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Alliancebernstein Income Fund Message Board

  • dreedva dreedva May 26, 2004 5:58 PM Flag

    Retirement Planning for those...

    ... who are thinking about the plunge and just may have the resources. Worked for me.

    1. Rent a little place in the woods, mountains, or near water.
    2. About sunset, put on a little Vivaldi.
    3. Pour yourself a glass of wine.
    4. Pet the dog (if you don't have a dog, seriously consider getting one. A cat is a marginal substitute.)
    5. Pick up a good book, but put it in your lap--unless the dog's there.
    6. Kick back, take a sip of wine and look out at the trees, mountains, or water.
    7. Clear your mind.
    8. Take another sip of wine.
    9. Ponder the important ideas of life.
    (Thoreau's always good for starters--"The mass of men live lives of quiet desperation", and from Walden "...and not when I came to die, discover that I had not lived." And from Life's Little Lessons "Don't Postpone Joy!")

    If nothing really comes, you're probably not ready.

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    • I don't know about "predator", but the history of the world is money finding its way from weak hands into strong hands. You don't have to be one of the Yahoo! board populists, full of non-stop paranoia over what "they" are doing to "us", to recognize and make use of this reality.

    • Good, useful and valuable post, Phage.

      You've used that term "predator" twice in your recent messages. Makes me a bit uneasy. If I were a bit more paranoid, I'd be looking over my shoulder right now. But, as Seneca said: "Any man can stop another man's life, but not his death. A thousand doors open onto it."

      Thanks again for your continued valuable contributions.

    • I don't think anyone but amateur day-traders are tracking "every bit of news." Indeed, the whole purpose of learning the discipline is to be able to "step back" from events far enough to comprehend the underlying generalities.

      But I still can't see why anyone, no matter how "balanced," would choose to ignore the element of risk that has always dominated the securities market. IMO, you could make the case that said "risk" was always the thing really being traded. (And, now, it's being traded explicitly via derivative securities.)

      A couple of Avitnall's recent posts are an interesting illustration of the problems involved. He wants a fund with decent yield and no leverage. The leverage specification is presumably a way to lower risk. But, what's an acceptable yield? Turns out that it's 8% or better. In the context of a 1% Fed Funds rate that's heavy excess yield. Another name for that would be "risk." No free lunch.

      So, even the modest "balanced" lifestyle is frequently leveraged up on a platform of considerable risk. I don't see how this can be avoided unless one has quite a lot of capital to begin with. (In fact, I know a nearly infallible technical & statistical stock picking method--which can build wealth but can't produce the rather large excess returns so many of us seem to require.)

      Those who must take the risk of excess returns but don't want to know the requisite mathematics, the fundamentals of value, or the technicals of the auction marketplace are merely placing themselves at the collective mercy of those who make a business of understanding such things.

      It's not necessarily uninteresting, you know. Even the fundamental or technical classics written around the time of Great Depression would be enormously helpful to most investors.
      (Say, Graham and Dodd's SECURITY ANALYSIS or Robert Rhea's THE DOW THEORY.) These can now be seen as great historical works--what people did, why they did it, why they ought to have done something else, and what general principles could prevent such things from happening again. I don't see such books as being much less interesting or important than Seneca or Thoreau.

      I find the markets especially interesting from an intellectual standpoint. But even those who don't ought not to make the error of regarding the basics of their survival as a option of choice or taste. No non-human predator worthy of the name would make such a mistake: it takes a lot of cortex to be that stupid.

      The obvious solution for those wishing to remain above the fray would be managed investments, but that's another area in which the best talent (and fund organization) is reserved for those who don't really need the dough.

    • I've never disagreed with the need for using tools for tracking one's investments or investment opportunities. None of us would be on these message boards, especially this one, if we didn't hope to learn a bit more about investing. My only intent in my posts was to try to put a few things in perspective.

      There are many in the auction markets who actually have day jobs other than watching securities markets on an hourly/daily basis. At night, they have families and other activities. Many have chosen open-ended and CEF funds to "build their wealth." But, they are traded in the auction markets. If, now, we must track these with every bit of news, we'll be very busy indeed. And, if we must trade them frequently to get it right, the brokerage firms look like great investment.

      And, now Pres Bush suggests we all be in the market instead of Social Security.

      It offends my sensibilities to think that our country will have to turn into a bunch of graph watchers by day and night. There are so many other activities we've learned to enjoy. Of course there'll be the financial analysis/planning profession to save our bacon and reap the benefits of doing so.

      Sounds like we all just have to choose our own paths here. Those in the above profession have chosen wisely (if, to paraphrase Vince Lombardi--Money isn't the most important thing, it's the only thing.)


      Brubeck or Mulligan work! Desmond, or even, a little Davis are fine.

    • 1. BUY a little place ON THE WATER. Get 25-33% appreciation per year. (No kidding!)
      2. Go fishing.
      3. Brubeck, Mulligan, Bird i/l/o Vivaldi
      4. Open a BOTTLE of wine
      5. Contemplate Chillee Um-Gum: "No," said Barney, "a floor is not a floor when it turns into a stairway. You knew that, didn't you?"
      "Naturally,: Chillee Um-Gum answered, "I know everything - NOW."

      Chart of floor turning into stairway:,uu[l,a]dahlyiay[db][p][vc60][iUs

    • Or, you could just skip the 9 step program and take a handful of tranquillizers.

      I'd hate to think that you were in your Fifties...

      Say, how does your dog like this Philosophic Regimen of yours? Mine have all been predators to the bone--happiest when they were out and moving and solving whatever problems present themselves to their doggy minds.

    • Understood. #7-8 and 9 fall in good order. I'd rather have a few cats instead. My baggage must include the music gear and stuff, and also charting paper, computer, and things. The problem is finding a safe place these days. With US$'s in a country like Mexico buys a lot more. In 1986 I found Mexico a rather dangerous place. (and that was Acapulco). A lot of German citizens are retiring to the Dominican Republic. One thing I found out, don't show your wealth too much. When the average wage is around $150/month, and you got 10 times that much to spend, for example, one has to becareful. The natives are not blind. I'll take a more civilized area of the Adriatic. The most beautiful sea in the world. One thing is for sure, it's gonna get very expensive living in the States. Enjoy!

    • You have my vote for best post of the day.

      I am at present sipping a nice glass of merlot , looking out over the Gulf of Mexico with my best ever Westie dog at my side ! Life is good ! Think I will go get my copy of The Old Man and the Sea.

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