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Viewing the 'IRA, Stocks & DRPs' Category

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

Text is Webby and Link is http://www.webbyawards.com/webbys/current.php
Webby this year. So far my fave is
Text is stockmapper and Link is http://www.stockmapper.com/
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

Text is here and Link is http://baselle.savingadvice.com/2010/04/02/how-rainy-was-it_58304/

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

Text is folding patio table and Link is http://baselle.savingadvice.com/2009/09/13/greenwood-yard-sale-2009_53583/
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

Text is compare 401K/403B of various companies and Link is http://www.brightscope.com/
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
Text is stock footnotes and Link is http://www.footnoted.org/
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!