Wednesday, December 31, 2014


Collected the last two dividend payments for 2014 today!  Ended the year ahead of schedule on dividend income.  My goal was to double income every year for 10 years.  This year was more than double 2013, so I'm a little ahead of schedule for 2015.  

The two dividends today from AOD and EGAS also made December the best month of the year as far as total dollars collected.  Not sure whether the dividend from EGAS was for this month or January 2015, but they paid it today so I'm counting it on 2014.  Either way, total dividend income was still above my target level.  This is just the second year, so I expect it to be relatively easy to double income for at least the next 3 years.  After that it will take greater cash investments on my part instead of relying on reinvested dividends alone.  

Had to work today and will be working early tomorrow morning, so I won't be celebrating New Year's Eve.  But I'm planning a traditional New Year's Day dinner for tomorrow evening.  Could use some good luck in the new year.

Monday, December 29, 2014


Still disillusioned by the 1 for 4 reverse stock split of CLM and CRF even though I think it could be better for both in the long run.  However, I've decided not to throw good money after bad and will be taking future dividends in cash.  I'll hold my positions for now and see how they perform going forward.

For the new year, I've decided to beef up my investments with mostly dividend aristocrats.  I've put in an order to purchase shares of Aflac, which brings me back up to a 20 stock portfolio.  I already hold stakes in other dividend aristocrats like AT&T, so I'll be adding to those positions throughout 2015.

To give monthly cash flow a boost, I'm purchasing more shares of NCZ, even though rising interest rates in 2015 doesn't bode well for bond funds.  I'll be looking for growth from individual stocks and not stock or bond funds.

2015 promises to be an exciting new year.  With gas prices down, I intend to take full advantage of fuel savings to add to my investments as much as I possibly can.  Hope everyone has a great new year!

Friday, December 26, 2014


The Tuesday before Christmas I completed purchase of stakes in CLNY and PDLI.  Should see dividend income from CLNY starting in January, of course I plan on reinvesting the dividends to increase the number of shares owned.  I was impressed by the fact that both stocks have performed better in the short time I've held them than some of the stocks I held all year.  Due to poor performance from stock and bond funds in my portfolio, the overall performance for 2014 was lackluster to say the least.  Am looking forward to doing much better in 2015.

To that end, I plan to beef up individual stock holdings and take dividends from stock and bond funds in cash.  I've always been of the opinion that most individual investors would do much better to invest in stocks instead of mutual funds.  I purchased stakes in the funds I own now for the monthly dividends when I set up my new portfolio.  The idea being the cash flow would help rebuild the stock portion of my investments.  Now I've reached the point where I'll no longer reinvest dividends in the mutual funds.  Instead I'll divert those to cash and use the cash to build up shares in current holdings of individual stocks and purchase any new stocks, like the two above.  While I might not see such rapid growth in dividend income as I have the past two years, I believe I'll be much better positioned for growth and future dividend income.

Hope everyone had a great Christmas!  I sure did.  I'd like to again wish everyone a very Happy and Prosperous New Year!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014



Wednesday, December 17, 2014


It's the end of the year, finished my Christmas shopping, paid off another bill and decided to put some cash savings to work early to get a head start on my 2015 investment plan.  To accomplish that, I purchased a stake in PDLI (a pharmaceutical company) and next week I'll be buying a stake in CLNY (a real estate investment and finance company).  Dividends from the two stocks will boost monthly dividend income by over 5% in 2015!  I'm looking to boost annual dividend income by 100% for the third year in a row.  As long as current earned income remains the same, I should have additional money to invest this year on top of reinvested dividends.  Should easily be able to reach my goal of doubling dividend income.  Since I'll get my first dividend from CLNY next month, January's income will be up 90+% over January 2014!  Not a bad way to start the year.

Monday, December 15, 2014


There seems to be a lot of hoopla over the price of crude oil.  As the price drops, the stock market has dropped along with it.  Seems like a lot of people are concerned about how oil prices will affect future growth.  I can remember oil prices being as low as $39 a barrel and there was a lot of concern over it at that time too.  Guess what, everything turned out just fine and it will this time too.  Sure maybe some of the weaker players in the oil business will go under, but that's the name of the game.  Certainly no reason to panic and flee the stock market in general.

I'm kind of excited about the whole thing myself.  Prices are dropping, so it's cheaper to buy quality stocks I'd like to own.  Lower gas prices at the pump mean it's easier for me to come up with the money to buy the stocks.  Reduced costs to business such as utility companies, trucking companies, waste management, UPS or anyone else who would benefit from lower fuel costs, means it will be much easier for these companies to make a profit.  As far as I'm concerned, now's the time to ramp up buying, selectively of course.  I want bargain prices on income producing stocks with a history of increasing dividends.  That's what the plan is for 2015, adding some dividend aristocrats to my portfolio and boosting positions in some of my current holdings.  Have no plans to sell anything, but I'll be buying as much as I can afford while the prices are low.

Thursday, December 11, 2014


It's turning out to be a very Happy Holiday season, with 2 more dividend payments rolling in from LLY and CNP.  I have both stocks set to automatically reinvest, so I've purchased more shares of two of my core holdings.  Ely Lilly and Company has been one of the stellar performers in my IRA account, up over 61% since my initial investment!  Centerpoint Energy is more of an income play, with a dividend yield of 4.19% and their increased dividend payout in 2014.  

The next dividend should be from UVE on December 15th, including a special dividend of 15 cents per share on top of the regular dividend of 10 cents per share.  My shares of UVE are up over 276% since my initial investment.  Definitely plan on holding on to this one for the long haul.

Sunday, December 7, 2014


Wow, if I needed further proof that my investment plan is working, I just calculated the dividend payments for January 2015 and compared it to January 2014.  Dividend income will be up a whopping 89%!  Even with the setbacks I experienced mid year 2014 and a couple of poorly performing picks, monthly income still jumped.  It will be interesting to see how February through December 2015 compare to 2014.

Things are looking up.  Just made the final payment on a personal loan, added to cash savings and beefed up cash balances in both investment accounts.  It would be great if I could start the new year off with a better job!


Once again UVE has announced a special dividend for shareholders of record as of 12/05/2014.  In addition to their regular dividend of 10 cents per share, each shareholder will receive a special dividend of 15 cents per share, payable December 15, 2014!

I'm especially excited with this stock since it's one of my "free stocks."  I purchased a stake in UVE quite some time ago and sold enough shares after the price rose to take out all my original cash investment, essentially making the remaining shares free.  Since then I've reinvested all dividends to let the money ride and have been quite happy with their performance.  The stock has a current target price of $22 per share, but I have no plans to sell at any price.  As long as the dividend continues, this will be one of my core holdings.  I've made money on UVE several times in the past, buying low and selling high, but I've always been pleased with the dividends.  No matter what happens, at this point I've made so much profit from this stock that I could lose all of my current investment and I'd still be ahead.

Monday, December 1, 2014


Just finished a review of the spreadsheets I use to track my investments and am pleased to report that dividend income for 2014 will be up 100% over 2013!  While that in itself is reason to celebrate, I used current data to project increases in dividend income for next year.  

This is what I came up with:

GE income up 1%, NYCB up 5%, LLY up 3%, EMN stays the same, UVE down 20% (due to sale of stock), CNP up 1%, RRD up 3%, CLM up 20%, HWBK up 2%, T up 2%, EGAS up 30%, AOD up 1%, MFC up 1%, CRF up 15%, WFC up 8%, NCZ up 22%, PHK up 50% and PSEC up 10%.

This is not my projection of the stocks performance, but a projection of increased dividend income based on the year end dividends from each stock multiplied by 12 months of 2015.  Of course this does not take in to account possible dividend cuts or increases and does not allow for dividend re-investments, so the total increases would likely be higher than the above projections.  This only applies to my personal portfolio.  I am very excited about the prospects for significant gains in monthly cash flow in 2015!  At this point I'm not attempting to project total gains in dividend income, although based on the above, I think I should easily be able to double dividend income again in 2015.


It's the first of the month and December is off to a great start with 5 dividend payments!  It was a little bit of a bummer to see some of my share prices were down a bit, but then I realized the reinvested dividends purchased more shares and the dividend yield on those shares is higher.  It's most gratifying to see money generated month after month with no additional work on my part.  I purchased the shares and they do the work for me.

It's bound to be a happy holiday season, with 10 more dividends to come before the month is over.  Not exactly sure when the reverse stock split on CLM and CRF kicks in, but I'm taking that whole situation in stride.  I'm looking at it as an opportunity to move on to bigger and better things.  I'll keep my stakes in both funds, collect the cash from fractional shares and reinvest in new stocks or funds to generate additional monthly cash flow.

Just got a semi-annual report from NCZ, I'll have to look that over.  I think they're  a pretty sound investment, not likely to return buckets of money, but a steady earner.  Speaking of buckets of money, UVE up 249% since my initial investment!  Wish I'd bought more.  Actually I did, but I've bought and sold the stock several times for a nice return each time.  So I guess I really wish I'd held on to more of the shares I've sold.   But I'm pretty happy with them all the same.

Thursday, November 27, 2014


Here's hoping everyone has a happy Thanksgiving holiday!  I had a wonderful time at our family dinner, lot's of great food and good company.  Everyone prepares food for our family meal.  This year I made Paula Dean's corn casserole and a broccoli rice and cheese casserole and picked up a couple of pumpkin pies from the bakery.  There was way more food than we could possibly eat, but we had a good meal and a great visit.  Especially enjoyed seeing a couple of my great nieces and a great nephew, don't get to see them nearly as much as I'd like.

Got home and fixed Pickles, the precocious chihuahua, some grilled chicken for his Thanksgiving dinner.  He's sleeping it off as I write.  I'm really thankful for my family and my little buddy Pickles who's part of the family.

Had even more to be thankful for.  My big three end of the month dividends came in today, due to the holiday weekend I'm guessing.  At any rate, picked up more shares of AOD and gained cash for the purchase of stakes in SDY and DIA, so it's been a great day all around.  Looking forward to Christmas.   

Monday, November 24, 2014


Sold my speculative stake in MACK pharmaceuticals to lock in 20% gain.  Decided to reinvest the proceeds in additional shares of NCZ.  This will boost monthly dividend income by 3%.  While none of my current fund holdings have been stellar performers, NCZ has proven a good source of monthly cash flow so it seems to be the best means or redeploying the cash from the sale of MACK.  

Have been working on my investment plan for the new year as I mentioned in earlier posts.  Everything is pretty well in place.  My big goals for next year are to purchase stakes in SDY and DIA for my IRA and taxable account respectively.  I also hope to complete the purchase of stakes in my "wish list" stocks mentioned in earlier posts.  The 7 stocks (INTC, CLX, WPZ, ADP, GPC and MSEX) along with the 2 funds mentioned above will make up the core of my long term portfolio along with UVE, GE, NYCB and LLY.  The other 8 holdings in my 20 stock portfolio will change out from time to time.  Have set my plan for 2015 in motion, including a new personal budget targeting increased savings and debt payoff.  

2015 is already looking to be a much better year, now if I could just find that new job. :0)

Saturday, November 15, 2014


Received notice in the mail today of special shareholder's meetings for CRF and CLM on December 8th to vote on a proposed one-for-four reverse stock split.  I can't say I'm surprised by the move, the share price had fallen so low that I expected such a move.  I don't expect to sell any shares and I've voted in favor of the move.  While I'm not expecting this to actually improve performance of the fund, I still think the underlying assets of the two funds are companies I like having investments in, so I'll keep my shares for now.  

Should the proposal be approved, the funds are not planning to issue fractional shares, so any excess of whole shares would be paid to shareholders in cash.  Which works to my advantage in a way.  I'd already diverted dividend income to purchase shares of DIA and SDY, so any cash added to my account from the reverse stock split will go towards the purchase of the new funds.

My biggest concern was the dividend yield.  However, should the dollar amount of dividends remain the same, then my current yield on dollars invested should remain the same.  In other words, if the dividend on 12 shares was $12 and a one-for-four reverse stock split reduced the number of shares to 3, as long as the dividend was $12 on the 3 new shares, your yield on dollars invested would remain the same.  Yield would drop dramatically for new investors, since share price has increased.  I'll have to see what happens to the dividend after this proposal is voted on.  Share price is not as relevant to my investment strategy as cash flow at the present time.  If the reverse stock split should negatively affect my monthly cash flow from dividend income, then it may precipitate a sale of my stake in the two funds.  For now I'm taking a wait and see approach.  I agree that the move was necessary and should have some benefits for the funds and shareholders.

Monday, November 10, 2014


According to year end projections, 2014 has been a great year for my investments!  Total portfolio value increased by over 25%, total number of shares owned increased over 30% and dividend income is up over 100%!  Not bad at all, especially considering the financial setbacks I had back in July that forced me to sell some shares to make ends meet.  I'm most excited about the increase in dividend income, more than double the amount received in 2013!  I don't attribute this to any special brilliance on my part, it was more a matter of having a plan and sticking to it.  

The best performing stock for the year was UVE, with and increase of 249%, not counting reinvested dividends!  In an earlier post I mentioned that I'd sold enough shares of UVE to pull out all my original cash investment, even so the stock remains one of my largest holdings.  Other solid performers include GE, LLY, NYCB, RRD, HWBK and MACK.  Dollar wise, my top ten holdings include UVE, GE, LLY, NYCB, HWBK, RRD, CLM, CRF, NCZ and PHK.  

Individual stocks did quite well during the year whereas stock and bond funds in my portfolio did poorly.  However, I purchased the funds for their monthly dividend income which held up quite well, so it's not all bad news.  I'll be looking to replace the poor performing funds with low cost index funds in the coming year.  Most likely I'll stop reinvesting dividends in these funds and divert the payments to cash balances to purchase new funds.  I'm working on my 2015 investment plan now.  

Saturday, November 1, 2014


Started off the first of November with 5 dividend payments including the first dividend from EGAS!  Will collect 7 more payments for the remainder of November, for a total of 12 or one dividend every 2.5 days of the month.  Add in the 2 paydays from work and I'll get paid 14 times!  Dividend income continues to increase 1% each month from reinvested dividends alone.  The more shares accumulated from reinvested dividends, the more income, the more income, the more shares accumulated.  Simple formula for a successful investment plan.

Speaking of investment plans, it's time to start working on my plan for 2015.  While I had some setbacks in 2014, I was able to stick with most of the plan and have had pretty good success.  Now it's time to set new goals and update my plan for the new year.   

Friday, October 31, 2014


Here's hoping everyone has a happy and safe Halloween!  My holiday was made happier by my last 3 dividend payments for the month from CRF, CLM and AOD.  The market is up and my portfolio regained all the losses it incurred earlier in the month along with adding additional shares through reinvested dividends.  

Saturday, November 1st, I'll be looking forward to kicking off the month with all the first of the month dividends.  While the income from my portfolio is still small, it's exciting to watch it grow month after month, whether I add additional cash or just reinvest the dividends.  Either way, the cash flow increases and the total number of shares increase.  While reviewing my accounts this evening, I noticed that dividends alone would replace all the shares I was forced to sell this past summer to pay medical bills in just 10 months!  To me that's exciting!

I'm especially excited about collecting my first dividend from EGAS November 1st!  This monthly dividend payer will boost cash flow significantly and improve compounding of investments.  With payments reinvested monthly instead of quarterly, I should be able to build the number of shares I own fairly rapidly.  Plan on holding on to EGAS for several years to come.  Would be happy to collect the dividends until I'm gone and leave the shares to my estate.

Monday, October 27, 2014


I've been a big fan of Amazon for quite some time.  I bought the original Kindle Fire for myself, which is wonderful for reading and watching video.  I've also given several Kindle's as gifts to family and friends.  Only recently have I caught on to the great deals on everyday items available on Amazon.  Just ordered new filters and a drive belt for my Hoover vacuum cleaner.  The filter was slightly more than one third of the price I paid for the last one at Walmart.  Ordered new batteries for all my watches for less than I'd pay for 2 locally.  A new battery for my laptop was only $15.  

I also bought my last 2 pair of work shoes through Amazon.  Same brand and style I normally buy, but even less than I was paying at Shoe Carnival.  Not only have I saved on purchase price, but I've saved lots of time and gasoline by ordering online instead of going to the stores.  Shipping hasn't added any to the costs, since most of my purchases were free shipping.  The orders I did pay shipping on were still lower priced overall than buying locally.  

I've made it a habit now to shop Amazon before I make any purchases other than groceries.  Just found a great deal on tires for my car.  It's amazing the me the variety of products available and the amount of savings.  Go Amazon!

Sunday, October 26, 2014


I'm a big fan and follower of the Motley Fool website (  So I decided to check their Caps Rating on the 21 stocks and funds in my portfolio.  I'm happy to report, most of my holdings received a four star Caps Rating.  The individual stocks rated better than my stock and bond funds, although PSEC was rated four stars.

What does this mean?  I'm not sure it means a whole lot as far as my future investment success.  It does indicate several people in the Motley Fool community agree with me on the future prospects of some of my investments.  A little reassuring, but we could all be wrong.  Since my main goal is to build dividend income and that's coming along quite nicely, I'm not too worried.  I do plan to replace some of the riskier funds with more stable investments somewhere down the road.  Right now I'm holding on to what I have and reinvesting all dividends and capital gains.

Friday, October 24, 2014


Tip No. 1

Never spend your change. 

When I first began my savings program to build up money for investing, one of the easiest ways I found to trick myself into saving more money was to stop spending my change. I made a habit of paying for all my purchases with bills and pocketing the change. At the end of the day, all the spare change goes in a jar and when the jar is full, I take it to the bank and deposit it in my savings account. You'll be pleasantly surprised how much money you will accumulate this way. I purchased all my shares in Hawthorn Bank with pocket change.

Tip No. 2

Shop for the best deal on your car insurance.

I was astounded at the difference in prices and the huge amount I saved by switching my insurance. And no it isn't the company you might be thinking of, but I still have my insurance with a nationally recognized company for a whole lot less money.

Tip No. 3

Take your lunch to work.

I used to buy my lunch at work every day. While I got by cheap, usually around $5 and I only work 4 days a week (10 hour days), that still amounted to $1,040 per year. I found that if I took soup and crackers (one of my favorite lunches) it only cost me $1.70 per day, or $343.60 per year. A savings of $696.40 per year! As an added bonus, I lost 20 lbs.!

Tip No. 4

Use your coupons and motor club discounts.

Manufacturers coupons are the same as having extra cash instantly. The trick is to use only the ones for items you already purchase. I didn't realize how much I could save this way until I tried it out for a few weeks. I have also had a membership with a national motor club for years and yet never took advantage of the discounts offered on auto service, motel stays and entertainment. Now that's the first thing I look for when needing my car serviced or when planning a trip. 

Tip No. 5

Adjust your thermostat.

In the fall of the year I set my thermostat at 60 degrees and leave it there until spring. If it gets a little cold, I dress warmly. In the spring I shut the heat off and open the windows until the heat or my allergies make me turn on the air conditioning. Then I set the thermostat on 78 degrees and leave it alone. The point is, adjust the heat down as low as is comfortable for you and the air up so your utility bills stay low.  Use the money you save on utilities to buy a few shares of a good utility company, collect the dividends to help pay for future utilities.

Tip No. 6

Shop out of season.

I love doing this. I get most of my clothes this way. I'm really big on brand name clothing, but I nearly go in to cardiac arrest when I see the full priced items. Now I buy my spring and summer clothing in the fall and winter clothing in January through March. I get the same brand names for anywhere from 50% to 90% off the original price. 

Tip No. 7

Buy your cars used.

It's always better to purchase a good low mileage car that's been maintained than to purchase new. New cars depreciate in value faster or almost as fast as you make the payments. If you can pay cash for the car and save having to pay interest on a loan, all the better. Wouldn't you much rather be putting that money in to something that's going to pay you instead of making car payments?  (My car has been paid off for 7 years, it's still in great shape and I plan on keeping it at least another 2 years.)  


Looks like we're not in a market correction after all.  The recent rebound in stock prices credited to positive earnings reports has brought the value of my IRA and taxable accounts back to former values.  I was able to purchase some shares at lower prices, so it wasn't all bad.  However, I had hoped to pick up additional shares at the lower prices with dividends from the "big three" end of the month dividends from AOD, CRF and CLM.  But if there's one thing I've learned about investing, you hit some, you miss some.  I hit a few and increased my overall dividend yield for my portfolio.  I'll miss the cheaper prices for reinvested dividends at the end of the month, but it all works out in the end.

The renewal date for Obamacare insurance is coming up soon.  Enrollment begins November 2nd.  I'll have to have a look at the plans and see if I want the automatic re-enrollment or if there is perhaps a better deal.  So far, my insurance under Obamacare has paid $3 for the entire year of coverage.  Since I've paid more than that in premiums and the government has paid over $500 per month, I'm thinking it's not a very good deal for either of us.  I've actually lost money, since my doctor's offices no longer negotiate on pricing since I am insured.  Which means I've paid full price out of pocket.  I suppose if I end up in the hospital with another heart attack, I'll be glad to know they'll pay something anyway.

Thursday, October 16, 2014


With the dismal performance of the stock market of late, some might be wondering if we're facing a market correction or could it just be a bad month, since October has historically been a poor month for stocks?  I'm not quite ready to call it a full blown correction, although I wouldn't be surprised if it was.  I've thought the market was overpriced for some time now.  So what's a person to do?  It's been almost painful watching stock price gains from the past year or so evaporate.  

I don't know what anyone else is doing and I don't pretend to have all the answers to the world's economic woes.  However, I'm a firm believer that anytime you're in the building phase of your investment portfolio, a significant drop in stock prices presents a marvelous buying opportunity.  So I'm planning on adding to my positions as much as possible while stock prices are down.  Not only will I be better positioned to gain from a recovery, but I'll also be buying in at lower prices and higher dividend yields, increasing my overall monthly earnings at a much faster rate than I would have been able to otherwise.

To be honest, I'm pretty excited.  If you want to make money in stocks, you buy low and sell high, which almost no one ever does.  Instead they tend to jump ship when the going gets tough and avoid the market all together until recovery is well under way.  Then they buy back in at higher than necessary prices and repeat the process all over.  Since I invest for dividends and income and have been through a lot of market ups and downs, I don't sell when the market falls.  I may go on hold, simply reinvesting dividends or if the drop is significant, I go bargain shopping for stocks.  

Tuesday, October 7, 2014


Like anyone else, I'm always pleased to see the value of my portfolio go up with share price increases.  However, I'm also mindful of the benefits to dividend investors during declining markets.  As a rule, dividend stocks drop less in declining markets, since investors are less likely to sell shares that they'll be collecting monthly or quarterly cash payments from.  So dividend investors benefit from price stability.

The big benefit to dividend investors like myself, who reinvest dividends to build their positions and increase cash flow is the increase in yields when stock prices drop.  As long as dividend payouts remain the same, when prices drop the dividend yield increases.  If you're reinvesting dividends, the new shares purchased with your dividends are paying out higher yields than shares you would have purchased at the higher prices.  If you have several months of declining stock prices, the average yield on your overall portfolio can increase dramatically.  Not only that, but your dividends are purchasing more shares at the lower prices than you would have gotten if prices remained high, increasing payments even more, since you own more shares.  

This really only applies to people like me who are working on increasing their portfolio holdings.  If you're at the stage where you are collecting dividends to pay your bills, it doesn't help to have the value of your portfolio drop.  Realizing this, I've come up with a plan to address this problem when I reach that stage.  I've decided when I'm ready to collect the cash dividends to live on, I'll collect only 75% of the actual cash each month and continue to reinvest 25% of all dividends collected.  So I'll continue to benefit from situations like declining markets and increasing investments each month will help address the problem of inflation when I retire.  Maybe not a perfect plan, but I think it will work out well for me.

Friday, October 3, 2014


Toward the end of September, Universal Insurance Holdings, Inc. (UVE) announced completion of their $10 million share repurchase program.  The company noted that the timely completion of it's share buyback program underscores its confident outlook, solid financial position and commitment to effectively deploying capital when it sees clear value.  The Board and management team will continue to look for ways to enhance shareholder value, both through strategic growth initiatives and capital returns to shareholders.

As a long time investor in UVE in both my IRA and taxable investment accounts, the yield on my holdings are much higher than the current 3.08% since I bought in at a much lower price.  The actual dividend yield on my original investment is closer to 8%.  I currently reinvest all dividends in additional shares and the share buyback is just another good reason for me to keep this company in my long term portfolio of investments.  My original investment is up 148.44%, not a stock I want to get rid of anytime soon.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014


The month of October is off to a fantastic start with 7 dividend payments on the first day of October.  It's like collecting 7 paychecks at once!  Of course I reinvested these payments to buy even larger future paychecks by purchasing more shares.  

Got more good news in the mail.  Apparently I'd miscalculated one of my medical bills and I'd actually paid it off with the last payment.  They returned my check for my most recent payment with a letter saying my balance was paid in full.  So this bill is paid off 4 months earlier than I'd expected!  I'm pretty happy about that.  

Looks like most of my payments are on the first this month, with 6 more dividends to collect for the remainder of the month.  However, the 6 remaining payments are the biggest dollar wise, with the three largest dividends at the end of the month.  When I start collecting the cash payments to actually live on, this should work out good for budgeting, because I'll get month to pay all the first of the month bills, collect some during the middle of the month and another big payment at the end of the month.  That's the way it works out with my current portfolio.  Don't plan on making any changes anytime soon, other than to add wish list stocks as soon as I can afford it.  The cash machine is working, so if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014


Completed my purchase of a stake in EGAS with the proceeds from the sale of POT.  Just finished checking the dividend history and it looks like I'll collect the first dividend payment from EGAS around the end of October.  This will bring my total dividend paydays to 168 per year!  If you add the 24 paydays from work, that brings my total paydays per year to 192, or a payday every 1.9 days.  Now it's a simple matter of increasing the amount of pay on dividend paydays.  I may not have much control over pay increases from work, but I have quite a bit of control over dividend paydays.  They increase themselves every month through reinvested dividends, I just need to work on maximizing the amounts by making sure I'm holding quality dividend stocks.  

My big focus next year will be on improving the quality of holdings in my portfolio.  I'll be looking to add all the wish list stocks mentioned in an earlier post, with long histories of increasing dividends.  These will all be long term holdings.  I'll also continue reinvesting dividends to increase my stake in current holdings, boosting income every single month of the year! 

Friday, September 26, 2014


No I'm not getting in to the business of selling marijuana, I sold my stake in Potash (ticker symbol POT) to buy a stake in EGAS.  Not only did I eliminate tax payments to Canada, I boosted dividend income by 2% per month.  I like the current yield on EGAS stock and I think there's plenty of room for the share price to grow.  

The purchase of EGAS also boosts the number of dividend payments per year from 160 to 168, since EGAS pays monthly compared to Potash's quarterly dividend.  Reinvested dividends will boost monthly dividends at a more rapid rate since money will compound monthly instead of quarterly.  

I'm still considering replacing some of the bond funds with dividend stocks, perhaps some of my wish list stocks, but that would reduce the number of annual dividend payments since the wish list stocks pay quarterly compared to monthly.  So that idea is on hold for right now and I'll continue with my previous plan of taking bond fund dividends in cash to purchase stakes in the wish list stocks.

While I'm looking forward to the big 3 end of the month dividends next week, dividend income for the last month of the 3rd quarter will be down compared to March and June of this year as a result of the stocks I sold in July.  Since that small setback, monthly income has been rising steadily, so I'm excited about boosting it even more with the purchase of EGAS.


All of the monthly dividend payers I currently hold in my portfolio are bond or stock funds.  I did some research into stocks paying monthly dividends, ruling out energy trusts, REIT's and investment trusts which I prefer to avoid.  I came up with one promising candidate.

Gas Natural, Inc.  (EGAS:NYSE)  EGAS  currently pays a 5 cent per share monthly dividend for an annual yield of 4.64% on the recent price per share of $11.82.  They have a P/E of 20.0 and their payout ratio is 58%.  The company's 2013 earnings of 71 cents per share easily covered the dividends.  

EGAS distributes and sell natural gas to residential, commercial and industrial customers in Montana, Wyoming, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maine and North Carolina.  They have majority ownership interest in many natural gas producing wells and gas gathering assets.  They also own gas pipelines in Montana and Wyoming.  

While growth in share price and earnings over the past few years might not seem so attractive when compared to overall growth of the S&P 500, EGAS has held up better during past market downturns providing some protection in case of such an eventuality.  All things considered, EGAS could be a good addition to my long term holdings, providing 12 additional dividend payments per year.  Of course since I'm limiting my current portfolio to 20 stocks, I'm considering replacing one of my bond funds with EGAS.

Saturday, September 13, 2014


Just read that Wells Fargo (WFC) is making a big move to boost revenues by investing 100 billion dollars in asset management firms.  Right now it's just speculation as to which companies they'll be investing in, but it's a good move on the part of corporate directors, since fee income generated from assets under management is sure to boost the bottom line.

This move to change is on the heels of a slow down in regular earnings, so it's nice to see they're taking action to protect shareholders interests.  I've been a shareholder in WFC for quite some time and consider it one of my core holdings.  It is also a large holding in more than a few of my mutual funds, so I have a vested interest in future earnings.  I'll be watching to see how their plans unfold.

Thursday, September 11, 2014


Collected two dividend payments this week from long term investments in LLY and CNP.  Re-invested dividends to purchase more shares of both stocks.  Did a quick check on The Motley Fool website to see if future prospects are still good for these stocks.  Both look good, with LLY having increased it's animal drug business in its' deal with Novartis and CNP improving its' business through cost cutting and adding new customers.  Also liked the fact that CNP recently increased their dividend, which increases the yield on my initial investment!

What I appreciate most about dividend investing is seeing the steady month to month increase in cash flow from reinvested dividends.  I mentioned in my last post that I am diverting dividends to my cash account to purchase shares in my "wish list" stocks.  While this may seem to go against my normal investment philosophy, what I didn't mention in the earlier post is that I only diverted part of the dividends with the rest being reinvested to continue growing current positions.  So, while income will not grow as rapidly as before, it will continue to increase on a monthly basis as positions in current holdings increase the monthly reinvested dividends.  About a year from now, I expect to have a big jump in monthly cash flow as all the dividends from newly purchased "wish list" stocks begin to flow in to my IRA and my regular account.

Will the market be up or down, I don't really know.  One thing I'm pretty sure of, my dividend income will be much higher by this time next year.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


I mentioned in a recent post of wish list of stocks with a history
of increasing dividends that I’d like to add to my portfolio.
Since I don’t have the cash readily available to purchase
positions in these stocks, I had to come up with a plan to make
my wishes a reality.  So I diverted dividend income from my
bond funds and 2 of my stock funds to my cash account.  I then
set up automatic orders to buy INTC for my IRA account and
CLX for my taxable account.  As dividend payments
accumulate in my cash account, the purchases will go through
automatically when the dollar amount of each investment is
reached.  As soon as I’ve purchased a position in each of these
stocks, I’ll change my automatic investment to include the next
two stocks on the list:  ADP and GPC.  The final two, WPZ and
MSEX will follow next.

The advantages of this plan:  I won’t have to take any cash out
of pocket to purchase these stocks.  I should be able to add all
six stocks to my portfolio in less than a year and will increase
the number of dividend payments collected per year from 160
to 184.  Which works out to an average of 15.33 dividends per

Monday, September 1, 2014


The month of September started out right with 5 dividend payments from WFC, RRD, and a few of my fund holdings.  Always like to see those payments at the beginning of the month, it gets me excited about the possibilities for the month ahead.  September is one of the big dividend months.  I should collect a total of 16 dividend payments for the month.  With 5 down, I'm looking forward to 11 more dividend paydays for the month!  What's not to get excited about.

I seem to be having a small run of luck for some reason.  Won a second chance drawing in the Lotto last month, not cash but still a nice prize.  Also been finding quite a bit of cash while walking my dog.  Mostly change, but a couple of $10 dollar bills too.  Saving the change for a vacation.  Haven't had one in quite a while, so I'm saving up to take Pickles and I on a nice little excursion.  

Renewing the job search this month.  Hope to have better luck this time around.  Still getting more hours at my current job, but things are slowing down, so don't know how long that will hold out.  Would like to have a second job or new job before my hours drop too low.

Making good progress on reducing debt.  Took a lot of positive steps in that direction all last month and at the beginning of this month.  Am starting to see some results there as well.  Be glad to have the final bills out of the way so I can divert that money to my investment account. 

Have a new wish list of stocks with a long history of raising dividends.  Want to add all 7 of the following to my long term portfolio as soon as possible.  The list includes:  WPZ, CLX, INTC, ADP, GPC AND MSEX.  



Given setbacks to personal earned income in the past few
months, I was pleased to see third quarter dividend income is
up more than 30% when compared to the first 2 months of the
second quarter!  I don’t attribute such success to any special
investment skills on my part, it’s more a matter of sticking to
the plan.  So far the plan has worked well and I don’t see that
changing anytime soon.

Paying off final medical bills from my heart attacks has been
painfully slow.  Partly because there were so many of them and
partly because of my reduced earned income.  However, there
is light at the end of the tunnel and my goal for September is to
pay off the next smallest bill.  With a little luck, by December
I’ll be in a much better financial situation.  I should have at
least 2 more bills paid off, bringing my total monthly payments
from 11 down to 9.  During the first 6 months of 2015, I should
be able to pay off 2 more bills and reduce credit card debt
dramatically.  With only 7 monthly payments, the remaining
credit card debt should drop rapidly starting in July of next
year.  That may seem like a long way off, but I’ve found if you
plan for the year ahead, it’s much easier to keep things in
perspective.  You don’t worry so much the day to day problems
and you keep focus on where you want to be.  Staying focused
on future goals makes it much easier to get from where you are
to where you want to be.

Thursday, August 28, 2014


I'm down to the final 3 dividend payments for the month of August, each paying on the last day of the month, labor day.  Not planning much for Labor day weekend, I'll be working my regular schedule Sunday and Monday.   It's nice to know I can expect a big payment at the end of each month, since all three are monthly dividend payers (CRF, CLM, AOD).  But what's even better, the very next day on the first of each month I collect all the beginning of the month dividends.  So I get two big payments back to back each month.  Didn't really plan it that way, but it's nice how it worked out.  When I start taking payments instead of reinvesting all dividends, it will work out well for bill paying.

It's been a busy month.  Had some luck, winning a Bose wave radio in a lottery second chance drawing.  Picked up a little extra cash doing some odd jobs on the side and am planning on putting some items up for sale at my sister's next yard sale the first week of September.  Also managed to pick up a few extra hours at work, so the money situation is improving.

Celebrated paying off another medical bill.  Made my final payment to ER Physicians this week.  One more down, 5 more to go.  Also cancelled one of my credit cards.  It was the only one that still charged me an annual fee and I don't really have any need for so many cards, so I cancelled it and saved myself the $100.

I'm liking my phone service with Virgin Mobile, been doing a lot more texting since it's included in my package.  Just had one problem with items being billed to my account which I did not purchase.  A couple of game charges from Gamestop for $6.99 each, but Virgin Mobile took care of it and reversed the charges when I called customer service.  So it was no big deal.  I'm loving getting my phone service for half of what I was paying AT&T.  Big fan of AT&T, also a shareholder, but if they don't offer the best deal, have to move my service to another provider.

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. 

Sunday, June 8, 2014


My portfolio closed out the first full week of June on the up side.  However, I'm more excited about the first 7 out of 20 dividend payments I'll receive for the month.  Monthly cash flow from dividends continues to increase month after month and June will definitely be the best month of the year so far.

That being said, I'm not resting on my laurels.  I've put in an order to purchase more shares of PHK, which will boost dividend income another 2.5% per month.  Not a big increase admittedly but this is on top of the 8% from the purchase of shares of AOD, which means I'm already over halfway towards boosting monthly income by 20% or more for the third quarter.  My goal this year has been to boost income by 20% each quarter and so far I've met or exceeded that goal.  It's pretty exciting to watch the dividends grow every month.  Reinvested dividends alone increase monthly cash flow by 1%.  So for this quarter I'm really looking at an increase of 13.5% so far.  I don't usually count this as part of my 20% increase because not counting it means I'm really increasing income 23% or more each quarter, which is in line with my goal of doubling dividend income each year.

Personal cash flow has been a problem for the first of the month, but I've managed to pay all the bills and reduce debt, so I'm not overly concerned.  I'm making a concentrated effort for the remainder of the year to pay off my remaining debt so I can divert that money toward building my investments.

Saturday, May 31, 2014


Collected my June dividend from Wells Fargo a couple of days early and was surprised to see a nice increase from 30 cents to 35 cents per share!  This represents a 16.7% increase over their payout from the last quarter.  Several stocks in my portfolio have raised dividends by substantial amounts this year and it has not only increased overall yield but has boosted monthly cash flow as well.  I'm expecting to see even more increases as the year goes on.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014


When I set out to rebuild my investment portfolio, I decided to add monthly dividend paying mutual funds to speed up compounding and boost monthly cash flows from dividends.  However, I've said before that although I'm a dividend investor I think it's wise to take advantage of all income opportunities the stock market has to offer.  Since I decided to limit my portfolio to around 20 different stocks, I've purchased positions in 7 funds and 14 individual stocks.  

Why twice the number of stocks as mutual funds?  While the majority of dividend income I'm collecting right now comes from funds, only 2 out of 7 funds are in the black as far as gains in share price goes.  Compare that to 11 out of 14 stocks showing gains of anywhere from 5% to over 200% and it becomes clear why I chose to hold twice the number of stocks.  While I collect dividends on all the individual stocks I've counted above, should I decide to sell I can also collect on the capital gains.  At times I've chosen to pull out all my original cash investment and keep the remaining stocks in which I have none of my own money invested.  So I'm able to redeploy the original cash to build my portfolio and boost dividend income.  At other times I've chosen to sell out my entire position and reinvest the money elsewhere when holding the stock for dividends would take several years to collect the amount of money I'd collect in capital gains from the sale.

You never want to limit yourself, take advantage of all the opportunities you've familiarized yourself with to build your investments.

Thursday, May 22, 2014


Dividend income for the second month of the second quarter (May) is up 30% over second month of the first quarter (Feb) of 2014!  While increased monthly cash flow was not unexpected, it's a nice surprise to see such a fantastic increase.  The month of June should be even better since it will be the first month I'll receive 20 dividend payments in a single month.  Haven't calculated the projected amount, I'd prefer to watch the money roll in and add it up then.

Stocks rebounded today, a trend I'm not expecting to continue, at least not in the short term.  While I'm not seeing evidence of a major correction, I do expect the market to cool through the summer months.  It's a holiday weekend and people are gearing up for summer festivities, so they'll be spending less time actively trading in the stock market.  

Friday, May 9, 2014


Just put in an order today to purchase additional shares of
CRF for my taxable account.  The new shares will begin paying
dividends in June, boosting monthly dividend income by
another 8%!  This is in addition to the dividends from NCZ
and AOD which also start in June.

The 8% boost in third quarter earnings means that I’ll have 3
months to boost income another 12% to meet my goal of
increasing dividend income by 20% each quarter.  I’ve
exceeded my goal in each of the first two quarters and I’m very
hopeful of doing the same in the third quarter.  With lower
utility costs for the spring and summer months and a few more
work hours, I should be able to come up with extra money to
invest.  I’ll also be on the lookout for special situations like the
one I took advantage of this past quarter, when I sold enough
shares to pull out my original investment in UVE and
reinvested the money in monthly dividend payers.

Was able to increase my stake in CRF with money received
from advertising on my blog from infolinks.  I’ve been with
infolinks for quite some time now and have been quite satisfied
with the program.  It’s nice to know the money I’ve earned so
far will continue to grow through monthly dividends paid on
CRF stock.

The month of June will be the first 20 dividend month!  With
20 dividends, it will also be the best month for dividend income
in 2014.  While I expected this to be a good year for my
investments, I had no idea just how good it would be.

Friday, May 2, 2014


The only speculative stock I hold (does not pay dividends) is finally showing a small gain.  While my reasons for purchasing shares of this pharmaceutical company are still valid, I had hope for a better showing before now.  But sometimes you just have to wait for a good thing.  Can't always have a quick turnaround of cash.

That being said, my dividend stocks are doing quite well.  The dividends I collected on the first day of May beat out the entire month of 2013 by 10% and I will still collect another 7 dividends before the end of the month!  Most of the largest payments are still to come, so I'm expecting a nice increase in cash flow over last year.  

Purchased new stake in NCZ too late to collect dividend for May, but will collect for the new shares in June along with AOD.  The combined income will increase monthly cash flow by 10%, so I'm pretty excited about that.  I was checking my spreadsheets to see what kind of increases I'm getting from reinvested dividend payments.  Some of the monthly payers are increasing by 2.1% per month, just from the reinvested dividends!  That's the magic of compounding at work.  The spreadsheets I created to track dividend income make it easy to calculate returns, so I'm really liking the new system I've come up with for tracking investment performance.  It's simple and easy to keep up with and makes the whole process of investing more exciting. 

Thursday, May 1, 2014


The month of May kicked off with 5 dividend payments on May 1st!  What a nice way to get the month off to a good start.  I learned today that I also missed the ex-dividend date on the new shares of NCZ that I purchased last month, so I'll only be getting 12 dividends this month instead of 14.  I'll start collecting on the new shares of NCZ and AOD in June, so I'm expecting a total of 20 dividend payments next month!  Definitely something to look forward to.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014


Completed my purchase of a stake in AOD, although I missed
the ex-dividend date to collect the dividend for April.  I’ll
receive my first dividend May 30th, increasing monthly cash
flow by another 4%.  AOD came to my attention as one of the
top ten holdings in two of my mutual funds.  It has a yield of
8% and pays monthly dividends, so it seemed like a good
candidate to add to my portfolio.  This brings my total number
of stocks and funds up to 21, which means at some point I’ll
have to sell one of my investments to stick with my 20 stock
plan.  For now I’m just going to hold on to all 21 investments.

I had intended to collect on gains to my stake in GE and
reinvest the cash in one of my monthly paying funds, however
I’ve decided to hang on to GE and avoid the commission costs.
So far my commission costs are way down as a percentage of
dividend income compared to last year.  I’d like to keep it that
way.  One of the goals in my annual investment plan was to
significantly reduce costs.  While increased earnings reduce
cost percentages automatically, too much trading and
reinvesting can run up costs pretty quick.  So I’m going to have
to limit these types of transactions to allow for continued cash
investments.  I’ll be making cash investments less frequently
but will increase the dollars invested.  Since the commission is
the same reguardless of the amount, larger investments made
less often will also help reduce cost percentages.

Talk continues to fly about a possible market setback.  Should
this come to fruition, I intend to view it as a buying
opportunity and add to my investments.  Part of my research
when picking investments for my current portfolio included
reviewing their past performance to see how well they fared in
2008.  All my current holdings continued to pay dividends
through the worst of the market crash, although some did
reduce payouts.  Many have since increased payouts to near
pre-2008 levels.  Should we face another disaster in the
markets like 2008, I wanted to be sure I was holding issues that
had survived the last collapse.  A large paper loss in the value
of your portfolio is much easier to swallow if you have a steady
stream of dividends rolling in each month.  I never sold any
shares during the last collapse, in fact I bought more while the
market was near its lowest levels which really paid off in the
end.  So that’s what I plan to do if faced with the situation

Saturday, April 26, 2014


Since the economic downturn in 2008, I've had to look for creative ways to save money for investing.  One of the best ways I've found is shopping at thrift stores.  You can find most anything at thrift stores.  In my case, I've been buying a lot of clothing, since I've lost 70 lbs and went 2 X shirts to Large.  Replacing an entire wardrobe can be pretty expensive.  However, I sold most of my bigger clothes at a couple of yard sales last summer and have yet to spend the amount of money I made from the sale.

Today I bought an American Eagle Outfitters Henley shirt in like new condition for $1.50.  I also purchased a new belt for $2.93.  I figure if I'd bought the items retail, I'd have easily spent $50.  While I wouldn't have thought twice about that before the economy tanked and took my high paying job along with it, I have to watch every penny now that I make half as much money.  

Like I said before, you can find most anything at thrift stores.  Items may be new or used, but what I've noticed with the clothing is that once it's washed, nobody really knows whether you bought it new or not.  What I find most enjoyable about the experience is the great amount of money I'm able to save.  I still wear the name brands and have a great new wardrobe, at least it's new to me.  What's even better is, the money I save allows me to continue building my investment portfolio even though I've fallen on extremely hard times.  

I'm currently looking for a specific pattern of Corelle Ware dishes.  I want to get the complete set and it's probably going to take me a while to find it all.  I've currently got one vegetable bowl, one dinner plate and 8 cups and saucers, so I've got quite a few pieces to find.  But that's part of the excitement of shopping thrift stores.  You never know when you're going to find exactly what you've been looking for and the bargain pricing makes it all worth the wait.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


I’ve found one of the problems with sticking to any investment
plan is to avoid distractions.  In my case, I’m always coming
across stocks I think would be great investments and am
tempted to take positions in some of these stocks, but it doesn’t
fit with my current plan.

My plan was to pick 20 dividend paying investments, with a
mix of individual stocks and mutual funds, some quarterly
payers and some monthly payers.  This part of the plan I’ve
completed.  Now I’m in the phase where I’m increasing shares
in each of my holdings through additional cash investments
and re-invested dividends.  The only reason for me to open a
position in a stock not included in my current portfolio would
be if I decided to sell one of my current holdings.  This could
happen if future dividends were endangered for some reason
or if the stock or fund begins what I judge to be an unrelenting
decline for whatever reason.  Then I would sell the shares and
look for a replacement.

My current strategy has been working extremely well, so it’s
not the time to stray from the plan.  While it’s good to be
flexible in investing, if you don’t have a plan, you just end up
spinning your wheels, becoming a trader instead of an investor.
While being a trader is not bad, unless you’re very good at it,
you’re not likely to make much money.  I prefer those dividend
payments rolling in every month over trying to figure out the
next big gain in stocks.  That’s what my plan is all about and
I’ve rededicated myself to stick with the plan.

All that being said, I realized I could boost returns by opening
a position in AOD which increases monthly cash flow by 4%,
beating my 20% goal for the second quarter.  To stick to the
plan and keep my holdings at 20, I’ve decided to sell GE and
re-invest the proceeds in PSEC.  I’m currently sitting on a nice
capital gain from GE which is held in my IRA account, so
selling the shares and re-investing in PSEC, which I also hold
in my IRA account, will not create an immediate taxable event.
I’ll collect the unrealized gains from GE and boost monthly
dividend income an additional 7% per month.  Since 2 of my
mutual funds have GE stock as part of their top ten holdings,
I’ll continue to benefit from future growth in what I believe to
be a great company.  I’ll reduce redundancy in investments,
collect on unrealized gains and boost dividend income.  With
other moves I’ve made in March and April, I’ve boosted
dividend income nearly 30% during the second quarter and I
still have the month of May to go!  May just cool my heals until
June and work on strategies to meet my goal of increasing
income by 20% in the third quarter.  I’ve got a feeling the
market will slow during the summer and may present some
good buying opportunities, so it could be to my advantage to
hold back until then.  It’s all about sticking with the plan.

Saturday, April 19, 2014


While reading through the annual reports from some of the funds in my portfolio, it occurred to me that a good source of possible investments would be checking out top 10 holdings in my current funds.  I figure they're in the top ten for a reason, although perhaps not a reason that would make me want to invest.

However, I did come across a couple of likely candidates:

1.  Alpine Total Dynamic Dividend Fund (AOD)  This fund pays a monthly dividend and has an 8.04% yield on their current price of $8.43 per share.  While the yield on this one is a little less than my next pick, I'd prefer the monthly dividends over quarterly payments.

2.  BlackRock Global Opportunities Equity Trust (BOE)  This fund pays its' dividend quarterly with a yield of 8.63% on their recent price of $14.45 per share.  

While it would be necessary for me to do further research before I would replace any of my current investments with one or the other mentioned above, both look like very good prospects.  I'm also partial to the idea of trading in one of my quarterly paying individual stocks for a monthly paying fund, especially one with a much higher yield.  It may seem some redundancy of investing would occur should I take a position in a fund that is already owned as part of one of my current investments, however, redundancies already exist since most of the individual stocks I own are also owned as part of some of my fund investments.  So I wouldn't really be changing much about the makeup of my portfolio, other than adding more diversity and increasing monthly cash flows.  If I trade a quarterly paying stock for a monthly payer, I'll add an additional 8 dividend payments per year. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


Dividend Income For April Up 50% Over April 2013!

While a 50% increase compared to the same month last year is not as good as I’ve been
seeing, it’s still a fantastic increase!  I expected increases to moderate some as the year
went along, but a preliminary look at the month of May shows a possible increase of over
200% compared to last year.  Now that’s something to get excited about!

Completed the sale of part of my UVE shares from my taxable account, pulling out all my
original cash investment.  I redeployed the cash by purchasing shares of NCZ.  This will
bring the total number of dividend payments per year to 180.  So I’ll be collecting a
dividend nearly every two days!  Monthly cash flow will increase, since NCZ pays
monthly compared to quarterly for UVE.  The remaining shares of UVE I’ll continue to
hold and reinvest the dividends.  I now have half the number of shares in UVE I
originally owned, but I’ve pulled out all of my original cash investment, which means I
have none of my own money invested in the remaining shares.  While I did create a
taxable event and paid some in commissions, the increased income should more than
make up for it.  I’m still long on UVE, just wanted to take advantage of the fantastic gains
I’d made to date and boost monthly cash flows through the purchase of CLM and NCZ

I’m looking to make at least one additional cash investment to my portfolio before the
end of this quarter.  I only need to boost income by 2% to meet my goal of 20% increases
each quarter of 2014.  I’ll need to figure out a different strategy for the 3rd quarter.  While
I could pull the same move and sell shares in one of my stocks with unrealized gains, I
like the idea of finding more creative ways to boost returns.  Then again, there’s nothing
wrong with taking advantage of all available avenues toward boosting earnings.  So I may
do both.  If I figure out how to boost dividends by 20% and decide to cash in on
unrealized gains, I’ll just me that much more ahead of the game.  The goal is 20% but
there’s no reason I can’t exceed that goal when the opportunity presents itself.  Got to
remember that goals are not limits.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


Since I hold shares of UVE in my taxable account as well as my
IRA, I decided to use the same strategy I mentioned in my last
post to UVE a “free stock” for my taxable account.  I sold
enough shares to pull out my original cash investment, which
left me with half of the stock I originally held in UVE.  I took
the money from the sale and reinvested it in shares of NCZ.
This will add an additional 12 dividend payments per year for
a total of 180 or an average of 15 dividends per month.
Monthly cash flow from dividends will increase by 8%, which
means I only need to figure out how to boost dividends by
another 2% to meet my goal of boosting income by 20% for the
second quarter.  But I don’t want to stop there.  If I should
reach my goal in the first month of the second quarter, I’ll be
working on boosting dividends another 20% to meet my goal
for the third quarter.

So I have $0 invested in UVE, but I still have half of the shares
I originally purchased.  I’ll continue to draw dividends and
benefit from future share price increases, should there be any.
Monthly cash flow has been boosted by another 18% total and
rate of compounding has increased by adding a total of 24
additional dividend payments per yer.  The new dividends
should both kick in next month.  Doesn’t get much better than

Or does it?  I just compared April’s projected dividends to
January of this year.  Turns out dividend income for the first
month of the second quarter will be up over 30% compared to
the first month of quarter one 2014.  With new dividends
kicking in in May, I’m expecting even better results!

Saturday, April 5, 2014


I've mentioned in earlier posts a strategy I like to use to create what I call "free stock", meaning a stock in which I have none of my own cash invested.  In order to deploy this strategy, you have to have positions in stocks with unrealized gains.  You sell enough shares to recoup your original investment and whatever remains is "free" since none of your money is invested.  This works great with dividend stocks since you can continue drawing dividends on the remaining stock.

My current use of this strategy was with UVE, which I hold in both my IRA and my taxable account.  I was sitting on a gain of nearly 200%, but the price had shown some weakness of late, so I decided to take out my cash and hold on to the remaining stock.  It occurred to me that I could sell one third of the stock and recoup my original cash investment, making the remaining shares free to me.  By taking the cash and re-deploying it in CLM I gained 12 additional dividend payments per year, giving me a total of 168, for an average of 14 dividends per month.  Taking into account reduced dividend income from UVE, the additional income from CLM boosted monthly cash flow by a little over 10%!

So it's pretty much a triple play:  I boosted dividends by 10%, increased the rate of compounding in my portfolio by adding 12 additional dividend payments and my investment in UVE is now free!