Jul

16

 My best friend is Greek, and he has been in Greece for a month now. He emailed me today that roast corn on the grill in Athens is two euros a cob ($2.70 US)! The smog and acid rain in Athens are terrible, but at those prices one cannot imagine any of their corn will go towards alternative fuels!

Cliff Roche replies:

My brother-in-law just vacationed in Corfu. He had a great time and said prices were dirt cheap. And the pictures showed it was a beautiful location. Like most places, I guess it all depends on where you are in Greece.

Jun

29

 I have generally found that, except for a few people with the fastest computers and best algorithms, anybody who can't be away from the market for a few hours likely adds no value whatsoever.

The best investors I have known all find inefficiencies that persist, such that there are large windows for taking advantage of them. In fact, the reason why these inefficiencies persist tends to be precisely because it is not clear that one can make money on them in a few hours or a day.

But this analysis changes in the context of leverage. That is, the underlying ideas themselves don't require minute by minute monitoring, but when using a lot of leverage one has to monitor in order not to get destroyed as positions go temporarily against.

Cliff Roche adds:

That is a great argument in favor of limiting leverage for those who should do so. I no longer try to make money every minute, hour, or even day. I've tried it and it led to ulcers and chest pains. My congrats to those that have the emotional makeup to do it for a living! Of course, I also don't have clients who are demanding a fast buck or personal concerns over commissions.

I take positions in companies that are going down roads I think companies need to go down in the face of assured future governmental and societal idiocy, in my limited and admittedly biased way. I don't use leverage and sometimes I have to wait months or years for the payoffs. But they do come. Sometimes. I do sleep well, and that can be priceless.

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