Friday 23 January 2009

A few more things for my 'to do' list

The swing set I ordered a couple of weeks ago arrived yesterday (assembly required), but before I start putting it together I need to check how level the intended play area really is, start digging and levelling during this Australia Day long weekend, and order a load of topsoil to prepare the area for some new turf to be laid in the next week or two. The new pool fencing should also arrive sometime next week.

I ordered two sets of past year middle and upper primary level Math Competition test papers from the Australian Mathematics Trust a few days ago ($48) and they arrived today. Since DS1 enjoys mathematics and is quite good at it I'm planning of getting DS1 to do one of the test papers each weekend during Term 1. The answer sheets were provided, so it shouldn't take too long to mark the papers and work through any questions with him that gave him trouble.

I also paid $75 to yesterday to get another two month "extension of time" (my third!) to complete the Diploma of Financial Planning course I started a couple of years ago. Since I'd already done most of the assessment items I figure I should be able to finish this off before my first MIT course for 2009 starts in late February. I faxed in the couple of reworked assessment items I had left for the first of the four DFP subjects (Financial Advice), and today got an email back confirming that I had now completed the requirements for that module. Next week I'll complete the last couple of assessment items for second module (Insurance) and schedule the telephone "role play" activity for my day off the following week. It will be good to finish this off and get the certificate, as otherwise the $2360 fee I initially paid for the DFP via distance education would be wasted. I might even do the "advanced" Diploma of Financial Planning at the end of the year (once my MIT courses have finished for the year) as the taxation and estate planning courses may be useful, even if I never become a professional financial planner. However, this time I'll enrol in each subject individually rather than try to complete all four courses in one hit.

Meanwhile the Australian stock market dived another 5% or so today - reaching a new 5-year low. My leveraged stock portfolio now has negative equity overall, so every point decline in the stock market index means an increase in how much I would owe on my HELOC (St George "portfolio loan") if I sold off my entire stock portfolio. Somehow this feels worse than when I was watching the net equity of my stock portfolio diminish.

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