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  1. I share this same sentiment. Additionally I think the big thing for me is the inability to know specifically how contributed dollars are being used. There has been quite a bit of outcry over the years regarding how contributed dollars are used....i.e .03 on the dollar actually make it to the starving kids in Ethiopia (facetious example). I know the CEO of Goodwill came under some scrutiny. I've never been one to think that Alumni contributions are worth while (personally) because it never seems to reduce student/professor ratios, increase quality of the education and I dont care if my name was on a building, to me that seems to cheapen the idea of giving in a way. Is my donation really to further the common good, or is it hubris and Im really after the "John A. Doe HALL" recognition. To each their own. The way that I am charitable while still alive, is to give to family members who genuinely need it ie. taking care of an unexpected bill, or groceries (dealt shitty cards) no-interest short term loans to friends, random anonymous acts of kindness for people in need. I spend the money, I see the benefit, Im in charge. This is simpler with 4 figure amounts....7 figure amounts after Im gone would need help obviously. There are tremendous opportunities for charity all around us. It doesnt have to be a big name charity...is there a little old lady next door that needs her lawn mowed/drive shoveled that you can pay someone to take care of for her for the year? Perhaps something around the house that you can pay for and fix/repair or pay someone else to? I had a girlfriend once who went to help orphans in Jamaica. It was organized via her church group. Now dont get me wrong...good for them. But I couldnt help but ask some questions that didnt go over well. In order to go, it cost her around $3k...to fund this she set up a donation account for friends and family to contribute (and it ended up being fully funded for her). So this church group of mid 20's (at that time) head down to Jamaica IN JANUARY and come back with a bunch of pictures for their social media playing with kids on the beach. It was basically a PR stunt for them and a "free" vacation under the guise of a spectacular charitable act via the church and orphanage. My questions were...what about the orphan kids in Iowa? Why pick Jamaica in January when its -40F here? Why do they charge you $3k for 7 days, I had just gotten back from a week long trip to Italy I did on a shoestring for around $1k. And to be fair, I wasnt volunteering, who am I to ask questions? But I couldnt help but think that the money wasnt being used in the best way possible....why not just send the orphanage $3k...surely that would help them more than sending down a 20 something Midwestern girl to play with kids on the beach and eat seafood... To be fair, I felt the same way when I saw the masses at St Peter's in Rome...the shear opulence of that building and the surroundings, gold leaf everywhere etc admittedly made me think a bit, when next to the starving/homeless in the streets. (This is not a religious hate statement, just an observation) For now I give in the ways I best see fit, and with smaller amounts I feel Im the best one to designate how that is distributed. The traits that have allowed me to be in the position to help are also the ones that make me apprehensive to allow others to dictate how those dollars are allocated. I (hopefully) have time to consider the best way to distribute funds when Im "done" with them. Something that would appeal to me would be to set something up wherein the amount is managed and the principle would remain and potentially grow, thus stretching the contribution out further than a one time payment. If I remember correctly that is how J Paul Getty structured his will and it has grown considerably. (Disclaimer: Obviously those sums are magnitudes larger than anything coming from me, but I like the idea of continued benefit for many over a long period) These are IMO deep philosophical questions that can only be answered by each individual
  2. Same +1, constant "too many connections" messages and when it has been operating, its very very slow to load. Edited to add: Ironically, the post to say that there are problems...took almost a minute to post
  3. I see it as partially a self fulfilling prophecy..you get enough of the common crowd to jump in and some euphoria to pump up the price...much like the meme stocks..and then the big boys start to notice...but we arent talking about small numbers here....obviously the crypto market is huge...so the big boys step in to make their money off the little guys, all the kids living in their parents basement, the guy next door who heard from a friend...the hair stylist that saw something in the news..blood in the water attracts sharks... The big boys step in and set up funds tailored to crypto, offer packages, guidance etc and that adds to the "credibility" of the product...perceived credibility gets more people get on board thinking that its the right move because so-and-so big fund/manager/investor has a portion of their portfolio in crypto. If there was a market trading beanie babies (remember that craze?) it wouldnt get the buy in from the big players...but if that market grew to billions...or trillions..there is no doubt that you would start to see funds getting on board in some way to make a buck...to continue the Gretzky analogy...these "intelligent people putting trust and money behind BTC and crypto" are IMO just skating to where the puck is. I saw the other day that Kevin O'leary is involved in crypto and offering a fund tracking/investing in it...and his pitch? His fund only owns coins that are....wait for it...ETHICALLY MINED!! I almost laughed out loud...he says investors are concerned with the way their coins are mined...China etc. To me that was just too much, people have no problems buying their day to day or luxury products made by kids in sweat shops in Bangladesh or China....but by god..the crypto bits in my digital wallet will be ethically mined..
  4. NE is the obvious answer to many questions. Do some research on NE and it becomes very very clear that the cost per kW is so much cheaper than even the second place source, that it is essentially a no-brainer and has you asking yourself why this isnt our primary source of energy. (I know, I know...Enter the NIMBY crew) I have no doubt that Buffett et al are capable of pulling this off and I like that the Feds have skin in the game. Frankly, if they cant do it, nobody can. These are newer, smaller reactors, built cheaper and faster, different design, location, scale, and most importantly better management but there is a small part of me that is gun shy after watching the whole Westinghouse/Toshiba/Shaw/CBI debacle. What a huge embarrassing failure. Nuclear projects are in my book synonymous with delays, labor challenges, regulation nightmares, cost over runs and a plethora of other challenges etc... Refresher: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-toshiba-accounting-westinghouse-nucle/how-two-cutting-edge-u-s-nuclear-projects-bankrupted-westinghouse-idUSKBN17Y0CQ https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2017/03/31/westinghouse-bankruptcy-shakes-the-nuclear-world/?sh=6e0b1c6a2688 I hope that this goes smoothly and BHE has not given reason to expect otherwise, they are industry leaders and will continue to be I suspect once this proof of concept is operational. If these are expanded/replicated in the future it represents tremendous, tremendous opportunity.
  5. https://amp.usatoday.com/amp/8634699002 Billionaires Warren Buffett and Bill Gates have chosen a remote town in Wyoming to build a new small nuclear power plant intended to help replace the coal-fired plants dotting the state. CLIFF NOTES: -Pending federal and local approval, TerraPower will build the $4 billion, 345-megawatt facility at the Naughton Power Plant in Kemmerer, Wyoming, about 130 miles northeast of Salt Lake City, the company announced Tuesday. -The relatively small "Natrium" reactor is similar to those used in some U.S. Navy submarines, and is designed to be faster and cheaper to build, and safer to run, than traditional large-scale reactors. The project has broad support from Wyoming's conservative political leaders and from the Biden administration. -Federal matching funding for the reactor was included in the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act signed by President Joe Biden on Monday. -Although similar reactor systems have been built before, the Natrium project is considered to be a test by the federal government, which is footing up to half of the price tag. Because the Natrium plant is smaller and uses modern technology, its backers say it could be built faster and cheaper than a traditional large-scale nuclear power plant, primarily because it uses less expensive concrete to contain the reactor. Gates and Buffet said that once successfully demonstrated, the plant could be quickly expanded or replicated elsewhere.
  6. I agree with all of this based off a small data set via discussions with my cohorts. The majority ARE financially illiterate. Most would not even be able to tell you what an expense ratio is, let alone what seems outrageous. Indeed there are many who have made a business out of "skimming" the till in the form of ER. transaction fees etc. How many funds do you see that structure their compensation like Buffet in his early years? They do not think of themselves as partners. I am reminded of the movie Goodfellas...and how these funds with high annual ER regardless of fund performance must think...We didnt beat the benchmark? Market crashed? Global Pandemic? F* you...pay me! I had a coworker that showed me some paperwork that a non-fiduciary investment "professional" pitched to him...the ER/fees were insane...and this guy happens to have quite a bit of money, but zero understanding of the big picture. Even mediocre returns would have him set up for the rest of his life...he already is...so I immediately noticed the high "skim" and said are you prepared to pay over $20k/yr for every million you have for this guy to watch your portfolio for you? Maybe make a couple trades, but likely just stick the money into a fund that gives him the best spiff? You realize you will be paying over twice the United States average annual income to have them "bring you under their umbrella" and "help" you manage your money?....if that wasnt enough for him to visualize I broke it down by the month... You should have seen the look on his face... The crazy thing to me, is as Sharper stated above...the majority sleep well at night thinking they are in good hands, we're "investing"! And never realize they are quietly being robbed by a bunch of financial leaches. Look at the rise of the meme stocks and how much capital flowed into those based on the pitch...comparably the pitch for high fee funds is actually pretty mild. At least with the funds you get someone to talk to and an advisor to call when you see your port lose half in a correction/crash and a nice fancy print out sent to the house once a year, maybe a Christmas card, thats more than a lot of the bag holders in Peloton/AMC etc. My god if I had a dollar for every new "investing expert" who bought meme stocks that couldn't lose and asked me if I was in them and then gave me a chuckle/smirk like I was an idiot when I made a Munger inspired response. Haven't heard much from them lately though... The real deal is that the majority of people dont even know what the funds do, and anywhere you have ignorance you'll find those who make a business out of taking advantage of that, this increases exponentially the larger the sums involved. They dont know how to buy an ETF, or what that means vs a fund. Think of it like other things in life...you have a light switch in the house that needs to be replaced...everyone could go on Youtube and watch a video and figure out how to do it, fix it in 10 minutes and be good, but they're ether too lazy, or just dont care...so they call an electrician to come to the house and pay him his minimum $150 fee for 15 min worth of work and never think twice...same thing...just dealing with larger sums, combine that with the fact that most people think they "need" professional help in this regard as some kind of assurance that they are doing the right thing and there you go.
  7. I've had this discussion with coworkers who buy physical gold and it doesnt seem to click with them...or me, maybe Im thinking of it wrong. They go to the "dealer" and buy bars of gold...paying over spot price for the privilege, then hold it for whatever their period is...then go to sell it and sell below spot price. The middle man takes his cut....much like RE buyer/seller commissions. Obviously different if buying equities tied to gold, miners etc. But the physical stuff has always been a hard pill for me to swallow, then again I have never used a RE agent as a seller either. Imagine if this was the method for all other investments, go to sell shares in a company and you are taking a 1-2% or more hit every time you buy or sell, with real sums of money that can add up. Interestingly enough, the coworkers that buy physical gold also do not think about it in mathematical returns as it pertains to an investment. For instance if They bought/sold a gold bar for $10 say, and the facilitator of the transaction took a buck, it wouldn't occur to them that they are paying 10% for that ability (just an example) or if you go to the ATM and pull out $20 and they charge you 4 bucks, they just paid a 20% "fee" on that money. Obviously sometimes you just pay the $3-4 for the convenience of getting soe quick cash...but if you are doing this regularly it can add up. Also in the above example if you withdraw $100 your percentage drops from 20 → 4%, my point is, its been my experience that the guys I know buying physical gold are buying it because it goes well in their safe with their gun collection, and its "just a good idea to buy gold" speculation, not investment as I would define it. When I was young I had a friend who's father bought tons of physical gold as invesments (his only investments) because he didnt trust stocks etc, no regard for possible returns or comparing it to other alternatives...just BUY GOLD!! I dont think the majority of posters in an investment forum think of things the same way, but I wonder in the bigger picture are the majority of physical gold buyers sharing the view of my coworkers? Or are there more that think the way we do?
  8. LOOOOOONG time lurker, first time poster.. My investment philosophy and trajectory is/was very similar to yours. Also like yours, it has matured and evolved over time as confidence increased as well as portfolio totals. The old "the markets can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent" played a part in my decisions. I was blessed with the delayed gratification gene for sure...but I still struggle with the Munger like stoicism to sit for a decade on a position until my thesis plays out...it can be tough, and especially so during this run for the last 5 years or so when so many valuations seem illogical to me. The absence of trading fees has also allowed me to “tip toe” into positions. Determine my preferred percentage for a position and then split up trenches to DCA in should my timing be a little off, that used to bite me, it means sometimes my first trench is the lowest CB and sometimes its the highest, but it beats my past practice and it works for me. This is actually quite ridiculous when I think about it. If I was spending $5/trade on a $5k trench and even if I made 3-4 trenches to full position, it really was insignificant, but I have never really been a “trader” I suppose if someone was making multiple trades each day it would obviously add up. But for some reason it was a mental hold back for me sometimes. Continuing, I have enjoyed this forum because it has probably helped me look at things through a different lens, more than all the books etc I have read. Reading discussions and thesis, the way of thinking has helped me immensely. I’ll provide an example, the last COST dip I thought seemed interesting, although I thought it still seemed expensive, there was a poster on here (sorry for not providing credit, I don’t remember exactly) that said COST has always seemed expensive, and that they really are best in class, employees are happy and that they are an excellent business. I was already very familiar with them from Mr. Munger, but it was like a slap in my face…someone else reiterating what I was thinking but it was motivation to SWING YOU BUM! That was nearly $200 in share price ago…(no comment on current valuation) but its a name I am willing to hold for decades. A name that previously I would have never bought due to my perceived valuation metric. This forum has increased my circle of competence, (not that it was that big to begin with) and I’m grateful for that. The vast majority of my portfolio is in BRK and the remaining in IVV with the occasional foray into individual names. I’m certainly not as experienced as many on this forum but hope to be able to at least provide some input into areas I know and continue to learn. I have noticed that some of the “newer” posters ( I should talk right?) seem to be a bit more argumentative/challenging to OG posters and I hope that does not continue and the forum continues to be a place for constructive discussion, there are plenty of social media outlets (FB/SA/ST) for them to argue if they so choose, hoping Para will continue to mod to preserve the quality of the forum as I’m sure he will.
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