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It's All About the People - by Lynch & Worden

It's All About the People — This article by Doug Lynch and Jennifer M. Worden compares complex, "human-capital-intensive" services/businesses: teaching/education, luxury hotel, business consulting with the goal of taking what works in business and applying it to teachers/education. My take aways...

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Albert Bartlett Videos on Exponential Growth

I found this series of videos from a lecture by Albert Bartlett to be quite enlightening.

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Jon Stewart's Solution to Financial Crisis

Jon Stewart's solution to economic crisis - While interviewing Lawrence Lindsey, author of What the President Should Know, Jon Stewart's shares his solution for the economic crisis: Instead of paying bail out money to banks, pay the money to consumers, who will pay it to the banks to help reduce the consumers' loan debt. That way everyone (except for taxpayers) wins: the banks get the money AND consumers gets debt relief.

Lindsey, a finance savvy guy, sort of agrees, but argues that paying the consumers rewards consumers for bad behavior ("Oh, I can get a loan and get money from the Government to pay it off"). As Stewart quickly pointed out, same can be said for the banks.

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Ways to Hedge Against Fall of U.S. Dollar

Ways to Hedge against Falling U.S. Dollar - If all your money and investments are in U.S. dollars, the falling value of the U.S. dollar is a huge concern. After record stock market and real estate market declines, the next big theft of your money will be devaluing of the U.S. dollar--in simpler terms, inflation. Your dollar simply won't buy as much as it did before if the value of the U.S dollar continues to fall. Some consider this the most insidious of taxes.

So you need insurance, currency insurance. You need some way to hedge against the falling U.S. dollar. Below are some options suggested in Several ways to hedge against falling dollar by Kathleen Pender.

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Four Day Work Week - 16 Reasons It's a Good Idea

The Four Day Work Week: Sixteen Reasons Why This Might Be an Idea Whose Time Has Come - This article from theoildrum.com makes the argument that a four day work week would have at least 16 benefits to each of us and our economy. Written by Kyle Saunders (associate professor of political science at Colorado State University) the article gives some detail and statistics for each reason, so do read the original article, but the points below give the gist.

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Zero Population Growth or Bust! - Albert A. Bartlett Ph.D. Video

Arithmetic, Population, and Energy - by Albert A. Bartlett - Fascinating yet simple illustration of why continued growth (of the population, of oil consumption, etc.) cannot go on forever. Intuitively, that much is obvious. Not so obvious is how near impossible it is for us (as a society) to recognize when we've gone too far, when our resources have been consumed to the point that it's too late to do anything about it.

The reason it's hard to recognize that point has everything to do with the simple yet profound implications of how compounding growth rates behave. Compounding growth rates are our friend when receiving interest. Compounding growth rates are our enemy when it comes to consumption and population growth.

This third video of the series carries a devastating message. The core problem of our unsustainable economy is the rate of population growth and the rate of resource consumption. When we think about China and India and their impact on global consumption in the coming years, it's essential to remember that what brought us to this point was U.S. consumption.

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Nassim Nicholas Taleb - IBM Talk

Nassim Nicholas Taleb joined a discussion at IBM about his book The Black Swan. Here are my notes from the discussion. I've added my own comments and explanations (based on his books).

As an author, Taleb tries to be universal and not customize his message to the audience. (I think he's talking about the ideas he's espousing, not the method of communicating. Your communication style HAS to consider the audience or your won't be heard.)

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Nassim Nicholas Taleb - Investment Advice

In Fooled by Randomness, Nassim Nicholas Taleb teases us with the idea that we can take advantage of black swan events in our life and in our investments. I say tease because he's very short (pardon pun) on specifics in my reading. I want to try to flesh out the ideas as best I can.

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Jump Start Your Business Brain - by Doug Hall

Unusually Placid Doug Hall

Jump Start Business - Doug Hall - Entertaining and provides a great, easy-to-remember model for evaluating a business idea, product, or service. At Hall's consulting firm at Eureka! Ranch, he offers workshops that focus on answering the following three questions: What is your product's...

  1. Overt Benefit
  2. Real Reason to Believe
  3. Dramatic Difference

BTW, Hall was a judge in the first season of American Inventor.

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Long Tail - Selling Less of More by Chris Anderson

Having a discussion about Anderson's book at work. Will place notes here.

Creating demand on developer sites that fit down the curve.

We're living the long tail, in terms of content and traffic. People find out content without us focusing on that. But not intentionally. What can we do with niches, what we

linking, 80% based off links to your site, 20% the content,

specialize it? PHP general, then specialize: PHP for DB2

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4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferris

Four Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss - Status-quo shattering book. I read it through once, and am starting over. The concepts are simple. Deferred living (retirement) is the worst kind of insurance. Live now. Forget abstract goals. Go for what excites you. In fact, go for specific, unreasonable goals that excite you. There's too much competition for the mediocre goals. Less competition for the unreasonable goals (John Nash was wrong; in a pick-up bar, everyone is pursuing the 8's, not the 10's.)

Ferriss makes a four hour workweek seem attainable. It takes discipline. It takes a low information diet and focusing on two principles or laws...

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Fooled by Randomness - by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Fooled by Randomness by Nassim Taleb - Nassim Nicholas Taleb has written a mind-blowing book! Totally contrarian and terrifically clear in explaining the fallacies followed by journalist, investors, traders and, sadly, many scientists.

Example: Failing to notice the difference between probability and expectation, famous commodity trader/investor Jim Rogers made this astounding statement.

"I don't buy options....90 percent of all long options lost money." ~ Jim Rogers

Rogers confused probability with expectation.

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Black Swan - by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Had Nassim Taleb been born in any other period, he would have certainly been put to death.
~ Carine Chichereau, co-translator of TBS.

Black Swan and Nassim Taleb - Listened to Nassim Taleb on KQED's Forum program, and the ideas about randomness and luck drove me to his recent book, The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable.

A read it once, then started over, this time going a bit slower, trying to commune with his counter-intuitive ideas and wonderfully illustrative thought experiments. This books is such a colorful pallet of ideas that somehow connect without falling into a grand theory or trite advice. Indeed, that's part of the Taleb's message in The Black Swan. That theories are contrived and can lead us to a false sense of security or doom. Skeptical empiricism reigns over theory, narrative, and other often misguided simplifications.

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8 Steps to Take If Identity Stolen

Looks like some common sense but helpful tips. I've updated #1 in the cache because others advise that you can't trust credit reporting agencies to cooperate--inform all of your situation, not just one agency.

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PEG Ratio - Price/Earnings to Growth

What does PEG mean? A PEG ratio is used to determine a stock's value while taking into account earnings growth. The calculation is as follows:

PEG is a widely used indicator of a stock's potential value. It is favored by many over the price/earnings ratio because it also accounts for growth. Similar to the P/E ratio, a lower PEG means that the stock is more undervalued.

Keep in mind that the numbers used are projected numbers and, therefore, less accurate. Also, there are many variations using earnings from different time periods (i.e. one year vs five year). Be sure to know the exact definition your source is using.

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Jim Cramer's Mad Money - Stock Worksheet

Jim Cramer's Mad Money
Watch TV, Get Rich

Jim Cramer Mad Money Stock Worksheet - It's embarrassing to admit, but I really get a kick out of Jim Cramer. While he's totally nuts on his CNBC TV show, Mad Money, he was much saner on his Real Money radio program. Unfortunately, the radio program is no longer on the air, though archives exist. In its place is a very good video on demand program where Cramer is interviewed by a columnist from his own TheStreet.com. Very insightful stuff with a reasonable delivery.

But about Cramer's Stock Worksheet in Jim Cramer's Mad Money: Watch TV, Get Rich. The book is short (less than 230 pages) and perhaps the best part is the Stock Worksheet, which outlines his approach to researching stocks -- or as he likes to refer to it, The Homework.

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Web 2.0 According to O'Reilly

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Soccer Kid Video

Soccer Kid - Totally cute video I found on YouTube titled Soccer Kid. Works in any language. No translation required...

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Smashing The Work Clock

Found this article on Best Buy's flexible time program...looks interesting.

Best Buy smashes the clock: Inside Best Buy's radical reshaping of the workplace

If link dies, read cached copy below.

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Why Understanding Economics Is Hard

Why understanding economics is hard: This is a wonderful, thought-provoking article that has implications for all relationships, economic and otherwise.

Link is dead, so read cached copy below.

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Top Ten Things I Love Most About Woz By Guy Kawasaki

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Dilbert's 9 Point Financial Plan

Dilbert creator Scott Adams claims this is "everything you need to know about personal investing":

  1. Make a will
  2. Pay off your credit cards
  3. Get term life insurance if you have a family to support
  4. Fund your 401k to the maximum
  5. Fund your IRA to the maximum
  6. Buy a house if you want to live in a house and can afford it
  7. Put six months worth of expenses in a money-market account
  8. Take whatever money is left over and invest 70% in a stock index fund and 30% in a bond fund through any discount broker and never touch it until retirement
  9. If any of this confuses you, or you have something special going on (retirement, college planning, tax issues), hire a fee-based financial planner, not one who charges a percentage of your portfolio

Scott Adams calls it his Unified Theory of Everything Financial.

He might be right.

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Jeremy Siegel's "Noisy Market" Hypothesis

Below is Siegel's article, Noisy Market Hypothesis. I've highlighted many of the important points I found. Hope to discuss further.

The 'Noisy Market' Hypothesis


Although the price-weighted Dow Jones Industrial Average approached its all-time high in early May, the large capitalization-weighted indexes—such as the S&P 500 or the Russell 3000—in which most investors hold their "indexed" investments are still substantially below their tech-bloated peaks reached in March 2000. Those of us who have linked our portfolio returns to these popular indexes wonder whether there is a better way to capture the market's return without enduring the wild swings that characterized the last bubble.

Don't get me wrong. Capitalization-weighted indexation has been one of the great innovations in the last quarter-century. It has allowed millions of investors to capture the return on the market at a very small cost, and has outperformed most actively managed mutual funds. The $5 trillion invested in portfolios tracking cap-weighted indexes speaks to its popularity.

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Fritjof Capra's Management Lessons

Lesson #1

A living social system is a self-generating network of communications. The aliveness of an organization resides in its informal networks, or communities of practice. Bringing life into human organizations means empowering their communities of practice.

Lesson #2

You can never direct a social system; you can only disturb it. A living network chooses which disturbances to notice and how to respond. A message will get through to people in a community of practice when it is meaningful to them.

Lesson #3

The creativity and adaptability of life expresses itself through the spontaneous emergence of novelty at critical points of instability. Every human organization contains both designed and emergent structures. The challenge is to find the right balance between the creativity of emergence and the stability of design.

Lesson #4

In addition to holding a clear vision, leadership involves facilitating the emergence of novelty by building and nurturing networks of communications; creating a learning culture in which questioning is encouraged and innovation is rewarded; creating a climate of trust and mutual support; and recognizing viable novelty when it emerges, while allowing the freedom to make mistakes.

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US Economy and Trade Deficit

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The Art of Schmoozing

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