My take on pure stock investing

Okay, this isn’t a personal finance blog. I’m in no way a professional in terms of finances. To be most accurate, I’m a practicing amateur. However, I do invest. I tend to invest for the long term. I have a 401(k) through my day job. I have a Roth IRA I started when I was working several part-time retail jobs. And I have a Sharebuilder account where I invest in pure stocks.

Now, I’m not talking about investing thousands of dollars at once and day trading and all of that BS. I spend about 150 dollars a month on three stocks. (50 a piece). I change those three stocks whenever I like.

I decided that if I’d be willing to spend 150 at a Roulette table, I’m perfectly willing to take some chances on stocks. I think of stocks invest as akin to gambling. It’s something I’m comfortable doing and I find it as enjoyable as playing with my chips at the table.

I’ve made some good choices. I’ve made some bad choices, but at least I’m doing something.

What do I hold?

Well, I have stock in Tootsie Roll. (For the sole purpose of being able to go to one of their shareholder meetings and get free samples.) This has actually worked out fairly well. They have a regular dividend (which I reinvest automatically) and their stock is fairly stable.

Anheiser-Busch was a stock I bought into once and now just let the dividends reinvest. I’m not all that hyped on increasing my holdings with them. I’m just seeing where it takes me.

I used to have Harrah’s stock, but I got bought out when they did. I haven’t been able to reinvest in their stock because it’s not available through Sharebuilder and I’m too cheap / lazy to get a broker to do it for me.

I’m nibbling away at getting a share of Berkshire Hathaway. Why? Because I want the chance to see Warren Buffett in person at the shareholder meeting. I need to think about going to next year’s. It’s a billion dollar business and I don’t have to be Warren Buffett to get the benefit of his experience. 🙂

I have Goldman Sacks in my portfolio because they get a percentage of most of the mergers that happen. Thus, I get a percentage of them and I also get to cheer when it’s announced that they’re handling a deal.

I bought into the Knot IPO and I’m glad I did. The stock’s gone up fifty percent since I bought it and looks to be fairly stable. The wedding industry makes billions and I used to be a professional wedding planner as well as a “consultant” at David’s Bridal. (That really means that I sold wedding dresses and tried to push brides into buying a heck of a lot more than just a dress.)

I have, to my dismay, XM and Sirius stock. They’ve gone down precipitously since I bought them. I’m just waiting for the merger on the hope that I’ll get bought out and won’t have to pay to sell off the pathetic stocks.

I have Bally’s Technology stock. They make slot machines. I did mention that I consider stock investing like gambling right? That makes the other parts of my portfolio understandable too. I have Las Vegas Sands and Wynn resorts on my list.

I also have stock in Pfizer. The stock is a reasonable price and they have an excellent dividend program. Drug companies have a strangle-hold on the world right now and I want in on it.

Starbucks got added to my list because I watch all the fools who go in and buy it. They can’t live without it. Personally, I think the coffee tastes like crap, but they treat their employees pretty well and half the folks in my office are addicted to it. *shrugs*

Hmmm… I think that’s it. I might have missed something, but it doesn’t matter too much.

After all, it’s just a roll of the dice.