I hope all my United States’ readers enjoyed their Independence Day holiday. The July 4th holiday is a good market for half of the year being completed. I’ll be reviewing my goals for the beginning of the year soon. I know I’m behind where I wanted to be with decluttering, but still ahead of where we’ve ever been, so that’s win.
I hope to publish a financial update through the end of June in a few days. I ran some preliminary numbers while we are still waiting to receive rent checks and the numbers are looking amazing.
It’s a good thing too, because the past week was a really difficult one for us. There are some things that I can’t get into, but one of them that I can was a dog I was sitting on Rover. This puppy was kind-hearted, but it just chewed up everything. I couldn’t leave it alone for more than 5 minutes. Most of the time the dog sitting gig is great. However, not every job is perfect and this was a reminder of that.
I have serveral longer articles almost finished, but I didn’t want to get anything too deep due to the holidays. Instead, I’ll go with a few little thought nuggets.
Installing a Mesh Wifi System
I used to laugh at the idea of mesh wifi systems. I figure it just made sense to use an old router as a repeater. Maybe we have too many devices now, or maybe it’s that my recycled repeater router is 10 years old, but we’ve run into a lot of wifi problems in the house. I decided that life is too short to go through it with bad wifi. (I’ve been thinking that a lot lately.)
I did some research and it seemed to say that one product was the best. So I ended up buying a renewed/refurbished version of this Netgear Orbi RBK50 for around $200. Some mesh systems are $400, so hitting the $200 number was important to me. There’s also a new standard coming out soon, so I’ll feel better replacing a $200 system in a few years than I would if I spend $400. For now, I’ll hopefully be able to sell my old routers for $50 combined.
Unfortunately, the process of installing the Orbi requires a reboot of the cable modem. I rebooted my cable modem a few weeks ago and it took a call to my cable company’s customer support to resolve it. It turned out to just be dumb luck that it decided to work. This time my cable modem didn’t come back. It’s 6 years old, and I stored it in a drawer where it was likely overheating. I went to Amazon and bought a new one. In the meantime, I’m renting a combo router/wifi from my cable company that is terrible, but it at least gets us online.
Hopefully, I’ll be able to review the Orbi soon.
My Best Individual Investment Idea
In reviewing two years of stock picks it seems like my hand-picked value stocks far out-performed the market. I’m still the person who held onto oil and Twitter for years just to see it do nothing, so I don’t claim to be a stock picking wizard. I’m very much an believer in buy and hold index investing.
However, if you were to look at those articles in the past and how the stocks did, you might ask me, “What are some example stocks that are going to break out in the future?” Unfortunately, I don’t see any from the group that I track that seem particularly good. The closest I have is Kraft-Heinz (Nasdaq: KHC). It fits the model because the stock has been badly beaten (for good reason). It still pay for a very healthy 5.24% dividend, but that dividend may get cut in the future.
I think the company will figure things out and turn it around. It could be months or it could be years. I don’t think anyone’s crystal ball is perfect when it comes to picking company stocks.
If stock picking isn’t your thing, I’m planning to write something in the next week or two that will be of more interest to you. Here’s a preview: Bonds look to be a much better investment over the long term than I thought.
Keeping Kids Home During the Summer?
Joe from Retire By 40 is having a whole summer with his son. This struck me as odd as I grew up in an environment where kids went to summer camp. It was just what is done and I never gave it a second thought. When my kids were younger, I appreciated any time off I could get, because taking care of a 2-year old is much more tedious than a 7-year old. With our kids being a year apart, it was “double trouble.”
However, now that they are older and largely take care of themselves (not that they always want to), we could use the summer to do more family stuff during the week. I have largely ignored the cost of camp and let my wife handle it. However, it’s nearly $50 a day per child, so $100 for the two. The easy math shows that it is $500 for the week or $2000 for the month.
That’s a lot of money especially because it’s only 6-hour days. As soon as I drop them off, I feel like I’m picking them up again. I feel it’s important for them to have a camp experience and play with kids their own age in a fun environment that’s less structured than school. I also feel it’s important to me to still have some time to focus on work during the summer.
Maybe next year, we’ll do a 50/50 camp/home split – one week on, and one week off. There are some specialty camps that I’ve been looking at, but they are a little more money. It’s much more affordable to do 5 weeks of specialty camp and home with dad than it is to 10 weeks at general camp.
I’m coming up with this idea on the spot. I’ll have to see what my wife thinks of it.
Have yourselves a great weekend. I highly recommend Toy Story 4 if you want to beat the heat. I’ve also started the new season of Stranger Things on Netflix, but I’m sure some of you already finished it.