banx

banx's Comments

Open Thread April 4 - April 10, 2016

Anyone remember that monopoly pc game with the nice music?

The jazzy music? I played that a lot.

don't reuse floss

I think most of the answers there imply that one shouldn't use floss picks (unless you use many per day)? That's unfortunate.

isn't the nurturant parent model blatantly the best parenting style, obviously?

Seems to me like it's the best. But I can imagine being convinced otherwise by data. It also depends on what you're trying to optimize for. The generally agreed-upon answer to that question has likely changed over time.

edit: fixed formatting

Open thread, Nov. 23 - Nov. 29, 2015

Given this definition, I don't see why only stocks and bonds qualify.

My claim is that equity and fixed income are the important pieces for reaching that goal. With a total stock index fund and a total bond index fund you can achieve these goals almost as well as any other more complicated portfolio. Additional asset classes can add additional diversification or hedge against specific risks. What other asset classes do you have in mind? Real estate? Commodities? Currencies?

True, but given that you said "cash and CDs" I thought your idea of cash excludes deposits.

Fair enough. I was unclear.

Open thread, Nov. 23 - Nov. 29, 2015

What's the criterion of importance?

Important to the goal of increasing one's wealth while managing the risk of losing it. Certainly there are other possible goals (perhaps maximizing the chance of having a certain amount of money at a certain time, for example) but this is the most common, and the one that I assume people on LW discussing basic investing concepts would be interested in.

Um.... I hate to break it to you...

I'm not sure if you're referring to the fact that popular banks are returning virtually zero interest or if you're interpreting "cash" as "physical currency notes". If the former, I have cash in bank accounts that return .01%, 1%, and 4.09% (each serving different purposes). If the latter, I apologize for the confusion. The word is used to mean different things in different contexts. In the context of investing it is standard to include in its meaning checking and savings accounts, and often also CDs.

Open thread, Nov. 23 - Nov. 29, 2015

Yes, but those are the important ones. Stocks for high expected returns and bonds for stability. You can generalize "bonds" to include other things that return principal plus interest like cash and CDs.

Open thread, Nov. 09 - Nov. 15, 2015

I had already heard about this, and was 95+% sure of my answer. But you didn't say to not answer if you already knew, so I voted. I'm letting you know so that you can disregard the vote if you want to.

Open thread, Oct. 5 - Oct. 11, 2015

My employer changed their donation matching policy such that I now have an incentive to lump 2 years' donations into a single year, so I can claim the standard deduction during the year that I don't donate, thereby saving around $1200 every 2 years. I've been donating between 10 and 12.5 percent for the last few years. This year I would be donating around 21%. Has anyone here been audited because they claimed a large fraction of their income as charitable contributions? How painful was the experience? I doubt it's worth paying $1200 to avoid, but I thought I'd ask.

Stupid Questions September 2015

I don't know for sure, but the answer is very probably yes. I recommend searching http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/ for Australia-specific info.

Stupid Questions September 2015

At least, this is the way I make sense of my behavior. Maybe I've got it wrong.

Stupid Questions September 2015

Some people may make arguments for morality based on things similar to Coherent Extrapolated Volition. I don't find those arguments convincing. I help people I don't know because when I think about the alternatives, I prefer the world in which one fewer person is suffering to the one where I'm better off in whatever way (e.g., I have more money in my bank account) because I didn't help. That preference is based on empathy, which was evolved, but I don't particularly care where it came from. At some point that preference gets outweighed by selfish preferences, which is why I haven't given all of my money away.

I don't think maximally helping others is a particularly good way to maximize your own quality of life unless you already want to do that. Both (a) and (b) are true, but if your goal is maximizing your own quality of life you're almost certainly going to do better if you focus on that directly. At least, in my particular case, there's some amount of warm fuzzies I get from helping people and from identifying as someone who tries to effectively help people. So in that way my quality of life is improved. But I think that if I wanted to I could get that amount of fuzzies at a lower cost.

Integral vs differential ethics, continued

I think you're talking about ordinal numbers vs cardinal numbers. With ordinal numbers you can say a > b, but not by how much.

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