Thursday, September 24, 2015

I Wish I Could Lock in a Dismal Return

I'm serious. If I could lock in a dismal return then I would put my entire retirement nest egg in it. Don't believe me? Well, maybe I can convince you just how awesome dismal returns can be!

September 24, 2015
Millions of boomers are making this big retirement mistake

The trouble is that the bond market, a traditional safe haven for retirees and near-retirees, has had dismal returns since the recession.

Had you bought the 30-year treasury in June of 2009 (the end date of the Great Recession), then you'd be sitting on a bond yielding 4.5% right now. That's nearly 3% higher than what the consumer price index has been doing since then. A 3% real yield? In a safe haven? If that's considered dismal, then sign me up!

But wait, that's not all! You would be sitting on a 4.5% bond that some other investors might be willing to sell a kidney to own right now. In other words, the price of that bond has gone up big time.

So, yeah. I would love to lock in a similar dismal return going forward. No doubt about it.

Unfortunately, based on recent stock market action, we seem to be entering a worse than dismal returns environment. If that's the case, then locking in an actual dismal return might still be attractive. Got 0.0% I-Bonds? I do. Might even buy more in November. Sigh. Despair

It's always darkest just before it goes pitch black.


Anonymous said...

I think most happy optimistic people, meaning REAL people, would define "dismal" as an investment that doesn't have the go-forward potential to make the normal 20 to 30% gains that can be expected by your average stock-market investor.

Stagflationary Mark said...


Yeah, I suspect you are right. I do have a concern though. What if their worst case scenario plays out and the gains are only 19 to 29% from here? Will they still be happy and optimistic? ;)

Troy said...

I'm hopeful my $1000 investment in AAPL this month and next will pay 10000% next year alone . . .

Got the 6S yesterday and it's very very nice! No reason this couldn't be the basis of a complete desktop workstation, it's got the oomph to drive 1680 x 1050 easily.

Getting the Apple TV next month. $200 for that kit is a no-brainer acquisition.

I haven't bought a 1080p TV yet so I'm also in the market for that capital investment. Might go 4K for future-proof but with my old eyes I can't see much difference, alas.

Great thing about being a hobby programmer is that the investments are so fun!

I've been trying to use Xamarin's stuff for Mac/iOS for 5+ years now -- since it was a $400 product from Novell but in the past it was only 50% of the way there, at best. Now it feels more like 90%, I was able to port an old Ouya MonoGame/XNA project from 2013 to an iPhone SpriteKit renderer (XNA only had one draw call basically, SpriteBatch.Draw() so I just create a SKSprite for each draw -- SpriteKit is retained mode renderer while XNA is/was immediate, but good enough for a weekend jobbie).

People don't know it, but Apple has put together a gaming API even better than DirectX ever was. Micros~1 in its corporate stupidity has killed their game API many times, most recently s-canning XNA, their best effort yet, really solid stuff.

C# as language feels much more solid that Swift so I'd want to stick with that if I could. Apple's got the great APIs and services like GameCenter, tooling-wise Xcode is maybe 30% more efficient than Xamarin Studio (but C# coding can also be done in Visual Studio of course, which is even free now).

Super-excited about 2016! Alas, my capital investments are only going to depreciate without a significant labor component add-in, but I've got nights & weekends now. Too bad my day job is C#-centric too, that' kinda burning out the neurons as you know . . .

Stagflationary Mark said...


Got the 6S yesterday and it's very very nice! No reason this couldn't be the basis of a complete desktop workstation, it's got the oomph to drive 1680 x 1050 easily.

Yeah, I'm getting tired of companies that assume I even have a desktop computer. I'm almost completely weaned off.