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Showing posts from August, 2017

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Clearly, Not Everyone Is Getting Rich Off The Stock Market

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Well, the NY Fed was out today with its Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit for Q4 2017. Clearly, Americans are in a lot of debt. Take a look.


Just a couple of quick hits from the report. Total U.S. household debt rose $193 billion in the 4th quarter, to a new all-time peak of $13.15 trillion. That's 17.9% above the most recent trough in Q2 2013. Broken down by segment, what do you suppose was the largest gain in percentage terms? Credit cards, with a 3.2% increase. In the picture above, the widening gap represented by the red arrows reflects the fact that non-housing debt is rising at a faster pace than housing debt.

Here's what's troubling about that. Below is a picture of the stock market, as represented by the S&P 500 index, over that same period; from the most recent credit trough in Q2 2013 to the end of 2017.


And thus, the title of this article. Over that period, the S&P 500 index rose by 75%; from roughly 1,600 to 2,800. Apparently, however, the r…

Traveling In Italy - Manarola

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One of my favorite destinations in Italy is the Cinque Terre. The phrase "Cinque Terre" literally means "five lands," and refers to 5 small towns (Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Monterosso al Mare) that hug the western coastline of Northern Italy.

If you are a fan of Rick Steves, you likely know that he feels many travelers make the mistake of viewing the Cinque Terre as an afterthought; descending on the region early one morning, blowing through all 5 towns and leaving the same evening. I agree with him that those who do so miss out on so much. I hope to share an overall post on the Cinque Terre at some future point. For this effort, however, I will focus on the town of Manarola.

Manarola is believed to be the oldest of the five villages, with the cornerstone of San Lorenzo church dating back to 1338. Ultimately, the name traces to "magna roea," which means "large wheel," a reference to the mill wheel in the town. My wife and …

Added A Little General Electric To The ETF Monkey Core Monthly Dividend Portfolio

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In February, 2017, I wrote an article for Seeking Alpha entitled A Dividend Portfolio Built From The World's Best Dividend ETFs. I later expanded on the work I did in a second article, entitled 20 Top Stocks For A Monthly Dividend Portfolio. In this article, I expanded the original portfolio of 12 stocks to 20, with the specific goal of adding companies that, together, generated at least some level of income for the portfolio each and every month.

At the end of that second article, I revealed that I had "put my money where my mouth is," selling all my holdings in 4 dividend-focused ETFs and replacing them with the 20 stocks listed in the article, as well as two "bonus" stocks. I implemented all of this on July 20, 2017.

This morning, I added a few additional shares of General Electric (GE) to the portfolio.


My original position was purchased at $26.77 per share. Since that time, the share price has continued to decline, allowing me to pick up a small a…

Added A Little Starbucks to The ETF Monkey Core Monthly Dividend Portfolio

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In February, 2017, I wrote an article for Seeking Alpha entitled A Dividend Portfolio Built From The World's Best Dividend ETFs. I later expanded on the work I did in a second article, entitled 20 Top Stocks For A Monthly Dividend Portfolio. In this article, I expanded the original portfolio of 12 stocks to 20, with the specific goal of adding companies that, together, generated at least some level of income for the portfolio each and every month.

At the end of that second article, I revealed that I had "put my money where my mouth is," selling all my holdings in 4 dividend-focused ETFs and replacing them with the 20 stocks listed in the article, as well as two "bonus" stocks. I implemented all of this on July 20, 2017.

This morning, I added additional shares to one of the holdings for the first time. That holding is Starbucks (SBUX).


In brief, my original position was purchased at $58.12 per share. This price represented a decline of almost exactly 10% from th…