Sunday, August 26, 2007

Weight Update

Well, its been a long while since I talked about my fitness/dieting progress. I'm happy to say that I've achieved my goal weight. I've held steady at around 160 lbs for about two or three months ... that's good considering this post, where you can perhaps follow the link to the google spreadsheet showing I weighed over 170 lbs in June of 2006.

Now the bad news ... I'm still not satisfied! I have adjusted my goal downwards ... I would now like to be at 155 lbs by next summer. Considering where I've been and where I'm going this should be relatively easy (lets face it, losing 5 pounds is a 2-week project, but keeping it off is sometimes a challenge) but time will tell.

I'll keep blogging this stuff because I feel like accountability to my readers (yes all nine of you) is a helpful motivation.

Financial Update

Well, as my post from last week suggests, I believe that the stock market will be kind to investors over the next 5 years. I continued buying all the way down, though I'm still slightly underwater when my buying over the last few weeks is averaged out. I did make a few short term trades that were profitable: I bought 600 shares ETFC, a brokerage/banking stock, for 13.20/share and sold a few days later for 15.85.

So what am i doing now? Well, i've put almost all of my cash into buying S&P500 index funds, buying down into the dip, so I don't have much more sail to put out. I'll be selling some small cap index funds in order to buy more ETFC tomorrow. That stock (at roughly 15 and 1/5 bucks per share) is cheap I tell you, cheap! If its worth a penny its worth 19 bucks a share. I'll be buying on dips and selling for a quick profit, if I can, for as long as ETFC stays below 19$.

I also bough some MSFT last week for 28.25/share. I'm expecting MSFT to get a bump over the next few months as HALO 3 hype machine goes into overdrive ... I'll sell for a quick profit at around 31$ if I can. If not I'll gladly hold it for the long haul.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Blogger Finds Y2K Bug in NASA Climate Data

DailyTech :
"NASA has now silently released corrected figures, and the changes are truly astounding. The warmest year on record is now 1934. 1998 (long trumpeted by the media as record-breaking) moves to second place. 1921 takes third. In fact, 5 of the 10 warmest years on record now all occur before World War II."
color me unsurprised. Somebody call Al Gore with condolences.

Friday, August 03, 2007 - Coffee May Prevent Liver Cancer

Study: Coffee May Prevent Liver Cancer:
"Together, the studies included 2,260 people with liver cancer and nearly 240,000 people without liver cancer. Participants lived in Greece, Italy, or Japan.

Participants reported their coffee-drinking habits. The data show that coffee drinkers were 41percent less likely to have been diagnosed with liver cancer than people who don't drink coffee.

For every daily cup of coffee people drank, their odds of having been diagnosed with liver cancer dropped by 23 percent, compared with people who never drink coffee."
Too bad I don't drink coffee. Maybe diet coke has similar cancer fighting power? If so, I'm really set ;)

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Bear Market! Sell! Sell! Sell!

A Dash of Insight: Fundamentals and the Market:
"What has happened in the last week has little to do with the valuation of most stocks. We find many attractive buys on our 'watch list', and we have added to our positions."
I was trying to be a little funny with the title of this post. Yes, the past week has seen my portfolio diminish in value by a substantial amount. Yes, this has made the little gremlin of fear that lurks deep in the dark crevices of my mid-brain come clawing to the forefront demanding that I liquidate my stocks and put my savings in something less volatile.

But no, I don't put much stock in those who claim the stock market has reached a top. In the long run, as a wise and wealthy investor has noted, the stock market is a weighing machine: the price of a stock is a function of how much money a company earns. period, full-stop, end of story. American businesses are earning record amounts of money, and projected earnings are strong. Inflation is relatively tame. And most importantly the price of stocks remains low relative to bonds (see the Fed Model).

So that's how I see it. I regard this recent sell-off as a temporary blip, and I expect the market will back above 14000 before the end of the year. I've added to my equity positions and I will continue to buy into this bear market until my cash reserves run out or the market rebounds, whichever occurs first.