The Unrepentant Individual

...just hanging around until Dec 21, 2012

June 4, 2007

Living In Dana Point Is Affecting My Blogging

So much of blogging, particularly political blogging, is to find a way to vent. Venting, of course, implies that pressure builds up that needs to be released. When I lived here a few years ago, and had to deal with freeway traffic and live in Irvine, I always needed ways to vent. When I lived in Georgia, I had a lot less stress, but still didn’t have a release. In addition, at my job I’d listen to political talk radio, giving me plenty of fodder.

That didn’t make for a very happy person, but it led to some excellent blogging. It’s not to say I wasn’t a happy person, but getting a chance to rail against the system was a great way to relieve stress at the end of the day.

Things are changing, though… I live close enough to work that I don’t have to deal with SoCal freeway hell. I’m busy all day, and work in a cubicle, so I can’t listen to much radio. On the way home, since I live near the beach, I open the windows in the truck, crank the tunes, and relax as the air turns from warm Irvine air to cool beach breeze.

Normally, I’d still have some stress to work out. After all, my job involves dealing with customers who only call me when something is going wrong, and it’s my responsibility to make sure it gets fixed. Sometimes that means they’ve got a backlog of shipments and if we don’t fix their problem, they might lose thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars… And if that happens, the engineers I’m talking to might not have a job. They’re understandably worried. So I come home with some stress.

But then I go for a nice 2 mile walk to the beach with Guinness. Up and down hills, past a beautiful golf course, the St. Regis and Ritz Carlton resorts, eventually ending up at the beach, where I get to watch the sun falling out over the Pacific Ocean. I get back, have a wonderful dinner prepared by my wonderful wife, sit down, have a beer, and relax. The stress is gone.

How in the world can I come home and have something to blog about after that?

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 11:20 pm || Permalink || Comments (8) || Trackback URL || Categories: Blogging, Personal Life, Ponderings

May 24, 2007

I Hate Being Honest

Sometimes being honest isn’t very lucrative… Today is one of those days.

On Sunday, we went out to buy a replacement TV. Instead of the 42″ LCD, we ended up with a slightly more expensive (but much higher quality) 46″ DLP. One of the selling points was a special Best Buy was running online, where certain big-screen TV’s would get you a free $250 TV stand.

There was one snag. The stand wasn’t in stock in the store. So I paid for everything, they gave me a claim check, ordered the stand, and it was to be in the store today. Or so I thought. They made a bit of a mistake, which I didn’t even realize until today.

I arrived at the store, handed over my claim check, and the guy wheeled out another 46″ DLP TV. It turns out they didn’t order me a TV stand, they ordered me a TV. And I was holding in my hand a claim voucher for a $1200 TV, which I had already picked up and started watching three days ago. Knowing a little bit about Best Buy & having seen their inventory control when I took possession of the first TV, I realized that if I had wanted to walk out of the store with that TV, it’d be basically a risk-free way to take Best Buy for the difference in cost, or $950… And I’m sure that TV would have fetched a hefty sum on the secondhand market, especially since it was new in the box and I’d have a receipt to prove it wasn’t “stolen” (even if it would have been). Or, it would have made a pretty sweet father’s day gift for my dad.

But I knew that I had no choice. To take that TV would have gone against all my principles. I alerted the salesman, and we started working it all out. While I suggested a few times that it would be pretty easy for them to just give me the TV, they weren’t about to jump at the deal…

Then the fun began. Since they hadn’t ordered the stand (ordering the TV instead), they didn’t have the stand in stock. Having fought through SoCal rush-hour for the better part of an hour, I wasn’t about to leave the store unsatisfied. They couldn’t give me store credit to purchase it at another store, because the special deal they were offering would make it impossible to give me full credit. And I didn’t want to come back. So I suggested that we look at other stands in the same price range, and they agreed.

I ended up getting a stand that both my wife and I much prefer to the one they were offering. The offered stand was somewhat contemporary, and the one we got was wood and much more “warm”. While my own tastes tend toward contemporary, it wouldn’t fit with anything else my wife owns, so it was a better fit for our house. It was $10 more, but they gave it to me at no added cost.

So while I didn’t get a second big-screen TV, as much as I wanted it, I ended up getting a stand that I like much better than the free one without any additional cost. All that without the guilt that would have come from violating my principles.


The Unrepentant Individual linked with Good Karma
Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 12:19 am || Permalink || Comments (9) || Trackback URL || Categories: Personal Life, Ponderings

May 19, 2007

Walked Down To The Beach This Morning…

You know, there are a lot of things I don’t like about California. But the fact that I can make a statement like that really makes it pretty bearable.

Anyway, on the way back, I saw a guy wearing a vest that said “Lone Wolf Motorcycle Club”… I was reminded of the scene from Gross Pointe Blank, where Dan Aykroyd’s character is trying to get John Cusack’s character to join his assassination “union”. Cusack explains that he’s not interested in joining a club, what with wearing all black; trying to craft the “lone wolf” persona.

Who came up with this name? Were they thinking?! I could see something like “Wolf Pack”, but not “Lone Wolf”… Lone wolves ride alone; joining a club kinda defeats the purpose.

It’s about as wrong as this blog was in the old days, when I had two other bloggers at “The Unrepentant Individual”. No offense to my former co-bloggers, but that was just a bad idea from the start… linked with The Hermits' Association will come to order...
Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 11:41 am || Permalink || Comments (5) || Trackback URL || Categories: Motorcycles/Racing, Personal Life, Ponderings

May 7, 2007

How Can Such A Raspy Voice Whine So Badly?

So the Hinder song, “Lips of an Angel”, has finally worn out its airplay, and not a minute too soon. It’s a song about some forlorn lover who pines for his ex while his current is in the next room. I never liked it. What a punk. But Hinder hasn’t exactly gone away, as I’ve been hearing their latest single, “Better Than Me”, far too often. Pining again about his ex, with the point of the song that deserves someone better than him in the first place. But I guess if he has a habit of pining for his ex while with his current, his current probably deserves someone much better than him too.

But something even beyond the songs themselves get on my nerves. His voice is like the current rock voice writ large. Most of today’s singers have a bit of rasp in there, but this guy sounds like someone took a rusty metal file to his vocal chords. And while that’s bad, that’s not the half of it. He combines that with a certain whiny self-pity in his voice that is just disgusting. How can you rasp like you’re a rocker while you’re whining like a baby about how unfair it is your ex left. I can’t take it…

Like I said before, I’m not quite sure if this qualifies as “emo”. Which, since I don’t understand emo, I think I’m going to stop calling it “emo punk” and start calling it “Elmo punk”. ‘Cause that little furry bastard is just about as annoying.

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 11:35 pm || Permalink || Comments (3) || Trackback URL || Categories: Ponderings, Pop Culture

April 20, 2007

My Name Is Brad, And I’m A Bookaholic

One of the advantages of having a wife who’s out of town (with the dogs), and no TV, is that it has really helped me to start catching up on my reading list. So I sat down with James P. Hogan’s The Multiplex Man tonight. It’s a pretty fast-paced story (sort of sci-fi/thriller meets “The Bourne Identity”), weighing in as an easy 370 pages. I think I started reading about 9 PM. And finished it around 3:30 AM.

So now I’m stuck. At this time of night, I can’t go to sleep, or there’s no way I’ll have the willpower to get up in time for work tomorrow. It’s not like I’ve never pulled all-nighters, but that will leave me groggy tomorrow and throw off my sleep schedules for a few days. I used to be able to do this sort of crap with impunity when I was in college, but as I near 30, it’s not quite so easy.

Of course, what do you do at 3:30 AM on a Friday? Thankfully I don’t have a TV, because I won’t have to complain about the fact that there’s nothing on. So I found myself dismantling my keg (as I finished off my batch of Sierra Nevada-inspired pale ale the other night), cleaning the whole system. I’ve been through enough kegs now that it’s about time to replace the dispense line, so it needed to be done. Now I’ll probably wander through the house organizing stuff, maybe start answering some work emails, do a little blogging, perhaps reorganize my CD collection in alphabetical order of lead guitarist’s middle names… You know, the usual. I’m sure it won’t be long before I put a pot of coffee on, while I wait for the sunrise.

I have a tendency to do this. Specifically with fiction, I have a severe aversion to putting down books. It’s an addiction. I pick up a book, and it takes over life for several hours until I get to the last page. My parents used to worry about me growing up, because I’d pick up a novel at 8 AM, read continuously until 6:30 PM, and then wonder why I was so hungry. It seems that it had something to do with not eating during the course of the whole day.

As I’ve gotten older and busier, I’ve tended to shy away from reading 8+ hours straight. The occasional times I’ve picked up 600-page novels make it far too hard to devote that much continuous time to a book. And I’m sure when the baby comes, I’ll be happy to get more than 10 minutes at a time. But I’ve never quite understood why I do this to myself. The book would be there tomorrow, I could easily have stopped about midnight and still gotten a nice full night’s sleep. But instead, here I sit, wondering how to pass a few random hours where I can’t sleep and have little useful to do, I’m beginning to wonder whether continuing to read a midnight, when I still had half a book left, was a good idea…

The Unrepentant Individual linked with Book Review: The Multiplex Man, James P. Hogan
Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 3:37 am || Permalink || Comments (2) || Trackback URL || Categories: Baby, Books, Personal Life, Ponderings

April 17, 2007

Big Networks Have Jumped The Proverbial Shark

Or, so the WaPo laments:

“Everyone can appreciate the business pressure that the networks are under, but when did they [start] ceding their responsibility to cover these stories?” said Tom Kunkel, the dean of the University of Maryland’s journalism school. “It does kind of make you wonder how big a blood bath there has to be warrant their attention in prime time. How bad does it have to be to supplant ‘Dancing With the Stars’?”

I actually got this story sent to my by my buddy Jim, who gave his own thoughts on it via email, with which I heartily agree.

with this. obviously it was newsworthy, it led every newscast in the country and was on the front page of every newspaper i looked at today from overseas. but how much more did we NEED to know last night? Had things changed? Were we headed to war? How would exploiting the tragic event for an extra three hours of coverage have helped fulfill the networks’ responsibilities to the nation?

Below is my response to his email…


I hear you on this one, Jim… You know what this article is lamenting? Not that the big networks didn’t cover this, but that the big networks are no longer the driver of the news cycle:

“They’d rather run reruns than preempt their regular programming,” Rosenstiel said. “It’s not a surprise, but it is unfortunate. If the networks have lost their role as arbiters of what’s significant in our culture, then they’ve been complicit in that loss.”

They’ve been outdone. They can throw up the local news at 11, but really. If you wanted coverage, where were you going to turn? CNN. Fox News. The internet.

We don’t need the big networks to be the main arbiter of how to handle the news. We’ve got much more specialized avenues of getting that information that do a much better job. Yes, that may mean that Granny Eunice, with her rabbit ears on top of her 19″ Zenith, doesn’t get the same sort of news she got back in the old days. So what? She can wait until the news at 11, or she can catch it on the Paul Harvey show on her hi-fi.

What really gets me, though, is that when you actually watch the constant coverage of cable news, you begin to see that sometimes the news cycle is faster than the actual news:

“Well, although we just talked to him 12 minutes ago, we’re going to go back on scene with John Ondaspot, who is standing outside the Virginia Tech building where this all happened. John?”

“Well, Wolf, if you can see behind me, you’ll see that one of the detectives has moved 6 feet to the left of where he was 12 minutes ago. Other than scratching his ass, he hasn’t really done a whole lot since. No new information has been released on the gunman, of course, and probably won’t for several hours. Back to you, and I’ll check in with you in another 12 minutes.”

Worthless, the whole damn lot of them. Life got much better when I sold my TV.

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 5:48 pm || Permalink || Comments (2) || Trackback URL || Categories: Media, News, Ponderings, Snark

April 14, 2007

Why Tempt Fate?

If anyone is looking for gift ideas, I don’t want one of these…

Pieces of Titanic transformed into luxury watches

Steel and coal from the Titanic have been transformed into a new line of luxury wristwatches that claim to capture the essence of the legendary oceanliner which sank in 1912.

Geneva watchmaker Romain Jerome SA billed its “Titanic-DNA” collection as among the most exclusive pieces showcased this week at Baselworld, the watch and jewellery industry’s largest annual trade fair.

“It is very luxurious and very inaccessible,” said Yvan Arpa, chief executive of the three-year-old company that hopes the limited edition watches will attract both collectors and garrulous luxury goods buyers.

“So many rich people buy incredibly complicated watches without understanding how they work, because they want a story to tell,” he said. “To them we offer a story.”

They want a story? Well, the first time one of the wearers of these watches ends up in a plane crash, I’ll bet they’ll have a story. Even stranger if it’s on the maiden commercial voyage of an Airbus A380…

I’m not a believer in “fate” or “luck”, or any of that stuff. But hey, I’ll hedge my bets when I need to. I’m not getting on an airplane, or a boat, or even a BUS with one of these watches.

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 2:08 pm || Permalink || Comments Off || Trackback URL || Categories: News, Ponderings, Snark

April 11, 2007

It’s All About Revenue

If you’ve ever been cruising through a small town and saw a cop, you immediately do one thing: check your speedometer. Everyone knows the cops tend to ticket people from out of town whenever they can get away with it, right? Of course, if you pay attention, you know that usually what “everyone knows” tends to be wildly untrue.

Not in this case, though:

By examining 29,752 speeding citations issued in April and May 2001 in Massachusetts, they found that who and where you are matters as much as how fast you’re going. An out-of-town driver stopped by a police officer in any given area has a 51 percent chance of getting slapped with a fine, versus 30 percent for a local, and the average fine for an out-of-towner is $5 higher. Local police are 10 percent more likely to fine out-of-town drivers and 20 percent more likely to fine out-of-staters, while state troopers ticket out-of-state drivers at a rate 28 percent higher than in-staters. The poorer the town (in terms of property-tax receipts), the more likely its cops are to target drivers passing through; fines also increase the farther away drivers live, since distance makes them less likely to contest the ticket.

So there you go, now you have data to back up your wild theories.

Of course, the odd thing is that I drove my truck with no physical license plates on it for three years, and was never pulled over. You’d think that at some point a cop would have seen a truck sans-plates, and decide to investigate. I have to think they probably thought I was an illegal immigrant, and just didn’t want the paperwork of dealing with me…

Hat Tip: Cafe Hayek

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 7:14 pm || Permalink || Comments Off || Trackback URL || Categories: Ponderings

April 4, 2007

Just a thought…

I’ve noticed that a lot of people don’t understand my sense of humor.

Does that mean I’m not funny?

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 6:55 pm || Permalink || Comments (5) || Trackback URL || Categories: Personal Life, Ponderings

Intelligent Design

If human beings were intelligently designed, why are our knees and backs so prone to failure?

I mean, the central nervous system is elegant and all, but I’ve known quite a few people that have picked up a heavy object in their mid-20’s, and are now consigned to a life of pain. Knees and backs were not intelligently designed, unless God’s a sadist. What’s the deal?

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 8:46 am || Permalink || Comments (1) || Trackback URL || Categories: Ponderings, Religion, Snark

April 2, 2007

Why I’m Causing Global Warming By Brewing Beer

Alright, so plants turn CO2 into oxygen, and forestall global warming. And I’m causing it by making beer.

To see why, let’s look at step 1: the mash/boil process. In mashing and boiling, I’m burning propane in order to heat the water (and then the wort) in order to make the beer.

Burning Propane:
C3H8 + 5 02 -> 3 CO2 + 4 H20 + heat

So by burning propane, I’m creating CO2 (greenhouse gas) and water vapor (also greenhouse gas). So I’m creating global warming right there. Not to mention the direct heat created by burning.

But it gets even worse. Plants turn CO2 into oxygen, and thus forestall global warming. Well, what is malt? Malt is barley seeds, allowed to germinate before being roasted and then malted to become sugar. Hops are flowers. So I’m killing plants (in the case of malt, baby plants), and thus taking them out of the photosynthesis cycle and stopping them from reducing atmospheric CO2.

Think that’s bad? I’m just getting started! Now we have fermentation!

C6H12O6 -> 2 C2H5OH + 2 CO2 + 2 ATP

See that? The yeast turns sugar into alcohol, more CO2, and more heat.

And if I haven’t done enough, I throw that beer into a keg, and go through tanks of pressurized CO2 to carbonate and serve it. I go through a 5 lb CO2 tank every few months.

And I’m not even purchasing carbon offsets. Aren’t I just naughty?

Best Posts from around the Web linked with Why I’m Causing Global Warming By Brewing Beer
Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 11:18 pm || Permalink || Comments (2) || Trackback URL || Categories: Beer, Personal Life, Ponderings, Religion, Snark

March 26, 2007

Blame California!

Got Problems? Blame Californians! [Everybody's doin' it!]

Sure, it’s been 30 years since Oregonians first slapped “Don’t Californicate Oregon” bumper stickers on their cars, but, like the song by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Californication” is still alive and well.

“I think it’s just such a common desire to say things were really calm and great here and then these people came in,” said Patty Limerick, history professor and faculty director of the University of Colorado’s Center of the American West.

Since 1991, the number of Californians moving out topped the number of people moving in to the state. And where do they go? The top five states Californians moved to between 2000 and 2005 were Arizona, Nevada, Texas, Washington and Oregon, according to William Frey, population expert for the Brookings Institution.

For many Californians, they want what eludes them in their state — open space, clean air and not so much traffic. So they sell their houses for a chunk of change, move somewhere else in the West, buy a bigger house and start driving up the housing prices, much to the dismay of locals.

Sherrie Watson has lived in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, since she was 16 and is quite fed up with Californians.

“They complain how cold it is. And they just moved here because it is cheaper and to ’get away,’ but then they keep saying things like, ‘We did it in California this way, so why don’t you change?’ ”

“They came here because they liked it the way it was when they visited, but then they want to change it. I don’t get it,” she said.

I’m reminded of the quote from The Matrix:

I’d like to share a revelation that I’ve had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species Californians and I realized that you’re not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment but you humans Californians do not. You move to an area and you multiply and multiply until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings Californians are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You’re a plague and we are the cure.

Ahh, California. Two major cities, San Francisco and Los Angeles. If I believed in God, I’d be decrying them as a modern-day Sodom and Gomorrah (the exercise of determining which is which is left to the reader, natch!). What can you do with California?

In all honesty, California is a wonderful place. The weather is about as close as I can imagine to being absolutely perfect. The scenery is gorgeous. And you’re right next to the big Pacific Ocean. Something about sitting there on the beach and knowing there’s no people for thousands of miles off to the west is comforting.

If it weren’t for the damn Californians, California would be a really nice place!

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 6:46 pm || Permalink || Comments (1) || Trackback URL || Categories: Ponderings, Pop Culture, Snark

March 24, 2007

An Advantage To Small Dogs

This week, as the story broke about poisoned dog food, concerned pet owners scrambled to determine whether there was any risk in what they were feeding their dogs.

One of the advantages of small dogs, however, is that I have a lot more leeway what I feed them. We buy them Nature’s Variety, which I once calculated to be about 4 times as expensive by weight than a lot of commercial food. It’s the sort of expensive “gourmet” dog food, grown in “sustainable agriculture” farms, etc… In fact, it’s probably grown in a more environmentally-friendly and natural way than the food that I eat.

But when you have two dogs weighing a combined 17 pounds, the cost becomes pretty much a non-factor. If the difference between expensive food and cheap food is $4 a month vs. $16 a month, I’m willing to pay more. If I had two dogs eating enough food to make the difference between $30 a month and $120 a month, the cost/benefit analysis might change a bit.

This might be something to consider when you’re trying to determine whether to get a Yorkie or a Great Dane as your next best friend.

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 10:16 am || Permalink || Comments (2) || Trackback URL || Categories: Dogs, Food, Personal Life, Ponderings

March 12, 2007

Cigar Clubs

Back when I was living in Lake Forest, California, right around the corner was a place called Club Aficionado (caution on the link, it doesn’t like Firefox. Jerks). I went in there one day to check them out, and realized it wasn’t only a cigar store, it was a private club. In the back, they had a full bar, tables, big-screen TV, etc. They were telling me all about the local big-wigs who were members. I thought about it, figured out how much it cost to be a member, and decided I could make much better use of the money.

Since then, I’ve visited another local cigar club called Red Cloud. My future brother-in-law is a member, so the last time I was in California we stopped off for a smoke and a couple games of chess in the lounge. At the time, I started wondering if a business like this would make sense here in Georgia. After all, I’m in a relatively affluent area where something like this might give big-wigs a chance to hobnob with each other.

But then I realized a crucial difference between Georgia and California. In Georgia, it’s not illegal to smoke in public establishments. Thus, for California to even have a cigar bar, they must create a private club in which to enclose it.

Now, as my brother-in-law pointed out, they’re not just selling a place to smoke a cigar. They’re selling a bit of exclusivity. After all, we were there on a Saturday night at 9 PM, and the place was only mildly crowded. If you’re like me, and you like to sit at a bar and have a drink without the constant smash of people running into you, reaching over you, and generally invading your personal space, it makes a lot of sense. And because it’s a paid membership, there is a vested interest in making sure that your needs are catered to. Which is nice.

But when I had thought initially about the idea of a place like this opening in Georgia, I thought only of the benefits of private membership. I hadn’t considered the fact that private membership would be a legal necessity for the place to even exist. Could a place like this live outside of the legal constructs that California imposed? After all, I might be willing to spend a few hundred bucks a year for a membership to a nice private cigar bar, if it was the only place I could smoke a cigar. But I wouldn’t be willing to do so if there were free cigar bars around, which is something that doesn’t exist in California.

What this brings up is a nice example of the Bootlegger and the Baptist (also see this excellent Econtalk podcast with Bruce). This economic theory described by Bruce Yandle suggests that while a southern Baptist might fight to stop Sunday sales of alcohol in order to assuage his conscience, there is an economic benefit to the bootlegger who fills the market niche of selling alcohol illegally on Sundays at a very high profit. The bootlegger and the baptist aren’t working together, but they exist in a mutually beneficial arrangement (hurting only the consumer).

I think this is the same situation. In California, the nanny statists have decided that private property is public, and thus they can stop us from smoking to protect us from ourselves. This, though, hasn’t stopped the desire of individuals to go out and have a drink and a cigar. So a secondary industry springs up, charging people membership fees in order to legitimize their right to have a cigar in “public”. The nanny statists are happy (well, not as happy as they would be if they stopped it completely). The owners of the cigar clubs are happy, because they’re charging several hundred of dollars a year (over a thousand for a storage locker for your smokes) in order for the privilege of smoking in their establishment. The only people hurt, as is usually the case, is the consumer, who ends up spending a lot of money or losing his freedom.

The cigar club that we went to was a very nice place. I got to sit in a nice, comfy, high-backed leather chair, and proceed to beat the pants off my brother-in-law in chess (twice, actually). All the while I was smoking a very fine cigar and drinking an Arrogant Bastard. All in all, it was quite an enjoyable hour as we killed time before heading to a poker game. In fact, it’s someplace that I might consider joining if I lived there and thought I’d use it enough. But let’s remember exactly why it exists: because government took away freedom.

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 10:36 pm || Permalink || Comments (6) || Trackback URL || Categories: Economics, Libertarianism, Ponderings

March 7, 2007

Investment Thoughts…

I wrote a piece over at The Liberty Papers about the potential destruction/decline of the American economic empire.

Basically I look at it this way: The housing meltdown, coupled with a recession and the bursting of an enormous mortgage-backed securities and derivatives markets, will make our economy take a serious hit. That, coupled with the inability to cut taxes further, a government in major deficit, and a tight credit market, and the situation will be nearly impossible to get out of for a while. Further, our government will attempt to provide liquidity by printing dollars, inflating away the housing crunch, and inflating away a lot of actual wealth at the same time.

Further, with the news that Venezuela is looking to divest the dollar as a reserve currency (worried about inflation), and the implicit assumption that a quickly-inflating dollar will cause more countries to do the same, and America could hit a level of hyperinflation worse than we’ve ever known here.

Bad, bad stuff.

So I’m wondering how to protect myself against it, and potentially reap some profit off the situation. Right now, the wife and I have a decent modest sum (at least considering our age) in 401k and Roth IRA, currently in vanilla mutual funds (decent risk for hers, S&P-based index funds for mine). I’m looking at the idea of rolling my 401k over into an IRA, where I have more ability to place it in investments I can control.

I think right now seems like a great time to jump out of the broader stock market and get into commodities (probably precious metals) and energy. After all, we’ve done fairly well in our generic stock market holdings over the past few years. But the market seems to be dropping out of a period of stable growth (as was evidenced in last Tuesday’s 400-point drop in the Dow), and that will destroy leveraged positions. Precious metals should do very well in an inflationary environment, and I think energy will carry some stability in an economic downturn, as energy usage is somewhat inelastic.

I was thinking about taking my wife’s holdings (about 33% of our total position) and splitting it between gold/silver directly and gold/silver mining stocks. I was then thinking of taking my holdings, and putting about half of it into the energy sector, and the other half in foreign holdings (if I can get them somewhere I think will avoid following America’s economic meltdown).

For those of you who understand investing a little better than I do, what do you think?

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 2:41 pm || Permalink || Comments (6) || Trackback URL || Categories: Economics, Personal Life, Ponderings

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