Thursday, February 23, 2012

Has Lo Come Slighly Out of Retirement ...or is it Onset Alzheimers??

 My beloved cousin, Lonnie sent me an email today quietly nudging me to get my fanny back to the blogging chair and I realized that I have, indeed  not blogged for 10 days.  Well, blame it on my new job/profession.  Yes, folks, it appears that I am sort of back to work, part time to be sure, at something totally new.  Has Lois lost her marbles?

I dunno.  I do know that for a number of months, if not years now, I have been silently bemoaning and regretting the fact that there is ONE major flaw in retirement (which has been quite blissful for me).  The fact that when one is retired, one no longer has any way of earning any serious extra money.

It has always made me subliminally uneasy to not have a way of earning any money.......when I was 6 or 7 I used to sweep the pavement in front of the house for a penny. A penny was serious money in those days and I am not kidding.   At about the same time my father sent me out with a shoulder bag that said "Liberty Magazine" on it and made me go door to door selling the magazines.  I think they cost a nickel......naturally, everyone caved in before this waif who was so miserable and ashamed she could hardly look them in the eye and I did a brisk business.  Trouble was, my father, beast that he was, took the all proceeds for himself (truly) and I finally found someplace to hide next time he tried that stunt.  I hated selling! 

Oh, yeah....then there was my little enterprise at about age 8 when Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs came out in the movies......there was a comic book in the five and dime with all the characters in full color and I would buy the book for a nickel and cut out the characters carefully and, out of the left over balsa wood from my model airplane kit I would cut out a wood backing, glue the picture on the front, a  safety pin on the back,cover it all with colorless nail polish for protection  and sell them to my school chums at 5 cents each.  The trouble with that business was that I did not have a large circle of friends and after everyone I knew bought a pin I was out of business 'cause, as I said above, I hate approaching strangers to buy anything. you can see, I found, very early in life, the need to have a way to earn money......(how hysterically funny that I chose for my profession the career of artist (sublimely but inevitably starving) and could not understand why the next 20 years were so uncomfortable.......but, I digress.

Since my retirement I have  been living off lovely things like my small pension, bountiful, wonderful Social Security and the pittance that my careful investments earn in interest.  It is a good thing that I am expert in being frugal, but it has worked fairly well for me.  However, intermittently,e I have been driven to a frenzy by the thought that I have no means of earning any money and have considered applying at McD's for a job.  (by the of my  tenets has always been, "No Job Is Beneath Me".)   Fortunately, some crumb of reluctance has saved me from that fate, but still, I hated having no prospects in case of emergency.....and the creeping inflation that no one is talking about has been rapidly creating something of a possible emergency. The cats have begun to worry about it even......

So, to finally get to the point, (did you think I would never connect these widely scattered dots?) I do not know if any of you remember my confession of 6 moths ago when I mentioned here that I was being attracted by a possible money making process involving Options in the Stock Market and I was buying books on the subject and taking courses online from any market service  who offered me free education.  Amazingly, I have been quietly pursuing this course for the past months and, after a timid, cautious and somewhat shaky beginning, I have done fairly well......modest gains, but....hey.....remember, I am the one who used to consider a penny a fantastic payoff for sweeping the sidewalk.....  Above and beyond the thrill of finding a way to earn a buck has been the fact that I find it exciting and challenging and worth getting up for each day.  If you remember, I had been complaining that I had no motivation to get out of bed other than to feed the cats which is not, you must admit, the most titillating pastime.  Now, there are days when I rise at 7 am rather than my usual 10 or 11, in order to execute some fancy dancy transaction when the market opens in New York.(like getting myself into or out of a stark naked bear straddle or a barefaced, bare-assed uncovered strangle or who know what they call what I am doing).

  Incidentally, despite what you have heard, the kind of transactions I am engaging in are not really risky.........I mostly sell options to other people and collect the premium for same.  Since something like 90% of options expire worthless, it is the folks who eagerly, foolishly buy the options that I sell  who lose the money while I am banking the premium they paid me.  If I see the trade going against me badly, I get out with a small loss and count my blessings.  Also, I want you to know that I have subscribed to a paid service which gives me advice, education  and trades I can follow or not, as the mood moves me, so I am not dangling on the end of a branch all on my own....I have developed my own variations on their suggestions and sort of my own system ...and I really have learned quite a bit and am still learning every day.

The funniest thing of all though was this weekend when I sat down at leisure with the market closed to read some of the many newsletters I get either giving me market advice or trying to sell me a service which will make me rich beyond my wildest dreams.  There was one I had never seen before and I read it to the very end because, as I went along something about it resonated in my subliminal consciousness.  When I got to the bottom I realized that this guy was not such a nut at all ......his ideas were very workable.  But what he was doing was trying to sell me, for $895 a year, my own methodology.

What a hoot.  My insanity or wise approach (take your pick) validated by an outside objective source.  And to top it off,  I am no longer bored.

What more could a person ask?

P.S.  I  promise that, should I have to file for bankruptcy due to an unseen flaw in my system, I will not ask for a single contribution from any of you.  So sleep comfortably and know that, when sweeping the sidewalk for a penny ceases to be workable, there is always another Option.    (ooooh, sorry)