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TaxMasters: The REAL bankruptcy experts! TaxMasters: The REAL bankruptcy experts!(0)

Today is a great day for everyone who is tired of those painful TaxMasters commercials on TV. Hopefully the ads will be ending because the ads will be ending soon since the company filed for bankruptcy. After several complaints, and probably an overextended advertising budget, the company had nowhere to go. So say goodbye to the bearded dude!

Air Jordans make a comeback Air Jordans make a comeback(1)

Air Jordan’s have made a comeback! In fact people were lined up like it was black Friday. When the store doors opened they stampeded through, trampling on people in front of them just to get a pair. There were no shoppers pepper spraying each other. However, in some places police had to pepper spray the shoppers.

The Air Jordan’s were put out for a limited release. The shoes have a hefty selling price of $180.00. The shoes are a retro model of an earlier Air Jordan’s that have made the unbelievable comeback.

Just to get a product however, almost caused riots, deaths and did cause injuries. Some shoppers even brought weapons with them for their buying frenzy. No weapon was left home. Knifes and guns went along to the stores. Belief it or not, knifes and guns were actually used.

Unfortunately, for some people they did not get the shoes. They did however; earn themselves a trip to jail. This seems to be a trend for Air Jordan’s. Twenty years ago there was also violence when an earlier version of the shoes made its way to the market.

Now, it seems to be that the thievery will start. A material item, such as these shoes that cause such as frenzy quite often leads to people stealing them. So for all those people who did manage to score a pair of these shoes, good luck keeping them.

Beer is helping the economy Beer is helping the economy(1)

A study released this week by the University of Northern Colorado, suggest that breweries, are enhancing the local economy. According to CSU economists, Martin Shields and Michael Marturana, the six Fort Collins breweries employ over 938 people and boost the local economy by more then $83 million dollars. The report claims the breweries employment rate has steadily grown in the last ten years by 22%. Other business in Larimer County have only grown about 6.3%. Further data from the report suggests that each job at a local brewery, produces another 1.7 more jobs to the country, further enhancing the local economy by almost $142 million dollars. The researchers believe there is other ancillary revenue being generated by restaurants that brew beer, like Rock Bottom in Loveland, however those sources of beer revenue were not considered in the study, because the food revenues would have been too hard to discern.

Although Loveland’s breweries were not calculated in the study, do to data issues, the region is forecasted to be haven for continued brewery growth. One such brewery in Loveland was opened in 2010, Grimm Brothers. This brewery has been constantly expanding it’s operation, because the demand requires expansion. The breweries beer are currently available in most area restaurants, but a spokesperson for the brewery, say new technology is planned to make the beer available to liquor stores. Governor John Hickenlooper calls the region, “the Napa Valley of craft beer.” According to a book, “Mountain Brew” the state has 110 breweries and produces more beer then any other state. Many experts, credit the laws and regulations of Colorado as a reason why the industry enjoys study growth in the state. Some have credited Colorado as a state of adventure enthusiasts and they say it goes hand in hand with a desire to test and cultivate extremes.

South Florida (Fort Lauderdale) Ikea Review South Florida (Fort Lauderdale) Ikea Review(0)

I just came back from a trip to our South Florida Ikea. I was very excited to go there as I have heard so much about it.

The sheer size of the building and parking garage is incredible. They are located off of Interstate 595 West of Fort Lauderdale. I believe the city is Sunrise.

I would have never imagined that we were still in a recession as I could barely find a parking spot. After finding my way in to the building I followed the arrows and started my way through the store with my shopping cart.

Looking around at the products, many of them looked very interesting. I was excited that I found a better store than Target.

Stepping away from my cart for a few feet, I turned in time to see someone grab my cart and walk off. Ok, no problem. Comes with the territory of shopping in one of these big stores in an area packed with people.

I continued on. I actually found some very nice lighting systems that on first inspection looked great. Closer inspection revealed that they were made in China and a piece actually broke off in my hand as I was holding it.

After spending another hour in the store, I couldn’t wait to get out. I was trapped in the Ikea maze. There is no easy way to exit once you enter. You have to follow through to the end. I also came to the conclusion that the items looked really nice on first look. They just turned out being very cheaply made. I found all tags from China. I also realized why so many people in a recession where shopping. The items are so very inexpensive.

The main problem with buying these inexpensive items is that they are also cheaply made.

One final note, I did buy some glassware. As I was leaving the maze, I needed a bag to put my glassware. I found one next to the register, loaded up my items and headed for the door. An employee stopped me from walking off. I thought she wanted to check the contents of my bag. She actually wanted to tell me that I had to pay .50 for my bag.

I don’t think I will be shopping at Ikea again.

Is Ikea worth shopping at?

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Should I Stop Investing In Stocks? Should I Stop Investing In Stocks?(0)

Do people actually make money investing in the stock market?

I have been investing for the past 11 years. I just calculated my earnings in this time period. I am actually down in my investments since I started.

I have been adding money almost monthly for this whole period. As I earned more income, I have increased my monthly deposit.

At first I thought that maybe I didn’t know what I was doing until I started looking at some charts. Check out the MSFT (microsoft) chart for the past ten years. Ten years ago today Microsoft stock was at 41. As of this morning, MSFT is at 23. Where did all of the money go? How can this stock be almost halved in 10 years? I know for a fact Microsoft has made a profit every single quarter in those ten years.

Who got our money? Bill Gates is rich. Steve Balmer is rich. The employees are rich. Everyone but the investors are rich.

For this example I chose Microsoft as they are the easiest target. What about the other thousands of stocks out there. Many of them are the same story.

I am done investing in the stock market. Someone stole my money.

Auto Insurance Industry Growth Slows Auto Insurance Industry Growth Slows(0)

In 2002, the automobile insurance industry grew by 15%. During the past three years, growth has been only 3% per year.  The two largest car insurance providers in the U.S. are State Farm and Allstate but Geico and Progressive have been threatening their dominance through  unique branding, direct sales expertise, and state of the art technology.

According to auto analyst Michael Grasher , “Geico and Progressive are clearly the innovators in this field, and it’s helped them continue to bring in business despite the recession.”  Traditionally however, the main objective is not to gain more new customers or compete to offer the cheapest insurance but to keep your existing customers happy and in that department Allstate and State Farm currently have the edge.

Although many Americans have forestalled buying new cars they spent nearly $160 billion for premiums on their personal automobile insurance. But since they’re either selling some of the cars they own or waiting longer to buy a newer car, fewer policies are being sold.

In a highly competitive industry, auto insurers spent over $1 billion advertising cheapest insurance products in 2009.

Each brand of auto insurance has a different methodology in selling their products. Some focus on cheapest insurance prices while others focus on better service. Because insurance needs can be very personal many people shop around and weigh their options before making their final decision.

Columbia Sportswear stock highest in almost a year Columbia Sportswear stock highest in almost a year(0)

Columbia Sportswear Co.’s stock value reached it’s peak at almost $70 in 2007 and fell ever since together with the rest of the economy. The past six months however have been particularly good for the footwear and apparel company. With the purchase of Zappos by Internet giant ebay, Columbia shoes has seen a boost in sales and popularity.

The stock has been upgraded in status and the trend is looking up.  To add more interest to the brand, Columbia apparel recently announced a lower-priced line of products to appeal to a larger market.

In a related story, Columbia Sportswear opened a lawsuit against a former footwear designer, alleging that he used company time, equipment and information to do work for competitors.

Jim Cramer Takes It On The Chin Jim Cramer Takes It On The Chin(0)

Jon Stewart took it to Jim Cramer once again last night. This time he did it face to face.

I have read a lot of articles and watched the debate. Jim Cramer feigned that he was contrite but this was not difficult to see through.

It was very enlightening to see how Cramer really reacts when faced with another person who questions him for once. He has his one man show on ‘Mad Money’ CNBC, where he sets everything up in his way and he is not open to debate.

Cramer was like a deer in the headlights. When questioned directly about specific issues and video taped interviews, Cramer was a typical politician and went off on tangents without answering the direct question. I just spent the 2008 election year listening to seasoned politicians avoiding direct questions. I saw right through Cramer. From my viewpoint a man who has made millions in the market should be much more intelligent than the man I watched take it on the chin in the Stewart interview.

When asked about his complicit statements in the video displayed in the debate, Cramer had no answer. He diverted the question to the fact that he has no control on CEO’s and when they appear on his program and lie. Cramer continued with these responses when in fact Stewart was not even referring to such incidents. Cramer was on tape in an interview stating how he has manipulated the market before and how other hedge fund managers can do it to this day (meaning day of interview). What this had to do with CEO’s lying to him, I have no idea? Finally frustrated, Stuart answered Cramer. “Isn’t it your job to then investigate these CEO’s? You take them at their word.”

Jim Cramer retire and get out of the business. You have just proven to the world that you are a self aggrandizing pontificator who has nothing to provide the public. You do not have any great knowledge that can help others get ‘rich’ in the markets as you continually rant.

Run On The Banks? Run On The Banks?(0)

Call me crazy but I just saw that the Standard & Poor’s 500 index is now down 56.4 percent from its peak in October 2007, making it the second worst slide for the index since its fall of 86.2 percent from 1929-32.

With Citibank trading at or around $1 a share, what happens if it goes to 0?

Will there be a run on the banks?

Can this happen at this day and age?

I am thinking it happened once before and history tends to repeat itself, this could happen. Word to the wise, stash some cash. You never  know.

Let me know if you think I am crazy or not.

Is It Time Again to Invest In Oil Stocks? Is It Time Again to Invest In Oil Stocks?(0)

Today Exxon Mobile reported how it plans to keep the world supplied with oil. Rex Tillerson, the CEO of Exxon reported a bunch of new findings and outlined his plan for the future.

From the Tillerson report, I heard that for the fifteenth year in a row, it had more new discoveries than current production. Tillerson also reported that the oil industry has the production levels to produce 4 or 5 million more barrels a day than the world consumes. When oil was going for the high price of $147 per barrel, there was only a mere 1 or 2 million excess capacity per day available.

The report from Tillerson in and of itself was quite interesting. What is even more interesting is that less than 1 year ago today, I could not find many articles on oil production that did not state we were running out of the product.

I had scoured cnn money, fortune, forbes, money magazine, CNBC, Fast Money on CNBC and the king of all oil pumpers, Jim Cramer. They were all endlessly reporting how oil was a commodity that was simply running out. 

I do admit that I have a bone to pick with these prognosticators. I actually started listening to Jim Cramer when he would spout about how all oil plays were a must have in all portfolios. Not to mention the self-aggrandizing Dylan Radigan and his cohorts Guy Adami, Jeff Macke, Pete Najarian, and Karen Finerman from Fast Money.

If you will check back to their stock picks for oils stocks as little as 6 months ago, you will see them all down in the neighborhood of 50+%. Nice record. How can they now be the same people that are still all over the news spouting about how prices were out of hand.

It just burns me up every time I now see Mr Pompous Radigan and blowhard Jim Cramer being used as ‘experts’ on how to get through the recession. These bumbling boneheads were one of the main reasons why we are in this fix to begin with.

Thanks guys, can’t wait to see your next Matt Lauer interview. 

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