Be A Modern Magician

Magician Costume - Design for Stravinsky's ballet "Petrushka" - 1957 - Alexandre Benois

  To be a modern magician, there are no requirements for pointy hats or chanting incantations of arcane magical lore.  Just spend some time on Investopedia, pore through a couple of investing tomes (preferably Benjamin Graham's The Intelligent Investor), and prepare to let concepts such as debt-to-equity ratios, free cash flow, and EBITDA seep into your noggin. The process can be as thoroughly boring as fourth-grade New Math or an Al Gore stump speech.  The rewards?  Seeing the eyes of ordinary allocate-and-forget 401K savers glaze over, and then yield the floor to you, O Knowledgeable One. You Can't Beat The Market Sure you can't. That old saw about most mutual fund managers under-perform the general market, is … [Read more...]

Stupidity Unchained -The Curious Saga Of Today’s Stock Market


The following is a guest post of sorts by Fred Carach, author of “Forty Years a Speculator“.  This article is re-posted with permission from Fred’s blog. As I contemplate fifty years in the blood-splattered arena that we call a stock market I realize that the game has never been more in my favor. Charlatans and buffoons have rigged a once sane market. It is a market where stupidity has been unchained. It is a most curious saga. I saw it all. I was there at the creation. The prevailing stupidities of today’s stock market are as follows: any stock that falls 10% must be sold immediately because it is going to zero. all stocks are generic clones of each other and therefore will go up and down together. a dangerous over … [Read more...]

Diversification in a 401K Plan – Part 1


Do 401K retirement plans offer adequate choices, or are you getting taken for a ride? There was a formal academic study done a few years by  Martin Gruber and Edwin Elton of New York University's Leonard N. Stern School of Business, and Christopher Blake of Fordham University's Graduate School of Business.  The authors proposed that a good 401K plan should offer varied choices like: International stock funds and International bond mutual funds high-quality and/or high-yielding domestic bonds Large-Cap growth and Large-Cap value mutual funds Small-cap and Mid-cap growth funds and value funds Well, I haven't been with many employers, but in speaking with friends and family, some 401K plans at larger companies may offer all of the … [Read more...]

Bad Financial Advice

If only investing advice were this simple... but you should still listen to your elders

In this case, Kiplinger’s Magazine.  Kiplinger’s is a nationally distributed and syndicated magazine, with what you’d think would be great authority, knowledge and research in the field of personal finance.  Surely they would not make any substandard investment recommendations, would they? From their website: 10 Great Mutual Funds That Deliver High Income - Put more cash in your pocket and protection in your portfolio with these solid funds that pay good dividends and high interest. After all we’ve suffered over the past decade, it’s easy to see why we’re flocking to the investment equivalent of comfort food. Heaps of supposedly super-safe Treasury bonds help us sleep at night after a diet of stocks left us stressed and … [Read more...]