Ricky Jay is a genius.  (I have a great Ricky Jay story to tell you, but you’ll have to beg for it.)  Jimmy Fallon is fantastic.  And here they are together.  I love this three-and-a-half-minute clip.  (If you have another five minutes, watch the interview that precedes the trick.  Fun!)


Ali Dadd:  “You have mentioned The Magic Formula system of Joel Greenblatt. Has this system beaten the stock market indexes over the last five years?”

☞ Yes, actually.  According to the company, the managed accounts — where they picked the best 24 stocks and then updated the list once a year, keeping some, replacing others — were up 175% from their May 1, 2009, inception until they were shut down March 31 (and rolled into GENIX for those who wished).  The S&P 500 was up 138%.

For do-it-yourself-ers, remains open and free.

FNSAX was number 1 of 347 funds in its peer group, and FVVAX, the other domestic Formula Investing fund, was in the 5th percentile, before both were merged into GENIX.

In the two international funds, FNAAX and FNVAX, the magic was more like a curse.  Apparently, in those, they allowed humans to override the magic formula, out of prudence, which, ironically, killed performance.  It was  about breakeven.  Not a disaster, but a disappointment.


Theo Kent:  “Yep, sugar: baaaaaad — along with salt and fat (the cornerstones of the Standard American Diet – which explains a LOT).  Did you know that all oils (including olive) are 100% fat?  Take some time to watch “Forks Over Knives.”  We watched it a year ago, and starting that day, never looked back at the S.A.D.  Neither will anyone who wants to eat to live, vs. live to eat.”

☞ No way am I cutting out salt.  But, yes: life with very little meat is way better us and our planet.  Eating more fruit and vegetables lowers the death rate 42% and makes for local jobs says the Optimistic Futurist.  And — given the way we raise them — carrots probably suffer less than chickens.


Ken Doran:  “You implicitly conceded, and so reinforced, an erroneous argument.  Nader almost certainly changed the 2000 outcome, given the closeness of Florida and New Hampshire.  Perot did not change the 1992 result.

☞ According to that analysis, Perot may have cost Clinton more votes than he cost George H. W. Bush.

David M.: “I  think you should read some analyses such as this one to re-evaluate your blaming Nader for Bush’s victory.”

☞ I did but am not persuaded. It’s hard for me to believe that Nader voters’ second choice was as likely to be Bush as Gore. Or that Ralph thought they would be equally bad for the world. Or that if Ralph had urged his supporters to vote for Gore in swing states like Florida and New Hampshire, they would have voted for Bush instead. (New Hampshire would have been enough to give Gore the win as well.)

And there’s this: as much as I’d like to see Bernie Sanders (whom I admire) not risk throwing the White House to a Republican by running until the bitter end, what I’d most like not to see is liberal voters in swing states  risk voting for Bernie, if the election promises to be close.  If third-party candidates have not learned the Nader lesson, at least, I’d love to hope, idealistic voters have: as bad as they may think the Democrat is in 2016, I guarantee you the Republican will espouse a future they would like much less.

Did you watch the Ricky Jay clip?




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