1. Understanding Random Forest — my first viral article and the one that got me serious about blogging. Still a top hit on Google if you search “Random Forest”.
  2. Understanding Neural Networks — the single article I spent the most time writing.
  3. The Curse Of Dimensionality — I thought really hard about how to make this explanation intuitive. I am reasonably proud of the way it turned out.
  4. Understanding PCA — ditto as 3.
  5. Understanding Logistic Regression — my very first data science article.
  6. Bitcoin Is Irrational Exuberance — the article that put my publication Alpha Beta Blog on the map…

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Buy profitable companies with loads of cash on their balance sheets

(Not intended to be investment advice. Full disclosure: I own shares of Google, Apple, and Microsoft — companies that I mention in this article.)

There’s a tendency to over-optimize in finance. In the investing world, fees are high, and thus the need to justify those fees is high as well. But sometimes answer is very simple.

Are you scared of a market crash? Most people are, including me. There’s many ways to reduce the damage that a market crash can wreak on your portfolio:

  • Holding more cash
  • Holding more Treasury bonds
  • Shorting a broad index like the S&P 500 or…

Photo by zhang kaiyv on Unsplash

Shades of the 2008 Financial Crisis

Last week various news outlets announced that Evergrande, one of China’s largest and most indebted property developers, was at risk of bankruptcy after failing to make an interest payment.

That interest payment was just the straw that broke the camel’s back — in all, Evergrande owes around $300 billion (a whopping 2% of Chinese GDP). These hundreds of billions are owed to home buyers (who have paid but not yet received their homes), banks (who lent Evergrande money), suppliers, and employees.

For years, Evergrande ran a risky operation of selling future inventory years in advance — home buyers would look…

Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash

During good times, there are always those looking to rip you off

I saw this article in the Wall Street Journal yesterday and felt surprised that there have not been more of these (or maybe I happened to miss them).

Maybe it’s because the good times have yet to end. It’s much easier to lie and cheat your investors (or clients) when times are good and people play fast and loose with their money.

According to a separate WSJ article, in Q1 of 2021, $52 million was lost due to cryptocurrency frauds and scams. …

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A series of finance tutorials that try to keep things as simple as possible

(These articles are for educational purposes only and not intended to be investment advice. Please do your own due diligence before investing.)

I realized that my writing is not always easy to understand. I do my best to use examples, but sometimes it’s not easy to simplify investing, business strategy, and macroeconomics.

My core audience is OK with that, and I enjoy writing those articles. But a second and also very important objective of mine is to increase financial literacy. So I need content that is clear, concise, and entertaining in a way that hooks the reader. Otherwise, I risk…

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It’s a struggle but it’s imperative if you don’t want to work forever

I really enjoyed Brian Feutz’s piece about his first few weeks of retirement. I feel like there aren’t that many articles that read like an old school blog or a journal anymore. Everyone has a point to make nowadays (I suppose it gets more views) — so it’s nice to see Brian’s simple and honest account of what the first few weeks of work-free life is like.

As someone who’s not that close to retiring, it got me thinking about life after work.

Photo by Robert Bye on Unsplash

Nothing impacts the economy more

Everyone has an opinion on the economy, the stock market, crypto, or inflation these days. The truth is nobody knows. We can only make our best guesses as to where things are going, and adjust as the facts change.

But it helps to at least have a common understanding of the fundamentals as our foundation. And it’s my belief that you can’t do a proper macroeconomic analysis these days without a proper understanding of the relationship between banks and the money supply.

Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash

This week’s best stories

I’m always happy when there are stories not written by me to share with you all. As you might have noticed, most of the stories on Alpha Beta Blog are by yours truly, so it’s no fun to do a Weekly Pick of just my own articles.

Well this week, there’s a treasure trove of insightful articles from my fellow Alpha Beta Blog writers. Let’s get to them!

Canadian Real Estate

Canada’s real estate market has been red hot for as long as I can remember. It’s far out-paced all but the fastest growing salaries, pricing many people out of being able to…

Designed by Nikki N

Starting with a new logo

Fellow editor Andrew Plummer and his artist friend Nikki N have been hard at work designing a new logo for Alpha Beta Blog. I think it came out great (see above)!

For most of its first year, Alpha Beta Blog was a solo passion project of mine so I’m thrilled to now have enthusiastic collaborators like Andrew, Kareem Kudus and some regular writers like James Chang and Kevin LaBuz.

In the weeks to come, the plan is for Alpha Beta Blog to look more professional as well — less like a collection of my thoughts and increasingly more like an…

Photo by Griffin Wooldridge on Unsplash

Examining the terrible economics of food delivery

A few months ago, I rode along with my girlfriend as she made a few DoorDash deliveries. She had always wanted to try being a Dasher and we thought it might be a cool way to spend a few hours exploring San Francisco on a weekend afternoon.

Over a three hour span, we made five deliveries, including one that took 30 minutes to drive to. All in all, I think we made around $28. One thing that surprised me was that almost none of it came from tips.

Tony Yiu

Data scientist. Founder Alpha Beta Blog. Doing my best to explain the complex in plain English. Support his writing: https://tonester524.medium.com/membership

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