Diversified Bullish

An Investing and Stocks Blog

Mar 20, 2023

Achieving $50 / Month in Investing Income

In March 2023, I achieved a new milestone of passive investing. Since beginning in 2018 with approximately $15,000 in savings, I've accrued a six figure portfolio of funds and stocks with a "DCA and buy and hold" long term mentality. I did this by holding a full time job and earning multiple pay increases along the way.

About 50% of my retirement funds are in a managed employer match 401(k) with a different bank. My primary bank is Charles Schwab. Most of my self-directed IRA is collecting dividends with Schwab index funds (SCHB, SWPPX and SWTSX) and MSFT. My self directed IRA has a smaller weight of non-dividend growth stocks also. In my taxable portfolio, the core dividend earners are stocks like MSFT, NKE, AAPL, F and NVDA.

Additionally, 3-5% of my investment portfolio is committed to cryptocurrency assets. After buying incrementally from December 2020 to 2022, I now have market value exceeding $5,500 staked in Ethereum. Approximately 60% of my crypto portfolio is in ETH, followed by 25% Bitcoin, which does not have a staking protocol. Over the past 7 months, my staking rewards netted me $12.48 per month by my calculations.

Passive Investing Income Breakdown
Stock Dividends: $38/month
Ethereum Staking: $12.48/month

Combined, they add up to a investment income of $50/month and counting with time. Hold dividend stocks and index funds. Stake Ethereum, if you can handle elevated risk that surrounds crypto. Then again, with the recent banking shakeout, maybe a more decentralized store of value is intriguing. Find a job or start a business, keep saving and reap the rewards of investing. This is how I achieved a new level of passive income. In both, their dividends are automatically re-invested.

This post and all posts on this blog are not financial advice. All investment decisions have personal risk and you should assess them thoroughly before taking any financial actions.

Jan 09, 2023

Volatility, Friend or Foe?

Volatility is scary because when a stock thrashes down, it hurts pretty bad. Investors need to set aside their emotions and ask themselves, "Has my thesis about this company changed?". If you still have conviction, the market's volatility has created a possible buying opportunity.

It sounds simple put into words, but observing the market in real time never goes so smoothly. Your perceptions of a "bottom" or a stock's range can be way off. Volatility is an opportunistic investor's friend, and a timid or inexperienced investor's foe. However, even a seasoned pro can get it disastorously wrong and get wiped out by a falling knife. Make volatility your friend, but be careful!

Dec 15, 2022

Should You Hold 5 Stocks or 30?

The topic of how many stocks you should hold is ambiguous. An old investing adage is 'concentration builds wealth', but is that true? I'm not so sure. It depends on the skill + experience of the investor and their conviction to hold the assets.

As a retail investor with less experience, I keep a diversified portfolio of stocks and index funds. I'm holding around 50 stocks and funds. Diversification lowers your risk and exposure to any given individual position. However, I do realize that concentration yields benefits like intricately focusing on the companies your money is riding with. Investing is an art steeped in allocation. When conviction (and profits) are high, I think it's acceptable to keep a higher allocation of such securities.

Dec 14, 2022

Gains Happen in Bursts

Gains tend to happen quickly in a short time. This is a reason to hold onto those shares a little longer. That sudden unpredictable catalyst might be around the corner.

When a stock moves, it can happen after years of stagnant price action. Don't miss your gains by exiting at the wrong time. If earnings are heading the right direction, the gains will come.

Dec 01, 2022

A List of Financial Cliches and Terms

  1. "soft landing": implies graceful economic transition
  2. "pivot": implies the Fed will switch its interest rate policy
  3. "bottom": implies a time where the market will irreversibly swing to the upside
  4. "short squeeze": price goes up due to short sellers being forced to cover their positions
  5. "place to hide out": reference to a stock as a shelter or place unaffected by market drawdowns
  6. "growth stock": stock that reinvests dividends to grow rather than paying to investors
  7. "dividend stock": stock thay pays dividends to investors
  8. "dead money": momentum of a stock has stalled and not changing anytime soon
  9. "rekt": getting decimated by a position's losses
  10. "falling knife": stock price is falling fast and risky to catch
  11. "due dilligence (DD)": researching a stock's prospects to generate money
  12. "money on the sidelines": reference to how much cash is waiting to be deployed into stocks
  13. "dry powder": refers to amount of investable cash you have
  14. "FUD": fear, uncertainty and doubt raised by a stock's haters
  15. "whales": big shareholders that move markets when they enter or exit a position
  16. "stagflation": reference to a stagnant, inflation plagued economy
  17. "priced in": the price is all knowing, common catch-all trope
  18. "forward looking": the market is out in future events and pricing accordingly
  19. "overvalued": insinuates the market price is wrong about a stock, opposite of oversold
  20. "oversold": implies the stock price has swung to the downside and is primed to bounce back
  21. "valuation multiples": comparison of current price vs. earnings + cash flows
  22. "trading at a premium": implies the stock commands its lofty valuation against its earnings
  23. "long term": 1-5,10 or > 30 years, depending on who you ask!

Nov 28, 2022

Humans in the Balance Sheet

Corporations value humans, until times get tough. Then they start to cut.

I thought they were less brutal, deploying strategies so feudal. Employees are just a line item to them.

What's good for the company? They'll land on their feet. They don't care about a human in the balance sheet.

Oct 08, 2022

The Recession is Bullshit

I can't shake the feeling that we are being toyed with by invisible forces. First, a disease is manufactured and propagated. Then, a response to the disease is conceived. It includes locking down society and subsidizing the people with printed money.

This is all a tidy narrative for companies to retrofit to their own needs. A cycle of boom and bust is synthesized in the name of the greater good. Employers now have a reason to fire their employees and raise prices of their widgets. Stocks suffer because it's going to be difficult. Everyone knows a recession is coming!

Fear mounts. Worries pile up. The Federal Bank must curb inflation. They need to raise interest rates on borrowing money to get this nasty inflation monster under control. Now it costs more money for people to take out a loan and buy houses. Companies don't give raises. Inflation of consumer staples eat into our salaries. "The recession is coming!", they said.

In summation, we have a (natural?) phenomena, seized by world governments to extend their power in the name of protecting the people. Stocks go down for now. That's ok as a long term investor. However, I can't get over the idea that is all humans, all the way down. Humans doing human things: scheming, reacting and seizing an opportunity to claim the sky is falling. All along, fat cats padding their own pockets at the expense of their fellow man!

Do you think a recession will happen? Is it already happening? Or is it only our reaction to the idea of it? I, for one, find it amusing how humans can be so sure they know what is coming and what has already happened. I'm a skeptic! This recession is bullshit.

Oct 07, 2022

A Time Far Away

Investing requires seeing beyond the all around us. We are emotional creatures who fly off the cuff so easily. It helps to imagine a time far away from our current trials and tribulations as a species. This hypothetical time when the whole world cooperated for the greater good of commerce, prosperity and freedom for every soul on this damn planet. That is the admittedly optimistic bull case to juxtapose to the current environment. How much could the world change in 5, 10 or 20 years? War is disgusting, but I guess it's our current state of affairs.

Sep 08, 2022

Check Your Expectations

I have enjoyed Josh Brown's perspective as the market thrashed the past few years. A CNBC regular with razor sharp takes, I think I heard him recently say something to the effect of "check your expectations".

I agree with many things Josh says, but especially with this sentiment. Stoics know that by checking our expectations, we can better regulate our perception of what is happening with our investments. Consider lowering your targets for ROI and just relaxing your expectations in general.

Sep 02, 2022

What Does Intrinsic Value Mean?

The goal of this post is to find a layman's idea of what a stock's "intrinsic value" means. Intrinsic value is often praised as a claim to why the market price of company should be higher. What does that mean?

Checking Investopedia, the top hit on Google, "There is no universal standard for calculating the intrinsic value of a company... Typically, investors try to use both qualitative and quantitative to measure the intrinsic value of a company, but investors should keep in mind that the result is still only an estimate." - Investopedia, https://www.investopedia.com/terms/i/intrinsicvalue.asp

The next hit, Corporate Finance Institute offers a "Net Present Value" based formula, along with net cash flow, interest rate, etc. So it seems that the mathematics of instrinsic value calculation are sound, but the weighting of possible future outcomes is where an an analyst is more of an artist. https://corporatefinanceinstitute.com/resources/knowledge/valuation/intrinsic-value-guide/

In essence, intrinsic value is a mathematical model an analyst creates by weighing projected outcomes. There is no standard for producing an intrinsic valuation of a company. I find this somewhat amusing, because before when I heard the term intrinsic valuation, I assumed there was more to it. Such as a formal methodology that is carried out. However, like all future prediction models, they are subjective and sound more like a guess to me. I will be sure to take these instrinsic value calculations with a grain of salt from now on.

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