Friday, December 28, 2007

Anodyne Inc.

Various envelopes stuffed with dollar bills:

Dominion Citrus Income Fund (DOM.UN): 12,346 units x .01/unit = $123.46 (28 Dec)
Norbord, Inc. (NBD): 1208 shares x .10/share = $120.80 (21 Dec)

Cash balance, $470.71

Farewell monthly Dominion Citrus Income Fund distribution. It probably bears repeating that the distribution cut, in and of itself, should not concern unitholders with a medium- to long-term investment horizon. DOM.UN's corporate precursor, Dominion Citrus, Inc., paid -- if memory serves -- a .05 dividend on earnings of .08-.10/unit. Given roughly stable earnings over the next 12-18 months, I'd anticipate the re-implementation of a dividend of some kind, and, hopefully, reasonable share price appreciation. I have approximately $7500 of my own (eg., real, non-Anodyne Inc.) money in this medium- to long-term process, so it's not like I'm a totally uninterested bystander.

In other Anodyne Inc.-related news, someone previously unknown to me, a high school student from New Brunswick, writes to ask about "learning about investing."

• Read everything. I started in 1985 with a Self Counsel Press book -- Chuck Chakrapani's Financial Freedom on $5/Day -- and never stopped.

• Question everything. Don't rush out and buy DOM.UN just because I labelled it a screaming buy. It was for me, but your mileage may vary.

• Read as many annual reports as you can. I read between 100-150 in the course of a year, and if you really want to learn about investing, you should, too. If you run across a paragraph (or paragraphs) in an annual report that you can't parse into standard non-technical English, ask yourself what that rhetorical equivocation might signal or conceal. The Globe's Annual Reports Service will send you a big box of reports free for the asking. When I began to seriously study investing, I ordered a few reports from each industry, and compared them with each other.

• Learn from people who are smarter than you. Warren Buffett's Chairman's Letters are up on the Berkshire Hathaway website. Marty Whitman's semi-annual commentaries are available on the Third Avenue Funds website. Irwin Michael's (great; lengthy) ABC Fund Commentaries are up over at

• Get your feet wet. Seriously research a few ideas. Buy 100 shares of something affordable. Get used to the idea that you are now the part owner of a business, as opposed to, in Warren Buffett's words, a price that squiggles around randomly and is a candidate for sale whenever its gyrations make you nervous.

• Keep reading. Keep questioning your motivations and judgments. Take pleasure in being alive -- a gift given to you gratis (H. Arendt) -- and being able to reason and think. Drop me a line, and let me know how you do.

Genius; deep humility; an unmatched warmth and generosity of tone. A long-ago recommendation of Bob Bell. Right up there with Complete Live at the Plugged Nickel and Duke's New Orleans Suite. Thanks, Bob!
Monday, December 24, 2007


Spencer Hot Springs, Big Smoky Valley, Nevada


Readers, 2007-8. Panel 3 of 6.

Merry Christmas from me and the Incredible Talking Cats!

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