My Journey to Millions http://www.myjourneytomillions.com Tue, 26 Sep 2017 16:34:57 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.2 Life Insurance for Millennials http://www.myjourneytomillions.com/articles/life-insurance-millennials/ http://www.myjourneytomillions.com/articles/life-insurance-millennials/#comments Mon, 25 Sep 2017 19:09:29 +0000 http://www.myjourneytomillions.com/?p=15757 Life insurance is a very important topic. Insurance that pays out a sum of money either on the death of the insured person or after a set period. It is basically designed to protect you and your family in the event of your passing. The problem is that many younger individuals do not think about [...]

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Life insurance is a very important topic. Insurance that pays out a sum of money either on the death of the insured person or after a set period. It is basically designed to protect you and your family in the event of your passing. The problem is that many younger individuals do not think about this investment product because, obviously, they don’t think they will be passing any time soon and think they have time to establish financial stability. Below is an explanation as to why someone should still consider a life insurance product even if they are young.

What is Life Insurance?

The goal of life insurance is to provide a measure of financial security for your family after you die.  In exchange for premium payments, the insurance company provides a lump-sum payment, known as a death benefit, to beneficiaries upon the insured’s death. You basically take out insurance and are paying a monthly premium to take a gamble on your life expectancy. It is a contract that can be looked at an investment in some cases. There are different kinds of life insurance that would need to be researched to see what is best for you in your case.

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When enrolling in a life insurance policy, there are many questions you need to ask. It is important to consider your current financial situation and standard of living, and decide what would need to be continued on for your survivors if you were to pass. It is important to evaluate your situation on an annual basis and also if any major life events occur.

Millennials and Life Insurance

So when is the right time to look into this? As explained in this article, if you have anyone who relies on you it is important to have life insurance. Young 30 somethings, or millennials,  need to start thinking about insurance once they start a family, buy a house, car, etc. because someone will need to be responsible for the bills in the event something happens to you.

Benefits of Getting It Young

Besides being responsible, there are many benefits to getting life insurance when you are young. The main one is, you will save yourself money! Basically, if you are in decent health, the younger you are the cheaper it is to get life insurance. Many factors determine a person’s premium amount but the biggest factor is age. The reason for this is obvious, the younger you are the less likely there will be a payout because death is not expected. The younger you are, the more healthier you are as well. Healthier is cheaper for insurance companies. Insurance companies also like young investors because the longer someone holds a policy, the longer they they will be making money from your premiums.

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The 4 Smartest Ways to Use A Reverse Mortgage http://www.myjourneytomillions.com/articles/4-smartest-ways-use-reverse-mortgage/ http://www.myjourneytomillions.com/articles/4-smartest-ways-use-reverse-mortgage/#respond Thu, 21 Sep 2017 17:32:02 +0000 http://www.myjourneytomillions.com/?p=15750 When you hit retirement age, one thing you don't want to have to worry about is keeping a steady income to support yourself, but unfortunately, that's the exactly the number one thing many retirees are stuck worrying about. No matter how much you plan and save for retirement, there's a good chance you're going to [...]

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When you hit retirement age, one thing you don’t want to have to worry about is keeping a steady income to support yourself, but unfortunately, that’s the exactly the number one thing many retirees are stuck worrying about. No matter how much you plan and save for retirement, there’s a good chance you’re going to face unpredictable expenses and volatile markets, and unless you’re fabulously wealthy, there are likely to come times when you’re stretched thin. You may have heard of reverse mortgages as a way to take advantage of equity in your home to provide yourself with cash or a line of credit, and many people will warn you that reverse mortgages are a last-ditch solution only to be used by people in dire straits. While it’s true that reverse mortgages can be an effective way to secure a regular cash flow when you’re out of other options, they aren’t just for desperate situations. With careful planning and strategic thinking, you can use a reverse mortgage to safeguard your investments and get yourself into a more advantageous financial position.

  1. Protect your assets

One problem many retired people have to face is being forced to make withdrawals from their investment portfolio when the stock market is in decline. Rather than eat those losses, you can use a credit line from a reverse mortgage to provide you with an income through times like these, giving your investments a chance to recover and leaving them untouched until you can withdraw them at a more favorable time.

  1. Delay Social Security benefits

The longer you wait to start collecting on the Social Security benefits you’re entitled to, the more money you’ll end up receiving every month. If you wait until age 70 to collect, you can receive 132% of your benefits, and that can add up to a whole lot of money if you live long enough to enjoy it—and you’re planning on sticking around for a long time, right? Using a reverse mortgage to provide you with an alternate source of monthly income until you hit your 70th birthday can make it painless to wait out those few additional years.

  1. Fund emergency expenses

It’s not much fun thinking about all the things that can go wrong during your retirement, but odds are pretty good that something unexpected and costly is going to hit you at some point. Medical expenses, especially as we get older, are an especially common source of financial woes for people who’ve otherwise been responsible with their money and careful about saving. There’s also the chance that if you live long enough, you might end up needing in-home care, and that can get expensive. One benefit of reverse mortgage credit lines is that they grow over time, so if you have one and reserve it for use in emergency situations, you can end up with a lot of money to draw from if you reach the point of needing costly health care or assistance with daily living.

  1. Pay off debts

You’ve probably heard that you need to own your home completely free and clear to get a reverse mortgage, but you can still get one if there’s a small enough balance remaining on your existing mortgage that you can use the funds from the reverse mortgage to pay it off. This means that you can use a reverse mortgage to wipe out what’s left of your home loan and stop paying monthly mortgage payments. You can also use a lump sum withdrawal from a reverse mortgage to pay off consumer debts with high interest rates. Since reverse mortgage approval doesn’t factor in your credit rating, this can be an effective way to pull yourself out of a debt spiral.

Now, before you get too deep into planning out how to leverage a reverse mortgage, make sure you’re qualified to get one! You have to be at least 62 years old to qualify, and you’ll need to attend a mandatory financial counseling session. You’ll also need to consider all the other factors involved in having a reverse mortgage, like the implications it’ll have on your children or grandchildren who end up inheriting your property. It’s also very important to find a trustworthy lending institution to work with, not just any reverse mortgage company with commercials on afternoon cable television. However, if you’ve done your homework and determined that a reverse mortgage is a smart decision for your circumstances, you can prepare yourself to use it creatively to keep your other investment assets safe and maintain a comfortable and financially secure future for yourself.

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Is Gambling Online a Viable Way to Make an Extra Buck? http://www.myjourneytomillions.com/articles/gambling-online-viable-way-make-extra-buck/ http://www.myjourneytomillions.com/articles/gambling-online-viable-way-make-extra-buck/#comments Thu, 21 Sep 2017 14:41:31 +0000 http://www.myjourneytomillions.com/?p=15748 For years, online gambling in the United States was out of the question. Even though, in the early 2000s, the US was one of the biggest markets for online poker and casino operators, a federal law signed in 2006 by George W. Bush put an end to this situation instantly. Since then, US citizens were [...]

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For years, online gambling in the United States was out of the question. Even though, in the early 2000s, the US was one of the biggest markets for online poker and casino operators, a federal law signed in 2006 by George W. Bush put an end to this situation instantly. Since then, US citizens were only able to play online casino games and online poker at brave offshore operators in a legal gray zone, with little to no hopes to do the same legally. Things changed, though, when a DoJ opinion put it into the individual states’ hands to regulate or ban online casino and poker services. The Garden State was the first to act on its newfound freedom, quickly issuing online casino licenses to its existing operators. Its bet on online gambling has proven to be the right one for the state’s budget – in just three years, it generated half a billion in extra tax income for New Jersey. And it might have determined other states to consider similar measures – which makes this the right time to discuss gambling online from a revenue-generating point of view.

Will online casinos put money in my pocket?

They will – but only if you are really lucky. The fun thing about casino games is that they are fair, meaning that neither the operator nor the player can do anything to influence their outcome. This means that your results at playing Three Card Poker at Wild Jack Casino will not guarantee that you walk away with winnings in your pockets. Even though all the casino games at the Wild Jack, and all other online gambling venues, no matter if they are international or local, are completely fair, they are “rigged” to favor the operator. After all, the Wild Jack and all other online gambling venues are businesses expecting to be profitable, right?

So, in short, if you feel that you are entitled to win money while playing casino games, you will most likely be disappointed.

Why do people play online casino games then?

Most of them do it for fun. Otherwise, there would be no reason for social casinos like Slotomania, Big Fish Casino, and their likes, to constantly be among the most popular games on smartphones. Casinos were, from their inception, places where people went for entertainment – a very specific form, mind you, but still – and they have maintained this nature of theirs to this day. Or, as an article in The Atlantic put it a few years ago, people are not looking for the best place to win money but rather for the most convenient one to lose it.

When it comes to online casino games, people usually play them casually – which means that they spend just a little time playing them, and they don’t commit a lot of money to the cause. But they certainly don’t do it with the money in mind.

In short, gambling – and gambling online – is not something you do and expect to earn money. Instead, it’s a form of entertainment – and it shouldn’t be considered anything different.

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Reviewing My Life Insurance Policies http://www.myjourneytomillions.com/articles/reviewing-my-life-insurance-policies-2/ http://www.myjourneytomillions.com/articles/reviewing-my-life-insurance-policies-2/#comments Wed, 20 Sep 2017 12:00:18 +0000 http://www.myjourneytomillions.com/?p=15744 It has been almost exactly two years since I reviewed my life insurance policies.  I am not sure what it is about September which makes me think about the topic, but it seems that almost every 2 years I take a look at the topic. My Family's Life Insurance Policies I think it is important [...]

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It has been almost exactly two years since I reviewed my life insurance policies.  I am not sure what it is about September which makes me think about the topic, but it seems that almost every 2 years I take a look at the topic.

My Family’s Life Insurance Policies

I think it is important to understand and learn about the different types of life insurance policies.  I may be one of the few personal finance bloggers with permanent coverage (or at least one of the few that admit it) but these cash value policies are a part of my financial picture (although I don’t check the cash value monthly or apparently even annually).

I think it is pretty clear from the blog, I am a saver, but I find the argument of buy term and invest the difference is complete bullshit.  The cash value numbers below would not exist elsewhere on my balance sheet if they weren’t built in here.  Yes, I could probably get a better internal rate of return in the market, but having looked at thousands of these policies over the past decade, their IRR are comparable to a bond fund.

The Policies on my Life

  • 20yr Term Insurance for $1,000,000 – This is the cheapest I could get on the market.  This policy was purchased in 2013.
  • 20yr Term Insurance for $1,000,000 – This was more expensive and with a great mutual company.  The reason I opted to ‘overpay’ was in case I chose to convert the policy to a permanent whole life product down the road and I couldn’t qualify for as good of a health rating.  This policy was taken out in 2013 so I have a number of years before I have to decide whether to convert.
  •  Paid up at age 99 – Started with a death benefit of $100,000 but currently has a death benefit of $107,408 and cash value of $5,195.
  • Paid up in 10 years – I started this account to know that in 10 years I will have a growing death benefit going to my family regardless of what happens in the future.  I am currently 4 years into this contract.  It started with a death benefit of $44,444 and now has a death benefit of $45,201 with cash value of $4,365.

Total death benefit – $2,152,609

Total Cash Value – $9,560

Items to review by year end – conversion options with the term.

The Polices on my Wife’s Life

I personally believe that traditional insurance and financial planning does not take seriously enough the quantitative value of a spouse who may not be the primary earner.  If something were to happen to wife, I am not sure what that would do to my career, but it would obviously take a backseat to my children’s well being.

  • Life Paid up at age 99 –Blended policy with a base of $100,000 and one year term policy of $150,000.  Death benefit is currently $250,028 with cash value of $3,711
  • Life paid up at 121 – started at $120,350 and currently has a death benefit of $121,929 and cash value of $718
  • $500,000 Term – I couldn’t find records of this policy online! I am going to have to track down this information ASAP.

Total Death Benefit – $871,957

Total Cash Value – $4,429

Items to Review by Year’s End – Track down information with regard to that term policy! Determine, whether the monthly payment on the 121Life policy could be used to convert the blended life policy quicker.

The Polices on my Children

I am a huge proponent on life insurance on children.  First and foremost, if something were to happen to my children I am not going to work for a period of time.  I don’t know how long that is, but I know it is long enough where I am going to need additional funds.  The Wife hates when I say that reasoning aloud, but buying insurance isn’t taking a bet that it’ll happen, just being prepared in the VERY unlikely case it does.  Second, each of the following policies has a rider on it that’ll allow my child to increase their coverage as they get older without medical underwriting.  This may come in handy if they are ever to be uninsurable for any reason.

  • Paid up at 100 for the benefit of my Son Later in Life – Started at $135,000 and currently has a death benefit of $136,075 and cash value of $2,007.
  • Paid up at 65 for the benefit of my Daughter Later in Life – It was taken out a few months after my daughter was born.  Started with a death benefit of $135,000 and is currently at $136,283 with a cash value of $63.

Cash Surrender Value of $2,100.

Total Cash Surrender Value

I am shocked to learn that I have $16,089 of cash locked up in the policies.  I knew that there were a few dollars, but I didn’t think it would be this much.  Granted, the internal rates of returns on the policies are probably all still negative, however, this is money that I am positive would not have ended up on my balance sheet anywhere else.

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How to Reduce Personal Debt http://www.myjourneytomillions.com/articles/reduce-personal-debt/ http://www.myjourneytomillions.com/articles/reduce-personal-debt/#comments Fri, 15 Sep 2017 22:11:08 +0000 http://www.myjourneytomillions.com/?p=15739 If you are drowning in credit card debt, have payday loan balances or are struggling to pay off personal loans, it may be time to start thinking of ways to reduce what you owe. The good news is that there are many ways in which you can reduce outstanding balances and increase your level of [...]

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If you are drowning in credit card debt, have payday loan balances or are struggling to pay off personal loans, it may be time to start thinking of ways to reduce what you owe. The good news is that there are many ways in which you can reduce outstanding balances and increase your level of financial security. In many cases, your creditors will work with you to relieve some or all of your debt burden.

Consolidate Credit Card Balances

Transferring all of your current credit card balances to a new card with 0 percent interest can reduce your monthly payments. Furthermore, you can pay down your principal balance faster because 100 percent of each payment goes directly to your balance. Other ways to consolidate your debt include a home equity loan or a personal loan.

Ask Your Creditors About a Debt Settlement

A debt settlement allows you to close your account by paying less than what you owe. It is possible that your creditors will accept as little as 50 percent or less of an existing balance to settle your account. While you can work with a debt settlement agency to negotiate new loan terms, you can also do this on your own. Typically, all you need to do is make an offer in writing or over the phone. If an offer is accepted, make sure the acceptance is in writing in case a creditor tries to go back on the deal.

Sell Items If They Have Equity

If your car has sufficient equity, it may be a good idea to sell it. In addition to profiting from the sale, you no longer have to make payments each month. However, it may only be possible to sell a vehicle or other property if you have a free and clear title. If a Houston title loan company or any other party has a lien on the title, it may not be possible to make a sale until the lien is resolved.

Ask Someone to Live With You

Homeowners may be able to reduce their mortgage payment by taking on a roommate. This may also work for those who are looking to reduce their rent payment and have an extra room available. Having a roommate may also make it easier to pay for utilities and other expenses related to owning or renting a property. Homeowners may also look to refinance their current mortgages to reduce their interest rate or get rid of mortgage insurance.

File for Bankruptcy

While this should always be a last resort, filing for bankruptcy may make it easier to reduce what you owe. In some cases, debts may be discharged without making any payments to creditors. Debts may also be reorganized, which may allow you to make partial payments over a period of several years. As part of a bankruptcy repayment plan, creditors may agree to reduce your interest rate or waive late fees or other penalties.

When you have less debt, you tend to have less stress in your life. Reducing your debt may be as simple as getting a roommate or sending a letter to your creditors. Bankruptcy may also be a smart move if you have no other ways to pay down your balances in a reasonable amount of time.

 

 

 

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What is the Debt Snowball and Creating a Spreadsheet to Implement It http://www.myjourneytomillions.com/articles/what-is-the-debt-snowball-and-creating-a-spreadsheet-to-implement-it/ http://www.myjourneytomillions.com/articles/what-is-the-debt-snowball-and-creating-a-spreadsheet-to-implement-it/#comments Thu, 14 Sep 2017 18:48:50 +0000 http://www.myjourneytomillions.com/?p=15728 When I first started this blog, it's main goal was to keep me accountable especially with regards to erasing the debt that had crept into my life.  I felt the blog would keep me accountable while I shared my monthly updates of debt reduction.  Fast forward a few years and debt eradication just isn't a huge [...]

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When I first started this blog, it’s main goal was to keep me accountable especially with regards to erasing the debt that had crept into my life.  I felt the blog would keep me accountable while I shared my monthly updates of debt reduction.  Fast forward a few years and debt eradication just isn’t a huge part of my life anymore (thankfully).  Notwithstanding, I had an interesting conversation with a co-worker and it inspired me to revisit the idea of a debt snowball as a way to pay down debt.

Steps Needed Before You Build Your Debt Repayment Plan

This may seem obvious to some, but there are three main steps that you need to do prior to building your debt snowball.

Calculating and Recording Basic Information About Your Debt

You need to know some basic information about your debt.  You’ll need to know:

  • The balance on each card/liability
  • The interest rate on each card/liability
  • The minimum payment on each card/liability

If I had to guess most people with significant amount of debt take the ostrich approach choosing not to know the necessary information.  It is much easier to go through life not thinking about what could be an insurmountable amount of money owed which is compounding.  If you are going to build a debt snowball plan you are going to have to know the starting point.

Stop the Bleeding

It makes no difference if you are going to work to pay off the debt if you are still filling up the boat with water.  You have to make an effort to get to cash flow positive.

Determine How Much Extra Money You Can Invest in Paying Down this Debt

Lastly, you should have a set number written down of how much extra money you can use to destroy your debt.  Paying the minimum payments across the board on all of your debts (especially your credit cards) is a recipe for personal finance disaster.  For example if you owe $5,000 on a credit card that has a 15% interest rate and a 4% minimum payment you will pay nearly 50% of that original principal in debt and it will take you over 10 years to pay off!

What is the Debt Snowball Method of Paying Off Debt?

The Debt Snowball method refers to paying off the smallest balance first and then using the minimum payment associated with that debt to pay off the next card.  So by the time you are paying off the last card you are using all the minimum payments from the previous debts plus the extra money you set aside.

For example:

  • Card A – $2,000 minimum payment of $50
  • Card B – $300 minimum payment of $12
  • Card C – $8,000 minimum payment of $320
  • Card D – $1,000 minimum payment of $40
  • Extra Money to get the snowball going – $100.

If you were to create a Snowball in this example you would pay off Card B with the extra $100; then in 3 months you are going to use the $100 PLUS the $12 from Card B’s minimum payment and pay off Card D; then you take your $112 PLUS Card D’s $40 for a total of $152 and you throw it at Card A, then lastly you start attacking Card C.

What Doesn’t the Debt Snowball Method do Well?

You may have noticed that I didn’t include the interest rates above. The debt snowball doesn’t care about the interest rates, choosing instead to focus on the psychological wins of paying off the card/debt quicker.  By the time I get to Card D in the example above I have had the feeling of “winning” against the 3 other cards.  The psychological benefit of paying off a card could be at the expense of efficiency.

Creating a Debt Snowball

Luckily for me (and possibly you) there was someone out there with much better excel skills than I that already undertook the problem.  I haven’t opened one up in years but I was happy to see that the site I got mine from was still around and updating their spreadsheet.  I used Vertex42’s Debt Snowball Spreadsheet when I needed it a few years back and would recommend it to you.  It is free and very intuitive to use.

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September 2017 Undervalued Dividend Growth Watch List http://www.myjourneytomillions.com/articles/september-2017-undervalued-dividend-growth-watch-list/ http://www.myjourneytomillions.com/articles/september-2017-undervalued-dividend-growth-watch-list/#comments Wed, 06 Sep 2017 11:00:54 +0000 http://www.myjourneytomillions.com/?p=15716 After years and years of screening for, and writing about, possibly undervalued dividend growth stocks I had to take a break earlier this year.  Well, after a six month hiatus I am back!  My goal is the same, it is to buy $500 to $1,000 worth of one or two companies per month, every month.  [...]

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After years and years of screening for, and writing about, possibly undervalued dividend growth stocks I had to take a break earlier this year.  Well, after a six month hiatus I am back!  My goal is the same, it is to buy $500 to $1,000 worth of one or two companies per month, every month.  The company will have increased its dividend every year for 20 years or more years and hopefully will be undervalued at least to its peers.

My Screening Metrics

In an attempt to find undervalued, unloved companies I use certain metrics which are defined below.  First and foremost, the company must have increased their dividends for at least 20 years.  To gather this information I use the Dividend Champion list (as well as part of the Dividend Contenders list).  Both lists are updated monthly by David Fish.  In the past I used the Dividend Aristocrat list, but one of the criteria for the Dividend Aristocrat is that it is a member of the S&P500, however, that is not all that important to me so I use the more encompassing list.

Once I have the base list, which this month included 160 companies I start applying certain requirements on the following metrics.  This list is done by hand every month and so the numbers stay static, and as such should only be used as a starting point for your research.

Market Capitalization

Market Capitalization is defined as,

Market capitalization refers the total dollar market value of a company’s outstanding shares. Commonly referred to as “market cap,” it is calculated by multiplying a company’s shares outstanding by the current market price of one share. The investment community uses this figure to determine a company’s size, as opposed to using sales or total asset figures.

Market Cap is broken down into a few categories (micro, small, mid sized, and large):

  • Small Caps are usually defined as companies between $300,000,000 and $2,000,000,000
  • Mid Caps are usually defined as companies between $2,000,000,000 and $10,000,000,000
  • Large Caps are usually defined as companies above $10,000,000,000

I have chosen to remove any companies with a market cap of less than $500,000,000.  This removed 10 companies leaving 150 to continue to screen

Pricing to Earnings Metrics

I have opted to use two separate but related price to earnings screens.  I should note that even prior to opening up the spreadsheet I knew that the limitations placed on these two metrics were going to eliminate most of the available companies especially in today’s market environment.  The first screen was to remove all those stocks with a P/E Ratio of over 20.

Price to Earnings is an extremely common way to value companies.  It compares the companies stock price to what they actually earn.  For example, if a stock is trading for $20/share and it earns $2/share it will have a P/E of 10.  I think in the future, I may increase this number to 25 and then take into account the industry average after that.

The second P/E metric used was a Shiller P/E under 20.  The Shiller P/E takes into account past earnings rather than just the previous quarter or 4 quarters:

Value investors Benjamin Graham and David Dodd argued for smoothing a firm’s earnings over the past five to ten years in their classic text Security Analysis. Graham and Dodd noted one-year earnings were too volatile to offer a good idea of a firm’s true earning power. In a 1988 paper economists John Y. Campbell and Robert Shiller concluded that “a long moving average of real earnings helps to forecast future real dividends” which in turn are correlated with returns on stocks. The idea is to take a long-term average of earnings (typically 5 or 10 year) and adjust for inflation to forecast future returns. The long term average smooths out short term volatility of earnings and medium-term business cycles in the general economy and they thought it was a better reflection of a firm’s long term earning power.

Shiller later popularized the 10-year version of Graham and Dodd’s P/E as a way to value the stock market. Shiller would share the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 2013 for his work in the empirical analysis of asset prices.

Currently, the market as a whole is hitting all time highs in both an objective number (i.e. the S&P) as well as value (i.e. Shiller P/E), and as such, these two metrics eliminated almost all of the companies!  Not a problem, but I may change the two metrics in a few months.

Operating Margin Screen

Operating Margin is defined as

margin ratio used to measure a company’s pricing strategy and operating efficiency.

Operating margin is a measurement of what proportion of a company’s revenue is left over after paying for variable costs of production such as wages, raw materials, etc. It can be calculated by dividing a company’s operating income (also known as “operating profit“) during a given period by its net sales during the same period. “Operating income” here refers to the profit that a company retains after removing operating expenses (such as cost of goods sold and wages) and depreciation. “Net sales” here refers to the total value of sales minus the value of returned goods, allowances for damaged and missing goods, and discount sales.

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Operating margin is also often known as “operating profit margin,” “operating income margin,” “return on sales” or as “net profit margin.” However, “net profit margin” may be misleading in this case because it is more frequently used to refer to another ratio, net margin.

I want the companies I choose to buy to be more profitable than their industry peers.

Dividend Yield

Dividend Yield is the amount that is paid to the shareholders as it relates to the current price of the stock.  So for example, if ABC company is worth $20/share and it is paying $2/yr in a dividend it has a 10% yield.  There are a lot of investors that “chase yield” which is moving their capital around looking for high yield stocks.  While I am not interested in that strategy, I do want to get paid for owning the company, and as such I set a floor of 2.5% yield.

Payout Ratio

Payout ratio refers to how much of a company’s earnings are being used to support the dividend.  Since I am obviously interested in companies that can continue growing their dividend I do not want the payout ratio too high or else it will become unsustainable.  I have set the ceiling at 60% of earnings.

September Watch List

After the above screen I was left with the following companies:

  • Community Trust Banc. CTBI
  • Cullen/Frost Bankers CFR
  • Genuine Parts Co. GPC
  • International Business Machines IBM
  • Southside Bancshares SBSI
  • Target Corp. TGT
  • Wal-Mart Stores Inc. WMT

Of these, I already own stock in CTBI, CFR and TGT.

I am always looking for opinion or advice on the above options, or my method so please share. 

Updated: Requested the actual numbers

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How to Find an Interim Manager http://www.myjourneytomillions.com/articles/find-interim-manager/ http://www.myjourneytomillions.com/articles/find-interim-manager/#respond Tue, 05 Sep 2017 23:28:51 +0000 http://www.myjourneytomillions.com/?p=15721 Interim Management is a specialist form of consultancy that is very much on the rise in the UK. With the uncertainty caused by Brexit on the horizon, it’s no surprise that specialists in change and crisis are finding a new audience. Some assessments say the field has grown by as much as 93% since 2006 [...]

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Interim Management is a specialist form of consultancy that is very much on the rise in the UK. With the uncertainty caused by Brexit on the horizon, it’s no surprise that specialists in change and crisis are finding a new audience. Some assessments say the field has grown by as much as 93% since 2006 and could be worth as much as £2 billion.

It’s still somewhat opaque to many businesses however, especially small businesses who may be the most in need of their services. Even if you know you need one, finding an Interim Manager may be difficult.

Your first step, as with so much in the world of business, should be to consult your contacts. Talk to other business owners or executives you know: if any of them have made use of Interim services before, this is your first lead. Getting a referral from a trusted contact is a boon to all three parties: you will be dealing with someone you know has delivered successfully for a colleague, your colleague may be able to obtain some level of discount or advantage from the successful referral, and the Interim Manager has the security of an additional job and knows their reputation in the industry is growing and getting them work.

Talking with someone you know about the Interim Manager they’re recommending also helps you get to know their style and approach before you hire them. They are more of a known quantity, so you’ll be able to have a constructive relationship from the very beginning. In the worst case scenario, this could help you avoid a culture clash that would make you regret hiring them in the first place.

If you don’t have the advantage of a contact with connections to the Interim field, you’ll need to look for specialist recruitment firms or agencies. You won’t find Interim Managers with standard full time recruiters – you need to look into executive search agencies that specialise in high level staff, and are set up to provide a contact point for fast moving Interim Managers.

The Institute of Interim Management is a professional body set up by Interim Managers for Interim staff and the people that use them. As well providing more information about how Interim Managers can help businesses, they also publish an annual review of Interim providers, which you can use to make sure you can go to the best firm in your area.

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Net Worth Update September 2017 http://www.myjourneytomillions.com/articles/net-worth-update-september-2017/ http://www.myjourneytomillions.com/articles/net-worth-update-september-2017/#respond Fri, 01 Sep 2017 11:00:49 +0000 http://www.myjourneytomillions.com/?p=15712 Wow, this year is flying by.  This feels like an odd net worth update since it marks the end of summer and the beginning of fall.  This summer was unbelievably fantastic in terms of spending time with my children, and it is a little disheartening that we are just that much closer to 4:30 pm [...]

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Wow, this year is flying by.  This feels like an odd net worth update since it marks the end of summer and the beginning of fall.  This summer was unbelievably fantastic in terms of spending time with my children, and it is a little disheartening that we are just that much closer to 4:30 pm darkness and cold.  But such is life.

I like to give a prediction of how I did for the past month prior to actually calculating my net worth.  I think my net worth will have increased because of somethings that have worked out at work and my side hustles, however, I have taken some huge hits on my positions in Limited Brand and American Outdoor Brands Corp (the old Smith and Wesson).  I am not selling either position anytime soon, but their one month charts do not look great at all.

Had a lot of financial things happen this past month:

  • Some awesome things at work
  • Closed some cases up with  my small law practice
  • Decided to get back into Undervalued Dividend
  • Decided to take less risk with my 401(k) for the time being
  • Finished the process on getting a HELOC (although I haven’t used any of the money thus far).

My Net Worth Calculation

Creating a net worth statement is pretty simple.  All one has to do is honestly add up your assets and minus your liabilities.  If you build your net worth calculation on lies, what’s the point of even doing the exercise.  I know calculating my net worth helps me keep track of my decreasing liabilities while seeing if my investments are growing like they should be.

My Assets

My assets are pretty simple:

  • Emergency Fund – It is a little less than where I would like it, but I don’t calculate it in terms of monthly expenditures.  Rather I think to myself how much cash would I really need if an emergency happens.
  • My Dividend Growth Account – It is small and been dormant this year.  Starting this month I am getting back into undervalued dividend growth investing and I am very excited!
  • My Wife’s Roth IRA – Nothing special – just a mixture of cheap index funds and individual companies that capture my attention.  I have started to sell covered calls within this account.  Just boosts my investment capital – small (read: very tiny) droplets of capital I wouldn’t have had otherwise.  This is where LB and AOBC are.
  • My 401(k) – My 401(k) is terrible with high fees for garbage mutual funds, but where else am I getting a match on my money.  I am not one to turn down free cash.  I just decided this month that I am going to change my allocation to brace for the inevitable bear market.
  • Wife’s Mutual Funds – This was an amount that was given to my wife from her deceased grand parents.  They were horribly mismanaged until I stepped in, putting them in low expense vanguard mutual funds.  She and I both look at this account as a super emergency fund.
  • My House – This is the first year after buying the house for 4 years where I increased the value of the home.  I increased it an nominal 3% in 4 years.  I don’t plan on reviewing this dead money asset for another year or two.  I also just took out a HELOC but haven’t used any of it.
  • My Traditional IRA – Just a few stocks that have captured my attention. Similar to my wife’s Roth IRA I will often sell covered calls on holdings to generate nominal amounts of cash flow.
  • Investment Account with my Brother – The Wife and my brother invested a nominal amount ($1,200 each) to try and give my brother confidence with his stock picking ability.

My Liabilities

  • My Law School Loans – Despite being almost 35 years old I have a significant amount of law school loans left. They are locked in at 3.5%, so what’s the rush to pay them off?
  • My Mortgage – I live on Long Island (and its on not in), so the odds of me ever prepaying this down, especially with a 3.375% 30yr fixed is unrealistic.
  • Credit Cards – My favorite card is my American Express Premier Gold Card, whose fee I fight every year.  I also have some minor outstanding balances that I’ll just pay down slowly.

My Net Worth Increase/Decrease

  • From August 1 to September 1 my net worth increased 1.36%
  • My net worth increase YTD has increased 17.80%

I am absolutely disappointed in this result, however, in playing with the numbers a bit I could have done much better.  For example, I put a significant amount of money in my vacation fund which I do not count since I am prepaying an expense (10 year anniversary trip).

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Things to Consider When Getting Car Insurance http://www.myjourneytomillions.com/articles/things-consider-getting-car-insurance/ http://www.myjourneytomillions.com/articles/things-consider-getting-car-insurance/#comments Thu, 31 Aug 2017 13:59:54 +0000 http://www.myjourneytomillions.com/?p=15710 Every car owner is required to have car insurance. It isn’t an option so for most people it is important to find the right policy that is meeting their needs when it comes to coverage but also works for their budget. There are many pros and cons to consider but the main thing people look [...]

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Every car owner is required to have car insurance. It isn’t an option so for most people it is important to find the right policy that is meeting their needs when it comes to coverage but also works for their budget. There are many pros and cons to consider but the main thing people look at are the deductible and premium amounts.  It is very important to make sure you have the right deductible in your car insurance policy so you know you are covered in the event of an accident, but it is also important you can afford it. Below are some things to consider when choosing your car insurance policy.

The Gamble

You have to look at your current situation. This means your driving record and history as well as your wallet. If you haven’t been in many accidents and don’t live in an area where you commonly get knicked or bumped, then it may be best to take the risk with a high deductible. If you are one who often gets into fender benders or hits neighbors cars than you may want a deductible that is lower because it is most likely you will end up having to pay it. The lower the deductible, the higher the monthly/quarterly/annual premium.

What Funds Do You Have Available

If you are someone who has money saved up or someone who lives paycheck to paycheck. Your policy’s may differ. If you have money to front in the event of an accident or incident, then it is best to have a higher deductible and lower monthly payment. If you are someone who has no savings and has no disposable income to throw at a mechanic bill, than you may want to pay the higher monthly premium. This is when you realize that you must make sure you have the right deductible in your car insurance policy.

What Kind of Car Do You Have

The policy you chose can also be dependent on the type of car you own. If you own a old beat up car, you may not want to have much coverage because the car isn’t even worth that much. However, if you have a brand new car or a leased car, you need to be sure that your coverage is good because you want to keep it nice and replacements will be pricey. The money spent on a policy would be worth it in this case.

Be sure to analyze your situation when shopping for car insurance. These factors discussed above are all important and can save you major money.

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