Monday, September 10, 2012

dumb and dumber...

well guys, dumbing down America just got a bit dumber. We were told today that this year we're adopting the following grading standards. An F is 59% or below, however no grade lower than 49% can be recorded. That means any work attempted receives 50% and a zero will be recorded as 49% no lower. yes, that means even if they skip more than half the questions, or miss more than half on a quiz, etc.... you get the picture.
We teachers just sort of question it, discuss, and comply. :P
in other exciting news, yes it's first working Monday of the month, and I had stock meeting after school today. We talked a while about F squared! using alpha sector strategies......requiring a minimum of $100,000 investment but after ten years will way way beat out the S&P. For those investing way less, they have other markets, symbol VAPCX. They are not about gains so much as avoiding losses with a history chart showing the last big dips in the market with their graph just making a straight line at those moments. otherwise they rise and gain same as the market. well hopefully that made sense. I just sit and listen at most meetings. Tonight we were considering purchasing these stocks: Canadian oil EWC, IBM, MSFT, Utility AEP, and ABT - all which pay dividends blah blah
I was more interested by the car story of the banker who runs our meetings. He had his car converted to natural gas for about $6,400 at a local garage. He says the garage has 4 cars getting converted at a time with jobs waiting 2.5 months lined up. He's saving tons on gas and at the end of the year will get half back from the state, $3,200. Engine runs so clean without the carbon gunking stuff up and he said it will pay for itself within 11 months. How cool, I wish i could get one, but not on my 2000 Ranger. but my next car I'd consider. There are enough places here in the metro to keep him gassed up, plus the car retains its gasoline tank as a back up, and actually it's needed to start the enging. man! I'm telling ya $3.65 today to fill up my pick up. ugh!
Other wise I'm ready to get this week moving on, class tomorrow night and then work up to the weekend. fall is coming, ho ho. :)


Mike said...

Yours is pretty bad. Here's ours.

Do you want to hear our grading scale?

0-19 = F
20-49 = D
50-69 = C
70-89 = B
90-100 = A

We can't give less than a 49% also on an assignment, even if they don't do it, we cannot give less than a 49%. And all kids pass. And we're setting them up for failure in high school. You get a C for showing up? Hell no. I have told my kids I don't follow that and if you don't have a B or better in my class I'll be on your ass.

Anonymous said...

There have been a lot of academic studies showing that actively managed investment funds do not beat the market averages in the long run. Then when you factor in the management fees of the actively managed funds vs index funds the managed funds do even worse. Another point to consider with managed funds is the trading strategy, funds that buy and sell assets, market positions, etc, create tax liabilities. Market index funds only buy or sell if a stock is added or taken away from the underlying index, so not a lot of trading. You should look at tax liablities a fund generates the same as fees. Also, you may pay taxes on a capital gain in a given year for a managed fund, and then loose the gain in future years. That is one reason a person should really stear clear of these funds with agressive trading strategies.

The fund you mention that limits losses but tracks the market is kind of not telling you the whole story. They use hedging strategies to limit losses by buying and selling options, but these options cost money, and sometimes limit upside returns.

Bottom line if someone tells you they can do better than S&P 500 with all taxes and fees considered, run the other way, because no one can honestly make that claim. You will hear all kinds of stories to the contrary from lay people relating stories of unlce freddy's cousin invest with this fund or company and has had market beating returns for forty years straight, but don't be swayed. Pretty much stay away from any and all financial products. The fees are often buried in the details of the paperwork, if not outright omitted, the pitchmen will outright lie about the fees and performance. Banks have started pitching "enhanced" certificates of deposits where your principal is protected, but your interest rate is tied to stock market performance. They lock you in for five years invest your money in the stock market, use options to protect against loss of principal, and then pay you a small fraction of the profits only after all fees have been met. Of course, no one would invest such a scheme if it were pitched the way I stated, so they lie about the fees they collect unless you read 100 pages of legal disclosures in the prospectus. Basically contracts are written in favor of the author of the contract, so be carefull.

Good thing about dividend stocks, MLP's, REIT's, is the cash payout, use it to buy other assets for diversification.

rugbysex said...

destined to be a second rate nation in less than a generation. so sad!
u guys deserve credit for teaching. i couldn't do it.