Archive for Tooting my own horn

Greener Money in Smart Energy Living

5/24/10 note: If you’re looking for GreenerMoney.com: I have no idea where it is. However, I have written a series of free articles intended for people interested in green investing. You can find it here: Green Investing for Beginners.

The new edition of Smart Energy Living Magazine is out, including the first of a regular series of columns called “Greener Money” by Yours Truly, discussing investing in clean energy.

The new editor (Rebecca Cantwell) has totally revamped this magazine about how to live energy efficiently. My column will be familiar to readers of my blogs, but you will likely learn something about other aspects of green living. You can sign up for a free copy here.

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Another Reason to Drive a Hybrid: Never Replace Your Brake Pads

I took my 2002 Prius in to the shop today to have the brakes looked at because they were squeaking when I back up. It has 78,000 miles on it, and I’ve never changed the brake pads: most of the braking is done by the electric motor during regenerate breaking , but after 78K miles, the squeaking made me think they’d finally been worn down enough to be replaced. The reason I only heard squeaking when I back up is because the electric motor does the breaking almost all the time (unless I’m stomping on it) under normal
driving conditions.

Wrong! The garage just called me and told me it by back pads were about 1/2 worn down, and the fronts looked like they’d been recently replaced, but not resurfaced. The surface was glazed, which is what was causing the squeaking.  Or maybe it was the rear pads.

At this rate, it looks like I’m <em>never</em> going to have to replace the brake pads on the front, while I might have to replace the rears once before I hit 200,000 miles. 

I’ll have them checked again in another 5 years, just to be safe. ;)

My Prius in front of a bank with Living roof (you can barely see the grass on the left.) Click through for better picture of the roof.

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Wealthtrack showtime moved

A heads-up for my Denver area readers… KDBI 12, the local PBS station has moved the Wealthtrack Episode on which I will appear to 2:30 AM Monday morning. If you have set your VCR, re-set it.

Sorry for the late notice!

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Investing In Cleantech 101: October 23, Denver CO

I am helping to organize a workshop on investing in Cleantech companies targeted at private equity investors, in conjunction with the Denver Chapter of the Keiretsu Forum.

Click here for information and registration information.

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CFA Level II Exam results: Two down, one to go

I passed the June 2007 Level II Chartered Financial Analyst Exam. As I said after I took it, this does not come as a surprise, but it’s nice not to have to wait any longer to find out. (it’s been 2 1/2 months since the exam… they like to take their time. )

So far, that makes me 2 for 2.

Pass rates for June 2007 were in line or slightly lower than recent years, although pass the pass rate for level 3 was at an all-time low.
40% for Level I
40% for Level II
50% for Level III

Links:
CFA Institure press release on pass rates
Pass rates since 1963 [pdf]

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Where I find my Alpha

This week and next I’m taking a break from my usual analysis of some aspect of renewable energy. I’ve been studying hard for the second Chartered Financial Analyst® exam, and it has gotten me thinking about my investment philosphy. Why, do I, as a lone investment manager feel that I can beat the market, which essentially means making better judgements about stocks than all the other extremely bright an well funded people looking at the same stocks?

My answer is that large money managers are constrained by who they are: They have a lot of money, so they cannot effectively invest in small, thinly traded securities, and I also think that many institutions have a quantitative bias: they tend to use matematical models for valuing stocks. But mathematics has blind spots, and numbers cannot describe every truth about the world, or about companies, so I think that there is more potential for an individual to spot mispriced securities where the big managers can’t look: being a big fish in a little pond, as it were.

Here is Part I on “Beating the Market.”

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Biodiesel vacation

What do Willie Nelson, An evangelical with poor grammar in Wichita, a sustainable-everything store in Austin, and a pump and drilling supply company in Golden CO have in common? Read the rest of this entry »

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