Automatic Investment Management – AIM

AIM is an investment method devised by the late Robert Lichello. This method is a proven way to take advantage of the inevitable market swings to enable us to ‘Buy Low / Sell High’.

Groundrules of how the AIM Strategy works:

  1. When starting with a lump sum, only invest 50% from the start.  If establishing a monthly investment plan, also split this allocation to 50% invested (after all, there’s a 50/50 chance the market will go up OR down tomorrow!)
  2. Utilize a cash account to maintain your investment reserves / gains, awaiting further investment (starting with the second 50% of your lump sum, and then including the proceeds from sales as well as 50% of any subsequent monthly investment.)
  3. Be prepared to sell a portion of the gains you have realized and deposit them into your cash account, per the AIM algorithm.
  4. Be prepared to buy some back with your reserved cash account when the stock declines.
  5. Set a routine period of time in which to analyze the markets direction, and take action.
  6. The algorithm is relatively simple.  It involves several key points:
    1. Portfolio Control:  Running total of your stock purchases (total initial purchase plus 1/2 of follow on purchases; however it is never deducted from in a sale) in order to keep a basis of where the portfolio should ‘aim’ to be.  This is the ‘governor’ of the system – it drives the initial assessments about buy and sell decisions. 
    2. Buy/Sell Advice:  Based upon the current Stock Amount (currently owned shares times current price) compared to the Portfolio Control figure.  When the Portfolio Control amount is larger than your current Stock Value, you will look to buying (the Market is down.)  When your current Stock Value is higher than your Portfolio Control, you will look to selling (the Market is up.)
    3. SAFE (Stock Adjustment Factor Equalizer):  10% of the Stock Amount – After you do the analysis in [b] above, you compare the results to your SAFE amount – you only pull the trigger on a sale or purchase for the amount of Buy/Sell Advice less SAFE; this controls you from selling or buying too prematurely.

TIP ME and I will email you the spreadsheet and a help file!


60+ Frugal Tips

  • Don't use the canned air method to clean keyboards - it's expensive. Plug in your hairdryer and blast away.
  • Candles last longer if you freeze them prior to burning.
  • Got an itchy mosquito bite, try rubbing soap on it.
  • Use scotch tape to pull out a splinter.
  • Wrap celery in aluminum foil then refrigerate. It will last for weeks.
  • Cut you S.O.S. pads in half – no more rusty, smelly pads.
  • To get a little more life out of worn out soles, try filling in the cracks and holes with hot glue.
  • Covering a pot with a lid reduces cooking time and energy use. For extra energy savings, be sure to match the pot size to the burner size.
  • If you’re shopping for appliances, check with the salesperson to see if there are any back room bargains. Sometimes a stove has a slight dent or a washing machine is scratched.
  • Use GoDaddy to register a domain name (web site).
  • Buy a battery tester and test “dead” batteries before tossing – lots of times its just one “dead” battery causing the trouble.
  • When your printer says your ink is low, pull out your cartridge and shake it to get another few days out of it.
  • White vinegar is a great cleaner.
  • Drying your disposable razors (blades) extends their life – just use a towel.
  • Why keep a porch light on for hours when you can buy a battery powered push light  and use rechargeable batteries?
  • Use a Faraday flashlight. The ones you shake to light up.
  • Increasing the deductibles on auto and home insurance can save hundreds of dollars on premiums.
  • Buy prescription eyeglasses at zennioptical.
  • To make your own miniature greenhouse, take an old egg carton; fill the individual sections with soil and seeds. Cover the top with a piece of plastic wrap. Before you know it, you will have the makings of a beautiful garden.
  • Wad up some tinfoil and use it in your dryer instead of chemical coated sheets to get rid of static cling.
  • "Feeder goldfish" cost less than 10 cents. Their food is around a $1 and lasts many months. One can use any type of glass bowl or antique canning jar to keep them in.
  • Use honey for lip balm before you go to bed.
  • Bring your own water bottle everywhere. Refill the water bottle at water fountains.
  • Camping Cooler - buy bottled water and freeze enough to fill your cooler. You won’t have to buy ice until four or five days into the event (when everyone else is making almost daily ice runs).
  • Take produce into your office and have a "Take Some and Leave a Quarter" cup next to them. Use proceeds to buy plants for next year.
  • If the A/C goes out in your car, try the $20 can of recharge from an auto parts.
  • Clean your windshield wipers with vinegar to extend the life of them.
  • Always stop at a local pawnshop when considering a new tool purchase, bicycles, vacuum cleaners, etc.
  • Slip those plastic grocery bags over your shoes when entering your garden, tie at the ankle. Keeps shoes nice and clean.
  • Bigger isn’t always better, buy only what you need if it is a perishable product.
  • Don’t bring the children shopping. You will accomplish the task quicker; you’ll avoid spending extra on stuff “seen on TV”.
  • Shop secondhand stores for toys.
  • Some fifteen states offer tax-free days or tax-free weekends, with most coming in August. That’s an automatic savings of at least five percent in most cases, so plan accordingly.
  • Consolidate your student loan.
  • Don’t use another bank’s ATM.
  • Kick the (fill in the blank) habit. If you stop using alcohol, tobacco, and junk food, you’ll save thousands your lifetime and probably live longer and healthier!
  • For cash gifts, consider a payment plan like 10 checks for $10 with each dated a different month.
  • Ask you dentist, doctor, and hair stylist for their old magazines – read recipes, cut out coupons – then recycle them.
  • Buy used eyeglass frames at thrift shops and then have new lenses made for you prescription.
  • Have your kids make a homemade kite.
  • Use local police auctions to get bikes, jewelry, cars, etc.
  • For urban dwellers taking public transportation, ask your employer for a transit check, a subsidy employers get for alleviating gridlock.
  • Use Styrofoam peanuts to re-fill a beanbag chair.
  • Place wanted signs (instead of for sale signs) on bulletin boards for furniture, cars, and other big ticket items.
  • Turn empty matchbooks into a portable sewing kit.
  • Your bed mattress will last longer if you “spin in the spring, flip in the fall”.
  • Bread tabs can be used to mark electrical cords at the outlet/power strip.
  • Remove shelves from a dead refrigerator and mount shelves in the garage/basement.
  • Use a wine cork to replace missing pot handles – attach with a screw.
  • A broccoli style rubber band makes a great jar opener.
  • Bubble wrap is great cushioning for people who must stand while on the job
  • Use garlic powder to keep the varmints out, It’s a wonderful natural plant protector.
  • Ask elderly relatives and neighbors who are unable to drive if they need a lift to the supermarket – they’ll offer to pay for your gas.
  • Check rent – to – own stores for cosmetically damaged or otherwise non rent-able items.
  • Call area attractions and ask if they have any “free to the public” events scheduled or regular “free admittance” times.
  • If you re a senior citizen, always ask about senior discount everywhere you travel, shop, eat, or lodge!
  • Check with local high schools that have shop classes. Often they sell wood scraps left over from student projects.
  • Inquire with dry cleaners about left items for sale.
  • Use mesh bags (the kind turkeys/onions/potatoes are packed in) as scouring pads.
  • To get something out of a heat register or under the fridge, add an empty paper towel roll to your vacuum. It can be bent or flattened to get in narrow openings.
  • Cut old bread bags in half and use the bottom half as sandwich bags.
  • Old hangers make good pegboard hooks.
  • If an envelope is over one ounce but under 2, you don’t need 2 first class stamps, have it weighed for exact postage.
  • Your dog will love “dead tennis balls” left at public tennis courts.
  • Serrated edges from aluminum foil boxes (or a wax paper boxes) can be made into picture frame hangers.
  • Save you old pickle jars and the liquid inside. Slice up cucumbers and re-pack. In four days – pickles!
  • Put a teaspoon or two of baking soda into the shoes before you wear them. Great odor eliminator
  • Use 100% cornstarch instead of Baby Powder

Rockefeller Wealth

File:John-D-Rockefeller-sen.jpg

John D. Rockefeller's wealth was estimated at about $900million in 1913, equivalent to $189.6 billion in today's terms.

I bring this up because all day long the MSM talks about Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, and George Soros. There combined riches are $130 billion!

I guess the Rockefeller family knows how to hide all their money. :-))


Tiny Home Living

We purchased our park model trailer for cash. We could only guesstimate our expenses. Now I can see how much they are. My goal of $860 a month (which I determined back in 2006) was pretty good!

All numbers are per month.

HOA dues = $58.33. This covers sewer, water, use of the lodge, road maintenance, etc.

Electricity = $110 in the winter, $20 in the summer. We use two electric space heaters during the cold months. Looking into a wood burning stove.

Propane = $37.50 for heat and cooking

Gasoline = $30 thanks to driving a Prius

Food = $400 since we dine out a lot and buy from the health food store. Can't grow anything w/o a hoop house.

Insurance (home, auto, health) = $308.33


Natural Gas is a coiled spring

I'm seeing natural gas at $4.00 by December. Play it with UGAZ. Here are my reasons:

La Nina will increase the number of tropical storms in the Atlantic, which has been on the quiet side for the past three seasons.

During one week last month, the country used up a little of its gas reserves for the first time during a summer in 10 years, according to a report released Monday by the U.S. Department of Energy.

It became cheaper for power plants to burn gas than coal. In April last year, natural gas generated more electricity than coal in the U.S. for the first time in decades.

U.S. Natural Gas Drilling Rig Statistics
Current natural gas drilling rigs:     86
Active rig count one year ago:         223
Rig Peak (hit on 9/12/08):               1,606

 Peak natural gas is coming plus depletion rates show a steep drop off
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Easy Estate Planning

The need for a will is becoming less and less. And going thru the probate process may become a thing of the past. Here is what you need to check on:

Brokerage Account:  Transfer on Death (TOD)
A way of designating beneficiaries to receive your assets at the time of your death without having to go through probate. This designation also allows you to specify the percentage of assets each person or entity (your "TOD beneficiary") will receive. Your assets will then be automatically transferred to the designated beneficiaries upon your death.

Bank Account: Payable on Death (POD)
An arrangement between a bank or credit union and a client that designates beneficiaries to receive all the client's assets. The immediate transfer of assets is triggered by the death of the client.

Real Estate: Transfer on Death Deed
When the homeowner dies, title to the real estate passes to the beneficiary or beneficiaries, named in the Transfer-on-Death Deed, similar to how title passes in a Joint Tenancy Deed. This Deed avoids Capital Gains Taxes to be paid by the Beneficiaries at time of sale. Not all states allow them.
If you want to pass property to family members, look into a Quitclaim deed


2 Ways to Have More by Owning Less

These are excellent sites and fit with my local living philosophy. Neighbors helping neighbors is what made America strong!

NeighborGoods is a new platform that allows you to do just that, allowing you to borrow and lend from and to your neighbors rather than buying new stuff.

Zipcar, a 24/7, on-demand carsharing service that gives its members flexible access to thousands of cars across the U.S., U.K. and Canada.