February 29, 2020

Another Merciless Week

As always, I am not recommending anyone purchase any particular stock. However, interest rates at banks are far below the rate of inflation. Keeping large amounts of money in your local bank causes the value to decline dramatically, even though the numbers grow ever so slowly. Therefore, I am recommending downloading Robinhood and investing in your favorite company, or perhaps companies. As a small incentive, if you use my link to download Robinhood, open an account, and deposit some money, you and I will both receive one free share of stock worth about $4. Here's my link: 

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Another bloody week on Wall Street. By the end of the week my portfolio had taken such a beating that any sort of reasonable "Stop-loss" sale setting would have triggered.

Professional day-traders depend on "Stop-Loss" sales to prevent the funds they oversee from completely vanishing. Personally, I have not benefited from them. Every time I set one, by the time I realize it has triggered the stock price has recovered, locking in my losses instead of preventing them. If you monitor your account constantly and your "Stop-loss" triggers, you can buy back your stocks at a discount. I don't have that luxury.

Before I lost everything investing in local businesses instead of stocks, every time prices dropped I would buy additional shares, lowering my average cost per share. Until the Christmas crash of 2018 that is, when I lost half of everything in a panicked sell off.

If I could go back in time and not sell everything off, not invest the surviving funds in local businesses, not waste my "play" budget on used cars, and so on, things would be different, but no one can go back in time. The best we can do is learn from our mistakes and move forward.

Markets closed at 4pm on Friday. However, some brokerages offer futures trading and off market trading 24/7. Robinhood does not, and I am grateful for it. It is too easy to put a profitable order on the books during the weekend only to have it process as a loss when the market opens on Monday morning.

For some reason, today my portfolio recovered a good amount. If this upward trend continues then by Friday I will be close to my break even point of $1035. I am quite optimistic, probably more optimistic than I should be. 

The one move I did make this week was to add nine more shares of Plug Power to the one I received for free when someone joined using my link. Therefore, my current portfolio looks like this:


February 24, 2020

Not a good Monday


I work 2nd shift. I start work at 4pm and I get off at midnight. Unfortunately, my job is a Residential Support Specialist at a men's addiction recovery house. So if my relief arrives late, I must remain until they arrive. If they don't arrive, I work 16 hours straight. No breaks. No lunch hour. 16 hours on duty, on station. Not even fire fighters have this kind of schedule. Last night I was trapped at work until 2:45am, so it was after 3am by the time I got home and I must be back to work at 4pm today. After about 5 hours sleep, I woke up to this:

Down $40, only 40 minutes after the opening bell. Not a good way to start my week. On the plus side, now would be a really good time to join Robinhood and buy some stocks! If you join Robinhood using my link, we'll both get a free stock worth about $4:

 https://join.robinhood.com/brianm3790

This is my current portfolio:

I have also been reading quite a bit about cryptocurrency recently. There are two major movements that will dramatically change the role of blockchain-based virtual currency by year-end: central banks around the world are developing cryptocurrencies of their own and starting with the Galaxy 10, Samsung smartphones will include a pre-installed cryptocurrency wallet. 

I have had a Coinbase account for a couple years now, but I emptied it out back in September. I didn't close it. I just emptied it. On Saturday I opened the app, deposited $200, and bought $10 worth of every supported currency. 

( If you'd like to join Coinbase, please use my link:
https://www.coinbase.com/join/miller_g89 )

There have been many changes since September. One of the most interesting is the addition of Tezos, a Brazilian cryptocurrency that pays a stakeholder dividend as long as you hold onto it.

2020 is definitely going to change our world completely. By year-end the stock market will have passed through the 5G bubble, the coronavirus will have run its course, and cryptocurrency will be mainstream. 


February 15, 2020

More turmoil


I am not recommending any particular stock or investment. Do your own research, make your own decisions. I am, however, recommending everyone download Robinhood, open an account, deposit some money, and buy something. One of the great advantages of living in a free, capitalist society is that the means of production can be owned by anyone and everyone. Jealous of "big oil" or "big pharma" or some other "greedy capitalist corporation"? Download Robinhood and buy some stocks. For as little as $5 you can share in their profits every time they disburse the quarterly dividends. As an added bonus, if you use my link to join Robinhood, you and I will each receive one free share of stock worth about $5. So what are you waiting for? Download Robinhood, create an account, deposit some money, and experience the reality of free market capitalism for yourself: https://share.robinhood.com/brianm3790

Another week of turmoil in my meager portfolio:

I finished above $900, but my break-even point is now $935 because of the dividends I received in January. As the chart above shows, mid-week my total value came very close to the break-even point, but didn't quite reach it before dropping down again to just above $900. The entire past month, from mid-January until today, has been a rollercoaster ride of crazy turbulence. I am not certain what is causing such massive swings in either the market as a whole or my meager portfolio. Some blame the coronavirus, some blame the imploding EU economy, some blame chaos in parts of Central America and South America. Myself, I just wish folks would stop panicking over every tiny hiccup in global headlines. The market exists for buying and selling, that's true, but the past thirty days have been crazy. The American economy is still going strong, there is no global recession looming on the horizon, the coronavirus is not this century's version of the Black Plague or the Spanish Flu. Despite the doomsayers, it's really not that bad out there.

The past 30 days:

Most of my stocks are still below the price I paid for them, and that's okay. Nothing lasts forever, the market rises and falls based on the whims and fantasies of millions of people. No one person (and no secret cabal of greedy capitalist pigs) controls the market. Stock values represent the mid-point between the amount most buyers are willing to pay and the amount most sellers are willing to receive. Well, technically it's not the mid-point. The stock market matches buyers and sellers based on the sell price of the most recent transaction. Even a "market buy" will be determined by whatever sell offers exist at the moment you place your buy order. The transaction will be logged, and the price will join the ticker stream. This is why I almost always use "Limit Buy" or "Limit Sell" orders. As a result, many of my orders never complete and are either automatically canceled at the end of the day or manually canceled by me, depending on which option I choose when I create the order. If I submit 3 or 4 orders and none of them complete, and if I really want to buy a particular stock, or if I really need to sell something and use the cash elsewhere, then I submit a market order and just accept whatever price is available. Here is my current portfolio:




February 08, 2020

Extreme Volatility, but Trending Upward

As always, I am not advising anyone to purchase any particular stocks or make any particular investments. I am simply sharing my own experience. I would like to encourage everyone to download Robinhood, create an account, and invest in something. Research clearly demonstrates that owning shares in well-managed companies over time produces better returns than any other long term investment. If you use my link to join Robinhood, create an account and deposit funds then we both receive one free share of stock, probably worth about $4. 

My link: https://join.robinhood.com/brianm3790

Okay, on to the main topic.

For the past three weeks a variety of public news reports has caused extreme volatility in the stock market. I should have about $935 or more in my brokerage account. This includes the original $900 plus my most recent dividend payments. Unfortunately, at the moment my portfolio is in a negative position. A year ago I lost a huge amount by panic selling everything during a similar period of volatility. A very expensive mistake and a very expensive lesson. I guess I just have to learn some things the hard way. Here's my portfolio over the past week:

Overall, the trend is finally moving upward. Nonetheless, I finished the week at $885, quite a bit below the $935 cash I would have had if I simply deposited the money in a savings account somewhere. Part of the problem is my investments are centered around the 5G rollout which hasn't even officially begun yet. The first auction for the necessary frequency licensing just took place two weeks ago and there are several more auctions remaining. It will be April before 5G products show up at Walmart and Bestbuy, possibly May. There are a couple of American cities where 5G towers are in place, but very few. If my assumptions are realistic and my research accurate, then my portfolio should take off sometime in July or August. If I'm wrong, then it will take another twenty years for my portfolio to generate a good return, but that's okay. Last year I learned the hard way that investing in stock is not a short-term proposition. 

Here is my current portfolio:

I don't know how many people are following my little stock market adventure, but whoever you are, welcome to my little corner of cyberspace. I hope you're enjoying the ride as much as I am.