Geographic Independence: February 2009 update

March 1st, 2009 · No Comments

It’s time to pull out the ruler and measure our progress toward our geographic independence goal as of the end of February, 2009.  By which I mean, how much income did we have and how did that match up to the plan?

image: http://www.freeimages.co.uk/

image: http://www.freeimages.co.uk/

Our weighted average GI income for the month was $425.96, which is a significant jump above last month’s $343-ish.   As I posted a week or so ago, the reason for the sudden jump is a couple credit card rewards hitting our accounts as cash this month.  Those rewards made up almost 57% of our passive income this month!  If not for these rewards, our weighted income would have been down to $273.25.

The rest of our monthly income came from blogging income (25%), interest payments (16%), and dividends (2%).  It turns out that February is a terrible month for receiving dividend payments as only one of our stock positions actually paid out a dividend in February.  Many companies declare their dividends and even have ex-dividend dates in February, but they don’t actually pay the cash out until March or later.  Much later in the case of GE.  What’s up with an ex-div date in February but no cash payment until April?

So how does this month’s income compare to the plan?  In short, we’re well ahead of the plan still, though not quite as far as we were last month.   We’ve dropped down 9 months and are only earning the equivalent of what we had wanted for December, 2010 now ($268.20).  That’s still pretty damn good though!   BTW, if we included the cash rewards, we’d be almost 3 years ahead of the plan.

Anyway, I’ve been investing our GI income through ShareBuilder’s basic plan using automated investments.  I have it set up where we can transfer money in on a Monday and it will automatically execute one of their automated buys as long as the cash balance is above a given threshold by 5pm Monday.  I set the threshold at a value that ensures we don’t pay higher than a 1% transaction cost.   We’re still using ShareBuilder because we haven’t come to any conclusion on what brokerage to use for options trading.  It’s looking like the winner might be Interactive Brokers because we haven’t found anyone who comes close to their low commissions while offering a programmatic API.   We’ll probably want to make a decision in March as our GI portfolio balance will exceed the $2,500 mark we had originally forecast for leaving ShareBuilder.

Does anyone have any interest in helping to develop (in Python) a tool to help screen and identify good options trades?

More on this topic (What's this?)
Daily ETF Trend Report – Fix Income
Read more on Income at Wikinvest

Tags: Geo Ind Goal

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