Friday, October 25, 2019

Financial Independence For The Blind: First Update

At the beginning of October I posted my idea of creating an income stream that would build some income for the blind. You can read that post  here
cash, bank notes and coins, when investing I like to see cash flowing into my account coming from distributions and dividends
Cash Flow is King.

That post was made on 10th October. It took several days to have my new account checked and funded with just $50.

I began purchasing stock on Monday 21st October, 2019.

The first aim of the account is to build a portfolio worth $10,000.

I am not making this easy, I want to show anyone can do this using just a few dollars of spare change per month.

Some money will come from cash inputs but some must also come from cash flow within the portfolio itself.

My initial investments were in Mutual Funds.

So why Mutual Funds?

I  chose to go the mutual fund route first because they add instant diversification. Plus the two mutual funds I opted to buy units of pay a distribution every month.

My two mutual funds are MLPFX and PREMX.

MLPFX is a mutual fund which invests in things called Master Limited Partnerships, or MLP's. A MLP is a special company which owns things such as pipelines for oik or natural gas. They pay their owners a percentage of the profit from ordinary operations. This is in the form of a distribution, not technically a dividend. It currently pays about 5 cents per unit owned each month.

The PREMX mutual fund is T Rowe Price Emerging Markets fund. Again this pays about 5 cents per month in distributions and invests in emerging markets bonds.

Over the next year I should earn at least $3.20 from both Mutual Funds, I will re-invest some of these funds in the units themselves. I have just under 3 units of each investing $20 in the MLP mutual fund and $30 in the Emerging markets fund.

At the end of the first week I now have a portfolio worth $50.10 an initial profit of 0.20%

This initial profit is due to daily price fluctuations that the two mutual funds have gone through.

At this point it is nice to see price rises, but we don't want to see too large a price rise since we are re-investing the distributions and a lower price will actually serve us better as we will be able to purchase more units as time goes by.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Financial Independence for the Blind

Can a Blind Person become Financially Independent?

I am looking into gaining some financial independence. From today, October 10, 2019, I will attempt to build a nest egg for retirement. I am starting  from just $50.
A stack of dollar bills and coins.

The aim is to build this $50 up to over $10,000 initially. Taking some earnings from the occassional sale of items on amazon, some cash I save from housekeeping and daily expenses. It won't be easy. I plan on growing most of the  nest egg in a brokerage account. This will use cash, stocks in individual companies, exchange traded funds (ETF's) and mutual funds. I will share each step at least once per month, and give you the basics so you can follow and even try for yourself.

Why am I starting with such a small amount?   

I am starting with just $50 because it is an amount many of us can afford. We can all save $50 to start investing. The starting point in itself does not matter. What matters is where we end up.

Fifty dollars is also about the minimum amount that you can begin to invest effectively. It means that we cannot invest in a portfolio of amazon stock just yet. But we can invest in some property in the for or Real Estate Investment Trusts (REIT) and some nice low cost mutual funds.

To make this investment account more productive you could open this in a Roth IRA within the United States, that would allow you to grow the account tax free, but it is only available if you have earned income and you are funding the account from tax paid funds. Since many blind and visually impaired persons do not have jobs then such accounts are not available, plus any readers outside the U.S. may not have access to tax efficient accounts, so I want to keep this real. Not pie in the sky as can be found in so many quarters of the investment market.

So first I will go with an E*Trade brokerage account, I am familiar with their platform, it works well with my screen reader (NVDA) and best of all offers all kinds of investment types plus no-brokerage fees.

I will be staying away from things like options and futures trading. They are too complex for me to understand so I avoid dabbling in areas of the stock market that I do not understand.

A good book to start with basic investing knowledge is  Stock Investing for Dummies

But their are many more such books available:

I also like to listen to my Kindle books and podcasts about investing on my Echo "Alexa" device.
 The echo has good sound and it has a good interface where you can just say "Alexa, read my latest kindle book." or "Alexa, play Stacking Benjamins podcast."

So here it is a new series of blogs. Please follow this blog to read the latest updates on this series and other posts.
You may like to read my two year update on Financial Independence for the Visually Impaired here.

Please feel free to share this blog on facebook, twitter or any other social media.  Thank you.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

A long Awaited First. "Black Bear Diner, Fresno"

William, in check shirt and yellow hat, stands beside Black Lab Guide Dog Leif. Beside them is a wooden carved black bear holding a Welcome sign in its front paws outside the Black Bear Diner Fresno
Leif and I stand outside "Black Bear Diner" Fresno California

After living here in the United States now for thirteen years, I don't get to do many first time experiences any longer. Okay I have still got to visit New England, Kentucky, Arkansas, Alaska and Hawaii, But with most people who have a "Bucket List" I have visited the "Big Trees", dipped a toe in the Pacific Ocean, as well as both sides of the Atlantic.

   Today, I did get to have another, now rare first in my life. I went to "Black Bear Diner".

Well the trip to a "Black Bear Diner", was not the first. I have visited several "Black Bear Diner's in the past seventeen years. My first was in Gilroy, Ca. Back in 2002. I visited the original "Black Bear Diner" located in Shasta in the Fall of 2012. Even eaten in the "Black Bear Diner" in Reno, Nevada a couple of times too.

The "Black Bear Diner here in Fresno opened a year or so ago. I had marked it as a place to try a while back. But today was the first time I actually got around to trying it out.

The "Black Bear Diners" are famous for their large portions. And their HUGE biscuits. One biscuit could be a small meal in itself. I like their "Bigfoot", country fried steak, sometimes called chicken fried steak. But this morning I stood by the old breakfast standard of scrambled eggs and sausage. A good deal for a breakfast that sticks to your ribs and fills you up.

Since this diner is only a few hundred yards from the Valley Center for the Blind at Shaw and Valentine in Fresno, right beside the West bound bus number 9 stop, I should be visiting it more often.

The food is of good quality. Service is good and they also welcomed Leif, my guide dog with no hint of a problem.

It is not often I get to do a first these days. So it was nice that this first turned out to be a good one.

Maybe if you are passing one of these "Black Bear Diners' you might try them out. If you are in Fresno, then maybe Leif and I will see you at breakfast.