Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

This was back when Michael Jackson was...wait that's not MJ!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Hooray for Snow!

On the off chance that some of our readers (this is for you Paul) are really excited for winter, I thought I'd share a little backcountry powder mayhem! There’s nothing better than skiing in powder so deep that you can’t breathe. Intensity in ten cities!

Tele 'til you're smelly.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Play the Candidate Match Game

USAToday has a great new game that’s a useful tool to help you figure out which presidential hopeful you line up with on a variety of political issues. It has way cool graphics and is pretty informative. It also has a great bar chart format that tells you what each candidate’s position is on each of the issues.

Some of the answer options are pretty limited or leading, but they make up for it by allowing you to weight each issue according to how important it is to you.

GO take the test, be objective, be honest, and don’t read any of the candidate positions before hand. Report back here if you’re not too embarrassed.

I had a strong mix of Democrats and Republicans, which is not to surprising considering I’m pretty much a libertarian (not the party the ideology – notice the lower case l).

I will report my results in the comments section. I hope you do as well.

p.s. Liz got all Democrats.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Mystery Solved

So. You all want to know why I don't answer my phone, well, here it is: BAD THINGS HAPPEN WHEN YOU ANSWER THE PHONE. The Smithfield phone rang tonight. We never answer the Smithfield phone. But for some reason, for the first time ever, Derek got up and answered the Smithfield phone. Guess who has to talk in church on Sunday.

Case closed.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Economics of Love

This is a fabulous exchange on the economics of love. I found it on Mungowitzend.

On Appreciating Assets, and Depreciating Ass(ets)

The premise:

Okay, I'm tired of beating around the bush. I'm a beautiful (spectacularly beautiful) 25 year old girl. I'm articulate and classy. I'm not from New York. I'm looking to get married to a guy who makes at least half a million a year. I know how that sounds, but keep in mind that a million a year is middle class in New York City, so I don't think I'm overreaching at all.

Are there any guys who make 500K or more on this board? Any wives? Could you send me some tips? I dated a business man who makes average around 200 - 250. But that's where I seem to hit a roadblock. 250,000 won't get me to central park west. I know a woman in my yoga class who was married to an investment banker and lives in Tribeca, and she's not as pretty as I am, nor is she a great genius. So what is she doing right? How do I get to her level?

The response:

Your offer, from the prospective of a guy like me, is plain and simple a cr@ppy business deal. Here's why. Cutting through all the B.S., what you suggest is a simple trade: you bring your looks to the party and I bring my money. Fine, simple. But here's the rub, your looks will fade and my money will likely continue into fact, it is very likely that my income increases but it is an absolute certainty that you won't be getting any more beautiful!

So, in economic terms you are a depreciating asset and I am an earning asset. Not only are you a depreciating asset, your depreciation accelerates! Let me explain, you're 25 now and will likely stay pretty hot for the next 5 years, but less so each year. Then the fade begins in earnest. By 35 stick a fork in you!

So in Wall Street terms, we would call you a trading position, not a buy and hold...hence the rub...marriage. It doesn't make good business sense to "buy you" (which is what you're asking) so I'd rather lease. In case you think I'm being cruel, I would say the following. If my money were to go away, so would you, so when your beauty fades I need an out. It's as simple as that. So a deal that makes sense is dating, not marriage.

Separately, I was taught early in my career about efficient markets. So, I wonder why a girl as "articulate, classy and spectacularly beautiful" as you has been unable to find your sugar daddy. I find it hard to believe that if you are as gorgeous as you say you are that the $500K hasn't found you, if not only for a tryout.

By the way, you could always find a way to make your own money and then we wouldn't need to have this difficult conversation. (ATSRTWT)

For many assets, it makes more sense to lease instead of purchase. For example, a beach house may cost millions. If you purchase you may have to deal with hurricanes, erosion, and increased development. If you rent the beach house you don't have to worry about those things and you still get to live like a king for 2 weeks out of the year. You can then put your money into an appreciating asset that will work for you.

The point is that you can separate the investment, and consumption, functions. As was stated in the original post, "In sexual relations, better to date the bimbo, and marry the smart person (I don't morally agree with that statement, but...)."

The gist of it: marry an appreciating asset, which is smarts (there are many virtues to marrying smarts, not the least of which is there is an advantage to having smart children). And if you can find someone smart AND pretty (and I have to say, Liz and I both got extremely lucky in this respect), so much the better. I love economics!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Happy Birthday Liz! From...

Neil couldn't make to your birthday, but he wanted to sing you this song as you come-of-age!