What is the S&P 500?

How many times have you read somewhere or heard someone state the “S&P 500 is up or down X% today?”  Or have you heard someone say that they own a mutual fund or ETF mirrors the S&P 500?  Lastly, have you read one of our stock analyses where we compare a company’s price to the S&P 500 to determine if the company is undervalued?   If you are a beginning investor, when asking those or similar questions to yourself, did you even stop and wonder what exactly the S&P 500 is?

This year, we have started our financial education series where we educate investors of all experience levels about various topics.  We’ve covered topics such as Who and What Is Vanguard?, What is the Dividend Payout Ratio?, and  What is a Dividend? In this article, we will take a deeper dive into the S&P 500, explain what the stock market index is, provide a background, and review how the S&P 500 determines which stocks are included in the index.

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What are the Differences Between Mutual Funds and ETFs?

This year, we launched our financial education series.  The purpose was to educate investors on various aspects of dividend investing or just investing in general.  Some articles have been as fundamental as “What is a Dividend?”  while some articles took a deeper dive into a topic, such as “What is a REIT and How Are Dividends From a REIT Taxed?”   Today’s article will take a step out of the dividend specific topic and explain the differences between mutual funds and ETFs.  Both types of investments are important diversification options and are similar (but with some key differences).   And of course, as you would expect, there will be a dividend twist at some point in this article!  Let’s start peeling back the layers!

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What is a REIT and How Are Dividends Received from a REIT Taxed?

This year, we started a financial education series geared towards educating beginning investors and more specifically, beginning dividend growth investors.  Our first two articles explain what a dividend is and the dividend payout ratio (and how to calculate it). In this article, we will take a deeper dive into one specific type of holding that can be found in many dividend investors’ portfolio.  This holding typically pays a higher dividend, which is why dividend investors are always on the lookout for a great one. If you’re looking into becoming a dividend growth investor, you better get used to reading these four letters…REIT. Here is a deeper dive into what a REIT is and how dividends received from a REIT is taxed.

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Time to Negotiate Auto & House Insurance

Time to make another fight for my money, something that we should always do, with every purchase decision in our life.  I have recently had a few items drop off from my driving record (minor items, I promise!), pushing me to look at bills that are costly, on an annual basis.  Outside of the mortgage/house payment, what else is very expense?  Yes, auto and house insurance, something that I was spending approximately $1,425.00 combined for the year.  It is time to drill this expense down!

Coins Currency Investment Insurance Cash B

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What is the Dividend Payout Ratio & How Do You Calculate It?

In a recent article, Lanny broke down what a dividend is and highlighted what is so great about receiving a dividend.   When I first started learning about dividend investing, there were a lot of articles and emphasis on assessing a company’s dividend payout ratio.  So I thought I would take some time today, provide a definition for the payout ratio, show how to calculate the metric, and some other details/tricks of the trade that we have picked up over the years as we continue to invest in dividend growth stocks.

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5 Financial Mistakes I Made in My 20s and How They Cost Me Thousands of Dollars in Dividend Income

Mistakes.  We’ve all made them.  I’ve made my fair share of mistakes over the years, professionally and personally.  Sometimes, the best way to learn is to experience the pain yourself.  It is funny, my mom and I were talking over the weekend and she told me that my grandpa always used to tell her that “learning is expensive.”  This didn’t specifically relate to education, either.   This related to different life situations her and my dad encountered over the years.   This year, I’ll be turning 29.  My 20s will soon be in the rear-view mirror.   I’ve made plenty of financial mistakes over the years that have likely cost me a lot of dividend income.  With the benefit of hindsight, I wanted to share my top 5 financial mistakes and calculate the true impact they had on my life and my dividend income.

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