Friday, December 30, 2016

DECEMBER 2016 SETS NEW RECORD FOR MONTHLY DIVIDEND INCOME!

O.K., so I knew this was going to be the best month ever for dividend income.  But I was not expecting it to beat the previous record, set in July of this year, by over 30%!  This month's record was helped along by 32 dividend payments, the most I've ever received in one month.  Add to that a couple of special dividends and the first monthly dividend from GAIN and it was a sure bet to be a great month!

What makes it even greater is, the first of January is only a day away and I'll be kicking off the new year with another great round of dividends!  Although I'm only expecting 27 dividends in January, it should still be a good month, with three new monthly dividend payers (SPLV, FSC and CCD) all paying their first dividends.  The first goal of 2017 is to purchase two more monthly dividend stocks before the end of March to guarantee at least a one dividend payment per day for the new year.  From that point on, I'll be concentrating on increasing positions in the 5 star funds, going for quality holdings and boosting monthly income through reinvested dividends and additional cash purchases.

I'll be working New Year's weekend to get the double time pay for the holiday, so I'd like to wish everyone a say and Happy New Year's Eve!



Tuesday, December 27, 2016

2016 YEAR IN REVIEW

Wow, here we are less than a week away from 2017, seems like the year has flown by.  Time to review accomplishments in my investment portfolio and finalize investment plan for the new year.  

Major goals for 2016 included doubling annual dividend income, reducing taxable income while increasing non-taxable income and keeping investment costs to a minimum.  I was able to keep investment costs low by reinvesting dividends for free and making larger cash investments, reducing commission costs as a percentage of investment.  As for doubling annual dividend income, that's in the bag.  Turned out it was much easier than I'd expected.  Not sure it will be so easy in 2017, but I'm optimistic, since I'm already projecting a 50% increase.  

The majority of dividend income for 2015 came from my taxable account.  So in order to reduce taxes on dividends, I opened a Roth IRA in 2016 and made the majority of new stock purchases through the Roth account, for tax free income.  I sold some stock in my taxable account and transferred the money to the Roth account and boosted monthly dividend income by a significant amount, while reducing taxes.  I also collected cash dividends from the taxable account and transferred that money to the Roth account as well.  Bottom line, the Roth account now makes up the largest of my 4 investment accounts and generates the lion's share of monthly dividend income tax free.

Balances in my taxable account, the IRA, 401k and the Roth account continue to increase every month from reinvested dividends and additional cash investments.  Monthly dividends go up every month and total number  of shares owned nearly doubled during the year!  I had planned to make a "dividend per day" my main goal for 2017, but was able to increase total dividend payments to 348 in 2016, so it turns out this will be only a minor goal, since I only need to add an additional 17 dividend payments.  All in all, I'd say it's been a great year!

Friday, December 16, 2016

CHANGE OF PLANS, NCV IS OUT, CCD IS IN.

Made a last minute change to my stock order, cancelling NCV purchase and replacing it with CCD.  While CCD is higher in price and has a lower dividend yield than NCV, I would have had to wait until February to catch the first dividend from NCV.  If I purchase shares of CCD instead, I'll get the first dividend in January.  That's the main reason for the change, but I also had to take into consideration that NCV is quite similar to NCZ, which I already own quite a few shares of.  So making the change adds to more diversity in my overall portfolio of investments.

This will lower the monthly income increase from 8% to 7%, but a 7% increase is still quite good.  I may still purchase NCV later in the year, just have to see how things go.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

BOOSTED MONTHLY DIVIDEND INCOME ANOTHER 8%!

Just collected another 5 dividends for the month of December!  That brings total dividend payments for the month up to 16, with 16 more to go!  It's going to be a very Merry Christmas as the dividends just keep rolling in, especially since some of the largest payments are yet to come.

Also received my Christmas bonus from work today.  Wasted no time in putting that to work by transferring half my bonus to my Roth IRA and purchasing stakes in SPLV and NCV.  The combined monthly payments from these two funds will boost monthly dividend income over 8% starting in January!  What a great way to start off the new year!  No time for resting on my laurels though, I'm already planning the final purchases to bring total dividend payments up to 365 per year.  Once I've got a dividend per day rolling in, I'll be concentrating on building up quality holdings, mainly through 5 star funds and individual stocks from the dividend aristocrats.

Just picked up a copy of Charles B. Carlson's book, The Little Book of Big Dividends.  Carlson is one of my favorite investment authors, so I'm looking forward to reading his book.  While I may or may not learn anything new about dividend investing, I've found that even one good idea can make you thousands of dollars.  So it's always worth a look.

Friday, December 9, 2016

NEW STOCK PURCHASES ADD OVER 8% TO MONTHLY INCOME!

In my previous post, I mentioned I would be buying shares of SPLV and NCV with money from my Christmas bonus, as a Christmas gift to myself.  In the mean time, I transferred cash from my investment savings account to the Roth IRA to purchase shares of FSC.  I've since calculated the projected income from all three stock purchases and was pleased to see that they will increase monthly dividend income over 8% starting in January 2017!  What a great way to kick off the new year.

Just collected another dividend for December from CNP.  This makes 8 dividends so far, with 24 more to go before the end of the month!  The 3 new stock purchases mentioned above will add another 36 dividend payments per year, getting me much closer to my goal of a dividend per day for 2017.  With the completion of these three stock purchases, I'll only need to add another 17 dividend payments to get to 365 dividends per year.  Will most likely get very close to that with the first of the year purchase of shares for my IRA account.  

Since I have regular monthly cash flow from dividends and a system in place to keep the income growing, I've been thinking about doing a little stock trading in my Roth account.  The idea is to set aside a certain amount of cash for trading and see if I can't boost overall portfolio value by trading for capital gains.  Of course I'd most likely only work with dividend paying stocks, so if the share prices didn't go up, at least I'd be earning income from dividends.  It's just in the idea phase right now, but I'm giving it some serious thought.  

  

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

WHAT TO GET YOURSELF FOR CHRISTMAS?

Christmas is the season of giving and while I enjoy giving gifts to family and friends, I've always included myself on the gift list.  I used to buy myself gold jewelry at Christmas every year, a little trinket to wear as a reward for all the hard work I'd put in all year long.  But now the jewelry sits in a box and is rarely thought of or worn.  It's just more stuff I have laying around that I paid way too much for and has very little resale or sentimental value.

So this year I decided to give myself something I can enjoy for years to come.  I'm going to put half my Christmas bonus to work, buying shares of SPLV and NCV for my Roth IRA.  It's the gift that truly keeps on giving, since both pay monthly dividends.  This will add another 24 dividend payments per year, bringing my total to 336 starting in January 2017.  Now that's a Christmas gift I can get excited about!

While this might seem a bit selfish or self centered, I know that the better off I am financially, the more generous I become with others.  The less I have to work to earn a living, the more time and money I have to give to others.

Friday, December 2, 2016

DECEMBER 2016 KICKS OFF WITH 9 GREAT DIVIDEND PAYMENTS!

Started the month of December off right with 9 great dividend payments and 23 more payments to come before the end of the month!  While I plan to reinvest all income for the month, it still makes for a very Merry Christmas season!  Still not sure what kind of Christmas bonus I'll receive this year, but I plan on investing at least half of it.  I've done this with all the other bonuses I've gotten at my current job, giving me 3 monthly dividends, one for each bonus.  It's like I get three bonuses every month since it was bonus money that purchased the three stocks to begin with.  I'll be happy to add a fourth.

Just got a big unexpected expense out of the way today, replacing all the tires on my car and getting an all wheel alignment.  I'm glad to be all set for winter driving, but I sure regret having to spend the money.  That being said, I shopped around and got a great price on the tires from Amazon.  Then I checked with several tire shops to find the least expensive place to have the work done, so I was happy about keeping the price down.  Also used my Chase Visa to pay for the work, so I'll collect rewards points good toward an Amazon gift card.  I always try to figure out a way to get as much, of the money I spend back, as I can.

Starting this month, I'll also see my first dividend from GAIN!  The 13 dividends per year from GAIN brings me up to a total of at least 312 per year to start off 2017!  With any luck, I'll be able to add another monthly dividend payer before the end of this month and kick off the new year with 324 dividends per year.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

DIVIDEND INCOME FOR JANUARY 2017 UP 4,000% OVER JANUARY 2013!

Ended the month of November with 9 great dividend payments, making November the third highest month of 2016 for dividend income.  Of course I expect December, with it's 32 dividends to blow them all out of the water! It will also be the first month I'll receive a dividend for every day of the month.  While there's no question 2016 has been a good year for my dividend investments, it sometimes seems that I'm not making much progress.

However, when I checked monthly dividends for January 2013, when I began building my current portfolio of investments and compared it to projected income for January 2017, I was amazed to see monthly income will be 41 times higher.  This works out to a monstrous 4,000% increase!  So there is really no doubt about making progress.  If I could repeat this amazing feat by the time I retire 5 years from now, my monthly dividend income would exceed Social Security.  While it seems unlikely that I'd be able to repeat the process, 4 years ago I'd have never thought things would work out so well.  So we'll see how it goes.


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

MID MONTH INCOME DOUBLES IN LESS THAN SIX MONTHS!

A few months back I decided I'd like to increase middle of the month income.  When you retire, most of your expenses are at the beginning and the end of the month.  So the fact that I was already receiving the majority of dividend income on the first and last days of the month was not a bad thing, but I figured increasing mid-month income would allow for little extras during retirement.  To that end, I targeted new investments paying dividends between the 10th and the 25th.  

I'm happy to report that this strategy has worked quite well and mid-month income has more than doubled in less than 6 months.  It is now on par with first and last of the month income, giving me a steady stream of dividends throughout the month.  With the purchase of GAIN bringing my total number of annual dividend payments up to 312, I'm now averaging 26 dividends per month.  This puts me ahead of schedule to reach 365 dividends by the end of 2017!  Once I've reached a dividend per day for every day of the year, my next step will be to build positions and increase daily payments.  I'm excited to see what's in store for 2017!

As a final note, I'd like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 18, 2016

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Friday, November 11, 2016

INCREASING MONTHLY DIVIDENDS ANOTHER 3% WITH GAIN!

Managed to come up with the money earlier than I thought to purchase a stake in GAIN early next week.  GAIN has a dividend yield of 9.69% on their current price of $7.89, with a monthly dividend of $0.0625 per share!  They have more than sufficient earnings to maintain and/or increase dividends and have a low P/E of 5.76.  They also have a special dividend of $0.05 per share payable on December 31st, which means I'll have bought in just in time to collect first dividend payments in December 2016!

The stock market recovered rather quickly from the surprise of Trump winning the Presidential election.  A new president always brings a certain amount of uncertainty to the stock markets, so I'm still not expecting any major jumps in market indexes next year.  However, that may or may not be the case.  May plan is to stick with my stock purchase plan and get to my goal of at least 365 dividends per year.  This purchase of GAIN will bring me up to 312 dividend payments per year (including the special dividend in December).  I'm excited about the new President and what the new year has in store!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

GETTING READY TO VOTE!

Election day is finally here.  We cast our votes today and hopefully put an end to a contentious election year.  I'm sure I can't be the only one who's been disturbed by the uncivilized behavior during this year's presidential elections.  If you took part in the rioting, blocking the streets and threatening rally goers, I have a little advice for you.  GROW UP!  That is not how civilized people act in public.  You have every right in this country to vote for whoever you want in office and you have every right to protest, but you DO NOT have the right to prevent others from doing the same.  If you break the laws, commit a crime, during a "protest" you are a criminal and should be arrested and punished according to the law.  Doing so does not help to promote your cause, it only serves to discredit you and your cause.  So let's all act our ages, be civilized and get out and vote.  

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

I DO NOTHING AND MY DIVIDEND INCOME WILL STILL INCREASE OVER 30% IN 2017!

Hope everyone had a happy and safe Halloween!  It's a new month and I was very happy to collect 7 great dividend payments for the first day of November.  While posting first of the month income, I did a quick projection of annual income for 2017.  If I do absolutely nothing, no new cash investments, no reinvested dividends, my annual dividend income would still increase by over 30%!  Of course I plan on reinvesting dividends and making new and additional stock purchases, but it's nice to know that I'd get a raise without doing anything.

With the market down as much as it is, I'll most likely be reinvesting most dividends by January 2017.  I had been collecting payments in cash, waiting for prices to go down so I could buy more shares at the lower prices.  While I have no idea where the bottom or top is in the stock market, I do know that if shares are cheaper than I originally paid, by reinvesting dividends I'll be reducing average price per share thereby increasing possible future gains.

Really looking forward to my upcoming vacation.  No big travel plans, but I'll be spending time with family and car shopping.  Don't really know if I can afford to buy another car right now, but I'm going shopping for one none the less.  Never know what kind of deal you'll come across, so I figure it's worth a look.  Wish me luck.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

OCTOBER SECOND HIGHEST MONTH FOR DIVIDEND INCOME IN 2016!

Just collected the last nine dividends for the month of October and it came in as the second highest month for dividend income this year, only behind July, with it's 2 special dividend payments from MAIN and HWBK!  Income from CLM more than doubled with recent purchase of stake for my Roth account!  As exciting as all this is, I should see another increase in monthly income in November with AGD's first monthly dividend, although with only 22 dividend payments for November, it's sure to lag behind July and October.  However, I'm looking for December to set an all time record for a single month with a whopping 30 dividend payments!

To start 2017 off right, I'd like to buy stakes in two more monthly dividend funds before the end of the year.  Given I don't really have the cash right now, this is a pretty ambitious goal.  But I think it's possible, with some tight budgeting and taking advantage of extra cash from my Christmas bonus and cash balances from dividend payments.  I've been pretty happy for the past three years with the advances made from reinvesting dividends, but I'd like to take some of the money I've built up recently and purchase one stock entirely with cash earned from dividends.  Something about buying a monthly stream of income with no money out of pocket really appeals to me.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

DISMAL STOCK PRICE PERFORMANCE, BUT CASH BALANCES GROWING NICELY

The last few weeks haven't been good to stock prices, but it only serves to bolster my decision to convert dividend payments to cash for the time being.  Yes, I want to buy shares at lower prices but how much lower are prices going to go?  At this point, I have no idea, so I'm collecting cash and taking a wait and see approach.  If this sounds crazy to most dividend investors, I would point out my last post which referenced all the cash Warren Buffet has built up with Berkshire Hathaway this year.  There's a reason Buffet has accumulated so much wealth, he's very smart at buying stocks at the right price.  So if I'm accumulating cash waiting for better prices at the same time as Warren Buffet, I figure I'm in very good company.

Going forward, it looks as though I'll have enough cash from earned income to buy stakes in AGD and SPLV before the end of this year.  So I'll be able to boost dividend income for the last two months of 2016 and it will add another 24 dividend payments towards my goal of 365 per year.  Buying the stocks before the first of the year will also have a significant impact on total dividend income for 2017 and bring me much closer to my goal of doubling income for the fourth year in a row.  I've done the math and it is doable, but we'll just have to wait and see how things go.  Regardless of who wins the presidential election or how well the stock market performs in 2017, I still expect to continue growing dividend income as well as accumulating bigger cash balances in my investment accounts.  So far, the balance of my 401k account is minimal compared to my other accounts, but I expect that to change by the end of 2017.  It may eventually become my largest account, but whatever it ends up being, it will add to passive income during retirement.  

Thursday, October 13, 2016

IF BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY IS PILING UP CASH THEN SO AM I

Last month I posted about not reinvesting dividends for a while, while I waited to see where the market was headed and to see what the Feds were going to do with interest rates.  I figured I could get a better price if the market drops and that it's never a bad thing to have a big pile of cash.  

If I had any doubts about my decision, they were quickly squelched after reading an article from the Associated Press this morning about Warren Buffet's company, Berkshire Hathaway.  They were talking about how Berkshire had amassed nearly $73 billion in cash by mid summer and were generating an additional $1.5 billion per month.  There was speculation as to what Warren Buffet planned to do with the cash, whether he'd buy out another company, or purchase millions of shares of stock in one of the companies in which he already owns shares.  Whatever he decides to do with the money, I'm sure he'll eventually put it to good use, he always does.

At any rate, my takeaway from this is that it's not always necessary to reinvest dividends in the same company from which you received them.  I do believe it's good to continue reinvesting that money, but my plan is to build up cash and reinvest it in new stocks and funds to create additional streams of income.  I currently own shares in 27 different stocks and funds and would like to increase that to 35 by the end of next year.  By purchasing the additional stocks and funds in 2017 I'll boost my total number of cash dividend payments to around 371 per year, more than a dividend per day!  Collecting most of my dividend payments in cash will help me reach this goal as quickly as possible, since I don't have to come up with all the cash from earned income.  

Thursday, October 6, 2016

OCTOBER OFF TO GOOD START WITH 8 DIVIDEND PAYMENTS!

Although we've been whip sawed by the stock market for the past week or so, October is off to a good start with 8 dividend payments for the first week!  This includes the first dividend from monthly dividend payer EAD, added last month to my ROTH account.  Cash balances are up from collecting dividends as cash rather than reinvesting.  This has helped to stabilize my accounts to some extent.  I plan on continuing to collect cash dividends for the remainder of 2016.  We'll see how things are going after the first of the year and I'll decide whether to start reinvesting dividends again. 

Speaking of 2017, I've decided to totally change my investment schedule to make 2017 the year I start collecting a dividend a day.  I'm up to 299 dividend payments a year now, so I only need to add 6 monthly dividend payers and I'll collect 371 payments per year!  I'm so excited about the idea of getting a payment for every day of the year, I'll probably make a few of the new stock purchases before the end of this year.  I should be able to complete this purchase plan by June or July of 2017, but even if it takes all year it will be worth it.  This new goal should also go a long way toward doubling total annual dividend income, which I'd like to do again next year.

We'll find out soon enough who our next President is going to be.  Which candidate wins probably won't have much to do with the performance of the stock market for the next year or two.  I'm not expecting to see any major gains during 2017 or 2018 as far as stock prices go.  But that's actually good news when you're a dividend investor still in the accumulation phase.  The less expensive the stocks, the higher the yields and the more shares you can buy with your investment cash.  Not sure yet what the new year will bring politically or economically, but I'm pretty sure it's going to be another great year for dividends. 

Friday, September 30, 2016

SEPTEMBER DIVIDENDS UP 130% COMPARED TO 2015!

The last of September's dividend payments came in today and I'm happy to report, income for September 2016 is up over 130% compared to September 2015!  While part of this increase can be attributed to rising dividends, the majority is from reinvested dividends and additional cash investments.  Still, it's a pretty astonishing increase in cash flow.

For the month of October, I'll see new dividends kicking in from CRF, EAD and CHI, so it promises to be another great month.  I expect to see a similar, if not even larger, increase in year over year monthly cash flow for October.  At this point, I'm really getting excited about December.  December has the most dividend payments of any month of the year and includes special dividends, so it should be a great month for income.

Yesterday's 200 point drop in the DOW just served to confirm my decision to withhold reinvesting dividends for the time being.  The problems with Deutche Bank in Germany, uncertainty over the Federal Reserve rate increase, OPEC agreeing to limit oil production and the election are all bound to affect markets one way or another.  I'm thinking it's going to be a downward spiral for a while.  So I'll keep parking cash on the sidelines and hold out for better prices on stocks.  

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

THREE REASONS TO STOP REINVESTING DIVIDENDS NOW

I have stopped reinvesting dividends on all individual stocks, stock funds and bond funds for the time being, for three very good reasons.  For one, we are nearing the November elections and a new president will take over at the first of the year.  Regardless of who wins the election, historically we will be faced with at least a two year period of a sagging stock market.  Reason number two, the Federal Reserve seems intent on raising interest rates which will adversely affect bond funds and rate sensitive stocks, at least for the short term.  The third reason has to do with the aging bull market.  Stocks are historically overpriced right now and some sort of correction is due any time.  So reinvesting dividends at today's stock prices seem contraindicated to me.

My plan is to collect the cash dividends until I see how everything plays out after the first of 2017.  Should we see a correction in the market, I'll have a cash reserve built up to take advantage of lower priced stocks.  Should the Feds raise interest rates, shares of the bond funds I hold will drop in price, also allowing for me to purchase more shares at a better price.  If none of these things should happen, then I'm left with a chunk of cash I can put to work however I see fit.  I'll still be building monthly cash flow through additional cash purchases between now and the first of the year.      

THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH TAKING SOME CASH OFF THE TABLE

When I was younger, my brothers and I used to meet for dinner at our mother's house on Friday nights.  We'd have a great home cooked meal and a nice visit and afterwards we'd have our Friday night poker game.  We never played for big money, it was more about visiting and having a good time.  But every time we played, if I won a hand, I would take half of the winnings and put it in my pocket and continue playing with the rest of the money.  When the money on the table ran out, I'd drop out of the game.  Taking money off the play table ensured that I never had a poker night that was a total loss.

It's the same when it comes to investing.  There is never anything wrong with taking some of your cash off the table.  In my case, I don't sell any stock, I just divert dividend payments to cash.  Of course I keep the cash in an FDIC insured interest bearing account, so it continues to work and earn more money, but it's no longer subject to the gyrations of a sometimes volatile stock market.  I don't do this because I need the money, I leave the cash in my investment account.  However, when the stock market is dropping, having a sizable chunk of cash in your account is a great stabilizer.  And when things start to look up again, you can always put that cash to good use buying in while stock prices are still low.

HAPPINESS IS, ANOTHER PAYDAY!

O.K., I know money can't buy you happiness and just getting paid won't magically transform your life, but I've noticed that most of the people I work with are in a much better mood on payday.  So, with that being the case, imagine getting paid every day.  It won't make you totally happy but it will go a long way toward improving your mood and making happiness a lot easier to come by.  Any time I start feeling a little down about the struggles of life in general, it helps tremendously to remember that I'm now getting paid 339 times per year (including stock dividends, paychecks from work and interest payments).  All I have to do is figure out how to get paid the other 26 days and I'll be getting paid every single day!

I've really already figured out that I only need to buy shares of 2 monthly paying dividend stocks and one dividend stock that pays quarterly and I'll get paid 367 times per year.  While that, in itself, improves a persons disposition, what's even more exciting is it just keeps getting easier and easier.  Money attracts money and success breeds success.  It's the whole snowball effect taking hold, with monthly cash flow increasing month after month and no end in sight!  It took a lot of hard work and perseverance to get where I'm at today and I still have a long way to go, but it makes the whole process much easier and makes my life much happier just knowing that tomorrow is payday.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

WELLS FARGO CASE HIGHLIGHTS THE NEED FOR SERIOUS OVERHAUL OF EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION

As a shareholder of Wells Fargo, I've been following the news about allegations of fraud committed by some of their executives to boost their compensation.  While I'm a firm believer in performance based pay packages, if it's found that fraud is committed as an effort to boost compensation, then I believe every effort should be made to retrieve the money paid to the individuals involved.  In the most recent article I read, the CEO of Wells Fargo was talking about possible "claw back" actions being invoked by the board of directors, but it didn't say they were actually going through with it.  In my opinion, failure to do so shows an egregious lack of responsibility on the part of the board of directors and should result in a call for their replacement.  The board of directors are supposed to represent the best interests of the company and it's shareholders (i.e. owners of the company, which I think they tend to forget).  If they fail to do so, then they need to be fired!

As far as I'm concerned, this whole situation brings up the need for a close look by all shareholders of every U.S. corporation at executive pay packages.  One of the people involved in the fraudulent practices at Wells Fargo is reportedly walking away with over $124 million in compensation.  The real question shareholders should be asking at this point is, why was this woman getting paid so much in the first place.  Here again, it goes back to the board of directors who repeatedly approve these outrageous pay packages.  Yes, I believe that good people should be paid well for their work, but come on!  What did this woman possibly do that would merit such high pay.  Apparently nothing, as it turns out.

So really, what it all boils down to is, we as shareholders (owners) of the companies doing business in the U.S. need to start demanding better representation of our interests from the board of directors.  If they fail to look out for our interests then they need to be replaced with people who will.  I'm not picking on Wells Fargo in particular and I do intend to hold on to my shares.  I'm sure these practices go on at other banks and they just haven't been caught yet.  I'm also equally sure that executives are way over compensated at most major corporations.  It's time shareholders put a stop to it.  

Friday, September 16, 2016

BUILDING MIDDLE OF MONTH INCOME

A big part of my investment plan, for the remainder of this year and for 2017, is to bolster middle of the month income.  Currently my portfolio churns out 291 dividend payments per year, with the majority of cash coming in at the beginning and end of each month.  This week's purchase of CHI gives me 4 monthly dividends on the 15th of each month with some quarterly dividends paying on the 15th throughout the year.  So it's a simple matter to boost mid month cash flow by purchasing additional shares of CHI, MAIN, JMP and IGD.  I also plan to buy more shares of CSX which pays quarterly on the 15th.  While it really doesn't matter when I get paid, I just like the idea of a nice stream of cash coming in all month long.

That being said, I have no intention of ignoring the rest of the month.  The purchase of CRF stock for my Roth account this week will significantly boost end of the month income.  I also plan on purchasing shares of CLM  for the Roth account, another end of month paying stock.  Both of these funds have an extremely high dividend yield, so they're great for collecting cash payments, but I won't reinvest the dividends.  I believe you should not reinvest dividends in any fund who's payouts include a large portion of "return of capital."  However, funds like UTG who's dividend is a payout from earnings, it's perfectly O.K. to reinvest the dividends.

Completed three of the thirteen stock purchases from my list for 2017.  I'm getting a little ahead of the game, but I can always add to the list or buy additional shares in current holdings.  One stock I'm very interested in is Prudential Financial (PRU).  They have a low price to earnings and a decent history of increasing dividends since 2002.  They're a bit pricey, at a little over $79, compared to stocks I usually buy, but I think they're worth it.  Then too, they're not a holding of any of the funds I currently own, so there would be no overlap in investment.  I'm not terribly concerned about investment overlap, since individual stocks can outperform funds who hold shares of their stock.  However, it's nice to have some stocks that are not widely held.  

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

MY REVISED STRATEGY FOR DEALING WITH A MARKET CORRECTION

I mentioned in a recent post that I already had a strategy in place to deal with a stock market correction, since I've been thinking some type of correction was imminent.  

My old strategy was to stop purchasing any shares until the market leveled off, then purchase as many shares as I could while it was down and on the way up.  I never sold shares unless they stopped paying dividends, not even in the crash of 2008.  I also continued to reinvest all dividends on the way down and on the way up.  This worked out well for me before, even in 2008.  As the market recovered, I ended up with more money in my investment portfolio than I'd ever had before.

However, this time around I decided to play things a little differently.  I'll still hold all current shares, but I will be looking for new stocks to buy and purchasing additional shares of current holdings even as the market drops.  To help offset the loss in value of investments, I have stopped reinvesting all dividends and will collect all payments in FDIC insured interest bearing accounts until price per share of my current holdings drop below my average price per share.  As soon as the share price is below the average price I paid per share, I'll start reinvesting the dividends to add more shares and reduce my average prices.  I figure as long as the price is lower than the original price I paid for the stock, I'll be lowering my cost per share by reinvesting the dividends on the way down and on the way back up.  I've already initiated this plan, in view of last Friday's big drop in the stock market and the further slide yesterday and today.  I'll let you know how it works out.

Some good news to report.  Since the money I transferred from my taxable account to my Roth IRA wasn't available to invest until today, I picked up shares of CRF, TROW and CHI at much lower prices than I expected, so the dividend yield and increase to monthly cash flow are much better than I expected.  Then too, the stocks I sold in my taxable account to fund this purchase have since dropped dramatically, so just by chance, the timing was in my favor.  If the trades are settled by the 15th, I should see dividend income from these purchases by the end of this month.  

Saturday, September 10, 2016

WHAT TO DO AFTER FRIDAY'S NEAR 400 POINT DROP IN THE STOCK MARKET?

With an expected interest rate increase from the Federal Reserve, the stock market took a near 400 point dive on Friday.  Why the Fed thinks it's a good idea to raise rates now is beyond me.  If they think inflation is under control, they haven't been to the grocery store or a fast food joint lately.  Sure gas prices are cheap, but that has more to do with the Saudi's manipulating the oil market to drive out competitors.  At any rate, the rumor of a rate increase was the trigger that brought the market down.  I've been expecting it to happen sooner or later, so I'd already prepared my strategy ahead of time.  

The first thing I did was to stop reinvesting all dividends and start collecting cash payments instead.  I figure why by in to a falling asset.  The market was already overpriced, so if this is only a temporary setback, I won't have missed much by collecting cash.  If the stock prices continue to slide but dividends remain the same, I'll eventually be able to pick up more shares at the lower prices.  I have no intention of selling anything and will continue to make additional cash purchases.  I've got a big purchase going through for my Roth account on Tuesday next week, so it wouldn't hurt my feelings to see prices drop even more on Monday.  I'll start reinvesting dividends again when the stock market reaches more stable ground.

PAY YOURSELF FIRST, LAST AND ALWAYS

If you've ever read any books on building wealth, chances are good that you've heard the expression, "Pay yourself first."  Great advice.  Part of every dollar you earn should be yours to keep and you should put yourself at the top of the list when it comes to paying out your hard earned cash.  So if you're following this advice, that's great!  But how about getting paid again from every dollar you pay out?  Sound crazy?  Trust me, it isn't.  

I got paid yesterday and deposited my check in the bank.  When I got home, I sat down to pay some bills.  First, I paid myself by scheduling two savings deposits.  Then I scheduled payments for the rest of my monthly bills.  By the time I was finished, there wasn't a lot left of my paycheck.  However, this morning I was going over the annual report from just one of the mutual funds I own shares in and every company I'd written a check to the day before was listed as a stock holding.  This fund pays me a monthly dividend, so every month when I pay my bills I get some of that money back.  As it turns out, I'm now in the enviable position of owning stock, either directly or through fund investments, in every single company I do business with.  So no matter who I'm giving money to, I'm going to get some of it back in the form of dividend payments.  I pay myself first by contributing to my 401k and making savings deposits before paying any bills.  But even when I pay bills or make any type of purchases at all, I'm always paying part of that money back to myself.  

Who do you do business with on a day to day basis?  Chances are awfully good, if you are doing repetitive business with them, others are as well.  Doesn't it just make sense to own stock of the companies you give most of your money to?  If you're going to give them money every month, buy some of their stock or a fund that owns their stock and get some of your money back. 

Monday, September 5, 2016

CHANGE IN INVESTMENT SCHEDULE FOR 20% MORE IN DIVIDENDS!

In an earlier post, I mentioned that I was buying shares of ABT for my Roth IRA as part of a three stock purchase to boost monthly dividend income.  Since then, I've made out my investment schedule for the rest of this year and 2017.  One of the purchases I included on my list is TROW.  When I checked their dividends per share and their ex dividend date I discovered that I could replace ABT with TROW and collect my first dividend on the 29th of this month instead of waiting until November.  I also calculated the dividend for cash invested and TROW will pay over 20% more for the same amount of cash invested!  So I made the switch.

I'll still be buying shares of ABT, hopefully in time to collect the dividend for November.  I'm very excited about my stock purchase list.  It's a mix of high dividend yield cash cows, 5 star Morningstar rated funds with monthly dividens and big blue chip dividend aristocrat stocks.  So far I've managed to balance out the higher risk high yield investments with lower yield high quality stocks with a history of raising dividends.  We'll see if that holds true in 2017.  I'm pretty confident in the new stocks I'm planning to purchase and the companies I intend to buy more shares of.   

Friday, September 2, 2016

REDUCING TAXABLE INCOME, INCREASING TOTAL MONTHLY DIVIDENDS BY 1%!

While making out my stock purchase plan for the remainder of this year and for 2017, I noticed that I was collecting well over 50% of all my dividends from my taxable account.  In line with my current strategy of reducing taxes I looked for and found a way to cut taxable income and increase monthly cash flow at the same time.

This is how I did it:  I sold half my shares of AOD at a small loss, which will help offset the gains from the sale of DON and cut my taxes for 2016.  The money I received from the sale will be transferred to my Roth IRA and used to purchase a stake in CHI.  CHI pays a monthly dividend, replacing the number of payments lost from the sale of DON.  It's dividend is also higher than AOD, so I'll gain a 1% increase in overall dividends starting in October of this year.  This will also reduce taxable income in my regular investment account and increase non-taxable income from the Roth IRA.

Along with yesterday's transactions, I've managed to increase monthly cash flow by 6%, while reducing taxes, with no additional cash out of pocket.  This has worked out so well, I'll definitely be looking for more ways to fine tune my total investment portfolio.

I'm still of the opinion that we will see a market correction within the next 6 months, so I'll continue to boost cash positions by collecting some dividend payments in cash and boosting personal savings. 

Thursday, September 1, 2016

BOOSTED MONTHLY DIVIDEND INCOME BY ANOTHER 5%!

Just collected my first 6 dividend payments for the month of September, which was a great way to start off the month!  However, on an even brighter note, I figured out a way to boost monthly dividend income an additional 5% per month, with no cash out of pocket.  

Here is how I did it:  I sold my shares of DON for a gain of a little over 15%.  I'm taking that money from my taxable account and transferring it to my Roth IRA.  Once the cash is transferred, I'll use it to buy shares of CLM and ABT.  The monthly dividend from CLM will be nearly three times what I received from DON, although it is a higher risk fund.  To balance out the risk, the more stable shares of dividend aristocrat ABT, will add additional income with it's quarterly dividends.  Even though I created a taxable event by selling DON in my taxable account, the impact on my taxes will be minor and I'll be receiving tax free income through the Roth account from now on.  

I should complete the entire transaction in time to collect my first dividend from CLM this month.  My first payment from ABT won't be until November, but I'm happy that it will add another payment to the middle of the month, since I already collect most of my payments on the first or last part of the month.  I like to keep the money flowing in all month long, so I like seeing more middle of the month payments.  

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

AUGUST INCOME UP 120%!

Just collected the last 7 dividend payments for August.  At first I was a little disappointed with total income for the month, until I compared it to August 2015.  Compared to last year, income for the month of August 2016 is up an astonishing 120%!  So my initial disappointment turned to excitement.  I can't believe I'm still seeing such tremendous gains, I keep expecting them to slow down, but it hasn't happened yet.  I've been thinking about my investment plan purchases for 2017 and I figured out a way to boost monthly cash flow tremendously, but it also involves a measure of risk.  

Estimated remaining dividend income for the rest of this year and it looks like annual income will be up over 100%.  December will definitely be the new all time record month for income.  All good news, but no time to rest on my laurels, got to keep the momentum going.  Speaking of which, tomorrow September kicks off with another great batch of dividends.

Registered with TransAmerica to track my 401k on line.  After my initial sign in, I reviewed my investment choices and I think I made the best picks out of the bunch.  Waiting to see how the 401k affects my taxes, but I'm already thinking about increasing my investment percentage.  Just got a small raise at work, so I could put that money to work by diverting more to the 401k.  We'll see how it goes.

Making all stock purchases through the last four months of the year through my Roth IRA.  Decided to hold off on purchase a stake in SPLV and buy shares of dividend aristocrats BEN and ABT.  While the bulk of my investments are currently stock and bond funds, I'm still a firm believer that you're likely to make more money with individual stocks versus funds.   

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

INCREASING MONTHLY DIVIDENDS BY OVER 3% BY SELLING PSEC AND BUYING CLM!

Just read an article on Seeking Alpha about PSEC's dwindling distributable cash flows and the possible upcoming dividend cut, so I decided to sell the stock and cut my losses.  I'll take the cash from the sale and reinvest in additional shares of CLM.  This move will boost monthly dividend income by a little over 3% while reducing average price per share on CLM.  It's always good to be able to increase monthly cash flow without any additional cash out of pocket, so I'm pretty excited about the move!

The sale of PSEC will reduce my total annual dividend payments to 272.  However, I'm more concerned about increasing cash flow than increasing number of payments.  I'll be looking for a good stock to replace PSEC, but I'm in no hurry since I've actually increased income from the trade.  It occurs to me that I should take CLM dividends in cash and use that money to buy the replacement stock.

I'm still waiting for my first statement from my 401k account, but I really have no idea when I'll get that.  I'm wondering how many dividend payments the two funds I picked will add to the annual total.  Whatever it adds will be a nice bonus as far as I'm concerned, since my contributions are coming out of taxes and have not noticeably affected my take home pay.  Should I get a raise, I'll be increasing the withholding amount to build this account even more.

The Roth IRA account is doing quite well.  Just collected a nice dividend from GUT today!  I'm more excited about building this account than any of my other accounts since the income is tax free.  I continue to pour as much cash as I can into this account and have begun diverting dividend income from my taxable account to the Roth.  It's really exciting to see the snowball effect as dividend income increases month after month.  It's been a great year!  

Saturday, August 13, 2016

AUGUST DIVIDEND INCOME UP OVER 130% COMPARED TO 2015!

Collected 3 great dividend payments today, including my first dividend from IGD.  Was pretty excited about the new dividend, but then I estimated the total dividend income for the month of August and compared it to August 2015.  Total dividend income for the month increased a more than 130% year over year!  I keep thinking these big increases will have to slow down at some point, but it hasn't happened yet.  I remember writing at the first of the year that I thought 2016 would be a good year, but I had no idea it would turn out as well as it has.

Been offered a phenomenal opportunity to buy my own home, which I could pay off in 5 years or just about the time I'd like to retire.  While this would be great in many ways, it would also require a job change, since my current job is would be too far to drive from where the house is located.  I've made some great strides with my current employer and I hate giving up the benefits I've accrued there to start from scratch somewhere else.  But being able to buy a home that I can pay off in such a short time with such small payments is too good to dismiss out of hand.  So I'll be looking in to the job market and weighing my options carefully.  If it doesn't work out, I won't be too disappointed.  It's been my experience that if you miss out on one opportunity there'e always more to come.

It looks like I'll have to put off the purchase of SPLV shares until next month.  My order to purchase a stake in EAD will go through on Tuesday and I'll collect the first dividend from them in October.  So if I follow this purchase with SPLV on or before the ex dividend date of September 15th, I'd collect the first dividend from SPLV on September 29th.  So I've made it my goal to buy a stake in SPLV within the next 30 days.  Not exactly sure how I'll do it, but I'll come up with the cash somehow.  This will bring total dividend payments up to 296 per year!   

Monday, August 8, 2016

INCREASING MONTHLY CASH FLOW BY 2% WITH PURCHASE OF EAD!

Placed an order to purchase shares of Wells Fargo Income Opportunities Fund (EAD) for my Roth account.  I'll collect the first dividend payment October first, since I missed the ex date for September's dividend.  However, this will increase monthly cash flow by a little over 2%!  It will also add an additional dividend payment at the first of every month, which I'm pretty excited about as well.  With this purchase, I'll be well set as far as the number of dividend payments at the first and last of the month.  Now I need to concentrate on building up the middle of the month dividends.  When I retire, I'd like to have money rolling in throughout the month.  While it doesn't really matter when I get paid, I just like the idea of having cash payments spaced throughout the month.  

If I complete the purchase of SPLV by August 15th, I'll collect the first dividend on August 31st.  Have to see whether I'll have the cash to make both trades, but I'm definitely going with EAD first for the current yield of 9.88% versus SPLV's yield of 1.86%.  SPLV may be the better investment in the long run, but I'm still working on increasing monthly cash flows as rapidly as possible.  I'm adding SPLV to balance out some of the riskier high yield investments.

I'm pretty happy about the progress made on building up tax free income with the Roth account.  Already have a good monthly cash flow and am reinvesting dividends from half my investments and collecting the rest in cash.  I may just use this money later on to buy more stock, but with the market being kind of pricey right now, I think it prudent to take some cash off the table and put it in reserve for possible buying opportunities should there be a correction in the stock market.  I'm still growing shares owned and dividend income every month by reinvesting some of my dividends in each account.  With my new 401k, I'm reinvesting all dividends until I have to start drawing the money in my retirement.

Friday, August 5, 2016

SOLD PDLI, REPLACING IT WITH SPLV

Yesterday PDLI announced they were no longer going to pay quarterly dividends, so that was it for me, decided to cut my losses and run.  In keeping with my investment plan to only own stocks paying dividends, PDLI had to go.  Sold all shares today and will be replacing it with SPLV, a five star rated fund paying monthly dividends.  While their dividend yield is not so great, SPLV's main objective is low volatility, which should bring more stabilization to my portfolio, while providing opportunity for growth and income.  It's a sure bet it will be a much better performer than PDLI.  Since PDLI paid quarterly and SPLV pays monthly, this purchase will bring my total number of dividend payments per year up to 296!  So at least something good comes out of the whole thing.  

Monday, August 1, 2016

FOURTEEN DIVIDEND PAYMENTS IN TWO DAYS!

For the last day of July I collected 8 dividend payments and for the first day of August I collected 6 more dividend payments. Each payment collected was higher than the previous month's payment for each stock. Yet nobody seems to understand why I get so excited about dividend investing. When I talk about it, most people I know, show no interest at all.  It's no wonder to me that so many people go through life and never get ahead.  Here is a simple, easy way to build wealth and very few people are interested.  Or perhaps I just need to find a few new friends who are interested in investing.

I started rebuilding my investment portfolio at the beginning of 2013.  I had suffered a couple of heart attacks in the two years prior, having stent surgeries to correct the problem.  However, with no insurance, my old investment portfolio was decimated by medical bills.  But I buckled down and began to rebuild my investments.  It went smoothly the first two years, but I suffered a setback in finances in 2015 and only managed to increase annual dividend income by 20%.  However, 2016 has been a great year and I'm on track to more than recover the momentum lost in 2015.  By the end of this year, even if I make no further cash contributions, dividend income will have increased a whopping 400% in the past four years!  Imagine getting a hundred percent raise every year from your job and you can easily see why I get so excited by dividend investing.  Not only that, but I currently get paid 276 times per year from my stock and bond fund investments.  I also get 28 interest payments from my interest bearing accounts for a total of 304 payments per year and I don't do any extra work to earn this money!

It would be unrealistic to expect the 100% increases per year to continue, although I think it's quite a realistic goal to increase my dividend income by at least 50% in 2017.  That's what I'll be shooting for and if I happen to do better than that, that's O.K. too.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

LATEST ADDITION TO MY EGYPTIAN COLLECTION

I'm a big fan of flea markets and thrift stores.  Today I had an enjoyable afternoon at the Midway Flea Market west of Columbia, Mo.  Found another dinner plate for my set of Corelle Impressions dinnerware, a great Starbucks coffee mug with the mermaid logo laser cut on the side and an Anubis statue for my Egyptian collection.  I was just thinking a few days ago that I only had a very tiny Anubis in my collection and I should find a better one.  Low and behold, here it is!


Went flea marketing with a friend and had dinner at Cici's Pizza on the way home.  Was very pleased with my finds, but I'm most happy to have had such a great time and I only spent $30 including dinner.
  

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

ADDED NEW STREAM OF INCOME WITH PURCHASE OF IGD

Today's purchase of IGD shares will add an additional 12 dividend payments per year to my Roth IRA account.  This brings the total number of "dividend paydays" up to 276 per year, or a dividend every 1.322 days!  It would be simple to get from here to 365 dividends per year, meaning a "dividend payday" every day of the year.  I've decided to make this the main goal of my investment plan for 2017.  

Although I've made my first share purchases for my new 401 k account, I won't have any details on the number of dividends or income amounts these two funds will add to my overall investments until I receive my first statement.  I'm pretty excited about this account though, since deposit witholdings from my paycheck have had no significant impact on my net income.  Since contributions are taken out on a before tax basis, I'm basically building this account with money I would not otherwise have access to.

If I were to count payments from interest bearing accounts and paydays from work, I am already close to getting paid every day of the year.  However, my goal is to collect a dividend payment for every day, with any earned income or interest income being icing on the cake.  Yesterday's drop in the stock market has me thinking I may have been correct to withold dividend reinvestment at recent lofty prices.  I'm anxious to see how much stock prices will drop and am looking forward to picking up some bargains should it occur.  If there is a substantial pullback in stock prices, I will definitely go back to reinvesting all dividends.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

INCREASING MONTHLY DIVIDEND INCOME OVER 2% WITH PURCHASE OF IGD!

Just placed an order to purchase a stake in IGD a monthly dividend paying fund with a current yield of 12.92%.  This purchase will increase monthly income from dividends by over 2%, not to mention I'll get back a portion of the fees charged by the fund since shares of Voya are owned by one of my other funds.  Voya Global Equity Dividend and Premium Opportunity Fund (IGD:NYSE) will add an extra stream of income to my Roth account in addition to increasing overall monthly cash flow.  My next purchase for my Roth account will be additional shares of SPHD.  I started my account off with some high yield monthly and quarterly dividend funds and am eager to add the more stable SPHD for additional monthly income as well as long term growth prospects.

The only other new purchase I have planned for this year is Wells Fargo's EAD fund for my IRA account.  Any other purchases will be directed toward increasing current holdings.  Like I mentioned in my last post, I'm expecting a market correction sometime in the near future and am concentrating on building cash to take advantage of opportunities should this occur.  However, this does not mean I plan on hoarding cash.  I've had such a great year of increases in monthly cash flow, I want to keep the momentum going.  So to accomplish this, I will be adding additional cash purchases to my investments for the rest of 2016.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

A SPECIAL THANKS TO MY VISITORS FROM BRAZIL!

Just wanted to say Thank You to my many recent visitors from Brazil, the one country I'd most like to visit outside of the U.S..  I'm looking forward to the upcoming Brazil Olympic Games!

BUILDING CASH IN PREPARATION FOR STOCK MARKET CORRECTION

The stock market has been on a roll lately and sometimes when this happens, it's easy to forget that this will not always be the case.  Eventually we'll be faced with another correction.  When will it happen and how severe will it be?  I have no way of knowing, but in my experience, it's sure to happen.  Given that the bull market is already a bit long in the tooth, I'm thinking it will be sooner than later.  I read an interesting article today which pointed out that historically, there was a slump in the market for the first year or two after every U.S. presidential election.  This was regardless of which party won the presidency.  So while I'm a big believer in re-investing dividends, with the prices being so high right now and a possible correction looming in the not to distant future, I believe it would be prudent to put build up the cash portion of my portfolio.  This will allow me to take advantage of bargain prices when the stock market drops.  While I won't earn a significant amount of interest on the cash, I will earn some and it will help insulate my investments from a correction.

While I had already diverted dividends to cash because of the run up in stock prices, I'd planned on doing this only on a short term basis.  Now I might be looking at several months, or even a year or more.  I'll miss out on some compounding from reinvesting the dividends, but I think I'll more than make up for it by getting better prices on the future stock purchases.  This does not mean that I won't be buying any stocks at all.  I've got my 401k kicking in at work and I'll be making purchases for my IRA and my Roth accounts.  Cash investments will keep dividend income growing and dividend payouts will build up the cash portion of my portfolio.  Of course I guess I could just save the cash and keep reinvesting dividends, but I think I'll stick with what I've already set up.  Time will tell whether this was a wise choice or not.

Monday, July 18, 2016

WHEN PROFITS ARE SLIPPING AND EXECUTIVES WANT RAISES, SELL!

If you're invested in a company who's profits are dwindling, maybe they've cut the dividend and the company executives are giving themselves raises, it's time to SELL, SELL, SELL!  While slipping profits are enough to consider selling, it may just be a temporary setback, so you'd want to check it out and see what's causing the problem and decide whether you think they might make a comeback.  However, if profits fall and/or you've seen a cut in dividends and the company wants you to vote on executive compensation, better to just cut you're losses and get out of the investment, because they obviously don't have investors best interests at heart.  If they did, they would not be asking for a raise when they're doing a poor job of running the company.

While this might seem obvious, I've seen executive compensation plans approved time and again while companies are under performing.  To be honest, it makes me very angry as a shareholder that they would even ask for a raise when they're losing money for shareholders.  It's downright insulting when they do so after cutting dividend payouts.  I don't waste my time with it anymore, I show my disapproval by selling my shares and putting the money to work elsewhere.

Friday, July 15, 2016

EXTRA CASH FOR INVESTING FROM COUPONING!

I haven't written about couponing in quite some time, which doesn't mean that I'm no longer using coupons.  On the contrary, I'm a firm believer in saving money on daily purchases to free up cash for saving and investing.  Just got back from my weekly grocery shopping, where I saved over 31% on my groceries with my customer loyalty card and digital coupons.  I don't get the big savings like the extreme couponers, but I routinely save anywhere from 25 to 40% or more by matching up coupons with sale items that I would normally buy anyway.  I do not buy items simply because there is a coupon or sale, but if it's something I buy on a regular basis, then it just makes sense to get the best price.  With the little effort I put in, I manage to keep my grocery budget for one person to $20 or less per week.  

On this trip alone, I saved a total of $7.86.  Sometimes I save more, sometimes less, but assuming an average of $7 per week, that adds up to $364 per year!  That's not a tremendous amount, but I'm only a single person household.  A family of 4 could easily save $1,456 a year or more!  No matter what I save, every little bit helps toward reducing debt and building my investments.  I rarely ever clip paper coupons anymore.  I'm saving this amount using digital coupons from my grocery store's website.  So if you're one of those people who think coupons aren't worth messing with, maybe you should give them a second look.  

DIVERTING ALL DIVIDEND PAYMENTS TO CASH

I like seeing the number of shares I own go up every month, but I also like to purchase those shares at a good price.  While I'm happy to see the increase in value of my portfolio with the recent run up in stock prices, I also know from years of experience that it's not likely to last.  So while I was posting today's dividend payments from JMP and MAIN, it occurred to me, by reinvesting dividends at such lofty prices, I was also raising my average price paid per share.  It also meant that I was lowering my average yield in dividend income.  So I decided to divert all dividend payments to cash for the time being.  I'll earn a small amount of interest while the money is parked in cash and I can decide where to invest the money at a later date.  I may miss out on some small gains temporarily, but I think in the long run, holding on to cash and investing it when prices have dropped to a more reasonable amount, will pay off by keeping costs down and yields high.  I may be entirely wrong here, it's not like I haven't made mistakes before, but it just makes sense to me.

I've also been giving some thought to my investment goals for the upcoming year.  With my total number of dividend payments per year being 264, I'm giving serious thought to adding additional investments to bring my payments up to 365, so I'd collect a dividend payment for every day of the year.  While quite ambitious, I think this goal is entirely doable.  Purchasing a stake in 9 monthly dividend payers would do the trick, increasing total payments by 108 per year.  I've already made more than 9 stock purchases this year, so it should be a simple matter to make the first 9 purchases next year monthly dividend payers, bringing my total number of payments per year to 372.  I probably wouldn't even need all 9 stocks, since I'll have some dividend payments kicking in from my 401k and I do plan on making a couple of purchases this year, so I think I'll go for it.  Just think what it would be like to get paid every day of the year!  Not to mention how much faster your money compounds with the increased number of payments!

Made my first transfer of dividend cash from my taxable account to my ROTH IRA today!  It was not a large amount, but I'm still excited to know that I've begun the process of converting taxable income to non-taxable income producing assets!  When I retire, my plan is to draw income from the taxable account and the non-taxable ROTH account first and let the 401k and the regular IRA continue to build on their own until I'm forced to make withdrawals at age 70 1/2.   

Monday, July 11, 2016

MAKING PROGRESS ON DEBT REDUCTION!

You've heard the expression, "Where there's a will, there's a way."  I wrote in a post a while back about my plan to attack my remaining debt, since eliminating debt would free up a tremendous amount of cash to go towards investing.  To realize how impossible this task seemed in my case you'd have to understand that my earned income is barely larger than my expenses each month.  Yet what seemed nearly impossible has proven to be quite possible and I'm happy to report, for the month of July, I was able to reduce my total remaining debt by 1.5%!  While that might not seem like much, it's way better than watching it go up or remain the same every month.  It has also motivated me to seek out more creative ways to show an even larger reduction in the month of August.  

I'm thinking about some side gigs to my regular job, not a second job mind you, but other means of earning extra cash to put directly towards debt reduction.  I could always do some buying and selling on Craigslist or ebay, which I've done before.  My work schedule won't allow for a flea market booth like I ran a couple of summers back, but a yard sale is not out of the question.  Maybe do some window cleaning or carpet cleaning jobs on the side.  I could always divert dividend income from my taxable account towards paying off debt, but I really want to keep my investment accounts growing, so that's not a likely option.  I'm getting my cash reserves in savings and checking built up, so it might be possible in the near future to make a lump sum payment from these accounts.  Just want to make sure I have sufficient reserves in case of emergencies.  

The best thing about the progress I've made on reducing my debt in June and July is the biggest reductions are in my higher interest accounts.  Right now I'm only using my lowest interest credit card and I'm being as stingy as possible with that.  If my finances continue to improve as they have since the beginning of the year, I should be able to stop using all charge accounts entirely.  My sister is very good with credit cards.  She uses her rewards cards for everything, but she pays the balance in full each month.  That is my ideal goal.  To be able to use my rewards cards and pay the balance in full every month.  Freedom from monthly payments will be the ultimate prize here.  Right now I have a total of 6 charge accounts I'm making monthly payments on.  It will be most gratifying to watch the payments disappear as each account is paid off.  The good news is 4 of the 6 are small balances, so they'll be gone pretty fast and I'll be able to divert the savings toward reducing the 2 highest balances.  

Friday, July 8, 2016

BIG GAINS IN MONTHLY DIVIDENDS SINCE DECEMBER 2015!

As part of my mid-year review of my investments, I did a comparison of December 2015 to June 2016 dividend payments.  Here are the results:

SPHD -- Payments are 12 x's what they were at end of 2015!

PSEC -- Up 25%.

PHK -- Up 100%!

PDLI -- Up 400%!

NCZ -- Up 25%.

CRF -- Up 10%.

DON -- Up 100%!

AOD -- Up 20%.

HWBK -- Up 100%!

The smaller gains can be attributed mostly to reinvested dividends, while larger gains represent additional cash investments on my part.  The list above is only a portion of my actual investments, however, dividend income from all of my investments increased from the end of last year.

While these type of comparisons don't do much to improve my performance as an investor, they do provide a great deal of motivation to stick to the plan.  I'm very happy with results from the first half of 2016 and am excited about the next 6 months.  If last year's results are any indication, I can expect to see an increase of 50% in dividend income for the last 6 months of the year, compared to the first six months.  I'm hoping to boost that up some by making additional cash investments between now and the end of the year.


Sunday, July 3, 2016

SPECIAL STOCK DIVIDEND FROM HWBK 5 TIMES NORMAL DIVIDEND!

As a dividend investor, I'm always on the lookout for stocks with special dividends.  HWBK has paid a special stock dividend in July for every year I've owned the stock.  So far the stock dividend has been 4% of the value of shares owned.  The value of the stock dividend I received this year was over 5 times the actual cash dividend.  It's like a hidden bonus, since these type of dividends are not included in reported dividend yields.  I also receive a special dividend twice a year, in June and December, from monthly dividend payer MAIN.  MAIN is the only stock I know of, that pays 14 dividends per year.

Put in an order to purchase PDLI for my ROTH account July 5th.  As I mentioned before, this is a highly speculative move since the stocks' been down for quite some time now.  However, I think they'll turn around and the money I put in is a very small portion of my overall portfolio, while the possible payoff could be quite large.  The additional shares will double my current holdings in PDLI and double the quarterly dividend as well.  

Friday, July 1, 2016

JULY 2016 OFF TO GREAT START WITH 7 DIVIDENDS!

Ended the month of June with 7 dividends and started July off right with 7 more dividends!  Collected big payments from PHK and NCZ as well as HWBK and EMN.  Got the first dividend payment for my ROTH IRA from PHK this month.  It's nice to see the tax free income starting to roll in to the new account.  If the first day of the month is any indication, it's going to be another great month for dividend income and quite possibly a new record month!

Decided to purchase additional shares of PDLI for my ROTH account.  This is purely a speculative move on my part.  However, I think they've been way oversold on patent rights expirations, so I'm willing to bet a few dollars they'll turn around.  In the mean time, I'm content to collect the 6.37% dividend yield while I wait to see how it all works out.  I'd like to see this double in price.  If that should happen, I'll sell enough shares to pull all my cash investment out and keep the remaining shares for the dividend income.  

Hope everyone has a safe and festive 4th of July weekend!

Thursday, June 30, 2016

INCOME FOR JUNE 2016 UP 150% OVER LAST YEAR!

Collected the last 7 dividend payments for the month of June and as expected, set a new record for monthly dividend income.  What was even more exciting is, when compared to June 2015, dividend income for June 2016 is up over 150%!  While I did expect a good increase, I'm just blown away by how much it actually went up.  A great deal of this increase can be attributed to additional cash investments on my part and reinvested dividend income.  Part of the increase came from my recent trades, which increased income from cash already invested.  While these type of increases surely won't go on forever, it's nice to see right now.  Makes a person feel like they're on the right track.

Got my 401k paperwork turned in, so I'll have a new investment account before long.  It's not a great plan as far as 401k's go, 0 matching contributions, but it does have a few solid investment options.  I should also benefit from the before tax dollars invested, since it will reduce my current taxable income and my actual net pay will remain basically the same.  It's money that would otherwise not be available to me to invest, so I figure I'm ahead of the game there.

I'm looking forward to the month of July, even though I'll be working 4th of July weekend.  Actually I'll get holiday pay for working, so I'm kind of looking forward to that too.  I'm also anxious to see whether HWBK continues their trend from previous years and pays out the special stock dividend in July.  I was able to increase my stake in Hawthorne Bank this past year so the bonus dividend would be almost double last year's amount.  Just have to wait and see.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

DIVIDEND INCOME FOR JUNE 2016 BEATS OLD RECORD BY 10%!

Even though I initially miscalculated this months dividends, (by including 2 payments that I won't get until July 1st) June still set a new record for dividend income, beating out the old record month of December 2015 by more than 10%!  I'm pretty excited about that and about the final 7 dividends I'll collect on the 30th.  However, I don't expect this record to hold for long, since new dividends from recent purchases will begin in July, I'm pretty sure July will set a new record.  

Looks like everybody else is coming to the same conclusion about Brexit as I did in my last post.  They've realized the market over reacted and have been looking to pick up some bargains.  Consequently, my portfolio is making a quick recovery from the steep drop in the stock market.  Even though it didn't drop nearly as much percentage wise, as the overall market, since it's somewhat insulated from such events by the fact that I only own dividend stocks.  I still managed to pick up shares of UTG for my ROTH account at a much lower price per share than I paid for shares in my IRA account.  So I've reduced the average price per share and increased average yield on UTG.  Since this was a cash purchase, I also raised monthly dividend income by over 2% starting in July!

Presidential politics have been quite a fiasco this time around, but I've already decided to vote for Donald Trump.  I don't agree with everything Trump says and I know he won't be able to do everything he says he's going to do.  However, Hillary has been involved in way too many scandals for my tastes and she sounds way too much like a rerun of the Obama administration.  So I won't be voting for her, ever.  

Sunday, June 26, 2016

WHAT TO DO ABOUT BREXIT?

Big surprise for the stock market Friday as Great Britain voted to leave the European Union, otherwise know as Brexit.  While most people expected the referendum to fail, they seemed unprepared when it actually passed and the big boys on Wall Street wet their pants again.  So we had a huge one day drop in the market with all their panic selling.  It's always the big players and the wealthiest people who rush to panic at the first sign of uncertainty.  Perhaps it's because they have more to lose or perhaps the little guys are used to a measure of economic uncertainty and are better suited to handle it.  Of course economists are predicting doom and gloom, but one thing I've learned over the years is, they're almost never right.  

So what to do, what to do?  I plan to do exactly what I did when the market collapsed back in 2008, which is hang on to everything I have and look for opportunities to pick up dividend stocks on the cheap.  It's unlikely Britains' leaving the EU will cause the havoc reeked by the banking crisis, so I probably won't be able to get the stellar bargains I picked up back then.  Still, when you have only X amount of dollars to invest, it's very helpful if the prices suddenly drop.  I'll be able to purchase more shares than I would have otherwise and I really don't expect the rash of dividend cuts we saw in 2008 either.  Which means cheaper shares with higher dividend yields, boosting the overall yield for my investment portfolio.

A side note to this whole ordeal:  Friday was also the day I qualified to sign up for the 401k plan at work.  One of my co-workers told me it was a bad idea, because I'm "too old."  I don't think I'm "too old" to benefit from the employer contributions and I plan on working there long enough to be fully vested.  While I may not accumulate any staggering amount, it will be that much more.  I'm supposed to turn the paperwork in tomorrow, so I took advantage of the weekend to review all the investment options.  I decided on 20% going towards their only dividend fund and 80% going to purchase shares in a 5 star rated TransAmerica fund.  Figure I might as well shoot for high returns since the target date retirement funds all had dismal returns.  As with Brexit, we'll see how it goes.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

BEWARE INVESTMENT ADVICE: ALWAYS CONSIDER THE SOURCE

First and foremost, let me make this perfectly clear, when I write about my investments, it should NOT be considered investment advice.  If it gives you some ideas for your own investment portfolio, I still strongly urge that you do your own research and make sure an investment is right for you.  I'll be the first to admit that I've made a lot of mistakes along the way and I certainly don't feel qualified to hand out advice to anyone regarding investing their hard earned money.  I only write about my experiences with investing for informational purposes and to keep track of my own progress (or setbacks).

Case in point:  Several years back, I got an investment tip from my sister's boss.  The man and his wife owned several small businesses and seemed to be doing quite well for themselves.  So when my sister said her boss had bought a stake in Atlantic Energy Solutions (AESO) and was expecting to make a pile of money, I jumped at the chance to get in on the deal.  At the time it seemed like a good idea.  So I bought 1,000 shares which are currently worth a whopping ten cents total.  I should have written them off and removed them from my portfolio a long time ago but I left them there as a reminder to consider the source of investment advice.  Turns out the guy giving the advice had lost so much money investing in "hot stocks" that his wife had to return to work as a chiropractor.  Since I took the advice without doing my own research, I paid dearly with the loss of my hard earned money.  

Since then, I'm much more inclined to check Morningstar ratings or Seeking Alpha, then do additional research to see whether or not I believe a stock or fund will continue to grow earnings and raise dividends.  I much happier with my investment results now.  I get a lot of emails touting different stocks and funds and sometimes I check them out, if the story sounds good.  Usually they don't seem to be right for me, so I don't buy, but occasionally they lead me to something that is right for me, so it's not entirely a waste of time.  But the big lesson here is, don't take my word or anyone else's when it comes to paying out your hard earned cash on investments.  Always check them out very thoroughly before you buy.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

JUNE TO SET NEW RECORD FOR DIVIDEND INCOME IN 2016!

A preliminary estimate of this month's dividend income shows I'm headed for a new record in monthly income for 2016.  With the new dividends from recent purchases and increased dividends from current holdings, income for the month of June will be out the previous record set in March by over 23%!  While this in itself is exciting, what's even more exciting is that I have 6 more continue building income before the end of the year.  If I'm able to increase earnings for the last 6 months of the year as well as I have in the first 6 months, It's going to be a fantastic year!  Of course that all remains to be seen.

My most immediate plans are to continue building up cash reserves and reducing debt to free up additional money for investing.  Meanwhile, reinvested dividends and automatic transfers to my investment account will continue to increase monthly dividends on their own.  The next big cash purchase will be additional shares of SPHD, which I'll purchase through my ROTH IRA for tax free income.  I think SPHD has great potential for boosting the overall value of my portfolio, not just through reinvested monthly dividends, but from capital gains as well.  It also adds a great deal of stability to my portfolio, through it's investments in low volatility, high dividend stocks.

On the job front, I've been very busy.  Working overtime this week again, which will give me extra cash to add to savings and investments.  I've estimated my income for 2016 from my job will increase by 33% over 2015, mostly due to working more hours.  Regardless of whether I get a raise or not, it's still a pretty good increase in earned income.  While I like to see earned income increase, I'm way more excited to see the income increases from dividends.  With my job, I may or may not get a raise in pay, whereas my investments give me a raise every month, whether or not I do any additional work.  

Monday, June 6, 2016

REARRANGING IRA TO GAIN ANOTHER 23% INCREASE FROM CURRENTLY INVESTED CASH!

In my previous post I discussed the sale of under performing stocks and how I benefited from reinvesting the cash.  I decided that worked out so well, it warranted a second look to see if I could perhaps repeat the process.  Here's what I came up with:

I sold my stakes in CLNY, GE and LLY, with a small loss on CLNY and gains of over 60% on both GE and LLY.  I put in an order to reinvest the cash in SPHD (S&P 500 High Dividend, Low Volatility Fund) which pays a monthly dividend.  I lost 12 dividend payments per year from the quarterly dividend payers, but gained them all back from the monthly dividend fund.  The cash collected from the sale will purchase enough shares of SPHD to increase annual dividend income by 23%!  In addition to this, both this transaction and the one I mentioned in my last post, will complete in time to see the new dividends income kick in this month!  Not to mention I'll still get to collect this month's dividend from LLY!  Making both purchases on the same day also reduced commission costs to 2.6%, so I'm pretty happy about keeping the costs down as well.

I'm pretty excited about this strategy of boosting income without any cash out of pocket!  I'm going to take a good look at my taxable account and see if I can pull it off again, with a little twist.  Instead of reinvesting the proceeds in that account, I'll transfer the cash to my Roth IRA and boost tax free income.  

REPLACED 2 POOR PERFORMERS AND DOUBLED THE DIVIDEND INCOME!

I held on to EGAS and MFC hoping to see a turnaround, but alas it hasn't materialized with either one.  Finally made the decision to cut them loose and reinvest the cash.  Put in orders to sell all shares of both stocks and reinvested the money in monthly dividend payer GUT.  

By cutting my losses and redeploying the cash, I gained 4 extra dividend payments per year, bringing the annual total to 253.  Or, to put it another way, I'll collect a dividend payment every 1.4 days!  Reinvested cash from the sale of EGAS and MFC will not only increase total number of shares owned and total dividend payments, but it will also more than double the amount of dividend income!  I don't expect to see any stellar capital gains from my investment in GUT, but I'm after the stability of the fund and the dividend income it produces, so that's not an issue. 

My next cash purchase will be shares of SPHD for my Roth IRA account.  Hope to complete the purchase by the end of June, depending on my cash situation.  Right now I'm spending quite a bit on much needed maintenance on my car, so I'll just have to play it by ear.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

KICKED OFF THE MONTH OF JUNE WITH 5 DIVIDENDS AND 30% INCREASE FROM NCZ!

The month of June 2016 is off to a good start, with 5 dividend payments on the first day of the month!  Also saw a 30% increase in monthly dividend income from NCZ, due to the most recent purchase of additional shares.  Purchasing more shares through reinvested dividends and collecting a nice chunk of cash is a great way to start off the month!  I expect to see new dividend income from GGT and GUT kick in on the 23rd of this month, followed by a jump in income from PHK in the month of July, from my most recent share purchases.

I'm in the process of diverting dividend income from my taxable account to cash, which I plan on transferring to my ROTH IRA to build tax free income as rapidly as possible.  I've noticed from the slew of annual reports I've been reading, a lot of the high yield mutual funds rely quite heavily on REIT's and financial stocks (banks and insurance companies), as well as utilities, which should all benefit from the low interest rate environment.  These type of funds, along with high yield stocks seem like the perfect fit for an account where capital gains and income are non-taxable.  So I'll be looking to load up my new ROTH account with those.

So basically for the remainder of 2016, I'll only add enough cash to my IRA to get the maximum tax deduction.  I won't be contributing any additional cash out of pocket to my taxable account, although it should continue to grow through reinvested dividends.  I'll be transferring whatever cash I collect from dividends in my taxable account to the ROTH account.  Any additional cash contributions on my part will all go to the ROTH account, with the goal of building a stream of tax free income as rapidly as possible.

Friday, May 27, 2016

SAVE MONEY ON AUTO MAINTENANCE BY DOING IT YOURSELF!

After a recent trip to the dealership for some minor maintenance and some recall work on my 2002 Honda Civic, I decided it was time I started doing some of the maintenance work myself.  I went in for a $39 oil change and free recall on the air bags.  Ended up with a bill over $200 due to some minor repairs they said had to be done because they were "a fire risk."  Well I didn't want my car catching fire, so I had the work done, but I was skeptical just the same.  They also told me I needed to bring the car back for new brakes all around, with an estimate of $490.  That was just too much.  Looked it up on Youtube and decided I could do the brakes myself.  

I also knew I needed to replace the spark plugs, so I looked that up as well.  For 20 minutes of work and less than $9 in parts, I saved myself $44 to $56 in labor costs, which is the average estimate for changing the spark plugs in my car.  I was amazed at how much better my car runs with the new plugs and how easy it was to do the work.  Also checked the air filter, which didn't need replacing since it still looked brand new.  I figure when I get to the brake job, I'll save a great deal more in labor costs.  Plan on doing that in a couple of weeks.  Have an experienced mechanic watching over me, just to make sure I don't screw those up, but I'm doing all the work myself.  I'm actually pretty excited about the whole thing, since I'll be able to get much more done on my car than I could afford if I were paying someone else to do the work.