Saturday, August 25, 2018

What Elder Financial Exploitation Looks Like

As Baby Boomers continue to retire and advance in age, increasing numbers of American seniors are at risk of falling victim to schemes aimed at separating them from their money.
The risks are substantial. A 2014 survey by True Link Financial claims that 36.9% of seniors lose money to scams, financial exploitation, and abuse over any given five-year period. And while hard to quantify, a 2016 update to Allianz’s Safeguarding Our Seniorsstudy estimated the average loss to victims at $36,000—considered a “major financial loss” or “financial ruin” by nearly half of caregiver respondents. Those respondents also reported that 40% of seniors in their care experienced financial exploitation more than once, up from 20% in its 2014 study. Lamentably, such losses often aren’t reported when discovered and they’re rarely recovered.
But in many cases, there are warning signs—and caregivers and close family members are often in the best position to spot possible financial exploitation. Here are some common red flags.

Listen for tipoffs

Take note if a senior you’re close to says something like:
  • “People are asking me for money.”
  • “I’ve been pressured to give money away or to change my will.”
  • “My money seems to be disappearing.”
  • “I think someone may be accessing my accounts.”
  • “Sometimes I make loans or give gifts that make me uncomfortable.”
  • “My bills are confusing to me.”
  • “I don’t feel confident making financial decisions alone.”
  • “I don’t understand financial decisions that someone else is making for me.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Houston-Galveston Hub now an net-exporter of crude

The U.S. port district of Houston-Galveston recently became a net exporter of crude oil, the first time on record.
-    In April, exports exceeded imports by 15,000 bpd, a figure that jumped to 470,000 bpd in May.
-    The Houston-Galveston port area has made up more than half of the share of U.S. oil exports, a figure that jumped to 70 percent in in May as exports surged.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Five habits of the wealthy

1. Take time to be thankful.
4. Work on accomplishing your goals.

I disagree somewhat with #5. Work on self-growth first while on the job. Get the knowledge, skills and attitude that will bring more value to your employer or enterprise. Become more valuable.

If you want to change your life, you have to change.

It's not so much that you become a millionaire (or any other measure of success), but what you become as you work on that goal. 

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Affordable housing is becoming an issue

Zoning restrictions help explain why the price of housing per square foot has soared 188% since 2000 to $421 in Los Angeles vs. 79% to $120 in Dallas. Dallas has been leading the nation in population growth but accommodates that growth via builder-friendly regulations.What you should know about housing right now:
  • Home ownership is key to wealth-building and upward mobility
  • Bay Area Housing Bubble
  • Hot Real Estate Market Leads To Homes Selling Fast
  • Housing Bubble Hurts Wages, Economic Growth, Productivity
  • Affordable Housing Crisis And Low-Income Renters
  • Affordable Housing Requirements Counterproductive?
  • Trying To Sidestep Local Zoning Laws
  • Affordable Housing Crisis Revives Rent Control?
  • Housing Bubble And Suburban Areas
  • Affordable Housing Crisis And Economic Concentration

Full article on Investor's Business Daily

While I fully support "builder-friendly" regulations, these can be a two-edged sword. RESIDENTS MUST GET INVOLVED IN THEIR LOCAL POLITICS. 

Saturday, August 18, 2018

B-25 Flight over Texas

A recent air show in Athens, TX in June 2018. It was on my bucket list, to fly in a B-25. I think next a P-51 since I've met a P-51 pilot in the area.

Retail sales up

A good sign, but in my opinion, will not "predict" where the market goes. The market does what the market does. Always remember that little saying. 

And in the overall picture, it's not all that much, but it's good. 

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Recommended listening and some car buying advice

Your car should be a mobile classroom. 

Have you ever heard of Tony Robbins? If not, Google him. He's worth about $400 million, I think.

Who was Tony's mentor and good friend? 

Jim Rohn.

This CD needs to be a part of your audio library.

The Challenge to Succeed

If you can't find it in a library or used book store, the $40 to $50 is a good investment.

Most of the same material is here, but please don't watch in your car.

In fact, I recommended you do both. *** I don't mean watch and listen in your car. Watch the video at home, listen to the CD in the car (or you can buy a digital download). 

I can hear it now. I don't have time to watch or listen to something that is four hours long. Cry me a river. Let me tell you something. You don't have time NOT to listen. Break it up into 15-minute segments and turn off the damned TV.

My car is too old to have a USB port for a digital version, but it still runs well, is a nice big four-door Buick sedan, and I have no car payment. I've taken care of it, have 150,000 miles on it, and the dealer says if I continue to take care of it, and should get another 100,000.  I also save on the higher insurance premiums I'd pay on a new car. I still get 32-34 mpg on the highway (depending on if I get a nice tail wind). Why would I buy a new car just for a USB player? Or for any of the new do-dads. I still get where I'm going. 

Many people love to run out and get that shiny new car. Like having the latest iPhone. Got to have a new car!!!. But why pay thousands in interest on an asset that eventual is worth $0, pay higher insurance rates, and thousands in interest. Why? Only if you're a dumb ass or your only car just became usable. Then buy a used one. A one or two-year-old car will save you thousands. If you're car is paid for, put the monthly payment in a new car fund. 

My next car will be a one- or two-year-old certified car, and I'll be paying cash for it. You can do it too.

In the meantime, I'm earning interest on my future "car payment." Not paying interest. Do the math. A $35,000 new car on a 60-month term at 6% (if you can get it) will actually cost you $40,599). And you'll have a monthly payment of $677 and the bank actually owns the car for the next FIVE years. 

I'm done with that game! You are the LOSER. The bank is the WINNER. I want to be a WINNER.

If you think you'll need a newish car in three to five years, start making the payments now, but to yourself. 

And please, listen to the audio and video recordings above. Today. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Australian Dollar Trade

Purchased 3 contracts (Aussie Dollar Sept 2018) at .7387 on Aug 6. Sold 3 contracts at .7431 on Aug. 7. Profit of $1,290.00. Supply was indicated just to the left of the blue up arrow. Sold when price returned to MA line. 

Civics? What was that?

Monday, August 6, 2018

What? They don't watch TV?

The 5-Hour Rule Used by Bill Gates, Jack Ma and Elon Musk

It’s not exactly breaking news. During his five-year study of more than 200 self-made millionaires, Thomas Corley found that they don’t watch TV. Instead, an impressive 86 percent claimed they read -- but not just for fun. What’s more, 63 percent indicated they listened to audiobooks during their morning commute.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Some advice is pure crap

Retirement Strategy: The Cold Hard Facts Of Dividend Growth Investing

An article on Seeking Alpha of the same title started out pretty well. At least for three paragraphs. He said: "If I had to point to the one truth about dividend growth investing that was the most difficult for me to follow, it was to focus on the income stream, its reliability, its continual growth, as well as its future prospects."

Of course dividend investing is about income stream. You're supposed to live off your dividends in retirement. Well, in some strategies, anyway. 

Then all turned to shit, pardon my French. "Watching the value of my portfolio drop by 20-50% did give me sleepless nights and plenty of heartburn!"

I stopped reading at that point.

Never, ever let your portfolio drop 20 to 50 percent. Keep the 90 to 100 percent and burn the 4% minimum required to live off of and save your money for another day. As an alternative, use money markets or bonds, or -- heaven forbid -- cash. 

Most market downturns last 18 months, so it won't be forever.

Let me repeat my point again that: Never, ever let you're portfolio drop more than 10%.  The number two rule in investing is to use stops. (Number 1 is risk management).

A 50% drop in your portfolio means you have to make 100% to get back to even. 

In the last market drop, it took six or seven years to break even. Can you wait that long? Yea, you might have some dividend streams, but many companies will cut dividends on market crashes. Then what?

Always have a plan for market drops. Always have back-up cash. 

Don't listen to idiots. (And unfortunately, most CFAs and brokers are idiots -- well maybe not idiots; they make money when you're fully invested).

Caveat Emptor!

Americans know literally nothing about the Constitution

The Constitution, Part 2 of many

From our friends at CNN, which I would not call a conservative-leaning news organization

(CNN) If you are way into politics, you are not the average American. Not even close.
new poll from the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg Public Policy Center reveals how shockingly little people know about even the most basic elements of our government and the Constitution that formed it.
Take your pick from this bouillabaisse of ignorance:
* More than one in three people (37%) could not name a single right protected by the First Amendment. THE FIRST AMENDMENT.
One in three (33%) can't name any branch of government. None. Not even one.
* A majority (53%) believe the Constitution affords undocumented (illegal) immigrants no rights. However, everyone in the US is entitled to due process of law and the right to make their case before the courts, at the least. (My italics.)
However, this is not generally true for all illegal aliens, nor do illegal aliens have all the rights under the Constitution. It's complicated, but they do generally have the right to do process.  I'm not a lawyer, but here is one legal opinion: 
Undocumented (sometimes called "illegal") immigrants living and perhaps working in the United States have some rights under the U.S. Constitution, despite their unlawful immigration status. Aspects of the Constitution that address certain basic human rights apply to everyone, even people without proper documentation. However, an exception known as "expedited removal" allows arriving aliens to be sent back without seeing a judge, except in narrow circumstances such as if they assert a credible fear of return and wish to apply for asylum.
See Legal Rights of Undocumented Immigrants
(My side note. Here's the Fifth Amendment: No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.)
The rest of the story from CNN.

Here's another sad example of how ignorant Americans are of their Constitution.

BTW, for all of you who are protesting ICE and want ICE disbanded because they are "tearing" families apart, that's the Border Patrol. Nothing to do with ICE. 

Thursday, August 2, 2018

The Constitution of the United States

The Constitution, Part 1 of many
So few know what is in the amazing document whose purpose is to product our rights and regulate our government. I am a not a lawyer, not constitutional academic, just an average citizen and veteran. ( I will attempt to add more because I'm now retired!)

I am going to dedicate part of this blog to education about the Constitution of the United States. As as ex-military, I gave this oath every 4 years upon enlistment years as a member of the U.S. Air Force. Officers make the same oath upon commission:

U.S. Military:
“I [state your full name], Do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God (optional).”

The President of the United States:
"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

What the Constitution about member of Congress. There rules are a bit more vague:
“The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”

Analyzing Trades

Why I do my own chart interpretations, though I can be wrong too...But not 75% of the time
This article was published at 11:54 AM CDT Aug 1, 2018 (
Are you chasing green and red bars during the trading session and hading [sic]  most of what could be profits to your brokerage in commisions [sic]? Well, if you are a misdirected futures trader, the index futures can play havoc in a small trading account even if you are are with a futures only broker who give you $500/contract intraday margins. It is for this reason that we worked for years to develop a system that would eliminate the guess work from factors like earnings noise, the commotion from news and even tweets to help keep traders on the right side of the market. It is not witchcraft or black magic - just simple technical analysis. In last weeks forecast we informed you that we were heading lower this week. We did not say, probably lower or most likely lower, but simply that we are headed lower.
Here is our calls for today just a few markets should do it for you if you trade without over leveraging. Visit us at and fill out the contact form.
Partial list of instruments presented here:
ES: Never reached entry. 
YM: Entry never reached
RTY: Entry reached 8/2 about 3 am. Subsequent rally to 1685. This wold have been a loss
CL (Oil). the hardest of them all to trade. This would have been a short-term gain of about $1,.000, but if held, would now be a loss of $900. I guess $100 is better than nothing. 
Morale of the story. "it's on the Internet, so it must be true.

Morning Brief

It's a down day for stocks across the globe amid fears of an escalating trade dispute between the U.S. and China. "The increase in the possible tariff rate (to 25% on $200B of Chinese goods) is intended to provide the administration with additional options to encourage China to change its harmful policies and behavior and adopt policies that will lead to fairer markets and prosperity for all of our citizens," U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in a statement.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Makes a big difference

Double Standards

Market Updates

Wall Street Breakfast

The Fed is not expected to raise interest rates at its meeting that ends this afternoon, but its policy statement is anticipated to set the stage for a September hike and may remove language about remaining accommodative. The announcement comes against a backdrop of debate in the markets, where disagreement reigns over how many more rate hikes the central bank will be able to carry through this year because of the flattening yield curve.

Morning Call

Overnight Markets and NewsSep E-mini S&Ps (ESU18 -0.07%) this morning are down -0.11% and European stocks are down 0.25% on ramped up trade tensions between the U.S. and China after people familiar with...

ADP Employment Report: Up 219,000

Top Five Consumer Cyber Security FAQs

By Equifax Business, technology, environmental and economic changes are a part of life, and they are coming faster all the time. All of thes...