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22 September 2007 @ 03:01 pm
Is McDonald's (MCD), the comeback kid of the year? They beat their same store sales by 8.1%.  Who says large companies for long-term investors is not a good idea.  It's usually the Hedge Funds or Day trades that would've tried a quick buck and said MCD's is no good.  But Once again they have failed.   In 2003 the stock was trading around $12 per share.  Now its over $58 a share! 

It all goes back to the underused statement, "Trade what you Know".  I'm sure every parent out there at one time or another has been asked, "Mom/Dad can I have a Happy Meal?"  So with that said you know the business, you know the food, and you know why people eat there.  So why not invest in them.  I know for some $58 a share might sound outrageous, but at one point it was only $12.  If the share price is to high then watch it and wait for a price you fell comfortable with.

I looked up the key statistics on MCD's and found the following in simple terms.

If I own one share of MCD at the current price, it only takes 5 customers for me to make the $1.73 per share in earnings.  (It's called the P/E Ratio), which I'll explain later.  Remember by being a shareholder you own part of the company!  Their is not to many places in the world were you can stand in line and make money!
 
 
21 September 2007 @ 05:33 pm
This  
This weeks actions included the purchase of two share, 1 of VRTB and 1 of ZTR.  Both shares had dropped in price prior to the Fed Meeting.  ZTR is backed by Treasury Bills/Notes/Bonds, thus when the fed dropped by a half a point, so did ZTR.

This week was only a small up week based on the cuts produced by the Fed.  The mortgage fallout is still to be soon, but the boon by the fed for most is being looked at by some as a bailout for "bad investment".  Particularly hedge funds that leveraged to much and then asked the fed for help.

This weekends research and studying will consist of reviewing Wendy's last to Qtrly Reports.  Rumors on the street still have Wendy's on the potential list of Buyout's.  I normally like to hold stocks for a year, but Wendy's is looking good.  Plus, I like to trade what I know and I love Wendy's Junior Bacon Cheeseburger, with their Vanilla Float.

I will be looking highly at the Cash Flow and Enterprise Value of Wendys'. I worked 5 full days this week so I will transfer $29.25 to zecco.
 
 
13 September 2007 @ 11:35 am
The Benchmarks that I have set to beat in my account are the following:

Dow Jones Industrial Average    YTD% 7.76
NASDAQ                                          YTD% 7.80
S&P 500 Index                                YTD% 4.69

These are not combined rates, I'm attempting to beat the highest YTD return of the three.  Why?  If I can beat for instance in this case the DJIA, then that means I've beaten an Index Fund which requires very little on your part as an investor, other than providing a brokerage firm you investment funds.

All three of these are the most common Bench Marks used by investors today.  The returns may seem small but here is some food for thought:

DJIA's Past 10 Yrs

Year               Year's Change%
2006                     +16.29
2005                     - .61
2004                     +3.15
2003                     +25.32
2002                     -16.76
2001                     -7.10
2000                     -6.18
1999                     +25.22
1998                     +16.10
1997                     +22.64
1996                     +26.01
 
 
10 September 2007 @ 07:54 pm
The order that I set over the weekend was executed:

Symbol: ZTR
Date of Order: 9/10/07
Time of Order: 10:43 AM
Quantity: 1 Share
Executed Price: $4.81

My current Buying Power is $13.77.  I will continue looking at my next three stocks of choice.  However, all three (3) are currently trading above my Buying Power, thus It's research time.

Anyone have opinions on BSC - Bear Sterns?  It's a stock trading at over $100, but would be great for developing research skills on.
 
 
09 September 2007 @ 12:18 pm

Before I give an update on my next potential trade I need to cover a few Important Terms:

1) Ex-Dividend Date 
     The date on which a stock goes ex-dividend, typically about three (3) weeks before the dividend is paid to shareholders of record.  An investor who buys on or after that date is not entitled to the dividend.  The ex-dividend date usually is four (4) business days before the DATE OF RECORD.

2) Date of Record
     The date on which a shareholder must officially own SHARES in order to be entitled to a dividend.  After the date of record, the stock is said to be ex-dividend.

3) NAV (Net Asset Value)
    The accounting term similar in meaning to BOOK Value and NET Worth; most often used in reference to the value of mutual fund and similar investment shares.

4)  Book Value
     The value of individual asset, calculated as actual cost less allowance for any depreciation.  Book value may be much more or less than current market value.

Because our Buying Power is $18.58, I'm purchasing One (1) share at a time and am attempting to build up more buying power for higher priced stocks that I'm interested in.

Thus, I've placed another order as such.

Buy ZTR
Limit at $4.82
Shares 1
GTC

If this order has not been executed by Tuesday the 11th of September, I will cancel based on the following information about this stock/ETF.

ZTR is currently trading below it's NAV.  The ETF primarily invests in U.S. Governement Backed Securities, thus they are considered extremley safe.  I placed a GTC so that the trade will remain open for at least two days.  Being that the 12th is the Ex-dividend date, I'm trying to purchase it prior to that date so I can gain the dividend.  The Dividend is $0.041 per share with a payable date of 9/27/07.

I'm trying to build up my buying power for one of the following (3) stocks:

DPD
HET
IGD

You might want to try reserching these three on your own during the week and come to the same conclusions as to why I'm interested in them...

Enjoy!

 
 
 
08 September 2007 @ 03:23 pm
 My first Zecco Trade was a success.  I did this to find out two things:

1) How fast Zecco provided Order Execution
2) If they would succeed in trading one (1) share

Now some Education

Bid/Ask Price

When getting a quote or seeing stocks with their current prices you will see the Bid price and the Ask price.
They are never the same with the ask price being a little higher than the bid price.  Basically if you are purchasing a stock, ETF, or other traded entity you pay the Ask price.  If you are selling you get the Bid price.

Remember:
Ask (Buy)
Bid (Sell)

This is a very important part of trading because it tells you what price you should set your orders at, plus it displays the Spread.

Spread

The spread is the difference between the Ask/Bid price and it is kept as profit by the broker who is handling your transaction

Does your head hurt yet?
 
 
 
07 September 2007 @ 12:01 pm
Okay,

The fun begins.  Yesterday I transferred $23.40 to my Zecco account.  Why just $23.40?  Well Monday was Labor Day, thus I've only worked four (4) days this week.  With the current minimum wage being $5.85 and taking 1hr's worth of wage for each day worked, I came to $23.40 ($5.85 x 4).  This is the formula I will continue to use when transferring funds.  I know some individuals receive holiday pay & vacation pay, however I'm trying to use funds for true days worked.

I have placed the following order:
Stock Symbol: ZTR
Transaction:  BUY
Quantity: 1
Order Type: Limit
Duration: GTC
Stock Price: $4.82

This is a trade that I will detail later if it goes through.  I'm testing Zecco's processes to see how smooth it maybe.

Normally I will only place one Trade a week, usually on Saturday's, this allows me research time during the week.
 
 
 
07 September 2007 @ 09:36 am

All,

I'm using Zecco.com for this project for several reasons:

1) Commissions are $0 for upto 40 trades a month
2) Felt this is the best platform for beginners

The Beginnings:

Zecco is very cumbersome to use, as I come from trading on TDAmertrade which has more tools and is a bit user friendly.  After all, it should be because you are paying $9.99 a trade.  It took me two days to get through the initial steps of funding my zecco account, which was easier than many review I had seen.  If you are a beginning trader or experienced trade I hope my blog provides you some insight and stirs the investment bug in all of us. 

Some Background:

I've been interested in the financial markets and investing in them for about 15yrs.  I never really understood what I was doing with my investments in the beginning, because I used a Financial Planner.  With the onset of the internet I began my quest to know where and what my money was doing.  Plus, my parents needed some financial advice, other than that of Primerica (Which put them in some CRAPPY investments).  Thus, I began my self education and eventually passed my Series 65 Exam, allowing me to become a Registered Investment Advisor.  After attempting to start and work on a financial career, I found that Wall Street and its firms are for the "Uber Rich".  How many people can afford $100,000 minimums to participate in Hedge Funds.  Between the numerous fees and business dealings I found that wasn't for me, I wasn't part of the friends plan :-).  Many friends consider me a "good conservative" investor.  So with that being said I decided to start this blog and see what may come of it.  

I hope everyone enjoys this blog, all of us may learn something.

Research:

I perform the majority of my research using the following sites:

www.bankrate.com
www.bloomberg.com
www.smartmoney.com
www.treasurydirect.gov
www.cnbc.com
www.etfconnect.com

I also maintain a subscription to the Wall Street Journal (In print).

Most known investors, like Warren Buffett, say trade in what you know while studying your stock one (1) hour a week.

This is my first ever blog, so if you have any comments, suggestions, or topics you'd like to see let me know.

Thanks,
Corey