New Edition of Random Walk in January 2015

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tadamsmar
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New Edition of Random Walk in January 2015

Post by tadamsmar » Wed Jul 16, 2014 1:31 pm

New edition is coming:

http://www.amazon.com/Random-Walk-Down- ... 0393246116

I wonder if he will change his recommended AA schedule again.

I adopted Malkiel's life-cycle model AA back in 2000 when I first became a Boglehead (or DYI investor). Later I noticed that he changes the AA with every darn new edition of the book. So, to some extent, I was just betting on Malkiel hunches about the future!

:oops:

(Not that his AAs are bad)
Last edited by tadamsmar on Wed Jul 16, 2014 1:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: New Edition of Random Walk in January 2015

Post by tadamsmar » Wed Jul 16, 2014 1:37 pm

Maybe he will fuss around with bonds this time, that seems to be the AA change de jure. But we have access to the TSP G Fund, so my bond allocation does not exactly follow the book's anyway.

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Re: New Edition of Random Walk in January 2015

Post by workingatit » Wed Jul 16, 2014 1:40 pm

what is his current recommendation for during and w/in 5 yrs of retirement?

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Phineas J. Whoopee
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Re: New Edition of Random Walk in January 2015

Post by Phineas J. Whoopee » Wed Jul 16, 2014 1:53 pm

workingatit wrote:what is his current recommendation for during and w/in 5 yrs of retirement?
Anything you like!

I believe that's the point. As nisiprius has written, how can anyone follow somebody's long-term strategy suggestion if the person making the suggestion changes it repeatedly over the short to medium term?

So, what would you like his current recommendation to be? If it isn't in the most recent edition, maybe it will be there in his next.

PJW

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Re: New Edition of Random Walk in January 2015

Post by workingatit » Wed Jul 16, 2014 2:06 pm

Phineas J. Whoopee wrote:
workingatit wrote:what is his current recommendation for during and w/in 5 yrs of retirement?
Anything you like!

I believe that's the point. As nisiprius has written, how can anyone follow somebody's long-term strategy suggestion if the person making the suggestion changes it repeatedly over the short to medium term?

So, what would you like his current recommendation to be? If it isn't in the most recent edition, maybe it will be there in his next.

PJW
i don't have the book but the posters above mentioned that he gives aa recommendations
can someone list what those are, as i asked previously?
thank you

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Re: New Edition of Random Walk in January 2015

Post by Phineas J. Whoopee » Wed Jul 16, 2014 2:19 pm

workingatit wrote: i don't have the book but the posters above mentioned that he gives aa recommendations
can someone list what those are, as i asked previously?
thank you
OK, sorry, I was trying to be clever and clearly failed. :D

I don't know the latest, but from the 2007 edition, for a person in their 50s - 60s (which I'll take as five years before retirement, from your question):

Cash: 5%
Bonds: 32.5%
US stocks: 34%
International stocks: 16%
REITS: 12.5%

For someone "beyond" (which I'll take as in retirement, from the rest of your question):

Cash: 10%
Bonds: 40%
US stocks: 23%
International stocks: 12%
REITS: 15%

Hope that helped, and sorry again if I irritated you.

PJW

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Re: New Edition of Random Walk in January 2015

Post by HenryPorter » Wed Jul 16, 2014 2:25 pm

---------------------------------
Last edited by HenryPorter on Tue Jul 22, 2014 11:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: New Edition of Random Walk in January 2015

Post by livesoft » Wed Jul 16, 2014 2:26 pm

How old is Malkiel himself nowadays? He's almost 82. Perhaps his life experiences change his advice. One would think so. Are his kids retired yet? :)
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Re: New Edition of Random Walk in January 2015

Post by Phineas J. Whoopee » Wed Jul 16, 2014 2:54 pm

HenryPorter wrote:Can someone post a TLDR distillation of the newest edition(s) of ARWDWS? I think what I took out of it was you buy an index fund and move on with your life. Hey, it should be that simple. A yes/no kind of way of setting money aside for use years down the road.
tl;dr = Read the free 14-page If You Can by William J. Bernstein (an occasional poster here).
HenryPorter wrote:Seems to me, most of these books on finance I read I am looking for anecdotes and maybe affirmation of my choice of stock funds. You know, if you invested in an index fund in 1985, you'd have this much money now. Is there much new information out there? Has capitalism been revamped much vis a vis the stock market?
Clearly the financial world has not stood still since 1973 and the first (of eleven and now we're waiting a few months to see the twelfth) edition of Malkiel's famous book, but if he didn't change it every few years, especially with respect to the part where he cuts the treacle and just gets on with telling us what to do, nobody would need to buy several of them.

In his fundamental points about financial markets I think Malkiel is right. In his fundamental implication about the bestselling book market I think he's right, but that doesn't mean I have to funnel him still more royalty money.

PJW

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Re: New Edition of Random Walk in January 2015

Post by HenryPorter » Wed Jul 16, 2014 3:34 pm

Phineas J. Whoopee wrote: In his fundamental points about financial markets I think Malkiel is right. In his fundamental implication about the bestselling book market I think he's right, but that doesn't mean I have to funnel him still more royalty money.

PJW
I'll order mine from the library when available or just read the next-to-latest edition from the library. Sure, I'll be behind the performance YTD by having not the latest info, but in the long run, I think the mantra of Random Walk is 95% overlapping with with just buying a low-cost index fund and go about your life.

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Re: New Edition of Random Walk in January 2015

Post by nisiprius » Wed Jul 16, 2014 3:50 pm

The last one I bought was in 2007, I guess it's probably time to buy this one. Here are my predictions. Mark my words. Let's try to remember to revisit them when the book is out and see how well I did. If I'm unlucky, someone with the 2012 edition may be able to tell me that I am ALREADY wrong.

a) He will still say he is "one who has been smitten with the gambling urge since birth."

b) He will still have some advice about stock-picking and still advocate picking "Castles in the air, but with a firm foundation" (quoting Ibsen's "The Master Builder")

c) He will still include the dirty joke, the one with the punch line "How am I going to explain to my husband what has happened to his car?", and still say, inaccurately, that it was an actual news story.

d) Following the general tenor of the chapter added to the 2013 edition of The Elements of Investing, by Malkiel and Ellis, he will make a specific suggestion or recommendation about replacing some portion of the bond allocation with dividend stocks and/or emerging markets bonds. It will be interesting to see if that actually gets into the life cycle recommendation charts.

e) The overall percentage of stocks in his suggested portfolios will not change, and the percentage of international stocks within the stock allocation will not change.

f) He will say something negative about bitcoin.
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Re: New Edition of Random Walk in January 2015

Post by tadamsmar » Wed Jul 16, 2014 7:32 pm

nisiprius wrote:The last one I bought was in 2007, I guess it's probably time to buy this one. Here are my predictions. Mark my words. Let's try to remember to revisit them when the book is out and see how well I did. If I'm unlucky, someone with the 2012 edition may be able to tell me that I am ALREADY wrong.

a) He will still say he is "one who has been smitten with the gambling urge since birth."

b) He will still have some advice about stock-picking and still advocate picking "Castles in the air, but with a firm foundation" (quoting Ibsen's "The Master Builder")

c) He will still include the dirty joke, the one with the punch line "How am I going to explain to my husband what has happened to his car?", and still say, inaccurately, that it was an actual news story.

d) Following the general tenor of the chapter added to the 2013 edition of The Elements of Investing, by Malkiel and Ellis, he will make a specific suggestion or recommendation about replacing some portion of the bond allocation with dividend stocks and/or emerging markets bonds. It will be interesting to see if that actually gets into the life cycle recommendation charts.

e) The overall percentage of stocks in his suggested portfolios will not change, and the percentage of international stocks within the stock allocation will not change.

f) He will say something negative about bitcoin.
The percentage of international changed to 50% of all stocks in the latest edition (2011), with 50% of that in EM. (I hope I am recalling that right since that is what I rebalanced to late last year.)

BTW, when I first used his AA in 2000, I am pretty sure did not use the latest edition and put in less EM than the latest called for.

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Re: New Edition of Random Walk in January 2015

Post by nisiprius » Wed Jul 16, 2014 9:35 pm

tadamsmar wrote:[The percentage of international changed to 50% of all stocks in the latest edition (2011), with 50% of that in EM. (I hope I am recalling that right since that is what I rebalanced to late last year.)
I knew it was 50% international, and I know that the percentage of stocks increased between 2007 and 2011, but I didn't realize that he was recommending that half of international be emerging markets.

Just to be clear: by "50% of that in EM" was he allowing for the fact that Vanguard Total International already is 18% EM?
That is, did he mean that within the international stock allocation one should have

61% Vanguard Total International (giving us 50% developed, 11% EM)
39% Vanguard Emerging Markets Index
to get a total of 50% developed, 50% EM?

Or did he mean
50% Vanguard Total International (giving us 41% developed, 9% EM)
50% Vanguard Emerging Markets Index
to get a total of 41% developed, 59% EM? :!:
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.

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Re: New Edition of Random Walk in January 2015

Post by Leeraar » Thu Jul 17, 2014 3:17 am

And, he will say positive things about Wealthfront.

Personally, I plan to miss the latest edition of Malkiel's newsletter.

L.
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Re: New Edition of Random Walk in January 2015

Post by tadamsmar » Thu Jul 17, 2014 7:04 am

Malkiel meant and said 50% Developed Market Index, 50% EM, IIRC (be kind of sad if I don't recall correctly, since I am doing it!). But I do it more like you say, nisiprius, using Total International instead of Developed and adjusting for the EM in Total International, because the overall ER is a bit lower.

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Re: New Edition of Random Walk in January 2015

Post by nisiprius » Thu Jul 17, 2014 7:34 am

Leeraar wrote:And, he will say positive things about Wealthfront.

Personally, I plan to miss the latest edition of Malkiel's newsletter.

L.
Oh, that IS an interesting thought. Yes. Probably in a discreet way--"A good way to do this is to use one of the newly emerging low-cost advisory services that rely on computer automation, such as Wealthfront, Wealthfront, Betterment, FutureAdvisor, and Wealthfront. Wealthfront (disclosure: I am Wealthfront's CIO) and some of the other Wealthfront-like services that resemble Wealthfront can suggest a sound basic portfolio etc. etc."
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Re: New Edition of Random Walk in January 2015

Post by Sagenick48 » Thu Jul 17, 2014 7:35 am

I bought a paperback of the first edition back when I started investing. I found it helpful and it encouraged me to invest, after all if the market is by and large efficient then you should invest in it. I wasn't aware that there were multiple editions or that there were any significant changes. Tweaking the AA isn't a significant change to me. It is just noise. The AA of a person with a $10,000,000 portfolio isn't going to be the same as one with a $250,000 portfolio.
The market goes up, the market goes down.

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Re: New Edition of Random Walk in January 2015

Post by tadamsmar » Thu Jul 17, 2014 8:11 am

Sometime in the 1990's he introduced the Life-Cycle where is gave pretty detailed AA schedule advice.

When I became a Boglehead in 2000, I figured that I would pick an AA from a respected source and stick with it. Never occurred to me that the source would keep changing the AA schedule. But is kind of a detail in fuzzy math I guess.

In earlier editions (maybe the first) he was bragging about picking closed end funds that were trading below the combined value of their parts. So it was never a unqualified endorsement of random walk.

But, I have noticed that a good many AA creation processes include a little crystal ball work. They don't just crunch trailing returns.

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Re: New Edition of Random Walk in January 2015

Post by Rodc » Thu Jul 17, 2014 8:38 am

But, I have noticed that a good many AA creation processes include a little crystal ball work. They don't just crunch trailing returns.
Or a fair amount, ala Bernstein.
We live a world with knowledge of the future markets has less than one significant figure. And people will still and always demand answers to three significant digits.

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Re: New Edition of Random Walk in January 2015

Post by Chan_va » Thu Jul 17, 2014 9:10 am

I realize that there are legitimate concerns about the shifting AA in the book over the past few editions, but let's not forget what a bolt from the blue the original book was.

Rewind the clock back to 1973 when the first edition came out. There was so little general knowledge about the mechanics of the market, and so little about modern theory consumable by a mass audience. Stock pickers and financial guru's ruled the roost. People looked up in awe at Wall street, and admired it's amazing intellect. The market was viewed as this complex, fearsome ocean where only the sharks could survive. And if you wanted to play, you had to pay handsomely for the privilege of a shark letting you ride along.

Then the book comes out, and exposes that the king has no clothes. It provided the intellectual and theoretical backing for Bogle's funds. Vanguard wouldn't be where it is today without the theoretical foundation that the book laid out. I would argue that it was the single most important book about modern finance in the 20th century.

So, I am willing to cut Malkiel slack. He has earned it.

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Re: New Edition of Random Walk in January 2015

Post by freddie » Thu Jul 17, 2014 9:21 am

The questions are why are the AA changing? Is it just back testing or changes in the market. Even in 1993 doing things like investing in emerging markets (stocks or bonds), small cap international, and heck most US sectors was hard and expensive (>1.5%+ ERs). That might favor a different AA than one where you can buy just about any asset under the sun for less than .5% er.
Chan_va wrote:I realize that there are legitimate concerns about the shifting AA in the book over the past few editions, but let's not forget what a bolt from the blue the original book was.

Rewind the clock back to 1973 when the first edition came out. There was so little general knowledge about the mechanics of the market, and so little about modern theory consumable by a mass audience. Stock pickers and financial guru's ruled the roost. People looked up in awe at Wall street, and admired it's amazing intellect. The market was viewed as this complex, fearsome ocean where only the sharks could survive. And if you wanted to play, you had to pay handsomely for the privilege of a shark letting you ride along.

Then the book comes out, and exposes that the king has no clothes. It provided the intellectual and theoretical backing for Bogle's funds. Vanguard wouldn't be where it is today without the theoretical foundation that the book laid out. I would argue that it was the single most important book about modern finance in the 20th century.

So, I am willing to cut Malkiel slack. He has earned it.

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Re: New Edition of Random Walk in January 2015

Post by Trurl Klapaucius » Thu Jul 17, 2014 9:27 am

Chan_va wrote: ... but let's not forget what a bolt from the blue the original book was.
Yes, I agree, the first edition was an epiphany. That is why I felt so betrayed when Malkiel backed-off his random walk stance in later editions.

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Re: New Edition of Random Walk in January 2015

Post by grok87 » Thu Jul 17, 2014 9:37 am

Leeraar wrote:And, he will say positive things about Wealthfront.

Personally, I plan to miss the latest edition of Malkiel's newsletter.

L.
agree. not quite sure if he will do so explicitly or if it will be cloaked. Depends upon how much shame he has.
Keep calm and Boglehead on. KCBO.

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Re: New Edition of Random Walk in January 2015

Post by grok87 » Thu Jul 17, 2014 9:38 am

Trurl Klapaucius wrote:
Chan_va wrote: ... but let's not forget what a bolt from the blue the original book was.
Yes, I agree, the first edition was an epiphany. That is why I felt so betrayed when Malkiel backed-off his random walk stance in later editions.
agree. but follow the money i guess. i'm sure he's been well-paid for his touting of china stocks, etc.
Keep calm and Boglehead on. KCBO.

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Re: New Edition of Random Walk in January 2015

Post by tadamsmar » Thu Jul 17, 2014 9:41 am

Trurl Klapaucius wrote:
Chan_va wrote: ... but let's not forget what a bolt from the blue the original book was.
Yes, I agree, the first edition was an epiphany. That is why I felt so betrayed when Malkiel backed-off his random walk stance in later editions.
Did he have the stuff about how he was investing in closed-end funds that were priced below the sum of the parts back in the first edition. I don't have the first edition, I'd like to know if he really took a 100% random walk stance in that book. We all remember the elves (chartist) who got excited about the random walk plots and wanted to know the name of the stock so they could buy some, but maybe there was some non-random-walk stuff in there too.

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Re: New Edition of Random Walk in January 2015

Post by tadamsmar » Thu Jul 17, 2014 9:48 am

grok87 wrote:
Trurl Klapaucius wrote:
Chan_va wrote: ... but let's not forget what a bolt from the blue the original book was.
Yes, I agree, the first edition was an epiphany. That is why I felt so betrayed when Malkiel backed-off his random walk stance in later editions.
agree. but follow the money i guess. i'm sure he's been well-paid for his touting of china stocks, etc.
I don't think he was corrupted, he was not really a random walk purist.

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Re: New Edition of Random Walk in January 2015

Post by nisiprius » Thu Jul 17, 2014 10:56 am

tadamsmar wrote:...Did he have the stuff about how he was investing in closed-end funds that were priced below the sum of the parts back in the first edition...
Yes. See my post, Walking Down Wall Street in 1973. There's relatively little about mutual funds as we know them, and he does mention closed-end funds exactly as you say:--"mutual funds may not be the answer except at times like the present when closed-end funds are selling at unprecedented discounts."

It is predominantly about portfolios of individual securities. Mutual funds get only grudging mention as being the only practical way for a small investor to acquire a sufficiently diversified portfolio.

There is a chapter entitled "The Malkiel Method for Selecting Individual Common Stocks." Some of that material persists in later editions but not with a chapter heading. In my old copy it's in Chapter 15, "Three Giant Steps Down Wall Street," under the subheading "The Do-It-Yourself Step: Potentially Useful Stock-Picking Rules." That's where he mentions "firm foundation" and "castles in the air," but I can't find the place where he formerly identified these phrases as part of a quotation from Henrik Ibsen's "The Master Builder." He no longer includes any case studies of his own individual stock picks--he won on Tampax, A. C. Nielsen (TV ratings), Pinkerton's (detective agency), Masco (faucets), and lost on Giddings & Lewis (machine tools).

I believe the title was a sort of play on words. Instead of calling it something like "Malkiel on Investing," he imagines himself as taking a "random walk" through all the topics that interest him--among which was young researcher Eugene Fama and his efficient market hypothesis.

I'm not sure when the cover art began to show the dart and the stock listing. It did for many years, but it was dropped about ten years ago, and it would be interesting to know why. My guess is that, as you say, he was never a random-walk purist and he did not like his reputation as such.

I don't remember where I saw the reference, but I gather than at the time he wrote the first edition of the book he had a personal reputation as a "legendary investor."
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Re: New Edition of Random Walk in January 2015

Post by sscritic » Thu Jul 17, 2014 11:22 am

I am so glad I read the Code of Federal Regulations and not books. Books seem like a total waste of your time, especially when it comes to investing.

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Re: New Edition of Random Walk in January 2015

Post by sscritic » Thu Jul 17, 2014 11:27 am

Try this: Tell me one thing you can get from a book that you can't get on bogleheads.

You can't. If you tell me, then it will be on bogleheads. Q.E.D.

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Re: New Edition of Random Walk in January 2015

Post by Chan_va » Thu Jul 17, 2014 11:31 am

sscritic wrote:Try this: Tell me one thing you can get from a book that you can't get on bogleheads.

You can't. If you tell me, then it will be on bogleheads. Q.E.D.
Not true. I could tell you that there are books that tell you why the question you are asking gets into thorny issues of set theory. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russell's_paradox

See I have told you something without telling you something.

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Re: New Edition of Random Walk in January 2015

Post by Leeraar » Thu Jul 17, 2014 1:05 pm

I read the first edition, it changed my (investing) life.

I always thought the title was a play on the idea of a random walk through topics, not particularly a manifesto on the validity of EMH or other market theories.

I am disappointed in the changing, advice of the day, in the subsequent editions.

L.
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Re: New Edition of Random Walk in January 2015

Post by peppers » Thu Jul 17, 2014 9:13 pm

sscritic wrote:Try this: Tell me one thing you can get from a book that you can't get on bogleheads.

You can't. If you tell me, then it will be on bogleheads. Q.E.D.
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Re: New Edition of Random Walk in January 2015

Post by tadamsmar » Mon Jul 21, 2014 12:11 pm

I found a November 2013 interview where he suggests an update in the AA for those in their 50s.

From recent editions of Random Walk:

Cash: 5 percent
Bonds: 27.5 percent
REITs: 12.5 percent
Stocks: 55 percent

To:

Cash: 5 percent
Dividend growth stocks, emerging market bonds and tax-exempt bonds: 27.5 percent
REITs: 12.5 percent
Stocks: 55 percent

http://www.cnbc.com/id/101226110

I think I will ignore this. I am mostly in G Fund for my bond allocation anyway and I don't hold any bonds in taxable accounts.

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Re: New Edition of Random Walk in January 2015

Post by tadamsmar » Mon Jul 21, 2014 12:17 pm

What is the Boglehead way to buy dividend growth stocks, EM bonds and tax-exempt bonds?

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