion of our portfolio. It does that quite well.
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Re: Still using total bond market?

Post by birdog »

JimmyD wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 7:02 pm Yep. Been maxing out two 401k contributions straight into Total Bond funds for a few months now due to the run up in equities.

As Taylor said, I'm not concerned about the yield or return. Its purpose is to serve as the low risk portion of our portfolio. It does that quite well.
I've been doing the opposite and buying the total stock index fund due to the run up in the total bond fund. I've seen the stock index higher than current levels but haven't seen the bond fund above current levels. The stock fund even has a higher yield. I just can't make myself buy a bond fund at this high of a NAV and with these pitiful yields. At some point, return matters and ultra low returns introduce additional risk.
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Re: Still using total bond market?

Post by abuss368 »

birdog wrote: Fri Jul 31, 2020 10:11 am
JimmyD wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 7:02 pm Yep. Been maxing out two 401k contributions straight into Total Bond funds for a few months now due to the run up in equities.

As Taylor said, I'm not concerned about the yield or return. Its purpose is to serve as the low risk portion of our portfolio. It does that quite well.
I've been doing the opposite and buying the total stock index fund due to the run up in the total bond fund. I've seen the stock index higher than current levels but haven't seen the bond fund above current levels. The stock fund even has a higher yield. I just can't make myself buy a bond fund at this high of a NAV and with these pitiful yields. At some point, return matters and ultra low returns introduce additional risk.
Both perspectives are very good points to consider. Over the long term it probably won't make much difference either way.
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Re: Still using total bond market?

Post by jvini »

I diversified from Total Bond Fund. In my 401k I went to a Stable Value Fund paying around 2%. I increased my high yield savings amount which only pays 1%, but I set it up as an emergency fund as well (I know some people consider that separate to their fixed income portion but I don't). I switched most of my other bond holdings to an intermediate treasuries bond fund. I didn't like the corporate and mortgage exposure in BND Total Bond Fund. It went down too far too fast when equities fell and only recovered when the Fed stepped in with its corporate bond buying stance. I also worry about corporate debt and mortgages going forward. My fixed asset portion is strictly for ballast at this point while my equites are my risk. I'm a few years away from retirement and we've saved up quite a bit and have no debt so I see no reason to add risk on the fixed asset side of my portfolio. I'm at 54/46 currently and am approaching 54 years old.
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Re: Still using total bond market?

Post by jayars35 »

I still have it as my IRA is in a Target Retirement Fund. I also have an equivalent fund as part of my 3 fund portfolio in my 401k. I have opted not to change it in my 401k for one reason. It is possible I could change to something else and get a better return with comparable risk, but I think it is more likely that I would switch to something else and get a lower return with greater risk.

Jayars
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Re: Still using total bond market?

Post by ruralavalon »

Still using total bond market?

Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund Admiral Shares (VBTLX) is a good approach for fixed income, but is not the only good approach for fixed income. Treasury bonds, CDs, I bonds, Stable Value, short-term bonds, etc. all have their points.

But this entire topic ("still using") reminds me of the Baskin Robbins "flavor of the month" ice cream promotion, a never ending search for what tastes good right now. Next month will be different.
Last edited by ruralavalon on Fri Jul 31, 2020 11:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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