Follow the dividend investment decisions of a person who has no background in financial investment and wishes to take control of their financial future to retire at 60.

Update to My Watch List - 30 Mar 2018 14:03

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March was a volatile month for the market and as a dividend growth investor something I have been waiting quite some time for as volatility creates opportunities to buy stocks on sale! With a combination of recent price drops and dividend increases 3 new stocks have made it onto my radar; Hasbro (HAS), Havertys (HVT), and Prudential Financial (PRU).

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HAS Recent Dividend Yield: 2.99%
Most Recent Dividend Increase: 10.52% announced February 2018

Hasbro is one of the top toy manufacturers in the U.S. and has enjoyed 15 years of dividend growth. Hasbro currently has some stormy clouds overhead in the form of a Toys R Us bankruptcy and a miss on Star Wars Last Jedi toy sales. These risks have created a price pullback and potential to pickup a dividend grower on sale.

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HVT Recent Dividend Yield: 3.57%
Most Recent Dividend Increase: 20% announced February 2018

Havertys is a specialty retailer of residential furniture and accessories in the United States. The company offers furniture merchandise under the Havertys brand name. It also provides custom upholstery products, as well as mattress product lines under the Sealy, Tempur-Pedic, Serta, Stearns & Foster, and Beautyrest Black names. It operates showrooms in 16 states in the Southern and Midwestern regions.

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PRU Recent Dividend Yield: 3.48%
Most Recent Dividend Increase: 20% announced February 2018

Prudential Financial provides life insurance, annuity products, investment management, and other financial products and services in the United States and internationally. Affectionately referred to as “The Rock” has been in business since 1875 and has been increasing dividends for 9 straight years. An aspect I like about Prudential is they stay in the life insurance sector and are not engaged in riskier insurance programs like home, auto or health.

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AMNF Increases Quarterly Dividend - 24 Mar 2018 22:34

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Frozen Italian food maker Armanino Foods of Distinction (AMNF) is a micro-stock with a market cap of under $100M. Being such a small company major news announcements tend to go unnoticed by major finance websites even when it is good news.

On March 8 AMNF announced a 12.5% increase in its quarterly dividend from $0.02 to $0.0225. With Its Friday 3/23 close of $2.67/share that places the annual yield at 3.37%. It is not surprising AMNF had such a large increase, they have been reporting record revenue and earnings for the last three quarters. - Comments: 0

New Buy IBM - 22 Mar 2018 21:36

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Today’s 724 point drop in the DOW (-2.52%) triggered a limit order for International Business Machines (IBM) and represents my very first investment in Big Blue. IBM was tempting from a yield perspective in the past but held off from buying due to declining revenue. But with their latest quarterly results I see IBM starting to turn the corner with prospects of growing once again and thought it was time to finally pull the trigger and buy some shares.

IBM has been growing dividends for 22 years and at my recent buy price yields 3.9%. IBM last announced a 7.14% dividend increase in April 2017 and with April right around the corner I should get another bounce if IBM continues their annual April time frame for announcing an annual increase.

IBM is no longer a massive tech growth company but it has decent cash flow from a strong market presence and has a plan to remain relevant.

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Update to my Watch List

In other news, AbbVie Inc. (ABBV) had a significant setback with their trial of lung cancer drug Rova-T. ABBV has been struggling to find a future drug to replace the massive income being generated from their hit drug Humira. While this is not the end of the world it does add some risk.

I significantly cut my buy price down to $103/share as I see risk in maintaining their current dividend growth at a double digit percentage increases over a long period of time. As such I would prefer a higher yield to offset the risk.

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Updated Watch List - 18 Mar 2018 22:44

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I have a significant position in Dr. Pepper Snapple (DPS) which is being bought out by Keurig will lead to a nice payday but will leave a hole in my portfolio. To maintain my diversification in that sector I added Pepsi (PEP) to my watch list.

PEP currently sports a 2.88% dividend yield and a 10 year dividend growth rate of 8.9%. Currently DPS has a 1.97% dividend yield and my intent is to replace that with PEP and a minimum dividend yield of 2.95% which will provide a 50% increase in annual dividends.

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Nice Raise but Div Growth is Way Better - 04 Mar 2018 17:51

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It was that time of year again where I had to sit down with my supervisor and discuss what went well, what didn’t, and where my career is going. You probably guessed it, this was my annual review. Once we disposed of the pleasantries it was time for the real purpose of this meeting…how much of an annual raise was I getting!

As usual it was in the very low single digits range that was above average and exceeded the current inflation rate. I typically receive very good reviews but anyone that has been working in the corporate world can attest raises for the last 10 years have been at the low end but I’m not discouraged.

On the dividend growth investing side my annual dividend grow rate will be more than double my annual raise for the 6th year in a row! At this pace my dividend growth income will catch up to my annual salary near my early retirement goal 10 years from now. Trick is not to get overconfident and to also keep an eye on the third runner in this race called “Inflation”. It is a slow and methodical race to early retirement but with dividend growth keeping its momentum I just might cross the finish line.

Just goes to show how powerful dividend growth is over the long term. Just wish I had started this style of investing 30 years ago.

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New Buy LEG - 03 Mar 2018 12:37

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Picked up one of the holdings on my watch list and further capitalized on the selloff of anything steel or aluminum related thanks to President Trump's hint at a tariff or reciprocal tax. It was hard to let Leggett & Platt (LEG) slip by so I grabbed some shares at $42.10, not quite the bottom of the day but close enough.

LEG has paid dividends for 46 years straight and with a 10 year dividend growth rate of 7.2% and dividend yield of 3.4% it fit perfectly into my income & growth profile range of 3.5% yield with min 6.7% growth.

I still have a buy order in for Brinker (EAT) but the price went in the opposite direction and climbed to $35.96. I am assuming once the ex-dividend date passes the price will drop and I can get the order filled.

After LEG & EAT I'm tapped out until the end of the month when I add more cash and receive more dividends. Next targets for a buy appear to be ABBV and/or IBM if the price drops back below $154.

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