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

Monday, March 29, 2021

Restricting Use of the "BUY" Button for Stocks

March has been a horrendous month for many stocks.   I've been scaling in on some of the stocks on my watch list.  Unfortunately, most of the stocks continue to sink lower.   In March 2020, I reacted by buying more and buying faster.    This time, I am slowing down my buying, hence my restriction for using "BUY" button.

First, I am assuming that stock prices will go lower.    So if  buy executes today, and the stock falls further, I do not buy more.   

Second, I put day buy limit orders below the current price, requiring the stock to fall before it is purchased.

Third, I put GTC buy limit orders significantly below the current price, as much as 10-20%.  That way I make the future purchase at a significant discount to today's price.

With 0% commission trading, I can afford to scale in as little as one share at a time.   That way I can increase exposure at low risk, in case the market continues to fall.

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

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

Copyright © 2021 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Tail Risks Growing

The S&P closed at an all time high on Friday.  

However, there are a growing number of tail risks that could cause the market to decline significantly:
  • Suez Canal blockage
  • Margin Calls, e.g. Achegos Capital this week
  • SPACs
  • Interest rate increase
  • Higher tax rates
  • Increasing Government Deficit
  • New COVID risks
  • Unknowns
Stock will keep going up, until they don't.   It's time to be caution:  take some profits, raise cash and be ready to buy low.

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

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

Copyright © 2021 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Stop Making Taxes About Vilifying the Wealthy

To me, the most equitable way to increase tax revenue is to phase out tax deductions, tax credits special tax rates at certain income levels.  The tax code already does that for many tax breaks: child tax credit, tuition credit, 0% capital gains and dividend tax rate.   After all, tax breaks are to help lower income taxpayers.    Why should a taxpayer with $1million income get many of the same tax breaks as someone who earns $40,000?

For example, above a certain income the following can be eliminated:
  • Special tax rate for long term capital gains and dividends.
  • Standard or itemized deductions, including charitable and mortgage deductions.
  • All tax credits.
Simply, have the taxpayer pay a tax on their total income, without any deductions, adjustments or credits.

I don't know why progressives have to make a point about "taxing the rich."   Just change the tax code.

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

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

Copyright © 2021 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Wall Street Bets Fun

Since January, 2021, I've been following the Wall Street Bets crowd on Reddit.  Here is a link to the thread: Wall Street Bets.  The group is young,  bold, irreverent, and self deprecating.  They make millions sometimes; they lose hundreds of thousands other times.

I've enjoyed reading their thread on a daily basis and have traded/invested in some of their ideas. Regretting Buying Bubble Stocks.   It's been a roller coaster.  I've had some big wins and a few no go's, but no big losses... yet.   Overall, it's been fun and exciting.

My one "complaint" is I feel the need to watch the Wall Street Bets stocks, since they are very volatile.   Probably not for me in the long term, but great for pandemic entertainment.

Disclosure:  We own the meme stocks GME, AMC, EXPR, BB, KOSS, and NOK.   We owned and sold SKT for a profit.   We traded calls in SKT, EXPR and AMC and traded puts in AMC and EXPR.  Overall, we are probably breakeven to slightly positive on our trades.

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

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

Copyright © 2021 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

Tuesday, February 02, 2021

Regretting Buying Bubble Stocks

The bubble is ending and I caused it :-)  I bought GME, AMC, BB, KOSS and NOK.   I already owned EXPR and SKT.   Already down today on most purchases, around 25-50% in just a day.

The silver lining is I only put in a little money, so it won't cost too much for getting "educated." 

Disclosure:  I own shares of GME, AMC, BB, KOSS, NOK, EXPR and SKT.  I am long SKT calls and short/covered AMC and EXPR calls at time of posting.

Update:  The stocks have recovered some.   I closed out the AMC covered call for a profit, since AMC was down so much.

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

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

Copyright © 2021 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

Sunday, January 31, 2021

I'm Buying GME and AMC Tomorrow

Instead of just watching from the sidelines, I'm planning to put a little bit of money into GME and AMC.   Not much, just enough to enjoy the ride up, but not enough to feel much pain if they go to zero.   I already own some SKT, SKT Feb calls, and EXPR.    I may by some BBBY, but probably not buy BB or NOK.

Disclosure:   I currently own shares of SKT, SKT calls and EXPR.

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

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

Copyright © 2021 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

Saturday, January 30, 2021

GME Will End Badly for Whom?

The meteoric rise of GME (Gamestop) has been fund and interesting to watch.  It has been a game of chicken between the "hoard" of individual investors going long, and hedge funds going short.   The pundits are saying it will end badly for the individual investors, as the meteoric rise of GME reverses and crashes down.   Classic fundamental analysis does not justify the current GME price.

On the other hand, GME owners on WallStreetBets (WSB) appear to be a "buy and hold forever" crowd.  They only seem to acquire shares, even if it's only 1 share at a time.  If this assessment is true, the shares available for selling is declining, which will drive the price up further.   Compound this with the fact that the  WSB group also owns deep in the money call options.  When the call options execute, I expect WSB group to take possession of the shares, requiring the market makers to buy more shares, and driving the price up further.  A death spiral upwards for the hedge funds, who will either need to close their short positions (driving up prices further) or liquidate some long positions, driving down the price of those shares.

My guess is GME will end badly for the hedge funds (and other shorters) first.  Later, it will end badly for some GME owners, those who buy into the position at the higher prices.   Last, there may be some contagion as other stocks are affect by those short liquidating positions to cover the losses from shorting GME.

Maybe I'll join the autists and retards (as WSB GME owners call themselves) and buy one share.  I always have a better understanding, when I have money on the line.

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

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Received an IRS Notice

Yesterday, I received an IRS notice regarding our 2019 tax return.  Finally.  I filed the return in April 2020.   Due to COVID shutdowns, the IRS did not acknowledge receipt until August 2020.   In September 2020, I called regarding status and was informed that the IRS was issuing a notice on our 2019 tax return.

I thought I knew the reason, but decided to wait for the notice rather than preempt it, due Strategy #3 below.

Here is my strategy for dealing with IRS notices:
  1. Keep calm.  Read the letter and understand the IRS conclusion and any requests.
  2. Assume the IRS conclusion may be incorrect due to lack of complete information.  In my experience, IRS notices are usually wrong in the favor of the IRS about 80% of time.
  3. Determine what's needed to satisfy the request and provide ONLY that information to the IRS.  DO NOT provide extra information that was not requested.
  4. Respond quickly, within a day or two.  
As I suspected, the request was for a form that I didn't submit.   It was a new form in 2019 used to calculated a number that the taxpayer previously did on his own without the form.  I filled out the form and sent it in with a copy of the notice letter today.

Hopefully, this will satisfy the IRS and my refund will be issued in 6-8 weeks. I will likely get interest from April 2020 at 3% on the refund amount.  Better than bank interest.

Disclosure:  I was a tax preparer for 5 years and still do my own taxes by hand.

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

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

Copyright © 2020 Achievement Catalyst, LLC