Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Laptop Pursuit

So after a few days of scanning Craig's List (more like a week at this point), finally a seller not only contacted me back with answers to my questions, but actually showed enough interest in selling the item listed that I've arranged a time for the sale. Unfortunately, it's like 40 miles from my house so it's going to be a long drive up and back. It'll be worth it to have a laptop to use for this week. I've found that the transfer time from written out to the computer is much faster than from the source at the courthouse to where I write it out. I imagine by bypassing the writing stage completely, the time I have to spend at the courthouse will be greatly decreased. I'm sure over the upcoming months, the time saved will greatly surpass the time spent driving up and back tonight.

The only other problem is that I've lost confidence in my current investor. Not responding to me for 2-3 weeks does that kind of thing. But currently I do not have any other investors lined up. I will most likely continue sending leads to him for now, but I found another potential investor's number in the paper yesterday, so I just have to call and hope that they are what I'm looking for. If not, there is a REI club meeting a week from this Saturday that I will go to. If you can't find an investor at a REI club meeting, something is terribly wrong.

If the flow keeps up at 90 or so, or even 75, that's still way too many leads for one investor to take on anyway. I need to start branching out, finding people who work specifically with foreclosure cases and actually start getting some sales done. Right now I have the flow coming in where I need it, but nothing is coming from it. The laptop will make that process even easier but it still adds up to zero without it leading to sales.


I did some calculating of my stock performance today. I'll post all the numbers if people are interested. Currently I stand at an annualized ROI of 12%. It's an ok start, esp since I haven't actually fully primed the pipe with one year's worth of investment, but I'm a little disappointed. The advice in The Little Book that Beats the Market says to put about 1/3 of the amount you are going to put into your portfolio in the first year because over 3 year periods the average ROI should be between 20-30%. I haven't figured out what my plan is for after December when I reach the 1 year mark, but I might juggle some of my other investment amounts and keep the amount I'm putting into individual stocks steady.

I've come to realize that the mutual funds that I'm invested in through my 401ks, Roth and house fund are not performing up to the standard I'd like. I have a lot more faith in my individual stocks since I know exactly what they are invested in, I can focus on lowering the amount of tax by making sure they are taxed as long term capital gains, and there are no management fees and small trading fees. I realize that 401ks and Roths are tax free accounts, but the performance is still controlled by the company managing the fund, so they probably spread their costs equally across their accounts. Also, in my breakdown I count the 401ks and Roth as savings accounts and I'd like to get the percentages to favor investments over savings.

Quick Rant

First off, I really like Facebook but this just needs to be said.

I read this great article on Codding Horror: the Daily WTF recently that talks about Why Does Software Spoil. It's mainly because rather than focusing on performance and fixing bugs, new iterations always add more and more features. These features are great sometimes, but over a long period of time you get to the point where the core functionality that you use something for is eclipsed and ruined by a gross amount of unwanted features.

Welcome to today's Facebook.

What I use to love about Facebook was that it wasn't MySpace. It was exclusive to college aged or near college aged people. It was centered around finding people in your classes or that you meet on campus. Once you did, then you had all their contact information or at least a method of reaching them as well as a basic profile about them.

Nowadays, Facebook is filled with crap. This whole "Ninja vs Pirate", "Vampire", "Werewolf", "Zombie", "Write on someone's wall in paint" and various other plug-in stuff is crap. Not only does it make everything load slower, but it clutters up the page real estate. The last straw is coming soon because Facebook is going to become International. I can picture it now, everyday you'll see a new friend request from Viagra or Cialis written out in a mixture of characters and numbers or in Russian.

Unfortunately, I don't have a solution. I'm just sad that another great tool is starting to grow mold.

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