App Review: Evernote is your Notes on Steroids

Today’s app review is for the Evernote app, the premier notes manager. With Evernote, you will have a digital workspace to organize all your notes, ideas, articles, and other useful artifacts.

What Evernote Is

Evernote is a digital workspace for your ideas, lists, images, and tasks in one place.

Evernote manage notes

It also allows you to clip and save articles from the web and put them into your personal workspace.

Evernote clip notes

All your notes can be styled with rich text editing and you can easily check off your to-do list using the app.

Evernote create styled notes

You can even sketch drawings and notations directly into the note.

Evernote sketch notes

Who Made Evernote

Evernote Corporation is the maker of Evernote. They build apps and products that are defining the way individuals and teams work today. As one workspace that lives across your phone, tablet, and computer, Evernote is the place to write free from distraction, collect information, find what you need, and present your ideas to the world.

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Why Evernote is Awesome

Evernote makes capturing your ideas and notes easy and it works across all devices you normally work with: phone, web browser, and tablet.

Download for iPhone  |  Android

About this Blog

Steve and his wife built a software company, sold it and retired early. Steve enjoys blogging about lifestyle freedom, financial independence, and technology. If you like this blog, subscribe here to get an email each time he posts.

If you like this post, you might also like these prior posts:

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Is the Tiny House movement for you?

In the last few years, there has been an increase in people buying small houses. We are talking tiny houses, some as small as 100 square feet but most around 500 square feet. There are even TV shows dedicated to it — you’ve probably seen Tiny House Nation and Tiny House Hunters.

Benefits of a Tiny House

Below are some benefits of going tiny:

  • No mortgage – For about the price you would pay for a down payment on a large house, you can pay for the tiny house in cash. Some homes are as cheap as $20,000, but some can escalate to around $100,000. Imagine not having to write a mortgage payment each month, that could free up a lot of cash.
  • Mobility – Many of the tiny houses can be pulled behind a truck so you can move them from place to place if you get antsy in a particular locale.
  • Low cost of ownership – Being tiny, you’ll probably have a minimal electric bill and it will not cost much to furnish it.
  • Minimalist lifestyle – A tiny house won’t take long to clean and since you won’t have to work as hard without a mortgage, you can focus on other things in life that excite you.
  • Small environmental footprint – Being small, you are forced to consume less and are much kinder to the environment by being much more energy and resource efficient.

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Downsides of a Tiny House

The tiny movement is not for everyone, here are some downsides:

  • Room to breathe – When you restrict square footage to less than 500 square feet, it is easy to feel boxed in and crowded with others in your own house.
  • Less room to work from home – If you work from home, you may find that you are cramped and cannot spread your work out as you did when you were in a larger home.
  • Lack of room for exercising – If you’re accustomed to working out at  home, you will most likely have to resort to outside activities, a tiny house is just too small to workout in.
  • Scary in inclement weather – Imagine weathering heavy rains or a tornado in a tiny home. It’s so light that it could completely come off its footing.
  • Less room to entertain – If you love to entertain in your home, doing it in a tiny house becomes tough. You just don’t have separate areas for people to congregate.

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Some Cool Tiny Houses

Country Living put together a list of 44 cool looking tiny houses, here are some of my favorites:

Tiny House 1 Tiny House 2 Tiny House 3 Tiny House 4 Tiny House 5 Tiny House 6 Tiny House 7 Tiny House 8 Tiny House 9

Conclusion

Are you ready to join the tiny house moment or do you like your bigger digs? Let me know by leaving a comment below.

About this Blog

Steve and his wife built a software company, sold it and retired early. Steve enjoys blogging about lifestyle freedom, financial independence, and technology. If you like this blog, subscribe here to get an email each time he posts.

If you like this post, you might also like these prior posts:

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How to Develop a Bucket List (see these POWERFUL Stories)

The new year is approaching and it’s the time we normally start thinking about goals and resolutions. This year, what if you developed a bucket list instead of a set of resolutions you are likely to drop by the end of January?  What is a bucket list?

A bucket list is a list of things that one has not done before but wants to do before dying

Hey, I’m not old enough to be thinking about the end of days but its never too early to start thinking about things you want to accomplish in life.

Preparing your Bucket List

Here are some tips for preparing your list:

  • Think of Activities – Think about activities you would like to do. Maybe it’s learning to use a crossbow, making jewelry, or experiencing a zip line over the jungle. For me, it’s skydiving and snorkeling the great barrier reef.
  • Think of Learning – Are there things you wish you had learned? Maybe it’s learning a different language, how to play the guitar, or how to paint. For me, it’s learning how to draw better.
  • Think of Travel – I bet there are places you’d like to visit. For me, it’s Australia, New Zealand, Norway, and Greece.
  • Think Big – Don’t limit yourself to things that are easy to accomplish, think big.

5 Powerful Stories

It’s always good to get ideas and inspiration from others that have built a bucket list and are checking items off their list every year. Here are some powerful stories that will surely inspire.

Bucket List Publications

Bucket List ProductionsLesley Carter publishes her list every year on her Bucket List Publications blog and you can follow along as she checks things off her list. She is incredibly inspiring and has mastered the idea of thinking big. Just this year, she was sailing to Antarctica, trekking gorillas, cage diving with great whites, visiting multiple continents, and hiking volcanoes.

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The Bucket List Blog

Bucket List BlogAlex Wagman publishes his list on his Bucket List blog.  His list includes graduating college, streaking in public (hey — to each his own), alligator hunting, and flying a plane. One compelling item on his list for 2015 was surviving 72 hours in the wild with nothing but a knife.


Bucket List Journey

Bucket List JourneyAnnette publishes her list on her Bucket List Journey blog.  Similar to Lesley Carter, she is incredibly inspiring but many of the items on her list are easier to complete. Here are just a few interesting items on her list: eat fire, flyboarding, jump off a cliff, indoor skydive, swim with sea turtles, and walk on a black sand beach.


Bucket List Blogger

Bucket List BloggerJackie publishes her list on her Bucket List Blogger blog.  Jackie was inspired by a life coach and that chance meeting set the stage for a more fulfilling life. Here are a few things from her list: mountain bike the entire Katy Trail, zip line in Hawaii, hike the Grand Canyon, swim in the Dead Sea, and to spend a month in Italian wine country.

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Where is Jenny

Where is JennyJenny organizes her list by professional goals, things to learn, adventures to have, places to visit, and cultural experiences. She publishes hers on her Where is Jenny blog. Her list includes these experiences: generating $3,000 a month in passive income, achieve fluency in Spanish, French, and Sign Language, bungee jumping, visiting Mali, and participating in Burning Man.


Conclusion

I hope this post has inspired you to think about your own personal bucket list. If it has, please share a link to yours (or just enter some below) in the comments section.

About this Blog

Steve and his wife built a software company, sold it and retired early. Steve enjoys blogging about lifestyle freedom, financial independence, and technology. If you like this blog, subscribe here to get an email each time he posts.

If you like this post, you might also like these prior posts:

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How I quickly built a Twitter Following: Crowdfire interviews Steve Miller

In the past year, I’ve successfully built my Twitter following from 600 to over 24,600 at the time of this post (December 2015). Additionally, I increased my blog visits by 2300%.

This success caught the eye of Crowdfire, a company that produces a tool I use to help build my Twitter followers. They were intrigued by the growth but more importantly, they liked my story of early retirement and wanted to post an interview that explains my story and how I’ve used Crowdfire to build a community of Twitter followers.

The Crowdfire Interview

Here is the story, I hope you enjoy it.

Crowdfire interviews Steve Miller

Direct link to story:
http://blog.crowdfireapp.com/meet-steve-miller-driving-app-downloads-using-crowdfire/

Finally, here is a video showing how I use Crowdfire. If you like my story, you can also follow me on Twitter.

About this Blog

Steve and his wife built a software company, sold it and retired early. Steve enjoys blogging about lifestyle freedom, financial independence, and technology. If you like this blog, subscribe here to get an email each time he posts.

If you like this post, you might also like these prior posts:

Follow me: Twitter  |  Facebook  |  LinkedIn  |  Subscribe to this Blog

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Want to impact Someone’s Holiday? 10 ways to do it

The holiday season is a great time to reflect on the year and to help others. Giving does not have to be expensive. With a bit of creativity, you can impact someone in a positive way and they are likely to pass along the kindness. Can’t think of ways to do this? Here are a few ideas.

1. Pay it Forward at the Grocery Store

When you check out, hand the cashier $20 and ask them to apply that money towards the purchase of the person behind you. This will surely brighten their holiday season.

2. Thank your Parents this Holiday Season

Instead of sending your parents a card, hand-write a note telling them how much you appreciate them and how they have impacted your life.

3. Help Pay for Someone’s Gas

Tape an envelope with $10 inside to the credit card slot of a gas pump. Write a note that simply says “Thanks for finding this. Happy Holidays!”

4. Purchase a few Gifts for a Family in Need

Contact a local church or synagogue and ask if they have a family that needs help with a few gifts for the holidays. Tell them your budget and ask if you can purchase gifts within that budget. Ask them to keep the gift anonymous.

5. Tip your Mail Carrier

Leave $20 in cash for your mail carrier. They deliver your mail every week, why not give back during the holiday season?

aMemoryJog Web for the holiday

6. Gift your Crafts

If you are crafty, consider giving your creations to friends, family or people in need.

7. Cook for a Family in Need

If you know of a family in need, cook a dinner for them. If you don’t know a family in need, ask a local church.

8. Volunteer

Volunteer at a soup kitchen, local church, or for an organization (like Habitat for Humanity).

9. De-clutter and Donate

You probably have lots of things that are sitting around without being used. It could be clothes, furniture, tools, or toys. Donate these items to Goodwill, Habitat for Humanity, a local church or some other organization that would love to have it.

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10. Make something Old New

If you are handy, find an older bicycle from Craigs List or a friend. Fix it up by painting it, changing out the tires and putting on a new chain. Once you’ve fixed it up, find a neighbor whose kid would love to have it. It doesn’t have to be a bicycle, you can find lots of things to fix up and give away.

Conclusion

Why not make someone’s day? Happy Holidays! If you have other ideas for giving back, please share your ideas in the comments below.

About this Blog

Steve and his wife built a software company, sold it and retired early. Steve enjoys blogging about lifestyle freedom, financial independence, and technology. If you like this blog, subscribe here to get an email each time he posts.

If you like this post, you might also like these prior posts:

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Are you prepared for Retirement? 5 Ways to get Ready

Today’s financial post is written by a guest blogger, Patricia Sanders. She is a freelance writer and financial blogger. She writes articles for the Debt Consolidation Care Community and can be reached at sanderspatricia29@gmail.com.

Most of us dream of a retired life without stress and debt — one of financial security. Unfortunately, it doesn’t just happen, it takes work and proper planning. In this post, we will discuss retirement planning and how you can properly plan to secure your golden years.

Why is retirement planning important?

Many people don’t understand the importance of retirement planning and later regret not being prepared for what should be the best years of their life. Why plan? Here are a few reasons why.

Ready for Retirement

  1. To prepare for medical emergencies

Medical issues are quite common in retirement life — as we age, unexpected health issues arise. So it’s important to have funds set aside for medical expenses without jeopardizing your post-retirement nest egg. Insurance coverage and a savings account for non-covered expenses will put you in a great position.

retirement planning

  1. Social security benefits are not enough

Social security benefits are a great supplement, but they’re not enough to meet all expenses in your post-retirement life. Create a retirement fund to cushion your social security benefits and to provide financial protection in retirement.

  1. Working in  your retirement years

If you don’t prepare for retirement, you’ll most likely need to continue working into your retirement years. Unfortunately, health issues can prevent you from continuing work, so savings become important for financial security.

How can you be prepared for retirement?

Retirement planning is not an easy task. It requires years of commitment. Here’s how you can be prepared for retirement.

  1. Set your goals and start saving

First, set financial goals. You’ll get inspiration by reaching goals you set. If you’ve already started, then keep saving and move forward to the next goal. The earlier you get started, the better. By saving early, you take advantage of compounding and let your money work for you.

  1. Assess your retirement needs and craft a budget

It takes planning to ensure you are able to maintain your standard of living after retirement. Start by accessing what your current expenses are and formulate a post-retirement budget. Normally, your retirement expenses will be about 80% of your pre-retirement expenses. Make a detailed list of every expense and track that for a year to ensure your planning is correct.

retirement planning

  1. Take advantage of employer pension plans

Many employers offer traditional pension plans to their employees. Check with your employer to determine if a pension is available and what the plan covers. If your employer does not offer a plan, consider other jobs that may.

  1. Contribute money to a 401 (k) plan

Most employers offer a retirement savings plan (401k) and some match your contributions up to a certain percentage.  If this is offered, max out your contributions because they are tax deferred.

  1. Invest regularly

With each paycheck, invest a portion of your earnings into mutual funds.  Index mutual funds are a great way to mimic the returns of the S&P 500 which averages about 7.5% return per year. By investing regularly and reinvesting all dividends, your investments will quickly compound. Compounding has a snowball effect, your investment dollars begin to grow more rapidly and with 20 to 30 years of this strategy, you will be in a great position for retirement.

Get rid of debt or save for retirement?

What will be your top priority in life: paying off debt or saving for retirement? You should first rid yourself of debt by applying a debt snowball. With the debt snowball, you pay off your smallest debt first, then take the money you were paying for that debt and apply that to your next debt until all debt is extinguished. If your debt is unmanageable, consolidate your debt into a single payment so that you can pay it off with fervor. Once you are debt free, take all of the money you were putting towards debt and apply it to your retirement savings.

About this Blog

Thanks again to Patricia Sanders for writing today’s guest post.  Steve and his wife built a software company, sold it and retired early. Steve enjoys blogging about lifestyle freedom, financial independence and technology. If you like this blog, subscribe here to get an email each time he posts.

If you like this post, you might also like these prior posts:

Follow me: Twitter  |  Facebook  |  LinkedIn  |  Subscribe to this Blog

** DISCLAIMER ** Financial Information presented on this blog is intended for informational purposes only and is not meant to be taken as financial advice. While all attempts are made to present accurate information, it may not be appropriate for your specific circumstances and information may become outdated over time. Before investing, do your research and seek professional advice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Financial Independence 101: How to Manage your Portfolio

This is a continuation of my Financial Independence blog posts related to financial education. I’m creating the blogs so that our two sons that will be graduating college soon will have a better understanding of personal finance and portfolio management.

Should you Manage your Own Portfolio?

As you begin saving and investing, your total investments will begin to accumulate and compound. This is great, that’s going to build your wealth. When you reach a certain status (maybe it’s after you have $100k invested or maybe even $1m), you will probably begin getting calls from Certified Financial Planners wanting to manage your portfolio.

Is it wise to have them manage it? First, I would like to say that Certified Financial Planners have an incredible amount of knowledge and can be very helpful if you are struggling with specific strategies. Same goes for CPAs. If you can hire them when you need them (for an hourly fee), I would agree that it’s a good idea.

However, most will want to manage your portfolio on a monthly basis and will charge about 1% of your portfolio value for doing this. If your portfolio is worth $1m, it may cost you about $10,000 per year for this service. If you had invested that $10,000 per year for 30 years, you would have given up over $1.2m in gain:

Portfolio - $10,000 per year invested for 30 years

That could be a million dollar mistake. Think about it, who’s got your best financial interests in mind? You or someone else? My guess is you. You work so hard to accumulate the wealth, you should want to know everything you can about personal finance so that you can protect your nest egg.

aMemoryJog - Best Password Manager for iPhone portfolio

How to Manage your Portfolio

Managing your own portfolio is not difficult if you keep it simple. Here are 3 steps that may help.

Step 1 – Invest only in Low-Cost Index Funds

Index funds will diversify your investments with great risk protection. The returns will follow the S&P 500 and it normally produces about 7.5% – 8% per year on average. Open up a Fidelity account and begin contributing money to a few mutual funds. For diversification, I suggest these 4 mutual funds to invest equal amounts in:

  • FUSVX – Invests in S&P 500 stocks (invest 34% here)
  • FSEVX – invests in smaller yet stable companies (invest 33% here)
  • FSIVX – Invests in international stocks, like those in Europe (invest 33% here)

** Note: I have no affiliation with Fidelity nor do I get any compensation, I am just more familiar with their services than other investment companies so that is why I recommend them in this article. You can find similar Vanguard investments.

Step 2 – Add a Bond Fund when you are 5 Years from Retirement

Once you approach retirement age, it will be good to have a bond fund because it will protect your portfolio in years when stocks are not performing well.  Generally, when the economy is booming, stocks do well and bonds produce almost nothing. However, when the economy is in the tank, stock prices fall and bonds do well.

Once you retire, you will need to cash in money to live on, so by having a bond fund, you draw your retirement money from there if the economy is not doing well. When the economy is doing well, you can draw from your stock funds.

So once you are 5 years from retiring, rebalance your portfolio with these allocations:

  • FUSVX – Invests in S&P 500 stocks (invest 25% here)
  • FSEVX – invests in smaller yet stable companies (invest 25% here)
  • FSIVX – Invests in international stocks, like those in Europe (invest 25% here)
  • FSITX – Invests in bonds (invest 25% here)

Step 3 – Rebalance Yearly

As the earnings in your portfolio grow, some of the funds will outperform others. Since you will be reinvesting dividends, you may find at the end of the year that you have more money in one of the funds than others. So it’s a good idea to rebalance your portfolio yearly.

Let’s imagine that at the end of the year you find that FUSVX makes up 30% of your portfolio, FSEVS makes up 20% of your portfolio and FSIVX and FSITX each makes up 25%. In this case, you would simply sell 5% of FUSVX and purchase 5% more of FSEVS, then your portfolio will be balanced once again.

aMemoryJog Web - Best Password Manager Portfolio

Read this Financial Book

If you are serious about managing your own finances, I suggest you read a book called “How to Retire Early“. It is written by a friend (Bob Charlton) and in the book he discusses how he and his wife retired at 43 years old. Neither had incredible salaries, they just saved and invested.

The book gives a transparent look into how much they invested each year, what they invested in (they used Vanguard funds similar to the Fidelity funds I suggested above), and how they now manage their portfolio.

More info on the book: http://www.amazon.com/How-To-Retire-Early-Retiring/dp/1482653729

About this Blog

Steve and his wife built a software company, sold it and retired early. Steve enjoys blogging about lifestyle freedom, financial independence and technology. If you like this blog, subscribe here to get an email each time he posts.

If you like this post, you might also like these prior posts:

What do you think of these financial independence training articles? Leave me a comment to let me know your thoughts!

Follow me: Twitter  |  Facebook  |  LinkedIn  |  Subscribe to this Blog

** DISCLAIMER ** Financial Information presented on this blog is intended for informational purposes only and is not meant to be taken as financial advice. While all attempts are made to present accurate information, it may not be appropriate for your specific circumstances and information may become outdated over time. Before investing, do your research and seek professional advice.

How to create mini-vacations for Little Cost

Traveling can be lots of fun. It allows us to experience new cultures, see new things, and we become more well rounded. Unfortunately, travel can be costly and many of us delay it because it’s just too expensive. Here are some ways to create mini-vacations for very little cost.

Let the Boss Pick up the Tab

If you travel a lot for business, you can create mini-vacations by extending your stay. Let’s say that you have a Wednesday through Friday trip to Washington D.C.  Ask your boss for 1 day off and extend your trip so that you return on Monday night. That way you can spend Saturday – Monday visiting the sites of D.C. By eliminating the airfare, it becomes much more affordable.

Mini Vacations

Use Credit Card Rewards

Most credit cards have a reward program that gives 1 to 2 points for every dollar spent. The Capital One Venture card gives you 2 points back per dollar, so it’s a good choice. You can put everything on this card — groceries, clothes, travel expenses, utility bills, hotel stays, etc. Pay the card off monthly so that you don’t build up a balance and you can use these miles to purchase airline tickets or pay for a hotel.

Mini Vacations

Use Hotels.com

Each time I stay at a hotel, I book it through Hotels.com. For every 10 times I stay in a hotel, I get 1 free night — this is an easy way to pay for lodging on your mini-vacation.

Go Somewhere Near

Many times we don’t explore sites that are in our own backyard. We live in Florida, so by just making a day trip, we can easily visit Atlanta, New Orleans, Mobile, or somewhere else near that has some fun things to do. You can plan a weekend stay, turning that mini-vacation dream into a reality. To find fun things to do in your area, check out the Road Trippers website.

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Swap Houses

If you live in a desirable area, consider house swapping. Sites like www.HomeExchange.com allow you to search for a place you wish to visit and swap your house with someone else. It has home swaps with exotic locations like the Caribbean, Europe, and Africa. By swapping homes, the lodging costs are free and you only have to pay for airfare. Many times they will also swap cars so that your transportation is also covered.

Conclusion

I hope this post has inspired you to stop procrastinating with your travel dreams — get out there and travel!

If you have travel tips, please share yours in the comments below.

About this Blog

Steve and his wife built a software company, sold it and retired early. Steve enjoys blogging about lifestyle freedom, financial independence, and technology. If you like this blog, subscribe here to get an email each time he posts.

If you like this post, you might also like these prior posts:

Follow me: Twitter  |  Facebook  |  LinkedIn  |  Subscribe to this Blog

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How to take Control of your Future

Ever notice how some people seem to be lucky — good things seem to attach to them like moss to trees. They seem to have great careers, exciting lives, and fulfilling relationships.

Let me let you in on a secret:

How to take control of your future

So let’s say you are not living up to your potential. Let’s say that you are not in a fulfilling career, life or relationship. How do you change your luck? Here’s how to take control of your future.

Educate yourself

A doctor can’t practice medicine without a degree and residency. If you don’t like your career, retool. Go back to school to learn a new craft and work really hard at it. Don’t quit your existing job — educate at night while still earning your day pay. Commit yourself to learning your new craft with an insatiable desire.

Work Harder than Everyone Else

Working hard brings about a lot of luck. Make it your mission to outwork everyone on your team. It doesn’t always mean working longer hours than everyone else, it means working smarter than everyone else. Be organized, learn from mistakes, find ways to make your work style more efficient, and tweak your activities until they produce bigger results.

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Make Big Audacious Goals

Make goals, big audacious ones, and see them through. Track your progress and shift gears if the goal becomes elusive. Study others that have accomplished similar goals, introduce yourself and have candid conversations with them as to how they accomplished theirs. Mimic their behavior and activities to meet your goals.

Help Others

As you begin becoming lucky through all this hard and smart work, share your success with others. Help others that have a desire to accomplish something big but just haven’t put together the pieces to make it happen. Be a mentor.

Conclusion

Your future belongs to you. Why not take control of your future and accomplish things you keep putting on the back burner? No more excuses, work hard and smart and get it done. If you would like to share some recent successes, tell us about them in the comments below.

About this Blog

Steve and his wife built a software company, sold it and retired early. Steve enjoys blogging about lifestyle freedom, financial independence, and technology. If you like this blog, subscribe here to get an email each time he posts.

If you like this post, you might also like these prior posts:

Follow me: Twitter  |  Facebook  |  LinkedIn  |  Subscribe to this Blog

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Financial Independence 101: What are Stock Dividends and Stock Splits?

This is a continuation of my Financial Independence blog posts related to financial education. I’m creating the blogs so that our two sons that will be graduating college soon will have a better understanding of personal finance.

What are Stock Dividends?

Profit is the amount of money a business has left over after paying all its expenses (revenue – expenses). The goal of most businesses is to make a profit because it adds value to the business and allows it to grow.

Stock dividends and stock splits

So what happens if a business makes a profit? They can take that profit and reinvest some of it back into the business to allow them to build better products and services. But many times, there is still money left over after that. When this happens, the business will normally give part of that money back to those who invested in their stock. This is done with a dividend.

Not all companies pay dividends, especially startups. They normally want to keep all of the profits to reinvest into growth. But well-established companies will often pay dividends.

When looking at your investments, you must look at stock appreciation and dividends to calculate the total return on investment.  For example, if you purchase stock A for $100 per share and stock B for $100 per share and both grow to $125 per share after the first year, your return on investment is 25% on each. However, if stock A also paid a 5% dividend, your return on stock A is actually 30%, so it is a better performing stock for you.

Dividend paying stocks (or mutual funds) can be great investments once you retire because they normally pay those dividends quarterly. When they pay the dividends, you can spend that money on retirement expenses.

What are Stock Splits?

When companies grow and are more profitable, the price of their stock tends to rise. Once the stock price rises over a certain price (normally around $150 per share), companies look for ways to reduce the stock price so that smaller investors can purchase shares. This is accomplished with a stock split.

Stock splits

With a stock split, the company will cut the price of their stock but will give their stockholders more shares. For example, if a company’s stock is $200 per share, they may cut the price to $100 per share but give all their existing shareholders twice the number of shares that they had before. This is called a 2 for 1 stock split. They can also split it by any denomination. In the previous example, they could have done a 4 for 1 split, reducing the cost to $50 per share but giving each stockholder 4 times the number of shares than they had before the stock split.

Conclusion

Now that you have an understanding of stock dividends and stock splits, let’s get to the bottom line. Once you start your career, set aside money for savings and have that money automatically deducted from your paycheck. Start with 15% of your paycheck, more if you can swing it.

Open up a Fidelity account and begin contributing money to a few mutual funds. If you want to really diversify, I suggest these 4 funds to invest equal amounts in:

  • FUSVX – A mutual fund that invests in S&P 500 stocks
  • FSEVX – A mutual fund that invests in small and mid cap stocks
  • FSITX – A bond fund that invests in credit-worthy bonds (note: if you are young and have 30 or more years before you retire, you may consider delaying the purchase of bonds for a while since you will not care as much about market fluctuations).
  • FSIVX – A mutual fund that invests in international stocks (like those in Europe).

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Finally, track your budget and investments with an online tool. Personal Capital is an excellent tool for this and best of all, it’s free**. This is a great start to financial independence!

About this Blog

Steve and his wife built a software company, sold it and retired early. Steve enjoys blogging about lifestyle freedom, financial independence, and technology. If you like this blog, subscribe here to get an email each time he posts.

If you like this post, you might also like these prior posts:

What do you think of these financial independence training articles? Leave me a comment to let me know your thoughts!

Follow me: Twitter  |  Facebook  |  LinkedIn  |  Subscribe to this Blog

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