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  • Brian Livingston’s back with a spectacular new book — about personal finance

    Posted on September 30th, 2018 at 07:27 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Many of you remember Brian Livingston, the guy who wrote/co-wrote the Windows Secrets books. They became so popular he built a 400,000-strong newsletter subscriber base on it.

    Brian’s back, this time with a new book in a fascinating field. I just got a copy of Muscular Portfolios, and it has “best seller” written all over it.

    Brian’s spent the better part of a decade researching personal investment options, testing innumerable approaches, seeing what works, historically, and what doesn’t.

    He’s uniquely qualified to pull it all together. He has the computer background, financial background, the smarts, and the desire to invest. He’s also an extremely approachable writer, clear even to the uninitiated, and funny to boot.

    His strategy — actually, three strategies that vary depending on how much you have to invest — hinge on Exchange Traded Funds. ETFs, as you probably know, are extremely low-overhead baskets of assets that are readily bought and sold through online brokerage firms. Cheap. I like cheap.

    Or you can go hire an investment firm/buy into a mutual fund and pay their fees to see if they can do better. Pro tip: Over time, they don’t — just as Warren Buffet predicted.

    I got a kick out of this quote in the book, from asset rotation expert Steve LeCompte:

    Today, LeCompte is most famous for conducting a study called Guru Grades. He tracked 6,582 public statements by 68 stock market experts from 1999 to 2012. He found that only 47% of their predictions came to pass. That’s less than a 50/50 chance!

    If the gurus had simply said “The market will be up next month,” they would have been right 60% of the time. That’s because the S&P 500 rises in about 60% of all months. And yet only 7 of the 68 experts achieved an accuracy better than 60%.

    The trick lies in choosing the right ETFs, and balancing out your portfolio over time. You might think that would be difficult, but it isn’t: Brian’s Muscular Portfolios web site runs his formula constantly. Your job is to check in once a month, and re-adjust (buy and sell) ETFs to match his top three picks.

    Details — including years of regression test results, testing criteria, alternative investing methods (lunar indicator?), tax ramifications, and much more — are in the book.

    Brian also has a newsletter (of course) with both free and paid content. Take a look at the latest free newsletter to see what he’s up to: The September 11 issue talks about brokerage firms that “are taking their sweet time giving you higher yields in their cash sweep accounts.”

    I’ve already put my money in Brian’s approach. I have a small IRA that I inherited several years ago. Using a precursor of Brian’s Muscular “Baby Bear Portfolio,” and now the final version, that IRA has grown in spite of mandatory annual withdrawals. Could I have made more? Sure, if I’d had a sufficiently prescient crystal ball. But I’ve done reasonably well, I’ve spent about half an hour a year on the upkeep — it takes longer to do the taxes than to balance the portfolio — and I haven’t fretted even once.

    Fintech’s a hot topic these days. Brian’s been doing it for years. Get Muscular Portfolios (that’s an Amazon affiliate link). Sign up for the newsletter. And don’t pour your money down the drain.

    Good to have you back, Brian!

  • Patch Lady – what’s not in 1809

    Posted on September 30th, 2018 at 00:46 Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Patch Lady here – Tonight I was poking around my older Surface that is running the insider version and the about section clearly now says 1809.  I went poking around the security section to find a new feature called “Block Suspicious Behaviors” that was touted in earlier blog posts about the upcoming release.  When I didn’t see it in the security center area I found that in the August 3rd blog post it was removed.

    Thank you everyone who has given us feedback on the “Block Suspicious Behaviors” feature that was recently added to Windows Security. For the time being we’re removing it from the build while we work on addressing some of the things you shared with us.

    So unless it magically comes back between now and when it officially gets released, you aren’t going crazy if you can’t find it.

  • Patch Lady – WSUSers get new feature releases for old stuff

    Posted on September 28th, 2018 at 18:39 Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    As noted in the ITpro blog , if you got feature updates to 1803, 1709 and 1703 sync’d up in your WSUS on Thursday don’t worry it’s just meant to be a smaller feature update for those that use WSUS to roll out feature updates.

    If you don’t use WSUS ignore this posting.

    If you do use WSUS you can now go … AHHHH that’s what that is for!

  • Patch Lady – learning about Patch Tuesday

    Posted on September 28th, 2018 at 18:24 Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Patch Lady here – do you want to listen to John Wilcox, Principal Program Manager of Microsoft talk about how Microsoft handles Patch Tuesday?

    This past week the Ignite Conference recorded a session on Patch Tuesday.

    You might need to sign up for a Techcommunity log in to watch it from that link… an easier way to watch it is to go to YouTube and watch it there.

    One interesting takeaway — right now the average time between when a bug is identified and fixed is 90 days.

    Another video to watch:  Windows 10 and Office 365 servicing

  • How to absolutely, positively block the forced upgrade to Win10 1809

    Posted on September 28th, 2018 at 15:23 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    With the release of Win10 version 1809 imminent — likely on Tuesday — you need to prep your machine to block a forced upgrade.

    The upgrades won’t come immediately, but within a week or two or three, you should expect them to come rolling out the chute. One of them will have your name on them.

    I have full, step-by-step instructions coming in Computerworld.

  • Facebook blocks 90 million accounts, 50 million have stolen user info

    Posted on September 28th, 2018 at 13:36 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    This is just breaking, but the best report I’ve seen is from the Washington Post.

    The company said as many as 90 million Facebook users — out of a total of 2.2 billion — will have to log back into their accounts as a result of the breach. Notifications will appear at the top of the Facebook news feed for the 50 million who were directly affected, executives said on a call with reporters.

    Sure to be a big topic over the weekend.

    UPDATE: Facebook’s official notification.

    UPDATE: From Brian Krebs:

    The company said it was just beginning its investigation, and that it doesn’t yet know some basic facts about the incident, such as whether these accounts were misused, if any private information was accessed, or who might be responsible for these attacks.

  • Patch Lady – new releases for Windows 10

    Posted on September 26th, 2018 at 21:51 Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Patch Lady here – if you were a “seeker” or were offered up the updates on or around September 20th and caught KB4458469 for Windows 10 1803 earlier this month, there’s a rerelease of that update due to… and I quote “because of a missing solution.

    Also rereleased today is KB4457136  for Windows 10 1709 … also rereleased due to a missing solution.  None of the other platforms have received these rereleased updates.

    Note it doesn’t go into detail what the “missing solution is”.

    It would be nice if there was a teensy weeny bit more clarity and a better explanation of what solution was missed so we know if we need it.

    Definitely we need more clarity and transparency.

    UPDATE: There’s a summary and a few new details at Computerworld Woody on Windows.

  • Hey, Win10 peeps: Now’s a good time to download and save a fresh, clean copy of Win10 version 1803

    Posted on September 26th, 2018 at 13:29 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    It’s a fairly straightforward process, as long as you have access to a Windows 10 machine.

    Step-by-step details in Computerworld Woody on Windows.

    Thx for the nudge, @PKCano!