August 2015 Challenge

jul 15 chal 2My July challenge was to earn an “extra” $100 outside of normal endeavors, which included writing finance articles, offering my premium service, this website and passive income (dividends / interest). Finding an additional opportunity turned out to be a success, bringing my total record to 8.5 and 2.5, or a completion rate of about 77%. To be perfectly frank I had more or less written this challenge off half way through the month. Yet an opportunity grew, and I literally picked it.

I could give you a couple guesses as to what I did, but it’d probably take a few more than that (plus the lovely picture adorned to this post isn’t exactly the perfect clue). I won’t keep you in suspense. This month’s challenge was completed by: Read more

Understanding What Stock Prices Represent

wmt tcot 2A few months ago I ran across the image you see to the left. Actually I did more than that: I noticed this sign in a local Wal-Mart (WMT) and decided to take a picture. I was struck by what I saw for a very simple reason: on the surface the message appears reasonable enough, but when you consider the message, it likely doesn’t pass the logic test.

The sign reads, “Today’s stock quote – $85.40 – Tomorrow depends on you!” It’s catchy. It shows an inherent relationship between the value of the business and the value of an employee. And I’m sure it beat out other sign possibilities. Yet none of this means that it’s especially useful. Let’s walk through a few Read more

July Challenge

jul chal 2My June challenge turned out to be a success, bringing my total monthly challenge record to 7.5 and 2.5, or a completion rate of 75%. Not bad, but not great either. During the month of June I bowled seven 200+ games, two more than I had set out as a goal. Granted four of those seven came in practice, but I nonetheless hit my mark. This was a bit of an abstract goal, but I wanted to extend the objectives beyond finance, business, exercise and work. Read more

Why Investment Taxes Aren’t Much Of A Concern

investment taxesI write finance articles fairly regularly, often to the tune of a handful per week. Occasionally someone will point out that the analysis was great, but I didn’t include taxes in my commentary. Which is likely true, I rarely talk about investment taxes. However, this isn’t an oversight on my part.

I’d like to take a moment to talk about not talking about taxes.

(The non-elephant in the room if you will) Read more

Returns Vs. “Real” Returns

returns 1  copyIn the investment world the idea of “returns” is central. You lay out capital today in the expectation of receiving more money in the future. Of course this doesn’t always happen consistently or perfectly, but in general the investment world is filled with many more positives as opposed to negatives over the long haul.

You get your money back over time. It’s not as though you routinely deploy $100 today and receive $110 next week. The process takes time and its common to receive “only” a portion of your return (investment spoils), say $1 to $10 in this Read more

May 2015 Challenge

may 15 chal 2I went 1 for 2 in my April Challenge. Or perhaps more aptly 0.5 for 1, given that it was just one month. That brings my challenge record to 5.5 and 2.5 or a completion rate of just less than 69% – still a passing grade, but not by much.

The easy part was the 50 miles; I knocked that portion out in about 3 weeks. Consistent effort, some time commitment and knowing the average needed per day helped in that endeavor. Unfortunately this did not carry over to Read more

I Don’t Want To Win “The Price Is Right”

price is right“Come on down you’re the next contestant on The Price Is Right!”

Actually you’re not the next contestant, I don’t have the authority or staging presence to make that call. But it was a nice lead in, wouldn’t you say?

Anyway, occasionally I’ll catch an episode of the game show: The Price Is Right.

If you’ve seen the show, you know that it has prizes ranging from earrings and jet skis all the way up to a “Brand New Car!” If you haven’t seen the show  Read more

The CVS Chain Reaction

Screen Shot 2015-04-10 at 11.23.45 AMIt started with Frosted Mini Wheats. It ended with laundry detergent and paper towels. It all happened so fast. Well, not really – it took a few months.

Over the past couple of months I’ve been caught up in what I like to call the “CVS Chain Reaction.” Not really caught up I suppose, but more: “taking advantage of an available and advertised system that happens to string you along.” Let me explain. Read more

April Challenge

apr chal copy 2My March Challenge wasn’t as successful as I had originally intended. I was able to organize quite a bit, but alas there remains a good deal of work left before my next book is ready to edit. I see this as an ongoing endeavor in which I will consistently make strides moving forward. No credit for partial work, I’ll count this as a miss. This brings my monthly challenge record to 5 and 2, not outstanding but still reasonable.

April Challenge = 50 / 50 Read more