Monday, May 17, 2010

The Shop I Want

Blog post at Rands in Repose

We’re in a world where you can find anything you want, which is great, except when you realize there’s a lot of everything. Google was created and thrives attempting to solve the everything problem for us. Google has made it wonderfully simple to find a thing, but just because you find a thing doesn’t mean you care about it. As you stare at a PageRanked list of stuff, you have a choice:

You can sit back and be force-fed the decisions and opinions of others.


You can have an opinion.

It’s not that I want a Stow Davis desk, it’s that I want to find that desk. I want to go to seven different antique shops and spend a weekend developing an opinion about the state of antique desks. I want to find someone who knows the entire history of Stow Davis desks and won’t fucking shut up about them.

The days are long, but the years are short

A great way to describe parenthood, coined by Gretchen Craft Rubin.

She has also made a short Flash video, which is well worth watching for parents who find themselves to be a bit frustrated with the daily grind and need to "reboot" their perspective.

Quote was found as part of this article, on being a more light-hearted parent.

Bonus quote: "happiness equals reality divided by expectations", by Alden Cass

Friday, May 14, 2010

Why is the world a mess?

Blog post by Scott Berkun

1. People don't listen
2. People don't read

There’s this assumption in our culture that with all the TV shows, and books, and websites, we’re all reading more and listening more, but I doubt that. It's become increasingly acceptable not to be listening (e.g. staring at your laptop or phone in meetings) and not be reading (skimming how many emails, or blog posts, in an hour). And I bet any culture, a team, a family, a country, where there is more real listening and real reading, people are happier and more successful at achieving things that matter.

But I’ve yet to see someone monetize listening, or reading. So the whirlwind of commerce naturally encourages less listening and less reading, but more of everything else.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Passive investing, with a dash of market timing

Blog post at Pop Economics

But as tough it is to see if the market is slightly over or underpriced, it’s actually pretty easy to see if it’s way over or underpriced.

Looking back at market prices and earnings for a little more than 100 years, Shiller found that the market’s average P/E10 (the shorthand when you use 10-year earnings) was about 15. What’s more, if you invested when the market was at a high P/E10, your returns for the next 10 years were almost certain to be much less than if you invested when the P/E10 was below 15.

Based on the CAFE10 metric, you slightly tilt your portfolio towards stocks or bonds.

Robert Shiller's CAFE10 Data
updated monthly