Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Rainy Day Fund vs The DOW

I have a Rainy Day Fund. It is not huge but it is hopefully enough to weather any small storm that comes my way. It is composed mainly of the money I inherited from my parents and my long term cash savings from back when I worked for a living although I have dipped into it a few times for a motorhome purchase and the cost of some home repairs/improvements. This money is handled by a local investment adviser, Alitis Investment Counsel who have looked after my money since long before I retired. Norma called it, "The Black Hole" but it has proven to be anything but.

But right now if this Rainy Day Fund was a lifeboat, it has developed a small leak! I have been watching the DOW (the benchmark Trump wants to be rated by) in what appears to be it's death throes but have waited until the end of March to see how I was doing.

Well I (at least Alitis) has outperformed the DOW in a rather spectacular manner. The DOW is down 23% since January 1 while I am down only 7.3% over the same time period. Not optimal, I would have been better off to keep my money under the mattress but I have done far better than many investors. Thank you Alitis, your policy of diversification is working! I am a happy customer!

Vector cartoon of man trying to row leaky boat in ocean


Sunday, March 29, 2020

One Day More

I am still fine and self isolated. Made a grocery run yesterday and found everything I needed. Maybe not in the size / brand I wanted but close enough. I am good for another week or two. I am just doing my month end finances and this living like a monk is certainly good for the bottom line! I know there are still a couple of days to go in March but what the heck, I was bored. I can fine tune the numbers later. It is a little annoying that as soon as gas becomes semi affordable we have nowhere to go!

Anyway, at least here in BC, the infection curve seems to be flattening. Still rising, just not as fast. No Spring Breakers trading spit with no regard for anyone but themselves. Kind of like Trump but I guess that is who they learned the behavior from. We are not only responsible for our own actions but for the effects our irresponsible actions have on others. A lesson learned (maybe).

Anywhoo, just checking in. The US is now saying there could/will be many more deaths, maybe as many as a hundred thousand. The "miracle" that Trump tried to conjure up never materialized.

Everyone stay well and be careful. We have made it this far and the end can't be that far away!

Friday, March 27, 2020

New Watch

My son got me interested in the Vostok diving watch from Russia. It is a company that started during WW2 to produce heavy duty watches for the Russian army. They were directed to produce a durable watch, good for diving (200 m) and free of any foreign patent infringements. The result was so good that the same watch is being produced to this day.

I ordered it on Ebay direct from a seller in Russia for $75 USA ($107 CAN) (shipping free) and waited for about six weeks for delivery. Mine is self winding.

I ordered the watch with black face and date but received a model with green face and no date. I complained and was quickly offered a $15 US refund if I would keep the watch. This brings the price down to an even more reasonable $60 USA. Otherwise they will pay the postage to return it and will ship the proper watch. I would really like the black one but have been wearing the green one for a couple of days and am getting used to it. I just might keep it.


the writing on the dial says
Commander
31 Jewels
Made in Russia

EDIT - I just accepted their offer of the $15 USA refund (20%). I am very happy with how they handled this.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

One Year Today

It was one year ago today that we lost Norma! Sometimes it feels like it was only yesterday and other times it feels like it was much longer ago than that. But it was one year!

I had every intention on being in Shawnigan Lake with my son tonight but times being what they are we are going to meet on the phone and have a drink with his mom. Our friend Brian is going to come over as well and have a drink with all of us out of a sterilized glass. These are strange times!


Thursday, March 19, 2020

RV Dealers and Coronavirus

I bought my motorhome at Camping World in El Paso, Texas in 2007. About two years later they started pestering me to replace it. I just received a notice saying there is no need for me to visit a showroom and expose myself but I can now pick an RV from any of their locations websites, chat with a salesman, make a deal and THEY WILL DELIVER THE NEW RV TO MY HOME where I can try it out and decide if I want to keep it. If I don't like it, they will pick it up and return it.
They just have to figure out which State British Columbia is in. 😂

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Life In The Age Of CoronaVirus

Life goes on up here in the Frozen North (Canada) where many folks seem to rely on Trump for their medical advice. I went to the store yesterday for a few things but not much luck. The canned vegetable shelves are stripped bare. There were only four cans left on all the shelves. The cheapest canned peas they sold so I bought two of them. LOL. Hand sanitizer of course is a thing of the past but I found a half bottle here at home so I am fine. Toilet paper and ketchup seems to be a thing of the past. I guess if worse came to worst we could eat toilet paper if it had enough ketchup on it. That might explain the demand.

Snowbirds are flocking home early for a couple of reasons. 1) Many travel medical companies are telling people to come home immediately or face having their policy cancelled and 2) Returning snowbirds have to put themselves into a two week seclusion when they get home and being Canadians, we will actually do it.

I am not panicking. I have enough food in the freezer and pantry to last a while (except for ketchup). I am not going out as often but I am going out when I have to / want to. My buddy Brian and I are going out for a seafood lunch at the local seniors centre today. Yes, I know you are jealous! It is never very crowded so we always get a table to ourselves.

I was at the doctor's yesterday for a minor shoulder injury and learned that we now have one CV patient in Campbell River. Plus one of our dental offices is closed after one of their dentists attended a conference where four other attendees tested positive for CV. Otherwise, life is normal except my Rainy Day Fund has dropped a few thousand dollars thanks to the market panic.

But we will survive. Life is Good!

image-symptoms-novel-corona-virus

Sunday, March 8, 2020

International Women's Day

To All My Women Friends: Happy International Women's Day!

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This was the slogan of the 1919 Lawrence, Mass. Textile Workers Strike.

The short story is in 1919 the State of Massachusetts reduced the work week from 56 hours to 54 hours. The textile mill responded to this action by reducing the (mostly Women) workers pay by the two hours. They were only paid 16 cents an hour to begin with so this put a great strain on their ability to help feed their families. They were fed up and did what workers all over the world do. They went on strike.

Click this link to hear Utah Plillips' great rendition of James Oppenheim's song that became the anthem of the Lawrence Textile Strike.



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Sunday, March 1, 2020

Taxes Done!

It was a little trying but I got it done yesterday. The medical expenses were a pain to sort and organize but they do give me a sizable deduction. Norma's estate owes nothing as she only had income for three months in 2019. I was unable to take advantage of income splitting so had to take on the whole bite of my taxes by myself. I have to pay $2,100 over and above what has already been deducted. Still, all in all, better than last year.

However, it does not have to be paid until the end of April so I will sit on it until then. I am forced to take a sizable Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF) payment in mid April so my Income tax and property tax payments will come out of this. My pre-planning is paying off.

Life Is Good!

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Still Kicking!

I have had a couple of my old readers express some concern about me and the fact I have not posted in a while. Well, everything is OK.

I have backed off the Blog for a couple of reasons. One, I am not doing much worth reporting lately and two, ... well, maybe there is no two. We have had a cold, wet winter up here in Campbell River and I have just been vegetating. I have been spending some time with my son in Shawnigan Lake and with my friend Penny in Victoria (who has just become a brand new grandmother!) She was up here for New Years Eve and we managed a couple of visits with friends.

Right now I have been gathering data for my Income Taxes as well as for Norma's Final Taxes. This seemingly simple task has had an unpleasant effect on me and has brought back memories that I thought might be getting tucked away. Not a bad thing really. I could have had both our taxes professionally done this year but TurboTax is evidently set up to handle Final Taxes and she only had three months income to be dealt with so it should be fairly simple. As always, I will have to pay as neither of us had taxes deducted from our government pensions, only from our Union pensions. My "Rainy Day Fund" will cover it no problem.

The combination of the weather, the memories and the never-ending construction on the highway in front of my house has me down a little but nothing for anyone to be concerned about. I am fine!

We are making plans for a motorhome trip this summer. I asked Penny where she wanted to go and she indicated she really loved the Okanagan with it's lakes and wine country so that is probably where we will go again. It is easy to make quick day trips down to the USA for sightseeing and shopping so we are looking forward to that.

I will be back on line when I have something more exciting to report.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Papa Noel Getting Ready!

This is a repeat of the post I did when we spent Christmas in New Orleans.


While Santa is up in the North Pole readying his sleigh which is pulled by reindeer, way down south in Louisiana, his alter ego, Papa Noel is preparing his Pirogue (pea-row) to be pulled through the swamps by his eight pet alligators, Gaston, Tiboy, Pierre, Alcee, Ninette, Suzette, Celeste and Renee and, if it is misty, Nicollette, lighting the way with her glowing green eyes.

In the tiny villages and communities along the Louisiana Bayous, residents gather to light community bonfires to show Papa Noel where there are children waiting for his visit.

It will be a busy night for both Santa and Papa Noel!

Papa Noel!
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