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Author: Lokicious Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 35367  
Subject: About FAQ draft Date: 1/16/2006 2:49 PM
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I couldn't get the complete draft into a single post (I think too long for TMF). Made me think, it might be better to have as sub-sections, anyway. The problem is, having an FAQ that imply links to separate posts for the sub-sections could cause problems down the road, when old posts get archived. This problem can be solved if, say once a year, someone copies and reposts all of the sections and updates FAQs with links. Obviously, updating and improving the sub-sections, or adding other sub-sections, would also be in order.

Anyway, this is my last hurrah with them. I'll leave it to 2Old to edit and post final draft as FAQs.

Here's how I would do the actual FAQ as links to sub-section (using just created links).

The topic of bonds and “fixed-income”(or “principal preserving”) investments and savings is very broad, on the same order of talking about “stocks” as a single topic. Therefore, we have sub-divided the FAQs into several sections, linked below.

Part 1: Introduction. Conceptual issues, key terminology, overview of investment and savings options and risks, including discussion of “interest” and “interest rates.”
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=23564055

Part 2: Savings Instruments. “Principal preserving” savings options that are “cashed-in” not traded, including savings accounts, money markets, CDs, and US Savings Bonds (EE-bonds and I-bonds), plus a discussion of “emergency funds,” for which these generally are considered the preferred choices.
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=23564071

Part 3: Tradable Bonds. Bonds that can be traded, including Treasuries and TIPS, Investment Grade and High Yield Corporate Bonds, Mortgage Securities, Zero-Coupon Bonds, and Tax-Exempt Municipal Bonds (“Munis”).
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=23564084

Part 4: Bond Funds (including closed-ends funds and term-trusts).
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=23564096


Part 5: Fixed and Inflation-Adjusted Annuities.
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=23564102
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Author: desertdaveataol Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 14983 of 35367
Subject: Re: About FAQ draft Date: 1/16/2006 5:30 PM
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Loki, check with the TMF they have a way of putting it all in one post and the link to it will be placed in the box on the right.

Take a look at the FAQ at the REIT Board to see one done that way.


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Author: 2old4bs Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 14996 of 35367
Subject: Re: About FAQ draft Date: 1/17/2006 12:26 PM
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Hi Loki,

In my view, the best way to proceed would be for me to suggest changes and have you review them. I have copied each of the parts into Word documents. This enables me to highlight deletions in square bracketed red font, and place additions/substitutions in blue font. After I've completed each part, I'd like to email the Word document to you for review. If you OK, I can just delete the red font entries while leaving the blue.

Is this OK with you? If not, could you suggest a better way to do it via the boards?

I have started on Part 1. Some of the changes are stylistic--wherein I've tried to reduce extraneous words. I include the part I've worked on below, just so you can see what it looks like without the highlighting. Perhaps I could also italicize the suggested deletions. I think it's a little difficult to actually see the changes like this--let me know what you think:

################################################################################
Bonds and “Fixed” Income Investing: Introduction
################################################################################

What Are Bonds?

----Bonds are “debt securities” (IOUs) issued by governments, agencies, or corporations to institutional or individual investors from whom they borrow money.
----Bonds pay periodic dividends (usually semi-annually) until they mature or are “called.”
----Bonds may be held until their maturity-date (unless they get “called” or liquidated during bankruptcy), at which point they pay back the “face-value” of the bond.
----Bonds may also be traded on the bond market, i.e., sold prior to maturity, typically for more or less than face value.
----A good source for terminology and “bond basics” is bondsonline:
http://www.bondsonline.com/Educated_Investor_Center/Bond_Basics.php
http://www.bondsonline.com/Educated_Investor_Center/Types_of_Bonds.php
http://www.bondsonline.com/Educated_Investor_Center/Buying_Selling_and_Trading.php
----The “learn more” section from investinginbonds.com has similar information
http://www.investinginbonds.com/
----Also see Vanguard's glossary
http://flagship5.vanguard.com/VGApp/hnw/content/Glossary/IndexPages/GlossaryIndexPageNumContent.jsp
----For comments and recommendations about books on investing in bonds, see this thread
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=23489486&sort=whole

What Is “Fixed Income Investing”?

----“Fixed-Income” investing[, really] is a misnomer[,]. It's actually [is] a[n] financial strategy in which you put money into investment or savings instruments with the intent of having at least as much buying power (after inflation) from the[y] money when you need to use it as the money had when you put it away, while minimizing the risk[s] of losing the principal. “Principal preserving” is [probably] a better term. Income (interest, dividends) is often not, in fact, at a fixed rate.
----Except for money you need to have available for very short-term purposes, you should be able to find “principal preserving” financial instruments that will at least keep pace with inflation, with 2-3% above inflation (pre-tax) being a reasonable goal, based on historical “fixed-income” returns.
----Typical “fixed-income” options, such as US Savings Bonds, Money Market[s] accounts, CDs (Certificates of Deposit), and traditional Savings accounts, are cashed in, not traded, thus avoiding the risk of selling at a loss, although Savings Bonds and CDs are usually subject to a penalty if cashed in early.
----Tradable bonds may serve as “fixed-income” options if held until[l] maturity, not sold before maturity [hand].
----A starting point for a “fixed-income” investing strategy is to find the option with a true fixed rate (a CD, a US Treasury Bond or Note) that is currently paying the highest interest (“dividend,” “yield”) for the length of time in which you are interested. Then, use this as the basis against which to compare options with variable rates or options that depend on total returns (income plus or minus principal), even though the comparisons will inevitably involve estimates and guesses.
[.]
How About Bond Funds?

----Bond funds are mutual funds that invest in bonds—individuals buy shares in these funds then receive dividends, based on the dividends paid by the bonds held within [by] the fund.
----When individuals redeem (sell) their bond fund shares, they will get back more, less, or the same as they paid for the shares, depending on the prices (“Net Asset Value,” a.k.a. “NAV”) at which the shares were bought and sold.
----Unlike stock mutual funds, which, except during bear markets, have over time seen NAVs steadily increase, bond fund NAVs consistently fluctuate up and down, depending on prevailing interest rates, which affect the tradable value of the bonds held within [by] the fund.
----Many people assume investing in bond funds is a [“fixed-income” (]principal preserving[)] strategy, but it is not, as your principal in the form of NAV is subject to fluctuation. [Although o]Over time however your [funds shares may even out or your] total return on a fund (dividends plus or minus the value of sold fund shares) may make bond funds a good alternative to true principal preserving choices.
*******************************************************

2old


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Author: Lokicious Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 14997 of 35367
Subject: Re: About FAQ draft Date: 1/17/2006 1:34 PM
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2Old,

I got your message, but it came through with all the underlines and stuff turned into silly marks (I've had that before).

Also, I'm sick of this and would rather not have to reread.

Given that your sample editing confirms what I suspected: you are a superb editor (I may turn to you for some non-TMF stuff) and do not need me to watch over your shoulder.

I think it would be easier if you simply post your edited versions of the 5 sections. Then if no one else wants to kibbutz, we move from that to figuring out how to get them into an official FAQ format (Ken should know what to do next).

I have alwsys hated reading Galley Proofs. I like to move on. Unfortunately, galley proofs tend to have errors, but I trust you to be a better editor than the typical grad assistant who does the job for academic journals.

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Author: KenAtPcs Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15000 of 35367
Subject: Re: About FAQ draft Date: 1/17/2006 4:41 PM
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I think it would be easier if you simply post your edited versions of the 5 sections. Then if no one else wants to kibbutz, we move from that to figuring out how to get them into an official FAQ format (Ken should know what to do next).

Another point to consider is that this isn't written in stone. I update the REIT FAQ 2-3 times per year. It's better to get a first "official" version, and then errors, omissions, clarifications, and additions can be made in the next version.

Here's one problem: Someone needs to "own" the FAQ. I have taken on this responsibility on the REIT board, but really don't have time to do so on another board. The fact that I can do this on the REIT board indicates that one does NOT need to be an expert in, or even all that knowledgeable about, all the details. Feedback from board participants helps a lot. But someone needs to own the FAQ in order to gather up the changes for the next version.

As far as getting the link to the FAQ posted in the "Announcements" section, that is easy to do. First you add the FAQ post to the board (if it won't all fit in one post, which seems to be the case here, then there should be a "summary" post with links to the others, as Loki already posted a draft of in #14979). Then you simply email TMFTwitty (Richard Dressner, a really nice & helpful guy), with a link to the post, and the request that it become this board's FAQ.

Ken

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Author: 2old4bs Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15001 of 35367
Subject: Re: About FAQ draft Date: 1/17/2006 4:56 PM
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I think it would be easier if you simply post your edited versions of the 5 sections.

OK, I'll post each section when I've finished it.

2old


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Author: Lokicious Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15006 of 35367
Subject: Re: About FAQ draft Date: 1/17/2006 11:09 PM
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In terms of logistics and having someone take ownership of this thing for the future (and noting that the owner of the FAQs on index board left years ago), I don't know about my future status. I'm on a TMF freebie, up sometime this spring, and I have no intention of paying to stay aboard, if they don't see their way to another freebie.

I'm wondering if maybe it's time for Dan to take over, since there's little work left once 2Old works her wonders (despite his new job).

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Author: galagan Big gold star, 5000 posts CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15015 of 35367
Subject: Re: About FAQ draft Date: 1/18/2006 12:44 PM
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I'll try to get on it. I have now secured an apartment in LA, so after I get my stuff moved down from Montana (2 weeks) I should have a little more time to focus on this.

I think the best answer to the long-post problem is to have the FAQ be mostly links to shorter messages. I find that works better anyway. I'd entertain other thoughts though, obviously.

dan

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Author: galagan Big gold star, 5000 posts CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15016 of 35367
Subject: Re: About FAQ draft Date: 1/18/2006 5:10 PM
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I think the best answer to the long-post problem is to have the FAQ be mostly links to shorter messages. I find that works better anyway. I'd entertain other thoughts though, obviously.

Okay, if I'd gone back and looked at the whole thread, I'd realize that you had already done this. Mea culpa.

Once this gets edited, the best thing to do would be for those who think something is worthy of addition in future should label their posts something distinctive, like maybe "FAQ Add: [topic]". Then it makes it easy to search every few months.

dan

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