Trades and Updates for February 2017

Not much happened in February, trying to slow down on the frequent buying and selling and instead focus on making longer term trades with the goal of growing my portfolio of dividend producing stocks.

2/2/2017 Robinhood MSFT Buy 16 $62.990 $1,007.84
2/3/2017 Robinhood AMZN Buy 1 $813.600 $813.60
1/10/2017 FID IRA SBX Buy 20 $56.170 $1,123.40 $7.95
1/27/2017 FID IRA FENY Buy 54 $20.985 $1,133.19
2/14/2017 Robinhood AMZN Sell 1 $835.800 $835.80 2.73%
2/14/2017 Robinhood FSM Buy 157 $6.390 $1,003.23

Total February performance for all accounts ended with a gain of 2.63%.

This is only my second month of logging the numbers for all accounts in one spreadsheet, it’s very encouraging to see everything and have an overall picture of how my money is working for me. I will be receiving a sizable tax refund in the next few weeks and need to decide on how to best invest that windfall.

Tracking Monthly Software and Subscription Expenses

It seems like more and more software programs are changing from a one-time upfront expense to a recurring monthly subscription. I’m not yet sure if this equates to a savings for most people, but I am not convinced that it is the best thing for me.

I decided it would be good to setup my budget to accommodate all of the services I am currently subscribed to. Some of these are renewed on a yearly basis and others every month. It was quite a surprise to see everything laid out in a spreadsheet, totaled by year and month, and have all of the figures presented up front. 1

Current list of services I subscribe to. Yearly renewals are divided in monthly cost and totaled at the bottom.
Current list of services I subscribe to. Yearly renewals are divided in monthly cost and totaled at the bottom.

It really changes things knowing that I pay close to $700 a year on all of this stuff, I will definitely have to think about what in this list is important and what things I can do without.

  1. The blurred out item is the domain renewal for my personal website. 

Quality Links and Reads For The Week – 10 February 2017

10 February 2017

Lots of interesting things this week.

The Truth about SSL and SEO

Does SSL actually improve SEO?
After countless hours of research, I can only conclude that the answer to this question is: inconclusive. Here is an SEO study of 10,000 domains, and the answer they came up with was…somewhat less than data-centered: “Yes, because Google says so”.

WordPress SSL Issues
Issues with configuring self-hosted WordPress to work with an SSL certificate.

Incredible images from DJI’s SkyPixel 2016 aerial photography competition

ATM ‘Shimmers’ Target Chip-Based Cards

Is the hashtag over? Researchers reveal Super Bowl ads have abandoned them (and Facebook and Twitter) for URLs

$100 iTunes Giftcard for $85

Google AI adds detail to low-resolution images

4 Top Ways to Redeem 50,000 United Airlines Miles

25 Airbag Rainbow Explosion in 4K – The Slow Mo Guys

Trades and Account Growth for January 2017

Blurred Robinhood account history

Total Account Growth for January 2017: 0.56%

This was my first month of really trying to gain an account growth of 3%. I didn’t even come close to that number this month. Perhaps my target is a little unrealistic? My focus could have been better on my trading days and I also should have spent more time researching my trades before going in. I risk 20% of my account on each position, trying to have at most 5 different stocks at any given time. The first 2 trades 1 of the week ended up gaining just over 3% each and I was able to close them out within a few days of purchase. Took positions in SMG and CME for 2.03% and 1.90%.
Trades for the Month of January 20172

1/3/2017 MEDP Buy 28 $35.70 $999.60
1/3/2017 EBAY Buy 33 $29.75 $981.75
1/4/2017 MEDP Sell 28 $36.80 $1,030.40 3.08%
1/4/2017 WMT Buy 14 $69.35 $970.90
1/5/2017 CME Buy 8 $115.11 $920.88
1/6/2017 EBAY Sell 33 $30.68 $1,012.44 3.13%
1/6/2017 CME Sell 8 $117.30 $938.40 1.90%
1/10/2017 PG Buy 12 $83.55 $1,002.60
1/13/2017 PG Sell 12 $83.96 $1,007.52 0.49%
1/13/2017 SMG Buy 10 $93.26 $932.60
1/23/2017 SMG Sell 10 $95.15 $951.50 2.03%
1/23/2017 UGAZ Buy 35 $27.78 $972.30
1/23/2017 UGAZ Sell 35 $28.00 $980.00 0.79%
1/24/2017 CVS Buy 12 $81.88 $982.56
1/31/2017 UPS Buy 9 $109.40 $984.60

Robinhood Trading

At the moment I am using Robinhood to make my trades. No trade fees helps with my small account. I am using what they call Robinhood Gold, which is $10 a month and enables instant access to funds when selling a stock, no waiting 3 days to be able to reinvest, and also enables a little bit of margin if needed. The only downside is that it’s only available on mobile devices.

  1. MEDP and EBAY 
  2. Column Info until I can find a better way to post a proper table: Date:Symbol:Number of Shares:Price per Share:Trade Value:Percentage Gain or Loss 

Quality Links and Reads For The Week

A collection of interesting things found throughout the week.

To Build a Fire by Jack London

Elago M2 Aluminum iPhone Stand

Just got this on Tuesday to use next to my computer. It’s really nice to have an iPhone set up and conveniently positioned by a computer.

How Engines Work – (SEE THROUGH ENGINE in SLOW MOTION) – Smarter Every Day 166

reMarkable eInk Paper Tablet

The paper tablet for people who prefer paper. Here to replace your notebooks, sketchbooks and printouts. Paper-like reading, writing and sketching with digital powers.

June Intelligent Oven

iTunes Match Destroyed my Ratings! + Fix

I purchased a subscription for iTunes Match yesterday and all was going just as expected, no issues. All of my tracks got matched or uploaded just fine and I could play and rate them on my iPhone, everything was in sync. Well, this afternoon while I was in town I decided to remove all the downloaded song files from my phone in order to free up some space, I used the storage manager in the settings app to do this. I was still able to play and rate songs as I was headed home later in the day, everything looked and functioned just as it should have.

When I got home and opened up my MacBook Air I started up iTunes, a few seconds later 95% of my songs had the ratings and hearts removed! 6 months ago I started iTunes with a fresh copy and have been adding 1 album at a time, rating every song before going to the next album. So far I had roughly 2,300 songs, all with my personal star ratings, so I was quite upset and nervous when I saw all that work had been thrown out.

My guess is that this had something to do with when I went to remove the files from my phone, although I had done this before when I was a Match subscriber last year.I don’t really know. Thankfully I had both a Time Machine backup and a manual iTunes backup from just before switching to iTunes Match. This is how I was able to restore my ratings and find a bit of relief, I just hope this does not happen again.

How I Restored my iTunes Song Star Ratings

This will work only if you have a backup of your iTunes Library file from before the ratings were demolished, the file is iTunes Library.itl

Screenshot of the iTunes Music Library Folder
iTunes Library File

First, remove all of the Smart Playlists in the current Match library, I have had issues with these syncing in the past. Then sync with iTunes Match (File>Library>Update iCloud Music Library) to make sure everything is up to date, also launch Music on your phone and let it sync up. Just to be sure. After all is synced properly, quit iTunes and disconnect from the internet just to keep things from getting out-of-order.

How to update iCloud Music Library (iTunes Match)
How to update iCloud Music Library (iTunes Match)

Lauch iTunes with the Option key held down, and select “Choose Library”, point it to your backup *.itl file from before the rating issue. This should hopefully open a library with all ratings present.

iTunes library selector
Select your iTunes Backup by holding down the Option key and opening iTunes


Now create a Smart Playlist for each star rating.

Screenshot of iTunes Smart Playlist Creator
Smart Playlist selector for star ratings.


Export each playlist as a *.txt file from the File menu.

Screenshot of how to export a playlist in iTunes.
iTunes playlist export menu.

Once done, quit iTunes and load up your current library with iTunes Match, the messed up one with no ratings, you can also reconnect to the internet before launching iTunes.

Just like you had to export each playlist, go through and import each one. You will end up with a regular playlist for each rating you exported. I put mine in a folder just to keep it organized.

iTunes Rating Restore Playlist
Restored playlists of ratings.

Now just go through each playlist, select all of the songs by using the Command+A shortcut and apply the star rating of the playlist!

Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 4.47.31 PM
Right click after selecting all of the track in the selected playlist.


That should do it, you can also create a list of Loved trackes if you have those in your libreary. Be sure to keep frequent backups, Time Machine worked great for me as I was able to select a backup point just a few hours before the problem showed itself. Let me know if this helped or if you are having any issues, maybe I can help!

Configuring FTP on a ReadyNAS

I had a hard time setting up a public facing FTP connection to my Netgear ReadyNAS 104. The problem for me was the standard FTP port of 21, I’m guessing my internet provider blocks that port. I had issues with both Cox and Charter internet connections. The screenshots and settings below are from an Apple AirPort Time Capsule, Netgear ReadyNAS 104 and Panic’s Transmit for the FTP client. I am also using a static IP address.

ReadyNAS FTP Settings
ReadyNAS FTP configuration under the Services settings.

This is the setting that finally made it work for me. I had to change the port from 21 to something else, I chose 21202. There was already a few devices using the default passive ports, so I just changed those as well, but they should be fine if nothing else on your network is using them (AirPort Utility will not let you create it if they are already in use).

Airport FTP Access Port
Port forwarding in the Airport utility. This was the default port of 21, changed to my selection of 21202.

Port forwarding setting in the Apple AirPort Utility for FTP access.

Airport FTP Data Port
Port settings for passive FTP data.

Another port forward setting in AirPort Utility, use the port range set in the ReadyNAS passive port field.

Transmit - iPhone Settings
Settings used with Transmit FTP Client for iOS

Connection type is FTP with TLS/SSL. I used my public facing static IP as the address and the port that was changed from the default of 21. Root Path and URL are set at the default, did not change it. Passive mode is on.

I hope this helps you out if you’re having issues as I did. If you have any questions just let me know and I can try to give you a hand!

Plex Project is Finished!

It took me several months to do it, but I have finished archiving all of our DVD and Blue Ray discs onto a NAS for use with Plex. 285 Movies and roughly 1300 TV episodes totaling 3.5 Terabytes.

PLEX Media Server Home Page

I’ll be posting a mini guide or something to that extent in the future detailing the process I went through and some of the things I learned while accomplishing this.

Some Things About Today & Tomorrow

Checked off all 3 items on my task list today, most of them were simple things that just needed to get done. The big thing was to get some flash cards done for learning Russian. I’m trying to get the pronunciation of the alphabet worked out right now, so I started with that on the flash cards.

Tomorrow is my last day in town for a few weeks as I will be in Colorado with family. While there I intend to keep up with the habits and practices I have been working on this year.