Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Kraft, Oreos, and Me

Two questions come to mind as I wait and watch for MO to spin Kraft at the end of this month. 1) Can Kraft come up with any more flavors or combinations of Oreos than they have right this minute? 2) Is there any money to be made by holding Kraft after the spin?

There is some kind of a societal comment to be made when I have to hunt just to find some original Oreos among a sea of Mint, Double Stuff, Chocolate cream, Chocolate covered, Mini-bite size and on and on, I’m just not sure what that comment would be. I found some originals; I’ll work on the commentary while I’m snacking.

As far as making any money, I still think that there is money to be made. It just might not be made right this second. Reading the message boards it seems that most have written off KFT and most are certain that MO share price will raise quickly. Watching Kraft the past few days I can see why most might feel that way. Today we were down 2.36% on super big volume. That troubles me some, but not enough to be selling shares at $30 plus change. I have too much Kraft food in my refrigerator for the stock to go much under $30 for very long.

When I get my Kraft shares I’ll sit tight and wait. Not sure what price would get me thinking sell. I just need a little time after the spin to see what’s what. The nice dividend they pay will help me wait. Here’s a guy that says we should be buying at these levels not sitting and waiting. He may be right, but I am still good with waiting.

That’s it for today. Here’s to not forgetting that the Original Oreos still have it and to keeping an eye on your EveryDay Money.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Enron, New Century, and ADD moments

As I read this story about New Century’s collapse I couldn’t help thinking back to Enron. During their heyday both sat close to the top of their respective fields; Enron with energy trading and New Century with its boatloads of sub-prime mortgage loans. And now both destined to be homework assignments for future MBAs. What ties both of them together for me is that at one time they both caught my investment eye and almost my investment dollars.

I would love to claim that I had the foresight and investment acumen to duck investing in either but the truth is much simpler. Avoiding sinking money into them boiled down to old fashion luck and a few well timed ADD moments. Days before I was to jump on the bandwagon and throw money at Enron I got distracted with Exxon. Then in an ADD blink my money was headed to XOM and their DRIP, with Enron forgotten about till they made the nightly news with their meltdown. A few years back New Century seemed to be making money hand over fist. They had popped up on a stock screen and with a money sense of déjà vu` another bandwagon was going by. Once again my ADD sidetracked me with General Growth Properties (GGP). General Growth had likewise popped up on a screen, they just didn’t seem… I don’t know… as sexy as NEW. Well some how GGP got the check and I got another DRIP.

Sometimes, I wonder if I would have had the presence of mind to jump off the Enron free falling elevator or if I would have had frozen up and crashed to zero with it. Looking back at NEW’s chart I wonder how many felt the end near when it dropped from $30 to $20 in a day and sold? How many bought at $16 thinking there would be a bounce? How many still sit with shares bought at $60 back in ‘05 wondering what just happened?

I don’t wish anyone bad luck in the market, we all have to eat. But… with that being said I am more than willing to learn from other’s mistakes. After all it is alot cheaper and one day the ADD may not be there to save me.

Have any good “near miss” stories? I would love to hear them. E-mail me or add a comment.

That’s it for today. Here’s to near misses, ADD moments, imploding companies, and to keeping an eye on your EveryDay Money.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

CROX is trying to drown me

Since earnings just a few weeks ago CROX has been caught in an undertow that has dragged the stock down over 20%. I can remember selling shares above $58; it is becoming a fuzzy memory as more and more down days get strung together. The shares that I do have left are totally underwater. It is starting to feel like I have been so far underwater for so long with Crocs that I should be growing gills. My average purchase price is just a touch over $51. The tiniest slivers of a silver lining are that I still have faith in the company and the stock. So for now I will wait and see if there is a run going into next earnings. Don’t get me wrong if we see $58 again before earnings then I just might call it a day. If I don’t sell the rest then at least I will throw in a stop, like I should have done the first time around.

With the way the whole market has been acting the past few weeks we all might have to work a little harder this year to make the returns that some of us have become accustomed to. For the past 2 or 3 years, I think, the market has made it too easy to make oversized returns. I have scaled back my use of margin, trying to get the account in a little more conservative posture going forward, just in case.

In light of the market’s behavior the past few weeks have you changed anything in regards to your trading?

That’s it for today. Here’s to understanding the market may actually go down. And to keeping an eye on your EveryDay Money.

Friday, March 02, 2007

A little extra Part 4

So... just got back from dropping off the monthly ROTH contribution and the house payment at the post office. With the stock market reminding everyone, this past week, that “yes Virginia” there are risks to investing I found quiet, consistent, comfort in my mortgage and ROTH check writing.

Again this month we sent a good size check to the ROTH account. The plan is to have it maxed with the check next month. It feels nice to be so close to fully funding the ROTH this early in the year. After we have funded this year’s ROTH we are planning on continuing to set money aside in order to have a good start on fully funding next year’s ROTH, you never know when your budget will change and ROTH dollars become harder to come by.

Again this month the mortgage check was bigger than it had to be. We were able to send extra enough that the principal reduction should be a little bit bigger than the interest accrued. Focused banging until it is knocked down, is what keeps clanging around my head. Not sure if we can, but if we keep up this level of payment then the house will be OURS in about thirteen more years. (that sounds so far away)

If you are sending extra on the house or working to fund your IRA then I would love to hear about your successes and challenges.

That’s it for today. Here’s to working the plan and to keeping an eye on your EveryDay Money.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

What an ugly day, but it was a buying one

The Chinese market falls off the cliff and we jump after them. What kind of sense does that make? It still amazes me when EVERYTHING on my screen shows bright red numbers… BIG bright red numbers. Let’s all be honest here, it has been awhile since we have seen anything like this. Today was fascinating in a train wreck have to watch kind of way. The thing that kept going through my mind was that something, somewhere had to be selling at a good price.

Philip Morris, my old friend, closed at $82.67. I believed in them at $85.50 just a few days ago, so today seemed like a sale price. I picked up some shares at $82.47 in after hours. Either you believe in your picks and you push money into the pot or you don’t believe. But you can’t make any money unless you are in the pot. Well for me in Philip Morris I trust.

That’s it for today. Here’s to keeping you margin amounts small and your decisions solid. And to keeping an eye on your EveryDay Money.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Crocs stalls, Philip Morris treads water

So… As I watch CROX drop some more I am thankful that I got out of the margin loan when I did. The pattern the last few days is a quick up at the open and then steady drop for the rest of the day. The shorts are all over this one. If the Yahoo board is any indication then EVERYONE is making money shorting Crocs. Well, everyone but me. Without the margin loan I have been non-pulsed the past few days with the drops in share price. It helps that even at today’s close of $52.06 CROX is still above my cost basis. So I’ll wait. I did try and sell some March 55s calls, but no one wanted to give me $1.10 for them today. Not sure if I will try and sell them tomorrow or not.

Big MO, I think, is stuck until the spin-off happens at the end of next month. Oh, it ticks up and down but hasn’t really went anywhere for days. If there is some kind of run going into the record date (March 16th) for the spin I might be inclined to sell, but it would have to be a run. I am thinking that it would have to be in that $95 - $100 range and I am just not seeing that happen, but who knows.

I am setting with plenty of margin ability and no place to put it. Would love to put it to work, just nothing I have come across looks too interesting. With the Dow having a rough time the past few days I am in no big hurry but don’t want to let a good trade go unnoticed either. Recently there seems to be more articles and talking experts opining that a correct is due. Is it that a correction is due or a case of group think or people just getting out in front with a little CYA in case something does happen or something else entirely? Perhaps a continuation of the “Big Guys” conspiracy to rip the shares from the “little individual investor” at rock bottom, panic induced prices right before “they” let the Dow return to its record setting ways? It couldn’t really be that…right?

That’s it for today. Here’s to not losing sight of the big picture and to keeping an eye on your EveryDay Money.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Linus has a blanket I have Philip Morris

Off and on, over the years, I run back to Philip Morris and stick shares of them in my trade account. My shares of MO that have been running with the DRIP I have never touched or even really thought about selling. But the shares that occasionally show up in my trade account are just that, trading shares of MO. Like Linus’ blanket I tend to hold Philip Morris shares when I have cash and I am unsure what to invest it in. The comfort comes from having followed MO, through good and bad, for over 15 years. Well that and the nice dividend that seems to have the consistency of time itself.

So two days ago, after having cut half of my CROX loose, I went running back to Big MO. $85.50 seemed like an ok price to pay with the spin-off coming the end of next month. In the coming months I look for MO shares to gain relatively quick after the spin. Announcements of a big dividend raise, increase in share buyback or the international part being spun-off too could all help propel MO shares higher post split. At least I hope some of this stuff happens and the shares go up.

The shares of Kraft I get next month are the great unknown. They are in the middle of trying to right the ship and most anything is likely to happen post-spin. They could make headway in improving the businesses, sell some stuff, buy some stuff, who knows. So the plan as of right now is to wait and see. Unless something really bad happens or gets announced I look to hold the KFT shares for at least 3 months. Now if the shares run up 20% or more a month after the spin then all bets are off.

Another factor in how long I may hold either MO or KFT post-spin is how well my CROX are doing. CROX have had it a little rough since earnings release. I have them off margin so will sit with them a bit and see. I’ll let you know how it all works out.

Do you have a comfort stock that you keep running back to?

That’s it for today. Here’s to security blankets, consistent dividends and to keeping an eye on your EveryDay Money.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Sold half of CROX position

Don’t get me wrong I would love to tell everyone that I knew today’s 3 plus percent drop was coming. But we would both know I was lying. The truth is that last night I didn’t have a strong feeling about what would happen when Crocs management started talking at 4:30 (Eastern). Not having a gut feeling makes me worry. I was fairly certain that Crocs was going to put up really big numbers (they did). My plan was to sell some when the shares spiked to $60. When the shares didn’t race to $60 before the start of the conference call I got spooked. The last thing I wanted was to see a chunk of my profits slip through my fingers. That has happened enough over the years that I could start a whole other blog just for those times. So I started to cash out. I sold 25% of my position early in after hours at $58.19, then left work. By the time I got home the price was in the $56s. With the price going the wrong way and $60 looking like a foolish daydream, I decided to sell another 25% at $56.58.

If I would have known that CROX would drop to $53.98 today I would have dumped it all last night. The good news is that the selling not only eliminated my margin loan but left me with some cash. (Average cost of shares was $47.15. Selling at $58.19 and $56.58 gave me a nice return. ) Not having a margin loan hanging around costing me money also gives me some options. The plan, right now, is to keep what shares I have for awhile. I still would like to see CROX at $70 plus. Without the margin loan I can afford to wait this one out, after all summer is right around the corner and that is when Crocs should haul in the money. I hope.

That’s it for today. Here’s to cashing profits when you can and to keeping an eye on your EveryDay Money.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Big MO finally saying bye to Kraft

Philip Morris (excuse me Altria for those of you just joining us) bought Kraft in 1988 for 12.9 Billion dollars and now they are giving it away tax free. MO shareholders of record on the 16th of March will get about .7 shares of Kraft (KFT) on March 30th. I picked up my first MO shares back in ’89 and have had the DRIP running the whole time.

So on March 30th I will be handed a few shares of KFT and will have to decide what to do with them. Right now I am leaning toward just starting Kraft’s DRIP and letting it run for awhile. Recently, Kraft has faced some challenges and are in the middle of trying to get things squared away. Investors seem to be underwhelmed with Kraft's efforts. Since the IPO back in 2001 (Philip Morris kept over 80%) the stock has been erratic to say the least.

The good news is those ups and downs can and do work in a DRIP’s favor. Over the years MO’s DRIP has shined the brightest when they were facing bankrupting lawsuits and the stock price tanked. (Case in point: Back in the beginning of 2003 you could have picked up shares for under $40 (if you had the stones). Today MO is trading in the 80’s.) For the past 15+ years I have owned MO it seems we have continually either been on the brink of losing a catastrophic court case or recovering from one.

Is MO a buy or a sell right now? Will Kraft be a buy or a sell after the spin-off? I don’t know. For me MO is an investment not a trade. What either will do in the short term is best left to a coin flip. Now long term, with the DRIP running, I think both will be good investments. Remember I am investing MY money and making MY decisions based off of MY research with a little gut feeling thrown in. When investing YOUR money make YOUR decisions based off of YOUR research and whatever else you want to thrown in.

That’s it for today. Here’s to finding companies that are worth living with long term. And to keeping an eye on your EveryDay Money.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

February Poll

The February poll is now officially closed. Many thanks to everyone that took the time to vote. The question was how much do you have in your emergency fund? What the poll showed didn’t match up to what I have been reading about savings. Several articles I have read have said that people just aren’t doing a good job with savings. The “pros” suggest that you have three to six months of living expenses in liquid accounts to fall back on in case something goes wrong. From the tone of the articles they make it seem that most people don’t have a rainy day fund. But, from the way people voted not everyone is forgoing the emergency fund. (I would guess that people who spend time reading financial blogs are more likely to have an emergency fund in place or be actively funding one. But like I said it is just a guess). This (unscientific) poll showed a full 63% of voters had at least three months or more of readily available cash.

The Breakdown:
3% of voters clicked on “Am I supposed to have one?” Let me address that, “Umm…YES.” Only 18% reported that they have less than one month set aside. Another 12% of voters were in that one to two month category. 21% of people have at least three to four months on hand. 15% said they were in the five to six month group. A big fat 27% of people taking the time to vote said they were sitting with over six months of living expenses stacked up in piles. 3% reported that they consider their home equity line of credit a good substitute for a “traditional” emergency fund.

Do you think that readers of financial blogs are more likely to have an emergency fund or at least be actively working on it?

That’s it for today. Here’s to solid rainy day funds and to keeping an eye on your EveryDay Money.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Garmin trade ends on a positive note

Not a bad Valentine’s present. This morning GRMN was going crazy in the pre-market, up over 10%. I put in a sell order at $60, but never got filled. I was a little worried that most of that upside would disappear at the opening but I was wrong. When the bell finally sounded my streaming quotes screen was hypnotizing. Numbers changed almost faster than I could see. After a few minutes of staring I shook myself into action. I put in a 1% trailing stop in order to try and capture a steady move up. No such luck, the bids and asks were just too wild. The stop moved up some then was triggered at $58.68. I could have done better with just a limit order at $59 but I figured it was worth the shot. It wouldn’t be one of my trades if some money was not left on the table. As I am writing this GRMN is around $56-$57 so jumping out at $58.68 doesn’t seem like too bad of a deal. (Looking back I am really happy that I called it quits on SNDK when I did. Freeing up that margin money and rolling it into Garmin has made the SNDK loss back and then some.)

Garmin reported that quarterly earnings doubled and the stock still dropped from today’s high. It seems counterintuitive for it to do so. We still have some time; it wouldn’t surprise me if GRMN got back to that $59 range by the end of the day. If it runs to over $60 tomorrow then I will feel a touch foolish…for a minute. I plan on keeping an eye on the stock. If down the road it drops low enough I will be happy to get back in.

The Numbers:
Garmin shares purchased on January 22nd for $49 per. All shares sold February 14th for $58.68. The difference gives a $9.68 profit per share (excluding commissions and margin interest.) $9.68 divided by $49 gives a 19.75% return for a 23 day holding period.

That’s it for today. Here’s to finding another quality trade and to keeping an eye on your EveryDay Money.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Batman, Superman, & Crocs

Today was a busy day for Crocs watchers, at least on the reading front. For the classic tape watchers today may have ended as a “second guesser” type of day. The stock finished down 1.35% ($53.54) on above average volume.

A new Wall Street Journal article openly questions if Crocs can continue to expand at the current rate and if the stock can double again this year like it did last year. While the over all article didn’t slam Crocs it (for me) didn’t come across as hugely positive either. At any rate it didn’t have people rushing out buying the stock today.

On the bright side today brought us yet another licensing agreement. A deal announced with Warner Brothers will put the likes of Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman on Crocs soon. Perhaps there has been so many licensing deal of late (NCAA, NHL, NFL, Nickelodeon) that the market no longer gets jazzed. (Looked that way today.)

Toward the end of the day a nice piece came out about the growth opportunities in Europe. It seems that Crocs is expanding nicely just across the pond. The Thomas Weisel firm sees the growth pattern in Europe mirroring that of the U.S. only running about 12-18 months behind as Crocs continues to ramp up their distribution channels. Their opinion is that Crocs may see 50% of revenues coming from international sales this year. (I would call that a good thing.)

Last but certainly not least Crocs picked February 20th as the official date to report numbers. They are scheduled to start at 4:30 Eastern. You can listen to the whole thing through a link on their web site (here).

Although it has hurt my eyes watching the stock fall the past few days I still think the company will have good things to say on the 20th. As the stock continues to have days where the chart is going almost straight up… or down it is not lost on me that Warner Brothers already has the Batman name on a rollercoaster along with a Superman coaster.

That’s it for today. Here’s to stocks that don't make us queasy and to keeping an eye on your EveryDay Money.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Eating lunch out would kill my budget

$12.14 was the grand total and I was taken aback. My wife and I were at an all day seminar yesterday (Saturday) and we stopped in at Arby’s for lunch. Perhaps it was because we just don’t eat out often for lunch that the dollar amount got my full attention. We had a couple of sandwich deals that included sodas and those tasty curly fries. This was a treat, normally during the work week we both take our lunch to work. By the time we were in the middle of lunch the place was full.

The question: If that was a “normal” lunch cost for eating out ($6 a piece) how are people affording to eat lunch out everyday or even 3 times a week? Maybe I should stopping being such a cheap skate and allocate more of our budget to us eating out?

My lunch: I usually take a cold cut sandwich on white bread, some fruit (apples, oranges, grapes), chips, and some cookies that we bake at home. (Ok… my wife bakes at home every few days from store bought dough.) It is pretty much a variation of that everyday. A normal week with no coupons the week’s total cost less than $10.

The Math: If eating out is an average of $6 a day times five work days that equals out to $30 a week. Taking my lunch averages out to less than $10. That is a hypothetical savings of $20 a week. $20 a week amounts to $80 a month or about $1,000 a year in savings.

The point: If you are trying to stack money for an emergency fund or find additional dollars to put toward the credit cards or you are short on fully funding your ROTH then cutting back on eating out maybe a place to start. Take a look at how many of YOUR dollars are being spent on lunches during your week.

How much of your monthly budget do you allocate for eating out?

That’s it for today. Here’s a tip of the hat to all those “brown baggers” out there. Remember to keep an eye on your EveryDay Money.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Crocs, Garmin, and freaking Waiting

Nothing exciting to update today and that is my problem. I spend all this time researching companies, looking at charts, planning my trade, and then finally pushing money into pot then there’s nothing to do but wait and see how the trade turns out. And that sucks. I know what “they” say about over trading your account and commissions eating away at you and all that other stuff that seems to, at times, zap every ounce of fun out of picking stocks and trading. Fine I’ll wait. But it still sucks and I still hate waiting.

Garmin found its way up almost 3% today. Good. About time. I thought we would get something going into earnings that is why I stabbed at it when it was $49. Today is closed at $53.15. The plan is (if) when it hits $54 I’ll throw in a stop and let it play out till earnings. I’m still leaning toward exiting before earnings with a gain. Knock on wood. Waiting.

Crocs took a pause today, slipping almost 2% to end at $56.49. Blame it on Cramer if you need to, it doesn’t matter. I am not too troubled by today’s action. Have you seen CROX’s chart for the past couple of weeks? Earnings will be out soon and I’m thinking that the growth continues at a torrid pace. If the numbers are bad and the stock tanks expect a post shortly after that is titled, “The stupidity of not using stops.” Waiting.

What I need is another company or three to start researching. Something to help pass the time while I’m waiting. The truth is I don’t have anything lined up to go after Garmin. Guess I should be working on that this weekend. Did I mention that I am not particularly fond of waiting?

Have an idea or three on a company I should take a look over let me know. What do you do while you’re waiting to see how your trades turn out?

That’s it for tonight. Here’s to twiddling thumbs and to keeping an eye on your EveryDay Money.

Monday, February 05, 2007

The Carnival of Personal Finance is up and running

The new Carnival of Personal Finance is up at The Simple Dollar. Trent did a really nice job on this Carnival. All of his hard work shows in the quality of the finished production. Trent took a good look at each post submitted and then pulled a line out of that post and put it into the Carnival. So with this carnival you don’t just get a list of links you get a taste of how each article is written. Go take a look there are loads of good articles to help you be master of your money.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Crocs, Dora, and Ocean Minded

Crocs has yet to announce an official date for telling us about earnings but Friday the stock acted like blow out numbers had just hit the wire. A big fat 5.85% rise had us sitting at $54.79 for the close. And once again had me Daydreaming about $100.

After half of my position got called away last month I kept feeling that it was a mistake to have let those shares go. So a little hastily I jumped back in on January 30th. I admit I was more interested in getting in than getting a good entry price. My order was filled at $52.50, which for that day looked like a mistake. As the price continued to drop the next day my next order was filled at $50.00 and the previous day’s $52.50 looked like a bigger oops. Those two orders replaced what I had called away only at a much higher price. (Could someone please tell me why Mr. Experience gives the lessons after the test instead of the other way around?)

Besides a new 52 week high last week also brought us interesting press releases. Crocs signed an agreement with Nickelodeon. The deal puts Dora the Explorer and SpongeBob SquarePants on Crocs shoes. From what I have read those will be available this summer in some markets. I think these will sell well to the kids and translate into bottom line dollars for Crocs.

The other big announcement was that Crocs is buying all of Ocean Minded LLC. Looking at Ocean Minded’s website I see they make flip flops. I am along way from an ocean and to tell the truth never heard of the company. I will use the distance excuse rather than admitting that perhaps they design for and target a less experienced (younger) market than myself. Anyway I am guessing that their flops are now going to be made with Croslite, maybe, I haven’t heard. Dora is going to make us some dollars, Ocean Minded I’m not sure about yet.

What is your take on the Nickelodeon and Ocean Minded deals? Can we see $100 by summer?

That’s it for today. Here’s to new 52 week highs and to keeping an eye on your EveryDay Money.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Garmin starting a move before earnings?

Maybe. My tealeaves were slightly a skewed and my crystal ball a touch cloudy this morning so I am without a plausible, convincing guess, (the kind that would make it onto a CNBC sound bite), as to why the upside this day. But, if you pushed me (or paid me) for an answer then I could say this with absolute certainty; (you can quote me from here) “Something had GRMN taking forward steps today. After careful study of today’s action and upward trend of today’s chart “we” are comfortable in saying that it had something to do with the buyers. “We” would like to see this stock hold steady above $55 before “we” would be comfortable in saying that it can reach $53. Just keep in mind that we (you) could see some retracement at any time from this level.” With that now being tested and edited for sound bite quality we can get to the ending numbers. The close found us sitting at $51.15, that’s a nice gain just shy of 3% for the day. Not a bad day regardless of what got us there.

Ever since I bought GRMN back on January 22nd I have been trying to formulate a plan. Well now I have one, at least for today. 10% that’s my whole plan so far. If Garmin can see its way to $53.90 or more before earnings release on the 14th then I will let them go. I am not opposed to holding through earnings like I was with Sandisk. My thinking is simply I’m on margin and 10% in less than a month ain’t too bad. (Bird in the hand and all that…) Stay tuned I’ll let you know how it pans out.

That's it for today. Here's to figuring out why stocks go up. And to keep an eye on your EveryDay Money.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Be comfortable with your activities and investments

I was at an airshow this summer and had the pleasure of watching the Army’s Golden Knights skydiving demo team. They teased and toyed with gravity and did things in the sky that made me shake my head in amazement. As I watched them step out of their plane that was WAY up there I couldn’t help but to think that a plane would have to be on fire, heavy fire, for me ever to want to jump out of it. Shortly after the Golden Knights finished an airshow pilot pealed his sleek aerobatic plane off the runway rolled it once and put it on an upline that had me craning my neck back in seconds. I stood and watched this guy roll, loop, and literally summersault this plane across the sky. As he landed all I could think was, “How do I get a ride in one of those?” Being upside down in a plane I am comfortable with, jump out of that plane I’m not.

Uncomfortable is pretty much my emotion when I read about people using money from zero interest credit card balance transfers to invest with. In short you pull money out with the balance transfers and usually push that money into an online savings account yielding 5% plus. Somewhere down that road you pay the money back and keep the interest. Is the plane on fire? Now don’t get me wrong. There are people that do this and make money consistently. Just ask 2Million. Over on his blog he has a great how-to about making money with balance transfers. More power to you if balance transfers work for you. For me it is too much like jumping out of the plane… blindfolded.

On the flip side of that I have no problem buying stocks on margin. With the margin buying I am still borrowing good size sums only now the interest is far from zero and the stocks a long way from FDIC insured. Can you make the plane go upside down again, please. Some would go as far as to say that buying on margin comes with greater risk than the balance transfers path. I would not disagree with that being said. For me margin buying is like snap rolling an Edge 540… exciting and fun. (Could one of these ideas be better than the other for you? Sure. Could they both be bad ideas for you? Yes! Could you be comfortable using both? Some people are.)

Many “professionals” say we should invest in things and companies that we know something about. Well hell I know a little bit about a lot of things, not all of them I would be comfortable sinking my money into. (I’ll take margin buying over balance transfers, stocks over rental property, aerobatics over skydiving, a mountain view over a city skyline…)

My point is this: Seek investments and activities that you are comfortable with. Don’t get me wrong I am not advocating NEVER doing things that take you out of your comfort zone, after all that is how we continue to grow. Just keep in mind as you read, listen, or watch different investment ideas being showcased that not everyone of those “great ideas” is great for you. There are no hard and fast rules as to how or what you ultimately should invest in. Don’t give it a second thought if your comfort level doesn’t match up with Dave Ramsey, David Bach, Robert Kiyosaki, Jean Chatzky, or even me. As long as you are making an effort in managing your money, preparing for your future, seeking enjoyable company and activities then that’s enough.
We all make far better decisions when we are comfortable with our current situation and investments as opposed to being mind numbingly stressed out. Repeatedly making better decisions not only increases the return on our investments but also the return on our life.

That’s it for today. Here’s to people, activities, and investments that make us smile. And to keeping an eye on our EveryDay Money.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Festival of Frugality #59 is up and running

Over at Money, Matter, and More Musings the Festival of Frugality #59 is up. Golbguru did a really nice job with the layout of this Festival. Articles are broken down into categories that make it all too easy to find what you are looking for or merely to browse. EveryDay Money was happy to contribute Baby Gear to this week’s Festival. So if you are looking for some good reading about ways to save some dough then head on over to this week’s Festival

Monday, January 29, 2007

Sandisk sold in After Hours

Good or bad is yet to be decided but today I finally gave up on SNDK. They report numbers tomorrow and today they dropped yet again. It was hard to give up on it and change the paper loss into the real thing. The loss was big enough to get my attention and make me feel like an idiot for picking this stock, but not so big as to take me out of the game. It could have been worse. But then again it could have gone far better than it did. A smack in the nose every now and then keeps me humble and reminds me to focus and pay attention.

What did I learn? I need to do a better job at not rushing in. I started with the idea of writing some nice covered calls. I did a quick once over and the numbers didn’t look too bad. Sandisk had already taken a hit after the last quarter’s numbers came out and I figured that they were about done falling. Oops. After I was knee deep in stock I got a crash course on flash technology. Depending on who you listen to there seems to be two basic arguments. This is a company facing declining margins and tougher competition than ever before. The 40s are just a pause in a share price on its way to the low 30s. Others argue that its cutting edge leadership, size, and efficiencies will allow it to overcome any NAND gluts, margin contractions, and on and on back to a stock price more in the neighborhood of 70s or 80s. Now here’s the problem. I am just not smart enough about this business or the flash industry to even be able to argue either side. And that my friends is a problem when you don’t even know where to stand. So I had to hang it up. There is just too much uncertainty going into tomorrow’s earnings call.

The numbers: Bought the shares on October 30th 2006 for $48.20 per share. Sold covered calls the same day (Nov. 50s) for $1.20. Since the stock wasn’t called away I sold Dec. 50s for $1.35 on November 20th 2006. Today sold all SNDK shares for $42.24. Final tally not counting commissions and margin interest about a 7.5% loss.

That’s it for today. Here’s to just moving on and to trying to keep an eye on your EveryDay Money.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

A little extra Part 3

Ok, I’ll admit I couldn’t do it. I know I said, back in Part 2, I was ready to strictly focus on fully funding the ROTHs this year before anything else… but. Today when I was writing out the bills I just “had” to send some extra to the mortgage. Last year I got into the habit and it just is hard to stop…inertia. Now don’t get me wrong I cut a nice size (at least for me) check to the ROTH. So all is not lost.

There are some legitimate reasons (at least I think of them as legitimate) behind my sticking with the extra payments. Let’s see, the last ten years of a thirty year mortgage the payments are mostly made up of principal. Since the payment is mostly principal then there will be less interest to deduct on the taxes. As the “experts” have said the tax deduction is a major reason that a mortgage is “good” debt. With so much less interest the last 10 years I guess it makes the last ten “less good” debt? Another reason I keep telling myself is that my wife and I already put about 15% or so of our pay away for retirement. If somewhere down the road we couldn’t put that percentage away then I would have to rethink the house extra. (No, really I would.) Also, if we didn’t have to pay a mortgage then we would need a fair amount less in income every month to maintain our lifestyle. Needing less income would give us both options in regards to job type and hours at work. With a baby coming in March those options might be worth lots down the road. In short I still equate a paid off house with freedom. Well maybe not freedom but at least choices.

I ran the numbers as best I could on a 30 year mortgage. If the amount that goes to principal is equal to the amount of interest each month then you can kill off a mortgage in about 15 years. So today I went back to my old, evil, money mismanagement ways and sent a check that matched principal reduction to interest accrued and took another full step closer to having more choices.

Are you sending extra to your mortgage even though you know investing that money “may” make better sense? Or do you still think that I have it wrong? Post a comment or drop me an e-mail. All feedback is appreciated.

That’s it for today. Here’s to finding a path that makes sense to you. And to keeping an eye on your EveryDay Money.

part 1

part 2

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Garmin, Crocs, and Sandisk take a beating

A beating is perhaps a shade strong. Today was not like an Enron “what the hell just happened” beating but today was enough that I almost titled this post: “The @*#$?! Sky is Falling”. By the end of the day Garmin, Crocs, and Sandisk were all showing red in my account. Crocs was the blue ribbon loser for me today, down 2.82%. Sandisk was a close second falling 2.05% and Garmin tried its best to suck today, down 1.49%. The small sliver of a silver lining was that Garmin stayed above where I bought them the other day. (That small positive note is courtesy of my wife, she always seems to see the bright side of things. With us going on three years of marriage I guess that sunny disposition has rubbed off on me some, probably when I wasn’t looking. )

After the beating today it will be interesting to see how they fair tomorrow. SNDK has earnings next week and CROX should be announcing shortly. What happens in the next few weeks will dictate what I end up doing with those two. Garmin doesn’t show its hand till February 14th. I still don’t know about them, a few of those GRMN shares may end up being carried as a long(er) term holding. It seems that GPS navigation is almost to the point of “have to have”. You know kind of like cable TV. (wink, wink)

Remember having to get UP and change the TV channel, getting letters in the mail from far away friends, and having to finally stop to ask directions when we were “almost” lost. My how cool companies have changed our world.

That’s it for today. Here’s to the market not punching too hard tomorrow and to keeping an eye on your EveryDay Money.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Will Garmin’s GPSs locate a pile of cash?

I just can’t seem to leave the margin alone. It wasn’t but a couple of days ago that some of my CROX got called away and put my margin balance almost to zero. Now tonight I’m right back at it. Garmin (GRMN) bounced around this morning and I “had” to pick up some shares at $49.

Some of my thinking: Earnings are due out February 14th. S&P has a 5 star Strong Buy on the shares and a 12 mo. price target of $61. Back in December GRMN was at $55. The shares are now in the $50 range, that’s about a 10% correction. The February 50 calls are being priced at a nice premium. Garmin has cool toys! All of these ideas and a few others were racing around my head this morning at the same time my available margin was blowing trumpets like Churchill Downs calling me back to the action. I pulled the trigger at $49 and promptly watched it fall below $49. Ain’t that what happens to everyone?

The decision I need to make…soon is whether to sell February covered calls? I could probably get around $2.00 for the February 50s. Take the $2.00 add the $1.00 for the strike price difference, divide that by $49.00 and I end up with around 6% for a month holding time. Not bad and kind of conservative. Or I can wait it out till earnings are reported. If the numbers are good then we race back to $50 (maybe) or above $50 (double maybe with a cherry on top) and I make 10% plus in a month.

Tonight I just don’t know which way I want to hop. If you have a take on Garmin or an opinion on which way I should go then drop me an e-mail or post a comment. Thanks.

That’s it for today. Here’s to being ready to pull the trigger and to keeping an eye on your EveryDay Money.

84th Carnival of Personal Finance is up

The new Personal Finance Carnival is up at Blueprint for Financial Prosperity. I have never hosted a Carnival so I can only imagine the amount of time Jim spent going over submissions and pulling everything together. There were dozens of articles submitted so there is something for you no matter what you are looking for. I submitted An Emergency Fund is like the Ark. I am happy to report that it made the Editor’s Choice list. So head on over and take a good look around. Don’t forget to drop Jim a comment letting him know his hard work is appreciated.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Crocs Covered Calls Called Certainly

About a month ago I sold January $45 covered calls for $1.40 on half of my Crocs position. Today Crocs closed at $47.95, two days ago it was pushing $52. And there in lies the rub of covered calls. The upside potential is limited by the strike price you pick and the premium you accept. As you can see I clearly left some dollars on the table with this trade… and that happens. It still goes down in the books as a positive outcome. Since only half of my position is being called away it is a little easier to shrug my shoulders at the dollars left on the table. If I had had January $45s on the whole lot of them then tonight I would be more… reflective on my trading decisions. For the shares that I still own the plan is to hold. I still look for good expansion out of Crocs and more money to be made on CROX.

In the end: CROX shares were bought on November 20th and 21st, for an average price of $44.26. December $45 covered calls were sold on November 21st for $1.60. Since they were not called January $45 covered calls were sold on December 21st for $1.40 and were called January 19th.

The math: $45.00 - $44.26 = .74 per share
.74 + $1.60 (Dec) + $1.40 (Jan) = $3.74
$3.74 / $44.26 = 8.45% for right at two months of holding time. (Does not take into account commissions and margin interest paid.)

You can see how it all started (here).

That’s it for today. Here’s to trades with positive outcomes and to keeping an eye on your EveryDay Money.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

An Emergency Fund is like the Ark

When did Noah build the Ark? Before the rain, before the rain. That was where I was starting from when I sat down with a friend and his wife recently to talk about money. As I laid out the idea of having 3-6 months of living expenses set aside they both stared back at me and for a moment I felt my age. Their look said it all, “Hang on old man, we are young, have good jobs, and are both healthy. Three months seems a bit much.” My mind flashed back to when I was their age and remembered at that time in my life what I considered an emergency was missing Happy Hour. Funny how age changes your perceptions. They had asked my opinion on where they should start with their money and a good rainy day fund is usually tops on my list.

Before the rain, before the rain. I gave them the Noah analogy and some more “what ifs”.
After some thought they settled on trying to establish a two month emergency fund. I encouraged them to pile up some dough as quickly as possible, push it into an online savings account and let the current 5% interest rate help them along. Then they could add a little every month to keep it growing towards the six months of expenses target. They agreed. If you are going to go then go full speed.

Noah didn’t just start the Ark he actually got it FINSHED before the rain. Their plan of attack is simple in its approach. Cut the cable movie channels, cut back on eating out, and start taking lunch to work more. They are also putting some shopping on hold (new houses need new things, but not all at the same time.) and he is picking up extra duties at work. (I think picking up extra hours or duties at work is a great idea. If that is not possible a second job for a few months is another possibility to help build quicker. A good garage sale, in warm weather, can pull in some cash also. ) The whole point I tried to make to them was get some cash on hand before something happens and you have to reach for the plastic.

If you stand outside in the country you can actually smell the rain coming. Now some of you may be thinking the same thing as my friends started out thinking, “I have plenty of room on my credit cards for almost any emergency.” “You don’t understand the bank has already set us up with a home equity line of credit in case something happens.” My response was and is this. Let’s say an emergency comes up so you throw it on the credit card and move on. You now have a NEW payment next month. Doubtful you can pay it in full next month because there’s not enough slack in the budget. If there were you would have used that slack instead of the credit cards. Now you are paying interest on an emergency. (The phrase kick him while he’s down ring any bells?) In a couple of months something else happens, car tires, refrigerator goes out, deductible for x-rays from rolling an ankle during a pickup game of basketball (no wait that last one was me). The point is now you have ANOTHER NEW PAYMENT. As you can imagine it doesn’t take but a few small emergencies before the budget is worthless and you are waist deep in water. Nervous1 summed it best on a thread over on the MSN Money boards, “Your $0 dollar emergency fund will be more than sufficient to cover any $0 dollar emergency you have.” Putting emergencies on credit (cards or home loan) would be like Noah building and someone coming right behind him pulling out every other nail. Get the rainy day fund finished and the emergencies will be more like rough seas then someone trying to drown you. Good luck with your building.

I see my friend all the time so I know how they are doing, drop me an

e-mail or post a comment and let me know how YOUR rainy day fund is coming along.

That’s it for today. Here’s to being prepared and to keeping an eye on your EveryDay Money.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Is BEST BUY a Buy?

I bought some Best Buy stock back in August. Sold some September 50s calls and wouldn’t you know it, they got called away. (I made just a little over 5% not counting margin interest and commissions. Not bad for a month.) Since then I’ve kept an eye on it as it climbed to the upper-50s and thought oops. With it once again being back in the $49 range I am wondering if it is not time to take another poke at it. I have some margin that will be freeing up this weekend (January $45 calls of CROX being called away, I’m pretty sure.) Monday would be the first chance for me to buy some BBY. I kind of like that, forced time to think about it.

Best Buy reports earnings April 4th, they had a little trouble last time around. They have fallen from around $58 in October to below $49 today. S&P has a four star buy on them and a $63 one year target price. Since this buy would be on margin I am looking for a quick turn of 5% or so. Ideally I could turn it in less than a month, kind of like last time. The question I am still mulling over is whether to do covered calls again. Right now I am leaning toward playing this one straight up with no calls. There is probably more to be made here if I decided to hold longer but when it is on margin my thinking is, “just give me the money and I’ll get out of your way.” I’ll let you know next week. (This is me merely thinking out loud. Please do your own homework. Buy and sell what you think is best for your portfolio.)

Have an opinion on Best Buy or another stock I should be tracking? Drop me an e-mail or post a comment.

That’s it for today. Here’s to making a few dollars and to keeping an eye on your EveryDay Money.

Monday, January 15, 2007

The Carnival of Investing is up

Two Carnivals on a Monday, now that’s the way to start a week. The Carnival of Investing is up at The Sun Financial Diary. There are several good articles. The layout of the Carnival is straight forward and will have you checking out informative post in no time. I was happy to submit an article about DRIPs. Drop by and take a look.

83rd Carnival of Personal Finance is up

The 83rd Carnival of Personal Finance is up and running at Young and Broke. Amanda did a good job putting so many submissions together. She has them broken down into categories for easy searching. EveryDay Money chipped in with Online savings accounts, welcome to being old(er). There were over 70 articles submitted so drop by and take a look around.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Is your car costing you a future?

Rolling your way into the car of your dreams:

The idea is simple in its premise if not a little challenging in its implementation. You save a few thousand dollars and pay cash for a car that simply gets you from here to there. Now this car may not turn the head of anyone in your neighborhood but does reliably get you from point A to point B. At the same time you start setting aside what would have been a car payment of $250 (or there abouts) each month in a online line savings account which earns you around 5% interest. At the end of three years you will have almost ten thousand dollars in that account. Take the ten grand and the car you’re driving roll them together. With the $10,000 and the trade in you should be able to trade up for “a little nicer” car. (Caution: Don’t let your ego overreach and roll the $10,000 + the trade in + a LOAN for this “little nicer” car.) Repeat the $250 a month set aside process. In another 3 years roll the new 10 grand with the “little nicer” car and upgrade again if you must. In short if you can save $250 a month then six years and two rolls later you can be driving a paid for automobile that turns the neighbor’s heads. OR

Roll your future not the car:

After you have rolled into a “little nicer” car then perhaps you realize that this type of ride isn’t so bad after all. The next three years you continue to save as planned but at the end you don’t roll into a different car. You decide, “screw the neighbors I’m going to be cash rich not car poor.” The $10,000 gets left in the online savings account earning interest and waiting until you NEED a different car. The $250 a month now gets pushed into a less than fully funded ROTH or a less than maxed out 401(k) or a nice dividend reinvestment program.

A look at what could be:

$250 a month invested that returns 9% gets you about $10,700 in three years. For five years of focus it grows to around $19,500. For those that are disciplined, in ten years you have just shy of $50,000. For those of you starting young, twenty years rolls to just under $170,000.


As I said the idea is simple: drive a paid for car and invest what would have been a car payment. It is the implementation of that idea that is the challenge. But, for the ones who rise to that challenge, master their car emotions there is indeed a rich reward for the disciplined and focused.

That’s it for today. Here’s to paid off cars, fully funded ROTHs, and to keeping an eye on your EveryDay Money.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

January Poll Results

Q: Your expected return for 2007?

As the New Year is getting into full swing I thought it would be good to find out what everyone thought the market would bring them this year. Now that the poll is closed I’ll share my thoughts. I have heard the market’s historical return of 10% idea so many times growing up that I think I am brainwashed. So my realistic answer, (the one I use with friends, coworkers, and such,) would be 10-20%. Now privately at home when it is just the wife and I, when I am running scenarios and the calculator on MoneyChimp ask for an interest rate… well then I invariably use something between 30-40%. Might as well shoot big, especially if no one is looking. Well enough about me, here is how you voted.

Above zero, I’ll be happy: four percent

Less than 10%: six percent

10-20%: forty three percent

20-30%: twenty three percent

30-40%: thirteen percent

40-50%: four percent

Above 50%, I’m that good: four percent

Thanks to everyone that voted. The February poll will be up in a couple of weeks.

That’s it for today. Here’s hoping the votes go your way. And don’t forget to keep an eye on your EveryDay Money.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Finding the next covered calls

Man, Crocs management presented at the IRC Conference this morning at 8:10 am West Coast time. (Where’s the coffee?) For math people that’s about 11:10 am East Coast time and if you look at today’s chart that is about the time CROX took off running. In short management had nice things to say about margins and also announced licensing extensions with the NFL and the NHL. CROX finished the day with almost twice the 3 month average volume and a price of $47.68 (4.04% up).

With CROX up on good volume there is a really good chance that my January 45s covered calls will be called away at next week’s end. If that does happen then two things will come about: 1) Half of my CROX position goes away. 2) Pretty much all of my margin loan goes away. Not sure how excited I am about #1 but #2 let’s me go hunting for another stock. Since I will be on margin I don’t want anything too crazy. Ideally I will be able to find a stock that I can write some February calls against (take in a little money to off set the interest). 2.5% - 3.5% call premium is what I normally shoot for (again nothing too crazy) on a stock that I won’t mind sitting on if it doesn’t get called away come February. If things go well the stock moves up some, it gets called away in February and I make about 7-9% for the effort. All the while my CROX and SNDK continue to climb. (Well that’s the plan anyway.)

For the last few days Garmin (GRMN) has caught my eye. It has taken a few downgrades (Merrill Lynch and DA Davidson). The stock once over $56 a few days ago has backtracked to $52.30 today. The February 55s don’t look to bad. And if they get called away it is right in that 7-9% range for the month. I don’t know yet. First I have to get to next Friday’s option expiration and see what happens to my CROX.

If you have an idea on a good covered call play for next month drop me a comment or an e-mail. Thanks.

That’s it for today. Here’s to always finding somewhere to go next and to keeping an eye on your EveryDay Money.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Festival of Frugality #56

The new Festival of Frugality is up at Savvy Steward. That’s number 56 for those of you keeping score at home. Savvy Steward did a nice job putting this Festival together based around a biblical commandments theme. I was happy to submit Coupon Time and to be a part of this Festival. Drop by and take a look around there are several links to good post that will help you make the most of your money.

That’s it for today. Enjoy the Festival and keep an eye on your EveryDay Money.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Blog Carnival of Personal Finance 82nd edition

J.D. over at Get Rich Slowly has raised the bar with this latest Personal Finance Carnival. If you have never been to a blog carnival you owe it to yourself to go see this one. In short a carnival is where a host takes all these great links from all over and organize them so with one stop you can find dozens of quality post. This carnival is all about Personal Finance with J.D.’s own superhero twist. J.D. was nice enough to include a post I had written on getting discounts on car insurance. So drop in, say hi, and take in all the great link there at your finger tips.

That's it for today. May you always find interesting things to read and are able to keep an eye on your EveryDay Money.

Sandisk and Crocs come out swinging

Today is the first day of CES and someone must have liked what they saw and heard from Sandisk. The stock went as high as $45.15 today and finished up nicely at $44.30. Sandisk introduced several new products that should help the bottom line this year. If you didn’t see any of the press announcements on the new products you can get caught up by visiting SNDK’s pressroom. After watching today’s action and hearing all about the new stuff I am glad I found a little more patience when I was ready to throw in the towel. I am not getting too excited right now and still have fingers crossed with earnings right around the corner.

Crocs had a good showing today also. They finished up 2.56% at $44.80. Someone must think they are going to say some really good thinks at the big investor conference that is starting on Wednesday. You have so many people talking fad and one trick pony with this stock. If their new line up of shoes starts doing well then I feel this stock could make me some real money. I am looking forward to what is said on Wednesday, although with earnings right around the corner I don’t feel they will be giving away any secrets.

All in all it does my mood good when both of these stocks start the week off strong.

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Sunday, January 07, 2007

Online savings accounts, welcome to being old(er)

Perhaps it is a sign of fleeting youth once you start reflecting on how much things have changed during your life. I remember needles skipping on albums, eight tracks not fast-forwarding right, and cassette tapes getting chewed up and stuck in car radios. Now I can download dozens of songs to my MP3 player and never ever really touch the music.

I remember a very nice blonde lady behind the counter that always had a root beer sucker for me when I went inside the bank with my Mom. I remember there being lines to use the new ATMs. (Some of you will remember those really long lines in the bank on pay day.) Now with online banking, debit cards, and payroll direct deposits the number of trips to the bank become less and less.

All these changes got me thinking when we started building our rainy day fund. (Everyone should have an emergency fund. The “pros” suggest 3-6 months of livings expenses.) What I didn’t want was our hard earned money being mothballed in some savings account grinding out 1% a year. Now it can be debated on where is the proper place for an emergency fund to be sitting and that is for each to decide. For me I want that money guaranteed safe and near at hand. So as our rainy dollars started to pile up I went in search for something better than the near zero percent offered by my local brick and mortar bank.

An online savings account was just what I was looking for. The ones listed below are all FDIC insured and pay north of 4%. There are others, but personally I would start researching these first. (Interest rates current as of 1-07-07)

Emigrant Direct (5.05%) HSBC Direct (5.05%) Citi Bank Direct (5.00%) ING Direct (4.50%)

I will admit I was worried about it not working or more to the point me not working it correctly. When I first started using our online savings account I felt much like I did when ATMs were just getting started. If I screwed it up then there isn’t anyone near by to fix it. (Oh how I miss the nice blonde behind the counter.) Well it has been over a year since we first opened ours and I am happy to report my fears were misplaced. The transfers into and out of the account have gone smoothly and the interest rate continues to be about five times as much as a “normal” savings account.

If you haven’t embraced MP3 players and online savings accounts then this may be a good year to start. The only question I have is, “where’s my damn root beer sucker?”

That’s it for today. Enjoy the benefits of getting old(er) and keep an eye on your EveryDay Money.

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Friday, January 05, 2007

Piloting my ROTH (investing)

For some time now I have thought of ROTHs and mutual funds in tandem. Mutual funds seem to have all the diversity the “professional management” that I equate with a nice safe retirement. So as my wife and I have pitched nickels and dimes into a ROTH the money has always landed in a mutual fund. That is until a short while ago.

Toward the beginning of November (2006) I pushed a hand full of nickels into a ROTH opened with my favorite online brokerage. Now with this money I have none of the diversity or “professional management” but all the fun and excitement that comes from flying the plane instead of merely being a passenger. My thinking was this; surely I could beat the averages since I was only running such a small amount of cash. The money so concentrated that any winner picked would have a dramatic impact on my returns. On the other hand if I stepped on an Enron… well let’s not focus too hard on that hand.

So this year, with spousal support, I will take a turn at piloting my own ROTH. I know full well the long term hazards if this should go against me. This idea of picking individual stocks to place in a ROTH is probably not for everyone. (By the end of 2007 it might not be for me) I’ll let you know.

Do you pick individual stocks for your ROTH or fly with the “pros”?

That’s it for today. Here’s to great returns and fully funded ROTHs. And to keeping a sharp eye on your EveryDay Money.

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Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Push (trading)

Let me wade right in here. At one point Crocs sprinted up almost 5%. Watching it, I was thinking $50 by Friday and $60 by month’s end. That may be overly optimistic but hey I can attach any number I want when I am daydreaming.

Well it didn’t take much to snap me back to reality. Sandisk is the antidaydreaming stock if there ever was one. At one point Sandisk was down almost 5%. What’s with the 5% stuff today? So my idea of a rise going into CES burst into flames and came crashing down around my head today. To my knowledge there hasn’t been a big press release about anything, so I have no idea what was the driving force today. My lack of understanding doesn't stop the speculation from flying on the boards. Sometimes a little comic relief in the middle of a melt down is healthy. For the record, I am voting against the drop today being the result of “the pros coming after the little guy conspiracy”. But let it drop like this again tomorrow and I might reconsider. What I do know is that it was Ugly today. And I am back to internally questioning my hold decision.

At the close CROX was sitting pretty with a 1.85% increase and Sandisk sat with a 3.04% loss hanging around its neck. Both stocks made their move with above average volume. After having my emotions run in two different directions, like my stocks, it was anticlimactic to have my account finish almost even for the day. Like a stupid push in blackjack today left me a touch unsatisfied.

How do you feel when you end flat neither showing a gain nor a loss for the day’s effort?

That’s it for today. Here’s to not ending flat too often and to keeping an eye on your EveryDay Money.

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Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year

I hope you all have your resolutions in place and none of them have been broken on the first day. Good luck with them and I hope they last. Both Crocs and Sandisk finished the year on an up note, so my New Years may get started on a good note. Sandisk has CES starting on the 8th and both companies report numbers toward the end of the month. After having waited this long I will hold SNDK till earnings with my fingers crossed. With expanded distribution this winter I am looking for CROX to report big numbers. They need to or their P/E and stock price is liable to fall off the table. Guess we will see Wednesday when everyone comes back.

I didn’t do any resolutions this year. If I was pressed to come up with one it would be simply; make good decisions based on solid research. That sounds nice and easy enough, at least tonight with the market closed this whole day. When the market opens and the New Year kicks off it will be harder. When I am watching my money bounce up and down it becomes harder not to get emotional. At least I can say I am getting better. I make fewer trades based on emotions than I did when I was younger. The downside is that I had to get old(er) in order to get that experience. I wish you good luck with your money for this whole year and many after.

Did you make any resolutions?

That’s it for today. Here’s to making smart decisions this year and to keeping an eye on your EveryDay Money.