Prison Pete

Sunday, January 11, 2009
  Happy New Year 2009.
I thought that since I had not written to you this year, today, New Year's Day, would be a good day to break the silence.

I am wondering if I have just finished experiencing my last Christmas and New Years behind bars. But then again one should not get one's hopes up. I wonder how your holidays have gone.

I am still holding my breath as to any impending transfer. I am not sure what if any value my current medical situation has on me being transferred. I am still using crutches, but am finding that I am getting closer to being able to walk without limping. I have no real pain at this point but know the muscles still need to get stronger in my right leg. From my last meeting with my doctor, I am of the opinion that I might be able to be almost 100% mobile but that at some point the pins, which are keeping the bone together, will give out and I will have no choice but have the hip replacement surgery. So I wonder is it better to first build my leg muscles back up, and then have the surgery, giving me a faster recovery time as I would be able to walk better.

So many questions, so little answers.

I know you are worried about the state of the stock market, but I do have one question.For example if I, as a Microsoft stock holder, decided to sell one share of my holdings to you for one dollar, and the sale ran across the tape, would that really mean that all Microsoft shares are to be valued at $1? So if less than 1% of a stock is traded on any given day, how is it that the other 99% all of a sudden take on that value?

Now suppose I have been holding shares of Rich Corp. stock that I brought for $5 each fifteen years ago, and ten years ago they were valued at $150 each but now they are down to $15 each, what have I lost? I managed to triple my money in 15 years; not all that shabby is it?

So I wonder if you could build a database of all the shares currently being held, the price they were brought at, and could then run a report showing exactly what percentage of shareholders have lost real money (paid more than stock is now worth), who is losing value as computed by picking some arbitrary percent of annual growth (say 5%), and lastly those current share holders that if they sold their shares today would still end up with x percent more than they paid,. If the stock has been paying dividends over the years of ownership, that amount should also be taken into account.

While I certainly do not pretend to be any type of financial genius, I often enjoy explaining my views on how the current incarnation of the stock market is built on more style than substance.

I remember way back in my younger years, one of the things that I was taught was that when you looked at when buying a stock was what was the amount of the dividend the stock was paying, expressed as a percentage of the stock price, and what if any capital appreciation of assets might cause the price to increase over the years. Now we have people that attempt to make a living out of trading shares of stock on a daily basis. That is the same stock is brought and sold the same day. What is wrong with this picture? The 50 billion dollar Ponzi scheme meltdown is another example on a simplistic level of duh if it sounds too good to be true, it may be.

You should be getting a new subscription to INC. magazine. It was a special deal that if I paid for a new subscription for someone, I got a year added to my subscription. So while I usually have my parents pay my subscriptions, this time I used my own funds. I know you are busy, but I want to be able to toss some ideas that appear in the magazine at you. Mostly though, I do find a certain amount of kinship with a lot of the profiles done, as these are people who very often go against the flow as it were and come up with some great business ideas and therefore lifestyles that certainly give me something to dream about.
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