EIGER

Hard to believe I am even of the same species as this guy. (Thanks, George.) And as heart-palpitating as it is to watch, the thought of how he would get down from there, if it’s not via the aircraft filming him, is just too scary to contemplate.

IF THE WORLD WERE 100 PEOPLE . . .

Marge:This 3-minute clip is one of those, ‘if there were only 100 people on earth, X number of them would have enough food, etc.” But it’s quite well done.”

HAVE I LOST MY MIND?

Jeff Schwarz: “Why don’t you talk anymore about big, solid companies and regular old financial advice? You’ve only been talking about speculations lately, which is contrary to what your book advises.”

☞ For the really GOOD advice you have to buy the book. (And I’d point out that shares of “big solid companies” like General Motors and Citicorp and AIG have done less well over the last decade than shares of Borealis.) But what I’ve suggested here periodically is that for someone with, say, $300,000 he or she can prudently expose to the risks of the market, it can make sense to invest most of it through equally-weighted index funds (and, if in a tax-deferred account, the Formula Investing funds) . . . but, say, $30,000 of it in five or six speculative stocks of the kind I do from time to time suggest.

Because . . .

. . . First, that may be enough fun to satisfy a need that would otherwise express itself in lottery tickets or Atlantic City, where the odds are worse.

. . . Second, it gives you “tax control.” You can come out ahead even if you only break even: Use your winners to fund the charitable giving you would have done in the course of the year anyway (funding an account at the Fidelity Gift Fund, for example, with appreciated securities that would otherwise have been subjected to long-term capital gains tax); and your losers to lower your taxable income by up to $3,000 a year.

. . . Third: it’s just possible that, even without the tax advantage, you’ll do better with these speculations than you’d have done with an index fund. (A researcher is in the home stretch of looking back over 3,762 columns, picking out the suggestions, and attempting to calculate how a hypothetical reader would have fared investing in them all.)

 

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