Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Another purchase...another dividend...

I'm closing out the month with another purchase - this time a new ETF.  It is silly but I only bought one share.  I had about $70 in my settlement account which isn't a lot when it comes to buying stocks and ETFs.  But I had been thinking about this ETF for awhile now so I went ahead and spoiled myself with one share :-)
(I'll share more on why in a later post.)

VNQI is Vanguard's Global REIT ETF that excludes the U.S.  I already have the U.S. REIT mutual fund so this is just a bit of diversification.  A really itsy bitsy tiny bit.  But I will be buying more.

1 share of VNQI at $53.66 per share.

Additionally, I also received a dividend about a week ago from my Starbucks holdings.  The total amount was $4.01 which translated into 0.073 shares that were reinvested.  Sorta funny because $4.01 doesn't even buy you a tall cappuccino where I am (at least not after you factor in tax) but it will get you close to that.  Suppose once a quarter SBUX is giving me a free coffee or will be in the future :-)

Total dividends earned thus far this year are about $238 which isn't too shabby but most of that comes from my REIT mutual fund.  I am expecting to get a bunch of dividends next month as well as potentially some short or long-term capital gains.

I also made my transfers to various savings accounts and over-paid my mortgage last week.  I will update all the necessary pages in the coming days.  (It's busy right now and the heat is making life difficult.  But I will do my best to update as soon as possible - have the info handy just too tired to do so right now.)


Saturday, May 28, 2016

Weekend Reads!

Below are a few good reads from Kiplinger:

How to Protect Your Portfolio Against Black Swans

The Problem with Dollar-Cost Averaging
Hmmm...interesting read but I still think dollar-cost averaging is good for many because investing for most mortals is about consistency.

A Recipe for Estate Planning Failure
I like this one because it focuses on lifestyle - that is what we all want to maintain - and our planning and investments should take this into account.  These articles are written by financial planners so they want us to use them.  But reading everything with a grain of salt helps a lot. 

What Investors Can Learn from the 2016 Presidential Election
Ugh the presidential election - those words make me sigh and gag at the same time.  But this article is good.

9 Reasons Women Will Never Retire
Women PLEASE save/invest early and often.  Take control and put the damn oxygen mask on already!

4 Keys to Reaching Your Lifetime Financial Goals

Many Americans Don't Enjoy Retirement


A bit of a surprise

This past week I found out that I will be receiving a bonus in June.  I wasn't sure that I would be getting one this year considering when I started but it is a nice surprise.  I had figured that it would be more of a token amount but I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the gross amount is much better than a token.  Of course then Uncle Sam takes his very large cut (*cough* 50% *cough*) and I am left with not much :-)

What to do with it?!

Well while some of it will be used for travel (this is always the case with my bonuses), I'm not really sure about the rest of it.  I want to use it in a good way.  Being a good steward of what I receive is very important to me.  I could use it to pay down more of my mortgage or to put toward saving for a new home or toward my brokerage account or ...  All good uses - none are necessarily better or worse than others as they would all help me reach some financial goals.

But for right now I am just going to sit on it.  This requires a bit of discipline to not spend it (aside from the amount I want to use for travel).  And that level of discipline is important to have.  So for now it will stay put (well once it is paid) and I will probably make a decision within 6 months.

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Something I've always wanted & a read or two!

Oh happy Monday!

It seems silly to say this out loud but I've always wanted a lot of one share.  A good share - a nice blue chip share.  You know like 5,000 shares of it.  Of course 5,000 shares of most stocks is a lot of money (especially a blue chip one!).  And in the age of diversification, it would be crazy to own that much of one stock.  But....I still want it!

Below a couple of thoughtful reads - especially enjoyed the one from WSJ.

Almost all of us make this budgeting mistake
I thought this was a very good read.

What entrepreneurship can teach us about life
I thought this was an excellent read - so much so that I printed it and intend to read it over and over again.  I feel as though I have definitely become a blah blah boring blah blah.  This might help me to change that :-)

Have a good week!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Checking In - 2016 goals

My goals for 2016 were on the light side.  This is a bit of a reboot year for me and a year to replenish lots of savings accounts.  

Said another way there is not a lot of money for my goals this year :-(

Still, I am off to a good start.  I have invested approximately $4,200 compared with my (minimum) goal of $6,250.  I will hopefully meet this goal by the end of August 2016.

My various savings goals are exactly on track since I just divided the goal number by 12 and I have been depositing that amount (rounded).

As for my mortgage, well I am a tad behind on that one.  I am assuming that was possibly a stretch goal (don't really recall).  Of course I could divert some of my investing cash flows towards the mortgage over-payments but I am going to try to find a little extra cash here and there as well as go without a bit to meet that goal.

Did you have financial goals for 2016?  Are you meeting them?


Friday, May 13, 2016

Finally! A stock purchase!

Phew I was starting to lose a bit of credibility.  But I *finally* managed to make a stock purchase :-)

Today I bought the following:
- 15 shares of Unilever (UL) at a price of $45.46;
- 4 shares of ETF VYM at a price of $69.24; and 
- 4 shares of ETF VYMI at a price of $53.47.

This brings my total investment in UL to 25 shares (rounded) and 14 shares (rounded) each for VYM and VYMI.

Sadly, I do not think that I will have any other money to invest this month.  There is still a few bobs left in the money market settlement fund but that may just roll over into next month.  But if I can scrape together enough for $100 or so, I will probably put it towards my Energy mutual fund.


Sunday, May 8, 2016

Happy Mother's Day!

Wishing all the mums out there a very happy day!


Saturday, May 7, 2016

Savings transfers finally made!

While the days this week have each been painfully long, the week itself has flown quite quickly.  I managed to make the savings transfers of $55 each to my Rewire and G2H-FU accounts and $210 to my 2nd Home account.

Money was also transferred to my brokerage account (May's money) but I still did not purchase stock.  Ahem!  This needs to happen this week!  But at least the money is not in my checking account where it can get spent on needless items.  And it will be invested...eventually...I promise!

Oh well doing the best I can while work is still keeping me far too busy...


Weekend reading

If you are anywhere near me in the northeast, it is still dreary and cold out.  Perfect for staying indoors with a nice cup of tea and some reading at hand.

With that in mind, below are some interesting (and old) links - the first one started off the storm.

If You Have Savings In You're 20s, You're Doing Something Wrong

If You Have Savings In You're 20s, You're Doing Something Right

Interestingly enough I don't entirely disagree with the first article.  My 20s were great in large part because I was young and I did a lot of things.  I went out, I networked, I traveled, I went to a lot of cultural events, I ate too much and drank too much and I had fun!  I quit my job to "find" myself.  (Hmmm...looking back that seems to happen every decade of my life...)  

While I did not spend with abandon, I did spend money and looking back, I don't regret it.  I wasn't earning anywhere near as much as I am today so what I did save wasn't an enormous amount of money.

If anything, I wish that I had started seriously saving and investing 1 or 2 years earlier before I did (which was in my 30s).  That would have made a huge difference for me today.  No I wouldn't be a millionaire or ready to retire but I would feel significantly less stressed.

Of course that is looking back and knowing the salary I was making back then.  And it is also knowing myself and having always had a savings habit (of some sorts).

I am very fortunate to have ended my 20s with no debt whatsoever (bye-bye student loans!).  At least I think so,  I may have actually have been 30 when I paid the last payment :-)  Oh how the memory goes!

Hmmmm...perhaps my 20s weren't that great...oh if only I could remember clearly ;-)

Have a wonderful weekend!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

End of the month purchases

I suppose that title should really be last day of the month...still some investments were made!  I literally made these investments on my phone while walking to work on Friday.  Not my finest hour.

- 2 shares of VYM at a price of $69.67/share = $139.34
- 2 shares of VYMI at a price of $55.81/share = $111.62
- $200 invested in my Energy mutual fund at a price of $48.73 = 4.104 shares

Also received a dividend from the settlement fund of $0.24 on Friday.

I still have about $600 to invest which I will combine with May's investment money to buy more of UL this week.

What wasn't done in April was the transfers to savings - more because I just didn't have a lot of time during the past week to do anything personal (it was ALL about work!).  The money is there so those transfers will occur this week.


A different kind of post

Below are a few interesting links.  Not going to give a social commentary - it's just interesting to be aware of the things that are out there.  Although I don't agree with most people in this world (rich, poor, old, young, various colors - you name it and I probably disagree!), I also don't live their lives.

Video:  Winter in the Hamptons

Article:  Faces of Poverty

Video:  Shy Bairns Get Nowt

And as a contrast, it is always important to keep learning however you can:
Cheap Ways to Increase Knowledge and Earning Potential