Friday, May 7, 2010

Burn and Peel: A visit to the Altadena economic indicator



Gosh, I feel so poor today. Then I remember I am poor, so at least I’m not imagining things.

Yes, yes, boo-hoo-hoo, stocks lost big time. Where do we turn? Some of you know that we here at the homestead eschew all but one financial indicator. And to assist in interpreting the indications, I've called in my county extension agent and part time financial advisor. His business card says: "I'll put your money where my mouth is," and I've suggested he tweak that a little.



This is the Altadena Economic Banometer. And things must have been going along ok for awhile, because my advisor and I haven’t checked it in months. To our detriment. Fasten your banana belt, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

Here it stands -- battered, broken, a shadow of its former self. To make matters worse, encroachment on all sides. Even some judicial trimming doesn’t improve the picture at all. What to do, what to do? Have we thrown the paddle out with the bathwater; are we up shit creek without a baby?



Horseshit! My financial advisor barks, unashamed that his dooty bag hangs on the fence in plain sight. And though a man of few words, I know what he's getting at.



The banana is a spineless plant, and though the leaves suggest something of substance, if you peel back the layers you'll find nothing there except some lowly bugs and a little life's blood. So lesson one: Never peek. And if you promise not to look, you'll find the banometer dies back, but then even though nothing changes substantially, significantly, it shoots up again, requiring only the promise of a few sunny days and a constant supply of manure.



So I feel better now. Even though I'm trusting a financial advisor who has a taste for shit and doesn't care if the world knows it.

32 comments:

  1. I wood still listen to your current advisor - at least he gives you free room & board.

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  2. My advisor has the same appetites.

    GG

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  3. I'm been so worried about the banana plant. Alas, I think you are seeing the glass as half empty. I think the leaves are as much a part of the plant as the stem, and the leaves are lush. Good times ahead. I'm banking on it!

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  4. I agree with Margaret. That thing looks way better than it did when you first planted it. The CEA looks quite responsible and not nearly as strung out as the last time we saw him.

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  5. Happy to get an update. I'm with Margaret. I think the plants look like they're thriving.

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  6. Do they actually grow bananas? If so, the fruits of your labor will offer a great ROI. If not... call it ROE (return on experience - it is a great business term).

    Your financial adviser is damn handsome. I'd stick to him just for his looks.

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  7. Hey, reminds me: do you want a palm or two? We have a bunch hanging around out back in pots, looking for a home or a ride back down to the farm. There are some silver-blues....

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  8. OK...I see, the sky is not that bright after all.

    Who to blame this time: The Greeks...or the British...or...

    We are all under the same umbrella!

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  9. Margaret, Virg & Susan, I thought I was being optimistically realistic. Linda, really? I'll email you. Brenda, this is a serious financial instrument so I try not to eat it.

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  10. I agree, the big money are to go against the market (advises) ... like Warren.

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  11. dog has it figured all out. Always does

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  12. I think your financial adviser is one of the wiser ones around. And honest. That's a rare breed, indeed.

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  13. I was going to ask whether your advisor recommends "Load" or "No-Load" funds, but I think you've answered it very clearly.

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  14. I was hurrying and misread the last line as "has a taste for shit and doesn't care if the world works in it."

    I'm no Bible thumper, but I find it curious that in the Enron fiasco and now the last two years, I've not heard one comment about money changers in the temple. Is it good or bad that I haven't heard?

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  15. It’s only one advice that counts.. Don’t put yourself in a position you have to sell at bottom and for God sake don’t buy on top.

    In other words: only use free money!

    No gearing.

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  16. Our Executive VP of Leftovers wants to meet with your CEA and part-time financial advisor. I think Albert may have a new client.

    Your photos are wonderful.

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  17. Sorry, after I saw the first photo, I misread the title as Burn and Pee. It makes much more sense now that I read it through. I think as long as you don't mow down the banana tree altogether, given enough fullness of time, it will rejuvenate itself.

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  18. As far as financial advisors go - I think you're doing just dandy.

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  19. Much like your economic indicator, my portfolio has done so well this year that I've received a letter from the government (LA Fire Department Weed Abatement Team) threatening to raise my taxes if I don't lower my assets by a "said" date. My accountant, Mr Wacker, plans to work on it this weekend.

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  20. PA: I used Mr. Wacker this year, but I wasn't satisfied.

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  21. I'm with Margaret and Susan. That plant looks great! THen again, I never pick the right investments.

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  22. Petrea, Albert would happily swap assignments.

    No such problems in the adjacents, Earl.

    Carolynn, I sense you're often fooled by a pretty face.

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  23. After another thought to the subject...I think the devolepment are related to the riots at the Athens Streets....If people just could calm down and be nice....

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  24. Mr. E...coffee all over my computer screen thanks to you!!!

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  25. The title here intruiges me and, knowing your sentimenatal attachment to a certain character of the '60s, I wonder if you would chance your arm and tell us about this 'Burn' entity. You may care to background read Wiki's entry on said Peel thus 'She is a feminist heroine, eschewing traditional "damsel-in-distress" portrayals of women. She is a master of martial arts and a formidable fencer. A certified genius, she specializes in chemistry and other sciences. The name "Emma Peel" is a play on the phrase "Man Appeal" or "M. Appeal", one of the required elements of the character.'

    I know a few geniuses (genii) who should be certified.

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  26. My advisor does just as well...and I actually pay her for it.
    Albert is so darling.

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  27. Between Burn and Pee, and Mr. Wacker, I'm "falling about" as our Jilly would say. I swear!
    V

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  28. You know what's crazy? Greece wasn't the reason for the sell-off. Someone miskeyed a sell entry in the billions rather than the millions. So all the lemmings panicked.

    Julie, she was also a crackerjack sculptor.

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  29. All the computer generated lemmings saw it and panicked...similar to the computer generated market crash in 1987...

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  30. The nanner trees are looking good - I see there was a stock split, always a plus - and Albert looks like he's at least feigning interest. "You're a good boy! Yes you are!" (voice climbing higher and higher)

    Happy Mother's Day, KB. I'm sure all four of your babies are celebrating this happy day with you.

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  31. Not one to revel in the misfortune of others, but the euro is making me very happy right now. Oh I"m sorry, that makes me seem very self centered and selfish and well....trés heureux:)
    V

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