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Dividend Investing

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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…







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Unalienable Rights

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“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness…”

This may sound like an angry post, that is because  I feel very passionate about the topic of forced vaccinations.  I am not against vaccinations but FORCED vaccinations, refer to the quote above, taken from The Declaration of Independence.


When I look at these pictures I think of how beautiful they are.  Having been taken, in September 2015, with an ordinary digital camera, and no other aids, they turned out quite good.  You can see the effervescent glow produced by the sun’s rays as it reflects off the “super moon.”  Starting at picture #1, you can observe the Earth’s shadow as it slowly encroaches upon the orbiting moon and creates the blood moon at picture #8.  Picture #1 was taken at 2047 and picture #11 was taken at 0158.  Picture #10 and #11 are the moon as it emerges from the Earth’s shadow.

As I sit here writing this I cannot help but think about the way in which my unalienable rights are being trampled upon.  Having my rights taken away in this fashion has caused me to research daily the slow encroachment of the government into my daily life, more specifically, the CDC, BIG PHARMA, and the FDA!!!!

I know about them.  I now know that the pharmaceutical industry is the richest of all US job sectors and that they are using this huge resource, (their money from OUR tax dollars) to lobby in Washington DC to get laws enacted that suit their agenda.

BIG Pharma’s agenda is to create a demand for their products.  And just as coal companies pursue coal mines for their profit, and oil companies pursue oil wells, and fisherman pursue fish, the pharmaceutical companies pursue the human body and have claimed the human population as their own capital!!!

The pharmaceutical companies are pursuing this “untapped market”, the adult population, even more aggressively than ever by Forcing vaccinations upon us!  If we the people do not stop the pharmaceutical companies now we will be destroyed by their products!!!!!  By the year 2025 it is estimated that 1 in 2 children will have autism!!!

And they wrecked a potentially good thing.  I had childhood vaccinations but decided not to take any additional vaccines after a bad experience with the hepatitis b vaccine.  But I still had respect for vaccine makers because they served a good purpose by helping mankind in times of crisis, such as a malignant TB, flu, or Ebola pandemic, and I thought they realized this was intended their role.  Greed has set in and their benevolent role has been eclipsed by their lust for money through the forced vaccination gold mine, specifically with the flu vaccine since it is being pushed to be a YEARLY VACCINE, from cradle to grave.  In addition to the flu vaccine, companies like Pfizer have now pounced upon the irresistible revenue potential of vaccines and have developed there own vaccine schedule.  I have lost respect for pharmaceutical companies and the family practitioners.  They have ABUSED their power and influence on the citizens of this country.

My Philosophy

When I was in grade school I had the flu 2-3 times, once per year.  I remember vividly one year arriving home from school on a Friday, immediately developing a horrible headache, overcome with the need to sleep, and being bedridden for a week with the flu.

I did not go to the hospital ER, it was the FLU.  My mother monitored my temperature and we let the sickness run its course.  I remember having chills, being unable to stand, sweating, horrible aches, and sleeping constantly.  But it was the FLU.  It was not fatal, it was the FLU.  Nowadays, the flu is portrayed to be a death sentence and I do not think all the hype is an accident.

We are being brainwashed to fear catching the flu.  It is a scare tactic used by the media, who is controlled by pharmaceutical companies, to sell their product the flu vaccine that is only 50-60% effective and half the time <50% effective.  I have observed the flu virus grow into an increasingly dangerous threat year after year.  I have witnessed the slow but steady push to get vaccinated, (but as least not forcefully!), bemused by this increasingly wimpy culture whipping itself into a frenzy over nothing; but I knew there was nothing to worry about, it was just the flu, and I believed I was protected from it by having it in my childhood.

I believe that I am currently protected from the flu because I HAD the FLU in grade school.  Having the flu protected me by developing my immune system to be able to fight efficiently.  I believe this because I have not had a severe flu since that time.  Looking back over the years I may have had the flu, but it was very mild, lasting only one day.

This is my philosophy: the immune system is naturally crafted, from cradle to grave, by the antigens to which it is exposed.  The introduction to vaccines might hinder this process by tampering with the immune system’s own growth process.  A caterpillar must be left alone and not “helped”, when embarking upon the difficult process of emerging from its cocoon.  If “helped”, its wings will not be able to form correctly and it will NEVER be able to fly.  Our precious immune systems can be looked at in a similar way, they should not be “helped,” or they may never be strong enough to support us our entire lives.

Affects of my “unalienable rights being trampled upon”, on this blog

My life has been mildly turned upside down.  I am having trouble sleeping and have lost some of my zest for life.  I hoped to write a post during the month of August about my one year anniversary of paying cash for my townhouse and what it is like living here.  I really like living in my townhouse.  The previous owner decorated nicely and I wanted to show the way that three complimentary wall colors can make a living area warm and cozy.

But I do not want to write about the paint colors she chose.  In fact I am trying to keep my happiness about living in my own paid for townhouse at bay because I fear that sometime in the near future I may be forced to leave my townhouse by either moving to another country or being forcefully removed and sent to a prison camp for being a “public health threat” by my choice not to take a forced vaccine.

This sounds very conspiratorial and I never took conspiracy theories seriously until Wednesday August 3, 2016 when I was told I would have to take a flu shot against my will or possibly lose my job.  Because this happened to me I am able to personally understand having my “unalienable rights” trampled upon.  These are the rights to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

Unalienable rights are rights given to us by our Creator, they form a protective shield around our human condition.  The government has no right to trample upon these rights, they are God given.  Because my autonomy has been disregarded I am fearful that one day government agents will be banging on my door to either give me my forced vaccine cocktail for “public safety”, or be kidnapped and taken to prison.  This is happening because the government wants more control and the pharmaceutical companies see individuals simply as a “market.”

I will not be contributing to my 403b.  If the government, who is controlled by pharmaceutical companies, can force United States citizens to take a vaccine, they can FORCE ANYTHING!  I fear our 401ks and 403bs might be horrendously taxed, up to 70 or 80%.  I do not trust the government have some control of my 403b and have reverted to contributing my savings to my brokerage account only.

Obama Care’s Role

OBAMA care must be abolished because Obama Care is being used to annihilate the middle class.  Obama Care already costs the middle class a fortune, 70% of its cost is paid for by the middle class!  There are also some very unconstitutional schemes associated with Obama Care such as The “National Adult Immunization Plan”, NAIP.  NAIP is an Obama care scheme that will be used to “forcibly vaccinate all Americans and move toward a radical new healthcare paradigm in which medical “treatment” is delivered at gunpoint.”  America must come out from under the shadow of this oppression!!!!!

Under Obama Care we will be banned from holding a job if we do not agree to forced vaccination.  We will also be heavily fined.  These fines will be allowed because vaccines will be propagandized as necessary to promote “public health” and “the good of society”.  So I refused to be vaccinated I would not be able to work and the fine would completely wipe out my dividend investing retirement plan!  This scenario is what keeps me up at night.

Look for the terms “public health safety”, and “population health” and similar terms in the near future.  The government is going to work with local hospitals and other entities to carry out its evil deeds.  “The Jewish Holocaust, the Great Leap Forward, the killing of the Kulaks, American Eugenics, Tuskegee experimentation, the cold water experiments of Birkenau, Dachau and Auschwitz, all were justified at the time by their respective leaders as for the good of society.”










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The light went out

I woke up Wednesday morning after having a troubling dream. When I looked up the meaning of the dream online it stated that my dream was “alerting me to something in my waking life that has not yet surfaced,” and “was a clear warning about something bad happening.”

When I woke up that morning I was thinking about my dream; I had just dreamt of a multi colored snake, slithering everywhere. Because I had such a clear and vivid image of this snake on my heart and mind upon waking, alarm bells started going off. I knew deep down that this was not a good dream.

I got chills down my spine after reading the interpretation of the dream because it said that the dream was a “clear warning.” Everything about this dream was clear. Sometimes dreams are fuzzy and haphazard but not this dream, it was very obvious, the colorful snake was center stage and brightly lit.

The meaning of the dream surprised me because nothing troubling or stressful was occurring at the time. So I just figured I would wait and see but really did not thinkn much more about it.

I believe that I found out that very day. At work that day we were informed that all workers would be required to take a mandatory annual flu shot starting in the fall of 2017. Which means if I do not get the shot then I do not have the job, which means that all the time and effort that I took to get my degree and all the creativity and heart and soul that I pour into my job presently… is hinged upon my willingness to get a shot.  I was floored… and then remembered my dream.

I heard of policies like this being forced upon people but hoped that it would never befall my workplace. Well, it did, and at this moment in time, 2.5 days later, I am still stunned and the jovial life which normally resides inside my heart is now nothing but a whimper.  I do not know if I will EVER be the same, this blog will never be the same.

This is not a good thing. I am not sure what I am going to do because I cannot take the flu vaccine. I took the hepatitis B vaccine 16 years ago and because of the side effects I decided I would not take any more vaccines. Well, the world has changed since the year 2000 and I am wondering where my freedom went.

In the future I am afraid the general public will be forced to take vaccinations as well. This is not good at all. I DO NOT let people near me. No needles, no pharmaceuticals, nothing, and I am doing just fine. The heartbreak is that they have crossed the line that meant so much to me. They have invaded my Being and NOBODY is saying a thing about it. This is wrong.

I am not sure what I am going to do. Retiring next year would be premature. I have some dividend income but not enough. I would like to earn $1000 per month in dividends but I am not there yet, I need more time!  I need a little more time…


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.


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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Roth IRA Conversion Ladder

I read some recent blog posts about something called a Roth Conversion Ladder on the Dividend Diplomats and Mad Fientist websites and I think I am going to try this investment method.

I have limited knowledge on the subject so I plan to research further but understand that the Roth Conversion Ladder basically allows access to the money placed in pre tax accounts BEFORE age 59 1/2.

I began contributing the full $18,000 into my 403b account in 2013 but then at the beginning of this year, 2016, decided to forgo adding the maximum contribution limit so that I could concentrate building up my dividend investments in my brokerage account.  The reason for my decision to stop maxing out my 403b was because I wanted to be able to access my money before 59 1/2 because my plan is to retire EARLY.

I felt hesitant about ignoring my 403b since contributing to it allows me to pay less taxes.  I actually felt guilty about not taking advantage of this benefit.  But with the recent information I have learned about the Roth Conversion, thanks to fellow bloggers, I think this is a good decision.  And if I decide that I do not like it, I can always change.

Staring at the Future Point Blank

This has also been a beneficial revelation because it has forced me to really think about when I can realistically retire.  In recent months I have been quite burned out so I am more than ready to retire early but retiring now is unrealistic.  However I do have some help!  My brokerage account has now been built up enough to almost pay my monthly bills through its dividend payouts! 🙂  Because of these payouts I now have a money cushion upon which I can rely in case of emergencies.  I believe that these payouts are giving me the flexibility to pursue new methods such as the Roth Conversion Ladder, which, according to Mad Fientist’s analysis, is a good choice since I will save more money through a pre tax account than solely saving in a taxable account.

As of today my portfolio has grown roughly $38,000 since the beginning of the year.  I hope to see these types of returns with my 403b but if I am unhappy with the decision I can always revert to just focusing on dividend investing if I choose.

Target Retirement Age

Since I have been forced to really think about when I want to retire, I have finally come upon an age, which is… 50!  Unfortunately this means that I have to face the fact that I will be 50 someday.  I felt a feeling of dread when I decided upon this age because it is not a pleasant thought; I believe this might be a reason why a lot of people avoid retirement planning because they do not like to face the fact that they will be 50, or 60, someday.

I really do not like thinking about getting older.  I fight it with every fiber of my being, it is not pleasant, and is a hard pill to swallow, but it has to be acknowledged otherwise I cannot plan accordingly.  I think that it would be less painful to plan for retirement if I retired in my 30’s but honestly I did not even like to think about turning 40 when I was 30.  I do not think anyone likes to get older.  Before the age of 40 a person’s assets are in their youth, after the age of 40 a persons assets are in the good choices that they made in their youth.  Through this endeavor I hope to invest in, as I begrudgingly consider, the 50 year old future me.

I originally wanted to retire before 50 because I wanted to spend more time doing the things I like instead of working.  In reality I do not think this would be a good idea.  If I can make more money now, then I think it is wise to do so.  Fortunately, I was able to recently lower my working hours to 32 hours per week, so, in a way, I am now… partially retired! 🙂

I believe that working 40 hours versus 32 will help me feel better, as if life is not being stolen from me, and give me more flexibility.  This is a win-win situation because I will still be making enough income to max out my 403b and also add to my brokerage.

Income Allotment Plans

For the year 2016 I made a goal to add $24,000 to my portfolio annually.  I will not be able to add $24,00 to my brokerage annually and at the same time max out my 403b, especially since I decreased my work hours.  If my calculations are correct I would only be left with $1200 for living expenses for the entire year.  I have added about $19,000 to my portfolio so far this year so I think I will meet my $24,000 goal in 2016 but I still need to add around $14,000 to my 403b. :\  Luckily it is July so I still have time. At this point in time my Roth Conversion plan is a work in progress and we will see how it goes…

These are some pictures I took on a recent trip.  I was checking out some damage from a tornado and the tornado’s path led me to this small town near my city that is known for lots of antique shops but I did not know that it also has a lot of old houses and buildings from the late 1700’s!


















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.



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!














June 1, 2016 Net Worth Update


Hello, June is finally here and with it is warm weather and sunny blue skies. 🙂  I was able to maintain my goal of adding $2000.00 to my brokerage account in May and my net worth rose $4504.46.  Most importantly, my dividends for the month of May totaled $423.04!  It is still hard to believe.  I also found out some very good news.  I am able to transfer dividends from my Roth into my brokerage as long as the amount does not cut into the original amount that I added, which will never happen!  This is good news because I did not factor in my Roth dividends to help pay my monthly bills since I thought I had to wait until age 65 to access them.  But this is not true.  And even more exciting is the fact that my bills, excluding food and gas, total $570.00 per month!

I have also happened upon  my own little mantra where I state “This is part of my early retirement scheme”, whenever I buy a new appliance, attempt adjustments to my work schedule, research new ways to live frugally, or just about any other life decision.  I do this because I am so focused upon retiring early that I have subconsciously developed a “retirement nesting instinct” that guides me in the direction that will be the most likely to feather my nest comfortably.

From this point forward I believe that the more expensive financial decisions that I make will, for the most part, be some of my last since I will be living on a fixed and lower income in partial retirement.  Because of this I am attempting to work hard and purchase what I call “Large Ticket Items”, while I am still working.  A few items I will need to buy before partial or full retirement are a digital camera, dishwasher, refrigerator, window treatments, floor repair,  and hardware for my kitchen.  These items do not seem too unreasonable but they are a big deal to me and I struggle with purchasing them because I would much rather purchase dividend stocks.  But I need to have the items under my belt before retiring.  I speak of retiring somewhat nonchalantly, as though I could retire tomorrow.  I know I only have a very small dividend income stream but my survival instinct is kicking in telling me that I WILL retire soon, it is not even a question any more, I just will, I have to.  My experience has taught me that working for an employer past the age of 40 is a bad idea.  I am 42 and so thankful for my job but the daily grind is more challenging after 40!  My advice to most people would be to  avoid the daily grind after 40 if at all possible.  I am not opposed to working, just working a 9-5 because, being over 40, I fight the physical demands everyday.  I would also much rather spend time at my house.  I have endless tasks to  keep me busy there.

Over the past week I have been purchasing more items than I usual since I do not like to accumulate stuff.  When I retire early I realize I may not have the funds to allow me to travel so I am setting up my townhouse area as nicely as I can in order

to give it a “vacation like” feel.  I am a new homeowner so this is all new to me.  Some of my purchases include a 7.5 foot sky blue patio umbrella, numerous flowers, a bird feeder, and patio lights!  I also gave in and purchased a Roomba 650 which is one of the best decisions that I have made.  The Roomba cost $374 but with a few discounts I paid $320, I hope it lasts me for the rest of my life.

So what do you think?  Am I creating the “vacation like” atmosphere?  🙂  Let me know… have a good day!







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Light at the end of the tunnel.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel.  I recently found out that I will be able to decrease my work hours to 32 hours per week.  This is really good news and could not have occurred at a better time because I was beginning to realize that I may have been experiencing burnout.  I like my field of work but full time was beginning to work against me.

I purchased my townhouse in August of 2015, nine months ago.  It has a small yard that is just large enough for me to manage.  The landscaping is handled by an outside company so I do not have to spend my precious time with its upkeep.

I believe that my decreased work hours will enable me to strike out on some projects that I want to start at the townhouse.  I am looking forward to this because this is the first time that I have owned a property.  For many years I scraped and saved with the goal of saving for a house to purchase in full or by placing a large down payment and taking out a loan.  I knew the latter would be challenging since I never owned a credit card and did not have a credit score.  I applied for a few credit cards to establish credit but was always turned down.

When I landed my new job after graduating from college for the second time in 2002 I was 28 years old and lived in a 350 square foot apartment and slept on an air mattress.  I did not purchase a washer and dryer until I was 36.  I did not have any furniture.  I just worked and saved, worked and saved, and in my free time went outdoors.  The area in which I lived was a beautiful area, full a rolling green hills, fresh air, lots of space, and hillier areas for hiking and biking.  I purchased my first laptop and digital camera during this time. Android phones were not yet on the market.  Everyday was a struggle but I felt great.  I was in my 30’s, I felt healthy and had lots of energy and vitality.  I could also eat whatever I wanted and did not have to be as careful as I am now, in my forties, with every little thing I do.  If I had a bad day I could sleep it off and the next day feel 100% again.  Because I wanted to remember this phase of my life I took numerous pictures of the local and long distance trips I took to the mountains and beaches of North Carolina.  They were my visual memories and I placed a high value on them.

I was not fervently investing during this time period but had been a saver for most of my life.  Five and half years after getting my new job I moved to another city after acquiring another job in the same field.  I was leaving a small college town that I really enjoyed.  It was full of studious college students and nice, friendly locals.  Looking back I think that residing in this upbeat and dynamic area sheltered me from the problems associated with larger cities.

I moved to another city, a small town that was just outside a larger city.   The apartment from which I moved, in the college town, was 350 sq. feet and $350.00  per month rent.  The walls were thin but it was clean and I did not have any trouble while living there.  I moved in January 2008.  The new apartment’s rent payment was the cheapest I could find, $500.00 per month.

For some reason I  did not realize that the new apartment was dirty and grimy until settling in.  I really did not like the new apartment but felt stuck.  Spots could be seen on the carpet and there was unpleasant smell that I have noticed in various apartment complexes..  It was a small town so I assumed it would be like the small college town I left.  This could not be farther from the truth.  I felt uneasy at this place.  People seemed to wander the streets at midday with no direction, they could not have been working because they were wearing sweatpants.  Why weren’t they working?  It quickly dawned on me that this was not like the town from which I moved.  I believe that I experienced culture shock.  And yet I was paying more money to live in a shabbier place.  In order to find a rent payment comparable to my previous rent payment I would have had to qualify for subsidized housing.  But I was determined to save as much money as I could so I decided to stay where I was because a nicer place would have cost $800 to $1000.  At that point in time I had a mattress set so I did not have to sleep on an air mattress but I had little to no furniture, just two bar stools and boxes full of items, and I was 34 years old.  I think my net worth might have been $90,000?

Looking back I can recall how difficult the situation was.  I returned to school in 2001 in order to obtain a higher paying job.  So the furniture that I owned up to that point had to be stored away and eventually given away after I returned to college.  It was pointless for me to try to set up house with insufficient financial earnings. My return to college took place in my late twenties; I still had the vital energy and stamina of one’s twenties to rely upon and it helped to power me through.

So by the time I was 34 I was still trying to set up house but it still eluded me.  The dreadful apartment smell affected my clothes so that I had to be careful how I stored them.  I had to drag them to the laundromat weekly.

One night I returned home and noticed that a hallway closet door was open.  I was alarmed because I never used the closet, most of my items were stored in boxes… a chill ran down my spine and I new something was wrong buy quickly made myself forgot about it.

After settling in for the night I reached for my camera to view pictures from a recent trip to the beach.  “Oh where is my camera,” I wondered.   I kept looking, and looking, and then the chill returned and a very loud and clear voice stated, “You know your camera was stolen, you know that it happened, it was stolen when they broke in!”  I brushed off the voice because there was no way that someone broke into my apartment.  Why would someone ever want to break into my apartment?  I had nothing!  No one ever bothered me.

Scanning my bedroom, I saw my laptop.  I thought, “If they broke in, they would have stolen my laptop, but the laptop is here, so no one broke in!”  But as I searched, with my heart racing and mind screaming,  under my bed, in the kitchen, on the countertops, and in the bathroom, and was still unable to locate my camera, the clear voice rang out, directly at me, announcing, “You know they took it, it is gone!  They took it, your camera is gone!” “They took it!”  “Your camera is gone forever!”  “The pictures you cherish are gone!” “Can you believe they did it?”  “Aren’t you mad?”  I was furious but contained myself because I was afraid I would lose control which would be futile.   It continued:  “This is the reason why your closet door was open, they were in here just before you returned home, they were looking for things to steal!”  “You just missed them, it is true!”   This was a direct voice that I had heard deep in my gut and was impossible to ignore.

Somehow I managed to get to sleep that night.  As the days wore on I never recovered my camera but managed to talk myself out of the belief that someone burglarized my apartment.  I could not grasp this possibility and decided to ignore it, unable to accept the fact that someone could have broke in.  Besides, my laptop was not stolen.  I came to the conclusion that I accidentally threw the camera away.

One night, several weeks after my camera went missing, I  woke up from a startling dream.  I was in my apartment and heard people moving towards me.  I knew they were dangerous.  The group was in single file and they had a leader.  When the group reached me the leader of the group grabbed me and then reached down and took out a very long and shiny knife, I could see the knife and knew what was coming, he then stuck it right into my side.  I could feel the emotional effects of this event, I was really hurt, something was taken from me, I was pierced.  I woke up immediately and still had the leader’s general appearance fresh in my mind and remember it to this day.

The Trouble that Others Cause

I woke up one day early before work.  I had to do laundry.  I still did not own a washer and dryer so I had to make a trip to the laundromat.  As I left my apartment I noticed several of my neighbors outside.  It was Friday and they seemed to be looking forward to the weekend, they were being loud.

I finished my laundry early so I was able to go jogging before getting ready for work.  I took my laundry home and got ready to go to the park.  I would try to jog before work as much as possible.  It was a nice day in September.  I jogged for about thirty minutes and returned home to get ready for work. My neighbors were gone and it was very silent when I returned from the park.  As soon as I stepped into my apartment I noticed that my kitchen’s ceiling light was turned on.  At that moment I knew something was wrong because I never turn the kitchen light on, it is a fluorescent light and I do not like the light it produces.  Some of my kitchen cabinets were open as well.  I had a very bad feeling. I ran to my bedroom and saw that my laptop was gone.  My heart was racing and it was undoubtedly true this time, someone had just broke into my apartment, it occurred while I was at the park.  I was certain this time, they took everything, I had a jar of coins on my kitchen counter, they were gone, and my flute was gone.  They took almost everything I had, it was not much, but it was all gone.

I called the police.  The officer seemed to think they climbed up a tree and got through my patio window.  He also suspected my neighbors, the loud ones, because he “knew” them.  I was so angry but most of all pierced with grief because my computer laden with pictures  from the past five years that I treasured were gone.  They just took them.  I was so angry I felt sick.  I ran outside but it was eerily quiet, everyone was gone.  They broke into my apartment that day after seeing me leave for the park and took my most valued possession.

Here I was slaving at work, day after day, minding my own business.  I had goals and stuck to them, not deterred, looking straight ahead, focused upon the goal and little else.  I was determined to purchase a house.  But I realized there are other forces at work in the world.  These people do not work but they are predators who sit, at home, watching.  They watch their neighbors especially, since they are nearby and easily accessible.  They saw me leave everyday and return and I am certain they learned my patterns and decided to steal everything I owned.  Looking back I remember times, when I returned from work, where I would see my neighbor open her door when I reached the stairs to go to my apartment.  She would open her door, look at me, and then slam her door shut.  I think she was watching me.  I know she was and I think I must have somehow sensed it.  I also recall the dream that I had of being stabbed, I felt, after being burglarized the second time, that I had been stabbed, I was pierced with pain and grief from the loss.  After it all happened I realized that the leader of the group resembled my neighbor’s boyfriend who I saw outside being very loud on that Friday.  I am certain that he climbed up my side tree and got through my patio door as the officer suggested, using a backpack to collect items.  The coincidences kept adding up, one day I passed by me neighbors apartment and saw a full backpack on her patio…

I believe I was in the wrong place at the wrong time.  These “neighbors” moved in shortly after I moved in.  If they were not there I think I would have been left alone. After all of this happened I began to piece together the things that happened to me after I moved into that apartment. I have no explanation for it other than that something was trying to tell me something. In my case it seems to try to tell me through vivid dreams that leave deep impressions.

One day, soon after I moved in, I awoke from a dream. In the dream I woke up but was actually still dreaming. I woke up and walked to my kitchen and living area, in this area was also the patio door. Looking at the patio door I saw someone with a beard looking at me through the patio door. He did not break in but was standing on my patio with the left side of his face looking at me through the glass. He had a dark beard and I remember the way his face appeared through the glass, with the left eye peering at me. I woke up from this dream rather startled and walked to my door. My dream was very vivid, appearing just as it did in waking life. I eventually calmed down from that dream, but was surprisingly shook up with my heart racing. This occurred before the burglars moved in.

So I was piecing together these odd occurrences that happened to me. The last episode that I reflected upon occurred at the park where I often jogged. This was not a dream but happened in real life. I went jogging one day before work, shortly before they broke in. After jogging I sat down to stretch and heard someone pull up in a truck and park behind my car, I was seated in the grass next to my car. It was a spacious park so the driver had numerous areas in which to park, it was early in the day and was not crowded and I wondered why he parked next to me. I am not a paranoid person, seeing trouble lurking in every corner, but even I was annoyed that someone would park that close to me without even leaving his car, he just sat inside. I was trying to stretch but was a little freaked out by this apparent lurker. So after about twenty minutes I decided to leave. I got in my car and left. As I left, the driver of the truck started his car too!  I was very aggravated by that he decided to leave when I left. The park’s road had a loop and I drove clockwise around the loop. The driver of the truck drove opposite of me and as I neared the park’s exit the driver of the truck met up with me and got in front of me. This was very strange. But as I drove behind the truck, my eyes noted the driver’s side mirror, I could see the driver’s reflection in the mirror, I could see the left side of his face, he had a black beard and dark hair and I could see his left eye…

Not to sound like I am sensationalizing my experience in that town, but I believe I was being watched, and I also believe there was some sort of criminal activity going on there. Relatives of mine who visited the area even said they thought the small town was strange. I believe that my neighbors had been watching me and I believe they were working with other like minded individuals in the area. I also believe I was being watched in the park that day and that the dream I had where the man was standing on my patio was a forewarning of what was to come. As the truck drove in front of me out of the park that day, he pulled into an apartment complex area that I looked into moving to but decided against it because of the bad vibe I picked up from it. I spoke to the manager of the complex and experienced a sinking feeling after speaking with him. I knew it was a bad area, the vibe I got from this experience made me wonder if I would have cameras planted in my apartment. It was very strange. I think there were very shady things going on there, everything came full circle.

Two months after they broke in I moved out of there, strangely enough the burglars moved out about a month before I did! I found a place near one of my friends with comparable rent. The dreams ceased. The odd thing about the 1.75 years that I spent at that apartment was the noticeable succession of dreams I dreamt with so many connections to other dreams and real life experiences. I still experience very vivid dreams today but have never experienced them with a woven purpose like I did during 2008-2009. Nowadays I am more aware of my surroundings and try to keep valuables limited since I know that they can be quickly stolen. I also really miss my pictures and memories I cherished from a decade ago but have moved on and am happy to have achieved my goal of purchasing a house.







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“Life just goes by, it cannot be bought.”

Little by little, bit by bit I flit and flutter through each day.  Time flies so fast, it actually screams by and my thoughts go just as fast…  each day it goes by faster and faster, I can’t catch my breath!  The speed blurs my vision and reasoning- I am caught in a whirlwind, maybe I am in a whirlwind?  Some days I just want the raging speed to stop!

I discovered dividend investing in 2015 and decided to focus on this method of investing as my primary method of investing.  I liked this method because it provides immediate access to funds because they are not locked into a retirement account.  As I have grown older I am beginning to question why we have been told that we have to save for 40 years and then retire.   Should “retire” even be in our vocabulary?  Should we even take it for granted that we should work until 65?   We all have heard of someone who passed just after reaching retirement, and I know of someone personally to whom this happened.

The person I am today is not the 32 year old I was ten years ago.  Oh I loved my thirties!  The forties are cruel, I do not bounce back, physically, like I once did, my cells do not regenerate like they once did, my sleep is not as sweet, my bravery not as bold,  and sense of adventure as robust.   I wanted to climb mountains but now I am tired, and a little more slow… the wear and tear of the years is catching up with me physically but I am startled to realize it is also catching up with me mentally,  dulling my senses and my zest for life as it bears down on me day by day, screaming at me as it charges by. I cannot imagine my 50’s, another ten years, and then my 60’s?  Will I be a burnt out empty shell by then?  A numb figure with no interests or heart?

I found this quote on a financial bloggers website, the name of the website is ” I’m Trying D-mm-t”.  The quote is noted as being from the president  of Uruguay.  It says:

“Either you’re very happy with little without overburdening yourself because you have happiness inside, or you’ll get nowhere. I am not advocating poverty.  I am advocating sobriety… When I buy something, or when you buy it, we’re not paying with money. We’re paying with the time from our lives we had to spend to earn that money. The difference is that you can’t buy life. Life just goes by. And it’s terrible to waste your life losing your freedom.”

The main point that I take away from this quote is that money represents the time taken from ones life.

Earned Money = Time from one’s life

Life = Cannot be bought, it just goes by

So life cannot be bought, it just goes by but earning money actually takes away one’s life, to a degree, so that the only thing that person knows is earning money, there is no life left.

At least this is my understanding to which I can relate.  Is it worth it?  Earning money just to be earning money, spending your life and losing your freedom?

I hope to see my net worth climb because I am aiming to save $500,000 in my taxable account for the passive cash flow it will provide.  I could probably obtain this if I worked as I am now for the next 10-15 years.  But to work that long?   I will be 57 years old by that time and who knows if I will make it to that age?

Time is becoming more precious to me than money.  I think that I can say this because I am fortunate to have no debts, not even a mortgage, because I bought my townhouse with cash.  At the present time my current bills are approximately $570 per month excluding food and gas.  Looking at my dividend income, one can see that I actually earned $458.80 for the month of March.  This amount almost covers my bills and this is only my second year of tracking!  I do not feel as far behind as I thought and I am nowhere near $500,000.  Maybe I have already arrived and don’t even know it.  I could still support myself even if I reduced my hours, and still have some cash left over, and I would not even have to use my dividends.  This change would change my life, I would be able to do more of the things I love.  I have always had a zest for life and numerous interests and believe that I must protect this quality just as I would my health as a consequence of growing older.

This decision will slow my efforts towards growing my investments.  But, at 42 years old, I believe it is the best decision for me in my present circumstances.  Hopefully I will discover new ways of earning income, ways that I will be able to maintain for life.  But I want  to delve into the things I like, such as, gardening, seeds, photography, writing, fruits and vegetables, juicing, soap, homesteading, bike riding, travel… I have to try this and I feel that I have a good opportunity.  The question is, how much of my life do I want to trade for money?

Thanks for stopping by, peace.















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May 1, 2016 Net Worth Update


It is May 1, 2016 and my net worth rose $6426.77. That is good news. I recently began tracking my net worth monthly and post the updates here.  I began this blog in April 2015 after discovering dividend investing.  I find it interesting to review the weekly, monthly, and now, yearly changes. I am glad that I started the blog.  One reason for this is because I have never kept a budget so the blog’s maintenance forces me to watch the changes in my accounts more closely.  I think it also helps me to spend less because the monthly tracking allows me to see the effects of diligent investing and spurs me on to invest even more.   Seeing the progress firsthand has made me reluctant to spend.  For instance, I received a small bonus that I have not yet cashed out.  I considered purchasing a Roomba or Canon 70d camera, two items that I have wanted for a couple of months.  The amount of the bonus would cover the cost of one of the items  but after going over my net worth changes this weekend I decided to place the money into my brokerage account.

At this present time I have decided to funnel the extra money I  earn into my brokerage, the brokerage gets it all.  I am determined to finish this race and hope to do so early by receiving monthly dividend payouts that cover my expenses, forming a mini pension.  At the beginning of 2016 I assumed I would add the yearly contribution limit to my Roth and 403b but ended up being slowly pulled towards placing all of  my extra dollars into the brokerage account.  Jason from the old Dividend Mantra site mentioned this tactic several times on his blog and I have slowly grown to see the logic in that reasoning.

Another interesting occurrence that I noticed with my accounts is that I have been spending a lot on food.  I do not spend much.  Like I said, I am determined to make it so I spend very frugally, paying my monthly bills and funneling the remaining cash into my brokerage.  I made it a goal, and have succeeded for the past couple of months, to add $2000.00 per month into my taxable account.  I was happy to have achieved this goal however I was shocked to see that my last credit card balance was $500.00 with the majority of the dollars spent at the grocery store.  I rarely eat out so  I am not spending at restaurants.  I am thinking at least $200.00 of the $500.00 could have been salvaged and placed into my portfolio.  I know that this bill represents the “stress food” that I buy when returning home from work.  I am too tired to make anything substantial and end up buying bits and pieces from the grocer night after night.  This behavior adds up.  But what can I do, I am exhausted from working and making a large meal to last for several days has become too taxing.  I usually make small meals.  Because of my burnout I am attempting to lessen my hours, working maybe 3-4 days per week.  I think this would help me tremendously, it might even change my life!  I hope to have some news about this by next month.

Thanks for stopping by, peace.