Weekend Reading – September 17, 2011

Another week is behind us, and I sit here enjoying the fruits of my labor: a hard-earned restful Saturday afternoon. Seeing how retiring extremely early is my foremost personal finance goal, I am anxious for the time when every day is Saturday!

It was an interesting week. I’m not really into astrology, and very rarely look into the monthly horoscopes. However, at work, someone pressed me to read the September zodiac report as they felt it was supremely accurate. I am republishing this snippet exactly as it was printed in Style, a local magazine here in Sarasota. The horoscope was provided by an astrologer named Brian A. Hill, and you can view this report and more at  his website. I’m a Taurus, as I was born May 12, 1982. My horoscope for September is as follows:

“Taurus is the money sign of the zodiac. The Bull understands value more than any other sign.  This month these traits will enable you to squeeze a nickel and get six pennies. In every situation adhere to your budget, negotiate the best deal and choose the optimum value to quality ratio. In these economic times by trusting you skills, talents and abilities you will get the extra penny out of your nickel. That might not sound like much but realize that is a 20% return on your investment. Have you looked at the current yields on certificate of deposits?”
Pretty interesting stuff! I’ve earned a “reputation” of sorts at work. When people see me getting off the bus in the morning, and ramen noodles are consistently my lunch du jour, the word frugal (or cheap, to my dismay) is often used to describe me. When a co-worker read this article, he thought it was very funny. I hope everyone else has a horoscope as accurate!

Here are some excellent articles from fellow dividend growth investors, frugalists and personal finance bloggers from the past week.

J.M. Smucker’s (SJM) Dividend Stock Analysis
Dividend Monk provides an excellent analysis on J.M. Smucker’s. The quality here is, as always, superb. He concludes that it is a bit rich in valuation right now, and I would agree. I haven’t really looked at this company before, but it is on my watch list now for a potential future purchase when the price provides a better margin of safety. 

My 7 Links Project
The Dividend Guy participates in the 7 Links Project and put together a great list of articles. My personal favorite is the 15 Things I Look at Before Trading a Stock article he wrote a while back, as I think it’s pretty comprehensive. There’s some pretty good articles here, check them out.

Are Jobs Obsolete?
Douglas Rushkoff, a media theorist and author, asks the question: are jobs obsolete? The article questions whether our economy based around paid employment has run its course and presents a new model based around peer to peer service exchanges. Very interesting article and worth the read.

Forums and Blogs: Your Connnection to Like-Minded Frugal Folks
Frugal Dad brings up an excellent point about the internet age: like-minded people can now connect in ways that were never possible a couple decades ago. This provides a lot of reinforcement and shared access to ideas for investors and frugalists. This is an excellent time in history to be me! Thanks Frugal Dad for featuring my blog in the article. Much appreciated!

My favourite international equity ETFs
My Own Advisor highlights some of his favorite international equity ETF products. This is a superb resource for any truly passive investors out there that have some of their portfolios in ETFs. This is a really detailed article that clearly took a lot of time to produce. Great stuff!

20 Non-Financial Common Stocks Yielding Over 4%
The Dividend Pig published an article over at Seeking Alpha highlighting 20 non-financial stocks that have a yield of over 4%. My personal favorite on this list is Intel (INTC).

Investing Strategy with Transfer Agents
The Passive Income Earner discusses his strategy of investing with transfer agents. Really interesting stuff, and seems to be a good strategy for investing with small amounts of money.

Is A Recession Imminent?
The Wealthy Canadian asks readers if a recession is imminent. The poll was revealed a positive attitude, but I wonder if we ever really exited the Great Recession. Economists discuss the threat of a double-dip, but I think we have been in an economic haze for quite a while now…and I believe it’s going to continue for quite a while. I think things will likely get worse before they get better, but this fear and uncertainty provides opportunity. As I wrote earlier, it’s a great time to be me!

Gresham’s law of content, tipping content providers, and providing a better compensation model for the internet
Jacob wrote a fairly lengthy article (like the title) on the notion of changing the compensation model for the internet. This seems to be specifically aimed at blogs, and is very thought provoking. Apparently Jacob isn’t alone on this one, as there are a few services out there like TipTheWeb that have already cropped up. This article was in reference to the Douglas Rushkoff post. Very interesting ideas here.

Dividend Stocks offer stability amidst market volatility
DGI provides yet another reason why investing in dividend growth stocks is so wonderful: stability. During all the recent volatility in the markets we can see that a large list of major blue chip dividend stocks kept the boat from rocking. My portfolio certainly appreciates this stability!

August 2011 Pocket Change Portfolio Performance Update
D4L updates us on his PCP performance. As I’ve said before, I’m a bit jealous that his pocket change is producing more income than my only portfolio…but I just started. You can see his most recent purchases here, with some interesting choices. Keep up the fantastic work!

What Happened to the Income Trusts? Part -1
Dividend Ninja discusses the fall of the income trust corporate structure in Canada and what this means for investors. Some of these yields during the income trust heyday were absolutely huge. Read this article so you know what to do now.

Thanks for reading.


  1. says

    Don’t let your coworkers get you down; I’ve found that people who make fun of others for being smart with money (or “cheap” to them) are often envious of your lack of the need to spend endlessly.

    FWIW, I’m a Taurus as well.

  2. says

    Big J,

    I don’t let them get me down at all. I’m a proud champion of personal finance!

    So, you’re a Taurus as well? Good stuff. I guess it’s good being the money sign of the zodiac!

    Thanks for the encouragement. I appreciate it!

  3. Oculista says

    What can I say? I am also a Taurus. I was aware of the characteristics of our zodiac sign long ago. Our legendary patience mixed with our innate understanding of value make us formidable long term investors. I hope you agree with me 😉

    Have a nice weekend

  4. Scott says

    I too am a Taurus. I attribute my frugality to my Scottish ancestry. It’s in my DNA. Thanks for the links to the great articles.

  5. says


    I have to admit I wasn’t aware of the characteristics until now. I never really took the time to look into it.

    After knowing all this, it almost seems fateful! :)

    It sounds like, as a fellow Taurus, you also understand value and I hope this serves you well!

    It’s really great to see fellow Taurus investors!

    Take care. Hope you’re enjoying your weekend.

  6. says


    It’s a Taurus bonanza! :)

    So Scots are known for frugality? I was not aware of that! That’s really interesting and great.

    So you have frugality in your blood due to your ancestry, and you also have an understanding of value and patience due to your zodiac sign. It sounds like you are hard wired for success!

    Best of luck. Thanks for commenting!

  7. says

    Wow man I feel left out as a Virgo… but this is a great post, I’m glad you had fun with it :)

    On another note Mantra, I need to give you a slap on the hand! Ramon Noodels are not a nutrituous healthy lunch, and your body needs good food. You want to be both healthy and rich, right? You need protein for lunch, fruits and vegetables. You can eat healthy and cheap as well you know! You just have to take time to make your lunch the day before :)

    Also thanks for the mention! I really appreciate it. My mantra these days is “high yield = high risk”, but people still invest in high yield stocks and wonder what goes wrong when they crash. LOL

    Enjoy what’s left of your weekend!

    The Dividend Ninja

  8. says


    Don’t feel left out. I didn’t know anything about this stuff until a few days ago. :)

    Yeah, I know the ramen noodles aren’t the healthiest lunch around. If you would have told me 10 years ago when I was competitively bodybuilding that I’d be eating ramen noodles I’d tell you that you’re crazy. There has to be a balance, and ramen is not the solution long-term, but they’re just so darn cheap it’s hard to pass up! Plus, they don’t taste too bad. The secret is using only a fraction of the seasoning salt they come with. This way, your sodium intake isn’t too high.

    I hear you on your mantra. More often than not, high yield will equal high risk. I prefer to keep my risk profile to a minimum.

    I’m enjoying what’s left. I’m watching the Sunday night football game between Philadelphia and Atlanta.

    Take care!

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