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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Utility dividend stocks – my stock purchase for June (part 3)

This is my third stock purchase of the month and I’m looking at utility dividend stocks as the Utilities sector has the lowest weight in my dividend stock Portfolio. I’ll be buying the stocks as an automatic trade through Sharebuilder. Due to how their automatic trades work, the actual purchase will be made Tuesday and I have until 5pm on Monday to select the stocks. But since I’ll be working, I typically make the decision over the weekend based on Friday’s close, then fire and forget. I’m not investing huge amounts in any one stock so I’m not too concerned about price changes on Monday.
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Dividend stock purchase – June 2014 ( 2)

It’s time for another dividend stock purchase and this time I’m following my new dividend investing rules. This week I’m looking at stocks in the Healthcare sector which is currently the lowest value sector in my dividend stock Portfolio as you can see in the following table.

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My personal finance journey – a look back at 2003

This is an update to my personal finance journey covering 2003. I really don’t remember much about this year which means nothing too exciting happened. It was my third year living in Michigan and my job was becoming increasingly stressful. I was still renting the same apartment.

I had also given up any form of budgeting for the year – I don’t think I kept any track of what I spent. I was fortunate enough to be earning more than I could reasonably spend in a month and I became lazy. It’s taken me a lot longer this time to go through old bank statements and piece together what happened.
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My new monthly budget for 2014

Your budget is your most important guide on your personal finance journey. It tells you where you’re headed and how long it’ll take to get there. Like any tour guide, your budget must be honest and realistic to be useful.

I needed to re-calculate my monthly budget for the remainder of the year now that I’ve sold my second house. Here’s the result.

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June 2014 – Stock Purchase (1)

I’ll be making more stock purchases this month as I have more monthly cash available after my house sale. I’m still using Sharebuilder for my purchases at the moment and I’m on their automatic plan which charges $12 for 12 stock purchases in a month. The $12 is paid via credit card out of my monthly living budget so I don’t really think of it as a commission fee even though it is.

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