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  1. You sure about this? The listing that Morningstar carries of his top 25 holdings (as of 12/31) did not include Bear Stearns. ...except that nobody bought it at $2 a share. While $2 was the announced price of the deal, the low price on Monday was $2.84, and the shares moved up rapidly from there. (Apparently there's a fair number of people who doubt that the deal will go through?) Not that there's anything wrong with a move of $2.84 to $5.91...still a pretty good week's work.
  2. Bear Stearns employees must have felt a similar sense of confidence, given that their company had shown long-term appreciation that had survived a depression, two world wars, a cold war and God knows what other national and world events. All that sure as hell changed this week, didn't it? Anyone who throws more than 10% of their retirement savings into any one company's stock is a damned fool. If Bear Stearns hasn't provided a good enough example, there's always Enron, WorldCom, Tyco, et al to look at. IBM's rise at 12% a year makes it a good investment for part, AND ONLY PART, of anyone's retirement savings.
  3. Buffett is on the record as saying that 100% of his wealth is invested in the stock of his company, Berkshire Hathaway. Insofar as Berkshire is a publicly listed company and that their holdings are readily available by reading their annual report, I think we can safely say that Buffett, indeed, is NOT a venture capitalist, even to the extent of a tiny percentage of his wealth. And you're absolutely right that he is a classic value investor.
  4. Looks like the link is dead. What did he say?
  5. Thanks, Tony. Here's my favorite excerpt:
  6. I guess this is what they call a "jump the shark" moment. Thanks for playing, Joel. It was fun listening to you back in the good old days, when you actually had a point.
  7. Oh, it's easy, Joel. Just repeat after me: "While I have disagreed with many of NYSUT's actions in the past, and have found their conduct reprehensible, it certainly appears to me that they are representing their members' best interests here." Really, it's not so painful to not hate EVERYTHING that they do. It's genuinely interesting to see you choose not to answer anything specific about what is said in this article that is so offensive to you. Apparently, the mere fact that NYSUT espouses something is sufficient for you to oppose it. Or do you not oppose it, and you're simply taking the opportunity to take the gratuitous s###### against them for past conduct again?
  8. Here's a link, but it isn't nearly as instructive as you'd probably like it to be. https://nea.securitybenefit.com/Com/NEAMB/R...?link=RetProgMF No word on costs or anything trivial like that, unless I'm just missing it. Then again, they don't go out of the way to advertise costs on their VA products either (though at least with those, there's a prospectus you can click to).
  9. Given that NYSUT doesn't make any money from the Teachers' Retirement System, how is this word of warning to retirees "self-serving"? Which part of this letter would you actively recommend to retirees: that they click on "phishing" e-mails designed to fraudulently obtain their personal information, or that they join the "free steak dinner" circuit in hopes of finding financial advice available to them at no cost from TRS?
  10. Not necessarily, DCA is a benefit to monthly contributions, but is not the only venue for it's usage. If you had a large chunk of money.. let's say 1 million, some people would be worried about dropping it into the market on day 1 - then seeing a market drop on day 2. DCA would help minimize the risk of seeing a downturn in the market shortly after a large purchase. The investor may choose to spread the buying across several days, months, years, etc. Some people are under the impression that DCA would help maximize returns on money invested. That isn't necessarily the case. It's main usage is to reduce risk. As you know, more risk = more potential rewards. Also, as long as the money isn't invested, the investor is losing out on opportunity costs of being in the market. Fair points, all. But I guess this brings us back to the inherent not knowing of what the market is going to do today, or this week, or this month. Invest it all now, and you're hoping it'll take off immediately (though if you can leave the money invested for 20 years, it matters a lot less what happens in week one). On the other hand, invest only part of it now, and you miss the market's gains (should they occur) for as long as some of your money remains on the sidelines. Either way, I think you make a good point: DCA isn't "always" a winning strategy.
  11. 12. Dollar Cost Averaging (DCA) strategies reduce returns in most instances. Unknowable future return profiles sometimes cause DCA to be the superior tactic, but not usually. All things being equal, invest resources as soon as they become available. (Greenhut) ********************** Odd. I thought the whole point of DCA strategies was that you didn't have a huge wad of cash available to dump in the market, hence the decision to take a little piece out of each paycheck and build wealth over time?
  12. So, again, my question: what part of what NYSUT says here do you disagree with?
  13. Is there some part of this that you disagree with? Or do you just reflexively extend your anti-union vitriol to literally anything NYSUT says or does? Just curious.
  14. A good article. Though not without its ironies: firstly, its publication on thestreet.com, a site hardly associated with the low-fee index approach that Bogle espouses here. (It's to their credit that they offer Bogle a chance to present an opposing opinion on their site.) And I had to laugh at the ads that appeared at the bottom of this stay-the-course, easy-does-it, low-fee index investing mantra. I've cut and pasted them here without further comment...thought you all might appreciate the irony as well:
  15. Thanks for the sentiment. Two things I'd say in response: first and most importantly, it's not my goal to do this along the lines of Buffett, which I think would be akin to picking up a bat and ball for the first time at age 40 and profess to want to play ball like Ted Williams. If I can do better than the averages, I'll consider it a success. The other thing is that I certainly don't want to applaud myself for a single decent year of investment returns...that, too, is something I have done in the past, clapping myself on the back for my magnificent and brilliant tech stock purchases in the late 90's. Man, did that hurt when THOSE chickens came home to roost. You're right that these purchases were staggered over a period of several months, so I can't say for certain how well I did. A glance at the numbers seems to indicate I met my goal of outperforming the indices, but by how much I just can't say. I'm not looking to build a "diversified" portfolio per se with my individual stock purchases. Right now, it seems clear that I'm concentrated in tech stocks and retailers. I went there simply because that's where the opportunities were. In fact, if I had any extra cash to put to work right now (or if I sold something), the company that looks most attractive to me is EBay, which would entrench me even more in tech stocks. And it's another purchase that's Buffett-like strictly looking at the numbers, and very un-Buffett-like insofar as he so rarely goes into tech stocks (and while it definitely qualifies as a "wide moat" company, it hasn't been around for enough years to interest Buffett, I imagine). I do hope that the next good opportunity presents itself in a stock that gives me a new sector, especially something like a REIT or perhaps a foreign index. We'll see.
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