Less than 40 hours to go: The Let’s Talk Bitcoin Podcast Competition ends 3AM EST this Sunday. I’m proud to say that, at the moment, Mad Money Machine leads both in total amount (113.6 mBTC) and total number of transactions (46). But the margin of lead over the next-highest show is only 2 mBTC. That’s too close!
The winning podcast will be determined by the total amount of mBTC received for that show, not the total number of people voting. Please help push MMM far in the lead with a generous donation now. Don’t wait. MMM needs to win this thing to continue.
Adam B. Levine of Let’s Talk Bitcoin wanted to structure the contest to discourage contestants from voting themselves the prize. I PLEDGE TO NOT VOTE MYSELF THE PRIZE.* Thus, I need your support!!!
I urge other contestants to take the same pledge. Let’s leave this up to the listeners to decide!
I will not send any of my own funds to the contest in order to support Adam’s ideals and to keep my pledge. I previously received a 24.54048 mBTC donation to my account to forward to the contest, which I will do right now.
If you have not heard my pilot episode entry into the contest, click the link above. I have produced another episode since then to help give you more of a flavor of what is to come. I am in the middle of producing another episode that I think you will REALLY like!
One listen and you will agree: The Mad Money Machine is unlike any other Bitcoin podcast out there. Your support is needed. Don’t wait.
[*Disclaimer: I have previously sent in a total of 0.3 mBTC as a vote for myself. I hope you will agree that this is not "voting myself the prize." ]
Happy 5th Birthday Bitcoin! (oh yeah, you too Federal Reserve system)
Contest News : DONATE to xxx to help me win the Let’s Talk Bitcoin podcast contest. I need about $100 or so (roughly 100 mBTC). If I receive enough to win, I will submit it to the contest. If not, I will keep it as a donation to help support the show. All funds go directly to the contest. Thank you!
Reading the news chain is like processing the blockchain. Top 10 Bitcoin Things I’m Really Tired Of
It has taken me a while, but I have finally found something exciting to talk about again: Bitcoin!
I really enjoyed hosting the Mad Money Machine podcast from 2005 through 2011 or so. But I got burnt out taking about investments, especially once I discovered that active trading was a losing proposition. Going on and on talking about investing in index funds was getting boring and not fun. So I lost interest (no pun intended) and wrote a book about the Constitution. Then I got a summer job at a golf course where I was basically paid in free golf. Now that it is cold, I need some indoor fun. Then it hit me: I can use the Mad Money Machine as a vehicle to talk about Bitcoin.
As a subscriber to the MMM Bitcoin show, you can expect the same in-depth analysis of this exciting new secure, distributed transaction protocol. Each show will include those great segments you’ve come to love: Guru Roulette and Tools in the Crib, but now with a Bitcoin focus.
You may recall on previous MMM episodes I did talk some about Bitcoin and asked you to send me some. The New MMM will be sponsor-free and will rely on listener support… in Bitcoin! I ask you to throw some virtual currency my way as a show of your support, and to encourage me to bring you the info you really need to succeed in this exciting blockchain-enabled future.
Without further ado, here is my Bitcoin support address to get you started:
I will be working on a new show early this week and am excited to get started on the New Mad Money Machine!
I’ve been writing a book since last September, and it will be available for purchase on September 17, 2012.
It is called “The Original Counter-Argument.” And for the subtitle you’ll need to inhale some air:
“The Founders’ Case Against the Constitution and Warnings of Despotism, Adapted for the 21st Century.”
Quick synopsis: I’ve taken the key letters, essays, and speeches from those Founders who were against the ratification of the U.S. Constitution back in 1787-88 and translated them into modern English.
Because their words were prophetic! They warned about consolidating all of the various state governments into a single national government, that it would lead to waste, abuse, and even tyranny. And that was at a time when the population of the United States was 78 times smaller than it is today!
I’ve learned so much from translating these works. I cannot wait to share it with you. I am releasing it on September 17, 2012, which will be the 225th anniversary of the Signing of the Constitution in Philadelphia. But that day was just the beginning…
I’ll have more to say as the date gets closer. Here’s a link to the pre-order page at Amazon:
This is the home of the Mad Money Machine Lazy Portfolio Analysis.
The following table shows the returns of the Lazy Portfolios from the “Investment Professionals.” They are sorted by 5-year returns ending 2011. To see the contents of each portfolio, search for the portfolio name on this page.
And now a different look at the same portfolios, showing Annualized returns for 5 years plotted against the annualized risk (Standard Deviation).
GURU: Ron Paul’s risky investing strategy. Here is the WSJ article. Here are his holdings (account required)
Can gains still be had in long term bonds?
September 17, 2012 will be the 225th anniversary of the signing of the US Constitution by 39 delegates who stayed around at the Federal Convention in Philadelphia. George Mason, Edmund Randolph, and Elbridge Gerry did not sign.
Another year bites the dust and Harry Browne once again wins.
Here are the Lazy Portfolio Smackdown results for 2011. Note: these numbers are preliminary because mutual fund dividends have not yet been reported. So those lazy portfolios that hold mutual funds that pay dividends in mid to late December will probably end up about 1% higher than these numbers.
Incredibly, the Harry Browne Permanent Portfolio wins again. It beat all other non-permanent portfolios by at least 5.5%! Have a look at the chart:
Click on the image to get a larger, more readable graphic.
Look how steadily the Harry Browne Permanent Portfolio (HBPP) gained during 2011. Especially when compared to the rest. Look at the wild ride they would have put you through from April until September. Tough to stomach that!
And for those of you who love a more tabular look:
Breaking down the HBPP, here are how the individual components performed for 2011:
WOW, who would have thought that long-term treasuries would go up 34%? And look at gold, up almost 10%, which also marks its 11th consecutive year of gains. Holy bullion Batman! Even cash money did you better than your bank account, up 1.4% in short-term Treasuries.
Thank you Harry Browne!
How about the losers? Well, the silly Dilbert portfolio, all stocks, dropped almost 10%. Scott Adams recommended this (google it), but it is pretty dumb. Not much less dumb is the portfolio I put out a few years ago, also all stocks, that sought to mimic the IFA Portfolio 100, their riskiest plan. So in a year when risky stocks did poorly, portfolios that invested in all risky stocks stunk.
How about something more reasonable? Good old Rick Ferri, the guy who says his “best investment in gold was his wedding ring” how did he do for you in 2011? Here is his portfolio (prior to December dividend reporting)
He puts 40% into a broad bond index, thinks REITs are cool, and adds some international equities for spice. The portfolio gained you less than if you had put the whole thing into SHY, the short-term treasuries fund. (But dividends for December are still coming) That’s pretty stinky. And as you can see from the chart, you got a pretty wild ride in 2011 to boot. And he makes money doing this?
Which non-Permanent Portfolio did best in 2011? That would be the Scott Burns Couch Potato Portfolio, up 5.9%. (And remember that December dividends aren’t yet included in this result.)
Two funds: stocks and TIPS. Stocks flat-lined. TIPS made you some money. And the ride wasn’t too wild, especially when compared to the others. But HBPP was better in both performance and risk.
I don’t want to wrap up this year-end review without mentioning the poor performance of PFPFX, the Permanent Portfolio Fund. With HBPP up 11.5%, you’d expect that the mutual fund loosely based upon his philosophy would be close to that, but you’d be wrong. PRPFX was up only 2.2% (including December dividends) for 2011. Why? Because it deviates from HBPP in risky ways including Silver, Swiss Francs, and growth stocks. And of course it has a 0.77% expense ratio for its management fees. That is disappointing. But THEY got $118 million, based upon having $15.4 billion invested. I’m not liking this.
Gee whiz, I wish I could create a mutual fund that invested in VTI, 30-year Treasuries, IAU, and short-term Treasuries. I’d pay something like 0.08% and would charge you people 0.20%. Let’s see, with $15 billion dollars under management, I’d take in $18 million each year. Easy money!