Category Archives: Food For Thought

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I Have A Dream

I have a dream. I have a dream where my time is my own, and I owe it to no one else. I have a dream where I can wake up when my body is ready, go to sleep when I’m tired and never again live by schedules other than my own. I have a dream where I can be who I really am: an investor, artist, philosopher, friend, brother, son, partner, fitness enthusiast and would-be philanthropist. I want to make the world a better place. I want to read and learn and become a smarter person every single day.

I have a dream where I can travel the world and learn from other cultures. I have a dream where I can help others in need, where I can give a helping hand to people less fortunate than myself. I have a dream where I inspire others to reach for their respective dreams, whatever they may be.

What do you dream of? Is it for more money? I can assure you that it won’t buy you happiness. Instead of dreaming of money, dream of the things that excess capital allows you to have: more time and thereby freedom to do as you please. This blog concentrates a great deal on money, but only because of the control over my life that I believe money will allow me. I’m saving as much of my net income as I possibly can by living frugally so that I can leverage this excess capital into equity positions in high quality companies that pay dividends and raise them on a regular basis.

One day these dividend payouts will exceed my expenses. I could keep working and investing and eventually become a multimillionaire, but once my passive income exceeds my expenses I’m finished, done, finito, kaput. Capiche? Or will I be?

What do you want to be? What do you do for a living? Do these two match? How can you do more of the former and less of the latter if they don’t?

I do my best to cultivate the relationships that are important to me by spending my limited time with the people that mean the most to me. I love being an investor and I do everything I can to be the best investor I possibly can. The point is to become aware of what your dreams are, immediately start reaching for them and not wait for tomorrow. Certainly my overarching goal is to realize 100% of my time here on Earth by no longer having to trade away my most valuable commodity to an employer for a paycheck. But while that goal may still be a decade off, it doesn’t mean that I can’t try to make myself and the world better in the meanwhile.

I have a dream. I have a dream where I’m as free as the day I was born. I have a dream where the only thing I want to own in life, my time, is mine free and clear. Our time is given to us the day we’re born, yet few of us actually own it. It’s a shame. I have a dream where I take my time and life back, and help others to take theirs back too.

Do you have a dream? 

Work Hard Or Work Smart?

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Be The Change You Wish To See

I’ve come to strongly believe that you cannot change others, for better or worse. So what I have decided to do is Become the change I wish to see in others through Action.

I find that people have to want to change themselves, and without experiencing some kind of epiphany will likely remain the way they are for the rest of their lives. I see and talk to people every week on social media (FACEBOOK) that fall into this or think investing can’t be done by them personally. Trying too hard to change people will often drive them further away from you, and closer to whatever it is you’re trying to get them to avoid. This is because people naturally get defensive when others – especially those closest to them – question their decisions or lifestyle.

If you’re trying to effect change in someone you become an external force which inevitably puts the other party in a position to internalize their feelings and emotions. In the end I just want people to be able to retire before the age of 60 and have their Money/Income grow and work for them through each passing year. To be able to pass down their wealth to their children/family, so they don’t have to start off in the same place as them when they were the same age.

Work Hard or Work Smart?

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Fruits Of My Labor

I know at times I may sound like a broken record, but dividends can be a great passive income source. They’re deposited automatically in my brokerage account. By investing in companies that have long track records of raising dividends, you can bet your bottom dollar that my income will only go up over time.

There are many ways to get income from a stock portfolio. One way is to perform a controlled sell off of assets in order to met expenses and maintain a certain lifestyle. For the life of me I don’t understand why a lot of people do this, they must love losing money (Must be wired differently but let me move on!). To get to this point it would involve building a large portfolio over your working years and then drawing down income from the portfolio by selling off stock once you’re retired. Usually the selling would only increase in % terms over time as your expenses rise and as your wealth goes down. So as you age and your expenses keep increasing or stay flat, you are slowly running out of assets with which to meet those responsibilities. This baffles me and I’ll discuss why below. (The Giving Tree)

As a dividend growth investor, I plan not to sell any of my stocks and plan on giving them to my children when I die. By living off only dividend income, my asset base will stay in place and hopefully increase in value over time as the companies paying dividends become more and more valuable.

Sit down and envision your stock portfolio as one large tree. It’s an Apple tree that produces many apples. Think of each branch as a company and each branch produces apples (dividends) at different times of the year. When apples are produced, I can take that apple to expand my garden or provide myself with food (pay bills).

Now let’s compare this to the example above using a safe withdrawal rate and selling off the portfolio slowly. Basically what your doing is selling off your stocks, which would be like chopping off branches whenever you need apples. (The Giving Tree). Instead of just taking the apples from the branch and waiting for another apple to appear, you would be cutting off part of the branch and taking the apple and branch with you. Over time that branch dies and when it dies and disappears you will no longer produce apples from that part of the tree any more. So what do you think happens? You move on to another branch and repeat the process. The problem is that the tree only has so many branches and eventually you are left with a cut up tree that produces nothing! Hence, why you should read the book (The Giving Tree), but please don’t follow that example! HaHa

Since discovering dividend growth investing I have always looked at the Skyy Fund as a tree that produces many apples(dividends) for me. With a well planned dividend growth strategy the apple tree (Skyy Fund) will only get bigger and stronger over time. I want it to produce more apples than me and my wife could ever imagine. That’s the position I want my family to be in and my wife would Love the extra apples!

Live Long & Prosper

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Can You Buy More Time?

What if you could buy time? What if there was a store, like a Macy’s that sold time in blocks, like 1-year increments? Would you purchase it? Time is the most interesting commodity of all, in that you can buy it but you can’t purchase it. You can’t purchase it, because nobody has the power to sell it to you. This is an interesting dilemma that is probably on most people’s mind at some point of their life.

What if you could purchase 10 years of time for $400,000? Would you buy it? Would you save all you have and go down to the store and exchange your money for time? I bet most people would! After all, YOLO (you only live once). Once you’re dead there is nothing you can do, there are no more sunrises or sunsets. No more first dates. No more late-night phone calls with a lover or friend. You only get one ride with this thing called life and we should all try to maximize it to the best of our abilities.

Even though I bet most people would gladly pay $400,000 for 10 years of extra time, people usually seem to do the exact opposite. Instead of saving up their money for more Free Time, they usually exchange their time for money and more “stuff”. They work overtime, get second jobs and continually update their resumes in hopes for increased earnings. For what? To impress the next person down the block with a bigger house, better car, or overpaid toys. I’m not judging these decisions as bad. If that’s what you want to do with your money that’s fine, because at times I have to check myself also. I would just like to know if you truly would purchase time if it were for sale. If your answer to that question is yes, then you are probably not serving yourself well by continuing to work to earn and earn to spend.

Time is hard to put a value on and I understand that. We can place value on material objects like a house or a car. Time, however, is given to us for an unknown period of time. We don’t know how long we have on this planet. I believe that most people naturally become idealistically optimistic when they think of how long they are going to live. After all, who wants to think they are going to pass away at 45 years old? That’s extremely depressing, but we all know someone who has died before the age of 50. It’s difficult to automatically assume one would live until they are 80+ years old. If I make it to 80 that’s fantastic! If I don’t, I won’t have any regrets and hopefully neither will you.

So, back to the question, it is possible to buy time, and I plan to buy as much of it as I can. I’ll be giving up a lot of money in exchange for it. Just have to watch the spending of material things unless my bank account is being paid a great amount and I can still save and invest how I want. 🙂 What will I gain instead if I were to cut the extra spending? Freedom. Freedom to pursue my dreams and desires. To do more with my family and eventually ease the burden of everyday/monthly bills. Sure the wife and I will continue to work, but I want it to come down to it being our choice. Also to pass down our wealth to our daughter Skyy or any other future children we decide to have. I know over the course of time I will sound like a broken record but if it helps at least one person, it will be well worth it.

Work Hard or Work Smart?

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Dividend Investing Template

I sometimes get asked for assistance in finding the best information on stocks/dividends  in the market currently. Below I have put together a list of helpful links for anyone who is interested and ready to pull the trigger.

No matter if you are a new or a veteran dividend investor, there are several categories containing high quality dividend stocks which could provide a good start in your research. These would include the Dividend Aristocrats and the Dividend Kings. I have mentioned previously what I liked about the Dividend Aristocrats and the Dividend Kings in other posts.

For more financial Information which will help you research particular  stock issues please do check out the resources below:

Morningstar– It provides ten year trend information for balance sheets, income statements and cash flow statements, which can be really useful for any type of investor.

SEC– The Securities and Exchange Commission website is where you could find a variety of filings and financial statements filed by public companies. Also ownership changes by major investors such as Warren Buffett.( Floyd Mayweather of boxing)

Stockspy–  Is an investor software system for news and company event analysis that updates automatically. The wife and I both have it on our Android and Apple phones. It’s great for keeping up to date on stocks and what the market is currently doing at any given time.

Yahoo Finance– I use Yahoo Finance for historical prices and dividends on the stocks I am researching. You could also create portfolios after you register, and track news related to the stocks that interest you.  Another thing that I like about Yahoo Finance is the ability to check the holdings of various indexes, including the various Dividend Achievers.

The DIV-Net– If you are looking to learn more about dividend investing, then I would recommend checking out this site.  The site is updated at least once a day with useful information pertaining to value and dividend investing.

In the end I just want people to be aware that they can slowly be able to build wealth for their families and themselves by investing in stocks. Sure there are other ways but just about everyone is interconnected by the market (401k, ira, mutual funds) it’s about taking ownership and leaving a legacy for your children/family.

Why work 2 jobs in your 40’s,50’s, and 60’s when you can have your own hard earned money working that second job for you? Rome wasn’t built in a day and that’s why anyone has time for their money to work for them. This is my own personal journey and anyone can follow along but in the end it’s up to them to decide what they truly believe and want to do.

-Live Long & Prosper

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