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Investments and Investing

  • Wall Street Journal With an annual fee of $400+ one can get Barron's online and quality journalism (often absent on the Internet).   It's expensive.
  • www.cross-currents.net This site offered an alternative to all the optimism of the last twenty-five years, and that skepticism is still in need today. Run by a sophisticated and principled professional (Alan Newman), the superb essay "Picture of a Stock Market Mania" comes from this site.   I also recommend their monthly commentary/newsletter.
  • Comstock Commentary This mutual fund publishes commentary three times a week, just two to three paragraphs. That commentary provides a tonic to all the unrealistic investing journalism out today, though I do get tired of the Bear meter being on negative (for more than a decade). These people are devout and principled bears with plenty of knowledge to back them up. Their commentary is always a refreshing read.
  • National Debt Website Our national debt is between $21.3 trillion and $110 trillion (according to some professionals) as of 10/7/17.
  • Hoovers.com A useful site though the annual fee is high. The "Companies" section, within the "Companies and Industries" section, is the most helpful. It allows you to review a list of most Fortune 500 companies, get info on them, and then jump to their website. From there you can get even more information. The annual fee also includes several summaries of financial information on companies. All in all, a good site.
  • I have always believed the primary and fundamental reason for the gross financial and economic problems of America for the past 36 years started in 1980 with Reaganomics (supply-side economics).
  • One of my favorite books is The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham. After seventy years of age it was updated by Jason Zweig and I highly recommend this book.
  • Predator Nation by Charles Ferguson is excellent. An accurate and succinct account of the nation's economy for the last thirty years fills up the first 75% of the book.
  • I can also recommend The Coming Mutual Fund Crisis by Donald Christensen. Though the title is (and was) simply wrong, the book presents an excellent financial history of the last thirty years. It indicts the mutual fund and finance industry, and is full of common sense investing advice. Because it is out of print, it has to be purchased from a used book seller.
  • www.contraryinvestor.com - This site closed down in 2013. I downloaded an essay from this site, the Bearish Contrarian's Psychological First Aid Kit which is still slightly relevant. It is very difficult today to find valid contrarian investment advice, or an alternative to all the optimism of the last thirty seven years.

    The authors, and others, have moved over to a site called www.safehaven.com.  Unfortunately I do not have much good to say about this website. About 90% of it is inaccurate, farfetched, wrong, extreme in their political views, or extreme in their economic views. Occasionally there is a prescient article, or one warning of financial excess, or corruption on Wall Street. In my effort to find alternatives to the mainstream financial press, I might be desperate enough to go there.
  • www.PrudentBear.com This realistic website closed down in 2014. The author has shifted over to writing a blog at http://creditbubblebulletin.blogspot.com/I do not read it but it might be worth reading.
  • A Simple Calculation For those confused by conflicting claims re P/E ratios and how that makes the current market overvalued or undervalued, please see this excellent article at Comstockfunds.com for the correct answer, and a dose of common sense.
  • These two articles by Alan Newman at Cross-Currents epitomize my views (and those of many other people) about the last 36 years in American economic history. They cover a broad variety of topics including: the Federal Reserve, monetary policy, inflation, deflation (not likely in my opinion), Wall Street speculation and excesses, economic and financial crises, stagnation in Japan, gold, flooding the economy with easy money, the national debt, budget deficits in Washington, notional derivatives, the LTCM crisis, the 1987 crash, the 2005-2008 crisis, and the role of major money banks (particularly Goldman Sachs).
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