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Charles D. Ellis - Winning The Loser's Game

Winning The Loser’s Game by Charles D. Ellis

SUMMARY: Ellis suggests that you can’t beat the market so buy index funds.

Author describes how the institutions are the market. That they have all the best tools, and access to the companies. But since they are the market, it would be impossoble for them to beat themselves. He compares investing to tennis. That it is not so much about winning points but about not losing points. He says that index funds are a concensus of all the best investors.
I have seen stats that 75% of money managers don’t beat the market. That means that 25% of money managers do beat the markets. Warren Buffett has beaten the market. Peter Lynch beat the market. So it is possible to beat the market. Can I beat the market? Probably not. I am not Warren Buffet or Peter Lynch. Thus far my index funds have outdone my stock selections. It is an interesting book, but for the most part it is about his making a case to buy index funds.
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I rented a Budget Rent A Car back in August, and scratched up the corner of front bumper a little bit. I was covered in full by my insurance campnny (Allstate). I got a claim number before I ever even returned the car. I gave them my insurance info when I turned the car in. I thought I was all set. I did end up witha few calls to both Budget and Allstate describing the incident.
About a month ago I got a big fat package in the mail with blurry photos and estimates and a bill for $605.34. I called Allstate who told me this was called subjigation package or something like that. Maybe subligation? They told me it should have gone to them. I called Budget again, and again gave them my insurance info. Yesterday I got another letter from Budget saying they hadn’t recieved my payment, and attached a bill. I called Allstate and found a check had been cut on 1/26, and mailed on 1/27, though Budget hadn’t cashed it yet. I called Budget, and they said that it wasn’t a bill that I recieved, and that it was copy of what was sent to Allstate. Bulls**t! It was a bill, and didn’t mention Allstate on there at all. I am guessing Allstate doesn’t pay claims to rental car companies using Visa, Mastercard , American Express or Diner’s Club which are the payment options listed in the bill. Now I am going to wait to see if I get another more threatening letter from Budget Rent A Car threatening to turn me over to a collection agency.

In the 2005 tax year I managed to max out my Roth IRA and my wife’s Roth IRA for $4000 each. I also came within about $100 of maxing out my 401k at $14000. I would have gotten closer on the 401k if I could have but my contributions are in whole number percentages so I couldn’t contribute a fraction percentage that would have gotten me to $14000. I suppose I could have bumped up my percentage for the last payroll period and bumped it down again. I don’t want to go over the $14000 earlier than the last pay period or I will miss out on my company’s matching amount.
Over all I am pretty proud of myself. Now I can start maxing out our Roth IRA’s for 2006 tax year. I have already adjust adjusted my 401k contributions to take me up to the $15000 limit for $2006.

I was at Lowes during my lunch time to buy a couple 3-way switches, and a toggle dimmer switch. They rung up as a little over $4.00. I looked at it, told the guy that wasn’t right. The toggle dimmer switch alone cost close to $15.00. He checked, and sure enough he hadn’t rung it in. I also noticed that the price was too high for the two 3-way switches (they were $1.37 each). He checked and he had scanned one of the switches twice. So he rescanned the stuff. It turned out he was new and still learning. I could have easily not said anything but that would have been dishonest. But my integrity is worth more than $15.

Yet again I have missed a scheduled meeting because it was removed from my calendar. Apparently there is a bug in Outlook Calendar that if you delete the email without confirming the meeting, it deletes the meeting as well. How stupid is that? I just want to clear the email out, not delete the frigging meeting!

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