Saturday, December 3, 2011
Weekend Reading - December 3, 2011
The holiday season is in full swing now and I'm excited. I really love the holiday season. It seems that everyone gets a little bit perked up, and I really enjoy spending time with family and friends and remembering why life is worth living. For someone as frugal as I am, the holiday season always presents a challenge between giving gifts but still trying to remain financially vigilant. But, to me it's not about gifts and exchanging gift cards. I'm excited because later this month I'll be flying home to Michigan to see family and reconnect with everyone. Good stuff.
On another note, something really big in the frugal living/retiring early world happened very recently. Jacob over at Early Retirement Extreme, gasp, decided that it was time to get a jobby job. A J-O-B. I can only say that although I'm a bit surprised, I'm excited for him and congratulate him on this new opportunity. Some people may in the end consider Jacob a sell out, but someone as obviously talented and intelligent as Jacob is needed a new opportunity to challenge and excite him. What do you think? If you attained financial independence at an early age, do you think you would find after a couple years that you needed a new challenge? There are some people who think he should have used his resources and intelligence to take on problems like energy/food/water shortages instead of using his talents in the world of high finance, but it's his life to live.
I will just say that Jacob has inspired me to start my own journey to early retirement and financial independence. I think achieving early retirement is less about being lazy and weaseling out of working, and more about getting away from some of the negativity and stress that comes with many forms of employment. I think it ultimately comes down to choice and freedom. Jacob embodies this freedom, as he now chooses to go into a field he finds interesting and challenging. This is a good example of the downside of early retirement. If it doesn't suit you, or if you get bored...you can always get another job.
Here are some excellent articles from fellow dividend growth investors, frugalists and personal finance bloggers from the past week.
So long and thanks for all the fish
Jacob gives us his swan song and passed the early retirement torch. He has decided to engage in paid employment and he gave a long list of reasons he has chosen to do so. This doesn't invalidate early retirement, but rather reinforces that it gives you flexibility and freedom to do what you want to do. At this moment, Jacob wants to be employed in high finance. Maybe in 5 years he'll want to be a fisherman. Who knows. All I do know is that I wish him the best and I thank him for all the inspiration he's provided me since I discovered his blog and forums.
The Opportunity of a Decade – Looking Up For 2012
The Dividend Guy provided us with many reasons as to why the stock investor may be king in 2012. I tend to agree here, as I'm a bullish optimist on the long-term wealth-building power of the stock market. I'm actually hoping for a flat market for the next decade or so, as my reinvested dividends and fresh capital buys me more shares for my money. I doubt that's going to happen as the last 10 years have basically become a "lost decade", but one can hope!
My Favourite Takeaways – Millionaire Teacher and FREE book giveaway (Part 2)
My Own Advisor discusses some of his favorite parts of Andrew Hallam's new book: Millionaire Teacher. I liked the rules discussed, and I feel they are timeless. Stay vigilant, stay invested, spend a lot less than you earn and don't take on debt. Simple rules, but hard to follow. I'm doing my best to follow them all!
How to Build a Retirement Dividend Portfolio with only $1000/month
DGI discusses how to start building a dividend portfolio geared for retirement with just $1,000 a month. Although "just $1,000 a month" is a lot of money, if you follow my blog and start cutting out unnecessary expenses it quickly become an easy number to attain. I'm personally trying to invest more than twice that amount every month, and I'm on a pretty modest income.
Dividend Increases: GGG, WFC, DAKT, WEC
DSO discusses some recent dividend increases, and one prominent company (WFC) that wants to increase dividends. If I was to buy a bank today, WFC would be one of the very few I would be interested in. What about you? Buying any banks?
9 Low-Risk, High-Yielding Dividend Stocks
D4L provides us a list of 9 stocks that have low risk and a high yield. I like some of the picks here, but I'm not real sure about CINF. I think that pick is at least at risk of a static dividend, if not a possible dividend cut due to the high payout ratios. Some of the utilities, as well as KMB, look interesting here. I was looking at NUE for a possible purchase, but it has absolutely skyrocketed over the last week. It's up over 13% over the past week!
December Starts With Dividend Payments
Dividends For The Long Run discusses his recent dividend payments, and the three companies in question: Aflac (AFL), ConocoPhillips (COP), Intel (INTC) all recently paid me as well! It feels great to collect those dividends!
Thanks for reading.