a planter's garden

Where are you and where are you going?
Posts: 141
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Re: a planter's garden

Post by plantingtheseed »

That is along my thoughts as well, and am definitely trying to avoid this:


The Toyota hybrid design is nice because the vehicle is equipped with an electric AC and a conventional motor heater that is computer controlled and powered by the vehicle's battery bank and the engine, acting as a generator, providing automatic climate control throughout the night and consuming perhaps a gallon or two of fuel depending on the severity of the weather. (a similar feature can be found on some expensive RVs)

It also checks off a lot of the boxes for safety, reliability, ease of maintenance, insurance etc. Many of its new vehicle safety features are things I'm already familiar with, which is a bonus.

I am giving myself around 2-3 years on the road, probably in several long stretches. It is likely that I will take the vehicle off-road in some places (Racetrack Playa in Death Valley is a good example). So two schools of thought here, one approach is to buy a new vehicle with extended warranty, keep it stock and travel relatively worry-free. The other, is to take a used vehicle, modify it to suit the needs, and take it off-road with dings and what-have-you. (I had recently seen some videos of people taking lifted prii and siennas off-road and their performance was nothing to sneeze at)


I like the high MPG of the prii but this would mean more airbnb and hotel stays due to tight space. I will have to run some numbers, but I don't think the savings in gas will be able to offset the cost of additional hotel stays. Hybrid will be available and lift will be possible for going off-road.

Going the used Sienna route, I will lose the hybrid, because it is only available in the 2021 model. I will probably go with AWD with towing package, lift it and also add a pop-top. There is an aftermarket bed conversion which keeps the stock seat configuration intact. Will also add espar or the chinese knock off heater with a muffler. I will only get about low 20's mpg.


Will likely add oztent for BLM dispersed stays and if things get old very quick, maybe pull a trillium, a-liner, r-pod or equivalent "throw-away" trailers in the future.

https://www.amazon.com/Thetford-White-9 ... B07CHNB6TS
https://www.amazon.com/KIPIDA-Removable ... 6MJNNVPNSX
https://www.amazon.com/GigaTent-Pop-Pod ... 99&sr=8-19

Going the new route, the Sienna hybrid is a good candidate but no modifications of any kind will be done until the extended warranty runs out. One of the issues with the 2021 is that the middle seats can not be removed, though the aftermarket bed conversion may still work without having them removed. I will gain 30+ mpg, hybrid climate control and likely worry-free travel. I will lose the ability to stand, without the pop-top conversion.

Another new option maybe the Tacoma/Tundra hybrid, which is rumored to be out soon. Though I'm keeping things real on the mpg gains of the hybrid trucks, it could be an option for a true off-road vehicle as there are many light-weight camper shell type pop-ups available, such as AT Summit w/ bed or GFC camper. Will be looking for roll down rear window option to keep the hybrid climate control.

https://expeditionportal.com/forum/thre ... op.221220/
https://expeditionportal.com/forum/thre ... es.220936/

A toast to the trailblazers:

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Re: a planter's garden

Post by sky »

A Sienna AWD with a lift kit would be a sweet camper van.

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Re: a planter's garden

Post by plantingtheseed »

I believe that will be the case. Test drove the 2021 Sienna yesterday and came away with a very positive impression.

The power is acceptable in "sport" mode for merging on the highway, the all around 36mpg, climate control, and safety features check all the boxes.

Ride is on the firmer side which I like better. Interior is bland, the big screen in front is obnoxious but at least they have physical buttons.

The deal breaker is going to be the second row seats that cannnot be removed and a high price tag, with LE AWD at around 40k after taxes.

There are things I need to take care of before I can start playing with the travel set up (i.e. buy a house or some such), so I think in a couple of years this will be the sweet spot.

By then it will be used, the mid year refresh will likely address the second row seat removal issue and aftermarket products will catch up to the new model year, including lifts, bed, pop-top and such.

The "gen 3" (2017-2020) seems to have lot of complaints with its 8-speed transmission but if I can find a good used one, it will be even cheaper by then and I would be bothered less by the dings and scratches going (semi) off-road.

It's always good to have more options. It's even better to get paid for the test drive ($25 visa gift card). :D

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Re: a planter's garden

Post by plantingtheseed »

Interesting. Another $50 visa gift card for a test drive with another brand. Is this a new thing?

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Location: Earth

Re: a planter's garden

Post by 2Birds1Stone »

@sky suggestion is exactly what wife and I plan on doing, and for those exact reasons. After literally years of research and iterations of plans, it seems to cover the most use cases for the lowest cost. You can outfit a van in a no-built/modular style to convert for longer trips or different styles of travel with simple pallet wood.

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Re: a planter's garden

Post by plantingtheseed »

Yes, I think it will be a reasonable solution so long as the duration is kept in check with frequent lodging and returns to the home base.

Otherwise, the tendency appears to be "upgrading" toward bigger travel vehicles, the longer one travels. (Which will add up eventually)

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Re: a planter's garden

Post by plantingtheseed »

FBI Washington Field Office is seeking public's assistance in identifying those who made unlawful entry into U.S. Capitol Building on Jan. 6.

https://www.fbi.gov/wanted/seeking-info ... es-capitol

https://www.fbi.gov/wanted/seeking-info ... -capitol-2

https://www.fbi.gov/wanted/seeking-info ... -capitol-3

https://www.fbi.gov/wanted/seeking-info ... -capitol-4

Internet detectives are identifying scores of pro-Trump rioters at the Capitol. Some have already been fired.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2 ... ed-online/

There are some good uses for doxing after all.

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Re: a planter's garden

Post by plantingtheseed »

The party must go on...

Joe Biden vows to seek trillions of dollars in new stimulus
https://www.ft.com/content/b69a5de3-e33 ... 2068476bb8

Biden assembling multitrillion-dollar stimulus plan with checks, unemployment aid
https://www.washingtonpost.com/us-polic ... ulus-plan/

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Re: a planter's garden

Post by plantingtheseed »

"be fearful when others are greedy..."

CURRENT STATS: lqd@440k, pnw@1.38M, {CVX @60, 8.5% div}, {CLF LEAPS @7}, {SPY LEAPS strn}

Despite the pandemic, things are actually going pretty well in most aspects - the job, stock market, free stimulus money...

Only one problem, and perhaps THE problem - is that there is a glut of money. Everyone seems to have money, even the unemployed and the homeless.

It's to a point where the Benjamins are now being spent like 10 dollar bills. I saw a styrofoam ice cooler being sold for over 125 dollars.

Around here, homes are being sold like hot cakes at record prices. Sales of "decent" automobiles are keeping steady at 50k-75k a pop.

The minimum wage is now at $14. The dollar reigns the big mac index.

We are in a la-la-land. The idea of trillions and trillions more in stimulus money is absurd. They are drugs being provided to an addict.

50 trillion dollar deficit is now within reach by this decade. Our consumer based GDP, is ill-equipped to pay off this debt.

I fear the only remaining question is, how bad will the damage be, for how long and will it be enough to end the current global order?

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Re: a planter's garden

Post by c4rat0n1a »

Who is the money owed to? Doesn't that money just get created by the Federal Reserve pushing some buttons in a computer? In the highly unlikely event that the US government wants to pay off a trillion dollar debt, it simply "prints" a trillion dollars by changing some numbers on a server somewhere. Most of the US national debt is owed to the US government social security trust fund. By definition, the US government can never have a problem paying off debts denominated in US dollars.

The effect of creating that money is inflation. Existing holders of money just find that their money can buy fewer goods and services, as you have noted.

Posts: 141
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Re: a planter's garden

Post by plantingtheseed »

The total public debt of the United States stands at around 27.579 trillion dollars as of 1/7/21. (30.3 trillion with 1/7/21 Fed Revision)
https://fiscaldata.treasury.gov/dataset ... -the-penny

The debt within the federal government itself, or the intragovernmental holdings, stand at around 6.104 trillion as of 1/7/21.
(This is the money that US Treasury owes to various agencies within the federal government, including Social Security, at about 2.793 trillion, Military Retirement, at about 1 trillion, Civil Service Retirement, at about 956 billion, etc. as of 12/31/2020 https://fiscaldata.treasury.gov/static- ... 202012.pdf - pg. 2 "SSA: Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund")

That means, around 21 trillion and change is held by the public in some form, outside of the federal government.

Federal Reserve, holds about 7.4 trillion. (1/7/21)
https://www.federalreserve.gov/releases ... nt/h41.htm

Foreigners hold about 7 trillion. (10/2020)

The remainder is held by mutual funds, other investors, banks, state and local governments, insurance companies, etc.

In sum:

7.4 trillion Federal Reserve (1/7/21)
7 trillion Foreigners (10/2020)
6.104 trillion Federal Government - intragovernmental (1/7/21)
3.568 trillion Mutual Funds (6/2020 hereafter)
2.243 trillion Other investors - invidual, enterprises, brokers and dealers, trusts and estates, businesses etc.
1.818 trillion Pension Funds
1.157 trillion Depository institutions - banks, credit unions etc.
0.835 trillion State and local government
0.150 trillion US Savings Bonds

27.6 trillion Total Public Debt of the United States (30.3 trillion with Federal Reserve revision 1/7/21)


The biggest problem with public debt is that it directly translates to our standard of living.

A larger public debt means lowering of our quality of life through less public services, higher taxes, higher inflation, lower wages, less purchasing power, higher debt and shattered homes, etc.

These are all of the things that get in the way of achieving the "American Dream" of being able to afford a home, send kids to college and live among decent folks in a decent neighborhood in a civilized society without worrying about petty crimes or drive-by's.

A society of people that is financially stable with minimal debt, in my opinion, allows people to become more decent. Because living under the shadow of debt, being chased by fear, is no way to live. It is the debt, that often forces unfortunate and destructive life choices for many (nations included).

This large of a public debt, has ample potential to wreck havoc on our economy. IMHO, as long as it exists, its presence will continue to manifest itself in our markets in ever increasing perturbations.

Posts: 141
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Re: a planter's garden

Post by plantingtheseed »

Lesson Plan Monday / Tues

How much is $3 cup of coffee over lifetime?
-add examples of other expenses over lifetime - meals, utilities, car payments, mortgage, discretionary

How much do you need to have in order to retire?
-calculate monthly expense x life expectancy
-illustrate the savings requirement trade-offs of early vs. late retirement
-show typical retirement at age 65 and where 25 year savings requirement comes from - calculate annualx25 or 4% withdrawal

How do you save this?
-Work more and save more
-Why controlling spending is more crucial than having more income. Tracking expenses - show C40 charts.
Do you need to be a movie star to be FI? - Marilyn Monroe vs. Janitor

-Calculate time it takes to reach target savings
Easy way - extreme savings method- 10%, 20%, 50%, 80%
Boosting - Pension, SS
Tax efficiency - 401k, IRA, 403B, 457 their differences and how to take advantage
Home - another piggy bank
Stability is the foundation

Life isn't quite that easy

-Review inflation. CPI -types/problems with/changes in calculating method over time. SBBI

Show possible remedy
-Review compounding - the dice game.
-derive infinite compounding - show it has a limit, how to calculate a return

Lesson Plan Tues / Wed / Mon / Tue / Wed

Compounding the easy way - If you can.
Bogleheads introduction

why long term horizon?
what is dollar cost averaging?
what is index? Example s&p500. Market Cap. Why index?
what is asset allocation? Easy example. Weighted Average Return.
combine and illustrate - index investing, 60/40. 10-15% and forget about it. Most you can lose. Feeling greedy? This isn't get rich quick. Review compounding again. It's in the math. Risk management.
-If asked, why 60/40? Review weighted average return. Markowitz. Sharpe. Covariance. Efficient Frontier & again, life is not that easy, but good enough.

How long will the money last? - Morton Davis method
Trinity study / SWR method
firecalc method
can you tell the future? crises of the past decades. margin of safety

So what am I doing exactly? What is all this market stuff? What is it doing?
-Bonds / Where a coupon comes from - IOU
-Stocks / Where stocks come from - A venture - Columbus / East India Company

Lemonade stand

Mister Imperceptible
Posts: 1443
Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:18 pm

Re: a planter's garden

Post by Mister Imperceptible »

plantingtheseed wrote:
Sun Jan 10, 2021 5:49 am
{CVX @60, 8.5% div}, {CLF LEAPS @7}, {SPY LEAPS strn}
Is CLF a a short term trade based on current sentiment or a risk-controlled play on a longer term theme?

I look at the reflation trade as a manufactured narrative. The government hardly can coordinate the sending out of checks, never mind a real infrastructure build.

I am bullish on copper and uranium but I believe recent moves are bounces from oversold extremes, for example see: https://www.longtermtrends.net/copper-gold-ratio/

However narrative is not implementation so I remain comfortable with the gold/silver trade and see the current consolidation as opportunity to build a larger position and add leverage. There will come a time when I want a complimentary position in FCX and/or CLF and similar to smooth volatility and potentially enhance returns. I would rather I already held FCX and CLF but then again I would rather I held TSLA and BTC. I like to have a reason for doing things.

CVX, XOM, I understand the narrative but constant lockdowns, debt overhang, and hostile public have kept me from entering. I would rather be long CCJ. What would change my mind about oil would be the breakout of a kinetic war.

It would seem agriculture and food is also something for which I should have a trade but struggle with with whether I trade the commodity (and how?) or the equities. Have you ever traded commodity futures?

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Re: a planter's garden

Post by plantingtheseed »

They're both investment expenses with long term horizon. Therefore, they're not part of the net worth until the gains are realized, if any.

One's dividend, and the other is value. Your observation is correct, they both lean toward commodities.

I'm using present savings that I do not need, in exchange for a chance at a larger gain in the future. (a somewhat more "normal" future. Otherwise all bets are off)

For futures, Index (e-mini etc.) but not commodities. Competing with insiders there and wouldn't want to touch that even with a Bloomberg terminal.

Index derivatives or currencies are good ways to test an opinion on the economy and see if it's cash worthy. (gambling)

For convenience and ease of liquidity, there are commodity stocks/ETFs as you are aware. I'd water stocks/ETFs for agriculture and food.

Or you can own the commodity directly in micro quantities and use futures.

For direct ownership in micro quantities, there will be slippage in transaction costs and in using futures, one has to take delivery. Most of us small timers don't really have the mechanism for that. So you'd sell before delivery and must reinvest the fiat.

I'm lazy. :lol: stocks/ETFs for me.

IMO, for real investing at our level, if one can secure the basic necessities using fiat while it has some perceived worth - i.e. a shelter through a contract (mortgage), food through stocking, fruit trees, chickens and backyard garden, electricity through solar, a nearby source of water, healthcare through a gov't program etc. (in other words, own a small farm or RV on a cheap plot of land?) and be independent of the economy, that should be provide a good start.

The rest can be put into the speculation of exchanging a depreciating asset for an appreciating asset - as it will essentially come down to asset preservation.

During times of real, it has been my observation that world governments will try to preserve the status quo, to maintain the appearance of normalcy, using various unorthodox methods such as price controls and limiting currency exchange. So the outcome of the speculation during such times will be turbulent at best.

One of my favorite quotes from a Star Trek movie -

Scotty : [to Kirk about ship status] Ah. All I can say is they don't make them like they used to.

Kirk : You told me you could get this ship operational in two weeks, I gave you three, what happened?

Scotty : I think you gave me too much time, Captain.

Kirk : Very well, Mr Scott. Carry on.

Scotty : Aye, sir.

[Spots a junior engineer nearby]

Scotty : How many times do I have to tell you, the right tool for the right job!

McCoy : [laughs] I don't think I've ever seen him happier.

Posts: 141
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Re: a planter's garden

Post by plantingtheseed »

Sustainable growth - the world according to Fisher

1) Fortunate and able
2) Fortunate because they're able

The point - there is more to investing than just valuation and it can, at times, take a back seat to excellent management because of... 1) and 2).

When it comes to retirement, we are, in effect, managing our own company. We are the sole managers of our financial growth, toward a successful retirement.

Probably more often than not, many of us will find ourselves in category 2), for various reasons.

And one of those is the pension***.

In this new world of ours, the old three-legged retirement stool is being rapidly replaced by the "new three-legged retirement stool", according to financial samurai:

The New Three-Legged Retirement Stool: You, You, And You

Why? Mainly, it transfers the risk to you. Sink or swim, it is your responsibility now.

But if you are 2)***...

Your pension is perhaps more valuable than you realize.

see it in action: Firecalc

Posts: 141
Joined: Sat Mar 28, 2020 7:23 pm

Re: a planter's garden

Post by plantingtheseed »

An old man and his job

One of the beauty of this world, is the privilege of watching a man with his purpose, no matter what it is and how small it is.

It is the world's way of saying, that everything is as it should be.

Thank you < >, for what you have taught me today. I will not forget.

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