This Guy Makes Too Much Sense

RuminationsIn the past year I subscribed to the newsletter of an investment adviser about whom I know very little.  Pretty much every month he comes out with something awesome, and today’s newsletter was no exception.  As I’m not a client of his I can’t vouch for him as an adviser but I like the way his mind works.  I’ve excerpted the beginning of this month’s newsletter below:


“You may have noticed that I rarely comment on the market or economy in this monthly newsletter and this month I thought I would explain why and also explain what we do focus on.

There are three reasons why I don’t talk or write much about what the market or economy might do in the near future:

First, no one – including me – generally knows. (See The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, Expert Political Judgement by Phil Tetlock, and The Fortune Sellers by William Sherden for example.) Known information is already priced into the market. It is only profitable to invest based on things you know that everyone else doesn’t! That type of knowledge is generally either a delusion (we really don’t know) or insider trading (which is illegal).

Second, there is so much other commentary in the media on the state of markets and the economy that I doubt I could add much of value to the babble. Indeed, I think the best thing we all could probably do is stop listening to most of it.

Third, the important thing is whether you can reach your long-term financial goals such as a comfortable retirement, a quality education for your progeny, or leaving a lasting legacy. What is expected to happen to the unemployment rate or what might happen to the Dow Jones Industrial Average in the immediate future has very little to do with accomplishing those goals. If I spent more time prognosticating it might give the misleading impression that the short term market gyrations are important.”


He’s also the author of something I think is the best summary 4 pages on investing I’ve ever found, which is on his site, but which I’ve uploaded to my page as well.

He encourages folks to subscribe to his newsletter through his website.  So I’ll encourage you to do the same, on his Ruminations Page.

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Who are Bankers Anonymous Readers? June 2013 Edition

Stinky is the new bald

Last month I introduced my secret use of Big Data to describe Bankers Anonymous readers.  If readers click on a link to Amazon through my book reviews, any purchases they make get tracked by Amazon – and I get credited with an ‘advertising fee.’ [1]

This past June 2013, based on the purchase of an additional 30 items, I can now describe the evolving readership on this site: Definitely still nerdy, but odiferous has replaced bald as the personal hygiene problem du jour.

The most popular purchase on Amazon last month was 25 Myths You’ve Got to Avoid – If You Want To Manage Your Money Right, which I reviewed and quite liked.  Although written in the late 1990s, Jonathan Clements’ advice proves correctly evergreen as well as pleasingly contrarian.

I was frankly disappointed to see a reader order the video edition of Cloud Atlas.  First of all, just to briefly and obnoxiously be that guy, the book is always better than the movie.  Second, Cloud Atlas the book is one of the coolest books I’ve read in the last ten years, while the movie prompted the author David Mitchell to try, at least twice in the New York Times, to tactfully distance himself as much as possible from the movie without completely alienating his movie makers, the Wachowski siblings.  So, even though I didn’t see the movie, I have a hunch it was bad.  Also, while David Mitchell book reviews fall outside the scope of Bankers Anonymous, his Black Swan Green and The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet will mesmerize you.

Bankers Anonymous readers continue to care overwhelmingly about finance and spreadsheets, which I appreciate, as they bought 3 copies of Master Math, that I reviewed earlier, one copy of Simple Wealth, Invitable Wealth (my favorite personal finance book so far!) as well as an online course on Excel spreadsheets.

Further locking down the nerdy demographic, one reader bought a favorite board game The Settlers of Catan.  In a related news item, in my neighborhood, most people just refer to me as “The Lord of All Catan.”

I am pleased to report that safety matters for my readers, as one purchased a Master Lock 3 Digit Combination Gun Lock.  The good news is that this lock “fits many handguns, rifles, and shotguns.”  Other good news includes the fact that my home address is nowhere listed on this website.

I have a sense, however, that personal hygiene will remain the most important insight gained from my Big Data review of Amazon purchases by readers.

This past month one reader purchased Essential Lemon Oil, Therapeutic Grade.  This sounds relaxing.

A reader, or a pair of readers, purchased two bottles of Lysol Neutra Air, Fresh Scent, which is how I know that stinky has become a problem, in June 2013, among Bankers Anonymous readers.

Purchases you should make

Still, nobody has clicked through Bankers Anonymous to Amazon to purchase the Hutzler 571 Banana Slicer.  What are you waiting for?  Your banana slices are all totally uneven.

Finally, nobody has yet purchased the Mizuno Women’s Wave Rider 16 Running Shoe, made famous last week by Wendy Davis’ filibuster in the Texas Senate.  Read the comments and be inspired to run for 13 hours straight.



[1] I made $18.97 in June, 2013.  Nope sorry, ladies, see this ring?  Still happily married.

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