“A difficult question I’d like your insight on: How might I identify stocks which I have a reasonable chance of holding forever and enjoying roughly a (U.S.) market rate of return? I am primarily interested in holding in taxable accounts.” – Gilman Miller

A.T.: Your question is either very simple or very difficult, so let me take the simple way out: Just buy SPY, a synthetic security that trades like a stock and mimics the Standard & Poor’s 500, and you will be assured of getting essentially a market rate return (minus a mere two-tenths of one percent) all your life — and with relatively mild tax consequences. You will, thus, outperform most — very possibly 90% — of all your friends and neighbors. Of course, simply buying SPY is boring. Your friends and neighbors will have more fun.

And speaking of fun …

Thanks to Brooks Hilliard for turning me on to www.bobsfridge.com/skew.htm. The day I looked, the lead story had Janet Reno very convincingly calling for the arrest of Congress for posting 445 pages of porno on the Internet. It’s a very funny site.



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