Finances Investments

2018 Financial Report

After a huge amount of struggle I finally located an online tax service that would handle the K-1 statement that was giving me so much trouble. I spent $95 to use the service but I consider it money well-spent. They not only managed to increase my refund, they saved me the bother of having to track down someone locally to do my taxes.

That said, I will definitely have to consider the merits of hiring a professional to do this stuff in the next few years, especially when I start investing in real estate.

Income Comparison

2017 Adjusted Gross Income: $5,631

Income sources for 2017: Part-time cashier at a grocery store and book royalties.

2018 Adjusted Gross Income: $9,964

Income sources for 2018: Part-time cashier at a grocery store, book royalties, stock market dividends and sale proceeds.

Income Increase/Decrease: $4,333 increase, or 77%.

Amount Invested in 2018: $2,153 (Includes reinvested dividends and sale proceeds)

Percentage of annual income invested: 21.6% of AGI.

2019 Income and Investment Summary

I did quite well last year! I knew that my public job income had increased due to my raise and additional hours worked but I had no idea that it had almost doubled.

My book royalty income took a serious hit last year but I only published a book or two of fiction. Those are under another pen name. I did them for practice and didn’t expect much. I can’t recall offhand if I published a nonfiction book last year but I doubt it. I’ve got a nonfiction book in progress at the moment that I’ll continue to tinker on as time allows. Hopefully that will give my income in this arena a boost. That income source is still pulling a profit so this website will remain active for yet another year. At this point I will probably keep it active whether it is pulling a profit or not, simply to chronicle my progress on this new adventure.

The current value of my stock market investments is laughable but I knew they would be. Not only am I still learning; I’m also using contrarian investment strategies and a long-term outlook to maximize my investment. I’ve not lost any money yet; based on my research that is what truly matters so I am satisfied.

Lessons Learned

I’ve learned the value of patience. I jumped too soon on my Corus investment; while I expected them to cut their dividends, I had no idea just how negatively it would affect their stock price. If I had waited until after the dividend cut I would have doubled the value of my investment when it slowly ticked back up; as it is I’m barely breaking even on stock price. While I’m not concerned (I’m still receiving dividends), it taught me a valuable lesson concerning how the market moves as well as the value of patience.

I’ve learned that while diversification is a good thing that right now I cannot afford to diversify too much. It is much better to own more stock in fewer companies than a little bit in a bunch of companies. As a result, I now locate a company that I like, work out the highest price I am willing to pay for the stock, and invest in it until it reaches my high limit before moving on.

This strategy not only maximizes the earnings potential of my investments, it greatly reduces my trading fees. It also drastically reduces the amount of research I have to do to locate potential investments.

I’ve learned from experience just how beautiful dividends can be. I have roughly a week’s wage coming in each year through dividends now. I repeat that feat 51 more times and I will be financially free once more. I don’t intend to simply focus on dividends, however. Before I will even consider quitting my day job I want to have at least two sources of passive income that will cover my living expenses. This will protect me if one of my sources takes a hit (like my book royalties have–lesson learned!), and will allow me to live on one income source while investing the other so that my income will continue in an upwards direction. I want to ensure that I have the inevitable cost of living increases covered with money to spare when I decide to retire from working a public job.

Plans for the Future

I want to slowly improve my quality of life over time. While I have no issues with living cheap, I want to grow my income to the point where I no longer have to out of necessity.

I’m also curious. Just how high can I grow my income since I’m starting at the bottom? Can an old woman with barely a high-school education, who brings in between $600-$700 a month from book royalties and part-time work become a millionaire?

Is that even physically possible? Can I read a few books and learn enough about investing to pull off such a feat? If so, how long will it take?

I don’t know, but I’m definitely going to find out.

Because if I can do this, if I can start from rock-bottom and work my way to the top, that will prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the American Dream is not dead. It will prove that, no matter who you are and where you’re starting from, that you can improve your financial life as well.

On a personal note, it will prove that this “waste of humanity,” this woman who has been called crazy more times than she can count, isn’t quite as dumb as those around her thinks she is.

I don’t care if that’s childish; I still want a bit of vindication. I’ve been laughed at so many times over this past year that it’s starting to piss me off. I’m getting to the point that the anger inside of me is pushing me to work harder.

For now I’m going to take a break. I am going to enjoy the rest of my evening so that I can wake up bright and early tomorrow morning and get back to work. Have a nice night!