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Invest in fun s***, and tap dance on hard-work’s face.

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Here is a secret: If you are having fun, you never have to work hard. Or, to put it another way, if you are having fun, working hard is not an ordeal — it can even be a rewarding, enjoyable way to spend your time.

This goes for:

  • Work, work: Work for yourself; work at Pixar; work doing what you love …
  • Exercise: Tramplines, sports (basket ball, soccer), paint ball, rock climbing .. .
  • Other boring, annoying, scary, tiresome, awful, painful and/or smelly stuff: E.g., Raising children.

Examples of hard work being fun:

  • Sex (although, I bet you had already figured this one out)
  • Showering (stop and think about how much work you do in there! I bet you never noticed, as it feels so nice).
  • Games/puzzles …
  • Misc. (i.e., punching a pillow, chewing gum or running from small woodland animals while drinking Boons Strawberry Hill with your friends in the woods).

One of the secrets in this life is to learn basic life-hacks, such as the example above, and creatively, (and actively) apply them to other areas of your life. So how do we apply this “fun can distract from annoying/tiring/painful work” theory to investments?

Here is a list of five things you can do to make investing fun:

1)  Invest with friends: Get a group of people together, pool your money, and buy lots of stocks. Advantages of this route include: diverse knowledge and fresh leads; lowered fees, due to buying in bulk, and splitting the costs; more brains working on the problem; rapid diversification; it can be an excuse to get together and have fun!

2) Invest with your kids: Have your kids help you invest, and teach them a valuable skill at the same time.

3) Play “fantasy investing” (i.e., paper trading or paper investing). Get a bunch of fantasy football addicts, ante up, and win a pot of money at the end of a set period — then use your research to invest for real …(also, all of your competitors are giving you their research for free! Suckers!). My infomercial: Stop wasting your time on Baseball, Basket Ball, Football, Soccer, or Hockey, which only take your money! Play a game that can make you REAL money! Just send me three easy payments of $19.95! Act now! Supplies are limited to the first 6 billion! 

4) Buy companies you love: Guitars, watches, motorcycles, helicopters,  Hollywood, cosmetics, fashion, theater, whatever turns you on! My wife watches Charlie Hunnam on Sons of Anarchy, and begged me to buy Harley (HOG). I love music, so I bought a stock of a company I had heard of, Avid (NYSE: AVID), which makes Protools, a software used by every professional musician in the world. There is also Porsche (OTN: POAHF), Virgin Media (NASDAQ: VMED) and TakeTwo Interactive Inc. (TTWO) which owns RockStar & 2K Games, two well known video game companies. Your imagination is your limit, from Barbie (MAT) to Dungeons & Dragons (HAS) to Phineas & Ferb (DIS) to parachutes to Mythbusters (Discovery Communications, NASDAQ: DISCA) to L’Oreal (NASDAQ: LRLCY).

5) Buy companies you hate (and get your money back!): Microsoft is a dirty thief. I am determined to get my money back (see article related to this: here).

Cited for walking without insurance.

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Since the advent of the car, there have been accidents — and ways to make money out of them. One of the legal ways, though some would argue more immoral ones, is insurance. And it’s easy: you promise to pay someone if their car gets damaged in a crash, and all you have to do to make money is take in more than you give out.

But, from the insurance company’s point of view, people that have accidents are losses. In order to make money, the insurance company needs people who are not getting into accidents. 

So, in the early days, insurance companies looked around and noticed that most of the people they were insuring were either a) rich or b) those at the greatest risk for accidents. In order to compensate for the at risk, the insurance companies had to raise the premiums … and they could only do that so long until people just went somewhere else, or dropped their coverage’s altogether. What they needed was a bunch of people that were not risky to purchase insurance — in other words, get people that didn’t need insurance.

Then, as if by a miracle from Heaven, laws began being passed in certain states requiring minimum insurance for any driver and/or automobile.  All of a sudden, insurance companies had plenty of low risk customers (who were forced to purchase the insurance!), and the people that owned stocks in those companies received dividends because the company had “extra” money and didn’t have any thing left to pay for. Hooray!

Now, is it ethical to force people that don’t need insurance to purchase it? Americans don’t like to be forced to do anything … so, on a personal level, I find this repellent. Is it necessary? Probably, because, we can’t know before an accident, who will actually be in an accident. Sure, statistics can tell us percentages or likelihood  but this can not be applied to an individual. So, while it sucks being forced to pay for something you haven’t ever needed, you can never tell if you ever will  need it. And, heck, if you do need it, it’s sure nice to have.

So, it may be ugly, but it’s not, as suggested earlier, immoral — at least on the surface.

So, what the hell am I babbling about car insurance for, you may be asking yourself. Well, lets look at the “system” of insurance: Receive money, payout money. Keep the profit margin by two mechanisms: Raising prices above losses and spreading the risk. If this is done properly, you will always make more than you lose. Always. There is no gamble.

This may seem attractive to you, as an investment. However, if you purchase stocks in auto insurances now, you will be paying a lot to get a little: i.e., because the insurance companies make money, and people appreciate that, people will pay more for it because of competition. Thus the price raises, but the dividends stay the same. This is called the price/earnings ratio, or P/E ratio. Insurance companies have high P/E ratios. The bottom line is, you will get very little bang for your buck out of an auto insurance company.

So, again, you are asking, what the hell am I talking about, then?

In 2014, the federal government is going to require all people to own body insurance on all human body’s driven by citizens in these United States.

Just like those proto-auto insurance companies, this will be the clarion call for healthcare insurance profits, because when people are forced to  have health insurance, the healthy will have to buy it too. Not only will insurance companies have more customers, those customers will pull down the level of risk!

Sure, insurance rates will fall, because of competition, but this will not be at the expense of profits. The insurance rates will only fall after dividends are distributed (who do you think owns insurance stocks? Why, insurance company employees, of course!)

And here is the crux: Prices on health insurance companies are not up, they are down. This means the P/E ratio is low for this sector. StockGuilt feels confident enough to purchase a mutual fund of health insurances (because we won’t be able to keep up with emerging companies, new competition, policy developments, etc.).

Don’t make me tell you, “I told you so” in ten years, ’cause I will. Look into this, OK?

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NOTE: StockGuilt is a blog about interesting stocks, and our views. We are not stock brokers, investment councilors, planners or legal advisers. In fact, at least one of us is an idiot. The rest are just folks who think about investments. This is what we think, and what we will do/did. In no way are we telling your what to buy or sell … Do your own homework.

If it works out for you, and you feel generous, well, we’ll probably get in trouble if we take your money, so …  We like Ronald McDonald houseUnicefSalvation Army and SafeNest

You wanta buy a Hog and ride off into the sunset?

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Moral dilemma time … Do you save for your children’s college or do you buy a all American-made, kick-ass Harley? Do you come home to a mess every night  kiss your bedraggled spouse and cook fish-sticks, or do you pound tequila with Jax Teller?

What if I told you, you could do both? And cheaper than you thought: at $26,000 – $36,000 a motorcycle, buying a Harley Davidson motorcycle doesn’t seem like a path to financial freedom; but buying a share of this company, NYSE: HOG, (that’s got to be the best ticker symbol ever!) at around $52/share (click the link above for a real time quote), this just may be your ticket to ride!

A poor economy has slowed sales of this Motorcycle powerhouse, but sales will never disappear. Recent talk of increasing dividends, coupled with a depressed market price may give you a great buy-in price on this chrome-plated beauty. This is a stock that will only rise (think blue collar folks recovering from the depression(s)), and it has a serious moat around it -There are no other American companies that pose any competition – and if we know anything about our outlaw biker brothers and sisters, its that only American will do. At least, if they want to hang with the cool kids.

So, what’s the problem here? This is a StockGuilt portfolio “buy”, at this point, and we’ll do just that when the funds roll in … but it was a bit of an ethical conundrum.

I mean, lets just look at the list of negatives here: Does this support oil companies (see StockGuilt manifesto)? Currently there are 0 motorcycles companies that utilize alternative fuel sources, and there is no research (as far as we can tell) that there ever will be. Also, biker gangs do a lot of bad things! They ride Harley’s! Also, just by it’s existance, and it’s enthusiastic following, we know that Harley’s are only around because of simple racism. I mean, seriously, there are more than 10 other countries that make motorcycles that have better reliability and performance than any Harley Davidson cruisers — hell, even hard core bikers laugh about how unreliable and poorly operating Harleys are. They leak so much oil, that there is a term for it: marking their territory.

Ok. So, why do we think this is alright to own? Motorcycles may be gas-burning, but they are the origional high-MPG vehicles. Ranging from 33-48 MPG, for a beefy hog. So, no. They don’t support the oil industry as much as that 4-Runner you have in your driveway. What about the drugs, violence, prostitution, etc? OK, lets just say that 100% of full-time bikers were doing drug deals, which they aren’t  but even if they were, the motorcycle has nothing to do with the business. I mean, do we want to boycott Wilson Suede and Leather too? (well, maybe, depends if your a PETA person or not). Regardless, StockGuilt has no qualms about owning a stock associated with good and bad people, cause every type of people are good and bad. Just cause they prefer choppers to clippers doesn’t make them evil.

But this racism thing, well we can’t shake that. A lot of people that ride Harleys are racists. Does supporting H&D mean supporting racism? Perhaps. We here at StockGuilt don’t think so. It’s an American product, made in America for Americans, but that doesn’t mean that it is bad. It represents America, home of the free, and people like to be reminded of that. Some of the free a dirty bigots, true … but most of the free, well, they love their families, want to retire well off and ride off into a sunset.

NOTE: StockGuilt is a blog about interesting stocks, and our views. We are not stock brokers, investment councilors, planners or legal advisers. In fact, at least one of us is an idiot. The rest are just folks who think about investments. This is what we think, and what we will do/did. In no way are we telling your what to buy or sell … Do your own homework.

If it works out for you, and you feel generous, well, we’ll probably get in trouble if we take your money, so …  We like Ronald McDonald house, Unicef, Salvation Army and SafeNest