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 […]

For the thrifty: Do you know the best day to fill up your car?

| April 10, 2019

According to Gasbuddy.com as reported in a Fox News article, the best day to fill up your car will depend on where you live … BUT in general, “fill up earlier in the week when the traffic is a little quieter since there is more volatility and higher prices later in the week." The ideal […]

Why is the yield curve inversion so important?

| March 31, 2019

Great "Quicktake" explaination on Bloomberg. The Yield Curve Is Inverted! Remind Me Why I Care If you’re wondering what a yield curve is and why there’s so much fretting in the U.S. over it flattening — and parts of it even inverting — you’re not alone. Late last year, Google searches for “yield curve inversion” […]

Tech Friday: The business practices of telecommunication, cable and Internet providers are ripe for disruptive innovation

| March 29, 2019

It has been a year since I’ve checked my Internet speed since we have not had any problems, but I doubted we were getting the advertised 500Mbps speeds , but then that my internal network problem. Speed aside, there hasn’t been any reason to question Cincinnati Bell’s service (our TV and internet service provider). They […]

Do you really think free college, wage/price controls, a green new deal, open borders and socialism will fix America’s problems?

| March 24, 2019

Maybe it is my age … or just the latest swing to the radical left by Democrats staging themselves for a presidential primary to challenge President Trump in 2020 … but this whole anti-free market socialist tilt has me concerned for the direction of our country. It is no longer the political quarrel over the […]

A question from a novice investor planning for retirement

| March 17, 2019

Years ago I thought I could outsmart the market … and in the 1990s when the tide was lifting all boats, I could … but that was before algorithms and computerized trading. I’ve since learned not to continue that dangerous “day-trading game,” at least for the most part. Still, new investors see a “system” working […]

Ohio gas taxes and a book by Kristin Tate – How Do I Tax Thee?

| March 7, 2019

I do miss browsing in bookstores … something our family would regularly do Sunday after church … and something my daughter and I would do “in the good ol’ days” when I would visit her in college. I suppose there are still a few bookstores around to enjoy, but nowadays I read what is recommended […]

Perhaps you should get a wireless phone plan in Oregon?

| February 7, 2019

The 2018 wireless phone Tax Foundation report came out in December 2018 and although we may have seen income tax rates drop, wireless phone plans continue to be ripe for the taxman’s pickings. It is shocking to see such a wide rate structure from all the different states (map above) but that doesn’t tell the […]

Shrimp are small, yet regulations and tax incentives can be big

| January 13, 2019

With incentives, South Dakota and Minnesota compete for tiny trū Shrimp and its promise of indoor shrimp farms. A company named trū Shrimp Co. had planned to break ground this spring in Luverne, Minn., on a $330 million to $360 million indoor shrimp farm. It aims to produce 8 million pounds of shrimp a year […]

Politicians of all stripes love spending someone else’s money

| January 12, 2019

There is one thing that is consistent in Washington DC … politicians and bureaucrats love spending other people’s money. It doesn’t matter whether they are a Democrats or a Republicans …  socialists or capitalists … politicians all want someone else to pay for their ideas. The current top two politicians in the news are newly […]

Read between the lines – When will ElioMotors begin production?

| January 6, 2019

Last year, the chit-chat from Paul Elio was that production of the Elio was scheduled for the end of 2019 … far longer than any reservation holder had anticipated. I’ve remained confident and have ignored the doubters … but likely because I’ve put on an artificial blindfold to remain positive – who likes  admitting they […]

How does a rock solid dividend stock sound about now? $RPM

| January 2, 2019

Are you looking at top quality dividend stocks? RPM International is a buy and hold stock that has a track record of increasing cash dividends to shareholders that can’t be match by many companies. Today it was down 1.87% to $57.68/share and is starting to look attractive again (at some point I’ve got to believe […]

Markets rallied, and as one headline stated, Ratemania!

| November 28, 2018

The Dow closed up 618 points on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve chief Jerome Powell indicated that "interest rates are just below the neutral level that neither aids or hinders economic growth." Investors looking for something positive as they wait hoping for some good news during the G-20 meeting between President Trump and China’s Xi […]

Why has the price of crude oil dropped so much and so fast?

| November 23, 2018

Even as someone who watches markets and oil, the precipitous drop in price over the past month has been shocking. Most observers expected the increased inventory to cause the price per barrel to drop a bit, just as it has in the past when oil is stored in surplus, but a $20/barrel collapse in 1 […]

How prepared are we for the next economic downturn?

| November 13, 2018

After Monday’s selloff (see below), what lies ahead for the U.S. economy? That thought has some of seriously thinking the next economic downturn could come sooner rather than as expected … later. The sell off … "again" … has me wondering if we are prepared for the next recession? Is the U.S., or the world, […]

Wages and prices rise as the economy improves. #inflation

| November 2, 2018

As the positive economy in the U.S. continues to grow America out of the "great recession" and rebound off the slow growth Obama years, we are seeing signs of inflation, hopefully just the right amount. Wages are rising and businesses sense they have pricing power and can raise prices (their cost are up too). Consumers […]

Markets for the most part bounced back on Tuesday

| October 30, 2018

October is indeed a "scary" month for investors who are still hoping the bull market is not over … and perhaps just slowing? Earning for the most part are still good, interest rates aren’t "scary" high and the economy seems to be chugging along. Most who want work are finding jobs and employers are complaining […]

Today was a reminder of Octobers past if you are an investor

| October 26, 2018

For those who watch the stock market, today was another one of those October trading days that can give one the willies. It was a reminder of the dreaded Octobers of the past and added to the steepest indices October decline since the 2007-2008 crisis. Still, the economy is sound, company earnings are good (tech […]

Fox Business shuffles their TV talent and expands their live shows

| October 14, 2018

As a business news junkie, I’ve been watching Fox Business since I "demanded it" (as Neil Cavuto would tell viewers in the early days of the expansion Fox network). They have steadily grown and have become serious competition for CNBC (watched/listen since it’s debuted) and BloombergTV. Fox Business has mixed in far more general news […]

Hurricanes and the stock market – duh, it’s October

| October 12, 2018

Q: Why am I not surprised to see U.S. stocks extend Wednesday’s ugly losses with more selling on Thursday? A: Because it is October! Well because the talking heads that “I listen to” point out just how strong our economy is and that corporate earnings are strong, consumer confidence high and the regulation and tax […]

ISS & FaceTime with Annalyn brightens an otherwise sour day

| October 11, 2018

With the stock market tumble on Wednesday and Hurricane Michael ravaging Florida’s Panhandle, I was in the mood to post something positive … but what?  Dow Industrials plunge more than 800 points, Nasdaq loses 4% in biggest decline in months I contemplated talking about how impressive it was to view the International Space Station (ISS) […]

DJIA, S&P 500, Nasdaq closing strong and political pontificating

| September 20, 2018

If the stock market is worried about another round of China tariffs, it sure doesn’t show it. Thursday saw the DJIA back to its record high from earlier this year. The S&P 500 did the same and even the Nasdaq was positive although off the higher record area earlier this year … but not by […]

Make someone’s day, give them a compliment, plus some advice

| September 17, 2018

None of us likely compliment others enough, but being on the receiving end of an unexpected compliment feels pretty good. It is past due that I do the same for someone else. Last week I connected with a friend that I don’t see as often as I use to, but he mentioned he keeps up […]

Is being creative with credit cards and banking worth the risk?

| September 16, 2018

I hate seeing any of my friends borrow money … especially when the borrowing is at high rates as it often is for those struggling with bills and  living month to month. It is particularly frustrating when they are still use credit cards with rates in the double digits, are paying the minimum and often […]

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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