March 26, 2014

Stock Picks–March 26, 2014

Category: Money & Investments — jerry @ 12:04 pm

I’m loading up today on Federal Signal Corp. (FSS), which has its fingers into a number of pies–but they won me over with the manufacturing of street-sweeping equipment. I’m pretty low in that niche.

I had a little trouble finding anything of interest this time around, but this one has a nice low P/E ratio and showed up on my screen.

Good luck!

April 28, 2007

Happy Birthday, Dear Blog

Category: Uncategorized — jerry @ 8:54 am


  On April 28, 2006, I posted my first entry here–after struggling for hours to get my WordPress software (free) uploaded (with Filezilla, free) to my new website (hosted at, for about 5 bucks a month).

 In that year since, I have posted exactly 600 entries (this one is #601), had 1005 comments (!), and battled against precisely 10,980 spam attempts.  (Yes, spam is a real problem with blogs–spammers try and post their own comments linking to their sites so that their GOOGLE rankings rise.  I have a filter that catches 99% of the stuff).

Of greatest value here, of course, has been the investment advice–as a minority of you have learned.  The price you have had to pay for these occasional nuggets has been to have had to sift through my rants on Republicans and religion, opinions regarding life on Mars and the legalization of online poker, nostalgia regarding comic books and Tarzan,  the various merits of Ann Coulter and Antonella Barba, and some really strange videos.

Only rarely have I stooped to bathroom humor.  flush.gif

Thank you for coming along on the journey so far–and a particular thanks to my Facebook Friends (via my kids’ sites) and my Marketocracy Mates.

Stay tuned.

[New to the blog?  Click the "Archives" in the sidebar at the right to see what you missed]

March 16, 2009

The Sunday Times On Atheism

Category: Opinion — jerry @ 6:10 am

At the risk of overdoing it, one more article on the state of atheism in America–I really thought this opinion piece was well-written.

There was a news story last week about the startling growth of atheism in the US and shrinkage in the Catholic Church.  I had not thought about the possibility that, as this article mentions in passing, the two phenomena might be connected.  From THE TIMES:

There is one thing that is not allowed in American national politics – and that is atheism. “In God We Trust” is on the currency; and the number of congressional members who avow no faith at all are about as plentiful as those who are openly gay (none in the Senate; five in the House).

Under the last president, religious faith – evangelical Christianity or Benedict-style Catholicism – was a prerequisite for real access to the inner circle. But the requirement is not just Republican. Among the more excruciating campaign events of last year was a faith summit for the Democrats in which candidates vied with one another to express the most piety. Barack Obama’s Christianity – educated, nuanced, social – is in many ways more striking than that of, say, Nixon, Truman or Eisenhower.

Americans are losing faith, though; and those who have it are moving out of established churches. The nonreligious are now the third biggest grouping in the US, after Catholics and Baptists, according to the just-released American Religious Identification Survey. The bulk of this shift occurred in the 1990s, when they jumped from 8% to 14% of the population – but they have consolidated in the past decade to 15%.

As elsewhere in the West, mainline Protestantism has had the biggest drop – from 19% to 13%. Despite heavy Latino immigration, the proportion of Catholics has drifted down since 1990, and their numbers have shifted dramatically from the northeast and the rust belt to the south and west. Take South Carolina, a state you might associate with hardcore Protestant evangelicalism. It certainly does exist there – but in that southern state, the percentage of Catholics has almost doubled since 1990 and the percentage of atheists has tripled.

America, it turns out, is a more complicated spiritual place than the stereotypes might imply. Islam is still tiny – and integrated and largely successful. Catholicism, while buoyant among new Hispanic immigrants (who are, nonetheless, drifting rapidly towards evangelicalism in the southern hemisphere whence they came), has plummeted in its heartland. Think of Massachusetts, the home of the Irish and Italian and Portuguese. In 1990, Catholics accounted for 54% of all residents of the Kennedys’ state. That’s now 39%.

The bulk of these ex-Catholics joined no other faith group – and the number of residents claiming no religion at all jumped from 8% to 22%. Of course, the sex abuse scandal played a powerful part. One of the chief enablers and protectors of abusive priests, Cardinal Bernard Law, was based in Boston and escaped real accountability by being given a prestigious sinecure in Rome. The Irish and Italians in Massachusetts did not forget….[Rest of article]


March 5, 2014

Stock Picks–March 5, 2014

Category: Money & Investments — jerry @ 10:40 am

A couple of picks today: First up is OFG Bancorp (OFG), a banking/finance company in Puerto Rico. I wonder if I can deduct cruises to Puerto Rico now to, you know, “watch over” my investments.

My other pick is Cirrus Logic Inc. (CRUS), the semiconductor folks who reside somewhere in my computer and yours. They are a pretty big company, which makes it an unusual pick for me, but showed up on my screen.

Good luck!

February 12, 2014

Stock Picks–Feb. 12, 2014

Category: Money & Investments — jerry @ 1:42 pm

I have some enthusiasm for these two picks this time around–although the second one is a little risky due to some pending lawsuits. Be careful!

First up, I’m buying some Alliance Fiber Optic Products Inc. (AFOP), which is obviously in that fiber optical business that is all the rage these days. (Or was that 10 years ago?)

My risky lawsuit-plagued one is Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. (CTB). That’s the one to be careful of, I guess, but…I like to live on the edge.

Weird market out there these days, too.

Good luck!

January 22, 2014

Stock Picks–Jan. 22, 2014

Category: Money & Investments — jerry @ 1:31 pm

Just one pick today, and I actually have some enthusiasm for this one.

But first: Hey, how about that 2013, huh? My best year ever, as I had a 49% return on my investments (which you did, too, most likely, if you’ve been purchasing these recommendations).

Anyway, here we go 2014. I’m not expecting so much this year.

But I’m going to pick up some B Communications Ltd (BCOM), which is an Israeli telecom company. We could always use better communication in Israel, right?

As I said, I actually have some enthusiasm for this one (even though it is already up substantially over the last year), so I’ll be loading up.

Good luck!

January 2, 2014

Stock Picks–Jan. 2, 2014

Category: Money & Investments — jerry @ 12:31 pm

As we close out what was a pretty darned good year for us in the market, I’ve got a couple of unenthusiastic picks to begin the new one.

First up, I’m taking a small position in Shiloh Industries Inc. (SHLO), and, per usual, I don’t exactly understand what they do–but I think it has something to do with making your car run quieter and not tip over.

I’m also going to yawn and take a small position in Rock-Tenn Company (RKT), which I thought I owned once before but apparently I’m mistaken. I might be confusing them with some other “packaging materials” company that I owned before.

I’m hoping 2014 will be another good year for us, since we will hopefully be getting rid of some of this wacky Congress that has hurt the economy so much the last several years.

Good luck!

December 11, 2013

Stock Picks–Dec.11, 2013

Category: Money & Investments — jerry @ 12:54 pm

I’m a little late getting to this post and have already purchased the following 3 stocks: Employers Holdings, Inc. (EIG), an insurance company and the one I am most intrigued by, with the other two (in which I took smaller positions) being Chase Corporation (CCF), which manufactures something or other, and Pike Corporation (PIKE), which is in the energy business.

The market has been disappointing of late, but I’ve still had a gangbuster year, being up over 30% so far.

Good luck!

November 20, 2013

Stock Picks–Nov. 20, 2013

Category: Money & Investments — jerry @ 12:34 pm

A couple of unenthiastic picks this time. I’m selling off half of my Telecom Argentina S.A. (TEO), picked here a year ago, because it has doubled since then. I’ll hold the rest of it for another year most likely, but I like to lock in some of my gain after a doubling. I’ll be putting equal shares into Pike Corporation (PIKE), which does something in the “…energy solutions for investor-owned, municipal, and co-operative electric utilities in the United States…” area, and into Outerwall Inc. (OUTR), which owns and operates those Redbox kiosks (and those change-counting machines you see in grocery stores).

This last one I’m particularly nervous about, since they’re in competition with Netflix, which seems to be on its way to conquering the world. On the other hand, Blockbuster has given up the ghost recently, so maybe it’s Redbox’s time. We’ll see…

Good luck!

October 31, 2013

Stock Picks–Halloween, 2013

Category: Money & Investments — jerry @ 12:30 pm

A scary pick today–in that, I don’t have a lot of confidence in it but it was the only thing showing up in my screen this time.

This time I’m putting it all on Ducommun Inc. (DCO), which provides engineering and manufacturing products and services primarily to the aerospace and defense industry. I generally do pretty well in that industry for some reason. I morally hate funding the military/industrial complex, but since the last time I expressed concern with the values behind my investing in Sturm, Ruger & Co. Inc. (RGR)–a gun manufacturer–back in April, I’ve made 35% on that Evil Investment, so…

I guess Blood Money still spends.

Anyway, good luck!