Creative Capital

Loose Change, Part VII

In my last post we looked at the need for “change” in one controversial domestic sector, education. But since that wasn’t nearly contentious enough (I only got about 400,000 death threats), let’s move on to something really controversial: climate change. Strangely enough, climate science is a subject I actually know something about. (You needn’t be …

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Loose Change, Part VI

In my last few posts we looked at some of the more controversial “changes” in the international arena that seem to be demanded. Now we’ll turn to the domestic sector, beginning with education. The controversy surrounding Betsy DeVos’s nomination as Education Secretary obscures a far more urgent issue: the state of American public education today, especially …

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Loose Change, Part V

Last week we examined one of the “changes” Americans are looking for, and we focused on Russia. This week let’s look at a remarkably similar situation, namely: Israel As with Russia, when Barack Obama left office America’s relations with Israel had hit rock bottom, as bad as they had been since the State of Israel …

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Loose Change, Part IV

Last week we solved the problem of reforming a defective Affordable Care Act in a simple and brilliant manner. Alas, not all the changes Americans want—and voted for—will be so simple to effect. For example, let’s turn to: Russia Although President Obama entered office promising to “reset” America’s relations with Russia, he left office with …

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Loose Change, Part III

In my last post I breathlessly announced that I held the solution to the American healthcare dilemma in my hot little hands. While the hapless Republicans and Democrats are stumbling around blaming each other and wishing the healthcare issue would just blow away, your humble blogger has solved the problem without breathing hard. In order …

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Loose Change, Part II

In my last post we observed how overwhelming the desire for “change” is in America, and we also paused to notice the penalty the Democratic Party has paid for ignoring voters’ wishes. In this post and the ones that follow, I will touch on some of the more important policies and practices that will be …

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Loose Change

Since the Presidential election there has been a lot of loose talk about “change.” In this series of posts we’ll try to tighten up that conversation by identifying some specific changes Americans have on their minds. Specifically, I’ll touch on some of the more controversial changes the new Administration will be evaluating. Before we get …

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Is Everything That Didn’t Work Worthless? Part IV

We began this series of posts by examining the sorry state of value investing. We then moved on to making unfashionable arguments on behalf of hedge fund fees and performance. We’ll close the series by looking at the important role hedge funds—and, for that matter, value investing—play in the long-term success of investment portfolios. Hedge …

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Is Everything That Didn’t Work Worthless? Part III

We’re talking about nobody’s favorite subject, hedge funds. Last week we dispensed with the ugly topic of hedge fund fees, and this week we’ll take a deep breath and tackle the even more noxious topic of hedge fund performance. On the surface, the only way to describe recent hedge fund performance is “terrible.” Over the …

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Is Everything That Didn’t Work Worthless? Part II

In my last post, we discussed the sorry state of value investing following seven years of rigged markets courtesy of our central bankers. In this post we’ll turn to another category of investing that sits right near the top of so many investors’ Sh*t Lists: hedge funds. Whole books have been written about hedge funds, …

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Is Everything That Didn’t Work Worthless?

For reasons best known to themselves and their (not very robust) consciences, America’s central bankers concluded that the best way to drag the US economy out of the Financial Crisis was to make rich people richer and poor people poorer. They therefore adopted policies—QE1, QE2, QE3—that drove up the prices of assets mainly held by …

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On Karoshi, Part III

As noted in my last several posts, Japanese salarymen worked long hours without overtime pay for a selfless reason: to pull their defeated country up by its bootstraps. And they succeeded wildly. By 1978 Japan had surpassed Germany to become the world’s second-largest economy, a position it held until it was pushed down to third …

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On Karoshi, Part II

The word “karoshi” was invented in 1978 to describe an increasingly common phenomenon: Japanese workers, mostly the venerable salarymen, were dropping dead of heart disease in the prime of life. There was a reason it all happened in the 1970s. The shocking—to the Japanese—and humiliating loss in World War II had caused the proud country …

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On Karoshi

“Karoshi” is a Japanese word that means, literally, “death by overwork.” For nearly half a century it’s been quite common for Japanese workers, usually the legendary “salarymen,” simply to drop dead, almost always from heart problems, after working long hours for many years. Other Asian cultures, especially, South Korea and China, experience a similar phenomenon. …

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The Illusion of Control, Part III

In my last post I pointed out that, contrary to the claims of Modern Portfolio Theory, families who own businesses aren’t at all uncomfortable with the “single stock risk” they are taking. (I’m not counting startup companies, which mostly fail.) I also pointed out that, once a family sells its company and invests the proceeds …

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The Illusion of Control, Part II

When I was writing my last book, Family Capital, my objective was to make it appealing—well, tolerable—for people who didn’t care much for investment issues but who knew they really should learn something about them. Adult children, for example. But also spouses, cousins, attorneys, accountants, bankers, trustees and others who needed a working knowledge of …

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The Illusion of Control

“Tell me, sweet lord, what is’t that takes from thee/Thy stomach, pleasure, and thy golden sleep? *** In thy faint slumbers I by thee have watched,/And heard thee murmur tales of iron wars.” —From Lady Percy’s soliloquy in Henry IV, Part I Toward the end of World War II, and afterward, psychologists tried to come …

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Happy 200th Anniversary! Part IV

In celebration of my 200th blog post, I’m blogging about blogging. Last week I talked about my (mostly boring) writing habits. This week I’m answering this question: Many of your blog posts adopt a position quite different from those we read about in the mainstream media, left or right. Are you naturally contrarian or do …

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Happy 200th Anniversary! Part III

In celebration of my 200th blog post, I’m blogging about blogging. Last week I went over the terrifying issue of how to come up with a new topic to write about every week. This week I’m answering the question: You have a day job and six kids, so how do you find time to write …

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Happy 200th Anniversary! Part II

In celebration of my 200th blog post last week, I’m blogging about blogging. Last Friday I went over some details about the blog and addressed a question about whether I’m really writing an investment blog or not. (Read “Happy 200th Anniversary! Part I” here.) This week I’m answering the question: Isn’t it hard to come up …

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Happy 200th Anniversary!

No, it only seems like I’ve been writing this blog for 200 years. I’ve actually been writing it for 200 weeks. As the anniversary approached, I naturally gave some thought about how to celebrate it, and my first notion was to give myself the week off. But nobody gets time off work just because it’s …

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On the (Inevitable) Donald, Part V

We’ve talked about school desegregation and we’ve talked about the fight against discrimination, two highly desirable movements that were, unfortunately, built on the backs of working families, leaving the elites who sponsored them untouched. Unsurprisingly, many of those working families now support Donald Trump and, whether he wins or loses, will continue to support Trump-like, …

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