Friday, January 29, 2016


Just finished posting my end of the month dividends and comparing this month's total to January 2015.  While doing this I noticed that monthly dividend payers alone would pay more cash this year than my entire portfolio paid out last year.  So I did a quick estimate of dividends from quarterly paying shares and was pleased to see that if I do absolutely nothing between now and the end of 2016, my dividend income will be a little more than 25% higher than 2015!

This is exciting in itself, especially since this does not include reinvested dividends.  Since I will be reinvesting dividends and I will be adding additional shares through cash purchases throughout the year, it should be a piece of cake to reach my goal of increasing dividend income by 50% over last year.  I may revise my plan around June or July because I'm thinking I may reach my yearly goals by then.  No matter how it works out, it's surely a powerful motivator to see income increasing at such a tremendous pace.  It also gives me a great deal of confidence in my investment strategy.  At this rate, by the time I retire, I'll be collecting a nice tidy sum to supplement my Social Security checks.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016


With Israelis under attack daily, it's more important than ever that we remember the Holocaust and say, "Never Again!"

Monday, January 25, 2016


It didn't take long for the market to start it's downward slide again.  Had a good day last Friday and it's back down on Monday due to the price of oil dropping once again.  While this all sounds like bad news, I'm thinking there are some hidden opportunities here.  Mainstream media are hyping low oil prices and Iran's oil coming back on the market but it's not painting a clear picture of what's really going on.  Supply is up, demand is down but what you rarely hear mentioned is that production is rapidly decreasing.  I've talked before about the correlation between low gasoline prices and presidential elections, which you don't have to take my word for, you can look it up yourself.  The price of gasoline almost always drops during during presidential elections.  But this time around we also have Iran moving back into the oil market when prices are already low.  I'm thinking it's creating a "perfect storm" for profits.  By the time the elections are over, I believe that demand will have caught up with supply and we'll see a rapid rise in the price of oil.  Which means anyone buying in at the current low prices should see some substantial gains by next year.  I've already made my oil play by buying shares in an oil royalty trust.  Whether I picked the right one or not remains to be seen, but it represents only a small part of my overall portfolio, so it shouldn't do much damage if it doesn't work out.

February income is likely to be lower than January, with only 14 dividend payments for the month.  However, I should more than make up for it in March with a whopping 22 dividends!  Despite stock market turmoil, I remain excited about my investments and the ever increasing income from dividends.  

Saturday, January 23, 2016


After watching the value of my portfolio drop since the first of the year, it was refreshing to see at least one day where every one of my holdings were up for the day.  As I've mentioned before, as a dividend investor, I concentrate more on increasing monthly income from dividends than I do on the day to day ups and downs in the market.  But I am only human and no one likes to see the value of their investments declining.  I am happy to report that this latest mini crash didn't cause me much angst because of the positive increases in monthly cash flows.  Whether the run up in stock prices will hold or not we'll have to wait and see.  

Collect dividends from GE and PSEC this past week, bringing monthly total of payments up to 11, with 5 more to go towards the end of the month.  This month's dividend income will set a new record for the month of January and I expect to see new record earnings for the month of February as well.  In accord with my plan to boost dividend income by 50% this year, I'll be purchasing more shares of PHK in February.  The new shares will boost monthly income by an additional 3% on top of the 2% increase from January's purchase of AOD shares.  If you add on the 2% increase from reinvested dividends in January and February, that's 7% of my 50% goal.  So I just need to boost income another 43%.  Since reinvested dividends increase monthly income by 1% each month, I really only need another 33% to hit my goal, but I think I can do better than that.

Friday, January 15, 2016


Just estimated total dividend income for January 2016 and compared it to what I received in 2015.  Total cash flow from dividends is up a whopping 65% for the month, compared to January 2015!  Even with the stock market prices being down lately, what a great way to start off the year!  I have to say, this caught me by surprise.  While I expected income to increase, I didn't expect to see such a large gain.

Collected 4 dividend payments this week from ROYT, MAIN, CLNY and UTG.  This brings the monthly total of payments up to 9, with 7 more payments to go before the end of the month.  Looking ahead towards February, I'll only collect 14 dividend payments for the shortest month of the year, but still expect to see a good increase in year over year monthly income.  Don't want to do the estimate this far ahead, I like being surprised, it keeps me motivated.

On the job front, my earned income is up over last year.  Didn't see any pay increases, but I did pick up more hours at work.  So I'm off to a much better start job wise, compared to last year.  If I stay with my current job, I expect my total earned income to go up about 20% this year.  Don't have any plans to change jobs, but you never know what might come up. 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016


Just read an interesting article in Money magazine about making your money last during retirement.  They gave the current standard advice to take 4 - 4.5% of your money out each year to make it last at least 30 years or more.  But what if you live longer than that?

So I decided to do the math on my dividend portfolio to see how well it would hold out if I followed their advice and withdrew 4.5% of my money, raising the amount by 2% a year to account for inflation.  My portfolio consists of a mix of individual stocks, stock funds and bond funds.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that, if I followed these guidelines, my money would not only last over 30 years, but it would never run out!

Why would I never run out of money?  Because my current dividend income exceeds the amount I'd be withdrawing by over 30%!  So even if I increased my withdrawals by 2% each year, the extra 30% being reinvested would increase income more than the 2% increase in withdrawals.  Which means I'd never touch my capital, I'd be withdrawing dividend cash only.  I'd planned on doing this when I retired anyway, but with a target amount in mind, it's nice to see how well the plan will work out.  Now here's the crazy part.  I could start taking 4% a year withdrawals right now, while I'm still working and still not run out of money.  I'm not going to, but it's nice to know I could.  Just another good reason to be a dividend investor.  

Thursday, January 7, 2016


China's stock market crash has caused global fear in the stock markets.  Every one of the stocks and funds in my portfolio are down for the day, as of this writing.  However, I'm not panicking at all.  Have I lost my mind?  No, I'm just looking at the whole thing as a great time to boost stakes in my current holdings.  

I have only a limited amount of money to invest and even with reinvested dividends, I'm only able to add so much to my portfolio each month.  When stock prices take a dive, like they have now, those additional investment dollars and reinvested dividends add several more shares.  It's the money I earn from the dividends that I'm after, stock price is almost irrelevant.  While I like to see the value of my holdings increase, several years of investment experience has taught me that it will happen over time.  So as long as you don't sell and lock in losses, you increase holdings while prices are down and concentrate more on the monthly income.  Eventually stock prices will go back up.  But in the mean time, isn't it great to get a bargain while the prices are down.

Since I'm still in the buying phase of building my investment portfolio, stock market melt downs are always good news to me.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016


I don't really have the kind of money it takes to make money with the dividend capture strategy, where you buy in to a stock before the ex-dividend date, hold until the record date (so you collect the dividend), then hopefully sell for the same price or a little higher to make a quick profit.  To make this approach profitable, you'd have to have a great deal to invest in each stock, otherwise it just wouldn't pan out.

However, I've modified the plan to fit my investment style.  Instead of trying to capture dividends and sell for a quick gain, before I make a cash purchase of additional shares in current holdings, I review the ex-dividend dates of the stocks I want to invest in and pick the one that will get me the next dividend.  I wanted to buy a stake in CSX, but before I made the purchase I checked the ex-dividend date, placed my order and qualified for a quarterly dividend less than a month after purchasing my shares.  Today I wanted to put some extra cash to work, so I checked the ex dates on two of the monthly dividend payers I want to increase stakes in.  As a result, instead of having to wait a month or two for the extra dividends to kick in, I placed an order for AOD shares and will collect dividends for the new shares this month!  This will boost monthly dividends from AOD by 8% and increase overall monthly dividends by 1% beginning this month.  

So even though some investment strategies may not be right for you, it's a good idea to look them over and see if there are any positive aspects you can incorporate into your own investment plan.  I'm expecting the dividend capture strategy to boost monthly cash flows significantly in 2016.

Saturday, January 2, 2016


December 2015 was an exciting month with a total of 24 dividend payments, a new record for monthly dividend income and the final tally for the year.  Compared to 2014, dividend income was up 22% for the year!  Pretty exciting in itself, but I've already worked out a plan to boost income even more in 2016.  What's most exciting is the escalation in monthly cash flows.  Reinvested dividends and additional cash investments out of pocket have put my investment portfolio in a great position at the start of 2016.  Will the bull market continue or will we be faced with a bear market?  I'm not really sure, but what is clear is that the investment plan I started 3 years ago to rebuild my portfolio is working extremely well.   

Started the year out right with 5 dividends for the first day of 2016!  What is already clear is that January 2016 cash flow will be up significantly from January 2015.  As long as I'm able to stick to my investment plan, I don't think it's beyond reach to boost total dividend income by 100% before the end of 2016.  That's a pretty ambitious goal, but I've done the math and not only is it possible, but it could be done quite easily with reinvested dividends and boosting holdings in some of my current holdings.  While I haven't seen a dramatic increase in earned income, I am making more from my job and I've been making headway on reducing my debt.  I've seen the light at the end of the tunnel, it's just a matter of sticking to the plan and everything will work out fine.  Don't have too many years left until retirement age, but I've decided to continue working as long as my health permits.  Can't really see sitting around the house and watching television all day.  I'd much rather be doing something productive and continue to build my investments as long as I'm able.