RTP NC Local Chapter meeting, 2009

This article is contributed by Bogleheads forum member Steve Thorpe.


The Research Triangle Park in North Carolina

Just reporting back on the first Research Triangle Park Diehards chapter meeting… after two(!) years of discussion I’m happy to report that its finally taken place!

The crowd was a bit smaller than anticipated. A couple of us had learned about the Bogleheads group from magazines – me from Kiplinger’s probably 3 years ago, and another participant all the way back in the late ’90s. We all shared a common bond in managing our investments in a Boglehead fashion.

Sunspotzsz shared his insights regarding the investment landscape in his native China. Sounds as though investors are much more limited to the domestic Chinese investment markets, as the non-Chinese markets aren’t readily accessible to them. Also there is not much information there on important metrics such as expense ratios, less transparency in general and perhaps more volatility in the markets.

Dandan14 is the founder of a savvydollar.org, “North Carolina’s Source For Savings” … a neat site about living frugally. (I just checked it out … the look-and-feel of the site is very Bogleheadish! As I guess its built using the same software). Dan also may have had the youngest investing start in the group — when he was only 11 years old he made his first investment, buying shares in McDonalds!

Our answers to this question were across the map: “Commodities? High Yield Bonds? Both? Neither?” This reminded me of Taylor Larimore’s “Dancing on the head of a pin” and “There are many roads to Dublin” phrases. I think its true! [ For the record, I’m tentatively in the CCFs camp, but NOT in the HY Bonds camp. Though I can appreciate arguments on both sides of these issues ]

The group also had differing opinions on whether to hold international fixed income, and “Was the 2008-2009 meltdown a black swan?”. Regarding the black swan question, I counted 1 Yes, 1 No, and 3 “in-betweens”. [ Re. international bonds: my personal vote is no, keep the fixed income low-cost domestic, and take the international risks within equities which may be more efficient ]

Wenzee shared his view that the Boglehead investment philosphy was great in the sense that it helps reduce concerns about when to buy/sell based on pricing, etc. Of utmost importance is to to focus on keeping it simple, keeping costs low, and staying the course. And this can free up your time and energies for other things in life!

58tarheel is very happy to now be a Boglehead, a status he attained after entering retirement though he wished it was sooner. Evidently his wife thinks he spends a lot of time lurking on the Bogleheads group – I am sure 58tarheel is not the only one who falls into that category !

We exchanged ideas about these and many other topics…. it was a really enjoyable morning.

Thanks to everyone who attended and helped with planning,


Barry Barnitz, administrator of both the Bogleheads® wiki and of Financial Page, a Bogleheads® blog. In addition I serve as an administrator of finiki, the Canadian financial wiki, as an administrator of la Wiki Bogleheads® España, and as an administrator of the John C. Bogle Center for Financial Literacy site.

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