The Most Important Thing About Money and Investing

The average household income for readers of this site $82,000 per year. That makes sense—there are only three reasons why someone would want to read about money: (1) they have money, (2) they anticipate having money, and/or (3) they act on behalf of people who do have money.

Politically, the typical reader of this site is conservative (I mean, heck, it’s in the name of the site)—however, the typical reader on this site is liberal compared to other websites on the internet that claim folks in the $75,000-$99,999 household income bracket as their regular audience. Statistically, when you leave my site, you are most likely to go directly to another site that involves: (1) finance, (2) news, (3) undressed women, or (4) sports (in that order).

Most of you are from California, New York, Illinois, Canada, Florida, or Germany. There is also one regular reader from Ireland. Erin go Bragh, … Read the rest of this article!

Sharebuilder Investing: My Review

Sharebuilder, back in the early 2000s, had a great premise. For a fee of $4 per trade, you could build up an investment position in a stock over time. If you wanted to own, say, $10,000 in Berkshire Hathaway stock, you could launch a plan to buy $500 per month through Sharebuilder for twenty months, and then, you could get there.

At a time when other discount brokerage houses were charging $8-$10 per trade, including Schwab, E-Trade, Fidelity, and TD Ameritrade, Sharebuilder had a clearly defined target market–it provided a lower price for those who wanted to build an investment gradually and wanted to keep fees low.

And being lower cost worked. Rose Blumkin, the founder of the Nebraska Furniture Mart, used to say: “If you charge lower prices, customers will go to the bottom of the river to find you.” It created this unusual circumstance, where, throughout the … Read the rest of this article!

Processing Your Investment Underperformance

Some of the best investments of the 20th century, which include Johnson & Johnson, Abbott Labs, Coca-Cola, Clorox, and Wal-Mart, each have contained a five-year period when they underperformed the S&P 500 or Dow Jones (back when that was the most relevant benchmark available) but went on to outperform the index from a commencement date that preceded the period of underperformance.

It should be obvious to state, but if you own any collection of investments, a sometimes lengthy period of time will occur where you are either losing in value, underperforming a basket of other stocks, and/or encountering disappointment in some other manner. This period can last years, and sometimes, even five years to a decade of underperformance from a great investment is not out of the realm of possible experience.

Correctly processing underperformance or mediocre results is a condition precedent to a successful investing career.

I will share with … Read the rest of this article!

The 2019 IRS Tax Refund Schedule: What To Expect

Supposedly, the government shutdown is not going to affect when tax-paying citizens eligible for a tax refund from the IRS will be able to do so. For those who will be filing your taxes in the first four months of 2019 for your 2018 tax obligations, the following expectations should apply:

  1. The IRS begins filing returns on January 28, 2019. If you have already filed your tax returns, be it via mail or e-filing, you will not receive a refund until this date.
  2. For those whose filings include the Additional Child Tax Credit or Earned Income Tax Credit, the IRS issued a special memorandum titled “Refund Timing For Earned Income Tax Credit And Additional Child Tax Credit Filers” that states the IRS will provide new official guidance on February 23, 2019 and that no taxpayer whose filing includes one of these credits will be processed for direct
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John Bogle And Blue-Chip Dividend Investing

John Bogle is on the short list of my investing heroes, which may seem odd considering that he is the father of passive investing and the creation of mainstream index funds, while almost all of my writings focus on purchasing ownership stakes in individual companies.

The factor that we have very different investing styles is irrelevant—John Bogle has made it much easier for middle-class investors with incomes below $100,000 and no investment connections to get started with the wealth-building process, and I heavily suspect that we agree on far more than we disagree.

In particular, there are two areas where Bogle’s advice on index investing flows from the same type of logic that leads me towards blue-chip dividend investing.

Bogle has advocated two particular concepts for most of his adult life as a figure in the finance community.

(1)    First, he argues that investors achieve subpar returns because they are … Read the rest of this article!