New board new people new tools

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gbs
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New board new people new tools

Post by gbs » Tue Feb 20, 2007 1:26 pm

Dear Diehards,

I am a long time lurker, about 2+ years at M*.

I am very excited about the potential to make a difference that is contained in this (commercial)/(corporate interest) free initiative and thus decided to join it.

Now that there is full control over the content and form of the board perhaps we can go beyond the forum idea and create repositories for software and data that could be used free by all users. The power of copyright free software development and global intelligence could result in a wonderful place that can extend help free of charge to a lot of people.

I am thinking that we can have:
- a library of links to research papers that will reference various topics.
- asset class data repositories that we can update with monthly/annual returns, dividends, cap gains, tax efficiency, etc.
- portfolio simulators that will include inflation adjustment, cost and tax drags, etc.
- bear tests for assessing risk of portfolios.

... and all those wonderful tools that make the investing world easy to explore and experience.

I think it would be wonderful not only to be able to give advice but to have people go and simulate their portfolios, check their loading factors, assess growth projections to meet needs, etc.

I know that like me there are people that have studied and collected data of topics of interest to them and that are willing to share it with others on this board. All these individual contributions will make a huge impact over time. Think about how Wikipedia grew bigger than Britannica with the help of millions of individual contributions.

I have a background in R&D and software development and I am interested in coordinating the collection of data and development of software tools.

If interested please post here with suggestions.

GBS
Last edited by gbs on Thu Mar 01, 2007 9:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

edge
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nice idea, lots of work

Post by edge » Tue Feb 20, 2007 1:43 pm

this kind of activity takes a lot of sacrifice in terms of time/effort. i certainly would like to see some of these ideas happen. i think some of these already exist freely on the web so it would just be a matter of linking to them.

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gbs
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It will be fun to watch it compound:)

Post by gbs » Tue Feb 20, 2007 2:52 pm

Hi edge,

Thanks for your answer!

I agree with you that it takes a lot of effort and time especially for software development.

I belive that if we start small and with the right framework we can begin with the trivial tasks like building a topic based library and collecting data.

From there people will start submitting spreadsheets, programs and links that will be compatible or use/incorporate our data library.

In time even a small group of interested people can make a big difference. It will be a fun learning experience for us all:)

It will take time until the new board is established and then we can start the development.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Here are my suggestions to start:

The article/books/links library can be a sticky thread that would be edited only by some sort of admin group in which each reply will be a topic and provide links and short comments to articles of interest e.g. "asset allocation". The admin group will be established by the vote of forum members. We could also include links to "best of asset allocation threads" for example.

The topics/links could be collected over time at the suggestion of the members as they appear in our daily discussions.

The data library can also start like a thread in which people will post fund decription, symbol, annual/monthly returns, tax info, expense ratio, management description, events, etc. per fund and after review we can incorporate the data into a common format like xml.

The master xml data file will be provided as a link for download in another sticky that will describe the format and give examples for use to groups/individuals interested in software development.

Once the library an data are available I think software programs will start to appear timid at first but in time they will evolve in state of the art tools.

Contributors could provide tools for visualization, comparison, manipulation and conversion to other formats which will be available for download from our site or be incorporated into it.


gbs

norm
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Post by norm » Tue Feb 20, 2007 3:40 pm

gbs,

You have some good ideas there. I would also like to see different formats people use to keep track of their investments.

MattBrennan
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Post by MattBrennan » Wed Feb 21, 2007 9:58 pm

gbs,

Just wanted to compliment you for a great idea on the reference library and the initial entry on commodities. It looks very promising.

(Phoenix - Thanks for making this possible.)

Regards,

Matt

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gbs
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Library

Post by gbs » Wed Feb 21, 2007 10:22 pm

Thanks Matt,

I wish that we find a way were we could all contribute similar in form with wikipedia. In this way the development of the library will really take off.

Doing it trough moderators is not as productive but is a great start!

I would like to suggest to contributors to say in their post that this is a "library addition proposal" or something like that to indicate that content should be screened by moderators and then promoted to the reference library.

Also please format your post such that it could be transfered as is into the library.

Best regards,

gbs

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Re: Library

Post by Bylo Selhi » Wed Feb 21, 2007 10:35 pm

gbs wrote:I wish that we find a way were we could all contribute similar in form with wikipedia. In this way the development of the library will really take off.
Free Wiki software is readily available. All you have to do is convince Phoenix to install it on his server :lol:

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Post by Phoenix » Thu Feb 22, 2007 4:08 am

As if I don't have enough to do. :roll: I would like to propose something simpler (for me ;)) that can be handled by the forum as is.

The forum software allows user groups to be defined. There could be a group of "Librarians" for example. Librarians could be appointed moderators for the Reference Library forum, which would let them post / edit topics and articles there.

Another alternative is more wiki-like but perhaps too wild wild west. Permissions can be set so that any member can edit any post in the forum. No audit trail, no controls, basically sheer anarchy.

The first option seems reasonable but there will have to be some sort of nomination / selection process for Librarians (and if there is more than one, agreement among them to work collaboratively). The second option strikes me as nuts, more likely to destroy a library than build one, but maybe I am too skeptical. There are probably other options too but let's try to keep it to something that might work within the confines of the forum software.

This is what I would like you to do. (I could impose a solution but I have never thought much about this so I expect I would get it wrong.)

Use this thread to present proposals, argue among yourselves about what will work best, try to come to general agreement about how the library should be done. (Not who should do it. You should discuss a fair way to pick who should do it, but finding that person/persons comes later.) Everyone who's interested gets a say. If you can come to a consensus on process, that's great. All that will be left to do is follow the process.

If you can't agree, I'll have to make a decision and, because I hold the keys, you will have to trust that I will do my best to be fair and objective. I will tell you going in that the easy solution is appointing gbs - who I don't know from Adam but who certainly seems keen - as Librarian, setting him up as moderator on that one forum, and letting him go to work.

I'll check in every once in a while to see how things are going. Try to wrap things up in 2-3 days max. And no screaming, yelling, or poking eyes out.

Off you go.

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Library

Post by gbs » Thu Feb 22, 2007 12:10 pm

Thanks for your help!

I would like to become a moderator on the library forum. My intention is to compile there in an easily accessible form links to topics of interest similar with the "Commodities" thread.

Will add topics of interest as expressed by the diehards and populate them with links to research papers that I find or suggested by members .

Until now we have requests for:
- asset allocation/MPT
- Tax Tips
- withdrawal strategies
- TIPS
- ...

For now would like to avoid adding links to personal finance blogs or to financial advisory firms. Would include though links to web pages that contain dedicated topics like withdrawal strategies.


Regards, gbs

norm
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Post by norm » Thu Feb 22, 2007 1:03 pm

I think gbs would make a very good moderator for a library forum. He has some interesting ideas that he could play around with on it.

Members can send him idetails on books that they think belong in the library and he could put them into the sticky.

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librarians

Post by tfb » Thu Feb 22, 2007 1:25 pm

I think the Librarians group should work well. They maintain a few locked sticky threads in the Library forum (one for each topic, maybe). Members post in that forum items for consideration. Librarians also keep an eye out on the web and in the main forum for worthy material. They will add to the library when they see good material.

I also nominate Barry Barnitz as a Librarian. He collects a lot of papers.
Harry Sit, taking a break from the forums.

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gbs
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nomination

Post by gbs » Thu Feb 22, 2007 1:28 pm

Second for Barry Barnitz as well.

Regards, gbs

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oneleaf
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Post by oneleaf » Thu Feb 22, 2007 1:30 pm

Great idea!

A couple of possible ways to keep it organized:
- perhaps only the moderator(s) have access to post in the library forum. Submissions and requests for ideas would have to be made in the investing forum.
- or open one thread up in the library forum for requests and disallow non-moderators from starting new threads or responding to established posts.

Just wanted to throw a couple of ideas out.

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bob90245

Post by gbs » Thu Feb 22, 2007 1:33 pm

would also like to nominate "bob90245" to be one of our library moderators.

bob90245 - studied in depth the subject of withdrawal rates and I think he can create and outstanding "withdrawal rate" section in the library.

gbs

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Library

Post by gbs » Thu Feb 22, 2007 1:42 pm

I would also suggest to keep the library as organic and non-personal as possible.


Sustain oneleaf ideea: (until we find a better solution)
- (...) only the moderator(s) have access to post in the library forum. Submissions and requests for ideas would have to be made in the investing forum.
Phoenix raised the potential of abuse issue so for now we should probably use moderators.

And also suggest that library moderators to fish out of the investment forum as well as other sources links to article of interest and transplant them in the appropiate section of the library.

Discussions on the format/content/debates regarding the library should be kept in Forum Issues and Administration forum.

Regards, gbs

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Re: bob90245

Post by bob90245 » Thu Feb 22, 2007 1:48 pm

gbs wrote:would also like to nominate "bob90245" to be one of our library moderators.

bob90245 - studied in depth the subject of withdrawal rates and I think he can create and outstanding "withdrawal rate" section in the library.

gbs
I am flattered by the nomination. But I respectfully decline. As I wrote in the "Hi, I am ..." thread, I only wish to lurk for now.

Rather than nominate people without their knowledge, I suggest waiting for a few volunteers to step forward.

MattBrennan
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A vote for GBS

Post by MattBrennan » Thu Feb 22, 2007 4:46 pm

I'm glad to see that gbs would like to become a moderator for the library forum. I think he's a great choice.

Matt

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Post by Phoenix » Fri Feb 23, 2007 11:28 am

This seems to have quieted down so I am rendering my judgment.

I have had an email exchange with Barry and he has agreed to be a "Librarian's Aide" since he has other demands on his time. I am going to appoint both gbs and Barry as Librarians, which makes them moderators on the Library forum.

AFAIK neither of them has any experience moderating on this software. Moderators have very limited power which can be described pretty much as limited to editing and deleting others' posts, splitting topics, and locking topics to prevent further replies.

I am asking both of them to work per the policy I will post shortly as an announcement in the Library. Thank you for all the suggestions.

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Thank you

Post by gbs » Fri Feb 23, 2007 2:26 pm

Thanks Phoenix and Diehards!

With your help I hope that the library will become the reference point for beginers as well as advanced investors.

gbs

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