Mom and Pop pop

I wrote yesterday about commercial real estate is headed downhill. Today I saw a blurb for an article by NYU Stern saying Amazon is killing location New York shop owners. So my thinking we could say is in line with that of NYU, but this is nothing new.

The transfer of consumables and household items from storefront to online is a threat but there is hope in the services industry. As people can’t get thier haircare, childcare, medical care or any human or animal body work in a box. Additionally car repair (those who still have them), home repair(those who still have them), police, fireman, politicians and municipal services.

So the world as we know it will change and retail stores will diminish. People will still need last minute outfits that make them look good. As long as looking good or attracting a mate is a thing. Until that is deemed descriminatory or offensive.

State of real

Reading a Bloomberg article this morning regarding commercial property landlord debt, coupled with the ongoing environment of shrinking of brick and mortar stores including Walmart, Macy’s and many others. I do not expect commercial real estate to do anything but become devalued. There will be more warehousing needed but less retail space. With the “now” or “just in time” economy and the on demand delivery of consumables, who needs a retail store, market or local walk-in customer service location? Additionally if the Obamacare Tax is repealed the insurance companies and proportionally the hospital’s will have to tighten thier belts and scale back thier campus sizes. I expect that warehousing and personal storage facilities will be growth areas.

With the government leaning towards domestic manufacturing the shipping companies such as Hanjin and Maersk will continue to suffer. Unless they find other markets to and from Asia. This will be a great opportunity for developing nations to negotiate lower prices for goods America will no longer accept. Still thier consumption will not compensate fully for the US market that they will loose.

In conclusion, commercial real estate sucks with the exception of warehousing. Also, though I did not discuss, residential properties will continue to do well because the investors running away from commercial rentals will take thier dollars to the residential market.

Get back to work.

I don’t consider myself a right wing person. I would consider mystelf a conservative. I believe in conserving the environment, energy and money Also I believe in preserving certain cultural behaviors dealing with harmonious human interaction. Unfortunately the word conservative in America doesn’t convey such warm feelings. It is interpreted as an adverserial and antagonist way of thinking. Understandably the political conservatives historically have been against environmental conservation, energy conservation and fiscal conservation in thier massive defense spending. I’m just stating what most people think, I am not bashing conservatives.

I’m writing now to discuss and even applaud the new Trump administration’s job creation. I believe the president has done a good job even before his first day in saving jobs here by putting fear into manufacturers. This should be applauded unless you like having people dependent upon the state which results in increased texes. The government has to get that money from somewhere. It’s like osmosis.

There has been a good amount of discuss regarding labor. Heath insurance, minimum wage, unions, guaranteed minimum income, helicopter money, right to work, worker cooperatives and more. I’m only choosing to write about my limited understanding of right to work states. My assumptions are they are usually Red States, anti-union, anti-minimum wage and pro corporate tax breaks. All qualities attractive to companies seeking to outsource within the domestic United States. The current president is making it hard to outsource labor outside of the US so I expect that there will be a hot potatoe game of corporations relocating to these states. According to google the list of states are as follows:

Alabama,Arizona, Arkansas, Kansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi,Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dhhakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Though these states are attractive to colorations they are also some of the most debt laden and suck from the federal government. Unlike worker friendly blue  states that contribute to the Federal government coffers.

In the short term there will be an influx of growth due to the things I just mentioned in addition to lowered environmental regulations and promotion of gas/oil exploration. In the long term the tax deferring will cause deficits, the oil will dry up and the earth/air/water will be polluted.

It will be profitable buy stocks in utilities from now until I assume end of 2018/2019. Barring a weather event or other man made devastation economic or physical. That is when all the speculation will be taking place. We have already seen a lot of speculation since November 2 2016 that business will prosper under the current president. But there are still many late coming suckers/speculators that will help to boost the price of shares in the next maybe 24 months.

So lets get back to work, in the oil fields, in the coal mines, in the automotive factories and without healthcare, without a minimum wage, without union protection. Hey at least we’re working right?

 

Everybody’s Kampf

I wrote this post earlier on my phone. Tap, tap tap, and poof I destroyed somehow.

Breaking from tradition as I periodically do. I am gong to write about a topic that I consider only a effeminate or mentally/egotistically/emotionally weak man would write about. That is the topic of relationships.

What prompted me to discuss this topic is the torturous marriage of my family member. The Abu Gharib slash Guantanomo slash Black Site slash Siberian Work camp of a marriage my nuclear family member is enduring. I will call him Jean.

Jean is a optimistic, gentle, hippy, dreamer  similar to a  1970s American dad minus the drugs and long hair. He has worked hard to allow his wife to be able to stay home an not have had to work for the past 15 years. She is more of a medieval Shakespearean shrew. So they are living in two different eras. She feels entitled to be a kept woman, while simultaneously not keeping home. Jean has to not only work in the outside world but he has to come home and execute the domestic projects also. Her logic is that her contribution of producing children entitles her to a lifetime retirement that started at 20 years old.

I have been observing their relation-shit for the past 15 years and have been aware of her destruction of property, her physical attacks, her violent outbursts and her misappropriation and waste of finances. Jean is prideful so I have to obtain my information by-proxy through third parties. She has even made verbal attacks towards my person unprovoked.

Now, the added tragedy is that I, with first hand and second hand experience of that relationship have entered into a similar one. One where I a giving, giving, giving and she is demanding, taking, taking and taking some more. In addition to that eating, expanding and aging. Now after that last line I probably lost 80% of female reader’s attention but I will continue. I am no Ronaldo or George Clooney but what I have lost(minimally) in aesthetics I have compensated for in increased net worth and a more affable demeanor. As its doubly hindering to be abrasive and hard on the eyes. I will add that I believe myself deserving of my lot, as I have been a pig, playboy and womanizer in past relationships. So it may be karma.

My lady conversely suffers also from my lack of emotion, my reluctance to conform to her whims and my nagging about financial discipline. My constant advice is interpreted as negative criticism and “judging.” From her perspective I do not provide her with sexual experimentation aka I am “not a freak” enough for her. Before I forget I am also cheap. I am certain she could explain it in a better fashion and of course I am biased towards my own perspective. So you may have to stretch and embellish on my list of flaws.

Jean and I have the same father, and he used to always say to us “You have to sleep in your bed the way you spread it.” A very defeated and depressing if not profound statement. He(Dad) himself felt he was deserving of punishment for his breaking hearts during his youth and not living up to his academic potential, wasting career opportunities but instead choosing to be a hippy during  the 1970s. My mother could list his many transgressions. She was the ambitious career person in their relationship.

To think of it now that I am writing these things down, I recall that my other brother has a abusive girlfriend. I don’t have time to get into his  plight but he probably deserves it the most. Hes a real pariah to the world. If you asked his girlfriend she could relay a long list of his transgressions.

I know of no relationship that has any similarity to that of the 1950s American family. The delusion of the ideal relationship or family is unrealistic. It may be a goal to reach towards but without a lot of therapy, forgiveness, respect and discipline-wait. Forget all those things. The ideal family is a myth. The ideal person, which is a component of a family is a myth. Organic beings are inherently imperfect. Not even diamond are perfect. The bigger picture from the outside, standing at a distance, if the light hits it just right, may seem perfect. Under further inspection there are cracks, dirt, voids and weak points.

The wife, the husband, the cat, the dog, the fish, the hampster, the bird, and the bacteria are all facing a struggle to coexist with the other life forms in the environment. Each with their individual perspective which they feel legitimizes their case that they are suffering and their interest deserves the highest priority. Then there are sad weak enablers that are masochist who love to endure punishment. From the least celled life form all the way up to a whale. From a self immolating monk to Adolf Hitler has their struggle.

My Championship Sports Picks

2016 is setting up to be a historic year in regards to elections. The republican and democratic party have respectively and reluctantly chosen their presidential candidates. Through his marketing genius and ability to entertain Mr. Trump has eliminated and eviscerated the other GOP candidates. Similarly, through inherited political connections, promises and skulduggery Mrs. Clinton eliminated Bernie sanders and the primary ballots especially in New York are at the deepest end of the Hudson River. Trump is running a traditional Republican marketing campaign of values and low taxes. He himself is of questionable values but at least he follows through in being an advocate for lower taxes by himself not paying any taxes.

In essence and in effect they are both of highly questionable mores. That is why I suspect I will vote for Gary Johnson. He doesn’t know Aleppo from Adobo but I don’t care as long as he knows and focuses on what is going on here in America.

Just as important or possibly more important are the many local elections. I will list my championship team pics below. Some were chosen because I could not locate an online presence for their opponent, they were cute(Helen Voutsinas) or they had campaign  which I found noble. They come from Gree, Democratic and Republican parties. Enjoy.

Gary Johnson – President
Robin Laverne Wilson – US Senator
Edmund M. Dane – 10th District Supreme Court Judge
Du Wane Gregory – 2nd Congressional District Representative
Jack M. Martins – 3rd Congressional District Representative
Kathleen M. Rice – 4th Congressional District Representative
Gregory W. Meeks – 5th Congressional District Representative
Ellen R. Greenberg – Family Court Judge
Ayesha Keri Brantley – Family Court Judge
Eileen C. Daly-Sapraicone – Family Court Judge
Darlene D. Harris – Family Court Judge
Helen Voutsinas – 2nd District Court Judge
Eileen J, Goggin – 2nd District Court Judge
James F. Gaughran – 5th New York State District Senate
Ryan E. Cronin – 6th New York State District Senate
Adam M. Haber – 7th New York State District Senate
John E. Brooks – 8th New York State District Senate
Todd D. Kaminsky – 9th New York State District Senate
Joseph S Saladino – 9th New York State District Assembly
Charles D. Lavine – 13th New York State District Assembly
Michael F. Reid – 14th New York State District Assembly
Dean E. Hart – 15th New York State District Assembly
Anthony D’Urso – 16th New York State District Assembly
Matthew W Malin – 17th New York State District Assembly
Earlene Hooper – 18th New York State District Assembly
Gary B. Port – 19th New York State Assembly
Anthony P. Eramo – 20th New York State Assembly
Travis P Bourgeois – 21st New York State Assembly
Michaelle C. Solanges – 22nd New York State Assembly
Douglas P. Mayer – 4th Council District Town of Hempstead
Arnold W. Drucker – 16th New York State District Legislator

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I love my wife.

Now this may be out of character, but when you reach male mid-life crisis or what I call(probably a lot of others said it before) man-on-pause, you begin to do a few things out of your character.

I recently and reluctantly upgraded to a new Android phone from a Windows 8.1 Nokia Lumina 640 phone. I thoroughly enjoyed the phone with few exceptions mostly related to the lack of support from app developers. The Windows phone 7/8 OS had more bundled features in the beginning. After 8.1 came out things started going downhill  Here are a list of gripes:

  • My Bloomberg app was filled with bugs and stopped getting updates.
  • The Instagram, Twitter, Facebook apps were not fully functional due to lack of updates.
  • Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Marketwatch apps crashed often.
  • All the cool new popular social apps(AirBnB, Snapchat etc were not available)

Overall the good features outweighed the bad. The few limitations were not a problem for me as the phone was already a distraction enough. It was very good at:

  • Low price
  • Durable Case
  • Keeping up with the news
  • Syncing emails
  • Listening to the radio on TuneIn
  • Calculator
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Voice Commands
  • Organizing photographs, podcasts and music
  • Opening documents(Acrobat, Word)
  • Internet hot-spot sharing
  • Battery life
  • GPS(Mapquest app, not the built in Bing maps)

There were more features that made the phone great for a person who needed it to communicate, do business and basic entertainment. It was not so great for social(government intrusion) activities like Facebook live, periscope, twitter video, Snapchat, etc. The windows phone could have picked up where Blackberry left off, but it was crushed by the marketing geniuses at Apple(and Samsung aka poor mans Apple). House of cards and other shows had a few Windows Phone product placements, but those are shows targeted to middle aged people like myself.There was no marketing to the youth, the hip-hop community, the druggy community, the nerd community, the sports community or any other large demographic. You would think a company who made one of the richest men on earth would throw a few coins to IAC to come up with a viral campaign. I felt betrayed this year after Microsoft announced that they would no longer be manufacturing windows phones. They just recently purchased Nokia’s mobile phone division and not barely 3 years later shut it down. That to me is the sign of a quitter. Currently Apple has a desktop PC market share of something like 17%(don’t quote me). They still have not quit. Microsoft frankly is like the Knicks. Highest paid and talented, but still can not get over.

Now to get to the title of this post, I saved the best Windows 8.1 feature for last for a reason. If you have bared to take the time to read my rant you deserve a little candy.

Last year when I was going through man-on-pause, I began dating one, two, three, maybe four people simultaneously. At times they would call me when I was on a date with another and this made me uncomfortable and frankly nervous. Thankfully Windows is a great wing-man and included a feature that allowed me to block calls and texts selectively. The calls would get dropped and not go to voicemail, and texts would be held in a certain area of the device and not make an alert. Later on when my date was over I could go to this area and see that I had a missed call or the text that was blocked. I would then text or call back the blocked person saying that I did not see their call or text, which was effectively true. So this enabled me to be comfortable and not get interrupted. Also, as the Windows Phone market share is so minuscule, the majority of people would not know how to operate the  phone to get to the area, so I wouldn’t get busted. I really miss this feature as it is not available on Android. I have to do so much real time manipulation of my phone not to get busted it is not worth the advantages of having fully functional social(government intrusion) apps. There was only one occasion where someone got around the block but it was a result of them being blocked for weeks without any follow-up. They called from a different phone number, but thankfully I was at a safe place(work). I am not married yet, but if I was, and I got busted, then had to go to divorce court and they told me I had to part with 50% of my assets, I would say weeping “I love my wife.” Like they say, [It’s cheaper to keep her.]

 

 

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Living on the cheap

Recently I made a new male friend. This is rare for me as I am weary about having any new friends at this age. I have a complete collector’s set of useful, useless, user and multi-dimensional friends already.

Now this middle aged gentleman by all appearances is worldly, charismatic, youthful and self-driven. We had great conversations mostly about women, real estate, cars, investing, religion, politics and other middle aged guy stuff that I enjoy talking about.

One day he offers me a used jacket. I didn’t need or want it, but I did not want to offend. He goes into the trunk of his coupe and I notice it is filled with duffel bags and knapsacks neatly arranged in a stack. It seemed strange to me immediately that someone would keep so much stuff in his car. Admittedly I am a hoarder, and I still found that weird. This wasn’t hoarding, hoarders don’t keep things so methodical.

On another occasion, he invited me to go to the gym. I said what the heck, I can work out for free and have light conversation with a like minded person. So we went to the gym. He did what I thought to be non-productive exercises, that neither contributed to his aerobic or aesthetic improvement. Being the control freak I am, I had to restrain myself from saying ‘What are you doing bro?’ so eventually he finished his special workout and went to the showers. I continued my free workout and did some treadmill and some abdominal work. He was in the shower for maybe 25 minutes, which seemed like a long time to take a shower in a gym. He informed me that he goes to the gym, every single day. That was also strange as even a wimp like myself knows muscle has to rest.

All of the times we met up to have beers or talk shop we were at his office. He mentioned that he is in the office almost 24/7. That’s when I put it together that this guy was sleeping in his office(his military experience helps), showering at the gym and storing his personal effects in his car.

I found it to be economically ingenious and Ted Kaczynski like creepy at the same time. His overhead breaks down something like the following(approximately):

Old Car(Already paid off) – $0/ month

Car Insurance(Out of state) – $50/month

Car registration/tax(Out of state) – $10/month

Office space(works there) – $0/month

Food(Hes skinny) – $500/month

Gym membership – $20/month

Internet(office, starbucks, etc) – $0/month

Cable(Youtube, see above) – $0/month

Cellphone – $80/month

Gasoline – $100/month

So totaling all of the above assumptions comes up to $760/month  to live in New York. He could potentially work at a job paying $6.33/hour(before taxes) and pull it off. I am so impressed by the ingenuity that I really don’t care why he chooses to live this way. I have heard of tent cities growing in the woods of New Jersey, people living in RVs, people renting rooms, but not people showering at the gym and living in their office and car. The phrase [necessity is the mother of invention] seems to always ring true. Especially in a high rent market such as NYC, you have to be an inventor.

One bedroom studious in the dankest of areas go for close to $1200. Rooming and sharing bathrooms and kitchens start at $800. Your romantic life may suffer as ladies don’t want to snuggle at your office but you could amass a significant amount of saving in a short time and eventually purchase a home. The possibilities are endless when you have cash.

In conclusion. You can make it in New York. You just have to think outside of the box, small apartment or cubicle.

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Run to Iran

I do not understand nor really find it important to know the difference between Shia and Sunni Muslims. Not that I am a Islamophobe but I believe before 2001/2003 and before it became profitable to take out non threatening leaders like Saddam and Khadaffi nobody cared. I don’t even think the Sunni and Shia cared.

Recently there has been some rising tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran stemming from the execution of a religious figure. This has garnered my attention for the reason that these countries are significant oil producers and current oil prices are tanking due to overproduction. Also, President Obama has opened the market for the exportation of American Oil/Gas.

I predict without much confidence, that a war between Iran and Saudi Arabia will interrupt their oil supplies sufficiently for oil prices to again rebound. A war as such would be the tide that raises all boats. Domestic oil producers are in the red and prime for aquisition. International and OPEC oil producers are also in the red and would have a hard time competing with America’s domestic producers logistically due to shipping etc.

In conclusion I expect that it is prime time to buy into domestic oil producers. Using the MarketWatch stock screener I located a few companies, most of which are based in Texas that were in my favorite range of under $2. So that’s my two cents.

 

Raze the bar

I’m not certain what the stocks that are not yet listed on the conventional US exchanges such as NASDAQ and NYSE but one has come up from my research on a topic I probably have previously mentioned.

According to a 2011 CNN Money article alcohol sales have risen during the economic downturn. I saw another report on Bloomberg showing alcohol sales were up about 200%. Unfortunately I cannot locate that at this time. Here is a note from The Partnership for a Healthier New York Two in five (40%) youth who begin drinking before the age of 15 will become alcohol dependent in their lifetime..

Basically I want to bring your attention to FTER American Addiction Centers, Inc. A publicly traded drug rehabilitation center. This is prime time. You can’t turn on the pop radio station without hearing references to alcohol use and not just social use but to the extent of being unconscious. Excessive alcohol consumption has taken over pop culture. All the beautiful people are getting “wasted.” It goes without saying that pop culture speaks to the youth so now we have teens and 20-somethings being heavy alcohol consumers in their formative years. However unhealthy its good for business. On the alcohol sales end and eventually on the rehabilitation end. That is where the capitalist and opportunist, Catcher in the Rye comes in with companies like FTER.

It’s only logical. That is why I have chosen for the title a line from the Daft Punk song “Get Lucky” where Pharell Williams says “Lets raise the bar and our cups to the stars.” The song promises, fun, and getting some, and of course a little drinky poo. Unfortunately with continued heavy consumption the beautiful people will need masks like Daft Punk just to look at themselves and no say what happened.

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Unrelated to fanance kinda.. Volvo S80 2.9 Alternator change

Just got my first European car Swiss to be exact. I have had Japanese and Korean so I am familiar with metric bolts. Never had a car over 4 cylinders until now though. I find I prefer the expendable nature of small 4 cylinder economy cars as I am so delicate with this one. Its a used Volvo S80 2.9 non-turbo. Recently the car would not stay running unless it was connected to another running vehicle. I took the battery to Autozone for a free test and it passed. Going through the forums and asking for help eventually got the alternator out for a free test and it failed. So that was the problem. The dealership wanted over $600 for the alternator and I got one from Ebay for $50 plus fees. Popped it back in and got back on the road. This is unrelated but I found the instructions on the forums to be somewhat inaccurate.

1. Disconnect the battery terminals(10mm and 12mm bolt)
2. Remove the cover from the computer box and the outer cover
3. Use a flat-head screwdriver to remove the plastic cap from the tensioner pulley.
4. Rotate the pulley nut now visible clockwise(14mm bolt)
5. Pull the belt off while releasing the tension from the belt.
6. Remove the plastic cap from the positive terminal on the alternator(13mm)
7. Remove the three bolts from the power steering pump(12mm)
8. Remove the 2 bolts that are at the top of the AC compressor(12mm)
9. Loosen the 2 bolts at the bottom of the AC compressor(12mm)
10. Remove the bolt holding the top of the alternator(12mm)
11. Remove the water hose at the end to the Radiator(7mm)
12. Remove the bolt from the dipstick hanger(10mm)
13. Pull the alternator out(hard) Be careful not to break anything while forcing it out.

Autozone will sell you a cheap alternator about $190+ without a pulley. You have to remove the pulley by spinning the bolt clockwise(i really mean clockwise)(24mm)with an impact wrench. Or a 10mm star tool with a special open ended 24mm wrench. There are 2 different amps available. 120A and 140A so have it handy when you visit the parts store.

Or just buy a used alternator on Ebay as the dealership will charge 500 for the alternator unit only. I got one from Ebay for $50, and it came with the pulley.

Also you could simply order a regulator(Bosh or Chinese generic) which comes with the brushes inside for $20 to $50. Swap out the old regulator and the alternator will act like new.

Photos pending.

Now for something more related. Buy shares in Pep Boys(PBY) hold and sell at the end of spring. The summer compels long distance trips, dates, racing, car shows, car sales. Its also income tax return time.