BTW, why are you getting no return on your savings? You shorted BBT and made money you said :)
Also, if you owned some decent divvy paying stocks last year you made 3-4%, and some had gains. Dow up 6% in 2011, not counting divvies. With them more like 9%.
And you should be mostly bonds if retired. Those did extremely well in 2011. Heck, treasury gains were 20%+ You perhaps followed Bill gross's advice and sold, and I admit the nominal yield is miniscule.
Nevertheless, 50% dow stocks (avoiding financials) and 50% treasury and solid corporates, that did very well. Living just off interest, sure, hard, but the cap gains alone would give you 2-3 years more income. And a decent stable income fund was up about 3-4% (I should know, I have some of my 401(k) in that).
Sure, trying to live on savings bank interest you'd starve to death.
I guarantee you most folks complaining about Bernanke screwing senior savers are mostly coupon clippers getting rich while they grumble on the way to the bank.
"Just one question - how did your projections work out last year? I was neutral to negative on BBT last year. I made some nice percentage gains shorting BBT 3 different times. How did your longs work out?"
My total portfolio was up 3.8% in 2011. About half of my portfolio is in bank stocks so I consider myself lucky. Obviously, I was too optimistic on bbt's resolution of their bad loan loans - loss severity and cumulative defaults on land loans were much worse than I anticipated. I think the balance of their bad land loans will clear out in the 4th qtr. and 2012 ought to be a good year for bbt.
If you want to measure portfolio performance you need to look at several years - i.e. 2008 through 2011. One year does not tell the story.
Norm's announced long position was in leaps at a 20 strike price with a strike date still in the future.
Norm, the price on this thing is going to be tremendously influenced by the increase in dividend announced in June. King made it clear that restoring the dividend was his long term goal which will certainly take years.
I am interested in what you see going forward on this. Their pattern is one increase per year which can make for some pops.