Odds and Ends – 12/4/2014

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I thought I'd try something new today. It's an article of a few things I've been thinking lately. Each of these are a little too long for Twitter, but not long enough to be their own article. So let's dig in:

Money Magazine's December 2014

I love Money magazine and it is often inspires my articles. The latest issue almost seemed to have our roles reversed.

I couldn't help, but notice that their X-Ray stock was Yahoo. It makes the point that Yahoo's ownership of Alibaba accounts for 90% of its value... meaning that Yahoo's core business is worth very little. They make the point that it is 2% of Google's value. If this sounds familiar, it may be because I wrote pretty much the same thing back in September. Since I wrote that article the company is up 27%. Not a bad gain for a few months, right?

On page 76, Money Magazine says that cheap home solar is going to be a big trend because the cost of panels have fallen 7% per year since 2000. With the Yahoo mention above, I feel so far ahead of the curve with my own move to solar. Of particular interest to me was the mention that homes with solar could sell for almost $25,000 than comparable non-solar homes.

(I won't mention the page where they say you should trim down on Russian stocks. I clearly got that wrong when I wrote "Invest in Russian ETFs Now?" On the positive side, the Russian ETFs are even cheaper now.)

Getting Back to the Topic of Solar...

I got a letter from my energy company stating that customers will see a significant increase in electric bills due to higher power supply costs. Specifically they say that the bill this January will be 23.6% higher than last January for the same amount of electricity. I ran some numbers throught the excellent calculator on Mr. Electricity's website and found that the time to break even will be cut by 1.5 years, going from 7.9 years to 6.4 years. I'll be paying roughly 6 cents for a kWh instead of 21 cents (my estimate of what the costs will be with this notice).

"Never Got to be a Banker"

The other day, I was watching this bit on Seinfeld about Kramer wanting to be a banker:

It always seemed to me like Kramer had plenty of time on his hands since always transforming his apartment. If he devoted some of that time to education he'd been able to get some these sweet banking jobs. If they weren't mostly in New York, I'd consider them myself. It certainly beats dealing with the bottom rung of the social ladder that promote MLM scams.

Finding the Best Reward Cards on Your Mobile Phone

I've been toying with a new app for finding credit cards from Silver Money Services called, well Silver (Google Play | Apple Store). I was curious how comparing credit cards would work on a mobile device. One suggestion I'd make to the company (and I'll send them this feedback) is that it would be useful to have details on the rewards before you click into a card. For example, if it is a 5% reward on gas, I care. If it's 1% rewards on everything you buy, which are a dime a dozen, I don't particularly care.

Personally, I can't understand the need to apply for a credit card while on a cell phone, but I guess someone had to do it.

Got Gift Guide Suggestions?

I'm working on my annual gift guide. It is very sparse right now. Are there any hot gifts this year that you are looking for. After watching Charlie Brown's Christmas the other day, I'm thinking of Lucy's had it right:

Unfortunately it's hard to put that in gift guide, right? So I'm looking for ideas that are more "wrappable"

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Odds and Ends

Last updated on December 19, 2014.

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