Jan 212016
 

Netflix

I like to maintain an active lifestyle. So in 2014 I invited the popular online streaming service, Netflix, into my home because I wanted to do a marathon. After all, watching TV burns 70 calories per hour.

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Then earlier this week I welcomed Netflix (NFLX) into my stock portfolio. 😀

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The price of oil is falling, the global economy is slowing, many countries are in recession, and company earnings aren’t growing. But none of the gloomy financial and economic news in the world today have a negative impact on the the business of Netflix. 😀

However, this is somewhat of a contrarian play. NFLX has a price to earnings ratio of over 300 so it’s not a value stock. It also doesn’t pay a dividend so everything depends on the future appreciation of the stock price. Am I bullish on Netflix? Nope. ? But I decided to buy some shares anyway as an insurance against global cord-cutting.

Cover all the bases

I believe that media and entertainment will always be a strong industry. It’s hard to figure out which media conglomerates will expand their market share in the long run so my investment strategy is to diversify and own all of the big companies. This way, I don’t have to choose potential winners and losers because I’ll profit from the entire sector. 😉 A few years ago I blogged about doing the same thing for the coffee industry where I invest in large franchises such as Starbucks and McDonald’s. As it turns out all my coffee stocks have gained over 100% in value since I bought them! I’m using the same reasoning again now. Some people watch HBO while others prefer Netflix. I don’t know which service will have more viewers 10 years from now, but if I invest in the entire sector then I should be covered. 🙂 With the addition of NFLX, my basket of media and entertainment stocks now feels complete.

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Jun 252015
 

Some people may think of me as frugal, but that’s actually not entirely true. For example, I spend a lot of money (over $2,000 every month) on interest payments. 😉 It’s fun to find out how much other people spend on their hobbies. But in the end it’s pointless to judge their behavior because money contains different meaning to different people. This is because our real wealth is time. Money is merely a means to maximize the enjoyment we get out of our time in this world.

This is why some people who make $30,000 a year can live a happier, more fulfilling life than others who make $300,000 a year. The income gap between the rich and poor gets a lot of attention, but from a broader perspective most people have roughly the same amount of real wealth in this world, which is measured in years, not dollars. The truly unfortunate are those who are so poor that all they have is money, lol. If all my financial assets disappeared overnight I’d be fairly upset. But if I knew I only had a few more months to live I’d be devastated. 😱 I don’t blame Walter White for what he did. Dire times call for extreme measures.

So if our goal is to enjoy life to its fullest using our limited financial resources then we simply have to allocate the right amount of money for each block of time we spend living. This means if we watch more than 10 hours of live sports a week then spending $3,000 on a new 60 inch 4K Ultra HD LED TV is totally justified. 😀 After seeing a football or soccer match in 3840 x 2160 resolution there is no going back. 😉 But on the other hand if we use those 10 hours a week to play PC games then we should spend $3,000 on a new kick-ass gaming computer instead. 🙂 The point is to choose what our interests, passions, and values are in life, and spend our money with the purpose to maximize our happiness in mind. This way, we’re less likely to second guess ourselves and regret our purchases.

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Nov 132014
 

IMAX at Home

If you happen to have $3 million just lying around you can install a home theater system, IMAX style. 🙂 The 3D theater company will install one of its screens, along with the projectors, seats, and lighting all in the comfort of your very own house. Actually, most houses won’t even fit the installation. IMAX needs a room that’s a minimum of 21 feet wide, and 20 feet deep, plus 10 feet of additional space for the projection. That’s roughly a 600 square feet room, except it also has to be 12 feet high, lol.

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Once it’s installed you can watch Hollywood blockbusters the day they hit theaters. You just have to pay $500 per movie. 🙂 You can also watch sports, play video games and stream concerts on the large, crystal-clear projection screen and custom sound system.

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May 192013
 

There’s a sitcom on CBS called 2 Broke Girls. It’s the story about Max and Caroline who are both poor and work at a diner in Brooklyn, New York. Despite their financial circumstance they want to start their own cupcake business (゜∀゜) Their plan is to save $250,000 and open up their own cupcake store one day.

Spoiler alert if you haven’t watched it already but in last week’s episode they discovered an old, hidden storage room in the back of the diner which nobody knew about before. Caroline said “Uhg. It’s so humid and damp in here. Now I know how balls feel” 😀 The restaurant manager was about to hire a cleaning company but then Max suggested that she and Caroline could clean the derelict room instead since they could use the extra cash. The manager agreed to pay them $600. In the middle of steam cleaning they discovered the room had some shutters which opened up to the street outside. And Eureka 🙂 the girls realized this would be the perfect place for them to set up a small cupcake walk-up window, literally a window of opportunity (^_^) This would surely bring them one step closer to success.

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There are a couple of financial lessons we can learn from this episode. Even undesirable work can lead to great opportunity, and if we start from the bottom then there’s no way to go but up 😀 Sometimes I feel sympathy for these two girls. Caroline uses free napkins as coffee filters, and in an earlier episode Max experienced sushi for the first time in her life. They work so hard for low wages, and sacrifice so much for their dream of eventually opening up a business together. I think we can all learn something from these two characters 🙂 I watch the show because it inspires me to work hard, use my financial resources wisely, and keep me focused on my own goals :0)

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Random Useless Fact: More than 8,000 French households’ tax bills topped 100 percent of their income in 2012.