Archive for June, 2007

Rouxbe

June 24, 2007

I’m quite a big fan of Rouxbe.com . It’s a cooking and recipes site at its Web 2.0 best, with some interesting approaches to adverts and sponsorship. You have a choice between paying for your Premium membership once your free trial is up, inviting others for free credits or being sponsored by an advertising partner. Instead of spamming your videos and the rest of the sites with unwanted links, the sponsorship partner is chosen on the basis of your personal preferences and gives you free access to the site. There are plenty of opportunity to click through and explore their site, and since it’s a site that matches your likes and dislikes, the chances are that you will.

My sponsor for the next three months is Epitourean which focuses on culinary tourism — thanks guys!

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Analysing technical analysis

June 24, 2007

For instance, browsing through my copy of Options, Futures and Other Derivatives (in section 10.1) , I was delighted to find

If the weak form of market efficiency were not true, technical analysts could make above-average returns by interpreting charts of the past history of stock prices. There is very little evidence that they are in fact able to do this.

Now, I’ve just finished The Way of the Turtle which is a great compilation of wisdom on how to use very simple technical analysis to make above-average returns by interpreting charts of the past history stock and commodity prices. These are the self-same techniques that commodity traders have been using to good effect for the past three decades.

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Buy and hold overbought?

June 24, 2007

In an 2001 article on Barclay Group’s site (requires registration) entitled “Buy and Hold: A Different Perspective” Richard Rudy, a hedge fund manager states that

The “buy and hold” investor has been led to believe (perhaps by an industry with a powerful conflict of interest) that if he has tremendous patience and discipline and “stays with it” he will make a good long term return. These investors fully expect that they will make back most, if not all, of recent losses soon enough. They believe that the best place for long-term capital is the stock market and that if they give it 5 or 10 or 20 years they will surely do very well. Such investors need to understand that they can go 5, 10 and 20 years and make no return at all and even lose money

If, however, investors can uncover an approach that can earn 12% to 15% a year with little correlation to the market and without the kinds of historical drawdowns offered by the market, then, when compared to the market, they should think about the choice very carefully indeed.

If you compare this to a standard portfolio allocation approach with funds Dimensional Fund Associates, e.g. choose four or five standard asset classes which are not very well correlated with each other, then buy investment vehicles for each, and hold them for the long term. It is important that the investment chosen — like those DFA funds — have low expense fees, pay as little as possible in commission and slippage, and do not follow the crowd in order to find stocks for that asset class. The results are very impressive.

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Buy and hold overbought?

June 24, 2007

In an 2001 article on Barclay Group’s site (requires registration) entitled “Buy and Hold: A Different Perspective” Richard Rudy, a hedge fund manager states that

The “buy and hold” investor has been led to believe (perhaps by an industry with a powerful conflict of interest) that if he has tremendous patience and discipline and “stays with it” he will make a good long term return. These investors fully expect that they will make back most, if not all, of recent losses soon enough. They believe that the best place for long-term capital is the stock market and that if they give it 5 or 10 or 20 years they will surely do very well. Such investors need to understand that they can go 5, 10 and 20 years and make no return at all and even lose money

If, however, investors can uncover an approach that can earn 12% to 15% a year with little correlation to the market and without the kinds of historical drawdowns offered by the market, then, when compared to the market, they should think about the choice very carefully indeed.

If you compare this to a standard portfolio allocation approach with funds Dimensional Fund Associates, e.g. choose four or five standard asset classes which are not very well correlated with each other, then buy investment vehicles for each, and hold them for the long term. It is important that the investment chosen — like those DFA funds — have low expense fees, pay as little as possible in commission and slippage, and do not follow the crowd in order to find stocks for that asset class. The results are very impressive.

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Efficient markets

June 24, 2007

There are three broad dogmas in finance:

  • That markets are efficient
  • That markets are inefficient
  • That it does not really matter whether markets are efficient or not

At any one time, I have been known to hold one, two or all three views. Depending which site or book or article you read, you will typically find one of the first two views held so dogmatically that you would think any one crazy to believe in its opposite. Generally, this is accompanied by some logical consequences. e.g. if the market is efficient, you cannot make money from its inefficiencies, at least not in the long term. Or similarly, if the market is inefficient, a long-term buy and hold approach to stocks simply cannot work.

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How to watch TV for free

June 24, 2007

Since I posted What Joost Really Needs, Joost has delivered the goods. In the latest release, you can easily link to programmes and blog about them, delivering the real way to get some of the viral niceness spread.

In a great Mashable post you can read about a number of Joost competitors. Whether video killed the radio star is not really debatable any more, the only question that remains is whether t’ internet will kill the television star — and looking at this line up, I doubt that many have doubts any more.

It’s also interesting that along with news that the iPhone will be able to stream YouTube videos, YouTube has just opened up its mobile offering to other devices too.

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Review of Gruel

June 24, 2007

Gruel,
67 Dame Street,
Dublin,
D2,
Ireland

Unpretentious, hearty food, fast friendly service, cosy atmosphere

Gruel is where I always go when I’m in Dublin. It’s pretty cheap, the service is fast and the food is wonderful. The food covers some old favourites — bangers and mash, rhubarb crumble and custard — done in new ways. The signature roast sandwiches are definitely always worth a go, and the salads are superb, but in the end I normally plump for piping hot comfort food with a couple of glasses of very gluggable red wine. 

When you first step into Gruel and before you smell the tantalising roasting meat, the first thought is actually how bare and simple the furnishings are. Don’t let that distract you. Every time I’ve been the whole place is heaving with warm bodies taking respite from the Dublin weather — an incongruous mix of suits, shoppers and students. This place is a home-from-home. Most the food is hearty fare and the room feels cosy and comforting. Best of all, these guys are savvy and unpretentious at the same time.

Rated 5/5 on Jun 24 2007 by Robin Allenson
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Hospitalising the NHS

June 24, 2007

I have just finished reading We All Fall Down: Goldratt’s Theory of Constraints for Healthcare Systems. I found it a little hard to get into the book, but mostly because i wasn’t familiar with many of the healthcare acronyms and terminology which took a while to get used to. The story centers on Beth Seagers, an overworked admissions manager in a busy NHS hospital. Her staff hate her, her boss hates everyone, the patients hate the waiting lists she is responsible for and her colleagues hate the fact that she is in charge of the single most valuable resource in the hospital: beds.My wife is a gastroenterologist and although she does not come home complaining with the same terminology that We All Fall Down uses, in the end it all comes down to beds. Many of the conversations I overhear late at night or trying to get back to sleep in the wee hours of the morning are when she has been called by somebody asking to use one of her department’s beds.Beth’s hospital is running at an incredible 98% capacity meaning that the longest time a bed is empty is for 15 minutes.When her witch of a boss announces a new change initiative to bring new consultants in to change the way that admissions works, Beth twigs two things at once. First, the new consultants are actually intended to be doing her job and she’ll be out of work. Second, the new initiative is going to fail just like all those before it.To her rescue comes a surgeon, unhappy with operations being constantly cancelled and email advice from her brother in law on new ways to think of the hospital, its beds and how to prioritise work around them — a thinly disguised Jonah to those of who have read other Theory of Constraints novels. It is he who helps her discover both the core problem at the heart of the hospital and the key constraint that stops the hospital from freeing up more beds.The book will appeal to two broad audiences. First up, those who work in healthcare and are fed up to the back teeth with working in a dysfunctional systems full of talented caring individuals who are not seeing the benefits of their efforts. Second, for those of us who have read other Theory of Constraints books, We All Fall Down spends a lot more time explaining some the Thinking Processes toolbox and explaining the need to and how to work through not just Current Reality Trees, but Future Reality Trees and trees for communication as well.For all readers, the book also adds another few nails in the coffin of the idea that ToC is just a manufacturing theory whose ideas do not work in other domains.

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Spore video

June 5, 2007

Many of your will have seen this already, but this is a video of Will Wright talking at the 2005 Game Developer’s conference about his new game “Spore”. Spore is expected to be out … shortly, but there seems to be no date set for a Mac OS X version.

Amerbial — another Boomshine

June 5, 2007

Once again, rather than blog about agile, I have playing the another deliciously addictive game: Amberial. This is like a 2d platform version of Marble Run but with all kinds of wonderful toys.

(via LinkBlog)

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