Entries about 'money'

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Dressing the Part

Just before the 1974 crash, and again in the 2000s, young folk who were getting richer by the minute saw no reason to dress up or to look serious. Now, the dress-down phenomenon is starting to fade again. Handling other people’s savings is a serious matter, and those who do it should try to look their part.

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The Executor’s Job

An individual should hesitate before accepting a position as sole executor of an estate. This advice is as sound today as it was in 1983, when this list of an estate executor’s tasks appeared in Preserving Capital and Making it Grow.

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What Went Wrong?

I doubt if the way out of the present imbroglio lies in programs, regulations, or bailouts. It is simpler and deeper than that. It is not an event; it is a syndrome. We have forgotten prudence.

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Buffett Naked

Warren Buffett, that most eminent investor, has been fond of proclaiming smugly that “it’s only when the tide goes out that you see who’s been swimming naked.” Is it indeed true that nudity is revealed by an ebb tide?

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Comfortable Tidings

“Strongest global economy I’ve seen in my business lifetime.” Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson and SEC Chairman Christopher Cox make soothing noises just before the financial crisis.

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Indexing

Index investing makes excellent sense in most situations, and is necessary in some. And three cheers for John Bogle, who has spent decades popularizing the idea.

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The Subprime Mess, Continued

This has been a fairly typical speculative waterspout: houses, in this instance, go higher and higher, propelled by wormy mortgages that are flogged off to institutional suckers. Rising prices draw in more and more speculators until everything is overpriced, whereupon the waterspout collapses.

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How to Invest in China

When you go to Hong Kong, Ronnie Chan is a man you are told to try to meet. A U.S. citizen, he has high contacts in Beijing, and it usually turns out that he has just had lunch with Henry Kissinger. On a trip in China, I was able to collect his views on conditions in that country.

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Financial Kidnapping

Old age brings its own repertoire of familiar afflictions which a physician can usually spot with ease. Also, though, a serious economic hazard that the financial practitioner may not spot because he hasn’t encountered it before: a calculated raid on the estate of a rich, lonely, oldster.

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The Subprime Mess

The current catastrophe illustrates several traps and delusions that come up frequently, even though they are fairly obvious… Enough so, indeed, that I have pointed them out in my books.

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What About the Stock Market?

Pre-election years are usually good for the stock market. The defending president pumps oxygen into the system to produce a rosy glow as the voters go to the polls. That’s politics though, not economics.

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How Real Are The Deficits?

In the old days in the investment business when you were studying a company you would sometimes send a young fellow out back of the factory with a clicker to count the widgets emerging to be shipped. Easy enough to check production. Quite different now!

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