Of dividends, stock and just finding the time

I have recently become a short timer on my degree. I am under a year and counting the seconds until I hear a giant gushing noise of free time rushing to fill the void currently taken up by the 20 hours of school work I do every week. I have been doing a fair amount of research into dividend stocks and I slowly starting to move my more stubborn stocks into investments that are paying quarterly returns rather than pining for the market to soar so I can retire at 40.

I have some good producing mutual funds, but I don’t feel like I am really in control of how those are handled. I am no investing genius by any stretch, but I do like to know how the internal of things work. All I really do know of my funds are 1) I put in money every month; 2) every quarter I get a dividend payment; 3) the list of companies the fund is invested in seems infinitely long. I want more control over where the individual funds are allocated and when they are moved. I enjoy the constant steady management of the mutual funds, they are bedrock I can build off of though. With my free time after school I want to take some of that time and start turning a discerning eye to the market and start building up my portfolio.

Listen to me throw around investing terminology like I have the slightest clue what I am doing. This is most likely how it will play out the first (couple) time. I put a conservative amount of money into what I think are good investment dividend producing stocks. I lose my shirt. I get pissed off and swear I will never do it again. 6 months later, I try again. Ah well, I wouldn’t invest it if it was going to break me if I lost it.

On a more technical note, I am starting to build out a home server. We have a little NAS box that is failing us bad, I want to build out a small home server using unRAID (thanks Steve!) and about 3 drives in Raid 5. I have been looking into unRAID and the list of plugins, functionality and community are exactly what I want in a home server. There are build-outs in the forums where people have built home servers for less than $400, but I am scouring ebay trying to build it for considerably less. I really only need 1 1TB drive, and a barebones tower computer (case,mobo,ps,cpu,ram). I have found some prospects but haven’t pulled the trigger on any yet. I keep running into that pesky time issue. I just need to stop sleeping, that would cure the issue, but probably create a raft of others I suppose.

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