An Update On Pips and a Padres Game

  First, an update on Pips, the cattle dog that my wife and I took to the University of Washington to (hopefully) work in the school’s Conservation Canine program. He came into the rescue where my wife volunteers and it was clear he would never be a suitable pet for anyone but might have the drive to work needed here. The picture is of course Pips and Heath who runs the program. My wife and I both follow Conservation Canines on Facebook and I think they have an Instragram account that my wife also follows and so we see all kinds of pictures of Pips working in the field and modeling some of the dog SWAG that the group gets. Based on four years of pictures we believe Pips has been Heath’s favorite dog in the program almost since he he arrived but Heath may not admit it. The shadow under Pips makes us think this is not photoshopped but even if it is somehow, so what? We zipped over to San Diego on Wednesday and got back yesterday so a very quick trip to see a Padre game. Never been to Petco Park and always wanted to go. It is a great place to see a game and we had fantastic seats for only about $55 apiece. We booked a place through Airbnb and although the unit we stayed in did not have a view of the field the roof top did so we caught the tail end of Wednesday’s game from the roof and went Thursday afternoon. For real baseball fans who may not know, I found...

Your Portfolio Does Not Have to be Perfect

My latest for Alpha Baskets looks at Brett Arends’ quest for his perfect portfolio. From the post; Brett’s portfolio is, of course, similar to any number of portfolios we’ve looked at over the years: not unreasonably complex, can be constructed with ETFs, and is unlikely to be ruinous. Please click through to read the rest.   The picture is from Pacific Beach in San Diego, here until Friday morning. Quick trip to see a game at...

Nothing New Under the Sun

A reader left a long list of issues now confronting markets on the Seeking Alpha Version of one of my posts. I replied in the comments and then thought his list and my reply would make for a good blog post. Excerpt; One of the items you list (or some other thing) could end the world but people have been betting incorrectly on that for centuries. Please click through to read the rest.   Four wheel drive Bricklin here in...

Jon Snow Knows Nothing

The title is a reference to Game of Thrones and seems appropriate after the season finale last night but has nothing to do with the post–don’t worry no spoilers here. The AdvisorShares Weekly Market Update is posted and includes the following about a potentially interesting ETN that launched last week; There were also a couple of one-off products that debuted including the ETRACS Wells Fargo MLP Ex-Energy ETN (NYSEARCA: FMLP). This ETN is a truly unique idea as there are MLPs that are not involved in transporting oil or natural gas including materials companies, shipping container companies and at least one shipping company (as in it owns and leases out boats) but FMLP is almost 90% in financial companies which diminishes its uniqueness. Please click through to read the...

The Fascination With Tiny Houses

In the last couple of months I have begun to learn about and blog about Tiny Houses. Below is an excerpt from this week’s AdvisorShares Market Update, the “Interesting Reads” section, on the subject; A few weeks ago in this space we looked at a concept known as Tiny Houses. The big idea is that these very small homes have a smaller ecological and financial footprint in an era of greater ecological awareness and post housing crisis.   Tiny Houses range in size from 70 square feet to 200 square feet, about the the size a trailer or fifth wheel which many of them are. Part of the equation is that Tiny Houses are on wheels which means there is no property tax on the Tiny House as a structure (there will be property tax on the land). Another dynamic at work in the layout of Tiny Houses is the need for maximum efficiency of how space is used.   There are two personal finance dynamics here. One is that Tiny Houses offer an inexpensive concept for people who believe a traditional home purchase is beyond their means with many Tiny Houses ranging in price from $20,000-$40,000. Tiny Houses also offer a cost effective form of downsizing for people in the early stages of retirement. It’s not that Tiny Houses will hold universal appeal but will be a practical solution for some folks. Next month the Biography Channel will be rebranded into the FYI Channel and one of their new featured shows will be Tiny House Nation which if nothing else will be a fun look at some interesting...