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: