Reflections on the Week

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Despite an end of month rally, October was a terrible month in the market for most investors and I am glad it is finally over. November will hopefully build on the hesitant but emerging positive sentiment to bring a much needed relief rally for our portfolio’s and retirement accounts. No doubt there is still a while to go before the real economy starts recovering but perhaps we have reached a bottom and the worst is behind us (one can hope!). In fact if you are optimistic about investing this could be a good time to start growing your portfolio. I know Tony Parker, a guest writer here, has been doing some active trading with the most recent being long dated Apple call options. A risky proposition, but one that could pay off handsomely if markets rally in the short term. Next week on November 4, the nation goes to the polls and after a long election campaign with extensive media coverage I am going to be glad when it is over. It is a big decision for America and with the economic future uncertain, the next President has a tough road ahead to right the nation.

I also completed my open enrollment elections this week for my health coverage, pretty much the same as last year but paying much more for the same services thanks to rising premiums. I don’t know how folks can afford insurance in this country without going through a group (company or government) sponsored plan. When I wrote the post about 10 tips for choosing the right health insurance I did some research via ehealthinsurance on what insurance options are available with regular coverage (i.e. no company sponsorship) and man is insurance expensive. Even the lowest level of non-employer sponsored coverage costs much more than the best plan offered by my company.

The Portable Tire Gauge. This is a new segment I am starting going into the holiday gift giving season covering some not so common products going for less than $20 that I have found to have some real practical use. This week I present the Automatic tire gauge/pressure checker. As winter approaches this portable device is quite useful in easily determining your tire pressures without having to go to the nearest (cold) gas station. The cool thing about this is that it can be programmed to allow recording of factory-recommended tire pressures (these are normally shown on a sticker inside your doors or in the owners manual). It has also has a blue LCD screen so you can see the numbers in poor light. For $12.99 it is a bargain and one worth keeping in your garage or on road trips.

Appearances this week

I participated in three blogging carnivals this week – Carnival of Personal Finance (@ Master Your Card), the Festival of Stocks (@ The DIV-net) and the Money Hacks Carnival (@ Free From Broke). Thanks to all the hosts for including my articles. With the elections just around the corner, here are some related posts with a financial twist that I liked from all these carnivals and my blogroll.

– The Digerati Life has an interesting post on Obama vs McCain: The Presidential Candidates Sound Off On Your Money

Blueprint for Financial Prosperity tells us why the Stock market is indicating that John McCain will not be president.

– Moolanomy writes an informative post on Obama Versus McCain in relation to one’s Retirement Savings, after which you should check out My Open Wallet’s post and comments in The Candidates’ Economic Proposals: IRA & 401k Withdrawals

– Economist’s view provides a detailed post looking at Financial Crises and Democracy. A good read.

From the Financial Blog Network, these are the articles I recommend. Curt talks about 7 steps in starting a new business, while Kyle writes about the excellent plan he has in place to deal with a sudden layoff. Money Hacks brings us his 5 stock picks in a Bear market, some of which I already own. Unfortunately I bought them in the last bull market!

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