Newsletter Archive
Issues older than 90 days

Available Issues

The Kids Birthday Party Hustle
Issue #518A, April 18, 2018

A Pension Question: Part II of II
Issue #518, April 16, 2018

A Physician is an Executive
Issue #517A, April 11, 2018

A Pension Question: Part I of II
Issue #517, April 09, 2018

Is the Correction Over?
Issue #516A, April 05, 2018

Used Car Dealers, Student Loans, the Chinese, and Uncle George’s Rule
Issue #516, April 02, 2018

Starter Homes
Issue #515, March 26, 2018

Redecorating: Beware!
Issue #514, March 19, 2018

NASDAQ Closes at Record High
Issue #513, March 12, 2018

A 40% Chance
Issue #512, March 05, 2018

Several Things
Issue #511, February 27, 2018

Human Capital, Education and Wealth
Issue #510, February 19, 2018

Another Stock Market Update
Issue #509A, February 18, 2018

Some Thoughts on Savings
Issue #509, February 12, 2018

A Stock Market Upfate
Issue #508S, February 10, 2018

Who Can You Trust? Part II of II
Issue #508, February 05, 2018

The Christmas Decoration Pre-worn Jeans Hustle
Issue #Interim Bulletin #507A, February 03, 2018

2018 Outlook for Financial Markets
Issue #507, January 29, 2018

Who Can You Trust? Part I of II
Issue #506, January 22, 2018

Life Insurance Settlements
Issue #505, January 15, 2018

Commodities and Buying the Breakout
Issue #504, January 08, 2018

Buffett Wins His Bet
Issue #503A, January 04, 2018

Practice Real Estate and Free Agency
Issue #503, January 01, 2018

Outlook for 2018: Part III: Stocks and Bonds
Issue #502, December 25, 2017

My Outlook for 2018: Part Ii: Precious Metals
Issue #501A, December 21, 2017

Outlook for 2018: Hard Assets: Part I of III
Issue #501, December 18, 2017

More Thoughts on Bitcoin
Issue #500A, December 14, 2017

Fees and Good Relations with Bankers
Issue #500, December 11, 2017

Salvator Mundi
Issue #499A, December 07, 2017

Should You Rent or Own a Home?
Issue #499, December 04, 2017

A Gift Subscription
Issue #Interim Bulletin #498A, December 02, 2017

Stocks vs Real Estate: Asset Allocation: Part II of II
Issue #498, November 27, 2017

When Good Enough is Fine
Issue #497A, November 22, 2017

Stocks vs Real Estate: Asset Allocation. Part I of II
Issue #497, November 20, 2017

The Saudi Arrests and the Perils of Foreign Investing
Issue #496, November 13, 2017

Gambling and Las Vegas
Issue #495, November 06, 2017

Some Tips on Auto Insurance
Issue #494, October 31, 2017

Bitcoin and the Digital (Crypto) Currencies
Issue #493, October 23, 2017

The Coming Bear Market: Part II How to Prepare
Issue #492, October 16, 2017

Some Observations on Cemeteries
Issue #Interim Bulletin #491A, October 12, 2017

The Coming Bear Market: Part I: The Myth of Buy and Hold Forever
Issue #491, October 09, 2017

The Market makes New Highs
Issue #490, October 02, 2017

The Importance of a New High
Issue #489, September 25, 2017

A Little Insurance: Wealth, War and Wisdom
Issue #488, September 18, 2017

Some Observations
Issue #487, September 11, 2017

How to be Successful in Your Career
Issue #486A, September 07, 2017

How NOT to Buy a Home
Issue #486, September 04, 2017

This Week in the Market
Issue #485, August 28, 2017

Is the “Trump Bump” Running Out of Gas?
Issue #484, August 21, 2017

Gold is on the Move
Issue #483, August 14, 2017

The Importance of Estimation
Issue #482, August 07, 2017

Buying Art and Collecting: Part II of II
Issue #481, July 31, 2017

Buying Art and Collecting in General, Part I of II
Issue #480, July 24, 2017

Physicians need to be More Forceful: Follow-up
Issue #479, July 17, 2017

Physicians need to be More Forceful
Issue #478, July 10, 2017

Your First “Real” Investment
Issue #477, July 03, 2017

Leasing a Watch: Don’t
Issue #476, June 26, 2017

The Importance of Your Children having a Job
Issue #475, June 16, 2017

The Problem with Medical Student Debt is—the Med Schools
Issue #474, June 12, 2017

Critters and Varmints in your Home and Yard
Issue #473A, June 07, 2017

Leveraged ETFs
Issue #472, May 29, 2017

Leasing a Vehicle: Don’t!
Issue #471, May 22, 2017

Issue #470, May 15, 2017

More on Buying Jewelry
Issue #469, May 08, 2017

Buying Jewelry: Gold, Diamonds and Pearls
Issue #468, April 30, 2017

Thomas Sowell: Part III of III
Issue #467, April 24, 2017

Thomas Sowell: Pat II of III
Issue #466, April 17, 2017

Live Close to Where You Work
Issue #465, April 10, 2017

Medtronic in Hospital Management
Issue #Interim Bulletin #464A, April 07, 2017

Thomas Sowell: Part I of II
Issue #464, April 03, 2017

A Political Contribution a an Investment: Part II of II
Issue #463, March 27, 2017

A Political Contribution as an Investment: Part I of II
Issue #462, March 20, 2017

Buffett Selling Vacation Home
Issue #461, March 13, 2017

Advanced Placement (AP) ourses
Issue #460, March 06, 2017

The Importance of a Credit History
Issue #459A, March 02, 2017

A Credit Card Scam
Issue #459, February 27, 2017

The Electronic Health Reord
Issue #458, February 20, 2017

Issue #457, February 13, 2017

Platinum and Palladium
Issue #456, February 06, 2017

Economic Outlook for 2017: Part II of II
Issue #455A, February 02, 2017

Economic Outlook for 2017: Part I of II
Issue #455, January 30, 2017

A Story From Vegas
Issue #454A, January 25, 2017

Land Donation Deals and the IRS
Issue #454, January 23, 2017

The Theory of Gambler’s Ruin
Issue #453, January 16, 2017

Student Loans: But Wait, There’s More!
Issue #452, January 13, 2017

A Second Home
Issue #Interim Bulletin #451A, January 04, 2017

The Consumer Confidence Index
Issue #451, January 02, 2017

Social Security
Issue #450, December 26, 2016

My Outlook for 2017: Part II of II
Issue #449, December 19, 2016

My Outlook for 2017: The Market
Issue #448, December 12, 2016

Medicine in 20 Years
Issue #447, December 05, 2016

Higher Interest Rates
Issue #446, November 28, 2016

Trump and the Markets: The Bad and Ugly
Issue #445A, November 23, 2016

Trump and the Markets: The Good
Issue #445, November 21, 2016

Negative Trends: The Suits aren’t Makin’ Steel
Issue #444, November 16, 2016

The New DOJ Fiduciary Rule
Issue #443, November 07, 2016

Barron’s Conference, Part IV of IV
Issue #442, October 31, 2016

Barron’s Conference, Part III of IV
Issue #Interim Bulletin #441A, October 26, 2016

Barron’s Conference, Part II of IV
Issue #441, October 24, 2016

Barron’s Conference, Part I of IV
Issue #440, October 20, 2016


By Robert M. Doroghazi, M.D., F.A.C.C.

Is a PhD Worth It? Part II of II

Issue #425, July 04, 2016

    Many PhDs are forced to look to industry for a job. Unfortunately, the chances may be poor, because all of those who don’t get the plum job in Academia are your competition. The prospects have become even worse as many companies, led by the pharmaceuticals, have moved much of their research overseas. Many universities know that their PhD grads won’t obtain a job, and have recently developed programs designed to assist PhDs to develop other skills and to find a job outside their area of study. Think about that: rather than turn out fewer PhDs, schools knowingly graduate people they know won’t find a job.
    The guidance counselors know very well what the numbers are, yet don’t seem to stop people from pursuing a PhD. So: why do US Universities knowingly graduate far more PhDs than are required?
    In the “Tuition, Scholarship, Debt Spiral” (Issue #185, 4/28/11) I discuss the “University-Industrial Complex”. Over the last 4 decades, fueled by the Federal subsidy of student loans, which schools capture by raising tuition, Universities have grown because they can, putting out far more college graduates than I believe our society needs. Universities are big businesses. Research labs, especially in the sciences, generate millions and even tens of millions of dollars in grant money (mostly from the NIH, NSF, Department of Defense, and business). There is no doubt that US Universities are the best in the world, and that the research benefits society, but this is at the expense of those who receive a PhD and end up with a poor-paying job, far below their intellectual level.
    Two more points:
    You’re smart, so you’re sure you’ll be one of the anointed. By definition, all PhDs are pretty smart, so you better be really smart (and a little lucky).
    This is something you won’t see anywhere else: What are your politics? Don’t be naïve. Do you know what happened to all of the ultra-left, Marxist, anti-war hippie protestors of the late 60s? They stayed in Academia. They now occupy the top positions—and they don’t believe in free speech. If you’re a conservative, you should be OK in Business, the Hard Sciences, Mathematics, Engineering and probably the Biological Sciences. If you are in the Humanities, or Performing or Liberal Arts or many other areas, you better keep your mouth shut. From personal experience, this is current life at the Universities in the US, especially the elite schools.
    Consider: Several years ago at the Barron’s Art of Successful Investing Conference, Meryl Whitmer was asked to give her impression about the best corporate CEOs. She gave a quick answer, so clearly had thought about this beforehand. She said the best CEOs are those who do their undergraduate work in the Sciences, Math or Engineering, because they are taught to think critically and learn mathematics, and then pursue an MBA for their business skills.
    My final recommendation: If you love research and writing and prefer the Academic life style, pursue a PhD, but with the above caveats in mind. If not, and especially if you have the type of personality that does well in the context of the social contacts of the business world, pursue an undergraduate education in your desired area, then get an MBA. You’ll finish many years sooner, be more likely to get a job in your area of training, potentially make more money, and might even end up being the boss of the Joes and Janes with a PhD.
    At one point Monday, the DJIA was down almost 1,000 points over 2 days. It is quite possible this volatility will continue for the near future. The point I want to make is that with such volatility, the system can be overloaded and seize up. You may have difficulty getting through to your broker, both on the phone and on-line.
    RMD comment: Have pre-existing limit orders for your trades, especially to cover short positions. Or if you have been watching the Acme Sausage Company trading at 30 and believe 24 would be a good entry point, put in a limit order to purchase. 
    Re: gift giving. Sometimes I have a real inspiration, but often times don’t, so I learned long ago not to force it, and I just give money. As I noted before: it may not be imaginative, but there are never any complaints. I had supper this week with a subscriber. They said when giving money as a gift: “It’s always the right color, and one size fits all”.
    Is it worth it to take your own bottle of wine to a restaurant and pay the cork fee?
    Many restaurants don’t allow you to bring in your own wine. But many, at least around these parts, do. Say the cork fee is $25. At first you might think that’s a hustle: they take out the cork, pour the wine, and get 25 bucks!
    Diane and my favorite white wine is Cakebread Chardonnay. Say its $50 at the store and $75 at the restaurant. $50 + $25 cork fee = $75. Looks like a wash.
    It’s not. Bring your own bottle: $50 + 5% sales tax ($2.50) + $25 cork fee + 5% tax on cork fee ($1.25) + 15% tip on the tax and cork fee ($3.94) = $81.49.
    Buy wine at restaurant. $75 + 5% tax = $78.75 + 15% tip ($11.81) = $90.56.
    Our favorite red wine is Duckhorn Merlot. Store price = $60 + 5% tax ($3.00) + cork fee of $25 + 5% tax on cork fee ($1.25) + 15% tip on cork fee + tax ($3.94) = $89.25
    Buy wine at restaurant: $100 +5% tax ($5.00) plus 15% tip ( $15.75) = $120.75. Thirty bucks is thirty bucks. You also might have a better vintage than the restaurant.
    Bottom line: This is real-life behavioral economics: the kind of mental arithmetic that can save you money every day (see Issues #412 and #413, 4/4 and 4/11/16). You must call beforehand to make sure you can bring your own bottle. 
    I highly recommend The Winter Fortress: The Epic Mission to Sabotage Hitler’s Atomic Bomb (Bascomb, Houghton Mifflin). This is real-life, suspenseful heroic adventure. It gives an idea of what it was like to live in a Nazi-occupied country (in this case, Norway, although nowhere near as bad as in Poland or Russia). We all know about Robert Oppenheimer, Leslie Groves and the development of our bomb. This details the German’s efforts. “At the start of 1942, the Germans and the Allies were roughly neck and neck in terms of their atomic research and theory”.
    RMD comment: as Wellington said after Waterloo: “The nearest run thing you ever saw in your life”.
    In last week’s newsletter, I noted:
The mere appearance of a conflict of interest
a conflict of interests.
    On Monday, the planes of US Attn. Gen. Loretta Lynch and former President Bill Clinton were on the same tarmac in the Phoenix airport, so they had a casual little talk.
    RMD comment: if I were Attn. Gen. Lynch, I would have said “Mr. President, Mrs. Clinton is under investigation by the Justice Dept. for potential felonies. I don’t believe we should be meeting”. 


Site by Delta Systems powered by ExpressionEngine