Featured

Who to Invest Through!

My recommendations on the three most popular e-brokers.

Advertisements

One of the biggest struggles I faced when I started investing was choosing which brokerage firm to invest with. The good news is there are plenty of options. First, you have many factors to consider. First, what sort of investing to you want to do. Are you looking to just put some money into a safe mutual fund or ETF (Exchange Traded Fund), or do you want more control to invest in any stock you so choose. Second, how about fees? What are you willing to pay? There are many investing applications that only charge a monthly fee, or a very low per-trade charge. To help you decide who you want to invest your money through I have created a list of the top three investing apps along with the pros and cons to each one.

etrade

First up, ETrade. ETrade is one of the most popular investment companies today. Etrade’s most attractive feature is that it allows you to invest with any publicly traded company. Another benefit of using ETrade is that there are multiple charts and ratios you can use to make wise investing decisions. One of ETrade’s draw backs is the fees, each trade is $9.99. Compared to other e-brokers this is a fairly high trade rate.

robinhood

Next, is an investing app called Robinhood. The great thing about Robinhood is there are ZERO fees! However, there are limited trading options and the app is only accessible on a mobile device. Here is Business Insiders review/take on Robinhood.

stash

The last App is Stash. This is another investing application. However, they have take a lot of the scary and challenging aspect of investing. What they have done is composed a variety of ETF’s to choose from. They give a description of what each ETF includes, and its risk level. There are fees for this app however. If your account is less that $5000 there is a $1 a month charge. If your account is more than $5000 you will be charged a .25% annual fee.

I hope my first blog was informative, and helpful. If you have any questions or comment please do not hesitate to directly contact me, or leave a comment below! Until next time!

Apple Long Term?

Nothing in today’s tech industry is certain. Companies come and go all the time. The industry is dominated by the companies like Motorola, Nokia, Samsung, and of course Apple. It’s extremely hard for smaller companies to throw their hat in the ring especially when a company like Apple consistently stomps out competition.

In the mobile phone industry a few small Chinese companies have had successes in making high quality, yet affordable smart phones. This has hurt some of Apple’s market share. Like always, Apple came back with a plan to gain back some of the market share they were losing to companies that were providing affordable options. They released the IPhone SE which had all the great features of the new IPhone 6s at a much lower retail price. Apple was able to use a lot of components from their previous phone, the 5s, to reduce cost while still making a high quality phone. The phone was a great success and this really helped their sales. This just proves that a company like Apple will always smite the little guy. They are always adapting and on top of their competition.

Apple doesn’t just rely on their devices to make them money. They have multiple services such as itunes, apple care, app store, and the icloud that brings in a decent amount of their revenue.

So they can control a market, but are they worth investing it? Well maybe not to make a money in the short run but definitely in the long run. Market Watch had a great graph illustrating the revenue they had earned in the last ten years just from their services. In 2016 they have earned over 24 billion dollars in revenue. A staggering amount considering in 2007 they only earned 4 billion. The industry is growing, no one can deny that. Apple constantly is finding new ways to generate more revenue, and without fail every year they increase that number from last year. According to Cultofmac Apple is expected to release there Q2 report early next week, so consider that when making your decision.

Thats all I have for this week. I hope this blog was entreating and informative for you. As always, if you have any questions or comments feel free to leave a comment or contact me directly. Until next time!

What should you do with Netflix?

Last week Netflix released their quarterly report. Unfortunately, even thought they exceeded expectations the stock plummeted quickly on the 18th. This left many investors, including myself stumped. I was pleased to see the great earnings on Monday, but was alarmed to see the stock dropping at a rapid rate on Tuesday and Wednesday. The question is why? Many suspect, including Marketwatch.com that the reason the stock did not continue its previous growth was because Netflix can’t maintain consistent subscriber growth. While Netflix was able to increase revenue they are consistently gaining less and less subscribers.

In the past few years Netflix has tried everything to increase the amount of subscribers. They have created original content for their show that is only available on Netflix. They have attempted to increase international subscribers but fail to reach different cultures due to the fact that they have limited content for different regions. They have attempted to address this by adding new content, but this had little effect. Despite their best efforts, Netflix can’t seem to meet expectations for growth. For investors, this is a big problem. Until Netflix resolves the issue of limited subscriber growth I am pulling my investment. I have made a decent amount of money with them so far, and I am sure that they can resolve this issue. All things considered, they did change television as we know it.

Thats all I have for this week. I hope this blog was entreating and informative for you. As always, if you have any questions or comments feel free to leave a comment or contact me directly. Until next time!

What To Watch This Week!

There is a lot of big things going on in the market this upcoming week. Three large companies are expected to give there quarterly report. Netflix will release their Q1 on Monday. They are expected to show respectable numbers, but it’s not all good news for Netflix. CNBC believes that there will be a lower number in the subscriber growth compared to resent quarters, but only due to a lack of original content. However, Netflix has invested a large chunk of change into making new content. This is a double edge sword of course for Netflix. On one hand they create more subscribers, on the other hand they just reduced the bottom line due to the large investment in future content. All things considered they are expected to yield a $.38 increase per share. I am currently invested in Netflix and I’m excited to see what tomorrow brings. Another stock to watch is American Express. For the last two years they have been really struggling. An onset of problems, including losing their partnership with Costco, has kept them from making headway in the market. This quarter they look to make a rebound. According to SeekingAlpha they should be making quite a comeback. If their projections are correct American Express would make a great longterm investment. The last stock I have watch on this week is Johnson and Johnson’s. They are set to release their earnings report on Tuesday, and considering their performance in the last year it should be a great report. They have consistently beaten the market since last year, and are expected to do it again Tuesday. In 2016 sales rose 7% thanks to their pharmaceutical devision. Johnson and Johnson’s expects the pharmaceutical devision to increase sales by another 4%-5% this year. This will surely increase the bottom line and put more money in shareholders pockets.

Thats all I have for this week. I hope this blog was entreating for you. As always, if you have any questions or comments feel free to leave a comment or contact me directly. Until next time!

 

Should You Invest In Tech Companies?

In the last decade tech has been a large part of the US economy. There are high expectation for tech companies in the coming months with President Trumps plan to cut taxes and regulations on these industries. So, should you feed into the hype?

Tech can be a very unstable industry to invest in. Smaller tech companies like Nvidia are very volatile, and unpredictable. Last month they fluctuated from $98 to $109, and back down to $103. Even big companies like Apple are not a 100% safe bet. May 13th of last year apple hit it’s lowest price since October of 2014. However, since then they have grown at a stable yet impressive rate.

No one can deny that americas use of tech will continue to grow. In my lifetime I have seen the cellular phone develop from a large bulky device with a big antenna to a sleek, innovative machine. In just 21 years. Time will only tell what kind of amazing devices we have at our disposal in another 20 years.

To come back full circle. Should you let President Trumps proposal on changing the taxes and regulations on the tech industry influence your investing strategies? My advice would be to stay away from small, and risky companies strictly because they are all around hard to predicts. Instead, invest in large name tech companies that are showing strong signs of innovation such as Apple and IBM. I would strictly invest in companies that are American based, due to the fact that President Trump’s motto is “America First.” Another thing to think about is the fact that a lot of these tech companies heavily rely on foreign labor and foreign parts. So that may be a big factor.

That’s all for this week. I hope this weeks blog was helpful. As always if you have any questions please do not hesitate to leave a comment or ask me directly! Till next time!

Is Snapchat A Good Buy?

There has been a lot of talk about Snapchat since they went public last month. Snapchat IPO was $24. They peaked at $27.09, and are currently at $22.53 a share. Hours after their IPO Snap was showing serious promise, but after they peaked at $27.09 it was all down hill. It wasn’t until the middle of March that Snapchat made a come back. Many investors are skeptical as to whether or not snap is a good buy, and if they will continue to go up in value. Fortune.com  believes that Snap will soar 20% in the next month. A bold prediction, but not out of the question by any stretch. In the past few months Snapchat has proven themselves to be an innovative company with a lot of potential. The CEO, Even Spiegel states that Snapchat aims to be the next Facebook, NOT the next Twitter.

Personally I don’t think it’s fair to judge snapchat strictly based on their IPO performance. The stock was highly overvalued, and that caught up to Snap fairly quickly. If we look at what Snap is doing today, they show a lot of promise. Yesterday (April 1st) Snapchat released their first major product since their IPO. It’s called “Our Story.” It works a lot like the event stories Snapchat has had like during the Women’s March, but it is available for anyone to share at anytime, and be searched for my anyone at anytime. In a Snap blog post they stated, “We’ve built a new way to understand what’s happening in snaps that are submitted to Our Story, and to create new Stories using advanced machine learning.”

Chicagotribune.com stated that they believe investors think Snap will continue to rise in price is because they continue to roll out new and interesting products. Snap had great success with Spectacles last year. They brought in great numbers as far as new users and revenue. Snapchat has continued to grow in size as far as employees and shows no sign of stopping. That being said, there is still a lot of risk investing in a company that has only recently gone public. To answer the initial question, I think Snap has the potential to be a great investment, but I would use extreme caution. Watch the ticker like a hawk and do your homework.

That’s all for this week! I hope the blog was informative and helpful. As always, if you have any questions or comments to not hesitate to send me a message or drop a comment.

 

What is a “Safe” Stock?

What is a “Safe” stock? There are many things to consider when picking a low risk stock. Many will say that large companies like Pepsi Co., and Microsoft are safe stocks to invest in, and they would be correct. When looking at large and successful companies they consistently grow each year. So how do you tell if that company will continue to grow? Well there is no sure fire way to know that will continue to grow, or wont go bankrupt, but there are plenty of things to look at to give you a good understand of where the company stands in the terms of growth and stability. The first being the company’s financial ratios. Say you were interested in investing in Walmart. Obviously, Walmart is a very successful company that doesn’t show any signs that they are slowing down anytime soon, but lets say you want to be sure. The website www.morningstar.com is a great website to get financial ratios from. When we search Walmart we found several different ratios to use and compare to Walmart’s competitors. They have ratios all the way back to 2007, so you can use these ratios to monitor a companies growth. They even categorize the ratios to make it easier for investors.

Another great way of determining if a company will continue to grow is if they are evolving, adjusting, and expanding. Take Walmart as an example again. They realized they were losing market share to Amazon.com due to Amazon’s prime membership. The most attractive feature of Amazon Prime is their two day shipping. However, the membership costs $99 a year. This is where Walmart takes back their market share. Walmart will ship select products right to your door in just two days, just like Amazon. This is just one of the Walmart is evolving and continuing to grow. They show exceptional promise for investors.

I hope this weeks blog was helpful for you. As always, if you have any questions or comments please contact me or leave a comment! Until next time, happy investing!

Buy Low, Sell High?

Anyone who has been about people that invest in the stock market have heard the saying, “Buy low, sell high.” That means you should buy a stock when the price is low, say when a company has a poor quarterly report, and then sell the stock when you believe it has peaked. Unfortunately, there are many holes in this method. First being, it is pretty difficult to predict when a stock will truly “peak out.” Second, this is not a sure fire way to guarantee making money. Despite what your uncle tells you, just because you bought a stock at a price that was lower than it was yesterday does not mean you’re going to make money.

Today I was asked by a friend when the right time to buy a stock was. I immediately thought of this say, and in fact used it in my explanation to her. Generally, by looking at the charts you can see when a stock has “bottomed out” meaning it looks to have plateaued  and will not be going any lower. But this is not a guarantee. Just because a stock appears to have leveled out this does not mean it won’t continue to go down. Brad Sherman did an article with CNBC, in it he stated that it was more important to spend your time diversifying you account than it is trying to time the market. I couldn’t agree more. Instead of trying to squeeze every last cent out of a stock before you buy, it may may be more important to put time into researching different stocks and diversifying.

When should you sell? The questions that has many answers. In a perfect would the only time you would sell is when you were ready to cash out. Unfortunately, we can’t always count on our investments being perfect. There are plenty of indicators that you can look to in regards to selling a stock. One of which is rapid price acceleration. While it may be tempting to ride that out as long as you can it is a risky business. Generally a stock will fall in value after a quick price rise. This is due to a stock being overvalued. Another simple method of selling your stocks it setting goals. For example, if you buy a stock at $25 a share you can set a goal of making $5 on each share. Once the stock hits $30 you sell.

I hope this blog was helpful to all of you. As always if you have any questions feel free to ask! Until next time, keep investing!!