The Independent Market Observer

5/16/14 – What Can Cycles Tell Us About Investing?

May 16, 2014

If you ever want to be amused, get a cat to watch an ink-jet printer while it’s at work. I now have a laser printer at home, which still seems to fascinate the cat, but there’s no comparison to the ink-jet. Something about the print head scurrying back and forth under the cover must remind them of a mouse . . .

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4/22/14 – Some Thoughts on Capital in the Twenty First-Century by Thomas Piketty

April 22, 2014

A caveat about this post: I haven’t yet read the book, so this is neither a review nor a real engagement with Piketty’s arguments. I’ll get to that—I just ordered the Kindle version, and have a couple of very long plane rides coming up, which should be ideal.

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4/21/14 – Spring Is a Great Time to Read P.G. Wodehouse

April 21, 2014

I’ll be honest with you; I don’t have a lot to talk about today as far as economics and the market go. The recovery continues, markets are back in the trading range of the past six weeks or so, and there simply is not a lot to write about today.

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3/31/14 – The Revenge of Geography by Robert D. Kaplan

March 31, 2014

I haven’t done a book review for a while, as I’ve been reading outside the usual investing and economics areas. With Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the continuing low-grade conflicts in Asia as China expands its footprint, I thought it was time to discuss one of the more interesting books on geopolitics I’ve read recently, The Revenge of Geography by Robert Kaplan.

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1/3/14 – Looking Back at Europe: A Review of Boomerang by Michael Lewis

January 3, 2014

In the past couple of days, I’ve mentioned that things are improving in the world economy, but we still face risks. One of the best ways to get a handle on these risks is to understand where we came from, what has changed, and what has not.

As part of that, I have been reading or rereading books about the crisis, with a particular focus on those that look at bigger-picture issues rather than the play-by-play. One of the easiest to read in this category, and in many respects the most entertaining, is Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World by Michael Lewis.

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12/26/13 – The Wolf of Wall Street – Recommended Book List

December 26, 2013

No, I have not seen the movie yet, although I hope to this week. I have, however, read the reviews, as well as an interview with the person at the center of the story, the perpetrator if you will. Sounds like quite a story.

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8/23/13 - Summer Is Almost Over

August 23, 2013

I will be taking some time off next week. I will still be blogging every morning, but I plan to spend the rest of each day doing some resting and recreating. There are a number of issues I want to think more deeply about before reengaging, and this will give me a chance to do some long-deferred reading and thinking.

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7/5/13 – Beach Reading

July 5, 2013

I will freely admit that I wrote this post ahead of time. When you read this on Friday, I plan to be on a beach, either flying a kite or dragging my son around on a boogie board.

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6/4/13 – Book Review: Priceless: The Myth of Fair Value (and How to Take Advantage of It)

June 4, 2013

Not long ago, I reviewed William Poundstone’s Fortune’s Formula, a very good and relevant book about the common mathematical roots of gambling and investing, which I originally picked up as part of my poker-playing research.

Poker is based on probability and, to a much greater degree, on psychology. I did all right in my poker playing, ending up well in the black, but ultimately became much more interested in the markets, which is why I’m doing what I do now.

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5/9/13 – Book Review: The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver

May 9, 2013

One of the challenges in anyone’s life, especially in one’s job, is figuring out what’s really going on. For me, and anyone involved in the financial sector, this is especially complicated because there is an infinite amount of data, interpretations, arguments, and conclusions that will tell you up, down, right, left, buy, and sell—all at the same time.

The physical sciences have been dealing with this problem for a long time and refer to it as isolating the signal—the meaningful information you need—from the noise, the random events that can mask the signal.

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