Tag Archives: fail

Want to Throw Up in Your Mouth a Little Bit? Read this…

28 May

Some of the stuff I talk about here is from my own reading. But we often get input and links from clients. Much of it very good. I thought I’d share this very irritating little piece of reporting on Hedge Funds and Private Equity companies and all the many fees they charge.

It is so frustrating to me that there is no capacity at all withr the folks managing these companies to see how negatively they impact everything. Yes, everything.  You see, when they take their unearned and certainly undeserved fees, they take it from you and me. From the folks who start new companies. From those company employees. From the folks who buy that company’s goods and services. They take money out of the pockets of teachers and other public workers because the fees lower the amount of money in the pensions that invest with these jerks. They rapaciously steal money from all Americans and think they deserve and should be allowed to do so unfettered and, get this, untaxed!

Money disappears the community at large and sinks into the ever growing bank accounts of these scum bags.  And guess what, not only do these craven and morally bereft jackalopes pay themselves ungodly fees they never earned, they also DO NOT PAY INCOME TAXES on most of those fees.  That means, that after they are done sucking more money out of the economy than a Dyson on steroids, they pay very little taxes on that money which further depletes our economy.

Guess who (besides the guys I’m running out of good names to call that run the funds) doesn’t want this behavior stop? Guess who believes this sort of activity is American and good for us all?  Your Republican and Democratic Senators and Congresspeople. Seems politicians are the only place these fund managers feel good ‘giving a little piece of the pie.’  An enormous, $3trillion pie it is!

Thanks Pat Britton for sending this to me. Now, excuse me while I go vomit.

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Shirk Report

27 Sep

Have I shared this link before? I don’t know how this group gets all the material for the Shirk Report. It is amazing how each week, they compile so much of the internet’s best stuff.

Need a laugh to start your weekend off right? Click here! But be warned, don’t drink milk while viewing. It will end up coming out your nose!

Video

Mondays got you down? Watch this video.

21 Jan

Mondays got you down? Watch this video:

Steve Jobs at Stanford 2005

I’ve decided to try and make my Monday blog posts inspiring.  We all need a pep on Mondays, don’t we? Well, my lucky clients who are retired probably do not.  But for the rest of us, Mondays can be, well, Monday.

For my first install, I’ve linked a 15 minute video of Steve Jobs’ 2005 commencement address at Stanford University.

I’ll guarantee you that this will be 15 well-spent minutes. Mr. Jobs is a complex man but there is no doubting his genius.  Perhaps more than iPhones, iPads, or Macs, this 15 minutes of spoken words is his greatest gift to our society.

Take your cup of coffee and watch this instead of trolling around the net for the next 15 minutes. Let me know what you think.

Whose Fault is this Mess in Washington, Anyway?

9 Jan

If I’m being honest, I think the fault of Washington ineptitude is my own.  But it is yours, too!

Sure, politics in America is ugly.  Lately, I’ve heard some say it is “more ugly than it has ever been!”  There is a lot of hand-wringing going on that Democrats and Republicans just can’t (won’t?) get along.  But the hyperbole that things are “worse than ever” is a bit over the top, no?

One must only read a bit about the formation of our nation to see that competing interests and philosophies have always been part of Washington politics.  The birth of our country, our constitution, our federal bank, the abolition of slavery, women’s suffrage, prohibition.  These issues all led to some fairly acrimonious debates, to say the least.  I mean, you don’t go to war (slavery) and quit drinking (abolition) because of slight irritations. Is what takes place in Washington today any worse?

Perhaps it would be good for our country as a whole if you and I stepped away from absolutes?  Can we find a way to give the opposite opinion any benefit of the doubt? Any way to lend at least a bit of credence to an alternate point of view?

The interview of Speaker Boehner in the Wall Street Journal linked here is interesting to me on many levels.  One, we must take it for what it is worth, coming from the opinion pages of the WSJ.  Their editors are notoriously conservative of late.  Ever since Rupert Murdoch became their daddy, their former level, unemotional and insightful conservative stance has morphed into a more Fox-like “we are the only truth” attitude.

What are your thoughts on this interview? Does it ring true to you? Are you able to read the words without instantly judging them as false or lies? Many folks, on both political sides, have no capacity to hear the other point of view any longer. What is that all about?

Whatever the level of truth in the interview, it is troubling to me that VP Biden, not President Obama or Senator Reid, had to step in at the 11th hour to avoid an easily avoidable economic debacle.  It is Senator Reid’s job to help the Senate work things out with the House of Representatives.  It isn’t his job to engender so much acrimony he is told to “F&*! off” by his counterpart in the House the very minute that man sees his face.

Our representatives are acting ugly right now.  But that isn’t new or news. Don’t they simply reflect us? When is the last time you can recall holding an open, respectful debate with a person on the opposite side of an issue from your own opinion?

For me, I enjoy the art of discussion and debate.  I enjoy being enlightened. Is anyone out there feeling the same way? I have love for my conservative and democrat friends. How can we get America talking again?

Still hung over the Cliff…

19 Dec

Last week we gave you a primer on the Fiscal Cliff and I predicted it would be mostly settled by today, in order our precious Congressfolk could be home in time for the holidays. Well, looks like my crystal ball was way out of whack.

1219-Boehner-winces-at-fiscal-cliff-meeting_full_600President Obama and The Congress have not been good, so they get a lump of coal!  I will continue to watch the proceedings. Until then, I enjoyed this opinion from the Christian Science Monitor.

My Thoughts on the “Fiscal Cliff”

12 Dec

By now, unless you live under a rock that is buried under a bigger rock, you’ve heard of the impending “Fiscal Cliff.”  We have heard from many clients that are worried about the impact to their accounts and to our economy.

While I wish to avoid sounding flippant, I don’t truly have many worries about this issue.  Here’s why.

What it ISN’T – It isn’t a cliff. There are the White Cliffs of Dover, UK. Or the Cliffs of Moher, Ireland. Even a famous cliff in Norway known as the Troll Wall.  There are thousands of cliffs around the world.  The one thing they all have in common is if you walk over one of them, you will fall a really long way until you hit the land or water below.

whitecliffs-fp

Cliffs of Moher

 

But what we face here in America is not truly a cliff.  More like a reckless downhill. The kind of downhill only an idiot hopped up on Mountain Dew or Meth would attempt to descend on a mountain bike.  And that is a good allegory for this issue, imagine your local Congressperson, with no helmet or sense of reason, hopping on bike with no brakes and riding down the face of Squaw Valley. Eventually, he or she would crash and split his or her dumb head open like a melon on a beautiful piece of granite.  But that is not the same as riding off a cliff.  In other words, if our elected officials do what they do best – nothing – it will be a slow wreck. it won’t be as if we all go back to work January 2, 2013 and the Mayans were correct, only a few weeks late.

What it IS – This is a completely avoidable, government-made mess. It is the very definition of ineptitude. It is a measure of how poorly our government officials work today. It is ridiculous. And, should nothing be done about it, all Members of the Congress, Senate and the White House should be imprisoned. Democrats and Republicans and their husbands and wives, all.

The folks in Washington D.C. could not figure this all out in 2011 so they punted the issues to 2012, thinking (well, that is too kind, they don’t really do much thinking) with an election, it would force both parties to the table so all the things that go into the so called Cliff could be negotiated and solved.

Rumor has it in 2011, after they punted to 2012, they all made a Grover Norquist-style pact, privately hoping the Mayans WERE correct and that by December, this Cliff thingy would be moot. Like usual, they were wrong.  They do have to deal with it. All of it. If they don’t some very serious consequences will arise in 2013. But, as I stated above, not on January 2.  More throughout the year.

Now that we are all clear on what it is and isn’t (for a more serious look at what exactly the issues are, click here) let’s get down to the brass tacks.

  • Both parties know this can’t be allowed to happen or else they would suffer political death.  The Democrats have the hammer and the GOP is hoping by delaying, they may gain one or two concessions. The one thing any elected official fears is having responsibility for anything and having that cost him a future election. So, the likelihood for compromise, albeit at the final minutes, are good.My guess is by December 21, they get this worked out so they can go home for the Holidays.
  • The media, on both the left and right, LOVE this story.  It is not party-specific, not gender-specific, non-religious, and almost nobody watching truly knows much about the real facts. A veritable perfect storm for the news to pump the hype, fear and worry without offending a single person!  That keeps folks watching.  That makes Rupert Murdoch, Disney and GE very happy.  If you don’t think the news is looking for things they can hype up that don’t offend, think back to our early December rain storm.

So, now what? – Perhaps I’m being silly not to give this Cliff more credence.  My best guess is neither party wants to be pinned with the responsibility of having caused our economy to go over the Cliff.

So, Congress will try to negotiate a compromise or punt it all again to 2013 so we can all play Fiscal Cliff 2013But This Time We Mean It!

I imagine President Obama will budge a bit on extending the Bush tax cuts for at least one more year and the Republicans will give a bit on entitlements they want reformed. Some of the pending spending cuts may go in effect. I figure most will be delayed into 2013 via some arcane legislative procrastination. That said, it is unlikely that we will see a full elimination of these issues, which means that taxes will most probably be going up and spending will be cut, with consequent negative effects on the economy.

The upside, of course, is that if these changes are fully implemented, they will go a long way toward solving the deficit problem. This could cause damage in the short term, but it would, ideally, make way for a silver lining in the future.

Where does that leave your portfolio? – Depends on your portfolio. But if you’re my client, you’re probably invested fairly conservatively at the moment.  So the impacts shouldn’t be grave. We’ll be following this situation closely and helping you plan for the future—whatever it may hold. Please call us if you have questions.

Video

Mein Goodness! Ouch

29 Nov

Maybe my friend Miriam can help me with what he is saying in German…but I think when he lands, he says “Mein asche…ouch”

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