Wednesday, September 30, 2015


While the third quarter may not have been so great performance wise, it was a good time to build up my portfolio for future income.  Recent cash investments increased the total number of shares held in my portfolio by 70%!  Monthly cash income from dividends increased dramatically and lowered average price per share on some of my current holdings, increasing yield and positioning my holdings for a quicker recovery when the market takes off again.  Don't know when that will be, but I'm hoping it stays down for a while so I can add additional shares at the lower prices.

Ended the month with 6 dividend payments from AOD, CLM, CRF, GLW, UTG and SPHD.  In a move to build up cash, I'll be taking dividend payouts from CLM and CRF in cash for the foreseeable future.  Also taking payments in cash from NCZ, PSEC and PHK.  With the remaining stocks and funds I'll continue to reinvest all dividends.  Looking forward to first of the month dividends, which should include increases from some of my recent share purchases.  Should see the full benefit of increased income from recent share purchases in the month of October.  December should be the best month of 2015 with a whopping 20 dividend payments!  I'm thinking it will break my all time one month record set in July of this year.  September was the second highest month for dividend income.  So even though total value of my holdings is down, the third quarter of 2015 has been pretty good as far as I'm concerned.  When you concentrate on income, it's a lot easier not to worry so much over the every day ups and downs in the market.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015


In an effort to focus on quality and income, I added a stake in Wisdom Tree Mid Cap Dividend Fund (DON) to my taxable account.  They have below average risk, above average returns and a five star rating from Morningstar.  Recent purchases have been directed mostly toward boosting monthly dividends and I felt I needed to add additional quality holdings to balance things out a little more.  Got in before the ex-dividend date for October, so should see the first dividend from DON on October 31st.  

For the rest of the year, I'll be building up my stakes in individual stock holdings, as I mentioned in my previous post.  Recent uncertainty in the stock market, including yesterday's drop, lead me to believe there will be several buying opportunities for the next several months.  With the uncertainty over the Fed's actions on interest rates, it's questionable how long interest rate sensitive stocks (utilities, banks, etc.) will continue to benefit from low interest.  That being said, I really don't expect major moves in interest rates anytime soon, so I'm not overly anxious about it either.

Entering the final quarter of 2015, it's been a pretty good year for me overall.  Didn't meet all my goals, but I'm happy with what I've accomplished for the year.  Will be working on my investment plan for 2016 over the next 3 months.    

Saturday, September 26, 2015


The extra cash I put to work recently boosted shares held in bond and stock funds and dramatically increased monthly dividend income.  With that in place, I've decided to shift gears and concentrate on increasing stakes in individual stocks in both my IRA and taxable accounts.  I'm setting money aside each month to buy when opportunity presents itself, as in recent dips in the market.  I also decided to collect bond fund dividends in cash to help purchase additional shares of stocks.

While UVE has been my best performing stock (up 349% as of this writing) I don't intend to buy additional shares, although I'll continue to reinvest dividends.  I pulled all my original investment cash out of UVE as the share price skyrocketed and kept the remaining shares.  I kind of like the idea of just letting it ride, knowing that no matter where it ends up going from here, I'm playing with the house's money.  It is still my largest individual stock holding dollar wise.

The first three stocks I'd like to buy more shares of are my original 3 remaining stocks from my last portfolio.  After paying off medical bills from two stent surgeries, I had small stakes in GE, LLY and NYCB.  All three have performed well over the past 3 years and I don't see myself ever selling, unless of course they should discontinue their dividend.  I'll probably start with NYCB.  Not the greatest growth prospects of the three, not even a really great bank stock, but it's been steadily churning out dividends and I like the yield.  LLY is the most expensive and also the best performer of the three, but I'll probably buy that second and GE third.  All of these can be added to using my plan mentioned above, however, should I come in to some unexpected cash, like I did recently, I'd probably buy all three at once.  Hmmm, wonder what kind of Christmas bonus I'll get from my new job?

Wednesday, September 23, 2015


It's always nice when one of your stocks decides to raise dividends to shareholders and you see an increase in yield on dollars invested.  But there's another way to boost yield by reducing your average cost per share.  How do you do that?  By taking advantage of dips in the market to pick up more shares at a lower price.  When you purchase additional shares of a stock you already own at a price lower than your original price, you reduce the average cost per share, which in turn boosts the overall yield on the stock.

How much can you expect to reduce average cost per share?  It depends on what price you bought in and how far the market has dropped when you decide to buy more.  I recently purchased additional shares in AOD and PHK.  Both stocks are down from my original buy in price.  With the new shares purchased, I reduced my average cost per share on AOD by a little over 8% and reduced average cost per share on PHK by a whopping 30%!  Of course before you decide to buy more shares you'd want to make sure the price is down because of a general downturn in the market and not due to any problem with the company you're invested in.  

By reducing average cost per share, you also position yourself for a much quicker recovery when the stock market goes back up.  Whether you buy in at an original low price or take advantage of market downturns to reduce average price per share, the less you pay per share, the more likely you'll see good returns.  

Sunday, September 20, 2015


Thanks to an unexpected cash windfall, I put in an order to purchase more shares of AOD, UTG and PHK which will boost monthly dividend income by a whopping 42%!  This investment boosts total cash invested by 25% and increases total shares owned by 40%.  As an added bonus, since I hold UTG in my IRA, it will also give me an additional tax credit when I file my taxes for 2015.

In order to get the most bang for the buck, I reviewed my current holdings to see where the money could best be deployed.  I went for one conservative fund (UTG), one medium risk fund with a higher yield (AOD) and one higher risk bond fund with very high yield (PHK).  With the market being off recent highs, I'll be getting in at a better price and stand to boost overall portfolio yield.  I estimate overall dividend yield to be approximately 7.5% after this latest purchase!

Still have my original plan in place to boost income 10% per month through the rest of 2015.  However, I may decide to change my original investment purchases to make the most of tax deductions and savings on commissions.

Thursday, September 10, 2015


Was fortunate to receive an unexpected bonus from work today.  I considered using it to pay down debt, but my boss said I should buy something for myself.  So I took her advice and invested the bonus in additional shares of NCZ, a monthly dividend bond fund.  I figure this way I'll get a bonus every month from now on.  The additional shares purchased will begin paying in October and will boost monthly cash flow by 10% on top of the 10% boost this month from two additional investments.  I already had a plan in place to boost dividends by 10% in November and December and I'll stick to that plan.  The bonus just allowed for additional increase in monthly cash flow.  Re-invested dividends continue to grow monthly cash flow by 1%, so during the last four months of 2015, I'll have boosted monthly cash flow by a whopping total of 44%!  While total monthly dividends are still quite small, with gains like this, they won't stay that way long.

While I'm excited about the increase in cash flow, I'm even more excited by the fact that these three purchases boosted total shares owned by 25%!  This doesn't include shares purchased through dividend re-investments, which continue to add about 1% per month to total shares owned.  While 1% may not sound like much, it's extremely gratifying to see my portfolio and income increase month after month all on it's own.

Collected two more dividends this week, from LLY and CNP.  For the month of September, I'll collect a total of 17 payments, still have 10 to go!  

Wednesday, September 9, 2015


About 3 years ago I was talking to one of my younger co-workers who'd saved over $14,000 to buy a new vehicle.  I was impressed that someone so young had been dedicated enough to save his money until he'd accumulated such a big amount.  He was only 18, still lived at home, had no bills to pay, so it was easier for him to save.  Still it's quite an impressive accomplishment.  

Anyway, he was telling me about shopping for a good used vehicle which he intended to pay cash for.  Nothing wrong with that, saves a lot on finance charges.  However, at the time, there were several car dealerships running advertisements for new cars in his price range with payments less than $200 per month.  I knew of at least two bond funds paying monthly dividends in which a $14,000 investment would give you a monthly dividend of $200.  So I advised him to invest his money, buy a new vehicle and finance it with payments below $200 and let his investment pay the payments.  At the end of the loan on his car, he would still have a fairly new car and his $14,000, which would continue to generate $200 per month in dividends.  He decided instead to purchase a used 4 wheel drive truck for $12,500.  

If he'd followed my advice, his car would be nearly paid off and he'd still have a great deal of money, even after the market drop.  More importantly, the funds I recommended would still be paying over $200 per month in dividends.  Instead, he's spent a small fortune on gas for the truck, had to make several expensive repairs and the vehicle has dramatically dropped in value.  

So if you're planning on buying a new car or a newer car, why not drive the old car a little longer and make your car payments to yourself for 3 or 4 years.  As you accumulate money, put it to work to help earn more money until you reach around $14,000 or $15,000 and invest in a monthly dividend fund where you'll earn around $200 a month.  Buy an inexpensive new vehicle and let your investment pay for your car.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015


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

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