Friday, May 20, 2011

Short Takes: Professional Licensing, Warren Buffett’s Luck or Skill, and more

The Economist takes a thoughtful look at which occupations require licensing and what the advantages and disadvantages of requiring people to have licenses before practicing these occupations. The main purpose of licensing is to control the number of practitioners and inflate their pay. But requiring licensing is usually justified as a means to guarantee a minimum standard. (Hat tip to the Stingy Investor for finding this article.)

Preet Banerjee brings more analysis of whether Warren Buffett’s track record is luck or skill. A part of this analysis is more bashing of the normal curve. An important this to understand about the normal curve is that it is an approximation to reality that usually works well for predicting things about likely events and is way off for predicting extreme events. The real skill of a statistician is understanding when the normal curve applies and when it doesn’t.

The Blunt Bean Counter gives us the benefit of his extensive experience with explanations of six typical situations when you would have to deal with CRA and how serious they are.

Squawkfox explains the steps to take if you’ve been scammed on eBay.

Big Cajun Man draws an amusing analogy between the U.S. debt and a maxed-out credit card.

Money Smarts has some advice for parents setting up an RESP at the last minute.

Million Dollar Journey gives a step-by-step guide to writing cover call options.


  1. Thanks for the inclusion, hope the rapture is more fun in a different time zone.

  2. The Blunt Bean CounterMay 23, 2011 at 9:04 AM

    Thanks for the link, really enjoyed your topics this week.
    p.s. My word verification was "falic", are you telling me something with that :)

  3. @Blunt Bean Counter: Maybe Google's word verification knows something I don't know!

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