- Personal Finance Education
- Trade Education
- Proactively eliminate distractions
Somebody in New York has a data project that correlates market news articles to future market moves / short-term volatility. Somebody knows the strength of this correlation and they place their bets accordingly. If the correlation is strong enough, then they are creating the news stories. If it is weak, they are ignoring the news.
What is the cause-effect relationship among news, market moves, and actual events?
Some Cause-Effect Possibilities
1. Something happens.
2. News reports it.
3. Market moves.
1. News reports something.
2. Something else happens in reaction.
3. Market moves.
1. Market moves by wild mob.
2. News reports mostly random speculation / is along for the wild ride.
3. Hedge funds win and lose along with the rest of us, just more in a more complex way.
1. The largest market players have incorporated creating news into their big data market-controlling strategy.
2. Big money / big data analysis creates news stories that create profitable market moves.
3. Market reacts with short-term volatility, biggest hedge funds profit.
A is the ostensible assumption. D is the most cynical. I suspect it is pretty close to option C really, but I don’t know. We as outsiders do not know the answer and I suspect the real answer is a combination. As usual, it depends!
On Market “News”
- Misinformation is as bad as lack of information.
- The question, “what are reporters saying,” yields infinite random information of unknown value – and therefore zero value.
- Speculation is free. The only incentive for someone selling news is to say something alarming and attention-grabbing.
- The question, “where are people actually putting their money,” yields better information. However, the average outsider investor can only know where the money really went after it happens.
Where Should I Put My Money?
Short-term, only the most inside people know “real” value of individual investments. No single individual knows the “real” value of every individual stock, hence the “market.”
Long-term, there is a strong incentive by all major parties for the market to go up. This applies to value creation by companies as well as the more cynical policy setting by governments. Therefore buy-and-hold works. Ride the bandwagon!
If you can, put your money right in front of you where it can enhance your own value creation / attention / effort. In other words, put your money where you are the “insider.” If you can, be the insider.
But I’m Curious What’s Happening
Okay, then do not ask the question, “What is the news saying about the market.”
Instead start with the question, “Where has the market gone?” This at least starts you off by knowing where people actually have placed their collective substantive opinion.
1564-1642: Galileo Galilei, Italian, father of observational astronomy, phases of Venus, Jupiter’s satellites, observed Saturn’s rings
1596-1650: René Decartes, French, philosopher, logical method
1623-1662: Blaise Pascal, French, fluid dynamics
1629-1695: Christiaan Huygens, Dutch, Saturn’s rings, pendulum clock
1646-1716: Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, French, differential and integral calculus, especially modern conventional notation
1700-1782: Daniel Bernoulli, Swiss, fluid mechanics, probability, statistics
1745 – 1827: Alessandro Giuseppe Antonio Anastasio Volta, Italian, the battery
1766-1844: John Dalton, English, chemist, physicist, meteorologist, atomic theory of chemistry
1775 – 1836: André-Marie Ampère, solenoid & electrical telegraph
1776-1856: Amedeo Avogadro, Italian, equal volumes of gases under equal pressure and temperature contain equal numbers of molecules
1777 – 1851: Hans Christian Ørsted, Danish, electromagnetism
1789 – 1854: Georg Ohm, German, direct relationship between voltage and current
1791 – 1867: Michael Faraday, English, various, electric motor
1824-1907: William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin, thermodynamics, measurement of absolute zero temperature.
1831 – 1879: James Clerk Maxwell, Scottish, electromagnetic radiation
1846 – 1914: George Westinghouse, American, AC electric power
1847 – 1931: Thomas Edison, American, light bulb, various, DC electric power
1856 – 1943: Nikola Tesla, Serbian-American, AC electric power
1879-1955: Albert Einstein, physicist. Born in Germany. 1895 moved to Switzerland. 1896-1901 stateless. 1901 obtained Swiss citizenship. 1905 wrote the Annus Mirabilis papers. 1907-1915 developed general relativity. 1933 cancelled trip to Germany forever and renounced his citizenship at German consulate in Antwerp. 1939 sent the Einstein-Szilárd letter to FDR. 1940 settled in the US and became a US citizen.
Mechanical Drive Systems
Numerical Methods in Energy Sciences
Nuclear Energy: Basic Aspects
Integrated Problem Solving in Energy
Electrical Drives; Advanced Topics in Electrical Machines, Including Implementation Aspects
Power Systems Calculations
Energy Markets and Regulation
Smart Distribution Systems
Integrated Project in Energy
FFN is an effort to get some culture from around the world – and have an excuse to stay in and eat popcorn, ice cream, and beer. Subtitled, never dubbed.
Upcoming Film Ideas
Dostana – Bollywood, recommended by Taylor
The Black Book
The Wind Rises – heart-wrenching WW1
More Studio Ghibli
More French, they have been good.
Der Untergang – 3 star for the Germans. Film about the final months of Hitler. Includes famously-memed scene of Hitler exploding on his generals.
Coco avant Chanel – 3.5 stars for the French. Another great French film. The life of Gabrielle Chanel.
The Resistance Banker – 3.5 stars for the Dutch. WW2 Amsterdam Resistance finance.
Mongol – 4 stars for the Russians / Kazaks. About the rise of Ghengis Khan
Amélie – 4 stars for the French
Spirited Away – 3 wild stars for the Japanese, Studio Ghibli
Bullhead – 1 star for the Belgians. Traumatic scene not outweighed by the movie quality.
Edge of Deomcracy – documentary about Brazilian politics. Re-watch in person to keep track of characters. Where did the footage come from??
Man of the Year – 2 stars for the Brazilians. Nate’s favorite to learn Portuguese.
The Bird Cage – 3.5 stars for the French.
Force Majeure – 3 stars for the Swedish. Interesting. Deep? Funny?
The Farewell – 3 stars. Pretend Grandma isn’t dying. Chinese culture.
Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon – cool fight scenes. Chinese.
La Sombra y La Tierra – 2.5 stars for the Colombians.
Dangal – 3.5 stars for the Indians for female wrestling!
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night –
Ratatouille – not really foreign but takes place in Paris.
Hero – 3.5 stars for Zhang Yimou
Raise the Red Lanterns – 3.5 stars, Delaware Hayes classic for Zhang Yimou.
To Live – Nate’s favorite Zhang Yimou. 4 stars. What a period in history for the Chinese.
The Fall of the American Empire –
IEEE Smart Grid
IEEE CommSoc Publications
IEEE PELS Education
IEEE Spectrum Magazine
IEEE Comm Soc events, search “smart grid” and “power line”
Companies and Links
5-Star and 4-Star Sources
Lokaal in Leuven
Local Delaware, Ohio
S&P 500 Index, 5-star. The index is the news. It is a number set by market money. All the indexes are 5-star by default.
Hussman Funds Market Comment, 5-star. Market opinion, and stated as such. Consistent message.
Nate’s Stuff, 5-star baby!!
NathanRuffing.com Big News, only the absolute biggest stories of our lives
Check out my friends’ websites, they’re cool.
Sports Events 2020 – wow everything that isn’t happening.
Search Delaware Hayes Pacers
COVID-19 and Epidemiology in General
I consider this paper to be worth more than everything else written on COVID-19, combined. Literally.
Deadliest Enemy: Our War Against Killer Germs, 5-star book, written in 2017. A must-read. It reads like it was written before the COVID-19 outbreak.
CIDRAP podcast, 5-star. Michael Osterholm does his job and reports the science.
Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP), 4-star source. Nearly 5-star. Highly relevant. Scientific. Critical when necessary.
Deaths data table from the CDC. 5-star data table. US government statistics are usually consistent and honest. COVID-19 cases are difficult to count and classify. Deaths are more straightforward. The last 7 years average annual flu deaths for the US is ~41,000. Reference. The reason the CDC doesn’t compare average past flu and pneumonia death data to COVID-19 is because they don’t have reliable weekly past flu and pneumonia data, only estimates.
The Fall and Rise of China, 5-star lecture series. Covers the Opium Wars through 2010. Absolute must-listen to understand China.
The following “Chinese” are not the same. We must know the difference!
- The CCP
- China the country
- Chinese people in China
- Chinese people in America who will return to China
- Chinese-American immigrants
- Americans with Chinese heritage
- Americans who look Asian
Current news on China? I lack a good source! Anybody?? Shoot me an e-mail. I’m open to suggestions.
Keys to Black Wealth: here is a great black movement.
I will listen to black people on black people. Martin Luther King Jr. speeches are timeless. Malcolm X speeches are shocking but interesting and well-spoken.was controversial, and he was a “draft dodger” but he appears to me to have been bravely speaking his mind, not a coward. I like Thomas Sowell and Larry Elder, you may not. Suggestions?
Internet Free Speech and Privacy
Bovada sports gambling, 5-star, is popular in the US and offers odds on political races. Better than the polls. Money is on the line, so their goal is to report the odds as they actually are.
MoFreedomFoundation: 4-star. Rob is the most politically-biased 4-star source on this page. Rob is a one-man polemicist show with consistent message and historical background. Though biased, he makes no bones about it. He is there to state his opinion. I watched almost all his videos from 2016 through 2019 and they remain relevant. Disagree with him? Go ahead, start a video series then! That’s what he did!
Star Rating System
5-star: Near perfect source. Totally unbiased, well cited, self-regulating. I have never found misinformation. Gold standard of information. Often says, “we don’t know …” when they don’t know. Often very boring, require a long time to understand. Demonstrates conscious and consistent attempt to be objective. When there is opinion, clearly labeled as such. Science and statistics used responsibly. Usually reserved for individual stories rather than sources because one must always be wary.
4-star: Great source. No consistent bias, but some misinformation and bias rarely. If opinion, clearly stated as opinion and supported by cited 5 star sources. Consistent, independent, individual opinion makers often receive 4 stars even if biased if they identify as opinion and consistently reveal their sources.
3-star: Usually good information. Information selected with some consistent political bias. Often more entertaining than 4 or 5 star sources.
2-star: clear bias with thin attempt to conceal. Information usually true, but heavily selected to fit a narrative. Often appear to be attempting to create newsworthy thought rather than objectively reporting news or stating opinion. Sources often receive 2 stars rather than 1 star, ironically, because so many people follow these sources that they become news. Often quote science and statistics in a weak superficial manner to support their narrative.
1-star: comical and entertaining. If reality is ridiculous, as it sometimes can be, 1 star sources will be the first to report. 90% of the information reads like historical fiction. Conspiracy theories abound.
3-Star, 2-Star and 1-Star Sources with Explanation
These sources can be useful, but should combine to less than 10% of your information unless you just want entertainment, want a quick explanation of a current “thought” movement, are starting a search for a “4-star plus” source, or you are preparing for war for some reason.
NPR: 3-star. The most publicly-funded US news source. Their bias sometimes goes both ways, so difficult to pin them on one side. Government funded. Though unbiased, they just aren’t that good. Very connected to US universities. My personal peeve is that their necessity to interview the “downtrodden” turns into endless whining and complaining.
BBC News: 4-star or 3-star. Very connected to the British government, but I usually find their stories dispassionate and concise. They must support the British government but English culture is popular – I believe – because the English value truth and transparency.
Joe Rogan, 3-star, is a great source of sources. Joe Rogan often interviews great sources and you can go directly to his interviewees as your source.
US Mainstream Media: 2-star.
Search Thomas Jefferson quotes on newspapers and you will know exactly what I think about mainstream media. The most useful thing the mainstream media has done in my lifetime is help name this post.
Fox News, 2-star.
New York Times, 2-star.
Washington Post, 2-star.
Their stories are based in truth but they immediately spin them. They sprinkle in just enough truth and “science” to make you feel smart and informed. However, they pick only sources that drive their agenda and usually the most shocking and enraging sources possible. Watching just one side yields a very skewed world view. Watching both sides yields an extreme view that the two sides hate each other and one side is right or the answer is in the middle. None of these things are true. The “right answer” or “solution” appears neither in the battle between these “two sides” nor in the middle. No link here because of the crippling number of ads on their sites. As an American, their bias is pretty easy to pick out but as a foreigner you might just be confused by the chaos.
US Presidential Election 2020
Compelling Trump victory factors
- Strong economy / jobs … (?)
- Weak Democrat candidates
- Trump is social media leader.
- COVID-19 emphasizes social media.
- Trump picking up minority votes?
- Bernie splitting Democrat vote, complicating things.
- Media is so negative, Democrats happy to passively allow Trump to remain in hot seat. Not excited about getting slammed with Biden in charge.
Compelling Democrat victory factors
- Anybody but Hillary could have beaten Trump in 2016. Hillary was only candidate bad enough Trump could beat
- Anti-Trump base is energetic and will vote
- Trump support base is complacent.
- Trump barely won in 2016, lost popular vote.
- COVID-19 killing “Trump’s” economy. Bad for incumbent.
- Media is so negative, Trump supporters will be happy to see Democrat return to hot seat. Tired of constant berating.
30 Mar: US Government 15 day plan expires. Go back to work, America?
~3 Apr: UK starts mass testing for active and past COVID-19
~9 Apr: Osterholm says major testing shortages because of reagent chemicals required. Confidence crisis.
~9 Apr: check from US government for ~$1200 / adult.
12 Apr: Trump target for re-opening (Easter Sunday).
16 Apr: JP Hussman says grace period up for health system preparedness.
8 May: lawyers say Franklin County courts re-open?
~July – August: Osterholm says peak in the summer six months after emergence. No seasonality.
- 25 March 2020: with S&P 500 down only 27% – S&P ~=2,500 – I don’t think the market has priced in the effect of ongoing trade issues with world’s #2 economy. China already had probable forced child labor, oppressive propaganda-pushing government, taking over Hong Kong, “re-education” camps for Uighur Muslims, now wet markets + CCP delay and cover-up have caused a pandemic. CCP has arrived on the world’s doorstep. No matter your politics, governments will sanction and this will affect global economy.
- Feb 2020: predict Trump wins reelection in 2020 due to being incumbent, strong economy, social media use, and weak Democrat candidates.
Twitter, link goes to your Twitter home. Twitter is news by default depending on who you follow. If enough people think it’s news, they’re right. Get it off your chest. Participate. … Update: I don’t know, even good sources turn to trash on Twitter.
DrudgeReport, 1-star, collection of the newest and most alarming stories by link from around the web. Unvetted. Everything that anybody is saying. Entertaining.
World Economic Forum: Pro-globalization. I’m not familiar enough to rate.
List of definitely un-reliable sources without links: New York Post, Intellihub, Breitbart, …
Coronavirus 2020 back-story and reading
The World Health Organization is is influenced by Chinese Communist Party propaganda, reports their numbers as fact, holds China as a model (based on false numbers), and is advertising a concert in the middle of a pandemic. Stop the funding. Embarrassing. Even Michael Osterholm at CIDRAP called them out for failing.
The Wuhan Virology Lab, even if just a coincidence, is part of the coronavirus story, see below
Wuhan lab director considered the possibility in this interview.
Update on the lab story, probably not! Click here.
1977 Russian flu very likely accidental release from Soviet lab, see Chapter 10 of this book, Deadliest Enemy
1977 Russian flu, see Wikipedia article
2020 according to this article we are taking the lab director’s word that the virus doesn’t match anything her lab studied. Case closed? Really? To me this is an irresponsible misunderstanding of the situation and of China. We know lab releases have happened before. We know China lies and covers up when necessary.
I believe the lab is a possibility, and too large a coincidence to ignore. The existence of the lab at least influenced the Communist Party reaction.
Let’s learn the English:
Have you ever?
Have you ever been?
Have you yet?
Yes, I already did.
with music lyrics.
Step 1: Find good music.
Search YouTube for music and add the word “lyrics.”
For example, search, “have you ever lyrics” on YouTube. You find:
Step 2: Find the English text.
For example, you find:
Step 3: What does it mean??
Now, copy-paste the text into Google Translate. Learn the whole meaning of the song in your own language!
Step 4: Repeat!
If you like the music, repeat, practice, and learn… in English only!
Some More English Music to Learn
have you ever been
haven’t met you yet
I am so tired of abysmal failures of websites I’m standardizing my feedback. You are always asking for feedback. Here are some universal tips that – honestly based on my personal experience – you are probably failing at as a website manager. If I sent you this link, I found your site to be in need of improvement.
Organizing Online Events and Conferences
When people attend an in-person conference, they want to know the address, possibly where to park, where the sign in desk is, and a calendar of events with locations perhaps room numbers. They want to know the following for the conference and each sub-event:
- Who: event name / who is hosting the event / presenter’s name.
- What: subject of the event / presentation.
- Where: location.
- When: date and time.
- Why: because.
I don’t make this list because the information is usually lacking. The information is usually available somewhere. I provide this list because there is usually so much extra information that attendees can’t find these basic requirements!
The online / virtual version of this is currently Zoom meetings. Attendees need the following information and no more! For each presentation:
- Who: single web address with the most current information / name of the conference / name of the host / name of presenters.
- What: subject of the event / presentation.
- Where: the Zoom access code / meeting ID.
- When: date and time in Zulu or always with a specific time zone.
- Why: because.
If the event can be conducted without attendees registering that is best. If the attendees must register, let them use their e-mail addresses for a username.
Do a run-through the day prior with a friend or colleague who is not in on the planning. If he / she cannot attend withing 5 minutes then your system is a failure and you probably need to delete extraneous instructions and eliminate steps.
Misinformation is as bad as – or maybe worse than – no information. One calendar / schedule of events is correct. Two or more calendars / schedules of events are incorrect. One e-mail is better than two e-mails. We do not need more information! We need the right information.
Information, Categories, Items
Pretty much all information falls into categories. Each item within a category has the same questions associated with it. For example, if you are a university and you list degree programs along with the number of years of study for the degree program and even just one of those degree programs is part-time instead of full-time, you absolutely must list “full-time / part-time” for all the degree programs – or you have left doubt and failed to communicate.
Therefore, for all categories, you list the possible questions for each category and your site is not complete until all the answers are available for each item within the category. Example:
- Degree Program category:
- Full name of degree
- Years of study to complete
- Full-time / part-time
- Which campus if multiple
- Credit hours with units of measure of credit hours
- Language of study if there could be doubt
- Link to course list / curriculum
- Prerequisites for study
- Start date(s)
- Application process including deadlines and associated decision dates listed by type of applicant or explicitly stated “for all applicants”
- Tuition information or link to tuition information
- Motivational video for the program as applicable
- Testimonials as applicable
- Contacts such as dean, admissions, student ambassadors, etc.
- Date of last update.
This is one list for one category for one type of site. This type of list applies to all sites that present information at all, which is almost all sites. Do not start your Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page until you have created your list and systematically answered all the questions for each item within each category. Especially do not e-mail me for feedback. This is my feedback right here. Do your job. Anticipate your users’ questions and provide the appropriate information no matter how obvious you believe the information to be.
Units of payment must always conform to the following rules or you have failed to communicate:
- Payments always include the currency.
- A one-time payment is assumed if not stated. However, if there can be doubt as to whether a payment is one-time or periodically repeated, it is always called “one-time.” There is no exception. There is no substitution for this phrase. No other wording is appropriate.
- Repeated payments always
- include a period stated in an amount of time
- explicitly state a beginning and an end
- explicitly state what period the payment applies to.
The tuition is 10,000 dollars per year and is paid in monthly installments during the time you are studying. The academic year being 9 months, you make 9 equal monthly payments per year that lead the month of study and total to the annual tuition. Other taxes and fees apply, see the list at this link for taxes and fees.
- The word “fee” is typically reserved for something that is extra or unusual. For example, “tuition” already implies payment, so you do not say “tuition fee,” or use the word “fee” under the heading of “tuition.” “Fee” makes it sound extra or unusual. You should say, “the annual / monthly tuition is…,” Writing “fee” is redundant and confusing.
- “Fee” can be added on to a word that is not automatically a payment, such as registration. For example “registration fee.” This says it is a payment and that the payment is for registration.
- A “registration fee” would almost never be a repeated payment because one only registers one time. Once registering, you are registered and don’t keep registering.
Time and Time Zones
I don’t care how smart you think your website is. I don’t care if your website thinks it knows where your visitor is and therefore “conveniently” tells the user in his personal time zone. No matter how smart your website is, the internet is still global. You could be using my IP address for location and I could be using a VPN. My GPS location could be erroneous. There is one simple rule for posting times:
Post the time with its associated time zone, including whether it is daylight savings time, and including the +/- relative to Zulu.
This especially applies to sporting events. I see times given properly less than 10% of the time for sporting events. If pilots suddenly became this bad at global time communication, the world would come to an instant standstill with aviation accidents, delays, missed flights, etc. Follow this rule and you have properly posted a time. Do it not, and you have failed to communicate.
This feedback assumes you want your visitors to leave your site informed. If your goal is that your visitors click around your site looking for information you purposely hid or omitted, then this does not apply. If you are trying to force users to contact you if they really want to know something, then by all means ignore this and keep playing your games. I am not a marketer and I know some counter-intuitive strategies work when it comes to selling to people. This feedback applies to those whose goal is to honestly inform site visitors.
Impetus for this Post
Unfair as this may be I am picking one site that finally drove me to write this post. Their site was actually pretty good but as usual lacked basic information that I am fairly certain was omitted or hidden inadvertently. I clicked around London Business School’s site for probably an hour trying to confirm which courses were full-time and which were part-time. I never found it. I sent them feedback but I am tired of submitting basic feedback like this. I feel like I work for free giving feedback while companies constantly spend money to change and update complicated sites that fail at the basics – and then spend more time and money requesting my feedback. Here it is! Here’s my feedback!
When LBS, a top business school, clearly does not follow the basics outlined in this post, the post needs to be written because they, if anybody, should be good at this. Now it is written.
If Your Product Costs More Than $1000
I pick $1000 for an arbitrary cut-off. The point is, this feedback always applies to sites for products that could be considered an investment like, for example, real estate or education. Investments are life decisions and clients need solid info to make a decision.
You aren’t selling a pack of gum. Answer all questions. Is the course full-time or part-time? Maybe it’s obvious to you. Maybe I should know and be able to assume. Maybe I should have contacts within your school who can tell me and if I am not resourceful enough to find the info then you don’t want me anyway. Fine, but if you wanted me informed to make a decision and consider your school, you failed. I left confused, alienated, and ultimately decided against business school (OK I was leaning against biz school anyway not trying to be too dramatic). Now my last memory is the frustration of your website that could have been avoided if you had heeded the basic advice on my humble individual blog here.
On the 3rd of January, I arrived in Brazil with one mission: to find a job. I was also studying for the GMAT to enter business school – to help me find a job. It was simple, a full-time job search, 8 hours per day (or more). I rented a desk at a coworking space so I could have a public place to work, reliable internet, and not worry too much about where I was actually living.
I enjoyed the challenge of studying for the GMAT so I preferred that, but I knew it would be prudent to get the job search rolling as well so I could get some responses and some information.
Dream Job / Career
I found a posting for a job that I had thought of throughout my years in other types of work and never thought I would return to. It was like a dream that had passed. I found the posting within a week, probably ~10 January. I applied, but knew (probably correctly) that I would not be very competitive without recent technical experience and the job would have hundreds of applicants. It doesn’t do any good to be even top 10, you have to be #1. See job description below:
Check Out These ABB Videos
As I studied for the GMAT and applied to other jobs I kept thinking about this one posting and even found another similar posting with ABB Group in a different location. Finally, I started searching technical continuing education to see if there was a program that could refresh my degree and help me be competitive for such jobs on the power grid. Indeed there are such programs.
Master’s in Electrical Engineering
There are many master’s programs related to Electrical Engineering. They are geared for increasing one’s knowledge in a specific portion of the field and also open to refreshing outdated knowledge (my case). The large number of jobs in the field have moved universities to offer many programs and there is even a separate European institution called EIT InnoEnergy that coordinates joint programs among the universities of Europe.
I have applied to the following programs through InnoEnergy, links below. They would take place at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, KU Leuven near Brussels, ESADE and Polytechnic Universtity of Catalonia in Barcelona, and / or possibly some others:
and also the following program directly through KU Leuven in Belgium:
They release their admissions decisions in mid-April and the programs start in September. Now I keep job searching, but to be honest the master’s programs look even better than the dream job right now because I would be educated for two years and put in front of the various companies with jobs like the one I found and would love to have, including ABB Group specifically as an industry partner.
If I am accepted to a EE master’s program, I will go. There will be lots of prep work to do. Until then: GRE, GMAT, back-ups, and further job search just in case…
I finally completely switched from a desktop to a laptop. What a game-changer.