Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Selling laptops

I haven't posted anything for quite some time.
I'm doing well with my stocks. I've been buying Jim Cramer's recommendations. They are doing better than the market. I think I found a way to make some Mad Money. I'm up about $2000 not counting the money I spent on my car and paying a creditor. Even today, with the market heading down, I'm making money.
The car has been a problem. I had to spend over $200 last week on a fuel pump. This week the headlights are going out so I can't drive it at night. Thursday I'm having the headlight switch replaced.
While I was having it troubleshot I looked at another car for sale. It's a 1995 Chevy. I might buy it. My van is getting too old and tired.
I'm taking my laptops to the E-Bay store in Decorah to have them sold. I have 8 of them. I hope to get $150 a piece for them. That would pay for the car and any more repairs on the van. I think I'll keep the van for the move to Decorah.
I may not have mentioned that I'm going to move back to town. Calmar is just too boring. There is no coffee shop with Internet access. Until there is a Student Union building at the community college there is no place to hang out. I end up spending $75/week going to and from Decorah. I can't afford it. I'll find a place that includes the heat in the rent and it'll be as cheap as living in Calmar. Where I'll save money is in the traveling. In fact I might just get by with a bicycle.
I was thinking about discussing Jim Cramer's recommendations on my blog, but I think you should watch his show on CNBC and make up your own mind on what to invest in.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Trouble with E-Trade

I had a problem with E-Trade today. It was charging me for trades that I didn't make. For a while it looked like I owed them $319 for bonds that haven't had any value for the last year or two. I called them and they said that they would have it straightened out at the start of trading, tomorrow.
It's been an interesting day of trading. I was up by $150 at the start of trading. Then it went down to where I was down by over $200. Its been coming back so I think I'll be alright at the end of the day. I saw what looks like an inverted head and shoulders pattern on several charts. That should foretell a big upside potential for the rest of the day or maybe tomorrow.
The beginning of the day was driven by good jobs figures. At least, it wasn't as bad as it has been. I don't know why it went down during the middle of the day.
I now hold Caterpiller, Cognex, Ford, Freeport Mcmoran, Lazzard, Microchip, 3M, Nvidia, and Red Hat.
I recently sold A T&T because of something I heard on CNBC about Verizon getting Apple phones and that A T&T customers being ready to switch when Verizon got the Apple phones. I also bought some silver options.
Well the markets are about to close and I have to go to a WRAP meeting soon. That stands for Wellness and Recovery Action Plan. It's a support group that I go to every Thursday.
I checked my account balance and it shows me as being up by about $500, today. That's a mistake but I can hope that they start valuing my bonds instead of showing them as worthless.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Did well on the market yesterday

I made about $530 on my stocks yesterday. The market itself went up about 200 points. Last week I sold my gold mining stock and bought some options on a silver ETF. Everything went up yesterday, but my big movers were Freeport McMoran, Nvidia, and the silver options. They are on an ETF with a ticker of SLV.
I now have stock in Caterpiller, Cognex, Ford, Freeport McMoran, Lazard, 3M, Nvidia, A T&T, and Whole Foods.
Cramer said that now is the time to unload my losers. I'm disappointed with Whole Foods. They are expanding and making money at a time that their competitors are losing. I just wish that I saw more action with them. I feel that I can make more money with a semi-conductor company that Jim recommended on his show last night. He said that he expects the tech stocks to move in a big way. Nvidia is a tech stock as well as A T&T, so I'll end up being heavily weighted in metals and tech.
I can handle that because I think the Chinese will keep the metals moving for a few years. They might also buy the products that the tech stocks make. A T&T won't benefit from the Asian markets.
 I think the developing nations will pull us out of the recession. A government agency said that we are already out of it, now, anyway. I think stocks and metals will benefit from inflation, which is what a lot of people expect.
I dropped out of college last week. I was getting behind in my keyboarding class and I felt that I was spending too much time studying. The only work-study job I had any hope of getting involved cleaning bathrooms. Now I need to find a part-time job to bring in a little income. I would prefer something during the weekend so it doesn't interfere with my trading. Evenings would work as well.
I was disappointed with the rent assistance. I was approved for it but I would have had to spend 1/3 of my income before they would have kicked anything in. That came to $430/month. Since I only pay $410/month for my rent, it wouldn't have helped me.
 Now that I'm not going to college I might see about getting a cheaper apartment. I have to factor in the inexpensive heating bills that I save $150/month on the heating bill by being at my apartment. I end up coming to Decorah 3 or 4 times a day so I'm losing hundreds by driving back and forth. I could save that money by living in Decorah but the rents are more expensive, here. I'll go to some Realtors and apartment owners and find out what I can expect to pay in rent here.
 I spend most of my time hanging out at the Co-op and Java Johns. If I can walk here then I might be ahead financially. Another factor is the wear and tear on the car. It's on it's last legs anyway.
I took Windows off on my good desktop so I won't be able to upload any pictures. I might buy another camera or reload Windows. I don't know what I'll do about it. Shortly before I erased the hard drive something about Windows used up all of the hard drive space. I might have had a virus. I prefer Linux for it's invulnerability to viruses. I would really like to get this camera to work with Linux but I fear that it's impossible. If I keep making a lot of money on stocks, I'll get another camera.
I'll keep you posted on how my stocks do Monday. I expect the market to be down so it'll be a good time to buy some more stocks.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Investments doing well

My investments have been doing well, lately, but aren't getting me rich.
I sold my Polypore when I saw that DuPont was getting into their business. There might not be room for both of them. I bought Ford stock. I also got out of AEM which is a gold mining company and bought the silver ETF's options for January at a strike price of $20. I felt that the gold run might be a little tired, and since silver is an industrial metal, it might go longer. It's a bit risky but I'm an old commodity trader.
I now have 9 stocks and some options on an ETF. They are:  Caterpillar, Cognex, Ford, Freeport-McMoran, Lazard, Nucor,Nvidia, At&T, and Whole Foods.
I'm trying to be diversified but most of the stocks move when the market moves up. The silver and Freeport-McMoran move with the price of metals like gold, silver and copper. Lately the market has been moving up so I'm doing well. I think we've turned the corner on the recession and the market will keep moving up. Another factor is that the developing nations are expanding and that will keep our markets moving up. At least that is my hope.
I've been following the teachings and guidance of Jim Cramer. He has a television show on cable named Mad Money. He advises doing your own homework and I'm grateful that I've been able to spot situations like Dupont getting into Polypores business. I also bailed out of 3M a week ago because they were buying other companies. I'm afraid that their stock prices might get diluted.
My brother-in-law died the other day and my sister is rather distraught. I've been keeping in touch with her by phone. She lives in California, a little North of San Diego.
I hope that she comes out for a visit when she gets a chance.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Rent assistance

I've been taking forms for rent assistance to their office in Postville. They needed a copy of my birth certificate and a copy of my proof of payment from Social Security. I'm at the top of the list. I hope I qualify. It will save me around $200/month. I got lost on the way back from Postville. I missed a turn and wound up going south about 10 miles.
I'm still invested in the stock market. I sold my Conoco stock today and bought Nucor. I read an article on the Internet about how Iraq is increasing their oil output by leaps and bounds. Cramer recommended Nucor. He said that China is stopping the production of steel for a while. He feels that Nucor is positioned to take up the slack. I lost $220 today, mainly because gold and copper went down. I'm having doubts about my investing. I need a steady movement in the up direction for it to justify buying stocks.
Today I interviewed for a job as a file clerk at Spectrum Industries. They provide jobs for the developmentally disabled. I'll hear in a few days about whether I get the job. Tomorrow I'll go to see about a custodian job at NICC. That's the college that I'm attending. It involves cleaning bathrooms so I've been putting off applying for it.
I need the income so it will be worth it.  Disability doesn't go far enough to live on month to month. And frankly I have doubts that investing in stocks will make up the slack.
I'm doing well at school. I'm taking accounting and keyboarding. I'm already typing over 40 words a minute so I'm acing keyboarding. Accounting has been easy so far.
I've got 6 computers ready to sell. I have doubts that I'll be able to sell them. Computers, even laptops, have gotten so cheap that I might have to give them away.
Well, that's it for now. I'll try to get my $20 camera working again and post some pictures. Lately, it's been rather dark and dreary. Maybe Sun will be out tomorrow.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I'm back again

I haven't posted anything for a few months, now.
My investing has picked up since I started using Jim Cramer's advice. I'm now into several different stocks, per his advice to diversify. They are Agnico Eagle mines, Three M, A T&T, Lazzard, NVIDIA, and Whole Foods. My biggest holding is Agnico Eagle. Cramer said that gold would go up thru September and so far he has been right. I'm using the profits from that to buy other companies.
I paid off all of my credit cards. Most of them settled for 40% of what I owed them.
A computer and my camera was stolen from my car a couple of weeks ago. I still have the $20 camera so I'll be posting some pictures, later.
I'll have to come up with a computer for the person who owned the stolen computer.
I'm doing well at school. I'm trying to get a work-study job. That would justify going to school in the first place. I have an interview tomorrow for an IT job.
I'll get back to posting more blogs. I have to tell my sister and brother to go here and leave comments.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Going to Jason's class tomorrow

I'm taking a class on starting an Internet business, tomorrow and Sunday. I've taken his classes before, but this one will include sections on selling on E-bay. It might be new to me. So far I haven't come up with an idea of something to actually sell on the net. That seems to be the key to making money. Maybe I could write such a riveting blog about investing that people would pay to read it but I can't see that happening. I even lose money in stocks.
Talking about investing, I took my money out of Treasury Inflation Protected T-bills and I bought gold today. I used the GLD ETF.  It invests in the actual metal. So far I'm doing well. I made close to $100 today.
Monday, I start my new job at Northeast Iowa Community College.  I'll be a custodian as part of the work-study program.  It'll be good to have a little extra income.  I'll be saving up for newer car. I've really been strapped financially lately.
I gave a laptop computer to Brent, yesterday. It was working very well for such an old Gateway. I've been struggling to get another one going, but I failed today.
Nate told me to try Slackware for a Linux version that might work with old laptops. I'll have to download it at home since the Internet is too slow here at Java John's.
I paid off my last credit card yesterday. Being a deadbeat paid. I was going to pay them a $4000 settlement for a $9000 debt.  I lost the papers in the move and I didn't know their address. They sent me papers for a $1500 settlement on $10000 debt. I took them up on it and now I'm debt free. It felt good. Now I hope I can make money on my investments for a change.
It's sunny and I should get the camera out and get some pictures.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I haven't posted a blog lately

I just feel that it's time that I posted a blog.
Not much is happening.  The weather is great.  Thank God for global warming.
I'm getting good grades at school. I got a job, starting in a couple of weeks, with the school work/study program.
My bonds did well, today, but the options went down.  They conteracted each other so I'm doing OK.
Dave W. got approved for health care at the VA. Now he can see if he'll be approved for mental care.
I don't know how much longer his unemployment will last but when it runs out he should be eligible for the War pension. I think the only thing stopping him from getting that is that he's getting unemployment.
I'll post a picture from Lake Meyer

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Made some money at Etrade

I've been doing well at Etrade lately.  Both my oil options and the Treasury bonds are going up.
The bad news is that I got a bill from a credit card company that I didn't know that I owed.  I'll have to pay them $1200.  I think I'll sell some of my bonds to pay that off.
I got another laptop working.  It's a Gateway 9300.  I was going to trade it for Dave W.'s Thinkpad.  It'll be a bit faster than his.  The trouble is that I'm having trouble with the Wi-Fi module.  If I can get something working with his Wi-Fi I'll trade him.
If I can get his Thinkpad working well I'll donate it to Community Action.
I'm going to add a picture from last winter during the hoarfrost.  I couldn't find my pictures from Lake Meyer.
The third Eagle hatched at the fish hatchery lately.  I'll make a link to their webcam.Eaglecam

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Made back some of yesterday's losses

TIPs went up today so I made back over $100 of the $300 that I lost yesterday. I did well with oil as well.  It looks like oil will be going up at least until summer. I'm thinking of putting my money in a Russian ETF. The trouble with that is that oil could go down. Then I would be betting on oil and Russia which is dependent on oil.
I'm going to include a link to the Eagle Cam at Luther College. It's a camera watching a pair of eagles and their offspring. The last that I heard, one of their eggs hatched. There are 2 more eggs in the nest. I went to that site earlier today. It wasn't very clear. I think some of the rain got on the lens. It was unclear. Here is the link.
I passed the test on data bases today. I didn't do as well as other classmate did but at least I got a B.
I'm posting a picture from Lake Meyer today. It turned out that one of my flash drives isn't working very well with my desktop Linux machine. I used another flash drive and it's fine. EagleCAm
I don't know why my text went blue for a couple of paragraphs. I was trying to change the background colors but apparently I changed the text instead. O well.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Leaving off an old laptop

I left an old laptop with Joan N. at the Community Action office this morning.  She gives them to deserving poor people who need a laptop.  It was one that I got from Lula. It was a Gateway 1400. It was about 10 years old and rather slow.  I got it to work with Ubuntu Linux version 8.04.  It took an online upgrade from version 7.04 to get it to work.  I was happy to get the Adobe Flashplayer to work with it.  It only had 5 or 6 Gigabytes of hard disk space to begin with.  I used 4 for the operating system. It should be good enough for someone who can't afford a new computer.
Tomorrow, school starts again.  I'll have a test in Data Processing.  It's on databases and spreadsheets.  I'm a little concerned because applications are my Achilles's heel. I just don't know enough about them. I'll have to study tonight.
Oil did well today.  I made almost $100 on my options. Unfortunately, the TIPs went down.  I gave up almost $300 on them.  Who knew that bonds move so damned much.  Especially in the wrong direction.  I may have to sell some of them for an expected margin call.  I hope that I don't get one.
Jim called tonight. He's going to sign up for Jason T.'s class on Internet businesses.  It will be in the middle of April. Jim needs to learn about selling on E-bay.  He has a lot of figurines that he wants to sell. I think I'll take to class as well.  It might lead to something.  Maybe I'll help Jim sell his figurines. I have a lot of spare computer parts to sell, as well.
I'm posting another picture from last January. I couldn't get my Lake Meyer pictures to run under Windows.  I'll have to figure out what I'm doing wrong.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Linking to Eagle Cam

I'm trying to link this site to the Eagle Cam website that Luther College is running in Decorah, Iowa. It's a camera set up to observe a pair of Bald Eagles and their 3 eggs at the fish hatchery just outside of Decorah.  They limit viewing to 15 minutes since they have a lot of interest in their site. http://Luther.edu/eaglecam/stream/ Try it its fun.
I took some pictures at Lake Meyer today. It was a bit cloudy but I think they'll turn out alright. Lake Meyer is a small lake about 3 miles from where I live.  While I was out there it occurred to me that it would be a good place to jog.  The trail is in grass so it wouldn't be hard on the joints. I just have to come up with some ambition to get out there and run.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Testing another word processor

I'm using the word processor that comes with Linux “Open Office” to write the blog, today. I always had trouble with the word processor in Blogger. I hope it works. I was able to transfer something I wrote in this word processor to an e-mail last month so it should work.
I didn't go for a walk today. It was too cloudy and it rained heavily for a while. I'm just hanging out at Java Johns and the Co-op. I'm at the Co-op now, waiting for Jim. We meet here on Fridays and have a cup of coffee together. It's good to socialize a bit.
I bought a camera from Dave W. about a month ago. It has a zoom lens and a flash. I bought a bigger memory card for it. That set me back over $30. Another problem is that it uses double a flashlight batteries. I've already found that the batteries don't last very long. It should be an improvement over the $20 Sakar that I was using. It works with Linux so I can load pictures on any of my computers, not just the Windows one.
I don't know if I mentioned that I have a couple of options on an ETF with the initials XLE. It's an ETF that invest in the energy sector. I expect oil to go through the roof before summer. The options expire in June so maybe I can make some money. The gambler in me wants to sell the Tips and invest everything in those options. I won't do it though.
I'll post another picture of the hoarfrost from a month ago. I don't have any current pictures and those are pretty. Tomorrow I'll take some pictures of the lilies that the flower lady brought to the Co-op.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

I'm back

I couldn't get to my blog for a while.  I thought it had been taken down due to lack of readership and my not updating it.  Well, I got back.
I'm still going to school and getting good grades.
I invested the money from the sale of the house into Treasury bonds.  Somehow I still seem to lose money even investing in bonds.  It turned out that the price of bonds fluctuates with the market.   I'm hanging on to them and I hope that the interest I make from them will make up what I've lost.  For what it's worth I  invested in an ETF with the initials of TIP.  That stands for Treasuries Inflation Protected.
Tomorrow I'm going for a ride on my bicycle and I intend to take some pictures.  It still isn't very pretty yet. The trees don't have their leaves and the grass  is still brown but I have to get out. I have a new camera and I need to get some pictures for the blog.
The temperatures are really taking off here. It was over 80 degrees today. I don't have to go back to school until next Tuesday. Sitting around the house and watching television is not only boring but I need some exercise.
I think I'll post a picture that I took about 1or 2 months ago.  The hoarfrost was really pretty, then.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

I'm back

I haven't posted anything for months.  I got discouraged by the fact that there are no readers. 
Anyway, a lot has happened.  I started classes at NICC.  I'm taking classes on computers.  A keyboarding class and one on data processing.  I got the house sold and moved into a nice apartment in Calmar.  I used the money from the sale of the house to buy bonds. 
So far, I'm losing on the bonds.  As soon as I bought them they went down in value.  I'm holding on to them because the yield (or interest) that they pay went up as their value went down. 
My psychologist wants me to put my money in a savings account.  I don't see the sense in that.  I can make more money in bonds.
It's cold today.  I'll see if I can post a picture of the hoarfrost that we've been having lately.  I'm at school and I just found out that my memory stick doesn't have those pictures on it.  When I get home I'll post a picture.
Time for class now.  Later