Mastering disaster with an emergency fund – but how much is enough?

An emergency fund is money that’s put aside in case of an emergency. That was easy wasn’t it? But how big should it be and where should you even keep it? Your answer is likely to be different than mine. But I realized yesterday that I don’t really know why I’m keeping 1 year’s living expenses in my emergency fund. It’s time to re-evaluate.

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July Purchase – Consumer Defensive dividend stocks

I’ll be taking another step towards Independence on Tuesday as I look to add to my portfolio with Consumer Defensive dividend stocks. This sector has the lowest weight in my dividend stock Portfolio and the sector contains some great dividend paying companies so I’m onboard to go shopping.
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Financial Independence Day!

Financial Independence FireworksIt’s the Fourth of July today which means it’s Independence Day here in the US! That’s as good a reason to talk about Financial Independence as any I can think of!

As a Brit living in the US, I usually joke to my friends that I don’t celebrate this holiday since it represents the legal separation of the original Thirteen Colonies from Great Britain back in 1776. But of course I do celebrate it, and I enjoy living here in the States. Although I am looking forward to visiting my family in the UK later this year!

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Dividend stock portfolio performance review

Since we’re halfway through the year, I thought it would be worth reviewing my dividend stock portfolio performance. I also compare my portfolio’s performance to some mutual funds to see how I fare; although the primary aim of my portfolio is dividend income.

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Introducing Work Freedom Day!

You may be aware of Tax Freedom Day which is the day of the year when the average American has worked enough to pay Government tax obligations and can start working for themselves. In Michigan this year, it was on April 17th.

I’d like to introduce Work Freedom Day as the day of the year where you’ve accumulated enough Dividend Income during the year to no longer need to work. For early retirers, that day would be January 1st but for many of us still on the FI Journey it’ll be somewhat later in the year.
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Digging for dividends in the Basic Materials sector

It’s time for another Sharebuilder purchase and this week I’m looking at dividend stocks in the Basic Materials sector. While this sector has the lowest weight in my dividend stock Portfolio, it also contains many over-valued stocks. Is there any gold to be found or have all the mines been exhausted?
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June 2014 – a record month for dividend income!

I can’t believe it’s the end of June and that we’re halfway through the year already! I’m already excited to report that this month has been my highest month for dividend income since I started this journey two and a half years ago. I even beat the income from last December, usually my strongest month due to additional capital gains from some of the funds I hold.

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Pay down mortgage or invest more – which is better?

Is it better to pay down your mortgage or invest more? I tend to go back and forth about this – I don’t like having a mortgage but I do like having an increasing dividend stream. And in a crisis, my investment portfolio can be sold but the equity from paying down my mortgage is harder to get at. My current plan is to invest all spare money after monthly living expenses and savings into dividend stocks in my taxable account rather than make a concerted effort to pre-pay the mortgage. But does this make sense? Let’s take a look.

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My personal finance journey – moving to Alabama in 2004

My personal finance journey in 2004 included a physical move from Michigan to Alabama as my company decided to relocate there. Not everyone went; I think the majority refused and looked for other jobs. It wasn’t a very hard decision for me really; my family lives in the UK so I had no particular ties to Michigan, the relocation package helped with expenses and I would be receiving the same salary in a state where taxes were lower. Throw in warm winters, no snow, and I was on my way.

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Financial dividend stocks – my next purchase in June

I’m looking at dividend stocks in the Financials sector to decide what to buy next week. This sector has the lowest weight in my dividend stock Portfolio. I own two Financial dividend stocks, so I’ve picked some other stocks from the Dividends Champion List that caught my eye to see how they compare and if starting a new position to diversify is worthwhile.
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