Monday, December 31, 2007

How Did My Last Stock Picks Do?

Way back on July 15th I mentioned 3 stocks that were on my watch list. Normally I would try to give a report card after a quarter, but I just forgot. Sorry. It's probably for the best since the market's been acting really quirky lately.

So here's the scoop. I had mentioned COP, CBI, and FXI as covering oil, infrastructure, and China respectively. As of today, here's what those stock have done: COP is up 1.3% CBI is up 40% and FXI is up 22.8% All told, not too bad. For the record, I did not own any of those stocks during that time period. Most of my money has been in cash lately, and what little trading I've done has been in Apple and a few others. I don't have any new stocks for my watch list just yet, mostly because the market volatility makes it hard to see clear winners.

Remember: Never buy a stock because I mention it. I am an idiot. Please do your own homework, afterall that's the fun part.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Steve Martin's Latest Book

I just finished the latest book by Steve Martin titled "Born Standing Up - A Comic's Life". It currently has 4.5/5 stars from 68 Amazon reviewers. I listened to the unabridged audiobook version that was read by the author. This book chronicles Steve Martin's youth, how he got into standup comedy, and his transition into movies. I really enjoyed his standup comedy when I was young and so I was looking forward to this book. Unfortunately, I was a bit disappointed. To be fair, some parts of the book did make me laugh out loud. And I was certainly surprised at the extreme disfunctional nature of his young family life. I think I was hoping for more. More material. More information about his life as an actor, and then an author. This book leaves off with his movie The Jerk, which was later followed by many more films. I really would have been interested to hear his thoughts about the different fields he has excelled in (comedy writing, standup comedian, film actor, playwright, and author). The book does include a fine explanation of why he left standup comedy and never returned.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Car Brokers

I'm thinking of using a car broker when buying my next car. I've found several that seem ok, but I've read that it's very important to get a referral. For example, earlier this year a car broker in Fresno was arrested for bilking the dealerships he was buying cars from. If anyone has any useful advice or recommendations, then please post a comment. Thanks!