Monday, February 29, 2016


I just posted about the terrific 33% increase in dividend income for February 2016 compared to last year, but I was pleased to see earned income increased for the first two months of the year as well.  Compared to January and February of 2015, earned income is up 12% in 2016!  Even though my hourly pay is lower than my previous job, I'm able to get more hours, so income has increased.

I'll be using this extra earned income to purchase more dividend paying investments and to reduce debt.  The combination of increasing income and reducing interest on debt should free up even more cash to build my portfolio.  Going to be looking for ways to pick up extra income to apply to debt reduction.  The faster I pay off the debt, the easier it will be to manage my finances.  Although I sometimes get depressed by the fact that my income has never returned to pre-2008 levels, I do take comfort in the fact that my personal finances have improved dramatically.  Also, I've been much happier in my new job.  Not only am I appreciated more by my employer and clients, but I'm more proud of the line of work I do now.  

Saturday, February 27, 2016


Just collected the end of the month dividend payments for 2016 and was excited to see month total was up over 33% compared to February 2015!  While I was expecting it to be higher, I never would have guessed it would be such a big increase over last year.  

This has made me even more excited, going in to the month of March, with it's 23 dividend payments.  I'm sure it will be out last March in total income, but it will be interesting to see just how much it has gone up.  Dividends for March will get a boost from this month's purchase of additional shares of AOD and PHK.  

I hated to part with NYCB, since I'd held the shares for so long.  However, the move was in line with my plan of replacing stocks when they cut their dividend.  I still came out with a modest gain, even with the share price being down and after accounting for commissions.  By putting the money in a monthly dividend payer, I've also boosted total monthly cash flows by a significant amount.  So I believe I made the right decision.

Finally got all my 1099's, so I'll be working on taxes next week.  

Thursday, February 25, 2016


Just placed an order to purchase more shares of AOD, a monthly dividend paying stock fund.  Completion of this order will increase total monthly dividends by 2% starting in March!  May not sound like much, but imagine doing this month after month.  Didn't seem possible to me at first, but looks like I was wrong, because I just keep finding ways to increase monthly cash flows.  Mid year I'll be reviewing my investment plan and goals for 2016, I'm thinking I'll have to revise goals upwards.  

I have to admit, with the market in such turmoil since the first of this year, I was getting a little down on investing.  This month especially, with only 14 dividends for the month.  Then I looked at it another way.  I'm collecting 14 dividend payments and getting paid twice from my job.  That's 16 paydays for the month of February!  Even better, February is one of the lowest paying months.  For the month of March, I'm expecting 23 dividend payments, along with my two paychecks from work and a check from SendEarnings.  So I'll be getting paid 26 times in March!  Needless to say, I'm all excited about investing again.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016


While trying to upgrade my Dell Latitude laptop to Windows 10, I kept getting the error code C 1900101-30018.  If you're having the same problem, here's what I did to fix it.  I uninstalled the printer and fax from the computer.  Then I uninstalled the graphics card and driver.  Also uninstalled Java and disconnected all non-essential peripherals.  From there I downloaded the Windows 10 upgrade and it installed perfectly.  Everything is up and running great!

Monday, February 22, 2016


I'm always looking for ways to save money and I'd been using my old Windows XP desktop way past when I should have upgraded.  It worked well and I kept the browser and virus protection up to date, so I just kept using it.  Now, however, the browser I was using notified me they were no longer going to support computers running Windows XP, so I had to make an upgrade.

Here's what I did instead of buying a new computer.  I went on ebay and bought 3 rehabbed desktop computers with Windows 7 Pro for $89 each.  Also got a great deal on a Windows 8.1 laptop on Amazon for $189.  I then took advantage of Microsofts free upgrade to Windows 10 and upgraded all 4 computers.  One desktop was for my sister, one for my brother and one for me.  Did all four upgrades without a hitch and couldn't be happier with the performance.  So instead of getting one new computer for around $500, I got 3 desktops and a laptop for $456, all with the latest version of Windows!  While it's true you never know how long used electronics will last, I bought my old XP computer for $89 as well and I've had it for 7 or 8 years.  So even if one or more of these computers should fail within a year or less, I'm still ahead of the game.  I really don't expect that to happen.


To give me a better idea of where I stand retirement wise, I usually do an annual check of my estimated benefits and earnings record on  I was pleased to see that my estimated benefits recovered somewhat from the economic downturn back in 2008.  Due to poor earned income since that time, my estimated benefits had dropped from around $1,200 per month to a little over $600 per month.  With my new job and slightly increasing earned income, that has now gone up to $800 per month.  Still not great, but much better than it was.  Of course there are ways to boost this amount.  I can continue working and delay taking Social Security and my benefits will go up, but given the fact I've already had two heart attacks, I'm thinking the better choice would be to take earliest retirement at 62.  

Before suffering financial setbacks from my two heart attacks and stint surgeries, I was pretty well positioned for retirement.  Now it's a matter of playing catch up.  I don't expect to be able to regain all that I lost, but I do think it's possible to build a decent income stream that will help carry me through retirement.  While my current income is much lower than it was back in 2008, I have been able to manage pretty well.  So what it really boils down to is replacing my current income, which will be much easier, since my previous income was nearly double what I make now.  

Friday, February 19, 2016


Due to sliding share price and recent cut in dividend payments, I decided to sell my stake in NYCB and take the profits to put to work elsewhere.  While I still have exposure to NYCB through stock fund investments, I thought the money invested in the individual stock could produce more income elsewhere.  I ended up purchasing shares of PHK for my IRA account with the proceeds from the sale.  This will boost overall monthly dividend income by a whopping 7.5%!  However, I did get my order in too late to collect the dividend for March, so I'll collect the first dividend payment starting in April.  

This sale fits in with my plan to pare down total number of holdings to 20 stocks and funds.  I may make some additional adjustments as the year goes on, most likely in the IRA account, since I'm trying to avoid any taxable events in my regular investment account.  Any sales and re-deployment of cash will be with a view towards raising monthly cash flows.  Want to boost dividend income as much as possible this year.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016


February is flying by it seems, we've had a wild ride in the stock market but saw a little upward movement today.  I've been continuing to work on building positions in current holdings through reinvested dividends and additional cash purchases.  Concentrating mostly on boosting monthly cash flows from dividends.  It's much easier to gain some ground with stock prices being down, but I'm only human and was glad to see some upward movement.

Been busy with work.  Picked up a lot of extra hours from call ins so far this month and personal earned income is up for the first two months of 2016 compared to last year.  It's tax season and I've been collecting all my tax documents to file my taxes.  Not expecting much in the way of a refund, but I'll be happy if I don't have to pay much in.  

Haven't been able to verify it, but it looks like ROYT may have suspended dividend payments.  While I'm disappointed, I can't say I wasn't expecting something like that to happen.  It was a risk going in and I may end up losing all the money I've invested, but they may pull out of it yet.  It really depends on what happens in the oil market.  I still expect that to turn around next year, but I think Obama's plan to put a $10 tax per barrel of oil is especially foolish at this point.  Not only will it hurt the already beleaguered oil market, but it will increase prices at the gas pump for consumers.  As far as I'm concerned, the only real thing the current economy has going for it is cheap gasoline, which has allowed consumers a little extra cash in pocket.  Additional taxes on oil is wrong, wrong, wrong.  There is no good reason for it and nothing good will come of it.

Monday, February 1, 2016


On the heels of record January dividend earnings, February started off great with 4 dividend payments for the first of the month!  Will collect 10 more payments before the end of the month, with 2016 dividend earnings set to beat out 2015 by a wide margin!  Should boost monthly cash flow by another 3-4% with purchase of additional shares of PHK this month.  If available cash allows, I'd also like to boost my stake in AOD, but I'll have to wait and see.  May have to make that purchase in March.

I keep seeing so much in the mainstream media about the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer.  While on the surface this seems horribly unfair, it's really just a matter of educating people to change their habits.  I am not rich by any stretch of the imagination, yet my dividend income will increase this year by 25%, pretty much on it's own.  If I could live long enough for compounded earnings to work it's magic, I'd eventually be one of the "rich getting richer."  From a more practical standpoint, considering my age, I'm just looking to boost retirement income.  However, there is no reason young people have to stay poor in the United States.  If you save your money and invest in income producing assets, whether it's dividend stocks, real estate or whatever, then eventually you earn more from your assets working for you.

To illustrate more clearly why the rich keep getting richer, I recently read the annual report from one of my mutual funds.  It has a little over $1 billion in assets and earns over $83 million dollars in dividends per year!  Most of us will never have $83 million in a lifetime, but it shows the earning potential of putting the money you do have to work.  There are several billionaires in the world today, who have way more than $1 billion dollars, so of course they keep getting richer because their money is working 24/7 to earn them even more.  While you or I may not have the means to make that kind of cash, the principle works the same for a small amount of money as it does for a billion dollars.  So if you're investing in income producing assets and reinvesting profits, then you will become wealthy over time.  This is what mainstream media needs to be telling people, instead of giving them the impression that successful people are conspiring against them, or that they should have their money seized and redistributed.  That is socialistic nonsense.

So the rich are getting richer and you should be too.  It's as simple as saving as much as you can, investing in income producing investments and reinvesting profits.