Posts tagged " Stocks "

Jerry McGuire (1996)

September 27th, 2009 Posted by Review No Comment yet

I saw a beautiful movie for the second time; once about 10 years ago and again today, it was about a sport agent Jerry McGuire (1996) played by Tom Cruise representing his one client Rod Tidwell played by Cuba Gooding Jr.  Jerry McGuire grew a conscience in an ultra-competitive sport industry where “I love you” is something similar to “here’s to you”.  Renée Zellweger played Dorothy Boyd, single mother and Jerry’s co-worker; moved by Jerry’s moral and simple honesty in a dishonest industry she left her job as a sign of support for the ideological Jerry.  It’s a genuine love story hidden by greed and the responsibilities of life – something similar to the loss of innocence and simplicity as life wears down a burdened soul.

This movie makes me ponder as all good movies tend to do – how naive of us to think we could tread our own path when the norms and reality is so complex and so different? How can anyone allow our genuine self to break free; to live? Our thoughts and actions define who we are and perhaps over time if we feed ourselves a notion of what the world needs us to be, for the success of it, how do we know if left on our own device, without the constant pressure, we will allow our own unique soul to blossom?  I really like the movie because the story is full of interesting characters played by many inspiring actors. I saw this movie for the second time – I appreciated more – better than the first.

Copyright 2009 by

Intrinsic Value; What Makes A Deal Worth Buying?

September 26th, 2009 Posted by Stocks No Comment yet

Investing Principles and Methods Series, September 25, 2009

My wife and I considered ourselves to be savvy bargain hunters.  We both needed to purchase a watch in anticipation of our job interviews.  Due to the economic meltdown there aren’t many jobs for someone like me.  I didn’t take the usual track in the investment field.  I didn’t go to an ivory league school.  When I first came to New York it was something many recruiters told me – that lack of an ivory league education meant it was very difficult for me to find work on Wall Street.  I was young, so when people say things that are impossible I have a knack for thinking to myself, ‘let me try it’ anyway.  To think about it, back then I was fearless, now, perhaps much less.

I believe my wife is one of the smartest people I know.  She came from some of the top schools in Singapore.  In Singapore the standards are so high, if I was a child growing up in Singapore it would be difficult to imagine what it would be like for me.  Thank goodness I was fortunate to grow up in Utah.  What a wonderful place where I had many fond memories of my childhood.  Needless to say both of us are out of work hence I have time to work on this project.  I plan to continue with this project until I’m completely satisfied that my readers know enough in this area for it to be his or her second nature.  At the moment, I don’t know if anyone is reading this.  I will persevere as if I have at least one reader.

Investing is fascinating and it is something I feel anyone can do a satisfactory job as long as you have an interest.  Today’s topic: yes, let’s get back to the topic.  If you have ever visited New York City you might have been to ‘Ground Zero’ and just across the street on the east side is Century 21, they sell brand name merchandise for a fraction of the Manufacture Suggested Retail Price (MSRP).  My wife and I found a beautiful watch made by Bulova.  It isn’t the best or the most expensive brand but it was definitely not cheap.  Bulova make a very high quality product.  But for some reason it was available for 69 percent less.  We saw a watch on display for $129 with a MSRP tag of $425.  We purchased it but then realized it had a scratch.

Well, that was enough for us to declare a state of emergency – so the hunt for a different watch was on; one without a scratch.  What we saw were amazing while we shop.  The watch industry was in some kind of liquidation mode.  Merchants were selling brand name watches like Concord, Citizen, and Bulovo at substantial discounts.  I always had a liking to Concord but they were usually priced around $2,000, now one of the models was going for $495.  Still, Citizen Titanium Eco watches; the indestructible watch with everything you ever need in a watch was on sale for $169, usually retailed with MSP of around $650.

Nevertheless both were much more then I can spend.  My wife thought about buying it.  We begin our discussion, as you would, I’m sure.  Our discussion led to a level of comfort with spending to a point where we were thinking about Rolex and the likes.  At that point we realized that we could only afford something nice but affordable.  Our conclusion, of all the brands, we thought Bulovo was the best for the money we can spend.  We ultimately found a watch retailed or with MSRP for $795 for only $129 and another retailed or with MSRP for $625 for $88.  We are both happy with our purchases.  I love my watch, BTW.

Investing in stocks is nothing more complicated then the process we went through to make a purchase of things we like.  In my example above, the MSRP tag is similar to what most investing people called the intrinsic value.  I got my watch for $129 that is similar to the quoted price.  It is easy to find out what the quoted price for any given stock listed on the exchanges, you can access or MSN Money.  However, the intrinsic value or price or the MSRP tag is much harder to find out.  Most of what we do in investing is to shop for quality brands at a discount.  We go thought the same process as the one I illustrated above.  We do not pay MSRP for anything.  We want to aspire to be the Century 21 for stocks.

Here’s where it becomes a challenge – our question, “What is the MSRP tag?”  If you don’t know what the MSRP tag is how will you know if you are not over paying?  In investing, you make money when you buy.  So we need to buy it cheap.

Copyright 2009 by

Why Invest In Off Prime Location In Real Estate?

July 18th, 2009 Posted by Real Estate No Comment yet

Have you ever heard of the saying that in real estate it is all about location, location, location? In theory it is always best to buy in prime location. This strategy is to guard against the downsize. When people talk about the downside it means what will you lose if things go wrong? We are here to tell you something different. This strategy as outlined below is for the long term. And it is best to act in this real estate market.

Real estate price rise and fall tends to be a function of the overall local market. The price will increase first in the prime area. After a short period when the mass majority can’t afford the prime location they would settled for nearby properties. The price will decrease in the reverse order. That is because when prices fall people who can’t afford the prime area will make an upgrade at that time. Although this percentage of people is very small the vast majority will never be able to upgrade because of the falling value on their own properties. The other source is the existing demand like renters waiting to buy, etc.

For these reasons the price on prime location will remain high even when the market starts to drop. So if you buy an off prime property in a peak real estate market you are likely to pay too much and you are the first to lose money. (More on page 2.)

Real Estate Negotiation Secret

July 18th, 2009 Posted by Real Estate No Comment yet

In real estate everything is negotiable. Sellers and landlords can ask any prices or terms that makes it profitable for them to want to sell or lease their property to you. It is up to you to determine what you are willing to pay for the property. How you go about determining what price or term is reasonable – that is another topic. The bottom line is that even the commission the agents charge in a real estate deal are negotiable.

Why? You have to understand the premise. At the root of the issue is price fixing. No government wants organized bully in their economy. It is not good for competition. Without competition prices would go up and the value you get from the product or service would go down. Not to mention a lot of unhappy consumers. If real estate agents get together to fix a “standard commission” they would violate fair trade laws. I’m not a lawyer but I do know that price fixing is illegal.

Now, most of the time real estate agent will tell you what is the norm or local practice. That is only a guideline. You don’t have to follow the norm. Why would anyone want to follow the norm? It’s only a guideline. As a buyer or renter you have competition. If you know what most buyer and renter are willing to offer it’s up to you to decide what you want to do? Give yourself choices.

Don’t think that the norm is standard, worst yet “fix”. This will prevent you from negotiating. It is not really a secret but I can tell you many times people will just accept the norm to be non-negotiable. You shouldn’t be one of them.

Original Post Date: February 22, 2009
Copyright 2009 by


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