Chase Freedom

Passive Dividend Income, May 2017

Another month is in the books. May has come and gone. We are now past Memorial Day, which was traditionally the beginning of summer vacation, although many are still in school. The end of the month is a great time for reflecting on how the previous month unfolded. It’s also a good time to look into passive dividend income.

I started investing for dividend income nearly two years ago. I had been reading popular personal finance blogs like Mr. Money Mustache and popular PF books like Dave Ramsey’s The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness, which I highly recommend if you’ve not yet read it. (You can click the link above or the image below if you want to buy it and support me just a bit). Just about all of these financial gurus recommend spending less (sometimes much less) than you make and then investing the rest.

Then I came upon the old Dividend Mantra site after reading an interview on Mr. Money Mustache. This guy, Jason Fieber, was in the process of documenting the growth of his dividend growth portfolio with a goal to come up with enough passive income to live off of indefinitely, thus making paid work optional. I thought this was a great idea and bought my first dividend-paying stock in July 2015.

Now, I’m nearly two years into this journey. My first dividend was a whopping $0.64 from Apple. I’ve since sold that stock for a profit to pay off some debt, and I’ve now started emphasizing investment through an IRA rollover. My income has grown from that point, exponentially, in fact. However, I’m nowhere near what I’ll need to pay for my expenses. This is a long game.

Why Passive Dividend Income?

You might wonder why I focused on dividend income rather than total return or guessing which stock might take off like Apple or Google. I like the idea that a dividend is a return of some of the capital that I’ve invested. Companies cannot pay them out for the long run without actually having the cash flow and profits to sustain them.

Companies that have long dividend streaks have increased revenue and earnings per share over time. Some of them have done so through multiple recessions. These are the companies that I tend to like the most. I have some relatively high yielders and some that have low yields. But I like the cash coming in each month.

Passive Dividend Income Builds Up Slowly But Surely

Last month, I was in Europe on a (sort of) work trip. I got two separate emails during the trip that indicated dividends had posted to my account. I can literally be anywhere in the world, and I’ll have income flowing in because the companies that I own make money on a daily basis. Passive dividend income flows toward me no matter what I might be doing at a given moment. My money is working for me, and the more money that I put to work, the harder it will work.

Passive Dividend Income For May 2017

During the month of May, I earned (actually received, as it’s unearned income) dividends from three of the companies that I hold in my traditional IRA,. I also received a dividend from one fund in a 401k plan. Here is the income that passively came my way in May 2017:

AT & T (T):                                                                                      $7.35
Omega Healthcare Investors (OHI)                                $31.50
Realty Income Corp. (O)                                                          $2.11

Total for IRA Account:                                                           $40.96

JP Morgan Equity Income R5 (OIERX)                            $3.14

Total Passive Dividend Income for May:                 $44.10

I must say that I’m pretty happy with this amount, but it should grow in August, as I’ve added to both AT & T and Realty Income since the last ex-dividend date. This means that the monthly payout should be even larger.

Year-Over-Year Comparison

Last May, I earned only $9.18 for the entire month. This means that my $44.10 is a 380 percent increase in just over a year. I can’t complain much about that.

My dividend income in terms of the number of hours of freedom that it will buy me is something I really like to track. I could have bought just more than 2 hours and 12 minutes of freedom in May, based upon my belief that $20/hour would take care of my current standard of living pretty well.

I’ve now earned $149.41 for 2017 to this point. That’s just a hair below $30 a month. My forward dividend income for the next 12 months should come in right around $438.45. This is just short of 22 hours of freedom. I like my job and would probably continue to work should I actually get enough passive income to pay for my lifestyle. However, the ability to scale back would be pretty amazing.

I’ve basically gone from $0 in monthly dividend income to $36.53 on average (based on the $438.45 noted above). This took less than two years. With the reinvestment of dividends and new capital added, this snowball should continue rolling and picking up steam into the future.

How was your dividend income in May? Is it going in the right direction? I’ll be updating my dividend income page to reflect this month’s income.

If you’d like to keep up with my progress, be sure to sign up for updates in the email signup box near the top of the page. You can also follow me on Twitter.

Disclaimer: I am not a professional financial advisor. I intend this information for informational and educational purposes only. Perform due diligence before investing in any equities. See my disclosures page for more information. I’m long T, O, OHI, and OIERX.

 

Chase Freedom

April 2017 Passive Dividend Income

Passive Dividend Income Builds Up Slowly But Surely

The month of April is not quite over yet, but my passive dividend income for April has all arrived in my accounts.  The end of the month is one of my favorite times, because I get to tally up the passive income that I earned from dividends over the previous 30 (or so) days.

April was the first month of the second quarter. This means that fewer companies tend to pay out, which hurts my income from my 401k fund. Regardless, all of the companies that I own continued to work making money for me.

Every share that I own is an ever-so-small slice of the company that issued the shares. In effect, I own 0.0000000001 percent of these companies (or some other such minuscule number). Regardless, I love the fact that they work on the other side of the world while I’m sleeping to make me money.

Regardless of what I do in a given month, I get paid. Of course, I have a regular job and work hard to supplement that income, but it’s good to know that I have a growing stream of passive dividend income. Here are the companies that paid me in April:

Passive Dividend Income For April 2017

Taxable Account:

Coca-Cola (KO)                                                                           $3.24

Traditional IRA:

Realty Income Corp (O)                                                          $2.11
General Electric (GE)                                                                $9.60

401k

JP Morgan Equity Income R5 (OIERX)                        $0.01

TOTAL DIVIDENDS FOR APRIL 2017:                         $14.96

Yes, I earned a whopping penny from my 401k. Not terribly impressive, but better than nothing, I suppose.

Year-To-Year Comparison

Admittedly, not even reaching $15 might cause frustration for many people. However, when I look at this amount and compare it to the same month last year, I earned only $8.90 last year. This means that I increased my dividend income by 68% in just 12 months.

Increases of this size will not continue indefinitely, but they are pretty cool. They also help me build up my passive dividend income. They are important building blocks toward my goal.

I’ve now earned $105.31 so far in 2017. At this point last year, I’d earned only $33.27. This means that my passive dividend income is up 217% in just a year’s time. Pretty cool. Onward and upward.

I have to point out one thing, however. I sold all of my taxable investments over the past month, because, as I noted  previously, Loyal3 is shutting down. As this was my taxable investment vehicle of choice, I sold out and put the money into my Traditional IRA, hoping to cut my taxes for 2017 in the process.

This means that you’ll no longer see some of the common dividend payers on my reports previously. I wanted to let you know why.

I replaced my taxable holdings with more AT & T. This brings my estimated dividend income (not counting the 401k) to $398.90 for the next 12 months. I’m only one more purchase or one more dividend raise from crossing over the $400 mark. Again, pretty cool stuff.

How was your dividend income for April? Let me know in the comments. I’ve also updated my passive dividend income page so you can see the growth of my income over time.

If you’d like to keep up with my progress, be sure to sign up for updates in the email signup box near the top of the page. You can also follow me on Twitter.

Disclaimer: I am not a professional financial advisor. I intend this information for informational and educational purposes only. Perform due diligence before investing in any equities. See my disclosures page for more information.

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Chase Freedom

Loyal3 Is Shutting Down

Prioritize Your Finances to wind up with a suitcase of money
You won’t be maximizing your money with Loyal3 any more.

Back in 2015, I learned about a relatively new investing platform that allowed users to invest in increments as low as $10 per purchase. Additionally, you could buy partial shares, which made the opportunity even more attractive. This platform was Loyal3.  This actually got me to start investing. Unfortunately, after having used this online brokerage for about two years, I got an email that Loyal3 is shutting down.

Loyal3 Is Shutting Down

This email that I received from the company was a bit of a surprise, but not too big of one. The company did not charge any fees, claiming to make money from marketing the stock of the 60 or so companies that it provided for investors as well as the interest from holding onto cash that was not yet invested in an interest-bearing money market fund.

Loyal3 is shutting down.
Loyal3 is shutting down.

This did not seem like the most sustainable of business models, but because Loyal3 was a member of SIPC, I figured at the time that my investments were safe. I enjoyed the chance to build my investment holdings in small increments over time.

Many in the investing community advocate buying stock in increments of $1,000 or more because of fees that hurt long-term returns. This can make it difficult for small-time investors to begin the process of investing. It can also make diversification a very slow process. With Loyal3, I had as many as eight holdings at one time, built up with purchases that ranged between $10 and $200 for any single transaction.

This was a pretty cool deal.

But now it’s done.

What To Do Now?

Now that Loyal3 is shutting down, what is the small-time investor to do? There are some investing options that might work. RobinHood is one that comes to mind. I’ve not used this platform, but I’ve read about it. RobinHood requires investors to buy full shares, which makes the minimum investment a bit higher.

The email from Loyal3 indicated that those who choose to leave their holdings alone would automatically have them transferred to a new brokerage called FolioFirst. This new brokerage, according to the email, is just for Loyal3 clients. The offerings for FolioFirst accounts will grow to around 200 companies and funds, which is good. Then comes the bad news.

There are still free trades( at least up to 2,000 a month), but the new outfit is going to start charging a $5 monthly fee per account. The minimum investment will now go up to $25 from $10. $5 a month might not sound like much, but it would add up to $60 a year.

Let’s say that a new investor has $50 a month to invest. This fee would mean that the investor would go from paying $0 with Loyal3 to paying $60 with the new FolioFirst platform. That’s a fee that would take up 10 percent of the total investments for the first year. Admittedly, the fee would go down over time as more money gets invested, but it would slow down the growth process quite a bit.

Investors with Loyal3 also have the option of instigating an account transfer to the brokerage of their choice. Option 3 involves selling all shares and then cashing them out.

What Am I Doing?

After getting the email that Loyal3 is shutting down, I decided that I’d opt for the third option. My account has some modest gains. I figured that my $100 in gains would cost me about $20 in taxes at most. Not too bad.

Furthermore, I also took into account the fact that I’m investing for dividend income. With the current size of my account, I’d have to pay about 4 percent of its value in account fees over the next year. That’s more than the roughly 3 percent yield that I’m earning on my holdings.

I’m planning to take the proceeds and invest them into my IRA account with TradeKing. This will provide a positive tax effect because I’ll be able to cut my current-year income by the amount I invest and then save 15 percent of the investment in deferred taxes.

I am planning to make one major purchase or two smaller purchases with the proceeds. This will not have me as diversified as I was, but it will cost me a max of $9.90 in trading fees, which is much less than the $60 I’d lose when looking at the monthly fees that FolioFirst would charge.

I can also buy REITs, telecoms, and utilities that pay higher dividend yields, so my overall dividend income for the next 12 months will probably go up with the purchases.

Conclusion

Loyal3 is shutting down. This is sad in one regard. Small-time investors who are getting started will have one less option when it comes to making small purchases and not having to pay major fees.

I’m cashing out and cutting my current-year taxes by putting the proceeds into a traditional IRA. I should also see a bit of a bump in my annual dividend income as a result.

Chase Freedom

March 2017 Passive Dividend Income

Passive Dividend Income Builds Up Slowly But Surely

Yet another month has come and gone. I don’t like new months for one reason, as they seem to be coming more quickly as I get older. I do, however, enjoy them for another reason, because they give a great chance to look back. One of the best things to look back over is passive dividend income.

As you might already know, I’ve decided to embark upon a path of building a growing stream of passive dividend income. The strategy involves buying stock in a few high-quality companies. These companies have many employees who work hard every day.

They also tend to make lots of money, and part of the money that they make comes back to me in the form of dividends. These are cash payments that I can use for pretty much whatever I want. At this point in life, I’m using them to buy more stock. Which leads to more dividends. Which leads to more stock. And on and on this virtuous cycle should go.

Passive Dividend Income for March 2017

March was a great month for earning dividends. I had several companies and funds that paid out in the month. One was even unexpected. Kraft-Heinz switched up from paying out in the first month of the quarter to the third month. It’s no big deal, but it does make my first month income look smaller. Oh well, first world problem, for sure. Here are the great companies that paid me passive dividend income during the month of March:

Taxable Account

Unilever (UL)                                                                           $0.33
McDonald’s (MCD)                                                             $2.79
Kraft-Heinz (KHC)                                                               $1.72

Traditional IRA

Southern Co. (SO)                                                             $16.80
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)                                               $8.00
Realty Income Corp (O)                                                   $2.11

401k

JP Morgan Equity Income R5 (OIERX)                  $2.23
Cohen and Steers Realty Shares (CSRSX)            $8.18

TOTAL FOR MARCH 2017:   $42.16

Year-to-Year Comparison

When adding up all of these dividend payments, they come up to $42.16 for the month of March. This is an increase of nearly 210 percent over the $13.62 of passive dividend income that I received in the same month last year.

My dividend income  for 2017 is now up to $90.35 for the year. I was at a little less than $25 at this point last year. My $42.16 in dividend income would have bought me just north of 2 hours of freedom in March, based upon my estimate of needing $20/hour of passive income to keep up my standard of living without full-time work. My monthly passive dividend income page that tracks my progress over time has an update with this information.

How was your dividend income for March? Let us know in the comments.

If you’d like to keep up with my progress, be sure to sign up for updates in the email signup box near the top of the page. You can also follow me on Twitter.

Disclaimer: I am not a professional financial advisor. I intend this information for informational and educational purposes only. Perform due diligence before investing in any equities. See my disclosures page for more information.

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

 

Chase Freedom

Passive Dividend Income for February 2017

Passive Dividend Income Builds Up Slowly But Surely
The month of February is not quite up, but I’ve already gotten all of my passive dividend income payments for the month.  I always enjoy looking back over the month that was and add up my dividend earnings. Dividends are my favorite form of passive income because they come in whether I have work or not.  As I’ve said many times before, passive income is the best income.

I own some great companies that pay me on a regular basis. These companies sell their wares around the world every day. They have workers who are dedicated to serving their clients, and I’m not one of them.  These workers show up to do their jobs when I don’t have to. I have weekends off, but companies like Starbucks (SBUX) sell coffee each and every day in just about every time zone known to man. This is a really cool concept that allows me to build wealth.

Passive Dividend Income For February 2017

I earned multiple payments in February 2017. Three companies and one fund paid me basically for existing. Without holding you in suspense any longer, here is my passive dividend income for the month that was:

Taxable Account:

Starbucks (SBUX)                                                   $1.12

IRA

Realty Income Corp (O)                                      $2.11
Omega Healthcare Investors (OHI)         $31.00

401K

JP Morgan Equity Income RF (OIERX)     $2.33

TOTAL dividends, 2/17                                   $36.56

By looking at my passive dividend income for February, I was able to earn $36.56. I like to compare my income on a year-over-year basis, and in February 2016, I earned $6.27. This was more than $30 less than my earnings just one year later, which means my passive dividend income grew by more than 500 percent in just one year. I have to say I’m happy with this result. However, I don’t assume that this will continue indefinitely.

It’s evident that OHI was my biggest payer for the month. I don’t really like the outsized income that I get from one company, so I’m hoping that I can diversify more so that my income is not so dependent upon one company.

When I add my January income to my income from February, I’m now up to $48.19 in passive dividend income for 2017. It was June before I passed this amount of income in 2016, so I’m definitely thrilled with this progress

Hours of Freedom Earned

I like to track how much freedom my dividend income provides me each month. I have a forward estimated dividend income of $322.95 for the next 12 months. This means that I now have about 16 hours of freedom built up for the next 12 months.

I argue that I would need to earn $20 an hour to maintain a similar standard of living to what I currently have. This figure is arrived at with the assumption that I would not be paying toward retirement or Social Security. Additionally, I would have fewer expenses associated with work like an occasional meal out and commuting.

16 hours of freedom is the equivalent of 1 hour, 20 minutes a month. If I look at my income from February only, it would have nearly bought me 2 hours of freedom. It’s not quite the 170 hours that I’d normally work for a month, but it’s a start.  I enjoy looking at the upward trend, however.

How was your passive dividend income for February? Let us know in the comments.

If you’d like to keep up with my progress, be sure to sign up for updates in the email signup box near the top of the page. You can also follow me on Twitter.

Disclaimer: I am not a professional financial advisor. I intend this information for informational and educational purposes only. Perform due diligence before investing in any equities. See my disclosures page for more information.

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

 

Chase Freedom

January 2017 Passive Dividend Income

It’s hard to believe, but the first month of 2017 is in the books. There are less than 330 shopping days left until Christmas. The end of the month is one of my favorite times of each month. It’s the time that I look back and tabulate my passive dividend income for the previous 30 days. As all of my brokerage and retirement accounts are updated, I can now add up how much I made passively in January 2017.

Why Dividends?

I’ve decided to build up a stream of passive dividend income through dividends because they come in whether I work or not. I own some great companies. These companies sell their wares or rent out their space 24/7/365. Many of them do so in many nations around the world. One of the coolest things about a dividend growth strategy is the fact that these companies frequently increase their payments with me doing absolutely nothing.

Passive Dividend Income Can Add Up
A $500 bill, public domain via Wikimedia Commons

My dividend income is admittedly quite low at this point. I’ve been working on building it up for less than two years. Any dividend income, however, is gravy. It’s currently a small snowball that’s building mass over time. This increased mass results from three components. These are more invested capital, reinvested dividends, and dividend raises. Put all of them together, and it should be hard not to see an increase in dividend income over time.  Therefore, to end your suspense, here is my passive dividend income for 2017.

January 2017 Passive Dividend Income

IRA Account:

General Electric (GE)                                 $9.60
Realty Income Corp. (O)                         $2.03

Total Passive Dividend Income:        $11.63

I did not earn any income from my taxable or 401k accounts during January. Therefore, only these two companies paid me anything. This was the first time that I’ve earned a dividend from Realty Income, but I should earn something every month, as this company pays out on a monthly basis. It also just announced a dividend increase of 0.8 cents per month. This increase added a cool $1 to my expected dividend income for the next year and allowed my to pass a dividend milestone.

Year-Over-Year Comparison

My dividend income was well off my record month in December. That’s the bad news. The good news is that it was more than double what I earned in the same month last year.  In January 2016 I only earned $4.48. Therefore, my passive dividend income grew by more than 162 percent on a year-over-year basis. Needless to say, I’m pretty happy with that result.

Additionally, my estimated dividend income for the next 12 months is up to $302.11. I’ve noted before that I like to track my dividend income in terms of the number of hours of freedom that it should give me based on a $20/hour salary. This means that I theoretically have 1 hour, 15 minutes of freedom each and every month. This should only grow over time, so I’m pretty happy about my progress. I updated my Monthly Passive Dividend Income page with these results.

How was your dividend income for January? Let me know in the comments.

If you’d like to keep up with my progress, be sure to sign up for updates in the email signup box near the top of the page. You can also follow me on Twitter.

Disclaimer: I am not a professional financial advisor. I intend this information for informational and educational purposes only. Perform due diligence before investing in any equities. See my disclosures page for more information.

Chase Freedom

Smashing Through A Passive Income Milestone

Passive each Passive Income Milestone takes time

I was just online checking my forward dividend income today. I had neglected to put in a raise from Realty Income Corp that allowed me to smash past a passive income milestone. When I started looking at the dividend growth as a great option for building a stream of passive income over time, the idea that the companies that I own giving out regular raises was one of the top concepts that drew me to this strategy.

A New Passive Income Milestone

I input the raise from Realty Income into my spreadsheet (I’m an Excel guy). I have ten shares, which is obviously not an impressive amount. But the raise put me up over $300 in annual anticipated dividend income.

Admittedly, this is not a huge amount of money. I’m now slightly above $300 in my estimated income for the year. That’s just slightly more than $25 a month.

Figuring Passive Income In Hours Worked

Every month when I give a new passive dividend income report, I look at how many hours of work I could theoretically take off by replacing active income with passive income. Every $100 passive income milestone that I pass effectively gives me five hours of freedom, theoretically for life.

With $300 built up, I’m now at 15 hours if I figure that I would need $20 of passive income for ever hour of work. That’s 1 hour, 15 minutes every single month. I would not need to pay any income taxes up to nearly $73,000 of income if the income  is related to qualified dividends. There would be no Social Security taxes coming out. I would not be putting any money into retirement programs.

That’s quite a lot of money coming out on a monthly basis that I don’t even see. Therefore, my current standard of living would not change much, if at all, if I made $20 an hour.

Isn’t This The Slow Way To Build Wealth?

Some of you might wonder if this is the slow way to build wealth, and you’d be right if you think that it is.  Each passive income milestone seems to take a while to hit; however, this is basically the only way to build wealth.

There are tons of get-rich-quick schemes out there. They generally tend to cut wealth rather than build it. Flipping a house can quickly turn into a money pit if you don’t know what you’re doing. Borrowing money to buy pork bellies isn’t any better. You have a better likelihood of getting struck by lightning than you do of hitting the lottery.

Building wealth is kind of like the story of the tortoise and the hare. Those who try the get-rich-quick schemes might look like they’re getting ahead, but they’ll tend to wind up with less wealth than the steady plodders who put away a little bit of their income on a weekly or monthly basis.

I’m thrilled that I’ve smashed through this passive income milestone, but it’s hopefully just one of many more to come.  What milestones do you use to track your progress? Let me know in the comments.

Also, if you’d like to keep up with my progress, be sure to sign up to get updates in the email box at the top of the page or follow me on Twitter.

Disclosure: I am not a licensed financial professional. Be sure to perform due diligence making any investments. I intend my posts for educational and entertainment value only.

Image Credit: African Spurred Tortoise by Photographer 2008, via Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0

Chase Freedom

Does Your Budget Matter? Build Wealth With Small Sums

Does Your Budget Matter?

When it comes to investing money and building up a nest egg, does your budget matter? It’s commonly assumed that it’s impossible to save for the future unless you have thousands of dollars stashed away. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Today, more than perhaps at any time in history, it is possible to start a nest egg for with minimal expense. Here are some steps to take to build wealth at any income level. Even a dollar a day can really add up over time.

Your Budget Doesn’t Matter: Pay Yourself First

These three words make up a very important piece of advice. When you fail to save money on a monthly basis before you pay all of the bills, it’s likely that there will be nothing left over to save. This savings should be automatic. If your employer allows you to save in a 401k, have the funds taken out before you see them. If you only have access to a savings account, be sure to have a bit taken out of every check. Even $5 or $10 a week can build up over time.

Choose Your Investing Platform

There are many different options when it comes to investing. Your local bank or credit union probably has savings accounts and certificates of deposit that you can use to stash money in the short term. They won’t earn much in the way of interest under most conditions. When you get up to $500 or $1,000 in savings, it’s probably a good idea to move toward a brokerage. While the bank might have a broker that can help you buy stocks and bonds, it’s likely that they’ll charge an arm and a leg.

There are tons of online brokerages, and many of them are discount brokerages in nature. It’s possible to invest via Loyal3 and pay nothing in brokerage transaction fees. I’ve used both Loyal3 and TradeKing for cheap brokerage options.  TradeKing only charges $4.95 for trades and offers options trading.

Think About Index Investing

I’ve personally started using a dividend growth model for investing. I’m looking at the amount of income that my portfolio can provide. If you’re looking more toward capital gains, this might not be the best option for you. Even Warren Buffett told his heirs to invest his estate in index funds. These funds have minimal fees and track an index like the S & P 500. They do not attempt to beat the market like regular mutual funds. Traditional funds that try to beat the overall market tend to charge high fees, and these fees tend to cut down on your actual investment returns.

Warren Buffett and Barack Obama
Warren Buffett and Barack Obama, public domain via Pete Souza

Buffett often points out his optimism for the American economy over the long term. Therefore, he’s committed to investing in America. He’s been pretty successful so far, so it’s probably a good idea to listen to what he thinks about investing.

Look For Additional Income

If you’re asking the question, “Does your budget matter?” because it’s pretty tight, it might be a good idea to look for additional income. This might involve getting a second job. It might involve starting a business as a side hustle. It might involve trying to earn bonuses for opening bank accounts or credit cards. Here are some ways to earn money online without spending a penny.

This additional income, even a few dollars every week, can be the basis for increasing the amount that you have in your nest egg. As the nest egg starts to grow, it will build its own momentum. Many people have talked of building a dividend snowball that starts to grow on its own as more capital and dividends get added to the snowball. Over time, you might l awake to find that your snowball is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.  Even index funds will tend to pay out dividends that can go toward buying more shares.

Regardless of how much you make, anything above your actual expenses can go toward building wealth. The time to start is today. The younger you are, the more time you have to build your nest egg over time.  The answer to the question at the beginning of the article, Does Your Budget Matter? is a definite no.

Disclaimer: Some of these links are affiliate links that can may compensate me should you sign up for a product or service. Also, I am not an investment professional. This article is intended only for educational and informational purposes, so be sure to perform due diligence before investing in any securities.

Chase Freedom

Setting Goals To Achieve Success

Those who fail to plan, plan to fail. This is a common refrain that I’ve heard many times in my life. Another example is the statement that those who aim for nothing will hit it every time. I don’t know about you, but I definitely don’t want to fail to hit anything. This is why I’ve decided to start setting goals. The beginning of a new year is a good time to set up new goals.

Consider How To Get There

The most important step in setting goals is knowing where you want to go in life. Perhaps you want to become an engineer. This would require going to school for an engineering degree. The same goes for becoming a teacher, a lawyer, or a doctor. If you’d rather become an entrepreneur, schooling might not be quite so necessary. There are many successful entrepreneurs who haven’t completed a degree, among them are such billionaires and Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg. However, these innovators had big ideas and the technical know-how to achieve their goals.

Set Up Checkpoints To Measure Success

It’s a good idea to break up major goals into smaller chunks. This is where short-term, medium-term, and long-term goals come into play. In the example of getting an engineering degree, the long-term goal is getting the degree and getting licensed. A good short-term goal might be passing Calculus 1. After getting through the short-term goals, the medium-term goals will become the new short-term goals. Evaluating goals is a constant necessity.

Here are some goals that I’ve been interested in.

Setting Goals for Passive Income Can Lead to Financial Success

I recently read the book Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin. Questioning some of the purchases that we frequently make can help us cut expenses that require life energy to pay for. When we make more money than we spend, what’s left over is capital that we can use toward an emergency fund or toward building passive income. I’ve decided after reading up on blogs like Dividend Growth Investor that trying to build up a portfolio of dividend growth stocks like Omega Healthcare Investors and Coca-Cola can provide a growing stream of passive income through growth in the annual dividend payments and through the deployment of additional capital. My long-term goal is building up enough passive income to pay for living expenses. My short-term goal might be to get to $1,000 in forward dividend income by the end of the year.

Setting Goals Can Lead to Passive Income
B&O Stock Certificate, public domain via Wikimedia Commons

Online Earning Could Be A Smart Goal

While it’s possible to build up passive income with many jobs, many people will have a problem having enough excess capital to grow much passive income on their main salary. This is where earning a bit of money on the side can help. This excess money can then go toward savings if it’s not required for paying ordinary living expenses. It’s also possible to earn quite a nice sum from making money online. There are many lists online that offer ways to make money, some without spending a penny. I’ve used these methods to earn thousands over the past few years.

Paying Off Debt

Debt can really be a drag. The more you have, the closer you might be to financial ruin. It’s hard to grow a strong stream of passive income and a solid net worth with massive amounts of debt. Setting goals for paying down debt over time can lead to a great achievement that can definitely aid in your overall financial success.

Achieving Travel Goals

I love to travel. Therefore, some of my goals have to do with visiting some cool places around the US and the world. I had a goal of taking my family to Europe on the cheap, and I was able to do so. However, before I could, I had to figure out a way to pay for most of the trip’s possible expenses with frequent  flyer miles and hotel loyalty points. I achieved this goal with some well-timed credit card signup bonuses like the ones offered on these five credit cards that you could get in 2017.  I’m already strategizing two trips ahead with the credit cards I’m using.

The process of setting and achieving goals can be a great process that can help you gain the success that you’re looking for.  Setting up mileposts along the way can help you gauge how you’re doing in the process. If you don’t set any goals, one thing is certain. You won’t accomplish them.

Have you set any goals this year? Let us know in the comments.

Also, if you’d like to keep up with new posts and ideas for maximizing your resources in life (including time), be sure to sign up for email updates in the box at the top of the page and via our Twitter account @moneyinpajamas.

Chase Freedom

December 2016 Passive Dividend Income

2016 is nearly in the books. It’s now officially December 31, and all of my dividend payments for the month, and year, have posted to my various accounts. I can’t believe that it’s been more than a year and a half since I first started the process of purchasing dividend-paying stocks in an attempt to increase passive income over time. As I’ve noted on more than one occasion, I truly believe that passive income is the best income. The more passive income that I have coming in, the better my cash flow, and the better my ability to retire one day will be.

I earn dividend payments no matter what I’m doing in a given month. I’m currently on a trip to visit relatives for the holidays. I’ve had some passive income show up in my accounts while on the road. I’ve read several personal finance blogs that have effectively stated that your money can work harder than you can. This is decidedly NOT the case for me at present, but over time, if I’m able to continue the process of saving and investing in companies that pay me, I’ll be able to have money that works harder than me.

View from CasaMagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta
A view that I’d like to see in (hopefully) early retirement.

How is this possible, you might ask? I get tired. I have to sleep for hopefully somewhere around 6-7 hours every night and then take a nap on some afternoons. The money that I’ve deployed doesn’t have to sleep. I own shares of McDonald’s, Starbucks, and Unilever, and these companies sell their wares all over the world in just about every time zone that’s inhabited. Therefore, while I’m sleeping, my companies keep on making money for me, a small percentage of which will come to me in the form of dividends. I occasionally get sick. My companies still make money and pay me from their income. It’s a pretty good deal, if you ask me. In the month of December, I did better than I’ve ever done. Without dragging on the suspense any longer, here are the payments that I received in December:

Taxable Accounts:

Starbucks (SBUX)                                                                  $0.68
Unilever PLC (UL)                                                                 $0.26
McDonald’s (MCD)                                                             $2.10
Coca-Cola (KO)                                                                      $2.14
Kraft-Heinz (KHC)                                                               $0.86
Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDS.A)                                    $0.42

IRA

Southern Co. (SO)                                                             $11.20

401(k)

JP Morgan Equity Income R5 (OIERX)                  $8.11
Cohen and Steers Realty Shares (CSRSX)         $40.99

TOTAL Dividend Income in December:          $66.76

This total of $66.76 was by far and away my highest dividend income ever in a single month. I had not been including income from my 401(k) account, but decided that there were dividends coming in through it and that it would be a good idea to include it since I’m tracking dividend income. The dividend income that I reported last year was only $9.67. Had I included my 401(k) income, it would have raised that amount to $29.55.  My December 2016 income therefore more than doubled over the amount I received the previous year.

My income of $66.76 for December increases my total dividend income for the year to $241.61 if I go back and add in my 401k dividends for the year that I’ve not reported previously. These came to a total of $81.57. The $241.61 was slightly more than $20 a month on average, which would allow my to take off about one hour each month. My estimated dividend income for the coming year of 2017 is now up to $281.24 in my taxable and IRA accounts that I manage myself. I will not add in the estimated income from the 401(k) account at this point, because I have no idea how much it will be because of variations in the payouts that can be expected from mutual funds. If I estimated the same dividend income from the 401(k) in 2017; however, that would put my forward income at more than $360, or 18 hours when thinking of how much work I would have to replace in a given year at a wage of $20/hour. This is nowhere near enough to pay for my lifestyle, but its much more than the $0 that I was making just 18 short months ago.  I’ve updated my monthly dividend income earnings page to reflect my December earnings.

How was your dividend income in December? Feel free to let me know in the comments.  If you’d like to keep up with my progress, be sure to go to the top of the page and sign up for updates. Also, feel free to follow me on Twitter.  I appreciate any support that you decide to give. Happy New Year.

Disclaimers: Long SBUX, UL, MCD, KO, KHC, SO; I am not a financial professional. Information listed in this post does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell. It is intended for educational and informational purposes only. Equities can increase or decrease in value, and losses up to and including all money invested can occur. Consult with a licensed professional before making an investment decisions.