November 13, 2012 at 16:28 PM EST
Market Wrap-Up for Nov.13 (HD, MSFT, DKS, TJX, QCOM, SHW, more)

It looks like the “earnings cliff” we’ve referenced recently may be taking precedent over the government’s “fiscal cliff” as investors continue to watch stock prices come in.

Looking at today’s action, several earnings results did help stocks like Home Depot (HD), Dicks Sporting Goods (DKS), and TJX Companies (TJX) buck the overall downtrend. Microsoft (MSFT) shares were in the news, but the news wasn’t good for shareholders as long-time employee and head of the windows’ division Steven Sinofsky resigned. He had been mentioned in the circles as potentially the software giant’s next CEO. The stock reacted negatively on the news, falling over 3% by the close. We did have positive Wall Street commentary helping shares of Sherwin-Williams (SHW) and Qualcomm (QCOM) gain ground.

As always, check out The Dividend Daily for our hard-hitting coverage on the latest earnings reports, analyst moves, and much more.

Dying with $800K in the Bank

I recently read some tidbits about how different people handle the wealth they accumulated in life. One of the interesting and not so uncommon ones was someone describing their hard-working parents who passed away in their 60s, having accumulated $800K in savings. They wished their parents would have enjoyed their money more, having driven old cars and not really doing much traveling or vacationing.

I can relate to this person’s feeling as I have seen many in my family live similar lives, working a long time, living in the same house for decades, and doing the same routine week after week, month after month, and on and on. The thing is they were happy (or maybe I should say “content”) with what they accomplished. Being able to stay in their house, paying their bills, and knowing they could leave their kids something significant when they were gone — all these things made them feel like a million bucks. Of course, that was a different generation.

Fast forward to today, and it’s a totally different story. You won’t find nearly as many folks in their 60s these days with big savings accounts. I ask myself how would the older generations handle this situation, and my first inclination is they would simply get by with whatever they had. There would be no fuss about having the latest technological gadgets, fashions, or newest cars. If they could do enough to have a roof over their heads and food on the table, then what’s to complain about?

If you think about the time period we live in now, one would think accumulating wealth should not be much of a problem if one has a job/income source. After all, all the knowledge you need about investing is at your fingertips. Decades back, many shied away from investing in the markets as they didn’t pursue the effort needed to learn about it. Before the internet, the library was the main source for one to develop a knowledge required to get comfortable with investing in various assets. That’t not an issue today, but yet, a good number of the most recent generations have struggled much more than those generations of decades past.

In a way, it all comes down to going back to the basics. Work, save, pay your bills on time, invest, and use whatever else on things you’d like to enjoy in the here and now. Not satisfied with the discretionary monies you have to buy “goodies”? Then you just have to work more (maybe get a second job) or seek out a new job that pays more. In order to get a job that pays more, you need to develop the skills required to reach the next level. That likely means using some of your free time to get further education in order to move up.

At the end, it all boils down to the sacrifice you’re willing to make to get all the bases covered in your life. If you want it all, and there’s nothing wrong with that, be ready to pay your dues that is required in the process. Older generations were able to call their own shots later in life because they made those sacrifices, and though we may wonder about their happiness in the end, there’s no question they understood the end game better than many think they do today.

Income, Income, Income

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Thanks for reading everybody. I’ll see you tomorrow!

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