Wednesday, August 6, 2014


The month of August kicked off with 5 dividend payments in
the first few days of the month.  I like to think of dividend
payments as “extra paydays” only I don’t have to do any extra
work to get paid.  Once the money is invested in shares of stock
or dividend paying funds, the paydays just keep coming.  So
far I’m up to 160 days per year, or a payday every 2.28 days.
If you add in the 24 paydays I get from my job that brings my
total paydays to 184 per year, or a payday every 1.98 days.
Think about that for a minute.  How long would it take to
accumulate a good deal of money when you get paid every 2
days?  Of course the answer would depend on what you do
with the money when you get paid.  For now I’m reinvesting
100% of the “paydays” from my investment account and I
continue to add additional cash to build my portfolio as rapidly
as possible.  Honestly it’s been very tough for me the past few
years.  I’ve lost a great deal of my life savings due to medical
bills from my heart attacks and heart surgery, haven’t been
able to find a good job and the job I have has cut hours to
avoid paying for Obamacare insurance.  So I’ve had to adjust
my standard of living and look for ways to pay the bills and
make ends meet.  Some months I’m barely able to keep my
head above water, but I don’t give up.  I’ve been given a second
chance and I’ve come a long way.  Still have some medical bills
to pay and there is never any money for luxury items.  Some
weeks I have only $10 to buy food for the week, but I can see
the light at the end of the tunnel and I know that frugality and
perseverance will win out in the end.

The “paydays” get bigger each month and the bills get smaller
and that’s the way to dig yourself out of a financial hole.  Just
have to stay the course and everything will work out fine.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


Just finished reading the 2014 semi-annual report from Alpine
Total Dynamic Dividend Fund (AOD).  I have to say it’s one of
the most informative and well written reports I’ve ever read.
While it does highlight the funds’ success, it also provides the
needed information for investors as to the general direction of
the fund while not painting an overly rosy picture of future
prospects.  What I did discover is that the fund is well
positioned, relative to some of my other fund investments for
continued growth of NAV and dividend distributions to
shareholders.  My investment in monthly dividend paying
funds was primarily geared toward boosting monthly cash
flow.  However, I believe there is a good possibility of growth
with AOD along with decent current income.  I was so
impressed with their report and investment portfolio, I’ll be
reviewing other Alpine funds to see if they are suitable
replacements for stocks I sold recently.

I first learned of AOD through one of my other funds.  It is one
of their top ten holdings.  I thought it would be a good idea to
look over the top ten holdings for stocks or funds I might want
to invest in outside of the fund.  AOD was one of the standouts
so I bought some shares and now I’m really glad I did.  I’ve
enjoyed having their monthly dividends add to my cash flow,
but most of all I’m very happy with what I’ve seen in their
report.  The strategy of reviewing mutual fund top ten holdings
may be a great way of finding good investments to build my
portfolio.  I’ll definitely be keeping and eye on future reports.
In the mean time I’ll be looking to invest in additional Alpine
funds.  I like being informed on my investments and their
reports are some of the most informative I’ve ever read.  Since
I’ve read every annual report of every company I’ve ever
invested in, that’s saying a lot.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014


Dividend income for the first month of the third quarter is up a
whopping 270% over the first month of the first quarter!  That
in itself is a great accomplishment, especially considering I
recently sold some shares and lost dividends associated with
those shares.  When compared to July of last year, dividends
for July 2014 will be up 110% over 2013!  Which means my
investment plan is right on track.  Even if I don’t invest any
additional cash for the rest of the year, reinvested dividends
would more than double total dividend income from 2013.  I’m
working out a plan now to double dividend income again in
2015.  Reinvested dividends increase income by 1% per month,
so a 12% increase for next year is already in the bag.  My real
goal is to increase dividends by 88% or above next year.  

My sister sent me a great book for my Kindle Fire through
Amazon.  It basically synopsises 50 of the greatest investment
books ever written.  Several of the books I’ve read, several I
haven’t read and was surprised by some of the great ideas I’ve
gotten by reviewing familiar material and being exposed to
some new ideas.  One of the greatest things to come from
reading the book was a renewed optimism for life overall.  The
power of positive thinking, not just to improve earnings
potential or to attract money, but to improve all areas of your
life.  Health, friendships, family, love interests and finances all
benefit from looking for and being greatful for the positive
things in life.  While I’m not sure about the whole metaphysical
type of thinking on the laws of attraction, even the Bible says
that those who have will have more added to them and those
who do not have, even what they have will be taken away.  All
good things begin with good thoughts leading to good actions
which in turn, tend to attract good things into your life.  So
think positive, it can’t hurt.

Saturday, July 5, 2014


Was happy to see Hawthorn Bank pay an additional stock dividend for the month of July, just as they did last year.  HWBK is one of my long term investments and although the cash dividend yield is small, I anticipate good things from this stock going forward.  I've witnessed first hand improvements they've made to their operations locally and have had nothing but positive interactions with all business dealings I've had with them.  I also like their recent add campaign aimed at increasing business.  What's good for Hawthorn is good for me.  I currently do not have any personal accounts with the bank, but I'm thinking of opening an account in the near future, since their location is much better suited to where I live than my current main bank.

Didn't go out for the 4th, was tired from work and decided to have a quiet evening at home.  Turned out to be not so quiet since the neighbors put on their own fireworks show after the featured show downtown.  But I did enjoy their fireworks display, so it wasn't a bad thing.  My little dog Pickles ran and hid under the bed.  He doesn't like loud noises, but he was content to sit in my lap afterwords and watch Perry Mason and Twilight Zone reruns with me.

With the additional stock dividend this month, monthly cash flow should be near or exceed that of last month, which was the highest since I started my new portfolio.  I expect next month to be a bit lower since there will be less dividend payments and I don't expect to make any additional cash investments between now and then.  However, total shares in my portfolio are growing quite nicely from reinvested dividends and monthly cash flow continues to grow along with it.  

Tuesday, July 1, 2014


The month of July has started off with a bang, with 6 dividend payments on the first day of the month!  Good to see money coming in and new shares being added after the setback last month.  Setbacks are only temporary and are meant to be overcome, so I'm looking forward to a great month.

Want to wish everyone a happy and safe 4th of July weekend! 

Saturday, June 28, 2014


I had some unexpected expenses this month and needed some work done on my car, so I had a minor setback in my investment plan.  I was forced to sell a few shares of stock to meet all my financial obligations for the month.  Something I do not like to do.  However, I was able to meet all my expenses and rearrange some of my finances to make things better going forward, so things are looking up.

One of the changes I made was to switch from AT&T to Virgin Mobile for my phone service.  With Virgin Mobile I get unlimited texting and anytime talk for half of what I was paying for 450 anytime minutes with AT&T.  While I'll continue to hold my AT&T stock, I'm glad to get a better deal on my phone service.  Perhaps I can use some of the money I save to purchase more shares in AT&T or even Virgin Mobile.  

Otherwise things are moving right along.  It was the biggest month of the year for dividend income.  Even though I sold some shares, I minimized the effect it would have on dividend income so I shouldn't see too much of a reduction in monthly cash flow.  I plan to replace the money by purchasing new shares as rapidly as possible.  But to avoid another situation like I found myself in this month, I'm going to put aside more cash.  So I may not be buying much stock for the next couple of months.  Of course reinvested dividends will continue to increase my stock holdings every month. 

Haven't seen the crash in the market yet, but I don't think we're out of the woods.  Seems a lot of people are expecting bad things to come of Obama's new legislation which kicks in in July.  We'll just have to wait and see.  Since the market has been on a tear lately, I'm looking at any drop as a buying opportunity.  

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


Collected dividends from CNP and LLY this week which were automatically reinvested, increasing my stake in both stocks.  I have a lot of confidence in both companies and consider them part of my core portfolio.  With a good investment, even a small stake can grow into a large amount over a period of time.  So I'm in it for the long haul on most of my individual stock holdings.

Nothing brought this home more than the recent annual report from one of my bank stocks.  Now you don't usually think of bank stocks as being tremendous growth companies, although they do provide growth.  However, in this case the stock had created a total return of over 4,000% over the past 21 years.  The company went public back in November of 1993, the same year I started investing.  If I'd come across the stock then and purchased just $500 worth of shares and held the stock reinvesting dividends, I'd be retired now.  It was a real eye opener for me.  Of course I've held the stock for several years now and have been quite pleased with my return, so I have no regrets about the missed opportunity.  While I missed that opportunity, I think I might be in on a great opportunity with Hawthorne Bank.  They're a growing company and have really been ramping up efforts to boost business and upgrade their image.  I like the way things are going with Hawthorne and I'll be a shareholder for several years to come, so it's possible I could see the same type of growth I missed out on from the other bank.

It just goes to show, it doesn't have to be the next big tech company or the next Walmart, tremendous profits can come from well run companies in less exciting areas of the market.