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Do Dividends Matter? – Weekend Readings

Why Students in Oklahoma Have a Brighter Future

For the first time, the state’s graduating high school students must demonstrate a basic understanding in 14 areas of personal finance.

Oklahoma is about to coronate one of the most comprehensive statewide school-based financial education programs in the country. Beginning this May, to graduate from high school students must demonstrate an understanding of 14 wide-ranging money management concepts.

What 10 brands’ terrible websites looked like in the 1990s

Over the past several years, consumer brands like Oreo have started making the trip to SXSWi, the annual tech festival taking place right now in Austin, Texas. But once upon a time, brands were not nearly as tech savvy. We used the Wayback Machine, which archives old websites, to dig up the truly terrible sites brands like Coca-Cola and McDonald’s had when they first launched in the mid-90s. Remember, these sites were built back in the day when no one really knew what a website was supposed to look like.

Do Dividends Matter?

When it comes to dividends and my portfolio, I follow one golden rule. I try to forget about the dividend as much as possible, at least when it comes to the equity part of the portfolio. Bonds and preferred shares are different, obvs. I don’t care if a stock is paying 1% or 5% or nothing, I look at book value, earnings, cash flow, potential catalysts, and all the usual junk us value guys go for. I will make a note of a company that’s paying an exceptionally large dividend that looks likely to be cut at some point soon, waiting to jump in until after the dividend cut.Continue Reading

Four Mistakes I Made In College – Weekend Readings

Four Mistakes I Made In College (I Hope My Kids Don’t Make)

While this old adage is true, I hope my children’s financial future is brighter than mine.  I hope I teach them to make smart financial decisions. So if they do make poor financial decisions, it affects them only in the short term, rather than decades as some of my financial mistakes have affected me.

Here are some things I hope my kids do differently than me:

4 Big Rip-Offs To Watch Out For

I’ve made my share of bad financial decisions over the years, but nothing feels worse than when a salesperson convinces you to buy something that’s not in your best interest.  These kinds of rip-offs usually occur when one party has more or better information than the other.

Think about the first time you bought a car or the first time you went to the bank to sign your mortgage documents.  Who controlled the conversation?  If you were like me, you probably deferred to the “expert” sitting across the desk and happily signed everything they put in front of you.

How To Claim Business Income and Expenses

One of the best ways to improve your income overall is starting a home business as a sole proprietorship. The good news is that you can take advantage of your expenses and income at tax time. What you spend on your business offsets some of your business income.Continue Reading

Frugality Gone Wrong – Weekend Readings

The “Middle Class” Myth: Here’s Why Wages Are Really So Low Today

Let me tell you the story of an “unskilled” worker in America who lived better than most of today’s college graduates. In the winter of 1965, Rob Stanley graduated from Chicago Vocational High School, on the city’s Far South Side. Pay rent, his father told him, or get out of the house. So Stanley walked over to Interlake Steel, where he was immediately hired to shovel taconite into the blast furnace on the midnight shift.

Frugality Gone Wrong

Back in the summer, my husband and I struck a deal with his brother in law. We’d help take care of his 40 chickens while he and his family went on vacation, and help them with the maintenance of their small acreage, and they’d give us some of the resulting meat in the fall. It seemed like a good arrangement…

How A Can Of Cat Food Scared Me Into Saving For Retirement

I’ve been contributing to my Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) for nearly half my life. Seventeen years sure seems like a long time, but looking back I’m glad I started when I did.  What got me thinking about my RRSP in my twenties wasn’t the mathy math showing the need to have millions of dollars saved by age 65. Nope. What shocked me into squeezing my savings and contributing to my RRSP was cat food…Continue Reading

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