What I Am Reading

I am a big fan of prediction markets like Intrade, and right now, it is looking like Clinton vs. Guliani. Although, I really wish there were more current event futures – it would be interesting to find out what is really going on with Kobe Bryant.

Intrade actually has the Rockies as underdogs to win the World Series. Betting against the best defensive team in MLB HISTORY? Pffftttt.

is a new website that is currently in beta release. It looks like it has the ability to form portfolios to track performance. Here is the Baupost portfolio.

Taxes as a % of GDP. Pretty consistent for the last 50 years.

I would think there would be an African mutual fund or ETF at this point, but I can’t find any. The SPDR S&P Emerging Middle East & Africa ETF (GAF) is the closest I can find, and South Africa and Israel make up over 80% of the index.

Jim Rogers has a new book coming out, and not surprisingly, it is titled A Bull in China: Investing Profitably in the World’s Greatest Market. I must admit, while being a JR fan, this book does not excite me nearly as much as his last two.

CXO, like always, does a great job reviewing a working paper that examines magazine columnist stock recomendations. The paper is titled, “The Value of Columnists’ Stock Recommendations“. From CXO:

In summary, the buy recommendations of columnists in prominent business magazines on average underperform an equal-weighted benchmark over the weeks, months and first year after publication. Columnists in Forbes tend to outperform those in Business Week and Fortune


This study empirically assesses the value of stock recommendations made by columnists in three leading business magazines; Business Week, Forbes, and Fortune, for 2000-2003. We show that the choice of models (index versus benchmark) leads to significantly different assessments of the value of the recommendations. Abnormal returns generated by the recommendations of Business Week and Fortune magazines are found to be negative in the short-term. However, significant abnormal returns are realized prior to the publication of the recommendations. In the short-term, direct recommendations generate significantly greater abnormal returns than indirect recommendations. In the long-term, there is no significant difference between direct and indirect. For a longer horizon none of the stocks recommended provide significant positive abnormal returns.