Since I purchased Under Armour (UA) I've seen everyone wearing this product.  From professional athletes to the average person in the street.  I have also seen my stock go up 19% since September of 2014.

Under Armour is direct competition for Nike. When I talked to people wearing Under Armour they love the styles and the fit.  Under Armour closed up today at $84.59 up (0.39%) up 42% since last year.  UA planning on opening a plant in Panama.

Under Armour is profiting from Golf.   Adidas made is misstep. Read about it.

While doing my research a few months ago, I found a stock that was around $9 and share and seem to have a great track record.  I purchased it and now it's up over $13 a share.  That stock is The Hackett Group, Inc. (HCKT).  What makes this stock so profitable?

First what does Hackett Group does:
"The Hackett Group has created new measurement offerings to identify top performance at the business process level. These studies collect data about staffing, costs, transactional volumes and best practice utilization for each process. These studies can give you some comparative insights on your own company's performance versus top performance and will help you select the improvement initiatives that will deliver" from their own brochure.  They management firm that helps improve companies performances and help analyze performance platforms to help companies improve.

That what's they do but how is their profit?

Hackett Group started their IPO in 1998 at $13 and lost money in the first few years.  Dropped down to $6 a few years ago.  Because the demand of a management model which was successful Hackett Group putting in over 11,000 hours of benchmark studies and development Hackett was able to perfect its model.  Analyst rate Hackett Group as a buy.

Today Hackett Group was $13.35.  A few articles on Hackett Group

Molly is our foster child.  She finds new places in the house to find cool areas.  Molly has also become a "Talker".  Molly enjoys talking to us.  She's gets up on the bed or the couch and begins talking.

This is something new.  When we brought her home, she was not that active.  Molly was left in an abandon house in Florida and we decided to bring her to our house.

What makes Molly so wonderful she is the most loving cat we have fostered.  She lets me brush her an usually no cat enjoys combing or brushing for long, but Molly does.  She has to sleep with my wife every night before she can go to sleep.

If I get up in the morning before I'm allowed to sit and have my herbal tea, Molly starts talking to me.  Her meaning is that she needs to be petted and then she lays down by my feet.  She just a wonderful additional to our home.  Sadly, she is not our cat and someday we will have to return her to her owner, but that might be a few years.  Her owner has at least two more years in prison.

After several weeks of planning, volunteering over forty hours a week for our non-profit organization even today I'm calling a person who wants to donate to our cause outside the state, finally, we are on the road again.  Driving  the open road allows my wife and myself to pause, listen to the rain on the windows and just relax.  We don't need to talk to each other much.  It's a time to brainstorm on new ideas or just stay quiet and get lost in our own thoughts.

Driving across this great country of ours we just enjoy various venues.  We ate at a buffet yesterday that was filled with southern style food and had mash sweet potatoes filled with sunflower seeds and it was outstanding.  Yes, my weight climbs a bit but I'll work it off afterwards.

Breaking routine is important.  We are creatures of habit and we fall into runts.  Thinking runts where patterns on solving problems become the same.  We need to expand our minds.  Living a different experience and I enjoy the moving from one place to another without not being pinned down in one area.

Summer rains, where the breezes turning down trees, and thunder and lightening I enjoy it all.

If Taylor Swift was IPO I would invest in her company.  She is one of the smartest entertainment businesswomen around.  Though I'm not a huge music fan, I followed her career from a young sweet country style girl through her maturely as one of the best pop songwriters in the industry.

Fortune Magazine and other investment blogs have also been paying attention to this intelligent businesswomen.  Fortune defined Swift as a business mentor and offered a few highlights to her business success.  In an article written by Chris Myers, his opinion that Swift has an extremely insightful understanding about her musical talents and adapting an to ever changing music environment.

Changing direction

In 2014, Swift made a decision instead of dividing her talent between country and pop music she would concentrate on one discipline.  She left the world of country behind and made pop music her only dominate genre.  Her popularity exploded.  Other country artist have done similar adventures in the pass like Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers.  I watched how Swift was able to keep her loyal country fans while pursuing the area as pop star.

Building a successful platform

I wish I had a platform like Tyler Swift.  She has over 54 million Twitter followers.  She was powerful enough to tell Apple if they tried using her music on their platform she would pull it and they listened.  As an artist, writer even blogger it's important to build platforms but more important is how to use them.  It would be interested what Swift will do in the future.

If you want to read more about Myers script.  I have the link below.

The credit for photo I'm using for my blog goes to Marcin Wichary. 

One of my hobbies for over 30 years is investing in the stock market.  It can be an expensive hobby for example: I invested in Renren (RENN) called "The Facebook of China" for a few thousand dollars.  What started out as $10 per share quickly within days went down to $3.  My wife was convinced I had lost my mind with this stock business and decided to play more attention to what more knowledgeable advisors were suggesting.  

So when I asked for additional savings to invest in another Chinese company Baidu (BIDU) at $82 a share there was some hesitation but we managed to spare some money and I invested in Baidu.  Now the stock is $207 s share within three years I have been redeemed.

Facebook (FB) as an IPO (Initial Public Offering where stock is offered for the first time) I purchased the stock at $31 a share.  At the time Facebook was a hype company.  Few felt they could get any advertising dollars or revenue from younger consumers.  I felt that Facebook was reaching close to 1 billion people.  My conclusion was if you can reach a billion people you could figure out how to make money.  Today Facebook is trading at $82.51 per share.

My little hobby has grown a bit over the years and I enjoy making money but there are failures and I have a few.  My failures have been several Chinese companies I invested in and casino company that went from $5 a share to a penny stock and I lost my shirt on General Motors even though I made money with the stock over the years.  

Over the course of 30 years, I've learned to not be a day trader follow the advice of Warren Buffett and look for companies that have long-term returns like IBM.  IBM hasn't given me the great equity results over the years, but the dividends add up.  Loosing money is part of the process however I want to keep my loses to a minimum.  

What have been my best investments over the years?  Just to name a few: Visa purchased $31 sold out $189, MasterCard purchased $30's sold out $89, Hertz as an IPO sold out, even sold some shares of Baidu and Facebook at higher levels than what I purchased.  Biggest losers were Renren.  

The idea for me about this hobby keep learning.  Currently I have over 71% return on my investment in the last six years.  So this hobby is paying off.

Do you want to increase your profit this year? Are you brave and bold enough to invest in Chinese market?  Qihoo 360 Technology Co Ltd (QIHU) Chinese leading internet company has been operating quietly below the market and slowly catching up to the marketplace.  While I've seen my own stock in this company bloom to a return over 121% within two years.  

Qihoo 360 received a buyout offer from a consortium.  The  mobile security software maker belongs to a long list of Chinese tech companies that been encourage to drop their listing on New York Stock Exchange and move home.  Qihoo was listed in 2011 and has been the largest Internet company offered this buyout of private stock.  Currently it's trading at $71.
Qihoo 360 CEO Hongyi Zhou and other shareholders offer to buy the Chinese Internet company for $77 a share on Wednesday to bring it private.

There is huge push to take some tech companies private and return to China which experiencing an outrageous returns but is monitored and controlled through China. The interested of private stock has pushed Qihoo's stock up 15% this year.

I've been writing about Qihoo for over two years.  Most investors have been missing the boat on this one and this might be the last time that outside investors might be able to make a profit.  

About Qihoo:
Qihoo 360 Technology Co. Ltd., through its subsidiaries, provides Internet services in the People's Republic of China. The company operates through Internet Services and others segments. It offers various Internet security products, including 360 Safe Guard, a one-stop solution for PC Internet security and system optimization; 360 Anti-Virus, an anti-virus application that uses multiple scan engines to protect users’ computers against various kinds of malware; and 360 Mobile Safe, a security program for the Google Android and Apple.

Qihoo offers competition to Baidu a Chinese company which is the second largest search engine in the world behind Google.

Barron about Qihoo:

Real Money Article:
Will this make California more expensive to live or better?  Follow the article below.  Decide for yourself.
Joel Osteen: "Be Victor, Not a Victim"

I was composing a music for an independent film.  The producer and director informed me that he had singers from Beth Midler's group and his movie was being considered for future production by CBS TV.  As it goes in Hollywood I wasn't getting paid a cent but hoping and dreaming that this movie would be a hit.  It wasn't.  It never got picked up by any studio and I had to work two jobs to pay for the studio time and the sound engineer.

Some would consider this a failure.  That I wasted my time.  I consider it a learning experience.  I composed some of the best music of my life for the film.  I found an arranger.  We worked on other projects and a studio owner wanted to work with me because he heard the music I wrote for the film.  Are you victor or victim?  

I have found that some people meander through life with a constant thought of being a victim.  Their boss hates them.  Their family won't support them in their lives and everyone is just against them.  The heroes I admire worked through the difficult part of their lives and move on.  Each successful individual had setbacks but what they did with them defined their successes.

Setbacks happen.  When I became president of The Highland Ridge Community Development Corporation in 2013 we had lost our non-profit status, half the board of directors resigned, our grant renewal from state was denied, we lost our office, our only employee and had no idea how we were going to continue.  My wife and I hit the ground running.  We started by building a new board of directors.  I got out into the community promoting our cause.  As a board we started changing and embellishing our by-laws to support our vision.  

My discovery was that no one knew who we were.  Since my father started this organization almost 30 years ago, no one was promoting Highland-Ridge as the community development renovation group that helps homeowners and participates in the activity that beautifies the city.  Slowly the donations trickled in.  Last year we raised more money than any other time in organization's 14 year history and we are not done yet.

Didn't even consider ourselves a victim.  We believe that we could turned the organization around and we did.  How about you?  Are you a victim or victor?  Are you willing to see the best in yourself, go beyond what people think you can do and surpass any challenge set in front of you.  You are reward according to your believe.  The question is what do you believe.

For more information on Highland Ridge Community Development Group, drop by and check us out.

Qihoo 360 Technology LTD (QIHU) roared yesterday to the tune it was up over 4.45%.  Qihoo has been operating under the market.  It really hasn't been keeping up with the market because many analyst believe that the company has been putting a lot of resources into dominating mobile platforms with their software.  

This Chinese company provides internet services through several subsidiaries.  Competing with the second largest search engine in the world, Baidu (BIDU) analysts believe that this stock will be taking off.  China emerging markets have been up 92% in some of the latest polls and some investors are interested in diving back into the international markets mainly because of the stronger dollar.

Even "The Street" on-line article highlights Qihoo as a bully stock.  Below is the link.