Thursday, November 30, 2006

Mad Money Foolery - Mad Money

I've said it before and I'll say it again, CNBC's Jim Cramer is an idiot. Yes, I know I'm not being tactful, in fact I may even come off to be a tad jealous (don't worry, I'm not), but the fact of the matter is Jim Cramer is an idiot and we now have evidence to prove it (at least that he is an idiot stockpicker).

The linked article by Larry Swedroe details a study done by three Ph.D students from Northwestern's Kellog School of Management. The basic result is that Cramers antics and stockpicks, while entertaining to some, are losers. You don't make money following Cramer's advice. You make CNBC, Cramer, and Wall Street rich, but you won't make yourself anything. Investing is not entertainment, its serious and needs to be taken seriously.

Scott Dauenhauer, CFP, MSFP

An Overview of Equity-Indexed Annuities

EIA_Working_Paper.pdf (application/pdf Object)

This is a link to a paper by two PH.D's who have studied Equity Indexed Annuities and concluded that they are not good products. In fact these products work as a wealth transfer device, basically taking money from the policyholder and transferring it to the broker and insurance company in a very sly way.

If you don't want to read the 13 page report, just know that Equity Indexed Annuities are bad products - stay away.

Scott Dauenhauer, CFP, MSFP

AARP:Many 50 Plus Californians Perplexed And Overwhelmed

AARP Financial Survey Finds: When It Comes...

AARP did a study of Californians over age 50 and guess what? They find prospectuses difficult to read......imagine that!

A prospectus is what you are given when you purchase a mutual fund or an annuity, you are supposed to read and understand it, but that is nearly impossible given the way they are written.

I'm not sure we actually needed a study to tell us prospectuses rarely get read and are hard to understand.

Scott Dauenhauer, CFP, MSFP

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Things To Do To Stay Out of The Morticianian's Parlor

  1. Cholesterol? Check your LDL (Low Density)(Bad) cholesterol; if its above 100 ask your doctor about taking a statin family of cholesterol lowering drug.

  1. Blood Pressure? Check your blood pressure, and keep it under 130 systolic and 80 diastolic.

  1. Take one aspirin daily-- a child's aspirin (81mg) is usually enough.

  1. Weight Reducing program? If your body mass index is above 27 or, if you�re a woman and your wait is over 35 inches or if you�re a man and your waist is over 40 inches, you should seriously begin and sustain a weight reducing program.

  1. Diabetes? If you fit any of the here criteria above you should have your fasting or 2 hour post meal blood sugar checked for diabetes.

  1. Flu shot? Get an annual flu shot, and get a periodic pneumococcal vaccine.

  1. Colonoscopic exam?
  2. Get a baseline colonscopic examination and then follow-up as indicated by the initial exam. Men should get an annual PSA at least up to age 80 and a digital rectal exam; women should get an annual mammogram and do self breast examinations.
  1. Establish a relationship with a primary care physician? Yes.

  1. Network with friends. Work on expanding a network of close friends, consider volunteer work, widen your intellectual interest, be cautious with using alcohol, and know the symptoms of depressions.

  1. Exercise regularly--including aerobic, weight resisted, stretching, and balance.

Keeping your weight within a healthy range.

1. Calories. 3,500 calories on the plus side are an extra pound while on the negative side are a pound lost.

2. 1 gram of fat is 9 calories

1 gram of carbohydrate is 4 calories

1 gram of protein is 4 calories

3. Pure carbohydrate, may be metabolized rapidly, however, and make you hungry

way before your next meal. (Helpful hint: don't put sugar on your cereal.) Mixing

fiber or protein with carbs slows absorption and postpones hunger.

4. Successful weight losers and maintainers usually combine diet and increased

caloric expending exercise.

5. Walking and housework and yard work are easy and inexpensive ways to

to burn calories.

6. Weight loss medications all have significant side effects, and weight loss is

usually not permanent.

7. Alcohol has calories, increases appetite, and can make you ravenously hungry

the next morning.

Tips on Exercise

1. Aerobic exercise is beneficial to prevent heart disease, stroke, dementia, and

Probably some forms of cancer.

2. Weight resisted exercise builds or maintains muscle and maintains strength,

balance, and mobility.

3. Stretching prevents injuries to muscles, tendons, or ligaments.

4. Balance exercises can be as formal as a yoga course or simply practicing

standing on one leg.

5. After age 60, running raises the risk of joint or tendon injury; vigorous walking

is as beneficial without the risks associated with running.

Tips on saving on your health care dollar

1. Generic equivalent? Always ask your doctor if your new prescription has a generic equivalent or ask your pharmacist or pharmaceutical benefits management insurer.

2. Use house brand over the counter medications.

3. Buy a pill cutter if you are taking many drugs; ask your doctor for the larger dose pill.

4. If you have physical therapy with a co-payment, start your home exercises as soon as possible and after two sessions suggest that you would like to do exercises at home for a few weeks and then come back for monitoring.

5. Ask your doctor or dermatologist about "Efudex" if you have sunlight keratoses

6. Get a second opinion before most elective surgery.