Follow the dividend investment decisions of a person who has no background in financial investment and wishes to take control of their financial future.

Portfolio Experiment - Month 5 - 30 Apr 2017 11:03

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Month five into the Motif portfolio experiment and the markets returned back to the upside lifting the portfolio return to 6.75% from last month’s 5.68%. As a basis the S&P has grown 6.49% so we have a slight beat versus the market.

There was some interesting news abut the free stock trading brokerage firm Loyal3 closing down. Offering free trades is a tough business model to execute and not entirely a shock that the doors have closed. However, it does beg the question if other low discount brokerages (such as Motif and Robinhood) are viable into the future.

Dividend Income

Projected April dividend income $29.72
Actual April dividend income $30.12
Growth of +$0.40

Income grew thanks to raises from Wal-Mart (WMT) and W.P. Carey (WPC).

Portfolio Value

Pre-Retirement Retirement
Starting Value $10,000 $10,000
Current Value $10,675 $10,675
Cash Balance $134.20 -
Cash Distributed - $134.20
Total Portfolio Value $10,809 $10,675
Total Return 8.09% 6.75%

April allowed the portfolio to return to its winning ways. We already noted that the Retirement portfolio has a slight edge on the S&P 500 (6.75% vs. 6.49%) but the pre-retirement funds total return is starting to show a considerable edge.

Considering the S&P 500 averages a ~2% yield the total return (equity + dividends) would be 6.49% + 0.67% = 7.16% whereas our total return for the Pre-retirement is 8.09%.

From a sector perspective, Commodities are still getting severely hit (down 15%) but April saw a resurgence in REITs and Industrials.

Portfolio Sector & % Allocation Gain/Loss
BASIC MATERIALS - 4% -15%
CONSUMER DISCRETIONARY - 12% 0.1%
CONSUMER STAPLES - 12% 4.3%
FINANCIALS - 10% 2%
HEALTHCARE - 10% 6.1%
INDUSTRIALS - 10% 10.2%
REAL ESTATE - 15% 11.3%
TECH/COMMUNICATIONS - 13% 15.2%
UTILITIES - 6% 17.3%
BONDS & INCOME - 8% 3.25%
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Portfolio Experiment - Month 4 - 16 Apr 2017 13:00

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Month four into the Motif portfolio experiment marks the end of the first quarter and I ran into a bit of a surprise mostly from my ignorance.

When I originally set up the rules for the experiment I was supposed to reinvest the dividends at the end of each quarter. However, I discovered Motif has a $250 minimum transaction of which I was substantially short. It appears I will not be able to reinvest until the end of month nine. Not much I can do except to roll with the punches on this one but I may have to extend the length of the experiment from 12 to 18 months to compensate for my stupidity.

Inability to reinvest aside, March was a downtrend overall. Not sure of the reason why and it doesn’t matter as we are tracking up and downs of the market and not the reasons why. The portfolio return for the month dropped from 6.57% to 5.68%, still a respectable return.

Dividend Income

Projected March dividend income $32.69
Actual March dividend income $33.02
Growth of +$0.33

The ETFs in the portfolio continue to be the wild card in how difficult it is to predict income, for March the ETF’s were $0.17 below my forecast and dragged down portfolio performance. Despite the ETF’s, the portfolio had a 1% increase in income thanks to dividend increases from Archer-Daniels Midland (ADM) and 3M (MMM).

Portfolio Value

Pre-Retirement Retirement
Starting Value $10,000 $10,000
Current Value $10,568 $10,568
Cash Balance $104.08 -
Cash Distributed - $104.08
Total Portfolio Value $10,672 $10,568
Total Return 6.72% 5.68%

March was not generous as the total return decreased however the pre-retirement portfolio’s loss was less due to retaining the dividends for future reinvestment.

From a sector perspective, everything except industrial suffered but commodities are still getting severely hit as they are down 13%.

Portfolio Sector & % Allocation Gain/Loss
BASIC MATERIALS - 4% -13%
CONSUMER DISCRETIONARY - 12% -0.08%
CONSUMER STAPLES - 12% 1.16%
FINANCIALS - 10% 4.9%
HEALTHCARE - 10% 7.6%
INDUSTRIALS - 10% 8.6%
REAL ESTATE - 15% 9.2%
TECH/COMMUNICATIONS - 13% 15.05%
UTILITIES - 6% 6.43%
BONDS & INCOME - 8% 2.38%
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