Friday, March 30, 2012


O.K., so maybe it was just a slow week for me, but I did get a decent dividend from BGC Partners Inc. (BGCP).  While one dividend per week is a far cry from my goal of daily dividends, I'm making progress.  I made a list of stocks I'd like to own, with current dividend yields and the months they pay their dividends.  I'm working my way through the list until I own positions in 92 different stocks or at least enough stocks to pay 365 dividends per year.  What I realized when reviewing my current holdings is I already own some stocks that pay once or twice per year, instead of quarterly and a couple of issues that pay monthly.  So I may be able to get to 365 dividends a year with a lot less than 92 stocks. 

While this month has been slow for dividends, I added an additional 8 payments per year with the purchase of EXC and NU.  In the month of April I'll be adding at least 8 more payment by adding CLX to my IRA account and CH to my taxable account.  While doing spring cleaning I realized I have a lot of stuff I no longer use, so I'm taking it all to my sister's next yard sale and plan to use whatever money I make to buy additional shares of stock.  So it's possible I could add an additional 16 dividends for a total of 32 new annual payments by the end of April.

One thing I've learned from all my years of investing, it's important to have a plan and stick to it.  What kind of plan do you need?  Whatever works for you.  The most important thing is to stick to your plan and make adjustments where needed along the way. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


In my latest investment research I recently discovered Aberdeen Chile Fund (CH), which I placed an order for in my taxable account.  CH has a dividend yield of 10.67% on their recent price of $18.48 per share.  While yield alone is not a good reason to buy, I also learned that in Chile companies are required to pay at least 30% of net profits to investors as dividends.  U.S. companies are allowed to cut or halt dividends at any time.  Although you wouldn't want throw all your investment dollars into high yielding foreign funds or stocks, it is a good idea to add a few to diversify your portfolio.

I've been reading a lot of annual reports during the most recent earnings season and am quite frankly appalled by the amount of each report dedicated to executive compensation.  O.K., they have to be paid and deserve to be paid well as long as they're increasing shareholder value.  However, I think it would be a good idea if they'd concentrate a little more on increasing payouts to shareholders, in the form of increased dividends.  Maybe if shareholders saw a little better payouts, they'd be less likely to vote against overly generous executive compensation plans.  I'm so disgusted by their greed and apparent lack of concern for shareholders interests, I make it a rule anymore to vote against any and all compensation plans.

It would be great if the U.S. would follow Chile's lead and require corporations, who rode out the latest financial crisis on piles of cash, to pay out 30% of net profits to shareholders.  I'm sure shareholders would put the money back into circulation and get the economy moving.  Their excuses for holding such large stockpiles of cash seem questionable now, especially in light of the latest round of compensation packages.  Were they really holding on to the money so they could give themselves pay raises, bonuses and fund lush retirements?  One has to wonder...

Saturday, March 24, 2012


It was a slow week for dividends, only collected one payment for the week from Great Plains Energy (GXP).  While it was only one dividend payment, it was a decent one, since GXP is one of my long term holdings and I own a good number of shares.  Stocks trended lower this week from their recent highs, but I look at it as a good thing, especially since I've got a purchase order in for next week.  I'm hoping the prices stay down a little longer until my order goes through.  Market timing is not a part of my long term investment plan, but if I can buy on the dips, it couldn't hurt.

Had a great week of savings on groceries.  I'm working on improving my extreme couponing and it's really been paying off.  Through coupon match ups with store sales, I was able to save 54% on my trip to Gerbes this week, which included three 2-liter Diet Pepsis for free!  Matching coupons with store sales at Schnucks I saved over 67% on my purchases.  On this trip I got two packages of Barilla pasta entirely free and paid only 17 cents each for Nissin Big Cup soups!  I also got Minute Rice, which normally sells for $2.38 a box, for just 79 cents each!  Since I like rice, and Minute Rice is my favorite, I stocked up on those.  I'll pick up some good deals on personal care items tomorrow at Walgreens and use their register rewards to purchase my favorite Stouffers entrees which they have on sale in this Sunday's ad.  I think what I like most about coupons is, they allow me to do the majority of my shopping outside the big box retailers.      

Monday, March 19, 2012


"We found the trail to Babylon because the soul of a free man looks at life as a series of problems to be solved and solves them, while the soul of a slave whines, 'What can I do who am but a slave?'"--from The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason

Saturday, March 17, 2012


It occurred to me that an investment plan purchasing 92 quarterly paying dividend stocks, in order to collect a dividend for every day of the year, may seem to have little flexibility, as far as investment schemes go.  The strategy requires a buy and hold aspect, since you have to hold on to shares of all 92 stocks to collect a dividend per day for each day of the year.  However, since I'll be collecting dividends in an interest bearing account it does allow for fantastic buying flexibility.

When you have money coming in on a daily basis, cash balances rise quite rapidly, depending on how you manage the cash.  While I plan to build positions to increase cash flows by reinvesting dividends, I have the option to choose when to do my buying.  As everyone knows, it's impossible to time the market.  It is, however, much easier to identify buying opportunities.  When the market declines 10 percent from a previous high it represents a buying opportunity, as does each additional 10 percent decline.  Usually a person following this strategy would also identify selling opportunities by raising cash through stock sales when the market rises 25 percent or more. 

Since my daily dividend portfolio follows more of a buy and hold strategy, I would have less flexibility on the sales end, but this is where the daily dividends help pick up the slack.  While I mostly intend to buy and hold, it will become necessary at times to replace under performing stocks or stocks that may cease to pay dividends, so I still have to work out a strategy to account for such contingencies.  I'm open to suggestions on this one?

Friday, March 16, 2012


Collected some of my first dividend payments from stocks purchased for my new investment plan.  This weeks' payments included dividends from Duke Energy (DUK), Solutia (SOA) and Realty Income Corp (O). 

While Solutia is by far my longest held stock, they just recently started paying dividends again.  I held this stock through bankruptcy and have patiently waited to see if they would make any progress.  So I'm really glad to see a little income from them once again.

Duke is one of my recent purchases as part of my Daily Dividend Investment Plan.  That's part of the beauty of the plan.  While I'm accumulating shares in a total of 92 dividend stocks so I can collect a dividend for every day of the year, I'll see cash flow increasing every month as I start collecting payments from my newest purchases.  Talk about positive motivation!

Realty Income Corp is a REIT which pays monthly dividends.  While I wouldn't go overboard with REITs or MLPs, they do have a place in income portfolios.  Both REITs and MLPs are attractive to dividend investors for their high yields, however along with high yields come high risks.  So investors should keep that in mind and do their homework before investing.

One thing I want to stress, anything I write in concerning my personal investments or investment plan, should not be construed as a recommendation for others.  If you get some ideas to apply to your own investment plan, I'm glad I could help.  If you have ideas you'd like to share, I'm all ears.  Never get tired of talking about investing and learning new ways to make money :0).

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, March 11, 2012


In order to focus my attention on my 2 year portfolio building project, I spent the weekend getting organized at home.  Got caught up on all my yard work, cleaned and organized my apartment.  Had to get my old bedroom cleaned up and dried out for the painters.  My landlord finally got the roof fixed and they plan on repairing my apartment first.  I thought it would speed things up a bit, not to mention making things more comfortable for myself, to get everything ready so they can come in and get the job done as quickly as possible.

It's been quite an ordeal, dealing with the water leaks and mold for the past 6 months or so, but they're finally making some progress.  I've taken advantage of the time to decide what I could live without.  I figure I'll kill two birds with one stone.  I'll clear up room in my apartment and make some money by selling all the things I no longer want or need at my sister's next yard sale.  Whatever money I make from the sale I'll put to work in my investment plan.  Rather than having a lot of things collecting dust, I'll add shares of stocks to my investment account and collect dividends.

The restaurant where I work gave me a couple of Coca Cola clocks I intend to put in the sale.  I would have been happy making a few bucks, since they cost me nothing, but I've found out they're actually quite valuable.  If I sell them at the rummage sale I won't make as much as selling them on Ebay, but I should still do all right.  Whatever I make off them is pure profit. 

As soon as they repaint my old bedroom, I plan on making it my new home office.  I'm keep my bedroom on the north side of the building where it's more shaded during the hot summer months.  I have most of the furnishings, so I just need to pick up a writing desk and another filing cabinet.  I know a place near here where I should be able to get a good deal on used office furniture and should be able to get any office supplies I need with register rewards from Walgreens.  

It will be nice to get everything back to normal and get busy building my new investment portfolio and pursuing some of my other small business ideas.  2012 is beginning to look like a good year for me, we'll see how it goes. 

Saturday, March 10, 2012


I'm excited about my new investment plan for 2012.  If you haven't read my earlier posts, in a nutshell, I plan on purchasing shares in 50 additional dividend stocks paying quarterly dividends, with the goal of earning a dividend payment for every day of the year.

This week I received dividends from Advance America Cash Advance (AEA) and Centerpoint Energy (CNP).  I also deposited cash in my taxable account and my IRA.  I've put in orders to purchase the next 2 stocks for my accounts:  Exelon Corp. (EXC) for my taxable account and Clorox (CLX) for my IRA.  I figure it will take me 2 to 3 years to accumulate shares in 50 stocks, although that may be accelerated with the additional dividends I'll be picking up along the way.  Also, with the economy improving at a slight pace, it's possible I may find a better paying job during this time which will allow me to speed up the process.

I know most "experts" would advise against this, however I've never really had a great deal of luck following the "experts" advice, so I'm going with my own instincts on this one.  There have been times during my investment career when I've held shares in as many as 50 dividend stocks and I was amazed at how quickly those dividend payments added up.  With this plan, I will own nearly shares in almost twice as many stocks!  The rate of compounding on my investments will increase dramatically.  When I've reached my goal of 92 stocks, all the dividends payments will be used to build my positions, constantly increasing payouts.  If some of the companies should falter, I plan on replacing them with shares in other companies. 

If all goes well, when I retire I plan to draw only the dividend payments minus 10% which I'll reinvest to account for inflation.  Kind of an ultimate buy and hold strategy.  

Sunday, March 4, 2012


I put my coupons to good use this week and racked up some major savings!  Earlier in the week, I saved 53% off my grocery shopping at Gerbes.  Picked additional grocery items today and with only 2 coupons, still managed to score 27% off my purchases. 

Made out even better today at Walgreens.  On my first transaction I saved 27%, which is not great but not bad either.  On the second transaction, I bought 2 11.3 oz Folgers Classic Roast coffee, 4 Lays Stax potato chips 5.75 oz and one Oscar Mayer deli sliced ham 9 oz, for a grand total of $1.02.  For the first transaction, I matched coupons with sale items which also had register rewards.   I used the register rewards from the first transaction to pay for my second transaction, leaving me a balance due of $1.02.  Picked up their latest store coupon book while I was there and am looking forward to more great savings later in the month.

The money I save using coupons and the money I make from advertising on my blog and my Amazon store are all going toward my new investment plan.  I made a list of 60 dividend stocks I intend to purchase positions in over the next 2 to 3 years bringing my total annual dividend payments to at least one dividend per day.  It might sound overly ambitious, but I don't believe there is anything a person can't do, they simply have to figure out how they're going to do it.  Talk about cash flow, a dividend payment every day of the year sounds like ultimate cash flow to me :0).

Saturday, March 3, 2012


This year I've made some radical changes to my investment plan.  Due to tax law changes regarding 1099's I've decided to reinvest dividends in my IRA account only.  All dividend payments in my taxable account I'll be taking in cash.  I may decided to reinvest some of this money in lump sums at a later date, but I no longer intend to reinvest small amounts, avoiding the extra work I had to do on this years taxes due to sales of some shares last year.

Another change, which represents an entirely new direction for me, I've decided to make it my goal to earn a dividend payment for every day of the year.  The plan is quite simple really.  Between my retirement account and my taxable portfolio I plan to purchase shares in 92 companies paying quarterly dividends.  This will bring my total dividend payments per year to 368 (92 stocks x 4 dividends each per year = 368 total dividend payments).  While I'm sure most "professional money managers" would think I'm crazy, I think it will work for me.  Consider this, if the rate of compounding determines your ultimate investment success, what better way to invest than daily compounding.  While this may sound overly ambitious for a small investor, I believe it's quite within grasp.  I already own shares in 40 companies between my two accounts, so I only have to buy shares in 52 more companies.  I've already identified several good investments with a calendar of purchases scheduled for the rest of 2012.  I'll be buying shares in at least 2 companies per month.  One new company for my taxable account and one for my IRA.  This will also accomplish my goal of reducing taxes for 2012 by increasing contributions to my IRA. 

Daily dividend payments are the ultimate goal here.  Once I've accomplished that, I'll work on building positions in each stock.  Think of it as making every day of the year payday.  What could be better than that?

Thursday, March 1, 2012


Just finished filing my taxes for 2011 and am happy to be getting a small refund.  I like to use tax time as a way to judge how effectively I've managed my money for the previous year and try to figure out ways to come out better, the next time around.  This year I noticed a couple of things I could have done better. 

First and foremost, I should have contributed about twice as much to my IRA account.  Doing so would have eliminated my tax liability and I would have gotten back everything I paid in Federal and State tax for the past year.  This might sound like a no brainer but it's something I overlooked on last years' returns.

Another thing I learned is how much more paperwork, or at least data entry, is involved when you sell shares in which you've recently re invested dividends.  For capital gains and cost basis purposes, each dividend is treated as a separate stock purchase date and has to be reported as such.  So for the sale of one lot of stock, if that lot includes shares purchased through re invested dividends, you may have several taxable events.  It would seem much simpler to take dividend payments in cash until you've accumulated substantial amounts and then re invest the money.  Doing so will make tax preparation much simpler if you decide to sell later on.  However, money wise, it's still better to reinvest the dividends as they're paid.