And by that, I’m talking about life and the stock market.
I’m finally back in the swing of things down here in Sarasota, and life is good. The sun is shining just as bright as I remember it, and the beautiful sands of Siesta Key are just a few miles away from where I live. I’m glad I traveled up to Michigan to see if there was a life for me up there, because it only reinforced my belief that my life is 100% where I’ve been busy building it over the last five years. I guess maybe I left a piece of myself up there, but I retrieved it and brought it back with me. I’m now completely focused on life in paradise.
Meanwhile, the stock market currently seems to be just as confused as I was a few months ago. Interest rates will stay low for the foreseeable future. Up! Demand for oil and commodities softening. Down! Job market recovering. Up! Where will growth come from? Down!
These ups and downs are exactly why I recommend to ignore the noise and focus on business fundamentals. Major companies don’t just swing in value by billions of dollars day after day. However, emotions tend to take over the market, causing Mr. Market to be very moody and irritable. But this volatility is a long-term investor’s boon. For me, volatility is just a synonym for opportunity. Lower stock prices means higher yields. Higher yields means more passive dividend income, which means financial independence is that much closer.
Now, I don’t just talk the talk. I walk the walk!
I’ve been busy putting capital to work a bit more aggressively than usual, trying to take advantage of what has amounted to a broader market sell-off over the last month – the S&P 500 index is down -4.49% over that period. I averaged down on my position in the world’s largest publicly traded net lease REIT in American Realty Capital Properties Inc. (ARCP) as soon as the month got underway, and then very soon thereafter averaged down on my position with the world’s largest miner in BHP Billiton Plc (BBL).
Nothing like a good stock sale on great companies to pry a couple bucks out of my wallet. On that note, I’m getting really crazy this month and just today initiated a new position in a company I’ve been watching for a long time now (check my Twitter stream). Recent weakness (it’s down over 7% over the last 30 days) caught my attention. I’m pretty much tapped out now, so I’ll probably just be busy collecting dividend income from here (I could think of worse positions to be in).
I’m looking forward to some time at the beach this weekend, as well as some football on Sunday. I hope all of you readers out there have a great weekend!
In the meanwhile, I’ve compiled some articles that I recently read and enjoyed. I hope there’s some value below. Thank you all once again for all the support. It’s very much appreciated.
30 Years Ago They Retired at 35: An Update
Who says a 60-year retirement isn’t possible? I came across this story via Joe at Retire by 40, and it was just awesome to see this couple still enjoying retirement and rolling with the punches three decades after they embarked on early retirement before it was fashionable or even thought to be realistic. These two are real trailblazers and I’m really happy to know that others are out there making it happen. Inspirational!
These 10 Dividend Growth Stocks Go Ex-Dividend Next Week
I put this list of dividend growth stocks that go ex-dividend next week together for Daily Trade Alert, and I also took a look at one of the stocks to see if it’s a buy here. Looks like it might have gotten ahead of itself.
Caution: This Dividend Growth Stock Looks 15% Overvalued
It appears to me that this defense contractor appears overvalued, after a massive run-up over the last year. It appears to be a great company with solid long-term prospects, but the price and value are not advantageously aligned right now. I also took a look at a stock on the flip side of the coin that appears undervalued right now.
Life is Like a Game. Here’s How You Master ANY Game
James put together an epic post full of solid advice that’s valuable for just about anyone in any situation. I found myself nodding my head as I read the article from top to bottom. I read a lot. I mean a lot. And this was one of the better pieces I’ve read recently. A highly recommended read this week. Please check it out.
Ten Dividend Seeds I Planted for Long Term Income
Dividend Growth Investor shared some of his recent buys, and I happen to be a fellow shareholder in six of these companies. There’s a couple in there that I continue to keep my eye on as well.
Outrage in Belgium, Federal Government Raises Retirement Age to 67
No More Waffles alerted us that there’s been a change in Belgium’s public pension system. This kind of stuff should just reinforce how important it is to save and invest on your own. I have no doubt that Social Security will be around when I’m an old man, but at what age will I be able to access that income? And what will the benefits be like? I don’t blame people for getting upset at changes midstream, because, after all, it’s not “free income”. We, as taxpayers, pay into the system, and rightfully so expect a payout when the time comes. However, SS isn’t designed to be the sole source of income for a retiree. Think carefully about how much control you want over your finances and ability to retire whenever you want.
Life expectancy in the USA hits a record high
Life expectancy just broke a new record – 78.8 years. Life is better than ever, and it’s also getting longer than ever. This speaks well to my previous point. The quicker you can get in gear today and save for tomorrow, the quicker you’ll be free to enjoy your life on your terms. If you’re able to become financially independent by 40 years old, that means, on average, you’ll have almost 40 years of your life free to yourself. How awesome is that?
“I Like My Job And I’m Good At It, So Why Should I Care About Investing?”
I’ve written on this supposed conundrum a few times now, and Tim does a great job at making his point. You just don’t know what the future will bring, and who would you rather have calling the shots over your ability to pay for your lifestyle – you or your boss? Furthermore, what you enjoy today might not be what you enjoy tomorrow. Flexibility and freedom are no less valuable just because you happen to enjoy your job. If anything, you’ll find out just how much you really love your job when you have enough money to walk away at any time. You might be surprised.
JC added to his position in a fast food giant. I’m a bit reluctant to invest too heavily in fast food purveyors due to predictably mediocre food perhaps not quite being the draw it used to be, along with more competition/choices. However, people have to eat and fast food isn’t going anywhere. That being said, I don’t think I’d want a large part of my net worth here.
What’s Wrong With This Picture?!
Bryan questioned the emotional volatility of the stock market, and declared to focus on what’s real: dividends. Couldn’t agree more!
36 Successful Bloggers Reveal Their Investing Styles
Steve was kind enough to include me in this massive tribute to a few different investment styles and those that use them. He compiled a short description from 36 different personal finance bloggers on how they invest and why. Good stuff, and the differences in style, perspective, and goals are definitely interesting.
45 Attractive Dividend Growth Stocks In Today’s Overheated Stock Market – Part 1
Chuck is the master at making sense of the market and valuations. If you don’t think there’s any value in the current market you may want to check this list out for further reference.
S&P 500 Companies Spend 95% of Profits on Buybacks, Payouts
I’m as happy as the next shareholder to receive dividends and watch a company reduce its share count; however, I do agree with the fundamental thesis here that managements across the board will have to start reinvesting into businesses at some point to make sure they’re ready for future growth. I’m optimistic that this is just a phase, and investment will ramp up at some point in the future. I’ve noticed Wall Street and companies alike can be like lemmings, where everyone is copying each other. One major company will start to invest for the future in substantial amounts, and others will see the value and copy.
Lanny’s September Income And Expense Summary
One of the Diplomats just released his budget for September, and it looks like he did great. He may have come just short of his lofty goal, but he still saved about 10 times what the average American manages. Bert, the other Diplomat, also recently released his budget as well, which showed he also had a great month of savings. Keep it up, guys.
September 2014 Expenditures
The Frugalwoods also updated us on their budget, and they knocked it out of the park again. They’re definitely frugaling it up over there.
Passive Income and Pageviews – September 2014 Update
WYOR had a fantastic month both in terms of his blog and his passive income. Love to see a plan come together!
Overheard at The Coffee Shop
J$ has been spending a lot of time blogging at coffee shops lately, and he decided to share some details involving overheard conversations. I guess you never know what you’re going to hear when eavesdropping on others!
Recent Buys: October 9th, 2014
Ryan just picked up shares in a couple of really high-quality companies. He averaged down on one of them in a big way. Nothing better than being able to pick up shares in a great company for even cheaper than you did before.
Full Disclosure: Long ARCP and BBL.
Thanks for reading.
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