Friday, January 29, 2016

I FOR ONE

did not miss the donald at the debate at all. In fact, I think he should continue to do fund raisers for veterans and other worthy causes. Who knows, he could be the next Jerry Lewis for MD on Labor Day.

If he can't face off with Kelly, how can he possibly deal with the Russians, Chinese, North Koreans, and the Castro brothers? And Ted lost some strokes when he threatened to leave, but Mario didn't gain any when he promised to stay the course. Hopefully, Iowa will begin a clean-up process and force those who don't stand a chance to quietly disappear.

donald is a performer and self-promoter par excellence but he is lite weight as a presidential contender. That said, this country might just be dumb enough to elect him and his "adviser" Sarah—the one with the view of Russia from her back yard—who as best I recall read so many newspapers and magazines every day that she could not name one!.

There is a TV program coming called "The Circus." It is well-named and well-timed.

Bye for Now,

Bill

Saturday, January 23, 2016

I FEEL SORRY

for all the people in the Northeast that had weddings, barmitzvas, and other celebrations for this weekend. They excitedly planned them for a year or more and now are scrambling.

John Steinbeck said, "The best laid plans of mice and men go oft astray." In Yiddish they say, "Man plans and God laughs."

Yet, though not a tragedy by any measure, it has to be difficult to be snowed out.

Bye for Now,

Bill

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

THE CONFUSING PSYCHOLOGY OF MONEY:PART IV


So the powerful power ball pizzazz finally ended with 3 lucky winning tickets that pale against the millions upon millions of tickets sold since that round started that were for naught.

Intriguingly, the Tennessee couple who won plan to continue working—he as a warehouse manager and she in a doctor's office. They will stay in their simple house, continue living in their small town, and maintain their simple life.

Their daughter will get her student loans paid and get a horse, but certainly not a triple crown winner.

It is interesting to me, that with so many fantasies of yachts, planes, mansions, and world travel floating around as the jackpot built, these seemingly good people want none of that. Perhaps it is for that reason that they won?

It will be interesting to see if they stick to their plans, as the reality of their enormous wealth sinks in. I for one hope they do and I bet they do too.

The more complex our world becomes, the more simple we need to live.

Bye for Now,

Bill

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

I READ AN INTERESTING STATISTIC TODAY


The automotive industry sold more cars in 2015 than ever before.

This is evident by the number of auto-related commercials on TV and in the newspapers and magazines.

But why I wondered—particularly at a time when so many are trying to cut back on expenses?

I think the answer, in large part, relates to very creative financing.

Loan terms extend out longer than the car will last, which can be a problem down the road (if you will pardon the expression!).

Interest rates have been exceptionally low for several years allowing low or no interest.

Very creative (and at times confusing) price point marketing (i.e., $143 per month) when you can't see or read all the fine print.

The fact that in most cases, cars are the only purchase where the sticker price has little to do with the actual price.

And finally, that technology allows consumers to know what the price should be plus or minus 50 bucks, thereby eliminating much of the haggle.

A funny and sad but true story. In 1960, when I turned 18, I bought a red Rambler American. Neither my father nor my mother had ever owned a car, or even possessed a driver's license. My father and I went to the new car dealership on Jerome Avenue in the Bronx, looked at the car in the showroom, bought in untested, and paid full sticker price, which was probably $1800. It took a week or more to get the loan processed in my father's name until I could pick it up. Fortunately, we took the life insurance protection and unfortunately he died 3 months later. Those were so much simpler times in all areas of life and living, and we were so much more naive and trusting than we are today.

Perhaps the funniest part of the story is I told my then girlfriend and now wife for more than 50 years that I had bought a "sports car!" I don't think she ever forgave me for that, but to me a red car was automatically a sports one. I have never owned a red car since.

Bye for Now,

Bill

Sunday, January 17, 2016

WATCHING THE DEMO DEBATE

We have many potential Vice Presidents BUT no potential President!

Sad but true.

Bye for Now,

bill

Saturday, January 9, 2016

THE CONFUSING PSYCHOLOGY OF MONEY Part III

So there I was on line in Publix again today and the banter continued. A woman said, "I have the winning #s," and the man behind her said, "That's good, at least I will have come close." Then they made plans to meet Sunday morning at Publix until he told her she had to go to Tallahassee to collect. I can't help but wonder how many relationships Power Ball has spawned. Some shrewd marketer should hold a Power Ball Ball to unite the single suckers who stood on line. They have more in common than on e-harmony.

The chatter didn't stop on the lotto line. At the Deli counter several were engaged in a philosophical debate about sound strategies of picking #s. Seemed like they were full of bologna while waiting to purchase some more. However, whenever strangers chat in South Florida it is a wonder to behold, as the odds of that happening are higher than winning Power Ball.

It seems just about everyone believes they will win. In psychology “folie a deux” refers to a situation where two people share the same delusion. Roommates, siblings, business partners, etc. are vulnerable. The next DSM may need to include a diagnosis called “universal folie,” which just about summarizes all of us schmucks standing on line throwing our money away.

I likely have the winning ticket so you may not hear from me for a while, as I will be consulting tax attorneys, investment bankers, and the like. Stay tuned and "play on America." Actually, that statement seems to also summarize our presidential election..

Bye for Now,

bill


Friday, January 8, 2016

THE CONFUSING PSYCHOLOGY OF MONEY Part II

Despite the media harping on the ridiculously long odds, the lines are larger than ever for Power Ball. My punditry was off in predicting multiple winners on Wednesday, but hey one of these days.

Delusionally, everyone with a ticket in their pocket is convinced they will win despite that the odds are so way against that happening. Many are even spending their winnings—at least in their minds. I certainly hope the buck stops there.

How would you spend your winnings? Mine would be simple: Donate to cancer research,Sponsor and run a free mental health clinic with NO bureaucrarzy in Broward County, and perhaps buy a winery in Sonoma.

Oh, and I would help my kids without spoiling them or taking away their motivation to be productive and keep contributing to our universe, as it needs all the help it could get.

Bye for Now,

Bill

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

THE CONFUSING PSYCHOLOGY OF MONEY Part I

With Power Ball at half a billion dollars the line for tickets are very long. Even I who never play stood on one today.

The line was so long it looked like they were giving away money instead of taking our hard-earned bucks. While waiting, there was an interesting banter between a Publix cashier and a man on line:

 She screamed out, "Why are you all waiting on line I already have the winning ticket—Go home!" He said, "Are you single?" She said, "Yes." He said, "Is there a notary around?"

He then said, "Isn't it silly that we all line up for $500 million. Wouldn't a hundred million be enough?" Therein lies the essence of the confusing psychology of money. By my own admission I don't do lottery because of the odds, but when Power Ball hit $300 million I started to buy a few tickets. Yet the odds are no different based on the size of the jackpot. They are still, if you will pardon the expression lotto-like.

So wouldn't it be a kick if the Publix cashier actually won, and for the guy on the line a kick in the butt that there was no notary in the vicinity. I can tell you this though. If she really wins she won't be single or working at Publix for long.

I do predict that there will be  multiple winning tickets tonight. It would be a shame for one person to win all that dough, unless of course that person was me! And there is nothing confusing about that.

Bye for Now,

Bill

Friday, January 1, 2016

SO HERE WE ARE AGAIN

welcoming another New Year and all that it brings. How long will it take us not to write 2015 on our checks assuming anyone still does that anymore? More importantly, how long will it take us to break our New Years resolutions?

I don't know what sadist or was it a masochist began that ritual many years ago, but I'd like to have a word or two with him or her.

Like many, I find my resolution list is very redundant from year to year, so here we go again for 2016:

  1. Lose 20 pounds
  2. Exercise at the gym without inflaming my sciatica
  3. Reduce my passion for wine
  4. Finally take the water pik I bought last year out of the box
  5. Floss at least once in 2016
  6. Get my garage and house cleaned after 30+ years of "hoarding"
  7. Write a book about aging gracefully...as soon as I figure out how to do that!
  8. Increase my sources of fun and pleasure including adding more family time
  9. Enjoy my miracle grandson arriving in May, along with my miracle 3 year old granddaughter along with my two young adult grandsons 
  10. Make this the last year I make resolutions!
Goal setting is easy—Goal getting is a challenege.

I wish you good luck with your resolutions  and encourage you to make them. Though it can be trying, it never hurts to try.

Some would say, "Forget about trying and focus on doing!" Probably the same sadomasochistic bastards who invented new years resolutions!

Bye for Now,

Bill