Sunday, January 28, 2018

Investing Update 1/28/2018

Hello!

Welcome to my third investing update for 2018.


Year-To-Date Update


1/1/20181/26/2018Change since Jan 1stAvg/Week
Robinhood Portfolio Value$3,586.18$3,753.42$167.24
Money from my pocket$2,902.00$2,922.00$20.00$5.00
Dividends$137.76$144.38$6.62$1.66
Gains/Realized & Unrealized$546.42$687.04$140.62

Robinhood Portfolio Value = (Money from my pocket) + (Dividends) + (Gains/Realized & Unrealized)

Since January 1st, 2018, my Robinhood Portfolio has increased by $167.24. Out of that $167.24, $140.62 came from my stocks increasing in price, $20.00 came from money out of my pocket, and $6.62 came from dividends.

Dividends Received


Dividends Received in 2018$6.62
# of Dividends Received in 201814
Average Dividend Payment Amount$0.473



Dividend Received DateCompanyDividend AmountDiv Yield
1/17/2018Portland General Electric$0.342.85%
1/17/2018US Bancorp$0.302.84%
1/25/2018Cisco Systems, Inc.$0.293.83%
1/26/2018General Electric$1.801.81%
1/27/2018Sysco$0.362.64%


This Week's Stock Purchases

I stupidly averaged down on GE some more over the past two weeks. I think I'm going to sell all my GE stock this week, I can put my money to work in better areas.

I am able to buy so many different stocks due to not paying commission fees, thanks to the trading app called Robinhood. If you want to learn more about Robinhood, click here

You can click on the investing tab or here to see what stocks I currently have in my Robinhood portfolio.

Signed,

Mitch

Monday, January 15, 2018

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and this is an understatement, made a huge impact on the civil rights movement. Today is a holiday in honor of Dr. King because of what he did for civil rights. If I lived during the 50's and 60's, I could harass and even assault a black person for being at the same diner as me, and I probably wouldn't get in trouble. In fact, I could probably grab some other white people to help with the harassment. The thought that black folks weren't considered humans is so sad and tragic.

Athletes kneeling for the National Anthem is a very polarizing topic, and you may think it doesn't belong here on this blog. I'm going to talk about it, and if that means you don't read my blog anymore, then OK.

Athletes kneeling for the National Anthem is/was a non-violent way to protest the injustice that black people are facing in America. Dr. King promoted non-violent ways to protest. Athletes kneeling got people's attention, and no one was killed by this kneeling. You might say that Soldiers died fighting for us, and we're all in a great debt to our Soldiers. Soldiers who defend this country are heroes. I don't see kneeling during the National Anthem as a knock on our soldiers and veterans. Black folks deserve to be treated equally compared to white folks.

It's hard to know what I can do in my every day life to help decrease racism and injustice. Voting is one way. Doing research on numbers and statistics to know more information on inequality is another. I don't believe shaming and belittling white people is effective, as some people do. Acknowledging that I have built-in prejudices towards people different than me, and not pretending that I don't, can also help.

This topic was a lot different from what I normally blog about, but it's important. Thanks for reading.

Signed,

Mitch




Sunday, January 14, 2018

Other Stocks that have Lost Value

Yesterday I talked about my General Electric stock, and how the shares I own have lost a lot of value. Today I'm going to talk about the other stocks that have lost value.


CompanySymbolCost BasisCurrent Value% Gain
General ElectricGE$398.55$281.4-29.39%
Portland General ElectricPOR$47.75$42.62-10.74%
First EnergyFE$33.07$30.07-9.07%
Southern CompanySO$48.50$44.84-7.55%
General MillsGIS$60.92$57.85-5.04%
Black HillsBKH$56.46$54.44-3.58%
PowerShares KBW High DivKBWD$23.99$23.75-1.00%
Global X SuperDividendDIV$25.43$25.34-0.35%
iShares US Preferred ETFPFF$38.24$38.12-0.31%


Above are the stocks that are currently trading lower than the price I bought them at. Looking at the stocks, I'm seeing a trend. POR, FE, SO, and BKH are all utility companies. Ever since I've owned FE stock, it's pretty much always been in the red (priced lower than what I bought it for). 

The other trend is with DIV and PFF. These are two monthly paying dividend ETFs. I haven't lost much value with these, but they're still negative. 

GIS, General Mills, seems like a good company, but maybe they're in a bad stretch right now and people aren't buying as many boxes of Lucky Charms. 

I'll need to do some more research on these stocks to see if it's worth still holding them, and if so, if I should buy another share to cost average done.

Signed,

Mitch


Saturday, January 13, 2018

Breaking Even on General Electric Stock

If you take a look at my portfolio, you'll see that I'm down $117 or 29.4% on General Electric (GE) stock. I kept averaging down over the summer and the stock price just kept going down. For a little while now, it's been between $17-$19 a share, and luckily it hasn't gone lower for awhile.

You don't lose money until you sell the stock, but as I've learned from GE, there is a potential danger in cost averaging down on a stock. Sometimes, it works out - like with my Target stock. I was negative for a long time on Target, but now I'm positive after averaging down. I would like to think that GE is a big enough company that it'd be safe to average down, but I'm not so sure anymore.

This post is going to calculate how much money it would take to break even on my GE stock.
  • GE closing price on Friday, Jan 12th - $18.79
  • Current number of shares - 15 shares
  • Current average cost - $26.57
  • Total Return right now = -$116.77
  • Hopeful sell price of $20.00/share

(15 shares) * ($26.57/share) + (X) * ( $18.79) = (15 + X) * ($20.00)
$398.55 + $18.79(X) = (15 + X) * ($20.00)
$398.55 + $18.79(X) = $300 + $20(X)
$98.55 + $18.79(X) = $20X
$98.55 = $1.21(X)
81.45 = X

I also just did the math manually on a spreadsheet, and yes, I would need to buy 81 more shares of GE at $18.79, and then wait for the stock to hit $20.00/share, and I would break even on my stock. 

I don't know about you, but I don't have $1,521.99 (81 shares * $18.79/share) to average down on GE stock. 

If I bought shares at $18.79, and held until the stock price his $22.00/share, I would only need to buy 22 more shares to break even. 22 shares at $18.79 share = $413.38. I don't have $413.38 to spend on GE, but that's better than $1,521.00. 

So....at this point, I'm not really sure what to do. I'm too stubborn to sell for a loss, so I may be holding this GE stock for awhile. GE will announce earnings on January 24th, so we'll see how that goes, and then maybe I'll update my decision. 

I hope the math makes sense!

Signed,

Mitch








Friday, January 12, 2018

Investing Update 1/12/2018

Hello!

Welcome to my second investing update for 2018.


Year-To-Date Update


1/1/20181/12/2018Change since Jan 1stAvg/Week
Robinhood Portfolio Value$3,586.18$3,696.70$110.52
Money from my pocket$2,902.00$2,912.00$10.00$5.83
Dividends$137.76$141.29$3.53$2.06
Gains/Realized & Unrealized$546.42$643.41$96.99

Robinhood Portfolio Value = (Money from my pocket) + (Dividends) + (Gains/Realized & Unrealized)

Since January 1st, 2018, my Robinhood Portfolio has increased by $110.52. Out of that $110.52, $96.99 came from my stocks increasing in price, $10.00 came from money out of my pocket, and $3.53 came from dividends.

Dividends Received


Dividends Received in 2018$3.53
# of Dividends Received in 20189
Average Dividend Payment Amount$0.392



Dividend Received DateCompanyDividend AmountDiv Yield
1/9/2018PepsiCo$0.813.18%
1/10/2018Global X SuperDividend$0.125.66%
1/10/2018Global X SuperDividend$0.256.89%
1/11/2018Illinois Tool Works$0.782.50%
1/13/2018Realty Income Delaware$0.214.91%



This Week's Stock Purchases

I bought some shares of GoPro this past week (Stock Ticker GPRO). I already sold them as I lost interest after the initial excitement of buying them. I didn't make much money off of it, but it was still fun to buy, but not as much fun to hold.

I am able to buy so many different stocks due to not paying commission fees, thanks to the trading app called Robinhood. If you want to learn more about Robinhood, click here

You can click on the investing tab or here to see what stocks I currently have in my Robinhood portfolio.

Signed,

Mitch

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Clearing out Clutter at Work

I spent some time today at work clearing out items that we don't need. Quite a few items have just been sitting and collecting dust for months now. I'm tired of looking at these items, and decided to put them in storage, out of the way. This doesn't fix the problem long-term, but it does help short-term. We now have more space and shelf space for the items we actually use.

I know some of the people I work with may be surprised at the change, but I think they'll find value in the new use of space. You have to keep making things better and improving upon things in life and at work. Staying stagnant isn't good. The phrase "That's how we did it last year" makes my blood boil.

People change, job needs change, and cultures change (sometimes slowly). When you're resistant to change, it makes you look rigid, and in my eyes, lessens your value as a worker. I am more likely to hire someone who can be flexible and see how change can be good, compared to someone who always thinks of how change is bad.

To quote Kylo Ren from the new Star Wars movie - "Let this past die."

Signed,

Mitch

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Getting Outside during the Winter

Winter weather usually sucks. It adds a lot of extra effort to our daily lives. We have put on extra layers of clothing, check the forecast more often, scrap off and warm up our cars, drive slower if the roads are slick, shovel/snow blow the driveway, and more. It's also very dark in the winter.

I remember 5 years ago when I first started my full-time job in January of 2013. Moving to a new town and starting a new job in the middle of winter was not fun. I really only saw the sun on the weekends, and it was hard to learn a new town because my car had trouble getting around on snowy roads. I was somewhat depressed with not having a support system, being away from all of my friends at college, and feeling shut-in/trapped in my apartment because of the weather.

Fast forward 5 years, and I realize that I'm a lot happier this winter compared to 5 years ago. I think part of it is the job change, but I also feel like it's the fact that I get outside during the day. My job now, I'm able to be outside a little bit, and just getting some fresh air and seeing daylight, I believe has been very beneficial.

Obviously, I avoid being outside when it's negative 10 degrees, but lately it's been above freezing (32 degrees F), and it's felt amazing.

I know not everyone is in a position to get outside during their workday, nor is it even a good idea with snow, ice, and freezing temperatures. I know I've benefitted from being outside when it's been "warmer" this winter, and I need to keep being intentional about getting outside.

Signed,

Mitch

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

GoPro Stock

I bought a couple of shares of GoPro today. I know I will most likely lose money on this tiny investment, but with the stock going down in price so much, I felt like it was close to bottoming out. Who knows though, I kept averaging down on General Electric stock over the summer, and the price just kept falling :(

I don't own a GoPro, I find them too expensive. So why would I invest in the company if I think their product is too expensive? Well, besides feeling like the stock can't go down in price much further, there is also talk of GoPro being bought out.

It's also fun investing in a stock that is getting a lot of attention. I am very diversified in my Robinhood Portfolio, so I'm not too worried about losing stock value unless the entire market goes down. Sometimes investing in a volatile stock adds a little excitement.

So those are my reasons for buying GoPro. Are they sound and sensible reasons? Eh....maybe, maybe not. We'll see what happens!

Signed,

Mitch

Monday, January 8, 2018

Google Pixel 2 Phone

I hung out with a friend tonight who recently just got the Google Pixel 2 phone. My friend was showing me the phone and it was awesome. I realize all new phones are great, but the speed at which the phone was running was awesome.

I've been pretty happy with my Samsung Phones (Currently using the Galaxy S7 Edge) and my old Galaxy S4. My current S7 is still holding up pretty well, but I am noticing lately that it's getting slower. The camera is still great, but certain apps are taking longer to load, such as Google Maps.

My biggest surprise with my friend's Google Pixel 2, was that when they said "Ok Google", the app launched pretty much instantaneously, and kept up with what my friend was asking Google to do. When I launch "Ok Google" on my phone, it takes a long time to load and is very laggy.

I may have missed all of the holiday deals, but I'll do some research and see what I can find.

Do any of you have the Google Pixel 2 phone? What are your thoughts?

Signed,

Mitch

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Missions W.E. 1/13/2018

I used to outline weekly Missions related to the five areas of this blog - minimalism, investing, technology, conversation, and health. Making an outline helped me to be intentional about working towards the Missions.


  • Minimalism - Organize and inventory my books.
  • Investing - Use the budget that I've made and forecast my spending for January
  • Technology - Move everything off my 10 year old external hard drive.
  • Conservation - Don't buy any plastic bottles (pop, water, etc.) 
  • Health - Get up at 5:30 A.M. every day to start establishing a regular sleep schedule again. 

Those are my Missions for the week. I hope to accomplish all of them! 

Signed,

Mitch

Saturday, January 6, 2018

YouTube TV

I love Google products. Ever since I've started using Google products with my first G-Mail account, I've enjoyed the simpleness, usefulness, and effectiveness of Google products. The newest Google product I'm using is YouTube TV. 
With YouTube TV, I can watch live TV from a select number of networks and local TV. I can also record any show or movie that plays live. This product is similar to Sling TV. 

For me, being able to record shows and watch them when I am able to, is worth the cost. Before, I would buy the seasons on the Google Play Store, at about $30/season.

I can watch most of the shows/movies on my phone, except for major sports games. Certain sports games have to be watched on a computer, or cast to a TV with a Google Chromecast.

If you're familiar with using YouTube on your computer, or with the YouTube app, then you will know how to use YouTube TV. YouTube TV is a separate app, but again, it's very similar to the YouTube app.

Cost - $36.92/month = $35.00 for the membership + $1.92 for taxes

If you have the Google Family set up, you and 5 other people all have access to YouTube TV. So this comes out to about $6.15/per person/per month. 

I'm going to keep using it, but I will need to keep an eye out for increasing costs without added features. I will also keep an eye out for extra fees. 

Do any of you use YouTube TV? 

Signed,

Mitch



Friday, January 5, 2018

Investing Update 1/5/2017

Hello and welcome to the first investing update for 2018.


Year-To-Date Update


1/1/20181/5/2018Change since Jan 1stAvg/Week
Robinhood Portfolio Value$3,586.18$3,638.45$52.27
Money from my pocket$2,902.00$2,902.00$0.00$0.00
Dividends$137.76$139.12$1.36$1.90
Gains/Realized & Unrealized$546.42$597.33$50.91

Robinhood Portfolio Value = (Money from my pocket) + (Dividends) + (Gains/Realized & Unrealized)

Since January 1st, 2018, my Robinhood Portfolio has increased by $52.27. Out of that $52.27, $50.91 came from my stocks increasing in price, and $1.36 came from dividends.

Dividends Received

Dividends Received in 2018$1.36
# of Dividends Received in 20184
Average Dividend Payment Amount$0.340

I've received four dividend payments already, way a great way to start off the year!

Dividend Received DateCompanyDividend AmountDiv Yield
1/3/2018Walmart$0.512.09%
1/4/2018HP Enterprise$0.082.25%
1/4/2018HP Inc.$0.144.86%
1/4/2018Seagate Technology$0.636.42%


This Week's Stock Purchases

I did not buy any stocks this past week.

I am able to buy so many different stocks due to not paying commission fees, thanks to the trading app called Robinhood. If you want to learn more about Robinhood, click here

You can click on the investing tab or here to see what stocks I currently have in my Robinhood portfolio.

Signed,

Mitch

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Smartphone App Stocks

Right now, when taking a look at the Top Apps on the Google Play Store, here are the top 5 apps -

  1. Messenger (Facebook)
  2. Wish
  3. Bitmoji
  4. Snapchat
  5. Netflix
Taking a look at whether those apps are a part of a publicly traded company, we have - 

  1. Messenger (Facebook) -  
    1. Facebook Inc
    2. Stock Ticker: FB 
    3. $184.33 closing price today
    4. $1.59 EPS (Earnings Per Share) for Q3 FY2017 (Quarter 3 Fiscal Year 2017)
  2. Wish
    1. As far as I can tell, it is not a publicly traded company. They do sponsor the Los Angeles Lakers' jerseys though. 
  3. Bitmoji
    1. Snapchat owns Bitstrips, who makes the Bitmoji app.
  4. Snapchat
    1. Snap Inc
    2. Stock Ticker: SNAP
    3. $14.59 closing price today
    4. -$0.14 EPS for Q3 FY2017, yes, NEGATIVE 14 cents/share.
  5. Netflix
    1. Netflix Inc
    2. Stock Ticker: NFLX
    3. $205.63 closing price today
    4. $0.29 EPS for Q3 FY2017. 
I don't have much else to comment on these Apps or Stocks right now, but I think it's good to know the companies behind the products we use. 

Thanks for reading!

Signed,

Mitch

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Return of the Stress

I once had a really stressful job, a job that kept me up at night. For a time period, I'd maybe get 4 hours of sleep at night because the stress of work consumed my life. I quit that job, changed life/career paths, and the two years after that were amazing.

I started a new job in June of 2017, and some of the stresses are coming back. Yes, all jobs have stresses. Yes, all adults face stresses. Some of the challenges I'm facing are thinking about work way too much and it is adding stress to my life again.

One of the many lessons I learned from that old job is that I'm not stuck at my current job. I'm still in a position in life where I'm pretty flexible - no spouse, no kids, no pets. If I want to move, it's a lot easier compared to if I had bigger life commitments.

I am in control of how I respond to the stresses of the job. I can look for and apply for other jobs. I can quit taking the job so seriously. I can quit letting the people causing me issues negatively affect me.

I've learned to cope with the stress in a healthier way, and the stress contributors are no where near as bad as they were at my old job. I'm still not ideally happy and spent more time upset at my job than happy, so that's not a good sign.

I refuse to be in this situation for too long. Either the climate at work needs to change, or I need to change the work.

Signed,

Mitch

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Apple Stock Buyback

Happy 2nd day of January 2018. I am still on vacation from work and loving every minute of it. At one point, I made a post about the number of shares Apple has. Here is an updated look -


Date EndedYear - QuarterBasic - Shares Outstanding
12/31/2013FY14 Q16,272,504,000
3/31/2014FY14 Q26,123,302,000
6/30/2014FY14 Q36,012,635,000
9/30/2014FY14 Q45,933,845,000
12/31/2014FY15 Q15,843,082,000
3/31/2015FY15 Q25,793,799,000
6/30/2015FY15 Q35,729,886,000
9/30/2015FY15 Q45,646,916,000
12/31/2015FY16 Q15,558,930,000
3/31/2016FY16 Q25,514,381,000
6/30/2016FY16 Q35,443,058,000
9/30/2016FY16 Q45,366,912,000
12/31/2016FY17Q15,298,661,000
3/31/2017FY17 Q25,225,791,000
6/30/2017FY17 Q35,195,088,000
9/30/2017FY17 Q45,149,428,000

As you can see from the table above, Apple's outstanding shares (shares owned by people/companies that aren't Apple) have been going down for a few years now. This means that Apple is buying their own stock. When Apple buys their own stock, that stock pretty much goes away, and the total number of shares available to buy decreases for people/companies that aren't Apple.

As economics 101 taught us, when supply goes down, demand goes up. When the demand goes up, the price goes up. Since Apple is decreasing their stock supply, the demand for their stock will go up (as long as they keep making money), and therefore the price of their stock will go up. 

I personally own Apple stock and after doing my own analysis and research, I am probably going to buy more. Apple is also a product I personally use, and it's a fun stock to follow compared to other stocks I own. 

Looks like the next earnings report will come out on February 1st - http://investor.apple.com/. I will check back to let you know if Apple has continued to buy back their own shares. 

Signed,

Mitch