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Archive for June, 2010

June 2010 networth

June 28th, 2010 at 01:27 pm

If my month could be summed up in one catchy phrase, it would be "Easy Come, Easy Go". I might as well have a catchy slogan, because it's turned out to be the biggest beating I've ever taken in a single month.

This month alone, I've lost 6% in net worth. Frown

What happened? Basically, this is what happens when you take lot of risks. You can make a lot of money fast, but at the same time, you can lose a lot of money fast.

I also spent a large chunk in unexpected expenses (for my son's braces), but I can't lie: Most of the damage was self-inflicted in stock trading.

Sooo, I guess it also doesn't help then that I've also gotten my qualification letter to go into options trading. Big Grin Again, I aim to be super safe and tread very slowly into it, but yeah....

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go drown my sorrow in southern sweet tea.

Nice cottage

June 25th, 2010 at 10:56 pm

You guys know by now that I sort of have a thing for small homes. Well, not so much the small space per se, but mostly, the creativity and inventiveness that goes into it, because the space is indeed so limited.

And although this isn't my personal preference, I found a cottage renovation that is nevertheless enchanting. It went from

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something like this into
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something like this.

And there's much more!
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Here's the entire slideshow to see pictures of the interior. It truly is beautiful.

Best of all, I don't think she spent a lot of money to do the renovation, stating that most were found in flea markets and yard sales.

Speaking of which,
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here is a popular YouTube video of an apartment with transforming rooms. World's Greenest Homes is a really cool show.

14 Eagles

June 23rd, 2010 at 01:19 pm

Sooo, a fellow co-worker told me about this new ponzi scheme er I mean charity organization, but with a twist. The basic idea is this:

Donate $6, separated into three $2 portions, to your fellow gifters in the organization, and in return, you are eligible to receive back as much as $28 in cash gift yourself.

Now, you can only keep $7, because the other $21 is then split into three $7 portions that you re-donate back into the program, but in return, you are eligible for an even higher sum... that you can keep only a certain portion of while you re-donate the rest back.

Sounds innocent enough. So, what's wrong with this picture?

In order for the system to work, you have to get a lot of new people to join and donate their money, and the magnitude is frightening.

For one thing, it will take up to 14 donations on the first level (hence the name 14 Eagles) just for you to complete level 1. That's roughly 4.6 people required to make the total of 14 donations needed. Let's just say 5 people.

Let me say this again. For you, one person, to make the initial profit of only $1(!), you need 5 people below you. 5 people.

And how many does it require to complete level 2? 25 people. It takes 5 Level 2 gifters, each requiring their own 5 people's worth of level 1 donations to reach level 2 in order for them to gift YOU enough level 2 donations to go to level 3. 25 people.

And how many is required to reach level 3? 125 people. And it just keeps going like that.

The funny thing is, my co-worker believes the math makes sense, because the misleading literature is only showing you the dollar amounts you have the POTENTIAL of making, but never once mentioning the number of people required below you to realize that potential.

There's something else too. Because it's a (shady) charitable organization, it's not really subject to the same regulatory standards as a regular business, even for network marketing types.

Plus, everything is literally handled through cash. Yes, they recommend that you hide the cash, wrapped in magazine pages, stuffed inside darkened envelopes. Uh huh.

Even their website,, is locked down pretty tight. You can't get in without ID and password. Nothing shows up on the domain registration either. Gotta love a good charity organization with transparency oh wait.... IT DOESN'T.

All this lack of transparency also makes it easy for the program's creator to game the system and keep a substantial portion for himself without anyone knowing.

Fortunately, my co-worker is out of this program. One of the members of his church found some questionable legal details, and his entire church decided to collectively get out of it.

But anyways, here's another cautionary tale about how if something looks too easy or too good to be true, chances are, it is.

Elon Musk

June 22nd, 2010 at 07:27 pm

is broke? Say it ain't so! But maybe I should start from the beginning.

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According to this article, Elon Musk is a rocket scientist who helped design the Falcon 9 rocket booster, helped create Solar City, a solar power company, a co-founder of PayPal, and last but not least, is also a founder of Tesla Motors.

In short, he's the suave James Bond of the geek world. Better yet, Jon Favreau supposedly modeled Tony Stark (from the movies Iron Man) after Elon. Once upon a time, he was a walking giant with as much as $200 million dollars to his name, and he isn't even 40 years old yet.

Today, he is supposedly penniless.

So, what went wrong? I'm not entirely sure, but according to his divorce records, he is living off of loans from his wealthy friends, and... get this... is still spending as much as $200,000 a month on living expenses, including a private jet that he's still flying!

So, that last part may have had something to do with it. Big Grin

Fortunately for him I guess, Tesla Motors is about to go public, so it may bring in much needed money for him. Still, regardless of what the future holds, it seems like another cautionary tale of being mindful of what you keep, and not just what you make (or your stake is worth).

Bill pay questions

June 14th, 2010 at 01:52 pm

Up until now, I've always gone to individual websites to pay my bills online. And while that has worked in the past, I thought I'd finally give bill pay a try instead.

How many people are currently using their online bill pay from their bank or credit union? If so, have you had much problems with getting it set up? How well is it working for you so far?

I placed several of my bills on it. I think one of them is working, but the rest are still pending and iffy. One in particular, my internet bill, is strangely not working and I don't know why.

So, anyways, just wondering what your experiences are with online bill pay, and if there are any tips you can offer.

I heart Red Box

June 4th, 2010 at 05:00 am

And now, they're set to become even better!

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According to this article, Red Box plans to rent out Blu-Rays for only $1.50!

Well, this may not mean much for those who still use DVD, but for me, it's great news! And anyway, the world will eventually transition to Blu-Ray, so it's not a bad thing for Red Box to stay ahead of the curve.

Speaking of which, I really need to catch up on my Battlestar Galactica.

Bad boys, bad boys

June 3rd, 2010 at 11:51 pm

When I saw this

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burglary kit that you can
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buy here, I KNEW I had to share it. Because, even those with means need the means to um obtain more means? Know what I mean?

You want to know what really made me laugh? No, not the $200 buckaroos they want for this kit, because that just made me bug-eyed. Are they crazy? $200 for a $20 kit you can put together yourself? No, but look at the picture in the first link again. The kit contains a pack of Chiclets. Chiclets! What in the world is a pack of Chiclets doing in a burglary kit? Is it so your breath doesn't smell bad when you're muffling a victim while whispering sweetly, "Quiet my little Starling"? The band-aid pack makes more sense seeing as how you're going to get bitten by the angry homeowners I'm sure.

All this just reminds me of another hilarity I once saw on YouTube. But before you click, please understand that it's crude and filled with obscene language.
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You've been warned. Big Grin

Don't listen to me

June 3rd, 2010 at 05:14 am

Otherwise, listen at your own peril. Big Grin That's my general advice for anyone who reads or hears anything that I have said or written.

There's kind of a story behind this. Basically, I um couldn't contain myself and told a friend about my net worth gains last month. Yeah, I wasn't going to mention it here either, but what the hay....

Basically, my net worth has grown a little over 12% last month, due largely to my stock trading. Yep. Best financial month ever.

In fact, I've also crossed an unique milestone last month. It's the first time in my life where my money has made more money than I have working. And not just by a little bit either. Nope, it completely crushed my paycheck!

Of course, it still doesn't translate to anything practical in everyday life, as it only affects my retirement some day.

Surprisingly enough, the gains seems to have captured this friend's imagination? He spent a lot of time asking questions about stock trading. I seriously think he wants to start trading stocks as well. I wasn't expecting that.

I've tried to stress the risks involved of course, but I think he thinks that I can somehow help him avoid the pitfalls, which honestly, I can not. When it's all said and done, I also take on a lot of risks, and could have easily lost just as much....

Also, there is a small problem of capital. My friend doesn't have any. I've tried to stress that I've spent years saving money to have any investing capital at all. But what I found disturbing was when he replied, "Yeah, I don't know why you're going into this tangent, because what I really want to know is the trading part."

It's dangerous when you focus only on the gains and none of the risks. The simple reason why saving is such a big deal is because I don't trade on margin or with any kind of borrowed capital. I absolutely refuse to. In fact, I don't leverage either. I only work with what I have, but doing it my way means saving money.

While I'm at it, I kind of apologize for talking about stock trading here all the time. I know this isn't the place for it, but it's all I'm doing right now. Not that I mind it personally, since I really do like stock trading, but if you do decide to read about it, I only ask to please take what stock advice I say with a grain of salt. Big Grin

Bye Bye BP

June 2nd, 2010 at 01:54 pm

I don't know if anyone remember this, but I been dabbling with BP stocks a little while back. And with it, I think I've also learned where my true risk tolerance is, and it's about where BP is right now. Big Grin

How did I know that BP was my limit? Although I didn't lose sleep over it, it was also the last thing I thought of when I went to bed, and the first thing I thought of when I woke up. I even had to resist checking the pre-market trading and the news updates before brushing my teeth. Suffice to say, I was a little anxious. Big Grin And that's when I realized that, no matter WHAT the trading strategy is, it's still Not Worth It!

Considering that it also ended in a loss, I'm obviously not happy with my BP trades. Fortunately, the loss is minimal to the overall portfolio, but it's still an expensive learning lesson.