Affidereste mai i vostri risparmi ad uno che scrive storielle come quelle che trovate in calce al post? Non si tratta di pagine rubate dal diario segreto di un depresso e destinate a non essere mai rese pubbliche. No, queste profondissime riflessioni sono state pubblicate da Bill Gross in alcune delle sue periodiche comunicazioni ufficiali agli azionisti del suo mega-fondo.
La storia ci ha abituato a masse che si infatuano per le parole di un folle, ma dentro di noi abbiamo sempre pensato che i mercati ne fossero immuni. Bill Gross è il re del mercato obbligazionario mondiale, uno degli uomini più rappresentativi e ricchi dell’industria dell’asset management. Il fondatore di PIMCO, successivamente acquistata dal gigante assicurativo tedesco, Allianz. Non può essere che a dettare legge sul mercato più efficiente del mondo ci fosse uno che rende tutti noi partecipi di un’osservazione come questa: se starnutisci e ti rimane del muco sulle mani, puoi sempre mettere le mani in tasca. Ma se sei una donna come fai?
Ho provato a raccontarla ai miei figli per vedere l’effetto che faceva. La risposta è stata: “papà, non dire cretinate”. Beh il cretinate l’ho messo io, loro hanno usato un’espressione un po’ più forte.
Leggete e meditate. Meditate soprattutto sulla teoria esposta da Taleb (l’autore del libro “il cigno nero”) in “fooled by randomness” (“ingannati dal caso”): l’overperformance dei gestori attivi spesso e volentieri è frutto semplicemente delle leggi statistiche che governano la distribuzione degli errori. Ne abbiamo dato una prova qui.
There’s nothing like a good sneeze; maybe a hot shower or an ice cream sandwich, but no – nothing else even comes close. A sneeze is, to be candid, sort of half erotic, a release of pressure that feels oh so good either before or just after the Achoo! The air, along with 100,000 germs, comes shooting out of your nose faster than a race car at the Indy 500. It feels sooooo good that people used to sneeze on purpose. They’d use snuff and stick it up their nose; the tobacco high and the resultant nasal explosion being the fashion of the times. Healthier than some of the stuff people stick up their nose these days I suppose, but then that’s a generational thing. My generation is closer to thesnuff than that other stuff.
One of the problems with sneezing though is that there can be an embarrassing aftermath. People in the old days used to carry around handkerchiefs for just that purpose, but now nobody carries a handkerchief. As a substitute you could walk around all day with toilet paper in your pocket, but then you’d stand accused of being a bumpkin and people would probably be right. So usually sneezers just let it rip, cover with their hand, and pray there’s nothing visible behind it. If there is, there might be a pocket to wipe away the evidence, at least for guys like me. Ladies? Their outfits are obviously less sneeze proof. So they need to pray harder.
Speaking of praying, there’s just no stopping people from saying “God bless you” or “bless you” for short. If you’re in a crowded room with more than 50, the “God bless you’s” sort of create a rather constant cacophony like the communion line at a Catholic church. The shorter and more frequently used “bless you” though, may take the religion out of it somewhat and make it ok for atheists to sneeze and still get noticed. Actually, way back when, there was a legitimate purpose for the “God bless you” part. Lots of people died from influenza and associated epidemics and God’s blessing would certainly have come in handy. My wife Sue though, is just a “bless you” person like many of you readers. I am not, which I hope is ok, except that it sort of makes it awkward when we both sneeze at the same time. I get blessed and she doesn’t. Not quite fair I suppose, so sometimes I play along and squeeze her hand after the Achoo and tell her I’m blessed to have her – sneeze or no sneeze. Don’t even need a pinch of snuff to know that’s a good move.
There is a tragic end to all living things: They stop living. Our Maine Coon “Kitty” of 14 years stopped living last week. Her name was “Bob” and one of the sweetest animals that anyone could have had. I don’t think she minded having a boy’s name, at least she never mentioned it. We brought her home one afternoon after visiting our 3rd cat show in as many months and asked the inevitable question – what shall we name her? Struggling for an appropriate label for a brown and black cat that to be honest looked more like a dog, and having just seen the Richard Dreyfuss and Bill Murray comedy of the same name the night before, I said “What about Bob?” We all laughed, but it stuck. She was Bob.
Aside from sleeping, Bob loved nothing more than to follow me from room to room making sure I was OK. It got to be a little much at times, especially when entering and exiting the shower. I’m not a particularly shy guy, but then why was a female cat named Bob checking me out all the time? Her obsession carried over to the TV, sensing when I was on CNBC and paying apt attention no less. I often asked her about her recommendations for pet food stocks, and she frequently responded – one meow for “no,” two meows for a “you bet.” She was less certain about interest rates, but then it never hurt to ask.
But before Bob, there were a number of loving pets in the Gross household. Most of you have had some as well; loved, and then lost them. For the Grosses there was Honey the golden retriever of all time, or at least the 20th century champion. She roamed the neighborhood in the more relaxed 1980s, bringing home stale loaves of bread like they were floating ducks on a pond. It wasn’t the bread so much (although it was that), as it was the praise for a good “find” and a pat on the head. Honey also loved rocks, some so big that it seemed her jaws would crack from the weight. Retrievers love retrieving, even if they’re loaves of bread or rocks. And then there was Wiggles and Daisy and Budgie – lovable pets every one of them and perhaps just as importantly – pets that loved us. I know you’ve had some too. So here’s to them and here’s to Bob. We buried her ashes in the backyard. Her gravestone reads just – “Bob”. What a girl, what a kitty girl that Bob.