This past week Google (GOOG) reported earnings of a healthy $8.08 per share–except that the consensus expectation was $8.10 per share.

And as a result of missing those two cents, the stock dived 8.26%–$47.81 per share–on Friday.


To me, as a Google shareholder who keeps buying in, I consider this a buying opportunity. I believe long term this stock will do just fine.


Wow. Taxes Were Ugly

I finally spent some time this weekend working on taxes. The results were pretty ugly, although I will say, as I have many times, that it’s really better to owe than not.

This year I owe the feds over $1,000, and the state about $300.

That doesn’t exactly thrill me, but it’s what I’ve got.

We have, unfortunately, yet another family health crisis here–one that’s not entirely a secret, as I’ve been semi-discussing it on Twitter and Facebook–that could be the most serious of all. That said, I’m hoping we get a plan in the next few weeks and I can go back to blogging as usual.

Honestly, as I said previously, it could have been lots worse–like tons worse. Consider the price of oil, at least partially due to the crisis in Libya, and the disaster in Japan, and that adds up to a possible stock market collapse.

That did not happen.

The Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX) was up in March, a full 2.22%. This was in addition to the annual 1.59% yield it pays. The Vanguard Total International Stock Index Fund (VGTSX), the fund I believed most vulnerable, was also up for the month, a very small 0.43%, while paying 1.53% yield annually.

In the fixed income part of the portfolio, the Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX), lost a cent on the month to be down .09% while paying its 3.28% yield, and the Vanguard Total Bond Fund (VBMFX) was down four cents for the month, finishing lower by 0.38% while paying 3.34% yield.

Despite the disasters, the market was fine–if mediocre. Let’s hope that things go even better in the months to come!

I don’t mess up often, but there are times I do.

I take full responsibility.

I haven’t finished my taxes yet. I’ve actually barely started.

This might involve my taking a vacation day or two before the 18th.


Down, But Just a Hair

I haven’t run all of the numbers I usually do, but due to all the concerns about March for investors–the downturn late in February, the unrest in Egypt, and the natural disaster and nuclear concerns in Japan–I did a quick run of numbers for the S&P 500 for that month.

That broad index was indeed down for March–all of 2.81 points.

That translates into 0.21%.

So yes, the market went down–at least this index of the market, anyway–in the month of March. But very, very little.


Not a Disaster: the Stock Market

The tsunami striking Japan was definitely a disaster, and in Hawai’i we’ve had damage that is disastrous on a smaller scale. But one thing that hasn’t been a disaster since the tsunami is the stock market.

The market had spun itself somewhat downward in late February and continued that through early February, but as of now–March 29, 2011, so with about a week’s worth of trading to go–the market has done just fine and dandy.

The Vanguard Total Stock Index Fund (VTSMX), the index on which the majority of my model portfolio depends, is up–a measly 0.974%, but up. Additionally, the Vanguard Total International Stock Index Fund (VGTSX), which would seem more vulnerable to a natural disaster in Japan, has also been down, but just a hair–0.56%.

So far, the tsunami which did tons of damage to the islands of Japan has done about none to the markets.

While I have long maintained that I’m not a fan of Sprint, I’m still using them, partially because while their customer service has been horrible, their coverage and network speeds have been fine, meaning that I’m almost never in need of customer service. But in order to use my Epic 4G I had to change my plan from the $30 SERO plan to a $40 SERO Premium plan with a $10 per month “premium data” surcharge, bringing my total to over $50 per month. I killed off my stand alone mobile data cards when this happened, but I’m still thinking of the future for phone and mobile data.

So I’m now considering Virgin Mobile; they have a $25/month no contract 300 minutes, unlimited data, unlimited SMS deal which would work fine for me. Unfortunately, none of their current phones are as nice as my Epic 4G and while they ride on the Sprint network none of their devices uses Sprint’s WiMax (self proclaimed 4G) data.

This bears more watching.

Thursday when I got to my truck after work, I discovered the front passenger tire was flat. I had a party that night and didn’t want to get dirty, so I called GEICO’s roadside assistance. Unlike in the past, they took a long time to get to me, so I started removing the front tire myself, and that’s when it happened:

the lug stud snapped off.

When the assistance finally came, I had them replace the tire and secure it by four bolts since that’s all I could do. I spent the holiday trying to figure out the best way to replace the stud.

I’m still figuring it out.

The parts came out to well under $20. However, it appears this is going to be one of the more difficult repairs to do and I’m still considering if doing it myself is wise.

Unfortunately, the tire couldn’t be repaired and was in fact replaced, making money more of an issue. But so is safety, and I’d rather have this fixed than make it worse. It’s a tough call, because I pride myself in doing things myself, but I may not be able to this time.


Helping Hands for Japan

I’m half Japanese (the other half is Okinawan, and yes, there is a difference).

That said, many of us in Hawai’i have been trying to raise–and give–funds for disaster relief.

I took part in the Flock of Cranes fundraiser organized by my Twitter and in real life buddies Appi Yashiro and Ricky Li. A thousand cranes representing healing were folded, plus money was raised, for disaster relief. There’s more, of course: local clothing manufacturers are donating money from the sale of the Aloha Japan shirt, for instance. The Red Cross is taking donations directly; through sending a SMS message a $10 add on to your phone bill becomes a donation to Japan disaster relief.

Let’s do what we can to help those who were devastated by this disaster.

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