Wednesday, September 2, 2015


Kicked off the month of September with a nice increase in first of the month dividends!  While I'm happy enough about that, I'm even more happy that I was able to take advantage of the market slump to add to my shares of AOD and ROYT.  Got in before the ex-dividend date, so I'll receive the first of the increased dividend payments this month!  Used some of the cash I earned from unexpected overtime in August to purchase the shares which will boost monthly cash flow by 10%!  Was also able to restart my automated savings plan before the end of August to boost cash holdings.  Things are looking up for the beginning of September, even if the market is down.

Also used part of my increased income to purchase a new washer and dryer.  Since moving to my current apartment, I've been going to the laundromat, which is not only time consuming but quite costly.  By purchasing a washer and dryer, I not only free up the time, but I estimate I will recoup the money spent in about a year.  After that, I'll be saving about $40 per month minus electricity costs for operating the machines.  I expect to make that up in the extra free time from not going to the laundromat.  This is a case where spending money up front was the smart thing to do, since it saves a great deal of money and time in the long run.

Monday, August 31, 2015


I recently read about Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway making a big investment in Phillips 66.  Makes a lot of sense to me, since Buffet is known for buying quality stocks at a good price and with the oil market being down for quite some time now, the price is right.  If I had the money I'd have probably done the same and bought shares of Phillips 66.  However, I don't have enough free cash to buy individual shares of Phillips, although 4 of my mutual funds have substantial stakes in the company.  

Instead I've been buying up more shares of ROYT, Pacific Coast Oil Royalty Trust.  Even though the share price has taken a beating, I'm pretty confident they'll eventually snap out of it when oil starts to recover.  When will that be?  I'm not sure exactly, but I'd say a pretty good guess would be after the presidential election in 2016.  Once we have a winner, I think we'll see oil prices start to climb.  Sad thing at the gas pump, but could be a wonderful thing if I'm sitting on a pile of ROYT shares.

Collected 5 dividends for the end of the month of August.  While dividend income for the month was no where near last months' record setting level, it was up 9% when compared to the second month of the second quarter.  So I'm pretty pleased about that.  Got an order in to purchase more shares of AOD and ROYT tomorrow, which should generate around a 10% increase in monthly cash flow from dividends.  I'm pretty excited about that and about the first of the month dividends.  It's always great to collect the 5 end of month dividends, but what's even better is knowing the very next day, I'll collect 4 or 5 more dividends! 

Monday, August 24, 2015


While the drop in portfolio value is painful to watch, I've been looking at the market correction as a buying opportunity.  So I put in an order to purchase additional shares of AOD and ROYT.  At current prices, the cash invested will boost monthly cash flow from dividends by 10%!  While this doesn't take all the sting out of declining portfolio value, it does go a long way toward boosting morale.

If you look at market corrections as buying opportunities instead of panicking and selling, it's been my experience that it usually works out in your best interest.  Back in 2008 when the market crashed, I didn't sell anything.  Instead I invested as much as I could to take advantage of the lower prices.  As it turned out, when the market recovered I ended up with way more money than I'd ever had before.  While the current correction is unlikely to be as bad as 2008, it still presents a good buying opportunity and I'm ready to take advantage of it to boost overall yield from my investments.

Thursday, August 20, 2015


The stock market dropped this morning following the latest actions from the Federal Reserve.  I've been holding  back on new share purchases in case of such an eventuality.  

If share prices go down, stock yields rise making new investments in out of pocket cash more profitable.  If I had invested the cash I put back for new share purchases yesterday, I could have increased monthly cash flow by 3%.  If I invested that same amount today, monthly cash flow would increase by 4%, since I would be able to purchase more shares now that prices have dropped.  

However, I'm going to wait a while longer.  I'll keep reinvesting dividends, but I'll hold on to my cash to get a bigger bang for my buck.  I don't think the turmoil in the stock market is going to be over anytime soon and I'm willing to bet that I can find a better buying opportunity.  Of course, since building my portfolio is an ongoing process, I'm not trying to wait on it hitting the bottom, I'm only trying to get a better deal than I would now.  The main goal is to boost monthly cash flow.  A down market makes it easier to buy more shares with higher yields boosting monthly income at a faster rate.

Thursday, August 13, 2015


With all the craziness in the world today, there are plenty of things to worry about.  There are also plenty of things to worry about in the average persons' day to day life.  However, it occurred to me just recently that I've wasted an inordinate amount of time worrying about things that never happened.  So I'm making it my goal to worry less and deal with whatever comes my way when it actually happens.

Thursday, August 6, 2015


One of my goals I set at the first of the year was to find a better job.  Not necessarily a higher paying one, but one that I enjoyed and had more prospects than my old job.  I started my new job in March, so August marks my 6 month anniversary.  Everything is going well.  Stress levels are way down, job satisfaction way up.  I get less per hour, but I have way more in benefits, so it more than makes up for the lost wages.  I also get way more hours than I did at my old job and have more opportunity for advancement, so I'm actually making more money than if I'd stayed on at the old job.

With the extra income, I am finally getting caught up on some of my medical expenses from the heart attacks.  I'm at the point now that I can finally start putting more cash in my retirement account.  I set up an automatic plan to deposit cash twice a month in my investment account and have made deposits to my regular savings account.  Got in some extra hours this week that I wasn't expecting, so I'm taking half the cash from that to make an extra payment on my credit card bill and the other half goes to savings.

Still doing outside work on my own.  I've got a dog sitting job this week and plan to divide the money from that up between paying off debt and adding to my investment account.  It's amazing that one simple goal can lead to big changes in your lifestyle.  Once I get better situated financially, I'm planning on moving to a better neighborhood.  Right now I'm thinking a move closer to work would be the best idea.  Reducing the cost of my commute would allow for more money to pay off debt and increase investments.

So my next life changing goal is to move closer to work.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015


A couple of times a year I like to review my holdings to make sure I'm not getting too tied up to any one investment.  Then I make a list of my top ten holdings, which should in no way be construed as advice to invest in any of these stocks.  It is for information purposes only.

My current top ten includes:

 1.  UVE:  Remains my number one holding even after selling off enough shares to recoup all my out of pocket costs.  However, I'll continue to hold this stock forever since my yield on original cost is fantastic and I have none of my own money tied up in it.

 2.  LLY:  Continues to be a great performer, but has plateaued recently.  This is one of my core holdings and I'll likely never sell this stock.

 3.  NCZ:  Bond fund, nice yield, ho-hum performance.  I'll hold for now, but am looking for better performing fund.

 4.  AOD:  Happy with this funds performance and monthly payouts.  It's a keeper as long as the dividend holds.

 5.  NYCB:  Have held this stock for years and will continue to do so, as long as the dividend continues.

 6.  GE:  Seems like everybody owns a little piece of GE.  

 7.  HWBK:  Hometown bank, got in at a great price, will hold this one for the long term.

 8.  WFC:  What can I say, if Warren Buffett likes their long term prospects, so do I.

 9.  T:  Good dividend, core holding.

10.  RRD:  Initially a speculative play, but I'm holding for the dividend.  Did see nice gain on share price since my initial buy in.

There you have it.  My top 10 holdings.  The only stellar performer in the bunch is UVE, up 374% since my initial purchase.  Some of the others have done quite well and I'm pleased overall.  Although I'm heavily weighted towards financials in my top 10 holdings, I'm not worried about it because the remaining investments in my portfolio tend to balance it all out.