Centavos Dividend Portfolio: Uptrend Update

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The market popped a bit yesterday, and what better time to post a dividend portfolio update? This is the way the portfolio looked with last month's share quantities, and yesterday's stock prices: It's an ugly ugly sight, those red minus numbers in the return column.  A total return of -1.93% makes for sad faces.  Thankfully, after a few adjustments for additional shares bought and dividends received and re-invested, things are better, if only by a little: Here's a summary of notable happenings and changes: [1] Purchased 50 more shares of Silver Wheaton (SLW) at around $30 a share, bringing the total to a nice round 200 shares.  SLW tripled its dividend (!!) from $0.03 to $0.09 per share, bumping the yield to a barely … [Read more...]

A Brief History of Insurance

The Clipper Ship "Flying Cloud" off the Needles, Isle of Wight, by James E. Buttersworth, 1859-60.

The need to protect ourselves against risks is one of the oldest and most primal instinct. From thorny kraals and fires to keep out prey animals at night, to having a rear guard to defend the supply wagon train from attack, humans have always sought to ensure safety and security. Insurance dates back to ancient Egypt, to 2,700 BC. Historians believe that guilds of stonemasons banded together to create a type of mutual assurance fund to cover their funerary expenses. There is similar recorded evidence of the assurance funds for masons in the the Roman Empire. The human endeavor most directly responsible for the development of risk insurance was surely maritime trade and navigation. Once early traders set sail in a hugely expensive … [Read more...]

GET RICH WITH PENNY MINING STOCKS!! (not really, it’s just this week’s roundup of worthwhile links)

"Half Dome Apple Orchard - Yosemite", by Ansel Adams --- what's this picture got to do with silver mining stocks?  Nothing... I just like it.

There are voices starting to rumble that another major market dip is coming soon. On Market Watch this morning, there was a column presaging doom and gloom: A Black Friday On Wall Street Looms This Year …. The European markets are open Thursday as the crisis continues to deepen. News that it’s now affecting German debt sales rattled investors worldwide Wednesday and rocked U.S. stocks for their sixth loss in as many trading days. The declines wiped out a near-term support level of 1,192 on the S&P 500 index, as it closed just under 1,162. So while a holiday miracle is always possible — perhaps the IMF steps in to bail out Europe — if it doesn’t happen, then we’ll be chasing headlines and European stocks early Friday … [Read more...]

Eat Drink and Be Larry. Happy Thanksgiving!!


Just a few things to be thankful for as we gather round the table for lots of fine eats and vittles. I'm thankful to have family around to tell stories to and with. Grateful that unlike millions in developing countries, we're all in good health and have a roof over our heads;  access to clean drinking water; are safe from infections disease; have a full pantry; have the means and property to grow some of our food; and enjoy peace and tranquility in our daily life. Grateful that we have ready access to (expensive) medical care. Incredibly thankful for my beautiful bride of seventeen years and two wonderful boys. Thankful that our politicians are not as blatantly corrupt as in other parts of the world (at least they're … [Read more...]

Pepper Plants and Permaculture Design Principles


I noticed something pretty neat in my garden the other day. The first frost has come and gone. The basil, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, tomatillos and beans have all been killed off by the cold temperatures. That's OK, they're all warm-weather summer plants, and this just one more sign that the seasons are turning and we shift into new activities for the year. So, all are dead, leaves blackened and shriveled, waiting to be cut down and made ready for the compost pile. Except one little “hot apache” pepper plant. This little guy volunteered, meaning the seed was carried by winds or rain into the little crevice between the paving stones and border stones. Seemed like one day, hello!, he was just there. The photo of the … [Read more...]

Why The US Dollar May Rally in 2014

The Federal Reserve has injected over $2.5 trillion into the U.S. economy since the subprime collapse and resulting credit crisis in 2008. Just today, Bank of America released a report that stated they believe there is a 35%-40% chance the U.S. will enter into a mild recession in 2012. Doomsday preachers have been touting for a while that the dollar is doomed. It will only be a matter of time, they say, before America experiences hyperinflation in similar to fashion to Germany in the early 20th century, when the German currency became so debased that you couldn’t buy a loaf of bread with an entire wheelbarrow of currency!  Note from 101C:  Only for the regular pumpernickel.  The really good 12-grain stuff fetched *two* wheelbarrows … [Read more...]

Random Reads

Random Doodle #45

Maybe it's the investment theme that I was on this week, but most of my blog reads this past week were focused on investing and stocks.  I was also busy re-building my Centavos portfolio spreadsheets, and looking hard at the next trades. This week, there will probably be a re-focus on gardening. I've been cleaning up the backyard gardens this weeken, and will have some thoughts to share on garden economics and permaculture.  On to some great reads! Investing Evan @ My Journey To Millions has a little advice for young folks with Why Young Investors Shouldn't Shy From Stocks After young investors get done with MJTM, they can head on over to Canadian Finance Blog, and brush up on How To Calculate Your Adjusted Cost Base Beating The … [Read more...]

Career Tip #14 – Right Vs. Wrong


I asked this question once of an interview candidate: "When is there a right time to do the wrong thing?" The candidate didn't even blink. The answer came out immediately, reflexively:  "There's never a right time".    Bingo!  Correct answer for the interview setting, but not quite correct in a real world setting. The right answer would have been "almost never". I've personally had do to some "gray" things in the course of my career.  Nothing illegal, of course, but the of the kind that make you squirm a little and want to take a good shower when you get home. Case in point:    I'm a procurement manager in my day job.  Back charges to suppliers for errors or warranties or slipped are rare, but they do occur. In large … [Read more...]

Dividend Paying European Oil Majors – ENI Spa vs. Total SA

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Pasta or pate'? Chianti or Bordeaux? The notion of "diversifying" into the European oil sector has been on  my mind. The Europeans favor strong national oil companies, with secure markets. While my inner  anarcho-libertarian fervently detests monopolies,  from a rational investment perspective it is what it is.   I've been weighing a choice between ENI and TOTAL.  As I wrote in an earlier post last week, ENI crossed my radar screen due to a visit nearby one of its refineries. I liked some of the things they were doing with outsourcing. Both Italian major ENI SpA (E) and French giant TOTAL S.A (TOT). are huge companies, with market caps in the tens of billions.  Tens of thousands of employees, operations in many different … [Read more...]

A Counterintuitive Roundup Of Links

Random Doodle #44 - because it wouldn't be a roundup of links without at least one post-it doodle....

  Less Traffic Signs, More or Less Accidents?  Less regulation, more or less innovation and growth? This week's question brought to you courtesy of a Wired.com article on traffic signs in Europe: Roads Gone Wild No street signs. No crosswalks. No accidents. Surprise: Making driving seem more dangerous could make it safer. Hans Monderman is a traffic engineer who hates traffic signs. Oh, he can put up with the well-placed speed limit placard or a dangerous curve warning on a major highway, but Monderman considers most signs to be not only annoying but downright dangerous. To him, they are an admission of failure, a sign - literally - that a road designer somewhere hasn't done his job. "The trouble with traffic … [Read more...]