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avdpas77's  Instablog

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Another family man hoping to retire before age 80.
  • Best Brokerage?
    I have recently become more and more disenchanted with Fidelity as my broker.  They don't allow trading on other exchanges without some minimum requirements. I can understand this, but having met those requiremnts one still has to place a call to do this online, and the commisions on some exchanges can be quite excessive.

    Almost a year ago, I contacted them and ask about at least having the HK and TSX available with the regular e-interface, and they said they were considering it, but no change has taken place.  If ADRs arent available, I have to use pink sheets or OTC stocks, and there is no way to reasonably created advanced type orders with the ("stop loss" for instance)  I do like the "hold-your-hand style trading access, but the downsides are beginning to outway the pluses.

    Does anyone have some suggestions about a better brokerage?  I have looked at "interactive brokers", but I am not sure if their interface will be intuitive enough for me.  I like good software and an ordering system that makes information obvious.
    Feb 10 11:03 AM | Link | Comment!
  • a bit of humor
    The following has been been passed about in emails across the web.  Those to which it has been attributed have denied authorship (according to Snopes).  Since they have denied authorship I present it  here without any attribution to an author... in hopes that at least it willmake someone smile.

    Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all
    ten comes to $100.

    If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go
    something like this

    The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.

    The fifth would pay $1.

    The sixth would pay $3.

    The seventh would pay $7.

    The eighth would pay $12.

    The ninth would pay $18.

    The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

    So, that's what they decided to do.

    The ten men drank in the bar every day and
    seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner
    them a curve. 'Since you are all such good customers,' he said, 'I'm
    going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20.

    'Drinks for the ten now cost just $80.

    The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes

    So the first four men were unaffected. They would still
    drink for free. But what about the other six men - the paying
    customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone
    get his 'fair share?'

    They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if
    they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and
    sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the
    owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by
    roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts
    should pay.

    And so The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100%

    The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings).

    The seventh now paid $ 5 instead of $7 (28%savings).

    The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).

    The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 ( 22% savings).

    The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).

    Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four
    Continued to drink for free. But once outside the
    restaurant, the men began to compare their savings.

    'I only got a dollar out of the $ 20,'declared the sixth man.

    He pointed to the tenth man,' but he got $10!'

    'Yeah, that's right,' exclaimed the fifth man. 'I only
    saved a Dollar, too. It's unfair that he got ten times more
    than I!'

    'That's true!!' shouted the seventh man. 'Why should
    he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the

    'Wait a minute,' yelled t he first four men in unison.
    'We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!'

    The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

    The next night the tenth man didn't show up for
    drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it
    came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They
    didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the

    And that, boys and girls, journalists and college
    professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the
    highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them
    much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up
    anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the
    atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

    Dec 29 9:43 AM | Link | Comment!
  • Forewarned is Forearmed


    Recently I wondered how the authors at SA had done in June of  2008 as far as anticipating the trouble  that was to come in the economy.  For an of you who wish to review the older articles one can go to:



    which is a page of the articles from June 27, 2008 and go forward or back as one wishes. (incrementing the page number in the web address goes back in time.  Towards the bottom of the page is an easier way that allows one to page in either direction without changing the web addy) 

    I read through about a month of articles, and it was clear that most authors thought of that period as only a normal bear market, otherwise the articles look little different than ones found today.  Getting worn out reading through all the articles, I started looking for only those from authors that I have come to respect greatly on SA.  Those authors were noticeably absent.  The one I respect the most, and who now posts four or 5 articles a week was posting less than one a week.  He, himself, was of the opinion that it was a normal bear market, but at least was advising clients to pull their money out in most areas and keep it in cash.  I find his dearth of articles posted during this time period to be interesting, and wish I could pick his (historical) brain to consider his thoughts during this time 

    What I found to be the best evidence of the coming recession was numerous articles by SA editor Judy Weil.  While she was not making “predications” for the most part, anyone paying attention to her daily focus on the conditions in the housing/mortgage market should have been greatly concerned.

    Dec 28 2:51 PM | Link | Comment!
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