SHREDS OF CONSISTENCY

Steve Sutton: “A paradox is brought to mind reading about ‘Mr. Dan You-sure-have-a-lot-to-say…’ Namely: Anyone who takes your advice on individual stocks would seem to be ignoring advice in your books!

☞ The only shred of consistency here is that I have for quite some time suggested a strategy (for those with enough assets for it to make sense) to do MOST of your stock-market stuff via index funds, but to do enough in specific stocks to control the tax consequences – using the losses to knock $3,000 off your taxable income each year, and using the long-term gains to fund your charitable giving through (say) the Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund. That way, even if you just break even, you can come out nicely ahead after taxes.

(The glaring flaw in 2008-2009: few stock market investors achieved a 0% break even return. The only GAIN I was able to suggest in recent memory was the “safe-ish way to short the market”; other than that, I’ve only provided wonderful losses to knock $3,000 off your taxable income.)

The other possible shred of consistency: We’re human. A lot of us want to feel we have a shot at outsize results. We want a little excitement. Why else accept the odds on a lottery ticket? So to the extent people are going to do this anyway, my hope has been to provide some suggestions, with lots of caveats, that might improve the odds. Some have worked out very well; on some the jury is out (to the best of my knowledge, the plane really did move; silt really does continue to accumulate in our waterways); and all too many, as our friend Dan wisely notes, have been awful.

REALLY: TAKE THE PLEDGE

As I suggested yesterday, “here’s a way to help in 30 seconds.” But if you count the time it takes to watch the video, call it three minutes.

REDEFINING MARRIAGE

From merriam-webster.com/dictionary (thanks, Rex):

Main Entry: mar·riage
Pronunciation: ‘mer-ij, ‘ma-rij
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English mariage, from Anglo-French, from marier to marry
Date: 14th century

1 a (1): the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law (2): the state of being united to a person of the same sex in a relationship like that of a traditional marriage <same-sex marriage> b: the mutual relation of married persons : wedlock c: the institution whereby individuals are joined in a marriage

 

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