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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.

Personal Memoirs of US Grant

Issue #438, October 03, 2016

    I’m going to devote this and the next newsletter to review this book. There are a few direct points about investing, but many more that apply to just about everything else in life. I’m confident you’ll find them interesting.
    The story behind the book itself is compelling. From the assassination of Lincoln in 1865 until Grant’s death in 1885, he was surely the most famous living American. After leading the North to victory in the Civil War (or “The Rebellion” as Grant called it), he was President from 1869-1877. After leaving the Presidency, Grant funded an investment firm involving his son US Grant, Jr, and Ferdinand Ward. Ward was a scoundrel who ran the firm as a Ponzi scheme, and by 1884, Grant was penniless. Also that year, he was diagnosed with throat cancer (from smoking cigars, just like Babe Ruth). Grant agreed to write his memoirs, with Mark Twain as publisher. It was literally a race with death to finish. There are photos of an emaciated, cachectic Grant wrapped in blankets sitting on his front porch, writing 25 or more pages a day. Grant finished 5 days before his death.
    Forget what you might read about Patton, Robert E. Lee or anyone else: Grant was the greatest US General ever. He is the only US General to be undefeated. I once read that he would be a great “Captain” anytime, anywhere, in the same class as Hannibal, Alexander, Wellington, or Genghis Kahn. 
    Grant was 8 or 9 years old and wanted a particular horse. The owner was asking $25, while Grant’s father thought it was worth only $20. Grant prevailed upon his father to let him buy the horse. His father told him to offer $20: if that was not accepted, to offer $22.50, and if that wasn’t accepted, to offer $25. Grant went to the owner and said “Papa says I may offer you $20 for the colt, but if you won’t take that, to offer $22.50, and if you won’t take that, to give you $25. It would not require a Connecticut man to guess the price finally agreed upon.”
    RMD comment: Self-deprecating humor shows one has their ego under some control. You would never hear this from McArthur—or Trump. After reading the quote multiple times, I’m still not sure if he is complimenting or dissing men from Connecticut. 
    Prior to the Mexican-American War, the government of Mexico had a monopoly on the cultivation and sale of tobacco. “The price was enormously high…The difficulty of obtaining it is probably the reason why everybody, male and female, used it…At West Point…tobacco was prohibited, making the majority of cadets try to acquire the habit.”
    RMD comment: the allure of forbidden fruit is as old as the Garden of Eden.
    Re: San Francisco in the early days of the Gold Rush: “Besides gambling in cards there was gambling in city lots. These were sold “On Change” (margin)…The brokers did a fine business”.
    RMD comment: this reminds me of Fred Schwed’s 1940 book Where are the Customers Yachts? At the end of the day, the stockbrokers take all the money and throw it in the air. Whatever sticks to the ceiling is the customers’. They keep the rest.
    Grant went to one bull fight. “The site to me was sickening. I could not see how human beings could enjoy the suffering of beasts.”
    RMD comment: cruelty to animals has always been a sign of psychopathology. This does not mean I am an “animal rights activist”, which I believe, like the green movement, is a way by the ultra-left to attack capitalism.
    “No political party can or ought to exit when one of its cornerstones is opposition to freedom of thought and to the right to worship God”.
    RMD comment: no comment needed.
    “It occurred to me at once that Harris (the Confederate commander) had been as afraid of me as I had been of him. This was a view of the question I never had before; but it was one I would never forget afterwards…I never again experienced trepidation upon confronting an enemy”.
    RMD comment: I’m playing Texas Hold-em. I’m dealt A-K and raise. One person calls but doesn’t re-raise. The flop is 7-5-2. All I have is an Ace-high hand. If he has a pair of 8s or 9s, he knows he’s probably good. If he played a pair of 7s or 5s, he’s thinking about how much of my money he can get. But more likely, he played two high cards just as I did and he also has nothing. He’s just as scared of me as I am of him. 
    “If I had obtained (an important position) through personal or political influence, I would have feared to undertake any plan of my own, and would probably have awaited direct orders from superiors. Persons obtaining important commands by application or political influence are apt to keep a written record of complaints and predictions of defeat, which are shown in case of disaster. Somebody must be responsible for their failures”.
    RMD comment: the point about the losers leaving a written trail is perceptive.
    To be truthful, I worked so hard to get ahead that I used to carry a chip on my shoulder for people from what I considered a privileged background. I have come to realize that this certainly opened doors, and it does carry some influence, but in the end, most people reach the level commensurate with their ability.   
    CEO John Stumpf of Wells Fargo (WFC) sold $13M of stock, his largest sale ever, in 2013 just before the fraudulent activity of opening phony accounts became public knowledge.
    RMD comment: as I have noted many times before, the appearance of a conflict of interest is a conflict of interest. This guy, and a lot of other high-level execs at Wells, need to be cashiered, and sooner rather than later. 

    Deutsche Bank (DB) is the largest bank in Germany and Europe. At the low on Thursday, it was down about 68% from the high of last August, 52% this year, and 28% just during September. On Friday the stock popped 14% on huge volume. Also on Friday, the CEO issued an internal letter to employees over “unjustified concerns”.
    RMD comment: if there’s one thing I learned from the Lehman crisis, it’s when the CEO goes out of his way to tell you not to be concerned, you know it’s time to be concerned. It’s like when the police officer with his bomb-sniffing dog checks out a backpack left on a park bench. The dog starts to bark and the policeman starts to run. It’s time for you to run too.
    It is unlikely that DB will fail. If it does, it will be liquidated like any other bank. The stockholders will be wiped out, the bonds will be converted to stock, and if that still doesn’t cover the obligations, uninsured deposits will be seized, as they were in Cyprus. You can also be sure that the German government and the European Central Bank (and our Federal Reserve) will step in to prevent any system-wide effects
    Marlin pitcher Jose Fernandez died in a boating accident.
    RMD comment: 50% of fatal auto accidents involve alcohol. 70% of fatal boating accidents involve alcohol. I saw a little while ago that many pedestrians hit by cars had been drinking.
    Christmas is approaching, so I will provide my standard advice. Avoid gift cards: the benefits can have a time limit, and the entire amount may not be used. There’s nothing wrong with giving money: it may not be original, but I can’t imagine there will be any complaints. Long-time subscriber Louise says “the color is right, and the size fits all”.
    I’ll also take this chance to remind you about my sci-fi, alternate history novel The Alien’s Secret. “Aliens have changed our history in ways you can never imagine”. It would make a unique gift. For an autographed copy, send $25 to me at 115 Bingham Road, Columbia, MO 65203.
    I will be traveling next weekend to give a talk in Lexington to the Kentucky Chapter of the American College of Cardiology on “Negative Secular Trends in Medicine”, so next week’s newsletter may not come out until Monday.

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