Gas Prices

I was poking around looking for information about smog-reducing gasoline (which Atlanta has to start using in 2005) and found this staggering statistic from the govment about why gas prices have risen:

>>Fuel demand continues to increase. The fuel economy of US fleet is the lowest in 20 years and Americans continue to travel more. Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) is up. Over the past twenty years onroad VMT has increased by 114% while population has only grown by 27%.<<

Once again, look no further than the end of your finger when blaming those who have made the gas prices rise. Not only are americans driving many more miles than they used to, they are using less efficient vehicles to do it in. While it seems fair that we are getting the higher prices we deserve, we're also raising prices for the rest of the world because of our waste and selfishness.

Site Meter

When I did the covered bridge and Sidney Lanier bridge websites for work I looked around for a free counter that would tell me how many people were visiting. I went through a couple of iterations before I found one I really liked called Site Meter. Not only does it count the hits without counting the same visitors repeatedly while they are on one visit, but it tells you what browser they are using, the operating system, what link they clicked to get to the site, the time zone, and their internet provider. Although I never implemented it on DOT’s web sites the intended use of Site Meter is for you to put the counter on every page. Then they can count how many pages on your site each visitor visted as well as which page they are entering on and which they are leaving on.

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Another Timing Approach

Another technique which is similar to timing is to set a goal for a particular investment. If it is a stock fund that might be 10% per year. After a year if the fund hasn’t gone up 10% you put enough money in to bring it up to 10% more. If it has exceeded 10% you sell enough shares to bring it back down to the target. This assures that you buy during downturns and sell during peaks. But the problem with it is that it assumes you have cash on the sidelines available to prop up poorly performing investments.

If you wanted you could do the adjustments on a quarterly basis rather than yearly and the results should be better. This wouldn’t really work with my deferred compensation account since I don’t have cash available and have to make regular rather than lump sum payments. So I might try it with some of my other mutual funds starting on June 1 meaning my first adjustment wouldn’t be until September 1.