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Last Week's Mess, Black Friday, CFA Value Conference, and Much More!!!

Last week was the worst weekly stock market performance for a Thanksgiving week since I think 1932. If you look at stock market performance all over the world, it is the same everywhere, down every single day. The FTSE was down 9 days in a row, and Israel 9 days in a row as well. US stock markets are down 7 days in a row. At the very least, we can agree at least it is consistent. However, if anyone does not believe investors are more than schizophrenic, which is why there is opportunity, just look at the last few months. Volatility reigns supreme, and the current problem is Europe. Next it will be the United States and our debt levels. After that, who knows what, but you can be sure shellshocked investors are looking for the next problem, be it China, India, or High Frequency Trading?
 
     Here in the United States, black friday got off to the best start ever as more people spent money both in stores and on line than ever before. Still, what is the problem, it is only one day and we have to see how the weekend turns out. Right now, without question, mister market definately has the blues, and then some. I am off to New York tomorrow for the CFA Value Investing Conference in New York. Some great investors are speaking, along with some not so great investors but cover your behind analysts, which are more par for the course. Still, one never knows what can be learned from people who have a history of doing well for their investors.

Really good article about the love fest between two great investors, Carl Icahn and Bill Ackman, which just shows you the investment world is full of the most competitive people in the world. www.nytimes.com/2011/11/27/business/will...
 
An interesting story on how Ronald Lauder uses the tax laws to minimize his tax liability, and has done so for a long time. One of the issues many people, including government regulators may not quite understand, is that no matter how you change tax law, corporations have enough money and manpower to do everything in their power to be tax efficient. If it involves sourcing materials from different countries, setting up plants in foreign jurisdictions, or creating elaborate corporate structures all over the world, nothing is beyond their means. The idea you are going to force multi-billion dollar enterprises to do anything is far reaching at best, fanciful at worst: www.nytimes.com/2011/11/27/business/este...
 
Another good story on Oil in Canada and how there is no end in sight for the demand from China, as well as the effect on the United States-www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-11-22/oil-ab...
 
Looks like the big banks are at it again, this time in manipulating LIBOR-www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-11-23/london...
 
Interesting story about Entrepreneurship and how it is not all some make it seem- which is usually the case-www.nytimes.com/2011/11/27/jobs/starting...

I hope everyone enjoys the articles and if you have any comments, or thoughts, please post them. Have a good week and more from New York in the next post.
 
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 charterholder.