✨stocks that spark joy✨

Hi friends!

Welcome to Better Have My Money, my Monday night newsletter about stocks and learning to invest. Better Have My Money is a gif-filled chat about the stock world from treating investing as a fun game to play with your friends to quietly buying shares at the same time you buy your morning coffee.

Yes of course, like the entire world I've been watching the Marie Kondo show Tidying Up on Netflix in recent days. This is how my bed looked earlier today:Honestly, I didn't throw away that many clothes — I read Kondo's book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up when everyone else did several years ago and so I actually have been tossing my clothes fairly regularly thanks to her ever since then. Her whole mantra is keep things that "spark joy" and it's a good way to throw out half your belongings.

Inspired, I also cleared out the 100+ plastic bags under my kitchen sink. It's a huge double door cupboard that I have just thrown plastic bags into for three years and today was the first time I've ever cleaned it and dang it was satisfying. And it reminded me that you can look at what sparks joy — and what needs to be cleaned out — in all aspects of your life, including money and investing. 

I know this sounds a stretch, but go with me here. Money — like the stuff in our homes — is emotional. So figure out which part of investing sparks joy for you and focus on that bit — and clean out the rest.

First of all you have to do the metaphorical throw all your clothes on the bed: check what stocks you own now and how they're going. Research a bunch about them. How have they performed in the last year or two or three? Has the CEO changed? Has the company been in the news for terrible reasons? Why did you buy it in the first place? What did their latest earnings reports say (remember earnings season is just beginning)?

I try and buy stocks to keep forever, but perhaps you need to throw some out.

Did owning Facebook (FB) stock or similar used to make you happy but after all the data breaches, does it now just make you sad that you didn't sell earlier? Ditto for Ford (F) after its sexual harassment case with workers, or Twitter (TWTR) encouraging white supremacy, or frustrations you've got with medical insurance companies or energy companies.

Perhaps you inherited shares from a family member and feel conflicted about them, because they're not in an industry you want to support? You can thank those shares for the money they've made, and sell them, and buy something else.

  • Also if you haven't yet bought stocks but you're thinking about it — or you want to buy more — what investments would spark joy for you?Maybe it's exciting for you to find new companies that are just about to go public and get onto them early. If so, Keep an eye out for ones likely to IPO this year: Uber, Lyft, Pinterest, Airbnb, Slack, Robinhood.

  • Or maybe you just want companies that make things you like and use. Video game players can look at Nintendo (NTDOY), enjoyers of bourbon-based cocktails might like liquor company Brown-Forman Corp (BF-B), dedicated Powerade drinkers can buy Coca-Cola Company (KO) etc.

  • Maybe you want to support female CEOs — Lisa Su runs Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and Michelle Buck runs The Hershey Company (HSY). Maybe you inherited money from a loved one and aren't sure what to do with it. Is there some way you could honor them by investing in businesses or industries to remember them in some way — maybe clean energy if they were a big nature lover, or Etsy (ETSY) for a grandmother who loved crafts?Does following the market constantly really stress you out?

  • Maybe you're better off just buying a bunch of ETFs and forgetting about them and only checking your accounts every six months.Would receiving regular dividends make you calmer and happier with your investments? Check companies such as McDonalds (MCD) and Boeing (BA).Confusing term of the week: "dividend stocks" — companies that pay a regular amount, usually quarterly, of their profits back to investors in small cash payments

    To be clear, investing based on emotions is presumably terrible financial advice. But you're not reading this newsletter to can copy everything I do, you're reading it to figure out how to tidy up your own money.Last week I knew we'd all be a lil broke after the holidays, so I didn't suggest a charity for you to donate towards (also I forgot). And yes maybe your 'donation' this week is all the crap that makes you miserable that you cleaned out of your cupboards, but thrift stores and op shops have been overwhelmed in the last week with people dropping off their old things, so think about giving Goodwill some actual money along with your "the future is female" t-shirt.

    And I want to leave you today with a brilliant update from Kaela whose testimonial was in last week's newsletter about how reading Better Have My Money had meant she could chime in with finance bros talking about stocks in happy hour: 

"Finance Bro Squishing Update: Schooled a bunch of them on cannabis stock news, felt like a boss because I had been better at diversifying my investments while theirs were all tanking because of the crazy volatility over the past few weeks, and found out a few of them secretly started tracking the stocks I mentioned at the last happy hour... SUCCESS. Thanks again for the stocks wisdom and being the reason I even started investing in the first place! Happy New Year! :) "This email sparked a lot of joy for me!!!!!

Amber Jamieson

Better Have My Money is on Twitter @bhavemymoney, so please tweet nice things (aka the link to our sign up page) and tag us. Got a mate who also likes folding? Forward this onto them and tell them to subscribe.As always, if you've got any questions about stocks, this is a shame free zone. Just reply and ask away.