Monday, May 15, 2017

1 share of amazon would be worth $11,500 today

20 years ago, on this day, a small etailer went public. A little known book store with a few million in revenue, was listed at $18 a pop.
If you had $18 lying around and purchased a stock on that day (ignore commission for a minute), it would be worth a whooping $11,500 today.
The stock split three separate times, so one share became two, became 6 and eventually 12.

If you were crazy enough to make a $2,000 bet on amazon 20 years ago, and never sold a single share - you would be an amazon millionaire. That $2,000 would be worth  $1,277,300 today. The interesting part is that the stock still has some more room to grow.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Free $10 amazon credit

This might be targeted, so check your amazon account if you are a amazon prime member and your default card is anything other than a discover card.

Just by setting your default card to discover, amazon will apply a $10 credit to your account which can be used right away. You obviously don't have to use the discover card to pay for your orders, you can always chose another card at check out.

It is a free $10 for a couple of clicks in my opinion. You can go back tomorrow and change your default credit card back to whatever you were using.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Passive Income Update - April 2017

The first month of the quarter tends to be on the lower side for the overall portfolio in terms of dividends received. The markets continue to be frothy, so i haven't been investing the dividends back into stocks just yet.

Here is my passive income update for the month of April 2017 -

Taxable Account -

WMT     $6.12
KO         $11.10
MO        $15.86
PM         $20.80
GSK        $6.79
WPC $15.92
BNS $7.15

Total        $83.74

Roth IRA - $15.83

Other* -      $77.00

Total Passive Income for the month - $ 176.57

* The Other category includes items like interest income from Savings Accounts/CD's.

How was your month of April ?

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Apple increases dividend by 10.5 %

Apple just released their quarterly numbers, and like clockwork increased their dividend. I was expecting a 20 cent per share raise, but they increased it by 24 cents. The yearly dividend is now $2.52 per share.
An over 10 % dividend raise is great considering that this is not a value stock and the stock value it self has risen over 25% just this year.

I am excited about the upcoming super cycle where they will be releasing the 10th anniversary iPhone.

Apple remains one of my best performing stock picks. Oh and did i mention they have over quarter of a trillion dollars in the bank? Their $250 billion + cash hoard is a fortune 100 company on its own. Mind boggling.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Latest Buy - Roth IRA edition

Like i have mentioned earlier, the markets seem frothy and i still remain on the side lines. But there are deadlines to invest money in IRA accounts.
For the year 2016, the deadline to invest in a Roth IRA account was april 18th. I try to keep my roth holdings simple, equities are held in a target date blended fund, and money i want to keep on the sidelines is held in a money market fund.

I purchased $5,500 worth of VMMXX (Vanguard Prime Money Market Fund). The idea is to lock it into the Roth account and later re balance based on how the markets are doing.

VMMXX currently yields 0.93%, with the yield going up along with the overall interest rate environment. This adds about $52 to my yearly passive income, and best of all - it is tax-free.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Earning over 12% cashback on amazon this quarter.

Yes, that is right - i am earning over 12% back via a combination of points that can be eventually used as cash.

Let me explain. I have both, the Chase Freedom Card as well as the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (this one has a $95 annual fee, but it is totally worth it as can be seen here). The Freedom card gives out 5% cashback - as chase ultimate reward (UR) points on rotating categories every quarter up to $1500 spent, this quarter the categories are grocery and drugstores. These UR points can then be converted to cash, used for booking travel directly on the chase website, or if you have the sapphire preferred card - transferred to an airline partner by converting to miles.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Passive Income Update - March 2017

The last month of the quarter tends to be more lucrative for my overall portfolio in terms of divdends received, because the index funds in the 401k account tend to payout quarterly. These dividends are also used right away to purchase more stock of the same index fund.

Here is my passive income update for the month of March 2017 -

Taxable Account -

SO               $14.00
TGT             $12.00
EMR            $9.60
CVX             $10.80
MCD           $9.40
BP               $12.49
RDS.B         $14.10
BBL             $8.80

Total           $91.19

Tax Deferred Account -

VFIAX       $156.28
JMYAX      $108.33

Total           $264.61

Roth IRA - $13.20

Other* -       $67.00

Total Passive Income for the month - $ 436.00

* The Other category includes items like interest income from Savings Accounts/CD's.

How was your march and first quarter of 2017 ?

Saturday, April 1, 2017

The curious case of Target

In the current environment, Target (TGT) is one of the equities in my portfolio that i am really concerned about, it is also one stock that keeps tempting me to add more to. It is an interesting dilemma.

The market overall is really over valued. This past quarter was one of the best quarters for Nasdaq in the last 3 to 4 years, while the S&P 500 and Dow Jones are both near all time highs. In this kind of environment, semi-long term investors like me keep looking for good dividend stocks on sale. Target with its nearly 50 year strong dividend history, almost 4.5% dividend yield and its ubiquitous presence throughout the US, is a stock showing up near the top of almost all stock screeners.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Latest Buy

I have been pretty dormant in terms of my purchases in my taxable account. My opinion is that the market is really hot, and it makes sense to wait for it to cool down before making purchases. That said - there are always companies with some transient issues and they present buying opportunities, so i am still very open to those.

This is part of my automatic 401k (my contribution + employer 3% match) buys. On March 22, i purchased -

VFIAX - $112.50
JMYAX - $309.38
Stable Value Fund - $515.62 (this is more like a money market+bond blend fund)

Total - $937.50

Approximate dividend yield on the index funds is about 2%, so this adds about $8.50 to the annual dividends received in my tax deferred account.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Credit card rewards are for real

I have been through different phases as a online blog consumer. Personal finance to credit card hacking to investing to dividend related investing. I can say that now i am in a place where i have a good balance of all of these.

In my credit card hack phase (i still do a fair amount, though not as active as before) i used to hit up over 10 credit card blogs regularly, including The Points Guy, Mommy Points among others and ended up selectively applying for credit cards and getting valuable points.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Best CD interest rate

Today is the 8 year anniversary of the stock market recovery since the infamous 2008-2009 crash. It has been an amazing and unpredictable recovery to say the least. Where the market goes from here is anybody’s guess, but i think it is prudent to either not invest aggressively at this stage or pull a little bit of money out of the market and lock in some gains.

Like most financial gurus will tell you, I too believe that time in the market is better than timing the market – but taking a pause and re evaluating every now and then is not a bad strategy either.

With that said – what do you do with whatever money you have on the sidelines, waiting for a 5%, 10% or even 20% correction from this point ?

On a work visa, contributed to a retirement plan, going back now - options ?

I discussed the idea of participating in a retirement plan at work even though on a work visa in this previous post - here

You did that, and ended up with a small chunk of money over a period of 3-6 years and are planning to go back to your home country, now what? Here are a few options.

On a work visa,should i participate in retirement plans at work? - Part 1

With the increasing global nature of work and jobs, a lot of us find ourselves in the situation where we end up with a work visa (H1b,L1) etc after graduation from grad school or being sent over by a company to work as a consultant for a few months or years.

For those that graduate and join the workforce on a H-1b visa,a lot of questions pop up. Will i be here for a while, long enough for the company's 401-k vesting period?, will i eventually want to become a permanent resident or citizen or will i go back home for good? All these questions and uncertainties mean that most people procrastinate and do not participate in employer sponsored 401k plans. BIG financial mistake !