Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Taking Advantage of Volatility

"Buy the dips, sell the rips." ~ Wall Street Adage

With the current volatility, I have started buying additional shares of my core holdings to trade.  To note, I am not selling my core holding, which I plan to hold through the volatility.

So when one of my holdings dips, I buy an additional small position.   When it rises approximately 10%, I sell the small position.  Then I wait for it to dip again.   With multiple holdings, I can rotate as different sectors dip at different times. 

Normally, the cost of transactions would prevent me from making small trades of around $100-$200.   However, I was given free trades in two of my brokerage accounts, which allow me to make the small trades commission free.  Thus, my small profit is not eliminated by the commission charge.

I expect the market will continue to be volatile the rest of 2018, allowing me to "buy the dips, and sell the rips" with small trades.

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

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

Copyright © 2018 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Some Contrarian Scenarios

Here are my contrarian thoughts about the economy for the rest of 2018:

  • Oil will go over $90/bbl.
  • Interest rates will rise slower than expected.
  • Inflation will continue to be low.
  • Republicans will maintain a majority in Congress
If these scenarios happen, oil stocks, dividend stocks, and REITs should do well and our retirement investments should benefit.   

Disclosure:  We currently hold oil stocks, dividend stocks and REITs in our portfolios.


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 © 2018 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

Monday, May 14, 2018

Taking Advantage of Low Tax Rates

With the new tax law, I can keep my tax rate at 12%, until 2025, unless there is a repeal.  I don't believe tax rates can be kept this low after 2025.  So I plan to convert as much of my Traditional IRAs as possible to Roth IRAs while still in the 12% tax bracket.   That way I can reduce my future RMDs, pay a low tax rate, and continue to grow our retirement savings tax free.

Of course, tax laws can be changed.  So I will taking advantage of the lower tax rate in 2018 and all future years.

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

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

Copyright © 2018 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

Sunday, May 13, 2018

$100 Oil?

This CNBC article speculates that $100/bbl oil may happen in the near future.   Who knows, but if it does happen, our investments will benefit.  When oil and oil stocks started falling in 2015, I bought.  When they continued falling in 2016, I bought more.   When oil finally bottomed in 2017, I bought even more. 

It has been a painful journey.  Maybe  I will get some financial benefit from all the pain :-)

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 © 2018 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Tax Day Freebies and Discounts

Many companies are offering freebies or discounts on this year's tax deadline due date, April 17, 2018.   To find them, search for Tax Day Freebies in [your city].   Freebies and discounts vary by location.

One Freebie I am considering is Kona Ice: one free shaved ice.  Kona trucks are supposed to be at post offices and tax preparation locations nationally.

Disclosure:  No compensation was received for this post.

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

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

Copyright © 2018 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Risky Business

"It's hard to make predictions, especially about the future."  ~ Yogi Berra

Who knows where the market is headed.  Certainly not me.  The market is extremely volatile and schizophrenic.  To me, there are three strategies one can take in this uncertain market.


  1. Buy and Hold.  As one of my favorite bosses said, "This too shall pass."    Since the market inevitable goes up, just buy stocks and good companies and hang on to them.   Eventually, this strategy will pay off.
  2. Trade the Dips and Rallies.  It seems to me that the market declines when President Trump makes a controversial tweet and then recovers in subsequent days when the position is softened.   Simply, buy when a decline occurs from a Trump tweet and sell a few days later after the recovery.
  3. Sell Everything and Wait.  I know some people who have done exactly that. They expect an imminent crash of the market.
At this point, I'm leaning towards a blend of #1 and #2: buy core stocks and hold and add peripheral holdings (often of the same stocks) and sell into the rallies and then buy the dips.  Of course, I don't know what the future holds and if #3 is the right strategy, I will end up seeing a sharp decline in our holdings.


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

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

Copyright © 2018 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

Thursday, March 08, 2018

First Job

My daughter got her first job.  She will be refereeing for the local youth soccer league.   It's kind of a gig job, but it pays well, about $20/hour.   Each week the coordinator asks which people are available to ref.   Those that respond will get assigned 1 to 2 games.   If she has other commitments or we're on vacation, she can just not respond.   Pretty nice for a first job.

For more on Crossing Generations, check back Thursdays for a new segment.

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

Copyright © 2018 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Tomorrow May Be Another Buying Opportunity

With the resignation of Chief Economic Advisor Gary Cohn, the stock futures have fallen about 1%.   Tomorrow may be another buying opportunity for us.   I probably will avoid buying at the open and wait to see if the markets continue to fall or immediately bounce back.

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

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

Copyright © 2018 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

Monday, March 05, 2018

Waiting, Not Chasing

"Patience is a virtue." ~ old adage

Today's market advance prevented us from acquiring additional positions in our stock and ETFs.  I purposely didn't chase them and left the buy orders at  couple percent below Friday's closing price.

I expect that I will get more buying opportunities in the next month as volatility is now the norm.   It seems that market changes of greater than 1% are the new normal.   Waiting for the 1% drops will allow me to make purchases from our buy list at lower prices.

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

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

Copyright © 2018 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

Sunday, March 04, 2018

Trying a Robo Investment Account

A new investment option I am trying is a Robo Investment account at one of our brokerages.  This account will invest only in ETFs and charge no account fees.  The only fees we will pay are the fees built into the EFTs that are used.   The investment strategy we will be using has a .28% expense ratio for the ETFs.

At this time, I have opened but not yet funded the account.   My plan is to wait for a further decline in the market before funding the account.

My plan is to hold three different types of investment accounts to determine our long term strategy:

  • Actively managed accounts.   We pay a 0.9 to 1.25% wrap fee for actively managed accounts.  The strategies are: Growth, Deep Value, Income with Growth, and Dividend Growth.  The Robo account falls into this category at a much lower expense ratio.
  • Passive Index.   I have several accounts that each have the benchmark indices of the actively managed accounts.  Over time, I will decide whether to keep the managed accounts or the index accounts for the long term.
  • Personal investment strategies.  These are REIT, dividend, and trading/speculation strategies.  I will likely keep doing these on a small scale even after choosing between actively managed accounts and passive indices for the majority of our investments.  Unless, of course, I consistently perform better than these options :-) 
I will likely hold all three types of investment accounts through at least one economic cycle to understand overall performance and volatility.   After that, I plan to start moving funds to the preferred types of investment accounts.


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 © 2018 Achievement Catalyst, LLC