• PG&E is spitting out dividends again, at least for its preferred stock.  It’s still a fraction of its high value (somewhere between a half and a third), before it was discovered to have set California on fire.
  • It has been so long since its last dividend (2017), that it decided to no longer keep up with direct deposit.
  • I got a check in the mail for $218.  But it also said that they’d paid us another $3K to date (in back dividends).
  • So I figured out how to logon online (it still remembered my password from tax time, I guess) and it said that it sent a check for $3K two days before it sent the check for $218.
  • I set up direct deposit again.  They didn’t know the name of our credit union, but they knew a name with fewer words and there doesn’t seem to be another credit union with those same words?
  • We decided to wait another week to see if the larger check came.
  • These dividends are only for our preferred stock, but most of our stock is regular.
  • I don’t think our preferred dividend amount will ever go up.  I think it’s going to be $218/quarter whenever it pays dividends.  No matter what happens to inflation.  But I could be wrong about this.
  • Our regular stock reached a high of $800/quarter, but those times are long gone.
  • We have twice as much regular stock as we have preferred stock, but the regular stock is only worth a tiny bit more than the preferred stock.
  • The check for $3K came about a week after the check for $218.  I have deposited it to our Wells Fargo account and it will eventually get used for music lessons and other smaller expenses that require checks.  (Expenses above $500 tend to come out of our main credit union account.)
  • Utilities are supposed to be bluechips– stable not risky ways of getting regular income.  But that’s obviously not true.  Index funds really are the best, not single stocks.

13 Responses to “RBOPG&E”

  1. rose Says:

    THANK YOU For writing. Each and every time.

  2. Debbie M Says:

    I love your last statement. I wonder if utilities used to be non-risky ways to get regular income, but the scummification of American corporations has made this less true. Well, big powers of all kinds do have a history of being scummy throughout all of time.

    Still, as I get older, it becomes more clear that things that used to be true can become untrue, and things that didn’t used to be true (like that I don’t need to warm up before exercise or cool down afterwards) become true. And of course some things everybody knew were never true (the world is not flat, nor does the sun orbit it).

    I wonder how rich people invest their money. In regency romances, you can just have a living, which I think is based on owning land, even though they did have droughts and floods and things back then. In the US, railroad stocks used to be considered the safe investment.

    Meanwhile, I’m so happy that we have access to low-cost index funds and retirement savings vehicles.

    Owning a house should also be good, especially if you also own insurance, but I think I’m going to have to spend a huge pile of money re-doing all the pipes (originally made of glorified cardboard) and wiring (because in modern times we are into grounding our circuits and having central air-conditioning and internet and plug-in cars).

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      They invested in the per cents which was basically a guaranteed income from the British government.

      Also they invested in Empire building which was more risky and in better farming techniques (I wrote a paper in college on Emma in the middle of an Agricultural revolution). Railroads and canals were initially risky investments because there were a lot of scammers! There were also bubbles. (That same semester my Econ history final was on transportation. Also I was reading Trollope for fun.)

      Houses really do get expensive. I don’t envy your rewiring and piping.

      • Debbie M Says:

        Ooh, thank you for all that extra information!

      • Debbie M Says:

        Hmm, also, I’d only vaguely heard of Trollope. So prolific! What are your favorites of his? Or what do you most recommend? Or where do you recommend one start? (And if you like one book mostly because of the economics, do still recommend it–I also like economics.)

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Oh jeez. So much Trollope. He writes really long soap operas where you can’t like most of the people but everyone gets exactly what they deserve in the end. He’s also an enormous feminist and his works really hold up, IIRC. Barchester Towers is where a lot of people start (including me) and I liked it a lot. But also: epic soap opera. The Eustace Diamonds and Can You Forgive Her are also popular. Delegar and I have DRAMATICALLY different reading preferences, but I think Trollope is one of the few authors we agree on. (Disclaimer: have not had the bandwidth to read him since before having kids.)

      • Debbie M Says:

        Thanks! Hmm, my library has “The Warden,” so I may start with that. Otherwise, or next, I’ll try “The Eustace Diamonds.”

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Most stuff is available via Gutenberg also, if you can read electronically.

      • Debbie M Says:

        Oh, makes sense. Thanks!

      • FF Says:

        I’ve read almost all of Trollope, mostly when I was in my 20s and 30, and also for fun. I also started with and liked the Barchester novels, although I almost stopped with the first of that series (The Warden), which didn’t really grab me–I remember “Barchester Towers” as more engaging. I prefer the Palliser/Parliamentary novels (“Can You Forgive Her?” is the first of that series). Also, he wrote some excellent standalone novels (for example, “The Way We Live Now.”

      • Debbie M Says:

        Thanks, FF!

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