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packing and a Roth

January 4th, 2011 at 09:15 pm

Moved $5000 into my 2011 Roth last night. Yep, don't waste any time, get that extra year to incubate tax free. If you can, one makes a bit more money if you contribute at the very front end (the first days that you can) rather than at the very back end (April 13).

Also began something else very early too - packing for Vietnam! I know 4 weeks out that its freakishly early, but I really much prefer that than running around the night before grabbing stuff in a hurry and then when you unpack you say "huh?", or worse you have to buy what you need, depressing when you know you didn't have to.

Anyway, I know I pack differently than most. What I do is begin to put items that I know I need to pack on the floor of the living room. I keep adding items to the pile, perhaps reference a list. Especially with clothes, I lay them out to make sure that every combination will work as a outfit. When the pile gets large enough so that I can't stand it, I get out the suitcase and carry on and begin to pack so the pile gets straightened up. At the very end, I pull out the camera and take a picture of the bags, so the bags will be the first file on memory card. I figure that if the checked bag doesn't make it, it will be a lot easier to show the airline what my bag looks like.

bank stock surprise and Jackie Handey moment

December 19th, 2010 at 08:26 pm

Friday night I looked up my stocks, as I usually do. My bank stock, which has been limping along a low-ish level, increased its share price by over 1$/share & 18%. Wow, I thought, I'll have to explore that further after I read the news.

Then I read the news. My bank (M&I) is getting bought by a Canadian bank (BMO), at 0.1285 shares of new bank per 1 share of old bank. It means that if the sale goes through, I get 18 shares of a Canadian bank. They pay a dividend (a pretty good one), but appear not to have a Drp. So I will get checks.

Its a little disappointing in terms of losing the largest bank in my childhood home state, but at least the bank didn't get taken over by the FDIC or had a completely horrific buyout plan (like WaMu) so its not a total loss.

On another note, DJ friend/coworker showed me the 2Gig MP3 clips that one can get for $9.99. Why bother buying a $15 CD at those prices? I felt a Jackie Handey moment coming on. Big GrinI suggested that his internet radio station contact the supplier and see if getting the internet radio logo on those little clips would be possible. Even better, he could load podcast radio programs or even several of radio station produced albums onto the critter and sell them. Even if the buyer wiped the songs clean, those little clips on a collar could be quite an ad statement.

quiet times

September 13th, 2010 at 09:44 pm

I've been sick with a cold for the last few days. I've been sleeping, but I've been walking a bit to get fresh air in my lungs. I took the day off, more to keep from spreading the stuff around. But there has been some news:

Beef fest occurred last Saturday. Lots of beef, and most of the people who became part of the consortium came. The consensus was that red angus four was quite tasty. At the time we named her Ginger (I didn't blog about that before, it made the meat just a tad more personal than I had liked) - ironically most of the dishes people brought contained some spice ginger also.

Screenwriter son's film did not get into Milwaukee, did not get into Chicago, but did get into Ellensburg (college town in central Washington) for a waived fee. Its also up for consideration at the Tallgrass Film Festival in Kansas.

Went up weight to 172, but I think I am back to below 170. (Yay illness and its appetite suppressing qualities). A couple of weeks ago I bought 2 more pants in size 10, one more in size 12. I've gotten rid of nearly all my size 14s. How's that for buring a bridge?

Another Tuesday, another blood draw for the bird flu study. No chicken behavior seen. No payments yet; so far I've gotten was a good working thermometer. I ran a slight fever with the shot, I've run a slight fever with this cold.

While I haven't been blogging where I've been finding change, I've been finding change just to see how much I can find. I've been finding a lot more. Last month I found $6.75, this month $6.02.

My dividend stocks have been bouncing around, but generally have been going up. 403B has been going up steadily also. Might just as well let it ride at 50% stock, 30% bond, 20% cash for a little while.

sold some stock

August 11th, 2010 at 08:39 pm

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $2 bottle of vinegar

I "sold" one of my stocks last week and just got the notice that the sale went through. I put sold in quotes because I had only 20 shares ('odd' lot) and it was part of a buy back Dutch auction. The price was going to be at worst $29/share.

The reason I sold was because it, call it company 2, really wasn't a drp - I couldn't reinvest the dividends - and it was hard to buy shares. I got the stock by convoluted means - my bank stock spun company one off which got bought out by company 2.

Since I'm still interested in keeping it in the stock market ... might as well let it ride ... I'll add to my position somewhere else.

Wonder when I get the check.

double negative

May 8th, 2010 at 09:56 pm

Found money - $0!
Found money - $0!

Yikes, I guess, that I haven't found any change for two days in a row. Holding at $40.38, so there is more to life than finding it. Smile This weekend has been glorious so far and I'm close to getting the patio in shape for us to use it. So far, I've:

1. Painted the bottom and legs of the patio table. I have one good coat on it everywhere. Tomorrow I plan on lightly sanding the top, get the second coat on and be done with it.

2. Set up two chairs for DH and I. Turns out that Fred Meyer, Lowes, and Home Depot all had the cushion pattern that I liked. FM price was $35/per, Lowes at $29.98 (so $30)/per, HD at $29.96. HD it was. I also sprung for a stack of chairs cover at $20 ... it does rain here, after all.

V.I. immediately commandeered the chair in the sun. She looks very sultry against the cushion - like Lena Horne on a beach chair. I'll have to post a pic.

3. Planted the 3 strawberry plants we got last Sunday in the strawberry pot. 5 plants at the top is a little tight, but at least everybody has new good soil for this year.

In other financial news, I checked out the new Grocery Outlet one neighborhood west of mine, about a 5 minute walk out of my way. I joke that they put the "gross" in grocery, and I could see that in the produce, but I was surprised that I could get brand name canned tomato products (diced, stewed, sauce, paste) for a least 40 cents/can cheaper, brown rice for 60 cents/lb cheaper, toothpaste for $2 cheaper, etc. Quite useful.

The other irony is that the stock I'm interested in selling (FIS) is possibly going to be bought out by a consortium of three private equity firms. In other words, go back into private hands. Apparently, I just need to sit tight, watch the price rise, and wait for the shareholders to get paid off.

stocks down

May 6th, 2010 at 08:43 pm

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $11 groceries
Found money - $0.05 (work carpet, sidewalk, Safeway floor)

Saving log - $2 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee
Found money - $0.11 (grate in sidewalk, road)

Well, it looks like the flying fat finger of fate hit the stock market today. I've been looking forward for it to go down a bit - I'd like to buy some more stock but I feel like the price is too high...and most pay a dividend next month. Reinvesting them cheap means I get a bit more for my money.

It was weird though how it plunged 900 points and shot back up 600, all in the space of 30 minutes or so. People realizing the fat finger of fate, or an actual case of the rumored plunge protection team?

I had a spare moment and looked at a couple of financial sites that won a Webby this year. So far my fave is stockmapper, which produces a heat map of the stock market. Very red today!

The last little bit of news - I bonds have dropped in interest rate, but are still holding at about 1.5%. I have to download a new version of their Savings Bond Wizard program so I can still price my inventory.

getting over the cravings

May 4th, 2010 at 09:18 pm

Saving log - $1 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee
Found money - $0.28 (planting strip next to bus stop, curb, road, Fred Meyer parking lot)

Saving log - $5 tip box, $125 into savings
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $8 lunch + $15 groceries
Found money - $0.11 (sidewalk next to bus stop, floor underneath counter at coffee shop)

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $3.88 bagel, coffee + $2.50 paper + $5 mocha, croissant + $20 groceries
Found money - $0.01 (bus stop)

I broke $40 in found money. $40.20: 880 pennies, 33 nickels, 146 dimes, 32 quarters, 2 $1 bills, 1 $5 bill, 1 10 pence coin worth 15 cents.

After that, this and that. Frontier Bank went under Friday - it was the bank that I previously talked about here.

I've been wrestling with the after effects of the birthday celebration dinner. You feast for one day, and then your body says, "party on, Garth"... and suddenly you are buying mochas. Mochas with a coupon, at least, but mochas nonetheless. But the cravings have given me an excuse to buy some more strawberry plants. I'll aim for fruit cravings versus chocolate cravings.

Bought some more stock at the end of last month, and now I'm waiting for the price to go down some so I can buy more. Lawyer friend asked me for some stock tips. I threw out some ticker symbols, but gave him my dull boring dividend choices. He kind of blew off most of them - thought they were evil, or big, or blah, but he did think about one - ironically, the very one I'm thinking of selling. We'll see. I hope he does some more research and doesn't just take my word for it. I recently looked at the DRP portfolio - it'll go down some, but at the time I looked it totaled 28K.

nice day for the patio table project

March 20th, 2010 at 10:51 pm

Saving log - $3 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $24 groceries
Found money - $0.01 (road)

Saving log - $300 Drp
Spending log - $15 brunch + $26 Ross (used my gift card, have $20 left on it)
Found money - $0.01 (Ross floor)

Made it to $30 even in found money.

Today was a beautiful, warm day in the mid 60s, warm enough so I could strip the paint from the patio table today. (Did it outside so I didn't have to worry about ventilation) I used a "green" product, so it meant that it didn't strip all that well. I think I will aim for something artistic rather than perfection - strip enough of the dark green so that when it won't conflict much with the dark red that I'll put on. Dark green and dark red seem to "go" together reasonably well. And for a $10 yard sale investment, I'll go for making something intriguing.

So I put the paint strip on the table and while the directions said 30 minutes, then try, I knew that 30 minutes was nothing - so after I went out and about to price patio chair cushions. Ross had single cushions (one for the seat, one for the back) for $5/per but not enough for all 4 chairs; Target had the two piece universal cushions for $20. Both better deals than Fred Meyer, but I'll loop around and double check. Not today, though. Although I did walk to the mall and got my 2 mi of exercise in.

Came back and did some scraping on the table. Not everything came off, so the next step is to brush and sand some more. As long as its smooth and the strip is off, I'll paint over it - aim for a mission style.

In fiscal department, DH and I signed the lease for another year. No increase in rent. I suppose we could have pushed for a decrease, but we've only had two price increases in 10 years, so the rent has been reasonable. The other decision is to buy $300 worth of SYY stock.

plans for dollar bills, dividends, gift cards

February 14th, 2010 at 09:24 pm

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $3.88 coffee, bagel + $6 sandwich + $16 groceries
Found money - $0.05 (planting strip, Safeway floor)

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $14 breakfast + $18 origami book + $9 asian condiments
Found money - $0.36 (floor, counter, road)

$25.39: 609 pennies, 24 nickels, 108 dimes, 25 quarters, $1 bill.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Went to the International District for the Chinese New Year festival yesterday - afterward I found and picked up a dollar bill origami book - which contained a book, DVD, and 60 fake bills. (60 real bills for $18 would have been cool, n'est ce pas?) Apparently I was far from the first person to figure out that crisp new bills could be used as origami - its an easy introduction to the skill. Already I've learned to fold up an X-wallet for those large tips.

In other fiscal news - I found out that two of my stocks increased their dividend this year - one by 6 cents/share (WEC), another by 1 1/2 cents/share (MMM). 6 cents doesn't seem like much, but reinvested against my holdings it works out to buy $5 more stock than I had expected. WEC was unusual - it had cut its dividend in half in 2000 - and the company's trying to get the dividend back up to those levels.

For my 10th year anniversary at work, I got a $75 gift card. I've decided to use for a project. Last summer we got a large folding patio table, 4 chairs (one needs new webbing), 2 old-ish cushions from last year's Greenwood yard sale. I've decided to use the gift card to get new cushions, replacement webbing and to strip and repaint the table.

day off

February 12th, 2010 at 06:58 pm

Saving log - $3 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee
Found money - $0.10 (bus floor)

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $5 coffee, sausage cheese egg bagel + $1.65 coffee + $6 lunch + $33 Valentine's Day gift + $9 groceries
Found money - $0.48 (sidewalks, gym, counters behind the credit card machine, patio, Safeway floor)

Took a strategic day off. Generally, I'm good at picking a sunny day, but today was anything but. I picked today strictly to get the 4-day weekend. And as usual, when I'm out and about and getting rained on the day gets spendy. (Picking up the chocolates for VDay didn't help.) Staying in the office, head down in front of a ton of Access databases, can be a great way to not spend money.

Only a little bit fiscal happened. As I got coffee, I noticed that someone did a couple of dollar bill origami pieces. Hadn't really thought about using a dollar bill, but paper is paper ... and in some cases, using a dollar bill might be cheaper than using a sheet of rectangular origami paper.

Then after gym (why oh why don't I think to cancel those the day before when I know I'm off Smile) I struck up a conversation with a guy with a stock tip who really, really wanted me to invest in Lithia (LAD). Stock tip people really amuse me. Asking him the basics - what does Lithia have that others don't in the industry? - leads to very circular answers. Also he gave me "I know all management and the CEO and they are great" along with "the invest when its $4, then when it gets to $8" pie-in-the-sky woo hoo. ("When?" It could be an "if", you know.)

Investing is like revenge - a dish best served cold.

beef and links, but not beef links

February 2nd, 2010 at 09:27 pm

Saving log - $2 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $100 beef
Found money - $0.23 (sidewalks, parking meter, Safeway floor)

Saving log - $1 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $10 groceries
Found money - $0.13 (sidewalks, parking meter)

Not much happened today. I did buy a deposit on 100# of beef. We plan on 50#; the rest should come from two others, each wanting 25#. Got one of those 25#/$25, all I need is the other one.

The second beef fest has begun.

I did find two semi-interesting fiscal links. One is a place to compare 401K/403B of various companies. I tried our workplace - not enough information. For a long term project I might fill them in on our 403B - the information is not secret and it is not illegal to give out. Still, the discrete side of my personality really hesitates.

The other link is stock footnotes - some person I salute Big Grin reads the various footnotes from 10-Ks, 8-Qs and other formal fiscal publications, then writes on the hinkiness she discovers therein. I can search on the ticker symbol for specific footnote hinkiness. Fantastic!

all Thursdays, Great and Small

January 28th, 2010 at 08:50 pm

Saving log - $2 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $4 steak sauce
Found money - $0.23 (bus stop under bench, sidewalks, Safeway floor)

Saving log - $2 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $0.05 apple
Found money - $0

Saving log - $3 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $8 groceries
Found money - $0.01 (sidewalks)

Just when I thought that folks had stopped throwing money on the ground, I was proved pleasantly wrong today.

$22.26: 566 pennies, 19 nickels, 94 dimes, 21 quarters, $1 bill.

I'm at my busiest right now - data data data. I get paid tomorrow, and come Monday I will have worked at my current place for 10 years. Yikes! But definitely better than working 9 years and a few months.

With the stock market down, I'm still at six figures in my 403B, but barely. My addition stocks of SYY got bought in the past few days, and my new stock, OSK, also got bought. I'm 3 shares into war now.

I also mentioned to DH that by the end of February, V.I. will have been with us 6 months, or as long as Morgan was. I haven't mentioned V.I all that much - I just didn't want to jinx her. She is doing fine - coat is great, no inappropriate poohing, and now doesn't need the bribery of a greenie either. She is still a tad skittish, but now visits us as we settle down in bed. The quality that I most treasure about her is that she does not hanker to go outside. Oh, she'll follow you into the patio if you are puttering around back there, but as soon as you come in, she wants in. Its as if she learned that she'll never be a stray if she stays in the house.

IRS, war, the death bet

January 8th, 2010 at 08:24 pm

Saving log - $0 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee
Found money - $0.01 (escalator railing)

Saving log - $3 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $8 salad, trail mix
Found money - $0.27 (bus stop, crosswalk, sidewalk)

A penny on the railing of the escalator, for pity's sake! I was lucky to be alert at the right moment, all to find coins in the oddest places. Total of other people's money found thus far: $18.88: 493 pennies, 16 nickels, 79 dimes, 17 quarters, $1 bill.

Ever since DH has been working for the IRS, our snail mail looks forbidding; a lot of pieces addressed to DH from the IRS. They are nearly all new hire decision bits... apparently DH's paycheck comes from the Dept of Agriculture (?!). Write your own public servant joke here:________________________________.

Pulled the trigger and I am now beginning a new stock Drp (actually since the dividend has been suspended, its a Direct Stock purchase account). Its is OSK. I've officially diversified into war.

The organizer of the death bet is about to publish everybody's list. We have 9 entrants. We talked about this at lawyer friend's lunch. The bad karma and the creepiness aspect was brought up, I argued for the death bet. The fact that the onus is on you to alert the organizers should one of your list perish means that you do exactly what most celebs want you to do: be alert to their every move, career change, etc. And it is so rare to have a bit of black humor "fun".

403B at six figures

January 6th, 2010 at 09:16 pm

Saving log - $3 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $8 lunch
Found money - $0.02 (sidewalk, Safeway floor)

Saving log - $2 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $9 cat toy
Found money - $0.10 (gym counter)

Yesterday I broke an exciting barrier. My current workplace 403B (non-profit version of the 401K) broke six figures. Its still fragile, ready to be knocked down to five figures at the slightest dip in the stock market, but its a cause to celebrate tonight.

Also confirmed in my Vanguard that my 2010 Roth has been set up.

Last Saturday, V.I.'s favorite toy got eaten by the vacuum cleaner, so I got her a new one. Its a cat dancer, with a fresh toy mouse. Within 3 minutes, new mouse got de-tailed.

2010: the mundane and the carnivorous

January 4th, 2010 at 08:59 pm

Saving log - $5 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $9 yogurt/trail mix for desserts
Found money - $0.45 (sidewalk, under bus seat, parking meter, Safeway floor, vending machine)

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $3.88 coffee, bagel + $0.75 apple
Found money - $0.10 (sidewalks, road)

Well its 2010. Anybody else get a creepy feeling as a 2010 date popped into the news, work databases and what not? Like I should be on Saturn while perusing the calendar. Of course it should be 2010! And I'm posting from a cold, rainy, dark, dreary, boggy, foggy place...maybe I'm on Saturn. It sure feels like it. The Saturnians around here are practically throwing dimes and pennies on the streets today.

Was successful at all the small stuff today - fixed a database just using compact and repair; checked Vanguard to make sure that the 2010 Roth is going to be funded sometime this week; more 2010 tax 1099s arrived in the mail today.

Bigger wheels are turning - there is enough interest on many, many fronts for a beef fest year 2. Only this time instead of buying 100 lbs (1/4 cow), its 400 lbs (full cow). We are still eating the 40 lbs - just finished the beef ribs (fantastic) - so unless the purchase can go in the summer or fall, I don't think I'm in for the full 40 lbs. But I suspect that I inspired, by my buying and storing 40 lbs of beef in my top freezer, others to think that they can also buy and use 40 lbs. For certain, it will be a lot easier to deal with 10 households who want to buy a lot than 20 households who want to buy some. Big Grin We'll see what the timing issues are, how many other people we can get in on the deal.

bump in the paycheck and a mystery solved

October 15th, 2009 at 09:21 pm

Saving log - $2 tip box
Spending log - $.75 apple
Found money - $0.02 (sidewalks)

Saving log - $4 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $2 afternoon mocha
Found money - $0.04 (next to parking meter, behind a bench, sidewalks)

The 2% payraise came in this payday - it was an increase of about $32.00. Work seems to be busying up for the season, so I feel like I'm earning it. Lately the change in season has been affecting me too - its been very hard to wake up in the morning when its still dark.

You might remember the saga of one of my stocks. The company was spun off from my bank (2007), did moderately well, but the stock, being young, did not pay a dividend. Said company then was bought by another, which does pay a dividend, but has no re-investment program. I figured that I will eventually find out who the new transfer agent was ... I have. Same transfer agent as my KO stock, making that super convenient. Still no-reinvestment, but I did set up the account so that the dividend gets put electronically into my account.

march of dimes

October 6th, 2009 at 08:27 pm

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $.80 coffee, bagel (finished up a gift card) + $13 grocery & misc shopping + $2 large iced tea + $10 sushi lunch
Found money - $0.26 (sidewalks, Safeway)

Saving log - $3 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $7 curry lunch
Found money - $0.03 (sidewalks)

Took a day off today and I just kicked around. I bought a breakfast and coffee and finished off a gift card, so my meal only cost 80 cents. I told the cashier that I hoped she didn't mind a batch of dimes I found on the street! She was as amazed as I was - so many dimes. I joked that the obesity epidemic will only improve my odds - soon no one will be able to touch their toes. ... This before I found two dimes today.

Found a screaming good deal at the Pike Market today - 4 cukes for $1, so I bought two. After gym and the late lunch I popped into a QFC in the sushi lunch neighborhood, thinking that I would pick up some salad for the cukes. I looked at the prices and left the store. Despite picking up sidewalk change for laughs, I have my pride.

One my stocks has now been bought by another company. As part of the buyout, I get 1.35 shares of the other company, which also pays a dividend. Last I checked, they didn't have a formal Drp, so I suspect I will get dividend checks. But one never knows, things can change. Time to watch the mail to see who the new transfer agent is.

claimed now

October 3rd, 2009 at 08:05 pm

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $12 coffee, breakfast + $28 groceries
Found money - $0.51 (sidewalk, road, parking lot, bus stop, Coinstar machine)

Saving log - $2 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee
Found money - $0.10 (parking meter, sidewalk)

No dice on the Washington unclaimed property search, so I guess I have to take potluck amongst the really unclaimed coins along my walk. I walked along 15th Ave NW to about 55th - a fairly rich source, including a quarter so beat up that you couldn't really tell it was a quarter except for the weight and parts of the ridge. It will be fun trying to get the bank to take it. And yesterday I found 8 pennies by the parking meter. Since I've been keeping track of how much and where I find change, I've found $4.28 in just under 3 months.

I set up the ability to electronically transfer money to buy stock for my newest Drp stock - Sysco. All the other stocks that I hold as Drps seem pricey. It sounds very strange to others, but I'm really hoping for another serious drop in stocks so I can buy more of what I like.

no need for the stock sale

September 22nd, 2009 at 08:16 pm

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $1.75 coffee
Found money - $0.10 (sidewalk) + $0.03 (under table on Safeway floor)

Saving log - $2 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $9 grocery
Found money - $.01 (bus floor)

Tax guy helped me decide whether to sell the stock for the tax loss. It turns out that since I haven't converted any Roths, my salary hasn't increased enough (that 2% only begins in October), the interest rate on savings and the cash I'm holding sucks, and I've pre-paid for 2 quarters of taxes already ... My stock sale will only generate 300$ of refund. "Sell it if its important for you to not hold it," he said, "but on the tax side, it might be more strategic if you sell it later. At least wait until Dec 29 if you do."

Then I asked whether I need to pre-pay taxes for the other two quarters. Nope, I have definitely pre-paid enough for this year. I might well get a bit of a refund during tax season 2010.

closer to selling that stock

September 18th, 2009 at 10:09 pm

Saving log - $2 tip box
Spending log - $1.50 ketchup
Found money - $0

My current money project is to sell a bit of bank stock to harvest a long-term capital loss that I can use to lower my taxes this upcoming season. Since it is a from a dividend reinvestment program, its not as simple as calling a broker and yelling "SELL!" Wink. I have:

1. warned my tax guy.
2. got into my shareholder account (connect w/ the transfer agent).
3. figured out the shares that I want to sell (FIFO- the ones first in to get a long term capital loss) and get my spreadsheet of shares in order.
4. wait until Sept dividend has been bought and in my account.
5. went to Yahoo Finance and got the split, spinoff, and share adjusted price of the stock.
6. multiply the adjusted price by number of shares to get cost basis
7. multiply the current price by number of shares to get estimated value.
8. subtract number 6 from number 7...I get around a $2400 loss for the 130 shares I want to sell.
9. made a phone appointment with the tax guy to get his opinion and see what he needs. (Tuesday)
10. send my spreadsheet to the tax guy.

What I have yet to do:
11. Contact the transfer agent to get the final protocol for how to sell. So far, I know I have use written means.
12. get whatever the tax guy needs.
13. Sell some stock.

The cost basis of the bank stock in question is in the low $30s, while the current price has hovered in the 7-8$ range. All my other Drp stock holdings are very, very much up.

cost basis

September 10th, 2009 at 09:42 pm

Saving log - $3 tip boc
Spending log - $1.75 coffee
Found money - $0.01 (55 bus stop) + $0.10 (hall carpet at work)

Well, I got my username and password reset from the transfer agent, but my true goal is to sell some stock at a loss for tax purposes. For that, two more hurdles remain:

1. Figuring out the cost basis of the stock that I want to sell. Since this company spun off another company, its like a stock split, and the cost basis is not what I bought it at - its a bit less. A quick look around tells me that I can get a great cost basis for lots of $$$s, or an iffy one for cheap.

After step 1, I'm calling my tax advisor for his opinion. Basically, we are going to figure whether I can sell enough so I won't have to prepay any more tax.

2. No sell form on the transfer agent's site. I've have to call them and get the scoop.

how much for that vulture in the window?

September 9th, 2009 at 08:48 pm

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $0 (free coffee)
Found money - $0.01 (elevator of Group Health) + $0.03 (gutter along 1st Ave)

In the window of the now defunct Murphy's Mix...

Got my first mammogram today - yes at 47 I'm a bit late Frown, and found a penny on the elevator floor. (So rare as a consumer that I left the medical complex with more money than when I entered) The rest of the money I found next to the parked cars along 1st.

I'm working on getting the cost basis for a stock I'm planning of selling to improve my tax position. That's the real hitch of getting everything online and with the extra hurdles in security it means that you have to go into your accounts often or else you miss a trick and getting in when you really need to is a PITA. Anyhow, I'm in the process of getting a security code so I can go back and re-set up my accounts. Blegh.

The meat delivery is now firmly on Sept 19, with a meat grill fest afterward. Somebody asked about dessert - I'm pretty sure that I can find a caramel chocolate cheesecake and call it a "cow pie".

change drought

August 9th, 2009 at 08:23 pm

No finding change on the street since Wednesday - a 5 day drought. Frown So much for publishing my tricks of the trade.

Took DH out for a special dinner - one of the highest end restaurants in Seattle. All told, it was $280. But it was worth it - the drinks, the food, the service and the view were magical. I've never been there, and DH was there 33 years ago. And if you think of it as 28 lunches not bought, I've saved for it already. Just not every weekend.

Down one pound and am at 174. Walked yesterday and jogged today. 47 min, but considering that I didn't jog for the last two weeks due to the heat, well, it could be worse.

Mailed my ballot in, mailed my stock proxy in (one of my stocks is planning on merging with another. Instead of 15 shares of x, after the merger I will get 20 shares of y). I also mailed in another $300 into SYY.

much better all around

July 31st, 2009 at 11:09 pm

Saving log - $2 tip box
Spending log - $1.87 iced coffee + $10 groceries (apple, work breakfast bars)
Found money - $0.01 (next to the last working payphone in the neighborhood)

Saving log - $7 tip box
Spending log - $20 beer, dinner for date night
Found money - $0.05 (middle of quiet street)

Cooled off by about 15 degrees, and I am very much looking forward to being able to sleep the sleep of the cool and blessed.

Am having quite a bit of fun hunting change and writing down where I find it. It is a sad state of affairs that I can usually find more change (at this pace, over $1/month) on the sidewalk than what I earn in a couple of my accounts - its a good motivator to find good homes for all of my money ... and to define what a bad home is.

Looked at my Drp stocks today, and am slightly bummed that they are all very much up. I was hoping for a few more months of buying stocks on the cheap. I also did a calculation of my net worth and found that I am within $2K of getting back to my high in June 2008, before the Great Fiscal Crash truly began.

extra money on a drp

May 19th, 2009 at 08:10 pm

Saving log - $2 tip box + $500 drp
Spending log - $0

One of my other drp stocks drops in price as the rest of the market rallies. Its at a four year low right now. The valuation and the basics of the company are sound, and a few months ago it even hiked its dividend. I had a bit of spare cash, and added to my position.

newest Drp

May 12th, 2009 at 10:24 pm

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $0

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $4 coffee, scone

Received the invoice for my newest Drp - SYY - from its transfer agent. That makes 5 transfer agents to deal with for just my little Drp portfolio. Not only 5 transfer agents, but 5 online websites.

I spent a bit of time exploring the fee structure of my newest Drp. Generally you want small or no fees, and for my first two Drps that was a great calling card, but as you expand your horizons, it doesn't make sense to completely discount a good company investment because of fees. But one does have to figure out how to work around it.

SYY has a $2.50 flat fee to buy shares, along with a nickel fee for each share you got. No fees for reinvesting dividends, which is great. If you get enough shares, eventually what happens is that the dividend breeds more shares like a bunny, and does so for free.

$2.50 doesn't seem like much in the world of a $4 trade, but it means that it would be silly to put in $10 whenever you felt like it - that would mean a 25% haircut. The fee rule of thumb is just like it is with a mutual fund - 1%. So what you should be putting in when you can is at least 250$, preferably $300 when you factor in the nickel/share fee (SYY is going for about 23$/share - 250$ will buy about 10 shares, adding .50 to the fee sauce for a total of $3).

Weighed myself again today - 176.4. Celebrate now, then when the plateau happens, try not to gain it back.

stock season 09

April 13th, 2009 at 09:58 pm

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $17 breakfast + $8 lunch

Kicked around and did errands on my day off. Along with the errands I also caught up on the mail issues I had.

I had three stockholder proxies to vote on. Their new twists, to a one, were that while you could get paper voting, annual reports, 10-K's, etc, you had to go online to ask for them. Sort of like being green through the backdoor.

Of course when you get online, you can see all the documents you want, and vote, but my sinister side thinks that the online system is going to be much more useful to a company because to a shareholder, online is a pain the a$$. Anything to keep the shareholder voting down.

Because -

While three shareholder proxies is not a trend, its hard to ignore that every one of them had at least 2 items of interest.

1. From the company side: description and request - this is the current CEO compensation package. Vote For.

2. From the shareholder side: some way to limit the CEO compensation package.

I always vote for the shareholder limit on the CEO, and have for many years. In previous years, voting that by paper was a whole lot easier.

Fun little gossip - the 3M board of directors contains the current AIG president. It was a delight to vote against re-instating that board member. After all, hasn't he done enough already?

power choices

April 2nd, 2009 at 09:16 pm

Saving log - $3 tip box
Spending log - $2 coffee

Turns out that my only non-dividend stock is getting bought out by company that does generate a dividend. Unfortunately, it doesn't have a formal reinvestment program. So one step at a time.

Sister got an offer to get a slightly better price on the solar power the farmette is generating, and the price is retroactive to the beginning. The idea is that we sell all the power, then buy back what we need, instead of using what we generate and selling the rest. There is a setup box involved at a cost of about $800. I figure that with the retroactive pricing from the beginning, we should get about $760 as a bonus. So from that aspect we are nearly at all gravy. However, we are locked into a price for 10 years. If the price of power goes down, then we sit pretty. If power goes up, not good, because we not only are generating cheap power, but we have to buy the power back at the expensive rate.

food for fun and profit

March 30th, 2009 at 09:53 pm

Saving log - $3 tip box
Spending log - $22 groceries

I've decided to invest in another DRP - Sysco (SYY). Food distribution is not a terribly sexy company, but you've got to eat, and generally these days, if you are eating out, its probably low-ish end. And when you do eat in a restaurant, you've got to have the plate to eat off of, the cutlery to attack it with, and the plastic wrap to store it. SYY has a reasonable dividend, and even raised it last year. And while they are not traditionally green, there are trying out some green initiatives. The big issue is that this DRP has relatively high fees - high in proportion if you want to put in small amounts, not so high if you put in larger ones. I signed up with Temper to get a share. It will take about 6 weeks to set everything up with the transfer agent.

Food is definitely on my mind. Now that the recycling has changed, the plastic bin for glass isn't necessary. Reading about where to donate the plastic bins led me to the Community Fruit Tree Harvest. Donating fruit and cataloging fruit trees is exactly what I'm interesting in doing. Now to see if they will take me along with our plastic bins.

yesterday, today, and tomorrow

March 20th, 2009 at 08:35 pm

Saving log - $1 tip box
Spending log - $2 coffee

Saving log - $0 tip box
Spending log - $20 haircut

Yesterday I received my stock proxy vote for KO. Every year some shareholder puts in a motion to control executive compensation. With the furor over AIG, I wonder how many more shareholders will vote for it? I know I voted for it, with more than a bit of glee.

Yesterday at our all staff, the CEO noted that our health insurance had to be maintained as a top priority, while our 403B was competitive, and therefore strengthening it was not a priority. Fair enough. I wonder how that bodes for the match.

Today I got my haircut (once every three months), and noticed that credit unions aren't safe either - a couple of those got taken over also.

Tomorrow morning I'll go in and file/pay my taxes (ugh - 2008, revised 2007, and probably the first quarter of 2009). But tomorrow night, I'll be ghost hunting at the job. Tee hee.

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