To nerds everywhere, I bid you Happy New Year! With the first month of the new year behind us, I feel that 2012 has started off on the right foot.
Here's what I bought this month (the commission is factored into the price per share):
1/10/2012 – Diageo at $86.39 / share
Here is the overall performance of each of my picks (with the change from last month in parenthesis)
Dominion, +6.0% (down 6.3%)
Aflac, +35.1% (up 13.8%)
Flower Foods, +3.4% (up 1.9%)
Costco, +3.3% (down 1.3%)
CVR Partners, +30.9% (up 22.4%)
Apple, +16.8% (up 13.2%)
Brookfield Infrastructure Partners, +6.9% (up 5.4%)
Terra Nitrogen Company, L.P., +31.8% (up 14.9%)
Vodafone, -8.7% (down 3.7%)
ExxonMobil, -1.5% (down 1.5%)
In January, my CAPS rating has come back down to earth (60) and I managed to choke out two blog posts. One was about a tip I read about saving the scraps from your grocery card, which coaxed a couple of better tips from my readers. HarryCarysGhost revealed why he'll never be able to sneak up on anyone and truthisntstupid served up how to land a seven-bagger without paying brokerage fees. My other post was about why I'm bullish about Diageo. I twisted the words up a bit and managed to get my article syndicated on the Fool's blog network.
Bring on February! [more]
I'm looking for ways to put away a little cash here and there from our monthly budget. Back in August, I stumbled across a nice little idea I'd like to share although I can't remember where (it may have been a blog or possibly a comment to an article). If you know where the idea came from please let me know and I will happily give due credit.
Many major grocery stores offer some sort of savings or bonus card. These cards grant special savings on certain items and generally save us between 3-25% off our total amount. Although they print on the receipt how much you've "saved", the number is simply the amount you did not spend. You don't actually "save" anything unless you decide to put that cash away (and in our case) invest it. Since September I've been keeping track of the savings from each trip to the grocery store and so far we've racked up $195. Now I know that these "savings" are the result of products with excessive markup but the items we purchase are things we would have bought anyway so I pretend that it's free money.
Care to share any other sneaky ways to scrape up some extra coin for investing? [more]
I went to college in a tiny, rural town where I often lamented, "If there's a bright center to the universe, this is the town that it's furthest from." Many an evening was spent in a dark, subterranean hole-in-the-wall that my friends and I liked to call "the Cellar". Upstairs you could occasionally see a local band playing, but I mostly stayed downstairs where one would find a colorful cast of folks, but you definitely had to watch your step. This place could get a little rough. Despite the town's remote location the bar's less-than-friendly patrons, the one thing I could always count on was Guinness on tap. Little did I know that the small comfort I enjoyed, a favorable brand at my local watering hole, is being exercised across all reaches of the globe. My stock pick for this month is international spirits juggernaut, Diageo (ADR) (NYSE:DEO). [more]