Monday, October 22, 2007

Take Stock in Your Beliefs

  • What I'm Watching/Listening To/Reading:
    • I’m done with all of the NFL pregame shows – they all give me a headache at
      this point. I get my injuryreports from Yahoo or and that’s pretty much all I need going into the games. My Sunday routine – “Fantasy Insider” on ESPNNews at 11 (I watch a movie until then if I get up by 9 or just watch History Channel or “Meet The Press” if not) and Friday’s Bill Maher at noon, leading up to the games.
    • Speaking of “Meet The Press”, Stephen Colbert was on yesterday morning. I think – and this is a co-worker’s statement, but I agree – that he is a bit like Sasha Baron Cohen in that he’s so great at staying in character no matter what is thrown at him.
      Tim Russert made him crack a little smile every so often, but he was able to keep his composure.
    • I don’t watch this every week, but had a conversation in the office today about “Deal or No Deal”. It really is fascinating from a statistics point of view. The algorithm they use and how it incorporates some quantification of risk-aversion must be amazing.
      I’ve seen some professors try to crack it on various web sites, but they can’t get the psychological portions quite right.
  • Random Thoughts/Links:
    • This is either going to be a great World Series like 2001 or everyone is really overestimating Colorado. I don’t have the slightest idea which, but I’m actually pretty excited to find out.
    • SAT practice hint of the day – Explosive:Dud::Rockies Offense:Ravens Offense.
  • Daily Rant:
    • There was a long conversation on the Junkies this morning about the effect of the volatile stock market on a 401(k) account and how you’d be crazy to check the stock market every day. This makes me think about my investment strategy and how crazy the news gets about a daily fluctuation on Wall Street. I’m sure it affects lots of day traders when the stock market has a big change on a given day, but it affects nobody else. I don’t know if it’s the news trying to scare everyone or if it’s – no, it really is the news trying to scare everyone. If you are not a day trader and
      you are younger than, say, 50 or 55 (and I know the 3-5 people that read this, so I know you fall into this category), it should not make a difference what the stock market does on any given day, week, or year. I legitimately care about the 20-year performance of the stock market. And guess what, I’m not even concerned about that, because it always goes up. Always. It’s called inflation. Barring all of your retirement money being in an Enron or a WorldCom (and there’s not a damn thing
      you can do about that), it pays to be risk-neutral or even risk-seeking at a relatively early age. No pain, no gain. Instead of worrying about the market going down 2% on a day 29 years before you can touch your retirement fund, worry about how medicine has made it so you’ll live way past what you’re saving for.

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