Over the past week I made a change to the blog, but have just now had the time to publish a short news flash about it. I’ve gotten probably hundreds of emails over the last year or so from readers that find my blog and are inspired by what I’m doing, but at the same time find themselves a bit lost. They’re not sure where to start and how to go about planning to save more and invest. I can honestly say that I know exactly how that feels.
Investing can be an extremely complicated topic, even to supposed experts. It’s difficult to explain many of the ratios, statements and methods many of us that are more experienced take for granted when we write and talk about public companies, stocks and investing. I didn’t know a thing about investing before the interest was sparked in my mind. As I’ve openly explained, I was a total idiot with money for my entire life leading up to my late 20s. I knew I wanted to change and I also knew that saving money and investing excess capital was the key to that change. So I went about learning as much as I could and I’m hoping to share some of the resources that helped me when I was first starting out, and some resources that I’ve continued to find helpful along the way.
So I decided earlier this week to put together a permanent resource for those just starting out, chock-full of books, websites and tools that I personally use and recommend. And the great thing is that this resource isn’t just for beginners; it’s great for investors of all experience and skill levels. I’ve included books on investing and personal finance that I’ve read and websites that I use on a regular basis.
You can find the resource by clicking the ‘Getting Started’ tab at the top of this blog, or by following this link.
I hope to expand this page as time goes on and as I read new books, find new helpful resources or come across particularly interesting tools and/or websites. It is my hope that some readers out there find it useful. Please let me know what you think either by email or by commenting on the page directly. Thank you so much!
Now that you’re all aware of that change I’m going to include a short list of recent reading that I’ve enjoyed over the last couple of weeks. I hope you enjoy it as well.
20 Free Passes to Special Dividend Project
The Dividend Guy is giving away some passes to a project that he’s starting. Here’s your chance to jump on board early and be a beta tester!
Stanley Bing, from Fortune Magazine, wrote what has become one of my favorite articles of all time. In fact, I loved it so much I cut a copy of it out of a recent Fortune and framed it. The link above will only show you so much of the article before you hit a paywall, but if you can find the whole article either in the magazine or online I highly recommend it.It’s the opposite take on aggressive careerism and the satirical humor is oozing out of every word. Great stuff.
Dividend Stocks Are Not a Bubble, but Many Technology High-Fliers Are Dangerously Overhyped
Dividend Growth Investor reminds us to focus on profitability, not just how much revenue a company is taking in. Selling a bunch of products, but not being able to effectively convert that into sustainable and growing earnings is an example of an investment that most long-term buy-and-hold investors are going to want to avoid. It’s not to say you can’t make money from a business that operates in such a manner, but rather the likelihood of dividend payouts are small and there is extreme difficulty in trying to ascertain a fair price and thus acquire a solid investment.
Don’t Tell Jason Fieber He Can’t Retire By Age 40, Professor
I’m not including this article because Tim mentioned me by name. Rather, I’m including it because it’s a great discourse on a disconnect within personal finance whereby you have this groundswell of support for those who are eliminating herculean amounts of debt in heroic time frames, but at the same time there seems to be a slight air of disapproval when it comes to talking about building real wealth and attempting to become financially independent and/or retire early. It’s a shame, because as Tim points out if you can pay off huge debt loads there is no reason you can’t continue these efforts into building wealth.
How Obamacare Saved Us From Extortion
Go Curry Cracker explains how they decided to can their expensive high-deductible healthcare plan and are now self-insuring due to some of the changes that were implemented following the Affordable Care Act going live recently. I can’t say I blame them at all, and it looks like they’ll be pocketing a little cash every month since they’re not subject to the Individual Mandate and they’ll continue to self-insure in locales that offer extremely cheap medical care. Sounds like a win-win to me.
Another one bites the dust…
Passive Income Pursuit just celebrated two years of blogging. He has 400 posts under his belt and a treasure trove of great information and stock analyses.
You May Think That The Market Is Overvalued But These Dividend Champions Are Not: Part 1
Chuck Carnevale wrote a tremendously helpful article that first discusses the importance of valuation, the overall market’s current valuation range and then goes on to highlight a few interesting stocks that he thinks offer solid value in today’s marketplace. Great reading from Carnevale, as always.
New Purchase – Kinder Morgan Inc
All About Interest recently increased his stake in KMI. I really like this purchase. KMI offers a yield and growth combo that is just about impossible to replicate anywhere else right now. I also think shares in the company are fairly cheap, but I’m also heavily allocated to energy at this moment. So I’m instead looking to diversify my Freedom Fund as I continue to build it up, and recently discussed some attractively valued opportunities.
How Much Money Do You Need To Feel Wealthy
Joe asks this important question of his readers. Personally, I’m just hoping for financial independence one day. I’m not really shooting for “being wealthy”. If I can come and go about as I please without needing to work my limited time away in exchange for goods and services I’ll be quite happy. That being said, I’d imagine $20k/year in passive income ought to allow me that kind of freedom, and at that point I would indeed feel wealthy. Of course, I also keep perspective as I realize that $20k/year is actually a lot of money when compared to our ancestors or most of the global citizens alive today.
2013 Prosper Investment Criteria
I don’t personally use any P2P lending sites, but for those parties interested Write Your Own Reality put together a great little filter to dump the loser loans and allow the cream to rise to the top.
Full Disclosure: Long KMI
Thanks for reading.
Photo Credit: Benoit Mahe