Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2010 What will it have in Store?

Making Money
One thing that I can truly say is I know I make money. It is evident I see it. As a matter of fact, I have it in case of emergency. What is funny about that is, I couldn't get to it if after 6 and it may be closed due to the holidays, at least it's there. I have had to pay my own mortgages. All three tenats (that includes my moms) have been late since November. What is really going on? One of my tenants is in jail. I deal with his sister. She had the total for November and December and someone broke in her car while at work. If I am not paid by the middle of January I am filing for an eviction. I know the house is a mess. My other tenant now is a grandmom (twice) has had to make some sacrifices to help her daughter. Things tend to happen at the end of the year.
Seeing What I Make
Looking back over the last year. Again, I know that I have money and where it goes. Yes, I did spend out for the holidays, and it was needed. Yes, I buy things I may not need. I do this because I finally have something to show for something. It feels good to know that I can buy this and not have to worry about overdrawing in my account. Now, what I need to do is pay off the Escalade. Due to Christmas and having to pay my own mortgages, I will have this paid off by January 31, 2010. Liam also needs some brakes. I need to call Firestone and find out exactly what is wrong with Liam.
Writing Leads to Reflexation
Looking back over my books. I write from time to time and over the years, I have always wanted the same things. To own property. I think it is the coolest thing ever. When I think about what it will take for me to get on it, I can't see anything straight through. Ok, let's see: Get with Carrie to find out what needs to be done

They don't erase anything
Find out about those 2 loans that should have been in deferment
Keep credit card below 40 %
Pay down MEA
Save money
Pay off Escalade
Have to put 10% down purchasing price
All over the Place, This is Me
I know this is jumping all over the place, stay with me please. Today, I will take my passport photo. This is something that I have been putting off for the past year. What am I doing? Who am I doing it for? Why am I even here? There is a vast world out there waiting to be discovered. Why not travel, there is nothing else to do. I am not getting any younger. Take the time out to enjoy this world in which we were given the opportunity to dwell. For me, 2010 is going to be about awakening, realization, focus, happiness, peace, enjoyment, and overall life. My place is this world, I may not know, but I am going to enjoy every minute that I am here.
New Job How would that Work?
Changing jobs would be wonderful and what is sad is I don't think I can do anything else. What is even worse is that I know I am worth so much more. Then at the same time am I lazy? I feel that going through the interview process is so whatever. I don't know. I don't want to be the classroom teacher forever and I will not. Taking my last class that I haven't participated in in a few days. Need to be doing something toward my Breadth Component. Thinking of my finances tell me that the Escalade will not be paid off until January 2010, I complete year, wow! Lists work for me.

Escalade January 2010
Saved money 1,000
February 3,000
Pay off Wachovia 2255.57
1,000 left over
March-May 6,000
MEA paid off April
US Dept. of Edu 12,000 Maybe I need to call to inquire about length of time of loan
Purchase house with D
Duplexs/ and more
Scattered Get it Together
This is what is going on with me right now. I am all over the place and need to get it together. This tends to be the story of my life. Slow down, mentally and just all over. I love the person that I am and know I can be so much better. I am not the best that I can be. At least I know that and knowing is half the battle. So today, I start anew. Eating right, focusing and what is important and not the spam, doing right by me. I will also post on my other blogs that I haven't said anything in a long time on. So I will deem this day, a day of renewal. It feel good.
Under Pressure
I will not pressure myself, but the time is not slowing down and in order to achieve my goals I my do what is right. Look toward how I can attain multi unit properties, travel, teach, and live my life comfortably. I am somebody that is worthy of having what I want. Seeing myself with what I want, just block out the spam.

Monday, December 21, 2009

12 Investing Mistakes I’ve Made (and How You Can Learn From Them)

Not investing soon enough — I have been working part-time since my first year at college in 1991. If I had known what I know today, I would have invested my money in an IRA from day one. But like many other young adults, I was thrilled to have money and to spend it all on things that I enjoyed — movies, games, electronics, etc. If I had invested just $2,000 per year while I was in college, that $8,000 invested in an S&P 500 index fund would be worth about $36,000 today.
Not knowing the basics— When I finally began investing, my first move was to give my money to a full brokerage firm to invest for me. I didn’t know anything about stocks or mutual funds. I just knew I should invest money to make more money. This was a big mistake since each trade executed by my broker cost a lot of money. Also, the mutual funds they picked weren’t good, and were very expensive.
Chasing past performance — Once I got smart enough to switch to a discount broker, I committed another mistake. I chose mutual funds based on their past performance and Morningstar rating. I picked several loaded / high expense-ratio funds that lagged the general market in the subsequent years.
Experimenting with my IRA — Back then I had tons of ideas. Unfortunately most of my money was in IRA, so I experimented using my retirement money — big mistake! First, money lost in an IRA cannot be replenished. I was allowed to deposit $2,000 per year and that was the limit. Second, I could not claim my losses as tax deductions. Since the IRA was tax-sheltered, the loss was simply a loss. [Learn more about IRAs.]
Not paying attention to expense ratios — Not until recently did I realize how badly expense ratios can affect investment performance. I always thought “it’s only 1%, what’s the difference,” and went for the investment with better performance. I finally ran some numbers and I was shocked to learn that a difference of 1% can lower my investment performance by 25% over the course of 30 years. Instead of ending up with $1 million, for example, I might only have $750,000.
Not paying attention to distributions — This is another number that I did not pay attention to back then. I held some funds in my IRA and some in my regular account. For a couple years, I thought high distribution was really cool because I was making more money. How silly was that? Now I realize that I am paying other people’s taxes when I get mutual fund distributions. Now with my regular account, I invest either in low distribution funds or in ETFs. (Distributions do not affect IRAs.)
Not paying attention to asset allocation — Way back when, my investment was mainly in large-capitalization U.S. stocks and funds. I did not know about asset allocation as a risk management and performance enhancement tool. It wasn’t until 1999 — when I became eligible for a 401k — that I started giving asset allocation serious thought.
Ignoring diversification — Again, with little experience and little money to invest, I was going after high-flying stocks (at least I thought they were) and did not pay any attention to diversification. Like asset allocation, it took me a long time to realize how diversification helps to reduce risk and enhance performance. The value of diversification became apparent to me at about the same time that asset allocation did.
Selling winners and keeping losers — This was my all time weakness. I knew the concept of “buy low and sell high.” So with little experience, I ended up selling a lot of my winners like Staples (SPLS), Ameritrade (AMTD), and Microsoft (MSFT) to lock in the gain; but held on to my losers like Flemings (FLMIQ) and eToys (ETYS).
Cost averaging down — This was another “buy low and sell high” mistake. Not only did I hold on to my losers, I bought more shares in hope of lowering my cost basis and reducing my losses. I did this blindly without additional research to find out why these losing stocks went south.
Investing without a goal — Not until recently did I define a real goal for my investment — among other things, one of my investment goals today is to build a $1 million investment portfolio by 2017. This is my main retirement portfolio. Other goals, which I am still defining, are investing to subsidize my kids’ college expenses and my parent’s retirement expenses. Without a clear goal, I was chasing short-term performance and was prone to act on market swings.
Selling on corrections & buying at the top of the market — These are symptoms of not having a clear goal. Since I was chasing short-term performance with the objective of making more money. I occasionally gave in to my emotion and sold my investments during corrections to protect my gains. Occasionally, I did come out ahead, but most of the time I ended up rushing to reinvest my money as the market invariably rose after these corrections.

Get Rich Slowly.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Do you Know, Because I don't

I have said it before and I will say it again, time keeps moving and it's up to me to make a difference. If you have been following my blog you may realize that I am somewhat scattered from time to time and that is what is going on right now. I don't remember the last time I posted. Well actually, I do remember, but I don't know the date. I am proud of my actions and the things that I have accomplished. Right now at this moment, I don't know whether I am coming or going. I feel that I talk a good game, but I don't actually put it into play. This is why I asked do you know, because I don't. In my mind, I see myself owning 10 properties by the time I am 40 years old which is in the next 6 years. My how time flies. I also thought about quitting my job at the end of the term, but I am not in a financial state to do that. What I have planned is to work another year and save $24,000 by the end of the year. The tax lien that I found out about at the beginning of the year will be paid in full by the end of this year. It is crazy that it has taken an entire year to get this taken care of.

There have been many gains over the last few months and I have been working hard to make it happen. Clarity is what I need right now at this moment in my life. I tried to see about getting a property by February 2010, but my credit score has dropped tremendously. When I inquired about my scores I was told that I can't spend but 40% of my credit card balance. The loan that I took out to pay for school has to be paid down by $2,000. I also have 2 student loans that show up on my credit report, they say that I was behind, but they were in deferment. It seems as if I can't win for losing. Then ontop of all that, I will have to put 3% down on the next home that I purchase.

This is my plan of action:
Pay off the Escalade $4,900
Pay off Wachovia
Save $10,000 pay August 2010
Pass last class
Complete KAM I
Purchase 1 4 bedroom 2 bath
Purchase 1 triplex

In my mind, I am somebody all I have to do is focus and keep the main thing the main thing. See how easy that sends, yet it is so hard to stay focused. Why does the mind tend to move toward the bull? That is where my mind tend to dwell. At this point in my life, I know that I can do and be anything that I want and the time to start is now. Thank you for be a sounding board for me to express myself. To be honest, because of the blog and other experiences I know where my money goes and it has allowed me to save. Thank you again!