The Latte Factor

When people talk about frugality, something that gets kicked around quite often is the Latte Factor. That is people who go to Starbucks every morning and drop $5 on a specialty Latte when they could just make a cup of drip coffee at home and save themselves $4.80 each day, which adds up to over $100/month and more than $1000/year. And I get that. Frugality is all about the small choices you make each day…

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Energy Vampires

One of my friends talks about energy vampires a lot. By energy vampires, she means the people that will suck you dry until you have nothing. People can suck you dry in various ways, but some of the ways that particularly annoy me are the people who: 1. Constantly say sorry. Like basically apologizing for existing. This leaves the other person (me!) having to reassure them that all is indeed good and that they’re “okay.”…

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Living in Saudi Arabia: what’s your number?

My old English teaching friend and I have been talking about various options for where to move after Korea. I really could move to literally almost any country in the world because everyone seems to want a reasonably well-qualified and experienced English teacher. Except the only problem is that the places that are the most fabulous to live (ie: Thailand, Costa Rica, Eastern Europe) pay the least and are pretty weak on the benefits. While…

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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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May 2014 Passive Income Report

This month, I earned $310.41 in passive income. Everything was pretty normal except for my Iherb earnings, which increased significantly to $24.99, mostly due to their free shipping special for most of May. Anytime I can earn over $300 for very little effort on my part is good news! Here’s how May 2014 compared to previous years. May 2013: $386.06 May 2012: $380.02 May 2011: $243.11 May 2010: $49.22

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Busy at the day job

These days, final exams are looming and I have a lot of grading and other stuff to do at the day job, so I’ve been neglecting my blogs and Squidoo and the social media that is so important to making it online. It’s frustrating. Enough so that I’m seriously considering limiting the amount of overtime that I do each week. My day job consists of 9 teaching hours, which requires an average of around 5-10…

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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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Is building passive income streams worth your time?

Whenever I tell friends about this blog, a question they often have is, “Is the time you spent worth it?” This is kind of a hard question to answer. Truthfully, I’ve never kept track of the number of hours. But, for example on Squidoo, I’ve earned about $5000 in 3 years and I expect to earn at least that much in the future. I spent maybe 500 hours setting all those pages up. So, at…

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A Podcast I Love: Smart Passive Income-Pat Flynn

One of the podcasts that I listen to for inspiration and practical tips related to passive income is, “The Smart Passive Income” podcast by Pat Flynn. Pat is an upbeat kind of guy and extremely savvy about the Internet business world. I’ve already learned a lot from him including the importance of podcasting (I’d like to start my own!), and why you can’t do everything by yourself (I’d like eventually get big enough to hire…

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The Suitcase Entrepreneur

Lately I’ve been listening to the podcast, “The Suitcase Entrepreneur” and I’d highly recommend it.  It features Natalie Sisson, who is doing well along the path of building passive income streams and being an online entrepreneur who travels the world, having lots of interesting adventures. Her podcasts are generally short and concise, but contain lots of interesting information and so far, I haven’t encountered any episodes that I’ve stopped 1/2 way through (a rarity for…

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How to Convert on Amazon

Something I’ve having a hard time with is converting clicks to sales on Amazon. For example, in the first 11 days of this month, I’ve had 156 clicks, but no sales so far. I don’t include Squidoo Amazon sales in this, just my personal blogs (this one, My Life: Teaching in a Korean University, and Home Cooking in Korea). Readers: any tips?  I’m feeling frustrated!  I think I have enough of a following and enough…

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Squidoo Niche Feature: South Korea

The best niches on Squidoo are the ones that you know a lot about, but which there isn’t much competition for so that you can get lots of hits from Google. One of my niches, South Korea fits these criteria perfectly. I’ve lived in Korea for the past 10 years and there really isn’t that much English language tourist information, since it’s kind of off the beaten track for the “Western” world and it’s certainly…

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Amazon Affiliate: what to sell

Amazon pays around a 4-6% commission on the products that you sell, which is quite low compared to other programs out there. Although I sell lots of ESL textbooks and ESL teacher training type books through my blog: My Life: Teaching in a Korean University, it doesn’t really add up to any substantial amount at the end of the month because all those sales are $15-40 or so. The things that can really make you…

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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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Passive Income Report: April 2014

My passive income for the month of April 2014 was $274.64. You can see the breakdown of that in this Passive Income Report, as well as compared to previous months. Here is the data from previous Aprils: April 2010: 5.29 April 2011: 214.34 April 2012: 328.1 April 2013: 251.97 Overall, this month was a bit lower than other years due to decreased dividends. This year, March was a huge month for dividends, so it was…

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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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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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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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