12 Must Read Success & Motivational Books

Summer is coming to a close, vacations are taking place and spare time is available. It’s the perfect time to catch up on your reading and focus your mind and body on closing out the year on top of your game!

And don’t just stop there, prepare for amazing things in 2015!

2014_08-22_Action-03

The key to reading and absorbing these books is “ACTION

  1. Think & Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
  2. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
  3. The Go-Giver by Bob Burg
  4. The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason
  5. Success through a Positive Mental Attitude by Napoleon Hill
  6. The Success System that Never Fails by W. Clement Stone
  7. The One Thing by Gary Keller
  8. Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell
  9. How to Win Friends and influence People by Dale Carnegie
  10. The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale
  11. The 80/20 Principle by Richard Koch
  12. How to Get Rich by Felix Dennis

2014_08-22_Show it -02

Bonus: must listen audio (for $2.95, how can you not):
Napoleon Hill in His Own Voice: Rare Recordings of His Lectures

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My Wife’s Personal Mutual Fund Outperforms the Pros

I’ve mentioned this before on the blog and have joked about it several times on twitter but going forward, I’m paying attention, close attention.

To what, you may ask…?

To what my wife is buying and using! As she buys, I will buy, but my purchases will be shares.

Take a look at the following examples since we have been married (we married in 2004):

  • Apple $AAPL (iPhone, iMac, iPad, iTunes, apps, etc.)
  • Starbucks $SBUX (Caramel macchiato)
  • Google $GOOG (Search: computer & phone)
  • Amazon $AMZN (Prime, enough said!)
  • Facebook $FB (Every day)
  • Costco Wholesale $COST (Member since before we were married)
  • Target $TGT (The go-to store)
  • Coach $COH (Several hand bags; even my own business bag)
  • Michael Kors $KORS (Watches & accessories)
  • CVS Caremark $CVS (The go-to pharmacy)
  • Netflix $NFLX (Movies and streaming online series)
  • Walt Disney Co $DIS (Mickey Mouse, need I say more)
  • Johnson & Johnson $JNJ (Kids!)
  • Procter & Gamble $PG (Household)
  • Visa $V (Credit & debit)
  • MasterCard $MA (Credit)
  • Pepsico $PEP (Gatorade, Pepsi, etc.)
  • TJX Companies $TJX (TJ Max, Marshalls, Home Goods, etc.)
  • Home Depot $HD (Projects and equipment)
  • Verizon $VZ (Phone and FiOS)
  • Exxon Mobil $XOM (Gas)
  • Wells Fargo $WF (Banking)

My wife religiously buys or uses products from the companies above on a daily and weekly basis. A simple buy and hold plan, including all of the names above, would have outperformed my gains over the past 10 years. It’s easy in hindsight to make this analysis but I am telling you – I will be watching closely as to what new companies make it on her radar.

2014_08-06_AAPL_10yr

In addition to my wife, I will also be closely watching the names of the companies that my kids get involved with (young at this point but the future is theirs). It’s not a ground-breaking game-plan but appears to be more lucrative than my plan of searching for the next growth industry or 10-bagger. Without her knowing it, my wife’s mutual fund would be comprised of a strategy employed by the great Peter Lynch.

According to sources, Peter Lynch managed the Fidelity Magellan Fund from 1977 to 1990, during which time the fund’s assets grew from $20 million to $14 billion. Even more impressive, Lynch reportedly beat the S&P 500 Index benchmark in 11 of those 13 years, achieving an annual average return of 29%.

Peter Lynch subscribed to the idea of “know what you own”. I know what my wife owns and can take the lesson that many other wives (and people in general) are buying what she is buying. Consumers = profits and profits typically lead to earnings which leads to a rise in share prices. Sounds like a simple formula.

2014_08-06_SBUX_10yr

Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t completely ignored the stocks above as I have owed a few of the names but I haven’t owned them long enough or with enough quantity. Rather than “owning” them, I have been trading them (in short term periods).

In addition to the solid companies above, I am still more attracted to finding the next great growth stock within a great industry. I like to search for cutting edge technology or innovative companies that will lead a new revolution. I research and buy names such as $DDD (3D Systems), $INVN (Invensense), $TWTR (Twitter), $SLCA (US Silica), $TSLA (Tesla) – all of which aren’t on my wife’s “buy list”. She’s aware of Twitter and maybe Tesla but doesn’t use their products or services. Other than me yapping about what I am researching, she would not know the difference between $DDD and $SPLK. Perhaps that’s a message to me…?

Chipotle Mexican Grill, now that she knows, understands and occasionally eats from their establishments.

I am sure a few of the companies she uses haven’t performed all that great but the vast majority have been excellent.

So, forget my mutual fund and forget the pros and their fees. I should create my wife’s mutual fund and ride those profits into the retirement sunset!

10-Year Charts of My Wife’s Mutual Fund:

2014_08-06_GOOG_10yr

2014_08-06_AMZN_10yr

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Market Breadth: NH-NL Update

A long time favorite blogger of mine, Brett Steenbarger, Ph.D. (welcome back), of the blog Traderfeed wrote a post this weekend that inspired me to post my latest breadth figures.

He stated, in the post: Useful Trading Tools – Part Four: Stock Market Breadth:

“You can see that new highs vs. lows have been waning in the last few days, but also since late December. I am watching this closely, as it suggests that we may be toward the top of a rangebound consolidation period in stocks at the very least–especially given the expansion of new lows during the most recent market drop.”

The Dr. notes that the NH-NL differential has been “waning” and that the breadth indicator may be reaching the top of a rangebound consolidation period for stocks. I don’t disagree but my findings are as such, based on the charts and data below.

Starting with the raw data, we can see that the short term differential and 10-ma Diff are both increasing over the past couple of weeks. Now, they aren’t increasing with great strength but they are moving higher after a short lived “negative period” (highlighted by the pink cells for the Diff and 10-d ma). The longer term 30-d average never went negative during this period. In fact, the 30-d Diff average hasn’t been negative since September 19, 2013 which continues to tell me that the attempted corrections have not gained sustainable traction. Even back in September, the negative readings were short lived. We haven’t had a TRUE sustainable correction, based on this NH-NL breadth indicator, since 2011.

2014_02-23_NHNL_Data

Looking at the basic New High – New Low daily differential chart, we can visually see that NL’s are nowhere near extreme levels and have been weakening since the 2013 peak set back in late June. Additionally, NH’s have also been weakening since their peak in May 2013. To the Dr.’s point, the breadth is also consolidating (similar to a triangle). But, there hasn’t been a major move to either end of the spectrum, positive or negative (the indicator has remained mostly neutral).

2014_02-23_NHNL_Diff

The next chart looks at the NH-NL Diff 10-d MA overlaid on a chart with the DJIA. The power of this chart shows the divergence of the DJIA making higher highs while the number of stocks making new highs vs. new lows decreasing. This resembles the chart the Dr. used in his blog post. Here’s where we can note a minor red flag.

2014_02-23_NHNL_Diff_10MA-Dow

Similar to the chart above, the next chart shows the NH-NL Diff 30-d MA overlaid on a chart with the DJIA. The divergence is even more apparent with this chart and definitely raises a red flag for caution while aggressively trading going forward. It doesn’t mean to stop trading or investing as the NH-NL is still positive and the breadth indicator has yet to show a sustainable breakdown in nearly three years.

2014_02-23_NHNL_Diff_30MA-Dow

Until multiple warning signs appear and the NH-NL goes negative for a sustained period of time (bringing with it the 10-d and 30-d Diffs), feel free to ride the trend by investing and/ or trading in the leading candidates.

14 for 2014 Portfolio

The ‪#‎14for2014‬ mock portfolio is now assembled.

Please keep in mind that this list is a highly speculative collection of growth stocks. DO NOT buy blindly! The purpose of this social media exercise is to buy-and-hold for 365 days to see if this collection of stocks can outperform the S&P 500.

A detailed blog post will be linked later this weekend, explaining why I selected these growth stocks.

  • EPAM EPAM Systems, Inc.
  • HIMX Himax Technologies, Inc.
  • INVN InvenSense, Inc.
  • LNKD LinkedIn Corporation
  • LOCK LifeLock, Inc.
  • NOW ServiceNow, Inc.
  • PRLB Proto Labs, Inc.
  • QIHU Qihoo 360 Technology Co. Ltd.
  • REGN Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
  • SCTY SolarCity Corporation
  • SLCA U.S. Silica Holdings, Inc.
  • SPLK Splunk, Inc.
  • TWTR Twitter, Inc.
  • XONE The ExOne Company

2014_01-01_Week 1

Please feel free to view the #13for2013 portfolio results here:
Results: 13 Stocks for 2013 Gain 60%

Results: 13 Stocks for 2013 Gain 60%

I started a mock portfolio on January 1, 2013, for fun, on stocktwits and twitter for the year 2013. I have owned and currently own several names but always clarified that I was not holding all 13 at any one time nor did I own every stock listed throughout the entire year. The purpose of the exercise was to develop a mock portfolio on social media which would be held for all 365 days without buy or sell rules to see if high quality growth stocks could outperform the general market without lifting a finger.

Well, SUCCESS:

As it turns out, the 13 handpicked stocks easily outperformed the major indices with a whopping 60.47% gain vs. a 31.80% gain for the S&P 500. This mock portfolio essentially doubled the average of the S&P 500 for the calendar year 2013.

2013_12-31_13-for-2013 Results

First tweet: #13for2013
10:04 PM – 1 Jan 13
13 Stocks for 2013: $SSYS $DDD $DNKN $RAX $LNKD $KORS $MOV $FLT $INVN $NTSP $SLCA $V $SCCO

Let’s take a look back as to why I selected these 13 stocks so we can use a similar strategy to select 14 stocks for 2014.

DDD – 3D Systems Corp.
The company manufactures and markets 3D printers, print materials, on-demand custom parts services, and 3D authoring solutions for professionals and consumers.

The entire 3D industry started to explode in 2012 and I felt the trend would continue strong into 2013. That thinking was correct as DDD led the portfolio with a 161.26% gain. I believe this industry is still within its infancy with room for further growth and will likely select at least one 3D stock in the 2014 portfolio. Many stocks within the group are extended so be careful with your selections and wait for pullbacks (low risk / high reward). Some analysts believe that this industry is “gimmicky” but I am not completely sold on that notion. The industry is young and the true leaders will take time to establish their position but I do believe 3D printing is here to stay (in one form or another).

2013_12-31_DDD

DNKN – Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc.
Dunkin Brands Group, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, owns, operates, and franchises quick service restaurants under the Dunkin Donuts and Baskin-Robbins brands worldwide. The company has approximately 10,800 Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants; and approximately 7,000 Baskin-Robbins restaurants.

I liked the stock and still own shares today because those 10,800 stores are mostly concentrated in the north east. The company still has room for expansion which was my thought last year as the west coast is wide open, as well as international markets. This is a $60-$100 type stock over the long term based on Dunkin’s strong brand and loyal following. Even better, the stock pays a dividend. Bullish on this stock long term.

2013_12-31_DNKN

FLT – FleetCor Technologies, Inc.
FleetCor Technologies, Inc. provides fuel cards and workforce payment products and services to businesses, commercial fleets, oil companies, petroleum marketers, and government entities in North America, Latin America, and Europe. It sells a range of customized fleet and lodging payment programs; and offers various card products to purchase fuel, lodging, and related products and services at participating locations.

It’s a generic description from Yahoo Finance but that’s what caught my attention as this is such a great concept in a huge industry. The stock has had a heck of a two year run but can be considered for additional buys anywhere above the 200-d ma in the future. I am big supporter and buyer of “payment” solutions going forward (whether it is specialized in an industry or in general such as a credit card). I maintain my bullish outlook on this stock and the industry.

2013_12-31_FLT

INVN – InvenSense, Inc.
InvenSense, Inc. designs, develops, markets, and sells micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) gyroscopes for motion tracking devices in consumer electronics. The company delivers motion interface solutions based on its multi-axis gyroscope technology that target smartphones and tablets, console and portable video gaming devices, digital still and video cameras, smart televisions, 3D mice, navigation devices, toys, and health and fitness accessories.

The key terms here are “wearables” and “sensors”. Just about everything we will use in the future will contain sensors to some degree so that is why I have been extremely bullish on INVN since 2012. It’s hasn’t worked out as smoothly as I wanted since my first purchase in 2012 but it has been profitable over the long term. The past year has been more profitable but it has also been extremely volatile. The stock made a strong late year push but needs to deliver consistent earnings to reduce the volatility. If it can do that, I can see this stock trading above $30 per share in 2014. I am still bullish on INVN going into 2014 and hold shares today (the entire industry is just beginning to explode).

2013_12-31_INVN

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