Sunday, September 30, 2012

Psalm 2012

A psalm of Cav, inspired by Psalm 23, a psalm of David.

The LORD is my banker, I lack nothing.

       He makes me save into insured accounts,
he leads me to capital preservation strategies,

       he releases me from my greed, envy and materialism.
He guides me along tax-advantaged paths
       so I can give even more to Him and to others in poverty.

Even though I walk
       through the valley of the shadow of tail risk,
I will fear no evil,
       for you are with me;
your offering documents and track record,
       they comfort me.

You prepare a budget for financial freedom before me
       in the presence of my overextended neighbors and Keynesian policymakers.
You anoint my community with Walmart;
       My retirement accounts are overfunded.

Surely, your goodness and love will follow me
       all the days of my life,
and I will be a beneficiary of your trusts and estates

Quotes of the day

Who would have thought that Hollywood environmentalists would find themselves aligned with Persian Gulf oil barons? --John Carney

The [Iranian] Fars News Agency, which is close to Iran’s powerful Republican Guard Corps, posted its version of the report on its English-language Web site under the same headline used by The Onion for the original four days earlier: “Gallup Poll: Rural Whites Prefer Ahmadinejad To Obama.”--Robert Mackey

[Warren Buffett] thinks of cash as a call option with no expiration date, an option on every asset class, with no strike price.--Alice Schroeder

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Living off-peak

I try to avoid crowds and lines whenever I can. I don't want to go to a World Series game ever again, nor a concert, no matter who is playing, even if I am being hosted as a business client.

Now, I prefer watching that type of stuff on HD with the inexpensive beer that I bought from the grocery store (or, even better, that Mrs. Cav bought from Costco).  Waiting on line feels like wasting time, time I don't have, time that feels valuable to me now that I am in the second half of life.

I like being in Manhattan during long weekends, when it's easy to get a table at restaurant or hail a taxi.

I like taking the kids to Disney World during the less crowded times of the year, and will plan going to Epcot or Magic Kingdom over Hollywood Studios or Animal Kingdom based on which park is offering Extra Magic Hours, and also employ strategies on where to take the first ride, which way to traverse through each park, how to optimize priority attractions using FastPass, etc.  And I try not to fly on Fridays, Sundays, or Mondays.

So I was really glad to read this:

Via Buy Ketchup in May and Fly at Noon: A Guide to the Best Time to Buy This, Do That and Go There:
  • Best time to get a human being on the phone when calling a company's customer service line: As early as possible (lowest call volume)
  • Best day of the week to eat dinner out: Tuesday (freshest food, no crowds)
  • Best day to fly: Saturday (fewer flights means fewer delays, shorter lines, less stress)
  • Best time to fly: Noon (varies but pilots say airport rush hours coincide with workday rush hours)
  • Best time to have surgery: Morning (4x less likely to have complications in the morning than between 3-4PM)
  • Best time to exercise: 6-8PM (body temp highest, peak time for strength and flexibility)
  • Best time to have sex: 10PM-1AM (skin sensitivity is highest in late evening)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Quotes of the day

Consensus isn’t the same thing as excellence.--Andy Greenwald

Roughly a quarter of all hospitalized patients will be harmed by a medical error of some kind. If medical errors were a disease, they would be the sixth leading cause of death in America—just behind accidents and ahead of Alzheimer's.--Marty Makary

The Emancipation Proclamation destroyed the south's best hope for victory – foreign recognition. From then on they would have to look to their own armies for victory.--Joshua Horn

At least when the Pharisees bragged about their piety and how much they gave to the Temple, they actually performed the rituals and gave money. Leftists brag about how compassionate they are and then don’t give much from their own time and pocket books.--Shannon Love

The group that Marx loved, the non-elite working people who create value and have that value transferred to the bourgeoisie, are the main supporters of the Republican Party, and most likely to hate any of the words associated with Marx like “socialism” or “communism” or "Obamacare."--Half Sigma

When an equation is correct, mathematicians call it ‘beautiful.’ A true equation is beautiful because it is elegant and uncluttered with mistakes or unnecessary steps.--John Polkinghorne

Saturday, September 22, 2012

From recording in a Honda Fit to playing on Jimmy Kimmel Live

Maybe America and it's Dream are not dead yet.  Hat tip to my favorite electric bassist.

Story here.

Quotes of the day

Too much schooling is a bad thing.--Eric Falkenstein

Some claim that what sets us apart from other animals is our use of tools. Au contraire. Even sea otters -- a species that has neither reached the moon nor invented the beer cozy -- use stones to crack open the shells of their prey. No, what makes us unique is our staggering imagination and creativity, mostly when it comes to ostensibly obeying laws while utterly circumventing their spirit. We are homo loopholeus.--Patrick Hruby

... the startup job creation rate has collapsed during the last three years and actually fallen lower in 2011 than ever before. I’ll ask: Why did the IRS start cracking down on companies that hire American contractors in 2009?--Tim Kane

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Obama reelection chances looking pretty good right now

I can't get excited about this election. The only thing I am pumped for is the VP debate. I hope Ryan's maturity and intellect are properly benchmarked by the nation against the incumbent. The last VP debate was a bit of a draw.

Chart here.

Quotes of the day

... if a male writer wanted to “analyze” gender differences by using a combination of misleading statistics about women, unscientific snapshots of particular men who seem like real go-getters, and musings about how men are adaptive and resilient and possess greater vision, he’d rightly get slapped down for shoddy thinking and poor journalism. What say in the interest of gender equality we hold Rosin to the same standard?--Tony Woodlief

Medical care is famously immune to the usual market incentives; the patient has little reason to make a cost-benefit tradeoff. Doctors and hospitals hardly do either; indeed the opposite seems to be the case. Matters are made all the worse, ironically, by the continual improvements in medicine – improvements which often treat what was previously untreatable, and which improve on existing treatments but at a higher cost.--Rick Brookstaber

I've done several types of work over the years but I don't know another as counterintuitive as startup investing. The two most important things to understand about startup investing, as a business, are (1) that effectively all the returns are concentrated in a few big winners, and (2) that the best ideas look initially like bad ideas.--Paul Graham

In his State of the Union address earlier this year, President Obama declared, “I will not cede the wind or solar or battery industry to China . . . because we refuse to make the same commitment here.” Given what’s really happening in China, he may want to think again.--PATRICK CHOVANEC

I was asked whether the new Fed policy will enable Obama’s big spending plans for his second term.  I doubt it.  The policy initiative is too small to decisively impact growth or the deficit, but large enough to take away support for further fiscal stimulus.  Obama will be forced to adopt Simpson/Bowles-style austerity during his second term.  There’s no longer any point in even wasting keystrokes on Mitt’s plans.  He’s done—put a fork in him.--Scott Sumner

How much inequality is enough?

Some interesting reading over at Freakonomics, with Justin Wolfers, Alex Tabarrok and the US Census Bureau.

Still, income inequality was less pronounced in 1988 Soviet Union, with 70% of the population's income between 75 and 200 rubles per month.  I'm not in front of Bloomberg right now, but using the 30-to-1 current FX rate and factoring in the 1000-for-1 redenomination back in 1993, this is $2 to $6 per month, which can't be right.  I'll have to check on that, although, given the new job this year, blogging has been difficult.

My thesis is that wealthy nations have high income inequalities and impoverished nations don't.