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The Stock Market and Investing

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  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,909
    edited January 19

    Maybe we're not thinking of the same kind of mobility. (Socio)-Economic mobility doesn't mean being able to work where you want, it means the ability to move up the spectrum.
    What does your daughter do, how did she ascend? Managing a remote team makes me think of an offshoring firm - another product of American economic devolution. Many people have weird lucky jobs that enable working from home like you mention, but for the vast majority, no-go - the middle manager/micromanager type likes to be able to keep an eye on things to justify his job, hard to do out of the office. I live in an IT epicenter, and I don't know many coder types who can work from home very often. Day traders aren't part of the real working world, are they? Few can do it, even fewer actually do it. Ostrich farmers can work from home too :)

    It's a nice efficient thought though, so much money has to be spent on office complex overhead. I don't know if it is possible without a huge change in thought by those with their finger on the button.

    @gagrice said: How many day traders work from home. Probably 99% and from anywhere they like.

  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,700

    @fintail said: Maybe we're not thinking of the same kind of mobility. (Socio)-Economic mobility doesn't mean being able to work where you want, it means the ability to move up the spectrum.
    What does your daughter do, how did she ascend?

    Well you are doing better than average, you obviously can write very well which implies a significant education. How have you done so well? Is that not mobility that is reward for hard work and good education? And for those who don't get that, well...

    One thing we ought to do is ask why certain cultural and socio-economic parts of our society find hard work and a good education somehow "selling out the system" (and I could use other more controversial terms, but won't). It's as if a certain class of citizens don't really care and won't really work hard to get higher on the social mobility scale, as if that's undesirable.

  • houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaPosts: 5,774

    @tlong said:

    Excellent, thought provoking post tiong !!

    2013 LX 570 2010 LS 460

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,676

    @fintail said: Maybe we're not thinking of the same kind of mobility. (Socio)-Economic mobility doesn't mean being able to work where you want, it means the ability to move up the spectrum.

    It's a nice efficient thought though, so much money has to be spent on office complex overhead. I don't know if it is possible without a huge change in thought by those with their finger on the button.

    Without a good education you are right about moving up the ladder. It was that way in the 1960s at Ma Bell. You could move into a 1st level from a craft job and then hit the education ceiling. There are too many cases of bright people moving into the upper middle class and beyond to make any kind of blanket statement to the contrary. In the case of my daughter, she worked up pretty high at Chicago Title, without a college degree. Then decided being with her son was more important than ascending the corporate ladder. She wasn't looking for this job when it was dropped on her. She was called by an old boss that had moved up into another company. At the other end of the business. Dealing with Foreclosure docs. She did not expect it to last this long. And she has not seen her boss in over 5 years. She must be getting the paper work done correctly or they would find a reason to dump her. My SIL rarely goes into his local office as the boss is in San Diego. I think you are underestimating the people working from home. I personally know CPAs, property managers, Realtors, programmers, corporate salesmen that all can do their jobs from home. My last CPA was in Florida. Did all my taxes online with him. The Internet has changed a lot of things for the working classes. In this highly competitive world an office expense can be more of a detriment than a plus.

  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,909
    edited January 20

    A little hard work, a little luck. I put myself through school, but I was lucky enough to have parents who taught me that I need to do a little work to get anything, and I was lucky enough to have a system of grants and loans to help me along. I've been lucky enough to be at an employer where I was able to find a little room for promotion. I'm not making six figures or anything, but I am grateful for what I have, I won't pretend I built it myself.

    The US ranks lower than many so-called socialist nations on socio-economic mobility - while certainly some cultural idiocies are at play, some flaws in the modern system are at play as well.

    And thanks for the compliment ;)

    @tlong said: One thing we ought to do is ask why certain cultural and socio-economic parts of our society find hard work and a good education somehow "selling out the system" (and I could use other more controversial terms, but won't). It's as if a certain class of citizens don't really care and won't really work hard to get higher on the social mobility scale, as if that's undesirable.

  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,909
    edited January 20

    Foreclosure documents are farmed out to Romania? With personally identifying information? That sounds pretty risky, knowing some of the identity theft and fraud rings that hail from that area. And I won't get into companies that no doubt receive publicly subsidized help to get started or keep going, and then send jobs offshore - part of the American downfall. But good for her, lacking a degree shouldn't strike someone out - but these days, it is virtually a prerequisite for most decent paying jobs that don't have some possibly self-taught relatively arcane computer skill as a key function.

    Many cases don't equal statistical significance. Many people can indeed work from home, many people have moved up a notch or many (I am better off than my parents were - but I also don't have the mouths to feed, and I am more careful with my money), but in general for the latter, it isn't as frequent as it once was, and it is certainly not less difficult. In the future, there probably will be more home workers.

    @gagrice said: Without a good education you are right about moving up the ladder. It was that way in the 1960s at Ma Bell. You could move into a 1st level from a craft job and then hit the education ceiling. There are too many cases of bright people moving into the upper middle class and beyond to make any kind of blanket statement to the contrary. In the case of my daughter, she worked up pretty high at Chicago Title, without a college degree. Then decided being with her son was more important than ascending the corporate ladder. She wasn't looking for this job when it was dropped on her. She was called by an old boss that had moved up into another company. At the other end of the business. Dealing with Foreclosure docs. She did not expect it to last this long. And she has not seen her boss in over 5 years. She must be getting the paper work done correctly or they would find a reason to dump her. My SIL rarely goes into his local office as the boss is in San Diego. I think you are underestimating the people working from home. I personally know CPAs, property managers, Realtors, programmers, corporate salesmen that all can do their jobs from home. My last CPA was in Florida. Did all my taxes online with him. The Internet has changed a lot of things for the working classes. In this highly competitive world an office expense can be more of a detriment than a plus.

  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,700
    edited January 20

    @fintail said: A little hard work, a little luck. I put myself through school, but I was lucky enough to have parents who taught me that I need to do a little work to get anything, and I was lucky enough to have a system of grants and loans to help me along. I've been lucky enough to be at an employer where I was able to find a little room for promotion. I'm not making six figures or anything, but I am grateful for what I have, I won't pretend I built it myself.

    The US ranks lower than many so-called socialist nations on socio-economic mobility - while certainly some cultural idiocies are at play, some flaws in the modern system are at play as well.

    And thanks for the compliment ;)

    There is always luck involved. Heck, you or I could be hit by a truck at any time - one of the girls in my grad school class had exactly that happen to her less than a year after she was married. Gone at 26.

    Still, you worked hard and have done well. The odds were certainly a lot higher due to your education and your work ethic. You might have been unlucky, just as a lesser-educated person might get lucky and do better than average. Still there is a pretty significant correlation between the education/work hard and upward social mobility. I'm sure there are countries that are better, but we aren't that bad. So many people still want into this country because their own countries offer much less mobility than here.

    You mention having parents that emphasized education. Again, in some of the US "subcultures", that's not done and is a detriment to mobility. And then of course there are fatherless families, which is a huge handicap for kids in those families having mobility.

    No problem on the writing compliment. In general, the posters in these forums are obviously better than the average in this country. That's why I like it here. A bit of actual intelligence in an otherwise mediocre sea.

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,676

    @fintail said: Foreclosure documents are farmed out to Romania? With personally identifying information? That sounds pretty risky, knowing some of the identity theft and fraud rings that hail from that area.

    Not sure it is as bad as signing up for Obamacare with the leaks of info going on there. More than likely if you are being foreclosed on your Credit and financial position is not such that it can be exploited much. My daughter works for a very large law firm. Her branch handles all Freddie Mac California foreclosures. She claims the Romanian people are very fluent in English and more competent than the crew she had in Los Angeles. More concerned with accuracy. I don't think it is cheap labor as much as good work ethics, the attorneys are concerned with. The whole housing bubble was a catastrophy of corruption and incompetence at every level. It will take years to sort out the mess one home at a time. One error and you have to start over.

  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,700

    @gagrice said: Not sure it is as bad as signing up for Obamacare with the leaks of info going on there. More > than likely if you are being foreclosed on your Credit and financial position is not such that it > > can be exploited much.

    You have to figure that at this point, between the NSA, Target, hackers everywhere, the credit card companies selling your data, the 3 credit reporting services, and ubiquitous data -- ALL of our information is out there, everywhere. Our privacy is pretty much screwed at this point.

    The biggest risk I see is that there needs to be a better way to authenticate yourself. I suspect better mechanisms will be developed over the next 5-10 years as ID theft becomes even more pervasive. I wonder which companies will suffer, and which will benefit from this? Time to do some investing!

  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,909
    edited January 20

    I have a feeling the Obamacare work went to a brother in law, the way a lot of public sector work seems to be awarded. What an epic sad fail - the real private sector could have done a 10x better job for less cost, no doubt. IT people here are laughing and griping about it - and they tend not to be GOPers.

    Regarding privacy, I'd rather info not be sent out to areas that are known fraud ring hotbeds, but I don't like the offshoring of any similar work at all. ID theft and phishing work is growing, and it doesn't tend to be domestic - I work with this stuff. A lot of problems come from Central America/Caribbean, eastern Europe/old Soviet areas, and China. And not related to ID theft but still bad, on the rare occasion I have to make a customer service call and get someone who is obviously in the Philippines or India, I cringe. Needs to be a massive penalty for "creating" those jobs, one that outweighs the savings. Want tax cuts? Fine, don't send stuff offshore.

    Speaking of housing bubbles, there are still a few out there right now, most not in the US.

    @gagrice said:

  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,909

    Luck of where/to who you are born is a key. If you aren't born rich, but born to people who aren't ignorant or stupid, you still have a chance. But without the latter, all bets are off. So many variables at play too - and with the education system being as it is (some of those cultural and demographic problems you mention are related), I don't see it getting any better.

    People come to the US from other first world places to strike it rich or dodge taxes, or from less developed areas to have a middle class life (what's left of it). In an apples to apples comparison, it's not as easy - nobody from first world Europe comes to the US to have a better working class living experience. But someone from there with a cool idea or some money to hide will see the US as appealing.

    Not to mention,with our differences, it is still civil here. Probably because, in the long run, our agreements outweigh disagreements.

    @tlong said:

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,676

    Does anyone agree with this guy on CNBC? I think you will see more store closures. Leaving big empty stores in these malls. Malls have become hangouts for young people and are not conducive to shopping.

    On Tuesday, Sears said that it will shutter its flagship store in downtown Chicago in April. It's the latest of about 300 store closures in the U.S. that Sears has made since 2010. The news follows announcements earlier this month of multiple store closings from major department stores J.C. Penney and Macy's.

    Further signs of cuts in the industry came Wednesday, when Target said that it will eliminate 475 jobs worldwide, including some at its Minnesota headquarters, and not fill 700 empty positions.

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/101353168

  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,700

    Online shopping in general is challenging a lot of brick and mortar stores. Combine that with people still being gun-shy to shop, in spite of the slow recovery, and it is not good for traditional stores.

  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,909
    edited January 23

    I can believe it. Online shopping is a legitimate revolution. Physical stores are used for comparing, then people buy online. If brick and mortar really fades, there might be an impact, perhaps physical stores existing to help fulfill online purchases.

    High end malls won't fade away so much (my local expensive mall is expanding), but middle/working class facilities in much of the country are a piece of the 80s or 90s, not today - replaced by Wally World for many. Kind of reflects socio-economic changes in general. My mom lives in an area where three towns combine for maybe 35-38K people, and a mall was built in the early 80s. The mall is a ghost town now, empty but for a few stores and Sears, JCP left last year. It was action packed 25 years ago. Now, in an area where much industry has faded, everyone goes to WM.

    Another mall impact of the internet, ebay specifically, is the antique mall. My parents were hobbyist antique dealers, and had a booth in a mall. It closed in the late 90s, was never replaced. This was the time when ebay got big. Seems to be less antique malls now than I remember when I was young.

    @gagrice said: Does anyone agree with this guy on CNBC?

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,676

    @fintail said: I can believe it. Online shopping is a legitimate revolution. Physical stores are used for comparing, then people buy online. If brick and mortar really fades, there might be an impact, perhaps physical stores existing to help fulfill online purchases.

    High end malls won't fade away so much (my local expensive mall is expanding), but middle/working class facilities in much of the country are a piece of the 80s or 90s, not today - replaced by Wally World for many. Kind of reflects socio-economic changes in general. My mom lives in an area where three towns combine for maybe 35-38K people, and a mall was built in the early 80s. The mall is a ghost town now, empty but for a few stores and Sears, JCP left last year. It was action packed 25 years ago. Now, in an area where much industry has faded, everyone goes to WM.

    Another mall impact of the internet, ebay specifically, is the antique mall. My parents were hobbyist antique dealers, and had a booth in a mall. It closed in the late 90s, was never replaced. This was the time when ebay got big. Seems to be less antique malls now than I remember when I was young.

    You pegged it exactly the way I see it here. The only malls that have survived in the lower rent districts ended up with a big Walmart or Sam's Club. High end stores like Nordstroms and Macys do not set up shop in the same malls as Target and Wally World. At least not for long. I think Amazon got dealt a blow in CA with being forced to collect sales tax. That was a 9% savings for much of the state. Now it is the convenience of getting what you want delivered to your door in a short time frame.

  • Michaell@EdmundsMichaell@Edmunds ColoradoPosts: 1,155

    @gagrice said: You pegged it exactly the way I see it here. The only malls that have survived in the lower rent districts ended up with a big Walmart or Sam's Club. High end stores like Nordstroms and Macys do not set up shop in the same malls as Target and Wally World. At least not for long. I think Amazon got dealt a blow in CA with being forced to collect sales tax. That was a 9% savings for much of the state. Now it is the convenience of getting what you want delivered to your door in a short time frame.

    I read a great book about Amazon ... I think they saw the writing on the wall in CA regarding sales taxes and agreed to charge them before any legal action was taken.

    I think that on-line retailers will start to charge sales tax universally in the not-too-distant future. You do realize that we are supposed to claim the unpaid sales tax on our federal and state taxes each year? Not that anybody does.....

    michaell@edmunds.com

    Moderator, Prices Paid and Leasing Experiences

    2013 Hyundai Elantra GT / 2010 Mazda CX-7 GT / 2014 MINI Countryman S ALL4

  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,600

    @Michaell@Edmunds said: I read a great book about Amazon ... I think they saw the writing on the wall in CA regarding sales taxes and agreed to charge them before any legal action was taken.

    I think it was more of a case that it was going to establish operations in CA anyway so they made a gesture to the state that will probably grease the wheels in the future when they want to open new warehouses.

    I find it interesting the Amazon has had an engineering office and a subsidiary (Kiva Systems) here in MA since at least 2011 and only started to collect sales tax in 2013. I always thought some sort of presence was enough to trigger the sales tax requirements. Kiva makes fulfillment systems that utilize robots to get the product and bring it to the packers. Since Amazon acquired them, they have essentially stopped looking for new customers and only tolerate existing customers due to contractual requirements. They even let their entire sales staff go as Amazon pretty much takes up their entire production.

  • cyclone4cyclone4 Posts: 2,257

    SHOCKING News!! Too bad Merc1, TagMan and a few others are not around on this site any more. Yours truly, who was probably THE most loyal Lexus advocate has done the unthinkable. I have ordered a 2014 S550. Yes, you heard this right.

    I got very lucky with the Mercedes dealer in Kansas City. My friend who has been doing business with them for quite a few years, introduced me to the assistant manager there a couple weeks ago. He had pre-ordered some new S 550's and he was able to make the necessary changes on one of them and be configured exactly how I wanted it. He wanted my business and he gave me what I believe is a great deal. All the other dealers I contacted would not come off the MSRP since the car is SO hot and there are waiting lists everywhere. He took $4,500 off the sticker price. The car will arrive in Kansas City in mid March at the time of the Big 12 Tournament there. So, it might work out great for the pick-up. At other dealerships (including Des Moines), a special order might get here by summer.

    By the way, I cannot believe that Mercedes is selling this car for so little $ relatively speaking. I am paying the same price that I would pay for the new LS460L with everything on it (except for executive seating which I don't want). However, this car has SO much more to offer than the new LS, BMW 7 Series, Audi 8, etc. In fact, from what I have been told, some high tech features can't even be found on the Rolls Royce or the Bentley. The car basically drives itself.

    I am extremely excited to get this car. I have done a lot of reading and research on it and it is the most innovative, high tech, safe vehicle I have ever seen. The car basically drives itself. I test drove it yesterday down there in KC and I was blown away. That's when I decided to make it official.

    Here is a link to the Online brochure. The car on the very first page so happens to be the exterior color (iridium silver) that I ordered. Maybe this will get TagMan to show up here again.

    http://www.mbusa.com/vcm/MB/DigitalAssets/pdfmb/brochures/2014-S-Class.pdf

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,676

    @cyclone4 said: SHOCKING News!! Too bad Merc1, TagMan and a few others are not around on this site any more. Yours truly, who was probably THE most loyal Lexus advocate has done the unthinkable. I have ordered a 2014 S550. Yes, you heard this right.

    Sounds great. I followed a new S550 this morning on the Freeway for several miles. There is a reason MB sold more cars in the USA last year than any of the other Luxury brands. They are winning back customers they lost 20 years ago to Lexus.

  • carnaughtcarnaught Posts: 1,569
    edited January 24

    Cyclone, great car, congrats.

    Mercedes is making the comeback with good deals, great safety and other features, and probably the best looking current luxury carline. Merc1 would indeed be proud.

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