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 PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2015 5:15 pm Reply with quote  
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  Alan Skywalker V
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Bit of an odd subject, I know, but it's been something I've been thinking about lately. For years my only money came from summer allowance, birthdays, and Christmas (still does, since I don't have a job yet.) A few years ago, money from sales of my books was added as well, but I've self published those, so sales have been limited to family and friends so far.

I only have one bill to help pay (phone bill), plus help Dad with student loans. The rest was mine to do with as I wanted, and I spent the majority of it, though I never let myself run completely out.

Beginning of this year I realized I needed to start saving and stop blowing all my money because there will inevitably come a day when I'll be living on my own and have my own bills to pay.

Right now I've got three job applications in the pipeline, but since they're gov't backed jobs (public library and science museum) it'll be a while before I hear anything and I might not even get called for interviews. At this point I have about hundred and seventy dollars, most of it in cash. I've set a hundred aside to start up a savings account. My summer allowance starts Memorial Day weekend and runs to just before Labor Day, so I'll be getting about hundred and thirty five over fifteen weeks. Guesstimating I'll be getting about hundred and fifty for my birthday and again at Christmas.

Is there any helpful advice the older and wiser users can provide for newbies like me?


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 PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2015 1:56 am Reply with quote  
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  Dog-Poop_Walker
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Not really sure what advice you are seeking?

If it's just money management, then getting a savings account is a good idea. You won't really earn any interest on it to even make it worth it, and I'd actually recommend that you stick with the low interest ones so that you won't be locked into a contract that defines how much you are required to deposit and limits your ability to withdraw, as you'll find with the higher yield accounts.

Basically its just a good way to take your money our of your hands to keep yourself from spending it.

If you are old enough, get a credit card. You'll get an abysmal rate, but it doesn't matter. Just buy a pack of gum or whatever and pay it off every month to help establish yourself some credit. That's just econ 101.

Another thing you might want to be mindful of, depending on where you live, a lot of places if you have to pay for utilities, water, gas, electric, internet, etc...If you are getting them in your own name for the first time you will have to pay a security deposit, usually like 50 to 100 dollars. That's an expense that some people don't know about.
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 PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2015 2:14 pm Reply with quote  
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  Salaris Vorn
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As I have a similar question to the OP it seemed logical to post it here rather than pigeon hole it into one of the other threads.

Basically, I've noticed how my old savings account basically earns jack diddly in interest. Not that I have much in the savings account but it's still discouraging to earn a scarce few cents each year. Now most of the banks in my area pay less than 1% for CDs (best I've seen so far is 1.2%) so it doesn't seem much better.

I'm thinking maybe it'd be better to invest it in stocks (no risky stocks) or something else. So I'm here asking if you guys have any suggestions/experience with things to do/avoid (especially if you have suggestions related to companies like E-Trade). I'm not expecting my modest savings to double in value or anything spectacular but it'd be nice to actually start earning something instead of just having it sit there.
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 PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2015 6:43 pm Reply with quote  
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  Darth Skuldren
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I started playing in the stock market when I was in junior high and have been doing it ever since. I really like Scottrade. They've got the lowest and fewest fees. Very straight forward and easy to use with a nice website and account tools.

Of course they don't tell you what to invest in, that's the part you have to do yourself. Personally, I like studying stocks and the patterns. Think of companies you might like to invest in, look up their stock (if they have one) and look at the 52 week low and high. It really is as simply as buying low and selling high, the hard part is the timing, finding a good stock at a good price and then waiting till you're ready to sell.

Also keep in mind you have to hold onto any stock you buy for over a year if you want to avoid a higher tax bracket when you sell. Another biggie is diversification. Invest in different areas (food, technology, finance). You can also check out the stock exchange for newly listed companies as those can be good options for small investments (again, diversify, buy some known companies and try some unknowns).

If you buy stock in companies in a different country, you'll have to pay foreign taxes at the end of the year (extra tax form but it's not hard to fill out, usually a very miniscule fee). There are also extra fees for buying what they call penny stocks, stocks that are valued under a dollar. I've never made any money off of those, though.
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 PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2015 12:02 pm Reply with quote  
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  Salaris Vorn
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Thanks Skuldren for the suggestions!

In thinking about what stocks to invest in there is a lot of data that comes up (whether it's using Google or something like Bloomberg). Are there any websites you'd recommend that have guides that break down what all those values are and what range those values ideally should be? Like I gather the P/E ratio can help tell you whether the price of the stock is of good value.
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 PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2015 6:39 am Reply with quote  
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  Darth Skuldren
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I'll be honest, I try to keep things simply when I'm looking at a stock. Here's an example.



You can use just about any stock quote tool (this case I used Google Finance) to pull up a chart and some stats. I'm more of a visual person, so I like the charts. I'll look at 10y, 5y, then start to pay more attention with the 1y, 1mo and 1 week. I try to get a feel for the stocks history. Did it used to be worth more? Is it steadily growing? Does it constantly rise and fall? Is it rebounding?

With iRobot, they're steadily growing (the 10y and 5y charts would show that). So I pull up the 1 y chart to see if they look like they're worth investing in. They've been bouncing around between 30 and 35 dollars a share with a peak that hit 40 and a low under 30 (this is where 52 week hi and low comes into play, that's pretty much the only stat I pay attention to).

Right now they are at 32.19 a share. They will easily jump up to 36 a share very quickly and they'll probably drop to 30 again soon. So you could do a Market Limit Order to buy when they hit 30 a share. If you were a trader, you could then sell when they hit 35 a share and make $5 off each share you bought. But realistically we can't afford that much stock and we won't be selling so soon. So long term, they'll hit 40, that's a $10 profit per share, but with their growth in mind, they're going to hit 50 eventually, and that's $20 profit per share. If you can wait it out for them to drop to 29 or lower, that'll increase your profit and you'll have a decent long term investment.

However, ideally you wanted to invest in them when they were a $10, $15 or even $20 stock. When I'm looking at companies and opportunities, I'm looking to double my money. You'll want affordable stocks in the $10 to $25 range. But it never hurts to diversify and the more expensive stocks are also safer. Midrange stocks in the $30 to $40 range are a good place to start. You can just buy a couple shares to get the feel of it. Three of this one, four of that one, five of that one, build a little portfolio.
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"I believe toys resonate with us as humans, we can hold them them, it's tactile, real! They are totems for our extended beliefs and imaginations. A fetish for ideas that hold as much interest and passion as old religious relics for some. We display them in our homes. They show who we are. They are signals for similar thinking people. A way we connect with each other...and I guess thats why I do toys. That connection." -Ashley Wood


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 PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2015 4:57 pm Reply with quote  
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  Salaris Vorn
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gotcha, thanks Skuldren! Just to make sure I understand one of the stats I've seen: the dividend rate (yield) stat is related to the profits that the company pays out to stock holders right? Not that I suppose it would matter much if a stock is going to be sold eventually but since you mentioned needing to hold on to a stock for a year or more to avoid a high tax bracket it seems like it would at least be useful in comparing stocks of similar value.
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 PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2015 10:10 pm Reply with quote  
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  Darth Skuldren
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Yeah, some stocks will pay dividends (so it's like earning interest, very similar to a savings account). Some stocks pay more in dividends than others, and some will pay multiple dividends throughout the year. Dividend rate is the total dividends for a year I believe. For example, Tootsie Roll is one of the most frequent paying dividend stocks.
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"I believe toys resonate with us as humans, we can hold them them, it's tactile, real! They are totems for our extended beliefs and imaginations. A fetish for ideas that hold as much interest and passion as old religious relics for some. We display them in our homes. They show who we are. They are signals for similar thinking people. A way we connect with each other...and I guess thats why I do toys. That connection." -Ashley Wood


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