Saturday, February 7, 2015

Let's Discuss Processing Equities

So you wanna be an equity want to buy/sell stocks.

What are the ideas that you use to screen out the losers and pluck the winners?
Or do you just utilize strategies such as options trading to make money on the
ups and the downs of both the winners and losers?

Well, let's just keep it simple for today. Let's assume we want to pick winners, stocks that aren't going to
lose your hard earned money and have more than a safe bet on earning you some ca-ching.

P/E---Price to Earnings Ratio .Warren Buffet is said to prefer under valued common stocks with a price to earnings ratio under 20. I suppose it depends on how you play.

Market Cap: Is it harder to topple the biggest companies? Does it make sense to screen out the firms that are less than 1 billion in market cap? Or do you prefer to bet on smaller companies that can dodge and weave a little faster than the big wigs? Perhaps it can be compared to whom you prefer to do your banking with. Do you prefer the 5 biggest national banks? Or do you prefer a smaller local credit union, that has an affiliation with your neighborhood? Betting on the bigger players has an appearance of greater safety, but is by no means a guarantee of a fail proof investment terrain....

Does the Stock have Options available. Simply, does the stock have a derivatives market within it? Can you buy/sell puts/calls based on the ups and downs of the stock price? For some, using options is a key component of their income producing strategy. For some investors, they refuse to buy/sell stocks that don't carry an options market with it. They use options as insurance against falling stock prices, as well as  cash flow management strategy.

Dividend. Canadian investment author/inspirational speaker Derek Foster has made more than a pretty penny by advocating a modest investment strategy that focuses on the buy and hold strategy of
owning solely dividend yielding high quality stocks. His advice combined with a very frugal lifestyle permits those who are disciplined investors, to potentially live off their dividend stream once their portfolio has reached a certain saturation point. Huge stock market players such as Warren Buffet doesn't pay out a dividend on his Birkshire Hathaway shares, preferring to use the profits to reinvest back into the development/growth of the company. Even though he doesn't pay dividends...Warren's Birkshire Hathaway stocks never fail to find investors willing to part with their moolah, because he has a proven track record of increasing the innate value of the shares when held over the long term. By the way, if you want to boost your financial education with some good old fashioned stock market basics, just get all of Warren Buffet's books available at any public library or community college. There are more than a few investors who cut their teeth just by following Warren's strategies.

Which Stock Exchange are you going to invest in? Within Canada, the US or overseas?
Conservative investors may tend to prefer to invest within their own country, unless of course they don't trust their own national business climate. Countries with a less than stable political environment may provide a higher than normal level of risk, but also higher potential returns.

Which criteria you use to select your investments will have a huge impact on your returns.
I like to always bet on the D word....that is discipline. Nothing works without it....not even a winning stock.
Respect your assets, and the time it takes to acquire them. Losing them can be done in a millisecond.
Take the common warning..."buyer beware" multiply that by one million and that's how cautious you need to be in investing. Well, on that note...have a brilliant and peacefully productive day.


Thursday, February 5, 2015

Tony Robbins and John Reese

Just watched a quick video of a conversation between Tony Robbins and John Reese.
I think the concept that sticks out from that discussion is that they admitted that folks

That was kinda refreshing, especially when you are listening to folks who play with millions/billions.
John Reese was talking about the day in 2004 that he earned 1million dollars in one day (18 hours to be exact).
Then Tony and John discuss how they mentally framed themselves and prepared themselves psychologically to be able to operate in those kind of numbers. They both advocate having specific goals. Yes, I agree, but I would add that they HAVE to be WRITTEN goals. If you are not willing to write down your goals, who are you kidding? Do you really expect someone else to take your plans seriously if you yourself don't even take them seriously enough to jot them down in black and white?

Ok, so we agree we have to have SPECIFIC goals.

Then they both talked about the concept that I thought was really worth repeating to ya'll....and that was this idea that progress has to start SMALL. They both wholeheartedly agreed that if you some day want to be able to make 1 million dollars in one day, that you absolutely HAVE to be able to make one dollar per day FIRST! Then Tony chimed in with his famous quote "Progress is Happiness".  Gosh it must be hard for him to be right so often.

So yes, Tony, you're right on that count too. But I really like those two words you and John threw around called "Incremental Progress". First we figure out how to make a dollar a day. Then we master that. Then we make a higher goal, maybe 5 dollars per day...or more according to what you believe and can visualize.

So, I can really appreciate that there is a modesty and practicality in their motivational speeches. Thanks John and Tony. Keep it up.   Video Clip here

Paid to be ME.

Let's Discuss Tony Robbins New Book "Money- Master the Game"

Ok, I'm still chugging through the book, both in paper form and via the audio version of it.

At this point, I am not quite as thrilled with it as I first was, simply because I feel like I am being sold mutual funds and financial advisors. Is this book an ad for STronghold financial, High Tower, and Vanguard Index Funds???

I hope I am simply jumping to conclusions and maybe I've missed some of the better chapters, but please Tony don't tell me you're just going to sell me this stuff. I want to learn facts, accurate information, and strategies.

That's kinda why I still appreciate Robert Kiyosaki's books, because although his tone is somewhat snide and aggressive at times, at least you feel like you are getting an honest analogy of the modern economy and investment horizon. I'd rather be told the truth from a "mean man" than be coddled into compromise by someone who is nicey nice.

Anyway, as I said before, I hope I am wrong and I've simply not read the best parts of Tony's book yet.
Have you read or listened to any of it yet? What were your impressions?

Peaceful productivity.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Let's Chat About Mutual Funds

In Robert Kiyosaki's book entitled "Unfair Advantage--The Power of Financial Education", the author and some of his advisors discuss the pros and cons of buying/selling mutual funds versus other paper assets.

To be frank, Robert is pretty brutal in his analysis of the weaknesses inherent in owning mutual funds.

The common local Canadian-ish thinking in favor of mutual funds is, in essence somewhat patronizing because many folks invest in mutual funds simply because they don't trust themselves to pick their own stocks, bonds or other paper assets.
The idea behind giving your hard earned money into a mutual fund manager's control is because the investor "hopes"  that the fund manager understands the stock market better than the average Jane/Joe ........thus minimizing risk and hopefully steering your money into a nice blend of "safety and growth."

One alarming paragraph that I am going to quote directly from his book "Unfair Advantage--The Power of Financial Education" is from page 134, third paragraph from the bottom of the page:
"Today, there are more mutual-fund companies than there are publicly traded companies. This is how insane diversification has become."

That sentence above speaks volumes as to the state of affairs in the mutual fund industry. Perhaps it is EASIER to set up a mutual fund company than to set up an actual "profitable" publicly traded business. Or is it that mutual funds are just so much easier to SELL to the fearful and "ignorant" public than REAL products and services???

And yes, Robert, I do get the point. I do appreciate Robert's honesty. There is perhaps more potential in gains for those who control the mutual fund companies, than for those who actually invest in the mutual fund companies by purchasing mutual funds units. The fund managers are paid well through fees collected internally from within the fund and these fees are known as the "Management Expense Ratio" or "MER" for short. So even if the mutual fund, as a whole, loses money, the managers may still walk away with millions of dollars gleaned in fees.

Another frightening aspect which Robert's advisor Tom Wheelwright mentions in the same book at the top of page 130 , is that mutual funds are taxed twice. I am hoping this refers just to American investors, but I will have to do some more research as it applies to us Canadians. Robert says that mutual fund investors are taxed when they sell their mutual fund unit due to capital gains tax, BUT he also said that mutual fund investors are ALSO taxed whenever the fund managers generate capital gains within the fund even if it doesn't reflect in a price increase in the value of your mutual fund units. So, theoretically, Robert exclaims, it's possible to pay capital gains tax based on what your mutual fund manager decides to sell from within the fund, even if your actual mutual fund units have LOST value after the date you purchased them. I might also add, that we would also be taxed for any distributions that the mutual fund pays out to the that would potentially be a third form of taxation. I wonder if there are any safeguards in that taxation dilemma?And again, just how does this apply to Canadian mutual funds??? 

It seems to me that fear and a lack of confidence play a big part in the investments many folks decide to ultimately choose. Robert is certainly right on this one point....namely that"ignorance is NOT bliss" when it comes to financial knowledge, and that the time and effort it takes to educate ourselves financially is time WELL SPENT.

If you are a financial guru, accountant, financial planner, or just like to pretend you're a financial/investment expert, I welcome your comments to my blog. Let's have a lively discussion on the good, bad and the ugly/pretty side of mutual funds....and Yes, you mutual fund managers are permitted to have your say too ")

Peaceful productivity.


Sunday, February 1, 2015

ARE You Ready for An Increase?

So  many folks whine and complain and moan and groan that they have been waiting so long for their proverbial "ship" to come in. They have visions of vacations in hot countries and luxurious designer clothes and a fancy new car.

But I wonder sometimes, if many of the folks who feel this way, would really be able to handle it if  and when their situation suddenly changed...
What would you do? If your blog views suddenly explode and your ads started earning hundreds or thousands of dollars every month? Are you ready for such an increase? Do you have a bookkeeper and/or tax advisor to help guide you through times of increase?

Maybe you are an artist and have a profile with Patreon, hoping that someone will have a soft spot in their heart and want to sponsor your artistic creations. But my question today is your heart and mind and emotions ready for your increase?

Do you have a plan for the extra money when it comes in ? Do you know exactly what you are going to do with it? If you say that you are going to invest you know exactly where and how you will invest?
If you say that you are going to get out of debt, do you know which debts you will pay off first?

Sometimes it bears repeating that we shouldn't just be prepared for the "bad times"...but also for the good times.

Write down a plan as to what you will do when you start getting more money into your life. Know where you will shop, what you will buy, and precisely what investments you will purchase. Know also where you will save your money, as to what account you will put the money in, and whether you will spread the money over several accounts. There will be research you will need to do to determine what your tax situation will be also when your "ship" comes in. Be prepared. Expect good things.