How You Should Invest Based on Your Age

There are certain things people can do to maximize their expected retirement income while protecting themselves from utter destitution. The first step, invest early. A early portfolio means years of compounding and appreciation which resembles the following curve over time given a starting amount of $1.00 over 40 years.

This interactive chart displays the progression of $1 through 50 years of compounding at a modest 10% per year, around what the historical average return of the stock market is. As you can see the first few years are unimpressive, but eventually the savings grows past what you would have made investing $1 per year without interest! So instead of spending a dollar every year to save $100 in a non-interest account the one dollar invested in the stock market would equate to twice a yearly non-interest savings contribution.

The second point I would like to make is that as you reach retirement age your investments should become more conservative – after all, I am assuming you are using this money to retire on and another point to make is no one lives forever. It is suggested that younger folks should invest most if not all their money in equities while those approaching retirement should go more heavily on bonds, in the 60 to 100% range.

If you’ve been lucky enough to save more than enough for retirement, it might be worthwhile to invest in your children or grandchildren’s education – dependant of how magnanimous you are or how well they treated you. Other fine options include starting an expensive hobby such as sword collecting or medieval smithing, surprisingly enough Chrome spell-check doesn’t even know what the word smithing is or how to spell it so there is another great reason to take on that hobby.

XBox One Disc Drive Malfunction

Multiple Xbox one customers faced the sad realization that, like the Xbox 360 before it, the Xbox one was released with its share of hardware issues. Chiefly among them, the disk drive is either making loud noises and in many cases not functioning at all. Perhaps the best explanation of the problem comes from videos of the folks who have the issue, I’ll be embedding the video on this post. Sony’s Playstation 4 also had a few units not turn on due to faulty assembly, but has not experienced as much headache as the Xbox users thus far. Maybe the biggest problem the PS4 had was the blue light or blue ray of death, a blue light that showed up on the console telling users their machine was broken. The Xbox 360 had a similar problem with the red spinning lights of death that I experienced myself many years ago.

This all being said, failure is the mother of success as I once heard from a friend. You simply cannot expect a project of these proportions to go smoothly the first time around – which is why I’m planning on waiting a couple of months until these issues are resolved and well documented as well as more games have come out to choose from before I pick up my console.

Ebay Fees Updated – 18.9% For $10 Item Normal Listing

Almost three years ago I wrote a post about how much it costs to sell on ebay – that post happened to be a raging success and has gathered a lot of hits over the years. Seeing as that two year old post was so popular and wanting to do eBay justice for their new pricing structure I would like to go through the process again using the same metrics and let you know how much it costs to sell on eBay again based on selling something in November of 2013.

Books, Music, Movies, DVDs

Assuming you’ve sold more than 50 items on eBay for the month the insertion fee for books is just 5 cents. The final value fee is 10%, capped at a value fee of $250 – doubtful you will sell a book on eBay for more than $2500. So, because of our insertion fee a book sold on eBay for $10 will gather a $1.05 fee, or 10.5%. Now progressing to Paypal, their fees actually have not changed for sellers – still 2.9% plus 30 cents. So you get dinged 59 cents on a $10 payment.

Incoming from Paypal payment: $9.41

Outgoing to Ebay: $1.05

Net: $8.36

Cost to sell a book on Ebay:

16.4%

Miscellaneous Items

The only difference between miscellaneous items and books are the insertion fee – the insertion fee for miscellaneous items is 30 cents. That makes the net from the same example above cents less, so increases the cost to sell on eBay to 18.9%.

Since eBay has streamlined it’s process I would argue it has become much better for sellers who either sell less than 50 items per month or sell very expensive items (to reach the $250 final fee cap).

 

Making a profit with 18.9% costs

So how much will you need to up the price of an item you’ve acquired to turn a quick profit? Hopefully this is useful for those who enjoy going to the garage or estate sell to find cheap items to make some cash online. Don’t make the mistake of simply multiplying your buying price by 1.189, if you buy something for $10 and sell it for $11.89 you will have to pay $2.25 in fees and then you will lose 46 cents total. Instead divide your buying price by 0.81.

But who wants to buy and sell for no profit? No one. I would personally keep thing simple and only buy things that you expect to sell for 50% more than you pay for them. Good luck, and feel free to comment if you have any questions about eBay strategies.

 

Xbox Matches Playstation in Sales

The new XBox has matched Playstation sales at one million units in the first 24 hours in North America. I couldn’t wish for a better scenario – both companies have equal market share and we will have a interesting ride finding out who makes it to the top and learning from their successes and failures. The XBox One is priced at $500 while the Playstation 4 is going for $400, and the Playstation 4.

Based on the product descriptions it seems like the Playstation 4 is a better deal than the XBox, boasting 1080p while Microsoft’s product only displays in 720p. Not to mention Sony’s product will inevitably support more games especially those from Japan than the Xbox. However, if you play Halo or Call of Duty games you better buy an XBox since they are developed exclusively for the XBox. If you were planning on paying for an annual subscription for playing multiplier games you will need to pay $60 per year for XBox Live and $50 per year for Playstation Plus (Sony’s equivalent for XBox Live). XBox apps such as Netflix require an XBox Live subscription while Playstation is allowing you to use the Netflix app on their hardware for free. This all of course requires an active internet connection (I probably didn’t need to mention that).

Personally, I don’t see myself getting either system until more games are released or until a particular game is released that interests me on either console. Also I want to give it some time for the hardware issues from either manufacturer to be resolved before putting myself through the anxiety of getting a new machine that needs to be sent back in for repairs. I had that issue when I got my first XBox 360.

Regardless, having both these new platforms coming out at the same time is sure to create excitement for both developers and gamers in the console gaming industry, and perhaps stem the tide of touch screen games for tablets and smartphones. It’s hard for me comprehend how anyone can get much enjoyment out of a touch screen game, I definitely don’t.

Adobe Leaks 38 Million User and Password Pairs

Millions of people have had their password exposed to hackers, millions of people use the same password in multiple places, and millions of people better change their generic password after a massive failure by Adobe to protect their data. A file, which is circulating around the internet with the name “users.tar.gz”, is being downloaded and used to create tools for people to check if their email address was on this list of users comprised. Facebook and other large companies have been mining the data and sending out warning emails to their users not to be using the same password on their applications as they did for Adobe. This is another reminder that a one step authentication method is susceptible to being comprised.

What are your thoughts on this massive breach, are you inspired to change your passwords? Has internet hacking negatively influenced your company’s productivity in the never ending struggle to find balance between ease of use and security?

SimCity Glitchy Years After Launch

One would think EA Games would spend more time fixing its issues with Origin and SimCity, but apparently EA Games has not gotten it right YEARS after releasing SimCity.

“You have not activated SimCity on your account. Please activate SimCity in Origin to Play”. That is the error I get when I start SimCity after downloading it from Origin almost a year after installing it, waiting for EA Games to get their servers up after the launch, and playing it a few times. Buying a new computer and installing SimCity again brings me back to the fiasco of a game launch that has tarnished the name of SimCity forever and further makes EA Games and Origin the laughing stock of the gaming community.

No Where To Activate Anymore

No Where To Activate Anymore

SimCity not activated, lies

SimCity not activated, lies

Second Game in World FIDE World Chess Championship Another Draw

So much for the folks to flew all the way to India to watch the world chess championship! The second game was also a draw, finishing up in just 25 moves due to repetition. The sport of chess just lost a few thousand more followers, and I’m sure you haven’t even seen this news on your local television channel if you’re living in the US because chess has become so diminished throughout the years in favor of more exciting sports, such as golf!

Below are the last few moves in the second game, I’m so bored with the subject I don’t want to waste any more time writing about it.

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First Game in Chess Championship a Draw

A disappointing start to the world championship chess match – a draw very early on into the game based on repetition of moves. Based on the game of chess, a draw is sometimes preferable to continuing the game – however a draw in the teen move count of a chess game is very disappointing and will hurt the popularity of chess as a sport. Not only is this boring for viewers, but especially boring for folks who bought tickets for the match. The first game has Magnus Carlsen playing as white and Viswananathan Anand as black –  a draw is considered by some as a victory for black. What are your thoughts on watching a game that only involves so few moves and so little excitement? The game was one and a half hours. The interview after the game between the two seemed to show Anand as a bit more cheerful than Carlsen, who was disappointed that he had to draw. Below is a photo of the after interview and the last three moves.

The after interview.

The after interview.

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Gates Should Take CEO Position at Microsoft

Bill Gates and Paul Allen founded Microsoft on April 4th, 1975. Paul was the investor and Gates was the brains. After dealing with cancer Allen distanced himself from the company, and for the next 20 or so years Gates built Microsoft into the largest software company in the world and wrote the operating system you probably are using right now – Microsoft Windows. Microsoft enjoyed more success than Apple for the longest time, until of course Jobs returned to Apple and brought genius and creativity to the company in a leadership role. Gates has distanced himself from the company since Steve Balmer was given leadership, and has been working on philanthropic projects since all the while remaining the monarch if you will of the Microsoft kingdom.

Much like Jobs, Gates was heavily involved in the details of the company’s work early on – he personally reviewed every line of code for the first five years that the company produced [1]. Hard work and dedication, and owning the company he worked for – being passionate about quality and quantity was a trademark skill Gates possessed. His determination, grit, and intelligence helped make him into the richest person in the world – and his tenacious defence of Microsoft’s key products kept copycats at bay to some degree. I think a Gates return to Microsoft would mean a huge increase in awareness of Microsoft products, and a new energy for the giant and some would say stagnating company.

 

[1] Gates, William ‘Bill’ (October 13, 2005). Remarks (Speech). Waterloo, ONArchived from the original on April 6, 2008. Retrieved March 31, 2008.

Forbes Shows Bias in Reporting – Not Amused

Check out the following article:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2013/09/30/new-poll-only-one-third-of-americans-support-repealing-defunding-or-delaying-obamacare/

The title reads “Only One-Third of America Support Repealing Obamacare. They do not mention in that less than 1/3 of those polled want the Obamacare law to take effect! Now whether or not you support Obamacare is a completely separate issue – it would be like saying having a headline saying “Only 1/3 of the population want to impeach Obama” when less than 1/3 of the population supports Obama. Either way if that was the case we can safely say Obama does not have good support – the same which now applies to Obamacare.

Although the news sometimes presents facts, it will twist it for the general populace to be deceived into following its agenda.

Rome Total War 2 Glitches

I was excited to finally buy Rome Total war when it came out, for around 60 or 70 bucks (I can’t remember off the top of my head). However I have been very disappointed in how glitchy the game has been. From just plain throwing exceptions that require quitting the game and losing a turn or two’s progress to my most recent issue which is where the game does not allow you to use the mouse to move around the map or use the bound keys to rotate your map view. For such a huge map as the one Rome Total War 2 uses, this is a game-killer. I looked online and found a solution, which was simply to reload a old save game – but unfortunately like clockwork once I got to the end of that turn and proceeded to the next turn the glitch happened again. If anyone is interested in the save game file I am open to sharing it. From a few threads it looks like this problem happens if a certain number of attacks and retreats happened in a turn, which is ludicrous! You would think this game would be tested better as it has been the most pre-ordered game in the total war series!

Anyways, I thought I’d write this post in the rare chance Creative Assembly will catch this post and fix their problems!

Obama Receeds

After successfully not intervening  in Syria with Russian help, Obama once again is trying to focus his efforts of undermining second amendment rights and ironically pushes this topic after two shootings in Chicago – the city with the most strict gun laws in the Midwest. Two cases where criminals were using guns on lawful citizens who are discouraged from owning them based on city politics. The biggest failures of Obama as a president were signing too many executive orders, focusing too much on tearing up the 2nd amendment, and intervening in Libya.

It’s quite ironic that a former KGB agent is the champion for peace between countries while our Nobel Prize winning president was at one point trying to force us into another war.