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Old 01-27-2009, 06:56 PM   #21
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Sounds like he was deriving a substantial amount of his income from dividends resulting from stocks in the financial sector. As you know, that sector took a hit, stock prices dropped, and dividends were cut.
Yeah, that was my problem. My job search is actually taking my mind off my losses in the banking sector. My contacts with former employers have turned out to be warm and positive. It's been a few years and they are trying to help me. I actually am beginning to think we may be able to do this/work on a part-time basis (to replace the dividends that have been lost).
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Old 01-27-2009, 07:12 PM   #22
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Sparky,

A year or two ago I cannot think of anything so conservative as bank stocks.
It was a good, safe plan. Life has been changing the rules on us in a most unkind way. Not many have escaped this financial downdraft.
You are not alone in this. I just applyed for my first job today.
Good luck to you in your search.

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Old 01-27-2009, 07:19 PM   #23
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Sparky,

I just applyed for my first job today.
Good luck to you in your search.

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Thank you. I guess you can call me Free to Kayak or maybe NOT Free to Kayak - this has created unprecedented losses in my portfolio. Everybody I talk to is talking about how much they have lost. My brother is a Chrysler dealer who has laid off many employees (this has been my family's business for about 100 years), my neighbors have lost untold amounts.
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Old 01-27-2009, 07:39 PM   #24
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Yeah, that was my problem. My job search is actually taking my mind off my losses in the banking sector. .

Do not beat yourself up ! Very few on this board have escaped without huge losses so you are not alone . Some of us may have to find jobs and the rest of us will tighten our belts and throw away those travel brochures and some of us may have to PM Uncle Mick for the rules of cheap B.
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Old 01-27-2009, 08:31 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Free To Canoe View Post
Sparky,

A year or two ago I cannot think of anything so conservative as bank stocks.
It was a good, safe plan. Life has been changing the rules on us in a most unkind way. Not many have escaped this financial downdraft.
You are not alone in this. I just applyed for my first job today.
Good luck to you in your search.

Free to Canoe
True. About 3 years ago I set up a Yahoo watch portfolio which I called Dividend Growers.

Today I culled 20 stocks from that list. Stocks which had either gone bk, been closed by the government, drastically cut or eliminated dividends, or become penny stocks. I may be forgetting one, but of my own portfolio of 40 or so stocks, 2 timber companies and Pfizer have cut their dividend. To be exact, Pfizer hasn't yet, but it has announced plans to do so. Also, I hold GE which is at least a candidate for a cut.

I read today that during the past year there have been more cuts than in any year of the previous 50. (I didn't check this assertion.)

Ha
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Old 01-27-2009, 09:26 PM   #26
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Hmmm - 89-93 my newly started electric utes were cocks of the walk coming off ten yrs of great div growth, banks on life support due to South American debt and other misdeeds. Then Mrs Hillary helped big pharma 93/94. Guess who done good the next ten yrs div wise!

Sooo - putting on my best gloves - with more than one sector getting hosed - what falling knives should we(me and Mr Sparky) try to catch so neither of us have to consider that evil 'W' word at age 80.

BTW - after lay off in 93, I went back to work as a jobshopper 94/95 - which helped portfolio and there was this tornado which took the roof off and caused some remodeling expenses while we were homeless for 6 wks.

heh heh heh - sometimes life's little irritations are just - well irritating. Hopefully you'll get past this and have some experiences to share with others.
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Old 01-27-2009, 09:54 PM   #27
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And it's not just stocks experiencing dividend cuts. With interest rates on the decline, yields on cash, CDs, savings accounts, new issue bonds and bond funds have also been coming down a lot lately. It's becoming harder and harder to keep my portfolio's yield up. For those counting on dividends/interests as their primary source of income, things are starting to look a bit dicy. It looks like even the Norwegian widow is going to have to cut back this year.
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Old 01-28-2009, 09:09 AM   #28
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I thought it was bad, when I looked at my TSP statement for the last quarter of 2008. It turned out that it looked good compared to my DH's 401 statement for the same period. I have not looked at Vanguard yet. It really makes you feel ill when you see so much money lost. You have been trying to do good and put money away, while all around you, others are having a great time spending and having a good time, it just doesn't seem quite fair. Oh well, enough of the pity party. I am putting our Roth IRA's in CDs for now. They are not making much, but at least they are not losing as much as stocks. I just hope this market turns around before my DH retires.
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Old 01-28-2009, 09:18 AM   #29
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It really makes you feel ill when you see so much money lost. You have been trying to do good and put money away, while all around you, others are having a great time spending and having a good time, it just doesn't seem quite fair.
It especially doesn't seem fair when those that are having such a great time are the bankers and their politician bedfellows, who are walking away with millions upon millions, and these politicians still have their jobs! I still blame Phil Gramm and Bill Clinton for repealing the Glass-Steagall Act in 1998. Wonder how much their portfolios are worth?
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Old 01-28-2009, 10:29 AM   #30
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It really makes you feel ill when you see so much money lost. You have been trying to do good and put money away, while all around you, others are having a great time spending and having a good time, it just doesn't seem quite fair.
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Old 01-28-2009, 12:00 PM   #31
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You know, the more I think about it, the more I think the push toward making all the TARP recipients slash their dividends to near nothing was a bad idea.

I understand the reasoning for it -- cash-strapped entities that receive public assistance shouldn't be in a position to be able to make strong dividend payments to shareholders.

On the other hand -- this shows that some folks who were retired and living on dividend income are going to be screwed to the point of having to go back to work -- at a time when there are already far too many people looking to fill what few jobs are available. You've just taken the already bad odds of finding a j*b and made them worse.

Methinks the Law of Unintended Consequences is coming into play here. I get the populist argument and sentiment against allowing "bailout money" to be used for dividend payouts. But having thought on it longer, I'm not convinced it's good public policy; the last thing we need now is to force more people to become job-seekers.
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Old 01-28-2009, 12:08 PM   #32
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the last thing we need now is to force more people to become job-seekers.
Particularly if it is me you are thinking of.
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Old 01-28-2009, 01:41 PM   #33
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this shows that some folks who were retired and living on dividend income are going to be screwed to the point of having to go back to work -- at a time when there are already far too many people looking to fill what few jobs are available. You've just taken the already bad odds of finding a j*b and made them worse.

Methinks the Law of Unintended Consequences is coming into play here. I get the populist argument and sentiment against allowing "bailout money" to be used for dividend payouts. But having thought on it longer, I'm not convinced it's good public policy; the last thing we need now is to force more people to become job-seekers.
Especially us folks who depended on dividends/interest who are too young for SS or pensions. We got nowhere else to go to make that money up.
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Old 01-28-2009, 01:58 PM   #34
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You know, the more I think about it, the more I think the push toward making all the TARP recipients slash their dividends to near nothing was a bad idea.
Another unintended consequence: reducing the ability of companies to raise $ in the private market. This is a liquidity crisis, right? One of the ways companies raise money is by selling stock. Now that investors realize that there's a good chance that the government will "come to the rescue" later and not only bump their shares into second position but also demand a slashing of the dividend--who will want to by stock? Another reason to get the government OUT of the bailout business--it only prolongs the agony and forestalls the recovery by gumming up the machinery. A set of stable, transparent rules is what the market needs, not a hodgepodge of back-room deals. As it is, Wall Street and the credit markets can hardly functon as every business and interets group dashes around with buckets trying to catch the money about to rain down from Washington.
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Old 01-28-2009, 04:31 PM   #35
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You know, the more I think about it, the more I think the push toward making all the TARP recipients slash their dividends to near nothing was a bad idea.

I understand the reasoning for it -- cash-strapped entities that receive public assistance shouldn't be in a position to be able to make strong dividend payments to shareholders.

On the other hand -- this shows that some folks who were retired and living on dividend income are going to be screwed to the point of having to go back to work -- at a time when there are already far too many people looking to fill what few jobs are available. You've just taken the already bad odds of finding a j*b and made them worse.

Methinks the Law of Unintended Consequences is coming into play here. I get the populist argument and sentiment against allowing "bailout money" to be used for dividend payouts. But having thought on it longer, I'm not convinced it's good public policy; the last thing we need now is to force more people to become job-seekers.
But where do these financial companies get the money to pay dividends? Much of those dividends come from subprime mortgages, which are secured by overpriced houses that are now abandoned. Some even turned out to be slums unfit for human occupancy and were condemned for demolition, as detailed in another thread.

Companies HAVE to cut dividends, as they cannot print money like the government. In fact, they used to print their own money! Their printing presses are now called "toxic assets". There is no earning to support dividend payout, period.

See the following thread, which says unsurprisingly how the financial sector is the leader in dividend cut. Even Pfizer, a pharmaceutical, has to cut dividends.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jrGWP8ohlmysKCxa3zndjHxJ1jVwD95V9E7G0

The public has been fooled! But what makes me very upset is that in those years while the going was good, while the stock holders were grateful for the relatively meager 5 or 6% dividends, management of these companies pocketed tens or hundreds of million each.

Now that their coffers turn out to be empty, companies should not become a conduit for taxpayer money to become dividends, as if it were welfare. If assistance to the public is needed, it should not be routed through any company! I reported in another thread how AIG is paying $450M to 400 of its derivative traders as "retention bonus". Just last week, it was revealed that John Thain spent $1.2M to decorate his office.

About company or sector's lack of earning power, I often write about my experience with tech stocks in 2000. I am talking real tech stocks, like Motorola, Cisco, HP or Agilent, Lucent, stalwart leaders in their fields, not phony stupid idiotic fly-by-night dotcoms.

In 2000, I was blindsided by tech stocks the same way as people now taken aback by financials. Tech stocks paid no dividends, but their earnings were huge. Not even shenanigan here like these stinky financials, but their record sales and profits were simply a once-in-a-lifetime event, due to the Internet growth and the Millenium euphoria. That era was over pretty quick, and I was able to recover (after losing half of my portfolio, which was not 100% invested, meaning my equities were down a lot more than 50%) by abandoning that sector to find greener pasture.
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Old 01-28-2009, 05:44 PM   #36
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Just for the enquiring minds who wonder what $1.2M gets you, see the following link. At the end of the list, there is a commode for $35,115.

Now, you and I do not know Michael Smith, the designer, but Thain must have good taste that puts him among the well-known like Steven Spielberg, Michelle Pfeiffer, Cindy Crawford. There is also a politician on the list.

Those needing a job would do well to apply to be Thain's chauffeur, who got paid $230K last year.

While I don't care if he was wasting his shareholder's money, when it comes to my tax money, it's another thing altogether. Don't you think?

Economic Populist Forum - Thain's 1.2 Million Office Decor Details
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Old 01-28-2009, 07:09 PM   #37
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Another unintended consequence: reducing the ability of companies to raise $ in the private market.
The reason companies can't raise private capital is because they are insolvent. Saying that the government bailout is causing a flight of private capital has it exactly backwards. The government is bailing out banks because private capital won't. Which would be fine if we were just talking about a company or two. But not when the entire financial system is bankrupt.
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Old 01-28-2009, 07:14 PM   #38
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t really makes you feel ill when you see so much money lost. You have been trying to do good and put money away, while all around you, others are having a great time spending and having a good time, it just doesn't seem quite fair.
Try to keep in mind that many of those people who were spending money and having a great time are now the same people who are losing their houses, filing for bankruptcy, and for public assistance. While I'm not happy about the reduction in my nest egg, I'm very thankful I didn't live my life on the financial edge like so many others. I'm sleeping at night just fine, as are most on this board, I suspect. Many of those who borrowed the high-life now wish they could say the same thing.
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Old 01-28-2009, 07:25 PM   #39
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Just for the enquiring minds who wonder what $1.2M gets you, see the following link. At the end of the list, there is a commode for $35,115.
So, are you saying that the he overpaid for the Commode? I wonder... is investing in Antiques really a poorer choice than say, for example, dumping your excess funds into the stock market -- specifically Merrill Lynch stock but pick any other?

I suspect that my Art/Antique adventures retained more value than my S&P 500 foolishness during the past few months (years?). Hmmmm. Thank God I won't be certain for many years -- not knowing for sure helps me sleep at night.
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Old 01-30-2009, 08:19 AM   #40
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My job search is actually taking my mind off my losses in the banking sector. My contacts with former employers have turned out to be warm and positive. It's been a few years and they are trying to help me. I actually am beginning to think we may be able to do this/work on a part-time basis (to replace the dividends that have been lost).
This is another option:

37 ways you’d be better off as a bum.

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And homeless people can make a pretty good living collecting change. In one article that I found from Associated Content. Deanna Anderson describes in detail how her father-in-law chose to stay homeless, despite the offer of some help.
Quote:
"I know some people are making $150 to $300 or $400 a day. There are some people who are in desperate situations but many who are panhandling for a living."


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According to a recent survey conducted by the Downtown Denver Partnership, 42% of the population has given money to panhandlers in the past year and the average person there gives $1.84 each time he or she is approached by a panhandler, for a total of about $25 a year. This adds up to an awful lot of money - a total of over $4.6 million, divided among about a thousand panhandlers. That's an average of about $50,000 per active panhandler per year, with confidential interviews with panhandlers indicating that they make between $35,000 and $100,000 tax free per year and view panhandling as the equivalent of a job or a profession. Some even have homes and support families on their panhandling income.


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Fox affiliate KMSB-TV reported that panhandlers in the area are making $40 per hour! That’s over 5 times more than minimum wage, and remember, this is tax-free.
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