Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Growing Signs of a Market Top

"No one rings a bell at the market top." ~ old adage

My accounts are showing two of the three signs of a market top.  Many of my beaten down stocks are starting to rise, but nowhere near o 52 week highs.  Oil prices are rising but nowhere near a $100/barrel.

The only sign I don't see are bears capitulating.

So I continue to be cautious but staying invested.

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

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

Copyright © 2017 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

Sunday, September 10, 2017

My Third Signal of a Market Top

My first signal is when bears capitulate.  My second signal is when my beaten down stock reach new 52 week highs.

My third signal is when oil reaches a $100/barrel price again.   Ha, ha.   If that happens, I'll be laughing my way to the bank as I sell all my oil related stocks.

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

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

Copyright © 2017 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

Monday, September 04, 2017

Negotiating on Unsolicited Real Estate Offers

I have some investment residential real estate in which developers are becoming more interested.  I have not put the property on the market, but I get occasional unsolicited offers to purchase.

Here is what I've learned from the negotiating process:
  • Listen a lot, talk very little.    Let the developer's agent do all the talking.   Remember all relevant information:  developer's company, previous developments, intent for the property.  The more information I have, the better my negotiating position since I can research the information.
  • Share only public info; don't share non-public info.   I am happy to discuss property size, zoning, topography, property cost, etc.  Remember, the agent represents the developer and will share everything with the developer.  
  • Know my property potential.  With the Internet, I have been able to research nearby properties for sale and nearby developments.   With that information, and a previous appraisal, I determined a fuzzy asking price for discussion.  
  • Be ready for a low ball offer.   I have had some very low bona fide offers, which were later increased 33% to 200%, despite the agent implying I was getting a good offer.
  • Counter all offers, even if the counter is the asking price.   In an article I read, low ball offers sometimes end with up final contracts within 5% of the asking price.
  • Specify that all discussions are negotiations and that nothing is binding until written into contract, reviewed by my attorney and signed by both buyer and seller.   That way no verbal or email discussions are binding.
  • Be ready to walk away from the negotiation.    Since I wasn't planning to sell for a couple years anyway, this is easy to do.
Finally, I always remember that I am the only person looking out for my interests, especially when the  buyer's agent or buyer offers to provide me "professional perspective" to convince me to sell. 

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

This is not financial,  real estate or legal advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

Copyright © 2017 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

Sunday, September 03, 2017

80 is the new 55

Today, we are celebrating my mother-in-law's 80th birthday.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY.

She is doing very well, since 80 seems to be the new 55.  That makes our kids happy, since they love seeing their grandmother.

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

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

Copyright © 2017 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

Saturday, September 02, 2017

My Second Signal of Market Top

Recently, I posted that one of my signal of a market top is Waiting for Bears to Capitulate.  My second signal is seeing my beaten down stock holding achieve 52 week highs.  Examples include Under Armour,  Chesapeake Energy, Contango Oil and Gas,  Infinity Pharmaceuticals, and Geron.  When that happens, I will know exuberance is happening and it will be time to exit the market.

In the meantime, I expect the market to keep grinding up, making it painful for the bears.

Disclosure: At the time of posting, we own share in Under Armour,  Chesapeake Energy, Contango Oil and Gas,  Infinity Pharmaceuticals, and Geron.

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

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

Copyright © 2017 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

Friday, September 01, 2017

When to Take Social Security

We have a more complicated that usual decision on when to apply for Social Security.  Because we will have minor children when I turn 62, the children and my spouse will qualify for auxiliary benefits when I file.  So the children will collect auxiliary benefits until they are 19 and my spouse will collect auxiliary benefit until the youngest turns 16.   Due to the auxiliary benefits, a simple calculation the break even age is around 88 years, i.e. after 88, I would be better off to have waited.

I have even read one article,  Why Social Security Dependent Benefits For A Child Can Make It A Good Deal To Start Early And NOT Delay, that shows one never breaks even, assume 3% inflation, 6% growth and the lost opportunity cost of spending down other assets.

The downside of take Social Security early is the reduction of the survivor benefit, if my spouse out lives me.    At my death, my spouse would receive my benefit, which is higher than the spousal benefit.  However, if I wait until I am 70, she would get a significantly higher survivor benefit that has a cost of living adjustment, which makes it attractive to wait.

Of course, that assumes that Social Security will be around or won't reduce benefits in the future.  So maybe taking it early will ensure we receive some benefits before any future changes are made.  

In any case, I sill have a couple years to decide and should wait since the rules may change between now and then.

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

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

Copyright © 2017 Achievement Catalyst, LLC