I’m free!

While I certainly can’t belt it out like The Who,  I can tell you freedom is one big reason the U.S. will eventually recover from this recession.  Also, mindfulness of freedom can help us through tough financial times.  These times are tougher on some people than others.  Some folks are scraping by, some are very comfortable, and some are struggling and hurting financially.

One thing I know —  I’d rather be struggling in a country where I am free to speak my mind than rich in a country where speaking “wrongly” can lead to prison or worse.  (I’m also glad to be able to invest my money as I see fit… mostly.   Yes, there are restrictions on what we can do with our money… that’s topic for a later day perhaps… but generally we can invest as we choose).

In the long run, freedom, notably freedom of speech is a why the U.S. will succeed financially.  And it is what makes any financial success all the sweeter.  The freedom to criticize, the freedom to analyze, the freedom to cheer, and to jeer.  From the heart, from the mind, from the gut, from the soul.  Ah… the freedom to sing badly (in my case) or beautifully (as do some others).

I hate karaoke;  long live karaoke!   Bloggers who regurgitate without thought,  grammar,  spelling, nor even proper recollection annoy me… but blog on!  Bring on the inarticulate but impassioned cry!  It is so much more lovely than insincere eloquence.

I’m free!  I am free!  Another bailout? Rescue bill or no?  There is much I could criticize.  But instead, today, I choose to celebrate.   Like it or not the legislation will be part of our legislative process.  It may be pork-laden sausage, but it is made from free-range pork.   Maybe the market will like the taste, maybe it won’t.

Here we are debating,  arguing,  supporting, and opposing.  Isn’t it great?!  (Feel free to disagree!)

OK, is that a touch too cheery?  OK then, here’s a dash of Angostura bitters.  I think shareholders, as owners of companies, need more say.  More resolutions should be binding.  Mutual and index funds should be voted based on the best interpretation of shareholder questionnaires (if applicable) or simply not be voted/counted at all.  Definitely the votes of fund managers (trustees, etc) should not no be bought or sold or give the appearance thereof.    That’s a start of my thinking on such matters.  We (small- time) stockholders should be more free rather than the serfs that we sometimes become.

Back to the main topic.  T. GILLIAM.  Or, Thank Goodness I Live Luckily In AMerica.  🙂

Working titles for an investing book?

Since I love to read investing books, I somehow got the idea in my head to write one.  So far I wrote an outline and a couple working titles and even a promo for the book jacket.  Now just to fill in the contents — piece of cake 🙂   I figure that with a hour here and hour there on nights and weekends I might just be able to have a rough draft in a year or two.  I thought I’d share some of my working titles for comment and criticism:


Charting the volatile seas of bounty and bust.


The Balhiser Principle

Integrating the financial alchemy of gurus and scholars into your personal risk profile.

Obvious, risk is  a key theme.  I believe risk is one of the most challenging concepts to intuitively grasp.  Benjamin Graham tackled risk with a “margin of safety” approach.   Warren Buffet modified Graham’s value approach to achieve phenomenal results.  Scholars developed the capital asset pricing model (CAPM) for stocks.  Scholes,  Black, and Merton took CAPM further applying extending it to stock option pricing and winning Nobel prizes.  Thinking they had tamed the financial oceans they made big gains until a financial maelstrom sunk their financial Titanic called Long Term Capital Management.  Finally, Nicholas Nassim Taleb rewrote the rules of finance in ways that are just bringing to change the modern financial landscape.

I would like to explain these concepts such that the busy Joe or Jane investor can easily understand and use them.  After all what is the point of financial ideas to the personal investor  if they are not readily usable by the personal investor?

Well there it is —  My intention to write an investing book over the next couple years.  Announced on Super Bowl Sunday, 2009.  Go Steelers!