Saturday, December 13, 2008

based on the diagram in this post, 2008 is 'once-maybe-twice-in-a-lifetime' type of a year, as far as investing is concerned. interesting, huh? wonder where 2009 will end up...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Making myself feel better. A chart!

As you can see from this chart, this market is great! Each dollar I spend is buying more and more shares of DODGX!!

Monday, November 17, 2008


Hi, what the hell, my 401k is down like 50%. Here is what I have to say to all those bone heads who are saying "stay the course"

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

the market - a ponzi scheme?

good stuff by Mark Cuban

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

another money-making idea

inspired by:

create (rather, modify existing designs of) gym machines that generate electricity, sell to metropolis gyms. treadmills, stationary bikes, elliptical trainers and stair-masters are easy; what's slightly harder is the weight-machines. how would you have the user generate more electricity, as the resistance is increased? in other words, how do you make sure the increase in resistance is achieved by generating more electricity, rather that by adding more weights?

starting point:

makes all the sense in the world, right?

Friday, July 25, 2008

Deep thought about Mickey Mouse

As suggested by:

don't you think that a Disney trip should count as a deduction? I mean its job related after all...seriously, i work with very young children ya know, and it is important for my professional success to be up on the latest characters.... so its ummm research...yeah thats it

So what do you think? Since she is a teacher, would a Disney vacation be a tax deduction?

After all, to effectively do her job she needs to know about the latest characters. A Disney trip is really just her keeping her education up to date. It's not that different from attending a conference or taking a graduate course. Except of course grad courses don't usually involve standing in line for 2 hours to shake hands and have you picture taken with Mickey Mouse.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

More about poop (sorry if this is gross)

I just learned that people are willing to pay 12.95 per week to have someone come to their house and pick up their dog's poop. Wow.

This has implications for my bio reactor plan, which I wrote about previously.
  1. I could run such a business to collect material for my plan
  2. I could contact existing businesses and collect the poop from them, thus saving their disposal costs and providing me with fuel
What still remains for this business idea is to do analyze the costs and smell producing characteristics of constructing a bio reactor and harnessing the methane for electricity. Then I need to do a pay-off analysis to see when any costs would start paying for themselves.

Any feedback from you?

more links:

"A biodigester usually requires manure from more than 150 large animals to cost effectively generate electricity." that means I need like 300 dogs pooping like crazy. ewww.

A better way to track fund performance

I am sick of watching the value of my portfolio go down and down. It's depressing. I know I know, people like and and just about every other money dude would state the "buy and hold" mantra as well as the "you are buying it cheap" dollar cost averaging thing.

They'd also probably tell me not to check my mutual fund balances every day, but that's like asking a kid to sit quietly at an ice cream store/petting zoo/big ball pit/buzz lightyear superstore. Yeah right, of course I am going to look.

Even though I know these things, I still freak out. So my new plan has these features:
  • I will still get to look obsessively at something.
  • The values will always go up.
  • When the market is doing terrible, the values will go up even faster, making me happier when the market is bad not depressed.
Here is the plan: monitor the number of shares I own not the cash value of the funds. When the market is cheap, I will buy shares at a faster rate, which will cause the values to increase. That will make me happy, which is the right emotion to feel when the market is slumping.

Additionally, I can estimate what the value of the fund will be in 40 years by compounding it by 8%. So if I want a cash value I can still have it. I can use this cash value to know when to rebalance.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

The best (but not best smelling) money making idea ever

Here it is, plain and simple:
Collect dog poop and then burn methane from it to produce electricity

What you don't believe me? If people on a farm that have 2000 cows can produce $2000 of electricity per month, then I can produce $40 per month easy.

Given the number of dogs which pass by my house each day, a simple poop collector outside my house would easily collect enough dodo to make my meter move backwards.

Don't believe me?
Check out these links:

Monday, June 30, 2008

I failed you, my audience, please do not go away :(

Although it was fun to hate the government and pretend my financial life was like a video game, it turns out the system is actually fair.

I was wrong about this post:

As evidence by these other sites:

There may be other taxes or "phase outs" that you can game, but the savings would only be minimal.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Planting trees for your retirement.

I ran across this comment on the simple dollar (see below)

I am sure you may have thought of this, but maybe some of your reader’s are less familiar with buying land.
Forested land can often make you money back. Selling the lumber on premise can often pay back a significant amount of the purchase price. Just be sure to use a logger who would respect your desire to keep the mess in your woods to a minimum.
A significantly aged forest for example can get up to $2,000 a acre in lumber. Wait twenty years and repeat.

I wonder if you could buy up 10 acres for $10,000 if that is the case, you could sell the lumber on it and get the acres for free.
Then you plant trees, cost: $2000 or so, wait 20 years, pay 20 years of taxes... maybe that is high like $500 per year.

Seems like you wouldn't make much money and you'd only make the money like twice in your life. That is unless you own like 1000 acres.

for example:,, I found 100 acres for $175,000. If it all had trees, the profit would be $200,000.
Then you spend 2 years straight with a staff of 10 workers and replant the whole thing with trees and in 20 years, you have another $200,000 ready there. I'll be age 48, that sounds like about the right time for paying for my kids' college. Then I'll plant another forest. When I am 68, I'll need to buy my retirement home. So I'll just cut down my trees, build a small house on 1 acre of it, and then ask the grand kids to plant another 100 acres of forest, when I am 88, I'll die, and my kids will inherit a nice cash cow.

This place has a bunch of listings:

Here's an example of a piece of land that would easily be profitable:
it is 100% trees.
If you cut down half of them (35 acres), you could make $70,000 which would pay for the land. The other half of the cut down would be pure profit.

Property ID:

Click here to zoom in on this property
Lot: 8
Town: Portage
Location: Northern Maine
Area/Subdivision: Portage Lake
Price Was: $92,900
Price: $69,900
Size: 70.3 Acres
Other Details: No Mobile Homes, Power/phone Near by, Lake Front
Landscape: Trees: 100% Fields:
Financing Options:
$505 Per Month with 30% Down (20 Years, 11 % APR)
$739 Per Month with 15% Down (20 years, 14% APR)

Open questions:
- how long and how much would it cost to replant your land so that a forest will be there 20 years from now?
- is there a machine you can buy that will go replant everything?
- how easy is it to hire up a logging company? Do you need special permissions from the town you buy the land from?
- do you have any ethical problems with destroying a forest and its wild life?


Saturday, March 15, 2008


Go buy tons of stuff from here:


Go buy tons of stuff from here

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Gaming the Taxable Income

Hey all.

The truth is out. I have learned what those those mysterious things called "tax brackets" are. They are shown here. Bring on the gaming of the tax system.
Here's the issue:

Imagine if you and your spouse make 130,000 combined. Then you get a huge raise and next year make 134020.

This means that the government will tax you an extra 3% and then you'd be back to making only 130,000 again.

If there was nothing you can do, it would be fine to just accept it. However, there is something you can do.

You have a several buttons on our game pad you can press throughout the year to change your "Taxable Income." The game you are playing is like Sonic the Hedgehog and the little shiny rings are % of your money you take back from the government. If you don't grab enough rings, it's game over. If you get enough you get a 1Up and free extended play. Only 50 rings is worthless, but 100 gets you something.

There are many buttons your can press. They include:
- Contribute more to a 401k.
- Contribute more to charity.
- Flex spending
- Health plan

Friday, February 22, 2008

a little bit of language here, but this presentation does a very good job of succinctly explaining the subprime crisis:

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Here we go

I don't know about you, but I am PSYCHED that the stock market is going down. Why? because there is going to be another year where the stock market goes waaaaay up and when that happens life will be good.

Here's my evidence. Every single one of these mutual funds has only had one negative year between 2000 and 2006, and then the next year there were some huge gains. (lost 10% then gained 32%) (lost 18% then gained 36%) (lost 16% then gained 41%)

If history repeats itself, we will be out of this quagmire and into soaring profits once again!

Just for completeness here are some that had more than 1 negative year :

Monday, January 7, 2008

Joke of the day

Here's the joke. I hope it makes you chuckle.

Here is where my company automatically put my funds when we switched management companies:

Notice, no morning start rating, no historical performance either. Great, so maybe I will look at the prospectus:

Here is the screen I found. Notice the footnote: "Fund prospectus not requires for this fund" Ha!
What the hell!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

New Year - New Challenge!

Gents, I wish you all a Happy New Year and in this year I also issue forth a challenge!

We all start on January 12th to allow enough time for preliminary research (or throwing enough dice to get a statistically satisfactory set of data results).

We all start with the same amount, but let us see where we are 1, 3, 6, and 12 months.

Should fun, time consuming, and hopefully educational.

This is my challenge to you all.