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Re: Annuities
Old 03-15-2005, 11:02 AM   #161
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Re: Annuities

No, I'm saying that this time things may turn out more or less similar to the way in which they have turned out in all the cases we have available for study in the historical record. Changes in valuation levels always affected what take-out number worked in the past. If that remains the case, a 4 percent take-out is not safe for a high-stock portfolio used to finance a retirement beginning today.
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Re: Annuities
Old 03-15-2005, 11:07 AM   #162
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Re: Annuities

Hmmm

Scroll back in this thread to Intercst's Vanguard fixed cpi inflation adjusted annuities:

age 35 - ballpark 2.4%
age 45 - ballpark 2.9%

And -drum roll please - a little Bogle:

60/40 Vg Balanced Index - 2.53%

Psst - Wellesley - 3.6% a managed value 40/60.

Beware of free lunches - especially from salesmen.

If you get to NFB and JWR stuff - read the posts relative to dividend stategies - me and the Norwegian widow approve - heh, heh, heh.
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Re: Annuities
Old 03-15-2005, 11:11 AM   #163
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Re: Annuities

Right, o.k., and I see the way the table correlates p/e and swr, that's cool. I in no way wish to debate you on the subject, I wrote a short response only because I was emphasising the point that was unclear to me. I misunderstood that there was a disagreement on the historical facts between you and others, now I understand you are not questioning the historical data, only questioning their relevance/interpretation. That was me thinking out loud. ( I don't have to move my lips when reading, though )
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Re: Annuities
Old 03-15-2005, 11:12 AM   #164
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Re: Annuities

:

"Past investment performace does not guarantee future results"

What a nightmare it must be to keep track of all the sells you make each month to spread your withdrawal around to all of your investments.

Tax Reporting is a lot of work!

Tony
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Re: Annuities
Old 03-15-2005, 11:17 AM   #165
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Re: Annuities

O.k, O.k.

At the tender young age of 61, you've convinced me to start a research file on annuities - got a little room in my DRIP dividend stock file cabinets.

Hate to think of myself as approaching the 65 and up zone though.

A back burner effort for now.

Boy o boy age 49 - 61 in ER has zoomed by.
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Re: Annuities
Old 03-15-2005, 11:20 AM   #166
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Re: Annuities

if you get to NFB and JWR stuff - read the posts relative to dividend stategies - me and the Norwegian widow approve - heh, heh, heh.

I think that the point you are making is a good one, UncleMick. An early retiree who invests prudently can probably do better investing on his own than he could purchasing an annuity. But how many of us can afford to have complete confidence in our ability to invest prudently?

An annuity is a sure thing. That feeling of certainty that your plan is going to work does not come for free. But it is worth something, is it not?

SWR analysis is an alternate way of grabbing hold of that feeling of certainty. That's why it is important that we calculate SWRs properly. If we don't, we are fooling ourselves into believing that we have obtained a sure thing when in reality we have failed to do so. Those going down that road may end up wishing that they had paid the admission price of the more realistic enjoyment of certainty possessed by those buying annuities.
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Re: Annuities
Old 03-15-2005, 11:21 AM   #167
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Re: Annuities

Annuities can absolutely play a part in a sound portfolio, just like apple jacks can be a part of a complete, nutritious breakfast! Me, I prefer Raisin Bran
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Re: Annuities
Old 03-15-2005, 11:24 AM   #168
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Re: Annuities

Quote:
We don't hear a diversity of viewpoints on SWRs at this board. We hear one viewpoint over and over and over and over again. There are people saying that Tony2002 is repetitive in his claims. Well, he's got a long ways to go before he will be a match for intercst. There are thousands os posts on this board pushing the intercst view on SWRs.
Pot. Kettle. Black.

unclemick:
Quote:
Show me the academic studies on annuities in journals - and the peer reviews.
The most academic stuff you will find is at IFID.

GDER:
Quote:
IF you are really confident in living another 30+ years - why not take out a 30 year mortgage of ~5% on your home and buy an immediate annuity with it?! The cash flow from the annuity should pay the mortgage payments with an extra few hundred a month to spare. If you die before the loan is repayed, ohhh welll sorrry about that kids...
In which case you may then be highly amused by this sob story (reg required) from the Red Star. A small excerpt:
Quote:
A war veteran and his wife were among the early group of Canadians to sign up for a reverse mortgage, a decision their children only learned about recently.

John and Jane (not their real names) got what they were promised back in the summer of 1990: an additional $953 a month of tax-free income.

But interest on their loan has been compounding at a frightful rate of 13.7 per cent a year. For the sake of $172,000 of spending money over 15 years, they now owe nearly $840,000.
laurencewill:
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*****, could you please explain/provide a link showing me a simple spelled out example of a time in history where a balanced portfolio did not survive a 4% rate?
Notice that ***** linked an answer to a completely different question? He has no example.

But I do. In 1666, the combination of the Black Death, the Great Fire of London, and the continuing influx of silver from Spain's New World Colonies led to rapid inflation and the failure of many balanced portfolios. You can read it all right here at http://www.swrsuckedintherenaissance.com.
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Re: Annuities
Old 03-15-2005, 11:26 AM   #169
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Re: Annuities

I misunderstood that there was a disagreement on the historical facts between you and others, now I understand you are not questioning the historical data, only questioning their relevance/interpretation.

That's correct. My view is that intercst properly calculated the Historical Surviving Withdrawal Rate (HSWR). The HSWR is a concept related to the SWR concept, but it is not right to say that it is the same thing.

To calculate what withdrawal rate is safe, you need to look at all of the factors that have affected safety in the past. In the past, the valuation level that applied on the starting date of the retirement was a critical factor. Intercst did not include any adjustment for changes in valuation in the analysis used in the study published at RetireEarlyHomePage.com.
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Re: Annuities
Old 03-15-2005, 11:28 AM   #170
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Re: Annuities

Yeah, Milevsky is a leading light in the field.
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Re: Annuities
Old 03-15-2005, 12:07 PM   #171
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Re: Annuities

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He is indeed "selling" something in his posts to this board, however. He is "selling" himself as some sort of guru on how to achieve early retirement.
Are you saying he's an egomaniac? Maybe, but I've always had the impression of a laid back guy enjoying the life, offering some info and challenging things that don't sound right. I apparently missed the big fight that started the rift, though. I don't see you arguing with John Galt--an undisputed egomaniac--when he says someone can retire on $200k and bonds and neglecting to mention his other support factors. (Not picking on you, JG, just borrowing an example.) I'm surprised to see your acceptance of Tony2002's pitch. I expect it to be obvious to you that he's a salesman or shill for the web site he's linked to.

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When posters come to fancy themselves as gurus with the right to stomp out alternate viewpoints, it does damage to the board. We are a community of people with diverse ideas on how to win financial freedom early in life. It is the diversity of viewpoints heard on a board that give it its strength.

We don't hear a diversity of viewpoints on SWRs at this board. We hear one viewpoint over and over and over and over again.
I disagree. I think there is a rather large diversity. John Galt, though we pick on him for not qualifying his situation enough, is as far removed from the 4% theory as possible and making it work. Unclemick dances to his music, as does really everyone else. There is no one magic formula that any group here is following. Whenever we get into a raucous discussion about it many always end up saying "well, in down years I withdraw less", "in up years I take more", "I dabble in [x]". Heck, about half of us are years from withdrawals, anyway. Lots of people run FIREcalc but everyone seems to modify the results which in reality invalidates intercst's referred studies for their situations in the first place.

The only things I hear over and over are from you. Sure, I haven't read all of the discussion at NoFeeBoards's SWR Research Group, but I've seen enough of what you propose to know that I'm not comfortable with it because it involves a lot of technical analysis and sounds like market timing to me. So I stay away from the SWR Research Group board. Yet you seem to be on a crusade to topple the 4% monster and keep trying to work it in to any remotely applicable thread.

Quote:
There are people saying that Tony2002 is repetitive in his claims. Well, he's got a long ways to go before he will be a match for intercst.
Intercst jumps in e-r.org to post links to articles and studies and these days push your buttons (why I'm not sure), but I don't recall him repeating the same things over and over.

Quote:
There are thousands os posts on this board pushing the intercst view on SWRs.
Care to link ten "pushing" "intercst views"? Probably not worth the effort since I'll probably disagree with your definition of pushing.

Quote:
Why is it OK for intercst to be repetitive and not for Tony2002 to be repetitive? This I do not get.
Tony2002 is obviously cutting and pasting. There are at least 4 occurrences verbatim of one or more of his paragraphs in this thread, but most caught on to the marketing "feel" from the first post. If intercst starts cutting and pasting I'll complain about him, too. If intercst goes TMF and starts selling investment advice I'll be very leery of him. In fact I asked him a while back about his interview in the TMF article pushing their [Rule Your Retirement newsletter]--that is, the article pushed the [newsletter], not intercst, but he was described and quoted in the article. I didn't see an answer, but I come and go and lost the thread. I'm curious about his response, though. Corrected paragraph: Intercst was not named or interviewed in the article, although the article says the newsletter interviews retirees and gives an example person who sounds like he must be intercst. Follow this link for clarification.

Quote:
I believe that it is reasonable to rein in posters who cross a line and become so repetitive that their posting is disruptive of other conversations that people want to have. But I also believe that the same rules that are applied to Tony2002 should be applied to intercst and his supporters.
One good thing about this board is the non-agenda'ed posting community. The board has had some media exposure and gains new users, and inevitably it's attracting some shill/astroturfing efforts. I, and apparently some others, tend to jump on and expose these people fast to keep the board free of that crap. Unfortunately it has the side effect of cliquish behavior and the possibility of jumping someone who isn't pushing something but simply so sold on their situation that they want to share with everyone. That's just the way things are, and there's no fix that will make everyone happy. It's a subjective judgement, and several people are tired of your crusade so your threads tend to get trashed, but at least amusingly so.

Just out of curiosity, who are the intercst supporters? I can't think of anyone who goes along with the 4% rule blindly. I'm not even sure intercst does.
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Re: Annuities
Old 03-15-2005, 12:08 PM   #172
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Re: Annuities

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If you see flaws in the argument that Tony2002 is putting forward, you are doing us a service by asking hard questions. When you put forward unproven allegations that he is selling something, you do us harm by generating unnecessary friction. The impression you give when you do that is that you had your mind made up before he put forward his first post and that your only purpose in participating in the discussion was to see that it was quickly brought to a close.

a casual reader may not know the reputation difference between Tony2002 and intercst.

I ain't a casual reader. I have over 2500 posts to my credit and my first post came in May 1999, the month the first board went up. I think that Tony2002 has more to offer us today than intercst. We all have every argument intercst is capable of putting forward memorized by now. Tony2002 is saying something that we have not been much exposed to in the six years since that first board (the Motley Fool board) was formed.
I'm shocked at your acceptance of Tony2002. I'd say at best he's just a consumer who bought the products he says and is so happy with the results he wants to share. Strong intuition screams otherwise, but even if he is "innocent" it's either a freakin' miracle of economics or he's getting screwed by the investment advisor.

I suppose if Erklukxxyc signed in and claimed to be visiting from a planet orbiting Alpha Centauri we could ask him hard questions about their culture, geography and technology, but the odds-on favorite is it's not really an interstellar alien posting, and asking him such questions feeds into whatever motivated him to post in the first place.

So yeah, my personal goal is to discredit and shut Tony2002 up. If it weren't, the obvious question would be "where do you get annuities with those terms?" as they are quite spectacular, but that gives him explicit permission to continue his sales pitch. Not being very familiar with annuities I might have asked about what the heck he means by guaranteed interest on a fixed annuity since that makes no sense to me. Or I might have tried for clarification on the inflation protection. But no, I'm 99.995% sure he's a shill selling something from the tone of his original article, the unrealistically high "guaranteed" returns and the characteristic cutting and pasting of the marketspeak. So I don't want to hear more about it.

*****, I know you're not a casual reader. I've read a lot of your posts. Before 2002 or so I enjoyed doing so. Nowadays not so much. Regardless of past reputation I don't hold you in the same contempt I hold Tony2002. I don't care to learn more about your studies at this time, and I have several problems with the methods I think you're proposing, but I think they're honest tries and people who don't mind changing asset classes based on market conditions and like technical analysis might look more into your research. So I don't jump on you as I do posters like Tony2002, but I do tire of your pushing and pushing where people have already heard your points and decided they aren't interested in pursuing them. I quit reading a lot of threads when the "Great SWR Debate" comes up again.

Then again, I'm just a 35-year old guy with no financial training outside of the internet boards hoping to retire before 60. I've posted some real off-base posts now and then; some I'd like to delete but instead decided I'll just avoid running for public office in the future. Few, if any, should care what I say or think.

EDIT: Both posts cross-posted with about 10 other posts. This is an active thread!
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Re: Annuities
Old 03-15-2005, 12:52 PM   #173
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Re: Annuities

you seem to be on a crusade to topple the 4% monster

This started with a post that I put to the Motley Fool board on May 13, 2002. I developed the Data-Based SWR tool back in the mid-90s when I was putting together my plan. I have become convinced in the time since that it is a powerful tool. I think all aspiring early retirees should have a chance to learn about it if they care to. My May 13, 2002, post provided them that opportunity.

That's pretty much the whole story from my standpoint. I did in that post what you are supposed to do at a Retire Early board--I provided solid information that was helpful to those trying to retire early.

All the friction came about because of the reaction to that post by intercst and his supporters. The reaction was inappropriate. The purpose of many of the posts by intercst and his supporters was to block reasoned debate, to intimidate posters interested in asking questions and exploring implications from doing so. That should stop.

I have the same right to post on SWRs as intercst does. It doesn't matter if there are a larger number who support his views or not. Those who do not find the Data-Based SWR Tool their cup of tea have every right in the world to refrain from participating on threads discussing it. They have no right to disrupt those threads. Those threads are for the benefit of people who want to discuss the ideas set forth in them.

It's a fact that I believe that intercst got the number wrong. That doesn't mean that there needs to be friction between us. If there are REHP study enthusiasts who want to have a thread in which questions re the analytic validity or lack thereof of the study are not brought up, I will respect that if they make a request in the thread-starter that those sorts of questions not be raised.

But I expect the same sort of cooperative spirit in evidence when I ask that they knock off the personal attacks and ridicule and deception and intimidation on threads put forward to advance a different purpose. The forum is here to help us learn how to retire early. Nonsense disruptions do not add; they subtract.

There is a big difference between someone asking a hard question in a constructive spirit and someone playing games to shut down a discussion. The former activity should be encouraged. The latter should be reined in by all with an interest in the long-term success of the forum.
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Re: Annuities
Old 03-15-2005, 01:00 PM   #174
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Re: Annuities

Exactly what is the data-based SWR tool?

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Re: Annuities
Old 03-15-2005, 01:09 PM   #175
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Re: Annuities

He's a good troll. But a troll nonetheless. He just wants to create dissension and get attention. Go look at the retire early home page where they've made a forum specifically to mock him. And he's revelling in it.

He uses bad math. His conclusions are wrong. He keeps beating dead horses. He redirects. He doesnt answer simple questions. He claims 'scores and scores' of appreciative followers where there are none, excepting people who dont know his drill. He claims 'very few' people who 'attack' him when in fact the balance of the online ER community is long since sick and tired of his antics.

Obviously a reasonable person wouldnt subject themselves to this .

He and his buddy dont even rely on their own supposed "system". JWR has a COLA pension that pays all his bills and ***** is still working.

Equally obvious is that "tony" is a ***** shill. Who else would make their first posts laden with the "silly 4% rule".

A 4% withdrawal rate was safe historically. The trolls only point is that stock valuations on initial purchase of equities could change that. Which is reasonable and agreeable. However his method would have had you out of the equity marketplace during the greatest bull run in history - the one that created a lot of ER's, and also the most recent run-up in equities.

Which is why people with a brain practice good asset allocation and hang on through ups and downs.

He will now argue that he doesnt say you should be out of stocks. Later he'll imply that this is exactly what he means. Then he'll lament his poor treatment. Then he'll claim people make death threats against him. Then he'll talk about his book. Then he'll claim intercast is a liar and has formed a whole community to lie to ER's and make them believe that 4% is safe. Then he'll write 340 pages of horse hooey that makes no sense. Then some people will start calling for him to get kicked off the board. He'll claim his usual persecution and how intercast is behind all of it. He'll say bans and censorship are evil. Then he'll ask for intercast to be banned and censored. Then when the **** is really hitting the fan, he'll quiet down for a while. Rinse and repeat.

I tried reasoning with him. Doesnt work. I tried feeding him. Doesnt work. I tried irritating him. He seems to like that. Wholesale assaulting him like the retire early home page is doing seems to increase the trolls energy significantly.

Ignoring him works for experienced people but theres always someone new that cant understand why everyone hates this guy that almost seems reasonable, if not good intentioned.

I called for a ban once before and it was met with middling feelings. I think the last thing I said was that we'd regret not taking action then.

Here we are into 12 pages with the troll and his shill where almost all of our energy has gone in the last 24 hours.

Any regrets?
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Re: Annuitie
Old 03-15-2005, 01:12 PM   #176
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Re: Annuitie

I'm shocked at your acceptance of Tony2002. I'd say at best he's just a consumer who bought the products he says and is so happy with the results he wants to share.

That's possible, isn't it? If that's the case, then we all should want him to be able to say what he wants to say. I'm not saying that we all should want to listen ourselves. If your mind is made up on annuities, you are wasting your time listening to either the pro or con case.

But if you want to be able to make use of this forum as a learning resource, you should want it to be built strong. The more points of view that are voiced here, the stronger the board is. Even those who don't listen to Tony2002 benefit from him being able to have his say.

There are posters who hate me but who think that JWR1945 is the tops. I am responsible for getting JWR1945 to participate actively at our boards. It is the SWR issue that pulled him in. Those who appreciate JWR1945 should appreciate me for at least that much, in my view.

The same could happen with Tony2002. Say that it ends up that he really is a salesman and that he ends up being kicked off for legitimate reasons. It is still possible that in the time we permit him to have his say, he might cause other posters who used annuities in their plans to begin to feel more comfortable about posting here. Those posters may end up being among the best posters we have ever seen, posting wonderful stuff on all sorts of non-investing topics.

If you don't like annuities, you don't like annuities. I think you need to give up the desire to control what everyone else likes, though. You have to let in the possibility that there is at least a theoretical chance that you are wrong. Give people here credit for being smart enough to see through any arguments that are as phony as you are saying you believe Tony2002's to be. If he is not able to back up what he says, he is not going to end up having much influence. Don't sweat it.

The problem is that a few people here are poisoning the waters so that the rest of us never get a chance to see whether he can back up what he says or not. When people attack like hornets, all sorts of negative stuff is let loose and you lose the ability to get a true picture of what the claims are and what the arguments for the claims are.

Maybe he is repeating himself because some are giving him the feeling that he was not heard the first time he said something, or the second, or the third. Let him say what he has to say his way, and then ask questions if you have them, but do so with the respect that he merits as someone who took time out of his day to share some ideas with us that worked for him.

When you say that he is a salesman, you are assuming the worst. How about assuming the best until you have solid evidence otherwise? What's the downside?

I don't have money in annuities. I have no personal stake in the substantive question here. But annuities exist for a reason. They serve a purpose. How about letting those with an interest in learning more do so? There's plenty of room on this forum for those who like annuities and for those who don't like annuities to co-exist in peace. Isn't there?
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Re: Annuities
Old 03-15-2005, 01:19 PM   #177
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Re: Annuities

Time for a little snack

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Re: Annuities
Old 03-15-2005, 01:25 PM   #178
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Re: Annuities

I have to say say that there's been some wonderful Hoco-mania in this thread.

We're starting a "post of the Week" feature at the "Best of Hoco-mania" board on the REHP forum -- I may have to nominate this thread on annuities.

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Re: Annuities
Old 03-15-2005, 01:26 PM   #179
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Re: Annuities

Exactly what is the data-based SWR tool?

The Data-Based SWR Tool is SWR analysis without spin.

The REHP study number is a spin number. The study was not intended as an exercise in spin. Intercst thought he was reporting the number accurately. He got it wrong because he placed confidence in the conventional methodology that the conventional methodology did not merit.

SWR analysis is in the early stages of its development. It is common for there to be significant developments in the early years of development of a new field of inquiry. There was a day when the methodology used in the REHP study was state of the art. That day is now past. It is the data-based methodology (so named to distinguish it from the conventional "spin" methodology) that is now state of the art.

The Data-Based SWR Tool is the new SWR analysis, It is the form of SWR analysis that is going to be explored by aspiring early retirees from now on into at least the near-term future, perhaps longer. It may be that at some later date it will be replaced by some other methodology that we are not able even to imagine today.

Bernstein said that the conventional methodology studies represented "breakthrough research." He was right. The conventional studies provided powerful insights that helped lots of people. But the conventional methodology was not fated to be the last SWR methodology. As valuable as the conventional studies were, data-based studies are more powerful.

If it is a "breakthrough" to be able to calculate the wrong number, think what it is to calculate the right number. The Data-Based SWR Tool is a breakthrough times ten. It is all that the conventional SWR tool purported to be but in fact was not, plus a whole lot more that was simply not imaginable when people were making use of a tool that always got the number wrong.
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Re: Annuities
Old 03-15-2005, 01:29 PM   #180
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Re: Annuities

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The Data-Based SWR Tool is a breakthrough times ten.
You said nothing of substance in the entire post. What is the data-based SWR tool?

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