Hello everybody! A new addition has been made to my divi portfolio. I finally acted on my earlier post that looked at Valero (VLO).

  • I bought 50 shares of VLO @ $55.33.
  • This brings my forward annual divi total up to $2,168.43

I was happy with this price since I actually placed my limit buy at $56 going into Monday. That was probably a mistake putting it that high since it was the ex-div date. It fell into the $54s to recover today and closing at $55.35. More importantly, VLO is the first buy that I have recorded in my investing/trading journal!

Investing/Trading Journal

 

This way, I cannot lie to myself (the most dangerous thing) when looking at the reason for placing a  buy/sell order. I am looking forward to filling this journal up in the future!

I am not going to rehash it all again but am buying VLO as a value play. Refineries have fallen from grace so I decided to pick it up. If it languishes in this low $50 range, I may look to add more. The yield is currently at 4.41%.

Next, I am in transition with my brokers. I thought my commission fee was going to go down from $8.95 to $5.95 a trade once I got over a certain amount. Well, I got over the certain amount but some was in cash. I re-read the requirements. I thought that it meant that I had to have that amount invested. Wrong again! After my Valero purchase I was still an $8.95 dunce. Then I decided to ask why I wasn’t getting it reduced from my broker which I should have done earlier. It turns out it is for certain mutual funds (oh so the fees get me anyways, got it) of that brokerage only! That’s what I get for not reading the fine print. That’s okay though. I said my thanks and bid adieu to them. I am in transition but when it’s all settled I will be getting that $4.95 commission. I was hoping to keep everything in the same account but am honestly looking forward to the new platform. The one I have been using had no tools and was very basic. I am a fan of simplicity though. The cool thing is that chasing that (fake) goal still got me to a nice mark. I guess it worked out in the end. It was fun to chase a rabbit but not to find out it had no meat, just cotton. I am just hoping that there are no hiccups in this transition…

Finally, barring any increases/decreases, I still need to get $831.57 in forward annual divi income to meet my end of year goal of $3k. This is going to be tough and looking at the numbers could be near impossible! I mean I could always go crazy and just invest in high yielders like NAT to make the goal. I am not a fan of this option though. I might actually add to this position if it tanks some (pun intended). It would be at most 100 shares IF it does hit a nice low price (thinking $12). I refuse to chase high yield even though I like to have some positions in high yielders. That is not my norm though. 2016 is not getting any younger, and I still have work to do!

Looking out at projected investing money, I will need an average of 5.5% yield to make this goal. If I push a little harder I can do 5% probably and maybe a tad lower. Maybe some companies can help me but hopefully at least not hurt me!

I just used the platform I am working on getting used to and did a quick stock screener for stocks with a 5 yearr averageg dividend yield between 4.8%-6%. Below is a list of companies that catch my eye at first glance from the results (5 year avg yield not current yield):

  • T =5.42% (wish it was cheaper)
  • BP = 5.39%(already pretty heavy in it though…)
  • FUN = 5.22%(roller coasters!?!?! yeah…as long as the payout isn’t an upside down ride)
  • DLR = 4.85% (Seems expensive)
  • HCP = 5.14% (I have been wanting to add a REIT.)
  • RDS.B = 5.53% (More oil but at least not BP!)

VZ didn’t make the cut but it could be close. Maybe the strikes will help out in lowering the stock a bit more. I would like to get to at least an even lot of Verizon. Needless to say, I have some work to do on figuring out a way forward. I have not given up on the $3k goal. I just needed a little reminder that the year is almost half way over! It is time to get in gear.

Thank you for stopping by and have a great rest of the week!

 

JT

 

Hello divi enthusiasts! Excited it is the weekend once again. It is always nice to have a full weekend off to recover from a week and reflect. This week decided to be long and challenging. I experienced things that I would never choose to experience but believe that growth and development occurred this week. I will take that as a net positive!

Now for the running and investing comparison…

 

Different Types:

There are 100 meter, 100 mile, marathon, 5k, 1 mile, relays, hurdles, and even the crazy steeple chase race. There is a flavor for everyone if you have any inclination to run. I’ll forgive you if you don’t! You can do them on a road, track, through the woods, and through the mountains. They can be uphill, downhill, flat, or a mixture. There is even a race up the stairwell of the Empire State building (crazy people).

In the same way there are many different ways to invest/trade. You can do long-term investing or short term trading to start. You can do Buffett style of buy and hold forever or day trade where you might not even hold an equity for an hour! It’s the 100 meter race vs the 100 mile race. There are winners at both (losers too)! The methods do not resemble each other even though the goal is the same: win a race (grow account size). You will never see Usain Bolt racing the 10k just like you would never see Mo Farah racing the 100 meter. Could you imagine Warren Buffett trading penny stocks? Could you imagine Tim Sykes investing in IBM? They are both successful in their methods but the two paths do not cross and probably could not replicate their success in the other method.

Just like there is a race for every runner, there is a way to grow that money for the multitude of personalities. Stocks, Bonds, CDs, savings accounts, and real-estate. I will be focusing on stocks but within that area you can go long, short, options, buy on margin, collect dividends (yay!), trade futures, trade indexes, ETFs, index funds, and mutual funds. I am sure I missed a couple but let’s just say you have options!

The cool thing is that running and investing both have a very low cost of entry! All you need for running is a decent pair of shoes. There are many good ones in the $50 range too. You don’t have to break that horrid triple digit mark. An expensive pair of running shoes will not make you Michael Johnson in the same way an expensive road bike will not make you Lance Armstrong (sorry cyclist fans. Only biker I know!). Those are sexy shoes though.

 

A lot of people say “I don’t have 3k to invest so I can’t open a fund.” I die a little every time I hear something like that. There are plenty of options to get started. Two that I know off the top of my head are Robin Hood and Acorns. Robin Hood lets you invest in companies like Hersheys, Apple, and Disney (basically nice big blue chip companies) with no commission fee. No commission! This gets me all teary eyed. Acorns on the other hand invests the difference into a select fund of your choice (aggressive, pansy, balanced, etc) by rounding up to the nearest dollar when you make a purchase. If the thought of saving terrifies and bores you then this could be an option. Say you spent $35.75 on a snazzy new pair of roller-blades. Acorns would take the remaining quarter ($36-$35.75= a quarter…the extent of my public math) and invest it automatically in the fund that you chose. You can also choose to invest lump sums into that fund as well. I think it is a neat idea that could turn a lot of people on to investing that would otherwise never be interested. You can do it all from your phone and it’s always fun watching numbers go up!

Debt Vs Weight:

Debt and weight can both be killers. Before I go off on this rant, I will say that yes there can be good debt and also good weight. Most companies starting out will have to take on some debt to expand and grow. Debt is usually considered bad from an individual standpoint, but some people can make it work for them. It can be playing with fire though. Companies (individuals) might have to sell off some assets they really didn’t want to in order to make payments. If times are lean this can start a snowball-not the good kind. It is generally prudent to pay off debt before investing or trading. You should never invest or trade with money that you will need in the near future! This is a recipe for disaster. I would also suggest it’s unwise to take on debt in order to invest. I am not saying that people haven’t done it successfully in the past or will do it successfully in the future. I just enjoy sleeping well though! I don’t like situations that A. mess with my sleep and B. have a higher probability to lose money. If B occurs then A will occur. It’s a terrible cycle. There are enough things to lose sleep over already as opposed to shooting yourself in the foot with dumb decisions.

 

Weight:

A lot of people might say the lighter weight one is carrying the faster they will run. As with most things in life, the answer is it depends. Let’s compare the image of two elite runners already mentioned: Usain Bolt and Mo Farah.

Usain Bolt-AKA a really fast dude
Mo Farah-AKA a really fast dude

Usain Bolt needs more weight (muscle) since his event is more anaerobic than Mo Farah whose events are more aerobic. Usain Bolt has ‘good weight’ just like there can be a thing as ‘good debt.’ Usain Bolt needs that muscle for the 100 meter and 200 meter races, whereas that muscle would hurt Mo Farah’s performance in the 10 kilometer and marathon race. Generally, you want to avoid extra weight when running as this can lead to shin splints or other nasty injury due to lugging around extra lbs.

Preparation:

I feel like I have a special right to talk about this because it is one of the things I am the worst at! How does the adage go? Do as I say not as I do? Something like that…

I would take months off from running which is a terrible thing to do when knowing you will be racing in a few months. It’s dumb, illogical, stupid, idiotic. and many other things. Yet I did it. Somehow, I thought short term effort in practice and wanting to win on race day could somehow make up for this time lost. WRONG! I would make progress up to a point I had already been before only to regress later. There was no progression. I could throw out phrases like ‘hitting a plateau’ but that’s inaccurate. I never sustained training to hit a plateau which is nothing to be proud of.

In the same way, it makes me think of people who think they can put off saving for retirement until they get ‘older.’ What does that even mean!?! The thing about being involved in this community is that I get to see my twitter feed with all the links and statistics showing that people are not starting early enough and/or not saving enough. I could regurgitate all of those stats here but am already rambling enough. It comes down to people are not putting enough away early enough for retirement.

(I did once forget my running shoes for a half-marathon and had to get a pair at Walmart fast to race in…take my advice with a grain of salt…better yet lots of grains!)

Do you think this is a fair comparison? What else can be compared to investing? I know chess can because there is already a book about it: Rich As A King: How the Wisdom of Chess Can Make You a Grandmaster of Investing. It’s a pretty good read. It stole some of my thunder, but I might be able to put my own spin on it.

Also, I finally finished reading A Random Walk Down Wall Street: The Time-Tested Strategy for Successful Investing (Eleventh Edition). I liked when it talked about tulip mania and the tech bubble bursting in 2000. It’s not my favorite, but I have heard so much about the book that I feel like it was a classic I needed to read. I liked the back testing data as well, but some of the sections were pretty dry. Allocating portfolio by age, bonds, CDs, and treasur…zzzzzz

I am now working on a book called: Early Retirement Extreme: A Philosophical and Practical Guide to Financial Independence. It has kept my attention and dare I say peaked my interest. He has a website at http://earlyretirementextreme.com/ which I was glad I found on Friday. That was how I got turned on to the book. The guy is one smart cat, and I look forward to finishing this book.

 

Hope everyone had a great weekend and is ready for another week!

 

Take Care,

 

JT

 

 

 

Traders would benefit from our own self-help organization- I’d call it Losers Anonymous. Why not Traders Anonymous? Because a harsh name helps to focus attention on our self-destructive tendencies. After all, Alcoholics Anonymous do not call themselves Drinkers Anonymous. As long as you call yourself a loser, you focus on avoiding losses (Elder, 37).

Good day divi enthusiasts! I had a great surprise coming home from work this morning. My copy of Trading for a Living was obediently awaiting my arrival home. I doubt you can get this kind of loyalty from a dog (no mess as well).  I managed to snag a used copy for a little over $2.00 and shipping (as always) was on point. I love you Amazon prime!

I made a mistake (guess it’s a choice by now) that I commonly make of starting another book before finishing the one I am already reading. My eyes drifted from a A Random Walk Down Wall Street to the newer Trading for a Living. I still have some work to do on my discipline!

Trading for a Living

 

Alexander Elder, MD, was born in Leningrad and grew up in Estonia where he entered medical school at the age of 16. At 23, while working as a ship’s doctor, he escaped from a Soviet ship in Africa and received political asylum in the U.S.A. He continued to work as a psychiatrist in New York City, served as book editor of The Psychiatric Times, and taught at Columbia University. After becoming involved in financial trading, Dr. Elder published over 50 articles, software, and book reviews, and spoke at many conferences. In 1988 he founded Financial Trading Seminars, Inc., an educational firm for traders (Elder, back-cover).

I have come to a great stopping point in the book so I can finish up A Random Walk first. However, due to this being a hardcover and not a kindle edition, I would like to share what I read before I forget and do not have the luxury of finding underlined text quickly. It is clear from the author’s bio that he has a pretty unique background. I think he made a great comparison when he said the ‘Little Stalins’ depended on Stalin just like traders depend on the ‘gurus’ for help. That is not what I am here to share from the book though (could be an interesting topic though).

One of the sections that I have enjoyed so far is the chapter “Trading Lessons From AA.” I did just this chapter by its name and I was not disappointed! The main point that caused me to buy this book was for the section on psychology. I think that psychology plays a key role no matter how or what you invest in.

Coincidentally, I read this section right after reading a post from Dividend Hustler on gambling called You Owe It To Yourself. It was a great primer for what I read but enough tangents for now. Alright, back to AA…I mean trading.

Denial:

There is a stark parallel between an alcoholic and a trader whose account is being demolished by losses. He keeps changing trading tactics, acting like an alcoholic who tries to solve his problem by switching from hard liquor to beer. A loser denies that he has lost control over his course in the market (Elder, 31).

I always think of the common phrases I hear and see:

  • If only I would have held my position longer I wouldn’t have lost money.
  • If only I went short
  • If only I went long
  • If only my account was larger I could have survived the downturn
  • I knew I should have gotten out of the market

The stock market makes me think of all the solo competitions: boxing, chess, wresting, tennis, running, etc . If you lose, you only have yourself to blame. It’s always sobering to swallow that pill but it has to happen so growth can happen. It is very easy to start the excuse train and once that train gets going it is hard to stop! I found the excuse train crew neglects their brake maintenance often.

Rock Bottom:

The pain of hitting rock bottom feels intolerable. It makes an alcoholic see how deeply he has sunk. This pain penetrates his denial. He sees a stark and simple choice- either turn his life around or die. Only then is an alcoholic ready to begin his journey to recovery (Elder, 31).

This is when people blow up their accounts with money that they can not afford to lose. Then they get turned off of the market forever. The other option is that they will raise more cash to only repeat the vicious cycle. At some point, the conclusion has to be made that something is wrong and corrective action is needed. “When you admit that you have a personal problem that causes you to lose, you can begin building a new trading life. You can start developing the discipline of a winner (Elder, 35).”

The First Step:

The first step an alcoholic has to take is to admit that he is powerless over alcohol. He must admit that his life has become unmanageable, that alcohol is stronger than he is. Most alcoholics cannot take that step, drop out, and go on to destroy their lives (Elder, 32).

A trader must first come to grips with the fact that losses are stronger than his or herself. Calling yourself a loser will keep you focused on avoid losses much in the same way that labeling yourself an alcoholic will give you no leeway to drink. Period.  A great morning routine would be, “Good morning, my name is [JT], and I am a loser. I have it in me to do serious financial damage to my account (Elder, 37).” This will help keep you sober in the market.

In Charge of Your Life:

Finally, the author gives 7 rules that helped him on his journey from a “wild amateur” to a “professional trader.” I will shorten the points for brevity’s sake.

  1. Decide that you are in the market for the long haul
  2. Learn as much as you can.
  3. Do not get greedy and rush to trade.
  4. Develop a method for analyzing the market.
  5. Develop a money management plan.
  6. Be aware that a trader is the weakest link in any trading system.
  7. Winners think, feel, and act differently than losers.

Now, all that is left is for action to be taken. It is just like weight. There are more diet books and exercise regimens than ever and yet more people are obese than ever. I cannot make progress if I do not practice these rules.

I am looking forward to finishing this book but will have to use some discipline to finish A Random Walk Down Wall Street first. Trading for a Living, from what I can tell so far, has useful information that can be applied to many different trades (sorry couldn’t resist!).

 

 

Take Care,

 

JT

 

P.S. Writing this to The Gambler by Kenny Rogers is the only way to go.

 

 

 

 

Hello divi enthusiasts and TGIF! I have been meaning to get this recent buy out there but haven’t had the time of late.

  • I bought 30 shares of AAPL on Monday for $92.81
  • This brings my forward annual divi outlook to $2,048.43

It’s cool to think that I could pay for almost two months of rent with this. Of course, I will choose to reinvest to try and speed up this snowball. As I am typing this, Apple closed today at $90.52. Clearly I did not catch it at the bottom. I am okay with that though. I honestly hope that some of the articles/predictions that I have read come true and it drops to $85ish! I’m not sure if that will happen, but this stock is one I can get excited about dropping. I think there are a lot of possibilities with this company still.

Disney has fallen to a little over 100. That company is still facing the woes from ESPN. Between the two, I would continue adding to my AAPL over my Disney position just because I bought Disney under $90. I would like to eventually buy more Disney shares though…I also still need to see the new Captain America movie! I’ve been slacking.

Also, I finally crossed the halfway point to my first 100k in my brokerage account today! My trades will now only be $5.95 from hitting the 50k mark. That’s down 3 dollas from $8.95! It’s not as good as the places that do $4.95 a trade but it’s not far off. It also lets me keep everything in one place. I am all about simplicity!

Finally, I am going to try my first side hustle at a place called onespace! My simple understanding from looking at it is that you take some courses to show some proficiency, do some tasks (I’m going to try the transcribing voice files), and get paid on paypal. I don’t really count the way that I use swagbucks as a sidehustle. I just listen to the music, do the poll, use the search engine, and then get my free amazon dollars to pay for some books.

Anyone else liking AAPL at these prices or think it will tumble more? Has anyone ever tried onespace or use a different side hustle?

 

Take Care,

 

JT