A Key to Great Investing: Understanding Risk

Maybe it's the way we're wired, but most people are terrible at assessing risk. We put our money in "safe" investments and get clobbered and avoid "risky" investments that double and triple. Here are a few ways improving risk can hurt:

1) Avoiding the stock market altogether.

Conventional wisdom says the stock market is a dangerous place where you're sure to lose a fortune or a casino where you have no control over results. Conventional wisdom could not be more wrong. Look at the history of the market since its inception, and you'll see some wild rides. What you'll also see are long-term results that beat almost anything else you can find. Good luck trying to make some people believe this, though. They know what they know; do not confuse them with the facts.

While the gyrations of the stock market make its short-term risks easy to see, the risks of bank accounts and bonds are hidden. Every month, you see some interest on your bank balance-though small – and the principal is always there. What you do not see is a greedy monster called inflation, typically gobbling up the purchasing power of your funds. If you hold bonds to maturity, the same thing often happens. Get your principal and interest back, but lose to inflation. And if you do not hold to maturity, your "safe" bond investment may be anything but. Who wants to buy your bond yielding 1% if interest rates jump to 4%?

2) Investing only in large cap stocks.

Giant companies have a place in every portfolio. They throw off wonderful dividends that keep money coming in even when the market is tanking. Their strength helps you sleep at night. But buy them when they're overpriced, and you'll have to collect a lot of dividends to get your money back. Moreover, they'll fail to return as much as the average small or midcap portfolio.

Risk assessment is a tricky thing with smaller cap stocks. Look at one microcap stock, and the risk is awful. Look at a diversified bunch, and the risk shrinks dramatically. Some of your microcaps might go bankrupt (although you can minimize that risk by taking a good look at debt, cash flow, and earnings), but the ones that do well will often go through the roof and leave your overall performance looking quite impressive.

3) Thinking stocks are more dangerous when they're actually safer.

Most people assume they should stay away when the market drops 20%. After all, it might drop a lot more. By focusing on potential short-term pain, they ignore the fact that a good company's stock at 20% off is usually safer than one at full price-especially if it's the stock of an all-weather company that will sail through the next recession.

If you think you're immune from this, ask yourself how you feel about buying a house. Chances are you're a lot more nervous than you were a few years ago, even though there's only a small chance that houses will perform as terribly in the coming years as they have for the last few.

4) Thinking stocks are a great buy when they're actually a huge rip-off.

Remember those people who thought the stock market was a big casino or a sure way to lose money? Wait till the next market boom. Suddenly, they'll think the market is a great place to invest. They'll fill your ear full of stock tips-most of them bad. Avoid this by looking at numbers instead of listening to cheerleaders. As the average P / E ratio of the stock market climbs higher, stocks become more dangerous in spite of claims that it's different this time. That does not mean there are not any bargains, but you will not find them by listening to hot tips.

5) Thinking anything is a sure thing.

Every aspect of investing is fraud with risk. Hurricanes, earthquakes, terrorist attacks, and accounting shenanigans can torpedo a stock in spite of your best efforts. That's why every portfolio needs more than one stock, and every portfolio need to be invested in more than one sector. Be wary of throwing money at everything in equal amounts, though. This is a guarantee of mediocre results. Instead, calculate the size of each investment based on your estimate of potential returns, but with a healthy respect for the threat of the unexpected.

6) Thinking past performance is a guarantee of future results.

A stock that had an extra year is not necessarily going to have another. The same goes for fund managers.

Even the long-term inflation-beating performance of the whole market is not guaranteed, although it's a pretty good bet. That's why you always need to keep some funds in cash and alternative investments.

Conclusion:

Risk assessment is not an intuitive skill. If you rely on sloppy thinking or feelings, you'll almost certainly get it wrong. Take the time to learn how risk works and to know as much as you can about each of your companies. The rewards will be worth it.

21st Century Global Financial System of Market Economy

In the 21st Century currently existing Global Financial System lead by US and other Most Developed Nations (incl. China) and managed by the Parish Club, WTO, IMF and the World Bank must change their approaches to appreciate the most recent developments of chronically becoming indebted World, in which except for a very few countries and market as China and India, most of the rest Most Developed Economies as US and GB, Developing Countries as Spain, Portugal and Greece, and Undeveloped Countries as Bulgaria, Rumania and many South American Countries , Asian and African Countries are greatly indebted or very underdeveloped. A Central Banking System is needed to control the global "demand-to-supply" balance by being able to issue capital, instead of the current global financial system which performs more as a "lender".

There have been many indications that the process of running fiscal shortages for many countries can not be reversed by using current Economics of Production based "trickle-down" Capitalism, because the Production based Economics is generally founded on industrial production that adds the highest percentage to any country GDP (General Domestic Product) and the consequential fiscal reserves for a country or a market to develop most definately such country following the economics of production must industrialize, or for an industrialized country such must keep being globally competitive in industrial production to maintain intact its deficiency. The Globalization of the market place propelled by the great Capitalization and the Rising Productivity have boosted the economies of China and now India to industrialize rapidly, that industrial power added very much to the current industrialized economies of Japan, Germany, US capacity by how the Global industrial production capacity overall is coming to a point of great concentration of such industrial production into a very few industrialized economies. The possibilities for other small or even big countries to become competitive in industrial production and maintain their fiscal policies and reserves in tact are diminishing.

From the Most Industrialized Economies US is particularly vulnerable under these new Global developments of ungoing exodus of industrial production and capital investment to the Far East. The Capitalism of US Economics is very inept in distributing and redistributing Wealth so to speak the "demand" side of Capitalism correlates the "supply" and works well in a close marketplace in size of US market when "trickle-down" capital first "trickle -up "to concentrate wealth then comes" down "to create industrial production, but than when" trickle-down "does not go to the US market but to elsewhere the shortage of consumption can not be avoided, following in not properly balancing" demand -to-supply ", thus, to avoid economic catastrophes US Government steps up with infusing capital into the system: exactly what happened at the last Great Recession of 2007-2009.

Also in time of narrowing ROI (Return Of Investment) particularly for SME (Small & Medium Enterprises) and from the SMI (Small & Medium Investors), in time of Governmental policies promoting and tolerating pro Big Business and Big Investors deregulated "trickle- down "Capitalism which were mostly the only ones benefitting from the ongoing globalization, the possibilities in such times for occurrences of Economic Bubbles are quite common. The 1999 Stock Exchange Bubble and the 2007 Great Recession are products of designated lack of Wealth Distribution. Thus become obvious that the Government in situations like that step into actions by infusing capital, save even individual businesses and prompt social distribution: The Healthcare Reform, the Finance Reform, and the US SME Tax Reform are good examples how the system in distress works, although the consequences are up to be seen. It is hard to believe that the US Government could consistently manage the economy and create business. In the Next Recession the Government will appropriate more function in financing and business that overall is a scary preposition having in mind how inflexible and inept a Government could be.

Environmental pollution and Earth extraction of resources under the current production economics based on industrial production mainly is unavoidable, because when even most developed industrial nations could introduce and follow policies of protecting the environment, or even the developing nations of China and India follow up which is highly doubtful, there are many countries that will try to manage their fiscal shortages by compromising the rules for Environmental protection so that they can bring to their soil industrial production. In the World of ROI mostly from Industrial Production the prices of Environmental protection technologies are making businesses very competitive to others that do not implement these. Pollution also comes from cutting and burning woods to farm or from heating with coal, or from driving old autos, or from dispose sewers into open rivers. So to speak, without curbing on the Global poverty can not be ways to curbing on pollution. But to curb on poverty industrialization can not be used so the possibilities for saving the World from Environmental disaster by using industrial production are very unlike.

To avoid multiple economic crashes and upheaval, to avoid the Government take over when next recessions, to avoid fiscal shortcomings and deficit, unemployment and poverty, to avoid environmental destruction a new system of economies is needed, one that will allow countries to develop without being industrialized.

Is it possible to manage global development without using current production based economics system?

  • Well the most recent US and any Governments' infusion of monetary quantities, business involvement and social distribution of wealth is not based on production economics.
  • The Chinese approaches in handling Economy is not production based only economics: their interference in the ways "trickle-down" capital works in the marketplace does not follow Capitalism but is more-like "artificial" flexible usage of economic "tools'.
  • The Greece bailout by the EU and IMF is not "trickle-down" economics; it is an interference with the powers of the Capitalism.
  • There are many more examples of how Governments and organization interfere with freely flowing capital and there before using "artificial" methods of economics.

At the moment he mounting debt accumulated by almost any country in the World horrific economists and they predict imminent bust-and-doom (there was a suggestion by some German politicians to Greece to sell some Greek islands, but then funds has been approved help Greece ). Although economists should be horrified only from high imbalance of "demand-to-supply" ratios, which imbalance provokes inflations and deflations; that should be the largest concern to the Global Financial Institutions instead these are fighting defit and debt: these institution as mentioned above are acting more-like a "lender" then a "controller" these should be. If the Global marketplace is seen in its vastness as a common marketplace a mass industrialization should not be expected and can not be achieved therefore. Thus, for balancing "demand-to-supply" ratios, the Monetary Policies should be used instead industrializing the entire Earth. Comprehensive Monetary Policies by Global Financial Institutions flexibly using Monetary Quantities as Economic "tools" and Business and Financial Regulations as enhancing business "security" are "the way to Rome" only.

Less governmental involvement in business, more business laws and regulations on business contracting, business and project bonding, intellectual properties' laws, risk management personal liability laws, and etc, these the supplements to an appropriate Monetary Policies: because these "regulatory" actions will strengthen SME and SMI "security" and make these much more adequate to be funded.

Low interest rate financing and subsidies are economic "tools" to be used by a Global Financial System in promoting environmentally friendly renewable energies and agriculture, environmental tourism and sustainable growth. This new financial system must use commercial banks to invest in countries on project by project basis on set matrix and low margin.

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© Joshua Konov, 2010

The Passive and Supportive Stepford Wife

Some of us ladies have a horror of becoming something of a Stepford Wife; that squeaky clean, air-headed, submissive little house person who does not have a thought of her own beyond an imaginative dinner menu to please her lord and master.

There are women who buy into this garbage, especially the wives of busy senior corporate executives which wifely duties entail standing by good old George or Fred or whatever his name is at every major company function, the epitome of wifely splendor in every respect – coiffed, perfumed and beautifully dressed to the envy of every other lady present. Such women produce perfect buffets at twenty minutes notice for ninety without turning a hair. Personally if my husband suggested we might entertain a dozen executives for dinner at three days notice I would check myself into an asylum and hide there until the pension matured.

Contrary to mine and just about every other intelligent woman's opinion, are these ladies really leading satisfied and fulfilled existences? Can virtual enslavement really be that much fun? Most of them would lead us to think that it is, but women caught up in the corporate merry go round of competitive high achievement are brain trained to support such statements regardless of their actual feelings.

Who began this nonsense anyway? Who decided it was unacceptable to wear the same outfit to two functions consecutively? Who made it a rule that sophistication had to go hand in hand with a complete loss of humor? Why do these elegant ladies never smile / stumble / fart? Must all resemblance to the human race as a species be removed before one is considered to be special enough to entertain at boardroom level?

There are, it is believed, certain compensations for having to appear at every company social function behaving as if one's brain has been picked – most of them monetary or, appropriately enough – plastic.

To all you junior executive wives with an ambition to push Herbert up the corporate ladder as fast as possible – get a life, girls, there are more important things to worry about than whether the table is properly dressed or should Mavis be wearing more expensive shoes than the wife of who ever happens to be the head peaceut this week.

5 Marks of a Great Content Management System

The functionality and appeal of your CMS website rests on your ability to select the best content management system for your needs. There are a lot of big names competing for attention as well as some smaller names that have great promise to become big names. This means lots and lots of choices for those who want to design CMS websites.

To make the selection process a bit easier, consider five tell-tale marks of a great content management system:

#1: You don’t need an IT crew on staff to install the CMS.

Installation is where some of the less effective content management systems fail. If a user cannot figure out how to get the system installed they start to wonder if they will be able to actually use the system once it is installed. The best content management systems will be very easy to install even if the IT guy isn’t down the hallway.

#2: The backend must be very easy to use.

This may be debatable for some people, but in most cases the backend of a CMS website should be incredibly simple to use. Most people using a CMS don’t know HTML code or don’t want to waste time messing with code. This means they are looking for a very simple system that allows them to add to, tweak and change their websites without getting into complicated procedures.

The simpler the backend is, the better suited a CMS will be to those who don’t know how to completely code a website for themselves. This is important if you are designing websites for consumers who don’t know much about web design. The easier the backend is for them to maneuver, the fewer calls of frustration the designer will receive after the product is in the hands of the client.

#3: The CMS should offer templates that are relatively easy to modify.

The great thing about designing a CMS website is the ability to easily modify templates to come out with the perfect website for a given client. You should be able to take a template and make changes so it matches what you want your site to be or what a client wants their site to be. If the modification is too difficult or not possible, then the CMS fails to live up to its main purpose.

#4: A great CMS will allow easy manipulation of extensions to extend the functionality of the CMS website.

If you can’t add extensions, you can’t get the most out of your CMS website. The best content management systems will make it easy to work with extensions so you can create the perfect website with any template.

#5: There should be some form of community or support service where help in the design process can be found.

Finally, make sure the content management system you select has some type of support where you can ask questions and get the opinions of others familiar with the system. This rules out some very small or new content management systems that are still in the developing stages, but it might also rule out some of the bigger guys that don’t necessarily have valuable support communities.

All of these marks identify content management systems that are easy to use. That is essentially the purpose of creating a CMS website. They are just easier to use and much faster to work with than a website designed on basic HTML code.