What I’m Buying: Energy Stocks

I normally like to have around $20 000-40 000 invested on the margin (money borrowed from my broker), which I can get at a really low interest rate (1.62% for the first $100 000 with Interactive Brokers) and then invested in dividend paying stocks that pay 3-5%, which leaves me with a nice profit of around 1-3% (after taxes) on that money. Except lately the markets have been going up and up and I’ve been…

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November 2014 Passive Income Report

November 2014 Passive Income came in at $288.14. For the breakdown and comparison to the previous few months, check out: Passive Income Report The bulk of my income came from dividend paying stocks and Hubpages (formerly Squidoo), as usual but a nice addition was $42.68 in sales from my my new Ebook, How to Get a University Job in South Korea: The English Teaching Job of Your Dreams. Compared to previous years: Nov. 2013: 268.98…

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What if the Stock Market Crashes?

US stocks are flying high lately, with the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average hitting record highs. I just checked my portfolio and was shocked to discover that I’d just made $7000 US in the past 30 days. Now, I’m under no illusion that these are “actual” gains because what goes up, must come down. Here’s what I do to prepare for the inevitable. I like to have at least 5 or 6…

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It’s always time to buy stocks

If you’ve been following this blog, you know that I’ve been wavering in indecision about what to do with my excess cash. Sitting on it earning 1% interest is a terrible option because I’m actually losing money due to inflation and I can earn more than that on basically all of the stocks that I own because of the dividend, no matter what the actual stock price is. And you’d also know that I eventually…

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Some of my favorite dividend paying stocks

When you invest in dividend paying stocks, you invest like an old lady. It’s considered one of the most conservative ways that you could invest in individual stocks and in order to be effective, it has to be done over the very long-term. 10 years would be the absolute minimum I’d recommend and “forever” is even better. The hope is that I’ll eventually just be able to live well off the dividends I receive and…

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Sunk Costs

Sunk cost is an interesting concept to think about and can actually be applied to many areas of life. It economic terms, it’s a past cost that has already been lost and can’t be recovered. In investing, people (including me!) often make mistakes, but the true mistake is letting emotions get involved and not being able to handle sunk costs well. For example. I bought 10 shares of XYZ company at $100 on an insider…

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Investing in Marijuana Stocks

One of my friends recently asked me what I thought of marijuana stocks and if they would be a good investment. It was a good question since marijuana is now legal in some American states and the market will probably be expanding quite rapidly, especially if other states follow suit and legalize it. There’s definitely money to be made, but my answer was, “No, not now” and here are my reasons: 1. There likely isn’t…

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Timing the Market vs. Buying a Quality Company at any time

These past few months, I’ve been saving my money and just using the dividends I’m receiving to pay off my margin loan because I think the market is quite high now and due for a correction. I also haven’t added any new positions or purchased any shares of the stocks I already hold for the same reason. Except now, I’ve basically paid off my margin loan, my emergency fund is fully funded and I’m just…

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Ethical Investing

When I talk to friends and acquaintances about investing and personal finance related things, one of the questions that I’m often asked is about what kinds of companies I hold stock in. I list things like Mcondalds, Chevron, Pfizer and Wal-mart and one of the comments is inevitably, “Those companies are evil and harmful to the world!” My short answer is that nothing is black and white and that the world I live in is…

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Real Estate or Stock Market Investing?

I was just listening to the Suze Orman Show on Podcast and she was talking about how she prefers stocks to real estate when it comes to investing. I most definitely agree with her, and my reasoning is exactly the same as hers. By real estate investing, I’m not referring to the house that you live in, but additional ones that you buy and rent out to others. When you have real estate, it comes…

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The Rule of 72

A simple way to estimate the time it will take for a sum of money to double is to use the rule of 72. Basically, you divide 72 by the interest rate, per year and the result is the number of years it will take for your money to double. For example: $10 000 invested at a 3% interest rate will take 24 years to become $20 000. Invested at 8%, it will take 9…

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High-yield = High-quality?

A mistake that beginning investors often make is going to a stock screener like Finviz and then simply searching for the stocks with the highest dividend yields, which in some cases are 10 or even 20%. If you buy shares of a certain stock worth $2000, it seems pretty fabulous to get dividends worth $200 (10% yield) or $400 (20% yield) every year. It seems like you’re make our original money back in 5 or…

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How often I look at my portfolio

I’m a long-term investor, which means that I’m more worried about what my dividend stock portfolio is going to look like in 10 or 20 or 30 years from now than I am about it in this current year. I know that there are lots of people who look at the market news and their brokerage account every single day and are paying attention to even little fluctuations in value. I would consider many of…

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Stocks are at record highs: what I’m doing about it

The stock market indices such as the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 are at some record breaking highs. At times like this, people often get into a frenzied like state and throw money around trying to get in on the action. What am I doing about it? Basically nothing. Although I do have a good amount of cash sitting in my bank account here in Korea earning 2% interest or so, it…

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Timing the Market vs. Dollar Cost Averaging

If you takes the extremes out to their most extreme points, there are 2 different ways to invest. One way is timing the market. That is, you try to figure out when the market is at its lowest and then you buy stocks. Conversely, when the market is at its highest, you try to sell and take profits. The other side is dollar-cost averaging. These people think that timing the market is way too difficult…

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Payout Ratio

One of my favorite metrics that I use when determining which dividend paying stocks to buy is the payout ratio, which according to Investopedia is: “The proportion of earnings paid out as dividends to shareholders, typically expressed as a percentage.” It’s maybe helpful to think of it as similar to finances on a personal level. You have some money coming in each month and you can either spend or save it. Maybe you spend 50%…

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Why I like limit orders

My last post was about how limit orders work when you’re buying stocks. Today will be about why I use limit orders exclusively when I’m buying dividend paying stocks. If you use a “market order” you’ll end up buying or selling the stock at the market price; essentially you have no control over the transaction. But, that transaction will for sure happen. Since I take a far longer view of things, I’m not really worried…

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Buying Stocks: How Limit Orders work

When you’re buying stocks, there are a lot of different kinds of orders you can use. I generally understand the basics of most of them, but in actuality, I only use 1 type, a limit order. For the dividend stock investor who is investing for the long-term, it’s all you really need. Check out Investopedia for all the different stock market order types. Here’s how a limit order works: 1. Buying stocks. If stock ABC…

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What I don’t love Bonds

Bonds are generally knows as a more “conservative” investment, but in a lot of ways that is simply not true. It’s actually quite worrying that all the Baby Boomers in North America who hold things like “target-date” funds are being forced out of stocks into bonds at one of the absolute worst times possible and they could potentially lose a substantial amount of money right before they retire. A few reasons why I don’t love…

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How much income?

One of my friends recently asked me about how much money I would need to invest to earn a certain amount of money each month. It’s actually quite easy to explain, but the actual calculations are a little bit complicated. I invest in dividend paying stocks and ETFs that pay a certain amount of money out in dividends/year. I hold some things on the lower end, such as VWO (Vanguard Emerging Markets ETF) at 1.2%…

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