Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Joblessness in the US to stay for a while?

Friday, February 19th, 2010

This article says unemployment will remain high and change America significantly:

The Great Recession may be over, but this era of high joblessness is probably just beginning. Before it ends, it will likely change the life course and character of a generation of young adults. It will leave an indelible imprint on many blue-collar men. It could cripple marriage as an institution in many communities. It may already be plunging many inner cities into a despair not seen for decades. Ultimately, it is likely to warp our politics, our culture, and the character of our society for years to come.

A good time to get started in real estate?

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

Here is my situation. I work in Manhattan and a make a decent living. I am renting an apartment in Westchester with my girlfriend and I can’t help but want to own my own place and rent it out. I have about $25,000 available to put towards a downpayment, taxes, closing costs, etc. When my lease is up this fall I plan on moving back home to Stamford, CT to save money towards my first home purchase.

I know over the next year or 2 the market will be down and I want to capitalize on it since I have some money, I am young, and I can capitalize on the first time home owners loan (I have great credit as well). I would love to buy a place and rent, or buy a place close enough to NYC that I can commute from if I can’t find a tennant. Any suggestions on how to approach this? I know the first line of business is getting approved for a loan, but what other suggestions have you got?

Answer: How about picking an area with an upside and getting in touch with a local real Estate agent about purchasing a two family investment property where you can live and rent out either a finished basement or an upstairs pad. I think that would be a good start because this is clearly a buyers market and there should be a whole lot for you to choose from. Also making the rental your primary residence helps lower the necessary down payment.

Also keep in mind as more and more people are losing their homes to foreclosure, rental properties will be on the upside for years to come and don’t worry about those folks being bad risk just because they lost their homes as they still needed a stable roof over their heads.

How stupid are Harvard and Yale MBA grads?

Saturday, October 18th, 2008

Andrew Lahde writes a pretty funny but scarily true letter. The hedge-fund manager who saw amazinf gains thanks idiots with fancy MBAs for making him rich while they helped most of us become poorer.

The low-hanging fruit, i.e. idiots whose parents paid for prep school, Yale and then the Harvard MBA, was there for the taking. These people who were (often) truly not worthy of the education they received (or supposedly received) rose to the top of companies such as AIG, Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers and all levels of our government.

All of this behavior supporting the Aristocracy, only ended up making it easier for me to find people stupid enough to take the other sides of my trades. God Bless America.

He also talks about the glory of hemp, both male and female…

Scapegoat for American economic woes?

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

Michelle Malkin seems to be blaming America’s current problems on illegal aliens. That’s not stated directly it’s more like aliens got sub-prime mortgages, now they are defaulting, now comes the bailout.

The problem is that you hear so many rants against illegal aliens that it takes quite a bit of research to figure out where the truth is. You can’t really believe something just because you read about it on the internet. It doesn’t help that when she gives stats, she says “hispanics” since we might be talking about people in America legally.

So I don’t know if we can really blame over-generous treatment of illegal aliens for this mess.

Stock shares in frames

Thursday, September 6th, 2007

Investors rarely think one share at a time (although with expenive stocks -think WPO- and small investors -like me- it’s possible). However, I suppose a framed share of stock could make a nice gift.

The website I link to here has some great gift ideas. I could see getting a Disney fan (I know young and old ones) a share of Disney stock. This is a good looking piece of stock as it has some Disney characters surrounding Walt. Framed, it could be a nice decoration.

If a Disney share is not your thing, perhaps a company that has seen excellent stock performance… Harley Davidson stock is not as colorful as Disney but you will see the company’s logo at the top of your certificate. Ebay stock is fairly colorful thanks to the company‚Äôs bright logo. Hershey stock is a little boring with no candy theme. Anheuser Busch has some color, but I’d go with Ebay, Disney, or Harley for decoartions myself.

Any of these will cost you the price of the stock, the price of the frame, plus $33. For example here’s what Ebay will cost you:

Stock Price $33.64
Frame Price $25.00
Processing Fee $33.00
Total Price $91.64

Clearly, you’re not buying one share at a time as an investment, but it might be easier to match a stock certificate to your home than a piece of art. And a frmaed piece of art isn’t going to be any less expensive I don’t think.

Tuesday, July 24th, 2007

What is emini?

Apparently, this is a kind of trading system that you can learn by paying for a course. Now the course says it’s realistic and proves this by not making outlandish promises. But does it tell us what exactly the system is?

After reading all about emini trading, I know it’s supposed to be ‘a “trading methodology” that simply makes good logical sense.’

I know you’re supposed to get trading “methods”, “strategies” and “techniques”, and that these “if so desired, can also be applied to any other market you decide to trade.”

But I can’t find anything about what these methods, strategies, and techniques are based on. Investopedia comes to the rescue:

An electronically traded futures contract on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange that represents a portion of the normal futures contracts. E-mini contracts are available on a wide range of indices such as the Nasdaq 100, S&P 500, S&P MidCap 400 and Russell 2000.

For example, the E-mini S&P 500 futures contract is one-fifth the size of the standard S&P 500 futures contract. Advantages to trading E-mini contracts include liquidity, greater affordability for individual investors and around-the-clock trading.

So here we have a site promising to teach you a system for trading these mini future contracts. We still have no idea what the system is based on, however.

Monday, June 4th, 2007

Here’s an interesting article on how the increasing number of foreclosures in Philadelphia isn’t having a large negative impact on real estate there.

Of course, buying a house to live in is not really an investment (buying a house and renting it out is clearly an investment however). This all depends on who you ask.

In other real estate investing news, Miami condo owners who can’t sell their properties are looking to rent to vacationers.

I’m still dreaming of buying a nice vacation home in Brazil but office space might be the best investment there.

An investing web site

Tuesday, July 4th, 2006

I found another finance site that I want to share, the Investing Site. Like this blog, they cover more than just investing; topics like tax and loans are also discussed.

The primary focus is on investing though, and they have a good collection of links for learning to invest. I was going to complain about their link to Motley Fool’s fool school, but I discuss their articles fairly often even if I don’t agree with their sales tactics.

Motley Fool shows up again in their stock market links, apparently it’s their personal favorite. They do link to my favorites, including Yahoo Finance and Morningstar. They also get more specific, with categories like IPO information and others.

With non-investing stuff, I’d at least check out their debt resources. It’s a topic I cover occasionally, but it’s a huge topic and the dedicated sites they link to are going to be much more comprehensive than the few times I mention loans in this blog.

As you can tell, I think this is a good site that’s well worth visiting for its focused collection of quality investing and finance resources.

Clean loan information sites

Wednesday, June 28th, 2006

I recently added a couple of sites about loan information to my directory and wanted to share them will everyone because they seem like clean, quality sites. In other words, I don’t see them trying to sell anything or tons (or even any) advertisers trying to sell stuff.

The first one is Lender’s Mark loan resources. They have a lot of mortgage-related information such as types of mortgages. I knew about FRM and ARMs, but balloon mortgages are something new to me.

They also suggest (as I have done on this blog) having a cash reserve for emergencies. They specifically mention hurricanes while I normally talk about health problems and the fickle nature of jobs and insurance once you’re seriously ill. For either reason, that cash reserve is a must.

There’s also an interesting article on buying a house or renting and investing. Buying real estate is usually the correct move according to this article and it’s hard to argue with that well-accepted conclusion.

The other site I’ll just mention briefly is focused on bad credit loans and has links to places where you can apply for loans and that sort of thing. They don’t seem to focus on any specific kind of loan – lots of loans are mentioned on this site.

Mad Money dedicated blog

Tuesday, May 16th, 2006

So I found a relatively new blog, with archives going back to Decmber 2005: Jim Cramer’s Mad Money. As you might imagine, a big focus is placed on Cramer’s stock picks. To find out which stocks Jim Cramer is recommending, go to Mad Money Stock Picks. The blogger bolds the picks he likes and you end up with interesting companies like Microsoft which was recommended on May 12th.

You may recall last week, when Cramer said “We’re so clearly the worst of the world today…You gotta love the French and Germans. They’re socialists and they’re killing us. They don’t have central banks that are opaque and difficult to understand.” I’m not convinced that the German economy is killing anyone – there are reports that unemployment is higher than being reported. Still, Cramer’s Stop Trading contains lots of bullish sentiment.

All in all, Mad Money is a blog worth checking in on to find out which stock picks Cramer and our blogging friend have in common.

By the way, you might start seeing a little more about Cramer on this blog. I feel like the only stock blogger not talking about Cramer sometimes…