Tag Archives: investing

“Tech Wreck?” NOPE! Just Another Step In The Trek ;) … AND Cryptocurrency Craze!

I’d like to start off by saying that I apologize for the lack of content on this blog recently. I have so many ideas for posts but with all the individual businesses I run it’s hard to always find the time. I’ll try to do better in setting aside time, as I truly do enjoy sharing my thoughts with you all and I plan on this blog being a huge part of the rest of my life. We’re only getting started!

First off, as you may have heard, a week or two back there was a “Tech Wreck,” as CNBC liked to call it. Shares of technology stocks were plummeting, but if you checked the market now, you wouldn’t know it as they’ve mostly all came back. To me, it seemed like market manipulation at its finest. I was following the charts closely, and the way the trades were happening while the stocks were falling it simply looked like computer generated trading. Tech stocks have been on a tear this year and my best guess is that the algorithms of today’s trading softwares were rebalancing portfolios.

The valuations of many tech companies are high. There is no denying that fact. But many of these stocks have future growth potential that boggles the mind. I won’t get in to every single tech stock in this blog post, but take Amazon for example. Amazon continues to dominate, and expand to areas that nobody ever thought possible. Just a short week after this so-called “Tech Wreck” news broke that Amazon is buying Whole Foods in a $13.7 billion dollar all cash deal. This will give Amazon a huge physical retail footprint on the market. Once this news broke, retail stocks began taking a HUGE hit, and still are.

Amazon is killing it with its web services, they continue to work on likely future drone deliveries, and just imagine what we HAVEN’T heard rumors about as of yet? I see this buyout of Whole Foods as just the beginning. I can see them possibly purchasing more grocery store chains, or even a department store chain. I’ll go out on a limb here and say that I could see Amazon buying Kohl’s in the next few years. Perhaps instead they may even buy Sears?! Not only can Amazon expand its business in many different ways with the Whole Foods purchase, but they can also expand their warehouse and fulfillment capabilities. It’s truly a win-win for Amazon.

When this “Tech Wreck” hit, while many were talking about how Amazon’s days of grace were over, I immediately went on the offense and started to buy and was able to purchase more shares of Amazon and Facebook at a discount. I bought more Facebook at $149.60 per share (as of this writing back to $155.07) and more Amazon at $978.31 per share (as of this writing back to $1,003.74).

Unlike many, I DO NOT see a recession coming any time soon. Not in 2017, at least. 2018 in its entirety is too far out to predict right now, but I would say the chances are slim. Will there be pullbacks? Yes. A correction? Yes, likely several. But are we in for a huge recession filled with doom and gloom? Not yet. My best prediction is that the Dow will reach closer to 30,000 (up from its current 21,394.76) before we get closer to the next recession. As for the stocks I mentioned, Facebook and Amazon, my target price for Amazon is around $1,250 per share and my target price for Facebook is around $200 per share, all within the next 6 to 12 months. What am I saying here? BUY. BUY. BUY!

I’d also like to mention that when there is a recession, eventually, which there WILL be, I’ll be ready. You should also. You should make sure you are sitting at least a little cash aside every time you invest for when it does happen. A recession is the single greatest opportunity for anyone to grow their money and business, despite the initial loss which will likely occur if you are already in the market. Then again, it’s NOT a loss if you DON’T sell, which I won’t be doing. A recession is a HUGE buying opportunity.

Now, to my other current obsession, cryptocurrency. What is cryptocurrency you may ask? Well, thanks to Google, here goes: “a digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of a central bank.” When you read a lot about cryptocurrency you hear a lot about the underlying “blockchain technology.” What is that? Again, thanks to Google: “A blockchain facilitates secure online transactions. A blockchain is a decentralized and distributed digital ledger that is used to record transactions across many computers so that the record cannot be altered retroactively without the alteration of all subsequent blocks and the collusion of the network.”

I believe this technology is a huge part of the future. Right now the market for these cryptocurrencies is very volatile, but I’m slowly growing a small position which I plan to hold for the long-term. There are literally thousands of cryptocurrencies, but only a few main ones, which I consider to be Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin. I have bought all three at various prices, and do so using Coinbase. It’s one of the more reliable places to purchase cryptocurrency, although the site does sometimes have issues where it goes down temporarily. Hey, when you’re blazing trails sometimes there are issues. We’re really still just in the beginning stages of this. If you look at the rate of return that Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin have had in the last year, to me anyway, it’s well worth a small risk. Am I going to sell all my stocks and cash out my savings to “bet the farm” on cryptocurrency? No. Am I going to continue to grow a small position and take a chance on what I believe to be a huge part of the future? You bet your ass I am, and I think that you should too.

I’ll be writing more on tech and cryptocurrency in the near future, as well as sharing more shopping hauls, and information on other investments I have recently made. Plus you never know what else may give me the spark of motivation to begin blogging about. I’ve got a ton of ideas planned out as well. THANK YOU SO MUCH for reading and if you have any questions, comments, or anything else, PLEASE leave them below!

THANK YOU!

Brent Ott

 

 

How To NOT Treat Your Customers & Community: The Downfall of Coca-Cola’s MyCokeRewards

As I have shared with you, I like to take advantage of a variety of programs and memberships which allow me to get freebies for doing things I would have already done anyway. Doing so is how you can really stretch your budget and make the most of what you have. One of the very first such programs I was a member of was Coca-Cola’s MyCokeRewards. For a decade or so I was a member. It was similar to the Pepsi Stuff/Pepsi Points program from many years back, for some of you who may remember. On Coke products there were codes, you entered the codes online for points, and you could then cash in the points for various rewards.

Over the years I used MyCokeRewards and redeemed them for theme park tickets, Amazon gift cards, and a variety of other various, worthwhile prizes. It gave you a reason to look forward to drinking Coke, saving your caps and packaging, and even asking your friends and family to save them for you. It really helped to build brand loyalty.

I don’t drink a lot of soda, but I am very loyal to Coke when I do. I am a simple, original Coke type of guy. I actually have a hard time drinking a full-size 12-ounce Coke, and prefer only having an 8-oz can every so often. It’s the perfect size for someone like me! Coca-Cola is an iconic brand. Everything from their Christmas/Santa packaging and advertising, to their other artwork and classic advertising. Being a reseller I have grown to love Coke advertising and have sold many vintage signs, crates, bottles, you name it. My passion for Coke and their brand has also led me to holding a small investment in Coke, for many of the same reasons that Warren Buffett has held the stock for so many years. It’s just a small gesture, but I was so very proud when Stockpile, the company I use to hold Coke stock, sent me a stock certificate that I could display in my office last year. Simply put, I’m very loyal to Coke.

All of these reasons is why it truly hurt so much when Coke decided to “improve” their MyCokeRewards program, as they decided to call it. Make it “better.” Yeah, right. We’ve been down this road before. Over the years, they have changed the program many times. They have made it harder in different ways, made you earn status levels, changed it back, and I don’t fault them for any of that really. During all these changes over the years they still kept the basic truth of the program which was that you could use your points towards actual prizes and rewards. Things that made it worthwhile.

With this last and seemingly final update, all that changed. First off, they set a certain deadline in which you would no longer be able to enter the codes you had already collected. This deadline has passed. The program had a weekly 75-point limit in which you could not pass, which was understandable. What wasn’t is that they didn’t allow their loyal community to have an unlimited period in which they could catch up their stockpile of codes. Many people had to just simply throw away the rest of their codes. If you look at the community they built on their Facebook page, this is one huge complaint stemming from these changes. The people responding truly don’t even seem to care that they have angered everyone.

They are claiming that the program will be “better” now, and “easier.” It sort of reminds me of Donald Trump’s campaign for President. False promises and statements throughout. The new program which they are transitioning to seems to be nothing but entering your codes for sweepstakes entries. Who really wants to be loyal to a brand, save their codes, and enter them for a small chance at winning something? Saving them for something you would actually want like a theme park ticket, gift card, movie ticket, Coke t-shirt, etc.. is much more worthwhile. On top of destroying the program they built, they gave everyone a time period in which they have to use all their earned points by, or lose the rest. Even though the new program looks to be a joke, why wouldn’t they allow points to carry over?

The basic truth is as follows: I understand that business changes, society changes. Soda sales have slowed dramatically over the years, as more people now drink bottled water and other healthy alternatives. I’m no different. Myself and the rest of the Coke community probably would have understood more if Coke was just honest and stated that they had to change the program or get rid of it all together due to declining sales, profits, whatever the case. But claiming that they are making it “better” and “easier” and whatever other blanket statements they feel like using is a great way to lose the loyal community that you spent years building. Turning your own community against you really makes no sense.

Were you a member of the MyCokeRewards community? What are your personal thoughts on these changes? I’ve heard of some other programs that have recently done similar moves, including a local gas station/convenience store which has implemented similar changes. Have you experienced any similar situations? It’s a shame when you get used to something and it gets taken from you, but that is life I suppose. Is honesty too much to ask for in this day and age? That is really all I am asking here.

I usually always try to be positive, and I’m sure my next post will follow that path, but this is something that has been on my mind for a while that I just felt the need to share. It’s not the end of the World, my life is filled with many bigger problems. To wrap it up and be as honest as I can, I’m just really let down by the iconic, classic brand that is Coca-Cola. Drinking my 8-oz can just may never be the same again….

Thank you for reading, and leave your comments below! I promise that I will respond!

Brent Ott

What Stocks I Am Buying In 2017 So Far And Recommend (Shopify, Nvidia, UPS) and What I Am Increasing My Positions In…

It has been a few weeks since I’ve posted here, so I figured I’d take this opportunity to share the stocks I am buying so far in 2017. Stocks which I am buying both for the first time, and also increasing my positions in.

So far this year I’ve purchased shares of three new companies. These include Shopify (SHOP), Nvidia (NVDA), and UPS (UPS). First off I’d like to talk a little about Shopify, which is an ecommerce company based out of Canada. Shopify has been my biggest winner so far this year. I bought shares on January 20th at $50.09 per share, and currently as of this writing it sits at $61.52 per share. That is a roughly 23% gain as of this moment. Shopify has been growing quite steadily over the past year, and I see it continuing to grow. They have announced a working relationship with Amazon, and have had tremendous earnings. Even at the current price, I recommend it as a “buy,” but before I increase my position again I’ll likely wait for a slight pullback in the price.

As for Nvidia, which is a technology company based out of California, I purchased my shares on February 3rd at $114.38 per share, and it currently sits at $107.23 per share so it has lost roughly 6% as of now. Despite that, I highly recommend it a “buy.” Within the next several weeks I plan on increasing my position. Based off their technology regarding artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and autonomous cars alone the stock has a tremendous upside potential which should not be overlooked. The stock has exploded in the past few years and I see it continue doing so.

Finally I purchased my shares of UPS, the World’s largest package delivery company, on January 6th for $115.40 per share. It currently sits at $106.90 per share, so again it has dropped and as of right now lost roughly 7% per share. I see this pullback as another opportunity to buy more. With the continued growth of Amazon, Shopify, and ecommerce in general somebody has to deliver the packages, and UPS stands in the best position to capitalize on just that. Aside from the strong growth potential for both Nvidia and UPS despite being down, both are dividend stocks. UPS currently pays 3.11% and Nividia currently pays 0.52%.

I wrote a blog earlier this year about my opinions on Facebook & Amazon, which can be found here. I continue to stand strongly behind the future of both, and I have increased my positions on both stocks so far this year. I will continue to do so at various times throughout the coming weeks and months. If you enjoy these blogs where I share my buys, recommendations, etc.. please let me know in the comments below. If you have any other recommendations for content, leave those as well. I have been enjoying writing this blog in 2017, and have a lot of ideas to improve it. Thanks for reading, enjoy the rest of your day, and don’t forget, leave those comments! I will reply!

Thanks again!

Brent Ott

Reselling: Always Was, Still Is, and Forever Will Be My Anchor

In my younger days I spent my time working “for the man.” You name it, I’ve probably done it. I’ve been a Cashier & Stocker at a grocery store, a dishwasher at restaurants, I’ve cleaned dorm bathrooms. I’ve Managed a Papa John’s and an Arby’s. I worked at a McDonald’s… well, for a day or two anyway. I’ve cleaned big box store floors, done food prep, as I said, you name it, I’ve probably done it.

Everything I mentioned, I hated in some way, shape, or form. I always dreamed of running my own business. When I was little I used to have my own office set up, and spend my allowance on office supplies just so I could pretend I was “the boss.” I briefly started a house cleaning business, just to get my feet wet, but that just wasn’t me. It wasn’t until around 2010 when I finally found what would eventually become my anchor in the business world: reselling.

There is nothing like the feeling of searching thrift stores, yard sales, flea markets, church sales, and anywhere and everywhere else for that thing that you know is underpriced, that you can easily sell for double, triple, even 100 times or more as much as they are asking. It’s a rush like nothing else. I first got the idea that I could actually make a business out of reselling by watching History Channel’s “American Pickers.” From the very beginning that show just spoke to me.

My reselling journey has taken a lot of twists and turns over the years, as you always need to be willing to do in any business. I’ve gone from mainly selling vintage advertising and collectibles, to now selling mainly clothing with a little bit of vintage toys, vintage household goods, and everything else in between.

To show you the potential that reselling has to offer, I wanted to share a few of my favorite scores from my journey, and I’m sure I’ll be sharing more in the future. The first is from nearly 5 years ago, and was from when I was big into selling vintage advertising. I picked up this Muscadine Punch sign at an antique shop, I believe in West Virginia. I was on a little road trip with my girlfriend at the time. It was priced around $120, but being the type always willing to haggle to get the best deal, I talked the guy down to $80. Once I got back home I listed it on eBay, and sold it within a week or so for $400!

It’s not the only sign I’ve sold for a similar profit margin to that, either. There are countless others. It is, however, one of my most memorable and one that my girlfriend and I talk about to this day.

For a more recent score/flip I want to show you a Polo Ralph Lauren Purple Label shirt which was new-with-tags that I sold on eBay already in 2017. I picked it up at a Goodwill at the end of last year. It was in the long sleeve section, which usually costs $5.50 a piece. However, I was using a 50% off card that particular day so I ended up getting it for $2.75Certain Goodwill stores price things of one type all the same, others have individual pricing, some have a mix of both. As for the shirt, after sitting listed on eBay for a month or two, it ended up selling via a Best Offer for $149. 

These two examples are what we like to call “homeruns” in the reselling business. They don’t happen every day, but when they do, you enjoy them. Reselling is really all about the little “bread and butter” flips that add up. $5 to $15, $2 to $10, $10 to $30. These little flips over and over on a consistent basis are what keeps a reselling business going and growing.

For the past 6 or 7 years now I have made a full-time income with reselling, and I’ve slowly added other streams of revenue into my business, with some plans of other additions on the horizon. I’m the type that always likes to have my plate full, and am always full of dreams and goals. No matter where I end up and where my passion for business takes me, one thing is for sure, and that is that reselling will always play some sort of a part. I have truly never been as passionate about anything else I have ever done in my life as I am about reselling. I am very grateful for the opportunity to do what I do every single day.

I’d never recommend that anyone just up and quit their job, especially if they have a family to support and bills to pay. I would, however, recommend that anyone who is looking for an extra source of income that could, over time, grow into a main stream of income, try reselling. A good way to start is just by looking around your home. Everyone has got a pile of something somewhere in their home which they aren’t using and/or don’t want. Start by trying to sell some of those things, and just see where it takes you. Years ago eBay was the only place to sell, but now, so much has changed. There is a vast variety of marketplaces to try online, and many avenues in “real life” such as antique malls, flea markets, and your own personal yard sale. Plenty of opportunity to get your feet wet.

I love reselling and I always will. If you’ve ever wondered about it, there really is only one way to find out and that is to give it a shot. Trust me, everything has a market. One man’s junk really is another man’s treasure. Many things in life are underpriced with profit potential. Hopefully I was able to get your mind working on a different level. THANK YOU for reading and I’ll be sure to share some more reselling content here in the future. If you have any questions or comments PLEASE feel free to leave them below and I will respond!

THANKS AGAIN!

Brent Ott

Two Stocks I Recommend You Buy and Never (At Least Short Term) Sell: Facebook & Amazon! Here’s why…

 

When it comes to wise long-term investments, in my eyes it’s hard to top two of the most well-known tech names out there, Facebook (FB) & Amazon (AMZN). Before I get into this post, let me just start by saying that yes, I do own both of these stocks, and they are currently my two top holdings. They will continue to be for the foreseeable future.

When I look into purchasing stock in a company, one of the first things I look to learn about is the CEO. Both Amazon and Facebook have very smart, forward-thinking CEO’s with Mark Zuckerberg running things at Facebook and Jeff Bezos holding the spot at Amazon. Both are more than willing to bet money now on long-term hopes, dreams, and visions which is something I fully believe in. In this field their track records speak for themselves.

Both of these companies will be reporting earnings at the end of this month. When it comes to quarterly earnings, anything can happen. There is no way for me to guarantee, obviously, that either of these companies are going to beat their earnings estimates this quarter, which a lot of the time means the stock price will rise. However, I can say with strong belief that over time these companies will each have many successful quarters, and the stock WILL rise.

First off let’s look at Facebook. As of this writing and it being a Sunday when the Stock Market is closed, FB sits at $128.34 per share. This is up significantly from when it first went public in May of 2012 at $38.23 per share. Imagine if you would have invested then?

Here are a few of the reasons that I personally believe that Facebook will continue to grow:

  1. Instagram Stories: Facebook, which owns Instagram, just launched Instagram Stories within the past few months, to compete with Snapchat. The product is EXTREMELY similar. Advertising on that platform is just beginning to roll out, and the daily users continue to grow. I’ve even read reports that Instagram Story-like features will eventually be coming to Facebook Messenger and other parts of Facebook. I personally cannot wait to see the Instagram Story product itself as it continues to add features and expand, I really enjoy using it!
  2. VR (Virtual Reality): Facebook owns Oculus VR which produces virtual reality headsets, etc.. I don’t personally believe in AS MUCH of a future for VR as others do, but I do believe it’s going to be an aspect of their business that continues to grow.
  3. Advertising In General: As more and more brands begin understanding the huge shift in where eyeballs are going, away from television sets/cable and more towards the Internet/streaming, Facebook will keep growing advertising revenues through their platforms.
  4. The Next Big Thing: Remember when Facebook bought Instagram? Remember when Facebook TRIED to buy Snapchat? Well, keep an eye out because I guarantee you that Facebook will try to buy “the next big thing” that grows out of nowhere.

These are just a few of my personal visions for Facebook’s future. I see no reason why within a year or two, Facebook stock won’t be sitting somewhere between $200 or $300 per share, or greater. Keep in mind however, that Facebook last year announced a pending stock split and a new class of shares that won’t contain voting power, so the price target will need to be adjusted for this once it happens.

Now let’s look at Amazon. As of right now AMZN sits at $817.14 per share. This is up from $1.50 per share when the company first went public in May of 1997. No, you didn’t read that wrong… it was only $1.50 per share!!!!!!! Imagine making THAT investment and holding on to it!

Here are a few of the reasons that I see Amazon continuing to rise…..

  1. Amazon Prime: Prime is a beast. Amazon generates a huge amount of revenue just off of memberships to this alone, and subscriptions continue to grow. They keep adding new perks to Prime, and are always working on new ones, which in turn will keep the amount of subscribers growing.
  2. Drones: It may seem crazy, but Amazon is actually working on launching Amazon Prime Air drone deliveries. Imagine it. You order something, and a half hour later you get your order delivered to your front yard via a drone. It is this type of forward thinking that will keep Amazon stock growing alone.
  3. Streaming Sports: Amazon is working on adding LIVE streaming sports to its Prime service, which will again keep subscriptions rising.
  4. Physical Retail Locations: Amazon has been working on and testing a variety of formats for physical stores. Everything from corner store type locations, to grocery store and book store locations, which actually have a few locations already in existence.
  5. Echo/Alexa: Although it still may seem strange to many, this market is going to be huge. Having a “personal assistant” who orders household items for you when it realizes you are low, before even YOU do? How cool is that? Another way Amazon is into this space is through their Dash Buttons, which continue to grow and expand. Besides this cool feature, being able to simply find out pretty much anything you need, just by asking? An absolute game changer. It’s also been announced that Alexa will be built into Ford vehicles in the future, which is YET another stream of revenue!

These are just a few of the MANY forward-thinking ideas that Amazon is working on, and it’s only a FEW of what have been announced. Imagine what they are working on behind the scenes! You hear estimate targets of $1,000 for Amazon stock quite often, but I’m even more bullish on Amazon. I say that within two or three years Amazon stock WILL hit $1,200 easily. $1,500? Quite possible!

It will be fun to look back to this blog as time goes on to see what ideas and thoughts I was right on, what I was wrong on, and what I didn’t even think was possible! Bottom line, despite typical ups and downs of the Stock Market, possible future economic downturns, and whatever else gets thrown at us, Facebook & Amazon stock will grow and will grow BIG TIME.

If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below and I WILL RESPOND!

Thank you so much for reading!

Brent Ott

 

My favorite site of 2016 and most recommended for 2017: Stockpile

Here at NinjaGhostInvestments.com I plan on sharing a lot of different websites, apps, programs, and more which I use in my daily life including my businesses. Some that I use daily, some that I am just trying, and those that I both enjoy and can’t stand. I want to share a wide variety of things with you.

Last year while searching for a new trading platform with low commission fees I came across Stockpile, and instantly fell in love. They sell individual gift cards for stock in-store, but beyond that they have a dedicated website which you can use to purchase stock much like TD Ameritrade or anywhere else. However, much UNLIKE the other guys all trades, to buy and sell, only cost 99 cents. You heard me right… 99 cents!

Really, the only drawback to me is that regardless of when you place the trade, they execute after the market closes that particular day. The cutoff time to purchase shares for the day is 3 PM ET. Besides that, most of the same features you likely love with other brokerages are there. You receive dividends (if the stocks you purchase offer them), stock prices update often while the market is open, you can enroll in a DRIP, you name it.

Here is the big kicker… you can actually purchase fractional shares! For example, if you wanted to buy Amazon stock, and didn’t have the current near $800-per share to invest, no worries. You can purchase any amount. $25 worth? $50 worth? $126.72 worth?! No problem! This is a great way for both beginner and more experienced investors to get a piece of any company they desire, while not breaking the bank. Stocks that traditionally you may not be able to afford, you now can, and over time you can stockpile quite a bit of it if you keep purchasing.

I am a proud Android user (sorry Apple peeps) and also have nothing but the best of things to say about the available Stockpile app. If you ARE an Apple person, no worries, there’s also an IOS app. Features include your updated portfolio, charts/history of the stocks you own, news tidbits, and much more.

I highly recommend you all giving Stockpile a try if you are interested in trying a new brokerage to invest with. Here’s another great thing… you can open your account with no minimum balance!

Right now they are also offering a great deal for new accounts, through my unique referral link. If you open an account now, you will receive $5 of free stock with your first $10 purchase. Just $10! You honestly can’t beat that, and I assure you, once you try it, you’ll likely love it. Really, what do you have to lose? 99 cents!? You can’t buy a (decent) coffee for that! To get started right now follow this link: http://mbsy.co/gtmd6

This year I plan on trying some new similar brokerages and apps, and I’ll be sharing my experiences with those as well. I already use a few other newer companies, including one amazing financial firm I also swear by, which I’ll be sharing soon. Until next time, thank you for reading, if you have any questions or comments leave a message below, and enjoy the rest of your day!

Thanks,

Brent Ott