I married well.
After seeing a recent stat that 41% of first marriages end in divorce, I count myself lucky. I managed to find a mate who is smart, funny, responsible and compassionate.
And he loves to cook!
I picked up some basic cooking skills throughout high school and college. I can make grilled cheese, boil an egg and bake a mean chocolate cake for someone’s birthday. But I don’t stray too far from those easy recipes and skills.
On the other hand, my husband is the one in our family who makes the bulk of our meals. He’s the one who can explain the different cuts of beef at the grocery, and he’s the one who knows when to use dill and when to use rosemary. (I try to stay away from the spice rack completely.)
If food prices continue to shift the way they have over the past year, I think we will see more people like my husband cooking amazing meals at home rather than going out to eat… and that’s going to create some fantastic investment opportunities if you know where to look.
Back in the Kitchen
The government recently announced that the consumer price index (CPI) was unchanged for June, while economists were expecting inflation to tick up 0.1%. The 12-month CPI has dropped to 1.6% from 1.9% and is well off its five-year peak of 2.7% reached in February.
There’s a lot of hullabaloo going on right now about whether the Federal Reserve will lift rates yet again this year and whether the slowdown in inflation is far more than temporary, as the Fed has been claiming.
But I don’t care about the Fed right now. If the Fed is going to act, it’s unlikely to be until December, and there’s a lot of data set to come out between now and December that could sway the Fed.
If you dig a little deeper into the CPI report, there was a great nugget of data that no one is really talking about… and that creates a great opportunity for astute investors.
The government reported that grocery prices (food at home) fell in June. The price of food purchased in a grocery and prepared at home has steadily dropped since peaking in September 2015. We experienced a small run-up earlier this year, but it appears that prices are rolling over once again and headed lower.
By contrast, the price of food purchased at restaurants has steadily risen over the same time period and shows little sign of relenting.
Technology has worked to reduce costs in food production by increasing crop output. Low gas prices have cut transportation costs as well. The end result: It is now cheaper to buy food at the grocery than it was in 2015.
Meanwhile, rising labor costs and skyrocketing rents have forced many restaurants to lift their prices just to eke out a profit, making it far more expensive to eat out.
The United States Department of Agriculture reports that food-at-home prices dropped 1.3% in 2016 from 2015 levels and are expected to rise between 0% and 1% in 2017. Food-at-restaurants prices jumped 2.6% in 2016 and aren’t slowing in 2017.
The Market Has Changed
The race is on to make a profit off what’s hitting your table for dinner. We’ve seen a surge over the past several years of meal-delivery services such as Blue Apron, HelloFresh, Plated and Home Chef. These companies are catering to families (particularly millennials) who are looking for the comfort of cooking at home while still getting a unique variety of meals – far more than my awesome grilled cheese sandwiches.
Earlier this summer, Amazon announced plans to acquire Whole Foods. Imagine if Amazon could streamline Whole Foods the way it has done its other businesses, bringing costs down and luring customers in.
And of course, we have Wal-Mart going head-to-head with Amazon, which could create a price war that works in favor of consumers.
The market has shifted in favor of the grocer over the restaurant. Prices are dropping for food in grocery stores while restaurants are raising their prices just to get above the cost of operating. Meanwhile, wages for most Americans are stagnating, making the choice an obvious one.
Investors should be wary of restaurants and take a new look at grocery stores such as Kroger or even watch for new opportunities driven by millennials.
Preparation is the name of the game. The Chicago Bulls would never have won six championships if it wasn’t for the countless hours that Michael Jordan put in the gym throughout his entire life, and the endless game planning that he had undergone before every single game of his career. This kind of preparation, mixed with an unnatural athletic ability, was the reason that he had reached the level of success that he had. In the world of investing however, one does not need to possess any particular natural talents or abilities. The key characteristics of a truly successful investor include knowledge and preparation. Even the most experienced and successful investors in the world today are constantly searching for ways to improve themselves on a day to day basis. All of the best investors are not only informed on what industries to invest in and when, but also informed on what kind of position they are in at any given time, and aware of the best kind of investments for them at that particular moment in time.
Continually being conscious of your financial position during all points of your investing career and knowing yourself as an investor inside and out is crucially important when determining the level of risk that you should be taking on and when. If you are someone that finds themselves particularly interested in long term investments that will ensure a fairly moderate amount of return on investment, then there are a multitude of options for you. We all know that with the all-time low interest rates we are experiencing right now, savings accounts are not an effecting way of collecting interest at all.
Personally, I believe that the two best long-term investments include certificates of deposit (CD’s) as well as bonds. CD’s are just about as low risk as they come. These are especially nice because they are insured $250,000 by the FDIC, so as long as you are diversifying the CD’s that you purchase, you’re 100 percent certain that you will be receiving the promised amount of money back. By this I mean that when purchasing CD’s you should open up multiple of them and never let them reach $250,000 before maturity if you want to be 100 percent certain of receiving the promised amount of money on time. They typically range between 6 month investments to 30 year investments. The longer away the date to maturity, the higher the interest rate on that particular CD. The best way to ensure a solid return on investment as well as a steady flow of income from a CD would be to have many different ones with a range of maturity dates that span from the short term to the very long term.
Did you know that 1 out of 10 traders loses money in the financial markets when trading?
Despite the damning statistics and the inherent uncertainty in the outcomes of trading, traders continue to take the risk and invest their money with the hopes of getting a return.
Experienced traders and stakeholders have highlighted several ways in which traders lose money. From this information, we have selected top ways traders fail that can assist you to avoid making the same mistakes.
Trading to learn
Most traders who have sustained losses from their trading experience acknowledge that they started trading without receiving any formal training from a professional. Armed with only the basic information about markets, some people invest and start trading hoping, ignorantly, that luck will be on their side. Instead of learning how to trade, these investors begin trading to learn how the markets work. This reversed prioritization of events leads to insurmountable losses, making it harder for the trader to ever recoup the lost money.
Understanding the risk level of a trade and the risk category that investments are placed is the first step to avoiding losing money when trading. Conducting a risk assessment of the investment opportunities in the market enables a trader to determine the leverage that they hold against the investment and whether it is worth placing a wager using the leverage. Without a risk assessment, a trader may place a wager on a portfolio that has a high-risk premium and ends up losing the leverage among other losses.
Lack of money management skills, traders hold on their stakes for either too long or release them too fast. Therefore, despite making a profit from a transaction, the trader ends up losing money.
Like any other investment, trading has its operational costs that have to be factored when generating a profit and loss statement. A trader may lose money despite having a positive return in a trading period based on the costs incurred over the period. The adjusted transaction costs deducted include taxes, commissions, and utility bills, among other resources including time spent trading and conducting other activities related to the trade.
Tools of the trade
Markets are time sensitive and data-intensive platforms. Traders who have appropriate data at the right time are more likely to win than the others in the same market. Lack of tools for efficient data analysis and communication causes some traders to make trade decisions ex-post. For example, having a slow internet may hamper the trader’s efficiency and hence a trader will make decisions using delayed data feed.
Lastly, traders lose money because they lack a trading strategy or if they have one, they deviate from the plan. For example, a trader without a diversified portfolio is likely to lose money because of lack of risk spreading. Consequently, trading without a limit order or a take-profit order exposes the trader’s positions to further risk of losing money with the hopes of a ‘miracle’ at any time.
So how do I avoid losing money?
With the basic information on how traders lose money, it is paramount that you understand the best way to avoid these predicaments by learning how to become a successful investor.
Are you willing to invest in a more long-term and reliable organic traffic source for your website? Then let’s look at a search engine that can assist you in increasing your traffic.
Interview an Influencer or Get Interviewed by a High-traffic Website
Have you heard of Tim Ferriss, the author of the Four-Hour Work Week?
His podcast is nowadays a staple content type that he provides to his viewers. Tim’s show has world-class performers who share their insights on a variety of topics, and he is well-liked on social media. Do Tim’s fans enjoy the show? So far, the show has received over 50 million downloads. On most days, it’s the most popular business podcast on iTunes.
Interviews, whether on video or audio, are inherently conversational, lively, and engaging. The great aspect is that it’s a win-win situation for both sides. The interviewer is exposed to a new audience, while the interviewee is able to provide his website visitors with new fascinating and authoritative information. You can ask an industry influencer to share your interview with their followers on social media if you interview them. Consider the organic traffic you’ll get from their social media followers, which number in the hundreds of thousands. Consider the level of interest generated by a prior Derek Sivers interview on the Tim Ferriss Show. Derek shared the show’s URL with his 283K followers on Twitter. It won’t hurt if you establish a relationship with the influencer as a result of the interview.
Similarly, being interviewed by a high-ranking website can result in a significant increase in search engine traffic. Harsh Agrawal’s blog, Shoutmeloud, received 35,000+ views in a single day after he was profiled by YourStory. That was the blog’s most popular search engine traffic source (with 600,000+ monthly visitors). Because interviews provide consolidated value, they can be used as a long-term lead generating source for your company. Consider how many bloggers you’ve learned about through interviews on YouTube and other high-authority websites.
You may also conduct a Reddit AMA if you have a very compelling storey to tell. Mateen’s AMA got about generating $85,000 in profit by selling TeeSpring shirts/hoodies received 2000 page views. He also boosted the number of visitors to his website on a daily basis.
By registering as a source with HARO, you can also answer queries from journalists. On HARO, Christopher from Snappa came across this question from Inc Magazine about the future of content marketing. He swiftly responded with a thorough response. He was mentioned in Inc a few weeks later as a result of this. HARO is an excellent strategy to have your brand mentioned on authoritative news sites such as Entrepreneur and Inc. Those backlinks will enhance your search engine traffic and increase your marketing strategy by improving your reputation in Google’s eyes. Contact an SEO agency to find out how you can do this and how they can manage it for you while you work on the bottom line of your business.