The Utility of the Shallow

Photo by David Edwards In the 2nd Dirty Harry movie, Magnum Force, Clint Eastwood opines, “A man’s got to know his limitations.” They say that in martial arts, you should ask yourself if you are Bruce Lee before attempting to kick over your head. When investing, you should ask yourself if you are Benjamin Graham before attempting to pick individual stocks. Am I Warren Buffet? No? Then I’ll invest in a Vanguard index mutual fund instead of some rocking castle in the sky hot-shot stock play. »

Perfect Chai

My daughter shared with me the process of making the perfect cup of chai. It begins with heating milk on the stove to a simmer (or boil if you don’t mind removing the skim). Keep it on the heat for the next steps. Then dump in the loose tea and let it steep until the color is right (a pretty caramel color). Use two or three heaping teaspoons for about a cup and a half of milk. »

In Math We Trust

When the Savior was asked about taxes, he observed that a coin had Caesar’s image on it. When you look at US coinage, you will likely see a President’s profile, but you’ll also see “In God We Trust.” US currency is backed by the faith and credit of the US Federal Government. May it prove faithful in perpetuity and do nothing to make itself unworthy of our trust. Nevertheless, there are times when that trust wavers. »

High Wire Act

Perhaps you have seen circus acts where the death-defying performer walks a tightrope high above the crowd. He succeeds by maintaining his balance. Balance is important in more than just this context. When I started learning how to manage my investments I learned about “diversifying” one’s assets and then I heard about “balancing” a diversified portfolio. Diversification is the long word for “thou shalt not put all your eggs in one basket. »

ArtPrize Guilt

I walked into the gallery and said hello to the proprietress. The occasion of my visit was ArtPrize, a local institution. Nine years ago the local billionaire’s kid had an idea for an art contest wherein the public would vote for its preferred art piece. And the winner would get a big bunch of money. Members of the art community reacted in horror that the great unwashed should have a chance to say what constitutes good art, but that’s another story. »

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