About Me

I’m Richard Kinnaird, and this is my blog.  (“Kinnaird” rhymes with “prepared.”)  Most of my posts have something to do with investing or the economy.  I may have to touch on politics occasionally, but at least I’ll pretend to discuss both sides of an issue.  I have liberal friends and I have conservative friends.  They all know my politics, and most of them like me anyway.

I was born in Alabama in the middle of the 20th Century.  I have electrical engineering degrees from Auburn University (Auburn, AL), MIT (Cambridge, MA) and Columbia University (New York, NY).  I used to be smart.

I’ve been married to my first wife, Cathy, since 1973.  We have a daughter, Christy, born in 1977.  All three of us live in the Pacific Northwest.  During the warm half of the year, Cathy and I live in Vancouver, WA (no state income tax) just across the Columbia River from Portland, OR.  During the cold half of the year, we live in Stuart, Florida (also no state income tax) just north of West Palm Beach.

After working as an engineer for Bell Telephone Laboratories (Holmdel, NJ) and Tektronix (Beaverton, OR), I started a software company with two partners in 1982.  We grew to a multi-million-dollar company, and sold it in 1989.

I’ve been mostly retired since then, but I helped my wife with a couple of businesses: a retail book and gift store in Portland, OR, and an internet-based import and retail business.  Now, instead of running a business, I invest in stocks, commodities, precious metals and real estate.

I’ve been “retired” longer than I ever worked.  I’m a recovering work-a-holic — trying to be lazy one day at a time.  So far, so good.

For fun (listed in reverse order of skill level), I play golf and poker, read, and watch TV in the evenings with Cathy.

We’ve visited several countries and seen all fifty states, but now I prefer to spend most of my time in the USA’s Pacific Northwest and South Florida.

My self-portrait at the top of this posting should tell you a few things about me:

  • I wear glasses and a beard – The beard has more gray than is illustrated
  • I have a good sense of humor
  • I’m creative, but not creatively talented
  • Since the picture consists entirely of ASCII characters, you know I am a nerd
  • My success is not based on my good looks
  • I don’t want to be recognized when I’m out in public; I’m a private person
  • I have a fair amount of patience and pay attention to detail
  • I am not a perfectionist

When I was studying engineering at MIT, many of the teachers and students used phrases that were unfamiliar and amusing to me.  One of these phrases was “It is intuitively obvious that…”  So, that’s what I decided to call my blog:  Intuitively Obvious.

I could just as easily have picked another of these phrases, such as “In a clear and straightforward manner…” but I’ll stick with the first one.

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I am not a registered financial advisor. I only offer opinions, and sometimes these opinions veer off at weird angles from conventional wisdom (That's probably why you are here). My advice is, "Don't take my advice." Read my sidelong glances at economic issues and form your own conclusions.

Random Quips

A statistician can draw a mathematically straight line from a fallacious assumption to a foregone conclusion.

Think outside the box, but keep an eye on the box.

Everyone is unique -- except me.

Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.

Necessity may be the mother of invention, but laziness is the father.

Perfection is the enemy of progress.

Those who rely upon the past are condemned to repeat it.

"Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons." - Woody Allen

There are 10 types of people in the world:
Those that understand binary numbers, and those that don't.