DOW suckerThere’s an old saying, “If you are sitting at a Poker table, you look around, and you can’t determine who the Sucker is…’s you!”

I have reached the point where I trust almost nothing coming from the Wall Street Gang.

The most touted financial number the TV News talks about is the “Dow”, the Dow Jones Industrial Average. This number has been manipulated since it’s beginning in 1896. The chart below pictures over a decade of the DOW.

The DOW is the average of the stock prices of 30 major corporations. Initially they added up the stock price of each company and divided the total by 30. It seems very simple, doesn’t it? Not quite. When one of the DOW companies starts a decline it is replaced by one on the rise. Here are the replacements over the last 10 years….


AT&T Corporation, Eastman Kodak Company, and International Paper Company were replaced by American International Group Inc., Pfizer Incorporated, and Verizon Communications Inc..


SBC Communications Inc. was renamed AT&T Inc. after it acquired the original AT&T.


Altria Group Incorporated and Honeywell International Inc. were replaced by Bank of America Corporation and Chevron Corporation.

American International Group Inc. was replaced by Kraft Foods Inc.


Citigroup Inc. and General Motors Corporation were replaced by Cisco Systems, Inc. and The Travelers Companies, Inc.


Kraft Foods Inc. was replaced by UnitedHealth Group.

2013 September 20, 2013

Alcoa Incorporated, Bank of America Corporation, and Hewlett Packard Company were replaced by Goldman Sachs, Nike, and Visa.

Meanwhile a gimmick called the DOW Divisor, shown below, is manipulated to magically cause an increase in the DOW average. The DOW average started as a basket of thirty stocks, the stock prices were totaled together and then divided by the number of stocks, 30, to result in a DOW average. Over time the divisor was supposedly adjusted for stock splits (where anyone holding a share of stock would receive two new shares after a 2 for 1 split) and other manipulations . This European table uses comma’s rather than periods. It shows changes in the “divisor” over time.

DJIA Divisor Trends
DOW Fat Banker

Initially the total of the thirty stocks were divided by 30. Now the divisor has been manipulated so the total of the prices of the 30 stocks are multiplied by 7.6. If we used the initial divisor of 30, yesterday’s DOW average would be 514 rather the reported value of 15413.33. So much for information from the Wall Street Snake Oil Salesmen. DOW DJIA Snake Oil

It appears that it is more efficient to flush money down the toilet rather than waste it away with Wall Street bankers.

The important issue is “What can I do with the  savings I have managed to accumulate over the years?” $100,000 “invested” in the DOW in 2007 it would be worth $46,000 in 2009, that is a whopping 64% loss, not what I consider a “good investment”. Financial sources report that the DOW has recovered and has reached record highs recently, but as we can see above, the number is rigged.

So what to do?

Some Americans are buying Gold Coins and hiding them under the mattress. Gold is very popular with people in China and India, both have suffered hardship and deprivation numbers of times over the thousands of years of their existence. They feel secure owning some amount of precious metals….

During the U.S. Civil War Union troops would confiscate southern livestock and crops. One thing the raided southerners could do was to bury “the family silver”.

Does history have a message for us about Wall Street so-called investments?DOW 10 Yr Gold Prices

Also see…..




West Meade Neighborhood Home Sales

Compare this year sales of homes in the West Meade  neighborhood with sales in The Cloister at Saint Henry. This is what West Meade home sales look like….WestMeadeHomeSalesthruSept2013
Compare with sales at The Cloister….

Cloister homes are selling for more than appraised value....

Cloister homes are selling for more than appraised value….

Nearly all of the 76 homes sold in West Meade sold at appraised value while nearly all of the 17 Cloister homes sold at considerably above appraised value.

The demand for Cloister homes is very strong and Cloister home prices have recovered.

Low-Cost Options for Aging in Place Improvements

RemodelAAccording to the SRES Council (Seniors Real Estate Specialist), here are some low-cost options for your current home for aging in place.

Safety Improvements

Flooring: carpeting is better than area rugs because it is continuous and reduces tripping hazards. It also provides a cushion if a fall occurs.

Handrails: many stairways have a handrail on only one side. Adding a second handrail on the opposite wall improves stability.

Footwear: non-slip shoes, as opposed to slippers or socks, help prevent falls.

Non-skid safety strips: non-skid strips that are adhered to the floor of a tub / shower are preferred to removable bath mats.

Bathroom grab bars: locating them in places where bending and sitting occur (i.e. by a toilet; on a tub wall) provides stability. It’s best to anchor them into the wall.

Quality step ladder: a broad-based heavy-duty step ladder for items stored out of reach. A hand-hold bar across the top improves stability and safety.

Lighting: better lighting helps prevent falls.  Motion-activated lights improve visibility in pass-thru areas such as hallways. Brighter lighting makes reading or doing tasks more enjoyable.

Convenience Factors

Hand shower: install a hand-held system with a flexible hose where a fixed shower head currently exists.

Raised toilet seats: a removable seat fits most toilets. No need to replace that expensive toilet with a taller one.

Knobs: lever-style handles are easier to turn than round handles.

Cooking utensils: many light-weight and ergonomically designed utensils are now available. Many have non-slip handles, some are even oven-proof..

Often-used items: keep them handy in easy to access locations.

Eliminate excess: having fewer items to store and sort through makes most-often items easy to find and retrieve.


Important Information for Medicare Beneficiaries

The September 30, 2013, issue       of Elder Law       FAX is now available for viewing on Law FAX is       a free newsletter published every other week by Elder Law Practice of       Timothy L. Takacs.

Federal Court Dismisses Lawsuit by Medicare Beneficiaries Over “Observation Status”

Medicare beneficiaries were lawfully denied skilled nursing facility coverage after spending more than three nights in a hospital while under observation status, a federal district court in Connecticut has ruled.

The suit was brought by 14 plaintiffs who alleged that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the defendant in the case, failed in its duty to force hospitals to comply with Medicare obligations.

The plaintiffs had sought to eliminate observation status altogether; or, in the alternative, require HHS to order hospitals to inform Medicare beneficiaries that they are in observation status and provide them a process to appeal the hospital’s decision.

“Observation status” means that a Medicare beneficiary is not formally admitted as a hospital inpatient. Once the patient is admitted and spent three nights, the patient will be eligible for Medicare coverage in a skilled nursing facility (SNF).

Even after spending three or four days in a hospital, some Medicare beneficiaries are not aware that some of those days were spent in observation status, thereby not qualifying them for Medicare SNF coverage.

In his opinion, Judge Michael P. Shea acknowledged that observation patients “have a greater financial responsibility for the hospital services they received – and for any subsequent SNF stay — than if they had been admitted as inpatients,” and cited the case of a Connecticut woman who paid $30,000 for nursing home care that Medicare would not cover.

Judge Shea held that HHS was acting in accordance with the law by allowing hospitals and doctors to determine whether the patient should be admitted to the hospital.

Since 2008, the use of observation status has increased significantly. Under Medicare rules, a hospital that decides incorrectly on admitting the Medicare beneficiary as an inpatient must refund its Part A payment to the government. However, the hospital can bill Medicare under Part B for services provided to a person on observation status, even if not admitted. Medicare rules prohibit the hospital from reclassifying the patient from Part A to Part B.

Efforts are being made in Congress and by the American Medical Association to eliminate observation status.

And in a 2013 rulemaking, HHS sought to clarify observation status; but the new rule has disappointed observers who had hoped that the government would eliminate or severely restrict its use.

Bagnall v. Sebelius, Sept. 25, 2013.

Beware…..this can cost you $Thousands out-of-pocket