Investing vs the Lottery

The Powerball jackpot is expected to be over $700,000,000 this weekend. I’m tempted to buy a ticket too. Now I only buy tickets when my office coworkers buy them as I don’t want to be all alone in the office in case they actually win, so this would be perhaps the third time I’ve played in my life. But for someone that plays regularly, what might they ‘win’ on the stock market instead of buying a $2 ticket twice a week?

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The value of reputation and your portfolio

Couple discussing the value of reputation in their stock portfolio over coffee.
Couple possibly discussing the value of reputation in their stock portfolio over coffee.

The Reputation Institute recently released their top 100 list of reputable companies for 2015. The list is based on innovation, governance, products, workplace, citizenship, leadership and performance.

Read on to discover which dividend champion received the highest reputation…

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April Fool’s Day

logo-PGCINCINNATI — (COMPANY WIRE) — The Procter & Gamble Company [NYSE:PG] today announced that its Board of Directors declared a cut in the quarterly dividend from $0.6436 to $0.401 per share on its Common Stock, citing a lower outlook due to overseas currency rates, weak consumer demand and unexpected seasonal variability in the month of April. The dividend will be payable on or after May 15, 2015 to Common Stock shareholders of record at the start of business on April 1, 2015. This represents a 38% decrease compared to the prior quarterly dividend.

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They live among us! New human species discovered!

Recent sightings, uncovered documents and archaeological research all around the world has proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that a new and improved branch of the human species is evolving. What’s even more amazing is that the species lives in plain sight in every city and every town among the largely unaware human population! Who are they and what do they want?

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When is a dividend increase actually a decrease?

Some companies increase dividends yearly on their annual reports but actually pay you, the stockholder, less income each year. There are two answers to this question: one answer is simply when the dividend increase is less than the current rate of inflation. But what if the increases beat inflation – how can your dividend income be reduced in that case?

In explaining this apparent contradiction, let me present the curious tale of InterContinental Hotels (IHG) who operate a number of hotel brands around the world including Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Candlewood Suites and InterContinental.

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A useful hack – Excel Flash Fill

This isn’t really related to dividends or FI, but it’s a really useful (and I think little known) feature in Excel 2013 that I’ve been using a lot when working with the UK Dividend List. The feature is called Flash Fill and if you don’t know about it already and use Excel frequently for work or personal use, then please take a look below.

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Work Freedom Day 2014 – somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean

Somewhere over the North Atlantic Ocean November 21st marked my Work Freedom Day so I’m celebrating this week! This date is when my dividend income covers the rest of my expenses for the year! The fact that the day occurs at the end of the year means that I still have a lot of work to do to move the date forward to the first of January!

In reality, I’m not planning to retire any time soon and all dividend income I’ve earned has been re-invested back into my portfolio. However it’s a very tangible milestone and definitely a nice feeling to know when my dividend income is taking over my work income so that I don’t have to.
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