Tiger Woods & the stock market

The past few years have not been good for investors.  But the Dow Jones Industrial Average or the Dow has experienced positive growth recently. And that’s much needed for Americans ‘ retirement account. We can all thank Tiger Woods.

Say what?

As reported by Matthew Futterman in the Wednesday,  March 27, 2013 edition of The Wall Street Journal:

Tiger Woods reclaimed the top spot in the World Golf Rankings this week with his win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Tuesday,  the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose nearly 112 points to 14559.65, an all-time high close.

Go ahead. Dismiss this as a coincidence,  as two completely unrelated events.

Accompanying the article are two charts depicting the arcs of Woods ‘ performance in the World Golf Rankings and the Dow during the past 10 years.

Basically as goes Tiger’s performance,  so goes the stock market. As noted by Mr. Futterman,

But the second half of 2008 brought the subprime mortgage and banking crises that sent the markets reeling. Woods broke his leg and had to call it quits for the season. Then came 2009, a [Dow ] dipping below 7000 and revelations of a series of extramarital affairs that doomed Woods ‘s marriage.

Indeed,  after this down period,  Tiger sighed and the [Dow] zagged,  beginning a slow climb that Woods didn’t get fully on board with until he returned from a series of injuries and got used to a new swing. It’s worth noting that the depths of Woods ‘s descent during the second half of 2011 coincided with a major hiccup in the [Dow ‘s] four-year rise.

Since then,  Woods hasn’t won every tournament and the [Dow] hasn’t risen every trading session,  or even every month. But in the big picture there has been little for market bulls or the Tiger faithful to complaint about.

So the stock market is turning around which is great for our retirement accounts. And we want this trend to continue.

Go Tiger Go.  When your 1st major since 2008!

Keep up the winning Tiger.

Sleazy

A headline on Yahoo News: “New York cop who toured with band charged with disability fraud.”

Long story short: this police officer filed a claim for disability asserting he seriously injured his right arm while pulling someone to safety.

The police officer,  31 years old,  sought disability while continuing to collect his $90,000 annual salary.  The best part of the story is,  while claiming disability,  this police officer meanwhile was performing & touring with his heavy metal band,  Cousin Sleaze. (How appropriate!)

And there is video footage of this police officer,  the lead singer of Cousin Sleaze,  flailing his right arm violently in an up & down motion.

Priceless.

Meanwhile, those legitimately disabled – the process is slowed as the insurance company spends money & resources on the sleazy police officer.

No wheels

Got up this morning. Promised to give someone a ride. Car would not start. Darn it!

Oh well, it could be worse. My car has been considerate. When it doesn’t start, it happens while it is parked in front of my house.

Have already made arrangements with mechanic and tow trunk for Monday.

It could be worse (well, once the mechanic examines the car . . . )

Shock-a-zulu!

For the past two years, when i sought a DC Police Clearance, it was a two day process. You had to fill out a one page form (the top 3rd) and pay $7 on the 1st day, then you had to return 24 hours later to pick up that one page form with a raised seal. Incredibly inefficient and burdensome especially for those who work (of course this service is available Monday – Friday  only from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm).

This morning I started this process again. To my utter shock and delight, the process took less than one hour. Everything accomplished in one day. OMG !!! DC Government has learned to be efficient.

Shock-a-zulu!!!!!

Workers Saving Too Little To Retire

One of the front page articles in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal .

Why is this news?

This is a reality for many Americans.

Causality of sequestration

This afternoon an email was sent to all personnel. The email stated,  due to budget cuts,  a pilot program has been terminated. The email further stated the employee working under this pilot program – today was her last day.

Everyone was utterly shocked!

This now former employee was an at will employee with the federal government. Most employees where I work (including me)  are at will.

There has been talk about who will be furloughed and for how many days. Definitely people are uneasy.

But it could be worse. Exhibit A – our former colleague terminated today.

Don’t touch that app!

Received an email today at work from the HR officer. For federal employees who contribute to the Thrift Savings Plan or TSP,  heed this warning.

“A free iPhone App,  TSP Funds,  currently being offered through the Apple App store asks TSP participants for their account login information.  This app is not being offered through the TSP and the TSP does not recommend using this application to access your TSP account. Providing this information could result in a security risk to your account.”

Why I prefer traveling South

During the past few years I have taken several road trips traveling along I-95 South and I-85 South to Virginia and South Carolina. I always ensure I have sufficient funds for food and gasoline.

Yesterday I had to travel to New Jersey from Washington DC. Boy, was I slammed by tolls! I never entered the New Jersey Turnpike & still paid $13 in tolls on the way to NJ and $11 on the return trip to DC.

Lesson learned – road trips to the south not to the north.

Buying more than one

When I weighed myself on Sunday, I had hit the red zone. Based on my weight and height, I was officially overweight per the BMI (body mass index).  😦

I had to do something. Yes I must run again. And I must purchase running shoes. I recalled seeing quality running shoes at Costco last year. The price was $50. I decided to visit Costco.

When I arrived I could not find the same quality shoes (not a surprise). There was a huge stack of running shoes for $19.99. Great price. I decided to try them out.

Monday morning restarted the couch to 5k app. Running shoes felt good.

So I decided, why not purchase a few more pairs? And I did.

Money well spent. These pairs should get me through the running season.

image

The domino effect of sequestration

Reality has hit. So what are the consequences of sequestration?

#1 – I contribute 10% of my net pay to my local church &  charitable organizations (yes, Dave Ramsey,  that’s net not gross). My contributions will therefore be slashed accordingly.

#2 – 10% pretax is deducted from my paycheck for retirement. With a smaller paycheck,  my retirement contribution will be reduced accordingly.

#3 – no change to my Roth IRA contribution since I allot a fixed dollar amount per pay period. Ditto for the allotment to a savings account.

#4 – with a reduced paycheck I will have to stop making principal payments on my 2nd trust. Bummer 😦  I am on track to pay off $3,000 in the 1st three months.

#5 – definitely cannot afford to have someone mow my lawn. This service cost $55 for every mow. Better get my lawn mower tuned up.

#6 – can I afford the installation of drip irrigation? I have a consult this Saturday. Hopefully this won’t be overally expensive. Learned today my total tax refund is smaller than I hoped.

# 7 – glad I ordered seeds already. Vegetable gardening this year will be more than just a hobby. It will be a necessity!