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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

This Newsletter
Issue #439A, October 12, 2016

Memoirs of US Grant: Vol II
Issue #439, October 10, 2016

More Points on Collecting, Investing and the Economy
Issue #Interim Bulletin #438A, October 05, 2016

Personal Memoirs of US Grant
Issue #438, October 03, 2016

Ideas for a High School Part-Time Job
Issue #Interim Bulletin #437A, September 29, 2016

Collecting, Investing, and the Economy
Issue #437, September 26, 2016

Free College
Issue #436A, September 22, 2016

A Military Commitment to Pay for Med School
Issue #436, September 19, 2016

When a CD isn’t a CD
Issue #435, September 12, 2016

I Made a Mistake
Issue #Interim Bulletin #434A, September 07, 2016

What is Your Spare Time Worth?
Issue #434, September 05, 2016

Credit Cards and Bonus/Loyalty Points
Issue #433, August 29, 2016

The Write-off of Student Loans
Issue #Interim Bulletin #432A, August 25, 2016

412 Retirement Plans
Issue #432, August 22, 2016

Join the Club
Issue #Interim Bulletin #431A, August 18, 2016

The Case for Precious Metals and Hard Assets
Issue #431, August 15, 2016

When the US went off the Silver Standard
Issue #430, August 08, 2016

Why NOT to Open a Restaurant
Issue #429, August 01, 2016

Some Tips on Life Insurance
Issue #428, July 25, 2016

More Observations on Negative Interest Rates
Issue #427, July 18, 2016

Issue #426, July 11, 2016

Is a PhD Worth It? Part II of II
Issue #425, July 04, 2016

Is a PhD Worth It? Part I of II
Issue #424, June 27, 2016

Avoid Part-time real Estate Agents
Issue #423, June 20, 2016

Issue #422, June 13, 2016


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

Quit While You’re Ahead: A True Story

Issue #418, May 16, 2016

    I was in Las Vegas recently. To make conversation, I asked one of the black jack dealers what was the most she ever saw a person win.
    She instantly became animated and talked for 15 minutes. In December, 2012, some guy, just some regular guy, buys in for $300 at the $100 table. He starts to win, and like all good gamblers, parlays his bets (means to increase the next bet with the winnings. Ex: if you win $100 on a $100 bet, then the next hand the bet is $150 or $200). Pretty soon his bets are $300, then $400, then $500. He keeps winning. After a while he is playing $5,000 a hand on 2 hands. By the next day, he was ahead $940,000.
    This dealer, the other dealers, everybody, pleaded with him to stop. The cashier’s cage has deposit boxes. They tell him to put $800K or $900K in a box, and then play with the rest. Or they suggest he wire the money to his bank, just to get it out of his hands.
    He says “I want to win a million dollars”.
    Of course, you already know the rest of the story: he lost it all back in just a few days. The dealer added that several months later he was back: playing at the $10 table.
    I could give you statistics on an S&P 500 company, such as the revenue, profit margin, ROI (Return on Investment), EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization) and current bond rating, with recommendations to buy, sell or hold, but chances are you’ll remember this story long after you have forgotten those numbers.
    Chapter 30 in the 2nd Ed. of The Physicians Guide to Investing: A Practical Approach to Building Wealth is “When to Sell”. I say “When you have made more money from an investment than you ever dreamed possible, when you are congratulating yourself for being so smart, for being such a genius, when you have dollar signs in your eyes, when you are calculating your percent return per year (or per month or per week) gain, when everything is going right…then sell!!
    Don’t feel sorry for this man. He really was just as stupid as he was greedy. While in college and med school in the 70s, I often read Ann Landers. Someone noted “a fool and their money are soon parted”. Landers replied “I never thought a fool had any money”. Google “fate of lottery winners”. They are often soon back where they started, or even bankrupt.
    Ugly chart of the week: Macy’s (M).

    RMD comment: The charts of Kohl’s (KSS), Nordstrom’s (JWN), Ralph Lauren (RL) and The Gap (GPS) look the same. The retailing sector is getting crushed. All of these stocks have lost 50% or more of their value since the highs of early to mid-2015. Remember, the stock market leads the economy by about 6 months. Christmas sales might not be very good this year. The Lowry’s numbers measuring supply and demand in the stock market continue to deteriorate: caution is warranted.
    Interest rates are on the verge of breaking down.
    RMD comment: watch the 10-year Treasury. It’s bounced off 1.6% several times since 2012. If it breaks down, it will mean people are rushing to the safety of Treasuries because the economy is weakening.

    I believe The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The US Standard of Living since the Civil War (Robert Gordon, Princeton U. Press) is so spectacular that I’ll review a chapter a week in coming newsletters.
    The electric light (and with it, all of the things that electricity does in our life) and the internal combustion engine were invented within weeks of each other in 1879. Also around this time and shortly thereafter, came refrigeration, indoor plumbing and sewers, central heating, the telephone, the radio, the airplane.
    Gordon has 2 points: 1) never in human history has there been such an increase in the standard of living over such a short period of time. 2) Progress is now slowing because these things can only be done once, they won’t happen again. 
    The stewardess on the Southwest plane kept referring to Las Vegas as “Lost Wages”.
    RMD comment: I love it. That’s another way of saying the casino is in business because the casino always wins.
    1.4M Americans currently serve in the Armed Forces = 0.4% of the population. 7.3% of living Americans have served: 1.4% of females and 13.4% of males.
    Looking back, I really wish I had served. The situation just never came along. I graduated HS in 1969 and went straight to college. I graduated college a semester early, so was exposed to the draft in 1973, but had a very high lottery number.
    I recently attended a Commencement at Columbia College. About 20 years ago, under President Donald Ruthenberg, a good friend from Boy Scouts, Columbia College added the niche of on-line courses to active military. At the Commencement, a speaker asked all Active Service or veterans to stand up. About 15-20% of those receiving a degree stood up. Exactly one of the (approx.) 50 Faculty stood up.
    RMD comment: I’ve seen surveys which show that 15-20% of the Faculty of the Social/Political Sciences at many Universities consider themselves Marxists. Conservatives need not apply. These are the folks who are teaching our children.   

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