How to Boost Creativity and Increase Productivity When Working on Your Side Hustle

The following is a guest post from Drew Cloud.

Drew Cloud is the founder of the Student Loan Report – a site dedicated to providing our nation’s latest student loan news. Check the site, found at, for new student loan related news, advice, and opinions from experts in the industry.

Have you ever just simply lost the creative juices you had flowing at one point? This is a common occurrence that happens for many people and if you do not know how to re-tap into your creative side, you may be left without a good idea or project.

Below, I will go over some ways to boost your creativity while you working on your side hustle. These should help you feel more motivated and get over that hump that interrupts the flow of things. These are some of the things that I have found to be the most effective when working on my new website, the Student Loan Report.

  1. Go for a Walk

If you feel like you are running into a road block, simply get up from your desk and go for a walk. You should take a stroll outside to get some fresh air and look at nature around you. This will help you clear your mind and increase your mood, allowing you to return to your desk with some new ideas in mind.

When you do go for a walk, try not to think too hard about what you were working on and let your ideas run freely. You will likely spark your curiosity in something and be able to get right back to your creative work.

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Reading Between the Lines

Reading Between the LInes

Communication has always been a fascinating subject to me. While discussing communication, we always tend to focus on languages, dialects etc, but there is so much more than just the spoken word. This may include other forms of communication such as body language, for instance. This post is a discussion focusing on what is *not* being said and trying to decipher the meaning of something; whether the other person has something to obfuscate or simply not a good communicator. As it turns out, what is *not* being said can shed more light on the interaction. I discuss a few personal stories in this post about reading between the lines.

The following tweet from Michael Batnick a few days ago quoting Peter Drucker resonated with me and reminded that as I get more experienced in a certain aspect of life, it becomes more and more important to learn how to read between the lines. What is it that a person is implying by saying something, or more importantly, what is that crucial piece of information that is not being communicated? As it turns out, this can have a big impact on the overall interaction.

Our Recent Car Buying Experience

To illustrate this idea, let me recount a car buying experience we recently went through. My wife’s car broke down earlier this year. We could have spent a lot of money to keep it going, but considering that it was already 15 years old and would cost us more to fix it to keep running, we decided not to sink more money into it. We tried living on one car, but after a trial of a few months, which didn’t work out — we finally decided that we are a two-car family and the mobility provided was worth the saved time and annoyances of taking public transit (we have a terrible public transit system here in our city, which is a disgrace considering its the capital city).

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Chatter Around the World – 155

Chatter Around the World is a curated weekly update of articles related to economics, investing, dividends and personal finance. In these weekly updates, I also capture my blog updates and news related to my portfolio holdings.

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Global Corporate Defaults On Pace To Surpass Financial Crisis Record

Let’s dive into the links that caught my attention this week.

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Where to Get Good Dividend Investment Ideas

This is a guest contribution from Ben Reynolds.  Ben runs Sure Dividend, which is dedicated to finding high quality dividend growth stocks suitable for long-term investing using The 8 Rules of Dividend Investing.

The historical average price-to-earnings ratio for the S&P 500 is 15.6.  The S&P 500’s current price-to-earnings ratio is 24.2.  From a historical perspective, the market is very clearly overvalued.

It’s important to remember that the stock market is made up of individual stocks.  Not every member of the S&P 500 has a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.2.  Some are much higher, others much lower.

It is still possible to find great businesses trading at fair or better prices in today’s market.  This article takes a look at several different tools and lists to do just that.

Dividend Idea Generator #1:  Other Dividend Investors Portfolios

Many dividend bloggers share their own portfolios for others to view.  You can see Sabeel’s portfolio here (of Roadmap 2 Retire).  Sabeel’s portfolio is loaded with both high yield and high quality dividend growth stocks.

An example is Archer-Daniels-Midland (ADM).  Archer-Daniels-Midland currently has a dividend yield of 2.9% and price-to-earnings ratio of 16.1.  The company’s forward price-to-earnings ratio is even lower at 14.3.

Archer-Daniels-Midland is a has paid increasing dividends for 41 consecutive.  The company is also the largest farm procucts company in North America by a wide margin with its $24.8 billion market cap.  For comparison, its next largest competitor Bunge (BG) has a market cap of $8.2 billion.

You can read more about Sabeel’s purchase of Archer-Daniels-Midland here.

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Option Assignment – The Jean Coutu Group

Another position exits my portfolio. Earlier in the month, I had written a covered call option on The Jean Coutu Group (PJC.A.TO). The option expired on Friday Jul 15, 2016 with the stock ending up in-the-money, which resulted in the stock getting called away. I owned PJC.A.TO for approximately two and a half years and the company has traded sideways during the duration, although it reached a high of mid-$20s about a year ago.

I still believe in the long term growth of PJC and sad to see this stock get called away, but its a risk you take with options trading. Making a decent profit and staying in cash during these volatile times isn’t so bad I suppose…so I’m not complaining.

Overall gains (including dividends and option premiums): 17.88%