I came across this post on the ten insane things that Wall Street believes in:
1. Falling gas and home heating prices are a bad thing
2. Layoffs are great news, the more the better
3. Billionaires from Greenwich, CT can understand the customers of JC Penney, Olive Garden, K-Mart and Sears
4. A company is plagued by the fact that it holds over $100 billion in cash
5. Some companies have to earn a specific profit – to the penny – every quarter but others shouldn’t dare even think about profits
6. Wars, weather, fashion trends and elections can be reliably predicted
7. It’s reasonable for the value of a business to fluctuate by 5 to 10 percent within every eight hour period
8. It’s possible to guess the amount of people who will get or lose a job each month in a nation of 300 million
9. The person who leads a company is worth 400 times more than the average person who works there
10. A company selling 10 million cars a year is worth $50 billion, but another company selling 40,000 cars a year is worth $30 billion because its growing faster
The last point is obviously about Tesla. Tesla’s market capitalization is almost $32 billion today. Put another way, Tesla’s market cap is over $600,000 for every car it made last year. General Motors $48 billion market value is equivalent to about $4,800 for every vehicle it sold last year.
Bloomberg asks the question: are you as stupid as your financial advisor thinks?
Investors need to be saved from themselves. That’s the conventional wisdom, and there’s some truth to it. Individual investors can have comically bad timing. They buy when stock prices are high. They panic and sell when markets plunge. They invest with the hot mutual fund managers just as the managers’ luck runs out. And what’s their reward? They supposedly underperform the very mutual funds they invest in by some four percentage points a year, or more, according to an annual study by the research firm Dalbar.
Lance Roberts of Real Investments Advice provided his perspective in his post on Dalbar, 2016: Yes, You Still Suck At Investing (Tips For Advisors):
- In 2015, the average equity mutual fund investor underperformed the S&P 500 by a margin of 3.66%. While the broader market made incremental gains of 1.38%, the average equity investor suffered a more-than-incremental loss of -2.28%.
- In 2015, the average fixed income mutual fund investor underperformed the Barclays Aggregate Bond Index by a margin of 3.66%. The broader bond market realized a slight return of 0.55% while the average fixed income fund investor lost -3.11%.
- In 2015, the 20-year annualized S&P return was 8.19% while the 20-year annualized return for the average equity mutual fund investor was only 4.67%, a gap of 3.52%.
He also points out that:
The biggest reason for underperformance by investors who do participate in the financial markets over time is psychology. Behavioral biases that lead to poor investment decision-making is the single largest contributor to underperformance over time.
Too many investors follow the crowd and too many investors fear losing capital. What was a bit surprising to me is that there are not too many investors. Very few people participate in the stock market. Here’s why:
Unfortunately, between weak economic growth, stagnant incomes, rising costs of living and two major “bear” markets; nearly 80% of Americans simply are not able to participate as shown by numerous studies and statistical facts over the last few years:
- According to the Pew Research Center, the median income of middle-class households declined by 4 percent from 2000 to 2014.
- The Pew Research Center has also found that median wealth for middle-class households dropped by an astounding 28 percent between 2001 and 2013.
- There are still 900,000 fewer middle-class jobs in America than there were when the last recession began, but the population has grown significantly larger since that time.
- According to the Social Security Administration, 51 percent of all American workers make less than $30,000 a year.
- An astounding 48.8 percent of all 25-year-old Americans still live at home with their parents.
- According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 49 percent of all Americans now live in a home that receives money from the government each month, and nearly 47 million Americans are living in poverty right now.
- In 2007, about one out of every eight children in America was on food stamps. Today, that number is one out of every five.
- The median net worth of families in the United States was $137, 955 in 2007. Today, it is just $82,756.
From I, Cringely:
… cars could be upgraded to self-driving through aftermarket upgrades, which is how they did it in 1995. Truly autonomous cars, though, you have to build those babies from scratch.
So everyone is going to need a new car.
Mandatory replacement is a glorious thing for manufacturers. It’s like that box of baking soda in the back of your refrigerator that you are supposed to throw away every 30 days. The golden era of the record business was when vinyl gave way to CDs and we all paid again to buy the same stuff we already owned. It happened again when we converted our VHS tape libraries to DVDs and to some extent when we gave up physical media for iTunes.
It’s a glorious thing, the prospect of selling 200 million brand new cars and trucks over a 2-3 year period. And it’s coming, it’s absolutely coming.
We are doing some improvements to the AV system at our church including a new sound console. I did an overview video of the new board for our team of volunteers.
Very impressive advances in digital consoles over a fairly short period of time. This particular board packs a lot of punch for the money.
I was fortunate enough to attend the Tragically Hip concert in Kingston, Ontario. Here is a clip from when they first came on stage. Lots of energy in the room that night!
A friend and I were discussing the US Presidential election and he passed me this observation from the Age of Dryden.
I think we’ve seen this before. In 1681, John Dryden penned the following description of Donald Trump:
“A man so various, that he seemed to be
Not one, but all mankind’s epitome;
Stiff in opinions, always in the wrong,
Was everything by starts, and nothing long;
But, in the course of one revolving moon,
Was chemist, fiddler, statesman, and buffoon.”
[Pt. I line 545-550. – Absalom and Achitophel]
Part of our summer was spent exploring with our new Dutch Star 4002. We thoroughly enjoyed our time in Petoskey, Michigan, located in the Upper Peninsula, where we stayed at a beautiful motorcoach resort property. This was a shot of one of the coaches as it was leaving the property. The coach is very similar to ours. The one pictured below is a Dutch Star 4369.
We were located on site 4 of the park.
We enjoyed panoramic views of the property from inside our coach.
This was our view from the front of the coach.
Wonderful trip and wonderful memories.