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  • George Soros' 10 Favorite Dividend Stock Picks  [View article]
    It would be nice if you included the weight of all of these positions relative to total holdings. George Soros has ,75 million of a lot of things.
    May 20, 2012. 04:54 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The 1 Investment Everyone Should Own  [View article]
    The question is whether you think gold will appreciate faster than stocks in this situation. .There is someone on the buy side and the sell side of the $2 candy bar.
    May 19, 2012. 12:01 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The 1 Investment Everyone Should Own  [View article]
    The flaw with this argument about the safety of gold remains. What exactly do you suggest gold as a hedge for? Inflation? No, because in the long run, stocks like these rise with inflation, especially given the diversity of currencies that these companies generate earnings with. This is really an appeal to the idea that gold is a hedge for the end of the world. If we live in a world where Exxon, McDonalds and Proctor and Gamble simultaneously implode, exactly what do you think you will purchase with that gold and where exactly do you think you will purchase it? If you are really concerned about this, the only commodity worth investing in is lead... ask the Maya
    May 18, 2012. 10:47 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Coming Meltdown In College Education  [View article]
    One additional point about "overpaid" faculty: Universities typically claim 52% of all grant money as "overhead" As a result, most faculty (at least in the sciences, medicine and engineering) can pull in funds from sources other than tuition that pay for their salary many times over. I'm not saying that this is necessarily right, but it is fair to say that they are not a major cause of tuition prices.
    May 17, 2012. 05:55 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Coming Meltdown In College Education  [View article]
    Thats an interesting idea... How about we take this one step further, and sell this fixed percentage to investors for cash up front. There would be pressure for disclosure of education outcomes, and more funds available for schools producing lots of grads who can land jobs.
    May 15, 2012. 10:11 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Coming Meltdown In College Education  [View article]
    Argues against a claim that relies on an outdated model, presents anecdotes as evidence...
    May 15, 2012. 10:07 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Don't Panic Over Europe  [View article]
    I read zerohedge all the time. Some of what they say is interesting, but note that its contributors predict nearly everything happening, nearly always imminently, and then cherrypick prior posts that were correct. So grain of salt over here.
    May 9, 2012. 12:36 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Friday Follies: Come And See The Show  [View article]
    Two words GINI coefficient. Also, you seem to believe that you all by yourself earned all those dollars that line your pocket, and that economic success is unrelated to the strength of institutions, infrastructure and civil society. Since you believe this, move to Somalia and enjoy the lower tax rates and greater economic activity over there. Also, watch the language cupcake, we're civil people here.
    Apr 21, 2012. 08:59 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What's The Best Day Of The Week To Buy Precious Metals?  [View article]
    It would be nice to know the standard deviations around these average returns, so we can get a sense of how much signal there is relative to noise
    Mar 1, 2012. 09:34 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Case For Exxon Mobil: Iran, Israel, And War  [View article]
    Strait is six miles wide... good idea, but no.
    Feb 14, 2012. 01:14 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Case For Exxon Mobil: Iran, Israel, And War  [View article]
    People said the same thing about India and Pakistan. Looks like they are muddling through
    Feb 7, 2012. 09:13 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Dawn Of The Franco-German Empire  [View article]
    Cool story bro.
    Dec 3, 2011. 11:46 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Are Stocks Going To Crash?  [View article]
    I agree with 2-4, but I am not so sure that #1 is entirely a problem for the US. Yes the population is getting older, but as I understand it, population will also be increasing for the next 20 years or so and that the demographic picture here will be less top heavy than other Western countries
    Nov 25, 2011. 02:18 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How The U.S. Is Quickly Becoming A Third World Country (Part 1)  [View article]
    We'll just outsource pilots to save costs
    Nov 22, 2011. 04:37 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Financial Literacy A Hoax?  [View article]
    As someone with a fair amount of training in psychology and behavioral economics I would like to point out a few crucial caveats.

    First, people learn when they receive clear, immediate unequivocal feedback on repeated trials. This is why weathermen become more accurate at predicting the weather with expertise (it rains or it does not) while surgeons do not improve at predicting who will live and who will die following a procedure (many complications occur well after the patient leaves the table, on another floor, on someone else's watch). Some financial decisions have implications that are far in the future or require evaluating one outcome against poorly defined standards (e.g. the opportunity costs of taking a specific action). Sadly, the visceral feeling that accompanies a consequence is needed. Remember the first time you made a stupid trade and got your clock cleaned. That elicits nowhere near the emotion that missing one's retirement target does.

    I will also note that with finance it is easy to construe failures as near successes. Consider all of the months where an individual misses their savings target because of a one off expense or our tendency to remember the favorable trades that we consider but do not make (coulda woulda shoulda) and the tendency to forget the trades that were truly dumb.These mental games make it hard to evaluate your actual knowledge unless all committed to paper.

    Second, simply educating people assumes that the problem is a lack of information. This may be true, but not always. Sometimes it is a lack of time, willpower or other resources (see all sorts of research on the consequences of time pressure and lack of financial slack on decision making). It is possible to give people the tools to fulfill their goals, but it is probably best to give them the tools that they actually need and it is not always obvious what those are.

    Third, people would be equally thrilled with strategies that give them their desired outcome, without education. Consider whether someone who loses weight through education about the caloric content of food would be more, less or as satisfied with the outcome as someone who just bought plates with a smaller diameter (which also works).

    In short, just because some strategies to help people reach their financial goals fail, doesn't mean that all strategies are doomed to failure, just that a solution has not yet been found. However, these solutions are not easy. If they were, we wouldn't devote this much time to thinking about them.
    Nov 11, 2011. 10:58 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment