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 →

As I mentioned in the previous blog posts on investing (Part 1 and Part 2), one way to generate passive income is through dividend stocks and funds. Today I’m going to walk through my investments, discuss some numbers, and provide some simple information if you’re interested in pursuing passive income yourself. Dividend Basics First, it’s important to realize that not all funds have dividends. Some don’t. Many tech stocks in particular, such as Alphabet/”Google” (GOOG), Amazon (AMZN), Netflix (NFLX), and so on don’t offer any dividends. Some stocks, such as Apple, pay a low dividend (say 1.4%, we’ll cover this in more detail below), whileRead More →

Passive investing is a huge buzz phrase right now. There are tons of blogs covering it, like Sam Dogen’s at financialsamurai.com where he generates over $200,000 a year through a combination of real estate, stocks/bonds, and eBook sales. He doesn’t include his website revenue, because it requires regular maintenance and updates, aka “work”. Often the message conveyed is something aspirational like “break free and live the life you were meant to”, perhaps with a picture of a cocktail on the beach. Maybe you don’t want to quit your job and sip drinks on the beach all day, but you’re looking for some small amounts ofRead More →

Some people love it, some people hate it. Many know they should but don’t, harboring guilty feelings in the dark, like eating ice cream at midnight. Let’s talk investing. Disclaimer: I am one of those people who has never particularly liked the intricacies of market investing. However, I do believe many people think it’s more complicated than it is, and avoid it entirely out of fear. I’m therefore going to keep this article super simple and focus on high-confidence, easy approaches. What you need to remember is there are many highly diversified index trackers that, in the long run, will almost certainly yield returns. YouRead More →