Thursday, May 21, 2009

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Phew! its getting close to memorial day weekend already! Time sure flies, especially since we've been back from M'sia. So, on the eve of the summer season, I've been scouring the "internets" in the last few weeks to do some financial spring cleaning. Specifically, looking at some good investment ideas in this current economy. Stocks, for those that know me, I've been dollar cost averaging already as they are still at 10 year lows...

On the other hand, fixed income securities like Bonds, I've never considered until now. Reading cautionary tales of near-retirees being wiped out on the cusp of cashing in their 401ks that were primarily stock based, my attention now focused on fixed-income. For me, I've always been a big proponent of index-based stock trackers, like the S&P500 index and I even have positions in an international index tracker as well, but unfortunately while I am diversified industry wise and regionally, I was not Asset class wise. I'm 100% stocks in my 401k.

How much bonds to put in my portfolio? Some of the suggestions out there was take your age=bond percentage. So 30 years = 30% of your portfolio in bonds... Ouch. Dunno about you guys, but I'm still open to "SOME" risk, especially when stocks are at their 10 year lows, don't want to miss out on probably the best run up (hopefully soon) in decades. So, did the easy (lazy)way, just funneled 15% of my new 401k contributions to an intermediate range bond investment, with low fees (0.2%). I'll revisit at the end of this year to with a target of at least 20%/80% (Bond/Stock) allocation by YE09'.

How would you guys do it? Agree disagree?

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

We "Luvs" Southwest Airlines

So Yeesin and I are going to Florida for our Wedding Anniversary at the end of this month, and we booked out flight tickets on Southwest Airlines last night. We thought we got a good deal already to Fort Lauderdale @ about $200 per person and bags fly free. :)

Then the next morning, we find out that the fares dropped overnight, and they have openings for direct flight from KC to Fort Lauderdale now. :( Usually, this is were we normally kick ourselves for booking to early and missing out on a deal. Totally KIASU!

Then, I remembered that SW has a really good change policy where they (1) charge no change fees (2) Give you credit for the price difference (3) Can do all of this online..

The Result: Save $177 on our flight, changed it to direct on the return leg AND got the money refunded on my AMEX, and we did all of this ONLINE! (I was PLEASANTLY surprised!) We LUV Southwest, what more can I say!