Zero 2 Rich

Investing to One Million Dollars or Bust!

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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.

My wife is going back to school in the fal to get her teaching credentials. I am guessing it will cost us about $30,000 over the year or longer that she is going to school. The holdings I have in my regular brokerage account are worth a little over $17,000. I also own about $4000 worth of my company stock. I will probably sell much of these to pay for her school. Then when she is done with school and gets a job as a teacher, we can start building our portfolio again. I am still stuffing money into my 401k (which passed $320,000 the other day). And my Roth IRA is worth over $15,000, and she has a small IRA, and a couple 401k plans with money in them.
I will probably sell some of the indivdual company stocks in my portfolio first.
I don’t want to borrow money. I gotta get my credit card balance back down again. Thankfully, I only owe about 4-5 more months worth of payments on my car till it’s paid off!

My wife and I stopped for lunch at a drive in restaurant in Seattle. As we were eating our lunch, my wife was reading the bag about the employee benefits that the resturant offered. The benefits seemed very good for a fast food restaurant. But one thing that caught my eye was that employees could contribute to a 401k after they had worked there for one year (pretty common), and were of the age 21 or older. Now this made me scratch my head. Why limit the 401k plans based on age? My wife said that when she managed fast food restaurants that had 401k plans, they also had the age limit. Why restrict to 401k plans to people 21 and older? I can see limiting things like alcohol to people under the age of 21 since mosy of them haven’t learned to be responsible yet. But contributing to a 401k is being responsible, so why not allow 18 years olds to contribute to a retirement plan if they want to? Or a 16 year old? With drinking, a 16 year old might drink and hurt themselves or somebody else. But what harm would contributing to a 401k plan cause?
I am trying to find out if this is a legal requirement, or decided by the individual companies. To me, it just doesn’t make sense.

My wife got on some sort of home business list, and we have started to get phone calls saying she requested information about starting a home business. Someone also mailed her a magazine titled Home Business Connection. It’s the May 2007 issue, and apparently retails for $5.95.
I was intrigued. I started to look through it, and had to laugh. It was cover to cover get-rich easy schemes! There are tons of ads, and even the articles are basically ads.
Here are some of the “business opportunities”:
Gumball/candy machines
Weight loss patches
Candle making (with MLM twist)
Stuffing envelopes
Virtual travel agnecy
Herbs and supplements
Medical coding specialist
Surveilance cameras
Weight loss drugs
Gas saving capsules
Mailing lists
No money down real estate
Flipping property
Brokering notes

Some of the ads really dont tell you what the deal is. They just have big flashing pictures, and text like “Got cash to burn?” “Did you make $4,297 today?” “100 millionaires in the next 5 years”, etc, etc

It’s just hilarious! But I can also see thousands of desparate people wasting their money signing up for some of these get rich schemes. The people getting rich are the people who run these things.

I have been a customer of BuyAndHold.com for a couple years now. Overall I have been pretty happy with them. They charge me about $7 a month for my account, and I get two free window trades a month. Trades after that are only $2.99 each. But having the two free window trades every month encourages me to invest at least something since they are a use them or lose them thing. I alos opened a Roth IRA with them.
But in the last day, they have been ticking me off a little bit. I want to but some more ILF (a Latin America index fund). Yesterday I logged on to their website, but when I went to do anything, it kept making me log in again. I called them, and was told that they had had a power outage, and that it would be up sometime after 3pm. So I figured out quickly that I would be able to enter a window trade for the 3-4pm window. I was able to log on last night. And I was able to log on earlier this morning. But a little while ago I went to log on to look at setting up the window trade to buy the ILF, and found the site was down. I called them and was told they had a power outage this morning. WHAT? Again? How many power outages are they having? Don’t they have backup power? The company I work for has generators, and power filters, etc. And they have two of everything for redundancy!
It makes me a little nervous that I can’t access my account. I will have to watch the situation. If this crap keeps up, I will move my account someplace else!

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