Swagbucks is running a great deal where you get 800 SB (equivalent of $8) when you get two free Puzzle Buzz books for your kids from Highlights! You pay $2.98 in shipping and handling, meaning that you walk away with a $5 gift card of your choice. This deal is running through the rest of March and is perfect for the little readers in your life. Even the youngest child learns to tackle activities independently — and puzzle-solving skills grow.
Here’s what you need to do:
1. Click here to get to the deal and create your Swagbucks account if you don’t have one. You’ll be my referral!
2. Click “Continue” and complete the offer. Your SB will be credited almost instantly!
3. If you’re signing up as my referral, you’ll get an additional 300 SB bonus for completing this offer, meaning that you’ll net $8:
Complete offer: $8
Shipping and Handling: -$2.98
Net bonus: $8.02
If you’re not familiar with Swagbucks, it’s a rewards site where you earn points called SB for discovering deals (like this one), online shopping, taking surveys, watching videos, and even searching the web. Then you can turn those points into gift cards from places like Amazon, Starbucks, Walmart, Target, PayPal, and more!
One of the coolest opportunities that is out there for most people is travel hacking. This “hobby” gives ordinary people who are far from trust fund babies like Donald Trump’s or Bill Clinton’s kids the chance to get out and see the world without spending a fortune. I had no idea that it even existed until I was well into adulthood, but I soon learned that it could really benefit me.
My Idea of a Great Vacation as a Kid
When I was a youngster, I really enjoyed going to amusement parks. My family went to Kings Island in Ohio just about every year in my youth. I really liked it and pushed to go back. My youth group at church would go. My family would go. Some years, we’d go to Kings Island and Carowinds in North Carolina if we were lucky. My parents got bored with the whole “let’s go back to Kings Island” spiel, but it’s what I was comfortable with. I went on a few trips to church camp and three trips in high school, one of which took me to Arizona, that I really enjoyed, too. Flying across the world never really crossed my mind at this point.
My Introduction to the World of Travel Hacking
After I proposed to my now wife, I set toward planning a honeymoon. I’d never been outside the US at this point, and we decided upon a week in Cancun. This would be my very first time ever on a plane. It would also be pretty much the last vacation that I’d pay full price for. About this time, a new accountant started working at my office. This guy told me he’d been to Hawaii. FOR FREE. I pretty much thought this was an impossibility, but I asked all about how he got to a tropical paradise that I figured I’d never visit because of the cost.
Enter Marriott Rewards
He then proceeded to tell me about the Marriott Rewards program. Needless to say, I wanted to learn more. He told me about the vacation package that you could get through Marriott’s loyalty program. Enough points would give you a free week at a Marriott hotel and frequent flyer miles to get you there. Wow. How can one get these here Marriott Rewards points? I wondered.
He then told me about the Marriott Rewards credit card that gave you points every time you stayed in a hotel owned by Marriott and a point for every other dollar you spent. Beside that, if you got approved for the card and made a single purchase, you’d get a bonus of 10,000 free points. This bonus is laughably small compared to what Marriott offers today, but back in 2003, it sounded like a good idea.
My First Travel Card
I talked to the new wife about this idea. She was cool with it, so I ditched my old AT & T Universal card that acted as a calling card and a credit card (I’d gotten it before the days of anyone and everyone having a cell phone. People actually used pay phones and hotel phones in those olden days). I applied for the Marriott Rewards card. I excitedly used it as soon as it came in to get the bonus points.
Not long after, we decided that perhaps my wife could qualify too. We saw an ad for 20,000 bonus points after the first purchase, plus a FREE NIGHT. We thought this was a great deal. Again, this bonus is pretty laughable compared to what’s available today. The newer Marriott Rewards Premier card now offers 80,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 in three months. It also offers a free night to offset each renewal of the annual fee.
Off to Hawaii Via Marriott Rewards
It took more than two years of spending on the card, the two bonuses, and staying at Marriott hotels when out of town to build up nearly enough to pay for a week at the Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa in Honolulu. Back in those days, seven nights at what was then a category 5 hotel took 110,000 points. I was just short and bought a few thousand points to make it happen.
My account didn’t have enough to get the package deal with the airline miles, but I did get tickets for $448 from my small-town airport in the Eastern US. I also had a $50 coupon for a United flight from an Entertainment book that I bought to get buy-one-get-one deals at restaurants. This brought the final cost for $398 for each ticket to Honolulu. Needless to say, I thought this was a big score. I got to Hawaii for about $1,200 total and got to stay in a nice resort.
Travel Hacking Since
In those early days, I rarely got new credit cards, thinking it was a good idea to avoid having too many. I’d heard that too many would hurt your credit score. If you’re responsible with them, they really don’t. It took me several years to get enough miles and points to get my next trip, which landed me at the Renaissance Aruba Resort and Casino, another Marriott property in a tropical paradise.
Since the trip to Aruba, I’ve been more aggressive with the travel rewards cards. I’ve earned bonuses from the new Chase Sapphire Reserve, as well as the older, but still good, Chase Sapphire Preferred, and the Chase Freedom. An upgrade with a new Marriott Rewards Premier card also earned me a hefty bonus. I’ve been able to take highly discounted trips to Los Angeles/Disneyland, Paris, and Mexico over the past few years. Additionally, I’ve got another trip to Europe planned with points and miles taking care of most of the cost.
Bottom Line on Travel Hacking
If you’re responsible with your finances, and you can pay off all of your credit card bills every month to avoid interest costs, you too can travel the world. Signing up for one of the cards listed above can be a good start that can help you achieve some dreams you might have thought outside your ability to achieve. Travel hacking has changed over the past couple of years, and it’s more difficult to score as many bonus points. However, the opportunities that remain are definitely worth taking advantage of.
Have you been able to take advantage of travel hacking? If so, let me know in the comments. Also, be sure to sign up for updates by filling out the email form at the top of the page or follow me on Twitter.
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There are few places on earth that hold the special place that Israel does for Christians (and Jews). When it comes to taking a pilgrimage to a religious site, none will rank higher than the geographic location that Jesus actually inhabited during his time on earth. Here are some tips that can help you get to Israel without totally breaking the bank.
Most Christians will likely think that getting to Israel is beyond their means. This is not necessarily the case, and singles and couples can find it fairly easy to check Israel off of their travel bucket lists with fairly small out-of-pocket expenses. Even families have options that can help them alleviate many of the costs. The following post will look at 1. How to get to Israel with frequent flyer miles, 2. Cutting down on lodging costs, and 3. Saving money on day trips from Tel Aviv to some of the leading sites within Israel.
How To Actually Get To Israel
The first step to take when looking at how to get to Israel cheaply is to find out what airlines will actually get you there from the US. Fortunately, there are three major alliances that allow travelers from the US to get to the Holy Land without actually flying on United, Delta, or American all the way over. With partner airlines, it is possible to fly to Israel without breaking the bank. Unless you’re looking to stop over in a European city that allows for cheap flights to Israel from the continent, you’ll probably be better off using Star Alliance, which is United’s partnership, or SkyTeam, which is Delta’s. You’ll want to search for flights to Tel Aviv (TLV), as it is the main airport in the country.
It should be possible to get enough frequent flyer miles to travel to Israel with one or two credit card signup bonuses. United will get you to Tel Aviv for 42,500 miles and $5.60 in economy class, depending upon the airport you leave from. Periodically, the United Mileage Plus credit card will offer a signup bonus of 50,000 miles, and this cache of points would pay for a one-way ticket on its own. It’s also possible to get to TLV for 35,000 Delta SkyMiles and $167 or to get back for the same number of miles a $208.49.
Have Plan, Will Travel
Once you have a plan in place, you can start to look for actual flights to get to Israel. Note the image below that shows a flight from the US to Tel Aviv on United in April 2017 for 42,500 Mileage Plus miles and $5.60. I chose to search from Fargo, ND, to show that it’s possible to get to Tel Aviv on points without departing from a major hub.
American Express frequently offers bonuses that are higher than the 35,000 needed for a one-way flight to or from the Middle East on a Delta credit card. Additionally, both American Express and Chase offer flexible points programs that allow for transfers airlines that could help. Both of these programs allow for trasnfers to the Flying Blue program that’s run by KLM and Air France. Flying Blue treats the Middle East as part of Europe so it might be possible to save points this way. The Chase Sapphire Preferred offers 50,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 on the card in the first three months after approval. The annual fee of $95 is waived for the first year.
Staying In Israel
There are some pretty reasonable lodging options in Tel Aviv. Expedia lists several apartment options. The cheapest rate for one of these apartments is lower than $100 a night for Spring Break. There appear to be similar options available for Jerusalem although they are fewer in number. Those who want to stay on points at the same time could have nearly enough for three free nights at the Sheraton Tel Aviv just by meeting the minimum spending for the Starwood Preferred Guest credit card from American Express.
Get To Israel, Then Use Free Nights
It would also be possible to get two nights from the signup bonuses from the Marriott Rewards Premier card or the IHG Rewards card. The Marriott card has an $85 annual fee, but you could use its 80,000 point bonus in coordination with the Starwood bonus to get five nights at the same hotel in Tel Aviv. Marriott recently bought out Starwood, and it offers the fifth night of a stay on points for free. The Hilton properties that are available would be cost prohibitive when paying with points, but the Hilton HHonors Reserve card offers two free weekend nights for a $95 annual fee. All of these cards could be mixed and matched to extend the length of your free stay.
When considering how to get to Israel cheaply, lodging is definitely a portion of the expense that you need to take into account. On that note, the Barclaycard Arrival Plus card offers users at least $530 of free travel that could go toward lodging or the taxes that arise from flying to Israel, but this might also be useful for another purpose as noted below. When thinking about where to stay in Israel, remember that Jerusalem is going to have more of the holy sites, while Tel Aviv is going to be better for those who want to spend some time on a Mediterranean beach. Of course, staying in Tel Aviv and taking day trips from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem or other famous sites could give you the best of both worlds.
Day Trips In Israel
Now that you’ve figured out how to get to Israel, regardless of where you’re looking to stay during your time in the Holy Land, it’s probably going to be necessary to take a couple of day trips to places like Jerusalem, Masada, the Sea of Galilee or the Dead Sea. There are Christian and Jewish (and even Muslim) sites all around Israel, and if you’re looking to walk in the steps of Jesus, these trips can help you check some important items off of your bucket list. Again, credit card signup bonuses can take care of some of the costs. A card like the Barclaycard Arrival Plus could reimburse you for your day trips in Israel if your tour operators code their transactions in the travel category. Here are some of the best day tours from Tel Aviv as noted on Trip Advisor.
When Looking At How To Get To Israel Cheaply, Credit Cards Can Make It Happen
With even one or two credit card signup bonuses, it is possible to substantially cut the cost that you might think necessary to visit Israel. With three or four, it could be possible to spend just a few hundred for ground transportation , food and souvenirs. You can handle lodging, flights and tours with points and miles. Families might have to be a bit more creative, but it is still possible to save hundreds, if not thousands, on a trip to Israel. You just need to pool the bonuses and thinking about one-way tickets and other nontraditional options.
Have any other ideas about saving money on a trip to Israel? Any questions? Be sure to let us know in the comments.
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Do you see the glass as half full, or do you see it as half empty? It’s usually understood that the former are optimists, while the latter are pessimists. When it comes to earning money online or through financial markets, there are many negative people who think that it can’t be done. I’ll just be able to make pennies, they argue. These people are probably *nattering nabobs of negativism who don’t really accomplish much in life.
Pessimism can bring you down. Optimism, unlike the arguments made by people like Norman Vincent Peale and Joel Osteen, is not a near guarantee of success. However, it’s important to remember that those who feel that they cannot accomplish a task successfully are very likely to experience what would be considered a self-fulfilling prophecy. Most of the time, they don’t even get started because they figure it’s no use. Those who are optimists will at least try.
These nattering nabobs of negativism are like Eeyore, expecting rain on every sunny day. They are like Rocky the Flying Squirrel who gives Bullwinkle a hard time with every attempt to pull a rabbit out of his hat. Rocky doesn’t encourage the Moose, he just argues that it’ll never work. Perhaps it won’t but Bullwinkle keeps trying. Those who fail to try never accomplish much of anything.
Those who fear the stock market look back to the Great Recession. They might have lost more than one-half of their entire nest egg. There are those who sold out at the bottom because of a lost job. This is understandable, as money is necessary to eat if you don’t have several months of expenses saved up. Then there are those who sold out at the bottom because of negativism. They lost a bunch of money when others who stayed in the market because of the optimism that the market generally recovers were able to see their accounts reach previous highs and then move on to even greater highs. We’re now near all-time highs.
Warren Buffett Is NOT A Pessimist
Pessimists are always down on the future of the United States. “It’s never been this bad before.” I don’t know how many times I’ve heard this argument over the past few years. One of the most successful investors in history, however, is really, really optimistic about the future of the United States. Warren Buffett has done pretty well for himself over the course of his life. He’s seen opportunities that others have missed. His investing strategy has earned him average gains of about 19 percent a year. This means he doubles his money in about 3.5 years on average. Now, as some politicians are arguing that the US is in a horrific economic condition, Buffett would argue otherwise.
Those who are Eeyores in life are probably not nearly as successful as Warren Buffett. This is not to say that there should never be cause for concern about the economy or that people should just throw money at the market at any price. Buffett buys solid companies at good prices. There are some great companies out there that are pretty expensive and should be avoided until there are better prices. There could be a recession in the near future, but this could actually provide a buying opportunity for those who are willing to take a bit of a risk. The recommendation is always to buy low and sell high. Because of pessimism, however, people generally follow the herd and buy high and sell low. When thinking of avoiding an overly pessimistic outlook, here are three big reasons why optimism can help you achieve your goals.
You’ll See Opportunities Others Easily Miss
Where others see only a snowstorm dumping two feet of snow and ruining their days, the optimist sees an opportunity to make some money shoveling the snow. When it seems that the paycheck barely pays the bills each month, the optimist will start to look for options to make more money. Here are 10 easy ways to make money that people can use without spending any money outside of Internet access. I’ve personally used Swagbucks and Cashcrate to make more than $1,000 each while sitting in my recliner.
Where the nattering nabob of negativism sees no need to save for the future, because it’s going to be worse than it is today, the optimist sees the opportunity that some extra money saved up over time can provide. After all, a dollar a day can really add up over time when capital gains and dividends are added to the mix.
You’ll Try Again If Things Don’t Immediately Work Out
Things will not always work out. Pessimists will tend to think that they never will work out when they don’t work out the first time. This outcome is not always a given. Optimists will try to learn from the experience. There is a reason why people fail. Those who pick themselves back up are more likely to achieve their goals over the long term. A quote attributed to Thomas Edison regarding the invention of the light bulb shows this ability to learn from mistakes and try again. It was argued that he’d failed to invent the incandescent light bulb. He retorted that he’d not failed. He’d successfully found 10,000 ways that did not work. He eventually succeeded. Had he been a pessimist, Edison probably would have quit well before his 9,999th “failure.”
Other People Will Notice
Recessions happen. Downsizing and offshoring are common phenomena. People lose jobs. These situations can lead to quite the competition for the jobs that are left. Who will get the job? A person with a reputation for negativism who comes across with a “woe is me” attitude? NO! Those who have a positive attitude and a reputation for hard work in spite of setbacks are much more likely to get the nod. I’m not likely to hire a plumber or a carpenter who acts like a job is impossible. If I owned a car dealership, I’d want salesmen who actually believed that they could sell cars. Those who are optimists are likely to look for great solutions even if things don’t go quite as well as they might in the short run, and other people will notice this ability in them.
Getting ahead with a positive attitude is pretty difficult. After all, there are only a handful of Warren Buffetts, Sam Waltons, and Steve Jobses. However, its pretty near impossible to get ahead with a perpetually negative attitude. That’s why it’s important to avoid being an Eeyore who others view as a nattering nabob of negativism.
*The term nattering nabobs of negativism originated in a speech by Vice President Spiro Agnew as he described members of the media.
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It’s now come to that time of the month to review my passive dividend income of the past month. I like to look at the income that I get from doing nothing outside of investing in high-quality companies that do business with people around the world. Every dividend payment is a positive reinforcement that increases my nest egg.
I received only two dividend payments for July, as there are fewer companies who pay in the first month of the quarter. Regardless, my payments from these two companies was higher than it was in April. My dividend earnings for July were as follows:
Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS): $4.98
Coca-Cola (KO): $3.52
TOTAL for July: $8.50
My dividend from BNS was reinvested to purchase 0.084 additional shares of this company. This will add a few cents to my dividend income each quarter. How much is a bit debatable because of foreign exchange rates.
The total amount of the dividends that I earned in July came to $8.50. This is $0.40 less than my amount from the same month in the last quarter. The reason for the decline is related to the unusual payout schedule that Wal-Mart adheres to. They pay out in April and again in June, so I’ve already received my payment from Wally World.
My annual dividend income now stands at $70.11. This is just a bit more than $10 a month. August should be a better month for passive income, as should September. My hope is that this is the final month that I have an income in the single digits. Another hope that I have is that three figures for a month will come in due time. I will add this to my dividend income page. How was your month of dividend income?
Disclaimer: I am not a financial advisor. This article is not a recommendation to buy any security. It is intended only for educational/entertainment purposes.
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There are many sites on the Internet that allow people to earn money from the comfort of their living rooms and dens. This site has covered several of these. I recently verified another site that allows users to earn money in Pajamas. This site is called GiftHulk, and many of the mechanisms for making money are similar to those available on sites like SwagBucks and CashCrate.
One of the easiest ways to earn the digital currency on GiftHulk, called Hulk Coins, is through search. Users can make unlimited searches, but only one per hour, the first of each new hour, will actually pay out. The searches that pay earn 4 hulk coins, which amounts to about 0.4 cents, depending upon the reward or gift card that the user decides to purchase with the Hulk Coins.
GiftHulk also has a number of surveys that its users can complete. The rewards for completing these surveys can vary quite extensively, from less than 100 HulkCoins to several hundred. One of the more interesting ways to earn points is through the win link:
Users can click on the drop down link for “Guess the Card” and win Hulk Coins. There are three options: the exact card, the number, or the suit, and the number of Hulk Coins that you could win is related to how difficult the guess is. Additionally, a win will sometimes come with an earnings boost. I’ve been able to get anywhere between 8 and 14 percent in addition to the base earnings. This boost will last for several hours.
Like SwagBucks and CashCrate, there are also options to watch a number of different videos. You will not likely win Hulk Coins for each individual video, but will rather have to watch through a number of videos to earn a varying number of Hulk Coins. These can be watched while sitting around in pajamas. Usually, the number of Hulk Coins that you can expect to win will be 15 or less.
GiftHulk also has a shopping portal that users can click through to major retailers to earn Hulk Coins on their purchases. The retailers include options like Wal-Mart, Target, Macy’s, and Expedia. The number of Hulk Coins that a purchase earns varies based upon the specific retailer utilized. For example, BJ’s Wholesale is currently offering 8 Hulk Coins per dollar (about 0.8 cents), while Verizon is offering 100 Hulk Coins for each dollar spent. This amounts to a 10 percent discount.
When it comes to cashing out, GiftHulk has a very low redemption level for what I would consider “good” awards. Like SwagBucks, users can cash out for PayPal cash, which is my favorite award, as I can use it to purchase stocks that will pay me additional passive income, which is the best form of income. Some users might opt for an Amazon gift card, or, with the popularity of Pokemon Go, there’s the option of getting gift cards toward this current phenomenon.
One award that people might be interested in purchasing that most other sites do not have available is BitCoin. This cryptocurrency is available from GiftHulk. It varies in relation to actual dollars, and it’s more expensive than $5 from PayPal. 5 mBTC costs 6,000 Hulk Coins, which is about $6 when related to the cash from PayPal.
From what I’ve been able to tell, it seems easier to earn with SwagBucks than it is with GiftHulk. This does not mean that the site is without value. It does pay out, and sometimes, there are videos available when they are not available on SwagBucks. Therefore, it can be an alternative method for earning a bit of money from home. You can sign up for GiftHulk here if you want to give it a try.
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The month of March has ended, and it’s one of my most favorite times of the month–time to update my monthly dividend income. My previous monthly record was just a whisker shy of reaching double figures (a Hamilton in US currency terms), and as the third month of the quarter seems to be the most popular for companies that pay out dividends, I was expecting to finally hit this level for the first time, about eight months after receiving my first dividend payment of a whopping $0.64 from Apple back in August. The month’s payments did not disappoint. Here they are:
Kellogg’s (K) $0.57
McDonald’s (MCD) $2.71
Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.B) $10.34
TOTAL dividend income for March 2016: $13.62
Dividend income for 2016: $24.38
This total might not seem like much, but it’s money that I didn’t have to work for. It’s also $13.62 more than I was making in passive income just 8 months ago. Over time, this money should start to add up. My payment from Shell went toward DRIPping 0.23 shares in RDS.A. I’m not sure why it went toward the A shares as opposed to the B shares, but this additional purchase should add $0.86 toward my annualized dividend income, which is now estimated at $124.18. Dividend income is passive income, which is the best type of income. My other dividends are sitting in my Loyal3 account waiting to be deployed when I reach $10 or more so that I can diversify into another great company. This should happen next week after April payments from Coca-Cola and Wal-Mart.
During the month of March, I also added $25 purchases toward Apple and Wal-Mart stock in my Loyal3 account and 4 additional whole shares of AT & T in my TradeKing account. These purchases are additional building blocks toward financial freedom. You can open a TradeKing account here and receive a $50 bonus for signing up, funding an account, and making a minimum number of trades. Some of my capital for stock purchases comes from my use of SwagBucks. Every time I get $25 in PayPal cash from SwagBucks, I transfer it to my bank and then one of my brokerage accounts. You can sign up for SwagBucks here. I earn money just for searching and watching videos, and it’s money I earn while simultaneously watching TV–definitely an example of maximizing time to earn money in pajamas.
Disclaimer: I am not a licensed financial professional. Please use the information on this site for educational/entertainment purposes only. Be sure to check with a financial professional before purchasing equities.
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Today, I had the opportunity to put some more capital to work toward some more passive dividend income that I can earn while in pajamas. I had $150 in additional capital that went into my TradeKing account this morning, and I decided to put it to work. My only regret is that I had to put the money to work on a day that saw a big uptick in stock prices. Of course, prices could go up tomorrow too, and there’s no guarantee that they won’t be 5 percent higher by the end of the week or the month. Prices are volatile, so I decided to put the money to work today and lock in some dividends that should pay off early next month.
In September, I purchased 5 shares of telecommunications giant AT & T. I saw where the ex-dividend date was in two days. I was hoping to add to this position in the near term, so this made my decision a bit easier. Royal Dutch Shell PLC was the other stock on my radar today, and I might try to buy a bit more before their next ex-dividend date if I have some capital to put to work. I had enough to purchase an additional 5 shares of AT & T. My total cost for this transaction was $171.20 with the $4.95 TradeKing transaction fee added in. This purchase brings an additional $9.40 to my annual dividend income based upon the current dividend of $1.88 per share ($0.47 per quarter). I now own 10 shares, and I plan to DRIP the dividends into more shares of T at this point. If the price stays where it is, this should pay of in about 1/7 of another share in early November.
This is nearly $0.80 per month, and it brings my total dividend income to nearly $58 on an annualized basis–nearly $5 per month. This might not seem like much, but it’s a start. If I go based upon an estimate of earning $20 per hour (which is not what I make, but it’s near the average hourly wage for an average American with the favorable tax treatment that dividend payments for middle-class people receives). That means that I can take about 15 minutes off each month, or about 3 hours at the end of the year. Every $20 dollars of dividend income earns me another hour of freedom. And the best part of this income is that I have to do absolutely nothing more to earn it. This is passive income at its finest, and as I’ve noted before, passive income is the best income.
DISCLAIMER: I am not a professional investor. Please consult one before investing in securities. You can lose money on stocks. Past performance is no indicator of future results.
This week, I added another position toward my goal of earning money in pajamas with dividend stocks. My first purchase of $100 went toward WalMart Stock. My second purchase was a bit larger because I wanted to make sure that I was able to purchase a whole share of another company with my Loyal3 account. This stock is one of the biggest and most popular in all the world. I decided to buy some stock in Apple Computer. Of course, the best time to buy some Apple stock would have been around 1999, but I was not really into stocks at that point. However, with some money from previous birthdays still available to put to work, I decided to jump in now.
My goal is to earn additional money without actually putting in additional hours for it. Therefore, buying Apple would not have been on my radar had I started just a few years ago. In 2012, however, the company started paying dividends again after a long hiatus. The dividend has been steadily growing since its resumption. The current yield is not terribly high, as it is in the 1.7 percent range, but it has shown growth to the upside. The P/E ratio and the payout ratio for the dividend are both solid, and everyone knows that iPhones and iPads are all the rage with kids these days.
I put in a total of $150 into AAPL, and this bought me 1.2313 shares in the company. Currently, the dividend on this stock stands at $2.08 per share after a big 7-for-1 split last year. My current holdings should net me about $2.56 in dividends over the next year. When added to my anticipated dividends from my WalMart purchase, my current estimated dividend income for the next year should be right around $5.60. Both of these stocks could raise their dividends in the next year, so that increase would be added to my $5.60. I also plan to buy a few more positions in the near term, and I have some plans for utilizing some passive income to buy even more, which will give even more passive income. My hope is to increase my dividend income each year until I can replace a significant percentage of my expenses by retirement. They say that the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step, and I look at these purchases as the first two steps in my journey.
I’ll plan to give updates on any future purchases, as well as any income as it starts to come in.
Disclaimer: I am not a financial professional. The information on this site is for educational/informational purposes only. Investors in the stock market can lose money, up to and including all of their investment. Please consult a financial professional before making any investments in the market.
Note: Loyal3 is closing down in May 2017. Therefore, this platform will no longer be available. It will be a good idea to choose another brokerage.
As I wrote in my last post, passive income is the best income. One of the best ways to get passive income that I noted in that article was through dividend stocks. These stocks are issued by companies who have created enough income and built up enough equity through their business operations to return some of the profits to those who invest in their endeavors. While reading up on dividend growth investing over the past few weeks, I stumbled upon recommendations for a website that allowed for fee-free investing. This site Loyal3.com allows investors to put in as little as $10 toward a number of quality stocks–without having to pay any commissions. I was intrigued to say the least.
I have some money that I’ve had laying that’s come from birthday and Christmas gifts over the last few years, so I decided to open an account and put it to work because it’s basically been earning nothing. I decided to buy $100 worth of WalMart stock last week to see how the site worked. The transaction went through today, and that $100 investment bought me 1.398 shares of ownership in Wally World. WalMart currently pays an annual dividend of $1.96 per share, which is split into four quarterly payments, so this will give me about $2.70 in dividend income over the next year. I chose WalMart because it’s the biggest retailer in the world, it makes lots of money, it pays a solid dividend that’s increased every year for around four decades, and it trades at a relatively low price-to-earnings ratio. As this went through pretty easily, I have decided to buy some more stocks on Loyal3 with the funds that I have available.
The Loyal3 site is pretty easy to navigate, and it only took a few minutes to go from creating an account to linking a bank account and telling the site what to purchase. The transfer of funds from my bank took from Saturday to Tuesday, and the purchase went through on Tuesday morning. The site only makes purchases in a couple of batches each day, so this is something to consider if you’re looking to purchase at a specific price as you can’t totally control the purchase price. I chose this “broker” because most other low-cost brokers are quite expensive if you don’t have a fairly large sum to invest. For example, I considered TradeKing with its $4.95 fee per trade, but for a $100 investment, I’d be starting about 5 percent in the hole before the stock moved up or down at all. It would take a purchase of $500 to make TradeKing or Scott Trade worth it, in my estimation. If I get a good nest egg going, I’ll probably open an account with one of these sites to further diversify without paying heavy fees. With Loyal3, I can buy fractional shares for as little as a $10 investment and it costs me nothing, as most well-established stocks are not going to shift in price by 5 percent on the vast majority of days.
There are some negatives that come with the Loyal3 platform. One is the afforementioned fact that the site utilizes batch trading, rather than up-to-the-minute trades. This can lead to some fluctuations in price, but as noted above, I don’t think that’s going to wipe out any advantage gained by avoiding paying a fee on a smallish trade, at least the vast majority of the time. Another negative is the fact that the site only has a relationship with slightly more than 60 companies, but some of these are among the biggest names around. Included are stocks like: WalMart, Apple Computer, Intel, Microsoft, Coca-Cola, Kellogg’s, PepsiCo, and others. Each of these pay a good dividend that’s grown in recent years (sometimes for decades straight). Energy and healthcare companies are not get included.
However, for my current level of investment ability, I think that the Loyal3 platform should work well for my purposes. I plan to spend the rest of the money I have available, purchase additional shares with some other passive income, and then reinvest any dividends that I get. The goal is to increase dividend income year-over-year to where I have a nice cash flow supplement when it comes time to retire. Dividends are definitely passive income, and WalMart is active in many countries around the globe, so this company is literally providing income (albeit a very small amount at the moment) while I’m in bed, which is one of the best ways to earn money in pajamas.
Disclaimer: I am not an investment professional. Therefore, this article is intended only for entertainment/informational purposes and is not an actual recommendation to buy any specific security. Stocks go up and down, and investors can and do lose money.