Sunday, June 21, 2009
Climate de-stabilization caused by our cheap-energy fossil-fuel addiction has already begun to change the physical world we depend on, a reality that money only reflects. Thus, conventional concepts about money, interest rates, investment, benefits, etc., must be constantly questioned. The theories which CalPERS staff use to guide investment must be regularly reconsidered and recalibrated.
I believe the best way to protect CALPERS members' real benefits is to begin ASAP to consistently correlate and integrate energy data and quality-of-life benchmarks with existing ongoing financial data and analysis.
I believe retirees' real economic needs - clean air and water, healthy food, and warmth - are more important that strictly financial benefits, which could conceivably fall short of what's needed even with the COLA.
Health care costs are a key concern. Substantial reductions can be realized with a transition to a more sustainable lifestyle that is more consistent with the way humans are evolved to live, with respect to nutrition, activities, and sleep.
My broad experience in engineering, economics, and in the community offers CalPERS members a kind of expertise that's particularly useful now, given the nature of likely future changes and challenges.
My financial track record includes management of my deferred compensation account. In the dot-com recession, my account only lost about 15% from its 9/30/00 high point, and had recovered by 9/30/03. In the current market crisis, I am seeing similar results so far. My choice of a permanent part-time position and early retirement are more evidence of good money management.
Moreover, I believe the active participation of well-informed member-investors will also strengthen CalPERS policies and investments. Members can educate themselves in theCalPERS' website's Investments section. They can sign up for CalPERs eSubscriptions.
Also, PERS Watch offers independent analysis.