Saturday, November 02, 2019

A Lucky Day

We were lucky today.

We went to our local ski resort to get our annual passes and have our skis tuned up.   While there, we participated in a free raffle and a free spin the wheel for prizes.   For the wheel spin, my daughter won a gift card and I won some ski related stickers.   After we got home, I get a call telling us that we had won second prize in the raffle.   I excitedly told the caller, "We never win!"

So much unexpected fun.

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

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

Copyright © 2019 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

Monday, September 16, 2019

Energy Investments

Today, our energy investments are seeing 5-20% gains depending on the stock.   I plan to take some profits but allow most to the positions rise 20-40% before more selling.  Overall, we are still down on most of our oil and gas stock investments.   So this advance will hopefully get us back to about even.

At this point, I expect the pop in oil prices to be short lived.  But who knows, it could last longer or go further.

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 © 2019 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

Monday, August 19, 2019

Scaling In and Taking Profits

During the market volatility of the past two weeks, I've been scaling into several beaten down stocks in the oil, growth and retail sectors.   I've also been using the opportunity to buy into some high, but safe, dividend paying stocks.Now some of them are rebounding.   So I am selling some shares at they cross the 15% gain threshold.

I fully expect the market will continue to volatile and I will have an opportunity to repurchase the sold shares at a lower price soon.

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 © 2019 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

Friday, August 16, 2019

How Much Savings is Needed to Live Entirely Off Investment Income Until 90

It depends.   On how old one starts and the desired income.

Here's an article that does the analysis.

Here is my brief summary of what's needed.

Starting Age        Investment Funds Needed

       25                   60 times desired income         

       35                   52 times desired income                 

       45                   43 times desired income

       55                   35 times desired income

       65                   25 times desired income

The analysis assumes no social security or other supplemental income such as blogging, rental, etc.

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

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

Copyright © 2017 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

Potential Changes to Retiree Savings, Pensions and Social Security

Several proposals in Congress may get passed and significantly affect my retirement income.  They are summarized in this article from CNBC and quoted below.

Here are the key points from two of the proposals that affect me:

  • Secure Act - "The Secure Act would include a bevy of changes to existing retirement rules. Its main goal: to expand access to retirement savings.

    It includes measures to allow small employers to band together to offer 401(k) plans, give part-time workers access to retirement plans, take away the 70½ age limit for individual retirement account contributions and raise the age for required minimum distributions to 72, from 70½.

    It also would expand the inclusion of annuities in 401(k) plans and put a 10-year time limit on how long non-spouse beneficiaries can stretch out an inherited IRA."
  • Social Security 2100 Act -  "The Social Security 2100 Act looks to fix that by extending the solvency of the program into the next century...

    The proposal would give those who are or will be receiving benefits a raise that is the equivalent of 2% of the average benefit. It would also set the new minimum benefit at 25% above the poverty line.

    The plan also would increase the amount of non-Social Security income one can earn before benefits begin to be taxed. The new limits would go to $50,000 for individuals and $100,000 for couples, up from today’s $25,000 and $32,000 thresholds.

    In order to pay for those changes, the bill calls for raising payroll taxes on wages over $400,000. Wages up to $132,900 are currently taxed."
In addition, there are a three elements that don't affect me much if at all.

  • Rehabilitation for Multiemployer Pension Act - "Many so-called multiemployer pension plans are on the brink of running out of money...The new bill would let pensions borrow money to remain solvent so that they can continue to pay retirees. The legislation would create a Pension Rehabilitation Administration within the Treasury Department and a trust fund from which the loans would be distributed.
  • Health Savings for Seniors Act - " This bill would allow individuals who are on Medicare to continue to contribute to health savings accounts. Currently, they are prohibited from doing so.
  • Equal Treatment of Public Servants Act - This bill "would enable public workers to get larger Social Security benefits. A current rule, the Windfall Elimination Provision, reduces their benefits based on how much pension income they receive."
A couple of these have been passed by the House, but not the Senate.  The other three are still being considered by the House.


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

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

Copyright © 2019 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

What Markets Do After a Yield Curve Inversion

Yield curve inversions don't usually mean an immediate declining market. It can be as short as a month or up to two years, with the market peaking over 30% higher.   However, a yield inversion usually does mean an market peak and subsequent decline is coming in the next 24 months.

Here is a Marketwatch article with more of the details.

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 © 2019 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

2-10 Year Yield Curve Inverts

For the first time since 2005, the 10 year treasury yield fell below the 2 year treasury yield.  This yield curve has preceded the last seven recessions dating back to 1969, with the most recent being 2007-2009.  The yield curve inversion can occur several months to a couple years before the start of a recession.

Here is a Yahoo! Finance article with more details.

Although I have been trickling small amounts into stock purchases, I will be consciously taking profits and reducing equity holding over the next six months to a year.

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 © 2019 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

Negative Interest Rates Impact

The hope negative interest rate to significantly stimulate economies hasn't been realized.  Instead, negative interest rates has increase investments in non productive assets, e.g. real estate, stocks, and not into investments that increase GDP.   In addition, exiting from a low interest rate policy is difficult due to exchange rate impacts that strengthen the local currency.

Here is an article from The Financial Times (subscription my be required to view) discussing the situation with Sweden.

Here is an article from the World Economic Forum discussing the effectiveness and impacts of negative interest rates.

In either case, it appears that negative interest rates and the exit may lead to an undesirable economic ending.

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

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

Copyright © 2019 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

Monday, August 12, 2019

Shoot For the Moon

While I think this market is due for a major correction, I'm placing small "bets" on investments that may shoot up signficantly under the right conditions.  Here are my "shoot for the moon" investment bets"

  • Oil -  This energy sector has been beat up so bad that some stocks at all time lows.  While I believe the heydays of oil are past, it is not inconceivable that there may be a spike to geopolitical issues that threaten the supply.  Should this happen, I will sell some of the peripheral holdings in this sector.
  • Precious metals - With declining interest rates, the price of silver and gold should increase.   I was buying junk silver coins from September 2018 to June 2019.  I also own shares of a could gold miners.  If gold and silver should increase signficantly in price, I will take some profits in our holdings.
  • Bitcoin -  In late 2018, I bought some shares of bitcoin related stocks.  The prices of these stocks have declined significantly since then, as much as 90%.   I have averaged down in most of these stocks.  With the geopolitical turmoil. there may be sharp spike in bitcoin and the related stocks.
We don't have enough invested in these stocks to make a difference either way.  However, if the stock prices should spike, I will feel vindicated for investing in these sectors.
For more on Strategies and Plans Ideas, check back Mondays  for a new segment.

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

Copyright © 2019 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

Sunday, August 11, 2019

The Hypocrisy of Most "FIRE" Retirees

"...most of the "FIRE" adherents don't stop working. They just transition from a traditional job to the gig economy, and continue earning income from other sources.  Most are not 'financially indepenent'  as they do need that side income to continue to pay expenses, but they don't have a standard job any more." ~ Slug II, yahoo commenter.

I agree and the other "FIRE" hypocrisy I notice is one spouse (usually the male) "retiring," while the other spouse continues working.    In my childhood, this was called a typical single income family with a stay at home mom/parent.

If I applied the "FIRE" hypocrisy to our situation, my spouse retired at 37.   In reality, she quit working so that I  could advance my career with an international transfer and promotion, and subsequently to raise our daughter.

I even hear of some "FIRE" retirees advocating using government assistance programs such as SNAP, to support their "early retirement." :-(   In my opinion, that's called welfare.

To note, I have no issue with doing non traditional, non corporate jobs or a single parent working to earn an income.  In fact, I think that is a good thing to learn for future generations.  I'm just opposed to the approach being labeled as "retiring early."

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

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

Copyright © 2019 Achievement Catalyst, LLC