December 2011

Technical Analysis when Trading Stocks (An Introduction)

"I hope this will help you to be a better trader and investor."

From what I have been researching about getting rich and reading about the biographies of millionaires and billionaires, I have seen that a common theme is the power of investing and making your money work for you. The number one way seems to be to make use of financial instruments such as stocks, bonds, futures, exchange traded funds, etc to get ahead financially.

I think a great way to get started is to start having a portfolio of your own. There are two broad categories when it comes to analyzing securities and trading stocks. Fundamental analysis and technical analysis are the two and I’d like to give a brief intro about technical analysis. In this type of analysis, a chartist will try to identify and observe the stock price movements. This is done to help determine how the market is going to be in the future.

Should you Finance?

When you are out shopping for big ticket items, they are always trying to convince you to finance.  But just because you can finance, should you really?  Offers of 0% down and no payments for 6 months sure can be tempting, but what does it cost you after those 6 months or even today to qualify for this “deal”? 

Start a Savings Plan

Save a little each week and watch it grow.

When it comes to money, most of us feel like we never have enough. For many people, there is never a limit when it comes to how much they need and spend. Almost anyone, in any situation can start a savings plan. This is true for most people; however, there are some exceptions.

Are Fireproof Safes Really Safe?

"investing in even an inexpensive fireproof safe may be one of the best choices you can make."

Everyone knows you should have a fireproof safe if you want to get a safe to store documents or cash, but how effective are they really at protecting paper valuables?  This is something I have been concerned about, because it is difficult to trust an inanimate object with precious photos, important papers and paper cash.  As it turns out, fireproof safes seem to really do what they promise – keep the contents inside safe from fire damage.

An introduction to financial statement analysis

I actually wanted to put this up on the Cheapin’ out blog to continue my talk on penny stocks and how to get started, but I felt that this particular piece would be better on this blog.


If you want to start investing in penny stocks, a good understanding of financial statements and related data is vital to make sound decisions. Annual and quarterly reports of a public company will be the main source among others that an investor can utilize to get the information he or she needs. The balance sheet, income statement and cash flow statement are the annual reports that you would need to pay attention to. A lot of times the footnotes to these statements reveal a lot of crucial information.

Other sources of data that are critical to financial analysis are the stock price of a publicly-traded corporation which can be found on websites such as the NYSE and the financial press. Economic data like the Consumer Price Index can come in handy too in determining the potential of the industry that a company is in. Often, financial data is not sufficient and due diligence must be done to obtain the consumer prices and the general market information like the competition that a firm faces. Government and private sources should have this economic data.

When Does The Spring Selling Season Start?


The answer seems so obvious: Spring. Right?! Nope! Try again. Need a hint? In real estate, the Spring selling season starts now. The week after New Year’s. Once the dust settles and the wrapping paper is recycled, Buyers get back to business. Mortgage people are starting a new year and a new quarter. They are ready to lend (and make commission to pay for their Christmas binges). The New Year gives Buyers renewed energy that they will find the house of their dreams. They are excited. Excited Buyers are good news for Sellers.


Baseline Salary for Happiness Discovered

It's about $75k/year, and making above it doesn't make you happier


We've all heard the old adage that money doesn't buy happiness. Most of us have probably doubted it at one point or another. After all, happiness does stem in part from a certain level of security. If you're so broke you can't eat or sleep with a roof over your head, it's going to be tough to keep from being miserable most of the time. Money doesn't buy peace of mind directly, but it does help build up that hierarchy of needs that supports mental well-being. But exactly how much is necessary for that baseline comfort?

3 Holiday Gift Ideas for your Realtor


It’s Christmas and, like Santa, you are checking your list. Not to see who has been naughty or nice, but rather to make sure you didn’t overlook anyone. Babysitter – check. Lawn guys – check. Hair stylist – check. Realtor – huh?

While you may not like the state of the current housing market, it is by no means your realtor’s fault. In fact, a little token gift may just move you to their favorite client list. So, what do you get them? It can’t be expensive, just a small token to share some holiday cheer. Here’s a few suggestions to get you started:

Creating a Safety Net of Savings

When it comes to money, most of us know that we need a safety net in case of emergency but we do not know how we can create this.  With that said, here are some ideas to help you develop that safety net (in case you aren’t sure how much, it should be equivalent to at least three months of expenses but having six months worth is better).

Pay Yourself First – One of the best things you can do for yourself financially is pay yourself first.  This means, when you get paid, take some of that income and put it directly into savings.  This can be a retirement fund, a savings account, something.  How you handle the money is up to you.  I have an investment it goes into directly, I have a co-worker who gives his money to his dad to hold onto.  The important element is actually doing it.

On the Go? Check Out These Android Finance Apps

One thing I absolutely love about my Android phone is the ability to have access to my financial information wherever I go.  Even though we all managed to get by just fine before we had this information at the ready all the time, it is reassuring to be able to double check my balance before I make an impulse buy or hire that tow truck driver.  In addition to your specific bank’s finance app, if it has one, you can also make good use of these apps to help you manage your finances from wherever you are.

Removing a Negative Inquiry From Your Credit Report

A good credit score is essential. Most likely, you already know the basics. Pay your bills on time, avoid having too many revolving accounts and keep your debt to income ratio low. Many people don't realize that every time they apply for a line of credit, they are potentially harming their credit score. Creditors are likely to frown on a report with too many inquiries. Luckily, there are steps you can take to remove negative inquiries and restore your credit score.

More on The Holidays, Snow and Décor

So, you decided to move forward and be one of the few brave, yet determined souls to have their home listed for sale over the holidays. Good for you. There are a few more tips we can point out to make everything run smoother for you. Ready?!

1.    Shovel, shovel, shovel. You cannot expect people to entertain looking at your house if they can’t even get to the front door. How can they appreciate your view if the deck or patio is piled three feet high with fluffy white stuff? In fact, the driveway, front walkway, and back deck or patio need to be meticulously maintained when you r home is on the market. If you cannot live up to that requirement, hire someone who can do it for you.  

Tips to Save Money on Last-Minute Holiday Shopping

Take advantage of coupons, cash-back sites, and bonus gift cards.

There's only eight more days until Christmas, and if you haven't finished your gift shopping yet, you'd better get busy. But even if you missed Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Green Monday, that doesn't mean you can't save some cash on your holiday gifts.

Take a look at these last minute holiday shopping tips recommended by Bill Cutterz blog.

Lease to Own

If you are trying to sell your home, consider selling it with a lease to own option.

Have you ever heard of the concept of lease to own in the housing industry? I recently heard about this topic and I really had not understood what it meant until now.

Reward Credit Cards

These days, no matter what credit card you have, it likely has some type of reward attached to it.  For this reason, it can be very difficult to pick out the credit card that is going to be best for you.  But there are a few things to look at and consider when you are looking for a new card.

Reward – Is the reward that the card offering you one that you are actually going to use?  If you do not travel, then you will not want to apply for a card that offers airline tickets.  But, there is a good chance that you can redeem for a variety of other items as well with those points.  Make sure that you do check this out in advance.  You may also want to talk to others who have used that particular card to see how easy it is to redeem.

Hong Kong Replaces New York and London As Global Financial Hub

The global economic slowdown has western markets realing, but some asian markets proving resilient.

The “experts” have been warning us for decades of the rise of the Asian powers, foreseeing a (usually) dramatic downfall of the west in the form of stagnating populations, depressed economies, and political decay. In reality, there’s evidence to believe that many Asian nations are experiencing a surge in growth and prosperity, though not with the kind of headline-grabbing dramatics that some had foreseen. Instead it is the story of third and second world nations joining the ranks of the develop, industrialized, and modern first world. Along that path, there have been a number of landmarks as nations like China and India have emerged as growing “superpowers”. Most recent on that list may be The World Economic Forum’s recent announcement that Hong Kong, the semi-autonomous Chinese territory, is now considered the financial hub of the world.

Teens who made a million before 20

How did they do it?

Kids who become millionaires before they hit 20 make me pretty disappointed in myself. Why didn’t my website devoting entirely to the Powerpuff Girls earn me enough money to finance college? Why couldn’t I have sold my mother’s Hamburger Helper additions online?

But don’t feel too bitter. Maybe you can take some helpful pointers from these business-savvy teens and get yourself that first cool million before you hit 75. They’ll probably be billionaires by then.

Here are a few kids who made a million before they hit the ripe, old age of 20:

Most New Businesses Fail. Why?

“Maybe It’s Time for Plan C.”: This is a great article from the New York Times that talks about Rona Economou and her failed attempt at a chocolate making business along with examples of some others who were making big bucks at their jobs and decided to quit to go the entrepreneurship route for the simple joys of freedom and fulfillment.

Take Mary Lee Harrington who was a 32-year-old St. Louis native who gave up her $250,000 job at a white shoe law firm in London to pursue her passion as a wedding planner. After some time, working long hours and charging less to get her business off the ground, she found it too stressful and not financially rewarding at all. She found out the hard way that when you’re the own boss, your workday actually is never over.

So I really think the lesson from this is that a majority of new businesses do not succeed because the business owner did not have a great plan for initiating and expanding the business. It’s not enough to have an idea, you must also have the patience to start small, test your ideas and techniques all the time, and make sure that you can actually get some revenue going before going all in.

Track Your Finances

If someone asked you today how much money you need to live, would you have even a ballpark estimate for an answer?  A few years ago, we didn’t.  Hard times, layoffs and severe household budget cuts have our expenses fine tuned to a near science.  Learning the hard way how much you need to survive is much worse than already knowing where your money goes and what you would need to cut out if things suddenly changed.