Tue, 21 Dec 2004

Yahoo Money Manager No More

Yahoo is shutting down their Money Manager.

We regret to notify you that we are closing Yahoo! Money Manager, effective February 1, 2005, and your account will be automatically cancelled at this time. This closure means that we will no longer offer the following tools: Expense Manager, Net Worth, Finance Planner, and Account Access for banking, credit card, investment, and loan accounts.

It sounds like they're basically gutting Yahoo Finance if they're removing the ability to access investment accounts. I guess most banks offer similar services now, but Yahoo has always been good at keep a nice, simple interface.

I wonder if Google is working on something in this area.

business | Permanent Link

Blockbuster Could Use Better Developers

How many stars does Napoleon Dynamite get?

Hmm, the Enhanced Widescreen Letterbox DVD version must be much better.

Update (Fri, 24 Dec 2004): I received Napoleon Dynamite from Blockbuster. The sleeve that DVD came said that it was disc "1 of null".

tech | Permanent Link

Thu, 09 Dec 2004

Time Magazine Ads

There was one ad in a recent edition of Time Magazine that caught my eye. We've been trying to figure out how to best market Postica since officially going into production in July. I'm pretty skeptical about the effectiveness of advertising in general. Since we're bombarded with so much of it, I think most people simply ignore it. But every once in a while, some advertisement will catch my eye. I don't know if the fact that I read it means that it actually increases sales of the product advertised, but it obviously can't be worse than an ad that nobody reads.

The full-page ad in Time was for men's white dress shirts. Just plain, white button-down shirts that I buy every 5 years from Ross when the one I bought five years previously no longer fits. I had never heard of the brand; it was a man's name (two first names, I think). It was one particular shirt, rather than an ad for the brand in general.

What made me read the ad was simply that I wouldn't expect to see such an ad in Time Magazine. I wonder how sales of that shirt are doing. I believe one could order the shirt in question online or by calling an 800 number, similar to ads for overpriced cds composed of the Best Love Songs of Some Period within Some Genre or "collectible" coins that aren't legal tender.

Does placing an ad where potential customers wouldn't expect to see it help sales?

business » marketing » advertising | Permanent Link

Ending Social Security

Hans F. Sennholz has an interesting proposal for ending Social Security. The basic ideas are:

The holiday season is a good time to think about the 15.3% of your income that the government has taken from you to gift to others.

culture | Permanent Link

Thu, 02 Dec 2004

Smith Barney is Silly

After Apple's recent run up to almost $70 a share (over 10% since I sold half my shares 10 days ago), Smith Barney downgrades AAPL to hold, advises selling, and at the same time, increases their 12-month target to $75.

"Despite the fact that we are raising our target multiple on calendar 2006 operating earnings this morning from 26 times to 29 times, we cannot justify more than a $75 fair value in 12 months. And while this suggests another 10% upside from current levels, we can no longer recommend that medium- to long-term investors place new money into the shares," the brokerage wrote.

The downgrade occured today when the stock opened at 66.13. A 13% increase within 12 months seems like a good investment. So what should investors do, Smith Barney? Hold, sell, or buy this undervalued stock?

business | Permanent Link

The state is that great fiction by which everyone tries to live at the expense of everyone else. - Frederic Bastiat