The DJIA cracks 23,000 for the first time on 10/17/2017

| October 17, 2017

It’s just a number, but one that is reminiscent of the Greenspan “irrational exuberance” days back in the late 1990s during the dot-com bubble … but the business news media types cheered the mid-day number (yet to see where the market will close). One has to chuckle at as to just how wrong a Nobel […]

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 […]

So what is your plan for social security and retirement?

| October 7, 2017

A friend of mine is receiving his first social security check this month and so I’ve been doing some reading on the subject (it is a long way off yet for me … just in case readers had me already over-the-hill!) One of the biggest concerns for those nearing retirement and doing calculations is that […]

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 […]

A quick look at the new Trump Admin tax reform plan

| September 28, 2017

President Trump will roll out his administration’s tax reform plan on Wednesday, seeking reductions in both the corporate and individual income tax rates, while doubling the standard deduction. The plan would cut corporate taxes from 35% to 20%, while dropping the top individual tax bracket from 39.6% to 35% and collapsing the current seven brackets […]

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 […]

Smarter investments than solar energy for most homeowners

| September 10, 2017

For homeowners considering energy use and investing in solar … take a look at these FIVE solutions first from nuwireinvestor.com (although still one of the best investments for your home is "insulation") Some of the smartest investments you can make in your home are ways to maximize the energy efficiency of your heating, ventilation, and […]

At least with the ACA we all have affordable healthcare #sarcasm

| September 7, 2017

Obviously the "promises" made by the Obama administration, and the Democrats who passed the Affordable Care Act (ACA), have failed us … and the current GOP controlled congress have failed to fix, repeal or replace (their promise if elected). Who in middle class America can afford health insurance at $1000/mo with a $12,900 deductible?  As […]

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 […]

Archive – How Much Do You Need to Retire?

| August 20, 2017

Snipped parts and archived a TDAmeritrade educational article … Americans used to count on a pension plus Social Security to get them through those “golden years.” These days, people change jobs more often, rely on dual incomes, and manage their own retirement funds through defined contribution plans. By most estimates, you’ll need between 60% and […]

The Ford $F stock trade is working again

| August 19, 2017

Although the news of late on the political front has been challenging (Trump Admin, Barcelona, Charlottesville, North Korea) the savvy investor/trader can use these moments to put the "risk capital" part of their portfolio to good use. Most who trade have plenty of horror stories where their trades have gone terribly wrong, but usually the […]

Investors are getting nervous over face-off with North Korea

| August 10, 2017

With the tension rising between the U.S. and North Korea over nuclear weapons, the broad financial markets headed lower today for the first time in a while (or so it seemed). The often cited DJIA closed down 204.69 or about 1% while the Nasdaq doubled that move at 2% down. Even though the tone was […]

Is the government sector overpaid or private sector underpaid?

| August 3, 2017

Just one more irritation as to how politicians spend tax dollars … and line their own pockets. For the past couple of decades, the private sector has been struggling … particularly the blue collar worker and mid to lower management employees. Pensions are non-existent, benefits eliminated and health care for the private sector a nightmare!  […]

Big day for Apple shareholders and the DJIA

| August 2, 2017

The Dow broke above the 22,000 threshold for the first time on Wednesday rising for the seventh straight day.  The boost over the "nice round number" happened after Apple posted stronger-than-expected quarterly earnings and iPhone sales met expectations. $AAPL stock rose 5.5% and made its largest single day percentage rise since February. (Story WSJ.com)

The new CFO of Twitter – what do we know?

| July 12, 2017

From a shareholder perspective we know investors seem to like Ned Segal – share price is up significantly after the announcement. From a Twitter USER perspective, we don’t even know him – Segal isn’t active on Twitter. Twitter Inc (NYSE: TWTR) confirmed Tuesday the appointment of Ned Segal as the company’s next chief financial officer. […]

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 […]

New iPhone7plus and new VirginMobileUSA as carrier

| June 27, 2017

Well so much for waiting for the new iPhone8 to arrive in the fall … as was the plan. On the other hand, the $1000 “rumored” price was frightening me anyway. Last week for a Tech Friday post I blogged on the VirginMobileUSA “Inner Circle” promo that offered unlimited talk, text and “almost” unlimited data […]

Tech Friday: Virgin Mobile USA wants iPhone users

| June 23, 2017

In the battle of carrier wars, Virgin Mobile USA is stepping in with an attractive "first year" deal for buyers of a new or refurbished iPhone either through the Apple Store or their own site. Under the deal, customers will get up to one year of service for $1. Virgin piggybacks service on the Sprint […]

Oil continues to dampen spirits of shareholders of Big Oil

| June 21, 2017

While the economy slowly improves and Wall Street waits with anticipation for congress to act on tax reform and in particular tax cuts that will bring the corporate tax in the U.S. in line with the rest of the world, oil companies continue to struggle. Obviously we’re still using oil … but the "glut" is […]

ElioMotors public image is still showing a stiff upper lip

| June 21, 2017

With financial concerns looming for Elio Motors, they continue to put out positive PR remarks to their "All In" reservation holders, prospective buyers and investors. Everything from their perspective is positive is a series of questions/answers  posted on their website. One Q & A indicates that Elio Motors is "targeting 2018" to be the year […]

Glut of crude is making the oil business a lot less attractive

| June 20, 2017

Traders of oil are bearish as the previous climb above $50/barrel could not hold under the pressure of global oversupply. For those of us who remember the doom and gloom of “peak oil,” paying $4+ per gallon at the pump and jumping on the alternative fuel bandwagon … it is hard to fathom that we’re […]

Fed raises rates in June not September as expected

| June 14, 2017

Sort of a surprise to most Fed watchers today as the consensus was for the Federal Reserve to raise rates a 1/4 point in September, not June. Perhaps it won’t make much difference for the whole year, but Chair Janet Yellen obviously wants to stay ahead of the curve. The target inflation rate remain 2% […]

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 […]

Retirement planning, hoeing rows and the root of all kinds of evil

| May 27, 2017

We’re not their yet … but we’ve been doing a little more thinking about retirement and how many more years of work it is going to be at a comfortable level when we no long punch the proverbial time clock. Brenda and I are not in harmony quite yet, as one of us would prefer […]

The Quants Run Wall Street Now – @WSJ

| May 21, 2017

LINK to WSJ article

The economy: 5 Lessons From 1Q 2017 – Jim Glassman

| May 20, 2017

Every once in a while comes an “it’s a small world“ surprise and one wonders, “why didn’t I know this?” This past week, my sister-in-law sent me a link to an article from her husband Dan Glassman’s brother Jim. The link was to Jim’s Linkedin page and opined on the economy. I figured … we […]

Pressure eases on Federal Reserve to continue rate hikes

| May 1, 2017

The rate of U.S. inflation for March was slower than expected just one month after hitting a five-year peak. The number reflects lower gasoline and consumer goods prices, including automobiles. Thiis could ease pressure on the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates, even though central banks have telegraphed increases this year. The U.S. economy is […]

Looking for a beaten up stock? Look at FireEye – $FEYE

| April 27, 2017

Once a cloud-computing software security darling, FireEye has taken it on the chin and then some. Concerns still abound, but from most accounts, a bottom in stock price may have been found. It is particularly encouraging that Goldman’s Gabriela Borges, a software security analyst, has issued a “buy” recommendation and believes the stock will rally 18% […]

What deduction will you lose in Trump tax plan?

| April 26, 2017

CNBC posted a simple chart in their article looking at #taxreform, cuts and simplification as to what deductions might be eliminated.

Investors sure do love to hear about tax reform and tax cuts

| April 26, 2017

What a start to the week for the stock market! There is optimism that something "will" get done with taxes, unlike #RepealAndReplace legislation. The news is that President Donald Trump will be unveiling his proposal to cut corporate taxes on US companies’ foreign profits and slash the top tax rate has investors in the "buy" […]

Saving money takes discipline – 20 ideas on Fox Business.com

| April 22, 2017

My favorite news network shared 20 excellent tips for saving money (by Daniel Kline, who writes for the Motley Fool). I highlight a favorite below. Saving money takes discipline It means forgoing things you want and making tough choices, which can be tough in our consumption-focused society. However, saving money can make it easier to […]

Reading Predictably Irrational on a Kindle and some humor

| April 19, 2017

My friend Jeff and I try to get together for a Friday lunch once or twice a month. We often discuss work, politics and management, particularly as it relates to his job and potential advancement … although we recognized the limited number of years for that second part. Anyway, one of the books he is […]

A three day reprieve on Tax Day, but …

| April 18, 2017

… the IRS bite feels just the same.

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 […]

It is time to get serious about working on and filing taxes

| April 2, 2017

The beginning of April is one of my least favorite times of the year … tax time … but for a couple reasons, next year should be better. This is the last FULL year to file for MomH and her trust return. We should see lower tax rates for 2017 (if retroactive?) Republicans are advocating to simplify […]

Economy and robust 1st quarter 2017 for stock market

| April 1, 2017

The “Trump Rally” as many have dubbed it, provided investors with solid quarterly gains as a brighter economic outlook offset the lackluster Washington DC agenda which has become bogged down in politics.  Investors still believe job growth, better corporate financial returns and tax cuts will over shadow the Fed “applying the brakes” in the form of higher […]

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 […]

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.