Sunday, October 12, 2014

The New Indentured Servant

Through my many travelings I have come across a variety of people that have helped me see the bigger picture in life.  While I was in another city I saw an older woman in a trolley with a male friend she was homeless and missing teeth.  I knew she was homeless since the trolley was free and a magnet for the homeless community while I observed her I saw her talking to the driver and her male friend they pretty much do the same routine everyday.  I like the fact that she was having a good time despite her poverty in her laughter at that moment I saw authentic happiness.  Then as I looked out the window I remembered this young lady I met in school a few years ago.  She was working on a second degree as her first degree proved to be a bad investment.  So now she was taking out loans and maxing her credit cards to pay for her education.  She was also living with a man who she stated was awesome yet he had her working 3 P/T jobs with very little clothes, food and no health insurance, I thought "boy isn't she lucky".

The point is I have never met anyone as stressed out as my former classmate.  I rarely saw her smile and when she did I did not see real happiness not like the homeless woman in the trolley.  Although she had a place to live, credit cards and a degree she was worth -$90,000 and counting.  The way I see it she may be repaying loans and credit card debt for life.  It is like some college students are the new indentured servants of our times but they will never repay their debt.  On the other hand the homeless woman may be broke but she is worth the $10-15 dollars in her pocket plus a cigarette and a lottery ticket.  Then I understood why she laughed and was experiencing periods of elation and happiness she is financially worth more than my classmate she doesn't need to worry about repaying a massive loan.

What can we say to young adults now a days that can make it all better?  We live in a society where the most basic things in life such as health and education are the top reasons that people file for bankruptcy or end up in massive unforgivable debt.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Money, Love and Risk

At some point in our lives most of us think about getting married.  Males and females play different roles in this matter.  The more someone earns the more likely it is that she/he will start demanding a better mate.  Yet there are quiet individuals such as scientists that may be too busy to hunt.  Then there are doctors that lose their social skills so they don't look much for love.  Some doctors marry amongst themselves.  There is an article written by a Princeton mom about well educated women only having a few years to find a suitable mate this is even more so when it comes to female doctors. They will have to deal with the burden of finding men that are able to keep up with their level of education and not feel threatened by their income.

The risk of family violence is greater when the man is less educated than the woman.

A male may not mind if a woman is not as smart as he is as long as he can have a stimulating conversation.  When I first started working at a hospital I overheard a nurse tell her buddies that wealthy men get the pick of the litter.  Educated men on the other hand don't see women as sole providers if given the choice they will prefer a high earner but it usually isn't on the top of his list.   Men want women that are kind and women that will not walk out on their family.  When women/men come off rude or cold this is a complete turn off and the more a person has (education/wealth) the less likely he/she will put up with it.  

Up to this part we have not touched upon the subject of risk.  Yes, a woman who is pretty may end up with a high earner.  A successful male entrepreneur (with an undergraduate degree or none) may end up with a female lawyer from an Ivy.  What can disrupt the norm is risk the risk either gender takes to get someone outside of their league.  I am talking about the woman that has very little income not much education and is not considered physically attractive by society who ends up with a CEO or millionaire.  Yes, I have seen plenty of this going on and it comes down to risk.  While women are busy with their careers and think that their profession or looks gives them the right to be picky and rude their men are being swept away by women who ask them out treat them with the utmost respect even though they may not have much they get the man they want.  Actually they take some of the best men out there.

I know women are usually taught to wait for a man to go up to them and ask them out but while they are waiting that dream man is sometimes taken away by a brave girl that is not afraid to ask him out.
I know of two physicians that got married this way and in both cases the women were not physically attractive, well educated or wealthy.  Society makes a huge mistake when it teaches women that looks are everything in life and that this will get them everything they want.

To enjoy the finer things in life sometimes you have to learn to put down your pride.

Women next time you see a miss match ask your self would I be willing to to go up to that man and ask him out? would I treat him with more respect than the girl that he is with (the answer most likely is no and that is why she has him and you don't) or would I make it impossible for him to get to know me and play little rude games and act like I'm a princess?  If you're a man ask yourself do I have the guts to go up to that girl and create a better quality of life for her and a future family? Would I complain about going to work? could I provide more than the man she is with (not likely otherwise you wouldn't be single)? would I be a good man or abusive? would I just have a good time with her or would I marry her?

The risk of family violence is greater when the couple are not legally married

It may appear that men have an advantage when it comes to finding mates.  Men do have a big responsibility and they will ruin their families and their opportunities if they don't man up and educate themselves more. The risk of family violence increases when a male is unemployed. The risk of family violence increases when a male's job status is lower than that of his spouse.


Monday, September 1, 2014

Investing In The Ebola Vaccine

Ebola is one of the most deadly viral diseases with a fatality rate of 50-90 percent.  There are five strains of Ebola (Reston, Sudan, Tai Forest, Bundibugyo and Zaire) as well as Marburg virus that are classified as members of a family of negative stranded RNA viruses, the Filoviridae.  The Sudanese Ebola Outbreaks of 1976 and 1979 which struck two months before the Zairean Ebola Epidemic of 1976 did not receive international attention therefore the first case was attributed to Zaire.  The first identified case of Ebola was on August 1976 in a small village in northern Democratic Republic of the Congo back then known as Zaire.  In medical encyclopedias you can see that the first case is actually found in the southern Sudanese town of Nzara a storekeeper in a cotton factory began hemorrhaging and went into shock he died on July 6, 1976.  

It is not entirely known by the medical community how Ebola is spread.  Ebola is believed to be transmitted by coming in contact with an infected animal's body fluids.  The virus has been shown to travel without contact from pigs to primates.  Human-to-human transmission can occur with direct contact with blood or bodily fluids from an infected person.  An interesting fact from the Zairean Ebola Epidemic of 1976 was that a young lady died from Ebola in 1977 in Tandala, Zaire about 200 miles away from the outbreak she had never been in contact with anyone from the 1976 epidemic.  If you study all Ebola epidemics dating back to 1976 you can see that there still remain many unanswered questions.  In the Zaire Ebola Epidemic of 1995 the strain was almost identical to the 1976 strain yet studies showed that the 1995 strain was capable of infecting through normal skin contact, coughing as well as through bodily fluids.  

The first human trial for an investigational Ebola vaccine is set to begin this week.  At this point Ebola poses a threat to the world aggressive action is necessary.  The NIH is developing the vaccine with pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).  If successful it will take until late 2015 for the vaccine to be administered to a limited number of health workers.  There are other companies also offering their vaccine to help with the outbreak one of which has already received $140 million from the Department of Defense: Tekmira Pharmaceuticals (TKMR).  Tekmira and its antiviral product TKM-Ebola is currently in Phase I of the clinical trial process.  

Two weeks ago I entered a TKMR trade at $20.20 the order did not fill completely only 300 shares were bought leaving me with 700 shares outstanding.  At this point I had to make a quick decision whether to cancel the remaining 700 shares, wait or modify the price.  The stock rose to $20.26 while I was holding 300 shares I could have sold them yet I chose to wait for the price to drop to $20.20 to buy the remaining 700 shares at 1:38pm.  The stock then went straight to $20.31 allowing me to exit. After weighting the amount of risk that Tekmira brings I think I will evade it just because if I decided to hold on to it for the long run it could take years to make my money back.  The company is working on several products yet they are all in the early stages and the clinical trial process is a very lengthy one assuming all goes well. 



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