I’ve been nominated for the Liebster Award! Many thanks to Nick at MyPathToABetterMe.com for the nomination. I recently started following Nick’s blog since we share a lot of the same passions like financial freedom, hiking and programming just to name a few. His blog is a great read and it follows his path to financial, physical and mental well being – be sure to check it out.
For those who are not familiar with the Liebster Award it is a chain letter of sorts that helps new blogs get discovered by the blogging community. It also provides a means to get to know bloggers on a more personal level beyond just reading their content.
Liebster Award Rules
- Share 11 facts about yourself so readers can get to know you better
- Mention the person that nominated you
- Answer the 5-11 questions that were asked by the person that nominated you
- Nominate another 3-5 bloggers
- Provide 5-11 questions for the new nominees to answer
- Notify your nominees by leaving a comment on their blog, by email or by social media
11 Facts About Me
- My name is Ken and I live in southern California. I work in the biotech industry as an early discovery oncology research scientist.
- I’ve been married to my beautiful wife for 3 years and we’ve been together for over 10. She takes great care of me and supports the many hours that I spend researching stocks and maintaining this blog.
- I have a 19 month old son who happens to be the main reason why I got into dividend growth investing. I want to make sure my son and all of my descendants have an insane amount of dividend income to help support them through life.
- I am obsessed with pizza. In fact, my first two jobs from ages 14-17 were at pizza restaurants. I didn’t really care about the money, I just wanted the unlimited free pizza. I also make my own pizza from scratch – and yes, it is the best pizza ever .
- I am an avid bowler. In my younger days I was on the Amateur Bowlers Tour but now I limit myself to leagues and the occasional local tournament. I’ve bowled five 300 games and my current average is 220.
- One of my favorite hobbies is gardening. I built 7 raised garden beds in my backyard and I tend to my vegetables on a daily basis. My son “helps” me out with the harvest (usually green tomatoes and white strawberries). I am known for growing unusually large zucchini:
- I love hiking and backpacking. Some of my favorite hikes have been Mt Whitney in the Inyo National Forest and Half Dome in Yosemite National Park. Two of my life goals are to hike the John Muir Trail (JMT) which runs 212 miles from Yosemite to Mt Whitney and the Pacific Crest Trail which runs 2650 miles from Mexico to Canada. I’ll definitely need an early retirement to achieve those goals!
- My favorite sport is baseball. I’ve played from age 4 through my Sophomore year in high school. A snowboarding injury prevented me from continuing but I still join the occasional adult league.
- I changed my major 5 times in college. Psychology -> Math -> Chemistry -> Biochemistry -> Computer Science -> Biochemistry w/ minor in Computer Science. It’s a good thing I started at a community college or that would have cost me a fortune…
- I can dislocate both of my shoulders on command. Kind of gross really. It became a bad habit to the point where I would do it constantly throughout the day, mostly with my right arm. As a result (I think), my right arm is 1.5 inches longer than my left.
- Due to some health issues I converted to the paleo diet a couple of years ago. Except for the occasional pizza, I try to be like a caveman and eat mostly healthy meats & fishes, vegetables, nuts and oils. It has done wonders for my energy levels.
Questions From Nick
Why did you start your blog?
There are really two reasons why I started this blog.
The first reason is the DGI community. I have been following several dividend growth investor blogs for a while and I found them to be very informative and inspirational. I also wanted to create something informative and inspirational – and tracking a dividend growth portfolio over many generations should do just that (assuming my kids take over the site). In addition, I noticed what an incredible community of investors these blogs belong to and I wanted to be a part of that.
The other reason is that I’m basically a very unorganized person. If I didn’t have this blog all of my investing notes, investing ideas, my watch list, my stock analysis, etc would be scattered all over the place. This blog allows me to easily go back and find everything that I have done or thought, and it allows me to learn from my mistakes. This blog also makes me accountable for all of my purchases. Perhaps if I wasn’t publishing all of my transactions I might have gotten lazy and just started buying stocks because somebody told me to. I now feel the need to justify all of my transactions which I think is a good thing.
Describe your biggest life goals.
I’ve got thousands of life goals but I’d say my biggest are to retire early, have at least two kids and raise them right. I want to retire early because I have so many hobbies that I just can’t get to working 8-5 every day. A lot of these hobbies require some physical fitness so the earlier the better. As for the kids and raising them, I really don’t like the direction this world is going. Most of the people I meet are rude and only look out for themselves. The younger generation rarely look away from their phones and I think it is sad. I want my kids to get out and play and enjoy life – and be nice to people. Maybe it will rub off on others.
What is most likely to stop you from reaching those goals?
To reach my retirement goals I just need to stick to the plan. The most likely issue I foresee is panic selling during a market correction. I have been guilty of this in the past and I can only hope that I’ve learned my lesson.
What was your dream job as a kid?
Professional baseball player.
What is your dream job now?
Professional baseball player. I can be more specific now and say a pitcher for the Angels. If I had to pick a job I could actually do right now I’d say a backpacking guide / instructor.
Favorite book? Why?
Ender’s Game. Can’t really say why – it was just extremely entertaining to me. I think I read the book in a day when I was a kid.
If you could travel back in time to live permanently, what time period/where would you go?
Caveman days. Complete freedom. When you wake up in the morning there are three things you have to worry about – get food, get water and don’t get killed. The rest of your time is free to ponder the world and reproduce.
Your dream vacation experience?
Anywhere in nature where there are little to no people around. Hiking the Pacific Crest trail or somewhere remote in Alaska for example.
If you had the skills to be a professional athlete what sport would you play?
Uh oh I should have read through all of the questions before answering. Since I have already used baseball twice to answer previous questions I’ll go with football (quarterback).
Your favorite investment?
Real estate. Buying my house 5 years ago was one of the best decisions I have ever made.
Your worst investment decision?
A few years ago when I was trading options heavily I owned 5 deep in the money long term AAPL call contracts. AAPL went up a bit after purchasing these contracts and my unrealized gain was about $500. Sounds great, right?
Well I decided that the recent run up had stalled and that AAPL would not go up anymore in the short-term. I decided to sell at the money calls against my entire position to squeeze some income out of the position while I waited for AAPL to continue rising. Over the next month AAPL went on to gain $30 per share, a $15000 increase on my long calls. I had plenty of opportunities to buy back my short positions along the way but I kept thinking AAPL would pull back. It never did and I was forced to close out all positions before my short calls expired. I closed out at a gain but nowhere near the potential $15k+ I would have pocketed if I didn’t sell the calls.
11 Questions For Nominees
- Why did you start your blog?
- What are your investing goals?
- Do you participate in any other types of investing besides stocks?
- Who do you look up to the most and why?
- What is the first thing you would do if you won the lottery?
- If you were able to retire right now, what would occupy your time?
- What is your favorite tv show?
- What is your favorite hobby?
- If you could pick any place to live, where would it be and why?
- Do you follow a budget and has it helped you save money?
- What is your favorite fast food restaurant?
There are a ton of blogs that I would like to nominate but most have either been nominated already or (I think) are not eligible. Please check out my “favorite blogs” on the right for those that I follow.
Here are my nominees for the Liebster Award – all four are excellent blogs so please go check them out!
Thanks for reading!