How I spent my economic stimulus check: Chico's stock!

I wanted to spend my stimulus money (all $600 of it) on something foolish. I really did. But common sense usually wins in my house. So I promptly took my $600 and put it into my Scottrade account. I immediately invested the money in Chico's stock. Chico's is a women's clothing store that has been hit hard, like many retail stores have. Just under a year ago, the stock was at $27.70. Today it's been floating between $7.38 and $7.95 a share. Why did I invest in that stock? I'm not terribly scientific about it, but I do have a feeling that the company is strong enough to come back from the hard times.

So I bought the stock on May 14, and today I promptly sold it for a 5.8% gain. I know, I know. I only made just under $35 on the trade. But think of it this way: That's almost twice as much as I would have made putting the $600 into my savings account (which is currently paying 3%) and letting it sit there for a year. I made 5.8% in 5 days, and I don't think that's a bad deal.

And no, I'm not spending my $635. I've invested it in another stock and will hopefully turn a quick profit there too. I'm a complete amateur when it comes to the stock market, but I do alright and I have fun doing it. Give it a try... only $7 a trade with Scottrade.

Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations for her company Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting, and is the author of Essentials of Corporate Fraud.

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