"One-Twenty": A collection of personal articles on money, finance, economics, and more money

By Duru

Fall, 2000 to now


The series of links on my money site are less articles and more messages that I have shared with family and friends over the years. I am posting them now in case they help anyone. In late 2003, I decided to stop pushing these missives out in email and now only post my ranting and raving on the web so as not to disturb anyone who would not be any the wiser otherwise.

I am not a certified money-man, so I cannot advise you on financial matters. Heck, even I don't have a crystal ball --- as will be clear from reading these missives. J I focus on critical viewpoints and a consideration of multiple possibilities (well, some of my biases will reveal themselves). You will even notice my opinions and perspectives shift over time, particularly as the full gravity of the post-2000 bear market became apparent to me. However, my emphasis was, and continues to be, to offer opinions and perspectives that may directly contradict the conventional wisdom being sold to the masses. I get particularly perturbed by the catcalls of the eternal optimists who constantly promote participation in the financial markets and seem to save the words "sell," "keep cash," and "risk" only for their closest friends and associates. You will notice that I save some of my harshest critiques, derision, cynicism, and caricature for these happy folks - folks who never met a bear market to which they would not advise people to lose money. (Click here for some of my favorite post-bubble quotes). I should note in the days of the second half of 2002 and early 2003 that analysts indeed got increasingly negative - if you measure it by the sheer increase in the number of downgrades to outright SELL and even downgrades because of "valuation." We sure should appreciate such an uptick in honesty, but, in classic contrarian style, the market finally began moving up in the face of all the negativity.

In your "spare time", you should also check out the wisdom from one of the better traders and market-watchers out there in $$$-land - TraderMike. He is a friend of mine from undergrad days. His market insights are often nuggets of gold, and I consider him a master and patient tutor. He is a virtual warehouse of links and resources that can help you improve your investment skills whether you are a daytrader or a (gasp!) buy-and-holder. (May 8, 2004: If you want to see an excellent example of a link that warms my heart, he got me hip to one of the best descriptions of the stock market as a Ponzi scheme that I have ever read! - click here).

I will conclude this introduction with a passage from the Bible that I find particularly relevant to the corruption and scandal financial markets seem to be quite good at generating. These problems may seem cyclic, but really only the revelations of the filth are cyclic, the disease is chronic. See James 5:4-6 (NIV): "Look! The wages you failed to pay the workmen who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered innocent men, who were not opposing you." Also see Jeremiah 5:11 (NIV): "Like a partridge that hatches eggs it did not lay is the man who gains riches by unjust means. When his life is half gone, they will desert him, and in the end he will prove to be a fool. " And of course, the Bible (and most religions) have PLENTY more to say about greed, avarice, corruption, and the general disregard for moral and ethical behavior in the pursuit of material gain. Even atheists can look to the laws and founding principles of the land. I hope I am doing my small part to help the "cause"…be careful out there!

Any feedback, comments, or questions are welcome (click here to send)

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Hilarious post-bubble quotes - typical of the times:

"You don't get two speculative bubbles within a year or two of each other," said Richard McCabe, a technical analyst at Merrill Lynch. From "October's Optimism Goes Unpunished", by Diane Hess., Nov 19, 2001

"Given the correction in technology valuations, we are adjusting our price target to more closely align with a traditional approach based on a discounted cash flow analysis. Our DCF analysis yields a price of $70. We reiterate our Buy rating." By: First Union Securities, 12/11/00 (At this time INKT was $42, as of 4/09/02, it was $3.49)

"'It's a far cry from valuation targets we and others had accepted only a few months ago,' Pluckhahn a research note issued Wednesday. 'We are now employing a valuation metric in common use before the twin dot-com and telecom fevers of 1998-2000.'" From Analyst reports: ADC Telecommunications speaks loudly to investors, by: Rachel Konrad, 11/29/00 10:07:13 AM. ADCT's price target was dropped from $40 to $25. As of 4/09/02 it was $4.07.

Disclaimer: This site may include market analysis. All ideas, opinions, and/or forecasts, expressed or implied herein, are for informational purposes only and should not be construed as a recommendation to invest, trade, and/or speculate in the markets. Any investments, trades, and/or speculations made in light of the ideas, opinions, and/or forecasts, expressed or implied herein, are committed at your own risk, financial or otherwise.

Ó DrDuru, 2006

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