Archive for August, 2011

James McMurty Singing Hurricane Party

I know I’m a few days late re Irene, and Katrina’s anniversary, but here’s to Katia and hopefully she won’t make landfall.

James McMurty Singing Hurricane Party from NO Depression, the roots music authority.


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Buying “Cheap” Bikes in Minneapolis

We were planning on being in Minnesota for over a week. Minneapolis is one of the top 5 bike friendly cites in the US. Since we were flying and couldn’t bring our bikes, we decided to buy or rent two.

I called around about rentals, and each rental company wanted a couple hundred dollars [each] for a rental! I thought: we might as well just buy a bike, and then donate it before we leave.

We then looked at places that were selling used bikes, and again, they were a couple hundred bucks each. So then I thought we should just go to Target or Walmart, buy their least expensive bikes, and again, donate them in when we leave.

Since we were in Minneapolis, home to Target, we decided to go to Target. We found bikes that were a little over a hundred bucks. Tried them out and were satisfied. We also bought a bike rack to put on our rental car.

Bought the bikes, went to put the bike rack on, and …we had a hatchback car with a spoiler, so the bike rack didn’t fit! We called the manufacturer of the bike rack, and come to find out, they don’t make racks for our type of rental car [that has a spoiler]!

So…we had to return the bikes. Bummer.

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Pedal Pub in Minneapolis

I recently saw a Pedal Pub here in Bend, and it reminded me of the Pedal Pub I saw when we were in Minneapolis last summer.

I only got a quick look at Bend’s Pedal Pub, but it seemed like a bunch of guys in t-shirts and shorts running it. I think the Minneapolis one has the smarter idea… host it with pretty women in pirate costumes and fishnet stockings!

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Dave Ramsey Should Own Gold

Ralph listens a lot to the Dave Ramsey show on the radio.  I do really like his NO DEBT philosophy, and if you can’t pay for it in cash, then you can’t afford it.  I’m NOT keen on his preachiness when it comes to his religion.  There are also wayyy too many commercials, and all the commercials seem to relate to some side business of Dave’s or some business that he personally endorses [and gets a kickback?].  NOT too ethical, in my simple mind.

Anyways, one of Dave’s regular catchphrases is “NO one ever made money owning gold!”.

Which isn’t correct.

Its actually a NO brainer when you look at the below chart showing gold [gold line] vs the US dollar [green line].

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Book: The Little Book of Sideways Markets

by Vitaliy Katsenelson. I highly recommend this book.

** The below includes lots of short quotes and paraphrasing from the book. **

Buy and Hold is really just a code name for a “Buy and Forget To Sell” strategy. This is really “I’ll Own It Until Death Do Us Part” strategy. In a sideways market you should employ an active Buy and Sell strategy: buying stocks when they are undervalued and selling them when they are fair valued, as opposed to waiting until they come overvalued.

The 18 year bull market from 1982 to 2000 conditioned investors to be like Warren Buffett – Buy and Hold thru thick & thin. The bull market’s rising tide lifted all ships.

Markets go from long periods of appreciation [bull market] to long periods of stagnation. These cycles last on average 17 years! If you bought in 1966, it was 1982 before you saw a new high. During these stagnation cycles, investors have to be more actively engaged in their investments than before.

Welcome to the sideways market! Meet your new best friend – volatility, which should be used to your advantage.

Using history as a guide, the US stock market will likely continue to stagnate until around 2020 [give or take a few years].

Get ready for a great roller coaster ride in the markets. For the next decade or so the DJIA/S&P will likely do what they did over the preceding decade: go up and down, setting all time highs and multiyear lows along the way. But at the end of the ride, index and Buy and Hold investors, having experienced ups and downs and swings akin to those on an amusement park ride, will find themselves pretty much back where they started. This is all well and fine for visitors to Six Flags, but not really what most of us want for our investments and savings.

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Handicap Parking Permit, Yet Able to Cycle

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Baseball Season is going on?

The other day I was reading someone’s blog, and he was going to Houston to watch the Astros play. What??  This isn’t baseball season!  Wait a minute …this is the summer, and baseball does take place in the summer…

I have zero idea who’s winning or losing. How can I be so out of touch? I guess it’s easy: as I skim the front page of the Sports Section each day, there is NO mention of professional baseball anywhere. None. Out of sight, out of mind.

I guess the Seattle Mariners and the San Fran team are too far away and thus NO local interest.  [However, there is news of the Seahawks and 49’ers during football season].

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Oregonians Have to Pay Washington Sales Tax?

While visiting Walla Walla, Washington, I noticed this sign on a business. I suppose too many of us Oregonians have visited this shop [which is about 5 miles from the Oregon border] and asked for a tax free purchase. I can understand that, if anything, just so that I don’t have a bunch of pennies and nickels. If the item says it’s $3.00, I want to pay $3.00, NOT $3.08…and end up with a bunch of change!

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How Secure is Your Password?

Click here to input your password and the site will tell you how fast “a desktop PC could crack your password”.

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Subtitle: The World’s Greatest Investors You’ve Never Heard Of and What You Can Learn From Them by Matthew Schifrin.

I read a lot of financial type of books from the library. This is one of the best stock trading types of book I’ve read in a long time. Seriously, if you are trading stocks at all, run out now (or add to your library queue) and get this book!

The author profiles 10 “regular” people who consistently achieve extraordinary DOW/S&P returns.

I really like the idea of profiling people who don’t have MBA s or econ degrees, who are beating The Street. One guy was a global nomad picking up odd jobs, there is a college computer lab tech, the former truck driver, the retired disc jockey …

NOT one has a pedigree or has worked on The Street.

The Internet has truly been a game-changer for individual investors. Throughout the book are links to relevant websites and the author makes it clear that the internet has changed the rules of the game allowing you and me to have access to the research and information that was once the domain of only the professional advisors.

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