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Archive for October, 2010

Pumpkin stats

October 19th, 2010 at 01:19 pm

Not really financially-related, but very interesting just the same.

Dave Ramsey's house

October 19th, 2010 at 05:32 am

I stumbled across an interesting article showing Dave Ramsey's new house. It's quite palatial! According to the article, it appears that good ole Dave paid it in full with cash. Big Grin

The dumbest stock

October 18th, 2010 at 01:22 pm

When asked what was the dumbest stock Warren Buffett ever bought, do you know what he said? Surprisingly, he said his own company, Berkshire Hathway!

Here's the whole article, by the way.

For those who want a quick synopsis, he was infuriated with the then-CEO, and bought a majority share of the company to get him fired. That's how he also became the head of Berkshire Hathway.

However, had he thought it through more clearly, and started out with the insurance company that he had wanted in the first place (Geico?), rather than a down-trodden textile company (just to get one man fired), then he say his financial empire would be worth $200 billion today!

In a nutshell, it's best to keep emotions out of investing and trading. Let the numbers do the talking. That being said though, I have to give old man Buffett respect for being able to point out his own mistakes. Even the best are only human.

On a separate but related note, here's a funny comic I came across. Buy! Buy! Sell! Sell!

Everything you need to know about personal finance

October 14th, 2010 at 08:20 am

This gave me a chuckle.

Luxottica

October 8th, 2010 at 08:18 am

Do you wear glasses? Do you plan on buying sunglasses anytime soon? Ever heard of a company called Luxottica? If not, please read on.

Luxottica is an Italian company that makes glasses and sunglasses. What makes them a big deal? I've read unsubstantiated reports that the company may control as much as 80% of all brand-name glasses and sunglasses manufactured in the world. But with the companies they hold, I wouldn't be surprised if it turns out to be true. Ever heard of these?

* OAKLEY
* RAYBAN
* COLE VISION
* PEARLE VISION
* LENSCRAFTERS
* EYEMED VISION CARE
* SUNGLASS HUT
* AVANT GARDE OPTICS

Now, why is this important to fruggies? Through all these companies, Luxottica effectively has a global monopoly on brand-name glasses and sunglasses. And because of this monopoly, we get the privilege to pay through the nose for all of these brand names. Up to $300 just for a wire frame? You've got to be kidding me!

So, if you care about your wallets, I would recommend avoiding any and all Luxottica companies. They don't compete with each other for price. They essentially ARE the same company.

Now, what alternatives do we have? I've gone to Walmart for a pair of glasses before, and they're OK. I've also been recommended Zenni Optical and I'll probably get my next pair there. I can't believe they have fancy memory frames for no more than $25! They can also craft you a sunglasses if you desire.

- - - - -

The following is an addendum for investors.

Obviously, with a company like this, I had to check out their stock. LUX is a solid blue chip with a 1.75% yield. However, it's an ADR for me, and has a pretty low trading volume. What's worse, the options market is next to non-existent. Even for dividend investors, it seems like you can do better with domestic blue chips. I would pass on this one, though interestingly enough, Georgio Armani seems to like it. He (or the company under his name) owns like 5%!

Cooling down

October 5th, 2010 at 05:28 am

Wow, wasn't it just a day or two ago that the temperature was still in the 90s? Not that I'm complaining though. I MUCH prefer the cooler weather. I just didn't think it would drop so suddenly.

Last night, it was cool enough for me to break out my winter pajamas. And even then, it was still cold enough that I woke up again and had to get the winter blanket.

I had forgotten how much of a light sleeper I really am. I remember just how difficult it was for me to get it.

Anyways, I am already thinking about how to get through this winter. Something more effective than last winter. I am not sure what though, but I'm going to look into it.

On a napkin

October 4th, 2010 at 09:19 am

Personal finance charts and graphs on a napkin.

What We Pay For

October 1st, 2010 at 01:41 pm

interesting website on the Federal budget.