Thursday, March 10, 2005

Financial Status as of 3/10/05

Time to update my financial status. I'm still getting used to blogging, so I might change the format later on once I put in some tables, etc.

March 10, 2005
  • Washington Mutual Account: $431
  • Roth IRA: $55
  • ING Account: $4,291
  • Securities: $10,623
  • Cash in Securities Account: $6,643
Total: $22,043

I am $2,957 away from my graduation goal of $25,000

Here are some of my savings guidelines:
  1. I try to keep my WaMu account with under $500, since this account does not pay interest. The $500 minimum is because this is the account from where I pay my bills and I also use this money for general purchases.
  2. I do have over $10,000 in cash at the moment (my securities account plus ING) and this is for the sole reason that I haven't found any suitable stocks lately. I do gain interest on the cash in my security account, but not as much as ING. I figured that if I need to buy a stock I can always buy it on margin (if the amount is over $6,643) and then transfer money over.
  3. I know I should put more in my Roth IRA, but this will wait till I get a full-time job.
  4. From my job (I'm an intern at a portfolio management firm) I take in about $207/week. I try to save roughly 65-70% of this amount (which totals $134-$144). I do this buy having an automatic savings plan through ING, where $50/week is taken. Then the rest sits in my WaMu account until this builds up a bit. Normally when this account hits the $650+ range, I transfer a chunk of it to my ING account.
Just to note: I'm not really a penny-pincher, but I don't like spending money. Let's just say if I see a pair of jeans I want, then I'll buy them (unless they are expensive of course).
I do some things on the side that brings in extra money: I play poker from time to time and this brings in some money, I do other forms of gambling as well (casino, track, sports), and I sometimes sell things on eBay.

I've beat the S&P from 2002-present, and hopefully this will continue!
My account has a good amount of cash in it because I've sold some stocks lately.
In 2003 I participated in two main trends. The low interest rates caused a big increase in home buyers and refinancing so I had some REIT's. Oil prices were increasing and oil needs to get to its destination somehow- through tankers.
My biggest winner was Frontline, an oil tanker that has spun-off a newly formed company as well as big dividends. I went in and out with this stock and multiple times had returns of over 50%.
Things I've sold recently:
My last REIT- IMH. I should have sold earlier when it topped out near $27 but unfortunately I did not. I did manage to sell around $20, with a cost basis in the low teens.
I bought Eon Labs (ELAB) in November at $23.44. This is a generic drug company that had good financials and was trading at a low price/cash flow per share when compared historically and to its peers. Well it turned out to be a good buy, because Novartis (NVS) announced they will buy ELAB at $31. I sold at around $30.50 for a nice +30% gain in less than 3 months. I did not wait till the buyout because this would take place in late 2005 and it did not offer enough of a premium (it would have added roughly 1.6% to my gains).
So now I have a chunk of cash waiting to be invested.

My next post, hopefully tomorrow, will detail some of the stocks I currently own and what I look for in stocks.
Feel free to post some comments!

From time to time I will comment on finance books I have read, online articles, or other blogs I enjoy reading.
One of the blogs I check on a daily basis is Neville's Financial Blog.
I suggest you check it out!
Also, once I get some tables on here the format of this blog will change.
I will try to keep an updated financial status on the side as well as links and titles of books you might want to check out.

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