Series I Bonds: Explained!

Hello, my Dear Community!

After a recent Instagram Reel where I mentioned Series I Bonds as a vehicle to save money in the short term and get higher interest rates, I received many questions about these government bonds.

Here’s a quick post where I share the BASICS of Series I Bonds. Please note that this is by no means comprehensive. If you have specific questions, drop them in the comments below, and I’ll do my best to answer them.

Six facts about Series I Bonds:

#1 The Bonds are backed by the US-Government

#2 They have a variable interest rate which is set based on inflation. In other words, the higher the inflation, the higher the interest paid by these bonds (and vice versa)

#3 The rate is reset twice per year – on May 1st and November 1st of each calendar year.

#4 The current rate is 9.62% and is subject to change in November (as noted).

#5 You can purchase these bonds for as little as $25 (if you buy them electronically via treasurydirect(dot)com) and as high as $10,000 per year. They do allow you to invest an additional $5K per year if you use money from your tax refund.

You MUST leave the money alone for at least one year (think of it as a 1-year CD).

You are free to take your money out after one year. However…

To get ALL of the interest on your money, you must leave the money invested in the bond for at least five years. If you “cash out” before the 5-year mark, you give up three months’ worth of interest.

Side note: Check out this very informative podcast episode from the amazing Suze Orman, where she explains how interest is calculated and how it is reflected in your account.

#6 The interest you earn from these bonds is exempt from state and local taxes. However, you will still be responsible for federal taxes.

If interested, you MUST purchase the Series I Bonds directly from the government website treasurydirect.gov. Emphasis on the .gov. There are tons of other bonds on that website. Make sure you are looking at the Series IBonds section specifically.

IMPORTANT: Beware of scammers or anyone else trying to “sell” you these bonds. They must be purchased from the government site!!!

And that’s all folks!

If you found this post helpful, please let me know and share it with those in your circle who can benefit.

Cheers to health and profits!

Mabel

Reminder: This post is NOT sponsored by ANYONE. It has been shared for educational purposes.

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Favorite Savings Accounts for Emergency Funds (and beyond)

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FAVORITE SAVINGS ACCOUNTS

It is no secret that I am a huge stock market fan.

The fact that we have the privilege of investing our money in high-quality stocks and funds that help us build wealth over time is fascinating to me.

With that said, something to keep in mind is that we shouldn’t have all our money invested.

There is a “little” something called emergencies that does not give us a warning. They just show up. Unannounced.

Before allocating any money towards the markets, make sure you have cash in a LIQUID account that is easily accessible when needed.

My favorite accounts for emergency savings (and beyond) for several years now are as follows:

CIT Bank -Savings Connect Program

Savings Connect (CIT)

The highest interest rate comes from C.I.T’s Savings Connect Program. They are paying 2.40% interest as long as you are enrolled in ongoing monthly deposits of $100 – an incredible incentive to save consistently. Click here to learn more.

Note: C.I.T is in no way affiliated with Citibank. It is an entirely different institution.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs –

Some of you might recognize Goldman Sachs as a leader in the investment banking industry. However, as of 2006, the business branched out into consumer services. One of those services is online savings accounts for the general public!

They are currently paying 2.15% interest.

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Remember that the higher the interest rate, the more money you’ll receive in interest payments based on your bank deposits. However, keep in mind not all banks are created equal! Do your due diligence before opening up an account.

Both of the banks mentioned above operate under the most up-to-date security standards. They are safe, trustworthy, and highly regulated financial institutions.

Where do you currently have your savings? Is it time to make adjustments?

Questions? Comments? Let me know below! Also, remember you can always email me at hello@girlsonthemoney.com.

Cheers to health and profits!

Love,

Mabel $

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Upcoming Courses and Resources:

The new and upgraded edition of our Stock Market Investing Bootcamp for beginners kicks off next month! Get on the waiting list to receive FULL details, including the promotional rate: Investing Bootcamp Waiting list. 

Looking for books about investing that are easy to understand? Check out our Amazon best sellers:
Stock Market Investing Mini Lessons for Beginners
Stock Analysis 101

Investing Books For Beginners

Are you a beginner in your investing journey and are looking for books that are easy to read? Check these out:

One up on Wall Street

by Peter Lynch (Stock Investing)

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“Understand the nature of the companies you own and the specific reasons for holding the stock. (“It is really going up!” doesn’t count.)”

-Peter Lynch

The Little Book of Big Dividends

By: Charles B. Carlson

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“Dividends are ultimately paid out of a company’s profits, so pay attention to the relationship between the two.”

-Charles Carlson

The Little Book That Beats the Market

By: Joel Greenblatt

Joel Greenblatt

“Choosing individual stocks without any idea of what you’re looking for is like running through a dynamite factory with a burning match. You may live, but you’re still an idiot.”

Joel Greenblatt

Stock Market Investing Mini-Lessons for Beginners

By: Mabel Nuñez

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“I aim to dispel any misconceptions around stock investing and show that you don’t need to work in Wall Street, have a PhD in Finance, or wear an expensive suit to participate in the stock market. Pretty much anyone who makes a conscious and committed decision to learn this subject can do so and benefit from it”.

-Mabel Nuñez., MBA

Stock Analysis 101:  A Step by Step Guide

By: Mabel Nuñez

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“I can’t emphasize enough how important research is. If you plan to buy stocks solely based on what someone told you to do or something you see on social media, but fail to do your research – you run the risk of losing a lot of money fast.”

-Mabel Nuñez., MBA

And that’s all for now. Have you read any of these books? And/or do any catch your eye for future reading? Let me know in the comments!

Cheers to health & profits!

Mabel

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Beginner Investor Starter Pack-4

I’ve never bought a “weed” stock in over ten years as an investor – here’s why

If you follow media trends, you might know that on Wednesday, 04/20, many were “celebrating” 420, which many recognize as the official day of cannabis around the world.

I felt this would be an excellent opportunity to re-share with my community why I’ve never invested in cannabis stock in my almost 14 years of investing experience. 

Here are a few reasons why:

If you missed my blog post about penny stocks, you can check it out here.

Remember – this is just my PERSONAL opinion and for educational purposes only. I know there are a lot of “die-hard” fans of cannabis stocks out there, and I respect that.

Questions? Comments? Have you had an experience with a cannabis stock that you want to share with me? let me know below 🙂

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Courses & Resources

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What You Should know About Penny Stocks

I recently had a conversation with a friend who started investing not long ago. Her portfolio has a significant amount of penny stocks.

At that moment, I had mixed feelings.

On the one hand, I was proud that she was investing and taking action. On the other hand, I was disappointed that she was putting her hard-earned money in companies that I consider trash.

Many people who start investing fall into buying penny stocks without really understanding what they are. Sometimes they get burned so badly that they give up on investing altogether.

If they don’t get “burned” (lose most or all of their investment), they soon realize that most penny stocks don’t go anywhere and linger around the same price for a long time.

In this post, my mission is to educate you to reach your conclusions and make your own decisions about these kinds of investments.

READING

Ever since I started my investing journey (over a decade ago!) I have stayed away from penny stocks. I consider them risky and speculative. If you have my first book I talk about this topic in lesson #24.

What exactly is a penny stock?

The Securities and Exchange Commission* (SEC) formal definition for a penny stock are those that trade for about $5 per share or less.

However, the most “popular” penny stocks trade for less than $1. They are generally companies that no one is familiar with but claim to be the “next big something.”

Most people that buy these stocks have no clue about how much money the business generates (if any), whether they have any debt, cash, sales, and other vital details.

They are essentially buying a lottery ticket and hoping for the best.

*The SEC is the government entity that regulates publicly traded companies. 

Penny stocks trade very infrequently, meaning that you may very well be stuck with worthless shares that no one in “the market” will want to buy.

Penny stocks are considered speculative investments. Because most penny stocks are unregulated, the majority are not required by law to disburse any financial information to the public. They are not regulated to the extent that legit, established securities are.

For instance, public companies that are regulated and outside of the “penny stocks” spectrum, are required by law to provide information to the SEC year after year about every single thing that happens with the business.

The information is shared with the public in the form of annual reports, quarterly reports, proxy statements, press releases, and the list goes on.

The extensive disclosure of information allows investors to obtain most of the information they may need to make an educated decision on whether or not the investment would be profitable. Many penny stocks do not have these types of requirements. 

For the most part, you’ll be investing blindly with no clear understanding of the business or going.

Based on the above, you may lose all your money, and because there is no such regulation, there’s nothing much you can do about it. As clearly noted in the SEC website:

“Investors in penny stocks should be prepared for the possibility that they may lose their whole investment (or an amount greater than their investment if they purchase penny stocks on margin)”.

While it may be true that some people get “lucky” and actually make money in penny stocks, these stories are rare. Furthermore, those gains are often random and never sustainable.

And by the way – the “penny stocks world” has a whole lot of scammers. If you have ever heard of the phrase “pump and dump,” that’s where the term comes from. One main thing scammers do is ‘hype up’ a random ticker symbol to create demand. They do this by making up random stories and implementing marketing techniques.

The random demand will boost the stock price. Once these scammers see everyone is buying and the price is significantly higher, they will sell their shares and leave all those “followers” with nothing.

If you want to add some “cheap” stocks to your portfolio, at least look into the following:

1. Do you recognize the underlying business behind the stock? Do you understand how that business makes money?

2. Are you able to find an annual report or quarterly report that you can read and which can help you familiarize yourself more with the business?

3. If you were to invest and the company goes under – how would you feel about it? Would you care or would you just see it as “play money”?

My thoughts …

You work hard for your money. You want your money to work hard for you. Whether you are a fairly new investor just learning and just getting started, or an experienced well-seasoned investor, I always recommend focusing on companies that are well-established within their respective industries and that have a clear and specific competitive advantage.

If you want your portfolio to have a bit more ‘edge’ or more ‘risk’ with a possible high potential; go for companies that actually follow the SEC guidelines and that are regulated. Even if they have not yet ‘proven’ themselves, at least you’ll have the peace of mind that every move they make will be completely public and transparent for you because they are being monitored by a goverment agency that is there to protect investors.

And that is all my friends. Thank you for reading!

TELL ME, What are YOUR thoughts on this topic? DO you have any questions about this? Let me know in the comments! 

Cheers to profits,

Mabel

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Upcoming Courses & Resources: 

Our six-week Stock Investing Bootcamp is BACK! Registration is officially open! Click here to request FULL details (including the promotional rate). You will love this class if you want to transform from a novice to an educated and successful stock investor!

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Stock Bootcamp Details

Hello, Future Investor!

THANK YOU for your interest in the Spring 2022 edition of the stocks bootcamp.

I am super excited to share that registration is finally OPEN!

Classes will kick off on Monday, May 9th, 2022, and space is limited. 

By registering in this class, you’ll be investing in a valuable skill that will stay with you for the rest of your life.

Check out the details below:

Stocks Bootcamp | Spring 2022 Edition

Cheers to health, success, and a whole lot of profits!

-Mabel

What I am Reading: April 2022

Hey, everyone!

A brand new month is upon us and that means I have a brand new book on deck.

Here’s what I am reading April 2022:

How to Be a Financial Grownup

By: Bobbi Rebell 

Great book so far. Each chapter tells the story of famous individuals from different industries and walks of life and the most important financial lessons they have learned.

The author refers to said lessons as anecdotes that transformed the featured people into “financial grownups.”

I look forward to finishing up the book. I’ll likely return to this post at the end of the month and share any interesting findings.

Tell me – What do you consider your “financial grow-up” moment? I am thinking about writing a post about my personal story around that topic. Let me know if you’d be interested in checking it out 🙂

And by the way – I recently made a GoodReads profile. If you’re on there, add me as a friend! You can find me under “Mabel Nunez.”

With Love & Gratitude,

Mabel

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Courses & Resources

Our six-week Stock Investing Bootcamp is BACK! Registration is officially open! Click here to request FULL details (including the promotional rate). You will love this class if you want to transform from a novice to an educated and successful stock investor!

Is it worth the investment? Peloton edition!

This is the first post in our “Is it worth the investment” series. We hope you love it 🙂

I first learned about the Peloton craze along with most people – when the pandemic kicked off in 2020, and it seemed like the whole world was obsessed.

It never even crossed my mind to get the bike at that time because #1, I am pretty frugal!! And #2 I was enjoying plenty of bike rides in the outdoors thanks to an actual bicycle that my Dad fixed up for me – I was living my best outdoor life.

This is what I looked like pretty much the entire summer of 2020 and beyond.

Fast forward to 2021, I met the love of my life, and he came equipped with a Peloton :). Suddenly, I had immediate access to this incredible device, and I felt intrigued to try it.

To use the cool bike, I needed to get myself some Peloton shoes (retail for a whole $125 on their website). I proceeded to try them on, clipped myself in, and went on my first ride with AllyLove. The rest is history.

In short: I AM OBSESSED.

Source: OnePeloton | @AllyLove

Having the bike conveniently inside my apartment is a massive motivator to work out and move my body.

I’ve made those 20-30 minute classes part of my morning routine. For the first time in a very long time, I am excited to wake up before 6 AM on most mornings to bathe in those workout endorphins. I carry that momentum of productivity and feel-good endorphins through the rest of my day – to me, that’s priceless and worth every penny.

The workouts go beyond just biking – they have strength training, yoga, boxing, even meditation.

Also, I want to touch up a bit on the actual engineering behind the bike. WOW. Just WOW. I mean, I know nothing about engineering. However, one of the first things that crossed my mind during one of my first rides was, “WOW. This bike is well-made.” Whoever designed it and its functionalities thought of absolutely everything.

In addition to the bike (the “cheapest” one retails for $1,495 + $250 delivery fee), to get the full Peloton experience, customers need to buy “official” shoes and pay about $39 a month to gain access to the virtual library of replays and live classes.

Side note: You could buy “imitation” shoes via Amazon to save a few bucks. However, now that I have used the originals for a good amount of time, I would say go with the real thing.

Now, let’s get to the point of this post:

Are the product (bike) and service (the membership) worth the investment?

1000% (absolutely!)

Keep in mind that I am the type of person who finds joy in saving and investing. I typically stay far away from buying anything I consider “over the top” expensive unless necessary.

This peloton situation is a rare exception to my usual ways. Knowing what I know now, I can confidently conclude the Peloton “ecosystem” is worth the investment.

The combination of fun classes and phenomenal instructors is what makes this investment worth it, in my personal opinion.

If you’re curious, my favorite instructors so far include Alex Toussaint, Ally Love, Camila Ramon, Cody Rigsby, Jess King, Kendall Toole, Robin Arzon, and Tunde Oyeneyin.

Now, is this worth the investment as a stock?

“Gray” – which means I am “on the fence.”

Many people that invested in the company in 2020 are likely hating the stock right now. Many probably sold it long ago out of pure frustration.

Consider this: Peloton stock reached a high of $167.42 per share on January 13th, 2021. Fast forward to March 23rd, 2022, the stock ended the day at $28.94 – a capital loss of over 80% which is terrifying to say the least:

With that said, despite what appears to be an alarming downward spiral, I believe the product and service are strong and have a solid “cult-like” following. It is hard for me to see the company disappear or go out of business anytime soon.

David Gardner, the founder of the Motley Fool, coined the term “the snap test.” As part of the overall puzzle of making investment decisions, he suggests that we consider whether anyone would “care” if a business disappeared overnight or at the snap of our fingers.

Right now, in the case of Peloton, I feel that a whole lot of people would care. More than 6.6 million, to be exact – the number of subscribers they have as of December 31st, 2021.

Source: One Peloton Investors Relations

The business is not perfect by any means, and the management has probably failed investors more times than most would like to remember.

However, I still feel that this business will find its way back to operations success. It is also very probable that they can eventually get acquired by a conglomerate, as the rumor mill has been whispering.

Only time will tell.

In the meantime, I would not mind grabbing some shares and seeing what happens next.

TELL ME- What is YOUR PERSONAL OPINION regarding this business as a stock or as a product/service? Share in the comments.

Important reminder: This post is for educational purposes only. It is not a recommendation to buy the stock. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal. Make sure to do your due diligence before making any investment decision.

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Courses & Resources:

Not yet investing but want to get the ball rolling asap? I highly recommend you check out the Beginner Investor Starter Pack®. The bundle includes books and resources that will teach you the basics of investing and how to get starter on the right foot.

Amazon’s 20:1 Stock Split – Explained In Plain English.

On Wednesday, 03/09/2022, Amazon’s (AMZN) board of directors approved a 20:1 stock split.

The news exploded all around the finance world. It is something many investors have been anticipating for quite some time.

Immediately after sharing the news on social media, I received many questions from the Girl$ on The Money community.

Check out the Q&A below. If I am missing anything, please ask it in the comments section or email me hello@girlsonthemoney.com.

Question #1: When is the split happening?

Updated to add: According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, shares will start trading at the new post-split price starting on 06/06/2022:

Question #2: What does a “20:1 split” mean? Here’s the short story:

Let’s say that on the day the split gets processed; Amazon is selling at $3,000 per share.

Now, let’s say that you had one share of Amazon in your investment portfolio on that day.

After the 20:1 stock split goes through, you’ll have 20 shares worth ~$150 each. Simple math: 3000/20=150

On the other hand, let’s say that you are currently not a shareholder of Amazon and don’t have any stock in it. However, it is something you’ve had on your radar.

Well, after the split goes through, you’ll be able to purchase individual shares of Amazon for around ~$150 each. 

Important: The per-share price the day after the split will depend on how much one share of Amazon was selling for the day before.

Notice that absolutely nothing changes about the fundamental value of the business or the investment.

A split makes the stock price more “affordable” for new investors and anyone that wants to buy. 

Additional FAQs:

If I own Amazon stock, do I need to do anything?

If you already own the stock, there’s nothing for you to do. You’ll notice the change in your investment account once the split goes through starting on 6/6/22.

Why are they doing this?

The stock price has gotten relatively expensive. And so, by doing the split, they give access to more people to invest in the company. Also, it makes it easier for Amazon employees to manage their stock compensation.

Should I wait until after the split if I am interested in buying the stock?

First of all, you should never invest in a company “just because” they are doing a split. That should never be your only reason.

With that said, if Amazon is a stock you’ve been waiting to buy for many years and felt the price was “too high,” the split can present an excellent opportunity to grab some shares.

However, it doesn’t matter if you get them now or wait until after the split. It will boil down to this:

If you have ~$2,900 right now (that’s the current price per share), you can go ahead and buy one single share. Once the split goes through, you’ll have 20 shares worth ~$145 each.

If you don’t want to allocate over $2,900 of your money to Amazon stock at this time, you can wait for the split and grab how many shares you want at the cost of ~$145-$150 each- or whatever the price is at that time. 

Important: The above illustration is just an example for educational purposes. The per-share price the day after the split will depend on how much one share of Amazon was selling for the day before.

Let me know if this makes sense! =)

And that’s all, folks! Thank you for reading. 

REMINDER: In the upcoming Ready, Set, Invest workshop, I will be teaching participants how to select and open an investment account, how to fund it, how to make educated investing decisions, how to process an investing transaction, and so much more!!

If you want to be READY to grab some shares of Amazon when the time comes, or any other stock or fund, this workshop will be well worth the investment! For full detail and to register, click here. 

New Series: “Is it Worth The Investment?”

While taking a shower* the other day, I came up with a pretty cool idea for a new series:

“Is it worth the investment?”

*I’ve had many great ideas in the bathroom over the years.

In a series of blog posts (and perhaps soon-to-be video series), I’ll talk about products and services I’ve personally used and whether or not I consider them to be “worth the investment.”

When I use the word “Investment,” I will mean TWO things:
Is it “worth it” as a product or service, AND is it “worth it” as a stock investment that I would personally put my money behind?

There will be instances where perhaps I love the product but would never buy the stock in a million years.

There will also be times when the product or service is not that great, but I might consider buying the stock for some powerful reasons.

And finally, there will be those “sweet spots” where I love the product and would also strongly consider buying the stock.

For any of the above scenarios, I’ll categorize how I feel about the investment by using this breakdown:

Green- I would consider it a “high-quality” investment and would feel comfortable holding on to it for at least 3-5+ years.

Yellow- I’m “on the fence” about that particular stock for one reason or another.

Red- A stock or investment I would avoid and which I consider too risky.

Gray – Not too familiar with the investment to give an educated opinion. I would need to look further into it.

And that’s all for now :). Stay tuned for the first product/service I use to kick off this exciting new series. I’m super excited to share.

Make sure you subscribe to our blog so that you never miss a new post. See the box to the right of your screen or at the bottom if you’re on your phone.

Cheers to health & profits,
Mabel

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Courses & Resources

Not yet investing but want to get the ball rolling asap? I highly recommend you check out the Beginner Investor Starter Pack®. The bundle includes books and resources that will teach you the basics of investing and how to get starter on the right foot.