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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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December 3, 2016 Net Worth Update

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Hello Everyone!  I am ready to early retire right now.  I am having trouble keeping up with everything that I need to do around my house plus going to work.  My hours were cut down to 32 weekly but I am still struggling.

Maybe purchasing a townhouse was a bad idea?  I was fortunate enough to  pay for it in cash so I thought that this was a no brainer but I am finding the upkeep more than I expected.  Or maybe it is just a busy time and things needed around the house will subside.  I do need new window treatments and have been looking into plantation blinds which are not cheap.  They are one of the high ticket items that I need to purchase before I finally quit.  A car is also on my radar so I still need to work for a while longer but sometimes I just want to go for it and quit now.  I do not like leaving my townhouse.  It sounds crazy but I feel like I have enough business occurring at my residence that I cannot split my time with both the house and a job. I have to keep up with various paperwork, cleaning, and bills.  I would like to rearrange my small but awesome shed into a getaway but I never seem to have the time to embark upon these plans so I do nothing but daydream about them while in the meantime getting older at an exceedingly faster rate…

Time is flying by so fast that the years now seem to last only 6 months.  I think I am going to start seeing my days planned out in a “seasonal” perspective instead of a daily or weekly or even monthly because these time frames go by too fast.  So this is how I will look at a seasonal time frame:  spring is a time for planting, summer is a time for growing, fall is the time for harvest, and winter is the time for REST and rejuvenation!  I can see myself sleeping early and long in the winter since it gets dark at 5pm.  I can see myself eagerly planting herbs and veggies in the spring…see I am daydreaming again…but not actually doing anything…

We really do not know how much time we have on this earth.  Because of this I feel an urgency to retire now.  Will my time be shorter than others?  I do not know but I do know that I would be very angry to suffer a debilitating illness and still be working the 9-5 without getting a chance to pursue my daydreams.  I would be so angry!!!  So I am thinking I may just have to wing it and attempt to retire early within the next couple of months.  Because of this I have not been placing any money into my brokerage account for dividend investing but into my savings account for emergencies and a car and my so-called “high ticket items.” I would like to save $20,000.  I could maybe buy a nice two year used car for $8000 to $10000 and hold the remaining $10000 for a nice cushion, or even a second used car in the distant future.  This is frightening to me because leaving my job to purse early retirement dreams is premature for me.  But I believe I am going to have to do it sooner rather than later because of the urgency I feel to do this before I am too old.  I am also hoping to avoid the dreaded flu vaccine that they are trying to force me to take in the fall of 2017.

I have goals to support myself with ebay sales and to use dividends only if necessary.  Relying upon ebay to cover some of my bills is at this point premature as well.  At this present time selling and shipping costs are costing me 63% of my selling price so I need to work on honing my profit making technique.  But I have a feeling that I could do it if I could just focus.  I have sold $240.00 within the past 60 days so at least I can say that I am trying and succeeding.  My expenses are low and for the most part I value the things in life that are mostly free so I can live very minimally.  So $500 net ebay sales per month would be fantastic and $1000 net profit would be golden.  I have this urgency to explore and finally be myself again now while I can, I do not want to wait until I am 60.  I have heard of people going into debt $50,000, at the age of 40, to further their education!  And the incomes earned would be less than $70,000.  To me the monetary payback is not worth being further in the hole!  But maybe they do not have the “urgency” emergency that I have, maybe they will live 20 years longer?!?!  No one knows… I just know that I have to make it out alive and be free before I die!

 


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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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September 1, 2016 Net Worth Update

Welcome back to another net worth update!

A few months ago I was trying to decide whether to contribute the maximum to my 403b or just focus most of my savings efforts upon my Brokerage account.  So in August I decided to restart contributing the maximum to my 403b in order to take advantage of the tax savings. However on August 5 I received bad news at my job which caused me to redirect my savings efforts upon my brokerage account only.  I chose to forgo saving in my 403b because I believe the money will be taxed at a much higher rate when it comes time to withdraw.  This is a complaint that I have heard others express but I was not concerned about until recent events at my job caused me to question the government and I realized that it is overstepping its bounds in a myriad ways.

I cannot complain about returning to saving in my brokerage account because this means that my monthly dividends will only grow that much faster.  And since I need this money to pay my bills when I am no longer working I need it sooner rather than later.

In the month of August I added to HASI and TROW.  I did not buy any new stocks.  After a year of investing I can see that the REITS and financial/insurance sectors of my portfolio seem to be doing the best overall.  My dividends have remained steady at $460 to $470 per month and net worth grew $5589.13.  I hope to grow my portfolio to $200,000 by the end of 2016, earn $7000.00 in dividends in 2016, and at least earn an additional $100 in dividends by this time next year.

I no longer work 40 hours per week.  I began working 64 hours bi-weekly about 2 weeks ago.  Because of the reduced hours I may only be able to add $800 per paycheck to my brokerage instead of $1000.  I am feeling much better physically working a 32 hour work week and am surprised in the difference one less day can make.  I decided to ask for this schedule in late spring when I was suffering major burn out and am very grateful that it was approved so quickly.  The additional good news is that I received an unexpected raise last week that really surprised me so this could not have happened at a better time but it is somewhat bittersweet…