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  • Annaly Solidifies Credentials As An Attractive Investment Prospect [View article]
    Bought a year ago to hold for one year. Time to sell. Except. Holding a slight gain and where else am I going to get this kind of dividend percentage? Maybe if it dips again I should buy more? At least hold for another year. And see.
    Jan 26, 2015. 09:05 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Royal Bank Of Canada's Oil Problems [View article]
    neissmor: Strange things are going on with the 2008 and later housing abandoners. My own experience has been that I always got held to the letter of the law and the maximum penalties. I even paid off my house a few months early (1989); the financial institution was taken over by the Regulators two days later; I had credit wrecked for a long time as abandoning my mortgage. I did eventually get it straightened out by insisting the records be dug up and checked. Then in the later mass walk-away the rules were ignored? Maybe and maybe not. Clinton signed a law that gave everybody a seemingly free ride with buying and selling houses? But as with the grinding wheels of the gods, individuals may find long after the fact that there are consequences. All of this is still in progress, may be happening again with car loans and more house loans. Eventually the taxpayers will be tired of it and the pendulum of big business interest will swing the other way. Old skeletons in old and forgotten closets may well collect their dues. ????

    Thank you for your response.
    Jan 25, 2015. 01:14 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Euro Drops To Fresh 11-Year Low [View article]
    Now retired, I drink Starbucks in a bottle, Frappuccino, maybe a dozen a year. When I was working it was instant coffee made strong. When I wanted something special I made the instant coffee stronger and added a scoop of ice cream and stirred it until the ice cream melted and was mixed in which also cooled and diluted the coffee. I called the result my "Starbucks Clone."
    Jan 23, 2015. 09:22 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Royal Bank Of Canada's Oil Problems [View article]
    neissmor: "Unlike the USA,a homeowner cannot put the "keys on his bankers desk" and walk away.He is personally responsible."

    The homeowner is personally responsible in the US under the law. The process got overwhelmed and severely backlogged. But like the grinding wheels of the gods, it all grinds exceeding slow but exceeding fine.

    It is easier to keep things in control with a small population like Canada than with the much larger and diverse cultures of the US. Allowing of course for the French enclave in Canada which seems more serious and divisive than anything I know about in the US.
    Jan 21, 2015. 08:36 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Swiss Stocks Extend Slide [View article]
    Antique Tin (old cars) may be an illusion. Those cars in Cuba have been fixed with baling wire and duct tape for so long that nothing is left under the skin of the originals. Antique Tin is about cars in an old barn somewhere that were nearly new and untouched since when they were parked in mid-Depression Era. Whether the Depression was ~1932 or one of the lesser Post-WW2 events.

    Could Cuba become the next Farming Garden for at least North America? Year-round warm, citrus and crops needing long growing seasons, back-up for the Kitchen Garden Industry of California?
    Jan 16, 2015. 11:38 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: China PPI Slumps For 34th Straight Month [View article]

    My grandson may be in a high-school program like your "FACT" concept. His "major" is creating videos and movies ("Communications"). The (Experimental?) program apparently was begun just as he was in the right grade as the program/project was opened to students. He is in the first class to experience it. High-achievers means the kids who have straight "A's" since Kindergarten, attended the Magnet Math/Science lower-grade schools, and maintain the straight-A record. Any drop in grades gets the child returned to standard programs. He does more homework every day after school than I probably did in a month when I was in school.

    Apparently there are others in places to make things happen that think the same things you do.
    Jan 13, 2015. 11:12 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: European Stocks Soar On QE Expectations [View article]
    JohnBinTN: "Phones are for talking on? ;)"

    Yes. Sometimes.

    Cell phones are a general purpose communication device and more. Talk anytime anywhere. Keep track of children and friends in ways unimaginable before there were cell phones. In the grocery store: "Which isle are you on?" or meet the children with a car as they depart school in an afternoon by real-time communication that is often texting; or meet and pick up someone at the airport quickly and easily only because of the cell phone and talk and text messages. Leave messages just like a desktop Email with text messages to anywhere at any time.

    Apps for: compass; local or national weather; maps for finding any store or business from wherever you are; camera in most phones captures moments you will be glad you could save; download (buy) and use "Dark Sky" to pick the best time to run for the car through the rain. The Tom-Tom Nav App [~$55?] has been a lifesaver for me several times in strange places literally thousands of miles from home; Email and links to the Internet allow conducting business from anywhere at any time in ways beyond belief a few decades ago. Games, of course, although I personally do not do that.

    The cell phone has changed the way and ease with which we live our lives. Once it was projected that there would be: "a picture screen so we can see each other." Reality and innovation use the video screen for all these other things that the prognosticators could not imagine or predict and not for watching each other talk.
    Jan 10, 2015. 01:52 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: China PPI Slumps For 34th Straight Month [View article]

    Gasoline price signs on the local low-price gasoline emporium, Quick Trip, here in The Republic Of North Texas were $1.82; $1.86; $1.81 (on different days) at two different locations over the last 10 days. In this area we probably benefit because there is a major gasoline distribution point at the end of a pipeline from the refineries on the Gulf Coast located in the middle of the DFW area.
    Jan 9, 2015. 12:12 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: European Stocks Soar On QE Expectations [View article]
    Using iPhone 6 Plus. It replaced an iPhone 4. Good IT people tell me that the Apple iOS is much more secure than Android. I think I preferred my '4' to my '6+' for ease of use; the large screen on the new one is the game changer. I expect to use the '6+' until it is unusable due to either internal failure or support is ended and continued use is unrealistic. Cost should "amortize" ???
    Jan 8, 2015. 09:18 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Texas: Recession In 2015? [View article]
    To the Monitors at SA:

    Please delete all of my comments to this article before putting it all in the archives. It is irrelevant to the original article.

    I don't think I can delete this stuff myself?
    Dec 30, 2014. 11:03 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Inflation, Output Data Deal Blow To Abe [View article]
    Blue Okie: I do some of that. I keep a log book (date, mileage, cost, cost per gallon for gasoline, what was done) with everything that goes into the car. Gasoline, oil, maintenance. And a manilla folder in my file cabinets with all the documents & receipts. I have initial cost. Can't do the trade or sale value until afterward. :-)

    I do try to watch the total cost and have the amortization vaguely on my mind. I could figure that if it mattered. The costs are not being watched by anybody else nor is there any tax or other reason to get serious about it.

    The 2000 Camry (my last one) only had routine scheduled maintenance cost, tires. Insurance of course. It brought an optimum resale less the mentioned repairs quote (timing belt, front bushings on one wheel, engine mounts-- these things added to the high price of the timing belt & water pump replacement. Second belt [the one that caused me to sell that car] at ~145K miles. The first belt was replaced as planned maintenance. Nominal belt life 60K miles. I felt blessed that day that the belt broke in a quiet parking lot and not out in serious traffic.)

    The new 2011 Camry "Sport" has steel timing chains so routine replacement is not a factor any more. Do not know about the water pump, yet. Warranty covers a lot to 60K miles/5 years. Fuel consumption locally is double (17 to 19 +/-) what it does on open freeway in full flight (30 +/- 0.5). But since retirement I only go half as many miles/half the gasoline per year anyway. (The 2000 Camry got an average of 22 MPG mixed local and city freeway.)

    My log book keeps track of when maintenance was done and cost comparisons. Fuel mileage (done on a little TI Scientific calculator because it is an easy and precise way to do the calculation. The little calculator, under $10, is nice when trading, too. No fussing with what is on the monitor screen to do the minor math.) Fuel mileage on each tank of gasoline tells if there are problems and how well I am operating the vehicle.

    I bought my first Toyota Camry because of reputation (I was repairing industrial machinery then. Two co-workers were a former top-notch certified Chevy mechanic and a mechanic who had been repairing any and all 'foreign cars.' They both said, late 1990's, either and only Toyota or Honda.) and there was more space in the back seat that year than Honda. That space was needed then. I continue buying Camry's because they always start and run and the only maintenance is scheduled maintenance like oil changes and coolant replacement. Things are going to break in 10 years. Repair costs are excessive when that starts to happen. I can't do the fixing any more so a new car with no problems caused by a previous owner does make sense. And the costs do, according to articles I have occasionally read over the years, amortize out equally over 7 to 10 years. Although I intend to replace the current car at 5 or 6 years or after the next styling change; If I like the new look; or, more probably, when I get accustomed to it. So, later rather than earlier. :-) I am much too old to take chances about being stranded with a broke-down car in an uncomfortable or dangerous place. I am thankful for cell phones and the 24/7 road service contract via my insurance company. It was always fun trying to find a public payphone and then a tow truck.

    I have been dissed in the past for my real fuel consumption numbers. I bought a used 10 year old (1970 year model, 100K miles on the meter, in 1980. The Ford straight six would run forever with a few oil changes) van once, from the original owner. He was excited and happy that the van got almost exactly 20 MPG. Based on how far he estimated it was between the places he traveled and his recall of buying gasoline. My numbers, based on the log book I kept, showed 12.5 MPG. All that space inside that van was wonderful sometimes, however. And in that era 10 to 14 MPG was usual. I really do not remember but it seems as well as I can recall that a mid-60's Karmann Ghia I owned for a few years (a pretty car body on a stock VW beetle 'frame' & engine) didn't do much better. In spite of the hype.

    All of this is as "facts and logic" as I am able to manage. I am posting it in hope that it is food for thought that may be useful for other readers.
    Dec 30, 2014. 10:46 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Texas: Recession In 2015? [View article]
    MWinMD: You, especially, might benefit from reading the list of books I posted.
    Dec 29, 2014. 08:43 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Inflation, Output Data Deal Blow To Abe [View article]
    Response to comment by James Carlini (one of my favorite contributors in WSB):

    I prefer to buy new cars because of all the cars I ever bought, the 'new from the showroom' cars lasted 10 years, mostly, and the used cars mostly held together with a lot of work for 2 to 5 years.

    If I can keep the total purchase price minimal by buying cash or paying the loan quickly, a reliable largely trouble-free car (transport tool) is worth the cost. And I am not sure about how that might really relate to averaging the cost over the typical length of time I own/use the car, including maintenance and repairs.

    My most recent car purchase surprised me with the very nice new or improved technologies. These new or improved tech tweaks made use of this latest vehicle a pleasure worth some of the cost.

    And I have absolutely no idea what it would be like to be driving an older Bentley or Ferrari instead and never expect to. Not really possible for me.

    Happy New Year to all.
    Dec 28, 2014. 01:25 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Texas: Recession In 2015? [View article]
    "Climate Change" pops up much too often in SA. Now and then I post a message like this to try to provide some education to those who write long treatises, like the ones in the comments of this article to try to help reduce the frequency or length of the specific diversion.

    For those of you who do not wish to read this, don't. At the first words go to the next comment.

    Dec 28, 2014. 01:06 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Inflation, Output Data Deal Blow To Abe [View article]
    Buying a car:

    It was 2011, July 5. My car had just died. A collection of small repairs were quoted and matched street price for the car. Found a new one in several days of intense effort (driving a rental with my own money) that was a 'program' car. Salesman offered a very nice discount because it was used; 6 months since date of manufacture and 3K miles on the meter. I found Credit Union financing despite no listed credit record-- but I had a long history at that credit union. 60 months of payments at an exorbitant interest rate. You do whatever you can manage? It took me 88 days from when I drove the car off the dealer's lot to handing the credit union my final payment. Sometimes doing what you can manage works. Smiles from everyone involved when I eventually saw them again. Why were they so genuinely happy when I would think they missed out on all the money I never had to pay?

    Incidentally: the car I bought is a "Sports Model" that I would not otherwise have bought. "Sports" means stiffer suspension and better steering parts. I love how it handles. It was a great 'buy' for me.

    Hope all had a very Merry Christmas or Winter Holiday Season. And will have a fun New Year's celebration!
    Dec 26, 2014. 12:24 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment