Stock Pick of the Day – AAPL

I don’t normally talk finances here but with the markets in a downward spiral it has really left some great deals on the table. One of those is Apple (AAPL). Their cash flow is phenomenal. Their marketshare is increasing/taking from PC. They have a diverse product line of innovative products. The current price is at a 40% drop from its 52 week high (currently $127 with a 52 week high of $202). It is currently oversold and is dipping on news that RIMM (maker of blackberry) missed its earnings estimate by 1 penny. Apple is approaching a really nice entry point (especially if you can grab it in the low 120s) and hold it through December. Of course with the markets in this shape you never know how low something is going to get. I just hate to miss it entirely so best to go into a solid company with good fundamentals and hold until you get a decent profit. In a time when many companies are making large use of lines of credit, I like to reward a company that is doing it right and doing it on a cash basis.

Disclaimer – I am not a financial genius so use common sense in making any financial decision, especially in times like these.

Christians and Retirement

Missy and I have been talking about getting ready for retirement. I am curious what your take is on retirement. As a Christian I know my future is ultimately not in a 401k or a Roth IRA. However, I don’t want to be a burden on my children by being irresponsible. I have known some Christians who decided not to plan for retirement because they wanted to use their money for God across their lifetime. I have known other Christians who have put all their time in worrying over the future. Where do you find the balance?

The Fed Encourages Us to Spend Like Wild Barbarians

Amid talks of the Federal Reserve lowering subprime interest rates you have to ask yourself, “what message are we sending?” If you get in over your head, don’t worry. You will get bailed out. Be irresponsible with your spending, have no emergency fund, and a shaky adjustable rate loan that was targeted at you because your credit wasn’t that great to begin with. That’s all fine and good because if enough of you do that at the same time and are about to lose those homes we will bail you out no questions asked. Let’s not worry about the devaluation of the dollar in overseas markets. Don’t be concerned that people may never learn to spend less than they make, to save, and most importantly to be good stewards of their finances. We have already been sending that message for years through the different types of bankruptcy we have in the U.S. Not to mention what the devaluation of the dollar is doing to our missionaries who are having to stretch each dollar as far as they can because the dollar just doesn’t buy what it used to. Why? Because people are losing faith in our markets in part due to our misuse of credit and moves like this from the Fed.

What happens if you cannot pay your credit card bill. Does your interest rate go up or down? Up, up, and up some more. Of course they do that to make a profit and not in the interest of the consumer. When people cannot handle the interest rates (that they agreed to be responsible for!) what does the Fed do? They bring them down, down, down with no apparent concern for the long term effects on our markets and on inflation.

The root problem of all of this is that Americans have an unrealistic expectation of what their lifestyle should be like that is probably rooted in the media culture we are submerged in. The result is like wild barbarians we get what we want without concern if we can actually pay for it. We are looting stores, malls, ebay, and the rest by selling our and our children’s future. It is killing people financially, socially, mentally, and I would say even spiritually.

I apologize for venting this here. I just had to get it off my chest.