Thursday, December 18, 2008

Stock Market Gamble

Disclaimer: I am not a gambler nor do I intend to be. That said...

Five years ago I started buying shares of stock in the company where I worked. It was easy, the company I worked for deducted the allotted amount from my paycheck and bought the stock for me. At the time I was buying one share for anywhere from $40-$50. I quit working for that company nearly a year later and held on to the stock in a separate brokerage account.

In August 2007 I had to sell that stock because Joe and I are poor. I sold the stock at $105 per share. A really good return if you ask me.

Today the company that I used to work for has been absorbed by another company and stockholders were given approximately .94 shares of the new company stock for each 1 share of the old company stock, which makes the original stock (which I fortunately don't own) worth approximately $14.50 a share now.

With all the news of stock market woes, I'm having a hard time differentiating between gambling with dice, for example, and gambling in the stock market.

Why is it considered smart and reasonable to put all of your money in a market that may or may not give you decent returns but a sin to put your money down on cards?

Is it in the definition? I've been reading a bit online and a USA Today Columnist suggests that the definition is the key: that gambling is a game meant for entertainment. But, it's possible that people go to Vegas seeking a return on their "investment"? In fact they go in droves hoping to return home with more money.

Ultimately, the action remains the same. Risking money on a hunch or potential luck of the investor; knowing when to get in and knowing when to get out.

Everything that I have read explaining the sinful nature of gambling can also be easily attributed to investing in the stock market. Help me. What's the difference?

Monday, December 01, 2008

24 Hour Fitness

I work out at 24 Hour Fitness. If you are a stay at home mom and not a member of a gym, any gym, you're crazy (or a better mom than I am). Going to the gym during the day makes me feel good, but it does more that.

Going to the gym with Henry teaches him to interact with other kids his age, because he spends time in the Kids Care, which he likes very much.

Going to the gym levels my emotions. Ever had a bad day and been kind of mean to your kids as a result? Ever felt like you really need a break? Need to get out of the house? All of those emotions are easily leveled by a good cardio workout at the gym.

Too often I hear mothers complain that they just need a break. Or, that their house is too confining in the winter months. I hear mothers who are unhappy about the little things in life, but I think, too often it's because they don't take time to take care of themselves. It's too easy to neglect yourself when you have kids who need your attention.

Going to the gym gives me the opportunity, every day if I want, to do something for myself. Give yourself a treat, go to the gym!

That said... if you don't know where to start, I love 24 Hour Fitness. There are two very close to my house. I love going to the classes, they make my workout intense, fun and motivating (can those words actually fit well together in the same sentence?). I like that I know the sitters and some of the kids in the Kids Care and that Henry actually looks forward to playing with his friends in the Jungle Jim.

Costco has a great deal right now on memberships if you're thinking about joining a gym. I bought mine from Costco last year and have been tremendously pleased. The deal disappears sometime before Christmas - you won't find a better deal out there. It's two years for $289.99 (I called the 24 Hours Fitness at Trolley and they said they would honor this package for current members as well). That adds up to a little more than $12 a month. Upfront, I know it's hard to swallow. But I'm sure your sanity is worth $12 a month. Here's the link.