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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I have too much stuff

Back in another lifetime, I hiked (most of) the Appalachian Trail, which is a 4000km or so hike across the USA. I fell into the ultralight category, which was strongly influenced the Ray Jardine’s book, Beyond Backpacking. Essentially, it’s carrying as little as possible in order to move long-distances with as little effort as possible. And this has carried over into my “real-life” these days. I have a few comforts, but really am okay living…

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Passive Income and ESL Teaching

If you want to be a digital nomad and build up passive income streams, ESL Teaching might seem kind of like an attractive gig to get into. You get paid to live overseas. And you often get a free plane ticket (Middle East /Korea) as well as paid for, or subsidized housing. And you’ll have so much time to get your online ventures up and running. Sounds fabulous! Except the thing that many people forget…

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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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Anti-Frugal living: My travel obsession

I’m all about the frugal living, except for one major weakness: travel. My thinking is that I’m young and healthy and that I have the vacation time to do it. And the fact that I get 5 months paid vacation makes it all the better. When I’m budgeting for the vacation, I plan not to spend more than what is coming in during that time (ie: a 1 month vacation budget cannot exceed one month…

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Frugal Living: Board Games

Board games are one of my favorite forms of entertainment for the following reasons: they involve using your brain, there’s an element of competition, the atmosphere is conducive to chatting and socializing, it’s a great way to meet new people and it fits in kind of perfectly with the frugal lifestyle. I’m lucky in the city that I live in that there are a couple of active groups that meet up regularly for some gaming…

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New Online Venture: Home Cooking in Korea

One of my favorite hobbies is cooking. I’ve talked about it before on this blog how cooking is an essential part of living a frugal lifestyle so this new blog I’ve started goes along with the frugal living theme quite well. Basically, I take pictures of what I cook at home, give a basic introduction of the dish, where I got all the ingredients and then a basic description of how to cook it, along…

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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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Pulled in Many Directions: Priorities

At this point in my life and career, I feel like I’m being pulled in many directions. A large part of it is that I’m actually quite good at organizing things like groups of people and arranging big events, as well an online stuff like blogging/social media which are skills that many people don’t have. Plus, I can teach quite literally anything that would possibly be offered in the realm of “English” at Korean unis.…

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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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Frugal Living: lifestyle creep

I’ve lived in South Korea, working as an English teacher for almost 10 years. For the first 7 years or so, I lived extremely frugally. Like, I always rode public transport and tried to avoid taxis, didn’t have a smart-phone, stayed in the school provided housing and had no pets. And like I would really consider it seriously any time that I spent more than about $5. My weakness was travel, but I almost always…

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Affiliate Feature: Agoda

The other day, I was booking a room for my upcoming trip to Seoul and I was using the site that I always use: Agoda. I’m a very dedicated Agoda user for various reasons and would be happy promoting them, and I thought to myself, “I wonder if they have an Affiliate Program?”  As it turns out, they sure do and it’s quite generous.  Unfortunately, my application got rejected, probably because I don’t have a website…

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Why I don’t have a TV

Part of not having a TV has to do with living in Korea. It’s just kind of a hassle to get it all set-up with cable, etc. and it just seems not even worth it because there aren’t that many channels I’d actually watch. And even when I’m in Canada or the USA, there really isn’t that much I like to watch. So, it’s not really a big deal. But, I love not having a…

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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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Frugal Living : Rice and Beans

Dave Ramsey loves the “Beans and rice, rice and beans” phrase for those getting out of debt.  Even though I don’t have any debt, I love it as well and generally end up making a pot once/week on the weekend.   I have to eat lunch and dinner at work on both Monday and Tuesday so that would be a lot of money spent and junk food eaten if I ate all those meals at a…

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Why YOU need an Emergency Fund

The Dave Ramsey System Dave Ramsey is the king of extolling the benefits of the emergency fund, although almost anyone in the financial world would probably agree that this is a good thing. His system is to save $1000 for a mini-emergency fund, then hit the debts hard and once you’re debt-free, build up a fully funded emergency fund of 3-6 months in expenses. The rationale behind this is that crap happens: you lose a…

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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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