An Ambulance Screams By, Do You Feel Happy Or Sad?

There was once a time I felt very sad every time an ambulance zoomed by with sirens blazing.  I knew someone was suffering, and sorrow would fill my heart not only for the injured, but also for the person’s family and friends.  Nothing is permanent, and the ambulance reminds me of this fact every time I hear one.

Over lunch, I was sharing my feelings with a friend, and she changed my mindset.  She mentioned, instead of feeling sad, feel happy. Be happy the ambulance is out there saving someone’s life.  Feel emboldened help is on its way!

My friend was right.  I chose to feel sad about an unchangeable past rather than focus on the good act of trying to make things better.  It was this simple epiphany 12 years ago that changed the way I looked at everything, forever.

Rather than sulk about those personal finances on life-support, why not change the way you see your outlook?  Instead, look at your massive debt, or your crummy income as an opportunity to recover.  The worse you are, the more upside you have!

Shop around for health insurance:  The internet has really helped lower the cost of insuring yourself and your family. eHealthInsurance has some of the lowest rates and best coverage due to its largest network. They are based right here in the Bay Area, and I have met a number of their representatives. The Affordable Care Act debacle has proven to be more expensive and more cumbersome to sign up so far.

Keiju,

Financial Samurai – “Slicing Through Money’s Mysteries”

The Samurai Fund – All Hands On Deck!

Searching For Fortune On The Fund’s Yacht

With great pleasure, I announce the launch of The Samurai Fund!

Thesis: Through random selection based solely off permutations of reader’s names (personal or site title), we are able to create a long-only mutual fund that will outperform the S&P 500 index!

Fund Details: $1,672,003 billion launch, $100/share NAV, with 17 positions equally weighted.  Concentrated multi-strategy portfolio with defensive names in the alcohol and utility space, as well as higher beta names in technology and health sciences.  Small caps and large cap names included.  S&P 500 start value 1,115 benchmark.

Investment Outlook 2010: The stock market continues to rebound, but at a slower pace.  Inflation and interest rates remain benign, leading to a re-emergence of consumer spending.  Housing stabilizes with 30-year mortgage rates staying below 6.5%.  The government maintains record spending to stimulate the economy and the unemployment rate begins to fall in the second half of the year.  The S&P 500 increases by 10-15% with a blue-sky target of 1,322.

Duration & Rules: One year.  The bottom 3 performers will be up for review every quarter. To stay in the fund, one must write a convincing argument as to why we should not cut our losses.  Picks down more than 20% also will be re-evaluated.

Goals: To have fun, learn something about the stock markets, prove a theory that luck plays a big part in performance, and to build better relationships with the community.

Contributors: Please retweet and spread the word to any of the social media sharing sites below.  We need all the support we can get to outperform the professionals!  Contributors are encouraged to provide updates and commentary as the months progress.  If anybody wants to do a portfolio analysis below, please feel free to do so!

*** STOCK PICKS SUMMARY WITH CONTRIBUTORS ***

Let “Freement” Reign! Spending Paralysis, Material Lust And Obsession

For those of you who don’t know, I’m a recovering car-aholic.  Funny enough, the way I deal with my addiction is to go to the BMW dealer!  I also go to the Audi, Mercedes, Honda, Land Rover and Porsche dealers too, but only the BMW dealer is on my way home and has an easy parking lot to leave Moose unattended.  I wonder if they cut out the free popcorn and diet cokes because of me.   Hmmm.

Over the past 3 years, I must have visited the BMW dealer at least 65 times to the dismay of the sales people.  They must have a code word for my type, “cheap bastard” or “stop wasting my time you poor SOB” maybe, but I don’t care.  Nothing thrills me more than sitting in a brand new, over-priced automobile and inhaling that unbeatable new car smell!  After every experience, I deftly try and avoid the salespeople and pick up a new brochure so I can extend the enjoyment at home.

In fact, as a joke I wrapped up the latest Land Rover LR4 brochure for Christmas and gave it to my wife.  I told her she should expect a nice shiny black on black beast when we get back to San Francisco.  She was kinda amused, not really.

If the salespeople insist on going for a test drive, who am I to argue?  But, I make it a point to only waste the time of the most eager of sales people beavers.  The fun of gunning a $80,000 BMW M3 every other month is such a thrill!  Besides, I hear they get a little commission for every test drive anyway.

NEW OBSESSION

Samurai Predictions And Resolutions For 2010

It’s amazing how quickly time goes by.  Usually, I get nostalgic this time of year, reminiscing about all the memories over the last 12 months.  Not this year.  Let us remember that we went through an economic blitzkrieg in 2009, and I am so glad it’s over!

The one thing I am really hopeful for is a rebound in employment. Over the past 3 months, I’ve encountered so many positive job data points in my industry from friends and acquaintances on the job front, I’m absolutely hopeful those who are seeking jobs, or better opportunities will find them in 2010.  Companies always over fire during downturns, and therefore have to scramble to rehire in this upturn. Below are five more predictions you don’t even have to think won’t come true!

FIVE PREDICTIONS THAT MOST CERTAINLY WILL COME TRUE

Creating A Masterpiece By Failing Forward

Here’s a guest post from Ryan at Planting Dollars.  I was intrigued by one of his comments of “failing forward” (not falling forward) and asked him if he’d be interested in writing a guest post about the topic.  Please enjoy and visit his site afterwards.  He has my envy of living in Hawaii and pursuing his dream of being a shark photographer!  Best, Sam

Have you ever noticed that some of the most successful people in the world seem to just naturally fit in their role? It’s as if they’ve been perfectly sculpted to be the best actor, businessman, or even blogger.

I have a secret to tell you… It’s because of their previous experiences… The one’s you didn’t see before they became wildly and unbelievably successful. These people are actually the biggest failures in the world! But shhhhh, I didn’t tell you that…

Don’t believe me? I want you to try something… The next time you talk to a successful person simply ask them this question:

“What failures have you experienced on your journey towards being where you are today?”

They’ll probably talk your ear off for hours and you’ll begin to realize this: They’ve just swung the bat of life a few more times and eventually hit one out of the park.

SCULPTING A MASTERPIECE