Living Frugal – Entertainment- Free Ebooks

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Introduction

Living frugal is a good way to increase the amount of capital you have to invest on a monthly basis. Small purchases here and there over the course of a month can add up to big money. Sometimes we’re talking enough capital to purchase an additional share or two, and when we’re talking about dividends, could mean adding dollars to your annual income. It definitely adds up.

People tend to spend a lot of money when it involves their entertainment.  In these series of posts, I’ll be highlighting what I do to provide entertainment to myself . First post up— books! Now the question is, where do we find free ebooks to enjoy?

Now I love to read. Both fiction and nonfiction, I find cracking open a good book just as thrilling as watching my favorite television show. I’m constantly reading no matter what I’m doing. There has definitely been a shift away from reading in general with the rise of television, movies and video games all fighting to take away your free time. But I encourage everybody to turn off their Game of Thrones or Assassin Creed game to enjoy a beautifull written book every once in awhile!

What are ebooks?

Chances are you already know what ebooks are all about. They’ve been around for years now and the ease/speed of acquiring them isn’t going away anytime soon. eBooks are just the digital form of books. There’s also been a big trend towards independent writers self publishing their own work on websites instead of going towards the traditional publishing route so I don’t expect it to go away anytime soon.

What Devices Can Free ebooks Be Read On?

You don’t need any special device in order to get into reading ebooks. There’s a good chance you already own a device that is capable of reading them. Most smartphones/tablets come with apps that will allow you to read them.

  • Apple Devices have iBooks
  • Android Devices have a bunch of apps in the Play Store.

You can also read ebooks from any Desktop or Laptop using Calibre.

I personally use a Kindle Paperwhite from Amazon. I feel it’s a good tradeoff between having a device that sort-of feels like a traditional book but with a much smaller form factor. I can store thousands of book on them and can pick what I want to read while out on the road.

Where Can I Get Free Ebooks?

There’s plenty of places online to find free ebooks. Be cautious though because not all books are available  legally free in your country and I’m a firm believer that copyright should be respected. The copyright laws vary by country so please take a little bit of time and figure out if something should be available to you. The following are all legal though and easy to download. Enjoy!

Local Library – A lot of local libraries are set up to allow ebooks to be downloaded to their patrons. Check for a local library location nearest you and support them! Libraries are great places to also pick up books, movies, etc. And the best thing about them, they’re always free!

Manybooks.net – This website was started in 2004 and has accumulated over 160 million books downloaded. It includes not only classic books but also releases newer titles from unknown indie authors.

Here’s a few titles I enjoy:

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

At the Mountains of Madness by H.P. Lovecraft

Project Gutenberg – The internet’s oldest digital library boasts thousands of public domain books in it’s archives. Public Domain basically means that the works are old enough to have left copyright and are available to everyone for free.project_gutenberg_logo

Their website is a little wonky to navigate and they use something called Book Categories as a way to divide the works up. They also provide shortcuts to view their most popular books and their top 100 books and authors for the last thirty days.

There are a lot of classics out there and no matter if you’re reading it for the first time or wanting to dust off a book you’ve read for high school, Project Gutenberg is sure to have something for everyone. Formatting wise, Project Gutenberg isn’t the greatest. Their process of creating their ebooks is automatic and not perfect. But we can overlook its faults because they’re free.

Here’s a few titles that I enjoy.

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

Amazon Prime – While not technically free— I find more and more people that I talk to have purchased Amazon Prime due to their free shipping and amazon instant watch but fail to remember that they also offer free books.

https://www.amazon.com/kindle-dbs/fd/prime-pr

They’re constantly adding and removing books in Amazon so I don’t want to link directly to anything specific. So for now, if you have Amazon Prime, just pick a genre and see what’s popular! I”m sure you’ll find something to enjoy.

NASA – I know this is a little weird and not totally expected but NASA (yes the government agency) offers free ebooks on Aeronautics, History, Science and other space things!

https://www.nasa.gov/connect/ebooks/index.html

This should get you started with finding something to read. If anybody has any recommendation, please feel free to leave a comment.  If I come across any other good sites, I’ll be sure to let you know as well!

HCP Spinoff – Is the Dividend Safe?

hcp_logo hcp spinoff

Overall, everything is looking good for HCP outside of the potential issues with the HCP Spinoff. They released earnings a few days ago and in a nutshell:

  • Q1 adjusted FFO of $321.8M or $0.69 per share vs. $364.3M and $0.79 one year ago.
  • FAD of $0.66 vs. $0.69.
  • Dividend is $0.575.

Portfolio wise, since I purchased them, it had equity growth over 12% and 2 dividend payouts of $35The dividend yield is over 6.5%,  so everything seems to be good. So what’s with the post? Well the surprise announcement that they are spinning off part of their portfolio in a new, publicly-traded REIT(SpinCo).

HCP Spinoff

HCP announced the intention to spin off its HCR ManorCare (HCRMC) real estate portfolio in a new, publicly-traded REIT(SpinCo). 

Financially, we’re seeing a drop of income for HCP of 26% from 1.9Bn to 1.4Bn. So right away, that’s a healthy chunk of money being taken out. Owners of HCP stock will continue to have the same amount of shares and will be given shares in the new SpinCo stock as a tax-free return. No word yet on whether or not the new stock will have a dividend. 

hcp spinoff split dividend
http://ir.hcpi.com/download/Proposed+Spin-Off+Presentation.pdf

 

If I were to make some guesses, I would assume the HCP and HCP Spinoff: SpinCo dividend will be recalculated based off the split. So HCP dividend will but lowered and in effect, the stock will decrease in price to compensate. The ideal decrease is to keep the dividend yield the same for HCP. From the Conference Call transcripts, management restated that they remain focused on dividend growth for HCP; so that’s a good sign. But they did not have any real answers on SpinCo’s dividend and that it will be decided by the board. You can read the entire earning call transcript here.

The rules of Dividend Noob are pretty simple.

  1. Preserve Equity : Nobody wants to lose money and with the stock split, there is a good chance we’ll see the price of the stock go down. But what about the shares in the new company as the offset? It’s a big unknown right now and I’m not in the game of gambling. I’ve had a healthy return of 12% on equity, as well as dividend payouts on HCP. Getting out might be the correct call until things stabilize with HCP.
  2. Dividend Growth: I want the dividend to be stable and to ideally go up each year. More income on the exact same equity invested is great. It’s even more free money! HCP has been great in dividend growth. They are a Dividend Aristocrat.
  3. Stock Growth: It’s why everybody wants to play the big game of stocks. The fact we invest money in hopes that it will be worth even more in the future is the whole reason!

So with the unknown in the forecast, I have decided to sell my shares of HCP.

Will You Get back Into HCP?

Once the smoke has settled on the spin off, I’ll re-evaluate and decide from there. I’m not opposed to it, since HCP is obviously a great company with an outstanding track record in dividend payout. They are a Dividend Aristocrat for a reason!

Where Will the Money Go From HCP?

No idea right now. There’s a few stocks that I have my eye on but the overall market sentiment is pretty bearish. There’s a ton of better dividend blogs talking about just stockpiling cash reserves for the time being. Maybe its something I should do? I’ll have to figure it out as I go. They don’t call me the Noob for nothing.

Disclaimer: I have owned and sold HCP within the last few days. My opinions about the HCP Spinoff are my own.

Stock Twits User Script – Better Stock Twits

Stock Twits User Script
Stock Twits User Script

What is a Userscript?

Userscripts (a.k.a User Scripts, User scripts, or .user.js ) are open-source licensed add-ons for web browsers that change web pages as they are loaded. They give users the power to make websites do what they want them to, rather than what was originally intended.

How do I Install the Stock Twits User Script – Better Stock Twits?

You will first need a userscript manager for your browser. For Firefox, you can download Grease Monkey and for Google Chrome, you can download Tamper Monkey. After you have the manager installed, you can install Better Stock Twits by either:

  1. Installing the script from Greasy Fork and clicking Install this Script.
  2. Clicking the Icon and “Add a New Script and paste the following code in the text editor and Saving.
View Better StockTwits Source Code

// ==UserScript==
// @name Better Stocktwits
// @description Better StockTwits
// @author firepetal.com
// @version 0.1
// @include http*://stocktwits.com/symbol/*
// @include http*://*.stocktwits.com/symbol/*
// @namespace Firepetal
// ==/UserScript==
//Link Location URL’s
var NASDAQ = “http://www.nasdaq.com/symbol/”;
var GOOGLE = “https://www.google.com/finance?q=”;
var YAHOO = “https://beta.finance.yahoo.com/quote/”;
var FINVIZ = “http://www.finviz.com/quote.ashx?t=”;
var SALPHA = “http://seekingalpha.com/symbol/”

//Get the div tag where we want to add our links. This will not work with IE 8 or before.
var x = document.getElementsByClassName(“ticker-container”);

//Parse the stock symbol from the URL
var symbol = window.location.pathname.match(/\/symbol\/(.*)/)[1];
for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) {
x[i].innerHTML = x[i].innerHTML + “<b>Financials:</b>&nbsp;” +
“<a href='” + NASDAQ + symbol +”‘ target=’_blank’>Nasdaq</a>” + “&nbsp;|&nbsp;” +
“<a href='” + GOOGLE + symbol +”‘ target=’_blank’>Google Finance</a>” + “&nbsp;|&nbsp;” +
“<a href='” + YAHOO + symbol + “‘ target=’_blank’>Yahoo Finance</a>” + “&nbsp;|&nbsp;” +
“<a href='” + FINVIZ + symbol +”‘ target=’_blank’>Finviz</a>” + “&nbsp;|&nbsp;” +
“<a href='” + SALPHA + symbol +”‘ target=’_blank’>Seeking Alpha</a>”;
}

Is it Safe?

The Better Stock Twits script is 100% safe to use. It collects no data from you nor does it inject any malicious code. All the script does is add URL links under the stock ticker in stocktwits.

Why did you make it?

Whenever I am glutton for punishment, I like to browse stock twits and see what people are saying about certain stocks. I also like discovering some stocks that I never heard of. It got irritating when I would stumble across a new stock and would have to manually search for its financial information instead of just clicking and viewing it’s information. Of course, never trust anybody when it comes to stock, always do your own Due Diligence.

 

Stock Twits User Script