Are you better off today than yesterday?

Pew Research has released a long report on the state of the American mid­dle class, and the punch-line isn’t very good (there’s a short sum­ma­ry too, though you might, as I do, find the num­bers in the long ver­sion inter­est­ing). The American mid­dle class is los­ing ground as judged by income lev­els as com­pared to the […]

An investing strategy for renters

It’s a deep part of American cul­ture to own our homes. There’s a lot of gov­ern­ment pol­i­cy to sup­port this too, not least of which is the tax break pro­vid­ed to mort­gage inter­est. That said, my gut tells me this is chang­ing. Millennials, who’ve seen their par­ents’ net worth get dec­i­mat­ed in the last decade […]

Do you own gun stocks?

You almost def­i­nite­ly own gun stocks if you invest in mutu­al funds. Sorry if that’s bad news. I own a sword. A real sharp sword. I would have no prob­lem hav­ing to reg­is­ter it, or hav­ing rules around car­ry­ing it prop­er­ly. I would total­ly have a prob­lem with sim­ply ban­ning it, like they have in London. […]

The discomfort of investing

The hypo­thet­i­cal investor who cap­tured the entire 128,000% return over the last near­ly six­ty years would have expe­ri­enced plen­ty of dis­com­fort along the way. Disney has seen eight sep­a­rate draw­downs of at least thir­ty per­cent. To be clear, what this means is that on eight dif­fer­ent occa­sions, Disney would hit new all-time highs and then […]

Exactly what I’m talking about

It’s been a rough mon­th. The “mar­ket” has cor­rect­ed, and pret­ty much every stock and fund is down. At least the ones I own. I logged in this morn­ing to look for my lat­est 401(k) deposit, and saw this unwel­come news:   Not fun. My com­pa­ny uses Fidelity, a site I’ve been using for years. There’s no oth­er way […]

My book may not be for you

Now that I have actu­al read­ers, I’m learn­ing quite a bit about what I’ve writ­ten and how it’s received. This book may not be for you… Early in the process, I real­ized that I need­ed to ask myself “what is it about what I’m say­ing that’s unique?” Certainly, there are tons of div­i­dend rein­vest­ing books. Heck, I was […]

Teach your wife investing

Thinking about pay raises

Have you got­ten a pay raise late­ly? Probably a bet­ter ques­tion is: are you work­ing at the lev­el you’re capable/trained for, or are you just grate­ful to have a job with ben­e­fits? I got a pay raise at work. It was good, rel­a­tive­ly speak­ing based on anec­do­tal evi­dence and my own per­son­al obser­va­tions. Even so, my Elephant’s […]

The most concise guide to dividend investing

It’s been a while since I put any thoughts to paper. Though the sam­ple port­fo­lio I cre­at­ed is doing quite well with over a 48% raise in the three years since I start­ed think­ing about the project “the Elephant in the Room has a Paycheck.” Over the week­end, I sketched out a more focused table of con­tents in the […]

Increasing Dividends

Social Security Benefit Increases Suck

Forget the argu­ment of whether or not Social Security will be avail­able when you retire. Forget your con­cerns about the amount of your social secu­ri­ty pay­ments, or when to start tak­ing Social Security to max­i­mize the pay­ments for you & your spouse. Forget, even, the con­cerns about what those pay­ments are rel­a­tive to your Social […]

Shocking 401K Statistic

Reading a Money Magazine arti­cle on the best moves for mil­len­ni­als to build wealth, I came across this shock­ing sta­tis­tic about how the 25–34 year old age group treats their 401K’s when they switch jobs: More than half of work­ers in their twen­ties who leave a job do not roll their 401(k) into an IRA […]