What do MMT economists theorize? "The Deficit Myth" #book

| May 8, 2021

A few times before I’ve thought, and blogged about MMT or Modern Monetary Theory, when it comes to newfangled economics. Personally, I (nor many economists) can accept the thinking or rationalize the large deficits and debt path our country is on. In order to better understand the mind-set, I decided to read Stephanie Kelton’s book […]

GE tops estimates, but share price is still suffering

| April 27, 2021

General Electric‘s ($GE) first-quarter 2021 earnings were as they should be. Still, it wasn’t quite enough for investors. General Electric (ticker: GE) shares were down about 2.7% in premarket trading. S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average futures, for comparison, were both off about 0.1%. The company reported an adjusted profit of 3 cents a […]

Learning more about cryptocurrency with webinar #Bitcoin

| April 25, 2021

Although I’ve owned a small amount of Bitcoin in a cryptocurrency account for a while now, I’ve been wanting to attend a primer on the subject. Thankfully Barron’s offered a free webinar hosted by Beverly Goodman and explained by Grayscale’s Michael Sonnenshein. It was great fill in some of my knowledge gaps, but my question […]

When will Ford reinstate their dividend? $F

| April 14, 2021

Since Ford once-upon-a-time paid a solid dividend, it was one of those stocks I felt comfortable trading in and out of or  just sitting on for a while … but after the company suspended the dividend in March of 2020, I had to re-think $F stock. Owning Ford in 2020 and so far in 2021 […]

Books: Reading the updated investing classic "A Random Walk Down Wall Street" by Burton G. Malkiel

| April 7, 2021

In keeping with a New Year’s resolution from “years ago” to read more non-fiction books and some classic literature still sitting unread on our new bookshelves, I’ve picked up a new edition of an “older” book. For April and more likely May (statistically good months for stock market investing), I’m reading “A Random Walk Down […]

Political corporate activism in Georgia, boycotts and investing

| April 6, 2021

Democrats have been gaining ground over the past few years with their “hate Trump” blitzing supported by the leftists, big tech and mainstream media (one in the same from what I’ve seen), and continue to put heavy pressure politicians and corporations. Just as with the tactics used by BLM, Antifa and “woke” groups using racism, […]

After 6 days, the Ever Given is moving and the Suez Canal is open

| March 30, 2021

The news that has captured much of the of the world’s interest this week was the very large Ever Given container ship lodged sideways in the Suez Canal by 40+ mph winds (and perhaps some mechanical issues?). The “Empire State Building” size ship snarled traffic for 6 days surprising most people as to just how […]

Investing: Buying Vertex $VRTX for 2021 and hopefully beyond

| March 25, 2021

For the most part, I’m a conservative investor, although a regular channel trader, and I rarely speculates on risky upstarts, IPOs, zero-profit tech stocks, pharmaceutical long-shots or the latest crazy … cryptocurrency trend. Since most “risk” involves speculation, I see it more akin to gambling than eyes-open informed value or growth investing … both which […]

Do you build or buy a new house this year or put it off?

| March 18, 2021

Real estate has been on a tear in many markets as the coronavirus has people moving from cities to the suburbs and their own piece of land. In my opinion it is not just COVID19 related, but that fact that cities aren’t as secure or as tax friendly to live in, especially on the east […]

Tech Friday: Life after switching to Mint Mobile has been good

| March 12, 2021

Back in January I switched my “off contract” iPhone7 Plus over to Mint Mobile and a month later switched over Brenda’s iPhone7. The transition was smooth and pretty much glitchless. Service from our previous Virgin Mobile then Boost Mobile plan is basically the same, although initially restricted me to 3GB of data per month (now […]

Tech Friday: Switched our iPhones to Mint Mobile to save $$$

| February 19, 2021

Well it is official, we are both with Mint Mobile. I’ve been using them for a month now and haven’t had any issues with their service (backboned on T-Mobile I believe) … and since saving money for the same service is a no-brainer, I’ve switched Brenda’s iPhone over this month as well …  and added […]

Archive for posterity: Sold a little more fractional Bitcoin shares

| February 18, 2021

Almost 1 year ago, I started to use the Chromium-based Brave Browser and an Uphold account to receive the BAT (Basic Attention Token). I convert to Bitcoin along with the income generated on MyDesultoryBlog.com … which currently seems to be the digital currency of choice; I really did it just for the fun of it […]

The retirement dividend income plan was challenged in 2020

| February 17, 2021

For those of us living in a post-pension world, planning for retirement comes down to how much can be saved in 401K and IRAs … and how to make it last once retired. Most people rely on the “multiple buckets approach” to coming up with enough dollars to pay for bills and “hopefully” live comfortably […]

Bubblicious, but I am not talking about bubble gum popping

| January 26, 2021

All I can think about are the stock market “bubbles” from the past. I’d love to believe the upward trend we’ve seen this past years is genuine and built on an appropriate foundation, but suspect as most know, it is being built on “hope” and “stimulus dollars.” Now that is not to say that certain […]

These days, I have been upscaling my coffee and my toothpaste

| January 23, 2021

Once upon a time, I was … or at least tried … to be frugal in most things. I’ve always shied away from buying higher priced brand names, when there were less expensive option. Coffee is a prime example … since I was perfectly happy with the Chock full o’Nuts brand of canned coffee since […]

Eating out with a friend during COVID19 and an MMT discussion

| December 22, 2020

With only a handful of meals out during this COVID19 year with my buddy Jeff this past year, I’ve learned to appreciate them even more than usual. We’ve been having lunch together each month or so as a way to stay connected for decades and for me adjusting to just emails and text messages is […]

Sold my Twitter $TWTR stock as the election nears

| October 2, 2020

With Twitter $TWTR stock rising this week and the election around the corner, I debated buying a PUT option, but instead decided I would feel more comfortable in a cash position than wondering what direction the stock will move next time. Years ago I unfortunately picked Twitter as my social network investment and for the […]

Wishing it away. Unfortunately the 3-mo delayed Tax Day is today

| July 15, 2020

The pandemic delayed April 15th Tax Day for Americans’ 2019 taxes is now upon us and for those who have not filed, you have until 11:59 tonight to do it … unless you request an extension until October 15th. We can try to wish it away like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, but as […]

US Debt clock, Unfunded Liabilities and Debt to GDP ratio

| June 24, 2020

By now we all have heard and know about the TRILLIONS we have borrowed and continue to borrow as a nation in deep debt, but few are willing to make any changes to the status quo before this house of cards comes tumbling down. What we don’t really thing about quite as much are the […]

Currently my favorite podcast: Streetwise by Jack Hough

| June 17, 2020

Podcasts have been around for a while now and I suspect I”m like most people, it is an on again, off again listening affair; finding or making time to them can be challenging. The iPhones and Android phones do make it easy to archive episodes and listen on the go, but unless you are in […]

Tech Friday: Google making its clout felt even on my blog

| June 12, 2020

Regular readers have likely noticed a few “hopefully” discrete ads running on My Desultory Blog. It is a way for me to experiment with ways to help my customers choose or forgo the use advertising services like Google Ads on their sites. For the most part it has been relatively painless (although nothing to retire […]

The COVID19 worldwide slowdown is devastating oil companies

| April 22, 2020

The Coronavirus is doing what environmentalists and anti-fossil fuel advocates have only dreamed of doing … killing the petroleum industry. There is so little demand for crude oil that “Producers must pay buyers $37.63 a barrel” to refine their product. There is no place to store it as companies who explore and drill are dead […]

How do we safely open up America again? #COVID19

| April 21, 2020

As the United States and the world prepare to open society in phases after well over a month of stay-at-home orders due to the Coronavirus, the debate between those who see the health risk as too high and those who fear a full on economic collapse (world wide depression) continues. Several states are seeing protests […]

Will we ever see modest interest rates again? #TBT

| March 26, 2020

When I was growing up, I had a passbook savings account that was a teaching tool used by my parents to instill responsible money management. I deposited a small amount in it every few months or so when my mom would go to the bank and got my passbook stamped with an update as to […]

Monitoring the COVID19 while working on bookshelf project

| March 24, 2020

It has been good to be distracted with a painting and bookshelf project while "staying at home" these last few days. Unfortunately the COVID19 Coronavirus doesn’t look to be disappearing or dissipating as quickly as we were all hoping … so it looks as if we’ll be struggling to figure out how to not only […]

Workshop weekend after a miserable week of COVID19 contagion

| March 14, 2020

It was a tiring week with the drip, drip, drip Coronavirus news and highly-reactive financial markets. Although frightening, investors rightly or wrongly responded with a selloff of historic proportions. The entire meltdown seemed more like hysteria and panic and had me wondering how our country and nation ever faced plagues, a weak economy due to […]

Down, Down, Down the stock market goes on #COVID19 fears

| March 11, 2020

Although I suspect all the selling on Wall Street has to do with needed cash or the “sell and re-assess later” attitude, I’ve been puzzled that gold (usual safe haven) and utilities have been hit as well. Personally I thought these areas might balance exposure to industrials, tech and energy. Obviously not as Wednesday’s market […]

Watching stocks tank day after day requires a strong stomach

| March 10, 2020

The “old school” razor sharpening animated GIF below has NOTHING to do with my emotional state after stomaching Monday’s stock market crash and “oil war” between Russia and Saudi Arabia … so don’t read anything into my poor attempt at humor. After watching the DOW drop over 2158 points and seeing the index close just […]

Music Monday: That sorrowful bluegrass sound from Alison Kraus – Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s “Catfish John” for the slew of bad news

| March 9, 2020

There has always been a part of me that enjoyed looking at the night sky … perhaps it is the “want-to-be” sailor in me or just growing up with space exploration? Studying the night sky really was never a passion until Katelyn took an interest in space (Space Camp, NASA Sharp, Astronomy as a hobby) […]

My thoughts on the Coronavirus COVID-19 and investing

| March 7, 2020

I’ve purposely put off posting anything to MyDesultoryBlog as the worldwide spread of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (#COVID19) began. Partially since it is challenging to separate the unfounded fears and panic from the real threat since the reporting varies based on news sources (Information from China is particularly questionable but western media sources aren’t all […]

Trading and Investing in Energy has not been the wise move

| February 19, 2020

Those of us who spend any amount of time investing or trading stocks enjoy the good feeling when we’ve studied and made positive investing moves … but we also tend to ignore the stupid trades. Looking at today’s chart of Exxon $XOM (5.80% annual dividend), there is no way I can positively spin one of […]

Music Monday: Be Prepared but be sure to enjoy your life now

| February 17, 2020

Although this may have been included this Music Monday song on MyDesultoryBlog before, seeing it in a recent commercial has me pondering living life in a balanced way. I’ve always been a planner and an advocate of the  Boy Scouts “Be Prepared” motto… but sometimes that can get in the way. The older I get, […]

The new SECURE Act requires rethinking retirement planning

| January 26, 2020

graphic credit – Enza Financial There was an excellent podcast on Charles Schwab‘s WashingtonWise Investor (link) last week with Mike Townsend and Dan Stein that summarized the 2020 changes for those planning their retirement – hopefully everybody. Most of the new changes made by Congress last year in the SECURE Act are based on Americans […]

What is going to stop the US stock market and $AAPL stock?

| January 18, 2020

While working on post highlighting the DJIA crossing 29,000, I realized that the stock market has blown through that milestone and is rocketing towards 30,000 and that I’ll have to start over (probably a “worry-wart” post is coming). One of the big contributors to this Dow Jones Industrial Average is Apple ($AAPL). It just continues […]

Tech Friday: The subscription models and the 180K threshold

| January 17, 2020

Back in the late 1980s when I was starting in the commercial printing and eventually ‘small time’ publishing business (Consolidated Printing and Publishing Co), I didn’t realize how far ahead of the game we were when focusing on the subscription model. Early on we were able to capitalize on few people in the printing industry […]

Deusche Bank says buy $GE – What will stop this stock market?

| January 14, 2020

The stock market continues to rally on positive news: low inflation, cheap money, increasing wages, low unemployment and even good news on trade with China. If there was ever a time to use the “hitting on all cylinders” idiom, this would be it … but when things are looking this good … everybody gets a […]

Are a few big tech companies getting a bit pricey?

| January 11, 2020

Forgive me for being a bit redundant in worrying (again) about the hot tech stocks like Apple (AAPL), Google (GOOG), Facebook (FB), Amazon (AMZN), Tesla (TSLA) and Netflix (NFLX) among others as the Dow Jones Industrial Average flirts with 29,000 in mid-January 2020 (even a broken clock is right twice a day! ― Marie von […]

Low inflation. Will it continue? It depends on who you ask.

| January 5, 2020

An interesting take on “inflation” and how different generations perceive the possibility of it accelerating in the next decade or so … and perhaps the effect it can or will have on our lives. For example, in the graph below, pick your birth year and note the color bars to determine how many years of […]

Will General Electric $GE gain favor from investors in 2020?

| January 3, 2020

As far as one of my biggest investing mistakes goes — buying General Electric ($GE) “after their initial collapse in 2017” – I am hoping this next year “might” be a year of true recovery (pre-posting over lunch on Thursday January 2, 2020)? Of course that is yet to be, but 2019 was at least […]

Interesting report on the TDAmeritrade–Schwab combo

| December 22, 2019

If you’ve been investing for a few years now, you know mergers and acquisitions in the banking and financial services business is nothing new. We’ve personally experienced a few brokerage firms in our day and still remorse losing the early trading platform of  Datek, and to a lessor amount Waterhouse, to TDAmeritrade. Now that Schwab […]

A positive 2019 for bullish investors, what about 2020?

| December 20, 2019

As the year and decade wind down, it is the time of year investors and financially prudent planners take note of their savings and retirement portfolios. Barron’s surveyed strategists who continue to expect “more gains ahead for U.S. stocks” with the caveat, “barring a jarring election or a derailment in U.S. – China trade.” So […]

How does marriage impact the taxes you pay?

| September 18, 2019

Does Your State Have a Marriage Tax Penalty? It isn’t always easy to decipher the tax impact of marriage on taxes, but the Tax Foundation summarized the tax code “marriage penalty” and offers an overview map. YMMV. Under a progressive, graduated-rate income tax system, tax rates increase as a taxpayer’s marginal income increases. A marriage […]

Music Monday: Do You Know the Way to San Jose

| September 9, 2019

Couldn’t help but to remember Dionne Warwick singing the Burt Bacharach song “Do You Know the Way to San Jose” when sharing the Tax Foundation map highlighting the most expensive (and least expensive) places in America. No surprise, San Jose, California was the most expensive. Of course the music stayed with me and I just […]

Ceiling fans: Direction, energy consumption, old vs new?

| August 13, 2019

Great energy use tip for those of use who heavily rely on ceiling fans: The direction a ceiling fan should turn can be confusing. Modern fans have a switch that enables them to blow the air either up or down. During the summer you want the fan to blow air straight down, so your ceiling […]

Will the average American middle class family rent forever?

| August 11, 2019

As the cost of education, health care, cars, etc. goes up, it should be no surprise our financing habits change in order to pay for priorities like higher education … or luxuries like newer and more reliable cars. Paying for semi-essentials is significantly more expensive than in the past and we now extend paying for […]

Nobody likes investing when there is blood in the stock market?

| August 5, 2019

Monday, August 5th, 2019 was not a good day to be long in the stock markets – WSJ update.  I think we are often too complacent with investing and fall victim to the “stay the course” and invest for long run mentality. It is easy to forget just how painful market drops can be.  Economist […]

The challenges of pursing the American Dream – a discussion

| June 21, 2019

Taylor is my millennial antagonist when it comes to discussing politics, investing and both government and personal finances. We both enjoy debating, so it’s cool most of the time. He is also a product of his generation just as I am of mine. We view the role and expanse of government differently when it comes […]

This is why we own shares of Pepsi $PEP and Coke $KO #TBT

| June 13, 2019

We have so many cans (mostly Brenda’s Diet Pepsi, but plenty of my Diet Mountain Dew as well) is almost embarrassing how I take aluminum cans to a local recycling center. It is even more eye-opening to “see” just how much pop (soda) we buy and consume! How is it possible to drink this many […]

Great advice on using ceiling fans and saving money

| June 8, 2019

We are big proponents of using ceiling fans and “I” have always assumed the electricity cost in running them was minimal compared to running air conditioning and for the most part just leave them on all the time in the summer. BUT … that’s not really the best idea according to an energy saving newsletter. […]

Political unrest is impacting economy and financial markets

| May 24, 2019

The political tension around the globe, along with the trade battle between the United States and China, have put a damper on what was a relatively good economy here in the U.S.  Add to those challenging international negotiations, the deepening divide between many Democrats still seeking to impeach President Trump in control of Congress are […]

A good economy, but we are dealing with other political issues

| May 22, 2019

Yes … the U..S economy is in good shape … but if you are an investor, these last few weeks may not have felt like the stock market is responding as it should in a good economy? Enter trade with China … well primarily China. Yet there is also unrest in the Middle East with […]

Tech Friday: ZombieLoad Flaw in Intel Chips $INTC

| May 17, 2019

Intel chips are presenting a huge problem for nearly every computer user with chips since 2011. These Intel chips have vulnerabilities that if exploited can be used to steal sensitive information directly from the processor. According to published articles from security experts, "the bugs are reminiscent of Meltdown and Spectre, which exploited a weakness in […]

Are you planning to move after you retire? If so, where?

| May 15, 2019

More than likely Florida is at least considered due to better winter weather, a low cost of living and no personal income tax. There are a few other growing destinations, but very few in high tax states or in the cold north. It may come as no surprise that Florida snagged the top spot once […]

Sold the old May Fly lures in one lump. Time for a fish dinner?

| May 14, 2019

It has taken awhile, but someone who enjoys Walleye fishing decided they wanted all my MayFly Lures. He made me an offer and so decided to give him a “buy them all” price.  At least I’ve recovered most of my printing losses on this project from years ago and likely made a fisherman happy. He’ll […]

Is there a best time to become a first time home buyer?

| May 7, 2019

In a discussion with my son Taylor last week, the subject of homeownership came up. He is single and currently rents, but like many millennials, hasn’t been in a big hurry to "put down roots" as have previous generations. On the other hand, being that his career is in "planning" and "economic development," regularly talks […]

Investing during the first quarter 2019 has been rewarding

| May 1, 2019

Those of us invested or following the stock market either with individual stocks, mutual funds or ETF index funds have to be pleased with the rebound in the economy since December 2018. The first quarter has rewarded those who remained invested (so as long as they have been diversified) for the long haul. Even with […]

Tech Friday: The Social Media that has become part of my life

| April 26, 2019

Likely I am not alone in constantly reevaluating the pros and cons of participating in social media. I’ve purposely limited my exposure to only a couple of platforms even though I enjoy staying in touch with friends and acquaintances … and generally don’t have a problem with people respectfully debating news and politics. Facebook as […]

How far left will Democrats go as they campaign for president?

| April 17, 2019

It was a struggle to contain my frustration as I watched Senator Bernie Sanders pitch his version of Democratic Socialism to a “townhall” Q & A hosted by Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum of Fox News on Monday night. I “SO” hope that the American people have far more commonsense than to head further down […]

Gender roles and a repair estimate for our Honda Pilot

| April 13, 2019

Even in today’s gender-neutral world, there are duties, either said or unsaid, that married couples still assign to each other. One of them in our house assigned to me is taking care of our automotive issues … especially the ones nobody really wants to do. One of this past weeks’ tasks was to take our […]

Small things have turned me away from Ebay and Paypal

| April 12, 2019

The “customer experience” (a marketing buzz-term nowadays) can make or break companies. Some do it right, others fall on their face early in their start-up cycle … and others like Ebay ($EBAY) and Paypal ($PYPL) have employees, customer service departments and management issues dragging their company down … yes, this is going to be a […]

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.
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