Wednesday, August 20, 2014

LIEBSTER Award


I have been nominated for the LIEBSTER award by The The Dividend Family Guy.  He has made some great contributions to the blogging community since he started journaling his family’s progress.  I would like to thank him for accepting his previous nomination from another fellow blogger Living At Home.  The award is designed for you to answer 5 questions your nominator asks you and then to pass it on by nominating other bloggers and formulating your own questions.

 

Here are his questions:

1.      Why is the Sky blue?  Good question and one I cannot fully answer other then I will say I believe God had the authority to make that decision.

  1. If everyone knows saving is good and you should not spend more that you make why is America the way it is?  I think it comes down to people’s wants being prioritized more than their needs.  I get it and think it is great to have nice material possessions, but not at the expense of being a slave to lenders with debt.  People are not being taught responsibility as well as they should and seem to want more for less work.
  2. If you were an old billionaire (say $10 billion) would how would you split up your money between family and other things important to you?  That is a tough one I’d probably make sure family is taken care of.  I’d likely donate some income to great charitable organizations as well.  A lot of it though would still be invested I think because I just find a lot of enjoyment in researching stocks and staying in the game for the long haul.  With that amount of money the income it would throw off would be enough to do a lot of things to help in much needed areas.
  3. Is a house a worth it? I don't see many super frugal people blog about owning one.  To most I would say a house is definitely worth it.  The value used to go only up for a long time.  Lately it has been harder to realize the benefits of it.  It takes a lot of work and money to fix things, but in the end especially if you have a family and kids owning a home as opposed to renting a apartment is worth it if you can afford to in my opinion.  Condos are not too bad idea if you can get into the market while prices are depressed.
  4. How much time do you research stocks you invest in?  Got me with that question.  I am constantly researching stocks and trying to keep up to date with all the news.  There are so many companies to monitor and research for prospective and current investment candidates.  I would say maybe 50 hrs or so a week on average.  I enjoy it though and it’s not like I have a boss forcing me to do it.

Once again I thank The Dividend Family Guy for nominating me for the LIEBSTER Award.  Some of these guys are busy and may not be able to find the time to do this. I now have to come up with some nominees, but it’s hard to find a new blogger who has not been nominated yet.  I will go with some I have been reading for awhile:

1.      $25,000 Dividends

2.      Dividend Mantra

3.      My Dividend Journey



 Here are a few questions for them:

1.      Do you think it is better to buy a car or lease a car?

2.      If you had to do college again knowing what you know now would you still pick the  same degree major?

3.      What was your first stock?

4.      At what age did you start getting interested in the stock market?

5.      Did a person or event help you learn at any time that you were heading in a direction you did not want to go that would lead you into too much debt?

 

 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

July 2014 Dividend Update



We now have 7 months on the books for 2014 and it is time to update my dividend progress for July.  We have started to get a correction to end the last two days of July and looking forward to what the markets can bring us here in August.  The dividends steadily rolled into the accounts buying me more shares.  I have not been buying too much lately so it is mostly the compounding effect powering the totals a little bit higher from my April total.  I expect next month to be a similar total and September to be a better month like it is for most of my fellow DGI investors.  August I am expecting to receive two dividend from GLAD for some reason they are paying one the 5th and another the 29th instead of the last day of the month of July like it usually has done for many months.

How was you your July?  Hope you are doing well in August!

Thanks for reading.


Thursday, July 31, 2014

Recent Buy for Roth IRA


 
I have been neglecting my Roth IRA for awhile in favor of my taxable account and Roth/traditional retirement accounts from work.  I decided to make a move and contribute a little money to my IRA and bought 4 shares of MPC at $79.00 on Wednesday July 30, 2014.  The company raised the dividend 19% from a quarterly rate of $0.42 to $0.50 and announced additional buyback of $2 Billion worth of shares.  They announced earnings today and beat the estimates and it showed in the stock price.  They also said the review of the deal to acquire Hess Retail LLC. Has been completed and should close by the end of the year.  I am a happy shareholder of MPC even though I’d rather have a lot more shares or maybe bought some call options before this big rise.

Photo Source: www.marathonpetroleum.com .

Monday, July 21, 2014

Should I add this new trading avenue to achieve my long term goals?


As a big supporter of DRIP investing because of limited capital to invest I am always looking for ways to accumulate more shares.  I like to acquire shares that are either undervalued or reasonably valued.  This in return provides me with a ever increasing amount of dividends and more shares in mostly well known companies that have proven to stand long periods of time and thrive in different economic times.  Last year I became interested when Scottrade came out with the FRIP plan.  Up until now I have not really been able to participate or open another account.  Recently I have been starting to get frustrated with E*Trade’s $9.99 commission because it is higher than just about every competitor.  I have been an E*Trade customer for a long time and am comfortable with the tools and platform though.  I have not had too many major problems with them when contacting customer service. 

I also am interested in all these newer brokerage firms and innovative ideas, but not sure if they are worth the risk.  The one I am leaning most towards is Scottrade with $2.99 less commission and the ability to FRIP the percentages I want towards any stock I want to without paying commissions and keep excess cash if I want to as well.  This would be a significant cost savings over time for someone who can only afford small purchases.  I would have to make 1500 at E*Trade trades a quarter just to get about that same rate that is already offered.  This is probably a lot easier to keep track of for records and tax treatment as well since you can only acquire full whole number amount of shares.  Once I clear out some of my current expenses I might look into opening a Scottrade account because have to start with $500 I believe.  I am a couple months away from finishing my car payments and owning it.  The unknown is how I am going to go about paying for school.  I am making the transfer to a higher cost school, but am 15 classes away from getting my Bachelor’s of Business Administration in Finance.

Anyone out there have any issues with Scottrade?  Do you participate and/or like or dislike the FRIP program?

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

A 3.7% Dividend Raise from this REIT


National Retail Properties today announced a 3.7% dividend raise.  This increase upped the dividend from $0.405 per share to $0.42.  This is another company I don’t track on my monthly dividend reports as I hold it in my Roth IRA.  This is another REIT that seems very committed to supporting shareholders with long term dividend growth.  The website features photos of checks in the mailbox to symbolize the importance of shareholders receiving the income they provide.  As stated on the press release earlier today: National Retail Properties (NNN) is one of only four publicly traded REITs and 102 publicly traded companies in America to have increased annual dividends for 24 or more consecutive years.

Monday, July 7, 2014

A 10% dividend raise from this BDC

 



Checking my brokerage account after the market closes I noticed some news across the screen of a dividend increase of 10% on its way from Fifth Street Finance Corp.  10% is significant amount, but this is after a couple dividend cuts that were larger than that.  I prefer not to take a cut in dividend income at all, but the effects were minimal at my age and hopefully temporary as I have more shares and a slight increase snapback in the rate.  I will gladly take ~82 cents or so more a month anytime.  Apparently the dividend cut was necessary to bring their dividend rates more closely aligned with Net Investment Income (NII).  I am glad management has taken the steps necessary and are confident enough to raise it back up a little bit.  The company has been focusing on safer loans which as a whole usually yield less then more riskier ones.  BDC’s may not be for everyone, but a couple authors in Seeking Alpha are worth reading and learning about them from.  The problem is some are safer than others and yields vary sometimes.  I like to focus on stocks that regularly increase their dividends.  On the other hand, I like some high yield plays that have growth potential also.  That way even if the stock is sideways and the dividend is static to higher I will get more dividends each month as well as shares from the Dividend Reinvestment Plans (DRIP). 
 
I am aware BDC's and REIT's are taxed at ordinary rates and not favorable tax rates so that makes it less of a SWAN investment for higher earners in nonretirement accounts.  Along with flucutations and having to balance portfolio loans and defaults it is not worth the headache for other investors to read up on and I don't blame them. It is risky and noone wants to get burned if they could avoid it.  That said, its been a good ride so far for me and I would like it to continue.
I am tempted to start a position in FSIC as they are planning on paying 2 special dividends this year in addition to their regular monthly payments.  We will see what I end up deciding as I am looking at some other companies like PG, WHLR, GE, MSFT, and CSCO for further consideration.
What’s on your radar?  Are BDC’s worth the risks to you?

Photo Source:http://tickerreport.com/banking-finance/240037/fifth-street-finance-corp-coverage-initiated-by-analysts-at-jmp-securities-fsc/

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

June 2014 Dividend Update



As we start the month of July it is time to update the income received during the month of May.  I am happy with the progress I have made so far this year.  I am falling behind on my ambitious goal of $2700 in dividends this year halfway through the year.  I still feel like I am in a good place and have a chance at reaching for this goal.  Even if I fall short I will know I am heading in the right direction as I am on pace for about a 30-35% increase year over year in dividend income.  I am encouraged and inspired by all the bloggers out there who have documented their progress.  Whether you are new to it or I have been reading for a couple years I thank everyone for their support and insight.

 How was your June?  Are you on pace to hit your goals this year?