Saturday, December 31, 2016

Food Journal 12/30/2016

I finished yesterday at 1,838 calories. My Mission is to stay between 1,800 and 1,899 calories every day. I went to visit a friend and I had a couple of cookies. I could have eaten more, but stopped at two!

Posting about my food is helping to keep me accountable.

  • Breakfast/Lunch was toast, yogurt, and sausage - 640 calories
  • Afternoon - Coca Cola - 140 calories
  • Dinner was taco salad, salmon, and an orange - 741 calories
  • Post-dinner snack - 2 small sugar cookies and a piece of fudge - 317 calories

Investing Update 12/31/2016

Hello and welcome to my investing update! This is my weekly update on my Robinhood Portfolio. Robinhood is an app that lets you trade stocks, and it doesn't charge commission fees to trade those stocks.

General Updates

Like I mentioned a couple of days ago, I was done trading for the year last week and didn't buy any new stocks this most recent week. I do have my eyes set on stocks that I'll buy in 2017, and I'll at least buy one of them next week!

I had a great year with the Robinhood App, and am proud of the portfolio I've built.

New Stock/Adding Shares

No new stocks this week.


I received two dividend payments this past week, my last two of the year!

  • UNP - Union Pacific Railroad - $0.61 dividend
    • Purchase Price - $87.35
    • ($0.61 x 4)/$87.35 = 2.79% dividend yield - pretty close to 3%! 
  • PEG - Public Service Enterprise Group - $0.41 dividend
    • Purchase Price - $45.90
    • ($0.41 x 4)/$45.90 = 3.57% dividend yield - nice! 

Year-To-Date Update

1/1/201612/30/2016Change since Jan 1stAvg/Week
Robinhood Portfolio Value$607.87$2,186.18$1,578.31
Money from my pocket$550.00$1,876.00$1,326.00$25.36
Gains/Realized & Unrealized$48.08$250.91$202.83

Robinhood Portfolio Value = (Money from my pocket) + (Dividends) + (Gains/Realized & Unrealized)

2016 Investing Missions

2016 MissionAmount I haveAmount Needed% Complete
Old Brokerage Dividends$6.90
Robinhood App Dividends$49.48
2016 Dividends Received$56.38$75.0075.17%
Purchase 25 Dividend Stocks3025120.00%
2016 Calendar Year366366100.00%

You can click on the investing tab or here to see what stocks I currently have in my Robinhood portfolio.



Friday, December 30, 2016

Food Journal 12/29/2016

I finished yesterday at consuming 1,788 calories. My Mission is to stay between 1800 and 1899 calories each day. Now, I was a tad under, but I know I probably wasn't perfect in inputting the foods I ate. I try to get as close as possible, but food calories are never exact. 
  • Lunch/breakfast was sausage, coffee, and an orange. 
  • Afternoon snack was a weight watcher's meal.
  • Dinner was left over prime rib (the picture shows 2 pieces, but I only ate 1), along with peanut butter toast. 
  • Evening snack (not too healthy) was cereal, chips, and a pop. 
  • All the food was measured out with measuring cups or a scale. 

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Early 2017 Dividend Stocks I have my eye on

My stock purchase of Apple last week was my last stock purchase of the year! I decide to just let my Robinhood account settle for the end of the year. There's really not a financial reason for doing this, but it's more of a mindset thing.

In order to Get Paid Every Other Day, I need to receive 183 dividend payments next year in 2017. I have been looking at stocks in order to get to this 183 number.

  • CSCO - Cisco 
  • BBY - Best Buy
  • MCD - McDonald's
  • AEP - American Electric Power
  • GXP - Great Planes Energy
  • XEL - Xcel Energy
  • OUSA - O'Shares FTSE (This is an ETF, exchange-traded-fund, not a stock)
  • V - Visa
There are probably some stocks that you recognize, and some that you don't. I have listed 3 utility companies, because I need to balance the sectors in which I'm invested in. Currently, utility stocks make up 8.5% of my Robinhood Portfolio, and this should be higher. 

OUSA will probably be my first purchase in the new year, and it pays dividends on a monthly basis. This monthly dividend will quicken my mission of getting paid "every other day". 



Food Journal 12/28/2016

Here is Day #2 of keeping myself accountable with what I eat. I apologize for the layout of the photos, the one thing Blogger isn't good at is inserting photos into posts....

Calorie Mission - Stay between 1,800 and 1,899 calories - Wednesday = 1,867 calories

  • Breakfast/Lunch: Coffee, Sausage, Eggs, Toast
  • Afternoon: Coca Cola
  • Dinner: Salad, Prime Rib, Corn Bread (The pictures of the prime rib are the same piece, just different sides)
  • Evening Snack: Yogurt

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Food Journal 12/27/2016

As a way to keep myself accountable for how much I'm eating, I will be logging my calories and taking pictures of what I eat. On first glance, Tuesday's food looks pretty unhealthy, but I finished the day at 1,818 calories. I've had the most success at losing weight when I tracked what I ate. I'm hoping to ensure long-term success by posting about what I eat. 

Calorie Mission - Stay between 1,800 and 1,899 calories - Tuesday = 1,818 calories

  • I went to a local coffee shop that I'd been wanting to visit. 
  • Then we went to a local sandwich shop, and I got a french dip. Pretty unhealthy, I know.
  • Smoked salmon for dinner - yum!
  • Greek Yogurt


Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Getting Paid Every Other Day

December has been a great month for dividends. After seeing the high amount of dividends I am receiving in December, it got me thinking (greedily) about how many dividends I could receive on a yearly basis. On average, being paid every day from dividends would be awesome, but it would take a lot of stocks. I think I'll start with getting paid every other day.

In order to be paid every other day (on average) -

  • 365 days in 2017
  • 365 divided by 2 = 182.5 = 183 dividend payments

To try and figure out how many stocks I'll need -

  • Realty Income (Stock Ticker O) pays a monthly dividend, so that's 12 payments.
  • 183 - 12 = 171 payments left
  • All of the other stocks I have pay quarterly dividends (4 times per year)

171/4 payments = 42.75, so I'll need 43 stocks that pay dividends 4 times a year.

At the time of this post, I currently own 30 stocks. This means I'll need to buy 13 more stocks to get up to 43 stocks.

13 more stocks doesn't seem too daunting...but the stocks I have in mind are pretty expensive, in the $100 range. I have no doubt I will get up to 43 stocks in 2017, but when I actually accomplish this, who knows?



Monday, December 26, 2016


When I was a kid, we would always play dominoes at my grandparents' house. It's one of my favorite memories. I'd play with my grandpa, grandma, uncle, dad, and older brother. I feel like we'd play for at least an hour and I remember just having so much fun. Everyone was invested in the game, and this was well before people had smartphones to distract them from the game. Being surrounded by family playing a game was great.

Yesterday was Christmas, and I wanted to recreate these feelings when playing dominoes. I played with my dad and younger brother. There wasn't much investment from either of them, but they still played. It wasn't much fun, and I'm disappointed. I'm disappointed because my younger brother won't have good memories of playing games with family. I also realized it was less about the actual game, and it was more about who I was spending time with.

I encourage you to spend time with people that you enjoy being around. I guess it doesn't really matter what you're doing, just put your phones away and spend time with people.



Saturday, December 24, 2016

Happy Holidays!!!

This isn't going to be a long post, because we should be spending time with our families right now! As a family, we're trying to figure out if the roads will be good enough to travel to the extended family's house tomorrow. I guess we'll see! The most important thing is to be safe, so we'll make that decision tomorrow with updated weather reports. 

Over the next few days I will be doing summaries of my year, my investing year, and Missions for 2017. My Missions kind of failed this year, but I think it's worth doing again for next year. 

I am looking for feedback on my blog, so if you have a minute or so, I'd really appreciate it if you filled out this survey that I made on Google Docs - 

If you fill it out, there may be a chance for you to win something cool! I will use the feedback to improve the site and blog. If you choose to fill it out, thank you.

Have a safe and happy rest of your weekend!


Friday, December 23, 2016

Investing Update 12/23/2016

Hello and welcome to my investing update! This is my weekly update on my Robinhood Portfolio. Robinhood is an app that lets you trade stocks, and it doesn't charge commission fees to trade those stocks.

General Updates

This week was pretty boring! I think I'm done trading for the year, I'm just going to let things settle so I can run my numbers to review 2016 and prepare for 2017.

There is a YouTuber I've been watching recently, and he also talks about his progress with his Robinhood account -

I also tried Robinhood Gold again, but I still don't understand trading with margin. I tried doing more research, and it didn't help. Maybe someday I'll use Robinhood Gold permanently.

New Stock/Adding Shares

I had one returning stock that I purchased this week. Apple. I've heard Apple is a pretty popular company.

  • 1 share purchased at $116.52
  • 4 dividends/year * $0.57/dividend = 1.96% dividend yield
So I used to own Apple, but I sold it, and now I've bought it again. 


0 dividends this week. BORING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Year-To-Date Update

1/1/201612/23/2016Change since Jan 1stAvg/Week
Robinhood Portfolio Value$607.87$2,207.32$1,599.45
Money from my pocket$550.00$1,876.00$1,326.00$25.93
Gains/Realized & Unrealized$48.08$273.07$224.99

Robinhood Portfolio Value = (Money from my pocket) + (Dividends) + (Gains/Realized & Unrealized)

2016 Investing Missions

2016 MissionAmount I haveAmount Needed% Complete
Old Brokerage Dividends$6.90
Robinhood App Dividends$48.46
2016 Dividends Received$55.36$75.0073.81%
Purchase 25 Dividend Stocks3025120.00%
2016 Calendar Year35836697.81%

You can click on the investing tab or here to see what stocks I currently have in my Robinhood portfolio.



Thursday, December 22, 2016

Holidays Can be a Chore

It's the holiday season and it can be a chore for a lot of people. Driving, flying, cooking, gift wrapping, cleaning, fretting, etc. A lot of people get or take time off from work around this time of year. Do we actually get to rest? Or are we too busy preparing for trips to see family members? 

I know I'm going through that right now. All I want to do on Christmas day is spend time with my immediate family at home. I don't want to leave the house. Instead, we are driving to see the extended family. Family is great, yes. It's reinvigorating to see them and catch up. At the same's draining. 

The days leading up to Christmas, lots of people are happy and optimistic, and will say "Merry Christmas!" or "Happy Holidays!". Once we reach the actual day, it doesn't feel as this big event as it was hyped up to be. Maybe it's because I don't celebrate the religious side of the holiday as much? Either way, I've always felt a little depressed on Christmas day, because I don't feel much magic. 

My point is - Take some time to relax, if you can. It's your holiday, do something that you want to do. I emphasize that again - DO SOMETHING YOU WANT TO DO. If you do that, you might find some holiday magic and not feel so drained. 



Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Compound Interest

Many financial bloggers talk about compound interest. 

Many dividend investors talk about compound interest. 

Here's why - 

I will be starting the 2017 year with ~$2,200 in my Robinhood Portfolio. Throughout the year, I will receive dividends, let's assume ~3.5%.

Below is a chart of my projected portfolio amount if I don't add any more money out of my pocket, and I buy stocks only with the dividends I receive.

YearStarting Portfolio AmountDiv Yield %Dividends

Now, if I add $26/week every week (like I've been doing), here's an updated table. 

YearStarting Portfolio AmountDiv Yield %Dividends
Obviously these tables make a lot of assumptions. I assume it will be a constant 3.5% dividend yield. I assume my portfolio value won't go up or down with the market. BUT, I think the tables make their point. If I keep adding money from my own pocket to buy dividend stocks, along with dividend money, the compound interest will benefit my portfolio! 



Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Holiday Follow Up!

I've had a couple different posts recently that talked about the holidays, one post about holiday cheer - holiday cheer and one about holiday shopping. I wanted to provide some follow up on those posts.

As far as the holiday cheer goes, I will be donating $50 to a warming shelter in town. This shelter is a place where people can go to have a warm, dry place to sleep during the cold months of the year. I heard about it on the news for the first time recently, and with addition research, it sounds like an amazing, helpful place. Last year, there were no deaths related to the cold weather conditions due to this shelter in town. Awesome. Sleeping in a warm place at night is something I for sure take for granted.

Another thought on the holiday cheer was to reach out to a friend. I reached out to a friend that I haven't spoken to in a few years, and am hoping to reconnect with them soon. There's no bad blood between us, our lives just haven't overlapped!

As far as gifts go..... I think I've purchased gifts that will for sure be USED or CONSUMED. Again, I'm just trying to promote NOT buying stuff you don't need. It's wasteful and adds clutter to your life.

I hope your week is going well and you can find time to reflect and be grateful this season.



Sunday, December 18, 2016

College Grad Starting a New Job

If you are a recent college graduate, this blog post is for you. I graduated from college 4 years ago, and the first 5 months after I graduated were one of the most formative times in my life. Here are some things I experienced -

  1. Dark and Cold - I started my first full-time job in January. I left for work around sunrise and got off work after sunset. I didn't see the sun very much during my first few months at work. It was also ridiculously cold that winter. 
  2. High Roommates - Both of my roommates at my first apartment smoked pot. It was annoying and I didn't know this moving in. 
  3. Loneliness - Even with roommates, I was pretty lonely. It's hard to meet people during the winter in a new town. 
  4. Eagerness - I was super eager to make a name for myself at work, and also eager to pay off my student loans. 
  5. Stuck/Homesick - I didn't have a super great car, so driving in the winter was rough. It was tough making it to work, let alone travel back home. I felt very stuck in the town I was in. 
All of those emotions/experiences made me a lot more grateful in life. Here are some things that looking back now, I should have done differently.

  1. Looked for a new car sooner. I think with the right financial budgeting, I could have bought a used AWD or 4WD vehicle sooner. 
  2. With a car that could get around town easier, it would have been easier to go to events/organzations to meet new people.
  3. I should have spent more time looking for apartments/duplexes to rent. The place I eventually found to live, and loved, was rented from a local landlord. This person had 4-5 properties that they managed. Since they had personal investment in the properties, they took care of the property and their tenants. This was way better than renting from a big apartment that had little personal investment in the property or the tenants. 
Life can be a little rough as you transition out of college into your first full-time job. Remember to build a support system, know that you'll get through the rough time, and take lots of pictures along the way. The pictures will be fun to look back on. 



Friday, December 16, 2016

Investing Update 12/16/2016

Hello and welcome to my investing update!

General Updates

Tesla, you're a great company, and I believe in everything you're doing. For the time being, I had to sell the stock I had of yours to make room for other stocks. I will buy Tesla in the future, but for now, my immediate goal is buying more dividend-paying stocks.

As you'll see below, I'm closing in on the $1.00 in dividends per week mark!

I'm not going to make my dividend goal for the year, but I'm very proud of the portfolio that I've built.

New Stock/Adding Shares

I bought some new/returning stocks this week! This was mostly funded by selling the 1 share of Tesla stock I had.

  • Illinois Tool Works - $124.84 purchase price
    • $0.65/dividend * 4 dividends/year = $2.60/year
    • $2.60/$124.84 = 2.08% dividend yield
  • Starbucks - $58.67 purchase price
    • $0.25/dividend * 4 dividends/year = $1.00/year
    • $1.00/$58.67 = 1.70% dividend yield
  • General Electric (Returning stock) - $31.55 purchase price
    • $0.24/dividend * 4 dividends/year = $0.96/year
    • $0.96/$31.55 = 3.04% dividend yield
  • Abbott Laboratories - $38.76 purchase price
    • $0.27/dividend * 4 dividends/year = $1.08/year
    • $1.08/$38.76 = 2.79% dividend yield


I received 4 dividend payments this week! Fewer than the 7 last week, but 4 is awesome!

12/15/2016International PaperIP$0.46
12/15/2016Coca ColaKO$0.35
12/15/2016Realty IncomeO$0.20

Year-To-Date Update

1/1/201612/9/2016Change since Jan 1stAvg/Week
Robinhood Portfolio Value$607.87$2,172.50$1,564.63
Money from my pocket$550.00$1,841.00$1,291.00$26.19
Gains/Realized & Unrealized$48.08$273.25$225.17

Robinhood Portfolio Value = (Money from my pocket) + (Dividends) + (Gains/Realized & Unrealized)

2016 Investing Missions

2016 MissionAmount I haveAmount Needed% Complete
Old Brokerage Dividends$6.90
Robinhood App Dividends$48.46
2016 Dividends Received$55.36$75.0073.81%
Purchase 25 Dividend Stocks3125124.00%
2016 Calendar Year34536694.26%

You can click on the investing tab or here to see what stocks I currently have in my Robinhood portfolio.



Thursday, December 15, 2016

HPQ Dividend Increase

HPQ is the stock ticker for HP Inc., HP being Hewlett-Packard.

I bought 1 share of HPQ last year for $11.52 (it closed today at $15.51). I received 4 dividend payments this past year at $0.12 each - actually $0.124 cents, but it rounded down.

$0.12 * 4 payments/year = $0.48/year

Dividends/Average Purchase Price  = $0.48/$11.52 = 4.17% yield.

This coming January, the dividend for HPQ is going up to $0.1327/share. Since I have 1 share, it'll round down to $0.13.

$0.13 * 4 payments/year = $0.52/year

$0.52/$11.52 = 4.51% dividend yield.

That's a great dividend yield that improved upon itself. It's really nice to take a look at the dividend history of this stock and reflect on it. Seeing these dividends listed like this shows me stability in my portfolio. I've bought and sold stocks throughout the year, but this a stock I didn't touch. As we speak, I'm typing this post on a HP Chromebook, so I have faith in HP.

I know sometime last year HP split into two different companies, HPQ and HPE. I need to learn more about each company so I can speak more intelligently about it.

Do any of you own HPQ or HPE stock?



Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Thank you, Robinhood.

I sold a couple of different stocks today to make room for new and returning stocks. I sold off two different stocks and ending up buying four stocks. I'm happy with my purchases, and these purchases move me closer to getting paid (on average) every other day of the year in dividends.

If I had purchased and sold these stocks on a traditional broker, this could have cost me upwards of $60 in commissions! That's the great thing about the Robinhood App, you don't have to pay commission fees to buy stocks. There is no way I would have been able to build the diversified portfolio I have now if I was on another brokerage.

I started trading stocks back in 2013. I put in $500 into TDAmeritrade. I bought 10 shares of Intel and 3 shares of Pepsi. This cost me the price of the stocks along with $19.98 in commissions. I didn't do much with my portfolio, and it was pretty boring. I couldn't diversify much due to the high cost of commissions. I've said this before, that some might argue "If you can't afford the commissions fees, you shouldn't be trading", and I disagree with that statement.

The best way to learn something is to do it. The best way to learn something is to get experience with it. If we just leave stocks and investing to "Guys in Suits", how are we going to learn?

So I'm giving a shoutout to Robinhood! Thanks for the great app and great service.

I'm looking forward to the continued updates and great app.



Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Rogue One & Disney Stock

"Star Wars Rogue One" comes out on Friday and I'm really excited! I saw "The Force Awakens" 7 times in theaters, since it was episode 7. I will not be watching "Rogue One" that many times though. It should be a great movie, and it'll tide everyone over until episode 8.

I owned Disney stock at some point in this last year, and I remember selling it at a loss. Disney obviously has a lot of great things going for it, but I don't think I've missed out on much by not owning this stock for in awhile. The stock price hasn't moved a whole lot in the past year. information about Disney stock -

The next dividend Disney will pay will be $0.78. Disney pays dividends twice a year, not four times a year like a lot of stocks. So $1.56 in dividends / $103.85 stock price (closing price today) = 1.50% dividend yield. This isn't great, but it's better than nothing.

With a company like Disney, and the 1.50% dividend yield, this tells me the company is still growing. has it classified as a "Large Growth" stock.

It also looks like there have been shares being repurchased over the years, which is something I personally like seeing. It looks like I might need to buy a share sometime in the future, but the 2 dividend payments a year is sort of holding me back. In an upcoming post, I will be posting about trying to buy enough dividend stocks to essentially get paid every other day, and buying Disney stock won't help this effort.

Thanks for reading. Are any of you planning on seeing Rogue One this weekend?



Monday, December 12, 2016

This Holiday Season

What are things we can do (and what we should be doing normally) to spread holiday cheer? An automatic response that comes to mind is giving money, which is fine, but there are other ways too -

  1. Invite someone over for a meal, especially someone who may need it. Perhaps a friend that can't make it home for the holidays.
  2. Give an item or clothing to someone who actually needs it. 
  3. Volunteer at a homeless shelter or an animal shelter.
  4. Call a friend you haven't spoken to in a long time.
Some of these are easier than others. Doing one should be feasible over the next three weeks!

Which one do you think I should do? Which one do you want to do?



Sunday, December 11, 2016

Investing Update 12/11/2016

Hello and welcome to my investing update!

General Updates

It was a great week for dividends! I talked earlier in the week about buying General Mills stock, and that's what I did this week.

New Stock/Adding Shares

I bought 1 share of General Mills (GIS) for $60.92.

  • $0.48/dividend * 4 dividends/year = $1.92/year 
  • $1.92/$60.92 = 3.15% dividend yield. It's above 3%, nice! 


I received 7 dividend payments this week!

12/6/2016Southern CoSO$0.56
12/6/2016Johnson & JohnsonJNJ$0.80
12/7/2016Archer DanielsADM$0.30
12/9/2016Emerson ElectricEMR$0.96

Year-To-Date Update

1/1/201612/9/2016Change since Jan 1stAvg/Week
Robinhood Portfolio Value$607.87$2,161.53$1,553.66
Money from my pocket$550.00$1,836.00$1,286.00$26.63
Gains/Realized & Unrealized$48.08$269.35$221.27

Robinhood Portfolio Value = (Money from my pocket) + (Dividends) + (Gains/Realized & Unrealized)

2016 Investing Missions

2016 MissionAmount I haveAmount Needed% Complete
Old Brokerage Dividends$6.90
Robinhood App Dividends$46.39
2016 Dividends Received$53.29$75.0071.05%
Purchase 25 Dividend Stocks3025120.00%
2016 Calendar Year33836692.35%

You can click on the investing tab or here to see what stocks I currently have in my Robinhood portfolio.