Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Monday, June 29, 2009
In times of turmoil, gold always seem to be a safe haven. Gold has not been dependent upon any state or government, unlike paper currency, its worth comes from the willingness of people over history to assign a specific value.
"Gold is a store of value, a way to maintain wealth over time(capital preservation);stocks on the other hand, represent a way to generate a return on value(capital growth)."
"Equities do well when there is low inflation(and no deflation), stable currency, economic growth, strong property rights, the rule of law and most of all, political and economic stability."
Friday, June 26, 2009
I came across an article yesterday on cnnmoney by Paul La Monica that talks about how companies with low debt loads are out performing stocks of firms that are in massive amounts of debt. Here are some interesting stats from the article:
According to figures from Thomson Baseline, shares of S&P 500 companies with a long-term debt to capital ratio below 34% -- the S&P 500 average -- are up an average of 10.3% this year. The S&P 500 stocks with debt loads above 34% are up only 1.2%.
This holds true for smaller companies too. Firms in the S&P SmallCap 600 with a below-average debt load are up 7.2% this year while those with higher debt loads are down 1.6%.Shares of S&P 500 firms that are debt-free are up an average of 15.6% this year. Debt-free tech giants Apple and Google have both surged more than 30%.
"In times like this, companies with high cash and low debt levels are in a better position to survive and take advantage of opportunities to grow through acquisitions,"
"Any type of financing is tough to come by. And in cyclical businesses, firms with no or little debt have a competitive advantage,"
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
"I'm fairly confident that (Congress) will extend the tax credit, because it is so important that housing come back,"Here are a few proposal on the table:
A Senate bill to expand the tax credit to $15,000 for any home buyer regardless of income was introduced this month by Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga. It is co-sponsored by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd, D-Conn.Another bill in the House, introduced by Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Texas, would extend the credit to all home buyers through 2010.A House bill to keep the $8,000 credit in place until June 2010 and expand it to all home buyers was introduced last month by Rep. Kenny Marchant, R-Texas. It also would provide a $3,000 credit to homeowners who refinance.
"We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work. And I have just one interest, and if I am wrong ... somebody else can have my job. I want to see this country prosperous. I want to see people get a job. I want to see people get enough to eat. We have never made good on our promises... I say after eight years of this Administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started... And an enormous debt to boot!"What I really enjoyed about the post was reading all the comments and seeing such a wide variety of thoughts on the subject. I think there will always be a debate about the great depression and I am pretty sure that there is going to be a lasting debate about this economic recession/depression.
Burton Folsom, Jr., New Deal or Raw Deal? (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2008)
I think the reader make a very strong case in his last paragraph, that everyone is quick to blame the last administration (and look, as they should) for getting us into this mess. As Peter Schiff says that the old administration is driving us towards a cliff and all the new one is doing is steeping on the gas. I know it is more complicated than this, but overall government spending is just not the answer to this situation."Government spending will not “stimulate” the economy for the simple reason that all government spending is ultimately done at the expense of private spending. To spend, government must either 1) take money directly from the people in taxes, or 2) borrow the money from the people, or 3) print the money up.
If government spends a dollar that it got by taxation, that is simply a dollar spent by government that was not spent by the taxpayer. Likewise, if government spends a dollar it borrowed from the citizens, that is simply another dollar the citizens don’t have to spend. And if government spends a dollar that it printed up, that simply reduces the value of all the citizen’s dollars proportionally. But in no case has government created new, additional purchasing power that can drive new, additional economic activity.
Government spending can divert production (and consequently employment) from one area to another. But it will not, in aggregate, increase production or employment.
Look, if government spending/action were the key to economic growth, we should be experiencing full employment and record economic growth, because the Bush administration has increased government spending by over 1 trillion dollars a year. An increase of a TRILLION dollars per year. Yet, here we are sliding into a recession."
Monday, June 22, 2009
“I believe in the supreme worth of the individual and in his right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.I believe that every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity, an obligation; every possession, a duty.
I believe that the law was made for man and not man for the law; that government is the servant of the people and not their master.
I believe in the dignity of labor, whether with head or hand; that the world owes no man a living but that it owes every man an opportunity to make a living.
I believe that thrift is essential to well ordered living and that economy is a prime requisite of a sound financial structure, whether in government, business or personal affairs.
I believe that truth and justice are fundamental to an enduring social order.
I believe in the sacredness of a promise, that a man’s word should be as good as his bond; that character — not wealth or power or position— is of supreme worth.
I believe that the rendering of useful service is the common duty of mankind and that only in the purifying fire of sacrifice is the dross of selfishness consumed and the greatness of the human soul set free.
I believe in an all-wise and all-loving God, named by whatever name, and that the individual’s highest fulfillment, greatest happiness, and widest usefulness are to be found in living in harmony with His will.
I believe that love is the greatest thing in the world; that it alone can overcome hate; that right can and will triumph over might.”
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Set up a folder:
Keep a log of contacts/documents:
Contact credit bureaus:
P.O. Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374
Opt-out of mailing lists:
PO Box 9532
Allen TX, 75013
Opt-out of mailing lists:
P.O. Box 6790,
Fullerton, CA 92834.
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File a Police report:
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
The free market is the most transformative of economic systems. It fosters creativity and inventiveness. It produces new industries, products, and services, as it improves upon existing ones. With millions of individuals freely engaged in a an infinite number and variety of transactions each day, it is impossible to even conceive all the changes and plans for change occurring in our economy at any given time. The free market creates more wealth and opportunities for more people than any other economic model.
The free market is the only economic system that produces on a sustainable basis, and for the overwhelming majority of Americans, an abundance of food, housing, energy, and medicine—the staples of human survival; it creates an astonishing array of consumer goods that add comfort, value, and security to the quality of life; and the free market recognizes that it is in man's DNA to take risk, to innovate, to achieve, to compete, and to acquire—to not only survive but also improve his circumstance.
emphasize that the individual knows better how to make and spend that which he has earned from his own labor and provide for his family than do the bureaucracies populated by strangers who see classes of people rather than individual human beings. As Founder James Wilson observed, "By exclusive property, the productions of the earth and the means of subsistence are secured and preserved, as well as multiplied. What belongs to no ones is wasted by every one. What belongs to one man in particular is the object of his economy and care."
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Monday, June 15, 2009
2. "I don't mind helping you with that." (With a fake smile pasted on your face.): Don't offer to help and then complain about it. Running a business or being hired as employee, you do what it take to make your job and the company successful, even if you do not feel like doing it.
3. "Don't tell anyone I said this, but ... ": Gossip is human nature, but don't do it at work, if it really is a secret keep it to yourself, besides are you willing to trust that person to not go and gossip and to associate your name with it?
4. "I haven't gotten a raise, EVER.": This just proves to who ever that you are not productive. Salaries are based off how productive you are and asking for a raise based off the time you have been with a company just says "I want more money" - not that you deserve it.
5. “It’s not my fault.”: This is a classic— I work a few people that say this everyday. No one cares who fault it is, if you have already dropped the ball, fix it. for the most part everyone I work with is good at their job, so when you hear it constantly you know it the person always mentioning that "It's not my fault" is the one who is at fault.
6. "I'm so ... stressed out/busy/sick of working here.": Complaints, complaints, and more complaints—everyone is stressed, everyone works hard, no one want to hear anybody complaining and telling you their problems. This is very easy to do, I have to admit I have used this one before... I only do it with coworkers who understand my situation and know that it is just venting. (FYI - In advertising you have to vent or you are going to lose it, eventually.)
7. "Whom did you vote for?" or "What religion are you?": Well, this one went right out the door when it comes to advertising - almost every single co-worker of mine has a Shepard Fairey Obama Poster. Even my boss told the company he was voting for Obama (which I was absolutely floored when he said that) All I know is that I didn't let anyone know my views till after the elections, which I simply said I don't like any of those turkeys up in Washington
8. "I got so trashed last night ...":Oh the classic Friday morning water cooler conversation. You just don't want this to get back to the boss, even though again with advertising you might hear this on any day of the week.
9. "I don't have time for that.": Everyone is busy and if your boss ask you to do something, you better step up and fine time for it. If not then it is going to lead to more time management on you. They will make sure all your time is spent correctly.
10. “…or else.”: or else what? If you threaten, be prepared to face every consequence that is coming you way. This truly is a no-no.
Friday, June 12, 2009
Today, my fiancé and I are meeting with a realtor that has been recommended to us for the first time. We only have a small idea of what we are getting into, but I am researching and I will be posting about our experience as first time home buyers. We know where we want to live, but not sure what we can afford in the area. We also do not know what our best option for getting the right mortgage, my fiancé works for the public schools so she might be able to get a better rate with the NC State Employees Credit Union.
Some of our main objectives for the meeting are:
What is our best option if we are only looking to stay for 3-5 years? We know prices are falling and who knows what the next few years are going to be like for real-estate, what should we do to protect ourselves so we are not in a situation where we cannot upgrade in 5 years.
Are there homes in the area we like that we can really afford? I like Dave Ramsey's rule of being able to afford a house:
Can I make at least a 10% (preferably 20%) down payment?
Can I afford a 15-year fixed rate loan?
Can I keep the house payments at or below 25% of my monthly take-home pay?
I've heard a good idea which I need to research more on, but to get a 30-year loan and pay it off in 15. The rate might be a little bit higher but it does take some of the pressure off if something where to happen? We will see about this one...
Should we shore up some credit? I have around 17k in debt that I can pay down if I needed to. The wedding ring is on a 0%APR for this year so I could pay it down if I needed to. It really depends on how much that is going to effect our mortgage? We both have excellent credit so I don't think it will be a problem. When I first moved to North Carolina I spoke with a mortgage lender and he told me I had Grade A rating, so hopefully I can keep moving along paying every month .
What is our best option with receiving the Tax Credit for First-Time home buyers? We just want to make sure we do everything right so we can take full advantage of the credit. We are both first time home buyers, so how can we maximize this.
This is just a preliminary meeting and we will be moving forward from here, am I missing any initial questions I should be asking? Please leave a comment and everyone have a great weekend!
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
1. Toilette paper: I don't even have to explain this one, this is simple, something I will not degrade my life with buying a cheaper generic sandpaper.2. Ketchup: I have tried and tried and it might be mental, but I cannot find a generic brand that taste like heinz, which I love, and I don't use it often. When I do I want it to taste as good as I remember. I sometime do not enjoy restaurants if they have a weird brand or organic ketchup, I am used to heinz, so you could call me a ketchup snob.3. Olive Oil: As far as taste goes you want to get the best and usually the most expensive, even though I do not purchase the most expensive I always look for the middle of the road brand, and always look for the darkest which is the bases of what is good olive oil.4. Potato/Tortilla Chips: For the most part generic brand chips are less healthy and do not taste good, I enjoy getting a higher price brand like kettle chips and such that dont seem as greasy as the generic. Generic brand tortilla chip always seem to taste like cardboard so I always try and avoid those when I can.5. Shampoo and most other beauty products: I am allergic to certain shampoos and other beauty products, if I use a cheaper brand that has different ingredients, it makes me break out so I don't really have a choice in the matter.
1. Sparkling water: We love sparkling water in our house and instead of purchasing the name brand water, we try and always purchase the store brand generic seltzer water which taste exactly they same, and sometimes they have more flavors.2. Yogurt: Going target, I have fallen in love with pretty much all their store brand products, I actually prefer the Archer Farms target brand better than the name brand one. The taste is better and it is just as healthy as the name brand.3. Mustard: As I will not buy anything except name brand on ketchup, I will buy store brand mustard all day long. For whatever reason I cannot tell the taste difference at all.4. Cheese: Again with Target brands I cannot tell a difference between a generic and name brand so I always purchase the store brand shredded cheese.5. Trail mix and bars: See above cannot tell a difference and they way cheaper than a name brand.
Saturday, June 6, 2009
Dr. Adrian Rogers, 1931-2005
Friday, June 5, 2009
"Why would US taxpayers want to own today’s GM? Surely not because the shares promise a high return when the economy turns up. GM has been on a downward slide for years.""Many younger Americans have never bought a GM car and would not think of doing so. Given this record, it seems doubtful that taxpayers will even be repaid our $60 billion. But getting repaid cannot be the main goal of the bail-out. Presumably, the reason is to serve some larger public purpose. But the goal is not obvious.""It cannot be to preserve GM jobs, because the US Treasury has signaled GM must slim to get the cash. The company has only slightly more than 60,000 Americans today (83,000 around the world), and plans to shut half-a-dozen factories and sack at least 20,000 more U.S. workers this year.""The purpose cannot be to create a new, lean, debt-free company that might one day turn a profit. That is what the private sector is supposed to achieve on its own and what a reorganization under bankruptcy would do."
"Nor is the purpose of the bail-out to create a new generation of fuel-efficient cars. Congress has already given auto makers money to do this. Besides, the Treasury has said it has no interest in being an active investor or telling the industry what cars to make."
"So the Obama administration is, in effect, paying $60 billion to buy off both constituencies. It is telling the first group that jobs and communities dependent on GM will be better preserved because of the bail-out, and the second that taxpayers and creditors will be rewarded by it. But it is not telling anyone the complete truth: GM will disappear, eventually. The bail-out is designed to give the economy time to reduce the social costs of the blow."
"Such circumstances might arise, if democracy's progress was accompanied by demands for a leveling of social conditions. The danger was that an obsession with equality was very compatible with increasingly centralized state-power.""Tocqueville's vision of “soft-despotism” is thus one of arrangements that mutually corrupt citizens and the democratic state. Citizens vote for those politicians who promise to use the state to give them whatever they want. The political-class delivers, so long as citizens do whatever it says is necessary to provide for everyone's desires. The “softness” of this despotism consists of people's voluntary surrender of their liberty and their tendency to look habitually to the state for their needs."
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||M - Th 11p / 10c|
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Obama (yesterday) - "But I also recognized the importance of a viable auto industry to the well-being of families and communities across our industrial Midwest and across the United States. In the midst of a deep recession and financial crisis, the collapse of these companies would have been devastating for countless Americans, and done enormous damage to our economy -- beyond the auto industry."Looters (Atlas Shrugged) - "The country's economy would not be able to stand a major dislocation at the present moment. There are thousands of Bolye's workers, suppliers and customers. What would happen to them if Associated Steel went bankrupt?"Obama - "So let me explain as clearly as possible why we are making this investment. We inherited a financial crisis unlike any that we've seen in our time. This crisis crippled private capital markets and forced us to take steps in our financial system -- and with our auto companies -- that we would not have otherwise even considered. These steps have put our government in the unwelcome position of owning large stakes in private companies for the simple and compelling reason that their survival and the success of our overall economy depend on it.
Understand we're making these investments not because I want to spend the American people's tax dollars, but because I want to protect them. Instead of taking so much stock in GM, we could have simply offered the company more loans. But for years, GM has been buried under an unsustainable mountain of debt. And piling an irresponsibly large debt on top of the new GM would mean simply repeating the mistakes of the past. So we are acting as reluctant shareholders -- because that is the only way to help GM succeed."Looters - "Mr. Boyle is an extremely able man. It's just that he's suffered some unfortunate reverse, quite beyond his control. He had invested large sums in a public-spirited copper crash of theirs has dealt him a severe financial blow. So it's only a matter of giving him a chance to recover, a helping hand to bridge the gap, a bit of temporary assistance, nothing more. All we have to do is just equalize the sacrifice—then everybody will recover and prosper."
Obama - "What I have no interest in doing is running GM"
"Oh No!" gasped Mouch."We wouldn't think of it!" cried Holloway."We stand for free enterprise!" cried Dr. Ferris