Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Sympathies...

During my recent visit to Great Britain, I met a chinese-born woman who now lives in New Orleans and has been living there for many years. I remember telling her how much I'd like to visit Louisiana. I hope she's well today and she was able to leave the area before the hurricane and its aftermath.

I want to express my deepest sympathies with all you guys in Louisiana and Mississippi and other devastated areas. I hope the situation will be improving soon.

Jack

Monday, August 29, 2005

High oil prices could force the Fed to pause...or will it? - Aug. 29, 2005

Crude awakening for the Fed?
With oil near $70, can Alan Greenspan & Co. keep raising interest rates at a measured pace?

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - With oil and gasoline prices soaring, it may be tougher and tougher for the Federal Reserve to keep dismissing the effect that oil is having on the economy.

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In a previous post, I discussed about the impact of higher gasoline cost on my budget. On the other, my mortgage will be renewed in less than a year. Maybe at least raising gas prices will temper my mortgage cost from raising too much.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Time to save on gas?

Gas has been rocketing recently, as crude oil currently sells around $65 a barrel. The impact of this on my (and maybe your) frugal budget might be important:

- my condo is heated using oil. If the price of oil stays at its current level, the heat bill should be 40% higher in the coming year. This would raise my condo fees by about 35% or 45$ a month.
- the gas bill itself to fuel the car, which currently is about 60$ a month
- inflation, as higher fuel cost will translate in more costly goods in the forecoming months

How to offset this bill?

First suggestion: investing in a oil-related good company (I already do that) to "hedge" your risk. If oil price continue to climb, the stock should increase in value as the company will make profit. If the oil price declines, you'll save on your bills, but you'll likely lose money in your investment. I think that investing $5000 in energy-related shares may be enough to get this risk protection.

Second suggestion: if its time to change your car, go for a smaller one! You'll save on the fuel bill, on insurances, on maintenance and on payments.

Third suggestion: if your energy bill at home increases, it might be time to invest in better insulation. Insulation helps both cooling during the summer and heating during the winter. The utility bill could be reduced considerably (unless your home is very recent or has already been well insulated) by adequate insulation and the investment is generally rewarded is only a few years. More, your home should also slightly increase in value, since you'll be able to show the buyers the low utility bill.

Forget about a new big SUV and go for the small Chevy Aveo!

Monday, August 15, 2005

MONEY Magazine: Declare financial independence! - Aug. 12, 2005

Back from vacations, sorry for the silence!

Today, an interesting read...


MONEY Magazine: Declare financial independence! - Aug. 12, 2005: "And look at your own life. Haven't you dreamed, at least once, of setting out on your own path while you're still young enough to enjoy it? "