Our Day at the Luxe - October 12th at WVRC
We probably lost a few members who went to the Bel Air Hotel by mistake, However, we began at our displaced venue with the Pledge, led by PP GEORGE DEA. LENNY FRIEDMAN took us thru America, A Capella, since there’s no music at the Luxe. MARK BLOCK came forward with the Invocation, which was actually an ancient Chinese Proverb:
“If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing (STEW GILMAN ‘s name was suggested). If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody."
A good selection Thanks, MARK.
The District Breakfast will be on Tuesday October 17th, at the LAX Hilton and we have a table, but you can still probably show up and get a seat. The Speaker will be Michael Josephson, of the Josephson Institute of Ethics, and it starts at 0700. If questions, call PEGGY BLOOMFIELD, please. Don’t forget the Paul Harris Celebration on November 4th, it will be at the Raleigh Studios in Hollywood, and they have some good activities planned. As usual, there will be a silent auction, and your contributions to that are most welcome, of course. PP STEVE DAY is the contact. Finally, a young woman who belongs to Rotary in Thailand and is a dentist, will be attending a seminar at UCLA from November 24th to December. 8th. She is seeking a Rotary family to stay with, but does not need any financial assistance. She could split her time between two Rotary families, of course. Prexy MIKE has details.
There followed a long and involved story about golf, eventually explaining what mishap provided permission to swear. The punch line had to do with missing a four-inch putt, apparently. We had just one visitor, Jennifer Bennett, introduced by both PP STEVE SCHERER and YOE. Jennifer was present in support of our Speaker, Holmes Osborne, and is ERNIE’s stepdaughter. She has just completed her academic work toward a PhD in Psychology, and expects to finish the necessary dissertation sometime within the next year. Prexy MIKE then asked our newest member, KEVIN BADKOUBEHI, to stand. MIKE relayed the problem that KEVIN endured last week when he introduced our speaker the sheet he was given was missing the last inch of copy on the right side of the page, but KEVIN manfully struggled through. Good job, KEVIN.
I introduced our Speaker, Holmes Osborne III. Holmes grew up in Kansas City, then graduated from the Martin J. Whitman School of Management at Syracuse. His uncle is Anson Phillips who is active in the Methodist Church in Santa Monica, and he wanted me to be sure to mention that he, Holmes, is also a Methodist! He began his financial career with Merrill Lynch Private Client Group in Naples, Fla, assisting clients in asset management and financial planning. He next managed trust portfolios for Merrill Lynch mutual funds in Boca Raton, Fla, and moved to California five years ago. Holmes is a Chartered Financial Analyst, and belongs to the CFA Society and Los Angeles Society of Financial Analysis. His topic today is Current Events and Investing.
Holmes began by suggesting that questions anytime he was speaking were welcome. Today the Dow set a record, breaking over 11,900 for the first time. The last time it was close to this high was 6 or 7 years ago but that doesn’t mean that the every stock went up. There are thirty stocks in the index, such as Coca Cola, Exxon, McDonalds, Phillip Morris and ATT&T, and some have gone up, but some didn’t. For example, Phillip Morris is up three or four hundred percent and that helps the DOW average, obviously. Oil is down to $57 a barrel, unemployment is low and with an important election coming up in four weeks, it will be interesting to see what develops.
Global Warming is a hot subject right now. This affects everything you buy. Water usage is in dispute, and hurricanes loom as a threat. We are now 2/3rds of the way through the hurricane season, and if we can avoid them the rest of this season that will be a plus for the DOW. He likes insurance companies, one reason being that they offer one-year policies, and can thus readjust them as needed quickly, as compared to bank loans, for instance. Two firms he likes are Mercury General and State Auto Financial. Holmes spoke to a friend in Florida earlier today, and they talked about housing. It is substantially down there but the difference between LA and Florida is that the job market here is much more active, and that provides a cushion. Homebuilders to watch include KB (Eli Broad), Pulte and Lennar. and remember that many of them have what amounts to junk bonds NOT a good indication of stability.
Holmes sister speaks Chinese, and is working in Shanghai. She is thus a constant source of information on what is going on there and it is an important market. They provide huge quantities of our shoes, clothing, and electronics. With this increasing commerce between the US and China, neither of them can afford to offend the other. And this makes the ports of Long Beach/Los Angeles the busiest receiving point for supplies coming from across the Pacific. Two stocks that manufacture in China are Helen of Troy and Pier One in which Warren Buffet is also an investor. Look at Tesco, already huge in England, but now entering the California marketplace again a Buffet investment.
Q&A ED GAULD, What do you think of gold as an investment? I think it will do well and note, State Street Bank and Trust has a unique program for storing gold they keep it in their vault, charge 2/5ths of one percent annually, and thus it is totally secure. What do you expect after the coming election? Whichever party wins, the market may go down for a while. Gridlock is certain if the Democrats win either chamber. But you will still need to make investments, and stocks have the best track record. PP DON NELSON, Do you use Puts and Calls? Holmes pointed out that this means you select a price level, and automatically buy or sell when that level is reached. He does not use them, since you can lose your entire investment sometimes, and that is not a risk he wants to expose his clients to. Do you invest in any foreign stocks? Yes, I own ING, AEGON and Tesco, and all are solid. LENORE MULRYAN, what do you think of Indian stocks? I think it is a coming hot market. However, he prefers mutual funds, since the market there is so volatile. Thank you, Holmes, for your input on financial markets.