Live Off Dividends

Passive Income and Personal Finance

Month: January 2017 (page 1 of 2)

The 5 Best Survey Sites To Earn Extra Money This Month


Surveys are an extremely easy way to earn extra money. Whether you’re on lunch break at work, sitting on the couch after work or just have a few minutes to kill, surveys are a great way to make some extra money.

These 5 survey sites are my personal favorites and out of all the sites that I’ve signed up for I find that I am consistently using these 5 more than any other sites. And I also get paid the most from these 5 as well, which is what’s really important here.

1.) MySurvey

MySurvey is strictly a survey site and they offer rewards for just about everything! You can transfer to Paypal, redeem points for gift cards to Amazon and much more!

1.) Swagbucks

Swagbucks is the largest online rewards site that gives free gift cards to its members for their online activities, such as Taking Surveys, Shopping, Searching the Web, Watching Videos, and Playing Games. Swagbucks is one of my personal favorites.

2.) Cashcrate

Cashcrate offers multiple different ways to get paid. You can get paid to test out new products, sign up for free websites and services, taking surveys and giving your opinion, get cashback on purchases from hundreds of online retailers, refer Cashcrate to others, you can get paid to socialize, play games and even for winning contests! Cashcrate has so many different ways to earn money that I’m certain that everybody can find a way that works for them.

3.) Marwood Research

Marwood Research offers participants the opportunity to take place in market research surveys. You will have the opportunity to help influence new products. Everyone who signs up is entered into a daily drawing for a $100.00 Visa gift card. The $100 daily drawing is enough reason for me to sign up!

4.) Opinion Surveys

Opinion Surveys has a member base of over 10,000,000 people and counting. You give your input to brands to influence future products and services while receiving cash, gift cards and the opportunity to test products!

5.) MySurvey

MySurvey is strictly a survey site and they offer rewards for just about everything! You can transfer to Paypal, redeem points for gift cards to Amazon and much more!


My Survey Advice

When it comes to survey sites, the more options you have the better. I sign up to as many survey sites as I possibly can so I always have surveys available to me. And I have many more options available to me, meaning I can only do the highest paying surveys while skipping the others.

Survey sites are always free to sign up with and if they aren’t then don’t sign up. If a survey site tries to charge you then it is guaranteed to be a scam. There is no risk to sign up for these free sites because it is free and if you are dissatisfied with the service they provide then you can simply unsubscribe.

It is important that you’re honest when taking surveys. A lot of the sites will remember previous information that you’ve given and if they detect inconsistencies you may not qualify for as many surveys as you should. You can also be disqualified mid-survey if you give too many contradictory answers.

I also like to cash in as soon as I reach the minimum threshold. This is just my personal preference but that way I know that I’m guaranteed my money.

It’s also not a bad idea to setup an alias email. This way you can keep all your survey emails in one account and easily sort through them to find the best surveys. It’s just a more efficient way to view and complete surveys, some surveys are only available for 24 hours or even less, so complete the high paying surveys while you can!

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links.

Looking for other ways to earn extra income? Try these 10 Ways To Earn More From Home.












How To Evaluate Dividend Stocks



There are lots of people who are interested in investing in dividend stocks. Most of us have no clue where to begin when we are new investors though. With all the different stocks out there that pay dividends it can be challenging to decide which of these will be the best fit for your portfolio.

It is common for aspiring dividend investors to be lured into purchasing a company based on a high yield. However, an extremely high yield often signals a sign of financial uncertainty. Dividend sustainability is arguably the most important factor when deciding on which stocks to buy, especially for those looking for long term investments.

Analyzing a companies dividend is crucial when determining which stock to buy. The four major things to look for are; free cash flow to equity (FCFE), the dividend payout ratio, the dividend coverage ratio and the net debt to earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA ratio).


Free Cash Flow To Equity (FCFE)

Free cash flow to equity is measured by subtracting all expenses, reinvestments, debt repayments from net income and adding net debt. This calculation determines how much cash can be paid out to shareholders.

Dividends and FCFE are not the same thing though. FCFE is simply what is available to be paid to shareholders, a dividend is the amount that is actually paid to shareholders.

Investors usually want to see that the company’s entire dividend payments can be covered by the free cash flow to equity.


Dividend Payout Ratio

The dividend payout ratio indicates what portion of a company’s annual earnings per share is being paid in the form of dividends per share. The dividend payout ratio can be calculated by taking annual dividends per share (DPS) dividend by earnings per share (EPS). You can also calculate the dividend payout ratio by taking the total dividends paid divided by net income.

The magic number here is 50%. A company that pays out more than 50% of its earnings in the form of dividends is considered less stable and at a greater risk to cut dividends, or increase dividends at a lower rate. A company that pays out less than 50% of its earnings in the form of dividends is considered stable and has more potential to raise dividends and maintain dividends over the long term.


Dividend Coverage Ratio

The dividend coverage ratio is used to determine the number of times that a company could pay dividends to its shareholders using its net income. It is used to evaluate the risk of not receiving dividends.

To calculate the dividend coverage ratio take a companies annual earnings per share divided by its annual dividends per share.

A higher dividend coverage ratio is preferred (higher than one), this means the company can pay dividends to its shareholders more times than if it had a lower ratio. If a dividend coverage ratio is lower than one it may mean that the company is borrowing money to pay dividends.


Net Debt To EBITDA Ratio

The net debt to EBITDA ratio is used to determines a companies leverage and its ability to pay its debt. To calculate a company’s net debt to EBITDA ratio take the company’s total liability minus cash divided by its EBITDA.

A company with a lower net debt to EBITDA ratio is generally seen as more attractive when compared against other similar companies. Beware of  divided paying companies that have high net debt to EBITDA ratios and have been consistently increasing, this may be a sign of an upcoming dividend cut.



Implementing these ratios can help you make informed decisions while picking which dividend stock to buy next. Buying stock in companies that you understand is critical and will ultimately lead to greater success for your investments. Remember, only you have the power to make informed choices, you must do your own due diligence and make investments that you are comfortable with.


What strategy do you use to pick your dividend stocks?




My 457(b) Investments

my 457b investments

I recently started a 457 plan through work so I figured I would write a short article about it as well as my holdings.

A 457b plan is a kind of retirement plan available to state and public employees and can be offered by nonprofit organizations. It is very similar to a 401k in that you can opt to contribute to your plan from your salary.  These contributions are made pre-tax and grow tax-deferred until withdrawing the money, at which point the money will be taxed. Contributions are limited to an annual maximum dollar amount. For 2016 the maximum contribution is $18,000 annually. Many questions arise when starting a retirement tax-deferred retirement account such as how much money to contribute and what funds to put it in.

If it were possible, I would contribute the full $18,000 per year to my 457 plan. Unfortunately, I’m not in a position where I’m able to do this. Most companies will make you decide on a percentage of your salary to contribute. My job uses Nationwide for our 457 and we’re able to decide if we want to contribute a percentage or a set dollar amount. I decided to choose a set dollar amount. Though there are advantages to selecting a percentage. The major advantage is that when you get a raise in your salary your contributions will increase as well. I manage my money very actively so deciding when I need to increase my contributions isn’t a problem for me.

I decided I would contribute $200 of pre-tax income every paycheck(bi-weekly). This is a little over 20% of my pay but it doesn’t actually amount to that because of the tax savings. I will adjust my contributions as I get raises to stay right around 20%.

As I previously stated my job uses Nationwide for our 457 plan so coincidentally I decided to invest in some Nationwide funds. They had better expense ratios, history and asset allocation than most of the other similar funds available. For those of you who read my Roth IRA post you know that I’m a big fan of index funds. These are the funds I chose and my allocations:


1.) Nationwide S&P 500 Index Fund 40%:

The fund seeks to provide investment results that correspond to the price and yield performance of publicly traded common stocks, as represented by the Standard & Poor’s 500® (S&P 500) Index. The expense ratio is 0.42%. The YTD growth is 7.45% and the 5 year growth is 12.90%.


2.) Nationwide Mid Cap Market Index Fund 20%:

The fund seeks to match the performance of the Standard & Poor’s MidCap 400 Index (the S&P MidCap 400 Index) as closely as possible before the deduction of Fund expenses. The expense ratio is 0.68%. The YTD growth is 12.11% and the 5 year growth is 11.57%.


3.) Nationwide Bond Index Fund 20%:

The fund seeks to match the performance of the Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Index as closely as possible before the deduction of fund expenses. The expense ratio is 0.68%. The YTD growth is 5.64% and the 5 year growth is 2.93%.


4.) Nationwide U.S. Small Cap Value Fund 10%:

The fund seeks to provide long term growth through U.S. small cap companies. The expense ratio is 1.43%. The YTD growth is 8.41% and the 5 year growth is 9.95%.


5.) Invesco International Growth Fund 10%:

The fund seeks long-term growth of capital by investing in a diversified portfolio of reasonably priced, quality international companies with strong fundamentals and sustainable earnings growth. The expense ratio is 1.31%. The YTD growth is 5.50% and the 5 year growth is 2.70%.


Similar to my Roth IRA, this is a long-term setup. I don’t plan on having to change or alter this portfolio much except to adjust my contribution amount. I just started my 457b plan last July so I’m hoping I see decent returns this year! As always, updates of my portfolios will be included in my monthly cash flow and goals update.


What does your 457b / 401k look like?

Looking to earn extra money? Try these 10 Ways To Earn Money From Home!








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