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Attacked by a Burglar Alarm and in need of help



September 18, 2012 – Comments (28)

Yes, I have been gone, and yes, it was in a 'good cause.'   I have had a bad case of Murphy's Law.   I guess you could say my burglar alarm attacked me.

I have been unable to use a computer (or one arm) for months, except for physical therapy and a couple of surgeries.  I am back on a limited basis and this is just a quick hello. 

I am married to a dog whisperer.  I am a bit of a cat whisperer.  Most of our pets (7 at the moment) find us or are 'unadoptable' because they have had such extreme abuse.  The newest, youngest, largest of the lot are a couple of sweet Dobermans....well, sweet to us and to our granddaughter who scares them to death.  Everyone else falls into the category of "snack food."  Hence the term "burglar alarms."  

Just after Christmas, I reached into the small one's security blanket crate and he raised his head to have his ears scratched.  My arm torqued, the rotator cuff tore in half, detached from the bone, and shredded a bit.  Okay, small is relative with these guys - the 95 pounder..  

During the ensuing months, my email provider changed, deleting all of my email folders, unread emails, and addresses, and I lost a lot of business folders that should have been backed up.  I learned why physical therapy is referred to as physical torture by some of my friends.  Happily I have been being put back together mostly.

Now I need a different kind of help.  I have lost track completely of the market, the stocks, the charts, and pretty much anything that I was up on before everything came crashing down.  I would appreciate any info from friends about where we are and what is going on in the world of finance.  Also, if you had my email before, the has been replaced by

If you are in the neighborhood, call first - my welcoming committee is a feral Maine Coon and a 130 pound Dobe.


28 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On September 18, 2012 at 4:26 PM, binve (< 20) wrote:

Mary! Good to hear from you! But I am so sorry to hear about your attack. I can't imagine what that must have been like. I am glad you are recuperating and going through physical therapy and getting better.

  I would appreciate any info from friends about where we are and what is going on in the world of finance.

These posts are my humble opinions on what's going on, hopefully they are useful to you:

first one from April (more in depth):

second one from a couple of weeks ago (just a chart update):

I hope you are back to 100% soon!..

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#2) On September 18, 2012 at 4:30 PM, Mary953 (85.22) wrote:

Ty didn't really attack me,.  He just raised his head and leaned in to have his ears scratched a bit more.  Those guys have a LOT of heft behind them.  I am the one that got my arm caught between his ears and a steel bar.  The crate is his security blanket - like Linus and his blanket.  Now I scratch under his chin.  ;)

Thanks for the help. 

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#3) On September 18, 2012 at 9:50 PM, rd80 (94.67) wrote:

Sorry to read about your run in with the burglar alarm, but glad you're back.


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#4) On September 18, 2012 at 11:17 PM, awallejr (36.64) wrote:

Welcome back Mary.  I think "yield" is the key now.  Bernanke is forcing us into it, whether you agree with him or not.  There are plenty of places to look for yield such as mlps, bdcs, mreits.

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#5) On September 19, 2012 at 8:50 AM, Mary953 (85.22) wrote:

Good to hear from you both, rd and awallejr. 

I am actually so far back to basics that I don't even know if we are in a bull or bear market, how long we have been there, whether we are looking at a continuation of the type (bull, bear) that is in play.  Is there a sector that is red flag danger?  Is there a sector that is so overpriced that it is a bubble about to burst?  

As always, I am avoiding shorting, margins, anything other than straight buy and sell (still the math phobe) but now I am back at newbie status.


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#6) On September 19, 2012 at 10:42 AM, Teacherman1 (< 20) wrote:

Welcome back Mary. Hope your arm continues to improve and the pain gets to be less and less.

In my opinion we seem to be in a general upward trend heading into the end of the year (or at least until after the election)., but with spurts up, followed by drops.

I continue to follow my basic investing style of mostly "semi-penny" stocks, buying on the dips and occasionally selling (to balance my positions) when we have a better than expected run up.

The Euro got a boost when Draghi proposed that the ECB would start buying bonds to help keep the overall cost down, but some doubt about the willilngness and ability to follow this has started to creep in.

Spain is the new "worry spot" for the Euro Zone, and to a certain extent, Italy.

We had a big, "unrealistic" rally last week when the Fed announced they would be buying about $40B of mortgage backed bonds each month, and that they would keep rates low for at least a couple of years, and then a pretty significant drop the first couple of days this week.

Banks have been going up for awhile, and many of the Stock Advisor favorites have been struggling (except of course for Apple).

Not as many investment posts in CAPS as in the past, as a lot of members have moved to posting on the SA boards.

It won't take you long to get a feel for the markets again.

The above is JMO and worth exactly what I am charging for it.

Again, welcome back.

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#7) On September 19, 2012 at 11:10 AM, TSIF (99.98) wrote:

Hi Mary, welcome back!! 

Teacherman1, as usual, summed things up nicely, glad I refeshed the page before getting verbose.

1. Heading into elections are generally "bullish".  Repulicans would probalby prefer some uncertainty, democracts some stability.

2. QE3, buying back bonds seems to make some folks happy. Same thing happened in Europe a few weeks ago and now Japan this morning.  Overall, this admits that the economy is still weak and the job market difficult.  It also risks inflation. 

3.  Besides banks up as teacherman1 notes, housing is at a new high. I don't think I'd call it a bubble, but it could turn down if we get bad economic news. Overall, I wouldn't bet against housing, I'd probalby look at buying if it pulled back.

Precious metals is up. Silver has been up over 15% the last few weeks. I wouldn't call it a bubble, just an offsetting sign that too much money and too much debt is still in play.

I believe cautious optimistic is the current theme. The markets are setting new post crash highs and the Nasdaq with Apples help is setting a new high since the 2000 crash.


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#8) On September 19, 2012 at 12:19 PM, Mary953 (85.22) wrote:

Teacherman, as always, you value your opinions much to cheaply.  I will check the SA site.  Happily, I have a bit of Apple in my portfolio.  Unhappily, it is just that - a bit....after Netflix, I worried that the same might happen to my other high flying investment and reduced and retrenched.  Talk about backing the wrong horse.  I am keeping my head down where international is concerned at this point.  One thing at a time, my friend.

TSIF, you make my head spin. Talk about good news, bad news!  You know so much more about the financial market than I  can grasp.  Banks knocked me from All star to >20 because I tried to apply a moral compass to the market.  Doesn't work, does it?  I would like to know if gold is finally at a high or going higher?  Any thoughts there?  For now, I will go with the cautious optimism and the hope that the sky is NOT falling - today.

And, by the way, the worst pain was actually typing.  I may not be healed totally, but I am out of pain except when I do the weight lifting parts of the day.  ;)  Pain is now something I make myself deal with to get stronger so I can believe I am invincible and go out and break something else. (Well, you all knew I was crazy a long time ago - right?) 

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#9) On September 19, 2012 at 12:52 PM, TSIF (99.98) wrote:

Hi Mary, I try to keep it simple, but investing is not simple. Teacherman has a much better investing bedside manor and does undersell himself.  I'd pay $0.03 to $0.05 for some of his comments.

Silver/Gold bulls are very bullish right now. Sinch has most of the top week/month blogs.   QE3 and US/Global debt could easily spawn an inflation spike despite the Feds. SN3165 and skypilot2005 have comments in this recent TMFSinchiruna missive.

I'm not quite as bullish as they are, but I believe a diversified portfolio should have some!!!

No, a moral compass doesn't mix with investing, other than you do have plenty of choices in the investment universe.   You can avoid those that don't fit your moral compass or in a limited way, downthumb a few so you can say "aha" I told you so when/if they get crushed, or you can ignore the calls if they do well.  Too much of anything doesn't work too well!!!

Take a small bit at a time.  Don't overdue the analysis/financial catch up or the typing. Pain shouldn't win over us completely, but pain is our body telling us to be careful!!!

(Crazy......yes, but we're all "Foolish" in our own ways.....). :)




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#10) On September 19, 2012 at 1:14 PM, Mary953 (85.22) wrote:

TSIF - I defy you to ignore a jubilant 3 year old launching herself into your arms screaming "Gramie!!" and glowing just at the sight of you.  So far I have managed to catch with one arm and steady with the other.  If she was falling though, I would go through it all again to save her.  So - self-induced pain for as long as it takes to get back.

Somehow I never cared much for "I told you so's" or the folks that needed to say them.  I learned that lesson about Wall Street the easy way.  All I lost was my pretty multicolor Fool's cap - no actual cash.  If only I could say the same for some other stocks.

I have learned a couple of things already that make me frustrated.  When I first started reading blogs here, all I could think was "What are these people talking about?  What language are they speaking?"  This is not like learning to ride a bike.  I am back to the "Ah - What?" stage again.  This time though, I know I have patient friends to help me back through again.

$0.03 to $0.05? Really?  Big spender much?  LOL   

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#11) On September 19, 2012 at 1:22 PM, TSIF (99.98) wrote:

No, I wouldn't ignore the flying 3 year old...but other things could be tempered!!!  ;)  I can tell the dog enough after 50-60 retrievals if I don't look it in the expectant eye....... ;)

$0.03 to $.05 is more than the $0.02 that some try to charge...teacherman1's is worth 50 to 150% more than that!!!  

A little "take that" to an inanimate stock ticker can be therapeutic.  I don't "generally" subscribe to told you so to "people".  I'm wrong as often as anyone else I interact with.

Nothing wrong with training wheels!!! Do wear a helmet!!! ;) 

Have fun, but be careful, catch the 3 year old, and collect your hugs!  Much more important than stock tickers!

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#12) On September 19, 2012 at 1:42 PM, portefeuille (98.92) wrote:

nothing missed. same boring rally ...


S&P 500 index.


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#13) On September 19, 2012 at 2:00 PM, Mary953 (85.22) wrote:

Hugs are the joy of life.  

I would never scold a stock ticker.  I am too busy threatening my computer!

And the poor sweet pup that did this to my arm is still so afraid to leave his crate when he is indoors, that I climb in to him.  My joy is to see him take a treat or stop shivering in fear.  He has post traumatic stress syndrome from years of being chained to a tree and beaten. The exception is when anyone else comes in.  The pastor brought communion when I could not handle a ride in a car and Ty was ready to eat him for being near me.  Outside his 'chew toy' is the top foot of a wooden fence which he has eaten and several large bushes which he has also eaten.  That way he can stand up and hang his head and legs over the fence.  (I won't tell you what the big dog does, but no one walks through our yard any more.)

Next time you see a ferocious Dobe in a movie, look closer.  The ears are up, the eyes are happy, and the tail is wagging.  They are pleasing their person and proud of it! 

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#14) On September 19, 2012 at 2:04 PM, Mary953 (85.22) wrote:


You sent me a chart!!!!!  Thank you!!  (I forgot what it means, dear Professor. *embarrassed*)  So much to relearn.  Is VMWare still a good stock choice? 

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#15) On September 19, 2012 at 2:10 PM, portefeuille (98.92) wrote:

I forgot what it means

I think the best answer is that the curvy green line connects the closing values of the S&P 500 index since March 9, 2009 via an interpolating spline and that the whole thing means what almost every small child would tell you it means after lokking at it for a few seconds ;)

VMW is still doing great, as usual I prefer EMC though. And biopharma stocks are still doing great, as is my now exclusively biopharma equity (≈95% virtual) fund.

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#16) On September 19, 2012 at 2:18 PM, portefeuille (98.92) wrote:



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#17) On September 19, 2012 at 2:33 PM, daninkeller (< 20) wrote:

Mary:  Anybody who likes Dogs that much has good karma coming....Glad you are back.   Actually, now isn't a bad time for a fresh new market look.   I look forward to your views.


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#18) On September 19, 2012 at 2:54 PM, Mary953 (85.22) wrote:

Our dogs come in small medium large and extra large (50, 80, 95, 130).  I like dogs big enough to hug - even if you do at times wake up to see a dog looking down at you.  The cats are 15 to 30  lb.  They find us - except for the ones that our vet tech daughter brings to us because they cannot be helped by rescue organizations.  I raised a family of dog whisperers.  I shouldn't be surprised.  At one point, one of  the kids was adopted by the zoo's tigers, gorillas, elephants, and a lion with cancer. One baby bear rode along on her leg for a day and she usually had lemurs or other small mammals in the hoodies that she wore so they could get out and about. (She was working there at the time)

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#19) On September 19, 2012 at 3:27 PM, amassafortune (29.20) wrote:

Welcome back and get well soon, Mary.

The only financial advice I feel comfortable giving these days is one I'm sure you've already done - pay down personal debt. That is just about the only way I know of getting back a guaranteed return greater than 1% these days. 

Some Elliott Wave Principle students see the market primed for a strong wave down, but we all know how accurate those predictions have been in the face of (nearly) direct Fed intervention. 

Last week's Fed announcement of $40 billion of new MBS purchases is another large bank bailout, not smart new money productively deployed to grow the economy. Added to the existing $45 billion per month already in progress, and the $85 billion works out to $275 per U.S. citizen per month. 

With pretty good evedence we entered a new recession in June that money is diluting the value of previously printed dollars.

I normally do not buy things that have already been 10-baggers, but I began adding some physical precious metals two years ago. Not in crazy amounts, but if our leaders find themselves no more able to reverse a possible overprinting hyperinflation than the other 56 times this action has resulted in failure, I want to be somewhat prepared.

At this time, I like direct, complete ownership of things they aren't making more of, like land, oil, and PMs. The few stocks I hold are mostly dividend-paying energy and utility companies.

In today's 0-1% money world, I'm holding a lot of cash, even knowing it's being eroded. If I can net better than a 1% total return, I'll call it a successful year. 

We're just about done ploughing money into the next generation of educated tax payers. 66% are productive citizens, with the final third getting a student pass for now. Grandchildren are possible this decade. 

Three of our four animals found us. One was a feral budgie so weak it was caught by hand. Our own children have been fed better, are stronger, and are beginning to get away. 

We are certainly living in historical times. Heal quickly and invest carefully. It's good to hear from an old GoodVibe poster.

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#20) On September 19, 2012 at 7:12 PM, rd80 (94.67) wrote:

Not sure if I can add anything beyond the other comments.  S&P500 is having a good year so far, as port's chart shows.

Bond yields hit ridiculous low levels earlier this year, they've now come up to just crazy low.  That seems to have pushed a lot of money into traditional, blue chip dividend stocks.  I don't think they're in a bubble, but it's hard to find much that looks like a good value in that part of the market. 

awallejr mentioned mlps, reits and bdcs - there's good yield there, but also some risks and price runs.  I think dividend hounds can also find some ok values in healthcare and old school tech.  Financials have run, but there are some fair prices there too - they were sooo beat up there's probably still room to run.

Just my humble opinions and probably worth something less than teacherman1's. :) 

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#21) On September 19, 2012 at 8:41 PM, Mary953 (85.22) wrote:

I have a lot of homework to do.  That much is obvious.  This blog has lifted my spirits tremendously though - not so much in the information, but in finding so many of my dear friends still here.  Rest assured that I will be returning to a lot of this post with much study and many more questions.  The fact is that I have more questions than I have investable (investible?) money at the moment, but one thing has not changed.

I am willing to ask lots and lots of dumb questions.  You all give me such good answers and are so patient that I don't mind being the one willing to ask what (hopefully) others wonder as well.  Someday, I may even get up the nerve to ask what the heck QE3 is.  I have wondered about that for years and the Investopedia just confused me.  A question for another day.

(Amass - Surely you are not also looking toward grandkids!  I just spent an hour and a half running up and down Target toy aisles with mine - great way to end a day!) 

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#22) On September 19, 2012 at 9:26 PM, HarryCaraysGhost (87.59) wrote:

Hi Mary, so sorry to hear about the busted wing.

To get back in the swing of things I was wondering if you would like to join a meaningless contest-



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#23) On September 19, 2012 at 9:40 PM, Mary953 (85.22) wrote:

Of course I will join, John!  After all, someone has to round out the bottom of the list.  (or maybe it is a beginners luck and I will be at the top)  The first time is always the charm for me - which is why I just celebrated a 39th anniversary (got married when I was 2 of course) ;)

Good to see you are still around! 

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#24) On September 19, 2012 at 10:06 PM, rd80 (94.67) wrote:



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#25) On September 20, 2012 at 12:23 PM, Mary953 (85.22) wrote:


You remember my weakness.  :D  Sign me up!  That is my type of QE3!   

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#26) On September 21, 2012 at 12:56 PM, GNUBEE (< 20) wrote:

Glad to hear from you after going dark for a while.

Hope the recovery is fast and uneventful.

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#27) On September 22, 2012 at 11:18 AM, Mary953 (85.22) wrote:

Hi GNUBEE - I am now my own worst enemy.  Lessons learned - If you have not progressed beyond 5# weights, do not try to carry 35# boxes of cat litter for any distance, prune branches that are more than an 1" in diameter, or babysit for 6 hour stretches that include trips to the toy store - unless you want to break out the Excedrin the next day.

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#28) On February 17, 2013 at 1:14 PM, Mary953 (85.22) wrote:

This is an update for anyone who should happen across this post and wonder how everything turned out.  There is a point in rehabbing this type of injury that "No pain, no gain" really is the motto to live by.  You work to the point of pain and then...keep going.  Your alternative is to let the point where you stop be your new normal.  The first 6 months is the best chance at progress, but you have up to a year.  I have a couple of months left

I have full range of motion and can lift almost as much weight as I did before.  That means I have better motion than most people half my age (heredity - Thanks, Mom!)  I kept at it until I had back everything I had lost....and I no longer reach into Ty's crate in a way that can torque anything.  Once was enough! 

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