Sunday Morning Reading: March 16, 2014

Good morning! I hope all of you had a good week and are enjoying your weekend.

Here is a quick recap of my blog posts from the past week:

Bro, do you even budget?

What are you saving for?

Investing Styles: Which one is best for me?

How General Mills and Mad Money turned me into a Dividend Growth Investor

Patriots and Blue Chip Investing

And here are some of my favorite blog posts and investing articles from around the web over the past week.

A Simple Step That Pays Huge Dividends by Income Surfer. Great post on a topic not often discussed when choosing what type of investment to invest in: fees and the impact they can have on your returns. This is one of the reasons why I prefer to invest in individual stocks so I can control how much my commission is a percentage of my investment by investing in larger amounts of stock at a time versus paying a fixed (and often high) percentage sales charge that a lot of actively managed mutual funds use. If you’re not the type to pick stocks yourself, index funds often offer some of the lowest expense ratios.

Marriage and Finance Part 1 by Military Finance Report. Fellow military blogger Brandon goes over some of the different types of roles spouses often assume in relationships when it comes to managing household finances. Although it is aimed at military families, the roles are often seen in non-military families as well.

Exxon Mobil: The Dividend Growth Picture Looks Unusually Bright by Timothy M. David McAleenan Jr. at Seeking Alpha. This articles goes over Exxon’s future dividend growth prospects which will be fueled by a combination of upcoming production growth and the company’s continuing stock buyback which typically buys up 4-5% of its stock each year. Exxon is on my buy list and I hope to add it to my portfolio sometime this year.

Freedom-Best Pursued with Wild Abandon by Write Your Own Reality. “Freedom looks different for everybody, but everybody can appreciate being free.” Great post about how regardless of the way you’re investing or how you view early retirement (i.e. continuing to work part-time vs. not working at all), we are all pursuing the same overall goal-freedom to choose to live our lives the way we want to.

My Financial Goal: $1 Million Net Worth by 40 by Caveman Money. Caveman discusses his new long-term goal for increasing his net worth to $1 million in the next 12 years. Achieving this goal, he explains, will greatly help and put him on track to being able to retire early. Setting goals is a great thing to do and really helps you stay on track when it comes to your finances and investing.

Total Dividend Return Will Guide My 2014 Decisions Part 2 by Bob Wells at Seeking Alpha. This article explains how Bob is using total dividend return, a metric commonly referred to as “The Chowder Rule,” named after fellow SA contributor Chowder,in his investing decisions this year. The Chowder Rule number is made up of a stock’s current yield plus its 5 year dividend growth rate. Chowder and Bob prefer this equal to 12, so a stock yielding 3% will need a 5 year dividend growth rate of 9% to qualify. Be sure to check out Part 1 (link in the article) to see how Bob does research to determine what stocks to add to his dividend growth portfolio. I always like reading articles that go over an author’s stock research process as I usually find something new to do or add to my own process.

Where Will Qualcomm’s Growth Come From by Roadmap2Retire. This article by R2R lays out why Qualcomm could be an attractive dividend growth investment in the technology sector, where you don’t often find a lot of dividend growth names. The key takeaways that I liked about QCOM that was presented in the article was the large amount of cash saved up, no debt, and an impressive dividend growth rate. I’ll have to add this stock to my research list.

Drink This, Save Money by G.E. Miller at 20 Something Finance. Cool post explaining just how expensive it is to buy bottle water (and other drinks) versus tap water. As part of my frugal lifestyle I always fill up my water bottle(s) with tap water before I go to work to save money.

Real Estate Investing-The First Investment is the Scariest by FI Fighter. Great post by FI Fighter going over how we are all adaptable and once hit with something new and maybe “scary” we are usually are able to figure it out and adapt to the new lifestyle or activity. The example he uses in the post is real estate investing. I love this quote from the post, “You don’t become a master at something by watching idly on the sidelines. If your want to learn something, you have to go out there and actually do it!” I couldn’t agree more and the same thought process can really be applied to any new thing in our lives, whether it be choosing to build your own stock portfolio, investing in real estate as the post highlights, or even trying a new sport or hobby you’ve never done before.

How You Can Invest Like Warren Buffett by David Van Knapp at Seeking Alpha. Dave breaks down the latest Berkshire Hathaway Shareholder Letter written by Buffett and how the lessons and ideas presented in it can be adapted to individual investors. I love the analogy at the beginning of how building your own dividend growth portfolio is like running your own holding company. Treating your portfolio and investing like a business is a great idea and one I know a lot of dividend growth investors use.

Hope you enjoyed these posts from around the web. Enjoy the rest of your weekend! 🙂

Image courtesy of Master Isolated Images/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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