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  • Baristas told to be nice with Starbucks -5% [View news story]
    Every so often, Starbucks sends me a survey to fill out. I am Rewards member. I filled one out last week. I always give the lowest rating on the price question. Everything else I give them very high ratings.

    But I guess they have the higher prices, so they can pay their employees well and give them good benefits.
    Aug 24, 2015. 11:37 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Reporting Live From Disney World: The Sky Is Not Falling [View article]
    Oh wow what a coincidence, Nicholas!

    We drove down to Anaheim, CA this week to visit Universal Studios and Disneyland with the family. We just got back yesterday. While in line for 50 minutes for the Peter Pan ride, I was checking my stocks. I also noticed the big drop in Disney. The previous day while at California Adventure (the other major park at Disneyland), I noticed the drop in Apple. I mentioned both stock drops to my husband. Disney is on my watchlist and we own Apple stock.

    I love visiting Disneyland! Living in the Bay Area, it is driving distance for us and we go regularly to take visiting family and our young daughters.

    It is definitely "The Happiest Place on Earth"! A very magical place. I am just impressed with what Walt envisioned and built.

    I am more determined to buy this stock for the following reasons:

    1. The Fantasmic Show - a classic show! The soundtrack is amazing! Make sure to get the FastPass to get a better close up view.

    2. The Fireworks Show - Disney is the only place I know of that does amazing fireworks with upbeat music using high tech sound system up against a beautiful castle. We went in Dec 2012, Christmas Eve and also Christmas Day with my in-laws. They did the fireworks display to the Nutcracker music and the lights on Sleeping Beauty's castle were blinking to the tune of the music. It was beyond awesome. I still remember and would love to go back at Christmas time just for that.

    3. The Parades - We make sure to attend both the afternoon parade and the nighttime electrical parade. The floats are beautiful! The night time one is amazing with all floats light up in different colors. The costumes are dazzling! Think about how many seamstresses Disney hires! On Wednesday night, the nighttime parade had Owl City's song "When Can I See You Again" playing. They changed the lyrics to "When Can We Do This Again". You can't help but move to the music and clap your hands.

    When the characters turn to face us, we wave to them and see they will engage with us. They love to see the audience participate.

    Again they use the amazing sound system to play upbeat music.

    You don't see these types of parades anywhere!

    4. Meeting the Characters! Both my kids met about 13-15 characters this time. On each visit, after entering the park, we immediately buy autograph books with photo sleeves and the fat pens and try to meet as many characters as we possibly can. The characters will joke with you and the princesses make it a point to talk to each little kid for 3-5 minutes.

    The autograph book is an inexpensive souvenir for each daughter, and they both look back on the pictures. I also look back on the pictures. :-)

    5. The Shows - the "Aladdin" musical, the "Frozen" show, Disney Junior show, and Captain EO with Michael Jackson music!

    6. The Rides - My favorites are Space Mountain and It's a Small World. Don't miss Astro Blaster, Star Tours, Peter Pan, Toy Story Mania, Tower of Terror, Ariel Under the Sea. For Tower of Terror, the guys were screaming just as loudly as the girls. :-) Make sure to get FastPasses for Space Mtn and Tower of Terror.

    7. The Scenery - I can never get enough of Main Street looking up to the Sleeping Beauty's castle. At DisneyWorld's Magic Kingdom, it is Cinderella's castle.

    Even though ticket prices have gone up since I have been going, you are still getting a really really great value given the price of the ticket.

    Here is a tip for those going to Disneyland, there is an official Disney app released on Aug 4th called "Disneyland". It will give you the proper wait times for the rides and when you can meet the characters and where. That same day, when waiting in line for the Tower of Terror ride, a cast member told me about it. He noticed I was using "MouseWait" app which is dependent on crowdsourcing.

    It helped us immensely planning our day. Check to see if there is one for DisneyWorld.

    Nicholas, sooo lucky you are there! I wish I was there! Have tons of fun and enjoy the magic!! :-)

    Aug 8, 2015. 05:06 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • RoseNose's Adventure To Reacquire Shares Of 3M Company... And Buy Now! [View article]
    Congrats, Rose on writing your first article!

    I really enjoyed it and it was an easy read. I always look forward to your comments. Just always concise and straightforward and fun to read. :-)

    Thank you!!
    Jul 25, 2015. 03:42 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Learning From The Masters: Q&A Session With Rosenose [View article]
    Nicholas, keep it coming! It is a lot fun to read these articles with the Masters.

    Thank you Nicholas and Rose!
    May 18, 2015. 05:09 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Should I Have Followed My Advisor's Advice ? A Look At 4 Year Performance [View article]

    You are right about TIME, being your best friend. It was hard to really comprehend that and appreciate that when I was young. The power of compounding is incredible, and I saw that with some of the holdings I held for a long time, but just ignored.

    We are mostly in index mutual funds and ETFs as this money is in 401Ks, but I am slowly converting the money that is in our control to dividend growing stocks. And I use the information I learned from Chowder, David Fish, DVK, Bob Wells, Brad Thomas, and countless others. Thank you to all of you.

    The emotional confidence everybody here in the SA forum has given is priceless.

    Thank you again!
    May 17, 2015. 02:39 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Should I Have Followed My Advisor's Advice ? A Look At 4 Year Performance [View article]
    Hi David,

    Thank you for your feedback!

    It might not be a bad idea to start converting now when the amounts are small. I would have to do it in such a way, it does not put us into the next tax bracket.

    It is really nice to hear all points. It gives folks a chance to consider and decide for themselves.


    May 17, 2015. 02:06 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Should I Have Followed My Advisor's Advice ? A Look At 4 Year Performance [View article]
    Thank you maybenot, student, heglimp, and richjoy for your feedback!

    I really appreciate it! It was very helpful. I did not know you can do transfer in kind. That is good to know.

    And I appreciate the information about how you have to take RMDs from 401Ks and Traditional IRAs. I did not know that either.

    Richjoy, thank you for the explanation about how distributions turn out as time goes by and extreme market changes occur. And I appreciate the information about the Roth conversion as well. I will make note of them. I knew that if you expect your tax bracket to go down by the time you retire, it probably does not make sense to convert to a Roth. It's a lot of money taken by the federal and state governments.

    Student, I agree with your sentiments about the SA forum. It is a blessing for folks to be able to learn and share. I have learned a lot on SA and I share what I can with folks who are willing to listen.

    My husband thinks I am a bit nutty to be checking on RMDs considering we are 20 years from retirement. But I like to be prepared and want to do what I can to protect what we worked very hard to earn.

    We lost a lot of money having a financial advisor manage our money for 8 years. When I calculate the fees we paid him, the fees of the expensive mutual funds, and the opportunity cost, the total is a 6 figure number. I get pretty upset when I think about how he and his brother really took us for a ride and did a very incompetent job.

    But then I think about how much we have learned since we took over our portfolio since 2012, and I am very happy and confident that we can do this on our own.

    Thank you all for your help!

    May 17, 2015. 04:19 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Should I Have Followed My Advisor's Advice ? A Look At 4 Year Performance [View article]
    Hi Folks,

    I have a general question about RMDs which I would appreciate feedback on.

    When a person turns 70.5 years, she has to start taking distributions from a traditional IRA or 401K as per the IRS laws. The amount to take out is a calculation based on your age. As you get older, the amount that needs to be withdrawn gets bigger. In the end, the IRS wants you to draw down your IRA or 401K.

    At this time, won't you have to start selling stock in the traditional IRA? How are folks handling this?

    I would think that you would want to start converting from the traditional IRA to a Roth IRA. It would mean selling stock, pay the taxes, and then again having to buy stock to create an income stream.

    It seems that it would be better to have the dividend stocks in a taxable account. For a person in a high tax bracket that is 25% or above, a good portion of the dividend income would go to taxes. But at least the stock does not need to be sold when she retires.

    I know for people in a high tax bracket, they are better off being in muni bonds and collect tax exempt income. But the disadvantage is the income stream does not grow.

    I would like to know how folks are handling this.

    Thank you,
    May 15, 2015. 11:08 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Project $3 Million - Portfolio Management, New Purchase [View article]
    Ok. Thank you for letting us know. It did work for me before I got the premium service. I was able to nicely see the fair value, and I held off buying the premium service for that reason.

    Sorry about that folks. My bad.

    Apr 16, 2015. 11:27 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Project $3 Million - Portfolio Management, New Purchase [View article]
    Hi Larry,

    Actually, you can get the fair value for free from M*.

    Enter a stock quote.
    On the Quote tab, select either "Company Profile" tab or "Industry Peers" tab.
    You will see the fair value.

    Another person on SA commented on this in a different article some many months ago.

    Apr 16, 2015. 02:55 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Millennial Market Philosophy [View instapost]
    Thank you for the explanation!

    Yes, I noticed that both generations voted liberal. I thought you would mention that.
    Mar 24, 2015. 10:58 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Millennial Market Philosophy [View instapost]
    Hi Norman!

    I really enjoyed reading this article!

    I was wondering why do you think the following?:
    "Millennials are similar to the GI generation in their temperament "

    I thought they mostly voted for Obama, and they would not be interested in U.S. involvement aboard.

    Mar 23, 2015. 10:16 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Retirement Strategy: The Reward Of More Income Is Worth The Risk With Starwood Property Trust [View article]
    I could not agree more!
    Mar 23, 2015. 12:49 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Retirement Strategy: The Reward Of More Income Is Worth The Risk With Starwood Property Trust [View article]
    About a month ago, I saw on Netflix, History Channel's documentary "The Men Who Built America". Absolutely riveting. It was done in 4 parts. Each part was about 2 hours long. It was about Cornelius Vanderbilt, John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, J.P. Morgan and Henry Ford. Love them or hate them, these men were amazing.

    I remember in high school, 11th grade U.S. History class, not fully absorbing this part of U.S. history. I could not stop watching this gem.

    This documentary explains very well how America built up to be an economic superpower and still is. It is a combination of science, creativity, ambition, and free markets.

    Mar 22, 2015. 07:27 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Dividend Growth Investing: How I Derive The Top 40 (Part 1) [View article]
    All the best in building your new home, David!!

    I first bought your eBook in Jan 2014. It helped me very much and gave me a lot of confidence in investing on our own.

    I learn a lot from all your articles here on Seeking Alpha and on Daily Trade Alert.

    Thank you always!
    Dec 8, 2014. 08:48 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment