Sunday, December 30, 2012


Congressional members took the unusual step of working on Sunday to try and work out some sort of compromise deal to avoid the "fiscal cliff".  Failure to come to resolve the problem will lead to higher prices, lower paychecks (mostly due to tax increases) and severe cutbacks in government programs.  While none of this sounds too appealing, it does sound like a step towards reducing government spending and the federal deficit.  While I'm not convinced this is the way to go about it, there is always more than one road to take to where you want to go.  

If it should happen that the politicians in Washington can't hammer out a deal, then it may not be quite the doomsday scenario mainstream media would have you believe.  Whatever way it goes, it's sure to mean depressed stock prices for most of the coming year.  So being on the buying side, I'm all for low priced stocks for the time being.  As for the rest of the economy, I don't hold out a lot of hope for any major changes at least within the next 4 years or so.  We've got an obstinate, my way or the highway leader in the Whitehouse, who doesn't have to worry about being re-elected and an ineffectual and confused GOP, so I don't see much of any real value coming from the political arena.  It's going to be up to the U.S. citizens to look out for themselves and each other as best we can and maybe that's the way it should be.  The more you depend on government and the less self reliance you have, the more you become indebted to and enslaved by government.

Sunday, December 23, 2012


To compensate for extra spending on Christmas this year, I've made it my goal to save as much as possible on household spending through extreme couponing.  I managed to walk away with a 50% savings on my weekly grocery shopping at Schnuck's this past Friday.  They had a special from Wednesday through Friday, doubling all coupons up to $1.  So I picked out all my $1 coupons and did my shopping for the week.  I purchased $80 worth of food, including meat and dairy products, for $40!  50% off is not as good as the people on TLC's hit show, "Extreme Couponing", but it still made it possible for me to buy twice the amount of groceries I would have bought normally.  

All the money I save by using coupons is money that can be better spent paying off debt and rebuilding my investment portfolio.  So the more I save the better.  With that in mind, I'm also planning to rebuild my stockpile, so I'm gearing up to take full advantage of all lupcoming coupon specials.  Wouldn't mind doing one of the $700 shopping trips for $10 or $15 like they do on TLC.  I'm working on that too.


It's time once again to revise my investment plan for the new year.  After setbacks from out sized medical expenses in 2012, I'm taking an entirely new approach for 2013.  There are many roads to wealth and this time around I'm going for quality instead of quantity.  While my attempt to build a portfolio paying a dividend for every day of the year was quite doable and not entirely unsound, it was a great deal to manage.  So as I begin rebuilding my investments, I'll be targeting quality dividend stocks for the long term.  

My plan in a nutshell:  To pick a dream portfolio of no more than 12 stocks and build large holdings in each stock through monthly investments and dividend re-investment.  I plan to re-invest all dividends in my IRA account and collect all dividends from my taxable account in cash.

As for the looming "financial cliff", if the politicians can't get their heads out of their asses long enough to come up with a solution, so be it.  We've lived through major social, political and economic upheavals in the past and we'll survive this one as well.  One thing I've learned in the past 52 years is that a person can deal with anything, you just have to figure out how.  As for new taxes on stock dividends, if they're taxed like regular income, I'm O.K. with that.  Just got to roll with the punches.  

Sunday, December 16, 2012


Completed purchase of CNP shares for my taxable investment account this past Tuesday.  I've scheduled an order to purchase more shares of UVE for my IRA account this coming Tuesday.  With so much uncertainty in Washington and the stock market, I'm playing it safe with utilities and insurance company shares. We'll see what the new year brings and decide where to go from there.

On a brighter note, I managed to save a great deal on my shopping at Walgreens today.  I needed laundry soap and fabric softener, so I matched up coupons, register rewards and sales and managed to save 91% on laundry supplies.  On my other purchases I saved 37%, which is not nearly as good as 91% but it's still a fantastic savings.  Using coupons is making it much easier to rebuild my investment accounts.  Looking forward to 2013.  It's sure to be a challenge to maneuver changes in the tax code and new health care regulations, so it will be more important than ever to save in every way you can.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


Finished my Christmas shopping in one day, actually in less than one hour.  I went through one of my shopping rewards programs online and bought everything from one store.  Didn't really get any outstanding deals, so I'm hoping the cash back rewards are good because I spent more than I'd planned on spending. 

With that in mind, I decided the best way to make up for the extra spending was to save on everything else with extreme couponing.  I hit Walgreens Sunday and picked up Colgate Total toothpaste, a Colgate Optic White toothbrush and 5 bottles of Dawn dish liquid for less than $6.  Today I stopped by Gerbes and picked up 2 boxes of Jimmy Dean's fully cooked sausage and a dozen eggs for $4, for a savings of 63% off the regular prices.  The sausage was on sale 2 for $6 and if you bought 2 boxes you got a dozen large eggs free.  I used two coupons for 55 cents off per box on the sausage, both coupons double up to $1 each bringing my total cost down to just over $4 with tax.  I'll be watching for more great deals in the weeks to come and should be able to save enough to cover everything I've spent on Christmas this year. 

Nothing special to report on my investments.  With the looming "financial cliff"  and all the dawdling in Washington, I'm not expecting much to happen with the stock market until after the first of the year.  Since I'm in a buying phase, to replace stocks I sold to pay off medical bills this year, I'm kind of hoping for the market to stay low.  Whatever the case may be, I'll go with the flow and add some great dividend paying shares each month until I've replaced everything I had to sell.

Saturday, November 17, 2012


Put in orders to purchase shares of UVE (Universal Insurance) for my taxable and retirement accounts.  With their 8.71% dividend yield on their recent price of $3.91, I'm looking to add to overall portfolio yield from dividends with this purchase. 

Got a big corporate inspection at work on Monday, so I'll be spending the weekend brushing up on corporate policy and procedure in preparation for that.  Be glad to have that out of the way.

The holidays are here, looking forward to a great Thanksgiving dinner, but I must admit I haven't done any Christmas shopping yet.  I'll be looking for some great deals online, probably won't do much shopping in the stores this year.

Started shopping around for health insurance.  The company I work for only offers realistic coverage for management, so I've opted not to sign up for their plans, since their policy only covers up to $10,000 per year and doesn't cover major medical.  I really only need major medical, so I could have a high deductible and pay for my own doctor visits and prescriptions, just have to find coverage at a reasonable rate.

Saturday, November 10, 2012


The presidential election results may have been disappointing for me, but not entirely unexpected.  After all, I never really thought Romney had the charisma to beat Obama.  Even so, it was a lot closer than I expected, which should have sent signals to Obama and the Democrats that maybe they need to have a good hard look at the way they've been doing things.  Not likely to happen I suspect.

At any rate, the elections over and the results are what they are.  The administration is already talking tax hikes and the stock market took an immediate dive.  Neither of which were unexpected with an Obama win.  So what does a person do now?

I don't know about anyone else, but I've decided to look at it all as a stock buying opportunity and rebuild my investment portfolio.  After my last heart attack, the medical bills devastated my savings and investments, but like with any disaster,  things are starting to turn around and I'm getting back on track.  I've scheduled transfers to my regular stock account and my retirement account next week.  I'll be keeping things on a conservative level, trying to minimize tax exposure while maximizing income.

I've been reading the book, "You're Broke Because You Want to Be" by Larry Winget.  Great book for people who find themselves living paycheck to paycheck or never being able to pay their bills.  While I don't really have any trouble managing my finances anymore (I haven't been "broke" since September of 1993), I'm always looking for new ideas and ways to improve.  It's a great book and a great read, I highly recommend it.

As for election results, it's time to move on.  Whatever happens, don't blame me, I voted for the other guys.  Politicians come and go, and my "hope" is that moving "forward" they won't do too much damage along the way.  

Thursday, November 1, 2012


Saw coverage of one of President Obama's campaign speeches today on HLN.  During the speech he received a round of applause when he compared his plan for our economy to former President Clinton.  While I think it highly questionable that Clinton's economic policies had anything to do with the budget surplus during his administration, there is one thing I know for sure about that time.  When President Clinton was elected, he passed one of the largest tax increases in history and made it retroactive to the beginning of the year.  Did he ask the rich to "pay a little bit" more, like President Obama says in his campaign commercials?  Undoubtedly.  However, as someone who lived and worked through those years, I know from first hand experience that my personal income taxes increased dramatically during Clinton's years in office, while my income did not.  In fact, there is no doubt in my mind that I would be considered among the "working poor" and yet I was faced with higher taxes and less take home pay.  

So if President Obama wants to compare himself to Bill Clinton, then I'm afraid I'll be saying NO THANK YOU on election day.  And by the way, wasn't it during this administration that government bailouts, with taxpayers money, helped rich bankers pay themselves obscene bonuses, while the rest of the nation suffered through the "Great Recession"?  I didn't hear any mention of that in his commercials about all that he's accomplished during his first term.  In all fairness, I think he probably should have mentioned that as well.

All this leads me to question who the President is really asking to "pay a little bit more"?

Sunday, October 7, 2012


Had to pick up some things at Walgreens this morning, so I did the coupon match ups with the store ad and managed to save over 50% on my total bill.  Gotta love coupons!  Yeah, I'm still doing the extreme couponing, even though I haven't written about it in a while.  When I first started writing about coupons last year, I did a lot more shopping.  Now I've fine tuned my whole coupon use so I don't keep as many items on hand (smaller stockpile), I take more of a buy only what I need approach.  I still pick up extras of some items when they're extremely cheap and I still stockpile some items to hand out to family and friends, but for the most part I only do coupon and sale match ups on items as needed.  Which means I spend very little on household, food and personal care items.

The bottom line with coupons is to save as much as you can on the items you normally buy or on new items you'd like to try, but don't go overboard and build outrageous stockpiles or purchase items you don't need or won't use.

Saturday, October 6, 2012


Just got my confirmation letter for my voter's registration, so I'm all set to vote in the upcoming presidential elections.  While I'd have preferred a Republican ticket featuring Ryan/Romney instead of Romney/Ryan, I still prefer them over Obama/Biden.  I don't see anything but more wasteful spending with another four years of democrats in the White House.  I'll be casting my vote for Republican candidates only.


Closed down my outdoor flea market booth for the season, will be planning for next years sales starting in April 2013.  Over the winter months I'll be building my resale business on ebay and Craigslist.  This weekend we are having a rummage sale at my sister's house.  I've done quite well so far.  It's nice to have extra income from my resale business on top of going back to work.

Work has gone well so far.  Picked up my first paycheck Friday and used it to pay rent and add to my checking account balance.  Looking forward to putting some of the money back in my accounts that I paid out after my last hospital visit.  So far I haven't been having any problems with chest pains, but I do get tired by the end of the work day.  Probably not so unusual at my age.  Just have to make sure I'm not getting paranoid over every little twinge of pain.

Revised my investment plans to rebuild my accounts.  It seems like it gets easier every time, probably attributable to experience.  The more I study investing and actually apply what I learn, the easier it gets.  So I'm not too concerned about how long it will take to rebuild my portfolio.  Off to a new start, it's more exciting than daunting.  Wish me luck!  :0)

Thursday, September 20, 2012


The week got off to a good start with a $25 sale for my resale business through Craigslist.  I sold a side table which I purchased at a yard sale for 25 cents.  When I bought the table, it was in pieces, with only one leg attached, but most of the pieces were there.  It turned out to be an easy job to re-attach the legs and clean up the table, taking about an hour of my time.  After it was finished, I took some pictures, listed it on Craigslist and sold it for $25, or 100 times what I originally paid!  Got to love resale :0)!

Just did my sweepstakes entry from today's visit to Walgreens.  Had to pick up a few items for my VA patient, so while I was there, I had them sign me up for their Balance Rewards program and give me a card to use on my next visit.  Although none of the items I purchased today earned any rewards points, a lot of the items I regularly purchase do.  So it shouldn't take long to build up a nice point balance in subsequent visits.  What a great place to shop!

Monday, September 17, 2012


Wow, I can't believe it's been so long since my last post!  I've been really busy though.  Just finished a painting job I had contracted with my landlord.  Spent Saturday at the flea market in Versailles, Mo., it was kind of a bust due to the cold rainy weather.  But I got a call today on one of my job applications and will be going back to work on Friday of this week. 

It's the time of year for the outdoor flea markets to start closing down, so I decided it would be best for me to work through the winter until they open up again in the spring.  Since I just got my business started this year, I didn't really make enough to hold me over through the slow winter months.  I still plan on continuing the resale business throughout the winter months by listing on Craigslist.  I had calls on 3 of my listed items today, so I'm looking forward to some good sales this week. 

The big thing I'll be concentrating on after returning to work is rebuilding my investment portfolio.  After my most recent trip to the hospital to have a new stint put in, I had a lot of medical bills to pay.  So most of that money came from my investment accounts.  Now it's time to rebuild.  At first I was a little down in the dumps that so much of what I'd built got wiped out so quickly, but it's always easier to rebuild your portfolio when you've done it before.  As long as my health holds up, I have no doubts that in just a few years I'll have more money invested than I've ever had.  All in all, with my online sales and my new job, things are looking up!

Sunday, August 19, 2012


We had a good weekend at the Mason Dixon Flea market!  Sales were up quite nicely over last weekend.  The weather was great and there were lots of customers.  I've never seen so many vendors at the sale either, so I guess the nice weather brought a lot of them out as well.  Some people look at that as competition, but I think the more vendors you have, the more customers will show up for the sales.  It also helps the proprietor of the flea market to keep the overall business going, so I think it's a good thing all around.

Got several good items to list on Craigslist, so I'll be busy with that at the first of the week.  Got to get additional cash coming in to help pay off some of my medical bills from my last trip to the hospital.  Last week I realized how much more I could be using Craigslist to pick up extra cash between sales.  So I'll be concentrating on that this week.

Looking forward to a good weekend in Versailles Missouri next weekend!

Thursday, August 16, 2012


The weekend of the 11th we finally saw a drop in sales from the previous week.  Of course a day at the flea market in Versailles can hardly compare to the blowout days we had with our local garage sale, but it still didn't quite meet up to expectations.  I think a lot of it had to do with back to school shopping weekend.  Everybody was at Walmart and the other back to school retailers instead of shopping the flea market.

We're looking forward to a little better weekend this week in Union Missouri.  We'll be setting up at the Mason Dixon Line flea market there and we've got some great items for sale this week!  I kicked off the weekend sales early by selling 4 dozen canning jars on Craigslist today for $45.  Not a fortune, but it pays the costs for our trip to Union and our booth rental.  Since I had $0 in the jars, it was all profit!

Got a lot of work to do on Friday.  I'm hitting yard sales early on and loading the van as soon as I get home.  That way we'll be ready to roll early Saturday morning.  It's about a two hour drive from here and it takes about 45 minutes to an hour to get everything set up.  My helper will be manning the booth while I'm setting up.  Weather is supposed to be moderate, so it's looking good for sales.  We'll see how it goes.

While perusing Craiglist today, it occurred to me that I'm under utilizing this fantastic resource.  The canning jars sold in less than 24 hours after listing, as is the case with many other items I've listed with them.  So I was thinking I should be looking for 3 or 4 items each week to list.  It could add a great deal to my sales while reaching a lot of customers I don't normally sell to through the flea markets.  I'll be keeping an eye out for prospective items while hitting the yard sales tomorrow.  I think it would be quite possible for a person to make a decent living just selling on Craigslist. 

Saturday, August 4, 2012


We expected this weekend to be good, setting up for a local garage sale instead of a booth at the flea market, but it turned out to be our best week of sales ever!  The week kicked off with the sale of a refinished coffee table on Craigslist.  From the sale of the table I made an 833% return on my initial investment!  A fantastic start to an incredible week!

Wednesday I took all the merchandise from the storage locker to the location for the garage sale and got everything set up.  We opened at noon on Thursday and ran until 6 pm..  Friday and Saturday we opened from 8 am to 4 pm.  By the end of the day Saturday we had cleared out a great deal of older merchandise and had sold the majority of our picks from Thursday and Fridays' yard sales.  In one instance I tripled my money on a hand full of tools I purchased at a sale less than a mile from our sale.  It's a lot of work to find items at the right price and items that will sell, but when you do the profits can be fantastic!

It's weekends like this that make me want to keep going and not give up on the resale business.  I love the work and I love the business, it's simply whether or not I'll be able to keep everything going until I'm able to support growth in the business and support myself as well. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


We've got a big weekend planned for resale business this week!  We're holding a 4 day yard sale to clear out excess flea market merchandise and will be setting up at the Versailles Missouri flea market on Saturday.  The heat has been brutal so far this week, so we're hoping for that to let up some. 

It was time to hold a big sale and clear out some of the older inventory.  Customers want to see new merchandise at the booth, not the same old thing every week, so we try to rotate inventory.  Usually we take all our new finds first and add in some of the older merchandise as the tables begin to clear off.  This way we've got new arrangements and new items out every week.  Still we've managed to accumulate a lot of excess merchandise and since my storage locker was getting pretty full, we decided to hold a big yard sale to sell off some of the older merchandise.  Hopefully we'll be able to buy a lot of quality items at the sales this week to replenish our booth.

Thursday, July 26, 2012


Just as a follow up to my post on July 18th:  I sold the cast iron Dutch oven for 7 times what I paid and the oil lamp for 3.5 times it's purchase price.  So I've already tripled my original investment and still have the antique inlaid tray to sell.  I may put that on eBay, if it doesn't sell in Union this weekend.  It's a nice inlaid wooden tray, but what makes it unique is the decoration under the glass top.  The floral design is made entirely of butterfly and moth wings.


Had another great day at the flea market in Versailles Mo last Saturday!  However, since they're having their fair this week, we decided to make another trip to the Mason Dixon Line Flea Market in Union Mo..  I'm really looking forward to our second trip there!  We had a great day our first time around and since we're expecting a little cooler weather this weekend, I'm hoping it will be even better this time.  The last time we went, I borrowed my sister's van, which was great for hauling, but not so great on gas.  Since there were several boxes on the first trip that never got unpacked, I decided to make this trip in my Honda Civic and save on gas.  We'll see how that goes?

Medical bills from my latest cardiac surgery have decimated my stock portfolio once again :0( , but if the business keeps growing, I'll be able to replenish it in due time.  In the mean time, I'll be making my regular contributions to my IRA account and reinvesting dividends to buy back stocks I've sold.  The way the market is going, I'm not so sure I wouldn't be better off in the short term to invest in my own business.  Week after week I've been able to turn small amounts into double, triple or quadruple the amounts I've invested!  It may not seem so exciting to turn 25 cents in to $1, but when you're able to do it repeatedly, week after week, it's easy to see what kind of earnings potential this presents! 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Saturday, July 14th:  Had a great day at the Mason Dixon Line Flea Market in Union Missouri!  Sales were brisk, making for our best day to date!  We decided to visit Union in hopes of reducing some of our expanding inventory and it worked out quite well.  I also went to Versailles Sunday to see how well I could do there.  Did have some sales, but not really worth going every week.  May try a Friday sometime in the near future.  Would like to add an extra day to increase sales and profits if possible. 

Found some great items for this coming weekend at a local rummage sale today.  Bought a nice cast iron dutch oven, a vintage brass and glass oil lamp, inlaid wooden tray and some miscellaneous items.  I expect to at least triple my money on today's purchases.  Got my list of sales ready for tomorrow.  Finding items to sell is all part of the fun!  I guess it's the collector in me, only now I'm buying items to sell, so I'm not overloading my apartment.  Which means I get to enjoy the thrill of the find without the danger of becoming a hoarder, lol.

Sunday, July 8, 2012


Had a great week of sales this week!  Picked up some fantastic merchandise at the rummage sales for my flea market booth, including an entire collection of Coca Cola collectibles.  Sold a nice bedroom bench on Craig's List for a 300% markup!  Had the best week ever in sales at the flea market and they were all very profitable sales.  We've been setting up at the flea market for 5 weeks now and each week the sales have gotten better.  Of course we learn from each week's sales, what items sell best and at what price, so while we're not making the kind of money I'd like to see, we're definitely headed in the right direction.  I'm going today to check out the flea market at Osage Beach to see what kind of setup they have and how much customer traffic.  I'm thinking of going twice a week on Saturdays and Sundays, but I'll have to see if the sales are worth the increased costs of an extra day.  Probably the best thing about this week was the tremendous markup on all the items sold.  I haven't figured out the average markup, but thanks to items like the water purifiers, which I bought for 25 cents each and sold for $7.50 each, I've estimated the average to be well in excess of 200%!  So not only have sales increased, but profits from sales are dramatically higher than in previous weeks.  Right now I'm loving the resale business!

The stock market didn't do so well this past week.  I did negotiate a 50% reduction of my bill with cardiology, so I transferred enough money from my account to pay my bill there.  Collected dividends from RAI, AT and WR and put in an order to buy a stake in PSEC.  PSEC has a $1.22 dividend for a 10.38% yield on their recent stock price of $11.74 per share.  Their price to earnings is 7.0, but they are subject to volatility in price due to frequent stock and debt issues to raise capital, due to the type of business they are in.  Would not be the right fit for some investors portfolios, but I'm willing to take the risk for the potential returns from dividends.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


   Wishing everyone a happy and safe 4th of July celebration!!!

Monday, July 2, 2012


We had an extremely hot weekend, with record breaking temperatures in central Missouri, but sales at my flea market booth increased for the fourth week in a row!  While sales are up and I'm pretty happy about that, I've been looking for ways to improve.  I found a larger market at the Lake of the Ozarks, near Osage Beach Outlet Mall that should provide more customer traffic and better sales.  I'm getting all the details together and will probably set up there either this coming weekend or the next.  Another advantage to the Osage Beach location is the option to set up indoors, so I don't face the problem of getting rained out or too much heat.

My big plans for the 4th of July include attending a big local auction.  I'm hoping to get a deal on some great inventory items for the flea market booth.  While I do miss getting a paycheck on a regular basis, I'm loving the fun and excitement that goes along with the whole resale business.  I've met more new people in the past 4 weeks than I'd met in the past 4 years at my job.  I also love the customer interaction that comes with the business.  When I worked in the restaurants, my interaction with customers was limited and restricted to a great degree, so I'm really enjoying dealing with people on a one on one basis.

Got an appointment with Cardiology today as a follow up on my recent hospital visit.  I've been working on my latest batch of medical bills and today I hope to negotiate a 50% reduction on my bill from cardiology by offering to pay within 30 days.  I plan on withdrawing the money from my IRA and claiming the medical exemption on the 10% tax penalty for early withdrawal.  Even if the IRS denies my exemption, a 10% penalty would still leave me with a 40% overall reduction on my bill.  So I figure the 50% off my bill would be a better return than I would earn if I left the cash invested.  I can always replace the money in my IRA as my new business picks up.

Thursday, June 28, 2012


It continues to amaze me how many new items I find at yard sales for my flea market booth.  While Thursdays tend to be not so great for yard sales, I usually manage to find something good.  Today was no exception.  While I didn't find a great deal of merchandise, I did find a couple of Pur 3 stage water filtration systems, new in the box.  They normally sell this system at the local big box discount store for $28.  I bought both systems for a total of 50 cents!  I figure I can easily sell these for at least $15 each, so my original investment of 50 cents turns in to $30!  You don't get that kind of return very often, but it's great when you do get it!

Got a lot of sales to go to on Friday.  We're in the middle of an extreme heatwave in Missouri right now, so I'm hoping it will keep the competition away from the sales.  On the other hand, I'm hoping the heat won't keep the customers away from the flea market on Saturday.  I don't think it will, since there were more people there last weekend than I've seen before and it was the hottest weekend we've had since we've been going to the flea market.  We'll see how it goes.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Flea market sales on Saturday the 23rd were good, a little better than the week before.  We're getting a better feel for what sells, so I'm expecting sales to continue to increase.  Had some good sales on Ebay and Craig's List as well, so it's been a pretty good week. 

Went to a local auction on Sunday and placed my first ever bid at a live auction.  I've bid in online auctions before, but this is the first time I've ever bought anything at a live auction.  Still trying to get the hang of understanding the auctioneers, but I'm getting there.  Got a great deal on a mixed lot.  For $1 I bought a nice Hoover vacuum cleaner with all attachments, a fold up stroller and a plastic tub.  I wanted the tub for packing flea market merchandise, so I got my money's worth from just that.  I figure I can sell the vacuum for at least $10 and whatever I get for the stroller is just icing on the cake.  Looking forward to buying more at the next auction on July 4th!

My stock investments were pretty much flat for the week.  I did collect dividends from 2 of my investments, but while prices are down I'm reinvesting all dividends to increase my holdings in current investments.  Not really looking to purchase any new investments until I get my business going good and have a steady income.  Currently I'm just making my monthly IRA contribution and reinvesting dividends.  As my income from the business picks up, I'll be looking to add new investments to reach my goal of a dividend payment for every day of the year.  That whole strategy is on hold for the moment.

Sunday, June 17, 2012


Had a great day of shopping at Walgreens!  I matched manufacturers coupons with store coupons and Sunday ad sales and walked away with a 52% savings!  I got a 6 month supply of Aleve and Bayer low dose aspirin.  Among other items, I also got Optic White and Total Advanced White toothpaste, Diet Pepsi, bathroom tissue, candy bars, Folgers coffee and Smuckers strawberry jelly.  The total retail value before coupons and discounts came to $72.12.  After coupons and discounts, I paid $34.83 for a savings of $37.29. 

Taking advantage of coupon savings is a great way to help you reach your financial goals.  Every dollar that you don't spend is like going out and earning two, since the taxes have already been taken out of the saved dollar.

Saturday, June 16, 2012


I started the week off last Sunday by listing sale items on Craig's List and Ebay.  Through the week, I spent time gathering new items for sale at today's flea market booth.  Craig's List paid off, with my listed item selling in less than one day.  My auctions have not yet ended on Ebay, but the bids are looking good.  Sales at today's flea market were far better than last week.  While I my new wholesale items did not add much to today's sales, they did help some, but I was happy to see some of the older items from last week sell.  Was also happy to see music CD's selling well, since used CD's are an item I can easily find more of and they take up little room for the revenue they produce.  With sales from all sources combined, I easily beat out what I would have made working at my last job and had a lot more quality personal time.  

As for my investment accounts, I reinvested dividends in my taxable account and my IRA to increase my stakes in O, EXC, DUK and AWF.  While I added no new dividend payments, l have increased monthly cash flow through reinvested dividends.    Can't wait to get my 365 days of dividends back on track, but I do need to address the bills from my most recent hospital stay first.  Once I have those lined out, I'll be better able to advance my investment plan.  

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Sales were slow at the flea market last Saturday, but I've been able to make up for it with a good sale on Craigs List.  Also have several items listed for sale on Ebay and although none have bids yet, I'm pretty confident at least a couple of them will sell.  Sold a painting and a cross necklace yesterday, which pretty much brings me up to the amount I need to make each week to replace the income from my old job.  I'm pushing to make more than I made at my old job, since I have extra bills from my latest trip to the hospital and since the flea market closes down from the end of October to the beginning of April.  Hope to have a booth at an indoor facility by then or perhaps a store on Ebay, just have to see how things work out between now and then.

Got in some of my new wholesale stuff and it looks pretty good!  I've already sold one of the necklaces, so I'm hoping that's a sign of how well they'll sell at the flea market.  Got an order of charm bracelets coming in Thursday from another wholesaler.  If those do well, this wholesaler has a lot of nice looking merchandise at reasonable prices, so I'll probably do a lot of business with them. 

Picked up a nice curio cabinet at the thrift store on Monday.  I'm pretty sure I'll be able to double my money on it.  My goal is to double my money on most items, make as much as I can on the really great items, to help cover the ones I don't double my money on and to keep the merchandise turning.  Don't want to show up every week with the same old things.  I want to have new stuff to sell every week and keep the customers coming back.

Sunday, June 10, 2012


This week's sales were pretty slow at the flea market, didn't make much money, but it was a great learning experience.  The guy who sat up next to us did over $800 in sales from 7 am to 1 pm.  He was giving us pointers on how to improve sales, so we're both anxious to go back next week and give it another shot.  What was encouraging about it for me was seeing that it can be done.  This guy told me he makes $40,000 a year doing 1 day a week at the flea market and selling some on Ebay.  So I'm getting my Ebay listings ready and gearing up for my second flea market next Saturday.  Looking forward to a much better weekend!

My stocks did pretty well this past week.  Sold my stake in CS after they paid their dividend.  Lost money on that investment, but I redeployed the cash by buying a stake in PFE for my IRA account.  Didn't collect any dividends for my IRA this past week, however, I did collect dividends from INTC, CNP and EXC for my taxable account.  I reinvested the dividends in CNP and EXC to increase my stakes in both stocks.  Sold my stake in WAC in my taxable account.  So I lost the annual dividend from CS, but gained 4 quarterly dividends from PFE.  However, I also lost 4 quarterly dividends from WAC, so I'm down a total of 1 dividend payment (-1+4-4= -1).  When my business starts producing more cash I'll be able to get my 365 days of dividends back on track, but until then it's liable to be slow going.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


One of my favorite TV shows, TLC's Extreme Couponing, is back with new episodes.  Actually the first new episodes aired May 28 th and they're just as fun and exciting to watch as last season.  Sure motivated me to get my coupons organized.  I'm ready for some great deals!

Although I don't write as much about coupons, they do play a big part in all my trips to the grocery store.  While I rarely get the 90% to 100% off the people on Extreme Couponing get, I  routinely save 25% to 50%.  On my latest trip to the grocery store I saved a little over 30% with coupons for my groceries for the week. 

No matter what your circumstances, everybody should use coupons!  Keep up the good work TLC, you've made a believer out of me.

Monday, June 4, 2012


Decided to name my new business East Village Resale, since "East Village" is the designation of the historic part of Jefferson City where I currently live.  It was a toss up between East Village and Once Again Resale, just thought the East Village name sounded a little more trendy.

Now that the name is out of the way, I've been looking in to wholesale suppliers for filler items for my open air flea market booth.  I first did a search for the top 10 best selling flea market items, then used this list to search for wholesalers with good pricing on items I'd like to sell.  Found some great deals, but probably won't be able to get them here in time for this coming weekend.

Missing my initial launch over Memorial Day weekend due to my trip to the hospital has set me back money wise.  However, I've worked that out and although cash might be a little close for a week or so, I should be caught up soon.  I'm definitely loving being my own boss!!!  It doesn't bother me at all to work hours on end because I know I'm the one getting paid for my own efforts.  Should have done this a long time ago.

Sunday, June 3, 2012


Was very busy this past week preparing for the launch of my resale business.  Although I planned to market items mostly through outdoor flea markets, I included my items in my sister's garage sale Friday and Saturday and did quite well.  Also had a friend of mine offer to give me anything I want for my resale business, if I clean out his basement.  May or may not be worth the effort, but then again I figure it's worth a look.  So I'm headed to DeSoto Missouri Tuesday.  

My recovery from recent heart surgery is going well.  I'm feeling good and the soreness is starting to subside.  Not looking forward to the cascade of bills from this trip to the hospital, but I'll figure something out.  It's not a good thing to be without insurance when faced with major medical issues.

The week of May 22nd through June 2nd was a good week for dividend payments.  For my taxable account I collected payments from INTC, WEC, CAG, EOI and BGCP.  For my IRA I collected payments from CS and AFL.  Since the stock market has dropped so much in the past few weeks, I decided to take advantage of the lower prices by setting my accounts to reinvest all dividend payments.  I figure I'll save on commissions and pick up extra shares while prices are down.  When the market recovers, I'll revert payments to cash payouts.

Sunday, May 27, 2012


Had to postpone the launch of my new flea market business this weekend due to a visit to the hospital for another stint operation.  Luckily I didn't actually suffer a heart attack this time around, but I had a blocked artery causing me a lot of chest pain.  I went to the emergency room Thursday afternoon, they admitted me to the hospital and did some tests.  By noon on Friday I was in the operating room having the stint placed in the blocked artery and was out of the hospital and back at home by Saturday afternoon.  So once again my cardiologist did a wonderful job and once I'm fully recovered from the operation, I'll probably feel better than I have in years.  The only thing I'm dreading now is all the new medical bills have to pay, but it's great to be alive!

As for my stocks, for the week of 5/20-5/27 both my regular brokerage account and my IRA ended down for the week.  I completed the purchase of a stake in AT for my taxable account, adding another 12 dividend payments per year to my towards my goal of 365 days of dividends.  Collected only one dividend payment for the week from ERF, but was really glad to see another of the new stocks begin paying dividends!  I'm going to need all the extra income I can get to take care of this latest round of medical bills.

As for the official launch of my flea market business, I'll be here in Jefferson City this week.  There are no outdoor flea markets, but I'm going to set up at my sister's garage sale.  She lives in a great neighborhood and always does well with her sales, so I'm taking my booth to her sale and setting up.  The weekend after that I'm looking to set up at either Lebanon or Versailles Missouri for my next flea market.

Sunday, May 20, 2012


Picked up some great items at garage sales yesterday for my new flea market business.  One of the items was a nice Mikasa wave glass clock, which turned out to be the first item sold for my new business.  I was showing one of my neighbors some of the items I'd picked up from the sales and he offered me $5 for the clock.  Doesn't sound like much?  O.K. maybe not, but I only paid .50 cents for it, so I made 9 times my original investment (9 x .50 = $4.50) in profit or a 900% return in less than one day! 

While I don't expect my average markup to be anywhere near 900%, the fact that I can make these kind of profits on some items will definitely help raise average markups overall.  So I don't think it's unreasonable at all to expect an average markup of 100% on items purchased for resale. 

What surprised me most at yesterday's sales was how many new in package items I was able to pick up for next to nothing.  At one sale I bought a magnetic dartboard for 50 cents, got 3 men's wrist watches at another sale for 50 cents each along with 2 wooden cutting boards for $1 each.  All of these items were unopened/new in package, so at the very least I expect to mark them up 100 to 900%.  I figure the dart game could go for $2, the cutting boards for $2 each and the watches for $5 each.  So with the sale of these items, my original investment of $4 will turn in to $21.  Since my original goal for this business was to turn every $1 invested into $2 in profit, I'm thinking, even after expenses, this is a very realistic goal.   

Saturday, May 19, 2012


Just completed my purchase of a stake in LLY this past week.  With the seasonal decline in the market, I've always found this to be a good time of year to purchase dividend stocks.  Dividend stocks tend to drop less during market declines, however their prices do go down this time of year, so you can pick up quality issues at better prices.  But probably the biggest reason I like buying this time of year is that with the drop in price the dividend yield rises!  So you're able to earn a higher percentage of return on initial investments made during the slowdown.

Had some great dividend payments this past week.  For my taxable account I collected dividends from REIT O and from EVEP.  In the IRA account I collected a payment from ABT and initial payments from NYB and AWF.  NYB pays quarterly dividends and AWF pays monthly.  Glad to see some of the newer purchases adding to the income stream!  Can hardly wait to complete my purchase plan and have 365 dividend payments a year!!!

I'm going to hit yard sales this morning with some family and friends and pick up some inventory for the flea market booth.  I'm really excited about this whole venture and most surprising, I'm not overly concerned about giving up regular paychecks.  Glad to be getting out of the grind of being a slave to the time clock and working with people I just don't want to work with.

Friday, May 18, 2012


Just completed a recount on the total number of dividends I collect per year from my taxable and retirement accounts.  The correct number of payments I currently receive stands at 193.  To bring the number of payments up more rapidly, I plan to hold off on purchasing PFE for my IRA and purchase a stake in UTG instead.  I've put in an order to purchase AT for my taxable account next week and with the purchase of a stake in AT and UTG I'll add a total of 24 additional dividend payments per year.  This will put me up to 221 payments, or just 144 payments to go for a dividend every day of the year.  

Had some setbacks health wise this week, hopefully it's not as bad as it seems.  I'll be seeing the cardiologist on Tuesday of next week.  

On a brighter note, I've been working on inventory for my flea market business and the numbers are adding up fast.  I've reserved a booth for Saturday the 26th at a high traffic flea market on I-70 and have a booth right in front.  I'm excited to see how it goes! 

Saturday, May 12, 2012


Made some good progress this week towards my dividend a day goal.  Completed transfer of cash to my IRA to purchase stake in LLY next Tuesday.  Sold a few old coins that I've held for years, made a couple of days pay which I deposited to my savings account for transfer to my regular investment account.  I'll use this money to purchase another monthly dividend payer.  With the purchase of LLY and AT I'll be adding another 16 dividend payments per year for a total of 200.  With 208 dividend payments a year coming in, I'm only 165 payments away from 365 days of dividends.

For this past week I collected no dividends on my IRA.  I did get some great dividend payments for my taxable accounts from my investments in SGU and LGCY.  I will be reinvesting this money along with a cash transfer from savings to purchase a stake in AT.

Also this week I've been working on plans for starting my own business.  I've been wanting to get out of hospitality/food service for a while now and since my current job has become nearly unbearable, I'm thinking now is a good time to go into business for myself.  My mother always used to say "if you don't like the way things are being done, do it yourself."  I'm launching my own resale business for household and collectible items.  I had a resale business on Ebay for a few years and made a small profit.  This time around I'm starting out as a flea market vendor.  I've found an open air market near the Lake of the Ozarks with a good deal of traffic and I've checked out the merchandise currently sold there.  I'm thinking I can easily beat the prices and quality of merchandise offered by the other vendors, so I'm pretty excited about the venture.  Since my current job is paying much less than my old job, it will be a lot easier to replace the money I currently make working 5 days a week.  I've been a flea market vendor before, so I won't be starting from scratch and it's something I like to do.  It's time to make some changes and I'm well on my way to launch my business.  Wish me luck!

Friday, May 11, 2012


The financial news services are all a buzz about the $2 billion trading loss at JP Morgan due to a failed hedging strategy.  They say it hurts the reputation of the CEO and the corporation.  Can't say I'd argue with that any, but as a former credit card customer of JP Morgan, I couldn't help but wonder if maybe they should have treated their credit card customers a little better.  Granted they would still have the loss from the hedging strategy, however former customers like myself may have kept their credit cards and they would have continued to benefit from profits from the credit card accounts.  This latest $2 billion dollar catastrophe is just one more reason I will never invest in JP Morgan stock.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


Completed purchase of a stake in EOI this past week, bringing total dividend payments to 192 per year, only 173 to go for 365 dividend payments per year.  Collected dividends for my IRA account from AT&T (T) and John Deere (DE).  Also collected a nice dividend from BMY for my taxable account.  

Read some interesting articles about investing last week.  One pointed out that Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffet's company could collect over $5 billion per year if they invested their capital  to maximize dividends.  As it is, I'm thinking Mr. Buffet is doing pretty well for himself.  Another article from the Motley Fool pointed out that the old wisdom of "in May, go away" is not necessarily such good advice.  I do believe that we'll see a seasonal slump in the markets this summer and am looking forward to adding some good dividend paying stocks at great prices.

Saturday, April 28, 2012


It was a pretty good week for both my investment accounts.  The small rally in the market helped my investment balances end up for the week.  Managed to complete my purchase of a stake in CH, adding 4 dividend payments per year.  Also reinvested buyout money from AEA into shares of EOI for another 12 dividends a year.  My total dividend payments should now be 184 annually.  It's rolling right along towards my goal of 365 days of dividends.

This week I collected a great dividend payment from AGNC for my taxable account.  Also collected dividends from GE, CPB and SPY for my IRA account.  The month of May looks to be a good month for dividends.  Several of my long held stocks pay in May and some of the more recent purchases should begin payments, so I should be collecting several payments next month.

As for work, I've decided that my job is not really going anywhere.  I originally took the job to ride out the recession, but it's not a place I want to retire from.  With that in mind, I'm looking into launching my own business.  I believe I've come up with an idea that will give me much more free time, be more enjoyable and better for my health and will replace the income from my current job.  I blog more about my idea, should it actually pan out as a viable business.

Thursday, April 26, 2012


Received payment for the buyout of AEA shares reducing dividend payments by 4 per year.  To replace the lost dividends, I placed an order to reinvest the money in EOI which pays monthly dividends.  Not only will this add 12 dividend payments, replacing the 4 quarterly payments lost from AEA and adding an additional 8 payments, but each monthly dividend from EOI will be close to the amount earned quarterly from AEA.  So not only will it bring my total dividend payments per year to 192, but it increases the amount of income on this portion of my portfolio to roughly 10 times what it was earning before!

AEA was also what I call a "free stock", which means it is an investment that I bought low, sold enough shares after the price went up to pull out my original investment and kept the remaining shares.  So this means the money I invested in EOI is pure profit from AEA, so in a sense I'm buying this investment with passive income only.  While this is not something you can do every day, it's a great way to make money when the opportunity presents itself.  

Which leads me to my next possible ploy for speeding up stock purchases to get to my goal of 365 dividend payments per year. Right now I'm sitting on some large capital gains on multiple stocks in both my taxable and retirement accounts.  I may decide to pull out some of the profits to purchase shares in additional dividend stocks, increasing the total number of dividend payments per year and accelerating compounding of my investments.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


This past week was not a great one, didn't collect any dividends and both account balances ended down for the week.  However, things are looking up this week.  Just completed purchase of a stake in Aberdeen Chili Fund (CH) for my taxable account, which pays quarterly dividends, bringing my total dividend payments per year to 176.  Yeah, I'm almost to the halfway mark, just 189 more and I'll be collecting a dividend for every day of the year!!!

With the upcoming purchase of PFE and LLY for my IRA I'll add an additional 8 dividends.  Thanks to recent research I've also identified another four monthly dividend payers I'm planning on buying stakes in:

EOI dividend yield of 10.3% on recent price of $10.73.

PVX  6.5% yield on recent price of $8.49.

AT  7.9% yield on recent price of $14.98.

GGN  9.9% yield on recent price of $16.97.

With monthly dividends, the above four stocks would add an additional 48 payments to my 365 days of dividends plan.  Still have quite a way to go, but with new dividend payments starting to kick in, my rate of purchases are increasing rapidly.  It's possible I may get to 365 dividends per year much sooner than I expected.  Originally I estimated it would take 3 to 4 years, but now I'm thinking it will take less than 2 years!

Saturday, April 14, 2012


I revised my automatic stock purchase plan for my IRA account to purchase my next two dividend stocks.  The newest additions to my IRA will be Eli Lilly (LLY) and Pfizer Inc. (PFE).  Both are well known corporate brands with great dividend yields and have a long history of paying dividends.  I believe that both companies will be around for years to come and will make good additions to my investment portfolio.  The purchase of shares in these two stocks will add a total of 8 dividend payments per year towards my goal of 365 days of dividends. 


I'm happy to report some great progress this week towards my goal of 365 dividend payments per year.  With this weeks' stock purchases, I was able to add a total of 16 dividend payments per year, bringing my total to 172 dividends.  So I'm covered for 172 days of the year, leaving me 193 dividend payments to go.  Not to bad, I'll soon reach the halfway mark, so I'm ahead of schedule, compared to the amount of time I originally expected to take.  I'll be reinvesting all dividends until I've acquired stock in enough companies to provide a dividend payment for every day of the year.  That being said, the more dividend payments coming in, the faster the purchase process, so I'll be acquiring stock at an ever accelerating pace.  Once I've reached 365 payments per year, the dividend income will be redirected towards increasing stakes in each of my positions to increase daily payments.  It's all about cash flow and where you direct the money.

It was also a very good week for dividends.  This week I collected dividends from MO, O and WIN in my taxable account and PM and KFT in my IRA account.  So I collected a dividend for 5 out of 7 days of the week, helping to build cash balances in my accounts for my next investment purchases.  The more I think about this plan, the more excited I get about it.  But the greatest motivator is seeing the cash balances replenishing themselves with each dividend payment.  I'm looking forward to reporting future progress, which I'll try to do on a weekly basis.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Finalized my purchases of AWF and ERF for my IRA account today.  Locked in an 8.11% dividend yield on AWF which should start paying monthly dividends to my account in May.  With the small price drop since my last post, was able to get a final dividend yield of 10.97% on my shares of ERF.  The completion of these purchases add a total of 16 payments a year to my "dividend a day" plan. 

Since AWF is a high yield global bond fund, it also means I'll be investing in bonds for the first time.  While I'm a firm believer that stocks outperform bonds over the long haul, I figure at my age it doesn't hurt to have some exposure to bonds and a small amount invested in a fund like AWF has little change of adversely affecting my portfolio in any way.  I definitely like their monthly payments :0). 

Friday, April 6, 2012


The first full week of April proved to be good for dividend payments.  Between my IRA and my taxable account I collected dividends from Westar Energy (WR), Universal Insurance (UVE), Reynolds American (RAI) and Telstra (TLSYY).  I received 5 payments from the 4 stocks since I hold shares of UVE in both accounts.

The money from dividends will help pay for this months stock purchases.  For my taxable account I'll be purchasing a stake in Aberdeen Chile Fund (CH) with a dividend yield of 10.37%.  I also plan to purchase shares in Ship Finance International (SFL) with a current yield of 8.12%.  April's purchases for my IRA account will include AllianceBernstein Global High Income bond fund (AWF) yielding 8.05% and Enerplus Corp (ERF) with a current dividend yield of 10.47%.  The goal of this month's purchases is to raise total average yield on investments in both accounts and to increase total number of dividend payments by 32 payments per year.  Two of this month's purchases pay monthly dividends while the other 2 pay quarterly.  This serves a two fold purpose, increasing monthly cash flows and giving me a jump start on reaching my goal of 365 dividend payments per year.

This will bring my total number of payments per year to 168.  Only 197 dividends to go! 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


The news media is buzzing with doom and gloom over today's drop in the stock market.  More European woes, a bad auction for Spanish debt, ADP reporting less new jobs, the Fed bowing out of another round of quantitative easing, it all sounds like too much for the market to handle. 

However, this works out great for me!  I'm making at least 4 new stock purchases this month.  I've decided to put off my purchase of CLX, for my IRA account, in favor of a couple of high yield issues, one paying monthly dividends.  I'm also planning to add two high yield stocks to my taxable account, one quarterly payer and one monthly payer.  The drop in stock prices couldn't have come at a better time for me.  With the completion of the above purchases I will boost my number of dividend payments by 32 per year (12 x 2 + 2x4).  I'm currently receiving 136 dividend payments per year.  Adding 32 more payments with this month's purchases will give me a total of 168 dividends, meaning I'll only have to get an additional 197 payments to reach a dividend for each day of the year.  This may sound like a lot, but it would only take 16 more monthly dividend payers plus 2 quarterly paying stocks to exceed my goal.  

All this will be a lot easier if the stock market prices are down.  So rather than doom and gloom, I'm excited about a pullback in stock prices.  Once my dividend a day cash machine is in place, I'll be looking forward to a rebound. 

Friday, March 30, 2012


O.K., so maybe it was just a slow week for me, but I did get a decent dividend from BGC Partners Inc. (BGCP).  While one dividend per week is a far cry from my goal of daily dividends, I'm making progress.  I made a list of stocks I'd like to own, with current dividend yields and the months they pay their dividends.  I'm working my way through the list until I own positions in 92 different stocks or at least enough stocks to pay 365 dividends per year.  What I realized when reviewing my current holdings is I already own some stocks that pay once or twice per year, instead of quarterly and a couple of issues that pay monthly.  So I may be able to get to 365 dividends a year with a lot less than 92 stocks. 

While this month has been slow for dividends, I added an additional 8 payments per year with the purchase of EXC and NU.  In the month of April I'll be adding at least 8 more payment by adding CLX to my IRA account and CH to my taxable account.  While doing spring cleaning I realized I have a lot of stuff I no longer use, so I'm taking it all to my sister's next yard sale and plan to use whatever money I make to buy additional shares of stock.  So it's possible I could add an additional 16 dividends for a total of 32 new annual payments by the end of April.

One thing I've learned from all my years of investing, it's important to have a plan and stick to it.  What kind of plan do you need?  Whatever works for you.  The most important thing is to stick to your plan and make adjustments where needed along the way. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


In my latest investment research I recently discovered Aberdeen Chile Fund (CH), which I placed an order for in my taxable account.  CH has a dividend yield of 10.67% on their recent price of $18.48 per share.  While yield alone is not a good reason to buy, I also learned that in Chile companies are required to pay at least 30% of net profits to investors as dividends.  U.S. companies are allowed to cut or halt dividends at any time.  Although you wouldn't want throw all your investment dollars into high yielding foreign funds or stocks, it is a good idea to add a few to diversify your portfolio.

I've been reading a lot of annual reports during the most recent earnings season and am quite frankly appalled by the amount of each report dedicated to executive compensation.  O.K., they have to be paid and deserve to be paid well as long as they're increasing shareholder value.  However, I think it would be a good idea if they'd concentrate a little more on increasing payouts to shareholders, in the form of increased dividends.  Maybe if shareholders saw a little better payouts, they'd be less likely to vote against overly generous executive compensation plans.  I'm so disgusted by their greed and apparent lack of concern for shareholders interests, I make it a rule anymore to vote against any and all compensation plans.

It would be great if the U.S. would follow Chile's lead and require corporations, who rode out the latest financial crisis on piles of cash, to pay out 30% of net profits to shareholders.  I'm sure shareholders would put the money back into circulation and get the economy moving.  Their excuses for holding such large stockpiles of cash seem questionable now, especially in light of the latest round of compensation packages.  Were they really holding on to the money so they could give themselves pay raises, bonuses and fund lush retirements?  One has to wonder...

Saturday, March 24, 2012


It was a slow week for dividends, only collected one payment for the week from Great Plains Energy (GXP).  While it was only one dividend payment, it was a decent one, since GXP is one of my long term holdings and I own a good number of shares.  Stocks trended lower this week from their recent highs, but I look at it as a good thing, especially since I've got a purchase order in for next week.  I'm hoping the prices stay down a little longer until my order goes through.  Market timing is not a part of my long term investment plan, but if I can buy on the dips, it couldn't hurt.

Had a great week of savings on groceries.  I'm working on improving my extreme couponing and it's really been paying off.  Through coupon match ups with store sales, I was able to save 54% on my trip to Gerbes this week, which included three 2-liter Diet Pepsis for free!  Matching coupons with store sales at Schnucks I saved over 67% on my purchases.  On this trip I got two packages of Barilla pasta entirely free and paid only 17 cents each for Nissin Big Cup soups!  I also got Minute Rice, which normally sells for $2.38 a box, for just 79 cents each!  Since I like rice, and Minute Rice is my favorite, I stocked up on those.  I'll pick up some good deals on personal care items tomorrow at Walgreens and use their register rewards to purchase my favorite Stouffers entrees which they have on sale in this Sunday's ad.  I think what I like most about coupons is, they allow me to do the majority of my shopping outside the big box retailers.      

Monday, March 19, 2012


"We found the trail to Babylon because the soul of a free man looks at life as a series of problems to be solved and solves them, while the soul of a slave whines, 'What can I do who am but a slave?'"--from The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason

Saturday, March 17, 2012


It occurred to me that an investment plan purchasing 92 quarterly paying dividend stocks, in order to collect a dividend for every day of the year, may seem to have little flexibility, as far as investment schemes go.  The strategy requires a buy and hold aspect, since you have to hold on to shares of all 92 stocks to collect a dividend per day for each day of the year.  However, since I'll be collecting dividends in an interest bearing account it does allow for fantastic buying flexibility.

When you have money coming in on a daily basis, cash balances rise quite rapidly, depending on how you manage the cash.  While I plan to build positions to increase cash flows by reinvesting dividends, I have the option to choose when to do my buying.  As everyone knows, it's impossible to time the market.  It is, however, much easier to identify buying opportunities.  When the market declines 10 percent from a previous high it represents a buying opportunity, as does each additional 10 percent decline.  Usually a person following this strategy would also identify selling opportunities by raising cash through stock sales when the market rises 25 percent or more. 

Since my daily dividend portfolio follows more of a buy and hold strategy, I would have less flexibility on the sales end, but this is where the daily dividends help pick up the slack.  While I mostly intend to buy and hold, it will become necessary at times to replace under performing stocks or stocks that may cease to pay dividends, so I still have to work out a strategy to account for such contingencies.  I'm open to suggestions on this one?

Friday, March 16, 2012


Collected some of my first dividend payments from stocks purchased for my new investment plan.  This weeks' payments included dividends from Duke Energy (DUK), Solutia (SOA) and Realty Income Corp (O). 

While Solutia is by far my longest held stock, they just recently started paying dividends again.  I held this stock through bankruptcy and have patiently waited to see if they would make any progress.  So I'm really glad to see a little income from them once again.

Duke is one of my recent purchases as part of my Daily Dividend Investment Plan.  That's part of the beauty of the plan.  While I'm accumulating shares in a total of 92 dividend stocks so I can collect a dividend for every day of the year, I'll see cash flow increasing every month as I start collecting payments from my newest purchases.  Talk about positive motivation!

Realty Income Corp is a REIT which pays monthly dividends.  While I wouldn't go overboard with REITs or MLPs, they do have a place in income portfolios.  Both REITs and MLPs are attractive to dividend investors for their high yields, however along with high yields come high risks.  So investors should keep that in mind and do their homework before investing.

One thing I want to stress, anything I write in concerning my personal investments or investment plan, should not be construed as a recommendation for others.  If you get some ideas to apply to your own investment plan, I'm glad I could help.  If you have ideas you'd like to share, I'm all ears.  Never get tired of talking about investing and learning new ways to make money :0).

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, March 11, 2012


In order to focus my attention on my 2 year portfolio building project, I spent the weekend getting organized at home.  Got caught up on all my yard work, cleaned and organized my apartment.  Had to get my old bedroom cleaned up and dried out for the painters.  My landlord finally got the roof fixed and they plan on repairing my apartment first.  I thought it would speed things up a bit, not to mention making things more comfortable for myself, to get everything ready so they can come in and get the job done as quickly as possible.

It's been quite an ordeal, dealing with the water leaks and mold for the past 6 months or so, but they're finally making some progress.  I've taken advantage of the time to decide what I could live without.  I figure I'll kill two birds with one stone.  I'll clear up room in my apartment and make some money by selling all the things I no longer want or need at my sister's next yard sale.  Whatever money I make from the sale I'll put to work in my investment plan.  Rather than having a lot of things collecting dust, I'll add shares of stocks to my investment account and collect dividends.

The restaurant where I work gave me a couple of Coca Cola clocks I intend to put in the sale.  I would have been happy making a few bucks, since they cost me nothing, but I've found out they're actually quite valuable.  If I sell them at the rummage sale I won't make as much as selling them on Ebay, but I should still do all right.  Whatever I make off them is pure profit. 

As soon as they repaint my old bedroom, I plan on making it my new home office.  I'm keep my bedroom on the north side of the building where it's more shaded during the hot summer months.  I have most of the furnishings, so I just need to pick up a writing desk and another filing cabinet.  I know a place near here where I should be able to get a good deal on used office furniture and should be able to get any office supplies I need with register rewards from Walgreens.  

It will be nice to get everything back to normal and get busy building my new investment portfolio and pursuing some of my other small business ideas.  2012 is beginning to look like a good year for me, we'll see how it goes. 

Saturday, March 10, 2012


I'm excited about my new investment plan for 2012.  If you haven't read my earlier posts, in a nutshell, I plan on purchasing shares in 50 additional dividend stocks paying quarterly dividends, with the goal of earning a dividend payment for every day of the year.

This week I received dividends from Advance America Cash Advance (AEA) and Centerpoint Energy (CNP).  I also deposited cash in my taxable account and my IRA.  I've put in orders to purchase the next 2 stocks for my accounts:  Exelon Corp. (EXC) for my taxable account and Clorox (CLX) for my IRA.  I figure it will take me 2 to 3 years to accumulate shares in 50 stocks, although that may be accelerated with the additional dividends I'll be picking up along the way.  Also, with the economy improving at a slight pace, it's possible I may find a better paying job during this time which will allow me to speed up the process.

I know most "experts" would advise against this, however I've never really had a great deal of luck following the "experts" advice, so I'm going with my own instincts on this one.  There have been times during my investment career when I've held shares in as many as 50 dividend stocks and I was amazed at how quickly those dividend payments added up.  With this plan, I will own nearly shares in almost twice as many stocks!  The rate of compounding on my investments will increase dramatically.  When I've reached my goal of 92 stocks, all the dividends payments will be used to build my positions, constantly increasing payouts.  If some of the companies should falter, I plan on replacing them with shares in other companies. 

If all goes well, when I retire I plan to draw only the dividend payments minus 10% which I'll reinvest to account for inflation.  Kind of an ultimate buy and hold strategy.  

Sunday, March 4, 2012


I put my coupons to good use this week and racked up some major savings!  Earlier in the week, I saved 53% off my grocery shopping at Gerbes.  Picked additional grocery items today and with only 2 coupons, still managed to score 27% off my purchases. 

Made out even better today at Walgreens.  On my first transaction I saved 27%, which is not great but not bad either.  On the second transaction, I bought 2 11.3 oz Folgers Classic Roast coffee, 4 Lays Stax potato chips 5.75 oz and one Oscar Mayer deli sliced ham 9 oz, for a grand total of $1.02.  For the first transaction, I matched coupons with sale items which also had register rewards.   I used the register rewards from the first transaction to pay for my second transaction, leaving me a balance due of $1.02.  Picked up their latest store coupon book while I was there and am looking forward to more great savings later in the month.

The money I save using coupons and the money I make from advertising on my blog and my Amazon store are all going toward my new investment plan.  I made a list of 60 dividend stocks I intend to purchase positions in over the next 2 to 3 years bringing my total annual dividend payments to at least one dividend per day.  It might sound overly ambitious, but I don't believe there is anything a person can't do, they simply have to figure out how they're going to do it.  Talk about cash flow, a dividend payment every day of the year sounds like ultimate cash flow to me :0).

Saturday, March 3, 2012


This year I've made some radical changes to my investment plan.  Due to tax law changes regarding 1099's I've decided to reinvest dividends in my IRA account only.  All dividend payments in my taxable account I'll be taking in cash.  I may decided to reinvest some of this money in lump sums at a later date, but I no longer intend to reinvest small amounts, avoiding the extra work I had to do on this years taxes due to sales of some shares last year.

Another change, which represents an entirely new direction for me, I've decided to make it my goal to earn a dividend payment for every day of the year.  The plan is quite simple really.  Between my retirement account and my taxable portfolio I plan to purchase shares in 92 companies paying quarterly dividends.  This will bring my total dividend payments per year to 368 (92 stocks x 4 dividends each per year = 368 total dividend payments).  While I'm sure most "professional money managers" would think I'm crazy, I think it will work for me.  Consider this, if the rate of compounding determines your ultimate investment success, what better way to invest than daily compounding.  While this may sound overly ambitious for a small investor, I believe it's quite within grasp.  I already own shares in 40 companies between my two accounts, so I only have to buy shares in 52 more companies.  I've already identified several good investments with a calendar of purchases scheduled for the rest of 2012.  I'll be buying shares in at least 2 companies per month.  One new company for my taxable account and one for my IRA.  This will also accomplish my goal of reducing taxes for 2012 by increasing contributions to my IRA. 

Daily dividend payments are the ultimate goal here.  Once I've accomplished that, I'll work on building positions in each stock.  Think of it as making every day of the year payday.  What could be better than that?

Thursday, March 1, 2012


Just finished filing my taxes for 2011 and am happy to be getting a small refund.  I like to use tax time as a way to judge how effectively I've managed my money for the previous year and try to figure out ways to come out better, the next time around.  This year I noticed a couple of things I could have done better. 

First and foremost, I should have contributed about twice as much to my IRA account.  Doing so would have eliminated my tax liability and I would have gotten back everything I paid in Federal and State tax for the past year.  This might sound like a no brainer but it's something I overlooked on last years' returns.

Another thing I learned is how much more paperwork, or at least data entry, is involved when you sell shares in which you've recently re invested dividends.  For capital gains and cost basis purposes, each dividend is treated as a separate stock purchase date and has to be reported as such.  So for the sale of one lot of stock, if that lot includes shares purchased through re invested dividends, you may have several taxable events.  It would seem much simpler to take dividend payments in cash until you've accumulated substantial amounts and then re invest the money.  Doing so will make tax preparation much simpler if you decide to sell later on.  However, money wise, it's still better to reinvest the dividends as they're paid.

Monday, February 27, 2012


Are you successful at managing your money?  Sometimes people make the mistake of thinking that if they don't make a lot of money, they are not successful.  That simply is not the case.  It's more a case of what you do with the money you make than how much you make.  Obviously it's easier to become wealthy if you make a great deal of money and are good at managing it.  However, it is also true you can become wealthy even if you don't make top dollar.  It's all how you handle your money.

For example, I know a couple who own a few small businesses.  They have a nice home, nice cars, live well and by all outward appearances are quite successful.  However, they recently told me they were trying to decide whether to pay off one of their credit cards with a $50,000 balance or keep the money in a savings account.  The interest payment alone on this account is $650 per month, with the minimum payment closer to $1,200 a month.  To help them gain a little perspective I explained to them that their interest payment alone would pay my rent, phone bill, doctor's bill and all my credit card payments each month.  Keep in mind, this is only one of their credit cards, they have several more.  So while they may be good at starting businesses and creating cash flow, they aren't so well versed in what to do with the money after it comes in.  It seems like a simple decision to me, earn low interest in a savings account or save $1,200 per month in payments.

So you can be income rich and cash poor or make very little in income and build a nice pile of cash.  It all comes down to how you handle the money you make. 

Monday, February 20, 2012


Just transferred the money to my taxable brokerage account to purchase shares of Northeast Utilities (NYSE: NU).  They are the parent company of Northeast Utilities System.  Northeast Utilities System furnishes retail electric service through wholly owned subsidiaries to Connecticut, New Hampshire and western Massachusetts.

Their dividend yield, on recent price of $36.10 per share, was 3.25%, which represents a dividend of $1.18 per share.  I placed the order to purchase shares before the end of February, to take advantage of their next scheduled dividend payment on March 30, 2012.  Payments are made to shareholders of record as of March 1, 2012. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012


This past week was kind of hectic for me.  We've been busy at work getting ready for a big corporate inspection on the 22nd.  On top of that, we've been busier than usual due to increased traffic from people who've gotten their tax refunds.  So it's been kind of crazy there.

On a brighter note, I collected several dividend payments.  In my taxable portfolio I received dividend payments from REIT O, limited partnerships LGCY, EVEP and SGU.  For my IRA account I collected dividends from SPY, T, DE and ABT.  Also purchased a stake in NYB for their current dividend yield of 7.72%.  While NYB may be somewhat risky, the price was right and the rewards in high yields and possible capital gains made it worth the risk for me.  

On my shopping trips this week, I continued to benefit from my version of extreme couponing.  I saved a handy 38% at the grocery store by matching coupons with sale items.  On my Sunday trip to Walgreens I saved close to 50% off my total purchases!  I also got 2 more chances to win $3,000 with their customer surveys.  It's been really great, since I've started couponing, to keep my house so well stocked with food, cleaning supplies and personal care items.  I have never had my home so well stocked in my entire life.  Coupons are the way to go.  I even save $25 on work I had done on my Honda Civic by using a coupon from the dealership.  

While I was at the Lake of the Ozarks for my annual February get away at Port Elsewhere, I made good use of coupons to buy food for the condo so I didn't have to go out to eat.  While there, I shopped for new shoes at the Nike outlet store and got an $80 dollar pair of Nikes for $21, almost 75% off!  All the savings from coupons and sale items are making it much easier to weather the slump in the economy and rebuild my investment portfolio after paying medical bills from my heart attack.  It also helps make it easier with ongoing medical bills for follow up care.  

Saturday, February 18, 2012


I've never paid for a cell phone since I signed my first contract with AT&T.  At the time I really wanted the razr v3 by Motorola but I didn't want to pay for it.  So when AT&T offered me a free razr phone, I signed up.  Since that time, every two years I got a new phone free when I renewed my contract.  Sadly, as much as I love AT&T (one of my longest held dividend stocks), this time around they just didn't have a phone to suit my needs.  I know smart phones are all the rage, but I just don't see the need to have everything on my phone.  I have a Kindle Fire, an ipod touch and a couple of computers so I don't feel any need for Internet access on my phone.  As for text messaging, I've never seen the point.  If you call my cell phone, which I almost always have with me, I'll most likely answer it and you can tell me whatever you want to communicate without having to type it out on a small keypad.  If I don't answer, leave me a voicemail.  I personally feel no need to bother with texting. 

Having said all that, what I do want is sleek stylish design, preferably a flip or slider phone that's thin and tough enough to hold up when I carry it around in my pocket.  A big plus for me is long battery life, not because I use my phone excessively, but more because I don't want to be charging it up every time I turn around.

Considering all this, I came to the conclusion that I'd be happy with a new razr phone.  While I couldn't find the razr v3 on AT&T's website, I did find it on  I bought an unlocked U.S. version in blue.  I had enough left on a gift card from Christmas to almost pay for the phone, so my only out of pocket expense was $1.98.  Even if I'd had to pay the full price of $49.98 it wouldn't have been much over the upgrade fee from AT&T and I didn't have to sign a new two year contract. 

Friday, February 17, 2012


Yesterday I stopped at a convenience store to get gas and ran in to a girl I worked with about 5 years ago.  She's still at the same job and was telling me how much better things are there with the new managers.  After I left, I thought perhaps I should go talk to them about getting my old job back.  However, it also occurred to me that I'm still getting paid from my time working there.  In fact, I am not only getting paid from that job, I also get money every month from the job that followed that one and the unemployment I received before starting my current job.  If or when I decide to move on from my current job, I'll continue to get paid from them as well.  How is this possible?  By setting aside a small amount of my earnings each month and investing it in dividend stocks. 

If I had only known when I was younger what I know now, I'd be getting paid from every job I've ever had and would most likely be retired right now.  It doesn't take a great deal.  When I first started my investment program, I was only able to save $35 per month.  Yet I managed to accumulate a nice tidy portfolio over the years and anyone can do the same. will allow you to open an account and set aside small amounts to purchase shares of dividend stocks.  When you've purchased your initial shares you can easily re-invest dividends and start building your own portfolio.  Even if you only saved $20 per month, you'd have $240 by the end of the year.  Not a fortune, but enough to purchase dividend paying shares and start building your own cash machine that will pay you month after month, year after year. 

So my best advice to young people is;  Make it your goal to get paid for the rest of your life from every job you ever have.  No matter how much you're able to save, put a small portion aside and invest in dividend paying stocks.  Re-invest your dividends to build your cash flow and never spend your initial investment.  By doing so, you will continue getting paid in the form of dividends from every job you ever have.