Sunday, December 29, 2013

Deep Risk; Deep Do Do!!

Deep Risk; Deep Do Do!!

What is risk?
·         A four letter word (that doesn’t begin with ‘F’)?
·         A game by Parker Bros?
·         Not achieving the expected outcome/goal/objective?
·         The probability of not achieving expected outcome/goal/objective?

Furthermore, how is uncertainty different than risk?

Whereas risks are known and may, within some variance, be measured and with some semblance of probability, uncertainty is, as Donald Rumsfeld best stated, the unknown, unknowns.’

All is ephemeral (also translated as ‘vanity’)

Man, fearing extinction of sense of self (overwhelming identified with the body), seeks to alleviate risk and uncertainty (in futility) trying to ‘insure’ permanence, continuity and certainty – PERIOD – through acquisition.

Insurance is a tool of acquisition to minimize risk. Plain and simple, insurance is the transference of some degree of risk. PERIOD. Insurance is based on taking a smaller certain loss to prevent a much larger risk. (Note, though rated AAA+ by ‘so called independent insurance rating agencies,’ Mutual Benefit Life, New England Life, Confederation Life all constructively went under.’).
Traditionally and theoretically, the personal financial life planning process  is one of prioritizing and aligning one’s resources and risks to ‘insure’ or increase the probability of making the expected outcome (the expected goal).  However, as the French (frogs) say, ‘that’s all well and good in reality, but how about the theory?
The reality is quite the opposite given:

·         the ‘more’ cultural categorical imperative override derived from the prime mobile of ‘acquisition,
·         ‘the sub derivative reality that the client seeks ‘more,’ regardless of lip service to the opposite
·         Overwhelmingly, planner compensation is based to assets under management or commission

Thus, given the above, the more, more more context & consequential more-onic thinking is compounded and becomes normative by comparison, rationalization and justification superseding, overruling, & countermanding assertions of the process.
Regardless, of the distinctly different platforms of more or enough, there has been a general acknowledgement of the following risks (though not all inclusive) relative to ‘more’ or ‘enough’ orientations. The relative degree of  each  of the following ‘risks’ has been further classified as either ‘shallow’ or ‘deep’  by author William Bernstein

·         Market risk
·         Reinvestment risk
·         Liquidity risk
·         Business risk
·         Tax risk
·         Interest rate risk
·         Concentration risk
·         Job/Career risk (1)
·         Inflation risk (purchasing power risk)
·         Deflation risk
·         Currency risk
·         Political risk

What has changed as a consequence of cultural shift towards entitlement,  grievance card industry membership, taking not making (you didn’t build it), and redistribution (theft renamed) in the name of ‘fairness’ by Animal Farm (2) Fairisses, are two shallow risks that have become potentially deep risks  and more probable:

·         Confiscation risk
·         Devastation risk

True, devastation can come from natural disasters (hough many would classify the so called phony scandals of ‘IRS targeting conservative groups, Benghazi, and Obamacare as a man made devastation disasters. But the confiscation risk potential disaster is sequentially front and center. Yet, it is barely noticeable as the  left continues to lull to sleep the country (regardless of ‘duck’ calls’ analogous to the story of the frog in the kettle:

If you drop a frog in a kettle of boiling water it will jump out immediately in reaction to the pain. On the other hand, if you put the frog in water that is room temperature, slowly heating it, the frog will remain in the kettle and eventually cook to death.

So deep confiscation risk starts with slowly but sequentially increasing the temperature:
·         Ignite with  ‘hope and change’ (even if hoax and chump change),
·         Boost the temperature with a stimulus  (that wasn’t shovel ready) and a summer of job (that didn’t occur)
·         Increase temperature with envy  having upper income ‘folks’ pay  ‘little bit more’ to ‘spread the wealth’
·         Fuel the coveting by raising income taxes on ‘the rich’ (even though 46% pay no federal income tax), and 3.8% redistribution tax again for upper level income people for Obamacare,
·         Heighten the flame with heated class warfare rhetoric (even though the income inequality gap has become greater despite the above and because of the above) calling makers takers and ‘you didn’t build it’ in reaction formation
·         Turn on the after burners intensifying the income inequality pitchfork teleprompter reading while dousing and marginalizing equality of opportunity.

And thus, the frog croaks in the deep do do sleep of confiscation risk – without even singing polliwog a yank(eed) my doodle all the day.

Man is asleep

Remember Confiscation risk next election.

1.-  Each job (employed source of income) has a ‘beta’ (a volatility). Most doctors income (pre-Obama) has a low beta/volatility factor whereas those in sales (for example real estate which is highly dependent on interest rates) has a much high volatility to their income.
2.- “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others” akin the smug elitist so called egalitarianism of SP’s (secular progressive collectivists).

Tuesday, December 24, 2013


Why ENOUGH (sm) Is Never Enough

Today, of Americans officially designated as ‘poor,’ 99% have electricity, running water, flash toilets, and a refrigerator; 95% have a television, 88% a telephone, 71% a car and 70% air conditioning, Cornelius Vanderbilt had none of these.
The Rational Optimist by Matt Ridley

            As a puppy when playing fetch with both Moses (my male standard poodle who graduated in May of 2013), my female standard poodle -Her Royal Highness (Goodie) - wasn’t satisfied with just her ball – she wanted Moses’ ball despite her inability to hold  both tennis balls in her mouth simultaneously. The result, her Majesty wound up holding neither. (Simcha ((my 7 month old standard poodle puppy)), momentarily, tried this feat – but gave up on it after one afternoon – satisfied with one tennis ball to play with or puncture at a time.)

            It seems no one is “happy” (as in satisfied or flourishing (1)) with one tennis ball and no one has ‘enough.’ There is never enough.

            How come?
            Two previously stated reasons: the soldering of defective premises of acquisition (and it’s derivative more) and happiness.

(More) …It’s the oldest established permanent floating crap game
Guys & Dolls

            First, fearing extinction of ourself (which we identify(2)) of our physical body), man’s preferred strategy to secure permanence, continuity, certainty (immortality) is acquisition. (Note: acquisition in Hebrew is ‘cain.’ And yes, this is the same ‘cain’ as in Cain & Abel as well as the metaphorical reference per the Orson Wells’ classic movie titled ‘The Citizen Kane’). The derivative of acquisition is ‘more.’ The irony, is ‘more for more’s sake” manifesting itself as ‘more, better, now’ has a habit of becoming ‘less, worse, later.’ As e.e. cummings wrote, ‘more, more, more, what are we all morticians?’ and Edward Abbey noted, ‘growth (more) for growth’s sake is the ideology of a cancer cell.’
            Nevertheless, we pursue ‘more’ (two tennis balls) Fast & FUR-iously for ‘happily ever after.’

            Secondly, implicitly and explicitly, is the mirage that getting more – securing more – acquiring ‘more’ will yield enduring happiness. Yet, ‘more’ neither yields certainty, permanence, continuity let alone happiness. Happiness is but a temporary palliative relative comparative state (to others) requiring increasing dosages of more to fuel the hamster hedonic treadmill. To paraphrase an H.L. Mencken anecdote: ‘happiness in my husband making $100 more a week than my sister’s husband.’
Happiness (itself and or promised by the acquisition of more) is an illusion. Happiness is Disneyland packaged  and promised by advertising to solve one’s ‘lack, not enoughness, defectiveness.’ While Disneyization sells ‘happily ever after,’ (which is more) as Tom Hanks and that perky Meg Ryan become now and forever in You Got Mail, advertising pitches ‘more’ as the answer to ‘the dissatisfaction & lack’ yielding sex, status, and eradicating one’s zits (literally and figuratively).

Grabbing too much winds up with nothing
Rabbi Akiva

            Given Ecclesiastes ‘all is ephemeral,’ the pursuit of certainty, continuity, permanence’ via acquisition and it’s derivative more compounded with the additive promise of happiness neither yields immortality nor ‘happiness’ - nor can it. If anything, seeking ‘more for more’s sake,’ more to avoid ‘what next in one’s life,’ or more out of comfortable acculturated habit and hardwiring is never enough and never yields enough.

There are no solutions only tradeoffs
Thomas Sowell

            What are potential tradeoffs to the delusion of ‘more’ and illusion of happiness?
            Relative to happiness:

·         it is better to seek equanimity (rising above the good and the bad)
·         to seek, find ,discover, rediscover “flow in”  one’s life whereby competency meets challenge and time ‘flies’ while ‘engaged.’
·         find, discover, rediscover not the meaning OF life but rather meaning IN one’s life to flourish and ‘flow’ toward
·         akin to abstaining from cookies while losing weight, go Disney Hallmark Channel free (like gluten free) and the Hallmark until you lose the illusion of happily ever after and rich & happy forever

Relative to disassociating from More

·         know what ENOUGH is – really
·         want what you have
·         seek equanimity rather than than ‘a hit of more’
·         find one’s flow (see above) to engage and flourish
·         find, discover, rediscover meaning IN one’s life
·         re-member materially you are better off than Vanderbilt
·         most certainly have dogs in your life

Notwithstanding  the above most will still attempt to get both tennis balls in their mouth, anyway – as ‘enough’ takes ‘balls.’
1.- flourish is another name for ‘flow’ whereby one is engaged as challenge meets competency and ‘time flies.’
2.-  our identification, despite denials otherwise, is ‘being through having’ (and ‘more’ having is ‘more’ being – cumbaya.)

Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Story of The Black Sheep & More

The Story of The Black Sheep & More

Grabbing too much winds up with nothing
Rabbi Akiva

            Most interpreters of the story of the black sheep story come to conclusion that the black sheep was ostracized, removed, banished, expelled,  and or rejected.
             Au contraire, mon ami, Francois.
The black sheep knew that the farmer’s good care and feeding wasn’t out of the kindness in his heart, but rather to fatten up the sheep for thicker lambchops (sans Shari Lewis and Charley Horse) increasing his compensation at slaughter.
            Rather than waiting for the inevitable, the black sheep choose escape (with the further secondary gain of not having to endure his sheepish relatives including Pearl Schwartz & Cousin Junior at “Passover”.)
            Therefore, the black sheep – rather than being an outcast – proactively took it on the lamb as he ‘knew more would be less – the end of him’ unlike the ‘more-on’ mutton heads who remained.
            This black sheep was no Pascal lamb.

The Ultimate 'MORE'

The Ultimate ‘MORE’ for MORE-ONS in 6 words:
 plenty of nothing you haven’t got.