Thoughts From the Finance Factory

My 2017 Reading List

My Year End Book Review!

In 2017 I read 36 books. Not my best year for reading as I was on pace for a book a week but my reading tailed off here the last couple of months with work/life getting really busy.  I am a big believer in reading and view it as one of the best ways to acquire knowledge and information whether it be reading books, blogs (mine is pretty good if you are looking for one to read regularly), or books on tape through Audible. I wanted to give a quick review of my top 3 reads of 2017 followed by the rest of my 2017 reading list (more…)

How I got a free fridge!

We have needed a new fridge for a really long time. The one we have is 14 years old and came with the house when we bought it. The ice maker has never worked and the seals are starting to lose their grip. It was time to get a new one.

If you have gone appliance shopping you know that fridges are really expensive if you want to get a nice one. Heck most of them cost more than my first car and they even have one that connects to your smartphone and will add stuff to your grocery list for you. I’m not sure who needs that but if you want it you can get it for the low cost of $6,299 plus delivery and taxes. (more…)

The Coming Retirement Crisis!

There is a major problem coming!

I don’t want to sound melodramatic here but it is a really big deal. The politicians in Washington are not going to help us out of this mess in fact they are trying to make it worse.

It is a very subtle undercurrent today but it will build into a tsunami if we aren’t careful and prepare over the next couple of decades. If you are in the working world you know what I am talking about and it is probably something you worry about a few times a day in your subconscious mind. So what is it?!

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5 Investing Lessons I Learned at 8.

I was reflecting the other day on my earliest investing memories. I used to spend a lot of time with my grandparents and two things stick out from my early memories. The stock market and horse racing. I remember my grandfather reading the paper every day to check out the results from the prior day in the stock market and at the track. He had a system for handicapping the horses and jockeys and would log their performances in a notebook. Now when we went to the track he would never bet more than a few dollars on any race and I am sure in his lifetime he has probably come out break even which is more than I can say for most people that “bet on the ponies”.

Thankfully I did not develop a love for the horses, instead falling into love with my grandfather’s other passion the stock market. My first exposure to the stock market came in 1984 when I was finally old enough to be taught how to read the stock tables by my grandfather. I remember sitting at the dining room table pouring over the stats in the Wall Street Journal with my grandfather after he would get home from his job at Nabisco. For the younger readers there was no internet or CNBC to watch and get stock prices. My grandfather would make some notes in his notebook and call his broker and tell him what he would want to buy. (more…)

Investing Lessons Learned on A Walk

Things learned on a random walk in the woods!

I had a goal when I started this year to lose 30lbs. Two of the reasons are in this picture. I want to be around to help guide my 3 kids 30 years from now. It is really important to me and the 30lbs was going to keep me from seeing that goal more difficult. For the record I am down 20lbs with 4 months to go. I will get to my goal because the reward of being healthier for my kids is so important to me.

Labor Day just passed and I took the time to take a walk in the woods with my kids. It was fun on so many levels and an eye opener. It’s always funny to listen to the conversations that the kids have. They have an amazing perspective that has been untainted by the constraints that society tends to put on people as they get older. They have the potential to do or become anything they want with their lives. So what did a walk in the woods teach them about investing. (more…)

Should Bitcoin Survive?

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have been on quite a run over the last year and it has brought out all of the skeptics in full force. Much like the early to mid-90s  when you could put a dot com after anything and investors poured money in. It seems that today the equivalent is putting a “coin” out and the “investors” flock to it. With the Chinese government’s recent crackdown on Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) in the last week the skeptics for crypto currency have been given another arrow to shoot at the “price bubble”. (more…)