The Russian Stock Market as an Emerging Market Play

Warren Buffet: “Be Fearful When Others Are Greedy and Greedy When Others Are Fearful”

One of the most fearful stock markets in the world now is probably the Russian stock market.  It’s hard hit by the recent plummeting oil prices and sanctions by the West for its Ukraine adventure.  Both its stocks and the prices of ruble are hitting new lows.  But then, make no mistake about it, the R in BRICS is still a resource rich country with its huge land masses and untapped potential.

So, the million-dollar question is: is it time to be greedy?  Would you grab hold onto a falling knife?  Why won’t a falling market continue to fall?  My approach is that yes, the market is uncertain, but, it’s already high on the value-play list; so, I joined in the fun and bought some.  If Russia goes up, I’ve some extra pocket money; if it tanks, which it might, it’s nothing major on my financial well being.

This web page here listed Russia’s Shiller P/E as 4.6.  The author even predicted its expected return to be 16.9%.  I think that is a pretty bold assertion, but then if Russia manages to fix its problems, why not?

United States Net Worth Ranking

I’ve created a US net worth ranking system.  It calculates the percentile net worth among the US adult population.

The data points are derived from the Credit Suisse Global Wealth 2016 report.  Basically, the cut-off data points for the top 5.5%, 7.4%, 36.8%, 43.1%, 50.0%, 65.4% are culled off from the report to generate the actual percentile.  The intermediate points, except those in the top 5.5%, are all derived via linear interpolations.  The calculation assumes that all have a non-negative net worth so some values above the top 65.4% might be out of tune.

For those who are technically savvy, this script is written entirely in Javascript.  As such, no net worth info is transmitted via the Internet.  All the processing is done locally on your machine.

To use it, just enter your net worth in USD and click the submit button.  A percentile figure will be shown below the text box.  If the figure is 10%, you’re at the richest 10% of the world adult population.

Compassion Meditation (aka Metta)

Compassion Meditation (aka Metta) Tutorial from 10% Happier by Dan Harris

At first blush, most rational people find the below off-putting in the extreme.  Trust me – or, better, trust the scientists – it works.

1. This practice involves picturing a series of people and sending them good vibes.  Start with yourself.  Generate as clear a mental image as possible.

2. Repeat the following phrases: May you be happy, May you be healthy, May you be safe, May you live with ease.  Do this slowly.  Let the sentiment land.  You are not forcing your well-wishes on anyone; you’re just offering them up, just as you would a cool drink.  Also, success is not measured by whether you generate any specific emotion.  As Sharon says, you don’t need to feel “a surge of sentimental love accompanied by chirping birds.”  The point is to try.  Every time you do, you are exercising your compassion muscle.  (By the way, if you don’t like the phrases above, you can make up your own.)

3. After you’ve sent the phrases to yourself, move on to: a benefactor (a teacher, mentor, relative), a close friend (can be a pet, too), a neutral person (someone you see often but don’t really ever notice), a difficult person, and, finally, “all beings.”

Walking Meditation

Walking Meditation Tutorial from 10% Happier by Dan Harris

1. Stake out a stretch of ground roughly ten yards long. (That’s somewhat arbitrary – whatever length you’ve got will work.)

2. Slowly pace back and forth, noting: lift, move, place with every stride.  Try your best to feel each component of every stride. (Don’t look at your feet, just look at a neutral point in the distance.)

3. Every time your mind wanders, gently bring it back.

4. There is a temptation to denigrate walking meditation as less serious or rigorous than seated meditation, but this is wrong.  Just because your legs are crossed doesn’t mean you’re meditating more effectively.  As a noted teacher once said, “I’ve seen chickens sitting on their eggs for days on end.”

C# Left / Right / Mid String Functions (as in Visual Basic.Net)

Visual Basic’s left, right, mid functions are nifty tricks that can be easily implemented in C#.

using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Linq;
using System.Text;

namespace ConsoleApplication1
{
    public class Test
    {
        public static String left(String input, int len)
        {
            return input.Substring(0, len);
        }

        public static String right(String input, int len)
        {
            return input.Substring(input.Length - len);
        }

        public static String mid(String input, int index, int len)
        {
            return input.Substring(index - 1, index + len - 1);
        }

        public static String mid(String input, int index)
        {
            return input.Substring(index - 1);
        }
    }

    class Program
    {
        static void Main(string[] args)
        {
            String str1 = "left string";
            Console.WriteLine("Test left str: " + str1);
            Console.WriteLine("Test left str: " + Test.left(str1, 4));

            String str2 = "right string";
            Console.WriteLine("Test right str: " + str2);
            Console.WriteLine("Test right str: " + Test.right(str2, 6));

            String str3 = "mid string";
            Console.WriteLine("Test mid str: " + str3);
            Console.WriteLine("Test mid str: " + Test.mid(str3, 2, 6));

            Console.WriteLine("Test mid str: " + str3);
            Console.WriteLine("Test mid str: " + Test.mid(str3, 5));
            Console.ReadKey();
        }
    }
}

Output:
Test left str: left string
Test left str: left
Test right str: right string
Test right str: string
Test mid str: mid string
Test mid str: id stri
Test mid str: mid string
Test mid str: string

Java Left / Right / Mid String Functions (as in Visual Basic.Net)

Visual Basic’s left, right, mid functions are nifty tricks that can be easily implemented in Java.

package test;

public class Test {
    public static String left(String input, int len) {
        return input.substring(0, len);
    }
    
    public static String right(String input, int len) {
        return input.substring(input.length() - len);
    }

    public static String mid(String input, int index, int len) {
        return input.substring(index - 1, index + len - 1);
    }

    public static String mid(String input, int index) {
        return input.substring(index - 1);
    }
    
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        String str1 = "left string";
        System.out.println("Test left str: " + str1);
        System.out.println("Test left str: " + left(str1, 4));    

        String str2 = "right string";
        System.out.println("Test right str: " + str2);
        System.out.println("Test right str: " + right(str2, 6));    

        String str3 = "mid string";
        System.out.println("Test mid str: " + str3);
        System.out.println("Test mid str: " + mid(str3, 2, 6));    

        System.out.println("Test mid str: " + str3);
        System.out.println("Test mid str: " + mid(str3, 5));
    }
}

Output:
Test left str: left string
Test left str: left
Test right str: right string
Test right str: string
Test mid str: mid string
Test mid str: id str
Test mid str: mid string
Test mid str: string