Be The Investor You Wish Your Grandparents Could Have Been

How many of you wish that your grandpa bought $1,000 worth of General Electric stock during the Great Depression that would be generating $400,000+ in dividends today, allowing you to buy homes outright, fund children’s education by writing checks, and most importantly, inherit the “life infrastructure” that would allow you to dare to be great and pursue your dreams without making decisions based on scraping by and getting the bills paid.

Or maybe you wish your grandpa hid a couple hundred shares of AT&T stock certificates in the sock drawer sixty years ago so that you would be collecting over half a million dollars in annual dividends that you could use to jumpstart your own art museum that would allow you to have almost $150,000 coming your way every ninety days so that you could spend your life purchasing artwork around the world and sharing the beauty with others. That entire lifestyle could have been created *if* your grandmother or grandfather had the foresight to set aside some money that they would not interfere with, opting instead to let compounding work its magical touch.

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Is Blue-Chip Dividend Investing Right For You?

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Yikes. Unfortunately I’ve been tending to some of my fun real-life summer plans the past couple of days, and I have not gotten a chance to set aside as much time for writing as I would like. Usually, I try to have my posts on autoset weeks in advance, but for some reason, the “hole” for July 30th was left unplugged.   And since I have been building some nice momentum in terms of page views lately, I wanted to put something out there today.

Anyway, long story short, I dug up an answer I gave in the “comments” section to one of my Seeking Alpha articles, and it is the most well received commented I have ever written, having registered over forty “likes” as of the last time I checked. I had received a question from a young twenty-something that was wondering how to approach investing now that he is cleared of his student loan debts, and here is the response I gave him. I hope you enjoy, and if not, I’ll get back to my regularly scheduled programming tomorrow:

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You Become A King When Your IRA Hits $150,000

One of my favorite quotes from famous UCLA basketball coach John Wooden is that it is not our performance in relation to others that counts, but rather, our performance in relation to our highest potential that matters in the end. I don’t think anyone wants to reach a point at the end of their lives when they realize that there is a large gap between who they are and who they could have been.

Whether we want it to be the case or not, money plays a big role in determining whether or not we can maximize our potential. After all, Walt Disney had to spend big chunks of time dealing with rejection while raising capital to build Disneyland, and all that time he spent begging for funds represents time he wasn’t able to spend doing what he loved by further developing characters like Mickey Mouse, Snow White, and Mary Poppins. Who knows, maybe he would have created more timeless characters back in the day if he did not have to spend his time worrying about the funding for his animation studios.

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When Warren Buffett Wakes Up In The Morning

Right now, Warren Buffett’s holding company Berkshire Hathaway pumps out about $12 billion per year in annual profit. Because it owns extensive insurance operations that experience fluctuating profits, it is not as easy to determine Berkshire’s normal earnings power as it would be, for say, Kraft’s food packaging divisions which have pretty predictable demand for macaroni and cheese, Oscar Meyer hot dogs, and Maxwell House coffee, but still–$12 billion is a good estimate of what “normal” profits look like each year for Berkshire shareholders.

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Dividend Investing Is A Slow Shift From Being A Worker To Being An Owner

I just finished reading this article by Bill McClellan of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that discussed how a teacher with over 27 years of teaching experience in the Kirkwood area of Missouri lost her job. The interesting thing about the story is that the archdiocese decided to get rid of her, even though she didn’t seem to do much of anything wrong. She was told that “she lost her passion” and would not be retained.

Although this is just one small story, I think it serves as a microcosm of the changing nature of the informal social contract in American society. One of the reasons why some people look back upon the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s with fondness is because it represented an American economic era in which you could put together a good life for yourself if you had a strong work ethic, showed up, and didn’t screw things up.

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