Archive for December 2016

I May Get A New Car

I may have to buy a new car. At least, new for me.

My “Check Engine” light came on. I got it fixed about a month ago. I had to wait around three hours for it to get done, since I do not have a Hot Asian Wife to cart me around.

Then it came back on again a day later. The next weekend, I took it in, waited, they fixed it. The guy said the wire connecting a part to the sensor came out.

Then a few days later it came on again. Same thing. This time he used a twist tie to keep in it.

A few days later, it came on again. Same code. Yesterday I made an appointment, and I waited two hours just to be told they would not be able to get to it that day. I really do not like my free time being eaten up waiting for my car to get fixed. Or not get fixed.

I would hate to get a new car just because of a small part, but maybe it is time. It is a 1997 Nissan Sentra with around 175K miles on it.

The issue has to do with the exhaust. I think I can get by for a few more weeks. The nice thing is that I got my state inspection done right before this all started.

My mom get her latest car at CarMax, and just raved about them. For the first time in 25 years, she is not driving a Honda. (If you felt a disturbance in the force recently, this might be why.)

When I was in Boise, I rented Prii (the official plural form of Prius) and I liked them. I might get one now.

I am not too happy about blowing a big hole in my savings. I think one of the reasons I have been able to save is because I have not had to make any car payments. Granted, I could pay it off at once. But still, that is a lot of money out of pocket. Enough to live off of for six months.

I really hate spending a lot of money.

Image from Bing Search, assumed allowed under Fair Use.

Up Yours, Miami

Recently, Fidel Castro died. Presumably peacefully, in his sleep. Not in a jail cell.

And the Cuban community in Miami celebrated. The people who insisted on keeping the embargo long after it was obvious it was not hurting the Castro regime. Being against the embargo was not the same as being for Castro. There is nothing pro-Communist in saying a particular policy isn’t working.

I would just like to tell those people to go jump off a cliff.

I really hate it when people from communist countries come here, rave about freedom, and then shout down anyone who disagrees with them. And what has their intransigence gotten them? Most Americans were against it for the past decade (pdf file here, article here). I don’t think we should cling to ineffective policies just to avoid hurting the fee-fees of a vocal minority.

Many refugees dismiss anti-embargo arguments by saying that “You don’t know what it’s like to live under Castro”. No, but neither do many of the non-Cubans who were for it. If my lack of experience living under Castro invalidates my opinion, then it invalidates the opinion of pro-embargo non-Cubans. But somehow I don’t think they get dismissed.

Besides, it’s a federal policy. I vote for the senators, representatives and presidents who make and implement the policy, and my taxes go toward it.

Basically, it has been completely ineffective. Yes, the Cuban government seems to be moving away from Communism, but they are doing it on their schedule. They managed to survive even after the downfall of the USSR, and the loss of patronage from the USSR. The funny thing is, while the USSR was subsidizing Cuba, the USA was selling the USSR wheat; so in a way, the USA was actually helping Cuba indirectly. But I guess some people care more about form than substance.

I don’t have my finger on the pulse of the Cuban community, but in all seriousness, is Cuba the only oppressive regime they care about? China oppresses a LOT of people. Do they want the USA to embargo China? If it’s the right thing to do, then the size of the country shouldn’t matter, right? If don’t care about oppression when it’s not happening to you, then don’t come crying to me.

Image from Wikimedia, assumed allowed under Fair Use. Painting by Cuban artist Armando Menocal.

2016-11 Dividend Income Report

Here is the dividend income report for November, 2016.

The monthly dividend income came out to $506.98. The yearly income total for 2016 through the end of the month was $5048.77.

The income for November, 2015 was $460.83, and the yearly income for 2015 through the end of November was $4517.55.

It looks like I will beat my total from 2015. But I will still not beat my best year, so 2016 will only be my second-best year. For the first time, my 12 month moving average was more than $500.

For the past few years, my total was going up by about $1000/year, but I think that rate will not hold this year. I will have to live to about 150 to be able to live off my dividends at the rate this is going. Granted, if I rolled over my Roth 401K from my job, I would have a lot more money to invest.

Right now, I am not too sure what to invest it in. PE ratios are still pretty high. But, as I have said, they have been high for a while. But, as Barry Ritholtz reminds us, markets are rarely fairly valued. Maybe next year I will start to buy more. I found a site called Earnings Cast that archives quarterly conference calls for a lot of companies. Another thing to add to my to-do list.

Here is a table with the year-to-date amounts, the monthly amounts, and the three- and twelve-month moving averages for each November from 2011 through 2016:

Month YTD Amount 3MMA 12MMA
2016-11 $5048.77 $506.98 $502.98 $500.27
2015-11 $4517.55 $460.83 $477.55 $452.28
2014-11 $3528.16 $291.27 $357.30 $343.53
2013-11 $2811.61 $252.75 $277.74 $291.48
2012-11 $2898.91 $247.99 $262.78 $284.49
2011-11 $2577.05 $246.37 $232.84 $240.81


Here are the stocks and the income amounts for November, 2016:

  • AT&T: $50.31
  • Verizon: $60.26
  • WGL Holdings Inc: $17.05
  • Lowe’s Cos Inc: $19.23
  • ABM Industries Inc: $9.51
  • Air Products & Chemicals Inc: $57.28
  • Clorox Co: $46.56
  • Colgate-Palmolive: $43.85
  • Hormel Foods Corp: $14.18
  • Northwest Natural Gas Co: $28.95
  • Procter & Gamble: $40.49
  • Texas Instruments: $54.10
  • Eaton Corporation: $65.21

Image from Wikimedia, assumed allowed under Fair Use.

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