Monday, December 27, 2010

Slogging Along Toward a 2011 Disaster

Just for kicks, here's the opening line to this post without benefit of having seen as much as a stock quote all day:

Stocks flat on low volume.

Let's see how we stack up:

Dow 11,555.03, -18.46 (0.16%)
NASDAQ 2,667.27, +1.67 (0.06%)
S&P 500 1,257.54, +0.77 (0.06%)
NYSE Composite 7,920.94, -4.42 (0.06%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,067,840,625
NYSE Volume 2,203,177,750

Well, prescient, no?

Amazingly, advancing issues swamped decliners, 3637-2817. On the NASDAQ, there were 147 new highs; 13 new lows. On the NYSE, there were 106 new highs, to just 13 new lows. Trading was exceedingly thin, the lowest volume of the year, due to a fierce snowstorm which kept many traders from reaching the floor of the NYSE and the time of year, which always has a negative effect on volume.

Crude oil dipped to $91.00, down 51 cents on the day. Gold bounced around, finally going down 20 cents, to $1384.20 as of this writing. Silver is currently up 7 cents, to $29.29.

There's really no good reason to bother with these thinly-traded equity markets. For much less risk one should be investing in precious metals or one's own business, where the rate of return should easily outperform stocks and/or bonds in good times and especially in bad ones. If one is a good business manager, there is boundless opportunity. Just spare the overhead, keep employees (if you even dare to hire one) to a minimum, work diligently and watch the bottom line.

Any business, unless one is in the wrong line of work or a completely illiquid market, should thrive without much interference from government. That seems to be the major trick - keeping the regulatory agencies and taxing authorities off your doorstep.

America was built on entrepreneurship, vision and perseverance, the last of which is probably the most important. Most businesses fail from lack of persistence in the face of what usually appears as various impediments to survival. In these sad days of the new century, Americans are beginning to suffer from lacks of education, nerve and business acumen. There may be no better time to bootstrap an organization from the ground up, as the politicians are too busy trying to save their jobs and the banking conglomerate is desperate.

With a little pluck and not much capital, Americans may find unique ways to free themselves from wage slavery, the scourge of the nation. All it takes is an idea, some grit, some spit and some attitude. Every household in America should double as home base for a business. It doesn't matter if the business thrives or loses money in the beginning, because the enormous tax benefits of hoe-based businesses will free up more of YOUR money, which the government takes up front in the form of payroll taxes.

Those still treading on the payroll train to nowhere would do well to file a DBA (Doing Business As) with their local county clerk and begin receiving the vast benefits proffered by the US tax code. There are no more home-business-friendly rules in the world.

Just as a hint - and I'm not going to give anyone the entire scope of why having a home-based business is a MUST in these times - start with the deduction from income on the costs of one room (the room which you dedicate to your business). If you live in a two-bedroom apartment with a kitchen, a bath, living and dining room, paying $500/month, making one of those two bedrooms an office - even if you make ZERO net income from your business - allows you to deduct 1/5 of your rent, or $1200 per year, from your gross income. Just this alone, if you're in a 28% tax bracket, will save you $336 in taxes, and that's just for starters.

Imagine if you actually made money from your business. Someday, you might find yourself not worrying about taxes at all, except to shield them from the government like big businesses do, and there are ways.

Wake up and grow up, Americans. The resources are there, the money is out there, what's lacking is the will.

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