Saturday, February 2, 2008

Market commentary

Volatility can be a friend to value investors with cash.


patricia said...

I interpret this to mean you have made a bundle!

Cycling Potato said...

Dear Balcony Babe
Today I am on the topic of books, read or otherwise. With winter and retirement I have read many books during the past few years. Fortunately I have found a way to read and not spend all my beer money in Chapters. The absolutely cheapest source of text is the internet, such as Wikipedia Books. Not that I can read the flickering image on the computer monitor but occasionally I download short items, such as a collection of poems by Christina Rosetti. Then there is the power of the Edmonton Public Library system, which I never bothered using in the "olden times" of month-end paychecks. I regularly pull books that I want to read and not necessarily keep. The strength of the system is that it connects with a provincial network of libraries, so, for example, currently I have on hold "The Silk Road by Meniconzi Alessandra" a photo essay, that is only located in Calgary. I have also used the EPL for DVD's and music CD's as well. Then if I absolutely must buy a book I go to Although primarily a used book seller domaine there are many titles that can be bought new, or virtually in new condition. With shipping most of the books I have bought through Abe Books have cost $8 - $15.
Currently I am reading "The White Nile" by Alan Moorehead, and love his ability to move the historical story through throrough concise character desvcription. I got into that book after reading "The Life of My Choice by Wilfred Thesiger" (thanks Chris)as so much of his time was spent in the regions of Africa near to the source of the Nile. I do recommend Thesiger, if only to remark on the condition of the world as recent as the 1930's (including Darfur). Before that was "The Path to Rome by Hilaire Belloc". He started in eastern France with the objective of walking in as straight a line as possible to Rome, in about 1900. He redefines travel, and tongue-in-cheek travel writing. Prior, a fascinating book "The Places In Between, by Rory Stewart", a journal of his walk across Afganistan two months after the Taliban were defeated in 2002. Now, there is courage! Well enough of this, as I must get to work on my essay concerning my recent bike trip across central Asia. Later I will transcribe a couple of nonsense poems by Mr. H. Belloc, and challenge you, B. Babe to post them!

Cycling Potato said...

Some nonsense:

H. Belloc writes:
The Chief Defect of Henry King
Was chewing little bits of String.
At last he swallowed some which tied
Itself in ugly Knots inside.
Physicians of the Utmost Fame
Were called at once; but when they came
They answered, as they took their Fees,
"There is no cure for this Disease.
Henry will very soon be dead."
His parents stood about his Bed
Lamenting his Untimely Death,
When Henry, with his Latest Breath,
Cried - "Oh, my Friends, be warned by me,
That Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch and Tea
Are all the Human Frame Requires ..."
With that the Wretched Child expires.

Do you want more???

Cycling Potato said...

Needed also is the wisdom to buy low and sell high!!

Balcony Babe said...

Hi Patricia, I haven't made my bundle yet but am hopeful that patience will pay dividends some day. (And maybe interest and capital gains.) If not then maybe I can move into my parent's basement and live cheaply. Just kidding.

The personal finance blogosphere has been busy with articles about the situation in the financial markets and real estate world. There are some very well written articles and I will post some useful links.

There are about twenty blogs that I read regularly and these are just a small sample. Let me know if you like them and I'll post a few more links. BB

Balcony Babe said...

Hi CP,
You have been extremely busy with your long list of reading material. This wide range of interests sounds like an amazing literary journey to read through. I only hope that you don't spend so much time reading that you leave too little room to write about your own amazing travels.

There are a lot of blogs out there that compile entries from more than one person but I'm not ready to go that route right now. You could change my mind, however, if you sent better quality poems. Yes I know criticism is harsh, but consider it tough love and get over it.

Your poem is very funny but it will never earn you a literature prize. I could be proven wrong some day but I would be willing to put a good wager on the chance that it would be rejected out of hand by any esteemed panel of judges.

May I suggest, however, that you post as many poems as you want on your own blog and I will check in regularly to see how you are making out. I might even post some useful comments. And some not so useful ones which you can reject. That is the power of being the editor and main contributor of your own blog.

That poem was so bad that I am suspicious of the true source of the submission. Could it be that chrisrawk stole your login ID and submitted it on your behalf without your knowledge. It wouldn't surprise me if that was the case. If you have been a victim of identity theft please notify me IMMEDIATELY and I will spam chrisrawk's email account to teach him a valuable lesson on the dangers of passing bad poetry around the internet.

Just kidding.

Balcony Babe said...

Hi again CP. You have some great comments. Please continue posting.

Buying low and selling high is the goal but human psychology often convinces people that they can beat the markets through active trading. There is a lot of data to suggest that market timing is a losing proposition but people still try to do it. Not me, however. I just dollar cost average every month. My only hope is that I picked some winners to put my dollars into. Time will tell.

There are some great personal finance articles written by people who are much smarter than me.
Some of the most common themes are actually ones that you taught me but I find it helpful to read the lessons over and over again to reinforce the messages.

Buy low, sell high. (As you mentioned.)

Spend less than you earn.

Pay down (or eliminate)debt.

Never gamble the principle.

Pay yourself first.

In real estate, you make money when you buy.

Frugality will only take you so far - find ways to make a higher income.

There is a weekly carnival of personal finance that I read fairly regularly. Most of the ideas are repetitive but occasionally someone writes an article that catches my interest. You may find some of these entertaining even if they are not educational. The first one is especially interesting for you retired folks.

Let me know what you think and if there is some interest in these topics then I can post a list of my favorite blogs.

Have to go now so that I can "Shine my Sink". This is a nightly ritual that basically involves washing all my dirty dishes so that I can excavate my sink from under all the mess and SEE it.

I figure that it is silly to think that I can put my financial house in order unless my real house is already in tip top shape. (And unfortunately this includes washing dishes.)

Cheers. BB

Balcony Babe said...

Since the word wrap feature did not work very well in my previous post I am going to put the links in again. Please consider the three lines as one when you copy the link into your browser.