More Misc: Market, Home Education, Dodge, etc.

It seems that Mr. Market had a fake out on Monday but continued the downward trend today. I've put in some more short orders (now DXD) to get my net worth 60% short (40% cash). The market may go up and down for the short term but with the various investment banks having credit problems and many hedge funds blowing up, along with imploding mortgage lenders, the trend for the economy is very negative and the asset bubble will deflate sooner or later. We may not be at the very top but we're very close in my opinion and matter of time when things start to unwind either bit by bit or via a market crash(es).

We're signing up with a local church to be associated with their home educational program here in Orange County so we'll see how that goes. My wife wants to sign up our sons to CBS for teens so we'll see how that goes too.

As for our Dodge RAM, my wife and I put in the window film for it, but we didn't do a good job. It's a bit ugly in the application but I'm willing to live with it. Oh well....

We'll be on vacation the next few weeks so don't expect much posting nor commenting!

Copyright 2007, DannyHSDad, All Rights Reserved

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Get Rich by Renting, not owning

Here's a great article on why you're better off renting than owning: "Why rent? To get richer. A contrarian's view: Houses don't appreciate any faster than the level of inflation over the long term, so forget about buying a home and put your savings into stocks."

The article makes very reasoned arguments on why money in stocks are better return over long term than home since historically, after accounting for inflation and expenses, stocks return 7% while housing returns a big fat zero (OK, the article says 0.4% which is pretty much zero). That's right: zero percent return on your "investment." I like the Q&A found at the end to dispel some common myths.

I believe that the U.S. bubble housing of the past few years was diversion from the mean and if Japan's bubble history is any indicator, the prices will revert to the mean and will very likely undershoot before it returns to the mean. Just as stock market overreacts and sell below "value," home prices will go below the historically trends before things become normal. When everyone (well, almost everyone) talks about housing being the worst investment ever, you know it is the time to buy homes!

Copyright 2007, DannyHSDad, All Rights Reserved.

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Misc: Market, Dodge Ram, et al.

It seems that the Stock Market isn't doing too well. I've decided to go almost 50% (from 12% of my net worth) short by placing buy orders for QID at tomorrow's stock open. So I'll be short via SH and QID.

Also, I have been working on our new truck, Dodge RAM 2500 QuadCab, 4x4 Diesel. If you need wiring diagrams, you can find it at Dodge / bodybuilder. Also, don't get a simple running boards since it's too short, in my opinion. (I bought Westin's lighted one and it turns out the best way to get the wire is from the dome light and run the wires down the center pillar and to the front [I did it to the passenger side, only because I miss-wired the first time and tried to use the glove lights (same color of wire as dome light) -- the wires going from the instrument panel looks like pain to get into so I went the easy way via the interior dome light]). If you have the money, get Amp Research Power Board.

I'll be on vacation a week from now so I may not blog much until September. We got some deer tags so we're looking forward to hunting in the fall. We will be catching some grunions, too.

Copyright 2007, DannyHSDad, All Rights Reserved.

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Adults Shouldn't Play with Children

"Leave those kids alone: The idea that adults should be playing with their kids is a modern invention -- and not necessarily a good one" How true.

I was drilled into my head that playing with my children was very important part of raising them. And so I did. But looking back, it isn't the best way to raise them. Adult world is different from children and it isn't good to blur that.

My oldest son is a teenager and my younger son will be one in few months. However, they see playing (computer games) as the most important way to spend their time rather than study or work. I haven't really thought through of what kind of children I would end up with.

As an unschooler, I have been more hands off with their education (although my wife wanted and have put in little more structure than that). Yet, life is more than just pursuing whatever is "interesting." With freedom comes responsibility not just for oneself but for others: God, family, extended family and church. I'll blog on this some more as I think through what it means for my family....

Copyright 2007, DannyHSDad, All Rights Reserved.

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Bloggers fight local gov

"Bloggers take aim at city governments -- and hit home" Some websites are watchdogs, others are just scurrilous, but their influence on the cities they cover is growing.
It's a cute article on how blogging levels the playing field for the citizens who can only say so much in public meetings. Blogs allow people to write their thoughts but also record and publicize what the politicians are doing: something only the press had the power to do before but now anyone with a cell phone (with camera) can take matters into his own hands and either blog it or youtube it to the world!

Copyright 2007, DannyHSDad, All Rights Reserved.

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Guiliani: "Freedom is about authority"

In 1994, Rudy Guiliani gives a speech and has some very disturbing quotes:
Freedom is about authority. Freedom is about the willingness of every single human being to cede to lawful authority a great deal of discretion about what you do.
Somehow, he's missed on the "free" part of freedom. It's about being free from mere human authority [only God given liberty is true freedom that not only cannot be taken away by other humans but worth dying for] and being personally responsible.

And then we have a warped meaning of what a citizen is:
They are going to have to be just as solid and just as strong in teaching every single youngster their responsibility for citizenship. We're going to find the answer when schools once again train citizens. Schools exist in America and have always existed to train responsible citizens of the United States of America.
Sounds to me he wants to see robots raised rather than free thinking people who can choose to be "patriotic" or not. Being responsible is not about obedience but accepting the consequence of one's actions. And schools may have existed to churn out robots (see Alvin Toeffler's comments about education in The Third Wave). But citizens to be raised need to be those who can start a Revolution aka "Declaration of Independence" (if not Civil War) and finish to completion.

Copyright 2007, DannyHSDad, All Rights Reserved.

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College degree deprecated

"Bosses rely on psychological tests over degrees to find the best staff" (hat tip voxday).

So companies don't see that college degrees are good enough to work for them. How, umm, quaint. We'll go back to personal references and portfolio of previous works, something normal for freelancers today (like photographers or design artists) and maybe even some proof of pedigree after working/interning under some master craftsman (tradesman, etc.). Like how things are done with martial arts, I guess.

And if one has to go through so much effort to be self sufficient, why bother working for a mega-corp?

Personally, health care insurance is one reason why I'm willing to be a corporate slave. I think that current health care cannot sustain itself as it is now and things will change to benefit individuals rather than corps. [No, I don't think nationalized health care would help as Moore et al proposes: de-regulating everything from medical license to pharmaceuticals would lower costs and insurance will become real insurance the way it is with say life insurance.] How soon things will change is hard to say, just as it is hard to predict when the current bubble stock market will crash (I'm in the red with my shares of SH thanks to record highs for at least the Dow index).

Copyright 2007, DannyHSDad, All Rights Reserved.



RFP: jury nullification t-shirt

As being discussed at Vox's blog, what's a good way to get out of jury duty? I've posted a comment, but it should be a post.

So, my Request For Proposal (RFP): jury nullification t-shirt. There are ways to make money from this since there's already one out there but not what I had in mind. Requirements are:
  1. Jury nullification statement that's short and sweet. Something like "Jury Nullification: A citizen's right to ban immoral laws."
  2. Must be eye-catching and visible to those who are color blind and away at least 100 feet. (I had to sit in the back row when I was in the jury pool).
  3. Must be printed in the top 25% of the shirt (so that those who sit behind you can still read it -- the first and last time I was on a jury pool, I was with 120+ potential jurors and sat on bench seats).
  4. Must be something I can wear on day-to-day basis (out on beach, pool, mall, restaurants) and not be too distracting. I don't want to be kicked out of stores, etc. for wearing it.
In return: I will buy one shirt (maybe 2) and will freely provide links to the shirt.

Copyright 2007, DannyHSDad, All Rights Reserved.



Financial Pain Ahead: why housing problem is still ahead

The following chart is from OC Register blog entry and it shows how the "exotic" loans will reset their interest rates over the next many months:


(You can click above for the larger image.)

It seems that March 2008 is when people will see the most amount of change in their mortgage payments. And almost everyone will not be able to pay the new higher interest rate (since people got low "teaser" rates and usually bought the most they can buy/borrow at that time). Which means people will default and get foreclosed 3-9 months later. Expect to see record high foreclosures by the end of 2008 -- if the economy hums along as it is doing now. If the economy tanks and unemployment rises, then who knows when the foreclosures will peak since those who have fixed interest rate mortgages will default as well (not just those with "toxic" mortgages) and add to foreclosures.

Copyright 2007, DannyHSDad, All Rights Reserved.

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