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"Anyone Buy Stocks?"
#3
i will just say proceed with caution. if you have somebody experienced and reliable advising you, then by all means. keep in mind, however, that to make significant amounts of money, you must invest heavily in the first place. making the market work for you over the long run is quite a bit more difficult than many quickie investment guides would have consumers believe. if you have the resources and are simply looking to invest in something, look at mutual funds. if you have the patience, a well- managed and conservative portfolio will likely be a better bet. also, when selecting a broker, find somebody that has already worked with a friend or family memeber for at least a few years, with good results.
 
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"Anyone Buy Stocks?"
#4
Good tips guys, Thanks big time. I dont have a S load of cash. But I feel the need to take some of what I have set aside for the kids and put that into something that might generate something over the next 10 years or so for them.
 

penguinsfan

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#5
I have 5% of every paycheck automatically invested into stock from the company I work for. I figured I can manage to live without that 5% and I have done so. It is actually purchased at the end of each month and the money I set aside buys stock at 85% of the lowest value in the past 30 days. The company picks up the additional cost as a benefit. I got my personal report from Smith Barney a few days ago about my 2003 purchases. Between the fact that the lowest figure for the month is used and my 15% discount on the stock, my average purchase price was around $34 per share and the current value is $43 per share. Not bad.

Anyway, if you don't have access to a sweetheart deal (check it out, as it's a common benefit among large companies), go with a mutual fund. I don't say this to be any kind of a dick, but you would not be asking this question of your Penis Enlargement friends if you felt highly confident to the point where you could pick individual companies. Picking stocks is a full-time job and sometimes those guys still get it wrong. Let someone else handle that aspect and worry about what kind of fund you want. The internet/tech boom is done. Pharmaceuticals/medical technology could be good, but many companies will lose money and go out of business if we progress more towards socialist healthcare. My bet is on renewable, cleaner forms of energy. It's just hunch, but I venture that that will payoff well over the next 10-15 years.

Also, while less risky than Vegas, don't invest more than you can afford to lose under the worst case scenario.
 

bigbutnottoo

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#6
Every month, I have $250 automatically deducted from my bank account to go into a S&P Index Fund IRA so I can get the $3000 per year deduction. I also have $100 to go into another fund from the same company that is more agressive for growth. I think you should keep different investments separate. For example, I would keep my retirement savings separate from my emergency fund, and house savings, or whatever might apply to you.

The funds I use only require $50 a month for automatic investment and IMO most people would be really financially lazy if they could not find at least that much to invest. ( Especially considering the average "poor" person in the US has a home, car, microwave, computer, and cable televsion).

I like dollar cost averaging, investing the same each month and buying whatever shares that works out to. And reinvesting any dividends. For example, in one fund the share price has ranged from about $12 to $17 over the past 2 years, and overall I ma up about 15%.
 

penguinsfan

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#7
Originally posted by bigbutnottoo
The funds I use only require $50 a month for automatic investment and IMO most people would be really financially lazy if they could not find at least that much to invest. ( Especially considering the average "poor" person in the US has a home, car, microwave, computer, and cable televsion).
No joke. Even I don't have cable television, though I would swing for it if I wanted it bad enough and had the spare time. I could go my whole life without hearing another person bitch about how "corporate America" and Ronald Reagan fucked them out of all the things one is "entitled" to. Typically such a person will have a heaping bag of McDonald's food in one arm, a carton of smokes in the other, and be sitting his ass on a couch nicer than mine, watching a TV much larger than mine. Point is, anyone can afford to make some modest preparations for retirement and if you fail to do so, shame on you and double shame on you if you expect the ambitious entrepreneurs to pick up your slack.
 
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#8
I would not like to turn this into a socipolitcal/economic debate, but I would like to comment on that briefly.

It is true that many "impoverished" Americans lead rather comfortable lives, but I also believe that is is dangerous to apply this label to all struggling people. I have done a great deal of pro bono work helping poor people create some type of support base for themselves, and I can say that a large percentage of them are indeed victims of unfortunate of cirumstances, and are in fact good, honest, and motivated people.

Ambition does not allow one unlimited access to success iif they have no means to achieve it, and many people suffer a substandard or unfullfilling life despite their best efforts. Hard times can fall on anybody. I have witnessed the unrwaveling of well-educated professional's lives due to a few strokes of bad luck, taking them from a highly privelaged lifestyle, to working any menial job they can get in order to support their families. The intuition that poverty is always caused by the individuals is perhaps dangerous in that it allows us to write them off entirely without consideration. Hard times can descend upon nearly anybody, and we must hold empathy for those that did not share our foresight, ability, and good fortune. Keep in mind, should the wrong things happen, it could be you.

I do not advocate a government based around attempting to subsidize poverty, but I do strongly advocate a society that embraces empathy and compassion for those that have not been as successful. We grow as a nation by helping others achieve success and hapiness, not by resenting them for lack of capability.

Please don't take this as any kind of argumentative comment penguins fan, I have enjoyed many of your other posts that I have come across, but I feel strongly on this topic (and will generally spout my opinion to anybody I can hold captive for a moment). I am also a huge hockey fan, long live Lemieux! One of the true greats.
 

penguinsfan

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#9
Originally posted by Swank
I would not like to turn this into a socipolitcal/economic debate, but I would like to comment on that briefly.

Please don't take this as any kind of argumentative comment penguins fan, I have enjoyed many of your other posts that I have come across, but I feel strongly on this topic (and will generally spout my opinion to anybody I can hold captive for a moment).
I understand your comments. I agree with the basic argument, but we would probably disagree on the percentage of people that fall into poverty due to poor decisions versus circumstance. I too don't want to hijack the thread. I have strong opinions on such matters, based on my life experiences, and sometimes sucumb to the urge to express them. I have been very vocal on other political sites, but try to stay committed to nothing more than penis size at MOS. Anything else is a distraction of my limited time resources.

I am also a huge hockey fan, long live Lemieux!
Glad to hear of your good tastes, but I fear that Lemieux may have little left in the tank at this point in his career. Either way, there is no talent surrounding him. The NHL looks like it's heading for a lockout and Pittsburgh doesn't appear to be getting the new facility it will need to bring in more fans. It's actually a sad time to be a Pens fan.
 

bigbutnottoo

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#10
1. Personal Responsibility
2. Priorities

My post wasnt meant as a political one. I was just saying that most people can find some money to invest if the realize it or not. Its usually just a matter of priorities. It definintely wasnt a dig at the truly impoverished. It was more a commentary on people who have all the luxuries in life, new car, eat well, go out every night,etc; yet have no savings on money to invest.
 
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#11
Well GREAT advice guys, I'm just starting out with Quicken so I can SEE where every dime is going. I've got a 401k and thats doing ok, I'm gonna bump up my contribution . But I'm thinking about making a small investment into something else. But what is the question.
 
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"Anyone Buy Stocks?"
#12
Without knowing what your time and resources are, it's hard to make what I would consider a viable suggestion. One thing to not rule out, however, may be real estate investment. I'm not speaking of the late night infomercial variety of "no money down/an extra 300k a year" variety. Find a partner or two, form a small company, and buy up several condos or houses in a college district. Over the long run, if you select the property carefully, it can generate a helpful flow of additional income for further investment or savings. Depending on where you live this can be quite profitable or not worth the trouble. Unfortunately the same rule that dictates true market earning applies here as well, big returns are generally only overseen by a big investment. It would be worth your time to pick up a few well-reviewed books on the subject, and finance in general, just to cover your bases. Keep in mind, you can never have too much additionbal income post retirement, and those children are eternally expensive, so additional flows of income that are seperate from long-term savings plans can be tremendously helpful. Always better to be safe than sorry though, the more research the better. In pecuniary time, two months of research will have little impact on your eventual earnings if you get all your ducks in a row. There are also numerous low cost financial advising services and counselors that can expediate the process for you. If you are serious about stepping out in that direction, then professional guidance can be invaluable. Best of luck.
 

penguinsfan

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#13
Real estate can be highly profitable if you're skilled at fixing up properties and doing all the small things that can add value. I've seen properties on real estate sites that can be bought for well under $100 per month mortgage payment. Obviously, they are fixer-upers to some degree, but there is potential for a good return on investment........if that is your thing.
 
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#14
Thanks SWANK, Great advice, I never thought about real estate. I do have two colleges within 10 miles of me. Hmmmm good idea!!! I just stumbled on www.motleyfool.com seems full of info too. I'm gonna talk to my CPA and see what he has to say.
 

penguinsfan

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#15
If you have college kids in the area, look for old homes that can be made into 3 or 4 apartments, by simply putting in separate entrances and putting up a couple of walls.
 

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