State John Kerry - In America, "you have a right to be (as)
stupid (as) you want to be."
(But too many Americans are abusing the privilege)
Why did our systems fail and why
will they continue to do so? From Paul Volcker
"our economics are based on “an
unjustified faith in rational expectations, market efficiencies
and the techniques of modern finance"
You must not believe everything you think
language intentionally designed to influence rather than inform is now ubiquitous in the business of sports and politics and markets
Why? Because it works.
Hatred is too strong an emotion to waste on someone you don't even like
careful who you call your friends. I'd rather have four quarters than
one hundred pennies.
– Al Capone
Investing is not easy. Anyone thinking that it is, is stupid
There is no sense in being precise when you do not know what you are talking about.
John von Neumann
“ . . . there is always a well-known solution to every human problem — neat, plausible, and wrong.”
Henry Louis “H. L.” Mencken
“As skill improves, performance becomes more consistent, and therefore luck becomes more important.”
“in preparing for battle, I have always found that plans are useless but planning is indispensable.”
'The Federal Reserve is a giant weapon that has no ammunition left'
Former Dallas Federal Reserve President Richard Fisher
"If you see fraud and don't shout fraud, you are a fraud"
“What you think is much less important than how you think.”
There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.
Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds
Whether or not you have thought about long-term care for yourself or an elderly loved one, the reality is that human life expectancy has increased steadily over the past few decades. The number of people living past 70 has dramatically increased and because of higher standards of living, by the year 2040, the percentage of nursing home residents will jump from 50 to 130 percent.
The bottom line is that long-term care issues are here to stay. In fact, planning for long-term care should be implemented into every family’s order of business, just as planning for college or retirement would be done. Also very important is the awareness that long-term care insurance premiums are usually less if you buy them when you are younger; this is not a preparation that should be postponed until one is nearing the possibility of needing long-term care. The best indicator as to whether or not you should look into long-term care insurance is to ask yourself if there are enough assets in your/elderly loved one’s estate to pay for it. Long-term care insurance does not pay all long-term care needs; only a part of it.
Assuming a family has made a wise decision to plan for long-term care, the next question is how to go about finding the appropriate level of care for you or an elderly loved one. Where is the best place to go? Let’s look at your decision to move yourself or a loved one to a local long-term care facility. Now, like any other matter of family planning, assessment, investigation and/or research and ongoing evaluations will need to be considered. The guidelines I have listed here will be helpful as you start your planning for long-term care in a facility-based option.
TYPES OF LONG-TERM CARE AVAILABLE
There are basically a few major “levels of care,” commonly referred to as “L.O.C.” The main levels of care are: independent living, either at home or facility-based; assisted living; rehabilitation, commonly referred to as “skilled nursing unit;” and, of course, acute care, which is hospitalization. There are now levels of care called long-term care acute for patients that are coming from acute care intensive care units. An example of this is when a patient has not successfully been weaned from artificial means of respiration.
Here’s a rundown of some of the types of long-term care settings most commonly found in most communities throughout the United States today:
- Adult daycare alternative
- Accessory dwelling units alternative
- Subsidized senior housing
- Board and care homes
- Assisted living facilities
- Continuing retirement communities
- Certified (Medicare) home health care option to facility-based alternative
- Hospice care alternative
- Respite care alternative
- Home and community-based waiver programs for the Medicaid eligible
- Programs of all-inclusive care for the elderly who are Medicare/Medicaid eligible
- Nursing Homes (custodial non-skilled non-Medicare long-term care)
- Retirement centers/apartments
- Senior citizens’ centers for supportive services
- Multi-level of care complexes
- Other community-based organizations
- Personal private pay non-medical sitter and/or relative
ASSESSING THE NEEDS OF A LOVED ONE
If you and/or a loved one do decide on facility-based long-term care, a screening will be done to determine eligibility status. For example, if your elderly loved one is no longer able to care for his/herself, then custodial care in a nursing home is what your doctor would recommend. That is why many physicians refer their patients to a geriatric case manager. He or she is a highly trained licensed nurse or social worker certified as a case manager or geriatric case manager to assist patients and their families in finding the most appropriate level of care.
The level of dementia, if any, must also be considered. Dementia is a broad term for symptoms associated with cognitive function such as memory loss or impaired perception and comprehension of everyday tasks and inter-communicative skills. If a physician diagnoses Alzheimer’s, one form of dementia, most facilities are required by their state laws that such a resident is housed safely in a “locked unit.” (This unit is a section of the facility, not to be confused with one room or one apartment, but a group setting or unit.)
FACILITY-BASED LONG-TERM CARE OPTIONS
Before actually going on a facility search, make sure you have a list of the facilities’ nearby conveniences such as a family member’s home, a market, and other personal choices, like maybe a park or other types of stores. Don’t forget to go to medicare.gov/NHCompare/home to find out the highest star ratings assessed by the local state government in your area for each level of care; SNF (skilled nursing facility); ACLF (assisted care living facility); ICF (intermediate or custodial care facility) or other types such as Homes for the Aged.
I don’t always recommend calling ahead before you actually enter into a particular facility. Since you are a potential customer, you have a right to check it out— unannounced! The main question you will want to ask yourself as well as the facility administration is this: “Will my loved one be safe here; will they feel at home?” Remember, too, that this facility takes over the responsibility of the care of your loved one, not taking away who you are in relation to the loved one. Don’t forget your loved one, whether they are cognitively impaired or not, will need your ongoing evaluation of the care in which they will be receiving.
My best advice about finding a quality care facility is through the use of the five senses God gave to humans: sight, smell, taste, touch and hearing. Beginning with your vision, what do you see in each place? Is the visual aspect of the facility pleasant? Is it clean and orderly? Is there a “garden effect?” The “garden” or “Eden” effect is a popular movement where plants and animals are placed in the facility to create a more pleasant atmosphere. I particularly enjoy the use of “bird windows” where the facility maintains an enclosure for birds with a large window placed in the foyer, recreational area or corridors of the facility for the residents to enjoy.
What other visual things are there to help you identify the character of the facility or of the care the residents are receiving? Are there wheelchairs haphazardly placed in the hallways? Or are the wheelchairs nicely placed along the walls out of the middle of the halls? Are any of the residents “unkept?” Does the staff appear professionally and appropriately attired? Are you welcomed well? Would you feel at home here if you were an elderly patient?
Now using all of your senses, what do you smell, and what do you hear? Does the smell of urine overcome the atmosphere or is there a resident who is yelling loudly? These things do happen, so what you want to know is to what extent. Keep notes for comparison on each facility visited. Don’t forget to ask what services are available, such as laundry and podiatry for example.
Finally, just remember that as a family member of a long-term care resident, you are a part of the team that cares for your elderly loved one. You are the most important part. You provide the love!
This note investigates the causes of the quality anomaly, which is one of the strongest and most scalable anomalies in equity markets. We explore two potential explanations. The "risk view", whereby investing in high quality firms is somehow riskier, so that the higher returns of a quality portfolio are a compensation for risk exposure. This view is consistent with the Efficient Market Hypothesis. The other view is the "behavioral view", which states that some investors persistently underestimate the true value of high quality firms. We find no evidence in favor of the "risk view": The returns from investing in quality firms are abnormally high on a risk-adjusted basis, and are not prone to crashes. We provide novel evidence in favor of the "behavioral view": In their forecasts of future prices, and while being overall overoptimistic, analysts systematically underestimate the future return of high quality firms, compared to low quality firms.
Zahra Murad (School of Economics, University of Nottingham & Surrey Business School, University of Surrey) ; Chris Starmer (Department of Economics, University of Amsterdam) ; Martin Sefton (School of Economics, University of Nottingham)
We examine the relationship between confidence in own absolute performance and risk attitudes using two confidence elicitation procedures: self-reported (non-incentivised) confidence and an incentivised procedure that elicits the certainty equivalent of a bet based on performance. The former procedure reproduces the "hard-easy effect" (underconfidence in easy tasks and overconfidence in hard tasks) found in a large number of studies using non-incentivised self-reports. The latter procedure produces general underconfidence, which is significantly reduced, but not eliminated when we filter out the effects of risk attitudes. Finally, we find that self-reported confidence correlates significantly with features of individual risk attitudes including parameters of individual probability weighting.
the slowdown was brought on by slower sales of durable goods like cars and appliances, a weaker trade picture and falling inventories. Services held up a bit better, underscoring how domestically driven sectors are faring much better than industries that depend on overseas demand.
For all of 2015, the economy grew 2.4 percent, identical to the tempo recorded in 2014 but considerably better than the 1.5 percent gain for 2013.
Bank of Japan has adopted negative interest rates in
an unprecedented move that highlights pervasive
weakness in the economy.
The World Bank on Tuesday dramatically revised down its forecast for crude oil prices, predicting they would average just $37 a barrel this year and warning commodity markets to brace themselves for the possibility of a much sharper than expected slowdown in emerging economies.
The new forecast — down from a predicted $52 average for 2016 just three months ago — underlines how rapid the recent fall in oil prices has been and the growing concerns at the World Bank and elsewhere over the link between tumbling oil and the health of emerging economies.
Millennials saving for retirement are bucking reports of savings insufficiency and equity aversion, according to a white paper published by Vanguard researchers. “The auto savings generation: Steering millennials to better retirement outcomes” finds that participation rates, saving rates, and equity allocations for Millennial participants (ages 18 to 34) have been on the upswing over the last decade in defined contribution (DC) plans. Vanguard attributes the advent of automatic plan design features and the increasing adoption of target-date funds for putting Millennials on the right path to retirement readiness. Read more »
Participants are saving more in their retirement plans than they were two years ago, according to the Plan Sponsor Council of America’s (PSCA) 59th Annual Survey. Lower-paid employees are contributing an average of 5.8% of their salaries, up from 5.3% in 2013; this is higher than it was prior to the steep market crash in 2008. Read more »
Women are 14% more likely than men to participate in their workplace savings plan and save at higher rates, according to a Vanguard analysis. Women earning less than $100,000 save 20% more than their male counterparts, and across all income levels, women save at rates that are 7% to 16% higher than men’s. Read more »
is an expected part of our daily lives today. Dealing with it so that
YOU control IT rather than vice versa is an important and positive
force in controlling your life. Try a few of these tips.
1. Accept what you cannot change. Take a tip from AA. Change what you can, if it bothers you. But, if you cannot change it, learn to live with it.
2. Face up to your problems. Sort them out, and see which ones are real and which are simply imagined. Deal with them as they are, and not what you think they are.
3. Deal with one problem at a time. Sort out your priorities, and deal with them in the order of their importance to you.
4. Be flexible. Give in once and a while. If you do, others will too.
5. Don’t hold all of your worries inside yourself—talk it out. Frequently we swallow our unhappiness (along with candy, cake, ice cream, etc.) because we can’t let the problems out. Talk to someone. A burden shared is much less of a burden.
6. Work off Stress. Physical outlets for stress help your body to fight off many of the negative results of stress.
7. Get enough rest/relaxation/sleep. Give your body a chance to recover from day to day. Lack of sleep and rest will only make matters worse for you.
8. Avoid “self medication.” A “spoonful of sugar” may make the “medicine go down,” but it does your body no good. Sugar, alcohol, nicotine, and ice cream may all feel good going down, but they make matters worse—from the inside. They add to your body’s physical stresses, thus making dealing with external stresses much harder.
9. “Take time to smell the roses.” Have some fun. Relax.
10. Think about and do something for others. A little altruism never hurt. It even makes people feel better about themselves.
11. Be the “captain of your ship.” If you are not happy with your life, think about what’s wrong or missing, and then plan the necessary actions to change it to coincide with your needs and desires for your life.
12. Work on your relationships with those who share your life. Don’t hold back your feelings. Share them with your family and friends and co-workers. It can help to decrease tensions.
Biological factors, inadequate access to healthy foods, a decline in physical activity in schools and the unregulated marketing of fattening foods are among the drivers of a worsening epidemic that requires a coordinated global response, the report said.
If not reversed, “the obesity epidemic has the potential to negate many of the health benefits that have contributed to the increased longevity observed in the world,”
The value of debt issued by junk-rated US energy companies has plummeted to the lowest level for more than two decades, sending a warning signal about the outlook for the North American oil industry.
The average high-yield energy bond has slid to just 56 cents on the dollar, below levels touched during the financial crisis in 2008-09, as investors brace for a wave of bankruptcies.
chief must meet performance tests for full payout EFM-
Oh that makes me feel much better
European Central Bank president Mario Draghi has triggered a worldwide equities rally after dropping a strong hint on Thursday that the bank is ready to launch a fresh round of stimulus for the eurozone in March. After a savage New Year sell-off around the world, stocks in Tokyo closed 6 per cent higher, Europe has resumed its gains and US futures are pointing higher.EFM- And here we are wondering when the rates will climb once again. A world economy that makes no sense.
eurozone’s monetary policymakers have kept interest rates on
hold, with the slump in oil prices and the rocky start to
the year in financial markets not yet severe enough to push
borrowing costs in the single currency area to fresh lows.
million metric tons of plastic end up in the world's
waterways every year.
more than 70 percent of the plastic we produce is either put in a landfill or lost to the world’s waterways and other infrastructure. Plastic production accounts for 6 percent of global oil consumption (a number that will hit 20 percent in 2050) and 1 percent of the global carbon budget (the maximum amount of emissions the world can produce to prevent global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius). In 2050, the report says, we’ll be spending 15 percent of our carbon budget on soda bottles, plastic grocery bags and the like.
According to the report, worldwide use of plastic has increased 20-fold in the past 50 years, and it is expected to double again in the next 20 years. By 2050, we’ll be making more than three times as much plastic stuff as we did in 2014.
The sharply contrasting outcomes highlight the uncertainties surrounding the global outlook in 2016 amid fears of a slowdown in China, plunging commodity prices and high levels of corporate US dollar-denominated debt in emerging economies
And Britain could leave the EURO. That would leave the rest of
the countries wondering if it is time for them as well. Major
upheaval that would hurt the world for some time
No Stable Distributions in Finance, please!
Failure of the main argument for the use of heavy tailed distribution in Finance is given. More precisely, one cannot observe so many outliers for Cauchy or for symmetric stable distributions as we have in reality. keywords:outliers; financial indexes; heavy tails; Cauchy distribution; stable distributions
The combined wealth of the world’s wealthiest 62 people is now roughly equal to the combined wealth of the entire bottom 50 percent of humans. [Bloomberg]
2. Most 401(k) plans use inadequate methods in selecting and monitor the investment options in their plans. To be perfectly honest, based on my experience as an ERISA/securities attorney and consultant, many 401(k) plans blindly follow the advice of their service providers, even though numerous court decisions have warned that doing so is not only improper, but constitutes a breach of their fiduciary duties to the plan and its participants.
A fiduciary's independent investigation of the merits of a particular investment is at the heart of the prudent person standard.(2)
The failure to make any independent investigation and evaluation of a potential plan investment is a breach of fiduciary obligations....(3)
Most plans analyze potential investment options by only looking at an investment's investment performance and its standard deviation. However, as everyone knows, past performance is no guarantee of future returns. Secondly, an investment's fees and other expenses must be considered since each additional 1 percent in fees and expenses reduces an investor's end return by approximately 17 percent over a twenty year period. Given the fees and costs associated with some investments, an investor could easily see his end return by one-third or one-half.
The S&P 500 has hit a 10% loss. Once it gets to 10.75% or so, the sale of some of the most risky equities starts. Pretty much everything is gone by 13%. Still doesn’t mean a recession primarily since all the old ‘rules’ have been destroyed by 2008 and the FED
has stepped up its construction of runways in the South
China Sea since President Xi Jinping visited Washington in
September, underscoring how US efforts to counter China’s
assertive stance there appear to be having little effect.
BHP takes $7bn hit BHP Billiton, the most valuable miner by market capitalisation, revealed a huge hit from the sharp fall in the oil price with a $7.2bn writedown on its extensive US shale assets. The asset impairment, which equates to $4.9bn after tax, is the largest announced by the Anglo-Australian group during a wrenching commodities downturn that is devastating the mining and energy sectors. Energy groups have shelved nearly $400bn of spending on new oil and gas projects since prices plummeted. (FT)1/17: Worldwide monetary policy interactive link
"We had an engine problem, nope we had a navigation
error ( by 50 miles ? ) . It's all BS.
I'm betting the Iranians took these boats in International waters. As written by someone who would For an open-water transit between nations, the course is studied and planned in advance by the leaders of the Riverine Squadron, with specific attention given to staying wide and clear of any hostile nation's claimed territorial waters. The boats are given a complete mechanical check before departure, and they have sufficient fuel to accomplish their mission plus extra. If, for some unexplainable and rare circumstance one boat broke down, the other would tow it, that's why two boats go on these trips and not one! It's called "self-rescue" and it's SOP.
This entire situation is in my area of expertise. I can state with complete confidence that both Iran and our own State Department are lying. The boats did not enter Iranian waters. They were overtaken in international waters by Iranian patrol boats that were so superior in both speed and firepower that it became a "hands up!" situation, with automatic cannons in the 40mm to 76mm range pointed at them point-blank. Surrender, hands up, or be blown out of the water. I assume that the Iranians had an English speaker on a loudspeaker to make the demand. This takedown was no accident or coincidence, it was a planned slap across America's face."
|Twenty Ways To Care for
Twenty of the best tips and ideas collected from Caregivers and care managers of the Medicare Alzheimer's Project in Broward and Dade Counties, Florida.
Christinbute Lagarde said interest-rate hikes by the Federal Reserve risked hurting emerging markets if they were too aggressive. "The key issue going forward will be the pace of normalization," Lagarde told a banking conference in Paris. "We agree that it should be gradual as announced, as stressed actually by the Fed, and based on clear evidence of firmer wage or price pressures." According to Reuters, the International Monetary Fund head also warned on the potential for volatility in the foreign-exchange market.EFM- she is right but if inflation doesn't rise- does the FED simply stop? It's quite like dancing on a knife's edge. But sooner than later they have to get long term rates up in case of another debacle, Currently, they cannot drop rates any lower and get any impact at all in case of a recession.
Half of investors surveyed by John Hancock credit their spouse as the person who has the most positive influence over their retirement planning decisions, followed by 40% who say their financial adviser has been the most instrumental. (EFM blind leading the blind)
One-quarter say their father has been the most important person when it comes to their retirement planning. This is based on John Hancock’s quarterly poll of affluent investors, conducted in the fourth quarter of 2015.
Just under half, 48%, plan to remain in their current home when they retire. Twenty-eight percent plan to move to a smaller home, and only 3% plan to move to a larger residence. Among those who plan to change their living situation when they retire, 43% plan to move out of the state where they currently reside. Seventeen percent plan to remain in the same city or town, and 13% plan to move to a new city or town in the same state. Four percent plan to move out of the country, and 20% are unsure of where they will live in retirement.
As to their outlook for their retirement prospects, 60% think their retirement will be better than their parents’, and 25% think their children will experience a better retirement than their own. However, this last figure is down from 33% a year ago. In fact, more than one-third of investors think their children will have a worse quality of life in retirement than their own.
EFM- I cannot say some of this won't work but the financial literacy of the American consumer is grade F
2000 vs 2012 mortality tables
Virtually all companies in 2016 will be using the newer 2012 mortality tables. The difference is significant. When are we supposed to die under the different tables?
table - 85.4-years old
-Male 2012 table - 88.5-years old
table - 88-years old
-Female 2012 table - 90.3 years old
table - 92.1-years old
-Joint 2012 table - 94.7-years old
Talking about a male insured, the insurance company now needs to account for income that will last an additional 3.1 years. That's over 37 months of additional income from an annuity.
For this reason alone you should see ALL companies that offer guaranteed income riders to lower their roll up rates and/or their income payments.
We can expect a 10% decrease in benefits from income rider annuities. That means if the roll up rate used to be 7%, it would be lowered to 6.3%. If the payout rate a particular age would have been 5.5%, the new payout rate would be under 5%.
These are big differences for clients, but this will be our new normal when selling income rider annuities. The only hope to increase benefits on income rider annuities is to have bond yields increase. That is not something that seems likely for the foreseeable future.