This is a great rant/video from Bernie Marcus founder of Home Depot and head of the Marcus Foundation.
Friday, September 17, 2010
Monday, February 22, 2010
A fascinating and informative discussion on US Treasury Bonds. Robert Kessler and David Darst make the case for and against, respectively, US Treasury Bonds. While the arguments are ones familiar to readers of this blog, I am beginning to suspect that the truth lies somewhere in between, and it will be very difficult to make money in either direction. This is a 27 minute video from Consuelo Mack's WealthTrack recorded on February 11, 2010.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
In my effort to bring something completely different (and non market related) to the blog, I present Magic Sam in our "Greats of the Blues" series.
Samuel "Magic Sam" Maghett was born in Mississippi in 1937. He moved to Chicago in 1950 and he started recording in 1957. His sound was new and had a definite edge, and many called it the "West Side Blues" referring to the rough and tough West Side of Chicago. Sam gained local notoriety playing the clubs and lounges in this fertile ground for the Blues, but he didn't gain critical acclaim until 1969 when he played the Ann Arbor Blues Festival. Tragically - and this is the Blues after all - Sam's life was cut short when he died of a heart attack that very same year at the age of 32!
In his years, Magic Sam recorded only two records. West Side Soul (recorded in 1967) is considered one of the greatest blues LP's of all time. For Blues aficionados, this album often makes it to the top 10 albums you would want to have if abandoned on a deserted island.
For more on Magic Sam, go to this link at Wikipedia.
In this 6 minute video, there is a brief interview followed by two songs, "All Your Love" and "Sam's Boogie". Pay attention to the vocals, and also note that Sam is playing Earl Hooker's guitar. Hooker was another Mississippi native and West Side Blues legend.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Freddy King, known as "The Texas Cannonball", was one of the most influential yet unknown blues artists of the 1960's and early 1970's. Unfortunately, he died at the age of 42 of heart failure. King inspired many young white guitarists around the world including Eric Clapton and Peter Green (Fleetwood Mac).
King's record "Let's Hide Away And Dance Away With Freddy King" (1961) is an instrumental classic that every guitar player should aspire to.
To learn more about Freddy King you can check out this biography at Wikipedia.
King's vocals were booming and his guitar style was original, and this can be easily appreciated in these two videos. In my opinion, one video cannot do justice to Freddy King.
Freddy King plays "Hide Away".
Freddy King plays "Big Legged Woman".
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Even today, this is a very informative interview from May, 2009 with "three top-notch portfolio managers with different views and management styles. Mark Headley lives and breathes investments in Asia as Chairman of the Matthews Asia Funds. Steve Leuthold relies on his quantitative models to find values at the Leuthold Funds, and Steve Romick can go short and long in his go-anywhere FPA Crescent Fund."
Even after the initial lift off the bottom, these managers remained bullish on U.S. equities. However, emerging markets were seen as most attractive. These managers were unanimous on being bearish on Treasury yields. Japan received mixed reviews.
Overall, I found his another informative way to spend 30 minutes
Friday, October 16, 2009
A long, long time ago - B.C. as in "before children" - I use to be involved in the Blues music scene. This is another passion in my life. Over the years, I have interviewed the greats and written about their lives and their music. I always use to say that I grew up a middle class white kid, but I always wanted to be a poor black man from the South. Somehow living without dental insurance didn't appeal to me, but the lives and music of these relatively obscure artists did. In some ways, it was my passion for the music and writing about it that lead (in a very peripheral way) to the formation of Blues Revue, one of the best magazines around on the subject.
This is a clip of Junior Wells from 1966 singing his signature song "The Hoodoo Man". Junior gained notoriety as one of Muddy Waters' harmonica players in the 1950's and as a sidekick of Buddy Guy. In all likelihood, Buddy Guy is playing guitar in this video clip. The harmonica playing is impeccable; the singing sends a chill up and down the spine. Awesome!!
I have seen Junior Wells perform several times, and in the mid 1980's, I had a drink with him at Teresa's Lounge on Chicago's Southside. Back in those days, I was taking a risk venturing out of my comfy world on the Northside.
If you would like to read more about the life of Junior Wells you can go to this link at Wikipedia.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Another interview from Consuelo Mack and her series on "Great Investors". This comes from Cliff Asness of AQR Capital Management.
The host and her guest discuss quantitative investing. Asness views quantitative investing as a way to be disciplined, control risk, and control costs. It doesn't tell him what to buy and sell, but following the model does make him do a lot of uncomfortable things. It holds hims to a philosophy of buying value.
Asness also discusses diversification. His funds buy broadly across multiple, liquid, and global assets. He feels that assets that work to reduce risk are under appreciated by investors, and therefore under valued and more attractive. He discusses 4 assets: equities, bonds, commodities, and credit.
This is a very straightforward interview done in August, 2009.
Saturday, October 3, 2009
Another interview from Consuelo Mack and her series on "Great Investors". This comes from Peter Bernstein, who passed away in June at the age of 90. The interviews were taped in 2005 and 2007. Mr. Bernstein was an economist, financial consultant, and author of ten books, including Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk.
From the 2005 taping, Mr. Bernstein talks about how the "consequences (of one's decision) matter more than the probabilities." He believes "passionately in diversification." His take on investment opportunities: "the United States is very well worked over as an investment opportunity, so I think one goes abroad."
From the 2007 interview, he states that "we can't manage returns....but we can manage our risks." This is very true and very consistent with my rule #6 of "11 Rules For Better Trading". Rule #6 states: "Money management, money management, money management. It is so important that it is worth saying tree times. There are so few factors you can control in the markets, but his is one of them. Learn to exploit it."
The thing that worries him the most is the Dollar.
The interview is 30 minutes in length.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
This is the second part of the WealthTrack interview with Yale's David Swenson recorded in July, 2009.
He discusses the causes of the financial crisis, an "all weather" portfolio, TIPS and emerging markets.
Part 1 can be found at this link.
Monday, September 21, 2009
I was recently introduced to "WealthTrack", a business program on public television hosted by Consuelo Mack. I watched several of the episodes and was totally impressed with Ms. Mack and the caliber of her guests. More importantly, Ms. Mack asks the right questions and lets her guests talk. Ms. Mack is more concerned with her guests approach to the markets and how they think about the markets as opposed to what they are buying today. It's not hype, which is refreshing, and I got at least one nugget of information out of each of the shows I watched today. This is good journalism.
Below is a video clip of Yale's David Swenson, which was broadcast in May, 2009. It is about 25 minutes in length. An important point for me was his distinction between liquid and ill-liquid assets, and despite diversification, it was the ill-liquid assets that caused problems for Yale's endowment in fiscal year 2008. Swenson also had positive comments regarding Treasury Inflation Protect Securities, which I have written about several times over the past month.