Search found 4426 matches

by sophie
Fri Jun 08, 2012 10:49 pm
Forum: Other Discussions
Topic: MF Global now estimates $1.6 Billion missing
Replies: 19
Views: 6096

Re: MF Global now estimates $1.6 Billion missing

This story is flat-out scary. I didn't realize until I read this and other threads the extent of the wrongdoing during the MF Global bankruptcy.  Simply put, this sounds to me like your broker (Fidelity, Vanguard, etc) can default on cash in your account without fear of any consequences whatsoever. ...
by sophie
Wed Jun 06, 2012 10:45 pm
Forum: Cash
Topic: Tresurydirect for "deep" cash
Replies: 17
Views: 6706

Re: Tresurydirect for "deep" cash

My biggest problem with the treasury money market funds available is that they are either closed, yielding zero, or have high minimum balances (like $25,000).  Other than that, they are probably a safer place to stash money than at home, and the turnkey feature is worth noting.  My "DIY" alternative...
by sophie
Wed Jun 06, 2012 5:12 pm
Forum: Permanent Portfolio Discussion
Topic: Where should new contributions go?
Replies: 54
Views: 24567

Re: Where should new contributions go?

DCA = straight division of the contribution into 4 categories. My simulation ignores minimum purchase limits.    You could either accumulate in cash and then purchase when you have the $1000, or accumulate into TLT.  Which you can't do with auto investment in Fidelity.  I did in fact try a run with ...
by sophie
Wed Jun 06, 2012 4:48 pm
Forum: Cash
Topic: Tresurydirect for "deep" cash
Replies: 17
Views: 6706

Re: Treasurydirect for "deep" cash

Lone Wolf, could you explain why you've opted for the 0-3 year treasury bond ladder over savings bonds?  Not questioning as much as curious.  Aside from the need to keep the amount of cash in the 11-12 month "lock" period under control, I like savings bonds better.  While I bonds risk dropping to ze...
by sophie
Wed Jun 06, 2012 4:35 pm
Forum: Bonds
Topic: Positive Bond Convexity and You
Replies: 11
Views: 4914

Re: Positive Bond Convexity and You

This is great.  I'd been wondering if I shouldn't pull out of LT bonds at some point and keep the money in cash, but now I can quit worrying.  Thank you so much!
by sophie
Wed Jun 06, 2012 4:29 pm
Forum: Permanent Portfolio Discussion
Topic: Where should new contributions go?
Replies: 54
Views: 24567

Re: Where should new contributions go?

Thanks everyone!  Glad this has been helpful.  For probably odd reasons, these kinds of uncertainties in PP implementation are some of the things I agonized about before jumping in, because I was afraid of doing it wrong and losing out.  The simulations helped me get over that.  Personally, I'm plan...
by sophie
Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:54 pm
Forum: Permanent Portfolio Discussion
Topic: Where should new contributions go?
Replies: 54
Views: 24567

Re: Where should new contributions go?

Also, if the amount of contributions is small relative to the portfolio balance, then this effect becomes less important.  Like, if you're contributing $500 month to a portfolio of $200,000.
by sophie
Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:50 pm
Forum: Permanent Portfolio Discussion
Topic: Where should new contributions go?
Replies: 54
Views: 24567

Re: Where should new contributions go?

OK, I redid some simulations and reviewed my code just to make sure.  I got similar results with different test runs, but here's what's probably most relevant: start date 1/1/2006, end date 4/1/2012 start with $10,000 portfolio, add $500/month transaction costs:  $7.95/trade for gold (stock and bond...
by sophie
Sun Jun 03, 2012 3:12 pm
Forum: Bonds
Topic: German 30 year bonds now have the same yield as Japan's
Replies: 22
Views: 5317

Re: German 30 year bonds now have the same yield as Japan's

John Mauldin has a nice summary of the arguments for continued deflation and downward movement of Treasury yields for a long time, possibly years, before real secondary inflation can kick in as a result of the Fed's attempts to monetize the debt.  Among other things there is a list of the 17 lowest ...
by sophie
Sun Jun 03, 2012 2:17 pm
Forum: Permanent Portfolio Discussion
Topic: Where should new contributions go?
Replies: 54
Views: 24567

Re: Where should new contributions go?

I was curious about this too, so before I set up the PP I ran some simulations.  I used ETF data from Yahoo Finance going back to 1993, took  transaction costs into account, and tested 3 strategies head-to-head.  I got this order of performance, best to worst:  1) dividing new income equally among a...
by sophie
Sun Jun 03, 2012 7:31 am
Forum: Cash
Topic: Tax trickery with short term treasuries
Replies: 16
Views: 9261

Re: Tax trickery with short term treasuries

Not really.  It's just a matter of picking the highest coupon notes when you go to buy short term treasuries.

Just wanted to point out that this gets a better return than buying a 3 year bond at auction, or investing in SHY or VFISX.
by sophie
Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:07 pm
Forum: Gold
Topic: how to handle gold?
Replies: 14
Views: 6453

Re: how to handle gold?

Didn't realize PVC could leach into gold coins!

I wrapped mine in bits of glad wrap to prevent nicking, and stored in the coin tube sent by Colorado Gold.  Fortunately, major food plastic wrap brands are supposedly PVC free...but is this ok?
by sophie
Fri Jun 01, 2012 7:32 pm
Forum: Bonds
Topic: 30 Year Treasury Rate at 2.80%
Replies: 75
Views: 24538

Re: 30 Year Treasury Rate at 2.80%

Fantastic thread.  The pointer to the page on convexity was much appreciated, although ... the curve described is a hyperbola (k/x, k = constant) not a Taylor series, which is not a curve formula.  It's a method of estimating the value of a function at zero using the first few terms of an infinite s...
by sophie
Fri Jun 01, 2012 9:13 am
Forum: Cash
Topic: Tax trickery with short term treasuries
Replies: 16
Views: 9261

Re: Tax trickery with short term treasuries

OK, bad example.  Let me try again.... Today I bought a Treasury bond maturing on 9/30, with coupon rate 4.25%.  On 9/30 it will pay $21.25 in interest, and incur a capital loss of $20.95.  So the net interest (coupon payment minus capital loss) is 30 cents, which is 22 cents after federal tax.  How...
by sophie
Thu May 31, 2012 7:46 pm
Forum: Other Discussions
Topic: Financial superstitions
Replies: 2
Views: 1232

Financial superstitions

I've been reading Best Laid Investment Plans, where HB devotes quite a bit of text to detailing various superstitions among investment managers.  I was thinking that it couldn't be THAT common, until I read this: NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- U.S. stocks finished in the red Thursday, ending a wretched mont...
by sophie
Wed May 30, 2012 7:02 pm
Forum: Cash
Topic: Tax trickery with short term treasuries
Replies: 16
Views: 9261

Tax trickery with short term treasuries

Like many others on this board, I've been socking taxable cash into short term treasuries as a "DIY" money market alternative.  So far I'm sticking with 3 months maturities or less, though, because I put all my "deep" cash portion into I-bonds. I saw two ways to do this:  buy treasury bills at aucti...
by sophie
Wed May 30, 2012 6:39 pm
Forum: Bonds
Topic: 30 Year Treasury Rate at 2.80%
Replies: 75
Views: 24538

Re: 30 Year Treasury Rate at 2.80%

I've never used EDV, so I'm not really sure about the tax treatment.  In 2009, however, it had a pretty big end-of-year distribution (like $11 a  share).  For some perspective, it was $1.46 in 2008 and $.03 in 2010, so you can see it's a little unpredictable.  I guess I will find out come December....
by sophie
Wed May 30, 2012 7:25 am
Forum: Other Discussions
Topic: How Old Are You And What Is Your Goal Using The PP?
Replies: 82
Views: 24591

Re: How Old Are You And What Is Your Goal Using The PP?

I asked the question because I was wondering what people would say.  Those are excellent points.  I suppose we all have some Asperger-ish tendencies. There is also a tendency for women to be averse to anything involving graphs and numbers.  I'm in a fairly exacting field of science, and when I go to...
by sophie
Tue May 29, 2012 7:55 pm
Forum: Other Discussions
Topic: Manhattanhenge
Replies: 3
Views: 2020

Re: Manhattanhenge

Dang, it clouded up not one hour before sunset.  Wouldn't you know....we'll have another shot on July 12.
by sophie
Tue May 29, 2012 7:22 am
Forum: Other Discussions
Topic: Manhattanhenge
Replies: 3
Views: 2020

Manhattanhenge

For anyone in the NYC area, Manhattanhenge is 8:17pm today, if you can brave the heat. http://www.haydenplanetarium.org/resources/starstruck/manhattanhenge Twice a year, the setting sun is in position to shine exactly along the parallel streets, between the buildings.  It's a beautiful sight, and so...
by sophie
Tue May 29, 2012 7:17 am
Forum: Other Discussions
Topic: How Old Are You And What Is Your Goal Using The PP?
Replies: 82
Views: 24591

Re: How Old Are You And What Is Your Goal Using The PP?

It is a delight that there is such a mix of ages/life stages and backgrounds on this board.  I do have the impression, though, that are very few women posting here...why is that?? I am 49, saving about 30% of my income for retirement, with some going to prepay the mortgage.  It is probably true that...
by sophie
Sat May 26, 2012 2:12 pm
Forum: Variable Portfolio Discussion
Topic: Momentum Investing
Replies: 66
Views: 20825

Re: Momentum Investing

Good luck Odysseusa!!! Just to increase uncertainty a bit more...am wondering what the best time frame to use as the basis.  I went on Google finance and took a look at the overall performance for different time periods of TLT, GLD, VTSMX, and SHY.  Here are the numbers:               TLT        GLD...
by sophie
Fri May 25, 2012 5:37 pm
Forum: Bonds
Topic: Upside volatility and long term bonds
Replies: 59
Views: 14263

Re: Upside volatility and long term bonds

Clive, thanks for a very informative post.

The increased volatility at low yields is interesting indeed - I'd have predicted the opposite on the assumption that if you're nearing the floor, there's less room for price changes.  Guess I should remember what the PP is all about and stop predicting  :)
by sophie
Fri May 25, 2012 7:57 am
Forum: Bonds
Topic: Upside volatility and long term bonds
Replies: 59
Views: 14263

Re: Upside volatility and long term bonds

Seems to me that the risk is progressively greater than the benefit as the yield approaches zero. So I'm thinking something more like: >4%  25% LTTs 3.5-4  20% LTT/5%STT 3-3.5  15% LTT/10%STT 2.5-3  10% LTT/15%STT 2-2.5  5% LTT/20% STT <2      25% STT and I worry about these lowering rates as well ...
by sophie
Mon May 21, 2012 7:30 am
Forum: Other Discussions
Topic: Bernie Sanders: Break Up the Big Banks
Replies: 17
Views: 5735

Re: Bernie Sanders: Break Up the Big Banks

If banks were allowed to fail you'd have less problems. The Govt. could easily cover depositors but allow share and bond holders to get wiped out in bank failures. But you can't keep bailing out bad decisions and expect the actors to behave properly going forward. Absolutely agree.  If bailouts mus...