Monday, May 10, 2010

The World Markets are Beginning to Smolder

Hello everyone!

I haven't been in touch for a while now, I know, but I would be remiss if I didn't mention that the global economies, markets and, worse, currencies are beginning to smolder and are currently sending up plumbs of smoke, not unlike that of Glacier Eyjafjallajokull in Iceland just a few weeks ago.  

The crisis in Greece brought my attention to the fact that I had better finish writing the investment thesis I started a few months ago before all of my work went to pot, as the saying goes.  Therefore, I began publishing my thesis in parts, rather than one gigantic article, on my website Common-Sense-Investing just a few days ago.  I just concluded writing the second part of the article over the weekend and will be posting the third segment this week.  

I invite you to take a look at these articles, as I have tried to pack as much historical information in them as possible prior to giving my own detailed thesis so that you can better understand why I believe the way that I do and, in turn, learn more about the U.S. banking system than probably 99% of the population living here.  

Information brings knowledge; knowledge brings understanding; understanding combined with experience brings wisdom.  Unfortunately, most Americans, including myself, have relied on others, namely the media, to inform us of the world and what we should know about it for much too long.  They have failed us dramatically, as the last crisis pointed out.  Now is the time for the citizens of the world to use the power of the Internet and all of the information on it to start informing themselves and making decisions on their own.

In my opinion, we are on the prefaces of a global financial meltdown of epic proportions.  My website, Common-Sense-Investing, is my little contribution to try to inform as many people as I know of our precarious situation so that they can protect themselves during the coming turbulent times.  I do not expect anyone to implement my suggestions on the site without first informing themselves, but I will be implementing them personally, as I believe my hypothesis to be correct.  

If nothing else, I urge you to please read over my first two articles so that you can learn as much about the U.S financial industry and our current situation.  It is important for your own financial survival.

Thank you and God Bless!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Illinois Primary- February 2, 2010

Illinois holds its primaries on Tuesday, February 2nd and as someone who is wholeheartedly upset at the path that my nation has decided to walk down, this is the first year in which I have actively participated in a campaign.  Taking my civic duty extremely seriously this election season, I have gone out of my way to vet the candidates eligible in the Illinois 10th Congressional District and then actively promote and work on their behalf.  As someone who has voted independent of party lines in the past, having written in the names candidates that I preferred to those on the ballot (Ron Paul in 2009, for instance), this is oddly strange to me but very satisfying.  I am hopeful that the candidates that I have supported and worked for will win on Tuesday and am confident that they are the right people for their respective and prospective positions.

Being fully aware that others might not be completely up to speed on the candidates in the Republican primary, I have decided to post my selections for February 2nd below.  So without further adieu, I would like to introduce to you the candidates that I am backing for the Republican ticket in November for Illinois 10th Congressional District.


U.S. Senate- Patrick Hughes WTTW interview
  • The only truly Republican candidate to vote for as our senator.  
  • Mark Kirk won't even debate Hughes, as Hughes would destroy his liberal voting record.  Kirk said that he is a "capitalist first" yet voted FOR cap and trade-- the largest tax bill in U.S. history.
  • Hughes formed a group to attack Governor Quinn's tax increase last year and defeated it successfully.
  • While answering one of my questions during a recent panel at a senior center about his lack of voting record during recent Republican primaries, Hughes looked me straight in the eye and without flinching told me that "it is a learning experience" and that their weren't many conservative candidates during that time period as well.  His response, while not exactly what I had hoped, seemed honest to me.
  • I believe that he is genuinely running in order to create good for the nation, not for himself.

Governor- Dan Proft  -  WTTW interview
  •  I had never heard of Dan Proft until I watched the Illinois Republican Gubernatorial debate on WTTW but after listening to all of the candidates, it was abundantly clear that Mr. Proft was the only candidate that I was willing to consider for governor.
  • Amid all of the insider bickering and backstabbing, Dan was the only candidate that stuck to the issues and who actually had a plan for reform the state, not to mention the fact that he has a private business background to go along with it.
  • After seeing Mr. Proft speak in person and meeting him personally, I feel confident that he remains pure to his word.  A political outsider willing to jump in the ring with the wolves and tame the pack in Springfield.

Lt. Governor- Jason Plummer
  • While reading candidate profiles late one night, I stumbled onto Mr. Plummer's and liked what I read... until I saw his age-- 27.  Then I saw him speak in person.
  • Jason is quite possibly the most mature 27 year old that I have seen and has more real world experience than most people twice his age.
  • Jason's family runs a lumber company; Jason worked at the Heritage Foundation in Washington D.C, a conservative think tank; and he appears to have the right combination of being a Springfield outsider, coupled with passion for public work and a desire to help Illinois regain its national status.

Comptroller- Jim Dodge  -  WTTW Interview
  •  Dodge is the only candidate with a finance background.   That is important when you're overseeing the state's checks.
  •  He appears to genuinely be a nice person as well, based on seeing him speak in person.

10th Congressional District U.S. Representative- Arie Friedman
  • This was the toughest calls for me of all of the candidates listed above.
  • While there is no doubt that Mr. Friedman has a firm grasp on the nation's medical issues-- he's an accomplished doctor-- I question Arie's financial acumen.  Then again, Dr. Ron Paul has made a fantastic Congressman for years and has led true reform.
  • All of the other candidates are either completely unqualified, are a political insider or a friend of Mark Kirk.
  • Having seen Mr. Friedman speak in person, I think that he could just be a rough diamond needing to be polished.  It appears his head is firmly on his shoulders and would be a great asset on our behalf against a diabolical Congress, hell bent on doing anything but reforming our nation's health care system. 

Online Research: 
Cook, McCarthy Vacancy- Maureen Masterson Pulia
Cook County Board President- Roger Keats
Cook County Board 14th District- Gregg Goslin
Cook County 1st District Board of Review- Dan Patlak

Taking part in the election process is one of the most important civic duties that a citizen can participate in, and while I realize that many might not agree with my selections, I hope that you would consider them while deciding which candidates peak your interest.

Thanks everyone!  Happy election day!


Saturday, January 30, 2010

2010 Will Be A Great Year-- Goals

A wise man once said that telling others what you plan to accomplish makes you accountable to yourself.  Therefore, I thought where else better than to post my goals for 2010 on my personal blog for everyone to see.  Please feel free to check-in and ask me how I am doing with my goals throughout the year...  I want this year to be an ambitious one.  No man is an island-- your support will help push me through!

Thanks in advance,

  1. Respond to all incoming e-mail within 3 days
  2. Lose 20 lbs and maintain a weight of 150
  3. Adhere to stricter diet (Low Carb)
  4. Adhere to training plan—resistance training 2x week & run/walk 2-3 week
  5. Volunteer consistently with at least one organization (Room to Read/Habitat for Humanity)
  6. Start charity for schoolchildren in Nepal
  7. March on Washington at least once for an entire week
  8. Volunteer for at least one political campaign
  9. Interview Grandma and capture entire life and family history including photos
  10. Compliment a complete stranger at least once per day
  11. Make a to-do list for the next day the night before and tackle the most difficult task first that day


  1. Complete 1 year of quote blog & expand subscribers to 1000   
  2. Complete 1 year of finance blog & expand subscribers to 250
  3. Get affiliate sponsorship for at least one blog 
  4. Learn about ustream and other blogging tools and use!
  5. Write a page a night/journal

  1. Open at least 1 legitimate business by June 30th   
  2. Buy at least 1 passive income property, business, etc.
  3. Determine Roth IRA allocation plan by Jan. 30th
  4. Return at least 30% in investment portfolio

  1. Complete business TEFL program by Jan 30th
  2. Learn to type by March 31st
  3. Complete Rosetta Stone Chinese 1-3 by June 30th
  4. Get Chinese conversational partner
  5. Learn about commodities market & become knowledgeable on natural gas & select at least one commodity (not silver, gold) to become knowledgeable in 

Books to Read
  1. The Real George Washington
  2. The Creature from Jekyll Island
  3. Fooled by Randomness
  4. The 5000 Year Leap
  5. Meltdown: A Free-Market Look
  6. Bastiat Collection
  7. Winner’s Never Cheat
  8. Hungry Planet: What the World Eats
  9. Economics in One Lesson
  10. The E-Myth
  11. On Writing Well
  12. Trading Commodities and Financial Future
  13. Bird by Bird
  14. A Foreign Policy of Freedom
  15. Go It Alone! (started in 2009)
  16. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
  17. Presenting to Win
  18. The Great Depression Ahead (started in 2009)
  19. Never Eat Alone (started in 2009)
  20. The Magic of Thinking Big
  21. Watchmen
  22. Lonesome Dove
  23. For Whom the Bell Tolls
  24. Catch-22
  25. The Shadow of the Wind

Movies to See
  1. Casablanca
  2. City Lights
  3. Vertigo
  4. Lawrence of Arabia
  5. The Searchers
  6. Sunset Boulevard
  7. The General
  8. On the Waterfront
  9. Chinatown
  10. All About Eve
  11. The Grapes of Wrath
  12. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
  13. High Noon
  14. Double Indemnity
  15. The Maltese Falcon
  16. Annie Hall
  17. Bridge Over the River Kwai
  18. The Deer Hunter
  19. Treasure of the Sierra Madre
  20. Streetcar Named Desire

Friday, January 15, 2010

The New Year is Here!

Another year has come to an end...and I'm a year older as of January 2nd.

You know, it's funny, when we are younger, we all desire to be older, to be adult-like.  And then when the mid-20s come, most want to revert back to their youth and stop the hands of time.  Some find contentment when they reach 30-- I am one such person.  I can't speak for the 40s, although I've heard it's the most productive years of one's life, or the 50s, 60s, 70s or 80s.  But living with and taking care of my Grandma, I certainly can tell you what the late-90s are like...  you wish every day that you could have stored the energy of your youth in a bottle and saved it for just this moment in time, but, instead,  you use that spent energy to pull yourself through the day, reminiscing on the days of yesteryear and all that you accomplished then, while doing your best to live in the moment, hoping for a better world for those you will soon leave behind than that which you experienced.  If you're lucky, your mind is still sharp as a tack; unfortunately, your body is, by that time, more than likely, detached from it. 

We all wish that we could go back in time and change certain events that we all wish hadn't occurred.  I sometimes find myself dwelling (or even obsessing) on some of those events.  But then I remember that it is those same events that have molded me into the person that I am today and that because of those events I am a much better person now than I was then.

This year, I am bound and determined, will be the year to make up for all of my life experience years of recent memory.  I am convinced that the lean years were necessary in order to plant the seeds for the fruitful years ahead.

For the first time in my adult life, I have made a list of goals that I will accomplish throughout the year.  I have separated them into categories so that none get lost amongst the others.  If my list is any indication of the crop that lie ahead, I foresee fields of golden wheat as far as the eye can see come harvest time.

Yes, this year is going to be that year.

Unfortunately, the year has already started off on a sour note, as my Grandma fell and broke her hip on New Year's Eve, which required surgery on my birthday.  Fortunately, she pulled through just fine and is in rehab now.  Without prior experience of dealing with health-related issues, I would have allowed my plans to be deterred.  Alas, I have learned that lesson, which will soon be added to another list of mine-- a list of life long lessons I am determined to learn from and/or have promised myself to never repeat.

My list is ambitious, no doubt.  I have accepted that I might not be able to accomplish everything on it, depending on how life sorts itself out throughout the year, but my list will be posted on my bedroom wall, where I can read every day and mark off each event as it's accomplished.

And since sharing one's goals acts as a stimulant to accomplishing them, I will be listing my goals for 2010 in my next post.

I wish you all a fantastic start to your new year.  I can tell that it is going to be a memorable and bountiful one!  Best wishes to all!