Monday, February 27, 2006

Competition Update:

When I first started this blog I talked about a competition that I was having with some of my residents at school. First, let me give you the short update: We all suck! We have all lost money! Now, let me give you the longer update: I am winning! Here is how it breaks down as of Friday 2/24:

1Me
$492,885.68-1.42 %
2Resident 1$475,153.84-4.97 %
3Resident 2$461,722.24-7.66 %
4Resident 3$461,562.79-7.69 %

As you can see from the table, I have made the least bad decisions out of everyone! Not really something to be proud about, but I am winning at least. The two worst decisions I have made so far are to purchase Google after they reported earnings and it dropped, only to have it drop more, and to purchase GM thinking it might bounce back. I have sense dumped both stocks and hope that some of my other stocks will make up for their huge losses. My biggest gainer thus far has been Taser (TASR) which has gone up over 21% sense I purchased it. Too bad I didn't dump all my virtually and real money into that! The competition ends in about a month and I have been in first place sense week two, let's hope it stays that way.

Friday, February 24, 2006

It has come to my attention:

I'm not sure if anyone actually reads this blog. I don't really mind much, but it would just be interesting to see if anyone reads this? Leave a comment, say something useful, or something useless if you actually do read this. I like posting it either way, and I can refer people to it whenever I am discussing money so they can read about it.

Let me know!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Worry about other things than money:

If you have recently become interested in getting rid of debt, or investing in the stock market, or just money in general, don't let it control your life. Don't spend all of your waking hours worrying about how much debt you are in, or which stock or fund to invest in next. Go out and do other things, talk to your friends about other things than what Jim Cramer said on Mad Money last night. I, for example, finally got up off my butt after 4 years of not running and went to the gym on Monday and again yesterday. In high school I ran a minimum of 5 miles a day 5 days a week so I figured I would easily be able to run for 20 minutes. I was horribly mistaken, I had to stop after 10 minutes of running to walk and stretch, and the final 10 minutes of running almost killed me. This may be a little off topic of my normal financial issues, but take care of your self physically, not just financially.

Invest in your health too!

Monday, February 13, 2006

Here's a great way to waste some money:

If you are a MySpace user, which most college students are, you probably know about Christine Dolce, aka Forbidden (explicit Content!). She has a very good agent, manager, or whoever it is that runs her MySpace site. She posts almost nude pictures of herself and talks about a new clothing line that she has recently come out with called Destroyed Denim (explicit Content!). The concept of this clothing line is you can either send in your own pair of jeans, or purchase a pair of jeans from them, and they will essentially destroy them. This means put rips and bleach stains on them. If they are going to destroy your clothes they should pay you to do it right? Nope! You get to pay them between $50 and $75 for them to destroy your clothes! What a waste of money!

Come on folks, you can't destroy your own pair of jeans? Here's an idea, do something active, wear them hiking, wear them when you work on a car, go roll down a hill jeans on! Better yet, send me your jeans and $10 plus the cost of shipping and I will destroy your pants for you. There you go, save yourself $65 and send me the pants. Or don't waste any money at all on this ludicrous idea and invest your money.

Friday, February 10, 2006

I can't save enough money for the minimum investment of a fund:

I know a lot of people read my previous post about investing in an Index Fund and when you saw that I said you could open one for as little as $1000 you said there is no way I'll ever be able to do that; I can barley save $100. Well fortunately for you, you only need to save half of that. T. Rowe Price has what is called a Systematic Investment Plan which means you only need an initial investment of $50 as long as you continue to invest $50 every month from here on out. I know that every college student can easily come up with $50 every month, so there are no need for excuses. I would recommend that you start with the Equity Index 500 Fund (ticker: PREIX) because this is their Index Fund and you should always start with an Index Fund.

Just think, if you invest $50 a month for a year, you not only have $600 instead of wasting it on beer and fast food, but will have earned enough in returns to buy a 12-pack or three. Clearly making your money work for you, rather than you working for your hangover is the way to go. Grab $50 bucks out of your checking account and sign up for one of these Systematic Investment Plans!

Making some money:

Well after over a month of having my money in the stock market, I have finally started to see some return on my investment. I made one bad choice on a stock, well more like bad timing on a stock purchase because I think it will end up being a strong stock, one okay choice, it fluctuates quite a bit from week to week so it is hard to read, and one great decision on a stock. The return is only 2.88%, but that is still better than it sitting in my checking account or, what it would more likely be doing, getting spent.

You might say Mike, you are such a hypocrite, you told us that we should start by investing our money in an Index Fund, and you are telling us that you have no money in an Index Fund, are you trying to screw us over so you are the only one making money? My answer is NO! I wasn't educated enough when I started investing and that's why I invested into straight stocks rather than any sort of fund. That's also why I started this blog, so that other people wouldn't make the same mistakes that I made! I'm saving up my paychecks now so that I can have enough money to open up an Index Fund. In fact I should have enough within two weeks.

Even though it was some what of a stupid decision for me to put money into straight stocks rather than a fund, I did do something right. I stopped being lazy and opened a brokerage account. I had been saying I wanted to do it sense high school but I always thought that it was too hard. I realized I was stupid and I should have done it when I got my first job. Now I am so happy with myself that I actually did it and I am interested in saving some of my money rather then spending it all.

Invest! Invest! Invest!

Friday, February 03, 2006

Confused? Have Questions?

ASK! Ramit has a great post in his blog about asking questions. If you are confused about anything I talk about in this blog, or you have a question about something else, leave a comment and ask. Or if you wish, you can e-mail me too.