RTP Local Chapter Meetings in 2018

The Research Triangle Park Bogleheads®, North Carolina Local Chapter held three meetings in 2018.

Bogleheads forum member Steve Thorpe recaps these meetings in this guest article.

RTP, NC Chapter Meeting 11:00 AM Sat May 12, 2018


Bull City Burger & Brewery

Happy Mother’s Day!
Thank you to everyone who joined yesterday’s RTP Bogleheads chapter meeting.

Sadly it seems our spring weather has already gone, so due to the heat we needed to sit inside where the acoustics weren’t so good. Next time it is likely we’ll return to Satisfaction Restaurant, or to some other venue where we can have a more comfortable setting…Stay tuned to the list and there will likely be an announcement about logistics for a late August meeting (probably August 25). if you have any alternate venue suggestions feel free to let me know. Ideal features would include some or all of the following (in no particular order):

  • High speed WiFi Internet access;
  • Quiet place with seating for around 20+ Bogleheads;
  • Opportunity for food+beers; and
  • Ability to project from a laptop.

Yesterday around a dozen of us (including several “newbies”) had an enjoyable lunchtime conversation ranging all over the map, mostly but not completely about investing. Here are a few of the many topics we touched on:

  • Jack Bogle is a hero to Main St. investors everywhere. Thanks to him we are collectively reducing our expenses and improving our returns by billions of dollars per year!
  • Vanguard’s asset base is now something like $5 trillion dollars, and growing at more than $1 billion dollars per day. Wowsa!
  • Our investing experiences during the 2008 crash.
  • Our inability to reliably predict future market performance.
  • Current status of Vanguard’s customer service vs. in previous years.
  • How much international exposure we have (basically it is all over the map among attendees!).
  • Excessive advisory fees being a huge marketing success for the financial industry.
  • Complexity vs. Simplicity in investing, e.g. Larry Swedroe styled factor-based investing vs. Allan Roth’s approach as described in his “How a Second Grader Beats Wall Street”. 

  • Health care system distortions due to opacity of actual costs.
  • Commodities funds such as PCRIX.
  • How everyone’s varied expertise in different areas helps make the economy work.
  • Required Minimum Distributions.
  • Annuities.
  • Continuing Care Retirement Communities.
    • Some work with Medicare but not all of them. If yours doesn’t it could require you to go elsewhere at some point.
    • Many have long waiting lists (e.g. 6 years!). So if you’re thinking about it you might want to get your name onto a list.
  • North Carolina School of Science and Math – it is a gem of NC’s educational system.
  • The federal budget, deficit, and debt.
  • Meditation.
  • Love everybody!
North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics

NC School of Science and Math

I really enjoyed seeing everyone yesterday and look forward to our next get-together in a few months. Thanks and have a great Sunday afternoon!

RTP, NC Chapter Meeting 12 Noon Sat Aug 25, 2018

Duke Social Sciences Building

Duke Social Sciences Building

Around 13 or so gathered for today’s local chapter meeting, hosted by Professor Ed Tower in Duke’s Social Sciences building. As usual we had an enjoyable conversation covering many topics, e.g.:

  • The fascinating Portfolio Visualizer website.
  • Simba’s Backtesting spreadsheet.
  • Slicing and Dicing vs. Total Market approach.
  • Larry Swedroe’s writings on GMO vs. DFA vs. Vanguard etc.
  • In general, none of us are fans of annuities, almost all of us are do-it-yourself investors, and at least a few of us somewhat overweight emerging markets within our international allocations.
  • Ed Tower’s Moral Turpitude paper that concluded with mutual funds, you get twice what you don’t pay for!
  • Remember asset class returns tend to move in cycles. Every asset class has its day in the sun so be patient and stick to your plan!
  • The SEC’s proposed “Best Interest” rule.
  • Many people are not at all knowledgeable about financial and investing topics. How to encourage friends and family to consider a Boglehead approach? A couple ideas included: 1) Calculate in $ terms how much their current all-in annual costs are (often times this number is MUCH larger than they realized) and 2) Give them a copy of an easy-to-digest book such as “The Coffeehouse Investor”.
  • Paul Merriman’s “Live It Up Without Outliving Your Money!” 

  • Mr. Money Mustache.

Thank you Ed for being such a gracious host, and thank you to everyone who attended. I enjoyed seeing you and look forward to next time.

RTP, NC Chapter Meeting 9:30 AM Sat December 8, 2018


Bullington Warehouse

Yesterday’s meeting was a delightful 2+ hour conversation among approximately a dozen attendees, fueled by bagels provided by our generous long-time member Ed.

We touched on many topics including (in no particular order):

  •  Henry gave an excellent summary of the 2018 national Bogleheads conference highlights.
  •  Chong and Ed described their recent research work related to prior mutual fund performance.
  • Juanita shared an article describing flaws of the typical 401(k) plan (the most egregious being high costs!)
  • Negotiating a flat cash price up-front for medical services.
  • Mutual funds vs. individual stocks for taxable accounts, which one is best for tax-efficiency.
  • A common Boglehead characteristic is being reluctant to spend at their means, even if they have way more money than needed to last a lifetime.
  •  Tax Loss Harvesting.
  • Individual stocks as a “fun money bucket” vs. Mutual funds (more boring but tend to work excellently!)
  •  Factor investing.
  • Projected returns for stocks / bonds moving forward (very possibly will be lower than prior returns.)
  • Allan Roth‘s strategy of buying CDs with low-prepayment penalties as a way to handle rising interest rates.
  •  Jonathan Clements’ web site HumbleDollar.com.
  • White Coat Investor.
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