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Author Topic: $2M Retirement.  (Read 5181 times)

Offline RMoore

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Re: $2M Retirement.
« Reply #45 on: February 04, 2010, 11:27:22 am »
Not an expert by any means on the subject but:

The safest long term return is having the money accrue interest with a reputable bank & US T-Bills


The above (T-bills & bank interest) was actually the personal strategy of some US investing / financial legend I read about, forget his name at the moment. As I recall he ran high-level investment funds but chose to pursue the safest course of investing for his own personal wealth.

Note that the limit for deposit insurance (eg: should the bank go bust) is I believe $100k per institution in the US.

If you are looking to deposit substantial sums you would think certain bank managers might offer competitive terms.

If it were me, I'd probably choose for the safe, assured returns instead of playing the 'lottery', I'd drive a used car &  definitely I'd continue to work at something I felt some interest or belief in.

2 Mil, fun to dream of!

People's Republic of Ryan

By the end of today, another day is gone forever. You will never get it back.
We must never let up for a second. Work harder at every single thing - Terry Manning

 You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take - Wayne Gretzky

Offline RMoore

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Re: $2M Retirement.
« Reply #46 on: February 04, 2010, 11:39:11 am »
For those trying to decode the investment World & the element of randomness in life, economics, markets etc - the work of Nicholas Taleb (Wharton MBA) is very interesting. He takes a very dim view of his MBA brethren when it comes to anyone being able to accurately predict market events & trends which Taleb sees as being inherently random...basically a spin of the roulette wheel.. His POV seems to be people playing the stock market are gamblers - even big-time traders / MBA's, who are fooling themselves in a hubristic fog that they know what is actually going on :



.. Taleb has been critical of the finance industry and has been credited with making predictions regarding financial crises and making a fortune out of the 2008 crisis.[9] [10] He held senior trading and financial mathematics positions at a number of New York City's Wall Street firms before starting a second career as a scholar in the epistemology of chance,[11] and as an activist and a promoter of what he calls a "Black Swan robust" society. He is also a promoter of aggressive "stochastic tinkering" as a means of scientific discovery.[12]

Taleb is a bestselling author with 2.7 million copies sold in 31 languages.[13] [14] His idiosyncratic writing style mixes narrative fiction (often semi-autobiographical) and short philosophical tales with historical and scientific commentary.

Taleb's best-known book, The Black Swan, has been described by The Times as one of the 12 most influential books of the past 60 years.[15] Among the people Taleb has influenced are the writer Malcolm Gladwell [16][17] and the British Tory leader David Cameron,[18] who uses his black swan robustness idea as "intellectual ballast" for his program.

Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets is a book written by Nassim Nicholas Taleb about the fallibility of human knowledge.

The book was selected by Fortune as one of the 75 "Smartest Books of All Time."[1]

The book's name, Fooled by Randomness, has also become an idiom in English used to describe when someone sees a pattern where there is just random noise.

Taleb sets forth the idea that modern humans are often unaware of the existence of randomness. They tend to explain random outcomes as non-random.

Human beings:

  1. overestimate causality, e.g., they see elephants in the clouds instead of understanding that they are in fact randomly shaped clouds that appear to our eyes as elephants(or something else);
  2. tend to view the world as more explainable than it really is. So they look for explanations even when there are none.

Other misperceptions of randomness that are discussed include:

   * Survivorship bias. We see the winners and try to "learn" from them, while forgetting the huge number of losers.
   * Skewed distributions. Many real life phenomena are not 50:50 bets like tossing a coin, but have various unusual and counter-intuitive distributions. An example of this is a 99:1 bet in which you almost always win, but when you lose, you lose all your savings. People can easily be fooled by statements like "I won this bet 50 times". According to Taleb: "Option sellers, it is said, eat like chickens and go to the bathroom like elephants", which is to say, option sellers may earn a steady small income from selling the options, but when a disaster happens they lose a fortune.


Idea of value investing

Mega classic influential  - out of print  - $500 on the used book market - value investing tome 'Margin of Safety' - PDF version:
           http://financetrends.blogspot.com/2008/08/seth-klarman-margi n-of-safety-pdf.html

Warren Buffet http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warren_Buffett


Value investing is an investment paradigm that derives from the ideas on investment and speculation that Ben Graham & David Dodd began teaching at Columbia Business School in 1928 and subsequently developed in their 1934 text Security Analysis. Although value investing has taken many forms since its inception, it generally involves buying securities whose shares appear underpriced by some form(s) of fundamental analysis.[1] As examples, such securities may be stock in public companies that trade at discounts to book value or tangible book value, have high dividend yields, have low price-to-earning multiples or have low price-to-book ratios.

High-profile proponents of value investing, including Berkshire Hathaway chairman Warren Buffett, have argued that the essence of value investing is buying stocks at less than their intrinsic value.[2] The discount of the market price to the intrinsic value is what Benjamin Graham called the "margin of safety". The intrinsic value is the discounted value of all future distributions.

However, the future distributions and the appropriate discount rate can only be assumptions. Warren Buffett has taken the value investing concept even further as his thinking has evolved to where for the last 25 years or so his focus has been on "finding an outstanding company at a sensible price" rather than generic companies at a bargain price.


Another great one is Galbraith's The Great Crash - 1929.

Very witty & dry account of the financial meltdown - lots to learn about bubbles & human nature in this one. Definite parallels to recent times:


The Great Crash, 1929 is a book written by John Kenneth Galbraith and published in 1954; it is an economic history of the lead-up to the Wall Street Crash of 1929. The book argues that the 1929 stock market crash was precipitated by rampant speculation in the stock market, that the common denominator of all speculative episodes is the belief of participants that they can become rich without work[1] and that the tendency towards recurrent speculative orgy serves no useful purpose, but rather is deeply damaging to an economy.[2] It was Galbraith's belief that a good knowledge of what happened in 1929 was the best safeguard against its recurrence.

Galbraith wrote the book during a break from working on the manuscript of what would become The Affluent Society. Galbraith was asked by Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. if he would write the definitive work on the Great Depression that he would then use as a reference source for his own intended work on Roosevelt. Galbraith chose to concentrate on the days that ushered in the depression. "I never enjoyed writing a book more; indeed, it is the only one I remember in no sense as a labor but as a joy."[4] Galbraith received much praise for his work, including his humorous observations of human behavior during the speculative stock market bubble and subsequent crash.[5] The publication of the book, which was one of Galbraith's first bestsellers, coincided with the 25th anniversary of the crash, at a time when it and the Great Depression that followed were still raw memories - and stock price levels were only then recovering to pre-crash levels. Galbraith considered it the useful task of the historian to keep fresh the memory of such crashes, the fading of which he correlates with their re-occurrence.[2]


Fwiw - I've read the Taleb books, Margin of Safety & the Galbraith book...  great stuff!

Btw - for anyone with a big pile of cash:

Some people made a fortune during the Great Depression who were cash rich & able to buy up land, property, companies etc for a song...

People's Republic of Ryan

By the end of today, another day is gone forever. You will never get it back.
We must never let up for a second. Work harder at every single thing - Terry Manning

 You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take - Wayne Gretzky

Offline compasspnt

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Re: $2M Retirement.
« Reply #47 on: February 04, 2010, 12:36:43 pm »
NB: Through the end of 2013, the maximum amount insurable by the US FDIC per account has been raised from $100k to $250k.

Starting 2014, it will return to $100k, except that some retirement deposit accounts will remain at the higher figure.