Thursday, May 6, 2010

Being a Pig

Wow! That was a wild ride on the stock market today. I guess it makes this post more relevant.

It is important that when you have high gains on a stock, that you take some off the table. Let me give you a good example. I bought this Latin America mutual fund, before the stock market went in the crapper a couple of year ago. Before it went into the crapper, I was up over 80% on the fund and I had owned it less than two years. What I should have done, is taken that money I had made and sold it, but still keeping my original investment on the table. Why should I have done that? Because as Jim Cramer says "if you're a Pig, you're going to get slaughtered." In other words, if you get too greedy, then you will probably get into trouble.

So what happened to my fund? During the downturn, it lost all its earnings, and at the low point was down 30%. If I had taken the big earnings off the table, I could have still had that 80% earnings in my money market, or have bought some other fund or something. Instead, I lost it all and was in the hole 30%. This was my first experience with this, so I learned my lesson. That fund is now back up 30%, so I at least got the $$ I lost back (although I haven't looked after the big drop today, and I don't plan to)

So when you get big earnings on a stock, don't be a pig and take some $$ off the table!! Take that money and diversify into another stock/fund

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Kids investing

After starting this blog, I started thinking that I needed to also get my kids on their way to saving. So we decided to start each kid their own sharebuilder account. They both got $50 for opening an account (which is a several months savings for them). We then are having them saving half of their allowance and then we match that half.

I then have them choose a stock that they are familiar with - like Disney or Hershey or some toy company - and have them invest in that stock. I am only investing every other month with them, to make the cost of investing worth it (We just pay the $4 fee), but at least they are learning an early lesson about saving and investing.

So how do you teach your kids about saving? I think it is a VERY important lesson for kids to learn early on and I am curious about what other methods people are using. Everyone has their own way of teaching their kids and I think as long as you are teaching them to save, it is a great thing! I am always looking for new ideas/ways of teaching them to save...