Thursday, November 7, 2019

THE DAMNED - FRIDAY THE 13TH EP 38 YEARS OLD THIS WEEK


Next week, this awesome 4 song EP from The Damned will be 38 years old.   Perfect for the fall season and deserves a visit on it's birthday,

The Damned is maybe rock's most underrated band. At least I think so.  Got the credit for the first punk single in 1976, and the first punk rock album "Damned Damned Damend" put out 6 months before the Sex Pistols took over the scene.   The Clash used to open up for them.   But other than a few minor hits in the mid 80's, The Damned never got past cult status in the US, which is a shame for larger than life characters of Dave Vanian and Captain Sensible and his fur suits..

After a couple years, The Damned evolved into much more than a British Punk band.  This EP represents the continuation of the evolution of The Damned from the 3 chord punk godfathers to being more open to other sounds that were more 60's psychedelic, atmospheric, poppy, and goth, often all at the same time.  When you have a lead singer who was an actual gravedigger before being in the band, what else do you expect...

The release date was 11/13/81, a Friday the 13th - real fitting...


 This hit #50 in the UK charts, mainly off the lead off track and live favorite "Disco Man".    No video, but a clip from a German TV performance in 1982.  Wish the  quality was sharper, but you get the feel and the very tongue in cheelk lyrics,





The last song on side B was a great cover of the Rolling Stones' super psychedelic "Citadel" from 1967's "Their Satanic Majesties Request" LP.    It really fit The Damned's sound at this time and carried on to 1982's "Strawberries" LP.   IMO, I favor this cover than the Stones' original..






So I hope you enjoyed this trip back to 1981. And hope to have inspired you to check out more of one of my favorite bands of all time, The Damned.






Sunday, November 3, 2019

WORK / LIFE BALANCE, F.I.R.E., AND BEING HAPPY



A few days ago, I read a real intriguing article on Dividend Diplomats from a couple of years ago.  Titled  Dividend Investing to Take Back Control , it described grinding through long and exhausting days at a job in order to save money to invest and leave the working world sooner than later.  

Made me look back.

I experienced the same sort of crappy grind on 2 separate occasions already.   I had an accounting job at a "major major internet retailer in Seattle" (that pays no dividends)..   The company mantra was "everyday was Day 1  Wake up every day in fear of your job and work to always raise the bar."  

Oh, did I mention there was no appreciation for achieving that by the way?  There was none of that, especially as they grew.  Just admonishment if you don't break your own productivity metric records.  In short, an impossible end result. 

What kept us there were the stock options, lovingly called  "The Golden Handcuffs."    I fully maxed my stock options and stopped caring and trying to achieve what was only unappreciated and graded on a curve....  When I left a few months later, a huge weight lifted off my chest that I did not know was there.

Left that for an administrative job in a drug/alcohol rehab center.  

It was a great feeling being personally thanked for helping those in need.  I got quotes like "You saved my life.  If I did not feel your empathy, I would not be here and most likely dead.  My family is ever grateful"  Great feeling for sure.  Plus, I got to dress like a member of the Reservoir Dogs for work....
Mr. Off-White..
UNTIL the moment the mom & pop company got bought out by a major publicly traded behavioral health company.  Back to the stress.  Every empty bed was my fault, even though the prices were raised about 50% they stopped taking Medicare.

I hated getting out of bed.  One by one, all of the tenured employees were forced out or "fired".  I became one of the top 10 most senior employees out of about 100.  

They tried to force me out by switching me to nights and weekends when they knew I had a 2 year old at home.  I was written up for the pettiest of things and was warned that the next violation, whatever it was, would cost me my job.  Tick tick went the clock...

One day a few weeks later, I was told I had to take lunch by 11:30 am or be in violation of the rules and be written up (which meant firing)  The catch was I was alone that day and the Director that kept writing me up suddenly went missing right when I had to go to lunch.  I was fired for "abandoning my work station".    Either I would have been fired for that or for not taking lunch.  A catch 22.  

The Director actually admitted that Catch 22 to a judge when I took them to court for denying me unemployment benefits.  I handily won and got a $5,000 check for back unemployment a few days later.   Plus, about  230 hours of vacation paid to me since they denied all vacation requests for over a year... 

I celebrated by taking 2 separate week long trips to Hawaii in a period of a month!  I needed to blow off the stress of the past year.  I did not work for 3 months.  The longest vacation of my working life.

At that point I knew I would not tolerate a negative work experience.  Jobs are a dime a dozen.

I now work for a high end construction company as an office manager.  Only 23 employees. I often work all alone.  I have goals to achieve, but it is totally up to me to accomplish them.  Best latte in town across the street. And hours ( 6:30 - 3pm) with a 10 minute commute give me my life back.    

The ownership group is closer to working for friends.  I would do anything for them at a drop of a hat.  Mutual respect goes a long ways.  
Do the Robot in A XXXXX Large coverall.  Very Kraftwerk..

I still have the F.I.R.E. goal, but at least I look forward to going to work and seeing what my day will evolve into.  I also realize that work prevents me from going out and spending money..

Looking back, I regretted not walking out of the crappy, stressed out jobs earlier.  The stress, drama, and exhaustion is simply not worth it.   No matter what it pays.  You cannot buy back time.  Time spend being miserable is not acceptable.  I wish I had learned that earlier.

The point I'm trying to make is that even though you may have a goal of getting away from the working world sooner than later, sometimes it's worth the mental health just making a change to something with less stress, even if it pays a bit less. 

If F.I.R.E.  means grinding through a miserable job for 10 years to retire, you may look back at those 10 years regretting going through an amount of stress that aged you 15 years.  


In my humble opinion, delaying retiring by a couple of years for a more pleasurable work experience

Quality of life when you are young is a one time shot.   My job change let me realize I was escaping low grade depression that hung over my head like a cloud. 

What I have learned over the years is that I would not have put up with the stress if I could do it again.  No f'n way.  Life is too short.

Just something to think about.  

You cannot buy happiness.

OCTOBER 2019 DIVIDENDS


October is Nature's funeral month. Nature glories in death more than in life. The month of departure is more beautiful than the month of coming—October than May. Every green thing loves to die in bright colors.  

—Henry Ward Beecher

October is one of my favorite months.  The leaves turn color. Halloween. The World Series. And I get to wear my cold weather clothes.  It's solidly in my top 12 when it comes to months...

Liberty, WA on Blewett pass.  An official ghost town..
Plus, I earned  $2.06 per hour for the month for staying alive. A grand total of $1535.66 from 28 payments.  There's nothing more satisfying that having a steady flow of passive income.

That's a 9.48% increase form October 2018's $1402.65

Some of this was buffered by the last couple of payments from positions I sold  in September. (I made sure I sold after the ex-dividend date).  They cut the dividend, so I was out and ghosted them... 


10/1/2019
KO
$37.20

10/1/2019
PPL
$52.80

10/2/2019
KMB
$38.11

10/3/2019
WHF
$429.20

10/7/2019
MRK
$26.95

10/9/2019
AGNC
$32.00

10/11/2019
VTR
$52.31

10/10/2019
OMC
$33.80

10/10/2019
BBY
$34.50

10/11/2019
CB
$10.50

10/15/2019
APLE
$40.90

10/15/2019
BBBY
$40.97

10/15/2019
MAIN
$20.50

10/15/2019
PEB
$15.20

10/15/2019
O
$15.21

10/15/2019
STOR
$47.60

10/23/2019
CSCO
$26.95

10/24/2019
ORCL
$18.48

10/25/2019
CLDT
$21.45

10/25/2019
SYY
$24.57

10/25/2019
AMNF
$39.93

10/28/2019
TWO
$141.60

10/28/2019
CM
$41.21

10/29/2019
ANH
$113.70

10/29/2019
BNS
$36.80

10/31/2019
TD
$38.22

10/31/2019
NLY
$100.00

10/31/2019
IEX
$5.00
$1535.66

OCTOBER 2019 BUYS


Someone is not so excited watching me write this post this morning.... so I'll make this short before playing before the football game starts.

Someone is bored


A bit of a slow month this October.  Kind of waiting to spring for a good deal.

Picked up a few shares of both Verizon (VZ) and Tanger Factory Outlet Centers (SKT) before their ex-dividend date.  Both seemed like a good deal at the time since I had already purchased quite a bit of DAL, MCD, and CSCO last month.

I also initiated a small position in Citi Bank  (C).  I've been wanting to for a while and intend to add to that in the near future.  They are a bargain at this time, have a good track record of increasing their dividends, and have a low dividend payout ratio which bodes well for the future.

To sum it up, it increased my annual dividend income by $81.66. 


Ticker
Date
QTY
Price
total
DIV INC / Yr
VZ
10/7
10
$60.345
$603.450
$24.60
SKT
10/23
33
$17.713
$584.53
$46.86
C
10/29
5
$73.3687
$366.84
$10.20






TOTALS



$1554.82
$81.66


Next month, I intend to be a bit more active now that my brokerage has dropped any fees for purchases.

Saturday, November 2, 2019

OCTOBER 2019 DIVIDEND INCREASES

Well, we're finally pst Halloween.  Fun times.  IMO we need about 3 or 4 Halloweens per year.  Lot's a hilarious kids in cute costumes, lots of meeting other trick or treaters and their parents in the neighborhood, and awesome decorations.  And chocolate.

Mummies hanging from spider webs in trees!  And a cemetery.


Oh, this is about my October dividend increases......   

Small list, but I am never going to complain about getting a pay raise.  $18.80.    This is one of the slower months of the year.



TICKER
OLD DIV
NEW DIV
% Gain
old annual
new annual
INCREASE
Yield 
Yield on Purchase
Date
OHI
$0.6600
$0.6700
1.5%
$396.00
$402.00
$6.00
5.96%
8.04%
10/19/19
SBUX
$0.3600
$0.4100
13.9%
$92.16
$104.96
$12.80
1.95%
2.59%
10/30/19
























$488.16
$506.96
$18.80





Starbucks announced an impressive 13.9% increase.   This is the whole reason I bought them.  Low dividend at the first purchase,  but with increases, my investment now makes 2.59%.   Ad will grow with every subsequent increase.

This is what dividend growth investing is all about....Growth