Thursday, August 31, 2006

Start Your Own Religion - Receive $5000

According to the New York Times, a documentary producer offered a grant to someone to start their own religion. He ran ads in the Village Voice which said "No Experience Necessary".

You can read more here:
http://www.rawstory.com/comments/18807.html
and here:
http://www.hecklerspray.com/5000-grant-to-
start-a-religion/20064648.php

Average U.S. worker wastes 1.86 hours per day

According to Motley Fool, the average U.S. worker wastes 1.86 hours per day, down 11% from last year. This is based on a study by AOL and Salary.com.

You can read about it here.
http://msnbc.msn.com/id/14513992/

103 inch TV set for $80,000

According to Reuters.com, Panasonic is coming out with a 103 inch TV set, 5 inches thick, for $80,000. You can view the article here:
http://today.reuters.com/news/
articlenews.aspx?
type=technologyNews&storyID=
2006-08-31T175951Z_
01_L31125004_RTRUKOC_0_US-
PANASONIC-PLASMA.xml&src
=083106_1542_ARTICLE_PROMO_
also_on_reuters

Pilot Locks Himself out of Cockpit - Not an Urban Legend

Last weekend, on an Air Canada Jazz flight that left Ottawa, a pilot left the cockpit to go to the bathroom, and when he returned, the door was locked and he couldn't get back in. He finally had to remove the hinges from the door to gain entry. This was reported by Reuters.com.

Amazon.com buying back $500 mil of their own stock

Amazon.com announced that they are buying back $500 million of their own stock over the next two years. When companies have buybacks, it generally has a bullish effect on the stock for two reasons. First, the substantial buying of shares of a company tends to drive up the share price. Second, the more shares that the company buys in, the less shares outstanding there would be, making the shares more valuable (fewer shares owning the same company, so each share that each stock represents is a bigger piece of the pie).

Free Online Personal Finance Tools

Are you looking for Personal Finance Tools that you can access through the Internet at no charge? Fortunately, there are several available:
Kiplinger.com offers several. Here is an example of their College Education Analyzer:
http://partners.financenter.com/kiplinger/calculate/
us-eng/college01.fcs
Finplan.com also offers a few including a couple Retirement Analyzers:
http://www.finplan.com/retire/retneedcalc.asp
Morningstar.com also offers some. Here is their IRA analyzer:
http://screen.morningstar.com/IRA/IRACalculator.
html?rsection=ToolIRACal

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Stock Promotion Spam - You Lose, They Win

The Uneasysilence blog reported an Oxford University study that said that the email spammers who promote stocks with their spam (and of course bought the stock first before spamming) generally make a 5% to 6% return. However, those who followed the advice of the spammers lose about 8%. You can read the blog here:

http://www.uneasysilence.com/archive/2006/08/7407/

Go Daddy withdraws Public Stock Offering

In case you missed it, Go Daddy Group Inc., the popular low cost domain name registration and Web site hosting company, has decided to cancel its stock offering at this time, due to market conditions. The news came out on August 8. The shares were to have been offered by Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch & Co.

Hard Rock Cafe to Go Public

Hard Rock International, the company that owns 121 Hard Rock Cafes, 11 hotels/casinos, and two additional casinos, has filed on August 25 to go public at $6.00 per share. The company is currently owned by the Rank Group plc, a British company. The symbol will be HRK. Their lead underwriter is HC Wainwright & Co Inc. and they will be offering 4.17 million shares.

Do Home Improvements Add Value to your Home? NO

According to the Zillow website, which was reporting from the Remodeling Magazine's Cost vs. Value Report, the cost of home improvements is almost never recouped from remodeling and the few times it is, it is almost negligible. As examples:
Siding replacement to an upscale home only adds 3.6%.
For siding replacement on a mid size home, you end up losing 4.5%, only recouping 95.5% of what you spend.
For minor kitchen repair, you lose 1.5%.
Attic bedroom conversion, lose 6.5%
Deck addition lost 9.7%
Basement remodel lose 9.9%
And it continues to get worse.
To see the write-up of home remodels and cost recouping showing the value of home improvements, go to:
http://www.zillow.com/howto/ValueOfHomeImprovements.htm
Please note, this report does not discuss whether the improvements make the home sell faster, or draws more offers, only the amount that can be recouped upon sale.

The entire article can be found at http://www.remodelingmagazine.com/

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Short on the Rumor, Buy Back on the News - Dell Stock

You've probably heard of the saying 'Buy on the rumor, sell on the news.' A similar statement could be made about shorting stock: 'Sell on the rumor, buy back on the news.' A perfect example of this is the Dell stock.

A couple months ago, news came out that a Dell laptop caught fire at a Japanese business conference. That was the time to short the stock, when rumors started about possible Dell recalls. The stock drifted down from a price of 26 at the beginning of June. That was the time to short. The stock dropped all the way down to 21.24 yesterday, when the Dell battery recall news came out.

So what happened today after the market opened? The stock opened at 17 cents higher than yesterday's close. It continued upward throughout the day and closed up 4%!!! Those who though that Dell would drop today after yesterday evening's news got squeezed. Remember, short on the rumor, cover your position on the news!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Pictures of Burning Dell Laptops are affecting Dell stock price

Today, after the stock market closed, Dell reported that it is recalling over 4 million batteries from its laptop computers. A couple months ago, when the stock was trading between 24 and 26, a story broke about how a Dell laptop exploded into flames at a business conference in Japan. To see some of the pictures of the exploding Dell laptop, check out this link:

http://www.theinquirer.net/default.aspx?article=32550

Since that time, the stock has gradually drifted downward (to as low as 20 per share before recovering slightly), dropping significantly in the later part of July when more stories came out about exploding Dell laptops. To read more about the Dell laptops that have caught fire or exploded including pictures, check out the following links:

http://blogs.smh.com.au/mashup/archives/005359.html
http://www.reghardware.co.uk/2006/07/28/
another_dell_laptop_burns/
http://www.reghardware.co.uk/2006/07/31/
dell_laptop_burned_in_sinagpore/

Today, while the market was open, the stock was up slightly before the news came out. However, in after-market trading, the stock dropped 30 cents (approx. 1.4%) from the close, at 20.94. Tomorrow will tell us how bad the Dell battery recall news will affect the stock.

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