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Abelson, Mother's Day, And Starbuck's Food Plans!

On Friday, May 10, 2013, the financial world was informed that the lead columnist at Barron's, Alan Abelson, passed away at the age of 87. I started reading his column when I was maybe 23 years old, and read it every Saturday for nearly 25 years. It was the first and only thing I would be interested in when I dragged my sleepy self out of bed. Alan Abelson turned me, and many thousands of others, on to the joy of finance with his wisdom, wit, and great writing. In sports, there was Jim Murray. In personals, there was Dear Abbey. In political opinions, there is George Will, Maureen Dowd, and Charles Krautheimer. In finance, there was only Alan Abelson, and there will never be another like him. I never met him, but he was a dear friend and I will miss him. I already do. May he rest in peace. http://goo.gl/EcdwZ

Today is Mother's day, and I hope everyone has a great day. My mom is not one for celebrations, and trying to find her gifts she will enjoy is, shall we say, a challenge. I very much continue to look up to my mother as an inspiration for her love, spirit, guidance, and intelligence. Most people probably can say the same about their mom's, and each one is unique. I hope all the mom's out their enjoy their day!!

Well, the stock market has had a nice run over the last few weeks as earnings season is winding down. Over the last week, the Ira Sohn Conference, which benefits pediatric cancer, was held in New York. It has prominent investors recommend individual companies and the press pays a lot of attention to who picks what.

Here in Vegas, the SALT conference was held with many famous individual, in all areas of subjects, as speakers and attendees. I was not one but I do pay attention to these events. One never knows what piece of information is available which can add be helpful in some way.

On the political front, two interesting pieces of information were disclosed last week. First, tax receipts will be significantly higher than previously thought, so the U.S. budget deficit will not be as large as was feared. Democrats will feel emboldened and push for more spending. Republicans will not go for that. More gridlock is probable, as if the washington wallflowers could do even less.

The second interesting tidbit the public was privy to was the revelation the IRS targeted Tea party organizations in 2012. Great, our supposedly non partisan government tax collections group was politically motivated. Who would of thunk it? There is gambling in this establishment? My own thought is any faith of honesty or credibility in government was so far gone that this information only reinforces that notion.

A major problem in the world is the inability of the public sector to learn how to manage its finances. It then turns to Wall Street, which sells them swaps, which have a long history of blowing up. Here is another example of it-http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-05-10/denver-pays-wall-street-216-million-as-swaps-fail-muni-credit.html

Starbucks has an ambitious plan to remake its food offerings-http://seattletimes.com/html/businesstechnology/2020956981_laboulangexml.html

Here is a nice story about an app specializing in business cards. Apparently, it is very popular in Asia, where much ceremony is predicated on this ritual-http://techcrunch.com/2013/05/12/camcard-a-card-scanning-app-thats-dominating-asian-markets-reaches-50m-users/

Finally, thank you for reading the blog, and I hope you have a great week!!! If you have any comments or questions, please post them!!!

Y H & C Investments, Yale Bock, and the family of Yale Bock own positions in securities mentioned in the blog post. Investing in stocks can lead to the complete loss of your capital. As always, on any company mentioned here, past performance is not a guarantee of future returns. Investing involves risk of losses on invested capital. One should research any investment and make sure it is suitable with your objectives, risk tolerance, risk profile liquidity considerations, tax situation, and anything else pertinent to your financial situation. Also, the CFA credential in no way implies investment returns will be superior for any charter holder.

Disclosure: I am long SBUX.