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Showing posts from October, 2018

10 ways to waste money

Good to be back after a couple of weeks on vacation. It looks like the market is attempting a rally. We'll see how it goes.

From Schwab, good points on how to (not) waste your money.

10 Easy Ways to Waste Your Money

Note: If you haven't voted in the mid-term elections, you should. Advice received from one of my financial advisor sources, Gary Halbert
Two months ago, it looked like the Democrats would retake majority control of the House in a so-called “Blue Wave.” They only need to pick-off 23 Republican seats to do so. As I wrote in my Blog on September 27, presidents with an approval rating below 50% lose an average of 37 seats in the House in midterm elections. The Dems were looking very good.But then came the embarrassing fiasco of Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination. The Democrats went way over the top in trying to defeat Judge Kavanaugh, made a spectacle of themselves on national TV and changed the whole election dynamic. Now the election hangs in the balance.…

DJIA down 800 points, but no reason to panic

The Dow30 dropped about 3% today, which is just over 800 points. Seems like a lot in one day and it is. Not the biggest drop ever in terms of percentage. You have to realize the Dow reached a new high just last week. 

I had reported yesterday before market open a weakness in the market. 
A market correction is 10 percent and a bear market is considered when a market drops 20 percent from its high. We're only about 5 percent off the highs. 
The Dow would have to drop a total of nearly 2,700 points to reach correction level. Still have about 1,300 points to get to that level. The chart below shows we're not even as low as the market was on July 30 of this year. 


It's hard to say what will happen in the next few days. Right now (11 PM CDT) the futures market has leveled off at about 25,300, so it seems for now the selling has stopped. Same with the SP500 and NASDAQ.  Will have see what happens early tomorrow. 
The drop in equities looks like investors moving into safer assets, lik…

Medical Care: A Monster that is Devouring the American Economy

From the Hillsdale College publication Imprimis, "A Short History of American Medical Care.

Excerpts: 

"In 1930, Americans spent $2.8 billion on health care—$23 per person and 3.5 percent of the Gross Domestic Product. In 2015 we spent about $3 trillion—$9,536 per person and 15 percent of GDP. Adjusted for inflation, this means that per capita medical costs in the United States have risen by a factor of 30 in 90 years."

"....So it is clear that there is something terribly wrong with how health care is financed in our country. And a consensus on how to fix the problem—how to provide Americans the best medicine money can buy for the least amount of money that will buy it—has proved elusive. But the history of American medical care, considered in the light of some simple but ineluctable economic laws, can help point the way. For it turns out that the engines of medical inflation were deeply, and innocently, inserted into the health care system just as the medical …

Politicians Care More About Illegal Immigrants and Elections than Disabled Veterans

How some politicians use your tax dollars. From TownHall.
Time after time, politicians favor illegal immigrants and the big businesses who profit from immigrants’ less-costly labor because it helps them win elections.

A recent example is Democratic California gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom, the state’s current lieutenant governor and the former mayor of San Francisco. He’s openly campaigning on a plan to create a universal health care system that would also pay for all health care services for illegal immigrants.

“I did universal health care when I was mayor, fully implemented regardless of pre-existing conditions, ability to pay, and regardless of your immigration status,” Newsom said in August.

“San Francisco has the only universal plan for undocumented residents in America,” he added. “I am very proud of that.”

Rather than spend money helping to reduce crime, fund education programs, or tackle California’s $1 trillion in unfunded pension liabilities, Newsom would rather pay the …

Stock market continues to show weakness

(Update: As of 9:45 am CDT, markets have reversed and are slighty higher. SP500 up about 9)

Despite showing some strength yesterday afternoon, market futures are down as of 7:35 am CDT. The DJIA is off about 100 points, the SP500 down about 11 and the NASDAQ is down about 31 points. 

Investors Business Daily had this to say yesterday:


"Stocks bounced Monday, giving the market some hope that its sell-off might be at least pausing, if not ending. The S&P 500 looked bearish at midday, when the index fell below its 50-day moving average. But a wave of afternoon buying sent the S&P 500 off its lows and into the highs of the day. The index closed nearly unchanged and back above its 50-day line" However,  "The market's backdrop remains favorable, with the U.S. economy still humming, unemployment at a 49-year low, consumer confidence high and corporate profits still reaping the benefits of a big tax cut. The downside is that the Federal Reserve seems set on raising int…

Trades for Monday, Oct 8, 2018

Gold (GCZ18)
Bought 1 Contract: 1194.4
Stopped out at: 1191.8
Profit / (Loss): ($260.00)
Note: Demand zone did not hold

Natural Gas (NGX18)
Bought 1 Contract: 3.265
Stopped out at: 3.235
Profit / (Loss): ($303.00)
Note: Demand zone did not hold

Gold (CGZ18)
Bought 2 Contracts: 1186.90
Closed at 1193.00
Profit / Loss $1,214.00

Profit for day: $648.00

The climate change agenda is political and economic, not scientific.

Note: This may be my first and last article on climate change, unless something new comes up that deals with economics. The entire movement is based more on politics than science. The estimated cost of "fixing" our climate is estimated to be between $11 trillion and $100 trillion. It will hurt the poor more than the rich. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is not a pollutant. It only accounts for .041 percent by volume of the atmosphere and is at one of the lowest concentrations when geologic time periods are studied. Water vapor has more influence. Should we ban this also?

When someone says the "debate is over" and the "science is settled" I know there is something else going on. I do not deny the climate is changing or that we need to be good stewards of our planet. Other than that, it's probably biggest hoax of all time. I've spend countless hours and days reading and studying the literature. The science IS NOT settled. 

Those pushing for aggressive government…

Weekly summary of stock markets

(Note: I will attempt to do this on weekends, but I can make no promises. This week focuses on long term weekly charts.  These charts are easily available on the internet.  Try https://www.barchart.com or https://www.tradingview.com. I generally track markets using ETFs, which contain those stocks in the indexes. And it makes it easy to buy the market like stock. ETFs are DIA (Dow Jones), SPY (SP500), QQQ (Nasdaq), IWM (Russell 2000). 

Long-term trends (Weekly Charts)
Notice the weakness in small caps (IWM and QQQ) vs. large caps (DIA and SPY). May indicate a new trend. Or it may indicate a new buying opportunity in small caps. Sorry, but I do not have a crystal ball that predicts the future. Otherwise, in my opinion, if you own these markets, I'd hold for now. Kind of expensive right now to buy more large caps. Keep your left-over powder (cash) dry in a nice money market fund.  Mine pays 1.9% and I have about 50 percent in cash right now, but have recently moved a small amount into…

Time to Vote. But do you know what you're voting for?

(Note: This is not a political blog. But politics do affect economics and personal finance. And voting is both a responsibility and duty. This is a brief summary of what I think are some of the differences are right now between our two parties, from some fairly extensive research on my part. But don't take my word on it. Do your own research on the issues. Just for the record, I'm neither a registered Republican or Democrat, since you don't do that in Texas. I tend toward Libertarian views anyway).

Your Money
When House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said that bonuses stimulated by President Trump’s tax cut were “crumbs” she meant it. And item No. 1 on the Democrats’ agenda will be to repeal the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. For the 90 percent of Americans who have seen more money in their pockets this year because of tax reform, kiss it goodbye. Republicans want to make the tax changes permanent. However, neither party problem seems to not have the courage to attack run-a…

Ron Howard and Nancy Pelosi on economics.

Everyone thinks they're an expert when it comes to economics. A little re-write of history, and bam! You got us. Or you show your true colors.

I love Ron's movies, but he should stay out of economic issues. Here's what Ron tweeted after the jobs report this morning:


Huh, Ron buddy, it didn't fall apart. We had almost 25 years of good economic growth, a rising stock market, rising wages, and low unemployment.  
Then there is Nancy Pelosi. She really thinks the last tax cut was a "scam" and a "brazen theft." A $2,000 bonus is "crumbs." Remember back when the Democrats temporarily reduced payroll taxes so working people could keep an extra $40 a month. She touted that as a great benefit. 

Nancy Pelosi’s apocalyptic tax-bill delusions

Dear Democrats, Ownership Isn’t Theft

When is keeping more of the money I earn theft? If you can figure that out, let me know. 


Job growth slumps in September, but the unemployment rate hits the lowest level since 1969

Job creation for September fell to its lowest level in a year though the unemployment rate dropped to a point not seen in nearly 50 years, according to Labor Department figures released Friday.

Nonfarm payrolls rose just 134,000, well below Refinitiv estimates of 185,000 and the worst performance since last September, when a labor strike weighed on the numbers. The unemployment rate fell two-tenths of a percentage point to 3.7 percent, the lowest level since December 1969 and one-tenth of a percentage point below expectations.

A separate measure of unemployment that includes discouraged workers and those holding jobs part-time for economic reasons — sometimes called the "real unemployment rate" — edged higher to 7.5 percent.

Unemployment among black Americans declined three-tenths of a point to 6 percent, slightly above its record low of 5.9 percent achieved in May.

Full story at CNBC.
Statistics from the BLS.

Again, another data breach!

I know it's just FaceBook, as awful (who in the hell programmed that mess) as it is, but for those of you who do banking etc online, you must check your accounts several times a week. And have alerts set up. For example, I went shopping at Costco today and by the time I got home, I had an email on my phone alerting me that my card had been used and for how much. Very cool. 

If your bank or financial institution doesn't provide this service, change banks. (I use Chase for most of my day-to-day transactions and Schwab for investing). My credit union also sends me fraud alerts on that account via text (Navy Federal Credit Union). Protect yourself. And check your credit reports every month. Chase allows me to do this for free. (I've frozen my credit accounts so no one can use them to create new accounts.) 

More details on the FaceBook breach from Experian:


Facebook announced a data breach on Friday, Sept. 28, in which the personal information of 50 million user accounts was put a…

U.S. Deficit Could Make Next Financial Crisis Even Worse

From Gary Halbert's Weekly Newsletter. Sign up for free at http://forecastsandtrends.com/subscribe.php

Trillion-dollar deficits are coming back to Washington, and this time they could be here to stay. The White House Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB) projects that the federal budget deficit will top $1 trillion in FY2019 which began yesterday, up from $666 billion for FY2018.

Unlike the trillion dollar budget deficits that occurred during the Obama administration that were temporary and largely the result of the Great Recession, the Trump deficits are projected to exceed $1 trillion permanently. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects the deficit to hit $1.5 trillion by 2028, and that is probably optimistic.

Thanks to the anticipated rise in interest rates coupled with growing debt, the CBO now projects that annual interest costs alone will hit $915 billion by 2028. “That's roughly triple what they are this year in nominal terms and roughly double when measured as a pe…