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By gzt (Wed Nov 10, 2010 at 12:03:11 PM EST) gzt, doing stuff, hucksters (all tags)
Went to a conference thingy with people from work yesterday. Colin Powell and Rudy Giuliani spoke, and that was interesting, then a few less interesting folks (football players and such) and a couple hucksters.

They started the day with the national anthem, which I dutifully stood for with all appropriate ceremony, though I could not see a flag (I later found where it was hidden). Later in the day, they played "God Bless America" and I did not stand, nor did most of the people in my group. I heard somebody behind me grumble something along the lines of, "Stand your asses up," which I ignored. It's a decent sort of song, and I do believe in God and that we should ask God to bless our nation (and any other nation). I suppose, if directly asked beforehand to stand for the song, I might, but no such request was made. But it's not the national anthem and the song makes me vaguely uneasy - intertwining patriotic sentiment with religious sentiment in public acts in a very Protestant way, though Berlin was a non-religious Jew (he knew his audience). The song indicates that it is a prayer, and I don't pray with heretics, in accordance with canon law under threat of excommunication. Not to mention the spectre of conflating God and country.

$FORMER_UBERBOSS just walked by, he noticed I was reading Patrick O'Brian and started gushing on about it. $UBERBOSS is pretty awesome. He was wearing a peak lapel suit.

Hucksters: one guy was making some great points about personal finance and stuff. He was basically selling a subscription to an online service that provides access to loads of great information on stocks and bonds. It really was a very good service. And he'd educate you on how to use it. Downside: it's $30/month. That's very reasonable, but a lot of the people he was selling it to don't have too much they can invest in the market. He was decrying how mutual fund managers don't outperform the market, but still net about 1% in fees. This is quite true. But at $360 per year, you'd need to have more than $30,000 to play with. A 30-year-old with 25% in bonds (that's a reasonable position) needs a retirement nest egg of $40,000 outside his 401(k) to have $30,000 to play with. This is very fair, a lot of people will have that and a lot of people should have that (well, right now almost all of my retirement stuff is in the 401(k), though I really should be putting more in the Roth IRA than I do). Great. But I doubt a lot of the people he's selling to will have that and that they will have the faculties to do the math. If you have $5000 or $10,000 to fiddle with, are you going to know that you're spending 4-8% of your annual return to subscribe to this service? 1% to a fund manager who doesn't beat the market doesn't sound so bad unless you really think you'll consistently beat the market by 4%. And any sort of relatively frequent trading requires high volume or the transaction fees will eat you up.

Blah blah blah. Work work work.

< Attn Boston Infidels | Broken Briton >
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bumper sticker theology by sasquatchan (4.00 / 1) #1 Wed Nov 10, 2010 at 12:14:14 PM EST
has it better (depending on your audience) "America, bless God"..

Stocks/bonds/whatever: they all want some of your money.. "Ya'll a bunch of bookies!" "I told you he'd understand, Mortimer.."

IAW CANON LAW UNDER THREAT OF EXCOMMUNICATION by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #2 Wed Nov 10, 2010 at 01:32:37 PM EST

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

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