Thursday, January 8, 2009

Left Brain & Right Brain Decision Making/ Ex Interest on 1/12 for some TCs/Chevron warning

Tonight's picture is not about all of the youngsters pictured in the photo along with their grandparents but has more to do with one of them and the brand new 55 Chevy posing behind them in all its majesty. Big E had just purchased this fine automobile, made at the peak of Detroit's prowess, and was simply allowing the young ones to stand in front of it. The owner of this vehicle was starting to experience good fortune in the business started four years earlier with another young man, both now in their early 30s at the time of this picture. They had met one time before starting the business in 1951 and that was during a boxing match for the southern golden gloves championship in their weight division shortly before WWII. The one with the dominant left brain had won of course with the extrovert right brainer saying fifty years later that he never knew what hit him. One of the youngsters in the photo, not one of the two left brain ones, received this fine automobile, still in mint condition, as a gift from Big E just after turning 16. While I am sure that car is still running around Nashville somewhere, the young recipient thought that it was an old man's car, a "serviceable" vehicle in his lingo, and wanted to trade it in for a Austin Healy which had seen better days assuming it ever had a single good day. This was just beyond Big E's comprehension, and he really did not know what to do say except "go ahead and make the mistake and maybe you will learn something from it". I was about to say that Big E was being way too overly optimistic but knew to keep words in my mouth after the boss spoke. So the Austin Healy was towed to the house and the one who received the 55 Chevy drove it off and is probably driving it to this very day. After assembling and reassembling the motor, using the skills of a 15 year mechanical genius at least in theory, painting it a beautiful green color, the AH was ready for its maiden test drive. Two of the youngsters pictured in the photo were in the vehicle, one a highly developed left brainer already in training to be an old man, as it made its way down the drive, which was fortunately, or unfortunately based on subsequent events, a long downhill drive, otherwise there was no chance at all the car would actually start. As you probably guessed by now, this was not only the maiden voyage but also the last one, as the beautiful and newly painted green Austin Healy had to be pushed back up that long uphill drive and was the lesson learned you ask. When the right brain ones go off the ranch so to speak, the left brainers have to reel them back to reality and just say no or that is just stupid, or words to that effect. Otherwise, a lot of foolish mistakes will be made. The partnership formed in 1951 became the largest home building operation in middle Tennessee within ten years after this photograph, due in part to how the two men complimented each other's strengths and weaknesses. The one who traded the Chevy discusses the transaction in his upcoming book with a slightly different version.

One of the interesting books that I read recently was "My Stroke of Insight" by Jill Bolte Taylor who had a massive stroke in the left side of her brain. With her left brain shut down, the right side took over and she experienced a spiritual awakening. I have no doubt that would happen to any of us having and surviving a similar stroke. Perhaps, judging from my own experience, a prosperous business needs both sides working at the helm.

Karl Rove is one of those people who will forever be unable to learn anything from the evidence in front him as proven by the recent article that he wrote in the WSJ.
But, I am not sure that it is willful ignorance on his part as opposed to purposeful distortions.

The TC containing the Senior Prudential bond, JZH, where my position was built up to 250 shares during its meltdown, goes ex interest according the WSJ dividend page tonight on 1/12/09. TRUST CERTIFICATE JZH: PRUDENTIAL SENIOR BOND This is one of several senior bonds acquired during the indisciminate selling that I intend to keep for the foreseeable future, and any reduction would probably have to be triggered by a very negative event causing me to worry about the ability of Pru to service its debt. Two of the TCs containing Liberty Media bonds that I mentioned in an earlier post, PKK and PYL, also go ex interest on the 12th as does OSM with its monthly interest payment, the SLM floater tied to the CPI. Again, I am investing my cash flow and track these upcoming payments to know exactly how much will need to be reinvested in a few days. The other TC containing the Liberty Media senior bond generally goes ex a couple of weeks later but I have not checked to see when yet.

Chevron warned of significantly lower earnings after the close. MarketWatch I do not have a position. Instead, I have been nibbling on the Canadian energy or royalty trusts as the new starter positions in my ongoing effort to build up my energy allocation. Inching up my % allocation to commodities after being at 0% for almost a year
With them, at their currently depressed prices, at least I will receive nice dividends waiting for energy prices to find a bottom.

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