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 11/20   Mind the gapGovernment 
 11/20   Right math, wrong conclusionGovernment 
 11/12   Inside Trump's U.S.D.A.Government 
 11/12   The dead man fundFunds 
 11/11   The dangerous world of tiny IPOsCrime 
 11/06   SEC insider-trading-like returnsGovernment 

Frugal News

Mind the gap
11/20/17   5:44 PM ESTGovernment
"On a walking tour of town officials and development consultants pointed to empty buildings and described all the things that could be done to bring them back to productive activity: open up the blank walls and re-install windows, incubate all kinds of new businesses, paint, outdoor seating. I rolled my eyes. None of those things make any economic sense given the regulatory hurdles involved and the likely negative return on the up front investment. I've seen this scenario play out many times before."
More Government: Right math, wrong conclusion
Inside Trump's U.S.D.A.

Right math, wrong conclusion
11/20/17   5:41 PM ESTGovernment
"The answer is to confront the truth that the public plans are too generous and need rethinking. But wait, can't you hear the public-sector workers saying that it's unfair to reduce their DB promise because they have paid for it? Well they haven't. Government workers and their employers are still funding their pensions assuming the same 1990s returns that built the Factor of 9 (or maybe a factor of 12). They are ignoring the true cost of the pensions being earned and they hope that future investment gains will forever hide the fact that the guaranteed benefit they are receiving is being funded by risky investments that may or may not pay off. Government workers are paying about 12% of pay for a benefit that is worth about three times the amount even though the government is telling taxpayers its only worth twice as much."
More Government: Inside Trump's U.S.D.A.
SEC insider-trading-like returns

Inside Trump's U.S.D.A.
11/12/17   7:33 PM ESTGovernment
"The folks at the Department of Agriculture laid on a friendly welcome for the Trump transition team, but they soon discovered that most of his appointees were stunningly unqualified. With key U.S.D.A. programs - from food stamps to meat inspection, to grants and loans for rural development, to school lunches - under siege, the agency's greatest problem is that even the people it helps most don't know what it does."
More Government: SEC insider-trading-like returns
Pension crisis

The dead man fund
11/12/17   7:28 PM ESTFunds
"William Steadman's four funds regularly appeared on fund-watchers' lists of the worst investments. By extracting from investors such high expenses, he had conned them within the limits of the law."
More Funds: Institutional investors, just like us
Index fund contrarian

The dangerous world of tiny IPOs
11/11/17   4:31 PM ESTCrime
"One executive was convicted of filing false tax returns, another for obstructing justice and a third accused of selling unregistered stock. But three tiny companies with ties to the executives have now gone public in the U.S. in what may just be the zaniest little market on Wall Street: mini-IPOs."
More Crime: The latest investment scam
The Pigeon King

SEC insider-trading-like returns
11/06/17   8:18 PM ESTGovernment
"A portfolio mimicking trades made by SEC employees between 2009 and 2011 earned excess risk-adjusted returns of about 4 percent a year for all securities, with abnormal gains jumping to 8.5 percent when only stocks of firms based and registered in the U.S. were tracked"
More Government: Pension crisis
Of milk cows and moats

Direct indexes: cheaper than ETFs
10/23/17   3:26 PM ESTIndexing
"Direct Indexes, where investors directly own shares in a basket of stocks that track an index, outperform ETFs on an after-tax basis. Given that ETFs beat 80 - 90% of all active investments, that's a big plus for Direct Indexes. But Direct Indexes are better than an ETF in another important way: they have the potential to be much less expensive."
More Indexing: Low vol in perspective

The dangerous allure of designer risk factors
10/23/17   1:11 PM ESTMarkets
"Some investors are falling into a perilous spiral of loving factor investment strategies too much, and understanding them not enough."
More Markets: The cat ETF
Forward returns

Low vol in perspective
10/16/17   9:04 PM ESTIndexing
"The superior performance of low-volatility stocks (as well as low-beta stocks, which are closely related) was initially documented in the academic literature in the 1970s, before even the size and value premiums were 'discovered.' The low-volatility anomaly has been found to exist in equity markets across the globe, and not only for stocks but for bonds. In other words, it has been pervasive."
More Indexing: CAPE ETFs
Protection money

10/16/17   9:00 PM ESTIndexing
"Shiller's CAPE ratio looks at how current stock prices compared to the company's average inflation-adjusted earnings over 10 years. As described in the BMO prospectus, the indexing process for its ETF involves identifying the top 100 securities with the highest 10-year CAPE yield based on price and sector. A momentum filter is then applied to remove 20 securities with the lowest price momentum over the last 12 months. The remaining securities are equally weighted."
More Indexing: Protection money
ETF ratios

Tax-avoiding whales swim free
10/07/17   7:32 PM ESTTaxes
"We know for certain, however, that when it comes to tax neutrality, owners of private corporations are mere tiny fish swimming among the tax-avoiding whales. Millions of Canadians use equivalent passive-investment vehicles to duck billions in taxes on personal and investment income every year. They're called pension plans."
More Taxes: Tax bill higher than 90 per cent
A 93% tax rate

Tax bill higher than 90 per cent
09/23/17   9:43 PM ESTTaxes
"On $8-million of total income, this is a tax rate of just more than 93 per cent. You might believe that these proposed tax changes are fair because business owners should pay their fair share. But how high a tax rate is fair?" [$]
More Taxes: A 93% tax rate
Capital gains tax is already unjust

The front test
09/11/17   8:01 PM ESTMarkets
"The biggest problem for investors is never finding a good backtest. That's the easy part. The hard part is passing the front test by understanding your parameters, filters, and guidelines enough to be able to implement it in the real world and stick with it when it's out of favor."
More Markets: ILTB with Meb Faber
Team Ritholtz

Chou's letter
09/02/17   10:14 PM ESTChou
"we believe pharmaceutical stocks as a group are selling at attractive valuations, in comparison to the free cash flow and earnings they generate. The recent price drops may present one or more attractive long-term investment opportunities"
More Chou: Chou's Annual Letter
Francis Chou profile

Protection money
08/20/17   8:10 PM ESTIndexing
"Vanguard Group is my favorite fund company - and the place where I now keep all my investment dollars. There's no mystery why: Among mutual fund companies, Vanguard has long been not only the biggest champion of index funds, but also the firm with the lowest annual fund expenses. Except that's no longer the case."
More Indexing: ETF ratios
The math behind futility

Insane Canadian housing numbers
08/20/17   7:55 PM ESTReal Estate
"While leverage can help boost performance on the way up, it becomes very dangerous on the way down. Leverage can turn even the best investments into poor ones when things go wrong, as losses are amplified. Equity can get wiped out pretty quickly on an overleveraged asset."
More Real Estate: Addiction to real estate
Low delinquency rates

The time travelling manager
08/16/17   8:05 PM ESTStingy Investing
"Sticking to an investment strategy through adversity can be hard for investors, even if they know what's going to happen"
More Stingy Investing: Stocks with room to grow
Small value stocks

Business vs investing
08/16/17   8:03 PM ESTMarkets
"My guests this week are both veterans of the podcast, Jason Zweig and Morgan Housel. They are two of the best in the world at making the complicated simple..." [audio]
More Markets: Perfect storm
The math behind futility

ETF ratios
08/16/17   8:02 PM ESTIndexing
"Depending on how you calculate the average, subtracting the large losses of a few companies from the combined profits of the others can leave a much smaller total of net earnings to go around. That can make the index look more expensive than it effectively is."
More Indexing: The math behind futility
A monster ETF trade

A 93% tax rate
08/07/17   8:57 PM ESTTaxes
"Small business owners across the land are still reeling from last month's announcement by Finance Minister Bill Morneau targeting private corporations and fundamentally changing the way businesses and incorporated professionals are taxed."
More Taxes: Capital gains tax is already unjust
Tax court justice seen at KPMG-linked party

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