Monthly Dividend Income

space grey ipad air with graph on brown wooden table

I’ve been interested in making money with dividends for a while (in a casual way), but I didn’t really look into the details until recently. I had an idea that by buying stocks that have a good dividend payout, I could receive a monthly income was intriguing. This does work but the drawback is that you have to watch the stocks that pay dividends because the dividend yield can go down. It all depends on the company.

Unfortunately, the more money that you can invest, the more you can make. I have received dividends but my investments are so small that they are not worth claiming and I just reinvest the dividends back into the account. The reason that I have small account is that I am very risk averse, so it is my own fault. I bought some stocks in a Canadian company a few months ago, while they were cheap. The price per share has increased 102% since I bought the stocks. I had an instinct that the value would rise significantly but I didn’t invest enough money. If I was 100% certain (and less risk averse) I would have been willing to borrow as large a sum of money as I could, used it all to buy stocks in the company, sold them today and doubled my money in a matter of months.

The news being circulated in the mainstream news outlets regarding stocks and shares is not always accurate and could lead a person to make bad decisions. It is better to research this subject in a more detailed way with information coming from less mainstream personalities.

The way to generate dividend income is by building a portfolio of high yield dividend stocks that pay out at different times throughout the year, ideally getting a worthwhile income every month. The stocks that you pick should also have a history of raising their dividends regularly. To get a worthwhile monthly check would require a substantial investment. I saw one plan that claimed to return $1000 per month, throughout the year but it required a $50,000 investment and if that accounts for your total savings, then I expect that you would be too risky for most people. According to a 2018 GOBankingRates survey, 58% of Americans had less than $1000 in their savings accounts.

The basic idea of dividend income is sound and you can always start the process in a small way and reinvest the dividends that you receive. It will be a learning experience.

Think And Grow Rich

One of the most reccommended self help books ever

The Napoleon Hill Foundation received many requests from people wanting the original, unedited, 1937 copy of Think and Grow Rich. To satisfy those customers the Foundation reproduced Napoleon Hill’s personal copy of the first edition, printed in March of 1937. The book has the notation, not to be loaned, and signed: Annie Lou Hill (the wife of Dr. Hill). This personal copy of Dr. Hill’s was given to me by Dr. Charles W. Johnson, Chairman of the Napoleon Hill Foundation and a nephew of Napoleon Hill. It was Napoleon Hill who sent Dr. Johnson to medical school, and today he is a practicing cardiologist. Charlie refers to Napoleon Hill as Uncle Nap, and will often makes the statement, Uncle Nap would be proud of the Foundation today. The original 1937 manuscript was written and edited with the assistance of Napoleon’s wife. In later years, the existing document was again edited by Dr. Hill. For example, the Foundation owns a 1958 edition that Hill edited personally. This did not lessen the books value in Hill’s judgment. Hill made the editing remarks in his own handwriting and the resulting 1960 edited edition has sold over 100 million copies making it the most read self-help book of all time. Think and Grow Rich sells more copies today than before Dr. Hill died in 1970. Now, a new and authoritative recording of this original, unedited, one-of-a-kind work, authorized by the Napoleon Hill Foundation is available. By purchasing this audio edition, you will be supporting the nonprofit Napoleon Hill Foundation. The entire philosophy of Napoleon Hill is based on the Golden Rule. The Foundation deeply appreciates the support of those of you who only purchase Napoleon Hill authorized books. You can identify these materials by the Foundation Logo and by looking inside for Napoleon Hill copyright.


Think and Grow Rich (1937 Edition)

A Different Way To Earn

blackboard business chalkboard concept

Why would anyone want to downsize their job from full-time work to part-time?.

There are several good reasons: –

Less stress

Less time spent at work

More time to do things that you want to do

The career/job isn’t what it once was, disillusionment

Concentrate on building a business

More time for hobbies, (that may, or may not turn into a business)

The list can go on and on, and each person who takes this approach has their own reasons. Of course, there are also disadvantages, such as: –

 

Less money (at least initially)

Possibly starting a new job, including the application process and all that it entails

Less prestige, in certain professions

Loss of identity for people who have been in one field for a long time

Possible loss of benefits, such as medical/dental/vision

Loss of seniority, influence and authority

 

Sometimes, a career field that a person started in, changes so much over the years that it is no longer attractive. If you find that this is you, then consider doing something different. This is mainly written with the older person in mind, as a younger person doesn’t need to downsize, but rather completely change career tracks and  a younger person may not have the resources to consider downsizing anyway. It would still be wise for a young person to have more than one source of income though.

However you feel about money, you need it to survive in the world. Before downsizing from full-time to part-time, whether in the same field, a completely new field or just an easygoing part time job to supply a bit of cash and maybe some benefits, you need to evaluate your finances.

I went from a high prestige career to a part-time job and some online contract work. What enabled me to do this was mostly a pension that I could claim several years before the normal retirement age of most people.

I had an idea that I would move several hundred miles from where I was working, to a more rural area and continue in  the same field there, maybe with less pay, but I expected the pension to cover the shortfall. I succeeded in this, but not long after starting, I found that it was not what I thought it would be and I left. I then went to what would be seen as an unremarkable part-time job. This job however, was enjoyable in a strange way. It was simple enough, it required a reasonable amount of physical exertion and I could finish work every day without having to think about it anymore until I went to work the following day.

I am lucky enough to be in good physical condition and I like to work out, so the part-time job is an extension of my workouts with the added bonus of getting paid for it. The pay isn’t as much as I am used to, but the people who I work with seem to think that the pay is quite reasonable for the area.

I have found over the months that the amount of money flowing into my bank account from all sources,  equals and generally exceeds my previous full-time net monthly income. I haven’t quite got to the stage where I do exactly as I please, but it gets closer every day.

I have found that the loss of status is a minor issue and it does not bother me, but that is because I always knew that it was coming and I have prepared myself over the years. I have never really been one for completely buying into  an identity that has been manufactured for me by someone or something else. I once did when I was younger, but it was so difficult to re-adjust after leaving the job that I was determined never to allow it to occur again, and I have been successful in that.

If you have other resources to draw on and you feel that it is time to do something different, I would do it. Resources such as pensions, business income, contract work, investments, expectations of future pensions etc are very liberating. Nobody should rely on one entity for their income, it is very precarious, especially in today’s work environment. The world of work is not the same as it was in the 1950s, 60s, 70s or even the 80s. No employer has a duty to you. Many good employers do feel and act in a responsible manner towards employees, which is admirable, but sometimes they find that they have no choice but to let employees go. It is wise to not put all of your eggs in one basket, don’t rely on only one source for your income.

 

My income percentages from various sources is –

Pension – 46%

Part time employment – 31%

Online contract work – 15%

Business interests – 8%

 

Some of the income can be called passive, about 54% if you class a pension as passive. It is passive income now, but it has to be earned over time.

My aim is to increase the online work and business interest percentages to at least 70% and get the part-time employment and pension percentages down to about 30% of total income, and have at least 7 sources of income while investing as little of my time as possible. This will also result in more money flowing in.

 

A younger person can take this approach but will normally have to become an entrepreneur as opposed to working several low paid part-time jobs, because you still have to invest at least 40 hours a week total in your part time jobs to make a living wage. The whole goal is to generate as much money as you want,  but also minimize time spent working for someone else and maximize time spent on doing what you enjoy. Also, a younger person won’t generally have the bonus of a pension.

 

Work out your figures and see if it is possible for you. You don’t necessarily need to equal the money that you are earning at present (initially) if you are willing to make do with less, smaller house, cheaper car etc.

 

Let me know what you think.

The Credit Score

master card visa credit card gold

The truth of the matter is that everyone should strive to use as little credit as possible because credit equals debt. Having said that, most people find that they need to use credit on high ticket items such as vehicles, buying a house, home air conditioning systems, furniture, home repairs etc.

 

The three main credit bureaus in the U.S.A.  are Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion and the  Creditors and lenders will normally use one of these bureaus to check your credit rating when you apply for credit. The credit bureaus operate by collecting and continuously updating a consumer’s credit rating and then selling that information to businesses in a credit report. Each credit bureau operates independently and issues it’s own rating. Consumers normally know this as their credit score, one number that represents your reliability as a borrower.

 

Credit scores generally range from a low of 300 (poor)  to a high of 850 ( excellent) and the score has a major impact on your credit options. Each individual business has their own model of credit score generation but the final ratings usually fall within a few points of each other. A lower credit score will put you at a disadvantage. You will find that you have less credit options, and the options that are available to you will come with a high interest rate and normally give you less time to pay the loan off. I think that it is always a good idea to get as high a credit score as you can, because you never know when you may need it.

FICO

The Fair Isaac Corporation formulated FICO credit scores. They are an amalgamation of the information found in the major credit bureau files on you. These scores are used by more than 90% of lenders when it comes to granting loans. They are also used when setting the interest rates, monthly payments, terms of each loan and loan approval. The FICO score is something that is normally supplied to many credit card holders on their monthly statements.

 

How To Get And Maintain A Good Credit Score

The first thing you will need is a credit history. If you have never used credit, you will have no credit rating and you will probably find it hard to get a loan.

The easiest way to begin your credit history is by getting a credit card. My suggestion is to use the card and either make sure that you pay it off every  month or keep a low balance on it. The credit history uses data from you “on time” payments, use of the card and length of credit history. You normally find that if you pay off the whole card balance in full every month, you will not be charged interest, but that depends on the individual lender and you should read the small print on your agreement.

After you create a credit history, make sure that you make all of your loan payments by the payment “due date” and keep your debt to 30% or less of the total credit available to you.

The categories generally used to determine your credit score is:-

Payment History – 35%

Credit Utilization – 30%

Length of Credit History – 15%

Mix of Accounts – 10%

New Credit Inquiries – 10%

 

The two most important factors, according to the above figures are the payment history and the credit utilization. Payment history is self explanatory – pay on time, every time. Credit utilization is a calculation of the total available credit you have versus your total debt. If you can keep the ratio of debt to credit below 30% then you should be in good shape.

Example –   Total Available Credit = $30,000

                     Total Debt = $9000

                     Credit Utilization = 30%

 

You never know when you may need credit and it doesn’t hurt to build yourself a good credit score for potential use.

If you can build and maintain a good score you will be able to take advantage of the best offers, such as:-

0% interest  finance loans for several years with no prepayment penalties

18 month + 0% interest credit card offers

9% or less APR credit cards

4% or less mortgage loans

And more

 

People with bad credit can still obtain credit but the interest rates are normally extortionate. Unfortunately,  the people who pay the most interest on loans are the people who can least afford it, or the people who have neglected to cultivate their credit score.

I once saw a 70 point drop in my credit score due to one minor monthly payment that I forgot about. The minimum payment was so small that I could have easily paid the amount many times over. The payment was to a store type credit card, and I paid the forgotten payment the following month. I had been an account holder for several years, and I had used it, and got to a zero dollar balance several times over that time. This was the first time that I had missed a payment. This didn’t matter to the company. It took about a year to rebuild the credit score to a very good level. The company involved, was so fast to react to this one missed payment in my history of being a reliable customer that I payed off the whole thing the month after that and shredded the card, never to be used again. These things happen and it is inconvenient, try not to let it happen to you.

 

Yes, the system has the advantage. I am not advocating the system and I am not advocating borrowing money, but if we are diligent, we can use the special offers that are available to a person with an excellent credit score as a useful financial tool.

The 40 Hour Work Week

gray scale photo of gears

The 40 hour work week is not a permanent fixture.. Although it is now commonly accepted and people are so used to it that anything less is seen as part time when working for an employer, and  is penalized. Lower pay, no benefits, no sick time, no vacation time, no overtime pay and the list goes on.

 

The 40 hour work week came into being during the industrial revolution, when people were previously working up to 100 hours per week  on tedious, dangerous, repetitive tasks while being paid a pittance. The 40 hour week was seen as wonderful.

 

Before the industrial revolution, people worked a more nature based schedule, because many were involved in agriculture and there was also a lack of good artificial light. The work day would begin at first light and finish at last light. The work conditions were physically intensive, but at least people could work surrounded by nature rather than the miserable, dangerous, depressing and unhealthy conditions of the industrial revolution factories. When I read of the conditions that many people had to live and work in, “living death” is the only thing that I can think of.

 

There seems to have been a golden age of the employee, roughly between the early 1940s and the early 1970s. Well paid work was plentiful and while not always satisfying, it would offer a good lifestyle to many, one person could support a whole family of 4 or 5 on their pay and people seemed happier with the 40 hour work week model. I don’t know what happened, but that age is long gone. Real wages have been stagnant for a long time, while prices have risen and job security is a thing of the past. Something has messed up the benefits system where you now find that your employee medical/dental/vision insurance is becoming worthless but premiums have risen dramatically.

 

It seems that we have been in the tech revolution for a while now. Since the advent of computers, many jobs that were once considered industrial are now technology based and require fewer people and less or different skills. A good example is  the printing industry which was very labor intensive and was seen as a skilled and well paid occupation not so long ago. It required many people who specialized in different skills such as typesetters and book binders, machine operators etc. Technology has led to a 43% drop in print industry employment in the last 20 years alone. Part of this decline can be attributed to digital books and digital methods of communication, desktop publishing, where a person can now produce his/her own business cards at home, direct to press typesetting systems where a computer operator can design the print job on screen and then send the job direct to a printing press, cutting out several jobs in the process. The industry was very unionized, but even the powerful print unions couldn’t disrupt advancements in technology.

 

It seems that some time soon, we will be forced to rethink our relationship with work and the 40 hour work week. The technology to shorten the work week exists now in many areas of work but the issue is that in today’s society,  less hours mean less paycheck. Artificial intelligence and robots are developing rapidly and once an android type of machine like “data” in Star Trek can be built, it will be able to put a lot of humans out of work. There is already a lot of speculation about driverless vehicles, personal, taxis, trucks and the like. Some testing is already underway. One could speculate that a passenger aircraft could now fly itself but the public is not ready to trust such a machine yet. Pilots, don’t get too complacent and elitist about job security.

 

What can replace the 40 hour work week? What can replace work itself?.  It is not so much a question of what activities will replace work but what will allow us to earn money. Many European countries already have a less than 40 hour work week, generous vacation allowances of  a minimum 25 days and they still find that business can be profitable. A universal basic income is attractive in theory, but because humans are human, they will find a way to mess that up somehow for the benefit of a few, to the detriment of many.

 

The 40 hour week model is at least 100 years old now and probably needs to be revised. Most people dislike work and dislike being there, although there are plenty of people who can convincingly lie that they like their work, very few do. I haven’t got a solution yet,  but I think that earning money will not look like the current 40 hour week model 100 years from now. As for the androids, we will have to discover their limitations and exploit those limitations to earn a living.

 

I think that the two words that sum up the current trend is “greed” and “need”. The ones that “have” are greedy and the ones that don’t have, still need to earn that pittance in order to survive. It is up to the individual to find his/her solution to this. If you are waiting for politicians, (of any flavor) to find a solution for you, you will be waiting forever.

 

An additional thought, I acknowledge that the industrial revolution sweatshop system of production still exists in many parts of the world and I feel for them. Part of the blame is us in the developed world wanting and buying the products that are produced, and ignoring the fact that these companies have offshored their operations for only one reason, to maximize already record profits….are there any limits to greed?.

Online Work

business cash close up commerce

I have been checking out Leapforce for the last 2 months to find out if a person can earn money from them online, and to top up my income of course. I have found that I can earn money from working on tasks for Leapforce. The initial step is to sign up as an agent for leapforce, you can register HERE

 

Once you are registered, Leapforce will show tasks that you are qualified for on their website and you can choose to work them. I cannot go into specific details of the project that I am working on due to confidentiality but it is one hour per day and pays $13.50 per hour. The hourly rate varies per project. The terms are that I will work one hour a day on the project with a minimum requirement of 5 days a week, although I can work all 7 days in a week if I wish. I have to keep a log of how long the daily task takes and enter that time on the invoice, which is found on the Leapforce website after I sign in. I have been honest and only entered the time that the task took. I can only claim a maximum of one hour a day, even if the task took me more than an hour, but I can enter less than an hour if the task took me less time, and I get paid accordingly. In general the daily task takes about an hour, give or take  a few minutes.

 

A Leapforce agent is considered a self-employed Leapforce at Home Independent Agent and U.S. based agents will need to submit a 1099-MISC for their earnings when they complete their taxes.

 

U.S. based agents can have payments for services deposited into a bank account. You will only be paid monthly, up to 30 days after Leapforce receives the invoice. I have been receiving my payments roughly 20 days after submitting my invoice which can only be submitted after the end of each calendar month.

 

The work is interesting and I don’t even notice working my one hour a day. I try to complete an hour a day, 7 days a week. The invoicing system may not suit someone who needs quick cash because of the payment system and one hour a day isn’t much, but it is in harmony with my theme of not putting all of your eggs in one basket ( meaning, don’t rely on just one source of cash) and I hope to get more work from this company. The hourly rate isn’t much either,  but since mid May, I have been paid $584 for roughly 43 hours of work. I have received the money, so I can verify that this is genuine……..complete the work and they will pay.

 

This is an experiment in finding independent sources of income outside of a traditional work environment. I don’t see this particular idea as ever making me wealthy but it does add some cash to the bank account. Going forward, I expect to make about $400 a month from this particular project until it ends, which will probably be in about a year. Before this project ends, I am hoping to be working on another couple of projects to keep the payments coming. The money is enough to cover payments for a new car, buy groceries etc, so it is useful and because I hardly notice completing the tasks, It feels like free money.

 

Interested?   Click HERE to register and read more about the company.