July 20, 2009

Hammered Again!

Well, as my faithful readers know, e*trade hammered me and many of its customers when they abruptly liquidated their mutual fund line. You can read my thoughts on it here and here.

It looks like another company is up to some games as well.

I "had" an S&P 500 index fund. It was the Harris Insight Index fund (HIDAX), now owned by Virtus.

On July 16th, I received an e-mail from e*trade stating that I have a new trade confirmation. I thought that is strange because I didn't make any trades.

I logged into my e-trade account and sure enough found all of my shares of HIDAX were sold, at a large loss of course. I sent e*trade's customer service a message questioning why the fund was sold.

This time it doesn't appear as though it was e*trade's fault. Here is their response:

"Dear Mr. Matthews,

Thank you for your message regarding your brokerage account.

The VIRTUS INSIGHT TR VIRTUS INDEX FD, HIDAX, liquidated its assets on 7/14/2009. As part of that liquidation your shares of the company fund were sold on 7/15/2009. "

So because some company can't manage an "unmanaged" index fund I have to lose over $7,000!

I have about had it with mutual funds. The only mutual funds that I have are with Columbia and TIAA-Cref.

I have been added some ETF's to my portfolio, but they are from Vanguard. So I will need to reevaluate my portfolio and determine what I need to do because of poor management!


July 17, 2009

Buying large quanities saves money right?

I am sure you have all heard the concept of buying larger quantities to save money right? I know that has been my thought as well, so last night at Wal*Mart I decided to find out how true this old saying really is.

I only looked at two items, so it isn't very scientific, but they are two items that I buy periodically.

First up was kitchen garbage bags, 13 gallon Glad Drawstrings, unscented.
78 bags cost $10.58 or $0.1356 cents per bag
45 bags cost $5.98 or $0.1328 cents per bag

Therefore, it is cheaper to buy the smaller quantity.

Next up, Vitamins, One Source Active Children's Chewable.
240 count cost $10.98 or $0.045 cents per pill
144 count cost $5.98 or $0.041 cents per pill

Again, it is cheaper to buy the smaller quantity.

I also did some quick comparisons on Amazon as well. It seems as though the same thing occurs.
100 bags = $0.1554 per bag
160 bags = $0.2006 per bag

The point is, always compare prices before buying larger quantities.


July 16, 2009

Famous Again!

My letter to the editor of Smart Money magazine was published in the August 2009 issue.

You can read my original letter here.

They trimmed the letter a little bit, but still got the gist of it right.

The last time I was published in Smart Money magazine was August 2007, with Warren Buffet on the cover. Amazingly, Warren Buffet is on the cover of the August 2009 issue as well!

You can pick up your own copy of Smart Money to keep as a souvenir.


July 08, 2009

Book Review

The Heart of the Bible by John MacArthur

This is probably the best summary (quick) understanding of the important scripture references every Christian should know.

MacArthur gives 52 key verses and a brief explanation of each. The idea of the book is for the reader to read, understand, and think about one piece of scripture a week for the entire year.

The passages are grouped together in chapters to help the reader focus on one aspect of Christianity for several weeks before moving on to the next topic.

I would strongly recommend this book to a new or growing Christian. This would also be a good book for a more mature Christian looking to deepen or strengthen their faith as well.


July 07, 2009

Book Review

"Because the Time is Near" by John MacArthur

This is an excellent explanation on the book of Revelation.

MacArthur takes each section and explains it in an easy to read and in an understanding way to the average reader. This is essentially a commentary on the book of Revelation for the average person.

MacArthur takes the scripture in a literal way. The Church will be raptured, there will be seven years of tribulation, a literal 1,000 year millennial Kingdom, the final rebellion and judgment, and then the eternal state for all.

This is probably one of the best books that I have read regarding the facts and explanation of Revelation. I highly recommend it to all.