Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Joining The Yakezie Challenge

I decided that a little motivation would get me to write more regularly so I have joined the Yakezie Challenge. Although I'm not overly optimistic, I am feeling a little entrepreneurial!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Occupy Wall Street - The Rules Have Not Changed

Ahh, entitlement rears its ugly head again.

Protests are bubbling across the country with Zuccoti Park near Wall Street functioning as the de facto capital.  Unemployed individuals, some by choice and others not, have coalesced in a show of disapproval of the "1%".

Volumes have been written and said about the (lack of) demands, (muddy expectations of) potential satisfaction, and (lack of clear) intended changes sought by the protestors so I have nothing to add to that.  I would just like like to clearly point out that the rules of the game have not changed since societies first began to gather ages ago.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Awesome Power Of Bread

Do you take your lunch to work?


For years I've prepared a lunch in the morning to take with me to work.  I was motivated by two things: saving money, and saving calories.  But how much am I actually saving?


Friday, May 6, 2011

Can I Retire Yet?

Not even close.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

You Don't Deserve Your Parents Money

An open letter to the entitled:

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Realtors As Mafia?

The Internet should have destroyed real estate agents.

But it didn't.

Why?

Friday, April 29, 2011

Can I Retire Yet?

So, I once again reviewed the numbers. 

And I fell short.

No retirement yet.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Danger of Unlimited Salad and Breadsticks

Darden Restaurants, Inc. operates 1,824 restaurants in the US and Canada, overwhelmingly represented by Olive Garden and Red Lobster.

Brinker International, Inc. has interests in 1,550 eateries under the Chili's, Maggiano's, and Macaroni Grill banners.

OSI Restaurant Partners, LLC privately controls Outback Steakhouse, Carrabbas, Bonefish Grill, Roy's, and Flemings locations around the world.

These entities, among others, have enormous control over the casual dining market and achieved this success by focusing on consistency and controlled expansion by standardizing raw ingredient sources and preparation techniques.  Diners can walk into any of these locations and know exactly what they'll get and probably even know the exact calorie count of what they end up eating. 

The freebies don't hurt either.  More bread sticks?  Yes, please.

Effectively commoditizing the restaurant experience has created monstrous financial empires, but at what cost?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Wealth In America - Part II

Part I here.

The second factor, I believe, is more destructive:  lifestyle inflation.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Can I Retire Yet?

Time for my weekly checkup.

Can I retire yet?

Nope.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Rethin(k) Your 401(k)

Most people are intimately familiar with 401(k) accounts and how they function by ultimately providing value through company matches (free money) and tax advantages (pay later) so I'm not going to drill into the details. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Wealth In America - Part I

Vanity Fair recently published an article detailing the disparity of wealth distribution in this country, ultimately concluding that the upheaval currently being experienced in the Middle East could spread to the US, if the general population ultimately feels it has no upward mobility and continues to feel the pressure of a depressed labor market coupled with further increases in the cost of living.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Can I Retire Yet?

Occasionally I'll take a look at my finances and see if I can retire yet.

So here goes.

Nope.  Can't retire yet.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Living On The Minimum Wage

Is it possible for a single person to survive while earning the minimum wage?  This question has been explored many times and in some cases, fully tested.  But I wanted to prepare my own quick analysis framed by the current economic climate in order to draw my own conclusions.