Monday, March 28, 2011

Money Managing Basics: Why I Hate Banks

This post is going to be a tiny bit more educational than most I do, if you like it I can do more, if you don't then I promise to stop and I may erase all evidence I tried this. Note: This is not advice you should take without doing your own extensive research. 

The game is a game that we should all at least know about, may have lost/made tons of money off of it, or have dreamed about getting into. The Stock Market. I am going to assume that most of my readers are young, like me, so there is still time for you(us) to make your(our) millions and retire in a tropical paradise(or bomb shelter). The problem is that when people start making money, they don't know how to manage it well, and in the long run, good managing will make the biggest difference in your potential wealth.
This is the personal thoughts section of the post: I think you're at a huge disadvantage trying to get to that seventh figure if you don't take advantage of the markets. If you are young, then it is even more important because you can take advantage of the most important money-maker: Compounding Returns. I'll now take a look at various scenarios for you.

        When my mom looked at bank CD's for my brother, the 1-year rate was .7%, meaning if he deposited $1,000 then at the end of the year the bank gives him $1007. You might think that's awesome, he gained $7 per year by doing nothing, but you don't see what the bank did with that money. The bank probably took that money and piled 300 other accounts like it into a mortgage for somebody buying a house that they then charged 6%+. So from my brothers money the bank made $60+ and paid him $7, not cool banks. Of course you have the security of a $1007 payment 1 year later.

Rating: Low Return, Low Risk      -- You don't really see any significant return until you have lots of money or if you own the bank.

         Your two choices with stocks are buy/sell. You can buy a stock and hope it goes up, or you can short sell a stock and hope it goes down. A brief definition of short selling is that you are borrowing somebodies shares and selling them with the intention to purchase them back at a lower price than you sold them for. In this region of investing, you can have whatever you want, safety, risk, safer-risk, you can have almost whatever combo of Risk-Reward you want. I'm sure you have some idea of how the stock market works so I'll use my brothers $1000 as an example. Note: The market is kind of volatile at the moment so you might want to wait or at least investigate further before you jump in.

      You pick a stock like McDonalds(MCD) that pays a 3.3% dividend to shareholders and you'd buy 13 shares @ $75 for $975 total. Now, the chances of McDonalds going bankrupt in the next year is almost 0, but the market will still affect the stock price so you will gain and lose money throughout the year, but as long as you hold on long term, you will earn $2.44 a share from dividends X 13 = $31.72 per year from your $975, which is 4.5 times more than the banks return(per year) and would take a little over 4 years to make using the bank example. 

Rating: Relatively low risk with decent reward if you're in defensive stocks over the long term(multiple years)

       The other idea with stocks is to go with Growth stocks, ones whose share prices will change large percentages relatively quickly. For this example let's choose Netflix(NFLX), if you used my brothers $1000 and bought 5 shares of NFLX on March 18th, 10 days ago, at $210 per share, you'd spend $840 to buy 4 shares. Today, 10 days later, those 4 shares are worth roughly $948, so you would have made $108 in 10 days using your $840 for a 12% return. With the bank example at a .7% return, that would take 15 years using the full $1000. You might see where this is going now, your money, while very safe in the bank (up to $100,000 per account), is not going to increase fast. Take note that you could also lose that same amount of money just as easily in stocks so it's not as safe as the bank.

Rating: Variable Risk: Variable Reward  --You can do whatever you feel comfortable with in stocks

         These are for the gambler, like me, who wants huge rewards and is willing to take the extreme risk to get those rewards. I personally have lost 96% of an investment with options, that sucks, I have also made $180 in 1 minute 32 seconds, which is why my hourly rate is $7,000/hr  to mow the lawn mom. Those are the extremes, but This is the warning here: experiment with options using a virtual account first to make sure you've got it down because the results can be devastating. If this post works well I'll do a more in-depth look at options trading in the future.With options, experience is invaluable, so practice first.

Rating: Very Risky: Returns Depend on what you do--- This isn't really a viable choice for consistent investments, it's more of a substitute for Vegas. 

Stocks + Options:
 The most popular use of options is to supplement an already strong stock portfolio. This is mostly done by selling covered calls against your shares of stock for an additional return. If you have the money, the covered call can make your returns consistently massive. If you've got $35,000, the covered call calculators often suggest you can make over 100% per year selling weekly covered calls on Apple(AAPL) stock. Note: My personal dream for the last few months has been to build enough money to buy 100 shares of Apple stock so I can do this, as you'd make roughly $300-400 a week like clockwork. Again, that is not advice, but you should seriously investigate that for yourself if you have $35,000. 

Rating: If you have the money for 100 shares of a stock, Covered Calls are really something you should look into to supplement your stock earnings.

I hope you learned that I think banks suck and comment so that I know whether or not I should make a post on Options or delete this and forget it ever happened. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Weird Game of the Week#10: Third World Farmer

Sorry that I've not had the time to go out and comment on your stuff but I'll do that now.  I've been having some stock-related financial hardships at the moment, which is ironically why this week's weird game is brought to us by Wall Street, "what happens in Wall Street stays in Wall Street".

I'm pretty sure that this game is rigged to make you lose and die a horrible death because it has a "Please donate to third world farmers" thing once your final farmer has died.

I found this game to be extremely hard because I know nothing about farming, but on the upside I "lived" for 17 years after I became a third world farmer, even though the last few I didn't have enough money to plant crops and had to sell off my wife and kids only to wind up negative $100 when I died. The second time I farmed, I survived and became sort of a billionaire among the third worlders because of my first years awesomely risky peanut yield.

To play this game you can either Click Here, or you could donate all of your money to that third world farming charity and move to Africa to show them how to plant peanuts.

Now all I've got to do is make some money so I don't have to go into third world farming. Stupid stock market.

I also think it's about time to reward the people who actively comment on my posts with some "dividends".
Third World Farmer game, Weird game of the week #10

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Apple Stock and Broken Windows

Today wasn't my best day in the world of stock trading, so I've had to jump out a few windows. As many of you don't know, I'm a huge fan of Apple stock, I think they're basically going to the moon price-wise because they continue to gain market share on Microsoft in the PC game and they have the ability to create whole new markets with products like the ipod, iphone, ipad, and whatever else they can tac that i on. Sadly, today just wasn't Apple's or my day. Apple is now down about 4% today, and with it I'm down about $1000 it is down basically because of Japan and "Some stupid idiot that I hate had the nerve to downgrade it from "buy" to "Market Perform"". I hate that guy.

It's the first time I've been down this much money and it just kills me to see that red 4th digit on the daily P/L column of my account. I just would like to take some time and fantasize about what I'd do with the $1000 that I just lost. There, I thought about it, and I still think I'd use it to buy more Apple stock, looks like I'll never learn.

This is bad, but I'm not knocked out yet. I've still got my Apple stock and some options plus, the amount of money I've made off of Apple in the past takes away some of the horror. So I think I'm going to wait through this temporary storm and (hopefully) emerge from it making money, or at least not losing $1000.  I guess the moral of this story is that I hate that analyst guy and really, really, really want to see Apple stock going up tomorrow, friday, and every day for as long as I live(or own the stock).

If it goes down more tomorrow, you might not hear from me again because the windows already looking pretty tempting now. Sadly, not even my pajama-suit can repel losses of this magnitude.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Weird Game of the Week#9: Stair Fall 2

It's been awhile, but this week's weird game is brought to us by Inclined Planes©, the world's first vertical displacement specialists. This game seems simple enough, throw the stick-guy down the stairs and try to cause as much damage to it at possible. My best was only 371, which I believe can be improved by maximizing my click-thrust momentum. 

Click the Pic to play the game. 

Stair Fall 2, weird game of the week number 9

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Spring: Motorcycle Time

One of my favorite things to do since 6/29/2010 is ride a motorcycle. If you haven't ridden one before I would highly recommend that you do at some point. So, it's almost warm enough to get outside and ride my motorcycle. It would be time already if it weren't 40 degrees F outside. I've been waiting since early September to get back on my bike, and I can't wait another day. I've been doing some dreaming online recently and have come up with the 5 motorcycles I would own if I had $1 million US dollars (MArk's note: I already have $1 million Zimbabwe dollars). So here goes a list of the motorcycles in my mansion's garage. All prices are in US dollars though, so I have to wait until the Zimbabwean exchange rate hits 1:1.

Number 5: 2007 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R   0-60: under 3 seconds Top Speed:180mph  Price: $10,000 new or a 2007 for $5,000    -Insurance Note: Don't Insure the bike for much, it's the life insurance you want.
-This would be my ride when I wanted to go fast (but I'd never go over the speed limit mom). Probably to slice through rush hour traffic or carve up a mountain.
A Kawasaki Ninja zx-6r

Number 4: 197x Honda CB 350    0-60: doesn't matter        Price: $2000 for a nice one, $300 for a fixer
-My ride when I need to be stylin'. This is just a classic bike that looks great.
A 1970 Honda CB 350

Number 3: 2011 Triumph Thruxton  0-60: 4.9 seconds      Price: $8800 new
-When I need style and the CB is broken down. Side note: It's name will be "Thruxtor"
A Triumph Thruxton named Thruxtor

Number 2: 2011 Ducati Monster 796  0-60:  ~4 seconds   Price: $10,000 new or older used for ~$5,000
-I'd buy two, one to ride, and one to go in my living room as modern art
The awesome Ducati Monster 796

Number 1: 2004 Kawasaki Ninja 250r   0-60: ~5 seconds  Top Speed:93mph, or so I've heard(I've never been over 65 mom)  Price: $1,750 for a 2004 with 1,428 miles
A new 2011 model will set you back $3,999
-This bike has been my ride since 6/29/2010 and it'll probably have 50,000 miles on it before I buy any of these other bikes. (note: pictured isn't mine, it's mine's evil identical twin brother, Quincy)
Kawasaki Ninja 250r Motorcycle

Well, that's millionaire MArk's garage, 6 bikes for a total cost of $37,550 or I could leave out 1 of the Ducati's and the total would be $27,550. Thinking about it now, that isn't too much money, people usually spend about 3/4 of that on a single car and I'd have my 5 favorite bikes. Now all I have to do is move somewhere that's warm enough to ride all year and I'm set, and oh yeah, get the money too. 

Friday, March 4, 2011

Scotty McCreery: What Have I Done???

So my last two (counting this = 3) posts about country music American Idol sensation Scotty McCreery while testing out my SEO knowledge have done quite well for me. How well you ask? Vegeta, what does the scouter say?
Scotty McCreery is over 9000

You might have to click and view this next one a little larger.
scotty mccreery has led many people to view my blog

So young Scotty has made it into the top 12 on American Idol, which means that I can expect this trend to maintain itself for the time being. I thought at maximum I would get 1-2 clicks from this Scotty McCreery stuff, but this is madness. Scottie's fans will continue to google his name and click on my images/posts, and if he keeps making it to the next round of American Idol, there will be more and more searches to accompany it, and I'll be right there to lure them into my Scotty McCreery fan page.

From just an 11 hour span today, 7 people have clicked to view my blog from a scotty mccreery related idol search. I never thought he would be this good to me. Scotty McCreery is my favorite country singer, right after that guy who sings that song about being American, drinking whiskey, and tractors. I know, that could be any of them. Lots of people see the next big country music star in Scotty McCreery, but all I can see is a big fat pile of cold hard cash. All I have to do to own that pile of greenbacks is fight off Simon Cowell and anyone else who owns American Idol.
This is the huge pile of cash Scottie McCreery and American Idol will make me

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

American Idol Roulette: Scotty McCreery Round 2

While, as most of you forgot already, last week I made a post about American Idol's Scottie McCreery, the wonderful deep-voiced country singer. The point of that post was to see if I could get any people who genuinely searched for him to meander over to my blog. You tell me if I succeeded.
Scotty McCreery from American Idol
If you're wondering I did, and I proceeded to laugh endlessly when I saw those figures. I cannot believe that many people thought I was really going to inform them about Scotty McCreery. Or maybe they just liked the moustache? When you google Scotty, my images are on the first page, which is quite an accomplishment(if I do say so myself).

So, back to the purpose of this round 2 endeavor, I thirst for more Scotty McCreery songs, I require more Scottie McCreery searchers to be redirected to my blog, and most of all I want to laugh at them. So here we go. This is a picture of Scotty McCreery from American Idol sporting his trademark moustache. 
Scotty McCreery Country Music American Idol
This next image is my personal favorite. Yo Scotty McCreery fans, I'm really happy for you and imma let you search but those I Spy books had on of the best searches of all time. Of all time. Plus, it's sure to get the clicks since people want to know what it is exactly.
Scotty McCreery from American Idol Sings Best
Lastly, I have compiled what should prove to be like crack cocaine for the average country music listener. Imma let you figure out what I did there. 
American Idol Contestant Scotty McCreery Sings Country Music

This has been another installment of the MArk intruding on search results show, thanks for watching. 
Stay classy Scotty McCreery fans. Plus, check out a pic of my search queries for the past 2 weeks, pretty soon they will be in the neighborhood of 9000. 
Some of the search queries that I show up for at Gaming Through Life blog