Another crazy year has passed us by, and despite so much uncertainty in the world with continued shutdowns and staffing shortages, the stock market has once again performed very well.  The S&P 500 is up 27% for 2021, and small-cap stocks also increased. Although there were seemingly many knee-jerk investor reactions every time a Fed meeting was imminent, the market consistently bounced back from any drops. Anyone invested in the market, even the most simplistic market-tracking ETFs (which many investors will tell you is a wise diversified choice for many), did very well this year and last. Next I’ll take a look as always atRead More →

This is the third year that I’ve done both a financial review at the end of the year, as well as a prediction of my own passive income looking forward.  Since dividends aren’t guaranteed and can fluctuate a lot (especially last year), there’s always some uncertainty and educated guessing required to work out your own specific numbers ahead of time. I delved into potential market recoveries in my update on 2020, as well as a preview of my expectations for 2021. In this article I’ll get into specifics on my own finances, and what I expect for 2021. (As always, these are just my personalRead More →

When I posted my 2020 predictions back in January, I casually threw in a typical financial statement of caution: “Everyone has seen those “the past is not an indicator of performance” disclaimers, which is of course true, so predictions are just that – estimates that could easily be affected by market changes.” Well, I think it’s safe to say nobody saw 2020 coming. Not even the guys from The Big Short.  Here’s my year-end look back at the market, updates on my financial experiment in generating income from dividends during my sabbatical, and a quick look forward.  Stock Market Performance in 2020 The National BureauRead More →

One of the few positives to come out of 2020 was that people found they had spare time on their hands, maybe for the first time in years. Baking homemade bread and cooking exploded in popularity. Home workouts and video yoga took off. Judging by social media, people were able to spend tons of time outdoors with their partners and kids, and even try new hobbies. I was unemployed this year on sabbatical, so instead of traveling as I’d planned, I had even more free time at home than most! One of my goals was to scrutinize and cut back on my spending without feelingRead More →

In my last update in April, I talked about the complete unknowability of the world’s financial situation. The stocks have been swinging up and down seemingly on a whim, and nothing seems safe anymore.  I’m a year and half into my experiment of living off dividend income while on my sabbatical, so in this completely terrible time to try such a thing, how am I doing? While some of my funds have indeed suspended payouts, including Carnival Cruise Lines (go figure), I’m actually doing fine with others.  I predicted back in January that I should be able to make $1,191 a month on average thisRead More →

Well, there’s no way anyone could have predicted the financial situation we find ourselves in now, in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak. The inverted yield curve back in August 2019 didn’t look encouraging, but nobody expected a global pandemic and subsequent mass shutdown this spring. In the midst of the turmoil, a lot of people are experiencing financial distress, both for immediate needs and in their retirement accounts. I wanted to address the market conditions and give a personal update, since some folks have kindly asked how I’m doing.  Stay the course, and Don’t Panic.  Though this global shutdown is unprecedented, market conditions haveRead More →

Way back in 2013, I was looking for a simple way to invest. The roboadvisor startups were just getting going and there wasn’t a lot of data out there, so I decided to put a small amount of money in two of the front runners, Wealthfront and Betterment, and assess performance over time. There was a lot of interest among my friends, so I posted Facebook updates across a six month period. In May 2014 I decided on Betterment because the returns were better, the interface was simpler, and the tax documents were released a month sooner. I talk more about that here. Three YearsRead More →

As I did last year, I spent some time predicting what my dividend income will look like for 2020, and wanted to give an update on how things look. Using the past to predict the future Everyone has seen those “the past is not an indicator of performance” disclaimers, which is of course true, so predictions are just that – estimates that could easily be affected by market changes. In fact I saw it firsthand when my REIT ETFs underperformed thanks to the Federal Reserve cutting interest rates. That said, here’s the simple methodology I follow.  First, I look at the dividends from last yearRead More →

2019 brought some radical changes for me. I quit my job in May with the intention of taking a sabbatical, spending more time with family, and thinking about what I might want to do next and where I’d want to be. That entailed saying goodbye to a lot of friends in California and a work/social life I was pretty comfortable with, putting my things in storage, and driving cross-country back to NY. (I talk about it in my video blog update.) I’ve had some amazing family time in the last six months and great visits to friends I hadn’t seen in ages, so that partRead More →

I heard from several of my friends while I was in California that they found the investing articles informative. I sat down a few days ago and ran through all of the numbers into November, and wanted to give an update here on progress. Recap: Dividend funds for income As you may recall from my previous post, I’ve experimented with higher dividend investing this year, vs. growth, to generate income while I’m on sabbatical. I used a mixture of ETFs as well as some stocks like AT&T. Dividends are not guaranteed and are only announced several weeks before payout (this is referred to as theRead More →