RTP Local Chapter Meetings in 2018

The Research Triangle Park Bogleheads®, North Carolina Local Chapter plans to hold three meetings in 2018. This entry will be updated for subsequent meetings.

Bogleheads forum member Steve Thorpe recaps these meetings in this guest article.

RTP, NC Chapter Meeting 11:00 AM Sat May 12, 2018


Bull City Burger & Brewery

Happy Mother’s Day!
Thank you to everyone who joined yesterday’s RTP Bogleheads chapter meeting.

Sadly it seems our spring weather has already gone, so due to the heat we needed to sit inside where the acoustics weren’t so good. Next time it is likely we’ll return to Satisfaction Restaurant, or to some other venue where we can have a more comfortable setting…Stay tuned to the list and there will likely be an announcement about logistics for a late August meeting (probably August 25). if you have any alternate venue suggestions feel free to let me know. Ideal features would include some or all of the following (in no particular order):

  • High speed WiFi Internet access;
  • Quiet place with seating for around 20+ Bogleheads;
  • Opportunity for food+beers; and
  • Ability to project from a laptop.

Yesterday around a dozen of us (including several “newbies”) had an enjoyable lunchtime conversation ranging all over the map, mostly but not completely about investing. Here are a few of the many topics we touched on:

  • Jack Bogle is a hero to Main St. investors everywhere. Thanks to him we are collectively reducing our expenses and improving our returns by billions of dollars per year!
  • Vanguard’s asset base is now something like $5 trillion dollars, and growing at more than $1 billion dollars per day. Wowsa!
  • Our investing experiences during the 2008 crash.
  • Our inability to reliably predict future market performance.
  • Current status of Vanguard’s customer service vs. in previous years.
  • How much international exposure we have (basically it is all over the map among attendees!).
  • Excessive advisory fees being a huge marketing success for the financial industry.
  • Complexity vs. Simplicity in investing, e.g. Larry Swedroe styled factor-based investing vs. Allan Roth’s approach as described in his “How a Second Grader Beats Wall Street”.
  • Health care system distortions due to opacity of actual costs.
  • Commodities funds such as PCRIX.
  • How everyone’s varied expertise in different areas helps make the economy work.
  • Required Minimum Distributions.
  • Annuities.
  • Continuing Care Retirement Communities.
    • Some work with Medicare but not all of them. If yours doesn’t it could require you to go elsewhere at some point.
    • Many have long waiting lists (e.g. 6 years!). So if you’re thinking about it you might want to get your name onto a list.
  • North Carolina School of Science and Math – it is a gem of NC’s educational system.
  • The federal budget, deficit, and debt.
  • Meditation.
  • Love everybody!
North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics

NC School of Science and Math

I really enjoyed seeing everyone yesterday and look forward to our next get-together in a few months. Thanks and have a great Sunday afternoon!

RTP, NC Chapter Meeting 12 Noon Sat Aug 25, 2018

Duke Social Sciences Building

Duke Social Sciences Building

Around 13 or so gathered for today’s local chapter meeting, hosted by Professor Ed Tower in Duke’s Social Sciences building. As usual we had an enjoyable conversation covering many topics, e.g.:

  • The fascinating Portfolio Visualizer website.
  • Simba’s Backtesting spreadsheet.
  • Slicing and Dicing vs. Total Market approach.
  • Larry Swedroe’s writings on GMO vs. DFA vs. Vanguard etc.
  • In general, none of us are fans of annuities, almost all of us are do-it-yourself investors, and at least a few of us somewhat overweight emerging markets within our international allocations.
  • Ed Tower’s Moral Turpitude paper that concluded with mutual funds, you get twice what you don’t pay for!
  • Remember asset class returns tend to move in cycles. Every asset class has its day in the sun so be patient and stick to your plan!
  • The SEC’s proposed “Best Interest” rule.
  • Many people are not at all knowledgeable about financial and investing topics. How to encourage friends and family to consider a Boglehead approach? A couple ideas included: 1) Calculate in $ terms how much their current all-in annual costs are (often times this number is MUCH larger than they realized) and 2) Give them a copy of an easy-to-digest book such as “The Coffeehouse Investor”.
  • Paul Merriman’s “Live It Up Without Outliving Your Money!”
  • Mr. Money Mustache.

Thank you Ed for being such a gracious host, and thank you to everyone who attended. I enjoyed seeing you and look forward to next time.


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, and as an administrator of the John C. Bogle Center for Financial Literacy site.

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