Tues. Feb. 6th, 2018 Today is about the financial markets

61F and 100%RH this morning. In other words, slightly cooler than shirt sleeves weather with heavy mist.

Dog let himself out.

Today is a “keep an eye on the markets day.” Lots of potential pigeons coming home to roost. I know, doom and gloom, and we’re still here… yep. 2000 Tech meltdown anyone? 2008? We’re overdue. If you are still in the markets, why? How much higher can it go? Why? If your investments are up, think about ‘locking in your gains.’ Don’t be greedy.

As well prepped individuals, we’ve already built a rainy day fund, equal to [whatever makes you comfortable but] at least a couple months expenses or a new transmission. We already have some cash on hand [might want to increase that, you can always put it back later], we already have food in the pantry and on the shelves, we already have some of our stored up lifetime of work — money saved — in some physical goods that will hold their value [lead, steel, or PMs] so we don’t need to panic or make radical moves, right?

However, when there are storm clouds on the horizon, you clean up the yard and make sure you’ve got what you need to get by for a while.

Keep your eyes open, think about what you’d do if you didn’t have access to your retirement accounts for a while, couldn’t use an ATM (or were restricted to how much you can withdraw), and most importantly, WHAT YOUR NEIGHBORS might do in that situation.

nick

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57 Responses to Tues. Feb. 6th, 2018 Today is about the financial markets

  1. Ray Thompson says:

    Not really concerned about the markets. I won’t need the funds for a couple of years. Markets have historically always recovered. I am not of the pessimistic variety and see no reason to change my investment strategy. A market correction is needed and healthy for the market and this market is long overdue. My investments are conservative and I have losses that are into 5 digits. These losses are nowhere near the 10% the market has lost over the last few days.

    And on another note I purchased a couple of Roombas several weeks ago. One for the upstairs and one for the downstairs. I was pleasantly surprised at how well they work. They just wander, can get under some furniture where I don’t vacuum. Every day they are picking up dirt and especially dog hair. The weekly vacuuming is picking up a lot less stuff than before.

    Most of the time they return to their charging station before they run out of battery power. Sometimes they just die where they are. Thus you have to hunt for them. Some favorite hiding places are under furniture such as beds. You also have to clean the collection bin and filter every couple of days.

    Recommended, especially if you have pets.

  2. Dave says:

    @Ray,

    Thanks for the information about the Roomba. I’ve thought about getting them, but I’m not sure if they are worth the investment for us. Given that our dog lives in terror of the vacuum cleaner, I think it would be funny to watch a self propelled vacuum chase the dog around the room. Yes, I know the idea is to let it run at night while you are asleep, but watching it chase the dog would be more fun.

  3. Ray Thompson says:

    My dog hides when I use the regular vacuum but the Roombas don’t seem to bother her. I think it is a sound issue with regular vacuum. Amazing the stuff they pick up even after a regular vacuuming. Our carpets look better in my opinion.

    Do not let it run at night. They are not silent. I run mine at 9:00 each morning. Run for about an hour.

  4. Nick Flandrey says:

    I ran my roombas until they stopped running. Fixed one, and ran it to death again.

    My issues? collection bin too small, and hair wrapping around the brushes.

    It’s a dirty mess cleaning the roomba, emptying the bin/filters, and un-focking the rotating parts.

    Eventually, we sold them all for whatever I could get “as is”. (scooba was nasty and didn’t clean well)

    Wife bought the Dyson version of the dust buster. ~300USD. Works great as a vac, lightweight, battery lets me clean the whole house. BUT. What a filthy thing to empty. Really gross to pick up all that filth and then have to breath it when you open the flap on the collection chamber. Gotta get fingers up into the thing too to get scraps of paper or leaves out of it. The grip and handle is one of the most UN-ergonomic tools I’ve ever used. I get hot spots on my fingers (pre-blister wear) and sore hands if I use the thing for more than a couple of minutes. dog attacks the vac.

    I actually like my Oreck vac that looks like the little IBM electronics vac the best. Uses bags to contain the filth, isn’t that hard to plug in and use as a dust buster. No floor beater bar attachment though. The biggest complaint I have with it, no good way to manage the super long power cord.

    n
    added- other than the scooba, they ran well and cleaned surprisingly well. esp. recommended on hard floors if you have pets or live in a dusty area. just a filthy mess to empty…..

  5. Ray Thompson says:

    I have a Dyson vacuum. Cleaning is a pain. I dump it in the toilet when I do the vacuuming. But about every two months I have to take apart the dust collection system, take it outside, and blow it out with compressed air. Big mess.

    I have no issues with hair wrapping around the rollers in the Roomba. There is no one in the house with long hair. Bin is easy to empty. Just open and dump in the toilet. Yes it is too small and thus requires emptying every couple of days. Blow the filter out every couple of weeks.

    Vacuuming, or rather the dumping of the contents, is alway messy. Even changing bags can expel a lot of dust unless you are careful.

  6. Dave says:

    We have a mutt whose fur gives our current Bissell vacuum issues. The belt that drives the beater bat keeps slipping off because of accumulated dog hair around the motor shaft.

  7. IT_Pro says:

    And if you have little ones around, you will keep vacuuming Legos and other parts. So when I empty the Dyson, I usually dump the contents in a pizza box and pick out the toys before I dump it (outside activity, of course).
    My wife and I wanted to get a Roomba or equivalent, but we have Oriental rugs on our hardwood floors (and even on our wall-to-wall floors) and I think the fringes would cause a problem with the Roomba. Does anybody have experience with a Roomba around fringed carpets?
    Our favorite vacuum is an old Electrolux that uses bags. It reliably picks up everything, without too many issues with hair. But until our grand child gets older, I end up cutting the bags open to pick out small toys (mostly Legos).

  8. SteveF says:

    Does anybody have experience with a Roomba around fringed carpets?

    Yah. They jam just as you’d expect.

    That said, different Roomba models have different sensitivity to jams, getting stuck under furniture, and whatever. There may be a model which handles rug fringe better.

  9. Dave says:

    I actually like my Oreck vac that looks like the little IBM electronics vac the best. Uses bags to contain the filth, isn’t that hard to plug in and use as a dust buster.

    @Nick,

    Would your Oreck work well on stairs? I’m looking for something lighter but still effective.

  10. SteveF says:

    Today is a “keep an eye on the markets day.”

    The “biggest one-day drop in history” was about a 4% correction. -yawn- Wake me if there’s a 10% one-day drop.

  11. nick flandrey says:

    What was the drop the day before the crisis in 2008?

    n

    I just looked at the numbers. On Sept 15 DJIA close ~11,000 on the 27th, ~10,ooo, on Oct 27, ~8000 and by Nov 20, was 7500. Other than the one day 10%~ drop, NEVER did is seem just day to day, to be headed toward losing 1/3 of its value. But in 2 months it did.

    http://dowjonesclose.com/2008.html

    And @Ray, your statement that it always comes back up, is true for the market indices, but not necessarily true for investors. MOST people have the majority of their money in market funds. Fund managers sell like crazy as the prices are falling essentially locking in the losses. Fund managers MANAGE. Very few of them just hold what they’ve got until it recovers. This means that for most investors, not only do they sell low but they buy high as the funds they own ‘rebalance’ thru both the fall and the rise.

    A broad market crash is bad news for anyone drawing on their retirement, or nearing retirement without long enough to wait.

    In 2008 my money market account (in my IRA), supposedly ‘good as cash’, ‘broke the buck’ and was frozen for the better part of 2 years while they worked out what they were gonna do. Had I needed the money, I’d have been desperate. Lot’s of people were. ( my funds lost more than half their value, and the same had happened in 2000 during the tech crash. Those funds NEVER recovered the lost money.)

  12. Dave says:

    In the markets what matters is not how many points it drops, but what percentage it drops.

  13. Dave says:

    The biggest drop in my lifetime was one day in October 1987, when the Dow dropped 508 points or 22.6% in a single day. The largest point drop before last week was when the Dow dropped 778 points on September 29, 2008 That was about a 7% drop.

  14. SteveF says:

    Right. The Dow was about 10,000 then and about 25,000 a couple days ago. The biggest one-day drop in 2008 was about 700 points, which would be about 1700 today, and yesterday’s drop was nowhere near that.

    That said, the October 2008 drop was about 22% over two weeks. If the Dow drops steadily for a couple weeks it could hit that. I doubt it’ll happen, but it’s possible.

  15. nick flandrey says:

    “If the Dow drops steadily for a couple weeks it could hit that. I doubt it’ll happen, but it’s possible.”

    I’m not saying ‘panic’ but I do have to question anyone with significant stock market investments staying in, when they’ve presumably ridden the rising tide for several years.

    If you wait until it’s down a third, you’ll have LOST A THIRD.

    Take some profit. Get nervous. Start acting scared.

    n

  16. nick flandrey says:

    @dave, yeah it would work on stairs. The best thing is they are widely available at estate sales for very reasonably money. They must have been a very popular gift at some point, like Revere Ware pots. I see them all the time, new in the box.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-HAND-VAC-HANDHELD-Home-VACUUM-CLEANER-ORECK-MODEL-XL-WORKING-CONDITION/382369679173?epid=20014254600&hash=item5907024745

    although that one listed doesn’t seem to include the hose and attachments, this one does:

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Oreck-XL-Model-BB870-AW-Type-2-WITH-Accessories-WORKING-Lightweight/401407929613?epid=1700624270&hash=item5d75c6ed0d

    I use mine in my office all the time.

    n

  17. Greg Norton says:

    @dave, yeah it would work on stairs. The best thing is they are widely available at estate sales for very reasonably money. They must have been a very popular gift at some point, like Revere Ware pots. I see them all the time, new in the box.

    I remember Paul Harvey pushing Orek vacuums on his show. The same estate sales will probably include a Wahl 4000 razor or two.

  18. CowboySlim says:

    I have a legally here lady and her husband from Nicaragua that comes to house every two weeks to push an old fashioned, upright, bagless Eureka.

  19. Rick Hellewell says:

    Just got a call on my MetroPCS cell phone (runs on T-Mobile network) with a caller ID of “Scam Likely”. I answered (being bored), and it was a telemarketer.

    Turns out that is a free service of T-Mobile that blocks known scam numbers (info here https://explore.t-mobile.com/callprotection ).

    Huzzah for them! Automatically on any T-Mobile (and MetroPCS) calling plan. I switched over from AT&T last November, getting their unlimited data/text/calls plan for $45/month for two lines (plus a new LG phone) for both of us. Saved about $80/month over the AT&T plan.

  20. Rick Hellewell says:

    Yesterday, all WP sites got automatic updates of WP to version 4.93. (A good thing.)

    Except that update broke future automatic updates. So version 4.94 was released today to fix that problem.

    Luckily for me, all the WP sites I manage (including this one and Barbara’s) are managed through the Infinite WP plugin (a centralized update checker/installer for multiple WP sites; works very well). I do a daily check of all sites, and the 4.94 update popped up. So all the WP sites I manage are (and continue to be) updated.

    Anyone that has/knows/manages WP sites are encouraged to ensure they have the 4.94 update installed – has to be done manually.

  21. Ray Thompson says:

    I am going to go with Xfinity voice for my phones. Will make the change when the wife gets back from her trip.

    You only pay for data. I use about 1 gig a month, wife uses less. Thus for two phones at $12.00 a month for 1 gig of data all I would pay is $12.00 for two phones, perhaps $24.00 if we go over the 1 gig limit. The data is for the account, not each individual phone as you can have five devices on the plan with Xfinity. Currently paying about $70 a month with Verizon.

    The Xfinity does not charge for voice or texting. It also uses Verizon’s network which is what am currently using so coverage would be the same. The system will use WIFI when available rather than the cell network. Verizon currently does the same thing.

    The only question I have is will the WIFI calling work overseas? We are traveling to Europe in June and the wife needs to call back to her mother. I need data while overseas for the train schedules and will get a SIM for Germany but that does not come with international calling.

  22. Greg Norton says:

    I’m not saying ‘panic’ but I do have to question anyone with significant stock market investments staying in, when they’ve presumably ridden the rising tide for several years.

    I don’t play FANG stocks, and my Apple holdings go back to the day Steve first announced he was sick. I’ll tough it out and actually look for a buying opportunity on one stock in particular.

  23. nick flandrey says:

    Some people are either stupid or stupid.

    just got an offer on an ebay item that includes free shipping. The offer was for LESS than the shipping alone will cost. you know, cuz I’m so desperate to get rid of this crap that I’ll PAY to ship it instead of just throwing it away. Right.

    n

  24. lynn says:

    Huzzah for them! Automatically on any T-Mobile (and MetroPCS) calling plan. I switched over from AT&T last November, getting their unlimited data/text/calls plan for $45/month for two lines (plus a new LG phone) for both of us. Saved about $80/month over the AT&T plan.

    Huh, for two plans I am seeing $60/month/line for a total of $120/month which is about what I am paying for the wife and daughter.
    https://www.t-mobile.com/cell-phone-plans?icid=WMM_TM_Q117TMO1PL_2SADAX76BBT7513

  25. Greg Norton says:

    just got an offer on an ebay item that includes free shipping. The offer was for LESS than the shipping alone will cost. you know, cuz I’m so desperate to get rid of this crap that I’ll PAY to ship it instead of just throwing it away. Right.

    The item might be classified as an “environmental hazard” if disposed of improperly in the seller’s state.

  26. Rick Hellewell says:

    @lynn … my contract is with MetroPCS, which uses the T-Mobile network. Cost at the time was $40/month/line, unlimited data/texting/voice, so with only two lines, that was half the price of my contract at ATT.

    Notice that MetroPCS has a current offer of $100/month for four lines unlimited data/text/voice https://www.metropcs.com/4-for-100.html . Plus a free phone (we got the LG Aristo; works nice.)

    At least, that’s the offer in my area; I suspect it’s the same nationwide.

  27. nick flandrey says:

    “The item might be classified as an “environmental hazard” if disposed of improperly in the seller’s state.”

    In the days of CRTs, Cali companies sent their old CRTs to auction rather than pay to dispose of them.

    n

  28. Greg Norton says:

    In the days of CRTs, Cali companies sent their old CRTs to auction rather than pay to dispose of them.

    Shortly before the Internet bubble popped, it wasn’t unusual to see stacks of discarded Cisco equipment stacked up outside the surplus stores in The Valley. No one wanted that stuff, but it couldn’t go into a landfill in CA.

    In Texas, disposing of a large sheet of glass (desk surface protection) has been the biggest trash problem for me to date. We had to drive an hour outside of Austin to a private recycling firm who took it gratis, directing me to dump it in a bin full of discarded LCD and plasma TVs.

    Disposing of our Sony WEGA when it finally dies will be the next challenge.

  29. nick flandrey says:

    Put it on the curb, let the scrappers get it…

    n

  30. Greg Norton says:

    Put it on the curb, let the scrappers get it…

    We actually can’t move it ourselves. The WEGA weighs almost 300 lbs. It has concrete ballast in the base to balance the picture tube weight. We joke that if someone broke in and stole the TV, they would actually do us a favor.

    At 18 years old, the TV still runs like new. We had a transformer issue early on, but nothing since that warranty service.

  31. nick flandrey says:

    I get 7c/pound for mixed electronic scrap. That’s way down from just a few years ago.

    Much better to sell as working units than scrap, but scrap is quicker…..

    Adn stripping out the boards pays pretty well. Most recyclers pay more for telcom type boards than just random pc boards. they have more gold and more copper.

    n

  32. SteveF says:

    We actually can’t move it ourselves. The WEGA weighs almost 300 lbs.

    Bah. Get your butt to the gym.

  33. nick flandrey says:

    Buy from fry’s or best buy, get the install plan, make sure it covers removal of old tv, laugh out loud!

    n

  34. nick flandrey says:

    Freaking rats ruined a gallon of veg oil. Chewed just below the liquid level, poured out a cup, but I’m not eating the rest, rat tongue was in it…..

    n

  35. MrAtoz says:

    Ben, the two of us . . .

  36. nick flandrey says:

    Hah! Talk about old farts…

    n

  37. paul says:

    Roombas! I have several. The first went weird with the Circle of Death, I bought a couple of used units on eBay and I was given one. You can buy replacement batteries on eBay. You might want to look for the external charger…. my Roombas tend to fail their internal charging circuits…. not good for the battery.

    Then again, I should try to sell it all. Tucking the fringe under on the rugs is a pain. Replacing batteries almost yearly gets old.

    The Oreck was great but seemed dusty. I gave it away with about 30 bags. While cleaning it up, well, how nice, the motor/blower housing has loose screws. That explains the dust blow-by.

    I installed a central vac. It exhausts outside. Yes, the 30 foot long hose is a pain to deal with. It tends to be caught by the rocker recliners. But actually, it’s better than fishing dead Roombas from under the sofa or having to dust the heck outta the house the day after running the Oreck.

    Yes, get a Roomba. It’s a lot of fun.

    Scooba? I like mine. I use a shot of Scooba soap and a shot of vinegar. When it runs out of water, I refill with plain water. Rinse cycle. I have two batteries. Beats mopping.

  38. paul says:

    My truck’s left rear window switch problem is somewhat solved. The new switch didn’t look like the old bad switch. Sometimes the new switch worked, sometimes not. I swapped the back door switches and Behold! they are alike. The new switch works in the right rear door. The switch from the right door in the left door is spotty. The switch is not the problem. I can always work all of the windows from the driver’s door. So I’m ruling out the Window Lock button as the problem.

    A bad wire or splice somewhere. But I really don’t feel like taking the door apart.

    The “original” switch? Um, yeah. You can open them. And break the guts and put them together backwards.

    Well, it acts like a bad switch….. I also would have taken the old switch apart. 🙂

  39. paul says:

    Freaking rats ruined a gallon of veg oil. Chewed just below the liquid level, poured out a cup, but I’m not eating the rest, rat tongue was in it…..

    Use the oil in the deep fryer. That should kill any cooties.

  40. DadCooks says:

    Ol’ fart Dad checking in.

    Today I tried to lift a 40 bottle case of Costco water. My knees and ankles said absolutely not, felt like I had jumped off the roof. A nice young fella put it in my cart for me and a Costco person loaded my car, my Son will take it the final steps. Looks, rather feels like my joint deterioration is accelerating. Time to see the Doc, again.

  41. lynn says:

    Use the oil in the deep fryer. That should kill any cooties.

    You can fry the rats at the same time …

  42. paul says:

    You can fry the rats at the same time …

    STIR FRY!!!!!

  43. DadCooks says:

    You can fry the rats at the same time …

    And the tail makes a handle for eating like a corn dog, there you have it.

    Don’t forget the secret herbs and spices.

  44. lynn says:

    Today I tried to lift a 40 bottle case of Costco water. My knees and ankles said absolutely not, felt like I had jumped off the roof. A nice young fella put it in my cart for me and a Costco person loaded my car, my Son will take it the final steps.

    I switched to 24 bottle cases several years ago. I’m getting old. And the women folk can lift the 24 bottle cases easier.

  45. SteveF says:

    Spread the contaminated oil all over the wood of the house and use it as an accelerant.

  46. nick flandrey says:

    My PREPPER side wanted to keep it as lamp oil……

    n

    added =- grid down I’d have used it for food. Or frying or to feed the dog…. or as lamp oil, but dang, things would have to be pretty far down for lamp oil…

    or trade goods

  47. nick flandrey says:

    This is about 10 miles from my house. Houston has neighborhoods. They cluster. Bissonet further toward town is an area I’d avoid, but I’ve driven past that gas station many times without any particular notice.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5360243/Woman-shot-dead-outside-gas-station-Houston.html

    This is why the smarmy self defense advice “Don’t be there” is useless (because it’s misapplied to ordinary life.)

    From our point of view, learn something from the video. Even sitting in your car you need to be aware of your surroundings and what’s happening. Even with 2 of your male companions only feet away.

    n

  48. Greg Norton says:

    I get 7c/pound for mixed electronic scrap. That’s way down from just a few years ago.

    Much better to sell as working units than scrap, but scrap is quicker…..

    Working tube TVs are valuable to the retro gaming crowd. New flat screens don’t even have NTSC analog tuners anymore.

    I know Houston has a big pinball show. Dunno about retro video games.

  49. Greg Norton says:

    From our point of view, learn something from the video. Even sitting in your car you need to be aware of your surroundings and what’s happening. Even with 2 of your male companions only feet away.

    Probably surfing the web on the phone, oblivious.

    Waiting for a table at a restaurant the other night, I was the only adult in the lobby/bar area who was not heads down on a phone.

  50. dkreck says:

    Rat tongue – probably a delicacy in some shi+hole.

  51. nick flandrey says:

    Think twice about the puppy!

    n

  52. lynn says:

    Think twice about the puppy!

    Geriatric dogs are worse than puppies. My 15 year old Lady has “accidents” all the time now. Both ends. But, we still love her. And take her outside often. Very often.

  53. Ray Thompson says:

    My 15 year old Lady has “accidents” all the time now. Both ends

    And that same fate probably awaits me.

  54. lynn says:

    My 15 year old Lady has “accidents” all the time now. Both ends

    And that same fate probably awaits me.

    It awaits us all. Depends is a growing and profitable market.

  55. jim~ says:

    @Alan
    the Roomba story is too funny. I passed it along to my cousin who had earlier sent me a link to a toy which every Hammacher-Schlemmer fan really, truly needs:

    https://m.hammacher.com/Product/12409?sku=12409

    Seven Dwarves? Check.
    But where does Snow White sit?

    I remember Oct ’87. I was raking pine needles at our cabin. But a better memory is my mother in Oct of ’74.
    That woman was canny, if not crazy. For a month there were copies of the WSJ all over the house, Louis Rukeyser on the one of about the four TV channels we got. She bought like mad and made a killing.

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