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The 3% Signal: The Investing Technique That Will Change Your Life
The 3% Signal: The Investing Technique That Will Change Your Life
by Jason Kelly
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.00
66 used & new from $7.07

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Become a millionaire during your working lifetime (for only $20,000?) - The least stressful/ time consuming way to $1million, March 1, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Jason Kelly’s latest writings on investing in financial markets elaborate upon an idea that he proposed in an earlier book “The Neatest Little Guide to Stock Market Investing”. I found that book to be among the most concise and useful reads on this subject as he walked us through conveying an understanding of the strategies that have some of the best financial investors have used to make their millions and billions but more important the concepts, terminology and practical plans that the average person can use to achieve financial security. You can start the 3% Signal plan with any amount you want, but ultimately it is a $20,000 initial investment that fits a 40 year working-life time frame. The book uses a $10,000 investment, which still works out well.

In the 3% signal Mr. Kelly lays out his argument in three sections. The first section helps you to understand the psyche that one takes into investing, and how we construct the view of our successes and failures which shape independent decision making. The books he bases this discussion on are well worth the read just for understanding how are perceptions are shaped outcomes arise in everyday life. The 3% Signal then discusses how buying into the stock market is a lot like tossing a coin, the odds of making the right call are probably 50/50. Since investing in the financial markets is a bit of a gamble why not focus on how to use the outcome of the coin toss (stock prices) to your advantage by buying in to an indexed fund, which gives you diversity in your portfolio (Modern Portfolio Theory) and then make quarterly trades into and out of that fund to your advantage, i.e. sell an appropriate portion of your fund when the price has risen in the quarter and buy an appropriate portion of the fund when the price drops over the quarter. The goal is to buy or sell sufficient amounts of the fund for you to achieve 3% growth each quarter.

The second section of the book goes into the details of how to achieve optimum results, which include buying into the fund at the lowest point possible (around 55% of the gains in the fund are based on share price gains), so you need to be patient and wait for a nice drop in the fund price to buy in (Oct 14 would have been a great time, a shame this book didn’t come out 4 months earlier) and then invest in a fund that tracks its index well. To aid in this investment quest you also need to buy into a bond fund to keep your excess cash from quarters when you sell your shares at a higher price and from which you draw upon to buy shares when they are relatively low in price. Again the amount of shares you work with in each of these quarters is based on achieving the specified 3% growth for the period. Since both the index fund and the bond fund will be paying you a small rate of interest this also contributes to your income growth. This almost sounds too good to be true, but it does work, although not without a couple of hiccups.

If there were no major market ‘pullbacks’ the growth from your initial $20,000 investment would be $1,000,000 in around 40 years, and without the need to add any additional money, the optimum outcome….but we know that the markets don’t work out that way. The book charts (back tests) the results of this strategy from 2001(Q1) - 2013(Q2). Out of 50 quarters additional/external cash was needed 11 of these quarters, when the amount in the bond fund were insufficient to buy the suggested amount of shares for the index fund. Although this (22%) may sound like a high percentage of quarters, the amount required for 4-5 of those quarters could easily come from your savings ($200-1600).

Now you ask, what about those other 5-6 quarters? This is where this goal becomes tricky. As you can probably guess, the great damage to your account is done from 2008(Q1) –2010(Q2) during that Black Swan event where so many things went wrong. From 2007(Q4) to 2010(Q2) there was a funding shortfall each quarter, 2-3 of these could probably be made up from savings, while most people would have the $4000-$10,000 needed for the other quarters, three of which were back-to-back, 2008(Q4) - 2010(Q1), and required @$36,000 of external cash for index fund shares (over this 2.5 year period) in order to stay on track for the 40 year time frame (Remember the financial markets dropped by half)! I doubt few people would be able to meet these monetary demands. BUT DO NOT PANIC and DO NOT SELL! All you need to do is WAIT. It would also helpful if you contribute whatever money you can spare to the index fund because it is in these periods of great share price declines that you get the best deals; remember, you sell when the share prices are high and buy when they are low. Any time you cannot buy shares in the fund when warranted by the signal, will take 2-4 additional quarters to make-up, but this only means that it will take you a bit longer to make that $1 million. It would be prudent to assume that large market pullbacks will arise at least once each decade but know that you can plan for this by putting away money to help you in these unusual periods.

To more succinctly summarize one critical point that may not be so obvious about this strategy, the longer you are in the plan the more money you have, and the more money you will also need for the large share price decline events! To add an additional note, fairly early in the accumulation period, when the fund was <$100,000, it required the addition of a few hundred additional dollars, for three quarters, which could be easily met from savings. If your fund was $700-800,000 and another Black Swan event happened, however, you are going need several hundred thousand dollars (@$500,000?) in external cash! This is the time when you really want to remember to hold! I know easier said than done. I’ll update this part of the review if I am ever in this position.

The third section of the book provides a lot of useful advice for how to go about acquiring that initial amount you need to buy into the plan through a very informative discussion of various savings, and retirement plans that can get you started.

My only regret about this plan is that I wish I had understood the 3% signal better when I first read “The Neatest Little Guide to Stock Market Investing,” which just happened to be in early 2008. My income had just doubled and I was looking for productive ways to invest the extra cash, but I didn’t want to put money into something I didn’t understand. Nevertheless, that book and “The Ultimate Dividend” by Josh Peters saved me from squandering my good fortune.

While I’m too old to reap the benefits of a 40 year time frame, now that I understand how this system work, I’m going to transfer a suitable sum from my IRAs to set up the index and bond accounts, and I’ll see what happens over the next 10-20 years. More important to me however, because of this book, I also know what I’m going get my son for a college graduation present…a similar set of brokerage and bond accounts that I’ll contribute 50% to the initial position, with the caveat that he has to add the remainder as soon as he can. In the interim, as long has he is saving up I’ll be willing to cover the pesky external cash add-ins that are sometimes required to keep the fund on track. Note I’m doing this in the early stages of the fund, when it is cheap! In addition to Mr. Kelly’s advice on retirement savings plans found in this book, I want my son to forgo Roth contributions until he has this initial position.


Gold Toe Men's Crew Fashion Patterned Dress 3-Pack Sock
Gold Toe Men's Crew Fashion Patterned Dress 3-Pack Sock
Price: $16.99 - $17.00

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Mislabeled product, April 12, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I like Goldtoe socks, but I also want socks that are mainly cotton as I live in a hot humid climate and nylon or polyester socks are unbearable anywhere outdoors. The online information for this product states: 68% Mercerized Cotton/16% Aquaroad Nylon/14% Nylon/2% Spandex. That is not what I received. The socks look similar to the picture but the label on the socks states 87% polyester, 20% nylon, 2% Spandex! and this product won't work at all.

It is a real disappointment and I won't be ordering any more of this product from Amazon because I live outside the U.S. and it is not worth the the hassle/cost of returning them. Please check your products and their description Amazon!


A Historical Geography of China
A Historical Geography of China
by Yi-fu Tuan
Edition: Paperback
Price: $33.26
48 used & new from $19.87

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Reprint of old publication, October 28, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Apparently the 'publisher' Aldine Transaction has been created to recycle old material. This book is a reprint of a book that was published in 1969. This new printing is exactly like the old version, and although the 'reprint' has better text and image quality than many of these type of publications the fact that Amazon's description of this product is not providing this information is a disservice to its customers. You believe you are getting new material, but it is not.

Beware of products from this publisher.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 9, 2014 12:21 AM PST


Dockers Men's Shelter Plain Toe Oxford,Black,8.5 M US
Dockers Men's Shelter Plain Toe Oxford,Black,8.5 M US
Price: $47.95
4 used & new from $47.95

14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice value, odd sizing, October 12, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Many years ago I had a pair of Levis chukka boots that lasted longer than any other shoes I've had. I needed some new shoes and couldn't find anything I wanted where I live now, overseas. I bought these shoes based on the size of other shoes I recently purchased, Bass Weejuns and Allen-Edmonds. I've always worn an 8D in Weejuns Logan, and to be on the safe side I purchased an 8.5D in Allen-Edmonds Wilbert. Both of these shoes fit fine, although the A-E shoes were just a bit long. These Dockers shoes seem well made, the oiled leather works well when out in the rain or with spills, and I think they will wear well. The problem is that I ordered an 8.5M, and while the width is perfect the shoes are not long enough; my toes are right at the end of the shoe and jam into the end when I walk. I need at least a 9 maybe 9.5M for these shoes to fit well. My other complaint is that the material on the inside of the shoe at the back on the heel, to keep the heel from slipping, rubs my heel raw; much worse than any other shoe I've had. Maybe that will improve as one wears the shoes, but I'm going to have to purchase another pair because even though I like the shoe they are one size too short for me.

As an additional note the Amazon size chart is useless from a buyers perspective. The sizing is off quite a bit. According to my measurements I'd need a size 10 shoe (I've never worn anything longer than a 9.5 in any shoe size). This sizing may be done to ensure that the shoe is not too short, as you may be more willing to return shoes that are too short rather than too long.


Van Heusen Men's Long Sleeve Wrinkle Free Poplin Solid Shirt, Greystone, 16.5 34/35
Van Heusen Men's Long Sleeve Wrinkle Free Poplin Solid Shirt, Greystone, 16.5 34/35
Offered by Trinity Kays Kulture1

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars waste of money, September 22, 2011
The best thing I can say about this shirt is that the sizing is correct for me. However, it does not hang well on my shoulders and it bunches up around the collar. More important, I live in a hot humid climate and was concerned about how hot this shirt would be. Indoors with the A/C it is fine, but once I go outside the sweat pours off me. It is like wearing a plastic bag. The most annoying aspect of the shirt, however, is that it wrinkles more than any other dress shirts I have. After washing and drying the shirt it looked like it had been tied up in a knot for a few days. Even after being on a hanger for 2 days most of the wrinkles are still there, and it takes more ironing to get the wrinkles out than any other shirt I have. This is no easy care shirt. I have many brands of dress shirts and this is one of the worst. Ironically, my JCPenney Stafford dress shirts continue to be the most wrinkle free even after 2-3 years, and they are very comfortable in hot humid weather, even though the material (60+% cotton) is heavier than my other shirts.


Arrow Mens Fitted Poplin Dress Shirt, Seal, 16.5/34-35
Arrow Mens Fitted Poplin Dress Shirt, Seal, 16.5/34-35

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Far less than expected, September 22, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The best thing I can say about this shirt is that the sizing is correct for me. I live in a hot humid climate and was concerned about how hot this shirt would be. Indoors with the A/C it is fine, but once I go outside the sweat pours off me. It is like wearing a plastic bag. The most annoying aspect of the shirt, however, is that it wrinkles more than any other dress shirts I have. The shirt came with a permanent crease along the shoulders and would not iron out, so the shirt never hangs well on my shoulders as there is always a bulge near the collar. After washing and drying the shirt it looked like it had been tied up in a knot for a few days. Even after being on a hanger for 2 days most of the wrinkles are still there, and it takes more ironing to get the wrinkles out than any other shirt I have. This is no easy care shirt. I have many brands of dress shirts and this is one of the worst. Ironically, my JCPenney Stafford dress shirts continue to be the most wrinkle free even after 2-3 years, and they are very comfortable in hot humid weather, even though the material (60+% cotton) is heavier than my other shirts.


No Title Available

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars only for those who think memorize and regurgitate is a good learning method, April 30, 2007
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Yes, I've used Cliff Notes and other outlines and I always appreciate the effort when someone takes the trouble to provide a concise summary of a larger work. This 'outline,' and I use that term loosely here, is nothing more than a compilation of definitions used in urban economics. The amount of effort to put this into some helpful form is minimal, basically just a list of terms with explanations or definitions to the side, and then an area where you can write something that perhaps may help you memorize the terms.

As a comprehensive list of terms used in urban economics it does a decent job, as an outline of an urban economics text it is a scam. No where in the book is there a single forumla, a single graph, or a single discussion of the mutual interaction of phenomenon listed in any of the terms. It is clear why the published won't let you take a look inside this paultry piece of garbage, no one would buy it, well maybe some desperate folks just trying to get a D in the class.

If your view of academics and learning is basically memorize and regurgitate and all you want is a list of terms to spout so you can claim some minimal level of knowledge of this field, then this really is the book for you. However, I certainly wouldn't want to be relying on your expertise in this field to help me with anything.

If you were actually looking for some insight into aspects of urban economics that you may not understand you will be wasting your time trying to glean anything from this book that you couldn't accomplish by simply underlying and memorizing every term in the textbook from which it is derived. This book is a waste of money, not much of a waste of time as it took me 1-2 minutes to determine I wasted my money and there was nothing of value in the book for me.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 18, 2007 8:37 PM PST


6' Firewire 6 pin to 6,
6' Firewire 6 pin to 6,
Offered by CablesOnline
Price: $6.99

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars item sent not the same as one displayed, May 3, 2006
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Beware if you want to buy this product. The image displayed shows a cable with two male 6-pin ends. The packaging on the product clearly states '6-pin to 6-pin', which is not the case, but rather '4-pin to 4 pin'. This is certainly the fault of the company, Offspring Technologies, and Amazon is somewhat complicit as the image they display of male 6-pin ends of this product online is NOT the same as the 4-pin ends that one can clearly see, through the plastic packaging.

Now I have to decide if its worth the time and hassle to return this foul-up.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 22, 2007 5:10 PM PST


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