Reading through several of the blogs that have inspired me to document my own journey, I've begun to notice a trend. Both J-Money of BudgetsAreSexy.com and Jason from DividendMantra.com actively track their networth. This is intriguing and does serve a valuable purpose, thus I've decided to begin implementing this as well in my tracking. Of course at this present stage in my life, my networth is negative. :P So not exactly the most attractive figures to share, but I'm excited to continue rolling those negatives back. Last year was primarily spent getting on my feet financially. This year is primarily aimed at destroying the bulk of my high interest credit card debt. 

Well I purchased my first share! I actually purchased it awhile ago, it has just taken forever to get confirmation and get enrolled on the DRIP plan. But today I received my confirmation and am now officially a shareholder and have my first DRIP plan set up. Now if only the share price would drop a bit more... :P 

Presently, Monmouth REIT (NYSE: MNR) is trading at $10.75 I'd really like to reinvest in it at $10/share though and they require a minimum contribution amount of $500 (yikes!!). I guess I'll be socking away some money to cover this (courtesy of Barclays). :P Fortunately for me, they charge no fees for processing contributions and, best of all, I get a 5% discount off the market price when purchasing through my DRIP plan. That is like receiving a 5% gain right there! 

Having grown up in Africa, I heard this phrase uttered all the time: "Doni Doni" It means "Little by little". Most cultures have a saying that means something to this effect, and often stories to support it (for example, the tortoise and the hare). Presently I am facing some tough financial decisions. I have decided not to debt anymore, and I am rapidly increasing my personal education about both money management and investing, but all this makes me want to change now and faster than my modest income as a pizza delivery guy allows. :P It is tough, however not to rush into the market.

I've been eyeing several stocks for quite some time and would like to build some stock positions, but at the same time, I have over $40,000 in debt that needs dealing with as well, so I've got some choices to make on priorities. Do I pay down debt now and invest later, or do I take advantage of current trends and growing stocks and jump into the market at the same time as I pay down my debt. 


My Background, in a bit more Detail

So where exactly am I coming from? This is actually a fairly challenging question for me, which changes depending on location. Presently I am from Seattle, but if you go far enough back one finds that I am not from here at all but rather grew up in Africa, the son of missionaries. As this is a finance and investing blog, I shan't go into great detail on my adventures in Africa, however I must highlight Africa primarily because it is through the observation of my parent's work, in particular my father's efforts to assist locals in launching their own livelihoods through what I now know to be micro lending (although at the time I had no clue what that was).

That is how I ended up here in Seattle. I decided that I wanted to study business, with the idea that I too could help people learn to make a living for themselves in Africa (or Asia or wherever it ends up being). The best Christian university business program in the United States just so happened to be provided by Seattle Pacific University. So upon graduation from high school, I packed my bags and left Africa for the hustle and bustle of the United States to apply my mind to the task of learning business.