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Talk about burrying money in your back yard.

January 28, 2009 Leave a comment

On the news tonight was a story about an 80 year old man who lost over $4 million dollars (JYP 360,000,000). Over a period of 40 years, he burried his stash… all cash moolah, in several places in his backyard. All of this $$$ was stolen, and apparently, the police have been investigating since late last year, and the story is just breaking now. The crazy thing is that the man passed away recently. Anyway, this news will probably be plastered all over the internets tomorrow.

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Categories: Japan, Personal Finance

Follow the oracle?

June 7, 2008 Leave a comment

I’ve been pondering adding a bank stock to the pocket change portfolio for a quite a while now, why? The reason being is financial companies usually provide a nice dividend, and that’s what my portfolio is all about. But with many of the financial stocks not doing so well, is it the wrong move? I think not. With a long term outlook, buying good companies in a slump is the best thing to do.

I think I’ll follow in the foot steps of Warren Buffett. With the weakened financials, he’s been adding to his holdings of US Bancorp and Wells Fargo. USB, is sporting an annual yield of over 5%, while Wells Fargo is distributing around 4.6%. Not too shabby.

Almost time for a new purchase

May 29, 2008 Leave a comment

After a few minutes rolling quarters and a trip to the coinstar machine, I have $48 ready to invest. Sadly, the last time added new funds was last November. Being able to grow the account without a steady influx of new money is exactly why I choose dividend producing stocks.

Pocket Change Portfolio Valuation

May 25, 2008 Leave a comment

One thing that I have been neglecting in my portfolio is comparing the returns to a major index like the S&P 500. After all, if I’m not beating the S&P 500, what’s the point of owning individual stocks. It looks like I’ve got my work cut out for me.

Through 2008 to date I’ve invested $860.00 of pocket change over 5 years, paid $24 in commissions, and earned $249.52 in dividends. A simple calculation leads me to a 38% return since day one. Of course, to find the true return, I’m gong to have to dig deeper.

Pocket Change Portfolio – Part III

May 24, 2008 Leave a comment

To round out the portfolio, I decided to eat my own dog food. In April of 2006, gas was on the rise (although a lot cheaper than now), Exxon had posted its largest profits ever, and I was ready to buy a new stock. A gas stock. There were several companies I was considering: Exxon (NYSE: XOM), BP (NYSE: BP), Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE: RDS.A), and Chevron (NYSE: CVX).

Both BP and Royal Dutch Shell produced a nice dividend, however because they are foreign companies there is a tax on the dividend that would cut into my reinvestment earnings so I ended up passing on those two. In comparison of Exxon and Chevron, Exxon was in the news quite a bit and I felt that the positive news had driven up the stock price quite a bit. Chevron on the other hand, produced a decent dividend a little less than 3% and its stock price had not risen a whole lot. But more than that, it’s the only gasoline I put in my car. That sealed the deal.

In April 2006 I made a small purchase of $73, and a second purchase in November 2007 of $114. The prices of the stock back then were $60.84 and $88.02, respectively. Yesterday, Chevron closed at $100.73 falling back after getting upwards of $103 per share earlier in the week. Nice gains for the Pocket Change Portfolio.

Disclaimer: I am not a professional investor or anything of the sort, please do your due diligence and research your own stock purchases before deciding if any company I mention is right for your portfolio.

Pocket Change Portfolio – Part II

May 18, 2008 Leave a comment

My next purchase for the Pocket Change Portfolio occurred near the end of 2004. Although a much different entity today, the company I chose had a long but controversial history, distributed a nice 4% dividend, and at the time was quite speculative. In November and December, I made two purchases of $132 and $77 of Altria (NYSE: MO).

Generally not recommended, my purchase of this company was very personal. Anyone who knows me well, knows that I absolutely hate smoking. So why would a cigarette hater purchase a company most known for its tobacco product? The answer is simple. I realized that tobacco is not going away, no matter how many lawsuits are made. If I have to be around smoking and smokers, I wanted to be making money off of their activity, buying MO was the logical choice for me.

Since my first purchase and several subsequent purchases, Altria is not the same company. Over 2007 and 2008 it has split up into Altria, Kraft Foods, and Philip Morris International. I have not sold any of the spin-offs yet, but may as soon as I come across another worthwhile investment. Strangely, I feel the best company to keep would be PM International, however it does not meet my dividend qualification yet, sad. To date, MO has been my one of my greatest investments, had I started with a “real” amount of money I’d be sitting on a nice chunk of change. But, since this is the pocket change account… my total cash gains have been small.

Disclaimer: As always, please do your own research before deciding whether any stock I mention is right for your portfolio.

Pocket Change Portfolio – Part I

May 17, 2008 Leave a comment

I started my Pocket Change Portfolio 2002, with only $150 of saved up pocket change. At that time, I was working as a server in a restaurant, so I’d end up with change from tips every night. It was a better opportunity than my current situation of having to spend money to get pocket change.

In 2003, I made my first stock purchase after a couple more deposits totaling $385. There were a couple factors I used to make my decision. First, the companies I would purchase needed to be big and stable. Since I would not be trading regularly, as commissions would kill my little stash of money, I needed a company that I could just let sit around without having to worry about its daily ups and downs (Now, several years later I don’t think that’s possible anymore). Second, the company had to pay a good dividend. The bigger the yield the better, because it was the only way to provide regular growth using free dividend reinvestment, in combination with whatever capital I could scrounge together through pocket change.

After a lot of research, my first purchase was Allied Capital Corporation (NYSE Ticker: ALD). ALD first came on my radar after reading several websites and also in Beating the Street by Peter Lynch. Since the company was founded in the 60’s it has provided a steady annual yield of around 10%. It fulfilled my two requirements, and has done well for the portfolio over the past 5 years.

Disclaimer: I am not a professional investor or anything of the sort, please do your due diligence and research your own stock purchases before deciding if any company I mention is right for your portfolio.