non career related thread

i cant get myself to read another career related post. does anyone out there have anything non career related to talk about? what are you investing in? why? what have you read lately that you loved/hated? about to finish a taleb book. i was a bit skeptical at first, but it has turned out to be a good read. i’m also bullish (like almost anyone else right now), but i cant seem to get myself to pull my money out… its my 401k and i dont think i should be playing around w/ it since its long term. is it silly to let your money sit there if you are bullish?

I am currently bullish on AFAM. Not much press on it at all. Very low profile, but great looking company that is growing solidly. My first investment in a small company without analyst coverage so we’ll see if what happens…

I’m a little disappointed that market rates have declined so sharply in that I feel like if I rebalance my equities-heavy portfolio into a more “balanced” portfolio of equities and fixed income that I will not get the benefit of capital appreciation of my bonds because rates have declined so sharply. I’m afraid if I invest in a highly diversified bond fund, the the lack of a definite duration is going to kill me over the next year, so I’m kind of mentally stuck in a portfolio that’s a little risky for my taste.

I’m reading this at the moment - v. insightful The Islamist: Why I Joined Radical Islam in Britain, What I Saw Inside and Why I Left by Ed Husain Paperback: 304 pages Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd (3 May 2007) ISBN-10: 0141030437 ISBN-13: 978-0141030432

If Hedge Funds Kept Cows, Your Milk Would Go Sour: Mark Gilbert By Mark Gilbert Feb. 9 (Bloomberg) – A famous series of jokes attempts to define political systems. In communism, for example, you have two cows, your commune seizes them and charges you for milk. In a democracy, you have two cows, the cows outvote you 2-1 to ban all meat and dairy products, and you go bankrupt and starve to death. Similar thinking can be applied to financial markets. Here, then, is the world of money recast in bovine terms. Leveraged Buyouts You have two cows. You come home from the fields one day to find Henry Kravis chatting to your spouse at the dining-room table. Two days later, you have no spouse, no farm, and no table. Two guys the size of sumo wrestlers have saddled up the cows and are riding them around the farmyard. Currency Market You have two cows. China has 1 trillion cows. Guess who sets the price of milk? Bond Market You have two cows. One is Brazilian, one is Australian. They yield 25 quarts of milk per day. That’s half as much as three years ago, when you traded your less-lactiferous German and U.S. cows for them. You are thinking of swapping for a pair of Namibian cows. They only have three legs but, hey, they produce 26 quarts per day. Derivatives You have two cows. You repackage five of them into a Collateralized Lactating Obligation, pay for a AAA credit rating, slice the CLO into 10 pieces and sell it to investors, skimming the cream from the milk for yourself. Three of the cows fall ill, and the credit rating plummets. You get to keep the cream. Hedge Funds You have two cows. A guy in an open-necked shirt drives up in his Bentley and offers to take care of them for you in return for a year’s supply of steak and 50 percent of their milk. They won’t be allowed to leave his compound for two years. Six months later, you have half a cow, producing sour milk. You have to be willing to lose rump today to get rib-eye tomorrow,'' the hedge-fund guy mumbles through a mouthful of sirloin and champagne. Economics Assume two cows. Carbon-Emissions Trading You have two cows. They produce 1.2 tons of methane gas per day. After a hefty donation to the re-election campaign of your local representative, the government gives you enough emission permits for six cows. You sell three permits, buy another cow, and apply for a European Commission grant to build a methane-gas power station. Microsoft Corp. You have one old, tired cow. A recent heart transplant may have come too late to save the beast. Google Inc. You have no cows. You slap advertisements on everyone else's cows. The milk floods in. You use the proceeds to reinvent the cow. Apple Inc. Nobody wants your cows. You design the cutest little milk bottle. Now, everybody wants your cows. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. You have 26,467 cows. They are strapped into the milking machines 24/7. Some of them have more hay than they could ever hope to eat. Others aspire to one day having more hay than they could ever hope to eat. The cows with the most hay end up with big government jobs. Pension-Fund Management You have two cows. How boring is that? You pay a month's supply of milk to a consultant, who advises you to sell one cow and buy two aardvarks instead. The aardvarks die. The consultant charges you four months of your (now reduced) milk supply and advises you to sell half of your remaining cow and buy a wombat. The wombat dies. The consultant charges eight months of milk for a copy of his new report, Two-Cow Strategies for Alleviating the Impending Pensions Crisis.’’ Russian Energy You have two cows. Comrade, those cows are an environmental hazard. We suggest you hand one of them over to us. Credit-Default Swaps You have two cows. You buy insurance against them dying, and tuck the contracts into the middle of that tottering pile of documentation on your desk. One dark night, Henry Kravis sneaks off with your cows. By the time you track down the paperwork, your now worthless contracts have expired. Interest-Rate Swaps You have two cows. You pledge one of them to me as collateral in a swap for some of my pigs. I pledge the cow to my neighbor as collateral in a swap for some of his sheep. He pledges the cow to his cousin as collateral in a swap for some of his cousin’s goats. Better pray the livestock market doesn’t crash and we have to try and round up that cow. Commodities You have lots of stocks and bonds, but no cows. Are you crazy? Cows are the hot new market. Here, buy this exchange- traded cow futures contract. It can’t lose. It gained 40 percent in the past six months. Gold You have two cows. You wear a cap you made out of tin foil so that the tiny black helicopters can’t read your thoughts. You spend your days blogging about how the government’s decision to abandon the cattle standard in 1933 was part of a global conspiracy by the world’s central banks to destroy the value of your herd.

The History of the World in 6-glasses. A pretty decent read on some of the world’s leading beverages. Beer was a currency ages ago if you can believe it. Willy

holy mother of g. did i write that? or did someone take control of my keyboard and start writing nonsense? i’m bearish… not bullish… i have most of my 401k $$ invested in passive/index funds. a few months ago i had a talk w/ a co-worker about pulling my $$ out and putting it money market type funds in order to preserve my profits for the year (i was at +13% at the time). he made a good point that i shouldn’t get into the habit of trying to time the market w/ my retirement money. anyway… it crashed, but recovered and i’m thinking (again) about taking my profits off the table since i’m bearish over the next year or so. anyway… how often do you guys move your $$ around in your retirement account(s)? i like the reading suggestions on this thread… not your typical AF recommendations :slight_smile: keep em coming.