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Comment: Re:Nonsense (Score 1) 237

by bluefoxlucid (#46781433) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: System Administrator Vs Change Advisory Board

There should be proper operational management and risk management at every level. If you're elevating everything to the same people in full, uh. Yeah, that's broken.

Patching is an operations issue. If the patch process ever changes--if you find a patch that breaks your stuff and you need to take an unprecidented action--that's some kind of project. Decisions are made. Usually it's a very minor project that ends in a decision to exercise a known process (upgrade, contact vendor for fix, etc.), and doesn't require spinning up a whole waterfall methodology and going through all these motions of scheduling and such. Part of project management is knowing when to be more or less formal.

Comment: Re:Nonsense (Score 1) 237

by bluefoxlucid (#46781391) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: System Administrator Vs Change Advisory Board

Any remotely well organised IT department will have processes for handling both emergency deployments and retrospective approval. I'm not going to be cheerleader for the concept of CAB but if you're going to make a case against it then at least make a reasonable one because hiding behind obvious nonsense like this will just make you look stupid and change averse to your employer.

At least someone gets it.

OP should probably pick up a book on project management and familiarize himself with change control management concepts, and the need thereof. In large IT shops, change controlling patches is important: I've been in shops where critical patches were held back because the 2 week testing round showed that they caused critical services to fail, which was unacceptable. We worked out workarounds, fixed our own software, or got the vendor on the phone as necessary and suspended those patches for those systems in particular until we could get things straight; but if we'd just fired patches off as they came, we would have been in a WORLD of hurt!

My current employer has no change control management for anything, and every time something breaks there's just arguments and shouting. I have to weed through a whole lot of shit, de-tangle lossy memories, and eventually form a picture of when this was first noticed, how frequently it occurs, what changed around that time, what else could be broke in the same way but is not, etc. Kepner-Tregoe problem analysis. If we had a CCM, I could just pull up the changes at that time and avoid a whole lot of guesses and conjecture, solve problems quicker, and have fewer instances of problems never getting solved because everyone would rather sit around and cry like babies while throwing wooden blocks at each others' heads.

And they wonder why I'm suddenly studying for project management...

Comment: Re:401k (Score 1) 431

by bluefoxlucid (#46781029) Attached to: Survey: 56 Percent of US Developers Expect To Become Millionaires

Liquidity is the ability to turn an asset into something else, I guess. It has to do with spending. If you can spend it, it's liquid. Savings accounts are less liquid than checking accounts because you can only make 3 withdrawals per month from savings (Federal regulations). Concrete is not very liquid because you can't trade directly in concrete; you have to liquidate it to cash first.

I got something jumbled up above though, yeah. Solvency is access to funds equivalent or greater than funds required. Ugh.

Point still stands: The stock market has as much money available as it has coming in and out. It does not, however, have the capability to liquidate its assets. It is insolvent: those $72 billion worth of AAPL are not worth $72 billion, because if you liquidated the whole fucking market cap you would find FAR more than $72 billion, but enough of it would be spent buying off other stocks that there wouldn't be $72 billion left for AAPL and the price would come down.

Or something. Look, the mechanism is too complex in the real world to explain in any sensible terms.

It's like the young universe: There's more matter (stock value) than antimatter (cash value), and if we ever tried to annihilate it all we'd wind up running out of antimatter and have just piles of matter sitting around that can't find any antimatter to react with. The stock market is valued at more than the actual cash value of the stock market in practice; there is not more money in the market simply because we turned up some of the numbers.

Comment: Re:401k (Score 1) 431

by bluefoxlucid (#46780953) Attached to: Survey: 56 Percent of US Developers Expect To Become Millionaires

So running a store is also a zero sum game. Because for some reason we're also including money "from the outside" in the sum.

Running a store is different. When you run a store, you are buying product and selling it for a profit margin. Tangible goods and services. You staff people for a certain wage and provide services for a higher hourly surcharge.

The stock market is like running a store where you sell iPads, but nobody opens and uses the iPads. Instead, you sell iPads to other stores, and then use that money to buy iPads back when you think they're undervalued and can be sold again later next week for more money. Someone in this might get their hands on more money by other operations (i.e. actually selling iPads to customers) and buy more iPads from the supplier (new stock) or from other stores.

Trade provides a comparative advantage, where one party can provide one economic service cheaper than another party, and vice versa. For example: consumers can't build iPads cheaply, and manufacturers can't open direct retail outlets cheaply. Thus manufacturers use ecommerce and shipping, as well as third-party retailers. Because of the comparative advantage each participant has over others, the total wealth of this system is greater than the wealth of only individuals accomplishing the same: less labor and capital and energy and other resources are expended to get the same result.

The common argument for the stock market NOT being a zero-sum game is that share prices can be bid up without introducing new money. Unfortunately, this ignores the fact that you allegedly have $5000 of stuff to sell, but everyone together has only $500, and thus if you actually tired to sell all of that stuff you would eventually end up selling it all off for $500, in the process some of it likely becoming worthless.

This argument, thus, ignores the whole of the market. It's the same argument as "I am rich because I buy lots and lots of shit I can't afford on my credit card": you're making the payments, but you're perpetually in debt you can't pay off and thus you are poor. That you just got another car loan for a $60,000 Jaguar is immaterial, since you still only have $1000/mo and you have a 40 year mortgage letting you pay $150/mo on that jag by some fantastic manipulation of the banks.

Comment: Re:401k (Score 1) 431

by bluefoxlucid (#46780825) Attached to: Survey: 56 Percent of US Developers Expect To Become Millionaires

That's just a little under a 7% return on my investment. Not exciting, but also quite low risk.

You own $3300 of stock and get $225 per year dividend, so in about 14 years 9 months you'll break even in the event of a sudden bankruptcy, assuming their dividend doesn't decrease for any reason (i.e. more dividends to preferred, more stock issued from executive stock options exercise or otherwise, competitors, a change in government policy in the US to not buy 500,000 tons of sugar every year as a way to keep the prices artificially high...). We haven't even considered income tax on dividends, but some investment plans in the US have no taxes.

Your risks are that the stock could go up, and you'd make more money; that the stock could go down, and you'd lose money (your break-even point approaches, but cannot exceed, 15 years); that you could save more than $225 per year by paying off debt instead of holding a stock; that profitability drops for any reason; that company policy leans toward more bonuses or more stock options; etc.

The dividends come from profitability; the stock price is a spot price on the exchange, which is based on public sentiment. You could hold a worthless company taking heavy losses and the stock price is soaring. I did that for a while, made a lot from securities like IVAN and schizophrenic symbols like GMCR. But don't tell me you've found a magical risk-free investment.

I got the advice years back that dividend stocks are more stable from The Motley Fool. It has been proven true. But that doesn't mean they're no-risk investments; they're lower-risk investments with more steady return. If Domino Sugar starts flooding the Canadian market with cheap sugar, your little nest egg will suddenly shrink, and you might take a loss or just break even.

Comment: Re:401k (Score 1) 431

by bluefoxlucid (#46780191) Attached to: Survey: 56 Percent of US Developers Expect To Become Millionaires

Liquidity is not an all or none thing. Stocks, over a long time, have proven to be very liquid. And the core of their valuation - the ability of a company to create value - is more stable than most other asset classes.

That's not money coming from somewhere; it's the ability to access money. The correct term for this is "solvency", and if you yank out the full actual dollars on hand then the bank (or stock market) becomes "insolvent". It's when you have less money being demanded than is actually there, even if there's much more money on paper than in reality.

There's plenty of other ways money effectively enters the market. Companies pay dividends to investors. They buy back shares. Public companies are bought or liquidated. The reason stocks are worth money is because companies create value; they did that, and were worth money, before there were stock markets. Owning part of a company isn't just trading baseball cards for companies you like, it's owning a productive asset - and that's why companies are largely evaluated by their price/earnings.

Nobody who has any understanding of economics thinks it's a zero sum game.

Except dividends are money from outside being put into the market, increasing the money in the market. Buybacks are money being put into the market from outside the market, to remove stocks from existence. In any of these cases, there is money flowing into the market.

Money flows from an outside source into the market. When an investor puts capital into the market to buy stocks, money comes into the market. When an investor sells those stocks, he has money that he can re-invest. If he decides to not re-invest some of the money, then that money leaves the securities market. If he decides to bring in more capital, he injects more money into the securities market.

The securities market has exactly as much money as has been injected into it minus exactly as much money as has been removed from it; you cannot put $100 in to buy 100 shares of a stock, hit $2/share, sell that for $200, and actually get $200 unless another $100 is brought to the table from outside the stock market.

This is called a zero-sum game. Every stock that's brought in is put there from the outside. Every dollar that's brought in is put there from the outside. The amount of money in the market minus the amount of money that has come from outside the market is zero, and when we all go home we have exactly the same number of dollars that we started with--just divided up differently. That somebody can bring more monopoly money in at any point in the game doesn't change this: money comes from outside, not from within. The market doesn't create money and it doesn't destroy money; it transfers it.

Comment: Re:So Much Fail (Score 1) 431

by bluefoxlucid (#46779685) Attached to: Survey: 56 Percent of US Developers Expect To Become Millionaires

1) A typical well-diversified index fund delivers returns over the long-term well over the interest charged on mortgages or car loans if you took out those loans when you have decent credit.

Buy and hold! If you buy-and-hold, you are nearly guaranteed not to loose--and if you do, it'll probably be less than a 3% loss over 20 years. Sure, you might gain 14% in 20 years (not the much touted 10% per year), but importantly you won't lose so much. Of course trying to time your investments to the market can make you 56% gains per year, or lose you 48%--and that's a lot more loss than a buy-and-hold strategy might expose you to, and a lot more likely to happen!

Yeah, the market is hard. The easy version of the market is slow.

(Yeah, credit cards do suck and you should pay those off ASAP after you get your max 401(k) match, if offered.)

My credit cards cost me less than my house. Consider $150/mo per payment, versus a one-time $80 payment and a year and some months with no interest. I do some monkey business with the cards to get that kind of thing going on (BAC has 14 month no-interest balance transfers all the time), and I frequently have exceedingly high credit card debt which costs me all of $200/year in fees and interest the worst of times. If I ever bought a $6000 motorcycle, I'd finance it with my credit cards in part, due to 6% motorcycle loans. For the most part, my cards stay high because I target other debt or stack up cash before paying them--it's a strategy that has saved me thousands of dollars.

My employer's 401(k) match is a lower immediate return than paying extra into my mortgage, which is nearly a 70% return. To make this more physical: If I put $225 in my 401(k), I get a match of $112.50. If I put $225 in my mortgage payment, I skip about $150 of interest at the moment. $150 > $112.50, even though they both end in 50.

You have not done full-scale investment. I can tell. I can tell because you obviously have not spent several 8-12 hours per day analyzing the indexes against each other (it's just division), analyzing technical metrics, analyzing news (yay Marketwatch), waking up at 4am to read the news and check the foreign markets, making trends predictions, drawing arcs and channels and other funny things on graphs, squinting hard when you see multiple indicators in conflict, trying to resolve the conflicts to work out a good guess at what the market will do, and then just gave up and cashed out on Friday so that you don't have to worry about 2 non-trading days and what might happen while you can't do anything about it, come back Monday to start again.

Have you ever seen someone who was completely sober, had gotten 2-3 hours of sleep per night for weeks, and talked reallyreallyfastliketheywereonmeth? That was me for a few weeks.

This is not a leisure job. You don't lay back, masturbate some while checking out Playboy Asia, idly click on a few things, buy, sell, mmhmm... It's not World of Warcraft. It is a vicious game of absolute timing, of completely predictable behavior that requires mountains of knowledge to actually predict, of a complete lack of those mountains of knowledge, of strife and fear and reflexes and reaction and bounds and calculations. It's chaos theory: the random element is what you don't know. Insider traders get to look at all the cards, high-level traders look at some of the cards and do card counting, and the fish are there just throwing down chips and hoping they can get a full house.

I don't care to work that hard. I got an honest job instead, and worked on minimizing my mandatory expenses and enhancing the stability of my financial position. My relative income to expenses is huge now, so very huge that I see people making oblivious statements like "yeah, you should save money, but the problem is today if you make $60k-$70k that's basically impossible", and I'm like, "Are you kidding? I was making $60k and spending $2000/mo on junk. I paid off a $3000 credit card in a month and a half on a $3500 salary, and had cash left over, then went back to buying old video games on eBay."

When you're actually better off than me, you can come back and tell me about finances. I've already heard this advice--I've given this advice and later figured out I was wrong. Been there, done that, yeah lol no.

Comment: Re:I will be a millionaire. (Score 1) 431

by bluefoxlucid (#46779063) Attached to: Survey: 56 Percent of US Developers Expect To Become Millionaires

Yes that's the result of giving women rights. You don't think anyone really cared about that whole "Women's Suffrage" thing, do you? It went like this: heyyyyyy... maybe we can convince women they're equals.... yeah, and heyyyyyyyyy then they can get jobs! And then... they'll have MONEY! And then, when couples want to buy a house, settle down, have kids like, ya know? Then, we'll milk them for all they're worth! Yeahhh! /zephod

If women had just stopped at "right to vote" and not gone on to "right to be men and have careers as steel workers and go to college and all get jobs", we'd have been better off. Women already had jobs. Have you ever been a bachelor? Have you ever worked a 40 hour work week, then came home and had to do your own house work so you don't live in an unkempt shithole? THAT SHIT IS HARD. Women were cooking and cleaning and doing mildly complex manual labor (look, I don't know about you, but my biggest problem with cleaning house is WHERE THE HELL DO I PUT SHIT THAT ISN'T TRASH?!), and then we told them, oh, you should get actual jobs.

Are. You. SERIOUS?!

A married woman has a job. If you bang her the right way, she'll have three jobs. If I ever had kids, I'd do the housework and tell the woman to deal with the babies. Fuck that. I can handle dishes and vacuuming and ironing, she can get up at 2 in the morning to change diapers.

So yeah. If you want to buy a small house, you need two people working at least three jobs.

Comment: Re:401k (Score 1) 431

by bluefoxlucid (#46778957) Attached to: Survey: 56 Percent of US Developers Expect To Become Millionaires

The amount of tax deferred income you can contribute to an IRA is not dependent on your salary,

See IRS.

if you made smarter choices, like using a home equity line of credit instead of credit card financing to do your insulation work you'd save even more.

My credit card costs me $80.

I'm serious. I don't pay interest. And no, I'm not on any introductory rate. I simply don't pay interest; I have two credit cards, and I constantly get promos to pay 1%-4% for a balance transfer, so I run one card up like hell when I need a few grand and then pay it off with a balance transfer. $3000? $120. If I have some cash on hand, I just pay down the first card partly before doing the balance transfer. Then it's like... oh you transferred $2500 in March 2014? You have until November 2015 to pay it off. Yeah uh, it's going to be paid off in 2014 (but I stack cash in a separate bank account and pay it off all at once when it won't totally drain my liquid funds, in case I suddenly need CASH).

Trust me, there's nothing obvious that's going to save me money. I'm not aggressively leveraging debt; I'm just aggressively looking for ways to minimize the impact of debt when leveraging cash is either not possible or actively bad (i.e. would I rather have $0 or would I rather pay $80 to have $3000 still on hand, but be $3000 in debt for the moment? Uhh... I'll take a little debt).

Comment: Re:401k (Score 1) 431

by bluefoxlucid (#46778883) Attached to: Survey: 56 Percent of US Developers Expect To Become Millionaires

It's not really much like poker, because it's not a zero sum game. Stock value has gone up fairly steadily over a century.

Oh my god are you KIDDING ME?! This again?!

Let's say you have 100 stock WORTH A DOLLAR. $100 = 100 x EAX. You go on the market and sell 100 stock, get $100 from the only other person in the market.

Now the market has $100 and 100 stock. Jake has $100, and Tim has 100 x EAX he bought.

Valuation of EAX goes to $2. Jake spends $50 and buys 25 x EAX. Jake now has $50 + 25 EAX, Tim has $50 + 75 EAX.

Tim tries to sell Jake more EAX. Jake has $50, Tim has 75 EAX. Tim sells Jake 50 EAX for $45, taking a loss. Tim: $95 + 25 EAX, Jake $5 + 75 EAX.

Now Tim tries to sell Jake 25 EAX.

Jake has $5.

How many EAX can you sell when there are $5 in the market?

The answer is simple: Jake's $5 start to become much more valuable than EAX, because dollars are scarce. Eventually the price comes down to 20 cents per EAX, Jake gives Tim $5, Jake has 100 EAX and Tim has $100.

We can change this dynamic by bringing more dollars into the game: Jake or Tim pony up more money in the bidding war, or Alex shows up wanting in on the action and brings us money. But here's my point: If you have $100 and 100 x EAX @ $10/share, you aren't going to sell 100 EAX and get $1000. The price of EAX is going to come down as there's less money in the market, thus less trading, thus the market crashes.

Yes, it's a zero sum game. Exactly as much CASH DOLLAR CURRENCY as you put in comes out. Exactly as much of each individual security as you put in come out. There's a lot more money on paper than there is actual, accessible money; and for you to get your money on paper, somebody has to give you their actual, real, physical dollars.

But eventually, you'll almost certainly want money in the stock market if you're ever going to retire.

Except when the big correction comes and you lose 90% of it, and 10 years later still have not recovered. I know quite a few people who have taken to working in old age because their 401(k) funds became worthless. That's a black swan event, but it happens. The market was simply overbought.

If I had $500,000 right now, in cash, I could simply retire. I'd make it until age 85, although I have luxury models that make me a pauper at 72 and frugal models that take me to 90-ish.

When all else fails, read the instructions.