This seems to be my week to focus on finance and economics, especially real estate. The topics on this blog tend to rotate depending on my mood. Maybe I’ve been so disenchanted with Spanish lately that my focus has shifted to investing. That’s not far from the truth. Now isn’t the time to be distracted–my Spanish test is at the end of the month. One can only cram so much language into one’s brain.
I couldn’t resist passing this Yahoo! news article on to you, Dear Reader. Of course, the rumor about Microsoft’s possible buyout of Yahoo! was even bigger news today than the one I’m about to share. The purported YahooSoft rumor apparently isn’t true, so it’s not worth mentioning…yet. It might come to pass, in which case I’ll probably blog about it. Here’s the article I really want to highlight:
93-year-old selling heart of North Dakota town
If the thought of buying a cattle ranch in Paraguay or a former U.S. Embassy building overseas, then maybe owning a historical piece of North Dakota could intrigue you. For no more than $500,000, you could own the heart of Sibley, North Dakota, a town founded by a family who saw the opportunity to build a town in 1954 near a popular fishing lake not far from Fargo. They paid about $2,000 to buy the land–you’re going to have to pay for the value they added to the area. It reminds me of when I passed through Jordan, Montana a few years ago and noted that the town gas station/convenience store was for sale at a bargain price of $350,000. I thought checking out and managing the store in this quiet eastern Montana town that is a transit point for fisherman en route to Fort Peck Lake. I’m not sure why Yahoo! felt it necessary to feature this news article. In fact, many quirky real estate-oriented "news" articles have been popping up lately (ala yesterday’s Washington Post article). Perhaps the real estate market has been such a downer with looming bankruptcies and subprime travails that media outlets have no other recourse than to publish articles on the fringe.
Speaking of media, I recently subscribed to "The Economist." It’s the "in" thing to do, apparently. You aren’t running with the big dogs unless you read it. I can’t bring myself to read "The New Yorker" or "The Atlantic" quite yet, because I’m still an East Coast transplant and have limited bandwidth to read weeklies. "The Economist" is cool, though. I’ve read "BusinessWeek" for years, but I realize that it doesn’t have the international scope that its British counterpart does. Interestingly, there is probably a simple explanation for this. "The Economist" limits its coverage of the United Kingdom to about six pages. If it focused on Great Britain as much as "BusinessWeek" concentrates on United States, it would be a small magazine indeed, even pamphlet size. There is only so much you can write about on the British economy in a weekly magazine.
Of course all articles in any journal, TV show, etc. is unbiased and presented only because it is concrete investment news. These folks just happen to have articles that sell, they aren’t hype. My broker and I are in agreement. Watch and read for entertainment and maybe some general direction for trends and study. But study and track companies, sectors and their stocks, then chose wisely. Me….Canadian energy stocks. American coal. Also watching wasted REITS and some other financials. Then there is pharma coming back. A few other stocks I’m watching. I don’t hang my stock pick on the MSFT-YHOO hype, but I have been tracking YHOO for over 6 months. I think it has potential with or without MSFT. And there are other stocks I’m tracking.