Monday, May 21, 2012

Donna Summer Tribute: Musical Monday

Hope you enjoy this song as much as I do.  It has a great message.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sunday's are Special

At home growing up, Sunday was always a special day.  My mother would fix a spectacular meal, we would eat off the good china.  I recall as a small child going to the neighborhood church with my sister and brother. As I got older, I started attending a church on my own.  I was thinking about this today, as I walked to a nearby church for the service.  Its a good size church, they had Communion (which they do on the first and third Sunday)  The people were friendly, the pastor came all the way to the last pew where I was sitting to greet me. They showed the songs, Scripture and responsive readings on both sides of the front wall, which I thought was well done, and helpful.  I may visit this church again.

Today, I want to share what I think will become a regular Sunday post.  A short Scripture and thought, devotion, or whatever you want to call it. Its my opportunity to share from the Scripture, and perhaps about my path, belief, convictions. (I'm a preacher after all) I invite you to share your thoughts in response and perhaps have a conversation.  However, I won't respond to or post comments that I deem disrespectful, hateful, hurtful, or otherwise offensive.  Hey, its my blog.

Ascension;  today is Ascension Sunday on the church calendar. In Acts 1:4-11. I invite you to look it up and read it.  Jesus gathered his followers together and told them of the coming of the Holy Spirit.  He would leave them, but would send the "helper" The Holy Spirit to empower, guide, teach them the way they should walk on this earth.  Two things I wish to point out and I hope encourage you with.  First, In Matt 28:20 Jesus says he is with us always, " I am with you always, even until the end of the age"  Note the term I AM, remember what  the Father said to Moses?  I AM?  In Acts 1, Jesus says will send the Holy Spirit.  We as Believers today have the presence of God with us in the person of the Holy Spirit.  That means we each have within us a guide who if we listen to him, will lead us the way we ought to go.He will give strength, comfort, and peace in midst of life's storms.  That also means through the Holy Spirit God is present with us always.  Bidden or not God is there.  I find comfort in that.  I hope you do too.

May He bless you and keep you, may His face shine upon you. May He give you His peace! 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

IPad or Apple Stock?

A question was asked sometime ago.  If you had a choice of a gift of and Ipad or one share of Apple stock, which would you choose? I would choose the share of Apple.  Which would you choose?

Facebook Friday and its IPO are now done.  For many it was a disappointment since the stock price did not "pop" as expected.  In fact the price actually dropped until it was shored up by the underwriters.  I think it had a lot to do with investor uncertainty of how FB will be able to monetize and crate the kind of profit that is expected.Plus many were looking to make a quick profit by selling on the "pop", which did not occur.  I believe that over time it will prove to be a good buy.

As for me, I was able to purchase a few shares which I plan to hold, with a wait and see approach.  If overtime this stock proves to be like Google or Apple... great for me!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Facebook Friday!

Today is the day investors have waited for with anticipation. The pundits at times seem to be talking out of both sides of their mouths.  Oh buy FB on its open, No wait till the aftermarket, No you don't want to buy in the aftermarket, buy in 2 weeks. Others  say they would not touch it at all. Just depends on who you listen to.

For me as a tiny investor, IF I can buy just a few shares of this stock and hold it, I hope it will increase much like Apple, or Google.  For me the key is a longer term view, for instance if my parents had bought 10 shares of Johnson & Johnson in 1944 when it opened, and held them those shares would have made millions over time. 

What I hope to do, is place an order this morning for a few shares at a mid price point, and be able at complete the sale when the stock goes public.  Then hold that position and see what happens. Along with my plan, IF the stock price warrants it, buy more shares in the future. At the same time be flexible enough that IF the stock soars in the short term, be open to taking profit.  These are big IFs, as with any plan.  Depends on how things go in the future.  Remember, economies macro and micro change daily.  Personal finances are impacted by these changes everyday. 

Contingency plan, another IF, assuming I can't buy at my price today.  Then I will earmark an amount I want to invest in FB, and place FB on my watch list and wait.  Buy when I can, at a reasonable price.  That is IF that is even possible.
Oh and if any of my stocks increase exponentially, my plan calls for me to sell all or a portion, reinvest the profit in a fixed income type fund to grow that money at a smaller rate and protect that profit.  Then reinvest my original investment in something else. 

Happy Facebook Friday everyone!

Thursday, May 17, 2012


 Some time ago, I blogged about my "financial plan."  With the Facebook IPO looming tomorrow, I thought I would post an update.  My plan has evolved some to include a more detailed giving, saving, investing and paying plan.  No plan however well developed is perfect, there are just too many variables, unknowns in the form of market fluctuations, job changes, price point increases ect. 
Here is a brief overview,  beginning with giving, the first thing I pay is a percentage to church and other ministry organizations. I'm looking at a suggestion that I read in a Christian magazine is to give half of your "tithe" to your parish, and half to the world's poor. Interesting concept.  Second, a percentage equal to what is given (as a goal) is squirreled away in savings. This I divide between cash reserve and a personal ROTH IRA that is in a brokerage account. Doing that consistently is key to saving for the future.

Now I also point out that I participate in my companies 403b plan. I place the maximum percentage pretax possible in order gain the employer match.  Due to changes in my employers retirement savings plan, I reallocated my investments from fairly conservative funds and fixed income, placing the majority of funds into a retirement year strategy fund offered by a large mutual fund. I am now placing 75 % into that fund, with 25% into fixed income. So far this year, it has increased my returns significantly.  (at least to me)  I will re-examine this and might add an additional fund later.  
if you can participate in an employer 401K plan I encourage you to do so, it pays off.

Second my Roth is allocated between four funds.  An equity mutual fund, a bond fund, a fixed income cash fund, and "Frank's fund."  I most want to talk about my own fund, which is what I have invested in individual stocks, and ETF's.  These are company stocks I select, that I either know well, do business with,  or have a long reputation. In the near future i will focus on stocks known for paying dividends  consistently.  I have several to choose from already in my watch list.   I buy once a month, unless there is a stock in my watch list with a price to good to resist. I try to buy at least 10 shares of a stock, but often can't.  So I buy at least 4 shares of a particular stock, and if the price drops and funds are available, I buy more. I am in the process of building.  I have a few stocks that are purely short term speculative.  Everything else is a long term hold, perhaps purchase more if the price warrants it.  I wanted to add a commodity fund, but decided against it, due to the volatility of such a fund. I do plan to purchase an ETF that is a commodity index fund.  This limits my exposure to loss because its a smaller portion invested than if I bought into a mutual fund.

In the investment world there are large corporate investors, brokers, there are institutional investors, small investors, and then there is me.  I'm a tiny investor. 

Next post, my plan for Facebook.

Monday, May 14, 2012

A Musical Monday

Good Monday, Here is another Monday mucial selection.  By the group  The Wanted. Hope you enjoy
A question, every time I attempt to embed a videa the link I paste, says its broken, so I have to paste the url here instead.  Any ideas?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

To all of you who are blessed to still have your mother with you; tell her you love her everyday.  Enjoy her while you can, honor her as often as possible appreciate her love, and all she has done, and does for you.  There will come a day when you won't be able to go see her, pick up the phone and call her, have  a meal with her on a special occasion.  That day is now for me and my family.  We can still honor her memory, but its not the same as having her with us. 

In memoriam of my Mother, I rise and call her blessed

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A Historic Moment for Gay Marriage

Yesterday was historic, a sitting President let the world know he does not have a problem with same sex marriage!  My how things have changed over the years. I did not expect this to happen for many years.  This came on the heals of North Carolina making it laws in favor of traditional marriage much stronger. They are among 30 states that have such laws.  however there are a few states which have approved gay marriage laws, I hope they won't be overturned.  Times are changing, to marriage whether heterosexual or homosexual can only strengthen family values.  Because marriage civil or religious is about committing to one person for a life of love, challenge, and sticking together through thick and thin. 

What is so wrong with a same sex couple wanting to make that kind of commitment to each other in a way that is official, legal, public, and that others can?

Be prepared for the far right wing, unmovable tea party people to be loud, mean, and discriminatory in the upcoming election season.  I hope the silent majority gets out and votes for reason, compromise, and civility. 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Lets Talk About Sex...Survey

Several months ago I took part in an online survey by OUT magazine and  It was a survey about sex, first I wanted to see what kind of questions they asked.  Then I decided to respond with my views, I don't put too much stock in survey results because they often are skewed.  Well they have released the results of that survey and I thought I would highlight some points I find interesting here.
I did not see any data about the average age of the respondants.

There were 13300 respondants

Who took it:  88% gay,
10% bisexual,
1% were questioning,
Of respondants 5 were straight, 4 were lesbian.

Relationship status, 59% are not currently in a relationship
55% are single (I wonder a breakdown by age group?)
25% have a parnter/husband (again age group)
12 % have a boy/ girl friend
7% are dating

Coming Out
31% between 18-22
13% 23-26
13% 30+
17% 13-17
17% still have not

Sexual role
52% are Versatile
28% Bottom
20% Top

Now the survey also covered questions about intimacy which I don't care to report. I don't recall questions concerning communication in relationships, or about safe sex.   A question I wish they had asked, is about fidelity in relationships.  I would like to see something about this, even though not sure I believe a lot of survey results.  Anyway I thought this was interesting.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Its May Day!

The first of May seems to have significance around the world.  I remember during the days of the Soviet Union, they had a big military display and parade. I think the remaining Communist countries still do.  The first of May is also known as Law day, a celebration of the laws that govern us, and the law profession.  Its also the International Day of the Worker.  I also understand gay organizations use this day to promote equality.  So the first of May is a busy day!

I saw on the news that today there is expected to be many protests by what has become known as the 99% movement in recognition of the worker. I have two comments...

First regarding the 99% movement.  I am sympathetic toward this movement and hope it can help move the politics(through the ballot box) of our country away from partisan idealogical bickering to real action for the good of the nation. I am not naive,its just a hope.  However, I am not in favor of any protest which is violent, detroys the property of others, tramples on the rights of others to make their living.  I think it is counter productive to this movement. Also, I have to note there has not been a clear, announced goal of those leading this movement. (if there is indeed any real leadership) I've seen signs protesting a myriad of issues, none related to the other it seems.  Without true leadership it will not be effective.  This movement should promote changes in laws to protect workers rights. Not transfer of wealth or restrict capitalist engagement.  It should promote laws that keep the big and powerful in check so to keep greed on Wall Street,Madison Ave, and Main Street from creating situations that led to the Great Recession.  Just my opinion, hey its my blog.

Second about Law Day, as a gay man I have a vested interest in any legislation, or movement that affirms our personhood, right to marry or be in a civil union, whichever term floats your boat.  As a christian, I prefer the term marriage.  Also I am hopeful for laws that protect those of us in the LGBT communitie's right to not be fired because we are gay, protect our right to live out our lives in a way that is fulfilling. Without fear of or actual retribution because we are "different" from the "norm".  That is what I hope for on this May Day 2012.