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.