Fulcrum Financial

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67% Chance the 49ers Will Win, Pretty Good Chance the Prediction is No Good

Predictionmachine.com ran 50,000 iterations of its statistical model to give a 67% chance the San Francisco 49ers will win the Super Bowl. Such a large number (50,000 iterations) and “computer model” may create an impression of validity and sophistication about the prediction. This could be a false impression. The output from a statistical model is …

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Permanent link to this article: https://betweenthenumbers.net/2013/01/67-chance-the-49ers-will-win-pretty-good-chance-the-prediction-is-no-good/

The decline in California’s exodus fizzles out

The good news for California is that not as many of its residents are leaving the state now as they were six or seven years ago. The bad news is that the exodus continues to march onward, together with its domestic migration gap, which has remained steady over the past several years. 2006 saw the …

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Permanent link to this article: https://betweenthenumbers.net/2012/12/the-decline-in-californias-exodus-fizzles-out/

A massive sample size should invite a critical eye, not instill confidence

This post is part of a series that considers methodological and reporting flaws that frequently arise in surveys, and uses Travelandleisure.com’s “America’s Favorites Cities” (AFC) survey as its primary point of discussion. Links to other posts in this series are featured on the author’s page. Reports will frequently boast a survey’s sample size, as if …

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Permanent link to this article: https://betweenthenumbers.net/2012/04/a-massive-sample-size-should-invite-a-critical-eye-not-instill-confidence/

L.A.’s pizza is worse than Anchorage’s and why your expert’s survey may be unreliable

Los Angelenos think highly of their hamburgers. Not so much their pizza. According to resident responses, L.A. hamburgers rank fifth best of 35 U.S. cities based on a report by Travelandleisure.com. But L.A.’s pizza ranks 28th, seven spots from dead last. It is no surprise that L.A. residents are less proud of their pizza than …

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Permanent link to this article: https://betweenthenumbers.net/2012/03/l-a-s-pizza-is-worse-than-anchorages-and-why-your-experts-survey-may-be-unreliable/

Government employees are compensated 16% more richly than their private sector counterparts

In a study released in January, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) concluded that, on average, civilian federal employee compensation (including both wages and benefits spending) trumps that of the private sector. Except for individuals with a professional degree or doctorate, the imbalance held true at each education level, including (i) high school diploma or less, …

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Permanent link to this article: https://betweenthenumbers.net/2012/02/government-employees-are-compensated-16-more-richly-than-their-private-sector-counterparts/

Time to consider other appraisal methods? Answer is blowin’ in the wind.

Since Bob Dylan is still singing (or something like that), he might want to dig up his early hit “Blowin’ in the Wind” and add a new line. Something to the effect of “How many foreclosures will it take ‘til banks consider other appraisal methods.”  I’ll let Mr. Dylan worry about making the line sound …

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Permanent link to this article: https://betweenthenumbers.net/2011/08/time-to-consider-other-appraisal-methods-answer-is-blowin%e2%80%99-in-the-wind/

Netflix misses an opportunity by un-tying its services

Groans and moans over product tying (aka bundling) are commonplace. When companies sell products as a package deal only, consumers frequently feel they’re getting the short end of the stick because they’re being “forced” to purchase products they don’t want. The classic example is cable television. The sports fan only wants to watch ESPN and …

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Permanent link to this article: https://betweenthenumbers.net/2011/07/netflix-missses-an-opportunity-by-un-tying-its-services/

Legal sector’s drop a surprise, sluggish pick up is not

While jumps and dips in the economy are known to shake up private sector payrolls generally, jobs at law firms have traditionally been safe bets in the face of a recession. The same cannot be said of the Great Recession, officially started in December 2007. This time around, the legal industry’s suffering has mirrored that …

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Permanent link to this article: https://betweenthenumbers.net/2011/05/sluggish-hiring-in-legal-sector-unlikely-to-improve-soon/

LA Lakers offer perspective on capitalism’s fair weather fans

GQ magazine recently released its ranking of America’s worst sports fans.  While most fans made the list for being “bottle-throwers, couch-torchers, sexual harassers, projectile vomiters” or something equally despicable, the Los Angeles Lakers registered at number 15 simply for being fair weathered.  The magazine cited widespread abandonment in 1991 when Magic Johnson retired and a …

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Permanent link to this article: https://betweenthenumbers.net/2011/04/lakersoffer-lesson-for-capitalisms-fair-weather-fans/

A Ponzi scheme to make Bernie Madoff blush

Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme shocked the nation.  Initial estimates of missing client money were around $65 billion. A court later declared actual client losses of $18 billion. Many characterized the scandal as the biggest Ponzi scheme in history.  Of schemes that have already collapsed, the characterization might be true, but to call it the largest …

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Permanent link to this article: https://betweenthenumbers.net/2011/04/a-ponzi-scheme-to-make-bernie-madoff-blush-2/