Friday, April 27, 2012

ETFs are like the Internet while Mutual Funds are the Newspaper Says WisdomTree CEO

I tend to agree with his statement.

"The ETF is to the mutual fund, what the internet is to the newspaper," Steinberg says in the attached video, shot after a panel discussion on the issue hosted by the New York Stock Exchange. "Because of the added functionality, full transparency, greater liquidity, greater tax efficiency, those characteristics are so important for investing. That's why I think it's a better mouse trap."

They are much easier to deal with than Mutual Funds for the most part and you don't have to worry about having a $2500 minimum in order to buy one. You can also put a nice stop loss on them just in case you want to get out of the position in a down market. With a mutual fund you have to put in a sell order and wait for the next day before it is filled. You might miss an opportunity in the meantime. You also don't have to worry about a weird capital gain or a tax bill showing up at the end of the year.

Amazingly, in the vastly growing universe of some 1,500 different exchange traded products, there are currently 47 actively managed ETFs to choose from, meaning the remaining 97% of products fall into the passive, unmanaged or specialty categories. Of those 47 actively managed funds, Steinberg's firm currently runs 14 of them, giving them a quick lead in a market segment that he says is set for "literally trillions and trillions and trillions of future growth."

The only problem I have with managed ETFs is that some of them are hardly traded and I just don't like buying a security that has a daily volume of 200-600 shares or something. It just makes me feel like I would be getting a poor price when I get into a product like that.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Playoffs? Playoffs? College Football Finally Removes Their Heads from Their Asses

I think the lure of huge money has finally outweighed all the stupidity that went on with the BCS in the past few years.

As for the 14-year-old Bowl Championship Series, it's on life support. Any chance that it survives past the next two seasons? "I hope not," said Southeastern Conference Commissioner Mike Slive, who pitched a four-team playoff four years ago but was shot down at this same hotel beachside hotel.

"This is a seismic change for college football," BCS Executive Director Bill Hancock said after the 11 conference commissioners and Notre Dame's athletic director wrapped up three days of meetings in south Florida.

I think the SEC leaning on this whole process is what made it happen. Even though there were two SEC teams going for the title this past year this Slive guy had some heavy firepower at his disposal. I think the sheer stupidity all the teams from the West Coast trying to get into the "Big East" may have turned the tide as well. 

Among those debates: Slive prefers the four top-ranked teams regardless of conferences in the playoffs. Scott likes the idea of taking the top four conference champions as a way of moving away from the subjectivity of polls that dominant the current BCS standings.

Slive's idea above would be awesome because it could give some teams from the non-power conferences a chance at the National Title. In other words if Hawaii is undefeated they can theoretically challenge for the National Title. More than likely they would be ranked number 5 but the chance is still there. But Boise would have had a shot at the National Title for several years already.

On the other hand this Scott character is obviously an idiot because it will be the Champions of the Power Conferences year after year playing in the playoffs no matter what. Who would conceive of the Mountain West Champion being given the edge over the ACC Champion or the Pac12 Champion in any given year. 

Also this system will be ripe for a screw-up where an undefeated team can't go to the playoffs even though they win their Championship while a one or more loss team wins their Championship and gets to the playoffs instead. Also if for whatever reason the SEC is left out of the playoffs expect a second succession from the Union.

What would be interesting is to see if the Playoff worthy Conference is selected because of non-conference wins against ranked opponents. So that Clemson vs. South Carolina or a Florida State vs. Florida matchup early in the season might be for a chance for their Conference to get a Playoff berth. Also you wouldn't have Texas ducking Hawaii because that win would count for a Big 12 Playoff Berth.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Awesome Gallery of 870,000 New York Photos Published Online

This seems to be an awesome historical record that I can't wait to delve into.

Almost a million images of New York and its municipal operations have been made public for the first time on the internet.
The city's Department of Records officially announced the debut of the photo database.
Culled from the Municipal Archives collection of more than 2.2 million images going back to the mid-1800s, the 870,000 photographs feature all manner of city oversight -- from stately ports and bridges to grisly gangland killings.

I know a photo can show you more history than just about anything and can seriously spark your imagination. I hope more catalogues of photos show up online for amateur historians to pour over.

The Royals Have Been Mathematically Eliminated

Well, I guess that is what this fan thinks of their 3-14 start.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Mark Your Calendar April 20, 1912 is Throwback Uniform Day at Yankee Stadium

The Red Sox cap actually looks kind of cool.

The Red Sox version, which we've seen before, is all white and decidedly no-frills. Boston always looks like a collection of house painters, ice cream men or — in the case of Dustin Pedroia — the young flat-brimmed punk loitering outside the Cinnabon at your local mall when they wear these.

The Yankees version is a little more familiar to the modern day baseball fan, though the relatively unfamiliar color combination reminds me of something the young flat-brimmed punk at your local mall would wear while standing in line at Sbarro.

The Yankee's cap does look a little like something you could buy at Lidz. However, I kind of wish they had the really small brims like they had in 1912. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

3D Printer Used to Make Drugs in a Lab: Um, I wouldn't take HPs Aspirin for Any Reason

Now this is really quite a breakthrough that should make drugs cheaper and easier to get out there to the masses.

Professor Lee Cronin and his team introduced the tech in a research paper, published in Nature Chemistry. The researchers modified a currently available 3D printer they purchased for $2,000, adding vessels with chemicals in them. In doing so, they created what they call "reactionware," a far cheaper, smaller scale version of incredibly expensive chemical engineering equipment.

The innovation could expand access to expensive cancer drugs, allowing pharmacies to fill prescriptions for patients on demand or even allowing patients to print their own medicine from home. According to Cronin, "we could use 3D printers to revolutionize access to health care in the developing world, allowing diagnosis and treatment to happen in a much more efficient and economical way than is possible now."

However, I would not trust any 3D printer from HP that would make my drugs. I mean first of all their software is always messy bloatware but now the quality of their printers are pretty suspect. All it takes is one driver error or fuser malfunction and you are taking arsenic instead of aspirin. I would certainly not take any drug that I would need to print from an HP home printer knowing how they are basically made to sell toner and not to last for any length of time. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

White House goes after Stay-at-Home Moms saying they "Haven't Worked a Day in Their Lives."

This is a pretty mean thing to say about Ms. Romney and her staying home and raising her 5 sons.

The first small-print one — "Adviser to Obama, DNC Attacks Ann Romney" — goes to this video clip of DNC advisor Hilary Rosen, trying to say that Mitt Romney "doesn't connect" on the issue of women struggling economically: He's "running around the country, saying, well, my wife tells me that what women really care about are economic issues, and when I listen to my wife, that's what I'm hearing." She pauses, then blurts out the unfortunate line, which she clearly thinks is a great zinger: "Guess what? His wife has actually not worked a day in her life." She ends with "He seems so old fashioned." 

So raising 5 boys is "not working a day in her life?" I thought women were allowed to stay home and take care of their kids if they chose to. It seems that this Rosen character figures that they aren't "really working" so why pay them any mind. I wonder why the White House hates stay-at-home mothers so much?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Whoops Spoke Too Soon: Santorum is Done; Drops out of Race

Well our access to porn is safe for the time being. The Church Lady has dropped out.

After calling Mitt Romney to concede the race for the Republican nomination, Rick Santorum suspended his campaign Tuesday during a press conference in Pennsylvania, his home state.

"We will suspend our campaign effective today," Santorum said surrounded by members of his family in Gettysburg.

Now all is left is for Newt to drop out and all the money and attention should be placed back on Romney. I think Mitt is not the best candidate we could have but the GOP now has the opportunity to close ranks and make Obama a one-termer. I'm hoping a Ryan or a Cantor as VP will get me excited about voting for Mitt.

Santorum Suspends Campaign to Take Care of Sick Daughter

Um, I think it might be time to pack up the tent Church Lady because taking care of your daughter trumps making it easy for Obama to win re-election.

Santorum announced his withdrawal from the race in Gettysburg, Pa., where he was originally scheduled to hold an event as he said that daughter Bella's illness was part of the reason he considered suspending the campaign.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Blackstone's Byron Wien Says Bull Market Will Continue the Rest of the Year

He seems to be considering there is money on the sidelines that has yet to enter the market.

“Over the past three months the pessimistic mood has changed to optimism,” continues Wien, formerly the long-time chief investment strategist at Morgan Stanley. “Ordinarily, optimistic sentiment readings presage a market correction, but there are so many investors looking for an opportunity to increase their exposure that even a minor downdraft gets cut short by a flood of buyers. This could continue for a while.”

I know there seems to be a move out of bonds and into stocks. I think many Americans are getting tired of earning less than 1% interest on their money. Also he cites Apple paying a dividend which may mean companies might be whittling down their cash hoards so that they could give it back to investors. We just need to watch out for the sabre rattling coming out of Iran because $300 oil will black swan this market.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Someone Needs to Get Fired at NBC for Doctoring Zimmerman 911 Tapes: Today Show Should be Ashamed

This has to be one of the most egregious examples on how the media just does whatever it wants even if it has to doctor footage to get their narrative strait.

As exposed by Fox News and media watchdog site NewsBusters, the “Today” segment took this approach to a key part of the dispatcher call:
Zimmerman: This guy looks like he’s up to no good. He looks black.
Here’s how the actual conversation went down:
Zimmerman: This guy looks like he’s up to no good. Or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around, looking about.
Dispatcher: OK, and this guy — is he black, white or Hispanic?
Zimmerman: He looks black.
Zimmerman just went from a guy answering a dispatchers question to a racist in one little turn of the editors sound board knob. I mean does NBC think they could get away with kind of thing without some sort of oversight. If not for hated Fox News and their so-called "conservative agenda" this kind of blatant falsehood would have been hidden from everyone. I really hope this went all the way up to Matt Laurer so they can clean house and get some actual unbiased newspeople in there. Until then I'm done watching the Today Show. I hope anyone who cares about unbiased news is with me as well.