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  • The median age in the U.S. is 36.8
  • The median income in the U.S. is $51,939
  • The average 401k match is $1 for $1 up to 6%

A 36.8 year old investing 10% of their $51,939 income with a $3,116.34 match:
With just average stock market returns of 10% would have $1,114,479.31 by retirement.

Join 21,000+ other readers who have learned how anyone, even beginners, can easily make this desire a reality. Download the free ebook: 7 Steps to Understanding the Stock Market.

Looking to Invest in Emerging Markets? Start with the MSCI World ETF (ACWI)!

If you’re coming here from my blog post about Global Equities Momentum to learn more about a MSCI World ETF, welcome!  If not, I highly recommend checking it out so you understand how the proper utilization of this ETF is so incredibly important!

Basically, Global Equities Momentum (GEM) relies on the utilization of three different investment options:

  • S&P 500 ETF (VOO or SPY)
  • T-Bills
  • MSCI All World ETF

When you use these three different investing options in the way that GEM recommends, you’re going to realize some absolutely insane returns.  In fact, those returns have outperformed the S&P 500 over a 40-year period by 5%!  That is a monstrous amount of outperformance.

So, the question is – What MSCI World ETF should be used?

The answer is simple – use ACWI.

ETF.com as “ACWI tracks a market-cap-weighted index of large- and midcap global stocks, covering 85% of the developed and emerging markets capitalization.”

Basically, it’s an index fund that’s going to help get you some exposure to some stocks that are in emerging markets as well as in the U.S.

As you might anticipate, the U.S. is a very large chunk of the companies included in the ETF, but there is still another 40% of companies that are split amongst the rest of the world with the second largest country being Japan:

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Examining Kroger’s (KR) Dividend History and the Growth of its Business

Kroger (KR) was thrust into the public spotlight when it was reported that billionaire Warren Buffett purchased almost 19 million shares. Buffett has built his fortune on stocks with dividends, and looking at the KR dividend history we might be able to see why he’s interested in this grocer.

Kroger, or officially The Kroger Co (ticker symbol KR), has been paying an increasing dividend for 14+ years (as of October 2020).

The latest dividend increase for KR was from a quarterly dividend of $0.16 for June 1, 2020, to one of $0.18 for September 1, 2020. That represented a growth rate of 12.5%, which falls in-line with the company’s 5 year growth rate (of 12.03% per year).

To understand how the company has been able to grow its dividend at such a superior rate, and if the company should be able to maintain this level of increases for the future, it’s prudent to look at the company’s (KR) dividend history and the history of the growth of its business.

Starting with Kroger’s Management

Kroger has been run by CEO W. Rodney McMullen since his election on January 1, 2014. At age 59, McMullen has retained great control over the company, also having become elected to be Chairman of the Board in 2015 after a very long tenure with Kroger (starting as a part time stock clerk in 1978!).

Though Kroger’s 5 year track record of stock performance hasn’t been great compared to the S&P 500, at -9.41% vs +72.57%, since fiscal year 2015 the company has reduced diluted shares outstanding from 993 million to 805 million (-18.9%), and again has grown that dividend fantastically over the same time period (76.5% in total).

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Understanding the Commercial Banking Industry – A Simple Guide

“Banking is a very good business if you don’t do anything dumb.”

Warren Buffett

The banking industry is an unknown entity to most of the investing public, and most are unfamiliar with a bank does to make money.

Commercial banking is the financial world’s bedrock, and most of us couldn’t exist without our banks. Did you know that most people have longer relationships with their banks than other people, including their significant others? Think about it; it is absolutely the truth; we never leave our banks.

Commercial banks encompass many of our lives’ day-to-day operations both personally and financially, and I thought it might be a worthy idea to uncover these institutions and look deeper into their operations.

Two of my financial gurus, Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger, have made banks a central focus of their investment decisions, from long investments in Wells Fargo, JP Morgan, and Bank of America, to name a few. Buffett has also invested in Goldman Sachs, Bank of New York Mellon, and other smaller regional banks throughout his career.

Buffett understands the banking industry extremely well, and the potential for long-term gains banks offer to any investor.

In today’s post, we will learn:

  • How do Commercial Banks Work?
  • How Are Commercial Banks Organized?
  • Industry Analysis
  • List of Commercial Banks

Ok, let’s dive in and learn more about the commercial banking industry.

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6 Must-Follow Wealth Creation Steps to so You Can Retire Early

Do you find yourself in a situation where you’re having no issues living within your means, but you’re really not just getting close to financial freedom as quickly as you might want to?  Knowing what to do to generate wealth creation isn’t easy – at all – but that’s why I’m here to help you along the way with a few simple steps, as well as how I personally implement this in my daily life!

Live Within Your Means

The #1 thing that you have to do is live within your means.  This likely sounds easy but trust me – it’s not!  If you’re not living within your means then you’re never going to hit your goals.  You HAVE to make sure that you’re spending less than you make and creating that surplus of cash each month that allows you to do other things with your money.

Living within your means really opens the door for you to be able to do many other things, including retiring early, providing more for your family, or even simply just being able to do more fun things – vacations, sporting events, anything!


This is the one that we all get excited about, right?  Of course!  That’s why you’re here at the Investing for Beginners blog! 

Investing is the best and the reason that we all do it is because of compound interest.  Compound interest is where you basically will make money on the money that you made the previous year, so that “interest” just continues to “compound” year after year after year.

As you can likely imagine, the two things that really make this work are:

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Top 8 Indicators of Economic Development – 25 Years (U.S.)

It’s hard to understand the economy in general, because there’s so much data and it’s so often taken out of context. Let’s narrow down only the most important indicators of economic development with this post, and examine real data published by government agencies to get context on these metrics.

I’ve found that this macroeconomic data can be extremely useful in making reasonable projections of future growth for valuation models on companies that trade in the stock market, and it can help you construe when a valuation is really irrational and almost certainly unachievable, or overly optimistic but still within reach.

Whether you’re someone casually interested in economic data or are totally immersed in finance in some capacity, I think you’ll find these explanations and data tables to be clear, organized, and a valuable resource.

It’s also great to know these numbers when confronted with sensational headlines about economic developments in the media and online—to bring clarity on the U.S has actually been doing lately.

GDP, or Gross Domestic Product

If wanting to understand the top economic indicators, it makes sense to start with GDP, or Gross Domestic Product.

You can think of GDP as the income a country generates within its economy. The equation for calculating a country’s GDP is the following:

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IFB172: How to Read An Annual Report – The Secret to Buffett’s Success

Announcer (00:02):

I love this podcast because it crushes your dreams of getting rich quick. They actually got me into reading stats for anything you’re tuned in to the Investing for Beginners podcast led by Andrew Sather and Dave Ahern. Step-by-step premium investing guidance for beginners. Your path to financial freedom starts now

Dave (00:33):

Welcome to Investing for Beginners podcast. This is episode 172 tonight. Andrew and I are going to answer a great listener question. We got from the United Kingdom. So we’ve got a great one from England. This is from Alex. Hi Andrew. I’m a big fan of the podcast over here in the UK. I dip my toe into value investing earlier in the year after reading Warren Buffett’s snowball and then proceeding to read the intelligent investor and security analysis by Ben Graham, and then found your podcast. So I guess I’ve done this thing a bit back to front compared to most of your investors. One thing I’m struggling with is understanding what I should be getting from reading the annual reports of companies I’m interested in buying so far. I’ve read five reports and only invested in one due to some warning flags and other issues that I didn’t like in the remaining four.

Dave (01:22):

It took me several weeks to read a report because I get bogged down in reading every single word and nuance. I guess my question is, is there an easy way to read the annual reports? Is there any specific information I should be focusing on to influence my decision of whether or not to buy a company? I should point out that prior to reading the APS, I stock must already meet my strict evaluation metrics. Therefore I don’t focus on a numbers and the reports as I’ve already interrogated these in detail prior to picking up the report. I hope all this makes sense that; thanks for all you do; kind regards Alex. All right, Andrew, what are your thoughts on Alex’s great question.

Andrew (02:04):

And, yeah, it’s a great question for sure. I think to give some background information for those of you who haven’t read those books, you know, when Warren buffet talks about why he’s so successful in investing, he mentioned that he reads something like sick five, five or six hours of his day when he’s working every day is spent reading, and he reads mostly annual reports, and he also reads newspapers.

Andrew (02:34):

You know, other company filings, like quarterly reports and things and transcripts, but he mainly focuses on the annual reports. And so Alex is, is on the right path here and trying to educate himself about what these businesses are, you know, what’s the business underneath the stock. And how are you going to learn about that as a business owner? And like Buffet says, it’s

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The Recession Resistant Triple Net REIT [Complete Guide]

The major source of income for all REITs are the rents they collect from their tenants, but how much do we know about the leases the business operate under? Most of us are not familiar with those leases and the types, such as a triple net lease.

A triple net REIT is a particular kind of business, and they operate under a specific type of lease that supports the business model and allows them to thrive.

Before investing in REITs, it is instructive to understand the different types of leases, particularly the triple net leases, that REITs, as landlords, use for their businesses.

Each type of leases lends itself to a particular business and helps drive the profitability of both the tenant and the REIT that owns the property.

Rent collection is a central part of each REIT’s profitability, and the terms of those leases have a bearing on each REIT’s success.

In the day and age of Coronavirus, rents have become a central focus of the risks associated with investing in REITs. I thought today would be a great time to uncover leases, particularly triple net REITs, to give us a better idea of the risks associated with REITs

In today’s post, we will learn:

  • Four Major Types of Leases
  • Common Lease Terminology
  • Triple Net Leases

Ok, let’s dive in and learn more about triple net leases and REITs.

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Growth vs Value According to Fidelity’s Peter Lynch: Growth is Better. Mostly…

The growth stocks vs value stocks debate has raged on over many market cycles. Some expert investors, like billionaire Warren Buffett, has said there’s no such thing as growth vs value—but rather that they are adjoined at the hip.

Peter Lynch, former fund manager at Fidelity of one of the most popular funds of all time, is long known as a growth at a reasonable price (GARP) type of investor.

One of his primary valuation techniques had been to compare P/E with the growth rate, in a ratio called the PEG (or P/E to growth) ratio. Basically, Lynch is happy to pay a higher P/E ratio as long as a company’s growth can match it.

The reasoning behind this idea is what I’ve found most fascinating.

Lynch has popularized the following idea:

“Because of compounding, a 20 percent grower with a P/E of 20x is a better investment than a 10 percent grower selling at a P/E of 10x.”

Empower Your Investing, by Scott A. Chapman, CFA

See, buying on low price based ratios has always made sense to me. But, the power of compounding has also always made sense to me.

So I decided to put this theory to the test, using some handy Excel calculations and some mildly reasonable assumptions. I found these revelations also fascinating, so I’d like to share them with the world.

Maybe it will help bridge the divide between the most adamant growth and value investors.

But first, some background…

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Time to Settle the Debate – Are We In An ETF Bubble?

One thing that I have heard many times before is that we are in an ETF bubble.  Personally, I kinda see both sides of the coin on this topic, but I know that it’s something that we should really think about it when we’re investing.

First off, what is an ETF?  Per Wikipedia, it is “an exchange-traded fund (ETF) is a type of investment fund and exchange-traded product, i.e. they are traded on stock exchanges.”

Another name for ETF is an index funds as they are really used for synonyms for one another.  Some common examples of ETFs include the following:

The different ETFs that you can find are honestly endless.  Personally, I like to use ETFs for two different reasons:

1 – If I am investing some money in an account that I want to be “safer” than picking individual stocks. This primarily is just my HSA just in case something tragic happened and I needed to rely on that money for health reasons.

2 – I am starting to look at a specific type of stocks that I want to get some exposure in but don’t feel confident enough to pick an individual stock.  I just went through a really thorough example of this when I invested in WCLD while looking for some cloud exposure.

Other than that, I typically will stay away from ETFs.  Not because they’re necessarily bad but mainly because I like to think that I can outperform the market if I spend some time analyzing companies and making sure that I am picking companies that are undervalued today vs. what I anticipate their future value being.

But the question remains – are we in an ETF bubble?

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The 2 Main Types of REITs and Their Risks and Rewards

REITs are a key consideration when contemplating diversifying your portfolio. REIT, which stands for real estate investment trusts, offers the ability to invest in real estate with more liquidity and diversification, and best of all, there are multiple types of REITs to buy, such as retail, office, or specialized, to name a few.

Another benefit REITs offer potentially higher overall returns and lower overall risk, plus they are a great counterbalance to bonds, stocks, and cash. And lastly, they offer an offset to the potential danger of inflation; as REITs lag the economy, they are generally the last asset class to feel the sting of rising inflation.

“I would give a thousand furlongs of sea for an acre of barren ground.”


When considering investing in real estate, remember that some of the world’s wealthiest people and organizations are landowners. People such as Queen Elizabeth, John Malone, and Ted Turner are among the world’s richest people and some of the largest landowners in the world. The Catholic Church is one of the largest landowners globally and one of the wealthiest organizations as well.

Throughout history, those who owned land controlled the wealth; think about the Romans, Byzantines, Mongols, and Chinese Empires and their power and wealth generated from those lands’ ownership.

With the ability to invest in REITs, we have the opportunity to participate in that wealth without the stress of actual ownership, such as maintenance, collecting rents, and liquidity.

In today’s post, we will learn:

  • What are the Two Types of REITs?
  • What are Equity REITs?
  • REIT Sectors: Risks and Rewards

Ok, let’s dive in and learn more about the types of REITs.

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