Thursday, November 16, 2017

MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS.

In one of Robert Kyosaki's Rich Dad books, I remember him saying, "Mind your own business" by which he meant you should concentrate your efforts on building an income for yourself aside from work.  At the time, I thought this a remarkably simple yet profound statement.  Think about how much time we spend in life working hard to make other people rich.  Shouldn't we pay more attention to making ourselves wealthier?  

Recently I was reminded of this advice when I was passed over for a promotion at work.  I was very disappointed, since I've been working hard for the past three years and thought I'd be the logical choice for the job.  Well I didn't get it and I've gotten over the ordeal, but it did get me thinking about priorities.  I realized I'd become lax in "minding my own business."  

As I mentioned earlier, I've worked hard and invested a lot of effort over the past three years at my job, while not spending much time on my investments.  During that same period of time, my earned income increase a very modest 6%, while my investment income grew by a whopping 300%!  Just think about that a minute.  With a great deal of hard work, my earned income only went up 6%, while with very little effort, my investment income increased by 300%.  A 300% increase is fantastic, but how much more could it have been had I been "minding my own business" or putting as much effort into my investments as I put in at work?

So in a way I'm kind of glad I got passed over for the promotion because it frees up more time for me to work on building my investment portfolio.  Going forward, I'm very excited about my investment plans for 2018.  I've already created new spreadsheets for the upcoming year and identified additional investment opportunities which I think will boost income dramatically.  In the mean time I'm putting some of the money I earned on Swagbucks to use with the purchase of a stake in NLY.  I won't get my first dividend payment until January 2018, but I figure a new stream of income is a great way to kick off the new year.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

MULTIPLE INCOME STREAMS VS. MULTIPLE JOBS

In recent conversations with co-workers, I was amazed at how many of them have multiple jobs.  Several had both a full time job and a part time job, with some having as many as four jobs.  Times being what they are, I can see possibly having two jobs, but I think the wiser course would be to work one job and have multiple streams of income.  Dividend investors are well aware of the benefits of multiple streams of income.  As a dividend investor, I own a stake in a total of 35 different stocks, mutual funds and bond funds.  In addition to that, I do have a full time job and four internet side gigs, (not jobs per se but they do pay me a little income each month) for a total of 40 different sources of income.  

From these 40 income sources I receive a total of 530 payments per year!  Which means I get paid every .69 days, or almost twice per day for every day of the year!  Of course, I don't work every day of the year.  Most weeks I have two days off and I have two weeks paid vacation per year.  So with my two weeks vacation and two days off per week, I really only work 251 days per year (365 - (2 x 50) + 14 = 251.  Now if you consider that I only work an actual 251 days per year and divide that by 530 payments, I really get paid every .47 days that I work, or more than twice per day!

No matter how good a worker you are, you could never manage to work 40 jobs, but it's quite easy to have 40 sources of income.  If you have a job and invest some of your hard earned money in dividend paying stocks or funds, you could easily amass 40 sources of income in just a few years and if you only have one job, like myself, when you quit working you'll still have at least 39 sources of income.  So I think it's probably better to concentrate your efforts on building multiple streams of income instead of working your life away at multiple jobs.        

Friday, November 3, 2017

THINGS ARE LOOKING UP FOR NOVEMBER

Big jump in the market today and in the overall value of my portfolio.  Especially a nice jump in my stake in QCOM on rumors of a takeover by Broadcom.  Whether it will or won't actually happen is quite another story.  They may face an uphill battle gaining approval from regulators in the U.S..  However, I plan to keep a close eye on the situation and see if I can find an exit point with a tidy little profit.

Otherwise things are going well.  In the two days from the 31st of last month and the 1st of this month, I collected a total of 24 dividend payments!  November is one of the lower income months, with only 35 dividends for the month.  However, it's followed by December with a whopping 48 dividends!  So I'm not losing any sleep over it.  Cash balances continue to grow as I collect selected dividend payments in cash.  Looking forward to my next stock purchase with Swagbucks cash and adding new quarterly income there.  

Been working extra hours at my job, so I'll be concentrating on retiring more old debt and saving on monthly interest charges.  Should also be able to set aside a little extra to boost holdings in some of my current stocks.  I'll definitely add any additional cash to one of the monthly dividend stocks.  Haven't really decided which one yet, but I want any extra cash to create more monthly cash flow.  

Also made a little extra cash with a yard sale, not to mention getting rid of some of the clutter around my house.  Sold one of my old coats for $3, which isn't much, but since I bought it at a yard sale 3 years ago for $1, I was pretty happy about that.  The rest of the stuff I've sold are things I no longer have any use for and cannot hope to recover what I paid for them, but whatever money I recover is a bonus as far as I'm concerned.  I'm pretty sure I got my money's worth out of them in use, so if I can sell them for a few dollars, I'm happy.  

Friday, October 27, 2017

OCTOBER 2017 HAS NOT BEEN KIND TO MY FINANCES

The total value of my investment portfolio is down and a series of necessary auto repairs and maintenance have left me anxious to see the end of October 2017.  While I'm not at all in a panic, I will have to be very careful with my finances going in to November.  Got to get back on track, build up my reserves and add to my investments.

O.K., enough of the negativity.  One thing I am excited about, the recent drop in prices has my reinvested dividends purchasing more shares!  If the market languishes, I should see my average price paid per share decline significantly.  Setting the stage for even better returns once the market takes off again.  It also makes my cash purchases go a lot further.  So a down market is not all bad news.  It's actually good news to me, since I'm still in the purchasing phase.  As long as the companies and funds I'm invested in don't start cutting dividends, it could turn out to be a great thing.

I've figured out how to double my monthly income from Swagbucks and am looking forward to putting that money to work with the purchase of NLY.  This will give me 475 dividend payments per year in total, with 28 of those dividend payments coming from money earned through Swagbucks.  I'd like to buy one more monthly dividend stock with Swagbucks cash and use any money earned afterwards to build my stakes in those four stocks.  A few years from now, this should turn into a nice tidy monthly income.

I have long lamented being single and not being a 2 income household.  However, it occurred to me recently that I'm actually a 45 income family.  That is, I actually have 45 sources of income including stocks, funds, my job, interest bearing accounts and cash back accounts.  While my job is still my largest single source of income, the income I receive from outside my job is growing rapidly.  So I just need to stick to the plan and keep doing what I've been doing, because I'm obviously headed in the right direction.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

OCTOBER UPDATE

It's been a busy month so far and I'm afraid I've been a bit lax in posting.  Have already collected a lot of dividend payments for the month, with several more to go.  Little too early to tell if October will set any records, but should still have a good showing non the less.

Had to get some repairs done on my car, so it's taken up a lot of cash I'd otherwise have invested.  Still gained some ground through 401k contributions and reinvested dividends.  Even when I have no additional cash to invest, it's comforting to know that my investments continue to grow automatically.

Just read an interesting article about the CFO of PSEC making a huge investment in his company's shares.  It's that kind of inside trading that makes me think I'm on the right track by purchasing shares.  Whatever happens price wise, I'll collect a nice tidy dividend every month.  

Looks like my Swagbucks income will double this month and should be even better next month.  The more I learn about ways to earn on their site, the easier it becomes to make more money in less time.  Of course I'll be investing this cash in dividend stocks to keep the money growing.  It's turning out to be a great way to build up my portfolio without having to have a second job.  

My biggest revelation this month was when I realized I'm already living off what I expect to earn each month in retirement.  Meaning, if you subtract debt payments which will be paid off by the time I retire, what I have left each month now is about the same or a little less than I collect each month when I retire.  Given that I have 5 years to build up my portfolio, thus increasing income in retirement, I may end up better off than I am now.  So that takes a lot of the worry out of retirement.

Friday, September 29, 2017

NLY WILL BE NEXT STOCK PURCHASE WITH MONEY FROM SWAGBUCKS

After a few hours of research, I've decided to make NLY my next stock purchased with money earned on Swagbucks.  Although this REIT pays quarterly instead of monthly, it has a 9.62% yield on current price of $12.19 per share.  It also has a very low P/E of 4.22 with sufficient earnings to more than cover their quarterly dividend of 30 cents per share.  Since REITs throw off a lot of income as a rule, it will make a good addition to my ROTH IRA where the income will be tax free.  I should be able to easily earn enough on Swagbucks to make my initial purchase before the ex. date of 12/28 to collect my first dividend in January 2018.

SEPTEMBER 2017 SETS NEW RECORD FOR DIVIDEND INCOME!

The month of September set a new record for dividend income, beating out the previous record set in July of this year, by a little over 2%!  Total number of shares owned increased by over 2% from the end of August, through reinvested dividends and additional cash purchases.  It's been 5 years since I started rebuilding my investment portfolio after suffering a couple of heart attacks and spending all my savings on medical bills.  I continue to be amazed at how well it's all going!  At the current rate of accretion, I should surpass the value of my old portfolio in less than two years!  Dividend income will surpass income from the old portfolio by the end of next year.  Couldn't ask for anything better than that.

For the end of the month I collected a whopping 15 dividend payments!  What's even more exciting is, the first of October it happens all over again!  Talk about keeping a person motivated.  The whole process is really starting to snowball now, with monthly dividend income up over 35% since January of this year!  I sometimes think I should try something different to maybe gain a little edge, but at this point, I believe I'm better off sticking with my original plan.  You really can't argue with the results.  I set out to build a portfolio that would throw off a bunch of cash each month and that's exactly what has happened.  So I'm going to keep the ball rolling.  

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

DEBT TO ASSET RATIO DOWN SINCE SEPTEMBER 2016!

Money has been running a little tight since I bought a newer car, so I decided to do a comparison of debt from September of last year to September of this year.  While some account balances dropped dramatically, others remained about the same.  That in itself was depressing enough, but it was even more alarming to discover my total debt had increased by 24% in one year.  

However, total investment assets had increased during that same time span by a whopping 94%!  So while total debt increased, my debt to assets ratio dropped from 3.77 to 2.45.  Since I continue to pay the balances down as much as possible each month and add to my investments at every opportunity, this should continue to improve.  But to hurry that along some, I've decided to do the "debt snowball" and pay extra on my lowest balance until it's payed off.  Then I'll take the money I was paying them and add it to the next lowest balance until it's eliminated.  By continuing this process, I should be able to be debt free before I retire in 5 years!  

Even though I'm still not happy about the debt, having a plan to eliminate it, puts a positive spin on an otherwise depressing scenario.  It's also nice to know that my debt to assets ratio continues to improve on a monthly basis.  (To figure debt to assets ratio, divide total debt by total assets.)    

Friday, September 22, 2017

QUESTIONING CLM AND CRF'S LATEST REPORTS TO SHAREHOLDERS

I've been a shareholder in both CLM and CRF for quite some time now.  As a dividend investor, I love the high monthly dividend payments even though I know they're not really representative of the funds earnings.  It's just nice to get those big payments every month.  However, I had considered selling both after looking over their most recent reports to shareholders.  Once again, they both report substantial returns which I would ordinarily be quite happy with.  The problem is, they always seem to report positive returns while the value of my shares continue to diminish.  Maybe I'm missing something here, but if the fund is making money, should the value of your shares be going up instead of down?  O.K., I understand that a major part of the big monthly dividend is a return of capital, which reduces my average cost per share.  I'm just wondering if I continue to take dividends in cash, will my shares eventually dwindle down to nothing?  Not really sure how that will work out.  

Instead of selling, I decided to keep both positions for now.  To reduce the risk of a total loss, I'm taking the precaution of collecting monthly dividends in cash and putting them to work elsewhere, at least for now.  What made me decide to keep the funds was the fact that they're both pretty highly rated on Morningstar.  I trust Morningstar ratings pretty well, so I'll hang on to them for a while longer and see how it goes.

COLLECTED 15 DIVIDENDS IN THE PAST 7 DAYS!

It's been a great week dividend wise, with 15 dividend payments received during the past seven days!  That's whats so exciting about dividend investing, the money just keeps rolling in.  Whether I take the cash or reinvest it, I just keep collecting more and more each month!  With recent stock purchases, I'm up to a total of 481 dividend payments per year or an average of 40 dividends per month.  While most of the dividend payments are still pretty small, the monthly total is a significant amount.  It's already enough to cover some of my monthly bills.  Just got to keep growing the payments through reinvested dividends and additional cash investments and I should be doing quite well by the time I retire in 5 years.

The 401k is moving right along.  While total return for 2017 is only around 1.39%, twice monthly payroll contributions have increased total account value quite nicely.  This is really my wild card account.  While I got to pick where to invest my money, I have very little control over the account otherwise.  So whatever it eventually grows to, it will have involved very little effort on my part.  Hopefully it does well.

I'm about to collect another $25 from Swagbucks, which I'll divert to my investment account.  I'd like to add a third monthly dividend stock purchased with money made from Swagbucks.  I like the idea of creating streams of income from money earned outside my regular job.  This is money I've earned from working online at home.  It would be great to see more income from sources outside my regular job.  So I'm working to make that happen.   

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

PSEC STAKE INCREASES MONTHLY CASH FLOW 3%!

Last month I purchased shares of PSEC for my Roth account, but after doing a little more research, I decided to buy a stake for my IRA account as well.  Total shares purchased will boost monthly dividend income by 3%, which is exciting in itself.  However, the real reasons I decided to purchase more shares was due to heavy buying by insiders and because of an article I read saying that the stock was trading at a discount to net asset value, whereby you were getting $1 in assets for 93 cents.  Sounds like my kind of deal!

When I looked up the insider buying, I noticed one officer of the company had accumulated over 7 million shares.  This would put his stake in the company around $50 million.  I figure if this guy who really knows what's going on with company is willing to risk so much money, it's probably O.K. for me to risk a few hundred.  At any rate, his investment is earning him $420,000 per month in dividends (7,000,000 x .06)!  That works out to 5 million 40 thousand dollars per year!  If the stock remained roughly where it is, it would take him less than 10 years to collect all his money back in dividends.  If it moves up some, he stands to make a killing.  I don't have anywhere near that kind of money to work with, but whatever I make, I make.    

Friday, September 1, 2017

SEPTEMBER 2017 OFF TO GREAT START WITH 11 DIVIDENDS!

While the month of August didn't generate any new records, the month of September looks promising.  Collected a total of 11 dividend payments on the first day of September, with 31 more to follow!  Was happy to see my first dividend from INTC and PFE, since adding them to my portfolio.  Looking forward to many more to come from these two.  

No major plans for this month, although I have put into play an idea I had for increasing overall yields while lowering average price per share.  I followed the effect reinvested dividends had on average price per share and naturally, when prices are rising reinvested dividends increase average price per share, lowering dividend yields.  So my idea was to only reinvest dividends in stocks who's prices have gone down and collect cash dividends from stocks showing price increases.  While, on the face of it, this may sound like a bad idea, since I'm reinvesting in stocks who's prices are dropping and not buying more shares of stocks showing a profit, I think it will work out in the end due to the fickle nature of the stock market.  I've invested long enough to know that prices go up and down frequently, with seemingly no real rime or reason.  That being the case, why not pick up more shares when the prices are low and stop buying when the prices are high.  If some of my shares jump way up in price, I can always sell and collect cash profits in lieu of future dividends.  Since initiating this plan two weeks ago, my cash balances have doubled in all three of my personal investment accounts.

While August didn't set any new records, I am pleased to report my total number of shares owned has increased by 46% from the beginning of 2017 to the end of August!  Average monthly dividend income has also increased by over 40% during the same time frame!

    

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

MID MONTH DIVIDEND PAYMENTS SET NEW RECORD FOR ANNUAL INCOME!

The seven dividend payments collected today pushed annual dividend income to a new record high, beating out the total year's income earned in 2016!  With the biggest half of this month remaining (income wise) and four of the biggest months of the year still to go, it's going to be a great year!  With today's purchase of PSEC and reinvested dividends, I'll have more shares working for me next month, so the last quarter of the year is going to be a big money earner dividend wise.  Of course I still could not retire on my current dividends, but every month is making my retirement look better and better.

Today's purchase of PSEC shares and the purchase of MAIN for my Roth IRA were both paid for with money earned from Swagbucks.  If I continue investing my Swagbucks earnings until my retirement in 4 1/2 years, I'll be earning way more in dividends per month from the stock purchased, than I currently earn from Swagbucks!  Currently, I'm less than $5 away from earning another $25 payment from Swagbucks.

Just to give readers an idea of the progress I've made since January 2013 until now, I earned more in dividend income from today's 7 dividends than I earned for my biggest month in 2013.

Friday, August 11, 2017

PURCHASING SECOND STOCK WITH CASH EARNED FROM SWAGBUCKS!

Next Tuesday's scheduled purchase of PSEC shares will be my second purchase of stock using money earned through Swagbucks!  (See link in Link Exchange)  I'm excited about this because it's a second stream of income created using money earned at home, over the internet.  This purchase will add another 12 dividend payments per year, bringing total number of annual dividend payments to 469.  It will also increase monthly income by a little over 1%.  Not a big increase in income, but it all adds up.

So, with 469 dividend payments per year, 25 paydays from work, 28 interest payments and 12 Swagbucks payments, I'm now getting paid 534 times per year.  While most of these payments are still small, they continue to increase every single month.  It's like getting a raise every month.  If you add in the 12 cash back payments I get from my Discover checking account and the 12 gift cards from Bing rewards, I actually get paid at least 558 times per year!  At some point, this is all going to start adding up to a lot of money. 

Friday, August 4, 2017

ANNUAL DIVIDEND INCOME SET TO DOUBLE FOR FOURTH YEAR IN A ROW!

Did a quick estimate of dividend income for the remainder of 2017 and am pleased to report that, for the fourth year in a row, annual dividend income will double compared to last year's total!  As I've said before, I don't expect this trend to continue indefinitely, since it will require more and more cash contributions to keep doubling income year after year.  At some point, earned income is unlikely to keep up with demand.  But for now, it's nice to see the trend continues.  

Since this year's income double is in the bag, so to speak, I'll be looking at ways to double annual dividend income in 2018.  If I implement a plan now, I should be able to pull it off for a 5th year in a row.  I don't count income made from trading stocks, only dividend income.  I also don't count income from my 401k account, since I have no way of knowing how much of that is actual dividends.  So I'll be looking at ways to dramatically boost dividend income in the following months.  One easy way would be to invest my entire Christmas bonus, but I've already decided to use half that for Christmas presents.  Still, investing half my bonus will significantly increase monthly dividend income going in to the new year.  While this will most likely entail taking on some risk by increasing positions in some of the higher yield stocks, I plan to balance out the risk by increase stakes in some of my less volatile big name shares.

Then there's always the bond funds to consider.  Price wise, they're not likely to do well in an environment of rising interest rates, but they do still pay pretty well.  I'll most likely build positions in these through reinvested dividends more than cash out of pocket.  While bond funds have always seemed like an iffy proposition to me, I've collected a lot of money from them for the past few years.    

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

JULY 2017 SETS NEW RECORD FOR MONTHLY DIVIDEND INCOME!

July 2017 was a great month for dividend income, setting a new record high!  It beat out the previous record set in June by 5%, although I don't expect this record to last long.  August kicked off with 9 dividend payments on the first, including my first dividend from VZ.  I initially bought shares of VZ with the intention of making a little money in capital gains, but after seeing the nice dividend I collected, I'm not in any hurry to sell the shares.  I collect my trade stock dividends in cash, so it's nice to see rising cash balances in my investment accounts.  

Completed the purchase of MRK and NCV for my IRA account.  MRK is a trade stock and NCV I bought for income.  There again, I'm not in any hurry to sell MRK unless I can make a ridiculously large profit in a short amount of time.  I'll be happy to collect cash dividends from them as well as VZ.  Have been very pleased with the performance of my portfolio this year.  Even though price gains haven't been stellar, the increase in dividend income has been phenomenal!  Just have to stick with the plan and keep things moving.

Cash permitting, I plan on purchasing more shares of CHI for my ROTH IRA to boost monthly income once again.  With any luck and maybe a little overtime at work, I may even add to my stake in SPHD.  I'm getting to the point where reinvested dividends are increasing monthly income substantially, so I'm spending more time working on improving the quality of my investments.  To keep it simple, for the individual stocks, I'm sticking with the Dividend Aristocrats with a history of increasing dividends.  For funds I want to increase my stakes in S&P 500 funds SPHD and SPLV.  I'll let the bond funds increase on their own through reinvested dividends.  

The 401k is doing good for the year.  I've been working extra hours so my 5% contributions have been much higher of late.  Even though my employer doesn't match any contributions, I'm still coming out good, since my contributions mostly come out of taxes instead of take home pay.  I figure whatever it grows into will be that much more for retirement.  Right now it still makes up only one seventh of my total investments, but with twice monthly payroll contributions, it may well become one of the largest holdings before I retire.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

HWBK BECOMES SECOND "FREE" STOCK!

HWBK joins UVE as my second "free" stock.  What I mean by free stock is, I have none of my out of pocket cash invested.  Like UVE, I purchased shares of HWBK back when they were cheap and held on until I saw over a 63% gain.  Then I sold enough shares to take out all my original cash investment and kept the remaining shares.  The way I see it, from now on, whatever these stocks earn in dividends or capital gains is pure profit!  So they're definitely long term holdings.  Why would I sell something producing cash dividends when I have no money invested in them?

I used the cash I pulled from HWBK to add MRK to my IRA account.  Aside from gaining 4 additional dividend payments per year, the dividend yield from MRK is double what I was earning from HWBK.  My investment in MRK could be long or short term, depending on price performance.  Should I see a nice price increase anytime soon, I'll sell and take the cash.  However, if the price should lag, I see nothing wrong with holding on to a good stock and drawing the dividends.

That's the basis of my trading strategy I've recently developed for my non-taxable accounts.  I buy a position in one of the big blue chip dividend stocks and wait for a big enough price increase to sell for a small profit.  I keep the cash profit, less commissions and reinvest my original cash in another big blue chip dividend payer.  If I get stuck holding the stock, it's O.K. because I still have a good stock paying cash dividends.  Some of the stocks I've sold so far, were not bad stocks, but if I can collect the same amount of money as I'd get from 10 or 12 years worth of dividends by selling now, I'm going to sell.  Along the way, I figure I'll come across opportunities like UVE and HWBK where I'll be able to pull out all my cash and keep the profit as shares of the original investment, creating more "free" stocks for my portfolio.

Friday, July 21, 2017

SOLD TROW BOUGHT PFE

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I looked over my portfolio for additional stocks to sell for capital gains and reinvest the cash.  I had a small profit on TROW in my ROTH IRA, so I sold the shares and kept the profit as cash.  Then reinvested the original capital in shares of PFE which is closer to its 52 week low than the 52 week high.  This increases quarterly dividend income by nearly 1% and leaves me room for share price growth.  I may have to hold the stock for quite some time before I see enough growth to sell and repeat the process, but it's a start.

Yesterday's trade along with the one I made today will nearly double investment income for the month of July 2017!  While I might not be able to do this every month, I think it's quite possible to pull this off several times per year, allowing me to greatly improve investment income.  I've decided to collect cash dividends on individual stocks while I wait to trade for capital gains.  Also decided that each time I sell a stock, I'll keep the profit (less commission costs) in cash and reinvest the original principle.  It's a work in progress that I think could greatly enhance monthly investment income.  We'll see how it goes.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

SOLD CSX IN IRA AND BOUGHT NCV

While I hadn't planned on selling any individual stocks in any of my accounts, in this case it just made sense.  I have been sitting on a small 10%+ gain on CSX thinking I'd keep the stock long term for increasing dividends.  However, when I realized it would take over 12 years to collect as much in dividends as I could get right now by selling and taking the profit I reconsidered.  Then I was left with the problem of replacing the quarterly dividend payments by investing the money elsewhere.  So I decided to put the money in monthly dividend bond fund NCV.  Not only did I replace the three quarterly dividend payments lost by selling CSX, but I also added an additional 8 payments per year, bringing my total annual dividend payments up to 453!  On top of all that, the monthly income from NCV is a little over 392% more than I earned from CSX!

So this has me thinking I should watch for more opportunities to cash in on capital gains in my non-taxable accounts and reinvest the cash to boost monthly dividends.  I already have a few good prospects I could take advantage of.  The only question that comes to mind is, how can I repeat this process over and over?  I'm thinking it would be a good way to add a great deal of money to my final retirement stash.  I'm going to have to look into this a little more and figure out a way to incorporate it regularly in my investment plan.  I'll let you know how it goes.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

IMPROVING YOUR PERSONAL PROFIT MARGIN

Was reading an article recently about becoming a millionaire.  Although that's not specifically one of my goals, it is within the realm of possibility.  Anyway, the thing that really got my attention was their advice to improve your personal profit margin.  Just like a business, we all have either a profit or loss in our personal finances, hopefully a profit.  By improving our our profit margins we free up more cash to put towards our investment goals.

There are basically two ways of doing this.  You can either cut expenses or increase your personal income.  If you've already cut expenses to the bone, then you'll have to look at ways to increase the amount of money you make.  Possibly taking on a side job or monetizing a hobby.  If you're already setting aside cash for investing, you can improve your profit margin by putting more money to work.  This month I plan on buying more shares of AOD for my ROTH IRA, which will increase my monthly cash flow from dividends by 1.5%.  That's admittedly not much of an increase, but they all add up and they all improve personal profit margins.

All this got me to thinking about what else I could do to improve my personal profit margin.  I try to keep my expenses as low as possible, but there is still room for improvement.  One idea I came up with is to use more coupons.  I use coupons regularly, but there are a lot of times I make purchases even though I could have used a coupon to get a better deal.  Coupons are like cash, you can either use them with the money budgeted for whatever you're purchasing and buy more, or you can save the amount of the coupons and put it towards increasing investment capital.  Of late, I've been doing more of the former and spending the extra cash to buy more than I normally would.  So here is an easy way for me to improve my profit margin, simply by using the coupons and buying only what I need and putting the cash I save to work, generating more income.

If you give it a little thought, there are probably a lot of little ways to improve your personal profit margin.  Individually they may not seem like much, but they all add up.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

ENJOYING SUMMER SUNSHINE



Taking a short break in the shade during a recent walk around the Missouri state capital building.  Lots of interesting places to see on the walking tour of historic downtown Jefferson City.

MONTHLY DIVIDEND INCOME UP 826% IN JUST 4 YEARS!

As if setting a new record for monthly dividend income in June 2017 wasn't enough motivation, I decided to compare it with dividend income from June 2013.  2013 was when I began to rebuild my investment portfolio after losing all my money after having stent surgery with no insurance.  I was overwhelmed to find that monthly dividend income had increased a phenomenal 826% in just 4 short years!  While I think it unlikely I'll be able to do this again in the next 4 years, if I do, my retirement is looking much better than expected.

Of course I actually have 5 more years until I plan to retire and even then, health permitting, I'll most likely work part time.  To supplement my Social Security, I plan on drawing from my ROTH account first to allow more time for my regular IRA and 401k to continue compounding dividends.  Whether at a job or working on my own, I plan to keep active in retirement for as long as possible.  I believe it's better for your health to keep busy as you age.  Once people sit down, it seems like they go downhill quick after that.

I'm excited to see how the next 4 years will go!  

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

JUNE 2017 BEATS OLD RECORD DIVIDEND INCOME BY OVER 20%!

As I suspected it would, the month of June 2017 set a new record high for dividend income, beating out the previous record, set in March of this year, by over 20%!  This is mostly due to increased shares purchased since March and reinvested dividends.  While I'm always excited about new record highs, I suspect this one won't last long.  If last year is any indication, the month of July will be even better than June.  With the special stock dividend from HWBK, this month kicked off with a bang!  Dividend payments collected so far are almost equal to half last month's total and I still have middle of month and the big end of month dividends to go.

Want to wish everyone a happy and safe 4th of July holiday!  While I have to work, I'm O.K. with it, since it's double time pay for the holiday.  Working on paying off the personal loan I took out to buy a better car.  So far I'm 4 payments ahead.  The holiday pay and overtime I've worked this week will put me 5 payments ahead.  The quicker I pay off the loan, the more I save in interest and the more money I'll have available to invest.  

While comparing end of month statements for May 2017 to end of year statements for 2016, I was both shocked and pleased to see that I'd already invested the total amount that I'd planned to invest for the entire year!  So whatever I manage to contribute for the rest of the year is just icing on the cake.  It should be pretty good though, since payroll deductions for the 401k will add a substantial amount and I set aside money every month for additional cash investments to my ROTH and IRA accounts.  Just have to see how it goes.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

JUNE 2017 TO SET NEW RECORD FOR MONTHLY DIVIDEND INCOME!

Recently purchased shares of CHI for my taxable account, bringing total number of dividend payments up to 445 per year!  While that in itself is exciting, what's even more exciting is that this month will set a new record high for monthly dividend income!  Of course it won't hold the record long, since following months will far outstrip this month's earnings.  But it's nice to see things moving in the right direction.

There have been a lot of ups and downs recently in the stock market.  It hasn't worried me much, since I've been picking up extra shares at lower prices.  Even with the turmoil caused by political wrangling and world terrorist attacks, dividend income continues to increase, even when the market is down.  If you're looking to live off dividends in retirement as I am, instead of selling off stocks and living on the proceeds, increasing dividends are more important than increased stock prices.  You only earn money off of stock price increases by selling the stock.  With dividends, you collect month after month either increasing your number of shares if you reinvest dividends or collecting the cash payments.  I'd much rather hang on to the shares and keep collecting the cash.

Looks as though December will be the biggest month of the year once again, with a whopping 48 dividend payments!  I'm especially glad to see the increase in monthly income, since I recently took out a personal loan to buy a better car.  I was hesitant to increase debt, but it will help my credit score in the long run and I have a much nicer car to drive.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

NEW STOCK PURCHASES RAISE TOTAL DIVIDEND PAYMENTS TO 433 PER YEAR!

June 13, 2017

Today's purchase of GUT for my taxable account and MAIN for the ROTH IRA added another 26 dividend payments per year, for a total of 433!  Payments from the new shares will increase monthly dividend income by over 3%.  After reading GUT's latest report to shareholders, I'm going to be buying several more shares.  I like the monthly income and I believe there's room for more growth in the utilities sector.  While I do own shares in individual utility companies, I think I'll do better income wise to hold a big chunk of stock in GUT.  MAIN is one of my core long term stocks, mostly due to their 14 dividends per year.  The most exciting thing about this purchase is that I paid for the stock with money earned through Swagbucks.  (See the link on right side of page.)  So I've converted my Swagbucks earnings into a monthly dividend producer.  I plan on investing all future earnings from Swagbucks in this same stock, creating an income producing asset with no money out of pocket.

Went car shopping on line yesterday and was surprised to find that the car I want is amazingly inexpensive.  I'm not looking to buy new, just newer than the car I have, with lower mileage.  I'd also like something a little more roomy and comfortable than my Honda Civic, so I was shopping for Buick Centuries.  Made me realize how behind the times I've gotten on some things.  I didn't realize they stopped making them in 2005.  Oh well, that's still newer than my 2002 and I came across one nearby with only 24,000 miles and priced at only $4,950.  I looked at these cars new back in 2005 and they were around $24,000, so I didn't buy one then.  I'll be setting aside some cash and shopping for a good deal later this year.  Wish me luck.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

HAWTHORN BANK TO RAISE DIVIDEND AND PAY SPECIAL STOCK DIVIDEND!

Hawthorn Bank (HWBK) will increase their cash dividend to 7 cents per share and pay a special stock dividend of 4% on July 1st 2017 to shareholders of record at the close of business day June 15, 2017!  While the cash dividend itself is not real exciting, it represents a 16.7% increase over their previous dividend.  I bought this stock, not only because it's a local company that I am familiar with, but especially for the special 4% stock dividend they've paid every year since I first purchased shares.  So I'm glad to see them continuing the stock dividend and raising cash dividends as well.  Not to mention that my current holdings in Hawthorn are up over 60% since my original purchase!

Regarding some of my most recent stock purchases, QCOM is already showing a gain with INTC and ORA very near positive increases in share price.  VZ is still lagging, since I purchased their shares right before they released a poor quarterly report.  I do expect VZ to eventually recover and I expect to hold all these stocks very long term.

Just collected another cash payment from Swagbucks!  Already transferred the cash to my bank account and on to my investment account.  While I'm not making a killing by any means, this makes my sixth cash payment from Swagbucks since the first of this year and I'm well on my way toward the next one.  You can cash in earnings for gift cards, but I choose the cash option through Paypal so I can add the earnings to my ROTH account.  I've decided to put all Swagbucks cash in to purchasing shares of MAIN, so I'll collect 14 dividends per year!  If you want to check it out, see the link on the lower right side of this page.  It's a great way to save and make money!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

EIGHT DIVIDEND PAYMENTS FOR THE FIRST DAY OF JUNE 2017!

While the 8 dividend payments I received today were not quite as exciting as the 15 I got yesterday, the fact that I've collected 23 dividends in two days is very exciting!  That's the way I like to see those cash payments rolling in each month.  Of course I reinvested them all so I'll get even bigger payments next month, but eventually I'll be taking the payments in cash.

Still haven't been able to find out if HWBK is going to pay a special stock dividend in July like they have in the past few years.  May have to just wait and see.  I am a bit partial to Hawthorn Bank, since it is a local business, but even though I own stock, I do not have an account with them.  I've been thinking about moving my main checking and savings accounts there, but I'd like to use up the checks I have from my old bank.  It would be much more convenient, since it's closer to my home than my current bank.  I've been with my old bank since 1994, but that being said, they've never really done anything for me.  I've never had a loan there and I don't get any kind of special treatment for being a loyal customer.  So why shouldn't I move the money to the bank I own shares in?  My current bank is privately owned, so I can't buy their shares.  Perhaps I'll see if Hawthorn will buy my old checks from me to get me to switch.  It would involve switching some automatic payments and linking some accounts to the new bank, but I think I'd feel better knowing my money was in a bank I own a part of.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

COLLECTED 15 DIVIDEND PAYMENTS FOR THE LAST DAY OF MAY 2017!

Just collected 15 dividend payments for the last day of May!  Total dividend income is up a whopping 100% over May of 2016!  I was very pleased to see that during the first five months of this year, I have added 20% more shares than the total shares owned at the end of 2013.  2013 was the year I began rebuilding my investment portfolio, so I'm very pleased with the progress I've made in the past 4 years.  Still a long way to go before I retire, but things are looking good so far.

I'm expecting good things for the month of June, with it's 39 dividend payments.  I haven't done the math, but I'm pretty confident of doubling monthly income, compared to last year, once again in June.  So far I've only had one month with less than a 100% increase and it came in close to doubling.  Just got to keep things moving forward for the rest of the year.

Collected my first dividend payment from ORA, but it looks like I got in too late to collect the upcoming dividend from INTC.  I'll most likely have to wait until September to collect from Intel.  But it's nice to see they've raised their dividend once again, starting in June.  It's always a good sign when they have a history of raising dividends and plenty of income to continue doing so.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

INCREASED PORTFOLIO VALUE OVER 10% IN MAY 2017!

As I await the big end of the month dividend payouts, I'm pleased to report, through a combination of cash investments and reinvested dividends, I was able to increase the overall value of my portfolio by over 10% in the month of May!  Average monthly dividend income increased by 8%, keeping me on track to double dividend income again this year!  Although I've had a few setbacks, in the form of dividend cuts, I'm very pleased with the overall performance of my investments for the first 5 months of 2017.  

Don't have any big plans for the month of June.  Would like to complete the purchase of shares of MAIN for my ROTH account.  This would add an additional 14 dividend payments per year, bring my total up to 421, or 1.15 dividends per day.  When reinvesting dividends, frequency of payout boosts yields, so I'm always happy to increase the number of times I get paid per year.  I plan on following up the MAIN purchase by adding a stake in GUT to my taxable account and buying shares of SPLV for my IRA.  Those two purchases would add another 24 dividends per year, for a grand total of 445!  The rest of the year, I'll concentrate on building positions in some of the individual stocks I own.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

TOTAL NUMBER OF DIVIDEND PAYMENTS PER YEAR UP TO 407!

The purchase of shares in INTC and AEG Tuesday, brought the total number of dividend payments I receive per year up to 407!  While the stakes in Intel and Aegon will only raise average monthly income by a little over 1%, I think they'll both make good long term investments.  I'm a little iffy about AEG, but since they're the parent company of TransAmerica, who manages my 401k, I bought some shares for the dividend to recapture some of the fees they charge me for managing my account.

The market started of great yesterday, but ended up not doing much.  Today it looks like the trend is mostly down.  I kind of expect that this time of year, so I'll be keeping a close eye out for bargains as share prices drop.  Right now I've got my automatic purchase plans set to add to CNP for my taxable account, I'm buying more SPHD for my IRA and I'm purchase shares of MAIN for my Roth IRA.  The addition of MAIN will add another 14 dividend payments per year, bringing my annual total to 421!  Not sure how soon these purchases will go through, it depends on available cash, but I plan on buying MAIN first.

I diverted some of my dividends to cash to help pay for upcoming purchases, but with the price of stocks going down, I want to take advantage of reinvesting dividends to add to my positions at the lower prices.  With the Fed's set to raise interest rates, I decided the best dividends to convert to cash were from the bond funds.  My thinking behind this is that an increase in interest rates will drive bond fund shares lower, at least temporarily, so might as well take the cash for now.   

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

BOOSTING MONTHLY DIVIDEND INCOME ANOTHER 2%!

Just completed my big stock purchase of ORA, CCD, SPHD and QCOM to boost monthly dividend income by 10%, but I'm not resting on my laurels.  I've decided I can squeeze out enough cash this month to also purchase additional shares of AGD which will increase monthly dividends by another 2%!  I've put off the purchase of JNJ until later in the year, when I have more available cash.  May divert some dividend income to cash to help pay for JNJ shares.  I'd like to buy as big a stake as possible and am hoping to catch it at a better price in June or July.  Have to wait and see how that goes.

With the latest stock purchases, my total number of dividend payments per year has increased to 401!  That's 401 dividend "paydays" each year.  More than one per day!  JNJ will add another 4 dividends per year for a grand total of 405.  I have no plans to add additional stocks once I've reached that point, since I've already surpassed my goal of a dividend per day.  I'll be concentrating on growing positions in currently owned stocks to increase monthly income.  

At this point, I have to say this new portfolio I started 4 years ago has far exceeded my expectations.  I now make almost as much in dividends in one month as I made for the entire year of 2013!  How exciting is that?  It continually amazes me how quickly monthly cash flow is increasing.  I certainly feel like I made the right decision in 2013 to concentrate on dividend paying stocks in rebuilding my investments.  It's paid off remarkably well.  Now it's practically taken on a life of it's own, with reinvested dividends continually increasing monthly income and building nice cash balances as well.  

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

BIG 10% JUMP IN DIVIDEND INCOME IN MAY 2017!

May 2017 kicked off with great cash inflows to my portfolio from first of the month dividends and additional cash investments!  I'm excited about planned stock purchases this month, using cash received from my employee of the year bonus and savings.  I'll be adding more shares to my stake in CCD, will buy a stake in SPHD for the ROTH account and complete purchases of ORA and JNJ shares as well.  This will give me at least a 10% jump in average monthly dividend income!  Pretty exciting to have such a big increase in a single month!

The month of April 2017 showed a little less than a 100% increase in dividend income over April 2016, breaking my winning streak of 100%+ gains for this year.  While a little disappointing, it only fell short by a little over $1, so I'm still pretty happy with the results.  As I've said in previous posts, I don't expect these outsized gains in dividend income to continue indefinitely.  As balances in my accounts increase, it will become more difficult to add enough extra cash to keep doubling annual dividend income.  Although I most likely will see income double again this year.

Looks like I bought shares of VZ at just the wrong time, since they've not done well after announcing the huge loss of subscibers.  I could have gotten the shares a lot cheaper if I'd waited a week or two.  Still, I think they're a solid long term holding, so I'm not fretting too much.  I can always average down cost of shares by purchasing more shares when the price bottoms out.  

As the year progresses, I'll be looking to boost dividend income through purchases of more shares in some of the higher paying monthly dividend stocks.  I'll also be looking to add to my stakes in some of my individual stock holdings.  I'm expecting to see a slow down in the market around the end of June through the month of July and possibly into August as the summer vacation season kicks in and people are busy with other things.  This hasn't always proved to be the case, but does seem to happen quite often, so I like to watch things closely that time of year and pick up as many bargains as I can.




Tuesday, April 25, 2017

REINVESTING DIVIDENDS

Just read an interesting article by Warren Buffett on dividends.  He explained Berkshire's policy on dividends, specifically why they do not pay a dividend and how you could generate "dividend like" income by selling a percentage of shares each year.  A very interesting article.  However, it did not answer my question on whether or not Berkshire reinvests dividends they receive on additional shares of stock or do they keep the cash to reinvest elsewhere.

Generally I choose to reinvest all dividends in additional shares of stock.  However, at times it seems contraindicated to do so.  Say you own a large block of stock in a company paying out nice dividends.  Perhaps you bought the shares at a very low price, as I did with UVE.  Now the price is up 100 - 200%, do you still reinvest dividends?  Doing so increases your cost basis, since you're buying new shares at the much higher price.  If you choose to continue holding the stock as I have with UVE, it would seem prudent to take the dividends in cash.  (In this case, I'm still reinvesting in UVE.)  

I mentioned in a post not long ago my strategy for avoiding total losses by taking cash dividends on some of the high risk stocks or funds.  When you collect the dividends in cash, even if the stock price goes to zero, you don't have a total loss because you've still got the cash.  So if you take that a little further, the cash you collect from some of your more questionable investments can be used to help purchase more shares of core stocks for your portfolio.  I've used this many times, collecting cash dividends from current holdings to help pay for new investments or additional shares of low volatility stocks with increasing dividends.  I figure this way I'm still reinvesting dividends, just not always in the stocks that paid them.

At any rate, I must be doing something right.  My monthly dividend income continues to increase every month, even though I've had some holdings cut their payouts.  I always hate to see dividend cuts, but as long as the return is still acceptable and cutting the dividend seems to be the right thing for them to do, I don't mind holding on to these shares.  If they stop paying dividends, I sell immediately.  I don't want any stocks unless they pay some kind of dividend.


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

401k BALANCE RISING RAPIDLY!

While my 401k account through work is still the smallest of my 4 investment accounts, the balance is rising rapidly in comparison!  This is mostly attributable to the twice monthly deposits from payroll as the return on investments is only around 3% so far.  However, since the majority of this money is coming from money I would have been paying in taxes, I'm quite pleased with the result.  Within the next two years, it's quite possible the 401k balance could surpass that of my taxable investment account and may even come close to matching my IRA balance!  Pretty amazing considering I just opened the account last year.

Also amazing is the progress I've made with the Roth IRA account.  I opened the account in June of last year and it is now the largest of my 4 investment accounts.  This is mostly due to cash contributions, but I have also transferred some investment cash and dividends from my taxable account to the Roth to reduce taxable income and increase non-taxable income.  It's working out quite well.  Monthly dividend income from the Roth account now far exceeds that from the taxable account and is rapidly gaining on the regular IRA's returns!  

Although 2017 has been a remarkable year for my investments so far, it has not been without it's setbacks.  I have had a couple of dividend reductions, mostly from the bond funds.  But this wasn't entirely unexpected and the dividend yields on these funds are still high enough that I have no plans to sell my shares.  Unrealized returns on the value of my stocks has been pretty lackluster all around.  The 401k has a higher return on share prices than my other 3 accounts combined and it's only 3.99% to date.  However, I've taken measures to boost capital gains in the future and since I'm investing for dividend income, I'm not overly concerned about whether the stocks go up in price.  In fact, since I'm purchasing more shares all the time, through re-invested dividends and additional cash purchases, I'm kind of happy to see the prices drop occasionally, so I can pick up some bargains.

Looks like I just need to stick with the plan for the rest of the year and 2017 will turn out to be another good year investment wise.  

Thursday, April 13, 2017

SPRING EARNINGS SEASON, HOW IS YOUR PORTFOLIO GROWING?

Spring, a great time to turn your attention to your gardening plans and your plans for growing your portfolio.  This is one of my favorite times of the year, for both reasons.  I am an avid gardener and I enjoy reading all the annual reports that start rolling in this time of year.  Getting a detailed analysis on how each stock has performed in the past year makes it much easier to plan upcoming cash investments with an aim toward maximizing returns.  

So far, I've reviewed about half of the annual reports for the 31 stocks and funds in my portfolio.  A couple of things I've learned, UVE and UTG which both pay modest dividends, seem to have very good prospects as long term investments.  Also liked what I saw in SPHD and SPLV's annual report, so I'll be adding to my holdings on all four this year.  Recent purchases have been aimed at boosting monthly dividend income while reducing volatility.  I consider additional investments in the four stocks/funds mentioned above as low volatility.  So I'll also be on the lookout for a couple of good high yield investments to boost monthly income.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

BOOSTED MONTHLY DIVIDEND INCOME BY NEARLY 10%!

In earlier posts this month, I talked about selling SPHD shares in my taxable account to lock in some capital gains and take advantage of tax break by transferring the cash to my IRA.  All that worked out well, but by purchasing shares of CHI and VZ with the money I transferred, I nearly doubled monthly income on that portion of my investments and increased overall monthly dividends by nearly 10%!  It's a win, win, win situation!  Of course I'll have to pay taxes on the capital gains next year, but I can offset that by contributions to my IRA in 2017.

My next big purchase will be ORA and JNJ, sometime around the end of this month or the beginning of next month.  While they won't add a great deal to monthly dividends, they are both solid investments and should add a measure of stability to my portfolio.  I always try to balance out the high risk/high return investments with more solid, low volatility plays.  Recent political tensions may make it possible for me to pick up these shares at a lower price.  We'll just have to see how it all plays out.

While the overall value of my investments may suffer a setback in the near future, I'm looking at it more as an opportunity to pick up extra shares at a better price.  As long as dividend income continues to increase, I'm not terribly concerned with the price of the stock.  After all, my plan is to draw on the dividend income in retirement, not to live on cash from selling stock.

Friday, April 7, 2017

INVESTING IN GEOTHERMAL THROUGH PURCHASE OF ORA

Talk about making changes, after watching a video on the future of geothermal energy and the massive amounts of untapped reserves in the U.S., I decided now might be a good time to get in on the rush to invest in geothermal technology.  Did a lot of research and came up with ORA from an article I read on Motley Fool.  There were a lot of cheaper stocks, mostly with no earnings or no dividends, so I'm going with ORA for their positive earnings and quarterly dividend payouts.  While their 0.65% dividend yield is nothing to get excited about, it's the potential for staggering capital gains and future dividend increases that appeal to me.  

While it remains to be seen whether geothermal will really take off and break the oil industry's hold on world energy markets, if for no other reason, investing in clean energy is the right thing to do.  I'm just hoping it will also be the profitable thing to do.  At any rate, I'll be collecting dividends every quarter.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

UPDATED STOCK PURCHASE PLAN, ABT OUT PFE IN

After doing more research, I decided to drop ABT from my stock purchase plan and replace it with PFE.  While I think ABT is a great company, it seems too overpriced for my tastes, so I switched to the more reasonably priced PFE.  Put in an order to purchase shares of CHI and VZ for my IRA account next Tuesday.  The CHI purchase is for boosting monthly dividend income and VZ is a long term play, but also carries a nice quarterly dividend.

Later this month, as cash on hand permits, I'll be buying JNJ and PFE for my Roth IRA.  Once this month's stock purchases are complete, I'll be up to an annual total of 397 dividend payments per year.  Plan on spending the rest of the year increasing current holdings through reinvested dividends and additional cash investments.  Looks like I'm still on track to double dividend income again this year, but we'll have to see how it goes.  Thinking about replacing my car this year, which means I might have less cash to invest, so it really depends on how all that works out.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

ANOTHER RECORD MONTH FOR DIVIDENDS IN MARCH 2017!

The month of March set another record, not only for the highest month for dividend income this year, but also by beating out March 2016's earnings by well over 100%!  April too, is off to a good start with 9 dividends collected so far, equaling over 50% of last year's April income.  Still have 20 more dividends to go for this month, so it's pretty safe to say April 2017 will also show a 100%+ increase over last April!

It's tax time and I have to admit it hasn't gone smoothly for me this year.  Big changes in the tax software I use made it more difficult for me to file.  Also led to an omission of filing a needed form on my part, which in turn led to a letter from the IRS and a delay in collecting my tax refund.  Got the form filled out and mailed and I must say the IRS made it very simple to straighten out the problem, so thanks to the good folks in Kansas City office!

Been very busy at work, lots of extra hours and big changes with a new boss at the helm.  Some I think are most definitely for the better, other changes I'm taking a wait and see approach to.  Always try to keep in mind that I can't get too worked up about anything, don't want them taking away my employee of the year award.  Just thankful to have a job that I like and good people to work with, but the benefits are not bad either.

After making some adjustments in my portfolio to simplify next years taxes, I'm taking my investments in a new direction by adding some big blue chip stocks.  Put in order to purchase stakes in JNJ, ABT and VZ.  Also want to add to my currents stakes in UVE, CSX and GLW.  Sold my shares in SPHD in my taxable account for a small profit and transferred the money to my IRA for a tax deduction.  I intend to buy back SPHD later in the year, since I believe it is a great long term investment, but I'm buying the shares for my Roth IRA so the future income and capital gains will be tax free.  Added BLW, although I'm a little iffy about it, to my IRA for the monthly dividend.  But I'll be taking the dividend payments in cash on this one, just to be on the safe side.

Overall, things are going well.  Income continues to increase at a rapid pace, which never ceases to amaze me.  I keep thinking it's got to slow down sometime, but so far it's showing no signs of doing so.  Doesn't get any better than that.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

I COULD WITHDRAW 5% OF MY TOTAL INVESTMENTS PER YEAR AND NEVER RUN OUT OF MONEY!

If you're like me, you've probably read articles by investment experts saying you should draw anywhere from 2% to 4% per year of your total investments during retirement to make your money last.  I was thinking about this over my morning coffee and did some quick calculations in my head and figured out, with my dividend investments, I could draw 5% a year of the total value of my investments and never run out of money!  The reason being is that 5% of my total investments is only 70% of my annual dividend income.  Which means that not only would I never run out of money but, by reinvesting the 30% of dividends, I can continue to grow my dividend income in retirement with no money out of pocket! 

The real kicker is, I could start taking the 5% right now, if I wanted or needed to.  Of course I have no intention of doing so, because I'd rather grow my income as much as possible while I'm still working.  I also plan on drawing only from my taxable account and my ROTH IRA initially, allowing my 401k to and my IRA to continue to grow until I have to start taking payments from them.  

Friday, March 17, 2017

EXPECTING ANOTHER HUGE GAIN IN DIVIDEND INCOME IN MARCH!

Saw great gains in year over year dividend income in January and February and it looks like March is set to follow the trend!  By mid month, I've already received dividends equal to the entire month's income from 2016!  With 18 more dividend payments this month, it's a pretty safe bet it will trounce March 2016 earnings by a substantial amount.  Since most of the remaining dividends for this month are also the highest paying, it wouldn't surprise me at all to see earnings increase by over 100%!  Which also means that I'm well on my way to doubling dividend income again this year!  

While all this would be exciting enough, I'm also happy to report I'll be able to increase total portfolio value by 20% by the end of April 2017!  The cash to accomplish this is coming from my tax refund and a bonus from work.  Between the two lump sum investments, they should increase monthly dividend income by over 10%!  It's looking like it's going to be another good year.

IT'S TAX TIME, DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOUR REFUND IS GOING?

If you're expecting a tax refund this year, have you decided where to spend the money?  Some people use it to pay bills, some buy a new car or other frills, I'm all for buying myself a raise.  No, I don't mean I'm bribing my boss to give me a raise, I mean I'm investing my tax money in dividend stocks to give myself a raise in monthly dividend income.

I'm happy to report my tax strategy worked out well and reduced my taxable income to the point I owed $0 in federal income taxes.  This, in spite of the fact my earned income increased dramatically in 2016.  Finalized and filed my tax return last week and have already put in the order to purchase shares which will boost monthly cash flow from dividends by a little over 5%!  Nice little raise and I'd be quite happy with that, but I also figured out how to boost dividend income another 5% per month in April by investing an unexpected bonus from work!

SOLD JMP, BOUGHT GAIN FOR A 25% INCREASE IN MONTHLY DIVIDENDS!

While preparing my taxes, I realized I could simplify next year's return by selling my stake in JMP (a limited partnership) in my taxable account.  Not wanting to lose the monthly dividends, I decided to reinvest the money in GAIN.  Not only will this make future taxes easier to prepare, but it locked in a small gain on JMP and increased monthly earnings on this cash investment by 25%!  Tax time is a great time for fine tuning your portfolio!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

FEBRUARY DIVIDEND INCOME UP OVER 100%!

Just collected the final 13 dividend payments for February 2017, for an increase in monthly dividend income of well over 100% compared to February 2016!  If this trend continues, I should have no problem reaching my goal of doubling dividend income again this year.  

How long the Trump rally will continue is anybody's guess, but it's been great for the overall value of my portfolio.  That being said, I'm thinking things will eventually turn and we'll see some downward motion before the end of the year.  With that in mind, I'm currently diverting some dividend income to cash to take advantage of any bargains that may present themselves later in the year.  If I'm wrong and the rally continues, I figure it never hurts to have a pile of cash.

Should collect a check from SendEarnings in March as well as my second cash payment from Swagbucks.  I'll be investing both payments to boost monthly dividends.  While I'm already collecting 372 dividend payments per year, exceeding my goal of a dividend per day, I am thinking about buying shares in another monthly paying fund and a couple of individual stocks.  Probably won't happen in March, but I do have an upcoming bonus from work in April for winning Employee of the Year.  Definitely investing the bonus, just haven't decided how to deploy the windfall as yet.  I'm leaning toward purchasing more shares of quality 5 star funds SPHD and SPLV.  This wouldn't be a big increase to monthly income but it would improve future growth prospects.  On the other hand, if I invested the money in some of the cash cow funds, I'd have more monthly income to put toward purchasing quality shares.  Maybe I'll do both and put half in cash cow stocks and the other half in one of the funds.

February has been another great month overall, so I'm looking forward to what March has in store.  It will be great to kick off the month with another great batch of dividend payments tomorrow!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

AOD PURCHASE INCREASES MONTHLY INCOME ANOTHER 2%!

Just completed purchase of AOD shares for my ROTH account, increasing monthly dividend income 2% on top of the 3% increase with the purchase of NCV!  AOD pays a monthly dividend of $0.058 per share for a yield of 8.38% on their current price.  Looks like I got in early enough to collect the dividend this month.  This purchase increases total number of dividend payments per year to 372, guaranteeing I'll be paid a dividend for every day of 2017!  Off to a good start on doubling dividend income again this year!

Been doing a lot of projections of retirement income and although it's looking much better than a few years ago, I'm thinking about ways to improve things even more.  Originally I had planned to stop working at my earliest Social Security retirement age of 62, but now I'm thinking I'll draw my Social Security and keep working another year or two, as long as my health allows.  By continuing to work and living off earned income, I could invest my Social Security checks each month to dramatically increase dividend income in just a couple of years.  

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

NCV PURCHASE INCREASES MONTHLY DIVIDEND INCOME 3%!

Completed purchase of stake in bond fund NCV, raising monthly dividend income by 3%!  NCV pays a monthly dividend of .065 cents per share for a yield of 11.45% on their price of $6.83.  This is strictly a cash cow purchase and falls into, what I consider, the high risk category of my portfolio.  I'll be collecting the dividends from NCV in cash.  

Diverted more cash from my taxable account to non-taxable ROTH.  Don't want my taxable portfolio to increase too rapidly, although it has been going up in value with the Trump rally.  So I've been collecting a portion of dividends in cash, mostly from the bond funds and transferring the cash to tax free account.  Trying to keep taxable income down and increase non-taxable income as rapidly as possible.

Used my first cash earnings from Swagbucks (see link on right) to help pay for this stock purchase.  While I had to pay the majority with cash out of pocket, it's nice to know that I've put the free money from Swagbucks to work earning more cash each month.  I've decided to use all cash earned from Swagbucks to boost my ROTH account.  Will have a check coming in March from Sendearnings which will also be added to investments. 

 Family and friends think I'm crazy for "wasting my time" earning small amounts of cash from these sights, but why is it crazy to earn money instead of frittering away time on facebook?  I like facebook, I've spent endless hours on facebook, like a lot of other people, but they've never paid me any money.  So they can think whatever they want and I'll just keep making money.  

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

JANUARY DIVIDEND INCOME UP 250% OVER 2016!

The new year is off to a great start, if January dividends are any indication.  Total dividend income for the first month of the new year is up 250% compared to January of last year!  This month's income is the second highest month ever, only beaten my December 2016's record earnings!

February is off to a great start with 7 dividend payments for the first day of the month!  With February being a short month and having only 26 dividend payments, compared to January's 27, I expected income to be a little less.  However, a quick review of upcoming dividends shows that I may make a bit more in February than I made last month!  

Even though I made no new share purchases for the month, I did see new dividends kick in from FSC and SPLV.  My planned purchase of bond fund NCV for this month will increase monthly dividend income by over 2% and bring the number of annual dividend payments up to 360 per year.  Thanks to some extra hours at work, I may be able to to make a second stock purchase of SPFF before the end of the month which will increase total dividend payments to 372 per year.  Which means I'll be earning more than a dividend per day for every day of the year!

My biggest concern for the stock market going forward is the trend of company executives involving themselves in national politics.  While they have every right to follow their own personal beliefs, they should not be involving shareholders interests by taking political stands on a corporate level.  Corporations should be like Switzerland and remain neutral.  No sense alienating customers.



Friday, January 27, 2017

SURPRISE BONUS FROM WORK WILL BOOST DIVIDEND INCOME 20%!

I was surprised and honored to find out I'd won Employee of the Year at work!  Along with this great honor, comes an all expenses paid weekend in Branson, Silver Dollar City tickets and a substantial bonus check!  Since I didn't even realize I was in the running, this bonus was totally unexpected, so I've decided to invest the entire amount in my Roth IRA.  This windfall will boost monthly dividend income by a whopping 20%!  This should make it a lot easier to reach my goal of doubling dividend income again this year.

I want to say a very special THANK YOU to all my co-workers who voted for me to be recognized in such a great way!

JUST $2 AWAY FROM MY FIRST $25 ON SWAGBUCKS!

Finally got around to registering with Swagbucks around the end of December.  Now I'm just $2 away from my first paypal payment of $25 and a $5 bonus!  Should make that easily either today or tomorrow.  While that may not sound like much, it's free money!  I've spent nothing, registered for nothing and still earned money, mostly while watching television at the same time.  I have done a couple of surveys and watched a lot of video clips, but it was pretty easy and a lot faster than some of the other programs I've tried.

If you'd like to sign up and start earning money today, just click the link below:

Swagbucks

Although I've chosen to collect most of my swagbucks rewards in cash, you do have the option of converting your swagbucks to gift cards, starting at just $3.


Friday, January 13, 2017

UTG JANUARY DISTRIBUTION NEARLY 7 TIMES NORMAL MONTHLY PAYOUT!

Collected 4 great dividend payments for Friday the 13th!  Was very happy with the payout from UTG, which included a special capital gains distribution, making the January payout 6.8 times higher than December 2016!  Yes I know about the taxable event created by capital gains distributions, but since my shares are held in my IRA and Roth IRA accounts, I'm not too concerned about taxes.  Reinvested all distributions except JMP.  I'm taking some JMP distributions in cash since I originally purchased the stock for possible capital gains.  Just taking a little money off the table should the price drop instead of increasing in value.  Right now I'm ahead, but not planning to sell anytime soon.  I'll continue collecting the dividend in the mean time.

Missouri is getting hit right now with a big ice storm, so I'm a little concerned about making it to work tomorrow.  If I have to call in, it will be the first day I've missed work in the last two years.  Would much rather go to work, since I don't want to lose any hours, but just in case, I've been racking up Swagbucks on my days off.  I figure if I do miss work, the cash I earn online will help minimize the loss.

Dividend income for January 2017 already exceeds January 2016 dividends by nearly 50%!  With some of the biggest dividends yet to come, it will be interesting to see what the monthly total comes to.  Just off the top of my head, I'd say I could easily see a 100%+ increase over last year!  I did expect a nice increase, but frankly I'm blown away.  Never expected the big payout from UTG, so that's a very nice surprise and the rest of the month looks pretty good too.  We'll see how it goes.

Friday, January 6, 2017

EASY WAY TO AVOID TOTAL LOSS ON ANY DIVIDEND STOCK

As a long time investor, I have to admit to having a couple of total loss investments.  My old shares of Kmart which I purchased during their bankruptcy went to $0.  I had 1,000 shares of Atlantic Energy Solutions which also ended up worthless.  There was also a high flying REIT back in the 90's that dropped to $0.  As scary and disappointing as this may seem, I've found an easy way to avoid this as soon as I switched to dividend investing.

What's the secret?  Take some money off the table.  When you own a stock paying dividends, it's quite easy to take some money off the table by simply collecting your dividends in cash instead of reinvesting.  While I'm a die hard advocate for reinvesting your dividends, there are times when this would be contraindicated.  If you own some high yield, high risk stocks like I do, it never hurts to take some of the risk out by collecting some cash dividends.  If you collect cash, that money is yours and even if the share price drops to zero, you still have the cash.  Thus you avoid having a total loss on your investment.  

I employ this strategy regularly and it helps me sleep much better at night knowing I'll never lose my entire investment in any one stock.  You don't have to collect all the dividends in cash.  To continue growing monthly income, I'll have the dividends reinvested for 3 months and collect cash for the next 3 months.  That way I'm covered if the stock does well and I'm covered if it doesn't.  Maybe I miss out on a little growth, or maybe I avoid excessive loss and have a nice tidy bundle of cash to take advantage of other investment opportunities as they present themselves.

Just a simple way to any avoid total loss.  

Thursday, January 5, 2017

HWBK INCREASES DIVIDEND!

Collected first dividend payment from Hawthorn Bank (HWBK) for 2017 and was pleased to see they'd increased the dividend from .05 to .06 cents per share.  Also received the first dividend payment from monthly dividend payer CCD.  It's always gratifying to add a new stream of dividend income.  Should also get the first dividend from SPLV later in the month.

Reviewed my 401k statement online.  Looks like my two fund picks are far outperforming the target retirement fund the company picked out for me.  So much for their expertise.  Still it's nice to see the total investment increasing every month.  The return is not all that much but the regular deposits from my paychecks are adding up pretty fast.

Signed up for Swagbucks to add another small stream of income.  Looks like it will be pretty easy to make an extra $25 to $50 per month.  Definitely plan on investing any cash earned.  They say you can earn up to $150 per month watching videos, but I'm thinking that's not very likely to happen.

Just finished reading Charles Carlson's "The Little Book of Big Dividends."  I'd highly recommend it for anyone interested in dividend investing.  It's explains everything you need to know about dividend investing and is packed with actionable advice including sample dividend portfolios.  While it was nothing new to me, it was an interesting read and provided some good ideas I could incorporate into my own investment plan.


Monday, January 2, 2017

KICKING OFF THE NEW YEAR WITH 7 GREAT DIVIDEND PAYMENTS!

2017 has finally arrived and I couldn't be happier to start the new year off right with the first 7 of 27 dividend payments for the month of January!  While these 7 payments may not seem like much, they are equal to over 50% of the total monthly dividend income for January 2016.  With 20 more dividends for the rest of the month, which include the majority of the big dividend payments,  it's a pretty safe bet I'll see a huge increase in monthly income for January compared to 2016.

The first order of business for the new year is to purchase the final two monthly dividend stocks to guarantee a dividend for every day of the year.  As long as I complete this task before the end of March, it's a done deal.  Since I already have the cash to make the new purchases, it shouldn't present a problem.  I've decided to buy shares of NCV and SPFF.  NCV is strictly an income play, going after the high yield, SPFF provides a smaller yield with possible dividend growth and capital gains.  I'm also planning to purchase shares of AEG, the parent company of TransAmerica, to recover the fees they charge me for my 401k through AEG's dividends.  Should complete all three purchases before March 1st.  

The plan for the rest of 2017 is simple, reinvest dividends and make additional cash purchases of current holdings to boost monthly cash flow as rapidly as possible.