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.

Your resource on tax filing
Tax season is here! Check out the Tax Center on AOL Finance for all the tips and tools you need to maximize your return.
A Guide to Self-Employment Taxes for Contractors, Freelancers, and Beyond [Infographic]
If you work for yourself and don't call anyone your boss, you're likely self-employed. This carries advantages, like not having a manager and deciding your own hours. But it also comes with trade-offs, like paying the self-employment tax and paying for your own employee benefits.
Read MoreBrought to you byTurboTax.com
Amending Your Income Tax Return
What if you've sent in your income tax return and then discover you made a mistake? You can make things right by filing an amended tax return using Form 1040-X. You can make changes to a tax return to capture a tax break you missed the first time around or to correct an error that might increase your tax.
Read MoreBrought to you byTurboTax.com
5 Tax Breaks for Veterans
Whether you have served in the military decades ago, or if you’re ready to retire soon, there are specific tax breaks for veterans that can help you and your family save money on your tax bill — and even file your tax returns for free.
Read MoreBrought to you byTurboTax.com
Filing Tax Returns for Delivery Drivers: Tips and Advice
Whether you’re just starting out or have been in the field for a while, being a delivery driver comes with its own nuances when it’s time to file your taxes. Here are four steps to help guide you through the process and help ensure accuracy while maximizing your return.
Read MoreBrought to you byTurboTax.com