BennyEast.Com/Blog The official blog of Kenny West


Mystery Girl

So, I'm thinking about this mystery girl... The one from last night out in West Chester at the drag queen hosted karaoke.  The one in the scrubs.

And I'm thinking to myself how... She was the ONLY one there dressed like that.  I mean literally EVERY other girl there, all dolled up.  Even the guys, dressed up as the opposite sex... all dolled up.

Then there's this one girl.  The one that I have a brief chat with in the bathroom line.  The one who kind of made me want to get to know her more.

She's dressed in scrubs, and looks like she just worked all day.  Probably did work all day.

And who am I attracted to?  All the girls all dolled up?  Nope.  The dudes in drag?  Not even the slightest... For obvious reasons.  But this girl, not even giving a crap what she looks like.  Just wearing what she had on from work.

That's the one that does it for me.

It just goes to show that all this time we spend trying to impress the opposite sex... Or I guess in the case of those drag queens, since they are gay guys, the same sex.

But we spend all this time, I put gel in my hair, and put smelly scent stuff on and put on my nicest pair of pants and shirt... Hoping to dress to impress.  And all those ladies out all with their hair and makeup and outfits picked out.

None of that matters with true attraction though.  You can just have your hair looking like a hot mess... You can be wearing your work clothes... You can just sit down at the bar, grab a beer and not even care.

And I'm going to be wishing that you were the one I could take home.  Isn't it strange?  Like we waste all this time with these preconceived notions of what will attract someone... When in her case... I was attracted to her as is.  No fancy pants and shirt and make up and hair...

Just her.  And in the freakin' bathroom line at that!  Just goes to show that love is crazy and weird and it can bite you at any point in time anywhere in any way shape and form.

I mean, okay it's not love, it's just... A girl that I was interested in getting to know.  Just because... I don't know, I just liked something about her, you know, like her laugh, or her smile... Or just how she made a joke back to my joke.  Or just how relaxed and nonchalant she was.  Who knows.

The point is... Love just happens however it pleases.

So, it's funny that we all do all this extra legwork to help love along... When it doesn't need any help.  It does what it wants, when it wants, how it wants.  If it wants two people to fall in love, they could be in sweats at the gym working out together, smelling and sweating it up and gross and skunky.

And love will be like... You two gross and skunky smelling people... TOGETHER NOW!

And then you'll just start chatting with one another looking a hot mess and smelling even worse...

And then love will happen.

It's a weird thing.  Love.

I do wonder about that girl.  I wish I had gotten her number or something.  I guess I could always try and go back next week, same time, same place... See if she's there.  I feel like she wouldn't be.  I feel like it was just a one time thing and that was that.

But, at the end of the day, there are plenty of other karaoke bars in town, and maybe there's another girl that will capture my attention.  Or who knows.  I mean... love it strange like that.  It happens when it wants, how it wants, the way it wants... Where it wants.  And it doesn't care what the circumstances are.  Love rules all.

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Tonight I was out at this bar, a friend invited me to this drag queen karaoke thing.  Basically, it's karaoke, just hosted by drag queens.

It was interesting.

Anyways, so I'm waiting in line to use the rest room and I start talking to this girl.  I don't know.  I can't explain it for the life of me.  I don't know her name.  I didn't get her information at all.  I have no clue.  She went her way, I went mine.

All I know about her was that, she just, caught my attention.  She wore scrubs.  I'm pretty sure she was a nurse.  She seemed like she was there with a couple of her friends for some drinks and karaoke.

But, I don't know.... She just... Caught me off guard.

Obviously, I have no way of knowing even who she was, or anything like that... But, it just gave me a glimpse into how "it" must happen.

That must be the way that the whole love, into a relationship, into marriage thing happens.  It's like that.  You're just waiting in line to use the bathroom and the only thing you care about is using the bathroom...

And then all of a sudden... There's this... Person that you... You can't figure out what is happening.

I probably should have figured out a way to find out her number... But it just wasn't the right moment or timing.  We all basically were getting ready to leave right after I talked to her.  And then additionally she was just gone too like as we were leaving.  It got chaotic... and who knows, maybe that's how it was supposed to go.  Maybe I'm not supposed to ever know anything further about her than she was at karaoke when I was, and she was wearing scrubs so she's a nurse.

But the point of it all is... That's how people end up married.  You're just trying to do something else, like using the bathroom... and then there's this person out of nowhere that... Is just, there, like... they are just... The one that you want to know more about, to talk to more.  That you just are drawn to.

To be honest?  I'm nowhere near getting married.  Tonight was fun.  Karaoke was cool... Although I didn't actually sing myself.  It was just fun.

But it made me realize... I want to live in an apartment near a main street.  I want to go out, have fun, drink with people, then stumble back to my apartment.  I'm not interested in that whole getting married and settling down thing right now.

I mean, okay.... I WAS.... and maybe I still am... But I'm missing the most obviously important part of it all... Someone to settle down with!  I already have a house... But... It's just... having this house isn't doing me any good.

What would do me good is as soon as I'm allowed to sell it, I sell the house, and then I move somewhere with people that are my own age and I go out to local places and then just enjoy myself.

And then when I find myself in a place like I was tonight... Instead of being like... "Oh, I have to drive 45 minutes so I can't really... Blah blah blah..."

Instead I can just have a place down the street and I can have that one more drink, and I can say stay longer, and I can find out her number or something or talk to her more.

I mean, I'm not saying I'm some party hardy type of person.  but, I don't know... I'm single.  Right now.  As I type this.  I'm TOTALLY 100 percent single.  And I don't see myself getting into a relationship any time soon, or getting married any time soon.

So, I'm going to just go out and have fun and enjoy myself.  I'm going to plan to sell this house when I pass the mark where I can sell it... and then, I'll get an apartment somewhere trendy and cool and just go out and have fun and enjoy my singleness until the day that something like tonight happens... and then goes further, like to the point where we actually end up exchanging numbers, and seeing one another, and then end up maybe even dating, and then in a relationship.... and who knows...

But tonight was a wake up call for sure that, sparks can definitely happen in the most random of places... Such as waiting in line to use the bathroom at a bar while drag queens are hosting karaoke.

And in the mean time... I'll just embrace my single ness and enjoy myself and go out and not worry about if or when I might actually meet someone, and it might actually turn into anything romantic that might actually make it all the way to marriage.

I'm sure marriage is probably great.  But at this point... Gotta learn to crawl before you can sprint.  I'm not even at a crawl with anyone.  I'm not even walking with anyone.  The best I've got is a short conversation in the bathroom line at the bar with scrubs wearing girl at drag queen karaoke.

And if that's as much as I've got... Then that's as much as I've got.  And maybe I cross paths with her again, and maybe I don't... and maybe there's someone else I cross paths with.  Just have to wait and see.

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Winter Break

I'm on winter break.  It's enjoyable so far.  Kind of dull I suppose.  I'm just doing the usual things I do in my free time when I'm not working.

I'm actually still working, just not my normal 9-5 job.  A couple days ago I acquired some more shares in a company in my investment portfolio.  So that bumped my dividend salary up by about another 40 bucks a year.  40 bucks isn't much on its own.  But I just keep adding shares in companies little by little.  Investing is a marathon.  It's a very slow process.  I don't believe in get rich quick schemes.  I believe in patient investing and then letting your patience reward you down the road.

Tonight I'm working on music.  Editing some songs and mixing and mastering others and laying down new tracks too.  I've started cover art for two new songs.

I scheduled to have my HVAC system looked at in the next couple weeks.  Took care of lots of other admin things personal/house/etc. etc.

So far it's been a good break.  A good mix of taking care of the things I've had on my to-do list to take care of, and going out and hanging out with friends, or going to the gym, or yoga, or just sitting at the nearest coffee shop or whatever and enjoying working on things on my laptop.

I just like the downtime of break.  It lets me relax and recharge.  Speaking of relaxing and recharging, I'm pretty sleepy, so I'm going to head off to bed!

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Here’s What I Don’t Get

Okay.  It's not like I've only ever dated one person.  I've dated more than just one girl.  I've been in relationships with more than just one girl.  So, logically one would think that each of the girls I have dated in the past would probably be on my mind an equal amount.  Or, even a proportionate amount to the amount of time we dated... Right?

Does that make sense?  Can we all agree that makes sense?

Like, if you dated, let's say, 5 people.  And each one was for a year.  You should have each of those 5 people on your mind for what?  1/5 of the time.  Right?  That makes sense right?

And then maybe even more sense is, if the person you dated most recently is on your mind more than the first person you dated.

Right?  I think that could make sense too.  Maybe the most recent ex, or alternatively, the one you dated the longest, perhaps, would be on your mind the most.

Does everyone agree that seem logical right?

But here I am... There's one ex of mine, who I really didn't even date for that long.  I mean of my relationships, technically the "official us" was the shortest.

And then on top of that... I mean, when we ACTUALLY dated... like Facebook official, was a good 6 years ago!

So, how come she's on my mind the most.  Not only that, the last time I checked up on her, she even had a boyfriend.

So again... How come I still think about her so much?

I guess I'm not like really asking for a real answer.  I guess, I just have never understood why she occupies so much of my thoughts.

I don't know, it's just weird.  And I don't get it.

I'm not saying I shouldn't think about her at all.  Obviously I liked her a lot.  So, she should definitely pop into my mind from time to time, as anyone should.

But it's not time to time.  It never has been time to time.  It's literally like she's ALWAYS there.  And I just don't get it.  I don't get why almost every minute of most days, I'm thinking about her.  it's just... SO confusing.  It makes very little sense to me.

Like, she's on my mind right now.  But why?  I don't know.  I don't get it.

Yes, there are moments few and far between where I stop thinking about her for a short bit... But then... She pops into my mind again.

But then I'm like why HER?  Why not someone else?  Why not any of the other girls I've ever dated?  You know?

But it's always her.  It's always that one girl.

I don't know.

It just never made sense to me and still doesn't.

What is it about her that I just think about her so often?

Who knows.  Maybe one day I'll figure it all out.  Maybe that reason why I'm not supposed to get it right now is because later on down the road... It will make much more sense.

I sure hope so.

Because right now, I just don't get why you're still on my mind so often.  And why you were on my mind so much from day one.  It just never made sense to me.  What is it about you that you've some how gotten this permanent number one spot in my thoughts?  Maybe there is no figuring out why.  Again, maybe it will all make sense eventually.

Like I said... I sure hope so.

For now... I just carry on and just go with life as it is.

It's so weird though!  I don't know.  Maybe we all have someone that's on our mind a lot for no reason other than they just are?  I guess that's possible.  Well, I guess it's time to get to sleep.

Some day I'll figure it all out.  For now... I'm just sleepy and up WAAAAAAY too late and ready for bed.

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All The Beaches In The World

Some of the stocks that I hold have increased their dividends.  One of them actually increased it by 18 percent.  18 percent!

Effectively I got an 18 percent raise from those shares.

Here's what I like about being a shareholder....

I'm calling it my beach salary.  I'll get paid to sit on the beach one day.  At least, that's the initial plan, maybe I'll get bored of that after a few months, who knows.  We'll see.

I mean, there are a LOT of beaches on this planet to sit on.

Hey, who knows, it might be where I meet the future love of my life.  I bet lots of couples met on a beach.  Or at a beach resort.

Anyways back to this 18 percent raise.  This dividend thing is pretty sweet.  First off... It's pretty much completely passive income.  All I do is read article, review the books of the company, and then either buy, or sell shares.

Once you buy shares, they are yours.  You can't have them taken away from you.  You basically become part owner in the company.  If anything, they work for you.

It's just, nuts really.  It blows my mind.  I can sit there and make money by simply holding shares.  In a real work place... You do work, 8 hours a day... 5 days a week.  You have a boss that makes requests from you... and you then work on those requests.

As a shareholder, you have no boss.

In a workplace, if you want a raise, you ask the boss for a raise.  Though, in my case, I never get them.  Oh well.  Although, to be fair, that's life in a non-profit.  Pay is low and raises are hard to come by.  But it's kind of something that is understood by working for a non-profit.  So, I'm fine with it.

This shareholding thing?  I didn't even ask for a raise and I got an 18 percent raise!  18 percent!

Anyways, I'm actually pretty excited about the future.  I log into my portfolio every single day.  I research on the holdings.  I buy and sell, rebalance, and monitor and measure my income and all that.

Anyways, I've decided that one of my goals in life is to just live a beach life.  Just create a dividend paying portfolio that increases the dividends every year and then all I do is tend to it and make small changes here and there.  And then... I just travel to different beach destinations.

Maybe I meet a girl, and she can join me on my quest to find the best beaches in the world... And maybe I don't.

Either way, that's my plan.

My goal in the next 5 years is to become a full time beach bum, investor.  And then I'll just blog about the different beaches that I go to.  I'll just start a beach bum blog.  And then I'll just feature a new beach monthly on my blog.  And that, my friends, is how I will spend the rest of my life.

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Okay.  So, here I am actually out on this first date tonight...

And we're talking about the TV show Scrubs.  We can't remember who played the one character... You know, the main character (turns out it was Zach Braff).

Okay, so , I pull out my phone and google "Scrubs".

One of the first results?  Uniform Advantage.


Because why WOULDN'T it be?

That's just how it goes... The result was good old UA Brands...

Let met just explain something real quick...

Here's my thing... Let's say, you're a God.  And you have a situation where two of your beings that you created...

One of those beings (a guy) fell all kinds of in love with another being (a girl).  But the girl wasn't in love with the guy.  And then she moved far away from that guy.  Then the girl met a new guy, and she was now dating him. And the previous guy that was originally in love with the girl... SO, he was totally heart broken and beat up about her meeting this new guy...  Because now that girl he liked for a long time is with this other guy...

YOU as a God... It's now your job to figure out a way to make this old guy meet someone new... Right?  I mean, your job is to make the old guy forget the girl and meet a new girl.

Because after all, the original girl met this new guy once she moved far away... So, she's good to go.  She's met someone.  So WHY would you have a situation where the original guy...

Keeps being reminded of that original girl.  That's just... It makes no sense!  Don't do that.

Uniform Advantage is associated with that original girl.  So of course, here I am on this date, talking about the TV show Scrubs, and then I Google the word Scrubs and there pops up this brand that this girl was (or possibly still is) associated with.

And in my mind I'm just like WHY?  That's not fair.  It's SOOO not fair.  Why would you do this to me God?

It's just not fair at all to keep reminding me of this girl.  If she's still with that guy, and things are good for the two of them... Why would a God above keep reminding me of her?

Totally not fair.

It's not like I DON'T think about her... ALL the time.  I TOTALLY do.  I totally in a heartbeat would LOVE to read all her social media again.  But I don't want to see photos of her with her boyfriend all happy and in love.

I don't want to know.

I can't handle her and him.  It just makes me feel feelings I don't want to feel.  But, it's like... If you're a God and have complete control of the universe, don't make it so that the word Scrubs comes up in the conversation between me and this girl I'm on a first date with.  Don't make it so that we can't think of the name of the actor that played J.D. and that we decide to pull out our phones and I decide to Google the word "Scrubs".  And don't make it so that the search term Scrubs comes up with a top result of Uniform Advantage.

If you WANT me to forget her...If you want me to stop thinking about her... WHY put things in the way, ESPECIALLY when I'm on a first date... To remind me of her.

It's just not fair.

So yeah.  That's all I have to say.  I think about her... And I don't know why.  I don't know why I can't stop thinking about her.  It's just not fair.  What's the point in thinking about someone and being reminded of someone that you can't ever be with or talk to or see... It just makes no sense to me.  But here I am... Still just wondering about you and how things are for you.

Especially when I'm reminded of things that are uniquely specific to you and memories of you.



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Surfview Drive

So, Surfview Drive is where my grandparents lived in Cali when I was a little kid... They were at the very top of the street in the Pacific Palisades.

I've decided that I want to use Surfview as the name of my capital management/holding company.

As of right now, for all intents and purposes, it's not a real company.  It's just something I've decided to add to kind of connect the past and present.

Plus it just sounds cool.

I plan to get some business cards made up, just for fun as a party gag.  Who knows, maybe one day I'll actually incorporate it legitimately with that name, or another name.  I haven't decided yet.

Right now what I'm doing, is I'm taking the money that I've received in various capacities, be it trust receipts, estate receipts, or my own personal income from the years I've worked my 9-5 job.

All of this money, is becoming capital for future investments.  I plan to take all this capital to make investments... then, the returns on those investments... Will be used for further, future investments.

Waves of investments.  Each future wave, funded from previous waves.

So, my made up company is... Surfview Capital.  It will hold investments, at first, in boring crap.  Stocks, bonds, whatever.

Once those are all in place... it will then begin making investments in private equity.  Friends that want to make music, or movies... books... my own stuff as well.

I may make an entire holding company and then have that company hold sub companies...

Surfview Studios, Surfview Productions, Surfview Records...

Whatever.  It's all just for fun at this point.

Right now, it's just the fictitious name I've decided to give my investments, so I can be the president and CEO of my investment company.  I'm my only client, and it's all my stuff that I'm investing.

My goal at the moment is just to learn, focus on growing the investments and building up a steady income coming off those investments.

Basically build something that can't be stopped.  Just build up an entire mountain of investments and income... That even if I just slept all day, interest on the capital would keep coming in to no end.

Surfview Capital can then use that money coming in off the investments, to invest in new things... While keeping the old investments as a bedrock foundation.

That way, if a more risky investment fails... There's the next round of interest right around the corner, and the next investment.

Anyways, right now, it's just small change... It's just small potatoes.

But the wheels are already in motion.  My current income from my investments is over 1200 bucks from January 1st until today.  If I did nothing, didn't make any future trades, made no further action on the investments...

This time next year, I'd have another 1200, or actually since I've added the past few months several new investments... It would be more like 2 or 3 grand.  It would just keep coming in...

I wouldn't have to do anything.  The money would just keep coming.

This is my first goal.

To set something up where... interest just flows... like a river.

Like waves on the ocean that surfers catch.  They just keep coming.

See, the real reason for all this is... I want to fund creative ventures.  I want to make music, write books, produce films... I have LOTS of ideas for things.

I want this to be the start.  The problem is.. It's HARD to do creative things when you work 9-5 Monday through Friday 40 hours a week.

It's just hard to dedicate that time on top of having a 9 to 5 job.

But, I'm not one to leap before I look.  I want to replace my current job salary with an alternate passive investment salary.

This is what I'm doing with my investment account.

Once that has completed... I'll leave my current job and transition over to creative ventures and projects.

I'm actually really excited about it.  It gives me something to look forward to.  It's not that I hate the whole 9 to 5 thing... Or IT work... But it's just not my passion.  My passion is the creative stuff.  When I think of actually being excited about going to work each morning when my eyes first open...

That's books/music/films... Venture capital.

It's not... An IT guy 9 to 5.

I don't get in my car on my way to work and say to myself... I CAN'T WAIT to work on things at work today...

I say to myself...I can't wait until AFTER work when I can work more on this song I'm recording.

I can't wait until AFTER work when I can do investment research.

I can't wait until AFTER work when I can work on my books...

Etc. Etc.

But, I'm a responsible person and a realistic person... So, I'm going to go about it in a way that is sustainable and responsible.

I need health insurance... I have bills to pay with owning  a house... Electric bills and water and gas bills, and home insurance, and property taxes don't pay themselves.

So, I work a 9-5 tech IT job... Until Surfview Capital has sufficient investment income stream to replace my current salary.  Then I work on creative ventures full time.

It's not a matter of IF it happens... It's a matter of when.

When my investment income outpaces my job income... That's the when.

Right now I don't have an ACTUAL time frame... Just a goal of 2 to 3 years.  So, we'll see how it goes.  The good news is, a few of my dividend producing stocks recently increased their divided payout.  One actually gave me a 10 percent raise!  That means, by simply sitting here and continuing to hold my shares, I'll be making 10 percent MORE this next year for my 4 quarterly dividend payments than I did last year.

Some of my other dividend producing stocks that I hold in my portfolio have also incrementally increased payouts... some 5 percent, another 2 percent.

So, that means... Given a long enough time line... If nothing else... As my investments continue to not only pay me income, but increase the amount of income they pay me on a regular basis...

It's only a matter of time until my investment salary as hedge fund manager at Surfview Capital outpaces my 9 to 5 day job salary.

Pretty cool eh?

I think so.

But again, it's all just a hobby at this point.  I mean no one can live off 1200 bucks a year.  But, I'll check back in next year around this time and see where I'm at.

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Deuling Incomes

So, I broke past 2 grand for my year to date income from trading.  This includes both dividends and capital gains.  I added another stock today into my portfolio.  I'm pretty excited about this!

Honestly, I love investing. I really do.  It's just like... Fun for me!  Some people like to garden, or collect things, or play video games, or whatever... Investing is my side thing.  I just love watching my portfolio build and grow and evolve.  It's the coolest.

I love following investment news, and financial markets news.  I just love it.

I know, it's probably SOOO boring for some people.  No one wants to manage money or finances.  Most people don't care about stock portfolios.  I guess maybe I like it so much because my grandfather was big on it.  He managed his own stock portfolio.  So, I suppose I feel like, it's a way to connect with my grandfather maybe?  I don't know...  All I know is he was glued to the Wall Street Journal and the nightly news and was all about business news and reading business books as often as possible...

Okay so anyways....

2 grand doesn't seem like much.  But for all intents and purposes, it's pretty much entirely passive income. Yes, it isn't much... But it's money that I've made by just tweaking my current assets.

I traded very little this whole year.  I pretty much just let my stocks ride with only a few small buys and sells.  Mostly... It's just dividend income coming in.

But here's the thing, that 2 grand is just the start.  When you build a nest egg stock portfolio... It's not a sprint.  It's a marathon.  It's something you start building and keep your whole life.  My stock portfolio will live with me the rest of my life.  I'll use the income from it as I go through life.

And as my life changes, my portfolio will change with me.  It's always there, to make changes, to check, to research and work on updating.  It's more than just money.  At least to me it is I guess...

It's something I'm connected to and keeps me grounded.

Alright so, right now, my portfolio is very small...  I really haven't even invested the money I've received from both my mom's estate and the first trust distribution that I got back in October.  I'm just now starting to do that.  So this 2 grand was only income from my own money that I've saved up over the years working.

I'm actually on track to make, probably, another 500 bucks before January.  This means, I'll again, have beaten my previous year's income.  Which is a goal I try to beat each year.

So, here's the deal with all of this.  This whole stock thing and dividend income, makes it so that bumps in the road of life, are less bumpy.

See, most people work jobs... and they receive an income.  That income then goes to pay bills, and for food, and buy clothing and whatever... Pay rent.

But if that income from working is disrupted... Life can get a little frazzled.

That's stressful.

My grandfather quit his job at 50.  Well, he sold his business.  Then he did some consulting work until he was 60, and then... It was just managing investments from then on.

I'm not there yet, but as this flow of investment income continues to build... Eventually, I'll get closer to where he was.  The idea is that, when things get bumpy in a workplace and everyone is like whispering worries about job security, or whatever, any kind of possible scenario you can think of...

When you have investment income that exceeds your work paycheck.

You can sit back and not care about the rumors or gossip.  You could care less.  Because you don't rely on the paycheck to pay bills.

Your investments pay for your bills.  The work paycheck is just fun money.

That's my ultimate goal.  SO no matter where I'm working... I don't care about my paycheck.  It's just fun money.

Again, I'm not there yet as I'm only going to net about 2500 bucks this year in investment income...

But as that climbs and then exceeds my work income?

Perhaps I'll start my next journey in life!  Honestly? I have no clue what that is yet... So, for now I'll stay with my current job.  Just keep building this income stream.  But once it DOES replace that income and my work paycheck just becomes fun money...

Who knows?  Anything is possible!

Once I get my inheritance and trust money moved into income producing investments over the course of the next 6 months to a year, or perhaps 2 years... That 2500 bucks I made this year.... Is probably going to go upwards to close to 15 to 20 grand... And I'll just keep tending to my portfolio to keep increasing that amount.  It all depends on how active, or passive I want to be.  Obviously, I work a day job.  So, my investing is very passive right now.  I don't really put much time into it.  I just let my investments do their own thing and collect the dividends and interest deposits into my account.

I do a little research here and there, and make small changes.

As those investments continue to grow... I'm not sure, perhaps, one day, just invest/trade full time!  Who knows?

The one thing I REALLY think is the coolest about investing is that it doesn't require a physical location.... Which means... I could rent an apartment anywhere on this planet and as long as I have wifi and a laptop... I can make money.

I could just sit under some palm trees poolside in the tropics with my laptop... And work on my investing strategies.

How cool is that?  How cool is an office that is poolside with palm trees and a laptop?  That's pretty damn cool if you ask me!

Or hot?  Because it's a tropical environment?

Anyways, that's a few years off.  In 6 years too, I'll get another check from my trust, which I can then use as more capital for trading.  But I'm fairly certain my investment income salary will be matching my work salary by 6 years from now.  Although, you never know.  Investing does carry risks.  And it's hard to tell what's going to happen in the future.  That's why you make investments based on the most likely outcome.

So, we'll see.

I'm going to peg my dividend/capital gains salary surpassing my work salary at somewhere around 2 to 3 years away.

We'll see... Right now, I'm setting up dueling incomes.  It's mostly, a test to see how close I can get them to match one another.  Right now... My dividend/capital gains income is lagging my work income by a LOT.  But, each year that goes by... That gap has slowly gotten a little less.

The dueling has begun!

If nothing else... I just think it's neat.  And if nothing else nothing else...

At the moment my investment income salary is just a little bit of extra spending cash that I can use to maybe book vacation with, or treat myself to a fancy dinner once or twice a month.

At this point, it's all just starting out.  So, we'll see where I'm at in 6 months, or 12 months, or 24 months after I move that other cash into investments and continue to build my investment portfolio.

Investing is one of those things that really takes 10 to 20 to 30 years to really get going... But as it gets going, once it REALLY gets going... It can start REALLY taking off.  It's all about being patient and building up things slowly.

You make mistakes, you learn from the mistakes.  You do more research, and you just keep learning about managing the portfolio.

I think it's the Yale business club who started with a 10 thousand dollar initial investment and their portfolio is up over a few million?  I mean, that's been since the 40s... So, they have had a while now to build steam.  But that's how powerful it is!  You can start with only a small amount, and over time, it can grow and grow and grow.

Anyways, I love investing and I love my little portfolio.  I'm excited to see where it is as I hit milestones in my life, 35 (next year) 40, 45, 50, 60, 70, 80...

And when the time comes... I shall pass my portfolio on to someone younger for them to manage.  Hopefully it's my own children... But I guess I just have to wait and see.

Right now I'm just interested to see how long it takes for my investment income to over take my day job income.  I'm going to say 3 to 5 years.

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So... Today was a good day.  I successfully pulled off my first swing trade with 100 shares bought, and then later sold... for a small profit.

This was outside of my normal dividend income that I'm setting up.

Basically, it was two mouse clicks... The price of the stock dropped... I clicked buy.  The price of the stock went up... I clicked sold.

My actual buy date was last week, today was the sell date.

I made a small profit.

Basically, what I'm setting up is a system outside of my work paycheck that can cover all my costs related to life.  That way... I don't have to worry about relying on my work paycheck.  The problem with relying on a work paycheck is... It's stressful.  What if I suddenly find myself out of a job and that income dries up?

If you're living to that income from your job... That can be scary!

But if you have investment income coming in that can cover all your expenses in life?  Ahhhhh... Stress free.

But what about the work income?  Then why not just quit your job and go sit on a beach?

Yeah yeah yeah... Eventually... Probably some day.  But my thing is... If I can get my investments to cover all my necessities of life?  I can use my paycheck from work as spending cash.  I can travel.  I can buy random stuff.  I can basically use it to go to fun things!  Singles cruise?  Don't mind if I do.

Trip down under?

Sounds like a fantastic time!

Donate money to good causes?

Let's not get too carried away.  I mean, maybe a small amount.  But... Come on... I'm single and in my 30s!  That's for later on in life when I'm old and pruney and want to get invited to gala events and dress up and feel important.  I mean, yes, maybe I'll donate a little here and there... But, seriously, that's for when I'm in an old age and know I don't have much time left on this planet.  That's when you start donating money to things.

So, that's my plan right now.  Continue to build up my investments so that they cover my monthly living expenses... And then my entire work paycheck can be entirely... Fun money.

I know, right?

So anyways, the trade I made today just got reinvested.  Any capital gains trades I make... Buy low, sell high, just go back into my investments that generate steady dividend and interest income.  Those are the investments I really want.  The ones where I don't have to buy or sell, I just hold it... and keep holding... and keep holding... And every month, or every quarter... I get a deposit in the account.  I could not even log into my account for months and still keep getting income.  Then I set my bills all on auto pay.  And basically my shares in the water company that I own, pay me a dividend that goes to pay the water bill.

And I don't even have to think about it.

My dividend from Target goes to pay for the stuff I buy at Target on my cash back credit card..

My shares in the electric company I own, and natural gas distributor go to pay for my energy use.

My shares in whatever company, pay me a dividend that lets me pay for the stuff I buy from that company.

And then should I feel like actually actively trading, I make some capital gains and that is used to increase my dividend investment base.

My shares in Intuit pay for my Turbotax subscription to help with taxes.

My shares in whatever company help pay for my whatever bill I have.

And then my paycheck from work?  Icing on the cake.

And should something happen where I suddenly find myself without a job, or who knows, even unable to work... My investment income keeps coming in.  And I don't have to worry up at night how I'm going to afford to pay for... Inset bill here.

Because my Aetna shares dividend help pay for my health insurance.

Life is uncertain.  But one of the biggest mistakes we make is looking at our paycheck and saying to ourselves... Sweeeeeet.  Time to cash this bad boy and go spend some money!

To me?  I'd rather know that as I age... More and more things will be paid for, using passive income.  Because who knows where I'll be at in my 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s... and beyond.

If I know that my investment income will pay for my car repair and maintenance... My home repair and maintenance...

My groceries.

I can sleep a heck of a lot better at night.

SO for now... I want to use my dividends to cover all my basic necessities of just living and breathing and walking around...

And then my work paycheck can be entirely for fun!

Obviously I'm not there yet.  But that's my goal one day.

Anyways so today I sold my 100 share "test" trade.  I'm happy with the trade.  It wasn't perfect.  But it's just one small step in continuing to build up my investments.

The stocks I mentioned above I don't actually own most of them.  I have jumped in and out of them at various points.

Anyways, I'm happy with my latest trade.  I'm going to take a break for a little bit, but I'll try another trade perhaps in a couple weeks or so.  For now I'm just going to hold what I have and collect interest and income off those investments.  Some of them I've had for close to a decade... So, I do have some very long term investments that I just simply hold.  The one I sold today that I bought last week was kind of an experiment of sorts... Or a test as I've said.  It did seem to work the way I'd planned.  So, who knows... I might do more of those short term swing trades.

It's crazy because the amount of money I made for the all of 5 minutes of time I put into the trade... It's kind of astounding.  I mean, it was MAYBE 5 minutes of time to make the actual trades.  And I made a pretty decent chunk of change from it, for 5 minutes of work.  So, yeah.

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Stainless Steel or Porcelain

I found out from the vet on Monday that you're not supposed to use plastic cat dishes for cats.  For dogs, it's okay, but for cats... You want to use stainless steel or porcelain.

Who knew?

My one cat had some dirt on her fur and I couldn't for the life of me figure out where it was coming from...

It was coming from the hard to see plastic particles holding the dirt on the water bowl and food bowl.  SO each time she went to lick water or eat food... her fur would rub up against the plastic and attract dirt.  Over time it builds up.  Even if you can't see it, it's most likely there.  It's because plastic I guess over time loses its smoothness as the plastic degrades.  Especially in temperature extremes and sun.  Stainless steel and porcelain don't do this.  You still have to clean them regularly.  But plastic becomes harder and harder to clean.

This is why I stopped using plastic water bottles.  I switched to stainless steel for both my hot coffee/tea container and water bottles.

I guess I'll be shopping for some new food and water dishes for the cats.

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