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that just about everyone on about every board I have read has made some grand prediction about where a particular stock and/or the economy, commodities, etc will go and just about everyone has been wrong on one issue or another.

So much for the "PLAN" and just to think the agents of Chaos have yet to enter the room yet.

50% of what I have said in the past about Law and Order and total Choas/Anarchy has some merit. The other 50%....Well you flip the coin.

I remember the days when people used to say investing was not gambling.....Well, it is not gambling in the strict sense of rolling dice maybe but maybe it is more like poker....where you can play the odds but sometimes you can play the odds and lose.....and sometimes, you can make have lousy odds and make bad bets and win. Not sure if that is random or not but I have yet to find any "laws" to govern such action.


Someone who plays the odds and loses and watches someone who goes against the odds and wins....Well is that luck?? Would you rather have the best discipline in the world and lose most of your savings or take a shot at the lottery and win 10 million dollars...Does it all just come down to luck? Or is it the plan?? The strategy?? Or maybe it is something like 50-50???

I know some people that just seem to make all the choices that give them bad results even if they follow the philosophy of Warren Buffett. Is Buffett simply "lucky" or is there a method to his madness??? I will let you decide....





Rob S
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"or is there a method to his madness??? I will let you decide...."

IMO it's the hold forever part of his method that makes it work.

I'm already retired, and my end of days comes closer and closer but I'm still willing to hold on 5 to 10 years if this planet will continue to have me.

Market forecasters, Bulls or Bears, if they hold their positions long enough can be right eventually. Past history seems to support that finding. But could this time be different? That seem to be the current question?

Remember that song, Limbo Rock? How low can you ride this market?

I've decided already to let my grandchildren make that determination and I don't even have one yet, but have four grown children quite capable of making me a grandfather.
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Everybody thinks they are a genius when the market is going up. You are right that there have been an incredible amount of posts on the board from people who "knew" this was going to happen. I've been reading The Economist for the past three years where they were saying how there is a lot of systematic risk about 2 years ago. Almost every issue would mention the possibility. But it was still only a possibility and far from certain.

I'd say the markets are about 80% and 20% skill. Even if you picked the right stocks this year there is no way you are up. It's very difficult to be up when the market is down and visa versa.
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Someone who plays the odds and loses and watches someone who goes against the odds and wins....Well is that luck??


I hate to draw on an old and over used cliché, but "you only lose if you sell."

Take the housing market. You buy a beautiful home and the market falls. Suddenly your home is worth less than when you bought it. You are one of two people ....

(1) You can afford the home and to continue to make the payments as they are within your ability and you will keep it, expecting that home values will recover, as they always have. You know you are in a good area, good neighborhood, good schools, everything is still there that made your home purchase desirable.

(2) You bought a home that was above your means. You expected it to go up, you needed it to go up to keep it, you purchase was not based on desire to own "that" home, but was in the expectation that any home would go up and it's rise would make you secure. You decide you have made a mistake and will be willing to sell the home at a loss. You cant see the long term benefit, you don't believe in the neighborhood, city, style of home or the desire of others to own that home when the market settles. All you see is the short term loss in the housing market. So, you sell with the expectation you will buy again when houses are again rising in price. You hope you have the luck to re-enter the housing market when it has shown recovery but has not increased above your sell point.


That is what is happening with stocks.

If you like the house and can afford to keep it you do

If the stock you bought has value, it has cash, it has no debt, it has great management and product ....... and those things have not changed, ....... why would you not live with it?

Bears (who honestly does not understand)
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I've never agreed with the premise that investing in the stock market isn't gambling. To me, it seems like a way for people to try and convince themselves that what they're doing isn't as risky as it seems. However, if there is even a CHANCE that you can lose money in stocks (which there pretty much always is), then you are absolutely gambling, IMO. No matter how much research you do, or how much you love a company, nobody can predict the future. Anything can happen to a company at any given point. I think you're always taking at least some risk when you invest in stocks.

This is one of the definitions I found for 'gambling:'

gambling - to stake or risk money, or anything of value, on the outcome of something involving chance. to take a chance on; venture; risk.

I've yet to see a 'sure thing' in stocks. When I do, I'll put the mortgage on it.
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. Anything can happen to a company at any given point.


True, but in this case, other than the financials, it seems nothing has happened to the companies ... they are just being trampled by the herd.


Bears
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Bears,

You're absolutely correct. I wasn't implying that any of the companies in the GG portfolio are in trouble, or that they won't rebound. I was just saying that I think there's always some degree of risk involved in investing in stocks, and to me that it makes it a form of gambling.
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I was just saying that I think there's always some degree of risk involved in investing in stocks, and to me that it makes it a form of gambling.

I guess I agree, but when referencing against the Dot com crash, we were stupidly rejoicing P/Es of 100

Now that was gambling.


Bears
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Rob,

that just about everyone on about every board I have read has made some grand prediction about where a particular stock and/or the economy, commodities, etc will go and just about everyone has been wrong on one issue or another.

I have been predicting oil at $60 and Dow at 7000 for a while now. Getting close....

Anurag
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"I have been predicting oil at $60 and Dow at 7000 for a while now. Getting close...."


In that case, I hope you've been shorting.
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I look at investing as being similar to starting/owning a business. It's not for everyone, due to risk. All you can control is trying to be as educated as you can about the risks you decide to take and whether you'll be able to abide with the possible negative outcomes.

It's necessary that a certain percentage of humanity take the plunge; it's how we've raised our standard of living. Where would we be as a society if people weren't willing to "go into business?"

So it's a worthy, albeit risky, venture. Only you can determine if it's for you or not.

I'm happy to have lived through this downturn. It's taught me a lot about my temperament and what, if anything, I've learned about investing.
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"I have been predicting oil at $60 and Dow at 7000 for a while now. Getting close....

Anurag"

That is only one of your predictions and if you had thought that prediction was 100% sure of coming true then why invest in stocks at all?? You would be probably close to 100% short the market if you thought that prediction was a certainty.

The truth is for the most part is that people only give educated guesses about what is going to happen for the most part. If their educated guess comes true then they give themselves a pat on the back.

If their educated guess does not come true then they hope people forget they made that guess....

Bill Mann could have just as easily been "right" on FMD and PRS but events beyond what he factored in made him "wrong" on those stocks.

There is virtually nothing that is a total certainty and I doubt many people truly deep down believe in 100% certainties or else they would bet that way 100%.

Even the bet that the Dow will make 7000 and oil $60 is not certain. Despite all the gloom and doom a totally unrelated event that no one can forsee could change the whole equation.

There is a element of "luck" (good or bad) or "random factors" or "Divine intervention" or whatever one wants to call it in the market.

To be a good stock picker takes some skill.....some rules....some good organization or systems of investing but it also takes luck.

Warren Buffett is extraordinarily lucky I say. Yes, he has skill but he has a great deal of luck on his side also. There are intangibles to what he does. There are some that use his methods and have little success and others that are wildly succesful.

Just like there are some that join Motley Fool and seem to be unlucky and pick all the "wrong" stocks....while some seem to choose all the "right" ones.

Some people have systems that work great for them. Some have systems of investing designed to beat the odds but I still maintain that if another person comes along and uses the same exact system of investing that one person uses so succesfully that there is no guarantee of success because there is some element of what people call "luck" involved. The odds become stronger over time that using the same methods will produce winners but still no guarantee.....

I would say the chances are good that the events of this week are not the start of Armegeddon but I do so with the knowledge that one day a real Armegeddon will come....maybe it is 50,000 years from now or maybe it is tomorrow.....a random event such as a meteor hitting the earth could happen a hour from now and all concerns about stock market indices could become moot as we are thrown back into the Dinosaur age....totally random event...most don't factor it in because it seems remote....but it is in the remote event that the agents of chaos enter the room.




Rob S
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That is only one of your predictions

This is my only prediction and I made solid money out of it. If you remember I acted upon this several months back and promptly posted on the boards. When oil touched $147, I sold most of my 5 years of holdings in oil and metals. 200-300% gain. Should have sold the rest too. TMFDeej and you had diagreed with my commodity bear case.

I do not short for a very simple reason. Shorting can give at the most 100% short term gains. Most stocks do not run to ground like LEH. I was looking at the most 40% profits which after the short term taxes will be worth <28%. I decided to spend my time in hunting for bargains in my 200+ stock portfolio. I don't make investment decisions on my own and use TMF extensively. Had Fool Pro been around for a while I would have used that newsletter to short and trade in options.

I was certain of a commodity meltdown but I had no idea of its depth. Commodities are currently selling at prices when oil was at $40. But oil is still 80+.

I predicted Dow at 7000 when Dow was 10.5K so only a few days ago. No time to short. IMO, DOW deserved to be at 11K when it was at 14K. I have invested in stocks that traded at P/E < 15 for a long time. I take only a starter position (few 100 dollars) in more expensive stocks. Add ons are almost always when P/E < 15.

I disagree with the notion of calling Buffet lucky. Information reduces risk and he studies companies for years before making a purchase. There are others at TMF who almost always make the right choice. Look at TMF1000 who retired at the age of 40, Bill Mann who made a killing in several of his ventures (read his interview). Look at Bills's personal portfolio. Superb choices for years capped with a BRKA. Read the earlier posts of Gardner brothers to get an idea of the killing they made in the stock market. Seth Jayson made the call for a collapse in 2007 and acted upon it and probably made a killing. All a product of exhaustive research and correct (not lucky) analysis. Reading all these people and the boards for so long gave me some foresight into making my decisions.

I am now out of my oil money. Did not sell any small caps but adding on to them and high yield stocks. This is the time to buy into some commodities. Hopefully in 5 years of time, I will make some money. My next prediction on a pessimistic note is DOW at 14K in 2018. If it happens earlier I will sell heavily and build a much large cash position for the crash.

Anurag
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jctayloruscd,

I explained in my last post how I made solid money off of my predictions by selling my holdings in commodities several months ago and why I did not short: too little time for the DOW prediction and no need to short the commodities in my case as expalained in detail in the last post.

But yes, I very strongly believe on should put the money where his mouth is. There is no point in making predictions when the one of predicts cannot take advantage of it. I took considerable advantage.

That said, money can be made both ways, long and short, with predictions. It is not neccessary to short on a pessimistic view point. The other ways to take advantage are to sell off or to not invest. The price of going wrong on short is far too high than going long. And the gains of doing a short right are far limited that going long. That is why I don't play shorts. I wish I knew more about options as that is the right way to place hedges properly and make the best use of predictions both ways. At some point I will learn this technique too.

Anurag
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I am not about to argue with you but I have seen more predictions from you than that. I do not have time to go through all the back posts on particular stocks and situations (I am currently on a ship...a very modern one as we have internet connection...We are on the way to Salvador, Brazil right now) and even if I did have time I probably would not do so.

I still maintain if one is so confident in their predictions that they would proceed accordingly.

Making calls is easy....the ones that work can be trumpeted. The ones that don't work....Well, you can hope people either forget them or you are happy that you never posted them for people to remind you that you are human and it is highly probable that you make less than 100% accurate calls on the market.

I still maintain that a person that can make 100% accurate calls would not be hanging around the Fool sharing that information.....and if they could then why did they not act on all this information themself???

"Should have sold the rest too."

If you had full confidence in the prediction then you would have sold the rest. No one has full confidence in their predictions....not even the Oracle of Omaha.

While Buffett is extraordinarily talented.....He is also lucky too. No way to prove it but I still maintain that there are people that could study Buffett's methods Ad Nauseum and try to put those methods in to effect and not be nearly as succesful. Some might downright fail at it and probably many already have.

There are intangibles to what Buffett does. If there was not then everyone could invest like him but obviously everyone can not.

Buffett is extra ordinarily lucky, most especially in his early investing years. I like to sometimes study guys like Buffett..and....another example is Napoleon Hill. What was the difference between Napoleon Hill and a million other guys starting out the same way. A lot of people study Napoleon Hill's methods and are less than succesful at it.

Did you know that Napoleon Hill once claimed some sucess at predicting the future. I think it was Napoleon Hill that claimed that he could always find the closest parking place at the place he was going by just thinking about it. He claimed always.....Me...I have limited success with this expirement.

If you can predict the future then why mess around. Act on it....100%....Why fool around or even FOOL around???

That is what I would be doing.......

As for Commodities...LOL....I still maintain we are in a commodities Bull Market. I say this is a correction in a ongoing commodities bull market. It just all depends on your point of view or your time frame. My time frame is longer than just this year. The commodity bull market will run for awhile yet.

As a matter of fact...after this so called demand destruction is finished you can expect a little hyper-inflation....now there is a prediction for you but I don't maintain to be 100% accurate but I do listen a bit to this guy who is far more accurate than most but usually does not give time frames because few are accurate in the short term:

http://www.bloggingstocks.com/2008/10/10/jim-rogers-warns-of...
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"I disagree with the notion of calling Buffet lucky. Information reduces risk and he studies companies for years before making a purchase. There are others at TMF who almost always make the right choice. Look at TMF1000 who retired at the age of 40, Bill Mann who made a killing in several of his ventures (read his interview). Look at Bills's personal portfolio. Superb choices for years capped with a BRKA. Read the earlier posts of Gardner brothers to get an idea of the killing they made in the stock market. Seth Jayson made the call for a collapse in 2007 and acted upon it and probably made a killing. All a product of exhaustive research and correct (not lucky) analysis. Reading all these people and the boards for so long gave me some foresight into making my decisions."


Nice post...I maintain all that you have mentioned were also lucky. They all have intangibles. They all have skill.....but I also maintain that they had elements of luck working for them whether they would want to admit it or not.

You are talking about a top class of investors. Maybe these investors are in the top 20% of investors around. There are many more investors that have tried maybe similar methods and failed. They just did not have the right luck, divine guidance, miracle or whatever one wants to call it working for them.

Unlike you...I can not give examples because many of those people tend not to be hanging out posting on the Fool's boards. Many failures do not want their names known.

One of the reasons I know this is because a long time ago I got involved with Network Marketing...things similar to Amway. People should join a Network Marketing group just to see what I am talking about. In Network Marketing meetings everyone is taught the same exact methods in which to recruit.

There are some people that no matter which network marketing group they join will always rise to the top producer. There are certain people that using the same exact methods can not recruit even one person.

I used to ask myself why this is???....and I never figured it out...Maybe people carry a aura...maybe luck...just don't know. I also came across the 20-80 rule in Network marketing. 20 percent of the people make 80% of the profit is what that means.

That RULE probably maybe also applies to investing....I have not looked at statistics but it would be interesting to see if the top 20% of investors make 80% of the money. Maybe that is something I will look up one day if I have time. Then again maybe that RULE does not apply for RULES only have meaning depending on the FRAME that they are in.



Rob S
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Rob,

This is certainly true that in any profession, only a tiny fraction is instrumental in achieving most of the results. Investment is no different but there is one thing about investment that I firmly believe: Anyone, well almost anyone, can become good in it. I think the easiest way to succeed is dollar averaging for 2 decades into a handful of ETFs or mutual funds. My favorite choices would be equal investments in BRKB, DODFX and VWO. It remains a challenge for me if I can beat this combination over 2 decades. If I fail, then I would sell my portfolio and transfer everything into these. Yup, Buffet won't live long but his legacy would. Or there may emerge an alternate to BRKB but something like that. BRKB is nothing short of a diversified global mututal fund and has my greatest allocation percentage wise. The next are VWO and DODFX. These three today comprise a total of 12% of my portfolio.

Returning back to the subject of top of the class people. I believe that working around such people or having access to these people yields rich dividends. I have personally worked around a couple of Nobel Laureates and seen how much advantaged their collaborators and students were despite never making a name for themselves nearly as big. The same is true with investors also. At TMF, all of us have excellent access to the top class investors. It is upto us how much we can learn from these people. To me, it is not neccessary to become independently that good. I would be happy to follow these guys into success.

My predictions have been independent attempts. And I am putting a small allocation of my money behind these. Predictions by definition need not be accurate but the goal is to achieve something in that direction and not be precisely wrong about it. Let us see where it leads me to. It has alwasy fascinated me how TMF has always relatively shunned commodities and real estate. Just a few months back, I complained to a frustrated Bill that TMF missed the boat on commodities but what has happened is something that TMF has always said. Commodities is a risky business.

Today I am buying back commodities as these are oversold but very carefully and with TMF guidance only. I added on to DWSN, CEO, CGV, ATN, GSI, ZINC, PDS, CX, NOV, MDR and VLO. I did make a few opportunistic buys in metals too. I am scared to buy tankers at this time. This kind of a commodity crash (not correction!) is far more useful than a long downcycle. We are back to 2004-2005 levels. The commodity bull can resume within next 5 years. It is important to take part in the cycle and not just be blindly invested for the long run in commodities. Since timing is tough, I allocate only a small part (<15%) of my portfolio in commodities. I already have my sell target prices ready for the current purchase prices and P/E ratios.

Anurag
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There are some people that no matter which network marketing group they join will always rise to the top producer. There are certain people that using the same exact methods can not recruit even one person.

I used to ask myself why this is???....and I never figured it out...


When I was working on my graduate studies, I had 2 post docs in my group. One of them was very prolific. He produces quality software, experiments, theory and papers with great regularity. The other one claimed to know as much as the first one and claimed that he was simply lucky. I have seen this happens many times since and especially at work places. I disagree with notion of luck completely. Luck enters into the picture in a far more direct manner like having an accident. That is luck. All these successful individuals had an element of creativity, an element of enthusiasm and had a way with people (not neccessarily in a charming manner). These things cannot be learnt. They are innate.

My formula for success is simple. Identify your own innate strengths and exploit them well. And for those traits that you need but do not possess, hang on to the coat tails of those who do.

Anurag
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"I disagree with notion of luck completely. Luck enters into the picture in a far more direct manner like having an accident. That is luck."


While you might disagree 100% with the idea of luck....I do not. I can not give a percentage but after studying this for over 20 years, I do believe there are some elements of random factors at work. You can't look at one example to decide this but must look at many. One case will give you a 100% outlook on your point of view but looking at many cases you will find anamolies in there where luck has played a factor. Whether it is 1% or 10% or 50%, I do not know but I doubt seriously that there is 100% evidence of no random factors influencing results of highly competent people on this earth.

I do believe skill is involved in many endeavors but luck is also involved too.

Take a guy like Warren Buffett. I know many people think Warren is like God and makes no "mistakes" but if you look at the sum of his whole investment history, he has made more than a few mistakes, even though, he made careful study of the industry, country, company....whatever. He just makes less mistakes than many but he does make "mistakes". He has also been "lucky" or "fortunate" that up until now his mistakes have not seriously impacted his wealth building machine.

I maintain that Warren has some elements of luck working for him. He plays a high risk game with a element of luck in it.

For awhile, it looked like Eddie Lampert was the second coming of Warren Buffett. At least that is what people said.......but now it remains to be seen what Lampert could do with Sears. What happened to Sears is very unlucky and perhaps Eddie will make Sears another Berkshire but perhaps not. He faces a "Live or Die" moment with Sears.

There is a reason that there is only one Buffett. If it were simple...Why everyone could do it. There is some skill involved yes.....but extra ordinarily skilled persons have failed before.

Einstein failed in his attempt to find a Universal theory to govern the Universe.....so instead we are stuck in a mostly quantumn mechanics universe where people look at probability factors.

Personally, I never factor in 100% probability of something happening nor do I factor in a zero probability of something happening. Simply because I have found that by putting something in a different frame of reference, one can make virtually any rule work or make it obselete.

I still maintain it is a bull market in commodities. You are looking at a frame of maybe 1-3 years but I am looking at a frame of around 5 to 15 years.

Also...while commodities are risky....you must look at that as a rule of the past. The more scarce a resource becomes....the less risky it will be to invest in it. The main risk is the total replacement of the commodity.

In the next 5 to 50 years....the world in general is going to struggle for solutions to things like food shortages and energy shortages. The big one is water shortage. I have not found a really good investment in water except for PICO but by the time I was going to invest in it...it had already moved. I have not looked at that one for awhile now.

Right now, I am sitting in the engineroom of a ship writing this....I am watching a evaporator make water. I am looking at all the substances that are necesarry for our way of life. Did you know ships have lots of zinc on them. Among other things Zinc is used as a anode on a ship to prevent corrosion. Some think Zinc will be impacted forever...loking at the way prices are going but I know they won't. Zinc is a valuable substance. I am investing in companies that deal with that substance.....and others also.

Investing over 15 year time frame...more likely than not...I will be proven not to be "wrong" about commodities and it is just as likely that I will do just as well as your investing method...if not better.

There is no way to tell. I also use odds when investing. I never go 100% in. I am invested in Telcoms, Healthcare, Technology and other things. I don't use strict formulas though. If I think I got a better shot at making a profit I might overweight....I go by feel...instinct.

You use the odds too. Despite your "predictions"...you don't fully believe them...If you did then you would short the market or you would have sold everything and waited for your exact predictions to come true before entering the market again....but instead of doing that you continued to invest because like virtually everyone that invests...they know there is no sure thing....which is basically what this whole thread has been about.

Ok...I got to go.....very limited time.



Rob S
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Water: Check VE. It comes from another Fool sub that I cannot name on this board. But you can find it out. I like the dividends.

Probability is a way of life but it should not be tied to luck. The outcome of a probabilistic event cannot be termed as luck. Rather it should be treated as expected at some level. We can discuss on this endlessly but I think this is where the cruz of our argument is: probability vs luck. The definition of success must used probability in a hedged manner to make it free from luck other than events like: birth lottery, disease, death, accidents etc.

Regarding commodities: I am already back in at rock bottom prices. Will sell again at the upcyle. Absolutely no long term investing in commodities for me. I have seen way too many people loose their shirts over commodities.

Anurag
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"Probability is a way of life but it should not be tied to luck. The outcome of a probabilistic event cannot be termed as luck. Rather it should be treated as expected at some level. We can discuss on this endlessly but I think this is where the cruz of our argument is: probability vs luck. The definition of success must used probability in a hedged manner to make it free from luck other than events like: birth lottery, disease, death, accidents etc.

Regarding commodities: I am already back in at rock bottom prices. Will sell again at the upcyle. Absolutely no long term investing in commodities for me. I have seen way too many people loose their shirts over commodities."


Some regard Warren Buffett having more skill than luck in regard to gaining wealth but the question is how would you regard Paris Hilton???

I would say much more luck than skill.

I see you exclude from success certain events like birth but the cosmos includes all...no exclusions or distinctions but we can define things to make things our own reality and our own point of view.

Some people call luck different things. Some people call it Divine Intervention. Other people call it God. There are just some things that can not be explained. That are outside of even probability factors.

I don't believe man is free from luck...other forces in the universe are at work.....whether you call it luck or God or random events....there is a higher power than man that has a influence on events.

It took me a long time to come to that conclusion......I am sort of a agnostic but I came to that conclusion by studying for many years a devout atheist that lead me to believe that the guy was not as much a atheist as he implied.

I also study what a lot of physicist and sceintist say.....there is much debate on this topic. You are welcome to believe in a 100% determinstic way of life but not me...Being somewhat relavistic, I believe that there are frames or universes or whatever you want to call it where the rules of the determinstic way of life do not apply.

If you ever enter such a universe or frame you will definitely be confounded because the rules you hold so dearly will not work. That is why even though I debate things and seem opinionated, I have a more open mind than most...I have the allowance factor of being wrong and I realize there are universes where my "theories" do not apply.

When I enter such universes where "luck" or "God" or "Black Swan" whatever constricting label that people apply to such unexplained events...I am not confounded.

Physics used to frustrate me because when you begin to learn Physics they have all sorts of rules that they say can't be violated like the three laws of thermodynamics. I grew up being very much rule oriented...but the deeper you delve into physics the more you will find all sorts of rules being "violated" for instance our macro-rules do not apply very well on a atomic or quark level.

Many major religions do not like sceince much because they feel sceince is looking into the realms of what only God is supposed to know like how to create life the people who want to create clones say. Many also assume so that a lot of sceintist do not believe in God....that the system we believe in has a orderly set of rules where "God" or "random factor" or "luck" is not a factor.....but if you go into very high end physics...there are some...mind you not all....that theorize on the existence of the "random factor" or "God" so there is debate among the rule based scientific community in that which I speak of...It is not all 100%.

To speak of probability factors and then to deny the existence of another viewpoint breaks things down into a totally black and white universe where there is only Right and Wrong....no in between.

Me...I give you the allowance that you might be "right" simply because I never assign anything a 100% or 0% probability. I have a great deal of believe in quantumn mechanics.



As for commodities.....commodities are volatile and have a history. Some believe history is a circle going round and round. I believe history is much more than that. History repeats itself until it doesn't repeat itself.

It might not happen in my lifetime but I might live long enough to see some of the effects of the world's increasing population and the declining resources to support it all.

When you think of commodities, some think of just oil or metals....but me I see a world long in the future where even air might be a commodity. You might have bottled air in the supermarket being sold....One possibility. Water is a definite one but no one has thought about air...LOL...I think farther ahead than most because my mind looks at virtually every possibility.



Rob S
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Some regard Warren Buffett having more skill than luck in regard to gaining wealth but the question is how would you regard Paris Hilton???

I would say much more luck than skill.


LOL!

You like wikipedia. Here you go: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paris_Hilton

I think she is very talented. She may not be as talented as many of her peers but then she is not as successful either. The amount of stuff she has accomplished by the age of 27 is quite a lot considering the intense competition in the industry she operates in. She is rich for three reasons: she was born rich (birth lottery), she looks good (birth lottery) and she is talented than most even in such class of people.

A better example that you could have used would be a winner in a Las Vegas Casino. That is luck. But then what I am saying is different. Specifically: luck is not a pre-requisite for success other than events like death, accidents, natural or man-made disasters. One may face disappointments in individual events in one's life but it is important to hedge one's life with careful planning just like in investing. One may not get what s/he aspires for but that is not for lack of luck. Not achieving something specific should be considered as a natural outcome as one of the probabilities. I am yet to come across a single person in my life who does not have a specific cause for his failure in life. No failures in individual events, of course.

Regarding Quantum Mechanics, one needs to study it intensly for at leat 4 years to speak about it. Article and books for mass consumption on this topic do very little to explain it. I have studied it for 10 years at a theoretical and experimental level and realize some of its intricacies. A lot of people including religious have gone nuts over it.

I think you are still confusing the outcome of a probabilistic even as luck simply because you cannot know for sure what will be the outcome as the dice rolls.

Anurag
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