The Naivete About $100,000 Per Year Jobs

Welding trade schools frequently run late night TV advertisements that targets a demographic susceptible to the dream of a better life. Specifically, these commercials show guys having fun with a welding gun and wiring feed molding metals at a promised starting salary of $25 per hour (which often amounts to annual income in the $50,000-$55,000 range) with some even alluding to possible compensation of $50 per hour (i.e. the $100,000 per year threshold). This type of advertising is often misleading, as the median salary for first-year welders is $18 per hour, or annual income the $35,000-$40,000 range.

More broadly, there seems to be a naivete from people in their late teens and early 20s that make them think, “Oh, I’ll just get a $100,000 per year job” as if it something you just go to the mall and find sitting on the rack.

There are less than thirty professions in … Read the rest of this article!

Embrace The Thrill Of Long-Term Investing in America

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If you have a minute, check out this article from  The New York Times that came out sometime last month:

Since many of us use the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index as a proxy for the market, let’s take a look at the period from 1950 to 2012 to see how often we’re likely to feel positive, based on how often we check our investments:

If you checked daily, it would be positive 52.8 percent of the time.

If you checked monthly, it would be positive 63.1 percent of the time.

If you checked quarterly, it would be positive 68.7 percent of the time.

If you checked annually, it would be positive 77.8 percent of the time.

Now, of course, if you are a regular reader of my website, you know that stock price declines are what you should get excited about because they represent great buying opportunities to own … Read the rest of this article!

Three Quotes From Henry Ford About Overcoming Failure

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Henry Ford had a lot of spunk. His famous quote, “Sir, you can have a Ford in any color you want, as long as it is black” is a great little encapsulation of his attitude towards business and life. Perhaps my favorite thing about him is that he embraced failure, but rejected the kind of negative attitudes that largely accompany failure.

When it comes to investing, I am not particularly interested in owning the kinds of companies that will be growing the fastest in good times. Rather, I am interested in owning the kinds of companies that will still be churning out profits without much of a hitch in an environment similar to The Great Recession economy of 2008-2009.

That kind of attitude is something I picked up from my dad when I was little. Anytime we would watch the postgame conference of the athletes after … Read the rest of this article!

The Disadvantage of Joint Spousal Wills

In traditional nuclear families especially, both spouses often have a desire to draft joint wills that give everything to their surviving spouse and then an equal distribution to their children. This gives rise to the intuitive question: Is it wise to draft a single will instrument that is on behalf of two separate persons, such as a husband and wife?

While a joint will is legal in most states, it is almost never wise to do so.

There are three primary reasons why spouses should not execute a joint will:

The first is that it could be regarded as a “contractual will”, complicating efforts to make changes after one of the spouses dies. Ordinarily, the great discretionary power in having a will is that you may change it at any time so long as you are alive, of sound mind, and elect to do so. In some states that adopt Read the rest of this article!

Why You Should Only Buy High-Quality Dividend Stocks

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If you ever read Phil Fisher’s “5 Points” on the questions to ask yourself when looking for a stock to buy, you may remember Mr. Fisher’s point number two that you should ask yourself “Does the management have a determination to continue to develop products or processes that will still further increase total sales potentials of currently attractive product lines that have largely been exploited?”

The problem, of course, is that unless you are the wife or husband of a top executive, you probably have little indication ahead of time regarding whether a management team is sufficiently motivated to grow profits and take care of shareholders over time (as opposed to resting on its laurels). Seriously, how the hell are we supposed to know whether the CEO at Procter & Gamble is any more motivated than the CEO at Philip Morris International? It’s just rank speculation.

Instead, I try to Read the rest of this article!