• Investing

    Doing Your Own Work

    In school, teachers always told us to do our own work.  We were not to copy other students homework or cheat off their tests.  While not enforced in your investing life, it is a good practice to always do your own work.  What does this mean?  Never rely on any statistics published by a financial site when making an investment decision.  I cannot count the number of times these statistics have been off, or just flat out wrong.  The issue is that these statistics are generated automatically, and are not checked for accuracy by anyone.   A friend of mine once bragged about buying a company at 4x earnings, a…

  • Investing

    One of the Best Shortcuts in Stock Research

    As I mentioned in this article, you should never use statistics from a finance site (like Yahoo! Finance) to make your investing decisions.  However, one shortcut I recommend is exploring Value Line.  Each Value Line report is created by expert analysts. Because of this, the bad data issues I have come across on sites like Yahoo! Finance and Google are not a concern. A subscription to Value Line is not cheap, ranging from $200 to $800 a year.  Before you write this off, I’ll let you in on a special secret for getting these reports for FREE. How to Get Value Line for Free   Ready for it…? …your local library.…

  • Featured,  Investing

    Investment vs Speculation

    What is investing?  In theory, it is quite simple.  It is the outlay of money today with the reasonable expectation that you will get more money back in the future.  The concept is very simple, but in practice it is much more complex.   What makes a good investment? What is the difference between an investment and speculation? Are you investing or speculating? Lets start with narrowing down the difference between investment and speculation.  An investment involves purchasing a productive asset.  What is a productive asset?  A rental property, a share of stock in a company, or purchasing something larger like a car wash, self storage facility, or other business.  The…

  • Personal Finance,  Saving

    Starting Out – Calculate Your Net Worth

    Investing and saving can be a daunting task. There are so many options it can make your head spin. Roth IRA’s, traditional IRA’s, 401k’s, annuities, 529 plans, CD’s, and countless other options abound. Where do you even start? Well for one thing, it is best to take things like this in small, digestible, steps. Build your understanding, bit by bit, and soon you will be in full control of your financial future. This blog is designed to lead you from lost, to mastering of your money and financial future. Just by reading this far you deserve a small pat on the back (not too big there, you are still just…