How much do habits cost me?

Money can't buy you happiness but it can buy you a jetskiIt seems like the cost of something is an easy question to answer. A loaf of bread costs R13, tyres for your car are R800 each and a box of Marlboro are R34. But being an investor, we know that costs aren’t just the sticker price, but also the loss of future income that money would have earned you. Killing some money means that you kill any future money babies (yes Steve I prefer Nedbank’s advertising, though your fees are better…) it would have had too.

So as we all want to be higher grade smartypants’ it’s a good idea to come up with ways to work out what things really cost. Continue reading

Wouldn’t it be great if the markets crashed and gave us free cheese…

Dear Investor Challenge.

I’m scared that there’s a big market crash coming, so I want to know if I should sell my shares now and buy them back later. Unlike new investors, I already have a lot of skin in the game, and therefore a lot to lose.

I only own one share, the company I work for, South African Breweries. But, through all the stock options and my own investments, I now have about R3 million worth of SAB, an amount I don’t want to see wiped out! They’ve done so well in the last couple of years, that now I think maybe it’s time to cash in the profits before they get eaten up.

I also manage to put an extra R10k a month of my savings into SAB, and I plan to up that to keep up with inflation every year. I’m going to retire in about 10 years, so I need to make sure I’m not going to have to live on beans and toast. Any words of wisdom for me?

Mr. Beerholder.

Continue reading

Your car doesn’t cost you R5800 p/m it costs you a million dollars you fool…

Er I’d better rephrase that statement. You see a short while ago I had a conversation with my extremely beautiful significant other. Not only is she beautiful, but I have a suspicion that she’s smarter than me too, and a successful business woman to boot. Sometimes I wonder if my only contribution to the relationship is my ability to swing tools around with abandon. And that ability often leads to taps with broken handles, or holes in the wall where there should be wall. I’m already on thin ice, and now possibly this post has me jumping up and down on said ice, in stilettos. It’s not a pretty sight…

Anyway, back to the conversation. You see my sexy girlfriend drives a cute little mini. It suits her perfectly as they’re both small, rather cheeky with a sexy rear end. Thing is though, this is her second mini, and other than the colour and interior, it’s pretty much just like the first one. So why is there a new one? “Well it cost pretty much the same as the last one!”… And now to deflect any venom I may encounter, I’ll switch to another example. Continue reading

“Whites can’t own land in Zimbabwe”. Excellent!

Money pool

About what every swim costs, The woman is extra

I’m not a fan of Robert Mugabe by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, given the option of dinner with Mugabe or rubbing my ears with honey and sleeping on a fire ant nest, I’d go looking for some honey. So why would I be happy about him making an announcement that whites can’t own land? Continue reading

A trader at the top of the leaderboard…

I remember commenting to a friend before this years challenge started, that if a trader wins the contest I’ll eat my hat… I’ve always said that it’s far more profitable to be an investor, but it seems like Feral Wolf is forcing me to research hat recipes. Can you hang in there until the end of the year Feral? I’m sure many of the other members would love to hear what techniques and strategies you use, even if you just give quite broad descriptions.

Here’s the trades made by Feral Wolf this far: Continue reading

Those $%@#$^ fees are blatantly robbing you

high feesHere we are in May already with the elections done and dusted. Everything seems to have gone as expected, and once again we’ve had a mostly safe and fair election. I’m still proud to be living in a country where you can boo the president and not get arrested. So, since I’m happy, and it seems the investors are happy too, it seems to be a good time to put more money to work for me.

Now where are we going to put it? First things first, if you owe money it’s time to rank it in a list. Not in terms of which one you’d like to get rid of, or which has the highest value, but in order of interest rates, from highest to lowest. If you’re a ludicrous spender, or need a fire pool, your list could look something like this: Continue reading

What financial cheat sheet is this?

American football vs RugbyOk so I know I’m a little late this month, I was putting my feet up and relaxing. While being eaten alive by mosquitos. Hopefully you’ve seen that the money is in. March was quiet-ish, last years winner qriffin spent a lot of the time in the number 1 spot, before dropping out of the top 10 and vanishing into the ether. Qriffin where are you, come back, jaDEB misses you!

So since I don’t have much interesting news to give you, I’m going to cheat a little and write about someone else’s writing. I saw a finance post on facebook that had received a lot of likes and shares. The title is ‘The Ultimate Cheat Sheet For What You Should Do With All Of Your Money‘ and it’s written by someone called James Altucher who’s been a hedge fund manager, venture capitalist and best selling author and was posted on Business Insider. Great title, but let’s take a look at the content. Continue reading

Month two

Another R100 000 has been deposited into your account!

Month two, done and dusted. The market bounced back from a brief correction, and now we have 147 out of 236 competitors showing profit. Qriffin re-entered after some testing and soared up the charts to the number two spot before being overtaken by Sparkz0629. With no possibility for insider trading or performing impossible trades, it has left me wondering why he isn’t a professional trader… Leading by a fairly big margin is Sparkz0629 only holding Anglogold Ashanti. I wonder if he’ll keep backing them again this month.

Shorting shares

Shorting shares, a wild ride

The battle for the bottom is currently being won by GAZ who backed the JD group with his R200k. Sadly they’re down 22% since he bought. Perhaps we should have a contest in a contest, see who can get to the bottom, without wasting money of fees of course. The real traders out there know you can make money by picking losers just as much as you can by picking winners. They call this shorting, which is basically lending a share from someone else, selling it, waiting for the price to drop and then buying it back and giving it back to the original owner. Sounds weird, but if you could do it well you’d be a very very rich man. Ironically picking a loser is just as hard as picking a winner, ask all the people who have been shorting Tesla shares for the past while!

OK enough reading now, you have the cash, it’s time to put it to good use. Will you buy more, or will you sell what you have because there’s a big crash coming?

All the best with your investments,

Month one of the 2014 contest

Stock market correctionWell that was an interesting first month of the contest. And what a month it’s been for the markets! If you go to the newly colour coded stats page you’ll see a lot of red. Out of the 197 listed portfolios, only 52 are showing a profit, so if you haven’t entered yet, you could come in now and be ahead of the majority of competitors!

As you know, the contest now has selling now enabled. With that, it took about a day for me to confirm that the can is opened and worms are everywhere! Continue reading

And the 2013 Investor Challenge winner is…

Left to right: AMT, qriffin and DGrobbs

Left to right: AMT, qriffin and DGrobbs

It’s been a very interesting first year, with the leader-board shuffling around at a far greater rate than I would have guessed. JaDEB performed some real acrobatics to move from the very bottom of the table to the very top with some brave purchasing of Sibanye gold, eventually settling in 14th place. SaiyanZ found a way to ‘beat’ the game by purchasing only 1c shares ensuring he couldn’t lose any money, and if they went to 2c he would double his net worth. Of course in reality this isn’t possible, and a disclaimer was added to his holdings page after a number of people new to trading asked me if they should do this in real life!

Looking at how some of the shares performed this year, we can see one stand-out loser. Continue reading