Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Government Bully

With the Senate approval of a health care bill we come one step further to having the arrogant elitists in Washington jam something down our throats that the large majority of American citizens do not want. In NY neither my Congressman nor Senators have been even willing to listen to the concerns of their constituents in an open forum, believing that they know what is best for us.

There are major Constitutional difficulties with these bills
  • forcing private insurance companies to provide services at costs that do not allow them to profit
  • The creation of "death panels" which cannot be abolished without 67% of future Representatives voting to do this (this is the rationing board that will be established when the inevitable shortages occur)
  • forcing taxpayers to fund abortion *which takes away our right to "life")
  • preventing firms from going around the system for people that would like to get other services
  • forcing citizens to buy something that they may not want or need
In all my life I have never seen such a perversion of the political process. In American history only the attempt by the Democrats to open slavery to Kansas and Nebraska is as extreme. That ultimately ended very badly with the Civil War.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Truth about Global Warming Scandal Comes out

A hacker has extracted hundreds of emails that show the enormous cover-up and dishonest science that global warming extremists have used to deceive the world. Link here

  • The emails suggest the authors co-operated covertly to ensure that only papers favorable to CO2-forced AGW were published, and that editors and journals publishing contrary papers were punished. They also attempted to “discipline” scientists and journalists who published skeptical information.
  • The emails suggest that the authors manipulated and “massaged” the data to strengthen the case in favor of unprecedented CO2-forced AGW, and to suppress their own data if it called AGW into question.
  • The emails suggest that the authors co-operated (perhaps the word is “conspired”) to prevent data from being made available to other researchers through either data archiving requests or through the Freedom of Information Acts of both the U.S. and the UK.
It's been my contention for as long as I have blogged here that this whole AGW stuff was complete nonsense. Now it appears that the perpetrators of this fraud were not brain-washed but only liars.

Al Gore - the most dishonest politician in America's history - may he face criminal prosecution!

Is this the smoking code?

Data without manipulation

For those curious about what "hide the decline" means

some historical perspective

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Gold, the US$ and a Train Wreck

The price of g0ld has recently spiked over $1100 an ounce after sitting under $1000 for several months. Meanwhile the value of the US dollar has continued it's slide downwards. The Fed recently stated that they will continue with their easy money policy until unemployment starts to pick up. With unemployment likely to keep moving up, it means that the Fed will continue to flood the world with dollars.

What does this mean? Is this 1978 when gold will increase in price by a factor of 5 in 18 months and inflation soared to our highest levels? One can't but help to think that history is set for a repeat. If other commodities follow the price of gold, a second economic collapse might be in the offing.

The Fed is stuck between a rock and a hard place. They can't lower interest rates anymore. If they do the right thing (like Volcker - raise interest rates), it will hurt the current politicians as unemployment rises. If they do nothing, another massive bubble will blow up and create a train wreck bigger then we saw last year.

Goldman Sachs and the price of oil

The more I read about Goldman Sach, the more I see them as an evil company - the type of company that gives capitalism a bad name. Heres a story about how GS and some of the oil companies are manipulating oil futures markets

GS is making these "round trip" trades without actual oil ever exchanging hands. GS will sell an oil contract to BP and BP will sell the same contract back to GS. The price goes up, other traders see the high volume of trades and jump in, driving the price even higher.

Right now the world demand for oil is very low. Oil tankers are sitting full with no place to pump their cargo, yet the price still keeps going up.

The point of the futures markets was for companies to hedge against future prices increases or drops. Now an unregulated ICE outside the US has become a dark pool where insiders can drive up the price of oil to pad their outrageous bonuses.

Will the government investigate this? I doubt it. Paulson was from GS as well as Geithner. Sometimes, I feel like a crazy conspiracy theorist.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Wall Streets War on investors

Whenever I get excited about stocks I read something like this and get discouraged again. High frequency "flash trading" and "dark pools" - no wonder capitalists get a bad name.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Hope to make money in stocks?

Last week I attended a GetMotivated seminar. I was hoping to see some of the great speakers I had heard years ago while in Amway - Zig Ziglar and Robert Schuller. However, both are quite along in their years and were really unable to speak very well. Zig has suffered a brain injury and just sat on stage while we watched a video of some old speeches. The most memorable speech was given by an Indian immigrant (whose name I don't recall).

I did listen to a speaker called Phil Town who was making a stock based sales pitch and ended up signing up for a 2 day seminar. This is an organization connected to Wealth Magazine. Apparently this company is owned by TD Ameritrade. The web site is at

I've not really done well in my stock market investing career and been somewhat ambivalent about investing in stocks Vs real estate. However, I left the seminar with a renewed interest in stock investing. While the main purpose of the seminar was to sell really expensive education courses ($5000 to $25000), it did provide some insight into key ideas that I have been missing in stock market investing. Previously, I had dismissed technical analysis, but the speaker convinced me that the market indeed gives lots of signals about what it may do in the future.

So, I'm going to use the tools for the next 9 months and see if they can at least prevent me from taking a beating during the next market crash.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Best Real Estate Advice

Some have written and asked why I rarely write about real estate now. The reason is that there is not much to write about. All of my properties are always full and I get above market rental income. How I did it is detailed in Rent to Own.

So what have I been doing? Building a website with all of my real estate information in one place. It's something that I had wanted to do for a long time. I have always thought that the $2000 courses that real estate guru's teach is way overpriced and wanted to share that information free.

So for the best free real estate advice website go to Investing in Rental Property.

How did I create that website? Visit SBI and find out for yourself. It was fun and relatively easy to do it.

Some also ask why I write on political stuff. The answer is simple - there is no bigger danger to the efforts any entrepreneur may face then government intervention. The success of people in the US is based on property rights. Any thing that the government does to undermine property rights erases the work that I do. Whether it is imposes massive tax increase based on the hysteria of global warming or the attempt to create a single payer government run health care system. It all undermines my work - putting a gun to my head and stealing my money.

Monday, July 20, 2009

You're a right wing nut job if....

  • you believe creating trillions of dollars in new debt will not save us from going bankrupt
  • you think that the free market would provide better health care than the government run options
  • you think that punishing US energy consumers with higher prices is a bad idea given that India and China won't reduce carbon output
  • you don't think that Bush was Hitler II
  • you think it is wrong to screw bond investors at GM and Chrysler while rewarding the Unions
  • you don't believe Obama is "almost a god"

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Obama and Cloward Priven - Crisis to Communism

I recently became aware of something called the Cloward Priven Strategy that explains most of what has been going on in politics. The basic idea is to create a crisis and force change on the Country. I always wondered how Democrats could impose so many crazy ideas on the nation that seemed so contrary to logic. Now I know. They aren't dumb - just evil.

Things like Global Warming, the banking crisis and voter registration fraud are intential attempts to disrupt the existing system and "spread the wealth around" as our great Messiah Obama has declared.

The global warming hoax which I have written about extensively has no basis in science. It's intention is to foist this Cap and Tax scheme on us to undermine industry and destroy the economy.

The $787 billion stimulus is not intended to make jobs, it's intended to prolong the crisis so that the leftests can take over more and more of the economy.

The Community Reinvestment Act which led to the banking crisis was a plan to destabilize the nations monetary system.

ACORN's voter registrations efforts has the goal of overwhelming the democratic process and make it illegitimate. In the end we will beg for a dictator to save us since we can't trust elections.

Saul Alinsky wrote:

"Make the enemy live up to their (sic) own book of rules," Alinsky wrote in
his 1989 book Rules for Radicals. When pressed to honor every word of
every law and statute, every Judeo-Christian moral tenet, and every implicit
promise of the liberal social contract, human agencies inevitably fall short. The system's failure to "live up" to its rule book can then be used to discredit it altogether, and to replace the capitalist "rule book" with a socialist

Alinsky advocated the politics of personal destruction which took down Bork, tried to take down Clarence Thomas and now Sarah Palin.

Will the electorate wake up in 2010?

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Karl Marx reincarnates in San Francisco

"From each according to his abilities, to each...." Well if you're a landlord in SF you'll be giving your money to your tenants.

San Francisco laws bar rent over 33% of income

Well... its all part of Obama's plan to redistribute the wealth

Friday, June 5, 2009

Al Gore's religion refutted - Say bye to global warming!

Climate Change Reconsidered: A rebuttal to the Al Gore crowd via Powerline

The book is replete with detailed statistical data and arguments of the sort that global warming alarmists refuse to engage in. It contains far too much data to summarize, but here are the "key findings" in Chapter 3, titled "Observations: Temperature Records."

* The IPCC claims to find evidence in temperature records that the warming of the twentieth century was "unprecedented" and more rapid than during any previous period in the past 1,300 years. But the evidence it cites, including the "hockey-stick" representation of earth's temperature record by Mann et al., has been discredited and contradicted by many independent scholars.

* A corrected temperature record shows temperatures around the world were warmer during the Medieval Warm Period of approximately 1,000 years ago than they are today, and have averaged 2-3ºF warmer than today's temperatures over the past 10,000 years.

* Evidence of a global Medieval Warm Period is extensive and irrefutable. Scientists working with a variety of independent methodologies have found it in proxy records from Africa, Antarctica, the Arctic, Asia, Europe, North America, and South America.

* The IPCC cites as evidence of modern global warming data from surface-based recording stations yielding a 1905-2005 temperature increase of 0.74ºC +/- 0.18ºC. But this temperature record is known to be positively biased by insufficient corrections for the non-greenhouse-gas-induced urban heat island (UHI) effect. It may be impossible to make proper corrections for this deficiency, as the UHI of even small towns dwarfs any concomitant augmented greenhouse effect that may be present.

* Highly accurate satellite data, adjusted for orbit drift and other factors, show a much more modest warming trend in the last two decades of the twentieth century and a dramatic decline in the warming trend in the first decade of the twenty-first century.

* The "fingerprint" or pattern of warming observed in the twentieth century differs from the pattern predicted by global climate models designed to simulate CO2-induced global warming. Evidence reported by the U.S. Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) is unequivocal: All greenhouse models show an increasing warming trend with altitude in the tropics, peaking around 10 km at roughly twice the surface value. However, the temperature data from balloons give the opposite result: no increasing warming, but rather a slight cooling with altitude.

* Temperature records in Greenland and other Arctic areas reveal that temperatures reached a maximum around 1930 and have decreased in recent decades. Longer-term studies depict oscillatory cooling since the Climatic Optimum of the mid-Holocene (~9000-5000 years BP), when it was perhaps 2.5º C warmer than it is now.

* The average temperature history of Antarctica provides no evidence of twentieth century warming. While the Antarctic peninsula shows recent warming, several research teams have documented a cooling trend for the interior of the continent since the 1970s.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Paul 4 - IRS 0

Well, the IRS struck out again in their quest to get more out of me through an audit. I've never been impressed by the knowledge of the auditors. They are friendly enough but I seem to always have to explain the tax laws to them.

Having your files organized and being able to document what you put on the tax form never ceases to impress an auditor. Must be that most people being audited don't have documentation.

Monday, May 18, 2009

To Hell with the Banks

I've always paid every credit card payment, every HELOC payment, every mortgage payment on time - for over 30 years now. Last summer the banks sent me multiple notices on every property eliminating my lines of credit, claiming that my properties were worth less (they weren't - property values continue to rise here)

In the last six weeks my two credit card companies have (without reason) tripled the interest rate on my cards. I have cancelled both cards. My credit score was excellent (over 750) but these banks have decided that those that make payments are going to bail out the looters that default on their credit cards. To hell with them. I will not pay another bank for credit card interest again.

Theives all of them

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Who is John Galt?

The events of the past 4 months have left me deeply concerned about the country. The looters are in charge and making their best play to steal the wealth of many individuals who have worked to build a prosperous life for themselves. Obama's theft of Chrysler from the bondholders in payment to the autoworkers is the most outrageous public criminal act I have ever seen. Next he'll be seizing my rental property and giving it to the tenants.

If you don't know the references, read Atlas Shrugged. I think that the stock market is in the midst of a suckers rally and the next plunge will be deeper than the last. Based on what is happening inside my company I am not optimistic in the least. And the constant theft of property is not going to encourage any investment any time soon.

At least there are some free market capitalists left - unfortunately they are in China!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Another IRS audit

I'm beginning to think that there is an IRS conspiracy against rental property owners. I've received another notification for an IRS audit of my rental properly documents. This will be the 4th time I have been audited.

I'm not really worried about this. Three previous audits ended in no change and one gave me additional refund. But it is a pain to have to spend 3 hours with an auditor.

I wonder if the IRS tax cheat in chief (Geithner) will be audited as much as I have been?

Friday, March 6, 2009

Time to panic? Yes!

I've been watching my 401k for the past year trying to maintain my composure and not sell. All of the guru's tell you that the typical investor sells at the bottom and misses the rapid upturn. So I held and held and held my stocks waiting for the Messiah to turn the panic in the stock market around.

But now the Messiah thinks that the stock market is no more than a popularity poll and doesn't seem to care about it. The stock market losses since his election are the worst of any President in 90 years and there is no sign that he or his treasury sec. know what they are doing (except trying to nationalize health care, the utility industry through carbon taxes and the banks).

With no hope in sight, I finally decided to panic and sell all my stocks. I see no chance of the economy recovering for several years at this point. Looks like we are headed to European style government, growth and unemployment rates.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

State of the Union Feb 2009

Obama will deliver his first State of the Union address today. So far the stock market is screaming "no confidence" in his plan as evidenced by the huge drop in stock market value since his election and the worst market in 113 years. My 401k is 50% of what is was at it's peak and I'm not sure how much lower it will go. For a 20 year old this is probably a great time to invest in stocks but not so much for people near retirement (what ever that is?!?)

My only solace is my real estate investments. Real property values continue to rise in the greater Buffalo region. Demand for my properties is high (using my Rent to Own methods). My only concern is what will happen to interest rates.

Right now interest rates are at historic lows. However, the government has expanded money supply so much that it will come back to bite us. Are we heading to the stagflation of the Carter years? My guess would be yes. Unfortunately, I have a mortgage and several HELOC's that are linked to the prime rate. Once inflation hits the FED will be forced to raise interest rates. And I don't think Obama is going to rescue the investor class anytime soon.

Monday, February 9, 2009

TV shows caused the real estate bubble?

Here's a new one - TV shows caused the real estate bubble:

The real villains here, the truly bad seeds at the heart of this crisis, have gone unpunished thus far and are still in operation. They are Jeff Lewis and Ryan Brown of Bravo's Flipping Out, Armando and Veronica Montelongo of TLC's Flip This House, Kristen Kemp of TLC's The Property Ladder, Kendra Todd of HGTV's My House Is Worth WHAT?, and the TLC, Bravo, HGTV, and Fine Living networks in general. All of them encouraged people to take out massive loans in order to buy and
renovate homes and sell them at a profit when, really, most people have terrible taste, and furthermore, are bad at laying tile. These shows are still on! WHY?

Friday, January 23, 2009

Want to have a web based business?

I mentioned in an earlier post that I was looking into SiteBuildit as a potential source of income. Two years ago when I decided to invest in rental property I used a web business called InvesterPro to build a web site for me. It cost me nearly $600 for them to develop a site for me and about $50 per month to maintain it. During the two years that I had the site live I had very little traffic and only a few contacts. None resulted in a real estate transaction.

After purchasing SiteBuildit for $299 my eyes have been opened as to why the previous web site did not attract many visitors. The InvestorPro web site was just a cookie cutter site (every subscriber had the same site except for the name of their business. Search Engines like Google tend to ignore these type of sites.

The main concept behind SiteBuildit is what they call the C-T-P-M process. Intuitively this makes a lot of sense to me. The extensive instructions tell you how to find niche key words that can attract traffic without a lot of competition. Lots of advice on building content and monetizing your site. After working with the software for a couple of weeks I created a web site called (It's not completed yet but I'm starting to put into writing some of what I know.) I've been really impressed by how easy it is to build web pages. Once I have the time, I'll be able to improve the look and feel. Lots of information in the forums as well.

Overall - a very impressive service for building a web based business.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Rent to Own homes concept reduces pressure on rents

I read the other day that 50% of foreclosures are limited to 4 states - California, Florida, Nevada and Arizona. I have noticed any changes to the number of foreclosures in my area based on the foreclosure list subscription service I subscribe to. I expect that real estate prices in those 4 states were driven by speculators who bought properties before they were even built.

The Wall Street Journal carried a story today that the bursting of the real estate bubble has put downward pressure on rents. The Buffalo area is losing people and jobs and so I would expect that there would be some downward pressure to reduce rents here as well. So far, I continue to receive calls about when one of my properties may come available. This despite no advertising on my part. I would guess that this is due to the "rent to own" homes concept that I have been using. Not having to worry about whether I can find tenants is a great stress reliever for a landlord.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Increasing Income

My company has announced no raises for 2009 and no bonus. I have to make an extra alimony payment to my ex-wife out of a non-existent bonus and I usually use it to pay down on debts. Like many people I either need to increase my income or cut expenses. My expenses are pretty barebone right now, so there is little to cut

What do I do now? Invest in more real estate? Take a part time job? Find another source of income?

Is the real estate market at a bottom yet? Probably not in the hot markets of the past few years if you look at this graph. The market neither increased rapidly nor dropped in the Buffalo area (it's up 4% in the past 12 months). Underwriting for investment loans has become very strict the past year. If I could get a real estate loan, I would re-finance one of the properties I own that has a variable rate loan. I just cannot see any purchases of real estate at the moment. Besides, cash flow from my properties is revenue neutral and I wouldn't expect that a heavily financed purchase would produce a positive cash flow.

I mentioned here and here about my experiences with multi-level marketing through Amway/Quixtar (I read this weekend that they are now dropping the Quixtar brand and reverting to Amway). I don't really consider Amway an option due to the high people skill requirements for success.

I "tried" the Internet with this blog. But my 25 months of blogging has earned me a cumulative $2.46! Of course, I do not have a good sense of how to make money on the net. One of the aspects that I really grasped with Amway was the "franchise" concept (see point #2 here). Distributors like Dexter Yager had created an excellent "system" for success.

As I mentioned a couple of posts ago, I have been looking into SiteBuildIt. It seems to me that the creator of the site has done a pretty good job of building a good system that can be followed by most people. The system looks pretty comprehensive. If you are (like me) uncertain what type of Internet business to create, there is a Brainstorm section which provides lots of data. You can use the data to determine supply Vs demand for any particular keyword (i.e. business idea). His C-T-P-M model makes a lot of sense (and points out why this blog doesn't make much money!).

I am applying for a Census job and have thought about taking a second job. The problem with second jobs is that they have little flexibility. Since my boys have not been willing to get their driving licenses, I still need to do a lot of chauffeuring.I thought about becoming a Real Estate Agent and took an on-line CCI - but, as I suspected, the competencies needed are much like Amway and I scored in the lowest 20%.

So, over the next few weeks I will explore a web site in more detail and may pursue that for the time being.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

When is the best time to buy/ sell your house?

Here's an interesting plot I made from data of the Buffalo/Niagara regions median home prices over the past 5 years. Typically there is a 60 day lapse between an offer being accepted and when a home is closed here.

So, if you want to buy at the best price, the ideal time to make an offer is in December. On the other hand if want to sell at the highest price, you should probably put your house on the market by the end of March.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Ending 2008 Net Worth update

Well, I've updated my net worth on NetWorthIQ. Like many (or most) others, my net worth suffered a sharp drop in the forth quarter of this year and is at its lowest level since 2006. The big killer was the sharp drop in my 401k which is largely invested in equities. And, fortunately, unlike a lot of others in many real estate markets, my property values are not declining.

That being said, I don't plan on buying any properties this year. I'm hoping that one or more tenants will exercise their options and purchase the house that they are leasing, but I'm not holding on to much hope. My big concern is the one property that I have which is on a variable interest loan (currently at 10.1% interest). I tried to refinance it several times last year and expect that it will be just as difficult to obtain a new loan this year. I have no hope that the current occupant will buy it and am concerned that all this money that the Fed is pumping into the economy will cause massive inflation. If that happens any variable rate loans will jump since the Fed will have to rapidly raise interest rates.

I'm in the process of applying for some temporary work with the Census. Beyond that I've also been exploring SiteBuildIt and the possibility of an Internet business. But for what, I'm not sure.