Slope of Hope Blog Posts

Slope initially began as a blog, so this is where most of the website’s content resides. Here we have tens of thousands of posts dating back over a decade. These are listed in reverse chronological order. Click on any category icon below to see posts tagged with that particular subject, or click on a word in the category cloud on the right side of the screen for more specific choices.

Are You Prepared (by Bob Kudla)

By -

After this weeks event in Cyprus and in the United Kingdom, I want to pivot and ask a serious question. Are you prepared?

The people in Cyprus are down to a cash society, in a society that is mostly electronic, and I am sure it is causing some great inconvenience with the banks closed.  In Great Britain, the cold weather has taken their gas supplies down to emergency levels, and winter storms are stranding people.

In the U.S. we are having our fair share of weather related disruptions, and where I live in California we live in a moments-away calamity with earthquakes and increasing pressure on our power grid.

Can you or your family live a fairly normal life if the power went down for a week, or we have our own self inflicted political wounds and they curtail commerce?

Are you ready?

In addition to trading I own a solar energy company, and we also provide on site solar tied battery back up systems.  I entered this business with a desire to help my family and my customers to become independent of others to provide energy for their homes and businesses.  We added the back up systems as solar goes down when the grid goes down, unless you can redirect the solar power into batteries.  The next area we are entering is to provide water from air, powered by solar.

I share this with you, not as a commercial (99% of you do not live near me, so not a potential customer) but to let you know there are choices you can make to guard your family, and in the U.S. you can get these financed by the government if you have decent credit.  But what if you rent, or live in a condo? There are solutions for that, as well.

Allow me to offer some common sense suggestions that will save you some grief if you find yourself in a unexpected situation.

I tell people to plan for the most likely scenarios, be prepared to be severely disrupted up to five days, and mildly disrupted for up to one month.

The very first thing you need is water, and you should have a gallon of water per person per day for at least two weeks.  I have a 60 gallon water heater that I can bleed, but also keep water on hand as bottled spring water in case I am forced to move. I also am going to install a water from air system we are building that ties to my solar system.  There are off the shelf systems out  there you can buy that do the same thing.

Next is food.  This is probably the easiest thing for people to put together, but it is important to buy the right foods.  You want easy to open, non perishable, and easy to prepare items. Foods that can be cooked over a Bunsun burner, charcoal grill or a Coleman propane tank. We have a charcoal grill and a portable camping stove with disposable propane tanks.  We also have a grab and go bag of food in case of evacuation.  You may need to leave your home (We live 12 miles from San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant).  Two related suggestions is to keep a couple of bags of charcoal on hand to cook on a grill, and as mentioned above some disposable propane tanks.  Keep two weeks of plastic utensils, paper plates, and foil serving trays.  You don’t want to clean up

Energy– If you can swing it, get solar,and get a battery back up system installed.  If you cannot, get a very good portable battery backup/inverter system that can charge your refrigerator or freezer, and such.  Buy some cables that you can charge your system from your car battery if your portable battery runs low.  Your refrigerator and freezer are very energy efficient, and you only need to charge them intermittently. Keep your phone and iPad charged, as well. Only go into the fridge and freezer once per day.  As you cook food, eat what is defrosted, then work your way through the freezer.  Then tap into the canned stuff.

Always try to keep a half of tank of gas in the car.  You know your usage, and  get in the habit of filling at half of tank, not empty (my wife is rigorous about this, me not so much).

Medicine– Make sure you order a 90 day supply and make sure you reorder at 30 days.  Have a cooler handy with ice packs from the freezer for your meds, if they need to stay cool.

Cash and silver – Keeps at least a month’s worth of cash to buy essentials on hand, and a months worth of silver in case it is your currency that is the problem at the moment.

Have a designated rally point at a friend or families home where you can be collectively safe, and mutually support each other.  Keep a run away back pack handy for each family member in case you must simply leave.  We have those due to our unique location and circumstance, but most would benefit from this.

I don’t want to turn this post into a book, so hopefully, I hit the high notes.  I believe our governments ability and desire to help is waning, and shocks are coming out of the blue.  We must stand prepared ourselves.

Good trading this week.  Bob

Money Flow for March Week Three (by Strawberry Blonde)

By -

Further to my last Weekly Market Update, this week’s update will look at:

6 Major Indices

  • 9 Major Sectors
  • 30-Year Bonds
  • U.S. $

6 Major Indices

As shown on the Weekly charts and the percentage gained/lost graph below of the Major Indices, there were minor gains in the Dow Utilities, while the Dow Transports lost the most, followed by the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500. The Dow 30 and Nasdaq 100 were flat on the week.

The Indices remain in overbought territory on their Weekly and Monthly timeframes, which may either be viewed as overvalued to some and bullish to others. Next week is a short week, as the markets wind down for month-end, end of Q1 for 2013, and the Easter holiday.