Weekly Wrap: High-flying tech stocks, dividends as contrarian play, best careers for Early Retirement

Map of the Silicon Valley area of CaliforniaGood cover story in the current issue of the Economist on the technology boom and the Nasdaq composite index surpassing its previous all-time high early in the year 2000.

The magazine argues that while the tech boom may get bumpy, “it will not end in a repeat of the dot com crash.” Certainly, the past week was mostly positive for growth stocks like the four that make up the so-called “FANG” acronym: Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google.  Amazon turning a profit: who knew?

True, none of the FANG stocks  pay dividends but the older tech giants that do,  like Apple, IBM and Microsoft, experienced haircuts this week.

Dividends now a contrarian play?

However, on Friday, the Globe & Mail’s Rob Carrick argues that Dividend Stocks are the new contrarian play. Incidentally, my most recent ETF column at the Financial Post makes the case for dividend ETFs.

But what about valuations of stocks in general? I like the stance taken by the Michael James on Money blog this week:  So stocks are overvalued. So what? While you’re on the site, also check out one of his recent popular posts: 4% Rule Experiments Using Longevity Statistics.

Boomer women in retirement

We often run Marie Engen’s blogs from Boomer & Echo here at the Hub. Marie is the Boomer half of Boomer & Echo and just wrote a blog entitled Boomer Women in Retirement. She notes:

The majority of boomer women who are now making retirement plans are the first critical mass of women ever to retire from the workforce in Canada rather than simply “retiring” when their husbands did.

Early Retirement or Early Findependence? 

What are the best careers for Early Retirement? And why is it so many of those early-retirement websites are run by engineers or former engineers? The Retire by 40 blog answers both questions here.

Here at the Hub we still think these Early Retirement sites are primarily about Early Financial Independence. These former engineers may no longer be salaried employees but even when they get off the corporate hamster wheel in their 30s or 40s, they seldom actually retire in the classic sense of the word: most continue to work as web entrepreneurs, authors and public speakers.

A recent blog post by Even Steven Money illustrates the way Financial Independence and Early Retirement are terms that are commonly interchanged. The blog title is Financial Independence Day. But note the mission statement on the site that combines both terms:

I’m working on paying back all of my debt, becoming Even Steven, and reaching financial independence to retire early

Note to Steven: if you’re already using the phrase Financial Independence Day, why not save a few syllables and keystrokes and make it Findependence Day? 

Speaking of which, the current blog at sister site FindependenceDay.com provides links to an upcoming “Blog Tour” kicking off Monday in support of the U.S. edition of Findependence Day. The “financial novel” is now also available at two major book distributors, Ingram and Baker & Taylor, as well as in American libraries.

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