October 2015 Challenge

oct 15 chalMy September Challenge turned out to be a success, bringing my challenge record to 10.5 and 2.5, or a completion ratio of just over 80%. The challenge this month was to enjoy 50 meals for under $50. The contest called for the lowest 50 to be under a dollar per meal and not necessarily every single serving.

I could list all of the meals (I kept track of them all) but I think I’ll spare you the play-by-play and just summarize the results. As expected breakfast was the winner here: I had Read more

Remember: It’s About The Experience, Not Stuff

SegoviaIf you go to bing.com today (September 17th, 2015) you’ll see a lovely animation of Segovia, Spain. Bing provides a new picture or scene on its homepage each day to add a little something extra to your Internet search experience. If you don’t care to check out the scene (or are reading this after the 17th) the screen shot to the left shows you what I’m talking about.

Now I bring this up for a very specific reason. I’m not trying to lead you on an Internet scavenger hunt. Instead, this depiction is personal to me and I’d like to Read more

September 2015 Challenge

sep 15 chal copy 2My August challenge was a success, bringing my total challenge record up to 9.5 and 2.5 or a completion rate of 79%. Still a passing grade, but I can keep getting better. There really isn’t much to report on this challenge, although it did give me an opportunity to think a bit.

Right now I’m writing quite often (although not much on this site) and I see that more or less continuing for the rest of the year. After that, I think I’ll reassess and perhaps work toward new endeavors. I’m guessing writing will always play Read more

August 2015 Challenge

jul 15 chal 2My July challenge was to earn an “extra” $100 outside of normal endeavors, which included writing finance articles, offering my premium service, this website and passive income (dividends / interest). Finding an additional opportunity turned out to be a success, bringing my total record to 8.5 and 2.5, or a completion rate of about 77%. To be perfectly frank I had more or less written this challenge off half way through the month. Yet an opportunity grew, and I literally picked it.

I could give you a couple guesses as to what I did, but it’d probably take a few more than that (plus the lovely picture adorned to this post isn’t exactly the perfect clue). I won’t keep you in suspense. This month’s challenge was completed by: Read more

Understanding What Stock Prices Represent

wmt tcot 2A few months ago I ran across the image you see to the left. Actually I did more than that: I noticed this sign in a local Wal-Mart (WMT) and decided to take a picture. I was struck by what I saw for a very simple reason: on the surface the message appears reasonable enough, but when you consider the message, it likely doesn’t pass the logic test.

The sign reads, “Today’s stock quote – $85.40 – Tomorrow depends on you!” It’s catchy. It shows an inherent relationship between the value of the business and the value of an employee. And I’m sure it beat out other sign possibilities. Yet none of this means that it’s especially useful. Let’s walk through a few Read more

July Challenge

jul chal 2My June challenge turned out to be a success, bringing my total monthly challenge record to 7.5 and 2.5, or a completion rate of 75%. Not bad, but not great either. During the month of June I bowled seven 200+ games, two more than I had set out as a goal. Granted four of those seven came in practice, but I nonetheless hit my mark. This was a bit of an abstract goal, but I wanted to extend the objectives beyond finance, business, exercise and work. Read more

Why Investment Taxes Aren’t Much Of A Concern

investment taxesI write finance articles fairly regularly, often to the tune of a handful per week. Occasionally someone will point out that the analysis was great, but I didn’t include taxes in my commentary. Which is likely true, I rarely talk about investment taxes. However, this isn’t an oversight on my part.

I’d like to take a moment to talk about not talking about taxes.

(The non-elephant in the room if you will) Read more

Returns Vs. “Real” Returns

returns 1  copyIn the investment world the idea of “returns” is central. You lay out capital today in the expectation of receiving more money in the future. Of course this doesn’t always happen consistently or perfectly, but in general the investment world is filled with many more positives as opposed to negatives over the long haul.

You get your money back over time. It’s not as though you routinely deploy $100 today and receive $110 next week. The process takes time and its common to receive “only” a portion of your return (investment spoils), say $1 to $10 in this Read more

May 2015 Challenge

may 15 chal 2I went 1 for 2 in my April Challenge. Or perhaps more aptly 0.5 for 1, given that it was just one month. That brings my challenge record to 5.5 and 2.5 or a completion rate of just less than 69% – still a passing grade, but not by much.

The easy part was the 50 miles; I knocked that portion out in about 3 weeks. Consistent effort, some time commitment and knowing the average needed per day helped in that endeavor. Unfortunately this did not carry over to Read more