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Old 09-16-08, 10:05 PM   #1
will dehne
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Biking and the Economy

Hi guys,
Just in case someone wonders why some of us are absent from this forum. It is not that we no longer love you but my computers are trying to keep up with the historic changes on Wall Street.
This is unprecedented.
I bike my 25 to 50 miles per day just to get rid of stress.
BTW, I am personally involved with AIG and BoA and Merrill Lynch. My wife goes to church while I watch the computers and have meetings with the guys from these companies.
More later as the dust is settling.
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Old 09-16-08, 10:22 PM   #2
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Good to see you again, Iron Will! Hope things turn out well for you in the economy. It's an E-ticket ride right now.
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Old 09-16-08, 10:35 PM   #3
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A couple of years ago I lost faith in the current administration and dumped all of my stocks and mutual funds. Every last share of them. Went ultra conservative and put everything into CDs. Got 5% on the CDs.

Wasn't sure at all that it was the right thing to do. Just decided to get out of the risk business for a while. All part of my reduce the stress in my life effort.

Now I'm thinking of getting back in, while prices are low.
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Old 09-16-08, 10:48 PM   #4
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I feel your pain. The California real estate market is, well, challenging, to say the least. I rode 120 miles last week to keep me sane.

Hey, share a hot tip when you get one, 'k?

Good luck, and hang in there.
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Old 09-17-08, 03:30 AM   #5
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Now I'm thinking of getting back in, while prices are low.
i don't like shifting lots of money around, but i have to agree this is a good time to jump back in... (actually, slow-n-steady over the years is better - just think: the Dow was at 5,000 about 12 years ago, IIRC)

that said, bicycling has saved me money since the cost of gas has doubled in the last four years; i cut my driving more than 40 percent and now ride to market once a week by bike - and that gas money has been re-allocated to investing... a win-win!
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Old 09-17-08, 06:52 AM   #6
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I almost, but not quite, feel guilty about being in the oil and gas business.

We quit individual stocks some years back, subscribing to the French and Fama theories on portfolio management. We keep a good portion of our stock holdings in broad (S&P, Wilshire, etc.) index funds and occasionally a segment index fund. Still, our 401's have been bumped down with everyone else.
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Old 09-17-08, 08:44 AM   #7
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I remain heavily invested in investment-grade, non-speculative individual stocks, which in general have held up better than the few mutual funds I have. I am watching BAC carefully for an opportunity to increase my modest long-term position, and I remain bullish on BHI and APA.
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Old 09-17-08, 09:25 AM   #8
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Was it Warren Buffet who said most people sell when its low and buy when its high?? If this is the case, shouldn't we be in the buying mode right now?
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Old 09-17-08, 01:17 PM   #9
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I think it would be wise to wait a while longer to jump back in. I look for it to get much worse before it gets better. IMO.........My 401K has lost thousands in the last few month thanks to the Bush bunch.
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Old 09-17-08, 01:24 PM   #10
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This advice may be worth what you paid for it, but you guys may be interested: I work in public relations for a business school. Yesterday, I interviewed a very successful investor. His view is that there's a lot more downside than upside at the moment, and may be for some time to come. Speaking for myself, when Bear Sterns went down the drain in March, I decided enough is enough, I'm bailing out.
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Old 09-17-08, 01:45 PM   #11
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[QUOTE=John E;7487260]I remain heavily invested in investment-grade, non-speculative individual stocks, QUOTE]

IMHO there is no such thing as a non-speculative individual stock.

All stocks are speculative, because some idiot may, and eventually does, become CEO.
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Old 09-17-08, 01:47 PM   #12
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My 401K has lost thousands in the last few month thanks to the Bush bunch.
<sigh>... why do folks place so much emphasis on the Executive Branch of the Federal government? the root cause here is (at least for U.S.-based business entities) the fault of the Legislative Branch, the selling of derivatives based on derivatives of bundled mortgage and consumer debt by commercial banks and other financial institutions, and human nature.. these over-valued instruments collapsed due to human greed and lack of sound business principles...

it would suck to be at retirement age right now (even though if one were at retirement age one should be in more conservative, liquid funds) ... fortunately my horizon is 15 years out, so i'm not worried one whit...

take a look at Google's 20-year timeline on the Dow for a little perspective and rest easy about your 401(k):

http://finance.google.com/finance?client=ig&cid=983582

(grab the slider at the bottom of the chart)... 20 years ago the Dow was at 2071!
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Old 09-17-08, 02:36 PM   #13
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. . . it would suck to be at retirement age right now (even though if one were at retirement age one should be in more conservative, liquid funds) ...
Maybe so if one is in a great rush to get everything in cash. Otherwise, there's no great rush to cash out. At least current conditions make it a bit less temping to make spending decisions based on over-optimistic yield projections.
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Old 09-17-08, 03:03 PM   #14
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...........sigh>... why do folks place so much emphasis on the Executive Branch of the Federal government? the root cause here is (at least for U.S.-based business entities) the fault of the Legislative Branch,.........

Considering the theory of our govenment, this statement is correct. The current executive branch has expanded it's bounds beyond any previous president and has pushed it's agenda thru and veto'd laws not pretaining to it's agenda. The last 7 years has produced an almost monarchy and is very much the reason we are in the current condition.
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Old 09-17-08, 05:00 PM   #15
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IMHO there is no such thing as a non-speculative individual stock.

All stocks are speculative, because some crook may, and eventually does, become CEO.
There. Fixed it for you.
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Old 09-17-08, 05:02 PM   #16
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After careful consideration, I'm going to invest in hard goods. Starting with those Sidi shoes.
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Old 09-17-08, 05:20 PM   #17
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I invested today in 5 gal of paint which will be used tomorrow on my day off...if the paint gun works.
My other investments are bonds and mutual funds.
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Old 09-17-08, 05:33 PM   #18
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After careful consideration, I'm going to invest in hard goods. Starting with those Sidi shoes.
Would you please hurry up with that!

I will be buying and wearing them vicariously through you and I'm tired of waiting.
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Old 09-17-08, 07:05 PM   #19
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Thanks for above replies.
I am retired and therefore I must be careful. I paid quite a bit for an investment model we followed about one year ago. It has prevented major loss so far.
Above 50% of funds are invested in medium term Municipal Bond Fund of a leading M. Bond Manager.
Balanced Retirement Funds for longer term growth we hope.
Annuity with fixed guaranty of return for life but invested in aggressive growth funds.
A modest amount in money market fund.
Three bicycles for health maintenance I put this in for the moderators.

BTW, I feel much better today. The AIG and ML deal is the best outcome I could hope for.

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Old 09-17-08, 07:17 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Red Rider View Post
I feel your pain. The California real estate market is, well, challenging, to say the least. I rode 120 miles last week to keep me sane.

Hey, share a hot tip when you get one, 'k?

Good luck, and hang in there.
Hot tip of the day: Real estate is not looking good for a few more years.
Stocks are not for the faint of heart for now.
Beware: If America gets a cold, others get pneumonia.
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Old 09-17-08, 07:25 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by linux_author View Post
<sigh>... why do folks place so much emphasis on the Executive Branch of the Federal government? the root cause here is (at least for U.S.-based business entities) the fault of the Legislative Branch, the selling of derivatives based on derivatives of bundled mortgage and consumer debt by commercial banks and other financial institutions, and human nature.. these over-valued instruments collapsed due to human greed and lack of sound business principles...

it would suck to be at retirement age right now (even though if one were at retirement age one should be in more conservative, liquid funds) ... fortunately my horizon is 15 years out, so i'm not worried one whit...

take a look at Google's 20-year timeline on the Dow for a little perspective and rest easy about your 401(k):

http://finance.google.com/finance?client=ig&cid=983582

(grab the slider at the bottom of the chart)... 20 years ago the Dow was at 2071!
I am not interested in knocking Bush. Part of the current mess was caused by government relaxing interest ceilings in place (That was Clinton). Next, the government lowered interest rate and encouraged borrowing short and lending long (That was Bush). At a minimum it can be said that the government did not keep an eye on cause and effect and let the sharks run wild.
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Old 09-17-08, 07:45 PM   #22
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The current executive branch has expanded it's bounds beyond any previous president and has pushed it's agenda thru and veto'd laws not pretaining to it's agenda. The last 7 years has produced an almost monarchy and is very much the reason we are in the current condition.
You can't fairly blame one branch. They all are messed up and only get more messed up regardless of which party's puppet is the current president.

1. Did you see the chief justice comment this week? Some is horribly wrong with legal system that so many of best minds are working in legal profession which adds no value to the economy.

2. Congress voted on just barely over 200 bills this last year and over 100 were pat on the back type of bills.

3. Congress is not legislating so Court is making up laws and congress lacks guts to revise laws to adjust court rulings.

4. Congress and Exec branch ignore the big issues of the day

5. All of them are only interested in what their key financial supporters are promoting.


Fixes, I don't know. Some things that have been suggested that make some sense to me are:

1. Revise CEO and top 10% of companies compensated employees so bonuses have to based on 5 year performance, and not on year by year performance.

2. Limit government spending to a fixed percentage of GNP.

3. Revise the health insurance companies ability to control both ends of service.
Change so no one can be excluded, no preexisting conditions after 1 year, and no individual/small business health plans. Any plan can use volume of scale and has to be offered to anyone living in the state. Forbid any age or sex differences in premiums. Yes, companies can still make money. They just have to make some services more expensive. Maybe have the govt require a minimum level of benefits. Require all employees, full or part time to be covered. Part timers can pay pro-rata.

4. Fix the special interest mess. Restrict the tax code to 25 letter size, single sided pages, with font of at least 10pt.

5. Fix the congress mess. It's over 90% lawyers. Restrict lawyers to 30% of membership.

6. Deal with the environmental mess most everyone is ignoring. Cancer is increasing because of a polluted food system. We need some new method to remove the incentive to do things like add plastic to milk.

7. Fix the education mess. Make High Schools and Colleges/Universities compete just as any business would for customers.

8. Require 2 years of service by everyone between ages of 20 and 30. I don't care if its military service, peace corps, CCC, or whatever. We need to say as a nation, we are a nation and not a sandpile of selfish snobs.

9. Fix the transportation infrastructure mess. Last bandage was when Ike was president. We've tripled population and added 10% to our roads without increasing mass transit, heck don't even have light transit. Just a few smelly buses here and there.

10. Fix the border security problems. There are too many criminals that are given free rides who are in a protected class.


Ok, that's 10. Enough to get started? The point is simple, as a wiser man said,

I have met the enemy, and he is us.
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Old 09-18-08, 12:40 AM   #23
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After careful consideration, I'm going to invest in hard goods. Starting with those Sidi shoes.
Your ROI should be better than some of those steenking stocks.
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Old 09-18-08, 12:58 AM   #24
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You've provided much food for thought. I have no answers, only observations.

I've stuck my big toe into politics by having been elected to the Board of Directors of my local Assoc. of Realtors. I also volunteer on the local Board PAC. I've gone to Sacramento 3 years now for our Legislative Days, meeting our elected officials and lobbying for their votes on bills that affect us and our cities. It's a very eye-opening experience. I have given thought to running for city council and am holding out -- the timing doesn't feel right. And, being a Realtor, I have no money with which to run a campaign, with the current market. This is a challenging time. >insert irony icon here<

Yet as one who leads, I feel compelled to pull papers to run for city council. Currently there are 3 positions available and 29 applicants. I'm not feeling that it's my time, so I'm holding back. Besides, cgallagh says if I volunteer for one more "thing" he's going to yell at me. Shades of the Road Forum!

My time will come. I encourage those of you who feel powerless to step up and take a position. You have more power than you think -- and you can set an example for all the other cyclists who are resisting involvement. You have more impact than you know.


Quote:
Originally Posted by HiYoSilver View Post
You can't fairly blame one branch. They all are messed up and only get more messed up regardless of which party's puppet is the current president.

1. Did you see the chief justice comment this week? Some is horribly wrong with legal system that so many of best minds are working in legal profession which adds no value to the economy.

2. Congress voted on just barely over 200 bills this last year and over 100 were pat on the back type of bills.

3. Congress is not legislating so Court is making up laws and congress lacks guts to revise laws to adjust court rulings.

4. Congress and Exec branch ignore the big issues of the day

5. All of them are only interested in what their key financial supporters are promoting.


Fixes, I don't know. Some things that have been suggested that make some sense to me are:

1. Revise CEO and top 10% of companies compensated employees so bonuses have to based on 5 year performance, and not on year by year performance.

2. Limit government spending to a fixed percentage of GNP.

3. Revise the health insurance companies ability to control both ends of service.
Change so no one can be excluded, no preexisting conditions after 1 year, and no individual/small business health plans. Any plan can use volume of scale and has to be offered to anyone living in the state. Forbid any age or sex differences in premiums. Yes, companies can still make money. They just have to make some services more expensive. Maybe have the govt require a minimum level of benefits. Require all employees, full or part time to be covered. Part timers can pay pro-rata.

4. Fix the special interest mess. Restrict the tax code to 25 letter size, single sided pages, with font of at least 10pt.

5. Fix the congress mess. It's over 90% lawyers. Restrict lawyers to 30% of membership.

6. Deal with the environmental mess most everyone is ignoring. Cancer is increasing because of a polluted food system. We need some new method to remove the incentive to do things like add plastic to milk.

7. Fix the education mess. Make High Schools and Colleges/Universities compete just as any business would for customers.

8. Require 2 years of service by everyone between ages of 20 and 30. I don't care if its military service, peace corps, CCC, or whatever. We need to say as a nation, we are a nation and not a sandpile of selfish snobs.

9. Fix the transportation infrastructure mess. Last bandage was when Ike was president. We've tripled population and added 10% to our roads without increasing mass transit, heck don't even have light transit. Just a few smelly buses here and there.

10. Fix the border security problems. There are too many criminals that are given free rides who are in a protected class.


Ok, that's 10. Enough to get started? The point is simple, as a wiser man said,

I have met the enemy, and he is us.
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Old 09-18-08, 06:14 AM   #25
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The point is simple, as a wiser man said,

I have met the enemy, and he is us.
Pogo was a wiser 'possum.
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