Monday, May 31, 2010

Tax Eaters v. Tax Payers

Across parts of Europe, there is drama over the need to impose "austerity" plans on governments in places like Greece and Spain. Across America, states like New York and California are facing dramatic financial crises brought on by enormous deficits.

Ultimately, all of these problems involve a tension in Democracies between people who consume taxes and people who pay taxes. Between beneficiaries of social programs (ex. Retirees on Social Security) , employees and businesses who are dependant upon govt spending (contractors), and government workers, the number of people who are net tax consumers is substantial. Furthermore, they have a strong incentive to vote in blocks for people who spend more money. Even politicians who are against more spending are rarely willing or able to cut spending – unless … the Net Tax Payers are unwilling or unable to pay more in taxes.

In the case of Greece, the country does not generate enough economic activity to support the tax load the government workers insist upon. In the case of New York, higher taxes would likely reduce economic activity and ultimately reduce tax revenues. Unless they get someone with the political willpower that New Jersey got in Governor Christie, they are in for a world of pain.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

My Detailed Asset Allocation – Retirement Investments

Thanks to Fidelity, I am able to accurately evaluate the asset allocation in my IRA (Fidelity) and my 401(at Merrill Lynch).



Domestic Stock


Top of Form

Foreign Stock

Bottom of Form




Short Term Fixed Income








Stocks: Definitely tilted towards Large Cap Growth Stocks.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Why Best Buy is Terrible!

When I bought my HD TV through, they charged me something like $10 for a HDMI cord. After taking my old system apart in anticipation of delivery tomorrow, I decided that I needed two more HDMI cords for the Blu-Ray and my sound system to work optimally. Best of all, using HDMI course would eliminate the mass of cords behind my TV.

When I tried to buy the same cord from Best Buy, they wanted a minimum of $50 each b/c they only offer the Monster branded cords. For only $100 dollars per HDMI card, you can own the 1000 series cord that does exactly what my $10 cord will do.

Solution: I ordered two more cord from

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Bought TV From

Last week, we decided to splurge on a new Samsung 46" LCD Television. By using them, we saved over $200 off what Best Buy wanted. With free "Super Saver Shipping," it was a no brainer.

Baby Preparation Plan Report

  1. The spring renovations are largely complete. Once the bathroom is finished, we will be done with the large preparations.
  2. Next up, painting the baby's room. It looks like the grandparents and aunts are going to be providing the furniture.



    All in, I estimate we are 75% complete.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Season Ticket - Investment

A buddy and I purchased to season tickets to the NY Jets in hopes of reselling them at price sufficient to pay off the PSL.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

De-risking my Portfolio

Many investors fail to understand all investments are a constantly changing risk/reward calculation. With all the problems in Europe, I believe there is little chance of a big move up in the stock market. Furthermore, I believe there is a real chance of another 10% correction. Bottom Line: I am trimming my investments in stocks and building cash for a time when I think there are good buying opportunities.

Note, any fixed income investments should be of short duration (Less than 3 years) as interest rates are going to rise.