Always a Bull Market Somewhere

Wheat to the moon. The Agriculture ETF (DBA) not doing so shabby either. (Charts from futuresource and BigCharts, respectively.)

Dentist Chair

Felix Salmon talks about how everyone but the bloggers make money from investment blogs. While he proposes a couple solutions, I think a blog aggregator that shares the revenue with the bloggers would be a good option. Time for me to ramp up the launch of Bloggerator?


Dr. Tatiana’s Sex Advice to All Creation: The Definitive Guide to the Evolutionary Biology of Sex is one of the most amazing books I have ever read, and so it is with great delight to find out she has a blog at the New York Times (Nod to reader CC).

I used to be surprised at all of the odd behavior of people (like the strange obsession with setting the high score in the great documentary The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters). After reading the good Dr’s book, I find people’s behavior hopelessly mundane.

Here is some other interesting research on neruroeconomics:

One of his findings was that brain images of drug addicts who are about to take another hit are indistinguishable from those of traders who are making money and about to place another trade. “That tells us pretty confidently that if you make money and make money again,” Mr. Zweig said, “it is very similar to a chemical addiction and it becomes very hard to let go.”


I was sitting in the dentist chair yesterday watching CNBC (I don’t have a TV in the office), and could have sworn I saw the 2007 performance of the Rentech Managed Futures fund scroll by at ~150%. Can anyone confirm this?

A far cry from the performance of the Red Sox owner John Henry, I mean managed futures manager. Here is an interesting article on AHL and the London trendfollowing funds.

In other news, Peter Thiel is going to take over the world (Clarium up 24% in January alone).

Net Payout Yield Screen and Yahoo Pipes

Feel like something big is lurking underneath the surface? (Note: That is a real picture of a real great white shark.)

Longtime readers will know that I am a much bigger fan of using Net Payout Yield rather than Dividend Yield as a predictor of excess stock returns. This is a great example of a structural change in the markets that people have yet to grasp. Previously, I had to update the screen by hand, but now Jack Hough from SmartMoney has put together a NPY screen you can find here. (Nod to reader MK.) The current top ten from the Dow are:


Nice day for #3 on the list, Walt Disney.


How did I just come across Yahoo Pipes?

I have been using Crazedlist for some time, but as they say, this changes everything. . .


A couple links from Abnormal Returns worth reposting:

Trades of the year.

50 ways to lose your money without trying.


Market got you down? Then you may need some cheering up from Rodney Dangerfield:

Its been a rough day. I got up this morning … put on a shirt and a button fell off. I picked up my briefcase and the handle came off. I’m afraid to go to the bathroom.

How to Hedge Your McNuggets

How to hedge your McNuggets? Hire Bridgewater of course!

List of the top 10 hedge fund managers.


Maybe it’s just me, but I think the news on active ETFs is a yawner. I don’t see much benefit over an active mutual fund.


Did you know Exxon pays as much in taxes as the entire bottom 50% of the US population? From Carpe Diem:

In other words, just one corporation (Exxon Mobil) pays as much in taxes ($27 billion) annually as the entire bottom 50% of individual taxpayers, which is 65,000,000 people! Further, the tax rate for the bottom 50% is only 3% of adjusted gross income ($27.4 billion / $922 billion), and the tax rate for Exxon was 41% in 2006 ($67.4 billion in taxable income, $27.9 billion in taxes).


New book on the way – Scenarios for Risk Management and Global Investment Strategies .


Did you double dip that chip on Sunday? Might as well have kissed the person next to you. Nod to Seinfeld for the inspiration for the study.

Super Bowl Reads

The biggest benefit to writing this blog is getting to interact with readers from all over the world (so far readers from 147 countries). If you enjoy the blog please pass it along to your friends and associates, and continue to email in links and papers! Top ten countries of reader origin:


Syrians and Nicaraguans spend the most time on the site per user.


Bespoke is definitely in my top 5 favorite blogs. They posted the other day the top 10 worst January performances for the S&P and Nasdaq (worst ever for Naz). I posted in mid-month a strategy for responding to worst month returns in asset classes, and it makes sense to me to pick up some calls on the Naz or EFA/EEM for a two month hold starting in March.


Last August I wrote about some mutual funds with the longest record of positive performance years. The king was T. Rowe Price Capital Appreciation (PRWCX), which had its first losing year after 17 consecutive winning years in 2007! The two next longest were Gabelli ABC (GABCX) and First Eagle (SGOVX) – and both had a negative ’07 after 13 positive years.

Leave a comment if you know the current streak leader. . .

Here is the original Kiplinger’s article.

Moneyball for hoops (nod to reader CC).


If any of the aggregators were smarter they would adopt the business model of ValueInvestingNews.

Here is the solution to the Japanese IQ Test if you couldn’t figure it out. . .


Why am I never around when everyone takes their pants off?

Improv Everywhere causes scenes of chaos and joy in public places. Created in August of 2001 by Charlie Todd, Improv Everywhere has executed over 70 missions involving thousands of undercover agents. The group is based in New York City.

Sample Listed Hedge Fund Performance

“Does this market have you banging your head against the wall? Foreign listed hedge funds could be the answer. . .


Some readers emailed in asking for performance figures for the foreign listed funds, and a table of some of the largest is below. On average they returned around 14% total return (not just NAV return), which beats the pants off the HRFI Indexes (and way better than the investable HFRX). How in the world could a FOF (Absolute) return over 30% you ask? Probably that large allocation they had to the Paulson funds. . .


I have never even heard of this book but it looks interesting – The Global-Investor Book of Investing Rules.


Got 10 (or 30) minutes to spare? Take the Japanese IQ Test.

“Everybody has to cross the river”

Click the blue circle to start.

The following rules apply:

* Only 2 persons on the raft at a time.
* The father cannot stay with any of the daughters, without their mother’s presence.
* The mother cannot stay with any of the sons, without their father’s presence.
* The thief (striped shirt) cannot stay with any family member, if the Policeman is not there.
* Only the Father, the Mother and the Policeman know how to operate the raft.

To move the people, click on them. To move the raft, click on the pole on the opposite side of the river. The solution is possible!

Tiger’s Robertson Roars Again

Robertson earned a 77% return in ’07, and over 400% total returns since shutting down his firm in ’00. Highlights from the Fortune article:

“Together, before fees, the 34 funds in which Robertson has an ownership stake averaged a return of 34% in 2007. By contrast, the S&P 500 had a total return (including dividends) of 5.5% in 2007 and the Dow returned 8.9%… Only four of the Tiger-affiliated funds lost money and ten of them generated gross returns of better than 50%. Scott Booth’s Eastern Advisors fund returned a Tiger-best 125% before fees, while the worst-performing was down 15.2%.

Two of the “Tiger Seeds” with the longest and best records are Bill Hwang of Tiger Asia and Chase Coleman of Tiger Global, each of whom were in the original group of new funds to set up shop at Tiger’s office at 101 Park Avenue near Grand Central Station in midtown Manhattan. Hwang’s fund returned 55% in 2007 before fees and has a seven-year average of 40.4%. Coleman made a gross return of 91% for Tiger Global last year and his seven-year average return is 43.7%.”

Here is a list of Tiger Global’s largest holdings from Stockpickr:



I am a registered independent and find the two party system a little depressing. This gets really good after the first minute (nod to reader AF):

20 20 Vision

20 20 Vision is truly a great book – although I don’t understand why the folks at Mercer couldn’t list it on . . .


New private equity research out of Davos.


The Financial Times Global MBA Rankings:

1. University of Pennsylvania: Wharton
2. London Business School
3. Columbia Business School
4. Stanford Business School
5. Harvard University
6. Insead
7. MIT: Sloan
8. IE Business School
9. University of Chicago GSB
10. University of Cambridge: Judge


I spent last weekend skiing in Telluride – what an amazing and beautiful town. Interesting fact – Galt’s Gulch from the book Atlas Shrugged was inspired by nearby Ouray. (The high school objectivist in me used to carry around an excerpt in my wallet from The Fountainhead. But I swear, if rumors are true and Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie end up starring in the remake I might sabotage the production.)


How about a Bullpen Market?

From Real Sports Investments:

Real Sports Investments (RSI) is the only place where you can invest in professional athletes.

Owning shares will entitle owners to a percentage of a professional athlete’s major league salary.

Investing in a player is similar to investing in a company. If the company makes money, the investors get paid in the form of a dividend. If an athlete you own shares in makes it to the big leagues, then you will be paid a percentage of his contract.

Investors can also trade their shares to other willing buyers and sellers via this website. Shares will increase or decrease in value based on the athlete’s future earning potential and supply and demand.

In a similar vein, IndieGoGo for indie film finance.


I often wonder how different my life would be had I taken that job doing cancer research in Iceland at DeCode Genetics. (Any stock options would certainly not be worth much – the stock is down from a high in the 30s to a current 3 and change.) Here is a cool video from the Icelandic band Sigur Ros:


Do any readers use the Morningstar EnCorr software? Please drop me a line if you do. . .

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