I have to admit I was very apprehensive and intimated about trying to buy stock. I’ve had some money sitting in my Roth IRA that I thought was getting great returns. But when I actually checked it was only earning 2.96%. I nearly spat out my drink when I read that! That’s when I realized I need to take charge, be proactive about retirement investing. I’ve had a Roth for about 10 years. I would have been better knowing all this 10 years ago!

I started doing some research. While I was sitting in the waiting room of a doctor’s office I read an article in SmartMoney, April 2007, entitled “America’s Favorite Pastime.” Glancing down at the page, I noticed it was boosting Coach stock had 35.2% returns! My only exposure to Coach is through my brother-in-law and his girlfriend. Coach is her handbag of choice. While I personally couldn’t stomach paying $400+ for a bag, they have been ‘selling’ me on this product. How Coach bags are timeless, it’s the highest quality leather, even the threads won’t shred, it has a warranty, it will never go out of style, etc. This anomaly opened my eyes. I started noticing Coach bags everywhere I went.

One night at a local sushi place, we were sat near the entrance. While groups of people came through waiting for their tables, I noticed a group of 3 girls chatting. And what did I see!? All three of them had Coach bags, large ones. About 10 minutes later a second group of girls came through. These looked to be high school age and yet all them had Coach bags. So just looking around my friends and watching trends near our area it seemed woman all of ages were carrying Coach bags on their shoulders.

This article went on to explain that luxury retailers, such as Coach, started soliciting new customers with lower-priced items that still offered the status symbol. Just in the last year, the largest sales growth has been for $400+ hand bags.

It’s called the ‘feel good factor’, when affluent shoppers spend a lot because times are good and they don’t have to be discreet about it. (…) Coach has targeted both ends of the market, with aspirational consumers still coveting the brand and wealthier customers snapping up limited-edition hand bags that sell for $1,700 to $2,500. Shares jumped 36%. The stock, trading at 22 times its expected 2007 earnings, has a high price tag but room to grow.

At the time the article was written in April 2007 the price was $47.44 and they expected it to hit $50 in a year. Well, I’ll have you know the latest 52-week high was $54!

Now the tricky part is working out the timing on when to buy. Hmm…

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