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September Dividend Income - 30 Sep 2020 21:45

Tags: monthly_income

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After 33 years of clocking in and out of work and religiously saving 10% annually every year, in good times and bad, I have decided to share my monthly dividend income to show what regular saving and investing can accomplish.

For the month of September I made $3,754; an increase of +39.5% versus this time last year. This is the first month benefitting from my portfolio repositioning that I worked on from June thru August and it is finally nice to see progress once again. I still have a few holdings whose dividends have been suspended but for the most part COVID related dividend issues are behind me.

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I continued with my weekly M1 Finance contribution of $120 for a total of $480. The overall dividend yield of my M1 pie slightly increased to 3.671% as the market started September off very weak.

Overall my M1 Finance accounts contributed $20.53 to this month’s dividend totals. Looks like this portfolio is finally paying steady double digit monthly dividends.

I also provided a link to my M1 Pie for those interested in seeing all of the individual holdings.
https://m1.finance/iCDyjkqucd1B

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My age 53 goal (I’m 51 for those not in the know) had an increase of 3.11%. Next month is my 52nd Birthday and I need to be at a minimum of 88% complete towards my goal, sitting at 87.89% complete I feel pretty confident I will meet my target.

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For those not familiar with my Age 53 goal, I plan in 7 year increments and targeted to have 57% of my expenses to be covered via dividend income and to be at 115% for my next 7 year target at age 60. Why 115%? This was based on a multiple bear market/crash analysis I performed back in 2018 that showed my optimal portfolio to withstand a long term bear market with high inflation would be to have dividend income of 115% of expenses and the equivalent of 9 months of expenses in cash. - Comments: 0

Buys and Sells for the Week - 25 Sep 2020 14:28

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Markets continue to look weak, small rally's just seem to fade and just not make any significant headway. My best guess is folks are just in a holding pattern and taking some capital gains, all the while waiting for elections to pass. In the meantime, I 'll keep pick up shares here and there with each pull back. With that said here are my buys for the week:

1. Bar Harbor Bank (BHB) – increased position – This small Maine bank has been slowly improving their loan/loss risk each quarter. The company is overdue for a dividend raise which I believe may pop some time in the 4th quarter. A 4.7% dividend yield with possibility of near term increase is pretty nice.

2. Kimball International (KBAL) – increased position – Every time this small cap dips below $11/share I’m buying. Only 5 years of dividend growth but I love companies with little to no debt and growing earnings.

3. 3M (MMM) – increased position – Below $160/share is my buying price for this Dividend Champion that netted me a 3.7% yield.

4. Pepsico (PEP) – increased position – Pepsi is one of my favorite Dividend Growth stocks but share prices have been stuck in the $130-139 range. With prices currently trading at the low end of this range I picked up some shares and a yield of 3.1%.

5. Weyco Group (WEYS) – increased position – The share price really fell out on this Dividend Champion as shares dropped to $15.25 and a 6.3% yield. Hard not to take a gamble on this.

6. International Business Machines (IBM) - increased position – IBM has 25 years of dividend growth and a 5.5% yield which will contribute nicely. Their Red Hat acquisition allows them to remain relevant in the technology sector but I don't see their growth being as good as MSFT or AAPL.

7. AT&T (T) - increased position – Looking to increase my 2nd month of a quarter dividend income to smooth out monthly dividends. A 7.4% yield is nothing to sneeze at. Only downside is dividend growth over the last few years has been less than the rate of inflation, but the high yield compensates for now. - Comments: 0

Computer Update - 21 Sep 2020 22:06

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Finally got my new computer and it feels great to have a fully functioning machine. I settled on an HP X360 Envy and its spec'd out with a Ryzen 4500u, 8gb RAM, 256gb SSD, and Wifi 6. Definitely more horsepower than I need but want this to last as long as my last computer which lasted just over 7 years.

I was actually struggling to find this particular laptop as there is a shortage on these new AMD CPUs which by the way is amazingly fast. I paid $80 more than I wanted to but at least this upgrade is finally over.

Now my next attention will be focusing on moving my blog over to WordPress which looks to be early October. Unfortunately there is no export capability from my wikidot platform so no plans on migrating all my past posts. In some ways it will be like starting over and it will definitely be a bit cleaner and lighter than before.

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- Comments: 0

New Investors and Valley of Disappointment - 19 Sep 2020 13:02

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For anyone just starting out with investing you will struggle early on with results. It takes years of investing patience before your portfolio starts to show signs of life and the snowball effect kicks in showing large increases. Don’t be discouraged, all experienced investors have gone through this at one time or another making us question our decisions.

The time period from when you start investing to the beginning of the snowball effect is a period that can make or break an investor if they are not prepared for the time investment and patience required. James Clear defined this period as the “Valley of Disappointment” in his book Atomic Habits.

I found this video on Youtube and this young man does a wonderful job explaining the concept. He puts a lot of thought and effort into his videos and the quality of work shows. I invite you to take a few minutes and watch this video, I am sure you will enjoy as much as I have.

- Comments: 0

Buys and Sells for the Week - 12 Sep 2020 11:53

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While tech stocks continue to cause market gyrations for the week I continued to nibble on stocks that pullback in price. For the week I had no sells and just buys. Two of this week’s buys were new positions while the rest were increasing existing positions with most of the activity occurred at the end of the week. With that said here are my buys for the week:

1. Allete (ALE) – new position – This small utility company has been pushing into wind farms and when prices retreated below $51/share I jumped to get the 4.9% yield and 10 years of dividend growth.

2. Avista (AVA) – increased position – When prices dropped below $35/share I saw this as an opportunity to lower my average price per share for this 18 year dividend grower and the 4.5% yield isn’t too shabby either.

3. Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS) – new position – This one brings a little risk but the dividend looks safe and the reward will come in the form of an equity pop in value from a post COVID recovery (looking 12-18 months out. In the meantime a 6.5% yield will fill my pockets.

4. Kimball International (KBAL) – increased position – Every time this small cap dips below $11/share I’m buying. Only 5 years of dividend growth but I love companies with little to no debt and growing earnings.

5. OGE Energy (OGE) – increased position – 13 years of dividend growth and a 5.1% yield. Each time the yield hits 5% or more I will nibble on a few more shares

6. Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) - increased position – 45 years of dividend growth and a 5.3% yield is hard to ignore. - Comments: 0

Need a New Blogging Platform (and a laptop too) - 07 Sep 2020 21:48

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Fun While it Lasted

I have been using the Wikidot platform since 2006 for various projects including this site which I started in 2013. At the time this was the most free robust site available and allowed for a lot of freedom to manipulate pages. Unfortunately, base code for the platform has changed little since 2006 and what was great then is looking pretty old and dated now.

To make matters worse, the site owners have abandoned maintaining the base code and now the site is slowly breaking down. Even simple search functions are no longer working. I have no second thoughts about choosing the platform as it has been a wonderful outlet for creativity & expression but it just no longer fits in the modern world and alas it is time to move on.

Choosing a New Platform

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In the hunt for a new platform I wanted to keep it simple. I have never made money off of a blog nor do I need to. I also have no need to worry about a "brand" or "image". I just need a simple and free hosted platform that allows me to create some pages, embed HTML, and load images & videos. My hunt has led me to just two hosted sites Google's Blogger platform and Wordpress.com.

I've played with both over the last two weeks and I am leaning towards Wordpress.com. It has a bit a bit more syntax to learn than Blogger but it just feels cleaner and has a very large community of users. While I'm still struggling to learn the syntax there are quite a few Youtube videos that shortcut things for me and if I get too frustrated I just resort to using HTML to solve a problem. So far so good but if anyone has another suggestion I am open to other platforms.

And My Laptop is Now Struggling

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Besides changing platforms my 8 year old laptop is struggling to keep up with today's web browsers and latest web page formats. 8 years for a laptop is a pretty good run and as faithful as she has been she is showing her age. My battery used to last 8 hours and now it is down to 3 hours and sometimes less if I use 100% brightness. The lack of additional ram shows when I open multiple tabs they tend to pause or stutter. The audio jack is quirky where you have to apply pressure to make it work. The bluetooth is so old it will not pair to wireless earbuds so no easy solution.

The last issue I have is not my laptop's fault but simply my age starting to show. It used to not bother me using a 10 inch display (you read that correctly), but now I need reading glasses and the small screen is getting to me. There are only so many times one can zoom in and out before it gets old. Time to stop being cheap and buy a new one!

Tough part I am running into is this is the worst time to buy a laptop. Because of the work from home phenomenon store availability of decent affordable 2-in-1 laptops is non-existent. There are quite a few $1,000+ configurations readily available but I am looking in the $500 range and seem to find machines with 2 year old technology. Every time I think I found a decent machine I get the wonderful "Sold Out" notification. New laptops should be coming out next month so hopefully I will find something I like. - Comments: 0

August Dividend Income - 03 Sep 2020 21:41

Tags: monthly_income

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After 33 years of clocking in and out of work and religiously saving 10% annually every year, in good times and bad, I have decided to share my monthly dividend income to show what regular saving and investing can accomplish.

For the month of August I made $2,111; a decrease of -8.4% versus this time last year. This is back to back months of consecutive decreases and is the 4th out of the last 5 months to experience a YoY decrease. I know this is temporary but it does sting none the less.

Obviously some of the decreases are due to COVID but I also sold quite a few positions and finally put all that cash to work. In my previous post I identified 9 different stocks I sold out of (or greatly reduced my position) and in turn bought a total 22 new stocks. I am expecting these new buys to start paying out in the 4th quarter so hopefully these monthly decreases will be coming to an end shortly.

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I continued with my weekly M1 Finance contribution of $120 for a total of $480. The overall dividend yield of my M1 pie slightly decreased to 3.505% as the market continues its recovery.

Overall my M1 Finance accounts contributed $33.23 to this month’s dividend totals. This is my largest monthly contribution and this account is slowly gaining steam.

I also provided a link to my M1 Pie for those interested in seeing all of the individual holdings.
https://m1.finance/iCDyjkqucd1B

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My age 53 goal (I’m 51 for those not in the know) had a huge increase of 7.6%. The big jump was from my efforts of selling stocks from April thru July and then redeploying all that cash in August. I can’t wait for the 4th quarter when these new investments begin adding more income.

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For those not familiar with my Age 53 goal, I plan in 7 year increments and targeted to have 57% of my expenses to be covered via dividend income and to be at 115% for my next 7 year target at age 60. Why 115%? This was based on a multiple bear market/crash analysis I performed back in 2018 that showed my optimal portfolio to withstand a long term bear market with high inflation would be to have dividend income of 115% of expenses and the equivalent of 9 months of expenses in cash. - Comments: 4


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