Swings & Roundabouts

Getting bored with the blue masks, think I’ll try these on the bus!

I’m gaining weight, but the rate of gain has slowed, so I’m taking that as a big win this month! 😜

Somewhat grumpily, I’m still a non-smoker. And I’ve been forcing myself to chip away at my home & office decluttering exercise. During this process, I’m finding stuff I didn’t even realise I bigly needed. While I’m selling & donating the stuff that others need. Okay, it’s just crap I don’t need but hey, that’s one of those win-win things, isn’t it? Hate that hackneyed expression. Am I thinking outside the box now?

ClichΓ©d expressions aside, if you’re stuck at home a lot these days, try a little decluttering. It can pay off. It also pushed me to do other things. With an even bigger payoff.

I started decluttering my social media feeds! This is big. I was following political sites. From all sides & ends of the political spectrum. I unfollowed all of them. I followed a bunch of investor types. Precious metals guys, crypto currency gurus, energy fans, even some that are into oil. I think a few got rich more because they were lucky, than smart. Or are they just messing with my head? They’re the rich ones, after all. Maybe I’m Dunning-Kruger-ing myself? It doesn’t matter, I unfollowed all of them anyway.

Not listening to all these people sniping at each other was uplifting. But I wanted even more. Guess where I got it from?

My friends! LOL

I’m not kidding, I’ve got friends on Facebook that were … I know you’ll find this totally unbelievable … but they were stressing me out a little. I didn’t even realize how much ’til I turned them off. Doesn’t matter if it’s about politics, religion, or vaccine positioning, you can kinda tell who isn’t fact-checking stuff & watching the news from both sides, can’t you? Or maybe not! 😜

Anyway, I try to avoid these conversations online. If we could get together & talk over a beer, that might be fun. Social media doesn’t seem to be the place for it though. But you can mute your friends for 30 days & they don’t even know it! If they’re still ranting when they are automatically restored a month later, snooze them for another 30 days! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

The calmness & serenity that follows is a relief & a joy. Maybe I’ll follow the Dalai Lama instead. Ommmm!

Or should I just join the melee? So many doing it. Is being nasty really that much fun!?! 😜😁

Work From Home Investing

Stocks only go UP! Right!?!

This is a different topic for The Wry Eye, but I thought I’d share one of the silly things I’m playing with during my work from home experience: investing! Investing & weigh-loss have a lot in common. Both require dedication, patience, & a proven methodology. I can only hope I’ll do better with investing than with my recent weight-loss efforts, or I’ll be in real trouble! 😜
If you do some investing, let me know. Maybe we’ll swap more stories on this subject.

During the early stage of the pandemic restrictions, I moved a small, professionally managed portfolio into a self-directed account. I meant to do it years ago, but I never got around to it. The market slump in March woke me up. Unfortunately, it took weeks to get my money moved across, so I missed buying the lows. By the time I got to trade, things were on the way back up & I was too scared to invest it all at once! I worked it back into the market over the next several months.

My returns over the over past six months beat the advisor’s by a chunk. That sounds great, but it wasn’t very much money to begin with, so we’re not talking early retirement here. To be fair, the advisor had been working within my very conservative guidelines. And I got what you might expect from that guidance: very conservative returns. I have no idea why my guidelines were so conservative. And that’s the story of my investing history; half the time, I have no idea what I’m doing, nor why I’m doing it that way! My recent success was even more surprising because I was not buying the high-flying, stay-at-home, rampant tech stocks. I made most of my returns with pretty conservative stocks & boring ETFs. And now, it was all with lower fees.

I got so cocky about it all that I used a tiny portion to bet on small oil stocks, precious metals ETFs, & Bitcoin! Believe it or not, I made money on most of those too. Yes, I had a few losses, but mostly I was winning. I wondered what would happen if I did this with my real savings? Would I crush it? Maybe early retirement really was in the cards!?!
And right there, I knew it was time to stop! I sold off the stuff I didn’t understand & put the proceeds into a boring ETF.

Now that I’m an expert investor (πŸ™„πŸ˜œπŸ˜), I’ve started “educating” my kids!

It’s funny how some things are falling into different perspectives during the pandemic. I am fortunate to still have a job, but none of us knows what happens next. I’m building a list of those things I’ve left long undone. This could be a great opportunity to get some of those tasks ticked off the list.

TGIF!
Have a great weekend & PM me with your hot stock tips! LOL

PS … I am not suggesting that you go into the stock market, none of this is investing advice, this post is purely for entertainment. I’m having fun with it, but I also have some investing experience to lean on. Always seek professional advice before making your investing decisions!

December Already!?!

Where’s the Cigarette!?!

How did that happen? December really just snuck up on me & I have no results to post this 1st day of the new month.

Only because it’s far too embarrassing on the dietary side of things, but …

I am a non-smoker for just over a month now!

Now nobody that knows me can believe this but … I have been so calm, so nice, so patient & kind, throughout this entire challenge!

I told you, didn’t I? Nobody believes that! πŸ€ͺπŸ™„πŸ˜

Ahead of the Christmas holidays, & before I’m out of the “I’m still quitting smoking” phase, I feel like having a few rants. Sometimes, you just want to whack things with a big mallet! Don’t you!?!

And let’s be real here, what are the chances of me getting refocused on weight-loss this close to Christmas! πŸ™„πŸ˜

Be Selfish … Shop Local!

Do you know how to shop your local businesses online?

We’re close to Christmas, in the middle of the pandemic, & it’s Black Friday shopping season. I had already bought all I could think of buying at my local stores so now, it’s time for a little online shopping. Woohoo!

I can’t deny it, I’m a fan of the big e-commerce sites. And I’m sure I’ll do some shopping with them too. However, do you see newly shuttered shops & “For Lease” signs in the local malls these days? Some lights are out & might not be coming back on. Those are our neighbours.

We can shop local for totally selfish reasons too. We’ll all want more choices in the post-pandemic world. If we don’t keep them in business, those choices disappear. Small business people are paying taxes too. And they buy other products that eventually circle back around to keeping those of us still in a job, in a job! So go ahead … be selfish & shop local! 😜

These days, many small business owners are trying to build an online presence. I’ve seen some interviewed on TV & most were able to get up & running, pretty quickly, with Shopify’s platform. That helps them get cheap shipping rates too. All necessary in the modern competitive landscape.

I assumed part of the benefit of using the Shopify platform is the sheer scale & size of that company. As a consumer, I figured it would be an easy online search to find all the local shops who were using Shopify.
Not so. I couldn’t find Shopify businesses & I couldn’t even find out how to find local Shopify sites to buy from. I was mystified. Small business owners need the benefits of Shopify’s size & power of aggregation. But where was that advantage? Surely there was a way to find which local businesses were offering their products through Shopify?

I went directly to Shopify’s site looking for the answer, but it wasn’t jumping off the page there either. I clicked on a support chat button. I’m not sure it was a support button for this kind of question but I got help from a great support person. (Thanks, Alycia!)

Of course, privacy rights prevent them from sharing who is using their platform (duh!) but, as it turns out, there’s an app for that! πŸ€ͺ😁
I’m not kidding, there is an app called “Shop”, by Shopify, that does connect us to local businesses, & more. I downloaded it & had a quick look to see if it could hone in on local businesses & yes, it can.
You can even … wait for it … SHOP with it! πŸ˜‚

I haven’t done any shopping yet, so this isn’t a review of the functionality of the app. I’m just sharing it, in case you might want to try it out, & support your local businesses too.
Or does everyone already know about this? And it’s just me that was in the dark!?!

I’m not in any way connected with Shopify, by the way, just sharing what I found out.

And did you know there are selfish reasons to add food to the food bank boxes at the supermarket exits too? I put a couple of bucks worth of non-perishable food in there & I felt like a million bucks. Where else can you get that kind of return!?! 😜

Take care out there all.

Shopify & Shop are registered Trade Marks of Shopify Inc.

Friday the 13th!

You can’t gain weight on lucky Friday the 13th! 😜

Totally screwed up the whole weight-loss thing in October, but I have an excuse. And it’s a good one!

I’m a non-smoker! πŸ˜‡

And I didn’t just stub out my last one this morning. Today, on this lucky Friday, the 13th, I’m two weeks smoke-free. Woohoo!

October was a crazy month in so many ways. I’ll have to share some of those stories later. But I couldn’t let the day pass without wishing you a happy & lucky Friday the 13th! πŸ€πŸ€ž

Stay safe out there.