Saturday, August 14, 2021

DeSantis Threatens "Slavery" for Violations of Mask Ban

Ron DeSantis, earlier this week, threatened to withhold pay for administrators of school districts that ignored his mask ban order.    I'm not an attorney, but employee labor without pay sounds like "slavery" to me, with the exception of charitable organizations, who can employ volunteers for no pay.

Separately, I read that Florida was receiving ventilators from the Feds, of which DeSantis claimed no knowledge. I imagined DeSantis privately invoking Marie Antoinette, when hearing parents complain about not wearing masks, and saying, "Let them wear ventilators."

Waiting for a Late Night talk show host to bring up these points in their opening dialogue.  LOL.

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

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

Copyright © 2021 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

Saturday, July 31, 2021

Advanced Child Tax Credit Issues I'm Having

I just found out from the Manage Your Payment Portal that our Advance Child Tax Credit Payment is being deposited to someone else's bank account, even though our bank account is listed correctly to Portal.

The bank deposit error itself is extremely concerning.  Here are the other reasons I am very upset:
  • The IRS would not assist on the phone when I had questions about not receiving a payment.  They required me to sign up with the Manage Your Payment Portal, which took me two days to do since I am not tech savvy and do not have a smart phone.
  • This is the weekend, and no one can help me with correcting this incorrect payment issue via phone.  I could unenroll us from the program, but it requires my spouse to sign up for the Manage Your Payment Portal also.
  • I would not have requested receiving Advance Child Tax Credit Payments.  They advance payments were automatic and one had to opt out via the Manage Your Payment Portal.
  • I will now have to deal with the IRS to correct THEIR issue.
  • The IRS may contest my 2020 Child Tax Credit claim due to THEIR mistake.
I should be compensated for the pain a suffering I will experience to correct this issue :-)

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

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

Copyright © 2021 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Save by Pre-ordering Parts Online

I try to do as much of my car maintenance as possible to save money.  Changing cabin air filter in our car costs about $60 at the dealer.   I can buy the part for about $20 and it only takes 5 minutes to change.   

Today, I got an additional savings of $5 on the part.   It turns out if I order the part online and pick it up at the dealer, it only costs $15, instead of $20 if I walk into the dealer at purchase.  I guess I save the parts person time by not asking questions when I pick up.  However, if I need help choosing the part online, the parts person will help me choose the correct part.   Thus, I don't understand the reason for the savings.

In this case, my is not to question why, but to order online and save when I buy.

For reference, this is not an extra trip either.  I usually buy the part when I go in for an oil change, which I do at the dealer, since the cost is often about the same as buying the parts/oil and doing it myself.

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

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

Copyright © 2021 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Avoiding FOMO

"Stonks only go up.~ Wall Street Bets saying

After Monday's dip, the indices have only gone up.   Shortest correction ever.   Retail bought the dip.   New highs at the end of week.

Do I think the market could keep going up?   Yes.   Do I also think there is a risk of going down?  Yes.   I think the upside potential is equal to the downside risks.  Therefore, I'm not putting significant funds into the market.

FOMO, maybe.   Risking significant amounts of money.  Nope.  Testing with minimal funds.  Yep.

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

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

Copyright © 2021 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

Monday, July 19, 2021

Remaining Patient

Today may be the start of the correction for which I've been waiting.   I'm not buying yet, since I believe the market will go down further.  Too much uncertainty and not enough fear yet.   When I can no longer bear to look at my investments accounts, I will consider significant buying then. 

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

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

Copyright © 2021 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Going Almost Full Boomer for Stock Investments

I've enjoyed reading Wall Street Bets and trading some of the meme stocks and meme options.      I've learned a lot about trading options.  I've learned a lot about trading stocks that spike. I've felt the exhilaration of making a big winning trade.  Fortunately, I've made money with about 90% of these trades.

I've been lucky, because I'm not that good of a trader.

The downside is that I feel I need to be ready to make a decision to buy/sell or close out options every moment the market is open.   That's because some of the stocks and options will spike, but only momentarily, as short as few hours, but often for a few days.   These spikes are often also unexpected.  Thus, trading meme stocks and meme options can be stressful.

In addition, I don't have a reliable system to replace positions that I close out.   This means that I have to be consistently watching the market for the opportunity to buy.  Otherwise, I may miss a good entry prices before the spike.

Finally, as I get older, I realize that my trading ability will diminish as I've seen happen with many elderly people.

I fell I have two choices:
  • Put our investments with a financial advisor for a fee of about 1% of assets.
  • Put our funds into a total market or S&P 500 index funds for a fee of about .05% of assets.
I'm leaning towards the index funds for the following reasons:
  • Very few investment managers consistently beat the total market or S&P500 index over  a 5 year period.  Almost not beat the indices over a 10 year period.
  •  With commission free trading, we can dollar cost average in the index funds.
I plan to start scaling into the indices over time as corrections occur, maybe a few percent at a time, just in case there is a unexpected major decline in the market in the future.

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

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

Copyright © 2021 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

Friday, July 16, 2021

Still Hate a Daily Commute

I've been retired for over a decade and haven't had a regular daily morning and evening commute during that time.  Until now.   This week, I've been driving my daughter to her volunteer internship all five days.  

Although the traffic is not as bad as as I remember, due to many still working from home, it still was "rush hour" traffic.   It's 15 miles to her location, mostly on highway.   Of course, I head back home after dropping her off, which makes it a 30 mile trip.   So 60 miles a day, about an hour and half on the road.

I don't miss it.  Not one bit.

If I ever go back to work, I think I will only do a work from home job.  

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

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

Copyright © 2021 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

Sunday, June 06, 2021

Profiting from Wall Street Bets Meme Stocks

On February 2, 2021, I posted that I was Regretting Buying Bubble Stocks.  I was already down 25-50% on my purchases.  On March 25, 2021, I posted that I was having Wall Street Bets Fun buying meme stock and trading calls and puts on the same meme stocks.  I was breaking even to slightly positive at the time of that post.

Based on my experience, I decided to focus mainly on options, calls and puts, for some of the meme stocks.  Specifically, AMC, EXPR, BB, BNGO, SNDL and NOK.   I also bought some calls on WKHS, although it wasn't a meme stock at the time.   I watched the main discussion the Wall Street Bets Reddit thread for mentions of the named stocks.   As the mentions increase, I bought and sold calls and sold puts.

To note, I usually did not risk much more that the price of a lottery ticket.   In many cases  $5; sometimes $10 to $25, occasionally about $60; but never, not yet, over $100.   In about 90% of the cases I made a profit, up to 2000% in one case.   Most of the ones that expired worthless were profitable at one point, but I got greedy and didn't close the position, and watched to position go to zero.

Here's my key learning from the January and March meme stock spikes.   Avoid buying when the stocks are rocketing upwards.  Buying during significant up trends tends to cause me to buy high.   In most cases, wait until after a clear peak and significant decline.   Buying at this point, even before the eventual bottom, will lead to profits sooner at the next spike.

Another important learning:  Don't be greedy.   In my first attempt at meme options (SKT), the option went up 1500-2500% in one day.   I decided to wait for more gains, since this was right after the first GME spike.   The gains dropped, I kept waiting, and the gains dropped more.   Eventually, the option went to zero for a loss.

Finally, I only risk a very small part of our portfolio on options, usually no more than $200, or $2000 in the case of short puts, which would cause me to buy 100 shares of the stock if executed.

I've closed out most of my options, including an AMC $20 covered call which was executed last Friday, when the stock was $48.  I have couple long calls and short puts remaining and hope to close out some this week.

Disclosure:  At the time of this post, I own shares of EXPR, BB, BNGO, SNDL, NOK and WKHS.   I am long calls on BNGO and NOK.   I am short puts on BNGO and SNDL.   AMC was called away with a $20 covered call.  This week,  I may buy or sell calls on WKHS or sell WKHS shares.   This week,  I may sell current call positions on BNGO, and NOK.

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

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

Copyright © 2021 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

Sunday, April 04, 2021

Getting Vaccinated for COVID

I'm not an anti-vaxxer, but I've been reluctant to schedule a COVID vaccine.  To me, there is not enough long term data on the side effects and efficacy of the vaccine.    Yes, the vaccine is working and safe so far, but it's hard to predict the effects a year or two from now.

However, with two kids, ages 8 and 16, it will be hard to avoid the return to normalcy that the vaccine will bring.   They will be returning to in-person classes next school year.  Parents of their classmates are all getting vaccinated.  There will be less restrictions when in public.  Net, I've decided that getting vaccinated will outweigh the risks of not being vaccinated.

I am scheduled for getting the J&J one shot COVID vaccine on Wednesday.   

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

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

Copyright © 2021 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

Saturday, April 03, 2021

Gamestop, Bitcoin, and NFTs, Oh My!

It's the wild west out there.  One of my neighbors is investing in high end graded/autographed sports cards.  Another neighbor is flipping houses.  It's getting crazy.

I'm in Gamestop and Bitcoin miners.   Risky, but probably not as risky, yet :-)

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

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

Copyright © 2021 Achievement Catalyst, LLC