March 13, 2013 at 16:03 PM EDT
Market Wrap-Up for Mar.13 (BLK, TUP, RSG, VLO, NFLX, more)

With solid retail sales numbers coming in this morning, investors were watching to see if the Dow can book its 9th consecutive up session in a row (which it did by just a touch). The slew of economic data we have been getting recently mostly points to a decent upturn for the economy. How that will play out with the Federal Reserve and the never-ending punch bowl of fiscal relief should be intriguing.

There wasn’t much earnings news playing a role in today’s action, but Wall Street analyst calls certainly had an effect. On the upside, we were seeing shares of Blackrock (BLK), Republic Services (RSG), and Tupperware (TUP) gaining on positive commentary, while stocks like Texas Instruments (TXN) and Valero Energy (VLO) pull back on cautious commentary.

Teens and Twentysomethings Ramp Up Interest in Netflix (Too Bad)

I came across some recent survey results dealing with U.S. Web users’ online video watching habits. The study indicated that Netflix (NFLX) has seen a big spike of 18-29 year-olds tuning into their video services. Now there is nothing wrong with unwinding a bit and enjoying some entertainment. However, I find that some individuals tend to binge on wasteful activities, spending several straight hours consuming video.

We all know that unemployment is still very high, and folks wasting away on the couch watching TV and movies all day won’t help them find a place in today’s competitive employment landscape.

Now it could be that some do work full-time, but don’t do much else in the form of activity. That’s understandable, but then you can at least dedicate your free time to learning new skills or gaining much-needed exercise. The U.S. continues to face plenty of obesity issues and watching hours of television is no help in that respect either.

So, why is this all a big deal? It’s pretty easy to explain. The one key element to having the financial freedom and flexibility is generating a steady stream of income that can be used to acquire additional assets that produce income. In a world where skills necessary to make a good living are missing for many, the extra time spent on services like Netflix could instead be used to obtain the education, skills, and experience needed to move up today’s economic food chain.

Here’s one final note. I can tell you from my own personal experience that my television and movie consumption tailed off dramatically the more successful I became. I tend to think the same applies to all success stories.

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Thanks for reading everybody. I’ll see you tomorrow!

Be sure to visit our complete recommended list of the Best Dividend Stocks, as well as a detailed explanation of our ratings system here.

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