Woodworking: A new project and lumber prices are out of sight

| January 21, 2023

There are two projects sitting semi-started in the workshop this winter (delayed with Brenda’s hip fracture), although I’m still struggling to accept the VERY HIGH lumber prices. To be fair, I’ve always complained about buying lumber as no matter where it is purchased, it always seems far to high. But nowadays with inflation raging, it […]

Sound advice for 2023, but am I disciplined enough to follow?

| January 8, 2023

For the past few years, I’ve enjoyed reading the often contrarian thoughts from Forbes contributor, Brett Owens. He writes and contributes investment advice in several publications, newsletters and columns. He co-authored an excellent book too! 2023 Rule #1: Don’t fight the Fed. Print this rule out and tape it next to your computer. Or the […]

For investors and the inflation sensitive, 2022 was a bad year

| December 31, 2022

If you were filling your tank, paying to keep the lights on or buying groceries (or shopping for nearly everything) … 2022 has been a struggle. If you were saving for college or retirement, it was also very painful. Will 2023 be a continuation or a painful recession … or is there a chance inflation […]

A Tesla $TSLA mistake: “Don’t try to catch a falling knife”

| December 27, 2022

How many of us who have been trading stocks and investing for decades have ignored the wise advice about buying a stock as it drops? Chart watchers, and maybe investors who have favorite companies, often listen to the conflicting thought from brokers, financial advisors and TV talking heads. We ignore the lessons from our past […]

Does inflation concern you if you are approaching retirement?

| December 20, 2022

By CC BY-SA 4.0, Link Since I’m a tail-end baby boomer, at least according to the charts, the thought of “did I plan properly for retirement” regularly crosses my mind. Having lived through the last couple of decades of economic ups and downs without significant inflation  …beyond the normal and desirable 2-3% per year (except […]

Homemade Croutons: My mother would have smiled

| December 10, 2022

With inflation pushing grocery prices up, Brenda refuses to purchase store-bought croutons unless they are “on sale.” So since we had a quarter loaf of stale bread after our recent week away, I decided to cube and turn it into Rosemary, Italian seasoning, Garlic and Olive Oil croutons. After making them (bake 10 minutes at […]

For the record, we joined Costco with the rest of America

| December 4, 2022

With a new Costco store opening close to home in Liberty Township, Ohio (and one in Delray or actually in Boca Raton, FL), Brenda and I have finally decided to join. My buddy Jeff has been a Costco shopper for eons … and Katelyn and Drew are always telling us about their weekend trips to […]

Excellent Barron’s article on tax-lost harvesting strategies

| November 17, 2022

In Barron’s Magazine (11/10/2022), there was an excellent article by Karen Hube on “How to Use This Year’s Market Tumble to Reduce Your Tax Bill.” The read is helpful for those contemplating a way to use their losses to offset what they may have sold … or using the “market tumble” as a way to book […]

A crazy week post midterm election and for the stock market

| November 12, 2022

Well … the hopeful political “red wave” did not happen (at least from a conservative perspective). If we are to be generous, it could be viewed as a “small ripple” … but the results of the election as of this post are not fully counted even yet. Does that seem odd in our evolved and […]

Tech Friday: New Apple Credit Card and library to Kindle books

| November 4, 2022

Posting this late on Thursday night after watching the Houston Astros win game 5 of the 2022 World Series against the Philadelphia Phillies making the series 3 games to 2; it has been an enjoyable five games so far … especially since I really am not invested in either team. As for the Tech Friday […]

Tech Friday: Apple has new iPads and upping Services pricing

| October 28, 2022

For those using Apple products and subscription services, the monthly cost is going up. The company announced new version of their iPad lineup this week followed by the news that they are hiking fees for Apple Music and Apple TV+ subscription services this week for the very first time. In the U.S., the cost of […]

Inflation and the 2023 tax year Federal tax bracket

| October 23, 2022

The Federal tax brackets are adjusted each year by the IRS based on inflation numbers in an attempt to stop “bracket creep.” This prices have soared as in September 2022 consumer prices were up 8.2% compared to 2021. It is likely most Americans have not seen that kind of wage increase which means their buying […]

Changing the 2010 BMW X5 35d’s oil is getting very expensive

| October 21, 2022

With inflation raging and oil prices sky high, opting for the most premium synthetic oil is no longer and option for my aging 2010 BMW X5 35d diesel. I’ve been using Ravenol and usually do my own oil and filter changes and although self-changing the oil on a premium diesel model is still better done […]

Do state/city/local taxes impact interstate migration?

| October 18, 2022

As a former GOP VP hopeful would say, “You betcha.” In catching up on my Tax Foundation reading, one of their recent emails highlighted what internationally we have seen in off and onshoring is that businesses go to where they are treated best. It most often has to do with a companies lowest cost of […]

The enticement emails from HelloFresh.com worked

| September 17, 2022

Having initially enjoyed the weekly meal offering from Hello Fresh, the menu started to get a little stale as new items began to resemble previous meals. With inflation at the grocery store (and the fuel and time cost), the price was somewhat less of a gripe, but both of us started to notice fewer and […]

A look back at the financial markets for today’s #TBT post

| September 15, 2022

As we face another recession (some believe we are already in one – see February 2022 part 1 and part 2), I couldn’t help but notice a post from about this time of the year in 2008 (see chart at left) when we faced a previous self-inflicted recession (banking crisis). The 2007-2008 Financial Crisis was the […]

Stock market pain was felt on Wall Street – 9/13/2022

| September 13, 2022

If you believe the number 13 makes for an unlucky day, you’ll probably point to that as an omen … but the deep, nearly 1300 points, drop in the Dow came as investors and economists were expecting an easing pace of inflation … not continued high inflation.  The CPI report indicated a 8.3% rate compared […]

Books: “The Day the Markets Roared” by Henry Kaufman

| September 4, 2022

Having recently read an article about Dr. Doom and “his pinnacle of influence” on August 17th, 1982, I’m adding Henry Kaufman’s book “The Day the Markets Roared” to my Amazon Kindle “want to read” list. Obviously since it is a look back on financial market history, it is not all that crucial that I read […]

Penny-pinching my Amazon Prime membership in 2022

| September 1, 2022

Some days I over-think things … today was one of those days. Like a lot of people, we have had an Amazon Prime membership for a long time. It has its pluses and minus, but continues to provide value and has become a habit and part of our daily lives. We use Alexa and I […]

A day of negative news and some positive: The stock market was down big, but the plus, Taylor closed on a condo

| August 26, 2022

It was an ugly day on Wall Street as investors reacted to comments from Fed Chairman Jerome Powell who indicated “that the Federal Reserve must continue to raise rates” and “hold them at a higher level until they are confident inflation is under control.” Some economists highlighted in Barron’s Magazine last week, have suggested that […]

Motorheads are slowly showing interest in EVs #automotive

| August 20, 2022

My social participation in automotive groups and forums that were common for me decades ago (CinciTDI, TDIClub, etc) have shifted to social media friends on Facebook groups (not so much anymore) and Twitter (daily). Those contacts include a bunch of automotive journalist as well as people just interested in cars and trucks. The conversations has […]

Summer fill up of the #diesel 2010 BMW 35d in 2022

| July 24, 2022

UGH! Gasoline may have dropped 40 cent per gallon as American consumers cut back on travel and driving due to inflation and the likely coming recession, but diesel prices continue to remain elevated. There are very few options when “you need to get to go, and need to be able to get where you need […]

Where do you WANT vs where SHOULD you live in retirement?

| July 10, 2022

While I personally have not worked the numbers, a May 2022 Barron’s Advisor column on retirement offered an enlightening look on “where” to live; it can be eye-opening! Low income taxes aren’t everything. Many retirees who live in states with high taxes are eager to move to states with no income taxes, says Rhian Horgan, […]

Stay on your retirement planning track and consider iBonds

| June 25, 2022

It is stomach-churning to follow the often heard “hold tight” and “stick with the plan” advice often given by financial advisors.  If you are currently retired and living off of a fix-income and nest egg, or are trying to prepare for retirement, you are likely worried about times like these. Advisors tell you not to […]

Inflation hits a new FOUR-Decade High, with food and energy increases hurting those who can least afford it

| June 11, 2022

CPI up 8.6% driven by a 35% jump in energy prices and 12% increase in groceries This is what a “sea of red” looks like for investors and stock market traders … and I can only imagine the “red” those living on a fixed income or families struggling to make ends meet must be seeing? […]

A movie remake, with a twist? "iMac Down" … stocks down too

| June 10, 2022

A semi-disaster struck as my iMac choked on a Parallel 17 "virtual Windows" update on Thursday. It reminded me of the movie "Blackhawk Down" or perhaps "White House Down" … hence the subject line for Tech Friday.   The virtual Windows 10 side of my computer booted, but everything from the connected drives to the display […]

Tech Friday: Souring on backing startups with great ideas

| June 3, 2022

Over the years, I have backed a few smaller companies needing capital and pre-sales to expand their businesses. Before the days of online crowdfunding platforms such as Indiegogo and Kickstarter, I participated as an investor in two smaller Ohio local companies … one that landed a contract to fulfill candy for Disney World which need […]

Stocks, bonds, crypto all down. What to do, what to do?

| May 13, 2022

FoxBusiness/WSJ graphic For the good or bad, whenever I’m away from my daily routine, it seems like the financial markets lose stability and investors go into crisis mode? The past couple of weeks, those invested in stocks, bonds and crypto know that it has been painful; there have been very few refuges from the sharp […]

Big news: Twitter accepted buyout offer from Elon Musk

| April 26, 2022

The financial markets have been following the Federal Reserves messaging regarding tightening their easy money policies and has been selling off the last few days. The more aggressive, but late stance to slow inflation is one needed piece of the puzzle … although also heights concerns over slow growth or even a recession. That news […]

Dealing with rising prices and the Fed hitting the brakes

| April 23, 2022

As the Fed finally starts to deal with inflation, the market took note this month and seems to be selling off across the board. The expectation is that the economy will slow and as they say in the investing world, “don’t fight the Fed.” There isn’t a silver bullet that can keep businesses booming, paychecks […]

Tech Friday: iOS and App updates … and Internet/Cable/TV

| April 8, 2022

After updating my iOS devices to 15.4 last week, I noticed a few annoying changes (normal when an operating system changes), and a few improvements. I suspected that older devices such as my iPhone 7 and older iPad would start to show signs of reduced battery life and sluggishness, yet how long nowadays do we […]

Our driveway disappointment is one step closer to resolution

| April 6, 2022

Our concrete driveway is not small … and if you add to our front drive to the rear paved driveway, it is fair to say that we have a lot of money invested in concrete and asphalt. So … when last year’s front driveway replacement didn’t go well, we ended up in a dispute (friendly) […]

War, inflation, recession, oil prices and inverted yield curves

| March 26, 2022

The “pain at the pump” is definitely real if you are buying fuel and if you have spend the last decade with gas and diesel at 40+% lower than we are seeing today. That said, in inflation-adjusted dollars, we are still off the highest per barrel prices that we have seen (chart below). Most oil […]

John Steele Gordon and Milton Friedman on Inflation

| March 23, 2022

From a John Steele Gordon lecture at Hillsdale College … “money is just another commodity, no different from petroleum, pork bellies, or pig iron. So money, like all commodities, can rise and fall in price, depending on supply and demand. But because money is, by definition, the one commodity that is universally accepted in exchange […]

Bummer, we didn’t plan a winter or spring break this year

| March 20, 2022

Photo from February 2013 in Delray Beach while visiting Brenda’s parents For years … well decades really … we have been fortunate enough to escape winter in February or sometimes March or April and head to sunny or warmer climates for a week. Often it was to visit either Brenda’s or my parents who would […]

Pondering Stagflation in the US after Russia invades Ukraine

| March 2, 2022

I’m not an expert on how the events in Ukraine will impact the world, but I do pay close attention to geopolitical events, the financial markets and the economy … and can’t help but wonder how this will reshape our future. For the past year or so I’ve been grumbling about how the Biden administration’s […]

Is it time to consider an EV when looking for a new car?

| February 26, 2022

Well according to the calculations by automotive journalist Lauren Fix, if it is the financial calculation that triggers your decision, you might want to hold off a little on buying that new EV … even with tax incentives.

Paper magazines/newspaper delivery woes and shrinkflation

| February 17, 2022

Well, two doses of disappointing news in one week. First, the Bengals lose in Super Bowl 56, and then my Barron’s magazine gets smaller with even smaller type (requires a second pair of readers!). They call it “shrinkflation” in an attempt to save a few dollars and probably force subscribers into a 100% digital subscription. […]

Books: “Wealth, War and Wisdom” by Barton Biggs (2009) and a little “How Long will the Santa Mouse Decor Remain” humor

| February 13, 2022

We’ve never been all that timely in getting Christmas decorations put away after the holidays, but this year we … and by “we” I mean Brenda … has been slower than usual. To be fair, most everything has been packed and put away, but there are a few stragglers still around our house. I’m not […]

Inflation Hot? (Part 2): Inverted Yield Curve and Recession

| February 12, 2022

Although this is really not a smooth continuation from yesterday’s “Inflation Hot” post, the financial and economic theme remains the same … so it will be considered “part 2.” The post left off with trying to stop inflation in the 1980s and forcing a recession, actually “back to back recessions.” We can all hope that […]

Inflation Hot? Stop it with a recession or two. (Part 1)

| February 11, 2022

It is pretty obvious to most consumers that even with years of the Federal Reserve keeping interest rates low, printing money and Congress spending, inflation remained in check at under 2%. Unfortunately after the last round of easy money policies during the pandemic, business shutdowns and government giving away money, this is no longer true. […]

How long can the U.S. keep bailing before the ship sinks?

| January 25, 2022

So … how’s the economy doing in 2022? Well, if you measure it based on the stock market or maybe finding a job (if you want to work) … then the façade looks ok. Dig a little deeper and you’ll find out that your paycheck doesn’t go that far … IF you can find what […]

The stock market begins the trading year 2022 with a roar

| January 3, 2022

Even with all the negativity around Covid19 and the rapidly spreading, but somewhat more tolerated, Omicron variant … investors chose to shrug off what looks to slow down the economic re-openings around the world. The saying I keep hearing is that “I’m done with it.” My view for the strong stock market start on the […]

New Year’s Eve Friday Filler Photo: Make 2022 better than 2021

| December 31, 2021

As we wind down 2021 and close the book on a stressful COVID19 filled year … here’s hoping next year will bring an end to the pandemic. If that is not going to be the case, then let’s hope the Omicron Variant isn’t as deadly as the Delta Variant … and that we will keep […]

Guide to reducing Ethereum Gas Fees somewhat simplified

| December 30, 2021

There’s more to buying, trading and SENDING Ethereum cryptocurrency and blockchain dapps than just reading this short paragraph, but if you want make $ETH transactions (applies to other cryptocurrencies as well) … the best way to reduce fees (gas fees) is to make the transactions when the traffic is not at its highest. In other […]

Time magazine’s Person of the Year for 2021 – Elon Musk

| December 26, 2021

Before the year 2021 disappears, it is worth highlighting Time magazine’s pick for Person of the Year  – although I generally just roll my eyes. This time in picking Elon Musk, it is hard to disagree. The pick of Musk, the richest man on Earth, is a good one as he is not only an […]

We are thinking about retirement … in a few years!

| December 15, 2021

As Christmas cards arrive and the 15th of December hits, it is time to start winding down my business year and thinking about 2022 (BTW, we mailed our cards this week). One thing I have noticed this year is that more cards are from people who are now retired or are retiring. Hm … does […]

The “fuel surcharge model” for TV cable content delivery?

| December 11, 2021

It is a sneaky way to increase what I thought was a customer to Cincinnati Bell “contracted-each-year” cable TV and Internet monthly bill? Nope, according to @CincyBell … after being mislead by customer service that the below increases were “government related fees” and “out of their control” … the increases are negotiated contracts with content […]

Tech Friday: Surprised at the recent increase in blog traffic

| December 10, 2021

The surprise increase in blog traffic corresponded to my taking a few more security measures such as locking down more of the personal content to only logged in readers … but I’m not sure that had anything to do with increasing earnings? Still, I noticed upward change (more than doubling) of Google Adsense earnings and […]

How much control are you willing to give to the government?

| November 24, 2021

America has split down the middle on a lot of things that many of us took for granted just a few years ago. Our individual liberty is being eroded away with the help of progressives using propaganda and the heavy hand of the “we know better” bureaucrats to seize more power every day. The mainstream […]

Tech Friday: Interesting electric heater and Bitcoin mining setup?

| November 19, 2021

How about mining Bitcoin and heating your house (room) with the excess energy/heat? For small room portable heating and cryptocurrency mining this looks interesting (although personally I’d rather install solar panels and sell electric power to the grid), check out the Heatbit website.

Music Monday: “We’re having a Miles Davis Rally”

| November 8, 2021

Although I usually don’t purposely listen to jazz, I do appreciate hearing it when it is played and discussed. Last week when Fox Business host Charles Payne mentioned “We’re having a Miles Davis rally” in reference to the stock market – and the “be there or be square” 1950’s slogan. I tweeted about it and […]

Advice: My current thoughts on hardware crypto wallets

| November 5, 2021

Although I’m not an all-in cryptocurrency buyer, trader or investor (pick your poison), I do own and am accumulating small amounts of different crypto. After a fair amount of  reading this past year, my conclusion is to use a reputable cryptocurrency exchange like Coinbase Pro, Coinbase (disclosure: I own $COIN stock), Uphold or Interactive Brokers […]

Energy Independence: Oil was once dictated by OPEC #TBT

| November 4, 2021

Not to many years ago, the United States was on its way to becoming energy independent … until the American fossil fuel industry came under attack from within our own country. This time the reason is not due to our country’s inability to produce enough oil and natural gas for our needs, but an ideology […]

Are you interested in Cryptocurrency? Where will you keep it?

| October 23, 2021

It is probably inevitable that we will all be using cryptocurrency someday. The early adopters are already immersed and getting comfortable investing and trading it … perhaps too comfortable??? Risks of Leaving Cryptocurrency in Exchange A brief look at the history of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies reveals why it is dangerous to leave your crypto funds […]

The Bankrupting of America – Stephen Moore for PragerU

| October 20, 2021

Here’s a short video worth 5 minutes of your time to watch and to contemplate before Congress and President Biden makes our spending spree even worse. “You can’t spend what you don’t have indefinitely ..” – Stephen Moore for Prager University. LINK to video

Investors are concerned as the Fed tapers and inflation rises

| October 16, 2021

A friend contemplating rolling over his 401K to an IRA asked me a bond investing question the other day as he would like to balance his portfolio of stocks by adding some bonds after the rollover. Since he has never owned a bond (outside of a managed fund), the question was, “what’s the impact of […]

From not being diversified to owning too many tickers?

| October 12, 2021

For most investors, the normal criticism is that they are not diversified enough … or at least they often own too much of one sector or one stock (happened in the old days when companies often matched or did a partial match in company stock). I’ve tried to keep “diversity” in mind over my lifetime […]

Lunch with Jeff, the economy, inflation and more nukes in China

| October 1, 2021

What once was a weekly or at least bi-monthly lunch with my friend Jeff, has shifted to once every 3 months or so since COVID19. It’s not all due to the pandemic as changes in work habits and eating out habits has contributed to neglecting getting together. Nevertheless, it was enjoyable to spend an hour […]

Our Samsung side-by-side Refrigerator Icemaker has failed

| September 25, 2021

I’m going write this Samsung Refrigerator failed icemaker blog post up with the idiom that “they don’t make them like they used to.” I’m not exactly sure what electrical part has failed, but the electrical circuit or electronic board that controls the thaw/motor swipe to remove the frozen cubes from the small 8-cube ice tray […]

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.
My Desultory Blog