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Sold Position - 13 Sep 2015 11:18

Tags: prune_ratio

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Back in July I wrote about a new ratio I developed and currently testing called the Prune Ratio. The Prune Ratio is a portfolio analysis tool to determine which positions have significant equity growth that is outpacing dividend growth. Within that article I identified Hasbro (HAS) as a potential sell but used a wait and see strategy. It has been two months since that decision and HAS stock price has been pretty stable. The prune ratio sits just over my minimum requirement of 4 at 4.06 so I decided to sell (prune) 50% of my position.

I did not sell my entire position in HAS as they are one of the strongest companies in the toy industry. Though they will be losing toy revenue from Transformer and Jurassic World products they have the Star Wars line of toys to compensate. But, like much of the toy industry, HAS is yet to figure out a formula for girl toys and continue to see dramatic declines. The weakness of girl toy sales has tempered my expectations for future dividend growth in the 6 to 7% range, not bad but not spectacular and as such trimming back the position and redeploying in other assets is the appropriate action to expand my portfolios annual income without adding additional cash.

I currently have my eye on Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), WP Carey, (WPC), Domtar (UFS), and Span-America Medical (SPAN). My likely plan of attack will be to re-deploy the cash over three new positions providing not just more annual income but additional diversification as I currently do not own these positions. I have some time to be patient and will be opportunistic on my buys and estimate this little excursion to increase my annual income by $50. Combine this with July's annual income gain of $80 and the annual income increased an additional $130 without ever adding additional cash to the portfolio!

It is still too early to declare the Prune Ratio a success but early results are promising. - Comments: 0

Avoid this Buying Mistake in a Down Market - 05 Sep 2015 11:39

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So the markets are down and you have some cash. As a dividend investor this is what you have been waiting for, the opportunity to buy stocks with better yield at lower cost!

But there is a word of caution before you invest your money. There are past mistakes I have made and I am sure that other investors have also made the same mistake during market corrections, pullbacks or down turns. WE CHASE YIELD!

A funny thing happens along the way, you have a plan but when you start scanning stocks you start seeing some impressive high yields from reputable companies and in a flash the greed factor sets in. In an instant you find yourself making exceptions to or even throwing out your investment guidelines. Before you know it you fell into the chasing yield trap.

What you end up with is either a company that is in decline (sometimes referred to as catching a falling knife) or company with little or no future dividend growth capability. Personally I ended up investing in companies that fell in both categories and the end resulted in me selling these stocks anywhere from 1 to 3 years later once I realized my mistakes.

The word of warning is DO NOT THROW AWAY YOUR INVESTING PRINCIPLES TO CHASE YIELD! It will be hard but you must discipline yourself. You cannot discount long term dividend growth for short term gains.

A great example was Peoples Bank (PBCT). I purchased PBCT in 2012 and was earning a 4.5% yield, the dividend only grew a paltry 1.6% per year. After holding for three years I realized that my other dividend growth investments had a higher yield on cost and the difference was only going to get greater as time went on. I ended up selling PBCT in 2015 and re-investing into companies with much more dividend growth potential. At the end of the day I had to admit that three years ago I chased yield and threw dividend growth out the window. - Comments: 0

DRIP Portfolio Update - 29 Aug 2015 21:40

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The month of August closed with a market correction and another dividend grower has dropped enough in price to make me change my dividend status to DRIP.

Procter & Gamble (PG) is down 22% YTD. With the dividend yield at 3.7% it became the latest item to be added to my DRIP portfolio. I'm not shocked as I expected volatility as the market moves closer to the possible September Fed interest rate increase.

I still anticipate this list to grow due to volatility and already seeing new candidates with Omega Health (OHI) and General Motors (GM) whose prices have not participated as well as other companies when markets recovered after the correction.

I would also like to take this moment to share some information I learned about my brokerage DRIP policy from Fidelity which I am assuming is similar to other brokerage houses. On the third day of market declines during the correction I had two stocks that DRIP'd. When I calculated the share price they were 10%-12% higher than current prices so I contacted Fidelity who explained the DRIP purchase policy as follows:

With the Fidelity Dividend Reinvestment Plan we identify all customers that will be reinvesting their dividend in the security, and then go to the market to purchase shares three business days prior to the payable date. We purchase as many shares as possible on a best-efforts basis, determine the average share price, and reallocate these shares proportionately to the customers that are reinvesting their dividend. This process typically results in a different reinvestment price than the price that the security is currently trading.

Holding DRIP Start
CMI - Cummins Jun 2015
HCP - HCP, Inc. Jun 2015
MHLD – Maiden Holdings Mar 2015
MSFT - Microsoft Mar 2015
QCOM - Qualcomm Mar 2015
THO – Thor Industries Mar 2015
New PG - Procter & Gamble Aug 2015

August Market Correction - 22 Aug 2015 11:57

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Amazing, In a matter of just three days the U.S. markets spiraled down 6%. Is this the beginning of a crash? Probably not and most financial pundits are calling this a correction and I agree.

The big market losers where primarily stocks that have seen astronomical price increases over the last two years like Disney (DIS) going from the $60 price range to $120. This was a good sign as investors were primarily cashing in big winners. In fact, most dividend growth stocks on average only dropped 3.9% (vs 6%) which sounds more like they were just swept up in the selling frenzy.

What did all this crazy activity due to my portfolio dividend income? Absolutely nothing! I'm getting the same forward dividend that I started the week at and then some.

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Was this a buying opportunity? Yes & No, the price drops represented only a slight improvement on yields of which I capitalized on and bought more shares of GM. GM's pullback allowed me to get an annual dividend yield of 4.7% versus the 4.5% at the beginning of the week. There just was not enough of a pullback in dividend growth stocks that screamed buy across the board so I was selective. We will see what happens the following week, if there is panic selling then there may be more opportunities.

After adding GM late Friday my annual dividend income actually increased $32 so while the markets may have lost my portfolio shows a gain. Just a wonderful advantage to Dividend Growth Investing! - Comments: 0

Annual Report Financial Analysis – Part 4 Shareholder Value - 08 Aug 2015 18:48

Tags: annual_report financial_statements

Welcome to Part 4 of our Annual Report Financial Analysis. At the end of this series I will share the spreadsheet used throughout the exercise which will include all of the formulas to calculate the ratios and on which statement to find the values to populate.

As a reminder, to perform this exercise you will need the financial statements from your selected stock and one of its top competitors. Throughout this series we will be comparing Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) to Pfizer (PFE) as our example.

The shareholder value analysis will go over some of the more widely used valuation measures used by shareholders of common stock.

It is important to note that many of the shareholder valuations are calculated using the amount of outstanding shares. Results can be manipulated by decreasing or increasing the number of shares through buybacks or new share issuance.

Price to Earnings Ratio (P/E) – A measure of investor’s expectations in relation to current market stock price. There is no standard measure for good or bad and numbers can vary based on investor expectations. A recommended approach is to determine the standard P/E for a given sector or to only compare similar companies in the same sector. The P/E ratio is calculated by dividing Stock Price by Earnings per Share (EPS)

P/E = Stock Price / EPS

Book Value – Is the minimum asset value of a company. Book value is calculated subtracting Total Liabilities from Total Assets. This value can be further defined by dividing the Book Value by the Number of Outstanding Shares to provide a Book Value per Share. If a book value per share is below its stock price it may represent a value opportunity.

Book Value = Total Assets – Total Liabilities

Book Value per Share = Book Value / Outstanding Number of Shares

Dividends – An amount that a company returns to shareholders in the form of cash for investing in their company. Dividends are usually displayed as a Dividends per Share value and also expressed as a yield percentage.

Dividend per Share = Total Dividends / Outstanding Number of Shares

Dividend Yield = Dividend per Share / Stock Price

Another measure of dividends popular among investors is dividend growth or the ability of a company to increase dividend payouts to shareholder. There are two ways to measure growth, the first is based on pure total dividends paid and the second is based on dividends per share. What is the difference? The later can change dramatically based on the number of outstanding shares.

Dividends Paid Year over Year Growth = (Dividends Current Year – Dividends Prior Year) / Dividends Prior Year

Dividends Per Share Year over Year Growth = (Dividends per Share Current Year – Dividends per Share Prior Year) / Dividends per Share Prior Year

Now we can try putting these to use by comparing Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) to Pfizer (PFE)

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Which company looks to be the better value? Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) maintains a better and more consistent P/E. Pfizer (PFE) has a stronger book value. Both have similar dividend per share YoY growth rates but the real difference lies within the actual dividend paid.

PFE’s actual dividends paid only increased 0.44% and 0.77% in 2014 and 2013. So how can their dividend per share growth be so much larger? The answer to a larger portion of the increases is due to the massive share buybacks. By reducing the number of shares available they are artificially generating growth. The other contributor to their dividend growth was increasing the percentage of income allocated towards dividend payments.

Considering from our earlier analysis that PFE had a Return on Assets of only 5% during 2014 it beckons the question if PFE is adequately spending their surplus cash in the best interest of shareholders. Due to these facts I would be concerned over how sustainable their continued Dividend per Share Growth Rate is going forward.

In this round JNJ is the winner.

So now we have completed our last analysis so it’s time to see who the overall winner was

Analysis Winner
Liquidity EVEN
Profitability JNJ
Credit Risk JNJ
Shareholder Value JNJ

There you have it, JNJ is our overall winner!

I realize there were a lot of numbers and formulas and as promised to make this easier the spreadsheet used throughout is available for download and available on our Resources Page under Tools.

DISCLAIMER: This analysis only evaluates the financial strength of a company and will not predict stock prices or speculation on where stock prices will go. - Comments: 0

Annual Report Financial Analysis – Part 3 Credit Risk - 08 Aug 2015 14:36

Tags: annual_report financial_statements

Welcome to Part 3 of our Annual Report Financial Analysis. At the end of this series I will share the spreadsheet used throughout the exercise which will include all of the formulas to calculate the ratios and on which statement to find the values to populate.

As a reminder, to perform this exercise you will need the financial statements from your selected stock and one of its top competitors. Throughout this series we will be comparing Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) to Pfizer (PFE) as our example.

The benefit of performing a credit risk analysis will determine how much a creditor can claim if a company declares bankruptcy. An additional benefit of a credit analysis will yield how well a company is managing debt which will allow them to negotiate for better loan debt rates. This is no different than your personal credit scores, if you have a high FICO score you can get a low yield loan but if you have a low FICO you will get a high yield loan.
Total Assets and Liabilities can be found on the Balance Sheet Statement

Debt Ratio – A measure of how much assets can be liquidated to recover investments. This is not a liquidity measure but a measure of a creditor’s long term risk. The smaller amount of assets financed the less the risk. Companies with a low risk ratio will score at or below 1. Most financially sound companies will have debt ratios of 0.5 or lower. The debt ratio is calculated by dividing Total Liabilities by Total Assets.

Debt Ratio = Total Liabilities / Total Assets

Interest Coverage Ratio – A measure that determines how large (or small) of a margin that income can cover interest payments. Strong companies will have a ratio that exceeds 4.

Interest Coverage Ratio = Income Before Interest & Taxes / Annual Interest Expense

Net Cash Provided by Operating Activities Trend – A measure that trends a company’s ability to generate cash over time.

Net Cash Provided by Operating Activities Trend = (Current Net Cash Provided by Operating Activities - First Year Net Cash Provided by Operating Activities) / Net Cash Provided by Operating Activities + 1

Now we can try putting these to use by comparing Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) to Pfizer (PFE)

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Which company had overall better credit numbers? Both Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and Pfizer (PFE) have strong Debt Ratios and Interest Coverage Ratios. But JNJ's strong and steady growth of increasing cash flow from year to year gives them a clear advantage.

In this round JNJ is the winner. - Comments: 0

Annual Report Financial Analysis – Part 2 Profitability - 08 Aug 2015 12:51

Tags: annual_report financial_statements

Welcome to Part 2 of our Annual Report Financial Analysis. At the end of this series I will share the spreadsheet used throughout the exercise which will include all of the formulas to calculate the ratios and on which statement to find the values to populate.

As a reminder, to perform this exercise you will need the financial statements from your selected stock and one of its top competitors. Throughout this series we will be comparing Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) to Pfizer (PFE) as our example.

The formal definition of profitability refers to a company’s ability to retain a percentage of its income as profit and the ratio of said profit in relation to sales, assets, and equity.

Performing the Profitability analysis will require not just the evaluation of calculation ratios but also the trending of values over time to detect growth or shrinkage trends.

Net Sales Change Trend – A measure that trends the total % of sales trend over a period of time, usually over 3, 5, or 10 years.

Net Sales Change Trend = (Current Year Net Sales - First Year Net Sales) / First Year Net Sales + 1

Net Sales Change Year over Year Trend – A measure that trends the % of sales from year to year.

Net Sales Change YoY = (Current Year Net Sales - Prior Year Net Sales) / Prior Year Net Sales

Net Income Change Trend – A measure that trends the total % of net income trend over a period of time, usually over 3, 5, or 10 years.

Net Income Change Trend = (Current Year Net Income - First Year Net Income) / First Year Net Income + 1

Net Income Change Year over Year Trend – A measure that trends the % of net income from year to year.

Net Income Change YoY = (Current Year Net Income - Prior Year Net Income) / Prior Year Net Income

Gross Profit Rate – Sometimes referred to as gross margin. This calculation refers to how profitable a company’s products are. This ratio calculated by dividing the Gross Profit by Net Sales. (The higher the % result the better)

Note: Gross Profit is calculated by subtracting Sales from Costs of Goods Sold. Costs of Goods Sold can be found on the Income Statement

Gross Profit Rate = Gross Profit / Net Sales

Operating Expense Ratio – This calculation refers to % of net sales required to produce product or services. This ratio can be valuable for comparing companies with similar assets. This ratio calculated by dividing the Operating Expense by Net Sales. (The lower the % result the better)

Operating Expense and Net Sales (or Revenue) can be found on the Income Statement

Operating Expense Ratio = Operating Expense / Net Sales

Operating Income – This calculation represents the total income before interest and taxes, sometimes referred to as EBIT. EBIT is calculated by subtracting the Operating Expense from the Gross Profit.

Operating Expense and Gross Profit can be found on the Income Statement

Operating Income = Gross Profit – Operating Expenses

Net Income as a % of Sales – This calculation represents the percent of each dollar in sales that the company keeps as profit after interest and taxes. Net Income as a % of Sales is calculated by dividing Net Income by Net Sales. (The higher the % result the better)

Net Income and Net Sales (Revenue) can be found on the Income Statement

Net Income as a % of Sales = Net Income / Net Sales

Return on Equity (ROE) – This calculation represents how well a company uses investments to generate earnings growth before distributing dividends to shareholders. High or rapid growth companies should see a high ROE while mature companies typically operate with 15 to 25% ROE. ROE is calculated by dividing Net Income by Average Total Equity. (The higher the % result the better)

Net Income and Net Sales (Revenue) can be found on the Income Statement

Return on Equity = Net Income / Average Total Equity

Return on Assets (ROA) – This calculation represents how well a company earned a reasonable return on the assets under their control. This metric is useful when comparing companies to determine which is more efficient and if trended over time can indicate potential issues such as mismanagement, declining market share or obsolescence of assets if the ROA is dropping.

Net Income can be found on the Income Statement and Total Assets can be found on the Balance Sheet Statement

Return on Assets = Net Income / Average Total Assets

Earnings per Share (EPS) – This calculation represents a company’s profit on a per share of stock basis. This a popular metric used by investors to determine income growth but unlike other calculations used throughout this analysis it can be manipulated by decreasing or increasing the number of shares through buybacks or issuance. A more effective method would be to trend net income for true growth. EPS is calculated by dividing the Net Income by the Total Number of Outstanding shares.

Net Income can be found on the Income Statement. Outstanding shares is not directly found on the Income Statement and is usually annotated as note where you can get the average number of shares.

EPS = Net Income / Total Outstanding Number of Shares

Now we can try putting these to use by comparing Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) to Pfizer (PFE)

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Which company had overall better profitability numbers? Pfizer (PFE) has slightly better gross profit rates and operating expense ratios but its sales and income growth are inconsistent. Additionally, Pfizer’s 2014 ROA of only 5% causes concerns and the need for further investigations.

Johnson and Johnson (JNJ) on the other hand demonstrates consistent income and sales growth from year to year as well as improved year to year ROE. In this round JNJ is the winner. - Comments: 0

Annual Report Financial Analysis – Part 1 Liquidity - 01 Aug 2015 00:03

Tags: annual_report financial_statements

This will be a new blog series that will walk through the steps of performing a detail financial analysis when selecting a stock to buy.

Buried in a company’s Annual Report you are likely to find their financial statements. The financial statements are divided into three sections; Income Statement, Cash Flow Statement, and Balance Sheet Statement. If you are new to investing, seeing all of these financial numbers and terms may seem intimidating. Yet, hopefully this blog series can help simplify what numbers to extract and how to analyze those using financial ratios.

At the end of this series I will share the spreadsheet used throughout the exercise which will include all of the formulas to calculate the ratios and on which statement to find the values to populate.

When analyzing a Company’s financial statement we will split the analysis into 4 parts:

  1. Liquidity
  2. Profitability
  3. Long Term Credit Risk
  4. Stock Holder Value

Before we kick this series off there are a few basic accounting concepts you need to understand before we continue.

  • Revenue and cash are not the same thing. Revenue is recorded when a customer takes possession of a product and not when they receive payment. Here is a simple example;

You receive a mail order product in December worth $50 but do not pay cash. You receive a bill for the product in January and pay in full the $50 bill in February. In this scenario a Company records $50 of revenue for the month of December and not in February when it received payment because you took possession of the product in December.

  • Revenue and Sales are interchangeable terms
  • Income and Earnings are interchangeable terms
  • Do not use generic rules of thumb to determine if a ratio is good or bad. Ratios will vary from industry to industry. For example, would you expect an aircraft manufacturer to have an inventory turnover ratio the same as a toilet paper manufacturer? I think people buy toilet paper on a more routine basis than they would buy airplanes.
  • When performing an analysis of a company always compare it to their top competitor to help determine if a ratio in a given industry is normal, good, or bad.

With these concepts out of the way let us start reviewing Liquidity and ratios to evaluate a company.

The formal definition of liquidity refers to a company’s ability to meet its continuing obligations. A simpler way to state this would be “How capable is the company to pay its bills and make debt payments”.

This is no different than valuating how well capable you are paying your monthly bills based on your salary, savings, and investments. And to help us understand what is meant by “capable” we have liquidity ratios.

Current Ratio – A measure of short term debt paying ability. The current ratio is calculated by dividing total current assets by total current liabilities. The result of the ratio will tell you how many times assets are more or less than liabilities.
Both items can be found on the Balance Sheet Statement.

Current Ratio = Total Current Assets / Total Current Liabilities

Quick Ratio – The quick ratio is similar to the current ratio but instead does not use total current assets but only the most liquid assets (cash, accounts receivable, and marketable securities). Quick ratios are most useful for companies with slow moving merchandise like trains, real estate or aircraft.
All items can be found on the Balance Sheet Statement.

Quick Ratio = Cash + Marketable Securities + Accounts Receivable / Total Current Liabilities

Cash Flows from Operations to Current Liabilities – This calculation refers to a company’s abilities to pay its obligations rom normal operations. This ratio calculated by dividing Cash Flow from Operations divided by Current Liabilities.
Cash flow from operations can be found on the Cash Flow Statement and current liabilities can be found on the Balance Sheet Statement.

Cash Flows from Operations to Current Liabilities = Net Cash Provided by Operating Activities / Total Current Liabilities

Receivables Turnover Rate – The rate of how many times a year that a company can convert receivables into cash. The rate is calculated by dividing Net Sales (or Revenue) by Accounts Receivable.
Net sales can found on the Income Statement and accounts receivable can be found on the Balance Sheet Statement.

Days to Collect Accounts Receivable - This calculation represents how many calendar days it takes to convert a receivable into cash. This is calculated by dividing Days of the Year by the Receivables Turnover Rate.

Days to Collect Receivables = 365 / Receivables Turnover Rate

Inventory Turnover Rate – The rate of how many times a year that a company can sell and replace their inventory. The rate is calculated by dividing Costs of Goods Sold by Average Inventory.
Cost of goods sold (or Cost of Sales) can found on the Income Statement and average inventory can be found on the Balance Sheet Statement.

Inventory Turnover Rate = Cost of Goods Sold / Average Inventory

Days to Sell Inventory – This calculation represents how many calendar days it takes to sell and replace inventory. This is calculated by dividing Days of the Year by the Inventory Turnover Rate.

Days to Sell Inventory = 365 / Inventory Turnover Rate

Operating Cycles - The number of days that inventory can be converted into cash (not revenue). This is calculated by adding Days to Collect Receivables and Days to Sell Inventory.

Operating Cycles = Days to Collect Receivables + Days to Sell Inventory

Free Cash Flow - Represents the cash flow available to management, after meeting obligations, to allow for investment. If free cash flow is negative it represents that the company did not generate enough cash from operations to meet obligations. This is calculated by summing Net Cash Provided by Operating Activities, Cash used for Investing Activities, and Dividends.
All three items can be found on the Cash Flow Statement

Free Cash Flow = Net Cash Provided by Operating Activities + Cash used for Investing Activities + Dividends

Now we can try putting these to use by comparing Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) to Pfizer (PFE)

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Which company had overall better liquidity numbers? Both companies scored similar but I’d have to give a slight edge to JNJ because it is much more efficient at turning over inventory and converting it into sales and cash and creating a lower operating cycle.

But there are questions that need to be investigated with JNJ with its negative 2014 Free Cash Flow. Looking historically at the free cash flow it is not hard to see in 2014 a spike of an additional $8B towards investments over its average of $4B for a total of $12B. This may not be a bad thing but at least it is a clue to conduct further research as to what JNJ spent $12B on.

Though JNJ has a slight edge there is no clear winner in this round as both companies demonstrate strong liquidity measures. - Comments: 0

It’s OK to Sell Good Stocks - 24 Jul 2015 23:34

Tags: prune_ratio

The Prune Ratio

As an investor you probably have self-implied rules to sell a stock when things are going bad. If a company’s dividend looks to be unsustainable with a possible freeze, cut or elimination then you might sell your shares. If a company has been running a deficit for the last 2 years you might sell your shares.

But would you sell a stock if there was no bad news and the company was the same as when you bought it? If you are new to dividend growth investing this may seem counter to the Buy and Hold mantra you constantly hear. But, as those with experience can tell you, this is nothing more than a general rule or guideline. No single rule can apply to all scenarios. Life just does not work that way. As we gain experience we make supplemental rules to adjust our needs at that given time to accommodate various scenarios.

Normally I preach stock price is secondary to dividend income but in this instance it can represent an opportunity. What if the equity value (capital gain) is growing at a faster pace than dividend growth? In theory, you could sell at a higher value and re-invest in a different stock with a similar dividend growth rate and higher yield resulting in a larger annual return without ever investing any additional money.

This is far from an original thought. Investors for decades have locked in capital gains to reinvest in other opportunities. My problem is the lack of discipline to constantly check when capital gains exceed dividend growth. When I perform semi-annual portfolio analysis I am so focused on looking for alligators I forget to look for opportunities. To help me quickly identify opportunities within my portfolio I have developed a ratio that signals when to investigate a stock that fits this scenario called the “Prune Ratio”.

The Prune Ratio is calculated by dividing your stocks capital gain percentage (CG) by the total dividend growth percentage (DG).

Prune Ratio = CG% / DG%

If the ratio is near or above a value of 4 then I investigate. Why anything above a factor of 4 and not 1? The answer is simple, a factor of 4 represents the minimum significant gain you can achieve while offsetting a capital gains tax and commissions for selling and buying. If you are operating in a tax sheltered account like an IRA or have an offsetting capital loss then you can reduce this factor.

An additional benefit of using the ratio is that it takes the emotion out of selling a winner. I can't speak for all investors but the investors I talk to (myself included) routinely begin a sentence with "If only I sold when it was…". Call it greed, the home run factor, or whatever for some reason it is difficult to sell winners.

Theory Put in Action

To better explain here are three holdings from my portfolio that I will use as examples.

1. People’s United Financial (PBCT)

Bought in 2011 at $12.22/share and annual dividend of $0.63
2015 share price at $16.44/share and annual dividend of $0.67
Share price capital gain = 32%, Total dividend growth = 6.9%
Prune Ratio: 32 / 6.9 = 4.63

This was not a hard one to decide. PBCT’s annual dividend growth is around 1.5% (below my required 7%). What also helped make this an easy decision was that my portfolio was slightly overweight with banks (12% of my portfolio).
I sold all my shares (300) which reduced my exposure to banks to 9%.

I reinvested 2/3 of the proceeds in Omega Healtthcare Investors (OHI) and 1/3 into General Motors (GM) of which both had better dividend growth prospects and better yields.

The Result
Original PBCT annual income $201
New OHI & GM annual income $281
Annual Income Change: +$80

2. Hasbro (HAS)

Bought in 2012 at $37/share and annual dividend of $1.44
2015 share price of $79/share and annual dividend of $1.84
Share price capital gain = 113%, Total dividend growth = 27.7%
Prune Ratio: 113 / 27.7 = 4.03

This one was an extremely hard decision. To start, the average annual dividend growth rate sits at 9% well above my required 7%. While the share price has more than doubled since purchased 3 years ago most of the gains have come in 2015 (it is only July) so it may be an anomaly.

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The current dividend yield is 2.31% and finding a new investment with a greater yield is no problem but finding one with as good of a dividend growth rate is extremely difficult.

This one I’m placing on hold to be re-evaluated later in the year to see if the stock price and earnings are stable. If the stock price remains stable I will not sell the entire position due to the attractive dividend growth rate but instead prune it back by selling some shares to capitalize on the gains and reinvest the proceeds to help with income and diversification.

The Result
Annual Income Change: $0

3. Procter & Gamble (PG)

Bought in 2013 at $77/share and annual dividend of $2.40
2015 share price of $80/share and annual dividend of $2.65
Share price total return = 3%, Total Dividend Growth = 10.4%
Prune Ratio: 3 / 10.4 = 0.28

Not much to explain on this one. The Prune Ratio was way below my requirement of 4. The average annual dividend growth sits just below my requirement at 5.8% but PG has been selling off businesses to refocus on core products. I expect dividend growth to start accelerating once again in 2017. The decision here is to leave the investment as-is.

The Result
Annual Income Change: $0

Summary

My initial use of the ratio to evaluate my portfolio was effective in generating an additional $80 a year, improved my portfolio diversification and providing a better growth path for future dividends.

It is still too early to declare a success as time will be needed to validate the ratio. My estimate is I will need at least three years to prove its effectiveness but in the meantime I am pleased with the initial results. - Comments: 0

DRIP Portfolio Expanded - 07 Jun 2015 12:33

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Over the last month two more dividend growers have dropped enough in price to make me change my dividend status to DRIP.

Diesel engine maker Cummins (CMI) is down 15% from its 52 week high and down 5% YTD. Healthcare REIT HCP, Inc. (HCP) is hovering near its 52 week low due to multiple concerns with tenets and interest rate increase concerns. Both CMI & HCP have given no cause for alarm that dividends will be halted or decreased or that continued growth will cease.

As the market moves closer to the possible September Fed interest rate increase I anticipate a rotation out of dividend paying stocks by investors putting downward price pressure on shares. I see this as a buying opportunity and will not be shocked if I add more holdings to my DRIP status.

Holding DRIP Start
MHLD – Maiden Holdings Mar 2015
MSFT - Microsoft Mar 2015
QCOM - Qualcomm Mar 2015
THO – Thor Industries Mar 2015
New CMI - Cummins Jun 2015
New HCP - HCP, Inc. Jun 2015

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