Financial Friday: Income tax simplification #taxcuts #taxreform

| November 3, 2017

On Thursday, the long awaited Republican tax reform plan finally saw the light of day after most political and financial watchers haggled over the unknown details most of this year. President Trump has made tax reform and cuts as his centerpiece agenda as essential to growing the economy and stimulating job and wage growth for […]

Why be cautious with such hot financial markets, corporate tax cuts around the corner and the promise of tax reform?

| October 13, 2017

The early 1980s were challenging as manufacturing headed overseas, inflation ate up the buying power of every dollar and the cost to borrow was at an all time high. In fact, Brenda and I were giddy to have acquired a 12% mortgage on our first house in 1982 because our friends were applying for new […]

Which corporations stand to benefit the most with a 20% tax rate?

| October 4, 2017

A little bit of research highlights which of the Dow 30 companies benefit from corporate tax reform and which one are currently better at working the existing complex tax code. Company Ticker Median effective income-tax rate – past five reported quarters UnitedHealth Group Inc. US:UNH 40% Home Depot Inc. US:HD 36% Verizon Communications Inc. US:VZ […]

Answering questions on the Motley Fool Industry Focus podcast

| September 21, 2017

Tuned into Motley Fool’s Industry Focus podcast this week talking about how drugmakers get patents and drug trials through the FDA. The Q & A segment was  helpful for those looking to understand the process and pitfalls before adding shares of these companies to their portfolios.   Motley Fool Industry Focus Podcast (mp3) | 9/20/2017 […]

An interview with Dr Francis Collins triggered a book order

| September 14, 2017

While driving this week I had a opportunity to scan through a few SiriusXM stations and picked up on part of a Bloomberg interview between philanthropist David Rubenstein and National Institutes of Health director Dr. Francis Collins (looked up the video so I could listen to the entire interview later – below).  Dr Collins seemed […]

Can Twitter management better monetize the company?

| September 2, 2017

For the fun of it, I ran a lightly responded to Twitter poll (200+ votes and nearly 40,000 views) with an idea that could generate some subscription based income for $TWTR – yes I would like to see the stock price rise too. My purpose was to see just how many users would be interested […]

Stock trades and boat woes – some plans work out, others do not

| August 31, 2017

As the title and Robert Burns suggest, "the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry." Here are a couple Thursday lunchtime updates. On the upside, the Ford ($F) trades from a week ago continue to pan out and I exited half of my position on Thursday morning to book profits (for those […]

Seattle-based Amazon creating 1000 new jobs with a fulfillment center in Monroe, Ohio (between Dayton and Cincinnati)

| August 30, 2017

Good news for our neck of the woods … Amazon will open a new fulfillment center in a Monroe industrial park near Interstate 75, bringing 1,000 new jobs to the region, the state announced Wednesday. The specific location of Amazon’s latest investment in Ohio was not disclosed, but it will be the closest location for […]

Fed’s Yellen says economy steady .. more hikes, bond wind down

| July 12, 2017

The United States is healthy enough to absorb further gradual rate increases and the slow wind down of the massive bond portfolio accumulated by the Federal Reserve during the financial crisis, Fed Chair Janet Yellen said in prepared testimony to be delivered to Congress Wednesday morning. Source: Fed’s Yellen says economy steady enough for more […]

TechFriday: Yahoo and Google adopt new look to ire of users

| July 7, 2017

Complaining is getting me nowhere … but those of us old school users of Yahoo and Google continue to be frustrated to see both companies going down the "design for smartphone – card look format" to their pages, even for large display computers. YAHOO A few weeks ago Yahoo Finance forced all users to give […]

Rethinking our National Debt while still encouraging growth

| June 4, 2017

From a small business perspective, excessive debt is near the top for reasons entrepreneurs fail in business. In my experience there are bankers and leasers with terms in the lenders favor, but not in the borrower’s favor. Bankruptcies are harmful not only to the person and family going through the ordeal, but on the creditors […]

Spinning Fork: Our favorite restaurant and reminiscing

| May 9, 2017

Rarely do I endorse many establishments on the blog, but Spinning Fork in Fairfield, Ohio is not a problem for me. The casual family owned Italian restaurant has been our favorite since 1995, although it was in a different location a bit further north on Dixie Highway/ Route 4. Besides the excellent food, the friendly […]

Netflix ratings system to thumbs up or down. Who is next?

| April 9, 2017

Survey and ratings systems are a pet peeve of mine ever since finding out many places that use a rating scale (like 1- 5 or 0 – 10), will only count a perfect score as suitable to reward, complement or evaluate service, products and employees in a positive way. I’ve even stopped trying to offer […]

A couple of banks running like well oiled machines #sarcasm

| April 6, 2017

The banking giant Chase is not alone in their inefficiency — they mailed me a 1 cent check by first class mail (below) — since local Fifth Third Bank continues to send me a paper statement a decade after trying to close an old 529 college savings account. I’m not sure how many dollars have […]

So much for economical tax preparation software this year

| March 26, 2017

Two years ago, Intuit’s Turbo Tax software tried their "money grab" in attempted to strong-arming their long-time and new customers into paying substantial more to use their software to file their 2014 taxes. The CEO took to the Internet and made an apology and stepped up to Intuit’s greedy "mistake." One would think that competitors […]

TechFriday: Lots of hype, lots of early backers for MAGFAST

| March 24, 2017

A couple years ago I backed Seymour Segnit’s ThingCharger project and was very pleased with the "plug-charger" gizmos. After learning from his previous launch, the sharp marketer is giving a new "system project" a try. Take two, if you will. This time he has added and improved the earlier design and added a "kit" worth […]

FoxBusiness is growing because of talent like Maria Bartiromo

| March 2, 2017

This kind of interview and polite exchange with Jason Furman is what make Maria Bartiromo one of the best in the business … and why FoxBusiness is beating CNBC. They are now the business news powerhouse … not to mention their sister channel FoxNews had more viewers than any other network during President Trump’s speech […]

Internet distractions, the dotcom boom, locks and fish ladders

| February 23, 2017

Likely I am not the only one who gets distracted when researching something on the Internet. This past weekend it was the Ballard Locks in Washington State that caught my eye and stole about an hour of my attention and time. Once upon a time, we contemplated a move to Seattle during the late 1990s […]

Federal Income Taxes – what changes are in store for 2017?

| February 16, 2017

Unless you’ve had your head in the sand pile, you know that there is a shake-up happening in Washington DC since the election of President Donald Trump and his taking office less than 1 month ago. Much of the economic optimism seen by new records on Wall Street, job incentives and both interest rates and […]

AGM Automotive Batteries and what one can learn on hold

| February 11, 2017

The BMW X5 35d has been having issues starting when cold which seems likely due to a new Exide FP-AGML5/49 Edge Group L-5/49 Flat Plate AGM battery. I’ve gone great lengths to rule out almost everything other than the battery, and decided it must be a weak cell or defect in the new battery itself. […]

TechFriday or maybe Tesla Friday as production shuts down

| February 10, 2017

This was going to be a normal Tech Friday post, but instead it will marry the automotive technology leader Tesla with a bit of news on their higher-volume / lower priced Model 3 sedan due out this summer. The company stated that all was on schedule for meeting their targeted July production date and they […]

Apple is sitting pretty again after reporting earnings

| February 1, 2017

After the stock market closed yesterday, Apple $AAPL reported their fiscal first quarter earning and shocked even the most bullish in the crowd. Their iPhone 7 sales help them deliver record earning, no doubt due to Samsung’s battery issues (Android users switching to Apple iOS). Considering Apple make a lot more than phones, it is […]

Can the Federal Government find political balance?

| January 26, 2017

My answer: Rarely does the pendulum find the middle. Neither the fiscal or social policy balancing coming from Washington DC makes much sense to me. There have to be moderates who see validity in each others positions? Rather than the black and white collisions between the liberal Democrats and the conservative Republicans’ points of view, […]

The Elio Motors confusing reservation structure

| January 16, 2017

The Elio came up in a discussion and the question came up, "how much will it really cost?" That’s when I realized just how confusing the low price point could be. Gone is the much marketed $6800 car as the current reservation price is $7300 … at least for about 1000 more orders. There is […]

CVS Generic Competitor to EpiPen for $109.99

| January 12, 2017

CVS is now selling a rival, generic version of Mylan’s EpiPen at about a sixth of its price, just months after the maker of the life-saving allergy treatment was eviscerated before Congress because of its soaring cost to consumers.The drugstore chain says it will charge $109.99 for a two-pack of the authorized generic version of […]

Semi-enjoying my shoe debate with Clarks consumer services

| December 29, 2016

One month ago I inquired as to the "tongue creep" on a pair of Clarks Desert Boots that were a gift. Occasionally I will give a company feedback if there is something positive or negative so they know they are pleasing a customer or disappointing one. I sent a image as requested to the consumer […]

Investing to and past DOW 20,000 under a President Trump

| December 23, 2016

We still have a week of trading before closing the books on 2016, but those last few DJIA psychological points to 20,000 have proven evasive. Thursday’s 23 point decline, after the steady climb since the election, has a few gurus thinking the Trump Rally may be ahead of itself?  Some are looking at current corporate […]

Online contact forms are not always what they seem

| December 22, 2016

Speed kills … and being rushed can make people do stupid things, that would be me in this case. I was in a hurry to get a HVAC replacement estimate after scavengering parts off of one furnace to keep the other running — both need to be replaced. While researching gas furnaces and air conditioner […]

How much longer will the Trump Rally last?

| December 5, 2016

The exuberance is everyway if you listen to the talking heads on cable business news shows as all but "one" component of Pres-Elect Donald Trump’s platform is good for business, jobs and the economy. Unfortunately it is the component that the media and Twittersphere is currently focused on … a 35% tariff on U.S. companies […]

Tinkering with a new Lenovo Windows 10 notebook computer

| November 19, 2016

I just couldn’t pass up burning my $280 Best Buy credit on a new mid-level Windows  10 Lenovo Yoga notebook computer. It is going to take some time tweaking it before I’m comfortable with it, but I decided that a new MacBook Pro was not in the cards for me (too expensive and missing so […]

How does government best assist in job creation?

| October 7, 2016

What is the goal? More and better paying jobs, profits for companies and growing tax revenues to fund government services, entitlements and improved ability to pay down our nation’s debt. How do we accomplish this? There are two ways government helps to create jobs in the US. The current Democrats remain focused on #1, while […]

It may not be a Volvo, but the PodRide is pretty cool

| August 24, 2016

Just another ingenious Indiegogo project attempting to raise capital through crowdfunding. We probably don’t need them in the states, but it would be a great option for Minneapolis bike riding … just thinking about my daughter and son-in-law! 

How much more government can small business take?

| August 22, 2016

I wish politicians would listen to managers and owners of small businesses. In a Maria Bartiromo interview with  Metro Applebee’s CEO Zane Tankel, his frustration at the challenges being force down the throats of business in the U.S. is apparent (about 2 min into the interview). It is understandable why starting a business and hiring […]

One of my long time customers is making a change

| August 12, 2016

Change can be depressing, especially when it comes to losing a longtime client that I now think of as friends like the folks at SummitSWCD in Akron. In this case there isn’t anything I can do since as voters in Summit County approved expanding the county’s data center and information technology department. They will now […]

Twitter investors and stock traders see different things $TWTR

| August 11, 2016

Get hammered, bounce back. After promising news of more live event streaming, and peppering in a few buyout rumors, $TWTR could really be off to the races (again). It’s a chart only a "trader" can love … since investors question Twitter’s business model and management. A chart for the summer of 2016 tells the tale. […]

Sensible economic thinking from business CEO Andy Puzder

| August 11, 2016

There are people who have the ability to communicate and can make "simple-sense" of the usually complicated economic issues facing our country. I’d like to believe that IF enough voters are willing to digest the three minutes of conversation below, that they would be less inclined to "dis" a business oriented pro-growth policy that is […]

Quickly spun up a new server and volume with Digital Ocean

| August 10, 2016

One of the great things about working with Digital Ocean is the ability to spin up a new droplet server based on a previously saved image/backups within a few minutes. Due to recent improvement of adding volumes in order to expand storage, currently only a couple of their data centers, I opted to image an […]

The difference between a good company and a great one is?

| June 24, 2016

Customer Service. Sailrite does it right. Thank you … and many returns and referrals from me.

A test of patience: Sears Craftsman tools – Guaranteed Forever

| June 23, 2016

Follow up to previous post: Here’s the beef (long-ish winded) — I have a bunch of Craftsman tools and have always appreciated their "fair" quality and knowing that Sears stood behind them (and "use to be" in every town). As times change, Sears is no longer what it once was and the convenience factor as […]

Jerry Skinner talks about #MH17 with @MariaBartiromo

| June 8, 2016

As the second anniversary approaches of the downing of #MH17 by Russian missiles over the Ukraine, my brother-in-law Jerry Skinner is doing what he can to keep the tragedy in front of the public eye. Pressure on politicians for them to pursue justice, compensation and a admission from Russia and Putin (a long shot) is […]

Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.