Monday, June 4, 2007

Value investing



Cool investing

Top 10 Open-Source Software Alternatives for Poor College Students

The following programs are some of the most common used by college students and their OSS alternatives or equivalents.

    1. Open Office---instead of Microsoft office, this alone could save you $200-300. And Open Office has equal if not better features, including a word processor, spreadsheet, multimedia presentation, drawing, database and more.
    2. Scribus--This desktop publisher can create documents such as term papers, research papers and more, for much less than Quark Xpress which costs $749.
    3. Maxima--Chances are you'll need some type of math software and for higher math and algebra, and why pay for Mathsoft when Maxima is free?
    4. BRL-CAD--If you are in an engineering or technical field, you know what TurboCad costs. This software developed by the US military Ballistics Research Laboratory, will cost you nothing.
    5. ClamWin--Developed to work with Windows, this antivirus program includes automatic downloads and programmable scanning, just like Norton Antivirus which costs $70
    6. Gimp--For GNU Image Manipulation Program, this program or its newer brother Gimpshop can equal Photoshop which retails at $650.
    7. SciCraft--For statistics and data analysis, this software rivals SPSS.
    8. Kompozer--Built on Nvu, this newer version can provide web design features like Dreamweaver which costs $400.
    9. Banshee--For your music needs, instead of iTunes, why not check out this software with iPod synchronization as well as music players, burners and playlist features?
    10. Mozilla Seamonkey--Instead of Outlook, this software is an email service and internet browser with Chatzilla features. And you've got to love the name! Now that you know OSS is available, the choices are endless. There are literally hundreds of software programs out there for free or minimal costs. There is even a compilation called "Software for Starving Students" that includes over 40 programs, including games. This software is available for Mac OS X or Windows and includes OpenOffice and Firefox.
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" The 7 Levels of Investor "

Learn The Seven Fast Track Money Steps To Financial Freedom
By John R. Burley

“If you reach for the stars, you might not quite get one, but you won’t end up with a handful of mud, either.” Leo Burnett

What type of investor are you? Have your investment experiences been positive, negative, or mixed? Would you like to know why you get the results (positive or negative) that you get when you invest? Of course you would!

Good news. I am here to tell you why you get the results that you do! Over the past 20 years, I have devoted myself to the study of money. I have driven myself to know exactly how it works and why. I have read every book, watched every video, and listened to every tape I could find on the subject. Over that same period, I have interviewed, counseled, and trained thousands of people in relation to the practices of wealth building.

During my in-depth study of what I refer to as the “Money Game,” I made a startling discovery. Despite the many and varied personality types in the world, there are really only Seven Basic Types (or Levels) of Investor. And while it is common for an individual to drift a little from one investor type to another, most
people will stay fixed at one level for their entire lives. The bad news is that they are often “stuck” at a level which prevents their financial success. The good news is that anyone, with a little effort, including you, can easily upgrade his or her investment skills.

The first step to upgrading yourself is to identify what type of investor you really are. Knowing this will give you a clear awareness of why you get (or do not get) the investment results you desire. With this new awareness you can adopt (or maintain) the attitudes required for your desired level. You can then invigorate this awareness with appropriate action, to give yourself the results you so richly deserve. "

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How to Read Mathematics


by Shai Simonson and Fernando Gouvea

Mathematics is "a language that can neither be read nor understood without initiation". (Edward Rothstein, Emblems of Mind, Avon Books, page 15).

A reading protocol is a set of strategies that a reader must use in order to benefit fully from reading the text. Poetry calls for a different set of strategies than fiction, and fiction a different set than non-fiction. It would be ridiculous to read fiction and ask oneself what is the author's source for the assertion that the hero is blond and tanned; it would be wrong to read non-fiction and not ask such a question. This reading protocol extends to a viewing or listening protocol in art and music. Indeed, much of the introductory course material in literature, music and art is spent teaching these protocols.

Mathematics has a reading protocol all its own, and just as we learn to read literature, we should learn to read mathematics. Students need to learn how to read mathematics, in the same way they learn how to read a novel or a poem, listen to music, or view a painting.

When we read a novel we become absorbed in the plot and characters. We try to follow the various plot lines and how each affects the development of the characters. We make sure that the characters become real people to us, both those we admire and those we despise. We do not stop at every word, but imagine the words as brushstrokes in a painting. Even if we are not familiar with any particular word, we can still see the whole picture. We rarely stop to think about individual phrases and sentences. Instead, we let the novel sweep us along with its flow and carry us swiftly to the end. The experience is rewarding, relaxing and thought provoking.

Novelists frequently describe characters by involving them in well-chosen anecdotes, rather than by describing them by well-chosen adjectives. They portray one aspect, then another, then the first again in a new light and so on, as the whole picture grows and comes more and more into focus. This is the way to communicate complex thoughts that defy precise definition.

Both a mathematics article and a novel are telling a story and developing complex ideas. The greatest difference is that a math article does the job with a tiny fraction of the words and symbols of those used in a novel. Mathematical ideas are by nature precise and well defined, so that a precise description is possible in a very short space.

The beauty in a novel is in the aesthetic way it uses language to evoke emotions and present themes which defy precise definition. The beauty in a mathematics article is in the elegant efficient way it concisely describes precise ideas of great complexity.

What are the common mistakes people make in trying to read mathematics? How can these mistakes be corrected?"

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Who Owns the National Debt, Jan. 2007

This pie chart brings in more traffic than lengthier articles I write—and who am I to argue with success? The chart below is an update, using the latest estimates from the Treasury. (To make it easier to dispel the popular-but-false rumors about China’s share of our federal debt, I added some percentages in the bigger slices. To end the suspense, the Chinese own 4% of it.)

I assume this chart is mostly self-explanatory. Seems to me that we have a diverse and inclusive array of Treasury-security owners spanning the globe, but concentrated in the USA. Click to enlarge.


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The Do-It-Yourself Market-Neutral Portfolio

"Geoff Considine (Quantext) submits: The hedge fund business has been growing rapidly in recent years—with no end in sight. Wealthy investors are seeking alternative investments to meet their needs and hedge fund managers have an array of tools and strategies at their disposal. One of the core strategies employed by hedge funds is what is called market-neutral investing. A market-neutral portfolio is designed to deliver returns that are not impacted by the movements of the broader market. This does not mean that a market-neutral approach is low risk, however. Goldman Sachs' (GS) largest hedge fund employs market-neutral strategies and has attributed their very poor recent performance partly to this approach.

The defining objective of a market-neutral portfolio is that its returns have low correlation to the broader market. Investors use such funds as a diversifier to their other investments in equities. Low-correlation between assets improves their diversification value. In practical terms, increased diversification means that you can achieve a higher return for the total amount of portfolio risk."

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Comfort Zone Investing

Build Wealth And Sleep Well At Night

by Ted Allrich
St. Martin's Press Comfort Zone Investing, by Ted Allrich

Welcome to the Comfort Zone!

You can invest without stress. With this new book, Ted Allrich of The Online Investor explains how to build a Core Portfolio and what you must know to understand the stock market. He takes his 35 years of investing experience and gives you the insights into Wall Street that make the difference between success and failure.

Once you've read Comfort Zone Investing, the market can do what it wants. Down 200 points in a day won't bother you. You'll be in your Comfort Zone, building wealth and sleeping well.

For more details on the book by chapters, click here.

TED: ideas worth spreading

Inspired talks by the world's greatest thinkers and doers

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Sunday, June 3, 2007

After tomorrow

What will happen to us as a specy, to living being, to the earth, to the solar system.... to the universe...

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Check out this great architecture site