Yikes

The news about rice prices is making the rounds and this particular link seems very depressing. This is worth following and understanding (to the extent we can) as there are probably several investment implications. On a different note I took quite a few pictures in Miami in order to give Joellyn some sense of what it looks like. And while I think I did that, candidly most of the picture stink. This is one of the better ones and it stinks. Oh, well but if you’ve never been this give a little inkling of what some of the buildings in South Beach look...

Yikes

The news about rice prices is making the rounds and this particular link seems very depressing. This is worth following and understanding (to the extent we can) as there are probably several investment implications. On a different note I took quite a few pictures in Miami in order to give Joellyn some sense of what it looks like. And while I think I did that, candidly most of the picture stink. This is one of the better ones and it stinks. Oh, well but if you’ve never been this give a little inkling of what some of the buildings in South Beach look...

More Reasons To Keep It Simple

There was an interesting article in the WSJ yesterday about a couple of funds run by John Meriwether, yes the LTCM John Meriwether. He has a fixed income fund that instead of being levered 50 to 1 is levered about 14 to 1 (both numbers according to WSJ). There is also a macro fund that the WSJ says is down 6% through Feb and was down 5.7% in 2007. So whatever it is that these funds are doing I doubt it is very simple but maybe they think it is simple. Yesterday in the panel I participated in we were all talking about how we each use ETFs. I mentioned that I use mostly stocks but that I use ETFs where ever I think they are the best tool to capture a theme. One of the other panelists said “we like to keep things simple” and then described his use of of ETFs. Simple is in the eye of the beholder. I think he was saying that the approach of blending individual stocks and ETFs was not simple. Fair comment. I have responded to reader comments in a similar fashion–“that sounds complicated” I might reply. Obviously if you really understand some sort of method you probably think it is simple. So maybe the better idea is to keep it predictable? I don’t mean don’t take risks but to generally quantify your risks in some sense. For example anyone overweighting broader dividend ETFs clearly has an overweight position in the financial sector. Generically speaking this doesn’t have to be a bad thing. A lot of dividend ETF exposure makes you...

More Reasons To Keep It Simple

There was an interesting article in the WSJ yesterday about a couple of funds run by John Meriwether, yes the LTCM John Meriwether. He has a fixed income fund that instead of being levered 50 to 1 is levered about 14 to 1 (both numbers according to WSJ). There is also a macro fund that the WSJ says is down 6% through Feb and was down 5.7% in 2007. So whatever it is that these funds are doing I doubt it is very simple but maybe they think it is simple. Yesterday in the panel I participated in we were all talking about how we each use ETFs. I mentioned that I use mostly stocks but that I use ETFs where ever I think they are the best tool to capture a theme. One of the other panelists said “we like to keep things simple” and then described his use of of ETFs. Simple is in the eye of the beholder. I think he was saying that the approach of blending individual stocks and ETFs was not simple. Fair comment. I have responded to reader comments in a similar fashion–“that sounds complicated” I might reply. Obviously if you really understand some sort of method you probably think it is simple. So maybe the better idea is to keep it predictable? I don’t mean don’t take risks but to generally quantify your risks in some sense. For example anyone overweighting broader dividend ETFs clearly has an overweight position in the financial sector. Generically speaking this doesn’t have to be a bad thing. A lot of dividend ETF exposure makes you...