I am retired and take educated guesses on all things financial.

December 17, 2007

December 18, 2007: Flying,Yields and a few Funds

Back from Colorado. The flights to and from northern Ohio were an experience. I prefer direct flights because of time saved and no possible way to have the airline lose your luggage.

Well, so much for the second reason. Arriving in Denver I discovered that I was the only passenger in the plane standing at the carousel without luggage. I watched the carousel go round and round, hoping that the slightly damaged cardboard box in rotation would magically turn into my suitcase. My son came in to get a laugh as I f-bombed my personal circumstance while stalking into the airlines claim office. Calmly, the service agent frankly told me that she would have my luggage delivered to my Colorado Springs address before 9 a.m. tomorrow. It arrived around noon, mainly because the driver could not locate my son's home on the plat map, being in a new area (not uncommon for the Springs). I found out later that the TSA (Homeland Security) took it out for inspection and it never made it on my plane initially.

Going home after a wonderful visit which included a superb experience in Denver at the Hyatt near the 16th Street Mall for "personal time", I booked my ticket terminating at Akron-Canton, OH airport - which was the only airport north of Columbus to remain open during Sunday's winter storm. Our plane was packed with Clevelanders who were bumped by other airlines who cancelled their Cleveland flights.The flight itself was the fastest in time I can remember. Two hours and ten minutes from Denver to Akron-Canton thanks to strong westerly winds. The landing was rough and unexpected due to poor visibility. Hitting the runway we bounced hard and high three or four times, listed left and finally veered sharply left, stopping yards away from our gate. The lady in the seat in front of me had already purged her airplane snacks and beverages on the second or third bounce coming in. Yes, quite the experience.

On the bright side, I did sell my Cleveland Browns tickets to their Sunday game. So I managed to avoid frostbite and gulping beer in a blizzard.

Going to my son's workplace, a very secure USAF base, Peterson, and to visit his staff and observe his large responsibility made me a very proud father. And seeing his wife, also a USAF Space Weapons officer and their baby son made the visit perfect.

With the market in a downward mode, some readers may be thinking about some other investment vehicles.

Highest yields recently included Countrywide Bank MM at 5.30% ($10,000. min.)800.844.1091, Corus Bank MM at 5.12% (no minimum) 800.555.5710. Six month CDs look good at Countrywide Bank ($10,000. min.) 5.50% and E*Trade 5.25% ($1000.00 min.) 877.929.2434.

Some other nice yields in stocks, bonds and ETFs:

NLY+A Annaly Capital 7.875 Perpetual Preferred
GMAC Smart Notes maturing in three years or less (be selective as a few are always priced to buy)
Cusip 82966UAK9 Sirius 9.625%

Yield provides a floor for most issues. Some foreign currency exposure with yield is not a bad idea at the moment.

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