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The Best of Five Things You Need to Know: Ben Bernanke's NCAA March Madness Bracket; Warren Buffett's Tips for Individual Investors; Presidential State of the Union Word Search; Title Revision!; Oh Charlize No!


What you need to know (and what it means)!


Kevin Depew's daily Five Things You Need to Know to stay ahead of the pack on Wall Street:

1. Ben Bernanke's NCAA March Madness Bracket

According to consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship will cost $3.8 billion in lost productivity.

  • Take today's Five Things You Need to Know, for instance.
  • Just by reading this you have cost your employer an estimated $267 in lost productivity.
  • Good work! It's not even lunchtime yet.
  • Now, it might be tempting to think that a venerable institution such as the U.S. Federal Reserve wouldn't dream of participating in an NCAA office pool.
  • Tempting, but wrong.
  • In fact, to prove this, Minyanville has managed to obtain (don't ask how!) Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's office pool bracket!
  • Check it out!

Click to enlarge

2. Warren Buffett's Tips for Individual Investors

Warren Buffett, the billionaire investor and insurance executive, relies mostly on gut instinct to run his multi-billion dollar investment behemoth Berkshire Hathaway.

  • According to a profile in the Wall Street Journal, Buffett "makes swift investment decisions, steers clear of meetings and advisers, eschews set procedures and doesn't require frequent reports from managers."
  • So how does he do it?
  • Can the principles Buffett relies on to manage Berkshire Hathaway investments work for the individual investor?
  • Minyanville tried to find out!

3. Presidential State of the Union Word Search

The New York Times recently ran an interesting interactive feature that allows users to search President George W. Bush's past State of the Union addresses by word.

  • According to the Times, over the years President Bush's State of the Union Addresses have averaged 5,000 words each, which taken in total means he's spoken about 35,000 words.
  • An interactive tool at allows users to input a word and then search past speeches for past usages of certain words and phrases.
  • The results are tabulated by year using blue circles to show the word and phrase count.
  • This year, for example, President Bush used the word "Iraq" a record 34 times, up from just 16 in last year's State of the Union Address.

  • But what about other presidents? What were their favorite words and phrases?
  • Minyanville utilized similar technology to discover what other presidents liked to talk about in their State of the Union speeches.
  • For example, these were some of the more popular words and phrases used by President Bill Clinton in his State of the Union speeches:

  • And for additional comparisons, here are some of the more popular words and phrases used by President Richard M. Nixon:

4. Title Revision! Title Revision!

In 2005, National Association of Realtors Chief Economist David Lereah released the book,
"Are You Missing the Real Estate Boom? Why Home Values and Other Real Estate Investments Will Climb Through the End of the Decade - and How to Profit From Them."

Interestingly, the title for the 2006 edition of the book was changed to:
"Why the Real Estate Boom Will Not Bust - and How You Can Profit From It."

Below are Minyanville's suggestions for subsequent title revisions in later editions of Lereah's book through 2015:

2007: "Why the Real Estate Boom Will Not Bust and How Foreclosures are Technically Part of the Continuing Real Estate Boom, In a Way."
2008: "Why the Real Estate Boom in Distressed Properties Will Not Bust (except in certain local markets) and How You Can Use Leverage to Profit From It."
2009: "Why the Phrase "Real Estate Boom" is Often Misunderstood to Mean Higher Prices and How You Can Pray for Them."
2010: "Why the Real Estate Boom Will Soon Bounce Back and How to Eventually Profit From It."
2011: "Why Did I Have to Write "The Real Estate Boom Will Not Bust Through the End of the Decade" and How Did I Not Realize How Long A Decade Really Is?"
2012: "Oh, Dear God, Please, Please Let the Real Estate Boom Bounce Back... and How You Can Profit From It."
2013: "Please, Please, Just Let the Real Estate Boom Come Back This One Time for This One House and How You Can Break Even From It."
2014: "Why I Am Willing to Accept a Small Loss of 35% On the Real Estate Boom and No Longer Care About How to Profit From It."
2015: "Why Can I Maybe Borrow a Couple Dollars Off You Until the Real Estate Bust is Over?"

5. Oh Charlize No!

A Swiss watchmaker is suing Hollywood actress Charlize Theron for allegedly breaking an endorsement deal to wear only its timepieces, the Telegraph reported.

  • Oscar-winning actress Charlize Theron is being sued by Swiss watchmaker Raymond Weil for breach of contract after the 31-year- old was allegedly caught wearing a competitor's watch in public.
  • Now, surely you're thinking, so what? So, some actress slips on the wrong watch and loses her endorsement deal. Why should I care?
  • Because the contract she violated was a $20 million one-year endorsement deal.
  • She apparently didn't even make it THREE MONTHS before breaking the contract!
  • How could this happen?

How Charlize Theron Lost Her $20 Million Endorsement Deal

March 14, 2007

Int. Charlize Theron's dressing room.

Charlize is putting on makeup, finishing up preparing for a product endorsement event as Kevin enters the room.

Hey Charlize, what's up?

Hi Kevin. Just getting ready for this stupid endorsement event. Hate these things!

Well, you look great.

Thanks! You're sweet. Can you do me a favor and hand me that watch over there?

This one?

(Clearly disappointed) No, the Raymond Weil one next to it.

What!? You can't mean this one?

(Putting on the watch.) I know, but I have to.

Haha. Get out! It looks like you're wearing handcuffs!

Does it? It is that bad?

Charlize, that things huge! It looks like you stole Big Ben and hired a blacksmith to meld it onto your wrist!

Is it too heavy for this dress?

Too heavy? Too heavy? What, are you Flavor Flav? That thing's like a cross between a grandfather clock and a pro wrestling championship belt. Wear the red one. It's Dior.

(Whispering) But they're paying me a lot of money to wear this one.

Look, whatever they're paying you - it's not enough to walk around like you just escaped from a chain gang. Trust me. You're an Oscar winner. You have an image to maintain. Give it to me. (Kevin takes back the watch.)

Kevin, you don't understand, they're paying me, like, a lot of money to wear that watch.

(Throws watch out the window.) There. Now, put this one on. It looks great with your dress. Red and black. Classy!

(Reluctantly, Charlize puts on the Dior watch. Once on, she admires the watch.) You know, you're right! I'll just say I lost the Weil watch. What's the worst thing that can happen!

Yeah! I mean, it's not like they're paying you millions of dollars to wear a stupid watch. Haha. That would be ridiculous! I'll endorse their watches for free.

Thank you, Kevin. You're so funny and sweet! I feel so much better about my outfit now. How do I look?

You look great. But be sure you hold your hand up during the photos so they can get the watch. Red and black. Classy!

Oh, I'm late! I gotta go! Bye!

Take care, Charlize. (Charlize waves and runs out of the room. Kevin calls after her.) Be sure and show off that watch!

No positions in stocks mentioned.

The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.

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