Site admin

Administrative announcements.

A Word from Our Sponsor

Submitted by Rich Toscano on October 6, 2006 - 9:31am

Some readers wanted to know more about my semi-cryptic reference to "the new gig," so I thought I'd provide a little more detail here.  Don’t worry, I'm not going to start incessantly shilling for the new business. However, I may occasionally shill for the new business. Like now, for instance.

I have joined an existing firm called Pacific Capital Associates*. The firm offers "comprehensive financial planning" -- investment management, estate planning, insurance, and the like.  They also offer real estate services and home loans, although they are firmly in the real estate bear camp and have routinely talked people out of buying. (And I’m proud to say that they have never put a single client into an Option ARM).

What I do is talk to people about their finances, make recommendations, and directly manage their investment portfolios.  This investment management is the primary focus of what I do, and I employ the same analytical approach to global investment markets -- independent, fundamentally-based, and forward-looking -- that I have taken with San Diego real estate.

I'd be happy to meet with any Econo-Almanac readers who would like to get my thoughts on their financial situations or on investing in general. It doesn't cost anything, and there will be absolutely no pressure – I may be the least salesy guy on Earth.  I simply talk to people and help them make informed financial decisions.  After that, if it is appropriate and desired, I can help implement a plan or manage investments (and it is only at this point that any cost is incurred).  If you're interested, please e-mail me at and we can set up an appointment.

While on the topic of scheduling, I am leaving town next week so the site will probably be devoid of content during that time.

Okay, we now return you to your regularly scheduled doom-mongering.

* - Pacific Capital Associates offers securities and investment advisory services through Girard Securities, NASD/SIPC

(category: )

Double Logins

Submitted by Rich Toscano on October 3, 2006 - 9:38am

If you are finding that you have to log in multiple times, just hit refresh a couple times after the first login. It ends up that you are actually logged in, but you are seeing a cached version of the page which makes it look like you aren't logged in yet. By refreshing the page a couple times you should get a "new" version which will reflect your logged-in status.

(category: )

A New Home for the Econo-Almanac

Submitted by Rich Toscano on September 19, 2006 - 10:43am

The site was getting a little big for its britches, usage-wise, so this past weekend I moved it to a more powerful server. I believe I (eventually) got everything working on the new machine, but if you encounter any problems, please let me know.

(category: )

The March of Progress, Revisited

Submitted by Rich Toscano on August 22, 2006 - 6:59pm

I heard some folks were having trouble with the rich text editing capabilities so I wanted to expound on that a bit. (To non-nerds, “rich text” enables the use of italics, bolding, clickable links, and the like).

Techies among you can manually enter the typical markup codes if you’d like, but for the rest, you are able to utilize a rich text editor. To enable this editor, click the "enable rich-text" link when you are writing a comment, as pictured here:

(category: )

A Face for Radio

Submitted by Rich Toscano on August 18, 2006 - 11:11am

It's a media frenzy! For me, anyway, as I'm now making two media appearances this weekend—but that's well up from my typical rate of 0 media appearances per weekend.

Actually, "appearance" isn't the most fitting term. I've been invited to chat with Mark Miller on his radio show, "Talk to the Lawyer." The show will air this Saturday, August 19, at 2PM, on KCBQ 1170AM. You can also listen online at

Also joining will be Ben Jones of The Housing Bubble Blog fame. The show will be broadcast live, so feel free to call and harass us at 888-344-1170.

(category: )

Take 5, Take 2.5

Submitted by Rich Toscano on August 17, 2006 - 10:06am

A thousand apologies to those who tuned in to KSWB last Sunday. There was a mixup on the date: I will be appearing on Take 5 this Sunday, August 20. That's Sunday, August 20, 10:30PM on KSWB (channel 5).

This time I mean it.

To those who have requested such, I will try to get an online video of the appearance. However, I can't promise anything. I'm just a simple software guy, and your video streams confuse and frighten me.

(category: )

Happenings at the Econo-Almanac

Submitted by Rich Toscano on August 10, 2006 - 9:05pm

Hi everyone. It's time for yet another administrative update on the state of things here at Econo-Almanac world headquarters.


I put together a very brief FAQ list. Should be old hat for many of you, but I thought I'd mention it.

More Forums

I forgot to add this item on the original post, so this is an update... now that forum activity has taken off, I've expanded the number of forums to hopefully make things more usable. Existing content will all be in the generic "housing market" format, but from here on out folks should feel encouraged to create new topics in the most appropriate forum.

(category: )

Take 5, Take 2

Submitted by Rich Toscano on August 9, 2006 - 12:37pm

The Take 5 episode from a couple weeks back actually generated record email and viewership for the show, so they invited me back for another round. This time my counterpart was a realtor named Lee Sterling, who I am pleased to report is a really nice guy and did a good job presenting his case.

As for myself, I was much more at ease than in my virgin appearance and I think that overall it went really well. If you want to check it out, tune in to KSWB/Channel 5 this coming Sunday at 10:30PM.

(category: )

Media Appearance

Submitted by Rich Toscano on July 27, 2006 - 1:28pm

I just got back from a taping of KSWB's "Take 5," where I discussed the real estate market with Will Carless ( and Charles Jolly (SD Association of Realtors).

As far as I can tell, the appearance went just ok. I was kind of nervous, being entirely new to the TV thing, and I only realized about halfway through that you have to be pretty aggressive about getting a word in (something that is very much not in my nature). So I did sort of a middling job of defending the bear case. The unabashedly bullish case made by Jolly was light on factual backing, to put it charitably, but he certainly had more poise delivering his message than I did mine.

Anyway, it's going to air on Sunday at 10:30 PM, if any San Diegans are interested.

Update: I've now watched the segment. I didn't look as nervous as I felt, and although I was remiss in rebutting some of the SDAR guy's points, many of them were weak enough to effectively rebutt themselves. So all in all it came out better than I expected, for what that's all worth.

(category: )

We Are Back

Submitted by Rich Toscano on May 28, 2006 - 10:17am

Update - May 30 - It looks like the resource usage issues are still occurring. The site may go down from time to time in the near future until I can work with my ISP to figure this out... please bear with me. The original message follows.

Upgrades to the Site

We had to shut down last week because the site was putting tremendous load on my ISP's server. Because there was no concomitant spike in traffic, I believe the excess load was either due to a denial-of-service attack or some sort of memory leak or other bug with the content management software I use. The ISP applied all security patches on their end and it kept happening, so the only thing left to do was to upgrade to the latest and greatest version of the content management software and see if that fixes the problem, be it security- or performance-related.

(category: )

Forums and Comments

Submitted by Rich Toscano on April 7, 2006 - 11:01am

I've been very pleased in general with what's happened with the article comments and forums. A lot of really smart and sophisticated people have taken to posting, and I myself have learned an awful lot. Additionally, all the conversations have (hopefully) made this site more useful and interesting without me really having to lift a finger. (I don't always have time to repond to forum posts and comments, but I do read almost all of them).

(category: )