hocus makes gutsy offer

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JWR1945
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hocus makes gutsy offer

Post by JWR1945 » Wed Jan 22, 2003 8:06 am

This morning, hocus has offered to pay the $30 renewal fee to anyone on the Motley Fool's Speaker's Corner/Retire Early Home Page (REHP) discussion board who plans to leave it simply because it will not provide him with $30s worth of a learning experience. The person must have posted at least once and he must identify himself sufficiently for hocus to pay for a gift subscription (real name and valid email address).

That's quite an offer. Let's hope that anyone who takes him up on the offer is, in fact, honorable and not a thief.

Have fun.

John R.

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Post by wanderer » Wed Jan 22, 2003 8:49 am

that is quite an offer. what if they make 100 equanimitous posts furthering learning together and 7900 defamatory, disruptive or ad hominem posts.

wanderer, aka "one of the taliban":wink:
regards,

wanderer

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ElSupremo
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Post by ElSupremo » Wed Jan 22, 2003 10:44 am

Greetings John & Wanderer :)

I can't quite see why he bothers. What he should do is invite all those folks over here. They'd be better off and he could put that money toward retirement. :wink: He should probably do this just on principle alone. :?
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Post by raddr » Wed Jan 22, 2003 2:26 pm

ElSupremo wrote: Greetings John & Wanderer :)

I can't quite see why he bothers. What he should do is invite all those folks over here. They'd be better off and he could put that money toward retirement. :wink: He should probably do this just on principle alone. :?


Yeah, I'm not so sure I'd make that kind of an offer given the number of folks who make disruptive and off-topic posts routinely over there. I must say too that I find that the rare informative post on my main topic of interest, SWRs, is outnumbered about 10 to 1 by misleading or downright wrong information. Frankly, the accuracy, focus, and depth of the posts here is much better than over there.

That said, I wish hocus the best in his mammoth quest to clean up that board. :D

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Post by FMO » Wed Jan 22, 2003 3:49 pm

Not a single public response to Hocus's generous offer so far. Amazing. The real class of TMF.
FMO

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Post by wanderer » Thu Jan 23, 2003 3:26 am

hello all! -

dunno. seems to me the re*p is pretty thin gruel at this point and feb 14 is looming. anyone ever do a comparison of number and variety of unique posters now vs. pre fee? gotta be way down. esp. on the hoc*s threads.

as this place builds it will continue to improve from an already stellar level. imo. fresh blood is nice, but the downside of the fool in general and the re*p in particular is pretty significant, i would say.

on a lighter note, ptsurmr (who rents;-)), on of the original diasporized re*p-ers just sent a link to some family pics. all look well and happy ensconced in some pretty picturesque surroundings.
regards,

wanderer

The field has eyes / the wood has ears / I will see / be silent and hear

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Post by JWR1945 » Thu Jan 23, 2003 4:01 am

FMO
Not a single public response to Hocus's generous offer so far. Amazing. The real class of TMF.

ElSupremo
What he should do is invite all those folks over here. They'd be better off and he could put that money toward retirement.


What is really interesting is the context of hocus's offer. intercst, the board's founder and board general, has been actively encouraging people to leave the Motley Fool and to go to his MSN board. hocus, in contrast, has been encouraging people to stay at the Motley Fool while inviting them to visit here as well.

Have fun.

John R.

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Post by therealchips » Tue Jan 28, 2003 8:53 am

I said all of this over at TMF, but I repeat myself for the record here.

I thought I had more to teach than to learn on the subject of early retirement at TMF. This is not entirely immodest since I retired in 1993 at age 53, never held an especially well-paid job before retiring, and have stayed happily retired without returning to any kind of paid work. I had found studies of safe withdrawal rates such as Trinity's before I found Intercst and TMF. 53 did not look like early retirement to the people who became millionaires before age 30. Some of those people now wonder if they can retire before age 70. I'm sorry that learning about the nature of volatility and the advantages of diversification cost them so dearly. My example in achieving FIRE has only limited utility, though, since I never undertook to support a family and some of my capital is inherited.

I had been thinking of my TMF posts as a sort of unpaid volunteer work in retirement, of some value to my readers, and a way to remain useful though not salaried. I had an abrupt awakening when TMF introduced fees, waiving them for the select few, and excluding me from that recognition. We heard people like EdWe telling us that we should realize that TMF was a vanity press, where we should expect to pay for the privilege and pleasure of expressing ourselves. TMF's decision to recognize some contributors as more important than others reminded me entirely too much of decades at work, where I and others struggled to get the bosses to recognize the value of our ideas and contributions. An abiding joy of retirement is that I no longer have to do that, and certainly not for TMF. My feeling at the time TMF introduced fees was that I would leave TMF for these reasons, even if I had been among the anointed. Twice since then, people have offered to pay my way at TMF. I did not accept the offers, but I appreciate them. They expressed some recognition for the value of my comments but they also allowed me to prove that mere pique at being excluded from TMF's select list was not the reason I left. I left because of TMF chose to have a select list.

I do not know whether Hocus' offer would include me, since I have not posted at TMF any time recently. For the reasons I just gave, I have no intention of returning there at his expense or mine or yours. I wish Hocus success in his efforts to assist people in gaining financial independence.

I could go on and on, but this is too long already and has entirely too many occurrences of I.
He who has lived obscurely and quietly has lived well. [Latin: Bene qui latuit, bene vixit.]

Chips

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Post by raddr » Tue Jan 28, 2003 9:38 am

therealchips wrote:

I had an abrupt awakening when TMF introduced fees, waiving them for the select few, and excluding me from that recognition. We heard people like EdWe telling us that we should realize that TMF was a vanity press, where we should expect to pay for the privilege and pleasure of expressing ourselves. TMF's decision to recognize some contributors as more important than others reminded me entirely too much of decades at work


Hi Chips,

Well said. I too felt that I had a lot to contribute, particularly in the area of SWRs. I also was not offered a comp membership at TMF. Based on the feedback I've gotten I feel that my work is appreciated here at NFB and, I hope, will help investors realize to the severe limitations of the REHP SWR study. I feel like telling TMF to remove my "Post of the Day" from the 2001 archives. It grates on me that they used my insight to promote their business but apparently didn't appreciate my membership as much as numerous others who were comped. :twisted: Fortunately, I am happy here and have not even the slightest desire to go back to TMF. :)

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Post by ElSupremo » Tue Jan 28, 2003 9:40 am

Greetings Chips :)
when TMF introduced fees, waiving them for the select few,


This one really annoyed me as well even though I was one of those select few. Out of principal I have not been back since 2/13/02. I could go on and on, but this is too long already and has entirely too many occurrences of I. :wink:
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Post by WiseNLucky » Tue Jan 28, 2003 12:24 pm

being excluded from TMF's select list was not the reason I left. I left because of TMF chose to have a select list.


This is my feeling exactly. If they had merely instituted fees, and made everyone pay them, I would still be there. I do not mind paying for access to something I enjoy, and have long felt that the "free" internet couldn't last. As it is, I have never been back, staying just long enough to find out where my favorite posters moved to. :D

WiseNLucky
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Post by therealchips » Wed Jan 29, 2003 12:18 pm

raddr wrote:
Well said. I too felt that I had a lot to contribute, particularly in the area of SWRs.


Thank you. I wanted to contribute in the area of applying math to some decisions in personal financial planning. My experience has been that this analysis helped me be calm as I saw my salaried days approaching an end (1993) and during years of market volatility since then.

For example, the debate about when to start social security would benefit, I think, from this reformulation: Given my financial position and assets, my assumptions about investment returns, inflation and taxes, and my planning horizon, would my final estate be larger or smaller (and by how much) if I start social security at 62 or 65? This has the advantage of putting the decision in the context of an individual's actual financial position, rather than using some analysis that is touted as correct for everyone. (My result in this exercise is that, with my planning horizon more than 30 years out, it is advantageous to wait until I can collect full benefits, but it makes very little difference.)

Another example, involving choosing the value of only one variable: Pick a value for this year's after-tax consumption which, combined with annual inflation adjustments, stabilizes the purchasing power of my retirement assets as nearly as possible over the many years covered in my plan. (It is not generally possible to stabilize both the consumption and the value of the assets, because of dynamic factors like social security and IRA withdrawals that have heavy impact on income taxes. I went around with intercst on this issue also. He insists on treating income taxes as just another cost of living. I am not willing to do that because that approach would set me up for a severe reduction in my after-tax standard of living whenever I start making IRA withdrawals and my income taxes double or triple. He advocates burning up the tax-deferred assets first, as I recall, to "solve" this problem. Tax-deferral is too valuable to me to be thrown away like that.)

A related example: For anyone with a tax-deferred account and young enough that there are not yet any mandatory withdrawals from that account, multiple decisions need to be made about what, if any, optional withdrawals to make. So, I would formulate the question in this way: With the same given information, pick ten values for the withdrawals that I make from my IRA for each year from age 60 to 69, that maximize the value of my final estate. (In this exercise, my results are ten zeroes, meaning that, holding my standard of living the same, it would not benefit me to make any optional withdrawals. It was pleasing to find this mathematical confirmation of my instinct not to pay any income taxes before obliged to.)

The advantage of a mathematical approach is that subjective evaluations and the power of rhetoric become irrelevant. It is easy to vary important assumptions about such as inflation and rate of return to see how that influences the conclusions. People are not very good at picking good values for ten interacting variables at once, while the computer is unphased. Its answers may not be the true optimum, but are likely to be better than what we find without computer power. I particularly meant to promote the use of Excel and its built-in optimizer, Solver, or any comparably available and capabable software. My comments on these matters produced just a little interest at TMF. My spreadsheet is so closely tied to my own conditions that it is not generally applicable, although I did email a sanitized version to a few people at their request. It is not at all professional quality software and, as a retired person, it would not be worth my while to upgrade it to those standards.

I described these idea at TMF in posts I cannot access now. I have no copies. If any of you read my posts over there, and have questions, please post them here. According to my notes, they are at
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1 ... 25&sort=id
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1 ... 01&sort=id
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1380025000952021
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1380025000917010 on optimal optional withdrawals from the IRA

Truth in posting: I hold a BA in math, an MS in applied math, and have over thirty years professional experience. That experience included many applications of multidimensional optimizations in various design and manufacturing contexts. That experience may be stale, considering that I have been retired nearly ten years. A major shortcoming in my approach is that it makes no use of stochastics or historic data on stock market volatility and inflation, but simply uses some fixed (but user chosen) values for inflation and market return.
He who has lived obscurely and quietly has lived well. [Latin: Bene qui latuit, bene vixit.]

Chips

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Post by ataloss » Thu Jan 30, 2003 5:59 pm

Truth in posting: I hold a BA in math, an MS in applied math, and have over thirty years professional experience. That experience included many applications of multidimensional optimizations in various design and manufacturing contexts.


Somehow I feel better knowing that you didn't figure out the mathematical approach one afternoon.....
Have fun.

Ataloss

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Post by TxCat » Thu Jan 30, 2003 7:33 pm

Somehow I feel better knowing that you didn't figure out the mathematical approach one afternoon.....


:lol: This cracked me up, thanks for the smile!

Jennifer :lol:
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Post by therealchips » Fri Jan 31, 2003 1:01 pm

for ataloss:

Thanks for your post. My purpose in confessing my degrees and work experience was to alert people to any tendency on my part to overemphasize mathematics. I don't want to be the guy whose only tool is a hammer and who therefore sees every problem as a nail. There are some important questions in financial planning, such as someone's actual tolerance of volatility, that do not involve math. So, even I do not swallow my computational results whole. As I said, my investment results have been so bad lately that I am not willing to spend as much as my analysis says is probably safe. Psychology trumps math.
He who has lived obscurely and quietly has lived well. [Latin: Bene qui latuit, bene vixit.]

Chips

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Post by ataloss » Sat Feb 01, 2003 6:09 am

Hi Jenifer and Chips,
I am sort of amazed by the level of math on these boards. I think I am pretty math adept compared to the average person but I don't exactly follow everything here. It is great to have all these ex big five auditors, mathematicians, engineers and radiologists (!) around. Sort of bizarre
that I got a comp year at TMF but many of my favorite posters didn't.
Have fun.

Ataloss

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Hmm

Post by peteyperson » Tue Feb 04, 2003 6:14 am

I am too. I get lost in the math when people start talking about one revesion to the mean or two etc. I may have to brush way up on maths in order to understand it.

Petey




ataloss wrote: Hi Jenifer and Chips,
I am sort of amazed by the level of math on these boards. I think I am pretty math adept compared to the average person but I don't exactly follow everything here. It is great to have all these ex big five auditors, mathematicians, engineers and radiologists (!) around. Sort of bizarre
that I got a comp year at TMF but many of my favorite posters didn't.

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Post by raddr » Tue Feb 04, 2003 6:23 am

ataloss wrote: Hi Jenifer and Chips,
I am sort of amazed by the level of math on these boards. I think I am pretty math adept compared to the average person but I don't exactly follow everything here. It is great to have all these ex big five auditors, mathematicians, engineers and radiologists (!) around.


LOL :!::lol:

FWIW, I took very little math in college and certainly would not classify myself as an expert at math. I am pretty much self tought and have tried to learn enough so that I could make more sense of the financial markets which contuinue to fascinate me the more I get into it.

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Post by peteyperson » Wed Feb 05, 2003 1:37 pm

It's great in one sense, but not if it doesn't make any sense to the rest of us (without a suitable explanation of what one seperation from the mean etc actually means).

Petey




raddr wrote:
ataloss wrote: Hi Jenifer and Chips,
I am sort of amazed by the level of math on these boards. I think I am pretty math adept compared to the average person but I don't exactly follow everything here. It is great to have all these ex big five auditors, mathematicians, engineers and radiologists (!) around.


LOL :!::lol:

FWIW, I took very little math in college and certainly would not classify myself as an expert at math. I am pretty much self tought and have tried to learn enough so that I could make more sense of the financial markets which contuinue to fascinate me the more I get into it.

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