Friday, January 26, 2007

Time for a rant.

I'm only here for one reason, and that's to answer two of life's important questions:

One: Why can't people get tan on their palms? Two: Can good looking Eskimo girls be called hot?

Not to go on a rant here but...

Most people think life sucks and then you die. I beg to differ. Life doesn't suck, it's the best thing that has ever happened to me. Ever. You may run into a few snags along with way. Your dog dies, you see loved ones die, you owe debt collectors, they take your house/car all the while someone rubs your back telling you everything will be all right, and then your rich parents bail you out again, which is only temporary. Then come the shitty medical problems. Cancer, heart attacks, strokes, broken hips, macular degeneration, allergies, pneumonia, leg stints, arthritis, migraine headaches, hemorrhoids, osteoporosis, muscular sclerosis, that sort of thing. Doctors poke you. Probe you. They tell you they just have to do a "few more tests" and they give you a little orange bottle of pills "for now". Jesus, that sounds like something to look forward to, but you know life goes on, but you better get ready if you think your life is bad already. As a senior citizen, you keep that medical pager around your neck if you fall down and can't get up. Never give up. Fight everything that tries to bring you down.

Lets hypothesize about a scenario of what your life might look like: You follow everything your parents tell you. Go to school, get good grades, stay away from drugs, graduate college and then comes the real world, working 50+ hours in a climate-controlled office cubicle (you better hope you get shotgun on a window seat). You start buying things you really don't need, the big house with wood floors, flat screen televisions, that bangin' stereo system, a little condo that overlooks the ocean, a bread maker that sits like a prop on your kitchen counter for 10 years, and you may even splurge on an automatic can opener. You get home from work maybe cut the grass, clean the house, play with the kids, get chatty with the spouse, have a little dinner then it's off to bed to wake up the next day for a repeat. The years pass with this routine day in and day out. It's not really all that bad because you are used to it. After all it's what you made for yourself.

Truth is you are only a product of your environment. Think about it. Everything you think and do is a compilation of everything that has happened to you and decisions you've made. Choose your decisions in life wisely, everything will change who you are today: the people you hang out with, places you visit, the people you date, the person you marry, the jobs you take, that fancy sports car you drive, the fuc*ing clothes you wear, that shiny ass watch, the money in your wallet, the things you read. Don't sacrifice your character for anything. Don't settle for less then what you deserve, the best. Very few people in your life give a shit about your future and you've already figured out who the important ones are. You are your own responsibility. Laugh at the bastards that say you can't do it, they are the ones who already gave up.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Warren Buffett Interview

Interview / Documentary of Warren Buffett by Charlie Rose.

Video 1 of 3
Video 2 of 3
Video 3 of 3

The videos have lots of good advice and go into different aspects of his life.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Sharing Ideas

All too often I hear of people keeping ideas to themselves in fright that someone else will steal them. Let people know your ideas so you can get feedback on them. I have been recently reading a lot about communication and interacting with people. A great book is Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People”. I believe the book absolutely changed my life in the way I talk to people everyday. I was talking to a friend the other night and she wants to go into Family Counseling as a career. The book is similar to her interests in the regard that it strives to make you a better person and be an influence in other’s lives. I was going to hold back and not let her know because it was my “secret” to how I talk to people everyday. I thought about it and decided if the book changed my life, it might change someone else’s so why shouldn’t I let her know? Let’s see how long it takes her to read it or if she even does. Let people know your ideas, people may give you feedback or look at you differently for helping them in some way.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Self-Esteem

What is self-esteem? In a broad sense, self-esteem is the way in which someone sees themselves as positively or negatively. In more depth, it is composed of three parts:
  • Internal locus of control. Defined by your sense of internal "cause-and-effect" and orientation toward your own personal responsibility. It is the degree of control that we feel we have over our own lives. Someone lacking in this area could possibly see life as a series of accidents or things that happen where they feel they have no control.
  • Sense of belonging and acceptance. The degree of which you feel accepted as part of the group and also how much you like and accept yourself. Someone lacking in this area usually has a compulsion to please others.
  • Sense of competence. Relates to how "good at things" you think you are. Someone lacking in this area usually has a need to brag or show off or they give up on things very easily.
If you feel you are lacking in any of the categories, do something to fix it. Read books, find new people to hang out with, do things you are good at or improve on things you aren't, keep a positive attitude and accept responsibility over where your life is going, etc.

If anyone is ever rude or cruel to you, they have low self-esteem for that moment. If they had high self-esteem they would be positive and not have the need to be cruel to you. If you point out someone's low self-esteem, you are doing them a favor. Maybe they didn't realize it and because you said something, they may want to try to fix it.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Influential Forces That Changed My Life

These are some of the major events or things I have done in the past few years, which have been instrumental in changing my life. I have always been a happy and positive person but apparently you can take life to new heights and these are a few of the things that have helped.

The Breakup
  • Separating from my girlfriend of 5 1/2 years had a huge impact on my life. It made me look at my life and decide what I really wanted for myself. I realized what I had become is not what I wanted or saw myself as (I'm not saying I was a horribly bad person, it's just not what I wanted). I spent too much time and energy on making money and school, leaving less time for other things in life.
Books
  • Reading books have opened my mind to new ideas. I usually read about relating with people, finance, business, management, leadership and anything else interesting.
College
  • Where do I start? College is an eye-opening experience. Partying, meeting new people, joining clubs, responsibility (at least the school part), being broke, I could go on forever. There's going to be no other place like it and the experiences and people that I have met there are priceless.
Interviewing
  • It really makes you brag about yourself. I am not one to talk about myself or think I am better than anyone. When it comes to interviewing, you are forced to. You have to convince someone that you are the best person for the job. It forces you to organize your thoughts about what you have done in the past, want to do in the future and what you are now. It's a great way to look at yourself in a new light.
Career
  • Interviewing for a career is challenging enough, getting the job is another story. I needed a job that was challenging, fast paced, changing, and rewarding. I wanted a job where I would fit in perfectly with the people and wanted my limits tested everyday. I got lucky and found something fitting and it has shaped me and will continue to in the future.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Eddie Lampert - I Like This Guy's Style

I've posted previously about Eddie Lampert as one of the businessmen I would love to meet. Looking into what he did with the Kmart turnaround, he's good at making money and I like his style. As chairman of Sears Holdings Corporation (SHLD), Sears Holdings currently owns Kmart, Sears America and Sears Canada. I believe he is going to keeping strengthening SHLD into the future (somewhat like Berkshire Hathaway's plan).

What I like about Eddie
  • Excellent manager / top-investor
  • He writes to his shareholders quarterly
  • Long-term, value-investing
  • Doesn't pay himself a salary
  • Big thinker / hard worker
With economic indicators showing a slowdown for the U.S., retail is usually safe bet in these times. I'm throwing some money into SHLD for the long-term and can hopefully keep adding to my position later. Lampert will probably be looking at other business targets in the future and I have faith in his ability to make money. Will Eddie be the next Warren Buffett?

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Investing in Gold

I have been contemplating the thought of investing in gold over the last few months and have decided to turn down the idea for a while. Gold has had a recent run-down in price as a result of what many people think is profit-taking. Gold is up near a 80% gain this year and has pulled back about 35% in the last month (these are approx. figures).

Where is the upside?
Some think it's time to get in... I'm going to wait. The Fed recently held interest rates steady so does this mean inflation is dwindling? It's possible. Gold is great to hold when there are strong economic inflationary powers because it's a great hedge against it. The Dollar's strength is also stable or increasing - another downside for gold. I'll wait to invest in gold, the risk is larger than I am comfortable with, while the upside doesn't look very promising.