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Monday, December 29, 2014

I Understand Mass Media

The truth is, I surely don't understand mass media.
For example, in all the years since I've been publishing this blog, the only post that generated hate mail- and also the highest number of page views -was my post "Myth- Studded Snow Tires Are the Safest".  Based on personal experience as well as lots of research, my opinion hasn't changed.  The preponderance of the evidence tells me the safest Winter tire for Oregon weather is the studless tire, such as Blizzak or Ice-x.   I drove up to Timberline lodge on fresh unsanded black ice with a Subaru & Blizzaks.  It was like driving on dry pavement.  I was actually disappointed at the lack of Winter driving skill required.  I have no idea why this post would generate the most interest and vitriol.

The next most frequently read posts involved Wall Street "guru" Ken Fisher, most notably "Ken Fisher Part II, Debunking 'Debunkery'"  a critique of his massive tome by that name.  I suspect most of the readers work for- or are considering working for -Fisher Investments.  The upshot is that the book is a dangerous blend of truth and falsehood (and I'm not saying the former is accidental nor that the latter is intentional).

Fisher's most glaring error is his claim that the subaccounts in Variable Annuities are only as sound as the financial strength of the annuity company.  Not true.  That's why those accounts are called "subaccounts" or "separate accounts".  This is not the only case of conflation of expensive, risky variable annuities with other safer varieties.

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