What’s your ceiling? Is there an amount of money – savings – that you cannot breach? You get just above that amount, and something comes up, something happens that brings you down to your “normal average”. Is there an amount like that, or is your cash cache steadily growing? I have my “magic number”. I’ve had discussions about this with two people who have their own “magic number” above which they can’t jump… yet.
This chart is from a week ago. 10-year returns still aren’t impressing me at all. This is why it’s important to time the market. The trick is not to get caught up in its micro-moves.
Oh and (SPY: 188.26 +0.04%) has a baddish candle today. I will generously give it another week, then it has to correct (for future reference, closed at $184.91).
I recently started shopping at AliExpress. It’s a retail arm of the wholesale Alibaba website. They both let you shop directly from the manufacturers in Asia (primarily China), the difference is in the minimum quantities. The main draw, obviously, is low prices. Plus, at AliExpress most items are offered with free shipping.
- Really really low prices
- Huge selection
- Shipping to over 200 countries
- Buyer protection guarantee
- Long delivery times
- All shipments require signature, can be annoying if you shop a lot
- Sub-par item quality, descriptions are often misleading
- Time suck – much like with Amazon, large product selection is great, but it takes a lot of time to find what to Finally Buy! I suppose it’s still less time than going out to the mall to shop, but to me the mental strain is just huge.
I have so far received 4 items from four different sellers. I threw away 2 of these as they were unusable: one was advertised as leather but turned out to be polyurethane, the other was just ugly and smelled like burnt rubber tires. Of the remaining two items, one is “sort of OK” and one is great (love my tiny neodymium magnets). So the ratio so far is 50/50, or 25/75 if you’re really picky.
Their buyer protection guarantee sounds good, but I haven’t taken advantage of it since the two items I discarded cost about $10 together. It wouldn’t be worth the time to fill out the complaint form, take pictures etc.
Since I can’t whole-heartedly recommend the website, I’m not linking to it. Clean conscience and all.
Here’s an example of an item that didn’t live up to my expectations.
These sell at a local store for around $8-10. They are exactly as pictured: nice and plump, with no mold lines, and without any funky smell. This is also the photo that was used on the listing I fell for.
This is what I actually received from one AliExpress seller for about $2 including shipping – thin, badly made from a knocked off mold. In addition, visualize the most foul rubber smell that stays on your hands for the entire day, you can’t rinse it off. And, I got 2 white, 2 black, and 2 red ones although the listing pictured white, brown and green, which is what I wanted for my office.
How dare I expect more for two dollars? Well, the logic was that the “$8 one was made in China anyway. This is probably the same.” It wasn’t.
Click the images below to enlarge
I came across a retail site with the office located in Canada. They sell these symbolic bracelet sets.
Guess where I saw these first! Yep, at AliExpress. That’s a great markup. But I’m not tempted to open up a store of my own, that’s why I so willingly share with you my source I’ve been down that road before, 12 years ago. It was waaaay harder to find low cost items, but on the other hand it was easier to sell. Sometimes I can’t believe the stuff we were able to “move”. There wasn’t such a glut of items out there, not as much selection, not as much fatigue, and buyers weren’t as savvy.
Anyway, that’s the story. Caveat emptor.
Is this a no-brainer or deceptively obvious?
Factors pro shorting:
- Open gap up
- Week volume on the ascent
- Strong Rising Wedge pattern (bearish)
Stochastics and MACD are also drooping slightly.
… at least while we’re shopping.
In the study, published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology, researchers from the University of Michigan carried out three experiments to investigate whether shopping restored a sense of control in people to counter feelings of sadness. Shopping was up to 40 times more effective at giving people a sense of control, and they were three times less sad compared to those who only browsed.
The study was carried out at the same university that issues the monthly Consumer Sentiment Index
For years we’ve been fed the “shopping is an addiction” line. What a change of errr… sentiment.