Are most people here sticking with Treasuries?

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Tortoise
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Re: Are most people here sticking with Treasuries?

Post by Tortoise » Sat Jul 30, 2022 12:53 pm

GT wrote:
Fri Jul 29, 2022 8:27 pm
If you drop LTT, when would you see yourself buying back into them?
Not sure. I suppose a good time to buy back in might be when LTT interest rates are high enough that (1) they exceed inflation, and (2) there would be decent annualized price appreciation if interest rates were to drop back down near zero over a long timeframe like 10 years.

Currently, LTTs don’t meet either of those conditions since their interest rate is so low. They provide volatility, but not much long-term real return/growth potential.
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Re: Are most people here sticking with Treasuries?

Post by whatchamacallit » Sun Jul 31, 2022 1:15 am

Thankfully I had given up on long treasuries awhile ago but did also miss the 2020 gains.

I consider EE bonds a better option for deflation protection. It was a better rate of return previously but is about the same now with 20 year bonds getting to over 3.5 recently.

The EE bond gives you the option to collect on the 20 years of deflation scenario if interest rates crash back down without the same risk of treasuries going down in price if rates go way up.

Outside of that I think I would follow "Revisiting the 20 basis points per year bond duration rule-of-thumb"

https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=350803

I am not sure how to find duration years of treasuries on the fly but maturity years probably gets you close enough.

https://www.investing.com/rates-bonds/u ... ?desktop=1

That puts you at 6 month to 1 year treasuries right now.
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Re: Are most people here sticking with Treasuries?

Post by seajay » Mon Aug 01, 2022 8:12 am

What if the PP held 50% in a 20 year Treasury Ladder instead of a Short/Long dated treasury barbell? Each year around 2.5% of the portfolio value matures into cash, and 2.5% of the ongoing portfolio value is used to buy another 20 year Treasury. Average maturity 10 years. In cash terms after the portfolio has done well that's more $$$'s being invested in a 20 year Treasury, typically when the good gains = lower yields at the time. If the portfolio has performed relatively poorly less $$$'s are invested in the 20 year but typically when yields are higher. Broadly washes. Differences between a 20 year ladder and a short/long dated treasury barbell = noise.

If a retiree spends most of the bond interest each year, along with the maturing bond value, then assuming a average 4% yield, 2% relative to the total portfolio value, that'a a combined 4.5%. Spending 4% of that, reinvesting the other 0.5% leaves the hope/intent that the stock/gold 50% of portfolio value will rise enough to offset the 2% of portfolio value being invested in another 20 year treasury, and a further 2% to offset (broad) inflation (central banks typically target a 2% 'natural' inflation rate). If the 50/50 stock/gold allocation collectively achieves around a 8% average nominal reward they'll tend to see the inflation adjusted value of the portfolio remaining much the same after 4% SWR withdrawals. Over the last 130 years I measure a stock/precious metal barbell as having achieved a 8.8% linest(ln ... nominal gain value (exponential trend line slope).

Simply, we're in the current era where high current portfolio values are buying more treasury bonds paying relatively low yields, than if we were in a era where a low portfolio value were buying fewer bonds paying high yields, and where broadly that all washes.
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Re: Are most people here sticking with Treasuries?

Post by Kevin K. » Mon Aug 01, 2022 1:52 pm

Interesting idea seajay. Perhaps also worthy of considering might be to load up on 10 year TIPS in lieu of part or all of the regular bonds. .63% + the inflation adjustment makes them considerably more attractive than iBonds (not least because of the lack of purchase limits) and quite possibly better than nominal Treasuries.
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Re: Are most people here sticking with Treasuries?

Post by blue_ruin17 » Tue Aug 02, 2022 9:13 pm

Tortoise wrote:
Fri Jul 29, 2022 7:03 pm
blue_ruin17 wrote:
Thu Jul 28, 2022 10:29 pm
What kind of allocation are you considering switch to? This is a game that I love to play, because I enjoy tinkering with portfolio backtesters.
There are certain potential long-term environments in which the best we might be able to do is to limit losses rather than maximize gains. In such "defensive" secular environments, the PP is an excellent choice[/b] since it does not place an oversized bet on any single asset. The equally-sized firewalls limit the worst-case losses.
That really is the whole point of the PP, isn't it? PP investors tend to be self-selecting conservative, defensive stewards of their wealth for a reason.

Again, I point out how pervasive the doubt, uncertainty, and angst was regarding stocks in 2009 (or gold in 2013, and so on -- we all know the numerous examples). There were good reasons to be profoundly pessimistic about stocks back then, too! That's the thing about market fear: the reasons to justify it are always scary logical -- that's the essence of fear, after all. If there were not compelling reasons to make you doubt, you wouldn't be afraid.

But isn't that the point of the PP? You don't have to be afraid about picking winning asset regimes because whatever happens you are hedged.

I just can't help but sense that the fear regarding LTT right now is the same old story we've seen regarding whatever the hated PP asset du jour is. There is almost always one asset that you hold in the PP that seems insane to hold at any given time. It has always been this way, since the beginning.

Is this time different? Maybe. Probably not, but maybe. If it is, if LTT really are surfing straight into a tsunami, then so be it. I own gold, so I'll survive. But what if that inflation tsunami turns out actually to be a deflationary vortex...?

I'm not going to take my chances on betting either way.
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Re: Are most people here sticking with Treasuries?

Post by seajay » Wed Aug 03, 2022 4:03 am

Xan wrote:
Fri Jul 29, 2022 8:37 am
Do you have a mechanism for telling which asset is the "rat poison" ahead of time?
For British investors, a third each UK home, US$ bills (hard currency), gold, for a century+ history sustained a 2.6% SWR, excluding imputed rent benefit. Historic imputed rent averaged 4.2% so 1.4% proportioned to a third such that combined with 2.6% SWR = 4% total. Much the same as the more general 4% SWR guideline figure.

Trade that, i.e. swap between gold and silver according to variations in the gold/silver ratio. Look to deploy the hard currency into other currencies and/or assets as 'value' seemingly presents, and you'll either improve or worsen that outcome.

There's no reliably consistent method of selecting which asset(s) may be good/bad, but you can make reasoned judgements. 1980's Dow/Gold ratio of near 1.0 relative to past levels was indicative that either stocks were cheap, gold expensive. Dow/Gold ratio of around 40 in the late 1990's relative to past levels was suggestive that stocks were expensive/gold cheap, further clarified by stock PE's being at historic highs. Recent Treasuries yielding 0%/negative real yields is indicative of relatively high prices ...etc.

Gold/Silver in 1980 and a relatively low historic 25 ounces of silver bought a ounce of gold. 1990 and a historically high level of a ounce of gold bought 100 ounces of silver. Relative levels of historic/current stock PE and/or dividend yields, bond real yields ...etc. are all possible guideline relative valuation measures that might be referenced when making choices/decisions.

It's not viable/appropriate to regularly trade your home value, however over 10+ year rebalance periods its not totally out of bounds either. Perhaps using a gold/house price measure as to whether prices may be relatively inexpensive/expensive. Supplement house value with some REIT holdings and the REIT capital values might be traded to make regular trading more viable.

Paradoxically Warren Buffett advocates near 100% stock to be appropriate but also suggests averaging into that, not lumping large amounts all-in at a single point in time, yet buy and hold is no different to the cost-less daily buying/selling (lumping all-in daily). Relative valuations can indicate when it might at times be appropriate to avoid lumping all-in. If my daily diet is baked beans on toast and my daily shop tends to see a average case of a can of beans costing much the same as a loaf of bread, but some days a can of beans costs multiple times more than a loaf of bread, other days costs a fractional part of a loaf of bread, then I might revise my spending to on some days buy multiple cans, and other days avoid buying any, as guided by historic relative valuations.
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Re: Are most people here sticking with Treasuries?

Post by seajay » Wed Aug 03, 2022 4:54 am

blue_ruin17 wrote:
Tue Aug 02, 2022 9:13 pm
That really is the whole point of the PP, isn't it? PP investors tend to be self-selecting conservative, defensive stewards of their wealth for a reason.
PP investors are more inclined to look at investing as putting aside surplus capital today and anticipate that having maintained its purchase power when spent. 3.33% SWR for 30 years.

Stock heavy investors are more inclined to looking to have that and also hope to see substantial wealth expansion. They'll cite that in the worst cases PP and all-stock compared, both supported a 3.33% 30 year withdrawal/spend, but in the average case all-stock left multiple more times the inflation adjusted start date capital still being available at the end of the 30 years. But where that measure is relative to a historic right-tail good/great case economy (US). Point to the likes to Japan 1990 start year where all-stock and a 3.3% SWR lasted just 14 years, whilst a PP is still running in 2022 and they'll say "oh that was different, can't/wont occur here"

Investors predominately look to reduce concentration risk, and apply averaging methods, as the average is good-enough. All-stock bears considerable concentration risk, and in not having other assets to rebalance between (inverse correlations and/or correlated but to different magnitudes (high/low volatility)) take on considerable risk, that more often is rewarded (leaving more for heirs) but that at times can result in failure that might otherwise have been avoided by de-concentration (diversifying). Russian roulette even if a revolver with one bullet in a 100 chamber barrel.

Look at the present global trend - directing away from the USD to more trade weighted central bank currencies reserves. The USD taking over from gold in the 1930's on the promise to act responsibly but where that has been abused, printed/spent money and exported inflation onto others for the benefit of the US. Clearance of USD being through the US whether that was a Russian trading oil with India or wherever, enabling the US to cut off such clearance as/when it deemed it appropriate to do so. China, Russia, India, Arabia, South America, and Africa/Europe/Australia in the pipeline to move away from the USD. At present Russia is demanding that Europe pays for oil in Rubles - transition away from paying/clearance via the US/USD. When 95% of central banks are no longer holding USD as primary reserves, but instead holding more trade weighted bunches of currencies the US will no longer be able to freely print/spend on the likes of military, nor have the ability to cut off clearance. Which could lead to a Japan 1990's type situation, where at its height it had risen to being around 50% of global market cap. Whether that may occur at some point within the next 30 years or not - is a dice roll, but perhaps with loaded dice that makes it more probable than not given present momentum away from USD domination.
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Re: Are most people here sticking with Treasuries?

Post by dockinGA » Wed Aug 03, 2022 8:33 am

seajay wrote:
Wed Aug 03, 2022 4:54 am
blue_ruin17 wrote:
Tue Aug 02, 2022 9:13 pm
That really is the whole point of the PP, isn't it? PP investors tend to be self-selecting conservative, defensive stewards of their wealth for a reason.
PP investors are more inclined to look at investing as putting aside surplus capital today and anticipate that having maintained its purchase power when spent. 3.33% SWR for 30 years.

Is the 3.33% an actual number for a certain 30 year period for the PP? if so, which 30 years?
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Re: Are most people here sticking with Treasuries?

Post by blue_ruin17 » Wed Aug 03, 2022 10:26 pm

seajay wrote:
Wed Aug 03, 2022 4:54 am
blue_ruin17 wrote:
Tue Aug 02, 2022 9:13 pm
That really is the whole point of the PP, isn't it? PP investors tend to be self-selecting conservative, defensive stewards of their wealth for a reason.
Stock heavy investors are more inclined to looking to have that and also hope to see substantial wealth expansion. They'll cite that in the worst cases PP and all-stock compared, both supported a 3.33% 30 year withdrawal/spend, but in the average case all-stock left multiple more times the inflation adjusted start date capital still being available at the end of the 30 years. But where that measure is relative to a historic right-tail good/great case economy (US). Point to the likes to Japan 1990 start year where all-stock and a 3.3% SWR lasted just 14 years, whilst a PP is still running in 2022 and they'll say "oh that was different, can't/wont occur here"
I actually have a lot of respect for the 100% TSM approach. Bogle makes a great case for it in The Little Book of Common Sense Investing, which is one of my favorite investing books. However, there are several reasons why I opt for a conservative, defensive approach to investing:
  • you are never really 100% in stocks; such an aggressive allocation requires an enormous cash cushion, and you have to build the bulk of that cash position first, delaying your ability to compound returns by years, potentially
  • gold is non-negotiable for me; anything less than a 20% allocation is like riding a motorcycle without a helmet
  • stocks can lose for decades on end; from 1901 to 1920 the real return of the world stock market was negative 9%; France had a 53 year period that resulted in negative 9% real returns
Image

For me, all roads always lead back to the PP. If I want to juice my returns I'd rather deliver pizza on the weekends than put my life savings into a single asset that can be ruinous for as long as an entire adult life span.
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Re: Are most people here sticking with Treasuries?

Post by seajay » Thu Aug 04, 2022 9:38 am

blue_ruin17 wrote:
Wed Aug 03, 2022 10:26 pm
seajay wrote:
Wed Aug 03, 2022 4:54 am
blue_ruin17 wrote:
Tue Aug 02, 2022 9:13 pm
That really is the whole point of the PP, isn't it? PP investors tend to be self-selecting conservative, defensive stewards of their wealth for a reason.
Stock heavy investors are more inclined to looking to have that and also hope to see substantial wealth expansion. They'll cite that in the worst cases PP and all-stock compared, both supported a 3.33% 30 year withdrawal/spend, but in the average case all-stock left multiple more times the inflation adjusted start date capital still being available at the end of the 30 years. But where that measure is relative to a historic right-tail good/great case economy (US). Point to the likes to Japan 1990 start year where all-stock and a 3.3% SWR lasted just 14 years, whilst a PP is still running in 2022 and they'll say "oh that was different, can't/wont occur here"
I actually have a lot of respect for the 100% TSM approach. Bogle makes a great case for it in The Little Book of Common Sense Investing, which is one of my favorite investing books. However, there are several reasons why I opt for a conservative, defensive approach to investing:
  • you are never really 100% in stocks; such an aggressive allocation requires an enormous cash cushion, and you have to build the bulk of that cash position first, delaying your ability to compound returns by years, potentially
  • gold is non-negotiable for me; anything less than a 20% allocation is like riding a motorcycle without a helmet
  • stocks can lose for decades on end; from 1901 to 1920 the real return of the world stock market was negative 9%; France had a 53 year period that resulted in negative 9% real returns
Image

For me, all roads always lead back to the PP. If I want to juice my returns I'd rather deliver pizza on the weekends than put my life savings into a single asset that can be ruinous for as long as an entire adult life span.
A factor with the all-stock had similar bad case outcomes (SWR) to other blends, whilst on average it had the better average/best case outcomes (expanded wealth/left more for heirs) .... mindset, is that its mathematically based, not real world based. In the real world you do hit share prices deeply down in real term events, where the likes of a mathematical 4%/whatever SWR might get you through that, but where in practice other nasties appear around the same time, you lose your job, or the roof of your house needs replacing ...etc. and where to fund that you end up selling shares at 50c on the $ that tips the portfolio into failure territory, whereas with other asset allocations you may be selling one asset at $1 on the $ and still see a overall successful outcome. So even if in the average case all-stock yields multiples more, when compounded with a single failure case - is a overall failure.

All stock works great, until it doesn't. But pretty good odds that you might leave heirs considerably wealthier in the average case compared to other asset allocations. The third generation rule of thumb however is that there's also a good chance that such heirs will just waste that wealth away anyway, so better to invest with ones own best interests in mind than for others.
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Re: Are most people here sticking with Treasuries?

Post by blue_ruin17 » Thu Aug 04, 2022 7:20 pm

seajay wrote:
Thu Aug 04, 2022 9:38 am
All stock works great, until it doesn't. But pretty good odds that you might leave heirs considerably wealthier in the average case compared to other asset allocations. The third generation rule of thumb however is that there's also a good chance that such heirs will just waste that wealth away anyway, so better to invest with ones own best interests in mind than for others.
On that note, this is one of my favorite MediumTex quotes:
The truth about compound returns is that they don't work over long periods of time in a finite world. Why don't they? Because if investment returns were truly allowed to compound over more than a few generations, a relatively small investment would soon grow to exceed the value of the entire world economy.

Political calamities, military adventures, fiscal irresponsibility, and environmental disasters are the natural enemies of accumulations of wealth. They are the factors that prevent the realization of compound growth fantasies.

The PP, on the other hand, embraces the uncertainty of the real world; it acknowledges and allows for the fact that humanity periodically goes through bouts of wholesale destruction of accumulated wealth and provides strong protection against many natural and man-made disasters that have historically proven highly corrosive to accumulations of wealth.
"In truth, the only thing that matters to you about your portfolio is its psychic reward, the positive way it makes you feel."

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Re: Are most people here sticking with Treasuries?

Post by joypog » Thu Aug 04, 2022 10:30 pm

My mom has a theory that a big inheritance can be as much a curse as a blessing. She was trying to convince my grandparents to spend more on themselves...spending well wasn't easy for folks who lived through WW2 before immigrating to America.
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Re: Are most people here sticking with Treasuries?

Post by Jack Jones » Fri Aug 05, 2022 5:34 am

seajay wrote:
Thu Aug 04, 2022 9:38 am
A factor with the all-stock had similar bad case outcomes (SWR) to other blends, whilst on average it had the better average/best case outcomes (expanded wealth/left more for heirs) .... mindset, is that its mathematically based, not real world based. In the real world you do hit share prices deeply down in real term events, where the likes of a mathematical 4%/whatever SWR might get you through that, but where in practice other nasties appear around the same time, you lose your job, or the roof of your house needs replacing ...etc. and where to fund that you end up selling shares at 50c on the $ that tips the portfolio into failure territory, whereas with other asset allocations you may be selling one asset at $1 on the $ and still see a overall successful outcome. So even if in the average case all-stock yields multiples more, when compounded with a single failure case - is a overall failure.

All stock works great, until it doesn't. But pretty good odds that you might leave heirs considerably wealthier in the average case compared to other asset allocations. The third generation rule of thumb however is that there's also a good chance that such heirs will just waste that wealth away anyway, so better to invest with ones own best interests in mind than for others.
I think we're touching on the Risk of Ruin concept. When gambling, you want to get your money on the table when you have positive expected value, in other words, when, on average, you will win more than you will lose in a given situation. However, even if you have a hand with high expected value, you don't want to risk your whole bankroll, or even a large portion of it. The player who does, will, on average make a lot of money on that particular hand; however, if said player continues w/ the strategy, eventually they will lose their entire bankroll.

In my mind, the 100% stock investor is putting all their money on the table w/ AA pre-flop. On average, they will end up ahead. However, some outcomes will be close to ruinous, e.g. Germany or Japan 1939-1948.
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Re: Are most people here sticking with Treasuries?

Post by Pointedstick » Tue Aug 09, 2022 10:27 am

Jack Jones wrote:
Fri Aug 05, 2022 5:34 am
In my mind, the 100% stock investor is putting all their money on the table w/ AA pre-flop. On average, they will end up ahead. However, some outcomes will be close to ruinous, e.g. Germany or Japan 1939-1948.
How well did bonds, cash, or gold do during those times?
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Re: Are most people here sticking with Treasuries?

Post by joypog » Tue Aug 09, 2022 10:33 am

Pointedstick wrote:
Tue Aug 09, 2022 10:27 am
Jack Jones wrote:
Fri Aug 05, 2022 5:34 am
In my mind, the 100% stock investor is putting all their money on the table w/ AA pre-flop. On average, they will end up ahead. However, some outcomes will be close to ruinous, e.g. Germany or Japan 1939-1948.
How well did bonds, cash, or gold do during those times?
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Re: Are most people here sticking with Treasuries?

Post by Pointedstick » Tue Aug 09, 2022 10:41 am

Exactly.

I stick with 100% stocks because the kinds of historical calamities that wiped out stocks typically wiped out bonds and cash as well. It's hard to tell what gold would have done at the time, had it been a freely tradeable commodity without a fixed price, but I suspect it would have gone up a lot. Then again, paper gold vehicles would likely have been wiped out, so you would have needed physical gold. But physical gold presents huge security risks. In the kind of environment where everyone's briefly desperate, having physical gold would paint a target on your head without precautions. Other physical investments like real estate were at enormous risk as well.

My conclusion is that basically, you can't financially outrun the economic collapse of the country you live in. You just can't. You may be able to physically outrun it by migrating elsewhere ahead of time, but if you find yourself stuck in a country with an imploded economy, there really isn't much you can do about it no matter where your wealth is invested.
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Re: Are most people here sticking with Treasuries?

Post by joypog » Tue Aug 09, 2022 11:25 am

I've been thinking about collapse lately. There are a lot of China Bulls and China Bears out there. My guess is that the most likely scenario is malaise - like the Japanese run from the 1990's-2010's. It's not a sexy scenario (versus collapse&desolation or kowtowing to our new yellow overlords).

As you note, if things wipe out, we're all fucked unless we had a gold stash that you can actually get your physical body past the threshold of the offshore bank.

Catastrophe insurance is the headline grabbing feature of the PP, but I suspect the true functional goal of a defensive retirement portfolio is better focused on providing extended financial support to a retiree after an initial bear market followed by extended doldrums.

I fear 100% stocks might be too volatile in for that scenario, but I'm pretty sure that gold and speculative LTT's should be much less than 25% when viewed in that light.

I like @seajay's idea of building a 20 year bond ladder and then throwing the rest into stocks, or maybe 90/10 gold just for an uncorrelated asset wildcard.
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Re: Are most people here sticking with Treasuries?

Post by I Shrugged » Tue Aug 09, 2022 11:55 am

blue_ruin17 wrote:
Tue Aug 02, 2022 9:13 pm
Tortoise wrote:
Fri Jul 29, 2022 7:03 pm
blue_ruin17 wrote:
Thu Jul 28, 2022 10:29 pm
What kind of allocation are you considering switch to? This is a game that I love to play, because I enjoy tinkering with portfolio backtesters.
There are certain potential long-term environments in which the best we might be able to do is to limit losses rather than maximize gains. In such "defensive" secular environments, the PP is an excellent choice[/b] since it does not place an oversized bet on any single asset. The equally-sized firewalls limit the worst-case losses.
That really is the whole point of the PP, isn't it? PP investors tend to be self-selecting conservative, defensive stewards of their wealth for a reason.

Again, I point out how pervasive the doubt, uncertainty, and angst was regarding stocks in 2009 (or gold in 2013, and so on -- we all know the numerous examples). There were good reasons to be profoundly pessimistic about stocks back then, too! That's the thing about market fear: the reasons to justify it are always scary logical -- that's the essence of fear, after all. If there were not compelling reasons to make you doubt, you wouldn't be afraid.

But isn't that the point of the PP? You don't have to be afraid about picking winning asset regimes because whatever happens you are hedged.

I just can't help but sense that the fear regarding LTT right now is the same old story we've seen regarding whatever the hated PP asset du jour is. There is almost always one asset that you hold in the PP that seems insane to hold at any given time. It has always been this way, since the beginning.

Is this time different? Maybe. Probably not, but maybe. If it is, if LTT really are surfing straight into a tsunami, then so be it. I own gold, so I'll survive. But what if that inflation tsunami turns out actually to be a deflationary vortex...?

I'm not going to take my chances on betting either way.

That's the way I'm looking at it, too.
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Re: Are most people here sticking with Treasuries?

Post by I Shrugged » Tue Aug 09, 2022 12:02 pm

Pointedstick wrote:
Tue Aug 09, 2022 10:27 am
Jack Jones wrote:
Fri Aug 05, 2022 5:34 am
In my mind, the 100% stock investor is putting all their money on the table w/ AA pre-flop. On average, they will end up ahead. However, some outcomes will be close to ruinous, e.g. Germany or Japan 1939-1948.
How well did bonds, cash, or gold do during those times?
Is this a trick question? :)
A German or Japanese who had gold secured somewhere was light years ahead of his contemporaries. I mean, I'm not going to try to prove it, but it had to be that way.

BTW according to Barton Biggs, I forget the name of his book, those two war loser stock markets actually preserved a fair amount of wealth assuming one held on into the post war years.
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Re: Are most people here sticking with Treasuries?

Post by Pointedstick » Tue Aug 09, 2022 12:21 pm

I Shrugged wrote:
Tue Aug 09, 2022 12:02 pm
BTW according to Barton Biggs, I forget the name of his book, those two war loser stock markets actually preserved a fair amount of wealth assuming one held on into the post war years.
Yep, buy and hold if you're young or wealthy.
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Re: Are most people here sticking with Treasuries?

Post by Kbg » Tue Aug 09, 2022 1:08 pm

I Shrugged wrote:
Tue Aug 09, 2022 12:02 pm
Pointedstick wrote:
Tue Aug 09, 2022 10:27 am
Jack Jones wrote:
Fri Aug 05, 2022 5:34 am
In my mind, the 100% stock investor is putting all their money on the table w/ AA pre-flop. On average, they will end up ahead. However, some outcomes will be close to ruinous, e.g. Germany or Japan 1939-1948.
How well did bonds, cash, or gold do during those times?
Is this a trick question? :)
A German or Japanese who had gold secured somewhere was light years ahead of his contemporaries. I mean, I'm not going to try to prove it, but it had to be that way.

BTW according to Barton Biggs, I forget the name of his book, those two war loser stock markets actually preserved a fair amount of wealth assuming one held on into the post war years.
Well sure they would have done well. And...hopefully their timing was good and they ditched all their gold for stocks afterward. Both markets were up 1000+% in the coming decade.

Interesting historical tidbit...did you know Hitler's finance minister was born in the US? Apparently dad was an immigrant to the US and it didn't work out. The son's name - Hjalmar Horace Greeley Schacht
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Re: Are most people here sticking with Treasuries?

Post by seajay » Tue Aug 09, 2022 8:08 pm

Pointedstick wrote:
Tue Aug 09, 2022 10:41 am
Exactly.

I stick with 100% stocks because the kinds of historical calamities that wiped out stocks typically wiped out bonds and cash as well. It's hard to tell what gold would have done at the time, had it been a freely tradeable commodity without a fixed price, but I suspect it would have gone up a lot. Then again, paper gold vehicles would likely have been wiped out, so you would have needed physical gold. But physical gold presents huge security risks. In the kind of environment where everyone's briefly desperate, having physical gold would paint a target on your head without precautions. Other physical investments like real estate were at enormous risk as well.

My conclusion is that basically, you can't financially outrun the economic collapse of the country you live in. You just can't. You may be able to physically outrun it by migrating elsewhere ahead of time, but if you find yourself stuck in a country with an imploded economy, there really isn't much you can do about it no matter where your wealth is invested.
I disagree. Consider a third each in stocks, gold, US$ bills (hard cash), where there's no counter party risks associated with the gold/$'s other than perhaps being stored in safety deposit boxes in other countries. Old school custodial (safe keeping) banking system rather than present day depository system (where any deposits you make into a bank has that money become the banks money, and state visibility of that capital is high).

Under 'normal' conditions, hard $'s lose purchase power, at a 2% targeted (inflation) rate, gold might broadly be expected to offset inflation, but in a very volatile manner so maybe considerably more in some periods, considerably less in others. Stocks are expected to yield positive real returns - negating the losses that hard cash is expected to lose. Broadly a 'inflation pacing' type portfolio, so a 3.33% SWR expected to last 30 years is reasonably reliable, and that historically saw such - and in the average case also left a modest amount for heirs.

Assuming reasonable geopolitical diversification of assets/locations - a harsh hit would amount to a third of assets perhaps being totally lost, but in circumstances of where you being down a third would be comparatively rich compared to many others.

A major and rising risk in the modern day is that of reportability. When others know how much and where your wealth is stored then its no longer your wealth but is just a loan, open to confiscation at any time. Paying taxes is fair, until raised to excessive/punitive levels - upon which they become unfair/theft/confiscation. Diversifying that risk involves borderline legalities.
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Re: Are most people here sticking with Treasuries?

Post by Pointedstick » Tue Aug 09, 2022 10:30 pm

Such a defensive portfolio is probably effective at achieving its goals, at the cost of ease of access if you're really going to go all in on asset custodianship for your gold and cash. And of course this won't be free so the returns will be lower compared to more paper/liquid assets that expose you to greater counterparty risk.

Which introduces a further risk: risk of abandoning the portfolio due to returns lagging what everyone else is getting during normal times. This is a very real risk and it's what ultimately led me to abandon the PP six years ago. We sometimes talk about people lacking the stomach to deal with stock volatility, but if you're going to have a super-non-traditional portfolio, you need a different kind of stomach: one able to handle both going against the grain and suffering for it over and extended period of time. If that describes you, perfect. If not, you'll probably abandon the portfolio eventually, no matter how much you intellectually convince yourself it's the best.

I think ultimately it really is about matching the portfolio to your personality, not so much the conditions of the world around it.
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Re: Are most people here sticking with Treasuries?

Post by joypog » Tue Aug 09, 2022 11:04 pm

Pointedstick wrote:
Tue Aug 09, 2022 10:30 pm
I think ultimately it really is about matching the portfolio to your personality, not so much the conditions of the world around it.
Hear hear!

My wife has an iron stomach when it comes to missed gains. She totally DGAF about losing out on a rising market gain. She'd happy take the first half of the "nothing ventured, nothing gained" equation.

On the other hand I'm a bit of an optimizer. Fortunately I'm still big on safety so we're able to forge a middle path between our tendencies, but it's definitely been interesting to navigate our tendencies to compromise into a portfolio that we can (hopefully) hold long term.
I have no clue. Ask me next May.
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Re: Are most people here sticking with Treasuries?

Post by Dieter » Tue Aug 09, 2022 11:20 pm

Still got some LTT, but am ~55% stocks in retirement savings, as, yeah, finding that balance point
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