Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Day 2599

I was pleased to see the Dow close above 20,000 for the first time ever. I still believe in the market. I've had a few very bad years, but I'm doing better than when the Dow closed above 10,000 for the first time in March of 1999. You have to be patient. If I'm still alive when the Dow hits 30,000, as it inevitably will, there should be even more cause for celebration. I have friends who totally distrust the stock market, but I still think it's the only game in town for the long haul. When I started investing many, many years ago, the Dow was at 850. There is a lot of room to make mistakes when you go from 850 to 20,000. That being said, I hope that there's never another year like 2008. I'm still trying to recover from that disaster.

Real estate seems to be the investment vehicle of choice in Dallas. When you go to a restaurant, inevitably all the people at the other tables are talking about real estate. They are buying homes, selling homes, remodeling homes, and dreaming about making big profits from homes. Sometimes I think I'm the only person in town who isn't interested in real estate. There was a time when I owned rental property. Forget that. I can't think of anything worse than being a landlord. Renters are nothing but trouble. I've had renters who repainted the living room with bright orange enamel, burned holes in the bedroom carpet with cigarettes, invited friends to live with them without telling me, and stole the refrigerator when they moved out. You couldn't pay me to be a landlord again. I wouldn't want to be a renter again either. Renters have their own set of problems.

If you think your own home is an investment, think again. The value of real estate goes up and down just like the stock market. If you have to sell your home at a bad time, where are you going to live? With all its faults, I still prefer the stock market. At least when the market has a bad year, I still have a place to live.

Much to my surprise, I spotted Mercury this morning. I got up a little late and Janet was telling me to hurry up and get dressed so we could walk the dogs. I noticed that it was still dark, so the first thing I did was run outside with my binoculars. The sky was partly cloudy, but there was a clear patch near the eastern horizon that allowed me to see Mercury directly below a very thin crescent moon. I also spotted Saturn and Jupiter. For a person like me, it wasn't a bad way to start the day.

The dogs were a handful today. Dash was in a weird mood and refused to take a walk in the afternoon. I tried walking him before Dot, and then again after Dot, but he refused to leave the back yard. Occasionally he's like this for no apparent reason. Tomorrow, he'll probably want to walk three miles. Dot surprised me by pooping in the house when I wasn't ready for her, so I had a big mess to clean up. Later in the day, she was very restless and kept wanting me to take her outside, only to immediately want to come back in again. We went back and forth like this for most of the afternoon. I really need to learn how to calm my mind, or the dogs will eventually drive me crazy.

I can't believe it's almost February. It seems like New Year's Eve was only a few days ago. Time goes by so quickly now that I need to make the most of the time I have left. I'm not a spontaneous person, so living in the moment is a foreign concept to me. It seems like a worthy goal though. I should savor the time I still have with Dot. I should try to maximize the time I remain healthy. It's probably a good idea to rediscover what fun is. I think I've forgotten.

Bones is today's Dalmatian of the Day
Watch of the Day