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whyme

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  1. Hey, Tony, very kind of you to reach out. I'm ok under the circumstances and I do look in here fairly often; I just haven't read anything that compelled me to weigh in recently. I'll pipe up again at some point. I'm thinking more seriously about my own (within the next few years) retirement these days, so that'll probably have me back as I try to think retirement decisions through. Otherwise, I'm just trying to avoid going batty under the Covid lockdown conditions... I'll send out a sign if I start shuffling around in Kleenex-box slippers, like Howard Hughes. In the meantime, my regards and best wishes to all the regulars here.
  2. whyme

    Q1 YTD Report

    My 75/25 (more or less) portfolio was down 19% at end of quarter. Ouch, but I'm staying the course and rebalancing.
  3. Thanks for the tip on this ebook, Tony. I subscribe to the NY Times, but it's nice to have this info in one place.
  4. I haven't looked at the most recent percentage drop in my portfolio, but it is substantial. We know that you will buy more shares per dollar now than anytime in the past two or three years, so it is a relatively good time to buy for long term investors. Of course nobody knows how much farther prices will drop or how many months or years (or even decades, in an extreme case) it will take to return to the previous highs. One action that may be worth taking in these circumstances--though it only applies to taxable accounts, not 403b or IRA accounts--is "tax loss harvesting." If anyone reading this is not familiar, it means that you could sell a fund that is trading at a loss, relative to the price you paid for it. Then, immediately buy a similar but non-identical fund with the sales proceeds. For example, you could sell a total us market fund and replace it with an SP 500 fund, which historically has a very similar return since it accounts for the large majority of the total market. The advantage to this is that you'll be able to claim the capital loss at tax time, which can be applied against any capital gains you have or as a deduction (up to some limit) applied to your taxable income.
  5. C'mon Tony, stick around, don't let Ed's strongly expressed opinions drive you away. Both you and Ed are excellent contributors here. It's a strange unsettling moment, my 2¢ is that we should make an effort to give each other a bit of slack. By the way, it looks as if the markets are firmly into "bear" territory today, by whatever measure you'd care to propose.
  6. I don't want to derail this into a political discussion, but in case anyone is interested in following up on the comments above, here's a NY Times article from today about this issue, which quotes Hannity as using the word "hoax" and saying that it "may be true" that the virus is a fraud by the deep state designed to spread panic. Some other hosts are quoted in there, too. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/11/us/politics/coronavirus-conservative-media.html
  7. Maybe don't say that outloud, Ed! Hannity, Limbaugh, etc., are pushing the idea that the virus concern is a "hoax" designed to undermine you-know-who. If people actually believe them, it could have negative health consequences. Latest is the NBA has suspended the basketball season, and we're starting to see celebrities who have tested positive come forward, including Tom Hanks and his wife. News is coming very fast.
  8. They would do well to bring out some of his old video interviews about "Staying the course." There are others who are well prepared to address this volatility cooly, but with the exception of Warren Buffett, the financial news media doesn't have much of a taste for long view, buy and hold philosophy. Their bread is buttered by the financial services industry that sells active trading, options, etc.
  9. Yep, I'm in all-day meetings and training tomorrow about switching to "remote learning" at my community college, starting next week, running at least through mid-April. The major schools in this area: UCLA, UC Irvine, USC, CalArts, The Claremont Colleges, etc. have made similar moves starting this week or next. This has happened very fast, I'm guessing that we'll hear a similar plan from the local holdouts (like CalTech), as well as most colleges and universities across the country, within days.
  10. For perspective: "bear markets" are often defined as a drop of 20% or more from the market peak (the S&P 500 is commonly used as proxy for "the market"). Since 1900, online sources indicate these declines occur an average of every 3.5 years or so. Even after today's dramatic plunge (3/11), the S&P 500 has yet to reach "bear" status, though it is close to doing so. My point being that this market volatility is not unusual, even though the moment we are living through feels very unusual.
  11. Alas, I think it's a pretty small community posting here even in the best of times. Steve, I'm not yet ready to label this a "MAJOR crash"-- I think things would need to get worse before we reach full-on stock market crash territory as opposed to the typical scary bear market that comes around every few years (which is bad enough). That said, the abrupt and ongoing decline certainly has my attention. My stock-heavy portfolio is down significantly and that really brings the need for conservative bonds, cds or cash in retirement to the foreground. I'm still working and contributing, so I can roll with this and actually enjoy being able to by more equities at a lower price. But I'm at the point of considering retirement, so I'm sensitive to the problems that would follow if this decline were to happen shortly after I begin withdrawing income from my accounts. (Not to mention that this instability makes it hard to assess when I have enough of a nestegg to retire.) I second Steve's remarks to DK: market timing will sometimes work, just as you will sometimes come out ahead at a casino. But as a long term strategy, it's a poor bet. Happy for your jackpot this time, though, DK.
  12. Is there much difference between them? Doesn't Buffett encourage people to buy and hold ("forever") a Vanguard S&P 500 fund? He does encourage buying during declines, I guess that's a bit of market timing that would be a difference, but they are largely on the same page when advising the non-professional investor. Contrast Buffett with those CNBC pundit types (let alone brokers and insurance salespeople): there are many, many sharks out there. I don't see Buffett as one of those...
  13. Right. But Tony's trust seems to have been shaken by recent developments. BTW Tony, I see that Elizabeth Warren shares your thoughts: "My plan for the virus' economic impact builds domestic manufacturing for pharmaceutical ingredients to reduce future shortages."
  14. Hey Steve and Tony. I hope you are both in fine fettle and able to stay well clear of the marauding virus. By Friday my portfolio had dropped a little more that 7% from the peak, but we all know that declines of this sort happen periodically in markets and it has been an unusually long spell since we've seen a "bear." So if the market drops another ten or twenty percent or even more we don't have to like it but we do have to accept it as market business as usual. As for Warren Buffett, I think you raise a good point, Tony: Buffett is advising investors, people who will hold their stocks or funds for twenty years or more. I'm pretty sure that he would not advise anyone to put cash in the stock market that they are going to need to pull out for income in the next two or three years. He does say that he's confident that the markets will be higher in twenty or thirty years, and history suggests that is a very good bet even in the face of frightening developments (think of all the threats Buffett has lived through--he may be too young to remember the depression, but he was certainly around for WWII, cold war nuclear brinksmanship, assassinations, various scary disease panics, 1973-4 market decline, ditto 1987, 2000, 2008...). So I wouldn't bet against the world economy long term, though we get no guarantees. Happy to hear about your well-timed recent shift to more bonds, Tony.
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