“Do not indulge in dreams of having what you have not, but reckon up the chief of the blessings you do possess, and then thankfully remember how you would crave for them if they were not yours.”   Marcus Aurelius from Meditations

Being thankful for what you have is one of the fundamental tenants of Stoic philosophy.  To be happy and content with what is your life right now and indifferent to what you do not have is a sign of a good Stoic. I feel truly blessed and appreciative of what life has given me, the good and the bad.  It has made me the man I am today.

This was my first Thanksgiving with family in three years and it was a wonderful occasion.  They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder and I can say there is much truth in those words.

I’m thankful for the wonderful summer I have enjoyed without worrying about work or bills.  I’m thankful for the country I live in and the amazing people who live here with me.  We may not be a perfect bunch, but there is much to be said for the struggle that makes us better.

I’m thankful for new opportunities, both professional and personal.  I’m even thankful for the past failures and the lessons learned.

I’m thankful for you, dear reader, who makes this blog such a joy.  There is a small group who pass by from time to time and it is your comments that force me not to take my assumptions as valid, but encourage me to think critically about the investment choices I make.

 This is only a small sample of the many things that I am thankful for.  Putting some of it in writing gives those feelings of appreciation inside me a more concrete existence.

I’m a bit late, but I hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.   And to my international friends who visit, yet do not celebrate the American version of Thanksgiving, you don’t need a special day to be thankful.  The most moving expression of gratitude is that which is most spontaneous.

The Stoic

Portfolio Update

I finally added some new additions to The Stoic Portfolio.  An update was long over due as there have been several purchases and sells in the past couple of months.

The real estate deal didn’t work out the way I was hoping.  I’ve decided to hold off on a purchase for now.  It is something I still want to pursue, but I’m going to give myself more time to settle into the new job and being back home.

Now I have cash from the stocks that I sold for the potential real estate purchase available for new stock purchases.  This is where part of the cash came from to purchase ADM, INTC, and NSC.

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  It was a beautiful day here and the first Thanksgiving I’ve spent with family in three years.


Recent Buy

Today I had a limit order filled for INTC.  I picked up an additional 50 shares of Intel for 19.50 a share.  This gives me an average share price of 20.83.  This is close to the price of Intel a year ago when I first started watching it.  I only had to wait a year to get a chance to own these shares at a price I was willing to pay.  I’m nothing if not patient.  Having said that how do I know that INTC will not drop more?  That is easy to answer:  I don’t!

An earnings miss is what started INTC’s price drop over the last three weeks.  Then we had the overall market dip after the election.   Now we have news the CEO will be retiring in May of next year.  Wrap all this up in continued pessimism that Intel will not be as competitive in the post pc era and you can see why there has been a downward trend in price over the past couple of months.

Any time I put my capital into an investment I look at it in terms of years not quarters.  This helps me to sort out what is relevant and what is “noise”.   I think INTC has hurt itself short-term by not aggressively moving into the mobile market.  I believe management now realizes this was a mistake as well.  Companies are run by humans and as such they sometimes make poor choices.  As with individuals, if a company learns from its mistakes and moves forward then progress can be made.  I think Intel has the financial strength to continue spending on R&D as well as acquisitions.  If management can adapt to the change in consumers preference for mobile devices then I believe Intel will continue to be a player in the tech sector.

What do you guys think?  Is it time to buy INTC or is it a washed up company with its best days behind it? 

Changing Your Life By Working Abroad: Returning Home

“The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place we can go as we are and not be questioned.” Maya Angelou

Earlier in the year I shared with you guys some of the reasons that working overseas can prove beneficial.  You can find them here and here.  In those posts I focused on the financial and quality of life issues respectively.  This post will act as a conclusion to that series and will take a look at some of the benefits I have enjoyed since returning home just over five months ago. Continue reading

Recent Buy

It seems a bit of gloom and doom has set in recently in the stock market.  You can’t escape the constant chatter about the “fiscal cliff” no matter what news media you turn to.  This is a time when people are uncertain and uncertainty sometimes breeds fear.  But let us not forget how we arrived at this time and remember that “this time” has been here many, many times before.  I want to take a moment to refresh our memories of how we arrived at the edge of the precipice.  Continue reading