*Sorry for asking* Is this forum biased?

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YoungBoglehead
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*Sorry for asking* Is this forum biased?

Post by YoungBoglehead » Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:26 pm

Now forgive me for asking, moderators I hope this isn't closed quickly, It's a legitimate question, and just assume I have a lot of respect for the posters here and love the forum.

However my question, there is a 'boglehead' style of investing, and a sort of style when it comes to investing that people here have.


Can somebody answer honestly, do posters here, and is this 'boglehead' mindset biased in any way?

Or - is the investing style here, which seems to be that your average joe's should purchase diversified funds and hold long term, is this the very best investing option (best guess, of course) for your average joe like me who's just trying to multiply his money?



Hopefully this question makes sense. Thanks, and once again I love this forum.


EDIT: I worded it better below. Here is my question again worded differently:


What I'm asking is if this forum happens to be biased, and maybe pushes people to use Vanguard and invest in a certain way for somebodies gain, or because they are fans of a certain person/company, ect. Like if I went on a Hyundai forum and started asking which cars are the best, and the majority of replies said Hyundai. They may or may not be true, but they most likely said it because they are fans of Hyundai.

Or (and I'm assuming the later is correct)

is the boglehead investing style just a style based on hard data with no bias, intended for your average joe like me to do the best he can investing his money?
Last edited by YoungBoglehead on Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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edge
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Re: *Sorry for asking* Is this forum biased?

Post by edge » Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:28 pm

Even if the forum was biased you would have some poster say yes, and others say no. At some point you need to figure things out yourself.

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Re: *Sorry for asking* Is this forum biased?

Post by YoungBoglehead » Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:30 pm

edge wrote:Even if the forum was biased you would have some poster say yes, and others say no. At some point you need to figure things out yourself.
Well I'm trying, except there isn't exactly a book I can read that will tell me about this forum.

I'm assuming that the 'boglehead' style is not biased and just geared toward anyone like me, to help them invest the smartest way, but I just wanted to make sure. I've been wondering since I signed up months ago
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Re: *Sorry for asking* Is this forum biased?

Post by The Wizard » Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:31 pm

Bias tends to be a word with negative connotations, so I've never seen it used with what you're asking...
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YoungBoglehead
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Re: *Sorry for asking* Is this forum biased?

Post by YoungBoglehead » Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:37 pm

The Wizard wrote:Bias tends to be a word with negative connotations, so I've never seen it used with what you're asking...
Yeah, I couldn't think of a better term.

What I'm asking is if this forum happens to be biased, and maybe pushes people to use Vanguard and invest in a certain way for somebodies gain, or because they are fans of a certain person/company, ect. Like if I went on a Hyundai forum and started asking which cars are the best, and the majority of replies said Hyundai. They may or may not be true, but they most likely said it because they are fans of Hyundai.

Or (and I'm assuming the later is correct)

is the boglehead investing style just a style based on hard data with no bias, intended for your average joe like me to do the best he can investing his money?
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Re: *Sorry for asking* Is this forum biased?

Post by nisiprius » Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:39 pm

MasonSS wrote:Or - is the investing style here, which seems to be that your average joe's should purchase diversified funds and hold long term, is this the very best investing option (best guess, of course) for your average joe like me who's just trying to multiply his money?
Sure, there's a certain amount of groupthink here. But still. What are the two alternatives you're contrasting?

a) Purchase diversified funds and hold long term.
Let me adjust that slightly to:
a') Purchase low-cost diversified funds and hold long term.

Is the alternative something like this?

b) Purchase concentrated holdings of individual stocks or narrowly focussed mutual funds and ETFs which you believe to be undervalued and poised for growth, and nimbly adapt to the ever-changing market. Pick stocks according to screening criteria, P/E ratios, dividend growth, whatever. Do some significant amount of market timing or "tactical asset allocation," jumping in and out of asset classes over time periods of a year or less. Buy actively-managed mutual funds and pay a lot of attention to the manager. Don't worry about mutual fund expense ratios, as long as you're making more money yourself why would you care what the expense ratio is?

If those are the two alternatives, then I have no hesitation in saying yes, (a') is better.

If you have any doubts, read Larry Swedroe's The Quest for Alpha, which is absolutely devastating. He examines the records of actively managed mutual funds, hedge funds, everything, you name it. None of them even come close to succeeding.
Last edited by nisiprius on Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:44 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: *Sorry for asking* Is this forum biased?

Post by xerty24 » Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:40 pm

Buy & hold index investing has a lot of advantages - it's cheap, it's low maintenance, and it's tax efficient. The main downside is that you have to take what the market gives you, and sometimes that means taking a big loss or treading water for a decade. Some people manage to beat the market by meaningful amounts and with lower risk - however, there are very few of these people and they have to work very hard to do so, basically investing is their full time job, and they'll charge high fees to manage investments for others if they'll take other people's money at all. Until you have a lot of capital, you shouldn't be thinking too much about how to invest as opposed to how to improve your skills and your career. Later on you can think about whether you think some star mutual fund or hedge manager is 'the real deal' or just somebody who got lucky.

Now personally I think this forum is biased against thinking it's possible to beat the market - they tend to think everyone who does better through active management just got lucky. I don't believe that, but certainly a large fraction (if not all) of the active managers don't have much skill. So if you pick a random active manager, the odds are not in your favor even though there are a few good ones out there.
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Re: *Sorry for asking* Is this forum biased?

Post by digit8 » Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:42 pm

Anything anyone posts anywhere is going to have a bit of a slant to it. The good I have found in these forums, however, is that strong opinions will usually be in the "I think that's the only way to go- and here's an article that backs up my opinion, and here are the historical numbers it's based on" format.
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Re: *Sorry for asking* Is this forum biased?

Post by Occupier » Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:43 pm

Yes we are biased. We think you should invest based on the only system based on science. Dave

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Re: *Sorry for asking* Is this forum biased?

Post by epictetus » Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:47 pm

the people who run the forum here and the posters here don't have anything to gain by providing the information they do here. there is not some hidden agenda re: people trying get you to invest a certain way so that they make money or take advantage of you in some way.

fund companies other than Vanguard are talked about here regularly. and people who have their holdings other places, like Fidelity, might still be very bogleheadish in their viewpoint.

this is basically a kind, intelligent group who work hard to provide information to help average joes and jills do the best they can to invest their money skillful.

this is one of the few places you can come where there is not some hidden agenda.

this is really a wonderful community. if you read the postings for a while you can see that there are no tricks or manipulations here. and no hidden agendas.

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Re: *Sorry for asking* Is this forum biased?

Post by YoungBoglehead » Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:47 pm

Occupier wrote:Yes we are biased. We think you should invest based on the only system based on science. Dave

Well said.

I was 99% sure after (wow almost 1 year anniversary) that I knew what people here were about - having an opinion based on the best research they could find.

I just felt like I needed to ask. Never really know till you ask I guess.
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Re: *Sorry for asking* Is this forum biased?

Post by YoungBoglehead » Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:48 pm

epictetus wrote:the people who run the forum here and the posters here don't have anything to gain by providing the information they do here. there is not some hidden agenda re: people trying get you to invest a certain way so that they make money or take advantage of you in some way.

fund companies other than Vanguard are talked about here regularly. and people who have their holdings other places, like Fidelity, might still be very bogleheadish in their viewpoint.

this is basically a kind, intelligent group who work hard to provide information to help average joes and jills do the best they can to invest their money skillful.

this is one of the few places you can come where there is not some hidden agenda.

this is really a wonderful community. if you read the postings for a while you can see that there are no tricks or manipulations here. and no hidden agendas.

epictetus

I'm sold. Glad I found this forum.


Hope I didn't offend any posters/moderators.
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Re: *Sorry for asking* Is this forum biased?

Post by Johm221122 » Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:49 pm

I think it is biased towards handling your fiances in a responsible matter,
Live below your means(who doesn't want to spend everything)
Using tax advantaged accounts(how can I get my money if I want to spend it)
Never bear to little or much risk(I can pick the next apple/stocks will loose all my money )
Diversify (I work for the best company in the world I'll just buy it)
Don't time the market (why this mutual fund I pick will always do great)
If you don't like some or all of the basic concepts don't follow them,but I would ask myself if it is in my best interest first

http://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Boglehea ... Philosophy
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Re: *Sorry for asking* Is this forum biased?

Post by digit8 » Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:51 pm

xerty24 wrote:Now personally I think this forum is biased against thinking it's possible to beat the market - they tend to think everyone who does better through active management just got lucky.
I would say, rather, that the forum is against believing it is possible to beat the market perpetually- whether those wins are from luck, pluck, or wisdom. Bogleheads are focused on the best investing results over a lifetime, not the short term or even the relatively short term of 5, 10, 20 years.
Last edited by digit8 on Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: *Sorry for asking* Is this forum biased?

Post by livesoft » Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:51 pm

There are some people here who invest with Vanguard funds without having a clue why they should.
Last edited by livesoft on Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: *Sorry for asking* Is this forum biased?

Post by Levett » Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:51 pm

"We think you should invest based on the only system based on science"

What could be clearer?

Approved by FDA and Good Housekeeping! :wink:

Next question?

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Re: *Sorry for asking* Is this forum biased?

Post by nisiprius » Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:54 pm

Responding to the revised question:
What I'm asking is if this forum happens to be biased, and maybe pushes people to use Vanguard and invest in a certain way for somebodies gain...
I doubt it. As far as I know the founding Bogleheads (Taylor Larimore, Mel Lindauer, Laura Dogu) have no financial connection with Vanguard other than as happy mutual fund shareholders. You'll find quite a lot of discussion of other companies' products, often favorable. Our Wiki includes articles on doing Boglehead-style investing using Fidelity, Schwab, and T. Rowe Price funds and ETFs. A significant faction here advocates an investing style that is better supported by DFA's funds than Vanguard's.
or because they are fans of a certain person/company, ect. Like if I went on a Hyundai forum and started asking which cars are the best, and the majority of replies said Hyundai. They may or may not be true, but they most likely said it because they are fans of Hyundai.
Yes, there's a certain Vanguard fan element and certain Bogle "cult of personality." It's not exactly a secret that the Bogleheads forum finds Bogle inspiring--look at the top of every web page. I would say that we (including myself) get more excited by things like cutting the minimum purchase for Admiral shares to $10,000 than can be explained by dollars and cents.

But let me ask you this: what is it about Bogle and Vanguard that inspire enthusiasm? Why isn't there a Nedhead forum (Edward Johnson III, CEO of Fidelity) or a Rogerian forum (Brian Rogers, CEO of T. Rowe Price)?
is the boglehead investing style just a style based on hard data with no bias, intended for your average joe like me to do the best he can investing his money?
It ain't bad. Take a look at the current edition of Common Sense on Mutual Funds by John C. Bogle. It's pretty data-rich. For that matter, consider A Random Walk Down Wall Street, a true classic and not just among Bogleheads: its author, Burton Malkiel, has had a long and close association with Vanguard.
Last edited by nisiprius on Mon Oct 08, 2012 7:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: *Sorry for asking* Is this forum biased?

Post by Noobvestor » Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:58 pm

MasonSS wrote:What I'm asking is if this forum happens to be biased, and maybe pushes people to use Vanguard and invest in a certain way for somebodies gain, or because they are fans of a certain person/company, ect. Like if I went on a Hyundai forum and started asking which cars are the best, and the majority of replies said Hyundai. They may or may not be true, but they most likely said it because they are fans of Hyundai.
You have to remember that unlike competing car companies, Vanguard is effectively a co-op - so while all car companies are beholden to either shareholders or a private group/individual, Vanguard is in its own category entirely. It's hard to find many analogous comparisons in other spheres where such entities don't exist or at least don't have a major presence. And it's why Vanguard is so shockingly different in terms of its cost (which in turn is one of the bottom-line factors controlling investment outcomes).
Vanguard is the investment equivalent of a mutual insurance company. Vanguard is not traded on the stock market, it is owned by its mutual funds, and therefore by all the investors in its mutual funds. The company's profits are used to return dividends to its investors and to lower management fees.
via http://www.thestreet.com/story/11654599 ... treet.html

As to your broader question ... if Bogleheads have any systematic biases I haven't seen them, at least not universally. It's pretty hard to argue with the broad math of passive indexing for most people, even if some people disagree on the details.
Last edited by Noobvestor on Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: *Sorry for asking* Is this forum biased?

Post by YoungBoglehead » Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:58 pm

livesoft wrote:There are some people here who invest with Vanguard funds without having a clue why they should.
I wonder if thats me?

I use Vanguard (thanks to boglehead ;) ) because of the low fees. My main fund, VTSAX, has an expense ratio of something like 0.06%. Very low from my understanding. That along with knowing they are a reputable company and knowing that bogleheads like Vanguard are really the only reasons I use them.

Am I close, or is there more I don't know?
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Re: *Sorry for asking* Is this forum biased?

Post by xerty24 » Mon Oct 08, 2012 7:00 pm

digit8 wrote:
xerty24 wrote:Now personally I think this forum is biased against thinking it's possible to beat the market - they tend to think everyone who does better through active management just got lucky.
I would say, rather, that the forum is against believing it is possible to beat the market perpetually- whether those wins are from luck, pluck, or wisdom. Bogleheads are focused on the best investing results over a lifetime, not the short term or even the relatively short term of 5, 10, 20 years.
If someone offers to beat the market for 5 years for me and doesn't blow up on the way out, that's good enough for me. Of course that assumes that their statistics are good enough for you to infer when they have lost their mojo and move on before they start trying to get lucky on your dime. Most of the time the statistics aren't good enough to prove there's anything besides noise to their returns, in which case you certainly wouldn't want to overpay for that.
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Re: *Sorry for asking* Is this forum biased?

Post by baw703916 » Mon Oct 08, 2012 7:05 pm

I'm not sure it's really appropriate to consider "the Forum" as a monolithic entity. There are a number of (usually secondary) issues about which posters disagree, and which generate some long discussions.

The forum isn't a shill for Vanguard, though. Vanguard offers a number of low cost index funds covering many of the asset classes that a reasonable portolio is likely to include. But one doesn't have to use Vanguard; there are good offerings from other providers also. I personally have funds/ETFs from several different companies
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Re: *Sorry for asking* Is this forum biased?

Post by ruralavalon » Mon Oct 08, 2012 7:09 pm

MasonSS wrote:
livesoft wrote:There are some people here who invest with Vanguard funds without having a clue why they should.
I wonder if thats me?

I use Vanguard (thanks to boglehead ;) ) because of the low fees. My main fund, VTSAX, has an expense ratio of something like 0.06%. Very low from my understanding. That along with knowing they are a reputable company and knowing that bogleheads like Vanguard are really the only reasons I use them.

Am I close, or is there more I don't know?
Broad diversification,
very low cost, and
very tax efficient --

pretty much sums it up.

So you do understand this :) .
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Re: *Sorry for asking* Is this forum biased?

Post by YoungBoglehead » Mon Oct 08, 2012 7:12 pm

ruralavalon wrote: Broad diversification,
very low cost, and
very tax efficient --

pretty much sums it up.

So you do understand this :) .

Well sometimes I feel like I do, but then I always feel like I don't know what I don't know. When I hear someone tell me I do somewhat know what I'm talking about it helps. Good.

I need to learn about taxes.. when your stocks are taxed and how. Thats next. I guess I should also learn how Vanguard is tax efficient
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Re: *Sorry for asking* Is this forum biased?

Post by grap0013 » Mon Oct 08, 2012 7:19 pm

Definitely a good math skills bias here. Englash, now that's a nother story. Once you run some numbers for yourself you'll find out we're not foolin'! The average person is...wait for it...average.
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Re: *Sorry for asking* Is this forum biased?

Post by ofcmetz » Mon Oct 08, 2012 7:30 pm

I enjoy this forum because I don't think it is biased. There are very open discussions here about a variety of topics. It is true that there are by far more buy, hold, and rebalance type investors here than other sites.

I think many of the investors here don't use Vanguard for the majority of their money anyway. Many like me are still accumulating and use things like the Thrift Savings Plan, State 457B's, 401K's, etc. and this forum gives those people great advice for investing giving the choices those people have.

I'm a police officer college dropout, and I stumbled into low cost index investing though reading a variety of books. I'm naturally suspicious of everything. I recommend this site to anyone I know who has investing questions. This is the most pro-little guy investor site out there. People here just enjoy giving great advice. (I suspect some of it is given by people with slightly elevated blood alcohol levels, but I have no way of proving this) :sharebeer
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Re: *Sorry for asking* Is this forum biased?

Post by legio XX » Mon Oct 08, 2012 7:30 pm

OK, fair question. 30 years ago I was as ignorant as one can be. I bought a few books. Index funds were among a number of things I tried. I cannot explain why. As time went by I seemed to move toward . . . index funds.

My mom enjoyed investing. It was as much a social activity as an investment strategy. She did not die broke! So, I wound up with a modest inheritance that was not indexed. <skip a whole lot of stuff> I am now indexed. I can give a reasonable if not intellectually rigorous explanation of why I am indexed. Basically, I did not understand mom's broker's choices. I don't do well with not-understanding. I now sleep very well.

I am definitely biased toward a good night's sleep.

Vic

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Re: *Sorry for asking* Is this forum biased?

Post by SGM » Mon Oct 08, 2012 7:35 pm

Vanguard funds have low expense ratios and a variety of index funds and is owned by the shareholders. There is considerable evidence that keeping expenses low and capturing the whole market increases wealth compared to investing in most active funds. The comparison is actual better for index funds because of survival bias for the active funds. Size and trading costs have an adverse effect on active funds.

There may be some unintended bias and "groupthink" and cheerleading going on, but the forum and wiki are good sources of information for keeping expenses down and staying the course, making a plan, using SS benefits to the best advantage, uses for SPIAs etc. Some have pointed out inexpensive Fidelity funds and Schwab ETFs and other alternatives to Vanguard. I have learned a lot from the forum, local club meetings and private messaging.
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Re: *Sorry for asking* Is this forum biased?

Post by YoungBoglehead » Mon Oct 08, 2012 7:36 pm

Good stuff.
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Re: *Sorry for asking* Is this forum biased?

Post by NAVigator » Mon Oct 08, 2012 7:37 pm

MasonSS, the thread title was "*Sorry for asking* Is this forum biased?"

Please don't be sorry for asking. It is good that you did, because it is a legitimate question and you received some very good replies.

Welcome to the forum, and feel free to bring up other issues that you want.

Jerry
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Re: *Sorry for asking* Is this forum biased?

Post by YoungBoglehead » Mon Oct 08, 2012 7:40 pm

Many more questions, but not for this thread. They would be off the topic of this thread.
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Re: *Sorry for asking* Is this forum biased?

Post by Mel Lindauer » Mon Oct 08, 2012 7:42 pm

MasonSS wrote:
livesoft wrote:There are some people here who invest with Vanguard funds without having a clue why they should.
I wonder if thats me?

I use Vanguard (thanks to boglehead ;) ) because of the low fees. My main fund, VTSAX, has an expense ratio of something like 0.06%. Very low from my understanding. That along with knowing they are a reputable company and knowing that bogleheads like Vanguard are really the only reasons I use them.

Am I close, or is there more I don't know?
Sounds to me like you do, in fact, know why you chose to invest at Vanguard.
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Re: *Sorry for asking* Is this forum biased?

Post by SteveB3005 » Mon Oct 08, 2012 7:52 pm

The bias here is truth. Everything gets poked and pinched, even the notables and fixtures get tested. So, yes.

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Re: *Sorry for asking* Is this forum biased?

Post by Hub » Mon Oct 08, 2012 8:11 pm

grap0013 wrote:Definitely a good math skills bias here.
:D That's the strongest bias I seem to encounter on these boards.

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Re: *Sorry for asking* Is this forum biased?

Post by Rick Ferri » Mon Oct 08, 2012 8:13 pm

Is it biased when 25,000 people independently come to the same conclusion about investing? No. It's not biased. It's the truth.

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Re: *Sorry for asking* Is this forum biased?

Post by blevine » Mon Oct 08, 2012 8:22 pm

Another way to look at it, if I already owned or was strongly considering amongst Hyundi models
I might go to a Hyundi board. If you are interested in low cost do-it-yourself, investing and finances in general,
then this is the place to find ideas to refine how you go about doing-it-yourself.

If you prefer to pay someone to invest for you, wont be much help for you here.
I you want to pick stocks , not many here are going to help, there are other boards for that.

Not sure if that's biased, of focused.

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Re: *Sorry for asking* Is this forum biased?

Post by joe8d » Mon Oct 08, 2012 8:24 pm

SGM wrote:
Vanguard funds have low expense ratios and a variety of index funds and is owned by the shareholders. There is considerable evidence that keeping expenses low and capturing the whole market increases wealth compared to investing in most active funds. The comparison is actual better for index funds because of survival bias for the active funds. Size and trading costs have an adverse effect on active funds.
:thumbsup
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Re: *Sorry for asking* Is this forum biased?

Post by MathWizard » Mon Oct 08, 2012 8:24 pm

Regarding whether everyone invests at Vanguard, not everyone does.

I've asked question regarding TIAA-CREF index fund vs. equivalent
Vanguard funds, and felt no pressure to move my funds.

I keep my ROTH at TIAA-CREF for simplicity, since my 403b is there.
I am considering moving some to Vanguard, but have not done so yet, and
as I take my time with money moves, and TIAA-CREF's index fund has a fairly
low ER, just not as good as Admiral shares.

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Re: *Sorry for asking* Is this forum biased?

Post by YoungBoglehead » Mon Oct 08, 2012 8:25 pm

^ It makes complete sense. Thank you



I'm glad to hear that this forum IS in fact biased, but toward scientific data, for the purpose of helping out your average guy. Good stuff. That is what I was looking for
Started investing around 21, joined Bogleheads at 23.

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grap0013
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Re: *Sorry for asking* Is this forum biased?

Post by grap0013 » Mon Oct 08, 2012 8:28 pm

ofcmetz wrote:People here just enjoy giving great advice. (I suspect some of it is given by people with slightly elevated blood alcohol levels, but I have no way of proving this) :sharebeer
How did you know? Monday night football, some October Fest, and Bogleheads. That's some serious diversification!
There are no guarantees, only probabilities.

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bottlecap
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Re: *Sorry for asking* Is this forum biased?

Post by bottlecap » Mon Oct 08, 2012 8:29 pm

MasonSS wrote:
edge wrote:Even if the forum was biased you would have some poster say yes, and others say no. At some point you need to figure things out yourself.
Well I'm trying, except there isn't exactly a book I can read that will tell me about this forum.
Every book ever written contains the bias of its author. Books can only get you so far and you have to use your brain to get the rest of the way. So, while you ask a fair question, any response you receive will be biased. It's up to you to sort it out.

Good luck,

JT

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LadyGeek
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Re: *Sorry for asking* Is this forum biased?

Post by LadyGeek » Mon Oct 08, 2012 8:47 pm

To emphasize a point, the wiki is not dedicated to Vanguard (but it has a lot of info). Take a look in this section of the Three-fund portfolio. You'll see 6 fund houses and the Thrift Savings Plan, none of which are Vanguard. Click on the links in the table to go to each fund's dedicated article.

Also covered: Scottrade and T. Rowe Price

For completeness: EU investing and UK Investing , which also shows that we cover outside the US. We welcome contributions for other non-US markets, it's a matter of getting member contributions.

We also collaborate closely with our sister Canadian site: finiki, the Canadian financial Wiki (Canadian topics are referred to finiki.)

This thread is now in the Forum Issues and Administration forum. (It's a discussion about the forum.)
Wiki To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.

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Re: *Sorry for asking* Is this forum biased?

Post by pkcrafter » Mon Oct 08, 2012 8:50 pm

Bias is the wrong word, I think. It is synonymous with prejudice.

Definition of bias.. (the free dictionary)
1. Show prejudice for or against (someone or something) unfairly: "the tests were biased against women"; "a biased view of the world".
2. Influence unfairly to invoke favoritism: "her story failed to bias the jury".

Prejudice:
1.an unfavorable opinion or feeling formed beforehand or without knowledge, thought, or reason.
2. Any preconceived opinion or feeling, either favorable or unfavorable.
According to these definitions I don't believe Bogleheads are biased or prejudiced.


Paul
When times are good, investors tend to forget about risk and focus on opportunity. When times are bad, investors tend to forget about opportunity and focus on risk.

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Taylor Larimore
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Re: *Sorry for asking* Is this forum biased?

Post by Taylor Larimore » Mon Oct 08, 2012 8:54 pm

Mason:

Welcome to the Bogleheads Forum!

You wrote:
Is this forum biased? -- Moderators I hope this isn't closed quickly.
The fact that your post "isn't deleted or locked quickly" should help answer your question.

Best wishes
Taylor
"Simplicity is the master key to financial success." -- Jack Bogle

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Re: *Sorry for asking* Is this forum biased?

Post by Juniormint » Mon Oct 08, 2012 9:12 pm

Rick Ferri wrote:Is it biased when 25,000 people independently come to the same conclusion about investing? No. It's not biased. It's the truth.

Rick Ferri
+1

What's interesting is that I found this forum after I had decided to invest with Vanguard. I'm a new investor, first job, first time investing, and so when I could invest, I had to first decided which company to go with. I didn't know anything about investing or the boglehead philosophy, I just knew that I had to invest. After researching many different companies including other low cost providers (T.Rowe Price, Fidelity, TIAA-CREF etc.), I arrived on vanguard and it's products because it really was the lowest cost provider with the most transparent fees and information.

I also noticed that a lot of it's customers had a lot of respect for the company which was something that made Vanguard look better in my eyes, but did I come to this conclusion because of Bogleheads? Nope.
Last edited by Juniormint on Mon Oct 08, 2012 9:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Mel Lindauer
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Re: *Sorry for asking* Is this forum biased?

Post by Mel Lindauer » Mon Oct 08, 2012 9:23 pm

Juniormint wrote:I also noticed that a lot of it's customers had a lot of respect for the company which was something that made Vanguard look better in my eyes, but did I come to this conclusion because of Bogleheads? Nope.
The reason is that we the investors are also the owners of Vanguard.
Best Regards - Mel | | Semper Fi

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Re: *Sorry for asking* Is this forum biased?

Post by JimInIllinois » Mon Oct 08, 2012 10:03 pm

Those on this board tend to enjoy living frugally, saving, and investing. Reading this board will not make you more frugal if your natural inclination is to max out your credit cards, live for today, and try to get rich quick.

Bogleheads also enjoy the freedom of knowing it's not worth their time trying to pick stocks or time the market, and understand that fees and taxes matter a great deal over time. You will see confirmation bias that reinforces this world view. Luckily the evidence is on their side, and extraordinary claims should require extraordinary evidence.

People are open to new ideas, but only as long as they fit into an efficient markets worldview. Acceptable deviations from full-market indexing include tilts to small and value stocks, varying levels of international, emerging market, and real-estate, and selecting classes of bonds based on how well they diversify stocks. There is a consensus that "age in bonds" is not ideal, but not horribly wrong.

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Re: *Sorry for asking* Is this forum biased?

Post by Fallible » Mon Oct 08, 2012 10:36 pm

pkcrafter wrote:Bias is the wrong word, I think. It is synonymous with prejudice.

Definition of bias.. (the free dictionary)
1. Show prejudice for or against (someone or something) unfairly: "the tests were biased against women"; "a biased view of the world".
2. Influence unfairly to invoke favoritism: "her story failed to bias the jury".

Prejudice:
1.an unfavorable opinion or feeling formed beforehand or without knowledge, thought, or reason.
2. Any preconceived opinion or feeling, either favorable or unfavorable.
According to these definitions I don't believe Bogleheads are biased or prejudiced.


Paul
Thanks for the definitions, which I think were needed. When Bogleheads or anyone advise investing in low-cost index funds that's advice based on fact (the low costs), not bias. I think it's also the "truth" Rick Ferri referred to here.
Bogleheads® wiki | Investing Advice Inspired by Jack Bogle

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Re: *Sorry for asking* Is this forum biased?

Post by heyyou » Mon Oct 08, 2012 10:51 pm

I'm here by default. I tried a lot of other ways to make money in the markets, and they all failed a little or a lot, sometimes sooner, sometimes after some successes.

I now know, that I don't know enough to beat average in the long run. Broad diversification will deliver average returns, minus the administration costs. Cap-weighted index funds are the cheapest way to run a broadly diversified mutual fund, and Vanguard is the best at low cost index funds, so here I am. It is not about VG, it is about broadly diversified, low cost mutual funds, rebalanced as necessary to reduce risk, that give me my average returns for my 60 years of investing.

I am biased toward trying to harvest average returns from many different slices of the entire market. Some here prefer to harvest from just the cap weighted market. Good for them. I'm trying a different path and I'm willing to risk the difference to avoid the periodic, too damn consistently periodic, boom and bust in large cap equities.

From Robert Frost
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,

WhiskeyJ
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Re: *Sorry for asking* Is this forum biased?

Post by WhiskeyJ » Mon Oct 08, 2012 11:08 pm

I find this forum to be very biased. People here espouse that being average is acceptable or notable. That goes "against the grain" when society tries to tell us to strive to be exceptional, better than average. That said, investment theory and empirical data on on individual investor returns offers perhaps the best real world contrast to the difference between average and median. Most Bogleheads generate only average returns but among the universe of individual investors are well above median. Probably one of the few examples where you can get average results but still outperform 75% of the group...

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CMartel2
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Re: *Sorry for asking* Is this forum biased?

Post by CMartel2 » Mon Oct 08, 2012 11:17 pm

You won't find an article, a post, or a writer without bias. We all have them, and they're constantly on display. The fact that some believe one should go forward based on previous data than on gut suspicion is a bias.

In short, to have a viewpoint is a form of bias, and as this became evident to me, I found myself more careful about selecting my own beliefs. That said, I'm a fan of this forum because people do seem to carefully weigh issues and present counterarguments with some foundations in research and thought.

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