Only Pay Yourself: May 1st Recap

Though it was a couple days before the official kick-off, I went ahead and started the investing week early. For the first time, starting Monday I followed the ‘Only Pay Yourself‘ investment and lifestyle strategy I created earlier this week. Any time I needed/wanted to make a purchase, I first had to acquire (at minimum) 1 stock from the company that makes/distributes/produces said product or service.

In general, I’ll be posting up here to the blog and updating my purchase spreadsheet (visible at this page and at the bottom of finance posts) on any day which I purchase stock or weigh a purchasing decision.

For those that don’t care to read the details, here is how the first two days worth of stock purchases went down:

Read on, for the full write-up:

Activity 4/29/13:

*Breakfast: *
I started off the day with my usual breakfast – a blended coffee drink I make at home. It consists of soy milk, chocolate coffee powder, and ice blended till smooth.

This meal breaks down into:

  1. The powder, which is manufactured by ‘Innovative Beverage Concepts’, a company with no public stock. I buy it at ‘Cash and Carry’, which is owned by ‘Smart & Final’, which is owned by Apollo Global Management, NYSE: APO . Current price, 26$
  2. The soy milk (Silk), which is owned by Dean Foods, Inc. NYSE: DF. Current price, 18.93
  3. The ice comes from my refrigerator, which came with the apartment. If I were purchasing the fridge new I’d likely go with another manufacturer, so I’ll hold off on purchasing any stock till that day comes.

Work:

Most of the purchasing decisions at my place of business are made by the head of IT and various business stakeholders. I do, however, have great latitude on the type of phone service plan used for my personal work phone. As I recently switched to Sprint, that breakdown is:

  1. Sprint, which is traded as NYSE:S, currently at 7.12

Daily Intake

During the course of a work week, I generally will grab a sports drink on my way into the office 3-4 times per week. This is almost always a Powerade, which is manufactured by the Coca Cola company. One of my coworkers also hit me up for a coffee, and being in Seattle, Starbucks was the destination of choice. A latte sure sounds like a different (though no less delicious) value proposition when there’s a 60$ prerequisite stock purchase required for it.

  1. Coca Cola NYSE:KO, currently at 42.09.
  2. Starbucks, NASDAQ: SBUX, 60.00

Additionally,

Activity April 30th:

After work is over, I like to kick back and play some games through Steam on my personal laptop. It’s a Dell machine, with an Intel chipset and Nvidia graphics. As each of these brands were choices I directly made when purchasing my laptop, they each went onto the ‘buy’ list.

  1. Dell, which is traded as NASDAQ:DELL, currently at 13.35
  2. Intel, which is traded as NASDAQ:INTC, currently at 23.4
  3. Nvidia, which is traded as NASDAQ: NVDA, currently at 13.66

I am already starting to see a change in my investing behavior. Before this OPY expiriment,

Until this week, I would NEVER have bought stock in Nvidia, Coca Cola, or Intel.

These three companies have a reputation for screwing over consumers with bad drivers, bad hardware, and in Coke’s case out-and-out racism. While I can’t speak to the latter, I have been personally burned by the former any number of times.

These companies are ‘evil’. Why then, do I continue to purchase their products?

In the case of Intel and Nvidia, there is one obvious solution: switch to AMD. And I’ve thought about it, but at the end of the day I use those extra MHZ in my core-i7 and the native CUDA support new Nvidia chipsets provide.

As for Coke, I could easily switch to tap water from Powerade. I just prefer the taste of my ‘power pool water’.

I could, with a minimum of effort, switch away from these ‘evil’ corporations… but I don’t.

There is obviously more to the picture. And let’s face it, unless you’re a high-roller in the market, investing isn’t about emotional attachment and personal beliefs. It’s about investment. Making money. Owning a part of a corporation that knows how to make money, and knows how to keep consumers coming back.

Activity May 1st

As it’s my birthday, I’m not likely to spend any money today. Although I’m likely grab a coffee later, I already own stock in Starbucks so I’m covered on that front.

That does bring up an interesting side-effect that I have noticed during the first days of OPY. By only purchasing items from corporations in which I own a part, I change the economics of choice greatly. A purchasing choice once made becomes easier to purchase again. All future purchases from that company come without a stock purchase attached.

I am effectively rewarding myself for brand loyalty.

Is this a good thing? I have no idea, but it’s an interesting experience.

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