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Showing posts from March, 2013

Great, free alternative to Google Reader: The Old Reader

Needed to find a new RSS reader in the wake of Google's recent decision to kill off Google Reader, which takes effect on July 1. I'm guessing some of you are still hunting for an ideal replacement too.

After some initial reading and experimentation, I've decided to go with The Old Reader, the best free alternative styled after, wait for it... the old Google Reader. You can see a screenshot of the reader (and my newly imported RSS subscriptions) below. 



Since the Old Reader development team (a small, volunteer crew) was caught off guard by Google's announcement and the influx of new users, there was a queue for new users importing feeds into TOR (see: "How to export your Google Reader feeds"). 

If you want to import your feeds into The Old Reader, you'll probably be placed in the queue but it shouldn't take more than a week or so. In the meantime, you might want to try some of the other Google Reader alternatives for Mac, PC, and mobile users. 

Personally…

Insights from hedge fund legend, Julian Robertson

While looking through some archived interviews at Financial Sense, I found this 2004 interview on hedge fund legend, Julian Robertsonwith author Daniel Strachman. 

Although Strachman's book on Julian Robertson was not terribly well received (see reader reviews), this interview does offer some worthwhile anecdotes and insights on one of the hedge fund industry's great investors. Let me share a few with you here.

1. Hedge funds began as an alternative investment vehicle for high-net worth individuals. Later, they came to fill the void of liquidity in the marketplace left by the trading operations of once-private firms such as Goldman Sachs, J. Aron, Lehman Bros., JP Morgan, etc.    

2. The strength of Tiger Management was in its highly focused research efforts (pre-web) and Robertson's willingness to follow his conviction on a trade or investment. 

Julian was unmoved by price movements that went against his positions if he had conviction in a trade and the fundamental story. Th…

Ben Franklin on the Pursuit of Happiness

The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself. - Ben Franklin
— David Shvartsman (@FinanceTrends) March 15, 2013
Ben Franklin explains that our Constitution describes our right, as citizens, to pursue happiness and property. However, it can not grant us that happiness. We must earn it for ourselves. 

A free society should strive for equality of opportunity, where all men ("persons") are equal in the eyes of the law. We cannot, and should not, promote or promise a utopian vision of equal outcomes for all. 

We are all individuals of differing abilities and makeup. Every one of us has a unique drive, personality, and outlook on life. Can we therefore expect everyone to outperform and achieve a certain prescribed level of happiness, wealth, and personal fulfillment? 

In our recent interview with "Trader Vic" Sperandeo, Victor pointed out that some of his friends were happy driving a bus while others were driven to work 70-…

Market Wizard, Vic Sperandeo interview: gold, inflation, and trading the QE wave

Trader, author, and Market Wizard, Victor Sperandeo joins us for an exclusive interview in our first Finance Trends podcast. To say we caught a lucky break with our first guest is a bit of an understatement. 

Victor is a highly regarded veteran trader who has been involved with the markets since his first job as a Wall Street quote boy back in 1966. When he began his independent trading career in 1971, his primary goal was to make money consistently, month after month, year after year. 

After 40+ years of consistent profitability, I'd say he's met that goal. 

Over the course of his career, Vic has traded independently, managed hedge funds and CTAs (commodity trading advisors), and ran portfolios for George Soros and Leon Cooperman. He has also written three books on trading, including, Trader Vic: Methods of a Wall Street Master, a personal favorite which interlaced Vic's trading insights with sections on Austrian economics and personal psychology!

In this rare, hour-long int…

Nassim Taleb, Stan Druckenmiller talk crisis on Bloomberg TV

Our future may be a bit more fragile than "Anti-fragile", if the latest warnings from Nassim Taleb and Stanley Druckenmiller prove correct. 

The pair recently sat down with Bloomberg TV to voice their concerns over America's social and economic strains. Taleb believes we are still loaded down with the unsafe systemic risks and toxic leaders of our recent past. Druckemiller sees a crisis "worse than 2008" ahead. 

We have their full interviews for you here, so let's jump right in. 



Nassim Taleb feels we are at a point where we have not learned or benefited from the mistakes of our recent financial crisis. This has made our society more susceptible to fragility and will deepen the effects of future crises.

Moral hazard has increased as bankers have paid themselves larger bonuses with our (taxpayers') money. Quantitative easing has lifted asset prices. Median incomes, and the average person's standard of living, have been dropping while the top tier of soc…