Monthly Archives: January 2012

Investing Style

Since I began investing with my Scottrade account (about two years), I decided to focus my efforts on Dividend Stocks. However, since my capital is limited, and after my success with both McDonalds (MCD) and T.J.Maxx (TJX) both are currently up over 40% and TJX just announced a 2-1 split. I have decided to divide my portfolio for both growth and dividend earning. Then as we get closer to our retirement (or semi-retirement) I will move to hold more heavily in dividends.

I am excited to find some undervalued stocks to add to our growth side, and thinking about the oil and gas sector. There are some stocks trading under $1.00. These could be either an opportunity for huge growth or just a dumb risk? I know I need to do some research before I pull the trigger.  Currently we are looking at Quantum Fuel Systems (QTMM) and Quaterra Resources (QMM).  I hope to make a trade this week. I will post when I make the transaction.

*Interesting Point* When I was looking on the Scottrade site to purchase a stock under $1.00, I found there is an extra fee. There is the normal $7.00 trade fee, but for stocks trading under $1.00, there is also a fee of 1/2% of the principal value. For example, if I want to buy 8500 shares of a stock trading at $0.50 /share, there will be the $7.00 normal trade amount PLUS, $21.25 (8500 shares X $0.50 = $4,250.00 (principal value) X 1/2 % = $21.25) Total trading fee $28.25, just something to consider. Kinda discourages lots of day trading on the Scottrade account.

Scottrade Free Seminar – Basic Options

Once again my free seminar at Scottrade was well worth the price of admission, just my time (which I view as valuable). It was a nice review of options, as I haven’t really thought about them since one of my college finance classes back in the mid-90s.

I don’t know if I could briefly explain them in this post, but I will say they can be complicated and risky, so do yourself a favor and take a free seminar from Scottrade you don’t even have to have an existing account. 

Next month, I am looking forward to attending the seminar on Intermediate Options.

2012 Health and Fitness Goals

For the past six months or so, we have been eating at home much more often, which is not only a healthier choice but it really saves on the food budget. We have been eating a lot of salads and I really am starting to enjoy them.  A salad can be so much more than just lettuce, I like to add a little bit of cheese, all sorts of veggies, I’ll even add leftover veggies from the dinner before, maybe some grilled asparagus or corn, it’s adds to the flavor and texture. I want to continue on this path of healthy eating. 

One thing I’ve really saved money on this past year, has been brewing coffee at home. A couple years ago, I was a frequenter of Starbucks, then I cut back to McDonalds coffee, and now I can say I rarely buy coffee out. However since I do like to treat myself, I buy the fancy flavored creamers, which I know have lots of hydrogenated oils, so this year, I want to eliminate the hydrogenated oils, and just add skim milk or regular cream to my coffee. I know it’s best to have the fewest healthy ingredients in your food/drinks. I think this is realistic because I’m not going cold turkey from Starbucks, but I’ve gradually weaned myself off that expensive habit.  I treat myself when traveling to buying coffee, but maybe just about once a month, which I think is fine.

This year I have a major fitness goal, I am committing to completing a marathon. I have had this on my list for years, and I have completed two half marathons, but never the full. This is the year. I don’t know why, but I can just feel it. I’m committed and it’s gong to happen. Tenatively I would like to do either the Chicago Marathon which is sometime this summer or the Las Vegas Marathon which I believe is in December.  I have lots of time to train, and even have another half marathon scheduled for the end of February. I am really excited to finally accomplish this life goal.

 

Money Talk Taboo?

One personal finance website that inspired me to start my own was Dividend Mantra and the main reason (besides his good dividend stock advice) is he keeps an amazing budget (he saves over half his income every single month) and is so open with his finances. He lists his stock holdings, goals and even his monthly budget, down to the dollar!

I would like to be more open, but something is holding me back. I don’t know if as a child I was told not to talk about money, that it was rude. One thing I have always noticed is the people who have a decent amount of money (IMO net worth over $1M) and who I view as “classy” aren’t “flashy” about their money.

Given this site is somewhat anonymous and I do want it to be a personal finance and savings site, I will strive to be more transparent with my own finances.

What was your history with talking about money?  Was it a taboo subject? Don’t you think if we were more open (as a society) we could encourage each other to save more and reach our own personal goals?

Scottrade Free Seminar

Last night I went to my local Scottrade Branch for a free seminar which highlighted the basics of the Scottrader Streaming Quotes. This was an excellent and informative session for the new Scottrade investor. The class was about an hour, there were five (including me) clients/students in attendance, so there was ample opportunity for asking questions.  They also gave me a really nifty red metal water bottle just for showing up.

Next week there is a class covering the topic of Options Basics, which I plan to attend also.  I really hope by attending these classes my comfort level with investing and researching stocks will increase. 

Scottrade offers a ReferAll Program, so if you are interested in Scottrade and would like to sign up under my ReferAll Account, you will receive 3 free trades (how cool is that, there’s $21.00 in your pocket) and I will also get 3 free trades (thank you very much).  Just email me your name and email address, and I will send you an invite with full details.

**Disclaimer** I am not an investment professional, please do not use anything you read on this website as investment advice. Investing is something everyone does at their own risk. Practice due dilligence, do your research and happy investing.

Financial Independence

This site will be a personal journal of my journey to financial independence and creating passive income through multiple income streams.

1. Dividend Stocks – I have started investing with scottrade in dividend growth stocks. So far my portfolio has been under 20K.  I hope to triple that number in 2012. My low end goal is 60K, which I’d be happy with, however if I can hit 75K, I’ll be thrilled.

2. Network Marketing – Side hustle, Daniels Market America this I see as having unlimited growth potential, it all depends on how much time we invest. If you are interested in Network Marketing with DMA please click on the contact me link.  I am relatively new to this type of side income, but am excited to learn and earn. My goal for this avenue of income is to hit our next pin level of Professional Coordinator. It could happen in 2012, but I would be happy if we are just consistently earning $1,200/month and helping our team reach their goals.

3. Real Estate ? – This is up in the air, as I have no current Real Estate Investments.  It’s a tough market in Michigan, so I just want to be open to the ideas that may come available, and have some funds to react if the opportunity is there.

Also while not a bullet point of investing, I really like clothes, makeup, shoes, travel, food and adult beverages. This can get a girl off her investment track, but believe me, I do think it’s important not to forget to invest in yourself.  I’m not saying don’t pay the mortgage to buy those shoes. I am encouraging you to treat yourself once in a while, within reason and budget to help yourself look and feel like the confident and successful person that you are.  And really…will you even miss those stilettos when you are retired on the beach with your feet in the sand sipping on a Bushwacker on the beach? No, I didn’t think so.