Friday, April 29, 2016


Collected the big six end of the month dividends today and closed out spreadsheet entries for the month of April.  At the end of each month, I like to check the same month's totals from the previous year to see how I'm doing.  Already posted about the 90% increase in monthly income for the month of April, compared to April of last year.  However, when I compared the spreadsheets with total number of shares owned, I was surprised and delighted to see number of shares up by a whopping 120% during the past 12 months!

The whole reason I launched my new stock purchase plan was to be more aggressive at accumulating stock.  Obviously, as a dividend investor, the more shares of stock you own the more dividend income you collect.  I developed this plan because I felt like I wasn't making much progress as far a building my current holdings.  Turns out that's not really the case, since I've more than doubled number of shares owned in the past year.  However, I'd like to keep the momentum going, so I'm sticking with the three year plan.  I've got an order in place to complete the 6th purchase from the list of 16 next Tuesday.  I'm taking advantage of extra income from overtime at work to accelerate my plan, so it looks like I may be able to complete all purchases within 2 years.  

After Tuesdays' stock purchase, the next major change in my investment portfolio is to open a Roth IRA.  Maxing out allowable contributions to my regular IRA is not the most tax efficient way for me to deploy investment income.  Since the tax deduction for contributions only impacts my tax return up to a certain point, it would be better for me to deploy the rest of my investment capital in a Roth IRA where I would owe no taxes on future income and capital gains.

Monday, April 25, 2016


An unexpected cash windfall has made it possible for me to accelerate my stock purchase plan and buy additional shares of SPHD.  SPHD is a five star rated, low volatility ETF, paying monthly dividends, with a current yield of 3.27%.  I'm going after quality and stability here to balance out some of the risky high yield holdings in my portfolio.  I put a lot of thought in to how best to put this unexpected cash to work and I believe SPHD is my best bet right now.  With today's drop in the stock market, I might even be able to get a better price on the new shares.

I'll set the order to purchase the new shares next Tuesday which, I'm happy to report, will be in plenty of time to capture the dividend for May.  So this purchase will immediately increase monthly dividend income by 6%!  May is only a 14 dividend month, but with the increased payments from SPHD, PSEC and JMP all set to kick in, it's probably going to be a very good month.

On a related note, earned income from my job has increased significantly since the first of 2016.  Not due to any raise, but because of increased hours.  While I'm not crazy about working so much, I'm happy to put in the extra effort to reach my goals of building my portfolio and reducing personal debt.  A little extra work now can make life a whole lot easier in the years to come.   

Sunday, April 24, 2016


Finally did the calculations and even without the extra dividend income starting in May, I've already reached my goal of increasing annual dividend income by 50% in 2016!  With reinvested dividends and ongoing stock purchase plan, it's impossible to say at this point how much I'll beat my original goal by, but it's pretty exciting!  It's quite possible that I might even see a 100% or more increase by the end of the year.

March 2016 saw a 90% increase in dividend income over March 2015 and it looks like April will follow suit, with another 90% increase over April 2015.  I'm still a long way from having the kind of passive income I'd need to retire, but with these type of gains, it's only a matter of time.  What surprises me most is that I'm continuing to see such fantastic increases in monthly cash flow.  It was one thing to make big percentage gains when I was just starting to rebuild my portfolio, but I expected to see a slow down.  When monthly cash flows are low, it's easy to achieve big percentage gains.  However, as cash flow increases, it takes more out of pocket cash to keep seeing the big gains in monthly dividends.  Or so I thought.  As it turns out, I haven't been investing that much more in cash.  I believe, what I forgot to take into account were the reinvested dividends.  I knew they would help boost income by buying more shares, but I never expected they would increase earnings by as much as they have.  Very nice surprise though.

Thursday, April 21, 2016


With the completion of recent stock purchases, total shares owned increased by 10% from the end of March.  Total increase in shares owned is up 15% since the beginning of 2016, both very encouraging numbers.  More shares owned means more money per month in dividend income, which also means more shares purchased with reinvested dividends.  It's a snowball effect and the snowball is on a roll!

With the 3 year stock purchase plan I recently initiated and reinvested dividends, I expect the momentum to continue.  Haven't done complete calculations, but it looks like I've already reached my target goal of increasing dividend income by 50% in 2016!  Which doesn't mean I'll be coasting through the rest of the year.  It would be great if, instead of just increasing income by 50%, it would increase by 75% or even 100%.  Whatever it ends up being, it's looking like it's going to be a very good year.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016


I learned, after placing an order to purchase more shares of JMP, they were holding an earnings conference call after markets closed, on the very day I executed the buy order.  I was worried that might not work out in my favor, but it turned out pretty good.  While their reported earnings were down compared to last year and they cut the dividend by 25%, they also announced additional share repurchases and the dividend yield I'll be earning is still a generous 7%.  On top of that, the stock price jumped 6.37% in today's trading!  So I guess I'm not the only one who figured out insiders owning around 44% of the company, along with low P/E and low P/B, sufficient earnings to sustain dividend payouts and a generous dividend yield, adds up to a definite buy.

While it might seem like a negative to have lower earnings compared to last year, their earnings were down less than industry average.  With insiders holding such a large percentage of shares, I'm thinking their interests are very well aligned with the interests of shareholders.  So, while today's stock price performance may just be a fluke, I have a very good feeling about this investment.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016


Although I've always read, you're better off to pay down debt before investing, because the money you save on servicing high interest debt is likely to be more than you'll earn from investments, I've always found it more appealing to buy income producing assets than paying bills.  However, while reviewing my finances of late, I've taken more interest in reducing debt, in order to free up cash for bigger investments.

I'm ashamed to admit, I had no idea exactly how much each of my 5 revolving charge accounts are charging me in interest.  So that was the first thing I looked up.  While I don't have the money to pay them off immediately, I can target the higher interest accounts with bigger payments to reduce balances and save on interest charges.  I also discovered what a strong incentive knowing your interest charges are to get you to stop or at least slow down charging.  Although I love Amazon and my Discover card, I'm afraid they're the big losers as far as interest rates.  Amazon is my favorite place to shop, but my charge account with Amazon has an interest rate in the nose bleed section.  So I won't be ordering anything from Amazon for quite some time, unless I'm paying cash.  Discover is not far behind Amazon with the high interest rate.  I recently emailed them about reducing my rate since I've been a very good customer for several years now.  Apparently they've not joined the internet age because they told me they couldn't address that type of request through email, even though it was on their secure website.  I have to admit, I was a bit miffed about that.  After all, they can send me endless emails about everything else and I was using their website, so what's the problem???

Anyway, not picking on Amazon or Discover in particular.  If I didn't really like them, I wouldn't have accounts with them.  I'm going to keep my accounts.  Just won't be using them until my balances are paid off or I get a good reduction in interest rates.  As for the other 3 charge accounts, I cancelled one because of their annual fee.  I don't pay anyone else an annual fee, so I'm not going to pay one to them.  My Paypal charge I haven't been using anyway, so it's no big deal to not use it and the balance is decreasing nicely.  Capital One, my longest held credit card has the best rate of all my open accounts, so if I have to charge, it will be with Capital One, but I'm going to work on getting that balance paid off as well.

Paying off the balances on all my revolving charge accounts would free up $500 per month!  An extra $500 per month which I can then put to work building my dividend stock portfolio.  This doesn't even include the astronomical amount I'll save on interest by paying off debt.  I'm excited to put my debt payment plan into action!

Friday, April 15, 2016


Toward the end of March, I sat down and mapped out a stock purchase plan to beef up my dividend portfolio.  I estimated it would take 3 years to come up with the cash to complete all the stock purchases.  However, through a series of fortunate events, I'm happy to report I'm off to a great start and may complete the plan in much less time.

I completed the first two trades on April 5th and will complete two more purchases in next week.  I've already set up cash transfers and put in automatic trades to purchase shares of PDLI, JMP and HWBK.  My list calls for purchasing additional blocks of shares in 17 different stocks.  In the first month, I'll have completed 5 of the 17 purchases.  Just 12 more to go.  However, since progressive purchases are more expensive, it may be much slower going forward.  Still it's encouraging to be over a third of the way through the plan.

I'm adding the additional shares of JMP earlier than anticipated, because I think it will be a very good investment in the long run and it will boost monthly dividend income by about 2% starting in May.  This serves a two fold purpose, decreasing investment costs by buying shares in bigger blocks and boosting monthly cash flow, to reach my goal of increasing annual dividend income by 50% over last year.  Any of the plan purchases will get me closer to reaching this goal, but I'll most likely target monthly dividend payers first, since I get more bang for the buck. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016


As earnings season progresses and I continue pouring over annual reports from the stocks I've invested in, I'm very happy about all the companies that have increased dividend payouts.  The most recent one to come to my attention is an 8% increase from CLNY.  I own shares of CLNY in my IRA account and although I've not been especially excited about it's price performance, I am happy to see the dividend going up.


While looking for a new stock to replace the monthly dividend from ROYT, I came across a stock I'm very excited about.  JMP Group Inc. (JMP:NYSE) is a full service investment banking and asset management firm.  Their current price of $5.11 is near their 52 week low and the stock carries a dividend yield of 9.54%!  Their price to earnings is 11.71% (well below the average) and their price to book is only 0.36%.  The monthly dividend of 4 cents per share is more than covered by earnings of 57 cents per share.  In addition to all this, a top executive of the company recently purchased 26,500 shares of the companies stock, an investment of over $132,500.  If an insider is willing to buy so many shares, he's probably in a position to know that the stock is under valued.  Not only that, but while he waits for the market to catch on, he's collecting a monthly dividend of $1,060 per month or $12,720 per year!  

So I put in an order to purchase shares of JMP today and will be buying more as the year progresses.  While I don't have the kind of money to invest like the company executive, I think I'll do well with whatever stake I'm able to purchase.  Since it's a relatively small company, with a market capitalization of $107.15 million, it may not gain mainstream attention anytime soon.  However, with such a high dividend payout, I'm more than happy to wait.  My current investment in JMP boosts total monthly dividends by 1.6%!  

Tuesday, April 5, 2016


Completed 3 trades today that I'm not to crazy about.  First, I sold ROYT at a huge loss.  It was a speculative venture when I bought in, hoping to benefit from a recovery in the oil market.  I was willing to hold on when the price drop, but couldn't see any sense in it when they stopped paying dividends.  So I cut my losses and put the money to work in more shares of PHK.

Second, I bought additional shares of PSEC.  I like the dividend yield of over 13%, but there's some  questionable stuff going on with the stock.  A risky proposition, but I figured it's worth the risk as long as the dividend holds.

Third, I increased my steak in EGAS.  They're coming off a bad year due to a warmer than normal winter and have cut the dividend again, but I'm looking for some improvement going forward with some of the changes the company has made.  Won't be buying more shares anytime soon, I'll stick with what I've got for now to limit risk.

Monday, April 4, 2016


I've been busy reading annual reports from some of the stocks and funds in which I own shares.  I happy to see that at least two of them, GLW and CNP, have increased dividends for 2016.  GLW raised their dividend by 12.5% and although CNP had a much smaller increase, I'm happy to see it going up instead of down.  When you own stocks with increasing dividends, you gain more shares over time through reinvested dividends, but it also increases the yield on your original investment.  A very important measure of a good investment is one that continues to grow in value with no additional cash invested.  These are the type of stocks that you want to hold on to forever.

Friday, April 1, 2016


Collected the first six dividend payments for the month of April, with eleven more to go by the end of the month.  Did a quick estimate of dividends for the remainder of the month and compared that to earnings from April 2015.  By this estimate, income from dividends will increase over 90% when compared to April 2015!  This will make two months in a row with 90%+ increases!  I fully expected to see some increases, but this surprises even me.

I mentioned in my last post that I'm embarking on an ambitious stock purchase plan.  It will most likely take me three years to complete all the purchases I intend to make, since I'll be paying out of pocket and am limited by available funds.  I've scheduled a total of 16 stock purchases, with the first two to be completed on Tuesday of next week.  Just to get things off to a good start, I plan on making the third purchase by the end of April and the fourth purchase in May.  May be able to complete the plan in two years, but I'm giving myself a three year time horizon since each purchase increase in dollar amount as I move down the list.