Monday, December 30, 2019


A brand new decade is about to be sprung upon us.  Boing.  As with many people out there, the New Year is the time for an update of the New Year's Resolutions, most of which are forgotten about before January ends...

Since it's a new decade, maybe the resolutions will stick a bit longer.  Maybe.

I'm going to try to stick to the following one:   Declutter my music collection.   Which is a side-hustle in itself.

A New decade comes with new priorities in regards to my lifelong hobby - collecting music.

I've spend most of my life amassing an impressive collection of records and music memorabilia.  All with the intention of someday selling it for a fat profit.

Of course, I would let my daughter take whatever she wants. I am sure she will keep this Billie Eilish flexi disc...

Billie Eilish flexi single
I kind of always wanted to have my own record store, but never quite figured out how they amass so much inventory of used records.   In order to keep in business, they have to constantly bring in the inventory.   Just boggles my mind.

Now that I am up to 3,278 pieces of music, it's time to clear some out.  It fills up our 3rd bedroom (my office).  In the past decade, I think I have added about 800 records.  Now I am out of room.

I have not only tons of LPs, but 1,600 45s,  hundreds of 78s, a fat handful of flexi-discs, some records made on cardboard, super rare cassette tapes (yes, that is a thing)

I could safely say that I will not listen to 2,000 of them.   But someone will.   And some will go for a pretty penny.   I will never listen to my Captain Beefheart "Trout Mask Replica" record, not even try to.   but someone out there will pay $100 for it.   Fine.  Please take it.... 

I will sell some I truly love.  Many are rarities and collector items for some of my favorite artists.  Like this EP from The Stranglers.
An EP on Pink Vinyl from 1977.   Yours for $10

So my goal is to put up at least one item per week on either eBay or Discogs for sale.  I was  about to say "One per day", but I am afraid I would run out of time to keep up....  So I will start with one per week at the very minimum.

I'll post what I'm offering up in the near future!   Please let me know if any of these items are something you want.

Sunday, December 22, 2019


We're coming up on the start of a brand new decade.   Funny how time flies. 

Each new year brings up the feelings of a fresh start.  Reviewing the past year, seeing what you can improve on, and seeing your successes.   This was a fun year.

Here's a pic with Santa at Seattle's oldest Chinese Restaurant!

Picture with Santa at Tai Tung Restaurant - 12/21/19

I've never really set goals in the past.  I just kind of played it by ear on a day to day basis with a vision of the future in mind.

So this year, I am challenging myself and setting some goals to make that future vision more clear.  I will review these in June and see if I need to make adjustments (upward adjustments!)

Here goes!


  1. Add $5,000 to my investment account.  This will be easy. Transferring $200 per paycheck into the Fidelity account should be doable.  I may raise this total by June.
  2. See my dividend income increase by 10% from 2019.  Much of this depends on adding funds, so this connects to #1
  3. Increase my holdings by 5 companies. Not just add to my current holdings, but have 100 companies to earn dividends from.
  4. Save $16,000 for bills in 2021: Property Tax, Home Insurance, Auto Insurance, Car Tabs, Water Bill, Electric Bill, Gas Bill, Internet, Phone Bill, TV Costs.   That's $43 per day.  I want to be a year ahead. Then in 2021 and beyond, I can put more into the market once I am ahead.
  5. Fulfill my goal of buying the equivalent in shares of what I spent in 2019 at Costco, Target, Apple Store, Home Depot, Bed Bath and Beyond, Starbucks, and At&T.
Posting these goals will stick me to them.  It better....

  1. Take a spring road trip.  Yellowstone would be ideal.
  2. Exercise more.   I was doing well until my right knee and left achilles acted up.  Fell out of routine
  3. Drop about 20 lbs.   
  4. Drink more green tea.
  5. Sell off some of my record collection.   It was a long term goal to sell eventually.  Well, I have run out of room.  I think I would rather sell than keep some of the ones I rarely listen to.
  6. Improve piano skills and improve guitar skills.
  7. Blog more.
  8. Enjoy more oysters like these.
Fat Bastard oysters

Well, let's revisit this on June 1st and see the progress!

See ya!

Monday, December 16, 2019


I've been laying low over the past few weeks.  Been going through a rough spot in the care of my mom this month, and have not been able to spend time writing on the blog.

Things had been humming along fairly well this fall.  After I shook up my portfolio back in September, I was on a nice pace of buying and expanding my holdings.

Did have some unexpected expenses last month that is normally part of life's surprises.  Dead computer, dying wife's car, stuff like that.  I'll pay it off in due time.

It happened again.  This time it's much more sobering.   My mom, who is now 86, has been battling dementia.  I am her only family member...

My mom, in the middle, around 1960.  With her sister and bro in law.

The dementia had been pretty much in somewhat control.  She has no clue as to how severe it is, but does know she forgets.  Her short term memory lasts about 5 seconds over the past year.  

As long as she is in her element, her home, she can somewhat function.  She gardens daily, walks the neighborhood daily, and keeps the house clean.  Get her out of her routine, she is totally lost and confused.  

Well, she had a fall the day after Thanksgiving.. Messed up her knee a bit, but will heal on her own.  

All of this trauma to her body triggered a nasty case of shingles that has bedridden her ever since the day after Thanksgiving.  This has effected her routine and her level of lucidity.

It took 2 weeks of constant questions for the shingles diagnosis to sink in.  It took me 10 days of care to get her to get out of bed and move around.   

If I did not have someone there, she would not eat or drink.  At all.   If she did not get out of bed, she'd waste away and be an invalid.  I spoon fed the person that spoon fed me....

This has resulted in some serious costs for nurse care and my time off of work tending to this.  Good news is, she now understands that she must get up, keep the legs moving to stave off wasting away, and easting well to help fight off the outbreak.  

The result is an addition to my credit card debt from easily manageable to not so...  Needing $5K to pay a nurse (no credit cards accepted... grrr) is when the stock fund come in handy.

I used this situation to do some loss harvesting.  I had a couple of companies that were over 10% down, and I get a capital gains loss write off on my taxes.   So I pulled the trigger..

I got out of Abbvie (ABBV) totally, and sold a large chunk of Apple Hospitalty Reit (APLE).   Harvested the long term capital loss and got out from another REIT that had a larger weight in my portfolio than the rest of my holdings.  

If it were not for my stock buying over the past 6 years, I would be up poop's creek...  when it comes to family, this is what this fund is for - taking care of family.  It's not just a retirement fund to escape a job.

Life is a terminal disease.  We all have it...  

We better enjoy it as much as we possibly can.  Live every day like it is your last but also plan of living free of work.  Have fun every single day.  We only have a few years of youth to do so.  At 50, I can't play basketball like before.  It hurts.  Do it when you are 35.  Please. You will be glad you did.

Seeing my mom like this puts this all into perspective.  She can no longer travel to Greece to see her sister.  She does not know what decade it is, or that it was her own birthday when she had to go to the ER.

Life is more important than 40 shares of ABBV and 300 of APLE....  And someday, I will buy ABBV again..if it is a good value..

A positive is that I will move forward without any money going to debt and more to invest moving forward.   I will get it back...

Stuff like this makes me question some of the more extreme frugal aspects of the FI/RE lifestyle so promoted in the blogosphere.  

Not just for caring for others, but to enjoy life before it unexpectedly goes away... The terminal disease of life will sneak up on you when you least expect it.

Does this make sense?

Wednesday, December 4, 2019


Well, November is over and it's Christmas season.  This year sure has gone by fast.

November is my low month of the quarter, but still am nearing $1K for the month. 

Thanks to my shuffling around of my portfolio back in August, my large earning but slowly sinking REIT dividends are not longer part of Novembers.  But I am in a stronger position in the long term.

I took a hit from last year because of the shuffling, but I am happier for it.

I received 28 dividends for a total of $916.16.   I guarantee that I will break thousand in November 2020...  That's my goal.

If I do, I will buy this messed up tee shirt..

Toto is most offended by this..
ost offended by this





























Tuesday, December 3, 2019


Well, that was a fun month.  Great food.  Fun football games.  Tricked out the house for the Holidays

Got some dividend increases.

Yep, not only am I being paid for being alive, I got a pay raise for being alive...

Eight companies rewarded their shareholders with dividend increases, some by quite a big chunk to boot!  Dividends are simply a company sharing their profits with their co-owners.

The big one last month was Sysco Systems (SYY).  15.4% rise.

That's right.  Its a can of whoop-ass....

As you can see from the chart below, I averaged an 8.44% raise in the 8 companies that announced raises.

TICKER OLD DIV NEW DIV % Gain old annual new annual INCREASE Yield  Yield on Purchase
ABBV $1.070 $1.180 10.3% $171.20 $188.80 $17.60 5.93% 4.68%
EMR $0.490 $0.500 2% $66.64 $68.00 $1.36 2.74% 4.28%
WRK $0.4550 $0.465 2.2% $203.84 $208.32 $4.48 4.74% 5.22%
TSN $0.375 $0.420 12% $40.50 $45.36 $4.86 1.89% 2.81%
NKE $0.220 $0.245 11.4% $40.48 $45.08 $4.60 1.07% 1.14%
SYY $0.390 $0.450 15.4% $98.28 $113.40 $15.12 2.21% 2.84%
MRK $0.550 $0.610 10.9% $107.80 $119.56 $11.76 2.90% 3.02%
HRL $0.2325 $0.210 10.7% $37.00 $41.85 $4.85 2.18% 2.33%

$765.74 $830.37 $64.63 8.44%

You may notice my last column. "Yield on purchase".  That's what I am earning from these companies thanks to buying at a lower price in the past and experiencing a dividend raise or two.

For example, Westrock will pay you 4.74% annually if you buy today.  I get 5.22% from my purchase a few months ago. 

EMR is a good example of holding a company for a longer period of time and going through multiple div increases.  My money now earns 4.28%.

That's the snowball I am looking for.

Most of these companies will continue to raise their dividend annually for years to come.  Eventually, I will earn 100% of my initial investment annually.  Eventually...

You can see ABBV pays me less that if I had bought today.   That company has lost some ground since my purchase.  Even if the stock is a bit underwater, multiple div increases will keep my yield up to the current one.

A friend of mine who does not quite understand the dividend thing commented "why aren't they growing their company instead?  Dividends do not seem like a smart thing to do".   Well, what owner would never want to reap the rewards of a profitable company?

In fact, these companies are growing.  But there is a realistic limit to growth.  Unrestrained growth could, and often does, result in a free fall when sales do not match growth.  Smart companies grow in a measured pace and give the rest of their profits back to the shareholders that have entrusted this company to perform for them.