Skip to main content


Hurricane study by data scientist: surprisingly I am not seeing the explosive growth

This report is an analysis on hurricanes, surprisingly I am not seeing the explosive growth that documentaries show. I took the raw list of hurricanes from wikipedia to make landfall in US 1850-2018 and did an analysis. This is a “strength” study. Each hurricane gets points which is the square of its category, so cat 5 = 25 points, cat 2 = 4 points. It’s an annual study where we sum up the points of all hurricanes happening within one calendar year. There is no clear pattern of exponential growth in strength. In fact in 2005 strength appears to be all time low. This is the same study by decade where we sum up the points of all hurricanes happening in 10 year periods. You may think the exponential scoring is unfair, so we can try a linear. Here, the points assigned to each hurricane is equal to its category. So two cat 3 hurricanes in one year = 6 points. This is a color coded study showing counts by hurricane category. Here I added a polynomial trend line. Over 200 years see a linear…
Recent posts

CFII Advice: trick to fly IFR into Linden Airport near minimums (KLDJ)

If you're going IFR to linden in real IFR weather, think twice about this. If flying is inherently dangerous, and if approaches to minimums are the most dangerous part of flying, then this particular approach is a compound. This approach should never be attempted by new IFR pilots with weather near minimums. If you're a seasoned IFR pilot, keep reading.

Newark Approach will force you to cancel IFR between the FAF and MAP. The MAP is the first opportunity to maybe see the runway. That means you're always cancelling IFR before you have visual contact with the runway, and you cannot go missed.

Recall that VFR minimums in Golf daytime is 1sm vis and clear of clouds. That means in daytime, as long as you have 1sm vis and can remain clear of clouds, legally, you can cancel IFR and continue the approach legally VFR pilot nav.

Visibility is the most important thing. It's 2.3nm from BAUTZ to the runway. So if visibility is less than 2.3nm you know you won't be able to see…

Stock Market Bubble: Google Trends vs. Market data

Is the market in a bubble? Is a stock market crash coming?

Aggregate macroeconomic data is not showing any sings of weakness for previous month. Would be interesting to see sentiment analysis of "stock market bubble is about to burst" discussion around 2013 compared to now. I recall there was a lot of worry back then that market was at all time high. If you recall, around 2013 a lot of investors and analysts were talking about moving to cash positions anticipating recession.

Seems silly in retrospect, that was so long ago. 2013 was year of IPhone 5 and the beginning of Obama's second term. 
The data below represents 2004-2018.

above: Google Trends on "stock market bubble",. you can clearly see in 2013 (red circle) it becomes a hot topic as S&P reached pre recession high. This can be thought of as a "pessimism graph".

above: S&P 500 2004-current, notice the discussion correlates with S&P hitting pre-recession highs.

above: FRED unemployment da…

Shortest runways in Caribbean

These are the shortest runways in Caribbean.
They come with their fare share of crashes like this Aztek in Saint Barts.

Notice the wheels don't make contact until the departure-end 1000 foot white markers. The go-around should have been executed long before that, at the approach end 1000-foot markers.

11. Edward Bodden Airfield, Little Cayman – 998 metres or 3275 ft 10. Mustique Airport, Mustique (St Vincent & the Grenadines) – 992 metres or 3255 ft 9. Virgin Gorda Airport, British Virgin Islands – 945 metres or 3100 ft 8. Salt Cay, Turks & Caicos – 822 metres or 2697 ft 7. Auguste George Airport, Anegada (BVI) – 762 metres or 2500 ft 6. Union Island (SVG) – 752 metres or 2467 ft 5. Middle Caicos Airport (TCI)  – 750 metres or 2461 ft 4. Gustaf III Airport, St Barths – 650 metres or 2133 ft 3. John. A. Osborne Airport, Montserrat – 600 metres or 1968 ft
2. Codrington Airport, Barbuda – 500 metres or 1640 ft 1. Juancho E. Yrasquin Airport, Saba – 400 metres or 1312 ft

Why you shouldn't buy a Total Stock Market fund

The problem with the Total Stock Market funds such as VTSMX (and with many other similar funds) is they are dollar weighted, not % weighted to large/small/growth/value.

From vanguard's site: "Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund is designed to provide investors with exposure to the entire U.S. equity market, including small-, mid-, and large-cap growth and value stocks. "
It's true there are small value stocks in there, but by % of portfolio, those represent only a small fraction.
For this reason I buy equal % large growth index and small value index, and do another % assignment to the emerging markets side.
It's surprisingly tricky to figure out what % of the US stock market, by dollars, is Small Value. This may be representative way to determine what % is small value:
Vanguard small value  VISVX net assets: 1.95 billion
Vanguard large growth VIGRSX: 86.4 billion vanguard large value VIVAX: 74.2 billion

That means if you buy a Total Stock Market Fund, only abou…

Is it my thinking that is irrational, or is it the stock market?

Fun behavioral finance exercise. I give you choice of 2 investment opportunities. You give me $10,000 and I give you.. 1. $600 back every year, but 1 in 2 chance I lose half of your $10k in the 3-5 years. Tough luck. 2. $350 every year without risk, and you can take your $10k back any time.
Which do you choose? (we'll come back to this)
The stock market is at an all time high, but so is FOMO. If you're a rationally sane person, and your view is something like: "the market COULD go up a lot more.. but it's already very high, so we might be coming up on a recession, and definitely slowing growth."
You're savvy, far above average, and take a holistic view. You don't watch the stock tickers daily and over-react to headlines. You wait for something significant, like a geo political event.
Meanwhile you're stuffing S&P and AMZN. You have some bonds (80/20?), but you're concentrated into the market a lot more than you want to admit. The strategy is simple…

Trump's new tax plan is putting money in pockets of married couples in NYC

WOW! Trump's new tax plan (2018) is taking money from single people and giving it to married couples. When did IRS become a federal marriage counselor?
Take a hypothetical NYC Wallstreet earner who declares $350,000 a year taxable income.
2017 single earner keeps $206k
2017 married keeps $215k
2018 single earner still keeps $205k
2018 married earner keeps $235k! by getting married, in 2018, $30,000 tax savings. That's enough to buy a brand new luxury car _every year_, or $2500 monthly payments on a mortgage $1M home! $30,000 in _after tax savings_ is a huge amount of money in america. What the fuck? (above) tax savings for single earner. almost no savings at all! (above) Tax savings  for married earner. almost 5% lower effective federal!
(above) Taxes in 2017 and 2018 for married earner.
(above) tax savings for 2017 and 2018 single earner (virtually no savings).