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Hi friends!

Welcome to Better Have My Money, my Monday newsletter about the stock market for fellow confused people who keep meaning to learn about how to become investors. Better Have My Money is a gif-filled rundown of the stock market, from why we should care about shares when the world is burning, to thinking about the market like it's a bad boyfriend and figuring out how to keep our portfolio as diverse as the people around us.

Right now most stocks looks god damn dire. Just basically all red, nearly every day. And it seems despite decent quarterly reports, stocks aren't rebounding.The other day I saw this investor post by Charlie Bilello that I am not going to pretend I entirely understood (it was about interest rates set by the Federal Reserve and how they have changed since the latest recession) and this one line got me: "This brings to an end the longest period of easy money in history."​

Why does the easy money end right when I realize there is easy money to be made? Dammit.

Confusing term of the day: "Federal Reserve" —aka "the Fed." It's the US's banking system, set up by Congress over 100 years ago to have rules and regulations over the financial system so people don't go wild and completely freak out. Basically it makes policy, supervises the banks, sets interest rates and is the country's central bank. 

But the lack of easy money does mean it's easier to make — and learn from — past mistakes. One taught me love, one taught me patience, one taught me pain, right?

Since I'm not currently getting super rich with little effort, I want to take a look at the things that haven't worked when it comes to my ownexesinvestments. And maybe losses is money, maybe it's missed opportunities — to buy OR sell. 

  • Netflix (NFLX): After being a huge growth investment for me when I initially purchased it — I purchased four shares at $289 and it jumped in just a few months to over $418 — it's been a rough few months for Netflix. Currently I'm down 11% overall on my Netflix investment PLUS it makes up 28% of my portfolio so this is looking bad right now. But, I really, really believe in this product (hot tip: The Princess Switch is a perfectly terrible holiday film, I highly endorse, it is this year's A Christmas Prince). So I have faith it'll rebound and climb higher again.

  • Ulta Beauty (ULTA): Initially I wanted to invest in skincare and female brands. Ulta is a beauty chain with a female CEO! Except, I didn't actually know the company and hadn't seen a store IRL (they opened their first New York City store this year OK) at the time. Their online store looked kind of messy and confusing and their social media presence was tiny compared to Sephora. The stock price had had a turbulent past year. So I decided to wait. It was selling for $200 in Feb when I first wanted to buy. Now it's $313 (and is up 30% the last three months). Smdh...

  • Estée Lauder (ET): My first purchase! (See above re: skincare). In 2017, its stock jumped 66%. I bought five stocks @ $133 each  in Feb this year, as it looked like it would continue rising in a straight upwards. Except shortly afterwards it just sort of straightened out. It's up 1% in three months. It rises up and down in small increments regularly, so never feels like reliable or steady growth. It just wasn't a match. This could have been $650 I instead invested in Ulta!

  • Cronos Group (CRONOS): My weed shares. Could have bought it at $5. Could have gotten rid of it at $12 a share and made some money. Did neither. If I had my time over, I would have chosen Canopy Growth, a different marijuana company.

  • Starbucks (SBUX): After proudly mocking Starbucks and its bad coffee for years, I now am super grateful for espresso coffee that's easy to buy at airports or in small towns. I only bought five stocks @ $50 each because I was trying to just make smaller purchases so there was less to lose. Except I'm now up 33% in them and I wish I'd bought way more.

Let's have some better discussions. What stocks have you loved and lost? What was the thing you didn't buy for whatever reason that you've then watched soar? Which one has cursed forever? Just reply and let me know. And here's my regular reminder that if you open a Robinhood account, which lets you buy and sell stocks with zero fees, use my referral code and we both get a free share.


From reader Rebecca: "Just wanted to say that I love your newsletter! I cover the markets and really enjoyed this." — I fear anyone with market knowledge reading Better Have My Money, plz avert your eyes.

Thanksgiving is Thursday and I give thanks to all of you. I'm also thinking of all the people who are spending this holiday homeless, having just lost loved ones or even just literally struggling to breathe since the horrific California wildfires in recent weeks. Here's all the ways you can (and should) help.

As always, if you've got any questions about stocks, this is a shame free zone. Just reply and ask away.

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 has made some money mistakes in their past? Forward this onto them and tell them to subscribe.