I’m just getting into the book, so I don’t have a lot to say on it but I thought I would share some interesting quotes as I work my way through the book. Let me start with this:
“Nothing has changed during the 21 years we’ve been managing money. Government regulation and intervention have been, are, and will continue to be present for as long as society needs rules by which to live. Today’s governmental intervention or decree is tomorrow’s opportunity. For example, governments often act in the same way that cartels act. Easily the most dominant and effective cartel has been OPEC, and even OPEC has been unable to create an ideal world from the standpoint of pricing its product. Free markets will always find their own means of price discovery.” - Keith Campbell
But I think our ace in the hole is that the governments usually screw things up and don’t maintain their sound money and policy coordination. And about the time we’re ready to give up on what usually has worked, and proclaim that the world has now changed, the governments help us out by creating unwise policy that helps produce dislocations and trends. — Jerry Parker
“For the speculator, many new niches and many opportunity will arise. The government will be the ultimate slow mover. As they try to enter the market, as we have seen this last week, there are big waves kicked up. The least qualified populate government functions. Small and fast moving adaptors can thrive in such an environment. Seems that many big hedge funds are going down or weakening. The white shoe brokers are weak. The change will be good. It’s just like evolution and climatic change. New species will arise. Many will perish unless they adapt. Even the data itself is reinventing itself with data over a year old being almost irrelevant. As Lack says, regulation will be a joke. Every rule will create a dozen loopholes to exploit that the slow moving professors never thought about. THEY can’t control the markets. The big illusion is that government can cure the problems when in fact, THEY are the problem.” - Setting Main Street vs. Wall Street, from Jim Sogi
“Markets aren’t chaotic, just as the seasons follow a series of predictable trends, so dose price action. Stocks are like everything else in the world. They move in trends, and trends tend to persist.” — Jonathan Hoenig, Portfolio Manager
On a national level, our circumstances are similar to those of a philandering playboy who inherits a huge fortune and then proceeds to squander it. During the dissipation period, he lives the good life, and by all appearances he seems prosperous. But his prosperity is a function of the hard work of his ancestors rather than his own. Once the fortune is gone, so too will be the gracious lifestyle that it helped support. The problem is that most Americans, including most economists and investment advisers, have confused conspicuous consumption with legitimate wealth creation. Our impressive gross domestic product (GDP) growth, dominated as it is by consumption, is not a measure of how much wealth we have created but of how much we have destroyed. — Peter Schiff - Crash Proof [How to Profit From the Coming Economic Collapse]
Comment: I just wonder if this advice/common sense was offered and then continuously reinforced, if things could have been different… for the better? Endless post-mortems, debriefs and analysis of past behaviour and outcomes, yet we still keep making the same mistakes, never seeming to learn from them.
Here’s the latest sensational headline….
It is hard to believe political/business/economic leaders expect to solve years worth of problems in one weekend. If they can’t get things right when the heat is not on, I don’t really think we should expect them to get it right when we are on the “brink” of financial disaster.
And read the entertaining comments in the linked article above… very interesting and sometimes bizarre stuff.
NEW STOCK MARKET TERMS - by Lucy Schuler
CEO —Chief Embezzlement Officer.
CFO— Corporate Fraud Officer.
BULL MARKET — A random market movement causing an investor to
mistake himself for a financial genius.
BEAR MARKET — A 6 to 18 month period when the kids get no
allowance, the wife gets no jewelry, and the husband gets no sex.
VALUE INVESTING — The art of buying low and selling lower.
P/E RATIO — The percentage of investors wetting their pants
as the market keeps crashing.
BROKER — What my broker has made me.
STANDARD & POOR — Your life in a nutshell.
STOCK ANALYST — Idiot who just downgraded your stock.
STOCK SPLIT — When your ex-wife and her lawyer split your
assets equally between themselves.
FINANCIAL PLANNER — A guy whose phone has been disconnected.
MARKET CORRECTION — The day after you buy stocks.
CASH FLOW— The movement your money makes as it disappears
down the toilet.
YAHOO — What you yell after selling it to some poor sucker
for $240 per share.
WINDOWS — What you jump out of when you’re the sucker who
bought Yahoo @ $240 per share.
INSTITUTIONAL INVESTOR — Past year investor who’s now locked
up in a nuthouse.
PROFIT — An archaic word no longer in use.
I’ve been meanging to write this post for the last few months. But I’m struggling with the best way to do it.
So here goes.
I’m almost 40. I don’t consider myself old (denial?) but I’ve seen good markets and down markets. A few times over. After college, when I moved to Silicon Valley in the early 90’s the market wasn’t great at all. Then it was very interesting. Then it was amazing. Then it was ugly. Really ugly. I was there from 1992-2001.
When I moved to Boston in 2001 it was a tough market and only got worse in 2002 in many ways. Then in 2005 Boston/Cambridge started coming back with tons of great startups. And we have seen big companies like Google & Microsoft investing big time here in beantown. And now we are back in a down market. The cycle continues.
But the thing I can’t stand and it seems partciularly true of late is how some people turn inward or become really unwilling to give a helping hand when times are tough.
Suddenly calls go unanswered. Or patience grows thin. Sympathy goes away. We start things like FuckedCompany. Or some folks will only make introductions if you promise them something in return. Or people start asking (demanding?) compensation for something as innocent as advice.
I noticed this behavior with some folks in the last crash and I’m starting to see it again.
So I just want to remind everyone. We gotta help each other out. It’s not just about personal karma but it’s important for the entire startup & business ecosystem
And it’s especially true in times like this.
When we are in a down market we need to be more helpful to each other, not less.
I decided to go for it and buy the MacBook (2.0Ghz model) so I hit the Fairview Mall Apple Store with my Brother after work on Friday.
The store, which just opened about 3 weeks ago, was fairly busy but not as busy (where you are literally shoulder to shoulder) as I’ve experienced in other stores (like the Eaton Centre). That said, people were buying… it looked like iPods and the MacBook were moving quite well. Apple makes the buying process so easy… it’s so fast and streamlined.
So, let me share some of my initial MacBook impressions:
1) The unibody case is unbelievable. This thing is solid yet still lightweight. Line it up against the white Macbook, and you see the difference in construction. Apple has made huge strides here. If you are trying to decide between the white MacBook and the aluminum MacBook, I say spend the extra few bucks (if budget permits) and grab the aluminum MacBook. Cosmetically, there is almost no difference between the MacBook and MacBook Pro. Apple has closed the gap here.
2) The screen is nice… haven’t fully run it through any major tests (videos/games) but considering what I will be using this notebook for, I’m not a big stickler. And I don’t mind the glossy screen but then I’m saying that because I don’t spend much time outdoors working where the sun’s glare makes it more difficult to see the screen. I have seen a couple of companies selling anti-glare films, but I’m not sure I really people really want to mess with the screen.
3) The multi-touch pad is sweet! I have never really like trackpads because I would find my wrist getting sore and tired pretty quickly. I spend most of my time using a mouse but so far, I’m impressed and think that I could easily transition away from a mouse and still be quite productive. The multi finger gestures, swiping, scrolling, window dragging etc… it is pretty natural. Seeing the multi-touch pad in action, I don’t think Apple is far off from introducing a tablet or device.
4) I’m not really liking the keyboard… they keys feel a bit loose and clanky. Of course I’m saying this being a user of those thin aluminum keyboard, which is the best keyboard I have ever used. So might not be fair to compare.
Have you picked up a new MacBook or MacBook Pro? Are you thinking about? Let me know what your thoughts are!