Zero 2 Rich

Investing to One Million Dollars or Bust!

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I am not sure what mailing list my wife got on. I get a lot of investing come-ons myself. But then my wife got a “magazine” thing in the mail titled “Intelligent Investor Report” The subtitle is Your Guide To Investing In An Age Of Terrorism. The copy we got is the Summer 2007 edition, and there is a cover price of $9.95. It’s only 16 pages including the front and back covers.
I started looking through the magazine, and start laughing. The cover is touting some over the counter stock for some sort of healthcare company I have never heard of. I look further inside the magazine, and found that nearly every page was touting this same OTCBB stock! It’s basically a 16 page advertisement to buy a specific over the counter stock! I guess we are lucky enough to be in the inner circle to get this stock tip! LOL!
This reminds me of those emails I get telling me about some penny stock that is going to soar. Those are scams. The people have bought up quantities of some penny stock, the send out a bunch of spam emails saying the stock will rise. Then a bunch of greedy rubes buy the stock, and sure enough, the price of the stock does rise. Then the people who sent the emails cash out making a large profit on a stock. It’s market manipulation.
But this Intelligent Investor Report thing reminds me of those emails. And it’s funny! In the back, I can subscribe to this “magazine” for $189 for 24 issues, or $97 for 12 issues. Of course they throw in some FREE stuff. LOL!
I may send the thing to the FTC or the SEC or someone and let them decide if it is a scam.
Of course, the joke will be on me if the company they are promoting turns our to be the next Microsoft. BTW, I have purposely not mentioned the company here.

I bought shares in a couple Canadian energy trusts (PWI and PGH) about 2 years ago. I had them in my Roth IRA so they were tax free. Well, they were tax free from the US government, the but the Canadians were still taking a chunk. I think there might have been some way to got those taxes back since I am not a Canadian citizen, but I am not sure. And the amounts involved probably would not have been worth it. I have been considering selling them for a while. But then I have heard that the Canadians are going to change the way they tax the energy trusts, and will be taking a larger chunk out in taxes. Ouch! I decided it was time to sell them.
But I didn’t want to sell them imediately. These stocks pay dividends out monthly. And if I sold them at the wrong time, I would get a dividend, and it would have been re-invested and I would have now had a tiny fraction of a share of each of the stocks. I didn’t want that. So I waited until the dividend was paid out, then I sold them before the next ex-dividend date came around.

I got a letter in the mail telling me about a Rich Dad seminar that was going to be in the area. I love these get rich seminars. They are always entertaining. I have read a couple of the Rich Dad books by Robert Kiyosaki, and they were okay. I am not really big on the writing style. But I have picked up a few ideas from them. The theme of the seminar was “Learn To Be Rich Training”. So I signed up.
I arrived at 5:30 for the 6pm seminar. The only people around were the seminar people. I quickly checked in, and got my name tag which read “I Invest In My Future”. The signs said “What the rich teach their kids about money that the poor & middle class don’t”. The guy said the doors would open at 6pm, so I left to get some food.
I got back at about 5:45, and now there were now lots of people waiting to register, or waiting to get in. Most of the people were informally dressed in t-shirts and jeans or even shirts.
The doors opened at about 6:05pm. I took a seat towards the front. The were projecting motivational success quotes on the screen while playing music. People flowed in. I am guess there were between 125 and 150 people there. There was a package of stuff on display titled “You Can Choose To Be Rich”.
The seminar got started about 6:15, and was all about real estate. I don’t remember it saying that in the flyer that I got in the mail, but it might have. But when they called on the phone to remind me, they kept mentioning the real estate seminar.
The trainer guy came out. He was a very good presenter. He would get the audience involved without making it look as forced, or mechanical as some other presenters I have seen.
I am not going to go over everything that was covered in the seminar. But a large chunk of it was success stories of people who used the training. He talked a lot about the deals he has done. During a small chunk of the seminar he talked about his personal life, about running a foster care home, and adopting a young boy. A relatively small part was informational.
He talked a lot about the Cash Flow 101 game. I was intrigued, and considered buying it. There is also a Cash Flow 202 game as well. But then I looked it up this morning on the net, and see that it sells for hundreds of dollars. Hundreds of dollars for a board game? Give me a break! Maybe I will check out eBay.
Overall, the teaching to sales pitch ratio seemed pretty low. They were mostly trying to sell you on the $495 Rich Dad Academy (regularly $995, but $495 if you sign up at the seminar). I wonder what they would do if you called up the 800 number, and held out for the $495 price. They would probably make an exception…oh!!! you were at the seminar…I talked to my manager and he said I could give you the $495 price…yadda yadda yadda.
The seminar got a little slow towards the end. I considered leaving, but figured that this close to the end, I might as well stay and get my free audio CD. The seminar ended about 8:30pm. I grabbed my free audio CD, and went home.

I just got an interesting email yesterday. It said they are increasing the employer match for our 401k plans. They currently macth 50% your contributions up to 6%. So if I contributed 6% or more (I contribute over 25%), they would match 3% of my salary. But with the new schedule, they will match at 4% of my salary if I contribute 6% or more.

Our new 401k employer match schedule reads as:
If you contribute 1% previous match was 0.5% current match is 1%
If you contribute 2% previous match was 1% current match is 2%
If you contribute 3% previous match was 1.5% current match is 3%
If you contribute 4% previous match was 2% current match is 3.5%
If you contribute 5% previous match was 2.5% current match is 4%
If you contribute 6% or more, previous match was 3% current match is 4%

I will get a little more, but not a lot. But it will add up over time. I will still continue to contribute so as to max out my 401k!

I hate selling stocks, but basically I am trading one investment for another. My wife goes back to school next month for post graduate stuff to get her teaching credentials. She was unhappy in her previous job for years. Now she will become a teacher. But the college tuition will cost about $30,000! Ouch! I had over $17,000 in my regular brokerage account. I also have over $4,000 in company stock, and some stock options which will need to be exercised in the next year or two. I don’t want to borrow money to pay for the school. So I sold some stocks. I had been considering selling some of the stocks, and buying more of the ETFs. So I will keep the ETFs for last, and sell the stocks first. I sold my shares of Cabela’s, Carnival, Lowes, and Target. Each of these is a good company, but they also have strong competitors such as Bass Pro Shops, Royal Caribbean, Home Depot, and Walmart. I still need to sell something else to cover her first semester’s tuition.
But once she becomes a teacher, she will be getting good benefits, and a fairly good salary. Hopefully she will be happier. And then we can start building up our savings again. I am still contributing the max to my 401k, and she still has a couple 401ks with some good money in them.

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