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Author: sykesix Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 61199  
Subject: Re: Hocus Foil Wade Pfau in the WSJ Date: 3/7/2013 9:13 PM
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So many questions: 1- How did he keep the mix 50/50??? Does he have access to some kind of new annuity that allows him to rebalance? 2- What do you mean "based on current market conditions"? Does that mean he assumed the market would always perform exactly as it is today? That seems like a pretty brain-dead assumption. 3- How much survivability did he really gain over bonds using this mix? 4- And of course there is the question of using Monte Carlo. There is a lot of underlying assumption built into any Monte Carlo analysis.

I think it is even worse than that. Even if all their assumptions are correct, "the future being worse than the past" is still an unlikely scenario. Possible, sure. But unlikely.

If you go with Pfau's annuity plan you in theory prevent the worse case from happening. But you also prevent the best case scenarios from happening. Most of the time if you use the 4% rule your portfolio goes to the moon. That's the likely result. This a case of perfect being the enemy of good.

However, let's say you are risk adverse and go with the Wade Pfau portfolio. You still have the possibility that the future will be even worse the Pfau's crystal ball says it will be. So you still need a Plan B of some type to get you through the downturn. Downgrading your lifestyle or whatever it is. That being the case, why cap your upside to prevent a theoretical problem? The whole exercise collapses under its own weight. You can drill down as far as you want, but there is always some unknown risk out there that you can't do anything about. Pondering these questions literally drove Hocus insane. It also drove Hocus into contact with Pfau. I'm sure trying to deal with Hocus drove Pfau insane. It would drive me insane, that's for sure.
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