Well, I’m so far just a few days into my newfound freedom as I’ve set my ship for new waters. And it’s wonderful! I really couldn’t be happier right now.
I’m no longer a service advisor at a luxury car dealership working more than 50 hours per week, and I’m now instead writing and investing full-time (for now). I don’t know how long I’ll be able to live this dream, but I’m going to give it my best shot. I’m sitting on a bit more cash than I usually do, and I currently have about $8,000 set aside both for moving to Michigan and also to serve as a cash reserve in case I come up a little short on the income side over the next few months. But I honestly don’t think I’ll need it because I’m going to batten down the hatches in regards to expenses, and you’re going to see new levels of frugality from me over the coming months. I’m hoping that the income from writing is enough to pay my meager expenses and I’ll still be able to invest as normal, but as I previously mentioned I’m also open to working once again in order to generate enough revenue to continue accumulating equity stakes in high-quality businesses that pay and regularly raise dividends.
On a personal note, just a couple days ago my little sister (who’s pregnant) was involved in a major car accident up in Michigan. She was rushed to the hospital, but luckily she and the baby are both perfectly fine. But this is a great example of why I want to be back home. It pains me that I couldn’t be by her side at the hospital. I immediately offered to move back right away after discussing it with my girlfriend, but my family advised me to come up in early June as originally planned since everyone is fine. Of course, it’ll be nice to be back up there soon so that I can help her out as she gets closer to the due date. And I’m extremely excited to be an uncle. It’s certainly a bittersweet time in my life as I leave behind loved ones and a life that has treated me well here in Florida, but in exchange see my family and friends back home on a regular basis while pursuing my passions. I can only do what feels right, and I feel good about these changes.
I’m hoping to get a little beach time in before I leave Florida behind, and today is a perfect opportunity for that with absolutely beautiful weather outside. It’s a little over 70 degrees with blue skies and low humidity. Quite a treat for mid-May in Southwest Florida. I guess she’s trying to entice me to stay, and Siesta Key is calling my name.
Since I’ve had more free time than usual, I’ve been able to read some great articles lately and I wanted to share some of those with you readers. I hope you all have a wonderful and safe weekend out there. And thank you as always for all the support.
Below, you’ll find a short list of articles I’ve recent read and enjoyed. I hope you do as well!
Should I buy more high yielding stocks in order to retire early?
This article by Dividend Growth Investor was particularly appealing to me because as someone who’s taken the plunge into a quasi-early-retirement-of-sorts I often think about how much more realistic my plan would be with a much higher yield across my entire portfolio. However, such a move would certainly lower the overall quality of my portfolio, and with it the odds that my income would rise over time. As such, I plan to continue investing as if nothing had changed in my personal life, focusing on quality and overall portfolio construction over yield.
Infinite possibilities at California’s first TEDx inside a prison
Richard Branson recently participated in a TEDx inside a prison, and what transpired is extremely inspiring. Education, second chances, hope, and opportunity are typically not ideas you associate with prison inmates, but good for Richard for spreading the good word and changing lives. I hope those who participated become better people for the event and perhaps even contribute to society in a meaningful way someday.
Four Key Dividend Metrics You Need to Know
Dividend Ninja highlighted an article of his that was published in Canadian MoneySaver. Great stuff here from Ninja, and he goes over some basics that are interesting for novice and expert investors alike!
How ‘microjobs’ help you ditch your boss
This was a perfect video for me to watch this past week! We got to hear from a gentleman who no longer works at a soul-crushing, full-time (and then some) job in sales and marketing, and instead rotates a stable of more enjoyable and flexible jobs. I plan on doing something somewhat similar as I chase after opportunities to freelance and write as much as possible. Who needs the man?!
Recent IRA Purchase: Whole Foods Market (WFM)
Retire Before Dad informs us of his recent equity purchase, and I applaud this one. WFM doesn’t quite fit me due to the slightly high valuation and low yield, but I could see myself stretching a bit for this one. My girlfriend loves to shop at Whole Foods (Whole Paycheck?) and she often spends hours at a time there perusing, buying, eating, and people watching. It’s almost less shopping and more an experience. I personally don’t get it, and I’ve seen competition heat up in this space. But there’s no denying Whole Foods is popular and dominant, and I’m going to keep my eyes on this one.
15 Things You Can Do TODAY to Stop Relying on a Job You Hate
Kraig ran down a number of reasons a job you hate might be slowly killing you, literally. And then he included fantastic actionable advice you can use to your advantage to quit hating your work and start loving your life. I personally identify with a lot Kraig is saying here, as I recently took it upon myself to no longer go into a job that was spreading negativity and misery throughout the rest of my life. Even if you can’t become financially independent, the ability to take six months or a year away from work could improve your overall quality of life dramatically, and as such I’m looking at this opportunity as a win-win for me. I might just be on an extended vacation, or I might be able to never go back to work for the man again. Either way is pretty great.
Portfolio Management Does Size Matter
Mike discusses portfolio size in terms of management and how might go about managing portfolios of different dollar amounts. I personally manage my portfolio no different now at $160k then I did when it was $10k. I continue to focus on the best businesses I can find at valuations that make sense while also monitoring weighting to different companies as it applies to diversification.
These 21 Dividend Growth Stocks Go Ex-Dividend Next Week
Daily Trade Alert is kind enough to let me write over there, and this week I highlighted a company that goes ex-dividend next week and appears attractively valued. You also get to see 20 other stocks that go ex-dividend next week as well, so dividend payments are coming your way if you’re already long any of these.
10 Stocks To Buy Now: Be Cautious – But Don’t Panic: Part 2
Chuck Carnevale penned another great piece on why investors should be cautious here. However, as he points out, there are still stocks that are fairly valued or even slightly better, even in this market. I view investing much the same as Chuck, and plan on sticking to my plan through thick and thin. Although a stock market pullback appears imminent, I’ve heard of such imminence for more than a year now. Because I’m no fortune teller I just stick to what I know: High-quality businesses will more often than not grow profits over long periods of time and those that reward investors with rising dividend payouts will most likely continue doing so.
Life on a Bike
Huw described his recent love affair with the bike, and one we adults typically forget about once we relegate our lives to offices and commutes. Great stuff here! I was riding a bike down here in Florida when I initially went car-free, but the heat makes it difficult. I’m excited about the possibilities of biking once again when I’m living in Michigan. Although winter makes biking difficult, the other eight months are pretty lovely.
Early Financial Independence: The Tapering Plan (Fed Inspired)
FI Fighter talks about tapering away from full-time work instead of cutting the cord cold turkey (like I recently did). I can’t blame him, as this is really a smart way to go about it. Unfortunately, not every career path allows for cutting back hours like this. My job in the car industry, for instance, was very all-or-nothing. Either I worked my 50-some hours or I didn’t work at all. I chose the latter.
Tupperware Brands Corporation (TUP) Dividend Stock Analysis
Dividend Hawk analyzed this company and concluded that it while it’s slightly overvalued, the fundamentals look good. I’m not a big fan of the direct sale business model, but it appears TUP has done incredibly well with this model. Definitely an interesting company and a potential investment opportunity in the future.
On The Lookout
Bryan’s on the lookout for investment opportunities, although they’re few and far between. I think that while undervalued stocks are pretty hard to come by, I find many businesses that are high in quality where the common stock is trading for a fair price. I recently initiated a position with The Clorox Co. (CLX) which is an example of this. Solid business, fair price. One could do worse.
Weekly Purchase – GE
Compounding Income recently picked up shares in General Electric Company (GE). I’m a fan of GE at today’s price, and this is another example of a fine business trading for what’s probably a fair price. Again, nothing wrong with that. Although, I hope we get better deals sooner rather than later.
Recent Stock Purchase – May 2014
Continuing with some recent buys, DivHut shares where he’s going with his fresh capital. Some interesting picks, and I agree with him on his assessment of the inherent value in Aflac Incorporated (AFL). If I didn’t already have such a large position I’d be very interested in buying more here.
Weekly Sharebuilder Purchases
My Dividend Pipeline also picked up some great stocks recently, and it looks like we were on the same page in regards to Clorox. I also like his Kinder Morgan Inc. (KMI) pick, but that’s another company that I’m heavily allocated to.
Net Worth Update: $447,240.46 [Up $7,000]
J. Money continues to rock it, with his net worth climbing yet again. It’ll be quite a number of years before I see a net worth like this, but it continues to inspire me to stick to the plan and work hard!
Full Disclosure: Long CLX, GE, AFL, and KMI.
Thanks for reading.
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