San Francisco
Roy Trumbull - Editor
Bill Dempster - Artist
Advertisers for this month's newsletter are:

Zack Electronics - Judi Lomas - (888) 329-0225
Advanced Marketing - Frank A. Santucci - (650) 365-3944
Belden - Steve Lampen - (415) 440-8393
Orban - - (510) 351-3500
MARCOM - Martin Jackson - (408) 768-8668
William F. Ruck, Jr. Broadcast Engineer - (415) 564-1450
Audio Accessories - Rosie Alexander - (510) 787-3335
Kathrein (Scala Division) - Michael Wm. Bach - (541) 779-6500
Hammett & Edison, Inc. - Dane E. Ericksen, P.E. - (707) 996-5200
LeBLANC - David A. Hill - (650) 574-4600
Gentner Communications - Kelly Hanning - (800) 879-9317
Improbable Missions Fource - Mike Schweizer - (888) 4-ISDN4U
Econco - George Badger - 650-327-7599
RF Specialties of California - Bill Newbrough - (888) 737-7321
ADC - Russ Erickson - (877) 440-7877
Enco Systems - Steve Rooney - 800-ENCO-SYS

Babes/SBE Luncheon on Wednesday Feb 27th

For the February meeting, Steve Lampen's (from Belden Wire and Cable) subject will be: "The Truth About Audio Cable".

As usual, our luncheon will be at Sinbad's just south of the Ferry Building on the Embarcadero near the foot of Mission St. We meet at 11:30 and are seated at 12:30. To make reservations call Paul Black at 925-827-9511 and leave a message on his machine.

Enron Outcome 600 BCE

When one of these stories comes along I'm always amazed at how ignorant and poorly read reporters are as a group. They can all pile on after the story breaks but they're a pretty clueless lot. Back during the close outcome of the presidential election it was apparent to me that between ABC, CBS, NBC, and CNN there was only one knowledgeable reporter and that was Tim Russert of "Meet the Press". NBC just gave him a 10 year contract.

Unavailable for a soundbite is another knowledgeable fellow, who lived in 600BCE and correctly predicted the outcome of the Microsoft litigation and (I'm willing to bet) for the Enron mess as well. He was a Greek law-giver named Solon and he said: "Laws are like spiders' webs which, if anything small falls into them they ensnare it, but large things break through and escape."


The Broadcast Engineer Relief Fund to benefit families of the six broadcast engineers lost at the World Trade Center on September 11 has received a great response. Initiated by the Society of Broadcast Engineers and the Ennes Educational Foundation Trust on September 13, the Fund has received more than $247,000 as February 4th! We have dispersed funds to the families as the fund has received donations. The first checks were sent last October, and as of February 4th, each family has now received $41,000 in unrestricted grants. Every dollar contributed to the Broadcast Engineer Relief Fund is going to the six families. SBE and the Ennes Trust are absorbing any expenses related to the fund.

As the financial loss for many of these families is very large, we continue to accept your tax-deductible contributions. Make your check payable to, *Ennes Educational Foundation Trust* (*Relief Fund* on the memo line) and send to:

The Ennes Trust is a 501(c)3 non-profit charitable organization as designated by the IRS. Its EIN is 35-1506445.

For more information about the Broadcast Engineer Relief Fund, call John L. Poray, CAE, Executive Director, Society of Broadcast Engineers at (317) 846-9000 or by e-mail John at

Dempster Gallery On-Line

Drawings by the man who drew our mascot are on-line at:

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Webmeister Tim Pozar has the current newsletter plus newsletters all the way back to 1996 at:

Investment Notes

(What follows are not recommendations of SBE Ch40) I attended an AAII (American Association of Individual Investors) meeting last month and it was pointed out that the market is still pretty rich in terms of PE ratio. That isn't unusual during a recession but you must still be cautious as the bears can attack a high PE stock and take it down. I'm not inclined to buy a stock whose PE ratio is higher than the companies growth rate.

Mutual fund volatility was another topic. It you take the growth in a given year, convert it to a decimal and add it to 1, you'll get the earnings multiple for that year. Thus 24% becomes 24/100+ 1 or 1.24. A negative 30% becomes -30/100 + 1 or .7. Taking the product of the multiples for 5 or 10 years gives you the before tax growth over that span of years whereas taking the standard deviation of the same numbers gives the volatility as a decimal. Thus .11 would be 11% and .32 would be 32%. Product and standard deviation are both functions available within Excel.

The numbers are worth doing because you'll find that for only slightly less growth rate you might be able to find a fund with better than half the volatility. Another benefit in a taxable account is that the volatile fund typically will have short term capital gains on which the taxes are high whereas the less volatile fund will have more long term capital gains on which the taxes are low. Investors Business Daily ranks funds in term of tax efficiency.

Treasurer's Report for 2001

Expenses were higher due to the promotion of the Zenith seminar and an extended mailing list which has now been trimmed to include only SBE members listed by national SBE.

Submitted by Roy Trumbull