Bank report is
even more sobering. Last year it ranked countries according to
their levels of support for the corporate world. This placed
America in seventh place in terms of overall
ease of doing business. But the US was ranked 46th —
yes, 46th — in terms of how easy it is to start a company.
This is worse than Estonia, Malaysia, Georgia and even France.
important reason for this dismal position is that in America
entrepreneurs need, on average, to navigate six different legal
and regulatory hurdles to
start a company. In New Zealand and Canada, which top the
league, there is just one procedure. The complexity faced by
Americans means that it takes them on average about six days
to create a start-up; in many other countries the process is
much faster and cheaper.
8/2:Really REALLY HOT
2014 was the hottest year ever but it may fall with days/months
like this. Disagree or not about our impact on Global warming,
humans are going to have to reinvent where and how to live in
the next 50 years. It is not going to be pretty. .'
Not going wel
economy of the years between 2011 and 2014 was even more
mediocre than previously recognized, according to the
Bureau of Economic Analysis.
of an average growth rate of 2.3 percent over those years, the
economy grew at a rate of only
and local governments spent less than the bureau realized
throughout the interval, as did the federal government
last year. When government spends less, its public
employees, contractors and suppliers are all stretched. They
have less to live on, and less money to spend in the rest of
consumers spend less, so does government. When government
spends less, so do consumers, which just makes things
worse. Government should spend more, borrowing money if
necessary, to break that cycle, the argument goes. Over
the previous four years, though, government wasn't really
EFM- The government poured billions into the economy=
which, it appears, is not the same as government
spending. I have to rethink the above paragraph.
Leveraged Loan Funds: Debunking the Myths
one study that SENDHIL
MULLAINATHAN conducted with the economists Markus
Noth at Hamburg University and Antoinette Schoar at M.I.T., we
tried to quantify the quality of advice on the market. We did
this by sending mystery shoppers to financial
Our shoppers received very bad advice, by any measure. They
were told to put their money into highly nondiversified
portfolios that were also expensive. That’s the worst of both
worlds: high risk and low returns. Perhaps most shocking was
when our shoppers started with portfolios that were well
diversified and inexpensive. Even in those cases, they were
told to switch to options that were clearly worse.
8/2: Real indexed annuity Apples and Oranges
So why do these have problems? Look at the date they started the
contract- 1998. They don't write these contracts anymore.
Entirely different with a lot of hoops to jump through. Each one
has to be very carefully reviewed for new terms and higher fees.
7/30: Only in America
JULY 8, 2015 SEATTLE EMPLOYEES ASK FOR REDUCED HOURS SO THAT
UP MINIMUM WAGE WON’T COST THEM SUBSIDIZED HOUSING
By jacking up minimum wage, Seattle has provided a valuable
lesson in liberal economics.
The plan has now backfired. Nora Gibson is the
executive director of Full Life Care told
KIRO 7 she saw a sudden reaction from workers when Seattle’s phased
ordinance took effect in April, bringing minimum wage to $11 an
hour. She said anecdotally,
some people feared they would lose their subsidized housing so they
have asked that their
work hours be reduced to remain eligible for all government
subsidies. It doesn’t stop at
$11/hour. The law puts it up to $15 starting January 1, 2017, they
will have to reduce their
work hours even more to remain eligible for handouts. Good thing
the minimum wage wasn’t
raised even higher, most would not work at all, they prefer to be
spoon fed and remain on
the government plantation. Remember free market
capitalism? Under that system,
the harder and smarter you worked, the higher your standard of
living. But that was found
to result in income inequality, so now we have a system where
wealth is bestowed by
bureaucrats, and working harder doesn’t always make sense.
Ben Hunt caution
divergence manifests itself first in currencies, because currencies
aren’t an asset class at all, but a political construction
that represents and symbolizes monetary policy. Then the
divergence manifests itself in those asset classes, like
commodities, that have no internal dynamics or cash flows
and are thus only slightly removed in their construction and
meaning from however they’re priced in this currency or
that. From there the divergence spreads like a cancer (or
like a cure for cancer, depending on your perspective) into
commodity-sensitive real-world companies and national
economies. Eventually – and this is the Big Point – the
divergence spreads into everything, everywhere. Some things
will go up, and some things will go down. But the days of
ALL financial assets inflating in lock-step … the days of
everything, everywhere going up together … that’s over.
lot of active investment managers, this is great news. For a
lot of politicians and central bankers – particularly
the weaker ones, either in resources or in willpower
(yes, I’m looking at you, Alexis Tsipras) – this is terrible
news. For investors? Well, it’s a mixed bag. Certainly it’s a
more difficult bag, where so many of the learned behaviors of
the past five years that worked so well in an environment of
monetary policy coordination will fail miserably in an
environment of monetary policy competition.
Carlo Simulation and Portfolio Management:
Monte Carlo simulation allows an analyst to determine the size
of the portfolio required at retirement to support the desired
retirement lifestyle and other desired gifts and bequests. She
factors in a distribution of reinvestment rates, inflation
rates, asset class returns, tax rates and even possible life
spans. The result is a distribution of portfolio sizes with
the probabilities of supporting the client's desired spending
launches continue at record clip, despite pullback in
flows. gven as flows have moderated, fund companies continue to
launch funds at a record clip. Many of these new funds were
launched in the multialternative, long-short equity, and
non-traditional-bond categories, each of which saw more than 30
new fund creations. The contrast of increasing fund launches
against softening flows suggests that currently supply may be
outstripping demand. As companies look to stake a claim in this
niche space, assets may not come as easily as expected. Fund
companies should also consider carefully the rationale and
potential market for new alternative funds. But looking ahead,
advisors and institutions expressed continued enthusiasm in the
survey for alternative strategies including multistrategy,
long-short equity, long-short debt, and managed futures,
suggesting that demand may strengthen in the future.
Interestingly, a higher percentage of institutions stated that
alternatives were “somewhat less important” or “much less
important” than traditional investments, as compared with the
previous year. Advisors appeared to hold similar convictions as
last year. gOnce again, diversification/low correlation remains
the top driver for investing in alternatives. The poor bond
market outlook was also a top reason to invest in alternatives,
as both advisors and institutions look to seek cover from rising
interest rates and low yields. gCompared with last year,
investors more often cited “higher correlation to the stock
market than anticipated ” as a top reason to hesitate investing
in alternatives. Respondents also cited “difficulty to perform
due diligence” as a top impediment. Alternative asset managers
should emphasize true differentiation of their strategies as
well as improved transparency. gHigh fees remained the top
impediment to investing for both advisors and institutions, with
half or more of each group citing fees as a top reason to
7/29: No that is not a chart of
2008. It is China's stock market right now. It's a
mess and WILL impact us. By how much is uncertain since it
still has bad news coming.
7/28: Delirium vs Dementia
(If you work with the elderly or even know
someone old, read this)
health problem is extremely common, has serious implications
for a senior’s health and wellbeing, and can often – but not
always – be prevented?
In my opinion, this is one of the most important senior health
problems for caregivers to know about, since families can be
integral to preventing and detecting this condition.
this article, I’ll explain just what delirium is and how it
compares to dementia. Then, I’ll share 10 things you should
know and what you can do.
is Delirium – Symptoms and Causes
is a state of worse-than-usual mental confusion, brought on by
some type of unusual stress on the body or mind. It’s
sometimes referred to as an “acute confusional state,” because
it develops fairly quickly (e.g., over hours to days), whereas
mental confusion due to Alzheimer’s or another dementia
usually develops over a long time.
key symptom of delirium is that the person develops difficulty
focusing or paying attention. Delirium also often causes a
variety of other cognitive symptoms, such as memory problems,
language problems, disorientation, or even vivid
hallucinations. In most cases, the symptoms “fluctuate,” with
the person appearing better at certain times and worse at
other times, especially later in the day.
is usually triggered by a medical illness, or by the stress of
hospitalization, especially if the hospitalization includes
surgery and anesthesia.
much more common than many people realize: about 30% of
seniors experience delirium at some point during a
post-operative confusion that seniors often experience? That’s
way your elderly mother with dementia gets twice as confused
when she has a urinary tract infection? That’s delirium too.
the common phenomenon of “ICU psychosis?” That too is
often confuse delirium and dementia, because both conditions
cause confusion and appear superficially similar. Furthermore,
people with dementia are actually quite prone to develop
delirium. That’s because delirium is basically a reflection of
the brain going haywire when it gets overloaded by the stress
of illness or toxins, and brains with dementia get overloaded
fact, the more vulnerable a person’s brain is, the less it
takes to tip them into delirium. So a younger person generally
has to be very very sick to become delirious. But a frail
older person with Alzheimer’s might become delirious just from
being stressed and sleep-deprived while in the hospital.
Delirium is Such an Important Problem
are three major reasons why delirium is an important problem
for us all to prevent, detect, and manage.
delirium is a sign of illness or stress on the body and mind.
So if a person becomes delirious, it’s important to identify
the underlying problems – such as an infection or untreated
pain – and correct them, so that the person can heal and
second reason delirium is important is that a confused person
is at higher risk for falls and injuries during the period of
third reason is that delirium often causes serious
consequences related to health and well-being. In the
short-term, delirium increases the length of hospital stays,
and has been linked to a higher chance of dying during
hospitalization. In the longer-term, delirium has been linked
to worse health outcomes, such as declines in independence,
and even acceleration of cognitive decline.
let’s cover 10 more important facts you should know about
Things to Know About Delirium, and What You Can Do
Delirium is extremely common in seniors.
a third of seniors experience delirium at some point during a
hospitalization, with delirium being even more common in the
intensive care unit, where it’s been found to affect 70% of
patients. Delirium is also common in rehabilitation units,
with one study finding that 16% of patients were experiencing
is less common in the outpatient setting (e.g. home,
assisted-living, or primary care office). But it still can
occur when a senior gets sick or is affected by medications,
especially if the person has a dementia such as Alzheimer’s.
to do: Learn
about delirium, so that you can help your parent reduce the
risk, get help quickly if needed, and better understand what
to expect if your parent does develop delirium. You should be
especially prepared to spot delirium if your parent or loved
one is hospitalized, or has a dementia diagnosis. Don’t assume
this is a rare problem that probably won’t affect your family.
Delirium can make a person quieter.
people often think of delirium as a state of agitation or
restlessness, many older delirious people get quieter instead.
This is called hypoactive delirium. It’s still linked with
difficulty focusing the attention, fluctuating symptoms, and
worse than usual thinking. It’s also linked with poor
outcomes. But it is of course harder for people to notice,
since there’s little “raving” or restlessness to catch
to do: Be
alert to those signs of difficulty focusing and
worse-than-usual confusion, even if your parent seems quiet
and isn’t agitated. Tell the hospital staff if you think your
parent may be having hypoactive delirium. In the hospital,
it’s normal for seniors to be tired. It’s not normal for them
to have a lot more difficulty than usual making sense of what
you say to them.
Delirium is often missed by hospital staff.
the fact that delirium is extremely common, it is often missed
in seniors, with some reports estimating being missed 70% of
the time. That’s because busy hospital staff will have trouble
realizing that an older person’s confusion is new or
worse-than-usual. This is especially true for people who
either look quite old – in which case hospital staff may
assume the senior has Alzheimer’s – or have a diagnosis of
dementia in their chart.
to do: You
must be prepared to speak up if you notice that your parent
isn’t in his or her usual state of mind. Hypoactive delirium
is especially easy for hospital staff to miss. Hospitals are
trying to improve delirium prevention and detection, but we
all benefit when families help out. Remember, no hospital
person knows your parent the way that you do.
Delirium can be the only outward sign of a potentially life
delirium can be brought on or worsened by “little things” such
as sleep-deprivation or untreated constipation, it can also be
the sign of a very serious medical problem. For instance,
older adults have been known to become delirious in response
to urinary tract infections, pneumonias, and heart attacks. In
general, it tends to be older seniors with dementia who are
most likely to show delirium as the only outward symptom of a
very serious medical illness.
to do: Again,
if you notice new or worse-than-usual mental functioning, you
must bring it up and get your parent medically evaluated
without delay. For seniors who are at home or in
assistedliving, you should call the primary care doctor’s
office, so that a nurse or doctor can help you determine
whether you need an urgent care visit versus an emergency room
Delirium often has multiple underlying causes.
seniors with delirium, we often end up identifying several
problems that collectively might be overwhelming an older
person’s mental resilience. Along with serious medical
illnesses, common contributors/causes for delirium include
medication side-effects (especially medications that are
sedating or affect brain function), anesthesia, blood
electrolyte imbalances, sleep-deprivation, lack of hearing
aids and glasses, and uncontrolled pain or constipation.
Substance abuse or withdrawl can also provoke delirium.
to do: To
prevent delirium, learn about common contributors and try to
avoid them or manage them proactively. For instance, if you
have a choice regarding where to hospitalize your parent, some
hospitals have “acute care for elders” units that try to
minimize sleep-deprivation and other hospital-related
stressors. If your parent does develop delirium, realize that
there is often not a single “smoking gun” when it comes to
delirium. A good delirium evaluation will attempt to identify
and correct as many factors as possible.
Delirium is diagnosed by clinical evaluation.
diagnose delirium, a doctor first has to notice – or be
alerted to – the fact that a senior may not be in his or her
usual state of mind. Experts recommend that doctors then use
the Confusion Assessment Method (CAM), which describes four
features that doctors must assess. Delirium can be diagnosed
if a senior’s symptoms include “acute onset and fluctuating
course,” “difficulty paying attention,” and then either
“disorganized thinking” or “altered level of consciousness.”
can’t be diagnosed by lab tests or scans. However, if a senior
is diagnosed with delirium, doctors generally should order
tests and review medications, in order to identify factors
that have caused or worsened the delirium.
to do: Again,
the most important thing for you to do is to get help for your
loved one if you notice worse-than-usual confusion or
difficulty focusing. Although families have historically not
had a major role in delirium diagnosis, delirium experts have
developed a family version of the CAM (FAM-CAM), which is
designed for non-clinicians and has been shown to help detect
Delirium is treated by identifying and reversing triggers,
and providing supportive care.
treatment requires a care team to take a three-pronged
approach. First, they must identify and reverse the illness or
problems provoking the delirium. Second, they have to manage
any agitation or restless behavior, which can be tricky since
a fair number of sedating medications can worsen delirium.
Furthermore, the once-popular practice of physically
restraining agitated seniors has been shown to sometimes
worsen delirium, and should be avoided if possible. And third,
they’ll need to provide general supportive care to help the
brain and body recover.
to do: The
reassuring presence of family is often key to providing a
supportive environment that promotes delirium recovery. You
can also help by making sure your loved one has glasses and
hearing aids, and by alerting the doctors if you notice pain
or constipation.Ask the clinical team how you can assist, if
restlessness or agitation is an issue. Bear in mind that
physical restraints should be avoided, as there are generally
safer ways to manage agitation in delirium.
It can take seniors a long time to fully recover from
people are noticeably better within a few days once the
delirium triggers have been addressed. But it can take weeks,
or evenmonths, for some seniors to fully recover.
instance, a study of senior heart surgery patients found that
delirium occurred in 46% of the seniors. After 6 months, 40%
of seniors who’d had delirium still hadn’t recovered to their
pre-hospital cognitive abilities.
to do: If
your parent or someone you love is diagnosed with delirium,
don’t be surprised if it takes quite a while for him or her to
fully recover. It’s good to be prepared to offer extra help
during this period of time. You can facilitate recovery by
creating a restful recuperation environment that minimizes
mental stress and promotes physical well-being.
Delirium has been associated with accelerated cognitive
decline and with developing dementia.
is unfortunate, but true, especially in people who already
have Alzheimer’s or a similar dementia.A 2009 study found that
in such seniors, delirium during hospitalization is linked to
a much faster cognitive decline in the following year. A 2012
study reached similar conclusions, estimating that cognition
declined about twice as quickly after delirium in the
seniors who don’t have dementia, studies have found that
delirium increases the risk of later developing dementia.
to do: Experts
aren’t sure what can be done to counter this unfortunate
consequence of delirium, other than to try to optimize brain
well-being in general. (For this, I suggest avoiding risky
medications, getting enough exercise and sleep, being socially
and intellectually active, and avoiding future delirium if
possible.) The main thing to know is that delirium has serious
consequences, so it’s often worth it for a family to be
careful about surgery in an older person, and it’s good to
learn about delirium prevention (see below).
Delirium is preventable, although not all cases can be
estimate that delirium is preventable in about 40% of cases.
Preventive strategies are meant to reduce stress and strain on
an older person, and also try to minimize delirium triggers,
such as uncontrolled pain or risky medications.
the hospital setting, programs such as the Hospital Elder Life
Program (HELP) for Prevention of Delirium have been shown to
work. The HELP website has a section for family caregivers,
which includes tips on how to prevent delirium. For instance,
families can help reorient a relative in the hospital, ensure
that glasses and hearing aids are available, and provide a
reassuring presence to counter the stress of the hospital
is known about preventing delirium in the home setting.
However, since taking anticholinergic medications (such as
sedating antihistamines) has been linked with hospitalizations
for confusion, you can probably prevent delirium by learning
to spot risky medications your parent might be taking.
to do: To
prevent hospital delirium, carefully weigh the risks and
benefits before proceeding with elective surgery. If your
parent must be hospitalized, choose a facility using the HELP
program or with an Acute Care for Elders unit if possible. Be
sure to read HELP’s tips for families on preventing hospital
delirium is common and can be the only outward sign of a
serious medical problem.
fees may be over the top
2004, Ali Hortacsu and Chad Syverson, economists at the
University of Chicago, found that index funds had as much
variability in fees as their more labor-intensive actively
managed counterparts. And these fees are nothing to be
scoffed at — paying 1 percent more every single year in
fees can compound over a lifetime to noticeably lower
Balduzzi and Jonathan Reuter found and reported in a recent
paper, some target
date funds may already be taking an expansive view of what
it means to invest in equities: They seem to produce a
wide range of returns and risks across the year.
EFM- Anyone know the real reason why target date funds
might be the bane of retirees for up to two decades????
Buffett indicator,” which compares the value of the
stock market with the size of U.S. gross domestic product,
suggests stocks are overvalued by nearly 100%. (It is known as
the Buffett indicator because the fabled investor has
sometimes offered it as a rough rule of thumb about the
market.) But there are issues with this indicator, as the bank
acknowledges. These days, big U.S. companies such as Apple AAPL, -0.53% and Exxon
Mobil XOM, -1.48% are so
global that it makes little sense to compare them solely with
the U.S. economy.
a popular industry on Wall Street these days that consists of
mocking any measure that suggests the stock market is
expensive. Every time share prices rise, after all, the
skeptics look even more foolish. But markets can be overvalued
for many years before they correct.
One part one Niner
one part two
Don Ellis was one of the finest trumpeters and arrangers for
big band that ever lived. He was 40 years ahead of his time
when he died in the late 70s. He is still 40 years ahead
and quality of life
I have a friend dying of cancer now and chemo and radiation
did help initially. But then he and his wife said enough and
they will let his life run its course.
the intuitive sense that any treatment is better than
none, there is not much evidence that chemotherapy is the
right choice —and it may very well be the wrong one.
Prigerson’s analysis showed that these patients experience
a drop in their quality of life if they get chemo, and
that they are therefore worse off than if they hadn’t
opted for the treatment.
On measures of things like whether they could continue
to walk on their own and take care of themselves and
keep up with their daily activities, those on
chemotherapy reported marked declines compared to
patients who opted not to receive more chemo.
Better Way to Die
the end of life in every case as a medical emergency, rather
than as a moment to seek comfort and dignity, runs contrary to
most people’s wishes. In one survey, 70 percent of
Californians said they would prefer to die at home; just one
in three do. In another, more than 80 percent of patients with
chronic disease said they wanted to avoid hospitalization or
intensive care when they died.
of Americans say patients should sometimes be allowed to die.
More than half said they would want their doctors to let them
die if they had a disease with no hope of improvement that
left them totally dependent on others for care; just one-third
said they had put those wishes in writing.
my issues ho further. And that involves Alzheimers. Billions
are spent allowing those who have no concept not only to their
families but even to the concept of living as well. In the
latter stages, it reflects no dignity at all. Many elderly
will soon opt for assisted suciide by 2030 and the bulk of
citizens by 2050.
3 simple rules will explain 99% of human behavior 1:
Most people don’t think. 2: Some people are jerks. 3: Everyone
is selling something.
Are Stocks Overvalued? A Survey of Equity Valuation Models
Detailed analysis and charts.
EFM- I still have a problem with relying on any one analysis
because all bets are off with a fabricated economy due to
you smarter than a financial adviser? Test yourself (Series 65 license)
doctors, lawyers or engineers for insight, financial
advisers are looked upon to help guide you through the
chaos of personal finance.
settled on the Series 65 Uniform Investment Advisor Law
Exam, which allows one to become an Investment Advisor
Representative, a common financial adviser designation,
and one of the highest designations achievable
personal take away studying this section — if you’ve
taken a basic economics class in college, know basic
statistics and frequently read about the economy on news
& media you’ve got most of it covered.
Securities Administrators Association (NASAA). which runs the
certification, the Series 65
3 hours, contains 130 relevant test questions and requires a
72%, or 94 correct, result to pass.
If a bond with a face value of $1,000 is bought for $920,
you say the bond traded at:
The total return of an investment includes each of the
following elements except:
Appreciation or depreciation
Which of the following statements about investment risk are
Standard deviation is a measure of total risk
Market risk is also known as unsystematic risk
Unsystematic risk can be greatly reduced through
Beta is a measure of systematic, non-diversifiable risk
a, c and d
b, c, and d
a and b only
a, b, and d
What level of investment income generated by an REIT must be
distributed to shareholders?
Which of the following best describes American Depository
Trade U.S. securities in foreign markets
Trade foreign securities in U.S. markets
An option to purchase a stated number of shares of a common
stock at a stated price
Fixed income security portfolio managed by a corporate trustee
Which of the following are key advantages of annuity
Earnings are distributed tax-free
Tax deferral and compounding
Guaranteed income for life
b and d only
a and c only
b and c only
b, c, and d
Each of the following investment types is permitted within
an IRA except:
U.S. gold coins
You have helped Rusty develop an asset allocation model for
his portfolio. Over time, his ratio of equities to fixed
income has deviated from the original agreed investment
policy statement. The process of shifting assets from one
asset class to another in order to maintain the original
asset allocation is called?
Allen (a single father) comes to you for investment advice;
he is looking to purchase a house for him and his son in the
next 2 to 3 years. He has saved $20,000 in a savings account
(this is his only savings), but he wants to receive a decent
return. Which of the following are true?
Allen should have adequate insurance coverage prior to his
You must be concerned with capital preservation when investing
Allen should postpone his purchase for another 5 years, so you
can invest him in stocks
You should buy speculative stocks to get him a higher rate of
a and d only
a and b only
b and c only
c and d only
Investment advisors may base their compensation on which of
the following arrangements?
A fee based on percentage of capital appreciation in an
A flat hourly fee
An annual retainer
A wrap fee that combines asset management charges and
transactional fees into a single annual fee
a and d
c and d
b, c and d
b and c
Which of the following would be excluded from registration
under the Investment Advisors Act of 1940?
An adviser maintains a listing in the telephone directory as
an investment adviser
Adviser has less than five clients in each state with $40
million assets under management
Adviser has all clients in one state and does not give advice
on securities listed on a national exchange
All of the above
D. 2) D. 3) E. 4) A. 5) B. 6) G. 7) C. 8) A. 9) F. 10) G. 11)
global economies flourish and contract, the American
business world changes constantly. Companies
merge and downsize creating pitfalls in corporate
reorganization that human resource departments often
miss or may not even be aware exist. One such
unfamiliar peril is that of disability insurance for
employees terminated following a downsizing or
agreements are usually considered and presented to employees
whose positions are deemed redundant in restructured or
shrinking companies. Severred employees are
frequently offered packages of continued salaries and benefits
for specific time periods usually from six to 24 months in
Employment regulations of many U.S. states require
that provided severance benefits mirror those of
current employees. The problem is that
disability insurance carriers in this country only
offer group or individual insurance policies to actively-employed
persons. As a result, most American
employers needlessly end up temporarily
self-insuring recently terminated employees.
This substantial liability created by employee
severance is completely unnecessary, but the
solution is “severance disability insurance” which
is designed to allay the expenses typically involved
in the disablement of a former employee.
International offers the Severance
Disability Insurance plan which is
a unique product and service for the business
world. Underwriters provide a road map for
human resource managers and business owners, helping
arrange the necessary and promised benefits to
financially protect both terminated employees and
their diligent employers. The plan relieves
corporations from potentially costly financial
liabilities should severed employees become disabled
while under the protective umbrellas of legally
binding severance contracts.
The product itself offers long-term disability
benefits that copy the group and/or individual
benefits sponsored by the former employer.
Policy terms are available to match the exact terms
of the severance agreement.
Weighs in – Again – on Fiduciary
outlined its concerns to the DOL in eight
comment letters in hopes it will be able to
give testimony at the department’s August
hearing. Among the organization’s concerns:
the prohibited transaction exemptions in the
proposed rule will limit access to financial
guidance, reduce choice and ultimately raise
the cost of saving for retirement. Using
data from actual trading patterns of
investors with individual retirement
accounts, SIFMA contends that investors are
already making competent, informed choices
about where to park their retirement assets.
percent of American children were living in poverty in
2013 compared with 18 percent in 2008,, with poverty rates
nearly double among African-Americans and American Indians
and problems most severe in South and Southwest.
children were raised in single-parent homes in 2013 than in
2008, and fewer lived with parents with secure employment.
President Patrick McCarthy said that particularly troubling is
an increase in the share of kids living in poor communities,
regardless of their own families' economic standing. The
report says 1 in 7 children live in those areas, marked by
poor schools and a lack of a safe place to play.
a surgeon's complication rate with the ProPublica database
This is a new service so you can find out about your surgeons
Interaction in Teams: Experimental Evidence on
Performance and Punishment Behavior
Jung , Seeun
(ESSEC Business School and THEMA) ; Vranceanu, Radu
(ESSEC Business School and THEMA)
This paper reports results from a real-eort
experiment in which men and women are paired to
form a two-member team and asked to execute a
real-effort task. Each participant receives an
equal share of the team's output. Workers who
perform better than their partner can punish
him/her by imposing a fi ne. We manipulate the
teams' gender composition (man-man, man-woman, and
woman-woman) to analyze whether an individual's
performance and sanctioning behavior depends on
his/her gender and the gender interaction within
the team. The data show that, on average, men
perform slightly better than women. A man's
performance will deteriorate when paired with a
woman, while a woman's performance will improve
when paired with a woman. When underperforming,
women are sanctioned more often and more heavily
than men; if sanctioned, men tend to improve their
performance, while women's performance does not
Real-effort task; Team production;
Performance; Punishment; Discrimination
C91 J16 M52
That Land Seniors in the ER
heart attacks, falls — these are the conditions we usually
think of as landing older adults in the emergency room.
But, seniors visit the ER for a lot of other reasons that
may be just as critical, such as adverse drug effects,
infections and COPD.
should be aware of the symptoms that are most likely to
lead to a serious diagnosis in seniors. If you have
seniors under your care, this is a list of 10 conditions
that you’ll want to pay attention to:
Injuries and Accidents
traffic accidents, even exhaustion — these
are the types of acute issues that most often land seniors
in the emergency room, according to the CDC.
of the most common symptoms reported by seniors in
emergency room visits are chest pain and shortness of
breath, both potential indicators of heart disease, which
is still the leading cause of death in the U.S., as
reported by the CDC and Discovery
mentioned above, chest pain can be a symptom of heart
disease; it can also be caused by other problems such as
heart attacks, injuries, blood clots, respiratory
infections, or even gastrointestinal issues, according to
the CDC and WebMD.
Adverse Effects and Complications of Medical Treatment
drug reactions are a shockingly common cause of emergency
room visits in the elderly, including unexpected side
effects, interactions with other drugs, or inappropriate
self-medication, as reported by the CDC and NIH.
disease, food poisoning and infection can all cause
abdominal pain or nausea; so can kidney stones, which may
result from malnutrition, dehydration or other
medical conditions, according to the CDC and Discovery
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
to the CDC, COPD covers a
number of conditions including bronchitis, emphysema, and
chronic airway obstruction. Fatigue, coughing, and
shortness of breath are some possible symptoms, as
reported by the CDC and WebMD.
is one of the most common upper respiratory infections to
land seniors in the ER. Signs may be milder in older
adults, and can include shortness of breath, coughing, and
confusion or delirium, according to the CDC and WebMD.
Urinary Tract Infection
is yet another reason why seniors should make sure they’re
getting enough fluids—31% of seniors arechronically
dehydrated, and one of the best ways to prevent UTIs
is to drink plenty of water, as reported by the CDC.
is the third leading cause of death in the U.S. It has a
distinct pattern of symptoms, which means a vigilant
caregiver can often prevent long-term damage if the
patient is treated quickly enough, according to the CDC.
pain is another symptom that commonly brings seniors to
the ER, whether the pain is due to an injury to the back
or neck, a vertebral disc disorder, or an inflammatory
condition such as arthritis, as reported by the CDC
7/19: THIS IS
WHAT RETIREES DO TO AMUSE THEMSELVES UNTIL HAPPY
heal thyself (financially that is)
recent blog post by one doctor perhaps characterizes
best why many doctors get failing grades in finance.
“Why are some of the smartest, hardest-working and most
responsible members of our society unable to create real
wealth?” the doctor asked. “The answer is two words:
financial illiteracy. Doctors spend so much time in
school memorizing facts, but receive little education in
basic financial skills that can provide a real and
lasting positive impact on their professional and
existence of a "liquidity time bomb" that he fears
will eventually "trigger a bust and a collapse."
The New York University economist joins a growing
number of observers who are worried about the issue.
Liquidity is the lifeblood of financial markets. It
measures how easy it is for investors to quickly sell
stocks and bonds. When investors get fearful but can't
sell their stocks, it causes even more panic.
Are more flash crashes coming? Roubini pointed to
several scary episodes to back up his case that
investors should be worried about "severe market
Investors around the world were spooked by the May
2010 flash crash, which sent the Dow Industrials
plummeting nearly 1,000 points in about half an hour
And then there was the "taper tantrum" in the spring
of 2013 when bond yields skyrocketed for a few days
after ex-Fed chief Ben Bernanke suggested ending
Just last fall, bonds had a "flash crash" of their
own, mysteriously plummeting in dramatic fashion on
one day before rebounding. One New York Fed official
even said reduced liquidity may have played a role in
So what's causing these liquidity troubles? Roubini
pointed to three major factors:
1) Herding behavior: Lightning fast trading makes up
an increasingly large amount of activity in the stock
market. This has led to "herding behavior" and crowded
trades (think: bullish on the U.S. dollar) that can
create chaos when surprises occur and everyone heads
for the exits at the same time.
2) Bonds are not stocks: It's important to remember
that fixed-income assets don't trade in super liquid
stock markets. They mostly change hands in illiquid,
over-the-counter markets. Despite that, as Roubini
points out, investors can cash out overnight. That
creates the potential for fire sales like those that
hit the mortgage bond market in 2007 and 2008.
can't go back again
would you do if you had a chance to go back in time and
ask one question to someone who knew your younger self?
Culturally, economically, and politically, much had
changed since I sat in those second grade desks. I asked
Miss Wilson this simple question: What’s the biggest
difference between her current students and the students
of my era?
a word (actually two) she immediately shot back: “Sesame
it’s made them smarter and better prepared when they went
to school?” I surmised.
she said glumly, “It’s made them harder to teach. They’re attention span is
about 30 seconds.”
EFM- When I was redoing
some videos last year, a very experienced friend said
that I "held" a page for the viewer too long and the
visuals had to go faster (or at least add more visuals
to the commentary). To put it in real life,
movies/TV almost always hold one single frame
for no more than 10 seconds. I tried several films-
and he was right.
did this play out in terms of financial
Remember “The Stock Market Challenge” or any other
similar massive open (increasingly online)
course-related investment game. It began with the noble
idea to instill stock market principles in the hearts
and minds of our country’s youth. Unfortunately, as
endorsed through the authority of the public school
system, “The Stock Market Challenge” only reinforced the
same short-term thinking financial professionals have
been trying to wean their clients away from for years."
The stock market Challenge/Game is real crap. It
basically has students buying and selling stocks and
funds as fast as they can to beat the other teams. It is
nothing more than instilling large amounts of risk. Sure
they may learn something but it's better to send them to
Las Vegas and try their luck there.
Fiduciary Advice Proposal Signals a Fundamental Shift
in DOL's Regulatory Method (PDF)
"The DOL's fiduciary proposal represents a fundamental
shift in the Department's approach to regulating the
retirement services industry... [T]he Department has
chosen to reformulate the definition of fiduciary to
encompass numerous types of sales activities that are
clearly non-fiduciary in nature under current law....
The 'principles-based' approach utilized in [the
best-interests contract] exemption may be a model for
how the DOL sees the 'next generation' of class
exemptions... And finally, the proposal represents a
dramatic shift by the Department toward the regulation
of the IRA rollover marketplace." (Groom
EFM- there has been nothing by any entity
addressing the competency of advisors. A series 7 or 65
Equity Glidepaths in Retirement
Christopher J. Rook
Dynamic retirement glidepaths evolve over time
based on some measure such as the retiree's
funded status or current market valuations.
Conversely, static glidepaths are fixed at a
starting point and selected under the assumption
that they will not change. In practice, new
static glidepaths may be derived periodically
making them more flexible. The optimal static
retirement glidepath would be the one that
performs better than all others with respect to
some metric. When systematic withdrawals are
made from a retirement portfolio, glidepaths are
often assessed via the probability of ruin (or
success). Our goal here is to derive the optimal
static glidepath with respect to this metric. It
is a result new to the literature and the shape
will be of special interest to retirees,
financial advisors, retirement researchers, and
target-date fund providers.
report found that 28% of adult Americans are either
unbanked or underbanked, and a separate survey found
that 40% of adults would give themselves a grade of “C”
or lower on their knowledge of finances.
much $100 is really worth in each state
and Them: Experimental evidence on what creates
efficiency in choices made by married couples.
Lopez Maria Claudia
(Department of Community Sustainability,
Michigan State University, MI USA) ; Munro Alistair
(GRIPS) ; Tarazona-Gomez Marcela
(Oxford Policy Management, United Kingdom)
A recurring and puzzling pattern with experiments
on intra-household behaviour is the common
failure of couples to attain the cooperative
solution. Using married couples from a low
income area of Bogota, Colombia we conduct an
experiment that raises the salience of the
family vis-à-vis outsiders. In this experiment
husbands and wives play a repeated voluntary
contribution game. At the same time each
participant plays an identical game with one
stranger in the same session. When investments
to the common pools are made from separate and
non-fungible budgets, most subjects contribute
more to the household pool than the stranger
pool, but rarely contribute everything to the
household even after repetition and
opportunities for learning. Efficiency is not
obtained. However, when subjects make
contributions to the two games from a single
budget many individuals converge rapidly on a
strategy of investing everything in the
household pool and contributing little to the
pool with a stranger. Overall the amount
invested in some pool rises. Our results are in
line with games played with individuals in which
in-group cooperation is higher when membership
of the group is more salient. They suggest that
strengthening family identity may raise
intrahousehold cooperation, but at the expense
of cooperation of interhousehold cooperation.
7/19: Frontier market indexes this year
Sri Lanka 2.41%
chart by Steve Oshins
Trust State Income Tax Chart
Shiller on Valuation
this year, a chart (replicated below) circulated showing
the average stock on the New York Stock exchange selling
for the highest multiple ever, above levels before the
tech bubble and the global financial crisis.
Returns in Local
MSCI, January 1 to June 30 2015, including
market indices are weighted by a stock’s market value,
so price movements by Apple at a market value of $750
billion have three and a half times the impact of
Coca-Cola at $200 billion and 35 times the value of
Marriott Hotels, whose market value is roughly $20
billion. In the chart above, every stock is given the
same weight, so that movements by Marriott count the
same as Apple. What this chart reflects is that among
the factors driving the rise in stock prices, smaller
and more speculative stocks have generally outperformed,
as access to cheap money has allowed some stocks to do
well that otherwise might struggle
the Right Place for Financial Education
already provide information about employee benefits,
have key information about employees’ lives, and are
generally trusted to provide sound financial information
and advice. They suggested information provided by
employers should go beyond the current emphasis on
retirement and other benefits to include education about
budgeting, money management, building emergency savings
and understanding the financial impact of health care.
we could all use some help is with an investment
strategy for the Real World in-between paradise and
doomsday. What we all need is a good perspective or
vantage point for differentiating between this potential
shock and that potential shock, for evaluating what
signals to press and what signals to fade. It’s not a
matter of predicting shocks, but rather a
matter of reacting to incipient shocks smartly and
of knowing, in the immortal words of Kenny Rogers, when
to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em.
start by makingthe
distinction between decisions under risk and decisions
In a decision under risk, you know the possible outcomes
of a decision and you have a rough sense of the
probabilities to associate with those outcomes. In a
decision under uncertainty, you either don’t know the
possible outcomes or it’s impossible to assign
meaningful probability distributions to those outcomes.
What’s at stake in the distinction between the two? All
of modern portfolio theory and all of mainstream
macroeconomic theory and all of econometric modeling –
ALL of it – is based on the assumption that everyone in
the world is making decisions under risk. Violate
that assumption – an assumption that is as deeply buried
and indecipherably written within the edifice of
academic economics today as the assumption that “a
nationwide decline in home prices is impossible” was
deeply buried and indecipherably written within the
edifice of $10 trillion worth of residential
mortgage-backed securities in 2008 – and your portfolio
risk analysis suddenly has a hole big enough to drive a
truck through. Game
theory provides a perspective and a toolkit to
distinguish between decisions under risk and decisions
under uncertainty. It can’t
work miracles by predicting the outcome of something
that’s inherently unpredictable, but it can identify the
situations that are unpredictable and suggest coping
mechanisms for dealing with them. And that’s a lot. It
can also highlight the situations where
you have made a category error, where you have a
misplaced confidence in your existing risk management
toolkit or perspective.
And that’s a lot, too.
when you have a 10% to 15% loss in equities. you still
do not know the ultimate risk of lo$$. But the
probability of such a loss similar to 2000 and 2008
should be indelibly etched into your brain... While
there is uncertainty how bad it might be, a similar loss
would be financially and EMOTIONALLY devastating. So you
do risk off with DCAD.
Such scenarios are identified in the videos coming
up. Been delayed again with
half-century ago Milton Friedman famously argued that
the test of a theory
is the accuracy of its predictions, not the realism of
its assumptions, and that principle still
The True cost
of health care by Belk MD
to Cover End-of-Life Counseling
would be entirely voluntary for patients.
doctors already have such conversations. But an opening to
roughly 55 million Medicare beneficiaries could make that
far more common.
And I was a fan or Kervorkian. If I get Alzheimers, I am
stock prices fall in the event of a disaster — and that
is an important risk that investors take into account —
that can explain why in normal times we have such high
returns on stock prices, which has long been a puzzle.
It can also explain why stock prices are so volatile,
because this risk is hard to calculate, and as
investor’s perceptions of it move around, that can move
around stock prices.
market volatility has been a puzzle for a long time.
What surprised me is that when we put this international
data from disasters into a model, we found it really
could explain the magnitudes of stock market volatility
that we see. Part of it is investors’ risk aversion.
When you have even a small probability of a 50% decline
or even a 20% decline, it really influences investors’
I think some people have a wishful thinking view of the
stock market — that if you just hold on long enough,
you’re guaranteed to get some of the high rates of
return that we’ve measured over the post-[World War II]
period, these rates of return being 12%. Well, that may
not be true. Now, this is not a suggestion that
investors shouldn’t hold stocks. I hold stocks and I
think for investors who have positive net worths, stocks
are an important part of the portfolio, but in
evaluating the risk, they could go down and they might
not come back up. (EFM)- Peter Bernstein noted many
years ago that teh length of time for a stock recoup
would be much longer in the future than previously
utilized- up to 20 years or more. Also that while
minor losses (10%?) have a negative behavioral
twice that of a gain, the factor goes up rapidly to 10
times (at least) when losses are 50%. And it is not
just the financial loss, it is the emotional impact on
family, self esteem, employment and so on.
by Thaler, coments by Seigel-
investors are unlikely to appreciate the extent to which
academics in the 1970s, when Thaler began his quest, shut
out all attempts to show how or why markets might be
inefficient. As Thaler notes, most papers that challenged
efficient markets were rejected outright by prestigious
journals, and the few that were accepted were accompanied
by “abject apologies [from the authors] for the results.”9 It was as
though the authors had announced to their preachers that
they had ceased to believe in God.
is right for the proponents of a good theory to defend it
from flaky, flat-Earth attackers. But, in the case of
efficient versus inefficient markets, there were good
arguments on both sides. The academic community should be
embarrassed by the long delay between Fama’s
groundbreaking 1964 study showing that markets are likely
to be efficient and the wide acceptance of market
efficiencies in the 1990s;
it was one of the worst examples of groupthink ever.10
DOL Fiduciary Proposals May Squeeze Complex Financial
"Proposed regulations from the [DOL] aimed at reducing
conflicts of interest between corporations providing
investment/retirement products and selling agents could
drive significant revamps of business practices for many
registered investment advisors (RIA) and the financial
advisors of broker dealers ... As proposed, the new
standards would greatly expand the universe of
individuals and corporations covered under [ERISA]....
The proposed rules raise the risk of regulatory
enforcement and or trial bar litigation ... Limitations
on commission structures could have a disproportionate
impact on the sale or fee structures of investment and
retirement products sold in the middle market[.]" (Fitch
moves international stock and bond markets?
(Bank of England) ; Enrico Mallucci
(London School of Economics (LSE))
We study the relation between international
mutual fund ows and the different return
components of aggregate equity and bond markets.
First, we decompose international equity and
bond market returns into changes in expectations
of future real cash payments, interest rates,
exchange rates, and discount rates. News about
future cash flows, rather than discount rates,
is the main driver of international stock
returns. This evidence is in contrast with the
typical results reported only for the US.
Inflation news instead is the main driver of
international bond returns. Next, we turn to the
interaction between these return components and
international portfolio flows. We find evidence
consistent with price pressure, short-term trend
chasing, and short-run overreaction in the
equity market. We also find that international
bond flows to emerging markets are more
sensitive to interest rate shocks than equity
Flows, Return Decomposition, International
Equity Markets, International Bond Markets,
CRISIS: OBESITY AND HUNGER
- The world is entering an era of global food insecurity
which is already leading to the "double burden" of both
obesity and malnutrition occurring side by side within
countries and even within the same families, a leading
food expert has warned. "It will become increasingly
common to see obese parents in some developing countries
raising underweight and stunted children because
high-calorie food is cheaper and more readily available
than the nutritious food needed for healthy growth,"
says the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.