jump to navigation

Reports of Us Gettin’ Some Learnin’ May Have Been Greatly Exaggerated April 26, 2011

Posted by geoff in News.
trackback

Hey Fey Folk: I’ve been wrestling for a while with what I’m going to do when I grow up, and I guess I’ve decided that I’m going to be an entrepreneur again. So I’m going to try to resuscitate my old company and be [Rex Kramer] in charge, the boss, the head man, top dog, big cheese, a head honcho, number…[/Rex Kramer].

This is going to require a small amount of time and energy, so blogging is going to be something I can’t do much of. Which brings us to the macroeconomics venture. I really want to do it, but I just don’t see how I’ll have the time. I apologize for being a tease, and I hope that somebody else can pick it up in my place. Please?

On the upside, if I get rich, I’ll buy you guys a round.

Comments»

1. kevlarchick - April 26, 2011

You could simply hire me as your assistant and then you can blog all day long!

Can we set up a convenient appointment to discuss salary, bonuses, company car, retirement package, insurance (health, dental, life, pet, prepaid legal, long term disability), vacation/sick/PTO/FMLA, and when I go to lunch?

Oh, and what type of business? I don’t do math. And I won’t cover my tattoos or remove my piercings. Drug tests are a violation of the Constitution, so I won’t be participating in those. If I need to dress “businesslike” you’ll have to invest in my wardrobe.

2. geoff - April 26, 2011

Can we set up a convenient appointment to discuss salary, bonuses, company car, retirement package, insurance (health, dental, life, pet, prepaid legal, long term disability), vacation/sick/PTO/FMLA, and when I go to lunch?

Absolutely!! And fortunately, we won’t need much time at all!

If I need to dress “businesslike” you’ll have to invest in my wardrobe.

*Decides to leave that one alone*

3. Tushar - April 26, 2011

Best wishes, Geoff!
Make sure you take advantage of every available tax break and pay as little tax as possible. Less money goes to those fuckers the better.

On a side note, I have left one wall st firm, and joining another next week. I have to say I have gotten disillusioned with wall st lately. Wall streeters are nothing but leaches on the productive sectors of the economy. Yes, yes, they bring liquidity and pricing mechanism and efficiency to the capital markets, but they are mostly into sucking the lifeblood out of every one. It is increasingly difficult to see the dividing line between big govt and big finance.

4. Mark in NJ - April 26, 2011

Best of luck, Mr Kramer. Will look forward to progress reports from Mrs Kramer.

5. Retired Geezer - April 26, 2011

Or… you could retire.

Worked for me.

*makes note to buy more Fancy Feast catfood for Wednesday Geezer party.

6. Michael - April 26, 2011

Wow, Geezer, you guys can afford Fancy Feast?

*munches on Sam’s Club cat food*

7. Michael - April 26, 2011

On the upside, if I get rich, I’ll buy you guys a round.

You did that when you were poor. I don’t really see any upside here for us.

8. Cathy - April 26, 2011

Seriously… (are we being serious here?) Good luck!

9. daveintexas - April 26, 2011

>> On the upside, if I get rich, I’ll buy you guys a round.

What the hell do I care? You did that when you were poor.

(seriously though, best wishes)

10. Michael - April 26, 2011

Yeah, best wishes Geoff. I’m even going to give you some free legal advice to help you get started.

Don’t hire Kevlarchick. She’s a sexual harassment suit looking for a defendant.

11. Mitchell - April 26, 2011
12. Blackiswhite, Imperial Consigliere - April 26, 2011

I’m even going to give you some free legal advice to help you get started.

Hey! Just because YOU don’t have to work for a living doesn’t mean the rest of us appreciate you giving it away!

*Calls the League of Sharks, Litigators, and Transactional Thieves*

13. kevlarchick - April 26, 2011

Sexual harassment suit? Nah. I was merely helping geoff recall the joys of business ownership.

14. Michael - April 26, 2011

Yes, yes, they bring liquidity and pricing mechanism and efficiency to the capital markets . . .

Try to remember, Tushar, that those functions are essential to our way of life, if they are done in anything close to an honest and transparent way. It’s not really a big deal if they fudge the spreadsheets and the fairness opinions a little.

We are not slaves to either planned economies (U.S.S.R, Cuba) or crony capitalism (Argentina, Nazi Germany, China today), thanks to the avarice of your industry. At the end of the day, Wall Street takes a small cut compared to the value that it adds. There is a good reason why foreign financial capitals just can’t displace New York City for the really big deals, even though they try hard.

Also, I can tell you from first-hand experience that the corporations with whom you deal are mostly well aware that you are a bunch of whores, and they are mostly prepared to deal with you as such. You may not realize this because we are polite.

We know, for example, that investment bankers will talk to the bankers on the other side behind our back. So we ration the information you get, and we talk to the other party behind your back.

It all works out. This game is not being played by children.

15. Tushar - April 26, 2011

Michael,

I am glad to know that the arse-f**king goes both ways. Sadly, small investors get boned big time in the process.

In other news, you will be glad to know that I broke down and bought an iPad 2. I remembered to buy one with AT&T plan, rather than Verizon plan.

16. Michael - April 26, 2011

Sadly, small investors get boned big time in the process.

Small investors, myself included, should be in widely diversified index funds. If they are not, they pay the price for pride and stupidity. In my experience, the stupidest investors are doctors. They have money, and they seem to just assume that they are smart about stuff they know nothing about.

I remembered to buy one with AT&T plan, rather than Verizon plan.

Thank you very much. Rest assured that AT&T values your business, and hopes you enjoy the fastest broadband wireless data network in America, along with free WiFi access at Starbucks and many other public locations.

[Full disclosure: I still have T stock options.]

17. Tushar - April 26, 2011

Michael,

That is what I do. But by the time a small investor gets is paltry return on his index fund, the hedge funds and wall st traders have already eaten all the cream, using high frequency trading and hedges and such.

18. Tushar - April 26, 2011

I generally go for S&P sector funds (avoiding healthcare), mostly materials, tech, manufacturing, consumer goods and energy. Foreign markets and emerging have been meh lately.

19. Michael - April 26, 2011

Tushar, you are young. Your investment horizon is 35 years to retirement, maybe 15 years for the college fund for your kids.

Invest in total market equity funds with some international exposure, to give you some FX balance (maybe 10% foreign stocks). You have time to ride out gut-wrenching market swings that scare the amateurs. Let the miracle of compounding work for you. Over long periods of time, stocks pay a real rate of return estimated at 6-7% after inflation (arithmetic rather than geometric average).

It doesn’t take a lot of money to make a boatload of cash. It just takes time and guts.

20. Michael - April 26, 2011

I generally go for S&P sector funds (avoiding healthcare), mostly materials, tech, manufacturing, consumer goods and energy. Foreign markets and emerging have been meh lately.

You are doing it wrong. You are a market-timer, trying to outguess the insiders and the pros.

21. geoff - April 26, 2011

You are a market-timer, trying to outguess the insiders and the pros.

I thought he was an insider and pro.

22. Michael - April 26, 2011

Consider, Tushar, that there are people who work full-time doing sectoral analysis, both within the finance departments of affected corporations and on Wall Street. They know how many tickets are being sold at Disney World. They know how many cell phones are turned on in the I35 corridor between San Antonio and Dallas. They know the occupancy rate of every major hotel chain. They know the rent-to-value ratio in every major real estate market. They are doing calculus on the market price of commodities like corn, soybeans, oil, wheat and coffee.

Do you really want to try to outguess those guys?

23. Michael - April 26, 2011

I thought he was an insider and pro.

If he were, he wouldn’t be bitching about his returns.

Or, witness this remark:

Foreign markets and emerging have been meh lately.

Meh?!? You are investing on the basis of “meh”?

When you decide, Tushar, that emerging markets have heated up, they will already be fully valued relative to their risk (meaning, the beta of the stock).

You are a long-term investor. Get a small slice of emerging markets in the mix, keep reinvesting no matter what because you are dollar-averaging, and wait thirty years.

24. Tushar - April 26, 2011

Definition of Meh: I invested in an India fund run by Morgan Stanley. After 5 years, I am down 18% (I did get dividends, so maybe I broke even).

Geoff, I am a IT monkey, not a business insider.

25. Tushar - April 26, 2011

I want to invest in emerging and developed foreign markets. Of course, funds only. I think I need to get off my ass and study a bit.

26. Michael - April 26, 2011

I think I need to get off my ass and study a bit.

NO!!

Don’t study that shit. You don’t have the time. You have super-cute anchor babies and a lovely wife and a career and a relationship with your Creator to worry about already.

Diversify your portfolio. Exploit your long-term investment horizon. Use low-cost index funds. Dollar average.

27. Tushar - April 26, 2011

Michael, yes, diversify, but even then, I have to determine a mix, and find the best funds for each mix.

This is what I think I am comfortable with:
20-25% in emerging, for example Vanguard’s emerging ETF.
40% in US Large Cap, but not completely in an SP500 based ETF. Maybe ETFs based on selected sectors of SP500.
20% in US midcap – maybe a SP400 based ETF.
rest for investing on my own. I have had very good returns when I invested in big boring businesses(CAT, XOM etc), I burned myself when I ran after latest fads.

28. Michael - April 26, 2011

I’m not kidding about Tushar’s kids. They are super-cute. I’ve seen pics.

I would adopt them in a minute, and raise them to be Lutheran.

29. Michael - April 26, 2011

Tushar, if it were me:

You are underexposed to U.S. large caps. Keep in mind that the big U.S. multinationals involve exposure to overseas markets and FX exchange rates.

For you, 20-25% in emerging markets is too high. They are very risky. Consider how Thailand and Korea melted down a few years ago.

You are also, apparently, totally not exposed to U.S. small caps, meaning, you are going to miss the next Google or Netflix or Amazon.

30. Tushar - April 26, 2011

Michael, I am thinking about putting them up for adoption. One of them bit me today.

In his defense, we were playing, and he got very excited, and bit me in the heat of the moment. It was his way of showing love.

Maybe I will not put them up for adoption. But they are definitely getting the boot when they turn 18.

31. Tushar - April 26, 2011

Michael,

I agree. Reduce emerging a bit and put some in small cap. But putting money in a diversified US small cap fund won’t let me take advantage of the next netflix anyway .

32. Michael - April 26, 2011

One of them bit me today.

Have you been feeding them with tuna noodle casserole and lime green jello with carrot shavings?

Huh?

I thought not. That is why you got bit. You are a bad father and should put those kids up for adoption.

33. Michael - April 26, 2011

But putting money in a diversified US small cap fund won’t let me take advantage of the next netflix anyway .

I’m saying, just buy an indexed U.S. total market fund, keep dumping money into it, and ignore it for 30 years.

34. Tushar - April 26, 2011

>>I’m saying, just buy an indexed U.S. total market fund,

Mind suggesting one?

35. Tushar - April 26, 2011

Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (VTI) looks like a good one.

36. Tushar - April 26, 2011

Michael,
I would gladly have you and Cathy raise them. As you know, I have no problems with any religion except Islam. I would be happy if they grow up as Lutherans.

37. BrewFan - April 26, 2011

Tushar, move to Wisconsin and all your problems will be solved.

38. Michael - April 26, 2011

VTI is good. When your account grows to the Admiral level, the cost goes down. That makes a big difference over time. People tend to overlook the effect that cost has on their own compounding, and instead chase the latest hot managed fund or sector (which is already fully valued or over-valued by the time they hear about it), and they ignore the long-term value of low cost.

It’s just arithmetic, but the results are exponential over time.

Plus, the academic research is uniform:

1. Individual investors (not full-time pros) almost always guess wrong and the market eats their lunch. They are always late to the party, whether it is buying or selling.

2. If you have a thirty year time horizon, you can easily be a millionaire. It does not take that much money. Just start young, stick with it so you are dollar averaging, ignore market swings, diversify, and invest in low-cost funds.

39. Tushar - April 26, 2011

Brew,

I just froze my ass in the biggest winter ever. Pardon me, but I would have to pass. I think I get depressed in winter and my productivity suffers.

It was 80° F today!

40. Tushar - April 26, 2011

Michael,

Looks like I can buy VTI Admiral just like any other stock in my stock account. I don’t want to open an account with Vanguard.

At what level does it become ‘Admiral’? Sorry, I could not find much info. May be I am not looking hard enough.

41. Michael - April 26, 2011

The reason that ice-fishing is a big pastime in Wisconsin is because, in the summer, the mosquitoes are as big as sparrows.

Winter is the only time they can go outside. During the summer, the mosquitoes will kill their babies.

42. Michael - April 26, 2011

At what level does it become ‘Admiral’? Sorry, I could not find much info. May be I am not looking hard enough.

It used to take $500K invested with Vanguard, but now they seem to have opened the door to everyone, even brown people.

Vanguard Admiral Funds.

43. Tushar - April 26, 2011

I once saw two Wisconsin mosquitoes carrying away a Chihuahua.

44. Tushar - April 26, 2011

Michael,
I guess I will have to open a Vanguard account. Buying through Ameritrade adds fees and crap.

45. BrewFan - April 27, 2011

Mosquitos posquitos. This is why the shotgun was invented.

46. Michael - April 27, 2011

I guess I will have to open a Vanguard account. Buying through Ameritrade adds fees and crap.

You can do it online in minutes, link it to your bank account, and you are good to go.

I assume that you are first maxing out your 401k or Roth IRA contribution, especially if there is any kind of employer match involved. For younger people in a low tax bracket, the Roth IRA is probably a better way to go.

Also, Tushar, my thoughts about stocks vs. bonds.

Ignore bonds when you are young. You have time to ride out the market swings and get the higher long-term returns of stocks. Keep in mind that the market pays you for accepting risk, and you can accept risk much easier when your investment time horizon is over 20 years, and you are broadly diversified, and you are dollar averaging.

Eventually, around the age of 50, you will have to buy a little electric trimmer to keep your ear and nose hair under control, and you will start plucking big fat white bristles out of your eyebrows. This is an early warning from God that you are getting older and actually are going to die. That’s when you should start thinking about gradually moving some money into bonds. Also consider putting some tax-free money into a Health Savings Account. Also, go to church.

47. Retired Geezer - April 27, 2011

Also, go to a nice Lutheran church.
You know, plan ahead.

FIFY

48. Michael - April 27, 2011

Thanks for the clarification, Geezer. That’s really what I meant to say.

49. Michael - April 27, 2011

Look, I want to make it clear that I am not some kind of religious bigot.

I have shown nothing but sympathy and kindness towards those of you who have been inculcated with false doctrine (i.e., any theology which deviates from Pure Lutheran Doctrine™).

Except maybe Dave and Brewfan, who are sometimes annoying because they actually know their Bible really well, which makes it tedious to explain the correct interpretation to them.

But aside from those two, I have been a pretty good sport about your various Satan-inspired heresies. Give me some credit.

50. Tushar - April 27, 2011

Michael,

I am not as young as you think. I will be 38 next month. But, your advice is solid. I have been pretty good with saving, and not so good with investing it wisely. Still, I have built a nest egg that most guys my age would be envious of.

Also, I applaud you for your tolerance towards us savages who wallow in false religions instead of following Pure Lutheran Doctrine.

51. lauraw - April 27, 2011

*eye roll*

52. Tushar - April 27, 2011

Laura,

was that eye roll directed towards Michael for his relentless promotion of Pure Lutheran Doctrine™?

53. lauraw - April 27, 2011

No sir, toward you for encouraging him! How are the boys? I read above that you were savagely bitten. Did the doctors manage to save your limb?

54. LC Aggie Sith - April 27, 2011

Getting back to the original point of the thread, I want to wish Geoff the best of luck in his business venture 🙂

55. Tushar - April 27, 2011

Laura,
I am healing pretty well. Had to down a few drinks. The little rascal probably didn’t even realize that he bit me. I just did some calculations about how much money I need to save to send them to college. I think I need another drink.

56. lauraw - April 27, 2011

I hear there are top-notch medical schools in Aruba and other places south of the equator where one’s tuition monies stretch very far indeed.

*pats Tushar on the back and pours him a drink*

Also, you could see if you could get them into some cereal commercials right now while they are still poseable and compliant and don’t understand what a paycheck is.

57. Michael - April 27, 2011

That’s true, Tushar. Start local. Your neighborhood Wal-Mart will pay for pics of cute brown kids in order to sell off children’s sleepwear that they overstocked with a rash order to Indonesia, and it is now discounted 15%. Just look at the advertising pages in your Sunday newspaper.

Don’t let the Mexicans monopolize the cute brown baby business.

58. Michael - April 27, 2011

Both of our babies were white and blond, which still pisses me off. I don’t see why Cathy could not have produced a marketable brown baby. She was just being ornery, in my opinion.

59. Tushar - April 27, 2011

ha ha ha!

60. lauraw - April 27, 2011

Seriously, those little Princes could move some cereal like- *snaps fingers* -THAT.

You have to do it while they’re so young they will never remember having had a life in sales.

61. Tushar - April 28, 2011

Laura,
when they were infants, a lady approached us in a mall, and gave us contact info for a modelling agency. When I researched more, I realized that many parents were conned by this agency. It was basically a very expensive photoshoot (couple of thousand dollars) with vague promises of some assignments. The reviews were uniformly negative, with no one reporting actually having landed a modelling assignment. I was alarmed and stayed away.

Speaking about their future, I would rather have my kids become minimum wage laborers than go and study victimology and grievance studies (officially known as liberal arts).

62. lauraw - April 28, 2011

I have a feeling that your kids will not be very susceptible to going all soft in the head like that, Tushar.

63. daveintexas - April 28, 2011

tigerdad?

64. Tushar - April 28, 2011

>>tigerdad?

I don’t think I will force piano and violin on them. Guitar and drums, yes, as long as they ask for it. They MUST learn to swim and ride a bike. Martial arts, yes, but only after a certain age. Having a black belt at 10 and forgetting all about it at 12 is ridiculous. Being brown, I don’t think they will have the body strength to compete in sports against white and black kids, but if they want to try it, I will encourage it. I won’t force them into spelling bee etc. They have to get a good education, and in their spare time, I don’t mind them sitting in class and listening to what the teacher is saying. Video games restricted to a few hours per week. Internet access shall be monitored.

65. skinbad - April 28, 2011

They have to get a good education, and in their spare time, I don’t mind them sitting in class and listening to what the teacher is saying.

Nicely said. And a hearty “well done” to everybody for skillfully avoiding Geoff’s plea to take on the macroeconomics discussion facilitator role.

66. daveintexas - April 28, 2011

Tushar if you ever let either one of em become a bass player I will come to NJ and smack you in the face.

67. Retired Geezer - April 28, 2011

Video games restricted to a few hours per week.

*silently thanks God for not making me a spawn of Tushar.

*fires up X-box

68. daveintexas - April 28, 2011

Tushar hates his kids and wants them to suck at video games.

69. sandy burger - April 28, 2011

There isn’t really any precedent for raising kids in the internet age. It would stress me the hell out if I were a parent.

70. kevlarchick - April 28, 2011

There is no precedent for raising kids in any age.

I secretly read my daughter’s blog daily. She currently does not believe in God, hates her body, listens to awful music, thinks her parents are idiots, loves bunnies, is a vegetarian, and wants many tattoos.

Nothing new under the sun.

Fortunately she is afraid of needles. Can’t even stomach the thought of having her ears pierced.

71. daveintexas - April 28, 2011

All teenage daughters think their parents are idiots. Occasionally, at least with regards to me and my daughters, they’re right, but only occasionally.

It’s not really an assessment from them so much as it is an article of faith.

72. lauraw - April 28, 2011

I secretly read my daughter’s blog daily. She currently does not believe in God, hates her body, listens to awful music, thinks her parents are idiots, loves bunnies, is a vegetarian, and wants many tattoos.

IB blogroll! STATIM!

73. kevlarchick - April 28, 2011

laura, heh.
It’s actually pretty interesting; there are almost as many f-bombs there as there are at Ace’s. The kids who comment are surprisingly witty also.
It’s kinda hard seeing your baby girl drop the f-bomb though.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: