Choosing Optimism

October 31, 2010

“… Most of us are well aware that the future will be VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous). But it’s easy to make that same assessment from the point of view of the optimist. I see the future as being vibrant, unreal, crazy, and astounding. When I think about the possibilities of the future, it raises my heart rate with excitement.”

Story


Weeks of coding and testing …

October 31, 2010

“RT @jcoplien: I find that weeks of coding and testing can save me hours of planning.”


Dilbert

October 31, 2010


Uncle Sam Is Everywhere, And Investors Must Watch His Movements

October 31, 2010

” … Today it is hard to take a walk through our economy and not meet a friendly Uncle Sam; he is everywhere. He’s buying long-term bonds and thereby keeping long-term interest rates artificially low. Since he took over the defunct (for all practical purposes) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, he is the U.S. mortgage market, because those organizations account for the bulk of mortgages originated. Of course, he is also on the hook for their losses.

Our dear Uncle Sam rolls in style; he doesn’t know how to bail out or stimulate on the cheap. U.S. government debt (at least, the debt that is on the balance sheet) leapt from about 60 percent of GDP before the Great Recession to more than 100 percent in 2010. The party of overleveraged consumers has been crashed by an overleveraged government. …

So what does this mean for investors? When we purchase a stock, we are buying a stream of future cash flows. By doing only bottom-up analysis, investors implicitly assume that external factors (the winds and hurricanes of the global economy) have no impact on these cash flows. That is a brave and careless assumption, especially in a post-steroid world. Instead, investors should take a more holistic approach, mixing bottom-up insights with top-down analysis.”

Nobody Cares (Except You)

October 31, 2010

One of the biggest (and hardest) financial lessons that many people have to learn is simply this: No one cares about your finances, except you.

… Financial providers are always claiming to care about your finances. They claim to care whether you can retire. They care that you have the right insurance products. They care that you have too much debt. Seriously? Nope. They only care as far as your situation benefits them. If you don’t have insurance, they can sell you some. If you have a fat retirement account, that’s more fees for them. Do they really care about your finances and whether you are really well off? Hardly. No one at XYZ bank is losing sleep over your finances or spending hours thinking of how they can help you. …

It’s okay to seek help from others and to get advice. But don’t confuse their advice or input with caring or acting in your best interests. It’s up to you to learn all you can and to act in ways that get you where you want to go financially. It’s up to you to save, reduce debt, invest wisely, and get the right insurance. No one else is going to take responsibility for you, take care of you, or pick up the slack for you. Why? Because nobody else cares. The truth is that you are the only one who cares about your financial picture and you’d better start caring deeply because no one else is going to.”

Story


10 unusual investments

October 31, 2010

“As the economy sours and investments in stocks, bonds and real estate skid, unusual investments can often net a financial windfall. But do you know which ones are the best bets and how to make money from them?

Unusual investments can often net a financial windfall. Read our list of the top unusual investments that are popular today.”

Story


October 31, 2010

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
Aristotle