Thursday, October 20, 2011

How We Occupy Wall Street

When my oldest son Seth turned 13 last month, I wanted to use the opportunity to teach him the best way to Occupy Wall Street, and that is to learn at a young age how to successfully invest in the stock market.  My dad got me started at age 14, and so I figured I'd give Seth a one year head-start.  So, yesterday I scheduled time with him after school and presented to him a Stock Market Basics tutorial, made up of material from the Internet, and some of my own advice based on my own successes and failures at investing.

I told him about how many large companies started out as small mom-and-pop's - like McDonald's, Apple, and Dell, and how these entrepreneurs raised money by going public and selling shares.  And when you own stock, you actually own a small piece of the companies in which you have invested.  We also talked about how investors share in the profits, losses, assets, liabilities, and even decisions of the company.  It was a great father-son discussion about the wonders and beauty of Capitalism. 

We then studied some charts and reports from Investors Business Daily, my favorite source of investment wisdom. He then settled on deciding the first 2 stocks he would buy with the savings I had set aside for him over the years - just as my father had done.  I bought Virginia Electric & Power Company (VEPCO) when I was a kid, and between the dividends and steady increases, I had doubled my investment within a few years.  Seth picked Apple (3 shares) and Dollar Tree (10).  We placed limit orders last night, which executed this morning.  So he's now a stockholder.

This afternoon, after school, he texted me...  "The stock market did horrible today."  I checked.  Dow was up 37.  But AAPL was down $3.31 (0.83%) and DLTR down $0.20 (0.25%).  Guess it's all about perspective...  He lost nearly $12 his first day in the market.  Let's hope the other days are better.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Funny Things My Kids Say - Poppie's Heart

Today Caleb had a memorable observation.  He was playing in the ocean and noticed the odd shape on Poppie's chest.  Poppie has a pacemaker, and you can see the shape of it from outside Poppie's skin. 

Caleb noted, "I now know that the heart is NOT shaped like this..."  (and drew the shape of the heart - using his two index fingers - as seen in Valentine's cards and graphics icons)...  "'s shaped like THIS..."  (and drew a rectangle with the same two fingers)!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Vista Networking Issues Driving Me Crazy!!!

Since installing a new DLINK 632 router this weekend, the only Vista computer in the house cannot access internet.  Of course, this is Lori's computer, so mama ain't happy, and therefore no one is happy.

It gets an IP.  It can ping internet sites all day long.  But can't access any of them via web browsers or other apps.

I've tried all these things one by one and get same results.
  • ipconfig /release     then    ipconfig /renew   also threw in a flushdns
  • powered off and let computer sit for a while
  • powered off router and DSL modem and let them sit
  • disabled Norton AV
  • I've used every "diagnose and repair" button there is - and it keeps saying all is well.
  • Windows firewall not enabled
  • deleted the network device and rebooted allowing windows to reinstall it
  • tried all the stuff on this page:
  • uninstalled Norton AV.  
  • Disabled TCP v6 in the Networking properties (leaving only TVP v4)
  • plugged the network cable from PC into laptop and confirmed that the cabling is fine (the laptop connected wired OK)
  • took the new router out of the picture and went directly from Vista PC to DSL modem.  Logged through DSL broadband connection successfully.  Same results: Could ping internet, but not browse.
  • hard coded an IP address
  • When I look at "Network and Computer sharing"... it has the nice little graphic of the PC connected to the network, and the network connected to the Internet.
I have not reinstalled windows nor have I removed and reseated the network card.  I also have not thrown the PC out the 3rd floor window of our office, but it's crossed my mind.

I am stumped.

Any ideas?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011