<%3Fxml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"%3F> Generic propecia side effects » Official Canadian Pharmacy ::: APPROVED pharmacy. .  Hopefully he will soon start getting compensated for his excellent writing.

---
Related Articles at The Baglady:


]]> http://baglady.dreamhosters.com/2010/09/21/reinvesting-my-blog-income/feed/ 5 Generic propecia side effects » Official Canadian Pharmacy ::: APPROVED pharmacy. http://baglady.dreamhosters.com/2010/05/04/my-thoughts-on-the-goldman-sachs-abacus-debacle/ http://baglady.dreamhosters.com/2010/05/04/my-thoughts-on-the-goldman-sachs-abacus-debacle/#comments Wed, 05 May 2010 06:23:50 +0000 admin http://baglady.dreamhosters.com/?p=546 Today Goldman Sachs was handed a $450k fine for violating a short selling rule and there is an ongoing civil suit concerning their role in creating and selling a synthetic CDO product called Abacus.   Here is what I think of the whole debacle.

First, let me tell you a little story.  Yesterday my mom called me and told me of an investment property she and my dad were considering.  Apparently the current owners bought two duplexes at the height of the bubble for $500,000 and put $250,000 down, and now these two buildings are listed for $77000 each.  My mom’s comment was, “isn’t this sad?  The hard working folks lost all the money and Wall Street won!” I basically replied to her and asked her what Wall Street won from this particular case.  The lender to the couple will lose money in this deal, and it seems to me that this couple just made a bad investment.  However, the general sentiment now is that all the bankers are to blame for everything ill in this world whether it is true or not.

The folks who bought Goldman’s Abacus product also made a bad investment, and it seems silly for them to complain that Goldman “knew” that the investment will go sour.  Seriously, can you really blame Goldman Sachs for people who do not pay their mortgages?  Did Goldman hold a gun to these people’s heads and force them to sign their loan documents and default?  I think it’s ridiculous to say that Goldman or Wall Street in general knew that the housing crisis was going to happen when almost EVERYONE and their pets’ fleas were caught in the real estate mania and truly believed that real estate prices will never fall. The contention here is that the person who helped create Abacus felt that the underlying investments would go sour so he was on the other side of the bet, but obviously the buyers of Abacus felt that it was a good investment because they would not have bought it otherwise. They also trusted the ratings companies that rated these underlying securities to be awesome. So this case seems like the buyers of these investments are feeling gypped that their bet went wrong.  The fact is that they had access to the data of every underlying security, and it is their fault for not doing their due diligence.

Although I am not a fan of market makers like Goldman Sachs because I feel that they control too much, in this case I think it is ridiculous to try them for fraud.  If they committed fraud because they selected a consultant who believed that the securities would fall, then perhaps all the people that lost money in real estate in recent years should sue the real estate agents of the sellers that they bought their homes from.  Perhaps those real estate agents counseled their clients into selling their homes because they felt that the real estate market peaked, and they gained from the sales financially.  Have they all committed fraud, too?  Goldman is an easy target because there is all this hate against big financial institutions now, but when will people own up to their  mistakes?  All the investors from the Wall Street banks that bought these CDOs to the “Main Street” duplex owners who lost money in the real estate bubble are only here because of their own greed and I am not shedding a tear for any of them.

As to the SEC, it almost seems like they’re trying to show that they are doing something productive after the .  In this case I agree with by selling Abacus.   I don’t know what kind of precedent this case would present to salivating lawyers.  What’s next?  Can anyone with a bearish opinion be sued when proven right?  Will investors start suing blogs like Calculated Risk and Doctor Housing Bubble for “creating” the real estate collapse by writing about their honest opinions about the real estate mania?  Lets be honest here, if the real estate bubble hasn’t popped yet then this lawsuit would not have been brought forth, and I really think that everyone should just accept their wins and losses in this whole madness and move on to better investment opportunities.

---
Related Articles at The Baglady:












]]>
http://baglady.dreamhosters.com/2010/05/04/my-thoughts-on-the-goldman-sachs-abacus-debacle/feed/ 1
Generic propecia side effects » Official Canadian Pharmacy ::: APPROVED pharmacy. http://baglady.dreamhosters.com/2009/04/08/why-i-still-have-not-finished-filing-my-taxes/ http://baglady.dreamhosters.com/2009/04/08/why-i-still-have-not-finished-filing-my-taxes/#comments Wed, 08 Apr 2009 21:50:20 +0000 admin http://baglady.dreamhosters.com/2009/04/08/why-i-still-have-not-finished-filing-my-taxes/ Yes I know there is only one week left, but it is not my fault that I am not done with my taxes.  It is really due to my ex-employer, and here is why.

Basically, I exercised my vested stock options when I left my last company.  Since the “market value” of the stock was more than my strike price I thought I might as well buy my shares.  This was all fine and dandy.  In the middle of last year the company issued a cash dividend on its shares, so I got a check for my shares.  That was also pretty awesome since the dividends covered about 1/3rd of the price I paid for the stock.

Now, since there was a dividend, the company issued a 1099-DIV for my taxes.  However, the funny thing is that they sent the 1099 with a letter that said that they OVERPAID dividends so there may be a corrected 1099-DIV coming in April.  I actually have never heard of this before.  So now my ex-coworkers and I are all waiting for this phantom 1099.

I am actually not quite sure what happens when a company overpays dividends.  They have not asked for any money back, but it seems that they have to account for the dividends a little differently on the 1099.  Does anyone know what is supposed to happen?

Anyway, since I do not have a tax refund, I am willing to submit my tax return as late as possible, but some ex-coworkers who are expecting returns are not so happy  about what is happening.  Private company stocks are really mysterious things, and I cannot find too much information. It is possible that I will just have to file and send in an amended return later, but it sure is annoying.

---
Related Articles at The Baglady:












]]>
http://baglady.dreamhosters.com/2009/04/08/why-i-still-have-not-finished-filing-my-taxes/feed/ 2
Generic propecia side effects » Official Canadian Pharmacy ::: APPROVED pharmacy. http://baglady.dreamhosters.com/2008/10/16/update-on-the-home-purchase/ http://baglady.dreamhosters.com/2008/10/16/update-on-the-home-purchase/#comments Thu, 16 Oct 2008 16:40:07 +0000 admin http://baglady.dreamhosters.com/2008/10/16/update-on-the-home-purchase/ So a couple weeks ago I wrote that we entered escrow for my husband’s parents’ home.  Since then, we have locked down a 30 year fixed mortgage at 5.875% with a 0.875% origination fee last week.  Looking back, I am so glad that we locked down the rate because a Our loan has no prepayment penalty so in the unlikely chance that mortgage rates ever sink significantly again we can always refinance.

Additionally, we also got dozens of disclosures, inspection reports, and the appraisal report.  I think the hubby is getting tired of reading all of these forms that explain to us what we’re getting into.  I find the disclosures very helpful, though.  Even though we are buying the home from someone we trust, we still need to know all the problems and issues the property has. I actually found out a lot of things I didn’t know previously about the house.  The hubby was reading the report and found a few surprises, too, but they were mostly minor.

The appraisal report showed six comparable properties and gave an appraised value range of $514k to $550k and I thought that was a fair estimate for the current market, but the appraiser did note in the report that the market could slip down further due to the tightening of credit and the amount of foreclosures in the area.  In fact one of the comparables he used was a bank owned property and it sold for $520k.   We’re technically purchasing it for quite a bit less than the lowest end of the appraisal so we will have some cushioning for the down market.  The good thing about the appraisal is that our lender should accept that the house is worth a lot more than the loan amount we’re seeking and we will not have  to get mortgage insurance.

Next, I did a lot of research into home insurance, and learned quite a bit about building materials and various natural disaster zones.  For example, the home has a concrete tile roof, which is considered one of the most long lasting roofing materials and some insurance companies actually give a discount for that.  The bad news is that the home is in a zone with high incidences of brush fire so a couple insurance companies actually refused to quote me.   In the end I settled with a policy sold by Nationwide, which offered the best balance of coverage and price.  I got more than ten quotes and the range of prices was from $440 to $1200 for varying amounts of coverage. Interestingly enough, the most expensive policy didn’t really cover more than some of the cheaper policies so I guess  it really pays to shop around when you are purchasing any kind of insurance.

Amidst all of this stock market turmoil, I am actually glad that I have this real estate transaction to focus on right now.  We are hoping to close in less than two weeks, and so far things have been going well.  I haven’t met any unscrupulous loan or real estate agents that some people say caused the current crisis.  The loan agent I dealt with was very straightforward and explained everything.  There were also many disclosures that are required by law that tell you what you are responsible for and that the real estate market doesn’t always go up.  So after going through this process I don’t think it’s fair to blame all the real estate professionals on the ground floor for the current meltdown.  A lot of them are people like you and me making an honest living.   Home buyers are really responsible for their own actions and everyone needs to do their due diligence before making any kind of big purchase or investment.
~

---
Related Articles at The Baglady:












]]>
http://baglady.dreamhosters.com/2008/10/16/update-on-the-home-purchase/feed/ 1
Generic propecia side effects » Official Canadian Pharmacy ::: APPROVED pharmacy. http://baglady.dreamhosters.com/2008/10/09/thank-goodness-for-the-dot-com-bubble/ http://baglady.dreamhosters.com/2008/10/09/thank-goodness-for-the-dot-com-bubble/#comments Thu, 09 Oct 2008 23:16:43 +0000 admin http://baglady.dreamhosters.com/2008/10/09/thank-goodness-for-the-dot-com-bubble/ Today the Dow Jones Industrials dipped below 9000, and it seems that there is no end in sight. Believe me, I am feeling the pain in my 401ks and IRAs, but life goes on, and I still have a job and I am still quite busy. I truly believe that the reason I and many others have a job right now in the Silicon Valley is because of the last bubble. When the NASDAQ lost more than half of its value and dot coms died left and right the Valley returned to frugality and good business practices and we all should be thankful for it.

When the last bubble happened I just started at UC Berkeley, so I missed all of the crazy IPOs and block parties. After I graduated, I did join a startup, but it was clear that it operated very frugally. It was profitable and maintained a positive cash flow with only one round of venture funding. This company is still operating right now. Since then I have joined two more small private companies and both operated the same way. Overall, I think the companies thriving in the Valley now are better quality businesses than those companies that shot up to $300 a share on the Nasdaq and then died in an ignominious fashion complete with auctions of office furniture.

As a result of the dot com bubble, even venerable technology companies became more frugal than they were and held onto their cash. This is why Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard are able to do stock buybacks this year. My last company actually issued a stock dividend because they had the cash to do so. At least technology companies became more aware of the importance of having a cash reserve for a rainy day, and it sure is pouring right now.

Another thing that happened in the Valley is that IPOs became as elusive as albino koalas. Again, I believe this is a positive thing because if there were rampant IPOs then companies would have overhired again and the fall would be very very hard. A more popular exit strategy for small companies was to be purchased by Google/Yahoo/Microsoft, and again, these large companies were able to do these acquisitions because they held onto oodles of cash.

I hope the housing bubble will serve as a lesson to everyone involved just like the dot come bubble did to the tech industry. The technology sector has become wiser and is now on more solid footing than a lot of other industries. We will all feel pain from the fallout of this financial crisis, but hopefully banks will return to better business practices and people will learn to live more frugal lives. That is actually exactly what happened after the Great Depression. We had a generation of extremely frugal folks and decades where the middle class prospered, but unfortunate history is often forgotten, and repeats itself over and over again.

---
Related Articles at The Baglady:












]]>
http://baglady.dreamhosters.com/2008/10/09/thank-goodness-for-the-dot-com-bubble/feed/ 7