Best business commentary
February 27, 2008
Is ‘immaculate capitalism’ sustainable?
“Scores of smoochable start-ups” have figured out how to provide great, free online services, says Reihan Salam in Slate. Now they need to figure out how to make money in a culture of “immaculate capitalism,” the “don’t be evil” vision espoused by Google in which “no one gets screwed and everyone gets awesome, free stuff.” Traditionally, these “noble and un-evil” start-ups only make money when “evil Uncle Moneybags”—Microsoft, Yahoo!, or even Google—swoops in to buy them at “a healthy valuation.” Now, with Yahoo! at risk and a recession looming, “immaculate capitalism will have to put its money where its mouth is.”
Taking the load off the table
“Practically, mathematically, and historically speaking,” says Money Magazine’s George Mannes in CNNMoney.com, it makes no sense to put money in a load mutual fund. “It’s not an awful choice,” but with “2,000-plus no-load funds out there, there are plenty of fish in the no-load sea.” Plus, “history teaches us” that with load funds, “you’re not paying more for quality”—the commission generally cancels out any performance boost. With a 4.5 percent load, you’re “immediately putting yourself $4.50 in the hole for every $100 you spend.” Sure, you might eventually catch up with the no-load fund, “but why make it hard on yourself?”
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