How to Buy Stocks: A Simple Explanation

how-to-buy-stocks

How to Buy Stocks: Explained Simply  I get a lot of questions from my friends and readers of this blog who are new to the investing world about how to buy stocks. There are a few options for buying stocks, but the one I like the best (by far) is using an online discount brokerage. You can go with a full-service brokerage, but they are far more expensive and also quite unnecessary. Full-service brokers help…

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Dividend Reinvestment

When you have dividend paying stocks in your portfolio, you get a share of the earnings paid back to you in the form of a dividend, usually around 3-4 times/ year (although it ranges from monthly to annually). They will automatically be added to your stock brokerage account and will impact the positive (you don’t have leverage), or negative balance (you are using debt/leverage). The exception to this is if you have an automatic dividend…

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Dividend Champions and Aristocrats

I had a reader send me a question asking me how I decide which stocks to invest in. I have a few rules that I follow, but a good place to start your initial screening process is a list like this listing the US companies that have a consistent history of raising dividends over the long-term. There’s a lot of lingo, but this article from the Dividend Ninja does a good job of explaining what…

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Invest like a Grandma: Dividend Stock Investing

There are a million and one things to invest in that are far sexier than Dividend Paying Stocks. A quick list off the top of my head: IPO’s, options contracts, shorting, commodities, emerging markets, Bit coin and day trading. A lot of these things can actually make you a lot of money IF you know what you’re doing. And while I know the basics of most of that stuff, I’m certainly no expert and would…

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The Emergency Fund

Dave Ramsey is all about the emergency fund and I would most definitely agree with him. He advocates having $1000 in the bank until you pay off all your debts, excluding the mortgage. And then once that is done, build it up to 3-6 months of living expenses. These past few years, I’ve been really focused on making and saving my income from the day-job to invest in Dividend Paying Stocks and must admit to…

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Stock Market Pyschology: Greed and Fear

When it comes to how psychology relates to the stock market, there are 2 emotions that dictate most individual investor’s decision: fear and greed. The so-called “Smart-Money” (hedge fund/mutual fund managers) should be making better decisions than the individual investor, but not always. Fear is rampant when the stock market is in fast decline and it leads people to do crazy things such as sell when stocks have hit their lowest points (ie: the crash…

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What’s in my Portfolio: Industrials

I have a few holdings that fall under the category of “industrials” and I love them because they just seem to plug along, making me money off dividends, increasing their earnings and causing me no stress or worry. Exactly the kind of companies I want in my portfolio. 1. Boeing Airlines(BA): 2.7% of my portfolio. Although they’ve had some problems in the past few years with their new airplane catching on fire, etc, they’re still…

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Trading vs. Investing

I’m an investor, which means that I invest my money in the stock market for the long-haul and don’t really care about the short-term fluctuations in the market. I lose no sleep if there is a crash and actually feel quite happy because I can pick up stocks that I want cheaply. Trading, on the other hand is for the purpose of making money off the fluctuations in the market. You can make money when the…

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2 Questions to Consider before Investing in the Stock Market

When friends ask me for help with investing their money, the first 2 questions I ask are: 1. How much money do you currently have to invest and how much do have saved for emergencies? Getting started in the stock market in individual stocks with less than $10 000 is probably not wise. You need to keep trading costs low (ie: When I was getting started, I’d never buy less than $2000 of a stock…

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What’s in my Portfolio: Consumer Staples

I have a few things in my portfolio that are kind of hard to classify, so I’ve just included them under the category, “Consumer Staples.” They are things that consumers buy, usually habitually and over long periods of time. 1. Kimberly Clark (KMB): 4.8% of my portfolio. Everyone uses things from this company: tissues/feminine products/baby stuff, etc, which is basically the reason that I bought it. This company is one of the most “recession-proof” companies…

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What’s in my Portfolio: Gold and Silver

Gold accounts for 5.6%, and silver 2.2% of my portfolio.  I am really not as well-versed in this area as I am with dividend paying stocks and ETFs, so will just offer some very general thoughts. I use ETFs (GLD/SLV) to invest in them because it’s annoying and expensive to physically hold it.  Of course, you could just buy them from a store in your town or whatever, but I’m no expert and would actually…

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What’s in my portfolio: ETFs

ETFs are basically an alternative to mutual funds that have emerged in the past 10 years or so.  Instead of active management like a mutual fund, they follow the passive approach.  That is, they just follow and index of some sort, such as the S&P 500 or only buy a certain type of bonds or something like that.  They can help a dividend stock investor by providing much needed diversification and it’s a much better…

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What’s in my Portfolio: Financial Stocks

Financial companies get a bad rap- often for good reason The whole financial sector gets a bit of a bad rap from the press, investors as well as the general public and for good reason: ridiculous compensation packages/poor financial management/extreme risk-taking/government bailouts.  However, it’s too big of a sector to overlook and the key is looking for the less-risky companies that have a proven record of good management. Here are the financial stocks in my…

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Why I love Dividend Paying Stocks

These days, my main category of passive income by far is Dividend Paying Stocks, with this stock portfolio, although I hope to eventually start earning similar amounts or more on my Internet ventures and eventually transition into a kind of digital nomad lifestyle. However, I still love the Dividend Stocks for the following reasons: Dividends: the Ultimate in Passive Income Of course, you need to do your research (and then research some more!) and stay up…

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What’s in my portfolio: Tech

I’ve talked previously about my pharmaceutical holdings as well as the oil & gas companies that I hold.  You can also check out my complete portfolio, but today I’m going to talk tech. AAPL (Apple): 5% of my portfolio.  Check out the Dividend Monk’s AAPL report. INTC (Intel): 2.5% of my portfolio.  Check out the Dividend Monk’s INTC report. Tech companies are generally thought to be the high-flyers, which means that they often warrant a…

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Borrowing to invest

Basically all online stock brokers offer what they call “Margin” which means that you can borrow money from them to buy more stocks or ETFs or whatever you want.  Of course this isn’t free!  Brokers charge interest ranging from extremely low (ie: Interactive Brokers) to extremely high (will remain nameless). The reasons to not do this include “margin calls,” which is when you borrow too much money relative to the amount of actual money that…

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Investing in Pharmaceuticals: What’s in My Portfolio

Pharmaceutical Stocks: I Love You! I love investing in pharmaceuticals for various reasons, but essentially in the research I’ve done, it almost seems like a can’t lose thing. The US government basically props us these industries and does a lot of their research for them (or at least funds it) and then allows the company to patent the final product, charge ridiculous amounts of money for it and then guarantees that no other company can…

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Investing in Oil and Gas Stocks

Why I Love Investing in Oil and Gas Stocks A significant portion (~20%) of my portfolio can be found within this category.  While it is a big portion to have invested in one industry, I’ve done it for the following reasons: 1. Oil/Gas companies have a proven history of paying increasing dividends 2. They are some of the biggest/most profitable companies in the world 3. They are not going out of business in my lifetime…

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My Basic investing Strategy

This is a topic that I could write 100’s of posts on, and I probably will over the next year or two, but for now, I’ll just give a quick overview of my basic investing strategy. Dividend Paying Stocks Essentially, I invest in Dividend Paying Stocks.  Dividends are a portion of the company’s profits that are paid out to shareholders, usually on a quarterly basis.  There are plenty of things to consider when choosing which…

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Spend Less Than you Earn

Anyone can do it! No matter your income level, spending less than you earn is by far the most important thing. We’ve all heard those stories about people earning millions of dollars a year going bankrupt. Conversely, we all know about the guy next door working at some average job who ended up dying with millions in the bank. The difference is that one guy spent more than he earned while the other one didn’t.…

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My Current Passive Income Streams (and my day-job)

I’ve been on this journey towards financial freedom through passive income for a few years now and have developed a few different passive income revenue streams.  While I’d like to get a few more up and running in the next few years (diversification in this area is golden!), the ones I’m currently doing are plugging along and expanding, without a significant amount of effort on my part.  I’ll outline them here and in the coming…

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My story….the short-version

I’m a 34 year old Canadian, living the expat life in South Korea for the past 10 years working as a lecturer at Korean Universities.  During that time, I’ve been steadily building my passive income streams and learning more and more about things like social media, dividend stock investing, website design and marketing and a whole host of other things.  I currently average around $500/month in passive income and I’m hoping to eventually make a…

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