About Earl


My name is Earl … yes … it actually is … and I’m proud of it.

I was born in south Georgia and raised in rural Middle Georgia but have lived in the South Carolina “Low Country” for the past 30 years. I also attended college in South Carolina earning a degree in Chemistry, then returned to Georgia to study Medicine (M.D.) and trained in Family Medicine, a family tradition of sorts, following the paths of my grandfather and namesake as well as my great-grandfather.

After serving in the United States Air Force during the Reagan years, I established a solo practice to pursue my medical career as a physician, independent practitioner and businessman. After a number of years in private practice I was forced into an early retirement secondary to health issues related to Crohn’s Disease.

The name “Earl” has become synonymous with Southern wisdom … among other things. That’s what I’m going to share with you … Southern wisdom … Southern perspective … Southern insight … maybe even a tale or two, all hopefully consistent with the intent of the Founding Fathers and an antipathy to “progressive” ideas fostered for more than 100 years in certain northeastern universities based on Marxist socialism and the corrosive malignancy eroding the foundation and greatness of our country.


15 Responses

  1. Hi Earl,

    I found your blog after googling “Fingerstyle Guitar” some months after my issues stopped despite having paid for a renewal. Today I got around to reading your “About” page and was surprised and sorry to read you were forced into early retirement due to health issues related to Crohn’s Disease. That happened to me too about six years ago. Small world, eh? Good health to you!


    • Good to hear from you, Margaret.

      … and glad you’re hanging in there with the Crohn’s … another “Crohn’s survivor”. You know what I mean.

      I hope you’re doing well.


  2. Earl:
    I am a long time subscriber to Fingerstyle Guitar. For may years they were reliable and the issues came every other month as advertised. Over about the last year and half the issues have come sproadically and all my attempts to communicate with them have met with no response whatsoever. In desperation I e-mailed the editor Bill Piburn. He is a very respected fingerstytle guitarist. I poured out my heart about my frustrations in corresponding with the magazine. I got nothing. Even when I requested information on whteher my subscription had run out so I could renew I got NO REPLY.

    I suspect the magazine is not making a profit and we are seeing the prelude to bankruptcy.

    Incidentally, one comment mentioned Acoustic Guitar. They are alive and well. The magazine is excellent and has a lot of online stuff linked to the issues.

    You are welcome to post this comment.

    • Thanks for your comment Bruce.

      Regarding bankruptcy, I suspect your comments may be right. Regarding Mr. Pillburn … maybe he should stick to playing the guitar … where he is respected.

      Taking four months to get out a “bi-monthly” magazine issue after announcing “new” management doesn’t bode well … and doesn’t exactly fit into a “6 issues per year” magazine schedule. At their current rate of publication it looks like its the 2009 annual issue. If my suspicions hold true, it probably will be the only issue they publish and mail this year … if not ever.

      By the way, have you ever been “snipe hunting”??

      You know …, two months is a long time to be left holding the bag before you realize you’ve been taken. LOL!!!


  3. Worried about you. Are you okay?

    • Hi Chuck. I’m okay. I tried to send you an e-mail a while back but it bounced for some reason.

      I pulled the first article on Healthcare because I decided it was too “off topic”, meandering and harsh.

      I appreciate you concern.


  4. Hi Earl,
    I also subscribed,as well as oredered one back issue. I have quite a few issues,as I was pretty current when they stopped publishing. I am not so concerned about the subscription,but I DID expect that they would have sent the back issue.

    I DID get a receipt and thank you for subscribing. My wife noticed that they had an AOL account,and that sent up some red flags.

    My email was bounced back to me as,”Undeliverable'” and I was replying to their email. I’m hoping that they are back in business,as it was a top notch fingerstyle magazine.

    I was happy I found your email,as it lets me know that I am not the only one in this boat. I am considering contacting the BBB,and see what they know about this.

    Thank you very much for taking the time to read this.

    Every good wish,

  5. Earl, You made statement s implying I was for example involved in the mortgage mess because I happened to be at a mortgage company. And there were others. But I have no desire to get into that.

    Second, the science is the actual evidence from studies on his performance. And btw, there are others, including a very recent one which showed no value for his forecasts.

    Third, you made statements implying I was somehow influenced by CBS. In fact the very opposite is true. And if you took the time to read my blogs before criticizing them you would know. For example, CBS put on a blog post on the market forecasts of three top market strategists. They asked me to comment on them. So I did. And my post made the same type statements that they had no value at all, and showed the evidence from studies as well.

    You can find my post here

    The problem with the Internet is that it is faceless and that allows people to say things they would never say publicly, at least civil people would not. Now do you say go suck and egg to people publicly? And do so without in any way checking to make sure the assumptions you made were correct? I would hope not.

  6. Hi Earl

    Just to set the record straight.

    A) I am not a money manager and in no way do I compete with Cramer.

    B) If you had taken the time to actually read my blog posts and/or my books, which are all based on the academic research on investing, not my opinions, then you would also know that I don’t believe anyone can forecast the economy or the stock market well. In fact one of my favorite sayings is that my crystal ball is always cloudy and as much as we would like to believe that there is someone who can tell us where the market is going there is only one person who can and none of us gets to talk to that person. So what we should focus on is the things we can control, the amount of risk we take (our asset allocation), costs (minimize the croupier’s take) and tax efficiency.

    C) When I was at Prudential Home Mortgage it was a in the late 80s and early 90s. We were the largest producer of loans in the country with an impeccable credit record and never produced any of the type of loans that have created the problems the industry eventually faced and we never issued any of the type of securities that created the problems. I left in 1995.

    D) When I was at Citicorp in the 70s and 80s I was in their international finance division and we were the leader in the world in advising major corporations on managing financial risks.

    E) Here is another study which found the same results on Cramer’s recommendations:
    2006 paper, “Is the Market Mad? Evidence from Mad Money.” At first glance, the answer would appear to be yes. Typically, after Cramer recommended a stock, its volume soared. For example, the authors found that on the smallest quartile of stocks, volume was almost nine times more than on the day after his recommendation (and stayed above normal for about three days, with the effect decreasing with time). The increased demand led to an overnight rise in prices of about 5 percent for the smallest stocks (where they can have the greatest impact) and about 2 percent for the entire sample of the 246 unconditional recommendations examined between July 28, 2005 and October 14, 2005.
    Unfortunately, those gains turned out to be temporary. For example, price gains for stocks in the smallest quartile completely reversed within twelve trading days. The original gains turned into nothing more than market impact costs. In other words, after costs, Cramer’s picks typically had negative value to naïve investors who reacted to the buy recommendations.
    However, because the market is so efficient, a different category of investors may have benefited from Cramer’s picks. For example, while the demand for Cramer’s stock picks increased, there was also an increase in the volume of short selling (bets that the stocks will fall). In the opening minutes of the day following one of his recommendations, short sales increased to almost seven times their normal levels, and they remained elevated for three days.
    Besides individuals who followed Cramer’s show, the authors identified two main players: “the market makers who supply liquidity to these investors, and the arbitrageurs who attempt to profit from the mispricing following the recommendations.”3
    The authors also found that the stocks that Cramer recommended had excess returns for the three days prior to his actual recommendation. They provided two explanations for this behavior. Their first explanation was that Cramer was recommending stocks with short-term momentum (of which there is some evidence, although after trading costs the positive momentum would be difficult, if not impossible, to exploit). Their second explanation was that information pertaining to some of the stocks he recommended was released before the television show aired each day (during market hours), which the authors attributed to either Cramer’s daily radio show or Web columns.

    • Larry,

      Thanks for the response. I’ve given it a lot of thought and, since you decided to reply to it “off topic”, I’ll respond to you likewise rather than make a production issue out of it.

      Basically, your criticism of Jim Cramer comes across as, at the minimum, self serving and, in the greater context, as a hatchet job for your employer, CBS. And, not very good at that.

      Pointing out the obvious; i.e., that which is already stated in CNBC’s disclaimer of the show regarding the possibility or likelihood of the information already being dessiminated and the obvious reality of acute actions being taken on his recommendations leaves me both slightly baffled and suspicious of your motives.

      In the scheme of things, Jim Cramer is, at most, a minor fly in the ointment with, as your college professors pointed out, a very transparent and predictable cause and effect.

      The real “shuck and jive” was the bill of goods sold to the majority of the American public in the last election.

      If you’re sincere in desiring to help people, why don’t you concentrate your knowledge and efforts on the real villains, the power mongers and money brokers around and behind the power in Washington? They’re the ones who are really fleecing the American public.

      But, then, you’d probably have to quit your current job since impartiality, honesty and integrity are not exactly qualities that CBS or its employees have come to be noted for.

      Enjoy your affiliation with CBS.


      • Earl
        You really should not make the kinds of assumptions you make without the knowledge you need to make them. As I pointed out your post contained many false statements and even accusations.

        I was just trying to be polite and correct them, at least that way you could make an informed decision.

        As to my relationship with my employer–
        First, CBS in no way controls the content of what I write. There is no editing or even suggestions on what I write.

        Second, I write about investing and the science of investing. It is not a political column. If you took the time to read my posts and the books I write you would know that I write about the science of investing, letting people know what the research shows and I do attack the wolves of Wall Street who exploit people. My books and the blogs are filled with such efforts.

        I have been writing on this topic for about 15 years now well before I started writing for CBS and they have absolutely nothing to do with what I write. You can accept it or not but those are the facts.

        Finally, I spend countless hours every week providing free investment advice to people I get emails from all over the world, people who read my books and people who read my blog posts and those who also visit the Bogleheads forum. I don’t get paid a penny for that. And if you knew what CBS pays me for the work you would not even begin to think I write for them. I write because I want to help the public.

        Best wishes


        • Larry,

          Two questions …
          1) What false statements?
          2) What was scientific about your attack on Cramer?


  7. I have tried to find another way to do this because it might seem that I started a dialogue just to get my URL posted. But, I have placed you on my blogroll and I am looking forward to reading you more.

    You can see my site here: http://gadaboutblogalot.wordpress.com/

    Hope you’ll approve of my using you on my blogroll and if you think this post is too forward, please delete it..

    Take care,


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