Category Archives: Of Interest

I said a prayer for the Lakotas to be protected from environmental damage

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On December 14th, after watching several videos on youtube about the protests against the Dakota Pipline, I was very upset. Our government doesn’t seem to understand that you can’t just destroy the land around you and expect human civilization to survive in the long run. Environmental destruction is a slippery slope. It starts out little by little and then you destroy more and more until you have serious problems that creep up on you.

The immediate facts are that:
Native Americans protested the DAPL pipeline.
Native Americans claimed that all pipelines leak, and that it is just a matter of time.
Historical records show that pipelines leak frequently, but that major spills don’t necessarily happen often.
I saw people being abused by cruel police officers at protests with pepper spray, physical violence, arresting people who were not committing crimes, and other abuses.

So, I decided to say a prayer for ten minutes. I prayed that all of the native peoples of the Dakotas would be protected from evil of any sort — internal or external. The very next day there was a huge breakage in a different pipeline, also in North Dakota. That pipeline which was built in 1980 leaked 180,000 gallons into a small stream. Two days later, I saw that Native Americans were negotiating with the Army Corp of Engineers. They were actually being listened to in a positive way!

I don’t know if this major leak was a good thing that will raise consciousness or a bad thing. But, I believe that all pipelines must be taken down as they are too dangerous and destructive to the environment. I don’t know if my prayer caused things to happen or not, but what I saw was a dramatic change of events immediately after my prayer!

We need to end environmentally unsound practices otherwise this planet will not be safe for any of us to live in!

My guru told me to keep a photo of Facebook under my pillow

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I am a weird person. I pay my psychic big bucks to talk to the spirit of my departed guru and a few other sources of quality spiritual information. But, sometimes I ask my guru business questions. As you know, I am very interested in social media dn invest a lot of time into it. To do well on Facebook I use relevant and high quality photos for each post. I pick the most popular materials and promote them using Facebook’s paid promotion features. I do a lot to make sure my Facebook does well and we get between 3000 and 8000 clicks per month which is unheard of for a business as small as mine.

But, I do mystical things to promote my social media as well. I learned that hanging out at certain cafes, bars, jazz clubs, symphony hall, as well as Facebook headquarters does miracles for my social media. I can multiply my clicks by up to four fold simply by spending time at Facebook headquarters in Menlo park for a few hours.

The problem is that security won’t let me in, or should I say, hasn’t let me in yet. I talked the problem over with my psychic and guru. The suggestion was to put a photo of Facebook headquarters under my pillow. I am not good at photography, but found a great photo online. So, maybe I can get that printed out and nail it to my wall, and put another one under my pillow. I wonder what the results will be. I guess I’ll find out soon.

The moral of the story is that the photo of Facebook headquarters contains the AURA of the place which carries a certain energetic charge that might be helpful. Let’s hope for the best here. In the mean time I’m keeping a photo of Facebook on my computer screen that is visible while I’m working. I have a very wide screen. Maybe that will help. We’ll find out in a day or two. What a great feng-shui experiment!

2017 Review of Ananda Church of Self Realization

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My experience with Ananda — a hostile outcasting
It all started in 2010 when I asked, “May I have permission to mediate?” and I was told, “Why would we not grant you such permission?” I told them of an experience where I was sitting silently in a zen meditation hall and thrown out for no reason by three girls I had never met before. The felt they couldn’t practice their standing meditation if I was quietly sitting there. I had no idea this would happen at this seemingly harmless venue.

I have never been a member of the Ananda Church of Self Realization. However, starting in 2010 I became a regular visitor to their Nevada City, CA retreat center. My permission to meditate and visit on their premises was revoked in a very hostile “unspiritual” and unbrotherly way on January 18th, 2017 by Krishna-das who is a very devoted volunteer at the front desk and long-term member of their community of 800 people who live on an 800 acre piece of land in the mountains of Nevada County.

Krishna-das informed me that his dismissal of me was not on his own initiative, but because the others in charge insisted upon it because they are fearful of strangers on their property as they have had many robberies, etc. Additionally, he did not like it when I complained of people harrassing me on his property. Krishna-das feels that his guests have the right to harrass me all they like and I should just tolerate. I feel that I should have the right to complain about harrassment and that they should either knock it off or tolerate my complaining and my talking back to the harrassers? Who should be tolerant then? Me, them, both, or neither? Basically I am required to tolerate endless headaches, but they do not feel they should tolerate my mere presense. It just doesn’t sound very “spiritual.”

Ananda Village used to be deeply spiritual for decades, but since their guru’s death in 2013 it has devolved into a venue where management makes money from people on retreats while stifling those who want to engage in spiritual practice.

What Ananda Village meant spiritually to me
The commentary below is based partly on my ability to see and sense spiritual entities and my experience with particular spirits of deceased gurus. The Ananda village retreat center or spiritual center is a very spiritually charged venue. The Master or Guru Kriyananda was of the highest of spiritual calibre and impregnated the land with a deeply spiritual vibration with the help of many of his sincere devotees and the spirits of the other deceased gurus in his lineage. During my visits to this location, I felt the presence of various spirits of the deceased gurus channel divine grace to me. The visits were mainly from Lahiri during the earlier years and then after Kriyananda died, I received visits from his spirit where he would sit next to me in spirit form and channel to me during my meditations in their shrine which I am very appreciative of. It is because of this intimate care that I was willing to drive eight hours and pay expensive hotel bills to visit Ananda Village and NOT due to the hospitality of the living humans who ran the place.

The basis for my conflict with Ananda Village management
Although I visit several times a year for several days at a time, and have done so for seven years (which totals about 100 days on the property in total) I was seen as a stranger, unwelcomed guest, or even a threat despite the fact that I have had permission to be there and meditate. The people who didn’t want me there included the yoga instructor, the manager, and guests who are new and walk around like they own the place. Management instructed guests to harrass those they didn’t recognize and ask, “May I help you?” The phase, “May I help you” is sometimes used as a sincere way to approach someone who is clearly lost and clearly needs help. However, I knew the place better than these help offerers did, and knew my way around. I was harrassed on my way to the water fountain, on my way to the bathrooom and on my way to meditation. It is hard to keep a composed state of mind when so many people around you say, “May I help you” when they really mean, “You seem like an unknown and therefor potentially threatening person to me — and therefore, it is my business to know what you are doing here.” I had to explain that I had permission to meditate there and that I did not like being constantly badgered. I also turned the tables on these busy-bodies and explained, “No, I don’t need help, but do you need help? You look like you need help?” My objection to being routinely harrassed, and the management’s objection to having strangers around led to my permission to meditate being revoked. The guests were so paranoid of strangers that my quiet and innocuous presence was more than they could handle.

Robberies at Ananda
Later on, it was explained to me that there were many robberies in the area. A contractor was robbed. The showerhouse was used by local vagrants, and other items had been stolen in the village. Management’s solution to the problem was to train people to go around and say, “May I help you” to those who were unfamiliar. I feel this practice is harrassment and extremely upsetting. It is also insincere. If you want to appoint a few people with security capacities and have them verify people’s identity to make sure they are welcomed there — that is called being professional. To go around bugging people who just want to meditate is extremely annoying, and led me to be unfriendly and mistrustful. Additionally, the occurange of robberies is a symptom of an underlying poor spiritual health. Those with bad karma tend to get robbed frequently. Those with bad karma who don’t lock their doors get robbed even more. I found out my rear door had been left unlocked for a month while I parked with my expensive laptop in the back in San Francisco, Los Angeles and other dangerous areas. However, I was not robbed. Does that mean I have good karma or am I just plain lucky?

An atmosphere of mistrust
I later found out that my mistrust of others on that venue was based on me picking up the vibes of the others who were there. This happened subconsciously. Ananda village used to be a place of joy (incidentally, Ananda is Hindi for Joy). The people I saw there before the Guru’s death in April 2013 were spiritual, happy, friendly, and wonderful. Immediately after Kriyananda died, the atmosphere changed. There were more robberies, more fear, more paranoia, more hostility, more harrassment, etc. It is highly likely that drug use (mostly marijuana) on the part of management and guests contributes to their sense of paranoia as that is a common side effect of long term marijuana use. It seems that the vibration of the guru positively affected the group and that the minute he died, the group had no more positive source of positivity except for sources that could be inhaled.

How Ananda went downhill – empty meditation halls
There used to be group meditation several times a week. Now, I never see a group meditating. There used to be more individuals meditating. Now, I see an average of one person per day in Lahiri Shrine and only Yoga lessons going on in the larger mediation hall. There used to be very fascinating spiritual talks on a regular basis. As of 2016 and 2017, I see only Yoga lessons going on and nothing of any spiritual merit. People used to be more friendly, now there is more hatred.

Kriyanandas mission was spiritual, but the current management is only about money
I call their venue an ashram. Ashram is a Hindi word that basically means a place where people go to meditate which might be something of a monastery. My understanding of the intrinsic purpose of an ashram is to promote the practice of spirituality. Swami Kriyananda’s guru was Yogananda. Yogananda came from India to live in the United States for the sole purpose of spreading spirituality in the West. Kriyananda (born James Donald Walters) is unique as he was the only American to ever become a spiritual guru of the highest calibre. Kriyananda got many Americans who knew nothing of spirituality to meditate and understand deeper spiritual concepts. Even after his physical death, his spirit continues to be a huge benefit to select individuals who meditate by channeling divine grace. What Kriyananda and Yogananda are trying to do (spreading spirituality in the West) is exactly what Ananda Village in its current management is trying to stifle. Ananda Village wants to get rid of people who want to mediate and keep only those who pay them money for retreat programs.

The yoga class from hell
During my visits to Ananda village from 2010 to 2013 I saw many interesting classes, lectures, and talks going on. I walked into a few and was fascinated. People were discussing the yugas, past lives, gurus, handling loss in our lives in a spiritual way, and more. I felt that those at Ananda Village were kind and welcoming at that time. I foolishly stumbled into a yoga class. I was curious because I saw photos of the yoga teacher all over the property. He informed me that these people were paying big bucks to be there and that I would have to leave. I complied immediately and said I was sorry. An hour later, the manager Timothy disrupted my meditation to give me a thirty minute lecture about how people are paying a lot of money for yoga here and that I cannot walk into a yoga class. I said, no problem, but you don’t need to disturb my meditation to tell me this. I was told not to do it once, how many more times do you need to say this.

Ananda Village allows misuse of the property for financial gain
The point here is that Ananda Village is using the property to make money teaching yoga and having retreats. The manager Timothy has no knowledge about the spiritual process nor does he meditate. It is also likely (although I have no proof) that many residents there engage in the use of marijuana as that is common in the area and I can tell by how people behave that they are on drugs. My guru from Sri Ram Chandra Mission claims that it is not proper dharma for a spiritual institution to make any money from the sale of services and that all income must be from donations. I did not understand the rule twenty years ago when it was taught to me. However, now I realize that the sale of services can lead a spiritual group to give up spiritual practices alltogether in order to engage purely in money making endeavors. It seems that the staff at Ananda are middle-class people who are glorified squatters. They do a few hours of volunteer work in exchange for the right to live and eat for free in an idyllic setting. Whether this group is a cult or not is subject to a debate that I cannot join as I don’t know them well enough to comment. But, there is a control structure where the top of the totempole can do corrupt and unethical things like (like outcasting quite people who meditate like me.) Additionally, the yoga teacher is getting free rent for a yoga studio which would cost him at least $7000 per month if he were in an urban area. The staff are taking advantage of the fact that nobody with any integrity is in charge and using the venue for their own purely selfish purposes.

My solution for Ananda Village
The current management at Ananda Village operates under the guise of spirituality while in reality, they don’t meditate much, if at all, and don’t value the spiritual process at all as an entity (since their guru died — it used to be the opposite until April 2013.) The management needs to be completely replaced.

1. The new management should be comprised of people who maintain a daily spiritual practice and exist to help others develop a spiritual practice and learn about spirituality from classes, talks, books, etc. I do not object to Buddhist monks from Burma or Thailand, etc., providing they speak decent English and understand the ideology of Kriya Yoga and Raja Yoga which is similar but not the same as Buddhist ideology.

2. Hatha yoga should NOT be taught at all, especially not for money at the venue.Having Hatha yoga or any activity that is not purely spiritual detracts from the vibration of the place.

3. Hatha yoga must NOT be practiced in the meditation halls ever. Doing any activity other than meditation in a meditation hall or even NEAR a meditation hall can erode the spiritual sanctity and vibration of the place. This is exactly what happened in the big meditation hall near the dining area which is a disaster. I won’t even meditate in that room as the vibration is so mundane.

4. Construction of new and small meditation halls the same size or slightly larger than the Lahiri Shrine should be built around the pond as that is a quiet and tranquil area with a deep spiritual vibration.

5. There should be regular satsangh (group meditation) every morning and evening at set times. My guru says the most auspicious time to meditate is at dawn and dusk. But, I’ll settle for twice a day.

6. There should be regular spiritual classes for those at different levels. Beginners should have introductary classes while advanced people should not be bored with content that is below their level as they would by definition seek the opportunity to develop a wider and deeper knowledge of spiritual concepts.

7. An outreach program should be established to attract locals to come and learn to meditate. Ananda Village only seeks those from other states to come on expensive retreats. I am asking for them to abandon this and turn their retreat center into an ashram for those near and far to come and enjoy the unique spiritual vibration that I used to drive eight hours to benefit from. There is no place as blessed as this land and no management as horrible as the current one who in my opinion has hijacked the property from its rightful custodian who unfortunately is dead. Hopefully, a rightious person will avail who can take over this “has been” of a spiritual group and turn it around.

Related and helpful links

Wikipedia’s page on James Donald Walters AKA Swami Kriyananda

Wikipedia’s page on Yogananda

Self-Realization Fellowship (created by Yogananda where Kriyananda started out and was outcasted from.)

Ananda Church of Self-Realization

Cult news accuses the Ananda Church of Realization

How to protect sensitive data when outsourcing.

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How to Protect Sensitive Data When Outsourcing

Outsourcing becomes a viable option if a company is to remain competitive, retain its profits and keep its dynamism. It allows a business to subcontract parts of its services or offerings to specialized professionals. Outsourcing offers many benefits to include: cost-cutting leading to money savings, increased efficiency and even reduction in labor costs.

But, outsourcing has its drawbacks, too not least of which is sensitive data that might be compromised when you decide to subcontract parts of your company’s functions outside of your organization. In fact, IBM estimates that a data breach can actually cost an American company $3.5 m. Protecting data that is available to workers when outsourcing is a great challenge that many owners and managers seriously have to think about.

Protect Data Internally
Before even subcontracting work, it is imperative to take a closer look at your own data protection and security. Investigate possible loopholes and address these concerns accordingly. Data should be grouped as general or that which can be shared among workers and sensitive or restricted, accessible only to people with credentials and privileges. There should be security software in place that can monitor how data is accessed to avoid identity theft and information leakages. Log records can also be generated periodically to ensure that only authorized persons access classified data.

Scout for an Outsourcing Vendor
Once this is sorted and a solid data protection is in place, it is time to look for an outsourcing vendor. You can do this by formulating a terms of reference outlining objectives, expected output, expertise needed, budget and monitoring instruments.

Check Candidates
As soon as you receive proposals for the work you intend to outsource, pay special attention to how bidders or applicants propose to handle data protection. You might want to include an NDA clause. It is also possible to second your own employee to work with your subcontractor to ensure that data privileges are not abused. He/she will serve as a counterbalance mechanism.

If a vendor has its pool of employees, it is highly recommended to grant data access privileges to 1-2 persons only. Check if the provider has technology or software in place that handles the flow and process of data. Things like having a dedicated server, IPs and LANs are helpful in data protection. Other additional controls include video control systems for employees, security badges and limited access to data rooms.

If handled properly, outsourcing can provide real benefits to the company without risking sensitive data that will be detrimental to the health of the business. After all, an outsourcing provider is there to sustain their business and by ensuring data protection, their reputation as reliable and trustworthy vendors can only benefit their enterprise making it a win-win situation for both parties.

Having a robot boss would eliminate biases (and a whole lot more!)

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I recently read on Harvard Business Review that robots are now becoming managers. All I can say, is that I hope they get paid well. After work, the robots hang out at a bar that specializes in “oil tasting.” No, not olive oil either. Just kidding about the oil tasting. The robots only use a highly refined type of synthetic “designer oil.”

Robot managers are better than humans in various ways.
1. You can’t have a personality conflict with a robot, unless you program it to have a difficult personality (which would be interesting.)
2. Robots can analyze large amounts of data to come up with good decisions that would be too vast for a human to compile.
3. Robots don’t mind working overtime just as long as they get their union mandated 15 minute oil break.
4. Robots don’t quit their job or have maternity leave so long as you hire a guy robot with a solid work ethic (and solid circuits.)
5. Robots don’t make intuitive decisions based on biases. Decision making would be more fair.
6. Many human managers are mediocre and fail to inspire their workers which leads to disengaged workers.

In my opinion, disengaged workers are the biggest problem that management has to deal with. The biggest part of the problem is that workers don’t feel appreciated or part of the team. Personality clashes or lack of compatibility are part of that. Having a robot doesn’t seem to solve this problem as a robot cannot stimulate that joy of working on a team with other humans.

I personally feel that robots should be used to assist managers at managing, but should not replace them completely. With more robot managers to help out, you might need less human managers. But, the main theme that I have seen in management is the ability to choose the right people, train them and bring out their best. A lot of bringing out someone’s best has to do with how often and how well you interact with them. A robot cannot interact with a human in a meaningful way unless you can program a personality into it (which might be a reality sooner than you think.)

It seems clear that a robot manager could decide purely based on numbers what to do, when to do it, and the most efficient way to do it. But, human concerns require a more intuitive touch that a robot would only be able to handle the numerical side of. So, yes, let’s use robots, but use them in proportion and use them the right way!

By the way, this blog entry was not written by a robot!

Should Native Americans lead the solar energy industry?

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I am seeing so much news about the protests at Standing Rock these days. It seems that modern society has an endless thirst for fossil fuels, but has no understanding about the permanent damage we are doing to our planet. The Native Americans in the Dakotas do understand the damage and that is why they are protesting. But, to end our dependence on fossil fuels, there need to be affordable alternatives. Solar and wind are easy alternatives that could become a lot more widespread if people would spread them.

Since Native Americans have a philosophy of loving the earth and animals, it seems only reasonable that they dominate the solar energy field. They would believe in it the most strongly, and also serve as a good example to others. If the world seems people using solar energy and wind power in America, the rest of the world will gradually follow, even if it is more expensive.

If solar becomes mainstream, there will be more research into more efficient ways of building solar infrastructure and the price of the solar equipment will go down making it affordable. Another factor to consider is that solar energy is much more cost effective if the energy is used when and where it is produced.

Solar energy is much more easily produced in the American Southwest where it is sunny 95% of the time. However, the Germans have been successfully using solar energy for 30% of their winter energy needs when it is snowing, raining, or cloudy. If Germans can use solar in the winter, then anyone can use it successfully.

The other thing to remember is that there is terrible unemployment in Native American parts of the country. Having a solar industry where they live would give much needed jobs. So far the only successful industries in native areas have been casinos and jewelry. It would be nice to see people making money at doing something wholesome like alternative energy instead of gambling which is detremental to the human race.

What types of stocks should you be buying?

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I always warn my friends not to trust funds. When you buy shares of a fund, you don’t know what you are getting. There are too many stocks to get to know any of them. To me it is safer only to have six to eight stocks and know their behavior well. Some stocks crash in a recession while others hold steady like Coca-Cola. If you have a fund with 500 stocks, you might be fooled into thinking you are “safe.” But, when the market crashes and you lose 80% of value, I’ll be holding on to KO (coca-cola) stock which only loses around 25% in a bad crash. Coke holds its value when the market fizzles.

My basic ideas for investing include the concept that whatever you buy should hold its value during the worst of times including war, famine, drought, depression, unstable interest rates, etc. I like stocks that stay steady during a stock market crash. I also like stocks that deal with very basic products that people will always need. Here are some of my basic categories for investing.

Food & Water
Coca-Cola and Pepsi are the two best conglomorates for food and bottled water. In a bad water shortage or war, these two companies will survive well while others will perish. They also do well in stock market crashes.

Basic Products
Proctor & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson and other companies that deal with basic grocery store or drug store products seem pretty stable to me.

Basic Technology & War Technology
IBM, LMT (Lockheed Martin) and RTN (Raytheon) are companies that sell technology or weapons that the government needs in peace or war, but especially in war. You have to plan for war, especially these days when there will be wars and rumors of wars.

Banks sometimes have very low price/earnings ratios which is wonderful, especially if they offer good dividends. The danger is that banks can lose their value in a bad crash while the stocks that sell commodities basic to survival stay steady. Banking stocks also can fluctuate with interest rates which is a great way to make a quick profit if you play the market correctly.

Oil & Transportation
The problem with oil and transportation stocks is that in a crash, people use less oil and have less products to transport. Oil and railroad stocks can make you a nice profit, but owning too much can be a danger when the economy slows down.

Airlines & Auto
These two are very unstable, but have very low P/E ratios. Warren Buffet bought some Delta Airlines a few months ago and has gotten a 37% appreciation in such a short time. Warren pays attention to hundreds of stocks and is always ready to buy when he sees a bargain.

I put most of my money into the top four categories and put less into medical, innovative technology and other types of stocks as they are too unpredictable. I love the prospect of having a gain, but not if it involves too much risk. I put less than 10% of my money into volatile stocks as a safety precaution. But, with stable stocks, you can make good money if you profit from the small ups and downs in the market. If you can make a 4-8% profit on stocks with a short turnaround of a few days, weeks or months, that is a way to make a very nice profit at the end of the year if you play your cards right.

At the current time of December, 2016, I am selling, or have sold most of my bank stocks and bought more food oriented stocks as they went down in price and have become more affordable. The bank stocks went up as the public thinks that Trump being in office will enhance banks ability to make money. The public might just be right!

Value Investing — how much cash to keep around

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For the last few years I have been trying to master the art of value based stock investing. I tried Warren Buffet type stocks, but had limited success. I decided that what you buy is as important as when you sell. I purchased CBI too late. Warren had already sold his shares, but I didn’t even realize it because I have no way to get news of what Warren Buffet owns until after the fact. The stock crashed, and I had to hold on to it for along time with hopes that it would come back up — and it just did.

My main stock strategy consists of assessing values of solid companies and having a mix of banks, food, and tech companies. I do not buy much outside of these sectors. I’m paranoid of a horrible depression where the only companies to survive are the ones that deal in food and bottled water such as Coca-Cola and Pepsi. When one stock goes up and another goes down, I sell a little of the one that went up and buy a little of the one that went down. To implement this strategy successfully you need to like a stock enough to keep buying it when it goes down. That means you don’t lose faith in it. Only really solid companies qualify for this type of investing such as Coca-Cola, IBM, Wells Fargo, etc.

But, what I realized was that I didn’t keep any cash on hand. If some stock went down all of a sudden and I needed to buy it, I had to sell something else at a possibly inopportune moment to get the cash together. I’ve recently decided to try to keep a certain percentage of my assets in my investment account in cash, so that I’m ready to jump on an unexpected opportunity. I keep my eye on the stocks I’m ready to buy. But, instead of buying what I like. I decide upon a threshold price to buy a particular amount. If I have cash on hand, I can put in a buy order for an amount slightly lower than what its trading for and get a really good price.

There might be five stocks I’m interested in trading slightly above the assigned value that I gave them. I might put in a buy order to the particular stock that is closest to the desired price. And then a few days or weeks later, perhaps another stock might be closer. By using this strategy of using assigned values and buy orders I can get a buying price roughly two or three percent lower, as well as a slightly higher selling price using selling orders.

Some people trade stocks with the desire to make a killing. I just am happy to get a good dividend and make between 4-12% on a fast trade. I might buy and sell in a few days, weeks or months and make this percent only to turn around and get another undervalued stock and try to do the same thing. The strategy so far is effective. The only problem is me — I’m not an expert investor. But, I’m sharpening my instincts daily and watching the market every morning tracking forty of my favorite stocks.

Warren Buffet’s stock algorithm cracked?

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I am not a very seasoned investor and I don’t know Warren Buffet’s entire stock algorithm. But, I have a good idea about parts of it.

Yes, Warren Buffet likes a company that has been around for a very long time that will not go out of business. Yes, he looks for good margins of operation and return on equity. He looks for companies with a “moat” where competitors cannot just run them out of business. But, there are things about Warren Buffet’s stock buying practices that you might not be able to guess just by crunching numbers. He looks for P/E ratios, but also low P/B ratios as that is statistically the best indication for the greatest increase in stock price in the long run.

Warren Buffet likes conglomorates that buy up smaller companies as he finds them steady and a good business model for the future. In the tech world, IBM seems to be the best conglomorate as they are huge and buy up smaller companies. Google and Facebook are in the process of becoming conglomorates too, but they lack the same stability as IBM who made it through the great depression which is a huge achievement for a company. I’m not sure if companies who made it through the last depression will make it through the next one — but, in my opinion, they are a better bet than new companies.

Good Vibes
What? Is Warren Buffet a hippy now? If you read about Warren Buffet, you’ll know that his sidekick Charlie Munger used to go around to companies and walk around and talk to people. He could tell very quickly if people were happy at the company, and if they looked like they were working efficiently. My stock algorithm never predicted what Warren would buy until I started meditating on companies. What does this mean? I regularly meditate to get an idea of the mental state of the management and workers at a particular company. Some companies are more aggressive, while some have stress, happy people, anger, or other emotions. If I am going to invest lots of money in a company, I want to see happy and productive workers in my vision. Warren’s picks for companies don’t always measure up with numbers (although they don’t do poorly either,) but they do quite well when I meditate on them. WFC, KO, IBM, AXP, PSX and KHC all did splendidly in my meditation and I bought stock in each company as well as others.

I have been testing my psychic skills in the market. My accuracy rate was about 65% which is not bad. Anything above 50% is super. But, sometimes the cmpanies with the good vibes are not the ones that you will make money on. Sometimes it is companies that took a temporary dip in value that are going to bounce back and make you a quick 10% that are the ones to invest in. I meditated to see which companies I thought would do the best in the next four years. Warren Buffet’s picks yet again did quite well in my meditations, particularly IBM, KO and a few others. I also thought that Starbucks and Facebook (companies Warren doesn’t touch) will also do well in the next few years. Not to sound funny, but I take pleasure in owning SBUX and FB — it makes me happy! I’m convinced that Warren is very psychic and has an excellent sense of human nature. It seems clear that Warren knows long ahead of time which stock will not only go up, but go up a lot. I truly believe he is a 21st century oracle, and understanding what makes him tick could unleash the secret to your success!

Are the British the most sensitive to quality in outsourcing?

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Is the UK the most sensitive to quality in outsourcing? It would appear so. I just did some analysis on my stats for my outsourcing directory. I do a cleanup of my outsourcing directory every several months. The cleanup involves removing companies that are out of business, fixing expired phone numbers and replacing them with current numbers, demoting companies with bad phone habits to the bottom of the list, and more. The result of my work is having the top ten or so companies on my list being top notch which makes life easier for those searching for great outsourcing companies.

The question is, how does my work affect my web stats? I took readings for click averages from many companies at various times of the year. I took readings before I did cleanups and after. Countries like the UAE and Saudi Arabia clicked more when there were more total listings while the UK drastically preferred to use my directory immediately after I did my cleanup. In fact, the click rate from the UK went steadily down month by month after I did my cleanup. The minute after I did another cleanup after roughly 100 days, the clicks went back up again! Blimey!

So, it seems that the Brits are the most sensitive to quality of any nation while those in the Middle East and India often prefer quantity. Is it possible to please everyone?

Do you handle money well?

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A friend tried to introduce me to a woman. But, I learned that the woman wanted to control all of the money. I like to control money because I trust myself and feel I am reasonable at it as well. Also, I feel it is the man’s job to control the money, not the woman’s, but try explaining that to Chinese women who want to control everything!

If you marry a woman, you need to be on the same page about money. And if you run a business, you need to be sensible about handling money as well. Here are my pointers.

1. Don’t acquire debt.
Having debt is bad. Debt requires you to make monthly interest payments which can really zap your resources. Additionally, debt can become runaway debt which is very dangerous. Borrowing money for interest is forbidden in many religions and exactly for this reason as it can cause economic slavery. If you buy a building for your business, in that situation, you might need to borrow. But, try not to borrow a large percentage of the proceeds. Try to have a large portion of the equity to keep yourself stable.

2. Spend in moderation
Some people spend all of their money on nice cars, clothes, frivolities. I am not like this. have fun, travel, and maintain my health and comfort with acupuncture, massage and eating out, etc. However, I save money every month. I keep money in the bank, stocks, bonds, gold, etc. This is a great way to be stable in any economy. If business gets bad, I have money to fall back on for a very long time

3. Have liquid assets.
Every month, I save a little bit and add it to my nest egg. I keep a lot of money liquid instead of putting it all in a house because you never know when you need to take your money out. It makes more sense to buy a house after you have a few hundred thousand in liquid assets. But, others rarely manage their finances this way and they pay for it in the long run. If you lose your job, you still need to make house payments which is hard if you have no savings. So, have lots of liquid assets and be financially stable.
4. Diversify your savings
My recommendations for diversification includes buying: Stable stocks, gold, having cash, safe bonds, etc. Stocks should be in four or more industries, but I don’t think it is necessary to have stock in all fifteen industries othewise you’ll focus too much on the industry and not enough on which stocks actually make sense to buy.

5. Safe diversification vs. risky diversification
Stock “experts” always want investors to diversify a little too much. It is good to have money in different industries, but there are other points to consider. If you are in 20 different industries in stocks that are all volatile, during the next crash you will lose everything. Some people like buying indexes as it is “safer,” but if your entire index crashes by 80% in the next depression, how safe are you really despite what all your upper middle class educated friends might claim? They are not financial experts despite their PhD. If they were financial experts, they would not be upper middle class, they would be wealthy and hanging around the country club instead of talking to you!

I put my investments in Banking, Food & Beverages, and general Medical manufacturing like Johnson & Johnson. These are stable industries that we always need. I consider the auto industry, transportation, and airlines to be very risky. But, just because you invest in banks doesn’t make you safe. Some banks like Wells Fargo are stable and have a good growth rate while Citibank might fold in the next decade or two.

6. Know your stock metrics
If you invest in stocks, there are several metrics you need to understand to take the guesswork out of the stocks.

Growth: How fast has the industry grown in the last 30 years?

Stability: How stable is your industry in a recession?

Profit margin & return on investment tell you how efficient the management is compared to other companies in the same industry.
P/E ratio is the most important metric as that tells you how much income you get for each dollar invested.

P/B: However, P/B ratio tells you how much the assets of the company are worth compared to the price of the stock which is a good metric as an indication of future growth potential according to the experts.

Equity: I also look at equity ratios as I consider companies that are too high in debt to be risky.

Earnings Stability: Last, companies that have irratic earnings don’t see safe. I look for companies whose income is stable and grows slowly over time.

7. Bonds should be safe
If you are an expert in junk bonds, good for you. But, for the rest of us, we need to be able to bank on our money. Safe bonds might include bonds for nations that are not too high in debt like Chile or Peru. Companies like Disney, Coca Cola, Wells Fargo, etc., are very stable and offer high rates on long term bonds. Wherever you invest, check the credit rating of the company or country. Also, get a few different bonds from different sources just in case one goes belly up.

8. Invest in your business
I believe in investing little by little in my business. I do not make sudden investments. I invest in good writers and pay them by the piece. I invest in programming little by little. I also buy a new computer from time to time. Advertising is a constant expense. When you invest little by little, you can get a better sense of what the investment is getting you rather than betting your life on something that might never happen. if you want to start a huge BPO, instead of investing in a huge office, learn the business from the ground up. Start in your living room and work your way up slowly. That is financially stable. You can get wiped out and lose your life savings if you try to grow too fast!

Regions & countries with stagnant populations have stagnant economies.

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In the United States for example, the states that experience the most immigration have the best economies. States like California, Connecticut, New York, etc. have booming economies. States like Mississippi that have had the same people for the last few hundred years tend to have slower economies. There is a correlation between population movement and wealth. Part of the correlation is that wealth attracts new populations from other regions. The other part of the equation is that people who move tend to be more highly motivated and hence will work harder in most cases than local born people.

In California for example, the first generation Mexicans here will work under the worst conditions for minimal pay in the fields, kitchens, or painting houses for example. Their children are hard workers as well, but prefer cleaner work conditions. People in America who are fourth generation have a work ethic, but are more picky about what they do. But, in sluggish states where people have been in the same region for ten or more generations, sluggishness (and hospitality) seems to be a way of life for many.

Europe’s population seems to be stagnating as well. New ways of doing business are not always embraced. The language differences make international trade more complicated. And last, the national divide and the countries going in and out of unions also make Europe a tough place to get things done. In North America, you can get products from Mexico to Canada in hours by truck. The manufacturing and distribution is very efficient and companies are always using new techniques. We embrace new foods, new cultures and new ways of doing things in America while Europe seems to be stuck in tradition.

The immigrants in Europe offer a hope to boost the decaying population whose growth is negative. But, Europe doesn’t know how to handle immigration. They don’t embrace differences, they don’t accept others, foreigners live in ghettos, and it is harder to find work. If you accept immigrants without assimilating them it creates a polarized society.

The other problem with Europe is that they don’t pick their immigrants well. If you pick hardworking decent people from the Middle East and integrate them into society, you will end up with prosperity. Europe is not intelligent enough to be able to figure this out. Instead, they let in ruffians, terrorists and bums and wonder why their girls are getting raped, and why attacks are happening all over France and other areas. Europe picked the wrong people, segregated them, and then suffered the consequences. Do you think Europe will figure out that they need to pick the right people and be a little more accepting of them?