For a while now I’ve been looking at ways to diversify my assets. I’ve been dumping money into a 401k for as long as I can remember, but I’ve never actually played around with my money to see how I can make it work for me. All I can tell you about my current investment portfolio is that I put 6% of my weekly income in a 401k, it’s matched….aaaand that’s it. Well, I have also been saving tons of money and now I think it’s time I learn a little bit about playing the markets.
Of course, I’m not what most people would call “normal” so I can’t just buy a few stocks and sit on them until a company makes a big change that nets me a few grand, I need a challenge. Not only do I need a challenge, but I like to see fast results. If I wanted slower growth, I’d open an IRA and just double my retirement contribution. I want to play the market in a way that pushes the envelope, where there is great risk and great reward. That’s why I’ve actually been looking into binary options after reading about them on http://www.financialtradingschool.com/curriculum/binary-options/ a few months ago while I was researching all of this.
Binary options are interesting to me because they aren’t direct investments. You actually wager money that a stock will act a certain way. If you’re right, you can win big but if you’re wrong, you can lose your entire investment. How does it work? Let’s say for example I have been watching a major stock for a while and the CEO of the company is about to make a decision to release a new product. When that product is released, the stock could potentially explode. Instead of just buying that stock and sitting on it, I purchase a binary option.
When I invest in a binary option, I’m saying something along the lines of “this company’s stock will increase by 5% in the next 24 hours” or “this company’s stock will bottom out at 24.50/share in three days.” I invest a set amount and the return on investment is also predetermined. If I’m right, I walk away with 2x, 5x, or even as high as 10x the amount I initially invested but if I’m wrong then I walk away empty handed.
There’s definitely some skill required in binary trading, but I’ve been doing my research and it seems like something I’d love to try. It’s definitely not for everyone, but the risk/reward seems right up my alley. I’m not going to be using money that I *need* for anything else, so why not? It could be a great learning experience and potentially a great earning experience.
Omg this is exciting! Ok, my friend, she’s sort of a hippie (but not really) is having a bachelorette party and we’re all going surfing! Is that not the coolest idea (hint: it is)? Alright let me clarify when I say my friend is a hippie, cuz she’s not really a hippie (do hippies even surf?), but we just joke and call her one because she kind of, uh, marches to the beat of a very tree hugging drummer. Don’t get me wrong. She’s awesome. Ok, you know how some people are weird and they’re just weird? But other people are weird but they’re so true to it and confident and it’s just who they are but they’re cool? That’s how she is. Those kind of people start trends. I’ve known her for a long time and I remember back in middle school she started wearing this certain kind of clip in her hair and within a few weeks like half of the girls in our class were wearing the same kind. She’s like that, and that’s part of the reason why she’s one of my best friends.
Ok, back to the topic it hand. Surfing! I’ve never been surfing before and I am super excited/nervous to try it. My friend supposedly went surfing a few months ago when she was visiting a friend in California for a week and said it was tough but it was a ton of fun. She wants to learn the right way to do it so for her bachelor party she wants to go to a surf camp where we can get surf lessons during the day and then party or do whatever at night. I think that sounds like a pretty cool idea compared with the “traditional” (read: stereotypical) idea of going to Vegas or whatever. She certainly gets points for being creative with this idea, and I would expect no less from a hippie!
The only slight issue I might have is getting that much time off from work. It’s going to be like a week I think. Actually, it won’t be an issue. I might have to check my email once during the week while I’m gone but that should be it.
Of course, this all means that when I get married I’m going to have to come up with awesome bachelorette party idea, too. I doubt I’ll take everyone surfing, but I’m going to have to think of something cool.
I need to figure out what I’m going to do with my week of vacation coming up. My company is a little weird in that they make you take half of your vacation by the middle of the year or you lose it. They say that saves everybody trying to take off two or three weeks around Christmas but I don’t believe that. It is always slow around that time of the year so why would they care if half the office was off. Anyways I don’t want to complain the whole time about work because I know nobody wants to read that.
I do know that I want to get my office at home organized so I will probably spend a day or two doing that. I saw some really nice wire racks that I want to order for starters. I have so much stuff scattered around in there that I don’t even like being in there unless I need to use my computer. I stay on my phone or laptop otherwise. The thing is I like using my computer for certain things especially gaming. I play a lot of games or used to and would like to get back into it. My friend Neil told me about this really cool one coming out next month. I saw some screen caps and it looks like it will be right up my alley. Now that I’m talking about this I just want to go home and play something. I am at work right now on my lunch break in case you were wondering. I didn’t feel like going out so I just picked up something from the work cafeteria and came back to my desk to eat. Back when this place opened they tried to say you weren’t allowed to eat at your desk but that didn’t last long. I remember this guy Kevin that used to work here on the very first day did it. Our boss didn’t say anything and soon enough that little rule was forgotten.
Well I’m going to wrap this up pretty soon. I have exactly 13 minutes until I need to log back in and I want to go hit up the cafeteria again to get a dessert. They have ice cream sandwiches that I like so I’ll probably get one of those. I’m trying to eat better but those things are too good to pass up.
I love buying a new car. It’s not the joy of having a new car (ok, it’s kind of that), and it’s certainly not having to shop around for car insurance rates, but it’s the process of buying it. Car salesmen always assume that since I’m a woman, I don’t know much about cars, nor about how to buy one. I walk into the dealership and I get attention right away. There are a few types of salesmen:
The first kind is the overconfident guy who thinks he’s going to charm me into buying a car. He’s flirtatious and makes too many jokes. He’s more focused on trying to create a good vibe rather than actually answering my questions. Few things irritate me more than when I ask a specific question and I don’t get a specific answer.
The second kind is the guy who doesn’t seem to be taking me seriously. It’s like he’s going through the motions but doesn’t think I’m actually going to buy anything (you know, cuz it’s probably my boyfriend or husband who makes the final decision), so he brushes off most of my concerns and seems like he’s waiting for me to leave so he can go sell a car to a man.
Then there are what I call the “good” salesmen. They’re not trying to impress me, they’re not trying to flirt with me, they’re just being friendly and showing me the different features and answering my questions. This is the type of person that I buy from.
I’ve seen female car salesmen but I’ve never actually worked with one. I bet that’s a hard job because it’s such a male dominated industry. I wonder if they have trouble selling to men, and I wonder how they would deal with me.
So the salesmen always try to get me with extra fees and other nonsense when it comes time to deal. We’ll be like $2,000 apart in price and after they “go talk to their manager” they will come back like $100 lower than their original price. I’m like, did you not hear me? I know what your cost is on this car. I know about the stuff you add on to that price. Meet my price or I’m leaving.
Sometimes they actually call my bluff and I leave.
I don’t care. There are many other dealers who will be more than happy to get my business. I’ll even tell them if I get better service than I did at the previous place. “Hey, you know why I’m buying from you rather than from the place in the next town over? Let me tell you.”
I want to do more traveling. As I approach middle age (depending on your definition of “middle age”) I realize that I’ve spent a lot of my life in “planning mode” and not so much time in “doing mode.” Of course, that’s a results of my personality which is naturally to be cautious and not just jump into things. I have friends who are kind of like that, though. It simultaneously strikes me as exciting as well as kind of foolhardy. I remember one of my friends in college was telling me about how she was at a concert and she met these cool guys who were on a road trip and she decided to go with them on their trip. I was like “what? You don’t even know these guys! How was that even safe?!” Not to mention the fact that I don’t think many people could just up and go on a road trip without making prior arrangements, you know, like letting people at your job know you’re not going to be there, packing some clothes, etc.
But she did it and had a good time, and that’s totally her personality. She’s like a free spirit and just kind of does what she feels like in the moment.
The thought of doing that terrifies me, but more power to her if that’s her truth.
But I do want to travel. I want to go to Indonesia and check out their markets, see their temples, eat some spicy satay, and visit their temples. I want to visit all the main islands, stay in a hotel Bandung, have a meal with strangers, and learn to speak the local language.
I think I’m going to do that this summer. Like I said, I always think about these things I want to do, but I always come up with a reason as to why I shouldn’t do them. It’s either like I need to save money, or I can’t take the time off from work, or I’m not confident enough, or whatever. But I’m getting to the point where I’m looking back and starting to regret some of the things that I didn’t do, so I want to go do more stuff so I don’t continue to feel this way as I get older. I’ve always heard that you regret the stuff you didn’t do more than the stuff you did do, and I’m starting to see there may be some truth to that.
I can’t believe how warm it has been recently. Seriously, what is going on? Last week it was 8 degree outside. Single digits. Freezing. And then two days ago it was 56. Fifty six! And then today it’s 18 and snowing. What is going on?
A few days ago it was awesome I went for a run outside and it seems everyone else was doing the same because I ran into like 3 of my neighbors. It felt weird to be wearing shorts in January, but it was certainly warm enough! Sometimes in the winter I’ll either go to the gym and run on an elliptical, or if it’s not too windy I’ll bundle up and still go for a run outside. I don’t necessarily mind the cold because I can always wear layers and a scarf and that type of thing; what bothers me is the wind, especially when you’re running into it.
So anyway, 56 degrees in January is nuts, although it did make me feel like summer was almost here and kind of served as reminder of how much I want to get into shape this summer. In addition to running (which I’ve been very good about keeping up with so far), I’m considering changing my diet around a bit and maybe even using some supplements. I’ve been reading about the paleo diet which basically says you’re supposed to eat like how a caveman would’ve eaten. Lots of meat and veggies and not many processed foods, wheats, or that type of thing. I mean, I think it does kind of make sense, at least as far as avoiding processed foods. But I do like some of the things you’re not supposed to eat, though, like grains. We’ll see. I’ve also thought about trying green coffee bean extract, not as like a crazy weight loss drug, but just for a little extra help in the short term getting myself ready for the summer. It’s made from coffee beans while they’re still green (before they’re roasted). I just always assumed they were dark since that’s how you always see them in the store.
So that’s what’s new with me. I’m pretty excited for summer to get here so I can put all my winter coats in storage and bust out my flip flops. Maybe I’ll even buy a convertible. Just kidding. I actually don’t like riding in convertibles because all the wind messes up my hair.
I don’t have many regrets in my life but what happened last weekend to me would definitely be one of them. I’m a little embarrassed to even mention it here. I was out with some friends and on my way home I got pulled over and was charged with a DUI. I never in my life have been in trouble with the law before which makes this whole thing even worse. What also makes it worse was I almost didn’t go out to begin with. I got home from work that day and was all intent on just taking it easy at home by myself. I had bought a new PlayStation 3 game on Amazon and it came in the mail that day and I was going to play that and just chill. Around 8:00 my phone rang and it was my friend Tyler telling me I had to come out with him and some other people. I hesitated and thought about it and a large part of me wanted to say no but for some reason I said yes and the rest as they say is history.
There aren’t many good things about this but I at least was let go the same night because I was so cooperative and not hostile like I’m sure a lot of drunk drivers are. I had to pay for a cab and the next day had to pay to get my car out of an impound lot which wasn’t cheap. I know this whole thing is going to cost me a lot but I hope by retaining a good DUI attorney in Sarasota I can get some leniency by the judge. I have asked a few people that I know have been in my situation and they all told me that the first one while bad isn’t too bad. They all also told me never to get a second one as then I’m probably looking at some jail time and losing my license for years on end.
Anyways that is pretty much what I’m dealing with in my life at the moment. I wish I could have written about something much happier but that isn’t the case. I plan on updating this as much as I can so check back and I will let you know how things turned out. My first court date isn’t until the middle of next month so I have a lot of worrying to do before it gets here.
As you know I am interested in making some positive changes in my life, including not only inner changes (such as mindset), but also outer changes (such as productivity).
I’ve seen some discussion relating to whether these changes should start from the inside and manifest outward, or start from external changes and be brought inward. The latter kind of sounds like “faking it til you make it.” The thinking is that if you are doing good things in your life, if you are taking the proper steps for success, your life will improve and as a result, your happiness and outlook on life will improve.
But then I kind of think about all those rich people who aren’t happy. They have success. They have money. But they aren’t happy. Why not? Why doesn’t it come from the outside in for them?
Then I think about going from the inside out. If you are feeling good you are probably going to approach situations from a different viewpoint and make choices that will allow you to continue to experience positivity.
Let me give you some examples from my life.
In the past I never really used to pay that much attention to my finances. I mean, I had a general idea of how much money was in my bank account, but I would pretty much buy whatever I wanted, I didn’t set aside money specifically for saving, and I wasn’t really aware of how much little purchases can add up (like getting coffee every morning, for example). My mindset was kind of “whatever.” I read a book that kind of changed my thinking about it, though, and sort of made me start thinking about it all in a different way. I thought to myself, I’m trying to be more positive and bring good things into my life, and wouldn’t my finances fall into that category? Would having better control and understanding of my money in turn lead to more positivity in other areas of my life?
Absolutely it would.
So I began to practice more conservative spending habits, and made sure to reinforce them in my mind so I saw them as a good thing, a positive direction, rather than viewing them as “missing out.” When I don’t buy coffee in the morning, I don’t think “this sucks, I’m not getting my coffee.” That’s the wrong mindset and it would bring me down. Instead, I think something more along the lines of “this coffee is overpriced, and I can make my own for much cheaper which means I can save money.” Of course, saying that and actually believing it are two different things, but it’s to the point now where I really don’t want to spend money on frivolous stuff like that. I met with an accountant to make sure I’m not missing anything when it comes to my property taxes, and I keep a spreadsheet of all my expenses so nothing gets too out of control without me realizing it.
So it’s kind of a combination of inner and outer changes reinforcing each other.
I just realized the other day that amidst all my self improvement, positive energy type stuff that has been going on recently, I’ve actually been neglecting to work on any real physical improvement.
In the past I was really into working out and went to the gym a few times a week. I wasn’t really in a happy place in my life for much of that time, and really the only thing I had going for me at that time, in terms of what was making me happy, was my consistent workouts. I was getting a bit of a confidence boost as a result. It was part of my identity. Working out wasn’t just something that I did, it was part of who I was. And of course, it made me feel good because of the endorphins that are released during exercise. But more importantly, I had the identity of someone who exercised.
As it always goes, I ended up getting busy with life. Work, travel, personal stuff, and the gym eventually gets put on hold. I’d miss a workout here and there and think “oh, it’s not that big of a deal,” and it got to the point where missing workouts almost became a normal thing. After all, when you travel, you can’t always find a gym. And if you’re staying late at work one night you might have to miss the gym. These things happen.
Unfortunately for me, they started to become regular occurrences. Eventually a month went by where I hadn’t even been to the gym once, and it didn’t even bother me.
I had lost the spark, and I knew something was missing from my life.
Around this time I began my inner transformation so to speak (positivity and such). I found that I was becoming a happier, more confident person.
But recently, the urge to get back in the gym has struck. It’s almost like my body was telling me “hey, you need to wait until your mind has caught up and is in a healthy place.” And I really feel that way, now. I used to be negative, then go to the gym and feel a bit better, and then go back to being negative. But I don’t feel that way anymore, and I think beginning to work out again will only provide a further boost both to my mood and as well as my overall well-being. So I ordered a pair of cheap trainers and am going to start hitting the gym again.
It’s amazing how over the last year or so, while attempting to be more positive, I’ve become more sensitive to negative people, sometimes even to the point that I can’t even stand to be around them. But that’s a whole other story!
Over the past year or two I’ve increasingly wanted to change some things about myself. To name a few, I’d like to be more forgiving of people who do wrong by me; more emotionally self-reliant (not needing other people to be happy and instead having my happiness come from myself); less prone to over-thinking and worrying (things I do a lot right now); and have lower expectations out of life and other people.
I feel like these things are all linked together, and all sort of come from a mindset of insecurity and such-like. I used to have anxiety attacks and I’m aware that many of the traits I’ve listed are negative thinking habits that contribute to anxiety issues
This isn’t the most coherent post ever from me. My basic question is, how can one change such thought patterns? Especially when, as I feel, they’re rooted pretty deep in my personality? How can I go from being over-thinking and having overly high expectations to being more laid back? Sometimes I feel like I have a grasp on who I am now, and what I want to change to improve myself, but very little idea of how to go about doing that.
Anyways, I’d really appreciate any advice on this. Who knows? Maybe I’ll get lucky and someone here can relate to this!