POST #5 ; Power of the Four Letter Word—-and more: August 17, 2014


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This blog continues to be a work in progress. Most of the millions of blogs out there deal with one subject or narrative in some depth. I will do that sometimes, but I suspect the blog would be more interesting, informative and entertaining if it included multiple, briefer items.

This Post, for example, (it’s my 5th; see Archives for previous posts), includes five items. Since the umbrella theme of this blog is the pursuit of wisdom, the subject material can cover the universe—-which means you’ll never know what’s coming. I’ve had 40 years of experience picking out the best ideas in the investment advisory field (see Profile). Hopefully, that experience has sharpened the selection skills that will shape this blog.

Because the final format is still up in the air, your feedback is important. Please let me know what you think. There is a place to “Leave a Reply” if you scroll way down to the end of the post. Your thoughts pro, and especially con, regarding content, format, layout, length, headlines–whatever, will be received with gratitude




Jeopardy’s All-Time Winner……………Ken Jennings holds the record for the longest winning streak on the game show, Jeopardy. He won 74 games in a row during the period June through November, 2004. In a cover story in the August 2014 magazine published by Costco called The Costco Connection, Jennings talks about his initial audition to get on Jeopardy. He says, ken jennings“There are tens of thousands of people trying out every year for 400 spots. It’s five times harder, by the numbers, than getting into Harvard or Yale.” At the time, Jennings was a computer programmer and would take two days off to tape 10 shows at a time. He ultimately set the American game show record with 74 straight wins, collecting a total of over $3 million dollars in the process. What was the question that broke the streak on November 30, 2004?  “Most of  this company’s 70,000 white-collar employees work only4 months a year.” Jennings answered, “What is FedEx.” The correct answer—H&R Block. Jennings’ game show preparation involved extensive research. Here are 3 helpful ideas from the master on how best to look for information: (1) Eventually you’ll have to go off line and find a library. (2) Start with Wikipedia; it’s surprisingly accurate. (3) He warns, “Trust no one. Get a second opinion on every  fact. Every source, no matter how good, will have mistakes.”

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Power of the Four Letter Word……..Sometimes it takes a carefully chosen 4 letters to deliver a message with maximum force:   babyfuck                                     










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Ship Out the Elderly……….Harry Newton,  in his always interesting blog, technology, comes up with an innovative way to boost our economy: To help save our economy,

OldPeoplethe Government will start deporting seniors (instead of illegals). This will lower Social Security and Medicare costs. There are two benefits:     (1)  Old people are easier to catch and,    (2)  Old people will not remember how to get back home.

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Total Unselfishness………….When trying to make friends with a young child, adults usually have difficulty. By nature, children are defensive around strangers. When their comfort zone is invaded by an unknown presence, their normal behavior shuts down and their guard goes up. But there are some adults who gain the confidence of children quickly and easily. Why? What’s the key to quickly gaining the trust of a child?

By simply spending time with a child, which few are willing to do. If an adult shows a complete, uninterrupted  and genuine interest holding handsin a child, and if that interest is sustained, the child will likely respond positively. The key word is “genuine”. A child can sense right away if the interest is real or not. The best test, of course, is willingness to spend uninterrupted time, be a good listener and ask questions about things the child cares about.  Most adults don’t have the ability or the desire to do this. Those that do often get amazing results.

The same applies to relationships between two adults. Genuine interest in the other person, the willingness to listen to his or her grievances for as long as it takes, and the ability to sustain that level of concern, is a difficult model to follow. Life takes over. But the failure to carve out quality time in our important relationships is often the reason for their break-up.

Personal development blogger, Marc Chernoff, writes insightfully, “Nothing you can give is more appreciated than your sincere, focused attention–your full presence. Being with someone, listening without a clock and without anticipation of the next event is the ultimate compliment. It is indeed the most valued gesture you can make to another human being.”

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Day Trading or Daydreaming?……We’ve all thought, at one time or another, that it can’t be that hard to make a little extra cash by buying a stock, and when it goes up a little (not a lot, just a little; we don’t want to be greedy), when it moves a bit higher, that day or the next, sell it. Let’s say we tell the broker to sell when it’s up 1/2 a point. That’s a quick $100  profit on a 200 share purchase (commissions are negligible). Now, if you can do that, let’s say once a week, what a great way to supplement your income without ever having to leave the house.

But, wait a minute. If it was that easy, everybody would be doing it. Well, not everybody, but many do try, and when they do, they find it’s not that easy, In fact, short term or day trading is very, very difficult.

Charles Kirk (, a swing/day trader-and one of the few that is consistently profitable, talks about the importance of being able to control your emotions, He says, “Everything that comes naturally to you will work against you when you trade,……bad things happen even when you do all the right things…….few careers offer the potential for self-destruction as quickly as full-time trading.”

John Pherris, another experienced trader, is even more adamant. He says, ” Take $10,000 and light it on  fire in your backyard. If  that does not bother you, then you might be a candidate.

But trading was no big deal to legendary humorist,  Will Rogers. His approach was simple: “Buy a good stock and when it goes up, sell it. If it don’t go up, don’t buy it.”

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POST #5 ; Power of the Four Letter Word—-and more: August 17, 2014 — 4 Comments

  1. This is the best blog I have ever come across. Very refreshing to know that there are some people out there that care enough.

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