Some Links For A Saturday Night

by Mike Holman

Rough week in Pillar land – family stomach flu and hosting problems which resulted in switching the blog to a new host.  I’ll be posting the details on Monday (about the hosting change – not the flu!).

Here are a few posts that I read this week:

I thought this post on what you should do when job hunting was simply brilliant. I really liked the advice about keeping yourself “employed” (or what appears to be employed on paper) when you are not.  I found out about Penelope Trunk’s Brazen Careerist blog after seeing repeated links from Brip Blap who is always a great read.  Both blogs are very worthwhile.

Ron from the Wisdom Journal explains how he and his wife paid off $120,000 in debt in 52 months.  Keep in mind that 52 months is over 4 years so we’re not talking about a short-term effort here.  Congrats to Ron and I’m sure he can’t help but wonder what things would be like if they had not accrued that much debt in the first place.

One of my favourite topics lately is the car companies – Ken Lewenza, the head of the CAW insists that he can maintain his members’ existing wage and benefits packages.  While I understand that the CAW is negotiating and no union should agree to major cutbacks just because a company is in a short-term down period – I think in this case the only way Mr. Lewenza can keep his ridiculous promise would be to somehow buy all the car companies himself.  Of course in that case he would probably lose his union job.

Moolanomy has a regular feature called Ask Larry Swedroe who is a very good investing expert.  This weeks question was “Should you own individual stocks” – I’ve read a lot of answers to this common question before but I thought Larry’s answer was very good.

And last, but certainly not least – Plonkee Money – a very worthwhile read – wrote a post about the magic money cupboard.  This post really illustrates a common opinion that most financial companies have some “secret” money management skills that somehow allow them to earn above average investment returns.  If they do, they certainly keep those excess profits close to home.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Gate VP

…no union should agree to major cutbacks just because a company is in a short-term down period

Yeah, I wouldn’t call “imminent doom” a “short-term down period”. But I really think that the Union is partly responsible for that imminent doom, especially in the US. GM’s health care and pension burden is basically going to prevent any hope of recovery that GM may have otherwise had.

I think Ken Lewenza needs to ask himself the inverse question: “Why do my Canadian Auto Workers deserve a lifestyle that completely overshadows equally skilled workers in other countries?” A Canadian making 30k still lives a better existence than 2/3 of the world.

Failing to negotiate concessions will put everybody out of work. The fundamental truth is that auto workers are over-compensated and the coming collapse in that industry is going to bear that out.

Good link from Penelope Trunk. Watching people without work is an exciting exercise indeed.

2 Mark

I remember in the late 80’s, early 90’s I had a friend of mine working for a bus company who decided to go on strike.
It’s union president was all cranked up and telling anyone who wanted to listen how they were going to show the owners who was the boss…
Ironically, a year and a half later, the company owners decided to fold and everyone – except the union guy who was “placed” by the union at another company – lost their jobs…
Unions need to rethink their attitude. GM isn’t selling ANY cars practically and this guy is saying that he can maintain its members pay and benefits??? Reality check my friend…

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