Monthly Archives: February 2013

Validea's Guru Investor Blog

In today’s financial world, the line between investing and speculation are often blurred. What is the real distinction between the two? Jason Zweig endeavors to answer that on The Wall Street Journal’s Total Return blog.

“As Josh Brown at the Reformed Broker pointed out earlier this week, nearly all commentary about the financial markets is tailored to speculators, not investors,” Zweig writes. “That can contaminate the mind of even the most intelligent investor with speculative thinking. How can you keep your head clear?”

Zweig notes that up until the 20th century (and for a good chunk of that century), all stocks were considered speculative. Bonds were considered investments, because they guaranteed a return of capital. The late, great Benjamin Graham helped change that. “He wanted people to see things differently,” Zweig writes. “Graham insisted that stocks could be investments and bonds could be speculations – all dependent on the…

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Today the Dow has hit a record high.  Yes, thanks in part to Ben Bernanke and the Fed’s zero interest rate policy (ZIRP), the Dow is back to setting record highs.

 2-28-2013 12-26-39 PM

Now, the million dollar questions is “what part of the cycle are we in?”.  Are you a buyer or a seller?


This video does not required much commentary.  Plastic is a wonderful material but it shouldn’t be ending up anywhere but the recycling facility.  Our oceans are full of it.  I believe it was Paul Hawken in The Ecology of Commerce who questioned why we use a packaging material that takes 300 years to decompose for a product that sits on the shelf for 3 weeks and is consumed in 3 days?  The answer is because its cheap – but is it really?  When you factor in the costs that are currently “externalized” (e.g. polluting our oceans) it doesn’t seem so cheap.

More details of the film here:





A little surprised to see only 10% of Yelp’s users are accessing via mobile.  Actually really surprised especially considering how awesome the Yelp monocle is.  Skype also seems a bit low to me but I guess if you’ve got a mobile phone you’ll just use the embedded phone functionality (unless like me you have AT&T and routinely have to use skype + wifi to make calls).


Found via Cool Infographics 

This looks like a pretty awesome service.  I would love to have digital copies of my snailmail and not have to deal with all the crap.

They’re just kicking off their national roll out starting in San Francisco.  Check ’em out.


Just got back from a week long vacation to Key West, FL.  If you’ve never been there, this poster for Capt. Tony’s sums it up nicely (the oldest bar in Florida and one of Hemingway’s favorite hangouts, back when it was Sloppy Joe’s).  Oh yeah, this guy also became mayor of Key West from 1989 – 1991.  He was a true swashbuckler, one of the last.  You can read his full bio here.

Carl Sagan:

“What an astonishing thing a book is. It’s a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles. But one glance at it and you’re inside the mind of another person, maybe somebody dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, an author is speaking clearly and silently inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people who never knew each other, citizens of distant epochs. Books break the shackles of time. A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic.”

Found via Value Investing World

Somewhat narrow version of Disruption of you ask me but an awesome article. I tend to think of disruption as anything that pisses off / scares the incumbents and makes them revise their game plan. That definition is broad and not very helpful. Andy Rachleff’s definition (based on Clay Christensen’s definition) is much more structured and useful.