Monday, August 25, 2014

Free review copy of The Art of Investing

Dear Sir,

This is an offer you cannot refuse (from God Father). Review my book and you will get it free. The review just takes minutes and it can be as brief as several sentences in
My new book The Art of Investing combines my other books Debunk the Myths in Investing and its sequel Investing Strategies. The Kindle version is $10 and it has over 645 pages (6*9). It covers most topics in investing.

This is a one-time offer as I expect future readers will write reviews themselves.
If you want to write a review, send me your e-mail address to or my Seeking Alpha email address (or both just in case) before September, 3, 2014. I’ll order the Kindle version for you from on about September, 5.
For info on the book and writing a review, click on the following link:

Tony Pow

I already have several orders on this new book charging over $20 each. I have many good reviews with two 4-star reviews on Debunk the Myths in Investing from total strangers with the abstract as below.

“Tony, I just finished reading your 2nd edition.  It’s my pleasure to report that I found it most interesting.  You’re welcome to use this blurb if you like:
Debunk the Myths in Investing is an all-encompassing look at  not only the most salient factors influencing markets and investors, but also a from-the-trenches look at many of the misconceptions and mistakes too many investors make.  Reading this book may save not only time and aggravation but money as well!”
Joseph Shaefer, CEO, Stanford Wealth Management LLC. 11/2013.

Tony, I used to use tarot cards (in investing), until I read your fact infested book Debunk the Myths...”
“Tony, Great work!” from James and Chris, who are portfolio managers.

'Debunk the Myths in Investing' is a comprehensive book on investing that deals with many aspects of this tense profession in which with a lot of knowledge and a bit of luck (or vice versa) one can greatly benefit…Therefore 'Debunk the Myths in Investing' is an interesting book that on its 500 pages offer a lot of knowledge related to investing world and many practical advices, so I can recommend its reading if you're interested in this topic.” -  Denis Vukosav, Top 500 Reviewers at

490 pages (Debunk) of a genius's ranting and hypothesis with various theories throughout, written light-heartedly with ample doses of humor…Yes, the myth of not being able to profitably time the market is BUSTED…
One might ask... Why is he giving away the results of his hard-earned research for only $20? He states that his children are not interested in investing and wants to share his efforts with the world.” -  Abe Agoda

Friday, August 22, 2014

Sears is dying

Sears once was the biggest retailer. At one time, I made over 50% in less than a few months on Sears, sold it and never looked back. The Canadian operation still looks great and I bet it may have been spun off already.

Eventually they can only sell lawn mowers, appliances... There are so many wrong decisions that I do not know where to begin. Selling clothes of Salvation Army quality at bargain prices in expensive malls is the same as committing suicide slowly plus ruining the image of the company.

At one time, Sears split itself into multiple stores such as one for eye glasses and one for tax returns within the same location. It had been proven it did not work. The most amazing thing is the x-president of JC Penny followed the same idea. It is the same of stepping on the trap that has an obvious sign.  A blind following a blind is silly; a blind following something that has been proven not working is ultra stupid or stupid beyond words.

American corporations must be run by guys looking like a movie star but with a retarded brain!

Kindle Unlimited is changing our way to access books. First it started with low prices on printed books. Then it gives the writers especially the Indie writers the ability to publish books at virtually no start-up cost. Most books in the their program are sold less than $10. Now, it is the Kindle Unlimited. It will eat into the profits of some book writers when the consumer borrows updated books instead of buying them.

If you enjoy books, try out the free 30-day trial and $10 per month afterwards.

I have written about 20 Kindle books, 20 concise editions (abstracts from the 20 books) and then 40 paperbacks (20 Kindle + 20 concise). Most are in investing and most are now derived from the Art of Investing.

Kindle Unlimited has more holes than Swiss cheese. You can help me to make some money (I promise to give the extra to the poor) by borrowing 10 of my books and returning them with or  reading them 10% (just hit the next page key faster) and borrowing another 10 again. Repeat the process until I'm a millionaire!

It will discourage folks from buying Kindle books. Actually it is good for me even I do it more for fun and killing time.

The Art of Investing is over 600 pages. The reader will borrow it again or just buy it for $10 as it takes too much time to learn and you need to reference it.

Some of my concise versions are only $3 and it will net me $2.1 for royalty for each sold book (far less during promotions). The borrow royalty is about $2 (last month it was $1.81) per borrow. It is the same royalty for my 600-page book or my 40-page concise version. Now, quantity counts and not the size especially those books ranging in 250 pages especially those books with no reference value.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

On China

China is not communist (i.e. every one is paid the same so there is no incentive to work hard). It only exists in one "C" of the CCP and everyone's daily life is ultra capitalist.

China is more capitalist than the US (i.e. if you do not work, you die).

Democracy is catching up slowly. However, comparing China 30 years ago, democracy has grown by leaps and bounds. From our yardstick, it is still a long way to go. Human rights should be prioritized: Food, Shelter, Clothes, Democracy...unless you're spoiled in the USA.

The $500,000 for a lot of rich Chinese is peanuts. If the money is from corruption, some would not come to the USA as there is a chance of forcing them to go back for trial. They come for education / opportunities for the children, food, water and air quality. It is better than those who come for welfare

One fast food from the US asked the city to collect more taxes from them if the city did not allow the other fast food to come to town. Monopolize? All the fat children in China are due to eating too many fast food and playing video games. Are the flies coming in when the window is opened?

Random comment at SeekingAlpha on 8/19

* Tough business for apparel industry and it is one of the several sectors I am very cautious. Just another victim.

* The 4 major mobile phone carriers will have a tough time due to the fierce competition. The 4-line plan with all the goodies is the best offer for families. They will be matched by the competitors as before. However, I will pay $10 more for other carriers that have better coverage (reception).

* CEOs for most banks should have gone to jail. Why they're still counting their bonus money with their filthy hands?

* Non-SA news. Amazon's Unlimited Plan seems too good to be true. It will be good for the authors too. I got about $1.81 for each borrow of my books. This month the borrowing is doubled and will be even more next month. I expect I'll not get the $1.81 from now on as it is based on a pool of money to be shared. One book The Art of Investing

The stealer and the stealee both profit

I need to know when you disarm the alarm system when you're out. So, I can steal your stuffs. It turns out the stuffs are fake. Silly me!

The stealee collects the damage from her insurance and pockets the difference between the fake goods and the real stuffs. Smart stealee!

A beautiful mind always beats the most advanced technology which sucks sometimes

If the above is real, it is just a real coincidence and I did not intend to reference anyone.

On Buffett

When Buffett pulled out from the oil industry, the economy is predicted by them to be lousy as part of the Dow Theory to me.

* When Steve announced his retirement, Microsoft stock rose a lot. What happens when Buffett retires or passes away (no one can live forever except the beautiful face of Princess D)? I bet his stock would dip when his time comes.

On Thailand

Thailand has everything going for it: Nice tropical weather, beautiful beaches, lot of tourist attractions (the palace...), beautiful 'girls', naturally beautiful and real women (without the silicon from LA, 'bad' attitude of being equal and complete face construction from Korea), good people (Buddhists except a few bad dudes)... However, you may be careful to invest (stocks and factories) due to the constant unrest.

I wrote the following joke on outsourcing the medical care to Thailand.

The crying Western patient pleaded to get someone who could speak English. The doctor said, "If I no speak English, what foreign language I speaking?"

The merge of two dollar companies

The new name of the merged companies would be "General Family Dollar" or "Two Dollars Now".


1. The President and his running dogs appear to side with the 'victim' before taking full investigation. Racism can be done in both ways. Has has to in order to buy votes.

2. It does not justify all the looting. That's why no businesses want to set up shops in the poor neighborhood as the Korean immigrants found out in LA the hard way.

3. The 'Johnsons' are making money taking advantage of the incidents. If you look at how they and their family milking money, you will find they are no saints.

4. It is justified to use National Guards, who should be called upon when the police cannot keep peace. They're not supposed to go to the front line. Get the fact straight.

The other observation is both of them are black (one is half black to be exact). They have a natural bias. Proof? Check out the two entirely different reactions from students in a white college and a black college in the acquittal of OJ

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Change the Constitution

* The Constitution should be changed to require the government to balance the budget (at least within a certain %). I can reduce the deficit or even balance the budget in less than 10 years by:

1. Cut most defense (offense is more appropriate word) expenses unless we're threatened like our oil route.
2. Cut the generous welfare, punish the cheaters, force the able to work...We cannot give them fish, but teach the able how to fish.
3. By doing the above and punish the employers, we will not have illegal immigrants.
4. Encourage businesses to stay here before the golden geese all fly away.

Sorry, I cannot be your president as I enjoy my retired life more like winning arguments at Seeking Alpha, I cannot write/speak English, I'm not good looking enough (I used to be), I do not cheat like politicians (see the comparison to a prostitute below), and I was not born here (unless you change the Constitution). :)

A joke:

 I'm going to teach (of course virtually) a course titled Common Sense 101 in governance and invite all the politicians to come virtually free of charge - just give me a virtual job in DC with real money. Actually they can learn it by themselves at home by just skipping all the considerations on how to get votes.

I'm honored to be your virtual president with my virtual salary and my virtual Air Force One... Go back to my dream again. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Hedge Fund 101

LTCM, with two Nobel-prize winners, best supporting team and best technologies then, ran their hedge funds into the ground. Many hedge funds are closed due to frauds and/or poor performances.
The primary purpose is supposed to ‘hedge’ your investments from market plunges / dips. Since 2008, the government prints so much money, the market recovers and makes the hedges (shorts, derivatives, etc.) unnecessary. In reality, most hedge funds do not hedge.
Hedge funds get tons of press coverage as the Holy Grail of investing. The media need the advertising from this $2.5 trillion industry. It is similar to a mutual fund but most tend to take more risk for better returns. Most require higher minimum investments and more restrictions (such as longer periods to withdraw the funds).
It could be the worst deal (but best deal to the hedge funds): 2% average up front and 20% average on your profit. It is more acceptable to me if the 20% is on profit over the S&P 500 or any relevant yardstick to the specific hedge fund.

Well, if they make a lot of money for you, it is not too much to ask for. However, most risk your money by betting big recklessly. When they win, they get 20% of your profit and they use you for advertising to lure other suckers. When they lose your money, they do not lose a penny. It encourages them to take big risks. I do not know any hedge fund (HF) manager who pays you back your losses. 

You have better return by investing in a no-load index fund or a diversified ETF than an average hedge fund. To calculate the average hedge fund performance, you need to include those hedge funds that are out of business. 

After a hedge fund has failed, most fund managers just open another hedge fund (if they do not go to jail due to frauds) and give you all the excuse for losing your hard-earned money. Some lose their reputation but you need to check them out.

In 2011, the hedge fund industry did not beat the S&P 500 index fund after fees. I bet the hedge fund industry did not beat the market after 2011.


Order the book The Art of Investing for the complete article and it is  one among 146 articles.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Drug kills!

Drug kills, legal or illegal.

We must have more deformed babies among the developed countries. Check out the percent of problem babies from athletes. I rest my case.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Estate Planning 101 for Me

Everyone's situation is different, so my plan may not be good for  you. I do not owe anyone anything, do not spend like no tomorrow and retired early (about 8 years ago). This post is supposed for entertaining. Ask your lawyer for estate planning.

Estate planning 101 for Me.

* If you have less than the Federal exemption after splitting between your spouse, check out how your state's regulations and skip most of this post.

* Most likely and in most states, make your house a joint trust. Or, sell it to your favorite child for $1 and beg him/her to let you stay there before your die. If you do not have one, give it to me for $2 making 100% over $1 - what a smart move!

* Calculate your annual spending with your expected life (85 for female and 80 for male). Make a cushion just in case.

The nursing home or assisted housing is about $7,000 a month depending on your state and considering inflation. If you do not have a house and fall into the poverty level (defined by your state), you're lucky as you can live free in a nursing home in some states such as Mass.

* Give the excess to your children with the limit allowed by the law. Or, give it to me if you have too much. Beg them not to spend it (I definitely will not), just in case you need it.

* Enjoy life and do not worry about money. If you do, add three more years to the life expectancy. If you do not want to win every argument from me in Seeking Alpha, add 10 more years. Re-calculate if needed.

The moral of the story: The government encourages you to spend all your money and die penniless. When you die without toys, you win. When you die before distributing your toys, you lose.

Check out my book Profitable Investing for Retirees (from amazon).

Friday, August 8, 2014

Whom do you trust: Your evil politician or your friendly prostitute?

Do you trust our politicians more than the prostitutes?

No matter whether it is East or West, prostitutes are more trustworthy than politicians. Both are the eldest professions. Politicians use the professional service of a prostitute, but not the other way round.

Prostitutes provide a basic human service (after food and shelter), especially in Chinese society where there is a big gender imbalance. Politicians do not.

The entertainment value has no match.

Both lie and tell you what you want to hear. Prostitutes sooth your body and inflate your ego, while the politicians make you stupid and rob your money.

Prostitutes work hard for your money, while politicians cheat hard for your money.

Both only accept cash only and usually under the table.

Viagra is a wonderful product that opens up new market for older clients to prostitutes. It makes them fully employed, a deed that our politicians fail to accomplish.

Why one professional is legal and the other one is not? The legal status should be switched.

The above is from my observation, and not from my personal experience.


This is one of the many jokes from the lengthy book (595 pages) The Art of Investing.

For more info on the book The Art of Investing,

click here or type

Debunk the Myths of Buffett

Buffett Mania

Traditionally, growth stocks have higher P/Es than value stocks, but the reverse is true today. As of 11/25/13, the expected P/Es (from of some randomly-picked stocks are:

Growth Stocks
Expected P/E
Value Stocks
Expected P/E
Coca-Cola (KO)
Colgate-Palmolive (CL)
San Disk
Verizon (VZ)



I suspect it is caused by Buffett and his followers coupled with low interest rates from bonds and CDs. KO, CL, VZ and many others belong to the stocks that Buffett would own. They all give dividends and have an edge such as brand name and monopoly. The above are only small samples of these stocks in the respective category. To me, it is a mild bubble and I name it Buffett Mania.

This mania will not continue as we’re running out of these stocks to buy. I do not believe there will be opportunity to buy them at 50% discount (as Buffett preaches) unless we’ve a market crash. When a strategy is over-used, they will not be effective. No exception.

The Reality

Warren Buffett is one of the premier investors in our generation. However, some of his practices are not applicable to today's market and/or to us, the retail investors.

Most of the money earned was for himself and not for the stock holders of Berkshire in the last three years. SPY, an ETF simulating S&P 500 index, offers greater diversity and has seen less volatility. If Buffett is such a hero in picking stocks, then those who constantly beat the S&P 500 Index by a sizable margin are better investor heroes, and there are many. We need to constantly scrutinize whom we listen to.

Performance Comparison

 As of 11/1/2013, the annualized return for the last 3-year:


SPY gives an annual dividend of about 1.5% (about 1.9% this year) and BRKA does not. Not even beating SPY as a primer investor is just mediocre.

Why Buffett’s current mediocre performance is important

I do not care how much money he made 10 years ago but what I will make in the next 10 years. Many have been utterly convinced by the many books written on his achievements many years ago. Are his strategies still relevant to us?

When Peter Lynch (managing the Magellan Fund, 5/1977 to 5/1990) lost his golden touch and he quit the job, I got my money out! Most investors did not even after experiencing several years of poor returns (compared to his previous incredible performance). The result was many years of mediocre return for the fund. Hence, Buffett’s mediocre performance in the last three years matters and it could be the canary to his future performance.
Many of his teachings are still relevant and they are described in the next chapter. The following practices are to be debunked. I just want to seek the truth. Am I dumb on my part to argue with his success? Read the following with an open mind and decide it yourself.

Debunk the Myths

·        'Never sell.'

The “Buy and Hold” strategy has been dead since 2000 for most. It is not a good strategy for experienced investors as the fundamentals of most companies change after several years and market timers can detect market crashes using market timing. Most books and comments that praise this strategy are based on data from before 2000. It may come back in the future such as a secular bull market that I predict in 2018.

Buffett made big money in KO for the first 10 years of his ownership, but not a lot in the next 10 years. If he cashed in after 10 years of ownership and then bought another stock with similar performance, he would have made far, far more.

I prefer to turn my portfolio to reflect the current market conditions and the companies' fundamentals that could have changed since the last time I reviewed them. Buffett’s ownership in The Washington Post [Update: it was sold recently; he must have read this book J] was amazing then, but it could be too risky now if their paper does not take measures to stop the losing battle of paper publishing.

Market fundamentals perpetually change! To illustrate, there were ten well-known department stores ten years ago mentioned on a TV show, and only Macy’s survives; most others were acquired or bankrupted. The acquired may fare better. However, you need to analyze them again whether the combined company still fits your requirements and objectives. 

There are so many examples to debunk the evergreen concept such as AIG, BlockBuster, HPQ and GE. The market is changing with new technology and competition. We cannot buy and sit back enjoying the appreciation and dividends.

·        'Rule #1. Do not lose money. Rule #2. Do not forget rule #1.'

If every stock bought is risk-free, the return cannot be that good. It is similar to buying Treasury Bills that have no loss in theory. However, holding Treasury Bills until maturity loses buying power due to inflation. Nothing risked means nothing gained. Our capitalist system punishes us for not taking risk, so is trading stocks.

Evaluate the ratio of “return / risk” to see whether the expected return is justified for the risk. If there are equal chance to lose 50% and gain more than 100%, then the risk is justified. It is not a science, but probability theory and common sense are decent tools. In the long term it usually works. In addition, one's personal risk tolerance determines his/her investment methods.

·         'Margin of safety'.

There will be too few stocks to buy if everyone treats margin of safety as the first priority. It worked for Buffett before as few followed his ‘margin of safety’ practice. This is the herd mentality. However, it should work again if fewer folks are truly concerned about the margin of safety. However, most institution investors follow Buffett’s preaching and they drive the market.

Most fund managers and analysts learn margin of safety in colleges. I do not expect we will have less folks following the theory on margin of safety. When you follow the herd, you will not beat the market. The margin of safety is equal to the difference between the stock price and the intrinsic value, which is quite easy to obtain from many web sites.

Let me illustrate an example of my applying the right strategy to current market conditions. During a secular bull market (2018 according to my prediction), the market would favor momentum and growth over value and hence ‘margin of safety’ will not be appropriate.

·        'Think of Stocks as a Business'.

As an owner of many stocks, I do not have to run my portfolio like a holding company. I do not fire employees, do not have legal obligations, do not make day-to-day decisions, etc. I can sell the stock with a click of the button with no emotions and no legal liabilities attached. Do you really think your ideas on how to run the company will influence the management’s decisions via your votes?

This is one chapter of my book "Complete the Art of Investing". If it helps you, envision how 870 pages will help you.

For more of my reasoning, check out the book described next. It has 870 pages (6*9) for $9.99. It could be the best $10 you ever spend.

The above is an abstract from my book "Complete the Art of Investing" which is available from Amazon.

I challenged to have the best-performed article in Seeking Alpha history, an investing site, for recommending 5 or more stocks in one year after the publish date. The concepts for that article are discussed in this book.


Joke on Buffett: click here or type the following.