Category Archives: Blog

You Can Never Save Money by Spending Money!

Money Lesson Number #129: You Can never save money by spending money!

Don’t let the Geico ad with that cute little talking and dancing  gecko lizard fool you–the only truth about that commercial is that every fifteen minutes, you and millions of people are just adding more money to Warren Buffet’s already $70-plus billion; he owns the Geico Insurance Company.

The-Geico-Gecko1

Always remember this: if you are spending any money, you are not saving, no matter how good the deal is, even if it is on sale for 99.99% sale off.

You did not save money if you bought it, you spent money (more often than not wasting money on junk that you will not need in a month), your money is going from your pocket to someone else’s pocket and, usually it is a billionaire or a multi-billion dollar company.

The only time you save money is when your hard-earned money stays in your pocket, whether it just sits at your home, in your checking account or in a portfolio that you own.

Learn the little tricks that corporations use to get your money.  Every time you see any kind of ad, such as TV commercials, printed ads, a sponsor page on your Smartphone via Facebook or Google, they have one goal in mind; to take your money from you forever!

The old saying is true: “A fool and his money are soon parted,” or even worse, “A fool and his money are soon partying.” But there is even a much better saying: “A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned.”

My favorite stratagem is to pay yourself first. Each time money comes into your hand, save/invest twenty percent (20%) and spend the other eighty percent (80%).

I know at times you must buy goods and services, but what you should know is that each time you spend money, it is going to make a large multinational corporation or someone wealthier and you poorer

(Please see one of my earlier  blog: Get Rich off the Very Companies You Pay Each Month for Goods and Services [Gas, Electricity, and Water Companies]). 

Most people have been duped into spending money. All ads no matter how simple or sophisticated are designed to wire your brain to make you give up your money to someone else. It is not easy, but you have to rewire your brain to know when you are getting duped.

A good way to start is with your children by letting them know that most TV and other commercial advertising are not 100% true. Our seven-year-old now always asks us each time he sees a TV ad, “Is it true?” and rarely are any of them true!

But, you can also always ask yourself by saying, “Can I go one day without it?” and the next day, ask the same question and most of the time, you will keep you hard earn money. The products or services are often things that you can live comfortably without.

Here is a quote from one of the first book ever written about money that will never change, The Richest  Man in Babylon“; Ten percent of what you earn is yours to keep.” 

buffet20My hope is that one day, people will realize that they have been tricked emotionally always to turn over their money to billionaire or people who already have more money than they do. 

“Too many people spend money they earned..to buy things they don’t want..to impress people that they don’t like”. –Will Rogers

Thank you for reading, please share my blogs and books with someone you love.

Love Always

www.sherwinpbrown.com

Two Financial Headlines That Will Shock You

Here are two money news headlines that will have you shaking your head

Breaking News

1) Per CNN Money.com: Only 48% of Americans have invested in the Stock Markets, this includes 401(k) money. That means 52% are missing out on the over 200% return in the past six years. There will be a lot of broke retired people in the future.

2) Per NPR.org:  So much money is going into Swiss Banks that the Swiss government is paying a negative rate of return, in other words, people are paying the Swiss Government to hold their own money … that is stupid.

Here is the great news; sooner than later, they have to come back in the stock market, and this will push the markets higher. I will make a prediction that within less than 18 months, the DOW (the 30 industrial stocks) will move from 18,000 to over 20,000!

In addition, these people are who work for a company that matches their employees’ contributions are actually saying to their employer, “That extra money that you are paying me so I do not have to work for forever and will have better much better financial life when I retire? Keep you money I do not want it, I want to be a worker bee for the rest of my life.”

Per CNBC .com:  Seventy-three percent of employers who have a 401(k) Plans for their employees match their employees contributions. Companies such as Wal-Mart Google, Medtronic, Starbucks will match 100% of your first 4-6% contribution.

So simple math: if you are earning $50,000 and you contribute 10% each year ($5,000), then your employer will contribute a matching amount the first 6% that is $3,000. So now you have a total of $8,000 starting to work for you each year.

But, say you work there 20 years and do not contribute a dime, then you gave up over $60,000! And if that $3,000 only compounded at 7% per year with dividends plus growth, you are missing out on $122,986, not to mention the tens of thousands of dollar of taxes savings that will be working for you if you are an intelligent investor.

And keep you money in a traditional 401(k) Plan and not a Roth.

4fatcat 001

Please do note: Each company has different vesting periods on the money they match, for example the first year is 20% vested, second year is 60% vested then, after three years you are 100% vested. However, there are no vesting periods on the money you contributed for yourself–you are 100% immediately vested, and you can rollover/take this money with you any time you leave the company. In addition, the IRS and sometimes your employer set the limits each year on how much you can contribute each year.

 As of 2015, the limited by the IRS is $18,000 if you are under age 50, but if you are 50 or older (up to age 71-and-a-half), you can do an additional $6,000 for a total of $24,000 per year.

You can read more about investing in one of my very easy to read investment books that are sold everywhere in paperbacks and eBooks such as on Amazon .com, Google play. iTunes Kobo book and Barnes and Noble,  just to name a few

 www.sherwinpbrown.com

Last Minute Tax Tip To Get A Bigger Refund!

Here is a quick and very easy way to get a bigger refund (or owe fewer taxes) while saving for your retirement at the same time!

1) Contribute $5,500 ($6,500 if you are 50 or older) to a traditional IRA … do not do a ROTH

2) Invest the money in FIVE different dividend paying companies for at least the next TWENTY years

Make sure these companies are companies that you and millions of other people must use their products and services every day. Here are some great examples of stocks & companies I’m talking about:

  • Your utilities company (Gas and Electric) you pay every month
  • a freight train companies such as CSX
  • Visa or Master if you use those cards daily or weekly
  • Food companies such as Sysco Corp.
  • The very company you pay for mobile phone service every month such as AT&T or Verizon
  • And last but not least, the gas company where you fill up your car bi-weekly, such as Chevron, Exxon Mobile, Marathon Oil, etc. (please read this very short blog)

Stop Paying your Electric Bill

3) Make sure that your quarterly (or monthly) dividends are enrolled in a Dividend Reinvestment Plan, also known as a DRIP.

4) Do not invest your money in Mutual Funds–over the long run, you will just get an average return and will not do as well as the top 5% of intelligent investors.

5) Here is how you will benefit; you pay fewer taxes now, and you should have a lot more money in 20 years from now because the taxes you did not pay are working for you!

6 You can thank me by downloading a copy of my book far as low as $4.99 at www.sherwinpbrown.com

7) *** Please READ DISCLAIMER ON MY WEBSITE AT www.sherwinpbrown.com

Stop Paying Your Electric Bill

How to get your current gas and electric company to eventually pay you more than you’re paying them each month.

 

nexteraenergya23Did you know if you live in Florida and you pay your utility company, such as FLP {real name is Nexta Energy—(NEE)}, at the average monthly cost of $183 for 32 years, it will cost you a total of $70,272 ?

 

But, if you had just invested only two years of the same payment $4,392 ($183 x 12 x 2 = $,4,392), it would now be worth $251,376 as today. At a dividend yield of 3% per year, you would now be earning  $ 7,541 per year–that is $628 per month. You would now be getting $445 per month more than the $183 you are paying them.

Here is a second example: If you live in Chicago, and you pay COM Ed (ED). Culling data from Yahoo Finance for the past 45 years, and using the current average $135-per-month x 45 years, your total bills paid would amount to $72,900.

mYXT0ThmBut, if you had just invested only two years of the current annual cost $3,240 ($135 x 12 x 2 =$3,240), your investment with growth and enrolled in a Dividend Reinvestment Program (DRIP), it would now be worth $579, 292 and  with a current dividend yield a 4.2 percent.

Your current yearly investment income from them would be $24,330 or $2,027 per month. That is; you are now getting $1,892 more than you are paying them.

How much do you pay your utility company and how long have you been paying them?

What other company do you buy something from each day?

Are you a Starbucks junkie? Do you pay about $2.50 per cup twice per day? Plus tip?

starbucks_1798272c That is at least $1,825 per year, or in 23 years you will have spent $41,975. But, that is okay if you just had put one year of your coffee cost of $1,825 twenty-three years ago and let it compound via growth and dividend

The value of that $1,825 as of today would be worth be $282,521 with a cash dividend yield of 1.3%, and  it would be paying you $3,672 per year or $10.06 per day. You could still enjoy your two cups per day and have $5.06 more than you are paying them.

Money Lesson #140: As it says in my book “Simpler, Safer Investing”, invest where millions of people such as yourself buy and use the companies’ products and services each day, such as your electric and gas company, or your favorite coffee chain.

To lean more on this subject, please check  my book on my web site www.sherwinpbrown.com  or an Apple ITunes,  Amazon .com,  Google play, Barnes and Noble, Kobo Book are anywhere books are sold.

Would you rather have $1,750 or a one Billion?

Yes $1,750 or a $1,000,000,000.00: Dumb question?

Well,  here is an even Dumber investment decision, one of the founders of Apple sold 100 % of  his 10 percent stake in Apple Computer for $800 and put it in gold! ” “Security for the future,” Ron Wayne -Apple co-founder: Source Bloomberg By Mark Milian

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/apple-co-founder-traded-shares-004201732.html

The $800 he invested in 1980 in gold would now be worth only about $1,750.  If he had kept it in Apple stock, it would be worth over One Billion US$! That is Billion with a B.

Money lesson number #123: NEVER SELL everything takes a chance and keep at least 10-20 percents*

If he had kept just kept $80 (10%)  invested in  Apple’s  stock, his $80 would be it would be worth over $100,000,000. Yes, a hundred million us dollar.

And he would have just from the dividends paid each year by Apple to him, yearly income of  $1,668,000.00.

Yes, that is $139,000 per month in income, and he could give away his current  monthly social security check of less than $1,500 that he is now getting to a charity.

Yes, we all make mistake but you have to admit that this is one  colossal of mistakes.
Unintelligent investor’s always run for the exits when things look bleak.

One of the lessons I learned over the past ten years of doing in-depth research in the stock markets is that many times a few stock may go bad on you. And yes it is very normal that you want to cut your loss and run but, take a chance and hold on to about 20%. Do the smart thing as I wrote in my two investment books by taking out your original investment in, stay in the game.

Money Life Lessons #123: NEVER SELL OFF 100% of YOUR  HOLDINGS! Yes, keep at least 10-20 percent invested because you NEVER KNOW *

*It should be noted; some companies  do not give direct  shares to employees, but rather in the form of stock options.
These options do have an expiration date, and if you do not exercise them on or before the expiration date, you will lose them.
However, one can always exercise these shares, and turn would and use some of the proceeds  (10-20 percent ) to buy back shares in the companies and hold on for the very long team.

 

The A to Z of Safer Investing. YES, Amazon.com (AMZN)

The A to Z of Safer Investing; YES, Amazon.com (AMZN)

When it comes to sometimes as large and life altering as Amazon.com, you have to make an exception to the Safe Investing rules; as its logo says, “From A to Z”. The reason I have shied away from buying AMZN stock for years now (even though I have been watching and hoping it would have a huge correction almost every business day) is that they do not pay cash dividends.

My strict rules when I buy a stock are;

1) The company must be profitable: Since my background is accounting, I am an expert at knowing and reading financial statements … A lot of people just look at the bottom line or listen to the financial news blip on a company’s bottom line (net income or loss). However a company may show a net loss on their income statements but a closer look at their cash flow statements will show that they have very good cash flow from operating activities and are very profitable, and they know how to legally NOT pay any taxes by growing the company (by the way Amazon is an expert at doing this).

2) It must be something that millions of people (the masses) use in their daily lives, for example: As you know, hundreds of millions people in America and the world have a Visa (V) or a Master Card (MA) in their purse or wallet and they use them to purchase goods and services.

3) They must pays at least an annually cash dividends where you can reinvest the cash in buying additional shares of the company stock at zero cost (that is no commission), quarterly is wonderful but even though very few companies do this, my very favorite is a company that pays monthly cash dividends.  Such as Reality Income (O) and Enerplus  (ERF) … YUMMY!    

4) It must be a company where I understand the “how and what” they do with their business … The more basics the better—Example; a shipping company Navios Maritime Partners L.P. (NMM) brings huge bulk goods to and from countries around the world. A freight train Norfolk Southern Corporation (NSC)  moves huge quantities of goods from the Midwest to Florida.

5) An most important, I have to believe that they will be around, at minimum, for another of 25 plus years, example Wal-Mart.

Well, with Amazon as mentioned above, they surely fit all the safer investing rules  except they do not pays dividends as yet, however, they have a CEO/Leader  Jeffrey PrestonJeff” Bezos ,who is a true visionary and have very long term view … Bottom line/net income is not his main concern, he is mainly concerned about having happy repeat customers and capitalizing on niche markets (such as now striking a deal with the US Post office to deliver goods on Sundays when most people are at home).

Here are some financial numbers on Amazon you simple cannot ignore:

Top line Revenue;

Year 2009: $24.5 Billion: Year, 2010: $34.2 Billion: Year,

2011: $48 Billion: Year, 2012: $61 Billion

Yes that growth rate is simple hard to be maintained, but if they can grow that well in a recessionary period, I think they have a very good chance to improved as the US and the world economy gets better.

I also feel it just is a matter of time before the Board of Directors start paying a cash dividends.

In summary, AMZN is one of those stocks you have to stick with for the very long term part of your investment portfolio, the grandkids or your much younger relatives will be very happy you did.

MORE “lesson  101” on Dividend investing:

FYI here is a very good video on Dividends Dates, please click on the link below;

Ex-Divided Date – Video | Investopedia

Thanks again and have a magical weekend,

Love Always

Sherwin

What is your Vision?

“Vision without action is daydream. Action without vision is nightmare.”
—Japanese Proverb 

Who is better for your money in the White House?

Who is better for your money in the White House ?

GOP VS DEM: Stock Market (The Dow) Performance

Stock Market (The Dow) Performance under the past two and current USA presidents:

Bill W Clinton: 8 Years 1992- 2001: Up 225%

20-Jan-92 3,254.03

19-Jan-01 10,587.59

George W. Bush: 8 Years 2000-2009: DOWN 28%

20-Jan-00 11,489.36

19-Jan-09 8,215.67

Barack H. Obama:: 2009-2013 UP 96%  (in only 4 Years  and 10 months)

20-Jan-09:  7,949.09

01-Nov-13:  15,615.55

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-22/stocks-return-more-with-dem-in-white-house-bgov-barometer.html

Low interest rates are not all good for the housing market

Very low interest rates are actually not all good for the housing market

Have you noticed that despite the very low interest rate environment, it fails in part to truly  lift the housing market? You see in the news that 30-year rate mortgage keeps hitting record lows so you think this should indeed be very good for housing. I am sorry if you have been led down this path by the media and overzealous realtors – quite frankly, they are wrong.

Where is the disconnect, you ask. Well, this is where one needs to do some thinking outside of the box: What is missing from inside the box is “Greed” or a kinder a way of saying is “Risk/reward.”

Banks and mortgage originators, despite their friendly commercials, are in the business of earning money out of you. Plain and simple they are in business to take always as much of your hard-earned money as legally possible.

To them, lending you money at a very low rate of, say 3%, does not have much reward – lending you money at 7% is much more rewarding, even if it incurs more risk. Let me explain by using and example:

“Household 1 Park Avenue” with very excellent credit rating wants to borrow $500,0000 at 3.5% for total payment over 30 years = $808,280 (Monthly payment of $2,245.23 for 360 months)    

Bank gets a of Profit = $308,280 ($808,280 – $500,000 = $308,280)

“Household 5000 Eldorado St.” with a below-average credit rating wants to borrow $250,000 at 7% total payment over 30 years = $589,772 (Monthly payment of $1,663.26 for 360 months)

Bank gets a of Profit = $$348,772  ($598,771 – $250,000 = $348,772)

In the bank’s view, Mr. Below Average is a much better customer because they only need risk 50% less money but they have much more reward. Even people with excellent credit ratings are being turned down for home loans, because the bank also knows there is a much quicker way of making money in a bad economy:

 FEES!!!

In a bad economy, millions of people temporarily overdraw their account for a few days. Example: You write a check for $150 thinking you still have $200 but you forgot about that credit card (this could be for anything such as a gym membership) from the same bank that offers “annual free period” which is now over, and the bank took out the $55 fee without notifying you so you are now overdrawn by $5 and they charge you $35 that is 700% for a week.

My view is that the Fed needs to be patient and let the free market work things out. There are times they need to intervene, such as when business and consumer spending come to a drastic halt as we saw in late 2008 and early 2009, but being overly aggressive and trying get mortgage rate to extreme lows will only hurt the overall housing market.

In a higher interest rate environment, the greed factor will kick in and banks will lend to millions more homeowners, which will boost the real estate market. The Fed can push interest rates as low as possible; but THEY CAN NOT FORCE THE BANKS TO MAKE A LOAN!

Remember: Alan Greenspan tried to slow the booming stock marketing down the mid 1990’s by repeatedly raising interest rates (over 10 times) every month and not giving the market time to work itself out. Well, it was one very the painful lesson we all learned in early 2000 when the stock market came crashing down.

So today as the world looked on, the FED imposed QE3 (3nd quantitative easing). I had hoped they would do the right thing and let the market work itself out.  

Some very good and promising news for the US Economy:

1) AIG this week have now repaid the US government all of the money that was use to baled them out with profit if over $15 billion and more to come.

2) It appears that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will also start paying back the US Government in 2014.

3) Today, all the US Stock Markets hit a four-year high, which is very unusual for the summer months.

Thanks

Love Always

 Sherwin P. Brown

A couple quick questions

Questions:

1) Do you know anyone who shops at Walmart?

2) Did you know that Walmart sells $14,998.10 worth of goods and services per second each day? In other words, by the time you finish reading this, they will have sold over $1 million dollars of goods and services. Each year their total sales are over $479.9 billion — yes, that is billion with a B.

Okay, I hear a few of you saying you do not shop at Walmart.

3) Did you know that Wal-Mart is so large and powerful, they set the price for most of the things you and most people in the world buy and consume each day?

4) Did you know that they also employ over two million people?

5) Last question: Do you own the stock?

No? Why would you not want a piece of this wealth-making American pie? (Actually this was a trick question because chances are if you invest in a mutual fund,401(k) or any other work-related retirement plan, you indirectly own the stock.) But if you truly want to be rich or get wealthier, this is one stock you should own shares of Walmart at least for the next 25 years.  

 

My Stock Pick for this Month : Aqua America Inc. (WTR)

 My Stock Pick  for this Month:  Aqua America Inc. (WTR)   https://www.aquaamerica.com/

Better yet, for the rest of you and your family’s lives, simply put:  Water. I love this stock because no one can live without water for very long :http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=WTR

They are very good at increasing their quarterly dividends over the years: A $1,000 investment in this company, when they first came public in 1987, would be worth $90,740.74 as of today (09-4-2013). 

Remember; the only proven long-term safer investment strategy over the past 100 years has been buying and holding strong dividend paying companies, ones that make and provide products and services that the masses (that is, you and millions of other people) have to use and consume each day. 

Remember that Coca Cola a company that sells the most basic product; water, sugar and food coloring. If your great grand parents had invested only $40 to buy 1 Share when KO first went public, through reinvested dividends it would be worth over $10.8 Million today: http://goo.gl/YTTBo3

Thank you

Love Always

Sherwin