By JLP | May 20, 2013
Tell me, what do you guys think about starting an inflation project?
Here’s what I have in mind:
Readers from different parts of the country (North East, East, South East, North Central, Central, South Central, North West, West, and South West) track a small number of goods (mostly grocery items) and report the numbers to me and I’ll put them in a spreadsheet for everyone to see.
Why would we do this?
Because I think the government’s numbers are fiction.
So, what do you think? Interested?
By JLP | May 20, 2013
you the truth about yourself,
even if it hurts you to hear it.
Mere commendation will not bring
the improvement you need.”
Food for thought as you start this week.
By JLP | May 16, 2013
Watch this when you get a chance:
“Character can be taught.”
Of course it can, but most leaders and employees don’t think that way.
By JLP | May 10, 2013
When our oldest reached driving age, we handed down our 2002 Buick Rendezvous for him to drive. It’s not his car. It’s Mom and Dad’s car that he gets to drive until he gets his own car. No, it’s not a kid’s dream car but beggars can’t be choosers. It’s big, safe, and perfect for a kid to learn on.
My wife and I agreed to pay half (our half is capped at $4,000) on our boys’ second vehicles. Our oldest son has been scrimping and saving for about a year now. His goal: the Jeep my Dad drove when he was alive. Our son passed his goal of $4,000 a couple of weeks ago. He was still saving in order to pay the taxes on the purchase. All was great until last week when he was in a line of cars slow moving cars and let off the brake and rolled into a minivan.
We’re already paying enough for insurance as it is so I told the other person that we would pay him cash. We settled on $700, which my son paid out of his Jeep savings account. He wasn’t happy about it but I felt it was his responsibility to pay for this mistake. There’s no doubt about it: zapping $700 from his account was quite a setback. After he calmed down, he did some math and figured out that he should still have his part of the money saved up by the time we go to Kansas to pick up the Jeep (if he doesn’t, we will put off the trip until he does).
I’m not posting this to brag about my parenting. I’m posting it because I think it’s good for kids to pay for their mistakes. If I were to file this on insurance, our rates surely would have increased. Yes, I probably would have made him pay the difference but this was seemed easier and it also stung more. I’m certain he will not forget the sting of this accident for a very long time.
It’s a good learning experience.
By JLP | May 10, 2013
The Mansion section of today’s WSJ featured Luxury Kids’ Rooms.
A DJ mixing station in the sleepover room. Secret passageways inspired by “Harry Potter.” A fully tricked-out videogame arcade. You’ve entered the teen wing of the house.
As parents look for creative ways to keep older kids hanging out at home, some are turning to an unexpected source: architects and designers. The result is a new category of spaces now showing up in family homes: teen lounges, hangout areas, sleepover spaces and “offices” for doing homework.
Want to hear something funny about JLP Land? We have ONE TV in the entire house. ONE. It’s not so much that I’m against having more than one TV. It’s more due to the fact that we have one living area and I’m not a fan of kids having TVs in their rooms.
The article continues…
Chris Pollack recently finished renovating a Manhattan townhouse that includes a 1,000-square-foot teen suite with ping-pong and billiards tables, a recording studio, kitchen and a theater for movies and videogames. The estimated cost: roughly $750,000. “Our clients with kids going into the teenage years are thinking about this more and more,” he says. Mr. Pollack, of New York-based design-and-construction adviser Pollack + Partners, says he has also accommodated several requests for homework rooms equipped with security cameras, so parents can keep an eye on computer usage.
The article included several pictures of silliness. If you can access the article, you might check out the pictures. I’m sure they’ll make your day.
By JLP | May 1, 2013
April was a decent month for all the indexes followed here at AFM except for gold.
April’s 1.93% total return for the S&P 500 Index was the 40th best for the month of April going back to 1926. The index is up 12.74% year-to-date. Not bad.
Here is the link to the AFM PDF Report: S&P 500, MidCap 400, SmallCap 600, & 1500 Performance (01-2011 – 04-2013)
By JLP | April 29, 2013
A front page article in this Sunday’s NY Times was about pension advances.
I don’t know about you but, when I hear the term “advance” a red flag appears. I automatically see a high interest loan.
Being true to their “painting everyone as a victim” ways, the article detailed an advance taken by a Mr. Govan. He took out a $10,000 advance and agreed to pay $353 per month for SIXTY months. Then, he did the math AFTERWARDS and figured out the interest rate was around 36%. Now he’s upset.
I’m not sure what prevented him from the doing the math before he took out the advance.
Is a 36% interest rate ridiculous?
Hell yes it is. But, that’s not the point. The point: he should have done the math first. Unless the company lied to him (always a possibility), he has no one to blame but himself. He agreed to the terms. Now he’s screwed.
Let me let people in on a secret: lenders are not your friends! They are out to make money. The sooner you realize this, the better off you will be.