Starbucks New Coffee on the Menu: Dirty Coffee

I’m not talking about Pike Place, I’m talking about last week when two black men entered into a Starbucks in Philadelphia and had been arrested for “trespassing”.These two men were waiting for a friend and weren’t even able to use the bathroom because they didn’t make a make a purchase. All sound too familiar? Right when I thought we had enough of the race war for 3 years, now I can’t get a Dirty Chai without thinking that there have been black men arrested for waiting for someone to meet them for a cup of coffee? At this point, I cannot put myself in the store managers shoes and think he was just “doing his job”. There are hundreds to thousands of people who meet at Starbucks daily for business meetings, non-profit and activists events, but why did it have to come to this?

Viewing the market performance, SBUX (Starbucks) hasn’t been a very profitable stock for me to invest in (in my opinion). Silimar to TGT (Target), SBUX is more of a lifestyle brand than anything. And from recent price cuts to overall performance, it’s a little boring for my portfolio- but to each their own.

This event was very unfortunate and I hope the CEO, Kevin Johnson, will make an effort to meet the two black men and apologize to them for what they were wrongfully, and publically accused of. But as for me, I’ll continue to stick to my local coffee shops.

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Stock Talk: Why I Don’t Trade on Mondays

At this time in my life, I don’t work with any trades on Mondays. On mondays-being the first day of the week, the market changes very quickly within the first four hours in the morning. I’d much rather take my time to study the charts and make my move when market levels off (if that even happens).

With the markets I work in, I prefer to sell on Fridays since it is the last trading day of the week and many investors are buying. Have you ever heard of the quote, “Observe the masses and do the opposite”, well that quote certainly works in this field. Overall, do what you see fit for you and your finances. Don’t sell or buy on particular days because Mrs.Market tells you to. Sell or buy because you made that decision for yourself.

Is God Hearing Me?

This is a question I ask myself often. We always want to hear answers from God, but are we willing to take the time to hear what he has to say? Perhaps we are spending too much time watching Netflix instead of ending our day ready five minutes of the bible.

You do not realize what I’m doing, but later you will understand. -John 13:7 MSG

How can you add more of God to your life this week? Before you question if God is hearing you, draw closer to him by adding more of him into you day.

Is “Tech Neck” Real?

So there is a rumor going around about an injury called “Tech Neck”. It’s developed when you are looking down at you phone for a long period of time and it creates a wrinkle-like double chin on your neck, causing minor stiffness or pain. I’ve noticed businesses are promoting the scare so you can use their “special neck cream”, but there is an increasing number of people visiting the hospital for the pain.

If you are experiencing severe pain, it may be wise to go visit the hospital. Yoga and daily neck stretches are a good way to avoid “tech neck”. Standing desks are a trend to help improve your posture as well as chest supports what is used to help the neck and spine. However, getting off your phone with your family at the dinner table may help you just as much (*wink*).

Stock Talk: The Defensive Investor

Personally, I see myself as a risk taker. I love to watch chart trends- buying at the right time and selling before the plunge down. I’ve done this last year with SKT (Tanger Factory Outlet Centers), GPRO (GoPro) and this year with AAPL (Apple) and made a decent return. But I’ve won the most by holding my securities in index funds.

I’m currently studying the book, The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham. I enjoy how he shares the importance of being a defensive investor. The defensive investor makes her/his real money from owning and holding securities. Unlike a day trader, the defensive investor receives interest and dividends as the security increases in value.

Defensive investing is not only the best way but the safest way. In my opinion, the more you stick to your rules the better.

Stock Talk: Why Aren’t Black Women Investing?

It’s not that I don’t think we aren’t investing, it’s the fact that investing is not promoted in the African American community. Besides idols such as Daymond Jon from Shark Tank and Debra L. Lee, owner of B.E.T., there aren’t many black women (or people for that matter) that I know who are stock investors. Though to my surprise, there are a lot of black women who are real estate investors, why not stocks? Is it because it is a male-dominated community? Or perhaps we have been portrayed as the black single mother who only works from job to job?

Nonetheless, stock investing is taught because it is the choice of the individual. Regardless of your race or gender, stock investing is for everyone! Though this game is tough, it takes great knowledge and patience. All of the stock investors I know are wonderful people who are always willing to share great lessons from their mistakes. How did you find out about stock investing? Like and comment below!

4 Steps to Make 2018 the Best Year of Your Life

Do you see yourself going through the same routine every year? Are you tired of going through the motions and want a positive, yet permanent change this year? Below are four simple steps I’ve discovered how you can make this year the best year of your life.

Treat Yourself

Everything in our world is fast paced. We heat up breakfeast with quick heating microwaves, drive to work in fast cars and drive to pick up fast food for lunch. By the time you get home and settle down for the night, it’s already 11:00 p.m. and you’re already tired from the long day. It’s difficult to squeeze in time for yourself, but if you demand one hour out of your day to take a longer shower, get up and hour early to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee or cook a special meal for yourself, you will then value the extra time you cut out of the day that was specifically made for you.

Books

There was a time when I used to loathe reading, but look at me now, writing blogs and reading at least three to five books a year! That’s quite a change from five years ago, sitting in community college bored out of my mind. Now I know that it wasn’t reading I hated, but the type of books I was reading. I used to read fiction, but I learned that I really enjoy reading self-improvement books and books about personal finance and investing. I love the fact that I can learn so much from reading one book and improve my financial gain and not pay but $10 dollars for it. What kind of books do you like to read? Knowledge is power and reading helped me become more confident in myself when handling business and learning how to hold presentations. Pick up a book at the store and read 3 pages a day before bed or in the morning. A positive read can begin or end a great day.

I’m Busy

Have you ever asked someone how they have been and all the response you recieved was, ” Oh i’m fine, just busy” Or ” I’m always busy”. I hear these responses so much, I think the words “I’m busy” is just an automated response we use to make up for common conversation. May I advise you to take a different turn this year and evaluate your busy. What exactly are you busy with? Determine this year to be productive instead of busy. Don’t let life carry you out to sea with anxiety and angst, but be the captain of your own ship and sail to where you want to go.

Closer Friendships

Austin and I are always meeting new people and building new relationships. The main thing that I’ve learned is that people love talking about themselves. When you take an honest interest in the person you are speaking to, they immediatley take interest in you-though at things these can become an endless conversation about themselves. This year, take the conversation with your good friends (or associates) a step closer and talk more about their interests and the things they like to do instead of grumbling about what your co-worker did to you today or who cut in front of you in traffic. No one wants to be around Negative Nelly. A positive approach is always the best approach.

Conclusion

Overall, if you can take the time to value you, appreciate others and start off the day positive, every year can be a great year because you decided that you will start to have great days. But making 2018 to be the best year starts with you. How will you end this year? There is still time to make a change. Be the best you this year and make it the best year of your life!

Stock Investing 101: Long Haul

If I have one word for my stock investing journey thus far it is patience. Investing in the stock market is not for the faint of heart, but if you commit to studying the market, you can win. But before you jump in with the sharks, there are a few more things you need to have before you need to know.

The Right Brokerage for You

Most brokerages require you to open with $5,000 for a standard account, while there are others that don’t require money to open. Starting out, may I recommend you starting with a stock app such as Stash or Acorns to get your feet wet. When I started investing, I had as little a $5-$20 dollars a week. These app brokerages make it simple and explain step-by-step how the market works. Once you have more money and experience, check out the zero fee and commission free brokerages- these brokerages I have found to be wonderful companies that are great for the novice investor as well as the seasoned investor. I currently us Robinhood and Ally (TradeKing), but I certainly wouldn’t advise the novice investor to start here. Though there are other larger brokerages such as Fidelity, TD Ameritrade, and Chares Schwab, there are other companies (just as good) that require a fee and high commissions. If you choose to use a larger brokerage, they may have more varieties of stocks and funds, but if you could buy shares of AAPL (Apple) or AMZN (Amazon), why not get it with zero fees?

The Long Haul

Long-term investing is the best investing. Buy as low as possible, and when you sell, sell when everyone is buying and when the stock is reaching high records. For taxes, longevity, and maturity, hold your stocks for at least a year before you sell. From my personal experience (and still learning) you cannot be easily swayed by your emotions. You have to be strong in bull and bear markets.

Closing Disclosure

Again, I am by no means a professional or paid to write this from a stock brokerage, nor responsible for your gains or losses. I am simply passionate about stock investing, looking to share more information to women of all ages about the stock market. Have I made hundreds of dollars, yes. Have I lost hundreds of dollars…unfortunately, yes. But Financial education means everything in this game. Study hard, stay calm, and secure your future.

Get over whatever is holding you back. -Sallie Krawcheck

Price is what you pay, value is what you get. -Warren Buffet

Stock Investing 101: Let’s Do This!

Want to invest in the stock market but you dont know how to start? Find out now and take notes.

Now, it’s absolutely impossible for me to give you all the information you would need know about stock investing in one blog post, but if you can learn from my failures, then you can learn a lot. Whether you’re a working single mother, stay at home mom, or simply wanting to get ahead your finances, the stock market is a smart way to go and a little education will get you ahead of the “average investor” or what is also known as a speculator.

Goals

Before you begin any new venture, you need to write down goals for what you want. How much do you want to make? Are you investing short-term or long-term? Are you investing to save up for retirement or investing for a big purchase within a couple years? Find out exactly what you want because that will determine everything.

Financial Education

Did you know that between the average doctor and a cocktail waitress, the waitress has more potential to become the stronger stock investor? Why? It’s because of the time she has to educate her self. If there is anything I could get across to you, it is to read, read, and READ! When I started, it was so confusing and left me frustrated at times, but I now know that everyone has their own style to investing and you cannot invest in a particular set of stocks because someone else has a “successful portfolio”.

Note:

Make the decision for yourself, and keep in mind that your favorite retail store brands may not be the best in the stock world- believe me, they owe ME money now.

Defensive VS. Aggressive

As you begin to educate yourself, you will learn about the styles of investing. The two I will share today really speak for themselves- The Defensive Investor and The Aggressive Investor. The Defensive Investor will take on more precautions, leaning towards managed funds, bonds, and a side of commons stocks. The Aggressive investor may do the same, yet work with more tech stocks, starter companies, and take on short-term investments that may be similar to day trading. As said before, everyone has their own style. Take time and figure out what works best for you

Beware of Mr.Market

Who is Mr. Market? Mr.Market is the news, stock advisors and stock bloggers that have all of the information you “need to know”. Though there are great stock analysts out there, he can be very manipulative and is filled with lots of opinions. He will tell you about what you should be selling, buying, and what your portfolio needs to look like. Mr. Market and I are good friends, but I don’t agree with everything he says or does. However, there a few websites you should check out that are great for novice and experienced investors: Investopedia, MarketWatch, The Motley Fool, and Bloomberg. As said before, everyone has their own style. Take time and figure out what works best for you.

Closing Disclaimer

I am not a certified professional, nor responsible for any of your gains or loses. I’m simply a passionate stock investor who loves to share my experience with other women/men who want to learn general information about the market. May I encourage you to study and evaluate before you make any purchase or sale in the stock market.

An app your looking for: Google Keep

Do you already have this app? Google Keep is fabulous if you love to take notes on your phone. You can take pictures, draw, voice record and add boxes for a checklist format and more.

My favorite way to use this app is with the checklist format for grocery shopping and voice record. You can also change the color of your notes and archive them.

You can add reminders, locations, and because it’s a Google app it can be saved with your google account.

This is a “Google” app so the notes you have been saved with your account. I have really enjoyed this and it has helped me to become more organized while I’m out and about. Go check out the app for yourself, you’ll love it!