Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Don't say "never again" ever again

Today is the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz by the Soviet Union. Postings on Facebook contain the phrase, "never again." Feel free to remember the Holocaust but don't say "never again." Maybe never again for Jews, but there have been dozens of massacres since World War II, including one this month where between 600 and 2,000 people died.

Wikipedia reports 32 massacres since World War II of 500 or more people although I admit that these aren't on the scale of the Holocaust. The Khmer Rouge tried to match the Germans, killing between 1.4 million and 2 million people with another 650,000 Cambodians starving to death. This happened in the 1970s and 1980s, within the lifetime of many people reading this post.

We as a country simply can't keep this from happening. Massacres will keep on happening indefinitely. Repeatedly saying "never again" will not change this. So don't do it.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Back into stocks

Back on September 22, 2014, my brother, on my recommendation, sold the stocks and S&P 500 index fund in his IRA and captured a gain for 2014. On January 15, he got back into the market with two stocks and an S&P 500 index fund. Here are his new holdings:

Fund or StockSymbolPurchased Share Cost (Jan. 15)
Current Share Value (Jan. 23)
Gain/(Loss) To Date
Percentage Of Total Funds
Stock Index FundFUSEX
(S&P 500 Equivalent)

The purchased share cost includes the charge for the purchase.

I know the 3.2% gain in eight days is unusual and also unexpected. I'm not excited about it.

Cepheid (CPHD) is a "a molecular diagnostics company [which] develops, manufactures, and markets integrated systems for testing in the clinical and non-clinical markets." One thing that makes their machines different is that the sample being tested stays completely in a testing capsule. There is no need to clean the machine between tests and there is no risk of contaminating the machine with the sample or having cross-contamination between samples.

Cepheid has been awarded a grant of up to $3.3 million to develop a test for Ebola by the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. If this is successful, it will be the fastest test on the market and will cause the stock to appreciate. Of course, in an emergency room situation where the patient must be quarantined if infected, the speed of the test is important.

My brother picked GoPro (GPRO) because the stock dropped 12.2% on January 13 due to an announcement of an Apple patent relating to cameras. I felt that this patent had little or no bearing on GoPro's value and recommended a purchase at the lower value. The stock is up a bit but hasn't fully rebounded.

Why this post? I think I might be good at picking stocks. There's only one way to tell: Actually buy some stocks and post your purchases publicly as a matter of record.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Milestone today: 30,000 page views

Today, I celebrate 30,000 page views for this blog (according to Google). That's only 101 days since I celebrated 20,000 page views. I'm glad to see that the pace of page views is accelerating. Google is supposed to be filtering bots and scrapers so these should be real people viewing my posts.

When I look at the home page for my blog, Blogger has a "Blog Archive" which isn't an archive, but rather a chronological index. I'm going to look for a format that allows me to separate active posts (those that are still relevant) and archived posts (those that may not be relevant but I want to keep for historical reasons).

I also need to go through my old posts and update them. I will spend more time this year doing that before writing new posts.