Zero 2 Rich

Investing to One Million Dollars or Bust!

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I was doing some spring cleaning, and stumbled on some junk mail that had been gotten shoved in a box. One of the things in the box was OTC Market Digest-Fall 2007 (Powerful Picks for Rapid Returns) . These things are so funny! These are like those spam emails that come touting a stock, where the senders have loaded up on some garbage stock, then when everyone buys the stock based on the email, they unload the stock at a profit.
The “issue” came apparently in Fall of 2007. The cover price was $29.95! For laughs and giggles, I decided to check out the stock they were recommending, but a year and a half after the fact. I looked up the stock symbol TCHH.OB, and got a message saying it wasn’t found. I searched for “Trustcash Holdings, Inc” and found it’s symbol had changed to TCHH.PK. It’s last trade was 0.0032. So less than a penny a share. Actually, I could buy 3 shares for a penny. Gee, I wonder how many shares there are, I could maybe buy the whole company for a some small amount. LOL! I tried to look at the history of the stock, to see where it had been in 2007, but there was no history. Probably because it is so small, that they don’t bother keeping it’s history.
Oh, I went to check out the website of “OTC Market Digest” (www.otcmarketdigest.com), and it doesn’t seem to exist anymore.
So be very careful about stock recommendations!

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 was interested in buying a Latin America index fund a year or two ago, but there didn’t seem to be one available in ETF form through my broker at that time. I just checked, and they have one now. It is through iShares and is S&P Latin America 40 Index Fund (ILF). They are returned almost 30% a year over the last 5 years. Now that is a great return! And I believe that Latin America will continue to grow. I am expecting a payment from Google anytime now. I will probably buy some ILF at that time. I still have one more free trade left for this month.

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