Monday, June 19, 2017

Resisting My Normal Investment Strategy

I normally prefer to buy stocks of good companies that have been beaten down from their high and hold them until the stock price recovers.  However, this strategy has done very poorly for the past two years.  During this time, stocks I have purchased continued to go lower, and then didn't rebound.

So I have broadened my strategies for now.  While I continue to hold my beaten down stocks, I am now buying the stocks that have been going up, i.e. the momentum stocks.  This goes against my nature since I am buying these stocks near their highs, and expecting (hoping) them to go higher.  

For now, this additional strategy is working well.  In a little over a month, some of my buys are up
as much as 20%.   I plan to use this strategy short term and ride the rally in the momentum stocks.  I will consciously take profits on the way up, since I expect the market may correct sooner than later.

Hopefully, this strategy will yield a net gain when (not if) the market experiences a correction.

For more on Strategies and Plans, check back every Monday  for a new segment.

This is not financial advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

Copyright © 2017 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

Monday, June 05, 2017

A Stock Market Nightmare

"Markets can stay irrational longer than you can be solvent." ~ Wall Street adage attributed to John Maynard Keynes

This market should be lower, much lower.   Why?   Trump won.   Trump has not and cannot delivered on his campaign promises. Trump will soon make several big mistakes that will crash the market.

This should have been easiest short in stock market history.   Except it wasn't.

Those that have sold out and shorted the market have not only missed out on a great rally, but have lost money in addition.

Of course, they will be right eventually.  There will be a bear market in the future.  However, if the bull market last a few more years, it will be a hollow victory since they may not be solvent by then.

For now, I remain cautious, with an optimistic bias.  I continue to look for purchasing opportunities for stocks in my buy list and sell tradable position when profitable.  I will also continue to keep a significant level of cash in case there is a major decline.

For more on Strategy and Plans, check back every Monday for a new segment.

This is not financial or investment advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

Copyright © 2017 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

Sunday, June 04, 2017

The New "Retirement"

For me, retirement was working enough years to get certain benefits from my company, e.g. company  retiree health insurance, and  company provided retirement funds.

However, when I hear about current bloggers retiring early, it is one of the following situations:
  • One spouse quits working, while the other spouse keeps working.  The spouse that quit has "retired" in their 30s and 40s,  Often the spouse who quit working earns supplemental income from blogging.
  • An individual or both spouses quit working in the corporate world because the income from gig jobs and blogging is sufficient to cover expenses.  In some cases, the income exceeds their previous corporate job.
To me, these options did not seem to be "retirement."    I grew up in a single income family, because my mom stayed home to care for the kids.   We didn't call that retirement since she didn't receive any retiree benefits from her last place of employment.   Similarly, finding a better way to earn income, e.g. blogging, was "getting a better job by being self employed."

Here's What Millennials Are Prioritizing Instead of Retirement provide me some insight as to what is the new retirement.    It seems young adults goals are to have the financial freedom and flexibility to have their desired lifestyle.   As a colleague once said, "work to live instead of live to work."

So maybe the "new retirement" is achieving work life balance and continuing to work well into their 70s and longer.   We'll see how that works 30 to 40 years from now.

For me, I still prefer the "old retirement" model, but maybe that's no longer achievable and therefore not relevant to the current generation.


For more on New Beginnings, check back every Sunday for a new segment. 

This is not financial or retirement advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

Copyright © 2017 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Road Trip for President Trump

"This is ridiculous.  What are we going to do?  Road trip."  ~  Animal House discussion

It's been a tough week politically for President Trump.   And now he's off on a 9 day trip to the Middle East and the Vatican.  

It doesn't seem to me that the political situation will go away while he is travelling.  It will be interesting to see how everything evolves.

For more on Reflections and Musings, check back every Saturday for a new segment.

This is not financial, policy or political advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

Copyright © 2017 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

Monday, May 15, 2017

Pacing House Updates

It seems that houses need to be updated about every 10 - 15 years.    Otherwise, the home will seem dated, especially to potential buyers.    We've been living in our home almost 14 years.

We've already updated some mechanicals (roof, furnace, A/C, and water heater) in the past ten years.  Over the last couple years we've updated most of our kitchen appliances, due to failure.  Also, I changed the kitchen cabinet handles from brass to brushed nickel.    Recently, we painted the living, family, and dining rooms, and the exterior.  In addition, we changed the remaining aluminum venetian blinds to celluar shades.

This month, we will be changing our kitchen sink to stainless steel, and updating some bathroom faucets to brushed nickel.  I will also be replacing most of our brass switch/outlet plates with brushed nickel.

Our next round, which we have started, will be working on eliminating  ground cover (i.e. ivy and vinca) from our landscape areas.   Also, we will be replacing some plants and adding new ones.

Hopefully, we will complete our major updates in the next couple years, allowing us 10-15 years of minimum effort before the next update.

For more on Strategies and Plans, check back every Monday  for a new segment.

This is not financial or home improvement advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

Copyright © 2017 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

My Buy List

Here are the stocks on my buy list:

Add to existing positions:
WDC, PCLN, GOOG, GOOGL, FB, AMZN,

Buy new positions:
TSLA, TRMB, ALGN, SHOP, HRC

Just purchased yesterday:
SIMO, IDXX, MMSI

I identified these stocks based on a screen of recent price performance.  My hypothesis is that winning stocks will continuing advancing in this bull market.   These will be primarily trading positions, which I will exit partially or completely after meeting target profit gains.

For more on Ideas You Can Use, check back every Tuesday for a new segment.

This is not financial or investment advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

Copyright © 2017 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Turning Bullish

"Don't fight the tape." ~ Wall Street Adage

To be this has become a market of winning stocks and losing stocks.   The winners keep winning and the losers keep losing.   It's time to put more money into winners.

Examples of winners:  Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Alphabet, Priceline, Tesla.

Examples of losers:   Under Armour, Gilead, Seadrill, Tidewater, J.C. Penney.

For me, it's tough to put money into these winning stocks.  Often, they have already advanced significantly, have high P/Es and seem very expensive.  I prefer to buy stocks on sale, but this seems to be a buy high and sell higher market.    So I'm going to go along for the ride.

I've made a list of stocks to buy as new positions or to increase holdings and will begin acquiring shares this week.

Disclosure:   At the time of posting, we own shares of Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Alphabet, Priceline, Under Armour, Gilead, Seadrill, Tidewater, and J.C. Penney.

For more on  New Beginnings, check back every Sunday for a new segment.

This is not financial or investment advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

Copyright © 2017 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Paying Zero Federal Income Taxes in Retirement

"People would rather stick a pin in their eye than think about taxes after April 15th."  ~ me

My goal over the next few years is to pay as zero federal income tax.   And it will be 100% legal.

How am I doing it?

Income Source
First, since we are retired, we can manage where income is derived and choose a source that is most tax efficient, dividends and long term capital gains, which has a special federal tax rate of 0% for taxpayers in the 15% tax bracket.

Itemized Deductions
Second, we have itemized deductions that can reduce ordinary income (wages, rents, IRA distributions) by 1/2. I am still not old enough to collect Social Security, but deductions can also reduce the amount included in adjusted gross income (AGI).

Tax Credits
Third, we have two children that each qualify for a $1000 child tax credit.  This enables us to eliminate any remaining income tax after itemized deductions.

These are legitimate strategies for reducing one's taxes.  I also know that tax laws may change and eliminate any or all of the three strategies that we plan to use.

For more on The Practice of Personal Finance, check back every Sunday for a new segment.

This is not financial or tax advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

Copyright © 2017 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

Saturday, April 08, 2017

A Hard to Make Money Stock Market

This is a frustrating stock market.   The market is pricing in high expectations for Trump's administration and the Republican congress, despite no concrete results being delivered.  The advancing stocks are narrow.  Investors do not seem to have any conviction.

As a result, the market indices are trading sideways in a narrow band.   It's kind of like watching paint dry.  Not very exciting.

In addition, only a few stocks (e.g. Amazon, Facebook, and Apple) are are making significant advances.  The rest are flat or even falling.

The good news is that most of our accounts are near their highs.   The bad news is that these accounts are not achieving new highs.   So our accounts are not growing.

For now, I have no confidence in the market direction, nor any confidence that Trump and congress will meet expectations.   I will wait for a more clear market direction before putting any significant amount of funds back into stocks.

For more on  Reflections and Musings, check back every Saturday for a new segment.

This is not financial advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

Copyright © 2017 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Career Path and Expectations Explained in a Graph

I found this on the Internet under Life Explained in Graphs:



This one gave me a good chuckle.

For more on Reflections and Musings, check back  Saturdays for a new segment.

This is not financial or career advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

Copyright © 2017 Achievement Catalyst, LLC