Sunday, September 16, 2018

Buying Junk Silver Coins

Recently, we found a coin dealer that sells "junk" silver coins very close to spot silver prices.   Junk silver describes coins that have no numismatic value over the value of the silver it contains.   Generally, these are Roosevelt dimes and Washington quarters minted for circulation up to 1964.  With the decline of silver prices, soon I expect to be able to purchase these coins at 10 times face value.  So a dime would cost $1 and a quarter would cost $2.50.   A bonus is that our state does not charge sales tax on coin and bullion sales.

Here are some of the advantages of this approach:

  • Enjoyment.   I collected coins as a kid and found many silver coins in change.   I can add to my missing dates in the collection, although at higher than face value.
  • Liquidity.   Very easy to buy and sell.  If the prices goes up, I can sell small amounts to coin dealers or individuals.
  • Hedging.   If inflation returns, the nominal value of US currency will go down, but the value of these coins will increase.
I plan to buy about $100 dollars worth of junk silver coins each month for rest of this year.  


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

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

Copyright © 2018 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

Sunday, September 09, 2018

Trump Is Great for the Stock Market

Yesterday, I posted Why Obama Was Great for the Stock Market.  IMHO, Trump is great for stock market for the same reason, there is no sign of exuberance.    In fact, this market continues to be the most unloved bull market ever.   However, the cause it different.   In Obama's case, it was the administration's policies.  In Trump's case, it is his unpredictability and impulsiveness.   Many pundits, professional investors and retail investors are quite sure that the market will crash soon, which is keeping the market from being overheated.

So despite being the longest bull market ever, I expect the stock market to continue to grind up 10-20% to new highs by the end of the year.

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

Saturday, September 08, 2018

Why Obama Was Great for the Stock Market

The stock market gained over 200% under President Obama, one of the best advances during a presidency.   To me, Obama's greatest contribution was his policies kept the stock market (and the economy)  from becoming overheated.   The business community did not over invest.  So it was the slowest ever recovery from a recession. 

In hindsight, the slow recovery has been a great positive.   None of the short cycle boom busts that typically occur.   Just a continuous steady upward trend, with periodic brief pull backs. 

I guess steady economic growth requires a balance of strong economic results tempered by near term economic uncertainty.

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

Sunday, September 02, 2018

Everything is Leaking

When it rains, it pours. ~ old adage

About six months ago, I noticed a leak under my F-150 truck.   At first, I thought it was my transmission, but it turns out it is the oil pan gasket.  Then I find out our hot tub is leaking water, about several gallons a day.  Then, this weekend, it appears that our in ground sprinkler system has started leaking.

Arrgh!

I guess I will have higher repair expenses than usual for the rest of the year.

For more on  New Sunday for a new segment.

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

Copyright © 2018 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

Purchased a CSA Share

From late Spring to early Fall, we do some of our grocery shopping at the local farmers markets.   This year we decided to purchase a biweekly CSA share from a local farm.   We have been enjoying the service for the following reasons:

  • Delivery - It comes to our door every two weeks.   
  • Variety - There are around 10 different fruits and vegetables.
  • Good quality - All the items have been as good as those we hand pick.
  • Cost - It is $40 for each delivery, about what we would spend a grocery store
  • Surprise factor - We usually get one or two items that we wouldn't buy, in addition to the staples we usually eat.
At this point, we expect to continue buying a CSA share next season for the same delivery cycle.


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

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

Copyright © 2018 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

Saturday, September 01, 2018

Looking for the Next Big Winners

Ten years ago, I didn't expect Netflix or Amazon to be the big winners that they are today.  If I had bought and held, we'd have significantly more in our are retirement savings accounts.

So I thought I would try to identify companies today that may be big winners 10-20 years from now.  My hypothesis is that small/mid capitalization companies that use tech to better serve a convenience oriented, home oriented consumer will have the  potential to be big winners.   

My initial picks that meet the criteria are:  StitchFix (SFIX), Shopify (SHOP), Grub (GRUB), Baozun (BZUN), IQIYI (IQ), and Twitter (TWTR).

I have also chosen stocks of companies that provide the technology:  Zuora (ZUO), Square (SQ)

My dark horse pick is Kroger (KR).

At this point, it is unclear which or whether any of these will become big winners.    In fact, some of these companies may become unsuccessful.   So I have bought all of them, with the hope that one will be come a star.

I will also continue to look to buy additional stock in companies that meet my criteria.

Disclosure: At the time of posting, we own shares of StitchFix, Shopify, Grub, Baozun, IQIYI, Twitter, Zuora, Square, and Kroger.

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

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

Copyright © 2018 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Articles Predicting Further Gains for the Stock Market

Here are two interesting articles from CNBC and Marketwatch on why the S&P is likely to be up from now at the end of the year.

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/07/31/the-sp-is-doing-something-it-hasnt-done-since-eisenhower-presidency.html

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-fate-of-the-stock-market-for-2018-could-rest-on-the-next-5-trading-days-2018-07-24

The indicator has been right 100% of the time since 1935.  Of  course, past performance does not guarantee future performance.  But I'm betting this year doesn't break the streak.

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

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

Copyright © 2018 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

Monday, August 27, 2018

Sticking to the Investment Plan

Staying invested since the end of January 2018 has been tough.   The correction was longer than average, there was a lot of geopolitical concerns, and there were growing legal issues for the Trump administration.  During that time, the market was a roller coaster, with seemingly more dips that rises.   It was hard, but I bought cautiously during the dips, even when the market kept going lower.

Now that the correction is officially over (as of last Friday), all the anxiety and commitment has paid off.  We've increased our investments in equities by around 25%.  Most of the increase was adding to current positions, but I did initiate some new positions.     With the recovery, most of the purchases now have positive gains.  A few, like TWTR and IQ, are still below my average purchase price.  However, I do expect these to recover in the next few months.

My forecast for the S&P index is that is will be up 10% from Friday's close before 2019.  My plan, at this time, is to maintain about the same level of investment through the end of the year.

Disclosure:  We own share of TWTR and IQ at the time of posting.

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

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

Copyright © 2018 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

Thursday, August 23, 2018

College Savings Plan Adjustment

Our College 529 Plan made two adjustments for 2018.

First, the amount that can be deducted from income has been increased from $2000 to $4000 per year for each beneficiary.   We can take a state tax for contributions up to $4000.    So we will be increasing our contribution from $2000 to $4000 for each beneficiary. 

Second, per federal and our state regulations, College 529 Plan funds can be used for expenses in K-12.   Since we paid over $3000 in tuition for full day kindergarten in public school, I am considering using the 529 plan funds to cover this cost.

Some argue that it is inefficient to use 529 funds for K-12 since there is a reduction of funds for college.  To address this issue, I plan to pay the funds to the student (beneficiary), who can then invest the funds.  The growth in these funds will be tax free since the beneficiary is a minor dependent and can earn up to $900 per year with no taxes.

Of course, funds in the child's name will reduce financial aid packages, but we expect to receive very little needs based aid at this time.

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

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

Copyright © 2018 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Mildly Optimistic

It's had to be optimistic about the stock market with all the negativity swirling about.   However, that's probably the time to tough it out and stay invested.   

I have mixed feelings.   I believe the market will be significantly higher by year end, no matter what the outcome of the midterms.  If the Democrats win, the market will go up; if the Republicans winn, the market will go up.  But I believe August will be a volatile month, perhaps even being a down month.

It is a bifurcated stock market, with a lot of rotation.  Some stocks are going up, while others are going down, resulting in a slight rise in the indices.

So I will take some profits in advancing stocks (which means they will probably advance further:-)   And I will buy some short term beaten down stocks, e.g. Chinese internet stocks, biotechs.   I expect that the stock market may be a bit of a roller coaster, and be prepared for slow rises and quick drops.

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