Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Return of James

Dear Friends, Romans, Countrymen,

I'm back. Though I have no idea how much actual difference being done with graduate school will make, I hope it means I'll be able to write on my blog more frequently. The problem is, as I'm quickly realizing, there are several thousand things that I've put off during the grad school process that I kept telling myself I'd get back to upon completion: time with my wife, my kids, reading several hundred books that are on my 'to-read' shelf, write fiction, plan lessons for my students, play music, work-out, look at my investments (though it's probably just as well that I haven't been able to do that), etc. --really, the list goes on and on--

What I've come to realize is that being a graduate student didn't necessarily take up all of my time to do other things, rather it forced me to focus and be very precise in my scheduling. That being said, I'm sure I'll be able to get to some of the things on my list. As it is, I've already been able to do a couple--this, of course, is proof of one :)

Last night, my son spent the night at his Aunt Regina's, so I suggested to my wife that we watch a movie I've been meaning to see for some time: The Dark Knight. Wow, not much redemptive to that movie! I'm still mulling over the details and thinking about the tie-ins with McCarthy's literature, but it was definitely worth seeing. I think Batman Begins was the better of the two, though. The critics got it right about the Joker: he was awesome. What a twisted and terrifying specter.

In keeping with the theme of this blog, I will mention briefly my prognosis on future economic news with just a brief prelude:

1) I have thirty plus years on my investing horizon.
2) I have two children; the first will enter college in 15 years.
3) I have a relatively low paying job
4) My investments (m0st of which came from when I was a salesman) are down over 30%.


Given that I think the United States will continue to see difficult times (I predict that the next bull market won't begin until the beginning of 2010), the best thing I can do is to continue dollar-cost averaging into the market.

Also, given that I want to some day work because I want to, not because I have to, I plan to take advantage of any tax-advantaged retirement options (the Roth-IRA seems the best in that arena).

Lastly, I'll continue to keep the purse-strings tight, mostly out of necessity, but also to try and scrounge together what I can to get more into the market. I want to take advantage of what I perceive to be some really good bargains.

In case anyone was wondering, I got out of Borders (BGP) way before it crashed and put all the proceeds into Whole Foods (WFMI). The shares of Whole Foods were $10.50 and went down to around $8, but are back up to near what I paid. I'm thinking I'll hold onto these shares for the long-haul, unless I hear news to make me think otherwise. No matter the economic outlook, people need food and the stock is down ninety percent from its high. Plus, I really like the CEO, who pays himself $1 salary, they stopped paying the dividend for now (which was wise), and everytime we shop there, it's super busy.

Feel free to reply.

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