Well, there you have it. Congratulations to the GOP, President Elect Trump and all their supporters. They wanted change and they got it.
Not only have the republicans won the presidency but they also have control of both the house and senate.
A political trifecta.
Let’s hope the elected officials and their appointees make good choices for America and the world.
Switching to topics a little closer to this blog, my investment group held its monthly meeting the Monday before the elections. Obviously the elections were the topic of discussion within our investment group as well as possible actions by the Fed.
If you look to the right, I have posted our groups stocks of interest for November. My selections start about half way down with ACN .
Here is what I wrote in the newsletter:
For this month I ran a FINVIZ scan for quality dividend paying stocks.
IMHO, no matter who wins the election I see the following happening.
- Interest Rates are going up.
- Inflation is going up.
- The National Debt is going up.
- And, most likely, stocks will be going down.
Other things that could happen that would do nothing except add uncertainty and volatility?
- The election could be contested.
- The Democrats could sweep all 3 branches of government
- The GOP could sweep all 3 branches of government
People could end up flocking to dividend paying stocks for safety.
We will see if these ideas, stocks of interest, pan out to be good choices or not.
And finally, a topic a little closer to home but valuable none the less in how to approach making good choices.
A New Cell Phone:
My second oldest daughter, the artist, is growing up. She graduated high school with honors, got accepted to all three colleges she applied to – including one considered to be in the top echelon of art schools in the country, got her first paying job this summer and just this past week, got her very own cell phone – on her very own plan – with her very own money.
Even though she still has a lot to learn, it is these last two accomplishments that have me quite interested and proud.
OK, getting accepted to SVA was awesome, but these last two offer some real world practicality and experience when it comes to everyday survival. As a parent, it is particularly gratifying to see your children grow in practical, real world, skills and decision making.
First, some background.
Many years ago, my wife and I got a bargain 3rd party flip 2-3g phone for the kids. It was listed in my contacts as “kids phone”. We used it to give our kids a phone so they could keep in contact with us, send us texts when they needed to be picked up, and, thank god it never happened, had a phone in case of emergencies.
Now that our budding artist is becoming more independent, and actually saving some serious money – for a teenager, she started to think about graduating from that old flip phone. Seriously, many of her college mates didn’t even know or realize that anybody still had one of “those” phones. So, yes, there was a bit of a social stigma attached to an 18 year old college student owning a non-smart flip phone.
Besides, she really wanted to be able to play Pokémon Go.
She started out researching all the different choices in smart phones. She looked at all the different features, reviews, and prices. She looked at different providers and plans.
At this point, she started asking us questions. She asked what all the different terms and conditions meant and why we had chosen the phone we had. She was particularly surprised that service providers not only charged for plans but also for phones.
Her first initial foray into service providers was “gee, $25 / month is a good rate”. To which I replied that is just for the phone. You have not even gotten to the page with all the different rate plans for voice and data charges.
“Oh, I thought that was for everything…”
– At this point she probably realized why we chose the simple 2g flip phone
And remember, that is for a two year plan. You are basically financing the cost of the phone over 24 months. If you continue, renew your plan afterwards, even keeping the same phone, you will most likely keep paying the same monthly fee.
You might want to look at refurbished or used phones.
She didn’t actually say ewww, but her expression did.
Well, having been in the technology field for over 20 years I can tell you that “refurbished” really means somebody did not like the interface or could not figure out how to use it. I would say over 90% of returned, refurbished items are perfectly good. You might want to also check out some of the resale sites out there such as eBay for used and refurbished phones and compare the prices and balance that against what you would pay a national cell phone provider to “rent” your phone.
We also discussed data plans. I told her we had a family data plan that was capped at 3 gigs per month.
“Is that enough?” she asked.
Well between 3 phones, we very rarely go over that because, as you know, everyone is very cognizant of using Wi-Fi instead of the cellular service.
We also discussed coverage maps and roaming charges. Never, not once did I try to influence her towards a specific phone, service provider. I wanted her to ask the questions, gather the information, and make a decision she felt was right for her.
To make the choice that was right for her.
She spent the next week or so researching cell phones, plans and prices on various sites and ultimately decided on a slightly older (n-1) generation smart phone which had all the performance and features she wanted. The only thing left was finding one at a good price. Which she did.
In the end, she got a smart phone, from eBay, for about a third of the price of a two year contract and a plan from a top national provider she felt comfortable with using and paying for.
The positive lessons of this story are:
– Ask questions and others for their opinion.
o There are three type of people in the world.
- Those who truly want to help and will willingly give their advice
- Those who are egotistical enough and feel the need to give their advice.
- And those who aren’t really helpful at all and don’t care and will not give their advice.
o So a 2 out of 3 batting average for people willingly giving their advice and wanting to be helpful is pretty darn good.
– Gather as much information as reasonably possible
o Don’t over analyze.
– Go through the process of balancing needs vs. wants vs. desires
– And even though it did not come into play here, make a decision and move on.
o Don’t second guess.
Many hours of worry, stress and angst can be avoided by doing ones due diligence, networking, research and information gathering to make an informed decision and hopefully good choices.