Thursday, April 26, 2012

A Home in the Colonias | The New York Times

A Home in the Colonias | The New York Times

This video is about 5 years old, but it shows some the living conditions where we will be working in South Texas.    The New York Times

Here is some more:
Border Communities: The Case of Colonias in Texas by Cecilia Giusti

"Education levels are very low there. In El Cenizo, one established colonia in Webb County, only 15 per cent of people older than 25 are high-school graduates, a lower figure than the 76 per cent in the state of Texas and 80 per cent in the US as a whole. The median age of El Cenizo residents is 18.5, much younger than 32 years for Texas.  
Low income levels. Income levels are very low in these settlements. About 60 per cent of the colonia population lives below the official poverty line. In El Cenizo about 68 per cent are under the poverty threshold, much higher than in Texas (15 per cent) and the United States (12 per cent).
Incremental construction patterns. Construction in small steps is common. Colonia residents often work on their homes as schedules and finances permit. Houses are constantly improved and, as families grow, they expand accordingly. During construction, families continue to live in the houses and the building pace is generally slow."

I will update this more in the near future.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Shrinking Universe

AM reading: Common Sense of Mutual Funds by John Bogle.  Here is a really cool insight:

Page 359: he is writing about the fact that given normal restrictions (not owning more than 2% of portfolio in any single asset and not owning more than 5% of shares of any individual company), the number of potential investments drops significantly.  For example, using 2009 data, a 1 Billion fund could invest in any of 1,927 firms.  However a $20 billion fund would only be able to choose from 251 firms. 
Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Why U.S. Companies Continue to Pay Dividends - Bloomberg

Why U.S. Companies Continue to Pay Dividends - Bloomberg:

Love it!  Virtually identical to our class discussions:

"It seems clear from our recent work that dividends are very resilient, and are unlikely to disappear. What explains this staying power?

First, some argue that dividends provide important “signals” about the strength or quality of the firm’s underlying earnings stream. (Because investors know that a significant dividend is a very strong commitment to paying out at least the current dividend amount on a continuing basis.)

Second, dividends help discipline managers’ tendency to squander their firms’ cash on wasteful or unproductive projects or acquisitions. This is particularly a problem in large, mature companies that generate sizable free cash flow.

Third, it could be that companies are catering to certain investors..."

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Wall Street Warriors

A look at what it can be like to work on Wall Street. (this episode focuses on "winners" in Hedge funds, commodities, and currency trading):

I am back

I realize I have been gone, but I was very busy nursing my mom in her battle against breast cancer. It pains beyond words that we lost the battle. I will try to get more articles up in the coming weeks. I also encourage you to "like" financeprofessor on facebook where I do share articles in a much faster manner.