As my investments add up (now valued at $298k) I’m trying to make smarter moves when it comes to (mostly) holding and yet selling when all signs point to it being time to let go of a stock. In the case of AMZN, this seems to be one of those times.
AMZN — which I have $3897 in at the moment, a nice 89% gain from my initial $2100 investment — yet the stock sticks out in my portfolio list like sore thumb due to its 835 PE. Given slowing growth I’m fairly confident that the stock will continue to retreat in value for the remainder of 2014. Starbucks is the only other stock anywhere near this and that’s at a 253 PE. Compare this to AAPL at 16 and GOOGL at 30 and one can say that AMZN is probably overvalued right now. Don’t get me wrong, I think Amazon is a great company, but the stock market has been a bit too kind to it. Now, like many holders of AMZN, I’m trying to decide what to do.
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The concept of “retirement” always seemed a bit funny to me — after all, why save up all of your recreational time for the years when your body is expediting its rate of decomposition? Retirement wasn’t always a thing just as engagement rings were not always a thing (read a good recap of how retirement came to be on The New York Times.)
It turns out that when you’re older, keeping your mind and body busy with work can help you live longer (no really, it’s proven that retirement has a detrimental effect on health in old age.) Research from the Institute of Economic Affairs and the Age Endeavor Fellowship found that both mental and physical health can suffer — increasing the likelihood of clinical depression by 40% and having a diagnosed physical condition by 60%. That said, not everyone has the luxury of working until they kick the bucket, even if they wanted to, and even if it would be better for them statistically speaking. Between disabilities caused by your body slowly falling apart and the fact that many employers just don’t like old people, most employees stop work well in advance of the time their soul peaces out.
For “us millennials” we have this opportunity to determine what we want in our retirement or non-retirements, to at the least have a choice that many boomers now don’t have because of the great recession. Continue reading →
Whether or not you believe in any specific countries’ ability to economically eclipse the U.S., it’s common investor knowledge that one should diversify internationally in case sh*t hits the fan in America.
In many cases investing in a good general international index fund, like Vanguard’s Total International Stock Index Fund (VTISX), checks off the global diversification box. Yet for others taking educated bets on particular regions may be ultimately more lucrative. Given China’s fast-growing economy, I wanted to do a bit of research into investment opportunities for the average investor to take advantage of China’s potential reward. Of course, investing in a young market has its many risks. My goal is to educate myself on these so I can invest wisely in the country (I already own a small amount of HAO — China Small-Cap ETF, but nothing too significant yet.)
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When I started investing in P2P (person-to-person) lending, back when it got its start, proper regulations weren’t in place. Thus, as you can see above, my returns were kind of crappy in the early days. Now that the P2P sites had to add much more stringent regulations, my returns aren’t that bad at 7%-8%. This is how my Prosper account is performing:
While I only had about $350 remaining in my Prosper account, given the results to date, I decided to put another $500 in and see how it performs. This is definitely a test and alternative investment while I focus primarily on my stock accounts.
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In terms of productivity, I’ve been making significant progress in finding a job that I’m better suited for. One specific interview went very well and I’m hopeful. Not only do I think the role would be perfect for my career trajectory, but I also feel confident I can do the position justice. It’s everything that my last gig wasn’t. I’m sure it won’t be perfect (what is) but it would finally put me in the field I actually want to be in versus just taking the next thing that comes along. It would be the first gig I am excited about in a long time. Continue reading →