I’ll Be Back

I’ll be back…very soon!

Thanks everyone for the wonderful comments that you readers left when I decided to take a break from this blog, but very soon….I’ll be back!

After taking a break from blogging here on Dividend Mantra, I have found that I miss the mutual inspiration, the wonderful comments that readers leave and the general camaraderie in the dividend growth investing community. I miss being a part of all of that and so within the next 4-6 weeks you can expect content to be up and running here on this blog and I’ll be posting just like I was before.

I have also found that although I consider myself a fairly prodigal saver, my budgeting has not been nearly as crisp as it was when I was publicizing it for the world to see. It’s a lot easier to drop a few dollars here and there on trivial items and not track it as closely when nobody is there to keep you honest about it. I also experienced a drop in income over the summer months due to the seasonal nature of my work. The summer has been slow and so you combine a drop in income with a rise in expenses and you don’t have to be a math scholar to know that my savings rates have been fairly abysmal over the last few months. I’ll make these numbers public when I’m back online and it won’t be pretty. However, for better or worse I’ve been completely transparent and honest since I started this blog because not only do I want everyone to know that you don’t have to pull down 6-figure incomes to retire early, but I also want to be able to look back on every decision and remember exactly what I was thinking at that time.

I have been a little light on the investment front as well. A drop in available investment capital (due to the lower savings rate) and the rise in overall stock valuations has left me in a precarious spot that I no longer want to be in. While I’ve added to a couple positions, my investments have been much smaller. I find that troubling and I’m anxious to get back on track.

I basically “took the summer off”. It was an extended Ferris Bueller moment for me, but I’m ready to get back to doing what I do best. I have spent a little more money on things than I should have, like updating my wardrobe, food, air travel and entertainment. While it’s okay to take some time away from frugality and investing, I found that these moments have only re-energized me and allowed me even greater focus on my objectives. It’s when realizing that spending more money brings you no more happiness that you truly find the disconnect between spending and happiness levels.

I’m now more dedicated than ever to the plan and am really looking forward to reaching my goals and having a wonderful community follow along with me while you readers reach your goals as well.

I have so many wonderful ideas in my head right now and plan on starting a few articles here and there before I start posting full time in the beginning of September. I took some time off from blogging and saving when I felt a little burnt out…a little isolated from the rest of society. Sometimes riding the bus while everyone is looking at you strangely can eat away at you a little bit, even if you’re not acutely aware of it right away. After re-entering “normal society” over the last few months and spending like a normal person even while my income was reduced I realized that I’m not the crazy one at all. Society in general can be a little crazy. Why would you want to spend all your money to own “things” when you don’t even own your own time? It makes no sense to me. While before I was writing articles on Dividend Mantra and had a general idea of what I wanted and how I was going to get there I now feel like Neo at the end of “The Matrix”. I feel that I can now see the world differently…knowing that in a few years from now I’ll have the choice of how I want to spend all of my time. I’ll own my time 100%, and once I own it nobody can take it away from me.

I look forward to interacting with everyone again!

Thanks for reading.

Photo Credit: Terminator Wikia

Comments

  1. Dienekes says

    Welcome back! I have also lapsed a bit this summer so I can definitely relate. I think you have a nice differentiated blog that combines two things I really enjoy thinking about: dividend investing and frugality. Look forward to your upcoming posts.

    • says

      Dienkes,

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

      I’m glad you find the blog different and refreshing. I always wanted this blog to be really different from anything out there, with the personal and honest nature of it being the driving force behind that.

      Looking forward to posting again.

      Best wishes!

  2. Anonymous says

    Hope springs eternal. I’ve been checking back, and REWARD. Hope you’ve enjoyed the break on some level!

    • says

      Anonymous,

      Hope definitely springs eternal, and I’m glad to see you’ve been checking back. That’s a kind compliment!

      I enjoyed the break, and the time off from frugal living/investing/blogging has only increased my focus and for that the break was priceless.

      Stay in touch.

    • says

      jason,

      Thanks for the welcome. I missed the blog too. Writing is nice, but the community is much sweeter.

      I’m looking forward to success and seeing everyone else succeed as well.

      Best wishes.

  3. says

    Sweet, dude!

    You have been missed.

    You might consider SYY, KMR, and MCD as purchases currently…

    Great to see you back in action…Your blog was a big component to my investing jollies. I look forward to reading more of your metrics and adventures.

    Much respect,

    Joe

    • says

      Joe,

      Thanks. I missed staying in touch!

      Great minds think alike. SYY and MCD are both high on my list right now. SYY is a bit concerning regarding margins and FCF, but the value is there. I was just commenting on another blog about SYY being one of the stronger value plays available right now. MCD is also solid at these levels.

      Hopefully everything is going well for you and I hope you’re enjoying your adventures in frugality.

      Take care!

    • says

      Ujjwala,

      Thanks for the kind welcome back. You readers have been missed as well.

      Not much of an “escapade” to speak of, but certainly adventures back into what I consider “normal society” and I’m glad the foray was limited in scope and time.

      I’m anxious to get back to writing.

      Best wishes.

  4. Linda says

    I don’t think I’ve ever commented on your blog before, but I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed it before and I kept checking back to see if you had posted something new. I’m glad you’ll be back!

    • says

      Linda,

      Thanks for dropping by and posting your first comment. It’s very much appreciated.

      Keep checking back as I plan to start posting regularly again very soon. I hope you enjoy it as much as you enjoyed it before.

      Stay in touch.

  5. says

    For a while I wasn’t sure this was going to happen. I checked out the site everyday and it finally came to fruition.

    It is really good to have you back as I have missed your unique opinion on some matters as well as learning from you.

    • says

      Poor Student,

      You know…for a while I didn’t know if I’d ever come back myself. This blog, while time consuming, is intimately rewarding in a way that I find unique and wonderful. I really miss it.

      I find the lessons learned are very much mutual. I put my opinions and decisions out there for the world to critique and I only hope to do the best I can…but I really learn from all the extremely intelligent people that stop by and compare notes.

      It’ll be good to have that again.

      Take care!

  6. says

    It’s good to see you’re coming back — I’ve missed reading your blog.

    Your point about your budgeting not being as crisp as when you were publicizing it resonated with me. Even though I just post my monthly savings on my blog (rather than a detailed breakdown of income/expenses), doing that has made me more attuned to how much I’m spending versus saving.

    Things have been light on the investment front for me, too. As I mentioned on my blog, I don’t see much in the way of attractive buying opportunities in the market right now. It does make me a bit anxious (I want to put my money to work), but I am getting better at recognizing the need to be patient and wait for suitable opportunities to appear. It also seems as though there has been a general summer slowdown in the stock market (low volume) and the investing community (less activity).

    I look forward to your future posts!

    • says

      Deedubs,

      Thanks for stopping by. You’re running an excellent blog yourself and I’m glad you’re sticking with it!

      Yes, budgeting and controlling expenses is much easier when you know you have to face like-minded people who are going to wag their fingers at you if you make a purchase you know in your heart you shouldn’t. It’s basically a friendly reminder that is really nice to have.

      I’ve noticed a bit of a slowdown on the investment front as well, especially the low volumes and flat daily markets. It’s certainly refreshing after the roller coaster rides that were a constant presence late last year and early this year. I suppose I haven’t missed too much there, especially considering the lack of overall value..but I could have a much bigger war chest of cash at my disposal had I made better decisions throughout the summer. I look at it as a small speed bump on my way to financial independence and a lesson well learned.

      I look forward to keeping in touch!

      Best wishes.

    • says

      Matt,

      Thanks for stopping by! Although I took a break from writing, I continued to stop by your blog daily. Really well run and an invaluable resource for the community.

      Looking forward to your future posts as well.

      Take care!

  7. says

    glad the break worked out for you and you’re ready to return.

    I’m in the midst of my own travel/summer vacation from blogging, but some ideas are percolating….

  8. says

    Hey DM,

    Welcome back. While you’ve been away I’ve been actively saving about 55-60% of my after tax income or saving about $1800 per month. The value of my portfolio is now over $40k. I am beginning to feel the power of dividends. However, I could see how you can justify taking a little break. The great news is that if you take a 2-3 month hiatus and spend like a normal American, your garden is still producing little fruits. Getting back to aggressive investing should take less effort overtime.

    Personally, I want to keep at it until I reach about $100k and then take a half year off as a reward. Then jump right back into it. For example, I really want to buy a nice long distance bike but they retail for $2-3k. This will be my treat once I reach the $100k mark.

    Glad that you are back!

    • says

      $25000 dividends,

      Congratulations on doing a great job this summer. Saving 60% of your net income is phenomenal and very difficult to do. I know first hand. I agree with you on the garden still growing fruit. Even though I was investing much less it was very refreshing and encouraging to check in my Scottrade account and seeing the rising cash balance from dividends. Nice to know my investments have my back!

      I think celebrating the $100k mark with something that you would really cherish like a road bike would be awesome. Not only is it something you are really striving for, but it could also serve as cheap transportation. Nice!

      Keep in touch!

    • says

      Henry,

      Glad to see you still stopping by!

      I hope to continue to post great content as well. I just write from the heart and that’s what you see. Hopefully it works out.

      Keep in touch!

  9. Anonymous says

    Hey DM,

    This is awesome news!

    I always enjoy your honesty on here… it’s really refreshing. Anyways, I just sent you an email with an idea… can you let me know on here if you don’t get it (and where I should send it)? Thanks dood, and again, I’m thrilled you’re back and more focused than ever!

    -Greg Patrick

    • says

      Greg,

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I also appreciate the email. I wrote back. I apologize that I never received your first email.

      Thanks for the support and kind words.

      Best wishes!

  10. says

    Hello DM,

    I am glad that you took some time off for yourself. At the same time, I am glad to read that you will resume posting. I looked forward to reading your monthly dividend income updates and purchasing decisions; I do a similar sort of thing on my website.

    In short, all the best and welcome back!

    -Samir

    • says

      Samir,

      Thanks for stopping by.

      Did you use to run Dividend Fool? Your website (spicemind) looks a lot like Fool. I see that Dividend Fool went down some time ago, did you move it over to this new site? If so, I’m sorry and was unaware and will change my blog roll link.

      If I’m mistaken on all this, I apologize. Either way, thanks for the support and stay in touch.

      Take care!

    • says

      Hi DM,

      You are correct! I switched over to the new name about two months back. You are the first one to notice the change…excellent!

      I have kept much of the content from the old site, but since I also wanted to post about topics other than dividends and investing, I switched to a more neutral site name.

      We’ll definitely stay in touch…I used to check your site every so often in the hopes that you would resume posting. If you wish long enough for something, sometimes wishes become reality!

      Talk to you soon!

      -Samir

    • says

      Samir,

      I thought so! I’m glad you’re still up and running. I’ll change my blog roll link. It’s good to see you’re growing your portfolio so steadily. Awesome stuff.

      I can understand changing the name of the site if you’re going to write about many different topics…makes sense to me.

      Thanks again for the kind comments. We’ll definitely stay in touch!

      Best wishes.

  11. Taylor says

    So glad to hear you’re coming back. I feel as if I’ve been sitting on the sidelines, as well. From Feb – May I was seeding 1-2 full positions each month. Haven’t bought any stock since June. Good news is that I’m still receiving dividends on the positions I’m in :) Looking to build my cash position for another month or so and then get back into it!

    Looking forward to your next post!

    Taylor

    • says

      Taylor,

      I’m in the same position as you, albeit for lack of budgeting and good decision making. The expensive stock market had less to do with my lack of purchasing, but as I build my cash position back up I plan on deploying.

      The article I just wrote echoes some of the sentiment you describe above. Value is out there, it’s just harder to find.

      As you experienced, I also express gratitude for the companies I own to continue paying out dividends and growing my garden while the gardener lacks attendance.

      Take care!

  12. says

    I enjoyed this post a lot. Just a guy being honest with himself and the readers. Your honesty is what makes this blog great IMO. I don’t see a problem taking a break every once in a while. The dividends still keep rolling in while you re-energize.

    Glad to have you back. Hopefully I’ll get to witness the day you have enough passive income to retire!

    • says

      CI,

      Thanks man, I appreciate the kind words. For better or worse, I’ve been honest and I’m glad people appreciate that!

      I’ve definitely been re-energized and I’m more dedicated than ever. It feels great.

      I hope to witness that day as well. I’m going to give it 110% and we’ll see where the chips land.

      Best wishes!

  13. says

    DM,
    You are a truly inspirational blogger. I just checked back here randomly and am SO happy to see you’re blogging again! I can’t wait to read your new posts, thanks for blogging again! I truly look forward to reading your blog each day.
    Best,
    Ian

    • says

      PPC Ian,

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

      I do remember our email conversations and I truly appreciate you dropping the kind words my way.

      I’m glad you enjoy the blog. Inspiration is, and always will be, the main reason I spend so much time here.

      Best wishes!

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