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The Dark Side of Student Loans
Issue #528, June 25, 2018

The Cost of Out-sourcing Convenience
Issue #527, June 18, 2018

Social Security: 66 or 70?
Issue #526, June 11, 2018

Student Loans: There’s (Unfortunately) a Lot More!
Issue #525, June 04, 2018

Co-signing a Note
Issue #524A, May 31, 2018

The Knight Frank Luxury Index and Collectables
Issue #524, May 28, 2018

The Importance of Diversification: The Myth of Diversification
Issue #523, May 21, 2018

How to Save Thousands on Your Food Bill
Issue #522, May 14, 2018

MoviePass and Other Things
Issue #521A, May 10, 2018

Degree Inflation, Long Training Periods, and “Certification”  Part III
Issue #521, May 07, 2018

Degree Inflation, Long Training Periods, and Certification” Part II of III
Issue #520, April 30, 2018

Follow-up on Several Things
Issue #519A, April 25, 2018

Degree Inflation, Long Training Periods, and “Certification”: Part I of II
Issue #519, April 23, 2018

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


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

Several Things

Issue #511, February 27, 2018

Several Things
    Don’t take your eye off the ball. Lowry’s feels probabilities suggest the primary trend of the market is higher and there are no imminent signs of a market top.
Warren Buffett
    Buffett was interviewed on Monday on CNBC.
    1) (I paraphrase). Buying a 30-year Treasury bill at 3% is crazy.
    RMD comment: I have said many times I’m not a fan of any long-term bond. Buffett calls them “certificates of confiscation”.
    2) Large trade deficits aren’t good. You’re transferring wealth. But right now, other people (the foreigners with whom we trade) work hard, make goods and ship them here, and we give them pieces of paper (Treasury bills) that we will inflate away.
    3) Buffett’s largest current position at Berkshire Hathaway is cash.
    RMD comment: Buffett is so patient: he can’t find anything at the steal prices that he likes. That does not negate my bullish comments above. Probabilities suggest the market still hasn’t seen the final high. More at that time. 
    The economy is strong, inflation is picking up, and interest rates are up for the year. Although the US Dollar has bounced (a little) the last few weeks, it is still down for the year, and the US Dollar Index can’t seem to break 90. I’ll talk about this apparent paradox in the next few weeks.
Sweden Going Cashless
    There was a recent article on Bloomberg that “no cash accepted” signs are becoming increasingly common in Sweden as payments go digital and mobile. The QuickTake is “Going cashless bad for tax cheats, privacy and the poor”.
    RMD comment: Nobody likes a tax cheat, but to think that going cashless is a way to deter tax cheats, or any criminals, is naïve in the extreme. Or: how about a 14 year old who hustles, cuts 4 lawns a week, doesn’t report it on his taxes, and saves 90% of it to pay his way through college.
    Privacy: the ultimate dictatorship will be cashless.
    Hurt the poor. First of all, everything hurts the poor. That’s one of the unfairnesses of life. But few of you appreciate the situation of many of the working poor, who frequent the pawn shops and the pay day loans to scrape up enough cash until the next paycheck. 
More on Student Loans
    The Trump administration has proposed a variety of changes in student loans, which now total more than $1.5 trillion dollars, more than credit card debt or auto loans. 95% are insured by the government (spelled you and me), it’s an important issue to discuss.
    Wall Street Journal (2/21/18). “The Trump administration…is considering allowing more Americans to erase student debt in bankruptcy”. Already by 1976, the rate of repayment on student loans was so poor that Congress passed a law making it almost impossible to discharge student loans in bankruptcy. Ex: last year fewer than 500 people attempted to extinguish their student loans among the 766K individuals and couples who filed for bankruptcy.
    RMD comment: For whatever reason(s), from the beginning, many people have considered student loans different than other loans. They aren’t: you were lent money in good faith, you need to pay it back. The delinquency rate on student loans is far higher than on any other loans.
    This proposal is the definition of moral hazard. People already inclined not to pay will be even more inclined not to pay, and those honest folks who try to honor their obligations say “why should I bust my chops when that guy gets off the hook”? It is a terrible idea.
    Also in the Trump administration proposals for changes in student loans:
    1) Consolidate income-based loan repayment programs.
    RMD comment: I don’t know the details, but the best thing the Trump administration has done is streamline regulations.
    2) End public-service loan forgiveness programs. This was originally passed to encourage people to choose public service over private industry.
    RMD comment: It’s always wise to be careful when the government “encourages” you to do anything. In general, it’s best for the marketplace to decide. Likewise, for people who do wish to pursue public service, it’s a nice perk.
    3) Cut funding for federal work study. 
    4) Embolden government to go after borrowers in default.
    RMD comment: Now you will see the full political consequences of the government insuring student loans. I could talk about this for a long time, but the bottom line is that if people owe money, they should repay. Cars get re-pod all the time, and homes can get foreclosed, so the creditor, in this case, the government, should use any and all legal means at their disposal to collect the money owed them.   
    On Tuesday, Walmart (WMT) reported poor results. The stock was spanked, really trashed, down 10.67% on more than 5x normal volume. Should you buy this dip?
    RMD comment: I much prefer to buy on strength, especially if a stock breaks out to a new high. I would only buy on weakness if you have intimate knowledge of the company, such as if you worked there, or it was local and you could see how they were doing, or if you had followed them for a long time and recognized the dip as an opportunity to open or add to a position. Don’t buy just because the price is lower = General Electric (GE), because it can go a lot lower
    Whenever the market backs off, you hear people say “I’m a long-term investor”. A Finance Professor told me his favorite definition of a “long-term investment” was a short-term investment that’s under water. 

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