Thursday, July 30, 2015

JULY 2015 SET TO BREAK ALL TIME HIGH DIVIDEND INCOME RECORD FOR ONE MONTH!

July 31st I'll receive the final 4 dividends for the month.  I've calculated the monthly total based on previous dividends and it looks like the total will break my all time high record for dividend income in a single month!  I'm pretty excited about that, although I'm not quite sure how it happened.  According to some of my earlier projections, dividend income for the year will be up only slightly over last year.  So I hadn't expected to be setting many records along the way.  But that's the way it works out sometimes.  You can accurately project so many things, but sometimes you have some disappointments and sometimes you have some pleasant surprises.

Monday, July 27, 2015

I'VE BEEN ENTERING A LOT OF SWEEPSTAKES LATELY

I've been entering a lot of sweepstakes lately, although not the ones most people would enter.  See these are small drawings from gas station, grocery store and dollar store receipts.  The prizes range from $500 to $3,000, usually in a gift card, but sometimes in cash.  To enter, they normally require you fill out a short survey on your visit to their store.  Doesn't take much time and any win would make it worth the effort.  I figure the odds of winning one of these prizes is way greater than winning the lottery, since most people won't bother to enter.  Then too, any of the prizes would most likely be a life changing event in my case.  Granted it wouldn't be a big life change, but imagine free gas for a year to someone on a tight budget.  That's definitely a life changer.

So far all I've won is a Bose wave radio, which was nice, but not as good as some of the other prizes.  I sold the radio as soon as I got it for $100, so it was a quick turnaround to cash.  Merchandise prizes I'll most likely sell for cash, but I plan to use any gift cards for gas, groceries, etc. to offset my normal everyday shopping expenses.  Freeing up cash to pay off debt or add to my investment account.  I believe persistence will pay off, so I keep entering.  It's all free, so any prizes won I consider a good return for my time.  

Sunday, July 26, 2015

BUY 3 FUNDS, GET 60% STOCKS, 40% BONDS AND 3 MONTHLY DIVIDENDS!

If you read much about investing, you've probably seen the recommended 60% stocks and 40% bonds touted at one point or another.  The idea being that as you age, you divert more of your portfolio in to bond funds for more secure retirement income.  It's my opinion that, if you're a dividend investor, you never really need to increase bond holdings unless it just helps you sleep better at night.  As a dividend investor, I plan on drawing dividend income only, so cashing in my holdings to support my retirement is not part of the plan.

Anyway, back to the subject at hand.  While reading annual reports from 2 of my stock funds, I was impressed with the quality of the stocks held in each fund and it occurred to me that adding a bond fund with the 2 stock funds would make a very well balanced portfolio.  It would also make it easy to invest in a 60/40 split of stocks and bonds.  You simply divide your investment cash 30% to each stock fund and 40% to the bond fund.  You wouldn't have to sell stocks and buy bonds to re-balance and maintain the 60/40 split.  With funds paying monthly dividends, all you'd have to do is divert the amount of dividend income from one investment to the other as needed.

In my case, I own stakes in AOD (stocks), SPHD (stocks) and NCZ (bonds).  So my plan is to let the rest of my portfolio increase on it's own through reinvested dividends, while I build up my stakes in each of these funds.  I'll be buying quality dividend stocks with monthly payments, increasing my monthly income from bonds and balancing out my portfolio for less volatility and maintain good growth prospects.  It really is not a big change to my overall plan, more like a minor tweak, since it fits in well with my current investment plan.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

TOTAL PORTFOLIO DOWN FROM RECORD HIGH, COLLECTED 2 DIVIDENDS FOR THE WEEK

Well my record high portfolio balance didn't last long.  It was dragged down this week after shares of CRF and CLM tanked on announcement of rights offering to issue more shares.  Not sure what they're up to at Cornerstone, I think it's a bad move. Will be looking to move money out of both funds.

On a brighter note, collected to dividends for the week!  The dividend from ROYT was a whopping 50% higher than last month!  That comes on the heels of a huge increase the month before.  While Iranian oil hitting world markets is sure to add to the excess supply in the short term, I think ROYT will still be a money maker.  I may have to hold on to it longer than I expected, but don't mind collecting those monthly payments.

Had a really busy week at work.  Been filling in for vacationers and working a lot of extra hours over my normal schedule.  Will be looking to boost my investments with some of the extra cash.

Friday, July 17, 2015

WHAT IS THE GAME PLAN AT CORNERSTONE FUNDS FOR CRF AND CLM?

Not sure what the directors of CRF and CLM are up to now.  Since I've held stakes in the funds, they have done rights offerings, increasing the number of shares outstanding.  Then they did reverse stock splits, reducing outstanding shares, which kind of made sense.  Now I see CRF is doing another rights offering and the share price has tanked.  Of course that's not hard to figure out, since they are issuing more shares again, so you'd expect the share price to drop.  I have to admit, I don't understand the logic behind it.  Yes they'll take in more money and possibly increase total equity, but with more shares outstanding who is really going to see any benefit?  I can't help but wonder if they have the shareholder's best interests at heart.  I'm thinking no.  Definitely won't be buying any more shares until I find out what's really going on here.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

ROLLER COASTER WEEK FOR THE STOCK MARKET

It was a roller coaster week with the stock market.  First my accounts were down, then up, then way down and ended the week with a record combined balance for my retirement and taxable account!  Seems people were fretting over the Chinese market, the financial problems in Greece and worrying about what the Fed will do.  As long as there's not a total collapse of the world's financial system, dividend investors kind of have an edge during times like these.  Since they tend to concentrate on monthly cash flows from dividends (or at least I do anyway), then ups and downs in the market don't tend to cause as much anxiety.

Looking forward to collecting a nice dividend from ROYT on the 15th.  Otherwise, it's not much going on with my investments.  Been busy with work though.  It's vacation time for several of my co-workers, so I'll be picking up a lot of extra hours.  Looking forward to having more cash to invest and pay down bills.  Also have money coming in from selling my old laptop and some of my online earning schemes.  Looks like it's going to be a good month!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

2015 HWBK DIVIDEND UP 20% OVER 2014!

HWBK's July dividend, including special stock dividend, is up 20% compared to July 2014!  I think this is amazing performance, considering I added no new cash to my stake.  I simply re-invested dividends and the bank did the rest.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, Warren Buffet says a good investment is one that should grow without any further cash out of pocket.  The value of my Hawthorne Bank shares has gone up about 39% since my initial purchase and dividend income has increased 20% since last year.  I think this would qualify as a good investment.

I'll be holding my investment in Hawthorne for the long term.  Partly because I believe in their long term prospects, but also because it is a local company and I'm more familiar with their day to day operations than most of the other companies I'm invested in.  It always brightens my day to drive by one of their banks and realize that I own a small part of that business.