Just A Small Update

Just wanted to let you people know I’m not dead; I’m just taking a hiatus.

Because I can only dedicate energy to so many things at once, I don’t think it’s fair to expect myself to keep up to date on this blog on a weekly basis.

I’ll be back, but while I’m taking a break from dumping money into my investment accounts and focusing more on the business side of things, I’d rather not bombard people with updates on things unrelated to finance and financial independence.

Until, at least, I’m back into that mode. When that happens, expect some comments and another barrage of posts.

For the time being, I’m also giving myself an out on the blog-related goals. On the other hand, I’m still focused on increasing savings, however slowly.

Thanks for stopping by and hope to catch up with you soon. For now, I’ll be focusing on the business, my family and reading a ton.

P.S. In case anyone is curious, I’ll be keeping my Net Worth (on the right sidebar) up to date. That is all.

Whoa! Is it August Already?

This won’t be a long post but I just realized we’re about one third through the month and I haven’t posted once!

Perhaps part of the reason for that is that nothing has really happened financially, so I haven’t had anything interesting to say since my last post. I’ve had an oddly packed schedule and have sort of been watching all my portfolios do terribly. Before diving into investing in general, I figured I might be nervous wreck seeing my portfolio take $100+ dives each day, but I think I’ve read enough sort of assuage my fears. Now I view these downtimes as opportunities. Whether or not I can take advantage of the opportunities is another matter.

Hmm, wow. That reminds me. I haven’t done a net worth update this month! Nor have I done an update on my goal progress. Based on my average posts per day this month, I’m guessing I will be falling short of glory. But that’s okay. I’ll post something along those lines soon.

This just shows how easy it is to fall out of the swing of things if you aren’t involved on a daily basis. Admittedly, I’ve been spending more time on the side business than watching my stocks. On that front, I’ve finally chosen a name, so hooray for decisiveness!

Another thing I’ve been doing is allowing myself to get lost in fiction. It happens a few times a year, but getting absorbed in stories, particularly horror stories is something I love. Plus, I’ve been on quite the bender lately with horror movies on Netflix. I think I’ve all but used up their queue. Right now, I’m half way through The Exorcist. I hadn’t seen it in a few years, so I felt like now is a good time.

All that is just to say — I’m still here, just temporarily sidetracked. As soon as I make some additional purchases, stock or otherwise, I’ll be sure to let you know.

And, as I mentioned, stay tuned for my net worth update!


FI Monkey

What I’ve Been Up To

Hello, hello!

I’m not dead, but I did have some catching up to do with work and such before I could give you guys a decent update here.

First things first, let’s talk about stocks and portfolios. I haven’t made any additional purchases since my last post which was … 9 days ago. Holy wow. Sorry about that huge break in posts. That also reminds me that I didn’t update my portfolio page to reflect my updated portfolio values after my last buys. I’ll do that after this post.

For now, I just want to say — what’s up with the stock market lately? All my stuff is either down or stale. Get it together, stock market. COME ON.

The only thing that has been doing reasonably well is Realty Income Corp (O), but I guess that’s why we diversify, right? Can’t blame the market if I only have seven stocks. Instead of building upward (buying more stocks for my existing portfolio), I think I will build horizontally a bit (buy other companies) for my next set of purchases.

Moving on to business endeavors, I have actually made some progress there! Having narrowed down the product selection to five last week, I ended up making some more business purchases to assist me in my quest and have narrowed the list down to three products. This part of the process has been difficult to say the least. Luckily, I have a buddy I’m partnered with to keep me motivated and keep the wheel rolling forward, however slowly.

That being said, I still have to narrow the list down to that one product to start with and then make a big purchase. Of course, this might seem unrelated to this blog at first glance until you consider the business itself an investment and part of my overall strategy to make up the difference that my new situation has led me into.

While I’m not being frivolous with my spending, I’m certainly trying to be less timid in pushing forward with my FBA business and buying the right tools (after much personal vetting) to get my to my destination. I’m already about $1,000 in and I’m keeping track of every penny.

This is not my first business, but it’s definitely the business I have taken most seriously. There was a time when I started my first business on my own and actually took time off from working in general, but because I didn’t take it seriously enough, I ended up focusing on too many things and the original business idea went cold, then died. Not the end of the world, but it’s good to know myself.

Business-wise, self-management is paramount for success.

Armed with that knowledge, I know it’s best to focus on my main gig while keeping a side focus on my business. On top of that, it’s important to have a partner with similar goals who will keep me focused.

Interestingly, that brief period of joblessness I mentioned reveals something about one way I might retire if I didn’t keep working. For a while, I just played games instead of doing any actual work. That’s not how I want things to go, so a big part of self-management means keeping myself busy with meaningful work. I do want some time to just mess around because I believe that’s just good for the soul, but not like it was.

I’ll keep you posted on the progress on my FBA Business, of course. Meanwhile, I’m looking at my next portfolio purchases. If I can’t find something suitable, I’ll just move more money into my SEP IRA while I can.

As always, let me know if you have any suggestions in that department.


Recent Buys

So I’m on vacation, but I’m not dead. Before I go out and swim for a bit, I decided I’d execute some orders (sounds so much cooler than it is) on the stocks I’d been comparing/eyeing this weekend. As usual, I will preface this by saying I am new to this whole thing and if there were a gradient from completely green to Warren Buffett, I would be firmly in the green still.

That being said, I actually did my own analysis on the stocks I did purchase today, albeit nothing too deep or intensive. For example, I’m not to the point where I’m using P/E to determine whether I should invest. I’m sure I’ll get to that point, but for the moment I’m not going out on any crazy limbs by establishing myself with these companies. I’m keeping it simple.

So far, I’m using these metrics (which could be absolutely terrible, I’m sure) which I took largely from David Fish’s CCC list:

  • Reasonable dividend payout (2 – 5% yield)
  • Long history of increased dividends
  • An upward trajectory in stock price over the past 5 years

Feel free to point out my terrible strategy. I am completely open to learning — that’s what this whole thing is about. For now, I’ll get into which stocks I bought!

Realty Income Corp (O)

Realty Income Corporation

I’m sure many of you are quite familiar with this one. I read that it is described as the “Monthly Dividend Company” on its Wikipedia article. Honestly, I didn’t even comprehend that this was a REIT stock until after I purchased it. But hey, it looks strong to me. The company was founded in 1969 and was recently added to the S&P 500. It’s had 22 years of consecutive dividend growth and its current dividend yield is at 4.85% from what I can tell. I bought in at $47.12 with 10 shares. This was my second out of three commission-free trades on Scottrade (yay!).

Target Corporation (TGT)

Target Corporation

Last of my commission-free trades was Target. While I do own Walmart stock, it’s Target my family visits 4-5 times per week. Like Diet Coke, we have a personal stake in the success of this company and based on how it’s done previously, it seems like it will keep going strong for years to come, so by that measure I had no qualms going forward. It’s been around for over 100 years now and is also included in the S&P 500! Although I read that Target Corp’s dividend growth wasn’t so hot in recent years, it has still continued to climb over the last 32 years. The dividend yield is presently 2.46%, which is good enough for me. I bought 6 shares at $84.48.

This brings my total number of stocks owned up to seven (7) for a stock portfolio currently worth about $3,450.00.