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    Own What You Consume

    For the things you consume on a regular basis – do you own part of those companies? If you like the product and are a repeat customer, does it make sense to investigate?

    I am soon to be a consumer of specific types of medical goods for the treatment of Crohn’s Disease. These are drugs where choice does not exist due. I’m all for competition, but also understand that development costs are significant if we are to expect any level of safety.

    Not long after diagnosis, I did a LOT of research on current treatment options and up and coming drugs. I found a few pharmaceuticals with some drugs under development with promising clinical trial results.

    I went long with one of these pharmaceuticals as a “lets see what happens” maneuver – only after reading 10-K’s and such first. If the drug fails to reach market, there are plenty of other products to pick up the slack.

    If the drug is brought to market, it will be an asset to the company and another treatment option for me. Curiously enough, the drug I was most excited about was recommended for approval by an advisory board yesterday – a salve for the most recent market correction.

    Re evaluating the Dream

    Financial Independence, that’s my dream. To work for compensation because I want to, not because I need to. One year ago, I realized this was an achievable goal within a very reasonable amount of time – 15 years. I could even do this without living in a van down by the river.

    Almost anyone can reach financial independence. If you save 25% of your income, every year of work will outright pay for 3 months of not working. If you save 50%, every year pays for a full year of not working! It doesn’t matter how much you make, what matters is how much you spend.

    15 years, for me, was a conservative estimate. I work for a startup in San Francisco and do not delude myself to how easy it could be for my job to disappear. If my job and pay remains stable, I would reach my retirement goals in about 12 years at my current level of spending.  Estimating 15 years gives me some bumpy road cushion in case of job loss or an emergency of some sort.

    I take care of my body with exercise and good food (bell peppers, roasted on a gas stove). I live in a modest apartment, live happily and not only had a plan but acting on it. I thought I had things figured out.

    I was far from prepared for what came next. Read more ›

    $200 – Why Direct Mail Works

    Most junk mail I get is from some form of direct mail campaign. I am somehow on some sort of list that gets sold to businesses who are told that Mr. Magic Money Pants lives in apartment B here and wants to spend some of this magic money on things, perhaps a new pair pants. Lies and runon sentences!
    The Hook. Today, a piece of mail caught my eye. $200 in printed with big friendly lettering. It wasn’t an envelope and it’s odd shape ensured I would fumble with as it slipped out from between other pieces of mail. Nice work Chase, nice work.

    Unemployment Benefits and Startups

    This is a story about a startup company. In 2006, things were moving – venture capital was flowing and if you had a solid concept, even more solid team and a lot of sweat equity – perhaps you too could jump in the game. The leaders will need a fair bit of charisma too.

    In 2008, things were not looking so hot. Markets were imploding, investors getting scared and the flow of money into risky investments tapered to a trickle. This would be a bad time to have a cash flow issue and if you do have such an issue, measures must be taken before the bank is empty.


    Read more ›

    April – What is my Net Worth?

    This month is going to be the calm before the storm. I was in the hospital in April and the bills have started arriving. I did hit a milestone – I broke a net worth of $50,000.

    Net Worth Summary

    $13,272.87  In credit card liabilities – paid down every month
    $10,411.05 In the Bank
    $12,675.81 In reimbursable expenses - A new high score (will be reimbursed next month)
    $41,821.13 In Investments (+$17,572.85 in buys, +$681.52 gain, +$17 in dividend)

    $51,635.12 Total Net Worth

    My work does not offer a 401K and since I’m not self employed, I’m not eligible for an awesome tax advantaged retirement account. So, investments are maxed out IRAs (Roth+Traditional) in addition to taxable accounts.

    My liabilities are uncharacteristically high this month due to a large equipment purchase. I bought a machine that cost $11,000 for work and put it on my credit card to speed the process up. I also purchased a bunch of notebook computers for the awesome growth we’re having at work.

    Largest Expenses – April

    Rent + Food & Dining: $1097.83 (~$800 is rent)
    Health & Fitness: $283.47
    Gifts & Donations: $123.59

    Next month will be interesting as medical bill payment time is upon me.