Unfortunate Opportunity

In the same way that it can be awkward to discuss “after death” financial topics with someone from whom you might be getting an inheritance, talking publicly about investment possibilities that are coming on the back of a stock market that’s plummeting due to fear of a COVID-19 pandemic… it does feel a little bit wrong, but the opportunities of a down market also cannot be ignored. 😐

The Dow Jones has lost more than 12% of its value over the past seven days of trading. Unfortunately, the cause isn’t solely due to “scary thoughts” around the spread of the virus. 😟 With China being ground zero, the precautions that need to be taken and the effects that are already being experienced by the industries and workforce there… it was inevitable that markets around the world would reflect the disruption. 😳 Global economies, global trade, global investing… it’s all great stuff, until it isn’t.

Before COVID-19 was even a thing, I had already started researching different types of investing that my family (historically speaking) never really took advantage of. πŸ€” I’ve tended to use methods that I’ve seen work for my dad and my aunt, and they probably used methods that they saw work for their parents. 🧐 It makes investing feel comfortable, but the returns are usually modest in comparison.

The volatility in the markets isn’t going anywhere, so I’ll have plenty of time to continue reading, learning, and eventually planning… even if “the plan” ends up being that I don’t change much of anything. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ And while loads of people have been cashing out, to “protect” their gains from the past year or longer, the farther the markets fall – the better it is for folks who are only just now wanting to get in. 🀨

I suppose I should mention that I’m not thinking about individual stocks when I’m talking about all of this. I don’t know enough yet to speculate on individual companies and their ability to bounce back. I’m thinking mostly about ETFs with holdings that are properly weighted to match gains / losses of the Dow. πŸ˜πŸ€“

Historically, you’re on pretty solid ground if that’s what you’re invested in… but just as there have been extremely good years, there have been some really bad ones as well. More often than not though, the gains for each year have been remarkably good. (Which doesn’t mean a heck of a lot if you didn’t buy your shares on (and only on) January 1st of each year… heh) Meh… just kinda thinkin’ here… πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ™‚

Shitter’s Full

There’s an RV show going on at the convention center in Columbus this weekend, and I’m supposed to meet my friend Jim there so we can check out the latest and greatest offerings. πŸ€“πŸšŒπŸ˜Ž Dad and I used to go to an RV / boat / travel show decades ago, and until I googled for information just a few moments ago I assumed that this was the same production, just years later. πŸ€” But nope… the one we went to is still going on, now in its 40th year, but it’s held at the fairgrounds expo center.

It’ll be neat, looking at everything, but neither of us are going there with any intent of buying anything. It’s more of a research mission for Jim, since when he eventually retires he’s planning on downsizing his life even further (if necessary) and living like a hippie. πŸ˜… I joke, but he actually has put a lot of thought into the logistics of it. Living in a small RV, at an appropriate park or campground… one that’s meant for semi-permanent folks such as himself, so he’ll be able to have electric, plumbing, internet, etc. πŸ•οΈπŸš

The footprint of his daily life is already so small, I bet it won’t even feel like he’s “giving up” that much. In fact, he’ll probably feel (and rightly so) like he’s gaining freedom, the ability to pick up and go somewhere else if the mood hits, etc. 😊 He’s even considering off-grid solar power with battery storage, since that setup should provide more than enough electricity for his needs. His ambitions may seem lofty, and there will be unknown / unexpected things along the way, but I’d give even odds that he’ll end up doing it. πŸ™‚

He already knows that the prices of new, current model RVs (from the smallest “pop-up” campers to giant transforming motorhomes) will be at “pants crapping” levels… 😏 but it’ll allow him to see what might be available used, at much more reasonable prices, once he is ready to make the jump years from now. And it’s not just about the RVs. It’s also about all of the stuff that goes along with them. 🧐 Solar, battery storage, satellite TV / internet, food prep / storage, plumbing / septic options, security needs, locations, info about true costs of living, etc. It might not be that kind of expo, but hopefully all of the niche industries that deal in the products that compliment “RV life” will be represented there. πŸ™‚

EDIT: And now, after talking about all of this, it makes me wish that some sort of “AutoRama” type show would come to town next. I’ve got pics of me as a kid, standing in front of The General Lee, sitting in KITT from Knight Rider… but I’d love to learn of a touring car show with all of the greatest TV / movie cars from over the past 50 years or so. 😊

Unwanted Realism

Had a good day yesterday, got a bunch of bills / paperwork / etc. done, and went to sleep in fairly decent shape. And then I had a series of some of the worst nightmares that I’ve had in quite a while. I can’t think of any reasons for them, nor can I link any of the dreams’ imagery to anything I saw or experienced during the day prior. 😯πŸ₯ΊπŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚️ So along with waking up several times during the night, when I finally woke up for good this morning I was legitimately exhausted. πŸ˜“ Way too real and stressful. Hours later and I’m still having a hard time shaking it off. (Chases, knife attacks, abducted kids, assaults, horror movie deaths 😳 Oy…)

So now I feel like I’m having an awful day even though there’s nothing about this day (at least so far) that should make me feel that strongly one way or the other. πŸ€”πŸ˜ Heh… so along with just taking it easy today (since I’ve got my meeting tomorrow) I’ll have to kinda keep reminding myself that it’s not actually a bad day. πŸ™„πŸ˜ Nothing on the agenda, nothing that needs my immediate attention, so I’ll probably bubble up and just watch some YouTube and Netflix and try to avoid anything negative. πŸ€¨πŸ“Ί

The only thing (based in reality) that’s got me a little bit anxious is that there’s some rainy / icy / snowy weather headed this way. 😳 But I’m sure by the time I’ll be leaving the house tomorrow, if anything has managed to accumulate it’ll be gone from the roads by time I’m out on ’em. 😌🀞🏻 And, ironically, it actually helps to focus my thoughts on the meeting with my WC attorneys tomorrow. It’s still stressful, yeah, but I know what I need to talk about, and however it goes it’ll still be pushing this shit further along towards a resolution or significant change… so yeah, still looking forward to it. πŸ™‚

Okay, Now Relax

I took the weekend a little too late into the night last night, ‘cuz once I got home I wanted to watch the race, the Season 5 opener of Better Call Saul, and the mid-season premiere of The Walking Dead. The race was pretty good, BCS was great, but 5min into TWD and I realized that I didn’t really give a shit anymore. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

Even though it was getting close to 3a before I sacked out, I still went ahead and set my alarm so I’d be awake early this morning if my phone rang. And ring it did. I’m glad to have that out of the way, and I’m now on the schedule for later this week. Now for the next few days I just have to remind myself that they know where I basically stand on things, they know my concerns, so I don’t have to spend every waking moment between now and then continuing to dwell on it. Ain’t nuthin’ gonna happen ’til it happens.

Although as soon as I got off the phone I felt nauseous. It’s just that it’ll be the first meeting in a series of events that could close the medical portion of my claim… and once it’s done there’s no do-overs. 😐 And no, it won’t dictate how the entirety of the rest of my life plays out, but it’s still a really big deal and I’d be foolish if I wasn’t giving it my all. I just don’t know how much more of that juice I’ve got left in my reserves.

I’m definitely looking forward to talking with them in person though. Being able to hear their tone, see their body language… I just think it’ll give me a more complete idea of where we all actually stand. 🧐

Pretty Good Evening

Forced myself out of the house for the second half of the day. Had a bit of normal running (grocery/bank/etc) to do, but for a change I also hit some thrift stores while I was out. πŸ™‚ Helped to calm my nerves as I was out among the humans, as well as keep my thoughts free of any of the “bleh” I’ve been dealing with lately.

Found an OSU shirt for me, along with a couple of big bowls for salads or cereal or whatever, and then saw a white poofy coat with a fur-lined hood and “sparkle” along the seams / pockets – so I grabbed that for Cassi, since I knew she’d have liked it if she was there. 😊 I also found something for Genesee. With her being a Snoopy fan / collector, I went ahead and grabbed this giant Pez dispenser with a Snoopy head. 😳😯 Figured it would make good decoration for a shelf somewhere if nothin’ else. 😁

Stopped by and saw Dad on the way home, and ended up staying there longer than I thought I would. He had the Roku fired up so I was able to introduce him to Daily Dose of Internet and the benefits of the YouTube app. πŸ€“πŸ‘πŸ» I only recently discovered that channel myself, but we ended up watching an hour-long compilation followed by the better part of an hour-and-a-half one that followed. πŸ˜… It was nice though… and like I said to him, there’s all kinds of awful stuff we could have been watching or talking about, but these little videos just kinda “take you away” from everything in the real world while you’re watching. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜Œ

It’s funny… as I was getting up to leave, Dad mentioned something about the WC stuff, and I had actually totally forgotten about it at the time. πŸ™„πŸ˜„ But I did wanna update him on everything that was going on, so I’m glad he reminded me. It’s a lot to take in all at one, but I think I got him up to speed, and he’s on the same page as me when it comes to what seems fair and what doesn’t. 🀨😏 It worked out good though, being able to get all the info across without accidentally having spent the entire visit talking about it.

Lowered Expectations

I’m not sure if this is what I should be doing, but I’ve been seeking out more of Steve Lehto’s videos (and others) where people get legally screwed over and that’s just how it is. The unfortunate thing is that it isn’t that hard to find tales of people who have been bent over by the legal system and just have to deal with the injustice. 😠 And when a person can legit say “I haven’t done anything wrong or “I’ve done everything right yet things still go south… I’m starting to be able to imagine how they feel.

It’s obviously not good to dwell on my WC case more than I have to, but I also want to prepare myself if things don’t go “how they should” in the future. I mean, I’ve spent years dealing with things not going how they should, but they’ve been smaller, monthly problems that I could sort out in other ways or remedy via other solutions. But if I get into real, productive settlement talks… when that’s it, that’s it.Β  😳

My ask would likely be simple, although I haven’t discussed this with my attorneys yet. Figure out the standard estimate of how much longer I’m going to live, and provide me an amount that covers the current true cost of my doctor appointments and medications each year, for as many years as I’m predicted to live. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ I should probably also include an amount to cover bigger things like x-rays every couple of years, an MRI now and then, along with the potential need for further surgery… but those numbers would require more “figuring” than I care to do at home on my off time. πŸ˜’

So my ask would essentially be what they’re already required to pay, and their benefit in agreeing to that would be that they would no longer have to waste thousands of dollars on legal services each year to fight me and eventually lose. 😏 They’d be unhappy that they’d still need to cover my actual costs, and I’d be unhappy that it wouldn’t likely be an amount that considers extra or unexpected needs. Also, it wouldn’t account for inflation… but each side has to make some concessions, so…

I’ll almost certainly be required to sign an NDA no matter what agreement we come to, so I don’t expect to be able to talk about the details once it’s done. 🀨 But like I said, I’m almost expecting to feel like I’ve been screwed over, so I just wanna try to prepare myself for it. Even though I can’t put a dollar value on “not having to fight anymore,” I also can’t ignore it as a real mental / emotional benefit of settling. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ Meh…

πŸ₯ΊπŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚️

Shoulda Coulda Woulda

Fell asleep early yesterday, woke up at 3am, then fell asleep around 9am and slept through 2p. 😐

Yeah, so anyway… how about that Tesla stock, eh? πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ™‚

I swear, there’s been so many things that I took a look at when they were really low. Whether it was eBay, PayPal, Bitcoin… it’s a little frustrating to be able to say “Man, I actually pondered getting in on that.” now that all of those things have gone through the roof at some point. πŸ€”πŸ˜’

I’ve never been a stock investor and likely never will be, in part because my history with silver isn’t great. It’s silly to let one investment chase me away from the idea of investing in something else, especially when it’s not like I’m doing bad. Silver is pretty damn low right now, although there seems to be a really small recover curve going on… but my investment in that, my purchased averaged out – I need it to be at around $22 an ounce before I can even break even. 🀨 I’ll be holding on to that for a while, it seems…

If we could only predict the future. And while I get why there is hype behind the company and their products, there’s no reason the stock should be this high. πŸ˜… Their financials are a bit of a mess, Elon is a wildcard with all of his antics and sometimes-questionable investment choices, so to see the stock go from the $200 range to the $900 range in six months’ time… it’s kinda ridiculous. 😯😧

tesla

Model 3 production rates have helped, along with the excitement (and sometimes confusion) about the CyberTruck, and with China being almost 15% of their market it was a smart choice to build their most recent GigaFactory there. But even though they tout the $35k starting price for a base-spec Model 3 as being an “entry level” price, I don’t think things will really blow up until their market segment includes shlubs like me.

The early Roadster was their sports car, then the Model S came along as their near-luxury sedan, followed by the Model X to serve as a crossover, and then the Model 3 (basically a smaller Model S) for the mass market. Vehicles coming down the pipeline are the Model Y which is an updated crossover, the CyberTruck for the pickup segment, and then the semi. πŸ€” Now, I understand why he’d go after the transport industry, injecting a bunch of money into the company to further whatever “the next thing” will be, but it’s disappointing that Tesla is not yet able to provide a small, $25k range subcompact hatch.

If Elon and crew can ramp up the production lines to where they can really produce on the Y and CyberTruck, that’s when investors need to start looking for hints about the next vehicle. First hint is China. New factory in China, lots of people there wanting to buy, and cities outside of the United States have a lot of roads that aren’t built for bigger cars – or they are dominated by mass transit. πŸ€“ So not only would customers benefit from the lower price, a smaller car would also be infinitely more practical and, therefore, marketable. πŸ€‘

Meh… don’t mind me, this is just one of the thousands of things that come and go from my brain at any given point during the week. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜ I kinda wonder how it has the room or processing cycles sometimes.