Sacramento Area Bogleheads Meeting Summary (February 13, 2016)

This article is composed by Bogleheads® forum member digarei


McClatchy Library

FIFTEEN (15) persons attended the meeting last month (Feb 13, 2016), assembling in the community room upstairs at the McClatchy Library in midtown Sacramento—in spite of the threat of bears. Unseasonably warm weather for February precluded coats and sweaters, so no one present could be mistaken for that feared woodland creature (even at 10:30 in the morning). Following introductions, agenda items were read and an introduction to the BEAR presentation began by listing some of the source material that was compiled in support of its major points:

BEATING the BEAR: Market Predictions & Your Investments

The title of ‘Beating the BEAR’ is in keeping with the metaphor used to describe periods when stocks are traded well below median values for an extended period of uncertain and varying duration, often months and sometimes for years.

People react differently when the stock market divests itself of vast sums in a very short period. Willing sellers soon outnumber buyers so trades continue at ever lower values. Sudden downturns are impossible to predict and when they occur can be terrifying to those heavily invested in equities.


The Backstory

A ‘Bear Market’ induces wide reporting by the media and builds upon itself until the buyer’s remorse felt by some investors escalates to individual panic. There’s no mystery about how our bodies can react to the emotional turmoil and stress.

The subconscious mind makes numerous rapid ‘flight or fight’ decisions in response to a perceived threat—of loss, of harm, of impoverishment, destitution; embarrassment or disgrace. Long before our conscious brains have had an opportunity to assess a threat in any rational sense, new neural paths are formed, dictating urgent messages of self-preservation, channeling chemicals to our gut, to our arms and legs, preparing for and demanding immediate response.

That’s why it’s important to create strategies well in advance of an emergency to quiet our nerves and enable our rational selves to make informed choices and good decisions in the moment, to keep the bear in his cage.

Twin Horrors

A Grizzly Bear (ursus arctos) is a most powerful predator. It is capable of out-running a horse, and can weighas much as 600 pounds. They eat elk… for breakfast.

When people find themselves unexpectedly in close proximity to a grizzly bear, the encounter is apt to induce  ursine terror (defined below)  in the humans — and understandably so. Outflanking the grizzly bear and its ferocious ability to disembowel another animal nearly twice its size, dissecting their flesh with four-inch bark-sharpened claws, is yet another menace and considered even more dangerous:chapter coordinatus (defined below)

Armed with an agenda, audio/visual equipment and an unending supply of slides, this species has been known to provoke feelings of antipathy and depression–where none existed before–in meeting participants (aka ‘victims’ or ‘plaintiffs’) by his appetite for detail: recitation of text plainly viewable on the slide in front of them, redundant points, commentary apropos of nothing in particular. An infinite string of non sequiturs, un-amusing anecdotes, alliteration and tired cliché typically follow.

As it turned out, nearing the end of the second hour, the coordinator, seeing that completion was impossible, sped up his delivery until sentence fragments began to shoot out everywhere; six or seven minutes more of incoherent rambling, and it was all over. One member suffered 2nd degree boredom over 12-13% of the cranium but was expected to make a full recovery. Other minor injuries were treated and released at the local hospital. Litigation is pending.


The Presentation



If you’re one of the survivors of the 2 hour mauling meted out on the second Saturday in February, and for some reason wish to relive the experience, contact the chair to obtain the download links to the audio recording, presenter notes and slides—or check your inbox: the links were e-mailed to members afterwards.

The meeting was adjourned at 12:45 PM, with no further casualties; forty-percent of those present (6 persons) enjoyed lunch at KUPROS in the immediate aftermath.


Barry Barnitz, administrator of both the Bogleheads® wiki and of Financial Page, a Bogleheads® blog. In addition I serve as an administrator of finiki, the Canadian financial wiki, as an administrator of la Wiki Bogleheads® España, and as an administrator of the John C. Bogle Center for Financial Literacy site.

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