Monthly Archives: February 2012

Passive Income – Location Independent

Many people often start a side hustle while they are currently working to get some passive income, or side income that eventually can be their main income. Then Voila! Financial Independence. Sounds easy. It’s not.

Research, hard work, follow through, possible failure, restarts, knock downs, get ups, work. It all comes down to hard work.

I have relatives who have been quite successful in commercial real estate rental. This is appealing because real estate is a physical tangible asset. If the space is rented (ignoring possible defaults) there is an ongoing monthly income stream. However there is maintenance required and therefore you need to stay near the real estate to really make this type of income work, and then it really isn’t all that passive. This could be a viable option for us, as we would have help in finding a property and a possible tenant. It’s just that the down payment would have to come from somewhere and I am hesitant to take it from my current investments as I am pretty loyal to my dividend holdings.

Writing online and earning blog income is something I find appealing, however with my limited website knowledge, this would require additional learning, training and would require time and effort. I am not afraid of either the time commitment or the effort. I just am not sure where to look for this training, and I don’t want to sign up for a costly seminar where I don’t learn what I actually need to know. And of the however many bloggers out there could I make mine stand out and gain followers?

Network Marketing is something that I am interested in learning about. In April, B & I are going to a training conference by Market America, where we will learn strategies to grow our business as well as more about the products they promote. I really see this being something we can use for future income. It’s just a matter of getting out there. I know I will feel more confident and excited after receiving some training.

Finally there is Dividend Investing. I read almost daily about different investments and analysis. I am excited about this path of passive income and I am committed to regular savings and purchases. I think this is one of the best ways to earn passive income that is location independent. All you need is an internet connection, of course research and timing is crucial too. It is really exciting to receive those dividends in your account. It’s a rush to put the orders through and to watch your account rise!

How do you feel about earning passive income? What’s your strategy? How has it been working for you?

Is the RV lifestyle for Us? Or maybe explore Central America?

That might sound like an odd question for a couple in their mid 30s to ask themselves. However, we have the traveling bug and would love to slowly explore the United States once we are Financially Independent (FI).

There are two sites that I enjoy reading. Check them out!

The youngest snowbird is a site where the couple travels in an RV from Canada (where they call home and spend the summer) to different States in the Southern or Southwestern United States. This appeals to me, because we currently live in the snowbelt (althought this winter has been minimal in that respect) and *think* we would enjoy traveling to different warmer states during the winter and exploring national parks and museums and other low cost entertainment, amusement. Even sports like running/hiking/tennis can all be done for minimal cost. This couple is in their 30s and reached FI before I could hope to at 37! I do believe the husband works in the summer at a golf course, so they do have some traditional income, but I think the majority of their living expenses come from dividend income, inspiring! It’s like 50K! They live on about 30K and invest the difference. I read that she made most of her money from real estate in the 90’s Boom, great timing! I’m sure it involved hard work, research and I’m happy for them even though I don’t know them. I’m glad I can learn from their experiences.

Retire Early Lifestyle is a great resource for those who think they would enjoy traveling outside of the United States and explore countries where the US dollar has a higher value.  This site has lots of beautiful pictures and tips and they even sell a book for those who are looking for specific help in traveling in other countries. I have not yet read their book, so I can not provide a review, but as I get closer to my FI number goal I will purchase their book. This site is awesome because as it states on their site,

In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age of 38. Now, into their 22nd year of this financially independent lifestyle, they invite you to take advantage of their wisdom and experience. And they are just getting started!

Talk about learning from experience! They have it! I believe they have a home base in AZ in a nice low cost active retirement community.

By reading these sites and really picturing our lives once we are FI, it helps to say no to the little frivolous things that would derail us from our goal of becoming FI. What helps you stay on track? What would you like to do with your life once you reach FI?

Fiscal and Physical Fitness

This site is mostly for my savings goals but I’m going to sneak a little post in here about physical fitness. I am not a born runner, it is something I make myself do for health and keeping fit. I am not overweight, but I have a few vanity pounds I’d like to lose. Will it make me any healthier? Probably not. Will it make me feel better in my skinny jeans? Most definitely!

In 2009 I worked out with a trainer in a small group setting for 12 weeks. He printed out all our workouts and I kept them. They are mostly body weight exercises (squats, push-ups, planks) stuff most people can do with limited equipment. I am committing to reviewing those workouts (at least one a week) in addition to my running schedule starting the first week of March. My goal is to lose enough weight to put me in my feel good range of 130-135 lbs. This will mean losing 6-11 lbs.

Also I want this to be the year of the marathon. I just want to cross this off my list of life goals. I am doing a 1/2 marathon in just over a week, and I know I won’t be very fast, I’ll probably have to walk some of it, or maybe even half of it, who knows, but I will have fun and finish. I’ll be with friends, so as long as I have a smile on my face, I’ll call it a WIN!

The Monthly Dividend – Recent Buy Just Energy (JE)

I have been enamored with dividend stocks that pay monthly. After my other recent purchase of Student Transportation (STB) another monthly dividend payer/player, I decided to add another montly divi stock. This company just rang the bell today at the NYSE, it began trading on the NYSE onJanuary 30, 2012, JE had previously (and continues) to trade on the TSE. I don’t trade any stocks on the TSE, I don’t even know if Scottrade (my trading platform of choice) allows for trading on the TSE.

 

(From Scottrade) Just Energy Group Inc. (Just Energy), formerly Just Energy Income Fund, is engaged in the sale of natural gas and/or electricity to residential and commercial customers. Its subsidiaries are engaged in sale of natural gas and/or electricity to residential and small to mid-sized commercial customers, under fixed-price, price-protected and variable-rate Energy Contracts. It also offers green products through its JustGreen and JustClean programs. The electricity JustGreen product offers the customer the option of having all or a portion of electricity purchased from Just Energy sourced from renewable green sources, such as wind, run of the river hydro or biomass. The gas JustGreen product offers carbon offset credits, which allow customer to reduce or eliminate carbon footprint of their home or business associated with gas purchased from Just Energy. OnMay 7, 2010, it acquired Hudson Energy. In October 2011, the Company acquired Fulcrum Retail Holdings LLC.

 

Anyhow I felt comfortable (and had about 5K available) adding 440 shares of JE to my portfolio. I will update this add to my portfolio at the end of the month. The yield is 9.78% and as mentioned earlier it pays monthly, woo hoo!

 

I also had a recent buy/sell of QMM (Quaterra Mining) it has no dividend and is probably considered a penny stock. I made a couple hundred dollars. I was hoping to have the stomach to buy and hold a few thousand shares, but I realized that just isn’t how I’m feeling at this time. Once the stock went up 10% I decided I wanted out, and I made the move. I would like to get into some sort of Mining or Pipeline stock, but I’m not feeling confident in the volatility of these industries at this time.

TJMaxx and McDonalds, Thank you friends!

I sold two stocks this week, TJX-(100-after split originally purchased 50 shares) and MCD (30 shares). I had purchased them both in May of 2010. They both did wonderful for me, TJX stock just split, and gave me a gain of about 50%, and MCD was always going up until it danced around $100/share, then I decided I just didn’t need to be greedy and sold it for $99.75, and a total gain of around 40%.

I have to admit, I feel that I had a good run with these stocks, but I feel like I am losing two good friends. I no longer obsessively check their prices, when I purchase items from their stores, I no longer feel like I am contributing the well being of my portfolio. I just thought it was time to part ways.

A few years ago, I had a distasteful experience with a bank stock, oh sure she gave me a good increase on paper, but I didn’t know when to say good-bye and just take the gain and walk away. I have learned my lesson. Now I know what gain I’m happy with, usually around 30% is great for me, unless it has a huge dividend then I might keep hanging on. It’s a case by case scenario, but I’m not going to be greedy.

What are your indicators that it’s time to sell?

Can you drive a purse?

Celine *the high end*

One thing I find super ridiculous is expensive designer purses (EDPs). Sure I’m a fashionable female and yes I even own a few of these EDPs, but I find it embarrassing that I even have them and like them and want them? Doesn’t this go against everything about being frugal and using savvy spending habits? Well yes it does. So I’m trying to wean myself off slowly. I think the most I’ve ever spent for a purse was around $200 (USD) which is not cheap. I’ve looked at purses that are $500 (or over, sorry I’m being truthful here) and I think I could justfy the purchase by, “I make a decent salary,” “I work so hard,” and my personal favorite stupid spending excuse “I deserve it.” REALLY?!? Don’t I deserve to make my hard earned money work for ME? Don’t I want to retire early more than any silly frivolous material good that will just go down in resale value once I fork over the cash, swipe that card or click purchase on the internet shopping site?

 So as to wean myself slowly, I have delayed the purse purchases, I have scoured the internet and found styles that I really, really like, ones that I think are classic and won’t be out of style by next Tuesday, then I have simply waited to see if something speaks to me. What I want my purse to say is, “I am a quality handbag that is both functional and stylish and doesn’t cost more than a small used car.”

 One designer I really find just *gasp worthy* is Celine. There is a certain fashion blogger that I like who owns this purse, I’m really hoping it was a gift to her, or she makes a TON of money, because anyone who doesn’t make a TON of money and spends over TWO GRAND on a purse, well that is just crazy to me, yes my opinion, this is my site and I get to type my opinions.

Here is the scoop and what I ended up buying, this taupe beauty, from London Fog (I didn’t even know they made handbags until myhabit had a pop up sale) it is leather and it should be coming delivered to my home tonight! AND I spent about $50- for it, free shipping, woo hoo! This picture is of the satchel, and I bought the shoulder bag, which dimensions are more similar to the lustworthy Celine, but the color is the same.