Apple boss Tim Cook ‘to donate millions’ to charity

Apple CEO Tim Cook says he will give away most of his $800m (£537m) fortune to good causes before he dies.


Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, Inc. says he’ll give-away at least 50% of his $800,000,000 ($800 mil) as a signatory of The Giving Pledge; joining Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan (Facebook); Dustin Moskovitz and Cari Tuna (Facebook), Paul G. Allen (Microsoft), 3 term NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg (Bloomberg Business), John Paul DeJoria (Paul Mitchell), Larry Ellison (Oracle), Ted Turner (CNN), Carl Icahn (Icahn Enterprises), Steve Case and Jean Case (AOL), Sir Richard Branson and Joan Branson (Virgin America), Vinod Khosla and Neeru Khosla (Sun Microsystems), George Lucas and Mellody Hobson (Lucasfilm), Elon Musk (Tesla Motors, PayPal), Pierre Omidyar and Pam Omidyar (eBay), Texas Oilman T. Boone Pickens and David Rockefeller (Chase).

The Giving Pledge was started in 2010 by Warren Buffett and Bill Gates (the 1st 2 signatories) and signatories pledge to give 50% or more of their wealth to charity.

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Dershowitz: Ted Cruz one of Harvard Law’s smartest students

Ted Cruz ‘without a doubt among the smartest-students I’ve ever had; a terrific student, always active in class, presenting a libertarian-point of view. He didn’t strike me as a social conservative, more of a libertarian; brilliant-insights; among the top students, as revealed by his class responses… just an outstanding student in my class; I’ve had great students but he has to be at the top of anyone’s short list, in terms of raw brain power. Ted’s responses (to our class debates) were interesting; I obviously disagreed with them and we had good arguments in class; I would challenge him and he would come up with very good responses.’ – attorney Alan Dershowitz, J.D. (Harvard University)

via Alex Lightman on Quora (…/…/Alex-Lightman)


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Senate up after GOP-led House passes conservative budget to erase red ink, cut trillions

The Senate is up next after House Republicans pushed through a boldly conservative budget eliminating deficits over the next decade by cutting deeply into Medicaid, food stamps and welfare, and …


Defense-hawks in the Senate are calling for increased military spending.  Rules on budget debate in the Senate require a majority vote, not a 60-vote margin, giving some maneuvering (and breathing) space..

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House Passes $3.8 Trillion Fiscal 2016 GOP Budget

The House passed a budget for fiscal year 2016 on Wednesday, notching a victory for the chamber’s embattled Republican leaders.


House Republicans say the balanced-budget for a strong-America will erase the federal-deficit and cut federal-spending by $5,500,000,000,000 (-$5.5 tril) during a decade; while adding $96,000,000,000 (+$96 bil) to the defense expenditure (warchest).

Senate Republicans ‘not there yet’ on the budget, but we’re confident it will pass; U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (S.C.) says.

The bill passes with a 228-199 vote; 17 Republicans voting against it. No Democrats voted for it.

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Is poker a noble profession?

Requires discipline, dedication, focus (and motivation).

Note that the game is based on manipulation + the art of deception by it’s nature, and exploitation. (whereas a Game theory-optimal (‘G.T.O.’) approach + experience nearly solves this).

Answer by Lina Wang (Macao, China):

A professional/good poker player lives/plays by his/her own skill and effort. Everything he/she does is based on his understanding of the game, the odds, player patterns, player psychology, good strategy and so on.
Using a well-honed skill (any skill) to make/win money sounds completely moral AND NOBEL to me, especially when it is something the person enjoys doing and takes pride in.
Passion is a pre-requisite for success on the highest level of anything!

Is poker a noble profession?

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What are the best private wealth management firms for a family with $10-$30 million to invest?

Individuals ought to maintain their own oversight over their portfolios rather than exclusively outsourcing (hiring) management firms.

Answer by Nate Anderson:

I’ve consulted for registered investment advisors (“RIAs”) and have had the opportunity to see the business practices of a diverse array of providers. There are a few things you need to be on watch for:

At $10m-$30m you need to understand where you fit into the wealth management universe. Flat out, you do not want to go with one of the big branded institutions like Goldman, Wells Fargo, etc. You are a small fish in their pond, and you are not going to get the level of service you deserve. I’ve seen first-hand how big banks just use a standard formula to allocate their customer’s portfolios and then forget about them (in fact I’d built a system to automate the approach for one major bank).

On the investor side of the table I’ve spoken with customers who lost almost everything in 2008 because their wealth manager simply neglected to diversify their portfolios. One example: An investor specified a desire for current income, so the big-branded firm allocated 75% of their portfolio to MLPs, a risky form of equity that pays a high dividend rate but is highly correlated to the energy sector. When energy got crushed, the investor lost millions. If the adviser had diversified at all the investor would have been fine, but their adviser was absent from any kind of responsible portfolio construction.

You need a provider who takes the approach of understanding your entire portfolio, including external assets such as real estate, stock in private companies, and any additional assets. Then they should use the liquid portion of your wealth to diversify and hedge when necessary. If they are good at what they do, they’ll help cut costs too — like helping refinance mortgages at lower rates, implementing tax efficiency polices to cut down on your tax bill, and helping save on insurance and other financial products. That level of service will only be found at one of the smaller-medium sized providers who has the time and expertise.

Another thing to watch out for: Unfortunately many RIAs have conflicts of interest. They offer clients ‘internal’ products or use their referral arrangements with outside funds to earn extra fees. For example, your RIA may have an ‘in-house’ mutual fund. If you end up investing with the internal mutual fund, the RIA will earn an extra 1%-1.5% on top of the annual fee they already charge you, which roughly doubles their revenue. The chances of XYZ’s mutual fund beating every other mutual fund in the universe is almost nil, so if they are pushing their fund, they are probably looking out for their own interests, not yours.

(Note that when working with the big-brand wealth managers they ALL have their own in-house products, which should give you a flavor for how they operate.)

Ask whether the RIA promotes any internal products and whether they have any outside referral arrangements with other providers. Furthermore, ask whether they outsource any aspects of their business– you should know if you are paying for someone else’s expertise.

At $10m-$30m, go with a smaller-medium sized provider with a high level of expertise. You want to be a significant enough client that they treat you extremely well.

The biggest hurdle to picking a quality provider is that you really need to know something about investments in order to ask them the right questions. Don’t make an immediate decision — research and learn as you go. The more informed you are about investments, the better your outcome will be.

What are the best private wealth management firms for a family with $10-$30 million to invest?

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What problems do billionaires tend to have?

Answer by Don Dye:

Getting non-billionaires to shut up and do what the billionaires want.

What problems do billionaires tend to have?

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