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First world problems. Analyzed.

The high salaries of the Silicon Valley are not enough to send your children to college, buy a house, and retire when looked at alongside living expenses. You need to play the equity game. [more inside]
posted by straight_razor on May 27, 2013 - 212 comments

Skill-Luck Continuum

"We have little trouble recognizing that a chess grandmaster’s victory over a novice is skill, as well as assuming that Paul the octopus’s ability to predict World Cup games is due to chance. But what about everything else?" [Luck and Skill Untangled: The Science of Success]
posted by vidur on Nov 20, 2012 - 16 comments

Warren Buffett as Teacher

Analog, Warren Buffett and Digital Media - Why Warren Buffett invests in newspapers: " You essentially have a business that will make a lot of money if you are terrific, it will make a lot of money if you're lousy," Buffett said, "...how good a newspaper is depends entirely on the wishes of its owner. There is no correlation between profits and excellence," Buffett added, "there's really nothing like that in American business." Enjoy nearly a full 60 minutes of Warren Buffet's (all too rare) public teaching style in this recently uploaded video from 1992.
posted by spock on Sep 28, 2012 - 15 comments

"Female artists are the bargain in today's markets."

Conservative Art Critic Brian Sewel born in 1931: "The art market is not sexist," Mr Sewell said. "The likes of Bridget Riley and Louise Bourgeois are of the second and third rank. There has never been a first-rank woman artist.... ...Maybe it's something to do with bearing children." Top contemporary Art Dealer and collector Iwan Wirth born in 1970: "..Female artists are the bargain in today's markets...It's a constant source of disappointment to see the discrepancy in prices between outstanding female artists and their male counterparts.... [more inside]
posted by snaparapans on May 25, 2012 - 33 comments

Personal Finance on a Napkin

Napkin finance. Each sketch links to a post about investing. From a financial planner best known for losing his house.
posted by xowie on Apr 5, 2012 - 17 comments

Graphs of Stock Market Historical Ratios

Market Capitalization-to-GDP is an indicator described by Warren Buffet as "probably the best single measure of where [stock market] valuations stand at any given moment." Here is a historical graph of this indicator along with twenty other historical indicator charts covering the US S&P, Japanese Tokyo Stock Exchange and Indian Sensex indices. The indicators include P/E ratios and dividend yields. Also of note: which currencies are under or overvalued according to purchasing power parity.. [more inside]
posted by storybored on Mar 24, 2012 - 16 comments

Hetty Green

Best known for the (exaggerated) tales of her miserliness, Hetty Green was arguably the greatest female investor in history. During the 1907 Bankers' Panic, her loan of $1.1 million helped keep New York City solvent. Her estate - greater than that of J.P. Morgan's - was valued at more than $2 billion in today's money. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Feb 5, 2012 - 18 comments

Living Off the Land: Sell high, buy low.

Reivestments, surging prices for commodities yield tidy sums for farmers. Midwest farmers seem to playing a system to their advantage. May be of worth to small farms being pushed out by encroaching growth.
posted by goalyeehah on Jun 26, 2011 - 10 comments

Warren Buffett 4 Kidz

It's not uncommon for celebrities to get a cartoon. Billionaire Warren Buffett now joins their ranks with Secret Millionaire's Club, a cartoon about Warren Buffet giving a group of kids advice on investing, business and life. [more inside]
posted by mccarty.tim on May 16, 2011 - 28 comments

Unlocking money in pre-IPO companies

Employed by a startup? Working long hours for little pay but lots of stock options? When your company goes public you can finally realise the value of your options but what if the IPO is delayed or never happens? [more inside]
posted by Mutant on Jan 3, 2011 - 32 comments

Gold dispensing ATM machines

Gold dispensing ATM machines are becoming more popular. [more inside]
posted by stbalbach on Dec 17, 2010 - 97 comments

What Good is Wall Street?

What Good is Wall Street? Think of all the profits produced by businesses operating in the U.S. as a cake. Twenty-five years ago, the slice taken by financial firms was about a seventh of the whole. Last year, it was more than a quarter. (In 2006, at the peak of the boom, it was about a third.) In other words, during a period in which American companies have created iPhones, Home Depot, and Lipitor, the best place to work has been in an industry that doesn’t design, build, or sell a single tangible thing.
posted by shivohum on Nov 22, 2010 - 102 comments

The $22 Billion What-If?

Afraid that Jobs' wild spending and Woz's recurrent "flights of fancy" would cause Apple to flop, Wayne decided to abdicate his role as adult-in-chief and bailed out after 12 days. Terrified to be the only one of the three founders with assets that creditors could seize, he sold back his shares for $800. An interview with Apple Computer co-founder Ron Wayne (he also designed Apple's first logo). Had he held out, his shares today would be worth $22 billion.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on Jun 4, 2010 - 49 comments

Investment Green is People!

Kjerstin Erickson is a 26-year-old Stanford graduate. Would you like to own 6% of her?
posted by william_boot on Mar 4, 2010 - 95 comments

All predictions are wrong. Or are they?

Every year the Strategy Team at Saxo Bank, a Danish virtual bank, publishes a list of ten black swan class market events. Some of the more dramatic possibilities Saxo advance for 2009: crude trading down to $25 a barrel causing severe social unrest in Iran, the S&P 500 falling to 500, Chinese GDP approaching zero and several member states dropping the Euro. The complete 2009 list is here and for completeness their 2008 [ .pdf ] , 2007 [ .pdf ] and 2006 lists [ .pdf ] are also available. [more inside]
posted by Mutant on Jan 7, 2009 - 32 comments

Poor Little Rich Kids.

Influential billionaires like Carl, Thomas, Kirk, and Warren have been losing their shirts. And it's being felt around the world. [more inside]
posted by gman on Nov 20, 2008 - 65 comments

Those markets? Well, it seems they work like they are supposed to ...

Are funds calling a bottom to the US housing market? Even as house price declines are beginning to slow, home sales may have stablised and resales look healthy, big money - $5B here, $3B there, over there $2B and lots and lots of smaller amounts - is being deployed to take housing assets off banks balance sheets.

Meanwhile, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are actually booking the biggest profits on new mortgages since 1998. It ain't over 'til it's over, but in the markets you take what you can get.
posted by Mutant on Aug 28, 2008 - 39 comments

The Material Girl is now a tangible investment

Follow the money: for the past year, the big trade was short bank stocks, and use the cash to go long oil. Massively profitable, but now that trade is unwinding. So where is the big money being invested now? Lots of places: diamonds, fine art, guitars, and Madonna.
posted by Mutant on Aug 20, 2008 - 36 comments

Sir John Templeton, 1912-2008, RIP and thank you for the investing lessons.

The simple phrase "it's different this time" are the four most expensive words in the English language. Sir John Templeton, 1912-2008, we thank you for this lesson and countless others. [more inside]
posted by Mutant on Jul 9, 2008 - 67 comments

He didn’t pay attention to man’s law or God’s law

From the diamond to the street (literally) to your mailbox, one thing is absolutely certain: Nails never fails.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Mar 21, 2008 - 18 comments

Buy Platinum (if you can afford $1800 per ounce)

Jewelers, engine parts manufacturers, and most of all, investors are watching as platinum hits an all time high, topping $1800 per ounce. An electic supply crisis in South Africa is to blame/thank for this unprecedented rise as mines are facing limits to the amount of electricity they can use. A mining analyst said it could eventually top $2000/oz.
posted by JD Rucker on Feb 4, 2008 - 20 comments

Unusual IRA investments

Sure, you can make your IRA contribution just before the deadline this year in plain old mutual funds, but did you know it is possible to put retirement money into Costa Rican hardwoods? Or income properties or perhaps even Chinese currency (not much yield there)? You can set up a self-directed IRA, where you choose the investments, which opens up quite a range of possibilities and perils. The dangers are obvious, and be sure watch the fees, though, and, of course, consult with your legal, tax, and financial advisors first.
posted by Adamchik on Apr 13, 2007 - 7 comments

Learn About the Stock Market While Wasting Time Online

Want to learn about investing? Morningstar, an independent investment researcher, is offering 172 free online "classes" on stocks, bonds, funds, and portfolio building. And there's nifty quizzes at the end of each lesson where you can earn points that can be used for Morningstar products.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero on Jan 9, 2007 - 20 comments

Dilbert's Rules for Investing

Everything you need to know about investing in 129 words.
posted by alms on Oct 15, 2006 - 58 comments

October Surprise

Something wicked this way comes. There are a huge number of October 6th put options for the big indexes, just like the massive put options that took place just prior to 911. Fear the "October Surprise."
posted by augustweed on Oct 1, 2006 - 44 comments

Peronal finances, or how I learned to stop worrying and invest in a 401k

Get Rich Slowly, a personal finance web site (created by our jdroth), has been educational to someone who spent most of his life until now pretending financial matters don't exist. His blog is updated frequently, and contains insightful tips on living frugally, eliminating debt, saving and investing. Between his site, and another very educational site entitled I Will Teach You To Be Rich (start here), I've greatly expanded my knowledge about managing my money effectively. Perhaps most importantly, they're both consistently interesting and easy reads. [more inside]
posted by knave on Aug 1, 2006 - 73 comments

You can't handle the truth.

Truth Markets. Invest in truthiness.
posted by I Love Tacos on Apr 6, 2006 - 32 comments

Popularity, therefore Authority?

John T. Reed’s analysis of Robert T. Kiyosaki’s book 'Rich Dad, Poor Dad'. [cache] Kiyosaki has spun a business empire off his book, including follow up publications, TV appearances and columns that make suprisingly broad statements about what's worth doing.
posted by Firas on Feb 25, 2006 - 24 comments

Shareholder activism

Carl Icahn's Time Warner efforts find a powerful ally in "white-shoe" investment bank Lazard. Wall Street M&A advisors have been hesitant to support efforts by Icahn and his hedge fund brethren in their share-holder activist efforts for fear of alienating fee-paying corporate clients (investment banking, legal and registration fees on the Time Warner/AOL deal were approximately $300 million). By hiring Lazard, which is led by banking legend Bruce Wasserstein (1,2,3), Icahn is surely raising the intensity of his campaign against Time Warner management. Icahn has been successful in previous shareholder activist campaigns, most notably against Blockbuster (1,2), and talks a pretty mean game. Wall Street will be watching this closely - hedge fund activism is becoming a very real fear for company management/directors: Circuit City/Highfields Capital, Wendy's/Pershing, Bally's Fitness/Pardus Capital & Liberation Investment Group, Axciom/ValueAct Capital, MSC Software/ValueAct Capital (reg. required), Beazer Homes/Tontine Capital (second story on page) and more.
posted by mullacc on Nov 30, 2005 - 9 comments

In Bowie We Trust... again?

An unexpected side effect of iTunes. Remember Bowie Bonds? Introduced in 1997, bonds tied to future profits of music artists (besides Bowie, James Brown and the Isley Brothers offered them) tanked with the advent of online filesharing. Thanks to iTunes, some on Wall Street are betting that the Bowie Bond is a concept with a future.
posted by me3dia on Aug 23, 2005 - 16 comments

nyse marketrac

NYSE Marketrac, flash for investors.
posted by nervousfritz on Jul 27, 2005 - 15 comments

The Watchful Investor

The Watchful Investor "Bringing you the underreported, the underappreciated, and the overlooked news from the markets."
Jim Waddell created this frequently updated journal providing economic news and commentary, as well as a newsletter which gives more detailed coverage of specific market events and issues. Accessible and interesting, yet not dumbed down.
posted by knave on Jul 18, 2005 - 9 comments

Five Years After the Bubble

Five Years After the Bubble is a collection of ten links from the perspective of those who were neck deep in the whole thing. I found the link while reading up on Andy Kessler, who had an interesting piece in today's WSJ, and is giving away his new book.
posted by trharlan on Apr 15, 2005 - 3 comments

Hans Hoppe is in trouble.

Hans Hoppe is in trouble. Why? In one of his lectures at UNLV, the world-renowned economist stated that homosexuals plan less for the future than heterosexuals. According to Hoppe, homosexuals tend not to have children, so they have little stake in the world beyond their own time. Other poor future planners include the very young (no concept of the future) and the very old (their time is almost up). A student filed a compaint against Hoppe for his "anti-gay" remarks, and UNLV wants to issue a letter of reprimand and force Hoppe to give up his next pay increase. So should an economics professor be forced to consider his students feelings prior to presenting economic theories? As Hoppe fights back, the libertarian community voices its support.
posted by b_thinky on Feb 12, 2005 - 88 comments

One man's retirement math: Social Security wins

One man's retirement math: Social Security wins At the heart of President Bush's plan to sell Social Security private accounts is a simple notion: You're always better off investing your retirement money than letting the government do it. By doing it yourself, you can stow some money in the stock market, and over the long run will get a better return on that investment than today's Social Security system offers. The idea is broadly accepted. That's why the administration's plan to partially privatize the system sounds appealing to many. But that better return won't always happen. Just ask Stanley Logue of San Diego. For 45 years, the defense-industry analyst paid into the system until his retirement in 1994. But with all the recent hoopla over reform, Mr. Logue, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate, decided to go back and check his own records. Would he have done better investing his money than the bureaucrats at the Social Security Administration?
posted by Postroad on Dec 27, 2004 - 80 comments

Damn it Jim, I'm an Accountant Not a Cook

America's Black Budget - the Manipulation of Mortgage and Financial Markets Investors benefit from understanding the federal budget, credit policies and covert intervention that drive markets -- often overriding fundamental economics. How has the US governmental apparatus become so powerful in the marketplace and what does it mean to the health of our economy? How unstable is the mortgage bubble and where are the opportunities for investors if the bubble bursts?
posted by willnot on Jun 28, 2004 - 21 comments

Pop Goes the Bubble

Is a Market Disaster Immement? The Federal Reserve has confirmed [a] Stock Market Crash forecast by raising the Money Supply (M-3) by crisis proportions, up another 46.8 billion this past week. What awful calamity do they see? Something is up. This is unprecedented, unheard-of pre-catastrophe M-3 expansion. M-3 is up an amount that we've never seen before without a crisis
posted by willnot on Jun 2, 2004 - 45 comments

What is the future of the US stock market?

Why Stock Markets Crash : Critical Events in Complex Financial Systems. Professor Didier Sornette of UCLA has some very interesting things to say about stock markets. In his book, he explains how his "theory of cooperative herding and imitation [...] has detected the existence of a clear signature of herding in the decay of the US S&P500 index since August 2000 with high statistical significance, in the form of strong log-periodic components." Although his timing has been just a bit early, the theory, the predictions to date and the pictures are all pretty uncanny. This is easily the most interesting book on the stock market I have ever read and provides interesting and believable hypotheses about things I never imagined could have rigorous explanations. For an overview, here is an interview with the author.
posted by muppetboy on May 14, 2004 - 19 comments

Warren Buffett's Annual Letter

Warren Buffett's annual letter to his shareholders is worth a read.
posted by BlueTrain on Mar 8, 2004 - 27 comments

The ongoing debate about nanotechnology

The Washington Post has one of the better articles about nanotechnology that I've seen, providing both a view of the billions of dollars of investment in the technology, and the concerns of environmentalists and consumer health advocates. The article predicts upcoming regulatory battles over how and when this technology should be released. Perhaps one of the brighter points of light is that concerns have shifted away from the superlative grey goo (IMHO: if a grey goo was chemically possible, bacteria would have done it already) towards the possible risks of disease due to exposure. Rice University has a page devoted to current information on research regarding nanotechnology and health.
posted by KirkJobSluder on Feb 1, 2004 - 18 comments

stopping discrimination, part 5,394--Money Talks

"It's good policy and good business." NYC's Employees Retirement System (5 funds managing $78.6 billion in holdings) is targeting Fortune 500 companies to adopt policies that specifically bar discrimination based on sexual orientation. One of them, CSX Corp., didn't even wait for their shareholder meeting, but immediately amended their policy in response. These funds recently had great success after a decade-long battle with Cracker Barrel Restaurants--infamous for firing gay and lesbian employees because they don't “demonstrate normal heterosexual values." Here's wishing an especially happy holiday to employees of those companies that have stopped discriminating and hopes for many more to join in. More info on this "shareholder activism" at The Equality Project.
posted by amberglow on Dec 24, 2003 - 4 comments

UnethicalInvesting

Vice Fund. Put your money where your black heart is.
posted by srboisvert on Nov 8, 2003 - 7 comments

Space-time continuum abused for financial gain

Space-time continuum abused for financial gain Federal investigators have arrested a Wall Street whizz who made $350 million from an initial investment of just $800 in two weeks. The man has confessed to insider dealing, explaining that he travelled back from the year 2256 in his 'time craft' specifically to make a killing on recorded past stock plunges. The kicker? There's no record of the man's existence prior to December 2002.
posted by skylar on Mar 28, 2003 - 41 comments

Anti-PC investing.

Anti-PC investing.
Tired of all those namby-pamby "socially responsible" mutual funds out there? Me too. That's why I'm putting my money in the Vice Fund, the first socially irresponsible mutual fund. It started trading today, investing in companies that benefit from smoking, drinking, gambling and defense spending.
"It is our philosophy that although often considered politically incorrect, these and similar industries and products...will continue to experience significant capital appreciation during good and bad markets. We consider these industries to be nearly 'recession-proof.'"

posted by me3dia on Sep 3, 2002 - 34 comments

"Morally Responsible" mutual fund firm blasts WalMart for displaying Cosmo

"Morally Responsible" mutual fund firm blasts WalMart for displaying Cosmo
The Timothy Plan is launching a national campaign to get WalMart to take "soft-core pornography" like Cosmopolitan off its checkout shelves, or wrap them in opaque covers like Playboy. The group alleges that Cosmo and magazines like it are part of a "slippery slope. It's the initiation to hard core pornography, child molestation, bestiality and worse."
posted by me3dia on Aug 15, 2002 - 28 comments

Malcom Gladwell's got a new one in the New Yorker about a guy whose investment strategy positions him to profit from unlikely and scary random catastrophes like 9/11. Its' not on newyorker.com, but the story's subject was kind enough to scan it and post it.
posted by luser on Apr 16, 2002 - 8 comments

Invest now!

Invest now! The SEC has created a fake website to try and educate the naive. I can't decide if this is a good idea, or if someone has too much time on their hands and is wasting my tax dollars.
posted by FreezBoy on Jan 30, 2002 - 8 comments

Learn about

Learn about the Foolish Workshop at the Motley Fool and let the numbers decide which stocks to pick.
posted by MarkO on Jun 28, 2001 - 9 comments

Buffett calls Internet investing "a big trap"

Buffett calls Internet investing "a big trap"
If only many investors would have listened to Mr. Buffett a few years ago. Today, in Omaha, Buffett said, "But I think the idea that you could take any business idea and turn it into wealth on the Internet is just wrong." Common sense strikes again.
posted by shackbar on Apr 29, 2001 - 14 comments

An Australian Man who sent millions of e-mails around the world falsely stating shares in an American company would rise 900 per cent was today sentenced to two years in jail. The charges filed are believed among the first of their type made against anyone in the world. Mr Hourmouzis had pleaded guilty to two charges of making a false statement on the Internet.
posted by murray_kester on Oct 29, 2000 - 4 comments

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