Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Recent Purchase (part 2): Nike

Nike (Ticker: NKE) is another stock that I have been watching for quite some time. As per my "watch list"; I have been observing Nike’s stock price since March 27, 2013 at which time it was trading at $58.66 per share. I watched the price consistently go up at a steady pace (with its occasional down days). However, I cant really recall any crazy fluctuations (as it was the case with DIS). Despite all that, I still remained a little hesitant with buying the stock mainly because of competition within the industry, controversies, and not having the time to do enough research.

The price passed the $60 mark and then went in to the $70s once again making me a little "upset" that I didn’t get in back in the 50s.

Well, I eventually got around to finishing my homework on NKE and on 01/14/2014 I pulled the trigger and bought myself some shares. Just as it happened with DIS, I purchased on a down day and during the weeks in which the market was quite bearish. The stock hesitated a bit post purchase going down for a bit until it began to stabilize itself once again and proceeded forward. I am up 3.10% (as I type this) since day of purchase. It is not nearly as high as DIS (just yet) but to be able to say that my investment has appreciated nearly over 3% in less than 2 months is something I am very happy about!!!

Who else would give me that rate of return?? Definitely not a savings account and much less putting my money under a mattress. This is the difference between being passive with your money (ie: stacking it all away in savings gaining 0.0001%) V. actually putting your money to work for you!

(REMEMBER: putting money away for an emergency and for your bills [including any kind of debt] should always come first. Any extra money, which you wont need any time soon, is what you should be putting to work in the stock market).

To all my investors out there just starting out—I just want to point out that everyone whom invests has their own "investing personality" meaning that they have their own strategy and their own approach towards stocks or any kind of investment instrument. Some go for the new and exciting IPOs, others love penny stocks, while others (as it is my personal case) concentrate mostly solid/established companies, preferably that pay dividends, and that still show potential for growth. I like to see that a company, regardless of how popular it may be, still works hard towards creating and maintaining sustainable competitive advantage, which I feel is the case with a company like Nike.

Here are some of the main reasons why I feel strongly about this stock:
  1. Leader in its industry- Nike is currently the largest sports/fitness apparel manufacturer in the world!
  2. Pays Dividends- Currently pays 0.96 per share (yield: 1.20%) and has been paying consistent dividends since 1984.
  3. Healthy 2013 returns (specially in Europe and China) and a positive outlook for 2014 (based on analyst reports from Credit Suisse & S&P which I examined)
  4. The company has an international presence ß gotta’ love international!
One of its most recent major competitors is UnderArmor (UA) which has become increasingly popular in fitness apparel and is working hard to establish a brand synonym with quality. That’s another great company which I am also keeping my eye on. However, at the end of the day, NKE is still king and I am proud to call myself a part owner of NIKE!

Tell me, what are you thoughts on Nike? (the company or the stock) How many Nike products do you own?

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Recent Purchases (Part 1): DISNEY

Hello my dear followers!

Finally got a break from my hectic semester to share a couple of my recent purchases which have turned out to be quite successful.

I may have mentioned on the blog previously that I've had an eye on Disney ($DIS) for quite some time. I actually placed the stock on my watch list around March of 2013 where it was around $54 a share and saw it shoot up in to the $70s range a few months later! I don't know why I kept hesitating on the purchase but it may have something to do with the fact that it was being a bit volatile-- Shooting up or down significant percentages from one month to the next. However, at the end of the day, when the stock would finally "stabilize" on a certain price it would move up a little more and then a little more until it would hit a new "record". Needless to say I would kick myself each time for "missing" the opportunity once again.

Some time ago during the end of January when the market was on some sort of downhill spiral; I spoke about the importance of taking advantage of downtimes within the market. In fact, as my virtual investing mentor, Warrant Buffet, explains; we shall be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful. I love his methodologies and feel that they do work! There has to be research involved, of course, and we need to know what we are doing and what we are buying. But once we've passed the "homework" hurdle; next step is to catch a great deal when the opportunity presents itself.

So anyways, back to what I was saying; in mid January 2014 (less than 2 months ago) when the market was down; I decided to pull the trigger on DIS and purchased some shares at a price of $73.50. The stock is now at $80.81 (as I type this) and I am very excited at the fact that I "dove in" when I did, putting my fears aside, and my decision has paid off!! (literally). I am now at a near 10% profit in less than two months. All I can think is "why didn't I buy more shares?!" but, you never know with the market and I've had my share of experiences with over-buying so, I rather take it slow and steady for now.

I have to be honest with the fact that as soon as I bought my shares; the price went down slightly and continued to fluctuate a bit until it finally begun to accelerate forward. I don't know what the stock will do but DIS is an amazing company, crème of the crop, with very little competition (if any! is there any business identical to Disney out there? I don't think so). Plus, they have a diversified business owning ESPN and acquiring the Star Wars name, in addition to pursuing other strategic business deals. As the long term investor that I am, really looking forward to seeing what Disney has to offer in the coming years. Not to mention a current 1.10% dividend (.86 a share); and we all know how much I truly appreciate dividend stocks!!!

During my time at the Motley Fool I asked one of the experts (Hi! Jason Moser :) whether he could be the "devils advocate" and tell me if there is anything I should worry about with Disney since I couldn't find anything wrong with it based on my research. He admitted that he also loves the stock and the only "worry" is the fact that their major source of income is the ESPN enterprise (this is something I didn't know!) and considering the competition from companies like Netflix; offering certain services at cheaper prices and expanding on content; this could somehow hurt ESPN profits in the future. I loved the feedback as this is something that never occurred to me. So, I will continue watching any development on that arena. For now, I am a happy part-owner of Disney stock!!

Tell me, what are YOUR thoughts on Disney?

Friday, February 21, 2014

My Investing Methodology.

What is one of the reasons why I am so passionate about investing?

Well here is the secret: I approach investing as if I were buying a part of a company, which is exactly what everyone does when they invest but many don’t look at it the same way. How cool is it to say you are a “part owner” of Google, apple, Starbucks, McDonalds, Coca Cola, etc. etc. There is nothing more exciting for us investors (when it comes to stocks) than doing our research, finding undervalued yet high quality companies, putting some money on there and seeing it grow.

The idea for this post came from my experience this week at McDonalds (ticker: MCD). I may not share this much on the blog but I am a very healthy conscious person. About 80% of the time I try to make a conscious effort to eat nutritious foods and to work out whenever possible (or as consistently as possible). However, I am only human and from time to time I do get cravings for particular foods and this past Monday MCD was one of them.

 As I entered the newly renovated location by my school I could not help but smile at the modern set up. Despite the controversy about the lack of nutrition in their foods, which I can’t really disagree with; as an MBA student I have a tendency to look beyond the façade of businesses and at what companies actually do in order to maintain sustainable competitive advantage in a world of never-ending competition.

I have to say that with about 73 years in operation (established in the 1940s) MCD sure knows the definition of that term inside and out. They may have had their ups and downs through the years but they are working hard to expand menu choices and provide more variety for a growing health-conscious population. They do this while maintaining their famous staples that have made them the company they are today and which people can never get enough of.

We can’t ignore the fact that they are facing competition from ‘up and coming’ health-focused fast food companies. However, the important thing is that MCD seems to be well aware of this and are making strides towards keeping up with changing times. There is no denying that a company like Mickey-D's is not going anywhere. At least not time soon; and probably not in our lifetime. It may not be healthy but it has a market and a big one.

I have owned shares of MCD on and off for the past 5 years and it has been quite a ride! There was a time about a year ago or so where they had a poor quarter and the stock price decreased significantly but my trust in the company as well as my trust in their sustainable business model made me hold on. Shortly thereafter the stock came back up and that’s just how its been on and off for as long as I have been investing in it. As the major stock geek I can be at times, I felt very excited to be a customer in a business where I’ve owned shares. I may not always own shares in this company but this is where I stand at this point in time.

 …And there’s more


As I made my way to the soda fountain I got even more excited (am a geek or what?!) when I noticed the flashing Coca Cola Logo. I was reminded that MCD’s top vendor for drinks is Coca Cola (ticker: KO)-- which is a company where I have also been a  happy shareholder since 2008, and then I smiled some more.

So there you have it! This is one of the reasons why I love stocks so much—I get to own small pieces of huge corporations. How amazing is that?! I also love this country for giving me the opportunity to build wealth via the wonderful world of investing!

If you are just starting out with investing but aren’t sure where to begin or where to buy first, think about those companies where you do business. Are you a happy customer? Would you invest there? Then, do your homework and make your decision! If you are a seasoned investor, think about your personal reasons for investing in companies. What drives you? What keeps you motivated in this sometimes unpredictable world of investing?

Have a great Weekend everyone!

If you already invest, what is your favorite thing about it (besides making money)?Disclaimer: I currently own shares of MCD and KO. Don’t invest or cease to invest solely on the information provided on this blog post.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Great Times at the Motley Fool Headquarters

Hey everyone! Hope this post finds you in good spirits! I wrote this post about a month ago but never finished editing it. I finally got around to it and here it is! (better late than never!)
So, last month I was invited to spend two and a half days at the Motley Fool headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia as part of their “Women Investing Foolishly” event. The experience was beyond phenomenal and I cannot emphasize enough how thankful I am for the opportunity I was given. I applied to the program after it was announced in one of the Market Foolery podcast shows back on October 24th, 2013 (I remember this clearly as it was the night before my birthday). I heard from a company representative about a month later for a phone interview and soon thereafter I found out I made the cut to go and spend some time at their headquarters. To say I was beyond excited would be an understatement!!

So on a very early and cold morning of January 2014 my wonderful father woke up bright and early and drove me to NYC Penn Station where I boarded an Amtrak train towards Alexandria, VA. My first time navigating the DC trains by myself; I somehow managed not to get lost and arrived with very high spirits to what I knew would be an unforgettable few days!

I joined 6 other wonderful girls from around the country to what felt like a boot camp of investment education. The classes were taught by different employees with different investing-related specialties within the company. The teachings were very educational as we covered pretty much everything from competitive advantage to Discounted Cash Flow valuation in less than three days!! 

I cannot find one word about my experience that would do it justice so I will leave it at the fact that I had such an incredible time. I got to learn so much more about a topic I am so passionate about and there is no better feeling!  Most of the girls invited where MBA students like myself and some undergraduate students. However, they even included a 12 year old in the mix which I felt was amazing. Don’t we all wish we had gotten started investing that young?!! But anyways, here are some highlights and photos of the event…

After an intense day of classes our first night in Alexandria also involved an event featuring Louann Lofton the author of the book “Why warren buffet invests like a girl and why you should, too”. If you haven’t read the book yet, you are missing out on a lot of great information so check it out!

Louann was super humble, friendly, and helpful (not to mention very beautiful). Loved meeting her!

Both of the CEOs (Tom & David Gardner) also made a very welcomed appearance at the event.

 They also had also had a panel which answered questions from the audience in regards to money, stocks, investing, how to get started, and everything in between!

On day two of the "boot camp", after another extensive day of classes, sitting through an actual stock pitch meeting (super cool!) and subsequently more classes involving discounted cash flow valuations we were then invited to a dinner with no other than one of the co-founders and CEO, Tom Gardner as well as several other outstanding “fools” (aka fool employees). Everyone was so amazing and I have no words for how cool Tom is and how humble! Could not part ways without taking a photo, of course, so here you have it:

Our cool ride to and from the dinner was the "Motley-Mobile" (I think I just made that up):

During our last day we played an investment game and had a chance to meet some additional employees one on one and ask tons of questions. We received a couple of amazing books as partying gifts (reviews coming soon!) and the satisfaction of having been part of the first women investing foolishly event. I will be forever grateful. Finally,  I could not leave Alexandria without meeting the hosts of my favorite podcast (Market Foolery). I had the pleasure of meeting Chris Hill and Jason Moser. Here’s a photo of Chris and I:

It was great putting a face to the voices and chat for a bit!  

In my mission of becoming the best investor I could possibly be this particular experience taught me a lot. Since the event ended, I have been trying to process everything that I learned with the purpose of putting it to practice in my own personal investments. I look forward to sharing what I learned with my readers in subsequent posts! As the say, best way to really understand something is to teach others so that is my mission. 

Happy Investing! And thank you for reading!
Tell me, have you ever heard of the Motley Fool? are you familiar with their services and articles? If not, I strongly recommend you check them out. SPECIALLY their daily market foolery podcast which is completely free and which I listen to on a daily basis! :)

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

What do you do when the stock market is down?

If you follow the market (maybe as obsessively as I do) you may have noticed that it has been less than stellar since the year begun. This is a time when maybe a lot of people start fearing stocks and the reason why some are afraid to start investing in the first place. Well, ironically, sometimes (or, often times) a significant downturn in the market can be the perfect time to enter for the first time or simply add to current positions of quality stocks in your portfolio. As I have mentioned a few times on the blog—any ‘bad news’ in general can and will likely have an effect on the market as a whole.

As noted in my ‘about me page’ I first started investing in 2008---  one of the worst years the market had in a long time! However, my mentality was (and still is) to invest for the long term. I keep track of the companies I invest in and as long as they continue to deliver as expected and as long as I see a healthy future then, I stay the course.

 When the market in general is not doing well Quality (and bad quality) companies may go down in price. So, what does that mean for you? The possibility of getting great stocks ON SALE! Just like you get excited when your favorite stores are having a great sale, learn to get excited when the same thing happens in the market and do not panic.

Remember – nobody can predict the future (if that were the case we’d all be billionaires). Even after you buy the value of your investment may decrease or increase so, don’t try to time the market. Simply keep a list of prospective companies at hand and wait until they “go on sale” (as many stocks are at this time). Don’t be afraid!!
Cheers to quality stocks, thinking long term, and reaping profits!

I leave you with a quote by my favorite stock guru and something I truly believe in:
“Investors should remember that excitement and expenses are their enemies. And if they insist on trying to time their participation in equities, they should try to be fearful when others are greedy and greedy only when others are fearful." –Warren Buffet

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Twitter: The IPO!

As I made my way to work this morning I passed by this beautiful billboard:


Yes. Today is the day that Twitter becomes an IPO and joins the ranks of the NYSE as a publicly traded company under ticker symbol TWTR. To say that I am excited and that I live for days like this (where companies I am familiar with and which products/services I use becomes public) is an understatement!!

As the ‘conservative’ investor that I can be at times. I wont be participating in this IPO and don’t plan to buy any shares. I feel that twitter is in fact a great company with great potential. However, it is still not clear to me how they will be able to generate sustainable and consistent profits for stock holders.

For those that got in early enough—congratulations! The stock started trading at around $26 and is now up to $46.37 (as I type this)--- which is outstanding! However, whether this is simply an “excitement bubble” or a sustainable price increase, is yet to be seen.  Lets hope for the best.
...And perhaps this is the perfect time to remind my dear blog followers that you can also follow me on twitter at @teachmetoinvest.

Cheers to twitter and congratulations on this new exciting chapter for your business!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Belated Blog-Anniversary

Hey dear followers!!

Just realized that today, November 2nd, 2013 my blog made one year and one month!! I completely missed the actual "birthday" of my blog which was on October 2nd, 2012 (apparently all great things happen in October. I kid. I kid).

Anyways, I just wanted to reminisce for a bit on the past year. This blog was started with the sole intention to provide basic stock-market investing information to people with limited knowledge. It was created in a way to "give back" to the world as I am very appreciative for the individual whom taught me how to invest back in 2008. As I have said many times, investing is such a valuable skill that I believe everyone should understand. I feel it should be part of schools curriculum world-wide!

But anyways, as my blog evolved, I realized that while my intention was to teach others, a lot of the times I found that I was teaching myself. Whenever I do a post about a particular company, an investing technique, or what may be going on in the market; I make sure I do some kind of research. Sometimes the research is extensive and sometimes is quick. However, I like to make sure I am well informed before my posts. This has allowed me to learn a lot more and I continue to learn as each day goes by and there is no greater feeling!

As a famous quote by one of my favorites says:

"If you get, give. If you learn, teach.” -Maya Angelou

Thank you for following me and my journey towards becoming the best investor I can possibly be. While I learn, I will continue to share my knowledge and experiences with the world!

Have a great weekend!