Wednesday, August 05, 2020

Enjoying the Market Rally

"Rule #1: Never lose money." ~ Warren Buffett

I have stopped trying to reconcile the disconnect between the stock market and the looming economic crisis.   Instead, I am now accepting that we are in a new bull market and enjoying the investment gains.  I expect the rally and gains will be sustainable until the election, and perhaps even longer.  Thus, I am holding the majority of our positions to experience a gain from the rally.

However, I remain cautious and continue to be skeptical.   During this rally, I am putting only limited additional funds into few stocks, specifically precious metal ETFs. eg. SGOL, and a few select tech stocks, e.g. ESTC and FSLY .   These will be speculative trading positions rather than long term holds.  In addition, I will try to sell off some of the beaten up energy and REIT stocks I bought in March 2020.

With this approach, we will be ready for the next market decline, whenever that occurs.

Disclosure: At the time of posting, we owned shares of SGOL.

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

This is not financial nor investment advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

Copyright © 2020 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Will Economic Disaster be Avoided?

Investors in the stock market seem to think so. The Fed is trying to do so.   Congress is trying to make it so.

Still I'm not so sure.   The depth of the recession is being mitigated by the Stimulus package which included loans/grants to businesses, stimulus payments and $600/week bonus unemployment payments.  Stimulus payments are done, bonus unemployment ended this week, and loans/grants will reduced impatct until October 1.    Many small businesses are also closing for good.   Lots of economic cliffs.   

In addition, the pandemic is getting worse in many states, and overall, in the U.S.

Although we've been trickling in a small amount of funds into stocks that will thrive in a COVID-19 environment, I'm still concerned that the bleak economic scenario will eventually prevail and bring down the stock market again.

But then again, the Fed, Congress and/or the Trump administration may deliver a miracle, avoiding a deep recession and driving the stock market to new highs.

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

This is not financial, economic, nor investment advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

Copyright © 2020 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

Friday, July 24, 2020

COVID-19 Pandemic Adjustments

"The future is now." ~ George Allen, NFL football coach

With the COVID-19 crisis continuing, it new normal will look different from the normal before the pandemic.  Here's how it will be different:

  • Vacations.   Will plan only a few weeks out.   Will drive and stay at hotels will published safe practices. 
  • Outside entertainment.   Will eat out occasionally, at  restaurants that stay well below capacity.  Avoid bars and theaters. Will continue to use our fitness club pool since safety precautions have been implemented.  Will check crowds at the local amusement park once since we have season passes.  Probably will go skiing at local resort in the winter, since it usually has low crowds on weekdays..
  • Investing.  Focus on preserving capital.   With the uncertainty of COVID-19, market volatility may result in sharp market declines.
  • Enjoy the present.   Do more with family.  Utilize our home entertainment options: pool table, foosball, outdoor fireplace, Netflix, Disney+ and various games. Build skills and take lessons.
Of course, if there is a successful vaccine, we can return the previous normal.  However, I expect a new normal will be more likely.


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

This is not financial nor retirement advice advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

Copyright © 2020 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Returning to School this Fall

Our school district has decided to make both face to face learning and virtual learning, leaving it up to parents and students to decide.  We've decided to let our kids return to school. 

Of course, there can be a lot of changes before the start of school which can affect school:  ranging from worse COVID-19 to a significant improvement.      Still lots of uncertainty.   

Then again, life is uncertain.  We make the best choices we can and move forward.  That may be biggest COVID-19 lesson for our kids.

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

This is not financial nor pandemic advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

Copyright © 2020 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Keeping the Winning Stocks

I define stocks that recovered from the March 2020 lows and reached new 52 week highs as "winning" stocks.   Not only did they rebound, but in some cases are 2-4 times more than the March 2020 lows.

In my case, I took the opportunity to sell many of the "winning" stocks I own not long after they reached their 52 week high.    For many of the stocks, that was too soon, since they often went significantly higher after I sold.     I generally kept the stocks that didn't rebound as much, often because they had a paper loss.   

In reviewing my results, I learned I would have been better off selling the under performing rebound stocks, and keeping the "winning" stocks.  I would have booked some gains from the bottom on the under performing stocks, although for a loss  However, the "winning" stocks would continue to rise, resulting great overall net gains for the portfolio.

Keep winners and sell under performers will be a strategy I plan to implement for future investment decisions.  It's always been tough for me to sell losing stocks, since there is chance they may recover.    But usually my losing stocks rarely recover and keeping going down.  So I will need to develop a system that allows me to execute this strategy despite my tendency to keep losing stocks longer than I should.

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

This is not financial nor investing advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

Copyright © 2020 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Feeling Great, Good and Bad about Investment Performance

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

Feeling Great

In 2019, I began trimming our equity investments due to the yield curve inversion, which historically has preceded a recession and bear market.   Admittedly, I missed out on some 2019 gains and early 2020 gains, but I experienced much less pain when the market crashed in March 2020.

As a result, I did not sell any stock holding during the bear market decline of March 2020.   We held every share down to the bottom.

Feeling Good

We bought some additional shares in late February and early March.  We did most of our buying up to March 23, 2020.     Some shares bottomed later in April and we bought those companies until then.

I sold many of the shares purchased near March 23 on the rebound,  after 15-25% gains, sometimes in less than a few days. 

Feeling Bad

I was expecting the decline to go further and the recovery to take longer.   Thus, I didn't buy large quantities.    I also didn't hold the shares long enough, missing out on 50, 100, and even 200% gains.

In addition, I avoided buying growth stocks that had fallen significantly, e.g. Shopify, Tesla , which I had owned before and sold.   Those stocks are now significantly higher than their pre-COVID hights.

In Conclusion

Overall, we did OK.   Our total investments are slightly above the beginning of the year, and are close to the all time high in February, 2020.   However, I still feel bad I missed out on the opportunity to buy more stocks that ended up doubling, tripling or even quadrupling their March 2020 low.

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

This is not financial nor investment advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

Copyright © 2020 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

Friday, July 17, 2020

Set My Financial Goal Too Low

When I was growing up, becoming a millionaire was considered an aspirational financial goal.  Very few people had a million dollars  and my parents bought a new house for $28,000.  A million dollars seemed very unattainable.  In 1965, there were 100,000 millionaires in the US.

Today, a million dollars seems much more achievable. In 2020, the there are over 18 million millionaires in the US.   That house I grew up in is valued at $421,000 on Zillow.   Many families have dual incomes, leading to over a million dollars salary over their lifetime.

I should have set a $100 million as a financial goal.   In 2020, there were about 80,000 households with over $100 million, which is close to the number of millionaires in 1965.  $100 million would have been a appropriate inflation adjusted goal.

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

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

Copyright © 2020 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

Thursday, July 16, 2020

The Opportunity of a Lifetime

The youth of today have been handed a gift.    With all the turmoil, there is a great opportunity for future success.   Yes, there will be winners and losers.  Losers will be the status quo.  Winners will be the change agents.

Be agile, be adaptable, be ready for change and be a winner.

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

This is not financial nor skills advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

Copyright © 2020 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

Usual Market Drivers Not Working

This stock market does not make sense to me based on the usual indicators that I'm used to.   There is too much optimism given the looming issues, including unemployment, recession risk, looming evictions and COVID-19 resurgence..   

Maybe this time is different.

Fed monetary support and Federal government intervention is keeping the market and economy from falling. 

The U.S. is mostly a service sector and much less a manufacturing sector.

The future is much brighter than the risks forecast.

Maybe it's just because I'm old and old school and the old indicators are no longer valid. If the market keeps going up the rest of the year, it may be time for me to quit managing our investments:-)

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

This is not financial nor investment advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

Copyright © 2020 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Let's Fully Open the IRS

I'm a frustrated taxpayer.

I submitted my return by mail in mid April 2020.  Where's My Refund app does not yet acknowledge receipt.

I finally was able to talk to customer service at the IRS last week and was told that the offices won't be staffed to work on mail returns until August 1, 2020. 

Please get the IRS fully open soon so that mail in returns can be processed.

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

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

Copyright © 2020 Achievement Catalyst, LLC