Idle Cash Sitting Under the Couch Cushion

The title alone to the article makes me mad!  It has been over 2 straight months of no additional stock or investment purchase and it is very puzzling but easy to understand why at the same time.  Each stock I analyze either has a just a tad high price to earnings ratio, or the debt I am considering to pay down just doesn’t make as much sense based on the pure numbers.  What’s a guy to do?  See why I am sitting on Idle Cash and it’s building under the cushion of my couch at this moment!  Plus – see potential ideas/moves for the idle cash I have.

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The 5 Most Important Factors for Us When Buying a House

If you haven’t picked up on this yet, after we stated earlier in the year we were not in a hurry to buy a house, my wife and I are beginning to ramp up the process for buying a house.  Wow is it a complicated, intense, and fast-moving process.   We’ve read articles, listened to countless hours of conversations with family/friends, and co-workers, and fallen asleep too many nights to HGTV in our effort to gather as much information as possible.  Buying a house is such a major life decision and we are going to take our time with the decision.   We are finalizing on our list of things that are the most important to the two of us and it only seemed fitting to whittle our list down to a five.

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Is This Stock Market Begging Me to Pay Down My Student Loans?

Each day I watch the stock market in awe.  At 4 PM EST, I read a headline like “Stock Market Sets New Record” and when I log online in the morning I am reading an article about how the market is up in the pre-market once again.   By the end of the day, it is like de ja vu and I start the process all over again.  This market makes finding stocks the meet our stock screener difficult, how could it not?  Well, I have been thinking a lot about where I want to allocate my capital recently and what I want my next move to be.   After doing some research on various blogs, including some articles written by my fellow Diplomat, I find myself considering the option that the title of the article outlines.  Is now the time to accelerate the payments on my student loans?

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Pay Down the Mortgage or Invest: Part II – Rising Interest Rates

Now that the year of 2016 is wrapping up and we are only around 4-5 weeks away until we ring in the new year, I have been deeply thinking about my extra-mortgage payment paydown strategy.  Mortgage interest rates have been sky rocketing since the election, another element to showcase the rollercoaster ride that we are truly on.  This has caused me to potentially make a tweak or two to my strategy that I have had in play for the last few years.  Let’s see what I mean!

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My Plan to Pay Off Our Student Loans

Student Loans….a topic that almost everyone can relate to and almost every person in the personal finance community curse.  We’ve all read the reports and the numbers are staggering:  total student loans are over $1 trillion dollars here in the US and the average graduate is leaving school with an average of $37,712 (Source: Student Loan Hero).  My goal today is to discuss my family’s student loan situation, some of the tough discussions we had before incurring the student loans, and then to cap it off, my plan to pay off our debt as early as possible.

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Top 5 Dividend Aristocrats with Low Debt to Equity Ratios

Recently, we saw the ugly side of debt.  As we all watched Kinder Morgan’s stock fall and wait for the final, inevitable sword of a dividend increase, there was one thing that became evident…KMI’s debt level was too high and the results were unsustainable in the current market environment (See Lanny’s awesome write up/analysis about KMI from earlier in the week).  The pressures mounted and management plus the Board of Directors decided to slash their dividend to preserve cash flow for capital expenditures and cover interest/dividend payments.   While debt isn’t a bad thing, I don’t want you leaving this intro thinking that’s my conclusion, runaway/uncontrolled debt can present many problems.  The name of our game on this website is investing in stocks with a growing dividend income stream, so we try to avoid companies and stocks that take us off of this course.  Which is very ironic considering that Lanny and I purchased shares in KMI just under a month ago (here and here) With the wound from KMI still fresh, I wanted to run a stock screener and identify several Dividend Aristocrats with low debt levels.  Check out our newest installment of our Top 5 list series (foundation stocks and low dividend yield/high dividend growth rate stocks)….the Top 5 Dividend Aristocrats with Low Debt to Equity Levels.

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