Monday, June 30, 2008

Playbook for a First Time Investor?

Recently an old friend emailed me and asked me how she should invest her money. She's in a big hurry and wants specific funds. She doesn't have a brokerage account. She has very little understanding of capital markets or how to evaluate an investment. I wrote her this email back with a step by step plan of action (I'm not crazy about telling people what to do but felt no or less information would be more dangerous).

There are a lot of financial professionals who read this blog as well as savy personal investors. If you have responsible advise, please leave it. Especially if I forgot something important.

hi [Old Friend],

I think you should slow down and take a little time. I'm not a professional public market investor so I don't really want to be telling people what to invest in. Also, it's not my place. You have to make these choices yourself. Here's a step by step plan that will need to be adjusted for your risk tolerance and when you want the money.

Basics of Investing
  1. Be aware that 85% of all mutual funds underperform their benchmarks. that means that 85% of fund managers are not as good as putting the money in a simple index fund that mirrors the S&P 500, Dow jones, Nasdaq, etc.
  2. Be aware that actively managed funds charge you a lot of fees, around 2%. that makes it even harder to beat the averages.
  3. You want to be very well diversified. Diversification helps spread the risk over a lot of stocks and funds. If I could remember the math from business school, I could prove it to you. just trust me, you want to be diversified.
  4. Transaction costs (aka the cost of a trade are pretty low) - like $10-$30, so it's not imperative that you buy into the market all at once. this way you can put 20-40% of your money to work now and ease into the market, rather than plunging in at once.
Given these factors, here is my advice to you.
  1. Go into Schwab, tell them you want to meet with a representative.
  2. Tell them you want a very passive, low cost investing strategy that uses a lot of indexing. (this is one of the big strategies that Schwab has been built on, so they will know what you are talking about). Another FYI - Schwab is where I have my money.
  3. Tell them you want a lot of diversification, across Small Cap, Mid Cap and Large Cap, and you want Global diversification, i.e US, Europe, & Asia, (and some emerging markets).
  4. Tell them you want diversification across Stocks and Bonds (you want high quality corporate and treasury (government bonds), stay away from anything mortgage or "high yield."
  5. These are all plain vanilla ways to invest but they are very effective and it's simple so you won't be ripped off by commission looking people.
  6. A good asset allocation for you would probably be: 60% stocks, 20% bonds, 10% precious metals and 10% cash. A good US vs. International allocation would be 50% US, 35% Europe and Asia and 15% Emerging Markets.
You're young so you can take some risk, but given your understanding of this world, you don't want to take too much. If you want the money to be used in the next 1-5 years, take way less risk, go more bonds, and less stocks. More U.S. and less International.

I would print this email and go over it with the Schwab Rep.

Best of luck,


Great Moments in Customer Service: Jawbone

Jawbone rocks! It's a great, small headset that has terrific sound quality. Unfortunately mine broke and with the "Hands Free" law coming into effect on July 1 in California, I needed my one fixed.

So I called customer service, a nice woman named Shana answered, and within 10 minutes, she had troubleshooted my device, it was working again and I'm no longer a menace on the road.

Thanks Jawbone.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Even More Bon Iver

Another pretty epic Bon Iver video for your Sunday viewing pleasure. Warning though, this is extra sensitive. It warrants the highest level of sensitivity warning, "Mas Sensitivo."

That's right, this is so sensitive, we're resorting to other languages to describe it. Enjoy.

On the Town (SF)

Cool little article in the Chronicle about the founder of and his favorite live music and food places in SF. Two of my favorite restaurants, Brazen Head and Nopa, made his list. Along with Slim's, Cafe Nuord, and the Great American Music Hall for music.

I just wish I could have caught Dewey Cox at the GAMH. Darn it.
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Newsom is Good

Eric Becker sends in this podcast with Gavin Newsom. He's a great politician and fits the city of San Francisco like a glove. It will be interesting to see if he can transition to the Governorship in a few years, or maybe Senator.

Saturday, June 28, 2008


Charles Hudson is a friend and more importantly, a thoughtful writer. He put together some career advice for MBA's coming out of school looking to get into Tech. He breaks the job seekers into two categories, 1) True Generalists who have skills that a startup can use right away, and 2) New Generalists who have a lot of skills but maybe have never worked in startups. He dishes out some good advice.

I recommend subscribing to his blog as he's very smart, nice, works at a cool company (Gaia Online) and is a budding Conference Mogul having put on the Social Gaming Summitt recently.

Jake And Amir

Alex Bain turned me onto Jake And Amir. They're two fun loving guys with a quirky, but great sense of humor. Amir is the weird one...I think.

Shopping from Amir on Vimeo.

Park from Amir on Vimeo.

Briana & Amanda

My friends Briana and Amanda are traveling the world. Amanda just graduated from Public Policy school at CAL (finally she's a real Golden Bear). Briana is going to Kellogg in the Fall. Oh, how jealous I am of both of them and their summer plans. Follow along here as they galavant through South American and Europe.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Bonus Bon Iver

I'm still working, are you? If so, here is a pretty epic live performance from Bon Iver to cheer you up. I found it on I AM FUEL...

P.S. Do you think these guys get a lot of girls?

Friday Chill Music via Muxtape

Friday Chill Music for June 27, 2008 will be delivered through a service I'm trying out called MuxTape. These guys figured out a neat interface for playing uploaded music.

My muxtape is here. I hope you like it. Note: on some of the live stuff, you have to turn it up a bit.

If you make your own Muxtape, please let me know about it. Thanks to Greg Yeadon for the idea on delivered Friday Chill Music through Muxtape.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Reblog: Stoner Nachos

Amazing picture from Mike Walton. Have to love "Stoner Nachos."

Dumb Idea

I remember being at Kellogg and all the Pharma companies would come in during recruiting and tell us that they get a bad rap. They weren't bad people and cared about the patient.

I believed them, and still kind of do, but this is the kind of stuff that soils their name and they need to be smart enough not to invade people's privacy for a few extra bucks.

Running and Writing

Quick plug for another excellent New Yorker article called The Running Novelist in the June 9 & 16, 2008 issue of the New Yorker. It's another abstract column online so you need to buy the magazine. The writer changes career gears in mid-life and becomes an accomplished writer. There's a lesson in here about doing what you love.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Faith and Doubt

The New Yorker ran a series on Faith and Doubt a few weeks ago and Grand Prix Girl wrote in to make sure we covered it.

My favorites were:
  • Communion - the story of two poor boys in Nairobi and a special umbrella.
  • Winter Light - a cold church becomes a make shift cinema.
  • Counting Pages - a piece with beautiful writing, "No road to Damascus conversion but a kind of coin rubbing, in which ritual and repetition begin to reveal the credo underneath..."
  • Hypocrites - love in religion

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

My Impression of First Impressions

Absolutely amazing article in the New Yorker this week on the cave paintings of Chauvet. Here are a couple sample pics. The pictures are between 25k to 34k old. Think about that for a second. If you assume a human generation is about 25 years long, those paintings were done about 1,200 generations ago. Just remarkable.

The pictures show artist techniques like depth that had to be re-learned at another time in human history. I can't recommend this article enough. Unfortunately the New Yorker only posted it as an Abstract, so you have to buy the whole magazine to read the article, but it's well worth it.

Monday, June 23, 2008

One at a Time

My roommate, Corynn, is saving the world, one recycled coffee filter at a time. :)


Uh, Hello David...Image by mikewade via FlickrI had a meeting earlier in the week in Union Square and one of the topics of conversation was the giant picture of David Beckham and his package on the Macy's Building in the square.

Peter Hartlaub wrote a great article on the unveiling of the Beckham picture and a his quick Q&A session with Beckham in an SF Chronicle article called A Brief Encounter with David Beckham.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Shearwater Discovered

I discovered a great new band (at least for me) called Shearwater. Here is their webpage. Unfortunately, I think I just missed them in SF. Luckily for us, All Songs Considered recorded and posted Shearwater's D.C. concert at the Black Cat. Check it out.

Their new album is called Rook and I just bought it here.

Note: after writing this post, I noticed Dutch Evans also likes Shearwater. Check him out.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

My Morning Jacket Cover

Jim James at Langerado Music Festival 2007.Image via WikipediaBeth Stevens writes in to alert us about a My Morning Jacket cover of the Velvet Underground's song, "Oh! Sweet Nuthin!'"

MMJ played it at Bonaroo and it sounds perfect. The kind of music you should be listening to on a sweltering day in the Bay Area.

Scroll to the bottom of the post for the Mp3. thanks IndieMuse for posting it.
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More Sir-Links-Alot

Still battling the cold so a couple of shorter entries this weekend.

Tough Time to Come Calling for Money - Even the Sports Columnists know we're in a recession. While discussing the 49er's latest quest to get a publicly funded stadium:
Fact is, we know this is a lousy time to ask for money. Cold callers know it, teachers know it, investment bankers know it, potential home buyers know it, collection-plate jockeys know it. In fact, the only thing worse than asking for it is getting it and then using it for something essentially frivolous like a new place to miss the playoffs.

Craigslist's Sexiest Trashman - Best of Craiglist always makes me laugh.

Bush Pushes for More Exploration - It's a good thing he's exhausted every ounce of his credibility before he got to this issue. Here's hoping they don't open up our coasts or Alaska for more drilling. It's not the answer. Substitution technologies are.

Brokers Threatened By Run on Shadow Banking System - the market has started a "slow leak" phase where banks try to push off more write downs and reclassify assets (loans) on their balance sheet to make them look like they are performing. At the same time, the regulators are making noises like the quotes in this article. Should be an interesting rest of the year as regulators start digging into banks and possibly even hedge funds at the exact worst time for these lending entities.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Most Important Article I Read in 2007

David Hegarty passed Say Everything, an article from NY Mag written by Emily Nussbaum, on to me when we were at Kellogg together. Since reading it, I've gone back and read it again a couple times. It's been the single most important article I've read in the last year or so and continues to shape my thinking of the Internet.

It got me to start blogging, it led to trying out Facebook, then Twitter, and whenever I try a new Internet service, I think about this article.

Privacy is a complex issue and I have very few answers, but I know that blogging, twittering, etc pays back again and again for me. I think these teens and people in their early 20's are onto something.

Friday Chill Music (June 20, 2008)

Have a great Friday!

Can't get enough M. Ward these days:

Sec Walkin' from My Morning Jacket

The Weepies - World Spins Madly On
The Weepies are new to me, courtesy of Lauren Novita. A little on the sensitive side but I like it.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Sorry for the absence today. Battling a cold. Here are some cool links:

Surviving the Hits from Suzanne Vega
Hard to believe that someone would call her career a failure or "2 hit wonder." In this article she explains how the song Luka was plucked from the unknown.

Best "I Quit Letter Ever" via Paul Kedrosky
One of the flickr founders leaves Yahoo in a unique way. funny.

One Year Analyst Plans - banks are masters of packaging, whether they are bad loans, bad IPO's or bad news.

Is Google Making us Dumber? - I think not but it's worth thinking about. Thanks Matt.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Urban Safari

Saw the folks from Urban Safari cruising around SF the other day. They, and their guests, look like they're having a lot of fun. This is one of those services that I wish I would have thought of. Differentiate with a cool vehicle and a personal guide, and you really have something.

Whenever I travel, I always try to take "off the beaten path" guides. You learn so much about the city you are in. I still remember my guide in Budapest, hearing her talk about how Communism really screwed over her parents. I'll never forget that because it was a real experience being relayed to us.

If someone has tried Urban Safari, please leave a comment. I'll try them next time a friend from out of town, is in town.

Hungry Minds

Hungry Minds by Ian Frazier is a great look at a writer and the workshop he puts on every week at a soup kitchen in Chelsea. Lot's of funny stories and some sad ones in addition to a lesson in the economics of charities and the downside of "measurable outcomes" that MBA types are so fond of.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Blogging on a Business Trip

Dave Silverman, a classmate from Kellogg, has been blogging along his business trip to Asia. I don't have the whole back story but Dave works for a large cable company and has been touring their factories. He's taken a lot of photo's of the food and the chili crab looks really good.

I think blogging on business is a really cool concept. Seems like a great way to get the people at headquarters to appreciate the folks on the ground doing the manufacturing. Maybe Dave could sprinkle in some pics of the inside of factories and the workers. Nothing proprietary, just a way for us all to appreciate the folks on the other side of the world working just as hard, if not harder, than we do.


Reblogging Alex Bain's post on napping. I love a good nap on the weekend. Napping is one of the things I miss most about not being in school. Oh well. Now I just squeeze them in when I can.

Monday, June 16, 2008

How do you Consume?

I love how the teens are consuming the painting.

Mike Holthouse forwarded this on. Thanks Mike.

POM Wonderful

Interesting article on the "Pomegranate Princess" by Amanda Fortini. I've had friends work for Roll International and it sounds like a mixed bag. Lynda Resnick, the co-owner of the multi-billion dollar, private firm, is portrayed as being a little wacky in this article. Maybe she is a little wacky, but she got it done. I picked up on a little bit of resentment from the author, maybe it's just me, around how this wacky woman could make Pom Wonderful such a huge success. She didn't really do it by the book, and that's where I saw the resentment creeping in. The problem with not doing it by the book, is that so many people have bought into the "path to success." We own the book and read it every day on our way to work. However, the companies, and people, that I've seen have the biggest successes rarely follow the book. Just something for all of us to ponder as we read this article.

Sunday, June 15, 2008


A tiger in India's Bandhavgarh reserveImage via WikipediaReally neat article on Tigers in the forest of Bengal by Caroline Alexander. Only after re-reading the final couple of pages of Tigerland did I get the significance of the ending. Great writing and a cool story that encompasses a beautiful animal, the conservation challenges poorer nations face and what we are going to do about it.

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Saturday, June 14, 2008

Real Job for Fake Stever?

Fake Steve Jobs got a new job. Looks like a promotion. Should be a great weekend in the "Jobs Pod" as he like to call his fake relaxation chamber.

Thanks for the note Matt.

BMW's New Cars

The Walm and Hegarty write in with this reference to 37 Signals' blog highlighting the new Beamer. I love Beamers, just wish I drove one. :)

In the words of the Walm, "
The guy in the video, Chris Bangle, was the extremely controversial head of design who put all the sharp corners on the newish range of Beamers. Comparing the Z3 vs. the Z4 is pre vs. post-Bangle design. I think the guy is a genius."

I think he is a genius too. Here's a tip of the cap to my friend Jan Eggert who works on a lot of advanced technology for BMW. You, and all your German compadres, make great cars!

Song of the Earth

Cool profile of John Luther Adams (he uses his middle name cause there is another famous composer from Berkeley named John Adams) in the New Yorker recently. He takes his inspiration from the Alaskan Wilderness. Great article and the music is super cool. You can listen to Dark Waves at the bottom of the 1st page. Definitely worth a listen.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Friday Chill Music (June 13, 2008)

Maybe the strongest Friday Chill Music list ever. Let's get right to it.

This is the best song off the new My Morning Jacket disc, Evil Urges. Just an amazing song. Turn it up. So much going on here.

I'm on a huge M. Ward kick and this is my favorite song of his. The dude is legit.

The Eels are a pretty interesting band. This song will be on Sunday Morning 12. Don't you dare try to steal it and put it on a mix CD before I release SM12. :)

FSJ on Obama

Fake Steve Jobs consistently writes one of the best blogs on the Internet. It seems like there is a little lull in the campaign right now so I'll take the opportunity to link to his rant on how the Valley (as in Silicon Valley) put Obama on top.

Here's a snippet:

"And note to the rest of America -- we may not be as sexy as Hollywood or Wall Street, but you know what? We've got a shitload of money, and we know how to organize. We're a powerful bunch of khaki-wearing, gay-marriage-supporting, arugula-eating, Mac-using elitist nerds out here. To all of you racist homophobic non-Californian dumb fucks who find that annoying? Tough shit. We outsmarted you. We out-spent you. And now for the next eight years we're going to be running this country. We're going to give equal rights to gay people, fund stem-cell research, teach evolution, take down the fence on the Mexican border, and make sure abortion stays safe and legal. We're going to pull out of Iraq, shut down Gitmo, and stop torturing people. And yeah. A black dude with a Muslim-sounding name and degrees from Columbia and Harvard is going to be in charge. So sit back down, strap yourself in, and shut the fuck up, crackers."

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Pam on Fresh Air

Enjoyed this interview of Jenna Fischer, aka Pam on the Office, on NPR's Fresh Air.

I'm adding her to my crush list. :)

Remember Me...

How I Want To Be Remembered by Jack Handy is pure Handy brilliance. He's envisioning what will be said at his funeral, in the "way far future." A funny snippet, "He dies suddenly in bed, according to his wife, Miss France."

A Full Day of Calories

The Walm points out an article he found on WallStreetFighter about the new Baskin Robbins Heath Shake. You can get your daily fill of calories from one 32oz drink. Wow.

It does look good though.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

How to Lose $900M in a Week

Lehman's stock got crushed today and it's now down 15% from earlier in the week when they announced they had taken an investment of $6B from an unnamed source. I wonder how that unnamed source feels now that they have lost $900M in a week. Probably trying everything possible to get out of the deal. Not a pretty sight.

These large cash infusions from foreign central banks and investment funds, etc have been all the rage for large US banks. They've been able to raise money whenever they want to from investors who are driven by political and status motivations. However, losing $900M is losing $900M and the other deals done in the banking sector before Lehman are all down as well. My bet is that this will be the final straw and that pot of money will dry up for a while.

These foreign investment funds can't possibly be doing diligence on the mortgage portfolios of someone like Lehman. The portfolios are far too opaque, so they're betting on the franchise value of these banks. They market is telling them that is a poor bet. I wonder where these banks will turn if this capital source dries up? More side deals with the U.S. Government?

Staying Out of Your Own Way

37 Signals is a software company in Chicago that enjoys a fantastic reputation in the indutry. They make useful software, are profitable and the Ruby on Rails standard came out of their shop.

They also write a great blog. David Hegarty reminded me of that recently when he referenced them on his blog.

Anyhoo, I think they had some great business advice today, "Don't tackle your good news." You can read more about it here.
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Cool Movie Scene

I enjoy Mick LaSalle of the SF Chronicle's blog. He covers politics and of course, his specialty, movies (he's the movie critic at the Chronicle). Mick was discussing some of the best scenes of all time, and I thought this Pacino clip was amazing. Enjoy.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Naming Rights

Cool company highlighted by Dutch Evans called NameThis. You put a quick description of the item/service you want to name, and NameThis puts it out there on the Interweb and let's people make suggestions. Costs $100 and seems like a great idea, except one thing. I have an idea I want a name for but how do I guarantee the idea itself doesn't get ripped off? Just saying.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Shareholders Pay Via Dilution

Lehman made a staggering announcement on Monday. They're raising $6B of capital which is some serious dilution for existing shareholders. The math works out to about 33% dilution, but they need the money in a bad way.

Don't worry though, the management team, traders and everyone else involved in compliance and risk management didn't have to give their bonuses from the last 5 years back. The shareholders just take the dilution, and wish they had a better management team. They pay through dilution.

Asking for the Order

I'm lucky in the sense that I have a world class business person to turn to anytime I have a question. I just pick up the phone and call my mom. Last week we had dinner and she was discussing her new venture, retail consulting, and she expressed how hard it is for her to "ask for the order." She built a very successful retail store called Elegant Clutter over 20+ years and one of their trademarks was no pressure sales associates. No one worked on commission and the shopping atmosphere was very relaxed. That policy was a direct reflection of her and her partner's personalities so it's no wonder she has a hard time asking for the order.

So I sent her this article today and thought I might as well post it on the blog too. First read Fred Wilson's article referenced in the first paragraph, then come back to this one. My takeaways were 1) You have to get over asking for the order and just do it, 2) You can do it creatively and it might work even better.

By the way, I probably interviewed 20 people in the last 2 months, not one asked for the job. Would have made a huge difference.

Sunday, June 8, 2008


First, I really hope you are not hungover right now. If so, immediately put Sunday Morning 11 in your CD player and chill.

Better now? Ok, we can continue.

Few people care about hangovers as much as I do, but even if you just suffer from them, you'll enjoy this New Yorker article titled "A Few Too Many." It asks the eternal question, Is there any hope for the hungover?

Big Thoughts on a Sunny SF Day

Sunny days in San Francisco will make you think big thoughts.

This article on "Social Surplus" was really thought provoking. The author, Clay Shirky, basically thinks the last few generations have wasted a lot of time on Gin and TV respectively. Now that free time is being directed towards projects on the web, we're about to start seeing it pay massive dividends. Here's an example I liked:

"So if you take Wikipedia as a kind of unit, all of Wikipedia, the whole project--every page, every edit, every talk page, every line of code, in every language that Wikipedia exists in--that represents something like the cumulation of 100 million hours of human thought. I worked this out with Martin Wattenberg at IBM; it's a back-of-the-envelope calculation, but it's the right order of magnitude, about 100 million hours of thought.

And television watching? Two hundred billion hours, in the U.S. alone, every year. Put another way, now that we have a unit, that's 2,000 Wikipedia projects a year spent watching television."

I tend to agree with him. Not so much about TV or Gin, but the way projects on the web are out in the open, makes it easier to build on top of each other. That, and more time, are the real secrets to building something cool.

Jeopardy Woman Explained

Thanks to Jeff Blum for sending in the secret to the Jeopardy Woman's Success.

Here it is.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Book Lovers

I've been a fan of Adrian Tomine for a few years. He does a lot of covers for the New Yorker and he is really great at incorporating the way technology is changing our daily life. He blends progress in though. His subtleness is what makes him great.

In this week's New Yorker, his piece, Book Lovers, shows how books are consumed now, and how they will be consumed shortly. I love the scowl on the woman receiving the Amazon Kindle from the UPS man. It's not enough that she has the latest, greatest way to consume books, but she seems to be looking down on the book store owner. There's a hint of animosity there. Brilliant.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Extra Toons

Sorry for the screwup on my posting Friday Chill Music on Thursday. Friday is going to be a serious work day for me, and sometimes when I'm cranking, I like to listen to instrumental heavy music. Here are a few I like:

Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane - Sweet and Lovely

There was a fantastic article in the New Yorker recently on John Luther Adams. Hope you like his stuff.

Posting the video to Flamenco Sketches, just because the song is accessible on YouTube.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Friday Chill Music (June 6, 2008)

My Morning JacketImage via WikipediaI'm outsourcing Friday Chill Music this week to I Am Fuel, You Are Friends. That blog put up an epic 2004 concert night with M. Ward, Jim James (My Morning Jacket) and Bright Eyes. Just a ridiculous lineup. It's well worth the extra click and you can play the songs from your browser there.

A quick heads up that My Morning Jacket tickets for the Greek Theatre go on sale this Sunday at 10am at Ticketmaster. May the force be with you.
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Socially Responsive = Out of Business?

I think the wave of socially responsible businesses is fantastic. People are dedicating a portion of their hard earned profits to giving back. In some cases, like Tom's Shoes, have turned it into a competitive advantage.

What happens though when the economy get's tough and people stop buying so much and the cushy profit margin goes away? Well, Nau, a socially conscious apparel store in Chicago couldn't survive the recession and the difficult funding climate. Really sad to hear that for the founder, investors and employees, but it happens sometimes.

This is a trend worth watching and the recession progresses.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Reblog: Obama's Book In Hand

Saw this through a string of reblogs on Tumblr. I think it started with Jenn who said:

"The book he’s carrying is The Post-American World by Fareed Zakaria..."

Fareed is a regular guest on The Daily Show and I tend to agree with his viewpoints.


Dutch Evans has another great post riffing on Bald hairstyles. I'm somewhat of an expert in the category. I still blame my 3 years in banking for my hairstyle limitations, but we all know it's genetic.

Dutch gives me a shout out for proudly pre-empting mother nature and gives a few jabs to David Crosby for hanging on.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Very Concerned

This post by Dutch Evans makes me very concerned. Extremely concerned. I couldn't be more concerned.

Lulu Lemon Explained

I finally got down to the bottom of Lulu Lemon this weekend. It's the yoga apparel company that has been sweeping the nation. My buddies, Walmsley and Hegarty and me have been discussing whether it's a good stock to buy. It's been all over the place. Personally, I can't decide if it's a fad, or this generations Pacific Sunwear.

Here is the chart (note: Yahoo and Google still haven't figured out how to embed charts into blog posts).

Yes, we know these pants make women look really great, but so will other pants that come onto the market. It's the brand and the love associated with it that will give it staying power. I just wasn't sure if Lulu had it. However, numerous testimonials at the BBQ and this shot of the designer "ipod pocket" that Jim Williams' was sporting in his Lulu Lemon jacket clinched it for me. They have the love and are doing the little things right.

Now we just need to figure out the right entry point (price to buy) of the stock. Maybe this can be a group exercise. When should we buy?

Monday, June 2, 2008

Begin with Radiohead

Start your week off right, with Radiohead Live on the BBC. Awesome concert. I listened to it a couple times this weekend. A few oldies mixed in with the new album.

I found the concert via the amazing I AM FUEL, YOU ARE FRIENDS blog.

Quick Trivia: What Pearl Jam song is the blog named after?

The answer is in this YouTube clip. Thanks for the tip Becker.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

My School

Berkeley is such a weird, wonderful place. This Talk of the Town entry title On a Limb captured it so well. Only in Berkeley do you get Counter-Counter Demonstrations...

"Some of his cohorts had gathered, too, for a counter-counter-demonstration. “I decided that I should try to formulate an intervention,” Taylor said. He prevailed upon about a hundred and fifty students, from both sides of the issue, to sit on the ground in a “dialogue circle.”

Good Writing

Sasha Frere-Jones wrote a great piece on the part star, Usher, in the New Yorker. I'm not a big Pop guy, but the writing is fantastic. Frere-Jones portrays Usher as a product of focus group analysis. Usher's image has been carefully constructed, and all he is, is image. No substance, according to Frere-Jones.

My favorite line about Usher 2.0:
"his personal story hews to whatever product he is currently hawking. His memories are market-based."

Great writing on a subject I don't know a whole lot about. That's what the New Yorker is all about.

Great Cartoon

So funny.