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Dividend Investing


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June 12, 2017 Net Worth Update

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Hello Readers,

This is my June 12, 2017 Net Worth Update.  Since I decreased my working hours last year from 80 biweekly to 64 I am unable to add as much money to my brokerage as I would like.  At one point in time in 2016 I was adding $2000.00 per month.  At this point in time I could probably add about $1400 per month but even saving this amount has screeched to a halt because I decided it would be more pertinent for me to instead add it to a savings account emergency fund since it is highly likely that I will be quitting my job in September due to a “mandatory” flu vaccine at my workplace.

This shot has nothing to do with safety and everything to do with adding money to someone else’s pocket and especially not mine since I am willing to quit over it.  I guess you could say that I am upset and angry that my savings ability is being ripped from me.  I am a saver.  Everything seen on this blog was saved from my own work.  I have never been in debt, I always saved, even when I had nothing.

It is unbelievable that I have been able to obtain what I have and I am frustrated because I believe this is another example of the attack on the middle class.  My job cannot be outsourced so I believe “they” have used a job that cannot be outsourced to their advantage by taking advantage of the only thing they can, my physical body.

Quitting will alter my blog and investing activity but I don’t think it will be completely destroyed.  The good news is that my monthly dividend return has been averaging just over $500.00!  Simply adding $500.00 per month to my account is an admirable achievement and I think I can be happy with limiting my contributions to this amount.  Unless I can obtain “special paperwork” from a “doctor” to get me out of this poisonous shot, I may have to accept this…

So… this is what “they” are doing to me… and is another representation of what “they” are doing to the middle class… I feel like I live in Nazi Germany, trying to get my “special paperwork” to get out of the country and save my life.

My only other option, I have decided, is to take one shot, in 2017, and one shot only since repeated shots are more harmful, save for a car in 2017/2018, and quit in the fall of 2018 before the next shot is forced.  Stay tuned.

On a lighter note, I have been working around my container garden and small yard like crazy.  I love doing this.  Below are some pictures.  I bought a Meyer lemon tree on a whim at Walmart.  I live in zone 6 so this should be interesting.  This tree can be kept in a container so it will live through the winter.  I also purchased various plants for pollinators.  These plants include a milkweed plant and milkweed seeds for Monarch butterflies, Lavendar Grosso, and Phenomenal Lavenadar, and Salvia plants.  Bees love Salvia.

I have also become quite interested in the International Space Station (ISS).  It can be seen with the naked eye so it is especially exciting that its path has recently taken it right over my townhouse on a nightly basis!  It is so cool.. there is even an app, called ISS Detector, that enables you to track its orbit.  Astronomy is something I intend to study in my post 9-5 life.  It astounds me that one can see the moons of Jupiter and Saturn with something as simple as binoculars.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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April 22 Net Worth Update

Hello Everyone!

This is my April 22, 2017 Net Worth Update!  It is exciting to see the dividend changes, you can see the changes here:  Dividend Income, and here:  History.

Almost exactly two years ago I stumbled upon dividend investing when I noticed deposits of money into my Roth IRA that I did not actively contribute.  I thought the deposits were some type of “mutual fund” activity but researched further and found out they were dividends.

I was intrigued by these deposits and researched daily.  This led me to an investment technique called “dividend capture”.  My first dividend capture stock purchase was a financial stock called White Horse Financial which I still own to this day.

WHF has a great yield but the dividend has not increased since my purchase.  I did not sell after receiving the dividend because the price dropped under my purchase price.  The price drop combined with the $7.95 buy and sell commission would have caused me to lose money.

WHF’s price has just now exceeded what I originally paid, almost two years later! 🙂  (Speaking of commission, about a month ago Fidelity changed their commission price to $4.95!!! Unbelievable!!!  And the same day they announced their changed, Charles Schwab did the same, offering a $5.95 commission!)

I was hesitant about the dividend capture method so I continued researching other investment strategies.  It was at that point that I discovered the old Dividend Mantra blog.  This blog opened my eyes to see that I could just simply continue to hold onto the stock and receive future dividend income from it without the fear and stress of losing money from buying and selling.  As long as the market did not crash, it sounded like a win-win!  So far that little stock has earned me $246.06!

So I abandoned dividend capture and embarked upon dividend investing.  This is funny because I was always told to NEVER buy single stocks, opting instead to invest in mutual funds.  But at the age of 41 I decided to take a risk and buy single stocks.

This method appeals to me because it is simple and easy to understand.

All mutual fund distributions arise from dividends.  However one can lose money through mutual fund fees.  By purchasing single stocks I bypass the “interference” of managed funds which enables me to receive the whole dividend in its entirety.  Plus, I do not have to sell off portions of my mutual fund to obtain income in retirement and cut off part of my “tree”. 🙂  If you have not yet perused the Dividend Mantra site, I highly recommend it, are the remnants still out there???

Along with all of the great concepts (for ex. “A Dollar is not a Dollar”, a “Year is not a Year”)  I learned from the site, there is yet one more.  It offered a real live glimpse of a stock portfolio.

Up until that point in time the main financial guidance I received was that if I placed “X” number of dollars into a mutual fund at age 20, and contributed annually, I would accumulate “X” amount of dollars by age 60.

I basically had to contribute and wait passively until 60.  Some estimates predicted the earnings to be 1 million dollars; the problem is that I never saw evidence from the financial advisors who advised this, no one ever presented proof, I never saw real numbers.

Seeing the dividend mantra’s portfolio through the power of the internet was very, very helpful to me.  I saw a much more active investing process.  Because I was helped I decided to post my portfolio as well and offer that same help to others who may decide that dividend investing is for them.  You can also see the accumulative effect of the dividends here:  History.

These are some pictures of things that I was up to in early spring.  Most of the pictures are from a small and old town that I like to visit. Can anyone guess what happened to the tree? 🙂


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February 11, 2017 Net Worth Update

Hello Everyone

This is my late January early February net worth update!  I hope to create one update each month this year.

The shingles that I had the misfortune of developing about a month ago have resolved for the most part but I still have residual affects in my lower back and leg and the remnants of the rash is still visible.  I believe these nuisances will clear up, hopefully within the next year.  Shingles is a horrible condition and I feel the need to write another cathartic article about it within the next couple of months, with pictures…

I have recently started selling items on ebay and this has kept me very busy.  I really enjoy reselling; there is a lot of “stuff” out there to resell and I live in an area that offers a lot of shopping opportunities so I am going to give it a try and see if I can make at least enough money to cover my monthly bills.

Covering my monthly bills is my main goal because I do not want to be forced to take the flu shot this fall.  If I can find a means of decent income outside my current job I am going to quit.  I will be “living on the cheap” but I do want to quit…

Living on the cheap is of course risky.  One health incident could really hurt me financially.  But then again, even if I were extremely wealthy, a health incident could hurt me financially as well.

Speaking of the flu shot, I just thought that I would mention something because this has really been bugging me.  Every year we are also forced to take a yearly TB skin test.  This test never really bothered me and I did not object to it until recently but I will not get into my objections on this post.

But what I am getting at is that every year we are forced to get a TB test with accompanying paperwork to fill out.  Within the past couple of years the paperwork has changed with 2016’s paperwork the most comprehensive.

I had the test performed in December of 2016 and before getting the shot I had to fill out the paperwork.  And do you know what the paperwork statement stated in the area where I signed my name?  The statement read, “I am requesting a TB test to be administered” What!!???? HELLO?????

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Yes, the paperwork’s statement basically forced me to state that I was asking for it…and therefore if anything detrimental…in terms of my health… or anything else…were to happen…then…I could not sue because I WANTED IT!!!!!!  This is very sick.  I see where this is going.  The flu shot paperwork this fall will most probably say the same thing.

I work in an environment that requires FIERCE attention to detail and truth and critical thinking.  This statement that I had to sign was dishonest and wicked so my question is…”What kind of workers are they looking for?”  Easily controllable workers???  Workers that don’t think critically????  What a joke…I am becoming very jaded.

The statement could at least have stated “I understand that I am required to take the TB as a requirement of my job.”  I still don’t agree with being forced to take a medical procedure but at least this is an HONEST statement.  I became very angry after reading the contents of the paperwork and wanted to point out the absurdity to the nurse giving the shot but this would have been pointless so I held it all in and anyway deep down I feared retaliation…yep this is where this is going.

Ok, so anyway, back to the net worth update! 🙂  I was saving for a car but ended up placing the $4000.00 I had saved into my brokerage.  Combined with the stock market increases, my portfolio is above $200,000!!!

It is fascinating to see the gains in the portfolio in just one year.  You can check it all out here. 🙂

Have a great rest of February!!!


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December 31, 2016 Net Worth Update / Shingles – Graphic

 

Happy New Year Everyone!

I was going over my portfolio changes for 2016.  My portfolio, which consists of a brokerage account and Roth IRA, experienced a combined increase of $47,946.42 for 2016!  That is great news especially since I added approximately $20,000.00.

It is nice to see portfolio increases but dividend increases are equally as important and more important in some ways.  An interesting detail occurred in that the dividends earned in 2016 surpassed those of 2015 by only $700.00!  I began dividend investing in 2015.  Starting in April, 2015’s dividend total does not even represent a full year.

With $20,000.00 invested in newly purchased dividend stocks I was hoping to reach $7000.00 in dividends in 2016.  I believe there are two reasons why I did not reach $7000.00.  Most of my Roth IRA consists of a mutual fund.  The mutual fund produces “distributions” every quarter, not dividends, and these “distributions” vary.  For instance I made $1435.63 less in distributions from my mutual fund in 2016 than in 2015.  Adding $1435.63 to my dividend 2016 income of $5884.16 equals $7319.79…

Would selling off my mutual fund and investing in dividend stocks increase my earnings?  That is the question I keep asking myself and need to research throughout the coming year.

The second reason I think my dividends did not reach $7000.00 is because the “snowball” is just getting started.  I am new to dividend investing and am thinking there might be a cyclical pattern of increasing dividends?  For instance maybe 2017 will yield a noticeable difference after two years of monetary additions?  This is just a hunch and I am a newbie but I will definitely look into selling my mutual fund for single stocks.

New Perspective

Sometimes I feel guilty for going over my dollar earnings, feeling like I am being greedy or something as I count all my cash.  Well, I have reminded myself that cash value is relative and my savings is paltry to some and grandiose to others and the cost of my monthly bills places my savings amounts into perspective.  If I had a $1500.00 per month mortgage this would be a totally different blog.  So, it is all relative…

Well, I now feel a little less guilty about “counting my cash” each month because I see how it is a protective measure for me and my life.

I sometimes get a cold but never severe enough to call in to work.  I have called into work at total of three times in the past 14.5 years.  Unfortunately I was stricken with shingles about two weeks ago.  It was a good thing that I happened to schedule some vacation time during this outbreak but I still needed to call in for two days.  As I type this I am still in pain and wonder if I will make it in on Tuesday.

Shingles is one of the most physically painful things I have ever experienced.  The condition is horrible and I feel sick thinking about its symptoms, it is a very agonizingly sickening condition. I have a new empathy for anyone who has experienced… shingles.

As I rested on the couch again yesterday, feeling as if I was suffering the aftermath of a shark attack, it was a great comfort to see that I earned $69.73 in dividends on that day!  Without doing anything!  With no fees!  This is such a comfort to me because at that moment I was once again contemplating quitting my job, taking money considerations into account.

I am grateful for dividend bloggers such as Jason Fieber for constructing the Dividend Mantra blog, which is now discontinued, because it was available at just the right time for me in 2015 to learn what I needed to know.  This topic of early retirement is not greed, it is survival.  I believe that people such as myself will not make it to retirement at 65, we are sensitive individuals, easily stressed and weeded out if not careful…

Shingles has left me wondering if my lower back will be okay?  I am being melodramatic but it has caused a lower back pain I never had.  Shingles arises from dormancy from something called a dermatome and in my case this happened to be located in the area of the L2 and L3 dermatomes of my lower back.  The dermatomes extended and spread the rash as the they twisted and turned from my right upper hip into my right outer and inner thigh, and finally to the back of my knee.

I could feel the inflammation begin in my lower back as the rash began.  I had to work at my job during the beginning of the shingles pain since it occurred on Christmas and I was scheduled for the entire weekend.  There are many areas of pain in the affected areas of a bought of shingles and different types of pain, horrible, electrocution type shocks of pain and others that I do not want to remember…shingles will make you cry.

For now I seem to be on the mend.  I become happy when I realize there are areas that feel better but then sad when I realize I still have pain.  It has been exactly two weeks since the very initial symptoms of a deeply achy femur bone.  I believe stress played a role in my shingles development; I work too hard and need to take a long break and do the things I want to do.  I want a garden and I want to raise monarch butterflies, and hike and take trips.  I basically do nothing but work and it is catching up with me and it is now obvious through the effects of shingles.

I realize that I have to keep stress at bay because I DO NOT want shingles to come back.  I have been longing for a free life for too long.  I plan to manage stress with yoga and detoxing, things I have always believed-in but found very hard to do…and look at where it got me!

 

On a lighter note these are some of the places and things I got involved in before shingles.  I  was happy to find some “mid century modern” chairs at a local thrift store.  Their brand name is Viko and they were manufactured in 1959, if I am correct, in Pennsylvania.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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October 1, 2016 Net Worth Update (late)

Hello, this is my end of September, beginning of October net worth update.  Sorry that it is late.  I have been sidetracked with various projects and current events  but was determined to post.  I might switch to a quarterly update in 2017.  One reason for this is based on my decision to save up enough money to purchase a car in cash.  I do not take out car loans and realize that I need to have enough money set aside to immediately purchase another car, if the need arises, since my current car has over 200,000 miles.  So I guess you could say the savings is a type of emergency fund.  Because a large portion of my income will be going towards saving for a car, I will be unable to place a significant portion of my income into my brokerage account.  I am thinking that since I will be adding less money to my brokerage account there will be less changes to report in monthly updates.

I have decided to save for a car because I realize that I will need a new vehicle eventually.  I would like to avoid buying a car but realize that this is not possible or realistic.  A few weeks ago my current car needed a $600 repair and this was the catalyst that forced me to face the fact that I will need another vehicle someday and sooner rather than later.

And since I am considering quitting my job because of a forced, and completely unconstitutional, vaccine that will be forced upon us next fall at my place of work, I am attempting to save for major purchases with the income that I am earning now.  I have been considering drastically lowering my work hours to 40 hours biweekly because my monthly bills are $570 and my dividend income is almost able to cover this amount.  This is something I have been thinking about for almost a year but I am not quite yet ready nor am I ready to quit, quitting next year seems premature so I am still deciding.  In the meantime I am saving for a car and working on a side hustle with ebay.  I have sold a few things on ebay in the past but have decided to really go for it and see how much I can earn per month.  I would like to pay my monthly bills with ebay money and continue to reinvest the dividends.  I have almost finished prepping a spare room for ebay shipping.  I bought a wireless printer, large table, mannequin, and shipping supplies.

These are some pictures I took about a week ago at a nearby park.  It was such a beautiful fall evening, geese could be heard overhead, the air was warm, a nice breeze was blowing, the fall colors were lovely….

and then this bright object appeared in the sky at dusk.

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Does anyone know what it is?  It is too big to be an airplane…I learned something new that night.

And  to top it off later that evening the moon appeared and was very bright.

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Stay tuned for more updates!


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August 1, 2016 Net Worth Update

I am still grappling over whether or not to switch to mainly investing in my 403b.  I do not make enough money to add $18,000 to my 403b and $2000.00 per month to my brokerage.  Adding $2000.00 per month to my brokerage has created a nice increase in my portfolio value.  By the end of the July my portfolio grew $7331.04 and my net worth increased $9988.21!  This a nice increase for having only invested $2000.00 into my brokerage.  I have smaller investments placed elsewhere but the $2000.00 is the main bulk.

So this is why I am hesitant to forgo adding the majority of my income to my brokerage.  I have still not come to terms with my 403b and the “funds” that it offers.  I prefer stocks over funds and believe that my brokerage and roth ira portfolio would grow much faster than the funds offered through my 403b.

My 403b is currently invested in a very conservative fund.  More aggressive funds are offered but I have issues with some of the companies that comprise them.  I have picky beliefs about certain practices such as animal testing and oil drilling.  I find it difficult to invest in companies that involve themselves with these practices so I try to steer clear of them as much as possible.

There are only a small number of funds offered by my 403b retirement company so my choices are limited.  I feel stuck.  I would like to have more to choose from and do not understand why the offerings are limited. I would much rather invest in single stocks.  To my surprise, my 403b retirement company offers single stock investing… but I would have to sign up with Charles Schwab… and pay more fees… so I do not know if it is worth my time.  But I also do not know if I can just plunk my money down into a Vanguard index fund and forget it because my conscience fights me.  So, at this point in time my 403b endeavor is still a work in progress.

I value the 403b because of the tax savings.  At this present time, I need to give almost half of my paycheck to make the full 2016 $18,000 contribution.  I will halfheartedly contribute 47% of my income to my 403b in the month of August but I do not expect to see the same type of returns as I would see in my portfolio, as long as the stock market does not crash, because it is not invested in an aggressive fund.  I obviously need to research more…

These are some pictures that I took today.  I value my Omega juicer because I can juice herbs like ginger.  Ginger is one of my all time very most favorite things on the planet earth to juice.  It is medicine.  This juice is made of ginger, pink grapefruit, and granny smith apples.

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I also value green medicinal herbs like the rosemary seen below.  Having these herbs and juices on hand are true wealth to me because health is true wealth and these are the best medicine.

 


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July 1, 2016 Net Worth Update

The most wonderful part of summer is the sun.  It is very high in the sky this time of year.  I get to see this sun set behind my townhouse every summer through October.  It is absolutely glorious and I still have September to look forward to.  I do not get to see enough of these beautiful skies because I am usually busy working. Staying on my patio to witness the sunset is something that I plan to do all the time once I am partially and/or retired.  If I ever move I will always make sure to have a large living area facing the west.  To me this is like vacation everyday and it is absolutely free.  Not only do I get to view the beautiful sky but I also have an assortment of songbirds and flowers in my yard.  The birds that I often see are cardinals, chickadees, nuthatches, finches, hummingbirds,  a tufted titmouse, sparrows, downy woodpeckers, gold finches, and red bellied wood peckers.  They make great neighbors.  The astonishing fact about all of this is that it takes place in a busy city.  I feel like a queen with this beauty and am thrilled that, for most part, it is free, and I don’t need to take a costly vacation to enjoy it.  I am not opposed to vacations but the need to go on vacation is not as urgent as it once was because my perspective has changed and I have learned to open my eyes to the gifted paradise in my own backyard.

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And the splendor is not limited to the daytime.  At this present time I am able to see Mars and Jupiter nightly, all from my backyard.  All of this beauty is almost too much for me to bear.  I recently downloaded an app called “Star Tracker”.  It pinpoints your location and tracks the sun’s path through the sky, the location of the moon, the horizon, and all of the stars, planets, and galaxies in between, giving a glimpse of my neighbors in the heavens.  It also indicates the direction that you are facing.  From what I have observed it is accurate.

I have been recording my net worth and dividends monthly.  My dividends have increased steadily from last year.  I am elated to see that my dividends have begun averaging around $450.00 per month.  This is exciting because my bills total $570.00 per month.  The amount of my dividends almost covers my bills and I feel like a millionaire because of this.  The interesting thing is that my total dividend income for the year 2016 is $2399.54.  $2399.54 does not seem like a lot of money to me, I almost felt let down when I calculated this total.  But when I look at the earnings from the perspective of monthly income it seems to have more value.  I am still happily mulling over this paradox because it is fascinating.  I believe it has something to do with the power of passive income.  Oh… I  almost forgot to mention that my net worth rose $5327.12.  I feel very fortunate.  I realize that net worth is a tool that can be used to evaluate one’s overall financial health.  As I continue in this journey I find myself not focusing on net worth but my passive income generated through monthly dividend earnings.  These dividends are priceless.

Another striking observation that I have made is the stock market’s increase since the beginning of 2016.  Looking at the increase of my stocks monthly since January 2016, it is evident that my  brokerage account has increased $34,591.23 since January.  I have added $19,569.47 since the beginning of the year.  The stock market was down in January so the market’s gains has helped to almost double the new money I added.  I have never seen this amount of return on anything that I have invested.  Having a decent savings rate has helped so I have decided to continue to forgo adding to my 403b since most of my savings goes straight into my portfolio.  Monitoring the monthly change in my portfolio’s value and tracking monthly dividend increases has created a completely new dimension of financial tracking.  The crux of the matter is no longer just about saving up a big pile of cash.

These are some of the things I did in June.  Some of the pictures were taken on June 21.

The sailboat below was so cool.  🙂

Have a great July!