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April’s Healthcare Index

Inspired by the monthly Harper's Index, and after a hiatus in this post category, here is April's index on random and useful stats and figures in healthcare and finance. 10-year annualized return for the S&P 500 Healthcare Sector Index: 13.7%; S&P 500: 11.94%. Expected Long-Term Rate of Return on US pension plan assets for Ford, GM: 6%, 5.6%. Current short-term expectations for medical cost inflation in the US for UPS's post-retirement medical benefits: 6.5%. Generic drug ...

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What Buffett Avoids

Warren Buffett has invested in an old textile mill, utilities, insurance, reinsurance, shoes, chocolate, newspapers, banks, bricks, carpet, food, and more. “The ideal business is one that earns very high returns on capital and that keeps using lots of capital at those high returns. That becomes a compounding machine.” Warren Buffett CEO Buffett loves the insurance business. There are no factories to build, no steep environmental regula ...

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The Sucker’s Guide to Healthcare Purchasing

“Invert, always invert” Carl Jacobi Jacobi was a famous German mathematician who taught about the power of inversion, a mindset which will often lead to better results than solving problems directly.What should I do to get ripped off? How can I be unhealthy or unhappy? What habits will help me trail my peers?“He new that it is in the nature of things that many hard problems are best solved when they are addressed backward,” said Charlie Munge ...

Shopping

The Phases of Shopping For Healthcare

  The shoppability of healthcare is a hotly contested area of the health insurance debate. "Lasik is the way. Lasik has gotten better and cheaper over time!"Could Healthcare Be Like Lasik? "Nonsense, you can't shop for care when you're unconscious." Both have some truth. Not all health interventions are shoppable. Many are, 40-60% of careranges of 43% from the HCCI and over 60% from Dr. Marty Makary, and if you're paying for your plan directly you can shop for that as well. If y ...

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The Power of $50

After the $2 bill, the $50 bill is the rarest in circulation. It bears the image of Ulysses S. Grant, one of the most consequential and interesting leaders in American historyGrant led a fascinating life. Poverty, alcoholism, failure after failure until he thrived as a Civil War general and eventually became president, the first president to do a global tour after. In his old age, he sat down, dying of throat cancer, and wrote his memoirs, desperate to save his family from penury. It worked..$50 ...