Saturday, July 14, 2018

Resigned to a Progressive Takeover

In 2016, I was resigned to Hillary Clinton being our President for the next 8 years.   No way that Donald Trump could win.   Imagine my surprise when I woke up at 2AM to Donald Trump in the lead.

Similarly, I am resigned to the Democrats retaking the majority in the Senate and the House in the 2018 midterms.   

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 © 2018 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Is 2018 Analogous to 2008 or 2012?

Currently, I wrestling with whether the volatility and lack of market conviction is more like the 2008 market or the 2012 market.  Early 2008 preceded the Great Recession in late 08 to 09 and 2012 preceded the Great Melt Up of 13. 

Right now, I am leaning towards 2012.    However, in 2008 I also was expecting a recovery in the market, which didn't happen.

So right now, I am expecting a melt up, but won't be too surprised if there is a major downturn either.

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 © 2018 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Why Some Bricks and Mortar Retail are Losing to Amazon

I'm old fashioned.  I prefer to go to a store to touch and feel what I buy.   I have never ordered through Amazon.   The few times I have ordered online was because the item wasn't available at a local store, or it was much cheaper than the local appliance parts store.  Otherwise, I drive to the store and buy the part.    As background, we live in an area where just about every major retailer is within a 2-3  mile radius.  The main exceptions are Sears, Nordstrom and a few other mall anchors.

So one of my home projects is the highlight in gold the raised letters on our address plate.   Based on searching,  the ideal solution was an oil paint Sharpie.  According to my search, a big box retailer had the product and the lowest price, about half the price of Amazon.  I checked and they had two in stock.  I called, and they said they had three in stock.   I decided to pick it up on the way back from dropping our daughter off at lessons.

The next morning, I showed up 1.5 hours after opening.  It wasn't available on the shelves.  And the price was twice as much  I went to customer service to check, who confirmed they would honor the internet price. Their system said there were 2 in stock.  They sent someone to pull it, but she said there were none available.   I asked to order and pay for it.  They said they could only charge me for physical items at the store.

So I went home, created a store account (as required) and ordered the product to pick up in store.   An hour later, I received an e-mail that said the item was not in stock.   However, they offered free shipment as a solution (or choosing a store that was 10 miles away).  I took the free shipment option, but will have to wait until this weekend to get the item.

I did complain to the retailer about the inaccuracy of their "in stock" info.   They gave me a stock answer, which I accepted but knew it was covering for the inefficiency of their stocking info.   But I did let them know that I felt like I should have been better helped since I was actually in their store. 

I will still choose to go to the store; but for this retailer, I will order online to make sure it will be at the store when I go there.

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

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

Copyright © 2018 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

Sunday, June 17, 2018

My New Perspective on Personal Belongings

I was scanning the Internet for some used skis/boots/poles for the kids and came across a estate auction site.  I was shocked to see the low current bid prices on items such as hand made Persian rugs.  The bids were as low as $1, although there was still 2 days left to bid.

So I have concluded that almost everything I own is depreciating and will be worth almost nothing if I sell them.  Very disappointing, but probably will lead me to think differently about how I spend my money on material things: Maybe owning stuff is not such a good idea....

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

Friday, June 15, 2018

A Potential Last Hurrah Retirement Job

Recently, I was thinking that a great last hurrah, short term,  retirement job would be to work for the President of the United States.  Then I saw this article that the Trump Administration is having a job fair.  So I might apply for a position.

I'm not looking for anything long term, so this may be a perfect fit :-)

For more on  Reaping the Rewards , check back every Friday for a new segment.

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

Copyright © 2018 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Doubling Income is Life Changing

In his book Factfulness, Hans Rosling makes the point that for people in Level 1 of extreme poverty (living on less than $1 per day) a dollar, an increase in income is life changing, noting that a $1 increase income per day would make little difference to people in Level 3 and 4, the upper half.   However, he did comment that a doubling of income for people in these level's would also be life changing.

His comment got me thinking that maybe I need to revise my financial goals to doubling my income over a specific time, say every 10 years on average.  So after 30 years, I would have 8 times my starting income. 

This approach may cause me to rethink our investment strategies.

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

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Investing in a Coccoonng Theme

It seems to me that businesses that enable people to get things done without leaving home are doing very well.  Examples include:  Amazon (shopping); Facebook, and Twitter (Social Connections); Grubhub (eating out); and Netflix (entertainment).    I may start an account devoted to this theme and invest accordingly.

Disclosure:  We have positions in Amazon, Facebook, Grubhub and Netflix at the time of this posting.


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

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

Copyright © 2018 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

My Latest Reading

Factfulness by Hans Gosling is a book everyone should read, especially those with liberal or conservative viewpoints.  The basic theme is the world is better than we think it is and our cognitive biases make us think it is worse. 

I read it because it was the one book Bill Gates recommends to read in 2018.    It is causing me to rethink some of my investing view points.




Disclosure: No compensation was received for writing this post.   This receives compensation if a purchase is made via an Amazon link on this site.

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

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

Copyright © 2018 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

Thursday, June 07, 2018

A Success Sequence

When I was growing up, my parents, especially my mom, emphasized going to college, getting a good job and getting married before having kids.  Recently, I read that doing it in this order is has been called a success sequence, based on research by the Brookings Institute.

Actually, the Brookings Institute study specified graduating from high school, so I guess my parents were a little ahead of their time.

Anyway, I hope to instill the same sequence in the minds of our kids.  While, it does not guarantee success, it sure does improve the probability.

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

This is not financial or parentingadvice. Please consult a professional advisor.

Copyright © 2018 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

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