Doesn't seem like people respond to portfolio assessments like they did a few years ago.

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qwertyjazz
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Re: Doesn't seem like people respond to portfolio assessments like they did a few years ago.

Post by qwertyjazz » Tue Jan 23, 2018 3:59 pm

stlutz wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:59 pm
One other note, a very significant percentage of the posts are from the already affluent or HENRYs. If somebody is in the 39.6% federal bracket, I'm comfortable allowing them to do their own research and figure more out on their own. I'd feel more useful if we could get more "portfolio question" threads from more normal middle class folks.
HENRY = High Income Not Retired Yet? Best guess
Not familiar with acronym

Thank you
QJ
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barnaclebob
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Re: Doesn't seem like people respond to portfolio assessments like they did a few years ago.

Post by barnaclebob » Tue Jan 23, 2018 4:14 pm

A lot of the portfolio reviews don't really need any help or the answer is the same as 1000 times before.

Someone currently wants to know if they'll be able to retire in 10 years at age 50 with nearly 2 million in the bank and over 100k a year in savings. That's a boring question to answer because its most likely an easy yes.

Other times people post their complicated edward jones portfolio. Thats also an easy answer...try to get out of it while minimizing taxes or not creating huge tax hits.

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FiveK
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Re: Doesn't seem like people respond to portfolio assessments like they did a few years ago.

Post by FiveK » Tue Jan 23, 2018 4:23 pm

qwertyjazz wrote:
Tue Jan 23, 2018 3:59 pm
HENRY = High Income Not Retired Yet? Best guess
High Earning, Not Rich Yet

retiredjg
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Re: Doesn't seem like people respond to portfolio assessments like they did a few years ago.

Post by retiredjg » Tue Jan 23, 2018 4:33 pm

ny_knicks wrote:
Tue Jan 23, 2018 2:38 pm
Then it's a question of what account should the bonds be in vs the stocks. Again I believe the answer is pretty templated: bonds in taxable and stocks in tax-deferred.
That may be your opinion, but it is definitely not templated. In fact, the opposite is the template. Bonds in taxable is the "outside the box" answer. :happy

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Rowan Oak
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Re: Doesn't seem like people respond to portfolio assessments like they did a few years ago.

Post by Rowan Oak » Tue Jan 23, 2018 4:37 pm

delamer wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2018 7:28 pm
In my last job, we maintained a large database and provided extensive, searchable documentation for users.

Yet we regularly got questions from users which made it obvious that they had not bothered to even do a rudimentary review of the documentation before sending in their questions.

I get the same sense with some, certainly not all, portfolio posters. There is lots of material in the wiki and in previous threads related to their questions, but they don’t bother to do any research before posting.
I agree. I have followed retiredjg for a long time just reading the countless posts she has made to help others. Often it is apparent that the one asking the questions hasn't made any effort to read the Bogleheads Wiki. Just 1-2hrs reading the Getting started section could probably cut the time in half that it takes to answer most portfolio questions.

Of course, many who ask questions you can easily tell they are trying to do their best and have spent a lot of time on getting their questions right even if they weren't 100% correct on the first try.
Last edited by Rowan Oak on Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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qwertyjazz
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Re: Doesn't seem like people respond to portfolio assessments like they did a few years ago.

Post by qwertyjazz » Tue Jan 23, 2018 5:06 pm

FiveK wrote:
Tue Jan 23, 2018 4:23 pm
qwertyjazz wrote:
Tue Jan 23, 2018 3:59 pm
HENRY = High Income Not Retired Yet? Best guess
High Earning, Not Rich Yet
Thank you
G.E. Box "All models are wrong, but some are useful."

Dottie57
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Re: Doesn't seem like people respond to portfolio assessments like they did a few years ago.

Post by Dottie57 » Tue Jan 23, 2018 5:21 pm

Rowan Oak wrote:
Tue Jan 23, 2018 4:37 pm
delamer wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2018 7:28 pm
In my last job, we maintained a large database and provided extensive, searchable documentation for users.

Yet we regularly got questions from users which made it obvious that they had not bothered to even do a rudimentary review of the documentation before sending in their questions.

I get the same sense with some, certainly not all, portfolio posters. There is lots of material in the wiki and in previous threads related to their questions, but they don’t bother to do any research before posting.
I agree. I have followed retiredjg for a long time just reading the countless posts he has made to help others. Often it is apparent that the one asking the questions hasn't made any effort to read the Bogleheads Wiki. Just 1-2hrs reading the Getting started section could probably cut the time in half that it takes to answer most portfolio questions.

Of course, many who ask questions you can easily tell they are trying to do their best and have spent a lot of time on getting their questions right even if they weren't 100% correct on the first try.
I haveto say my portfolio review was bit precarious. The format was wonky for me. SimInwas asked to do the work a d I did.

The answers were worth the work in doing as requested.

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David Jay
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Re: Doesn't seem like people respond to portfolio assessments like they did a few years ago.

Post by David Jay » Tue Jan 23, 2018 5:44 pm

White Coat Investor wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2018 5:01 pm
Bottom line: I'd encourage everyone, whether you think you know enough or not, to make an effort to give one response a week to a portfolio help thread. If even 10% of us did that, it would meet the need. Whether people will do that voluntarily or not is beyond me.
Some days I will specifically scroll down the list looking at the number of responses. I figure the threads with tens of responses don't need my input...
delamer wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2018 7:28 pm
I get the same sense with some, certainly not all, portfolio posters. There is lots of material in the wiki and in previous threads related to their questions, but they don’t bother to do any research before posting.
I like to steer folks to the Wiki - sort of "learning to fish": Starter Kit and Traditional versus Roth are the two most common ones.
armeliusc wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2018 11:55 pm
I am one of the lurkers who's been here quite a while, but never answered any kind of portfolios assessments questions. I probably know enough by now of the basics of Bogleheads way, and likely (based on some casual conversations) know a bit more than my other (real world) peers, but I always feel so intimidated here by the wealth of knowledge and of ... err... wealth. So I stayed silent.
If they have a big list of questions, I have taken to answering just one or two questions to get them started and to "bump" the thread. For instance, I don't do TLH because essentially all my funds are in tax-deferred or tax-advantaged. So I skip to a question where I can provide an answer.
Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future - Niels Bohr | To get the "risk premium", you really do have to take the risk - nisiprius

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telemark
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Re: Doesn't seem like people respond to portfolio assessments like they did a few years ago.

Post by telemark » Tue Jan 23, 2018 7:09 pm

staythecourse wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2018 6:32 pm
Thank your for pointing this out as I hadn't noticed. I very rarely ever even read those threads as I assumed the true diehard posters on here who have a wealth of experience seeing a ton of these requests and would answer them better then I.
According to the strong form of the Efficient Bogleheads Hypothesis, any question you or I could answer will already have been answered by someone else (and probably better). In practice the forum is not always perfectly efficient, although it tends towards efficiency. In any case I've found that attempting to answer questions is an excellent way to learn more myself.

Easy Rhino
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Re: Doesn't seem like people respond to portfolio assessments like they did a few years ago.

Post by Easy Rhino » Tue Jan 23, 2018 7:33 pm

I used to be super active in offering advice years ago. Now? Got a wife and two kids and a dog and no time.

I think the "front page" layout has something to do with it too. It tends to drive whatever has the most traffic near the top. So you end up with a discussion of $5,000 watches consistently being high visibility.

On the other hand, if you're looking at the conventional forum layout view, then the help with investments is the very first category.

anonsdca
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Re: Doesn't seem like people respond to portfolio assessments like they did a few years ago.

Post by anonsdca » Tue Jan 23, 2018 7:43 pm

Dottie57 wrote:
Tue Jan 23, 2018 3:21 pm
anonsdca wrote:
Tue Jan 23, 2018 2:59 am
White Coat Investor wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2018 5:01 pm
# 1 Yes, I think people do get sick of it a bit. It actually requires effort to read a 1000 word post (just like 500 previous ones) and respond to it. Since nobody gets paid to do this effort, you can only get a little bit of work out of a single person. There are upsides and downsides to the format. The upside is that it is free and there is little bias. The downside is nobody has much incentive to respond and help. Newbies are left to the goodness of the hearts of forum regulars and their available time. There are other models, but this is the one the forum has chosen, for better or for worse. Just as an example, not a suggestion, an ad could be stuck up on the homepage and the proceeds from that ad could be used to pay 5 people a month whose job it is to respond to the portfolio help requests. Then it is both someone's responsibility and they are incentivized to do it. Another option, again not a suggestion, is to allow financial professionals to put their firm in their signature and then they're incentivized to give good advice because they may pick up a client from it. Yet another is for the forum to solicit donations and use those to pay $5 for each of the first five responses to one of those "help me" threads. Lots of ways to skin a cat, all with their pluses and minuses. But nobody can expect 10 or 15 people to do this for a dozen posts each every week. They'll get burned out. And that's what has happened.

# 2 Most responses just recommend that they change their portfolio so it looks more like that of the person making the recommendation (I think you need more TIPS, you have 5% and I have 10%.) The real benefit of asking for help is putting it in the recommended format! At that point the questions you have left are usually just matters of opinion with no right answer.

# 3 The forum has grown. There are like 5 pages worth of posts that have been updated just today. I can't imagine anyone is reading all the threads. I scan down 20 or 30 threads, click on one or two that look interesting, and that's it. Maybe leave one response. See you tomorrow. And I have more posts on this forum than all but 17 other people. The likelihood of those one or two being a "help me with my portfolio" thread is low. You just have to think about why people log in. Do they do it to learn more about investing? Do they do it to kill time? Do they do it to help others? Some combination of the above? We're all different, but we're also people, and people do what they're incentivized to do. The incentive on a forum is to take, not give...to lurk, not contribute. I mean, look at how many hits the forum has on a given day and then how many responses to newbies asking for help there are. It's a tiny percentage. That's not why people come here for the most part.

Bottom line: I'd encourage everyone, whether you think you know enough or not, to make an effort to give one response a week to a portfolio help thread. If even 10% of us did that, it would meet the need. Whether people will do that voluntarily or not is beyond me.

I do know of some posters who used to do this a great deal but have left the forum because they got sick of being trolled/pestered, the internet being what it is, even here. So maximizing kindness particularly for those who are not anonymous goes a long way too.
I have a different opinion which I haven't heard mentioned--tho its been implied in a lot of posts here. I think a lot of the new posters (like me) are not proponents of the Bogelhead philosophy. So I don't feel comfortable even commenting on MFs or ETFs.

---I don't have a 3-fund portfolio, I don't want to buy a mutual fund or ETF, and I don't care to beat or even meet the market return with some total market fund. My strategy is different. I will NEVER beat the market because I buy the beat-up, out-of-favor and not the high-flying PE + 300 companies.

---I love the expat posts, I love the tax posts, I love the home v. apt or RE posts, I love the non-financial posts. I love a lot of stuff about this site. I spend a lot of time here and get GREAT value, but none of it is investing (except AA stuff). This is not the time to attack me for being a non-Bogel but just an observation.

---What I think Bogelheads should do is set up a Sub-forum---something like: "Not exactly a BH, but respect the wisdom" or some titled sub-forum where non-BHs can post their posts in peace. Think about it. There is so much animosity when some dividend or individual stock post gets posted. Wouldn't it be better to have those contained in a Sub-forum so that real die hard BHs would never see them because they just don't click that forum? Other investing sites have Sub-forums that diverge from their core purpose. They are not popular, but who cares? They serve those choosing another path and if they die out, OH well. I suspect they would not die out tho. There are too many BHs that have a mixed strategy. I have seen it over the past few years.

Anyway, that is my Alt observation. I think WCI is right. This forum is growing, but the growth may not be hard core BH, and that might be a reason the newbees don't comment. That's seems appropriate and we are respectful to the ways here and to not get involved in the debate. We know this is not our home, but there is so much other wisdom here we cannot turn away. At least I cant.

I would love it if a Moderator could tell me my hours logged in. Even with a 60 hour job, I am here a lot. I do lurk for sure, but I am posting more.
I don't think a sub-forum is a good idea. This is the Boglehead forum and not a general investing forum. You get mostly boglehead advice here. You should not be surprised at answers you get here.
Never said I was surprised about the investing advice given, in fact, I said I respect it, I just do something else.

harvestbook
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Re: Doesn't seem like people respond to portfolio assessments like they did a few years ago.

Post by harvestbook » Tue Jan 23, 2018 7:45 pm

I have a personal rule of not giving advice to anyone with more money than me, so that pretty much cuts me out of most discussions.

I like cost-cutting tips more than the same old hair-splitting tips because money not spent has more value than earning an extra tenth of a percent over 10 years with a complex strategy.
I'm not smart enough to know, and I can't afford to guess.

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fortfun
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Re: Doesn't seem like people respond to portfolio assessments like they did a few years ago.

Post by fortfun » Tue Jan 23, 2018 7:47 pm

TwstdSista wrote:
Tue Jan 23, 2018 3:56 pm
ny_knicks wrote:
Tue Jan 23, 2018 3:46 pm
livesoft wrote:
Tue Jan 23, 2018 3:00 pm
ny_knicks wrote:
Tue Jan 23, 2018 2:38 pm
Again I believe the answer is pretty templated: bonds in taxable and stocks in tax-deferred.
I have bond funds only in tax-deferred and also equities in all accounts (taxable, tax-deferred, and Roth).
Your post either points out there are multiple approaches, I have 0 idea what I am talking about, your situation is somewhat unique or some combination of the 3 lol

Point of my post was I think a lot of portfolio questions are going to get fairly standard responses. Most posting are fairly new and likely just looking to dip their feet. Gotta start somewhere and I think there is a fairly general starting point. Maybe my idea of a starting point missed the mark.

Anything after that post a specific question and you're much more likely to get a lot better/more tailored response.
I'm confused. I thought the template answer to this situation was: bonds in tax deferred, stocks in taxable (and everywhere else)?
I thought that too (i.e interest earned on bonds is taxed at a higher rate than interest earned on stocks). Maybe I'm mistaken.

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inittowinit
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Re: Doesn't seem like people respond to portfolio assessments like they did a few years ago.

Post by inittowinit » Tue Jan 23, 2018 8:26 pm

anonsdca wrote:
Tue Jan 23, 2018 2:59 am

I have a different opinion which I haven't heard mentioned--tho its been implied in a lot of posts here. I think a lot of the new posters (like me) are not proponents of the Bogelhead philosophy. So I don't feel comfortable even commenting on MFs or ETFs.

...

---What I think Bogelheads should do is set up a Sub-forum---something like: "Not exactly a BH, but respect the wisdom" or some titled sub-forum where non-BHs can post their posts in peace. Think about it. There is so much animosity when some dividend or individual stock post gets posted. Wouldn't it be better to have those contained in a Sub-forum so that real die hard BHs would never see them because they just don't click that forum? Other investing sites have Sub-forums that diverge from their core purpose. They are not popular, but who cares? They serve those choosing another path and if they die out, OH well. I suspect they would not die out tho. There are too many BHs that have a mixed strategy. I have seen it over the past few years.
I think that adopting this approach would cater to the least common denominator, rather than forcing people to elevate their discourse on this (what I consider) august forum.

The Boglehead philosophy is based as much as possible on academic, statistically and behaviorally tested research into "what works best for most people, most of the time". I don't see why we would alter the philosophy espoused on the forum without an evidence-backed shift in the underlying research, or relegate honest disagreements/discussions about investing topics to some sub-forum that is a "safe space" for people who disagree with the evidence-backed principles upon which this forum was built (and continues to evolve).

I also reject part of the premise here, which is that people don't respond to portfolio review requests because they disagree with the asker's investment philosophy (???). If that were the case then we would be seeing MORE replies nitpicking the questioner's positions, not the lack of replies that is the topic of this thread.

ny_knicks
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Re: Doesn't seem like people respond to portfolio assessments like they did a few years ago.

Post by ny_knicks » Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:56 pm

fortfun wrote:
Tue Jan 23, 2018 7:47 pm
TwstdSista wrote:
Tue Jan 23, 2018 3:56 pm
ny_knicks wrote:
Tue Jan 23, 2018 3:46 pm
livesoft wrote:
Tue Jan 23, 2018 3:00 pm
ny_knicks wrote:
Tue Jan 23, 2018 2:38 pm
Again I believe the answer is pretty templated: bonds in taxable and stocks in tax-deferred.
I have bond funds only in tax-deferred and also equities in all accounts (taxable, tax-deferred, and Roth).
Your post either points out there are multiple approaches, I have 0 idea what I am talking about, your situation is somewhat unique or some combination of the 3 lol

Point of my post was I think a lot of portfolio questions are going to get fairly standard responses. Most posting are fairly new and likely just looking to dip their feet. Gotta start somewhere and I think there is a fairly general starting point. Maybe my idea of a starting point missed the mark.

Anything after that post a specific question and you're much more likely to get a lot better/more tailored response.
I'm confused. I thought the template answer to this situation was: bonds in tax deferred, stocks in taxable (and everywhere else)?
I thought that too (i.e interest earned on bonds is taxed at a higher rate than interest earned on stocks). Maybe I'm mistaken.
I told you guys all in my follow-up post there is a distinct possibility I have no idea what I am talking about! :D

I also should probably admit I don't own bonds and therefore skimmed very quickly through that section of the book.

My understanding was in the current low interest rate/inflationary environment yields on bonds are so low that there really isn't much to be taxed. If you expected this to continue it may make more sense to hold bonds in your taxable and stocks in the tax-deferred. Especially if you're expected return on equities is higher/high dividends/if you dabble in active management/want to avoid large unrealized gains.

Rereading the wiki this is NOT the templated strategy. You all are doing the recommended strategy in there.

With that said a boglehead forum member outlines the rationale I was describing above in this blog post much better than I can if you're interested: https://thefinancebuff.com/tax-efficien ... olute.html

Didn't realize I was so cutting edge in my thinking. I guess I fall on the fence where I am super bullish on equities over the long-term and believe that the feds long-term low interest rate environment may have pushed us to the point where this will become the new norm. It is like a drug once you're hooked you're hooked.

Maybe it is the wrong strategy. I'll have to think more about it when I start to buy bonds in 10-15 years but I should probably refrain from giving financial advice and go back to talking about "Where should I vacation" on the Consumer Forum lol

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saltycaper
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Re: Doesn't seem like people respond to portfolio assessments like they did a few years ago.

Post by saltycaper » Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:16 am

ny_knicks wrote:
Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:56 pm

I told you guys all in my follow-up post there is a distinct possibility I have no idea what I am talking about! :D
Well, a lot of the people who recommend the "template" advice don't know what they're talking about either. They just repeat what they've heard. It's good to question these things. That's how they improve.

I think that's also one reason why some assessment questions don't always get many responses. They require actual analysis. Some people don't want to be bothered, and others see the situation has more than one reasonable answer. Kudos to those posters who take the time to formulate an appropriate depth of information.
Quod vitae sectabor iter?

birdy
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Re: Doesn't seem like people respond to portfolio assessments like they did a few years ago.

Post by birdy » Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:20 am

I used to be one of the Bogleheads who tried to help answer some questions. But it has seemed that more and more requests from people who have not checked the Bogleheads Wiki first. Maybe if we had something that said "Welcome first time Bogleheads" which would cause them to click on that heading. That heading would give them info on how to search in the forum or Wiki. It would also lead them to the suggested reading list also. If our newbies at least read ONE of the books before asking questions (like I did!) some of their basic questions will be explained before diving into the forum. I know at the top of of the Board Index it has a quick link to the Wiki, but perhaps they don't know that is where to go first!

I do not want to discourage anyone from asking questions but like others have said, it takes time to answer the same question (over and over) again. Maybe my suggestion would help????

birdy

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Re: Doesn't seem like people respond to portfolio assessments like they did a few years ago.

Post by jadd806 » Wed Jan 24, 2018 9:13 am

I don't mind the newbie questions. Even those who clearly haven't read the wiki.

In my opinion the humblebrag posts are far more offputting. "I'm doing fine and I know that I'm doing fine, but take a look at my mid-6 figure income and 7 figure portfolio and tell me that I'm doing fine."

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Re: Doesn't seem like people respond to portfolio assessments like they did a few years ago.

Post by retiredjg » Wed Jan 24, 2018 9:19 am

birdy wrote:
Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:20 am
I used to be one of the Bogleheads who tried to help answer some questions. But it has seemed that more and more requests from people who have not checked the Bogleheads Wiki first. Maybe if we had something that said "Welcome first time Bogleheads" which would cause them to click on that heading. That heading would give them info on how to search in the forum or Wiki. It would also lead them to the suggested reading list also. If our newbies at least read ONE of the books before asking questions (like I did!) some of their basic questions will be explained before diving into the forum. I know at the top of of the Board Index it has a quick link to the Wiki, but perhaps they don't know that is where to go first!
I agree. It would be so helpful if people did a little reading (wiki, other posts, books) before jumping in with their first question.

I'm not sure what new people see when they join. Is there a Read This First page? If not, maybe there should be.

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Re: Doesn't seem like people respond to portfolio assessments like they did a few years ago.

Post by David Jay » Wed Jan 24, 2018 10:09 am

retiredjg wrote:
Wed Jan 24, 2018 9:19 am
I'm not sure what new people see when they join. Is there a Read This First page? If not, maybe there should be.
+1

If I remember correctly, I was researching some part of my new-at-the-time "coffeehouse" portfolio and the search engine linked to a post on BH. I liked the discussion and "backed out" of the thread to find the forum.

I remember I couldn't figure out what "OP" meant (my second ever thread): viewtopic.php?f=3&t=163849 :oops:
Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future - Niels Bohr | To get the "risk premium", you really do have to take the risk - nisiprius

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Re: Doesn't seem like people respond to portfolio assessments like they did a few years ago.

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Thu Jan 25, 2018 1:42 pm

Rowan Oak wrote:
Tue Jan 23, 2018 4:37 pm
I have followed retiredjg for a long time just reading the countless posts he has made to help others.
"She".
This week's fortune cookie: "Your financial life will be secure and beneficial." So I got that going for me, which is nice.

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Re: Doesn't seem like people respond to portfolio assessments like they did a few years ago.

Post by Rowan Oak » Thu Jan 25, 2018 2:39 pm

Earl Lemongrab wrote:
Thu Jan 25, 2018 1:42 pm
Rowan Oak wrote:
Tue Jan 23, 2018 4:37 pm
I have followed retiredjg for a long time just reading the countless posts he has made to help others.
"She".
Thank you
“If you can get good at destroying your own wrong ideas, that is a great gift.” – Charlie Munger

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Re: Doesn't seem like people respond to portfolio assessments like they did a few years ago.

Post by dcabler » Thu Jan 25, 2018 2:58 pm

anonsdca wrote:
Tue Jan 23, 2018 7:43 pm
Dottie57 wrote:
Tue Jan 23, 2018 3:21 pm
anonsdca wrote:
Tue Jan 23, 2018 2:59 am
White Coat Investor wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2018 5:01 pm
# 1 Yes, I think people do get sick of it a bit. It actually requires effort to read a 1000 word post (just like 500 previous ones) and respond to it. Since nobody gets paid to do this effort, you can only get a little bit of work out of a single person. There are upsides and downsides to the format. The upside is that it is free and there is little bias. The downside is nobody has much incentive to respond and help. Newbies are left to the goodness of the hearts of forum regulars and their available time. There are other models, but this is the one the forum has chosen, for better or for worse. Just as an example, not a suggestion, an ad could be stuck up on the homepage and the proceeds from that ad could be used to pay 5 people a month whose job it is to respond to the portfolio help requests. Then it is both someone's responsibility and they are incentivized to do it. Another option, again not a suggestion, is to allow financial professionals to put their firm in their signature and then they're incentivized to give good advice because they may pick up a client from it. Yet another is for the forum to solicit donations and use those to pay $5 for each of the first five responses to one of those "help me" threads. Lots of ways to skin a cat, all with their pluses and minuses. But nobody can expect 10 or 15 people to do this for a dozen posts each every week. They'll get burned out. And that's what has happened.

# 2 Most responses just recommend that they change their portfolio so it looks more like that of the person making the recommendation (I think you need more TIPS, you have 5% and I have 10%.) The real benefit of asking for help is putting it in the recommended format! At that point the questions you have left are usually just matters of opinion with no right answer.

# 3 The forum has grown. There are like 5 pages worth of posts that have been updated just today. I can't imagine anyone is reading all the threads. I scan down 20 or 30 threads, click on one or two that look interesting, and that's it. Maybe leave one response. See you tomorrow. And I have more posts on this forum than all but 17 other people. The likelihood of those one or two being a "help me with my portfolio" thread is low. You just have to think about why people log in. Do they do it to learn more about investing? Do they do it to kill time? Do they do it to help others? Some combination of the above? We're all different, but we're also people, and people do what they're incentivized to do. The incentive on a forum is to take, not give...to lurk, not contribute. I mean, look at how many hits the forum has on a given day and then how many responses to newbies asking for help there are. It's a tiny percentage. That's not why people come here for the most part.

Bottom line: I'd encourage everyone, whether you think you know enough or not, to make an effort to give one response a week to a portfolio help thread. If even 10% of us did that, it would meet the need. Whether people will do that voluntarily or not is beyond me.

I do know of some posters who used to do this a great deal but have left the forum because they got sick of being trolled/pestered, the internet being what it is, even here. So maximizing kindness particularly for those who are not anonymous goes a long way too.
I have a different opinion which I haven't heard mentioned--tho its been implied in a lot of posts here. I think a lot of the new posters (like me) are not proponents of the Bogelhead philosophy. So I don't feel comfortable even commenting on MFs or ETFs.

---I don't have a 3-fund portfolio, I don't want to buy a mutual fund or ETF, and I don't care to beat or even meet the market return with some total market fund. My strategy is different. I will NEVER beat the market because I buy the beat-up, out-of-favor and not the high-flying PE + 300 companies.

---I love the expat posts, I love the tax posts, I love the home v. apt or RE posts, I love the non-financial posts. I love a lot of stuff about this site. I spend a lot of time here and get GREAT value, but none of it is investing (except AA stuff). This is not the time to attack me for being a non-Bogel but just an observation.

---What I think Bogelheads should do is set up a Sub-forum---something like: "Not exactly a BH, but respect the wisdom" or some titled sub-forum where non-BHs can post their posts in peace. Think about it. There is so much animosity when some dividend or individual stock post gets posted. Wouldn't it be better to have those contained in a Sub-forum so that real die hard BHs would never see them because they just don't click that forum? Other investing sites have Sub-forums that diverge from their core purpose. They are not popular, but who cares? They serve those choosing another path and if they die out, OH well. I suspect they would not die out tho. There are too many BHs that have a mixed strategy. I have seen it over the past few years.

Anyway, that is my Alt observation. I think WCI is right. This forum is growing, but the growth may not be hard core BH, and that might be a reason the newbees don't comment. That's seems appropriate and we are respectful to the ways here and to not get involved in the debate. We know this is not our home, but there is so much other wisdom here we cannot turn away. At least I cant.

I would love it if a Moderator could tell me my hours logged in. Even with a 60 hour job, I am here a lot. I do lurk for sure, but I am posting more.
I don't think a sub-forum is a good idea. This is the Boglehead forum and not a general investing forum. You get mostly boglehead advice here. You should not be surprised at answers you get here.
Never said I was surprised about the investing advice given, in fact, I said I respect it, I just do something else.
Ideally, I'd love to see it, but I don't know how, practically speaking, a sub-forum could be created and reasonably contain the discussions once you move away from the basics. Everybody probably has a topic that is "a bridge too far" and I could see how it could easily turn into a free-for-all for daytraders (to use an extreme example). So far, I've found PM's and emails to contributors that appear to go a little beyond the fundamentals of the BH philosophy to work well for me. YMMV.

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Re: Doesn't seem like people respond to portfolio assessments like they did a few years ago.

Post by LuigiLikesPizza » Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:26 pm

Some FAs devise their own templates that they give to their prospective clients prior to the first real session. It allows them to get the picture in a format that is clear to them, without distractions of narrative that is not applicable, etc.

Just a thought. I realize this is all voluntary, so likely it would be a simple format - Goldilocks fashion - not too little, not too much, just right....if the format is not followed exactly, don't expect any response.

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Re: Doesn't seem like people respond to portfolio assessments like they did a few years ago.

Post by White Coat Investor » Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:31 pm

harvestbook wrote:
Tue Jan 23, 2018 7:45 pm
I have a personal rule of not giving advice to anyone with more money than me, so that pretty much cuts me out of most discussions.
I'd drop that rule. It's good to be humble but there are a lot of people you could help. Wealth is often more a function of age than wisdom. Twice as much wealth does not equal twice as much wisdom, even in the same person.
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy | 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course

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Re: Doesn't seem like people respond to portfolio assessments like they did a few years ago.

Post by Gort » Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:56 pm

I remember that a couple of years ago much of the discussions centered around the "Slice and Dice" crowd. I hardly see any of that anymore. More recently it's been how much international to hold. Most recently it's seems to be how much in bonds to hold and where to hold them. Looking past the gold watch, cheap eyeglasses and where to buy tires discussions I think the forum as a whole represents the current concerns of the average DIY investor - not a bad thing. I do wish they would bring back polls. That was a good way to easily see the consensus of a large number of people in a simple format. Responding to a poll would be easier than writing a response which my or may not contribute to the ongoing discussion but the individual responses would certainly add to more posts to read.

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Re: Doesn't seem like people respond to portfolio assessments like they did a few years ago.

Post by Sandtrap » Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:05 pm

fortfun wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2018 4:43 pm
I've seen a dozen portfolio assessment posts come up the last few weeks (I posted one yesterday). Many get little or no response, even when posted correctly. Yet a question about brake pads may yield a couple of hundred responses. Are people just tired of answering portfolio assessments? If so, this makes me a little sad about the state of Bogleheads. I'd hate to see people start turning to the "pros" for investment advice. This forum saved my financial "life." I hope it will continue to flourish!
I've also noticed that.
I suspect it is because of the volume of posts. The main forum page scrolls faster nowadays. I try to "bump" when I can so folks will get better help. And, yes, "fun" posts help with comaraderie and "humanization" of the forum but also add to the volume.

Portfolio reviewers are limited in number so most likely need to be more selective. Some posts are very hard to read and in the wrong format, or the poster is defensive or argumentative, thus, they also get minimal response.

Also, as the volume increases, it get's arduous. Reviews take time to do carefully. And, better to be careful than error in haste.

The one's that get posted correctly are refreshing. But, the forum covers several time zones, and that with the speed of turnover, some things will fall through the cracks.

For basic advice, my "Bogle Toolbox of Links" seems to help as many only need to be pointed in the right direction.

Perhaps there might be a note on the "portfolio review format" wiki to "bump" one's post as needed for better visibility. (moderators?)

I suspect this might be a bigger issue as the forum volume grows. (thanks for bringing it up)
Others may have other actionable solutions?

mahalo,
j :D

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Re: Doesn't seem like people respond to portfolio assessments like they did a few years ago.

Post by Sandtrap » Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:08 pm

Gort wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:56 pm
I remember that a couple of years ago much of the discussions centered around the "Slice and Dice" crowd. I hardly see any of that anymore. More recently it's been how much international to hold. Most recently it's seems to be how much in bonds to hold and where to hold them. Looking past the gold watch, cheap eyeglasses and where to buy tires discussions I think the forum as a whole represents the current concerns of the average DIY investor - not a bad thing. I do wish they would bring back polls. That was a good way to easily see the consensus of a large number of people in a simple format. Responding to a poll would be easier than writing a response which my or may not contribute to the ongoing discussion but the individual responses would certainly add to more posts to read.
+1
Agreed on the polls. There are a lot of posts that work around it, then sometimes get locked as non-actionable. That may be more work for the moderators. The polls would perhaps make it simpler and less of a burden for moderators?

mahalo,
j :D

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Re: Doesn't seem like people respond to portfolio assessments like they did a few years ago.

Post by Dottie57 » Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:10 pm

David Jay wrote:
Wed Jan 24, 2018 10:09 am
retiredjg wrote:
Wed Jan 24, 2018 9:19 am
I'm not sure what new people see when they join. Is there a Read This First page? If not, maybe there should be.
+1

If I remember correctly, I was researching some part of my new-at-the-time "coffeehouse" portfolio and the search engine linked to a post on BH. I liked the discussion and "backed out" of the thread to find the forum.

I remember I couldn't figure out what "OP" meant (my second ever thread): viewtopic.php?f=3&t=163849 :oops:
I found the forum through a google search post too. Yes, I think on joining the forum it would be good to have a READ THIS FIRST page/message. It took me a while to mosey on over to the Wiki.

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Re: Doesn't seem like people respond to portfolio assessments like they did a few years ago.

Post by Sandtrap » Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:12 pm

LuigiLikesPizza wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:26 pm
Some FAs devise their own templates that they give to their prospective clients prior to the first real session. It allows them to get the picture in a format that is clear to them, without distractions of narrative that is not applicable, etc.

Just a thought. I realize this is all voluntary, so likely it would be a simple format - Goldilocks fashion - not too little, not too much, just right....if the format is not followed exactly, don't expect any response.
True.
Good point. Thanks.
But, I suspect much of the success and uniqueness of the Bogle Forum is the specificity of actionable information given to each persons financial circumstance. It is human, personal, and reflects concern, vs a locked format. Some of the narrative in someone's personal situation may carry as much weight, or more, than what could be entered in a spreadsheet.
A thought.
mahalo,
j :D

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Re: Doesn't seem like people respond to portfolio assessments like they did a few years ago.

Post by Sandtrap » Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:19 pm

retiredjg wrote:
Wed Jan 24, 2018 9:19 am
birdy wrote:
Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:20 am
I used to be one of the Bogleheads who tried to help answer some questions. But it has seemed that more and more requests from people who have not checked the Bogleheads Wiki first. Maybe if we had something that said "Welcome first time Bogleheads" which would cause them to click on that heading. That heading would give them info on how to search in the forum or Wiki. It would also lead them to the suggested reading list also. If our newbies at least read ONE of the books before asking questions (like I did!) some of their basic questions will be explained before diving into the forum. I know at the top of of the Board Index it has a quick link to the Wiki, but perhaps they don't know that is where to go first!
I agree. It would be so helpful if people did a little reading (wiki, other posts, books) before jumping in with their first question.

I'm not sure what new people see when they join. Is there a Read This First page? If not, maybe there should be.
The "wiki" can be overwhelming. So giving "wiki link referrals" within their post helps cut down on a lot of repetitive dialogue. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't. Maybe some would rather get a quick shortcut answer in a thread rather than read how it applies to them in depth in a book?

The "Welcome first time Bogleheads" would be nice as a "sticky" somewhere. How to make it obvious? Dunno.

mahalo,
j :D

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Re: Doesn't seem like people respond to portfolio assessments like they did a few years ago.

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:26 pm

Sandtrap wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:05 pm
I suspect it is because of the volume of posts. The main forum page scrolls faster nowadays.
I think there's a lot of truth in that. There are just so many posts these days. You skip a few days, Personal Investments can have hundreds of updated threads.
This week's fortune cookie: "Your financial life will be secure and beneficial." So I got that going for me, which is nice.

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Re: Doesn't seem like people respond to portfolio assessments like they did a few years ago.

Post by Miriam2 » Wed Feb 14, 2018 12:23 am

White Coat Investor wrote:
harvestbook wrote: I have a personal rule of not giving advice to anyone with more money than me, so that pretty much cuts me out of most discussions.
I'd drop that rule. It's good to be humble but there are a lot of people you could help. Wealth is often more a function of age than wisdom. Twice as much wealth does not equal twice as much wisdom, even in the same person.
I agree with Whitecoat. We all learn and benefit from everyone's financial experiences, regardless of wealth. Certainly lots of advice can be given by someone who lost all their wealth :mrgreen:

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Re: Doesn't seem like people respond to portfolio assessments like they did a few years ago.

Post by livesoft » Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:56 am

So when someone asks for portfolio help, what is the polite way to ask them to follow the requested format?

And then, after that when they don't follow the format, what is the polite way to ask them to really follow the format?

And then, they won't do the work of calculating percentages themselves or doing any formatting, what is the polite way of continuing?
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Re: Doesn't seem like people respond to portfolio assessments like they did a few years ago.

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:17 am

What happens when someone offers advice and they don’t believe it? Continuing with their theory without providing resources or evidential proof to back the claim? What happens when the response back from OP is catty with name calling or there is no response at all?

Seems to me that some portion of the helpless want others to do everything and with nary a thank you to boot.
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions

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Re: Doesn't seem like people respond to portfolio assessments like they did a few years ago.

Post by mega317 » Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:52 am

^ Yes. I've grown tired of posters who do nothing but defend their position.

"I don't understand. Why would I consider your advice for 5 minutes when this thing I have already said is true, even if it isn't?" I'm reminded of the recent thread about a portfolio with literally 90+ holdings and the OP repeatedly insisting it was just as simple as a 3 fund.

And if you comment then the thread keeps popping up on the "your posts" screen for multiple pages of increasing anger.

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Re: Doesn't seem like people respond to portfolio assessments like they did a few years ago.

Post by delamer » Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:14 pm

mega317 wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:52 am
^ Yes. I've grown tired of posters who do nothing but defend their position.

"I don't understand. Why would I consider your advice for 5 minutes when this thing I have already said is true, even if it isn't?" I'm reminded of the recent thread about a portfolio with literally 90+ holdings and the OP repeatedly insisting it was just as simple as a 3 fund.

And if you comment then the thread keeps popping up on the "your posts" screen for multiple pages of increasing anger.
You can unsubscribe to threads via your User Control Panel. Comes in handy.

As far as responding, in some purely subjective way I assess whether a poster has done basic research on their own before posting. If not, then I just respond with references to lazy portfolios in the wiki and also book recommendations.

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Re: Doesn't seem like people respond to portfolio assessments like they did a few years ago.

Post by mega317 » Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:02 pm

delamer wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:14 pm
You can unsubscribe to threads via your User Control Panel. Comes in handy.
That does not work for the "your posts" page unfortunately.

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Re: Doesn't seem like people respond to portfolio assessments like they did a few years ago.

Post by retiredjg » Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:28 pm

When I want to unsubscribe, I go to the bottom of the thread and click on the wrench looking thing. Then click on unsubscribe.

There is also an unsubscribe link in the email message you get saying there is a new post in a message you are following.

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Re: Doesn't seem like people respond to portfolio assessments like they did a few years ago.

Post by itstoomuch » Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:40 pm

Never give advice to anyone. (I think)
I am not going to give away what I paid for in experience and worries. :annoyed
Besides I have an FA that I paid good money for :annoyed
The FA thinks that I am too conservative :?: .
Most BH would think I am too aggressive :?:
And my Older Bro thinks that I should save my fees :idea: and he was a risk manager in corporate Private Banking where that makes any FA fee look cheap :shock:
YMMV :moneybag

YMMV is the most important advice I offer. :sharebeer
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Re: Doesn't seem like people respond to portfolio assessments like they did a few years ago.

Post by Watty » Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:05 pm

livesoft wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:56 am
So when someone asks for portfolio help, what is the polite way to ask them to follow the requested format?
I will sometimes mentioned that they will get better responses if they post their information in the suggested format and give a link to it.
livesoft wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:56 am
And then, after that when they don't follow the format, what is the polite way to ask them to really follow the format?

And then, they won't do the work of calculating percentages themselves or doing any formatting, what is the polite way of continuing?

If the poster appears to be less well educated I will try to nudge them in the right direction and give them a lot of slack since they might need some extra help.

If it looks like a person has a higher income and likely went to college and has written college level papers then I stop responding to the thread if they are unwilling to put some work into it.

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Re: Doesn't seem like people respond to portfolio assessments like they did a few years ago.

Post by Sandtrap » Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:33 pm

Miriam2 wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 12:23 am
White Coat Investor wrote:
harvestbook wrote: I have a personal rule of not giving advice to anyone with more money than me, so that pretty much cuts me out of most discussions.
I'd drop that rule. It's good to be humble but there are a lot of people you could help. Wealth is often more a function of age than wisdom. Twice as much wealth does not equal twice as much wisdom, even in the same person.
I agree with Whitecoat. We all learn and benefit from everyone's financial experiences, regardless of wealth. Certainly lots of advice can be given by someone who lost all their wealth :mrgreen:
Wonderfully put, "mirium".
Those who have crawled uphill over glass and accomplished through both success and mistakes have a valuable perspective -- what to do -- and what "not" to do. Sometimes there are no secrets, just persistent unrelenting blundering. . . . . :shock:
mahalo,
jim :D

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Re: Doesn't seem like people respond to portfolio assessments like they did a few years ago.

Post by Miriam2 » Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:20 pm

Sandtrap wrote:
Miriam2 wrote: We all learn and benefit from everyone's financial experiences, regardless of wealth. Certainly lots of advice can be given by someone who lost all their wealth :mrgreen:
Wonderfully put, "miriam".
Those who have crawled uphill over glass and accomplished through both success and mistakes have a valuable perspective -- what to do -- and what "not" to do. Sometimes there are no secrets, just persistent unrelenting blundering. . . . . :shock:
mahalo,
jim :D
Thank you - but Sandtrap, your depiction of "crawling uphill over glass" is as vivid a description as I've ever read about our personal investing careers :D

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Re: Doesn't seem like people respond to portfolio assessments like they did a few years ago.

Post by Mudpuppy » Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:47 am

livesoft wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:56 am
So when someone asks for portfolio help, what is the polite way to ask them to follow the requested format?

And then, after that when they don't follow the format, what is the polite way to ask them to really follow the format?

And then, they won't do the work of calculating percentages themselves or doing any formatting, what is the polite way of continuing?
Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:17 am
What happens when someone offers advice and they don’t believe it? Continuing with their theory without providing resources or evidential proof to back the claim? What happens when the response back from OP is catty with name calling or there is no response at all?
IMHO, the answer to both of these ponderings is to remember the old adage "you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink". Know when to cut your losses and move on. One or two polite reminders to use the proper format is sufficient. One or two attempts to provide evidence is sufficient. They can either take it or leave it. There's no loss to you either way (although the conversation is more satisfying if they participate with equal politeness and a give-and-take of information and advice).

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Re: Doesn't seem like people respond to portfolio assessments like they did a few years ago.

Post by GCD » Thu Feb 15, 2018 3:38 pm

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:17 am
What happens when someone offers advice and they don’t believe it? Continuing with their theory without providing resources or evidential proof to back the claim? What happens when the response back from OP is catty with name calling or there is no response at all?

Seems to me that some portion of the helpless want others to do everything and with nary a thank you to boot.
I don't think you are guilty of this Grt2, but there is another side. What you have posted can be true sometimes, but there is a lot of preachy advice given on this site that isn't asked for.

OP: Can anyone enlighten me on x?
Reply: You have a problem with Y and should do Z.

Often the reply is snide or catty. Maybe if the OP doesn't respond to a reply the OP thinks the reply is off-topic and are themselves being polite by restraining themselves.

Grt2, there is truth to what you posted, it definitely happens, but there's another perspective too. Quite a bit of snide lecturing seeps in around here.

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Re: Doesn't seem like people respond to portfolio assessments like they did a few years ago.

Post by delamer » Thu Feb 15, 2018 3:43 pm

GCD wrote:
Thu Feb 15, 2018 3:38 pm
Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:17 am
What happens when someone offers advice and they don’t believe it? Continuing with their theory without providing resources or evidential proof to back the claim? What happens when the response back from OP is catty with name calling or there is no response at all?

Seems to me that some portion of the helpless want others to do everything and with nary a thank you to boot.
I don't think you are guilty of this Grt2, but there is another side. What you have posted can be true sometimes, but there is a lot of preachy advice given on this site that isn't asked for.

OP: Can anyone enlighten me on x?
Reply: You have a problem with Y and should do Z.

Often the reply is snide or catty. Maybe if the OP doesn't respond to a reply the OP thinks the reply is off-topic and are themselves being polite by restraining themselves.

Grt2, there is truth to what you posted, it definitely happens, but there's another perspective too. Quite a bit of snide lecturing seeps in around here.
My personal favorite was the poster who wrote in asking about buying wine (or maybe it was hard liquor).

Someone felt it necessary to post the response “I don’t drink alcohol.”

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Re: Doesn't seem like people respond to portfolio assessments like they did a few years ago.

Post by GCD » Thu Feb 15, 2018 3:45 pm

Miriam2 wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 12:23 am
White Coat Investor wrote:
harvestbook wrote: I have a personal rule of not giving advice to anyone with more money than me, so that pretty much cuts me out of most discussions.
I'd drop that rule. It's good to be humble but there are a lot of people you could help. Wealth is often more a function of age than wisdom. Twice as much wealth does not equal twice as much wisdom, even in the same person.
I agree with Whitecoat. We all learn and benefit from everyone's financial experiences, regardless of wealth. Certainly lots of advice can be given by someone who lost all their wealth :mrgreen:
I have a close friend of 40+ years whose joint income with his wife is around $1.5M. They could benefit from Dave Ramsey baby steps. They might
have more net worth than me, but it would be close.

On the other hand (see my post above), I don't think people should be giving unsolicited advice on things the OP didn't ask about. Which can be a dicey thing I know because maybe someone isn't aware of a side issue that is relevant to their main question.

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Re: Doesn't seem like people respond to portfolio assessments like they did a few years ago.

Post by Mudpuppy » Thu Feb 15, 2018 10:01 pm

GCD wrote:
Thu Feb 15, 2018 3:45 pm
On the other hand (see my post above), I don't think people should be giving unsolicited advice on things the OP didn't ask about. Which can be a dicey thing I know because maybe someone isn't aware of a side issue that is relevant to their main question.
There is a subtle, but important, line between unsolicited advice and saying something along the lines of "I know you asked about X, but in my experience Y and Z are related to X, so you might want to consider them too".

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Re: Doesn't seem like people respond to portfolio assessments like they did a few years ago.

Post by Alexa9 » Thu Feb 15, 2018 10:07 pm

People need to use the search button and read the stickies. It's like Groundhog Day. I find myself linking to the Three Fund Portfolio / Getting Started everytime a noob asks about asset allocation. I don't even bother reading help with investments much anymore. Personal Consumer issues are more interesting and there is good advice.

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Re: Doesn't seem like people respond to portfolio assessments like they did a few years ago.

Post by celia » Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:58 pm

Miriam2 wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 12:23 am
White Coat Investor wrote:
harvestbook wrote: I have a personal rule of not giving advice to anyone with more money than me, so that pretty much cuts me out of most discussions.
I'd drop that rule. It's good to be humble but there are a lot of people you could help. Wealth is often more a function of age than wisdom. Twice as much wealth does not equal twice as much wisdom, even in the same person.
I agree with Whitecoat. We all learn and benefit from everyone's financial experiences, regardless of wealth. Certainly lots of advice can be given by someone who lost all their wealth :mrgreen:
That also implies that the person in the forum with the most wealth can't ask any questions. What kind of mindset is that? We should all have the same "rights" here, but some of us know certain topics better than others and we can at least answer in areas where we feel comfortable.. So I see no problem with ANYONE asking a question on any financial topic (including portfolios, even in those portfolios that they may not have earned and grown the money themselves).

I agree with someone above that I will attempt an answer, even if that is not my area of expertise. If I am off-base, someone usually says something and we all learn from it. Give it a try!

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