Friday, November 5, 2021

Short Takes: Cryptocurrency Experiment, Evergrande Crisis Explained, and more

I’m sometimes surprised by the things that make me happy.  Lately, whenever I look out at my pool and see that the water level is the same as it was the day before, I smile.  I didn’t realize it at the time, but a decade ago I had a repair done that left a small leak when some parts weren’t fitted together properly.  Each passing year the leak got a little bit worse.  It took me until three years ago to figure out what was wrong.  I began calling around to find someone who would replace the problem parts.  The job required cutting cement, a little digging, and patching the cement, so I needed someone with some skill and it wasn’t going to be cheap.

So far this story isn’t too surprising.  A guy who knows little about pools takes forever to find a problem.  The next part still feels surreal to me.  All the pool repair places just said no.  I called dozens over the three years, and sought recommendations from friends.  They could have asked for a high price, but they just weren’t interested.  Apparently, skilled workers were meeting high demands for new pools, and less skilled workers were handling the profitable pool openings and closings.  When the pandemic came along, these problems became worse as the demand for new pools grew and workers were understandably nervous about getting exposed to COVID-19.

As the leak got worse, I tried to stem it with some epoxy putty, but the leak reached the point where I was wasting about $1000 worth of water each season.  Fortunately, my now favourite pool company recently did the repair, and I’m still happy about it.

Here are my posts for the past two weeks:

Will Your Nest Egg Last if You Retire Today?

Saving for a Home is Possible

Here are some short takes and some weekend reading:

Andrew Hallam has an interesting take on cryptocurrencies.

Preet Benerjee
explains the Evergrande crisis clearly for nonspecialists in this video.

Dan Bortolotti has a new book out called Reboot Your Portfolio: 9 Steps to Successful Investing with ETFs.  He says “simplicity always trumps complexity.”  I agree, although I don’t mind letting a computer handle some complexity as long as my role remains simple.  Preet Banerjee interviewed Dan about his book on the Mostly Money podcast.

The Blunt Bean Counter explains some of the pitfalls in gifting money to your children to buy a house.  The main area of trouble comes if your child splits with a spouse.  In such a case, you may have been better off lending the money for the house instead of gifting it.  But even that becomes tricky because the courts often rule that a loan was really a gift.

No comments:

Post a Comment