Archive for November, 2013

Today as I post this it is Election Day.

Of course, as I currently live in capital city of Thailand, Bangkok, I am twelve hours ahead of my local polling district located in Loudon County, Virginia. The polls open at 6:00am, which will be six in the evening for me here in Bangkok. One of the things I will miss about not being able to vote in my polling place – which is actually a trailer park – is the tradition. When the polls open, an official (whose name I have never learned even after years of casting my ballot) would come out and scream at the top of his lungs, “THE POLLS ARE OPEN!!!”. Because it is 0600 and people in the nearby trailers are still sleeping, this loud oral tradition never ceased to cast a smile on my face right before I cast my ballot.

Instead of listening to the happy loud oratory of an election official and having dedicated citizens cross my name of huge rolls of printer paper, I had to make due with checking my marks on my absentee ballot (with my beautiful wife as witness).

Now the reason I am mentioning this whole election thing is because I wanted to share something. While some of my rants on this blog space (such as here and here and here) may make it appear that I am on the left of the political spectrum, there are also some writings of mine that throw barbs at the current occupant of the White House (such as here and here and here). My point here is that while you may try and guess how I would vote in today’s election as the Old Dominion has a governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, and state delegate on the ballot, I can tell you without fail that you would be wrong. I am proud to say that I do not cast my precious vote based on the letter (say “D” or “R”) that follows a candidate’s name.

In today’s election, of the four positions I could make my choice for, I selected candidates from three parties.

Ask yourself this, when is the last time you did not vote a straight ticket?

Read Full Post »

Since I love randomocity, here’s a story I first saw in from WIRED magazine about researchers showing that random picking of stocks does just as well as hiring a financial advisor.

We’ve seen one of the lead researchers, Alessandro Pluchino, before in my writing when I discussed the 2010 Ig Nobels being handed out and Pluchino took home an award for his work (along with co-researchers Andrea Rapisarda and Cesare Garofalo) showing that organizations do better when they promote employees at random instead of using a rational practice (like merit).

Pluchino, along with Alessio Biondo, makes the case in this paper that picking stocks at random is on par, if not better, than hiring a financial advisor.

My follow-up question is this…What would be a good name for a brokerage that made its stock picks solely at random?

Read Full Post »