Author Archive

401k basics – discussion

Posted in Real Life with tags , , on September 1, 2009 by hawksrock

For the record I am not a licensed investments professional, I have in the past taken some investment classes, and mostly I have just managed my own investments closely over time. I thought that this discussion that Jell and I had around her 401k contribution might be helpful to somebody out there who is just getting started with a 401k, and since I didn’t have to do anything but copy/paste here is the information. If you have other advice/considerations when looking at your own 401k feel free to leave a comment with more helpful advice.  Obviously this is tailored to her funds specifically, but it was a pretty general discussion over all.

HawksRock: the things across the top that you want to look at are the returns: They are shown as a %.
HawksRock: now the issue you have is that we have just come through a terrible 3 year period, so it makes them harder to look at.
HawksRock: so the first column is how well the stocks have done YTD this year, and then you see over the last 1 year, 3-year, etc time frame
HawksRock: I personally really like to look at the Inception Date and then the since inception performance.
HawksRock: are you with me so far?
JellyBean: yes
JellyBean: affilated fund, the 1st one…
HawksRock: okay, the next most important thing you can get off this sheet is the Exp. Gross
JellyBean: since 1934?
HawksRock: yeah!
HawksRock: I like that one.
JellyBean: and in come fund since 1932
JellyBean: income*
HawksRock: the Exp. Gross – stands for the Expense Gross. There are certain fees associated with trading stocks as well as a management fee that the mutual fund charges you for their managing of the funds.
HawksRock: This is expressed as a %, so basically any of the return numbers that are shown you basically just subtract the Expense Gross from the return number to figure out how much you would have actually made.
HawksRock: In other words sometimes you will see a fund that is getting 15% return, but they have a 5% Expense Gross so you are actually only getting a 10% return.
JellyBean: k
HawksRock: okay, so that is the basic info that is important on this sheet.
HawksRock: All of your money was going into the USG & GSE Money market fund
HawksRock: which you can see has the absolute lowest % return.
HawksRock: the thing is though that it will never go negative.
HawksRock: it will just sit there for all time. lol
JellyBean: i think thats what my county one was at
JellyBean: when i worked for the da
JellyBean: cause it never grew
HawksRock: honestly most money market accounts do better than this one, normally more in the 3-5% range
HawksRock: but iunno… regardless you don’t wanna be in that.
HawksRock: so you are with me so far right?
JellyBean: yes
HawksRock: okay, typically there is a basic relationship between risk and return. The higher the risk of losing money, the higher the potential for return has to be.
HawksRock: The money market is the absolute lowest risk – you can’t ever lose any of that money, and therefore it offers the lowest return.
HawksRock: The next lowest risk option is government backed bonds – which are what mostly make up the Income Fund and the Bond Debenture Fund.
HawksRock: The one time though that bonds will make huge returns is when the stock market goes into the crapper.
HawksRock: People will sell off their stocks, and put all that money into government bonds when the stock market is in freefall, because typically you can make 5-7% return in bonds, and when stocks are crashing that is a much better return than losing a bunch of money.
HawksRock: So if you look at the recent returns on those bonds they have been pretty good, but over the long haul they aren’t all that high.
HawksRock: especially when you net out the 1% in expenses.
HawksRock: you still with me?
JellyBean: yes
HawksRock: so to me, with you being a longer term investor, and knowing that I expect stocks to go up over the next 20 years, and us to rebound from this economy, I didn’t want to put any of your money in either the Bond Debenture Fund, Income Fund, or Money Market.
HawksRock: so that leaves us with the remaining stock funds to pick from.
HawksRock: Now I will show you how you can look at those remaining funds.
JellyBean: kk
HawksRock: There are basically a couple of ways you want to balance your portfolio.
HawksRock: 1) You have to decide how much you want in the US vs how much international exposure.
HawksRock: 2) You have to decide between Large, Mid, and Small Cap stock.
HawksRock: 3) You have to decide between growth and value.
HawksRock: okay, so those are the three things we are going to go through.
HawksRock: am I boring you to death? lol
JellyBean: um no?
JellyBean: your enthusiasm is so contagious
HawksRock: it is just hard to gauge how much you want to know… like how much is too much from here. lol
HawksRock: anyways… let’s look at the first one #1
JellyBean: Chestnut
You should take some time to have Hawks help you understand it JB. The decisions you make are important.
JellyBean: and thats why i’m here
HawksRock: your here because Chestnut told you so?
JellyBean: ok looking… Affillated?
JellyBean: noooo, because its important
JellyBean: and i do trust you to handle it but what if something happens and you’re not available for me to ask?
HawksRock: alrighty then… better answer.
HawksRock: So I am not really looking at the specific mutual funds yet, I am just talking high level.
HawksRock: For the decision on Domestic verses International, it really becomes a bit of personal preference. Stocks are still a little bit like gambling.
HawksRock: For me personally, with my experience of working in International, and seeing what is going on in China and Latin America, I personally feel that the growth opportunity is better for so called “emerging markets” than it is for domestic. I have a lot of reasons for that which I can bore you with another time, but let’s just say it is a bias at this point.
JellyBean: lol ok
HawksRock: So the first thing I did was go look at what International offerings they give for your portfolio. Unfortunately they only have one option: International Core Equity Fund
HawksRock: If you have that mutual fund page up you can click the link on that fund.
JellyBean: i’m lost
HawksRock: hang on just a sec
HawksRock: click the actual name International Core Equity Fund
HawksRock: to bring up the detail on just that fund
JellyBean: ok
HawksRock: okay, so when looking at an international fund, you wanna know where they are invested at
HawksRock: so click on the link that says: Fact Sheet under Fund Documents
JellyBean: k
HawksRock: that will pull up a pdf file
HawksRock: all international funds should have a fact sheet that shows you how they are allocated by part of the world.
HawksRock: do you see the little pie chart
HawksRock: under Region Breakout
JellyBean: yes
HawksRock: okay, well for me I am very big on Asia and Latin America as being the growth behind the emerging markets.
HawksRock: But you can see from this pie chart that Europe and the UK make up over 50%
JellyBean: right
HawksRock: in fact the Pacific Ex-Japan makes up only 14% and that is probably mostly in Japan
HawksRock: so basically these guys are going after the bigger economies in international rather than emerging markets.
HawksRock: in my opinion the only ones likely to do worse than the US in the recovery is freaking Europe. lol
HawksRock: but regardless this is your ONLY option for international, so I think you hafta put some of your portfolio there.
JellyBean: yuh
HawksRock: so anyways, I debated with how much to put in this sucker, but I ended up with 30% which means that 70% of your portfolio will be based on domestic stocks.
JellyBean: kk
HawksRock: For my own personal portfolio, I am at 50% international, but that is heavily weighted towards asia.
HawksRock: I am not as comfy putting it into Europe.
HawksRock: but as yours grows over time, I guess you will be balancing me out.
HawksRock: 2) You have to decide between Large, Mid, and Small Cap stock.
HawksRock: 3) You have to decide between growth and value.
HawksRock: #2 and #3 kinda go together
HawksRock: you have to consider both when thinking about where to put your money.
JellyBean: kk
HawksRock: Because there are small cap value and small cap growth, mid cap value and mid cap growth, etc
HawksRock: Simplistically value means it is a company that is well established, and the managers think that it is undervalued compared to its purchase price.
HawksRock: Growth means it is has a lot of upside potential that hasn’t been realized yet.
HawksRock: A lot of tech stocks, and pharmaceutical stocks are often lumped into the growth category based on something they are building which people think might be revolutionary.
JellyBean: k
HawksRock: that is often why they are valued really high in relation to how much money they actually make.
HawksRock: people think they are going to make a lot more money in the future – hence the word Growth.
HawksRock: but it is a little bit of a hope and a prayer picking which ones are going to take off.
HawksRock: so Growth is typically seen as more risky than Value – which means the returns that are required are higher.
JellyBean: so out of the 4
JellyBean: 3 are risky?
JellyBean: lol
JellyBean: all 4?
HawksRock: Small cap – just means it is a smaller company, mid cap – is a middle sized company, and large cap – is a larged sized company
HawksRock: well once you move out of money markets and bonds technically everything is risky.
HawksRock: it is just a measure of how risky
JellyBean: k
HawksRock: just ask all the people who lost 50% of their retirment over the last few years, how risky it is.
HawksRock: they do jump around, but over a long time frame it will come back and grow beyond.
HawksRock: as long as I don’t need that money until retirement, no issue at all. But if it looks like you have to draw it out anytime soon, then that would be bad.
JellyBean: yuh
HawksRock: the best sich is when you are in your position, and making regular contributions to your 401k, then as stocks drop in price you are still buying em, so even though you are losing money, you know you are buying em at a better deal.
JellyBean: ah
HawksRock: small caps are seen to be a lil more risky than mid caps which are a lil more risky than large caps.
HawksRock: I mean everything has gotten pounded, but obviously if you are a huge company like microsoft you can probably weather the storm better than a tiny company which might go under.
HawksRock: So at this point we have already put 30% in International so we have 70% left to allocated.
HawksRock: I will tell you that I started with that top fund, the affiliated one, and I really liked the fact that it had been around since 1934 and had provided a 10% return – net of fees.
HawksRock: so I put 25% there… which now left 45% to be allocated.
HawksRock: I have a bit of bias again towards steering you towards a more aggressive portfolio, than less aggressive, so I wanted to put money into small cap and mid cap over large cap.
JellyBean: ah ok
HawksRock: unfortunately there is not a small or mid cap growth option, they only offer a value option, but I still think you are better off being in small and mid cap.
HawksRock: I personally didn’t like the Stock Appreciation fund because any fund that has been around for 10 years and ran negative 9% return wasn’t too appealing to me. lol
JellyBean: yuh
HawksRock: I know it has been tough, but I kinda feel like they coulda managed the downside a lil better.
HawksRock: the fundamental equity and the capital structure fund are both predominantly large caps… so I stuck with the mid and small over them.
HawksRock: Another personal bias I have is that I don’t like to have my stuff scattered across a million mutual funds.
HawksRock: I typically keep to like 4 or maybe 5 options at the most.
HawksRock: It seems silly to split it so thin, that you end up only have a few hundred dollars in something.
JellyBean: should i have my money scattered more?
HawksRock: More than the 4 I picked?
JellyBean: yuh
HawksRock: That is up to you, and it depends on how well you thinked you picked em.
HawksRock: If you knew which one was going to do the best, you would put 100% in that one.
HawksRock: I am not THAT confident… lol
JellyBean: lol
HawksRock: but I do think that we picked pretty well for a longer term vision. If you wanted to pull back on something you could and throw a little bit into one of the large cap options.
JellyBean: well i think you did fine
JellyBean: and i’m really lucky to have u cause you’re like really big smart
HawksRock: my gut says the small and mid will do better over the long haul… which is why I didn’t, but it is still just an educated guess.
HawksRock: haha
HawksRock: i have just been around this stuff for a lot of my life.

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Alliance kicks Horde Ass

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on June 19, 2009 by hawksrock

Haha… so join up and form ranks soldiers!!

We will dominate and win in the end! (Not to mention it doesn’t taste too bad either.)

Tank Girl

Posted in JH Productions (Videos) with tags , , , , , on June 15, 2009 by hawksrock

So as long as I have known Jell she has wanted to make some sort of Tank Girl machinima.   She had all the props, the look, even several alts already decked out for all the lead roles.   It just never quite came together… until….    this past month.

We have always kicked around doing Tank Girl, but we knew we wanted to try and make it something bigger and badder than our normal videos which set a storyline to a song.   For this one we wanted voice, and actors, and explosions and all that jazz.   I have never messed much with sound editing, and I found that it is quite a chore to shoot a battle scene by layering in all the different guns, explosions, reloads, and such at the right time.

In the end, we want to thank all the people who helped this vid come together.   In particular, Miike for always being willing to come out on a moment’s notice to shoot or reshoot a scene.   We also want to thank Flix Saiman for teaching us how to blow up an outhouse. Overall, I am pretty happy with the results.   Most of all we learned a lot about sound editing, and even one scene which had stop motion animation in it.  These are all new tools for the arsenal, which we will be able to use in future JH productions.

For now, enjoy the show…

Testing Sims 3 Video Editor

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on June 6, 2009 by hawksrock

HawksRock’s Personality Type

Posted in FYI with tags , , on January 23, 2009 by hawksrock

“ISTJs are often called inspectors. They have a keen sense of right and wrong, especially in their area of interest and/or responsibility. They are noted for devotion to duty. Punctuality is a watchword of the ISTJ. The secretary, clerk, or business(wo)man by whom others set their clocks is likely to be an ISTJ.”
– ISTJ Profile (TypeLogic)

“ISTJs are very loyal, faithful, and dependable. They place great importance on honesty and integrity. They are “good citizens” who can be depended on to do the right thing for their families and communities. While they generally take things very seriously, they also usually have an offbeat sense of humor and can be a lot of fun – especially at family or work-related gatherings.”
– Portrait of an ISTJ (The Personality Page)

“…characterized by decisiveness in practical affairs, are the guardians of institutions, and if only one adjective could be selected, “super dependable” would best describe them.”
– The Portrait of the Inspector Guardian (Keirsey)

“…private, does not appreciate strangeness, not adventurous, not spontaneous, follows the rules…”
– Jung Type Descriptions (ISTJ) (similarminds.com)

“At work, ISTJs get things done on a timely basis. They honor deadlines, and they believe in thoroughness. A half-finished job is not a job well done. They established procedures and schedules, and are uncomfortable with those who do not do the same. ISTJs put duty before pleasure. As long as they can fulfill their responsibilities, they feel useful and thereby satisfied. Their work does not have to be fun, but it has to count toward something productive. ISTJs believe that vacations are something that one takes only when work has been accomplished; thus, at times they do not take vacations even when they could and should.”
– ISTJ – The Reliant (Lifexplore)

ISTJs are often happy with the following jobs which tend to match well with the Examiner/Protector personality.

  • Accountant
  • Administrator
  • Auditor
  • Computer Programmer
  • Computer Specialist
  • Dentist
  • Detective
  • Doctor
  • Electrician
  • Executive
  • Financial Officer
  • Judge
  • Lawyer/Attorney
  • Librarian
  • Manager
  • Marketer
  • Math Teacher
  • Mechanical Engineer
  • Military Leader
  • Police
  • Scientist
  • Steelworker
  • Systems Analyst
  • Technical Specialist
  • Technician

16 Things about Hawks

Posted in challenge/meme, FYI, Introduction(s), Real Life with tags , , on January 14, 2009 by hawksrock

1)  I have travelled to 27 countries to date:  USA, Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, Dominican Republic, Trinidad & Tobago, Panama, El Salvador, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, UK, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, Czech Rep, Hungary.  (If Vatican City counts then 28 )

2)  I am the oldest of 7 siblings, and I am still very close to all of them.   Ironically, I may be closest to the youngest who is 18 years younger.

3)  I am extremely competitive at anything and everything that can be measured.

4)  I have learned the hard way that money does not buy you happiness.

5)  I am drawn to people who have a passion for living and doing no matter how odd their hobby or interests.

6)  I started working at the age of 12 mowing lawns, and have been working ever since.

7) My father put me to work in a beef-packing plant at the age of 18 to “learn the value of my education.”

8)  I wrote a senior thesis on the African-American influx into Kansas following the Civil War – a group that was known as the Exodusters.

9)  I was a history major in college even though I can never remember names or dates, but I really love good stories and the best stories are often real.

10)  I have a habit of getting really excited about something for a while, but once I figure it out I get bored and never do it again.

11)  I would say the adjectives most often attributed to me by others are probably things like stubborn and/or cocky.

12)  I am typically optimistic, and I always try to put a positive spin on things, but at times it is impossible, and those times are very depressing.

13)  I try to laugh and joke and goof around as much as possible, because humor is one of my favorite things.

14)  My toes are double jointed (so I can pick things up quite easily with them) and I had 6 wisdom teeth instead of four, so by many standards I am an evolutionary regression.

15)  My parents moved a lot when I was growing up as my dad was promoted through different positions.   At one point in my life, I was in 6 different schools in 5 years.

16)  I have a downright fetish for ice-cream.   Jell doesn’t seem to understand the compulsive need to go get a chocolate milkshake even though it is below freezing outside.

Our Story Part 4 – The first month

Posted in Our Story with tags , , on January 11, 2009 by hawksrock

HawksRock Gunawan: Heya…  you ready to roll?
JellyBean Madison: yup yup
HawksRock Gunawan: Okay so in the last installment we basically left off at us very first starting to date, and you whoring it up…   :p
JellyBean Madison: WHAT!?! Me? Whoring it up? Mayhaps I need to re-read it… again
HawksRock Gunawan: I mean the impact of our natural pent up chemistry…  on that first date.
JellyBean Madison: oh okay, yuh… apparently I have *no* willpower
HawksRock Gunawan: lol, so let’s see what we can remember about that first year of dating.    I think my very first memory is of us sitting together at Tringo on pillows of every persuasion as I was hosting at Bad Azz.


JellyBean Madison: yup… I had/have them labeled in my invey Tringo Pillow 1, 2, 3. They matched every mood I could possibly have.
JellyBean Madison: I also remmy us getting it on at every place we shouldn’t have via IM – Blogger Meetings, Tringo, etc
HawksRock Gunawan: you mean moods, or level of horniness?
JellyBean Madison: exactly!
HawksRock Gunawan: yeah, poor Dreamer was really not getting our best performances at many of those late night tringo outings.
JellyBean Madison: lmao – nope
JellyBean Madison: nor were the other bloggers getting our full attention
HawksRock Gunawan: I remember that I had thought I had this great idea on a house that I really liked with a ton of prims, and I had negotiated down the rent by prepaying for 26 weeks, but I was only like 10 weeks into it, and you were riding my ass about moving in with you.
HawksRock Gunawan: So luckily I was able to talk Joker into subleasing it for next to nothing, just to give me an excuse to move out.
JellyBean Madison: well yah… the house I helped you find, but it just made more sense for us to share a place together.
HawksRock Gunawan: Yup, and I remember us going into the huge ass land acquisition phase, where we ended up owning like half of Wildmutt and we had 3 houses, a huge garden area, and Tringo place all on the same land.
JellyBean Madison: Well if you remmy I’m very indecisive and you weren’t much help, plus all our houses served a purpose. 🙂
HawksRock Gunawan: Yes they did, and we also had the whole partnering discussion, because for me I wasn’t a fan of partnering immediately.    I wanted it to mean something, so we were dating but not actually showing in the partner box right away.
JellyBean Madison: yup. Frustrating as hell to me too. I wanted to publicly pee on your leg & have you in my box right away. I’m so glad we waited though, you are quite the romantic type & it was super special.
HawksRock Gunawan: Yeah, well to me (and I know it is different for everybody) but partnering was stronger to me than just dating.   I wanted it to be tied to a proposal, and a recognition of the fact we were going to become married in SL.   So it made sense to me to send it with the proposal.   😉


JellyBean Madison: mhm… I had never had anyone virtually or otherwise take so much time to make a moment so special
HawksRock Gunawan: So then came the whole thing about the proposal and how to pull that off.    I knew that Peter could make an awesome ring, but unfortunately this was right around the time that he quit playing SL and wasn’t ever online.    So luckily Aka came through for me and helped to make real the vision I had for a ring.
HawksRock Gunawan: Somehow I had pulled together the idea that it had to be silver not gold, have a pink stone (for obvious reasons), and also incorporate black since that is your predominant color you dress in.
HawksRock Gunawan: It was a little risky pulling her into it, because I really didn’t know if she could keep it secret from you or not.
JellyBean Madison: the fact that you actually managed (on more than one occasion) to get her to keep a secret from *me* was an amazing feat in itself
HawksRock Gunawan: You have NO idea the level of subterfuge we had to come up with…     there were many times when you were aware that I was talking to her, and we had to cover it up.   Especially the time you caught up particling as we passed versions back and forth.
JellyBean Madison: mhm. Sneaky sneaky! I have to admit that I did know something was up, but with the both of you there was never any telling of what *it* was.
HawksRock Gunawan: yup yup
HawksRock Gunawan: So then I planned and set up and built (haha) a set next to our garden from which I proposed, and *drum roll please* you accepted.
HawksRock Gunawan: Let’s see we started on 5/5/07 and then I proposed on 6/2/07 so about a month later.
JellyBean Madison: as if you had any doubt that I’d say yes. Cheese moment here but I fell in love with you beyond what I prob should have earlier than that 🙂
HawksRock Gunawan: awwww, and the same for me.   But I was still a little stressed pulling that together and off…   😉
JellyBean Madison: I bet… but you did it great!
HawksRock Gunawan: So then the interesting phase begins.    We had originally planned to have a longer time between the proposal and the wedding.   We were shooting to have about a month complete with Bachelor/ette parties and elaborate sets and yada yada yada…
HawksRock Gunawan: BUT

HawksRock Gunawan: then the news came through that your-soon-to-be-ex was coming home earlier than you had thought, and you felt it would be better if the wedding and everything was knocked out before his arrival.    So everything went into major rush mode.

JellyBean Madison: Yup! Yah, he was very smothering, to say the least, even though we both knew it was over, he wanted to feel in control
HawksRock Gunawan: Yes, so basically we went from having a month to having less than a week to pull everything together.
HawksRock Gunawan: We wanted to have a relatively traditional big beautiful type wedding with all our friends present.


JellyBean Madison: I think we even had to switch the invitations too, didn’t we? We had one date & had to edit to the new closer one
HawksRock Gunawan: Yes, well I think that what I remember is that we thought we were going to have a little more than a week, but he actually ended up coming even 2 days sooner than what we had thought, so we pulled it up even more at that point, after we had sent out the invites.
JellyBean Madison: yup
HawksRock Gunawan: Otherwise, we were worried he would create a scene or else cause you a lot of grief… and we for sure didn’t want to disrupt the honeymoon festivities either.   😉
HawksRock Gunawan: so things went into full on rush mode…   which for you works great, but for me who likes to plan things out and know exactly what is gonna happen, was causing me a little extra nerves.
JellyBean Madison: most def… The honeymoon! Wooo! That goes down in history as one of the bestest weeks EVA’r. We even put that off too, until he left again, remmy?
HawksRock Gunawan: haha, i forgot about that… actually.    We did put that off didn’t we.
JellyBean Madison: yup
HawksRock Gunawan: backing up though, the wedding went mostly fine other than the crashing that happened over and over and over again.   I remember I crashed three times, we were losing wedding party members, and even you crashed at least once.   But I guess that is just part of the “experience.”
HawksRock Gunawan: We also had the whole wedding vow dilemma, where we both wanted to write ours from scratch, but you took til the very last day to get yours done.
JellyBean Madison: Oh and the noob that ghosted at the altar for some & the perma-laugh on my face for others. LOL
JellyBean Madison: I’m good under pressa’
HawksRock Gunawan: Yup, I forgot about the ghosted noob who showed up in some of the pics
HawksRock Gunawan: Then we had the party, and all the fun began in earnest.