Thursday, October 5, 2017

King William Street

"My favorite street"

Choice = Success (and vice versa)

Eva Moskowitz is the founder of Success Academy in NY City.
It's one of the best charter schools on the planet.

My highest priority was creating a school culture that had a low tolerance for laziness and dysfunction and high expectations for student achievement and teacher performance.
- Eva Moskowitz, founder of Success Academy, The common sense of Success Academy’s Eva Moskowitz
I have got to get her new book: The Education of Eva Moskowitz: A Memoir  (
I've got to get one for Big Shoulders, too. (snark) Christmas?

Unanimous Investing

The near unanimous investment thesis these days is that we have troubled waters ahead of us in the stock market. It's the confluence of these factors: massive debt, fed quantitative easing, a stock market that hasn't had a significant decline in years, etc.

This guy compares us to Japan in 1989.

Japan's CAPE hit 94, and they have never fully recovered.
Ours just went over 30. Historically, when valuations get this inflated (CAPE > 30), then future returns are pretty meager.

I have two solutions for you:

  • Passive - Buy and hold a great balanced fund like Vanguard Star. In the worst of times (2008), The Star lost 25% (yahoo finance), which I think is a manageable worst-case return for most people.
  • Active - Time the market. There are a million strategies. Most will do OK in a downturn and then underperform a little in good times. I like this book: Dual Momentum Investing by Gary Antonacci,

Quick potpourri

Quickly - Rauner, Catalonia, Dodger, PR, Trump... GO!

Rauner, b-bye
IL governor Bruce Rauner committed political suicide last week. His tombstone will read "HB40". That's the bill Rauner signed makes broke-ass Illinois the most liberal abortion state in the land. 
Last week Rauner signed HB 40, a bill sponsored by Democrats in the Illinois legislature. In doing so, he created a sad bit of history: Rauner became the first U.S. governor to initiate publicly funded abortions for all state employees and for all Medicaid recipients.
The GOP Governor Will Pay a Price for Taxpayer-Funded Abortion in Illinois
The details are even worse than the headline.
The law’s impact will likely be dramatic. From data for the previous period during which Illinois permitted Medicaid-funded abortions, it is estimated that 12,000 abortions a year will now be funded with taxpayer dollars. And the law limits neither the number of abortions a woman can have nor when in her pregnancy she can have them.
B-bye Rauner. We hardly knew ye.

Independent or not... Catalonia has a cool flag.

Go Dodger
I'm a Dodger fan in these MLB playoffs. Of course, I heart Cody B! This story about Justin Turner motivating and leading his team is pretty awesome as well. Check this out.
[Justin Turner] persuaded a fringe major leaguer with a career .598 OPS to spend last offseason overhauling his mechanics; Chris Taylor, now a starting outfielder, has been L.A.’s best second-half hitter, with an OPS of 1.105. Since Turner assigned right fielder Puig five pushups for every grounder he hit in spring training, Puig has pounded the ball harder than in any season since his first. Turner cues up the curveball machine and challenges 22-year-old rookie first baseman Cody Bellinger to fly ball competitions, with the winner taking home $10 per session. “I’m down a little bit,” Bellinger admits. It’s worth the lighter wallet, though: His .800 slugging percentage on curves is second in baseball. The team as a whole has cut its ground ball rate by 8%, the biggest drop in the league.
The Dodgers Are Listening to Justin Turner
Funny - the Dodger and the Yankee are in the playoffs and chockful 'o young talent. But those teams never tanked a single season, let alone 5 years in a row. I wonder if the media or the Cub are noticing. (yeah, ha ha) Go Dodger... and Go Nat, too!

Rebuild PR
This is a pretty great idea. Let's unleash the private sector to rebuild Puerto Rico's power grid. Elon Musk is ready. What do you think, President Trump?

Trump outstanding
President Trump's handling of these rolling crises (hurricanes, Vegas shootings) over the past couple months has been outstanding. In the face of all this bad news... Positivity!

I'm not a big fan of the "show up in person to show your empathy" mode of operation, but it's a part of politics these days. And I'll admit this - the happiness you see in people (victims, first responders, hospital workers, etc) who meet President Trump is heartening.
It was one of the greatest moments in my life. I told my family that I was going to stand up and shake my president's hand - out of respect for him and our leaders and our nation.
- Thomas Gunderson, Vegas shooting victim on meeting President Trump, foxnews post

President Trump's reaction - This guy looks tough to me.
excellent... yow, bill

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