This time of year is just wonderful, isn’t it? The birds are chirping, and the weather is finally warming. Well, down here in Florida it’s always warm, but you get my drift.
I write this post to you today at a bit of a crossroad in my life. My work situation has been increasingly uncomfortable and frustrating, while I continue to miss my family up north. All the beauty down here in Florida, and yet I find myself thinking more about what I’m missing out on. A lot has changed in the last five years since I moved away from home to start fresh and get my life in gear. And get in gear I did! But at what cost? One of my younger sisters gives birth to a baby girl in a few months here, and I wonder if I want to be a distant uncle or not. Changes abound?
Beyond all of this, life as an investor continues to be a cushy existence. I continue to receive raises just for being a shareholder, like The Procter & Gamble Company’s (PG) 7% raise just recently. This is a great and recent example of why you want to invest in high-quality companies. This raise by PG marked the 57th consecutive year the company has been able to increase its dividend. Some companies aren’t even profitable enough to pay a dividend at all. Imagine not only paying one, but being able to increase it for 57 years straight!
The weather is nice, and I’m hoping to get out and enjoy it a bit this weekend. I’m tired after pulling a Saturday shift, but I’m also energetic with optimism. In case the weather in your neck of the woods isn’t all that great and you’re stuck inside, you may find some of the below articles entertaining and/or educational.
Below, you’ll find a short list of articles I’ve recently read and enjoyed. I hope you enjoy them as well.
Shark Tank’s O’Leary: Only buy stocks that pay dividends
Anyone who follows me on Twitter knows I’m a huge fan of the television show Shark Tank, which airs on Friday nights on ABC. If you follow the show, you’ll know that Kevin O’Leary has earned the nickname “Mr. Wonderful” as a sarcastic reference to his blunt personality. Anyhow, I love the show and O’Leary serves as a very rational voice on the panel of “Sharks” as he is primarily concerned with a business’s valuation, profitability, cash flow, and, most importantly, return on capital. In the video above, O’Leary specifically called out dividend-paying stocks, and recounted an experience that served as an epiphany in regards to how important dividends are. Great stuff from a very intelligent businessman and investor.
How to Manage Your Dividend Portfolio
Dividend Growth Investor is putting together a great series on investing in dividend growth stocks, with each new article focusing on a different aspect of investing. This particular article discusses how to manage a portfolio once you’ve actually started to build one. Everyone has a different method on how to manage a portfolio, and there’s no one right or wrong way to do it. Ultimately, you have to find what works best for you, but this article is a great start for a beginner, or a great refresher for someone a bit more seasoned.
This couple built their own tiny home for $10,000
How inspirational! Talk about vision and fortitude; this couple built their own tiny house for what amounts to less than a down payment for most couple’s seeking their first mortgage. But a mortgage this couple does not have, and instead they now own their own little piece of real estate outright. And while I’m very frugal, I don’t know if I could live in a house this small. But kudos to them for taking freedom seriously.
Best 2014 Dividend stocks Returns & TSX60 Ex Dividend Date
Mike updated us on how his stock picks for 2014 are going, and so far he’s beating his benchmark (VIG) handily. In addition, his picks offer a lot more income than the fund does. He also goes through some upcoming ex-dividend dates for the TSX60.
These 13 Dividend Growth Stocks Go Ex-Dividend Next Week
Adding to the ex-dividend talk, Daily Trade Alert recently published an article I wrote that highlights 13 stocks that go ex-dividend next week. I also took a look at one in particular and concluded that while it’s a fantastic company, the current price doesn’t offer much of a margin of safety. Unfortunate, because this is one stock I’m hoping to eventually own. Of course, you could make the argument that paying slightly too much for a high-quality company isn’t such a bad idea in today’s market, but I’ll pass for now.
Net Worth Update – March 2014
Passive Income Pursuit updated his net worth for the month, and his ascension to wealth has been mighty impressive. Combine a high income with a commitment to frugality and this is what you get.
Most problems never have to be solved
David put together a really thoughtful post on why most problems aren’t really big problems that need solving. The way I look at it is to keep perspective. Most first world problems aren’t problems at all; they’re inconveniences, at worst. Real issues like starvation and lack of access to basic medical care are problems.
Our $500 Per Month Townhouse in Chiang Mai
Chris and Angela share pictures of their pretty sweet pad they’re currently occupying in Thailand. It’s pretty crazy that they’re only paying $500/month for this place. My girlfriend and I share a positively cruddy apartment in comparison, and pay almost twice as much here in Sarasota, Florida. Chiang Mai is a city I’d love to visit one day, so I really appreciate seeing what’s possible over there on a limited budget.
Updating My Potential Buy List: April 2014
Starting From Zero shares his shopping list with readers, exploring some stocks that he’s currently looking at for potential purchases in April. I think it’s a great list, and all of them are great companies that should be welcome in most anyone’s portfolio.
Passive Income and Pageviews – March 2014 Update
Writing 2 Reality shared his progress on both the passive income front as well as traffic to his blog during March. It looks like he’s been making some tremendous progress on both sides of the coin, and at almost 20% of his passive income goal completed after one quarter, he’s in great shape to catch up near the end of the year and finish strong!
What Are You Going To Do When You Retire?
Done By Forty put together a really nice post highlighting some of the activities he’s looking forward to when he retires early. I really like his take on what amounts to diversifying his activities. As someone who’s received his fair share of questions regarding what in the world I’m going to do when I retire (and a number of articles published that discuss this), my simple answer to this question is this: Whatever I want. To be bound by your employer’s imagination is a rather sad place to be, in my opinion. I’d rather be bound by my own.
The importance of ambition
Here, you can see a video of Richard Branson discussing ambition. I’m a big fan of Branson, and he’s such an inspiring guy. He talks about some big ideas in this video, but the ambition behind all of this can be scaled down to your own life.
14 Months, 18 Countries, $10,000
If you have a travel bug, this post might itch it a tad. Or it might just aggravate it and make you quit your job to travel the world. Retire Before Dad recounts some of his past travel experiences on just $10,000 as he made his way around the world. As someone who has a desire to travel on a long-term basis someday, this was a really mouthwatering post.
March Dividend Update
Captain Dividend had some great year-over-year dividend income growth, and received some pretty serious passive dividend income during the month of March. You just gotta get that snowball rolling, and it’ll eventually roll itself.
Following The Crowd: The Ninth Deadly Sin
Bryan put together a really nice post on how important it is to be an independent thinker. This especially applies when one is considering investing capital that requires hard work to attain. Nothing worse than working hard to get enough cash to invest in something, then just blindly following the crowd only to be disappointed when the investment in question doesn’t turn out as expected. This post reminds me of a time when I was riding the bus home one day and I heard this guy talking to anyone who would listen about how great gold is. No offense, but when the conversation on the bus is about gold, you may want to stay away from gold. Don’t follow the herd; follow your own beliefs.
Full Disclosure: Long PG
Thanks for reading.
Photo Credit: Witthaya Phonsawat/FreeDigitalPhotos.net