Recent Buy – ATVI (Activision Blizzard)

Recent Buy: 9/28/17

It’s been a while since my last purchase. Mainly because of some extra camera toys I purchased this month to help with travel videos.

Today, I purchased 10 shares of ATVI (Activision Blizzard) for $63.74/share or $634.20 in total capital. I had 24 shares of ATVI prior to this purchase, so my total shares are 34. This increases my forward dividends by $3.00/year.

This purchase is not a dividend play by any means. It has only a 0.48% yield. I have been invested in ATVI for over a year now, with gains coming close to 80%. But, I have good feelings regarding the potential for growth within this company. They recently completed the construction and sale of 11 e-sports teams to start competing for big bucks in e-sport competitions. ATVI has also released it’s latest hit game, (topping weekend sales this year) Destiny 2 and is scheduled to release the highly anticipated, WW2 themed, Call of Duty to pull in even more money from their hit franchise. Activision has also partnered with Amazon’s Twitch to stream the e-sport competitions for two years.

I’m expecting some serious earnings growth this year and would dare to bet we see the stock rise to the low to mid 70’s by end of year.

Dividend Yield: 0.48%.        Total Forward Dividends: $677.04

Ditching a $420 Car Payment

In a few days, I’ll be parting with my 3 year old 2014 Mini Cooper S that I bought new right off the lot. It’s a bitter-sweet feeling considering it was my very first new car purchase, but it’s also the first car payment I have ever had. I thankfully won’t be “losing” money on the sale, as I have worked pretty hard over the last 3 years overpaying monthly that I kept up with the deprecation decently well. I had originally planned on keeping the car until the whole thing was paid off (and longer), but that was before I started on my path to financial freedom. Today, the payment is even less necessary since I live barely 2 miles from my office. (Company relocated about 6 months ago, moving from about 12 miles away to 2.

I have been thinking about selling this car for about a year, but subconsciously, I was overpricing the car because deep down I don’t think I really wanted to sell it. One way I’ve been preparing to sell it is by following fellow money blogger, Mr. Money Mustache and his guide to building an electric bicycle. It’s a fantastic guide and by following his steps, I was able to build a similar bike for less than $2,000. I’ll go into my e-bike build in future post.

By selling my car, and accounting for the savings of having no insurance anymore, I’ll be saving approximately $500/month excluding gasoline which I spend about $30/month. Those savings alone will more than max out an IRA each year. SUPER WIN.

Today, and for the past few months I’ve been riding my e-bike to and from work everyday. It’s fantastic. I don’t want to die to many details about the bike, but I can say, this thing hits 40 MPH without peddling. Yes, it’s technically illegal here in California, but I don’t care and I’m saving the environment. Plus, it takes me less time to get to work on my bike than it did in my car. Why doesn’t everyone do this?

Saving $1,136 on 2 RT Flights to Hawaii (during X-mas)

In a previous post about the Alaska Airlines Rewards Credit Card, I talked about their new, limited-time, sign-up bonus. Well, I just received the coupon code for the aforementioned “companion fare” and went ahead and booked the flight for December.

Obviously, flights to Hawaii over Christmas are going to be expensive, which is why we decided that this would be a great time to use the companion fare.

At $1,192 / RT Ticket, it’s definitely inflated compared to flights during off-peak times which tend to sit between $400-$800 from LAX. But, combine the peak season fare with Alaska’s perk and the total price for BOTH tickets comes to $1,247.00, with the second ticket being only $55. That’s how I saved almost $1,200.

I’d say meeting the $1,000 minimum spend on this credit card was totally worth it. Another benefit, I will get another “companion fare” deposited to my account on Jan 1, 2018.

Amsterdam

Back in May, we took a flight to London, Barcelona, & Amsterdam by utilizing credit card points from a newly acquired Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card. I’ll go more into the perks of the Chase card in another post.  We paid for all of our hotels either through Hotels.com or via Marriott Points from the Chase co-branded Visa Marriott Rewards Credit Card or with Hilton Points acquired through the Hilton Surpass Credit Card co-branded with AMEX.

We spent 3 days in Amsterdam and had a blast touring the Keukenhof Tulip Gardens, exploring the NDSM Ward Artist Colony, and visiting the countless CoffeeShops in the city center.

Take a look at our quick video about all things marijuana in Amsterdam!

101 Years Ago – DOW Surpasses 100 Pts

In 1916, the DOW Industrial (one of the 3 main US Market Indexes) surpassed 100 points. Many believed we were in a bubble that was ready to burst.

Today, the DOW is ~22,000.

*Journalist Charles Dow created the first index more than 100 years ago. In 1896, Charles averaged the stock prices of the top 12 publicly-traded companies by adding their stock prices together and dividing by 12.

Free Stock Trading Tool

You’ve probably heard of brokerage companies such as; Charles Schwab,  Fidelity, MerrillEdge, TD Ameritrade, the list goes on… But there is a new kid on the block (definitely a millennial) that is trying to scoop up their fair share of the stock brokerage service game. This service is called Robinhood. This isn’t a new service, it was founded in 2013 by Baiju Bhatt & Vladimir Tenev as a way for younger & less wealthy investors get into trading. Today, just 4 years later the company is valued at $1.3 Billion dollars. Yup, billion with a “B.” Way to go guys! Not only have they become a serious competitor in the brokerage industry, they have forced the hands of multiple larger firms to lower their fees on trade transactions.

Which brings me the next point. Robinhood offers completely FREE buying and selling of stocks, mutual funds, ETF’s, and more. I want to say that again. They offer FREE trades!

Just take a look at the other guys’ fees, minimum balances required, etc.

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Most investors will tell you to aim for fees to equal 1% or less of your capital invested. This makes sense because if you have 5% in fees added to every transaction you make, you are already 5% in-the-hole before you even make the purchase! Robinhood allows you to avoid all fees with all purchases. So you can buy just 1 stock worth say, $5/share, and you won’t have to pay the $4.95 or more charged by other firms.

There are a couple downsides to Robinhood.

  1. You cannot invest in any retirement accounts such as a Roth IRA or 401k
  2. You must have an extra 5% of available funds in your account to make a purchase. So if a stock is $100, you must have at least $105 funded in your account.
  3. No researching is available in-app.
  4. No Stock Re-purchasing through Dividend payouts. Dividends are paid and deposited into your account and you don’t yet have the ability to automatically reinvest them. This isn’t a huge deal since trades are fee-free, but it does require a little more work on your end.

Overall, Robinhood is a fantastic investment vehicle, especially for the younger generation or those who are just dipping their toe in for the first time.

*Recently, I received an offer from Robinhood to transfer any stocks I own in a regular investment account (meaning not a retirement account) for ZERO fees and they even offered to refund any fees charged by the original brokerage firm. I am seriously considering it and will make an update if I decide to move forward. The only gripe I have is that all of my stocks won’t be in one place anymore. But, to save on $5 fees for every stock purchase I make, it could be very lucrative.

If you are interested in getting started with Robinhood, please click the link below! It is a referral link, but you’ll get a free stock to start your investing journey, just for signing up!

Sign Up Today and Receive 1 FREE Stock valued at between $3-$100

 

Camping Weekend – Horse Flats Campground, CA

 

Last Weekend, my partner and I, along with our mutual friend traveled about an hour and a half north into the Angeles Mountains to the Horse Flats Campground. Camping fees for the three days came to about $60.00, but we made the reservation online at recreation.gov. This was our first time using recreation.gov to reserve a campsite and it seemed like a scam.

We were allowed to reserve a specific campground when we we’re booking our weekend online at the aforementioned site. But, when we arrived at the campground, there is a HUGE sign that specifically states that, “no reservations are allowed.”  Hmmm… Okay… but I just made a reservation online… and with a .(dot)GOV website.

Go figure, there was already a group of campers in our “reserved” site.

None of us wanted to be “those people” that try to uproot an already settled set of campers, so we drove around the campsite 2 or 3 times before settling on a site that didn’t look occupied yet. We were NOT about to pay AGAIN for our campsite, so we simply grabbed a parking slip from the front gate area (no-one attends the front gate), stuck it under our windshield and crossed our fingers. I am all for supporting our national parks and campgrounds, but I’m not about to let a “government” website say I can reserve something and charge me for it, when in actuality you are required to pay on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Turns out, it was fine. A park ranger even did a sweep of the campgrounds one day and never said a word. Win.

It was a great weekend with friends and our dog, Juno. Enjoy the video!