Weekly Roundup - March 19, 2016

Well another week gone and another week home.  Even though oil prices have been climbing higher I haven't seen an uptick on the exploration side.  Although I don't really expect to see too much of an increase because even in the high $30's/low $40's many fields aren't profitable even with the lower exploration costs and better efficiencies.  And it's even worse when you factor in the large number of "DNC", drilled not completed wells, that have been drilled over the last 12-18 months.  While I love getting to be home it's been almost 3.5 weeks now so I'm more than ready to get back to work.

Did the markets even dip to start the year?  It certainly doesn't seem that way now.  The S&P 500 added another 1.35% over the week.  As of Friday's close it's actually climbed back higher than it closed out 2015.  What a crazy ride the first 2.5 months of 2016 have been.  Within the first 3 weeks of the year we saw at 10% decline, a re-test of the lows a couple weeks into February and we haven't really looked back since.

It's when we have market action like we've seen so far to start the year that we all need to lock things into our mind.  With the rapid decline to start the year I don't think you could find one analyst/talking head/trader that was "bullish" on the markets over the short term, yet here we are just a little while later and the mood is different.  This just reinforces the fact that no one knows what the markets will do in the coming days, weeks or months.  Focus on finding quality companies with competitive advantages.
I'm just about finished reading Pat Dorsey's book on successful stock investing and I highly recommend it.  Even though it's not about dividend growth investing there's a lot of great information in there in regards to both quantitative and qualitative evaluation of companies.  I'm not sure what book I want to tackle next but I have at least another 8-10 in the running.

I'm also reading, well browsing, The Devil's Financial Dictionary by Jason Zweig (affiliate link) which is a brutally honest look at the financial/investment industry.  The book gives the true definition of financial terms often in humorous ways.

Each week during my Weekly Roundup I will highlight one of the terms.

"Fee, n. A tiny word with a teeny sound, which nevertheless is the single-biggest determinant of success or failure for most investors.  
Investors who keep fees as low as possible will, on average, earn the highest possible returns.  The opposite may be true for their financial advisors, although that is still not widely understood.
As the popular financial journalist M. T. Head recently wrote, 'We think 1 percent a year is a very reasonable fee, given how hard we work for our clients...  Asked why the sound of waves breaking on a beachfront seemed to be audible in the background during our conversation, Mr. Muchmore hastened to explain that he was walking back to his office from lunch and several city buses had just passed by him.'"


Another week home and another week of very little productivity for my writing.  Luckily though I'm doing good with ideas and just need to set some time each day to actually sit down and write.  With my wife on spring break from teaching it's hard to not focus on and do things with her since I don't get much time at home anyways.  Well, usually.  Hopefully with her going back to work next week I'll get into a groove with writing at home although honestly I hope to get back to my day job because my attention is much more focused there.

Self Improvement

I've put things on semi-hold, well, more like pause as far as my weight loss.  Especially this past week since my wife has been home the whole time and it's led to a less than stellar diet and a bit less exercise.  Luckily though the weather has been great here so I've still been getting outside each day.  Here in Texas we really have to take advantage of the great weather days because it'll get hot here quick over the next few weeks.  While I haven't focused as much on exercise I'm still pretty happy to say that I've done over 26 miles of walking/jogging so far this month and I hope to push that up to 40+ by the end of the month.

On to the Roundup

In case you missed them, here's the posts from Passive-Income-Pursuit this past week.
Also, be sure to sign up to receive posts via email and to follow me on Twitter@JC_PIP so you don't miss anything.  I also started a Facebook page to give people another option for keeping up to date on posts and happenings with the blog.

Once again I'd like to say thanks to each and every one of you that read, commented, and shared posts from here this past week.  I think this dividend growth investing and financial independence community is amazing and the openness from everyone is awesome.  Thanks again!

Now on to the links!

What should I do about slowing dividend growth? by Dividend Growth Investor

Keeping your passions in focus by Income Surfer

Before You Step, First Look Where You're Standing by Retire29

There is nothing to fear but fear itself by FI Fighter

The ups and downs of getting close to early retirement by Our Next Life

The never ending corporate ladder game by Tawcan

What financial independence means to me by Financially Integrated

Feeding your portfolio baby formula by DivHut

Net worth targets by age, income, and work experience for financial freedom seekers by Financial Samurai

$10,000 of free European travel by Go Curry Cracker

Early retirement blogs for everyone by Retire by 40

A dozen things I've learned from Benjamin Franklin about money and investing by 25iq

Also, if you're looking for investment ideas, A Frugal Family's Journey keeps a list of stock analyses and recent buys from fellow bloggers.

I hope you all have a great weekend!

Image courtesy of Gubgib on FreeDigitalPhotos.net.


  1. Thanks for sharing. While I know you're enjoying time with your wife, I hope you get the call soon. Have a great weekend buddy!

    1. Bryan,

      At this point I'm definitely ready to get back to work. That's the big downside to not having a "regular" job although I imagine I'd be aching to have days off if I did have one. I do prefer the irregular schedule to trudging to the same place day after day.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. As always, great roundup of posts JC. Looking forward to reading a few of them over coffee tomorrow morning. :) Enjoy you weekend bud. AFFJ

    1. AFFJ,

      We had some great weather this past week and weekend so my wife and I were able to get outside and enjoy it.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  3. As always, I appreciate the DivHut mention. Thank you!

    1. DivHut,

      Hope you had a great weekend with the family.


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