Archive for the ‘finance’ Category


October 4, 2010

it is that time of the year

everything that has waited since the end of july is now coming back

it is the end of the holidays

and time to loose some weight

but it is also time to realize how to budget better

i am not talking just about personal budget

talking about startup budgets:

  • q3 is just another quarter.   NOT

back in December when it was time to plan a budget q3 looked very innocent. another quarter with 20% growth above q2. does that work for you?

well, in my portfolio and especially over the last 3 years, q3 has been very weak. and this year it affected almost every single company and in a big way. why?

  • this year, the Jewish holidays were in September and all of them were in September. crucial work was lost during the build up period of the last 4 weeks

more importantly

  • August is now a vacation month in the US, and not just in europe. while it is nice that we are learning from the french to rest and enjoy our families, it is important to realize that q3 may be as weak as q1 if not weaker.

personally i feel a bit ashamed as i tool a lot of vacation time this summer (mondial in south Africa with Gil, a wedding in the Philippines). but for those of you who work harder than me, and there are quite a few out there, please remember to plan for a weak q3, and come October you will be thankful.


if you believe in cloud computing, which stocks should you own?

February 21, 2010

this are the ones i am thinking of:






here is their 1-Year performance

here is their 2-Year performance

quite different

would love to hear your thoughts

2011 crash?

February 3, 2010

what if like many earthquakes , at first there is a tremor, some damage, recovery, smiles and then the big hit.

what if the financial crises of 2008, recovery in 2009 with smiles in 2010 results in a big crises in 2011.


a bit morbid

but, important to analyze.

Kevin, my good friend sent this over. when kevin asks you to read something, a good portion of the time, you really want to read it. kevin is blessed with outside-of-the box thinking, contrarian point of view, blended with down-to-earth smarts, and the ability to think different and say it.

i think you should read this . (un?) likely but plausible


“Over any extended period of time, no economy can be prosperous if the government is

  • overspending,
  • raising tax rates,
  • printing too much money,
  • over-regulating, and
  • restricting international trade.

It’s really as simple as that. Especially when the U.S. economy appears to have “green shoots”, it’s imperative to remember the U.S. economy cannot have prosperity given the policies of the Obama administration and Congress”


During 2010 the economy will continue to improve, growing by more than 4%.

By the end of 2010 the unemployment rate could fall to as low as 7.0% and the Obama Administration will be busting with pride and conceit. And then 2011 will enter center stage, followed quickly by an economic catastrophe.

All the factors that will make 2010 (and have already made the last half of 2009) look so good will reverse direction, and 2011 will be a train wreck. The first effect is the so-called “slingshot” or “freefall” effect. Whenever an economy stops freefall, as the U.S. economy has, everything seems better because it’s getting worse more slowly. The slingshot effect will exert a powerful positive influence on the U.S. economy in 2010 but won’t exist in 2011.

if this is indeed the case, what should we do today?

looking for a new job?

about to commit to a new house?

consider this and may the force be with you.

i am still optimistic, but think this should be on our radar screens

prepare for life with no pension!

July 27, 2009

if you are like me, you are thinking about retirement and pension

do you want to start retirement early? well you need to save more money

with life expectancy on the rise, and social wellfare systems on the fall, i think it would be smart to prepare for life without (social) pension

this would mean start working less, maintain a good work-life balance, treat your body well and relaize you are going to live and work this way well past the age of 65!

that retirenment age is no longer relevant, and your ability to save up is reduced because of lower predicatability about how long you will live and how how large your medical bill is going to be

so prepare for life with no pension and no retirement!

what can we do about it?

i am going outside to have a smoke

time-out from politics for one bill?

November 11, 2008


reminds him of 87, 98

wide spread crises, credit markets are broken

UK policy read and response was much better. US slow and discrete = per event and not a systematic strategy. article in wsj yesterday re bernanki, polson and their disputes = lack of confidence.

with goldman, TARP/polson, proposal was outrageous. CDOs are complicated to price. in his mind, gov’t equity infusions were right. at the right point in the cap structures.

lack of global cooperation, incredibly disappointing. lack of standard mechanism creates unfair advantages. in a time of need of confidence, moves created the opposite. in terms of TARP and coordination

next position?

interesting and difficult times.

firing mangers is essential. returns july/july 07: 28%, 08: 4-5%, double digit negative. liquidity! tough to generate.

everyone has better opportunities in front of them today, than 6 or 18 months ago. compelling opportunities in credit markets. ones without duration.

altria (philllip morris) t.+6%,  and protection on debt is 1%. should be same. some debt is at 20% 3-4 years of maturity. banks is 60%.

how improbable is the economic armagaddon. nice fiscal stimulus. chinese, obama

looking for stability, or gov’t guarantee to move out of Tbills into market money funds. would like to see unlimited liabilities guarantee. govt needs to stimulate private and move out.

insurance mechanism rather than direct. charge for participation, penalty box for defaulting as a money manager.

banking lobby is strong. banks hate money market funds. that did makeit to the TARP bill. so banks will not let this happen. then, bill was filled with garbage. time-out from politics for one bill

it’s all over

October 21, 2008

i was told not to converse about sex, religion and politics.

for those who know me, i love talking at least about some of these.

today, politics.

Since our arrival here, the US elections have been of real interest. it seemed to be a close race. everyone at yale is for Obama. the question is how will america, not north east academic elite, vote. i have an answer. before that, a poll. click here

Obama is going to win the elections in a big way. it is not going to be close.

a few reasons:

  • he represents change, and that is what the public wants
  • he is likeable
  • most new voters, young, hispanic and black will overwhelmingly vote for him
  • some people believe that people will change their mind in the last minute, because obama is black. this is known as ‘the bradely effect’. there is now indication of a reverse bradely effect.

now, let’s assume this is indeed the case (please comment if you think otherwise), how do we make money off of this idea? i would love to hear your thoughts. an example may be: government gets into health markets, more people get access to health and medication (perhaps at lower costs). who will benefit from this?

your comments are highly desired

for some nice graphics on polls, click here