Friday, October 2, 2015

2015 Goals: Q3 Progress: Chugging Along

I think I set a pretty good mix of goals this year. The financial ones will be real stretches to hit. The personal ones will take commitment over time. And the 5th goal will take a mix of creativity and commitment coupled with a bit of luck. How have I done in hitting these marks through the three quarters of 2015?

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Cash Cost of a Mortgage

In the pursuit of financial independence, one has to have a clear and realistic budget. For many, housing costs are the biggest budget category. This is also the case for me. My home mortgage, property taxes, and home insurance make up about 35% of my spending. That said, it's worth considering ways to reduce costs in this budget category.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

In Need of a Break

I used to love summer breaks. There's something magical that happens when you wake up without an alarm clock and don't know what day of the week it is. Being able to do anything on nothing more than a whim is extremely freeing. The last time I had an extended break was over 4 years ago!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

2015 Goals: Q2 Progress: The Mid-Year Update

I think I set a pretty good mix of goals this year. The financial ones will be real stretches to hit. The personal ones will take commitment over time. And the 5th goal will take a mix of creativity and commitment coupled with a bit of luck. How have I done in hitting these marks through the first half of 2015?

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Debating the Merits of Closed End Funds

I've struggled a bit with whether closed end funds (CEFs) deserve a place in a dividend portfolio. I had 5% of my portfolio in CEFs at one point last year. I later sold all of my CEF holdings in a quest to increase the quality of my dividend income. I've decided again to add some exposure to CEFs. Here's the biggest reason why:

Monday, June 1, 2015

How I Plan to Save for My Children's College Costs

College is obscenely expensive these days. Tuition, Room & Board, and Other Fees can total into the $50k/year range. My wife and I plan on fully funding our children's college educations. My parents funded mine. Her parents funded hers. The cycle goes on. I'm convinced that the cost of tuition needs to slow/fall, but no matter what, saving for the cost is going to require some effort.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

2015 Goals: Q1 Progress

I think I set a pretty good mix of goals this year. The financial ones will be real stretches to hit. The personal ones will take commitment over time. And the 5th goal will take a mix of creativity and commitment coupled with a bit of luck. How have I done in hitting these marks through the first quarter?

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Kraft and Heinz to Merge

This morning, Kraft and Heinz announced plans to merge their businesses. The new company will be one of the top three North American food brands by sales. Kraft shareholders will get 1 share of the new entity PLUS a special dividend of $16.50/share and a commitment to maintain the current KRFT dividend (with growth) going forward. As a KRFT shareholder, I love this kind of merger!

Friday, March 20, 2015

New Buys: Initiating a $10,000 Chemicals Position

I've been on the hunt for bargains (or even relative bargains) out in the stock market lately. It's been tough! The typical list of dividend-payers trades at crazy valuations for the likely return. Sure, buying such quality companies is likely to turn out as a good idea over time regardless of valuation, but I'm trying to stack the odds of earning great returns in my favor.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

2015 Goals

Though the first quarter of 2015 is nearly in the books, I never set goals for 2015. I was a bit distracted with my new baby girl and prepping the house for her and my wife's baby shower. Though I had a mixed bag of results in achieving my goals in 2014, it was still a great year. 2015 looks promising, but what are my goals?

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Baby Girl

I announced a new portfolio addition of my baby girl back in September. The time has finally come to actually meet her. She was born on the 1st of March. She and her mother (my wife) are doing great.