ReTRo HouSeWiFe

Topics:  Credit & Credit Scores For Housewives *** Shopping Tips *** Macys Coupons

Other Retro Pages

Useful Links

  • Yahoo Finance - For a quick overview of market stats + stock quotes.
  • The Wall Street Journal - If you want serious financial info!
  • RealtyTrac - best place to look for housing bargains if you are looking to buy a house (or just snoop around on your neighbors)
  • Tips On Saving and Investing From the SEC
  • Getting the most out of your money: banks bid on your savings in a live auction (FDIC banks only).
  • Article - Three Simple Steps to Financial Security
  • Article - How to Create a Budget
  • Mint.com - budget calculator - they say it's free...
  • ShadowStats.com - Reasonable person who calculates the economic indicator stats as if his political career did not depend on it. Yes, the government is deceiving you.
  • Inflation.us - sadly, these guys are most likely going to be right.
Investing Like a Smart Person

Back in 1993 I remember reading an article in the Economist about Baby Boomer demographics and the stock market. In the article, they talked about how the Boomers - by far the largest demographic group in the United States - were about to inherit a ton of money from their parents - the hard working Great Generation.

This, coupled with the popularity of mutual funds and the Boomer's "life is rosy and I'm wonderful" attitude toward risk was about to breathe new life into the longest bull market in the history of bull markets.

At the time I remember thinking "when Paul McCartney and Mick Jagger are of retirement age, look out - those Boomers will be yanking their money out of the stock market with both hands in an attempt to put it in less risky investments to retire on."

Only this will cause the market to crash. See here's the problem. The price of a stock used to be based on the expected rate of return of the company (When people start yakking about P/E ratios or multiples they are implicitly talking about rate of return.)

At some point I started hearing people say things like "the price of a stock is no longer tied to the company's potential earnings" some gleefully (ignorance being bliss) and some with horror or disgust.

But along came the Boomer with Mom and Dad's money and since they as a generation lack sense or the ability to apply logic, proceeded to buy stock in record numbers. First they bought mutual funds - to test the waters - and the share prices of mutual funds went up.

Boomers, being anything but humble, were immediately convinced of their own superior investment skills and soon branched out to whatever brokerage firms could offer. The more timid the Boomer, the later they jumped into the market.

Just about a year ago, my local paper did a series which in essence was a "Farewell to the last of the Great Generation" meaning there are almost none left. Meaning that the Boomers have inherited all that they are going to inherit. Meaning the stock market will no longer be flooded with Mom & Dad's money, and we can expect a return to stock prices based on earnings.

A corollary of this, btw will be a return to managers who can manage and executives who can run a company, not just sit there and watch the stock price go up. Retro Housewife, October 11th, 2009.

Achieve Financial Security - Marry A Rich Man

How to Marry a Rich Man
One tried and true method for financial security is to marry a rich man. And, as luck would have it, marrying a rich man is back in style! There is even an entire dating site www.wealthymen.com devoted to pairing up hopeful women with rich men!

BUT REMEMBER! He won't buy the cow if he gets the milk for free!

Foreclosure Statistics:
 

July 2010

  1. Sales of previously occupied homes unexpectedly plunged 27 percent in July from a month earlier to 3.83 million -- the lowest level since 1995, according to a report released Tuesday morning by the National Association of Realtors. Washington Post - Left Leaning Newspaper

June, 2009

  1. A total of 336,173 foreclosure filings were reported nationwide in June
  2. Foreclosure activity increased nearly 11 percent from the previous quarter and a 20 percent increase from the second quarter of 2008.
  3. The foreclosure rate was one foreclosure filing for every 398 households during May

State highlights

April, 2009

  1. A total of 342,038 foreclosure filings were reported nationwide in April, 2009
     
  2. Foreclosure activity increased 32 percent from April 2008
     
  3. The foreclosure rate was one foreclosure filing for every 374 households during April, 2009

State highlights

MONEY & INVESTING FOR HOUSEWIVES

My View On The Economy - Hey, I Do Have A Masters In Economics...

Most Recent Exchange Rate from www.kitco.com Most Recent Gold AU Quotes from www.kitco.com Most Recent Silver AG Quotes from www.kitco.com]
An Explanation Of These Charts: Starting from the far left: This chart shows the currency exchange rate between the US Dollar and the Euro -the official currency of the European Union (EU). To read it think of yourself holding one, single dollar bill, then ask yourself "how many Euros will I get for my one dollar?" The value you read on the "y axis - the up and down one" will tell you the answer. As of October 30, 2010 you will get 70¢ in Euro Money - Yes they call it "cents" just like we do. Middle Chart: This chart shows the current price of gold over the last 24 hours. Far Right Chart: This chart shows the price of silver over the last 24 hours. Note: Gold and silver are often purchased as protection against inflation. When their prices rise, it is likely that many people think inflation is going to rise, and they want to preserve the purchasing power of their savings.

What Causes Inflation and Why You Should Care

May 30, 2009 For awhile I was worried about deflation - when prices fall instead of climb - because shoppers were staying home and credit cards were becoming harder to get - (meaning even less shopping). But then the government started printing money so I think we will see inflation after all. (A government printing money pretty much guarantees inflation).

What do I mean by the government printing money?

Governments always print money - they have to, otherwise we would run out of dollar bills - what matters is how much money they print ( or release into the economy by other methods). Example: Say the government owes you money (you own treasury bonds), in normal times it has to pay you back using money it has collected - say from taxpayers. Doing this causes no inflation because the overall amount of money has stayed the same. The government just taxed Peter to pay Paul. (Poor Peter)

Sometimes, however, governments get the bright idea to just start printing new money to pay Paul. They own the printing press after all! If they do a lot of this, which they usually do once they start, then prices will start to rise - why? The number of things to buy hasn't changed. Say there is $100 of money floating around in the economy - and 10 things to buy. Then the government prints $100 more and gives it to everybody named Paul and John and Mary and Cindy etc. all the people they owe money to. We now have $200 to buy the same 10 items. Paul and John and Mary and Cindy run down to the store and each wants to buy all 10 items - the shop keeper senses an opportunity and raises the prices on his 10 things - they are the same 10 things, they just now cost more. That is inflation. Simplified Big Time, of course, but you get the idea.

The only winner here is the government - at least in the short run - it didn't have to raise taxes - and it still paid off its debt. What will eventually happen is that everything will just get more expensive and the dollar will be worth less in comparison to other currencies. Here are a few guidelines as to how you should invest whatever money you have.

  1. Cash is bad - the cash you have in your back pocket will buy less and less each passing day. Same goes for the cash in your checking account (unless the bank pays you interest and the rate keeps pace with inflation - it usually doesn't).
  2. Fixed Rate Investments are bad! Certificates of Deposits, or CDs that promise a fixed rate of return like 5% are bad, bad, bad. Your real rate of return will be 5% - Inflation%. So if inflation is 10%, you will "earn" negative 5% - meaning you will only be able to buy 95% of the things you could before.
  3. Fixed Rate Debt is GREAT! - If you owe the bank money and only have to pay back a fixed % - you win, the bank loses! Hooray! Get caught with a variable rate mortgage, on the other hand, really, really bad.
  4. Stuff is good - assuming it'll mean that you won't have to buy other stuff tomorrow at higher prices.
  5. Gold Has Historically Been Good - and probably will be in the future, too - although there is no real reason it should be other than everybody sort of agrees that it is + it is rare. It's not really useful, though... other than to admire - and I can think of a few situations in which I would rather have a sack of potatoes than a pound of gold. Make sure you get the coin in your possession.
  6. Silver - The Poor Stepchild - Was it the '70s or '80s when two brothers from Texas tried to corner the silver market - and lost their shirts? Silver is much more affordable - around $17 $19 $26 an oz. and is also a precious metal. More importantly, if the dollar goes kablooey and we resort to using precious metals and cigarettes to buy things, silver could come in quite handy. Otherwise, a bag of groceries could prove very expensive if you try to buy it with gold. (How do you make change?) Make sure you take possession of whatever silver you buy. Put some in your safe, or hide it under the floor boards.
  7. Real Estate Has Usually Been Good - It may lag at first because there is so much available - but in the long run, good, good good. - However - you can't hide real estate so if the government decides you have too much money - they can tax it away from you. Like what will soon happen in California. California Real Estate BAD.
 

In the old days, financial matters were usually left up to the husband. However, the modern retro housewife is certainly not adverse to lending a helping hand in this area and depending on hubby's occupation and education, may even be the better half when it comes to money!

This doesn't mean put your husband on a leash or nag at him about all matters money, it means become a good study and learn a thing or two so that you and your husband can be partners in a prosperous future.

I do not intend to teach you how to become a millionaire overnight; If I knew that I would be writing about how to properly furnish a 60 ft yacht. But, I do know a thing or two about finances and have adopted some principals that have served my family well.

First some observations I have made:

  • People generally fall into two categories; those who have money and those who don't. I don't mean some people are rich and some are poor, rather that some people always have savings and know how to live within their means, whereas others are always overextended on their credit cards and have one foot in bankruptcy court.
  • No matter how much money you make, you can and should save some of it for a rainy day and to invest. I hear people complaining all the time about how hard it is to save money because they only make $X amount, blah blah blah. Talk to some of the older folks around who have been through really hard times (like a war or the great depression) and then you will get an idea of what it is not to have money.
  • Having savings or access to a reserve can keep you out of financial ruin, and ensure that you and your husband are sipping margaritas in Florida in your golden years, instead of slaving away at a Piggly Wiggly*1 until you drop dead.
  • Greedy people often do stupid things, are not to be trusted and are generally unhappy. They remind me of Gollum from the Lord of the Rings.
  • If it sounds too good to be true, 99% of the time it is. 1% of the time it isn't and there is a lot of money to be made if you don't get greedy and do stupid things.
  • The best way to make money long term is to find something you really like to do and become very good at it. If you are a housewife, you probably don't receive a "paycheck", but as the major spending arm of the family you have just as much influence on the family finances as your husband. Get good at being a housewife!
 

* I don't know if there is such a thing as a "Piggly Wiggly" or if their employees actually slave away. I just heard the name on "That 70s Show" and think it is fun to say.

April 10, 2007 Update! This just in!

Hi, my name is Danielle. I was just writing to say that there is a store called "Piggly Wiggly". We actually have one in our small town in Louisiana. LOL. But know people don't slave there! It is actually a grocery store!!!

And, as it turns out, Piggly Wiggly has a website! I think I love Piggly Wiggly.

WHAT DO YOU THINK? Tell us at the retro housewife hotline!

The Retro Housewife Financial Forecast!

October 30, 2010: I say stagnant economy further worsened by huge increase in taxes as of 1/1/2011 by the federal government, business bankruptcies due to no end in sight of increasing health care costs, and a self inflicted death blow to the California economy in the form of the global warming final solutions act which will introduce cap-and-trade to CA on 1/1/2011 and 1/1/2012. The once strong CA economy will not be able to pull the country out of the depression as it is being murdered. CA + other states are headed for insolvency. To combat this, the Fed will continue down its path of quantitative easing, or pulling money out of thin air - which will eventually put the US economy in a death spiral of hyper-inflation.
  • Recession vs. Depression: What is the official difference? How do we know whether we are in a recession (been there done that) or a depression (something new for most)? I seem to remember that the official definition of a depression was 2 or more consecutive quarters of negative growth (or shrinkage).
  • Some Inflation Indicators: Consumer Price Index or CPI - that is published in many newspapers and financial magazines. It compares a basket of items at today's prices with the prices of the same items at various points in the past. (This is how it used to work. Now they mess and fiddle to get the answer they want. For the truth...ShadowStats.)
  • Interest Rates are rising? If you have acquired a lot of variable rate debt, you are going to feel the squeeze. Put it this way - once the Fed/Treasury get a load of the inflation that they have created, they will try to compensate by putting the brakes on the money supply. Interest rates will go way up. Pay off your bills now.
  • The good news is that if you have money in the bank, your money will now work harder for you. Interest rates on passbook savings accounts (generally considered to be the safest way of investing your money, and, in fact, used by economist types as the basis for the "risk free interest rate")
  • Stop charging, start saving and paying off your CREDIT CARD balances. Listen UP! If you can get a good balance transfer offer (no fees, 0% interest), take it! NOW! I always do this, with my credit card balances...Free financing!  
  • Higher interest rates usually mean: A stronger dollar (good time to travel abroad), A weaker stock market (buy as stocks get cheaper or hold if you are still in stock,) Falling housing prices!
  • Grandma's School Of Finance

    Portfolio Diversification: Don't put all your eggs in one basket!  Portfolio diversification is a good thing. If you have all of your eggs in one basket and you trip and fall (or the CEO and CFO of a company you bought stock in are suddenly indicted for embezzlement), you will break all your eggs!

    Interest Rate: A penny saved is a penny earned.

    Risk Free Interest Rate: A bird in the hand....

    Risk Premium: ... is worth two in the bush.

    Risk and Return - A Little Background!

    • Some investments are riskier than other investments, agreed?

    • Common sense says that given two investment options that have the same rate of return, (for example they both promise to pay you 5% interest), you will choose the safer investment (FDIC insured savings account vs. your ex brother in-law Vinny's business venture into opening a penguin circus.) - Vinny would have to promise you ALOT more to sucker you into that one!

    Risky Investment: Don't count your chickens before they've hatched.


    The Law of Saving

    By: Brian Tracy

    Financial freedom comes to the person who saves ten percent or more of his income throughout his lifetime.

    One of the smartest things that you can ever do for yourself is to develop the habit of saving part of your salary, every single paycheck. Individuals, families and even societies are stable and prosperous to the degree to which they have high savings rates. Savings today are what guarantee the security and the possibilities of tomorrow.

    Start With Yourself
    The first corollary of the Law of Saving comes from the book The Richest Man in Babylon by George Classon. It is to "Pay yourself first."

    Begin today to save ten percent of your earnings, off the top, and never touch it. This is your fund for long-term financial accumulation and you never use it for any other reason except to assure your financial future.

    Develop New Habits Regarding Money
    The remarkable thing is that when you pay yourself first, and force yourself to live on the other ninety percent, you will soon become accustomed to it. You are a creature of habit. When you regularly put away ten percent of your earnings, you soon become comfortable living on the other ninety percent. Many people start by saving ten percent of their income and then graduate to saving fifteen percent, twenty percent, and even more. And their financial lives change dramatically as a result. So will yours.

    Take Every Advantage
    The second corollary of the Law of Saving says, "Take advantage of tax deferred savings and investment plans." Because of high and even multiple tax rates, money that is saved or invested without being taxed accumulates at a rate of 30% to 40% faster than money that is subject to taxation. Self-made millionaires, according to Dr Thomas Stanley's book The Millionaire Next Door, are almost obsessive about accumulating their funds in assets such as real estate, self owned businesses and equities that increase in value without triggering tax liabilities.

    Invest in company pension and retirement plans, 401(k) plans, IRA's, Keough Plans, Roth IRA's, Education Investment Accounts, stock option programs and whatever else has been approved by the IRS for long term financial accumulation. Make every dollar count!

    Action Exercises
    Here are two things you can do to apply this law immediately:

    First, begin today to put away ten percent of your earnings. Set up a special account for this purpose and treat your contributions to this account with the same respect that you do your rent or mortgage payments each month.

    Second, become a lifelong student of money. Read the best books, take courses and subscribe to the most helpful magazines. Know what you are doing so you can always make intelligent decisions when you invest your funds.


    How Can You Attract More Wealth and Abundance?
    We are now surrounded by more wealth than at any time in our history. The real question is how do YOU gain this abundance? Brian Tracy can show you how! Become a money magnet, immediately increase your income and learn wealth building secrets. Get the knowledge you need to make your financial future an outstanding one with The Unbreakable Laws of Money Package.