SCORE ONE FOR A USER FRIENDLIER IRS

Larry Taylor: ‘Well, I took your advice and called in my Form 4868. Got them on the first ring and it was very well done, i.e., easy to follow and to confirm.’

CARROT JUICE

Have you ever even tried ice-cold carrot juice? I didn’t think so. You will be surprised.

TWANG

My computer Scrabble nixed ‘twanger.’ But that can’t be right. ‘Froggie,’ children of 1950’s TV may remember, ‘pluck your magic twanger!’ (No cracks, please.) So, determined to validate my word and and guiltlessly override the objection (without going so far as to ‘ADD’ twanger to computer Scrabble’s memory for use against me at a later date), I went to Google and got this. I have no idea what it is, but it’s fun. Click on the twangers.

A HANDY BOND SITE

If interest rates have bottomed, this isn’t the best time to buy long-term bonds (other than, perhaps, within a tax-sheltered portfolio, Treasury Inflation Protected Securities, such as the 3.375% issue maturing in 2032). But a good site for learning more is investinginbonds.com. Of particular interest may be the ability to get a sense of municipal bond prices, along with the spread between buying and selling.

LIFE IS NOT A BUSINESS

You may well have seen this one already – it flies around the Internet, as usual, unattributed – but it always brings a smile. Thanks to Bill Dunbar, most recently, for sending it:

A boat docked in a tiny Mexican village. An American tourist complimented the Mexican fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took him to catch them.

“Not very long,” answered the Mexican.

“Well, then, why didn’t you stay out longer and catch more?” asked the American.

The Mexican explained that his small catch was sufficient to meet his needs and those of his family.

The American asked, “But what do you do with the rest of your time?”

“I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, and take a siesta with my wife. In the evenings, I go into the village to see my friends, have a few drinks, play the guitar, and sing a few songs…I have a full life.”

The American interrupted, “I have an MBA from Harvard and I can help you! You should start by fishing longer every day. You can then sell the extra fish you catch. With the extra revenue, you can buy! a bigger boat. With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second one and a third one and so on until you have an entire fleet of trawlers.

Instead of selling your fish to a middle man, you can negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe even open your own plant. You can then leave this little village and move to Mexico City, Los Angeles, or even New York City! From there you can direct your huge enterprise.”

“How long would that take?” asked the Mexican.

“Twenty, perhaps twenty-five years,” replied the American.

“And after that?”

“Afterwards? That’s when it gets really interesting,” answered the American, laughing. “When your business gets really big, you can start selling stocks and make millions!”

“Millions? Really? And after that?”

“After that you’ll be able to retire, live in a tiny village near the coast, sleep late, play with your children, catch a few fish, take siestas with your wife, and spend your evenings drinking and enjoying your friends.”

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